My Strength, My Song, My Salvation

Sunday Sermon

The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation Exodus 15:2 (CSB)

Many years before this verse, God had promised to Abraham that his descendants would live in a specific land, but that it would take four hundred years for it to happen. Between the promise and its fulfillment, quite a few things happened. The Israelites grew to rival or even outnumber the Egyptians in Egypt. So the Egyptians enslaved them. Eventually God would raise up Moses to lead his people out of Egypt and to the promised land. God used different plagues to get Pharaoh to let his people go. When they left, the Egyptian army pursued and the Israelites were stuck between a body of water and an army. God would part the waters so the Israelites could cross and then let the waters fall back to normal as the Egyptians tried to cross, wiping them out. This is where this verse comes in. Moses wrote a song about the event and this is part of that song. 

  1. The LORD is my strength. 

1 Samuel 30:6; 2 Timothy 4:16-17 … We aren't strong enough to get through this life on our own all the time, so we need help. The best help comes from the LORD. 

  1. The LORD is my song. 

What does this mean? Psalm 118:12-14 ... It's the reason we do things. Songs are full of passion and joy and sadness and other emotions. Songs inspire. Songs give us focus. With the LORD as our song, our passion aligns with His, we are inspired by His character, words, and acts, and our focus is on His will. 

  1. The LORD has become my salvation. 

Isaiah 12:2; Revelation 15:2-4 … God will get us through the scrapes and close calls, but He also offers the ultimate salvation, a salvation from an eternity separated from Him. Our biggest need in life is for a savior to rescue us from our sins and their ultimate consequence. That is what the LORD offers to us all. Have you accepted His offer? 

Gifts for Father’s Day

Sunday Sermon Holidays

The Bible says you should give your father two things:

  1. Give your father obedience (Ephesians 6:1; Colossians 3:20 Romans 1:28-30; 2 Timothy 3:1-4). … Children should show obedience to their parents with the exception being when a higher authority  (such as God's law) contradicts them. The New Testament lists disobeying parents with other sins that may seem more serious than it, but apparently it is a serious sin. 

  2. Give your father honor (Ephesians 6:2-3 Mark 7:9-13). … We all know this commandment. We are to show respect to our parents even if they are bad parents. This is also the first commandment with a promise that tells us if we honor our parents, all other things being equal, we will have long lives. Apparently there was a loophole people would use and the religious leaders allowed that let the people neglect their responsibility to care for their parents. Jesus spoke out against this and reaffirmed the importance of honoring our parents. 

The Bible says fathers should give their children four things:

  1. Give your children your presence (Proverbs 27:8). … One of the biggest factors for how children grow up is the presence of a father. Children who grow up without a father are more likely to turn to crime, commit suicide, and get pregnant as a teen. The presence of a father has a large impact on children. Separating doesn't help a marriage. Separating doesn't help the children. 

  2. Give your children boundaries (Genesis 2:16-17; Proverbs 29:17). … Boundaries are good. They allow for just discipline and show children right from wrong. Our Heavenly Father has set boundaries for us, so our earthly fathers should too. 

  3. Give your children warmth (Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21). … Boundaries are important, but they need to be balanced with warmth. It's important to not always be harsh and cold. Sometimes a father needs to show his love to his children. Laugh with them. Hug them. 

  4. Give your children Jesus (Ephesians 6:4). … Without Jesus, all the other gifts that fathers give their children are like dust in the wind. Children need physical food, but they also need spiritual food and the father is tasked with providing both. If you aren't much of a talker, then lead by example. Go to church, volunteer, read your Bible, pray. And do it all where your children can see and learn. 

What Does It Mean to Confess “Jesus is Lord”?

Sunday Sermon

When we baptize people into the church family, we ask people to confess "Jesus is Lord."

Romans 10:9-10 is one of the places we see this happen in scripture. But what does it really mean?

It means two things:

  1. Jesus is boss. Philippians 2:9-11; Ephesians 1:20-22; 1 Corinthians 15:25-26; Colossians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 7:39 … There is one place where the word "lord" is still used in our modern language, "landlord." If you have a landlord then you must get their permission before doing anything to alter the building. They get the final say in any changes. Consider Jesus to be our "lifelord." Jesus is already Lord of all and in charge of everything. However, us humans are quite rebellious and don't always submit to Him as we should, like a tenant breaking the rules laid out by the landlord. When we confess Jesus is Lord, we are saying we are putting our entire lives under Him. Everything we do is for Him. We work our jobs for Christ. We manage our money for Christ. We put Christ above our relationships. 

