SCRIPTURE: Daniel 3:13–15, 24–29
SCRIPTURE: Ezekiel 16
SCRIPTURE: Malachi 3:6–12
SCRIPTURE: Jeremiah 31:27–34
SCRIPTURE: Habakkuk 2:1–4
SCRIPTURE: Jeremiah 2:1–13
SCRIPTURE: Exodus 33
SCRIPTURE: Exodus 18:1–19:6
SCRIPTURE: Exodus 14:10–31
SCRIPTURE: Exodus 12:1–17
SCRIPTURE: Exodus 5:1–6:5
SCRIPTURE: Exodus 3:1–14
SCRIPTURE: Exodus 1:8–22
SCRIPTURE: John 20:24–31
SCRIPTURE: Luke 7:11–17
SCRIPTURE: 1 Peter 5:10
SCRIPTURE: Luke 9:1–6
SCRIPTURE: Luke 10:25-37
SCRIPTURE: John 8:2-11
SCRIPTURE: Ruth 1
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 11:28-30
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 50
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 15
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 4
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 3
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 2
SCRIPTURE: Luke 2:21–40
Experience the miracle again. Through music and message, the wonder of God’s incredible love in the baby Jesus shines on that Holy Night.
In the Christmas season, it is so easy to get wrapped up in the first great miracle of Jesus: the Incarnation, God taking on flesh and becoming human. But followers of Jesus can’t unwrap the Incarnation without remembering that what is coming is the next great movement of God: the Crucifixion and Resurrection.
SCRIPTURE: John 19:38–42
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 26:57–68
SCRIPTURE: John 18:33–40
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 2:1–12
On October 31, 1517, a young monk and professor posted a list of interesting discussion topics to the local social media of his day, the door of the church. Today, we recognize Martin Luther’s “95 Theses” as a hinge on which all of history turned. What really happened 500 years ago? Why does it matter? Is the Reformation still going on now?
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 16:13–20
SCRIPTURE: 2 Timothy 3:16–17
SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 2:8–9
SCRIPTURE: Romans 1:16–17
Because I believe in the Resurrection of the body and the life everlasting…I will not give up.
SCRIPTURE: John 10:27–28
Because I believe in the forgiveness of sins…I will not carry grudges.
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 18:21–35
Because I believe in the holy catholic Church and the communion of saints…I will not walk alone.
SCRIPTURE: Luke 10:27–28
Because I believe in the Holy Spirit…I will partner with God each day.
SCRIPTURE: John 14:12–21
Because I believe from then, He shall come to judge the quick and the dead…I will be ready to make every moment count.
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 25:31–46
Because I believe that on the third day, He rose again, ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father…I will trust that God is in control.
SCRIPTURE: Hebrews 1:1–3, 12:1–3; Romans 8:18–39
Because I believe He descended into Hell…I will go the distance for others.
Because I believe He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried…I will live for more.
SCRIPTURE: Mark 10:35–45
Because I believe He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary…I will be available.
SCRIPTURE: Luke 1:26–38
Because I believe in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord…I will give priority and loyalty to Jesus.
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 8:5–13
Because I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth…I will cherish life as a gift.
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 104:24–35
SCRIPTURE: Numbers 22:21–35
SCRIPTURE: 2 Kings 20:1–6
SCRIPTURE: 1 Samuel 23:24–29
SCRIPTURE: 2 Kings 22:3–13
SCRIPTURE: Acts 16:6–10
SCRIPTURE: Romans 8:28; Genesis 45:4–5, 7–8
SCRIPTURE: Acts 10:34–35
SCRIPTURE: Mark 5:21–43
SCRIPTURE: Luke 24:13–32
SCRIPTURE: Acts 15:36–41
SCRIPTURE: Amos 8:11–12
SCRIPTURE: Deuteronomy 6:1–12
SCRIPTURE: 1 Samuel 3:1–11
SCRIPTURE: 1 Kings 19:8–13
SCRIPTURE: Philippians 3:4–14
SCRIPTURE: Mark 16:1–8
SCRIPTURE: Luke 19:28–40
SCRIPTURE: Jonah 4
SCRIPTURE: Jonah 3
SCRIPTURE: Jonah 2
SCRIPTURE: Jonah 1:4–17
SCRIPTURE: Jonah 1:1–3
SCRIPTURE: John 21:9–19
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 15:21–28
SCRIPTURE: Luke 19:1–10
SCRIPTURE: 2 Samuel 12:1–14
SCRIPTURE: Mark 2:1–12
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 14:6–21
Central to the Christian message is the idea that a new world is arriving among the present one. That God's kingdom has arrived, is arriving, and will arrive. Part of the Christian life, then, is learning how to live as God's new version of ourselves as God is renewing creation all around us. Today, we'll engage in a conversation about how we do that in day and age.
