Doctrine

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#JesusHonored

Friday, January 19th, 2024

The Bible is a book about Jesus Christ. The Old Testament records the preparation for His first coming. The Gospels record Him coming as God in the flesh and His life on the earth. Acts is the message of Christ as it spreads all over the known world. The epistles give us the teachings we need to know about Jesus. Revelation tells us about His second coming-the coming to end all comings.

One of the most powerful words in the human language is a small, three-letter one. That word? BUT.  Track with me please. One, God is Holy, True, and Perfect. Two, men are sinners condemned to be lost forever. The BUT changes all of that with this statement: BUT JESUS.  My purpose in this week’s sermon is to investigate why Jesus changes all of that, why He is to be honored above all. I give some more details about the sermon on my other blog, Cycleguy’s Spin. You can access that just by clicking here. In Colossians 1:15-20 the Apostle Paul makes one of the greatest presentations of who Jesus is in all of Scripture. Short. Concise. To the point. And straight on uncompromising. He is Lord of Creation; He is Head of the Church; and He is the Savior of the Cross. I love preaching about Jesus and His preeminence and His work of reconciliation (making us friends again with God) and His redemption (setting us free). This week’s sermon is going to be fun to preach but by no means is it “easy.” 

Join me/us please at 9:00 and 10:45 in person or via live stream. I would be humbled and honored if you would. Above all, please pray for us this Sunday. Along with the message, one of our elders/building team members will be giving an update on our future addition. Also, two of our young ladies will be reminding us of their planned trip to Kenya next month. Cassie and Hannah need your prayers and support.

Thanks.

#WhatDoesItAllMean?

Friday, December 29th, 2023

Victory

The final Sunday of 2023 is rapidly approaching. I know…hard to believe. Right? But it is a fact that Christmas is over and 2024 is staring us right in the eyeballs.  In a few days people will be staying up and watching the ball drop. The only thing I watch drop is my eyelids as I go to bed at my normal time. Usually that time is around 9:00. I may actually push it to 10:00 but I’m not counting on it. 🙂

This sermon ends my theme of VICTORY for 2023. It has been an interesting year in many ways. I took my first ever foray into preaching on Revelation.  I started it on January 8 and preached to the end of February. I took a break for the months of March and April to take a look at Characters of Easter, then preached some on Joshua as I focused on Mother’s and Father’s Day. In July and August I went back to Revelation and got to chapter 13.  During that time Pastor Ryan and his family took a 7 week sabbatical. It was a super busy time for me, but I was able to be involved in some of the young people’s ballgames (I loved it). In September and October I preached a much-needed series on The God We Worship which culminated in the church’s 19th anniversary.  During the months of November and December I honed in on More Than a Holiday (Thanksgiving and Christmas being more than a holiday on the calendar). 

And here I am…the last Sunday in 2023 and finishing up by asking “What Does it all Mean?” You can visit my other blog, Cycleguy’s Spin, for a more complete idea of the sermon. I’d like to invite you to visit us online or in person this Sunday (if you live in or around Spencer or if you are visiting McCormick’s Creek State Park). We would love to have you. We have two services: on at 9:00 and one at 10:45. Both are live streamed.

Have a good end of the year and may your 2024 bring you closer to Jesus.  I will talk about the theme for 2024 in next week’s post on the Sunday gathering.

#Don’tMissIt!!

Friday, December 22nd, 2023

Victory

What do the Innkeeper, Herod and the Religious leaders all have in common?  Well…I suspect the title of this post gave it away.  They all missed Christmas. Well…not Christmas as we know it. Obviously. But they did miss the significance of the birth which took place right under their noses.

At the same time there are some who did not miss Christmas. The most obvious are Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and the wise men. But there were two who had waited a long time and finally saw their wait come to pass.  I am, of course, talking about Simeon and Anna (See Luke 2:25-40 for their stories).

Back to the first three. This Sunday I will talking about how they missed Christmas and why. I thought I would give you a taste of what I will be saying.

1. The Innkeeper missed Christmas because he was too preoccupied. Have we gotten so preoccupied with life that we miss it?

2. Herod (and others like him) miss Christmas because they refuse to believe or they see Him as a threat. Like Scrooge, they work without a thought given to others or the true meaning of the season.

3. The religious leaders missed Christmas because of their religion. The big question-the huge question-is this: if the religious leaders knew of Messiah’s birth and where it was to take place, why did they not go with the magi or form a group to go together? I mean, if I had been looking for something to happen for years, and I knew it was prophesied to happen, why would I stay home? Surely they had some curiosity. But then again…maybe not.

We have one service on Sunday morning at 10:00 so if you plan to attend or watch online please keep that in mind. We also have a Christmas Eve service planned at 5:00 that will be laid back, involving singing some carols, hearing some testimonies, taking communion together, watching a Christmas video, and listening to Mollie Wainscott play O Holy Night on her violin. The morning service will be live streamed but not the evening.  I look forward to seeing you.

