“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30
This is a powerful statement from someone who understood what mattered most to God, and therefore what should matter most to us. But it’s hard, it’s difficult to wrap our minds why we have to decrease, and what that really means. Pastor Brad Jones kicks off a new series, ANCHOR, with a look at the life of John the Baptist, and what we can learn from this famous exchange between him and his followers to help us see not only what matters most to God, but what matters most to us as well.
Almost nothing is guaranteed, except for two things:
Life is Hard. God is Good.
That’s it; those are the two guarantees we’re walking away with today. The first one, life is hard, no one ever really had to teach us. The second one is a whole different story.
God is good… all the time.
"The space between what you thought your life was going to be and what your life really is, is the space of your suffering."
Are you facing adversity today? Does your life look different than the way you always imagined it would? Join Pastor Louie Giglio and Jay + Katherine Wolf for a conversation focused on trusting God with the reality of your situation.
How we handle hardship could be the heroic thing inside of all of us. Just look at the life of King David:
David was anointed by God as a teenager, told he would be king in time. He played the harp for the king, killed the giant Goliath, became the head of the military and married the king’s daughter. David was the most famous person in the whole kingdom and beloved by everyone around him.
Everyone except the king.
Join Pastor Ben Stuart as he breaks down how each of us can learn from the life of David how we can handle hard times in a way that leads us to a heroic life.
This probably isn't how you imagined your year would look. Chances are you didn't anticipate a global pandemic, a shelter-in-place order or having to spend each day wondering when things would return to the way they were. There was no plan for postponing your dream wedding, celebrating your grandson's birthday through a video call or mourning the loss of a loved one with far fewer people than they deserved.
You didn't ask for your situation, but you can turn the page on it.
David knew what it felt like to experience moments of desperation. If the man who conquered Goliath (with the help of God) as a small child found his heart growing faint at times, maybe we can say to ourselves:
It's okay to freak out.
This week our podcast features three powerful messages from our Easter gathering! Global Pastor Louie Giglio kicks us off with the good news that because of Jesus, Death is Cancelled! Then Sadie Rob Huff delivers a message of hope about a God who has provided a cure for our eternity, and Tim Tebow invites us into a relationship with Jesus.
These days are hard. They aren’t what we planned, and there’s no end in sight. So how are we supposed to not only live through these days but to live well in the midst of them?
The answer can be found in the book of Hebrews.
But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, (you came out of the blocks strong!) sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.
Endurance, we need endurance.
Here’s the good news. You can have it.
Where is God?
It's a valid question and one that no one should feel shame about asking. One of the wonderful attributes of God is that He isn't afraid of our questions. Our searching for God gives Him another chance to put His Glory and His overarching story on display.
What the world needs most today, what our cities and communities need most today, what we all need most today is a spiritual awakening. Here’s the good news.
Right now, God is closer to you than you think.
This week Global Pastor Louie Giglio continues our VICTORY series with a message that is timely to the days we are living in. Teaching out of Mark 2:1-12 Pastor Louie reminds us of a few critical things:
1. Our faith can move the heart of God and impact the eternal destiny of someone around us.
2. The paralyzed man's problem was bigger than he thought.
3. Jesus didn't offer a crutch. He healed him.
Why does our love for God become service to a stranger? For the believer, why do we show love to those around us? Continuing the series, “Great Whys”, Pastor Ben Stuart challenges us with this: “He loves them. I love him. So I love them.”
The simplicity is a “That We May” mindset — we move towards others in love, because God loves them, and we love God.
“When you worship something that wasn’t designed to be worshiped, it can’t hold the weight of your soul.”
This week, our message comes from Brett Younker of Passion Music and our Passion City Church family in Atlanta. Brett teaches on the “why” of worship, and reminds us that we were created to worship our Creator.
“To be spiritual is to rightly relate with the Spirit of God.”
We wrapped up our series, “God With Us” with a message from Pastor Ben Stuart that helps us understand the intimate and animating presence of the Holy Spirit.
Have you ever wondered what God thinks about you? In this message, Pastor Ben Stuart reminds us that we are recipients of the perfect love of God, and shows us through Scripture what it looks like to relate to God as our Father.
“To be godly is to rightly relate to God the Father.
To be Christian is to rightly relate to Jesus Christ.
To be spiritual is to rightly relate to the Spirit of God.”
