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)

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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)

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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
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The God Who Comforts

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

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem and announce to her that her time of forced labor is over, her iniquity has been pardoned… (Isaiah 40:1-2)

When God created the world, everything was good. The earth was beautiful and mankind along with it. There was no fear, no death, no pain, no sickness, no decay. God is the God of beauty and life.

When Adam and Eve listened to the voice of Satan and sin entered the world, the beauty became marred. Hints of it remain, sometimes awe-inspiring hints, but corruption and decay fill the earth. Like the one who tempts us to sin, our sin is an enemy and makes us our own worst enemies. God gives beauty and life but the influence of sinful rebellion against him steals, kills, and destroys.

In Genesis 3, God declared a curse against sin. The wound, however, was self-inflicted as we chose to rebel. God could have left us there, condemned rebels; but he chose to give us hope and salvation.

Isaiah 40 promised a day of pardon–a day ultimately found through Jesus on the cross. He became our sin, bore our guilt, took our punishment–a willing sacrifice who stepped into our death that we might have his life.

The Gospel, the good news of what Jesus did, is God’s words of comfort to us. Even if darkness still seems to rule, the Gospel reminds us that the night is almost gone and day is about to dawn. When that light comes, when Jesus returns, it will shine forever. Death will be dead. Tears wiped away. Pain no more.

Beauty and life will infuse creation once more with no hint of darkness.

“Comfort, comfort my people,” says your God.

Scripture quotes taken from the Christian Standard Bible.

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Sunday 9.15.19 (psalms of ascent: help)

This Sunday, we’ll continue our look at the Psalms of Ascent with Psalm 121. We’ll see how on our life’s God-ward journey in Christ, God provides us help along the way and keeps us secure into eternity. There will be no evening service as the annual Osage River Baptist Association picnic is at Kamp Keirsey at 5pm. We hope to see you there!

Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@5pm ORBA Picnic at Kamp Keirsey

Sermon Notes
Help ~ Psalm 121

The sermon in one sentence: Life in Jesus is an upward journey on which God helps us and keeps us secure.

  • God is our Help (121:1)
    • We need help on our journey as we face enemies, threats, and distractions
    • God is our Help through Jesus who will lead us safely home into his Kingdom
  • Trust God to help you each day and keep you secure for eternity (121:2-8)
    • Because God is greater than all others
    • Because God is always-aware, always-involved, and always-working for your good
    • Because God is your keeper and shade–he protects you from all enemies
    • Because God keeps you forever-safe

Songs for Worship
When the Morning Comes
Thou Art Worthy
Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
All the Way My Savior Leads Me
God Will Make a Way

Psalm 120-134 (Psalms of Ascent)

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The Lord’s Supper

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

When the hour came, Jesus reclined at the table, and the apostles with him. Then he said to them, “I have fervently desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks, he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I tell you, from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” (Luke 22:14-18)

From the beginning, the Lord’s Supper or Communion has been a part of the Christian tradition. We gather together and share the bread and the cup, just as Jesus did with the Twelve at the Passover before his crucifixion.

The Supper is a rich moment in which we transition from hearing the Gospel to seeing the Gospel. We partake of the bread and the drink, acting “in remembrance of” Jesus (22:19)–the bread representing his body, broken for us; the cup representing his blood, shed for us.

Seeing the bread and the cup remind us that Jesus was broken on the cross for our sins. Eating the bread and drinking from the cup remind us of our union with Jesus. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus dwells not simply with each Christian but in each Christian. From the inside out, he shapes us with new hearts and new lives. Knowing Jesus’ words that he would not partake again until he did so in the Kingdom reminds us of our future hope. As Revelation 19 tells us, eternity kicks off with a feast, likely what Jesus had in mind.

As we see the Gospel in the Lord’s Supper, we see it’s past, present, and future implications. In the past, when Jesus shed his blood and broke his body, our sins were paid for and covered through his cross. In the present, Christ dwells in us, changing us, sanctifying us, making us more like him. In the future, we will be raised to glory and spend an eternity of joy with our Savior-King, celebrating everything he did to assure our place at his table.

Scripture quotes taken from the Christian Standard Bible.

Sunday 9.8.19 (psalms of ascent: truth)

This Sunday we’ll begin our look at Psalm 120-134, the Psalms of Ascent, the songs ancient pilgrims sung on their journeys into Jerusalem. We’ll think about how these reflect our God-ward journey in life, as we head toward eternity and the New Jerusalem where God dwells forever among his people. We’ll take a look at Psalm 120 and think about how Jesus is the Truth who frees us from the world’s lies. We hope to see you there!

Schedule
@930 Sunday School Kickoff – Coffee and doughnuts in the gym
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm Why? video study by Chip Ingram in the youth room

Sermon Notes
Truth ~ Psalm 120

The sermon in one sentence: Life in Jesus is an upward journey that begins when we recognize Jesus is the Truth who frees us from the world’s lies.

Songs for Worship
Higher Ground
In Loving Kindness, Jesus Came
At Calvary
In Christ Alone
Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)

Psalm 120-134 (Psalms of Ascent)

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