Hot or Cold? – Revelation 3:14-22

The last book of the Bible is one of the most difficult to understand. Revelation contains imagery and symbolism that can be very confusing. One such passage in Revelation involves Jesus warning a church that he is preparing to “spit them out of his mouth” because...

Confessing Jesus – Romans 10:9-10

People often try to make salvation harder to get than it really is. Faith alone in Christ alone is the clear teaching of the Bible. But a few verses in the Book of Romans seem to suggest that you must also confess Christ openly if you really want to be saved. What...

Perfect Judgment – Matthew 7:1-12

Maybe you’ve heard that the Bible tells us not to judge others. Perhaps you’ve even used those words to defend a mistake or misstep on your part. And yes, while there is a verse in Matthew 7 that begins like that, when context is understood, we find there is much more...

Hope and Change – Exodus 32:9-14

Can we trust God? The easy answer is, of course, but this answer is sometimes easier to say than it is to believe. When things go wrong, is God still there? When we go wrong, can we still trust God? Or will He change His mind and reject us in anger? Our experiences...

Max Impact: Gifts, Roles, and Contributions – Genesis 2:15, 18

With so many people, a variety in gifts/talents, and a common desire to make positive contributions, harmony should be no problem, right? Yet it seems men and women are increasingly stumbling to figure out how to work together in harmony at home, in our world, even in...

Receiving Grace In Vain – 2 Corinthians 6:1

Quite often we find ourselves racing through life, taking advantage of every opportunity, moment, and experience that comes our way. In this fast-paced reality it is incredibly easy for us to get consumed in the rush of activity, but eventually realize our priorities...

What is Dead Faith? – James 2:17

Suggest to people that salvation is by faith alone and you’re likely to hear disagreements. Many would say, “Faith is not enough. It must be accompanied by works or it’s not real. So, the person of dead faith remains an unbeliever.” James 2 is a chapter filled with...

Called According to His Purpose – Rom. 8:28

Since before recorded history began, human beings have been telling stories as a way of structuring our reality. Even today, the individual stories we tell about ourselves often determine how we view the world and the type of people we become. In the book of Romans,...

Do You Love Me? – John 21:15-25

We have all done or said things we wish we could undo or take back. Through this, we have felt the weight of our own miscalculated action or response, and sometimes that weight can feel unbearable. For Peter, this was no exception. He denied Christ not once, or twice,...

Contentment – Phil 4:10-14

We live in a society chock full of opportunities to seek that which is supposed to satisfy us. From the seemingly meaningless to the more important in life, we have been accustomed to search out what is best for ourselves. On the surface, there is nothing inherently...

Plans, Prosperity, & Promise – Jer. 29:11

You may have heard that God has plans for His people, plans for His people to prosper and have hope. But what does that really mean? And how does that fit with the times in life when we don’t see prosperity or hope like we thought we would? As we take a look at what...

Completing the Good Work – Phil. 1:6

Our salvation is guaranteed the moment we believe Jesus for it. But some also suggest that our good behavior or works are required to validate whether or not we’ve got the real thing. A popular understanding of Philippians 1:6 is that we continue to grow and improve...

Falling From Grace – Gal. 5:4

Sometimes we might assume we understand certain passages in the Bible. Maybe it’s a famous or familiar verse. Or maybe we once heard a sermon that gives us confidence we know the meaning of a particular passage of Scripture. But when we look a little deeper, there’s a...

Worship Matters

It’s easy to come into a church building, sing songs, listen to a message, and walk away thinking this is all there is to worshiping God. But what if God is telling us that worship is so much more than that? In Part 8 of Cultivate we explore what true worship really...

More Than A Conversation

Think of a list of spiritual practices and close to the top you’ll usually find prayer. Prayer is foundational—even expected on a checklist of spiritual behaviors. But anyone honestly experimenting with prayer has found it difficult, rewarding and even confusing. Try...

Be Near

God wants to be near us. He wants to spend time with us and to teach us how to become the people He wants us to be. But for many of us that’s not our routine experience. Today we’ll talk about how to experience God’s presence in an amazingly powerful way. We’ll talk a...

Keeping It To Yourself

In a culture where people clamor for attention and recognition, those secure in Christ have no need of the spotlight. One discipline in particular helps us give both the credit and glory to God. Even when we do good things, we can escape a look-at-me mindset by...

Choose Your Service

Serving isn’t glamorous. Giving of our time and energy can seem like an inconvenience. But it is never a waste of time. In God’s economy, the goodness we experience in our lives is always greatly multiplied when we choose to follow him and walk in the good works he...

Dig Deeper

The Bible has the power to transform our hearts and our lives when we engage with it because it connects us with the very words of God. Just like anything worth learning, to truly know it, we must not only read it, but, study and reflect on it. Going deeper takes more...

Peace In Quiet

The noise and pace of life can be both intoxicating and maddening. No wonder God reminds us that we can’t cultivate the soil of our lives and grow in Him at dizzying speeds. Growing requires slowing. That’s why the spiritual disciplines of solitude and silence—while...

Grow Up

We receive new life the moment we believe Jesus for it. But in order for that life to be experienced to the fullest we must cooperate with God in our spiritual growth. No one grows passively. When we cultivate the soil of our lives through deliberate, spiritual...

The Father

In Jesus’ story of two lost and wasteful sons there is a character is who far more wasteful and who willingly loses whatever is necessary – the Father. In response to the rejection and rebellion of his sons, the father answers with extravagant self-sacrificing love for each of them. He is a father like no other. This is the father Jesus came to show us. He is the father we have always needed, the father in whom we are meant to find ourselves.

