We know that “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, reproof and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). It’s all part of the living and active Word of God (Hebrews 4:12). We need all of it. But isn’t it true that at certain times in our lives certain parts of Scripture seem to speak so directly to our circumstances that the breath of God’s Word feels like a mighty wind? The Word doesn’t just speak to us in those moments; it feels like it thunders! And the living and active Sword of the Spirit seems to pierce even more deeply.
That’s how I feel about Hebrews 12 right now for myself personally and for our church family as a whole. In so many ways this chapter with its 29 verses speaks to where we find ourselves. We’re facing disorienting challenges. Many of us feel weary and discouraged. Hebrews 12 calls Christians to endurance and faith. It speaks to God’s purpose in painful circumstances. It addresses the temptations we face in times of difficulty. And most importantly it holds forth Jesus. Hebrews 12 calls us to fix our eyes on him and to remember the unshakeable nature of his kingdom.
So Lord willing, for the next five weeks, I’m going to preach Hebrews 12 to you, and to me. And I’m asking the Lord to send his Holy Spirit and do something deep and powerful and lasting in our hearts through his living Word.
February 19 2013 at 8:58 am 0 Comments
Here’s a recap of Sunday, February 17, to help us all remember and review:
We celebrated the gospel:
Holy, Holy, Holy
O My Soul, Arise
Communion – as communion was distributed, we had members read from 1 Peter 2:22-25: Philippians 2:6-11; Col 2:13-15; Heb 10:1-2a, 12-17 and Psalm 103:1-5, 8, 22
Before the Throne
We remembered God’s personal care for us through the gospel:
We welcomed guests and shared news in our church life.
We responded and were sent into the world:
Resources for your Family and Care Group:
• Sermon Outline and Application Questions
Kids in Discovery Land learned about Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream (Lesson 72 in Long Story Short) from Daniel 2:1-49.
12:13 students studied John 1:14-18: God became what we are to show us who he is.
December 28 2012 at 5:44 pm 1 Comments
As we like to share each year around this time, Scripture reading—a steady intake of God’s Word—is pivotal to the stability and growth of every Christian. Reading the Bible according to a defined schedule is an option that helps many people. Like the physical necessities of our lives, spiritual needs require a proactive plan. As John Piper has said, “Nothing but the simplest impulses gets accomplished without some forethought which we call a plan.”
We cannot improve upon the excellent post Justin Taylor has put together—Reading the Bible in 2013. It includes links to a variety of plans including ones specific to ESV, links to books to have on hand as “helps,” and a chart to track where you are in the biblical storyline.
Check out Justin’s post, pick an approach that’s right for you, and enjoy God’s Word this year!
August 29 2012 at 10:09 pm 0 Comments
This past Sunday, Braden Greer preached part 14 of our series entitled, The Life and Words of Jesus: The Gospel According to Matthew. His text was Matthew 5:38-42, where Jesus addresses how a disciple of the kingdom of heaven thinks about revenge and the underlying issue of how we view our rights.
Here are options for reviewing and applying the message:
1. Take time to read Matthew 5:38-42.
2. When you are confronted with the true interpretation of the law, what is your initial reaction? Does it drive you to try to earn God’s favor or to rest in God’s mercy? Consider Luke 18:9-14. Does Christ’s teaching provoke you to change? Consider Ezekiel 36:26-27.
3. What are some modern equivalents of a backhanded slap? How do you react when you are insulted?
4. Are you quick to lay claim to your rights even when it leads to others being harmed? How would life at home change if you decided to lay aside your prerogative for the sake of others?
5. Have you considered what Christ laid aside to come and save us? Have you allowed his example to put your own prerogative into perspective?
July 21 2012 at 11:47 pm 2 Comments
This past Sunday I was greatly encouraged by God’s Word and how he is using it in the life of our church.J.J. Pyche
On Sunday morning Joshua brought a strong word once again from our Matthew series and brought home the truth that Jesus is the fulfillment of all of Scripture. Downstairs the same morning and going hand with Josh’s message was a Sunday class with seminary student and summer pastoral intern J.J. Pyche called “Christ: The Whole Story of Scripture.” J.J.‘s class is exploring passages of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation showing that Christ is the center of the story, a method of study called “Biblical Theology.” I am excited for the coming weeks of the class as we understand more and more of the history of God revealing himself to humanity in both the Old and New Testaments.
If you want to join in, come out on Sundays July 22, 29, and August 5 at 11 a.m. in Classroom 156 (on the lower level).
May 14 2012 at 10:25 pm 0 Comments
In his message yesterday, Joshua Harris pointed out that most of us have never heard a sermon on Jesus’ birth except around Christmas time. He went on to say that it’s backwards to think of Jesus’ birth only in connection with the holiday, since the holiday is built upon the the event, not the other way around. You can take the holiday away, and the birth of Jesus Christ would still be an historical reality of greatest importance for every day of the year and every person who has ever lived.
Joshua shared two quotes from J.I. Packer’s Knowing God. In the first, Packer makes the point that we must understand and believe in Jesus’ incarnation to make sense of and explain his life and exploits. He notes that people struggle to believe that Jesus performed miracles or rose from the dead, when the larger question is whether or not the incarnation is true. If we believe that Jesus is God become man, everything else about him makes sense.
If Jesus had been no more than a very remarkable, godly man, the difficulties in believing what the New Testament tells us about his life and work would be truly mountainous. But if Jesus was the same person as the eternal Word, the Father’s agent in creation, “through whom also he made the worlds” (Heb. 1:2), it is no wonder if fresh acts of creative power marked his coming into this world, and his life in it and his exit from it. It is not strange that he, the Author of life, should rise from the dead. If he was truly God the Son, it is much more startling the he should die than that he should rise again.
In the second quote Packer references the Athanasian Creed, an ancient statement of Christian belief used by the church since the sixth century:
The mystery of the Incarnation is unfathomable. We cannot explain it; we can only formulate it. Perhaps it has never been formulated better than in the words of the Athanasian Creed. “Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man…perfect God, and perfect man…who although he be God and man: yet he is not two, but one Christ; one, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh: but by taking of the manhood into God.” Our minds cannot get beyond this. What we see in the manger is, in Charles Wesley’s words,
Our God contracted to a span;
Incomprehensibly made man.
Incomprehensibly. We shall be wise to remember this, to shun speculation and contentedly to adore.
Look for the message audio and an outline in the Resource Library.