Escalate Sermon Blog & Connection Point Questions

Failing to Believe the Promise - Judges 4:1-24

September 5, 2012 by Matt Morgan

My guess is that far too many of us have experienced a broken promise. But while that is probably a sad reality, I know a few things for certain. (1) The broken promises we have experienced have all been promises made to us by other people. (2) None of us has ever experienced a time when God broke one of His promises. I'm certain of that because all of God's promises are certain and sure and they are founded in His powerful, sovereign, and unchanging character. But like all promises, God's promises still require a response from us. We have to choose if we are going to believe and act on His promises or if we are going to allow fear and reluctance to keep us from believing them. Believing God's promises and acting in faith always has God-honoring and God-glorifying results. But could it be that the thing that defines us too often is a failure to believe His promises? Just one thing we'll give some consideration to in this week's text.

Categories: In Need of a Greater Rescue | 0 Comments

Great Abilities Alone Won't Cut It - Judges 3:12-30

August 27, 2012 by Matt Morgan

Can one who possesses great abilities be a great deliverer if he doesn't follow God's plan? If he saves God's people in remarkable fashion isn't that enough to qualify him as a great deliverer? If he was raised up to deliver God's people from their oppressors and, in the end, that is what he accomplishes, that's enough right? Is following God's plan for deliverance really all that important as long as the ends that God raised him up for are accomplished? This is what we have to determine in the account of Ehud this week.

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A Deliverer Unlike Any Other - Judges 3:7-11

August 20, 2012 by Matt Morgan

Sometimes distinctions aren't all that important. Some people spend several hours of their week debating distinctions between different football players to try to discern which player will get them the most points for their fantasy football team. Others spend hours reading blogs trying to discover which grocery store has the best deals for that particular week and where they can save a couple of dollars. We enjoy trying to discern the best, but in areas like these it often doesn't make a big deal. So you win your fantasy football league - does that really have any eternal significance? Or you save two dollars on your grocery bill - but did you spend the two dollars you saved in groceries in gas driving around from one grocery store to the other? Sometimes the things we spend so much time making distinctions between aren't really all that significant - but sometimes they are! This week we'll meet the first judge raised up and appointed by God to deliver the Israelite people. And there are some clear distinctions in the narrative of this judge that clearly set him apart from the others and which we need to see in the text this week.

Categories: In Need of a Greater Rescue | 0 Comments

What's the Real Problem? - Judges 2:1-3:6

August 13, 2012 by Matt Morgan

Have you ever experienced a time when you knew that something was wrong but you couldn't resolve the problem because you didn't know what the problem was. The unfortunate reality is that this happens a lot in our daily lives. Babies cry and we have difficulty helping them because we don't know why they are crying. People die from cancer but we can't prevent it or cure it because we don't know why it shows up in the first place. These are real needs and real problems, but Scripture tells us that each of us has an even greater problem that requires and even greater rescue. But the good news is that God reveals to us what that problem is and that He has made a way to rescue and deliver us. In Judges 2:1-3:6 we get a divine perspective on what the Israelites' (and our) greatest problem really is.

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Putting Themselves in Need of Rescue - Judges 1

August 6, 2012 by Matt Morgan

Often times when we think about those who need to be rescued or delivered from someone or something we think of them as victims. We think that a tragic accident or someone else's bad choices have left innocent people in need of great rescue. And the reality is, that does happen sometimes. But sometimes those who need to be rescued or delivered from someone or something ended up in those situations because of decisions or choices that they, themselves, made. That was the case for Israelite people in the OT book of Judges. And in this week's text (chapter 1) we discover that the difficult positions they will find themselves in later in the book were the results of their lack of obedience in chapter 1. That lack of obedience would cause them to be in need of a great rescue from their physical enemies - but it would also put them in need of an even greater rescue!

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Matchless King - Psalm 93

August 1, 2012 by Matt Morgan

Many people would profess that they believe in God. And of those who profess to believe in God, many would say that they believe that God is mighty and powerful. But of the many who profess that they believe in a mighty and powerful God, very few of those individuals seem to live their lives as if they believe God is mighty and powerful. Far too often we are guilty of living as if God is timid and tame or unable to move in more than small and insignificant ways. But that isn't the picture of God painted in the Bible. The Bible tells us that God is both majestic and strong in character and that He has always been and will continue to remain that way. One of the greatest reminders of that comes from Psalm 93. I invite you to consider with me what the psalmist wrote there as we look at the Matchless King.

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"Partners in Christ" - Summary of Paul's letter to the Philippians

July 23, 2012 by Matt Morgan

We've spent the last twelve weeks working our way through Paul's letter to the church at Philippi. During those twelve weeks we broke apart the letter into different segments and concentrated on the emphasis of each of those individual segments. This week our goal is to connect those segments and to look at Paul's letter in its entirety - to see how those segments connect together to paint a bigger and grander picture.

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Giving and the Gospel - Philippians 4:10-20

July 9, 2012 by Matt Morgan

One of the central elements of the Gospel is the concept of 'giving.' It's one of the things which makes the Gospel such incredible news - that although we are sinners undeserving of anything but the full measure of God's wrath, we are given so many incredible things. But while God initiated the act of generous and gracious giving in the Gospel, those of us who are believers in Christ and partners in ministry ought to be characterized by generous and gracious giving as well. Check out this week's text to see how the church at Philippi saw the Gospel and giving working hand-in-hand.

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You Want Me to Do WHAT?!?! - Philippians 4:1-9

July 3, 2012 by Matt Morgan

Have you ever been asked to do something incredibly hard - perhaps even something you thought was impossible for you to do? What was your response? I know that I've been there before and my response was to simply write off the request. I quit before I even gave it a shot. I believe there are times when God asks those who are followers of Christ to do really difficult (sometimes impossible) things too. But before you write them off, let me ask you to consider an example from my own life and a promise Paul makes at the end of this text.

Categories: Partners in Christ series | 0 Comments

It's Time to "Join In" - Philippians 3:17-21

July 2, 2012 by Matt Morgan

Think back on the last wedding reception that you went to. First question, "Did the DJ at the reception play a line-dance song?" I'm betting he did. Second question, "Did you join in and participate?" I don't know the answer to that question. But I have been to my fair share of wedding receptions and it seems like at every one the DJ plays at least one line-dance song. Then I watch with amazement at the number of people who stop what they are doing to go join in. It's a fascinating thing to watch. But I have yet to attend a wedding reception in which every person joins in and participates in one of those dances. In this week's text we'll discover a call from Paul to the church to 'join in' in imitating him. And while many do, the reality is that many still stand on the sides just watching. But Paul doesn't just call out to a few to join in - he calls out to us all. So it's time to "join in."

Categories: Partners in Christ series | 0 Comments