Join us on Sundays beginning April 11, 2021 for our eight-week series on Philippians called “Defined by Joy.” One of the main themes of the book of Philippians is joy, which seems odd since the apostle Paul wrote this book while he was imprisoned in Rome. As we study this book together, we’re going to learn from Paul’s example that we can either allow our circumstances to define our life or our joy to define our life. No matter what challenges or hardships you’re facing, you can live a life defined by joy. Join us on Sundays at 9:00 or 10:45 AM to learn how!
Quite often when we see a stump we think the tree is dead. But that isn’t always the case. Many times there is still life in the roots and the stump will sprout a shoot that will take off. Isaiah 11 is a passage that brought hope to Israel because they thought their legacy was finished. Isaiah teaches Israel about the coming of the Messiah through three illustrations: agriculture, judicial, and creation. Listen in as Pastor Neal teaches us how Jesus came to restore our brokenness and give us hope in this time.
One of my favorite Christmas movies is the classic Home Alone. Kevin, played by McCaulay Culkin, is left at home by his family while they travel to France. Kevin’s mother is distraught about the situation. It reminds me of what is taking place 2700 years earlier in Israel. In Isaiah 9 we read that God’s people were in distress and looking for hope. Isaiah teaches us about the character and nature of Jesus Christ. Listen in as Pastor Neal Benson teaches us how in our distress the eternal king brings us peace.
In the Christmas season it seems everyone is searching for something. Around 700 BC the people of Israel were searching for hope in a desperate situation. The King of Assyria was planning to attack the region of Israel. King Ahaz had allied himself with two local kings to increase his odds of survival. At this point the prophet Isaiah approaches Ahaz and encourages him with a word from the Lord. He spoke truth to the young king to help him thrive in his role in leading God’s people. Unfortunately, the king didn’t heed the wisdom of the Lord and led God’s people astray. Keep in mind that the words of Isaiah were spoken about 700 years before Jesus was born. Grab your Bible and open it to Isaiah 7 as Pastor Neal Benson preaches on finding hope for the hopeless.
Guest speaker, Bert Alcorn, kicks off our Christmas series, Searching for Christmas, with a message about hope. As we look at several Scriptures on hope, we'll see that Jesus is the hope of the world. The call of Christmas is for us to look back on God's faithfulness in sending Jesus, and to look forward to our hope of glory where God will liberate humanity and the entire universe from evil. Jesus has come and is coming again!
The conclusion of the book of Judges is one of the most gruesome chapters in all of Scripture. We read about a woman who treated as an object and lost her life. Her marriage to her husband should be shocking to us in the fact that he was a Levite. Her death led to a civil war in Israel which lead to more sin. It is interesting that such horrific events are what caused Israel to work in unity for the first time since Judges 3. The story reads like Israel was trying to solve their sin problem with a sin problem. The conclusion of Judges is like being stuck in a dark tunnel and feeling very hopeless. The story is meant to leave us longing for a hero without flaws. The book of Judges is intended to push our eyes, and heart, to the New Testament to find Jesus. We need a better leader than what has been presented. We need an eternal King! Listen in as Pastor Neal Benson teaches on finding hope in our darkest times.
The final five chapters of Judges are different from the first sixteen chapters. We are no longer looking at any particular judge or leader. The literary style remains a historical narrative but from a different perspective. Instead of getting the 30,000 foot view as we experienced with judges like Deborah, Gideon, and Samson, we're going to shift to a ground level perspective and see what was really happening in Israel. Today we read about Micah, a wayward Levite, and Dan, an unfaithful tribe. Together they will all teach us that believing in God is not the same as knowing God. Listen in as Pastor Neal Benson teaches from Judges 17-18.
Growing up, many of us had a hero we looked up to. It might have been Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. As powerful as our heroes are, they all have a flaw or a weakness. For Superman it was Kryptonite. As we continue to study the life of Samson we see that he was a flawed hero. Samson was called to lead Israel but had a number of failed starts. He continued to fall into a life of sin. Samson was powerfully weak. The New Testament teaches us of another powerfully weak leader. His name is Jesus. Jesus was powerfully weak and humbly went to the cross for our sins. Listen in as Pastor Neal Benson teaches on Judges 15-16.
Join us as we continue the story of Samson this week with a look at some secrets within the narrative of his life. Guest speaker, Hylke Hylkema will help us see that God can use even our sinful choices to accomplish His grand purposes. We'll also learn that like Samson, we are in need of Jesus, the Ultimate Deliverer.
Today as we continue our Judges sermon series, we'll see that Samson's miraculous birth brings a glimmer of hope to Israel just when they needed it the most. Does something in your life seem hopeless right now? Listen in and see that it's okay to ask God for help. When we trust His timeline and remain open to His plan, we position ourselves for His work in our lives.
When I was 24 years old, I moved to Las Vegas to serve at a local church. One thing I learned about Vegas is they are famous for their buffet meals. You can go to any local casino and find good food, but some of them have a great buffet. We took many friends and families to the best buffet in town and learned the ropes of how to eat a buffet. (Yes, there is a way!) Fast-forward to today. I have learned that some people treat their faith like they treat a buffet - they choose a little of this and a little of that. Today we look at Judges 10-12 and see a man who has great faith but horrible theology. Listen in as we learn from a lesser known judge named Jephthah!