When you think about the trinity, what do you think about? When you think about your communion, what do you think about? We kick off a new series this week, and Pastor Ben Stuart walks us through what it looks like to receive the grace that is offered to us through the person of Jesus.
“Will you trust Him, and will you walk by faith into the future that God has for you?”
To kick off the New Year, Pastor Ben encourages us to pursue godly relationships in 2020, and looks at the journey of Isaac and Rebecca’s relationship in Genesis 24.
Never mistake the silence of God for the absence of God — while we wait, God works! This week, Pastor Grant Partrick points us towards the hope that we have in Jesus during seasons of waiting, and reminds us of the power of the Christmas story.
“When we pray for healing, we don’t come with presumption, but we do come with expectation.”
Closing out our series, This Changes Everything, Pastor Ben Stuart gives us a helpful and clarifying message on what Scripture has to say about prayer and healing.
According to James Chapter 5, rich people should be sad -- but why? This week, Pastor Ben Stuart explains what James really means when he cautions the wealthy to watch where we place our value. The more we love money, the less we love people. At the end of the day, the issue isn’t about money at all, but about our hearts. When we see and experience the generosity of God, it changes our priorities and our posture to extend that generosity to others.
Pastor Ben Stuart challenges us with James’ words on making plans for the future. When we know God, we should make plans from a place of humility and gratitude, viewing our future from the perspective of God’s grace!
“The issue is not the issue; it’s how you respond to the issue that is the issue.”
Godly wisdom brings order out of chaos, and wisdom is shown in good conduct and humility. This week, Pastor Ben continues our study through the book of James by contrasting the pursuit of selfish ambition with the humble pursuit of Christ.
Your words determine your world, and your communication shapes your direction. Pastor Ben Stuart continues our series, This Changes Everything, by looking at what James says about the power of the tongue. Your words are powerful — how are you going to them?
Are we justified by faith alone? How do works fit into the picture? Is faith complete without works? What does Scripture say about it? Pastor Ben Stuart continues our series This Changes Everything with a helpful explanation of how to understand the tension in how faith and works relate to each other!
This week Pastor Ben Stuart continues our series This Changes Everything and walks us through what James has to say about partiality and favoritism in the church. For followers of Jesus, God has changed us from the inside out, and it changes how we treat people!
Continuing the series This Changes Everything, Pastor Ben Stuart explains how James presents the Word of God — how it changes us from the inside out and how important it is to understand the freedom that comes from the Scriptures!
How do we deal with temptation? Where does it come from? How does it work? How should we respond? All trials bring temptations, and part of persevering through trials is learning how to respond to them. Continuing the “This Changes Everything” series, Pastor Ben Stuart reminds us that while there are no perfect people, there is a perfect God, and He delights in us!
Pain is part of the human story. We all experience trials and suffering throughout our lives. Looking at James 1, Pastor Ben Stuart reminds us that even in the midst of trial and pain, we can look to Jesus for hope and purpose!
Kicking off a new series in the book of James, Pastor Ben Stuart encourages us with the truth that our identity determines our activity. It’s important to consider both the reality of Jesus rising from the dead and the reason for his resurrection. The reality confronts our minds, but the reason changes our hearts!
There is something about the speed of modern life that is not conducive to human flourishing. Pastor Ben Stuart challenges us with the truth that rest is an act of faith — and that God has woven it into the rhythm of creation. How are you and I supposed to work? God shows us through the rhythms He set for the world and in Sabbath!
Have you ever wondered why your life doesn’t look the way you thought it would? Have you ever felt like you’re like the Israelites, wandering around in the desert with no apparent path to a destination? This week, Pastor Ben Stuart gives us three reasons why God doesn’t always give us what we want as we look in Exodus at the journey of the Israelites through the desert.
This week’s message comes from Pastor Ben Stuart, as he reminds us of the beauty of grace. We are all a mess, but we are made beautiful in the image of God. When you understand what He’s done, that will change you!
Closing out the Single, Dating, Engaged, Married series, Pastor Ben Stuart encourages us to look at the lives of Priscilla and Aquila as we evaluate what it means to have a marriage that is on mission. The strongest unity is formed by a mutual commitment to a common cause, and there are three specific things we see in Priscilla and Aquila’s life that demonstrate a marriage that is on mission together. How does a marriage stay strong? By living for a story that is still being written!
