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As part of God's new family in Jesus, we have been given a new identity. On the basis of this identity, we are called to live a different way. Paul uses the analogy of putting on new clothes - compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. This is the ethos of our new family. And we've been given the vocation of revealing God's character …
 
Jesus is clear with his followers: if they want to be his disciples then they need to give him their highest love and loyalty. This always means reordering priorities as well as leaving behind our past ways of doing things. To fully embrace the new family of God in Jesus means to necessarily leave behind our family of origin.…
 
To be adopted into the family of God through Jesus means we are adopted out of the family of Adam. We are set free from the shame, rebellion and violence that characterize so much of humanity. So, the only right response is to leave behind the ways of Adam and embrace the true life found in living God's way.…
 
God has always seen his people as a family. But sin and rebellion have invited all sorts of blame and violence into our world. The incarnation and ultimately the resurrection of Jesus is all about new creation. It welcomes again the possibility of God's intention for humanity and our world. And thus the resurrection launches a new family.…
 
No matter the circumstances of life, our right response is prayer in dependence on God. In particular for the weary and those who are sick, James urges them to call for the elders to pray for them that they might find healing. Prayer offers healing by catalyzing God and by conforming us to his will and image.…
 
A big part of the Christian life is patience, derived from an expectation of the imminent return of Jesus and the very character of God. On the basis of this, James reminds us to be people who wait expectantly and persevere. In order to do so, James reminds us to strengthen our hearts and be careful to groan properly. In so doing we walk the way of…
 
James calls out the wealthy who are hoarding, withholding, living in self-indulgence and even stealing life from those of lesser means. Wealth is not evil, but when we find our security and significance in it, we can do unthinkable things. The gospel shows us an altogether different way to live.Pastor Adam による
 
When we make plans, we should never do so presumptively. Rather, we should submit them to God's will, being careful to evaluate our plans so that they enable us to trust and glorify God as well as love our neighbor. In so doing, we are embracing God's ultimate plan of restoration and redemption.Pastor Adam による
 
Slander damages the identity and value of another person while trying to defend or regain identity and value for ourself. And when we act in this way, we are positioning ourselves not only as a judge of that person, but also over the law of God and God himself. As we are transformed by the gospel our tendency toward slander becomes a tendency towar…
 
As James turns to address the hearts of his readers, he does so with a piercing accusation of spiritual adultery. They, like us, have hearts that share their affection with other gods. The result is we look just like the world around us and actually work against God. God's response to our idolatry is more grace. And the way we embrace that grace is…
 
The small, the tongue has great power for good or for evil. So how do we grow in using it for good? You can't tame it. James reminds us it's never been done. Instead he calls us to look deeper into the source from which the tongue draws, namely the heart. And to engage in the battle to draw not from our broken human heart, but from the new creation…
 
Is there a such thing as false faith? With Jesus as his teacher, James reminds his readers the answer is a resounding "yes." Justification comes by grace through faith, but genuine faith always produces works of the kingdom. Faith that only hears and depends upon creeds and cultures, but fails to produce works ought to make us shutter.…
 
Why do people tend to be partial against those with less means? Largely because we are looking for our own glory. But the glory of God is on display in Jesus, who was rich but became poor that we might be welcomed into God's family. When we embrace this gospel we realize that we are poor and yet rich and we start to do the work of loving our neighb…
 
If we are going to grow and mature in our faith, then the gospel must be central. And we must not only hear it, but we also have to do it - live by faith on the basis of it. But James understands there is an often overlooked reality that makes this possible. We must embrace the gospel - literally welcome it in. Pulling on Jesus' parable of the sowe…
 
While life is certainly filled with external trials, it is even more full of internal trials. James calls these temptations and warns us that they only lead to death. Our only hope in the face of this death is the good gift of new birth that God offers through the gospel. It is the joy of this salvation that sustains us when we meet trials (externa…
 
The reality of trials and struggle in life is a "when" not "if" reality. And James tells us that only way to sustain ourselves in them is to fight for a stabilizing joy that comes from our hope in the gospel. Single-minded maturity is the product of seeking and acting on God's wisdom. And in this race of life, single-minded means to fix our eyes on…
 
James is a prominent leader in the church at Jerusalem writing to a scattered group of believers on the heels of great persecution. In this difficult season, he is calling them away from arrogant self-dependence and to single-minded maturity that comes from a dependence on God and his wisdom.Pastor Adam による
 
At Christmas we celebrate that Jesus Brings God; Emmanuel, God with us...in our flesh and in our struggles. Jesus is full life and brings light into our lives. When we make room in our hearts, he and the Father come and make their home in us, giving us light and life now and forever.Pastor Jim Entwistle による
 
Sometimes the idyllic nature of the Christmas story, distracts us from seeing what is actually happening. A king is arriving to inaugurate his kingdom and that is a threat to many. When we see Jesus for who he really is, we are left with two choices: either we kill him or we crown him. Herod shows us what those gripping to power are inclined to do,…
 
To a people who were looking for a shepherd of peace to rescue them from a scattered identity, Jesus arrived ending God's silence. And in him, God graciously gave peace to the world. Reversing the results of sin and death, Jesus brings peace with God, peace with each other and peace with ourselves.Pastor Adam による
 
When Jesus concludes his paradigm for prayer, he is showing us our desperate need to pray for heart direction. In this wilderness journey called life, just like our forefathers, we all have God's direction, but we have hearts that embrace unforgiveness, wander into temptation and are gripped by evil. Prayer and the intimacy with God it facilitates …
 
