March 1st // The Importance of The Heart

Title of Message: The Importance of The Heart

Series: Heart Issues (a study in the book of Jonah)

 

Last week Pastor Vince talked about his trip to Israel and how the Lord spoke to him at the Sea of Galilee, at the same spot where Jesus asked Apostle Peter 3 times, “Do you love me?”

This week Pastor Frank begins a new series entitled "Heart Issues." Through the month of May we are going to head to the Old Testament book of Jonah. In this series we will look at the heart of God and the heart of a stubborn prophet! You will see a clash of wills and desires...really a clash of heart between God and man

Verses used:

Matthew 15:17-20, Jonah 1:1-3, Deuteronomy 6:4, Isaiah 65:14, Romans 10:9,Hebrews 3:12, Psalm 19:14, Psalm 21:1-2, Proverbs 4:23, Proverbs 3:3, Proverbs 4:4, 1 Samuel 16:7, John 2:23-24, Genesis 6:5, Jeremiah 17:9, 1 Corinthians 15:33, Galatians 6:7-8, Jeremiah 32:39-40, Ezekiel 11:19, Gal. 4:6.

Key verses: 

Matthew 15:17-20

“Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”

Jonah 1:1-3

The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me." But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD.

Sermon Notes:

  1. The heart is the place where we experience emotion.

  2. It is also a place of intellectual activity/thought.

  3. It is the place of human will/volition/choice.

  4. The heart is the place of knowing, willing and feeling in holistic unity.

  5. The heart is the mission control center of our life; it directs our life.

  6. We have the responsibility to direct our heart which is our director.

  7. God says that humanity's fallen heart is: Bent toward evil (Genesis 6:5)

  8. What is evil: Evil is that which is wrong in relation to God and the effects which that wrong has on human life. God says that humanity's fallen heart is:

  9. Swollen with pride (Proverbs 16:5)

  10. Prone to deceit (Jeremiah 17:9)

  11. Hardened (Mark 6:52)

  12. Stubborn (Jeremiah 3:17)

  13. Foolishness (Romans 1:21)

  14. Turns away from God (Jeremiah 17:5, Romans 1:21)

Some questions to consider this week:

  1. What is one of your favorite songs that has the word heart in it?
  2. What did you think about the message last week on the heart? Were you surprised at the length to which the Bible describes the essence and importance of the spiritual heart, if so what was surprising to you?
  3. When we learn what Scripture says about humanity's fallen heart, how does that affect the way you think about your spiritual heart?
  4. Can you name a time in your life when you were deceived in your heart or rebellious towards God? What resulted from it? Who or what did God use to bring you back?
  5. How would you describe your heart now: Soft? Hard? Warm? Cold? Why is that?
  6. The Bible says we are to “guard” our hearts (Prov.4:23), how do you go about doing this in your life? 
  7. Pastor Frank gave a biblical definition of evil on Sunday, what were your impressions of his definition? How would you add or subtract from his definition? 
  8. How can we be “stirring in” the sermon's verses into our lives this week?

Something to think about this week . . .

"What does God see when He sees my heart?"

April 24th // How Much Do You Love Jesus?

Title of Message: How much do you love Jesus?

In this message Pastor Vince talks about his trip to Israel and how the Lord spoke to him at the Sea of Galilee, at the same spot where Jesus asked Apostle Peter 3 times, “Do you love me?”

Verses used:  John 21: 15-19

Key verse: John 21:17

The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”

Sermon Notes:

 Peter’s denial of Jesus was most notable for several reasons

1.     He said he would never deny Jesus. Matt. 26:35. He was sincere but lacked resolve.

2.     He resorted to violence in defending Jesus, depicting the human’s way of solving problems. John 18:10-11

3.     He expected Jesus to resort to violence as well. Everyone did. Matt. 26:51-56

What did Jesus want to address with Peter?

1.     Jesus wanted to correct Peter’s understanding of who the Messiah is and how He intends to conquer mankind.

Jesus will establish His kingdom, not by force but by love.

2.     Jesus wants Peter to be clear about his motivations for following Jesus.

The only motivation acceptable to Jesus is love.

3.     Jesus wants Peter to understand the extent of his love for Jesus.

4.     Jesus points out to Peter what is most important to Him: Caring for His sheep.

What is the ultimate proof of our love for Jesus?

Sharing His love to others!

Some questions to consider this week:

1.     Icebreaker question: Name one person that you love very much. How do you show/express your love for this person? Does that person feel your love?

Note: Gary Chapman wrote a book on the 5 love languages. He notes that people feel love best if it is expressed in the love language that they value. The five love languages he presented are:

a.     Material gifts

b.     Quality time

c.     Words of affirmation

d.     Acts of service (devotion)

e.     Physical touch (intimacy)

2.     How has God expressed His love for you? (Hint: count your blessings!) How have you expressed your love back to God?

3.     What measure did Jesus use to point out how much Peter loved Him? v. 15 (Hint: What did Jesus mean by “more than these?”)

