Sermons by Shawn Reese
Does Being Human Matter? Genesis 1:26-27 This week we begin our summer series called “Does it matter?” For the next eight weeks, we will explore eight topics that our culture sometimes influences us to regard as insignificant. However, we want to show that each of these topics matter tremendously to God, and therefore should matter tremendously to us. So, does being human matter? In many ways, this topic is a foundation for everything else in life. And, what we find in Genesis is the radical truth that every single person is made in God’s image! It’s a radical concept, but what does it really mean, and what are the implications for our life? That’s what we will explore this Sunday.
Matt 2:13-23 For God so loved the world, he sent his son… into the harsh reality of a fallen, dark, violent and suffering world. In the incarnation, we see the unbelievable depth of God’s extravagant love. He so extravagantly loves us that he enters into our reality in all of our pain and struggles and sorrows. He lives our reality which means we can trust him when he will eventually grow up and teach us. He really is the only hope “far as the curse is found.”
Matt 7:13-29 We come to the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount this week, where Jesus essentially asks us what we’re going to do with it. It’s not enough just to read it and hear it. Jesus desires us to live it. So what will you do with it now?
Matthew 7:1-12 We return to the Sermon on the Mount this week and encounter one of the most breath-taking and brilliant statements that has ever been said, what has come to be called “The Golden Rule.” Everything comes together in this one brilliant statement. But, notice that it begins with “therefore.” That means the things that come before it feed into it. What comes before it? Do not judge others, help others and pray for others. Jesus invites his disciples to become “Golden Rulers” by doing these things.
Matt 6:19-34 This week, in our continuation of Jesus’ famous words in Matthew 6, Jesus gives us some hope for the day-to-day anxiety that we all deal with. He essentially invites us to do three things: look, examine and seek. Look at the birds of the air, examine the flowers of the field and seek his purposes for the world with our whole heart. When we do these things, we will find that our good Father is good and wants to care for us. Ultimately, we learn to take the focus off of ourselves and trust him for our daily bread.
Matt 6:19-34 In our text for the next two weeks, Jesus seems to touch on many different themes, including treasures, visions, masters and anxiety. However, the single theme throughout this passage is anxiety. In other words, our anxiety, the day-to-day anxiety that we all deal with, is rooted in the choices we make about treasures, visions and masters. Come this Sunday as we explore this well-known passage.
Matt 6:12-15 This week is the last week in our journey through the Lord’s Prayer, the prayer that has been called a compendium of the Gospel, most likely because of petitions 5 and 6. Those are the two petitions we will explore this Sunday as we continue to ask the Lord to teach us to pray.
Matt 6:9-13 We enter back into the Lord’s Prayer this Sunday. The disciples are recorded to have asked Jesus to teach them only one thing – to pray. Jesus then teaches them the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11). In our journey through the prayer, we are asking Jesus the same thing: Lord teach us to pray. This Sunday we explore petitions 3 and 4: your will be done and give us this day our daily bread.
Matt 6:9-10 We are journeying through the Lord’s Prayer together, and this week we explore the first two petitions: “hallowed be your name” and “your kingdom come.” Over against babbling like pagans, Jesus teaches us to “pray like this” (6:9): address our Father in heaven, then pray these two petitions. Apparently he thought it vitally important to hallow the Father’s name and pray for his kingdom to come. But, what are we actually praying in these two petitions? I invite you to come Sunday as we explore this text together.
Matthew 6:7-15 In the Sermon on the Mount, in the middle of Jesus’ instruction on the Spiritual Disciplines, he gives extra teaching on prayer. He says that we are not to mindlessly babble in prayer, instead we are to pray simply and shortly, the model being the Lord’s Prayer.
Matt 6:1-6, 16-18 After our summer in the Parables, we now enter back into the Sermon on the Mount, Living Right-side Up in an Upside-down World. In our text for this week, Jesus protects the spiritual disciplines. Why? Because the spiritual disciplines nurture our relationship to God and nurture life in his kingdom. Jesus assumes we will do them, but his focus is on our motivation. Are we motivated to do them to be seen by people (others or ourselves), or are we motivated to do them “authentically” to be seen by God?
Matt 13:24-30, 36-43 If Jesus has brought the Kingdom of God, why is evil still happening? This Sunday we explore the parable of the wheat and weeds which helps us with that question. In the parable, the wheat and weeds are not to be separated until the final harvest, the final judgment. Ultimately, we are reminded again that God will bring justice and will reward the “righteous,” promising that they will shine like the sun forever and ever!This is our extravagant hope.