Sunday 08.26.18 (the art of fasting well)

This Sunday we’ll conclude our The Art of Prayer and Fasting series by considering Matthew 6 and what it says about how we can fast in a God-honoring way. Then on Sunday Evening, we’ll continue our Follow Me video study by David Platt. We hope to see you there!

@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm Follow Me study in youth room

Sermon Notes
The Art of Fasting Well ~ Matthew 6:1, 16-18

The sermon in one sentence: To fast well, maintain an attitude, reasons, and a method to achieve a spiritual end for the glory of God.

  • Attitude: Fast to Honor God, not to impress people
    • See fasting as a practice of righteousness (6:1)
    • Keep your fast mainly between you and God (6:16-18)
    • Fast as an act of joy (6:16-18)
  • Purpose: Fast to draw closer to God and/or to serve others in their time of need
    • Fasting in a time in which we become more aware of our dependence on God
    • Good reasons to fast: Focused time in prayer, focused time in the Word, spiritual growth, caring for the disadvantaged
  • Method: Fast with a plan to achieve your purpose
    • Fasting is an expectation of the Christian’s life, but particulars are not biblically mandated (Matthew 6:16)
    • Some helps to fast well:
      • Decide how long your fast will be
      • Decide what to fast from
      • Consider health concerns and speak with your doctor

Songs for Worship
Let There Be Praise
Rejoice in the Lord, Always
I Stand Amazed
As the Deer
Speak, O Lord

the art of prayer and fasting (sermon series)

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Sunday 08.12.18 (the art of praying well)

This Sunday we’ll continue our Art of Prayer and Fasting series with our second look at prayer from Romans 8:18-30, and see how even though we’re weak in prayer, we can still pray well with a reliance on the Holy Spirit. Then on Sunday evening, we’ll continue our Follow Me video study. We hope to see you there!

@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm Follow Me study

Sermon Notes
The Art of Praying Well ~ Romans 8:18-30

  • To pray well, keep in mind the truth that through Jesus God has destined you for eternal glory (8:18-25)
  • To pray well, understand that you are weak in prayer and trust the Holy Spirit to shape your prayers before the Father (8:26-27)
  • To pray well, shape your prayers around the realities of eternal glory (8:28-30)

Songs for Worship
Open the Eyes of My Heart
Sweet Hour of Prayer
I Love You, Lord
I Need Thee Every Hour
Pass Me Not, Oh Gentle Savior

the art of prayer and fasting (sermon series)

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Sunday 07.15.18 (encountering glory)

This morning, we’ll take a look at Exodus 33:12-34:35 and see how Moses had a life-changing encounter with the glory of God and how that points to the life-changing encounter we experience through Jesus and his gospel. We hope to see you there!

@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@230pm Adrian Manor Nursing Home Service
@6pm Philippians Study in Youth Room

Sermon Notes
Encountering Glory Exodus 33:12-34:35

The sermon in one sentence: Moses encountered God’s glory on Sinai and it changed him forever; we encounter greater glory through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and it changes us forever.

  • Moses’ encounter with God’s glory
    • Moses prayed a bold prayer: “Show me your glory” (33:12-17)
    • God responded by agreeing to put a muted version of his glory on display (33:18-23)
    • In his glory, God declared his name as well as salvation and judgment, an experience that changed Moses (34:1-9, 29-35)
  • Our encounter with God’s glory
    • We experience God’s glory must fully in the life-changing gospel of Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:7-4:6)
    • So, be bold in your pursuit of Jesus
    • Be bold in sharing about Jesus with others
    • Be bold in prayer

Songs for Worship
Holy, Holy, Holy
He Hideth My Soul
I Stand Amazed
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Rock of Ages

Upcoming Sermon Series

In a recent church survey, we asked if there were any particular sermon topics people would be interested in hearing. We received back quite a few topics that Pastor Mike is planning to use to finish out 2018 once we wrap up our journey through Exodus at the end of this month.

Unfortunately, there’s not enough time for every idea (though they may be visited further in the future). Below are the series and sermons planned from August through December.

