Relating to Eternal Life (Sermon Preview)

From the beginning of time, people have been searching for paradise.  When we look at the Scriptures, we understand why — people once lived there.

In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve lived in a paradise created for them by God.  However, they sinned, and were kicked out of paradise . . . yet the echo of this environment still sounds inside our souls.

The pursuit of paradise has taken many forms:

  • Religious leaders arrange morals and standards to point the path to paradise.
  • Explorers sailed to distant worlds in pursuit of the city of gold.
  • Authors and film makers write stories about looking for the fountain of youth.
  • Scientists and doctors seek discoveries to allow us to live longer, look younger, and experience life better than we have it now.

Across multiple disciplines, humanity seems on a quest to El Dorado. 

Wouldn’t it be great if we could just stop and ask the Creator of the world how we can get back to the paradise lost?  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone DID ask the Creator of the world the path to eternal life, and the Creator’s response was recorded for us to read?

Well, we are in luck.  Someone did ask Jesus the question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”

. . . AND . . .

Jesus did answer him!

. . . AND . . .

That response was recorded for us in the New Testament so we can read it today.

This Sunday at Wildwood Community Church, we will be looking at Matthew 19:16-30 together at how Jesus answers the question about how we can relate to eternal life.  Hope to see you Sunday as we look at this great passage of Scripture together.

Relating to Your Spouse (Sermon Questions)

On Sunday, February 3, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 19:1-12.  This message was the fifth part in the “Relating to ______” series and focused on relating to your spouse.  Below are a set of questions connected to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Matthew 19:1-12
  3. If you are married (or have watched closely the marriages of others) what kinds of challenges have you observed about married life?
  4. The Pharisees want to talk to Jesus about divorce, but mostly Jesus talks to them about marriage.  What does this tell you about Jesus’ perspective on marriage and divorce?
  5. Jesus talks of husbands and wives being “one.”  What do you think He means by this, and what are the implications of this idea?
  6. What are some of the reasons people state for getting divorced today?  How does that connect with what Jesus says in Matthew 19 (and what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7)?
  7. If you are single (either never married or divorced/widowed and not yet remarried) how do  Jesus’ words in 19:10-12 personally effect you?
  8. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

Relating to Your Spouse (Sermon Preview)

Over the past 22 years, I have been blessed with opportunity to serve as a Pastor, the past 18 of those years at Wildwood Community Church.  Over that span, I have had the great privilege of officiating over 125 weddings.  What a blessing to be with couples as they begin their married life together! 

One thing I always do with couples before they marry, is I give them a Word document with their wedding vows written out for them to review before they recite them.  Why do I do that?  Because I do not want wedding vows to be like the “terms and conditions” on the last contract they signed for their iTunes account (terms no one really reads, but all simply and blindly “click yes”).  Before you marry you should REALLY KNOW what you are committing to.  Wedding vows, in a systematic and step-by-step fashion commit to your spouse without exception: in sickness and in health . . . in good times and in bad . . . in riches and poverty . . . forgiving you as Christ has forgiven me, etc.  That level of commitment requires serious reflection.

In Matthew 19:1-12, Jesus talks with His disciples about the commitment of marriage.  When he finished, the disciples said, “If that’s the way it is, maybe we should remain single!” 

WOW.  That is intense. 

This Sunday at Wildwood, we will look at what Jesus said about “Relating to Your Spouse” from these 12 verses.  While not a comprehensive discussion of marriage, Jesus shares a perspective here that we all need to consider both before (and after) we have clicked “yes.”

See you Sunday at Wildwood Community Church in the fifth installment of our “Relating to _____” series.

Relating to those who wronged you (Sermon Audio)

On Sunday, January 27, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 18:15-35.  This message was part 4 in the “Relating to _____” series and focused on “Relating to those who wronged you.”  Below you will find the sermon audio from this message to listen to or share with others.

 

To Listen offline, click the link to download:

Relating to: Those Who Wronged You 1.27.19

 

To Listen online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the Facebook Livestream, see below:

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fwildwoodchurch%2Fvideos%2F2208249046158421%2F&show_text=0&width=560
 

Relating to Those Who Wronged You (Sermon Questions)

On Sunday, January 27, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 18:15-35.  This message was part 4 in the “Relating to _____” series and focused on “Relating to those who wronged you.”  Below are a set of questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion:

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Matthew 18:15-35
  3. Describe a time when you have been “wronged” by another Christian.
  4. Have you ever reached out to a fellow Christian who sinned against you to confront them with their sin?  If so, how did it go?
  5. What is the process described in Matthew 18 if a fellow Christian sins against you?  What would prevent you from following these steps?
  6. Is there anyone God is prompting you to reach out to after studying this passage?
  7. If we know Jesus Christ as our Savior, we have been forgiven MUCH.  How does Jesus’ actions towards us motivate us to respond to others?
  8. Do you need forgiveness today?  Turn to Jesus for the forgiveness He can provide.
  9. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

Relating to Those Who Wronged You (Sermon Preview)

Last week at Wildwood we saw Jesus challenge His followers to demonstrate the Father’s heart for believers who have lost their way by pursuing them in love and seeking restoration (Matthew 18:10-14).  But what happens when the one who has lost their way has “wronged us” in some way?  How are we supposed to respond? 

