Change is a part of life. Seasons, weather, time, and even we change. Sometimes these changes seem dramatic and we feel as if they happened overnight. Other times it seems as if time stands still. People in different stages of life view time differently but eventually we all conclude that time stands still for no one and it moves too fast. How can we keep up as time moves faster? How do we keep dancing when the rhythm changes? As the first chapter of 2 Timothy came to a close, Paul refers to the widespread flight among Christians in the Roman province of Asia (1:15). Onesiphorus was the only one commended for his faithfulness so Paul exhorts Timothy that he needs the strength of God’s grace to endure. Each season of life has its own unique set of challenges so we need to recognize our “Rhythms” and embrace the changes for the sake of the gospel and making disciples.
Table Talk Sermon Series - Week 2 - 08.11.19
Some of the best conversations happen around the table and this series has been designed to help us think wisely as disciple makers. The table is a great place to tell stories, share ideas, and grow together. So join us around the table for some Table Talk that we pray will be helpful as we make disciples together. In the book of 2 Timothy, Paul addresses his beloved child in the faith named Timothy. It seems that Timothy's father was an unbelieving Greek, but his grandmother and mother were Jews who demonstrated a "sincere faith." They were the genuine article and they possessed the type of faith which had come to characterize Timothy as well. Paul invites us to ponder the powerful impact that mothers and grandmothers can have on children. Even though the work of parenting can seem mundane and thankless, the boy these women raised has become the man that the apostle Paul relies on and thinks of in his most desperate hour.
Table Talk Sermon Series - Week 1 of 4 - 08.04.19
The departure of Elijah from this world was even more striking than his entrance as a prophetic lightning rod. He was a force to be reckoned with by ungodly kings with an uncomfortable message for an idolatrous people. Miracles attended him wherever he went and a final miracle would secure his departure from this world. He was a man on fire. He called for fire on top of Mount Carmel and it fell. He called down fire on those who sought to take his life. Now fire would bring Elijah’s earthly ministry to a close even though he would not pass through the portal of death.
The Prophet Elijah Sermon Series - Week 4 of 4 - 7.28.19
When looking at the Bible we often make the mistake of thinking it’s a collection of people who are sinless paragons. They are the ones who have it all together. They’ve figured out how to check off their to-do lists. They’ve figured out how to manage their budget and their time. They figured out how to make their way in this world. They figured out something that I haven’t figured out, and they’re the ones that I need to be like. But that’s not the story of scripture. The story of scripture is that Jesus rescues broken, weak, and needy people, and he accomplishes his good purpose through them in spite of themselves. And today when we look at this story, we see the flight of Elijah. We see Elijah running because of fear, anxiety, and depression. But we also see the flight of God pursuing him. When Elijah struggled; when he wasn’t looking so much like the prophet of God. God was merciful and kind, and he met him in his depression, anxiety, and fear. He met him in the darkness of despair where he was. And our hope is that by God’s grace you will see in his flight, there is another who is flying after him still.
The Prophet Elijah Sermon Series - Week 3 of 4 - 07.21.19
Elijah was one of the only two people in all of history that never died. He is one of the only two people who appeared with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. Moses was there representing the law, and Elijah was there representing the prophets. And Elijah is mentioned more in the New Testament than any other Old Testament prophet. Yet, James 5:17 says that "Elijah was a man with a nature like ours..." He was just a man like us, so what was the secret of Elijah's boldness? Lead Pastor Sam Shaw walks us through 1 Kings 16:30-33 and 1 Kings 17:1-7 as we examine what made Elijah such a remarkable character, and how we respond when our faith is tested.
Elijah Sermon Series - Week 2 of 4 - 07.14.19
The prophet Elijah felt like he was the last prophet of God left among 450 prophets of Baal. To show that the Lord was the one true God, Elijah set up an incredible showdown with the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel. They would set each set up an altar but not light it on fire. The prophets of Baal would call on their god and Elijah would call on the Lord. The one who answered that prayer by fire would be God! Elijah looked like a huge underdog in this showdown – except for one thing – God is always greater. Just like the Israelites, we “No longer need to waver between two opinions.” We need to hold fast to the hope that God is always faithful to His promises.
