Sermon Blog - Entries from February 2013

    SunSundayFebFebruary24th2013 Living a Story Worth Telling
    byJack Cross Tagged Luke 0 comments Add comment

    Living a story is unavoidable, living a story that matters is intentional.

    Luke 10:30-37.

     

    God has been working in my life since I was a young boy.  I was able to share some of my story through the sermon, but why?

    Because I wanted to share my story with you.

    I love a good story.  Whether it is found in a book, or in a movie, or it just comes up when talking to someone.

    Stories are so important and so powerful that in school they teach us how to write a story.

    Keys to an epic story:

    1) Evil enters

    2) A great battle or journey

    3) A hero comes and sets things right and life is found again.

    We all want to live epic stories, but few of us are willing to put in the work to make it happen.

    What if God gave us a pen and said write your story?

    Why would we try to write a great story?  Because we all want to live big stories, stories that matter, stories that people will tell for years to come, we all want to live epic stories. 

    ·         Braveheart

    ·         Titanic

    ·         Dark Knight

    ·         The Lord of the Rings

     

    Luke 10:25-37 (Good Samaritan)

    Who lived the good story?  Go and do the same.

    It’s not always easy. It will often cost energy, time, and money; however, it’s worth whatever it cost you. No epic story comes without the battle or journey.  

    Living a story is unavoidable, living a story that matters is intentional.

    Audio Pathway_2013_02_24.mp3
    SunSundayFebFebruary17th2013 Hot Button Issues: Social Media As we continue our “Hot Button Issues” series, today we’re going to look at the benefits and dangers of social media.  Now you’re not going to hear a sermon saying to ban TV, video games, the internet, or social media.  Actually you may have received the email about this sermon series which was then immediately Tweeted out.  You might have then gotten a notification on Facebook if you’re a fan of our church page because I posted info about this sermon series there as well.  If you didn’t get hit by social media, you can always go straight to our website for full details on anything we do.  So our church if a big proponent of getting connected through social media and using it to inform people.  But we also see some downfalls if you don’t guard yourself.

    The key thought I want for us to remember through this sermon is Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”  Even things that can be used to do great, productive things can in turn be detrimental to our lives.  Today’s sermon will look at both sides and hopefully help us make the right choices on what ways & how much to let it be a part of our daily routine.  Look below for different articles and resources on this topic.

    James 3:10
    Proverbs 4:23
    Ephesians 5: 1-17
    1 Peter 3: 15-16
    John 15: 9-12

    “Connect” video clip shown before sermon:
    http://www.sermonspice.com/product/43057/connect

    http://socialnetworking.procon.org/
    • A GREAT article with pros & cons of social media.  It’s not a spiritually based argument, but it shows both sides and how little the difference is between the two.

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/december/social-network-churches.html
    • Article on how social media can make quick connections within a church but if left there, can mask the lack of true personal connectivity needed within a church family.

    http://www.focusonthefamily.com/topicinfo/Marriage_Social_Media_Risks_Benefits_Best_Practices.pdf
    • Ariticle in PDF form that talks about how to manage social media in a way that benefits instead of hurting your marriage.

    Links from Focus on the Family that deal with social media and other forms of media:
    Audio Pathway_2013_02_17.mp3
    SunSundayFebFebruary10th2013 Hot Button Issues: Homosexuality

    Today we start a new series I’m calling “Hot Button Issues”.  These are topics that I’ve prayed about preaching on for a while and many of you have asked questions about.  But I wanted to wait until I felt they could be taught apart from the normal political or cultural discussions that arise.  The four topics we'll cover are:

    • Homosexuality in Relationships & Marriage
    • Social Media's Benefits & Traps
    • Abortion - A Biblical Perspective
    • Effective Public Christianity

    As we discuss homosexuality today, know that there is no way to approach this subject without talking on things that make people uncomfortable.  While this is something that has become very political in our society, our intent today is to focus on the Biblical aspects of dealing with homosexuality.  While not a complete talk on the subject, today I want us to focus on three things:

    1. Understanding a clear picture on how the Bible speaks about homosexuality

    2. Accept the fact that in the New Testament, homosexuality is also called a sin but at the same time, it lumps it in with things from adultery to gossip and greed.  Homosexuality is singled out because it is called unnatural and we can much more easily dismiss the "natural" sins we are personally tempted with.  That, and the fact that there are cultural battles over legal acceptance.  But in God's eyes, it is another sin that must be dealt with just like ALL of the others.