4.     What do you think is Jesus’ love language? (Hint: what did he ask Peter to do 3 times?) vs, 15-17

5.     A love relationship is supposed to be a growing relationship. This means with every expression of love, your bond deepens. Do you feel your bond with God grow through time? Why or why not?

6.     The biggest offense we often commit toward our loved ones is taking them for granted. Because we know they love us, we tend to put them low on our priority list because we know they will understand. Are there times when you take God for granted? How?

7.     The depth of our love for a person can oftentimes be measured by the amount of time spent with that person. How much time do you spend with God? Do you think it accurately reflects your love for Him? Why/why not?

8.     What new ways can you express your love for Jesus after learning more about His love language?

April 17th // The Light of the World

Title of Message: I Am The Light of the World

 

We are concluding our series on the I AM statements of Jesus in the Gospel of John. Jesus reveals who He is so that we will trust Him completely as we travel the journey of life.

Verses used:  John 1:1-5, 3:19-21, 8:12-20; Ephesians 5:8-12; 1 Thessalonians 5:4-8.

Key verse: John 8:12

When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

 

Sermon Notes:

1.     The light is truth in a world of confusion and deception.

2.     The light is a contrast to a world of sin and evil.

3.     The light is life and victory in a world of death and defeat.

4.     Jesus  is the light.

 

Some questions to consider this week:

1.     What is one thing that stands out to you from the message on Sunday?

2.     Have you ever had the lights go completely out or been stuck somewhere in the dark? What was the most frustrating or scary part of it for you?

3.     Jesus says He is the light of the world. Light allows us to see things clearly. Since Jesus came into your life, what is one thing that you view differently than you did before?

4.     What are some common beliefs or practices in our culture that are in stark contrast to who Jesus is?

5.     Was there a time when someone not only told you how to solve a problem you were facing, but then helped you do it? In what ways has Jesus done this for you?

6.     Jesus says that whoever follows Him will never walk in darkness (John 8:12). In what sense is that promise special to you?

7.     How can we be “stirring in” the sermon's verses into our lives this week?

 

April 10th // I Am the Good Shepherd

Message Title:  I Am The Good Shepherd

We are continuing in the series on the "I AM" statements of Jesus in the Gospel of John.  Jesus reveals who He is so that we will trust Him completely as we travel the journey of life. In the second message from the series Pastor Graham takes a look at the statement I am The Good Shepherd in John 10:11.

Verses Used:  John 10:11-18, Psalm 95:7, Isaiah 40:11, Exodus 3:14, John 8:58, Ezekial 34:1-31, Mark 10:18, Psalm 23, Philippians 2:6-8, Hebrews 10:25, Isaiah 53:6, John 10:3-4, Hebrews 13:5, 1 Peter 2:25, John 15:13, John 15:6, Matthew 11:28.

Key verse:  John 10:11-18.

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

 

Sermon Notes:

1.     WHO IS HE? (verses 11&14)

  • Notice the definite article THE.
  • Jesus is not just "A" shepherd.
  • He is also the good shepherd.

2.     WHAT DOES HE DO? ( verses 10-13)

  • He gives life to the sheep (verses 10 & 28)
  • He gives His life for the sheep (verse 11)

3.       HOW DOES HE DO THIS? (verses 3-4 & 11)

  • “We all like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way.”
  • He knows them by name(verse 3b)
  • Notice that Jesus calls us his own.
  • He leads them (verse 4)
  • He goes ahead of them.
  • He lays down His life for the sheep (verse 11)
  • Jesus died on the Cross in order to save us from our sin and eternal separation from God.
  • Jesus Christ is the only way of Salvation.

 

Some questions to consider this week:

1.     What is one thing that stands out to you from the message on Sunday?

2.     Your friend was not able to be at the service this week. You have been asked to summarize the sermon. What would you say?

3.     What did you find challenging or new in these verses when you applied them to your life?

4.     How does Jesus identify Himself with the “GOOD SHEPHERD” (verses 11-15)?

5.     How does His death relate to His promise in verse 10?

6.     What does it do to you personally to know that Jesus cares for you as the Good Shepherd?

7.     How can we be “stirring in” the sermon's verses into our lives this week?

 

Something to do this week:

Read and pray through Psalm 23 carefully and apply it to your life as you now understand John 10: 11-18.

 

April 3rd // The Resurrection and the Life

Message Title:  The Resurrection and the Life

 

We are beginning a new series on the I AM statements of Jesus in the Gospel of John. Jesus reveals who He is so that we will trust Him completely as we travel the journey of life.

Verses used:  Exodus 3:14, John 11:1-44.

Key verse:  John 11:25-26.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

 

Sermon Notes:

1.     He is sovereign over the uncertainties of life

2.     He is life for those who know Him and believe Him

3.     He is present and compassionate in our grief and disappointment

4.     He is powerful and His promises are sure

 

Some questions to consider this week:

1.     What is one thing that stands out to you from the message on Sunday?

2.     What is the difference between knowing about someone and knowing them personally? What can you learn about someone by knowing them personally that you cannot learn simply by knowing things about them?

