As I prayerfully considered where we are spiritually as a church, I felt the need to address certain issues with biblical truth. I am so excited to have God’s Word intersect our lives in these specific ways as we go forward.
Here is the plan for the 2021 sermon series (Lord willing, and the creek don’t rise…).
Sermon on the Mount
[Countercultural Living for Kingdom Citizens] – Matthew 5-7 archives the greatest sermon in the history of the world. As Jesus gathered His growing followers together, He taught a simple yet thorough overview of how Kingdom citizens should live. Christianity is more than a mere association of rules, but it is a complete dedication to a countercultural lifestyle.
[Learning to Trust God Again] – The prophet Habakkuk struggled with God’s plan in the world because it didn’t meet his expectations. He didn’t hold back from asking hard questions, and God didn’t refrain from providing hopeful answers. If you have struggled with what God has done or allowed others to do, it is time to learn how to trust God again.
[God’s Wisdom for Your Home] – Most of us know all too well that the closest people can bring the deepest hurt. Family relationships suffer from unnecessary pain because we fail to apply God’s clear yet direct instructions. If you want to experience a godly home, you must apply biblical wisdom.
The brutal burden of busyness is doing significant damage to our souls. Instead of being devoted, we are distracted. Instead of feeling focused, we live frantically. We normalize stress and neglect stillness. If you feel overwhelmed with the pace of life, let God’s Word expose you to a different kind of standard.
[Walking in the Light] – Disciples cannot shine a light if we are stumbling in the dark. Too many followers of Jesus struggle with an assurance of salvation, the standard of truth, the call of obedience, and the path of unity. Don’t settle for a dimly-lit faith, but pursue a fully illuminated lifestyle.
Sermon on the Mount
- January 3, 2021 – Lured by Lust [Matthew 5:27-30] – Adultery always begins far before the act. We must be careful what we look at and what we think about if we are to remain faithful to our commitments.
- January 10, 2021 – Avoiding Divorce [Matthew 5:31-32] – While divorce is permitted in the Bible, it is never promoted in the Bible. Learn what Jesus had to say about those considering a divorce.
- January 17, 2021 – Losing Credibility One Empty Promise at a Time [Matthew 5:33-37] – Each of our reputations are defined by our level of credibility. Instead of exaggerating with empty promises, simply stay reliable with a trustworthy life.
- January 24, 2021 – Don’t Give Them What They Deserve [Matthew 5:38-48] – Our tendency is to repay people for any negative words or harmful actions, but Jesus taught quite the opposite. The way of the kingdom is counter-cultural and yet life-giving.
- January 31, 2021 – Don’t Be Needy When Giving to the Needy [Matthew 6:1-4] – Jesus expects us to give, but he desires that we not give with a need to be noticed. The only recognition that a generous heart should seek comes from God.
- February 7, 2021 – Learning How to Talk to God [Matthew 6:5-13] – Jesus taught us how to pray but not what to pray. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus gave a template by which we can learn how to talk with God.
- February 14, 2021 – When They’ve Hurt You So Deeply [Matthew 6:14-15] – When others cause emotional pain in your life, forgiveness is the only restorative option. Jesus explained that our forgiveness of others is tied to God’s forgiveness towards us.
- February 21, 2021 – Fast Approvals [Matthew 6:16-18] – Like many other spiritual disciplines, fasting can, unfortunately, be a means to gain the approval of others. Jesus taught that fasting should only be something directed to and noticed by God.
- February 28, 2021 – The Danger of Decadence [Matthew 6:19-24] – When we believe our status to be contingent upon what we own in this life, it robs us of obtaining true treasure. Decide if you will either serve God or money.
- March 7, 2021 – The Weariness of Worry [Matthew 6:25-34] – You would have plenty of valid reasons to worry if God was not your intentionally provisional Father. Rid yourself of the weariness of worry and trust God for your daily needs.
- March 14, 2021 – The Just Way to Be Judgmental [Matthew 7:1-6] – One of Jesus’ most misinterpreted phrases was his teaching on judging one another. Jesus didn’t expect us to refrain from accountability but abstain from hypocrisy.
- March 21, 2021 – Your Father Isn’t Annoyed by Your Requests [Matthew 7:7-11] – Many of us are lacking certain things because we have simply refused to ask God for them. As our Father, he knows what we need and takes pleasure in giving us good gifts.
- March 28, 2021 – The Broken Rule [Matthew 7:12-14] – Instead of treating others the way we wish to be treated, we often repay others for what they have done. The remarkable standard of the kingdom is simple, yet few will accept it.
