The King’s Heart (part 2) Sermon Questions, Audio & Video

On Sunday, November 14, 2021 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 11:28-30.  This message (focusing on the “lowly heart” of Jesus) was part 2 in the “King’s Heart” series.  Below you will find questions related to this message for personal reflection or group discussion.  You will also find the audio and video of the sermon to listen to/watch, download, or share.

NOTE:  This series is also impacted by the book “Gentle and Lowly” by Dane Ortlund.  You can find this book on Amazon by clicking here.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Matthew 11:28-30
  3. How much access do you anticipate having with anyone “important” or “famous”?  Why do you feel that way?  Contrast that with the access we have with Jesus Christ – the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
  4. Jesus calls us to COME to Him and to TAKE HIS YOKE upon ourselves.  This is a call to rest in salvation AND direction in sanctification (spiritual growth).  Have you answered this “call” in the past?  How are you answering that call today?  What motivates you or demotivates you to take those steps?
  5. What are some examples of how the world, your flesh, or satanic influence might try to obscure your view of Jesus from the picture found in the Gospels?
  6. How does being reminded of the accessibility of Jesus encourage you to pray more?  How can you apply this reminder this week?
  7. As we have walked through Matthew 11:28-30 over the past few weeks did you find yourself wanting to say, “Yes, Jesus is gentle, BUT what about  _____________ .“  In other words, did you find any internal conflict during this study of Jesus being Gentle and Lowly?  Did the concluding section of this message that tried to show how the Lion of Judah is also Gentle and the Gentle and Lowly heart is still the Lion of the tribe of Judah, help you with your concerns?
  8. What stands out to you most from this message?  Any particular takeaway?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

To listen to sermon audio offline, click the link:

The King’s Heart #2 11.14.21

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the service stream, use YouTube online:

The King’s Heart (part 2) Sermon Preview

OK.  Take out your phone.  Open the contacts app. Now scan through it for the cell phone number you think OTHER people would most like to have?  Maybe it is the private number for a local celebrity or athlete.  Maybe it is the cell phone for a current member of congress or the leader of a major corporation.  Maybe it is just the number that allows you to bypass all the artificial intelligence greeting system when you call AT&T customer support so you can talk directly to a real life human being.  Go ahead and look.  Which number is the hottest ticket in your contact list?

In my phone, it is probably a set of Pastors who have a national and international platform, who I have met over the years in various contexts.  For many of you, these numbers mean nothing, but for a Pastor, I am surprised that I have their numbers.  Only problem is … I NEVER CALL THEM.  Not one time.  Why?  Even though I have their number, I don’t expect they would ever really want to hear from me.

Famous people are often removed from normal people.  We know who the famous person is, but they don’t really know us … and we assume they would never really WANT to get to know us.  Even if we wanted to make contact with them, we feel like a third party would need to be an intermediary to set up.  “I’ll get in touch with his people, and they can let me know if he will accept my call.”

Now, I say all this, to focus our attention on a mind-blowing concept that we often either misunderstand or take for granted.  Jesus Christ is the Creator of the Universe.  He is the King of Kings.  There is literally NO OTHER NAME in heaven or on earth that is greater than He is.  If there is anyone out there who we would assume has a “private line” it is Jesus.  Even after we came to faith in Christ, and someone told us we could pray to Him, we assume it is just like having a famous person’s number in our contact list.  We are glad it is there, but we don’t think Jesus ever really wants to hear from us.  

And yet …

Jesus is no ordinary famous person.  He is accessible.  In fact, He is the MOST accessible person in all the universe.  I have to go someplace or use some electronic device just to talk to my wife … but Jesus is accessible simply by praying silently in my head!  If we have trusted in Him, His number is on the contact list of our soul, and He is waiting for our call!!!  He even says, “pray without ceasing” … so call anytime, day or night.  And it is not just some second rate angel who answers, or a robo-answering service that we have to navigate through.  We pray, He hears.  And He will answer.  Amazing.

All of this flows out of who Jesus really is.  In His own words in Matthew 11:29, Jesus says that He is “lowly of heart.”  When He says lowly, think humble accessibility.  He has stooped to our level so that we might know Him.

This Sunday at Wildwood (November 14) in our 8:30, 9:45, and 11:00 worship services, we will be talking more about “The King’s Heart” toward us in part two of our series.  Last week we talked about the gentle heart of Jesus, and this week we will talk about the lowly heart of Jesus.  Can’t wait to look at this passage with you all.  Join us … and bring friends.