    3. As Christians we lose the battle discussing homosexuality because we focus on the act rather than the cause for its acceptance.  The acceptance of homosexuality and any other sin comes from the fact that we don't have a clear picture of who God is or we don't like the view of God as He has revealed it to us through His Word.

    1 John 4:8


    As we mentioned on Sunday, for this topic we wanted to give you some extra resources to look at to help give you a more full picture about some of the things we discussed.  The following links do not come close to covering this topic, but they are some that I thought might be helpful as you prayerfully consider this subject.  For a disclaimer, I have not vetted every individual or organization from which these links are provided or connected to.  If I had, I would imagine that I would find some doctrinal differences or personal issues in their lives that I don't agree with.  I am simply providing some extra information for you to consider as you read both scripture and other comments about homosexuality.

    Scriptures on Homosexuality:
    Romans 1:18-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Genesis 19:4-8, Jude 7

    A good overview of the traditional, Biblical view on the topic

    Article about T.D. Jakes interview on Oprah and the negative reaction by media outlets
    • I think this shows that even the most gracious comments about homosexuality, unless they are that it is acceptable, will be used to paint someone as hateful or a bigot.
    Article discussing the transition from promoting homosexuality in Christianity to opposing it
    • The author of the above article is founder of Genesis Counseling which is seen by some as being radical since one of their stated goals is to help people that want to fight homosexual tendencies (along with infidelity, pornography, etc...).  I can't comment on them as a whole, but wanted to make you aware of the writer's connections.  Many Christian leaders speak well of the organization and they have appeared on Focus on the Family.
    Blog post by a man who has trusted in Christ and struggles with homosexual desires
    • Personal blog of same man who has had a recent, public episode as he continually fights temptation
    • I've included this because I think it sheds light on how difficult this is for someone that has homosexual desires but also accepts the Biblical teaching that homosexuality is sin.  You will see a raw, honest portrayal of this battle as he has become a target for those who believe differently.  And you will see how he has admitted the recent episode is all his fault and a result of his desires to commit sin.

    A very liberal interpretation of the Bible concerning homosexuality

    • I give the above link because I am never concerned with letting people see both sides of an issue.  With that said, I want to be clear that I think the material linked above ("A very liberal interpretation...") is both incorrect and often intentionally misleading.  Major points are completely ignored in order to make their case that they believe homosexuality is acceptable in the sight of God.  I simply provided this link because it lets you see the arguments they will make.  If you have any questions, please contact me at jeremy@pathwaybaptist.com.
    Audio Pathway_2013_02_10.mp3
    SunSundayFebFebruary3rd2013 NEXT: Open Window
    byJeremy Flanagan Tagged James Joshua 0 comments Add comment

    So we’re coming to the end of a series I call “NEXT” that hopefully helped us realize some of the things we need to do to move our lives forward, not just for ourselves but also for the glory of God.  We started by seeing how the first thing we must learn to get past is our human tendency to hold onto our mistakes.  We looked at how God’s forgiveness is for everyone and that all a person has to do is ask for it.  And once we do, we must allow Christ to not only forgive us, but to help us move forward. 

    Then we talked about keeping our focus on who God wants us to be instead of shifting around through every new situation in life.  Because if we’re not focused on following God’s plan then we can keep shifting our destination and end up going nowhere.  A couple of weeks ago we looked at how we make decisions by reading the story of David & Goliath.  David acted on principle and it made others uncomfortable.  He didn’t try to be anyone else – David simply used who God had made him to be in order to accomplish what only God could do.  And that’s what we should want to be about this morning.  Taking who God has made us and letting Him do with us what only He can.  So here’s the final step.  Here’s the secret to what’s NEXT for you…

    Answer this:  What makes the difference between a person who sees real change in their life verses someone that seems to never get over that barrier, get past that blockade that has been in their way for years?  A lot of the time it simply comes down to making a bold choice.

    In the story of Rahab we’re going to see a person that had to make a quick decision.  She could either go with the easy choice which would bring her immediate safety and possibly riches but deep inside she knew that it wouldn’t last forever.  Or she could make a dangerous choice that could lead to instant turmoil but was the only chance she had for lasting security.  In her life and in ours, we often have few, brief moments of decision that shape our future.  As you listen to the scripture today, realize that God is asking you to make this one of those moments.  He’s calling you to look for the open window He has provided.  It may be a tough decision for today but if God is providing the way, it’s the only chance you have at lasting peace.

    Joshua 2: 1-21

    James 1: 5-8

    Audio Pathway_2013_02_03.mp3

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