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!

Foundations (part 4) Sermon Audio

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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:

Foundations (part 4) Sermon Questions

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On Sunday, March 5, 2017 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 4:12-25.  This message was part 4 in the “Foundations” sermon series.  Below you will find a set of questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Matthew 4:12-25
  3. Why do you think Jesus chose to set up His ministry in the northern part of Israel (in Galilee)?
  4. Who are the “unreached” in your life that the Lord wants to seek out through your witness?
  5. In what ways was Jesus’ ministry like a “movie trailer” for His future Kingdom?  What kinds of things did Jesus do on earth that you are excited to see in their feature presentation in the future Kingdom on earth?
  6. What are some of the things that are holding you back from fully following Jesus?  Peter and Andrew had to leave their boats.  James and John left their father.  Is there anything in this world that is holding you back from truly following Jesus?
  7. What is one particular application you took away from this passage/message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

Foundations (part 4) Preview

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Every once in a while, my family (wife, son, and I) will go see a movie together in the theater.  We always want to get there early enough to grab a bag of popcorn and settle into our seats several minutes before the movie actually begins.  This not only allows us to not be in a rush, but it also makes sure we are present in the theater to watch the movie previews that precede the feature presentation.  Often, we will turn to each other after each preview and give either a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” when each trailer plays, indicating our desire to see (or avoid) the movies marketed to us.

As I read Matthew 4:12-25 this week, I feel as if I am watching a “trailer” for the Kingdom of God.  Jesus begins His preaching ministry here calling people to “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”  In a sense, He was saying, “Hey everyone, prepare yourself!  The Kingdom of Heaven is coming soon to ‘theaters’ everywhere!”

Beyond just announcing the coming of the Kingdom, He also revealed some key scenes as to what the Kingdom will be like – blind seeing, lame walking, demonically oppressed freed, etc.  As I read the events of this “Kingdom Come” trailer starring Jesus Christ, I find myself giving it two thumbs up!  I cannot wait for its arrival.  Can you?

We live in a world that is full of challenge, stress, and confusion.  Our loved ones get sick and die.  Our relationships get confused and complicated.  Our actions are misinterpreted or misaligned.  Our understanding is limited, and at times we are lonely, discouraged, or in danger of losing heart.  As I read of the Kingdom coming, I long for its arrival, based on the promise that the “trailer” from Jesus’ ministry provides.

So what do we need to do to get ready?  How do we “purchase” advance tickets for the premiere so we don’t miss out?  What should we be doing in the mean time?  We will look at answering these questions this Sunday at Wildwood Community Church in our 8:30, 9:45, and 11:00 worship services as we conclude our sermon series “Foundations” by looking at Matthew 4:12-25.  Make plans to join us this week . . . we will celebrate the Lord’s supper together as well!

Foundations (part 3) Sermon Audio

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On Sunday, February 26 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 4:1-11.  This message was part 3 in the “Foundations” sermon series.  Below you will find the sermon audio to listen to or share.

 

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

Foundations (part 3)

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

Foundations (part 3) Sermon Questions

foundations-insta-001

On Sunday, February 26, 2017 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 4:1-11.  This message was part 3 in the “Foundations” sermon series.  Below are a set of questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Matthew 4:1-11
  3. What are some of the common sources of temptation in your life, or in the life of those you know?
  4. Jesus was tempted as we are, yet without sin.  How does Jesus’ exceptional righteousness encourage you in your Christian life?
  5. In this message we highlighted 5 things we should do when we encounter temptation in our life.  We can:
  • Rely on the Spirit
  • Redirect to the Savior
  • Remember the Sword
  • Resist Satan
  • Resurrect from our Sin

Think of temptation in your life.  What would it look like for you to apply these five principles in your life to help you respond to temptation with Jesus as our example?

6.  What is one particular application you took away from this passage/message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

Foundations (part 3) Preview

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What color are the leaves on trees?  For many months of the year, we would say that they are green.  That is the color we see when we look at trees from March to September.  However, green is not the native color of leaves.  Leaves are really yellow, orange, or red in their native state.  They turn green in the spring and summer months because of the presence of chlorophyll.  However, when the days become shorter and the temperatures drop in the fall, the true colors of leaves show through.

I was thinking about this today as I read Matthew 4:1-11.  As we have seen in recent weeks in our sermon series, “Foundations,” Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan River (at the end of Matthew 3) just before He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan in Matthew 4. 

The process of going through the water and then emerging in the wilderness is not an uncommon pattern in Scripture.  In fact, when the Israelites left Egypt in the Exodus, they went into the waters of the Red Sea before entering the wilderness en route to possessing the promised land.  The wilderness years of the nation of Israel revealed their true identity.  They were not selected by God because of their superiority or personal righteousness, they were selected by God because of God’s grace revealed in His choice.  The wilderness years revealed the sinfulness of the Israelites through their idol worship, complaining, and the like. 

Now, contrast the Israelites wilderness years with Jesus’ time in the desert.  After walking into the waters of the Jordan for baptism, Jesus heads into the wilderness to face the stiffest temptation possible – from Satan Himself.  However, Jesus’ time in the wilderness revealed His true color as well – as the One who is truly righteous!  Jesus’ white hot purity shows against the darkness of the desert in great detail.  Though He was tempted in all ways, He remained obedient to His Father’s will.

Think of it this way, in the wilderness, the chlorophyll of comfort  is removed, revealing our true colors.  The fact that Jesus was tempted (and yet did not sin) is a GREAT encouragement to you and me.  The One who is truly righteous desires to help us in our wilderness wanderings.  When our true colors want to show through in times of distress, the life-giving power of the Spirit of Jesus can empower us to victory over the temptations in our life. 

This Sunday at Wildwood Community Church we will be looking at Jesus’ triumph in His temptation and the hope that provides for you and me.  See you Sunday in our 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00 worship service!

Foundations (part 2) Sermon Audio

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On Sunday, February 19, 2017 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 3:13-17.  This message was part 2 in the “Foundations” sermon series.  Below you will find the sermon audio from this message to listen to or share.

 

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

Foundations (part 2)

 

To listen online, use the media player below: