St. Augustine once said that our deepest emotions often function like smoke from a fire: They can indicate what is going wrong in our hearts before we can articulate it. In this series, Pastor J.D. shows us that the aim of the Bible’s teaching on emotions isn’t to suppress them or even to manage them, but to read them accurately, express them honestly, and allow the gospel reshape them completely.
Jesus promised that for all who came to him, he would give them rest. But in today’s society, where overworking is the new norm, most of us hear Jesus’ invitation as wishful thinking. In this series, Pastor J.D. will show us that those most mature in Jesus are not those working hardest for him but those resting most in him.
No matter how strong our faith is, we all have moments when we come to the end of ourselves. The problem is, if we’re honest, we aren’t sure if God can meet us in that place. But if we offer our desperation to God in prayer, we will find him eager to listen, eager to forgive, eager to heal, eager to step in … and help.
In “Listen,” Pastor J.D. teaches through the parables of Jesus, stories so simple a child can understand them, yet so profound that we can never exhaust their wealth of wisdom. In these stories, Jesus reveals the beauty of the gospel, but only for those whose heart is in a posture to perceive it—only for those who truly listen.
In "Instead of Me," we look at the events leading up to the crucifixion and see how through these events, God was doing an examination of the human soul. The stories of the arrest and trial of Jesus are told in such a way that we see that the human race is really the one on trial. We should see ourselves in these stories, and we’ll learn why Jesus came and had to do what he did.
In “Not God Enough,” Pastor J.D. shows us how nearly all of our spiritual problems go back to one root: Our God (or at least our view of him) is too small. Making God smaller—predictable, explainable, safe—might make him easier to believe in, but it will end up destroying our faith and our spiritual lives. Only by seeing God as infinitely bigger and completely other will we ever be able to approach life with unflagging courage and unquenchable passion.
The first week of our new series, “Ask,” will not just be an attempt to get you to make a New Year’s resolution about your prayer life. Together we’ll look at Jesus’ example and see that his whole life was saturated with prayer and that the main way we access his power is by praying in four specific ways.
In “For Such a Time As This,” Pastor J.D. opens up Esther, a book that surprisingly lacks the name of God yet is mysteriously full of God at work. Through this series, we’ll learn to see that God has sovereignly arranged our circumstances, just like Esther’s, to be strategically involved.
In "Freedom in the In-between," Pastor J.D. looks at the Apostle Paul's most concise and profound explanation of the gospel in the book of Galatians. Through this book, we’ll see how the gospel transforms every aspect of our lives, freeing us to live with confidence in the midst of uncertainty, unity in the midst of strife, and joy in the midst of suffering.
In "The Man Who Had It All," we'll examine the life of King Solomon, a man who had it all—wisdom, power, wealth, sex—but who was eventually swallowed up by the very things on which he had built his life. Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, shows us the devastating consequences of our folly and our desperate need for godly wisdom.
"I chose you ... that you should go and bear fruit" (
John 15:16). Jesus chose us to bear fruit, to reproduce. If we aren’t reproducing ourselves spiritually, we actually aren’t following Jesus at all.
In "Come Back to Me," Pastor J.D. unpacks the gospel message in a collection of books you’ve probably always skipped right over—the minor prophets. We often think of the minor prophets as books of judgment. But they also paint a picture of a God whose scandalous love never stops pursuing the very people who broke his heart.
Many people today think that believing in God is the product of wishful thinking and a mark of intellectual weakness. But in “Unknown God,” Pastor J.D. will show us that there are certain truths about God—whether we believe in him or not—that are absolutely undeniable.
In “Love Incorruptible,” Pastor J.D. opens up Ephesians, a book that shows us how God’s eternal plans impact our darkest hours. The strength that we need to overcome opposition, obstacles, and spiritual oppression is found in the incorruptible love of God toward us … and the unchanging purposes of God for us.
