The Gardner

The Gardner

Mark Twain famously said, “History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” And that’s certainly proven true when we look closely at John’s report of what happened the morning of Jesus’ resurrection. It reads like a song that you used to know but have long since forgotten the melody. There’s just something familiar about this story. See if you can hear it too.

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The Tragedy of Jesus' Triumphal Entry

The Tragedy of Jesus' Triumphal Entry

Things aren’t always as they seem. Especially with stories and traditions that we’ve grown comfortable hearing. Familiarity has a funny way of hiding things that are hanging right in front of us.

Yesterday was Palm Sunday and like many pastors I taught from Luke 19:28-48. This is what has been traditionally titled the Triumphal Entry. But was it a triumph?

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A Blessed Life in the Kingdom — Part 5

A Blessed Life in the Kingdom — Part 5

Week 7 in our series The Sermon on the Mount: A Manifesto on Life in the Kingdom

In this week's teaching we considered the blessed life of those who are persecuted for righteousness sake. "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Not all who are persecuted are blessed by God. Only those who are persecuted for righteousness sake and on account of Jesus are blessed by God.

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A Blessed Life in the Kingdom — Part 4

A Blessed Life in the Kingdom — Part 4

Week 6 in our series The Sermon on the Mount: A Manifesto on Life in the Kingdom

In this week's teaching we considered the blessed life of the peacemakers by looking at Matthew 5:9. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God. Peacemakers are people who work for peace, not through vindication but through reconciliation. The people of God's Kingdom work for peace, not to earn their way into his kingdom, but as members of his kingdom their natural disposition is to work for peace because they belong to the God of peace.

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A Blessed Life in the Kingdom — Part 3

A Blessed Life in the Kingdom — Part 3

Week 5 in our series The Sermon on the Mount: A Manifesto on Life in the Kingdom

In this week's teaching we considered the blessed life of the pure in heart by looking at Matthew 5:8. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. We asked the following questions about this beatitude: What does it mean to be pure in heart? What does it mean to see God? And how are those two things connected with one another.

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A Blessed Life in the Kingdom — Part 2

A Blessed Life in the Kingdom — Part 2

Week 4 in our series The Sermon on the Mount: A Manifesto on Life in the Kingdom

In this week's teaching we took a brief look at Matthew 5:6, and how those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are both satisfied and blessed by God. Then we spent some time considering the blessed life of the merciful and the holy reciprocity of God toward his people in verse 7. 

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A Blessed Life in the Kingdom — Part 1

A Blessed Life in the Kingdom — Part 1

Week 2 in our series The Sermon on the Mount: A Manifesto on Life in the Kingdom

In this week's teaching we considered the first three beatitudes of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. These first three beatitudes are an integrated whole. The person who understands their spiritual poverty before God will mourn their sinful condition. And the person who is mourning their sinful condition before God will become meek. And it is these people who are blessed, for theirs is
 the Kingdom of Heaven, they will be comforted, and they will inherit the earth. 

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On Becoming Human Again

On Becoming Human Again

Week 1 in our series The Sermon on the Mount: A Manifesto on Life in the Kingdom

In this week's teaching we take a bird's eye view of what the Sermon on the Mount is about. From the beginning of human history it has been God's purpose to fill the earth with his image bearing people, who would extend the dominion and influence of his kingdom throughout the creation, to all creatures everywhere. But, because of sin and the curse, it became necessary for God to bring about the redemption of our fallen images and the restoration of all things through his Son Jesus. Now, as the perfect image bearing King, Jesus comes into the world to save us and to teach us how to live in his newly established Kingdom.  

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Our Vision

Our Vision

IN WAXAHACHIE AS IT IS IN HEAVEN

We don’t believe the Church is another sub-culture, but the making of a new humanity. 

It’s not a building or a weekend activity, but a people chosen by God for his redemptive purposes in the world, for the joy of all people and the eternal glory of his name. 

And while we don’t believe the church is an activity or a building — that we are a people — we are a people given to a place.

