Posts tagged Sermon
Sermon on the Mount VI: Wrath, Hell, and Damnation (Oh My!) | Brandon Cook

Matthew 5:27-30

Brandon Cook. Jesus warns against letting our bodies be thrown into Gehenna, which we translate as “hell.” What does that mean, and what does Jesus and the Scripture say about this key concept of afterlife? In this message, we explore the possibility that much of our theology of the afterlife may be mis-shaped because of cultural influences, distorting our image of God.

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Sermon on the Mount V: A New Way of Seeing | Camille Ntoto

Matthew 7:33-48; 7:12

Camille Ntoto. In this message from guest teacher and director of Africa New Day, we explore how we are transformed as we follow Jesus. It’s not just a matter of trying on new behaviors but rather of seeing in a new way—of having a new paradigm. The Sermon on the Mount is an invitation into this new way of seeing and its invitation into becoming perfect is possible when we see that God graciously walks with us into having a new heart.

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Sermon on the Mount II: Towards Spiritual Maturity (Becoming Salt and Light) | Brandon Cook

Matthew 5:11-18

Brandon Cook. The Sermon on the Mount is a roadmap to life in the Kingdom of God, an invitation to be transformed. In this message, we examine Jesus’ statement that he came not to abolish but to fulfill the Law given to Israel, opening up the pathway to transformation. Using M. Scott Peck’s description of spiritual growth in four stages, we analyze Jesus’ statement to see how Jesus calls us out of mere law-keeping or performance and into a life deeply grounded in the love and generosity of God.

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Abundant August IV: Fully Mature Children of God | Brandon Cook

John 1:10-13 and Romans 8:26-30

Brandon Cook. In biblical teaching and Christian thought, abundance is synonymous with maturity. In this message, we explore what it means to become mature as we trust that God’s universe will provide everything we need for the formation of our souls so that we can welcome all reality, the joyous and painful, trusting that God “works all things together for our good.” This maturity will mean leaving behind our strongholds (the things that have helped us survive) so that we can learn to thrive in new ways of being with God, others, and in the world.

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Abundant August II: Relationships - God's Means for Abundance | Jaci Anderson

1 John 4:7-12

Jaci Anderson. The opposite of abundance is not scarcity, but isolation. Through relationships, we tap into the abundance God has for us in our families, city, and world. We learn from Africa New Day's Pastor Andre, and World Vision Clean Water projects, that relationships that give capacity, instead of create dependence, are essential to abundance. We contemplate: Who has God used and given you to access his abundance?

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Abundant August I: A Life of Being, Doing, and Pruning | Brandon Cook

John 1:1-14

Brandon Cook. In August, we focus on our discipleship value of abundance, which comes from a life of listening and responding. In this first message, we explore how all abundance flows from a life of obedience to God’s Spirit. This obedience has nothing to do with compulsion and everything to do with connection. And it means a pruning of our small self so we can live from a big story involving risk, romance, and adventure.

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Philippians - Honor One Another III: Forgetting What is Behind | Brandon Cook

Philippians 3: 1-14

Brandon Cook. Paul says that his old identity—based on his ethnicity and pedigree and accomplishments—is worth nothing in comparison to what Christ has done to bring us into the family of God. And then he says that to live fully into this reality of new life in God’s family, we must forget the past and strive to what is ahead. In this message, we explore some of the dynamics involved in “forgetting what is behind” so that we can be fully held by God, moment to moment.

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Acts - The Shape of the Kingdom XLVIII: An Abundant Life of Lament | Brandon Cook

Acts 28:23-31

Brandon Cook. The Book of Acts comes to an end with Paul in prison in Rome, facing an uncertain future. But it doesn’t before Paul levels a lament about the hardness of heart around him in those who refuse the good news of Jesus. Paul taps into the Jewish legacy of lament—of giving voice to the things that disturb and shake us. In this message, we explore how lament—which can feel like an assault on God Himself—is actually part of how we demonstrate trust and move forward in hope.

