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

  • You Are Not What I Expected Part 2

    Part 2 of a 3-part series dealing with a difficult question:
    “What happens when God doesn’t meet my expectations?”

    Not the Messenger We Expected (Matthew 11:7-10)

    Not a “reed” blown by the wind of pop culture or opinion polls. Not a “sheik in pajamas” who sells his voice to the highest bidder. John was the greatest Prophet—a man rejected by men, but steadfast in his commitment to God, just like Elijah.

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  • You Are Not What I Expected Part 1

    Part one of a 3-part series dealing with a difficult question:
    “What happens when God doesn't meet my expectations?”

    John the Baptist is facing serious discouragement, doubt and despair. This makes sense given John’s situation — imprisoned, rejected, and soon to be executed for following God’s call to herald Jesus as the Messiah.

    The Root of the Problem: Misunderstanding Jesus We must be careful not to fall into the trap of assuming that we “get it” when it comes to knowing the fullness of God’s plans.

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  • Hospitality

    Hospitality Doesn’t Come Naturally

    Yet Jesus says our reward will be determined by our hospitality. No exception for poverty, BTW. A cup of cold water is about as basic as you can get!
    (See the story of Elijah and the Widow: 1 Kings 17:8-15)

    The Mystery Guest

    Jesus says that when we show hospitality even to one of his “little ones” we are welcoming Him (and therefore, God the Father).

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  • Cost of Discipleship

    All Self-Seeking is Self-Loss

    The Bargain:

    Easy living for an extraordinary life

    “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
    (John 10:10)

    Safety for significance
    “I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church”
    (Colossians 1:24)

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  • Family Values Revisited

    Cutting Through Steel; Cutting Through Apron Strings
    Elevating Family Values to Dangerous Heights

    We are prone to put family first; we are supposed to put God First.

    We Think Jesus Came Only to Bring Peace...

    ...But He says he came to bring a sword. What can this mean? Simply this: the existence of evil—even in families—necessitates conflict. Event the best family is broken beyond our ability to repair. The politics of the family must take a back seat to the calling of the kingdom. We must be careful not to romanticize the memory of our family members.

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  • A Call To Courage

    Losing Truth, Losing Touch

    Confidence in any absolute today is seen as arrogance. Vague openness about everything is seen as humility.

    In this time of relativism, it is very costly to be confident in what Christ has “whispered in our ears”, and much easier to scratch the world’s ears only where they itch.

    True Grit

    Jesus fuels our courage in the face of criticism and persecution with these truths in today’s passage:

    1. When we’re persecuted, we’re bound together with Him (Matthew 10:25)

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  • The Serpent and the Dove

    The Serpent

    “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.”
    (Genesis 3:1a)

    “So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
    (Psalm 90:12)

    The Dove

    ”...The heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.”
    (Matthew 3:16b)

    “Be angry, and do not sin*”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,
    (Ephesians 4:26 / *Psalm 4:4)

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  • Sending Out the Twelve

    Temporary Instructions, Timeless Principles

    These instructions were unique, and do not necessarily apply today.
    (See Matthew 28.19-20)
    However, certain principles found in these instructions still apply.

    Temporary instructions: Where to Go

    “These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
    (Matthew 10:5-6)

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  • Getting Into Shape part 2

    You are hand—crafted… one-of-a-kind!
    There has never been — and there will never be — another YOU.
    “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
    (Psalm 139:13-14a)

    Your best shot at making your biggest impact comes when you
    1) Discover what you were made to do and 2) do that very well.

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