Sermon on the Mount (part 1) Sermon Audio

On Sunday, April 23, 2017 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 5:1-10.  This message was part one of the “Sermon on the Mount” series.  The sermon audio is included below for you to listen to or share.

 

To listen offline, click the link below to download:

Sermon on the Mount 1
To listen online, use the media player below:

Sermon on the Mount (part 1) – Sermon Questions

On Sunday, April 23, 2017 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a message based on Matthew 5:1-10.  This message was part 1 in the “Sermon on the Mount” series.  Below you will find questions related to this message for personal reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Matthew 5:1-10
  3. Make a list of the things and phrases you think describe the “blessed life.”  How does your list differ from the list Jesus mentions in today’s passage?
  4. Of the 8 “blessed are the ______” statements in Matthew 5:1-10m which do you find hardest as a description of a life that is “blessed”?  In what way was Jesus correct in calling the life marked by these 8 characteristics “blessed”?
  5. What are some practical ways that you can begin to set your “clock” to “Kingdom Standard Time”?
  6. What does humbling yourself before the Lord look like right now?  (Approaching Him as one who is “poor in spirit,” “mourning,” “meek,” etc.)
  7. What is one particular application you took away from this passage/message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

Sermon on the Mount Part 1 – Preview

If I were to give you a pen and paper and asked you to make a list describing the “blessed life,” what kinds of things would you write down? 

  • Some would write about money and possessions (the blessed life includes a nice house here in town PLUS a mountain condo or lake house, etc.).  
  • Others would record people (a wife, a husband, 3.5 children, friends, etc.) 
  • Still others would think of societal success (no wars or rumors of wars, social justice on all fronts, the end of racism, etc.) 
  • While others would detail experiences (Disney World, Europe, and the beach.)  

Each of our lists describing the “blessed life” would be slightly different, but most would include at least some of these elements.

Now I want you to flash back 2000 years to the tranquil countryside of Galilee off the shore of the Sea of Tiberias.  In this setting Jesus preached some of His first public sermons.  Matthew records one of these sermons in Matthew 5-7: the Sermon on the Mount.  Jesus begins this message in His introduction by telling us what He sees as the “blessed life.”  It makes sense that He would begin there.  After all, if Jesus was indeed the Messiah, the people would expect Him to make them happy, to comfort them, to make them  . . . BLESSED.

So Jesus begins His sermon with His list of what a blessed life looks like.  We see this list in Matthew 5:1-10.  Don’t you want to know what He said?  What was on His list?  Well then come Sunday to Wildwood Community Church as we will see what Jesus Christ thinks the “blessed life” looks like.  We will be starting a new sermon series on the “Sermon on the Mount” this week in our 8:30, 9;45, and 11:00 worship services.  We would love to see you in one of them.  Oh, and if you can’t wait to see how Jesus describes the blessed life, go ahead and grab a Bible and take a look for yourself at Matthew 5:1-10.  Looking forward to worshipping with you on Sunday!

Easter Sunday 2017 Sermon Audio

On Sunday, April 16, 2017 at Wildwood Community Church I preached a message entitled “Resurrection.”  The message was based on John 21:1-19 and was a part of the Easter Sunday celebration.  Below you will find the sermon audio to listen to or share.

To download the audio to listen later, click on the link below:

Resurrection

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

Easter Sunday 2017 – Sermon Questions

On Sunday, April 16, 2017 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a message based on John 21:1-19.  This message was part of our Easter Sunday celebration.  Below are a set of questions related to this message for personal reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read John 21:1-19
  3. Have you ever stopped to consider that Christianity is anchored in a historical event, not just a philosophy?  How does the resurrection of Jesus give credence to Christianity over other world religions?
  4. Peter knew that Jesus was resurrected, yet still went back to fishing.  Why do you think Peter returned to fishing even though he knew Jesus was no longer dead?
  5. What are the greatest challenges to your hope today?  How does the resurrection of Jesus provide hope for your life?
  6. Have you trusted in Christ for your salvation?  If so, when?  If not, what is keeping you from trusting in Christ this Easter?
  7. What is one particular application you took away from this passage/message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

He is Risen! Reflections from the Empty Tomb

Kimberly and I at the Garden Tomb
Kimberly and I at the Garden Tomb

18 months ago, Kimberly and I got to go to Israel.  I wrote the following post after visiting the empty tomb.  Join us at Wildwood this weekend as we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection together and its implications for our lives.  Join us Good Friday at 6:00 or 7:30 or Easter Sunday at 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00.

Just outside the walls of Jerusalem’s old city, nestled between mosques, coffee shops, parking lots, and a cemetery sits the most historically important location in the history of the world.  It is here (at a location now called “The Garden Tomb”) that Jesus most likely was crucified, buried, and resurrected.

Of course, we cannot know for certain that this is the actual location of these events, but it is very probable.  The Romans typically crucified their prisoners outside the city walls along major highways.  This was meant to both humiliate those being executed and serve as a deterrent to all who passed by.  The traditional site of the crucifixion (the Church of the Holy Sepulcher) is actually inside the city, making it unlikely that Jesus was killed there.

Furthermore, three of the four Gospel writers describe Jesus death as occurring at the “place of the skull” or “Golgotha.”  Inside the “Garden Tomb” complex is a hillside with three distinct caves located on it side facing Jerusalem . . . that look like the openings of two eyes and a nose on a human skull.

