Sunday 1.5.20 (Missions Sunday)

This Sunday, we’ll welcome the Routons, a missionary couple in Haiti who will share about their ministry. We hope to see you there!

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

Songs for Worship
He Has Made Me Glad / The Sacrifice of Praise
I Stand Amazed
There Is a Redeemer
Ancient Words
We Have Heard the Joyful Sound

ball shaped blur close up focus
Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.com
Image used with permission under CC0: https://www.pexels.com/photo/ball-shaped-blur-close-up-focus-346885/

Sunday 12.8.19 (Psalms of Ascent: Unity)

This Sunday, we’ll continue our look at the Psalms of Ascent with Psalm 133. We’ll see how on our life’s God-ward journey in Christ, God leads us to unity with other followers of Jesus. We hope to see you there!

Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering

Sermon Notes
Unity ~ Psalm 133

The sermon in one sentence: Life in Jesus is an upward journey on which God leads us to unity in Christ.

  • We should pursue unity with other followers of Jesus because it’s good and life-enriching (133:1-3)
    • Unity is togetherness built on mutual purpose and benefit
    • Godly unity is founded on Jesus and his word
  • Ways to foster unity
    • Stay centered on Jesus and his word—helps us to remember it’s not “me vs. you” but “our life together in Christ”
    • Pray for others and especially pray for those you struggle with
    • Look to serve rather than to be served (Philippians 2)
    • Celebrate the diversity of the church family (1 Cor 12)

Songs for Worship
Let There Be Praise
I Love You With the Love of the Lord
God, the Father of Your People
Joy to the World
We Are Called to Be God’s People

Psalm 120-134 (Psalms of Ascent)

Image used and modified with permission: https://www.pexels.com/photo/mountains-nature-sunset-summer-91224/

Sunday 12.1.19 (Psalms of Ascent: Fulfillment)

This Sunday, we’ll continue our look at the Psalms of Ascent with Psalm 132. We’ll see how on our life’s God-ward journey in Christ, God fulfills through Jesus every promise he has made to his people. We hope to see you there!

Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering

Sermon Notes
Fulfillment ~ Psalm 132

The sermon in one sentence: Life in Jesus is an upward journey on which God fulfills his every promise through Jesus.

  • David’s vow to God: I will build you a house (132:1-7)
  • God’s greater promise to David: I will build your house forever (132:11-12)
  • The Great Fulfillment: All of God’s promises come true through Jesus and through Jesus in us (132:8-10, 13-18)
    • God will forever dwell with us
    • He will bless us by fully meeting our needs
    • We have salvation and righteousness
    • We have forever-joy
    • God is strength, light, and life for us and the judge of his enemies

Songs for Worship
Praise to the Lord
Standing on the Promises
Cornerstone
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
All I Have Is Christ

Psalm 120-134 (Psalms of Ascent)

Image used and modified with permission: https://www.pexels.com/photo/mountains-nature-sunset-summer-91224/

Sunday 11.17.19 (Psalms of Ascent: Hope)

This Sunday, we’ll continue our look at the Psalms of Ascent with Psalm 130. We’ll see how on our life’s God-ward journey in Christ, God provides us hope through his promises and our salvation. We hope to see you there!

Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm Onward video study

Sermon Notes
Hope ~ Psalm 130

The sermon in one sentence: Life in Jesus is an upward journey on which God gives lasting hope.

  • Hope is an optimistic longing for a better future
  • We have hope because:
    • God hears (130:1-2)
    • God forgives (130:3-4, 7-8)
    • God speaks (130:5-6)
    • God loves (130:7)

Songs for Worship
The Solid Rock
All in All
The Steadfast Love of the Lord
My Faith Has Found a Resting Place
He Leadeth Me

Psalm 120-134 (Psalms of Ascent)

Image used and modified with permission: https://www.pexels.com/photo/mountains-nature-sunset-summer-91224/

Sunday 10.13.19 (psalms of ascent: security)

This Sunday, we’ll continue our look at the Psalms of Ascent with Psalm 125. We’ll see how on our life’s God-ward journey in Christ, God promises eternal good for his people and to guard us into eternity. We hope to see you there!

Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering

Sermon Notes
Security ~ Psalm 125

The sermon in one sentence: Life in Jesus is an upward journey on which God provides will guard us into eternity.

  • God is eternal security for those who trust in him (125:1-2)
  • God promises eternal goodness for his people (125:3-4)
  • God promises eternal condemnation for evildoers (125:5)

Songs for Worship
The Solid Rock
The Everlasting Arms
You Are So Good to Me
Rescuer
Trust and Obey

Psalm 120-134 (Psalms of Ascent)

Image used and modified with permission: https://www.pexels.com/photo/mountains-nature-sunset-summer-91224/

Sunday 9.29.19 (psalms of ascent: mercy & grace)

This Sunday, we’ll continue our look at the Psalms of Ascent with Psalm 123. We’ll see how on our life’s God-ward journey in Christ, God provides us mercy and grace along the way to combat our sin and pride. We hope to see you there!

Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm Something Needs to Change video study

Sermon Notes
Mercy and Grace ~ Psalm 123

The sermon in one sentence: Life in Jesus is an upward journey on which God provides abundant mercy and grace.

  • The Problem: Pride (123:3-4)
    • Pride is a specific form of idolatry
    • Idolatry says, “There is a better way than God’s” (false-religion)
    • Pride says “My way is better than God’s” (self-religion)
    • The story of humanity from Genesis 3 on is that we spurn God and choose sin because we think we know better, though we don’t
  • The Solution: We Need God’s Mercy and Grace (123:1-2)
    • Saved by grace through faith: Repent of sin, idolatry, and pride; trust in God (123:1)
    • Depend on God’s mercy (123:2)
    • Depend on God’s grace

Songs for Worship
O Worship the King
I Exalt Thee
At Calvary
Tell It Out with Gladness
Refiner’s Fire

Psalm 120-134 (Psalms of Ascent)

Image used and modified with permission: https://www.pexels.com/photo/mountains-nature-sunset-summer-91224/

Faith Doesn’t Always Mean a Better Life (Now)

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

Others experienced mockings and scourgings, as well as bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they died by the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, destitute, afflicted, and mistreated. The world was not worthy of them… (Hebrews 11:36-38)

Some say faith is the key to living your best life now. If you have enough faith, they say, you God will bless you with wealth or health or longevity or family or friends or… The promises are numerous.

And sometimes people with faith in Jesus do experience great things in their present life. Hebrews 11 reminds us of the old Bible stories of how people were saved from fire or lions and how the dead were raised and children were given to barren couples in old age.

These stories are miraculous. They present the power of God working against the normal course of nature. But Hebrews 11 also reminds us there are many people who loved Jesus and were spiritual giants who suffered greatly. Truth be told, for most of us, our lives will likely fall somewhere between those two extremes.

Faith in Jesus is not a guarantee of our best life now. But as some have said, faith in Jesus guarantees an eternity where the worst of this life is the closest to hell we will ever experience and the best of this life is a minor joy compared to the joys of forever.

This is why Paul could write, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed.” (Romans 8:18)

The Bible keeps our eyes always looking forward. The best will come but the best is still yet to come. So, if you find yourself in a moment of great happiness, remember that something infinitely better is on the horizon. And if you find yourself in a moment of great pain, remember that pleasures are come which will make the memory of that pain fade into the background.

Our best life is eternal.

Scripture quotes taken from the Christian Standard Bible.

the stars of the night sky
Photo by KML on Pexels.com
Image used with permission: https://www.pexels.com/photo/the-stars-of-the-night-sky-2898869/