Monday, May 7, 2012

Revisiting "Mere Christianity"

Revisiting "Mere Christianity" Luke 6:46-49
We have all heard in a race it's not how you start, but how you finish. Yet, many of us are "finished" before we even start because our foundation is so shaky.
Much is the same in Christianity today. Jesus questions all of us why we call him Lord, but do nothing He says.
Is it because we don't know the etymology of the word Lord? Or is it because in history and fiction people like Hitler or even Voldemort give the name Lord a bad connotation? No. If we are honest with ourselves, our sinful nature longs to be king and lord over our own lives, which always leads to tragedy.

Listen as Pastor Sam preaches about how the Humble King, Jesus Christ, calls us to a place of deep self reflection and examination and why it's so vital to have Jesus as the Lord over our lives. Find out how the gospel will help us both start and finish well.

How to Follow hard after God

How to Follow hard after God Matthew 16:21-25
Who gets to control the radio in the car? The unspoken rule appoints the driver and owner the power to listen to whatever he or she pleases and when somebody changes the station we get annoyed.

The same applies in our entire lives. We have preferences and God has preferences. Many times we struggle with following Jesus because our preferences conflict with God's. However, The bible shows us that Jesus laid down his preferences and mobility, even death on the cross, because He loved us so much.

Today, listen to Pastor Joe as he speaks on how we can start to love Jesus back and really follow Him.

The Gospel of Love Part II: True Friendship

Ancient Greek philosophers equated the word "friend" with "love". Meaning, when you called someone a friend, there was real weight to it because it was a person you deeply loved and cared about. Nowadays, a friend is simply someone whose Facebook status we like. A "true friend" has been reduced to a red notification.

But if we learn from Jesus, the best model for what it means to be a true friend, one thing that marks friendship is brutal honesty. For instance, addressing the elephant in the room which can be our sinfulness, our deception, or just simply our delusion. A real friend is willing to have that awkward conversation for the sake of love.

The Bible says that there is no greater love than laying down one's life for their friends. Today, how can we learn from Jesus' example and become a true friend? Listen in to find out.

Letting Others In

We all want to appear like we have it together. Not many of us are eager to share the messy, rotten, and disgusting parts of ourselves.

But the truth is, if we never reveal the innermost parts of ourselves, we will never be secure in others' love for us or our love for others.

The gospel challenges us to expose every hidden part to others. And confession is only the beginning. How do we really repent and turn into a community that allows others into the core of who we really are? Listen in to find out!

The Gospel of Love: Freedom From the Curse of Self-Preservation

Just like our ancestors Adam and Eve hid behind fig leaves and bushes to cover up their nakedness, we hide behind our lies and vain conceit to cover up our sinfulness. Whether a lie or a leaf, the commonality is shame, and we are ever so full of it.

All of humanity is under this curse of Self-Preservation. We lie to others and to ourselves to keep from being exposed. And as self-preservers, we want the gospel to excuse us of our mess and simply forgive us with Jesus politely saying, "Well, everyone has issues."

But that is not the gospel. The true gospel has come to shed light into the darkness and starkly expose us of our wickedness. Jesus Christ died on the cross and became cursed so that we wouldn't have to be. Today, how can the Gospel of Love save you from your Self-Preservation? Listen in and find out.

Returning to our First Love

The Bible says that our "hearts are prone to wander." You would think that after years of following Christ, Christians would remain steadfast and love Jesus more and more each day. Sadly, this isn't usually the case.

This week, Pastor Joe talks to us about going back to our "first love" and remembering why we followed Jesus in the first place, removing the things that are in the way, and repenting to love Him again.

If you have fallen and wandered away and want to go back to loving Jesus with all your heart, listen in to this message.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Therapeutic Gospel: How does Faith go bad so fast?

"How did you go bankrupt?" "Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly." - Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises.
In living for Christ, we often find ourselves asking this question: when and how did our faith go bad in such a short amount of time? While on our faith journeys, we gradually, then suddenly discover that the fruit in our lives is spoiled and our rate of life change has come to a halt.
Living in New York City, the gospel is more therapeutic than it is an antiseptic. We want to be soothed and massaged, rather than really healed, which requires pain and discomfort.
Today, in your own sickness and sinfulness, do you want a fake placebo or real medicine? Where are the places where you need hard Truth to come and painfully, but genuinely, change your life? Listen in to find out.