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March 18, 2018 - Sermon 11 of the Discipleship Challenge: To the Cross and Beyond

Jesus shouted over the crowd during his last public teaching appearance telling them, "The Father and I are one!"  He taught them that to see Jesus was to see his Father who sent him.  They were so closely tied together that to see God the Son was the same as seeing God the Father.  Who do people see when they look at you?  Is it Christ or something completely different?

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March 11, 2018 - Sermon 10 of the Discipleship Challenge: To the Cross and Beyond.

John's Gospel reads very differently than the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, but it is no less challenging to our lives.  This week many disciples leave Jesus because his teachings are too hard.  What do we do when our faith is too hard, or even when life is too hard?

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March 4, 2018 - Sermon 9 Discipleship Challenge: To the Cross and Beyond.

Luke 24 is the last chapter of Luke's Gospel, and it focuses on several appearances of the resurrected Jesus.  The Walk to Emmaus is one of those appearances.  Two disciples walk for miles with Jesus, but they don't realize who he is until the very end.  The whole experience hinged on a single invitation from Cleopas and his friend that take this from a story of missing Jesus to a story of seeing Jesus face-to-face.

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February 25, 2018 - Sermon 8 of the Discipleship Challenge

Jesus often confronts the Pharisees about their love of power and money.  He teaches that they, and we, cannot love both money and God.  Idols get in the way of our faith because we define ourselves by them and trust them to be the very foundation of our lives.  Jesus says God is the only foundation that can be trusted, and the only one that leads to truly living.  Admitting we are wrong is the first step towards confronting our idols and turning to God, but it isn't easy.

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February 18, 2019 - Sermon 7 of the Discipleship Challenge: To the Cross and Beyond

Jesus took James, John, and Peter to a mountaintop to pray.  The disciples could barely stay awake even as Jesus' complexion changed, clouds surrounded them, and God spoke audibly.  Peter suggested building shelters and celebrating on the mountaintop, but Jesus had a bigger plan which he reiterates a few verses later.  He came to go to Jerusalem, be arrested, die, and raise again.  Jesus had a purpose, but Peter wanted to stop before the end of the journey.

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February 11, 2018 - Sermon 6 of the Discipleship Challenge: To the Cross and Beyond.

"In My Father's House" is the first sermon from Luke in the Discipleship Challenge: To the Cross and Beyond.  The scripture lesson tells of a time during Jesus' youth when he left his family to spend time in his father's house.  This sent his parents into a frenzy, but it teaches us important lessons all this time later.  Kayc Mykrantz preaches this sermon.

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February 4, 2018 - Sermon 5 of the Discipleship Challenge: To the Cross and Beyond

In Mark 11:15-19, Jesus storms into the temple court and causes a scene.  He flips over tables, drives out sellers and money changers, and tells the people the temple is not a short cut for the errands.  The temple had lost its purpose and Jesus was there to teach them they needed (and would witness) a resetting of how people approach God.  What in your life needs to be reset or re-purposed?

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January 28, 2018 - Sermon 4 of the Discipleship Challenge: To the Cross and Beyond.

Jesus did much of his teaching around the Sea of Galilee, and he often traveled by boat for convenience or to flee crowds.  A storm threatens to sink Jesus and his disciples on one such excursion in Mark 4:35-41.  The disciples wake Jesus up and he stills the storm.  The peace and quiet is amazing, and the disciples begin to fear Jesus because his power.  Jesus was with them in the storm, and stilled the storm.  Jesus is with you, too, in whatever storm comes your way.

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January 21, 2018 - Sermon 3 of the Discipleship Challenge: To the Cross and Beyond.

Real, authentic encounters with Jesus are craved by followers of Jesus.  Matthew 25:31-46 reminds readers that they can see Jesus face to face when they serve the "least" in the world, and that they serve Jesus when they serve the thirsty, hungry, naked, lonely, sick, or incarcerated.  This week's sermon closes with a challenge to practice was Jesus preaches.

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January 14, 2018 - Sermon two of the Discipleship Challenge: To the Cross and Beyond.

Matthew 16:24-28 is Jesus' challenge to the disciples to follow him.  Jesus helps move the disciples (and us) from spectators to the workers as he teaches that all of us must say no to ourselves and say yes to God's will for us.  It is by dying to ourselves that we become alive in Christ.

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January 7, 2018 - The first sermon of the Disciple Challenge: To the Cross and Beyond.

Matthew 9:9-13 tells of Jesus' calling of Matthew to be one of the disciples.  Matthew was a tax collector, and a sinner when Jesus called him to get up from the tax collecting booth and follow him.  That evening they sat down to a meal together with many of Matthew's friends around.  The Pharisees did not understand why Jesus would eat with sinners.  Jesus reminded them that he came to call sinners because it is the sick who need a doctor.