NEW SERIES - Fight for the Faith

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NEW SERIES - begins on October 13

As America moves further and further away from being a “Christian nation”, culture and even church opposition continues to increase. There is a greater need than ever for perseverance, wisdom, and courage to stand with Christ. There is a greater need than ever to stand on the Scriptures and to cling to Christ. Jude calls us to this fight and urges us to “Fight for the Faith” in this one-chapter book.

You Are

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You’re listening to a sermon from Mount Lebanon.  We are a community for the community and we are here to share and to show the forgiveness of God and the love of Jesus.  Today, Pastor Buske from the Lighthouse Youth Center reminds us who we are in Christ - we are salt and light. A sermon on Matthew 5:13-16.

Learn more about Lighthouse Here: http://lighthouseyouthcenter.com

One - #4 - Many Parts

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Each person in this world is uniquely made by their Creator. Each one of us is unique, created perfectly by our God for works of service both according to how God had made and gifted us, and according to how we have been shaped and molded by life.  While we are one body, one family, and ministry sharing one faith. We who are one are also many. And what makes each one us different makes all of us better.

One - #3 - One Family

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We are a family and a community of believers that walk in faith and through life together.  As we go through life things fracture the family.  Sometimes it’s sin and hurt that pushes family members apart.  Other times it is just because of the busyness of life that we slowly drift apart.  On Welcome Home Sunday we want to celebrate the family that we have and recommit ourselves to walking together in faith and through life.

One - #2 - One Ministry

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Since the very beginning of our ministry we have operated both a church and a school.  These are two very important parts of our ministry. Yet, these are not two ministries, but one. And it's not just these two that are married into one ministry. It's the ministry that each one of us carries out day after day whether at home, in the community, at work, and even here at the church.  Whether we come or go, we are one body believers carrying out one ministry and mission together.  And this ministry and mission is simple: We are here to share and to show the forgiveness of God and the love of Jesus.

ONE - A NEW SERMON SERIES

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God has given Mount Lebanon a mission here and now. We are here to share and show the forgiveness of God and the love of Jesus. In this series we want to consider the things that matter most to us as we carry out this mission. These are the things that God says about what is important to him for his church. These are the things that we value. These are the beliefs that guide our actions and interactions with each other and our community. This is a series about those things.

Found - 2 - Safe at Home

This is one of the most well-known parables in the whole Bible.  We know it best as the parable of the Prodigal Son.  But it’s not really about the son. We can see his prodigal, lavish, rebellious lifestyle.  We can see where his sin leads him.  But this parable isn’t really about the son.  It’s about the father.  It’s about the father who sees, feels, embraces and welcomes his son home.  This is a sermon about home and about the Father who welcomes us home. A sermon on Luke 15:11-24.

Found - 1 - Up On his Shoulders

We get this.  The parables that Jesus tells us in Luke chapter 15 move our hearts in some deep ways. We can connect with these stories because they are real life.  We understand exactly what is happening in these stories because they’ve happened for us in real life. We’ve lost pets. We’ve lost money.  These stories grab us because they happen in real life.  Yet, Jesus isn’t just telling us stories for the sake of stories, he is trying to teach us something.  He wants to teach us something about who he is and what gives him joy.  He wants us to know his heart, his pursuit, his desire. This is a sermon about that.  This is a sermon about what gives God joy. A sermon on Luke 15:1-10.

FOUND - a new sermon series

We get this.  The parables that Jesus tells us in Luke chapter 15 move our hearts in some deep ways. We can connect with these stories because they are real life.  We understand exactly what is happening in these stories because they’ve happened for us in real life. We’ve lost pets. We’ve lost money.  We’ve lost children. We’ve even been lost ourselves.These stories grab us because they happen in real life.  Yet, Jesus isn’t just telling us stories for the sake of stories, he is trying to teach us something.  He wants to teach us something about who he is and what gives him joy.  He wants us to know his heart, his pursuit, his desire. This is a sermon series about that.  This is a sermon series about what gives God joy. A sermon series on Luke 15.

The Silence that Speaks - #7 - The King's Edict

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This Sunday, we're wrapping up the Esther series.  It's been a really powerful series in so many ways.  We've spent some time in a book of the Bible that many people don't know a whole lot and, perhaps, miss what the inspired writer was talking about.  It also speaks to our hearts because in so many ways, Esther's story is a lot like ours.  No, not many (any?) of us are queens.  Not many (any?) of us are faced with execution as a race of people.   The circumstances of our life are very different from Esther's in a lot of ways, but the seeming silence of God is exactly the same.  When was the last time God whispered in your ear and said, "This is what I'm doing right now."  When was the last time you saw God do something?  I know that he is, but I haven't seen his hand writing on the wall of my life.  God seems to be silent.  How are we supposed to make sense of our lives and the paths that they're taking?  How are we supposed to understand our story?  That's what we want to understand as we finish up the book of Esther. A sermon on Esther 8.

The Silence that Speaks - #6 - The One The King Delights to Honor

Pride comes before the fall. We can see it so clearly in the arrogance and actions of Haman. He goes to extraordinary lengths to put Mordecai down. And yet, in a seemingly coincidental and certainly ironic turn of events, Mordecai gets the honor and Haman thought he was getting. Instead of getting honor from the king, Haman got the death he had prepared for Mordecai. Pride certainly comes before the fall. Pride is such a dangerous thing to us too. Haman’s pole, his gallows, would be our death too. This is where the story turns for Haman, for Mordecai, for us. At this pole, at our Savior’s cross, our history turns and instead of dishonor, the King delights to honor us. A sermon on Esther 6.

