(News – January 1, 2021)
“The Sermon on the Mount” As we begin the year following 2020, the need for Christians to live in a way that is graciously counter-cultural is stronger than ever. The Sermon on the Mount is Christ’s own manifesto for his people. He teaches us and challenges us to live as children of God and obedient subjects of his kingdom.
Here’s the plan:
Date: January 3, 2021
Title: Christian Essentials
Text: Matthew 5:1-12
Worship: Blessed Lord
Key Sentence: Jesus starts with just a few things that ought to set us apart
I. The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-2)
II. The attitudes (Matthew 5:3-9)
III. The persecuted (Matthew 5:10-11)
Matthew 5:1–12 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: 3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Date: January 10, 2021
Title: (Todd Cobbs preaching)
Text: Acts 16
Date: January 17, 2021
Title: A World Without Salt and Light
Text: Matthew 5:13-16
Worship: Light of the World
Key Sentence: We are here to have an impact
I. Salty Salt
II. Lighty Light
Matthew 5:13–16 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Date: January 24, 2021
Title: Fulfilling the Law
Text: Matthew 5:17-20
Worship: Perfect Lawgiver (“The Law of the Lord is Perfect”)
Key Sentence: Christ completes the law for us and then raises the ante
I. Christ completes the law (Matthew 5:17-18)
II. Therefore don’t minimize the law (Matthew 5:19)
III. Rather take it more to heart (Matthew 5:20)
Matthew 5:17–20 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Date: January 31, 2021
Title: Anger = Murder
Text: Matthew 5:21-26
Worship: Peace in the Storm
Key Sentence: Do you treat anger like you would murder?
I. Raising the Ante on Anger (Matthew 5:21-22)
II. Raising the Ante on Reconciliation (Matthew 5:23-26)
Matthew 5:21–26 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. 23So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.
Date: February 7, 2021
Title: Raising the Ante on Faithfulness
Text: Matthew 5:27-32
Worship: God’s Faithfulness
Key Sentence: God desires faithfulness of heart and life
I. Lust = Adultery
II. We have to take this seriously
III. Divorce = Adultery
Matthew 5:27–32 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. 31“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
Date: February 14, 2021
Title: Raising the Ante on Integrity
Text: Matthew 5:33-42
Worship: A God of Overflowing Grace
Key Sentence: Kingdom people keep promises and relinquish rights.
I. Promises (Matthew 5:33-37)
II. Rights (Matthew 5:38-42)
Matthew 5:33–42 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ 34But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. 38“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.
Date: February 21, 2021
Title: No Room for Hate
Text: Matthew 5:43-48
Worship: God Loves Sinners
Key Sentence: Loving and praying for our enemies leaves no room for hate
I. The comprehensive command (Matthew 5:43-44)
II. The divine bar (Matthew 5:45)
III. The human par (Matthew 5:46-47)
IV. The unreachable standard (Matthew 5:48)
Matthew 5:43–48 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Date: February 28, 2021
Title: No More Selfies
Text: Matthew 6:1-4, 16-18
Worship: Omniscient God
Key Sentence: If you do good to be seen, that’s all you get
I. The principal
II. First Example: Giving
III. Second Example: Praying
IV. Third Example: Fasting
Matthew 6:1–4 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Matthew 6:5–6 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Matthew 6:16–18 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Date: March 7, 2021
Title: The Life Changing Prayer
Text: Matthew 6:7-15
Worship: Our Father
The Life Changing Prayer:
I. Is not about many words (Matthew 6:7-8)
II. Is about your life focus (Matthew 6:9-13)
III. Especially forgiveness (Matthew 6:14-15)
Matthew 6:7–15 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11Give us this day our daily bread, 12and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
14For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Date: March 14, 2021
Title: Whadaya Looking At?
Text: Matthew 6:19-24
Worship: Eyes on Heaven
Key Sentence: Your life is made, every day, by what you pay attention to
I. Focused on the treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21)
II. Focused on the light (Matthew 6:22-23)
III. Focused on the one true Master (Matthew 6:24)
Matthew 6:19–24 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Date: March 21, 2021
Title: The Plague of Anxiety
Text: Matthew 6:25-34
Worship: The God Who Provides
Key Sentence: If you’re focused on the God who provides, why worry?
