The Abiding LifeGod created us to live in a close relationship with Him and one another. He has given us a mission, a purpose. This is THE ABIDING LIFE.
God inspired John to write about what life looks like when we ABIDE in Him. We can find confidence in living this way! 1 John gives us evidence of our abiding, that we can look for in our lives:
Believing the truth about Jesus Christ.
Obeying God’s commands.
Loving fellow believers.
Those who claim to abide in Jesus must live as Jesus did (1 John 2:6). Abiding sets us free to live in the light and live an active faith which is evidenced in what we believe, how we live, and how we love.
ElijahElijah said "yes" to God's call, and trusted His plan. He relied on God for meeting his daily needs and guiding his steps. Elijah and God had an intimate relationship, and he was strengthened by his communion with God and community with others. Elijah wasn't perfect but he was faithful.
If God had a place for Elijah in His mission, then we can be confident that there is a fit for every one of us, as well.
Be With One AnotherThe world around us is plagued with isolation, conflict, hatred, and superficiality. We feel alone, attacked, hurt, and taken advantage of. Is that really what God had in mind when he said “it’s not good for man to be alone?”
The Bible is filled with instructions of how we can relate to one another. As followers of Jesus, we are called to a high standard of how we live with one another and the world around us.
What Happens When I Die?We can trust the words of Jesus:
”...if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you
to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
John 14:3 (NIV)
Learning to ABIDE here on earth prepares us to be with God forever in eternity.
We must understand how to live now in light of the work Jesus has done. Our goal is not just to be more informed, so we can win the arguments or debates that arise around the topic of death. Our goal is to share the message of God's eternal kingdom, and the hope to be found in our future with Him... and to live for what really matters.
I am Most Like Jesus When...In this series, we focus on the final days of Jesus' time here on Earth. During this time, Jesus displayed some of His most powerful expressions of living and loving... you could say He "saved the best for last!"
We are most like Jesus when...
DEPEND FULLY ON GOD,
DIE TO SELF,
and COME BACK TO LIFE!
AbideAs Jesus was preparing to leave this world, he shared some of the most important lessons he wanted to pass on to his disciples . He told them plainly to ABIDE in him by nurturing a deep relationship with God, loving others the way He had loved them, and by fulfilling the mission for which He had chosen them.
Life is complex, complicated, and even chaotic when we are left to our own devices. Sin, certainly, is the source of all that opposes the life God created us to have and that He sent Jesus to bring.
His instructions are clear and relevant to us (his followers) even today. We must learn to ABIDE by being with God, being with others, and being sent.
Overcoming ApathyMany of us are feeling lethargic emotionally and spiritually. But, before we can figure out where we are going, we must recognize why we can't stay where we are.
Regardless of the circumstances we might be facing, we can have joy. Paul, from confinement, wrote to the Philippians and encouraged them to not be satisfied or stuck in place, but to remain unified, to keep learning, growing, and living out their faith.
Generosity According to JesusIt's very important we understand that being a faithful steward and living generously has to do with much more than just money! Our everyday choices dictate what we do, not just with every dollar, but also with every opportunity we have to use our time, talents, skills and other gifts.
How does the life and death of Jesus inform our expressions of generosity? Come and find out!
Paul's Letter to the RomansThe book of Romans is a powerful theological work in the form of a letter to the Christians in Rome. It equips them, and us, to have a clear picture of God and understand our relationship with Him. It helps us discover how to live out our faith, by living on mission and through true community with the people of God.
Real LoveIf all of life is curated so that it’s advancing an agenda, how do we know what's real? When we love our neighbors, how do we avoid looking and sounding more like a social media post than an authentic Jesus-follower? In other words, what does Living and Loving like Jesus look like in our world today?
In this series, we’re going to explore what REAL LOVE looks like. We will learn how to follow Jesus’ example and not fall prey to the casual, short-lived, curated love that surrounds us.
Q and ALife is filled with so many twists, turns, challenges, and questions that it is often hard to know which way is up or which way to turn. It can feel overwhelming to be surrounded by so much information and so many options; we are in danger of becoming paralyzed, with no way to determine our next steps. But, God has provided us wisdom through His words (recorded for us in the Bible). By seeking truth and direction from Him, we find peace and confidence to navigate life.