SCRIPTURE: Philippians 2:12–16
When we identify the end goal of the trajectory we hope to achieve, we need a role model. Becoming like Jesus means we need Him to transform us.
SCRIPTURE: 2 Corinthians 3:17–18
Starting a new year often calls us to turn the page, not only on the calendar, but in life. The trajectory we seek for life demands particular tools for our success.
SCRIPTURE: 2 Timothy 1:3–7
The wait is over, Christmas Day is finally here! The gospel of Luke describes the celebration of those that had long waited for the king. As we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, we also are expectant, looking forward to all that he will do in our lives in the year ahead.
Holiday traffic, shopping lists that grow ever longer (and change!), crowded malls, seasonal parties where we eat all the wrong things…and we wonder why we are sometimes in a foul mood at this, “the most wonderful time of the year.” All the more reason to appreciate the fact that Jesus is the Prince of Peace.
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 9:1-7; John 14:25-31
Another of the Bible's stunning declarations about Jesus is that He is “Everlasting Father.” This is not a statement about Jesus’ gender so much as it is about his approachability. Jesus is not just a precept, an idea, or a spirit-being. Jesus has a unique capacity for intimacy as in the way that only a parent can have with a child.
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 9:1-7; John 14:8-14
One of the Bible's great claims about Jesus is that he is “Mighty God.” The implications of this in everyday life are profound for those who dare to put their faith in him. For those who do, there is no longer any such thing as “ordinary.” Every aspect and incident of life is charged with deeper meaning.
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 9:1-7; Colossians 1:15-20
As the Wonderful Counselor, Jesus is one who knows all things, including us, deeply and totally. Though he knows our worst, he entrusts himself to us, bringing us grace and forgiveness and bringing us fully into his presence. And Jesus, more than any earthly advisor, can give us perfect guidance and counsel.
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 9:1-7; John 2:23-25
A provocative element of Jesus’ parables is that they simultaneously point to the present and to the future. An important attribute of a growing, faithful Christian life is the ability to see the present and the future mingled together and to be reminded that our future is being rendered by what we participate in today.
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 25:1–13
We live in a world filled with great injustice leaving us wondering how we should respond. In the parable of the Good Samaritan Jesus offers us a way forward that demonstrates how to respond by loving and serving our neighbor.
SCRIPTURE: Luke 10:25–37
We live in a world that cries out for “more, more, more;” yet Jesus calls us less to accumlate for the sake of having more things, and more to invest in his Kingdom. What does this counter-cultural life look like today?
SCRIPTURE: Luke 12:13–21; Matthew 25:14–30
Our experience with others is dictated by “social maps” with relatively clearly defined roles and expectations, rewards, and punishments. Jesus’ parable of the Pharisee and the Tax-Collector frustrates the social map of Jesus’ own day and suggests that we should examine the way we see our world as well.
SCRIPTURE: Luke 18:9–14
In our world that is shaped by competition and earning, Jesus’ parables of grace seem to be upside down, bizarre, and other-worldly. While the grace of God may be celebrated by those who are vulnerable without it, the grace of God frustrates those who suggest that they can make it all on their own.
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 20:1–16
“Lost” is a reality that confuses men, confounds women, and can strike fear into the hearts of the bold if they realize they are lost. “Lost” is also a condition that Jesus used to describe people who were estranged from God. The curious thing about being lost is that more often than not, it takes someone else to find you. Someone like God, maybe.
SCRIPTURE: Luke 15:1–32
In preparation for his masterpiece, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey researched the success literature of the United States. What he found was that for the first 150 years, the material was based on character—who you were. The next 50 years, it was based on personality—how you acted. There is a significant difference between genuine faith—the kind the Apostle Paul describes in Romans—and the faith that we try to act out.
SCRIPTURE: Romans 12:9–18
In the parables, Jesus often speaks of the Kingdom of heaven, giving examples from daily life. In many cases, we can see the Kingdom growing in our world. In other cases it is harder to detect, seemingly hidden by noise and strife. On this World Communion Sunday, we will join with believers around the world to celebrate the Kingdom in our midst.
