Christ Centered CastJun 16, 2023
Disciples and Dragons #7 - It's Adventure Time!
Speaker: Pastor Sam Murphy
Pastor Sam started the message by reviewing each of the previous messages in this series. We started with Roll for Initiative - How God is our DM, the second message Level Up! - How we can grow stronger through salvation. Third, The BBEG - Who satan is from scripture. Fourth, Ready for Battle! - How we can be prepared for spiritual battle. Fifth, Don't Split the Party - How we should get along with one another. And sixth, New in Town - How we need to be salt and light. And now that you are caught up you are ready for the ADVENTURE!
It’s a running joke that most table-top role-playing games begin with the group starting their adventure in a place that sells food and beverages. It is at this location that the party finds out who they are going to meet, and/or what they are going to do for the adventure. Their quest-giver may have them go rescue a cat from a tree, find some kind of special object, or even slay a dragon. In real life, we too, have a quest-giver. His name is Jesus. He has a quest for us to go on that is life-changing for us, and for those that we meet along the way.
3 things we must do while questing for Jesus. (Acts 1:6-11)
Disciples and Dragons #6 - New in Town
We’ve all had experiences where we went to something for the first time and hoped to be well received by others. Wherever that was we wanted to matter and make a impact where we went.
Background: After sharing the “Beattitudes” during the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus makes it a point to tell the Christians who are listening that they need to be like salt and light in the world around them. He wants them to understand that this is the way that they can make a difference where they live.
Big Idea: We make the biggest impact with others by being salt and light. (Matthew 5:13-16; Luke 14:34; Mark 4:21)
Disciples and Dragons #5 - Don't Split the Party
Just as splitting the party can be hazardous to one’s health as well as impede your goals or objectives, the same can be said in the Christian life. Our enemy Satan LOVES when Christians struggle to get along and try to go it alone. It is when we are most vulnerable to spiritual attack. Getting along with others has always been difficult, even since the days of the early church, but it has also always been worth it. Because good relationships are so vital to the Christian life, Paul addresses them in Romans when he shares some of the identifying qualities of what it means to be a true Christian.
Background: Penned by the Apostle Paul to the church in Rome, it was written with the intent of unifying Jewish and Non-Jewish Christians as one body, through sound biblical theology and practical Christian living.
Big Idea: Three “go-to’s” for getting along with others. (Romans 12:9-21)
I Feel Seen - Mother's Day 2023
It can be very easy to go through life, and many people do, feeling like no one recognizes nor appreciates who you are nor what you do. This can be especially true at times for mothers, especially those that are engaged and involved in growing a family. Cooking, cleaning, driving, counseling, budgeting, “nursing” etc are all things done by moms that are taken for granted. Today in Scripture we will see one such mother who is used, mistreated, and discarded believing that no one values her nor “sees” her.
Background: Earlier in chapter 12 and reaffirmed in the previous chapter, God establishes a covenant with Abraham promising to give him a great nation through him. When things don’t progress on that front according to Abraham’s timetable, Abraham and his wife Sarai decide to take matters in their own hands. (Genesis 16:1-15)
Disciples and Dragons #4 - Ready for Battle!
Join us for this special backyard church service and enjoy the ambiance of barking dogs, an ambulance and wind chimes. :D
Speaker: Pastor Sam Murphy
Last week we learned about the enemy that we face, Satan, and how he is portrayed in Scripture. We also learned some strategies for victory over Satan’s schemes. God wants us to not only know how we can have victory; He also wants us to know what weapons and armor we have for the battle.
Big Idea: 3 Basics that prepare us for spiritual battle. (Ephesians 6:10-20)
Disciples and Dragons #3 - The BBEG
Speaker: Pastor Sam Murphy
The best stories and games have the strongest villains. While fiction might have some truly terrible villains, we have the most dangerous villain of all, in real life – Satan. Because he is so strong, God wants us to be prepared, to know something about who he is so that we can have victory over him. Today, we will look at 3 symbols of Satan from Scripture that reveal to us what he is like.