The Jesus I Never KnewWho Is Jesus? History, art, and literature have all tried to capture just who Jesus is and have portrayed him in a variety of ways. By making a sincere attempt to understand his true identity, we can make an informed decision about his relevance to our lives and respond in faith as we attempt to live and love like him.
Gen WEThere is a discipleship crisis in the church today and we are not exempt. Multiple studies show that 40 to 50 percent of youth group seniors drift from God after they graduate high school (Growing Young, 17). There are a number of factors that play a role in this, but we believe that when the church and families come together, we can reverse this trend and effective change will take place!
God has designed the church and family to work together to disciple the next generation. So, what does it look like for every one of us to embrace our shared call to this mission? What does it look like to truly be "Generation WE?"
Love your ___ NeighborThroughout this series of teachings, we will identify barriers we may encounter in loving those that are different from us. We will be equipped with Biblical principles and other tools to help us identify blind spots and navigate the proper way to cross social, cultural, religious, and political barriers so we can truly “Love our ________ neighbor!”
PsalmsBeing with God leads us to an ever-increasing understanding of God’s character, and who He is.
The Book of Psalms is a collection of songs, prayers and poems that reflect the character of God.
We can be inspired by this wonderful book to encounter God in ways similar to those of its authors, and see for ourselves that He is sovereign, faithful, gracious, just, and worthy of our worship.
Good NewsWe could all use some GOOD NEWS!
Jesus came into the world at a point in history that parallels some of the same struggles we are facing today, and people were strengthened, encouraged, and overjoyed.
This good news is too good to keep to ourselves. We must celebrate and share the GOOD NEWS found in Jesus with the world!
On MissionWe all want our lives to matter. Even more, we want the way we spend each moment to matter, and to result in joy—both for ourselves and for those around us.
Did you know that you are uniquely designed (fearfully and wonderfully made) by God, to fulfill the purpose He has intended for you? So… what if you could experience life not as “something to survive,” but as a series of opportunities to fulfill your God-given purpose and to be on mission with Him?
The RoadmapGod has called us as a congregation to live and love like Jesus. It is something we are doing collectively AND must happen individually. This call is not unique to us- it is why each person was created in the image of God, saved through the death and resurrection of Jesus, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. As we attempt to become all God created us to be, we recognize that living and loving like Jesus involves being with God, being with others, and being sent. While these three movements are not linear nor a destination, they are each part of the journey of following Jesus as our Savior and Lord.
People of a Faithful GodHave you ever felt that you are swimming upstream? You are not alone! Throughout the course of history, God’s people have always been called to live counter-culturally, to be faithful to God no matter what the rest of the world chooses to believe or how it chooses to behave.
Throughout the Bible we read about people like Abraham, Nehemiah, Daniel, Ruth, Elijah and Esther and see their faithfulness in difficult times. While this faithfulness demonstrates great commitment, resolve, and courage, it is even more a testimony to the faithfulness of God who continues to guide, shepherd, and empower his people to live lives that please Him. By learning from their life stories, we should be inspired and equipped to be faithful to God no matter what!
Pray Like JesusOne of the biggest misconceptions about prayer, though it would rarely be qualified as such, is that God is "out there somewhere," and our job is to go out and find him, hoping He might listen to our pleading and maybe even respond. The reality, however, is that as much as we long for the presence and attention of God, He longs for our presence and attention even more!
Prayer, then, is not an obligation on the list of things necessary to be a "good Christian"; it's an invitation to know Him—truly know Him—and bring Him our joy and pain, our anger and affection. This invitation is not reserved for the "Super-Christians." It's both fundamental to the life of every believer and is far more accessible than we could ever know!
101Questions about Christianity abound: What does it mean to be “Christian”? Why are there so many different types of Christians that seem to believe in very different things? Who should I listen to if I want to learn more about Christianity? Why would I want to be a Christian? How do I become a Christian, and what do I have to do once I am one? What do I need to know if I want to tell someone else about Christianity?
These are all foundational questions. They existed in the 1st century and persist here in the 21st. One of the early Church leaders, Paul, addressed each of these questions in a letter he wrote to young churches in Laodicea and Colossae. This Biblical book, called Colossians, was written as a “foundations course” for new Christians. It addresses the central message (called the Good News, or “Gospel”) of Christianity, the humanity and the Godliness of Jesus Christ, the identity of those that believe in and follow him, how we are to live our lives as Christians, and how following Him impacts our relationships with other people.
It’s vital that we understand these foundational aspects of the Christian walk as we grow in Christ and live a life worthy of and pleasing to Him.