3.     Jesus says that the circumstances surrounding Lazarus’s death were “for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it” (John 11:4). Has there been a time in your life where you experienced difficulties or loss but God revealed His power in the middle of it?

4.     Have you ever gone on a trip (or a drive or a hike) where you were worried about your safety? What was missing that would have made you feel like it was under control? How does God bring that kind of security in your life?

5.     Jesus said “whoever lives by believing in me will never die” (John 11:26). When did this life that He describes start for you? How does knowing that it will never end change your perspective on things?

6.     Has there been a time when God was present with you through something that was difficult, and you could feel His love and understanding of your situation?

7.     How can we be “stirring in” the sermon's verses into our lives this week?

March 27th // Who Rolled Away the Stone?

Message Title:  Who Rolled Away the Stone?

Verses used:  John 19:17-19, 1 Corinthians 15:1-9, 13-19, John 19:41, Matthew 28:11-15,

Philippians 3:7-11, Romans 8:10-11.

Key verses: 

John 19:17-19

17 They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. 18 There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between. 19 Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

1 Corinthians 15:1-9

15 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.

3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

1 Corinthians 15:13-19

13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. 15 Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

 

Sermon Notes:

  1. First type…..Stone rolled away by man.
  2. Second type….Stone is rolled away by God.
  3. Universal emptiness.
  4. Universal loneliness.
  5. Universal sense of shame and guilt.
  6. Universal fear of death.

Something to think about this week . . .

Who is Jesus of Nazareth?  Is he a lunatic, a liar, or the Lord?  Did He once live and is now dead, or is Jesus more than a man … the God man … son of God who came to save us from our sins … died on a cross … and arose again on the third day … ascended into heaven and is coming again!?

"If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you."

(Romans 8:10-11)

March 20th // Civil Servant Sunday

Today's Palm Sunday message is a special message given by recently retired police chief of Irvine Dave Maggard and was a special message Titled "Civil Servant Sunday" honoring our law enforcement officers, firefighters, and medical personnel. 

Next Sunday is Easter and we encourage you to invite someone to church with you as we honor the greatest civil servant of all, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. 

Verses used: Psalm 103:17, Matthew 18:20, Proverbs 16:31, Psalm 92:14-15, Proverbs 16:24, Matthew 5:9

Key Verses: Proverbs 16:24: Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

March 13th // Hinduism, Buddhism, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Title of Message:  Hinduism, Buddhism, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ

-We are concluding our series entitled "What's the Difference;" a study to hold up the New Testament Gospel of Jesus and then compare it to other religions and religious thoughts. 

-If you've missed any of the messages in this series that began on January 10, please visit the church website at http://www.woodbridgecommunitychurch.org/sermons/.

-This week our Men’s Min. leader, Mike Cranford is speaking on the difference between the Christian Gospel and both Hinduism and Buddhism.

Verses used:  Galatians 1:6-8, John 15:12-14, 1 John 4:7-11, John 14:6, 1 Corinthians 15:1-7, Hebrews 9:27-28, Psalm 91:14-16, John 10:14-15, Revelation 3:20, Galatians 6:7-8.

Key verse:  Galatians 1:6-8.

"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!"

 

Sermon Notes:

1.     Our Truth is exclusive.

2.     Our Faith is rooted in historical fact.

3.     Our Destiny is a line, not a circle.

4.     Our God is personal.

 

Some questions to consider this week:

1.     What is one thing that stands out to you from the message on Sunday?

2.     Have you ever felt like the universe was punishing you for mistakes you have made?

3.     Paul writes “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” (Gal. 6:7-8). In what ways do you think the biblical principle of sowing and reaping is different than the idea of karma?

4.     Why do you think the idea of the Force in Star Wars is so popular?

5.     Jesus said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Why is this an unpopular view in today’s world? Was it a popular idea in Jesus’ world?

6.     How has the Lord revealed His love for you in your life?

7.     When you leave this world for your eternal destiny, what is one thing you will say “good riddance” to?

8.     How can we be “stirring in” the sermon's verses into our lives this week?

March 6th // The Story of Our Scars

Title of Message:  The Story of Our Scars

 

-We are taking a 1 week break from our series entitled "What's the Difference."

-Next week Pastor Frank will resume and complete the series with a study on Hinduism and Buddhism.

-TODAY Pastor Danny uses Isaiah 53 to share about scars and healing.

 

Verses used:  Isaiah 53:1-5, Ecclesiastes 3:2a, 8b, 11, John 20:27-28

 Key verse:  Isaiah 53:1-5. (ESV)

1 Who has believed what he has heard from us? 
    And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
    and like a root out of dry ground;
    he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
    and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men;
    a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
    and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
    yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
    upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.

