Posts Tagged 'Life'

Learn to Discern: Showing God’s Will

Learn to Discern: Showing God’s Will Sermon Audio Here

Jeremiah 1:4-10 / 1 Timothy 4:11-16

Ed Faubert is what you call a “cupper”—in layman’s terms, he’s a coffee-taster. And his perspicacious taste buds are actually certified by the state of New York! So refined is Faubert’s sense of taste for coffee that even while blindfolded, he can take one sip of coffee and tell you “not just that it is from Guatemala, but from what state it comes, at what altitude it was grown, and on what mountain.”

Wanna Grow?

Go! ~ Jeremiah 1:4-10

  • 4/5 God chooses us to serve (not dependent on YOU)
  • 6/7 God does the sending (not your responsibility)
  • 8/10 God’s word is effective (not your job to change others)

Show! ~ 1 Timothy 4:11-16

  • 11/12 set an example: ALL parts of your life are fair game
  • 13 devote yourself: what does that look like in YOUR life?
  • 14/15 wholly~holy pun: giving ourselves is part of the sanctification process:
    • having others watch HOW you serve the Lord is itself a PART of serving the Lord
  • 16 carefully persevere: keep on keeping on

KNOWING a fact doesn’t change a life; IMPLEMENTING it does.

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Snapshots from Mark: The Main Thing

Snapshots from Mark: The Main Thing Sermon Audio Here

Mark 12:28-34

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” Steven R. Covey, Scott Krippayne But ZEROING in on the main thing is no easy thing: the Choice is between good, better, and BEST…

What’s The Main Thing?

Love God ~ Mark 12:28-30

  • 28 Good question: what IS most important? Let’s be honest: we spend a LOT of our lives searching for meaning and purpose… and all too often, we leave God out of the picture
  • 29 Reminder: LISTEN (Shema) Important to listen to what God says to us
  • 30 Love God with EVERYTHING you have: not just a Sunday/Easter/Christmas thing. ALL IN (you can’t be a little bit pregnant: you either are, or you’re not)

Love People ~ Mark 12:31-34

  • 31 Shema was the most famous OT quote to Israel; Leviticus 19=more obscure (e.g., don’t wear clothes made of two kinds of material; don’t shave; don’t eat fruit from a new tree for 3 years) AND YET nestled in this obscure chapter Jesus says is found the second most important part of the entire Torah: love of neighbor
  • 32/33 the questioner agrees with Jesus: LOVE more important than religious duty
  • 34 “not far from Kingdom of God” – not enough to KNOW – we actually have to CHOOSE LOVE DAILY

Not a typical Easter sermon. We’re in the midst of a study in the book of Mark, and this is just what came up in the text. But it’s incredibly appropriate for Resurrection Sunday: Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross showed how much God loved us to make a way for us to love Him back; Jesus’ Resurrection showed that God loved us enough to show us that He wants us to know Him as FRIEND, not just Savior.

Thriving In Thessalonica

Thriving In Thessalonica Sermon Audio Here

1 Thessalonians 2:9-13

In our first week looking at First Thessalonians, we tested thankfulness. Our second week, we measured motive. Today, we talk about flourishing faith:

Faith That Thrives Or Is Merely Alive: What’s The Difference?

Living Faith Is FUSED With Life ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:9-11

  • 9 preached=heralded; called out the truth; while working among them, the gospel was talked about (less pulpit, more participation)
  • 10 among you: Paul & team immersed themselves in the lives of others
  • 11 like a good father does

Thriving Faith is USED Throughout Life ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:12-13

  • 12 encouraging, comforting, urging: father/pastor/coach => movement towards worth/value
  • 13 the Word “which is at work”; we’re not intended to just sit

How do we know that God has ACTUALLY called us? How do we know that our FAITH is real (and we’re not just fooling ourselves)? Because we CHANGE. We’re DIFFERENT. The presence of God’s Grace does something in us, and we walk with God into His Kingdom.

Learning from Luke: Seek the Easter Kingdom

Learning from Luke: Seek the Easter Kingdom Sermon Audio Here

Click here to play the file


Luke 12:22-34

Frederick the Great of Prussia once visited a school, and singled out a little girl, held up a stone in front of her, and asked, “To which kingdom does this stone belong?” “To the mineral kingdom,” came the quick reply. “And to which kingdom does this apple belong?” “To the plant kingdom.” Next the king pointed to the picture of a horse and asked her to classify the horse. “It belongs to the animal kingdom,” said the girl. Then, after a pause, the king demanded, “And to which kingdom do I belong?” Now the girl hesitated. Finally, she answered, “You belong to the kingdom of God.” The king was deeply moved by this unexpected reply and said to the girl, “Pray God that I may be found worthy of such an honor.”

Anyone who accepts the work that Jesus has done on the cross can be a part of that Easter Kingdom.

As A Part of the Easter Kingdom, We Can See That:

He is Lord of Everyday Life
Luke 12:22-24~ don’t worry about stuff

  • v22 Jesus’ focus: don’t worry about life
  • v23 Life is MORE than stuff (cf. Abundant Life John 10:10)
  • v24 how valuable are you? Do you agree with God on this?

