This is a unique and deeply personal peek into the heart of a pastor. Eric Ludy approached this message very differently than a typical sermon, bringing a warmth, familiarity, and vulnerability to it that lent an endearing and unforgettable luster to this particular Sunday morning. It’s impossible to listen to this message without being impacted.
Peter’s famous quote in Church history, “Desiderio Domini”, expresses a tender affection toward Jesus that is rare within the Church today. This message powerfully enunciates that ancient ache of Peter. For by and large there is something missing in the modern rendition of Christianity, and this is a call for the return of this tender ache - the deep, tear-filled, pleading longing for the full majesty and glory of God to once again be revealed on this earth.
“God loves you.” If we understood what this statement really meant, we would fall flat on our faces in worship day in and day out. But somehow it has lost its significance to us as the Church. We do not truly understand God’s love for us, and as a result, we lack the ability to pour out that same love upon His Church around us. This message calls us to a greater standard of love for one another as we walk in the love and tender mercies of God toward us.
If we’re honest, it’s hard enough to grasp that God is for us, let alone that He actively intercedes for us. The whole idea of the Holy Spirit interceding on our behalf is a bit of a mystery to us. However, it is one of the most precious, day-by-day interactions we have with God. This message attempts to bring understanding to this beautiful reality and clarify how He works on our behalf moment by moment.
Tithe. Some of us cringe at the word! There has been a lot of abuse of this concept in God’s Church, but that should not keep us from fully submitting to His Word on giving. This message, a result of God dealing with and refining Eric’s perspective on tithing, casts a vision for how God intended His Church to work in the area of giving. Let it encourage you afresh to offer all that you are and have unto Jesus, to be spent for His purposes alone.
One of the challenges facing the modern Church today is a lack of understanding of how to engage in the spiritual battle that surrounds us as Christians. We either prefer to bury our heads in the sand, or we over-demonize everything. Either way, we can easily miss Christ and the provision He made through the Gospel for addressing our greatest foe. This messages reminds us of the power that we have been granted through the Gospel, through our position in Christ, to trample upon the enemy and the powers of darkness. May we walk daily in the reality that Christ “spoiled principalities and powers, made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
Oftentimes, when we tell the story of David, we focus on the many ways David was a picture of Christ. But a rich layer to the story of David is actually found in the character of Jonathan and how his actions toward David mirror how we enter into covenant with Christ. This message speaks to the beauty of covenant with Jesus and what it looks like to dethrone self for His exaltation and honor. May we be a people who gladly give up our best and our all so that He may fully give us of His life.
Christ declared that there was only one sign that He would give: the Sign of Jonah. But what exactly was the Sign of Jonah? This message dives into the rich story of Jonah and the repentance of Nineveh, which showcases Christ and His work of salvation on so many levels. May the Lord continue to open our eyes to how all Scripture testifies of Christ and turns our hearts to feast upon the glories of Calvary.
Ever since the Tower of Babel, humans have demonstrated their love for building things on their own, apart from God. But when we look at our lives, our marriages, our families, and our ministries, we find that we do not have what we need to build them strong. This message reminds us that God is the Master Builder and it is through dependence upon the Spirit that every arena of our lives is established. It is only when we let go of the flesh and grab a hold of God that our efforts prosper!
Do you ever find yourself shying away from impossible situations? Our natural inclination is to choose the path of least resistance, but God has called us as believers to choose the impossible! We can have absolute confidence that, as we choose the narrow way, God will come through and glorify Himself in the most challenging circumstances. May this message stir you to greater confidence to walk in the Impossible and proclaim God's ability to come through.
We aren't typically attracted to the life of a soldier, but as Christians, every one of us is enlisted! The moment we enter into Christ, we have been brought into a military unit under the command of the Lord of Battles. The heavenly soldier is a cheerful sufferer and loves his job. He can imagine no greater privilege than to live for the glory of his King. So may we obey God’s commands without hesitation, not because we are fulfilling a duty but because we are serving the One we love.
Our finite minds have such difficulty grasping the depths of the love of God — it’s so far beyond all that we can imagine! And yet this deluge of love from the Father is the daily reality of the children of God. What keeps us from knowing it more fully? This message reminds us of God’s immense love for His people and how the Gospel is driven by this motive of love.
What would it look like for the Church to fight on the offensive, instead of the defensive? We often have a passive stance in bringing the Gospel to the world but effective evangelism happens when we use wisdom and creativity. Just as the Salvation Army brought the Gospel to the East End of London with an unexpected (and very effective!) tactic, this message inspires us to ask God for how we can proactively approach our generation. We all have been placed in this generation by God and are being built for such a time as this. Look out world!