Sermon Notes:

1.  Trauma: Jesus entered into our trauma.

2.  Treatment: Jesus embraced the fallenness to become The Way.

3.  Transformation: Jesus’ work enables us to live a new life.

4.  Testimony: Jesus equips us now with our stories to tell His story and carry out the great commission.

Some questions to consider this week:

1.     What is one thing that stands out to you from the message on Sunday?

2.     Do you have a physical scar? If so where is it and how did you get it?

3.     What are some of the emotional scars in your life and how are you pursuing healing or how have you been healed? 

4.     How has your life been transformed in the aftermath?  

5.     How have your scars become your testimony?

6.     How can we be “stirring in” the sermon's verses into our lives this week?

Word for thought:

When we think of our spiritual scars of sin that we all have been born with, praise Jesus for paying for our sins with His scars that he endured for us!

Rev 5:1-7

 

 

February 28th//The Gospel and Jehovah's Witnesses

Title of Message:  The Gospel and Jehovah’s Witnesses

Series:  What's the Difference

 

-We are approaching the conclusion of the series entitled "What's the Difference;" a study to hold up the New Testament Gospel of Jesus and then compare it to other religions and religious thoughts. 

-On the first Sunday of this series, Pastor Frank walked us through the Gospel - "Jesus Plus Nothing."  This study was the basis for all sermons in this series.  If you missed it, catch this message from     January 10 via the website at http://www.woodbridgecommunitychurch.org/sermons/.

-This week Pastor Frank continues in the series, speaking on the difference between the Christian Gospel and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. 

 

Verses used:  Galatians 5:13-25; 1:11-12; 2:5-7; 2:15-16; 3:1-2; 3:5; 3:11; 3:26-28; 5:6-7; 6:14-16;

John 1:1-2, 2 Peter 1:1-2, Titus 2:13, Hebrews 1:5-8, Mark 12:35-37, Revelation 1:8, Revelation 22:13-16.

Key verses:   Galatians 1:6-8 (NIV)

 

6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!

Galatians 1:11-12 (NIV)

11 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.

Galatians 2:5-7 (NIV)

5 We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.

6 As for those who were held in high esteem—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism—they added nothing to my message. 7 On the contrary, they recognized that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised.[b]

Galatians 2:15-16N (NIV)

15 “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in[a] Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

Galatians 3:1-2 (NIV)

3 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard?

Galatians 3:5 (NIV)

5 So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?

Galatians 3:11 (NIV)

11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.”[a]

Galatians 3:26-28 (NIV)

26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 5:6-7 (NIV)

6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?

Galatians 6:14-16 (NIV)

14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. 16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God.

Sermon Notes:

  1. The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in a different Jesus.
  2. They believe that Jesus is a god but not The God.
  3. They believe in a different gospel.
  4. It is a works-based salvation.
  5. It is Jesus plus religious activity.

Some questions to consider this week:

Icebreaker Question related to Civil Servant Sunday (Palm Sunday) March 20:

1.     Considering Civil Servant Sunday celebrated at WCC, was there ever a time when you had to call 911 and was helped by a police officer, fireman or EMT? How were you helped? What do you think our world would be like if they weren’t around?

Discussion Questions:

2.     Read Gal 1:6-7. Jehovah’s Witnesses say that they believe in the Bible. How are the JW’s teaching a different gospel? (Note: What do they teach about Jesus, the Trinity or the Holy Spirit?)

3.     Read Gal. 2:15-16 and Gal. 3:11. Compare what the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach on how to get saved/justified versus what the Bible teaches on how to get saved/justified?

4.     So many Christians start out by believing in Jesus by faith, but eventually focus on works. That’s why legalism thrives. Why do you think people are attracted to a works-based salvation? 

Concluding Question:

5.     How has this message series broadened your understanding of the gospel? What message stands out in your mind, and why?

6.     During this series of studying the Christian Gospel and the differences of other religions and religious thought, have you come to see the Gospel differently?  If so, how? What message stands out in your mind the most, and why?

Thoughts to consider this week:

You aren’t God, but you can know and walk with Him through the cross!

In learning about other faiths in this recent teaching series entitled "What's the Difference," how might you re-consider the value you place on spending time in the Bible, knowing more about what you believe, and being able to defend the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Galatians 6:14-16 (NIV)

14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. 16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God.

 

February 21//The Gospel and New Age Spiritualism

Whats The Difference

Title of Message:  The Gospel and New Age Spiritualism

Series:  What's the Difference

-We are continuing in the series entitled "What's the Difference;" a study to hold up the New Testament Gospel of Jesus and then compare it to other religions and religious thoughts. 

On the first Sunday of this series, Pastor Frank walked us through the Gospel - "Jesus Plus Nothing." This study was the basis for all sermons in this series. If you missed it, catch this message from January 10 via the website at http://www.woodbridgecommunitychurch.org/sermons/.

-In the subsequent weeks we learned about the differences between the Gospel and Islam, Mormonism, Religious Traditions and Judaism. 

-In upcoming weeks, the series will present the difference between the Gospel and both Jehovah's Witness and Hinduism/Buddhism.

-This week Pastor Frank continues in the series, speaking on the difference between the Christian Gospel and New Age Spiritualism.

Verses used:  Galatians 5:13-25, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, Ephesians 2:8-9, Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 1:13, Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:1-2, Ephesians 5:18-19, Colossians 3:16, 1 Samuel 6:23.

