Upside Down Christmas
Every year we say, “This Christmas is going to be different,” but then we fall back into the same seasonal pattern: worrying about getting everything done, battling for all the best deals, running up the credit card, and making sure we fulfill all the holiday obligations. The good news is that in Christmas, God turns our upside-down world right-side up.
Worship Over Wallow
Not everyone approaches Christmas with joy and expectation. For some of us, Christmas is mostly a reminder of how lonely, broken, and forgotten we are. Our natural inclination is to hide and wait the season out. In this message, we look at how Christmas came to some of the most forgotten people in society, and how it turned wallowing into worship.
Generosity over Gratification
The wise men instinctively knew that giving is one major way we worship. Like them, God gives us opportunities and reasons to give. Unlike them, we do not have a “baby Jesus” to give to. In this message, we find out that giving to “the least of these” is how we give to Jesus.
Presence over Presents
The paradox of the Christmas season is that we are so concerned with getting presents that we often have a hard time being present. What if we made a conscious decision to spend less, but be more sensitive to what we give and why?
Love over Limits
Through Jesus, God sent a Jewish Messiah to a Jewish people to proclaim salvation for the entire world. Since His love extends to all, so should ours.
If you have ever wondered why life is so hard, this series is for you. Wisdom says that there are causes for everything that happens, and everything that we experience can be explained. While that is true, we do not always consider that the unseen has as much (or perhaps even more) influence on our world as the seen. In this series, we learn about the spiritual battles that we all experience, and how God has already won the war for us.
Something Worth Fighting For
Whether you know it or not, you are in the middle of a cosmic battle. You have an enemy that is after one thing: your faith. In this message, we discover that your faith is worth fighting for.
Geared Up to Tear Down
The good news is that God equips you with weapons to fight your spiritual battles. But these weapons are different than any other weapons we see in this world. In this message, we find out that the way we fight is as important as that we fight.
I am a Weapon
One of the main reasons we avoid spiritual warfare is because we are not confident in our ability to win the fight. But the reality is, God uses people just like you to push back the darkness in our world. In this message, discover that you are the very thing that the enemy fears.
Issues with Authority
One of the most destructive lies we believe is that our enemies are people in the here and now. But the Bible shows us that our enemies are not of this world, but in the unseen world. In this message, we discover that we only win when we address the spiritual authorities that have come against humanity.
Know Your Enemy
Contrary to popular belief, the enemy cannot read your mind, but he is a great student of human nature. He knows where our weak spots are. In this message, we find out how to defend against the enemy’s attacks.
The hardest battle to fight is the one that rages inside us. When the wishes of our hearts do not match the will of God, we can never be at peace. In this message, we find out that the battle is won when we trade what we want for what God wants.
The world is full of tragedy, sadness, and contradiction. Even people who claim to be Christians acts in ways inconsistent with their belief. There are so many things in life that make having an active faith difficult. In this series, we talk about the reasons why so many people prefer to keep their faith at arms-length, and how becoming engaged followers of Christ changes everything.
Part 1: Start Here
One of the scariest things about taking a step of faith is the idea that if you say yes to a one part you have to say yes to the whole package. That puts a lot of weight on one decision. But Jesus did not approach people like that. As a matter of fact, faith starts with one simple, no strings attached decision: To follow.
Part 2: Those Hypocrites
One of the things that make faith difficult is that “godly” people do some the most ungodly things. In this message we address the tension that is created by unfaithful followers of the faithful God.
Part 3: The Hidden God
Following God would be much easier if He would just show Himself. In this message, we discover that God can, and has shown himself in the most dynamic way.
Part 4: My Biggest Roadblock
In the final message of the Undecided series, we take a look under the hood of the most powerful and widely experienced objection to following Jesus.
Can we really be world changers? That sounds like such a lofty goal. We might not be able to make wholesale changes to the world, but we can significantly change our own personal world. In this series, we find out that God’s plan to redeem the world happens as each of us shares our faith within our own relational worlds.
When an opposing team comes to play, the home team often tries to inspire their players by declaring that this is “Our House!”
