Sermon

Sermon

The Road Less Traveled

Matthew 7:12-23
August 6, 2023

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Enter through the narrow gate,
for the gate is wide and the road is easy that
leads to destruction, and there are many who take it.

from Matthew 7:13

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Three times Jesus warns against following the crowd. Instead, he urges us to choose the path that leads to life and bears good fruit

The path following Jesus, putting our faith in him, leads in a very different direction than the world around us, just as Jesus' led him to the cross before the resurrection.



What Did You Bring Me, Dad?

Matthew 7:7-11
July 30, 2023

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Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find;
knock, and the door will be opened for you.

from Matthew 7:7

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What would make you happy?

I'm sure that everyone can think of a number of things that they wish they had, many of which would be a real blessing, but others that hindsight might reveal as empty.

As children, we often wanted the latest toy or cool thing a classmate had. As we grew older we slowly grew to appreciate and pursue things we needed to work for - jobs and relationships, as well as bigger toys.

As we grow in our Christian faith, Jesus draws our hearts far beyond what we can ever earn or buy and toward what is of eternal worth.


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Myopia and Mirrors

Matthew 7:1-6
July 23, 2023

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Do not judge,
so that you may not be judged.

from Matthew 7:1

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You'd think that Christians would pay more attention to Jesus' very clear words. Instead, Christians have a reputation for being judgmental and condemning. We love to quote that "God demonstrates his love to us in this, while we were still sinners Christ died for us," but fail to see any need for us to likewise love others.

Sisters and brothers, let us listen to Jesus and remove the plank from our own eyes rather than getting caught up in the specks in the eyes of others.


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The Power of Action

Matthew 7:24
July 16, 2023
Pastor Ivan Castro Preaching

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"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine
and puts them into practice is like a wise man
who built his house on the rock.”

from Matthew 7:24

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What we build our lives on makes a difference. The foundation that underlies and shapes our directions and values can be lasting and strong or fleeting and weak. Jesus is clear that there is a difference. He calls for us to build our lives upon that which brings meaning, purpose, and joy, rather than grasping at shortlived and shortsighted objects of desire.

Jesus is also clear that it takes more than knowing what he teaches, the real power is found as we have the faith to put what he teaches into action.

Our good friend Pastor Ivan Castro shares God's word with us this Sunday.


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Think Small

1 Samuel 17:45-50, John 6:8-12
July 9, 2023

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Jesus said, “Truly I tell you,
unless you change and become like children,
you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

from Matthew 18:3

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God has a pattern of using people who might be the last we would choose. Why would God choose them? Why would God choose us?

Sometimes we need to "think small" to understand God's purposes for us. God multiplies the little we have to offer to be far more than enough.

Kamdon Harrison shares God's word with us this Sunday!


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What, Me Worry?

Matthew 6:24-34
July 2, 2023

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Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink,
or about your body, what you will wear.

from Matthew 6:24-34

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"Do not worry about your life," Jesus says. Don't worry about what you will eat, or what you will drink, or about your body, or what you will wear.

Jesus doesn’t deny the need for these things, but he invites us to know the Father and his provision in the ordinary, not just the extraordinary. Jesus reveals life as far bigger and better than our immediate concerns. He shows us God who knows and is concerned about our needs.


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Rust-Proof Riches

Matthew 6:16-21
June 25, 2023

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Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust consumes
and where thieves do not break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

from Matthew 6:20-21

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Our choices reveal what is important to us. If someone watched you 24x7 for an entire week, what would they say guides your life based on the choices you made?

We are surrounded by voices that compete for our attention - each calling for us to go in different directions.

What do we say "no" to so we can say "yes" to things that are more important? If we say our health is important, do we say "no" to a TV show so we can get exercise instead? Do we say "no" to a super-sized order of french fries so we can say "yes" to a salad? This morning you said "no" to a number of other options so you can say "yes" to joining in worship.

Are the things that guide our choices of lasting value?

Jesus summarizes what he has been teaching in the Sermon on the Mount saying, "Store up for yourself treasures in heaven,"


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Starts with a Single Step

Matthew 6:5-16
June 18, 2023

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And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

from Matthew 6:13

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"The devil made me do it!" Flip Wilson as Geraldine Jones would explain about buying an expensive new dress. She blames the devil for leading her to the store, forcing her through the door, to the rack where she found the dress, and making her buy it.

We've all been there, facing the final line between resisting and succumbing to temptation. Momentum and impulse carry us toward that sin. We're standing at that line because we already took a lot of steps to get there.

Sin starts as we take the first step off the path God places before us - when we pay more attention to what we ought to avoid rather than what we truly need.

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The Gift of Forgiveness

Matthew 6:5-16
June 11, 2023

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And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.

from Matthew 6:12

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Forgiveness is a great gift.

Forgiveness is not only a gift for the person forgiven; it is also a gift for the one who forgives.

Unforgiveness eats away at the heart and soul of the person who was wronged. It also disrupts our relationship with our God who loves us and is eager to forgive. To be unwilling to forgive is to be unwilling to be forgiven.

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Putting the Daily back in Daily Bread

Matthew 6:5-16
June 4, 2023

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Give us this day our daily bread.

from Matthew 6:5-15

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God's deepest love is revealed as we live with and for him, trusting in his ability and faithfulness rather than our own ability and resources. God's provision and direction are experienced in our dependence upon God rather than our independence.

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