Key verse:  Galatians 5:13-25

13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

Sermon Notes:

  1. In new age theology you are god.
  2. In Christian theology God is God.
  3. In new age spiritually it is all about you.
  4. In New Testament spiritually it is about Jesus.
  5. New Testament spiritually is about you being reconciled to God and walking with Him in a spiritual relationship.
  6. In new age spiritually they meditate for the purpose of attaining higher states of deified consciousness and to manipulate the forces in the universe to get what they want.
  7. In New Testament spiritually you study and meditate on the Scriptures to know and understand God so that you can walk with Him in a deeper way.
  8. Worship in song is spiritual.
  9. Praise brings an awareness of His presence and power.

Some questions to consider this week:

1.     What is one thing that stands out to you from the message on Sunday?

2.     In new age spiritually you are a deity and the religion focuses on you and what you want.  Why is this a good or a bad thing?  Explain.

3.     As a Christian, how do you experience N.T. spiritually? 

4.     Have you ever meditated on the scriptures? What are some of your favorite scriptures to meditate on and why?

5.     Share the difference and significance between "emptying" your mind and "filling" your mind with the Word of God.

6.     How does worship and praise impact your relationship to God?  What are some of your favorite praise songs and why?

7.     Which spiritual fruit found in Galatians 5 is blossoming in your life?  Which would you like to see more?

8.     Since our own efforts and achievements aren't the way to God, discuss the gift of what Christ did for us on the cross.

9.     How can we be “stirring in” the sermon's verses into our lives this week?

Thought to consider this week:

Jesus loves you and serves you.

But life is not about you.

It is about Him.

Galatians 2:20- 

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. 

February 14th // The Motivation of the Cross

Title of Message:  The Motivation of the Cross

-We are taking a 1 week break from our series entitled "What's the Difference."

-Next week we will resume the study series.

-TODAY Pastor Frank will pause for Valentine’s day to ponder the divine motivation of the cross.  Why did God do it and what was God's motivation in sending Jesus to Earth and to the cross?

Verses used:  Isaiah 53:10-11, Hebrews 12:1-2, John 3:16, Jeremiah 31:3, Hosea 11:4, 1 John 4:9-10, Romans 8:35-39, Genesis 3:13, Jeremiah 3:8, Deuteronomy 6:4-6, Mark 12:28-34, Galatians 2:20.

Key verses:  Isaiah 53:10-11, Hebrews 12:1-2.

Isaiah 53:10-11

10 But the Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
11 As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.

Hebrews 12:1-2

1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Sermon Notes:

What motivates us to do the things that we do?

  1. Fear
  2. Guilt
  3. Anger
  4. Greed
  5. Hate
  6. The greatest is Love

7.  The Cross is the collision point of two of God's attributes, Love and Holiness/Justice.

8.  God's motivation for sending Jesus is love!

9.  God's goal is reconciliation.

10. God wants you to respond to His love for you by loving him back!

Some questions to consider this week:

1.     What is one thing that stands out to you from the message on Sunday?

2.     Pastor Frank taught that "God was pleased to 'crush' Jesus for our sin," (Isaiah 53:10).  Share with the group what this incredible act means to you.

3.     When you ponder the thought that God suffered and died on the cross for you because he loves you, how does that make you feel?

4.     When you hear that the number one thing that God want from you is to love you him back, how does that make you feel?

5.     Can you list 5 reasons why you love God?  Share them in your group.

6.     When God allowed the sacrifice of Jesus, He was looking for reconciliation with the ones He loved.  If you were or are looking for reconciliation with a loved one, to what lengths would you be willing to go?

7.     As God is motivated to show His powerful love, what are some ways you show His love to others?

8.     As the word "love" is often over-used in our culture, describe its deepest meaning in your own life and walk with Christ.

9.     How can we be “stirring in” the sermon's verses into our lives this week?

Thought to consider this week:

You are loved by the almighty God!

May we love him back!

May we see our lives and identity wrapped in the Cross!

And may this love of Jesus drive our lives and help us to love each other better!

 

 

February 7th // The Gospel and Modern day Judaism

Whats The Difference

Title of Message: The Gospel & Modern Day Judaism

 

Series:  What's the Difference

 

- Rabbi Larry Feldman is continuing the series "What's the Difference," a study to hold up the New Testament Gospel of Jesus and then compare it to other religions and religious thoughts. 

-Week One Pastor Frank walked us through the Gospel - "Jesus Plus Nothing."  This study was the basis for all sermons in this series.  If you missed it, catch this message from January 10th via the website at http://www.woodbridgecommunitychurch.org/sermons/.

-The past three weeks we preached on the differences between the Gospel and Islam, Mormonism, and the religious traditions observed throughout Christendom. 

-This week Rabbi Larry Feldman from Shuvah Yisrael will speak on the differences between the Gospel and modern day Judaism

Verses usedLeviticus 17, Isaiah 49, Isaiah 53, Psalm 2, John 8:24

Key verse: Isaiah 53

Sermon Notes: 

Introduction

  1. The difference between witnessing and apologetics
  2. The Romans Road for salvation

G-d’s plan for atonement can be found in the Jewish Scriptures.

