Preaching Posts

When Faith is Tested

I put many of my thoughts on this season of challenge and loss into my message for this weekend at Abundant Life Church. I’d encourage you to check it out if you are looking for how to find hope in this midst of this challenge. I cover the range of my own emotions in this one.

Redeeming Pleasure Series

It’s been a few years since I released my second book, Redeeming Pleasure. But this past month I had the chance to write a new series about it and preach four messages that take concepts in the book and develop them in new ways. If you haven’t yet read the book, it gives an easy overview into the ideas. If you have read the book, you’ll recognize a few of the key themes and then will hopefully see them in a nuanced way as I develop them differently than I did in the book. You can also check out a site that explores more aspects of the book (see: RedeemingPleasure.com).

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Don't Feed the Dogs from Central Christian AZ on Vimeo.

Don’t Feed the Dogs

This weekend I taught at Central on one of Paul’s most interesting passages in the book of Philippians. For most of the book he’s speaking poetically about joy. In chapter three he confronts a group of Christians who are standing in the way of it for others. Throughout it all, I unpacked how we should avoid allowing our activity for Jesus to eclipse our view of Jesus. Whenever you add anything to Jesus you end up diminishing Jesus.

Eating with Enemies

This weekend I got to preach what has become one of my favorite passages, Matthew 5:43-45. My main idea was that if we won’t trust Jesus as a practical teacher, we can’t trust Him as a spiritual savior. When it comes to how we should practically treat those around us, Jesus instructs us to love both our neighbors and our enemies. And in case you were wondering, this encompasses everyone!

Here are some of the key points from the message:

  • You can always find a reason not to treat others as your neighbor.
  • Loving enemies will always cost you something.
  • You can decide to treat people as your enemy, but Jesus won’t do it with you.

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The Story of Herod (And Why the Magi are Fascinating)

This weekend I preached our third installment of our Christmas series. As we have unpacked the larger Christmas story, we’ve seen the individual short stories that form it. This week was the villain of Christmas named Herod the Great. Herod is not only a historical person, but a fascinating case study. He loved power and was threatened to his core by the presence of Jesus. This continues happening to people who love power today.

Yet the Magi show us just the opposite. They fully submit their lives to the story of this new king, even though this wasn’t originally their story. They show us how God always invites outsiders to become insiders. If you are unfamiliar with these guys you’ll probably find it fascinating to hear more of their story.

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A Hope Revealed

The video above is my message this weekend at Central in which we closed out our Hope in Hard Times series going through the book of 1 Peter. This weekend I unpacked the idea that true hope cannot be contained.