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It’s nice and cozy and all the people look and think just like us. But is this what Jesus envisioned when he established the church? Join Pastors Brent Clark and Ryan Lenerz as they take a look at how the church cannot be all Jesus desires it to be by only gathering together. To really be the church, the church must scatter. The post The Scattered …
 
There are a variety of reasons why people go to church. And there are just as many reasons why people do NOT go to church. In our COVID world, does church still make sense? Pastors Brent and Ryan take a look at what brought the 1st century Jesus followers together and how that can still be a motivation for us to gather as the people of God today. T…
 
As Jesus concludes his Sermon on the Mount he makes some shocking claims about those who will and won’t follow him. Is Jesus being narrow-minded in making such exclusive claims? Or is there a true dichotomy that Jesus presents us that we must contend with? Additional Resource From NIVAC – Matthew by Michael J. Wilkins In these four brief scenes tha…
 
In a world where we often treat one another the way we think they deserve to be treated, Jesus offers a better way. But has the Golden Rule become just another cliche we ignore? Or is there a way for those who follow Jesus to find and bring life to others by doing to others as we would like done to us? The post The Golden Rule appeared first on Ash…
 
Have you ever wanted something so bad you prayed and prayed for it only to feel let down by God? As Jesus talks about prayer for the third time in the Sermon on the Mount, he adds a bit of confusion by saying all we have to do is ask and we will get what we have for. But our experience tells us otherwise. Pastor Brent looks at Matthew 7 and shows h…
 
When you see someone do something you believe is wrong, can you say something? Or if you speak to the situation are you immediately judging? In Matthew 7, Jesus explicitly says do not judge but what does that mean and how can Jesus followers be salt and light and challenge culture when appropriate if everything we say to challenge it is considered …
 
Worry seems to be a part fo daily life for many people. And when we hear that Jesus tells us not to worry, we worry about how not to worry! Pastors Brent and Ryan discuss what Jesus meant in the Sermon on the Mount when he say “Do not worry…but seek first the kingdom of God.” The post Don’t Worry appeared first on Ashworth Church - West Des Moines.…
 
One sure way to find out what someone treasures is to look at how they spend their time and money. Often we are surprised at how what we say we value doesn’t get the most or bets of our attention and resources. Pastor Amy Becker looks at the Sermon on the Mount and how Jesus challenges us to see those things we invest in the most are the things we …
 
Many who follow Jesus struggle with how to pray often wondering if we are doing it right. Jesus gives us a framework on how to pray but prior to giving us this prayer guide he shares how not to pray. Pastor Brent Clark breaks down the Lord’s Prayer and shows how we can break out of the religious praying and into prayer as relationship. The post How…
 
Often we find it so easy to react when things happen around us and especially to us. And yet Jesus says that those who follow him can do the extraordinary like turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, and even love our enemies. But how is this possible? Pastor Brent Clark looks at the last verses of Matthew 5 and the Sermon on the Mount to understa…
 
How important is it to keep your word and are there ever exceptions when you can’t? And how has the church gotten divorce so wrong for so long? Brent Clark and Ryan Lenerz discuss these two topics to see how being trustworthy people and staying committed to marriage (if possible) should be marks of those who follow Jesus. The post Oaths and Divorce…
 
Pastor Brent looks at Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount to see what Jesus has to say about lust and adultery and how our lust can be a problem for us before we ever take our clothes off. The post Lust and Adultery appeared first on Ashworth Church - West Des Moines.על ידי Brent Clark
 
Someone cuts you off in traffic. Someone speaks ill of you or spreads lies about you. Someone hurts someone you love. All of us could fill pages of actions and incidents that cause us to get angry. But what does our anger and more specifically how that anger manifests itself say about our hearts? Pastor Amy continues looking at Jesus’ words in the …
 
Ever wonder how those who follow Jesus should engage with the world around us? So often, Christians set themselves up as adversaries to the culture (often known as cultural warriors), or sometimes we become consumed by the culture, thereby losing any influence. But is this really the way Jesus wants us to be? Pastor Ryan Lenerz looks at Jesus’ Serm…
 
Pastors Brent Clark and Ryan Lenerz look at the words of Jesus and how we might miss Jesus’ invitation in the beatitudes for all to be a part of the kingdom if we try to make them a list of rules to live by. #micdup #beatitudes #Jesusownwords The post The Invitation of the Beatitudes appeared first on Ashworth Church - West Des Moines.…
 