December 20

Thursday, December 21st, 2023

There are just sometimes you just couldn’t orchestrate something any better even if you tried. Know what I mean? Case in point: this morning.

I have an almost constant pattern in the morning. I seldom deviate from it. Other than the shower, etc I take every morning, I have what I call my Encounter Time (ET). Some call it their Quiet Time. During my ET, I use several different resources to read and meditate on, but the crux is my reading from the Bible.  I am almost constantly reading from Psalms (usually 2 chapters a day, except 119); every other month the book of Proverbs (1 chapter/day = 31 days); and from the NT. This year I have read through the NT twice and am now on my 3rd time. This will obviously carry on into 2024. Today’s reading was from Psalm 39-40, Pr. 21, and Mark 15-16. There was some great stuff in Psalms and Proverbs today, but the real irony was in Mark. Mark 15-16 is about Jesus’ death and resurrection!!

This is Christmas…the birth of Jesus and I’m reading about the death and resurrection. The irony didn’t escape me. Birth. Death. Resurrection (Life). The story of His life and purpose. Then the words to a well-known Christmas song came to mind. Here is a snippet: “Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; Hail the incarnate Deity; Pleased with us in flesh to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel…Mild He lays His glory by, Born than man no more may die, Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give us second birth.”

The irony-no, the truth-does not escape me. Birth. Death. Life. They go together. For Jesus. For us. Or maybe I ought to say, “For Jesus. Because of Jesus for us.”  The birth needs the death and resurrection to give meaning. The death and resurrection needs the birth to have a beginning. “Born to raise the sons of earth/Born to give them second birth/Hark the herald angels sing/Glory to the newborn King.”

Celebrate His birth with the future (His and yours) in mind.

#WhatAHeritage

Friday, December 8th, 2023

Victory

We are rapidly coming to the close of 2023, but before that happens the focus must be on Christ and what Christmas means. One of my favorite subjects to talk about is GRACE and the lineage of Jesus is GRACE IN SPADES. My sermon Sunday is from Matthew 1.  You know…that boring lineage you, me, and thousands of others pass over. Let me rephrase that: USED TO PASS OVER until I studied it in depth and realized that it is filled with phenomenal people. All of them are important, obviously, but there are a few who stand out. Before I tell you who, I thought I would give you a fun fact: My original sermon title but5 Women and a Man. I received word that might not be a too appropriate of a title. So…being the humble man I am (AHEM) I changed it to the title you will see at the end of this post.

Now…back to the originally scheduled post.  Five Women and a Man. Here they are:

Tamar- a Gentile who dressed as a prostitute to seduce her father-in-law Judah.

Rahab- a Gentile from Jericho who saved two spies but then was saved from Jericho’s destruction. She married Salmon and they had Boaz.

Ruth- a Moabitess (mortal enemies of the Israelites) who followed her widowed mother-in-law back to her hometown. Ruth met and married Boaz.

Bathsheba- described as the “wife of Uriah” in the lineage. Committed adultery with David (she may have not had a choice).

Mary- a teenager (probably) engaged to be married to Joseph, pregnant out of wedlock. It was sort of like the scarlet letter.  But WOW! The mother of Jesus impregnated by the Holy Spirit.

Joseph- a godly man who was going to do the “right thing” by silently divorcing Mary to avoid scandal for her.  But his heart is seen in his decision to stay with Mary and being the earthly father to Jesus.

That is the sermon. I’ve entitled it What a Heritage! I hope to see you Sunday at 9:00 or 10:45 in person or listen via live stream.

#JustDoIt!

Friday, November 17th, 2023

Victory

There is a profound difference between thankfulness as a concept and thankfulness as a practice. This is true in so many ways. Take, for example, car companies. Every year they have a grand extravaganza of a car show.  Included in this show are “concept cars.” Cars of the future. Cars that are dreams of people. But in most cases, they remain concepts. I’ve seen some wild ideas that are just that…ideas. How much more practical to reveal a car that is a reality.

Think for a moment about gratitude. People who think rightly about God’s provision are thankful, and rightly so. And they say so. Thankers (that is not a word according to spell check) feel something because their gratitude is felt, sometimes deeply. We may stumble on words or how to express our thanks (like when we are put on the spot in a crowd), but we have this overwhelming sense of gratitude for what we have received.

This week I am continuing my series on More Than a Holiday by talking about “we have been blessed to bless others.” There is no better way to say thanks than to pass along that thanks by doing something for others. So, after a look at the 10 lepers in Luke 17 we will be going to James 2 and try to put a “handle” on some practical ways to show gratitude.

Join us in person if you are able. If not, please watch our live stream. We meet at 9:00 and 10:45. I look forward to seeing you or hearing you were watching.

#K.N.O.W.

