As believers in Christ, we have a birthright — a spiritual inheritance received through the Holy Spirit. But sometimes, we turn our focus on the immediate gratification of momentary pleasure. In part two of #DeathToSelfie, Pastor Steven uses the story of Esau to show us how often we choose to trade our future for something fleeting and worthless. Yet through the grace of Jesus, we can be restored as firstborn children in our Father’s eyes, no matter what we’ve chosen in the past.
Archive for the ‘Sermon Clips’ Category
Sometimes when we are in the middle of a difficult struggle, it can be hard for us to see God working in our lives. But when we feel sorry for ourselves, and sit around waiting for God to fix our problems, we often miss what He has already given us and what He plans to do in our lives during our hard seasons. In this clip from our sermon series Waiting Room, Pastor Steven explains that when we accept Christ and the Holy Spirit comes to live inside us, we have all we’ll ever need to overcome any obstacle in our lives.
Throughout the Bible there are stories of God’s people being imprisoned and persecuted for their beliefs. Yet, God shows us there is always a greater purpose behind their suffering. As Christians, when we put God’s purpose first in our lives, we can expect to face similar hardships. Because the Christian life was not designed to easy, it was designed to be effective and purposeful. In this clip from our series The Joy Genome, Pastor Steven explains how we can use the pain in our lives to make a lasting impact for the glory of God.
Why does it sometimes feel like God is far away, just when we need to feel His presence the most? Would God really disappear in our greatest time of need? In this clip from our series IN•FIN•8, Pastor Steven shows us through the story of Moses and the Red Sea that God is always fighting for us, and He can use our difficult situations to draw us towards Him, stretching our faith and increasing His glory in the process.
Everyday we face critical decisions about who we will be in our relationships, our jobs, our schools, and more. And these decisions don’t just affect us, but the lives of the people around us too. How do we influence the circles, tribes, and communities we are a part of? In this clip from the sermon “Sinkers and Savers“, Pastor Steven shows us two very different men in the Bible, explaining how we all face similar choices regarding which direction we go, and the effect those choices have on others.
Most of us think of the word “surrender” as being an admission of our defeat. And as Americans, we’d much rather celebrate the victories in our nation’s history rather than our defeats and missteps. But what do we do when it sometimes feels like our country is out of control or heading in a direction we fear? As Christians, we have only one choice – surrender. In this clip from our series, Banner Years, Pastor Steven teaches us that when we look at our lives, our church, and our country from the perspective of the cross, we discover the hope and victory found only in Jesus.
Everyday, from the moment we wake up, our days are filled with the ups and downs of emotions. Some of these emotions are of our decisions, and others are the reactions to other’s actions. But as Christians, we have the ability to not let our emotions become our focus. We can train our hearts to remember God’s goodness in the middle of our negative circumstances., But it doesn’t just happen on its own. In this clip from our series 52 Days of Thanks and Praise, Pastor Steven teaches us how to look past our pain and discouragement, and focus instead on God’s presence in the center of it all.
Almost everyone knows a solid foundation is key to building a house that lasts. For Christians, the same can be said of our faith. But it’s not always easy to feel confident in our foundation of faith. Like when pain or struggles come into our lives, when relationships are on the brink, or when our future is uncertain. What do we believe in then? How do we faces these situations when we can’t figure out the answer? In this clip from the sermon series I Don’t Know What I Believe, Pastor Steven explains that when we establish a deep-rooted confidence in Christ, we don’t have to fear our past, our present, or even our uncertain future.
One of our greatest gifts as Christians is the freedom to move on from our past. God tells us throughout scripture that He wants great things for our lives, and that the greater life found only in Him is ours for the taking. But, we can’t just sit on the sidelines and wait for it to happen. We have to do something with what we’ve been given. In this clip from our series (This is Your) Permission Slip, Pastor Steven teaches us that when we decide to actively pursue the promises of God, He’ll lead us into the future He’s planned for us.
No matter who we are, we are all guaranteed to make some bad decisions. And these decisions often come with consequences. But how we respond in these situations says a lot about our view of God. In the aftermath of a bad choice, we can choose to live in perpetual guilt, or we can turn to God and ask for help and forgiveness. In this clip from our series INFIN8, Pastor Steven looks at the story of Adam & Eve to help us understand, even though there are consequences for our sin, God has provided a covering and the only way to overcome all our mistakes.
Have you ever heard the phrase: “Prepare for the worst, but hope for the best”? Sometimes, as Christians, we can start to think of prayer that way – we hope God will come through for us, but we aren’t really surprised if He doesn’t. In this clip from our series Sun Stand Still, Pastor Steven teaches us that when we pray with the kind of faith we see in the Bible, the same faith that caused a man to pray and see the sun stand still in the sky, we can come to God with the a new expectation about the power of prayer.
As Christians, we understand that having faith is more than just rolling the dice with our prayers, hoping God will fix all our troubles and do great things in our life. Faith requires participation too. And, throughout the Bible, God calls on people that are willing to work through their faith to accomplish His purpose and receive His blessing. In this clip from the series Greater Pastor Steven reminds us what active faith looks like, and assures us that we don’t need to know how it’ll all work out to believe God will show His glory through our faithful obedience.
