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Archive for the ‘Sermon/Teaching’ Category

Here’s the workbook I mentioned during yesterday’s gathering on ‘Reading God’s Story.’ I’d encourage you to work through it with your family, your community group or your Fight Club.

Reading God’s Story

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Even the hard-to-fix places in your life can be changed because the only God you can trust in has changed your story forever.

Listen to the entire sermon later this week on our podcast.

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Saw this on Justin Taylor’s blog earlier this week – it’s influenced this week’s message from the Love and Marriage series (Sunday at 5pm, meeting at Faith Presbyterian Church).

Paul Tripp, What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage (pp. 51-52)

[God’s] grace purposes to expose and free you from your bondage to you. His grace is meant to bring you to the end of yourself so that you willing finally begin to place your identity, your meaning and purpose, and your inner sense of well-being in him.

So he places you in a comprehensive relationship with another flawed person, and he places that relationship right in the middle of a very broken world.

To add to this, he designs circumstances for you that you would have never designed for yourself.

All this is meant to bring you to the end of yourself, because that is where true righteousness begins.

He wants you to give up.

He wants you to abandon your dream.

He wants you to face the futility of trying to manipulate the other person into your service.

He knows there is no life to be found in these things.

What does this practically mean?

It means the trouble that you face in your marriage is not an evidence of the failure of grace.

No, these troubles are grace.

They are tools God uses to pry us out of the stultifying confines of the kingdom of self so that we can be free to luxuriate in the big-sky glories of the kingdom of God.

This means that you and I will never understand our marriages and never be satisfied with them until we understand that marriage is not an end to itself.

No, the reality is that marriage has been designed by God to be a means to an end.

When you make it the end, bad things happen.

But when you begin to understand that it is a means to an end, then you begin to enjoy and see the value in things that you would not have been able to enjoy before.

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Here’s the schedule for our Love and Marriage series:

  • February 14 – Marriage and God
  • February 21 – Marriage and Gospel
  • February 28 – Marriage and Gender
  • March 7 – Marriage and Parenting
  • March 14 – Marriage and Divorce
  • March 21 – Marriage and Sexuality
  • March 28 – Marriage and Singleness

The first three weeks lay down a biblical foundation that we’ll work to apply to four critical issues connected to marriage in the weeks that follow.

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We wrapped up the Money series last week (still blown away by the response and can’t wait to see what God creates in us and through us over the next few weeks, months, years, decades…) and we don’t start the Love and Marriage series until next Sunday.

So…

I’m going to teach on a fairly well-known text that I’ve never taught before.

And you won’t ever read this text the same way again.

Which means that your mind is going to be blown, your heart is going to melt and your life is going to change.

Matthew 28:16-20.

Read it. Journal about it. Pray over it. Invite friends to come with you on Sunday as we experience it together.

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Lots of conversations this week about anxiety after last Sunday’s sermon in Matthew 6. Our focus was on the downward drag that anxiety has on our generosity – and many of you are building on that connection and seeing its impact in other areas of your life.

As you wrestle with this area of sin in your life (and I want to encourage you to attack it from that angle and not just blow it off as an innate part of your personality), let me encourage you to do two things:

  1. Make it Known. Confess this to your friends in your community group and fight club. Be specific. And ask for their help in praying for you and pointing you to Jesus.
  2. Get Trained. Use this page of resources from John Piper on Fear and Anxiety. Read and think and write and take steps away from anxiety as you move towards becoming a person whose faith in Jesus becomes more secure.

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You were created for a ferocious drama and have been sucked into a ridiculous game – your kids, your dreams of romance, or an actual game like football or soccer. You can’t see anything more than what’s around you and your passions have become shrink-wrapped to the size and scope of your life.

When Jesus Christ came to earth, he reminded us that we were created for a king and a kingdom – that our lives are about making much of the Great King as we wait for his Kingdom to saturate this world. This is our great hope and our deepest desire – a hope and a desire that extends from the beginning of time and shapes the story of the world that is told in what we call the Old Testament.

So this might sound weird – but if our future is going to turn out brilliantly, we have to walk backwards and remember how we got here in the first place. So for the next four months we’re going to tell the story of the Old Testament – to remember what our Great God has done in the past, to see where he’s taking us in the days ahead, and to reshape life into something we’ve always dreamed about but never thought was remotely possible.

This is our life – our journey…waiting for a King and his Kingdom.

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