Message: “Hopeful Lives In A Hard World” from Chris Dillon

A message from the series “Lament.” As we close out our series on lament, we look at the words of Jeremiah who understood lament better than most. The context for Lamentations 3 is utter devastation. The Babylonians have sacked Jerusalem, people are dying, others are being enslaved, houses destroyed and the temple burned. It’s in the most hopeless of situations that Jeremiah pens some of the most hopeful words in Scripture. In this, he teaches us that for those who belong to God: mercy is our floor, waiting is our weapon and victory is our destination. For a follower of Jesus, no matter how bad things are in the present, our story isn’t over yet! The gospel of Jesus is irrefutable proof that the agony of Friday and the darkness of Saturday…leads to the resurrection of Sunday!

Read More

Message: “Trust Changes Everything” from Chris Dillon

A message from the series “Lament.” Where do you tend to turn when things go sideways in your life? Most of us turn to self, others or self-help resources before we even consider turning to God. But what if that’s one of our primary problems in life? Psalm 46 teaches us that where we place our trust makes all the difference. We learn to reject the fear of men, seek the presence of God and remember the power of God in our times of trouble. So many people are living lives shackled by fear. Fear of covid, fear of dying, fear of economic trouble, fear of political leaders, fear for their health, fear, fear, fear! But what if trust in God is the remedy for fear? What if He offers us life beyond the wall of fear? In John, Jesus said; let not your hearts be troubled, believe (or trust) in God, believe (trust) also in me! Friend, place the full weight of your trust in God, and begin to walk in the freedom He purchased for you through His perfect life, death and resurrection!

Read More

Message: “Peeking Back & Charging Forward” from Chris Dillon

A message from the series “Celebration Sunday.” Has the last year been strange or what? Some days, it feels like our world is spinning out of control, but it’s precisely when we feel this loss of stability that we need to be reminded that God is fully in control. Not only is He in complete control, His mission is advancing all over the world! In Jeremiah 29, God’s people must have felt defeated as they were taken into exile by the evil Baylonian Empire. And yet, God gave them an incredible blueprint to continue pushing His mission forward during that challenging season. Similarly, the Apostle Paul, writing the church from prison, encourages believers to press on in the mission of Jesus even in difficult circumstances. Friend, let’s not wish away this season of life. God has purpose for us right here in the present. 2021 could be one of the best years yet in pushing the Kingdom of Jesus forward in Asheville and around the world. The only question left is: what’s your part to play in what He’s doing?

Read More

Message: “God…Help!” from Chris Dillon

A message from the series “Lament.” This week, we move into the 3rd element of a lament: asking God for help. A lot of us aren’t very good at asking for help, and even when we do, oftentimes we go to the wrong sources seeking it. King David teaches us how to ask for help throughout the psalms, but we’ll drill down into Psalm 22 this week. Here are some truths we can glean from this particular psalm: where you go with your pain, defines who you are. Remembering the past performance of God inspires future hope no matter how bad things seem in the moment. David also teaches us to pray ferociously bold prayers. Finally, having done all of this, we can park our hearts in praise as we trust God for the outcome knowing that deliverance belongs to the God who sees us, cares and loves us deeply.

Read More

Message: “When It All Falls Apart” from Chris Dillon

A message from the series “Lament.” As we continue diving deeper into the lost art of lament, we turn our attention to the element of lament that many find most uncomfortable. Pouring out our complaints to God. No other world religion or worldview offers this level of raw & real engagement with a God who actually welcomes it. Psalm 88 has been called the darkest psalm in the bible. It’s painfully raw, real and dark. And yet, it teaches us so much about the beauty of lament. Things like: silence is a soul killer–so put words to your pain and express them to God. Truths like: dark times platform God’s greatness in us. We must always remember to bring our complaints to God humbly, honestly and repeatedly. God welcomes our hurt, pain, confusion, and paradoxically, this becomes the pathway to healing the deep wounds in our souls. God is the great healer and redeemer–perhaps it’s time we stop burying our pain and pretending it doesn’t hurt and bring it to the One who can redeem & restore.

Read More

Message: “A Song From The Depths” from Chris Dillon

A message from the series “Lament.” Lament is a prayer in pain that leads to hope and trust. It’s the song that the people of God sing between pain and promise. And modern-day Christians need to re-learn this historical practice like fish need water! In some sense, biblical lament must begin with self-examination. So much of the turmoil and pain in our lives, tends to be self-inflicted shrapnel wounds from our own sin. So how do we get right with God? And why does it matter? In Psalm 130, the psalmist teaches us to turn to God first (not last) when life seems suffocating. He is the source of our help, but far too often we use Him as a “break in case of emergency” last resort. The psalmist also teaches us the importance of acknowledging the problem of our own sin. This is a key component of lament. When we confess our sin, God cleanses, frees, and forgives us. We can breathe again! This rhythm of confession and forgiveness leads us to the art of slowing down, and waiting on the Lord during seasons of suffering. Whether you’re experiencing darkness and suffering due to your own rebellion, or simply due to the brokenness of our world, turn to God to find the freedom and redemption your heart aches for!

Read More

Message: “Lament: A Forgotten Prayer” from Chris Dillon

A message from the series “Lament.” For thousands of years, God’s people have had a unique method of handling the storms, pain and disappointment of life in a broken world. Saints in the Old Testament practiced it, followers of Christ in the New Testament modeled it, and Jesus Himself embraced this practice in His most pain-filled moments. But over the last century or so, the Western church has seemingly lost this practice, and we are poorer for it. We are weaker, not stronger. This lost practice is called lament. In fact, over a third (40%) of the Psalms are psalms of lament. Entire books, like Lamentations and Job are books of lament. So what is lament? Lament is the space between pain and promise. It’s the prayer of tears that leads to hope and praise. Lament is learning to press into God in the pain instead of running away from Him. The most amazing thing? He welcomes our laments. Through them, we find a God who is ever-present, all-powerful, compassionate and willing to walk the dark valleys of life with us. We will discover that a lament is typically a 4 part prayer of faith. Each part honestly building toward a crescendo of trust in God. And this week, we’ll start by looking at the prototypical lament psalm, Psalm 13. If you’re suffering, God offers you the light of hope!

Read More

Message: “The Resurrection and Life” from Chris Dillon

A message from the series “I AM.” As we step into a brand new year after what has been a pretty difficult year in 2020, we need to be reminded of who Jesus says He is! In John 11, we get a glimpse into one of the most incredible miracles Jesus performed, as well as one of the most audacious claims He ever made. Jesus shows up at a funeral of a friend and says I am the resurrection and life. He then raises a dead man to life to authenticate His bold claim. At the end of the day, God’s plan for your life is better than yours. He doesn’t operate on our timing. And when all seems lost, Jesus is oftentimes just getting started. If Jesus has conquered death, the great and final enemy, what then should His children fear in life? Death is dead, Jesus is alive and we are free!

Read More