August: The Art of Prayer and Fasting
08.05 “Learning to Pray” (Luke 11:1-13)
08.12 “The Art of Praying Well” (Romans 8:26-30)
08.19 “Learning to Fast” (Isaiah 58)
08.26 “The Art of Fasting Well” (Matthew 6:1, 16-18)

the art of prayer and fasting (sermon series)

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September 2: TBD

September: God and Money (personal finance)
09.09 “Stay Focused” (1 Timothy 6:6-10, Matthew 6:24)
09.16 “Plan Well” (Proverbs 6:6-8, 13:6, 21:20)
09.23 “Live Within Your Means” (Romans 13:8, Proverbs 22:7, Psalm 37:21)
09.30 “Give Generously” (1 Timothy 6:17-19)

God and Money (sermon series)

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October: Finding Light in the Darkness (hope in the face of despair)
10.07 “The Greatest Light” (Genesis 3, John 1)
10.14 “The Light of Hope: Battling Depression and Fatigue” (1 Kings 19)
10.21 “The Light of Peace: Battling Anxiety” (Matthew 6:25-34)
10.28 “Shining the Light: Supporting Others in Their Dark Times” (Romans 12:9-15)

finding light in the darkness (sermon series)

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November – December: The Life of… (biblical character studies)
11.04 “The Life of Mary”
11.11 “The Life of David”
11.18 “The Life of Hannah”
11.25 “The Life of Daniel”
12.02 “The Life of Tabitha”
12.09 “The Life of Barnabas”

the life of 00

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Sunday 07.01.18 (spiritual gifts)

This Sunday we’ll take a look at Exodus 31:1-11, & 35:30-39:43. We’ll see how God gives his Spirit to his people, gifting us to serve others for his glory and their good. We also have a meal and business meeting following the morning service. We hope to see you there!

@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@Noon Meal & Business Meeting in gym
@6pm Philippians Video Series in Youth Room

Sermon Notes
Spiritual Gifts ~ Exodus 31:1-11, 35:30-39:43

The sermon in one sentence: Though his Spirit, God gifts and enables his people in different ways to serve the good of others.

  • God gives the gift of the Holy Spirit to his people (31:1-3)
  • The Holy Spirit gifts God’s people with different talents and abilities to serve the good of others (31:3-11, 35:30-39:43)
  • As a follower of Jesus, use your gifts and abilities to serve others well

Songs for Worship
Surely the Presence
Here I Am to Worship
Holy Spirit, Breathe on Me
Your Glory is Forever
Shout to the North

Self-Control – The Fruit of the Spirit (part 10)

The ninth, and final, fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23 is self-control.

Self-control is as it sounds: the ability to control one’s self. There are some things that we can’t always control. We can’t always control our temptations. We can’t always control the first things that pop into our minds. We can’t always control the instinct of a first-impression about someone else.

But we can control how we respond.

Self-control is a combination of discipline and responsibility. Self-control realizes that no one can force our hand, we are ultimately responsible for our own actions. Self-control also puts in work to be able to control our actions.

Paul described such discipline in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27:

Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize. Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable crown. So I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air. Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

Paul didn’t want sinful actions to get the best of him in the end, so he fought for self-control. In doing so: He kept his eye on the prize, he stayed focused, and he practiced good habits.

This is how the Spirit helps us to grow in self-control. He keeps our eyes fixed on Jesus and the great joys of eternity. He gives us new purpose in life, living to love God supremely and love others deeply. And he works in our lives, a process known of sanctification, to help us weed out the bad (sinful) and practice the good (God-honoring).

So let us strive through the Spirit for greater self-control.

Scripture references taken from the Christian Standard Bible (CSB).

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This concludes our series on the fruit of the Spirit. Check out the other posts in this series here:


Gentleness – The Fruit of the Spirit (part 9)

Gentleness is the eight fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23.

Being gentle implies a sense of strength. When you have more strength than someone or something else, you have the potential to hurt or to break the person or object. Gentleness, then, is a sense of care. It is having concern for the well being of another so that you intentionally do what you can to avoid causing harm.

Gentleness is like when a little child rest safely in the arms of her father. The man, bigger in stature and more experienced in knowledge, has the potential to cause great harm; but the man loves his child, so he will use his strength to nurture and protect her instead.

The same is true with us and God. In Matthew 11, Jesus says that when we come to him with our life burdens, we find someone who is gentle and offers rest (11:28-29). This same Jesus is described in Revelation 19 as riding from heaven on a white horse to exact vengeance against his enemies, who he slays with his breath.

Jesus is powerful. Indeed, as God the Son, Jesus is all-powerful. Yet, because of his love for us, Jesus is also gentle and he uses his strength to nurture and protect (John 10).

It is no mistake that gentleness and self-control, the ninth fruit of the Spirit, are listed side by side. Gentleness requires self-control. Gentleness keeps strength under control.

Each of us, even if we don’t personally feel very strong, have people in our lives whom we could easily hurt with our words or actions. The Spirit of God in us leads us to be gentle instead. So, let us seek to keep strength under control. Let us seek to be gentle, and let us pray that the Spirit would make us more gentle.

Next time, we’ll consider the final fruit, self-control.

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