How do you know that you’ve met the person you’re supposed to spend your life with? What are things we should see in a relationship that give us this confidence? This week, continuing our Single, Dating, Engaged, Married series, Pastor Ben Stuart gives us specific things to look for as you evaluate whether or not a relationship should continue on to engagement
“Dating is a process you go through, not a status you sit in.”
Continuing our series Single, Dating, Engaged, Married, Pastor Ben Stuart challenges the way dating is viewed in our culture today and gives us 7 things to consider in the dating process.
“Singleness is for devotion; dating is for evaluation.”
Pastor Ben Stuart continues our series on relationships this week with a message about dating. It is not a status we sit in — it is a process we walk through! Dating exists for the purpose of evaluating whether or not you are supposed to run alongside a person for the rest of your life. In the process of evaluation, Pastor Ben challenges us to consider how we view dating: do we look at it with a consumer mentality or a companion mentality?
Kicking off our new series, Single, Dating, Engaged, Married, Pastor Ben Stuart dives into what the Scriptures have to say about singleness. We see that there is a purpose in the season of singleness, and we have to get a relationship with God right before we can get a relationship with a guy or girl right. Pastor Ben reminds us not to miss the benefits of the season we are in because we are pining away for the benefits of another season.
“God has ordained a season of singleness not for us to fill it with distractions or career ambitions, but to pursue an undistracted devotion to Him.”
“You can’t hold anger and love in your heart at the same time”
We live in a culture where un-forgiveness is common. This week, Pastor Ben Stuart closes out the Lord’s Prayer series by challenging us with the truth that we can’t grip the gospel of grace but hold on to resentment at the same time. When we understand Christ’s forgiveness of us, that allows us to forgive others. The cross comforts us in the justice of God, and compels us in His love!
God is not a reflection of our Earthly father; He is the perfection of him. We are loved sons and daughters of a perfect Heavenly Father. So many of us come from broken family relationships, and God steps in the gap and restores what is broken, so that you wouldn’t have to live a day in your life without knowing that you are under the love and affection of a perfect Father who says “He is mine. She matters to me.”
“He is a perfect Father, and the cross tells us that His heart is good and His arms are strong.”
"We are in a fight, but we have a Father."
This week we continue the Lord’s Prayer series with a powerful word from Pastor Brad Jones about temptation. When we pray, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” we are declaring, “I can’t, but I know that You can. I am unable, but You are able.” In the struggles and challenges of life, you have a Heavenly Father who wants to help you!
Kicking off a new series called The Lord’s Prayer, Pastor Ben Stuart reminds us what it means to have God as our Father. We were built for proximity to God, and God wants us to be around Him! God, as our Father, shows us that He is strong, loving, and wise towards His children.
This week, Pastor Ben Stuart shares a powerful message on the love God has for us as explained in 1 John 4. Those who know and believe they are loved by God live a life that is fearless and free. Pastor Ben dives into four traits that characterize love and how we see those traits demonstrated through the life of Jesus. On Easter Sunday, we remember that Jesus exited heaven and went through hell to get us back. This is love!
“Generous people are joy creators.”
This week, Pastor Ben Stuart closes out the Home Team series bringing a strong word about generosity. Looking at the way Paul writes to the Philippians we see 7 powerful reasons to be a generous person, and the enormous impact that generosity has. We are all given the opportunity to be a part of God’s story through the way we are generous, and in the way we steward our resources. The question is will it be by fear or by faith?
“For many of you, your biggest problem is not your problems, it’s your anxiety about your problems.”
Jesus presents anxiety as one of the biggest impediments to seeking the Kingdom of God. For many of us, worries and anxiety in life keep us from all we are meant to be under God. This week, Pastor Ben Stuart reminds us that there is an invitation to cast our cares on Him. Our anxieties are not too heavy for God — He is there waiting for us to release them.
This week, Pastor Ben Stuart continues the Home Team series in Philippians. We see that Paul is concerned about the people who reduce spirituality to a list of rituals instead of a pursuit of intimacy. This is the type of spirituality that looks like the real thing but isn’t. If you buy into it, it will not only fail you but it will destroy your life. True spirituality is a powerful intimacy — it is not about a list. It’s not about being good, it’s about being God’s!
“The people of Jesus are not just a light that stands out from other people, but a light that stands out for people.”
This week, Pastor Ben Stuart continues the Home Series with the reminder that we are meant to be luminaries in the world - people who shine light into the darkness. The way we live sends a powerful message, and as followers of Jesus, we want our activity to promote the message of Jesus. Everything we do should be a response to the work that God has done in us, and this changes the way we live! How do you shine in the midst of the world? Stop complaining. Don’t be a cry-cry!