Big Idea: 3 symbols of Satan that show us who he is (Ge. 3:1-4; 1 Pe. 5:8-9; Re. 12:7-12)
Disciples and Dragons #2 - Level Up!
Our capture card was going out, so we apologize for the audio quality. Next week the audio quality will be back to normal!
Speaker: Pastor Sam Murphy Date: 4/22/2023
Part of the fun of Dungeons and Dragons is getting stronger and unlocking new abilities and powers. And just like last time when we looked at 3 ways that God is our Game Master, God is also the one who gives us gives us the opportunity to get stronger spiritually by accepting His Son and receiving His Spirit. When we become saved, we get access to a few different benefits through our relationship with God. Today, we will look at 3 ways that we grow stronger through salvation.
3 ways that we grow stronger through salvation (2 Co. 5:16-17; 2 Ti. 1:6-7; Ro. 12:6-8)
Disciples and Dragons #1 - Roll for Initiative
We apologize for the slight echo in the audio! Next week should be back to the regular beautiful audio you are used to!
Dungeons and Dragons as a game has surged back into popularity the past decade. A DM (Dungeon Master or a GM (Game Master) is in charge of creating, running and ruling the game. And just as the GM is responsible for creating, running, and ruling the game, so to is God responsible for doing those things in our life. In the earliest parts of the Bible, we see God do all these things with creation as well as with Adam and Eve.
Background: Written by Moses, Genesis is the book of beginnings. We see God beginning his relationship with man and man beginning his relationship with sin.
Big Idea: 3 ways that God is GM (DM) of our lives (Genesis 1-3)
Values 2023 #3 - A Ministry that is Caring
Speaker: Pastor Sam Murphy
“Nobody cares about how much you know, until they know how much you care” - Theodore Roosevelt.
Caring is vital when ministries seek to be conduits of God ‘s truth and love for people. We often hear the world expects believers today to lead with religious agenda, when in fact, God calls his children to lead with love. As it turns out, this cart before the horse mentality is nothing new. In the gospel of Luke, Jesus encountered a man who too focused on law rather than love. He makes the opportunity to help this man understand that the foundation of the spirit life is not merely compliance to code, it is instead caring. In the text, we too will see the importance of choosing to care as “Caring” is our final value to be explored in this series.
Big Idea: 2 choices that make our ministries Caring (Luke 10:25-28)
Values 2023 #2 - A Ministry that is Committed
Speaker: Pastor Sam Murphy
When you hear the word “committed”, what is your first thought? According to Websters, the first definition might surprise you... When it comes to ministry, we do not do what we do because we feel like we are confined to it, rather we do the ministries at Christ Centered Community because we have made a pledge to Christ and his people. “Committed” is our next value to be considered in this series. In Scripture, the early church was committed to several of the same things in their ministry that we are, and we will see these in the book of Acts. The book of Acts actually follows the gospel of Luke as a continuation of the story, both written by Luke. While we typically think of Acts being about the Apostles starting of the NT church, and it is, it is far more importantly about Jesus and the Spirit of God establishing the church. This shows a model for the foundation of local churches and ministries to be centered on Christ. [refer to last week’s message
Big Idea: 3 practices that make our ministries Committed (Acts 2:42-47)
Values 2023 #1 - A Ministry that is Christ Centered
Speaker: Pastor Sam Murphy
What do you value? If one looks long enough, it is generally not difficult to see what we value. Values are reflected by us personally, as well as, by our families, in our businesses, and even through our ministries and churches. A watching world can quickly see what we value, and it is our goal as a ministry to live out 3 core values; the first of which we will look at this week. In Scripture, the Apostle Peter understood the importance of living in a way that reflects what we value as believers.
Commissioned by Peter, but written by Silvanus, this was a letter that was penned in Rome to Christians throughout Asia Minor (modern day Turkey). These mostly non-Jewish Christians were being persecuted by others in their communities and Peter was attempting to encourage them amid this.