“Bramwell, these are our people—the people I want you to live for.” William Booth made this statement to his young son as God was leading their family to minister in the East End, the worst part of London. In the same way, we have been given a commission to pour our lives out for the lowest and the neediest. This message reminds us of God’s desire to spend His people for the weak of this world. If you need a strong push to get outside of your comfort zone of ministry, this is a good place to begin.
If Jesus was not the Son of God, would it change much about what we believe? The Truth is, it would change everything. The divinity of Christ is under major attack in the emergent movement and often treated as an inconsequential detail. However, the entire Gospel unravels if we compromise on this point. This message reminds us of the significance of Christ being God and the power that it gives the Gospel. May the privilege of having Immanuel, “God with us,” never cease to inspire awe!
Have you ever noticed that the closer you grow to Christ, the more challenging life seems to get? One of the paradoxes of Christianity is that the grand and glorious Cross is both a place of life and of death, a place of victory and of suffering. This message declares the Cross of Christ to be the epicenter of all of history and exhorts us to keep it at the center of our lives. May we never lose the wonder of that day on Calvary and of the life that Jesus brought us through His death.
How important is the doctrine of hell? For as little as we teach on or think about hell, it is an essential component of the Gospel. Without a real hell, the Cross and Resurrection lose their triumphant power. This message reminds us, on Resurrection Sunday, of the hell we have been saved from and the power of being resurrected with Christ. Let us not be afraid to look full in the face of death and hell, for they have lost their sting for the believer!
How does a place like Ellerslie get started? Some dreams are realized rather quickly, and others take two decades to come to fruition! This message chronicles the story of the founding of Ellerslie and with humility and richness, captures the heart of what takes place in the training programs. Unlike other messages, “The History of Ellerslie” is given in the format of teaching as opposed to preaching, in order to simply share the beauty of the testimony God has been building at Ellerslie. It is a refreshing reminder of the faithfulness of God and a celebration of what He has done here in the last four years.
Is your relationship with God an intimate love of the heart or an acknowledgment of the mind? We long for intimacy with God and yet often do not know how to begin to cultivate it. This message explains the inner workings of intimacy, the vast treasure of loving relationship with Christ, and how to access the depths. If we want to draw out the sweetest waters of salvation, we must be willing to put in the effort to gain them, so let us draw near today!
In John's gospel, Jesus spoke to the Pharisees one day and declared that all Scripture testifies of Him. The fulfillment of prophecies assure us of the canonicity of the Old Testament, but what provides us confidence in the canonicity of the New Testament? This message delves into the Book of Revelation and reveals the heavenly witness to the validity of the Word of God in the New Testament. What a privilege we have as believers to have so many reasons to believe the testimony of our Lord and His life on this earth!
"Throughout Scripture, we see that there is a pattern passed down between righteous men and they are expected to build or live according to it. But what is the pattern and does it have anything to do with us? This message is about becoming eyewitnesses of the pattern, the righteousness of Christ, and living in accordance with what we have seen. Let us be faithful to build our lives in light of the Example laid out before us!"
Do you ever wonder what living by faith is supposed to look like practically? In our zeal to trust God in all things, we can sometimes assume it means never working a job or never going to the doctor, because "God will come through." But does God ever use humble means to supply for His children, even if it doesn't look very supernatural? This message attempts to answer that question and lead us onward in a mature faith that depends on God's providence, no matter what form it takes.
Have you ever read Acts and felt like you needed more power in your spiritual life? But if we're honest, we're not quite sure we know what that looks like or if we're comfortable with it. This message presses us to cry out for more of the Spirit of God, while also reminding us of the process of growing up to be ready for walking in the full power of the Spirit. May we not be quick to ask for external evidences of power when we have not proven the power of God in our inner lives.
Have you ever noticed a laxness in your soul after gaining victory: a slowness to turn from sin and a tolerance of small compromises? It is in those moments that we are in desperate need for an egkrateian growl, a fierce determination to let not sin therefore reign. This message is about kicking out sin and keeping it out, giving no space for the flesh to take territory in our souls. Let us set our faces like flint and maintain a growl against anything that would keep us from Christ.
"Yes sir. Right away, sir. Whatever you say, sir." These are the words of a yes-man, the sort of man we typically deem weak and brainless. But is there a right way to be a yes-man? This message examines the principle of control and authority, shining light upon who really holds the voice of power in our souls. As Christians, are we submitted to the voice of God alone, saying, "Yes, Lord, whatever pleases You"? Or are we bowing to the voice of the world, shutting out the wisdom of our Shepherd's Words?