03.24.19 - Why Faith Matters

We live in a culture that values style over substance. However, Instinctively, we all know there is something broken in that. We appreciate people of character and people of substance at work, at home, or in school. 

In this week's message, we look at one of the strangest miracles Jesus ever performed and see what it means for us to be fruitful and make something of our time on earth.

Lent | Week 3: Why Faith Matters

Join us this over the next eight weeks as we celebrate the season traditionally called Lent. At Area 10, we are celebrating Lent through this guided study through the last week of Jesus’ life alongside our message series, The Final Week.

Here is our third week of devotions, running from Sunday, March 17th to Saturday, March 23rd:

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Why Faith Matters

This week we are meditating on the story of Jesus and the fig tree. This scene comes just after Jesus flips tables in the temple. What is it trying to tell us about faith?

Click here to download this file to print it for your own use.

Lent | Week 2: Cleaning House

Join us this over the next eight weeks as we celebrate the season traditionally called Lent. At Area 10, we are celebrating Lent through this guided study through the last week of Jesus’ life alongside our message series, The Final Week.

Here is week 2 study: Cleaning House

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Cleaning House

Jesus makes a scene when he enters the temple in Jerusalem. What point is he trying to make?

Click here to download this file to print it for your own use.

03.10.19 - Return of the King

The final week of Jesus’s life is filled with drama. So much happened that week that the gospel writers spend one-third of their writing about Jesus on that week. 

In this series, we will look at the events of that week leading up to Easter, and we will examine what we can learn as disciples of Jesus from those events. 

In this message, we are going to look at Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem as he rode in on a donkey and what that means about politics, kingdoms, and power.

Lent Devotional: Week 1

Join us this over the next eight weeks as we celebrate the season traditionally called Lent. Lent is a period of 40 days where Christ’s followers observe a period of fasting and studying scripture, representing the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert preparing for his earthly ministry. Lent is time of self-examination and preparation for the coming of Easter. At Area 10, we are celebrating Lent through this guided study through the last week of Jesus’ life alongside our message series, The Final Week.

Here is our first week’s study, starting with Ash Wednesday, March 6th:

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WEEK 1: ENTRANCE

Jesus enters into Jerusalem to much fanfare, which upsets the religious leaders. Join us this week as we read and reflect on Jesus’ triumphal entry as his final week of ministry on earth begins.

Click here to download this file to print it for your own use.

03.04.19 - Restored Image

If the image of God within us gets damaged our shattered, how can it get restored? How can we become whole again and become who God intended us to be? 

In the final message of this series, we are going to look at how God restores and look at steps we can take to live fully as image bearers of God.

Also, in this message Chris references a list of scriptures that he challenges us to memorize. That list of scriptures is available below for you to download and use in your own personal study:

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02.17.19 - Naming Rights

We love to put labels on things. When we put a label on a person or a group, it can give us permission to write them off as a whole. What labels are you wearing right now? And what does the Bible say about who and what really defines us?

In this week's message, we go back to the author and creator of our existence to find out who we truly are and how being made in the image of God changes our mission and purpose.

02.03.19 - We, Not Me

Jesus taught and modeled the life of faith as being more like a relationship with your heavenly father than as a religion with rules and systems. But if we are in a relationship built on love with God, how is that going? Are we truly loving God or are we just going through the motions? 

In this week's message, we looked at some questions we can ask ourselves to see where we are in our faith, and we will get some steps to take to move forward.

01.27.19 - Love, Not Like

Jesus taught and modeled the life of faith as being more like a relationship with your heavenly father than as a religion with rules and systems. But if we are in a relationship built on love with God, how is that going? Are we truly loving God or are we just going through the motions? 

In this week's message, we will look at some questions we can ask ourselves to see where we are in our faith, and we will get some steps to take to move forward.

01.20.19 - Lost, Not Found

So many people throughout history have focused on Jesus. They’ve sung about Him, talked about Him and given their lives to Him. But if people are all about Jesus, then it sort of begs the question- What is Jesus all about? What is His heartbeat? What did He care about? 

We picked up where we left off in The Main Thing series this week, looking at some direct quotes from Jesus to see what matters most in life and how we can align our lives with that.