Friday, October 13th, 2023

Victory

Perhaps you have heard the story of the 6 year old boy who was drawing a unique picture rather furiously. The adult who saw it asked him what he was doing. Tommy answered, “I’m drawing a picture of God.” The adult said, “But no one know what God looks like.” To which Tommy said, “They will when I’m done.”  🙂

With this sermon bringing my part of this series to a close (Pastor Ryan is preaching next week), we have spent almost two months looking at the God we worship. In no way have we exhausted what we can know, but what we have seen is that He is not a God who is unreachable, unknowable, or untouchable. He is very much a God who is alive and interested in every detail of our lives. He is a God we can K.N.O.W.  As you can guess, I have taken the word K.N.O.W. and made an acrostic out of it using Psalm 18 as the catalyst Scripture to paint a picture of God, which I hope will stick with us even though I am bringing this series to a close.

I won’t keep you in suspense as to what the K.N.O.W. stands for though:

KEYSTONE

NEAR

OPEN

WORSHIPED

The dominant theme of Psalm 18 is that God is our Rock! He is our shelter and our refuge.  He is the “Rock of Ages” as August Toplady once wrote and we sang about. Please join us in person at 9:00 and 10:45 or via live stream.

 

#GoodGoodFather

Friday, October 6th, 2023

Victory

First, a confession. “Good Good Father” is one of my favorites.  “You’re a good good Father that’s who you are/And I’m love by You, that’s who I am, that’s who I am.”

All of us have different experiences with our dads. But what unites us is the need that’s woven into our souls-the need to be loved, and treasured, and noticed, and accepted by our fathers. No matter how much we try to defiantly deny it, we all need our father’s approval. It is the same with God. We want and need our Father’s approval, our Father’s blessing.

The Bible is filled with references to God as our Father. Deuteronomy 32:6. Psalm 103:13. Mark 14:36. Romans 8:15. Galatians 4:6 (the last three refer to calling Him “Abba”).  This Sunday I’m going to expound further on this idea of God as our Father.  Surprisingly, even though I thought this would be an “easy” sermon to prepare, it has actually been the most difficult one of this series. God is our Perfect Father.

Please join us in person or via live stream at 9:00 and 10:45.  I would be honored if you would do so and thank you for your presence.

BIG DAY COMING MONDAY, OCTOBER 9TH!!

#GodisGood

Friday, September 29th, 2023

Victory

It is hard for us, when we consider the incredible testing some people go through, to see how they remain faithful. To many people’s way of thinking, being thankful for adversity goes against their grain. “It’s not normal,” they will say. Then the questions start: “How can you be thankful for the death of a loved one, or a baby, or the diagnosis of ALS or MS?” That question looms larger when the person was a perfectly healthy individual and then BAM!  Or here is another one: “How can I be thankful for this financial downturn?”

Honestly, I’m not thankful for the adversity; I am thankful for the God who walks with me through the adversity.

The goodness of God is a sensitive topic, if for no other reason that the examples I just gave. Knowing and believing in the goodness of God is so important to our view of God.  Goodness, defined by J.I. Packer is “something admirable, attractive, and praiseworthy.” Pastor Chip Ingram in his book The Real God, defines the goodness of God as kind, cordial, benevolent, and full of good will toward men.”

God’s goodness is not conditional. He feels that way about us all the time. God is infinite in His goodness. His goodness does not run out. He doesn’t give us a timeline to operate under.

As you can gather, my sermon Sunday is on the goodness of God. I’ve entitled it God is Great…God is Good?  I look forward to having you join us at 9:00 and 10:45 in person or via live stream.

#OneTrueGod

Friday, September 22nd, 2023

Victory

Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (NASB2020).  To go along with that verse is a quote from A.W. Tozer in his book, Knowledge of the Holy: “What comes to our mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”  To combine the two: what we focus on when we think about God will define us.

The buzz saw we run into as we form our thoughts is a teeny, tiny influence called “culture.” (Remove tongue from cheek).  Much is said these days that we all worship the same God and that all roads lead to the same place. Is this true? Is it egotistical? Is it sectarian to say that? Is it judgmental?

This Sunday my sermon is going to confront these accusations head on. For the purpose of information the first part of the message is going to show how different faiths represent God. Deism. Mormonism. JW. Scientology. Islam. Hinduism. New Age. And more.  I think folks will be rather surprised to see what other faiths believe.

The second half of the message will be a look at Deuteronomy 4:15-40 and see what God thinks of our “idol” worship. One high point I will be bringing out is that Religion is spelled “DO.” Christianity is spelled “DONE.” Religion is based on people doing something; Christianity is based on what Christ has done.

I would love to have you join us in person at 9:00 or 10:45. If you are unable to do so, then please join us online at the same time. We have a Facebook Page and also a YouTube channel. You can access either by going to the church’s website and clicking on the link.