Tomb Raider

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Easter Sunday is a time of celebration because while Jesus' death was a reality, it did not stay a reality! The stone at the entrance of his tomb was rolled away and life was restored! Romans 4:17 reminds us that God has the ability to give life to things that are dead and call things into existence. God wants to do that in our lives - God wants to call something new into being in our lives. On April 1st, Pastor Brian Matherlee challenged us to pause and think about the "dead" areas of our lives in need of new life!

Paths

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During the weeks leading up to Easter, Pastor Brian preached three sermons revolving around pathways. The first talked about Jesus as a trailblazer overcoming trials. The second focuses on the path of discipleship. The final sermon in the series discusses the path of sin and where it leads.

 

"Trial" Blazer

 

 

 

On March 4th, Pastor Brian Matherlee reminded us that a life following Jesus is not a life free from trial and temptation. In fact, Matthew 4:1-11 reminds us that Jesus faced temptation in the middle of the desert. This story shows us the way to overcome spiritual battles in our lives. We can make it through the difficult times if we follow the trail blazed by Jesus! 

The Disciple's Path

In Matthew 16:21-27, Jesus explains to the disciples that a time is coming when he will suffer and die. The disciples are outraged at the thought of Jesus dying in the future, which leads to a conversation where Jesus begins to explain what it means to truly be a disciple. On March 11th, Pastor Brian Matherlee takes a deeper look at this passage and the steps of discipleship. 

The Path of Sin

On March 18th, Pastor Brian Matherlee spent time looking at many of the final events of Jesus' life. Our sin led to Jesus' death, and through examining the events in Luke 22-23, we see the path of sin and where it leads.

To Be With Jesus

On February 25th, Pastor Mark Wilson was at Hayworth for our Renew weekend. His sermon, rooted in Mark 3:13-16, focused on our calling to be WITH him. When Jesus called the disciples, he first called them to be with him. When we are truly with Jesus, we will desire to go with Jesus, and that will often lead outside our comfort zones. Being with Jesus is an adventure! 

Overcoming Discouragement

On February 18th, Pastor Brian Matherlee preached from 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, 10:1-4 on the topic of overcoming discouragement. Throughout our lives, we all face times of discouragement and do not "run" our Christian lives in such a way as to obtain the prize (see 1 Cor. 9:24). In reality, we all play on an equal playing field because we all have access to the grace of Jesus. Our attitudes and outlooks on life will determine how we act in the present, and when we allow discouragement to take root, the results can be detrimental. 

From Messed Up to Blessed

On February 11th, Pastor Brian Matherlee preached a sermon from Genesis 1:26-31. These verses tell the story of the creation of the first people, Adam and Eve. These two humans were blessed, they lived in perfect relationship with God, but they messed up. But there is hope. Have you messed up? You can be changed through God's Son, Jesus, and become the blessing you were always created to be.

Reset

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We don't get "do-overs" in life. While there are often things we wish we could do differently, it is impossible to go back in time and change the past. As we venture into a new year, we should examine our spiritual lives, and when needed, take steps to reset the areas in which we have gotten off track.

 

 

New Years' Eve is a day filled with reflection - we reflect on the previous 365 days and we look forward to the possibilities of the coming year. On December 31st, Pastor Brian launched the Reset series by outlining the three areas of our lives that we have control over and are able to reset: our priorities, our point of view, and our purpose. These three areas that are in need of being rest are rooted in Paul's words in Colossians 3:1-4.

Fear can quickly and easily become a governing factor in our lives. On January 7th, Pastor Brian preached the second part of the Reset series and talked about the tension that exists between faith and fear. God does not call us to  be bound in fear, but rather to walk boldly in faith. Mark 5 is filled beautiful examples of the faith and fear tension, and Jesus shows the great power that faith has over fear. 

On January 14th, Pastor Brian continued the Reset series. This sermon seeks to answer the question "Who do you think you are?" We often need to stop and remember that we were created by God for a purpose. Our identities are wrapped up in who we are in Christ. We are part of God's unfolding story. The primary text for this sermon is 1 Peter 2:4-12.

Pastor Brian Matherlee continued with Part 4 of the Reset series on January 21. Throughout the series, the emphasis has been on looking at how we can reset our point of view, priority, and purpose in different areas of the Christian life. Through the text of Psalm 40:1-8, Pastor Brian focuses on the topic of giving and learning to lean upon the Lord.

