HomeSunday Sermon SeriesSunday Sermon Series August 27, 2023

Sunday Sermon Series August 27, 2023

Whether you call them homilies, sermons, or talks, there’s a lot you can learn from the spiritual leaders in our community. While in a perfect world, you’d have time to listen to everyone, that simply isn’t possible for most with limited time to spare. To help, we’ve surfaced and summarized the teachings from the audio sermons of some of the most influential priests and pastors from around town and in the Christian sphere.

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Fr. Mike Schmitz

In this week’s homily, Fr. Mike Schmitz reflects on the nature of questions and answers in the context of getting to know others and understanding oneself. He begins by highlighting the process of asking and answering questions when meeting new people, emphasizing that our lives are centered around responding to questions. Fr. Mike acknowledges how people often answer on behalf of others, unintentionally taking away their ability to respond for themselves.

He then shifts to discussing Jesus’ pivotal questions in the Gospel of Matthew, where Jesus asks, “Who do people say that I am?” and “Who do you say that I am?” Fr. Mike asserts that there is an underlying, unspoken question: “Who does Jesus say that he is?” He points out that while others may provide answers about Jesus, only He can truly define His identity. Fr. Mike presents evidence from Jesus’ teachings and actions to establish that Jesus claims to be God incarnate. He uses examples like Jesus forgiving sins, declaring Himself the way, the truth, and the life, and ultimately rising from the dead.

Fr. Mike addresses potential doubts about Jesus’ identity by systematically dismissing the notions that He could have been a liar or deluded. Instead, he argues that the only plausible conclusion is that Jesus is, in fact, who He claims to be—God. He emphasizes the impact this realization has on people’s lives, illustrated by the apostles’ willingness to suffer and die for their faith. Fr. Mike highlights the power of Jesus’ miracles as “signs” that point to His identity and challenge listeners to reflect on their personal response to the question, “Who do you say that Jesus is?” He encourages the audience to take the time to answer this question for themselves and consider its significance.

Listen to the full version here.

Buckhead Church

Icon: Empowering the Invitation of the Cross

In this sermon by Andy Stanley, the central theme revolves around humility as demonstrated by Jesus and its significance in our lives. Stanley emphasizes how everyone inherently resists arrogance and pride, but humility is a trait that draws people closer. He highlights the discomfort that accompanies interactions with arrogant individuals and contrasts this with the power of humility in resolving conflicts and fostering connections.

Stanley begins by discussing the scenario of encountering pride and how people naturally resist it. He points out that while we may have to interact with proud individuals, their arrogance creates distance and an inability to empathize with others’ emotions. The reason for this distance is their lack of self-awareness due to being self-absorbed. Stanley then raises the question of how to ensure we are not among those we dislike and cannot connect with.

He delves into the biblical context, mentioning that Peter, a disciple of Jesus, wrote about God resisting the proud but favoring the humble. Stanley asserts that humility has a powerful impact on relationships, making people more inclined to say yes to humble requests. Humility’s ability to absorb instead of pushback surprises people, making them off balance in interactions. He discusses how humility leads to resolution and connection, emphasizing its effectiveness in handling conflicts and difficult conversations.

The sermon shifts to Jesus’ actions as an example of humility. Stanley recalls the story of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet, highlighting how this act was not just an illustration but a profound response to his awareness of his power and authority. Jesus, though fully aware of his significance, chose to serve and humble himself, demonstrating a counterintuitive approach that transcends worldly power dynamics. Stanley concludes by encouraging the audience to pursue humility intentionally, as Jesus’ model challenges us to choose humility, take risks, and serve others as he did.

Listen to the full version here.

Passion City Church

In Louie Giglio’s sermon, he reflects on the concept of the Sabbath and its significance for individuals and the Passion City Church community. He begins by expressing gratitude for God’s faithfulness and reflects on the journey the church has been on, highlighting the importance of rest and remembering God’s goodness. He explains that Sabbath is a practice that may seem counterintuitive to the human mind but is rooted in the idea of pausing, resting, and acknowledging God’s sovereignty. The sermon emphasizes the need for individuals to step back from the busyness of life, relinquishing the pressure of feeling responsible for everything and recognizing that God is the ultimate authority.

Giglio draws insights from Genesis 2, where God rested on the seventh day of creation and sanctified it as a day of rest. He explores the idea that the Sabbath is about taking time to remember and appreciate God’s role as the creator and sustainer of all things. He encourages listeners to embrace Sabbath as an attitude of the heart, rather than just a day off, by turning down the volume of distractions and creating space for God to speak. He suggests spontaneous activities that involve spending time with God, allowing Him to move in those moments. Giglio also underscores the importance of involving family and loved ones in the practice of the Sabbath.

The sermon concludes with a call to worship, acknowledging God’s unchanging character and inviting His presence into the Sabbath break. Giglio prays for refreshment and a deeper understanding of God’s sovereignty during this time of rest. He emphasizes that through the Sabbath, individuals can experience contentment, freedom from worry, and a renewed focus on God’s guidance and provision. The sermon encourages listeners to approach the Sabbath as a means of building trust in God’s faithfulness and invites them to return to the community after the break, believing in God’s work and purpose in their lives.

Listen to the full version here.

Trinity Anglican Church

In this sermon by Kris McDaniel, the focus is on Matthew 16:13-20, where Jesus asks his disciples about his identity. The setting is in Cesarea Philippi, a place far from their routine surroundings, symbolizing the importance of changing perspectives. Jesus first asks his disciples about public opinion regarding his identity. They respond that people compare him to John the Baptist, Jeremiah, or other prophets. Jesus then poses a more personal question: “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answers, declaring Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of the living God. This declaration underscores Jesus’ role as a deliverer who moves toward people’s mess and brokenness.

The sermon emphasizes the need for revelation and understanding Jesus’ identity as both perceived by others and experienced personally. It’s highlighted that knowing Jesus’ identity is foundational for understanding our own identities and purpose. The concept of revelation is discussed, suggesting that God reveals Himself to us when we seek Him and make space for Him, much like playing hide and seek with a dog. The importance of engaging with the Bible is emphasized to better understand Jesus and God’s character.

The sermon concludes with the idea that knowing Jesus deeply provides stability in turbulent times. By having a sturdy understanding of who Jesus is, individuals can navigate life’s uncertainties with confidence. The sermon encourages listeners to consider making small changes to their routines to gain fresh perspectives and to be open to experiencing God’s revelation in their lives. The congregation is invited to ponder and implement practical steps for seeking new perspectives, leading to a better understanding of Jesus and themselves.

Listen to the full version here.

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