Sunday Morning 7/8 – Acts 9:31
Characteristics of Growing Churches
Sunday Evening 7/8 – John 14:1-12
The Trinity Revealed
Wednesday Evening 7/4 – 2 Kings 25:22-30
A Light in Dark Times
“But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.” -Malachi 4:2
Yes, when the sun shines, the sick quit their chambers and walk abroad to breathe the fresh air. When the sun brings spring and summer, the cattle quit their stalls and seek pasture on the higher Alps. Even thus, when we have conscious fellowship with our Lord, we leave the stall of despondency and walk abroad in the fields of holy confidence. We ascend to the mountains of joy and feed on sweet pasturage which grows nearer heaven than the provender of carnal men.
To “go forth” and to “grow up” is a double promise. O my soul, be thou eager to enjoy both blessings! Why shouldst thou be a prisoner? Arise, and walk at liberty. Jesus saith that His sheep shall go in and out and find pasture; go forth, then, and feed in the rich meadows of boundless love.
Why remain a babe in grace? Grow up. Young calves grow fast, especially if they are stall fed; and thou hast the choice care of thy Redeemer. Grow, then, in grace and in knowledge of thy Lord and Savior, Be neither straitened nor stunted. The Sun of Righteousness has risen upon thee Answer to His beams as the buds to the natural sun. Open thine heart; expand and grow up into Him in all things.
[from Faith’s Checkbook by Charles H. Spurgeon]
“Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—” -1 Peter 2:2
“We own more Bibles than we’ll ever use, but we’re slowly starving to death because we’ve lost our appetite for Scripture.” -Krish Kandiah via a retweet by TGC_IO on Twitter
The gospel celebrates God’s grip on us, not our grip on God. We grow, therefore, when we focus on Christ’s work for us not our work for him! –Tullian Tchividjian
Reading Boundless’ plug for Next this morning made we want to hop to Baltimore in the snow right now. I can’t wait!
Sunday School | 2 Peter 1:1-11 | Bro. Steve Dawson
“…Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.” -2 Peter 1:5-9
-This is Peter’s last letter. He is writing about what concerns him most. He is looking out for the brotherhood and wrote to expose false teachers.
-vs. 1- The ground is level at the cross! By Christ’s righteousness, we stand!
-vs. 3- His power has granted us everything we need to live a godly life to glorify Him. (Jesus’ full power is our sufficiency and enables our perseverance). [John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:15-20) It’s all His. He gives us what we need to fulfill what He’s called us to do.
-vs. 4- Think about His very great and precious promises. He will sustain us through everything.
Divine Nature>Maturing Christian Life
-vs. 5-7- Multi-step process:
virtue=desire to be morally excellent, desire to be more Christ-like
knowledge=Scripturally applied knowledge
self-control=controlling personal desires through the working of the Holy Spirit
godliness=be like Jesus
brotherly affection=1 John 3:14; love being around Christians
love=love like God loves: full and sacrificial (Missionaries have a sacrificial love for others, even those who aren’t saved)
*When all of these are fulfilled, we have no need for rules and regulations.
-vs. 8-9- without these qualities, one can still be saved, but they have forgotten what Christ has done for them
*Progressing in these things provides evidence and assurance of salvation.
Morning Worship | Colossians 4:7-18 | Pastor Steve Wainright
“…They have been a comfort to me.” -Colossians 4:11
*Friends: they influence you and you influence them. Choose your friends wisely.
-Paul chose his friends wisely, surrounding himself with a strong support system.
-Tychicus=man with a message (vs. 7-8); responsible for delivering messages and, therefore, preserving God’s Word
Are you being faithful in delivering the Gospel with which you have been entrusted?
–Onesimus=man with a past (vs. 9); a fugitive slave who had stolen from his master, Philemon; Paul is sending him back to Philemon in Colossae, a small town where people would probably talk about him [Philemon 10-20: Paul pleads Onesimus’ case…God brought Onesimus to Paul to be led to the Lord!]
We all have a past. Have you been forgiven?
-Aristarchus=stuck with Paul through thick and thin, willing to go in chains for the sake of the Gospel (vs. 10); Acts 19:29, Acts 27:2, Galatians 6
Are you a faithful friend willing to bear the burdens of others and stick with them during the very difficult times?
-Mark=deserted Paul; though Mark failed, the Lord gave him a second chance and used him with Barnabas (2 Timothy 4:11 shows Mark progressed in faith)
-Jesus/Justus=a Jew (vs. 11); Did he live up to his name? (Matthew 1:21)
Do you live up to your name as a Christian?
