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As we conclude our series through 1 & 2 Thessalonians, we see Paul reiterating the importance of putting into practice the things he modeled for the Thessalonians during his time with them. Looking at the rhythms established by the early church fathers, we see five practices that one can turn into habits that will help us stand firm and grow in our…
 
We live in a culture that allows great freedoms; but there is also growing opposition to faith and tradition of faith and the teaching of Scripture – it will bring rising heartache and pushback. We are to stand firm & hold fast. We’re to be people that love like Christ. People full of conviction and compassion. People who hold to truth and grace.…
 
As we move into 2 Thessalonians, we see Paul wants to comfort the Thessalonians Christians that, contrary to what has been said in their church, the second coming of Christ has yet to occur. Paul gives more details as to what will happen before Jesus appears again in an effort to bring peace and stability to the church. What will bring us this peac…
 
The Apostle Paul wraps up this first letter to the church in Thessalonica with a reminder that as followers of Jesus we are enfolded into the family of God with familial responsibilities and we are to live into 3 key family practices. Joy, Prayer and Thankfulness are to mark our lives. When these three qualities are present, believers will be vibra…
 
Continuing his discourse on Christ’s return, Paul warns the Thessalonians that unbelievers will be caught completely unaware at the return of Christ. He exhorts the Thessalonians to live in such a way as to always be ready for the Lord to appear. As those who have placed their faith in Christ, their love for Jesus gives them a hope that they can en…
 
Paul always taught people about the future—that salvation in Jesus carried a promise of eternal life. He told his audiences that the same Jesus Christ who died, arose, and ascended – would one day return. So, if we’re around when that happens, what happens and if we die, what happens next? Friends, because of Jesus, we get to live with hope always …
 
Paul is instructing these early Christians to withstand the pressures of the culture around them when it comes to their behavior around sexuality and in their work life. They are to live in order to please God and not just please themselves. They are to follow the ways of Jesus over cultural norms. They are not to settle in and be molded by the cul…
 
God used Paul as an encourager to the Church in Thessalonica. Not only was Paul concerned about their safety; but he was also concerned about their spiritual growth. So he let his concern motivate his heart to stir into active encouragement for the people of this church. How can God leverage you to encourage more around you?…
 
Paul reiterates his thankfulness for the church in Thessalonica — this time, because they readily received the Word of God as it is. This leads us to ask ourselves, do we readily receive God’s Word as divine revelation? Is it something around which we pattern our lives, despite any hardship we may face in doing so? When we do so, however, we will f…
 
We see the Apostle Paul model and call us to live with 4 key motivations as followers of Jesus. He speaks about these in 1 Thessalonians chapter 2 and tonight we examine how we’re to imitate these in our here and now moment. We’ll examine some questions that help us check how our motivations might be in alignment or out of it.…
 
The Apostle Paul writes back to a church that he began to encourage them about remaining faithful amidst opposition and persecution. He celebrates what he’s hearing about indicators that mark their faith as authentic and genuine. Faith lived out loud will have signs of authenticity and will have an impact that radiates outward.…
 
A vision statement describes what an organization aspires to be. And as we pursue our vision here at Elements we will be an inviting community of Jesus followers commissioned by the gospel to make disciples by cultivating relationships that reflect the love of Christ. Join in with us and let’s chase the dreams God has for us together.…
 
Vision checkups are important for all of us to make sure we’re seeing clearly and can chase after all that comes our way in life. They are also imperative as a church – to circle back and make sure we are staying focused and that we have the clarity we need most. That we don’t allow ourselves to get distracted or fuzzy on what we’re called to be ab…
 
As we conclude our series we’re reminded again how anxiety can sideline us if we’re not careful to fight back. We will all battle it at times, but the Lord has given us Prayer and Praise to reset our perspectives and help us influence our minds to experience His peace that He promises to give when we look to him. We don’t want to get so fixated on …
 
We each have lenses/filters through which we interpret our experiences, and typically those filters fail to see reality accurately because our own brokenness distorts and fosters our cognitive biases, …often creating false narratives that dictate how we respond and behave in the world. But for those who follow Jesus, our Heavenly Father wants to gi…
 
After we begin to recognize the enemy’s lies and replace with truth. We will next need to drill down further to create new neural pathways that can guide God’s truth deeper into our thought life and the narrative we live by. Repetition creates ruts, so utilize repetition of God’s truth to your advantage. Meditation and rumination upon the truths of…
 