We all have situations in our lives that we wish would have gone differently. And for many of us there’ve been times when it seemed like we were right on track, only to have whatever it was – a great job, a new relationship, big plans – just fall apart. What happened? Where did we go wrong? And what do we do now? In this clip from our series God’s Will Is Whatever Pastor Steven reminds us that sometimes what might look like our biggest failure, regret, or disappointment can become a great testament to the power of God in our lives.
One of the quickest ways to feel hopeless in our relationships is to believe we don’t have a choice. We feel trapped. And yes, there are many situations where walking out isn’t an option. We can’t just abandon our marriages or our families because it gets hard. But that doesn’t mean we should resign ourselves to a life of misery either. In this clip from our series How to Hug a Vampire, Pastor Steven explains that, because of Christ, we always have a choice in our relationships, regardless of the situation.
How is it possible that most of us can remember all the words to ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’, but we’ve forgotten the name of the person who taught us to read? It’s fascinating how selective our memory can be. And it doesn’t always seem to remember the best things. In this clip from our series Ghost Stories, Pastor Steven reminds us that instead of dwelling on the challenges, failures, and burdens of our past, God wants us to remember His faithfulness – and the daily blessings He’s given us throughout our lives.
As Christians, when we think about God’s will for our lives, we often focus on our individual role. God, what do you want me to do? What is your calling for my own life? But maybe – just maybe – it’s not all about us after all. Perhaps God has greater plans for us collectively. In this clip from The New Rules of Resolution, Pastor Steven explains that, when it comes to God’s will and His church and fulfilling our calling on the earth, it’s never been about what we can only accomplish by ourselves.
Many Christians believe this – God can, but we can’t. And to a certain extent, it’s true. Before Jesus, we all were broken and separated from God because of our sin. But Jesus paid the price for us on the cross, not that we would only see that God is able, but that we would see our own lives as rescued, redeemed, and valuable. In this clip from our series I Don’t Know What I Believe, Pastor Steven teaches us that trusting God is the first step in our faith – but it also takes faith to believe that even though we are who we are, and we’ve done what we’ve done, we are still able through Christ to do great things for His glory.
In our very worst situations it’s hard not to crumble under the pressure. We may want to run away from the problem, hide from it, or simply just hang our heads in defeat. But in this clip from our series 52 Days of Thanks and Praise, Pastor Steven shows us the option that Jesus offers us – and when we hear what God has to say about our problems, we can begin to let go of our circumstances and let Him take control.
We all have our messes. The parts of our lives that feel chaotic and out of control. We try to do everything we can to make them look neat and tidy to the rest of the world, but there’s no fooling God. He sees it all as it really is. He knows who we really are. And He wants to be a part of our lives in spite of our dirt. In this clip from the sermon “How to Love the Mud“, Pastor Steven explains that when we invite Jesus into our worst situations, He will show us His purpose and grace in the middle of any mess.
We are living in the instant gratification generation. We see something we want. And we want it now. And when we get it, we’re temporarily satisfied. For many believers, our approach is the same with our prayer lives. When we pray, we want answers. We think if God doesn’t respond immediately, then it must mean that it’s not working or maybe God doesn’t hear us – or if He does hear us, He doesn’t care. In this clip from the sermon “Don’t Stop On Six“, Pastor Steven explains that even when it seems like our prayers aren’t working, God is still at work – and the reward for our endurance and perseverance is far greater than our desire for instant gratification.
It’s easy to think of the Ten Commandments as God’s big list of things we shouldn’t do. But what if instead of seeing them as strict restrictions that hold us back, we saw them as the divine directions for living the life God intended for us all along? In this clip from our series (This Is Your) Permission Slip, Pastor Steven teaches us, that as Believers, following God’s instruction was never meant to hold us back, but instead lead us into the greatest life we could live.
Whether you admit it or not, we all can be difficult to love at times. Whether we are hurt, needy, or broken, sometimes no matter how much people try to fill us up with love, it’s impossible for us to receive it. Our hearts are cracked, and the love of others leaks out. In the sermon “The Frustration of a Fixer“, Pastor Steven explains that we can look to a lot of different sources to get the affirmation we desire, but only when we fill ourselves with the love of Jesus can we ever feel completely full.
Most of us approach the will of God in the exact same way. We want to know it, so we can do it, because we think we should. But for many of us, God wants to get beyond the surface of our actions. In this clip from our series God’s Will is Whatever, Pastor Steven explains to us that maybe what God truly wants from each of us has less to do with understanding His will so we can do the next thing – and more to do with our hearts.
It’s easy for us to define ourselves by our worst moments. And it’s hard to be hopeful if we are only known by our worst days. But, in part three of our series The Hope of Glory, Pastor Steven examines the life of Abraham to show us that, when God defines our lives through Christ, he doesn’t focus on past mistakes or even our current feelings and circumstances. And even at the end of hope, God can use our faith to fulfill His great purpose in our lives.
