Appearing as flames within a bush, God calls upon Moses to bring the Israelites out of their bondage in Egypt - but such a call is quickly met with resistance. Rather than listing out all of the reasons why He chose Moses, God instead responds with a personal declaration of might and power beyond human limitations. As Andrew Schey explains, natural ability isn't the justification or qualification for our calling. Instead, God's presence enables us to do what we normally cannot do, thereby using our empty vessel to do something phenomenal.
Starting the year off with a new series, Andrew Schey walks us through Exodus 1-2:10 and the apparent absence of God during hardship. Although God's presence isn't always readily apparent, as we see in the oppression of the Israelites in Egypt, grace is the undercurrent beneath the injustices of the earth, leading God's people on a winding road to redemption. So, what does it mean to trust in a bigger reality despite our limited experience of this world?
In this standalone message, Brock Snook teaches from Joshua 1:1-11 to encourage us to take hold of God's promises, just like Joshua did after 40 years in the desert. By seeing everyday as preparation, trusting God's word, and moving forward in faith, we can be ready for God's call to act and step into the promised land.
Life can feel like a moonless night and navigating a way forward requires that we find a light. The story of Christmas and Christ’s coming is a story of light. It is a creation story, or rather, a re-creation story. Just as God spoke light into the void of darkness at the creation of the world, so God in sending Jesus into the world spoke a spiritual light into the void of spiritual darkness.
In the third week of our advent series, LET THERE BE LIGHT, Andrew Schey unpacks Isaiah 58:1-12 and we find that if we aren't taking up God's cause and expressing love, we're dying from the inside out. In spending ourselves on behalf of others, our experience of the present darkness will change and our overall experience of the world will brighten. We can radically reshape reality by allowing God's light to shine through us. Though it may seem daunting at first, it all starts with reaching the person right in front of you.
What does it mean - right now - to follow God and make the most of the opportunities you have? This weekend in part two of our series, Let There Be Light, we faced the stark reality that what makes us different is not our capacity for sin, but what we do with it. Using Paul's teachings in Ephesians 5:8-20, Andrew Schey emphasizes that we must be very careful how we live because our days are short despite appearing endless. By bringing our sin into the light, releasing it to God, and receiving healing, we can seize each day to do His will and stir up a song in our hearts.
In the first part of our advent series, Let There Be Light, Andrew Schey confronts the darkness of this world and our desire for peace and restoration. Reflecting on Lamentations 2:11-15 and Isaiah 9:1-7, we learn that the arrival of Jesus will result in a joy like that of those who realize their toil is over and the harvest is plentiful. Like the sun rising at dawn, the light of Jesus will only get brighter and higher; however, as we'll discover in the weeks ahead, allowing His light to shine in and through us involves a choice.
In the conclusion of our yearlong study of the gospel of Luke, we find Jesus extending a patient invitation to believe and instructing the disciples in what is to come, thus transforming their confusion into experience-based conviction. Although the task of telling others about your own experiences with God can be daunting, we don't share it alone; instead, we can rely on the Holy Spirit to make up for our inadequacies and expect God to make good on His promises. As Andrew Barris points out, the world is broken, but God is transforming it from the inside out - one heart at a time.
In this message, we hear from Charles and Gretchen Hill about how they followed God's prompting in their hearts, found themselves in an orphanage in China, and began to compare their expectations of retirement to God's plan for their lives. Continuing with the theme of expectations, in Luke 24:13-35 two disciples are lead on a journey of discovery in which the truth is revealed gradually and deliberately on the seven mile walk to Emmaus. Andrew Schey teaches us that such a journey reflects the character of God in that our relationship with Him is dynamic, personal, and involves some level of mystery. By reading God's self-revelation throughout the scriptures, we can get our expectations in order and truly get to know who He is and what He wants for our lives.
This week in our study of Luke 24:1-12, Chris Shaddix challenges us to have hope in the return of Jesus and the promise of our own resurrection. Much like the disciples, we can easily get wrapped up in our current situation and place our hope in things that will inevitably leave us wanting. Instead, like Peter running toward the empty tomb, we must enliven our own imaginations and run in expectation of something more.