These sketches/outlines are taken from messages delivered in SVCC's Sunday morning worship services.

  • The Sower and the Seed - Luke 8.4-15

    “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh”  (Galatians 5.17 KJV)

    Jesus recognized that there are those who hear, and those who really hear. I enjoy the way Eugene Peterson paraphrases Isaiah 6.9 in verse 10: “Their eyes are open, but they can’t see a thing. Their ears are open but they can’t hear a thing.” Do you know anyone like that? Do they live in your house? Do they wear your pajamas?

  • Joy to the World: James 1.2-3

    “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” (James 1.2-3)

    O Come, thou Dayspring, come and cheer, Our spirits by thine advent here
    Disperse the gloomy cloud of night, And death’s dark shadow put to flight
    Rejoice! Rejoice!  Emmanuel shall come to thee O Israel

  • Prince of Peace: John 14.27

    Jesus said, “not as the world gives do I give you” peace. By the world’s low standard, peace is no more than the mere absence of strife. Thus, according to the world, peace between nations is the absence of hostility; peace in a marriage means the absence of fighting; and financial peace means the absence of debt. But that is peace “as the world gives” -- and as we know, where there is a vacuum, something is going to fill the void. 

    What will it be for you?

  • How to Live and Die Happy: True Goodness - Matthew 23.25-28

    Last week we talked about the fruit of the spirit “kindness.” This week we will explore “goodness.” The two overlap in meaning -- in fact, the Greek root word Paul uses for “kind” is often also translated as “good” in our English Bibles.  But there is a distinction here in the list of the fruits of Spirit in Galatians 5.22-23. Paul listed both kindness and goodness as separate fruits of the spirit to emphasize their unique meanings.

  • How to Live and Die Happy: True Kindness - Galatians 5.16-25

    Our guest David Mollel and I were talking yesterday about a crisis in both of our our cultures as well as the body of Christ. In Tanzania as well as the US, young men are unwilling to commit to families; at the same time, Christians are unwilling to commit to God. This crisis of commitment has vast implications. A generation is committed to nothing except keeping their options open -- perhaps too open to be anything but destructive.

  • Patient
  • How to Live and Die Happy: True Patience - Galatians 5.16-26

    How do you measure “spiritual success”? I once had a friend tell me that if I wanted to be successful as a minister that I had to first and foremost learn how to “ooze spirituality.” He was not a Christian, and even though he sincerely meant well, his analysis of spiritual success was both intriguing -- and disturbing. I just wanted to follow Jesus, not “ooze” anything!

  • How to Live and Die Happy: True Peace - Philippians 4.6-7

    “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

    “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4.6-7 NIV)

  • How to Live and Die Happy: True Joy

    Part 3 in a series on the Fruit of the Spirit

    If we want to know how to live and die happy, we have to define happiness. I believe that happiness is knowing that your life matters, that you have a purpose, that your life counts for something. Does your life mean something? Do you know that you have a higher purpose than living day to day? In the end, will it make any difference whether you were here or not?

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