God’s plan is so much bigger than giving us a prescription for the sin in our lives. Jesus did not come just to redeem humans, but to redeem all creation. In this message, we outline the over-arching story of God’s plan from creation, to fall, redemption, and recreation, and point out that the church is the only means by which God will accomplish His it.
At the end of the game, it doesn’t matter who had more yards, who had more first-downs, or who had more sacks. All of those statistics are important, but ultimately, the only thing that matters is the ending score.
In the same way, there are many ways to measure the effectiveness of our belief systems, but if they do not lead people into the kingdom of God, we lose the game. The reason Christians need to share their faith in Christ is because salvation is not intuitive. People need to know that Jesus is the only way to enter the kingdom.
The Ground Game
Peter was the first to call Jesus the Messiah. He was the only person besides Jesus who has walked on water. He became the first leader of the church, and without him, we probably would not be worshipping together today. Yet, we sometimes forget that Peter’s first step began with an invite. In this message, we discover that an invite can change a life.
The Locker Room Speech
One phrase commonly used by Christians is, “that person really needs Jesus.” Too often, the motivation for that phrase is either judgement or a desire for that person to be less of a burden. Those motivations steal the power from sharing faith with others. In this message, we discover that people listen best when we let love lead.
Right on the Money
If we are honest with ourselves, most of us would admit that we find ourselves thinking about money much more often than we would like. The reality is, money commands our attention like no other issue we face. Unsurprisingly, scripture is filled with God’s perspective on money. In this series, we seek to place our money under God’s control, knowing that when we do, we will be able to trust God for the results.
Everyone wants God’s blessing in the financial arena, but very few are willing to do what God actually instructs. In this message, we discover that when we refuse to invite God into our finances, we risk pushing Him out of our lives.
So often, we are most concerned with what we do with what we have. But the Bible is full of wisdom about how we earn our income. In this message, we discover that God has given us both abilities to be used at their fullest potential, and responsibilities to be fulfilled to our best ability.
Everyone has a system for determining the most important uses for their money. For some, it is whatever is due next. For others, it is whatever they want most. But for most of us, some of our spending habits make us feel guilty, trapped, or out-of-control. In this message, we find out a way of thinking about our spending that helps us enjoy what God has given.
The average American household spends 105% of its annual income. This sounds nuts, but it is true! In a consumer society, we are conditioned to spend, spend, spend. In this message, we discover why and how to make saving our money a priority.
Usually, the only time we consult God about money is when we are drastically short of it. Somehow, we do not see that what we are doing is asking the one we have put last in our financial picture to rescue us from financial ruin. That doesn't make sense, does it? This is why it is so important to prioritize our giving over all the other areas of our finances.
Any mom or dad can tell you; it doesn’t take much to tear a family apart. The problem is, we normally don’t know what threatens our homes until after the damage has already been done. During the Paper Houses series, we learn how healthy hearts are our best defense against the most destructive threats to your family.
Every attack on your home is the result of an attack on the heart. The things we do and say cause the hurt that destroys a home, but words and behaviors are symptoms of the deeper sickness within our hearts. If we want to have a healthy home, we have to guard against attacks to the heart.
Green Eyes and Grieved Hearts
Envy kills relationships. As long as our eyes are focused on what God has given to others, we will never be able to see what God has given to us. In this message, find out why envy is so self-destructive to a home, and what we can do to avoid it.
THE AUDIO FOR THIS SERMON WAS LOST DUE TO TECHNICAL DIFFICULTY. PLEASE VIEW MESSAGE NOTES THIS WEEK.
The Shame of It All
Shame binds the members of our homes to their sin. When we address our family members as extensions of their sin, we guarantee repeat performances. The only way to combat shame is to separate sin from our sense of self.
Continual anger is evidence of a heart full of unforgiveness, and unforgiveness is contagious. When one person refuses to forgive, everyone in the home becomes bitter. The only way to break bitterness in the home is to create a culture of forgiveness.
Envy keeps our eyes focused on what others have. Greed keeps us focused on what we have. Greed is not having more than you need, it's refusing to let go of anything you have. Greed creates factions in a home, but generosity creates favor. Greed happens by accident, but generosity must be intentional.