When Jesus tells his disciples to pray for daily bread, he is invoking the great Exodus story of their past. In so doing, he calls them to pray for provision and contentment. And as they will go on to see, he is ultimately telling them to pray for more of him. It's in Jesus that we realized the ultimate Exodus, meet God's provision and find true co…
 
The context of prayer is a holy God who comes down the mountain to engage with us - how miraculous! Our prayer then is in many ways a divine negotiation. We make our requests known while seeking God's kingdom and will. Likewise prayer prepares us to act. God's will and kingdom advance on earth as his people embody them in the particularities of the…
 
Prayer is not a means of coercing God. Instead, prayer is a posture of sincerity that comes to God in the context of a relationship with real desire and real needs. And our Father already knows what we need and stands ready to meet us with his covenant faithfulness and love.Pastor Adam による
 
Prayer is not a performance and God is not an audience. He is a loving Father who desires an intimate relationship with us. Prayer is the means by which we engage our Father and cultivate this relationship. And when we do, we gain the true reward of prayer - the very presence of God with us.Pastor Adam による
 
Our world and our flesh are constantly telling us that we need to prove ourselves. But just like the rich young ruler who met Jesus, the questions "what do I have to do" and "what do I lack" typically leave us exhausted. True life comes when we believe that God is good, so I don't have to prove myself. When we tase the grace of God and come to him …
 
God is good so I don't have to look elsewhere for satisfaction. The story of the woman at the well and her interaction with Jesus demonstrates God goodness in his pursuit of people, his restoring power, his offer of full life and even his willingness to expose our brokenness. It in those moments of seeing our brokenness that we realize we haven't b…
 
The Bible warns us that the fear of man is a snare aiming to catch and devour us. We fear others when we revere them to the point of granting them control over us. In a word, we worship them. But the good news of the gospel is that we don't have to fear others because God is glorious. It is when we live deeply into this truth that we find real peac…
 
The gospel is the true declaration that Jesus is the victorious, rightful and eternal King who has brought peace to earth through his incarnation, death and resurrection. We access this peace through repentance and belief - deposing the would be kings of our lives and turning in active faith to the rule and reign of Jesus.…
 
Followers of Jesus should be known by their love of their neighbors. This has always been God's design - that his people would be a blessing to the world. In order to be intentional about loving our neighbors - we want to BLESS them through prayer, listening, eating together, serving and sharing our stories.…
 
One of the first realities we see of disciples of Jesus is that they are inviting other people. Specifically they are telling their friends and even those throughout their village to "come and see." Most of us are not evangelists or apologists, but we are all witnesses. And disciples of Jesus are always asking others to "come and see."…
 
At Hope we are committed to making disciples to the glory of God. To be intentional about this, we embrace a simply Jesus identity and a multi-congregational structure that desires to see the gospel within reach of every single person in the Lehigh Valley (and beyond).Pastor Adam による
 
Jesus said that we bring glory to God by finishing the work he gave us to do. What is the work of the church? To make disciples. This means introducing people to Jesus, helping them embrace the gospel and enabling them to grow in their faith. To glorify God we need to make more disciples and mature disciples.…
 
The glory of God is the reason we exist as humans. And it's the reason the church exists. The glory of God enables the world to know God and to worship God. As we take up this divine purpose, we are charged to be fruitful and multiply - to grow, so God's glory increases.Pastor Adam による
 
As the book of Numbers concludes, once again the character of God is on full display, namely in his gracious care for his people. He shows his care for the insignificant, for those carrying a special calling or burden and for those in dire circumstances. This care points directly to Jesus, the ultimate manifestation of the care of God for his peopl…
 
The Israelites were called to engage the Canaanite enemy and lay claim to the entire land of promise on the basis of God's faithfulness. Though they fell short, Jesus came and announced the defeat of the actual enemy - sin and death. And on the basis of our union with him, he calls us to engage in the battle against sin. This fight is largely fough…
 
Just as the nation is ready to lay hold to the land God has promised, two tribes express their desire to settle east of the Jordan River. Moses' response shows us their folly. In settling down, they are actually settling for less than God has offered. Just like them, we tend to get bogged down by our stuff, weary from the journey and comfortable wh…
 
In Numbers 31 God brings judgement on the Midianites for their opposition to His kingdom advancement. In His providence He has mercy on Israel but condemns Midian. When we really analyze God's judgement, we find that we can either die to self because of His love or die in our sin because of our guilt.…
 
With a new census, we once again see the faithfulness and the goodness of God. And both of these are even more apparent when God resounds to the daughters of Zelophehad. Though their father's sin had led to their deprivation, God welcomed them into an inheritance that legally wasn't theirs to share. In the same way, God has welcomed us into the inh…
 
Failing to realize God's promises, the Israelites on the precious of entering the land fall into temptation. Sexual immorality for sure, but at its core cheating on God with other gods. Into this mess steps a man named Phinehas with zeal for God who stops the downward spiral. On an ever greater scale, Jesus stepped into the downward spiral of this …
 
The narrative of Balak gives the reader of Numbers an important question to ponder: what kind of king do I want to serve? One who provokes, tempts and is destined to defeat. Or one who blesses by by walking among his people and fighting for them til ultimate victory. The king we need is divine, not human. Our king is God, who himself became the hum…
 
In that day, Balaam was clearly the go to guy if you found yourself in a tough spot. But this famous story of Balaam and his donkey shows us that his broken humanity makes him an incapable rescuer. It is God who shows perfect power, vision and loyalty. And it is ultimately Jesus, our servant rescuer, who demonstrates this rescuing power for the wor…
 
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