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

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.

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Catching the Vision

January 13, 2019

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.

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Resolved.

When the calendar changes to a new year, we tend to reflect on the past year and look towards the new year. In these sermons, we look at New Years resolutions from an eternal perspective.

To Live on Purpose

December 30, 2018

Jonathan Edwards’ Resolution number 6, “Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.”

We often feel like we are living on rollercoaster. Life comes at us with ups and downs and we do our best to react before we crash and burn. This is how most of us live, reactive. So very few of us live proactive lives. To be proactive means to create a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened. But this isn’t our typical story, we normally live a life of responding to adversity. Don’t you wanna feel like you’re not just going through the motions? Don’t you want to live your life more intentional? Do you want to feel like you making an impact? Self-Helps give some good advice to be proactive, things like: know your why, set big goals, embrace discomfort, and get organized. These are good helps and are part of the process but the real goal that gives our lives both purpose and intent is found in Christ Jesus.

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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 Story

December 23, 2018

Have you unwrapped the story? Have you joined the shepherds by seeing and hearing it for yourselves, believing the good news about Jesus? A gift isn’t really yours until you unwrap it. In the gospel of Luke, he recorded the story of the good news of Jesus’ birth which an angel of the Lord announced, revealing the true identity of Jesus to the shepherds. We can unwrap the story of Jesus’ birth that reveals the good news of His true identity.

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Unwrapping the Son

December 2, 2018

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.

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Righteousness Revealed

As we go verse by verse through the book of Romans, we learn how God wants to display His righteousness which is revealed to us from faith and for faith.

God’s Righteousness through Faith

November 11, 2018

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.

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God and Human Accountability

November 4, 2018

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.

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God and the Religious

October 28, 2018

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.

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God’s Judgment Revealed

October 21, 2018

The truth is, we usually think of God’s judgment as something that someone else needs a good dose of! Many think that they don’t need the gospel because they are a good person and therefore God won’t judge them. But Paul’s letter to the Romans has something to say about that. In the book of Romans chapter 2:1-16, Paul warned the self-righteous that they would have no defense before God’s judgment. We can understand that our own attempts at self-righteousness will provide no defense before God’s judgment.

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God’s Wrath Revealed

October 14, 2018

Why do we need the gospel? Is it so we can be better parents, have better marriages, experience greater happiness? Sure, these are benefits of receiving the gospel by faith. But no, they do not get at the real reason that we need the gospel. We need the gospel because we have offended God’s righteousness. We have rebelled against God and we have gone our own sinful way. That’s what sin is. lt’s an attitude of disobedience that says, “I will do things my way, not God’s way.” As a result, Paul says that God’s wrath is already upon us. The apostle Paul spent the first 17 verses of his letter to the Romans introducing himself and reminding them of the power and righteousness of God found only in the gospel. Having introduced this great theme, Paul spent the rest of chapter one explaining that the wrath of God is already being revealed against the ungodly and the unrighteous who have not received the gospel. We can faithfully respond to the revelation of God’s wrath against those who have not received the gospel.

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