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Sermon Review: The King Without A Coin

Sermon Review: The King Without A Coin

The religious leaders attempt to trap Jesus by exposing his political allegiance, alienating him either from the Romans or the Jewish people.

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January 5 - A Gathering For Quitters

Image At some point in 2014, life will get hard and you'll want to quit. Or self-medicate. Or take it out on someone else.

As we continue our journey through Luke's story about the life of Jesus, we walk in on Jesus talking to us about hard days and what to do when we want to throw in the towel. It's part of our Prayer 2014 series in January that helps us start off a new year with a renewed focus on prayer as we live our lives, help start new churches, and pursue justice for orphans, the unborn and victims of racism and classism.

I hope to see you tomorrow. Here's how you can get ready:

  • Take a look at the worship guideJanuary 5 Worship Guide
  • Read Luke 18:1-8 and ask God to help you listen to Him and do what He says.
  • Invite someone who needs to get 2014 off to a great start.
  • Ask God to fill the room and to convince us that he loves us.

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Peace and Poverty

This year during Advent, we're looking back into the Old Testament to discover why Jesus came to earth and how that matters to us 2,000 years after he shows up on the scene. In the prophecy of Amos, God brings a lawsuit against his people for treason. Their formal worship has exposed a heart divided between devotion to God and devotion to money. One obvious casualty in this tug-of-war are the poor and needy around them whose needs are ignored.

My contention is that we are very much like these people - our desire for safety, security, comfort and convenience shows up in the way we use our money at the expense of those in need around us.

Here are the questions we created for groups to walk through and talk about - based on the sermon but not entirely dependent upon the sermon. If you're not in a group, feel free to use these but I can't stress enough how critical it is for you to plug into the life of a group of people. For more information about our community groups, contact us at info@missionathens.com.

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Hope For Whores

This year during Advent, we're looking back into the Old Testament to discover why Jesus came to earth and how that matters to us 2,000 years after he shows up on the scene. So we'll be learning the bizarre love story of Hosea - a holy man - and Gomer - a whore. And in their story I believe that we'll hear our story. We are the kind of people whose allegiances and affections are divided. We are spiritual whores.

Strangely enough, I believe that this is a story filled with hope. Because Jesus shows up as a greater and better Hosea who loves us with grace and truth.

Here are the questions we created for groups to walk through and talk about - based on the sermon but not entirely dependent upon the sermon. If you're not in a group, feel free to use these but I can't stress enough how critical it is for you to plug into the life of a group of people. For more information about our community groups, contact us at info@missionathens.com.

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Who's In Charge Around Here?

Today's message comes from Luke 2:1-7, the first part of what is commonly known as the Christmas story. I broke up the story into two parts because there's a specific contrast here between the great king, Caesar Augustus, and the one true king, Jesus, who ends this scene as a helpless baby sleeping in a feeding trough. Which one of these kings will you trust? Will you trust in Jesus, even in those moments when he doesn't seem to be in control? Or will you trust in some other king - another person or even yourself?

Here are the questions we created for groups to walk through and talk about - based on the sermon but not entirely dependent upon the sermon. If you're not in a group, feel free to use these but I can't stress enough how critical it is for you to plug into the life of a group of people. For more information about our community groups, contact us at info@missionathens.com.

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Time for Men To Grow Up

Towards the end of today's message, I'm going to take some time to talk to our men about the culture of spiritual adolescence that pervades life in the American South. We have the opportunity to see our families and city transformed by grace - and the Scriptures call men to take the lead in working towards that end. I'd love for you to join me in asking God to give the men in our church everything they need to live and lead this way Here are the questions we created for groups to walk through and talk about - based on the sermon but not entirely dependent upon the sermon. If you're not in a group, feel free to use these but I can't stress enough how critical it is for you to plug into the life of a group of people. For more information about our community groups, contact us at info@missionathens.com.

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For People Who Use Religion To Hide Their Doubts

Today's message from Luke 1:57-66 has been crafted with so many people in mind - particularly those of us who struggle to have faith and sometimes hide behind religion to keep our doubts and fears hidden from plain sight. Here are the questions we created for groups to walk through and talk about - based on the sermon but not entirely dependent upon the sermon. If you're not in a group, feel free to use these but I can't stress enough how critical it is for you to plug into the life of a group of people. For more information about our community groups, contact us at info@missionathens.com.

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Middle School Girls, Real Men, Gambling and Tithing

Big words from a middle school girl. The problem with tithing. Real men sing. The easiest gamble you'll ever make. All of that from Luke 1:46-56. Here are the questions from the message that we wrote up for our community groups to discuss. They're also a great way for you to prepare for today's gathering at 5:00.

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The Family - Why We're Studying the Gospel of Luke

This next Sunday, we begin a teaching series called The Family that will take us through the life of Jesus as told by a first-century doctor named Luke. To help us prepare, we'll take this week to address some background questions about this story. Today's question - out of everything we could talk about in the Bible, why are we getting into Luke's story?

I plan our teaching about a year in advance and try to get a good balance of different biblical genres and topics so that over a 4-5 year period we're hitting parts of the entire Bible.

So when I sat down last December and started to map out 2010, I knew it had been awhile since we had studied any of the gospels [NOTE: in this instance, 'gospels' refers to the New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - each of which tells the story of the life of Jesus from a slightly different missiological angle and taken together gives us a robust picture of Jesus during his time on earth]. And when we had studied Mark's gospel, it was during a summer when many of our students were gone and we sprinted through it, covering an entire chapter each week.

So I felt like this would be a great time to dive back into the heart of the biblical story - I mean, everything in the Old Testament points to these events and everything else in the New Testament points back to this story. So this is the jelly in the doughnut, so to speak.

Now what drew me to Luke is that because it's the story of a homeless Jewish man written to a wealthy Gentile, it has some far-reaching possibilities in a church context that is increasingly multi-cultural. It speaks directly to the habits and worldview of religious insiders and outsiders. It says something to people living in the suburbs, to students on the UGA campus, and to a diverse community in downtown Athens that is unified in its disinterest in American Southern Suburban Christianity.

My hunch, even before I really begin to pick the story apart and get to the heart of the thing, was that this would be pretty volatile. If you let the story come into contact with real life, there are going to be tears - sometimes tears of comfort and at times tears of conviction. The Jesus we find in Luke's story is impossible to ignore.

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