When we are hurting or disappointed with a person or situation, all we really want is for things to work out. We want to get the apology we expected, the job we deserved, the success we earned. If we are living a life in Christ, it can be easy to think that nothing bad should ever happen to us. In this clip from our series The Expectation Gap, Pastor Steven focuses on the words of Paul in Philippians 3 to explain the deeper meaning of Christ’s resurrection and give us a complete picture of what it looks like to truly pursue Christ in our lives.
If we could trade places with anyone for a day, who would it be? LeBron? Oprah? Billy Graham? No matter who we pick, chances are it’s someone whose life seems greater than our own. But in this clip from our series, Greater, Pastor Steven uses the biblical example of Elisha to teach us that, when God calls us to a greater life, it often means trading in the worldly definitions of success we see all around us for the far greater rewards of a life in Christ.
We have all seen our share of trouble, hardship, and uncertainty. We’ve seen pain. We’ve experienced loss. And in these moments, our faith can be shaken. Sure, we believe that God exists. We believe Jesus is who He said He was. But in the face of our circumstances, we have a hard time believing that He has our best interests in mind. In this clip from our series I Know He Is But What Am I?, Pastor Steven explains that even in the midst of difficulty, our faith requires trusting that God is a great rewarder with great plans for our lives – and understanding that He has already given us our greatest reward.
The Bible says Christ is in us, but what does that mean? If we compare ourselves to the heroes and scholars of the Christian faith, most of us would say we don’t really measure up. We see our shortcomings and our challenges and where we fall short. But in this clip from our series The Prodigy in Me, Pastor Steven reminds us that as believers, we all have the potential to do incredible things for God’s glory when we draw from the One who lives in us.
We all have something in our lives that seems unbeatable, no matter how hard we try. A bad habit, a destructive pattern, a regret, a heartbreak. In this clip from the sermon “The Greatest Story Forever Told“, Pastor Steven shows us that when God’s people faced problems that seemed hopeless, they were always provided with an answer. And whether we we feel chained to the shame our the past or are feeling overwhelmed by our current circumstances, there is and always will be only one solution – Jesus.
It’s not easy to be generous. It’s not in our nature. Because when we look at our resource – our money, our time, our talents – we will almost always feel under-sourced. But when we bring our limited resource to the unlimited Source, God can do more than we could ever imagine. In this illustration from part 2 of our series Consider The Source, Pastor Steven uses John 6 and a pomegranate to show us how God is able to multiply the effectiveness of our giving when we live generously.
It’s pretty easy for us to give thanks to God. As Christians, we have so much to be grateful for. Each day we have the opportunity to give Him gratitude for His grace and mercy, His blessing and provision. These prayers of thanksgiving allow us to both honor God and grow in our relationship with Him. But our gratitude shouldn’t end there. In this clip from our series This Is Your Permission Slip, Pastor Steven teaches us that when we bring our tithes and give our offerings to God, we have the opportunity to document God’s work in our lives and put our gratitude into action.
What if our lives were books that were already written? How many of us would skip to the end of a chapter to know how things work out? Or fast forward through a difficult season to get to better days? But real life doesn’t work that way. And often, when we ask God for resolution or direction, His answers don’t contain the exact details or instruction we’d like. In this clip from our series Treatment, Pastor Steven explains how trusting God’s simple commands can set us free from worrying about our future.
No one likes to fail. Even if we learn something through our mistakes, failure isn’t something we’d typically volunteer to do. But what if God had an even greater purpose for our failure than just fine-tuning our skills or strengthening our relationships? In this clip from our series INFIN8, Pastor Steven uses the story of Peter walking on water to explain what our failure can do to point us toward a deeper understanding of who Jesus is and what He has done for us.
What do we do when we’re facing a situation that seems hopeless? We’ve tried everything you can think of, and done everything we can do, but it seems like there’s nothing left to give. It seems like the only thing left to do is throw in the towel. But in this clip from our sermon series Get Back, Pastor Steven shows us that even when we see no way out, God has a different perspective – and He can still use our hopeless situation to do something extraordinary.
What does God look like? Some of us picture God like a bouncer at a night club, standing with His arms crossed at the gates of Heaven. Or maybe we see Him as a ruthless CEO, sitting at a big desk in the corner office, waiting to yell “you’re fired” at the next person who slips up. But where did we get these ideas? How does God really look at us? In this clip from our series Found Favor, Pastor Steven reminds us that through Jesus, we can see God as He really is – a loving Father who wants only the best for His children.
What does it look like when the Biblical truths we learn at church each weekend are put into practice Monday through Friday? How do we not only understand what God teaches us, but begin to practically apply it to our daily lives and in our jobs? In our series God’s Will Is Whatever, we watched the testimonies of several people in the church, showing how they seek God’s will everyday in their workplace. This is one of those stories.
Just because we know what’s right, doesn’t guarantee we’ll do the right thing. For whatever reason, we all make bad choices sometimes. But what are the consequences when we do something outside of God’s will? In this clip from our series IN•FIN•8, Pastor Steven uses the story of Jonah to show us that whether or not we do what we’re supposed to, when we’re supposed to do it – there is nowhere we can go to escape God’s grace and His plan for us.
