Sermon Archive

Our culture aggressively promotes self-centeredness, but puts a shine on it by calling it "self-fulfillment". By elevating our happiness as the highest good we are reaping the storm particularly in the most basic of our relationships - our marriages. We need to get back to the basics of marriage as created by God.

A confrontation with a group of Pharisees provided an opportunity for Jesus to take His disciples back to the basics of God’s intent for marriage.

Direct download: 2016-0131_sent_to_serve_nelson.mp3
Category:Sent to Serve -- posted at: 8:30am PDT

When I was in 5th grade I begged my mom to let me go to school a half hour early to play basketball. Every morning the 6th graders would play full court basketball and they would pick a few 5th graders to play as well. I wanted to get picked in the worst way because getting picked by a 6th grader meant you were "in"; everybody else was "out". Whenever I was picked I felt great. Whenever I wasn't picked, I felt terrible.

We long to belong. It is our very nature and it begins at birth with our need to especially bond to our mothers. If there is failure to bond, if rejection happens in infancy, that person is scarred for life. Our need to belong and to be accepted runs deep and is undeniable. Rejection is devastating. It is the devastating hurt of rejection that is driving much of the racial violence in our country today. Rejection in the church is particularly damaging because there is a general expectation that the church is a place of love and acceptance.

When Jesus discovered that His disciples had excluded a man of genuine faith because he was not part of their group, Jesus sternly corrected them.

Direct download: 2016-0124_sent_to_serve_nelson.mp3
Category:Sent to Serve -- posted at: 8:30am PDT

Last Tuesday when we had the really heavy downpour and flash flood warnings, water washed around the pipe that serves as the bridge into our cul-de-sac. As a result it washed out about a 12 foot swath of crushed asphalt recently put down by our neighbor. Another neighbor discovered and removed a sheet of plywood that was blocking the pipe. Wednesday, when another downpour hit, with the blockage removed, the water stayed in the pipe and no further damage was done to the road.

Jesus wants His love to flow freely in His church, but like that piece of plywood, ego and status consciousness can block the flow. Jesus confronted this problem in His disciples as they returned from their ministry tour in Caesarea Philippi to Capernaum.

Direct download: 2016-0117_sent_to_serve_nelson.mp3
Category:Sent to Serve -- posted at: 8:30am PDT

Special service presenting the direction Grace Church is moving concerning leadership and Home Groups.

Direct download: 2016-0110_special_nelson.mp3
Category:Special -- posted at: 10:45am PDT

Hanging in the Vatican is a painting by Italian artist Raphael titled, The Transfiguration. In the uppermost part of the picture is Jesus transfigured and flanked by Moses and Elijah. On the next level are Peter, James and John shielding their eyes from Jesus' blinding radiance. On the ground below is a demon possessed boy, eyes rolled back into his head, mouth gaping in wild raving. Holding the boy is his father looking desperately to the nine disciples to deliver his son. Some of the disciples are pointing upward to Christ Who is the boy's only hope. Raphael has captured something of the overwhelming contrast between the awesome glory of the Mount of Transfiguration and the troubled world waiting below.

This is the contrast before us in Mark 9:14-29.

When Jesus, Peter, James and John returned from the mountain and rejoined the other nine disciples, they found their companions embroiled in an argument with Jewish scribes.

Direct download: 2016-0103_sent_to_serve_nelson.mp3
Category:Sent to Serve -- posted at: 8:30am PDT