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Hear sermons from Sundays at Christ United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill, NC – a community committed to following Jesus for the transformation of the world by connecting with God and one another, growing in our faith, and serving God in our community and beyond. Worship every Sunday at 8:30 am, 9:45 am, and 11am.
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Paul had to change his plans to visit the Corinthians, choosing to stay back for a while. This change of plans, along with many other things, was weaponized by his opponents and used to accuse him of being insincere, vacillating, and self-centered. Paul begins his overall defense of his ministry - and discipleship in general - by explaining and pre…
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What if Jesus asked you to sign blank sheet of paper as a promissory document. Your signature of commitment and nothing else. Jesus will fill in the rest and you must trust Him. Now, picture that the sentence "You will suffer for my Name" is on that paper. Will you sign it now?!? You and I would if we knew the trade-off. If we gave our certainty an…
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Sometimes you wonder if these stories in Genesis can get more twisted. Well, they can. You can't make this stuff up. In Chapter 38, we have one of Jacob's sons, Judah, leave the family, head toward the pagan Canaanites, marry one of them, sire two wicked sons and one nondescript ones. Then, on top of all that, through deception, curated sexual sin,…
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Remember the J-Curve - the graph of following Jesus? Sometimes we are thrown into a pit, only to be rescued and brought to a greater strength, maturity, and blessing than ever before. That J-curve is the pathway of Genesis 37-50, a new unit we are starting this week. We're calling it "Joseph and the Many Colored Gospel." Chapter 37 is a powerful st…
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Have you ever returned home? By home, I mean where you were raised, and all that represents: your old house, schools, hang out haunts, college campus? I bet a flood of memories come back. Some of us did not know Jesus back then and we can feel the regrets and loss with those memories. However, as it often happens, God meets us in that nostalgia and…
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Genesis 34 is a cascade of atrocities displaying the depravity of the human heart. This awful story of disobedience, defilement, deceit, and death highlight our need to be rescued. And while there is no hero in this Genesis 34, praise be to God that this is only one chapter in the story of God's redemptive plan for his people.…
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God loves us so much, He gives us limps. It is true. Let me argue from this vantage point. God loved the Son so much that He sent Jesus to the cross. The logic is difficult, but clear. In Genesis 32-33 we are going to see a little pre-gospel. Jacob needs to reconcile with Esau. And, in a surprising and beautiful way, they will reconcile. But it is …
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He is Risen! He is Risen indeed! The glorious truth of Jesus's resurrection and our resurrection will be celebrated this Easter Sunday and we will look at it from 1 Peter chapter 1. In that text, Peter uses stunning imagery to show us what the resurrection means for our lives as the people of God who are not home yet. In fact, he calls us the chose…
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Palm Sunday begins Holy Week often with a refresh on Jesus riding into Jerusalem during Passover week on his way to the cross. This is referred to as the Triumphal Entry. This year, I want to journey with Jesus, but from a bigger perspective. What does this journey to Jerusalem mean in the bigger context of the Biblical story line? I want us to pul…
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The Bible is a truly cool interconnected story. God often teaches the same themes through layers of stories upon stories. Genesis 31 is like that. Before the big book of Exodus, we have a small chapter and mini-Exodus. Jacob flees his father-in-law, who has him in slavery. He does so because God commands him out, and promises to be with him, just l…
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The story of Jacob and his two wives involves much sin and hardship. Jacob's relationship with Laban is marked by trickery and deceit. Yet the worldly intentions and actions of each of these human characters are no match for the triumphant grace of God. We will ultimately see that as God mercifully remembered Rachel, sinful though she was, to give …
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Three things are for certain: death, taxes, and our sins will eventually catch us.In Genesis 29, Jacob's deceptions eventually catch up to him through another deceiver, a "Jedi deceiver," his uncle Laban. In the midst of the plot line is another water-well love story, a young vs. older narrative, and a God who get his purposes accomplished in it al…
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I like planning. I like the predictable. Calendars are my friend. Even people who are "free spirits" and "go-with-the-flow" types want scheduled unscheduled moments. We might call this chronos time - the planned life. However, while most of life will be lived within chronos time, the most transformative moments in our life happen in crisis time - w…
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When you think deeply about why we 'twist' the truth... or shall I just say it... we lie, we deceive, and we manipulate, one is drawn to the reality of trust. What do we actually trust? Do I trust God? If so, why do I think I have to claw my way through life, to get ahead, and to ultimately achieve blessing? If I really trust the promises of God, t…
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Last week we learned about the importance of prayer in evangelism. This Sunday we will look into the amazing story of Jesus healing a blind man in John 9. We will see (no pun intended) that there is often a progressive revelation and realization of who Jesus is. We will also consider how to share the gospel in a way that speaks into the some of the…
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