Acts 18:1-28 Worship Guide
Acts 17:16-34 Worship Guide
Acts 17:1-15 Worship Guide Sermon PDF Written Sermon: Last week Emily and I went to our granddaughter Reese’s graduation from pre-school. Though it was a low-key affair, there was still a lot of anticipation and excitement as eyes of proud parents fixated on their little ones as they took their places on stage to sing. Behind them was a colorful paper curtain with all their names written on it. Above their names were the words, “Moving On.” Being that Reese…
The Gates of Hell Will Not Prevail Last week we examined the question, How do we make inroads with the gospel living in a foreign culture? We began to see how Paul and Silas made Jesus known by submitting to unjust suffering. In our text this week we will see how God vindicates his servants through prayer and praise. As Peter later wrote, “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” (1 Peter 5:10-11). God never abandons his servants!
Acts 16:16–25 Worship Guide Sermon PDF Written Sermon: Today we are continuing our pilgrimage with Paul and his companions on his second missionary journey. Since our middle school band is leading us in worship today, I thought it would be appropriate to look at our text today through the lens of Timothy, who was probably in his late teens when he joined the team. Growing up in a predominantly female household, Timothy probably had a deep longing for a man…
Closed Doors, New Horizons In our text this Sunday, Paul, Silas and Timothy launch out into new territory to advance the gospel, but with no real sense of direction. Whichever way they turn the road is blocked for more than 200 miles. Given that Paul had a clear and proven strategy plus an exceptional team, it seems strange that the only divine direction they get is negative. They seem caught in a liminal space, the space in-between the “tried and true” and a new beginning. It is an uncomfortable place to be with no clear direction, but from a Biblical perspective these times are essential for our spiritual formation. If we embrace them, they deepen and matures us in ways our that our fervent activities cannot and lead us to new thresholds of opportunity.
When Leaders Disagree In Psalm 133 the psalmist joyously proclaims, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together as one!” This was Jesus’ overriding prayer for his disciples – “that they may be one even as we are one… so that the world may know that you sent me” (John 17:21-23). When the Holy Spirit was unleashed on the day of Pentecost the dream came true – the disciples shared all of life “together” with one mind and heart. Then suddenly a rupture occurs at the highest level of leadership. Emotions get heated, tempers rise and a fissure erupts with leaders parting ways. What drives leaders to disagree? How should it be handled? What does God do when things are not resolved amicably.
Like Walking Trees Once a person comes to faith, how does one continue to live and grow in faith? This Sunday we have a guest speaker who will share on this key idea for the spiritual life from the book of Colossians. Bruce Hindmarsh is the professor of Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, BC, and his main area of research is Evangelical Spirituality. Bruce and his wife, Carolyn, have been with the staff for a retreat this week. We have been so blessed by his time with us and are thrilled he will be speaking this Sunday. Check out this short video to get to know him a bit.
“Are we finally there!?” This is often the question that follows the “Are we there yet?” question in most long family car rides. While the Israelites and Joshua have come a long way, they still aren’t ‘there’ when it comes to fully inheriting the Promised Land. This Sunday, our final Sunday in the Joshua series for 2018, we will see Joshua lead the people in a covenantal renewal ceremony of sorts, before they continue the conquest of the land. We, like the Israelites, are in daily need of renewal. The good news is, we have good news!! In Jesus and the omnipresent Spirit, we have all we need at our disposal to be daily renewed and to arrive ‘there,’ living in the Presence of our King!
Ai… Take Two! After the miraculous victory at Jericho in Joshua 6 came the devastating defeat at Ai in chapter 7. The sin of Achan was dealt with, but as chapter 8 begins, Ai is still standing in the way of the conquest of the land. There’s no way around it. How do the people of Israel rebound after the defeat? Failing to obey the Lord will lead us to defeats similar to Israel’s. How do we face up to the same spiritual enemy a second time when we totally blew it the first time around?
Dealing with the High Cost of Sinning As we resume our studies in Joshua, the people of Israel are ready to move forward after the miraculous victory God had given them at Jericho. The next stronghold, Ai, doesn’t appear to amount to much, after all, what’s so remarkable about a place whose name means “ruin”? Israel doesn’t simply lose the battle, they are routed, all on account of one man’s sin and his bet that he could somehow prevent his actions from ever seeing the light of day. Together we’ll discover from the story of Achan what’s involved in dealing with the high cost of sinning.
The Living One He has risen! The man who was dead and buried on Friday, was alive on Sunday morning. He is the living one! And because he is the living one, life wins! God wins! The good news of Easter is that God wins, but, also, that those who are in Christ will win too! That’s what Paul is trying to get across in his resurrection chapter, 1 Corinthians 15. We will soak in verses 20-28 this Sunday, but I encourage you to read the entire chapter in preparation.