Easter at Crossroads 2021Jesus is ALIVE, and He brings eternal life to everyone that believes in Him!
As a church family, we have been seeking what it truly means to Live and Love Like Jesus. On Easter Sunday, we see that Jesus brings LIFE and JOY and HOPE to a dying world. He brings eternal life to everyone that believes in Him.
The KingdomWhen we truly allow Jesus to be our Lord, it changes how we live and how we love. It also changes the world around us – it restores both our lives and our world to how God created them to be. Put simply, the Kingdom of God is about:
God’s reign through God’s people over God’s place.
Praying “your kingdom come” asks God’s gracious reign to invade the sin-corrupted spaces of our lives and world.
Words of WisdomDoes the world seem to be shifting under your feet? As you try to grab hold of something you can place your trust in, thousands of voices clamor for your attention through traditional and social media outlets. Every voice claims to have the information you need to make the day-to-day decisions that will see you through the storm.
But information is only as good as its source. How can you possibly validate all the information that is at your fingertips? What you really need is WISDOM.
God’s Word is the best source of wisdom for all of life. The book of Proverbs contains principles and promises that are the key to healthy relationships, enjoying our work, managing our finances, clear communication, and more. The words of wisdom that are laid out in this book help us navigate life with confidence!
Christmas Eve 2020Guided by the Spirit of God, prophets in the past foretold of the coming of a Savior. This Savior–the Messiah, He came as a baby, a child, a new life!
Can you imagine the excitement, the anticipation, and the joy that comes with the announcement of the birth of a child? Join us this Christmas Eve as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, and the life and love the world has in Him!
He AppearedThe five themes of hope, peace, faith, joy, love and life that are celebrated throughout the Christmas season are also present within the last two chapters of John’s Gospel.
Over the course of this series, we will look at how each of these themes is represented through significant appearances: those of the resurrected Christ in John chapters 19 and 20, and several appearances (not the least of which is the birth of Jesus!) as recorded in the Christmas story.
Kingdom ComeAs we walk through the final week of Jesus’ life on earth, we see his focus on helping his followers understand their role in the kingdom he is bringing to earth.
Jesus wants his followers to fully comprehend his mission. He also wants them to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to participate and continue this mission. Jesus has demonstrated what it looks like to live fully surrendered to the work of the Father and to actively join this work. Now, he invites us all to live and love like him so that it truly will be "on earth as it is in Heaven."
The Servant KingAll throughout the Gospel of John, Jesus’ teaching and miracles have revealed His identity and His purpose. Both point to the truth that He is the promised king. However, he has not come in the way people expected this king, the Messiah, to come and reign.
As Jesus makes a final trip to Jerusalem, we see His commitment to accomplishing the work of His Heavenly Father on full display. He speaks of dying, even being crucified, and this is a lasting revelation of the ultimate way to live and love like Jesus...as a servant.
Jesus defines and displays what His true identity and mission are by making His way to Jerusalem and offering His life as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. In this manner, as a servant, he conquers sin and death as King and He continues to challenge His followers to follow His example.
The Turning PointIn the last two verses of John chapter eight, we saw Jesus make a bold proclamation of his true identity, After his claim to be “I AM,” the eternal God incarnate, the religious leaders become determined to end his life. This brings us to a turning point in the life of Jesus.
From this point forward, we see Jesus continue to reveal his true identity through His teachings and miracles. The religious leaders become more and more hostile towards him, as they look for a way and a time to end his life. They lack faith in his identity and mission, and their spiritual blindness keeps them from embracing Jesus as the promised Messiah.
We all encounter turning points in our lives. We come to a crossroads where we must decide: will we let our disillusionment, fear, guilt, pride or sin keep us from allowing Jesus to complete His work in us, or will we respond in complete faith and trust as Jesus shepherds us, and his life and love work through us?
Jesus IsIn the Book of John, we see Jesus described by the people of his day simply as:
and "the Son of Mary and Joseph."
But John records many other descriptions of Jesus, as well.
"The living Word," present at the dawn of time,
He is not just "A light," but "THE light," that darkness cannot extinguish.
He is a teacher of teachers,
a well of living water,
and the source of salvation for ALL of the people of the world.
Over the next few weeks, we will see that Jesus is
the one who gives victory over death.
He is one with the Father.
He is our provider.
He is... the Great I AM.
