The Difference Between An ACT of Faith and An ACTIVE Faith - Part Five

We began and will end with Abraham, our Father of the faithful. Take a look again at Genesis 12:1-7. I'm intrigued with what's not in the text. What was the promise to Abraham? What part of the promise was for him personally? We'll discuss Abraham's response to Yahweh's promise to him. It was “to” him, but not so much “for” him.

Faith is about making decisions today that may not benefit us as much as they favor our children and their children. Sounds nice, but at what cost? How much of your lifestyle are you willing to sacrifice to make it better for future generations.

We'll also discuss Matthew 11:11 and the statement about the least in the kingdom are greater than John the Baptist. Why did Jesus say that?

While you're at it, take a walk through Hebrews 11 this week - “The Hall Of Fame Of The Faithful.” What's the common thread?

Looking forward to studying with you on Sunday!

The Difference Between An ACT of Faith and An ACTIVE Faith - Part Four

Paul said, “we live by faith and not by sight” (II Corinthians 5:7). The faith dilemma is a vision dilemma.

In Sunday's message, Part IV of our series The Difference Between An Act Of Faith And An Active Faith, we will examine how Jesus attempts to get His disciples to look at the world with different eyes. Jesus is wanting all of His followers to look at life with different eyes because everything we see with our physical eyes is perishing.

In our study we will address principles behind a new set of eyes and what event changed the eyesight of the disciples, and how this event affects our lives.

The Difference Between An ACT of Faith and An ACTIVE Faith - Part Three

Paul said, “we live by faith and not by sight” (II Corinthians 5:7). Living by faith means we this faith is a lifestyle and not an event.

In Sunday's message we will deal with Mark 9 when the disciples were unable to heal a boy with an incurable disease. They hit a brick wall with their faith. They believed just like before, but this time the power was missing. They were stumped. What made things worse was the scribes were hanging around calling attention to their failure. Fortunately, Jesus showed up not to take up the debate, but to bring wholeness in the diseased boy.

Sunday's message will reveal the principles behind faith's failures and some keys to understanding what's more important than form.

Happy Birthday, Church!


This Sunday (May 27th) is Pentecost Sunday.  It was on Pentecost Sunday (Acts 2) that the church was born.  I find it strange that we observe the birth of Christ which was not a holiday in the beginning, but don't observe the birth of the church which was a holiday all through the centuries following the first Christian Pentecost.

My message this Sunday, “Downsizing The Spirit” is a look at why there has been a de-emphasis on Pentecost and how this lack of attention has contributed to the “downsizing” of the Spirit in the modern church. 

The last thing we need today is to downsize the source of power to move the body of Christ ahead in a world similar to the world of the first century. 

We will examine the Promise of Pentecost and the Presence of Pentecost.  I suggest reading John 14 and Acts 2 in preparation. 



A Father to Pharaoh

Moses, Daniel, Elijah, and Joseph had this in common:  They were all sent by Yahweh to unbelieving kings or leaders for His purpose.  Each went armed with two things:  A message and a miracle.  The miracle would confirm that the message was valid.We remember well the miracles of Moses, Daniel, and Elijah, but what miracle did Joseph perform before Pharaoh?  Moses, Daniel, and Elijah all did acts that defied nature that would get anyone's attention.  Not Joseph.  God used another wonder in penetrating the heart of this Egyptian king.  This coming Sunday, we will study what God employed that would alter the history of Egypt and Israel.  It's truly a remarkable story of Yahweh's wisdom that confounds the mightiest of rulers.  Genesis 41 will be our main text.  See ya, Sunday!

The Epistle To Philemon

Paul's letter to Philemon is the shortest of all Paul's writings, and yet it deals with a big problem:  the problem and practice of slavery.  The epistle suggests that Paul was in prison at the time of the writing.  Philemon was a slave-owner who also hosted a house church.  During the time of Paul's ministry in Ephesus, Philemon had likely journeyed to the city, heard Paul's preaching and became a Christian.  Philemon had a slave, Onesimus, who robbed from Philemon and then ran away.  Onesimus made his way to Rome and found Paul, and like his slave owner, became a Christian. 


