Sunday 4.07.19 (the healer)

This Sunday, we’ll continue our journey through Luke’s gospel by taking a look at 5:12-32 and seeing how Jesus is the great Healer who heals us physically and spiritually. Then on Sunday night, we’ll join at First Baptist Rich Hill for the Voices of Zambia concert. We hope to see you there!

Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School
@1045 Worship Gathering
@Noon Business Meeting and Spring Fellowship
@6pm Voices of Zambia at FBC Rich Hill

Sermon Notes
The Healer ~ Luke 5:12-32

The sermon in one sentence: Everyone is in need of healing; Jesus is the Great Physician who makes us whole.

  • Everyone is in need of healing
    • We are holistically (physically and spiritually) marred by sin (Genesis 3)
    • We need healing in both
  • Through Jesus, God will heal you physically (5:12-16)
    • Jesus came to reverse the effects of the fall
    • For followers of Jesus, healing is guaranteed, but it’s a matter of timing
      • God heals some temporarily; God heals all eternally
    • Temporary healing is a blessing, but there are things that matter more: Communion with God and forgiveness of sin
  • Through Jesus, God will heal you spiritually (5:17-32)
    • Jesus came to the sin-sick to be the Great Physician
    • As followers of Jesus, we are to bring the hope of healing to others

Songs for Worship
Nothing but the Blood
I Lay My Sins on Jesus
There Is a Balm in Gilead
What a Day That Will Be

Luke

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Drained to the Dregs

This post is part of a devotional series based on our 2019 Bible Reading Calendar.

God is judge.

That statement is controversial to some, especially to those who want to view God as one who would never discipline or punish. But the Bible is clear: God is judge.

The good news is that God is a fair judge. He judges both motive and action. He will not be bribed or bought. He will do only what is just and equitable.

The bad news is that God is a fair judge. We all have done evil. We all have acted with unrighteousness. We cannot earn or buy our way out of this. When compared to his demand of perfect righteousness, we all fall short. We all fall under his judgment.

Psalm 75:8 says of this judgment: “For there is a cup in the Lord’s hand, full of wine blended with spices, and he pours from it. All the wicked of the earth will drink, draining it to the dregs.”

Dregs are what’s left in the very bottom of the cup–not just the liquids, but any sediments that have settled there be they from grounds or backwash. To drain to the dregs is to drink down every last drop.

Yet, this psalm of God’s judgment opens with thanks (75:1) and closes with praise (75:9-10). How can that be? If all of us have done evil and fall under God’s judgment, then how do we become people of thanks and praise?

The answer is Jesus.

God is fair and just, but he is also loving and merciful. We can’t escape his judgment, so he gave us himself. God the Son willingly went to the cross where he drank the cup of God the Father’s wrath all the way to the dregs. When Jesus cried from the cross, “It is finished,” he meant, in part, there remained no wrath left for those who would trust in him.

There remains not even a drop.

For sinners, unable to save our selves, this is the best news. News that leads us to praise God for his kindness. News that leads us to thank him for his grace.

All scripture quotations taken from the Christian Standard Bible.

Follow the Leader

This post is part of a devotional series based on our 2019 Bible Reading Calendar.

By nature, most people are followers. Even those in various leadership positions typically have someone else who they follow. As such, we tend to gravitate toward our favorite personalities–those men or women who have had a positive influence on our lives, who possess wisdom, and who shares that wisdom in a way that encourages us to follow.

The problem, however, is when we elevate one leader over another in order to elevate ourselves.

Paul wrote to the church at Corinth and chastised them for divisions that stemmed from preferences for different leaders. We read:

For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers and sisters, by members of Chloe’s people that there is rivalry among you. What I am saying is this: One of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” Or “I belong to Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in Paul’s name? – 1 Corinthians 1:11-13 (CSB)

Paul, Apollos, and Peter (Cephas) were all men who loved Jesus and had a great impact on the early church. Paul was a missionary who worked to found the church. Apollos was an excellent speaker who came later and edified the church. Peter was the original leader among the Apostles.

Each contributed much to the life of the early church (and through Scripture to our churches as well). Be it because of personality, tone, style, or location, different groups in Corinth began to elevate one leader over the other and used this as a source of pride against their fellow church members. Then some would respond by saying, “Those human leaders are good for you, but we follow Jesus.” Given the tone of Paul’s remarks, this wasn’t an act of humility encouraging others to grow deeper in Christ, but rather an act of self-righteousness and seeming spiritual superiority.

Paul rebuked the church by saying, “Enough!” Jesus is the true Leader, the rest are just servants who point to him. (Paul continued with and expanded on this thought in 3:5-9 where he calls Apollos and himself “servants”–one who planted and one who watered, while God gave growth.)

We need to remember this today. We might have our favorite pastors, authors, or mentors. We might belong to different church denominations.

But there is only one Jesus, the Leader of leaders, our King.

Strong in Faith

This post is part of a devotional series based on our 2019 Bible Reading Calendar.

In Romans 14, Paul wrote on the topic of what some have come to call “Christian liberty.” In short, it is the freedom that a Christian has to operate based on wisdom and conscience in areas where the Bible gives no clear direction. As a principle, we hold that if the Bible declares something good or instructs us to do something, then we should embrace that. If, however, the Bible declares something bad or instructs us to not do something, then we should avoid that.

But there are areas in life where God has chosen to not give clear direction. Examples that Paul gave include eating a variety of foods including meat vs. eating just vegetables, or considering certain days as religiously special vs. assigning equal value to all days. Paul wrote to tell us that in such matters, we should seek to live according to our conscience and not judge others if their conscience leads them in a different direction.

The unity of brothers and sisters in Christ isn’t worth sacrificing over tertiary matters.