This is a very important question.  Thankfully, Jesus has not left it up to our imagination, but has provided direction for us inside of His Word.  In Matthew 18:15-35, we see Jesus describing for us how we are to relate to those who have wronged us.

Join us at Wildwood Community Church this Sunday, January 27 in our 9:45 or 11:00 service as we look at these verses in our next installment in the “Relating to______” series.  See you then!

Relating to the Lost (Sermon Audio)

On Sunday, January 20, 2019, at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 18:10-14.  This message was part 3 of the “Relating to” series and focused on “Relating to the Lost.”  Below you will find the sermon audio from this message available to listen to or share.

 

To listen offline, click the link to download:

Relating to: The Lost 1.20.19

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the Facebook Livestream, click here:

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fwildwoodchurch%2Fvideos%2F2030543153912952%2F&show_text=0&width=560

 

 

 

 

Relating to the Lost (Sermon Questions)

On Sunday, January 20, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a message based on Matthew 18:10-14.  This message was part 3 in the “Relating to” series and focused on “Relating to the lost.”  Below are a series of questions related to this message for personal reflection or group discussion.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Matthew 18:10-14
  3. Describe a time when you lost something valuable to you.  What did you do to try to recover that item?  What does that experience teach you concerning the heart of God (in light of today’s passage)?
  4. What are some ways in which we are tempted to “despise one of these little ones”?
  5. Have you ever been involved in a conversation with another Christian about “what was more important: finding “lost people” or “discipling found people”?  How does this passage (compared with Luke 15) help us to answer that question?
  6. Describe a time when you felt like the Lord was pursuing you through the testimony and encouragement of other Christians?
  7. Who is God prompting you to pursue and encourage today?  Pray and ask God to bring to mind one brother or sister in Christ who may be “lost” right now?  How can you show them God’s pursuit and love at this time?
  8. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

Relating to the Lost (Sermon Preview)

When was the last time you lost something of value? 

  • Your middle schooler comes home from school without their retainer. 
  • Your car was parked in parts unknown at the airport.
  • A favorite piece of jewelry is not on the dresser (where you thought you left it).
  • Your child was not at the “pickup spot” after school or practice.
  • The remote control was swallowed in the abyss of the couch cushions.

When things THIS valuable go missing, what do you do?  You begin to search, right?

  • You find yourself sorting through the garbage at the school cafeteria hoping to find the retainer between the half eaten chicken strips.
  • You pace up and down the aisles of the parking lot hitting the “unlock” button on your key fob hoping to hear that familiar “click” somewhere close by.
  • You get on your hands and knees peering under and behind the furniture to see where that earring or ring may have fallen.
  • You call friends to see if your child hitched a ride with them.
  • You move heaven and earth on the sofa to locate the control.

What do you do?  You spring to action, because there is something valuable to you that is missing, and NEEDS to be found!  The way we feel about these “lost” things is a helpful reminder of a tremendous spiritual point.

Spiritually speaking, billions of people who are created in the image of God are “lost.”  Choosing to go their own way, their lives have fallen, they are not waiting for the Lord, and have instead choose to go their own way.  As a result, the Scripture lets us know that they are headed for eternal judgment.  However, God sees them as immensely valuable.  Therefore, He went looking for them.  Jesus came to seek out the lost.  Like a shepherd looking for his lost sheep, Jesus came looking for lost people.  

This point is taught by Jesus on a number of occasions with slightly different emphasis.  For instance, in Luke 15, Jesus teaches this message to emphasize God’s pursuit of the “unsaved.”  In Matthew 18, however, we see Jesus teaching this point connected to the “saved.”  In other words, what happens if a Christ follower begins to wander away . . . what is Jesus’ attitude towards him/her?  Well, He comes after us, with the same passion He pursues the non-believer.

This Sunday at Wildwood, we will continue our “Relating to” series by looking at how Jesus’ perspective on the “lost” impacts His followers.    Join us at 9:45 or 11:00 in our worship services as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper and worship together as we look at Matthew 18:10-14 together,  See you Sunday!

Relating to Children (Sermon Audio)

On Sunday, January 6, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church I preached a message based on Matthew 18:1-6 and 19:13-15.  This message was part 1 in the “Relating to” series and looked at how we are “Relating to Children.”  Below is audio from this sermon to listen to or share.

 

To listen offline, click the link to download audio:

Relating to Children 1.6.19

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the livestream via Facebook, visit:

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fwildwoodchurch%2Fvideos%2F331584604120060%2F&show_text=0&width=560