  1. The Jewish Bible teaches all have sinned
    1. The kings of Israel declare this
      1. Solomon said it
      2. David said it
    2. The prophets of Israel proclaim this
      1. Isaiah said it
      2. Jeremiah said it
  2. The Jewish Bible teaches there are consequences for sin
    1. Sin causes death
    2. Sin causes separation from G-d
  3. The Jewish Bible teaches atonement only comes through sacrifice
    1. The Jewish concept of atonement
      1. It had to be the shedding of blood
      2. The Jewish Bible teaches Messiah was the sacrifice
      3. For Jewish and Gentile people
      4. He took our place
  4. The Jewish Bible teaches we must accept the Messiah
  5. The Jewish Bible teaches we must receive Him now

Conclusion

G-d’s plan for forgiveness can be found in the Tenach.

January 31st// The Gospel and Religious Traditions

Title of Message:  The Gospel and Religious Traditions

Series:  What's the Difference

 

-We are continuing in the series entitled "What's the Difference;" a study to hold up the New Testament Gospel of Jesus and then compare it to other religions and religious thoughts. 

-Week One Pastor Frank walked us through the Gospel - "Jesus Plus Nothing."  This study was the basis for all sermons in this series.  If you missed it, catch this message from January 10th via the website at http://www.woodbridgecommunitychurch.org/sermons/.

-The past two weeks Pastor Frank preached on the differences between the Gospel and both Islam and Mormonism.

-This week Pastor Vince will speak on the differences between the Gospel and the Religious Traditions observed throughout Christendom.

 

Verses used:  Galatians 1:6-7, Galatians 2:1-3, 7-9, 16, 1 John 1:7, 1 John 5:11-13, 1 John 4:18-19, Ephesians 2:8-9, Isaiah 1:13-17

 

Key verse:  Galatians 2:1-16

   1Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. 2It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain. 3But not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. 4But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. 5But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you. 6But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me. 7But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised 8(for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles), 9and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10They only asked us to remember the poor—the very thing I also was eager to do.

11But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. 13The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?

      15“We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles; 16nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.” 

Sermon Notes: 

I. Why did Paul single out Apostles and Angels? Gal. 1:8

A.   Apostles come from the greek Apostolos which means messenger or ambassador

B.    Angel comes from the greek Angelos which means messenger from God

C.    Jesus is the ultimate revelation from God. There will be no more new revelation from God

II. Main Issue in the church: Does a person need to follow the Law of Moses in order to be saved?

A.   The Apostles and Church leaders agreed: No! It’s Jesus plus nothing Gal 2:1-3, 7-9

B.    The Judaizers said Yes! It’s Jesus plus the Law of Moses

C.    Paul said all the religious traditions do not add anything to earn your salvation

Gal 2:16

III. Guidelines for evaluating the validity of a religious tradition

A.   Religious tradition is not a means to be saved nor a means to have your sins forgiven Eph 2:8-9

B.    Religious tradition must have a basis that is consistent with the teachings of the bible

C.    Observance of religious traditions must come from the heart, and not just a meaningless ritual done out of obligation Isaiah 1:13-17

D.   Religious tradition must not contradict the teachings of the bible

E.  We do good things not to earn salvation, but to learn about following Jesus

IV. God wants us to be assured of our relationship to Him 1John 5:11-13

A.   Why? Because He loves us! 1John 4:18-19

B.    For love to be love, it cannot be motivated by fear

Some questions to consider this week:

1.     What was one thing you remember from the message on Sunday?

2.     Gospel literally means good news. How would you define the gospel? Look at 1Cor 15:1-4

3.     Why is it important for a person to know where he is going after he dies?

4.     How does what Jesus did on the cross answer question 3?

5.     What "religious traditions" did you grow up with that you aren't practicing today?

6.     Do you still have family or friends who are practicing a works-based religion? Has it caused conflict in your relationship with them and how have you dealt with it?

7.     Quote: In church we do good things not to earn salvation but to learn about following Jesus. How does that statement clarify the purpose of religious tradition in your understanding?

8.     Thinking about the first week in this series on the "Gospel of Jesus" and this week's study of Religious Traditions, what does it mean in your life to say, "Jesus plus Nothing"?

9.     How can we be “stirring in” the sermon's verses into our lives this week?

 

 

January 24th // The Gospel and Mormonism

 

Title of Message:The Gospel and Mormonism

Series:  What's the Difference

-Pastor Frank is continuing in his series entitled "What's the Difference," a study to hold up the New Testament Gospel of Jesus and then compare it to other religions and religious thoughts. 

-Week One Pastor Frank walked us through the Gospel - "Jesus Plus Nothing."

-Last week he covered the differences between the Gospel and Islam.

-This week he is focusing on the differences between the Gospel and Mormonism.

Verses used:  Galatians 1:3-10, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, Psalm 147:5, Psalm 139:1-4, 1 John 3:20, 2 Peter 3:8, Galatians 3:1-5.

