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Trusting Why God Moves

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Here is " Trusting Why God Moves " by Joseph Barkley. It's been a while since I've done one of these Ecclesia sermons, so this one is a bit old. You'll find it a few rows down here: http://churchinhollywood.com/media.php?pageID=15 This sermon is based off of Exodus 14:31 - 15:18 . It is a song that the nation sings after God has drowned their enemies in the Red Sea. Go ahead and read that or the notes won't make much sense. I love what Joseph says here about the glory of God, and what that means. He says that everyone is hard-wired to have a main-thing in life, and I agree. It seems that we are predisposed towards following or worshiping something in life, no matter what. For me growing up (and maybe now  too) it was bands and skateboarding. My sister obsessed over N' Sync and Harry Potter (teenage girls are really good at obsessing over things). My dad loves cars and motorsports. It's just a tendency in our lives to associate ourselves with some

Living Like Heaven

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Here is the last sermon in the Heaven series by Judah Smith.  I’ve struggled with the idea of social justice. Not that I’m against it at all, but I’ve thought, “Why should we fight for justice on earth? Shouldn’t that time be spent towards sharing the gospel and getting people into Heaven?”  It’s similar to the question of whether providing for physical or spiritual needs is most important, particularly in ministry to underprivileged people or third world countries. I’ve heard it said you can’t help someone spiritually unless their physical needs are first meant; but I’ve also heard that our spiritual lives and eternity far outweigh our physical needs, so those should be addressed first. I’ve always tended to lean towards the latter... In this sermon, though, Judah points out that Jesus prays in the Lord’s Prayer that God’s will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. So then we ask, “How is it in Heaven?” Good question. Using scripture, Judah puts forth 5 circumstances in

The Father's House

Here is the next sermon in the Heaven series by Judah Smith. There's so much encouragement in this sermon! One of the first things Judah says here is that we will be surprised by who makes it into Heaven. I'm not proud of it, but I have a tendency to judge people...and if I'm honest there have been people in my life who, though they might believe in God, I thought that their faith might not be genuine enough to carry them to Heaven. What a terrible thought! And then I come across this sermon and Judah makes a statement like that and I know he's right. Jesus often said the first will be last and the last will be first in the Kingdom of God, and I'm sure this will ring true one day as we find in Heaven that many "religious" people aren't there, and many "less-religious" are. These are morbid thoughts, I know, but they bring things into perspective when it comes to God's judgement of our hearts and the outcome from that. The older I ge

Responsibility

I don't know about you, but I struggle with making decisions. I'm not sure where this rampant indecisiveness came from, but I have been known to make a big deal out of the most trivial of choices. For example, once when I was in high school, I was sitting on the couch, staring into nothingness. My sister walked in and asked what I was doing. "Trying to figure out if I should go skateboarding or play video games," I replied. She thought that was dumb and left. Almost an hour went by and she came back, only to find me sitting in the same place! "Why are you still sitting here?!" she asked. I was still trying to figure out if I should go skateboarding or play video games. By the time I decided, I could have done both! I'm not that bad anymore, but I still struggle with decision-making, especially when it involves other people. I never want to make a decision that someone else may not agree with, and then have that particular situation turn out poorly for

Keep It Clear

*Preface: This was written awhile ago and I'm just now posting it. Sorry for dated information. I just heard that there was a shooting in Santa Monica, just a few days after last week's shooting that resulted in 6 people dead, 7 if you include the killer. It seems like these shootings and bombings are happening more and more often (Boston Marathon, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech), but I'm not always sure if that's the case -- these things have probably been happening since mankind started. As Reese Roper of Five Iron Frenzy put it , when speaking about the Columbine shootings, "Mankind is dark...and that, without God, people do things like that." This sermon by Judah speaks about things being done on Earth as they are in Heaven, as prayed by Jesus in the Lord's Prayer . He asks an obvious, but seldom mentioned question: if things are supposed to be on Earth as they are in Heaven, what's it like in Heaven? He gives great insight into it based on scriptu

Transparent Gold - Courage

Here's the third sermon in the Heaven series by Judah Smith. This one is about a new heaven and new earth, written about in Revelation 21 (powerful stuff). Essentially Judah is saying that we should use our money for God's glory because God is infinitely more valuable than anything on earth. We also shouldn't shy away from talking about money, or be afraid of it -- Jesus spoke often about money. Let's use it. I was reading Revelation 21 though, and something else jumped out at me in verses 6b to 8: To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. The word that stuck out to me is "cowardly." Tha

Paradise

Here is the second sermon in a series about Heaven by Judah Smith. In it, Judah recommends " Heaven ," by Randy Alcorn, and " Heaven is For Real ," by Todd Burpo. I've never read them, but maybe they're good. I don't think much about heaven...it seems kind of far-off and mystical. I actually become a little afraid imagining myself standing amongst a throng of worshipers in an unknown paradise. Maybe that's fear of the unknown; or maybe it's just comfort with earth. Judah makes a good point though, "To let ourselves get caught up imagining paradise, it increases our urgency to tell others and minimizes our problems." That seems to be his thesis to this whole series. He reminds us that it's okay to get excited about heaven! It's the place God intended for us to exist in in the first place! I definitely encourage a listen to the whole series, as it builds into some powerful statements about how thinking about heaven affects our

Direction in Transition

Here's one of those verses I've read so many times that I am often numb to its meaning. Today though, God showed me something fresh (one of the things I love about the bible): Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  A lot has been going on lately, as God has been teaching me to let go of  many of the things that drive me -- particularly, my career. I haven't figured everything out yet, but I'm slowly loosening my grasp on a lot of what I've been clinging to as I pursue a career in media -- things that have often taken a place higher than God's. There have been a lot of ways that this has been happening (circumstances,