Father Heart of God (part 2) Preview

When was the last time you had a party and sent out a variety of invitations?  It may have been for a birthday, wedding, baby shower, graduation, or other occasion where you wanted to invite your network to celebrate with you something significant.  

What if you sent out these invitations and no one came?  What if you addressed, stamped, mailed, and emailed dozens of invites without a single RSVP . . . what would you do?  

This very scenario is discussed by Jesus in a parable in Matthew 22:1-14.  In this true-to-life story, Jesus talks about a King who is having a weeklong celebration for his son who is getting married.  The King invites all the usual suspects inside his kingdom to come and party . . . but none of them come!  So wrapped up in their own agendas, all of those originally on the invite list are NO SHOWS to the wedding feast of the king’s son!  

In this parable that Jesus tells, what happens next reveals an incredibly important principle that ALL OF US need to remember today.  In this one parable Jesus:

  • prophesies about a cataclysmic event that was soon to come (something that happened just a few decades after this parable was told), 
  • promises the extended invitation to salvation for all, yet also 
  • predicts the actual salvation of only some.

What is this event Jesus is talking about?  Are we really invited to the party?  How do we clothe ourselves appropriately for this celebration?  And what does this reveal to us about the Father’s Heart for each of us?

Join us this Sunday, June 16 at Wildwood Community Church in our 9:45 or 11:00 service as we will be looking at Matthew 22 together in part 2 of our “Father Heart of God” series.  We will also be celebrating the Lord’s Supper together on this Father’s Day weekend.  Hope to see you Sunday . . . and bring friends!

Father Heart of God (part 1) Sermon Audio

On Sunday, June 9, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 21:33-46.  This message was part 1 of the “Father Heart of God” series.  Below you will find the audio from the message to listen to, download or share.

 

To listen offline, click the link below to download:

The Father Heart of God #1 6.9.19

 

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

To watch a video of the service, visit our Facebook stream by clicking here.

 

 

Father Heart of God (part 1) Sermon Questions

On Sunday, June 9, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Matthew 21:33-46.  This message was part 1 in the “Father Heart of God” 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 21:33-46
  3. In this parable, Jesus tells the story of a landowner and the landowner’s tenants (who work the landowner’s field).  What stands out to you about the actions of the landowner?  What stands out to you about the actions of the tenants?
  4. The landowner in this parable represents God the Father.  The tenants represent the Jewish leaders in Jesus day (but by application could represent people in any day who are presented with testimony about the person and work of Jesus Christ.)  How have you seen your Heavenly Father “pursue you” patiently, persistently, and personally over the years?  
  5. Is there any person in your life today who you think God is prompting you to reach out and share the love of Jesus?
  6. Though God patiently pursues us, if we reject His offer through Jesus, we will end up experiencing judgment for our sins.  When you think of your relationship with Jesus Christ, is He more your “cornerstone” or is He a stone you have rejected?  
  7. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

 

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

The Father Heart of God (part 1) Sermon Preview

Over the past month, the state of Oklahoma has been taking on water.  Storm after storm has dumped feet of water across the state, saturating the ground, filling ponds, lakes, and streams, and ultimately leading to significant flooding.  Like many of you, I have watched with great concern as property has been destroyed and lives disrupted by the weather. 

Seeing these rising flood waters also reminded me of an old joke . . . maybe you’ve heard it?

The joke goes this way . . . 

There once was a man who lived in a 2 story house in a flood plain.  As the rains poured down, it looked like there was going to be a serious flood, so policemen came by the man’s house and warned him to evacuate before the waters rose.  The man replied, “I am trusting in God.  He will save me!”  So the man stayed as his neighbors left for higher ground.  

After a while, the water rose and covered the man’s yard, even putting about 6 inches of water in the downstairs of the man’s house.  A national guardsman came by in a boat and invited the man (who had now retreated to the upstairs of his house) to hop in the boat and ride to safety.  The man replied, “I am trusting in God!  He will save me!”  So, the man stayed.

Eventually the water came even higher and filled the second story of the house with water, pushing the man to his roof.  Eventually, a local news team noticed the man sitting on the roof as they flew their helicopter overhead.  They lowered a ladder and invited the man to climb the ladder, get on the helicopter, and fly to safety.  The man refused, saying simply, “I am trusting in God!  He will save me!”  

Finally, the water even overtook the roof of the house, sweeping the man away in the flood waters where he drowned.  As the man appeared before God in heaven, the man had only one question, “Why didn’t you save me?”  God’s reply was straightforward . . . 

“I sent you a policeman, a boat, and a helicopter . . . what more did you want?”

I was thinking about that joke today as I looked at Matthew 21:33-46.  In this passage, Jesus tells a parable about a landowner and his tenants who are taking care of his field.  In this parable, Jesus reveals the Heavenly Father’s heart for people to respond to His leading, even when we refuse to “get in the boat” that He sends.  This Sunday at Wildwood, we will begin looking at “The Father Heart of God” in part 1 of a new series from Matthew 21-23.  Join us in our 9:45 or 11:00 service as we begin this study together.

Look: God of Wonders (Sermon Audio)

On Sunday, June 2, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Psalm 19.  This sermon helped kick off 2019’s VBS week at Wildwood.  Below is the sermon audio to listen to or share.

 

To listen offline, click the link to download:

Look! God of Wonders 6.2.19

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

 

To watch the video of the service, visit our Facebook stream by clicking here.