Key verse:  Galatians 1:3-10

3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen.

6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. 

Sermon Notes:

1.     If you mess with the identity of Jesus who died on the cross or what Jesus did by dying on the cross…you change the Gospel.

Mormonism and Islam are two faiths, similar in many ways:

2.     They both involve angels in the new revelations of God.

3.     They both teach about Jesus.

4.     They both accept the Bible as from God.

5.     They both teach that God tried to communicate clearly in the Bible but man over time corrupted His message.

6.     They both teach that God had to re-do His message through another prophet.

7.     They both teach that this time it can’t be corrupted.

8.     The god of Islam and the god of Mormonism is a god learning how to communicate to his creation over time.

What’s the difference between the God of the Bible and Mormonism?

9.     The God of the Bible doesn’t learn.

10.  The God of the Bible says there are no other gods but Him.

11.  Mormon theology teaches of a different Jesus who hung on the cross.

Some questions to consider this week:

1.     What was one thing you remember from the message on Sunday?

2.     Pastor Frank asked, "How are we reconciled to God?" and "What happened so that God doesn't count our sins against us?"  Discuss the power of what Jesus did for us on the cross.

3.     What do you recall are the main differences between Mormonism and Christianity and how do you think these affect a person’s life.

4.     Share your thoughts on our God who is all knowing vs the Mormon god who does not have perfect knowledge and is learning.

5.     Remember Pastor Frank's quote: "If you mess with the identity of Jesus who died on the cross or what Jesus did by dying on the cross … you change the Gospel."  Discuss the attributes of the Jesus of the Mormon faith vs the Jesus of the New Testament Gospel.

6.     Tolerance:  to be tolerant means you can admittedly disagree with another person and still be cordial and kind to one another.  How tolerant would you say you are?

7.     Thinking about the first week in this series on the "Gospel of Jesus" and this week's study of Mormonism, what does it mean in your life to say, "Jesus plus Nothing"?

8.     How can we be “stirring in” the sermon's verses into our lives this week?

Something to reflect on this week:

In the New Testament Gospel, you have God the Savior - not scales of good and bad deeds.  He pays for your sins by His blood.  You are forgiven!

            Jesus plus nothing

            Faith in Christ alone

            Not our goodness but His

            Not our righteousness but His

            Not our works but His and what He did on the cross!

            He who?  God!

 

January 17th, 2016 // The Gospel and Islam

Title of Message: The Gospel and Islam

Series:  What's the Difference

 

-Last week Pastor Frank began a new series entitled "What's the Difference," a study to hold up the New Testament Gospel of Jesus and then compare it to other religious thoughts and religions.  He began by walking us through the Gospel - "Jesus plus nothing."

-Today, Pastor Frank continues in the series, focusing on the differences between the Gospel and Islam.

 

Verses used:  Galatians 1:1-10, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, Ephesians 2:8-9, Galatians 3:5.

 

Key verse:

Galatians 1:10

1 Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), 2 and all the brethren who are with me, To the churches of Galatia:

3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen.

6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

 

Sermon Notes:

            In Islam-

1.     Jesus didn’t die for your sins on the cross and you are not reconciled to God.

2.     You need to work off your sins through religious activity.

3.     In heaven there are scales where God is measuring your good deeds and your bad.

4.     The only way you are promised heaven is if you die for God.

5.     In Islam you are promised a pardon of your sins by dying for God.

6.     In the New Testament Gospel you are promised a pardon for your sins by God coming to Earth and dying for you.

7.     The Islamic religion doesn’t add to the Gospel of Jesus but eliminates it.

Some questions to consider this week:

1.     What was one thing you remember from the message on Sunday?

2.     What kind of contrary "gospel" was being preached that led the Galatians astray?

3.     What do you think are the main differences between Islam and Christianity and how do you think these affect a person’s life.

4.     Based on what you've learned about Islam, do you find that you have more compassion for  those born into this faith?  Why?

5.     Why do you think Muslims might have a hard time with the Gospel?

6.     Given the chance to witness to a Muslim, what would you share about Christ that would show them the peace and assurance of heaven that only comes through Him?

7.     Thinking about the first week in this series on the "Gospel of Jesus" and this week's study of Islam, what does it mean in your life to say, "Jesus Plus Nothing"?

8.     How can we be “stirring in” the sermon's verses into our lives this week?

January 10th, 2016 // The Gospel

Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 4.30.30 PM.png

Title of Message: The Gospel

Series:  What's the Difference  

 

-Last week Pastor Frank taught using the 23rd Psalm, sharing with us that nothing is going to happen to us in 2016 that God doesn’t know about and nothing is going to happen to us that we and He can’t get through together!

-This week Pastor Frank begins a new series entitled "What's the Difference" and, starting today on the topic of "The Gospel," will walk us through the differences among the predominant religions of the world today.

 

Verses used:  1 Corinthians 15:1-4, Galatians 1:1-9, 1 Peter 2:24, 1 Peter 3:18, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, Matthew 5:48.