Pastor Brent looks at how the temple is the meeting place between God and humanity and how God’s original design was for humanity to exist in his presence and his purpose will be accomplished in the restoration of the new creation. The post This Not That Temple appeared first on Ashworth Church - West Des Moines.…
 
Pastor Ryan looks at how the priesthood changed from the Old Testament to the New and how Jesus as our great High Priest calls us to be a priesthood of believers who follow him. Priests Through Scripture God’s Original Plan: Adam & Eve – No Priest Needed. They had direct access to God. Unfortunately, sin ruined this plan and separated humanity from…
 
Pastor Brent looks at Hebrews 10 and how what seems to be a barbaric and primitive system of sacrifice in the Old Testament was made obsolete by the once and for all sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. The post This Not That Sacrifice appeared first on Ashworth Church - West Des Moines.על ידי Brent Clark
 
Pastor Ryan kicks off a new series where we look at how the New Testament (New Covenant) radically changes how we interact with God. Most people are familiar with the Old and New Testaments in the Bible, but do you understand everything that changed from one to the other? If you see both haves as the equal in how they are to be applied in your life…
 
Pastors Brent and Ryan discuss what it means to find and fulfill your calling and how you can even achieve this in whatever current job you have. Discussion Questions What skills and passions has God put inside of you that uniquely enable you to fulfill your calling?What is that calling? If you had to write down what God called you to do, what woul…
 
Pastor Brent challenges the conventional wisdom of the day that says you do you by examining what it really means to deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus. Introduction What do you prefer? Let’s learn a bit about you based on your brand preference: Zoom or MS Teams? This is the ultimate COVID option.Coke or Pepsi? The original questio…
 
Pastor Ryan looks at various passages in the Bible to discover how hospitality goes beyond simply sharing a meal with someone to actually sharing your life. Discussion Questions Sunday we summarized that hospitality is “making room for others”. What is the biggest obstacle in making room for others in your life? What can you do to remove that obsta…
 
Pastor Brent talks with Matthew Becker about how evangelism and sharing Jesus with others doesn’t always have to be about a sales pitch, fear tactics, or even telling them about Jesus, but can be about walking with them a journey toward Jesus. The post Beyond Evangelism appeared first on Ashworth Church - West Des Moines.…
 
Pastor Brent challenges the idea that Jesus came to establish a new religion and shows why trusting in religion won’t get you where you thought you were going. Discussion Questions Why do you think some could be drawn to religion (right beliefs, behavior, rituals, etc.) over a relationship with Jesus?Why do you think Jesus was so hard and confronta…
 
Sometimes we can become so inwardly focused that we forget that the church exists for those beyond its walls. Pastor Ryan looks at the parable of the Great Banquet and how Jesus wants us to go far and wide and invite people in. Discussion Questions What keeps you from being more willing to talk about Jesus with others? Limited contact with non-chri…
 
Pastors Brent and Ryan look at the category of beliefs that are not necessarily essentials called distinctives and answer questions raised during the Essentials series. Discussion Questions If somebody asked you to explain your understanding of if a person can lose their salvation, what would you tell them?At Ashworth we leave room for a lot of ten…
 
Pastor Brent Clark looks at different videos of the Bible and why we must be careful not to put too much or too little weight on the Bible as the Word of God. Discussion Questions If you had to explain to someone why they should read the Bible, what would you say?What practical steps can be taken to move beyond ignoring the Bible or only studying t…
 
Pastor Amy looks at the empowering of the Holy Spirit in our lives and how our belief in the Spirit is essential to living as God desires his people to live. Discussion Questions How do you think your introduction to the Holy Spirit (as a child or as a new believer) impacts how you view the Holy Spirit today?Where do you see the fruit of the Spirit…
 
Pastor Ryan shares how salvation is a gift from God by grace through faith available to all. He challenges us to stop trying to add to what God requires for Salvation and to humbly submit to Jesus to the be hero of our lives. Discussion Questions In what ways are you tempted to ADD the saving work of Jesus? Jesus PLUS Knowledge? Jesus PLUS Good Dee…
 