Continuing the Home Team series, Pastor Ben Stuart reminds us that humility is the path to unity. The way we treat each other is always a response to how we have been treated by God — our activity is a response to God’s activity. What then is the natural response to all that God has done? It is to care about us! True spirituality always expresses itself in unity, and the key to unity is humility!
"Why am I here? What is my purpose? This week, Pastor Louie Giglio helps us reframe the way we think about our purpose in life. God’s will isn’t necessarily about figuring out the right job to pursue, the right place to move, or even the right thing to do. Instead, it is to make Him known as you pursue whatever passion He has put in your life and to do that to the best of your ability. This is our true purpose for being alive!"
"Spiritually is always worked out in the context of community. You will never be you without us.”
Pastor Ben Stuart continues the Home Team series with the encouragement that we need an us. We can’t be who we were made to be without each other. Your human potential cannot be reached as an individual. Victory is not found alone; you need unity so you can stand. We’re not made to run alone, and we don’t have to!
“A whole universe of meaning and joy opens when we live according to our Creator’s intent.”
Meaning and joy aren’t things to be aimed at; they are byproducts of a life surrendered to the purposes of God. If you have created your own meaning, then unfortunate events can derail you — but when you have a God-given purpose, circumstances can’t shake you. Pastor Ben Stuart continues our Home Team series helping us to understand how meaning and joy come from living lives linked with the Creator.
In this week’s message, Jason Thomas continues the Home Team series, reminding us that to have the greatest impact, we need to have the deepest intimacy with the One who called us.
“If you’re going to grow in abounding love, you’re going to have to minimize your distractions and maximize your devotion.”
“You will never be fully you without us and we will never be fully us without you.”
Pastor Ben Stuart kicks off a new series, Home Team, by diving into the book of Philippians. He reminds us that no one unifies just for the sake of unity - we unite around a common purpose. We need community, and we are in a community, that has linked with the best of all causes; running with the best of all Kings!
Pastor Ben Stuart closes out The Fight series by giving us five practical ways to pursue transformation in our lives. God built a structure that promotes the pursuit of intimacy with Him — a structure in which we flourish!
Continuing The Fight series, Director of Community and Formation, Mike Distefano, comes around the importance of community.
Looking in Matthew 6, we see that Jesus commands us to seek first the Kingdom of God for it is the only thing in life that satisfies, and the only thing in our world that is truly permanent. The thing is, we are meant to be in the pursuit with other people. We are a people made for community; hardwired to stand with others as we run after the Kingdom of God together, never fighting the good fight alone.
The pursuit of spirituality happens in the context of adversity.
We are in a fight to cultivate intimacy with our Creator, and in this fight, there are things we flee from and there are things we pursue. In fact, there are things we need to say no to, in order to say yes to something better! This week Pastor Ben Stuart encourages us with the truth that though we struggle, we have the ability to struggle well, and overcome in Jesus’ name. What do you need to say no to, in order to give something else your yes?
“What you think about is what you care about, and what you care about is what you chase.”
“The greatest fighters are the ones who know that they’ve been fought for.”
Kicking off the New Year with a new series, “The Fight,” Pastor Ben Stuart encourages us with the truth that we need a new identity before a new activity. The answer we are looking for is not a list of rules; it is a liberator. We have Someone who has set us free and ushers us into life with the conquering King—the Stronger One is here!
Christmas Eve // Pastor Ben Stuart reminds us that God is a searching God who sent His Son to save us while we were still sinners. Why did Jesus show up in a manger? Because Jesus wants you! This holiday season, we’re remembering that compassion is the WHY behind the WHAT of Christmas.
As we approach Christmas, Pastor Ben Stuart encourages us with the truth that Jesus was born into real life - he was born into a world mixed with joy and pain. Jesus lived the human story on earth, not just the good parts but the hard ones as well. We can have confidence that Jesus understands us because he lived in the struggle. But that’s not the end of the story - we can have hope too! He joins us in the struggle so that we might join him in the victory. His liberation is for our hope!
"Jesus intends not just to bring peace to you, but through you.”
Closing out The Missing Peace series, Pastor Ben Stuart guides us through what it looks like to be peacemakers in a broken world. We are meant to leverage the freedom we have in Jesus to bring peace to others.