 

Key verses:

1 Corinthians 15:1-4

1 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.  3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

Galatians 1:1-9

1 Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), 2 and all the brethren who are with me,

To the churches of Galatia:

3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen.

6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! 

Sermon Notes:

1.     Jesus plus nothing.

2.     If you add something to what Jesus did on the cross then you are subtracting from what He accomplished on the cross.

3.     All means all and that’s all that all means!

4.     Religion is salvation through moral effort.

5.     Gospel is salvation by grace through faith alone in Jesus.

6.     Religion focuses on what I do or don’t do.

7.     The Gospel focuses on what Jesus has done.

8.     Religion produces pride or despair.

9.     The Gospel produces humility, gratefulness and confidence.

 

Some questions to consider this week:

1.     What was one thing you remember from the message on Sunday?

2.     Like a counterfeit bill, how do you think you would do in spotting a counterfeit gospel?

3.     Have you ever had someone try to present you with a false gospel?  If yes, how did you respond?  Or perhaps, how do you wish you would have responded?

4.     What does Paul say will happen to anyone who promotes a "gospel" other than that which he preached - the good news of grace?

5.     If you had to argue for the reality of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by giving one example of how you have changed as a result of your faith, what would you share?

6.     What practice have you established to ensure that you "hold firmly to the word?"

7.     Why do you think other religions and cults have such a hard time with the Gospel?

8.     "For Christ died for sins once for all" (1 Peter 3:18).  How does this verse influence and strengthen your conviction of His Gospel?

9.     How can we be “stirring in” the sermon's verses into our lives this week?

 

January 3rd, 2016 //God Is Your Shepherd for 2016

Title of Message: God Is Your Shepherd for 2016

This morning Pastor Frank will be teaching using the 23rd Psalm.  Nothing is going to happen to you in 2016 that God doesn’t know about and nothing is going to happen to you that you and He can’t get through together!

Verses used:  Psalm 23, Matthew 28:18-20.

Key verse:  Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Sermon Notes:

1.   Discipleship happens in meaningful relationships.

As you walk with God in 2016:

2.     Your heavenly Father will be protecting and providing for you.

3.     You will have times of blessings and prosperity.

4.   You will have times of rest and renewal.

5.   He will guide you on a good path for His name.

6.   Life is still going to happen and there is going to be hard days but He will never leave you!

7.   Remember all His good promises for your life will happen in His time.

8.   Remember this is a temporal world that we live but we have an eternal home waiting!

 

Some questions to consider this week:

Are you walking in a dark valley now? 

Has God rescued or protected you with His rod and staff"? 

What "green pastures and still waters" has He brought your way? 

Who are your "enemies" today? 

What would you like your cup to overflow with?

December 27th, 2015// A Defining Moment

“A Defining Moment”

12/27/2015

Key Verses: Acts 9:1-22, Philippians 3:4-6 

9 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone.8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”“Yes, Lord,” he answered.

11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsusnamed Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. 20 At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. 21 All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” 22 Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.

Sermon Notes:


Defining moment:  An experience; something that you’ve been through, that defines the person that you are today.

Saul’s defining moment speaks to us in a number of ways:

1.    Saul came to the realization that he was chosen by God [9:15]

2.    There was a definite purpose and plan for his  life [9:15,16]

3.    Saul was helped by others, and recognized his need for others [9:8,17]  

4.    Saul was used by God immediately [9:20]

5.    Your conversion is a real experience

6.    We need to live our life in the reality of meeting Him, and knowing Him, and following Him


December 20, 2015 // The Birth of Jesus and a Clash of Kingdoms

Title of Message: The Birth of Jesus and a Clash of Kingdoms

December 20, 2015

text: Matthew 2:1-12

This morning Pastor Frank will be teaching regarding the birth of Jesus.  We will see that nothing has impacted humanity as much as the coming of this little baby born in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago!

Verses used:  Matthew 2:1-12, Matthew 2:16.

Key verse:  Matthew 2:1-12

1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet:

                  6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
            Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah;
            For out of you shall come forth a Ruler
            Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.” 9 After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.

Sermon Notes:

1.     He was called Herod the Great because he was a great builder!  

2.     He built the impossible that defied nature!

3.     He built the first man-made harbor ever constructed in the history of the world, Caesarea.

4.     He took the temple in Jerusalem and did an amazing makeover that came to be known as one of the most beautiful buildings in the Roman Empire!

5.     He built a man-made mountain called the Herodian and put a fortified palace on top of it.

6.     He built a mountain fortress in the Dead Sea called Masada.

7.     Herod was so paranoid of losing his kingdom that he had his second wife and first three sons  executed! 

Some questions to consider this week:

1.     What was something you learned or what stood out to you from the sermon on Sunday?

2.     What is your favorite Christmas memory or tradition?

3.     What do the star, the Magi, the gifts, the homage, the hostility and the prophecy teach about the significance of Jesus?

4.     In your journey toward God, how are you like the Magi?  Unlike them?

5.     When, if ever, have you felt like Herod – struggling between your kingdom and Christ's?

6.     How can we be “stirring in” the sermon's verses into our lives this week?