The book of Acts in the Bible begins with the account of Jesus ascending into heaven. His last words to the disciples were for them to wait for the Holy Spirit. Within just a few chapters in Acts, the Holy Spirit came and the stories that unfold tell about the great power of the Holy Spirit. Why is it that we still seem to be waiting? The gift of the Spirit has been given to believers...the time for waiting has passed! We are missing out on what God has for us because we are waiting. On January 28th, Pastor Brian challenges us to stop and answer the question: What have we been waiting for? 

Why He Came

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The advent season is a special time to reflect on Jesus' birth and the years, months, and days leading up to his birth. This year, we took time to stop and focus on learning about why Jesus came.

Who? What? When? Where? Why? These are the questions we ask when we want to learn more. On December 3, Pastor Brian kicked off the advent series with a sermon attempting to answer some of these questions. He explained a few common misunderstandings about the events surrounding the birth of Jesus by walking through some of these basic questions. Of these question, the most important is the "Why?" Why did Jesus come? This is the first sermon in a series attempting to answer that question. The primary biblical text for this sermon is Ezekiel 37:15-28.

Jesus' coming to earth was not a plan B or a backup plan, but was God's perfect plan for the redemption and salvation of humanity. Early in Jesus' ministry, he entered into a Jewish synagogue and read from Isaiah 61 and told those in the synagogue that the words were being fulfilled in front of their eyes. On December 10th, Pastor Brian Matherlee preached the second part of the advent sermon series and looked at what we learn from Jesus' reading of these words and what those words tell us about WHY Jesus came to earth.

In 1 John 1, it is revealed that Jesus came for fellowship with humanity. Fellowship with Jesus is more than just saying you are "Team Jesus." Having genuine fellowship with Jesus requires us to listen to the truth, live by the truth, and confess the truth. On December 13th, Pastor Brian Matherlee preached part 3 in the Why He Came series. The biblical text referenced in this sermon is 1 John 1. 

On Christmas Eve,  Pastor Brian concluded the Why He Came series with a sermon rooted in Luke 2:25-32. This passage talks about a man named Simeon and his encounter with baby Jesus. Simeon instantly knew and understood who Jesus was, and a lot can be learned from this brief encounter about why Jesus came to earth.

Swimming UPSTREAM in a Downstream World

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In the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan, he makes the following statement: "If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream.”

On October 1, Pastor Brian Matherlee preached the first sermon in the UPSTREAM series. This series is rooted in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) and focuses on the need to swim upstream in a downstream world. This first sermon is rooted in Matthew 5:1-12, a section commonly referred to as the Beatitudes. These blessings spoken by Jesus were countercultural by nature.

On October 8, Pastor Brian Matherlee preached Part 2 in the UPSTREAM series. This sermon focuses on Matthew 5:13-16. In these verses Jesus talks about the need for believers to be the salt and light of the world! 

On October 15, Pastor Brian Matherlee preached Part 3 in the UPSTREAM series. The text for this sermon is Matthew 5:17-20. In these verses, Jesus states that he has not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill the Law. As a result, a genuine and personal relationship with God becomes possible. 

On October 22, Pastor Brian Matherlee preached Part 4 in the UPSTREAM series. The primary text for this sermon is Matthew 5:21-26, 38-48. These verses raise the standard of what it truly means to love one another and follow after God. 

On October 29, Pastor Brian Matherlee preached Part 5 in the UPSTREAM series. The text for this sermon is Matthew 5:27-32. The sermon focuses on the topic of marriage. 

On November 5, Pastor Brian Matherlee preached Part 6 in the UPSTREAM series. The sermon is titled "A Life of Intention" and is rooted in Matthew 6:1-6 and 16-18.

On November 12, Pastor Brian Matherlee preached Part 7 in the UPSTREAM series. The sermon is titled "What Are You Doing With Your Hands?" The text for this sermon is Matthew 6:19-21, 25-27, and 7:7-8.

On November 19, Pastor Brian Matherlee concluded the UPSTREAM series with a sermon titled "Putting it All Together." The Biblical text for the sermon is Matthew 7:1-6, 13-27.