Escalate Sermon Blog & Connection Point Questions

The Asset Identity - 1 Corinthians 1:1-9

February 4, 2013 by Matt Morgan

The apostle Paul had proclaimed the good news of Jesus during his second missionary journey in the influential city of Corinth. Initially there were people who responded to the good news by placing their faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord, so Paul planted a church there to continue the work of proclaiming the message of salvation through Jesus. But after Paul left it appears that a little confusion set in. It seems as if there was confusion among the church at Corinth concerning how God, Jesus, and the Gospel impacted real life. So Paul wrote the church a letter to help bring clarity and to help resolve some of the problems that had come up. In the "Bible Belt" South there is no shortage of churches. However, there does seem to be some real confusion and doubt about how God, Jesus, and the Gospel are to really impact our lives. So we are going to spend the next several months working through Paul's first letter to the church at Corinth to see if we can bring clarity to some of the confusion we find in our own context. We invite you to join us in this process as we begin by examining the introduction to this incredibly important letter.

Categories: Confused? | 0 Comments

2013 Personal Goals

January 21, 2013 by Matt Morgan

Most of the time we like to determine our own, personal goals. But there are times when others set personal goals for us. A doctor may tell his patient that his cholesterol is too high and that over the course of the next year, through diet and exercise, he needs to get his cholesterol down. A professor may begin a semester by handing out a syllabus to her students and telling them that at the end of the semester they need to understand the material that is taught in the class. In most cases when others give us personal goals that they want us to work towards it is usually for our own good. That's true for us this week. This week we are going to encourage you to strive hard after three particular goals in your relationship with Jesus during the course of 2013 - three goals that we believe will help you, but more importantly, bring glory and honor to Jesus.

Categories: Where to Next? | 0 Comments

2013 Church Goals

January 14, 2013 by Matt Morgan

Like many individuals, most organizations have goals which they are working towards and striving to accomplish. Those goals aren't usually just made up out of thin air though. Most of the time those goals are a result of organizations taking an honest look at themselves, making honest assessments of their weaknesses and/or places that they need to grow, and then putting processes into place that will help them accomplish their goals. Churches (our's included) need to be willing to take an honest look at themselves too. They need to be in the habit of prayerfully asking God to reveal their weaknesses to them and help them establish goals that He wants them to work towards. Then they need to strive together in great dependence upon God, doing their best to partner with God to make those goals a reality. This week we'll look at two areas of weakness for us in 2012 and begin to ask God to help us grow in these areas throughout the course of 2013.

Categories: Where to Next? | 0 Comments

2013 Kingdom Goals

January 8, 2013 by Matt Morgan

God did some amazing things for and through Escalate Church in 2012. Last week we talked about the appropriate response to God's goodness, saying that it was both right and appropriate to celebrate Him and what He has done. But we also emphasized the fact that we can't allow our celebration of Him to take us off of the mission that He has called us to. So we strive to celebrate God while we continue on mission with Him. The question as we start a new calendar year now is, "Where to Next?" Over the course of the next three weeks we are going to try to establish a series of goals in three different categories. This week we are going to focus on 2013 Kingdom goals.

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Celebrating on Mission - Mark 1:35-39

December 31, 2012 by Matt Morgan

Celebrating God's goodness to and through us is a right and appropriate response! And in 2012 God did some really great things for and through Escalate Church - things that we ought to look back on and praise God for! But celebrating God's victories and accomplishments must be done in the right context! God doesn't want us to forsake the mission that He has given to celebrate Him for extended amounts of time. God wants us to celebrate Him while we continue on mission!


Make No Exceptions

December 26, 2012 by Matt Morgan

Over the course of the last three weeks we have attempted to prepare our hearts for Christmas by remembering why the gift of Jesus was so incredibly significant. During that time we have been reminded of some important realities. The first week we remembered that Jesus was the fulfillment of the greatest promise ever made. The second week we remembered that Jesus was the greatest gift ever given. And last week we remembered that Jesus was God's means for salvation. Those are big, awesome claims. And we recognize that we live in a culture that is skeptical of big, awesome claims. Big, awesome claims usually come with fine print that spells out all the exceptions. But this week we're going to see that when God gave the gift of Jesus, He gave Him without any exceptions of who could receive the gift.

Categories: Preparing for Christmas | 0 Comments

God's Means For Salvation

December 18, 2012 by Matt Morgan

Tragedy struck our nation earlier this week - just days before we celebrate Christmas. Now many are wrestling with questions in what is normally a very joyful season. "How could someone do something like this days before Christmas?" "How could someone kill so many innocent little children?" "How can we have hope and joy this Christmas in the shadow of such a great tragedy?" "And how can we believe in God when God seems to have been absent in a time of great need?" All of these are real questions being asked by many who are trying to prepare their hearts for Christmas. I'll do my best to try to point you to the hope that is waiting in the Christmas story.

Categories: Preparing for Christmas | 0 Comments

The Greatest Gift

December 10, 2012 by Matt Morgan

Those in advertising and marketing often seem to have a finger on the pulse of our culture. They make observations about the way we think and live and then use those observations to try to sell us new things. Recently I've noticed an increase in advertisements in which they are focusing on people standing in line, waiting for the next 'big' thing. But while they stand in line eagerly waiting, those individuals are also expecting even greater things in the future. It's as if we have been conditioned to celebrate new things for a season, but not to settle for those things because better, more improved things are coming. This seems to be the mentality in regards to things from iPhones, computers, and tablets, to shoes, televisions, and cars. But could this way of thinking have seeped into the way we think about Christmas and the gift of Jesus as well? Something we need to consider as we are "Preparing for Christmas."

Categories: Preparing for Christmas | 0 Comments

The Promise Fulfilled

December 3, 2012 by Matt Morgan

What are you doing to prepare yourself for Christmas? And how will you know when you are prepared? What are thinking about as Christmas day gets closer? When you'll get your decorating done; who to send Christmas cards to; what gifts you need to purchase; how to arrange your schedule to make the Christmas parties you really want to attend? If we can successfully juggle all of these things prior to December 25th most of us would say that we are prepared for Christmas. And while in the midst of all this busyness we may remember that Christmas is really about Jesus' birth - far too often we forget why that is such an enormous deal. This week's post will provide the first of four important reminders.

Categories: Preparing for Christmas | 0 Comments

There Was No King - Judges 17-21

November 27, 2012 by Matt Morgan

Judges 17 begins and Judges 21 ends with the same statement - "There was no king in Israel." And because there was no one to rule or reign the author and narrator tells us that that resulted in the people ruling and reigning over their own lives and choices. Everyone was doing was right in his or her own eyes. And when everyone did what was right in his own eyes it lead them on a rapid spiritual and moral decline. The author makes this known to the reader through two shocking narratives. But once we get past the shocking nature of the stories, we also discover that these five chapters might give us a better picture of our current condition than perhaps any other OT passage. It begs the question, "Is there a ruling king in our own lives?"

Categories: In Need of a Greater Rescue | 0 Comments