NOTE:  Service is also available via livestream beginning at 9:45 AM on Sunday at wildwoodchurch.org/live

The King’s Heart (part 1) Sermon Questions, Audio & Video

On Sunday, November 7, 2021 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 11:28-30.  This message is part 1 in the “King’s Heart” series.  Below you will find questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.  Additionally, you will find the sermon audio/video to listen to/watch, download or share.

NOTE:  This series is also impacted by the book “Gentle and Lowly” by Dane Ortlund.  You can find this book on Amazon by clicking here.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Matthew 11:28-30
  3. Think of an example in your life where you hesitate to approach someone.  What about that person makes you hesitate to “come to them?”  What are some examples of people who you have no hesitation “coming to them”?  What is it about them that makes them so approachable?
  4. Jesus calls us to COME to Him and to TAKE HIS YOKE upon ourselves.  This is a call to rest in salvation AND direction in sanctification (spiritual growth).  Have you answered this “call” in the past?  How are you answering that call today?  What motivates you or demotivates you to take those steps?
  5. A.W. Tozer said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”  In what way do you think this statement is true?  What comes into YOUR mind when you think about God?
  6. Jesus reveals that the heart of God is GENTLE.  Based on our study of that concept this morning, what stands out to you most about the Gentle Heart of God toward you?
  7. Does the gentleness of God drive you to Him for forgiveness and provision?  Does the gentleness of God motivate you to be “yoked” together with Jesus in the direction of our lives?  What does that mean for you today?
  8. As a Christ follower, how does the gentleness of your Savior show up in the way you interact with those around you today?
  9. What stands out to you most from this message?  Any particular takeaway?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here

 

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

The King’s Heart #1 11.7.21

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the stream of the service, use YouTube online:

 

The King’s Heart (part 1) Preview

It is A.W. Tozer who famously said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”  This is true, not just because God created us, or even because God recreates us (and gives us new life in Christ).  This is true because our response to God determines our destiny … and how we respond to God is influenced heavily by WHO WE UNDERSTAND GOD TO BE.

So, who is God?  Who do YOU understand God to be?

Well, Jesus is fully God.  As John 1:18 tells us, Jesus has made God known to us.  As Hebrews 1:3 says, Jesus is “the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature.”  Therefore, if we want to know who God is, we need to come to Jesus and find out.  

Rather than just sitting in our own thoughts and imagining what we think God must be like, it is far better to turn to the person of Jesus as recorded for us on the pages of the New Testament, and get to know God as He truly is.

If we imagine God is cold and uncaring, then we will never come to Him in our most vulnerable moments.  However, if we know God to be compassionate and approachable, then there is no one we would rather turn to when the chips are down.  What we think God is like greatly influences how we approach Him.

Over the next 3 Sundays at Wildwood, we will be in a little series about who Jesus really is.  In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus tells us what is at His core … what is in His heart.  Jesus says that He is “gentle and lowly in heart.”  Is that how you imagine the Creator of the Universe, the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords?  Maybe not.  Which is why we need to allow this passage to recalibrate our hearts.  As author and Pastor Dane Ortlund describes, “This is why we need a Bible.  Our natural intuition can only give us a God like us.  The God revealed in the Scripture deconstructs our intuitive predilections and startles us with One whose infinitude of perfections is matched by His infinitude of gentleness.  Indeed, His perfections include His perfect gentleness.”

So, make plans to be with us this Sunday at Wildwood Community Church in our 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00 worship service as we worship our Savior whose heart is gentle and lowly.  We will sing, pray, read God’s Word, and have communion together.  Can’t wait to see you Sunday, and bring friends!

NOTE:  Livestream of the service is available beginning at 9:45 at this link.

Defeating Death (part 10) Sermon Audio/Video and Questions

On Sunday, April 19, 2020 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a message based on Matthew 28:16-20.  This message was the 10th and final message in the “Defeating Death” series.  Below you will find questions related to this message for personal reflection or group discussion.  Additionally, you will find the sermon audio and video from this message to listen to/watch, download, or share.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Matthew 28:16-20
  3. What are some examples of legitimate authority that you see in the world today (examples:  government, police, etc.)?
  4. Most authority we know has limits on its influence.  Yet Jesus claimed to have limitless authority over all things.  That means He has authority over all areas of our lives, not just our “religious” areas.  In what ways are you tempted to think that God cares about some areas of our lives but not others?
  5. Discipleship begins with deciding to follow Jesus and professing that decision publicly through water baptism.  Have you trusted in Jesus and been baptized since trusting Him?  If so, when?  If not, why not?
  6. Discipleship continues with obeying Jesus in every area of our lives.  In what area of your life are you challenged to begin (or renew) following Jesus in a deeper way?
  7. Discipleship continues even further with us helping others follow Jesus also.  How can you invest your life in helping others follow Jesus?
  8. The scope of the mission is the ends of the earth.  We are to take the Gospel message to all people.  What are some ways you can get involved in God’s global mission today (examples:  pray, give, go, etc.)
  9. Jesus gives the promise of His presence to aid completion of the mission.  How does the presence of Jesus with you (Spirit inside of you, and the Body of Christ around you) encourage you as you follow Jesus today?
  10. What stands out to you most from this passage?  Any particular takeaway?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

