Upcoming Sermon Series

In a recent church survey, we asked if there were any particular sermon topics people would be interested in hearing. We received back quite a few topics that Pastor Mike is planning to use to finish out 2018 once we wrap up our journey through Exodus at the end of this month.

Unfortunately, there’s not enough time for every idea (though they may be visited further in the future). Below are the series and sermons planned from August through December.

August: The Art of Prayer and Fasting
08.05 “Learning to Pray” (Luke 11:1-13)
08.12 “The Art of Praying Well” (Romans 8:26-30)
08.19 “Learning to Fast” (Isaiah 58)
08.26 “The Art of Fasting Well” (Matthew 6:1, 16-18)

the art of prayer and fasting (sermon series)

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September 2: TBD

September: God and Money (personal finance)
09.09 “Stay Focused” (1 Timothy 6:6-10, Matthew 6:24)
09.16 “Plan Well” (Proverbs 6:6-8, 13:6, 21:20)
09.23 “Live Within Your Means” (Romans 13:8, Proverbs 22:7, Psalm 37:21)
09.30 “Give Generously” (1 Timothy 6:17-19)

God and Money (sermon series)

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October: Finding Light in the Darkness (hope in the face of despair)
10.07 “The Greatest Light” (Genesis 3, John 1)
10.14 “The Light of Hope: Battling Depression and Fatigue” (1 Kings 19)
10.21 “The Light of Peace: Battling Anxiety” (Matthew 6:25-34)
10.28 “Shining the Light: Supporting Others in Their Dark Times” (Romans 12:9-15)

finding light in the darkness (sermon series)

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November – December: The Life of… (biblical character studies)
11.04 “The Life of Mary”
11.11 “The Life of David”
11.18 “The Life of Hannah”
11.25 “The Life of Daniel”
12.02 “The Life of Tabitha”
12.09 “The Life of Barnabas”

the life of 00

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The Purpose of Fasting

And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.” – Mark 2:19-20

Mark records a time where the Pharisees and the disciples of John the Baptist were engaged in a fast, a short-term abstention from food, but Jesus’ disciples were not. Some people asked Jesus why this was so, and he replied with a brief illustration about wedding guests and a groom. In this illustration, Jesus is the groom and his followers are the guests. He said as long as the groom is present, there’s no reason to fast; but when the groom leaves, then there will be reason.

Throughout the Bible fasting was practiced for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, being a part of a religious ritual, sorrow over sin, and in combination with prayer in the face of difficult circumstances.

In Mark 2, Jesus says that it is also right to fast because of our present separation from him. In one sense, because Jesus is God the Son and is everywhere-present, we are never separated from him. The Holy Spirit dwelling within us, God in us, is even called the Spirit of Christ by Paul in Romans 8. So, Jesus’ promise in Matthew 28:20 is true: he is with us always.

Yet, in another sense, we do not experience Jesus physically and face-to-face like his first disciples did 2000 years ago and like we will for all of eternity to come. In this way, our present experience of Jesus is incomplete. This is why, with Jesus’ return and our eternity with him in mind, Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”

Jesus desires that we be filled with joy, but even the deepest joys today lack in comparison to the perfect joy of eternity. So, we wait and we long for the day that the Bridegroom returns.

Here, fasting has a place. We take moments and sometimes days to abstain from food that we might deepen our dependence on God through prayer and his word. We also take these moments to remember that we’ve not yet seen the fullness of our salvation, and things are not yet the way they will be when our hope is fully realized. But that day is coming and then we will fast no more.

New posts in this series will appear most Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

Mark 2_19-20

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