Also, this skull-like hill set alongside a prominent highway in the first century . . . the Road to Damascus.  Again, this makes this site consistent with the kinds of places where Romans crucified prisoners. 

Finally, in close proximity to Golgotha was a Garden where Joseph of Arimathea would have buried Jesus quickly after His death.  Archaeological evidence has confirmed various olive presses in this “garden” as well as a cave like tomb.

Not a great picture, but this is Golgotha. The large cave on the left is one of the three caves making the hill have the appearance of a skull.
Not a great picture, but this is Golgotha. The large cave on the left is one of the three caves making the hill have the appearance of a skull.

All this makes it probable that the Garden Tomb (or someplace like it close by) is the location of the crucifixion, burial and resurrection.  Or course, I say “probable” because we cannot really know for sure.  The reason why we can’t know for sure is because JESUS IS NOT THERE!  HE IS RISEN!!!!!

In the summer of 1995 I was a part of a 6 week mission trip to Russia.  On our way out of the country, we stopped in Moscow and visited Red Square.  While there, I walked inside Lenin’s Tomb and saw the father of Soviet communism literally floating in formaldehyde.  His tomb was occupied.  This made my visit to Red Square historical, but but holy.

Visiting the Garden Tomb however, was totally different.  The tomb was empty, therefore my eternity can be full.  Jesus was indeed the Son of God, punctuated by His triumph over the grave.  The resurrection is an overwhelmingly powerful piece of historical evidence pointing to the fact that Jesus Christ is indeed the promised Savior of the world.

As we visited the tomb, one by one, we entered the tomb, then emerged (most of the time with tears in our eyes.)  I sat there watching all 40 of my travel mates walk into and out of the tomb.  It was a reminder to me of Romans 6:3-4.  These verses say:

“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?  We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”

When we trust in Christ, it is as if we were buried with Christ.  We walk with Him into the tomb and leave behind all our sin.  Then we get to walk out of the tomb identified with Christ and able to live in a newness of eternal life.  It was a tomb baptism of sorts.

How about you?  Have you placed your faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins?  Have you identified with His death, burial and resurrection?  If not, you need not enter the Garden Tomb literally.  By faith, you can spiritually identify with Him and be saved. 

He is not there.  He is risen just as they said!

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Palm Sunday 2017 Audio

 

On Sunday, April 9, 2017 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Psalm 118:19-29.  This message was a part of our Palm Sunday services for 2017.  The sermon audio from this morning’s message is posted below to listen to or share.

 

To listen offline, click the link to download:

Palm Sunday 2017

To listen online, use the media player below:

Palm Sunday Sermon Questions

On Sunday, April 9, 2017 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Psalm 118:19-29 and Mark 11:8-10.  This message was the basis of our biblical study on Palm Sunday 2017.  Below are a set of questions based on the message for personal reflection or group discussion.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Psalm 118
  3. Do you have a favorite Easter tradition in your house?  Any favorite Easter music?
  4. Psalm 118 was a song sung over Jesus as He entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.  What stands out to you about this song?  Beyond tradition, why do you think they were singing this song?  What does it reveal about what they were hoping Jesus would do?
  5. Though the crowds sung this song on Sunday, they shouted “CRUCIFY HIM” on Friday.  I mentioned this morning that often times people will reject Jesus for a couple of reasons, one of them being “what He does” and the other “what He doesn’t do.”  What are some examples of people rejecting Jesus because of what He does?  What are examples of rejecting Jesus for what He does not do?
  6. The One who was rejected has become the cornerstone.  What does this tell you about the value of following Christ, even when it does not look popular and many are rejecting Him?
  7. What is one particular application you took away from this passage/message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

Palm Sunday Preview

This Sunday is Palm Sunday. For 2,000 years Christians have gathered on this day and remembered Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem just days before His crucifixion.  This event is important:  after all, it has a 2,000 year history of tradition in the church and is recorded by all 4 Gospel writers (Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-10, Luke 19:28-40, and John 12:12-19).  However, this event is also confusing.  How is it that crowds of people can honor Jesus on a Sunday, then shout “crucify Him” on a Friday?  What was really going on there?

This Sunday at Wildwood Community Church, we will be celebrating Palm Sunday together.  In our morning services at 8:30, 9:45, and 11:00, we will sing songs together, have the kids join us waving palm branches, look back at last week’s baptism service, look ahead to next week’s Easter services and this summer’s Pine Cove “Camp in the City” . . . but also we will be reflecting on the historical events of Palm Sunday to see WHY people rejected Jesus in the final week of His earthly life.  Some rejected Him because of what He did.  Other’s rejected Him because of what He did not do.  This pattern is amazingly consistent with what we see in our lives and in the world today. 

The Jews in Jerusalem in the first century needed to receive Jesus for who He was and is . . . and so do we.  Let’s look more closely at Jesus together this Palm Sunday as we sing “Hosanna” together.  See you Sunday at Wildwood!

Foundations (part 4) Sermon Audio

foundations-post-4-001

This morning, March 5, 2017 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 4:12-25.  This message was part 4 of the “Foundations” sermon series.  Below you will find the sermon audio from this message to listen to or share.

 

To listen offline, click on the link below to download audio:

Foundations #4

 

To listen online, use the media player below: