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.

Foundation Series: How to Become People of Substance

Character is not just about information or knowledge–it's about putting that into practice and actually living it out.
This week in our SI campus, Pastor Joe talks about a season of our lives where our character will be put to the test. Without character, we will never be able to love who we want to love or become the people we want to be.
Do you want to become a person of substance? If so, where are the places in your life where God is testing your character? Listen in to find out.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Beyond Lost Easter Service

Rated: "SP" for strong profanity.

A totaled car beyond repair. A messed up painting beyond reworking. A burnt piece of food beyond re-cooking. Sometimes, even the most skilled mechanics, painters, and chefs cannot save an item that is past the point of no return and unable to be redeemed.
This Easter, we see two individuals so wicked that we'd easily pass them off, saying, "Well, not even Jesus Christ could save them!"
But as we watch their story unfold, we will see how they were completely saved and changed by the blood of the Lamb. The truth is, no one is really Beyond Lost and His resurrection is not for the well, but for the sick--in other words, you and me.

PhotoBooth: The Bennetts

This Easter in Staten Island, 180 Media Group & 180 Church presents our newest PhotoBooth where we see and hear the story of how a Jewish mother, a Christian father, and the daughter in between, all came to discover a life-changing revelation of Jesus Christ. The story begins with Sarah Bennett, the 17-year-old who first came to Christ through 180 Youth. Having experienced incredible life change, she wished the same for her mom, Mimi Bennett, who was raised in a deeply Jewish heritage. After several months of praying for her, Sarah invited Mimi to church where she began to attend and slowly, the obstacles that kept her from encountering the gospel began to fall away until she crossed that cultural chasm to become a person of faith. For this Jewish mother who was so set in her own ways, beliefs, and culture, to become a believer of Jesus Christ was nothing short of a miracle for both her daughter Sarah and her husband Charles. To see their mother and wife find transcending peace and let go of crippling worries through the love of Christ, it increased and strengthened their faith. It is our hope that as we enter this season of celebrating the Resurrection and further explore this powerful story, it increases and strengthens your faith as well.

Monday, April 2, 2012

From Cheap Grace to Kick-Ass Grace!

Cheap Grace is selfish, entitled, and incredibly douchey. It says, hey, we're effed up anyway so we might as well keep sinning because God will keep forgiving us. Why bother? God will come through eventually and help me out.
But Kick-Ass Grace says, I will repeatedly get my ass kicked and go through whatever hardship it takes so that I can actually become a deeper person and look more like Christ.
Which one is filling your life today? And better yet, which do you WANT to fill your life today?

Inviting Others to the Party of Christ

Breaking the ice at parties is not the easiest thing to do. People are awkward, shy, and prefer to be wallflowers. It usually takes that one daring person that's willing to make a complete fool of themselves to warm up the place and allow everyone else to loosen up.
In the same way, Christ is throwing the a party. As Easter approaches next week, who are the people and where are the places that God is calling you to liven up the atmosphere so that your friends, family, and loved ones can be invited to the greatest party of all time?

Stop Lying to Yourself Before It's Too Late!

In life, there are many things that we cannot change. And yet, we complain relentlessly about our upbringing or unfortunate situations or uncontrollable circumstances.

What Pastor Sam is challenging us to do today, through the gospel message, is to stop focusing on the things we can't change, and put all our efforts into what we can.

A little boy or girl whines about the things they can't and don't have. But a grown-ass man or woman toughens up and works hard after the things they CAN do something about. Where in your relationship with Christ are you complaining, and where do you need to take charge?

How to Trust God in Our Worrying

Studies have shown that our 92% of our worries have nothing to do with what is real or actual. Today, what anxiety are you allowing to consume your thought life, bringing a constant tension?

This week, Pastor Joe continues to speak to us about our worries and challenges us to trust God through it all. How do we see the ridiculousness of our quirky worries, and receive the peace of God that He promises us? Listen in to find out.

Monday, March 19, 2012

How the Gospel Saves You from the "Kanye West" Within All of Us

Kanye West's "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" accurately sums up a fundamental flaw of humanity: there is a beast within all of us that will stop at nothing to get what it wants when it wants. Especially at the cost of hurting others and destroying relationships.
If you really look into your relationships, how much of it is motivated by selfishness? And by what you can get from that person? Are you just exploiting and taking advantage of that person to fill your own desires?
Love is the complete opposite. It sacrifices all present desires and needs for the sake of the other person. Who are you becoming today? How raging is that beast-like "Kanye" inside you? If you wish to kill it, as only Jesus and the gospel can, then listen in to this week's message to find out how.

