Blog — September 29

The Parables of the Lost Sheep, Lost Coin and Lost Son (Luke 15:1-32)

“There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance” (Luke 15:7). Reading through this passage, I am reminded of the times in my life when I have had the blessing of watching someone repent and accept Christ for the first time. It is absolutely beautiful and there are few experiences in the Christian walk that compare to watching this event occur in someone’s life. In the parables of Luke chapter 15, the word “Rejoice” (Verses 6, 9, & 32) is used to describe the excitement and celebration surrounding the sheep, coin and son that were once lost and then were found. How often in our daily lives do we miss out on this opportunity to REJOICE because we don’t often enough take the time to share the message of Christ with those we encounter every day? These parables should challenge us to recognize the opportunities and doors that God may be opening for us to share the gospel so that those around us who are lost can experience the power of salvation.

Ten Healed of Leprosy (Luke 17:1-19)      

What would it have been like that day, to be one of the ten men healed of leprosy after years of watching my body being eaten away by disease, experiencing all the suffering that comes with the disease, and living as an outcast of society away from everyone I loved?  What would it have been like to be given a healthy body and a new chance at life in an instant? I imagine I would experience emotions of shock, disbelief, awe, extreme joy, weeping and the list goes on.  I cannot imagine being one of the nine individuals that never returned to glorify God and fall on my face at His feet. Yet, so often in my own life I am guilty of the same sin of these nine men. God has richly blessed me with so much more than I deserve or need, yet I forget on a daily basis to simply take the time to praise Him. When was the last time in your life that you were so overwhelmed by the provision and blessing of God, that you fell on your face at His feet to bring Him glory?

September 27 Sermon Recording and Handout

Topic: Christ Alone Part 1 – His Church

Speaker: Pastor Brown

Sermon Recording: Click here to listen or download.

Sermon Handout: Click here to view or print.

Blog — September 28

One characteristic of following Christ is personal humility—giving preference to others, reaching out to the poor and helping those in need.  Jesus describes some important characteristics of those in His kingdom.  Demonstrating personal humility is always appropriate.   Jesus told the religious leader how to prefer others by humbling himself.

Then, in the parable of the banquet, Jesus states that those who are blessed will feast in the kingdom of God.  It is interesting that Jesus is telling this story to people with him around a table, probably eating.  Jesus may have been noticing who was not at the meal.  He started talking about the guests who had been invited to another banquet.  Most of those invited made excuses why they could not attend.  So the master of the house gave orders to his servant to invite the poor and disabled.  The master wanted a full house for people to enjoy the blessings of the banquet.

As servants of Christ, we have a responsibility to help others find the blessings of God.  Material wealth is not always a sign of blessing from God.  Being at the Banquet in the kingdom of God is the real sign of being blessed.  Jesus wants his house to be full.  He is sending us out everywhere to invite everyone to his banquet.  Remember, if you accept the Master’s invitation to be at His banquet, you are blessed.

But, the blessings of God come with a high price.  It may cost you more than you want to pay.  Jesus likens it to carrying the cross, which is a symbol of death. Following Christ well may be the most difficult thing you ever do.  The blessings of God do not equal an easy life.  It can even be described like going to a war.  Just remember that with a great price comes a great prize. The enemy of our soul will suggest that you focus on enjoyment now and pay the price of sin later.   Jesus speaks about paying the price now by taking up your cross to follow him and reaping the reward later.  One day, all His followers will enjoy a great feast in the kingdom of God.  It is worth whatever it costs you.

Engage Discussion Questions for September 23

  1. How well do you live out Philippians 2:14-15?
  2. What does James 4:1 tell us about our attitude and our need for greater reliance on the Holy Spirit? About our tendency to focus on escaping a problem rather than finding God’s purpose within it?
  3. What miracle accompanies these baptisms [Act 2:4, 10:44-46, 19:6]? Why is the tongue significant in Pentecost [James 3]?
  4. Read Romans 8:26 and discuss its implications as a group.
  5. How does 1 Timothy 6:6 relate to our trust in God and affect our attitude as we wait on God?
  6. Discuss this statement: “The prerequisite to every miracle is a problem.” How might recognizing this help our daily walk in Christ?

September 20 Sermon Recording and Handout

Topic: Waiting Room Part 2

Sermon Recording: Click here to listen or download.

Sermon Handout: Click here to view or print.

Engage Discussion Questions for September 16

Gifts of the spirit

  1. Have you ever been used in the gifts?
  2. Would you like to be used in the Gifts?
  3. Do you believe that God will use you in the Gifts?  Why? Why Not?
  4. Do you hold any unforgiveness in your heart?  Toward yourself, or someone else?
  5. Do you have an unconfessed struggle that has not been given to the Lord in prayer?
  6. Are you committed to the word, worship and prayer daily?
  7. If you have been used in the gifts has it been in more that one category of gifts?
  8. When was the last time you were clearly used in one of these gifts?
  9. When was the last time you needed one of these gifts to help you help others?
  10. Do you really want to be used of God in greater ways? Beyond you abilities?

Blog — September 14

In Mark 2, we read about an amazing testimony about four friends who refused to allow anything to stop them from helping their paralyzed friend reach Jesus.  These friends were willing to go to extreme measures to get their friend help.  They put forward a lot of energy, hard work, creativity and effort to reach Jesus.  There was no guarantee that their friend would be healed, but they were willing to do whatever they could to give their friend a chance at being healed.

Would you be willing to put forth an extreme effort to get your friend to Jesus?  Are you willing to give your energy, hard work, creativity and effort toward the possibility that your friend might be touched by Jesus?

The love, commitment and determination of these four friends is an example of true friendship.  A true friend will do whatever it takes to get their friend to Jesus.  They won’t allow anything to get in their way.  God is calling you to lead your friends to Jesus.  Your friends need salvation, healing, freedom and hope.  Will you be a true friend today?

Blog — September 10

“Simon answered, ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets’” (Luke 5:5). Although Simon Peter is wearied from a night of fruitless work, he nonetheless presses upon Jesus for His word of command: “Because you say so, I will let down the nets” (v. 5). This incident tells us an important truth about how God works in and through us for His glory. God chooses ordinary people, like you and me, as His ambassadors. He uses the ordinary circumstances of our daily lives to draw others into His Kingdom as we allow the light of Jesus Christ to shine through us!

“When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, ‘Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!’” (Luke 5:8). True repentance comes just as it does with Simon Peter. When we encounter the Divine Jesus, our Savior, our sins will be revealed and we will have true repentance! Peter falls on his knees and repents! Peter now saw Jesus, not from a human point of view (2 Corinthians 5:16) but as the Divine Savior!

“I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32).  A true physician seeks healing of the whole person—body, mind, heart and spirit. The Pharisees are preoccupied with their own practice of religion that they neglect to help the people who need the greatest care. They are selfish because they don’t want to have anything to do with the people who are not like themselves.

Simon Peter saw the true sinner he is and repents. His love for Jesus grows as does his love for others! The Pharisees’ hearts are never opened to the Divine Jesus and they never recognize their sinfulness. Have you ever encountered the Divine Jesus fallen at His knees, repented and become an ambassador for Christ?

Blog — September 7

We are watching today the culture of the Church change all around us. Some say we should be seeker-sensitive?  I prefer we be Spirit-sensitive. Whatever journey church leaders approach, the objective must be foundational. People or people groups are not our enemy. That which Christ came to overcome is our enemy. Sin is the barrier. It is what keeps us from the joy of our salvation and the promises of the cross. With culture changing we could learn lessons from John’s ministry vision.

The doctrine John the Baptist preached was that of repentance [Lk. 3:2]; Repent ye. He preached this in Judea, among those that were called Jews, and made a profession of religion; for even they needed repentance. He preached it, not in Jerusalem, but in the wilderness of Judea, among the plain country people; for even those who think themselves most out of the way of temptation, and furthest from the vanities and vices of the town, cannot wash their hands in innocence, but must do it in repentance. John the Baptist’s business was to call men to repent of their sins.[1]

Allen Ratta said, “God, in His compassionate mercy, has given an allotted period of time for people to respond to Christ’s sacrificial death on the Cross. We live in the age of God’s compassionate patience. Spiritually, you might say we are in the “Son Light Saving” time zone. It’s time to make disciples who shine for Jesus.” “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3.9).

[1] Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 1618). Peabody: Hendrickson.

September 6 Sermon Recording and Handout

Guest Speaker: Rev. Stan Cook

Sermon Recording: Click here to listen or download.

Sermon Handout: Click here to view or print.