Because we are sons and daughters of the Most High God, who is kind to the ungrateful and evil, you and I are called to think and act differently. To have a Kingdom of God mindset, not a mindset focused on self. Being in Christ, we can love our enemies and represent God well as His ambassadors in the midst of hate and persecution. Listen in as Andrés Arráez concludes the two week message, Loving Our Enemies.
Luke 6:27-36 and Jonah 3:1 – 4:11
As children of God, we are called to reflect His character and represent Him as His ambassadors before a lost and hurting world. We need to have a Kingdom of God mindset rather than a mindset of kingdom of self. Therefore, we need to know how God wants us to respond when we are hated and persecuted for the sake of Christ. In this two-part sermon, we will first go over how to reflect God’s mercy to those who are our enemies, and next Sunday we will cover how to love our enemies when they persecute us for the sake of Christ. Listen in as Andrés Arráez teaches us how to love our enemies.
At the beginning of each Sunday morning, we take time to read from the Scriptures in order to remind ourselves of the person and character of God. The reason why we do this is because we recognize that the idea of approaching a holy, righteous, just, and infinite God can be intimidating. After having imperfect weeks full of sin and shame and pain and doubt and skepticism and failure, etc., we wonder how is this God going to respond as we approach Him? Listen in as Pastor James answers the question “What makes Jesus Approachable?”
There are certain people called “faith healers” who gather crowds and stir people’s hope in God’s blessings and their healing. Usually paired with a financial gift, the offer is that a miracle is waiting to happen and blessing is about to come, but did Jesus really teach this? What happens if the miracle or blessing does not come? Is God still good? More importantly, is there still good news available for us? Tune in as Pastor James preaches from Mark 7:31-37 and talks about “The Priority of the Gospel in Supernatural Encounters with God”.
***This sermon can indeed be viewed. Click on the bottom “Watch on Facebook” under the blurb about being unavailable.
Although beggars aren’t all that common in our culture, they are still around. When encountered, many people pass by and won’t even look at them. But how about Jesus? In Mark 7, Jesus encounters a begging woman who asks Him to help her sick daughter. The way Jesus interacts with her is interesting. In fact, some might even say His words are offensive. But what do they mean? Listen in as Pastor James teaches on this and talks about “The Mercy of Christ for God’s World Mission.”
***This sermon can indeed be viewed. Click on the bottom “Watch on Facebook” under the blurb about being unavailable.
Being crucified with Christ broke the power of sin over our lives. Being united with Christ empowers us to live in newness of life, and the love of God motivates us to live a life pleasing to Him and to reduce the discrepancy between who we are and how we act in our daily lives. Listen in as Andrés Arráez teaches us about “Reducing Discrepancy.”
In the South, Christianity is everywhere…on people’s lawn signs, on billboards, bumper stickers, t-shirts, and even in passing conversations. It’s safe to say that if you don’t go to church, you at least know someone who does, or at a minimum, can tell a story of an interaction with a religious person. So how do we interpret what we are seeing? What is valuable in God’s eyes and worthy of taking note? And, is there anything in religious culture that simply is waste of time? Tune in as Pastor James answers this question from Mark 7:1-23.
Whether we know it or not, we all bring certain ideas and expectations to church…ideas and expectations concerning what the church should look like, sound like, feel like, and especially ideas and expectations about the people. But, how does the Bible describe the church, and in what ways should the gospel influence how we see ourselves and others as we come to church? Listen in as Pastor James preaches from Mark 6:25-51 on “God’s Intentions for Us as Works in Progress.”
In the Gospel of Mark, Mark the author, clearly differentiates between the crowds that followed Jesus and the disciples. Some in the crowds followed Jesus because he was a good preacher, others because He did miracles, and others because He had become popular. But how about the disciples, why did they follow Jesus? What made them distinguishable amongst the crowds? Tune in as Pastor James preaches on the true marks of Christian discipleship.
In our ever-changing culture and world, there are certain challenges that the Christian faces in the mission of speaking and embodying truth. So, what should the faith-filled person expect as they endeavor upon this mission, and how do God’s promises give assurance of His love and support? Tune is as Pastor James preaches on “The Call & Cost of Following Jesus.”
In the Gospel, we have been given a rich inheritance in Christ that is ours now and for eternity. But what about those that have no inheritance in Christ? What posture and heart are we to have towards them? Listen in as guest preacher Tony Thomas shows us the heart of Jesus towards those without this present inheritance and how He calls us to pursue them with His great love in the book of Joshua.