Big Idea: 3 characteristics that make our ministries Christ Centered (1 Peter 2:1-12)
Speaker : Pastor Sam Murphy
At one time or another most all of us have seen, or maybe even given, a heart react to a message, picture, meme, or gif. However, when we dropped that heart, did we really “love” it? Or was that just our knee-jerk response at the time? Now we had other options of course, such as the laugh, cry, angry, smiley face, thumbs up, etc, yet we went with the heart, because we needed to convey something stronger than a simple “like”. In the world of reacts, the heart typically conveys only one thing – love. In the realm of humanity, however, we know that people can “react” with more than just love in their heart. But should they? Even more importantly, should those that claim to be followers of Christ have options for how they react with their heart?
3 kinds of “heart reacts” from 1 John 3 (1 John 3:11-24)
Vision 2023 #2 - A Vision of Bee-ing
Speaker : Kendra Connor
Our vision as Christ Centered Community Ministries, and as a church is, “Helping others live Christ-centered lives” Last week we saw as Jesus cast a vision for us in regards to others, as he called his first disciples to be fishers of men. This week we will see Jesus cast a vision for us, his current disciples, and how we should live, or…. BE. We were given the vision to be fishers of men, we know we are to GO and teach, preach and reach but how are we to BE as we GO? The Beatitudes describes for us the vision Jesus had for how we are to live our lives, they describes characteristics that should be evident in those who claim him as Lord. And that is what we will see in Matthew 5 , that the beatitudes represent Jesus’ vision for us, his disciples.
What is Jesus’ vision for how we should “BE” as His disciples? Matthew 5:1-12
Vision 2023 #1 - Vision Casting
Pastor Sam just completed a message series on mission. He shared the mission of the church, and C3 Ministries as a whole, and shared how we can live out that mission. Over the next two weeks, Kendra and I have the opportunity to share about vision. In 2022, the leadership of C3 Ministries developed a vision statement for our ministries. The vision statement is “Helping People Live Christ-centered Lives.”
Vision statements declare current and future objectives of an organization. Vision statements are set in stone, and can change over time. These statements align with an organization’s mission, values, and community. Whatever role you hold within the organization, you would share the same vision.
Luke 5:1-11 shows us 3 things we learn about vision casting from Jesus calling his disciples.
Mission 2023 #3 - Teach
Speaker : Pastor Sam Murphy
Our mission is to build a Christ-centered community by preaching, teaching, and reaching our community through Christ-centered ministries.”
Jesus wants us to build a Christ centered community through making disciples. The word disciple in the GK means, “learner, pupil”. But Jesus wants us to know that becoming a disciple is not just a conversion experience and learning some bible. It is a process that must be taught and modeled by other believers.
Big Idea: 3 directives given in the commission to make disciples (Matthew 28:16-20)
Mission 2023 #2 - Preach
Speaker : Pastor Sam Murphy
Our mission is to build a Christ-centered community by preaching, teaching, and reaching our community through Christ-centered ministries. As we began this series this year, we started on the path toward organic discipleship. If we are going to teach others what it means to obey Christ, we first must reach them. Then, once we have reached them, we must proclaim the good news and share our faith with them.
Paul’s mission was also to build a Christ-centered community through the church where Timothy was left to pastor. One of the calls used to do that was preaching the word. We, like Timothy have a call to preach the word. Today, we are going to see what preparations we must make to accomplish this call.
3 Preparations we must make to fulfill our call of preaching (sharing). 2 Timothy 4:1-5
Mission 2023 #1 - Reach
Our mission is to build a Christ-centered community by preaching, teaching, and reaching our community through Christ-centered ministries. One of the practical ways that we are going to be seeking to build a Christ-centered community with intentionality this year, is through a focus on natural discipleship. Natural discipleship is discipleship that while it might be structed in a concentrated way (i.e. a discipleship study or mentoring relationship) it is more experienced through daily living and wholistic spiritual growth. It is for this reason that we are changing up the preach, teach, reach order in our series this year, and instead starting with reaching people first. If we do not reach people, we cannot preach Christ and teach them to obey his teachings.
