the Big Idea
Christmas inspires us and refocuses us on the miracle of Jesus coming to earth for us. We enjoy time with family, friends, and our Savior. And then January comes. Decorations come down, and we go back to our day-to-day lives. The short days of winter are only matched by our short tempers. The awe and joy we find at Christmas can be quickly replaced by despair and doubt.
What if it didn’t have to be like this? What if we shifted our focus from the manger to the empty tomb? Jesus came to earth to die on the cross, but the story doesn’t end there. Because of the resurrection, we are assured forgiveness of our sins and eternity in Heaven.
Jesus changes everything.
Overview of the Series
March 31, 2019: What if… we believed without seeing?
Most of us trust that the sun will rise in the morning and that the crops planted in spring will grow so we’ll have food in the fall. But we struggle to trust that God is who he says he is. Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. When we believe without seeing, we allow God to be God. We trust that the creator of the universe will do things we can’t even imagine praying for.
Scriptures: Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16
Sermon Text: John 4:46-54
April 7, 2019: What if… we didn’t worry about “fair”?
Everyone wants justice and fairness. We think that we deserve things to go our way and for our prayers to be answered the way we think God should answer them. We ask why God allows bad things to happen to good people. Christian life isn’t meant to be easy or fair. Look at Jesus: he was perfect, yet he was arrested, beaten, and crucified. By redirecting our focus from fairness to forgiveness, we can learn to thank God that he isn’t fair, because we definitely don’t deserve the grace he has unfairly given to us through Jesus.
Scriptures: Genesis 50:15-21
Sermon Text: Matthew 26:47-56
April 14, 2019 (Palm Sunday): What if… we worshiped without shame?
What do you worship? In order to truly determine what you worship, you have to consider those things that you put first in your life. We’re always worshiping something. The only One we can worship without shame is God. Just like the people in the streets of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, we can worship God because of his faithfulness, power, and love.
Scriptures: Psalm 98
Sermon Text: Matthew 21 :1-9
April 18, 2019 (Maundy Thursday): What if… we had all we needed?
We put in a ton of effort worrying about having the things we need. Whether these “needs” are actually survival requirements or things we just think we have to have, we forget the fact that the Giver of all things knows our needs. God has already taken care of the only thing we truly need: forgiveness.
Scriptures: Matthew 6:25-34 and or Mark 2:1-12
Sermon Text: Matthew 26 :26-28
April 19, 2019 (Good Friday): What if… we were debt-free?
“It is finished.” These last words of Jesus are about more than the end of his life on earth. This sentence means that Jesus gave up his life for you. Although he was perfect, he suffered death for your sins. You could never sacrifice enough to pay for your sins, but Jesus paid the debt in your place.
Scriptures: Ephesians 1:3-10
Sermon Text: John 19:16-30
April 21, 2019 (Easter Sunday): What if… Jesus is alive?
Have you every been lost? There’s physically lost – like when you wander around a foreign place, and then there’s spiritually lost – like the disciples were feeling on the road to Emmaus. After Jesus was crucified, they lost all hope. They forgot everything Jesus told them about what would happen next. When we forget about the Resurrection, we’re right there with the Disciples – lost, hopeless, wandering. But Jesus is alive. And that changes everything.
Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 15:12-22
Sermon Text: Luke 24:13-35 (esp 28-32)
April 28, 2019: What if… we spread the Good News?
After Jesus ascended into Heaven, the disciples were lost. They huddled in an upstairs room, trying to figure out what to do next. And then… a miracle! They were filled with the Holy Spirit, inspired anew to share the good news. The book of Acts tells us that 3,000 people came to faith that day. What if we shared Jesus like this? Imagine the impact that the Good News of Jesus would have on your family, your community, and the world.
Scriptures: Romans 10:14-17, Isaiah 55 :10-11
Sermon Text: Acts 2:36-40