There is something exciting about getting family portraits around Christmas time. You get the family all dressed up, head out to just the right location, and capture the moment. Something more exciting might the looking back on those pictures five or ten years later. You think about the place your family was, the stage of life, or how God sustained you through a certain time. Starting Sunday December 5, we’re kicking off a brand new sermon series called “Family Portraits”. In this series we’re going to look at the people who would have been captured in the baby pictures with Jesus and some who had a profound impact in His early years. We will look at what Mary went through as a young mother, how John prepared the way for Jesus, what went through Joseph’s mind, and how the miraculous birth of Jesus changed the entire world as we know it. Mark your calendar for Sundays in December and invite a friend to join you in-person or online at 9:00 AM or 10:45 AM.
If we were to summarize the theme of Philippians 1 it would be: Christ first, and the theme of Philippians 2 would be: others next. Paul realized that the generation in which he was living was a crooked and warped generation. He knew that if the local church obeyed the truth of God and lived it out in their community it would naturally result in opportunities to serve others. Paul longed for the early church to be a light in a dark world. Knowing this he encouraged them to have a relentless commitment to become like Christ, to reflect a joy that reflects Christ, and to live out a sacrificial love for others.
Serving others does not come naturally to everyone. While Paul was in prison, he didn't focus on his release. Instead, he focused on uniting the church. Paul longed to see the local church take up the example of Jesus and choose to serve one another. Listen in as Pastor Neal Benson teaches from Philippians 2:1-11 on how to have the mindset of Jesus.
As we study the book of Philippians, we must remember that Paul wrote this letter from prison. Paul had been wrongly arrested at the Temple in Jerusalem because some of the Jews thought he had brought a Gentile into the Temple Court. This caused a commotion and resulted in Paul being arrested. Paul was ultimately taken to Rome where he wrote a letter to the church in Philippi while under house arrest. In Philippians 1:12-30, we see that Paul found joy in his hardship. We can learn from Paul's example that our suffering gives us an opportunity to glorify God. Listen in as Pastor Neal Benson teaches on experiencing joy amidst difficult circumstances.
Meeting at a place of prayer, baptizing an entire household, driving out a demon, being arrested, and getting out of jail are not activities you would imagine for a dream vacation. However, in Acts 16 we read that all these events took place in the life of the apostle Paul while he was in Philippi. Through these events God used Paul and his friends to start the first church on the content of Europe. Approximately ten years later Paul, who is now in prison in Rome, writes a letter of encouragement to the church in Philippi. Things seem backward – shouldn’t they be encouraging Paul? As Pastor Neal Benson teaches on Philippians 1:1-11, we’ll see that servants of Jesus prioritize gospel partnership.
In 2016 a group of university students placed a chalkboard on a busy New York sidewalk. At the top it said: “Write your biggest regret.” Everyone of us have done something we’ve regretted. It could be marrying the wrong person, severing a friendship, acting out in anger, or not speaking up. For three years Peter followed Jesus, sat under His teaching, walked on water with Him, and knew the power that He had. Near the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, Peter denied knowing Jesus in an attempt to protect himself. Listen in as Pastor Neal teaches on John 21. We'll see that the resurrection restores us to Jesus. We have a first hand look at how Jesus invites flawed people, who love Him, to build His kingdom.
We live in a world where most would rather be served than serve. This week's glimpse into the life of Peter takes us to the Upper Room where Jesus and the disciples were celebrating the Passover feast together. During the feast, Jesus takes on the role of a servant and washes the disciples feet. Through this gesture that defied cultural norms, Jesus taught Peter and the rest of the disciples an important lesson about servant leadership. Listen as guest speaker, Joey Ross, teaches that us that to be a leader means to serve and sacrifice.
Peter was the most outspoken of all the disciples. You could call Peter the spokesman or the leader of the disciples. He was the one willing to ask what the others wouldn’t. In our text today we’re going see that Peter asks Jesus about forgiveness. We want to acknowledge that this is a tough topic to look at because all of us have been hurt. Today might feel like surgery for our hearts. Keep in mind that although surgery is hard, it is intended to help us in the long-term. Listen in as Pastor Neal Benson teaches on the response of forgiveness from Matthew 18:21-35.
Last week we studied the calling of Peter, and this week we will look at one of Peter’s greatest acts of trusting Jesus. Hours before this story takes place the disciples watched Jesus feed thousands of people with five loaves of bread and two fish. After this miraculous feeding, Jesus instructs the disciples to meet Him on the other side of the lake. The disciples act in obedience, and it leads them right into a treacherous storm. It is in the middle of this storm on of the Sea of Galilee that Jesus comes to them, walking on water. Listen in as Neal Benson teaches on following Jesus into the extraordinary.
FOMO is an acronym standing for the fear of missing out. Millions of people suffer from FOMO on a daily basis. We are attached to our phones, connected to our computers, and focused on what others are doing. Today Pastor Neal Benson kicks off a brand new sermon series called: Flawed but Faithful. For five weeks we’re going to study the life of the disciple Peter. This is going to be a unique sermon series because typically when we read the Bible we are looking for the text to be God-centric; meaning we put God at the center of our focus. But for five-weeks we’re going to focus on the life of Peter. We will see that Peter is human just like us. In Luke 5 we’ll look at Jesus calling him away from the family business to follow Jesus on an epic adventure. Peter teaches us that choosing to follow Jesus gives our life new focus. We don’t have to fear missing out on anything when we follow Jesus.
Someone once said: “A good marriage is not something you find, it’s something you work for.” Marriage was God’s original idea. It was intended for a man and a woman to spend their life committed to each other, but something went horribly wrong when sin entered the world. In Ephesians 5, Paul instructs wives to respect their husbands and husbands to love love their wives. But before he said that he encouraged married couples to submit to each other. It was a radical idea in that time period (and still seems radical today). Listen in as Pastor Neal teaches on how a thriving marriage involves love and mutual submission.