When a celebrity returns home to his or her own town, he or she is often accepted and warmly welcomed for who they are and the things they have accomplished. However, in Mark chapter 6 as Jesus, the Son of God, returns to His home town Nazareth, He faces cold hearted rejection. What does this mean for us? Tune in as Pastor James teaches on “The Reality of Christ & Our Kingdom Mission.”
When you think about God being an all powerful God, what comes to mind? Is it His all-sufficiency? Is it His infiniteness? Is it that the Scriptures say that the whole earth sees Him and trembles and the mountains melt like wax before Him? All of these things are very good, but the best news concerning God’s power to us is His intimate mercy. Tune in as Pastor James teaches on this through the person and work of Jesus in Mark chapter 5:21-43.
As Americans living in the west, we have a high view of science, technology, and education. All of which are very good. However, these things, combined with the increasing influence of secularization, can hinder our ability to see things through a spiritual lens, which is crucial to the Christian and their faith. Tune in as Pastor James preaches from Mark chapter 5 and talks about “The Power of Christ and His Kingdom Mission.”
Whether you have been a Christian for one year, five years, or lifetime, the thing that puts us all on an equal playing field is the fact that no one has “arrived.” In other words, no one has learned everything there is to know about Jesus and/or perfected their faith. After Jesus performs the miracle in Mark chapter 4 of calming to storm, the disciples ask, “Who then is this?” Tune in as Pastor James teaches on the mercy we get from Jesus for our lifetime of learning.
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2 Corinthians 4:7-18
As we gather to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead on Easter morning, we gather as those, not whose suffering has been removed, but whose suffering has been brought hope. The good news of the gospel is that our faith does not mask our pain but rather gives us perseverance to endure with a promise of another resurrection to come. Tune in as Pastor James answers the question “What does Easter have to do with our suffering?”
The Parable of the Soils brings to mind a couple questions worth considering. Why do people respond differently to God’s word? And, how does God continue to bring about His plan of redemption on earth? Listen in as Andrés Arráez teaches us about the seed and the sower.
In our modern-day English language, there is a phrase that we use to express the value of family. It says, “Blood is thicker than water.” However, this phrase, dating back to the 12th century, originally said, “The blood of the covenant is thicker than water of the womb.” It was originally used to emphasize the opposite point that the bonds we make by choice are more important than our ties to family. Both family and friendship are vital things made by God for our blessing and benefit, but in Mark chapter 3, Jesus arrives on the scene and teaches something else. Tune is as Pastor James explains how “The Spirit is Thicker than Blood & Water.”
Great crowds from all over the region came to Jesus. Though many pushed and shoved to get something from Him, Jesus appointed a smaller number to further His mission. In compassion, Jesus met the needs of those who came; yet, the desires of the crowd fell short of the fulness Jesus offered. In Mark 3, we are challenged to ask ourselves, “Why are we coming to Jesus? Is He calling us to something greater?” Listen in as Dr. Stephen Estock teaches us from God’s Word.
Mark 2:23 – 3:6
One of our temptations as Christians and seekers, who are trying to understand the topic of faith, is to dichotomize the “sacred” from the “secular.” We say to ourselves, “here are the holy things” and “here are the human things.” However, the Bible makes no such separation. As a result of this false dichotomy, we miss the beauty of the gospel, found in the fact that we are whole beings both body and soul. Thus, we have spirits that need tending to and bodies which were purposed to rest, enjoy, and take pleasure in things created. They were meant to be together! Tune in as Pastor James teaches from Mark 2:23 – 3:6 and shows us how Jesus redeems and restores our whole being.
Traditionally, Christianity in the South is a cultural thing. With this, people who grew up in and around church have certain preconceived notions as to what following God should look and sound like. Similarly, this situation was true in Jesus’ time and culture as well. But Christ and his disciples stood out. They stood out in crowds where there were both religious and nonreligious people. Tune in as Pastor James teaches from Mark 2:18-22 and talks about “The Difference in Christ & His Disciples.”
If given the choice to select players for your team, you would pick the best — the skilled, competent, and those with the most potential to perform. In this, we get a sense for the type of team the captain is trying to create. But then there is Jesus in Mark 2, who, through the world’s perspective, picks a man who no one would ever expect Him to! Listen in as Pastor James reveals the good news of the gospel through Christ’s selection of the least likely.