- April 4, 2021 – The Make-Believer [Matthew 7:15-23] – Plenty of people know religious lingo and practice helpful service, but not all have an actual relationship with Jesus. Make sure that your faith isn’t make-believe.
- April 11, 2021 – How to Survive Life’s Storms [Matthew 7:24-29] – All of us go through storms, but only some of us make it out of them. As Jesus concluded the Sermon on the Mount, he taught his listeners how to build the types of lives that can withstand life’s storms.
- April 18, 2021 – When God’s Plan Doesn’t Make Sense [Habakkuk 1:1-17] – The prophet Habakkuk could not understand how God could idly allow the sin of their enemies to continue unchallenged. If we believe God to be worthy of our complete trust, we must accept His plan even when it doesn’t make total sense.
- April 25, 2021 – When God’s Timing Is Frustrating [Habakkuk 2:1-20] – God promised Habakkuk that He would right all the wrongs done by their enemies, but the timing seemed delayed. A belief in God’s sovereignty implies that we believe God does all things in the right way and at the right time.
- May 2, 2021 – When I’m Unsure If I Can Make It [Habakkuk 3:1-19] – Habakkuk became overwhelmed as he canvased his circumstances, but He held to the hope that God would provide him with the necessary strength. When the path seems too challenging, God equips us to endure the journey ahead.
- May 9, 2021 – A Woman’s Worth [Proverbs 31:10-31] – While we all seek affirmation from others, the source from which we seek it will determine the course of our lives. God’s Word provides clarity for women regarding the type of worth they ought to esteem.
- May 16, 2021 – The Wisdom Required to Finish Strong [Proverbs 1:1-9] – As King Solomon instructed his son in the path of wisdom, he provided sound advice, which he personally failed to keep later in his life. Wisdom is not just about possessing the correct information but ensuring the proper application.
- May 23, 2021 – The Importance of Influencers [Proverbs 2:1-22] – We can often carry deep regret simply because we listened to ungodly counsel. Our homes should lay a foundation of biblical wisdom equipping us to avoid the dangerous paths of this world.
- May 30, 2021 – Avoiding Half-Hearted Christianity [Proverbs 3:1-8] – God didn’t call us to trust Him with some of our hearts because He knows we need total commitment. Discover God’s design for a life entirely entrusted to Him.
- June 6, 2021 – Faithful Finances [Proverbs 3:9-10] – God should never be an afterthought when it comes to our finances and possessions. Learn from God’s Word what it means to honor Him with all that He has given to you.
- June 13, 2021 – When God Calls the Family Meeting [Proverbs 3:11-12] – Our Heavenly Father loves us enough to correct us when we are in the wrong. In His discipline, He is more concerned with teaching us what we should do rather than shaming us for what we have done.
- June 20, 2021 – A Man’s Mission [Proverbs 4:1-27] – Every family passes on a legacy but not every legacy is worth continuing. Men are called to lead their homes by providing biblical instruction and a faithful example.
- June 27, 2021 – Enjoying Your Marriage Again [Proverbs 5:15-23] – Couples often lose satisfaction in their marriage because they seek happiness in other pursuits. To restore the joy in your marriage, you must intentionally celebrate the gift God has given you in your spouse.
- July 4, 2021 – Restoring the Dignity of Work [Proverbs 6:1-15] – God has designed us to use our gifts to accomplish good things for the benefit of our families and others around us. To see all people succeed, we need to restore the dignity of work in our lives and in the lives of others.
- July 11, 2021 – The Destruction of Adultery [Proverbs 6:20-35] – The temptation of adultery does a masterful job of highlighting the momentary pleasure while disguising the long-term pain. You must be careful to avoid a trap of falling for anyone who does not belong to you.
- July 18, 2021 – The Progression of Pornography [Proverbs 7:1-27] – Solomon warned his son about the allurement of any forbidden woman, but she is more easily accessible in our days. Beware the trappings of lust and the consequences it is destined to bring no matter what format the connection takes.
- July 25, 2021 – Don’t Drop Your Kids Off at Church [Proverbs 22:6] – God expects parents to be the primary disciple-makers of their children. Your home will never produce growing disciples without the intentional investment of one generation into another.
- August 1, 2021 – Your Child’s Not Going Through a Phase [Proverbs 13:24] – Every child is prone to push the boundaries, but God expects parents to enforce them for their own good. Loving your child isn’t allowing them to get away with anything, but it is committing to discipline them through everything.
- August 8, 2021 – Grand Errants [Proverbs 17:6; 13:22] – Many families experience conflict because of members failing to be what the surrounding generations need them to be at the right time. You can avoid painful conflict if you understand how God has wired all family roles to interact with one another.
- August 15, 2021 – Building a Godly Home [Proverbs 24:1-7] – No one ever inherits a godly home, but it is built through the intentional application of biblical wisdom. If you want to experience your family transformed, make sure you know what to embrace and what to avoid.
- August 22, 2021 – The Danger of Distraction [Luke 10:38-42] – We often find ourselves distracted with so much that we miss the most important things. If you feel too overwhelmed with distractions, you must evaluate and alter your habits to experience the life Jesus intends for you.
- August 29, 2021 – The Burden of Busyness [Ephesians 5:15-17] – We wear busyness like a badge of honor in our culture, but the pace does significant damage to our souls. Consider how you should use your time in the wisest way possible.
- September 5, 2021 – The Tyranny of Technology [1 Cor. 9:24-27; 6:12] – To experience spiritual sanity, we might require a digital detox. If you don’t discipline yourself to control technology, be assured that it is controlling you.
- September 12, 2021 – The Dailiness of Devotion [Luke 5:15] – You will not grow closer to Christ by accident. Our spiritual conditions are contingent upon the intentional habits of withdrawing from dangerous distractions and engaging with daily devotions.
- September 19, 2021 – The Stop of Sabbath [Deuteronomy 5:12-15] – If we neglect God’s structure for our rhythms of work and rest, we will find ourselves eventually burning out. The gift of the Sabbath is a needed weekly pause in the midst of a culture committed to nonstop hurry.
- September 26, 2021 – The Sacredness of Simplicity [1 Thessalonians 4:9-12] – The Apostle Paul was one of the most ambitiously productive men the world has ever seen, and yet he encouraged believers to conduct quiet lives. The disciple committed to simplicity is content to focus on the responsibilities and relationships that God has provided and needs affirmation from nothing else.
- October 3, 2021 – Rescued from an Ordinary Life [1 John 1:1-4] – Far too many professing Christians drudge through life seemingly unaware of the joyful journey it is to follow Jesus. To know Jesus is to experience a rescue from the ordinary life.
- October 10, 2021 – Stepping Out of the Darkness [1 John 1:5-10] – To deny sin’s presence in our lives only increases our level of guilt. The only way to walk in the light is by stepping out of the darkness in honest confession for true forgiveness.
- October 17, 2021 – How to Know for Sure You Are Saved [1 John 2:1-11] – Assurance of salvation can often be an elusive thing to obtain. God’s Word provides specific characteristics of those who have been truly born again.
- October 24, 2021 – Don’t Get Too Comfortable Down Here [1 John 2:12-17] – While we live in this world, we are not called to love the things of this world. Knowing that heaven is our home, we must never get too comfortable with the things of this life.
- October 31, 2021 – Wearing Masks in Church [1 John 2:18-27] – There are people who appear like they know Christ, but over time, the masks come off, and we see who they truly are. Beware of deceitful people who claim temporary or modifiable association with Jesus.
- November 7, 2021 – Like Father, Like Done [1 John 2:28-3:3] – If God is truly our Father, there are certain things about us that are guaranteed. To be children of God means that all we will become is based upon what He has done.
- November 14, 2021 – If Habitual Sin Remains Unchallenged [1 John 3:4-10] – Can a true believer continue in habitual sin? God’s Word provides stark warnings about the changes that should be present in the disciple’s life.
- November 21, 2021 – Love Requires More Than Words [1 John 3:11-24] – It’s one thing to tell people that you love them, but it’s a completely different thing to show them. Love requires more than words and should be shown through our deeds and truth.
- November 28, 2021 – Not Every Spiritual Person Is Spirit-Led [1 John 4:1-6] – Plenty of people seem to be spiritual but really aren’t biblical. We must learn to test the spirits of what people say so that we don’t drift away from the Spirit of God.
- December 5, 2021 – You Can’t Love Until You’ve Been Loved [1 John 4:7-21] – Our love for God and for others is contingent upon HIs love for us. We are incapable of loving another until we grasp the unfathomable love of God.
- December 12, 2021 – Calling All Overcomers [1 John 5:1-5] – We will be unable to overcome the world until obedience to God’s Word is desirable. Once God’s commandments are no longer seen as burdensome, we are able to experience the victory intended for us.
- December 19, 2021 – The Greatest Gift Given [1 John 5:6-12] – Out of all the gifts we have been given, none can rival Jesus Christ Himself. Through a relationship with Jesus, we find the life for which we have all been longing.
- December 26, 2021 – Know That You Know That You Know [1 John 5:13-21] – There is no greater assurance to seek than that of your salvation. Know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life and your present life receives the purpose needed.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.