Sermons by Shawn Reese
Genesis 17 This week we return to the covenant. God had already entered into a covenant with Abram in chapter 15. Chapter 17 completes it. God wants Abram and Sarai to be active partners with him in his work. But, what does it look like to be an active partner with the living God? In other words, what marks us out who partner with him by faith? (Here’s one hint – this is baptism Sunday.) What is amazing is that this chapter stands alone in the Old Testament as containing five long and elaborate speeches by God himself.
Genesis 16 God made extraordinary promises to Abram and Sarai, but it has been ten long years and still no hint of fulfillment. They have grown weary of the wait. They are desperate people in a desperate situation, and they do what desperate people do in desperate situations. They act! But, they act without consulting God, which ultimately sets in motion the most hostile conflict in world history. But, within all the brokenness and fear and pain of not waiting (in trust), we still find hope. We find a “God who sees.”
Genesis 15 After spending two weeks considering Lot and his life apart from Abram, this week we return to the main storyline of Abram and Sarai, and God’s extraordinary promises to them of land and offspring. This week’s text provides the foundation of much of the theology of Paul, so it is an all-important text for understanding what it really means to walk in trust of the living God.
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians that when we follow Christ, we “walk by faith, not by sight.” This phrase will be the theme for this week’s study in the lives of Abram and Sarai. Abram and Sarai (and Lot) are back in the land, but another crisis hits. This time, Abram and Lot each have too many possessions for the land to sustain them. What will they do to solve this crisis? They must either choose to walk by faith, trusting in the living God and his promises, or walk solely by physical sight. We are faced with the same option everyday – will we choose to walk in trust of the living God or solely by sight? Genesis 13:5-18
Genesis 12:4-13:4 Why is “fear not” the most constant refrain in all of Scripture? Because fear prevents us from trusting God and going deeper with him. We learned last week that for Abram and Sarai to be blessed and become a blessing, they must throw their entire weight upon the living God in trust. This week, we see their first crisis. Will they trust God and become a blessing, or fear and miss out on going deeper with him?
Genesis 11:27 – 12:3 This Sunday, I will invite you into an adventure, an adventure of trust, as we begin a study in the lives of Abraham and Sarah, the two most significant people of the ancient world. Corrie Ten Boom’s line is appropriate for this story: “Faith is the fantastic adventure in trusting God.” Over and over again in this adventure, we will be presented with the question, what does it look like to trust God with our lives? In Romans, Paul says to watch Abraham, for Abraham is the father of all those who trust God (Rom 4:11-12). Join us this week as we seek to follow in Abraham’s tracks of trust, blessed to be a blessing.
Gen 1 and 2 Humanity is made in the image of God, meaning we are his reflection and his representation on this earth. It also means that we have been given a responsibility. In Genesis 1, God saw that his creation was “very good,” then passes the baton to humanity to steward it on his behalf. What does that really mean, and what are the implications for our life? That’s what we will explore this Sunday.
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.