As we work on our thought-life and mental health. We want to learn to flip the script and reverse the harmful narratives that can so often destroy our peace of mind and wreak havoc within us. We must recognize the lies of the enemy, the broken soundtracks that sideline us and learn to replace them with the truth of God. Jesus said that the ‘truth w…
 
Tonight we have our next worship night experience and we invite you to lean into ‘confessional christianity’. To confess simply means to tell the truth and we seek to declare the truth of Jesus. Tonight we’ll explore some ancient creeds that have guided the Church for thousands of years, the truth of Scripture and worship, along with the confession…
 
We are each building a life. We’re building on a foundation. We each get to choose what that foundation is and at the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is calling us to choose him as that foundation. He is the one to build your life upon and the only foundation that will help you and I withstand the storms of life. To build your life on Jesus m…
 
In nearing the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is bringing home his message and making it personal. He’s indicating that his teaching is not to be merely praised but to be practiced. It’s not to be commended but to be carried out. He’s challenging his listeners then and now to move beyond mere admiration of him and to choose to follow Him and…
 
Again Jesus returns to the invitation that prayer and connection with the Heavenly Father beckons us to discover. We’re to live with a desire to persistently ask, seek and knock in order to receive from His hand as He extends provision, wisdom and guidance. There are no supply chain issues in the Kingdom of God and His heart is more than ready to c…
 
Matthew 7:1-6 contains one of the most often quoted verses, yet it is one of the most misunderstood teachings of Jesus. How are followers of Jesus meant to use discernment in confronting sin in each other and ourselves? How are we to use discernment in confronting those outside the church? Jesus answers these questions for us in this short, but oft…
 
As Jesus continues His sermon, He makes several strong statements regarding the relationship His followers should have with their possessions. The whole-hearted follower of Jesus cannot pursue Him and material goods. Doing so creates an anxious heart that prevents His followers from seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness before all other things. H…
 
As Jesus finishes this section of the Sermon on the Mount on practicing religion with Kingdom righteousness, He teaches His followers how to fast. In this week’s message we look at reasons to fast and benefits to fasting. In transitioning to the next part of the sermon Jesus calls us back to examine our motives. He calls us to seek the eternal rewa…
 
Prayer is all about our relational connection with God. Jesus unpacks some incredible truths about the reality of God and the power we are invited to experience through a vibrant prayer life connected with our Heavenly Father. The Lord’s Prayer lays out some insights and practices for us to utilize as we engage in prayer.…
 
As we enter a new section of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6, we see Jesus shift from explaining how to righteously fulfill the Law to how to righteously practice our faith. Jesus calls us to check our heart’s motivation when we give. Are we generous because we want to build our religious reputation, or do we give because we desire the rewards…
 
Love and enemies are words that seem mutually exclusive. Putting the two together raises serious questions. When Jesus tells us to love our enemies it is as shocking and challenging in our generation as it was in the 1st century. Jesus is challenging us to grow and ground our reactions from a place of spiritual maturity more than emotional retaliat…
 
In Matthew 5:38-42 Jesus tells His followers they need to radically reorient their thoughts toward retaliation. Not only are His followers to not retaliate, they should not even resist the one who seeks to do evil toward them! How can we, as His followers today, become the type of Kingdom-oriented people who generously sacrifice our own wants and n…
 
Heat can be a good thing in the right context – but mismanaged heat is a dangerous thing. Jesus challenges us to not let ourselves mismanage our heat – our anger. It can get us sideways and destroy relationships. We’re called as followers of Jesus to let our anger drive us to be helpful instead of hurtful.…
 
As followers of Jesus we are invited into living with distinction and influence. We’re invited to live in the way of Jesus that marks us as different, but it also releases us to have godly influence upon the world and to invite others to discover the hope of God available to them. We’re to be salt and light in our here and now moment of history. To…
 
All great moments of connection have actions of celebration. Tonight we gather to celebrate people professing their faith in Jesus through following him in baptism. A public display of allegiance and affection for Christ. An act of obedience that Christ modeled and called us to do and an ordinance of the church from the beginning. Baptism is worshi…
 
It’s Easter – the resurrection of Jesus is the world event that changes everything! Thomas was that follower that gets the rap for hesitating and doubting. But maybe doubt can be the beginning step toward faith? It seems to be a spot where Jesus loves to show up – interacting with people so that their faith can move from hesitation to HOPE. Easter …
 
