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. 

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

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.
 

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!"  

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.
 

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