At the end of Romans 14 and into the beginning of Romans 15, Paul addressed those who considered themselves “strong in faith.” In a way, each of us with our own views, would probably consider ourselves in this category. And if we think ourselves stronger spiritually because of how our conscience guides us, then Paul has a clear message for us:

Now we who are strong have an obligation to bear the weaknesses of those without strength. – Romans 15:1

At the end of Romans 14, Paul wrote that we should not do anything to cause a brother or sister in Christ to stumble. His point being: If we consider ourselves free to enjoy something, but another such activity goes against the conscience of another Christian, we should not flaunt our freedom nor engage in the activity around them.

With Romans 15:1, Paul places the impetus upon those who think they are stronger. Their place is not to force the weaker to see their viewpoint but to willingly sacrifice their freedom for the good of another. This does not stop us from encouraging those we see as weaker to dig more deeply into scripture and prayerfully reconsider matters of conscience. But it does show us the importance of fellowship in the Christian life.

The second greatest command, Jesus said, is to love our neighbor as ourselves. Love says, “My thoughts and needs are important, but so are yours. I willfully take a step down in order to help lift you up.”

To be strong in faith, then, is to think of others more highly than we think of ourselves (which Paul also wrote about in Romans 12:10, 16; and Philippians 2:1-4).

All Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible.

Sunday 3.24.19 (the authority of Jesus)

This morning, we’ll continue our journey through Luke’s gospel with a look at Luke 4:31-44. We’ll see how Jesus has authority over everything we face and how his greatest gift to us is his word and its impact in our lives. We hope to see you there!

Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm Judges video study in Youth Room

Sermon Notes
The Authority of Jesus ~ Luke 4:31-44

The sermon in one sentence: Jesus has power and authority over everything that ails us, but his greatest gift to us is the gospel he preached, which eternally heals us.

  • Jesus has authority over every ailment you will face (4:31-41)
    • Over demons and unclean spirits (4:33-37, 41)
    • Over various illnesses and diseases (4:38-40)
    • These representing all ailments
    • His authority is shown through his words (4:31-32)
  • Jesus’ greatest work in your life is the gift of the gospel (4:42-44)
    • Jesus healed during his 3-year ministry; but he came primarily to preach
    • Momentary healing of something is good; eternal healing from sin is unending joy
    • The gospel gives the solution to everything that ails us, because it leads us to the One who died on the cross and rose from the dead to bring an end to our sin

Songs for Worship
I Sing the Mighty Power of God
Like a River Glorious
Cornerstone
All I Have Is Christ
Victory in Jesus

No Condemnation

This post is part of a devotional series based on our 2019 Bible Reading Calendar.

Sin condemns. That’s one of the first lessons we learn from the Bible. God is good, perfect, and just. Rebelling against him is evil and is worthy of his wrath, found in death that leads to a hopeless eternal death.

Sin condemns. Sin hurts us and hurts those around us. It is a black hole, a deep pit from which we cannot find escape in ourselves.

Sin condemns. But in Jesus, there is hope.

In Romans 8:1, Paul wrote, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.” He went on to explain in 8:3-4 that God “condemned sin in the flesh by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as a sin offering, in order that the law’s requirement would be fulfilled in us…”

Sin condemns, but in Jesus, God condemned sin.

Jesus did this by living a perfect, sinless life so that he could be a perfect sacrifice for our sin. God heaped the sins of his people, those who trust in Jesus as their Savior-King, upon Jesus. Jesus took them willingly to the cross where he absorbed God’s wrath and condemned our sin.

In exchange, we received the goodness and righteousness of Jesus so not we no longer stand condemned before God as rebels, but we come into the open arms of his presence as beloved sons and daughters (Romans 8:14-17).

If you belong to Jesus by faith, you are not condemned. If you belong to Jesus, you stand before God without a single spot of rebellion staining you. If you belong to Jesus, you have fulfilled everything the law of God requires of you because Jesus obeyed for you.

No memories of the person you were before Jesus can condemn. No voice of accusation from the enemy, Satan, can condemn. No whispers of gossip or harsh shouts of criticism from other people can condemn.

Knowing this frees us. We don’t have to try to earn God’s favor out of our condemnation because God already did everything required for us. Therefore, we can live faithfully to God, freely and happily, as he pours his love into our hearts through his Spirit.

Sin condemns.

But if you are in Jesus, you are not condemned.

All scripture quotations taken from the Christian Standard Bible.

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Sunday 3.10.19 (who’s your one?)

This Sunday, we’ll take a look at John 1:29-51 and see how, after encountering Jesus, Andrew and Philip went and found Peter and Nathanael and led them to Jesus. We’re taking a break from the Gospel of Luke to kick-off our 2019 Evangelism Challenge–Who’s Your One?, as issued by JD Greear (current president of the Southern Baptist Convention).

You can find out more information by visiting whosyourone.com.

We hope to see you there! And don’t forget to set your clocks forward an hour before you go to bed, as we spring forward.

WhosYour1_Primary-Lockup_BlueGrey

Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm Judges video study in youth room

Sermon Notes
Who’s Your One? ~ John 1:29-51

The sermon in one sentence: Every follower of Jesus has at least one person in their life with whom they can share the love and grace of God in Jesus.

  • Hearing the gospel and trusting in Jesus will forever change your life (1:29-44)
  • Following Jesus, you should seek to lead others to follow Jesus (1:40-51)
  • The Who’s Your One? Challenge:
    • Think of at least one person in your life who is not a follower of Jesus
    • Commit to pray for your “one” for at least 30 days
    • Pray and look for opportunities to share the gospel with your one

Songs for Worship
10,000 Reasons
How Great Is Our God
Tell Me the Story of Jesus
Let Others See Jesus in You
Shout to the Lord

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