=> If you had a bank that credited your account each morning with $86,400, that carried no balance from day to day, allowed you to keep no cash in your account, and finally every evening canceled whatever part of the amount you had failed to use during the day. what would you do? Draw out every cent–of course!
Well, you have such a bank and its name is “Time.” Every morning it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it rules off–as lost–whatever of this you had failed to invest to good purpose.

He is Lord of Common Time
Luke 12:25-28~ how do you spend your time?

  • v25 we are not in control
  • v26 what is impossible for us is a little thing to God
  • v27/28 God cares for you because of who HE is

He is Lord of Constant Care
Luke 12:27-31~ think about how God values you

  • v29/30 God knows your needs
  • v31 Agree with God about His priorities

=> Queen Victoria, after hearing one of her chaplains preach on the second coming of Christ, said, “Oh, how I wish that the Lord would come during my lifetime.” When asked why, she replied, “Because I should so love to lay my crown at His feet.”

He is Lord of Everlasting Hope
Luke 12:32-34~ let go of stuff; hold onto God

  • v32 We don’t trust God because of FEAR; yet God trusts US
  • v33 trade your old stuff for PERMANENT treasure
  • v34 your heart is connected to your stuff (how do you define yourself?); Jesus reminds us to be connected to GOD, and let HIM define us

Think about your daily life: how do you spend your common time? Are you burdened with constant care over what you feel you need? Let go of anything that weighs you down, and be lifted in the Hope of the Risen Savior. Set your mind and heart on God’s trust in you to live as a citizen of Heaven right here, right now.

Walking in Two Worlds: Where Do You Walk

Walking in Two Worlds: Where Do You Walk Sermon Audio Here


1 John 1:1-2:2

    Phil Keaggy – Walking in Two Worlds

When you walk in two worlds
Hold your head up high
When you walk in two worlds
Keep your sights to the sky.

Remember you’re in this place
But of another race
You move to a different pace
The drumbeat of the sky
Walking in two worlds.

As We Journey Together,

Start from a Place of Life
1 John 1:1-4

  • v1 we are eyewitnesses
  • v2 of eternal life
  • v3 which brings us into fellowship with God and each other
  • v4 complete=play-ro-oo=CRAMMED FULL

Continue in a Way of Light
1 John 1:5-2:2

  • v5/6 light is truth
  • v7 walk in the open
  • v8 “if we lay out that we are not sinners”
  • v9 when we lay claim to our sin, it no longer defines us
  • v10 but we NEED to admit our sin
  • v1/2 Jesus has paid for our sin – for ALL sin

There is POWER in confession – when we admit that we do NOT have it all together, we also have to admit that the only thing which gets us through the journey is the grace of Christ in us – and it’s available for EVERYONE.

The Messiah’s Ministry: Life Over Death

Matthew 28:1-10

Audio of April 20, 2014 sermon

One of the best privileges of being a minister is seeing new life at the altar; bride & groom becoming one; mourning families realizing their loved one is with Jesus; watching the face of a baby as she’s baptized and the family’s response – coming to the altar is a recognition that we aren’t alone, that God works with us to help us recognize that we are NOT Him!

An “Altared” Life Engages

* God’s Work in Our Sorrow
1-4 Dealing with the unexpected
v1 went to look at the Tomb
v2 earth-shaking effects will happen
v3/4 some can’t handle God’s work

* Our Work in God’s Scenario
5-7 Responding to the Master’s Plan
v5 remember: do not be afraid
v6 investigate: come and see
v7 share: go and tell

* Our Walk with God’s Savior
8-10 Living with a new nature
v8 fill with joy
v9 come to worship
v10 expect to see

Jesus’ life and teaching shows us the character of God and the nature of His Kingdom; Jesus’ death on the cross paid the ultimate price for our sin; Jesus’ Resurrection means that we, like Christ, have NEW LIFE that will last forever! What will you experience as you walk with Jesus?

The Messiah’s Ministry: Triumphal Entry

Palms for Palm Sunday


Matthew 21:1-11
Audio of April 13, 2014 sermon
Several centuries ago, a Japanese emperor commissioned an artist to paint a bird. A number of months passed, then several years, and still no painting was brought to the palace. Finally the emperor became so exasperated that he went to the artist’s home to demand an explanation. Instead of making excuses, the artist placed a blank canvas on the easel. In less than an hour, he completed a painting that was to become a brilliant masterpiece. When the emperor asked the reason for the delay, the artist showed him armloads of drawings of feathers, wings, heads, and feet. Then he explained that all of this research and study had been necessary before he could complete the painting.

How Do We Prepare For Jesus’ Arrival?
* Running Errands for the Master (Eph.2:10)
1-5 Preparation or Pre-knowledge?
v1/2 Notice the Details
v3 Reaffirm Jesus’ Authority
v4/5 Remember God Has A Plan

* Raising Exultation For the Master (Col.3:16-17)
6-11 Intentional praise or unexpected surprise?
v6/7 Everyday elements for the Master’s use (cloaks)
v8 Readily available for the Master’s praise
(palms symbol peace/celebration)
v9 Son of David=Messiah; Hosanna=Save us!
v10 Realize that some will not know Him
v11 Reply to those who ask about your praise

When Jesus comes again in the clouds, every eye will see Him, and every knee will bow… and for some, it will not be a joyful revelation. When we recognize Messiah-our-Savior in our lives daily, we have every reason to experience joy.


Pastor Ed Backell

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