Sun, Nov 03, 2019
Duration: 46 mins 12 secs
Everyone has potential. Sadly, many do not reach it. Their lives our wrecked by untamed passions and uncontrolled pride. Need a case study? Look no farther than Samson. This miracle child, empowered by the Spirit of God, spiraled to his death. His good looks, strong arms, and clever riddles could not compensate for his foolish decisions. And yet, God still used him and answered his prayers. That offers hope to those of us who likewise fail to reach their God-given potential.
Sun, Oct 27, 2019
We get stuck in loops. When they're good, we call them grooves. When they're bad, we call them ruts. As creatures of habit, we cannot help but gravitate toward the predictable. This ancient problem is most tragically illustrated in the book of Judges. Generation after generation in Israel does evil, gets oppressed, cries out, receives a deliverer from God, experiences short-lived peace, and then repeats the cycle. Fortunately, God can help us break bad cycles and replace them with good ones.
Sun, Oct 20, 2019
Duration: 52 mins 48 secs
After Joshua died a leadership vacuum opened. Worse yet, Israel intermarried with the Canaanites and failed to clear their land of idols. Thus begins the book of Judges, which chronicles God's people descent into false worship and civil warfare. This message will orient us to the book of Judges -- its structure, key players, and major themes -- and the timeless threat of idolatry. God's prohibition of idols (and jealousy) betrayed his desire for his people to live full and free lives. For those interested in a life of delight, they must uproot idols.
Sun, Jun 07, 2015
The fear of failure likely affects more people than the fear of success. But the dark side of success touches many of us. Those who have tasted success, or watch others experience it, have noted themes that emerge from Gideon's life. After gaining confidence from God of certain victory over the Midianites (Judges 6:11-7:23), Gideon gives chase to his enemies. In the following narrative (Judges 7:24-8:35), we find three reasons to fear success: it breeds critics, feeds conceit, and leads to change/corruption. While we cannot control our critics (and we better not be one), we can fight conceit and resist corruption, so that our work retains its virtue. For true success is leveraging our work for God's glory, not ours (Psalm 115:1).
Sun, May 31, 2015
Duration: 42 mins 15 secs
The fear of failure haunts us all. We may fear failing as parents, spouses, workers, or Christ-followers. We may fear failing in a project, task, or commitment. Fortunately, we can overcome the fear of failure.
Gideon serves as our model. He was a Hebrew leader during a dark time in Israel's past. Foreigners routinely attacked them and devoured their harvest (Judges 6:1-10). God uses reluctant Gideon to fight of the Midianites and model courage (6:11-7:23). Like us, Gideon is not a fast learner, but requires a series of tests (smashing altars, shrinking armies) and proofs from God (laying fleece, spying) to march forward. Ultimately, Gideon illustrates a big God, clear goals, and strong group can diffuse the fear of failure.