Sermon Archive

Nehemiah’s Generosity

The Lord preserved me from a lot of heartache by keeping me single throughout high school. However, it wasn’t for a lack of interest. I remember somewhere near the end of my sophomore year, talking to a girl I was interested in getting to know better. She was sharing with me her excitement about going to Summer Camp because it always brought her closer to God. I asked her why she felt the need to wait several months for Summer…

Follow The Money

Follow the Money Brad Mills / General Nehemiah / Oppression / Nehemiah 5:1–13 In his Netflix special, Colin Kaepernick seriously compared the NFL combine to a slave auction. Dressed in all black, wearing a grave countenance, and staring through the camera into your soul, without a trace of cringe, he says: “What they don’t want you to understand is what’s being established is a power dynamic. Before they put you on the field, teams poke, prod and examine you searching…

Resuming God’s Mission

Resuming God’s Mission Coming to Christ means entering into his rest. We take his easy yoke upon us and bear his light burden (Matt 11:29). However, a few chapters later (Matt 16:24-25), Jesus told his disciples: If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Coming to Christ and following him…

Overcoming Opposition

Overcoming Opposition  In our Pastor’s Welcome class I always share my belief that the single greatest outward indicator of your spiritual health is your commitment to the local church. Scripture portrays corporate worship as the primary expression of our faith. If that expression is weak in your life, we can assume it is hiding other, less obvious, struggles. Let me be clear, church attendance doesn’t save you, but not attending church (or frequently switching churches) often reveals growing concerns—whether those…

Meet The Wall Builders

Meet the Wall Builders I have mentioned before that my favorite novel is Les Miserables. It is long, but the plot generally moves at a swift pace. Victor Hugo covers a lot of ground over the course of its 1200 pages. I say it generally has a fast pace, because there are a few sections of the narrative that come to a grinding halt.  The two points that particularly stand out to me are his lengthy descriptions of the convent where Jean…

Preparing To Rebuild

Preparing to Rebuild This summer I read the fictional account of the Battle of Thermopylae called The Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield. The battle between the Greeks and Persians lasted three days in September, 480 BC (35 years before Nehemiah). Persia was invading Greece for the second time, ten years after their defeat at Marathon, and King Leonidas of Sparta was leading an alliance of Greek states defending their land. In one speech Leonidas summarizes his view of leadership: “A king…

The Mission of the Cupbearer

The Mission of the Cupbearer We talk about God’s sovereignty a lot, but we keep running into circumstances that—on the surface—appear to threaten that reality. If God is sovereign, why do his children go through such difficult times? God is about to open a way for Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls, but why were the walls in such disrepair to begin with? Before we answer that, let’s make the question personal. Some of you have recently…

The Son’s Everlasting Dominion

• I needed a familiar passage this week. 8 years is more than sufficient to escape long-term memories. • Obsession with eschatology > Abandon it altogether. Some would prefer to remain disengaged. Focus on essentials. “End Times” doctrine not central to the gospel.  • Disagreement doesn’t mean unsaved, unwelcome. Differences of opinion abound among solid, reformed Christians. Common Reading Strategies (Unhelpful): 1. Detailed blueprints  • Characteristic = Chronological Precision.  • Method = Each element finds correspondence with historical event/figure.  •…

The Prayer Of The Cupbearer

I like to stay informed of what’s going on in the world, but the main outlets to learn this information have a way of explaining things in such inflammatory ways that it’s hard to read the news without becoming upset. And that sucks me into a nosedive of frustration and despair that is difficult to recover from. Hours later I’m still trying to refocus my attention. Let me know if any of you have discovered the secret of staying informed…

The Need For Nehemiah

In The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis writes that the doctrines of Psychoanalysis have given most people the impression… “…that the sense of Shame is a dangerous and mischievous thing. We have labored to overcome that sense of shrinking, that desire to conceal, which either Nature herself or the tradition of almost all mankind has attached to cowardice, unchastity, falsehood, and envy. We are told to ‘get things out into the open,’ not for the sake of self-humiliation, but on the…