As limited and finite beings, we are helpless and in desperate need of God’s love. Like oxygen provides life to the blood, so also experiencing the love of God provides vitality to the soul....

The basis of Christianity centers on the Resurrection. The fact that Jesus was raised from the dead tells us about who God is and how powerful He is. If we have faith in Him and believe that Jesus was raised from the dead, it means...

Whether you are the athlete, professor, artist, or engineer, if you are identified with Christ, you are now united as a family—brother and sister—in one body, the Church....

Belonging is rooting for something, while at the same time, excluding something else. This plays out in society today with an “us and them” attitude that even carries into our Christian lives; we believe we have the ability to decide who and what is included...

For us to have access to Jesus, we have to declare that we are in a state of emergency. Things are worse than what we can handle and we don’t have the resources to handle it. We need help....

Paul praises God for the faithfulness that marked Christ followers in the city of Ephesus. He prays that the church will gain deep insight into the Lord’s powerful working and rich gifts in Christ....

God loved you, chose you, created you, adopted you, purchased you, redeemed you, forgave you, and sealed you. You are His. There is nothing you did to earn these spiritual blessings. They are solely rooted in His character, desire, and good pleasure. ...

One of the great questions of the Bible is how God will bring all things back under His authority and direction without destroying everyone and everything. In the book of Ephesians, Paul will bring some light to this great question in the writing of his...

The pervasiveness of narcissism has not only integrated our culture but also the church. The lie we are predominantly dealing with is that God exists for my glory – He is most concerned about my health, my fulfillment, my family and my work....

Reading back in Genesis 3:17-19, work became cursed because of the fall — a price for man's sin, meant to humble him. However, instead of letting it humble us and show us our great need for God, we place our very identity in our work,...

Many of us struggle with a love-hate relationship with our bodies. Narcissism and how it relates to our bodies is gauged by how much we obsess over our body image — no matter where we fall on the spectrum from self-pity to boasting. Whether...

In today's culture, coming under authority is rejected, and suffering and adversity are seen as things to be avoided. In actuality, the reverse is true: obedience develops strength, and suffering helps usher in maturity and holiness. Obstacles rather...

Our culture today is consumed with self. Narcissism is defined as the pursuit of gratification from vanity or egotistic admiration of one’s own attributes. As a church, it is important that we realize the warning signs of being consumed with self. No matter where...

This weekend, Bill taught from Isaiah 11, asserting the prophet’s promise of a redeeming Savior as the foundation of the Christmas celebration. Isaiah’s prophecies were issued around 700 BC, after the northern kingdom of Israel had been conquered and taken into exile. Therefore, his prophecies...

Scripture unfolds for us a grand narrative of God’s work in the world for the redemption of the world, one that continues even today. As He directs all things for this purpose, He continues to work through His people – finite, sinful people. In the face...

This weekend brought to a conclusion our series on Esther, an orphaned Jewish castaway whose improbable rise to Queen of the Persian Empire became an instrumental piece in the preservation of the Jewish people. As we examine the last two chapters, an initial decree from...

Despite Haman's death, Esther and Mordecai still have work to do, as Haman's decree that all Jews are to be annihilated from the land still remains. Esther's compassion for her people drives her to plead for them before the King and points us to Jesus'...

This week, Matt taught from Esther 7. In this passage, Esther finally asks King Xerxes to spare the lives of the Jews, and Haman is punished for his evil actions. This story demonstrates the big idea that you can control your actions, as Haman did,...

In chapter 5, Esther has now grasped the eventual inevitability of her own death, a prospect which moves her, not to fear, but to freedom and action. Having resolved to go to the king’s hall in order to prevent Haman’s plot to kill the Jews,...

As Esther 4 opens, Mordecai has just learned of the king’s edict for the destruction of the Jews.  He immediately goes into mourning and begins fasting, weeping, and lamenting.  Esther, still unaware of all that had occurred between Haman and the king, sends new clothes...

In the final verses of the second chapter of Esther, Mordecai learns of a plot to kill the king and immediately alerts Esther of the danger.  Esther in turn warns the king in Mordecai’s name, and when all is found to be true, Mordecai and...

This past weekend we were led through our second week of teaching in the book of Esther. The story of Esther is one that mirrors our own normal lives in terms of seeming randomness, logic, and complexity. What is helpful for us to recognize is...

This week, Matt kicks off the new series in Esther by teaching through the first chapter of the book. Though Esther does not explicitly mention God, it contains powerful lessons about divine sovereignty. It presents a narrative that clearly displays the transcendence of God’s plan...

God’s design for all marriages is that they would be a grand adventure, working toward a shared purpose worthy of the entire lives of each spouse. The challenge for spouses is to discover what this will look like for their own marriage. What is the...

As an essential aspect of oneness, marital intimacy tends to be emblematic of the overall health of a marriage. Sadly, this area is most often marked by brokenness and bitterness instead of the power and enjoyment that God means it for. If we are to...