This year I preached five sermon series: Real Marriage, The Seven, Jesus Loves His Church, Esther, and He Made Us Family. Real Marriage was the most popular; eight of the ten most-watched sermons of the year were from that particular series, with Esther and Easter rounding out the top ten (below).
I look forward to starting off 2013 with a new series on Ephesians (watch the trailer). Lord willing, I will preach through the first few chapters of Acts during the spring, followed by the Ten Commandments in the fall. I'm truly grateful that I get to preach the Bible and tell people about Jesus for my "job." Thank you, Mars Hill Church and everyone else listening in!
King Xerxes was the most powerful and wealthy man on the earth during his reign over the vast Persian Empire. He was worshiped as a god. He throws a six-month, all-expense-paid party to showcase his own glory. Chances are, we would do the same if we had the same resources. There’s something in us that wants to be a rich and powerful king like Xerxes, but Jesus is a better King than any of us.
Sexual assault is an epidemic: 1 of 4 women and 1 of 6 men have been sexually assaulted. This grievous sin leaves victimes feeling shamed and defiled, but in Jesus we are cleansed. If we turn from sin and trust in him, Jesus removes the disgrace we bear from the sins we commit and the sins committed against us.
Before sin entered the world, God created sex for marriage between one man and one woman. People distort this gift and tend to see sex as either god or gross. However, the Bible gives six ways in which sex is a gift from God: for pleasure, children, knowledge, protection, comfort, and oneness.
Relationships are like a house. Trash accumulates, and if you don't take it out the trash, the whole thing starts to stink. In marriage, you’re going to sin against each other. Rather than bickering, criticizing, getting defensive, stonewalling, or growing bitter, fight to the glory of God by recognizing sin and repenting of sin.
Every year Mars Hill Church hosts a huge party to celebrate the most important day in the history of the world: the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our great King and Savior. Easter is a special day to emphasize the good news that our sins our forgiven, our friendship with God is sealed, and our future is eternal life with him.
A wife wields a tremendous amount of power in the life of her husband. According to Ephesians 5:33, a wife is to respect her husband, which means “to notice, regard, honor, prefer, defer to, encourage, love, and admire.” Wives: How do you think about your husband? How do you feel about your husband? What do you say about him? What do you do for your husband?
Marriage is a covenant, not a contract. Every covenant—including the new covenant of salvation—has a head, who is ultimately responsible for the covenant. The husband is the covenant head of a marriage; he is responsible for his marriage, his wife, and his kids. Similarly, Christ took that which was not his fault—our sin—and he made it his responsibility on the cross. He is our covenant head, and our example as husbands.
Porn hurts God. Porn hurts men, women, and children. Porn hurts marriages. There is no such thing as free porn. Crissy, a former pastor’s daughter who grew up to be a porn star and has since returned to a vibrant relationship with Jesus, shares her story and the realities of the porn industry. Those of you on the porn path: Jesus died so you can kill your sin before it kills you.
The trinitarian God of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is a friendship. He made us in his image and likeness for friendship with him and one another. Marriage is about friendship. Your spouse is to be your “lover and friend” (Song 5:16); in other words, your friend with benefits. How’s your friendship with Jesus? With your spouse?
This was the first sermon in the Real Marriage series. I shared the story of my marriage, and explained how God has given Grace and I a new marriage with the same spouse. You don’t need a new spouse; you need to be a new spouse, by God's grace and "the blood of the Lamb" (Rev. 12:11).