For some of us it’s easier to give than to receive. We give our time, our energy, our compliments. But when the tables are turned, we don’t always view ourselves worthy of these same things. Because we know who we really are. We know our own sinful hearts and impure motivations. But in this clip from our series I Know He Is, But What Am I, Pastor Steven reminds us that the grace of God is a gift for all – and not just to cover our sin, but to change our lives.
How do we know if our lives are on track? What determines if we’re right or wrong? Good or bad? Most of us, as Christians want to do God’s will – but sometimes its hard to know what that is, exactly. In this clip from our series God’s Will Is Whatever, Pastor Steven explains how we can use God’s Word as a filter for our lives, helping us understand more clearly whatever it is God has called to do.
Where does our faith come from? Is it from our experiences? A feeling in our gut? A hope for our future? And where can we turn when our faith is shaken? The struggle to keep our faith is in the midst of uncertainty is nothing new. The Bible is full of people who struggled to believe in a God they couldn’t see or fully understand. In this clip from our series Give Me Faith, Pastor Steven reminds us that we all fall short when we put our faith in our own ability, and the only hope we have is found in the One who never waivers.
Normally when we think about the calling God has for us, we think of all the great things He wants to do through our lives. But ‘great’ doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing to God as it does to us. Just look at The Apostle Paul. He fulfilled much of his calling while confined to a jail cell. From the world’s perspective, that’s a pretty terrible place to be. So how do we know if we’re doing the right thing God would have us do with our lives? In this clip from our series ‘The New Rules of Resolution‘, Pastor Steven explains what accomplishing God’s calling is really about.
They talk to much. She cares too little. He doesn’t have the right attitude. When it comes to others, we are so quick to pick up on their shortcomings and see the solution for their dysfunction. Even in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explained that it’s far easier to point out the faults in others rather than deal with own issues. But what if we starting looking at everyone else in the same way that Jesus looks at us? In this clip from our series How to Hug a Vampire, Pastor Steven explains that the right way to see others begins with understanding God’s perspective on us.
We all have our own expectations. The way we think things ought to be. Expectations for our spouses, our kids, our employees, ourselves. And we are all afraid of falling short and being disappointed or even recognizing our own inadequacies. What if they don’t love me back? What if I mess everything up? What if they never come around? In this clip from our series The Expectation Gap, Pastor Steven explains the freedom found in understanding God’s perspective when it comes to our expectations for others.
Most of us think that greatness is reserved for someone else. The CEO, the super mom, the perfect couple. They have the chance to be great. But not us. We are just ordinary. We aren’t influential enough. No one really cares what we do. How could God have a plan for our lives? What could He possibly have for us to do? In this clip from our series Greater, Pastor Steven teaches us that through the Holy Spirit that lives inside of every believer, God can take our lives that we consider unexceptional, and use them for extraordinarily great purpose.
In Romans 8, Paul writes, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” That seems like a real encouraging verse. But then we look at our life and see that our prayers haven’t been answered. Our healing hasn’t come. We’re still waiting on God to provide. From this vantage point, it doesn’t make sense to say we have conquered anything. But what if we could celebrate triumph in the midst of our trial? In this clip from our series Christ Alone, Pastor Steven teaches us that as believers in Jesus, we can have victory in our battles before we ever get out of them.
If we buy these clothes, they’ll notice us. Once we get this new car, the neighborhood will see how successful we are. In a culture that tells us to create the ideal identity, what do we do with the daily insecurities we feel on the inside that question our self worth and value? In this clip from Fearfully & Wonderfully Made, Pastor Steven explains how we can combat our self-doubt by building our lives on a Christ-centered confidence from the inside out.
“Do you really think you can handle this?”
“Are you strong enough to make it through this time?”
“Don’t you know who you really are?”
Questions of doubt in the midst of our most challenging circumstances inevitably stir up insecurity in our lives. We can’t avoid it. But it is possible to avert it. In this clip from our series Treatment, Pastor Steven reveals the one statement that will overcome every insecurity that the enemy tries to interject into our lives.
It can be easy, when we get caught in the midst of the daily grind, to wonder if our obedience to God makes any impact. Does it matter if we’re there for our kids, even when they don’t listen to us? Would anyone even notice if we took a stand for Christ in our schools and workplaces? In this clip from the sermon “The Most Encouraging Message You’ve Never Heard” Pastor Steven explains to us that, like John the Baptist, our lives matter more than we think because there’s more happening through our obedience than we will ever know.
As believers, our relationship with God takes on a whole new shape in our moments of greatest vulnerability and uncertainty. As our fear floods into our mind, our prayers focus on God’s protection and our desire for safety. We want God to just get rid of whatever has made us afraid. But what if God doesn’t necessarily want to give us more protection, but instead wants us to have a greater perspective? In this clip from our series Room 101, Pastor Steven teaches us what it looks like to move beyond our fears into faith.
Some of us are living life discouraged by variables we can’t control – the place we were born, the skills we don’t have, other people’s choices that effect us. Over time, if we keep letting these circumstances have power over us, we end up living life defeated. But in this clip from our series Grapes and Giants, Pastor Steven explains that as Christians, when we define ourselves by the things we can’t control, we lose sight of the One who is ultimately in control – and who lives inside us.
