Archives from November 2019

Mission Emphasis Sunday

Sunday Sermon

Mathew 28:16-20

We had a guest speaker of sorts in church this week. She is a missionary who leads a team in Paris, France that focuses on reaching Sub-Saharan Africans who live in Paris. Our church is currently partnering with her since we adopted the Wolof as our unreached people group to focus on. The church has gone on a few mission trips to Paris over the past few years. 

The missionary covered several things such as how they categorize people they interact with and the programs they use for reaching people. They group people into categories like “unresponsive”, “asking questions”, and “ready for discipleship”. Those aren’t the exact terms but they represent what the categories meant. “Unresponsive” people are ones that hear but aren’t ready to explore Christianity as an option for them; the missionaries will continue to serve these people, but they won’t push the Gospel until they move into the next group. The people “asking questions” have heard and want to know more; they are curious and this is the group of people that the missionaries spend the most time with. The ones “ready for discipleship” have heard and accepted the Gospel as truth. They start their preparation for reaching others. 

Some of the programs they use for reaching people are classes for English and French. They also hold Bible studies and worship services and just talk with people on the street as well as inviting them over and going to houses when they’ve built a strong enough relationship. 

A big part of reaching the lost is just building relationships. 

After the little interview, our associate pastor gave the shortest sermon of all time. The great commission in Matthew 28:16-20 tells us to go and make disciples, but the language used also tells us some other things. 

Five observations from the Great Commission:

  1. Jesus is LORD of all things.

  2. Join God at work in of all things

  3. Surrender all things to Jesus. 

  4. Trade all things for everything your soul desires/requires. 

  5. Jesus traded all things in Heaven for you have everything. 

Jesus’ Connection Group

Sunday Sermon

Mark 3 :13-19

We believe small groups are the primary way of making disciples. Why? That’s what Jesus did! It’s why we do Sunday School and Connection Groups. 

Jesus chose twelve of His followers to be His disciples. He chose them that He might be with them and that He might send them out (Mark 3:14). They were Jesus’ Connection Group! There are four lists of the twelve disciples in the New Testament (Matthew 10, Mark 3, Luke 6, and Acts 1). We will look at Mark 3. 

Jesus’ Connection group was comprised of ordinary, flawed people whom He gradually transformed into His image (Mark 3:15-16; Acts 4:13). … The first three (Peter, James, and John) were his inner circle and the leadership team of the twelve. He took them places where he didn’t take the others and even gave them nicknames. Peter’s given name was Simon, but Jesus called him Peter, which means “rock”. Yeah, Simon had that nickname long before Dwayne Johnson. Peter though, was not very rock-like. He wavered and was unstable much of the time. Yet, Jesus called him “rock” and Peter would eventually become part of the foundation of the early church. James and John were brothers who had tendencies of being hot-headed. They had tempers. Jesus called the, “Sons of Thunder”. They suggested calling down fire from Heaven to destroy a village. They started an argument about who would sit next to Jesus in Heaven. Yet, later on John would be known as the disciple of love. He went from suggesting that Jesus rain down fire to being known for his love. 

Sometimes people see these ordinary, flawed people messing up and say they don’t want to go to church because of the hypocrites in the church. Mark 3:19 shows us that those hypocrites might be false disciples. They might not be true believers. But verses 15-17 show us that they could just be in the process of becoming more like Jesus. We aren’t perfect and don’t claim to be. 

Jesus’ Connection Group was comprised of people with very different backgrounds whom He molded into one body (Mark 3:18). … Matthew was a tax collector. The tax collectors were hated by the Jews and often lumped together with sinners and prostitutes. They were known for being deceptive and taking more than they needed to. Simon the Zealot would have been on the opposite end of the spectrum. He was all for Jewish freedom and probably would have liked to kill Matthew the tax collector. Jesus brought them together. 

Tommy Tarrants was once a racist and a member of the KKK. He was consumed by hatred for people who were not like him. Through certain life events, he has become a Christian and pastor of a diverse church as well as being in a leadership position with the C.S. Lewis Institute. Read about his story here and here and several other places. Tarrants is a modern day example of how much we can change with the help of Christ. 

Think Like Jesus: Think Like Jesus in Your Relationships

Sunday Sermon Series Think Like Jesus

Philippians 2:1-11

This passage teaches us how to think like Jesus in our relationships. It applies to marriage, family, school, friendships, work, and church. … Last week we saw that our unity with Christ is the basis and foundation for the Christian thought-life, in Philippians 4:2, Paul calls out a couple of the leading woman in a church for not being like-minded in the church. Being like-minded doesn't mean we never disagree. There will still be arguments, but we should all have the same direction and same end goals that unite us. 

