BUILD IN AND BUILD UP!

2020 has felt like ONE BIG LOSS for many of us. Amidst the normal challenges of life, Covid-19 barged into our lives and threw the entire world into chaos. As we look back on this year, our hearts initially see how disappointing it was. Our challenge today is to remember where God has worked – and how He brought good out of the darkness. Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, did just that; he remembered. His life was under constant stress – like running from the governing authorities who were trying to kill him! Rather than thinking about only that, he remembered those who were there for him at his lowest moments. Like Paul, let’s choose to look back at 2020 – remembering and thanking those who were there for us. As we look to 2021, let’s be intentional about who we ask to be in our corner – and who we remember, support and encourage as we aim to transform our world through Jesus!

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PREPARING YOUR HEART FOR GOD’S PEACE

God, since the beginning of time, has sought to create peace with His people. More often than not, God’s people refused to accept these peace offerings, and turned to something else more flashy and desirable. These offers of peace made from God to His people ultimately become realized in the story of baby Jesus and the manger. So, the question for us this Christmas season is the same as it was to the people of God long ago; are we going to miss the offering of peace? Are we going to see the story of baby Jesus as sufficiently peaceful for us, or not? Are we going to let another Christmas season pass us by, or will we grab onto this peace offering anew?

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THE IMITATION GAME

In the Christian life, it’s quite obvious who we are following… Jesus! However, in his little book to the Philippians, Paul urges the Philippian Church to follow him as he follows Christ. But why would Paul make such a demand… It almost seems blasphemous! The reason? Paul understands the difficulty of following Jesus at any time in human history, and seeks to inspire us by reminding us to look to the Christian body, in other words, one another, as motivation to keep pursing the ultimate goal; looking like Jesus!

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SQUASHING YOURSELF

Ever watch someone else tell others about Jesus, but it’s really all about them? Or maybe even you have done something “for God”, but really wanted the spotlight just for yourself. Paul, on his many journey’s, found that some people preached Jesus Christ selfishly. Rather than seething with anger, Paul rejoices that Jesus was still preached! How could someone think that? What allowed Paul to rejoice in someone else’s selfish preaching was that THE GOOD NEWS was STILL proclaimed! In this Sunday’s sermon, we are going to be diving into Paul’s deep love for seeing Jesus Christ glorified above all things!

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PRAYER THAT LEAVES AN IMPACT

Praying for someone else can sure be intimidating. How do I do it well? What is something I should always say? What if I suck at praying out loud? Sadly, all of us have thought this before. Paul, in his little letter to the Philippians, has a fantastic approach to this dilemma. He suggests that when we pray for others, we pray for them to be “filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes from JESUS CHRIST.” So, taking from Paul, we are going to be diving into to what this means, and how to do it well!

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STOP GETTING BETTER AND START BECOMING

One of the most beautiful realities is who we were created to be. From the beginning of the world, we were created to bear God’s image – we were made in His likeness. However, when sin entered the world, that image was distorted. Despite this, God has been working INCREDIBLY hard to get us to conform back into the image of His Son, Jesus! God’s plan was to restore that image back to us, like we were ALWAYS meant to be – so we can spread the Good news of Jesus everywhere we go! Today’s sermon will provide some practical steps to seeing yourself as a son or daughter of God predestined to look just like Him!

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