The Table

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“‘But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’”

Luke 14:13-14

On September 30th, Pastor Brian launched a sermon called “The Table.” In Luke 14, Jesus tells two stories about banquets. These stories tell us a lot about the culture of that time period and point out the flaws in the system. Pastor Brian showed how this story is pointing towards the Great Banquet Table - God’s banquet table. This is a table of inclusion and of provision. All are invited to sit at the table…but the only way to sit at the table is to accept the invitation.

The Table: Worship

On October 14th, Pastor Brian preached the second part of “The Table” with a focus on Worship. At the heavenly banquet, the primary focus will not be on fellowship or eating, but on worshipping God. Worship involves three primary components: attitude, action, and awe. Our lives should worship our Creator. Our lives should worship the One who raised Christ from the dead. Our lives should worship the One who came to earth for us.

The Table: Service

When we eat at a restaurant or attend a dinner party at a friend’s home, we notice how attentive the server or host/hostess is. At the heavenly table, God is the perfect host, having made every preparation imaginable. But God has invited us to be participants in the preparation, invitation, and the celebration. After all, we are better together.

The God Who Sees Me

Genesis 16 tells the story of humans taking matters into their own hands and sinning against others in the process. Hagar was hurt by the people around her. She struggled, she ran, she desperately desired to be seen. Hagar had a real encounter with God, even in the midst of a situation covered in sin. She didn’t judge God based on the actions of the people around her, but on what she saw in her encounter with God. God sees us and knows what we are going through. And just as God pursued Hagar, God pursues us because God loves us.

Real Life

Many times, our perceptions of Jesus and what “Real Life” looks like gets lost in translation. Through looking at 1 John 1, we can uncover what real life truly looks like. Real life is found in Jesus, real life happens in fellowship with God and other believers, and real life life comes when we accept the truth of the Gospel.

Rain and Rainbows

In Genesis, God prepared for the storm/flood by reaching out to Noah. In the midst of a world that was far from God, Noah found favor in God’s eyes and became his mouthpiece and speaker of truth. Looking at the world today, it is evident that we are in the midst of a spiritual storm. Pastor Brian examines the Noah account and points out what we can learn about spiritual living from Noah’s actions.

Forgiveness, Part 1

In 2 Corinthians 2:10-11, Paul addresses a situation that had taken place in the church at Corinth in which the topic of forgiveness arises. Forgiveness can be challenging for many reasons. Forgiveness flies in the face of our humanity, but it can be a beautiful and life-giving process if we are willing to embark on the journey.

Forgiveness, Part 2

Forgiveness is a powerful thing. Holding grudges and past offenses against people can be damaging and emotionally harmful. As Pastor Brian continues to unpack the concept of forgiveness, he identifies those whom we are unable to forgive.

Setting a Course

In life, there are many roads and paths to be taken, choices to be made, and courses to be set. Hebrews 11:8-10 points back to the story of Abraham that begins in Genesis 12. Abraham in faith set out on a journey following God without many details. Are you trusting God to lead you on the right path, or are you following an earthly course?

Suit Up

Throughout the summer, Pastor Brian Matherlee preached a series on the Armor of God. The root text for each of these sermons can be found in Ephesians 6:10-18.

this means war

There is a spiritual war that rages on every moment of every day, and believers are called to join the battle. In the book of Daniel, he and his friends face multiple challenges in which their faith is tested and they must make a choice about whether they will engage in battle. They find strength in God's power and refuse to compromise themselves or their beliefs. There is much to be learned from their actions as we consider these questions: What are we battling? Are these battles we should be fighting? And if so, are we prepared?

Tailor made

Through looking at various events of David's life (specifically in 2 Samuel 11), Pastor Brian shows that in life, battles will come. The question is not "if" the battles and trials will come, but "when." The responsibility of believers is to be ready when that day comes. In this second part of the "Suit Up" series, Pastor Brian explains the first two pieces in the armor of God: the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness.

MAster peace

The third piece of the armor of God is for our feet to be "fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace." Peace is foundational to adequately engage in battle. In the book of Joshua, we encounter a woman named Rahab who seemed to be at odds with peace. But through a powerful encounter with God and God's people, Rahab finds peace. This can be our story too.

TAke Cover

On July 1st, Pastor Brian continued the “Suit Up” series by examining the shield of faith mentioned in Ephesians 6:16. A shield is used for defense, but a shield also allows a soldier to march forward in battle making it an offensive weapon. The shield of faith is a gift…are you ready to receive it?

Covered in Blood

In part 5 of the “Suit Up” series, Pastor Brian focused on the helmet of salvation. He described the helmet as being an object of deliverance, an object of protection, and a gift from God. In life, sin comes speeding through life seeking to destroy our lives while the helmet serves as protection…if we are willing to receive the helmet of salvation.

Charge

The best defense is a good offense. Throughout the sermon series Pastor Brian unpacked the importance and the meaning of the Armor of God. The armor of God has two functions: to defend and to defeat. In part 6 of the “Suit Up” series he focused on the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17) and the need to be on offense in the spiritual battle against the enemy.

Spiritual prayer

On August 5th, Pastor Brian concluded the “Suit Up” by focusing on the need for prayer. God hears our prayers. In Ephesians 6:18, we see the need to see every circumstance as an opportunity to pray. No prayer is too small or too big for God, so we must boldly pray in every situation we encounter.

The Invitation

On July 22nd, Pastor Brandon focused on Matthew 22:1-14 which tells a parable about a wedding banquet. The parable ends with a puzzling statement, “Many are invited/called, but few are chosen.” This phrase leads to many questions…Why would God call someone and not chose him/her? What does it mean to be called? What does it mean to be chosen? God is sending an invitation to each of us, but we have a choice.