Rise Up

We're going on a spiritual journey together, through the book of Nehemiah, asking "God, what do you want to do through me?".

Sharing the Vision

January 27, 2019 | Nehemiah 2:11-20 | exposition, generosity

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How should we respond to the brokenness in our world? The people of Jerusalem responded by sharing the vision that God had given Nehemiah. In the book of Nehemiah, God put it in the heart of the cupbearer to the king of Persia to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. After inspecting the brokenness of the city, Nehemiah shared his God-given vision to rebuild with the people of Israel and they committed to join him to rise up and build. God has given us a vision to rise up and build to make more room for the broken in our city.

Taking the Risk

January 20, 2019 | Nehemiah 2:1-11 | exposition, generosity

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What are you willing to risk for God? In a way, that’s really a trick question because nothing you invest in God’s work is ever lost. In the book of Nehemiah, the Lord moved Nehemiah to take a faith risk to ask the king of Persia for permission to rebuild the wall surrounding Jerusalem. The Lord always calls His people to take risks of faith to accomplish His purpose. How can we respond to God’s call to take risks of faith to accomplish His purpose?

Catching the Vision

January 13, 2019 | Nehemiah 1:1-11 | exposition, generosity

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The people recognized that their city of Jerusalem was in trouble. Its gates were ruined and its walls were broken down. When they heard the vision God had given His servant Nehemiah to rebuild, they caught the vision and said, “Let us rise up and build.”

Whenever God wants to get a work done, He lays hold of a people who are willing to rise up. The walls of Jerusalem had been ruined; a small remnant had returned; and there was much work that needed to be done. In 536 BC, Zerubbabel had taken about 50,000 Jews back and by 516 BC had rebuilt the temple. In 457 BC, there had been a small revival under Ezra, but now it was 445 BC, and God was looking for someone to go to the ruined city and restore safety and order. Nehemiah was that person. In the book of Nehemiah, God caused Nehemiah to rise up and catch a vision for his city, Jerusalem.


Christmas Unwrapped

Have you unwrapped the gift yet? It’s been sitting under the tree for you for some time. But it’s not really yours until you open it. Have you unwrapped the gift of the Son of God, Jesus Christ and received Him as your Lord and Savior? It’s not enough to guess at the contents, to shake the box and even hold it in your lap. It’s not really yours until you open it.

Unwrapping the Sovereign

December 16, 2018 | Matthew 2:1-12 | christmas

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When we unwrap Christmas, we see that Jesus is the Sovereign King. Having anyone else on the throne of your heart means that you have not yet understood the gift of Christmas. In the gospel according to Matthew, the child Jesus was revealed to the wise men to be the one truly born king of the Jews. We can recognize that Jesus is truly the one born king, not only of the Jews, but the Sovereign over all.

Unwrapping the Savior

December 9, 2018 | Philippians 2:1-11 | christmas

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The first Christmas was a humble one. Jesus was not born in a royal palace, but in an animal pen. He was not born as a prince, but as a pauper. His birth was not announced before high society, but before lowly shepherds. He slept not on a bed with sheets, but a manger filled with straw. Jesus came not as a Sovereign, but as a Servant. Jesus came to save us. He came to be our Savior.

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he described the humble mind of Christ which moved Him to come to us as Savior. We can understand the humble mind of Christ which moved Him to come to us as Savior.

Unwrapping the Son

December 2, 2018 | Isaiah 9:1-7 | christmas

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Some of us like to give hints to see if the recipient of our gift can guess what’s inside. It builds the anticipation. That’s what God did. Centuries before offering us the gift of His Son, Jesus, He gave “hints” to the prophets of Israel concerning the coming of the Messiah. One of those prophets was Isaiah. God gave Isaiah many of the over 300 Messianic prophecies found in the Old Testament.

In Isaiah 9, God gave him a Messianic prophecy of a promised Son that would be given. We can recognize that Jesus is the promised Son that would be given. He is the Son of God given unto us.


Righteousness Revealed: An Exposition of Romans

As we go verse by verse through the book of Romans, we learn how God wants to make us right with Himself and each other.

God’s Justification By Faith

November 18, 2018 | Romans 4:1-25 | exposition

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The claim of Christ is not only for “Christians.” It is for everyone. This may go against today’s culture, but we believe that faith in Christ is the only way to be made right with God. Christ is the only path to God. In other words, the only way to receive God’s justification is by faith in Christ Jesus.

In Romans 4, the apostle Paul put forth the Old Testament examples of Abraham and David as evidence that God’s justification has always been by faith alone.

God’s Righteousness Through Faith

November 11, 2018 | Romans 3:21-31 | exposition

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Are you right with God? Every religion asks this question. And all of them but one, give the same answer–– it depends on your spiritual report card. If you have good moral and religious grades, then God will accept you. But this is not the answer given in Christianity. Authentic Christianity actually informs us that we are not right with God and that there’s no way that we can get right with Him on our own. So, God sent His Son Jesus to take the test of life and got a perfect score. His spiritual report card has straight “A”s! And God offers to exchange Christ’s perfect report in place of our failing one. In Romans 3:21-31, the apostle Paul told the Romans that the only way to receive the righteousness of God is through faith in Jesus Christ. We can understand why the righteousness of God can only be received by placing our faith in Jesus Christ.

God and Human Accountability

November 4, 2018 | Romans 3:1-20 | exposition

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We are all born with a kind of moral compass, an intuition for right and wrong, called a conscience. We even have a desire for justice and accountability in this world. From our earliest memories, we have a desire for fairness. Yet, the world is not fair. And justice doesn’t reign. Unfortunately, our idea of justice tends to be more for everybody else, while we make excuses for our own sin, calling them mistakes, shortcomings, bad habits, etc. But rarely, sin.

Paul has something to say about God and human accountability. In Romans 3:1-20, the apostle Paul concluded that all humanity–– whether the pagan Gentile, the self- righteous moralist, or the outwardly religious–– all humanity is accountable unto God for their sin and therefore in desperate need of the gospel. We can be convinced that we are all accountable unto God for our sin and in desperate need of the gospel.

God and the Religious

October 28, 2018 | Romans 2:17-29 | exposition

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Why do we need this gospel which grants us the “righteousness of God?” Well, that’s the question that Paul spends the next portion of his letter answering. From Romans 1:18 all the way up to Romans 3:20, Paul explains why everyone needs the gospel. In Romans 1:18-32, we looked at why the irreligious and Gentile pagan need the gospel. Last Sunday in Romans 2:1-16, we discussed why the moral, self-righteous need the gospel. Today, we’ll be looking at Romans 2:17-29 in a message we’ve entitled, “God and the Religious,” discussing why the outwardly religious, whether it’s Judaism or Christianity or any other religion, will not make us right with God. The religious need the gospel!

We live in the middle of the Bible Belt. I thought about titling this sermon, “God and the Bible Belt.” Because people who live in the Bible Belt need the gospel. Just because you’re an flag-flying, BBQ-eating, church-going, American, that doesn’t mean you’re right with God. True Christianity is not about religion, but a relationship. Outward religion does not please God. In Romans 2:17-29, the apostle Paul told the Jews that their outward religion would not make them righteous before God. We can recognize that outward religion will not make us righteous before God.