Prayer Is Essential

As a church leader I'm often reminded of how much we talk about prayer but how little we actually do it. My point in saying that is not to make assumptions about your personal prayer habits - I don't know about them - but I do know how much time we devote to prayer when we meet as a church body. While we always include prayer in our meetings, I'm not sure we are as devoted to prayer as we see exemplified by the early church. Of these early followers of Jesus it is written in Acts … [Read more...]

Aligning With Our Core Values

The beginning of a new year seems to be a good time for us to highlight what we are as a church community. The first thing I want to emphasize is that we exist, not to be different. While we may be unique in some operational aspects - aspects which I sincerely believe directly influence our spiritual relationship with God and our impact in our world - we do not differ largely from most other churches in the fundamentals of our doctrine. Our primary focus, as is true for all Christ following … [Read more...]

2018 – Work On What You CAN Change

Lots of plans will be made in the beginning of this new year: promises, resolutions, intentions, plans. Some will be practical and beneficial but many will be wistful, wishful and highly improbable. Some will actually be impossible. Those are the safe ones because no one will ever hold us accountable for the impossible. Then, along with the plans and wishes for the new year will come the guilt and pre-packaged disappointment we'll have to lug around... at least for a short while. In some … [Read more...]

(Your Name Here), A Child of God

The coming of Jesus into the world was accompanied by many miraculous and supernatural events. Here's a partial list. Super-natural events around the birth of Christ: Zechariah visited by an angel Angel visits Mary to tell of Jesus' birth Joseph dreams of Jesus' birth Magi dream not to tell Herod of Jesus' whereabouts Joseph warned by an angel to flee to Egypt Joseph dreams (Angel appears) that it's safe to return to Israel When God came down to dwell among men it shook the … [Read more...]

John, the Son of Zechariah and Elizabeth

Last week I talked about Jesus as the Son of God and why we believe the Christmas story is true. I thought we'd continue along those lines today to help us connect the dots which establish why we believe the Christmas story. Today we'll look at the gospel according to Luke and a portion of his account of the story. Luke was a gentile, likely converted after Jesus ascended following His resurrection. He was a contemporary and companion of the apostle Paul and was a careful historian who wrote … [Read more...]

Jesus, The Son of God

Matthew 1:18-21 18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid … [Read more...]

Gratitude That Delights God

gratitude

With the Thanksgiving holiday less than a week away, I wanted to spend a few minutes today on the subject of gratitude. We all know that gratitude, the expression of thanks, is a Biblical posture for every follower of Jesus. We read the Psalms of David and find expressions of thanksgiving on nearly every page. We read the historical accounts from scripture and find examples of people who took the time to offer their thanks to God. In the gospels and the other parts of the New Testament we find … [Read more...]

Holy Spirit Manifestation (Part 5)

In his letter to the church in Galatia, Paul provided some important insight with regard to the operation of the Holy Spirit in the church; specifically as it relates to the faith as opposed to the law. We must keep in mind that the context of Paul's letters relates to a time when the early church was struggling with the tension of spiritual liberty having been steeped in lifelong legalism. At times it must have seemed that this new freedom was a contradiction to the law they had obeyed for so … [Read more...]

Holy Spirit Manifestation – Part 3

We continue today looking at what the Bible says about the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Our focus will be on speaking in tongues since this is a prominent teaching in the New Testament and, therefore, should not be ignored if we are to take the scriptures as God's literal reference for the church in any age. There are, however, those who sincerely hold to a doctrine called Cessationism. Cessationists believe that the spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues, prophecy and healing … [Read more...]

Holy Spirit Manifestation – Part 2

1 Corinthians 12:12-31 12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And … [Read more...]

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