Message: “The Impartial Kingdom of Jesus” from Chris Dillon

A message from the series “James.” As we jump into the second chapter of this little power-house of a book, we see James address a super practical outworking of authentic faith. He’s already addressed how followers of Jesus ought to walk through trials, bridle our tongues and care for the marginalized. He now shifts to the subject of favoritism. James unapologetically proclaims that faith and favoritism are incompatible. He then points to God’s own character for the reason why God’s people should be impartial with others. The truth of the matter is that we all tend to drift toward favoritism, partiality and prejudice. We tend to want to impress those we think can benefit us materially or socially. And yet, the gospel of Jesus breaks down the very racial, social, and economic walls that the world naturally erects. James finishes this section by reminding us of coming judgment, and the fact that we ought to give mercy to the measure that we have received mercy from Jesus. The gospel screams “mercy triumphs over judgment!” Let our lives reflect that reality!

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Message: “Trials, Crowns & the Goodness of God” from Chris Dillon

A message from the series “James.” The book of James is one of the most hard-hitting, practical and challenging books in all of Scripture. It was very likely penned by the younger half-brother of Jesus who rejected his big bro until after the resurrection. From that point forward, James became a ferocious follower of Jesus and a pillar in the Jerusalem church. He’s writing this letter to believers who have been scattered because of persecution and are suffering the immense weight of trials, pain, difficulty and temptation. He opens the letter by encouraging them to count their trials as joy, knowing that God is at work accomplishing great things in their lives through their trials. He challenges them to endure to the end, while asking God for wisdom in the storms of life, knowing that He’s a good God who wants the very best for His children.

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Message: “A King’s Prayer (Part 2)” from Chris Dillon

A message from the series “The Abiding Life.” Jesus closes this most magnificent prayer by praying for those who would follow Him in generations to come. It is stunning that almost 2,000 years ago, Jesus was praying for you and me! In this prayer, 3 things seem to be specifically on His mind. Unity, closeness and love. Unity with one another, according to Jesus, is how we authenticate the gospel message to a watching world. Closeness with Jesus is what He desires for our lives. We need relational connection with the Savior in order to thrive spiritually. Lastly, becoming agents of love in a world full of darkness and hate is crucial for those who would follow Jesus. If God is love (1 John 4:8) then His people should be the people of love.

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Message: “A King’s Prayer” from Chris Dillon

A message from the series “The Abiding Life.” As the scene in John 17 opens, Jesus is mere moments away from arrest, torture and eventual execution. Not surprisingly, we find Jesus praying in these crucial moments. This the the longest recorded prayer we have from Jesus, and thus provides a unique window into some of the most important things on His heart at this critical time in His life and ministry. In this chapter, we see Jesus pray for Himself, His disciples (the 11), and for you and me! Through His prayer, we learn how important our unity is, about the viciousness of our enemy, and that we’ve been set apart (sanctified) for a sacred mission.

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Message: “Half Past Midnight” from Joe Dillon

A message from the series “The Abiding Life.” With just hours before his arrest and crucifixion, Jesus amps up his preparation of the eleven with encouragement and direction regarding how to carry on and complete the mission in his physical absence. He understands that they will grieve Jesus’ death and the loss of their companion and Guide, but he instructs them that, as with following the pains of child-birth, there is great reward and joy. Their joy will again be complete as they understand Jesus is returning to the Father, his mission accomplished, and for them to begin asking the Father for their needs and to do so bearing the authority which comes through the name of Jesus. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus responds to our prayers and petitions out of His love for us because of our love for his Son.

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Message: “The Work Of The Spirit” from Chris Dillon

A message from the series “The Abiding Life.” As Jesus continues to teach the disciples just moments before His arrest, He makes a shocking claim. It was shocking then and it’s just as stunning today. He tells the disciples that it is better for them if He goes away. Why? Because then the Holy Spirit will come. For the Christian, the Spirit in you is better than Jesus beside you. Shocking! This is because of the powerful work of the Holy Spirit who convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. His work also includes comfort for the believer, guidance into truth, and the all important work of spotlighting Jesus. Any real movement of the Holy Spirit will always result in the exaltation of King Jesus.

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Message: “Preparing For Opposition” from Chris Dillon

A message from the series “The Abiding Life.” As Jesus and His eleven remaining disciples walk toward the garden of gethsemane where Jesus is soon to be arrested, He is teaching them some of the most crucial lessons they’ll need in the days ahead. Firstly, Jesus is preparing them to be hated by the world. They need to expect it, and embrace it as a part of following Jesus. Secondly, He’s teaching them to embrace the new super power He’s about to give them. No, He didn’t give them the super power of flight or an invisible cloak, even better! He’s giving them the very Holy Spirit of God who will empower them to be effective witnesses for King Jesus, even while being hated. Finally, He wants to prepare them to endure. The Christian life is not a sprint, it’s an ultra-marathon. Many seem to start the race strong, but are nowhere to be found at the finish line. Jesus wants His disciples to start strong and finish strong, and the only way that happens is when we commit to a life of abiding in Jesus and living empowered by the Holy Spirit.

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Message: “The Growth Code” from Chris Dillon

A message from the series “The Abiding Life.” Have you ever wanted to grow in your spiritual walk, but didn’t know where to start? I think a lot of people are in that boat. Well, in John 15 Jesus gives us the key to unlock the spiritual growth code. And it’s far simpler (and deeper) than most imagine! Jesus uses the analogy of a vine and its branches to teach us how to grow. If we abide in Him and He in us, Jesus promises us a fruitful life that will lead to real joy. Abide means to dwell in, to stand in, to stay in a place with intention. This means a personal relationship with Jesus…staying connected with Him not just sometimes, but all the time. Abiding is also fleshed out in community rather than alone, because abiding teaches us to love each other the way Jesus loves us. Finally, abiding in Jesus teaches us to pray big Kingdom prayers…to join Jesus in His mission!

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Message: “Empowered By The Spirit” from Chris Dillon

A message from the series “The Abiding Life.” It seems like most churches these days either have bad teaching or no teaching on the Holy Spirit. In fact, it could easily be argued that the Holy Spirit is the most neglected power source on planet earth. As Jesus gathers His disciples into the upper room for one last time before the cross, He spends alot of time teaching them about the Holy Spirit. He even connects keeping His commandments to the presence of the Holy Spirit. The role of the Spirit is crucial in the Christian life. The truth is, we can’t love Jesus well or follow His commands without the power of the Holy Spirit living and breathing in and through us on a daily basis. He is our advocate, comforter, truth-giver and teacher. And the good news? Every single person who places their faith in Jesus has the Holy Spirit of God indwelling them!

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