Oct 13, 2013
Compelled to Connect
We live in a world of increasing connections. We have more and more accounts on websites, we belong to more clubs; we even have memberships at shopping centers. And who could neglect to speak of Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram and so on? We have so many ways to connect – and yet we live in what is arguably the most DIS-connected generation ever. We experience a kind of “crowded loneliness,” which means that we have people all around us, but we still feel isolated and alone. God desires better for us. He’s created us to live in community. In fact God has given us the BEST community to be a part of, and that’s our church family, gathered together as the Body of Christ – at church and in homes.
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  • Oct 13, 2013Compelled to Connect
    Oct 13, 2013
    Compelled to Connect
    We live in a world of increasing connections. We have more and more accounts on websites, we belong to more clubs; we even have memberships at shopping centers. And who could neglect to speak of Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram and so on? We have so many ways to connect – and yet we live in what is arguably the most DIS-connected generation ever. We experience a kind of “crowded loneliness,” which means that we have people all around us, but we still feel isolated and alone. God desires better for us. He’s created us to live in community. In fact God has given us the BEST community to be a part of, and that’s our church family, gathered together as the Body of Christ – at church and in homes.
  • Oct 6, 2013Invited to Worship
    Oct 6, 2013
    Invited to Worship
    What do you think of when you hear the word worship? Some think of Sunday morning. Some think of a particular part of the divine service - the singing part. Some think of lifting their hands in prayer. But is worship a thing you do or a place you go? What if worship were simply a way of life? Imagine thinking of your daily tasks - even the repetitive and mundane ones - as spiritual acts of worship! Our goal as Christians is to bring glory to God in whatever we think, say and do - that's worship!!
  • Sep 22, 2013The Secret Behind Spiritual Growth
    Sep 22, 2013
    The Secret Behind Spiritual Growth
    We heard last week, Philippians 1:6 “May He who began a good work in you carry it on to completion.” Discipleship is a process; one that begins with God… He began a work in you in your baptism and He will carry it on in you to completion. God continues to work in and through you by the power of His grace. Because Jesus is behind every door of your life, that work of God continues throughout your life: past, present and future. Look to your past and see that all your sins are forgiven. Look to your present and see that you’re a forgiven child of God. And look to the future with great hope because Jesus is behind the doors of your future! May God’s continuous presence and hand in your life cause a desire for you to grow spiritually in Him, and may it fill you with confidence that the Best is Yet to Come!
  • Sep 15, 20137 Doors of Spiritual Growth
    Sep 15, 2013
    7 Doors of Spiritual Growth
    God has done some incredible things in and through the lives of the people at Redeemer by the Sea! In our ministry we’ve seen growth in buildings and attendance. We’ve celebrated a number of baptisms, confirmations, and new members. We must, however, remind ourselves that none of this is because we have been so smart or have worked so hard. We have not received these blessings because we deserve them – but because God has been faithful. If we are honest and take a closer look we’ll see we have failed Him more than we would like to admit. But He has never failed us! Because of His faithfulness in the past, we are confident that He will be faithful in the future – and that in fact, the Best is Yet to Come!
  • Sep 8, 2013The Dark Knight Rises: Counting the Cost
    Sep 8, 2013
    The Dark Knight Rises: Counting the Cost
    Go into any store and you’ll find that everything has a price on it. Well, any more these days, there’s a bar-code, but the point is the same. If you want it, you have to pay the price. Jesus tells His disciples, and us today, effectively “if you want to be my disciple, you have to pay the price!” But why is there a cost? Doesn’t God offer grace for free? Certainly! Salvation is a free gift from God that none of us could pay for … but discipleship is a lifestyle that comes at a cost. For you and I to follow Jesus in a world that is hostile to Him and His followers, there is a price to pay – a “cross” to bear: We can be assured that we will encounter persecution and resistance; and to live our lives longing for a world that is yet to come, we must forsake (“renounce” in Luke 14:33) the things of this world. There is a significant cost to being a disciple of Jesus.
  • Sep 1, 2013The Blind Side: Having a Humble Heart
    Sep 1, 2013
    The Blind Side: Having a Humble Heart
    "Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought" the Apostle Paul tells us in Romans. And Jesus reminds us in our Gospel today, "Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled." The truth is, we allow ourselves to be "puffed up" and exalted by our position, authority and possessions. It's easy for us to think of ourselves as better than someone else. However, there are lots of reasons we should not do this. The greatest of which is that before the Lord we are all sinners. When we compare ourselves against His perfect and righteous laws, we all fall short. When we gaze upon His glorious majesty and power, we are ALL beggars and hoodlums. Without Christ we are without power and without hope. It is best for us to realize that now, and live our lives humbly and thankfully.
  • Aug 25, 2013The Life of Pi: Do All Roads Lead to Heaven?
    Aug 25, 2013
    The Life of Pi: Do All Roads Lead to Heaven?
    So many today believe that all roads lead to God; even famous celebrities are noted as saying, “there can’t be only one way to heaven.” Yet the Bible is clear that Jesus is the only way to salvation. We learn in the Word that invitation is broad – meaning that God welcomes all, without prejudice, who will turn to Him. But we also learn that the way is narrow – only those who receive Jesus Christ as Lord will inherit eternal life. So how do we respond to claims like, “we all believe basically the same thing,” or “there are many paths to salvation?” How did Jesus respond?
