We continue our "Read All About It" series, looking at the parables of Christ. In this message, Pastor Kip walks us through the Parable of the Talents from Matthew 25. The fundamental question we are confronted with is: "What are you doing with what God has given you?"
With this message we kick-off our new "Read All About It" series, looking at the parables of Jesus. We start with the Parable of the Wineskins in Matthew 9. The disciples of John the Baptist come to Jesus wondering why His followers don't fast in the same way as others. In a sense, their real questions were "Why are you different? Why don't you do the stuff we do?"
Are you someone who diligently follows the instructions or tosses them to the side? How many times have we skipped the instruction manual, only to find we could have saved a lot of time and agony if we would have paid more attention to the directions? Many people long for more joy and happiness, yet toss the instruction manual to the side. Parents set rules for their kids in order to protect them, not hinder them, and it's the same with our heavenly Father.
How are we to respond when faced with deep, unfathomable pain? In this message from Psalm 13, Pastor Carlos teaches us about laments. A lament is pointing our pain to God in prayer, and the Book of Psalms is filled with laments, showing us how to respond when faced with pain.
Carlos shows us how we need to create a space to lament, which is challenging in our culture that wants fixes to problems right now. Laments give us permission to be honest with God, which leads to greater intimacy with Him. Finally, we see that hope can be found in the midst of our lament.
Regarding Psalm 13, Martin Luther observed that hope despairs, and yet despair hopes at the same time. If you've found yourself asking, "How long, God? How long?", this message is for you.
A few weeks ago Pastor Skyler shared a message from Psalm 139. A key message was that God is always with us--there's not a place we can go that leaves us outside of God's awareness. He is always present.
Yet, could it be that, despite our loving Savior always being present, that we too often remain unaware of it in our day-to-day interactions of life? Could it be that a deep, acute awareness of His presence could change how we experience Him each day?
That's the premise of Pastor Joe's message from Psalm 16: God's presence is our everything. God is present, but we were designed to be aware of that presence. His presence is our protection. It's a great treasure. He works in the details and circumstances of life--even when we don't realize it or when people chalk it up to "luck". No, our always present Lord is there, in the whispers of our heart, providing everlasting joy for those who are His followers.
Psalm 72 doesn't often come up on people's Most Favorite Psalm list! But it's a great example of a "preview Psalm". Just as a movie trailer seeks to preview what is to come in a feature film, Psalm 72 gives a preview of our coming Messiah--a picture of the kingdom to come.
In this message, Pastor Skyler walks us through Psalm 72 and Luke 7, giving us a taste of God's kingdom to come: one of justice, goodness, and honor. These are descriptive attributes of His kingdom, for sure. But here's the question Pastor Skyler challenges us all to consider: "How can your life serve as a preview for the coming reign of Jesus Christ?"
Look at the skies on a starry summer night. Sit back and take in the view of an ocean, amazed by the sheer vastness of it all. God reveals Himself by what we see all around us--that's "general revelation". Psalm 19 tells us, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge."
In this message, Pastor Carlos helps us see that general revelation is a great starting place, but God doesn't leave us there. We have been given His Word, the Bible. It's not an obligation--it's an invitation. His desire is that we know Him, not just know about Him.