The Book of Philemon is about Paul's efforts to reconcile slave and slave owner, but in the spirit as brothers.  Paul's brief letter is to the point on our responsibility toward each other as employers and employees.  The apostle did not deal with the social implications as much as the spiritual implications of responsibility.  “Christian love is alive in the marketplace” says Paul.  Only the power of this love can eventually undo the snare of any slavery.


Fred Sitter will be presenting a unique approach to this postcard epistle this coming Sunday.



How To Plead Your Case With God

This Sunday's study (April 22nd) is based on Psalm 143.  It seems like the psalmist is always in some kind of crisis.  He's persecuted, crushed, in death's darkness, and distressed.  He's thirsty for God, his spirit is failing, and he's hounded by enemies.  In the context of feeling so overwhelmed, how should David pray?  Psalm 143 provides some interesting insights.

Last Sunday we spoke of the importance of meditating on the acts of God.  David brings this up in this psalm (verse 5).  The psalmist uses memory of God's past acts to get present results.  Memory builds faith!  As David remembered God's personal intervention in his life, he's saying, "Do it again, Yahweh!"  

We can learn much from the ancients on the topic of prayer.  If we learn to pray like David, we can expect to receive answers like David did.  To get there, we need to reacquaint ourselves with a God who longs to hear our voices, and One who loves to welcome His children who humble themselves before Him.  

Take a look at Psalm 143 this week.  Come with expectation when we meet on the Lord's Day.


Why Solomon Asked For Wisdom

I Kings 3 tells the classic account of Solomon's request for wisdom and Yahweh's overwhelming response.  In a dream, God appeared with a forthright invitation, “Ask!  What shall I give you?”  Here the God of heaven bends down to grant the supplication of a man and graciously puts the key to all His treasures in the young man's hand.  Within the bounds of reason, Solomon could have obtained anything he wished. 

Solomon responded first with a spirit of gratitude, acknowledging the bountiful blessings of Yahweh in the life of his father, David as well as in his own experience.  Then, he prays humbly, “I am a little child.”  Scholars believe Solomon was in his late teens or early twenties.  He was expressing his inadequacies as he faced the awesome tasks of leadership.  Facing the pressures of following his successful father and being so inexperienced moved Solomon to ask for wisdom.  It was a wise decision to admit his insufficiency before God.  The Bible repeatedly teaches us that God hears the pleas of the humble petitioner who admits his need. 

Solomon was granted wisdom and his career was blessed, so blessed that God gave him bonuses that would enhance his tenure as king.  When we truly seek God's kingdom and righteousness first (Matthew 6:33), God does take care of all the rest.  On Sunday we'll talk about how every believer is given the same promise given Solomon. 


Series On Devotion

The word “devoted” is a relatively common word in Scripture. Acts 2:42 reveals that the early believers were “devoted” to the apostles' doctrine and to one another.Paul was “devoted” to preaching (Acts 18:5). Paul used the word in urging followers to “devote” themselves to prayer (Colossians 4:2), and to one another (Romans 12:10).  Jesus spoke of the dilemma of being “devoted” to two masters (Matthew 6:24) and the impossibility of dividing one's heart. Devotion. The first century believer understood the term and strived to live that term because nothing less could direct one through times of trial and temptation. Our culture understands this term as well, because people will find themselves drawn to something or someone who demands a devotion-like status. In the next four weeks we will be looking at the description of a devoted follower of Christ - what it looks like. Being devoted to Christ has four dimensions we will explore in depth. I'm looking forward to studying with you and being challenged by God's Word!



Wide Angle: Framing Your World View

On Sunday March 11, we begin a new study series in the Sunday 9:30 AM class based on the video series Wide Angle: Framing Your World View.

Christian leaders Chuck Colson and Rick Warren have joined together to produce a stimulating new study called Wide Angle: Framing Your Worldview.

Our worldview -the way we look at life-impacts everything we do. The moral choices we make; the way we spend our money; the kind of relationships we have; the priorities we set.

The question is : Is our worldview fully shaped by Christian truth? And do we know the best way to detect and counter the false values of our culture?

In this brand new DVD study series, Colson and Warren tackle some of the key issues of our day: truth vs. relativism, creationism vs. Darwinism, tolerance, terrorism, and so much more. You will learn about competing worldviews, the biblical basis for a Christian worldview, and its application to every facet of life.




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