Like (part 3) Sermon Preview

Think back to the last time you flew on an airplane.  After boarding the plane, finding your seat, and buckling your seat belt, a stewardess came over the loud speaker and began talking about the emergency procedures should your plane have a problem while mid-flight.  Have you ever noticed how few people pay attention to these instructions?  While potentially life-saving information is shared, people are reading that terrible “in flight” magazine, listening to a song they have heard 1,000 times through their ear buds, or talking to the person they just met in the seat beside them (and who they will most likely never see again after the flight is over). 

Why do people check-out while the safety speech is happening?  While I can’t speak for everyone, I do have a theory.  People fail to listen because they assume the plane will not crash.  If they half of all flights crashed, you better believe people would be paying closer attention to their stewardess!  Even if they had flown 1,000 times, they still would have high incentive to listen to the speech to make sure nothing had changed. 

Now, I want to draw a parallel between the “safety speech” on an airplane, and our spiritual lives.  Throughout Scripture, the “Gospel speech” is shared (“In the event that judgment comes, Jesus is the only life saving option!”)  We have heard it a number of times, but do we listen to it?  Do we apply its message?  Why not?  Well, one reason we ignore the Gospel’s message is because we assume judgment is not coming.  We assume this because we have not seen anyone struck by lightning when the moment they sinned!  Because of our experience, we are tempted to think that judgment for our sins is not likely, so we tune out when the message that will lead to our Eternal Safety is shared.

Brothers and sisters, this should NOT be the case!  Our “plane” is guaranteed to crash.  100% of us will one day have to stand before the Lord in judgment, so we would do well to heed the message of the Gospel today while there is still time. 

This Sunday at Wildwood, we will look at the certainty of coming judgment as we study Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43, 47-50.  In these verses Jesus tells two parables to remind us of the crash that is in front of us all . . . while there is still time.  Join us for part 3 of the “Like” sermon series in our 9:45 and 11:00 worship services.

Like (part 2) Sermon Audio

On Sunday, June 17, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23.  This message was part 2 of the “Like” series and focused on the Parable of the Sower.  Below you will find the audio from the sermon to listen to or share.

 

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

Like #2 06.17.18

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

 

Like (part 2) Sermon Questions

On Sunday, June 17, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23.  This message was part 2 in the “Like” sermon series.  Below you will find a set of questions related to this message for personal reflection or group discussion.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Matthew 13:1-9. 18-23
  3. Look at Galatians 5:22-24.  What does a “fruitful” life look like according to those verses?  Does your life have as much of this “fruit” as you would like?
  4. In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus talks about 4 different types of “soil” representing different people.  Think for a moment about about your life right now.  Which soil do you think best represents your life concerning your response to God’s truth?
  5. Which of the 3 “enemies” spoken of in today’s message (Evil One, World, and Flesh) do you struggle with the most typically?  Which one is most trying to steal Christ’s fruitfulness in your life right now?
  6. What are some of the characteristics of a heart that is “soft” (i.e. the Good Soil)?
  7. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

“Like” (part 2) Sermon Preview

Guarding the entrance to the South Oval at the University of Oklahoma is a statue of the “sower.”  This statue mirrors the image that fills the center of the University’s official seal.

Though a symbolic image, the sower’s face was patterned after David Ross Boyd, OU’s first President, who arrived in Norman in 1892, and found not a single tree around campus.  The story goes that President Boyd spent nearly half of his salary those first few years planting seeds that would turn into nearly 10,000 trees, turning our city from hardpan prairie to what is nationally recognized as one of the most beautiful University campuses in the United States.

President Boyd, a devout Christian, held a chapel service each day on campus.  During one of these chapel services, he compared the University’s mission as sowing seeds of knowledge in students’ hearts, using the “Parable of the Sower” from Matthew 13:1-9 as his inspiration. 

This Sunday at Wildwood, we will be looking at the “Parable of the Sower” in part 2 of our series – The Kingdom of Heaven is “Like . . .”  In this message we will see that Jesus sows God’s truth in us with a desire to turn the “barren prairie” of our lives into beautiful landscapes of His righteousness.  As this seed is sown, however, there are three enemies that will attempt to prevent this intended transformation in our lives.  We will see what Jesus says about this Sunday in our 9:45 and 11:00 service.  Hope to see you there!

