When we are cynical about people, the future, the church or anything else, we are advancing the agenda of hell and hindering the work of heaven. Negativity can be a word that you speak to somebody, that's just a critical, well-aimed word from hell, to demean and diminish others. We are...
God came down to planet earth and became one of us, to lift us by grace and truth to a life that is new forever. When we believe we are released from our slavery, we are released from all of the destructive gravity of sin. This gravitational pull is so strong, it drags us into addictions, it...
When you miss grace, you're always going to stay away from God like a stern parent that you can never please. Religion leaves you stuck, and wears you out. It tries to appear perfect, and tries to force a change that always seems to snap back into old patterns. When you live without grace, you...
Matthew 7:1-2 says, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." If you and I, in our arrogance chose to judge others, look down on others, de-value others, to diminish the worth...
1 Peter 2:10 says, "Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy." Everyone who receives adoption as a child of God enters that new life through His mercy and grace. We cannot be a church of the living...
The Bible is first about a person; Jesus. It is a story that leads up to one story in Jesus, and that story reveals the very face of God on planet earth. The story rose on the third day and the story lives in this day for you and I to choose not to live small overwhelmed lives about us...
Ephesians 4:29 says, "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." Do you handle other peoples reputations gently? Do you handle their failures gently or are you quick to point...
Can you imagine for yourself anything more that where you are now? Can you imagine anything else more than the addiction? Can you imagine anything else more than your unhappiness? Can you imagine anything else more than searching for that next empty person to try to fill your heart? Can you...
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:3 Blessed refers to a deep joy of the soul; it overwhelms all of the darkness, all of the loss, all of the grieving and all of the woundedness. Scripture says to be...
Repentance is an invitation of hope to begin again; to start over and to not let anything keep you from becoming who God has called you to be. Matthew 4:16 says, “…the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a...
- On a typical Sunday morning you may have noticed people wearing blue t-shirts that say “Life is Better Connected” or pins that say “Ask Me About Connect Groups". Those are our Connect Group Leaders; they are passionate about doing life together and will be able to help you get connected into our community.
- You can also check out the Connect Corner in the atrium. There you will find all of the information you need about our Connect Groups and how to join as well as meet some of our leaders who will be able to determine which groups would be best for you.
- Last, but not least, you can go to Severnrun.com/connectgroups where you will also find all of our Connect Group information and Upcoming events.
Just as your physical eye cannot see all the spectrums of light, you cannot see, without faith, all the possibilities of God! So why settle just for what you can see? Why not live for so much more?
Colossians 2:6-7 says, "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."
There's the open door, and when we receive Christ Jesus as Lord, then we will continue to live in Him and grow in Him. Into lives that are ever larger for Him! That means that our lives grow deeper and our identity is rooted more and more firmly in the love of God -we know who we are!
Your identity is set, your confidence in God grows and then you begin to grow up like a tree that spreads its branches.
In the Kingdom of Heaven, you're free to serve your life away without anybody ever knowing your name! In the kingdom of the world, you gotta have your name in the spotlight, but in the Kingdom of Heaven, when Christ takes root and begins to work through all of your life, you grow down deep into the soil of God's love.
Your life was designed by God to have an eternal impact in this world! Your creativity, your imagination, your talents, your gifts and abilities are supposed to come into play as part of the expanding kingdom of God --that's the way God designed it!
The plan of God is to fill you to the full measure of Christ Himself. As mush as Jesus was full of God on earth, that is the very plan of God for you according to Ephesians 4:11-13. When we let the Kingdom come, Jesus leads us into a God-sized life! -Dr. Drew Shofner
In Matthew 13:33 Jesus told a parable: "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough."
Jesus has told us what The Kingdom is like and you and I need to make sure that what we're experiencing with what we call 'God' is letting Jesus into every area of our life and letting Him transform. It is not religion, to where we pretend that Jesus can come into here and here but He can't come in here!
To be a follower of Jesus Christ means that He is Lord over all areas of our life! It's not about us trying hard and working at transformation - it's just about letting Him in!
The truth is, when we invite The King into our home, our home becomes His home! There's a title exchange. We trade kingdoms!
If you retain control of any area of your life, you're shutting Jesus out!
If there is an area of your life that is persistent darkness, persistent anger, persistent fear. If there is an area of your life that is persistently broken, where resentments are nurtured, where loneliness is forever consuming, where pain never becomes less -those are areas where you're not letting the Savior in and where you won't let the yeast fall. Because wherever Jesus enters into, He enters in and transforms all of it!
When we keep Christ out of parts of our life, we're really keeping Christ out of all of our lives! When we shut Him out, we shut growth out, we shut light out, we shut life out! You can't let Jesus in and keep Him out!
When Jesus comes in like yeast in the dough, there's an effect! It's not a magic wand and it's not instant, but when we open up our life to Jesus Christ, He comes into our life. We don't have to do anything other than let Him in and refuse to keep Him out! He begins to do the change, He begins to do the transformation by His power and His work in us. He will absolutely change and transform everything! That's the work of a living God --it's not us!
You see, if Jesus isn't in it all, is He in at all? We gotta ask the question!
Religion let's you compartmentalize life. The Kingdom of Heaven is not like religion that leaves you in control of this area of life and that area of life. The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast and when it is sprinkled into your life, it will work it into every area of your life and it will have its transforming effect!
The Kingdom of God coming inside of you and rising up and making you great in the eyes of God is not going to be what you think it will be - so let it be different! If you've had religion in your life, understand that what you need is Jesus. All the dough had to do was receive the yeast! -Dr. Drew Shofner
Can I invite you to think? Sometimes we act like if we're going to believe, we have to turn off our brains. No, your brain is part of the image of God! Your curiosity, your imagination, everything inside of you, all of your faculties need to be brought fully to bear in seeking first the Kingdom of God! And if you're not yet a believer, I want to challenge you to think and to question and to explore in a seeking journey!
In Matthew 13:31-32, Jesus tells a parable:
"The kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed..." - It's small.
Now think about that in terms of your life on earth. Some of you are discouraged because God isn't bigger in the world and bigger in your life and there's pain and hurt and sorrow, but you have to understand somethings about big and small:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” -Matthew 13:31-32
What Jesus is doing is giving us an invitation to imagine mystery and to explore through curiosity what this unseen Kingdom is like. He says it looks like it starts small. It looks insignificant often in the moment, but if you will receive it and if you will plant it in your life, let it grow and give it time, you will find that it absolutely astonishes you!
It will be more than you ever would've imagined it would have been in the beginning --that's what the Kingdom of God is like!
I want you to understand that you and I as sinful, broken people-- and all of us are sinful--we have all substituted our will for the will of God. We think we know more than we really do and our confusion about big and small is really huge!
I want to share with you that in this broken world, broken people die confusing big and small. When we stand before God at the judgement, the essential mistake that will have been made by billions is that they missed the bigness of the love of God!
It seemed small and insignificant at the time, so many other things going on in life! So many priorities and pursuits going on that this 'God Story' just seemed like a nothing and yet this tiny little seed will prove to be the biggest thing in all of eternity. We are the people who experience the kingdom and must spread it to others! -Dr. Drew Shofner