Message: “Kingdom Dating” from Chris Dillon

A message from the series “A Good Design.” Who and how to date another person is a major question in a culture seeking answers about sex and relationships. In a world of dating apps, hook-up culture, casual sex, quick divorces and disposable relationships, does the Bible provide a healthier pathway through the maze of dating and marriage? The truth of the matter is that the Bible says nothing about dating, because it’s a concept that only appears in history about a century ago. Still, there are guiding principles to navigate the dating world that will help shape who and how we date and marry. As Christians learn to abandon the world’s cheap hook-up version of dating and embrace what we’ll call kingdom dating or intentional dating, we learn key principles that will guide us into a healthy marriage. Things like: run after Jesus harder than you run after anyone else. Find someone running in the same direction. Evaluate chemistry and character. Practice purity. Date in community. And finally, pray and relax. At the end of the day, God’s got this, and He has you. As you seek His Kingdom first, He will make sure you step into the right relationship at the right time, in order to bring Him glory & give you joy.

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Message: “What Is Love?” from Chris Dillon

A message from the series “A Good Design.” What is love? There’s so much confusion about what love is in our culture. Is love a feeling? Is it merely sexual? Why do I say I love filet mignon & I love my wife? Are those the same things? Closely related to love, I’d argue is our understanding of identity. If we don’t understand who we are & why we exist—it’s really impossible to love fully or receive love in a healthy, life-giving way. And it’s downright impossible to engage in sex, relationships & marriage in a healthy way without the foundation of love & identity. The Scriptures teach us much about both love and new identity in Christ. Understanding these, will help us build a healthy framework around sex, relationships and marriage–which were all created for our good and for the glory of King Jesus.

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Message: “Last Words” from Chris Dillon

A message from the series “James.” As James wraps up this letter that’s been all about a faith that bleeds into action, he ends on an important note: prayer. Prayer appears in every single verse of this passage. The importance of prayer in the Christian life cannot be understated. Spiritual life without prayer is like a vehicle without fuel. James tells us when we should pray, how we should pray and who we should be praying for. He also tells us that confession of sin is a really important component of a living faith. Finally, he challenges us to watch each other’s backs. We all have a tendency to drift spiritually at times, to wander from the gospel in difficult seasons of life, and God’s method to bring us back to Himself is very often other Christians. Following Jesus is an active and beautiful adventure!

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Message: “In the Beginning” from Chris Dillon

A message from the series “A Good Design.” Sex, love & marriage are sacred gifts from God. In fact, God invented sex (& love & marriage)! God is very much pro-sex and not anti-sex despite what you may have been taught growing up in church. However, like all good things, we tend to (as fallen, sinful human beings) take what is good, and distort, mutilate, mangle what God designed for good and end up with some distorted version that causes more pain, loss, guilt & shame than good. To understand who we are and what our purpose is in the realms of sex, love and marriage, we must first understand where we came from and why we exist. As we look at our origin story in Genesis 1-2 (and Jesus’ commentary on those texts) we find some inescapable truths that must guide our lives as followers of Jesus. Firstly, we can’t define what we didn’t create. Secondly, we are all sexual sinners of one sort or the other. Thirdly, Jesus is the only antidote to our sexual and relational brokenness. The good news of the gospel is that there is freedom, forgiveness and redemption for all sexual sinners (that’s every single one of us) available through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus! We find our greatest freedom & flourishing as we align our lives with His design for human sexuality and relationships.

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Message: “Riches, Justice & Jesus” from Chris Dillon

A message from the series “James.” James saves some of his strongest words and harshest rebukes for the rich who oppress the poor. As James addresses wealthy, non-Christian landowners who exploit others so that they can live lavish lifestyles, believers get a front row seat to the dangers of wealth. We learn that riches are a poor functional savior. In fact, wrongly acquired and sinfully managed riches will serve as evidence against those who worship wealth instead of Jesus on the day of judgment. James reminds us that the wicked will not evade the justice of King Jesus. He hears the cries of the oppressed! This should inform the way we live our lives and steward our finances. For those who are being oppressed, this passage should serve as an encouragement that God has not forgotten you. He is the Lord of Hosts (Master of Armies) and King Jesus is coming back to rescue His people, right all wrongs, and make all things new!

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Message: “The Trap of Spiritual Arrogance” from Chris Dillon

A message from the series “James.” This week’s passage in James hits on the more subtle sins Christians oftentimes neglect in their own lives. It’s easy to point out what we consider to be “big sins” in others; things like murder, rape, extramarital affairs, homosexuality and the like. But James wants us to tackle sins of omission in our own lives just as voraciously as the more obvious sins of commission. James tackles two particular sins in this text that are rooted in spiritual arrogance. Speaking evil against brothers and sisters and living our lives like practical atheists. When spiritual arrogance affects our tongues and our plans in life, we are sure to go off the rails and experience disappointment and disillusionment. The antidote to this destructive spiritual arrogance, is radical dependence on Jesus which brings freedom, hope and healing to our tongues and our life plans!

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Message: “Two Pictures of Friendship” from Chris Dillon

A message from the series “James.” In this week’s passage, James uses the common experience of friendship to teach us some important lessons about where we place our allegiances in this life. In fact, James is going to present us with a pressing problem that we all face, and then drive home a spiritual solution that we all desperately need. The problem, as it turns out, is friendship with the world, which he equates with spiritual adultery. We’ve all been tempted to love the things of this world (comfort, pleasure, riches, relationships, etc) more than we love God. But James reminds us that God is jealous for His people, and that we should pursue intimacy and friendship with God above all else in this life. The solution to our spiritual adultery is to humbly submit our lives to a good God by resisting the devil, drawing near to our Savior, and turning from our sin. Regardless of our past, our current sin struggles, or what the future holds…there is always more grace to be found in God!

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