There is no step-by-step manual on how to keep your home from being torn apart. Not one of us can predict the future, and many homes that look impervious to attack often suffer the worst. However, there is one practice we can institute in our homes that keep our families focused on unity.
Outside the Lines
Every family faces the risk of being torn apart. But family is not the reason for family. God has a purpose for your family, and when you orient your household around this one reason, it makes your family stronger than ever.
Before and After
There is a sign on a lonely Alaskan road that reads, “Choose your rut carefully, you will be in it for miles.” Sometimes, that’s how life feels. The choices you have made have set you in a direction and it feels like there is now no way to change. However, the big message of Easter is that your life doesn’t have to be the way it’s always been. The first Easter changed everything, and because of the resurrection, you can experience that kind of change in your own life.
Impossible to Incredible
The greatest truth about the miracle of Easter is that, through the resurrection, Jesus made a way for us to connect to God that was impossible for us to do on our own. Because Jesus rose from the grave, those who should be rejected are embraced by God.
Isolated to Included
God created His children to be connected to each other in spirit and purpose. The reason we are different is so that we can all fulfill the needs of someone else in our community. When we cut ourselves off from community, we rob ourselves of God’s touch and rob the body of our own gifts.
Indefinite to Indisputable
Your salvation was freely given to you. There is nothing you did to earn it, there is nothing special about you that merits it. Your salvation is nothing more than the expression of God’s love for you. Find out how it is impossible to out-sin God's grace.
Every one of us spends so much time and mental energy wrapped up in how inadequate we are. The more we think about our inadequacies, the more we seem to experience them. What if our pre-occupation with not being enough was the result of believing lies? During the “Complete” series, find out that the process of Christian growth is less about changing into something new than it is about learning how to live out what God has already completed inside the believer.
Enough is Enough
Every one of us spends so much time and mental energy wrapped up in how inadequate we are. The more we think about our inadequacies, the more we seem to experience them. What if our pre-occupation with not being enough was the result of believing lies? In this introduction to the “Complete” series, Pastor Bryon shares that the process of Christian growth is less about changing into something new than it is about learning how to live out what God has already completed inside the believer.
Skeletons in the Closet
If it were not for two things, none of us would struggle with guilt or fear: our past and our future. We experience guilt in the present because of what we have done, and we are afraid of the future because of what we know we will do. In this message, we find out God's prescription for guilt, and how we can trust God to remove our guilt completely.
Fear No More
Why is it so much easier to run away from God than run to Him? From the moment we are born, we carry a natural fear of God, and in many ways that's a good thing. But God wants something much greater than our fear, He wants a relationship. In this message, we discover how God makes a way for relationship with Him that is free from fear.
The love-based relationship that Jesus established on the cross goes far beyond simple affection. The reason God loves us the way He does is because He sees us in a particular way. In this message, we find out why there is no way that God could ever reject you.
Here Comes Trouble
Have you ever looked back upon something you have done and remarked, "I don't know what came over me!" The things that come over are often the most difficult things to overcome. No one of us sails through life without challenges that are greater than our strength. In this message, Pastor Bryon reveals how the cross of Christ turns believers into overcomers.
The Price is Right
Why would God trade His Son's life for yours? Why would Jesus sacrifice Himself? Believe it or not, the way you answer these questions has much to do with how you live your life, the choices you make, and the things you chase after. In this message you will discover how much Jesus paid, and how much you are really worth.
Questions Worth Asking
Too often, when presented with hard questions, the church’s answer has been, “You just have to take it on faith.” Contrary to popular belief however, biblical faith is not a blind faith. Christianity never asks you to believe something just because the Bible says it is true. Instead, ours is an evidence-based faith. In this series, come find out that authentic faith does not have to fear facts.
Every new year we feel the pressure to make huge changes in our lives. But most years, our big ambitions turn into big disappointments. Perhaps the reason we experience perpetual letdown is because we lack a point of reference for our goals. In this series, we learn that making changes only makes a difference when we’re aligned to what’s important.