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 13:31–34
Life is filled with weeds that choke and tangle our lives and with weedy people trying to entrap us and keep us from living into the fullness of God’s plan for our lives. Jesus teaches how we should respond to these weeds, and how we can ultimately use them for the betterment of his Kingdom.
Jesus tells a story in which he depicts God as a farmer who throws seeds. The seeds fall among the rocks, in the weeds, and on the hard-packed paths. Their location determines if they grow and flourish, or wither and fade. Has your seed fallen on the rock, with no way of taking root? Has it fallen among the weeds, only to be entangled by the toils of the world? Or has your seed fallen on the good soil, where it can flourish and bear fruit?
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 13:1-32
Jesus is part Savior and part ophthalmologist. He wants us to see things as they really are, not the version that is distorted by sin and blurred by the world which come to us naturally. Through parables, Jesus opens our eyes to the true story of our lives, and offers a new perspective into his Kingdom.
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 13:10-17
It was late in the season when Paul was put on a ship to stand trial before the Emperor. He knew it could get bad. Sometimes, we can see storms looming, and can't do anything to stop it. Yet even when all hope seems lost, God promises us that we will be safe.
SCRIPTURE: Acts 27:13-26
At first, Jesus doesn’t stop the storm. The disciples are out of their minds, thinking they might die, and want Jesus to rescue them. Instead, Jesus asks about their faith. Some things can only be learned in a storm. Discipleship is mostly on-the-job training. What storms are blowing in your life?
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 8:23-27
One of Jesus' most famous stories concerns the optimist who opts for beachfront property and the pessimist who picks the rock-filled lot. It's been said that things don't always work out the way you plan them. The truth is that they never do. In life, there's a 100% chance of rain. How are you planning for the storms to come?
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 7:24-27
The story of Elijah tells us how kings and kingdoms chase after temporary security and pleasure. Living in such a world can be discouraging. But God is more powerful, and wants more for us than just our comfort and wellbeing. After revealing His presence in the storm, God recommissions Elijah to minister to the world in which he lived.
SCRIPTURE: 1 Kings 19:11-13
Sometimes life can feel stormy. The account of Jonah is one of the Bible’s most interesting storm stories, when the rebellious prophet is thrown overboard during a storm and swallowed by a great fish in whose belly he lives for three days. When storms break around us there’s a lot to learn.
SCRIPTURE: Jonah 1
As his life and ministry builds to the boiling point, Jesus feels enormous pressure and stress. So how does he respond? He goes to the garden and prays. Meanwhile, his disciples watch and wait with him. In the most heated moments of life, prayer is the practice Jesus most wants to teach us as his followers.
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 26:26–46
Interesting things can happen at supper; engagements to marriage, business deals, professions of love, and even life-shattering betrayals. At supper one night, even in the face of betrayal, Jesus was glorified.
SCRIPTURE: John 13:21-31
Sometimes, when the night seems the darkest, all you can do is sing. Silly songs, serious songs, songs that give hope. And sometimes, in the midst of those songs, something amazing breaks through, and in the midst of it is God!
SCRIPTURE: Acts 16:25-34
In the morning, we're ready to take on the world. But it's at night, in our fatigue, that we take heed of our doubts and fears. Believing seems to take more than we have to give. It's at night when Gideon tests God's faithfulness, even as he pleads for mercy. Is God really present or are we getting fleeced?
SCRIPTURE: Judges 6:36-46
He wanted to believe. After he'd put Daniel and the others in with the lions for the night, the king couldn't sleep. He was anguished. He'd laid down the gauntlet, and he had to know the answer. Was Daniel right after all? Would Daniel's God come through?
SCRIPTURE: Daniel 6:16-28
Sometimes our relationship with God can feel like a wrestling match. We sense God's presence, but resist. We ask for God's favor, and when he doesn't respond, we keep on asking. The story of Jacob encourages us to keep on wrestling, even when it hurts.
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 32:22-32
Jesus said, "Don’t be afraid; just believe." Some of the most popular editions of today’s Bibles have red letters for the words of Jesus. These red letters beg a question: Who is this Jesus? When we look at the red letter Jesus, we’re forced to decide, will we let his words change our life?
SCRIPTURE: Mark 5:36
Jesus said, "Come, follow me, and I will send you out to fish for people." Who is this Jesus? When we look at this words, we’re forced to decide, will we let his words change our life?