Praying boldly and running after God’s will for our lives is not easy. Not only does it stretch our faith, but when we ask God to show up in a big way, we also have to deal with the doubt and insecurity that come along for the ride. So how do we not let these negative voices keep us from God’s plan for us? In this clip from our series Sun Stand Still, Pastor Steven shows us how Jesus dealt with the objections that tried to interfere with Him accomplishing God’s greater purpose.
We have all felt betrayed. A best friend turned their back. Someone we loved was not loyal. The person we thought would always be there didn’t show up when we needed them most. How can something that hurts so bad be used by God to do good? In this clip from our series Storytellers, Pastor Steven teaches us that our sovereign God is more powerful than any person’s potential to harm you. When we can’t see past the problem, God is looking forward to working everything into His great purpose.
As Christians, the will of God is something that has always perplexed us. How do we know when we’re following God’s will for our lives? What does He want us to do next? And do our bad decisions make it impossible to get back to the path God intended for us? In this clip from our series God’s Will Is Whatever, Pastor Steven shares the comforting truth that, no matter where life has taken us or where we have taken ourselves, we still have reason to hope – because one decision can redirect our hearts toward God and drop us right in the center of His will.
More today than ever before, our focus is pulled in so many directions. There are so many voices and opinions pushing for our attention. How do we know which ones to listen to? How do we know where to place our trust? Fortunately, as Christians we know a voice that pushes through the noise. A strong, unchanging, unwavering Father who’s commands and plans for us are so much greater than what the world can offer. But knowing this truth, why do so many of us struggle to trust and follow Him daily? In this clip from our series In•Fin•8, Pastor Steven explains that the real question is not whether we trust in God, but what is keeping us from fully letting go of the world.
We will all face challenges in life that, even though we’re giving it all we’ve got, we just don’t feel like we’re going to win. And sometimes we’ve been fighting so long and so hard that we don’t if we have the energy to keep pushing. What’s our next move when we don’t feel like we can even take the next step? In this clip from our series Hebrews XII, Pastor Steven reminds us that if we can fix our eyes on Jesus, that is all the hope we need to move forward.
When we pray for God to speak to us, we want to see it in a big way to know that it was from Him. We want to know that it wasn’t just an accident or coincidence. But often, when God wants to announce something to us, He doesn’t always deliver His message this way. In this clip from Room 101, Pastor Steven looks at a time when God spoke to Elijah on the mountain, and explains the surprising way God shows us His power and peace through how He communicates.
Even those of us with the deepest faith in Christ can struggle when we look around and see things we want but don’t have. Most of us would happily accept blessings of additional talent, success, or resource. But maybe we already possess more than we realize. In this clip from our series Grapes & Giants Pastor Steven teaches us that, as Christians, God has given us his Kingdom and every blessing we desire has been fulfilled through Christ – the key is learning how to take hold what is already ours.
Through our prayers, we often call on God to do the impossible in our lives. To solve our unanswerable problems, heal our hopeless causes, make it rain in our barren desert. But what are we supposed to do next? Do we just sit back and wait for God to work? In this clip from the series Get Back Pastor Steven teaches us that only God can provide the supernatural in our lives, but we still have a part to play in our prayers.
When we make certain goals and resolutions, it can be hard to keep pushing forward when we don’t see immediate results. And when we are only looking for something big to happen, it’s hard to notice the smaller milestones and checkpoints along the way. In this clip from The New Rules of Resolution, Pastor Steven teaches us that no matter how little progress we seem to be making, we need to just keep showing up – God may be using this time to take us even further than we thought.
When we think of Christmas, most of us picture the shepherds, wisemen, and a star standing still over baby Jesus. As Christians, these images represent God’s greatest gift – the birth of our Savior. Yet, it’s important to remember that the birth of Jesus was only beginning of our salvation. In this clip from Timeless Christmas, Pastor Steven reminds us that what began at Christmas was completed at the cross, when Jesus bridged the gap to restore our relationship with God.
It’s a fairly common when we gather with family and friends over the holidays to have some tense situations. Sitting around the dinner table with the people who know us best, or have known us the longest, situations come up. Buttons get pushed. Feelings get hurt. Maybe there’s that one jab that always gets you, or that one person who seems to put you on edge no matter what they say or do. In this clip from our series “The Highest,” Pastor Steven teaches us what our response should be by showing us Jesus’ own uncommon strategy for defense.
Many of us often find ourselves believing that we are too ordinary for God to use. We think working a normal job or being a stay-at-home mom takes us out of the running to receive God’s greater calling. We convince ourselves that God only uses missionaries or pastors or worship leaders to spread the Gospel and show Himself to the world. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. In this clip from the sermon series Do You Hear?, Pastor Steven teaches us that God can speak to us anywhere, at anytime, and He doesn’t wait for us to be great before He desires to use our lives greatly.
Most of us would just love for God to give step-by-step directions for our lives. Who to marry. Which job to take. What to do when we don’t know where to go next. But God is so much more than just someone to turn to for advice or direction. In this clip from Christmas at Elevation Pastor Steven explains that while God may not show us exactly where to go, He loves us enough to provide us with a perfect guide to follow – Jesus.