-Epaphras=Gentile Pastor from Colossae who was seeking Paul’s advice; had a great zeal for his flock (vs. 12-13); His zeal for the Lord created a zeal for his people; Prayer crosses all kinds of boundaries. He was in touch with his congregation through the throne of grace! agonizomi=agonized in prayer
Do you exhaust yourself in praying? You can reach hard hearts through the throne of grace. Do you have zeal for the glory of God?
-Luke=Paul’s beloved doctor (vs. 14); Paul had no bounds in sharing the Gospel (2 Corinthians 12:9); Luke was the first medical missionary; He used his talents for God’s glory (Acts 16:8-10)
Do you use the abilities God has given you to glorify Him?
-Demas=loved the world more than he loved God; formerly a fellow-laborer, seen in Philemon); 2 Timothy 4:10- turned his back on the truth
Do you love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength? (Deuteronomy 6:5)
Evening Service | Exodus 37:1-29 | Pastor Steve Wainright
“Consequently, He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” -Hebrews 7:25
Items in the Tabernacle:
1)Ark of the Covenant (vs. 1-9)
—-Inside the ark of the covenant: (1)manna: to remind that God provides (2)Aaron’s staff: to show God’s rule and authority (3)Law: to remind of God’s covenant and promises, showing Him as both Lord and Savior
—-On top: (1)Mercy seat with cherubim (Psalm 80:1, Psalm 99:1)- Shows God reigns in Heaven and earth (2)Blood: covered sin and appeased God’s wrath, showing He is a God of justice, mercy and forgiveness
2)Table of Showbread (vs. 10-16)- shows God provides and also shows He has fellowship with us
3)The Lampstand (vs. 17-24)- to continually give light, showing that God reveals things and illuminates; like an almond tree, represening life
4)Altar of Incense (vs. 25-29)- incense represents prayers (Revelation 8:3); shows God hears and answers prayers
*Our Tabernacle today is Jesus Christ. He is all we need. (1 John 2:2; Romans 3:25>Greek for propitiation=mercy seat; Christ is our mercy seat!)
—He is our sustenance (Bread of Life); He is the Light of the world (John 8:12, 1:4); He ever intercedes for us (Hebrews 7:25)
****All these types point to Christ!
Sunday School Devotion | Matthew 1-2 | Bro. Wayne Sparks
“…He did as the angel of the Lord commanded him…” -Matthew 1:24
Joseph was the first adoptive father. He was obedient to the Word of God and the Lord provided for them at the first baby shower in the Bible: Matthew 2:11!
Sunday School | Esther 8-10 | Bro. Steve Dawson
Read Esther 8 to find a lot of parallels to the Gospel!
1) vs. 8- When we sin, God puts a seal that cannot be humanly reversed. (Ezekiel 4:9, James 2:10, Romans 2:12…)
2) vs. 9- Like Mordecai sent the message out (hastily), we should do the same. vs. 10- The Gospel message is a message that has the irreversible stamp of the King. (Matthew 28:19, Ephesians 1:18, Ephesians 4:30)
3) vs. 10-14- There was an escape made through the blood of Christ (Romans 5:16-17)
4) vs. 15-17- Rejoice in your salvation as the Jews did. (Luke 10:19, John 16:22, Revelation 12:12)
Sunday Morning | Colossians 3:12 | Pastor Steve Wainright
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience…” -Colossians 3:12
Because of Christ’s great love in choosing us, we change our stinky clothes (Romans 13:14).
Character Traits of a Christian:
1)Bowels of Mercy=Compassion (a deep concern and inward affection that moves us to action).
Touch the untouchable. Embrace the unembraceable. Love the unloveable.
2)Kindness=treating people with honor and respect no matter how they treat you.
Attain this by acknowledging the sovereignty of God and recognizing His great grace!
4)Meekness=gentleness; soft and calm…lower your voice! A soft answer turns away wrath.
5)Longsuffering=taking a long time to get hot=patient
Give someone time and room to grow. Look at how patient God has been with you!
Sunday Evening | Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 | Missionary John Mark Hatcher
“Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, ’Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’” -Matthew 13:30
Stop judging. We are not the judges, we are the rescuers. God did not call us to make everybody stop smoking, drinking, etc., He called us to spread the Good News!
Jesus dropped us into the dirt. We are the seeds He has scattered! How many friends do you have outside of your church? Drop in the soil. You never know who God is going to save. It will be miserable for you in the soil.
Sprout up and bloom!
Seek to live a life that adorns the Gospel…that attracts people and makes them want what you have. Be careful not to be tempted while in the soil. Strengthen your walk with Christ.
The Lord will gather in those He has redeemed!