preach-itSermon Archive

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November 2018

Marks of a Delivered People

Vincent Van Gogh, of course, is one of the most famous painters of the nineteenth century, and arguably one of the most famous painters of all time. At the Vincent Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam they have on display many of Van Gogh’s best-known masterpieces. In the basement of the museum, however, there is an interesting display of sketches Van Gogh did in advance of particular parts of his final masterpieces. So, for example, on the first page of one sketchpad, there is a pencil sketch of

Building a Theology of Church Membership

We will be take a break from our Esther series this Sunday. Instead, we pose the question, “What’s the deal with church membership?” This study will coincide with the announcement of our next round of church membership classes. If you are not already a member of State Road, please prayerfully consider whether or not God is leading you to become one.

Some people think of membership as a dry formality – a hoop to jump through. Still others point to the fact that it is nowhere mentioned

Building Your Own Gallows

I love watching westerns —Unforgiven, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, Tombstone, High Plains drifter, Fistful of Dollars, Pale Rider— I love them all! My favorite scene in just about every western is the climactic when the hero confronts the low-down, dirty bad guy. Westerns always have a showdown scene, Right? The hero is usually some kind of mysterious ex-gunslinger who is just trying to leave his past behind him, but he can’t outrun his past because he gets involved with the innocen

Going to the King

One of my favorite things about this time of year is costumes. I like the funny and creative ones best. I admire folks who make their own homemade outfits, but as a father of five I definitely understand why most will opt to just pick one up at Walmart instead.

The appeal of costumes seems obvious to me. Who hasn’t ever dreamed of being something or somebody other than who we are? Even for adults it’s fun to imagine and pretend.

I thought of costumes recently when I read Judge

October 2018

Such A Time As This

In this message, as we continue our study through the book of Esther, we dive into what is arguably the most commonly quoted chapter of the book, Chapter 4. As news of Xerxes’ edict, which has condemned all the Jews to death, spreads Mordecai mourns bitterly, and Esther becomes aware that she is uniquely well-positioned to act on behalf of her people by protesting to the most ultimate human authority in all the realm, her husband, Xerxes himself. There is a problem though, she is reluctan

A Certain People

In this message the plot will thicken as we continue our study through the Old Testament book of Esther. In our study of chapter 2 we witnessed the unlikely rise to prominence of Esther, a Jewish orphan girl who is chosen by King Xerxes to become the next Queen of Persia. God had a lot to say to us through His Word as we studied chapter 2 together. In this message, as we study chapter 3, we will witness the rise of another person in Xerxes’ court. Every great story needs a villain, and in

Beauty and the Beast

In the previous message we dove into the book of Esther by unpacking chapter 1 together. In some ways that chapter reads like something that happened long, long ago in a kingdom far, far away, but in other ways it seemed ripped right out of today’s headlines and our own life experience. There was much more to explore in the chapter than we had time last message, but I am grateful for our small group ministries providing a place for folks to dig deeper into some of the ideas that the chapt

When God is Invisible He is Still Involved

This Sunday, as we worship God through the study of His Word, we will be jumping in to the first chapter of Esther. Chapter 1 is kind of a dark way to begin this story. Neither God nor God’s people are in view and all of the brokenness of the fall is on full display in the drunken court of King Xerxes. It reminds me of the truth that before there can ever be good news there must first be bad news. I’m looking forward to seeing what God wants to say to us through His Word when we gather back together this Sunday.

September 2018

An Introduction to Esther

In this message we launch into our new study through the Old Testament book of Esther.

In Acts 20:27 Paul told the Elders of the Ephesian church, “I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.”

God’s people need the whole counsel of God, and this is one of the biggest reasons why we believe it is important to study our way through entire books of the Bible. We want to receive the whole counsel of God, not just snatch little snippets here and there. When Bibl

Worthless Devotion

What does a knowledge of God and His son Jesus do in your life? It is inherent in all of us that in each moment, our brains are making risk-reward decisions. We are willing to take higher risks with the greater probability of higher rewards and of course lower risks when the reward is also low. Some of these decisions are at very subconscious level and others are decisions we process through much thought and consideration. Like the age old question…where will we go to lunch today after th