So we want to take spiritual responsibility for the city where God has settled us. This means that we believe that we're called to live beyond Sunday gatherings and midweek Bible studies, to invest our whole lives in developing deep community with fellow believers in proximity to where we live. 

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A King & His Kingdom Come — Matthew 4:12-17

A King & His Kingdom Come — Matthew 4:12-17

Week 17 in our series, A King and His Kingdom Come: An Exposition of the Gospel of Matthew.

Jesus is the true and better Israel. In his baptism, in his wilderness testing, and in his return from exile out of the Land, Jesus succeeds where Israel has failed. And because Jesus was faithful for Israel, the Kingdom of Heaven breaks into the world as it never had before. 

In this teaching we sketch out the parallels between Jesus’ ministry and the itinerary of Israel, from their Exodus, through their conquest, and the establishment of the Davidic Kingdom.

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Jesus' Wilderness Wandering & Temptation — Matthew 4:1-11

Jesus' Wilderness Wandering & Temptation — Matthew 4:1-11

Week 16 in our series, A King and His Kingdom Come: An Exposition of the Gospel of Matthew.

Hebrews 4 says that Jesus is a high priest who sympathizes with us in our struggle, for he was tempted in every way that we are tempted. In this week's message we looked at Matthew 4:1-11 and considered how Jesus' temptation was a recapitulation of Israel's temptation in their wilderness wandering. Where Israel failed, Jesus succeeds! We also discovered that his temptations didn't end in the wilderness but continued on into his ministry.

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The Baptism of Jesus — Matthew 3:13-17

The Baptism of Jesus — Matthew 3:13-17

Week 15 in our series, A King and His Kingdom Come: An Exposition of the Gospel of Matthew.

This week we considered how the baptism of Jesus by John was, among other things, the revelation of Jesus as both the new and better Adam and Israel. We also discovered how Jesus, like Joshua and Elisha before him, was commissioned by the Father to be the successor of a greater ministry than the ministry of John. Finally, we saw how that in our baptism we are commissioned by Jesus to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. 

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John the Baptizer — Matthew 3:1-12

John the Baptizer — Matthew 3:1-12

Week 13 in our series, A King and His Kingdom Come: An Exposition of the Gospel of Matthew.

This week we reviewed Matthew chapters 1 & 2 and looked at chapter 3 verses 1-12, where we met John the Baptist, the prophesied messenger of the Lord who prepared the way for God the King of Israel.

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Dry Your Eyes, Rachel! — Matthew 2:13-23 / Jeremiah 31

Dry Your Eyes, Rachel! — Matthew 2:13-23 / Jeremiah 31

Week 11 in our series, A King and His Kingdom Come: An Exposition of the Gospel of Matthew

This week we looked at Matthew's use of Jeremiah 31 and how the murder of the innocents in Bethlehem and the exile and return of Jesus from Egypt corresponded with the Babylonian siege on Jerusalem and the deportation and return of Judah. In the same way that Rachel mourned over the loss and exile of her children during the Babylonian captivity, she once again mourns the loss of her children and the deportation of Jesus at the hand of Herod. But the Lord tells Rachel to dry her tears. For her children will return and when they do, they will receive a better covenant than the former one that demanded their exile.

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Out of Egypt Too — Matthew 2:13-15 / Genesis 21:1-21 / Ephesians 2

Out of Egypt Too — Matthew 2:13-15 / Genesis 21:1-21 / Ephesians 2

Week 10 in our series, A King and His Kingdom Come: An Exposition of the Gospel of Matthew

This week we again looked at the significance of Matthew's use of Hosea 11:1 in Matthew 2:15, but this time from a different perspective. We discovered that just as Mary and Joseph were exiled from the Promised Land, into Egypt after the birth of Jesus, the Promised Seed of Abraham, there was another family before them who were also exiled out of Canaan, into the wilderness after the birth of Isaac, the promised seed of Abraham. We found that just as Ishmael, the gentile son of Hagar (The Stranger), was part Abraham's family, so too are we Gentiles made children of Abraham through faith in the promises of God. We are no longer strangers to the covenants and without God in the world because Jesus has brought us peace.

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