HomeSunday Sermon SeriesSunday Sermon Series from July 16, 2023

Sunday Sermon Series from July 16, 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


Fr. Mike starts off by sharing his strong dislike for board games, especially the ones that rely on chance and involve players trying to mess with each other’s progress. He gives examples of games like Monopoly Deal, Settlers of Catan, and Ticket to Ride, where the whole point seems to be hindering each other. He even recalls feeling frustrated and uninterested when his siblings disrupted their gameplay. According to Fr. Mike, he prefers activities like swimming and running, where individuals compete against themselves without trying to get in each other’s way.

He then compares board games to life, saying that just like board games, we often don’t enjoy obstacles or opposition in our lives. He admits that life, including the Christian journey, often comes with challenges. That’s when he introduces the concept of parables and announces a summer series called “Parabellum,” which means preparing for war to achieve peace. He dives into Jesus’ teachings in the gospel, highlighting how God’s word and grace are generously sown but also warning about five types of opposition that can steal our joy and hinder our discipleship.

These five obstacles are identified as the evil one (Satan), persecution, tribulation, worldly anxiety, and the lure of riches. Fr. Mike acknowledges the desire to simply choose Jesus and follow Him without having to deal with these obstacles. However, he emphasizes that Jesus reveals the inevitability of facing opposition and urges believers to be prepared. He explains how Satan aims to steal, kill, and destroy, while persecution, tribulation, anxiety, and material wealth all have the potential to diminish the joy and fulfillment intended by God.

In conclusion, Fr. Mike encourages his listeners to understand and accept the presence of obstacles in life and the Christian journey. He emphasizes the need to prepare for and confront the five types of opposition identified by Jesus. Despite his personal dislike for obstacles and hindrances, he stresses the importance of acknowledging and dealing with these challenges in order to experience the fullness of the new life in Christ.

Listen to the full version here.

Buckhead Church


Joel Thomas highlights the prevalent issue of isolation and loneliness in society, particularly emphasizing its exacerbation by recent advancements in social media technology and the COVID-19 pandemic. He refers to a report by Murthy that reveals a staggering statistic: prior to the pandemic, one in two adults in America battled feelings of loneliness. This feeling of isolation is not limited to any specific group, as people from different backgrounds and locations experience it. Murthy’s research also indicates a concerning trend of increasing isolation over the past 50 years, affecting all generations. Younger generations, in particular, have seen a significant decrease in time spent with friends.

The consequences of this isolation are far-reaching, affecting mental and physical health. The author highlights the alarming rates of clinical depression and suicide among Gen Z, as well as the link between isolation and physical health risks such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Moreover, isolation negatively impacts communities and societies as a whole, leading to decreased academic achievement, poor career performance, increased healthcare expenses, and compromised social and political stability.

The pandemic served as a clear example of how socially connected communities recovered faster in various aspects, emphasizing the importance of social connection for personal and societal well-being. The Surgeon General concludes that human beings are wired for social connection, and this truth is reflected in biblical accounts where God declares that it is not good for humans to be alone.

Joel calls for the creation of a culture of life-giving relationships, termed “Friendology,” to counteract the growing trends of isolation and independence in society. He emphasizes the need for intentionality and diligence in prioritizing community over efficiency and convenience. Joel concludes by urging readers, as Christians, to address this human problem and seek meaningful connections, not only for personal growth but also to contribute to unity, health, and thriving communities.

Listen to the full version here.

Passion City Church

Was It Worth It?

In Romans chapter one, Paul begins by expressing his gratitude for the faith of the recipients of his letter. He thanks God through Jesus Christ for their renowned faith, which has been reported worldwide. Paul emphasizes that he constantly remembers them in his prayers, highlighting his deep connection to them and his desire to visit them. He eagerly anticipates the opportunity to come to them, hoping to impart a spiritual gift that will strengthen their faith and bring mutual encouragement.

Paul’s enthusiasm for preaching the gospel is evident in this passage. He declares his eagerness to share the good news with the people in Rome and emphasizes his lack of shame in proclaiming the gospel. He firmly believes in the power of the gospel, as it holds the ability to bring salvation to everyone who believes. Paul’s unwavering conviction in the gospel’s transformative power and its universality is clear.

Brad Jones reflects on Paul’s unwavering dedication to spreading the message of Jesus, despite the challenges he faced in his ministry. Paul’s commitment to the gospel remained strong, even in the face of persecution, suffering, and opposition. Brad poses the question of how Paul managed to maintain such an eager spirit amidst adversity, inspiring readers to find their own worth and purpose in their mission and remain focused and ready for God’s work.

Listen to the full version here.

Trinity Anglican Church

Kris McDaniel begins by reflecting on the importance of understanding the purpose behind the word “there” in a passage. Kris shares a personal anecdote about their mother, who was an English teacher and emphasizes the need to back up and examine the context. He then discusses the translation of the Bible by Eugene Peterson called “The Message” and defends its validity. He recalls a meeting with Peterson and express disappointment when he criticized the size of their church. However, he still appreciates Peterson’s translation and believes it helps convey the essence of Paul’s message.

Kris then focuses on Romans 7 and highlights the universal question of whether anyone can help in times of need. They answer this question by stating that Jesus is the one who can provide help and set things right in the midst of life’s contradictions. He acknowledges the struggles faced by Christians who grapple with the tension between wanting to please God and being influenced by sin. He encourages honesty and acceptance of this inner turmoil.

Kris then explores the concept of condemnation and the transformative power of Jesus’ actions. Explaining that Jesus took on the burdens of sin and shame, offering liberation from condemnation. He emphasizes that this freedom is not a license to indulge in sinful behavior but rather a liberation from shame and a restoration of wholeness. Kris shares personal experiences of extending and receiving condemnation, highlighting Jesus’ contrasting approach of moving toward people in their brokenness.

Moving forward, pastor Kris delves into the four characteristics of a life guided by the Holy Spirit. He discusses the absence of condemnation, freedom, power, and the experience of life and peace. He emphasizes that the Holy Spirit empowers believers to live a life marked by these characteristics. Kris encourages individuals to seek the Holy Spirit’s work in their lives and to rely on the power and nearness of God. He suggests intentional reflection and the establishment of habits and rhythms that align with the Spirit’s guidance.

In conclusion, the sermon encourages listeners to contemplate what it means to set their minds on the Spirit. It prompts them to consider how they can practically incorporate the four characteristics of a Spirit-led life—freedom from condemnation, freedom, power, and life and peace—into their daily routines. Kris emphasizes the need for intentional reflection and the acknowledgment of God’s presence within individuals as they seek to align their lives with the work of the Holy Spirit.

Listen to the full version here.

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