Knowing God

Scott Axtmann
September 3, 2017

This is the first message in the "God Is" series, laying a foundation of what it means to know God. It's easy to think that knowing God equates with mere head knowledge but the Scriptures teach that the eyes of our hearts can be illuminated and we can experience who God is. This call to know God is not reserved for a select few but is open to all people. More than anything, this world needs men and women who know God intimately. Knowing God changes us and changes the world around us! Scott ends the talk with some practical insights on the way to know God and especially presses the importance of making the pursuit of God our one supreme passion in life. We exist to know God. This is a good message to ignite a fresh hunger and thirst.

God Is Love

Scott Axtmann
September 10, 2017

One of the most effective ways the enemy weakens people and causes them to withdraw from God is through condemnation. Many of God's people struggle to believe that God loves them, likes them and really wants them. The Scriptures are abundant in declaring that God is passionate in His love for us. He has deep affections toward us. God's burning love extends to all people including the Church, those who have drifted away and every kind of sinner no matter how great their sin. God's love is like an ocean depth and cannot be quenched. At the end of this message Scott talks honestly about the need to pursue a genuine encounter of God's love that will transform the heart.

God is Living Water

Scott Axtmann
September 17, 2017

Many Christians testify that things like prayer, study of the Word and worship are not enjoyable. Despite not being their favorite thing to do many will do these things out of obligation because they know God wants them to. But does God get any pleasure from our begrudging service to Him? This message explores the wonderful promise of God to give us joy in His presence. We were created to know God and enjoy Him forever. God wants us to be happy. He promises to supply rivers of living water for our fulfillment. He is the Good Shepherd who leads us into green pastries and beside still waters. He doesn't force this joy upon us but warmly invites us to come to the waters and drink deeply of all He is.

God is Awesome

John Michaelson
September 23, 2017

Many of us have learned about the peace, mercy and gentleness of Jesus. But to view God in simply comfortable and manageable ways betrays much of what the Bible teaches.  Drawing from the prophet's vision of God in Ezekiel Chapter 1, REN elder John Michaelson challenges the way we often miss viewing God with awe and fear — full of mystery, grandeur and glory and worthy of our reverence.

God is Happy

Scott Axtmann
October 1, 2017

It seems that for one reason or other many Christians imagine God to be mostly sad, sometimes angry and very rarely happy. Because of this perception of God as gloomy and in a bad mood it’s no wonder they don’t want to draw close. As humans we don’t like spending time with people who are cranky. But the Bible paints a portrait of a God who rejoices over creation and who delights over His people. He rejoices over us with singing, the Bible says (Zephaniah 3:17). When we begin to understand the infinite joy between Father, Son and Spirit, it changes us. It gets inside of us. We become connected to that joy and it makes us strong. We draw near with excitement. We begin to reflect that joy of God to the world around us. This message given by Scott can really transform the heart and especially affect the practice of prayer.

God Is Generous

Scott Axtmann
October 8, 2017

We’ve all met stingy people. They hoard, they don’t like to share and it’s painful to even ask them for something we need because we know they don’t really want to help. When we view God as stingy it makes us shy and reticent to approach Him. We almost feel bad asking. This message is an overview of the different tangible ways God has demonstrated generosity to us, not only as His children but as created beings. When we take time to deeply consider the generosity of God we begin to realize it’s far beyond what even the most generous person might be. When we see the generous heart of God we naturally are moved to pray, serve, give and pour our lives out in mission for Him. When we realize that the One who has been so generous to us considers our generosity to Him a fragrance, then we are motivated to go way beyond the minimum standard.

God is For Providence

Scott Axtmann
October 15, 2017

In everything we do at Ren, we are aiming to move people into the full expression of who God created them to be. People within the church are experiencing all the benefits of the transforming love of Christ, but what about the people in our city who don't go to church? Just as Jesus came not to be served but to serve, God calls us to pour ourselves out to demonstrate God's love in the city of Providence. In this message, Pastor Scott lays out the vision for an urban mission initiative called Citylove. Through Citylove, urban missionaries will dedicate at least one year to serve the city and creatively communicate the message of Jesus to people in Providence.

God is Near

Scott Axtmann
October 22, 2017

One of the sweetest invitations of God to His people is to draw near. As the Psalmist said, “the nearness of God is my only good”. Many Christians, however, live at a distance from God. Some have become disillusioned because they have prayed a lot but it has not resulted in the joy of nearness. Why? This message teaches the important association between nearness and thinking rightly about sin. Psalm 34 tells us the Lord is near to the broken and contrite. We must address our sin thoroughly to experience intimacy with God. We can’t deny sin, downplay sin, justify sin or compensate for sin. Sin must be viewed as exceedingly sinful and a thing never to be tolerated in our hearts because sin hardens us and separates us from God. When we cultivate this sensitivity to sin we find mercy from the Lord and the tangible nearness of God’s presence becomes our delight.

God is Shelter

Scott Axtmann
November 5, 2017

It seems that no matter how hard we try we cannot escape the daily array of afflictions. It is common for us to experience fear, worry and franticness. These these have serious negative effects in many aspects of our life. The truth is that even amidst our troubles God is present and He is our shelter. He never turns His eye from us or takes His hand off us. We can trust in His constant care. This message is an encouragement to relax in God amidst whatever challenges we may be facing. We don’t need to be afraid and we don’t need to worry. The Father has us in His arms and nothing can separate us from His loving care.

God is Faithful

Scott Axtmann
November 12, 2017

We live in a world of broken promises. Many people claim to have unfailing love but it’s rare to find someone who keeps their promise. This widespread unfaithfulness has caused many to be cynical and to wonder if God really is faithful. When we fail to see God’s faithfulness it makes us nervous, insecure and stiff. It brings out the worst in us. Scripture is overflowing with declarations of the faithfulness of God. He will never leave us and never forsake us. When we begin to grasp the unwavering steadfast devotion of God to us it brings out the very best in us. Knowing God’s faithfulness to us makes us want to be faithful. This is essentially a message of comfort for those who struggle to feel secure in God’s unwavering care.

God is Judge

Scott Axtmann
November 19, 2017

How do we reconcile a God of wrath with God as loving Father? This message delves into this question and especially addresses the difficulty of the concept of hell. It’s easy to ignore the doctrine of final judgment or to downplay it or to, in some cases, revise the Bible to make it easier to embrace. Pastor Scott asks the question, “If we were God what alternative would we have instead of hell?” The talk includes weighty portions of Scripture along with philosophical logic leading to a reasonable view of this very difficult doctrine. In the end there are several exhortations given. This is not a message to listen to casually.

God is Self Sufficient

Paul Moon
November 26, 2017

Does God need our service and worship? In this message delivered by Paul Moon, we explore God’s self sufficiency. Paul contrasts God’s completeness with our need for Him and teaches the beautiful truth that He is passionately pursuing a relationship with us. This voluntary relationship God has with His people reveals His incredible love for us.

God is Immanuel

John Michaelson
December 3, 2017

Drawing on the Gospel of Matthew's account of Jesus' birth, John Michaelson looks at the name Immanuel, God-with-us. Understanding the significance of the name and recognizing Jesus' nature as fully God and fully man while here on earth implied much for the first century Christians. It is just as relevant for His church today.