God wants to work in your neighborhood, in your school, in your office. He wants to work “In Earth as It Is in Heaven.” Through this series, Pastor J.D. will teach us to see our world the way God sees it—as the earthly territory in which, at any moment, heaven may break through.
In “The Whole Story,” Pastor J.D. takes an entire year to walk through the Bible, from “In the Beginning” to the very last “Amen.” Most of us would say we value the Bible, but how well do we really know the big picture? This series will show us that the true story of the whole world has been in our hands all along … and that every page of it points back to one person: Jesus Christ.
In “Carols,” Pastor J.D. takes a look at some of the songs we know the best, but understand the least—Christmas carols. Every year, we celebrate the birth of Christ with beautiful songs, but how many of us really see the gospel in the songs we sing? In this series, we’ll see just how rich these carols are, and realize that we’ve often been singing the gospel without even knowing it.
In “Multiply,” Pastor J.D. looks at the life of Abraham, a man who gives us a picture of how God wants to use all of us in the world. Abraham believed God for the impossible, and as a result, God multiplied his life. God wants to multiply our lives, too, but that journey begins when we take our hands off of everything we own and love and trust in him—and venture into the unknown.
In “Phantom Faith,” Pastor J.D. shows us why it’s not enough to simply go through the motions of Christianity. Most people in church know how to act the part, but there’s no real life in their faith; something seems missing. This series will show us what they’re missing and help us trade out our phantom faith for a faith that truly lives.
In “The Name,” Pastor J.D. answers the most ambitious question that any of us could ever ask: “Who is God?” We've all got ideas about God, but which ones are true? And can we really know the essence of who God is? This series will show us a God that is more awe-inspiring and more intimate than we could ever have imagined.
In “Broken Saviors: Judges,” Pastor J.D. looks at Judges, a book with some of the most scandalous and strange stories in the entire Bible. Through this scandalous history, we’ll see what God can do with the most broken of heroes—and behind every hero, we’ll see a God who remains faithful even when we are faithless.
In “From the Beginning,” Pastor J.D. looks at God’s design for love, relationships, and sex. There was once a time when talking about sex was taboo. That’s certainly not our society today. But the louder the conversation gets, the more obvious it is that most of us have no idea what we’re talking about. In “From the Beginning,” we take a candid look at sexual relationships—from the ones that destroy us to the ones that give us life.
In “Titus: Everyday Theology,” Pastor J.D. shows us how the solid foundation of the gospel produces lives that reflect the gospel—full of grace. And as our lives reflect that grace, our ordinary efforts are transformed into an extraordinary witness to a watching world.
Many of us think of the scene at Jesus’ birth as serene, tranquil, and ... well, perfect. But in “Do Not Be Afraid,” Pastor J.D. shows us that something quite different dominated people’s hearts that very first Christmas: fear. In this series we’ll see that Christmas isn’t a luxury for those of us who feel at peace. It’s an answer for those of us who feel afraid.
In “It’s Not About Me: All-in 2014,” Pastor J.D. looks at Hezekiah, one of Israel’s most intriguing kings and a man whose life shows us what it means to go all-in for God and the tragedy that results if we walk away from him.
Many people have a desire to know God, but they have no clue where to begin. In “Start,” Pastor J.D. shows us that no matter how well we know God—or whether we know him at all—we could all use a fresh start.
We’ve all got questions. In “Question Everything,” Pastor J.D. looks at some of the questions that bother us most and shows how the most relevant problems of today are actually answered in an ancient songbook.
In the “SENT” series, Pastor J.D. walks through the book of Acts, showing how God began the movement known as his church. And in the process of seeing how the church was born, how it grew, and how it overcame fierce opposition, we receive fresh inspiration to join God on his mission today.
In “The Difficult Sayings of Jesus,” Pastor J.D. looks at some of Jesus’ statements that shock us the most. If we’re honest, we all have moments when we find the words of Jesus bizarre, confusing, or just plain offensive. In this series we see how even Jesus’ toughest sayings are words of gospel life.
In “God and the Rest of the Week,” Pastor J.D. looks at how the gospel affects the areas of our lives where we spend 99 percent of our time—outside of the church walls. Because if we truly understand the gospel, we'd see that it changes everything.
In “Staying Faith,” Pastor J.D. shows us how we can finish the things that we start in faith. We all have the experience of starting something with enthusiasm, only to have that passion fade along the way. In this series we’ll see that while it takes faith to make a bold commitment to Christ, it also takes faith to see that commitment through.
In “Something Greater,” Pastor J.D. examines the life of one of the greatest miracle workers in all of Scripture: the prophet Elisha. The secret behind Elisha’s power here on earth was his fierce devotion to the God of heaven. Elisha left behind an amazing legacy in this life, not because he was thinking of this life but because he was focused on the greater things that were ahead.
In “Something Better,” Pastor J.D. examines the life of one of the most fascinating characters in all of Scripture: the prophet Elijah. We will see how Elijah confronted a religious environment very much like our own, one characterized by the attitude, “You have your god, and I have mine.” Elijah shows us that knowing the one true God is better than every other rival.
In “First Love,” Pastor J.D. looks at what
Ephesians 5 has to say about building gospel-centered relationships—not just in marriage but in every relationship we have. If there is one thing we all need help with, it is forming and building healthy relationships. In many ways, our relationships with others are windows into our relationship with God, and we can only love others well by saturating ourselves in the truth that he first loved us.
In “Press Through,” Pastor J.D. focuses on developing a robust and effective prayer life. Prayer is probably the most undervalued resource in our lives, but the Bible teaches us that the blessings God wants to give only come through prayer. If we press through in prayer, we too can understand what it means to lay hold of God’s promises for us.
In “Assured,” Pastor J.D. looks at the book of 1 John and answers the question, “How can I know for sure that I’m saved?” God wants us to be confident in our salvation so we can stop worrying about where we stand with him and finally rest in him. When we find that rest, we’ll see that assurance leads to more lasting change than any uncertainty ever could.
In “Can’t Believe,” Pastor J.D. looks at several characters from the book of John, people who might have wanted to believe, but—for whatever reason—felt like they just couldn't. The obstacles that kept people from believing 2,000 years ago are the same ones that prevent people from truly believing in Jesus Christ today. Our prayer is that those who don’t yet believe in Jesus would trust him for the first time and that believers would re-learn what it means to believe in him.
In the series, "Upside-down Christmas," Pastor J.D. looks at the birth of Christ in the book of Matthew. Matthew’s account of Jesus’ birth is, by all accounts, messy. He makes no effort to hide the painful and tumultuous aspects of the Christmas story. In the process, he turns many of our expectations about God, about Jesus, and about Christmas totally upside-down.
In “Christ Is Better,” Pastor J.D. walks through Hebrews, a book of the Bible written to people whose faith in Jesus was lagging. Many of us still struggle with the same problems they did, as we find it harder and harder to walk with God. The writer of Hebrews has one message for all of us: Don’t give up!
In “Rushing Wind,” Pastor J.D. looks at the often-neglected member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, and the abundant life that he brings to the lives of believers. While many Christians focus on the Holy Spirit above everything else, many others treat him more like a theory than a person. But for both groups, God wants to show us that the Spirit-filled life has more in store for us than we can even imagine.
In “Castaway,” Pastor J.D. opens up the book of Jonah, showing us that this is more than a colorful story about a man being swallowed by a fish; it is a tale of God’s redemption in a lost world. Through Jonah’s bizarre journey, Pastor J.D. shows us the incredible mission of God and extends the invitation to follow God wherever he sends us.
In “I Am an Alien,” Pastor J.D. deals with a question that people have been asking for thousands of years: Why is there so much suffering in the world? This series walks through 1 Peter, a book written to Christians who were not only aware of the problem of evil but were living in the midst of pain, suffering, and constant trouble. Our prayer is that those who feel like outsiders in this world would see how the gospel transforms even our most painful experiences.