Each one of our lives are guided by the choices and decisions we make. Tonight we peer into a conversation Jesus has with his earliest of followers where he’s asking them to choose him. We will learn a good question that can really help us, when we’re tempted to hit the unfollow button or shrink back as things get challenging following Jesus. Remem…
 
As we follow, we’re going to be invited to lead like Jesus. So tonight we’re going to look at a passage where Jesus actually gives us his secret to great leadership. See Mark 10:32-45. And as we prepare for Easter, Jesus is going to walk out the way he’s calling us to walk in.על ידי Elements City Church
 
There are moments in following Jesus were our personal agenda and God’s agenda will come into direct conflict with each other. How we respond in those moments will reveal much about us. What must we do then to get ourselves to the place where it’s no longer “My will be done,” but where we can honestly say, “Thy will be done!”?…
 
Eventually, following Jesus is going to cost you something. And you will be glad it did. Deny yourself now or lose yourself later. All relationships have a cost to them, but good ones, also have a reward. Following where Jesus leads is always for our best, but it may not be the easiest.על ידי Elements City Church
 
What should a follower of Jesus wear? That may seem strange, but there’s always something that distinguishes people who are following after someone — there’s a look that identifies them…see sports fans attire. Well, Jesus tells us clearly what should distinguish us as his followers and the Apostle Paul expands it and tells us to cloth ourselves alw…
 
Have you ever wondered what was the payoff to following Jesus? Is it becoming a better person? Is it going to Heaven? Is it a pain-free, problem-free life? When you follow Jesus you will be a better person, and you will go to Heaven! But your life will certainly have pain and problems, and that’s ok. Because the payoff in following Jesus is so much…
 
Today we examine the early story of Jesus calling his first followers and how they met that moment and how Jesus invited them each to trust him with their next step. Each one of us will find ourselves at one of 4 phases in this FOLLOW process Jesus is inviting us into. Each phase begins with a single next step. Step forward friend.…
 
The best question we must ask ourselves is: am I following Jesus? — not what do I know, not how well do I pray, not how consistently do I attend church, not how much scripture I know, not even how obedient am I, not have I committed…but am I actively, intentionally engaged in the process of following Jesus? Jesus doesn’t invite us into following st…
 
Thanks for tuning into worship tonight in our online service. Worship along and prepare to take communion from home at the end of our time together. Lean into the love of God that is bound to you, friend. And thanks for sharing some love in serving folks this weekend via Serve Sunday. Enjoy the ‘big game’ tonight and join us next Sunday at 5pm for …
 
As we conclude our series, the pastor’s calling and the church’s calling are to nurture people into Christoformity—to nurture people into TOV. The purpose of the church is conformity to Christ. That is the sum total of God’s plan. We can take individual strides in that process, but it’s within ‘community’, where God does his best work in transformi…
 
As we continue to look to grow a TOV culture we must remember: if we’re seeking Jesus we’re seeking justice and we’re looking to serve. Jesus said, I’ve come not to be served, but to serve… it was his ordinary outlook. TOV (the goodness of God) is meant to be ordinary and natural…an overflow of the heart of God being formed within us as his followe…
 
Part of fostering a TOV culture, the goodness of God, is curating a culture of truth telling. Being able to be authentically true and building truth into relationships. In a world where falsehoods, fake news and spin can shape and influence our connections, truth still matters. We must cultivate truth in ourselves and in our relationship with God a…
 
Tov is the Hebrew word used to describe something that is good. As we continue to explore what a Tov culture can look like at Elements we look at what it means to be a church devoted to putting people first. As we remember the grace Jesus showed to us we can then help create a grace-filled culture where people can come — mistakes and all — and be w…
 
TOV – part of being and doing godly good is anchored to cultivating a culture within ourselves and within our churches that display consistently: Empathy and Compassion. The mark of empathy is to feel another’s pain; the mark of compassion is having the desire to alleviate or reduce the suffering of another. Notice and respond. In a culture that cu…
 
TOV is hebrew for ‘good’. The theme of actively doing ‘tov’ (doing good) runs throughout the Bible. We’re to have the good fruit of God and His goodness reproducing itself from within us…as we follow after Jesus – he’s reproducing himself within us and impacting others through us. The gospel is about God’s tov coming to us in Jesus, who is tov, and…
 
Tonight we remember the birth of our Savior. It is the greatest gift ever given. It’s a gift that comes wrapped in prophecy to prove the validity, wrapped in history and wrapped in a bit of mystery. What’s true about any gift is that it only becomes your gift, when you unwrap it for yourself. Jesus came for you, so you might unwrap the beauty of a …
 
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