How do you be a peacemaker? By praying and by greeting. Love looks like prayer. Greeting someone initiates kindness, and communicates respect. Peacemakers extend love beyond expected boundaries.
If many of us know about Jesus and the peace He brings, why is it that we walk around with such a lack of it? This week, Global Pastor Louie Giglio reminds us that connecting with the peace of Jesus will require a recalibration of how we think about Him, and who He really is.
“The peace of God is not just the absence of conflict, but the presence of flourishing.”
Kicking off The Missing Peace series, Pastor Ben Stuart encourages us with God’s solution to the lack of peace we often feel in our lives. We see that the solution is not a list of principles; it’s a person: the Prince of Peace. The hope we can have today is knowing that even when everything is falling apart, we have the Prince of Peace, and we can trust Him.
Closing out the Trust Issues series, Pastor Ben Stuart answers this question: How can we know that the Scriptures we hold today are what was written down originally? In this message, we take a look at the history of the preservation of the Scriptures concluding that we can have confidence that they hold true and we see God’s true heart for His people.
God preserved His Word so you would know that He came for you.
Continuing our Trust Issues series, Dr. Darrell Bock from Dallas Seminary walked us through an exploration of one of the big questions that many of us struggle to reconcile: what about the gap between when events occurred and when they were written down? Can we have confidence that the Scriptures we hold today faithfully recount the life and work of Jesus? Dr. Bock explains three things that help us understand the gap: orality, memory, and eye-witnesses.
“Christian hypocrisy is maximized when the resurrection of Jesus is minimized.”
What if the greatest barrier to Christianity is Christians? Kicking off our new series, “Trust Issues,” our friend Timothy Ateek from Breakaway Ministries joins us this week to talk about what happens when Christians become calloused to the beautiful reality of the resurrection of Jesus. Timothy Ateek reminds us that the resurrection gives us freedom from the past, power in the present, and hope for the future!
You want to marry someone you trust. This week Pastor Ben Stuart closes out the Survival Skills series by taking a look at Proverbs 31 and what to look for in a spouse. Proverbs 31 describes a trustworthy woman: one who is prudent and shrewd, has grit and perseverance, is industrious and generous, and is sacrificial and thoughtful.
“As you enter into the difficulties of life, you want someone who has your back, isn’t going to stab you in the back.”
Words are powerful. For many of us, some of our deepest pains are because of what someone said or didn’t say to us. A simple arrangement of words has the power to drastically change a situation and perspective.
“Money can build a house, but it can’t build a home. Money can give you food on a table but it can’t give you fellowship.”
In this week’s message, Pastor Ben Stuart takes a look at what the book of Proverbs has to say about money. It has power, and can be used to build up or tear down. Proverbs helps us to see money as a gift from God and gives us wisdom about how to handle it well.
When we look at the grand scope of our lives, we see that most of us spend the majority of our time at work. As believers, how do we navigate the work world in a way that’s glorifying to God and life-giving to others?
In this powerful message, Mike Distefano challenges us to use the power we’ve been given in the workplace for the good of those around us. In a society that often seeks self-promotion and personal success, we have the opportunity to choose a different path. By understanding our identity as children loved dearly by God, we get to enter the work world FROM and place of acceptance and not FOR it.
In an overly sexualized world, we often find ourselves feeling lonely, as emotional intimacy has been separated from sexuality. In this week’s message Pastor Ben Stuart reminds us that we are not made to give our bodies without our hearts. Each of us have the opportunity to have relationships that are healthy, life-giving, and glorifying to God. In this powerful message we learn how to build relationships that flourish, trading in a consumer mentality for a covenant mentality. What kind of mentality are you approaching your relationships with?
Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. Proverbs 13:20
As humans, we’re all hardwired for community. Isolation as a whole is not good for the human machine. That’s why a form of torture is solitary confinement - being completely separated from human interaction. The question, however, is what kind of community are we surrounding ourselves with?
In this week’s message, Pastor Ben Stuart guides us through what the book of Proverbs has to say about friendships. The truth is, the people we walk with determine our path. Are those within your community pointing you toward a life of flourishing or a life of destruction?
“Love is disadvantaging yourself for others. Foolishness is disadvantaging others for yourself.”
The book of Proverbs describes two paths in life: the way of the fool and the way of the wise. In this part of our Survival Skills series, Pastor Ben Stuarts teaches us through both paths, challenging us to seek humility as our first step toward a life that flourishes. With humble hearts and desire for wise council, each of us can set our feet on the path of the wise.