An InvitationAt the heart of the Good News is an invitation to be a citizen of God’s kingdom. In the book of John we see that the invitation was hand-delivered by Jesus, the Son of God himself! The invitation is not exclusive—in fact, it is made to anyone and everyone that will accept it. The offer has been made to those that have grown up thinking that their right to enter the kingdom is hereditary, or otherwise earned, and to those that never expected to be invited. To accept this invitation to take part in the kingdom, we need only believe that the herald is truly the heir.
Enter JesusThe gospel of John captures narratives and interactions that displayed the lifestyle and heart of Jesus. From the opening, we capture just how important Jesus is in understanding the heart of God and responding to him in relationship. As we discover just how Jesus lived and loved, we can begin to follow his example in our own lives. As we do, we also reflect the heart of God and express his love to the world around us.
What Child Is This?Every parent chooses the name of their child carefully. The list of possibilities often includes the names of beloved family members and friends. Sometimes, a name is selected because the parents like the way it sounds, or the manner in which it rolls off the tongue. Another criteria used in naming children is the 'trendiness" of the name (the most popular names for baby boys and girls born in the United States over the past year were “Liam” and “Emma,” respectively).
Throughout scripture we see several names ascribed to the Son of God. To a person unfamiliar with the Bible this can be quite confusing. They may ask: “Why so many names?” “What does each name mean?” or even, “What’s in a name?”
In this season, and throughout our lives, we celebrate the birth of Jesus by recognizing the power and significance of each name given Him: Immanuel, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Jesus!
The Sermon On The MountIn Matthew Chapters 5-7, Jesus delivers a speech that launches a world-wide revolution.
As he sits on a mountainside and speaks to the crowd that has gathered, he describes “the #BLESSED life”, but the picture he paints is VERY different from what you would expect the typical revolutionary to paint. To motivate his followers, Jesus encourages them to be “poor” and “meek.” He tells them to show mercy even when (especially when) it is undeserved and then goes on to say that they will suffer persecution and insults, and this suffering should bring them joy; their hardships are actually blessings!
In this, his most famous sermon, Jesus flipped the script on God’s chosen people. For centuries, they’d looked to their PAST for answers in their PRESENT life. Now, Jesus was telling them to look to their FUTURE. He told them that the Law, handed down to them by God, was actually prophetic. It pointed to a future that HE was bringing to pass. He told them their true value was to be found in living a life pleasing to God—and by pursuing this life, they would fulfill every aspect and intent of the Law. Jesus promised the suffering they were enduring here on Earth would prove to be insignificant compared to their future with Him.
God’s intent from day one has been for us to live a blessed life. Since the fall of man, our world has presented many false images or imitations of this life. When Jesus came to Earth, he painted a picture of what this life truly looks like and then, as a benediction to his sermon, he went on to live a TRULY blessed life, as an example for us to follow.
Let's Do ThisLife is not meant to be lived passively. A life well-lived has power and purpose. As CHRIST-FOLLOWERS, we’ve been saved from stagnation and called for a purpose greater than ourselves.
As THE CHURCH, we gather, and we gain strength.
As we scatter, we share the Love of God with the world around us. The church is not a building but a PEOPLE... confident in Christ, and UNITED with one mission: to continue the good work that He began.
NOW is the time for us to say, “LET’S DO THIS!”
JonahThe Book of Jonah includes much more than the simple Sunday school story of “Jonah and the Big Fish”…
This book highlights God’s sovereignty and mercy. It shows his love for all of mankind—those that follow Him, and those that have chosen to go the opposite direction. This “simple child’s story” foreshadows the manner in which Jesus proved his identity as God’s son and brought the means for salvation to the world. This historical account of the prophet Jonah, who lived seven centuries before the birth of Christ, is full of rich application for the life of a 21st century believer.
We can see that there is a little bit of Jonah in every one of us; we’ve all been given a mission from God, and at times we have all had our own reasons for shying away from boldly proclaiming the Good News of Jesus to a world that desperately needs this message.
It has been said that there are glimpses of the Gospel Message in every book of the Bible. This is definitely proven true in the Book of Jonah, the prophet.
By DesignNone of us are here by accident. Our creator, God has uniquely designed each and every one of us. We have specific gifts, talents and abilities that God has given to us to reflect his goodness and glory. Join us in this 6 week series as we discover how His Church, our relationships, our work and prayer were all created By Design.