The Silence that Speaks - #5 - On the Third Day

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So much is on the line right here. Will the king welcome Esther and receive her into his throne room unannounced? It’s been a month! She didn’t know if he would or if he wouldn’t. On the third day she went and he welcomed her into presence.On the third day she was granted life instead of death. Had the king not extended this mercy, her execution or banishment would have been an ominous potent of the things to come for the Jews. But on the third day in the throne room of the king, Esther was granted life in place of death. This scene pictures a gracious act of a king who holds life-and-death power. Had God not extended the cross of Jesus Christ to the world, all would die in his presence. But “on the third day” after the final judgment transpired on the cross, Jesus Christ arose to imperishable life, guaranteeing safety to enter God’s presence to all who reach out in faith to touch that cross-shaped scepter.” A sermon on Esther 5.

The Silence that Speaks - #4 - Positioned for Purpose

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The story begins to come into focus: Esther is uniquely positioned to intervene for God’s people and bring relief and deliverance.  It means facing a death that is coming for her anyway – either at the hands of Haman’s decree or at the hand of the king who didn’t invite her to come.  There is nothing for her and her people to do but “fast, weep, and mourn” and to “return to the Lord your God” (Joel 2:12-13).  Esther must claim and live in her identify as a child of God and come into who she was in her God.  So also we. In any and every circumstance it is time for us to fast, weep and morn, to return to the Lord our God, and claim and live in our identity as his child. “Regardless of the straights you find yourself in, turn to the Lord.  Rend your heart and not your garments; “fast, weep, mourn,” and return to the Lord your God.  His purposes are greater than yours.  And, who knows?  Perhaps you have come to your present situation for such a time as this.” 

The Silence that Speaks - #3 - The Die is Cast

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Mordecai saves the king, but is not recognized.  Haman is somehow promoted.  Thus begins the war between Mordecai the Jew and Haman the Agagite. The scene is set. Nothing is by chance. In circumstances like this we often complain that God is not fair, that God is unjust, that God is absent, or even worse that God is evil. But we are still in the middle of the story as were Mordecai and the Jewish nation (also back in Jerusalem!).  We cannot see the end of things from the middle and must walk by faith, not by sight. God intends to save and protect his people in Christ and ultimately to destroy those who wickedly remain opposed to Christ. There is no power, no enemy, that can thwart God’s electing purpose. We, too, like David in Psalm 16, can praise God because he has made our lot secure in Christ.

There is no audio or video of the sermon this week.

The Silence that Speaks - #2 - Called by Name

Esther is caught up in a story that is beyond her control. What should she do? She goes along with the story and the plan. The author doesn’t both to discuss the morality or the rightness of it. The king calls her by name and elevates her to be his queen. God is silently moving everyone and everything into place. Even more than that, God is being a husband to his people, even to us. Esther is called by name, as are we by our God to live in this world as his people. It is not always clear how we are to live our lives as God’s people, but this much is clear that we are caught up in his plan whether we know it or not. We are God's own and we live for his applause. A sermon on Esther 2:1-18.

The Silence that Speaks - #1 - The King Laughs (and we laugh with him)

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It’s hard to know the end of the story from the middle of it.  It’s hard to see God’s hand of power, love and protection at work when we’re living it. In the book of the Esther there is a silence that speaks loudly.  You don’t hear the name of God.  You don’t hear a prayer from God’s people.  Yet, the silence of Scripture speaks volumes about God in her life.  We do not know the end of the story from the middle of it, but God’s story in Esther helps us see God’s hand at work in all of it.  A sermon on Esther 1 by Pastor Nate Bourman.

NEW SERIES - The Silence that Speaks

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 "I believe in God even when he is silent." 

~ found scratched into the wall at a Nazi prison camp.  

Throughout history, there have been times when it seemed like God has gone silent.  Esther lived at such a time.  A terrible and dangerous king named Xerxes ruled the known world.  He and Haman laughed when together they decided to exterminate the Jewish people.  However, their plan did not succeed.  Truth be told Haman hanged himself in an almost satirical turn of events.  The God of the universe brought about an incredible salvation through Esther, but never once is God or the Lord named in the book.  Still, he's there directing, controlling, and saving.  Even when he seems silent, we believe.  We believe in the God who comes to us through Jesus, his cross, and his empty tomb.  We hope in him against all hope.

In a world where it is increasingly difficult for us to see God as the end nears, in a world where we are faced with difficult choices, in a world that where the rich laugh and the poor remain marginalized, the life of Esther will speak.  Into our lives where we can’t see the hand of God at work, where we struggle to hear his voice, and see his plan in our lives, the God of Esther will speak.  God does indeed seem to be silent in our lives.  God’s does indeed seem to absent from our lives.  But the book of Esther will assure that God is indeed not silent nor is he absent.  This Sunday, we start into Esther.  We keep telling her story all summer.  We need to see all God does for his people.  God is on the move in our lives, even if we can't see him.  More on Sunday (6/30).  You won’t want to miss a single Sunday.