Background: in 2 Timothy, Paul was going to die soon in prison and wanted to make sure Timothy knew what things were most important in life and ministry. He wanted to Timothy to reach others and shared with him some decisions he must make to expand his reach.
Big Idea: 2 decisions we must make to expand our reach (2 Timothy 1:6-12
New Year's Dedication
Be A Tree #3 - Christmas 2022
Speaker : Pastor Sam Murphy
At this point in life, I thought I had seen all there was to see when it comes to Christmas. But there I was, in Menards, looking for Christmas lights when I saw them: Christmas Tree Scent Sticks. Little sticks, that smell like fake pine that you hang on your tree. And smell they do! According to the instructions all six sticks were hung from the tree and the living room began to smell like pine. Chemical pine. The odor lasted for a short while and then was gone. But for a brief time, the living room smelled kind of like Christmas, and it was pleasing. Just like lights and decorations [point to tree], the Bible has something to say about scent as well. Today, we will look at God’s Word and see what it has to say about the importance of aroma.
Background: In these Pauline epistles God gives us a theology of smell. As with the last two messages we’ll begin by looking at Jesus as our model.
God’s word reminds us of the importance of aroma.
(Ephesians 5:1-2; Romans 12:1; 2 Corinthians 2:14-17)
Be A Tree #2 - Christmas 2022
Speaker : Pastor Sam Murphy
A Christmas staple in many households this time of year is the Charlie Brown Christmas. The movie does an amazing job at teaching us not only the true meaning of Christmas, it also showing us the power of genuine love and the right decorations. When we have the right ornamental decorations, our Christmas Trees end up looking beautiful. In the same way, when we adorn our lives biblically, getting beyond the superficial, we look beautiful to God and others as well.
Background: Just like last week, we will approach a theology of adornment by first considering our model and example Jesus Christ. Then, we will explore what that should mean for us as we see that: God’s word reminds us of the importance of adornment. (Is. 53:1-3; 1 Pe. 3:3-4; 1 Ti. 2:8-10; Ti. 2:9-10)
Be a Tree #1 - Christmas 2022
Freeport Maine is practically entirely LL Bean. Pastor Sam was there visiting his family over one Christmas a few years back. He was amazed by it all and had this to say about it. "As I looked up at that tree in Freeport Maine, I was initially struck by its size. Saying it is enormous is an understatement. Though after really examining it, I was more moved by the sheer number of lights on display upon that powerful pine. There were 1000s and 1000s and 1000s casting their luminescence on the night sky! It was a sight to behold. Light has way more important uses than just making our Christmas trees look pretty. Light reveals something, often the way, most notably against a pervasive darkness (which, pervasive darkness is a great way to describe driving around Maine at night)."
Background: It is against the darkness of the world that we see the light of Christ shine most brightly. We will see in the gospels of John first and then Matthew, the significance of light and consider some ways that Christmas tree lights remind us of its importance. God’s word reminds us of the importance of light. (John 8:12, 9:1-5; Matthew 5:14-16)
Thanksgiving 2022 #2 - Practicing Praise
If I told you that Thanksgiving dinner would be the last time that you ate, your response would probably be something to the effect of “Pastor is crazy. Why does he want me dead? Isn’t there a show about this on Investigate Discovery?!” But once you worked through that, you would probably think something to the effect of, I need to eat to live. In fact, eating is a BIG part of my lifestyle! For some of us, myself included, maybe too big sometimes. If we stopped eating after Thanksgiving dinner was over, we would certainly die. The same thing happens when we stop praising and thanking God after Thanksgiving…we die. Not physically or salvifically mind you, but we die in our spirit. Just like eating, praising and thanking should not be an event, it should be a lifestyle. Today, as we look at the words of Paul to the church at Thessalonica, we will see that he was calling those believers to make it a lifestyle as well. In chapter 5 we will see 3 things we must do to practice praise this Thanksgiving.