Each week crowds of people gather at churches to hear God’s word preached. In the crowd, there are many different types of people and reasons why they come. But amongst them all, what is it that Jesus is looking for, and above all else, what does He care about the most? Tune in as Pastor James teaches from Mark 2:1-12 on “Understanding Christ & the Crowds that Follow Him.”
As those who live in a broken world, we all struggle with various levels of guilt and shame. Sometimes we are blind to how we fail to honor God, and other times we aren’t sure how to get rid of the burden we feel. In Mark’s account of Jesus healing a leper, we see the basic elements of life as a follower of Jesus. In Him we experience cleansing as we acknowledge our need, trust His provision, and express our love through renewed obedience. Listen in as Dr. Stephen Estock teaches us from Mark 1.
As we look at the world around us, sin, evil, and injustice stir our hearts. To one degree or the next, we, as people living in a fallen world, are seeking to ask the question that Fredrick Douglas did in his autobiography. “Will not a righteous God visit for these things?” Listen as Pastor James teaches from Mark chapter 1 to show us how Jesus is the One our hearts are longing for.
Whether we know it or not, our life stories have shaped us into who we are and how we view, practice, and experience life. The families we come from play a big part in this, both the good and the bad. The good news of the gospel is that once we recognize the brokenness in our past, Jesus doesn’t tell us to disregard our families, story, culture, or place of origin, but with hope He redeems and makes all things new. Listen in as Pastor James elaborates on this idea in Genesis chapter 49.
As the story of Jacob comes to a close, he becomes an instrument of the blessings that flow from the grace of God. In proclaiming a blessing on Joseph and his sons, Jacob (under his God-given name “Israel”) provides insight into the mysterious ways of God. God is not bound by human standards of blessing. Instead, God grants favor according to his gracious and merciful nature. In those divinely gracious standards, we have everlasting comfort and hope. Tune in as Dr. Stephen Estock teaches us from Genesis chapter 48.
Genesis 46 & 47
God reigns and rules in the heavens, and at the same time, He loves and cares for us. However, it’s hard to take our theology and bring it down to earth to the small stuff. But what if we did? What if we believed and embraced the fact that God cares about the smallest details in our lives and families and that there is nothing about any of it that He says, “Eh, I’m too busy for that.” Tune in as Pastor James teaches on this truth from Genesis chapters 46 & 47.
The topic of forgiveness is not something reserved just for Christians, but one for all people. Studies conclude that unforgiveness and holding onto grudges damages, not only our psychological health, but our physiological health as well. So how do we forgive and experience true peace and freedom in the face of hard memories and people? Listen in as Pastor James preaches on the restoring power of Christ through forgiveness, and how to be healed in both the body and soul.
It’s right for us to care about how we look on the outside, but the inside is what matters most. So how do you see yourself, and what do you look at to make sure you’re seeing yourself well? Listen in as pastor James preaches on Genesis 44 and asks the question “How do you see yourself before God?”
What is the legacy you want to leave behind for the next generation? How will you faithfully steward the investment of those who loved you? Our allotted time with loved ones is a precious gift to be stewarded for His glory and the flourishing of those God has placed in our care. Join us as we see how Joshua’s legacy still continues to this day. Tune in as Bobby Suh teaches us from Joshua 24.
Why are we as humans tempted to show favoritism to some and not others? When we do, how does it affect people and the social environments we are apart of? Tune in as pastor James teaches on Genesis 37 and shows the impartiality of God and His saving work for us in Christ.
The Christian life is filled with completion and complexity. God is faithful to His promises and will bring them to completion in our lives. We are prone to wander away from God and can bring sin and complexity into our lives.
It’s easy in church culture to presume certain things about faith. One of the more common assumptions found in contexts like ours is knowing the answer to the question: “What does it mean to be a Christian and live for God?” Tune in as pastor James reveals how this is not just a question for seekers but something that even the most mature believer keeps reminding themselves of and living through.
The world is more broken than we can imagine. Pain and sorrow are part of the human experience. So, what are we supposed to do with it, and how are we supposed to think about it all? Well, it is necessary for Christians to embrace the sorrow in order to truly appreciate the hope found in the gospel. Jesus is the one who fills our tears and pain with hope for glory. Listen is as pastor James talks about how “The Wounds that Mar Us Bring Us Hope for Glory.”
*This week’s topic was a challenging one. It includes themes of sexuality and abuse.