Our youth leader, Erik Davis, unpacks this sad of betrayal and forgiveness. Judas betrays Jesus . Judas was one of the 12 disciples closest to Jesus. Judas offered to betray Jesus to the religious authorities. They agreed to pay him for doing so. And Jesus knew that Judas was going to do this and instead Jesus is able to forgive him because he knows people are so much more complicated than just right or wrong. So where can we find hope in this story?
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This Lent season we’re talking about how God meets us. Join us on Sunday mornings as we explore the biblical ‘One-Another’s’ from John 13:34 and discover how God might be using others to show us his love. Pastor Preston shares the story of Jesus in the garden in the season where they are pruning the vines in John 15: 1-17.
This Lent season we’re talking about how God meets us. Join us on Sunday mornings as we explore the biblical ‘One-Another’s’ and discover how God might be using others to show us his love. Pastor Evan shares on the love of the Father and how because the Father loves me I now who I am and therefore I can love.
In the 40 days leading up to Easter we invite you to join us in exploring what it looks like to trust God and live authentically before him in a community wide reading and journey of exploring the One Another’s. This Lent season we’re going to talk about how God meets us even in the winter seasons of our souls. Join us on Sunday mornings as we explore the biblical ‘One-Another’s’ and discover how God might be using others to show us his love, even in the coldest times.
Pastor Preston shares in our sermon series on worship and looking at how God shapes us in worship. What do you want? Jesus asked this question over and over again. It is the start of the book of John. Pastor Preston shares how Jesus invades the passions of our hearts and what you most want will be revealed in that. Worship shapes are desires, postures, habits and rhythms. In time it shapes our hearts to be more like God’s. It’s more than a song in a service. What is in your heart?
We have a generous God and it flows into us. Pastor Preston continues in our sermon series So Ride On. The series is about exploring our four main values at Lake Ridge and this week he explored our value of "Generosity." He explores several scriptures in the bible Proverbs 11:25 those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. We live this, not out of duty, but as a posture we take to be generous in all areas of our life. It is your privilege to grow in this area - you do not have to have it all figured out.
Pastor Preston wraps up our sermon series on prayer by sharing about imagination. Jesus uses the imagination through all his lessons by creating images, stories and metaphors. God speaks to us in our imagination. For example, Jesus uses a water metaphor to help us understand how his love pours from us. Jesus said what you say flows from what is in your heart. What Jesus pours into us then we pour that out of us. So can we trust our imagination to allow God to speak through it? How do we filter our own thoughts versus what God is trying to show us?
Pastor Evan explores the next part of the letter from Paul to the people of Colossae. This week Paul addresses some individual challenges that some individuals are facing. Previously Paul was addressing the church and what does it look like to ask yourself is Jesus enough for you? What does that life actually look like? Paul begins to give a vision for change in your life and specific behaviors. Paul is not saying don't do these things because God won't love you, what he is saying is God has always loved you. Now that you are discovering that love you can put to death some destructive behaviors in your life. We mix that order up. We when we think about behavior we say change your behavior and then come to Christ. That is a lie. You are not what you do. You are who Jesus says you are. Part of discovering who you are is about discovering who God made you to be.
Pastor Evan shares on the letter written from Paul to the early church in Colossae. They were this messy group of people from all walks of life, just like us. In this place they began to learn the expanse of God. The jewish law was about connecting with God with a system of rules and regulations. We do this today in church too through our own traditions and perspectives we bring in. As humans, we like to earn what we have and the law made that possible. Paul reminds us there isn't anything you can do earn your salvation: it's a gift. It might have felt like moving from the comfort of a large system, like a cruise ship to a raft. You have to put your faith in Jesus. You have to trust the raft is more sturdy and sound and will take you places that you could never go in a cruise ship. And Jesus will lead that raft because Jesus is on that raft too.
Pastor Preston shares a poem Paul wrote to the Colossians. Paul did not lay out a theology that was a complex language, he gave them a poem to meet them where they are at. This poem or hymn became a centrepiece for the early church. Sometimes the way to get through the complexity of the whole thing is to go simple: He lives in you.
Pastor Evan shares the story of Paul writing to the early church of Colossians and in their young church they had people in all walks of life. They were just a small group of messy people that were trying to figure out how to hear the voice of God and try to apply what they were learning about this Jesus guy they were hearing about. They weren't perfect and they hadn't figured it out. But they could see little signs that God was in this place.
