Bloom | Introduction

Scott Axtmann
April 17, 2016

Pastor Scott introduces a new series concerning the motivation of our hearts as we pursue God. God always wants to bring us somewhere, not to stay just where we are right now. He has much more in mind: for us to grow and bloom in Him. We can be saved, but remain stagnant and unfruitful in our lives. This upcoming series will address issues such as extracting sin, perseverance, meekness, standing firm and rooted in deep communion with God, prayer, forgiveness, trusting God, purity, work ethic, and other topics that explore and reveal the work we are responsible for, in our partnership with God in the process of sanctification. Our lives are no longer our own. We should desire to live a life for God in full bloom.

Bloom | Prayerful

Scott Axtmann
April 24, 2016

God's desire is for us to burst into full bloom spiritually, and Pastor Scott delivers a powerful exhortation about prayer. A deep, intimate, and effective prayer life is God's will for us. Despite all the promises in scripture that accompany prayer, we neglect it at times. Scott explores different obstacles that we must work through in order to have a deeper prayer life, encouraging us not to compartmentalize prayer, but to allow it to permeate every part of our lives.

Bloom | Truthful

Scott Axtmann
May 1, 2016

Being truthful is foundational in the sanctification process. We must be willing to embrace truth and not harden our hearts against it. Pastor Scott explores the concept of repentance, and explains how Satan wants to deceive us concerning shallow vs. deep repentance. Shallow repentance results in a shallow relationship with God, whereas deep repentance brings us into a deep, intimate relationship with God. Only deep repentance, complete honesty with God (who searches and knows our real heart-motives), and a ruthless removal of sin allows the Holy Spirit to work in us and change us over the course of our lives.

Bloom | Steadfast

Scott Axtmann
May 8, 2016

The scriptural quality of steadfastness that God wants to nurture in us means being firm, sure, unwavering, firmly rooted and fixed in Christ. When trouble comes, God wants constancy in our walk with Him. Suffering is promised to us, and we are called to be steadfast in the middle of trials. It is easy to get frustrated, complain, or withdraw from God and people when we are faced with different kinds of troubles. Pastor Scott explores the concept of being steadfast, and offers up practical ways that we can respond to the trials in our lives that God uses to mold our character.

Bloom | Pure

Scott Axtmann
May 22, 2016

The Bible isn't silent about sexual purity. It can be difficult to talk about purity in a culture so desensitized to sexuality. How can we bloom in purity, in a sex-saturated society? We must agree with God's view of what is right and wrong, and treat God and His Word as if He really is God. Pastor Scott offers up scriptural references and a strong exhortation to fear God, and to flee immorality. He gives some practical applications to the biblical commands, to help us stay pure.

Bloom | Sacrificial

Scott Axtmann
June 12, 2016

God wants us to bloom in the aspect of being sacrificial in the way we live. If we meditate on what Jesus gave for us, so that we might live, it naturally makes us want to give back to Him. Pastor Scott exhorts us not to devalue sacrifice, and to develop hearts that burn to do something costly to honor God. He offers up several practical ways we can give to God through our time, money, attitudes, and actions.

Bloom | Hospitable

Scott Axtmann
June 19, 2016

Hospitality means more than opening up our homes and hosting events. It's a lifestyle – a state of the heart – and how we think about and relate to other people. The church should be the hub of hospitality and grace. It means being warm, welcoming, gracious, full of love, and making others feel welcome, no matter who they are. Pastor Scott urges us to be more aware of the people around us, and step out and take risks by talking to people we don't know, or who are unlike us. Our sharing conversation and taking risks can change the course of a person's life, by stepping out in faith and love for Jesus.

Bloom | Missional

Scott Axtmann
June 26, 2016

We are called to proclaim the excellencies of Christ; we want to be compelling, wise, faithful, and "salty" messengers of the gospel in the world around us. Blooming in evangelism means our words and our lives impact people for Jesus. Does our presence in the world make other people hungry and thirsty for God? We are called to present the person of Christ, and it flows out of our relationship with Him. Pastor Scott explores some of the problems we'll inevitably encounter, and some practical tips to help us be steadfast in prayer, overflowing in the Spirit, and bold in our mission.

