Sunday 10.22.17 (a loving and faithful witness)

This Sunday we’ll take a look at 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 and how we as followers of Jesus are to have a faithful and loving witness to those around us. Then, on Sunday evening, we’ll watch the second half of the documentary on Martin Luther in honor of the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation. We hope to see you there!

Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm Luther documentary in church auditorium

Sermon Notes
A Faithful and Loving Witness ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12

  • Our witness of words: Speak fearlessly of Jesus, no matter the consequences (2:1-4)
    • Be faithful, even if it brings suffering (2:1-2)
    • Remember that your first aim is to please God (2:3-4)
  • Our witness of love: Share with and invest in others like caring parents (2:5-8, 11-12)
    • We’re to be motivated by love, not pride or self-gain (2:5-6)
    • Provide in a gentle and caring way, be affectionate, and share your life (2:7-8)
    • Exhort and encourage, teaching others about righteousness and hope (2:11-12)
  • Our witness of character: Seek to be blameless in the way you live (2:9-10)
    • Put away that which offends and/or creates roadblocks to faith (2:9)
    • Put away sin and treat others in righteousness (2:10)

1 thessalonians

Songs for Worship
The Bond of Love
Here I Am to Worship
Meet with Me
Wonderful Words of life
Let Others See Jesus in You
I Surrender All

Image used and modified with permission from pixabay.com

Sunday 09.17.17 (the stages of spiritual growth)

This Sunday, we’ll be in part 2 of our Spiritual Growth series and we’ll consider the different stages of our growth. Just like we’re born into the world as an infant and then mature into adulthood, so spiritually in Christ we are reborn as infants and are to grow to be mature spiritual adults. Then in lieu of our Sunday Evening study, we’re encouraging everyone to go to Kamp Keirsey for the annual Osage River Baptist Association picnic, starting 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
Spiritual Growth: The Stages ~ 1 John 2:12-14

The Stages: A follower of Jesus begins as a spiritual child but should press on and mature into spiritual adulthood, becoming more like Jesus in character and desire.

  • žSpiritual Childhood: A basic understanding of faith (2:12-13)
    • Your main task as a spiritual child: Abide in Christ (2:28)
  • žYoung Spiritual Adulthood: A growing faith and greater victory over sin (2:13-14)
    • Your main task as a young spiritual adult: Serve others well and share the gospel with passion (2 Tim 2:1-7)
  • žMature Spiritual Adulthood: A deep faith that they reproduce in others (2:13-14)
    • Your main task as a mature spiritual adult: Help others know Jesus well and mature in their faith (Titus 2:1-8)

Worship Songs
Wonderful Grace of Jesus
Stand Up, Stand Up Jesus
My Faith Has Found a Resting Place
Be Strong in the Lord
Let It Be Said of Us

Sunday 08.20.17 (gospel conversations: the conversations)

This Sunday we’ll conclude our “gospel conversations” series with a look at John 1:29-51 and some examples of how we can have conversations about Jesus in our everyday lives. Then in the evening we’ll look at God’s mercy and grace in our “attributes of God” series. We hope to see you there!

Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm Attributes of God Study in the church library

Sermon Notes
Gospel Conversations: The Conversations ~ John 1:29-51

  • The Conversations: As people who love Jesus, we want to love others by telling them about Jesus.
  • Three conversations about Jesus (John 1:29-51)
    • Some of us will speak to a large audience, like John the Baptist (1:29-34)
    • All of us can speak one-on-one with people we know like Andrew and Philip (1:35-51)
  • Starting points of Gospel conversations
    • Assume people want to talk about spiritual things (God created us with a longing; Gen 1:26-27)
    • Try to see the best in others (1 Cor 13:4-7)
    • Even if they reject you and the Gospel, they are not the enemies, our war is spiritual (Eph 6:12)
    • Pray (Col 4:4-6)
  • Ways to have Gospel conversations
    • Personal testimony
    • Ask good questions, listen, and respond
    • Get to know a basic presentation such as The Story or The 3 Circles

Gospel Conversations (sermon series)

Image taken and modified from pixabay.com

Sunday 06.04.17 (wealth and the glory of God)

This Sunday we’ll take a look at Ecclesiastes 5:8-6:12 on the topic of wealth and the glory of God. Then on Sunday night we’ll continue our study on God’s attributes by considering God’s sovereignty. We hope to see you there!

If you’ve missed a Sunday in our Ecclesiastes series, you can catch up on the four most recent sermons on our sermon page.

Sunday Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm Attributes of God study in the church library

Sermon Notes
Wealth and the Glory of God ~ Ecclesiastes 5:8-6:12

  • Seek the good of those under your influence (5:8-9)
    • God wants us to love others the way that he loves us through Christ–including what we do with our wealth and resources
  • Be satisfied with what God provides (5:10-12)
    • A love for God and thankfulness for his provisions, centered on Jesus, leads to satisfaction
  • Make wise investments (5:13-17)
    • We make wise earthly investments caring for future generations, and wise heavenly investments showing others the love of God through Christ
  • Enjoy the fruits of your labor (5:18-6:6)
    • Set your hope on God, seek to do abundant good to others, be generous, and enjoy the rest
  • Trust God with the future and don’t be consumed with worry (6:7-12)
    • Whether we’re rich or poor, wise or foolish, we cannot control the future, but we have a God who does for his glory and our good

Ecclesiastes: Meaningless//Meaningful (new sermon series)

Ecclesiastes is probably my favorite book in the Old Testament. It’s a book that I love to turn to when life hits its speed bumps. It’s also a book that I have wanted to preach through for a while, but in sermon planning just never felt the time was right… until now.

Yesterday we wrapped our journey through John 13-21. This Sunday (4/30), I plan to start a 12-week (give or take, we’ll see how it shakes out) journey through Ecclesiastes. So, here is some information that might be helpful as we start:

Ecclesiastes was written by King Solomon (1:1, 12-18) to his son (12:12). It is a treasure trove of wisdom from an older man as he reflects back on his life. He had done what he wanted and denied himself no pleasure, and his conclusion: Life is meaningless without finding meaning through God. Thus, I have chosen to call this series: Meaningless//Meaningful.

Parts of Ecclesiastes, especially at the start, can be quite depressing. And that is part of the point. It attempts to create in us a crisis of faith when we try to center our happiness on ourselves and whatever gains we have in life. Solomon reminds us that our consumption of the things of this world never satisfy. So, if we’re going to find true satisfaction and a lasting purpose, we have to look to God (and through our New Testament lens–what the Father has given us in Jesus).

When I think of Ecclesiastes and how to summarize it, what comes to mind is this prayer of Augustine from his Confessions:

You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds rest in you.

This week, as we prepare for this series, I would suggest reading through Ecclesiastes and familiarizing yourself with Solomon’s work. At the very least, take time to read chapter one, maybe even more than once.