Pastor Preston wraps up our sermon series "Welcome Home" by sharing on compassion and friendship. Jesus comes to us first to meet us with his compassion first. He is taking us to experience compassion. We sometimes hear messages that our filters have us thinking Jesus wants us to do more. To be hospitable, host a meal, be more neighbourly. The story of God is not asking you to be Martha Stewart. The story of God is about making a space for you. This is why it's a story of compassion. We can't practice compassion with other people if we can't treat ourselves kindly. When we are filled, we can fill others.
Pastor Preston shares on Palm Sunday the story of the passover meal and the last supper as we head into the week leading up to Easter. The disciples and Jesus had a meal together and we often remember this story. In this story, Jesus also washes their feet and gives the disciples a new commandment. It was to love one another. We've been talking about virtues and vices in the sermon series and they say that love is the pinnacle of all virtues. We will not overcome our vices by just trying to be virtuous, that's why the core of it all is embodying a posture of love. You can't love someone in a vacuum; it's an action. We can only love because he loved us. Let us be reminded we have been made clean and the love was given long before today.
As we get closer to lent Pastor Evan shared this week in our series Loved to Life: Anger to Justice. He looked at the kinds of anger, where some can be good and some can be bad. There are three main types of anger he describes. The first emotional anger is minor annoyances, the second type, becomes a vice when it's deep rooted in who you are, and the only way to ease that is through some form of vengeance. In our minds with this type we might believe if we got restitution then we would feel better. The third kind of anger this holy anger. It tells us that something is not right and we need to do something about it. Justice is on the other side of anger, but the definition is sometimes misguided We get the definition of justice wrong in our culture all the time. God's understanding of justice has to do with making things right and reconciling all things onto himself.
When we talk about gluttony and lust there are a couple words that immediately come to mind: food, alcohol and sex, but actually there are a lot more to those words. God gives us desires and God actually believes desires are good things and they are given to us as gifts. As we work through what it means to see something in moderation and temperance sometimes the desires of our hearts can consume our minds and can control our actions.
What does it look like for us to be the people of God, who enters into our story and He does it not to take things away, but to allow us to fully enjoy those things. Let's not be the kind of people who give in to consume each other, but to be like the grace filled example of Jesus.
Pastor Evan kicks off the year with our new sermon series on Ambition. Why ambition? it's challenging each other to bring out the best in each other. To fully live into what it means to be ambitious - and being authentic about that. We do not see our faith or our relationship with God as a one dimensional thing, we believe this God and this faith we have that it bleeds out into the different categories or life.
It's important to think about the definition of ambition and your perspective on it. Motive then becomes this defining word we use to understand if our ambitions our healthy or unhealthy. Pastor Evan unpacks the story of Peter walking on water to help us understand having an ambitious faith and the motive behind it.
Pastor Evan wraps up the sermon series on the Church as a Movement on what it's like to be a part of the movement of God. It's not always easy to communicate how you're doing in your faith. It's actually important to communicate that to each other because we are the people of God. And sometimes there are moments when your faith is just your faith. And sometimes it's a little harder to experience Jesus. We can assume being a part of the movement of God is like a connect the dots activity from 1-2-3. When really the history of the church demonstrates it never seems to be sequential in the way that God works out the movement. It can create a sense of confusion and unsettledness that's like, "is God really doing something here in my life?" Yet, what we need to remind ourselves of is that God is drawing a great picture.
Pastor Preston discusses affinity bias, which basically means we all want to be with people who are like us. Sometimes this happens in the church, we work to make sure that we make sure everyone who comes into our church is the same. It's tempting, but an issue for our community. Learning in affection for other people creates growth within us and we become the humans God intended us to be.
The last message in our sermon series Eat this Book Pastor Preston shares the story in Luke 15 about how we come to every story in the bible with a particular set of views. People did this in Jesus' day too. Did you know that? But Jesus offers some views that are a bit different from that. The son in the story believes the notion of less love. That there was a love that an up and down flow and he lives that way. We worry sometimes we will love others too much, give too much and somehow deplete ourselves. In reality we are missing out on the depth of love that exists.
We continue our journey of the short stories Jesus told in our summer sermon series. Pastor Preston shares the story by Jesus of the lost sheep, coin and the son. Both stories are found in Luke Chapter 15. Pastor Preston takes us through this story that Jesus told.