Bloom | Hungry

Scott Axtmann
July 3, 2016

We want to have a burning affection for God, a hunger and thirst for Christ, as an attribute for our lives. The level of our hunger doesn't always match what He deserves. We can develop a dullness of heart, and the world can draw us away, and we can find ourselves in a kind of spiritual apathy. Pastor Scott exhorts us to come back to the simplicity of just being with Jesus for the sake of being with Him; we were created to know God and enjoy Him forever. Scott also offers some practical tips about different things that can either dampen or deepen our hunger for Christ.

Bloom | Courageous

Scott Axtmann
July 10, 2016

Delving deeply into the story from Numbers 13-14 about the Israelites' reactions to scoping out the land of Canaan (which had been promised to them by God), Pastor Scott delivers a powerful exhortation to stir us to be people of courage. God wants to give us abundance, and pour out His power and presence; He wants us to be fruitful, and to dream in sync with His dreams. While most of the Israelites saw only the fearful obstacles in the way, Moses, Aaron, Caleb and Joshua heard God's voice and promises. God uses weak and ordinary people in the battlefield; He is our courage and our strength, and He promises to be with us.

Bloom | Integrity

Paul Moon
July 17, 2016

Paul Moon delivers a sermon about integrity, which means to live out our private and public lives in the same, consistent way. We want to have lives marked by love, compassion, mercy, justice, and honoring God and submitting to Him. Any kind of hypocrisy can be so damaging to our witness; we can neglect our own hearts. If our hearts aren't full of integrity, we can't witness with any credibility. Due to our sinful nature, it's impossible to live a life full of Biblical integrity apart from God's presence. Paul explores different scriptures to give us a fuller picture of what integrity entails, as well as some practical things we can do in our lives to pursue Biblical integrity.

Bloom | Humble

Scott Axtmann
July 24, 2016

God wants us to be humble in our hearts; we can struggle to be humble and to see our own pride. Humility is essential to receiving grace and joy and the power of God. It enables us to live out the Christian life. Pride blocks this. Pastor Scott explores the story of the tax collector and the Pharisee in Luke 18:10-14, and urges us to get low before God and examine our heart-motives so He can fill us with humility, and offers up some practical steps about how to do this in deeper ways.

Bloom | Joyful

Scott Axtmann
July 31, 2016

God wants us to be a people exhibiting the fullness of His joy. Life has a way of beating the joy and beauty out of us; it can harden our hearts and crush us. Pastor Scott delves into Philippians 4, and stories of the suffering Paul experienced, yet Paul was able to find a joy in God that transcended his circumstances. Jesus is a sympathetic Savior; He knows exactly what it is like, to suffer. Rejoicing in God is a command of scripture, and God shares His joy with us when we abide in Him in prayer mixed with thankfulness. We have to continually direct our thoughts towards God, away from the troubles and onto the good, set our minds on things above, and speak that which is edifying and administers grace. No one can take away our joy; people can take away other things, but no one can take away our salvation and joy in Christ.

Bloom | Loyal

Scott Axtmann
August 7, 2016

Jesus is passionate about us knowing the truth and being loyal to the truth. There is a flood of false teaching in today’s world that requires discernment, and in order to discern we need to know God’s Word. The majority isn’t always right, and even the most intellectual and wise people can find themselves being swept away in the sea of false teaching. The bible talks about the false prophets that subtly led many people into believing their destructive, false teachings. God is warning us to not be fooled by eloquence or emotion or authority or glamour; we must be grounded in the biblical truth of scripture. 

Bloom | Meek

Scott Axtmann
August 14, 2016

One of the most important virtues in the life of a follower of Jesus is meekness; it is the opposite of sinful anger. In this message, Pastor Scott discusses the effects of anger and where anger comes from. The message then unfolds a clear vision of how Christians are called to be meek. It is okay to be angry about the injustice in this world; however, selfish anger and anger filled with pride is not okay and must be dealt with. As the sermon concludes, Scott gives several practical ways to deal with our anger when we find ourselves struggling. We must learn to forgive others as God has forgiven our sins, and rest in the peace that we are children of God covered in His protection.

Bloom | Devoted

Scott Axtmann
August 21, 2016

It seems that in our day amongst those who call themselves Christians, the normative experience of Christian community is shallow. In other words, the level of involvement and commitment to the church is very low. In this last message of the Bloom series, Pastor Scott discusses some of the reasons for this superficial approach to community and then lays out a clear vision from Scripture of the kind of depth of love the church should be marked by. Lastly, several practical encouragements are given on how we can become this sort of vibrant devoted community that alone will demonstrate to the watching world that Christ is real, good, and beautiful.