Sermon | Hope in Fearful Times (Matthew 10:26-33)

“God was greater than the disciples’ fears. And today, God is still greater than our fears. Through the world feels more hostile to us by the day, God is greater. Though we feel spiritually homeless in our own homeland, God is greater.”

Every day, we feel like we’re increasingly strangers in the world. Most of all, we feel fear. But in Matthew 10:26-33, Jesus has an important message for us: God is greater than our fear.

Delivered by Nathaniel at Cedar Rock First Baptist Church on July 24, 2016.

4 Ways to Pray for Baton Rouge

Last Sunday, we awoke to yet another tragedy. Three law enforcement officers were killed and three more injured in Baton Rouge, mere weeks after the death of Alton Sterling.

As I saw the horrific news develop, I wanted to know how I could pray for this city reeling in pain and division. So I reached out to Katie Harris, a friend who serves in Baton Rouge with AmeriCorps. Since she lives and ministers within the city, I knew she’d be able to help me know how to pray.

She offered four ways I can pray for the city. I hope that these help you pray as well.

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Sermon | Jesus’ Missions Drivers Ed. (Matthew 10:5-25)

“You don’t become a follower of God by where you live, or who your parents are, or how religious you think you are. You become a follower of God by accepting and believing the gospel message.”

In Matthew 10:5-25, Jesus gives his disciples tips for their upcoming mission — and tips for the future. We dig into the text to see what Jesus is teaching us about our mission.

Delivered by Pastor Nathaniel at Cedar Rock First Baptist Church on July 17, 2016.

A Savior Greater Than Our Divisions

They were unlikely friends.

One man had betrayed his family and culture to work for the corrupt, overbearing government they despised. His old friends now counted him among the thieves and murderers. They even refused to worship with him.

His associate was part of an anti-government movement. This occasionally militant group aspired to wage war against the government and return to the glory days when their culture and religion ruled.

These men had little in common, and they should have been enemies. But they decided to lay aside their past and their politics to work together for the common good.

This story sounds naïve and unrealistic. In today’s divisive world, everything is divided into camps of red and blue, black and white. We can’t even imagine a scenario in which two people this different could find a way to work together.

But this is no made up story. This is the true story of Matthew the tax collector and Simon the zealot, two of Jesus’ twelve disciples. Continue reading

Fools-Golden Rules: The Golden Rule’s Cheap Substitutes

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)

We all know the golden rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It’s practically hard-wired into our brains.

Yet even though we know the golden rule so well, we often have a harder time putting it into practice. Too often, we prefer one of the golden rule’s cheap substitutes, such as… Continue reading