On Sundays August 28-October 30, you’re invited to our fall sermon series through the Book of James. The book of James was written by the half brother of Jesus. James was a leader in the very first Christian community. During his 20 years of leadership, the church experienced hard times that included famine, persecution, and poverty. Despite these difficulties, James lived with wisdom and courage.
The book of James is really a letter of wisdom. Instead of writing to an audience of one church community, as Paul did, James wrote to all Christians to encourage them to live out their faith. The book is full of short wisdom speeches and metaphors that helped the early Church follow the teaching of Jesus. As we study this book together you’re going to see that James letter is primarily influenced by the book of Proverbs and Jesus’ teachings from the Sermon on the Mount. In chapter one James gives an overview of almost every topic he talk about. Then in chapters two through five he will expand on each of these topics. We hope that you will make a commitment to be at Coastline for this entire series as we talk about faith that works.
Listen in as Blaze McEntee preaches on the spiritual discipline of prayer. In his message, he answers three questions regarding prayer: Who are we praying to? Is there a right or wrong way to pray? and When should we pray? Throughout the message we see God’s heart for His people to come to Him in truth and authenticity. Be encouraged as you hear about God’s desire for us to continually draw near to him through prayer.
Who are you becoming? The life that Jesus invites us into isn't saying yes to Jesus for heaven, then no to Jesus for the rest of our lives. Instead, it's a life of constantly growing, being filled, maturing, and becoming like Jesus. Transformation is possible, promised, and even expected, but not inevitable. It takes effort and practice. In this week's Formed series, guest speaker, Bert Alcorn, dives into the spiritual discipline of practice. Listen in and learn how being conformed into the image of Jesus takes participation and intentionality on our part.
Moses’ childhood was convoluted by today’s therapy standards. He was born into a Hebrew family in Egypt during a time when it was dangerous for Hebrew families to have children due to a law that stated all baby boys were to be put to death at birth. Despite this, Moses survived, was raised in the palace in Egypt and groomed for leadership. He lived between two worlds but neither was truly his home or where he belonged. Listen in as Pastor Neal Benson teaches on Exodus 2-3 about how Moses’ life was shaped in solitude.
We are all being formed into something. We are all pointing our lives in a direction. As we consider growing spiritually, we need to slow down and think of what that direction might be. In Ephesians 4, Paul teaches the early church about leaving their life of sin to be formed in Christ. Paul planted the Ephesian church about five years prior and knows they are not continuing in their spiritual formation. Without using the word “sanctification,” he teaches about the process of how sinful humans are made holy by God. Listen in as Pastor Neal Benson encourages us to make a continual commitment to be like Jesus.
For the past eight weeks we’ve studied various scenes in the life of Joseph. We first met him in Genesis 37 living in his father’s home. Then in Genesis 39 we saw a snapshot of his life in Potiphar’s home. Next, we found Joseph in a jail cell. The last part of his life was spent living in Egypt as second in command of the entire nation. Through Joseph's story, we learn that even when life doesn't go our way, God is still at work. Listen in as Pastor Neal Benson teaches on Genesis 50 and the importance of a life shaped by a relationship with God.
Genesis 47 starts out with the joy of a family reunion but quickly turns to the pain of a famine. The Egyptian people have no choice but to go to Joseph for help throughout the famine to stay alive. As Joseph handles this crisis, he models a life of character and integrity. What stands out in Genesis 47 is that the Egyptian people offer servitude to Pharaoh in return for food. Although Joseph is not an active schemer in the plan they present, he does play a passive role in complying with their suggestions. In the midst of hardship, we see God provide for Egypt through Joseph. Joseph comes up with a creative plan to keep the people alive and helps them spread out into new land! Listen in as Pastor Neal Benson teaches on Genesis 47 and how to live a life of integrity.
For the people of God, life is often characterized by waiting. However, this does not mean that God is absent or ignoring us. On the contrary, during our seasons of waiting, God is working in our lives to make us more like him and prepare us for what's next. This week we take a look at Joseph's reunification with his family, which was over twenty years in the making. Listen in as guest speaker, Joey Ross, shows us that God's faithfulness can be seen during our seasons of waiting.
Life is hard. Carrying the weight of bitterness makes life even harder. For nearly 22 years, Joseph had been carrying the emotional and practical weight of his brothers’ choice to sell him into slavery when he was 17 years old. Although the circumstances of his life improved, Genesis 45 gives us a window into Joseph’s heart of forgiveness toward his brothers. After 2 years of famine, Joseph’s 11 brothers travel back to Egypt to ask for food for their family, not knowing that they will be standing face to face with their brother - who now has the means to enact revenge and the justification to remain bitter. Listen in to guest speaker, Chris Hall, and see that instead of Joseph choosing the easy path of bitterness, revenge, and anger, he chose the hard, God-honoring path of forgiveness.
We’ve all experienced times in our life when things don’t go our way. For Joseph it was thirteen years of his life that were taken from him. At the end of Genesis 40 we read that Joseph was once again forgotten. But in Genesis 41 Pharaoh has a disturbing dream and Joseph is remembered. If you notice Joseph’s posture, he is a completely different person than the teenager we met in Genesis 37. Joseph learned to point to God in all situations. We see here that in his darkest times God shaped Joseph’s character so he could lead Egypt through an immense famine. God had uniquely qualified Joseph, but it took years of shaping. Watch and listen as Pastor Neal Benson talks about how to recognize and rely on the power of God.
We first met Joseph as a seventeen-year-old living in his father’s house (Genesis 37). His brothers wanted to kill him but end up selling him into slavery. From there he was accused of actions he didn’t commit and thrown into jail (Genesis 39). During this entire time, Joseph was under the watchful eye of the Lord. Through his life we learn that God is always working in our darkest moments. As we study these chapters of Joseph’s life, we have to be intentional to not rush ahead and see what happens. Listen in as Pastor Neal Benson teaches on Genesis 40 and reminds us that unfair circumstances are a testing ground for our character.