By God’s grace, we want to see Jesus transforming lives and renewing the South Bay.
As most clearly demonstrated on the cross, the love of Jesus meets us in our weakness. That love was evident throughout his entire life, death, and resurrection. And that love transforms how we think, feel and live.
Evil Desires - What To Do?
We continue our sermon series from the book of James. In this first chapter, James is showing us a spiritual fork in the road, and he even tells us what’s at the end of both paths. We face these types of choices on a weekly basis, if not daily - especially when the pressures of life test our faith. But the potential to ‘win the prize’ is not up to chance, skill, tricks, or uncovering some veiled secret. James warns us not to be deceived, by acting surprised when we are faced with temptation. Our good God has set us up for spiritual success. Let’s talk about what to do when we encounter “Evil Desires” (James 1:13-18).
The Suffering We All Want
We are continuing our sermon series in the Book of James. Last week we dove into the arduous reality of suffering that no one wants. This week James surprises us with the opposite: "The Suffering We All Want" (Jas.1:9-12). Wealth. Prosperity. Why would the biblical authors thematically see this as a dangerous and challenging thing? After all, money itself is not evil. Rather, it is "the love of money that is a root of all kinds of evil" (1 Tim.6:10). Well, who among us actually thinks they're greedy? Almost no one. So why does Jesus talk about money so much...if so few of us are greedy, and if so few of us see it as an immediate danger in our lives? It is Jesus' second most frequent topic. Why? Because we are blind to the problem. And it's killing us, along with our real joy. Let's gather and let James restore our vision and our joy.
A Blessing We Dread
Last Sunday, along with our Fall Kick-Off, we began a new sermon series in the Book of James. All we did was look at the life of James as context for his letter. Now we begin the body of the letter, and James doesn't waste any time getting into it. "Count it all joy when you meet trials..." Joy in suffering? Is James a masochist? No, he takes it as a given that you will suffer. Yet most Americans spend much of their money and energy attempting to deny that reality. And here is what we miss: the fruit that only comes through suffering. James is not calling us to celebrate suffering, but to see a God so good that he can and will use our suffering. How can we do that? And what do we lose when we don't see that? Let's talk about "A Blessing We Dread" (Jas.1:2-8).
Knowing Jesus Changed James
We will begin a new sermon series in the Book of James. A good friend of mine likes to call this "the Monday morning letter," since James writes this letter to the church assuming you heard the Good News about Jesus on Sunday, and now he is ardently calling for us to live that out throughout the rest of the week. It's a letter largely about embodying what it means to be a Christian in everyday life. Yet this week we will begin with the author. Because, along with the Gospel, who is writing gives us essential context for understanding why it matters so much. Once we realize this is the brother of Jesus - the same brother who was previously so critical of Jesus (Mk.3:21; Jn.7:5) - this letter begins to come alive in our lives in the same way that James was led to write it. How can that be? Let's talk about how "Knowing Jesus Changed James" (Jas.1:1).