Every Christian has at some point in their faith struggled in their belief in Jesus Christ as Savior. There are times when we just want proof Jesus exists. We want know that He really is the Son of God and that His salvation exists for us. And that’s ok.Thomas, one of Jesus’ own disciples, needed proof of Jesus’ resurrection. But real faith doesn’t walk by sight. So how do we reconcile our need for proof with a faith that we want to be real? In this clip from Uptown Christmas, Pastor Steven explains that to truly see and perceive Jesus, we have to look deeper than the surface.
As Christians we are not promised a trouble-free life. Mary found this out as she was ostracized and ridiculed when she was pregnant with Jesus. The disciples learned this in the middle of storm that they thought would be their last. And the same is true for each of us. We will all at some point in our lives, find ourselves in the middle of our own personal hurricane – and we will struggle to find God in the midst of it all. But in this clip from Timeless Christmas, Pastor Steven explains that God is not only with us in the storms of life, but He is also there to carry us through them – no matter what we are facing.
Before Christ came, things were different. The law said that when you sinned, you had to make it right with God. There were priests you had to go through. Sacrifices you had to make. Under this law, the penalty for sin was death. But when Jesus was born, everything changed. He was the redeeming sacrifice for all of our sin, for all of time, for those who accept Him. In this clip from Code Orange Christmas Pastor Steven reminds us why Jesus came, and how, since that day, the world has never been the same.
When we find ourselves in real times trouble, despair, or confusion in our lives, it can feel like the whole world is against us and God is nowhere to be found. But we aren’t alone. In the Bible, Job, Ruth and Elisha all faced overwhelmingly bad circumstances, and trusted God nevertheless. In this clip from our sermon series I Won’t Survive the Holidays Pastor Steven reminds us that we serve a God we can trust, no matter how bad our circumstances may appear.
Isn’t it strange how two people can look at the exact same thing but see something different? What some might see as a burden, others see as an opportunity. Its all a matter of perspective. And the same is true of our fears. Depending on how we look at them, we may see our greatest threat, or find our greatest hope. In this clip from the the sermon series Room 101, Pastor Steven teaches us how to flip our perspective and find Jesus in the midst of our greatest fears.
God has blessed the life of the believer in Christ far beyond anything we could ever deserve, and far greater than anything we could ever do for ourselves. His grace, His mercy, His love – they are renewed for us everyday. And because of this truth alone, we have no reason to not be grateful. So why are our hearts not filled with gratitude every morning? Why, after all God has done for us, are we not heaping our thanks and praise on Him with every breath we take? In this clip from our series “The Highest,” Pastor Steven explains what gets in the way of a grateful heart.
Joy. We don’t really know how to define it, but we know that we like it and many of us spend most of our lives trying to find it. We look for joy in our jobs, in relationships, in temporary pleasure. But at the end of the day, all these things will fall short. They will leave us empty and unfulfilled and we start looking somewhere new the find our joy. But as believers, as Pastor Steven reminds us in this clip from our series “The Joy Genome,” we have never-ending access to the most powerful source of true joy.
In the midst of our own daily stress, most of us don’t immediately think to praise God. In fact it’s probably the exact opposite. When our thoughts are consumed by problems at work or issues at home, it’s incredibly difficult to just let it go and focus on glorifying Christ. But in our sermon series The Highest, Pastor Steven explains the peace we are given when we don’t prioritize our problems, but offer God our praise.
Why is it easier to believe a preacher can accomplish great things for Christ, but not everyone else? What about construction workers? Bankers? Teachers? Parents? The Bible says that as Christians, the spirit of God lives inside each of us. Not because of who we are, but because of who He is. In this clip from our sermon series The Prodigy In Me, Pastor Steven explains why God isn’t looking for people who have what it takes to be used for His glory.
We all have felt times of loneliness or relational emptiness. We search for fulfillment in people and their love and acceptance. We are willing to lower our standards or compromise our convictions in order to receive the love we so desperately desire. And our enemy knows that we’re wired this way. He flashes instant gratification and temporary satisfaction in front of our hungry hearts. So where is God when we’re feeling alone? In this clip from our series Mr. & Mrs. Betterhalf, Pastor Steven reminds us that as believers in Christ, we have an unending love that can withstand our loneliest days.
It can be hard to trust God when our lives aren’t going the way we had hoped. When we faithfully pray and believe, but only seem to be losing ground. The diagnosis come back worse than we thought. The relationship grows more strained. Our kids push us even further away. Why does God let us go through these seasons? In this clip from our series “Waiting Room,” Pastor Steven reminds us that even though God sometimes takes our lives in directions we wouldn’t necessarily choose to go, He always has a greater purpose for our journey.
The spiritual life of every Christian is built on a foundation of faith. We have faith in a mighty Creator. We have faith in a loving Savior. We faithfully believe that our lives were created with great purpose to bring glory to God. At least that’s what we’d like to believe everyday. But what do we do when our faith falls short? When we give up. When we doubt. When we think our situation has become too much for God to handle. In this clip from our series INFIN8, Pastor Steven reminds us of the hope we can cling to in the midst of our faltering faith.