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

Defeating Death #10 4.19.20

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the sermon video use YouTube online:

 

Defeating Death (part 10) Sermon Preview

Christmas 2016.  Do you remember that time?  Yeah, it is fuzzy for me too.  President Obama was still in the White House, Bob Stoops was still the coach of the Sooners, and the iPhone still had a “home button.”  

2016 also was my first Christmas while serving as Senior Pastor at Wildwood Community Church.  That Christmas, I preached a series called “The Coming of the King” from Matthew 1-2.  This series of messages launched us onto a 3.5 year journey of preaching through the Gospel of Matthew.  Since then, our sermons have preached (verse by verse) through all 28 chapters of the book (taking a few breaks for holidays, other timely series, etc.)

I say that because THIS SUNDAY, April 19, we will wrap up our sermons from the book of Matthew by looking at Matthew 28:16-20 … the Great Commission.  This Sunday’s message will be the tenth and final installment in the “Defeating Death” series … which is the 14th series from Matthew.  Over the past 3.5 years, we have seen (NOTE:  Series are hyperlinked to the section of my blog where all resources are located for that series – questions, sermons, previews, etc.):

I.  The Prologue

A.  Coming of the King (Matthew 1-2) – where did He come from?

B.  Foundations of a Gospel Movement (Matthew 3-4) – preparing for His ministry

C.  The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) – the power of His teaching

II.  The Invitation for us to Follow Him

A.  Follow (Matthew 8-10) – His gracious invitation to follow Him

B.  First Responders (Matthew 11-12) – Some follow … others didn’t

C.  Like (Matthew 13) – What is the Kingdom of God like?

D.  Sink or Stand (Matthew 14-15) – Following Him into ministry

E.  Reveal (Matthew 16-17) – Who are we following?

F.  Relating to ____  (Matthew 18-20) – What does it look like for us to follow Him in various areas?

III.  The King of Kings Victorious

A.  Father Heart of God (Matthew 21-23) – His desire for us to believe

B.  Authentic (Matthew 21-23) – His rejection of the religion of His day

C.  King of the Mountain (Matthew 21-23) – His answer to all questions

D.  Tomorrow (Matthew 24-25) – His Kingdom will still come

E.  Defeating Death (Matthew 26-28) – His victory that we may share

In this Sunday’s sermon, Jesus says that “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me (28:18).”  The King of Kings is reminding us that He has dominion.  Our 3.5 year journey through Matthew has documented that through Jesus’ life:  He has shown His authority over Satan, in teaching, over disease, over nature, over the religious establishment … over it all!  This Sunday, having been reminded of His authority over it all, we will see the mission that He has committed to His followers – including you and me.  What are we called to do in this age in which we live?  Our King tells us in Matthew 28:16-20.  Can’t wait to look at this passage with you on Sunday as we wrap up our 3.5 year journey through Matthew’s Gospel.  “See you” on the livestream at 11 am – wildwoodchurch.org/live   and invite friends to join us as well!

 

Defeating Death (part 9) Easter Sunday Sermon Questions and Audio/Video

On Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 28:1-15.  This message was part 9 in the “Defeating Death” sermon series.  Below you will find questions for discussion related to this sermon, as well as the audio and video of the service to listen to/watch, download, or share.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Matthew 28:1-15
  3. Have you ever wanted a “do over” or just “a little more time” to get something “right?”   What is one time in your life when you had this sensation?
  4. What current failure, circumstance, or pain are you dealing with right now?  How does the resurrection of Jesus Christ change your perspective about whatever is ailing you today?
  5. The Angel and Jesus invite the women to both come and see (or hug & worship) AND then to go and tell.  If these are two separated kinds of commandments, which do you tend to gravitate towards?  Are you more likely to stay in the tomb or to go quickly and tell others the good news? 
  6. Who is someone the Lord may be prompting you to “go and tell” this week?  What is keeping you from doing that “quickly?”
  7. All feared something at the resurrection of Jesus . . . yet only the women (in this passage) had their fear overcome by a great joy.  What are you afraid of today?  How does believing and trusting in the resurrected Jesus help you to have great joy in the this life?
  8. What stands out to you most from this passage?  Any particular takeaway?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