Pastor Ben Stuart // “What you need most in life is not a change of circumstances. We as humans are capable of messing up even the most ideal of circumstances. What we truly need most in life is the ability to flourish regardless of our circumstances.”
This week Pastor Ben Stuart kicked off our new series, Survival Skills: Wise Moves in a Wild World. The truth is, the world we live in is messy and unpredictable. But the good news is that Scripture gives us a guide to flourish regardless of what comes our way. In this new series, we’ll dig into the book of Proverbs in hopes of strengthening the muscle of wisdom in our lives.
Pastor Ben Stuart // There is a deep desire in the hearts of humanity to be known, valued, and recognized. In today’s culture, we are encouraged in this idea that it’s all about us, our fame, and making our name known. But what happens when the follower count isn’t enough? What do we do when we seek fame and are left feeling empty?
The truth is, we will never find satisfaction in self-absorption, but we will find it in radical self donation. In this game-changing message, Pastor Ben Stuart poses a challenging question to each of us: Are you building a tower for your own glory, or are you using your life as an altar for His?
“We have the power of life + death in our mouths today.”
On ABOVE + BEYOND Sunday, Pastor Louie cast vision for the future of our House and took us through the idea that our future is ultimately shaped by what we believe + humbly speak for our lives. This is a look at the BEYOND we believe God is calling our House towards.
Pastor Ben Stuart // What does it look like to connect with the Spirit of God? We all have a desire for a spiritual walk, but how do we know that our lives are truly being guided by the Spirit? True spirituality is not a life free from struggle, rather, it’s constant dependence on God in the midst of pain. With the Word of God educating us, the Spirit of God empowering us, and the community of God carrying us, we have the tools we need to live lives that glorify Jesus!
Pastor Ben Stuart // We all want to be connected to something that takes us further than we’d go on our own. We all want to be a part of something greater, something spiritual. But what is true spirituality?
Pastor Louie Giglio // Jesus is the ultimate place-maker. Through Him everything around us was created, and by His sacrifice, a place for us was made in His Father’s House.
As followers of Jesus, we are called to be place-makers in our own right. To set the table for the people of our city to sit at and experience all God has for them. This is how we step into a broken and wandering world, with open hands and a place made ready; but in order to do that, we will need to be willing to go above and beyond where we’ve ever been before.
Pastor Ben Stuart // As we continue our journey through the book of Ephesians, Pastor Ben Stuart walks us through the new way of life described in Ephesians chapter 4.
When God gets ahold of our hearts, our way of life changes. Our new identity in Christ brings new activities in our lives. The way we speak changes. The way we treat people changes. These new ways of life don’t come from a place of striving to earn acceptance, but from a place of already being accepted.
When we are adopted into the family of God, we join the mission of being a fountain of life for the world. How are you bringing life to the world around you?
Pastor Ben Stuart // The spirit of God is all about unity. In Ephesians Chapter 4, we are called to bear with one another in love. When we love each other, we love God. This is the heart of unity.
In a culture with increasing individuality, we may start to think that unity means uniformity, but this is not the case. In this week’s message, Pastor Ben Stuart explains how unity and diversity go hand in hand. When we link arms with those who are different than us, we’re stepping into a greater God-story.
Pastor Ben Stuart // The people that are making the greatest difference in the world are the ones that have had a difference made inside of them.
Sometimes life gets hard. What’s left to catch us when the bottom falls out from under us? This week, Pastor Ben Stuart talks about the importance of letting Jesus dwell in all areas of our lives.
When Christ is able to enter all areas of our heart, we become rooted and grounded in love. It is here that our lives begin to look different. Sometimes the best change doesn’t come from a change in circumstances, but a change in perspective.
Pastor Ben Stuart // In a day and age where there seems to be rapid growth in hostility between people groups, God is calling us back into the family.
This week Pastor Ben Stuart encourages us in a message about unity. In a breakdown of Ephesians Chapter 2, we find that the grounds for unity is humility, and the goal of unity is Glory. When we love each other with a contributing spirit instead of a critical one, Jesus gets the glory!
Pastor Ben Stuart // “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:8-10
New identities bring new activities. When we accept the gift of grace and are raised with Christ, our lives begin to take on new activities. It is not because of our actions we are saved. Rather, it is because we are saved that our lives begin to look different!
