Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Most Important: Sermon Recap

Matthew 22:34-40

Big Idea:
We make the most of our time when we spend it on what is most important to God.


Here are some highlights from the message. If you share any of these on your social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) please use this link as a reference: http://ow.ly/sb34R
  • Love is unconditional loyalty that is rooted in an unswerving purpose of good.
  • If our hearts are not full of love, our acts of obedience to God become mere legalism.
  • If we're not loving, we're not living the way God has called us to live.
  • Love isn't concerned with 'what about me,' it's concerned with 'what about you.'
  • We grow in love for God and other people by responding to the love that Jesus showed for us. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

I'm Dreaming of a Right Christmas: Sermon Recap

Luke 2:25-38

Big Idea: This year, celebrate Christ instead of Christmas.


Here are some highlights from the message. If you share any of these on your social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) please use this link as a reference: http://ow.ly/s1wNY
  • In Christmas, we are reminded that God loves us as we are and empowers us to become what we are not. 
  • A right Christmas is one where Jesus is anticipated, adored, and announced. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Advent Week 4 Reading

Advent Week 4 Reading - The fourth candle is said to represent love and the presence of the Savior.

(4.1) His Presence Among Us: Over 400 years before Jesus, Zechariah foretold how God would one day come and live with men. “‘Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you’” (Zechariah 2:10-11).

(4.2) His Presence as a Human: Jesus left the splendor of heaven to be live on earth as a man. Therefore, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (Philippians 2:5-7).

(4.3) His Presence Declared by an Angel: When Jesus entered the world, a heavenly angel reported the news to shepherds. “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord’” (Luke 2:8-11).

(4.4) His Presence Declared by the Heavens: Even the stars made known the presence of Jesus to Wise Men. “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him’” (Matthew 2:1-2).

(4.5) His Presence Declared by Simeon: A righteous and devout man in Jerusalem named Simeon recognized the presence of the Savior. “Simeon took him [the infant Jesus] in his arms and praised God saying: ‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel” (Luke 2:28-32).

(4.6) His Presence Declared by Anna: The prophetess Anna recognized the presence of Jesus, the Redeemer. “There was also a prophetess, Anna. . . . She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them (Mary and Jospeh) at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38).

(4.7) His Presence Motivated by Love: God sent Jesus into the world because of his great love for us! “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16-17).

All content used with permission of the author

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Baby Is Man: Sermon Recap

Matthew 1

Big Idea: Jesus is fully man—he can meet you where you are and pull you out.


Here are some highlights from the message. If you share any of these on your social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) please use this link as a reference: http://ow.ly/rOYZ6
  • Because Jesus was a man, he gives you grace to stand firm when tempted and grace to stand back up after falling.
  • Because Jesus was a man, there is room at the table for deceivers, manipulators, and liars like Jacob.
  • Because Jesus was a man, there is room at the table for losers like Judah. 
  • Because Jesus was a man, there is room at the table for self-righteous hypocrites like King David. 
  • Because Jesus was a man, there is room at the table for those destroyed by their own success like King Uzziah. 
  • Because Jesus was a man, there is room at the table for those more evil than everyone else around them like Manasseh.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Advent Week 3 Reading

 Advent Week 3 Reading - The third week is said to represent joy and the proclamations regarding the coming Savior.

(3.1) Angelic Proclamation About John the Baptist: The angel Gabriel proclaimed to Zechariah that his son, John the Baptist, would prepare people for the coming of Jesus. “Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:16-17).

(3.2) Angelic Proclamation About Jesus: The angel Gabriel proclaimed to the virgin Mary that she would give birth to the Savior Jesus. “You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:31-33).

(3.3) Elizabeth’s Proclamation About Jesus: Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist, proclaimed that Mary carried the Lord in her womb. Even before his birth, John the Baptist made a unique proclamation about Jesus by leaping in his mother’s womb. “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed:“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy” (Luke 1:41-44).

(3.4) Mary’s Proclamation About God: Mary proclaimed the great thing God had done in choosing her to give birth to Jesus. “And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name’” (Luke 1:46-49).

(3.5) Zechariah’s Proclamation About Jesus: Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, proclaimed his praise that Jesus would be the Redeemer and Savior. “‘Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago)’” (Luke 1:68-70).

(3.6) Angelic Proclamation About Jesus: An angel proclaimed to Joseph that Jesus was conceived from the Holy Spirit and would save his people. “An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins’” (Matthew 1:20-21).

(3.7) Prophetic Proclamation: Over 700 years before Christ, the prophet Isaiah announced that the Holy One of Israel would one day be among the people. Let us sing for joy that Jesus did indeed come to live with man! “Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you” (Isaiah 12:6).

All content used with permission of the author

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Infographic: Messianic Genealogy

Redeemer is currently doing a brief—and refreshingly different—Christmas sermon series based on the genealogies of Matthew and Luke. The series is called "God With Us" and we're spending a few weeks looking at the implications of the genealogies as they relate to Jesus' divinity, humanity, kingly line, etc.

