"For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God." — 2 Cor. 4:15

Sermon Prep (LM)

June 16, 2019

If the culture of Crete in Paul’s day was a bit like The Pirates of the Caribbean (as Jackson said two Sundays ago), the situation of these early church communities on Crete was a bit like towns in the Wild, Wild West. In the absence of “sheriffs” (i.e. elders), false teachers were going unchecked and […]

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June 9, 2019

Paul’s letter to Titus is essentially an instruction manual for putting the churches that had been planted in Crete “into order.” So, where will that start? With good leaders. Titus was not to be a lone ranger in raising up Christ-exalting churches. “…appoint elders in every town as I directed you.” Titus 1:5 God’s design […]

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June 2, 2019

“This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order” Titus 1:5 This Sunday we will begin our summer series in the book of Titus. Normally we begin our book series by devoting an entire Sunday as a reading service, in order to read through the entire book […]

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May 26, 2019

“He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3).” With these appearances, Jesus was not only proving that he had truly risen. He was also speaking to his disciples about the kingdom of God, preparing them for […]

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May 19, 2019

“I will lay down my life for you!” In that moment, I think Peter sincerely meant every word, but it had been easier said than done. When the moment actually came, fear gripped him and he denied and abandoned his Lord. Can you imagine how it must have felt to look the risen Jesus in […]

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May 12, 2019

Two weeks ago, we saw Jesus’ appearance to Mary Magdalene turn her sorrow to joy. Last Sunday, we saw his appearance to his disciples replace their fear with peace and gladness. But not all of the disciples were there. For some reason, Thomas missed that appearance and wasn’t ready to believe their fantastic claim, famously […]

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May 5 2019

When you think of Jesus’ disciples and followers in the aftermath of his death and burial, you may think primarily of their sorrow, grief, and disappointment. But they were also afraid. Our passage for this Sunday (John 20:19-23) begins like this: “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors […]

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April 28 2019

In 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Paul writes: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures… (1 Cor. 15:3-4)” But, that’s not the end […]

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April 21 2019

When we think of Passion week, we usually think of the three key events of the final days of Jesus on earth – his triumphal entry, crucifixion, and resurrection, but there was so much more that happened between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. The Gospel Coalition has put a wonderful resource online called The Final […]

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April 14, 2019

This Sunday is Palm Sunday, which marks the beginning of Passion Week. We are calling our Passion Week service series GLORIFIED and working our way through chapters 12-20 of the Gospel of John. In chapter 12, Jesus declares: “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to […]

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April 7, 2019

This Sunday will be our reflection service for Philippians. In place of a sermon, we will be inviting you to stand and testify to how the word of God has been at work in you through this series. Paul prayed for and expected the word of God to be “at work.” And we also thank […]

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March 31, 2019

I’m going to date myself here, but there was series of TV commercials when I was growing up for the stock brokerage firm EF Hutton that went like this. At some large dinner party, one person would quietly comment to another that his broker was EF Hutton and all conversation would fall silent. Then the […]

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March 24, 2019

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he refers to God twenty-two times. In eighteen of those mentions, He is simply “God.” Three times He is called God “our Father.” But once, in our passage this Sunday, Paul calls Him “the God of peace.” “…and the God of peace will be with you (Philippians 4:9).” What […]

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March 17, 2019

“But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead… (Phil. 3:13).” What lies ahead makes all the difference. In February, I had the joy (and pain!) of running a 200-mile relay with 11 other guys from Grace out in Arizona. For each of the 36 legs, there would […]

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March 11, 2019

This Sunday in Philippians we will get a powerful reminder of a gospel truth that is easier to affirm than it is to live out. Paul reminds us that in Christ we are those who “put no confidence in the flesh.” Where are we to rest the full weight of our faith that God’s love […]

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March 3, 2019

We are almost halfway through Philippians with one final section of chapter two to go. At first read, after the glorious description of Christ’s humble condescension and sacrificial redeeming love (2:1-11) and then the strong encouragement to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (2:13-18), what comes next might seem quite a bit less […]

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February 24, 2019

One of the questions we ask each week as we prepare our order of worship, choosing songs and scripture, is, “What sorts of hearts will our passage be addressing or confronting this week?” Fearful hearts? Idolatrous hearts? Weary hearts? Proud hearts? Numb hearts? Self-righteous hearts? If you read our text for Sunday (Philippians 2:12-18), what […]

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February 17, 2019

This past Sunday, Randy posed the question, “Is your approach to church me-centered or we-centered?” As we begin Philippians 2 this Sunday, we could ask a similar question, “Is your approach to church me-centered or you-centered?” Or as I sometimes ask my kids (and frequently need to ask myself), “Are you operating from a me […]

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February 10, 2019

Grace Family, let’s not forget that it is “through our prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:19) that God will present each one of us mature in Christ. Let’s be lifting up our brothers and sisters at Grace in prayer this week by name! With the last few verses of […]

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February 3, 2019

  Eternal Weight of Glory 1. Now the days and hours and moments Of our suffering seem so long; And the toilsome wait and wondering Threaten silence to our song. Now our pain is real and pressing Where our faith is thin and weak, But our hope is set on Jesus; And we cling to […]

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January 27, 2019

The subtitle of our Philippians series is Words of Hope from a Man in Chains. Erik pointed out this past Sunday that Paul was a “man in chains” on two levels. He considered himself a “slave of Christ”, bound to Christ for the sake of the gospel, and the plans God had for him included […]

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January 20, 2019

This Sunday we will begin preaching through Paul’s letter to the Philippians in a series we’re calling Joy in the Faith: Words of Hope from a Man in Chains. If you missed our reading service on Sunday, you can listen to it here. Paul begins his letter by expressing how thankful he is for the […]

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January 13, 2019

This Sunday we begin our next sermon series through Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Our series title, Joy in the Faith, is taken directly from Philippians 1:25. Paul is not sure whether his imprisonment will end with his execution or his deliverance, but he has a strong feeling that the Lord still has more work […]

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January 6, 2019

We are beginning the new year with a new Bible reading plan for Grace. Our 2019 Take Up Your Sword reading plan will cover the eleven storyline books of the Old Testament. For some of you, the Old Testament might feel more daunting, more unfamiliar, maybe even (dare I say) irrelevant. Jesus has come. Why […]

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December 30, 2018

Our advent series will wrap up this Sunday with a fifth reason for which Jesus was born. He was born to reconcile enemies (Ephesians 2:11-22). “Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both […]

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December 23, 2018

Our advent series continues this Sunday with a fourth reason for which Jesus was born. He was born to adopt slaves as sons. “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might […]

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December 16, 2018

This Sunday our advent series continues with a third reason God the Son took on flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus was born to call sinners to repentance (Luke 5:27-32). “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32).” In the incarnation, God showed up in person to make His […]

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December 9, 2018

This Sunday our advent series continues with a second reason God the Son took on flesh and dwelt among us. Delivering us from death is what Jesus was born to save us from. Eternal life is what Jesus was born to save us to. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only […]

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December 2, 2018

This Sunday we begin our advent series Born which will explore five glorious reasons God the Son took on flesh and dwelt among us. For two years the book of Genesis has had us continually looking forward to a special offspring: the offspring of Eve who would bruise Satan’s head (Gen. 3:15), the offspring of […]

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November 25, 2018

This Sunday is our final reflection service for the book of Genesis, a space where we as a congregation have the opportunity to encourage one another with what God has been teaching us through the Genesis series. We began preaching through Genesis in January 2017, and we just completed the last section, which has covered […]

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November 18, 2018

After two years, we come to the final passage of Genesis this Sunday. This book that began with God speaking life into existence ends with bones in a coffin. But Joseph’s last words are spoken with rock-solid faith in God’s faithfulness and his coffin would continue to “speak” those words of faith to God’s people […]

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November 11, 2018

This Sunday we come to Genesis 49:1-28. Jacob is about to die and has his deathbed moment with his sons. Then Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you what shall happen to you in days to come. Assemble and listen, O sons of Jacob, listen to Israel your […]

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November 4, 2018

The opening verses of Psalm 105 describe what we are to do each week as we gather for worship as a local church. Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name;             make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him;             tell of all his wondrous works! […]

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October 28, 2018

The Christian life is a life of faith. We are to believe God’s promises and walk in the confident trust that He will be faithful to every last one. God has not told us everything that we might like to know as we face the future, but He’s told us everything we need to know […]

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October 21, 2018

We are pausing our God Meant It for Good series this Sunday for our Bible conference Pray Like This: The Lord’s Pattern for Prayer. We will be working through the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) in five sessions. Friday evening will kick off with a panel discussion on practical helps for more effective praying. Then Saturday […]

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October 14, 2018

Last Sunday, in Genesis 44-45, we saw Joseph’s brothers come to true repentance and Joseph was standing ready to save them. This week, in Genesis 46, we’ll see Joseph relocate Jacob and all of his family in Egypt, and the LORD will reassure Jacob saying, “Do not be afraid to go… I myself will go […]

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October 7, 2018

Last week we saw Joseph put his brothers through a series of tests to reveal whether or not they had truly changed since the days they had sold him into slavery and lied about his death (Genesis 42-43), and so far it’s looking good. But in Genesis 44-45, we’ll see that Joseph has one final […]

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September 30, 2018

Although we have called these weekly posts Sermon Prep, they are really intended to be more than just an encouragement to prepare ourselves to hear God’s word that will be preached. Their purpose is to prepare us to come as active participants (not passive recipients) as we gather to worship together. Singing is another way […]

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September 23, 2018

Can you remember the last time you prayed like this (Psalm 13:1-3)? Maybe you’re praying this right now. How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?       How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all […]

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September 16, 2018

I was encouraged recently by something Richard Baxter wrote about the responsibility of preachers to first have their own hearts warmed by God before trying to warm the hearts of others. I think a minister should take special pains with his heart, before he is to go to the congregation: if it be then cold, […]

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