Peter has written this letter to encourage believers and testify to God’s grace. God’s grace is all that God has done for his children in Christ. Living Excellent Lives is the result of God’s work in Christ. Peter’s summons to stand in the grace of God summarizes the entire message of this letter to people who are out of place and suffering. God’s grace is how one can endure suffering. God’s grace is how one can love others even when they mistreated. God himself has saved you and called you to his eternal glory in Christ as you are guarded through faith for salvation.
1 Peter Sermon Series - Week 20 of 20. 06.30.19. For more sermons, please visit www.theorchardchurch.com/watch.
Anxiety, pride, trust, and care. Peter knew well the power and danger of pride. He corrected the Christ he proclaimed. He declared he would never deny the Christ only to find himself fleeing a courtyard in shame. He was publicly rebuked by the Apostle Paul because of his pride. Humility should be the first obligation of God’s creatures, but pride is the poison our first parents drank, exposing the insidious desire to be God. In heaven and on earth, pride and self-exaltation go before a fall that could very well lead to hell itself. How can we clothe ourselves with humility and be exalted by God himself? How can we face our anxiety and what are we to do with it? Every Christian seeking to obey the command to humble themselves will make a painful discovery of two things: the depth of their pride, and the powerlessness of all their efforts to destroy it.
Last year 6,000 churches in this country closed their doors for the last time. Everyday 3,500 people leave church in America. Many of the reasons why those churches have closed those doors and those people have left has to do with local church leadership. And it's not only in church, it's in the home as well. When parents lead well, unbelievable things happen in a family. And conversely, if the in the home parental leadership is not done well, unbelievable, awful things tend to happen. So, it is just critical we get leadership right. Join us as Lead Pastor Sam Shaw walks us through 1 Peter 5:1-4; Peter's strongly worded message to local church leaders.
If suffering is normal for a Christian, why do I struggle? We spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to avoid suffering at all costs. If you find yourself in a season when you are walking through “the valley of the shadow of death,” Christian platitudes offer very little comfort, but they can also pile a lot of guilt on us. Peter does not address any specifics about what types of suffering will be faced, instead, he wants you to know that your suffering should not come as a surprise and you should not think that as a Christian this is something strange or unusual.
How would you finish this sentence, "Christians are people who...?" What would you say is the distinguishing characteristic of Christians as a whole? Join Lead Pastor Sam Shaw as he walks us through 1 Peter 4:7-11; a passage that gives great detail to the question of who followers of Christ are called to be.
First Peter is a handbook for Christian Living and it provides the necessary foundations for Living Excellent Lives. This letter was written to people scattered across modern-day Turkey who were facing uncertainty and suffering. These sojourners were confronted daily by the harsh reality that this world was not their home. Peter writes to encourage their faith, assures them of the reliability of God’s word, and explains how Living Excellent Lives in God’s grace is possible even during difficult and desperate times.
As we consider 1 Peter 4:7-9, the words “Above All” serve to remind us that love is first in the order of importance and it is the prerequisite for all proper expressions of Christian responsibility. The love that Peter is speaks of is not some overly sentimental concept, but divine love that is only possible because God first loved us and the Holy Spirit is transforming us. This is the kind of love that marks us as a disciple of Jesus Christ and demonstrates His power to save.
Lead Pastor Sam Shaw walks us through one of the greatest promises of the Bible - the Law of the Harvest. You reap what you sow. It's true of marriage. It's true of a job. It's true of education. It's true of everything in life. You will never get a return on an investment you never make. And you will never receive a harvest if you don't plant a seed.