Pastor Brent examines the importance of the essential belief in Jesus, who Jesus thought and said he was, and what those closest to Jesus believed about him. Discussion Questions How different would your life be if Jesus were not real or never existed? What does that indicate about your spiritual life?What do Jesus’ statements about himself and his…
 
Pastor Ryan looks at how our view of humanity is essential and impacts our view of ourselves, others, and God. Perfect… Sort of Happy Valentine’s Day! Today is a day all about love and so I want to begin with each you you taking a moment and think about the most perfect person. For those of you who are married, you should be thinking about your spo…
 
Pastor Brent looks at how the belief in a god might not distinguish Christianity from other faiths but the why viewing God as a Triune, Creator, Ruler God is essential to the Christian faith. Discussion Questions How does your belief in God impact your sense of holiness? Justice? Love for neighbor?Do you tend to think of God as ONE or as THREE dist…
 
Pastors Brent and Ryan discuss how in order to determine the essentials we have to start by acknowledging not everything is black and white and following Jesus means being okay with living with some mystery and tension in the Bible. Discussion Questions Thinking about your spiritual upbringing, were you raised with many or few essential beliefs? Ho…
 
Pastor Amy discusses how our restoration isn’t only for our own good but is so that we go into the world and seek the restoration of others as well. Discussion Questions Why do you think your ability to love others is so connected to your love of God?How is your relationship with God impacted when you fail to love others well?What’s one tangible wa…
 
Pastor Brent Clark looks at how when we follow Jesus, we can sometimes hit a spiritual wall that leaves us feeling empty and that God has left us, but we can endure and push through the wall. The post Hitting the Wall appeared first on Ashworth Church - West Des Moines.על ידי Brent Clark
 
Pastor Ryan looks at how life may not often be what we expect but true growth only occurs when we acknowledge our baggage and are real and authentic with God. Discussion Questions What is the main reason you struggle to be honest with God? Shame, pride, fear, thinking God can’t handle it? Why do you think that is?As you have taken time to reflect o…
 
Pastor Brent looks at how not all changes made during the pandemic have been bad and give us a new opportunity to establish healthy spiritual rhythms in our lives. Discussion Questions What are the spiritual disciplines you need to cultivate to keep connected to God?What are the practices of self-care you need to attend to your body and nurture you…
 
Pastor Brent traces the importance of light from the beginning to the end of the biblical narrative and how Christmas is a reminder of the light of Jesus that has dawned to overcome the darkness. The post The Christmas Light appeared first on Ashworth Church - West Des Moines.על ידי Brent Clark
 
Pastor Ryan looks at how easy it is to be negative with all that is happening in the world, but through gratitude and encouragement, we can be positive. Positive People Here’s something many of you didn’t know about me, up until the early part of this week, I was Covid Positive. For those of you attending this service online, you’re probably glad y…
 
Pastor Amy wraps up the Unpause series by looking at the importance of abiding in Jesus so that we might show the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. Discussion Questions How connected have you been to the vine in 2020? What’s keeping you from remaining?Where have you been fruitful in 2020?Continue the practice of Lectio Divina with Matthew 6:33. Rea…
 
Pastors Brent and Ryan talk about the importance of celebration and how even in difficult circumstances we can find reasons to celebrate. Discussion Questions How might the world’s opinion of Christians be different if Christians were better known for genuine celebration?If you haven’t already, take a moment to really reflect on what God has done i…
 
Pastor Brent looks at 1 John to see the important role obedience plays in our ability to truly know and experience God. Discussion Questions Are you more compliant or strong-willed? How easy is it for you to obey when someone asks (or requires) something of you? Why do you think this is?How have you tried to substitute other things, like religious …
 
Pastor Ryan looks at the unseen war that rages around us and how followers of Jesus need to make sure they are fighting the right battle. Hint: It’s NOT the “other “political party, coworkers, or neighbors. Never Have I Ever – Halloween Edition Judging by the weather outside, it sure feels like fall has finally arrived. And with it, Halloween is no…
 
Pastor Brent looks at how the pandemic has made everyone a little more risk-averse but how it is always risky following Jesus. From Matthew 14 and the story of Peter walking on water with Jesus. Discussion Questions How risk averse are you? What do you think contributes to this?Of the list of obstacles that hold us back from exercising our faith, w…
 
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