In this broken world, storms will come. What you need to develop is a resilient faith. Resilient faith is found by hearing the teaching of Jesus and putting it into practice in your life. This provides a strong foundation for a life that is unshakable — a life built on the rock of Christ Jesus.
As the Good Shepherd, Jesus warns his flock of the danger of false prophets. He calls them wolves in sheep’s clothing. Outwardly, they look good or successful, but inwardly, they are rotten to the core. And they can do much damage to those who listen to them and are influenced by them. How can we recognize a wolf in sheep’s clothing? By the fruit of their lives and their ministries.
The most important question is this: How do you think God thinks about you? Because of who Jesus is and what he has done, God, the Maker of heaven and earth, can be YOUR Father. You (even you!) can be adopted into the family of God as a beloved son or daughter of God, in Christ. And so, to the one who knocks, the door will be opened — into the household, into the kingdom, into the family of God.
The Way of Personal Growth (or How to Better Love Your Loved Ones During a Quarantine): Have you noticed that this stay-safe-at-home time is putting some strain on your close relationships? During this time of working, worshiping, homeschooling, and EVERYTHING together, it can be difficult to love your loved ones well. One reason is our heart-tendency to be judgemental of others. But in the way of Jesus, we find a way to experience personal growth that results not only in a better you — but also in better relationships.
In this time of unprecedented fear and uncertainty, the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is such good news. On that first Easter Sunday, when Jesus walked out of the grave, it was the decisive victory over sin and death — but it was just the beginning of the renewal that God had promised long ago. Jesus is making all things new. And that changes everything!
This is a standalone sermon, recorded on Easter Sunday, Apr 12, 2020, by Pastor David Parks on Matthew 28:1-10. Listen/download here or watch on YouTube.
We live in a broken and dangerous world. And we do not control all the circumstances of our lives. So worry tends to be LOUD in our hearts. But the truth is, we don’t have to live a life mastered by fear. In Matthew chapter 6, Jesus gives us two incredibly powerful choices to help quiet a worried heart:
Choice #1: I can choose faith over fear.
Choice #2: I can choose worship over worry.
The way of Jesus is the way of peace.
In this time of radical economic uncertainty, how can we prevent the pursuit of money (or the anxiety of losing our money) from mastering us? Jesus says we must store up treasures in heaven. What does that mean? It means putting our faith and relationship with God as the primary value in our lives. Money doesn’t have to enslave us. The way of Jesus is the way of freedom.
In times of uncertainty and chaos, it’s freeing to remember we were never made to be independent or self-sufficient. We were made to be utterly dependent upon God, our Father in heaven who loves us unconditionally in Christ. Fasting is an ancient practice that can help draw our hearts closer to God, empower works of love (especially toward those who are suffering), and remind us that we are more than our physical desires. The way of Jesus is the way of dependence.
Why should I pray? How should I pray? Prayer is the fuel to power a real relationship with God, your Father in heaven. Your prayer life doesn’t have to be complicated, it just needs to be consistent. The way of Jesus is the way of prayer.
This sermon is part of The Good Life series, recorded on Mar 15, 2020, by Pastor David Parks on Matthew 6:5-15. Listen/download here:
When you read the Bible, you can’t miss God’s great heart for those who are the most vulnerable among us — including the poor and people in need. So serving the poor is a vital part of the religious life. However, Jesus teaches there’s a way to be religious that has nothing to do with God but has everything to do with the self. When we give to the needy, do we want to be generous or do we want to be known as generous? There’s freedom in humility and great joy in generosity. The way of Jesus is The Way of Humble Generosity.
This sermon is part of The Good Life series, recorded on Mar 8, 2020, by Pastor David Parks on Matthew 6:1-4. Listen/download here: