We when look back on our lives, it’s safe to say that none of us want to feel like we’ve wasted the time we’ve been given. We all want to live with purpose and meaning. We want to know what God wants us do and when He wants us to do it. So how do we figure that out before it’s too late? How do we avoid missing out on what God wants us to be a part of? In part two of our series Times and Seasons, Pastor Steven explains to us how time in scripture can teach us how God wants us to make the most of every moment we’ve been given.
Archive for the ‘Sermon Recap’ Category
Our life is not one fluid, unobstructed movement of progress. Rather, it’s a collection of different times and seasons, filled with mountain tops and valleys, blessing and drought, fulfillment and brokenness. And when we realize what season of life we’re currently in – good or bad – what is our response? Do we try to knuckle down and just get through it? Do we pray for our days to just fast forward to the next season? Do we wish we could even switch lives with other people in better seasons? In the first part of our series Times and Seasons, Pastor Steven teaches us how through Christ, God has equipped us to find purpose in every season of our lives.
There will be times in all our lives where we will be standing face to face with our most intimidating situations. And we have a choice as to how we respond. Do we run away in fear? Do we crush ourselves under a weight we were never meant to carry alone? Do we give up and just accept inevitable failure? Or is there another way – a better way? In the second part of our series 52 Days of Thanks and Praise, Pastor Steven teaches us how our relationship with Christ allows us to reframe the perspective of our problems.
As Christians, we have been called to represent Christ to a lost and hurting world. To show to others the grace of God that has been so freely given to us. To live lives worthy of the calling we have received. But we all have parts of our lives that do not reflect Jesus. Some days it’s our attitude and outlook. Other days it’s the words we say to others or to ourselves. In this sermon from our series 52 Days of Thanks and Praise Pastor Steven teaches us the power the Holy Spirit has to locate the unbecoming areas of our lives and help clothe ourselves with the righteousness of Christ each and every day.
There are two times in our lives when we should praise God: when we feel like it, and when we don’t. Either way, He is worthy. Giving God praise and gratitude is a choice we decide to make each day. And as believers in Christ, we have more than enough to be thankful for. The love of Jesus and the grace of God are enough to keep us grateful for the rest of eternity. So during our 2013 Banner Years Weekend, as we looked back at God’s past faithfulness in our lives and our church, Pastor Steven issued a challenge of spoken praise and visible gratitude for the final 52 days of the year.
If you’d like to join with us over the next 52 days of thanks and praise, visit 52DaysofThanksandPraise.com. There you’ll find a daily scripture and praise prompt, as well as a live social media stream featuring thousands of others giving God thanks and praise.
The Christian life is really great when things are going well. When prayers are answered and God’s presence can be felt. But what about that other times? When it feels like our prayers are going unheard and our efforts aren’t making a difference. It’s in these times when our faith can take the biggest hit. We begin questioning God’s purpose for our lives and doubt gains a foothold in our hearts. When will this season end? And what happens if we don’t see our desired outcome? In the sermon “Don’t Stop on Six,” Pastor Steven explains God’s purpose when we persevere through the process.
Life would be so much easier if we all just had our act together. Most of us spend so much time and energy trying to portray a neat and tidy life to the rest of the world. But the fact of the matter is that we all have our messes. The parts of our lives that feel chaotic and out of control. And we have the tendency to let these messes define us and forecast our future. But in this sermon “How to Love the Mud,” Pastor Steven explains how we can find God’s purpose and grace in the middle of our muddy mess.
There is no guarantee that once we place our faith in the hands of Christ, that our lives will suddenly, magically improve. In fact, we often find that it’s quite the opposite. But as Christians, our lives fortunately are not dependent on the outcome of our circumstances, no matter how shaky and unstable they may become. And in part six of our series I Don’t Know What I Believe, Pastor Steven explains how to keep our confidence when our circumstances are under attack.
It doesn’t matter if you have been a Christian for one week or seventy years, there are parts of our faith that we will never fully know or completely understand. And while it can be frustrating — it’s ok. When we don’t know what we believe, our only option is to trust in Who we believe. In the first four parts of our series I Don’t Know What I Believe, Pastor Steven has been teaching through the foundations of our faith — salvation, sanctification, sovereignty, suffering — helping us understand these concepts and instilling a Christ-centered confidence in Who we believe, even when we don’t always know what we believe.
A lot of us wish that our lives as Christians were a constant stream of never-ending blessing – like God is some sort of celestial Oprah, giving away all His favorite things. We get the parking spot. We get the tax refund. We get green lights and clear skies. But if that’s our view of God, then how are we supposed to deal with everything that doesn’t turn out just right? When we hurt, and grieve, and suffer. How are we supposed to find God there? In part four of our series “I Don’t Know What I Believe” Pastor Steven helps us to reestablish our perspective on suffering, and how God ultimately intends to use it in our lives for our good and His glory.
“God is in control.” It sounds nice and it makes a great bumper sticker – but do we really believe it? How can God, and all His infinite power, love, and grace, coexist in a world with cancer, divorce, human trafficking, and genocide? How can God possibly be in control when life often feels very much the contrary? In part 3 of our series I Don’t Know What I Believe, Pastor Steven explains how God and His sovereignty give us a hope to cling to during the most tumultuous seasons of our lives.
If we truly believe what the Bible says about God’s love, what Jesus did for us, and who we are in Him – why then so often do our lives not reflect that? We believe our salvation is secure, but what is keeping us from experiencing the life-changing sanctification that God has called us to? In part two of our series I Don’t Know What I Believe, Pastor Steven points us to three areas of our lives that can easily derail us from living a Holy life.
God loves us. He has rescued us and He has a plan for us. These are some of the foundational statements our faith found in scripture. And when we read these words, it fuels our faith. We want to believe God is good. But we don’t live in a perfect vacuum. So what happens when the circumstances of our lives don’t align with what God says? How do we keep our faith in the midst of struggles and pain and trials? In part one of our series I Don’t Know What I Believe, Pastor Steven helps us establish a deep-rooted confidence in Christ, able to withstand lives that can shake us at our foundation.
What does it mean to truly follow Jesus? Once we’ve accepted Him as our Savior, how does that look in our everyday life? For far too many of us, our relationship with Jesus is built upon convenience, comforts, and fair-weather fandom. When we have time or when there’s added benefit. But if that is what our relationship is built on, do we even have a relationship with Him at all? In this clip from the first part of our series Raised To Life, Pastor Steven explains the big difference between being for Christ and being with Christ, and the drastic impact that those words, and their corresponding actions, have on our relationship with Him.
Giving has always been a sermon topic that makes people clinch their fists, shift in their seats, and begin checking their watches. But maybe that’s because we approach our giving from the wrong perspective. Far too many of us see giving as an obligation to God, or as a way to manipulate Him into blessing us. If that’s the way we were taught about giving, then yes – there’s not much there to get excited about. But in the final part of our series (This Is Your) Permission Slip, Pastor Steven teaches us a third way to approach our giving – one that breaks us free from our own selfish desires and draws us closer to a God who will not be out given.
We all start out so strong. Passionate with the message of Jesus and and driven by the mission God has given us. But inevitably, it begins to fade. We start to slow down. We grow weary of the struggle and begin justifying an easier life; settling for simply surviving. How did we get here? And what are we missing out on in the life God planned for us? In this clip from the sermon “Pound The Ground,” Pastor Steven teaches us through the life of Elisha, that there are still victories left to be won, if we are willing to keep pounding.
Most of our frustrations are born out of our own personal experiences not meeting our expectations, but what about when the tables are turned? What do we do when we are the ones not living up to the expectations of others? How do we avoid the weight of disappointment when we don’t measure up? And what should our response be to the negative opinions in our lives? In part 3 of our series The Expectation Gap, Pastor Steven teaches us the proper position to take when the expectations of others get between us and who we are in Christ.
Frustration is born when our expectation doesn’t match our experience. But what happens when God is at the center of our expectation – and He doesn’t come through? When our prayers seem to fall flat. When it seems like the God who loves us didn’t provide for us in the way we had hoped. But God doesn’t share our perspective. And His plans won’t always match up with our plans. And in part 2 of our series The Expectation Gap, Pastor Steven teaches us, through the story of Lazurus, how to realign our expectations with a new perspective on who God really is.
Frustration. It’s born in the space between our expectations and our actual experiences. “This isn’t what marriage was supposed look like.” “I thought this job was going to be different.” “I never thought my kids would act that way.” We have all been there. Overcome with frustration and left with nothing but unmet expectations. How are we supposed to respond? Do we suck it up and get on with life? Do we just lower our expectations? Or is there another way? In the first part of our series The Expectation Gap, Pastor Steven uses Mary and Martha to teach us about the source of our greatest frustrations, and what our response should be, in light of who Jesus is.
There is a big difference between hearing a sermon on Sunday and applying it to our lives on Monday. What happens when what we hear doesn’t fit neatly into our life circumstance? What if we still have questions? To close out our series God’s Will Is Whatever, Pastor Steven sat down with our church and answered specific questions about God’s will, covering everything from dating to finances to finding God’s will when He closes doors in our lives.
It is not enough just to discover the will of God. That’s only one step. Besides, many of us are educated well beyond our level of obedience. So what do we do once we understand God’s will for our situation? And how do we do it the next time? And the time after that? In part three of our series God’s Will Is Whatever, Pastor Steven teaches us how over time, the will of God can become the desire of our heart.
Chances are most of us aren’t hearing from God with an audible list of instructions when we are seeking direction for our next steps. We want to trust Him and step out in faith, but there’s no burning bush or blinding light. So how are we supposed to hear from God when it comes to the important decisions in our life? In part two of our series God’s Will Is Whatever, Pastor Steven uses the life of Jacob to explain the different channels God can use to reveal His will to us.
When we become Christians and accept Christ as Savior, we make the single most important decision of our lives. But once we make that choice, we open ourselves up to a seemingly endless amount of new decisions, all centering on one over-arching question – what does God want us to do with our lives? Trying to decipher the will of God can be a frustrating prison of fear and second-guessing. But in the first part of our new series, Pastor Steven explains a life-altering perspective shift that changes the way we approach our place in God’s will.
All the best stories have it. The right setting. The climactic action. The memorable characters. And the greatest story forever told is no exception.
For our Easter Worship experiences, we closed out our IN•FIN•8 series by looking throughout scripture – from Genesis to the Gospels to the book of Revelation – using worship, creativity, and preaching, and connected the dots of a plot of weaved together from the dawn of time. A story centered around one perfect character and one climactic event – the death and resurrection of Jesus.
And as a church, we celebrated and thanked God for His faithfulness and mercy as over 1,600 people accepted Christ as their Savior this Easter weekend.
There’s comfort and freedom knowing that we weren’t made this way by accident. We are who we are on purpose. There is a divine design to each of us with a unique set of abilities and opportunities. In this clip from our series The Prodigy In Me, Pastor Steven explains how God has fully equipped us with all we need to fulfill what He’s created us to do.
We all want a strong faith. We feel like if we had better faith we’d make it through the storms of life in one piece. If we had more faith our marriage would improve, our kids would be better behaved, we’d get that promotion we want. But in part six of our series IN•FIN•8, Pastor Steven uses the story of Peter walking on water to show us that the point of the storm isn’t to prove our faith, it’s to prove God’s faithfulness.
We all want to know what God wants us to do with our lives. We want Him to clarify our calling. Where do we go? How do we do it? But our calling is much more than just a set of directions. And it rarely caters to our convenience and comfort. In part 4 of our series INFIN8, Pastor Steven uses the story of Jonah to help us understand our calling, how to respond to it, and the ultimate purpose of what God has called us all to do.
God did not bring us into existence so that He could only reign over certain areas of our lives. God did not send Jesus to rescue a sinful, broken world so that He could just be one of our options. So why do we treat Him that way? Why, as Christians, do we want God to reign over our spiritual lives, but then often choose to follow other options when it comes to our job, our relationships, or our finances? In part three of our series IN•FIN•8, Pastor Steven shows us, though the story of Elijah on Mount Carmel, the problem with keeping our options open.
If all we want is a life of convenience and only convenience, then God’s way is not the best way. Because when it comes to God’s will and His plan for our lives, His way is not always the shortest way or the easiest way. It’s better than that. In the second part of our series IN•FIN•8, Pastor Steven uses the the story of Moses and the Red Sea to show us that God’s way is the way that causes us to press in towards Him, stretching our faith and increasing His glory.
There is a very real and present Enemy lurking in our lives. He wants to destroy us and our relationship with God. But Satan is crafty in his deception. Instead of showing us how he wants to ruin us, he asks us questions that cause us to doubt the instructions, intentions, and promises of God. In this first part of our series IN•FIN•8, Pastor Steven looks at the story of Adam & Eve to help us understand the questions Satan asks us – and the questions God asks us in return.
We all experience moments of doubt and defeat in our relationship with God. Why am I not growing? How does the Enemy keep backing me into a corner? Where is the victory over my flesh? As it turns out, it has a lot to do with our approach. To introduce part three of the New Rules of Resolution, Pastor Steven sat down with his friend, and former UFC champion, Vitor Belfort, as they discussed the parallels between MMA training and the Christian life Christ called us to live.
Click here to see the rest of this sermon, preached by our Worship Pastor Wade Joye and our Creative Pastor Larry Hubatka.
Many of us, as Christians, need a role reversal. We come to God, asking Him what we can do for Him. Our intentions are often good – but the harsh reality is that you can do nothing for God that He couldn’t do Himself. He’s God. If He wants it, He’ll get it. But that’s not why He called you in the first place. In this clip from our series Mr. & Mrs. Betterhalf, Pastor Steven reminds us of the attributes of God by explaining the purpose of His instruction in our lives.
Everyone likes winning. It’s how we’re wired. No one really enjoys the ‘moral victory’ that comes with a loss. But many of us have a misunderstanding of what it means to really win. What does victory look like in our daily lives? And is winning even the point? In the first part of our new series Banner Years, Pastor Steven gives a new perspective on victory by teaching us where it must begin.
At Elevation Church, we do student ministry a little different. We don’t have a “youth group” in the traditional sense of the word. Instead, we encourage our students to be a part of the weekend worship experience, join student small groups and serve in their church and the community. Why wait for them to grow up to be a part of what God is doing? Every year we take a weekend to celebrate our students as the men and women of God they are becoming in Christ. We call it Student Takeover. In part 3 of our sermon series I Know He Is, But What Am I?, Pastor Steven uses this year’s Student Takeover to speak directly to our students, encouraging them that no matter what they go through this school year, their identity is secure – when they know who they belong to. Click here to watch this entire sermon from I Know He Is But What Am I?
We all know the relationships that drain us. The ones that are exhausting to maintain. But why are some people so tiring to love? And how do we love them anyway? In the final message from the series “How to Hug A Vampire: Loving the People Who Suck The Life Out of You,” we discovered what it looks like to love from God’s overflow, instead of from our own limited, leaking reserve. Check out a few highlights below and click here to watch the full sermon and see for yourself how to suck-proof your soul.
Each week at StevenFurtick.com, the Elevation Staff will be walking through the weekend sermon to apply the teachings to our lives. This week, we revisit the weekend sermon from Bishop T. D. Jakes. Bishop Jakes is the Lead Pastor at The Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas, and is back at Elevation Church after preaching to us during Code Orange Revival in January.
Holly Furtick taught us last week that God can develop us extraordinarily if we allow Him to turn our waiting rooms into work rooms. Like Paul and Silas, He has a purpose for our prisons. Bishop Jakes continued the Waiting Room series with a timely message on forgiveness. As Pastor Steven said this weekend, “Not all waiting rooms are a result of God trying to teach us something. Sometimes, they are a product waiting for things that we need to let go of.
Bishop Jakes referenced Matthew 18:20-35, where Peter asks Jesus the question, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus responded with the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant.
You owed God a debt that you could not pay.
The servant in Jesus’s story owed a sum of money that seemed impossible to repay. However, when he simply begged for time to repay his debt, his master responded in overwhelming compassion and simply forgave the servant of his entire debt. As Bishop Jakes reminded us this weekend, God has done the same for us. He has forgiven us and washed us clean from our sin, despite knowing each and every secret sin in our lives that we try to hide. Bishop Jakes challenged us by asking, “How can we receive such flamboyant mercy and not extend it to those around us?” The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6 says, “Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Do you really want God to treat you the same way you treat your mother-in-law? How about the co-worker that you just can’t stand? Or the sister you just can’t get along with? As Bishop Jakes concluded, “Where it really counts, sometimes we have difficulty giving the grace and mercy that we have received.”
Spend some time thinking today – what are you going to let go? What is dammed up behind that unforgiveness that is going to flow through after you let it go?