3 Things we must do to practice praise this Thanksgiving. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Thanksgiving 2022 #1 - Prepared to Praise
Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.” – John Lennon We could also say, “Thanksgiving is what happens to us while we are busy planning for Christmas”. But what if instead of just letting Thanksgiving happen to us, we decided to prioritize it. Nay, even plan for it! Now I am talking about more than planning and preparing food, or even coordinating the gathering locations, but what if instead we planned for and prepared our hearts for Thanksgiving? How could this potentially change our entire Holiday Season? Today as we look at God’s Word, we are going to see 3 things we can do to prepare our hearts, this Thanksgiving.
3 Things we must do to prepare our hearts this Thanksgiving. (Psalm 9:1-2)
Overwhelming Fear vs An Ever-Loving God
Speaker : Kendra Connor - Fears can lead to anxiety, panic, depression, hopelessness, especially when we forget where God is in our fear. There was one prophet in the Bible that also let his fear completely overtake him and he lost sight of God despite the great and wonderful things God was doing through him. Elijah allowed fear to overwhelm him. God is our lifeline when fear threatens to overwhelm - 1 Kings 19:1-18
"Duh"cipleship #2 - The How
How should Biblical Discipleship occur? (Luke 14:25-33; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Ephesians 4:11-16)
“Duh”cipleship #1 - The What
What is Biblical Discipleship? (2 Timothy 2:1-7, 3:10-17, 4:1-5) If I asked you to define “disciple" what would say? A student, a listener, a follower, a teach? The words “disciple” and “discipleship” get thrown around a lot in church culture, and rightly so. They are seemingly simple words, and easy to define technically speaking (re: definition/synonyms). However, when we really stop and consider what the words mean, they become a lot more intimidating rather quickly. But the Lord does not want us to feel overwhelmed regarding this task called “discipleship.” Instead, He wants us to understand what discipleship is and what it looks like biblically so that we can put it into practice. One such example of discipleship in Scripture, is the relationship between the Apostle Paul and Pastor Timothy. Today we are going to consider this example in asking, what is biblical discipleship? Background: Paul wrote 2 Timothy as he was pastoring in Ephesus from a prison cell. Approaching the end of his life, Paul wanted Timothy to understand the importance of discipling others as he was discipled.
The Lady or the Tiger
Speaker : Pastor Sam Murphy - 3 Do’s for Decision Making from the Wisdom Literature. (Psa. 32:8-9; Pro. 3:5-8, 16:1-3)
In the story the Lady or the Tiger a man imprisoned for loving the princess is faced with a choice, door 1 or door 2. Behind one door is a beautiful woman for him to marry and behind the other is a starving tiger. The young princess knows what is behind each door and signals to the young man which to choose....The story of the Lady, or the Tiger is intentionally left open ended for the reader. Even though we never know the outcome, we are given a glimpse into the mind behind the one who is informing the ultimate decision. Thankfully, though the princess’ motives are conflicted and questionable at best, our God ALWAYS prioritizes what is ultimately for our good and His glory when it comes to decision making. Knowing this about our God reveals that the onus of the responsibility rests with us being willing to listen to the wisdom of the One that has all the information when we make decisions. Knowing this, we are going to learn some things we can do to be ready to make decisions. Background: The Psalm that we will look at was penned by David, and the Proverbs by his son, King Solomon. And yet while these two men were both quite wise, these passages have their source in the wisdom of the breath of God.
Streams of Mercy
Lauren shares from Matthew 9. The song “Come Thou Fount” was written by Robert Robinson. He lived a rough childhood, losing his dad at a very young age and needing to begin to work very early on to support him and his widowed mom. His maternal grandfather cut him out of the will and only left a small amount to him because he disapproved of his daughter's choice in a partner. Robert got in with the wrong crowd. One day Robert heard minister George Whitefield preaching and it changed his outlook on life. Robert began to study and eventually became a preacher. In his early 20s he penned the song “Come Thou Fount” to remember God's grace and mercy. Unfortunately Robert fell away from the faith and no longer preached the word as he once did. Robert was in a stagecoach one day later on in life with one other person. This other person was a woman who was singing come thou fount. She asked him his opinion on the song and he said, “Madam, I am the unhappy man who wrote that hymn many years ago; and, I would give a thousand worlds, if I had them, if I could feel now as I felt then." And she responded with, “the streams of mercy are still flowing.”