Verse 3 says, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves."... We love ourselves; it's part of our culture, the selfie culture. We like raising ourselves up and being first fiddle. Sometimes though, it's important to raise others above us and be willing to play second fiddle. 

Verse 4 says not to look only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 

Verse 5 says in your relationships, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. 

Verses 6-11 shares the attitude of Christ we are to imitate: 

Jesus was in very nature God, but He gave up the privileges of deity (v. 6), made Himself nothing, took the nature of a servant and became human (v. 7). He humbled Himself and became obedient to death on a cross (v. 8). Because of this, God has exalted Him (vv. 9-11).... Jesus continued to lower Himself from God to human to death in the worst of ways. But then He was exalted to the highest of plays and been named Lord of Everything. This prophecy tells us that one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. This doesn't mean that all will be converted and saved and make it to Heaven. Many knees and tongues will do it involuntarily. It is the ones who do it of their own free will that are saved. 

What would happen if you would take up the cross and follow Jesus and His example? Here are two things that are apparent from scripture. 

  1. You'll have more joy

  2. You'll be exalted.

Think Like Jesus: Set Your Mind on Things Above

Sunday Sermon Series Think Like Jesus

Colossians 3:1-15

Before we get to the sermon, let's have a quick review as said by Ephesians 4:1`7-23… We all start out in this world confused. We are prone to certain destructive thoughts and desires such as greed. Fortunately, there is a way 

  1. The basis of our new thought life is our union with Christ (Colossians 3:,1 3-4). “Since you have been raised with Christ--” “For you died and your life is now hidden with Christ.”... As believers, we've been joined with Jesus. That union includes a death of our old selves and a resurrection as a new being, With this death and resurrection, we are also linked to Jesus in His ascension, Our home is in Heaven. Shouldn't we live and think in ways consistent with our status? 

  2. You can choose and control your thought life (Colossians 3:2). “Set your mind--”.... We may not be able to choose what thoughts, but we can choose what we do with thoughts. We can choose to either welcome them or push them away. It’s like what Martin Luther once said, “You cannot keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.” 

  3. The object of our new thought life is to be Heavenly things (Colossians 3:2). “Set your mind on things above--” CS Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity that “the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next.” When we have our mind set on Heaven, we feel more urgency to impact Earth. 

    1. Put to death the thoughts and attitudes of your earthly nature (Colossians 3:5-10).... Paul tells us we need to kill off these thoughts dealing with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed. We don't simply manage these thoughts or toy with them. We need to put an end to them. 

    2. Fill your mind with Christ-like thoughts and attitudes (Colossians 3:12-15).... Once we kill of those earthly thoughts, we can fill our mind with much more virtuous thoughts that will lead to a better life. 

Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. Is your thought life consistent with the ways of Christ? 

  2. Are you taking control of your thought life? 

  3. Is your mind set on things in Heaven? 

Think Like Jesus: From Confusion to Discernment

Sunday Sermon Series Think Like Jesus

Romans 1:20-31; 8:1-7; 12:2

Before we can learn to be discerning, we need to see how we are confused.

  1. When you reject God’s revelation, your thinking becomes confused (Romans 1:20-31). … Everyone has some knowledge that there is a God thanks to nature. But we typically choose not to give Him the glory for it. 

    1. God gave them over to sexual impurity. … As a culture, we have moved this way. Since the 1960s the approval of sexual immorality has increased. Has God abandoned us to sexual impurity

    2. God gave them over to shameful lust. … In the early 200s the acceptance of homosexuality started to grow. In only 4 years, the same president who said he believed marriage should be between a man and a woman changed his tune in his second campaign. Has God given our culture over to shameful lust? 

    3. God gave them over to depraved thinking. … We might not be to this point yet, but if the pattern continues, it’s not far off. 

  2. When you believe in Jesus, the Holy Spirit enables you to think clearly (Romans 8:1-7). 

Romans 8:5

Romans 8:6

Romans 8:7

Mind set on flesh

Leads to death

Hostile to God

Mind set on Spirit

Leads to life and peace

Submits to God

  1. As Jesus transforms you, your thinking becomes sharper, and you are able to discern God’s will (Romans 12:2). … Even after salvation, the world wil still put pressure on us to conform, but we must renew our minds and stand firm. How do we renew our minds? By studying God’s Word and praying and worshipping God. This will help us be able to discern the Will of God.