People of the Second Chance

second-chance-970x546.png

A little while ago, I was reading the book, People of the Second Chance by Mike Foster. In it, he lists what he calls “The Five Condemnments”:

1. “I don’t deserve a second chance.”
2. “I am my shame. I am my secrets.”
3. “I will always feel and be this way.”
4. “I am defined by my worst moments.”
5. “My life, my dreams, my hopes no longer matter.”

As I interact with people, I see so many who live under these condemnments. That somehow a second chance is for others, not for them. That somehow what defines them most is their shame, failure and worst moments. They feel trapped in a cycle of no hope because yesterday was bad, so tomorrow will be bad, and they feel they deserve it. In essence, they start listening to the lies other people say about them, rather than what the Gospel says about them.

But, Jesus has a radically different promise and pronouncement for all of us. Here’s what He has to say about you:

1. “You do deserve a second chance, because I died to secure that for everyone.” (John 3:16)

2. “You aren’t your shame and secrets. You are forgiven and free.” (John 8:1-11, when Jesus encounters the woman caught in adultery).

3. “Your future isn’t full of darkness and repeats of defeat. If you believe in Me, you will have full and abundant life today.” (John 10:10)

4. “You are not defined by your worst moments, but rather by My calling on your life.” (John 21, when Jesus restores Peter after his worst moment).

5. “Your dreams do matter, because I, the Good Shepherd, know you and all that you need.” (John 10:14) – In fact, the first words of Jesus in the book of John are, “What do you want?” (John 1:38). So, your wants, dreams and desires do matter to God.

I write all this to remind you of something: The Gospel of Jesus Christ is freeing, transforming and totally life giving. The condemnments we so often live under aren’t part of living under God’s reign, love and grace.

So, today I want to remind you that if you feel like you don’t deserve a second chance – that shame owns you, that your past failures define you, that life can’t change, that your wants and desires don’t matter – than, well, Jesus begs to differ. Come and experience Him, and find that difference in your life.

Confession Brings Freedom

The other day while reading (which, full confession, I do kinda frequently), I read this statement by Craig Groeschel…
“It’s so much better to confess your sins and enjoy forgiveness than to be caught in them.”
Wow, how true is that?
Rather than confess, I’m more likely to hide my sins, flaws and mistakes. And, I actually think this isn’t just true for me; it’s a human response. In fact, if you read Genesis 3, this is exactly what you see when Adam and Eve sin. Rather than confess to God and find forgiveness, they hide their sin and are eventually caught in sin.
The truth is just this: Whenever we let sin dictate our decisions, hurt isn’t far behind and hiding never brings healing. Forgiveness brings freedom, whereas hiding brings more guilt and baggage. The beautiful thing is that God is a God of forgiveness; it’s actually what He does best.

So today, I’m probably not writing something you don’t already know. But, it isn’t in the knowing that we struggle, it’s in the acting. I write all this to remind us of one little thing: “It’s so much better to confess your sins and enjoy forgiveness than to be caught in them.”
I know that’s something I need to not only hear, but to act on too. And maybe you need to as well.

The Slavery of “Freedom”

chain-1461883-1278x1010I think our culture is obsessed with Freedom. Freedom to do whatever we want, and whatever pleases us. It drives a lot of culture, a lot of the stuff on TV, and a lot of the relationships around us.

We think that standing up for our “freedom” to follow our desires and impulses is what it means to be human. That we all have a right to do what we want, when we want, as long as it doesn’t hurt others (or hurt them too much).

But this idea of freedom, isn’t actually “freedom”, it’s slavery. 

All we have done is become absolute slaves to our wants, desires, and impulses and call that “freedom”. That “freedom” is to do whatever – our desires, wants, or impulses are. The problem is that not only isn’t that freedom, it actually doesn’t lead to life. Slavishly following our desires leads to instant gratification, debt, divorce, and all sorts of hurt. When we think following our desires is freedom we become slaves to our basest and worst selves.

David Foster Wallace noticed this and criticized our culture for exposing our kids to it so early. He writes this – this is what we teach our kids:

“That you are the most important and what you want is the most important. And that your job in life is to gratify your own desires…This does not work as well when it comes to educating children or helping us help each other know how to live… and to be happy – if that word means anything. Clearly it means something different from ‘whatever I want to do’ – ‘I want to take this cup right now and throw it! I have every right to! I should!’ We see it with children: that’s not happiness. That feeling of having to obey every impulse and gratify every desire seems to me to be a strange kind of slavery.”

And I think he is right on. The feeling that we need to follow our impulses and gratify our desires is a kind of slavery. It doesn’t lead our kids to happiness to let them do whatever they want, so why should it lead us to it?

But we’ve fallen for that lie and that trap. We use language like, “I just need to follow my heart”, “Well it wasn’t true for me”, “I deserve this because I want this” all the while not realizing we are slaves to our desires rather than masters of them. True freedom doesn’t consist in doing whatever you want when you want, true freedom consists in having these desires transformed and aligned so we can live whole lives. This is why Paul says that he is a “slave to Christ” because he knows that he needs his heart, desires, and impulses changed. He needs to have self-centeredness, greed, violence, and hurt rooted out. Ironically then for Paul to be truly free is to be a slave to Christ, rather than a slave to our desires because Christ sets free in us who we were meant to be.

My point in all of this is fairly simple. Following our impulses and desires isn’t freedom. Those things need to be shaped and transformed or they become self-centered, greedy, and ugly. And having those desires changed doesn’t happen through embracing our “pretend freedom” but submitting to a master, submitting to a path, or as Paul says, “becoming a slave to Christ.” And there is nothing in this world that will set you free for true freedom like Jesus Christ.

God Wants to Make You New

On Sunday we shared about how God is about fresh starts and new beginnings. We read some of the following verses, and just let God speak to you through them:

  • Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Romans 6:4
  • But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. Isaiah 43:18
  • And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. Ezekiel 11:19-20
  • If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

The simple truth is God is into new beginnings. This is what he wants to give to us, so that we can discover a new future and a fresh start.

So rather than talking a lot about it on Sunday, we experienced it. We gathered together as friends, families, and individuals in small groups and took communion together.

Communion is a reminder that we all have a fresh start because of Jesus. It is a reminder that all our sins and failures have been dealt with , so we can live differently. It’s something we take together, to remind ourselves that we are different.

So maybe today that’s just a reminder that you need, I know I do. That because of Jesus we are made new. It’s simple, but true. And sometimes the most life-changing truths, are the simplest. May this simple truth shape your day today:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

Sermon Notes:

Big Idea: You can start new today

Teaching Points:

  • This idea about having a fresh start and a new beginning , is embedded into our faith.
  • Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Romans 6:4
  • But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. Isiah 43:18
  • And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. Ezekiel 11:19-20
  • If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Adult Discussion Questions:

What do you need to be made new this year? How can God help you with this? Who else can help you with this? If there is one change that you need to make this year, what is it?

Discussion Questions for Young Families

Spend some time with your kids talking about communion and how Jesus makes us new. Debrief together over what they thought and if they have any questions

Challenge for the Week: Live in a new direction.

Having a Fresh Start This New Year

On Sunday we are starting a brand new series called Fresh Start. This series is all about finding a new beginning, a new direction, and wiping the slate clean.

It seems that at this time of the year, everyone is talking about making better and different choices. About starting fresh. Whether that’s talk show hosts, to people trying to get you to sign up for a gym membership.

The point is that while it certainly is cultural, to talk about new beginnings, it’s most of all – biblical.

God, throughout the Scriptures, offers us a fresh start. Offers us a new beginning. He offers to wipe the slate clean and start again.

And this is so needed. So often in life we seem to just accumulate hurt, brokenness, mistakes, and baggage. And it can be almost impossible sometimes to work through it all. So instead of working through it all, God chose to deal with it all through the death of his son. Through this one act he gave us a fresh start and a new beginning.

So that’s what we are going to be looking at for the rest of the month of January and most of February. How we can find a fresh start in faith, friendships, family, futures, and finances. And most of all, how we find a fresh start today.

Fresh Start

Seven Deadly Sins: Envy

envyOn Sunday we looked at the deadly sin of envy. Envy is similar to jealously but they are very different. Jealousy desires what someone else has, envy wants to destroy what someone else has. Jealousy wants other people’s things, envy wants to be the only one with things. A perfect picture is the story of Snow White. In it the queen asks the mirror “Mirror mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all”. And when Snow White is named, the queen must wreck, ruin, and destroy snow white. Just so we’re clear the Queen is still beautiful, but that is not enough for envy. The Queen must be the most beautiful, and destroy anything that threatens that. That’s envy. Envy, when it cannot have what it wants, destroys. That is why it is so dangerous.

The second reason it is so dangerous is that it thrives in community. In fact, you need community for envy to even be a possibility. Will WIllimon said, “Envy works best at close range.” This is true. We are often jealous of people distant from us, and envious of those closest to us. We may be jealous of Katy Perry and her fame, but we generally don’t want to destroy her or see her fail. In contrast to that, we sometimes do want our sister, brother-in-law, or neighbor to fail. This is why it’s so dangerous, because it wrecks community.

So much of the strife in our relationships is because we are envious. We are envioius of our brother who gets preferential treatment, so we want to see them slip up. We are envious of a co-worker who never gets reprimanded, so we hope for them to screw up. But what is at the root of envy? Well many church fathers said this: a lack of trust in God.

We get envious when we believe that God is withholding good from us. That we are being shortchanged by God. In essence, envy thrives when we disbelieve God’s goodness. And since this is so closely tied to envy we ended with a challenge. The challenge was this: for one week keep a journal of God’s goodness to you. If feeling envious is tied to a lack of trust in God’s goodness, then we need to create habits to remind us of the generosity, goodness, and grace of God.

So it’s a simple thing to do but it could be a life changing thing. Because whenever we get centred in the fact that God is good, we can live differently. We no longer need to be tied to envy and hurt, instead we can be set free. And that’s something worth finding.

Sermon Notes:

Big Idea: Envy is a problem

Take Aways…

  • Envy is a subtle sin Jealousy wants things, envy wants to the be the only one who has things.
  • “Envy works best at close range” Will Wiilimon
  • Envy is about close relationships and it’s about enjoying when they fail.
  • While greed is primarily about possessions, envy is about one’s place in the world. Where greed wants the good things that others have, envy wants to be the only one who has good things. Envy delights in spoiling what others have. Michael Mangis
  • Envy leads to destruction every time.
  • At the root of envy is a lack of trust in God.
  • Envy is dissatisfaction with who God has made me to be. It is also suspicious that God is withholding what I deserve and giving it to someone else. Michael Mangis
  • Envy is a problem
  • Love overcomes envy.
  • Get rid of envy by getting closer to God.

Adult / Group Discussion Questions: What stuck out to you from the sermon? What was challenging to you? How did God speak to you through it? What was new? Had you understood what envy was before today? How has envy wrecked relationships in your life? Is there anyone you tend to feel envious of? How can you grow closer to God this week? What good things has God done for you?

Discussion Questions / Actions for Young Families: Today talk to your kids about envy. Talk to them about how sometimes we want what other people have. But be proactive against envy, have them write out reasons why they are thankful to God. Have them make a picture, or share reasons for being thankful to God. The more they are rooted in that, the harder it will be for envy to take root.

Challenge for this Week: Get rid of envy by getting closer to God

Sloth: Robs the World of You, and You of Life

Found at http://sevendeadlysinsofdisney.weebly.com/sloth.html
Image Found at http://sevendeadlysinsofdisney.weebly.com/sloth.html

On Sunday we looked at the sin of sloth. At first glance this doesn’t seem like a sin at all. I mean, is God really against rest and relaxation? Clearly he isn’t, because he commands us to rest. I think the point of the sin of sloth is actually a refusal to respond to God’s calling in the world. Being slothful is not about resting, but refusing to enter the world in God’s way. Sloth is not physical laziness, but at its core it’s spiritual laziness to take God’s calling seriously. It’s not about resting but not following God when he asks us. The world is bursting with God-given possiblites, and sloth is saying no, staying in bed, making excuses, and not taking responsibility. That’s what the sin of sloth is. And that’s also why it’s deadly.

If sloth is saying no to God; then being slothful severs your connection with God, and robs the world of how God wants to use you. You are needed in the world, you have a particular makeup, gifting, and personality that God wants to use. Saying no to him, robs the world of a gift that only you can bring. This is why it is serious and damaging. It hurts our relationship with God, and hurts the world by us refusing to enter into it.

So we looked at how in Proverbs there are at least three reasons why we choose to be slothful. Sometimes it’s out of pride and ego. We only engage if we are in charge and recognized. We don’t serve unless we are leading, taking point, or given a title. Sometimes we don’t engage because of fear. We worry, make excuses, and focus more on the possibility of failure than being faithful. And sometimes it’s just pure self-interest. We don’t take resposniblty for ourselves or our calling and simply pass the buck.

We ended with realizing that this is a serious sin, and it has nothing to do with resting or relaxing. We can easily be busy and hardworking and still slothful – still refusing to say yes to God’s invitation to change the world. So we ended off with a challenge. A challenge to take time away this week to rest and relax and reflect on three questions:

  1. Is there anything in our lives hindering us from saying yes to God? Are we too busy, too fearful, too prideful, too….whatever. Is there anything that is stopping us from truly following God, and if so, we need to deal with it.
  2. How are we investing in our relationship with God? If being slothful is not responding to God, that assumes a relationship with God. So are we investing in that relationship?
  3. Have we neglected any important relationships? Being slothful is often about neglecting those God-gvien responsibilities. So have we  been slothful in our marriage, in our parenting, or in our relationships? And if so, how can we invest in them.

So that’s what we explored and learned. Being slothful isn’t about rest, but refusal of God. A semi-ironic ending is that closed the service challenging people to actually take some rest this week, and reflect on those questions. Who would have guessed a sermon on slothfulness actually encouraged rest and reflection?

 

Teaching Notes:

Big Idea Being slothful robs the world of you, and it robs you of life.

Take Aways…

  • As the door turns on its hinges so a sluggard turns on the bed. Proverbs 26:14
  • The lazy person is full of excuse, saying “I can’t go outside because there might be a lion on the road! Yes, I’m sure there’s a lion out there!” Proverbs 26:13
  • The sluggard buries his hand in the dish, But will not even bring it back to his mouth. Proverbs 19:24
  • God is not anti-rest.
  • The sin of sloth is really a refusal to enter into the world around us
  • Sloth is not physical laziness, but at its core its spiritual laziness to take God’s calling seriously
  • Sloth is saying no to the world and no to God.
  • All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Edmund Burke
  • The world needs you.
  • Roots of Sloth: Ego, Fear, and Self-Centredness
  • Being a sloth or a sluggard robs the world of you, and it robs you of life.
  • Is there anything stopping you from joining in with God in the world?
  • How can you this week attend to your spiritual life?
  • “Sloth has come to be synonymous with physical laziness, but he original greek word acedia has a rather different meaning. Acedia is spiritual listlessness or laziness. It is the antithesis of worship. Sloth is the neglect of the greatest commandment: to love your lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” Michael Mangis
  • Is there any relationship we are not attending to?

Adult / Group Discussion Questions: What stuck out to you from the sermon? What was challenging to you? How did God speak to you through it? What was new?

Have you ever thought about Sloth in this way? What was different or new about this perspective? Would you say that Sloth is something you struggle with? What is God’s calling on your life? What is he asking you to say yes to him with now? Who can help you to say yes to him?

Discussion Questions / Actions for Young Families: Today talk to your kids about the sin of sloth. Talk to them how its not about being lazy, but not being responsible. Talk to them about what they are responsible for (i.e. cleaning up toys, doing dishes, etc). Ask them why its important to do those things. Then talk to them about how we each are unique and have special gifts to give. Use this as a time to share with each of them what you see as their unique gift to give to the world.

Challenge for this Week: Reflect on the three question in a time of rest

Gluttony ~ Seven Deadly Sins

856673_20062383So on Sunday we looked at the sensitive topic of gluttony. We started in an odd place, a discussion of math, statistics, and the inverted U curve.

Here is how Malcolm Gladwell discusses what an inverted U curve is:

Inverted-U curves have three parts, and each part follows a different logic. There’s the left side, where doing more or having more makes things better. There’s the flat middle, where doing more doesn’t make much of a difference. And there’s the right side, where doing more or having more makes things worse.

We used this framework to begin to talk about gluttony. Gluttony is really about too much of a good thing that becomes a bad thing. So, for example ,some food is good, a middle amount doesn’t really help or hurt, too much gets unhealthy. But the inverted U works for than just food. It also works for working, stress, and a whole host of things. Working is good for health, but too much work (i.e. being a workaholic) becomes incredibly unhealthy for physically and relationally. A little stress is helpful to stay motivated and in the “flow” – too much becomes an ulcer.

The point of the inverted U is things that are good in small to moderate amounts can have really negative consequences in large amounts. And this is actually the same thing we learn from Solomon, the wisest man on earth. He says this, “If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it. (Proverbs 25:16)

A little honey is good, it’s sweet, it’s delicious, and it’s good for you. Too much honey will make you vomit. The logic of Solomon is really clear: gluttony is really about too much of a good thing. It’s about a lack of moderation and balance. Most things in life are only good in moderation, overabundance or overconsumption leads to difficulty. This is true in all sorts of things. Work is good, being a workaholic isn’t. Being flexible and saying yes to things is good, being a doormat isn’t. Watching TV is relaxing, watching 16 hours in a row is a rut. Having some “me time” by yourself is great, doing it so much you disconnect from your family is a bad thing. Buying new shoes can be fun, buying 100 pairs and drowning in debt isn’t.

The point is that gluttony isn’t just about how much we eat, but how we live. And there are things in our lives that are a good thing, but that without discipline, quickly become a bad thing.

So on Sunday to make this personal we asked ourselves one question: Is there a good thing that has become a bad thing in our lives? Is there something good that has become too much and become bad?

  • Are we working too much?
  • Are we texting and spending too much time on phones?
  • Are we spending too much?
  • Are we too busy – connecting with people?
  • Are we saying yes to too many things?

And as we asked that question we simply collectively said a one word prayer: help. Help God for me to find balance. Help God for me to find strength. Help God for me to find moderation in this good thing that’s gone a little bad.

So that’s what we learned on Sunday but hopefully it isn’t something that we just learn about – but practice. Because the truth is we feel better when we are in the middle – enjoying a little honey but not so much that we throw it up.

Sermon Notes:

Big Idea: Gluttony is about a lack balance and moderation

Take Aways…

  • Ground Rules #1: Posture of Grace not Guilt
  • God convicts of sin, but he doesn’t shame us for our sin.
  • Ground Rules #2: Personal Introspection
  • Sin leads to unhealthy lives
  • Ground Rules #3: Safe and Transformational
  • Rather than rooting out our sins, we try to keep them under control. Micahel Mangis
  • Gluttony believes that if a little is good, a lot will always be better. Michael Mangis
  • Gluttony is too much of a good thing that leads to a bad thing.
  • Is there a good thing that has become a bad thing?
  • God Help me in this…

Adult / Group Discussion Questions: What stuck out to you from the sermon? What was challenging to you? How did God speak to you through it? What was new?Have you ever thought of gluttony not just in terms of food? What are maybe some “good things” that have become unhealthy things? How can you start to get some more balance in your life? How can God help you find moderation? Last but not least – can you give it up for Lent? If so who can help to encourage and cheer you on?

Discussion Questions / Actions for Young Families: Today talk to your kids about the sin of gluttony. Why not actually act out the verse? Have the kids taste some honey and how good it is. Ask them what might happen if they were to eat the entire jar of it right now. Share with them how Solomon says they’d throw it all up – and how there is a lot of good things – that too much becomes a bad thing.

Challenge for this Week: Give up on good thing that has become a bad thing

Seven Deadly Sins: Lust and Living with Love

1360166_52196723

On Sunday we looked at the first of our “deadly sins”, the sin of lust. But before we got there we set up some ground rules. That first, this whole series will be preached from a posture of grace not guilt. God convicts this is true, but God doesn’t send guilt and shame. Conviction says, “I did something bad”. Guilt and shame say, “I am bad”. And that’s a huge difference. Conviction is about change; guilt and shame are about hurt and pain. So that’s ground rule #1.

Ground rule #2 was that this is about personal introspection. So that means sending my sermon online to your mother-in-law to help with her “anger” is not the point. It’s about us looking within, not around for who else needs to hear it.

And lastly, ground rule #3 was that this was about being safe and transformed. That’s the perspective that this is a safe place to talk, and experience God’s transformation. If we can’t acknowledge what we’re struggling with – how will we ever see God’s healing?

Michael Mangis writes:

Every sin confessed is an invitation for God to work miracles though his grace. If I truly grasped this truth, I would stop obsessively working to round up all my sin marbles and keep them under control. Instead, I would go out in search of marbles that are lost or forgotten in the corners of my heart. I might actually become bored with the areas of my life that are tidy and presentable. I would search out new places in me that haven’t seen the full light of God’s transformation. I might even think, It has been a while since God performed a miracle in me. Let me find a forgotten pocket of sin somewhere where I can set God’s power free to turn water into wine and blindness into sight.

And I think that’s true and why we are doing this series. We want to see miracles in people’s lives.

So with that we moved to discussing lust. Lust is such a difficult topic to discuss. The reason for this is because this sin is most deeply tied to our identity and image being made in male and female. So it has the tendency to also be tied most deeply to guilt, shame, and feelings of being unworthy. So we took a look at Jesus’ teaching on it in Matthew 5.

Jesus, in Matthew 5, is really being clear, that yes lust is wrong, but temptation is not. Jesus is not talking about having a fleeting thought, or something pop into your mind that you try to push away. Jesus says that lust is like adultery, when it settles in your heart, when you engage it, and enter into it. His point is that this needs to go.

He even advocates extreme action to rid yourself of lust. He says, “If your eye causes you to lust gouge it out and throw it away”. Now he’s not being literal here because I bet you could lust with your eyes closed if you wanted to. The point is that lust is so damaging it’s worth taking deep action to get rid of it.

That’s where we focused the majority of our time. On how to find transformation from this area. And we began by reminding those who struggle with this something that they probably don’t tell themselves: God is about forgiveness, there is grace, and God is not ashamed of you. This sin more than maybe any other isolates, and creates spirals of shame. This is why we need to talk about it, so God’s transformation can change it. And it is the good and grace of God that leads to change. So we started there by centering ourselves in God’s grace.

We lastly gave two simple practical tips. The first was to make a covenant with your eyes. Jesus says, “Do not look”, realizing that what we see and focus on settles in our hearts. And while Jesus is specifically talking about lust and sex, the Greek word more basically translated means desire. So this means for any wrong desire for power, money, position, whatever – we are not to look and focus on it. Job writes that he made a covenant with his eyes in chapter 31:1. And I think that’s a good place to start. Going to God, praying, and covenanting asking for his help for us to focus on what’s good, pure, and loving.