There is a general formula for how most of us approach our goals. If we work hard, then hopefully we see our desired outcome. If we try the best we can, we want our deserved reward. We want our results to correlate with how much effort we put forth. But there is one glorious exception. In this clip from our series The New Rules of Resolution, Pastor Steven explains why we can never earn the love of God, and why that is good news.
The Holy Spirit is one of those things that we often have a hard time wrapping our heads around. What is it? And what does it look like? Is it in the good emotions we feel during church? Is it some sort of lucky rabbit’s foot we can pull out when times get rough? Or is it something more? In this clip from our series Ghost Stories, Pastor Steven explains that The Holy Spirit’s role is our lives as Christians is not just convenient guest appearances, but meant to be be something much greater.
When we struggle with trusting God with our future, often times that skepticism finds it root in the experiences of our past. We have failed too many times. We have wasted too many previous opportunities. Our prayers weren’t answered the way we had hoped. So we guard ourselves, and build walls between us and God. But in this clip from our series Greater, Pastor Steven explains how God, in spite of our own disobedience, wandering, and disappointment, has the ability to overrule our greatest objection.
To close out our series I Don’t Know What I Believe, Pastor Levi Lusko of Fresh Life Church, shared with us his moving testimony of finding hope and purpose in the future, in the midst of painful, life-altering tragedy.
As Christians, we pray that God would do great things for His glory through our lives. We want to make an impact, change the world, and leave a legacy for Christ. But what happens when our calling collides with real life? How do we handle opposition from others and our own internal struggles? And then what keeps us from becoming jaded about who God has called us to be? In this clip from our series INFIN8, Pastor Steven explains the danger in calling our situations like we see them, rather than trusting God and His divine perspective.
Many of us have this perception of God, that He is sitting in heaven with a big bag of lightning bolts, ready to punish us anytime we do something wrong. But if that really were the case, we would have been dust before we even started. And there isn’t anything we could have done on our own to fix it. But Jesus did. He was the only one able to satisfy the wrath of God on our behalf. So if we have Christ, what do have left to be scared of? In this clip from our series Room 101, Pastor Steven explains the only thing we should ever be afraid of when it comes to our relationship with God.
As Christians, there are several truths we must come to accept. For starters, it is true we are all sinners. It is true that because of this sin, we were separated from God and there was nothing we could do to repair this relationship. And if that was it, then believing these truths would crush us, leaving us to live the remainder of our lives feeling unworthy and insignificant. But in this clip from our series Grey Matter, Pastor Steven explains how Jesus came not to just remind us of our broken human condition, but to also offer a grace that is strong enough to stand alongside these foundational truths.
The Christian faith is not about wanting something from God and believing that He’ll give it to you. God is not some magical genie we can send our wishes to, and then sit back and wait for Him to deliver. That drastically minimizes who God really is, while wrongly emphasizing the things we really want. A relationship with Christ is much deeper than our surface desires. And in this clip from our series, Greater, Pastor Steven explains how faith isn’t the fast track to the easy life, but instead is rooted in a steadfast, obedient spirit that believes God is good even in the face of uncertain circumstances.
We can make plans. We can hope and pray. We can script out the exact way we think our lives should go. And sometimes that works. We get the job. We marry the girl. Everything works out. But what happens when it doesn’t? What is God’s purpose for taking our lives in a direction we never wanted to go? In this clip from our series Storytellers, Pastor Steven explains why God sometimes leads us down roads we didn’t intend to travel and how to find purpose in those unplanned circumstances.
Honor. When we hear that word, thoughts probably come to mind about the way we should treat our parents or our boss or anyone in authority over us. We typically only see it going in one direction – up. But the Bible says something different. In this clip from our series Honorology, Pastor Steven shows us throughout scripture the true breadth of honor, who deserves it, and why it really matters.
There are often times in our lives where God will call us to stay firmly planted and faithfully rooted right where we are. Your marriage. Your family. A difficult season of growth. But there are other times where God has called us out and told us to move on. In this clip from our series IN•FIN•8, Pastor Steven shows how to recognize when it’s time to go – and what we could be missing out on if we don’t.
We all have people in our lives that we treat like life rafts. People who we think are supposed to hold us up, keep us from drowning, or rescue us from a life we dread. We long to feel value in acceptance from them and will do anything we can to receive it. But God never intended for us to find our security in another imperfect person. And it’s only a matter of time before we both sink under the weight of our combined dysfunction. In this clip from our series Mr. & Mrs. Betterhalf, Pastor Steven explains the true source of security – a source that can sustain in midst of our storms and allow us to hold fast to a value only God can provide.
We all like our comforts. We like it when life goes according to plan. When we get what we want in the easiest way possible. When there’s no stress, no surprises, and no unmet expectations. That all sounds real nice – for a moment. But is that all we want out of life? Is the goal just to get to Heaven as easily and painlessly as possible? Or has God called us to something more? In this clip from our series The Prodigy in Me, Pastor Steven explains what we forfeit when our greatest goal becomes a life lived comfortably.
