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Sunday, October 25, 2020

Disciples in Danger: The Danger of Isolation

Sunday School @ 9:30 / Worship @ 10:30

Christians, we're in a battle. The world wants to conform you to its ways: "sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. . . . " (Galatians 5:19b-21a NLT). The world will tell you that this is the path to happiness, that this is part of being normal and it's what normal people do. The world will tell you that there is no reason to live a better life, because the best life is found in these sinful practices. 

We know this to be a lie. The Lord has "set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it." (Deuteronomy 30:15-16 ESV).

The ways of the world lead to death and destruction. In the Lord, we have life and a fulfillment that we can never find anywhere else (John 10:10). In Him we have a hopeful future, but apart from the saving blood of Jesus we only have our own destruction. 

To win this battle, all we need to do is join the winning side. Trusting in God will not lead us to ruin but to peace. This battle we face is one against sin. We feel these temptations every day and just when we start to feel like it's too much, we pray, because: "God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." (1 Corinthians 10:13).

To win this battle, we must surrender. Surrendering sounds like losing to outsiders. But to those who are in Christ, we know that crucifying my own selfish, evil desires is the only path to Jesus. After all, "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." (Galatians 5:24-25 NIV). 

Pray with me, that we can together be instrumental in the mission of Jesus to "seek and save the lost" wherever they may be. (Luke 19:10).

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Soak in the Psalms: Psalm 16

Sorry, no sound on this upload. Will try to resolve in the coming days.

Mid-Week Bible Study is back with Psalm 16 -- Hope you can join us in this study and I pray that it will bless you in your walk with Christ. Live at 6:30 or come back here later to catch it when you can!

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Disciples in Danger: The Danger of a Prideful Heart

Pride can be a two-edged sword. I don't think it's out of line to have some pride in your work or to be proud of your kids or your grandkids. Pride can drive us to look inside and out and think of ways that we can be better citizens, better people, and better Christians. Pride can drive us to put some more effort into things we want to be better at. Pride can push us beyond our limits we thought we had: it can make us run one more mile, do one more push-up, or never quit trying to do something we'd always said we would do.

But pride can also be dangerous. Left unchecked, pride and ambition can become arrogance and entitlement. Unchecked pride and lead to a grand view of "self" and a small view of God. Pride can lead us to look down on others and to neglect the opportunities to help or to serve. Pride can leave us ignorant, because we think we already know. Pride can leave us empty, because we think we are already full. Unchecked, pride can carry further away from a relationship with Jesus than we ever thought possible.

Nevertheless, we are never too far from His reach.

How do we keep pride in its place? We continually remind ourselves of the grace of God. Staying grateful will keep you humble. Thanking and praising God will keep you from thinking you've done it by yourself. God's grace, His love, and His Son sustains us (Heb. 1:3). When you've resisted temptation, take pride in the fact that you were able to finally trust in God to deliver you (James 1:12). Have some joy in the knowledge that the ones you love are saved (3 John 1:4). 

Yet, resist the prideful way of thinking that leads to selfishness (James 3:14) so that you may learn to "walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8).

Thursday, October 15, 2020


Just a snippet from our study from last night in case you missed it. A saving faith leads to a transformed heart that manifests itself not only in the obedience of coming to the cross in baptism, but also in living out the Gospel.

Do you live according to the rule of the Kingdom of God, or do the powers of this world rule in your heart?

Tuesday, October 13, 2020


We need each other. Sometimes, more than we are ready to admit. But, a friend with a kind word or a helping hand can be just what we need and not even realize it. Be the friend that reaches out.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Disciples in Danger: Avoiding Idolatry

When you hear about idolatry, you might think about the golden calf at the bottom of Mount Sinai or you might think of the temples to the Greek gods and goddesses we read about in Acts. These sorts of idols aren't the kinds of things we encounter in our daily life. But, this isn't the only form of idolatry that the Bible warns us about.
I hope you can join us this morning as we dig a little deeper into God's Word, with worship service starting at 10:30!


Monday, October 5, 2020


I'm tired of the masks. Everywhere you turn, everywhere you go there are people in masks. I wish there was some way that a masks wouldn't be necessary, but for so many people they are just that. They make us feel safe, we feel comfortable, and we feel like we can fit in with the rest of the crowd. But masks can very easily be our undoing.

We see what sort of company we keep when we wear a mask:

"For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve." (2 Cor 11:13-15)

Jesus accused the religious people of His day of wearing a mask. They would parade around in masks made of religiousness, pretending to care for the laws of God, for the poor, for the lost. But really, they didn't care much beyond making sure their religion was seen by others. They didn't put others' interests before their own. They didn't sacrificially love one another and give to those in need. They didn't let the law of God penetrate their hearts, melt that rough exterior, and really love people. Jesus called us to love and He showed us how to love in His life and in His words. 

The antidote to hypocrisy is authenticity.

Some people wear a mask because what they really think or how they really feel isn't acceptable in "polite society". Don't let society be the judge, for "There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy." (James 4:12). No, society isn't our judge to tell us what is right is what is wrong. Instead, "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." (2 Pt 1:3). 

Therefore, judge "for yourselves what is right" (Luke 12:57) and if this judgement doesn't line up with what is revealed in God's word maybe it's time for a heart-check.

Ask yourself if you need to wear a mask to hide a sinful thought, wouldn't it be better to repent and to be authentic?

How are you showing the love of God to others?

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Disciples Making Disciples: Mission Sunday

Motivation matters. Jesus's teaching shows us that just as in our day, there were people in His day that were more interested in receiving the praise of the people around them than they were about honoring God. Our worship to God is very personal, but it is not always private. With this public nature of our singing praises to God and praying to Him, comes the risk that we can be more interested in the good feelings we get from it than humbling ourselves before our God and Judge.

Jesus addressed this one way in the passage we have been discussing these last few weeks. In Matthew 6, Jesus is giving His Sermon on Mount and He warns us against the dangers of a public display. Jesus says that when we fast to be seen, that is, when our heart is not in the right place, we forgo any rest and reward God would have for us in the New Age. Instead, Jesus says, "they have received their reward in full".

Another time Jesus gives us this warning is in Luke 18. Here, Jesus tells of a man so proud in all that he had done and is doing for the Lord, all he seems to do is boast about the good work he has done. He compares himself, wrongly, to the man next to him. This was a man who was humble and conscious of his sin and his state before the Lord. Jesus explains in Luke 18:14 that it is the humble heart that receives forgiveness.

Motivation matters. It's not simply that the work of the Lord in the here and now cannot be discussed. In fact, the opposite is true. This morning, we will look at a few passages that news of the Lord working through the church is to be shared and celebrated. Let us give glory to God, "sing praise to him; tell of his wonderful acts." Psalm 105:2. An outsider might look at all the things Paul was doing for the church, but by Paul's own humble words we know that it is the Lord's doing (Acts 21:19).

So, when you have a chance in the coming week, know that when you share with a friend or a stranger some of the mighty ways God is working in your life, that when your heart is in the right place you are serving to bring others to His glory.