  • Aug 18, 2013Cast Away: Time and Eternity
    Aug 18, 2013
    Cast Away: Time and Eternity
    Time. It is so much a part of our life that we cannot even comprehend existence without it. We try to fathom eternity, but we cannot. We think of time going on and on and on, and yet God is without time – He was before time. Time doesn’t even apply to Him; He created it! And He created us to live forever. Someone once said, “I’ve never met a mortal.” What this means is that every soul in existence will go on for eternity. Once time stops for each of us, eternity begins. We thank the Lord that He has secured our eternity forever with Him through Jesus Christ!
  • Aug 11, 2013Apollo 13: Do Not Worry
    Aug 11, 2013
    Apollo 13: Do Not Worry
    I don’t even know if it’s still in print anymore, but the cover of the old “MAD” magazine was always graced by a picture of a character named Alfred E. Neuman. Somewhere on the cover there also appeared Alfred’s slogan, “What, me worry?” as if to say he didn’t have a care in the world. “MAD” may have been a pretty irreverent, and probably politically incorrect, publication, but Al made a good point. What is the point in worrying? Jesus said, “Do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried… instead, seek his kingdom” (Luke 12:29, 31a). Admit it or not, we all worry about something: jobs, prices, our kids, our parents, our spouses… and the list goes on. Rather than waste precious time in worry, God calls us to focus on one thing: his kingdom.
  • Aug 4, 2013Brewster’s Millions: The Rich Fool
    Aug 4, 2013
    Brewster’s Millions: The Rich Fool
    All of us are concerned about our material possessions! The “Gold Guy”(William Devane) says, “I’ve worked hard for my money and I don’t plan on losing it now.” His solution, “It’s time to buy GOLD!” In contrast Jesus tells us “don’t be concerned about tomorrow” …..”Lay up for your selves treasure in heaven.” That sounds foolish doesn’t it? This morning our Lord Jesus tells us a parable about a “Rich fool” who built “larger barns to store all his possessions” so as not to lose them. The foolishness of the rich man was not that he worked hard and became rich. His foolishness consisted of the fact that he left God out. He foolishly chose to remain outside of the Kingdom of God. “He was not rich toward God.” God provides everyone rich and poor, young and old, strong and week, the TRUE riches of His eternal Kingdom….Jesus Christ “though He was rich yet for our sakes became poor that by His poverty we might become rich!” We rejoice together as we receive and partake of THE TRUE LASTING RICHES.
  • Jul 28, 2013Evan Almighty: God’s Response to Our Prayer
    Jul 28, 2013
    Evan Almighty: God’s Response to Our Prayer
    We sometimes struggle with how God answers our prayers. C.S. Lewis is said to have confessed that he was grateful God hadn’t given him everything he wanted. Wouldn’t you agree that it’s good that God doesn’t give us everything we ask for? As a loving Father, God can’t give us everything we ask for when we ask for it the way we ask for it to happen! If our request is wrong, God says "No." If our timing is wrong, God says "Slow". If we are wrong, God says "Grow", and if our request, timing, and we are right, God says "Go!” Since God’s ways are higher than our ways, we should expect that His response to our prayers would be different than we often anticipate.
  • Jul 7, 2013Chapter 9: The Light of the World
    Jul 7, 2013
    Chapter 9: The Light of the World
    Today John paints a portrait of Jesus as the Light of the world. He actually opens the Gospel with the words, “the true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world” (John 1:9). So Jesus as the Light is not a new concept to John – nor to us. In the Nicene Creed, we profess Jesus as “Light of Light.” Quite simply, we recognize that Jesus is the very source of all light – and that even when God said “Let there be light!” in the third verse of Genesis, Jesus was its source. In today’s Gospel, Jesus brings light to the eyes of a man who has only known darkness. We pray that He will open the eyes of a world darkened by sin and unbelief. Illumine us, Lord Jesus
  • Jun 30, 2013Chapter 8: The Sympathetic Savior
    Jun 30, 2013
    Chapter 8: The Sympathetic Savior
    As the world around us embraces sexuality without bounds, we see Jesus in John’s Gospel simply say to the adulterous woman, “go and sin no more.” (John 8:11). He doesn’t condone her sinful lifestyle choices, but He doesn’t reject her as a person either. He is sympathetic to both her need as well as her shortcomings. He addresses her need with His Gospel, and her shortcomings with His Law. Likewise with us. Jesus knows we are sinners, and yet He loves us anyway. His Law calls us to holiness, and His Gospel forgives when we fail.
  • Jun 23, 2013Chapter 7: The Fountain of Living Water
    Jun 23, 2013
    Chapter 7: The Fountain of Living Water
    Water – it’s essential to life. Jesus – He’s essential to life. Jesus *is* the living water. Not only does He supply us with the water we need for life, but He supplies us with so much living water, that we overflow. “Streams” of living water flow from within us – who believe in Jesus – the Bible says! How can we bring that living water to a dry and thirsty land? Who do you know that needs Jesus, the Living Water?
  • Jun 16, 2013Chapter 6: The Bread of Life
    Jun 16, 2013
    Chapter 6: The Bread of Life
    Hunger. It’s common to all living things. Our hunger for food is as strong as our desire to live. And yet, the food we eat only brings a temporary and physical life. As humans we are more than just physical beings. Our spirit hungers and longs for sustenance as well. Our soul has a hunger for its lifespan too – eternity! What can one eat that satisfies an eternal hunger? … only one thing – an eternal food. And Christ gives us that food: His Body, the Bread of Life. Today as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, we receive that Bread of Life, the Body of Christ!