"Looking for the Fig Tree" | Pastor Chris Enstad The coming kingdom means new life. We miss the new life when we focus only on what is passing away, torn down or lost. Jesus calls us to look always for the buds of spring, the first signs of new life. Originally recorded at the Good Shepherd Madison campus on Sunday, December 2. For more about Advent at Good Shepherd, please visit: gslcwi.com/advent
No Longer Strangers: Bound Together in Grace Part four of a six-part series from Ephesians Responding to Grace Christianity is not necessary in our society in order to make “good” people. Other religions preach most, if not all, of the same morals that our Christian Bible does. Our civic laws perform much of the same function as the original Ten Commandments! Where Christianity differs is in how that goodness comes into play. Christian ethics, values, and morals come as responses to God’s grace. God’s grace comes first. We, as God’s faithful people, are called, then, to live our lives in response to that grace. The word that we use for this kind of grace is “prevenient” grace. God’s grace goes before any call to obedience to God’s commands. God’s commands always come after a “therefore”. Music Credits: Glass Beads by Blue Dot Sessions is licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial License.
No Longer Strangers: The Family Part one of a six-part series from Ephesians “[God] destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to his will, the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:5 Howard Hendricks, the great Baptist church leader, and Promise Keepers speaker, once compared the church to a football game. A stadium full of people who need exercise watching 22 grown tired men beating each other up and then retiring to their cars, water coolers, and armchairs to argue about how they would have done things differently. The point is this: the church is not meant to be an institution made up solely of paid staff, and key volunteers, doing hard and good work while the rest of the church watches and criticizes. By virtue of our baptisms into Jesus Christ, we are all called to get in the game! In baptism, each of us is adopted into God’s family. This makes all of us siblings. In Christ we are family. And, just like families, we have our disagreements and our conflicts… however, families also are called to be able to bear with one another through joys AND struggles. Music Credits: Glass Beads by Blue Dot Sessions is licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial License.
Living by Faith: Living Generously Part five of a six-part series from 2 Corinthians Giving is not optional. How do we teach ourselves that we give, not because we are required to, but because we can? Music Credits: Glass Beads by Blue Dot Sessions is licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial License.
Living by Faith: Living to Serve Part one of a six part series from 2 Corinthians The true Christian life is one lived in sacrificial love and service to our neighbors. Jesus’ paid for this new way of living with his own life! The resurrection of Christ was, and is, the first fruits of the Holy Spirit… the call and ability to live our lives unafraid that there might not be enough love or grace or mercy to go around. And so we serve each other, and our neighbors, sacrificially. We give everything of who we are away because we have proof, in Jesus’ body and blood, that there will always be enough. What does this mean for us as a people and as a church? Music Credits: Glass Beads by Blue Dot Sessions is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial License.