And with that I think we need to change our gaze. We don’t get rid of lust by focusing on lust. We get rid of lust by focusing on love and putting it into practice. Loving God, loving others, loving even ourselves. The point is that if we want to get rid of lust we need to change our focus to seeking creative ways to love those closest to us. We need to change our focus and put God in the centre. This is how we find transformation.

And that’s where we ended – looking at something that is donea part of our world, but that hopefully isn’t a part of our hearts.

Sermon Notes:

Big Idea: Lust breaks relationship, love fills relationships

Take Aways…

  • Ground Rules #1: Posture of Grace not Guilt
  • God convicts, God doesn’t guilt
  • Ground Rules #2: Personal Introspection
  • Sin leads to unhealthy lives
  • Ground Rules #3: Safe and Transformational
  • Rather than rooting out our sins, we try to keep them under control. Micahel Mangis
  • Sin died at Easter
  • Every sin confessed is an invitation for God to work miracles though his grace. Micahel Mangis
  • Seven Deadly sins are the root, or chief sins that cause the most damage and hurt.
  • Temptation is not a sin
  • Lust is self-centered, and misplaced desire.
  • difference between lust and love is the difference between selfish desire and other-centered desire
  • The gains of lust are trivial compared with the loss it brings.” Bonhoeffer
  • God forgives you and there is grace.
  • Covenant with your eyes (Job 31:1)
  • Overcoming sin isn’t about trying harder, but getting closer to Jesus
  • Commit to love, and changing our focus

Adult / Group Discussion Questions: What stuck out to you from the sermon? What was challenging to you? How did God speak to you through it? What was new?

Did you have any fear or worry looking at the “seven deadly sins”? How come, or why not? How important is it – to keep those ground rules in our minds when talking about these things? What are some of the dangers of approaching sin from judgement and shame? What might it be like to be freed from sin? Do you think that’s worth chasing after? How come? What did you take away from the lust teaching? How might this help you, or help others?

Discussion Questions / Actions for Young Families: Today talk to your kids about lust. This is a big deal for parents, especially as kids grow older. So why not just open up a conversation with them. If they are older they probably have questions, and it’s a good time to talk them through it. Also maybe now is a good time to explain the difference between temptation and sin.

Challenge for this Week: Focus on Doing Loving Actions

Lent and the Seven Deadly Sins

 

 

 

 

On Sunday we are opening up a brand new series, looking at the Seven Deadly Sins for Lent. Yep that’s right a perfect series to invite your friends to…

 

 

Well actually I do think it will be really important and really helpful and here is why. So often when sin is discussed, especially in church, it’s accompanied with judgment, shame, and guilt. So because of this we don’t talk about it. And instead then we end up coping with sin, struggling with sin, and hiding sin. What if instead of talking about sin in this way – we approached it through grace, life, and freedom? What if rather than hiding and struggling with our sin – we could actually be free from it?

 

That’s the perspective of this series to discover how through Jesus’ transformation we might be freed from some stuff in our lives we’ve been carrying along far too long.

 

What if we approach sin not from a guilt or shame perspective – but from a healing and freedom perspective?

 

I think to be honest this is the only way to deal with this important, but misunderstood topic. In the gospels we see tax collectors, prostitutes, and broken people flocking to Jesus. These are “notorious sinners” as the Pharisees point out. But this was because Jesus didn’t condone sin or condemn those struggling with sin – he freed them from it.

 

What if over the next seven weeks we could have the same experience from Jesus? Where we go to him with our baggage and sin – our pride, envy, greed, and anger and find freedom?

 

That’s the whole point and goal of this series. To, for Lent, do some personal introspection and experience Jesus’ transformation as we come to him.

 

So even though it may sound funny – I’m excited about this series because I’m always excited when people find freedom and transformation from baggage they’ve been holding for years. And that’s what this series is all about, so maybe it is something worth being excited about…

Seven Deadly Sins