 

To listen to sermon audio offline, click to download:

Defeating Death #9 4.12.20

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the service, use YouTube online:

 

Easter Sunday 2020 Preview

As a kid, I played hours and hours of basketball in my driveway.  In fact, I even “invented” a one on one and two on two basketball league for the kids in my neighborhood that we called the Youth Outdoor Basketball Association (YOBA).  We had a schedule, season, playoffs, and I even wrote a newsletter about the league, though (admittedly) circulation and readership was poor!

When I wasn’t playing official YOBA games, I would play games in the driveway against pretend opponents . . . imagining each possession as we staged epic comebacks ALWAYS ending with me hitting the winning shot.  Now, when I say “ALWAYS ending with the shot going in,” I am not implying that I always made the shot . . . I am simply saying that in an imaginary game, any missed shot could be corrected by the declaration “HE WAS FOULED!” resulting in free throws, and any missed free throw could be corrected with a fake lane violation.  In a make believe world, you always get a do-over.

The sad reality is, though, that real life does not always seem so forgiving.  Sometimes, you miss your shot . . . sometimes the other team wins.  This is not just true in sports, it also applies to our moral life.  In our imaginations, we may always be the hero – our actions always justified and noble – but upon further review, we are often selfish and sloppy and sinful.  In fact, personally, I lose a lot — can anyone relate?

Wouldn’t it be great if we were to find out that what often looks like the “end of the game” is not really the end at all?  Wouldn’t it be amazing to find out that when it looks like we are dead and buried, hope rises from the ashes?  AND, wouldn’t it be even more amazing if this kind of hope was not confined to our imaginations, but actually resurrects in the real world?

Think about it . . . what if the affair that led to so much loss was not the end of the game?  What if the web of lies you are telling that lies below the surface of your life could be replaced by a firm foundation?  What if your broken dreams could be replaced with the brightest future? What if the loved you you lost, you might be able to see again one day?  What if . . . 

At the end of Matthew 27, the followers of Jesus felt like the game had been lost.  Some had deserted Him.  Some had denied Him.  All had watched Him die . . . and be buried . . . and the tomb was guarded.  Their dreams and fantasies of the Kingdom seemed lost.  No “do-overs” seemed possible or allowed.  But then . . . God shook the world at its foundations.  Then Jesus rose from the dead!  Then the disciples were given a new shot!  Then the “Game” that looked lost was forever won!  The resurrection changed everything.

It changed the fate of the disciples.  It changed the necessary loss that our sin demanded.  The enemy of death was defeated forever, and you and I have a chance to live out this fantasy in the real world because Jesus is . . . well . . . JESUS!  He has defeated death and made a way for you and I to do the same.  And it happened in the real world . . . in history . . . so that our future could really be changed forever!

This Easter Sunday (April 12), Wildwood Community Church in our 11AM Livestream (found at wildwoodchurch.org/live ) will be celebrating this victory.  Jesus “Defeated Death”   . . .He is RISEN, just as they said.  Make plans to come . . . and invite friends to do the same. 

Defeating Death (part 7) Sermon Questions and Video

On Sunday, April 5, 2020 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 27:27-44.  This message was part 7 in the “Defeating Death” sermon series.  Below you will find questions related to this message for personal reflection or group discussion.  Also, you will find the audio and video from this message to listen to/watch, download, or share.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Matthew 27:27-44
  3. Think of the dramatic ways people’s view of the “cross” have changed over the past 2,000 years.  Is this “change” something new for you to notice?  What does it tell you about Jesus Christ and the significance of His life and death?
  4. What are some specific ways you can honor Jesus as King this week?  — by making Him a priority, by obeying Him, by depending upon Him, by the way we talk about Him?
  5. Have you ever been persecuted for your faith in Jesus in any way?  How does the discussion of this in today’s message encourage you or challenge you?
  6. Think of the different ways in which the mockers mocked Jesus on the cross.  What were their claims?  Were they right or wrong in voicing their comments?  What are the kinds of mistakes that they are making?
  7. Are you believing in Jesus Christ today as your rescuer from sin?  If not, why not?
  8. What stands out to you most from this passage?  Any particular takeaway?

To download these questions in pdf format, click here.

 

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

Defeating Death #7 4.5.20

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the service, use YouTube online: