For the Next Generation (Sermon Audio)

On Sunday, February 4, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church I preached a sermon based on Psalm 145:4.  This message was the fourth and final part of the “FOR” series.  Below you will find the sermon audio to listen to or share.

 

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

For Next Generation

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

For the Next Generation (Sermon Questions)

On Sunday, February 4, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Psalm 145:4.  This message was part 4 in the “FOR” series and focused on what it means to be “FOR the Next Generation.”  Below are a set of questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Psalm 145:4
  3. What have you learned about God from the generation that preceded you?
  4. From a strategic perspective, why is ministry to the Next Generation important?
  5. Who is someone you know whose passion in their relationship with God is so real that it inspires you to pursue God more?
  6. What is one thing that you have seen God do in your life in the last year that you can share with one other person this week?
  7. How does this Psalm and this message encourage you to invest your life in the Next Generation?  What is one thing you can do to apply this message this week?
  8. What is one particular application you took away from these passages/message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

FOR the Next Generation (Sermon Preview)

On February 9, 2018, the Winter Olympics will begin in Pyeongchang, South Korea.  Athletes from all over the world will compete in 102 events in search of gold, silver, and bronze medals.  Before the competition begins, however, all eyes will turn to the Opening Ceremonies where athletes will parade inside the stadium eagerly awaiting the arrival of that night’s main attraction:  the Olympic Flame.  For every Olympic competition since 1936, a flame has been transferred from Athens, Greece (site of the first Games) to the host location of the current Olympics through a giant “relay” race.  Literally thousands of people carry a real flame thousands of miles to deliver it to the opening ceremonies.  For this year’s games, the “relay of the flame” began in Greece in October, and it will finally arrive in Pyeongchang next Friday.

The symbol of the flame has divine implications.  The idea is that the fire is from the “gods” (remember this has its origin in Ancient Greece.)  The flame is lit by using mirrors to focus sunlight to ignite the initial torch.  They then carry the “spirit of the games” across all people until it arrives in its temporary home. 

I still remember in 1984, when the Olympics were in Los Angeles, that the flame traveled through my hometown and I got to see it pass by.  It was quite the experience when I was there . . . but it is even more impressive to me today.  When I first saw it, I knew it was important, but I could not grasp the challenge that was undertaken to deliver that flame across such an epic distance.  

I was thinking about that today as I looked at Psalm 145:4.  This verse (written by King David) says:

“One generation shall commend Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.”

The thrust of this verse (embedded inside a Psalm of praise) calls today’s generation to “carry the flame” of divine knowledge and adoration around the world . . . AND to pass it on to the Next Generation.  It is our duty . . . it is our privilege.

As member’s of Christ’s Church today, we have an incredible opportunity to pass along to today’s children, youth, and college students a relationship with God.  We are called to impart truth and hold fast to sound doctrine . . . but we are also called to have a relationship with the Lord that is so attractive, that the Next Generation desires to know Him as well.

I am so honored to be a part of a church that understands this principle.  Wildwood invests heavily and unapologetically in our ministries to those under the age of 21.  This investment, however, requires daily and weekly deposits, and sometimes we can lose sight of why we ever signed up to serve in children’s ministry, or host a group of middle schoolers for D Now, or volunteered to welcome a college student into our home via “adopt a sooner.”  Sometimes we need to pull back and look at God’s Word again to renew our vision for ministry FOR the Next Generation. 

Join us this Sunday at Wildwood Community Church in our 8:30, 9:45, and 11:00 worship services as we conclude our “FOR” series by talking about what it means for us to be FOR the Next Generation.  See you Super Bowl Sunday morning!

For Nations (Sermon Audio)

On Sunday, January 28. 2018, I preached a sermon titled “For Nations.”  This message was based on Matthew 28:16-20, and was part 3 in the “FOR” series.  Below you will find the sermon audio from this message.

 

To listen offline, click on the link to download the file:

For #3 1.28.18

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

For Nations (Sermon Questions)

On Sunday, January 28, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a message entitled “For Nations.”  This message was based on Matthew 28:16-20 and was part 3 of the “FOR” series.  Below are a series of questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Matthew 28:16-20
  3. Have you ever been tempted to think that the task of evangelism and missions is only for the “Christian Navy Seals” and not for all of us?
  4. Have you ever been tempted to think that God cares more about people from “Christian” backgrounds than from those growing up in non-Christian backgrounds?
  5. Have you ever been tempted to think that it is somehow arrogant to believe that Jesus is THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life?
  6. How does Matthew 28:16-20 encourage you that the task of evangelism/mission is for all, to all (and legitimately so)?
  7. What is one thing you could do to intentionally change your perspective on the world and get involved in evangelism/missions?
  8. Interested in finding out more information about outreach opportunities at Wildwood?  Text: outreach18 to 95577 to begin receiving our monthly bulletin of outreach opportunities.
  9. What is one particular application you took away from these passages/message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

For Nations – preview

When was the last time you had someone invite you to do something and the scope of the project really intimidated you? As you comprehended the proposition, your head spun with the magnitude of the offer. 

Maybe it was when:

  • your free-spirited friend talked about going full-on Joanna Gaines on their home (demo and complete remodel) one week before their daughter’s wedding. 
  • your college friend talked of making their first million by their 25th birthday. 
  • your boss cast the vision to double revenue by the end of the second quarter. 

All of those are big tasks that would make your head spin!

But let me lay out for you a few different scenarios that would scare off even the most ardent advisors.  Things like:

  • Let’s cover I-40 (from Carolina to California) in styrofoam packing peanuts!
  • Let’s collect all the ants in South America!
  • Let’s build a bridge from L.A. to Australia!

The sheer scope of these projects would intimidate almost anyone from starting them.  How could any person (or even a group of people) accomplish such a monumental task?  It is crazy to even imagine it.

I say all this today, because as I read some of Jesus’ last words before His ascension into heaven (found in Matthew 28:16-20), I see Him invite the disciples to a project with an immense scope:


Jesus was inviting the disciples to change the world.

By “change the world,” I do not mean “change it” like Michael Jackson sang about in the song “Man in the Mirror,” I am talking about inviting the ENTIRE WORLD to follow Jesus.  That’s right, the scope of Jesus’ final command was GLOBAL.

That means that the followers of Christ are called to make more followers of Christ among people who:

  • speak a different language than we do
  • live inside different cultures than we do
  • reside in different countries than we do
  • express their identity in different ways than we do

AND

  • many of them worship different gods
  • have grown up with a competing world view to Christianity
  • might even want to kill anyone who would suggest they believe something else.

Yeah.  Jesus has invited us to join Him in taking the Gospel to the nations.  Whatever your previous mind-blowing opportunity was, Jesus has invited you to be a part of something even more epic.  Greater in scope than covering the highway in packing peanuts and (it goes without saying) much more consequential!

What does that look like?  Is that really what Jesus even meant?  What does it mean for me to live in Norman, Oklahoma and be “FOR” the nations?  This Sunday at Wildwood Community Church, we are going to talk about it in part 3 of our “FOR” series.  Hope to see you this Sunday in our 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00 worship services.  See you there — and bring your friends!

For (Part 2) Sermon Audio

On Sunday, January 21, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Jeremiah 29:1-14 an Acts 19:1-41.  This message was part 2 in the “FOR” series, focusing on what it looks like for us to be “FOR Norman.”  Below you will find the sermon audio from this message to listen to or share.

 

To listen offline, click the link to download:

For Norman

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

For (part 2) Sermon Questions

On Sunday, January 21, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Jeremiah 29:1-14 and Acts 19:1-41.  This message was part 2 in the “For” series and focused on our opportunity to be “FOR Norman.”  Below you will find a set of questions related to this message for personal reflection or group discussion.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Jeremiah 29:1-14
  3. The Jews are in exile in Babylon and reluctant to really “settle in” and live their lives.  Jeremiah tells them that they are to dig in and live out Genesis 1:28 because they will are there for 70 years.  In what way are you ever tempted to NOT invest in your current surroundings because you think your time here is short?  What would it look like to really begin to invest in the welfare of the city where you are planted?
  4. Interested in opportunities to unpack your bag and invest in the welfare of our city?  Text: outreach18 to 95577 to get a monthly update.
  5. Scan Acts 19:1-41
  6. What happens when the Gospel enters Ephesus?  What would happen in our city if thousands of people were to place their faith in Jesus Christ?
  7. Think back to last week . . . who can you share the Gospel with this year?
  8. What is one particular application you took away from these passages/message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

For (part 2) Sermon Preview

Inside virtually every hotel room sits a small chest of drawers.  These drawers are almost entirely empty.  Their only purpose is to create a space where you can put your stuff while you stay there. 

Do you mind if I ask you a personal question?  Do you use this chest of drawers?  If so, what is the length of stay where it is worth it for you to unpack your bag, organize the drawers, then repack before leaving?  3 nights?  5 nights?  a week?

I ask this question, because it demonstrates a point.  The shorter our stay, the less we “move in.”  The longer our stay, the more we try to make the most of our accommodations.  I don’t use the drawers in a hotel on an overnight stay . . . but I certainly unpacked my stuff during the week of camp my family participated in last summer.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are far from home while we are in this world.  We are citizens of heaven, and will spend eternity in a place that is not “here.”  In a sense, our time in this world is but a few nights in a hotel compared to the length of our residency in heaven.  Our connection to Jesus defines our identity, and our home we have not yet seen, but we will be there soon.  Given this reality, how much do we “move in?”  To say it another way, do we unpack our bags and make the most of our accommodations, or do we keep things packed away, sleeping (but not really living) in our current environment?

This is not a new dilemma for the people of God.  From the very start, God’s people have had to deal with the challenge of residing in one location while being a citizen of another.  In the Old Testament, during the time of Jeremiah the Prophet, God’s people were in exile in Babylon.  Their home was Israel, but they found themselves in a distant place.  What were they to do?  Were they to keep their “bags” packed, or enjoy engage in their new setting (even knowing they would not be there forever)?  Further, in The New Testament, as the followers of Jesus went into new cities that had different values and beliefs, did they stay packed into ghettos, or seek to transform their surroundings?  Looking at these examples will help us understand what it looks like for us to operate today in the city where we are staying.

On Sunday, January 21 at Wildwood Community Church, we will continue our “For” series by looking at what it means for us to be “For Norman.”  We will use Jeremiah 29:1-14 and Acts 19:1-41 as our guide.  Make plans to join us at Wildwood this weekend for worship.  We will be having the Lord’s Supper together, singing songs of praise together, and looking at these verses together.  See you in our 8:30, 9:45, and 11:00 services.

For (part 1) Sermon Audio

On Sunday, January 14, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Acts 17:16-34.  This message was part 1 of the “For” series.  Below you will find the sermon audio to listen to online or share.

 

To listen offline, click the link to download:

For- part 1

 

To listen online, use the  media player below: