Sermons

Posts about top sermons and ideas for sermon series.

Covenant Sermon Series: Our Covenant with God

We’ve recently had a new sermon series on Covenant Relationships. We are spending a month learning about how the ideas behind “covenant” help us understand our relationship with God, with each other and with the world. To help provide more background, and because it’s well-done, we showed this video on Covenant made by Bible Project. Here are excerpts from the sermon on Our Covenant with God.

  1. Sermon in a Sentence: God invites you to a covenant in which He is faithful and you are washed, protected, and brought into the family as you submit.
  2. I recently watched a group of 10 year olds playing basketball. Mercy wasn’t under the covenant. It’s poetic irony. Mercy brings us under the covenant, but she wasn’t responding to her name. She wanted to win desperately, but wasn’t willing to follow her coach’s leading. Instead, she kept throwing up air balls. 
  3. God invites you to a covenant. Every covenant has an introduction, historical background, stipulations, and blessings and curses depending on whether both parties keep the covenant. 
  4. In which He is faithful.  God is a faithful partner even when we are not. Let’s review the four covenants we mentioned last week. Noah. I’ll keep the world a safe place. I’ll never destroy it again. Abraham. I’ll bless you so you can be a blessing. Moses. I’ll lead you to the promised land as you follow my ways. David. I’ll be a faithful king and bless you among the nations. In each one of these circumstances, the people were unfaithful, but God remained faithful and true to His Word and Promise. 
  5. And You are washed, protected, and brought into the family. In Ephesians 5:25-32 we read all the things Jesus has done for us. He gave himself for us. He washed and cleansed us. He presented us without spot. He wants the best for us. He nourishes us.
  6. As you submit. This is our half of the covenant. The word mentioned in Ephesians 5:22, 23, and 32 is a combination of a preposition meaning “under” and a verb meaning “plan.” God wants to see us “under the plan.” It’s controversial. But it’s the way God made it. He is looking to be a husband to us. And in turn his expectation is that we would be a wife “subjected to” him. Are you willing to be “subjected to him?” What would it look like in your Finances? In your physical health? Can you imagine if submitted to God’s plan for your business?
  7. Do you ever remember getting a great present or kind gift. Perhaps, you didn’t know how to use it. you had to follow the manual. The user manual wants you to get the best out of the equipment. The world tells us we understand enough to figure it out. How’s that been working for you?
  8. God has ordained, appointed, determined, set an abundant life for you and all you need to do is put yourself in submission to it. Memorize James 4:7: Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Proclaim the covenant you’re under. See if God doesn’t come to the rescue. We must be willing to submit ourselves to the covenant or we will not receive its benefits. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

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ROI: Sow Fruit, Reap Peace and Stability


We are continuing on in our series on Kingdom Return on Investments. Here are top quotes and ideas from the installment on sowing our spiritual fruit.

  1. Jesus can sleep in a storm because of the peace that dwells inside of him. Jesus’ life operated from a place of peace. Because he had this fruit at work in his life, he was able to sleep and in turn affected the situation around him rather than being affected by the situation (Mark 4:35-40).
  2. There’s a battle for your mind. We are to be renewed in our mind. The fruit of the Spirit are how that happens.
  3. The Scripture talks about peace. Bible Concordance on Peace. Primarily, there’s one aspect I want to point out to us: peace means being joined together, being whole. Peace is God’s gift of wholeness. Peace begets Peace.
  4. Our beliefs dictate our behaviors.
  5. The ultimate peacemaker is Jesus and what He did when He died on the cross for us. Think about Ephesians 2. He brought peace to those who were close and those who were far (Ephesians 2:13-14). He joined them together. We’re joined together with God because of Jesus’ sacrifice.

Three Application Points

  • Physical Fruit: Choosing to exercise self-control in a situation that you normally wouldn’t. You have to retrain your body to walk in self-control. Yesterday, I was walking through this market and I saw these beautiful chocolate covered strawberries. They were dipped in powdered sugar, and I’m not even kidding, they were the size of my hand. I said no. I exercised self-control. Something in my brain clicked.
  • Mental/Emotional Fruit: 40 Days of Negativity Fast. You have to retrain your brain to walk in peace. We’ve been doing some of these in our lives. There’s so much negativity in the world today. We need some positivity.
  • Spiritual Fruit: Declare peace. Come home to peace. Share the story from the small group book. (5 minutes). There are those who are overcome by circumstances and those who are overcomers. God says, you’re an overcomer. Read Romans 8. The peace that Jesus cultivated within him because of his closeness to the Father, was the peace that was spoken out over the storm. What storms are you facing? What does it look like to declare peace in those storms?

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New Breakthrough OUTWARD in 2017

At Aroma, we’ve developed a habit of beginning each new year with a time of prayer and fasting. We believe it’s a special way to usher ourselves into a new year with a focus on God’s work in our lives. This year, we had a coinciding sermon series:

prayer-and-fasting-2017

 Our second week focused on our inward relationship with the body of believers. Here are 10 of my personal notes and highlights from the content of the sermon.

  1. Throughout history, from biblical times until now, we have seen thousands of testimonies of cultural revival happening because of a chosen group of people who set themselves aside to pray and fast. 
  2. Azusa Street Revival started in 1906 as a small prayer meeting. Since then, they estimate over 600,000,000 people who have given their lives to Christ can be connected to this prayer meeting.
  3. Daniel was reading Jeremiah and realized that the prophecy was supposed to come true in the year in which he lived, but he didn’t see any revival happening. 
  4. Daniel said no to pleasant things. The Hebrew word here is “Shemuda” (credit attributed to Bill Johnson). When the Angel visits Daniel, he says, he addresses Daniel as “God’s dearly beloved.” The word here is “Shemuda. Something happens when we give up our rights to Shemuda. It’s almost as if our release of Shemuda allows us to become Shemuda to God. Daniel denied his right to desirable things here (Earth), in so doing became desirable there (heaven). Something is added to the favor realm by saying “I know I have a right, but for this season I’m going to say no. I want to push into something that’s greater.” 
  5. Yes, Jesus loves you. No, you can’t stay the same. 
  6. Daniel repented for his friends. We usually just judge our friends. We have to be the ones who can get in the middle of a situation without becoming that situation.
  7. The Angel was sent at the beginning of Daniel’s fast. It took him 21 days to get there, because of spiritual battle. It’s almost as if the Angel was saying, “Thank you for not giving up.”
  8. We underestimate the influence our prayer and fasting has on Earth and in Heaven.
  9. God gives us specific windows of time, or opporutnities, to press into Him to see extreme breakthrough in society. 
  10. Which area of society are you called to: arts and entertainment, business, education, family, government, media, religion?

New Breakthrough INWARD in 2017

At Aroma, we’ve developed a habit of beginning each new year with a time of prayer and fasting. We believe it’s a special way to usher ourselves into a new year with a focus on God’s work in our lives. This year, we had a coinciding sermon series:

prayer-and-fasting-2017

 Our second week focused on our inward relationship with the body of believers. Here are 10 of my personal notes and highlights from the content of the sermon.

  1. God doesn’t want us to be unaware. He wants us to be fully aware (1 Corinthians 12:1)
  2. God is close. He’s close to us through the life of Jesus in the gospels (John 1:1), and He’s close to us through Holy Spirit (John 14:16), and He’s close to us through each other (John, 20:22, Matthew 18:20). The world knows us by our love (John 13:35) for each other. 
  3. Our life in Christ can’t be fully realized unless we do it within the context of Christian fellowship. 
  4. Only in this crucible can our commitment to Christlikeness be lived out. Interestingly enough, this context, the fellowship of believers (Acts 2:42-47), is both where God’s Presence Manifests (UPWARD) and where people get saved (OUTWARD). 
  5. “Struggle drains you of the illusion of self-sufficiency.” Leadership Freak, Dan Rockwell
  6. Fast on behalf of someone for the purpose of seeing cultural, systemic change in yourself and in them. The motive is love, not your way. Consider their needs above your own (think Esther). Declare a new season of breakthrough. 
  7. Fast in order to strengthen the word of the Lord on a person’s life. (think Paul being sent on his missionary journeys after they laid hands on him (Acts 13). Receive words and pictures that you can share with people. 
  8. Fast for extreme breakthrough in the community (think “the number was added to daily” from Acts 2:42-47). Pray people in to the family of God. 
  9. Fast together by sharing what you’re going through and praying for each other (think community in Matthew 6). Use what you know to intercede for that person.
  10. Fast on behalf of someone to receive biblical insight in an area (think 2 Timothy 3:16). Use Scripture to declare life over that person. 