 In my preparations, I came across this sharp genealogy infographic that I just had to share. Enjoy!

(Click for larger image)

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Baby Is God: Sermon Recap

Luke 3:23-38

Big Idea: The baby is our great God and Savior, who humbled himself, entered the world and came to save his children from their sins.


Here are some highlights from the message. If you share any of these on your social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) please use this link as a reference: http://ow.ly/rmLxT
  • The Christmas story starts before the beginning of time.
  • The trinitarian God created man out of the overflow of his relational love. 
  • Sin is chasing your deceitful desires and doing whatever seems right in your own eyes.
  • Salvation is responding to God's grace with faith that demonstrates itself through loving obedience.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Advent Week 2 Reading

Week 2 Advent Reading -  The second week is said to represent peace and the prophecies of a coming Savior.

(2.1) Prophecy About a Man That Will Crush Satan: In the first book of the Bible, written over 1400 years before Christ, God told Satan that the son of a woman would crush his head. Jesus fulfilled this prophecy. “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15).

(2.2) Prophecy About a Virgin Birth: Over 700 years before Christ, the prophet Isaiah foretold that Immanuel (which means “God with us”) would be born of a virgin. Jesus fulfilled this prophecy. “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).

(2.3) Prophecy About the Identity of a Child: Over 700 years before Christ, the prophet Isaiah described the identity of Jesus. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

(2.4) Prophecy About the Majesty of the Child: The prophet Isaiah further described Jesus and his majesty. “Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this” (Isaiah 9:6-7).

(2.5) Prophecy About the Birthplace of the Ruler: Over 600 years before Christ, the prophet Micah foretold that the Ruler would be born in Bethlehem. Jesus fulfilled this prophecy. “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” (Micah 5:2).

(2.6) Prophecy About John the Baptist: Over 400 years before the birth of Jesus, the prophet Malachi foretold how a forerunner would prepare the way for Jesus. John the Baptist fulfilled this prophecy. “‘See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,’ says the Lord Almighty” (Malachi 3:1).

(2.7) Prophecy Fulfilled: Jesus is the only one that can bring peace with God. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).

Friday, December 6, 2013

Free Christmas music download!

I (Jared) had the privilege of contributing an EP that a few friends were putting out for their friends and family this Christmas. It's free on Noisetrade (we don't want your money) and we'd be honored if you went and downloaded a copy today. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

(For those of you who might care, mine is track 2.)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Advent Week 1 Reading

The holidays snuck up on me and mugged me this year, and I'm only now catching up. So I am late sharing this, but it was too good to pass up. For the next four weeks, I will be sharing Advent readings collected by Angie Mosteller. Visit her site for lots of other ideas for the Advent season!

Advent Week 1 Reading

(1.1) Promise to Abraham: God promised Abraham that all people on earth would be blessed through him. In Jesus, a descendant of Abraham, this promise was fulfilled.“ All peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:3).

(1.2) Promise to Isaac: God promised an everlasting covenant with Isaac (Abraham’s son). In Jesus, a descendant of Isaac, this promise was fulfilled. God said to Abraham,“‘Your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him’” (Genesis 17:19).

(1.3) Promise to Jacob (also called Israel): God promised Jacob that all people on earth would be blessed through him. In Jesus, a descendant of Jacob, this promise was fulfilled.“All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring” (Genesis 28:14).

(1.4) Promise to Judah: The Bible reveals that a descendant of Judah would be ruler over all the nations. Jesus, a descendant of Judah, is this ruler.“The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his” (Genesis 49:10).

(1.5) Promise to the people of Israel: God promised that a Righteous One would be born out of the line of David. Jesus, a descendant of David, fulfilled this promise. “‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the gracious promise I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land’” (Jeremiah 33:14-15).

(1.6) Promise Fulfilled: Jesus descended from the exact lineage that God promised. “A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham . . . there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ” (Matthew 1:1 and 1:17).

(1.7) Promise for All: The promise of Jesus is for all people; he offers hope! “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 3:6).
All content used with permission of the author.

Monday, December 2, 2013

I Am Forgiven: Sermon Recap

Ephesians 4:25-32

Big Idea: If you have been forgiven, you should be forgiving.


Here are some highlights from the message. If you share any of these on your social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) please use this link as a reference: http://ow.ly/rmLxT
  • It will never cost as much for us to forgive others as it cost God to forgive us.
  • Forgiveness is the cancellation of a debt by paying it or absorbing it yourself.
  • Forgiveness does not neglect justice, rather it defers justice to God.
  • We extend forgiveness to others not merely because it is the 'right' thing to do but because it displays gratitude for the forgiveness Jesus accomplished for us on the cross.
  • See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 1 Thessalonians 5:15
  • There is power in the Holy Spirit to help us do the things that we cannot do on our own.
  • When someone sins against you, respond to the cross, not the circumstance.
  • We forgive to point others toward Jesus.