Messages from a small church seeking the center of God’s heart and will.

November 3, 2019

Listen! Taken for Granted

James 5:1-6

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

"Throughout his letter, James has been drawing this distinction between rich and poor Christians, and in these verses we see his strongest indictment yet, of the rich. A few weeks ago, we saw how he pitted the kingdom of the world (ruled by money and power) against the Kingdom of God, ruled by Jesus and introduced by Jesus’ people. By this point in his letter, James has completely taken the gloves off. Money and power cannot be an influence in the Kingdom of God, he’s showing us here. If we try to combine the rulers of the world with the Kingdom of God, someone’s gonna get hurt—and it’s going to be the people who don’t deserve it—the people Jesus especially came to raise up and heal and help and change the world through."

Rev Jennifer A G Layte

October 27, 2019

Listen! Everything In Its Place

James 4; Luke 15

Prodigal Son says:

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Rev Jennifer A G Layte

October 20, 2019

Listen! What You See and What You Get

James 2:14-26

"our message is that God came to earth, lived with us, died for us, and came back to life, in order to reconcile all things. Jesus died to save us from our sins, and our sins (and everybody else’s sins) have caused conflict and outright separation—between us and God, between us and each other, between us and creation, and even within our own selves. Jesus came to take care of the debt we owed. That debt was a splintering of His good creation, so the salvation, the rescue, that comes from His bearing the brunt of it all and forgiving us, is not just heaven or some other reward sometime later. Salvation isthat eventually all things will be reconciled, mended, brought back together in unity in Jesus Christ the way God always intended. And so of course our faith and our deeds must be reconciled, too! Because the Christian message is reconciliation, Christian faith and Christian action can’t be two separate things."

Rev Jennifer A G Layte

October 13, 2019

Listen! Picking Favorites

James 2:1-13

The Kingdom of God looks upside-down to the kingdom outside it. In the Kingdom of God, it’s the poor who are the ones cherished by God, who are courted by Him, who are to be the leaders, who are to receive special honor, because when we don’t have money, we don’t have this other wannabe king getting in our way, trying to distract us from the real one. When we find ourselves lacking in material possessions, we become rich in faith because we can’t rely on anything or anyone but God to help us do what we need to do. And when we learn to live like that, then when money comes our way, it’s easier to resist its lordship and just treat it as the tool or resource from God that it is, not something that gives us our meaning and purpose, not something that dictates how we communicate or who we honor, not something that drives us or a goal that we run to."

Rev Jennifer A G Layte

October 6, 2019

Listen! Watch Your Mouth

James 3:1-18

"The Word of God is what/Who actually creates. And when God made us in His image, He gifted us with speech, too, just like Him. Powerful speech, just like His. So now that we ourselves are marred with sin, words don’t become less powerful, but they are a strength that has been corrupted, just like all our other strengths. If the Holy Word is the power to create, then our corrupted words have the power to destroy."

Rev Jennifer A G Layte

September 29, 2019

Listen! What to Do When God Is Talking

James 1:1-18

"There’s pattern that James has built into these verses which we can see if we look closely, which we might describe like this: When thisseemingly bad thing happens, God will give you thisgood thing out of it if you’re “listening” with trust. This is more than “everything happens for a reason” philosophy. This is a kind of crazy trust in God that leads to an attentiveness to Him withinespecially our most challenging situations. It’s a trust that says, 'Whether God caused this situation or just allowed it, I know He is here with me and loves me and I am going to listen for the blessing He is speaking to me through it.' This kind of listening to God through our circumstances almost never has anything to do with attaining 'your best life now' and almost always has something to do with becoming your best self over time—which is 'a kind of first fruits of all He created.'"

Rev. Jennifer A G Layte

September 23, 2019

Listen! and Other Forms of Communication

James 1:19-27

"When it comes to loving, one of the best ways is to communicate well. When it comes to communication, one of the best ways to start is to listen."

Rev Jennifer A G Layte

September 15, 2019

Grace Anatomy: The Best Thing

1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13

Rev Jennifer A G Layte

"One day, Church, we will see Jesus face to face with nothing between us, and ironically that’s when we’ll be fully transformed into His mirror image. That’s when we will know Him and love Him with the complete and fulfilled love that He has always had for us."

September 3, 2019

Grace Anatomy: All In This Together

1 Corinthians 12:1-31

Rev Jennifer A G Layte

NOTE:

This is a "family meeting" sort of sermon, and unfortunately our usual sound recorder was not available this Sunday. This left Pastor Jenn with the quandary of whether to leave this sermon off the podcast altogether, due to its congregation-specific nature, to upload a very echo-y and not always easy to understand recording from an iPhone which was positioned behind the speakers, or to re-record herself simply reading the sermon at a later date.

Although the sound quality is terrible, the option to share the live recording has been chosen, because the sermon itself is important to the life of our church, and something of the message will be lost in an after-the-fact read-through. That said, while as usual anyone is welcome to listen (or try to listen) to this message, if Central Baptist Church is not your home congregation, this one may be less apropos to you, and as it's kind of a lot of work to understand what's being said in some spots, you may quite understandably wish to excuse yourself from this "episode"! On the other hand, if Central Baptist is your home church, a listen is probably worth the effort.

August 25, 2019

Grace Anatomy: Hands, Feet and Mouth

Acts 3:1-21

Rev Jennifer A G Layte

"A truly 'saved soul' will look different—not only by telling people they’re sinners who need Jesus to escape Hell, but by reflecting a different way of viewing and responding to the world—a restorative, reconciling, life-giving way. The gospel is not summed up by the Four Spiritual Laws, helpful as those may sometimes be, but was summed up by Jesus Himself to the crowds: 'Repent [turn from your old life and trust in Jesus], for the Kingdom of God is at hand [live like you have a different King]!'"