We pray. We step out in faith. We seek God and trust Him. We follow His instruction and obey all the rules. But nothing happens. We don’t get the job. The illness isn’t cured. The marriage isn’t restored. Our kids are still running from God. So what did we do wrong? Why did our prayers seem to fall on deaf ears? In the clip from our series New Thru 30, Pastor Steven encourages us when our faith doesn’t seem to be working.
What is your response when circumstances out of your control blindside your life? When we have to struggle and fight and pick ourselves up, all the while trying to maintain our faith in a God who is good. Our first reaction tends to be directed towards the cause of our issues – whether it’s people, the economy, or just the world we live in. But that’s not the true source of our problems. The truth is, as Pastor Steven explains in this clip from our series Grapes & Giants, that we have a very real enemy who desperately wants something we have.
Saved. Filled with the Holy Spirit. Following Jesus. Born again. There are many ways to say it, but what does becoming a Christian look like in our hearts? What physically and spiritually happens to us when we accept Christ as our Savior? In this clip from our series Christ Alone, Pastor Steven explains the transformation that happens in our heart that breaks us free from our sinful nature.
We still know them by name. The people we thought would be by our side and stand with us through thick and thin. But something happened. Maybe it was our fault. Maybe it was beyond our control. Either way, the people we thought we could go through anything with are no longer there. Best friends. Close family. Valued co-workers. But why did it have to happen this way? And where is God in the midst of these broken relationships? In this clip from our series Hebrews 12, Pastor Steven explains the greater purpose we find when someone we love leaves our life.
When we see people accept Jesus as their Savior, it’s hard not to be ecstatic. We join with heaven, celebrating as people far from God become raised to life in Christ. But what is our response after that? When we discover most new believers are not overnight success stories. When we realize there are still issues and baggage and sin. It can be easy for our cynicism to set in and we begin questioning their motives and if they fully understood the decision they made. But in the clip from our series Follow, Pastor Steven explains the difference between our responsibility and God’s responsibility when it comes to new believers in Christ.
We see God. We read about His mighty works and power throughout Scripture. We see His hand in the beauty and breadth of creation. And then we look in the mirror. We see a mess. We see mistakes, disappointments, and missed opportunities. How could God ever use us? How could He ever find a purpose for us in His story? But in spite of how we see ourselves, in this clip from our series Living A Better Story, Pastor Steven explains what God sees when He looks upon us.
Many new Christians have a hard time figuring out what their first step should be after accepting Jesus. Do I join a small group? Do I find a Bible reading plan? Do I buy a tie and some pleated khakis? It can be difficult to navigate this new terrain we find ourselves in. But Jesus was very clear what our first step should be – and in this clip from our series Follow, Pastor Steven explains why this next step is so important to the foundation of our faith as believers in Christ.
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The devil sure does have a way with words. He knows how to twist and manipulate the promises of God. He knows how to speak words of shame and condemnation over our lives and exploit our sin and mistakes. He’s been at it since the Garden of Eden and he’s still at it today. But in this clip from our series INFIN8, Pastor Steven reminds us that there is another Voice – a Voice that calls to us in our embarrassment and hiding. A Voice of love and grace that is able to dismantle the lies of the Enemy and rescue us from ourselves.
Giving has always been a sermon topic that makes people clinch their fists, shift in their seats, and begin checking their watches. But maybe that’s because we approach our giving from the wrong perspective. Far too many of us see giving as an obligation to God, or as a way to manipulate Him into blessing us. If that’s the way we were taught about giving, then yes – there’s not much there to get excited about. But in the final part of our series (This Is Your) Permission Slip, Pastor Steven teaches us a third way to approach our giving – one that breaks us free from our own selfish desires and draws us closer to a God who will not be out given.
One of Satan’s greatest weapons against Christians is our past. He drags us through the mud of our mistakes, trying to remind us of our unworthiness. And for many of us, we think this is the same way God sees us – broken and beat down, covered in our shame. But for believers in Christ, for those who have accepted the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In this clip from our series Ghost Stories, Pastor Steven shows us how God sees us – and it has nothing to do with the shame of our past mistakes.
Obedience. At first glance, it’s not a word that’s often associated with a life of freedom. But it is the essence of our relationship with Christ. God invites. We respond. God commands. We obey. But far too often we find ourselves praying for God to show us what to do, asking Him for guidance for our lives and then, when He gives us an answer, we’re not satisfied with His response. We ignore. We fight. We struggle. We battle. And we get exhausted in the process. In this clip from our series Banner Years, Pastor Steven shows the freedom and relief we experience when we quit fighting God, and surrender our lives fully to Him.
Being a student who is passionately following Christ is harder today than it has ever been. The tangles of social media. The access and anonymity of smart phones. The fleeting pleasures found in peer pressure. Couple that with the perception that Christianity is just another set of rules to follow, and it is no wonder that 75% of students leave the church after high school. But what if we shifted that perspective? What if we taught the next generation the truth that Christianity is less about “Do’s” and “Dont’s” and more about freedom found in Christ? In part four of our series ‘This Is Your Permission Slip,’ Pastor Steven sat down with our students to answer their questions about what it looks like to be a Christian in today’s culture, and show us what the freedom found in Christ can look like in our everyday lives.