The God of the Old Testament is a God who commanded His people to PARTY! In fact, the parties that God designed were ones that called His people to feast and to remember what He’s done and who He is. Each of the Old Testament feasts are fulfilled in the Gospel of Jesus in fascinatingly specific ways. Continue reading →
Straight Outta Egypt is our series moving through the first part of Exodus. This message was on learning about leadership through the book of Moses. Although Moses was not a model leader in the beginning, we do learn about our call to lead through His call to lead from God. Here are some quotes from our sermon that are very important for students to live.
Everyone is looking for a leader.
Leadership is simply following Jesus and bringing others with you.
Jesus is our Better Moses.
Jesus is not your Savior if you don’t follow Him as your Leader.
Jacob is a man in the Bible that we can all connect with. His life was filled with constant wrestling. He kept trying to get ahead, be successful, and become a someone, but his life was exhausting. That is, until the night everything changed when God came to wrestle him man to man. Jacob’s life went from wrestling against God to resting in God. He went from a life of wrestling to a life of blessing. This message will show you how to do the same.
I believe we always find ourselves teaching and talking about the what of creation (everything, not evolution), the when of creation (young earth, not old earth), but we aren’t talking enough about the Who of creation (Creator God) or the why of creation. This sermon talks about the Creator of all creation and WHY He created us.
In today’s complicated culture, we appreciate simple things. We love websites like Google, books like Simple Church, and menus like the one at Chick-Fil-A.
It’s easy for us to make simple concepts difficult, complex, and wordy. Do your people understand the gospel in its simplest form? Can they boil it down to its essential elements? Challenge them to complete a simple exercise: In your small groups, at the beginning of a sermon, or even through email, ask them to write down their simplest definition of “the gospel.” Then, by whatever method you choose, simply teach them the gospel’s essential elements. Lastly, have them write down their newly learned understanding of the gospel in their own words.
Chances are, what your people thought the gospel included or excluded will shock you. They will marvel at the differences between their learned definitions of the gospel and its simplicity. In fact, I challenge you right now to the same exercise. After you finish this article, see if your simple explanation of the gospel has changed. You may surprise yourself!
The power of Jesus
You can remember the simple form of the gospel as the “Power of Jesus” (Rom 1:1-4). God’s sovereign work saves us, sanctifies us, and glorifies us through Christ’s power (Rom 8:29-30). Highlight the P, W, and R from “power”, and we have the gospel in its simplest form: The Person of Jesus, the Work of Jesus, and man’s Response to Jesus. Since stumbling onto this easy memory tool, I have used it sharing, teaching, and deepening my own understanding of the gospel.
The breaking news from Newtown, CT is heartbreaking to say the least. I literally cannot even imagine what the families, that town, the authorities, and the churches are going through. A while back we had a single-person school shooting in our city, and it was devastating to say the least. I cannot imagine being involved in such a tragedy on this level. My prayers go out to all of those involved.
How do we respond when people ask “How did our God allow this to happen?” What are some of the best Scriptures to refer them to? Can God really be both all-powerful and all-loving in such tragedies? Does this bother God when there are tragedies happening all around the world?
When answering questions like these in tough times, we must keep in mind both emotion and truth. We cannot forget what people are feeling and the answers they are wanting to hear. So how do we respond? How do we defend our great God? Not to diminish or minimize this horrific event at all, but there have been countless terrible and tragic events throughout history that have left people wondering these same types of questions. Honestly, God does not need our defending. He is Creator, and we are all His creation. But God has given us wisdom to make sense of these type situations in accordance with the truth of His Word.
We know that horrific tragedies like these involving sin and death always break the heart of God (Genesis 6:6, John 11:35, Ephesians 4:30). Then if God hates sin and is powerful enough to stop it, why doesn’t He? That is a very difficult question to answer. We see throughout Scripture that there are many sins, tragedies, and deaths that God did not stop. Yet He ended up using them and turning them somehow for the ultimate good of His will (Genesis 50:20). Does that mean that God planned this to happen in any way? of course not! God’s Word is very clear that He never even tempts anyone with sin (James 1:13). The point is, God is so holy and removed from sin that He would never tempt with sin much less cause sin to happen. But out of His grace, God can use the sin, tragedy, and death to bring about His glory and some kind of good on the earth in the overall bigger picture and scheme of things. I can’t explain that, and I don’t even pretend to understand how good might come out of this. But that is how powerful, wise, and victorious our God is!
God turned the greatest tragedy and injustice of all history to His greatest good to ever happen. Continue reading →
Definitely take the opportunity to read this article by my buddy, Zach Norman. I met Zach when I preached a DNOW in Atlanta, and he was leading the worship. It became obvious to me that not only could the dude flat-out sing and his band freaking rock it out, but he also had a genuine heart for Jesus, the gospel, ministry, and teenagers. So youth pastors, look Zach and his band up if you need a solid, Jesus-loving, seriously talented, but genuine about ministry kind of band. Trust me, you’ll thank me when you book them and they lead the worship at your event! Listen to Zach’s heart and faith regarding real worship below. – Chip Dean
What exactly is worship? Is it defined by what we do? Is it singing songs, raising our hands, praying, evangelizing, or caring for the poor? It can be. But what exactly makes any of these things acts of worship? I can tell you. It’s the heart. It’s our motivation and intentions behind what we do. And in order for anything we do to be qualified as worship, our hearts must be set on Christ. In fact, what did Jesus say is the greatest commandment? He said the most important of all is to love the Lord our God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength (Mark 12:29-30). And by all Jesus meant all. As new covenant believers we claim Jesus to be our Lord, and so we must worship Jesus in this type of way. Why Jesus? Why not just God? In Luke 24:27 Jesus says that all of the scriptures point to him. So God’s way of pointing us to himself is by sending Jesus- he fulfilled all that the prophets and Moses spoke of. Continue reading →
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