The Older Son

The Parable of the Prodigal Son is a story of two sons. The older son is the son favored by tradition and culture. In Jesus’ time the older son would receive a larger inheritance and would be responsible to care for and uphold the family. In Jesus’ story the older son...

The Younger Son

The Parable of the Prodigal Son centers around the younger of two sons who turns his back on his father and his family to pursue his own freedom and happiness. His journey of rebellion, self-destruction, awakening, return, and redemption represents the very heart of...

Panel Interview

This final part of the series will be a panel interview with four professional psychologists who attend LifePoint. Joe Duke will moderate. This interview will take the place of the sermon slot. Joe will summarize the series then introduce the panel will introduce...

The Path To Joy

At some point in our lives, we are all going to experience negative emotions. That’s right. Suffering will come. And the emotions associated with suffering…guilt, shame, sadness, despair, anger…they will follow. What we do with these emotions says a lot about our...

The Destruction of Shame

There’s an enemy that lurks just below the surface of our lives. Its influence can be debilitating and even deadly. It may be Evil’s primary tool for rendering us ineffective and defeated. And no one is immune to its whispers. But this enemy can be conquered in ways...

Processing Our Pain

Our culture would rather avoid emotional pain and suffering than engage it. These experiences are treated as obstacles to living life to its fullest. Yet when we look back at our lives it’s usually the difficult events that have shaped us the most. Far from getting in...

Breathing Under the Water

After we realize there is life below the surface, we can then learn to breathe under the water. In other words, we can learn to swim in the real world of our emotions. Being in touch with our emotions means that we understand that our past affects our present and our...

What’s Below the Surface?

So much of your energy may be spent maintaining your life on the surface—your physical needs, your appearance, your life experienced through your five senses. But there’s a world that lies below the surface of your life too—a part of you that can often get ignored or...

Arrival

There’s nothing like the suspense of anticipation. Sometimes the wait seems like it lasts forever—like a child waiting for Christmas to finally arrive. When Jesus was born that first Christmas, the world had been waiting hundreds of years. But now for all of us, the...

Ready for a Savior

Advent is simply about waiting and in the last couple weeks we’ve heard about how to wait and the significance of what we’re waiting for. In this last week of Advent, we seek to understand our role in preparing ourselves. It’s easy for us to create plans for every...

The Promise of a Savior

Most of the events recorded in the Bible took place before Christmas. Long before the first Christmas was the promise that Christmas would come. This promise brought great hope, but it also brought frustration and restlessness. This is still true of Christmas. We...

You Need a Savior

Every human being is born in critical condition. We’re in trouble. Our inability to personally save ourselves and get right with God leaves us completely vulnerable. Christmas begins with your need and ends with God’s love. You need a Savior—a Savior who has come to...

Things Happen When We Serve

Typically, we serve when we are made aware of a need. However, we can easily go through life without ever seeing the people who need love and kindness right in front of us. But when we intentionally and prayerfully resist the myriad of distractions and reach out to...

Things Happen When We Give

It seems like money is an obsession in our culture. Whether it’s lottery winners or superstars with giant contracts, many people are fascinated by those who “have it all.” Our view of money says a lot about us. And God’s view of money says a lot about God. While money...

Rich in Gratitude

During our Be Rich series, our church has been mobilized toward radical generosity, acts of service and simple gestures of kindness. But it’s possible to be rich in another area that often gets neglected. In each of us lies a capacity of enormous power. It’s a power...

Love Stories

It’s easy to say that we love someone or a group of people and it’s good and right to communicate that love with our words. Putting that love into action, however, can be challenging at times. If we don’t demonstrate our love in our actions, our words about love...

Serve It Up

It’s easy to get swept downstream in the current of consumerism. In a me-oriented society, our lives can instinctively become all about us—our money, our time, our pleasure. But the one wishing to follow Jesus and walk as He walked will eventually be confronted with a...

Give to Get to Give

Imagine our whole church unleashed into our community to make a difference. It’s called Be Rich. We’re taking Paul’s simple advice to Timothy and putting it into practice: “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” (1...

Beyond Our Plans

Life is filled with the unexpected. Sometimes our plans exceed our expectations and other times we fall short as we trip and stumble along the journey. We need to leave room for both successes and failures. Our plans must always create space for God to work in ways we...

Beyond Our Comfort

The cost of achieving great things usually requires sacrifice and focus. When the Jewish people were called upon to occupy Jerusalem, they found themselves at a crossroads. This next step of faith would require giving up their comfort. In fact, it would require they...

Beyond Our Failure

We’ve all failed. From minor mistakes to persistent sins, failure has marked our lives. The best place to turn in times of failure is to God. But sometimes turning to God about our sins just seems to magnify our moral crisis. Thus, we’d prefer to keep our distance...

Beyond Our Assumptions

If you think about it, we make a lot of choices and decisions based on assumptions. We assume we know what someone meant; that we have all the information; that we know the outcome. The problem is that our assumptions often turn out to be completely wrong and this can...

Beyond Our Indifference

Some problems in life are so big they are overwhelming. At the beginning of the book of Nehemiah, the walls of Jerusalem lay in ruins. The people living there had grown accustomed and indifferent to the ruin around them, but Nehemiah’s heart was broken by it. He was...

Beyond Our Doubt

It’s not unusual to find people paralyzed by doubt. But with God’s help we can go beyond where we are to where we could be. And that means our doubt can get replaced with confidence and faith. Nehemiah led the people of Jerusalem in a rebuilding project that was met...

Beyond Our Reach

It’s usually a good sign when we’re reaching for things that require God’s help. If we could make progress without God, then maybe we should reconsider the goal. The story of Nehemiah and the Jewish people is one of remarkable accomplishment. It all began with an...