The streams of mercy are still flowing, they never stop flowing. We see this in Matthew 9:9-13, which is the passage of scripture where Jesus calls Matthew to follow him.
Big Idea: 2 Lessons we learn about living the gospel from Jesus calling Matthew
A Banner Day - Jehovah Nissi - What's in a Name #6
God’s people were still traveling in the wilderness and arrived at a place called Rephidim. At Rephidim, they experience another time of wondering where they were going to get water. The people’s short memory leads to them threatening Moses, and God telling Moses to strike a rock. The previous passage ends with his people asking, “Is the Lord among us or not?” In this passage, God is about to answer that.
Big Idea: The Lord wants us to experience victory in life as our Banner. [end] (Exodus 17:8-16)
Doctor Doctor - Jehovah Rapha - What's in a Name #5
5 years ago Pastor Sam had a heart attack at just 37 years old. After the heart attack while recovering he was asked who his family medicine doctor was. Problem was he didn't have one, he didn't even realize he needed to have one. He didn't realize he was "sick" enough to need one. Before we began a relationship with God through Christ, we do not realize that we were spiritually sick with our sin either. We did not know that we needed God, the doctor of our soul, to heal us and make us whole. Much like God’s people leaving Egypt in the Exodus, we were just living life with our internal and external struggles unaware of what the actual problem was: our sin sickness and its consequences. In this account in Exodus, God wanted His people to remember their need for Him and to understand that when they came face to face with their sin sickness, that they needed to go God, The Healer.
Health comes from going to The Doctor, and listening to what He says. (Exodus 15:22-27)
Give to Get - Jehovah Jireh - What's in a Name #4
Sorry there is no podcast due to audio issues, when the video was downloaded from Facebook there was no audio. Thankfully a copy of the live stream is available on Facebook at https://fb.watch/ft1IFV6_IE/
The message starts at 17:30.
Might Makes Right - Elohim - What's in a Name #3
Have you ever heard the classic idiom, “Might makes right?” A simple dictionary definition says it is, “that the people who have power are able to do what they want because no one can stop them”. Historically there have been many that have subscribed to this idiom in their dealings with others, seeking to use their might to elevate themselves while subjugating others. A, survival of the fittest mentality, if you will. And while it has long been debated whether this phrase should be the credo of humanity, when it comes to God, there is absolutely no question. God is mighty; therefore, He is righty. But is there more to His might than that? Most certainly there is. God’s might is revealed several different ways in Scripture which have a direct impact on our lives beyond Him simply “making the rules”. In the Scriptures today, we will see a few of His mighty ways, and what they mean for us.
3 ways in which our Elohim is mighty. (Gen. 1; Psa. 7:8-11; Jer. 31:31-34)
Master of Prophets - Adonai - What's In a Name #2
Thanks to a popular Netflix series the Metallica song Master of Puppets has risen the charts once again. Back in 1986 Metallica frontman James Hetfield did an interview on the song. He spoke about how the song is about drug and how innitially people think they are in control and they won't get addicted. They can continue to do drugs recreationally with no consequences. Isn’t that true though? Most people don’t take drugs thinking they will become an addict. They think they can just play around with it without committing their lives to it. In fact, most people have the same unspoken attitude about God too. They want to play around with Him, experience Him recreationally, but do not have any intention of having Him become their Master. Their Adonai.
Thankfully, unlike drugs, which lead to ruined lives and death, when God becomes our Master, we can look forward to nothing but life and freedom in Him. As we will notice in the account of the prophet Isaiah, when we truly experience God personally, we must respond to Him as our Adonai.
Background: After the first 5 chapters in Isaiah of the prophet calling God’s people to repentance or face destruction for their idolatry, we get a snapshot of Isaiah recording his initial call to prophetic ministry. He receives a vision of God and then a commission from God. It is in this vision/commission that we will see:
2 life changing ways that we must respond to Adonai. (Isaiah 6:1-13)
He Who Must Not Be Named - YHWH/Yahweh - What's In a Name #1
From Voldemort to the Vatican, it is not uncommon for beings of great power to illicit strong visceral responses at the mention of their name. For the former it is out of fear. For the latter, God, it is out of reverence. In fact, in our culture, people used to react when God’s name was taken in vain, but not so much anymore. Now it is not uncommon in many family films to have the name of God or Jesus be used flippantly and thrown away at least once or twice, if not more. But why is the name of God, and more specifically Yahweh or Jehovah so sacred?
God’s people Israel were slaves in Egypt and God has raised up a guy by the name of Moses to free His people and lead them into a promised land. As Moses was at times seemingly insecure, God went to some extra lengths using visual aids like a burning bush to persuade Moses to take up the task. When Moses asks God what to tell the people, when he is trying to free them to convince them that he is legit, God tells Moses to use His personal name. As we consider todays text, we will see why God personal name is sacred.
3 reasons the name YHWH/YAHWEH/JEHOVAH must be sacred for us. (Exodus 3:13-15)
Can I Catch a Break? - Psalm 85
If you have been a Christian long enough, you have probably realized that God in His sovereignty often works apart from the difficulty of our circumstances. In fact, some of the hardest lives have been lived by some of the godliest people. In fact, I believe that God does not want to make our lives better, as much as He wants to make us better. How does He do that? He does that when we seek His favor.
Much like Psalm 147 two weeks ago, 85 was most likely written right after God’s people returned from exile in Babylon. They found themselves frustrated because while they were grateful for God freeing them, they could not understand why life wasn’t better. They recognized that going home was an act of His mercy, but believed that they were still somehow lacking His favor. While favor cannot be earned, Scripture tells us that it is something that can be sought.
Four things we can do to seek the Lord’s favor [happiness]. (Psalm 85)
It Is Well With My Soul - Psalm 23
While widely considered to be the best known and most loved “confidence” Psalm, as well as one oft used at funerals, this memorial marks the first time I’ve ever preached Psalm 23 at a funeral. I am glad for this. I am glad for this because when I think about those we have lost, I think about the confidence we can have. Not a false confidence or arrogance, but a genuine confidence that could only come from one place – God. This Psalm was written by a man who also had great confidence, the shepherd turned warrior turned king, David. Under the inspiration of God’s Spirit, David penned these words as he reflected on how he pictured God’s presence in his life. We are going to consider these 3 pictures as well.
3 Pictures of the Lord from Psalm 23 in Our Lives (Psalm 23)
PTL - Psalm 147
NASA Reveals the Webb Telescope’s first images of the unseen universe, and it can be easy to see a picture like the ones released this last week of the universe and be in awe of the greatness of God. It can be just as easy if we are not careful though to become discouraged by such greatness when we think of our own smallness by contrast. Yet even though we are so much smaller than God, He does not forget about us. It is this kind of care that makes Him infinitely worthy of our praise. This Psalm was most likely written right after God’s people returned from exile in Babylon. This was a point in history when they would have felt quite small, and not powerful as a people. Perhaps even like we do sometimes. In the midst of this rebuilding, the Psalmist points the eyes of the people to the greatness of the Lord, and calls them to praise Him.
3 Reasons we praise the Lord for His greatness (Psalm 147:1-20)
What a Friend We Have in Jesus
3 Facts for Forming Friendships from Jesus (John 15:12-17)
Whose Body Is It Anyway?
The issues surrounding how we use our bodies are not new. Paul throughout the first letter to the Corinthians repeatedly addresses the churches exhaustive forays into the flesh, even addressing some of the dominant mentalities of the day that had worked their way into the church. In this passage, he presents some biblical body basics as He wants both his readers and us to understand that God answers the question of body rights.