  2. Jesus is God Adonai —> boss, master —> Lord Yahweh —> name of God —> LORD Exodus 3:14-15; Psalm 8:1; Acts 2:22-25, 32-36 … "Adonai" and "Yahweh" are two Hebrew words found in the Old Testament. "Yahweh" is the name God told Moses when Moses asked His name. "Adonai" is a title similar to "boss" or "master" and was what the Jews would say in place of "Yahweh" out of respect for God. In the New Testament, mostly written in Greek, there is only one word translated as Lord. It is used to quote both "Adonai" an "Yahweh" from Old Testament scriptures and combines the two. Jesus is not just Lord. He is LORD. He is boss and He is God.

Under Construction!

Sunday Sermon

I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6, CSB).

Who is working in your life? God (John 5:17). … God is working in our lives. He even works while we rest. 

What is the good work He is doing in you? Salvation. … God rested from creation but not from all work. He still works on our redemption. He immediately saves us from Hell when we become bel;ievers, but he continues the work of sanctification in us as we live. 

When did He start this good work in you?

  1. When you believed (Ephesians 1:13). This is when we are immediately saved from Hell. The work of salvation and sanctification starts here. 

  2. Before you believed (John 16:8-9; 6:44). … The Holy Spirit convicts people of sin, righteousness, and judgment. This is what leads people to believe in Christ for salvation. The Spirit convicts and draws people towards Jesus before they believe. 

  3. Before creation (Ephesians 1:4). … God knew us before the world was even created. 

How long will He work in you? Until he completes it on the day Jesus comes back (Philippians 1:6). … God always finishes what He starts. He has started a good work in you and He will finish it. we aren't finished yet and will still make mistakes, but the day of completion is coming. 

Do you have to work, too? Yes (Philippians 2:12-13). … We should cooperate with the work that God is doing in us. 

Legacy: Mission: We Have a Purpose

Sunday Sermon Series Legacy

Acts 11:19-30

BIG IDEA: Every Christian has a role to play in the mission of God.

The church at Antioch is used as a model in these verses. Antioch was a center of religious activity during this time period. It was a big city just a few miles south of Jerusalem and there were many different deities worshiped there. Antioch was the first place that followers of Christ were called "christians" and it was meant as a way to mock them. But the church thrived there. 

Four roles in the church

  1. A passion for evangelism (Acts 11:19-21). … We don't know the names of these people doing mission work, but what we do know is they were passionate about Jesus. Passion for evangelism begins with a passion for Christ. They were also willing to engage different cultures. These people weren't from Antioch. They had to travel to get there and had to adapt to a culture that wasn't their own. They also would have had to have trusted in God's guidance. 

  2. A ministry of encouragement (Acts 11:22-24). … Barnabas is known as the son of encouragement. He was generous and invested in people. He earned his nickname by being encouraging and that encouragement led people to Jesus. Everyone could always use some encouragement. Who can you encourage this week? Pray about it and encourage that person. 

  3. Intentional discipleship (Acts 11:25-26). … Barnabas knew his strengths. He was a good encourager and evangelist but he knew a great teacher was needed, so he went and got Paul. Ironically, one of the more prominent pursecuters of Christ followers has become the greatest teacher among them. The reason those people in verse 19 had scattered was because of Saul (now called Paul) and people like him. 

  4. A heart of generosity. (Acts 11:27-30). … Generosity isn't all about money. Money is helpful for funding ministries, but without people to do the work, the ministry is mute. One of the greatest forms of generosity is to give ourselves. 

Of these four areas, where are you involved in the mission of God? 

Evangelism — Encouragement — Discipleship —Generosity.

Of those same four areas, where can you grow in faithfulness to the mission?

Legacy: Community: We are already and not yet

Sunday Sermon Series Legacy

Ephesians 4:1-16

BIG IDEA: The church is an already and not yet community formed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. … We are already forgiven and made right with God, but we still are here on Earth being sanctified and not yet fully transformed and in Heaven. 

4 Commitments of the Already/Not Yet Community

  1. We will grow in gospel community through our actions and attitudes towards one another (vv. 1-3). … Our lives should be equal in measure to our calling. This process is ongoing. We have to practice being humble, gentle, and patient. 

