We all want to be loved. Why then does Jesus say we are blessed when we are persecuted?
Joseph and his relationship with the brothers who sold him into slavery provides a power example of what forgiveness is and how it plays out in relationships.
Peace never just happens, it is made by sons and daughters of God.
Because of Jesus made by the blood of his cross, saving us from our hostility towards God
Pure Gold is just gold. We are pure in heart when our desire is to know God.
In order to show mercy, we must first receive it.
When Mary and Thomas see Jesus after he rose from the dead, everything changes. How we live shows us whether we are serving a living Jesus or a dead Jesus.
Jesus washed dirty feet and whipped people and flipped tables over. Both of these things are meekness because to be meek means to live out the fullness of your identity.
Sadness has a bad rap. Often times we avoid it at all costs. But Jesus shows us that in His Kingdom, we experience the comfort of our heavenly Father when we mourn our sin and the brokenness in the world.
Jesus is not a nice golf buddy to introduce to your friends. He's a revolutionary King who is establishing his counter-cultural Kingdom in our hearts and through our lives.
Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom which means you can have life with God under His rule.
Gospel repentance is way different than religious repentance, and it is the entirety of the life of the believer!
After seeing his baptism and his temptation, Jesus hits the road and begins calling his crew to join him. We see a lot of details in the setting of Jesus' ministry and can embrace our own mission in light of his!
The relationship between Jesus and the Church, His Bride is just astounding. He gave himself up for her, and he faithful cleanses her, and will someday present her as holy and perfect!
Right now the Church isn't perfect, but we have the joy of being apart of Jesus' work to cleanse her! And we have the hope of knowing that someday she will be with out blemish.
Prayer is how the truth of the Word, the glorious doctrine of our Faith becomes something we experience. It's a duty that leads to delight!
With the rest of the Armor of God, you'll be able to stand, to avoid being defeated. But with out the Sword of the Spirit you won't be able to be victorious.
If salvation is only something that gets us out of hell, then it's pretty much the same as a insurance policy. Who sings song about their insurance company?
But the Bible teaches that our salvation is much bigger than that and it gives us incredible hope!
Just like fire can either make your steak taste delicious or make it inedible, suffering can either make us more fully human, more like Jesus or it can destroy us and leave us bitter, lonely, angry, and far from God. Suffering well is a crucial part of the Christian life and the shield of Faith is the key to it all.
The gospel of peace gives us shoes of readiness with traction, protection, and mobility. These gospel kicks well revolutionize and revitalize the church in incredible ways if we put them on.
Shame is the feeling that we do not measure up, that we are less than acceptable. The Breastplate of Righteousness is a gift we have from God that deals with our shame and frees us from the desire to hide. Only in Jesus can we be freed from shame and experience the good life with God.
God made us with imagination. Everyone has one. And the devil can infect our imaginations with lies that destroy our joy and relationships. The Belt of Truth is how we fight the infection in our imaginations so that we can fill them with visions of the Good Life with God.
So often, us modern folks only deal with flesh and blood struggles and scripture is clear that our real struggle is not just flesh and blood.
This sermon is a call to our church to stand against the spiritual forces and move forward in the power of the gospel.