Like (Part 1) Sermon Audio

On Sunday, June 10, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 13:10-17, 34-35, 51-52.  This message was part 1 of the “Like” sermon series.  To listen to or share this message, use the links below:

 

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

Like #1 06.10.18

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

Like (part 1) Sermon Questions

On Sunday, June 10, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 13:10-17, 34-35, 51-52.  This message was part 1 of the “Like” sermon series.  Below are questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Matthew 13:10-17, 34-35, 51-52
  3. When you think about the truth God has revealed to the world through creation, through the written Word (Old and New Testament) and through the living Word (Jesus) — do you typically think that God intended that message for you, or do you think it is largely for other people.  Why or why not?
  4. What are some of the historical events AND prophecies that point to Jesus being the Savior of the world? 
  5. What are some of the “treasures” of God’s Truth that you possess in the “household” of your soul?  What do you think God wants you to do with those truths?
  6. What is a particular “truth treasure” that you have neglected, but God is leading you to put to use?
  7. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

 

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

“Like” (part 1) Sermon Preview

 

While Jesus was on the earth, He healed many people, fed the hungry, walked on water, and lived a perfect life.  That is quite a resume!  One other thing that Jesus was known for was His teaching.  People had never heard anyone teach quite like Jesus of Nazareth. 

As Jesus taught, He often told stories to make His points.  These stories (called parables) were filled with symbols anchored in this world, to help us understand the Heavenly Kingdom that was to come. 

As Jesus introduced these parables, He would often begin by saying “The Kingdom of Heaven is like _______.”  In these stories we learn how the Kingdom of Heaven is like “weeds growing in a garden,” “seeds tossed on different soils,” “mustard seeds,” “fishing nets,” “treasure,” and “pearls” (among other things.

Over the next month at Wildwood, we are going to look at a collection of stories Jesus told from Matthew 13 that described the Kingdom of Heaven to the residents of earth (you and me).  This Sunday, we will begin this series by talking about WHY Jesus used parables at all, as we try to answer the question – does God want to be known, or is He hiding?

If you’ve ever asked that question, join us this Sunday as we begin our new series (called “Like”) in our 9:45 and 11:00 service.   We hope to see you Sunday!

First Responders (part 5) Sermon Audio

On Sunday, May 27, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 12:33-50.  The message was part 5 in the “First Responders” sermon series.  Below you will find the sermon audio to share, listen to online or download.

To listen offline, click the link below to download:

First Responders #5 05.27.18

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

First Responders Part 5 Sermon Questions

On Sunday, May 27, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 12:33-50.  This message was part 5 in the “First Responders” 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 12:33-50
  3. What are some kinds of things that you typically DON’T respond to (junk mail, telemarketers, etc.)  What kinds of things do you feel like you MUST respond to?  When it comes to responding to the Person of Jesus Christ, do you feel the need to respond to Him?
  4. According to today’s verses, how we respond to Jesus matters.  What are the consequences at stake for how we respond to Him?
  5. In what way do your words reveal your heart about things in your life?  What do your words tell you about what you believe about Jesus?
  6. Have you ever asked God for a “sign” to reveal to you that He is real?  What does Jesus say about the most important “signs” that He gave the world to confirm His identity?
  7. Jesus concludes this section by pointing out the need to invite Him INTO our lives, and then follow Him.  Have you done this?  If so, when?  If not, why not?
  8. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

First Responders (part 5) Preview

I have a good friend who used to live in Norman.  In many ways, he looked like “one of us.”  His clothes were not odd, his accent not distant, his interests not dissimilar.  In fact, he lived in our fair city for a decade, and had a positive and productive influence on many while he was here. 

Despite all the ways he “fit in,” there was something about him that was very odd.  He was a UT grad.  In fact he was a Longhorn FAN . . . an apologist if you will.  On Saturdays, when everyone else would wear Crimson, he would wear orange. For some strange reason he insisted on calling the Red Rival Rivalry the “Texas/OU game” not “OU/Texas.”  The decal on his car had the ‘Horns right side up, not upside down.  In short, he had to learn to live in a land that rejected something he loved.


I was thinking about that (humorous) example today as I thought of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.  From the very first days when Jesus came to the earth, people rejected Him.  The Scribes and the Pharisees formed a very famous and powerful opposition to Jesus’ earthly ministry.  In the millennia since then people from various cultures have unintentionally mimicked the response of the first century religious elites in their rejection of the Son of God.

As Christians, we must learn how to live in a world that rejects the Jesus we love.  Jesus was teaching that lesson to the “First Responders” in Matthew 12-13.  Over the months of April and May at Wildwood we have been looking at Jesus’ interactions with those who first responded to Him.  This Sunday, we will conclude our series by looking at Matthew 12:33-50 together as we learn how to wear His colors in a land that thinks we are quite odd.  See you Sunday!