First Responders (part 2) Sermon Audio

On Sunday, April 22, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church I preached a sermon based on Matthew 11:20-30.  This message was part 2 of the “First Responders” series.  Below you will find the sermon audio to listen to online or download and share with others.

 

To listen offline, click the link below to download:

First Responders #2 04.22.18

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

First Responders (part 2) Sermon Questions

On Sunday, April 22, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 11:20-30.  This message was part 2 in the “First Responders” 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 11:20-30
  3. Have you ever seen an event happen that needed an immediate response (car accident, medical emergency, etc.)  Who first responded?  What do you think prevents some people from responding in these types of circumstances?
  4. Jesus desired for the people who witnessed His earthly ministry to respond to Him.  In what ways do you see people (including yourself) fail to respond to the person of Jesus Christ today?
  5. 21st century Americans have an incredible wealth of “revelation” at our disposal about the person of Jesus Christ.  Brainstorm some of the ways Americans today know about who Jesus is.  What does Jesus say is expected of people for whom much revelation is given?
  6. Have you “come to Jesus” for your salvation rest?  If so, think of some of the benefits that trusting Christ for your eternity have brought to your life.  If not, what is keeping you from coming to Jesus today?
  7. In what areas are you resisting “walking with Jesus” in your life today?  What is preventing you from submitting to His will in different areas of your life?  How would walking with Jesus bring “rest” to your everyday life?
  8. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

First Responders (part 2) Sermon Preview

On November 16, 2010, popular television personality Bill Nye “the science guy” was walking onto a stage at USC to give a lecture.  En route to the podium, Nye collapsed and was out for at least 10 seconds.  While this was certainly a difficult medical situation for Mr. Nye, it was also a fascinating study in sociology in the digital age.  What do I mean?

According to Alastair Fairbanks (a USC student in attendance – as reported by the LA Times) what happened next was surprising:  “Nobody went to his aid at the very beginning when he first collapsed — that just perplexed me beyond reason, Instead, I saw students texting and updating their Twitter statuses. It was just all a very bizarre evening.”

Did you catch that?  the first response of USC students to a medical emergency was to tweet it to the world, instead of to run to his assistance.  What a strange world we are now living in!

Before we are too hard on the students of USC, or write this off as a product of the “millenial” generation, we need to remember that this behavior is not new.  As a matter of fact, people have been offering the wrong first response to life or death issues for at least 2,000 years now.  Don’t believe me?  Look at Matthew 11:20-30.

In these verses we see Jesus Christ, the Son of God . . . the Savior of the world, show up on the scene.  When He does so, He demonstrates His identity through authoritative teaching and powerful miracles of great compassion.  The historical theater in which Jesus performed these miracles was the region of Galilee.  Jesus walked onto this stage and offered eternal life, but instead of running to Him and receiving this message, it seems the people of Capernaum, Chorazin, and Bethsaida (some of the cities Jesus visited) simply “tweeted out to their friends” that a new “show” was in town.  Instead of personally responding, they simply remained indifferent.

Sadly, today billions of people, when presented with the life giving Person of Jesus Christ, still sit idly by and watch, instead of running to Him and receiving Him as Savior and Lord. 

This Sunday at Wildwood Community Church, we will be continuing our series on Matthew 11-12 called “First Responders” by looking at the response of the region of Galilee and Jesus offer of rest in Matthew 11:20-30.  We will also be celebrating the Lord’s Supper together.  Hope you can join us at 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00!

First Responders (part 1) Sermon Audio

On Sunday, April 15, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 11:1-19.  This message was part 1 of the “First Responders” sermon series.  Below you will find the sermon audio to listen to, download, or share.

 

To listen offline, click the link below to download:

First Responders #1 04.15.18

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

First Responders part 1 – Sermon Questions

On Sunday, April 15, 2018 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 11:1-19.  This message was part 1 in the “First Responders” sermon series.  Below are a set of questions related to the message for further reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Matthew 11:1-19
  3. Think about who John the Baptist was . . . what he had seen . . . and what his CURRENT context was (context in Matthew 11 – see also Matt 14:1-12).  Knowing these things, why do you think he was concerned that Jesus might not be “the One?”
  4. Have you ever had an experience where you (or someone close to you) had their convictions shaken by difficult circumstances?
  5. Jesus grounds His response to John’s disciples in concrete reality:  what they could see.  By observing the person of Christ, their faith would be encouraged.  In the message we talked about 3 ways to refocus our convictions:  by looking back to the person of Jesus Christ, by looking around at the testimony of others, and by looking into God’s Word more deeply.  In what ways has YOUR faith been encouraged by these things?  What do you need to focus on more today to keep the faith in the midst of challenging circumstances?
  6. Jesus stands up for John, even as John asked a hard question.  How does this encourage you to seek answers to the hard questions in your life?
  7. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

First Responders – Series Preview

April 19, 1995.  I don’t think I will ever forget that day.  I was getting ready for class at the University of Oklahoma and listening to the radio.  The DJ said there has been some kind of an earthquake that had hit downtown Oklahoma City — his studio had been shook.  In reality it was not an earthquake, it was a bomb that had been detonated at the Federal Building.  Our city had been shaken and stirred to action.

