This summer, we will have two sermon series for our weekend services. July 11, 18, & 25 Pastor Wayne Phillips will preach a three-week series entitled Three to Thrive. I return to the pulpit on August 1, and we’ll explore the ancient book of Ecclesiastes in a 6-week series called The Meaning of Life. Here are brief overviews of the series:
Three to Thrive: Faith, Hope & Love
Like a good parent God wants the best for us. He wants us to thrive. When we consider the teachings of the New Testament we see that the thriving life that Jesus has come to give us is characterized by two things: love for God and love for others (Mt 22:37-39; Mk 12:30-31; Lk 10:27-28). The Spirit of God is working to remake us into men and women who live that out daily. As we do that more and more, as we take off the things that get in the way of loving God and loving others, we will truly live (Lk 10:28). We will step into the fullness of life that Jesus has come to give us and that Satan seeks to steal (John 10:10). Simple enough, but it turns out that love is very difficult in practice. In fact, Biblical love is downright impossible without two other essentials that the Spirit of God is building in us: faith and hope.
These three—faith, hope, and love—are primary themes throughout the Bible, and they make up a framework used by the apostle Paul to examine the condition of his churches and strengthen them where needed. The interplay of faith, hope, and love in his writings is seen most clearly in 1-2 Thessalonians (ex. 1 Thess 1:2-3), Colossians (ex. 1:3-8), and in this classic:
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13
Through the series Three to Thrive: Faith, Hope, and Love, you will learn what defines and undermines each of them, and you will take away the Paul’s framework to help you more fully love God and love others wherever you are.
The Meaning of Life: Exploring Ecclesiastes
August 1 – September 6
What happens when we seek ultimate meaning outside of relationship with the Creator God? What happens when we’re desperate for the answers to life but can seem to find none? What happens when our souls get wearied from the constant pursuit of pleasure and possessions? These are enormous questions of life and meaning that Ecclesiastes grapples with in the timeless complexity and messiness of reality. Ultimately, the ancient philosopher recalibrates our hearts, minds, and lives to pursue ultimate meaning in the Ultimate God because God alone holds the key to the meaning of life.
August 1st–through September 6th during our weekend services, we’ll explore Ecclesiastes and the ultimate meaning of life. We’ll discuss five key themes in the book which can truly shape how we live a life of meaning and purpose today.