Pastor Evan kicks off a new sermon series looking at Lake Ridge’s anti-values. Sometimes the best way to talk about something is by talking about the shadow side of it, the opposite, the upside down. Each value that we share at Lake Ridge has an opposite and detrimental version. By exploring the shadow side, we can be aware of it and nurture what we really sense God is calling us to become. Worship is reflecting back to God our love and adoration for him. Demonstrating our gratitude for who he is and what he is in our lives. The opposite of worship, if it is about elevating God, is to elevate self.
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Guest Homilist, Lisa Pollard shares the story from John 11:35 where Jesus wept. Lisa unpacks what his tears might have been about as he experienced the loss of his friend Lazarus.. We see Jesus in all his humanity here. Perhaps it wasn’t the death of his friend that pained Jesus; rather it was the tears on Mary’s face that brought on His tears. He empathized with their pain. His heart must have been broken to see the sadness of those he loved. Jesus came into a situation where there was deep mourning and sorrow and he grieved as well, a situation he was invited into.
Pastor Preston explores the beginning of the Book of John. God called everything into being. The word that made the world is now in the world and he is walking among us. Jesus is here. Jesus speaks the word and it happens. Everything broken and fallen, sinful and diseased is called into salvation by God’s spoken word.
Enter Gideon, while harvesting wheat and hiding from the Midianites an angel spoke to him and addressed him as a mighty man of courage and that God is sending him to "save Israel from the hand of Midian.” Pastor Evan shares the conclusion of the story of Gideon. The big story of this is not about rescuing the people from the - God was restoring the people onto himself. The battle is not that important. This story was about his people about what it means to trust. What does it look like for us to notice and see the challenges we are facing as places where God is trying to interact with you?
Enter Gideon, while harvesting wheat and hiding from the Midianites an angel spoke to him and addressed him as a mighty man of courage and that God is sending him to "save Israel from the hand of Midian.” Pastor Evan shares the story of Gideon and his growing relationship with God as they figured out what it was going to mean to move forward in their faith. It’s a story about restoring their faith. What if the places you feel you are being tested or are asking questions is the most important moments of your growing relationship with God?
We’re introducing this podcast with a bit of context on a unique Sunday morning. It was with broken hearts on Sunday, October 7 we learned of the sudden passing of our dear friend and worship leader, Melissa. With great sadness we worshiped together that morning. Pastor Evan shared that morning with a raw and emotional sermon. We wanted to share this message with you in memory of Melissa. Our hope is that this message is encouraging to you and that we can be reminded how God enters into our story sometimes in extreme pain and sadness.
Worship bring us together. It is the gathered people of God collectively expressing our heart for Him. In John 14:1, it says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled, but trust in God, trust also in me.” A sense of peace that came with that. Jesus had only given them reason to trust him. Jesus promised to give you and I a gift: an advocate, counsellor and a guide. The very spirit will be present and it will be around us, beside us and inside of our hearts. He told them they could trust it as if Jesus was physically present with them. He promised the same spirit inside of them should be shared and would be in all of those gathered who trusted in the voice of God. It was strange, because even as they were sad and upset by whatever was going to happen to Jesus there was a sense of peace they were all going to endure in the end. Even Jesus was going to be ok.
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.