New Breakthrough UPWARD in 2017

At Aroma, we’ve developed a habit of beginning each new year with a time of prayer and fasting. We believe it’s a special way to usher ourselves into a new year with a focus on God’s work in our lives. This year, we had a coinciding sermon series:

prayer-and-fasting-2017

 Our first week focused on our upward relationship with God. Here are 10 of my personal notes and highlights from the content of the sermon.

  1. Fasting is giving up something physical to pursue God’s spiritual best.
  2. God has presents for us. We often have to be willing to let go of what we’re holding on to in order to actually receive what He wants to give us.
  3. Relationship with God is a radical and well-rounded pursuit.
  4. Our life is often a tension between two things. There’s absolute truth in God, and there’s an in-absolute journey of God getting us there. It’s the joy and pain of life.
  5. You don’t get anywhere by being half something. The world is looking for a radical picture of life abundant.
  6. The goal of fasting is disciplining yourself so that you’ll receive. Abide in me. Discipline yourself. Then, you’ll bear fruit. Man doesn’t live on bread alone. Do we really believe our spiritual is as important as our physical nourishment. All of these say, “Trust God first. Rely on God first. Then, you’ll get what you need.”
  7. Manna, or God’s supernatural provision in your life, happens in the desert (Exodus 16:1-12).
  8. God is drawing us to an intimate relationship with Him. He’s inviting us upward, to abide. He’s inviting us to receive daily manna, or supernatural provision, in our lives for him. He’s inviting us to deny, even the good things in our lives, so we can walk in His best.
  9. Your taste buds physically reset after 21 days.
  10. Jesus is the only one tempted in every way as we are and yet without sin. One of the greatest examples of temptation he went through happened in Matthew 4. As he was fasting, Jesus was tempted with personal gain (loaves from stones), fame (angels’ care), and political power (the authority over all the nations in the world) (from Redeeming Sex).

How People Grow Summary and Top 10 Quotes

How People Grow is an excellent book that shows the reality of growth happening in people’s lives. It begins with a creation account as an outline for how growth happens. The authors go on to outline a number of excellent ways in which people grow. They say “all growth is spiritual growth,” and they do a great job of showing how dealing with issues like “being physically unhealthy” or “marriage problems” can all be dealt with by following the principles outlined in Scripture. Here are 10 quotes thoughts I appreciated. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the book’s extensive content. If any one of these have peaked your interest in anyway, I invite you to read the book (as of this writing, it’s on sale for $2.99).

Quotes that Made the Cut (QMC):

  • When we finally understand that God isn’t mad at us anymore, we become free to concentrate on love and growth instead of trying to appease him.
  • To be truly biblical, as well as truly effective, the growth process must include the Body of Christ.
  • One of the executives of the organization, who is a friend of mine, asked, “What difference do you see between groups for people with problems and groups for normal people?” Henry and I looked at each other and said, “There is just one kind of group.”
  • It is sad to see [a] dynamic of the law happen in the church and then see the opposite happen in Twelve Step groups. In these recovery groups, people are taught that the very first thing to do when you fail is to call someone in the group and get to a meeting. They are taught to “run to grace,” as it were, to turn immediately to their higher power and their support system.
  • Discipline provides the structure for love to grow us up.
  • In your work with people, you have to be a funeral director, showing them that they need to die not only to the law, but also to themselves. All of their efforts have not worked, and they need to die to trying. To get people to give up is very hard, but it must be done so that they can try God instead.
  • If one of you walked out of this meeting and a guy with a mask walked up to you in the dark parking lot, took out a knife, stabbed you in the stomach, took all your money, and left you in an unconscious state, you would call him a mugger. Someone would call the police, and they would try to find the perpetrator. But if you left this meeting, drove down the street to the local hospital, and a guy with a mask came to you in a brightly lit room, took out a knife, cut your stomach open, took all your money, and left you in an unconscious state, you would call him a doctor and thank him for helping you. One is a mugging, and the other is surgery.
  • Grief is the one pain that heals all others. It is the most important pain there is.
  • Getting righteous and aligned with the ways of the kingdom and getting healthy are one and the same thing.
  • The Bible teaches we are to do our part by faith and the Spirit will do his part by his power… God designed spiritual growth to be an active partnership with him… Passivity is a problem, not a virtue.

Which one is your favorite?