Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Podcast Now Available

The sermon from Sunday morning titled "Life in Christ: The World and the Believer [pt 2]" covering John 15:18-16:4a in now available on our podcast.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

DAILY BIBLE READING GUIDE (Jan. 23rd – Jan. 28th)

Monday – John 15.18-16.4a
Meditation: Much of our daily Bible reading this week will be similar to last weeks, because my “grave sickness” forced me to only preach half of my sermon. This week we focused on the text’s message of our relationship with the world. What will the world think of the Christian? The Bible’s answer: the world will hate the Christian. Are you ready for the world to hate you? What if that hatred carried with it greater blessing than this world could ever promise?

Tuesday – John 15.18-16.4a; John 3.19-20; Gal. 6.14; Romans 6.5-11
Meditation: The world is going to hate us. At least it should. Christ warns us that if we abide in the vine like he calls us to, we should not expect the world to roll out the red carpet and slather us with encouragement. The world will instead despise us. Why? Because our lives will shine into their sin and expose them. The result: they will hate, reject, despise, and want to kill us. Are you ready for that response? Do you love Christ enough to stand with him even if that means the rejection of some of the people you might genuinely love? The odd reality is that if we really love the lost in the world, standing apart from them is exactly what they need. Don’t blunt the edge of the gospel sword. Kill your friends, your family members with the gospel. Because trust me, Jesus says, they are trying to kill you.

Wednesday – John 15.18-16.4a; Acts 5.41-42; Rom. 5.1-5; 1 Pet. 4.12-14
Meditation: “You are surrounded by billions of people who hate you and will want to kill you. Hope things go okay. I’ll see you in heaven. Later, Jesus.” Jesus farewell message to his disciples sounds like anything but a pep rally. Yet encouraging them is exactly what he says he is trying to do. How? Is he wanting us to just accept that suffering is somehow good? Yes. Again, how? Jesus and the rest of the NT encourages us that our persecution will be used by God to bless us – it will show us that Jesus knew what was coming, it will encourage us that we are a part of his people, and God will use the world’s hatred to draw us closer to himself and further from the world enticements. If you are anything like me, these don’t sound like random blessings, these sound like some of the most heartfelt desires I have for my life. Suffering is not purposeless or outside of God’s control, he is using it for our good. We can rest in that.

Thursday – John 16.1-4a; 1 John 2.17
Meditation: Are we losing this war? Will Christianity fall by the wayside as morality seems to continually plummet? Is our hope in the power of the gospel lost? The answer, Jesus tells us, is no. The world might seem at times to be winning the battle, but Jesus is clear: this is only their “hour”. Christ is not seeking fifteen minutes of fame, he knows that eternity is his. Even if the world does go to hell in a hand basket, Jesus knows that even hell itself cannot prevail against his kingdom. Do you believe that? Is your life one of fighting against moral degradation because you know the gospel wins? We must fight. Christ has/does win.

Friday and Saturday– John 15.1-16.4
Meditation: What does your life look like? What does the world see when they look at you? Do they see Christ or do they see just a version of themselves? This whole chapter Jesus has taught us that must abide in the vine and if we do, the world will notice. Are you abiding?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Announcements (Jan 16-22)

Is there such a thing as "Truth" anymore?....sign up for "The Truth Project" (a small group study) on the biblical answers for a questioning world.

DAILY BIBLE READING GUIDE (Jan. 16th – Jan. 21st)

Monday – John 15.18-16.4a
Meditation: What kind of life should we expect as Christians? We live in the midst of a lost world and wait for a hope that is yet to come. Are our hopes wrongly placed? What if we’re wrong about what God wants from us? Can we trust Jesus? Are we alone in our struggles? These questions have plagued the church, and, in this chapter, Jesus himself will answer our doubts. Pray that your faith would be strengthened by the words of your Savior this week.

Tuesday – John 15.18-25, 16.1-4a; John 3.19-20; John 7.7
Meditation: What response should the Christian expect from the world? The same response Jesus himself received: HATE. The world will hate us, Jesus says, because it hated him, because we are not a part of it anymore, and because it hates the Father. It will hate us even without reason. As Christians, we will always have a tenuous position with the world, because we show love to the world by showing it how broken it is. No one likes to be told their wrong and the wayward sinner is the ultimate example of that truth. Jesus warns us, “the world won’t like you. It won’t be able to stand you.” Are you ready for this response from those you love, those who need to hear the truth? You better be for their sake and yours.