3 Biblical Body Basics for Believers (1 Corinthians 6:12-20)
Still His People
What is a covenant and why should our covenant with God matter? The prophets of the Old Testament were often called God’s prosecuting attorneys. They brought before the people the case God had against them. And we see throughout most of the prophets those three messages 1. Repent! 2. No? Then God will judge you! 3. Ultimately there is hope in future restoration. And this is very true of the book of Micah. The people during this time were under the Mosaic Covenant found in Deuteronomy. By the time we get to our story in Micah, it was a time of turmoil, war, injustice, and crisis. Micah cried out to the people to repent of their sins, listing off their idolatry, injustice, lies, deceit, and unfaithfulness. In chapter 6 we have Micah giving an indictment of the Lord against Judah. We have our court room scene; Micah is acting as the prosecuting attorney of the Lord against the people who have broken their covenant. Micah 6:1-8 Shows us what a covenant relationship with God should look like, what God wants that covenant relationship to look like. While we may not be under the mosaic covenant we are under the new covenant if we have a relationship with God through Jesus. Through this passage we will see how what while we are no longer under the law, that what God requires of us under that covenant has not changed. And we will answer the question Why our does covenant relationship with God matter?
Passage: Micah 6:1-8
Mission 2022 - Reach
In 2 Timothy, Paul was going to die soon in prison and wanted to make sure Timothy knew what things were most important in life and ministry. He wanted to Timothy to reach others and shared with him some decisions he must make to expand his reach.
Big Idea: 2 decisions we must make to expand our reach (2 Timothy 1:6-12)
Mission 2022 - Teach
A short time after Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples go to meet him in Galilee as they were instructed by him. It is here on a mountain that he gives them his final instructions before later, ascending into heaven. He gives them 3 directives to obey if they are going to fulfil his mission of making disciples.
Big Idea: 3 directives given in the commission to make disciples (Matthew 28:16-20)
Do Not Forget to Remember
God freed his people in Exodus through the use of plagues to reveal his power to Pharoah. One of those plagues was the Spirit of God moving through Egypt and killing all the first born of those who did not have their doorframes smeared with the blood of a lamb. Those that did would have the Spirit of God “pass over” them. God did not want His people to forget about His freeing them, so He commanded they memorialize the event by celebrating Passover.
Big Idea: God wants us to remember what He has done for us. Exodus 13:3-10
Mission 2022 - Preach
3 Preparations we must make to fulfill our task to preach (share) (2 Timothy 4:1-5)
Church in the Park ‘22
Background: In the 19th Psalm, we see David sharing and praising God for the places where he sees God reveal Himself in his life. There are a few in the text that we will see as we discover that…
Big Idea: God wants to reveal Himself to us. Psalm 19:1-14
One Bad Mother
After the kingdom was divided following the death of King Solomon, a man named Ahaziah was appointed king in Judah, in the south. As it turns out, Ahaziah was just one more ungodly leader in an ungodly lineage. Interestingly, according to 2nd Chronicles, we’ll see that he received training in living wickedly from Mommie dearest.
Big Idea: Avoiding Athaliah status isn’t about not murdering your family, it’s about modeling godliness.
God, I Don't Get It
In the first pastoral epistle to Timothy, Paul sees church leaders using ministry to make money for themselves or gain notoriety or power. This undoubtedly hurt Paul from time to time given that he was writing this letter from a prison. He could have just given up on serving the Lord, but instead wrote to Timothy to remind him of what was important and how to overcome becoming disillusioned by those people. We find it all starts with sound doctrine and sound teaching.
Big Idea: How do we keep our high expectations from becoming low emotions? 1 Timothy 6:6-10
Now I’m Mad
From the Womb to the Tomb #16
Big Idea: The Lord’s empty tomb is the key to a full life. Luke 24:1-12
From the Womb to the Tomb #15
Jesus sharing the parable of the Ten Minas just prior was not enough for the disciples to realize that while he would be king, his Kingdom would not be yet. As far as the disciples were concerned, their king had arrived and he would be celebrated!
Big Idea: The Lord must be celebrated. Luke 19:28-40