Sunday 04.01.18 (the resurrection)

Join us on Sunday as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus with a special worship gathering featuring the Voices of Zambia from Ambassador International University in Kazemba, Zambia. We’ll kick off the celebration at 9:45 with our annual Easter Breakfast (men are invited to come at 8:30 to help Pastor Mike and the Deacons cook and set up). We hope to see you there!

Schedule
@945 Easter Breakfast
@1045 Worship Gathering featuring the Voices of Zambia (check out the Facebook event page for more information)

Sermon Notes
This Jesus God Raised Up ~ Acts 2:22-40

The sermon in one sentence: Crucified for our sins, Jesus was raised to rule and bring us lasting happiness; we should embrace the hope of the resurrection and be forever changed.

  • Jesus was crucified for our sins (2:22-23)
  • Jesus was raised… (2:24-36)
    • To fulfill Scripture (2:25-32)
    • To defeat sin, death, hell, and Satan (2:24, 34-35; 1 Corinthians 15:25-26)
    • To take his place as King (2:30-36; Philippians 2:5-11)
    • To bring us true and eternal happiness (2:25-38)
  • Our response (2:37-40)
    • Repent—say “no more” to a life controlled by sin
    • Be baptized—identity with Jesus in his death and resurrection as a declaration of trust in him
    • Experience forgiveness—find freedom from the weight of sin and guilt
    • Receive the Holy Spirit—become a new person with a new destiny

Songs for Worship
Music by Voices of Zambia (check out their Facebook page)
Christ the Lord is Risen Today
Low in the Grave He Lay
Because He Lives

VOZ Background 2

Sunday 04.16.17 (the resurrection)

This Sunday we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and the hope that gives us. We hope to see you there!

Sunday Schedule
@945 Easter Breakfast (in gym)
@1045 Worship Gathering
**No Evening Activities

Sermon Notes
The Resurrection ~ John 20

  • Jesus’ resurrection…
    • Answers our doubts (20:1-29)
    • Assures us a place in God’s family (20:17)
    • Grants us peace with God (20:19-21)
    • Propels us on mission (20:21-23)
  • The question we must answer: Do you believe? (20:30-31)

easter 2015jpg

Easter Happenings

Here is what we have coming up for Easter / Resurrection weekend:

Good Friday Service (04.14)
At 7pm on Friday we will gather with the other churches of the Adrian Ministerial Alliance for our annual Good Friday service at Victory Assembly of God. Come and join us for a time of remembering Jesus’ sacrifice through song, prayer, and a message by Gabe Cantrell, Adrian campus pastor of Heart of Life.

Easter Morning (04.16)
We’ll start the day at 9:45 gathered in our gym for an Easter breakfast, cooked by the pastor, deacons, and other men in the church. Then we’ll transition over to the auditorium at 10:45 for our worship gathering and a time of celebrating Jesus’ resurrection from the grave.

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Good Reads 04.12.17 (on: pain, identity, resurrection, and more!)

Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!

On the church and our struggles in life: Brother, I Wish I Would Have Known by Russell Meek

I never told anyone about my addiction. I went to class, talked about Jesus, attended church—all the things seminary students are supposed to do. And no one was ever the wiser, at least not to my knowledge. I often wondered when God was going to kill me for making such a mockery of his name. But instead of that, he woke me up one morning with a life-changing thought. (click here to read more)

On our identity and our pain: You Are Not Your Pain by Kaitlin Miller

You may have had a friend desert you, but you are not deserted. You may have had a spouse abandon you, but you are not abandoned. You may have failed, but you are not a failure. You may have never known your father, but you are not fatherless. Life may be crushing, but you are not crushed.

The only way to take back our true, God-given identity, with unshakable confidence, is to look to the One who gives us our identity in the first place. (click here to read more)

And two about Easter and the resurrection:

Nine Glorious Things the Resurrection Means by Stephen Altrogge

The Resurrection Means The Penalty For Sin Has Been Paid

The wages of sin is death. Those who love wickedness must face the just consequences of their choice. Our rightly deserved punishment is both spiritual and physical death. When Jesus rose from the dead, it demonstrated that the penalty for sin – death – had been satisfied. Nothing else was needed, the price was paid, all had been accomplished. (click here to read more)

Radical Effects of the Resurrection by John Piper

I mean, be a Christian and you’ll get your act together. Be a Christian and life will come together. It will go better for you. That’s generally the way I think we talk, we evangelize. So what’s wrong with the Apostle Paul? What’s wrong with him? If there is no resurrection, in other words, if this is it, if this is it, we’re fools. What are we doing, living like we’re living? We are of all men most to be pitied. What is wrong with Paul? Why does he say things like that? It’s not a good sell for Christianity. His answer, I believe, is that, for Paul, for the Apostle following in the steps of his Master, the Christian life was a life of freely chosen risk and suffering in the cause of love for other people in great need. (click here to read more)

An Unusual Victory

On the seventh day they rose early, at the dawn of day, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times. It was only on that day that they marched seven times. And at the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout for the Lord has given you the city.” … So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat…” ~Joshua 6:15-16, 20 (ESV)

Ancient cities were surrounded by strong walls to help guard against an attacking foe. Jericho was no different. As Joshua led the people into the Promised Land and went up against Jericho, they would face the difficulty of the walls.