No God No Peace, Know God Know Peace

Everyone has burdens that make us worry and bring fear and anxiety. Some of us are huge worry warts, some of us avoid worries, and some of us are worry warriors and try to take control over every single issue. Wouldn't it be great if we could always wake up just feeling peace despite our struggles?
This week Pastor Joe preaches about how we can fall apart and put our burdens on God. How can the gospel give us a transcending, everlasting peace in the midst of all the worries in our lives? Listen in and find out.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Releasing a Community of Practical Faith: How Does Faith Progress?

Any photojournalist will tell you that the greater the risk and danger involved, the greater the picture captured. This is no different in the way we live out our own faith.
If last week was about increasing our vision of God, this week is about taking action. It's not enough to believe, we actually have to get our feet wet and step out in full confidence that God can do the impossible!
If you want to challenge your own faith to see God move in incredible ways in your life, tune in to this week's message on YouTube.

Fighting the Right Battles (Spiritual Warfare)

In our spiritual journey, we tend to give our problems the wrong diagnosis. When we struggle, we often attribute it to a fleshly matter and say that we're simply tired or restless. The truth is, just as the Apostle Paul says, our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
How can we stop expending all our energy and effort into the wrong places, and start fighting the right battles with preparation, strategy, and intelligence so that we can successfully overcome the evil one and his attacks? Listen in as Pastor Joe teaches us how.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Releasing a Community of Increasing Faith: How does Faith grow?

This week, Nathan said to Pastor Sam, "Daddy, my name is Nathaniel Jordan Kim. I was named after Michael Jordan right? Why daddy? It's because he could fly, right?"
God is calling us to have faith that takes off in flight. Yet, we live under the strict parameters of gravity, always afraid of taking risks and never trusting that God is fully capable of the impossible.
Today, will you allow God to burst your bubble? Will you give in to how big He really is and have your paradigm shattered? If you're willing, listen in to this week's message on YouTube.

180 Dream: Celebrating God's Movement Part 3

In the final installment of our 180 Dream Trilogy, we have Henry Kim, Stewart Still, and Andrew Ro share their individual stories of how far 180 has come since its inception.
180 looked remarkably different at its infancy than it does now; smaller worship space, lesser ministries, and much much MUCH fewer people. Yet Pastor Sam at that time was audacious enough to claim God's promises that we would lead hundreds, if not thousands, of people to Christ and become a global force.
Here we are, in 2012, with those dreams coming true, and then some! And it's clear to see that God came through. But it wasn't always so easy to see that vision from the start. Listen in as these three staff and lay staff members give their personal testimonies of how their paradigms of faith have shifted through the years, and be challenged to have a paradigm shift of your own.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

180 Dream: Celebrating God's Movement Part 2

Last week, we had one of our most powerful services in SI where members from our church shared stories of how they were agents of life change. This week, we hear from three young men that were the recipients of life change.
Pastor Billy moderates a discussion with Albert, an Indian-American from a pentecostal background, John, a filipino agnostic, and Thomas, an NYU student from Shang Hai that prayed to God on the plane ride over. They give their powerful testimonies on how they discovered 180 and eventually gave their lives to Christ.
Let these stories increase your faith once again as we celebrate the movement of God and find out how He is using a church in the "forgotten borough" of Staten Island to change the world.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Seizing "When" Its Time to Change

What do Xanga, Myspace, and AOL all have in common? Other than being once very successful and now not very relevant, they all failed to adapt to the rapidly changing times and as a result, suffered for it. The old maxim goes, "Adapt or die."
For those of us in our faith journeys, life change is crucial for us to make it and not get left behind. And the thing is, change is available to us right now in this very moment, not later or when we're ready.
But are we willing to seize the opportunities and catch the voice of Christ, so that we can continually change and become who the Father has called us to be?

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Celebrating God's Movement.

So many amazing things are happening all across 180 Church in our youth, our college students, our young adults, and our families. But with two campuses, it's often hard to hear more in depth about these stories of life change.
This week, Pastor Joe hosts a "talk show" style service where he invites people from all the different ministries and age groups of 180 to share their recent stories of what God has done and is doing.
You will hear about friends and family members coming to Christ, God turning discouraging situations into encouraging moments, and visions of what God desires for the future. Listen in to boost your faith and be reminded that the local church is truly the hope of the world.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Audacious Gospel: Whiners Prohibited.

This week, we witnessed a star being born. Third-string point guard Jeremy Lin went from obscure bench warmer to international NBA superstar. What made it possible for him, despite the pressure, to consistently score all-time highs to lead the Knicks to 5 straight victories?
Compare this with Lebron James, a man who needs no introduction. Why was he not able to pull the trigger in last year's NBA finals, ending up with another missed opportunity?
The answer to both questions is simple: character. Whereas one excelled in it and was able to stay focused and execute in the Garden, the other was not able to go for the kill despite his immense talent.
Pastor Sam tells us that, in the journey of our lives, if we want to make it to our destiny and be able to claim the God-given opportunity when it arises, the deciding factor will be our character, not our ability. Listen to find out how the gospel is confronting the depth of your character.