 

Look: God of Wonders (Sermon Questions)

On Sunday, June 2, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Psalm 19:1-14.  This message was titled “Look: God of Wonders” and was the prelude to VBS week 2019.  Below you will find questions related to this message for personal reflection or group discussion.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Psalm 19:1-14
  3. What are some of the most “wondrous” things you have personally witnessed in nature?
  4. According to Psalm 19:1-6, we can come to understand things about God through nature.  What are some of the things you can learn about God by looking at His creation?
  5. What about God can you NOT learn by looking at nature?  What requires special revelation through Jesus or the Word of God?
  6. When was the last time you stopped and praised God for something you saw in creation?
  7. Who is someone you could “witness” to, sharing your understanding of the life that is available through Jesus?
  8. Is Jesus your rock and your redeemer?  Are you trusting in Him for your eternity?
  9. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

Look: God of Wonders Sermon Preview

 

Well, VBS week is nearly here at Wildwood!  I LOVE this week every year.  It is a tangible expression and celebration of our investment in being FOR the Church, For the Community, For the Nations, and For the Next Generation following Jesus together to the glory of God.  What a blessing!

  • We are “For the Church” in that VBS is a discipleship vehicle for the 300 Wildwood members who serve and use their gifts during this week.
  • We are “For the Community” as we welcome countless new families into our building for one amazing week.
  • We are “For the Nations” as we take up an offering all week long during VBS to help provide water filters and playground equipment for our church partner in Lagoa de Sao Francisco, Brazil.
  • We are “For the Next Generation” as we invest in 0ver 700 young people who are a part of VBS this year.

Our VBS this year focuses around the theme “Look:  God  of Wonders.”  During this week we will see how our WONDER-FULL God is revealed in the world around us.  This Sunday at Wildwood (June 2) we will be kicking off VBS week in our worship services, as I preach a message guiding us into Psalm 19.  Join us in our 9:45 or 11:00 worship service as we examine this concept together.

Before Sunday . . . if you have a chance, watch this video from Louie Giglio who highlights certain aspects we will see in Psalm 19 on Sunday . . . you will be blessed!

The Church (part 4) Sermon Audio

On Sunday, May 26, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Ephesians 4:7-16.  This message was the fourth and final part of “The Church” series and dealt with the spiritual growth of the church that God “tends” through the gifted leaders He gives to the church.  Below you will find the audio related to the sermon for you to listen to online or share.

 

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

The Church #4 5.26.19

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

To watch the video stream of the service, view the Facebook live feed here.

 

The Church (part 4) Sermon Questions

On Sunday, May 26, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a message on Ephesians 4:7-16.  This message was part 4 of “The Church” series and focused on the leadership God has given the church to help it grow.  Below you will find questions related to this message for personal reflection or group discussion.

 

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Ephesians 4:7-16
  3. What are some things in life that are “designed to grow” . . . where (given the right cultivation)  growth occurs “naturally”?
  4. In Ephesians 4:12-16, the growth of the church is described.  What are some of the things referenced about what this growth will look like?
  5. In the church, the full stature of Christ is seen (4:13).  What are some of the things that you would not have seen or known about Jesus if you had never been a part of a church?
  6. In order to help cultivate an environment of growth for members of the church, Jesus gives gifted people to churches to help lead them.  What are some ways in which you have personally been equipped or encouraged by church leaders in your lifetime?
  7. How has God gifted you for ministry?  How are you currently using this gift?
  8. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

The Church (part 4) Preview

March 11, 2007 was one of my favorite days ever.  It was the day that our son was born.  Only 31 weeks along, a spike in Kimberly’s blood pressure indicated that (though it seemed early) it was “TIME” for Josh to be born.  

And so, early on that Sunday morning, all 3 pounds of Josh cried out as he came out into the world.  What a blessing it was to meet our son for the first time.  As is the case for many “preemies,” Josh was a bit small and under-developed to leave the hospital with Kimberly and I, so for the next month and a half, he lived in the NICU of Children’s Hospital.  Doctors assured us through all of those anxious moments that Josh would indeed “grow up” to be big and strong . . . and they were right!  As I write this today, Josh is finishing up sixth grade:  active, strong . . . and still growing!

Josh grew, not because the doctors injected him with Captain America’s super-serum.  He grew because he was DESIGNED TO GROW.  All of us are.  The natural progression of every human is to grow up.  The role of doctors and nurses in the NICU (as well as parents in the home) is not to program someone to grow, but simply cultivate the right climate so that the growth cycle that is programmed inside of each person is allowed to run its course.

I say this today because I am preparing for Sunday morning May 26 at Wildwood, where we will be looking at Ephesians 4:7-16 together in our fourth and final installment in our series on “The Church.”  This week we will see how God has created the church TO GROW.  Not just in number, but in maturity.  How does that growth happen?  It happens through the work of the Spirit, but this work is cultivated by spiritual leaders that God has given to the church:  men and women (like you and me) that Jesus has “gifted” to congregations all over the world for the purpose of overseeing, shepherding, and encouraging followers of Jesus to grow up into maturity in Him – our Head and living hope.

We will look at this concept together this Sunday in our 9:45 and 11:00 services together.  We will also be praying for those who are going on summer mission trips and celebrating the Lord’s Supper together.  We look forward to seeing you on Sunday at Wildwood as we kick off the summer together!