  2. We will ground gospel community in our common confession (vv. 4-6). … We are all connected through our beliefs and salvation. We may have friend groups within the family of God, but it's important to remember that we are all united in Christ who died for our sins. 

  3. We will maximize gospel community as we receive and give God’s gifts (vv. 11-12). … We all have at least one spiritual gift and it is our responsibility to use our gifts in ministering to others. 

  4. We will realize gospel community as we pursue maturity together (vv. 13-16). … We need to work together as different parts of a body work together to achieve the best possible results.

Legacy: Gospel: We have a message

Sunday Sermon Series Legacy

The overarching theme for this three week series comes from 1 Corinthians 15:3. In this series we will see that we have a legacy and that the Gospel is at the heart of it. 

Luke 19:1-10 - the story of Zacchaeus, yeah, the wee little man who climbed up a sycamore tree.  

BIG Idea: The Gospel is the good news that Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10).

The Gospel is good news for the worst and the difficult to reach (Luke 19:2). … Zacchaeus was a tax collector. And he was rich. Throughout the Gospel accounts we see that tax collectors are thieves and despised. And Jesus himself says that it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter Heaven. Zacchaeus represents the worst and most difficult to reach of us. 

The Gospel comes as an encounter with Jesus (Luke 19:3-5). … Zacchaeus was short and couldn't see over the crowd when Jesus came through town. He chose to revert to a child-like action and climbed a tree so he could see. Then Jesus came by and said He would stay at Zacchaeus' house.

  • Notice: Who is seeking whom. … Zacchaeus seeked Jesus and Jesus seeked Zacchaeus. God is sovereign and people are responsible. We must seek Jesus knowing He is always seeking us.

  • Notice: The ugliness of self-righteousness. … Even while Zacchaeus is still lost, Jesus extends an offer of friendship. It was grace in action. When we become self-righteous, we also become allergic to grace. That is the opposite of what Jesus does here.

The response to the Gospel is faith, obedience, and repentance (Luke 19:5-8). … Zacchaeus showed faith, immediate obedience, and radical repentance. 

The effect of the Gospel is joy (Luke 19:6). … Remember the parable about the man who found the treasure in the field and sold all his belongings to buy the field? That's what Zacchaeus did here. 

The Gospel is the power of God for us and the world (Luke 19:9-10). … Not only was Zacchaeus saved that day, but his family saw the change and was also saved. This is a great example of why it's important for the leader of a household to live out a faithful life. This is how the legacy is passed on. 

What kind of Gospel Legacy are you living into?

What kind of Gospel Legacy are you passing on?

Family and Church

Sunday Sermon

God has created two institutions, two communities, to provide fellowship and support for our lives:

God created the family (Mark 10:6-8). … Jesus quoted Genesis and said that God humans male and female. That is the first part of the blueprint of a family. The second part is that marriage should be between one man and one woman. Marriage is a joining of a man and woman for life. Together the man and woman have children and raise them. 

Proverbs to think about:

For husbands and wives: Proverbs 14:1 … Are you building up your family or tearing it down?

For parents and children: Proverbs 23:22 … Don't give up on each other. 

Jesus created the church (Matthew 16:15-19). … Jesus started the church with His disciples. The Greek word for "church" means a gathering of people. It's good to have access to church online, but the intent of church is for us to be together. And Jesus tells us the church will never die. Individual churches may go away if they turn from Biblical teachings but the global church will always exist. 

Ideally, the family and the church are to be in a mutual symbiotic relationship. They are to work together to benefit one another, like flowers and bees. … Without each other flowers and bees wouldn't thrive. They would struggle. The flower produces nectar for the bee and the bee pollinates flowers. Family and church have a similar relationship. The church provides spiritual food and guidance for families and families are what spread the Gospel and help keep the church active and growing. 

The family is to be like a little church (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). … The family is supposed to pray and discuss what God has done for them. Parents are supposed to pass on the knowledge of God to their children. 

The church is to be like a family (1 Timothy 5:1-3). … We are told to treat other members of the church like family members. That's why our church really emphasizes connection groups and Wednesday night classes. That is where you really create and develop relationships. 

Sometimes we let these two get out of balance in our lives. Sometimes we focus too much on one or the other and neglect the other. We might spend a lot of time at church but not encourage the teachings at home or don't spend time with each other at home. Or maybe we go to all the games and concerts and try to encourage godly living, but we're hardly ever at church. Both are important and should be treated as such.

