On the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, Pastor Paige opened with the story from John 12:20-36a of some Greeks at a festival who told Jesus’ disciple, Philip, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus." The Greeks longed to be insiders like the disciples. On Reformation Sunday, we celebrate the great truth Martin Luther discovered when he dove into God’s Word 500 years ago: we are saved by grace through faith. That makes us all insiders. We are able to have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, not because we earn it, but because God gives us his love as a free gift through the cross and resurrection of Jesus. The sermon ends with ideas for how we can live out that great gift today, and share God’s grace with those around us.
On this stewardship Commitment Sunday, Pastor Eric challenges us to look at what the real commitments in our life are. The good news of the Gospel is Christ’s commitment to us, which can become the rock on which we build lives of devotion to the work of God. The sermon draws from Isaiah 44:1-5 and Matthew 7:24-29. Listen and be challenged and encouraged!
Christians are called to be generous. But when we think about faith and money, we often tend to think about God wanting to take more of our money. Exploring 2 Corinthians 8:1-9 and Matthew 6:24-33, Pastor Eric calls us to see God first and foremost as Giver, not taker, and to consider how God’s generosity can empower us to be generous in our lives.
What stories do you have of someone reaching out to you with God’s love? As we approach the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, Pastor Paige shares Martin Luther’s life-changing experience of understanding God’s grace as a free gift. The Apostle Paul, who once persecuted Christians, also came to understand God’s love in a whole new way after the risen Jesus appeared to him. In Acts 9:19b-21, we hear how Jesus changed the direction of Paul’s life, making him a bold preacher for the Lord. Both Paul and Martin Luther grasped God’s promise of forgiveness and eternal life as a gift to be received, not as something to be earned. How do we continue to build our lives on God’s promise today? How do we live generously, reaching out to others with the love God has first given us, so their lives can be transformed as well?
What does it mean to be in true community? What does it mean to “show up” with others? In this sermon, Pastor Eric explores the story of Thomas (in John 20:19-25) and the description of the earliest community of believers in Acts 2:42-47 to help us discover how we can encounter the Jesus who has promised to show up for us. In this message, we continue our Foundations 500 series and begin our annual stewardship emphasis.