Yet, God had a plan for them: They would attack the wall by marching around the city and shouting. It was quite the unusual strategy. For six days, the army marched around the city one time each day. On the seventh day, they marched seven times around the city, then trumpets blared, the people shouted, and the walls fell flat. This allowed the army to storm the city and capture it with this obstacle no longer in the way.

Throughout the Bible, God fought for his people in unusual ways. In Exodus, he went against Egypt with a series of ten plagues. In Joshua, the walls fell. In Judges, he whittled a large army to just three hundred men.

The point of all of these acts and more were to show our dependence on God and his strength.

Next week we celebrate the greatest and most unusual victory of them all: Jesus’ death on the cross. The death of Jesus seemed to be anything but a victory. After three years of teaching, he was arrested and crucified with criminals in a plan to silence him and his followers. For a moment, at least, it seemed to work.

Yet, three days later, Jesus came from his grave, never to return. What seemed like weakness and foolishness turned into great strength. Jesus bore the sins of his followers so that we would not have to face the wrath of God. He kicked down the door of the grave so that we would have hope of life eternal. Jesus’ death and resurrection were God’s victory over our sin.

So, we are thankful for the God who fights for us, for the God who wins victories in unusual ways, but ways that show his greatness and his love for his people.

New posts in this devotional series will appear most Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

Good Reads 04.05.17 (on: our dreams, marriage, temptations, and more!)

Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!

On the greatness of Jesus: Jesus Is Better Than Our Dreams by Whitney Putnum

The pursuit of Him, the quiet moments with Abba, the breathing prayers throughout the day, the rest and peace bestowed by the Sustainer. The presence of God and the magnificence of slowing down to recognize God in every detail: every smile, laugh, tear, and hug. Every giggle from a tickle fight with a toddler to slight gaze between husband and wife. God with us.  God is better.

The pursuit of Him alone is better.

In my analysis, I believe what happens is many of us taste God and His goodness; His passion begins to burn and fuel the injustices we see around us, and we begin to dream, fight and be the change. We sense the call to go and make disciples. We gather the troops and we storm the Bastille knowing that justice is God’s heart and we will fight! We will fight to the death! Storm the gates! (click here to read more)

On God, faith, and struggles: Trust God Through Your Tears by Michael Goff

There are times in life when the shadows where Peter wept become the very same shadows where we weep. Those shadows are filled with denial, fear, anger, and the abandonment of desire to relate with God. Having received Luke’s diagnosis, I was devastated. Thoughts raced and anger raged, How could this be? God, do you care? I have always consulted you — always! We waited ten years before we had our first child. We did it right, and this is what we get?

And more than any other pain, I feared what Luke would endure. What kind of life will he have?

In the midst of my palpable anger, there was a real awareness of how we were supposed to feel and what we were supposed to say. We knew God promised to be with us always, yet in those days, that reality felt distant and remote. I experienced the throes of a battle inside of me between the gentle reminders of the Holy Spirit and the sinful nature of my heart toward God. (click here to read more)

On marriages and Easter: Why Easter Matters to Marriage by Barbara Rainey

Christian couples must remember: Christ died specifically for you. And Christ died specifically for your spouse. While you likely both believe this, understand that this means Christ has covered the sins in your marriage. Your sins. Your spouse’s sins.

If your sins are covered in Jesus’ forgiveness, the payment has been settled.

Christ has taken on the suffering for your sins. And it is finished. So let the resentful, unforgiving wife forgive. Let the angry, unforgiving husband relent. (click here to read more)

On temptation and youth: The Particular Temptations of Young Men by Tim Challies

I love to spend time with young men, to counsel them, and to assure them that this time in their lives has great significance. As we speak, I find a number of common temptations they face while passing through their teens and twenties.

Purposelessness. Purposelessness may be the foremost struggle for young men, the one that feeds so many other vices. I don’t think we, as older Christians, have done well in communicating the purpose of these years. I don’t think we have helped young men see their importance in laying a solid or shaky foundation for the years to come. In the years of youth it may be difficult for young men to know their purpose, to know how best to fill their time. (click here to read more)

Sunday 03.27.16 (Easter Sunday)

This Sunday we’ll celebrate Easter by taking a look at John 11:25 to see how Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. We kickoff our celebration during our Sunday School hour with an Easter breakfast. There will be no evening service this Sunday.

Schedule
@945 Easter Breakfast in Gym/Fellowship Hall
@1045 Worship Gathering
**No Evening Activities**

Sermon Notes
The Resurrection and the Life ~ John 11:25

  • ž“I am the Life”—Jesus is the only solution to our sin, the only path between us and God
  • ž“I am the Resurrection”—Jesus is the one who conquered death, so that we have the future hope of eternal life
  • What benefit doe the resurrection bring us?
    • žWe will live beyond physical death (John 11:25-26)
    • žWe receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:22-41)
    • žWe presently walk in new life (Romans 6:3-4)
    • žWe are guaranteed a future, glorious physical resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:35-58)
    • žWe have been accepted by God (Rom 8:31-34)
    • We no longer have to fear death (Heb 2:14-15)