Jesus was a master at living under pressure with a sense peace inside. If you read his biography, it's amazing because he is always under incredible pressure that would crush most of us. He has people pulling at him all the time. There are constant interruptions with very little personal privacy or personal space. He has to get into a boat and row out in the water just to keep from people pushing on him. He's ridiculed and criticized at every turn, but he lives out of this quiet center in his soul. He refused to be pressured into being somebody that he wasn't. We all know pressure. The question is: how do you find peace in the midst of pressure? On Mother's Day 2019, Lead Pastor Sam Shaw walks us through Psalm 131. This passage shows us the reality of pressure and its sources, but also paints a picture of a peace on the inside that is stronger than the pressures of this world.
You can't read the Bible without seeing how much the Scripture speaks about money and possessions. Well over two-thousand verses deal with it. Jesus talked about money and possessions more than He did about anything except The Kingdom of God. He gave thirty-eight parables; nineteen of them had some kind of economic context. So, you have to ask the question, of all the things that God could have put in the Bible and spoken about, why did He choose to speak about money and possessions more than just about anything? Well obviously, it’s really important to God. And a lot of us need help in this area. Money has a tremendous potential for good, as well as a tremendous potential for evil. Ultimately, money has a way of capturing our hearts. Pastor Sam Shaw walks us through II Corinthians 8:10 through 9:5, showing how you can summarize everything the Bible says about money and possessions down to two things.
It's human nature to start something and not finish it. As the two-year anniversary of the Reach 901 launch quickly approaches, we're briefly interrupting our series on 1 Peter to remind ourselves that we have one year left between now and next April to meet our goal. Lead Pastor Sam Shaw dives into II Corinthians 8:1-11; a passage where the apostle Paul spoke to the church about finishing what they had started. Paul writes to them and says, let me show you what generosity looks like, and what giving joyfully, sacrificially, voluntarily, enthusiastically, and personally really means.
There is nothing about the cross that says "winning", "victory", or "happiness". It was designed as the most painful and longest suffering way to die. So why did the early Christians adopt the cross as their symbol, eventually becoming the most recognizable symbol in the world? Lead Pastor Sam Shaw walks us through seven truths about a cross-centered life.
What is the "Great Business of Life"? What are you put on earth here to do? You probably have a bucket list, but why do we even talk about bucket lists? We all know we have a limited amount of time left here on this earth, and time is running out. Lead Pastor Sam Shaw walks us through 1 Peter 4:1-11, and answers the question, "What is the Great Business of Life?".
Peter continues to address suffering but moves the attention from Christian suffering to the suffering of Jesus. Peter’s letter quickly offers comfort after proclaiming that God sometimes wills suffering for those who have done good and reminds us that Jesus suffered for doing good. However, Peter is not content only reminding the reader that Christ suffered. He exults in showing how a complete reversal has taken place because of what Jesus has done. The submissive Son is the ruling king in his session at the right hand of God.
The world is changing and a shift has taken place in our culture. Clear boundaries and definitions are being challenged and even erased. Values once perceived as permanent are vanishing like a morning mist. It is a discomforting and frustrating experience when one suddenly feels lost, unsure of where they are or how they got there. Ideologies pull at the very fabric of our society and the seams cannot take much more. Christians with orthodox beliefs are told they are on the wrong side of history and scripture is being revised for the new world. Peter has moved from Christ’s work, Christian identity, and submission to the issue of Christian suffering.
1 Peter 3:13-17 - Week 12 Sermon Series - 3.31.19
Pastor Sam Shaw walks us through 1 Peter 3:8-10. Sam said when he first read this passage, his eyes were immediately drawn to verse 10. The passage begins, "Whoever desires to love life and enjoy good days..." That sounds great! Who wouldn't want that? So ask yourself, what would it be like to truly love life and enjoy good days? Join us as we see what Peter says about how our attitude and actions have an impact on living the good life.
Part of God's purpose for us as Christians is to point others to Him. A Christian marriage is one of the clearest examples of the gospel, and possibly the greatest opportunity we have to point others to Jesus. So, what does it mean to be a Godly husband or a Godly wife? Pastor Sam Shaw turns to 1 Peter 3:1-7 to see how scripture describes a Godly marriage.
Peter calls us to submit to ungodly authorities because we love Jesus and want to follow his example. However, the natural response when someone mistreats us is self-defense and retaliation. To accept unjust opposition requires supernatural power and an exemplar to follow. Jesus provides both. The only way we will find the strength to endure this type of suffering at the hands of others is the reminder that, in his having done the same, Jesus secured for us forgiveness of sins by bearing our sin in his body on the tree. He is a the trustworthy shepherd and the remedy the sin-sick soul requires. New life in Jesus provides the grounds for killing sin and pursuing righteous living.
The church lives in the world as exiles who belong to another Kingdom. The world system around us, the cultural environment where we live, is alien to the kingdom of God. Christians have different priorities, strategies, and a different vision for the future. Peter was not naïve about government corruption or the abuse of power. He did not live in a “Christian nation.” He knew firsthand of the devastation that evil political power can bring. Being a Christian today is increasingly putting us at odds with political positions and laws. Religious liberty, an essential issue in our founding is facing regular threats and sometimes open hostility is faced socially, politically, and legally just for being a Christian. However, submission to every human institution and service to others is the will of God. We should use christian freedom for doing good which will put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.
Have you ever felt out of place and uncertain about what to do? God transforms people who were at home in this world and they become sojourners and exiles. They know the country and its customs, but they have been called out of darkness into light which means they live differently. They feel the conflict in the war of the soul but they abstain from the desires that characterize the people of darkness. Beautiful Living in a Polarized World may serve as a means to pierce the hardened heart and bring light to the darkened soul for God’s glory.
It's typical these days for people to talk about loving God or loving Jesus, but not really loving the church. Pastor Sam Shaw walks us through 1 Peter 2:4-10, a passage filled with answers to some key questions many have today such as: can a Christian love Jesus but not the church?
Pastor Sam Shaw introduces us to his long-time favorite pastor, Ronnie Stevens. Ronnie walks us through 1 Peter 1:22-2:3, giving us ten steps that have helped him stimulate and excite a hunger for the word of God in his own life.
In the 1st Century in the Mediterranean world, an unexpected movement started that went viral. Religion was everywhere in the Roman Empire, but this movement had the one thing that Romans could not find anywhere else. This movement had community. It had love. Pastor Sam walks us through 1 Peter 1:22-2:3, as he shares five toxins that keep us from loving one another, and shares biblical insights on how to do a seemingly impossible task: earnestly love one another.
All around, despair, conscious need, and unconscious longing. We live in a world where loneliness is an epidemic and one in three adults and adolescents suffer from anxiety. Our minds must sift through a constant barrage of messaging that is antithetical to the gospel. Where can hope be found? Peter reminds the reader that Jesus has conquered every enemy including death and at his revelation hope will be realized. Where is hope to be found? It is found in God through Jesus Christ.
Where do you get a joy that grief and hardship doesn't shatter? In 1 Peter 1:3-12, Peter said the uniquely Christian way in dealing with trials and challenges is that we rejoice. In this sermon, Pastor Sam walks us through six reasons that Peter gives us in the text that empowers us to rejoice even when we are going through the worst of times.
Have you ever wondered what living the Christian life actually means? Pastor Sam Shaw introduces a new series on 1 Peter, encouraging us to read and re-read it. The truth of this compact book acts as a manual for Christian living. In this sermon, Pastor Sam examines what we know about Peter, and four things that are true for every Christ follower.
On this first Sunday of the new year, Pastor Sam Shaw talks about the principle of "firsts." There are a number of firsts happening in Genesis 4:1-8: the first murder, the first martyr, the first person to go to Heaven, and the first offering is made to the Lord. God always insists on being first. When we seek to put God first in our lives we honor Him, we demonstrate our faith, and we unlock God's blessings in our lives.
When you got up this morning and looked at the TV or your phone, you probably noticed the date, the 24th of December, 2018. We don't think about it very often, but 2018 from what? The answer goes back to a little town in Bethlehem and what happened there. The point is, especially during the Christmas season, you can hardly look at your phone, the TV, the newspaper, hear on the radio, or look on the internet without seeing reference to one man. His name is the most widely known name in history. Do you know him?
Luke includes four powerful songs surrounding the savior’s birth. In each song, the singers are so moved that they respond from the depths of soul joining the chorus of Hope’s Song, the glad refrain that has been sung since the garden promise that God will rescue his people. These familiar refrains point to God’s love and faithfulness as Mary (Luke 1:46–55), Zechariah (Luke 1:68–79), the angels (Luke 2:14), and Simeon (Luke 2:29–32) all lift their voices in praise. Today, we hear Hope’s Song soar from Mary as she magnifies God, rejoices in him, and declares his character.
In this sermon, Pastor Sam walks us through Romans 8:18-27, showing us what an amazing thing it is to be a Christian, why the world is the way it is, and the one thing we have to have to survive: Hope.
During this advent series, we are reminded of the hope that is found only in Jesus. He did for us what we could not do for ourselves – He gave hope. So because of what Jesus has done for us, we are able to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful to prayer. You can rejoice!
In this Advent Season we have started a new series on hope. Hope is very powerful. The world often confuses hope with wishful thinking or their desires. In this sermon, Pastor Sam walks us through Romans 15:13, showing us what Biblical hope is, who the author of hope is, and the promises God has given us to sustain our hope.
As this short pastoral letter from Paul to Titus comes to a close, we have a better understanding of what Paul meant when he directed Titus to “put what remained in order” (vs. 5). This was and still is a monumental work. On Crete, island churches were a mess and facing issues that had to be addressed so Paul left Titus there to get things well ordered. Elders were appointed in every town Paul so that Cretan Christians would have leaders to guide them when disagreements arose over important doctrinal matters. Elders would hold fast to apostolic faith and teach others to do the same in both word and practice. In the home, relationships went against many cultural norms of the day as they displayed God’s grace at work in daily living. In the world, salvation is demonstrated as grace-fueled good works display God’s power. Titus concludes by addressing dangers, discipline, decisions, devotion, and dependence.
In Titus 3:1-15, Paul walks us through the succinct message of Salvation and gives direction on true Christian behavior. Paul reminds us that it takes the entire Trinity to save us. We are delivered out of our miserable condition, only by the mercy and free grace of God, the merit and sufferings of Christ, and the working of his Spirit. Pastor Sam challenges us to live this week with the intention of "whatever is good" in every situation.
Paul encourages us to live the good life in Titus 2:1-10. In Titus 2:11-14, Paul explains how this change is possible. If there's anything in your life that you'd like to change, come explore how to make that a reality now.
Charlie Shaw walks us through Titus 2:1-10. In this section, Paul moves from the issues of church leadership and false teachers to the various groups within the church and their moral obligations before the world in which they live. Paul is concerned that they show the beauty of the truth about Jesus Christ in order to have a positive impact on an unbelieving world (2:5, 8, 10). Biblical truth or sound Christian doctrine (2:1) is designed to not only bring us into an intimate relationship with God, but it is to equip us, as stewards of His grace, to represent Him and to proclaim the message of our Savior, as His ambassadors in a fallen world. We have an awesome responsibility to make the truth of Christ attractive by lives that truly reflect the saving power of the message.
Paul wrote the little book of Titus in order to clarify what really matters. For the last few weeks, we've seen that churches matter and leadership matters. Today, Paul uses some pretty tough language to explain why truth matters. He also explains how churches and leadership can protect God's people from misinformation and untruths.
The Bible teaches that churches are to be led by a plurality of called, qualified men called elders. Even Paul submitted himself to the elders in Jerusalem (Galatians 2:1-2) along with Titus. Imagine what the situation was like in Crete. Scripture does not record any details about the church being established in Crete. We do know according to Acts 2:11 that Cretans we’re present during Pentecost. Perhaps the new converts went home to spread the good news about Jesus Christ. Paul and his team had to make disciples first which meant that it would take time for men to mature before Titus could be sent to appoint elders. Finding leaders is a challenge faced by most church-planting or pioneering missions situations; one man will usually serve as the elder until other men are raised up to lead as elders. Paul instructs Titus to put things in order and appoint elders, but what is an elder?
Jesus said to his disciples in John 16 that it is better to have the Holy Spirit in them than to have Him right beside them. It is better that He leaves, so that they may receive the Holy Spirit. The name Jesus gave for the Holy Spirit in John 14:16 is the Greek word Parakletos, which may be translated into English as "comforter", "counselor", “advocate”, or "helper". The Holy Spirit is like a funnel through whom all the blessings of God come to us. Whatever God has for us and does in our life He does it through the person and the work of the Holy Spirit. This sermon will characterize how the Holy Spirit is our preeminent helper and illustrate how to align yourself with the Holy Spirit's work in your life.
The Holy Spirit is God’s promise and assurance that he will finish what he has started in us. He is the foretaste of heaven. That means we can ask for and experience His presence. This sermon will explain and illustrate how to position yourself to experience His presence and power and love.
The advent of the Holy Spirit changed things forever. At Pentecost, the promised Holy Spirit came in a powerful way that seized the people of Jerusalem. The arrival was accompanied by powerful signs and the question that was raised is the question we will seek to answer today– what does this mean? The advent of the Holy Spirit was the beginning of the last days, vindicated Jesus Christ, and forever changed the way we relate to God.
Throughout the history of Christianity, we often forget that God is a triune God. He is God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. Some Christians seem to show little evidence that they have any theology of the Spirit while others seem to emphasize the Spirit at the expense of other biblical doctrines. What seems clear is that few Christians have it quite right. This sermon series seeks to clarify and provide people with a better understanding of what Scripture says about The Holy Spirit.
This first sermon establishes The Holy Spirit is a person and answers the question, "Is having The Holy Spirit better than having Jesus in the flesh?"
Family Strong sermon series has been primarily focused on the nuclear family, but today as the series concludes we will look at the staggering way that Jesus reorients what it means to be family. In Mark 3:31-35, Jesus says some things about the family that would have been shocking to those listening. Jesus’ teaching about family relationships was so radical that it seemed to threaten the most important human institution. However, Jesus does not teach that human relationships have no value, only that they must be subordinated to spiritual relations. Listen in on how the church family, can be Family Strong.
People are naturally rebellious, and our autonomy assaults authority. We don’t like anyone telling us what to do. The question of authority is answered clearly by Jesus when he delivered his Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20. The stunning thing that we find in that passage is that Jesus’ authority is about making disciples. Parental authority is part of God’s design. This sermon discusses that authority and how parents can practically live out that authority in a loving and God-centered way.
What makes a strong family today? In this sermon series, we’ll try to answer that question from God’s Word. We’ll talk about family worship, giving the family blessing, family fears and authority in the family.
This sermon is a table discussion between Pastor Sam Shaw & John Nix on how you can create a worship culture of the Lord in your home. Their discussion is based upon Deut. 6:4-7; Psalm 78:1-8; Eph. 6:1-4; and 2 Tim. 1:5; 3:14-15.
Who is the king of your life? Who is your source of strength when the going gets tough? Who do you brag about to others? Who is calling the shots in your life? Is it God or someone or something else to which you answered these questions? Listen to this most recent sermon podcast to see why our first answer to these questions should always be God.
Does God tempt us? Why does it mean when Jesus' prays that we are not lead into temptation? This sermon on Matthew 6:13 answers these questions and many more on temptation and how it is connected with prayer.