SCRIPTURE: Mark 1:15-20
Jesus said, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." Who is this Jesus? When we look at his words, we’re forced to decide, will we let him change our life?
SCRIPTURE: John 10:10
Jesus said, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it." The words of Jesus beg a question: Who is this Jesus? When we look at Jesus, we’re forced to decide, will we let his words change our life?
SCRIPTURE: Luke 9:23-25
As believers, we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. Life in the clouds gives us the strength to throw off the sin that so easily entangles us. As we fix our eyes on Jesus, we can run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
SCRIPTURE: Hebrews 12:1-2
Some of the most popular editions of today’s Bibles have red letters for the words of Jesus. These red letters beg a question: Who is this Jesus? When we look at the red letter Jesus, we’re forced to decide, will we let his words change our life? Jesus said, "But what about you? Who do you say I am?"
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 16:13-18
On the cross, Jesus remembered his mother. Seeing his dear friend, he said, “Take care of her, John. Behold your mother.” Jesus expresses his inexpressible love for his mother in a simple act of remembering. Moms want to be remembered. Vic Pentz completes his ministry at Peachtree by remembering our church’s founding mother, a bereaved mom, Ida Honour, along with his own mother, Frances, who shaped his life and faith.
SCRIPTURE: Exodus 20:12
Sometime around 2100 BC, the God of the Universe appeared to a man living in the city of Ur and said, “I want you to trust me. Pull up stakes. Leave where you are, and go to the land I will show you.” Without even asking where this land was, Abraham went, without maps. Ever since, when God wants us to show faith, he points us to a road, and as we go, we move from certainty to trust and from security to vulnerability. What a journey of joy it is.
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 12
Most of us have such a puny view of heaven, we'd rather spend a wet weekend in Waynesboro. Pearly gates, jeweled crowns, and roads paved with 24-karat gold? Heaven seems so boring, our great literary minds have done a better job depicting the other place. Somehow we have allowed Satan to rob us of what God intends to be the sizzle and salsa of the Christian life--our view of heaven.
SCRIPTURE: 2 Corinthains 4:16 - 5:10
The self-helps tell us we're special and destined for greatness. But what if greatness isn't measured by our possessions and status, but by the size of God's kingdom in our wake? God's rule isn't just for our benefit, but a power that endures for all generations. The best life worth celebrating is the one in which the next generation speaks the power of God's awesome deeds.
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 145
The fleetingness of time explains much of our puzzling behavior. We dash for the express lines and say, “Hurry up, I haven’t got all day.” The sand is draining through our hourglass! We want to stop time. Why? Psalm 90 says it’s because our earthly lives are like the grass of the field, like lawn cuttings in the sun on a hot afternoon. Therefore, says God, “Be wise. Number your days. Seize the moment!”
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 90
Most people picture their life like a bell curve. You go up, up, up until you peak, then down you go until you die. Our world's dream is to be young forever. But in the Bible, the view of life is a gradual ascent all the way into eternity. God is filling you with more and more wisdom until at last you may discover the true meaning of life is not competing and accomplishing but knowing and enjoying God’s presence.
SCRIPTURE: Ecclesiastes 12: 1-8, 13
As soon as Jesus rises from the dead he starts doling out presents - the best of which is faith. Only by meeting Jesus personally do you get faith, and then a sackful of additional presents - peace, purpose, joy, hope and more.
SCRIPTURE: John 20:1-8
Accusation is in the middle of all that is broken in our world. From political arguments to fractures within the family, we all feel its sting. Accusation inspired Adam and Eve’s deviation from God’s plan in Genesis 3 and accusation sent Jesus to the cross. What we see in Jesus’ act on the cross, however, is God’s unwinding of accusation with a stunning display of affirmation. Following Jesus is a “yes” to life, not a “no.”
SCRIPTURE: John 12:12-19
Recent research shows that two weeks of not using your legs can cause a loss of more than 30% in muscular strength. Inactivity leads to a rapid decline in flexibility, strength and fitness. What is true for our physical body is true for our spirit. Here is a great way to get spiritually stronger.
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 25:14-30
Athletes stretch their bodies to the limit in order to keep themselves lean and fit. The Apostle Paul asks, Why can’t you Christians be more like an athlete—focused, dedicated, and willing to suffer for the cause?
SCRIPTURE: Luke 5:17-26
We all know the physical benefits of a good workout, but knowledge alone is often a poor motivator. Staying on track with our fitness, requires meaningful goals. Likewise our faith requires us to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me and press on toward the finish.