Pastor Ben Stuart // The best change is not a change in circumstances but a change in perspective.
In week two of our Worthy series, Pastor Ben Stuart walks us through the second half of Ephesians 1. Here, Paul prays for the Church in Ephesus with a notable approach. Paul doesn’t ask God to do something new for His people. Instead, he asks that our eyes be opened to the beauty of who God is and what he’s done for us.
The more we know who God is, the more we know who we are. There is purpose, peace, and confidence in those who know Him. From there, true life change begins. Do you know what you have? Do you know who you are?
Pastor Ben Stuart // Partakers become proclaimers. When we taste and see that The Lord is good, the most natural thing to do is celebrate Him!
To kick off our new series, Worthy, Pastor Ben Stuart walks us through the spiritual blessings we’ve been given in Christ (Ephesians 1). These gifts are offered freely to us. All we have to do is say yes!
As we begin to understand the gifts we have in Christ, our most natural response will be to worship Him! We are made to worship the things that have value and God is the most valuable thing. He is worthy!
Pastor Ben Stuart // Because the world of information can be tapped into at any moment, it has invaded every moment.
What do we run to when we’re in pain? What do we do when we’re uncomfortable? The truth is, many of us tend to look for ways to distract ourselves from what’s really going on within us, usually through technology.
This week Pastor Ben Stuart challenges us to turn away from diversions and toward intimacy with Jesus. What if we sat with our Creator in moments of discomfort rather than numbing our pain with distraction? If we stopped to listen, we might find that God is trying to speak to us.
Pastor Ben Stuart // There’s a tendency in us to run from the leadership of God, and there’s a tendency in God to chase after us. We love that about Him when it involves us or people we like, but what about when that same grace is extended to our enemies?
In Jonah chapter 4, Jonah is angry with God for offering grace to his enemies. Jonah’s problem is with love. This week Pastor Ben Stuart challenges us with this question: Do we have a problem with love like Jonah does? Are we able to extend the same grace to others that God has extended to us?
While we were Jesus’s enemies, He died for us. Having experienced this great love, may we share the same love to everyone in our lives! After all, those who know grace show grace.
Pastor Ben Stuart // The grace of God is powerful enough to save anyone. The heart of God is compassionate enough to want to.
If your heart is going to beat in rhythm with God’s, you need to know what His heart is like. God never counts people out. In compassion, He moves toward the hurting. He dives into the depths and rescues the lost, and He doesn’t stop there! He uses our pain as a platform to invite us into His rescue mission.
God used Jonah’s biggest embarrassment for his biggest ministry, and He can do the same with us. We don’t have to have mountains of wisdom, we just have to need God share how His grace met us in our mess.
Pastor Ben Stuart // There’s a tendency in God to chase us and give us life, not because of something beautiful in us; because of something beautiful in Him.
That's the thing about a gift. Whether you feel worthy or not doesn’t matter. God's love is not motivated by or contingent upon your worthiness, after all, grace is when undeserving people receive an unbelievable gift from an unobligated giver.
Grace is a gift, and to honor the Giver we have to not only accept, but enjoy the gift.
Pastor Ben Stuart // Washington D.C.
In 1981 Steve Callahan's 21-foot sailboat was holed beyond repair sometime in the middle of the night. For the next 76 days he drifted in nothing but a life raft. Having lost a third of his body weight, dehydrated and starving, Steve Callahan fashioned three pencils into a device that allowed him to gather his bearings from two fixed points in the sky, steer himself into a current, and survive.
Fixed points are the only things that we can really use to find our bearings, and in this message from Pastor Ben Stuart we look at the journey of Jonah to find two fixed realities that we can use to know the direction God is wanting us to head, and we must, for the storms are coming and without the proper directions we will not make it through.
Pastor Ben Stuart // We all love stories; tales of good and evil, legends of heroes and tragedies of villains. It's why we flood into bookstores and theatres, to escape into stories we believe could never be our own.
But here's the thing, many of us will walk through life without realizing that we are actually a part of the greatest story that has ever unfolded. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus isn't isolated to scriptures and sermons, it's the moment where all of our stories went from hopeless to filled with possibility.
Afterall we are all guilty, separated from God by our sinful nature. A cursory glance around proves to you no matter what your thoughts on God that there is something broken in humanity. But Easter, Easter is the realization of the greatest Hero of all time. A Savior who took on the Cross for each of us; declaring the death of death and the beginning of Life for all who put their faith in Him.