The Christian Hope

Sunday Sermon

Our church has lost a number of members since the pandemic started (not necessarily from COVID). Today our pastor recognized these people at the start of the sermon. Some of them were never given a funeral or memorial service due to the pandemic, so it was good to be able to recognize them and celebrate their lives as well as that they are now in Heaven, fully realizing the hope we have as Christians. 

The Christian hope is a two-part hope:

  • When you die, your spirit departs your body and goes to be with Jesus. Genesis 2:7; Ecclesiastes 12:7; Luke 23:46; Acts 7:59-60; Philippians 1:22-23 … When God made mankind, there were two components: dust from the ground and breath from God. That breath is our spirit. When we die they separate and return from whence they came; the dust to the ground and the spirit to God to be judged. For christians saved by the blood of Christ, the spirit is allowed into Heaven with Jesus, which is better by far. 

  • When Jesus returns, he will raise your body. Your spirit will be reunited with your body. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 … Traditionally, this is why christians do burials. We believe the bodies will be raised again. But let's not forget that our God is all powerful. He could just easily gather the ashes from cremation and put them back together. When Jesus returns, those who are dead in Christ will be rejoined with its spirit in a glorified body and carried up to Christ. Then those who are still alive will also join Christ. 

This hope does not apply to everyone. It applies to anyone who believes in Jesus (John 11:25). … Jesus is life. The only way to eternal life is through Him. We will all exist somewhere in eternity, but only through Jesus will we have eternal life in Heaven.


Sunday Sermon

A stereotype is an idea, thought, or belief that people have about a person, place, or thing, or group of people, which may be true, partly true, or false. … Just like those Dude Perfect videos show different stereotypes, there are some stereotypes of Christians that people believe. 

Stereotypes Believed about Christians.

Stereotype number one: Christians are hypocritical. … What's a hypocrite? It's someone whose behavior doesn't line up with what they preach. In Matthew 23 1-7 Jesus condemns hypocrites. We're told being a hypocrite is wrong. In Matthew 23:27-28 Jesus condemns the pharisees for being hypocrites. It's pretty clear that we are supposed to not be hypocrites. Let's live what we preach. 

Stereotype number two: Christians are judgmental. … Judgmental people rush to conclusions and believe they are always right, lacking compassion and full of arrogance. In Luke 6:37-42 Jesus speaks against blindly judging others without taking into account our own shortcomings. We must take care of our own faults and sins before judging others for theirs. It is best for our first thoughts to be ones of grace and understanding. 

Stereotype number three: Christians are legalistic. … Legalism can be damaging in a couple ways. It can make Christianity seem like just a list of rules and it can falsely add to the Gospel. Acts 15:1, 5-11 tells us we don't have to be perfect to be Christians and in Mark 2:17 Jesus says He came for the sick, not the healthy; He came to help sinners. 

Stereotype number four: Christians are ignorant of their own faith. … It's important to be able to defend our own faith. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 shows us how we should use God's Word to prepare ourselves for that. Gd's Word teaches us truth and rebukes us when we are wrong. 1 Peter 3:15 says we should be prepared to defend our faith. How? Not with hypocrisy; not with judgmental tone; not with legalism. But with kindness. A study by Lifeway Research from 2014 showed that approximately 60% of Christians read their Bible at least once a week. That leaves 40% who don't. In a survey from 2019, around 70% said they read the Bible at least once a week. That's still 30% who don't. If we don't read the Word of God, how can we know about our faith? We must read the Bible, learn what it says, and live it. 

Five things to fix these stereotypes

  1. Read the Bible … It's how we learn about God. 

  2. Pursue Holiness … Throughout the Bible, God is never lackadaisical about sin. Sometimes it's easy for us to shrug our own sin off, but we should be actively trying to remove it from our lives. 

  3. Grow in Your Faith … Growing in faith leads to better understanding. 

  4. Pray … Everything we do should be under the umbrella prayer. 

  5. Treat Others how You Want to be Treated … It's the golden rule and a great way of showing others that we care, that Jesus cares. 

The only way we can get rid of these stereotypes is to live differently. Read the Bible. Learn what it teaches. Live it out (or as a Steven Curtis Chapman song says, "Live It Out Loud.")