Wednesday – John 15.18-27; 1 Cor. 2.14; Ezek. 36.26-27; Ezek. 37.13-14
Meditation: We are in a battle for the truth. We know the truth and yet the world is blind, deaf, and dumb to it. It hears from the Father and yet kills the messenger. It sees the works and yet hates the worker. And they will hate us without reason if they must. The things of God are unknowable to their dead hearts. So what must we do? We must not lose hope. We can rest in that we are resting in the Truth no matter what the world says. And we can share the gospel knowing that the Spirit who changes dead hearts is exactly the one who testifies with us. Do you have confidence because of Christ to face the world? How about to share the gospel with that family member or friend who needs to hear it? Will you?

Thursday – John 16.1-4a; 1 John 2.17
Meditation: Persecution is promised to the Christian but what is also promised is that that persecution will last for only an hour. It may seem like the world and its morals have conquered the kingdom of God but that is not the truth. Christ’s kingdom will advance. They may win the hour, but rest assured we are promised the eternity. Is that your hope?

Friday – John 15.20
Meditation: One verse today and it’s meant to draw us to consider our own lives. How foreign does this verse sound to you? Are we having to turn discomforts into persecutions, mockery into martyrdom? Why does the American Christian see little of the persecution that Christ promises in this passage will come? Is it because God has blessed us with peace? Then take advantage of that peace and share gospel during this blessed time. Or is it because when the world sees us, they don’t see Christ? Does the world love you, because, when they see you, they see themselves? Or does it hate you, because, when they see you, they see Jesus? If you’re like me, what frightens you more than persecution might just be your answer to that question.

Saturday – John 16.4b-33

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Podcast Now Available

Podcasts for this Sunday's sermons are now available!

Life In Christ: Love and the True Believer (John 15:12-17)


Announcements (Jan 8-15)

Join us Sun nights @ 5pm - "Jars of Clay/Vessels of Honor - How God uses ordinary people for his glory"

Sun nights @ 6pm - Book club: Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan

Monday nights - BASKETBALL! Schedule coming soon

Jan 17th - Women's Fellowship---- Hostess needed
starts at 6pm - potluck supper

Saturday, January 7, 2012

DAILY BIBLE READING GUIDE (Jan. 9th – Jan. 14th)

Monday – John 15.1-17
Meditation: The life of the believer is a life totally found in Christ alone. He is our salvation, the foundation of our hope, he is the source of our life. He is the vine, we are the branches. To live, we must abide in him. Jesus tells us of the great joy that comes to those who abide in him and thus abide in his love. We surely want to abide in his love, so what must our lives look like? As we answer that question this week, pray that you would abide in him and in his love. That Christ would be your life and your joy. What an earnest prayer. Isn’t it?

Tuesday – John 15.12-13; 1 John 3.10-18
Meditation: Christ commands us “That you love one another as I have loved you.” What a simple and yet deeply difficult command? In our world, we are often taught to seek our own good first. To try and get our way. To speak our mind. Because after all we must be true to ourselves. We are saturated with a “me first” world. Here and in 1 John, God warns us that that attitude will kill us. To abide in the vine, we must love each other to the point of being willingly to lay down our lives for one another? Is that how you love the others in our church? It must be. We cannot survive and you are not abiding in Christ if it is not. Pray that God would work in your heart this love that he commands.

Wednesday – John 15.14; John 15.10; 1 John 3.6-10; 2 John 8-9
Meditation: Not everyone is Jesus’ friend, but only those who keep his commands. He is not saying that keeping his commands is what makes us his friend, but rather that we obey him because we are his friends. It is simply what we do if we are abiding in him. As fruit comes naturally from the vine, so obedience comes naturally from Christ’s friends. So the question this verse begs is “Do you keep his commands? Are you living like one who is a friend of Christ?” Pray that this week you would live like a friend not of the world but of Christ.

Thursday – John 15.15; Romans 10.17; 2 Timothy 3.14-16; Nehemiah 8.8,12
Meditation: The blessing of knowing God’s word is a gift meant to be cherished by Christ’s friends. Believers have been told by Christ the will and word of God. What a blessing! How essential is this word? The entirety of the Christian life is said to revolve around this blessing of his word. It is his word that leads us to salvation. Making clear his word is the job of those called to lead the church. The Holy Spirit is sent to teach and remind us of that word. The word of God is a gift like nothing else. If we understand our lives as his friends, then we will cherish that word - that word that is a testimony to our friendship…to our salvation.

Friday – John 15.16; Ephesians 1.4; Ephesians 2.8-9
Meditation: How easy it would be to be puffed up after reading this passage. We are the “friends of Jesus”. Yet God is quick as always to remind us that we are his friends, not because we chose him but because he chose us. What great humility there is in our salvation? Enemies made his children, children of the devil made friends of Christ. Rejoice in your salvation this week. And when you do, you will be rejoicing not in yourself but in God through Christ - in the vine who gives life to the branches.

Saturday – John 15.12-17