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Acts - The Shape of the Kingdom XLVII: The Power in the Powerlessness | Brandon Cook

Acts 28:1-9

Brandon Cook. Paul’s journey continues with a shipwreck (!) and a snakebite (!!). His path is filled with ambiguity and powerlessness, yet he is filled with power. In this message, we explore how the only way to walk in the fullness of the Kingdom of God is by embracing the powerlessness we might detest, and finding there a fountain of God’s life and provision.

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Acts - The Shape of the Kingdom XLIV: Life as a Partner | Brandon Cook

Acts 24

Brandon Cook. We do not understand life in God until we understand what it means to be God’s partner, his fellow laborer. But this is not how most of us have been trained to think about who we are. In this message, we explore how Paul the Apostle viewed discipleship—life following Jesus, and how at the heart of it, we are invited not only to see ourselves as children of God but as those who are at work with God in seeing all things made new.

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Acts - The Shape of the Kingdom XLIII: Walking the Narrow Path | Brandon Cook

Acts 23

Brandon Cook. Paul follows in the footsteps of Jesus. Literally. On trial before the Sanhedrin, we watch him shrewdly navigate the religious rigidity which soon boils over into bloodthirst. What is happening here? Why are the religiously rigid out for blood? In this message we explore one of the pitfalls of walking the Jesus path: the temptation of religious rigidity, and how we can avoid it by whole and holy obedience and commitment.

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Acts - The Shape of the Kingdom XLII: Encountering Jesus | Matt Cullen

Acts 22:1-22

Matt Cullen. How do we learn to encounter Jesus as he really is?  As Paul recounts his most pivotal encounter with Jesus, Matt recounts his own life reorientation which includes asking the questions: “who are you Lord?” and “what should I do?”.  Matt offers prayers of confession and repentance for generational strongholds of busyness as we are invited to slow down, make space to hear the voice of Jesus, ask questions, and surrender together.

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The New Exodus in Mark IX: Living Under the Authority of Jesus | Brandon Cook

Mark 6:7 and Various Texts

Brandon Cook. As we continue to consider how the early Christians understood the death and resurrection, we explore the the authority of Jesus which, throughout the Gospels, Jesus commissions us to live in.
How then do we live fully under Jesus’ authority? We will see that it involves blessing creation and all of life, when the temptation for all of us it to blame and curse. And that in so doing, we become restorers of God’s good garden, where we live, work, and play. 

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The New Exodus in Mark VIII: Powers, Principalities, and the Kingdom of God | Brandon Cook

Colossians 2:13-15 and Various Texts

Brandon Cook. In the afterglow of Resurrection Sunday, we explore how the resurrection of Jesus was understood by the early Christians, and specifically the cosmic dimension of it. What does it mean that we live in a world that is not only physical but spiritual, and that we can align with good or with evil? In this message, we explore the ideas of spiritual principalities and powers and how we can move in our authority as followers of Jesus to seem darkness overcome in the world around us.

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The New Exodus in Mark VII: Delight and Lament (Resurrection Sunday) | Brandon Cook

Mark 16:1-8

Brandon Cook. The first to hear of Jesus’ resurrection come in lament and grief. Then they experience bewilderment and fear before, ultimately, encountering joy. In this message, we explore how to “get off automatic,” so that we can fully experience life and the resurrection. It will mean learning to lean fully into delight and also into grief. This is how we become people who are fully open to Jesus’ resurrection.

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The New Exodus in Mark VI: The Face of the Kingdom | Ryan Longnecker

Mark 11:9-10, 11:15-17, 14:17-20

Ryan Longnecker.   Palm Sunday, in the context of Good Friday, invites us to consider: How will we know something is God, or of God, when we see it?  Scripture reveals that God's Kingdom is: peace in a world of violence, for all nations, humble service, and giving our whole lives.  When we allow Jesus to be our model of truly living, we can't help but cry out, "Hosannah"!

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The New Exodus in Mark V: God of Provision | Brandon Cook

Mark 6:30-44

Brandon Cook. God is not up in heaven pulling the levers of fate. Instead, He enters into the pain and suffering of the world. We are called to enter in as God does -- embracing and not cursing being in the world, seeking God's provision and to nourish and feed those He gives us to love. In this message, we explore how to be a people who cling to God's provision.

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