sermons about suffering

06 The Exchange

06 The Exchange

Romans 1:26-32, 2:1-4

My Father was a Wandering Aramean

My Father was a Wandering Aramean

First Fruits Sunday



Ancient Cliff Notes

The Bible

The Bible

Guest Speaker Shane Willard.

Where is the Space?

series: Rachab

title: Where is the Space?

teacher: Jacob Bender

date: September 3, 2017

scriptures: Genesis 26:12-25, Psalm 31:15

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Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. The Lord blessed him, and the man became rich, and gained more and more until he became very wealthy. He had possessions of flocks and herds and many servants, so that the Philistines envied him. (Now the Philistines had stopped and filled with earth all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father.) And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.” 
So Isaac departed from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar and settled there. And Isaac dug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of Abraham his father, which the Philistines had stopped after the death of Abraham. And he gave them the names that his father had given them. But when Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found there a well of spring water, the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water is ours.” So he called the name of the well Esek, because they contended with him. Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that also, so he called its name Sitnah. And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, saying, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.” 
From there he went up to Beersheba. And the Lord appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of Abraham your father. Fear not, for I am with you and will bless you and multiply your offspring for my servant Abraham’s sake.” So he built an altar there and called upon the name of the Lord and pitched his tent there. And there Isaac’s servants dug a well.

Sometimes, we find ourselves lost in a sea of things that the world throws at us, and we get so distracted with all of the things that WE THINK THAT WE HAVE TO DO... that we never do the THINGS THAT WE ACTUALLY SHOULD DO. 

and time gets sucked away, leaving us feeling like there is no space for us to actually create the things that we believe we are supposed to make out of this life. 

But just like Isaac, I believe that the Lord has made room for you, here and now. He has made room for your dreams, he has made room for your gifts... 

But sometimes we can't see the things that are right in front of us... So lets ask ourselves a question... 

What is it for me? What is it for you?

What is it that is keeping you from your calling? What is keeping you living life as if you don’t actually have any.… What is keeping you living like you are already dead? 

What is taking up the space in your mind?

In your heart?

In your life? 

What is filling the space? 

What needs to be laid on the altar to create space in your life for what Jesus wants to do? 

What has you bound and maybe you don’t even know it?

Perhaps the best way to answer that, is to answer this question: 

What is taking your time? 

Psalm 31:15 says "my times are in your hand;" 

We need to be like David, and place our times into the hands of Jesus. Time is a most valuable asset, and we will waste it if we remain distracted and never create space for the spirit to move in our lives. 


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series: Rachab 

title: capacity

date: August 27, 2017

scriptures: Psalm 18:36, 2 Samuel 22:34, Genesis 37-50, Genesis 37:3, 1 Peter 5:10, Ecclesiastes 2:14

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You gave a wide place for my steps under me,

and my feet did not slip.

-Psalm 18:36

Have you ever had something that you had to do, and you were TOTALLY overwhelmed at the thought of doing it? You had no clue how on earth it would even be possible?

But then, as the years go by, the same things that were once daunting, now seem easy

Has it actually gotten easier? Or have you just gotten better?

Psalm 18 starts by saying:

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer…

Because the truth is, that when it feels like the whole world falls apart… or in David’s case (the writer of Psalm 18), LIKE THE WHOLE WORLD IS AGAINST YOU… God has this way of delivering us from whatever it is we are going through… and often times, the things that we think are going to destroy us, end up being the very things that propel us into something EVEN GREATER. 

and then when we get there, we realize, “wow… I wouldn't know what to do with myself, IF I JUST STARTED HERE… but because I struggled through this, and that, and this and that… and I failed and succeeded and then failed again…  Now I actually have a good idea about the best way to respond to this! 

David had to learn to take refuge in the Lord before he could know how to lead a nation. 

but the thing that I love about this short section of Psalm 18 (and 2 Samuel 22) - is that it says that God gave David a WIDE PLACE for his steps under him. This just jumped out at me this week. 

What that word in the Hebrew is, is the word rachab - and this is what it means… “to GROW WIDE” or “to ENLARGE.” 

So it is not a foundation that right off of the bat was wide.

It expanded over time… and when you read the Bible, you clearly see that as David was facing giant after giant in his life, the level ground that God was preparing for him to walk on as he faced the things he faced was expanding wider and wider, THE MORE THAT HE WENT THROUGH. So by the time that he was running and hiding FROM the King, and had armies after Him, his trust in God had been SO EXPANDED, that the bible says “his feet were firm.” “He did not slip” 

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#3 Since the Storm

series: a case for bad choices

title: since the storm

teacher: Jacob Bender

date: October 2, 2016

scriptures: 1 Peter 5:10, Esther (whole story), Esther 3:5-6, James 1:2-4, John 13.

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#2 Caught by Grace

series: a case for bad choices

title: caught by grace

teacher: Jacob Bender

date: Septemer 25, 2016

scriptures: 1 Peter 1:5, Genesis 1:2, Deuteronomy 8:2, 1 Corinthians 13:12

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#1 A case for creating

series: a case for bad choices

title: a case for creating

date: September 18, 2016

teacher: Jacob Bender

scriptures: 1 Peter 5:10, Psalm 37:23, Genesis 1:2, John 16:20-22.

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is not this the fast I choose?

title: Is not this the fast I choose?

teacher: Jacob Bender

date: September 11, 2016

scriptures: Isaiah 58:1-12, Hebrew 4:15-16, Matthew 25, Jeremiah 29, 

This message was given on the 15 year anniversary of September 11.

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#1 Beginning with Grace

Series: The Narrative of Grace
Title: Beginning with Grace
Date: November 15, 2015
Teacher: Jacob Bender

scriptures: Matthew 1:1-17, Genesis 12, Genesis 38, Joshua 2, Hosea 6:6, 1 John 3:18

Do you ever find yourself keeping score of failures? Or do you tend to assign a guilt you have to some current life circumstance?

I am alone because __________

I can’t go home because __________

I’ll never do that because __________

I don’t deserve grace because __________

But what if I were to tell you that the because doesn’t matter?

In fact, the only BECAUSE that does matter is That Jesus loves you BECAUSE you are his child. I try to tell my daughters that, as often as I can… Milly I love you…

“I know” she’ll say.

And I don’t do this every time, but sometimes, when I am at the top of my parenting game,  I will ask her “Do you know why I love you?


Because you are my daughter. You are my daughter…

I love her because she is my child.

Well you are children of God. And nothing can change that. The bible says that nothing separates us from the love of God. Not death nor life..

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39 NIV)

The because does not matter. Because nothing can not separate us from the love of God any more than anything else.

You think you are jacked up? That God can’t use you anymore?

Look no further than the first of names on the list we read at the beginning… the names of those in JESUS’ family line…

Mathew one… The lineage… A genealogy was something that told people who you were… There was a sense of pride in where you came from, and the fact that God chose this particular family to be the one to birth Jesus into has great significance.

These people weren’t just jacked up like sometimes I think I am jacked up. These people were JACKED UP.

We invite you to join us as we explore this jacked up family for the six weeks leading up to Christmas. 

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