This is the perfect place to catch up on Pastor Jon’s previous messages, or to research more about what our message really is as a church. We also have provided you with the Scripture text, main point, and any sub-points for each message. We pray that the application of these messages are a profound blessing in your life, and please let us know if you have any questions.


Fourth in the series “A Lyrical Change Of Direction”

Psalm 51:1-19

  1. God responds to those who are honest by giving them what they truly spiritually need.
    1. “Here the doctrine of true repentance is set before us” – Martin Luther
  2. What we really need from God is a fresh start [1-5, 7-12, 18]
    1. 2 Corinthians 5:17
    2. Isaiah 65:17-18
    3. Ephesians 4:30
    4. 1 John 1:8-9
  3. What God really wants from us is a humble heart [6,13-17,19]
    1. Matthew 5:3
    2. Isaiah 57:15

Applications and Next Steps:

  • As you take inventory of your past today, what are some sins for which you need to receive God’s forgiveness?
  • What things do you find yourself trying to offer to God instead of a truly humble heart?

Third in the series “A Lyrical Change Of Direction”

Psalm 38:1-22

Main Point:  Even when we have caused our own problems, God is still there for us to cry out to him.

  1. Sin creates serious problems in our lives
    1. Broken Relationship with God [1 – 2]
    2. Profound Physical Sickness [3 – 8]
    3. Diminished Sensory Capacity [10, 13 – 14]
    4. Isolated Social Experience [11 – 12, 16 – 17, 19 – 20]
      1. John 5:14
      2. John 9:3
      3. 1 Corinthians 11:29-30
      4. Romans 6:23
  2. God rescues us when we cry out for help [9, 15, 18, 21 – 22]
    1. Hebrews 13:5-6
    2. 1 Peter 2:21-25

Application Questions:

  1. What is a painful aspect of your life experience that may have been caused by your own decisions?
  2. How can we encourage others to make this kind of personal inventory without communicating that the causes their suffering are always sourced in their own sin?

Rev. Bryan Coble, Sow Chicago Community Church

Nehemiah 1:1-11; Nehemiah 2:1-20

Main Points:

  1. Before we prepare the city, we have to be broken and see its need of the presence of God.
  2. We need to be in tune with our purpose and calling.
  3. When you are called to go someplace where God’s presence is hidden, it’s difficult.
  4. People with whom we disagree can be our allies and not our enemies
  5. Many will doubt our calling but we must continue because God has called us.
  6. Be thankful God is using us to do His work.

Second in the series “A Lyrical Change of Direction”

Psalm 32:1-11

Main Point:  A joyful and growing relationship with God is based on honest prayers of confession.

  1. The wise desire to have a joyful relationship with God [1-2, 10-11]
    1. Being honest about your brokenness is the only way to experience healing
    2. Romans 4:6
  2. The foolish are sabotaged in this by the infection of sin [3-4, 8-9]
    1. Sin is naturally isolating
      1. Proverbs 28:13
  3. The humble receive forgiveness from God through faith [5-7]
    1. When we stop hiding our sin from God, He becomes our safe hiding place.
    2. We need to confess 3 things:  sin, iniquity, and transgression
      1. sin:  falling short, messing up
      2. iniquity:  misdeeds, perversity, twistedness
      3. transgression:  premeditated evil
    3. 1 John 1:8-10

Thirteenth in the series “Back On Track”

Genesis 50:1-26

Main Point:  In this drama of life and death, we can trust that God will still accomplish his good plan.

  1. Jacob’s life is even celebrated by the empire [1-14]
  2. Joseph’s mercy shows he shares God’s perspective [15-21]
    1. Romans 8:28
    2. Jeremiah 29:11
    3. Proverbs 19:21
  3. Joseph’s death is full of hope for his people [22-26]
    1. Hebrews 11:22

Applications and Next Steps:

  • What are some promises that God has made to you on to which you are holding?
  • How do we go about seeing the bad circumstances of our lives from God’s perspective?
  • How do you go about honoring those people who you value in your life?

Tenth in the series “Back On Track”

Genesis 46:1-47:12

Main Point:  God has ways of resolving terrible situations that are far better than we could ever imagine.

  1. Grateful hearts experience God’s relentless presence [46:1-7]
    1. John 10:2-4
    2. Genesis 15:13-15
    3. Psalm 139:7-10
  2. God’s heart can be illustrated in a father-son relationship [46:28-30]
    1. Luke 2:29-32
    2. 1 Corinthians 2:9
  3. God often uses those considered weak to bless the strong [47:7-12]
    1. 1 Peter 2:11-12

Application Questions:

  1. How do you go about expressing gratitude to God in your everyday life?
  2. Who is a person towards whom you need to show appreciation?
  3. Who is a person who needs to hear a word of blessing from you?

Passing The Test

Ninth in the series “Back On Track”

Genesis 43:15 – 44:34

Main Point:  A truly repentant heart changes our perspective on suffering.

  1. Joseph orchestrates the perfect test of character [43:15-44:2]
    1. Luke 15:20
  2. The brothers face the grim consequences of sin [44:3-44:17]
    1. Proverbs 17:13
    2. Deuteronomy 18:10-11
    3. Galatians 6:7
  3. Judah aces the essay portion of the exam [44:18-34]

Application Questions:

  • What do the difficult times in your life reveal about your character?
  • How do we go about having our character changed?
  • Who are people in your life that you have hurt?

Genesis 42:1-38; Genesis 43:1-14

Main Point:  When even a dysfunctional family becomes honest about their need, they are drawn toward a reunion only God could orchestrate.

  1.  Fully understanding our circumstances is beyond us [42:1-26]
    1. Matthew 18:15-17
  2. Blaming God for our problems is always a terrible idea [42:27-38]
  3. Where our hope fails, God’s mercy is just getting started [43:1-14]

Application Questions:

  1.  For what moments of past pain do you blame God for hostility or negligence?
  2. How often do you believe the enemy’s lie that God does not really care about you and your needs?
  3. Who is someone who you need to forgive and perhaps seek reconciliation?
  4. Have you yet resigned yourself to God’s mercy?

Seventh in the series “Back On Track”

Genesis 41:37-57

Main Point:  God desires that His people, when given the opportunity, do their work well, and bless others through their efforts.

  1. The dreamer is promoted to leader of the ancient world [37-45]
    1. Luke 10:21-24
  2. The ancient world is rescued by their visionary’s action [46-49, 53-57]
    1. Proverbs 11:26
    2. 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
  3. The family of promise multiplies even outside their land [50-52]
    1. Genesis 12:1-3

Application Questions:

  1. How could you improve the way that you currently work to the glory of God?
  2. What opportunities do you have in your current workplace to actually help others?
  3. In what areas of your life do you still insist on maintaining final control?