SCRIPTURE: Philippians 3:7-14
Worship is literally the breath in our lungs. Because of Jesus we have the privilege to experience God’s presence in worship. Such worship is like being connected to a machine that fills us with pure, life-giving oxygen.
SCRIPTURE: Hebrews 10:19-25
Solo Christian is an oxymoron. In the body of Christ, our hearts beat in community. But Paul wouldn’t pray and preach on unity so much if it was easy.
SCRIPTURE: Acts 2:42-47
For a time, Cain was the only child on the face of the earth. Life was good - until he had to share with his brother Abel. We're all descendants of Cain. Envy and anger is part of our daily struggle. How do we tame this tiger?
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 4:1-16
We're made for connection, and one way God gave us for being connected is through sex. But the fallen world twists God's gift by mixing sexuality with hurt and insecurity. The good news is that Christ can restore us to the purity of Eden.
It's been said that sin is the only empirically verifiable Christian doctrine. It's the thing in us that leads us do the thing we don't want to do. Sin isn't rule breaking as much as a form of disordered love. It's the same old story - but there's more to the story.
The seven-day work week has become a familiar part of contemporary life. But in Creation, God models a different sort of work week, in which the seventh day is for rest. What if a space for grace allowed us to be both more balanced and more productive at the same time?
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 2:2-3
Today there is remarkable consensus among scientists that human action is determining the quality of future life on the planet, and it isn't pretty. Some blame the Bible for this mess, but the Bible tells the story of a God who created from nothing. This truth — that God made ex nihilo — has huge implications for how we should live.
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 1
Authors like to reveal as little as possible at the beginning of their story in order to build the suspense. God, as the author, does the opposite. So much is revealed in the beginning of God’s story that we cannot help but want to see where the story will end.
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 1:1-5
The Magi have been slandered throughout history: “Had they been women, they would have asked direction, shown up on time, helped with the birth, and brought useful gifts, like casseroles and diapers.” In reality, these men showed up on God’s timetable, and brought gifts with meaning and purpose.
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 2:1-12
If you've ever put a baby into a 4-year-old's arms, you've seen something magical. The 4-year-old looks down with awe, reverence, and even a little fear. At Christmas, we're the 4-year-old, and God is placing the baby Jesus, the Prince of Peace, in our arms.
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 9:2-7
The final paragraphs of A Christmas Carol report that Scrooge “knew how to keep Christmas well.” Simeon kept Christmas well, too, by seeing God's promise through to the day of its fulfillment.
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 9:2–7
At Christmas, we long to transcend typical consumer trappings. The Christmas story is based on such an experience - the appearance of the angel, bringing good news of a great joy. The catch is that an angel's appearance is but a glimpse of the ultimate experience, God made flesh in a baby.
SCRIPTURE: Luke 2:8–15
Think of the keepsakes and heirlooms you treasure. How carefully do you protect them? How much more God protects us, when we belong to Him. But the fine print is that we have to be willing.
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 43:1-7
John, who called people to return to the wilderness where Israel first became a people, is the best friend you could have to start the Christmas season. Only when we understand that we're lost and hopeless on our own does the coming of a Savior make any sense at all.
SCRIPTURE: Luke 3:1-20
The most common trait of the latest National Merit scholar students? Family meals, at least three times a week. Eating is central to God's family, too. Move from tablet to table and discover God's grace.
SCRIPTURE: Acts 2:46-47
The church is familiar with responding to crises. But what about the margins of chaos and violence, where few are equipped to respond? Jesus has called us to a life of justice, mobilizing His church to the most fragile of places. What if we were to take on the greatest needs of our day?
Christian marriage isn't really traditional marriage. It's a shining ideal of lifelong fidelity by two sexually different humans in mutual surrender. We cannot define Christian marriage. It defines us.
SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 5:21-33
The feeding of the 5000 is the only miracle repeated in all four gospels. It's a story of how we can become channels of God's power. All we need to do is offer our meager resources to Jesus.
SCRIPTURE: John 6: 1-14
At the heart of life with Jesus, we freely give to others what we have graciously been given from God. In forgiveness, grace abounds and transformation ensues. How do we learn to apply the value of forgiveness in our most precious community - our family?
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 18:21-35
Have you ever felt like caving in? What's the use in such continued suffering? The prescription for discouragement isn't alcohol or shopping or vacations. It's a glimpse at God's majesty in worship.
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 40
Have you ever felt like caving in? What's the use in such continued s