Immediately First Responders arrived at the bombing site.  Police and Fire and EMT ran toward the scene.  In their response, many of us (me included) found inspiration as I found myself at a local charity that night volunteering to help pack supplies for those in need.

As Oklahomans, we have often looked to the courage and response of the first responders to the scenes of different events:  F5 tornados, floods, and wildfires.

I was thinking about this today as I prepare for a new series we are kicking off at Wildwood on Sunday.  In the Bible, when Jesus arrived, there were a number of people who ran to the scene.  In that first group of responders to Jesus, however, we see something interesting.  Instead of being inspired by all their faith, we find that many rejected Jesus instead. 

In Matthew 11-12, there are a number of “first responders” to Jesus message who struggled to understand who He was or what He was coming to do.  This included such varied groups as John the Baptist and his followers, the Pharisees, and even Jesus’ own earthly family.  By looking at the response of these first people, we can see more of how we might respond to Him as well. 

Join us this Sunday, April 15 at Wildwood Community Church for our 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00 worship service as we begin our series: “First Responders” asking the question, “when Jesus calls . . . will we answer?”  See you Sunday!

Follow (part 7) Sermon Audio

On Sunday, September 24, 2017 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 10:26-42.  This message was part 7 of the “Follow” sermon series.  Below you will find the sermon audio from this message to listen to or share.

 

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

Follow (part 7)

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

Follow (part 7) Sermon Questions

On Sunday, September 24, 2017 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 10:26-42.  This message was part 7 in the “Follow” series.  Below are a set of questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Matthew 10:26-42
  3. What are some examples you can think of where being a Christian is not a popular thing to be?
  4. Have you ever spoken out as a Christian and experienced rejection or persecution as a result?  If so, how did you react?  Were you tempted to back down and be quiet about your faith?
  5. According to Jesus in Matthew 10:26-33, there are several reasons why we should continue to proclaim Jesus regardless of the opposition we face.  What are these reasons and how are you encouraged by what Jesus says here?
  6. What are some areas where you need to “pick up your cross and follow Jesus”?
  7. Think of someone you know who does not know Jesus as their Savior.  What are some of the blessings this person is missing because they do not know Christ?  How does remembering this help encourage you to reach out and share Christ with them?
  8. What is one particular application you took away from this passage/message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

Follow (Part 7) Sermon Preview

Are you familiar with the term “bandwagon fans”?  Bandwagon fans are people who become supporters of a team when that team is doing well, but show no interest the rest of the time.  Back in 2000, when the University of Oklahoma won its last national championship, suddenly the Sooner Schooner was crowded with people who claimed to be HUGE OU fans, but knew nothing about the team in the 90’s.  These are fans who bought season tickets after the 2002 Rose Bowl victory, but sold them after our quarterback separated his shoulder in 2009.  We might think of “Bandwagon Fans” as opportunists, people who want to share in the excitement but skip out at the first sign of loss.

Interestingly enough, Jesus talks about bandwagon fans in His sermon preached at the ordination of the 12 disciples before their first mission trip.  Jesus gathered His followers and told them that they were going to experience a few “losses” as they followed Him.  Because they follow Jesus, they may be rejected by their family, arrested by their government, or disciplined by their “church.”  Because of those losses, His followers might have been tempted to hop off the schooner at the next turn, and find the next exciting opportunity to leach onto.

As Jesus continues to preach, though, He clarifies to His disciples why they should still Proclaim Him in the light, and not cower in the dark; why they should Prioritize Him in their life above all else, and wait for His greater reward. 

How about you?  Are you a true follower of Jesus, or simply a “Bandwagon Fan”?  Will you follow Christ even in hard times, or only when it is easy or exciting?  As Charles Spurgeon said:

“Lord, let me never blush to own Thee in all companies!  Work in me a bold spirit by Thy Holy Spirit.  Let me confess Thy truth whatever the spirit of the age may be, uphold Thy church when she is most despised, obey Thy precepts when they cost most dear, and glory in Thy name when it is most reproached.”

This Sunday at Wildwood Community Church in our 8:30, 9:45, and 11:00 worship services, we will be wrapping up our “Follow” series by looking at Matthew 10:26-42 and seeing how we can have no fear and put Jesus in a position without rival in our lives.  Join us for worship this week as we praise the Lord through song, celebrate the Lord’s Supper together, unite our hearts in prayer, and look deeply into God’s Word to see what He has for us.  Join us this Sunday!

Follow (part 6) Sermon Questions

On Sunday, September 17, 2017 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 10:5-25.  This message was part 6 in the “Follow” 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 10:5-25
  3. What are some examples of persecution of Christians that you are aware of in the world today?
  4. Have you ever reached out to someone in the name of Christ, and had them reject you in a way that still leaves you “dusty”?
  5. Christians are to be as “wise as serpents and as innocent as doves.”  What do you think this means for your life today?
  6. Have you ever experienced any opposition from others as you lived out your Christian life?
  7. What is one particular application you took away from this passage/message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.