Today we continued our study on the fruits of the spirit by looking at patience and kindness. Patience in the New Testament is one of two words, hupomone (divine hope) and makrothuia (divine mercy). Therefore, there are two parts to patience; one is associated with perseverance – not giving into circumstances. The second is associated with people – self-restraint exercised before proceeding to action. The only way we are able to have mercy that inspires patience is by allowing the Holy Spirit to direct our lives. Think about where you would be without the mercy of God. Are you extending that mercy to others? The last part about kindness is very similar in that it means tender concern for others. Jesus was the visible expression of the tender, nurturing, and caring nature of God. It is our response in faith to the incredible gift of his Son that we are saved.
Today we start a new series entitled “Fruitcake” which is about the fruits of the spirit. Galatians 5:13-26 is the passage in the Bible that we look at closely for the purposes of this sermon. The first two fruits that we examine in detail are joy and peace. In the New Testament, there are many examples of great joy that results in the discovery of what we have in the Lord. Joy directly relates to the grace of God. When we understand the grace of God in our lives and what we have inherited in Him in abundant and eternal life then we continually rejoice. The second fruit is peace. True peace only comes from the Prince of Peace. The true gift of every fruit is only found in Jesus himself. There is peace found in His provision, His purpose, and His power.
The final installment of Crazy Love looks at Matthew 22:34-40. Jesus is questioned by the Pharisees about what the most important command from God is. Jesus tells them to love the Lord with all their hearts, souls, and minds. Along those same lines He said to love others as you do yourself. Looking deeper into it, we see that He was telling them not to just be rule keepers, but to love God; and everything else will fall into place. Love God and then act on it, and let your love that is rooted in God be demonstrated by loving others.
Today’s message looks closely at Luke chapter 9. It is where Jesus’s true identity is understood by the disciples and He spells out what He was really on earth to do. The disciples were hoping He was going to come into political power and establish a new kingdom. But instead, He calls them into a difficult journey to follow him in a life of suffering and rejection by denying themselves. Jesus is telling all of this because He wants them to change from a single minded personal focus to focusing on what God can do in their lives.
Today’s sermon mainly takes a look at Revelation 3 when John talks about the church of Laodicea. John goes on to describe them as lukewarm people who are neither hot or cold, they are just in the middle with no purpose, not refreshing or helpful to people. In verse 19, God points out that he rebukes and disciplines those who He loves. James 4:14 stands as a reminder that we are only a mist that appears for a while, then vanishes away. Be useful to the Lord, so everything you do counts towards eternity. Don’t be lukewarm so that the Lord will “spit you out” (Rev 3:16).
Today was the last part of the “down arrow” – looking at God’s incredible love for us. This message focused on the prophet Hosea, and showed the comparison of how faithful and patient God’s love is for us. There are other examples throughout scripture that remind us about how He will always love us even when we don’t deserve it. His love is also unconditional, meaning that nothing we do can make Him love us any less. To God, we are perfect; He loves us so much that He died for us.
Today’s look at Crazy Love is about God’s love for us. Examples in scripture from 1 John, Romans, and John give us great explanations about how much God really loves us. First, we are reminded that God is love and that we are called His children. Then we are told about what life is like being a child of God. He resides in us, therefore we are no longer slaves and we are led by the Spirit of God. Lastly, we are reminded of probably the most popular verse in the Bible, John 3:16. He sent His one and only son to die for us! We are sinners who didn’t deserve it, but because He loves us so much, He did it for us.
Today’s message starts the Crazy Love series and coincides with the kick-off of our Growth Groups. The first sermon is entitled “An Indescribable God” and takes a look at ways in which God reveals Himself, through creation, His word, and his plans for us. Therefore, it is important for us to take time to enjoy creation, focus on the gospel, and remember that God is always with us to help up fulfill the plans he has for us.
Today’s message specifically looks at how words can be toxic in our lives. Proverbs 18:21 states, “The tongue has the power of life and death…” Our words can either strengthen, encourage, give hope, or they can put down, discourage or wound. There are two types of words – the ones we hear, and the ones we speak. We can’t control what people say, but we can control what we “hear” and put in our hearts. When it comes to words we speak, we need to speak positive things to other people (Ephesians 4:29). We can also speak positively to ourselves and to the things we have going on in our own lives.
This week, we begin a new series called “Toxic.” Beginning the series in reference to ‘toxic relationships,’ we learn that not all relationships are blessed by God, and some indeed prevent us from being all God has planned for us. These are the relationships that are toxic. As Christians, we must be careful when entering relationships, as those who are negative, controlling, tempting, and like to gossip, can corrupt our own character, as 1 Corinthians 15:33 reminds us. It is also important to remember that we ourselves are toxic and therefore need God’s help to make our relationships the best they can be.
This weeks sermon wraps up our Blockbuster series with a look at The Smurfs and how they must come together to get home safely after being pushed out of their village. Paul outlines in Acts 20:20 the gathering practices of the disciples of Jesus. We then take a closer look at what they did when they met in Acts 2:42-47. There were four main points that we get out these verses. Fellowship, stewardship, worship, and growth. These points we read about are the exact things we should be getting out of the church now.
This week’s edition of Blockbuster looks at the movie Cowboys and Aliens and how people have to come together to save the world. Jesus teaches us this exact thing in Matthew 28. The first point is that all authority has been given to Him. This means He is always in control no matter what circumstances we face. The second point is that we are to go out into the world to make disciples of Christ. This doesn’t always mean we have to search for people, often there are people right in front of us. The last point is that He is always with us. We don’t do the sharing of our faith alone – He is always with us every step of the way!
This week’s sermon uses Captain America as a basis for the message. Just like the main character in the movie was transformed, Jesus tells us in Matthew 16 how God desires for us to make a total transformation. We then look at Romans 12, where Paul reminds us that if we deny ourselves, that we will be transformed to follow God’s will. We will always have a choice of going our way or God’s way, but He wants us to deny our own way and yield to His will for us. As a church, we are reminded that we have to live transformed lives. We can then communicate the hope of transformed life to others.
This sermon begins our new series entitled Blockbuster, and it looks at some of this summer’s biggest movies and puts a spin on the meaning of them. This week we look at Cars 2, in which the main character is given a mission, and compare it to the mission that God has given to us in Matthew 22:34-40. Also known as the great commission, this is where Jesus is tested by the Pharisees. He instructs us to love God, and love others as we would ourselves. We also look at how it relates to us as the church.
This message wraps up Heart 2 Heart with a look at the disciples in Gethsemene in Matthew 26. Looking more in depth into the verses, we see that the disciples have good intentions, but good intentions are not always a positive if there is no change. In comparison to our lives, there may be times that we have good intentions and never follow through, such as when we want to spend more time in prayer, but never seem to get around to it. The second part of the message deals with the instructions Jesus gave. He is reminding us that we need Him, and that without Him we are weak. Lastly, we look at the response of both Jesus and the disciples to what is about to happen. Jesus had spent His time in prayer, while the disciples had spent their time sleeping. It is a wonderful reminder for when we are preparing for something, that we should be focusing on God’s will for us, not what we want to happen.
8/7/2011When God Doesn’t Answer Prayer the Way We Expected
We continue our series entitled Heart 2 Heart today with Paul’s prayer for Ephesus in Ephesians 3. Pastor Christopher breaks down the prayer into three parts. Paul begins the prayer with the address of Father – just the way Jesus taught them to pray. God answers prayers out of the heart of a Father because He created us, has our best interest at heart, and He knows our future. The second part is his prayer. It involves the power that is given to us through the Holy Spirit. Secondly, it is about the experience of Christ and His love for us. Lastly, Paul prays for the church. He realizes the struggle of faith is not an easy one, but he prays that the Ephesians can experience all that God can do for them.