Scripture: Deuteronomy 7:6-11 The story of Israel is the story of God’s love. God chose flawed people, such as Abraham, to create His special people. God chose weak, ungodly and rebellious Israel to be His special treasure on earth. Even the commandments of God, against which Israel so often rebelled, were the gift of a loving God. They were God’s people because of His love, and they should obey His commands for the same reason. Additional Referenced Scripture: Deuteronomy 4:32-36 Deuteronomy 4:37-40 Deuteronomy 7:6; 1 Peter 2:9-10 Deuteronomy 4:7 Joshua 25:2-3, 15, Genesis 22:8; Deuteronomy 7:11 Deuteronomy 8:5-6 Proverbs 3:11-12; Hebrews 12:5; Romans 11:1; 10:13
God Is Love Scripture: 1 John 4:7-12 More than being a God who loves, our God IS love. He cannot do anything that isn’t loving, even if we don’t understand how love fits in. The ultimate expression of his love is not that he sacrificed someone for our sins, but he sacrificed His Only Begotten Son for our sins. In response, we are called to love one another. This is the first of four lessons related to the fact that our God is love.
Scripture: John 1:1-5 John wrote his Gospel to produce faith in Jesus as God’s Son. He begins by offering 3 good reasons to believe in Jesus: He is the Word; He made all things; He gives light to live by.
Armored Christians Scripture: Ephesians 6:10-20 The Ephesian Christians were surrounded by the enemy. The threat often looked physical, but in reality it was a spiritual battle. God called and equipped them as a united fighting force to withstand the attacks of Satan.
Scripture: Mark 9:2-9 The transfiguration of Jesus is unlike any other miracle or event in his ministry. This affirmation from heaven prepared Jesus to enter the last, and most challenging, phase of his earthly ministry. The experience humbled, impressed and confused the 3 disciples. It exalts Jesus above even the most honored of Old Testament heroes.
Scripture: Ephesians 4:1-6 The context of Ephesians is the role of the church, and the nature of life in the church. In the church, Christians are called to treat each other kindly, to work together to build the body, and to live godly lives that speak well of the church. Standard doctrines are hardly mentioned in the second half of Ephesians. The “worthy walk” is described in terms of lifestyle and relationships among Christians.
Scripture: Mark 4:35-41 Jesus was an excellent teacher and people were impressed by the things he said. But they were amazed – even fearful – when he displayed his power through miracles. Here was a man who could control nature by his words, who could command evil spirits, raise the dead and heal illnesses when no one else could find a remedy. Those who came to Jesus were often desperate, and came to Jesus hoping that he could help when no one else could. That’s exactly what we all need to realize.
The Church & the Plan Scripture: Ephesians 1:3-14 The church will usually be a marginalized minority in the eyes of the world, but she is the precious and planned gathering together of God’s people. As God works his plan, some, such as Old Testament Israel, will be chosen to fill special and exclusive roles. That is the case of today’s church. No other group can fill the role that God has planned for and given to the church. To claim Christ, but opt out of the church, is to disregard God’s plan.
A Long Walk Home Scripture: John 4:46-54 We are saved by grace, but that does not remove the need for faithful action on our part. Jesus gives rest, but he gives it to those who “come to him.” Jesus healed a boy without even seeing him, but the father had first “come to Jesus,” and then made a long walk home without knowing for sure if what Jesus promised would happen. Only when he arrived home did he know for sure that the promise was fulfilled.
AM Sermon: Living Better to Die Better Scripture: Ecclesiastes 12:1-8 The process of dying can be more intimidating than the final event. How we live and how we prepare can make a lot of difference in how we experience that process. Getting old can bring burdens that Ecclesiastes calls “the evil days.” Loneliness as we die is one of the greatest fears, and is best addressed by taking good care of our relationships. Good living and good planning can give us precious opportunities to say a proper, “Good-bye.”
Scripture: John 20:24-29 Guest Speaker: Nathan Adams
Scripture: Psalm 23 Men who suffered greatly, such as David and Paul, give us the most positive view of life and death. Life is a gift from God to be used to his glory for as long as he chooses to prolong it. Like birth, death is an ominous transition into the great unknown that we can approach with confidence since Jesus has shown the way.
2 Corinthians 4:16-5:1 Christians believe in heaven, that we are going to heaven, and that heaven will be a better place to live than earth. Yet, we hang on to life here as if there were no tomorrow. Our faith should be make a difference in how we approach death. We have options for health care, and even for dying, that previous generations didn’t have. We need to think on how our faith makes our responses to those options different from the responses of those who have no hope. Hebrews 9:27 2 Corinthians 4:8,10 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 2 Corinthians 5:1-4 2 Corinthians 5:4, 6-8
Scripture: Philippians 2:1-4 The Bible is our best guide to strong, happy marriages. Where the world sees biblical teachings as restrictions, Christians should see them as the path to success. However, biblical guidance for marriage is not limited to the precious few passages that address directly the subject of marriage. Wherever the Bible teaches us how to be strong, faithful Christians, we will find indispensable guidance for how to grow as godly wives & husbands.
What Does God Want from Me? Matthew 11:25-30 What does the word “yoke” make you think of? The yoke links two animals so they pull in the same direction; together, their work becomes easier. In Matthew 11:29, Jesus invites us to “take my yoke upon you.” How are we yoked to Jesus? We are linked to Jesus as we become disciples who learn and follow Him. He pulls with us as we learn His teaching and follow His example. Discipleship answers a most significant question of ‘What does God want from me?’ Jesus places demands upon us, but His way of discipleship is always lighter in the end.
Proverbs 3:5-8 We love mom (and dad) not only because they have high hopes for what we can do with our lives, but that they are most concerned with what we should do with the life we’ve been given. Just because we could do something doesn’t mean we should. In their best moments, parents teach us who we should be. The short story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1-9 hits on a similar theme. Having one language, God’s people could accomplish anything. Except they utterly fail to acknowledge God. It’s like forgetting mom’s contribution to your life. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.