Living in Babylon: An Exposition of Daniel

We're going verse by verse through the book of Daniel. In the book of Daniel, we have a book that encourages us when we feel like we aren't at home, when we wonder where God is in our trials and tribulations.

God is Already at Work

February 26, 2018 | Daniel 4 | exposition

Have you ever considered what God has done for you? Do realize that He was already at work in your life even before you were born? In the book of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar proclaimed the signs and wonders that the Most High God had done for him to all who dwelt on the earth. We can recognize how the Lord is already at work in our lives.

Trust in the Lord Who Rescues

February 18, 2018 | Daniel 3 | exposition, trials

How can we continue to trust the Lord when we are going through times of trouble and trial? When it looks like the worst is going to happen, how do we continue to rely on the Lord for rescue? In the third chapter of Daniel, the Lord delivered the three Hebrew exiles from the fiery furnace and caused even the pagan king to exalt Him as the God who rescues. We can place our trust in the Lord who is able to rescue us in times of trouble.

Hope in Him

February 12, 2018 | Daniel 2 | exposition, hope

Where is your hope? Hope is an expectation of a future fulfilled desire. Where do you put your hope when the world around you seems to be falling apart? Do you put it in a bank account? In a job? In your spouse or other loved one? Where do you put your hope? Daniel and his friends put their hope in the Lord.

In the book of Daniel chapter two, Daniel put his hope in the God of heaven, who revealed to Daniel that in the end He will replace all human kingdoms with His own everlasting kingdom. As Christians, our hope is in Christ alone whose coming kingdom will replace all earthly kingdoms and endure forever.

Depending on God’s Faithfulness

February 4, 2018 | Daniel 1 | exposition

If you’ve ever been in a life situation where you’re asking “Why God? Where are you?” Then, you know what it means to live in Babylon. When the exiles living in Daniel’s time read his book, it must’ve been a great encouragement to them.

In the first chapter of Daniel, Daniel and his friends learned that they could depend on God’s faithfulness even when they were exiles in the foreign land of Babylon. We can depend on God’s faithfulness as we live in the world today.


Vision Sunday

Vision Sunday is the day we try and put into words a God-sized destiny that we could never reach without His help.

Vision Sunday 2018

January 28, 2018 | Matthew 28:18-20 | vision

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus gave his disciples the Great Commission which called them to make disciples of all nations and the Great Commandment which encouraged them to make disciples who had a heart of love. These two great statements give us the guiding vision from Jesus that the Church is to make disciples who have a heart of love. As we consider these two statements from Jesus, they help us understand why we exist as a local church.


#goals

We often look at the lives, relationships, possessions, and accomplishments of others and say to ourselves, "I want that.....#goals." Yet, God has even better #goals for you. What better way to start a new year than to find out what these #goals are?

Be Faithful

January 21, 2018 | Matthew 25:14-30 | faithfulness, goals

Americans love a success story. We love a winner. We may give out participation trophies to our kids, but once they’re grown up, we expect them to see second place as no better than last place.

But God’s economy is different than the world’s. His goal for you is not that you would be successful. God’s goal for you is that you would be faithful!

In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus told his disciples a parable to teach them his goal for them to be faithful with the talents he had entrusted to them until his return. We can be faithful with what the Lord has entrusted to us until his return.

Be Fruitful

January 14, 2018 | John 15:1-8 | goals

We have goals like: I want to be happy. We even tell our kids, “I just want you to be happy.” Or we have goals to be rich or to own a bigger house or a new car. Older people might be concerned about leaving their mark, having a legacy. But God wants you to be fruitful. And the only way to do this is through Jesus.

The gospel of John records that after the last supper, Jesus walked with his disciples out of Jerusalem towards the Garden of Gethsemane, telling them the parable of the vine and the branches along the way. In this parable, Jesus taught them that his goal for them was to abide in him that they might be fruitful. We can fulfill Christ’s goal for our lives to be fruitful by abiding in Him.

Be a Follower

January 7, 2018 | Matthew 16:24 | following, goals

The new year is upon us and with it many of us are setting goals we’d like to accomplish this year. We want to be winners and leaders. We want to achieve greatness in some arena of life. We want self-fulfillment. These are admirable goals, yet the way the world seeks such goals is very different from the way the Lord would have us take. For the Lord teaches us that the way to winning is losing, the way to self-fulfillment is self-denial, the way of greatness is serving. He teaches that in order to become a great leader, you must first learn to be a follower.

The world’s path is very different from the Lord’s. The world’s way may seem to work for a season, but many of us have tried to climb the ladder of success only to find that it was leaning against the wrong building. A man achieves that big promotion, but loses his family in the process. A woman tries to be a super-wife, a super-mom and seek super fulfillment in her career, but all she feels is super-burned-out. A teenager wears the latest fashions, listens to the latest tunes and tries to use all the latest lingo, but still feels alone and unaccepted at school.

Yet, as people of faith, we are not to live as the world lives. We’re supposed to be different. We don’t follow a philosophy, we follow a Person. We don’t follow a system, we follow our Savior. In the book of Matthew, Jesus described what it meant to answer the call to come after Him and be one of His followers. We can answer the call to be a follower of Jesus.


The Colors of Christmas

What color is your Christmas? Whether you're feeling blue or dreaming of white, we're spending the 4 Sundays of December experiencing the sounds and story of Christmas!

Red Christmas

December 17, 2017 | Matthew 1:18-25 | christmas

Have you noticed how prominent the color red is at Christmas? Red bows and red wrapping, red poinsettias and red holly berries, red striped candy canes, Santa’s suit is red, and even Rudolph’s nose! Red is everywhere this time of year! The color red reminds us of the love of God and the blood of Jesus, which He willing shed for our sins. We can’t really understand the meaning of Christmas without Easter. The cradle points to the cross. God’s “love ran red.”

In the gospel according to Matthew, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream to announce that his betrothed, Mary, would give birth to a son who was God’s loving gift of salvation. We can trust in God’s Son as His loving gift of salvation.

White Christmas

December 10, 2017 | Matthew 2:1-12 | christmas

What is it about this song “White Christmas” that stirs us so? Isn’t it the desire to have the perfect Christmas? To experience the wonder and expectation that we once felt as a child? Don’t you desire to have the perfect Christmas? Don’t you feel the pressure to make it happen? To spend more money than you have in order to give your kids everything on their list? You decorate your house. You cook and clean. Because you want a “White,” a “Perfect,” Christmas. This longing for wonder and beauty, this longing for the eternal is in every human heart. It’s what moves us to dream of something perfect and lasting. It’s what moves us to worship.

In the book of Matthew the story of the birth of Jesus was told within the political backdrop of the times. Jesus was the one prophesied to be King, but He came in the most unexpected way. And from the beginning there was a battle between His Kingdom and the false king that usurped His Throne. The challenge for us is to remove our worship from the false king and to put our worship on the true King, Jesus Christ. After all, it’s His birthday we’re celebrating. Not ours.