12.30.18 - The Frames That We Use

An End-of-Year Message from Pastor Chris Barras:

I was talking to a friend who I knew was going through a hard time with his company. I called him up and asked, “How are you doing?” His response was, “Well, it depends on what I choose to think about. There are some great things that I can focus on, and then I feel pretty good. But there are some really awful things are going on, and when I think about them, it feels pretty bad.”

Can you relate to that? I certainly can. I mentioned in my sermon last Sunday that 2018 was a tough year for me, and I know many people in our community who are struggling with some of the most difficult challenges they could possibly imagine. Loneliness. Depression. Divorce. Death. Alzheimer's. The list goes on.

As we turn the page on the calendar this week, it’s good to reflect on all that was good, what was bad, and what lessons we can learn from the year. But as you look forward to 2019, what do you see? Challenges? Opportunities? Reasons to be concerned? Reasons for optimism? What is waiting for you?

I’m honestly not sure what’s waiting in 2019. The Lord never really reveals much of that to us, does He? He doesn’t usually tell us what to expect or let us know what’s coming. I have to think that He does that to spare us. If I knew what was coming, I might freak out and not be able to function.

But as I look at 2019, the one thing I can do is choose what I will focus on. I can choose my attitude towards things every single day. I can decide how I want to respond to adversity. The apostle Paul is one of the most excellent examples of this I can think of in the Bible. Listen to what he says about his circumstances as he is rotting away in a Roman jail, getting hungry, old and tired, and nearing the end of his life. Listen to what he says in Philippians 1:12-14:

“I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.”

He is saying, "Guys, me being in jail is really great because now I’m able to tell the imperial guards about Jesus." Wow. Would that be your first reaction to being in jail? It certainly wouldn’t be mine.

But Paul is living with a real sense of purpose. His purpose is primarily to go to heaven when he dies, and take as many people with him that he can while he is still alive. And with that as his purpose, the idea of being in jail is just fine. He sees it as one more place to share the good news about Jesus.

Paul does something here that psychologists would call "cognitive reframing." He is putting a new frame around his circumstances, and he is using that new framework to tell a new story about what is going on his life. I think we can all learn something from that.

We will undoubtedly experience some ups and downs in 2019. And no matter who you are, what you do, how much money you make, or whatever circumstances you are in, you will have very little control over a lot of what happens. (The control freak in us starts to sweat at the very thought of it!) So knowing that is the case, what can you control? You can control the frame you put around the picture. You can control what you think about.

How did Paul do this so well? How can we do it? Honestly, I know of no better way to do this than to read the scripture, quiet your mind, and pray a little bit every day. Slow down, breathe and let your thoughts get reformed and reshaped by God and His words. I’m committing to doing that in 2019. I call it RPM: Read, Pray, Meditate. Just a little bit each day. Maybe that can be your practice too in this coming year.

Challenge: Read through the book of Philippians. It's just four short chapters and it will probably take you about 15-20 minutes total, but there are some real gold nuggets of wisdom at every turn.

See you guys back at the Byrd on Sunday, January 6th to start our new series, The Main Thing!

12.16.18 - Joy

Joy to the world! It's just that simple, right? Sometimes exuding "joy" feels like an expectation during the holidays when it can be the last thing that we are feeling. What does it mean to have Biblical joy despite the ups and downs that life throws at us? In this week's message we looked at what scripture says about how to cultivate joy in our every day lives.

12.09.18 - Peace

"Peace on earth and mercy mild"? Where is this peace on earth that the birth of Jesus was supposed to bring? Nations are still at war. Violence still rages in our streets. There is often not a sense of peace in our own families. In this week's message, Pastor Chris Barras looks at the peace that Jesus brings to us and look at how we can truly access it.

12.02.18 - Ready & Waiting: Hope

At Christmastime, a lot of people make a wish list. It’s a list of things they hope or wish would happen. But for followers of Jesus hope is more than a wish. It’s more like a certainty that hasn’t been fulfilled yet. In this week's message, as we launch the Advent season, we look at the concept of hope and how we can live in the space where our hopes are not yet fulfilled.

11.25.18 - Lay Down Your Life

In theory, we like the concept of sacrifice - where someone gives up something they love for something they love even more. But to be the one who sacrifices? To be the one who gives up something that they love? That’s hard. 

In this message, we look at the hero/anti-hero named Samson from the Old Testament and look at how in spite of all his failures he still give up something he loved for something he loved more.