Why do Americans love superheroes? There are probably many reasons, but primarily because we each have a deep desire to be saved, protected, rescued, and fought for. In this sermon, Preachers Roundtable member Gary Francis unpacks the second name that the prophet Isaiah used to describe the Messiah in Isaiah 9:6-7 – Mighty God. Jesus is a king who fights for the hearts and lives of the citizens of his kingdom.
Over 700 years before birth of Jesus, the prophet Isaiah spoke of a coming Messiah who would bring liberation to Israel and renewal to the entire world. In Isaiah 9:1-7, the prophet says that this Liberating King will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” In this sermon, Matt unpacks the first name that the prophet Isaiah used to describe the coming Messiah – Wonderful Counselor. Jesus enters into the world offering his presence, his guidance, and his resources. Because Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor, we can live trusting his voice and direction.
Pastor Lauren unpacks the story of Stephen in Acts 6 and 7 and talks about the sacrificial, prophetic life he lived that eventually led him to become the first martyr of the church. As Stephen’s life is examined and parallels are found to the life Jesus led while on earth, Lauren challenges us to think about what sacrifice looks like in our own contexts as we live out missional lives in Miami. Lauren also reminds us of the promise Jesus makes to His disciples that He will be with them as they live out His mission.
When we operate out of an identity in things other than God we try to make sense of the world around us but find it difficult to do so. What is our identity, our purpose, our significance? Only when we begin to find our identity in God can we see the bigger picture of purpose and significance beyond ourselves and thus respond more readily and authentically to God’s kingdom as it breaks through. In this sermon, Preacher’s Roundtable member Esther Knicely unpacks Acts 5:12-42 when the disciples are confronted and opposed by the religious elite. When God’s kingdom breaks through it reveals what is in our hearts and if we are working in conjunction with his love and power or against it.
It is normal in our culture to portray ourselves in a way that isn’t completely honest. The advice we get is to “fake it till you make it” – pretending to be something that you’re not is acceptable to get what you want. In this sermon, Matt unpacks story of Barnabas, Ananias, and Sapphira in Acts 4:32-5:11. The Spirit confronts our tendency to pretend and compare ourselves so that we can experience the true life of Jesus.
Miracles are tough for Westerners. We have a difficult time believing that an outside “power” can intervene in our world, yet this is what we see throughout Acts. The Spirit has been dispersed to all followers of Jesus and is bringing healing and renewal anywhere they go. In this sermon, Preachers Roundtable member Alejandro Herrera examines the story of the lame man who was healed outside of the temple gates in Acts 3:1-4:22. The Church is the new temple where God’s presence, healing, and hope can be accessed and experienced.
Loneliness has become the norm in American culture. The majority of adults in the United States consider themselves to be lonely and the medical industry had declared it a health crisis. In this sermon, Matt examines Acts 2:42-47 and how the first church in Jerusalem followed Jesus together. In the midst of challenging, hostile conditions the early church thrived and we can too.
The story of Acts is primarily a story of Jesus continuing his work of renewal in the world through his Spirit. The traditional understanding at the time was that God’s presence could only be experienced in the Temple, but Pentecost changed that. In this sermon, Preachers Roundtable member Terri Dewey unpacks Acts 2:1-41 – the story of the Spirit moving out into the city and among regular people. The Spirit has left the building and is actively working in the lives of all kinds of people.
The book of Acts is the second volume of Luke’s meta story of what Jesus began and continued to do in the world. It begins with Jesus spending time with his disciples, telling them that the Spirit is going to give them power to be witnesses of him in the works. In this sermon, Matt gives an overview of Acts and specifically examines Acts 1:1-8. Jesus is spreading his kingdom through his disciples in the power of the Spirit.