I. God who provides for the least will provide for you
II. You can’t provide for yourself anyway
III. You’ve got more important things to focus on.
Matthew 6:25–34 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Date: March 28, 2021
Title: Behold Your King (Palm Sunday)
Text: Zechariah 9:9-11
Worship: Behold Your King
Key Sentence: The humble king reigns in peace by His blood
I. Your King comes with salvation and in peace (Zechariah 9:9)
II. His peaceful reign will extend to the whole world (Zechariah 9:10)
III. His blood will set you free (Zechariah 9:11)
Zechariah 9:9–11 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. 10I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall speak peace to the nations; his rule shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. 11As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.
Date: April 1, 2021
Title: Christ Our Passover (Thursday of Easter Week)
Text: 1 Corinthians 5:6-8
Worship: Sacrificed for Us
Key Sentence: Christ our Passover was sacrificed to rescue and purify us
I. We need to be purified (1 Corinthians 5:6)
II. Christ has been sacrificed to rescue and purify us (1 Corinthians 5:7)
III. Let’s be what we have been made (1 Corinthians 5:8)
Note: This will include Michelle’s drama class doing excerpts from The Prince of Egypt
1 Corinthians 5:6–8 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Date: April 4, 2021
Title: Then He Appeared to Cephas (Easter Sunrise)
Text: 1 Corinthians 15:3-6
Worship: He Has Risen!
In the resurrection we find true forgiveness, living hope, and ongoing trust.
Episode 1: Introduction
Episode 2: The Miraculous Catch of Fish
Episode 3: Walking on the Water
Episode 4: Confession, Denial and Transfiguration
Episode 5: Foot Washing
Episode 6: In the Garden
Episode 7: The Great Denial
Episode 8: Despair
Episode 9: The Resurrection
Note: This is Peter, First Person Narrative
1 Corinthians 15:3–6 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.
Date: April 4, 2021
Title: The Heart of the Gospel (Easter)
Text: 1 Corinthians 15:3-6
Worship: God Raised Him Up
Key Sentence: The heart of the gospel message is always the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
I. His Life (Acts 2:22)
II. His Death (Acts 2:23)
III. His Resurrection (Acts 2:24-32)
a. Old Testament Prophecy (Acts 2:25-31)
b. New Testament Testimony (Acts 2:32)
IV. His Exaltation (Acts 2:33-35)
V. His Salvation (Acts 2:36-39)
Acts 2:22–39 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—
23this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
24God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.
25For David says concerning him, “ ‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; 26therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. 27For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. 28You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’ 29“Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, 31he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.
32This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.
33Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. 34For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, “ ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, 35until I make your enemies your footstool.” ’ 36Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” 37Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
Date: April 11, 2021
Title: (Guest Preacher)
Date: April 18, 2021
Text: Matthew 7:1-6
Worship: God of Mercy
Key Sentence: Self-examination and discernment rule out judgmentalism
I. Discern judgmentalism and refuse it. (Matthew 7:1-2)
II. Discern personal fault and remove it. (Matthew 7:3-5)
III. Discern true rebellion and reject it. (Matthew 7:6)
Matthew 7:1–6 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. 6“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.
Date: April 25, 2021
Text: Matthew 7:7-11
Worship: God’s Good Gifts
Key Sentence: Kingdom people persist in seeking the good gifts that God gives
I. Our persistence and God’s response (Matthew 7:7-8)
II. Even people give good things (Matthew 7:9-10)
III. How much more will God give (Matthew 7:11)
Matthew 7:7–11 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
Date: May 2, 2021
Title: The Summary Challenge
Text: Matthew 7:12-23
Worship: Life in Him
Key Sentence: The Sermon on the Mount brings you to a decision point
I. Summary of what has gone before (Matthew 7:12)
II. Two Paths (Matthew 7:13-14)
III. Two Trees (Matthew 7:15-20)
IV. Two Claims (Matthew 7:21-23)
Matthew 7:12–23 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. 13“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. 15“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. 21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Date: May 9, 2021
Title: The Secret of Stability
Text: Matthew 7:24-28
Worship: God our Firm Foundation
Key Sentence: Obedience is the true fruit of wisdom. Stability is its by-product
I. Wisdom, doing and stability
II. Foolishness, not doing and instability.
Matthew 7:24–27 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”