Hanging By A Thread (Sermon Notes from 11/15/2015)

Are there areas in your life where you feel like giving up because you’re tired of struggling with them? Perhaps your health isn’t the best and you’re tired of doctors visits and taking medication. Are there family members who are difficult to get along with so you’re tempted to avoid them? Are there issues in your marriage where you’re just tired of trying to move forward so you’re quitting? Has God failed to answer some of your prayers so you’re giving up on Him and your faith? Is school so hard you’re ready to quit trying?


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Am I Religious? (Sermon Notes from 11/8/2015)


German economist and communist Karl Marx’s famous quote states that “religion is the opiate of the masses.” Gotquestions.com’s commentary on Marx says that when he made this statement, “he was denouncing religion in general by using ‘people’ in a demeaning sense to mean the poor, ignorant, and easily deceived. The essential argument of the ‘opium of the masses’ saying is that religion is for weak-minded and emotionally disturbed people who need a crutch to get through life. Atheists today make similar claims.”

Is Marx right? (more…)

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From Fearfulness to Faithfulness (November 1, 2015)

The church began in a culture that placed a lot of emphasis on the concept of honor/shame. It was the duty of every citizen to act it ways that brought honor to one’s family and the society in which they lived. Anyone who did this was accepted and perhaps even praised for their actions.  The opposite of this was acting in ways that brought shame to one’s family or society. Those who did this faced rejection and perhaps even death if the offense was serious enough.

This is the society in which the Apostle Paul lived. As the first century progressed, it became more and more offensive to the Romans for someone to be a Christian so the Roman authorities began persecuting them. This is why Paul wrote 2 Timothy from prison. In this letter, he writes that even though he is in chains for the Gospel, he is not ashamed (2 Timothy 1:1-14). He also encourages Timothy to continue in his work for Jesus and to rely on the leading of the Holy Spirit.

We live in a modern society that is becoming more hostile to Jesus. The question we have to wrestle with is: Are we  ashamed of Jesus or are we willing to take a stand for him and share the Gospel with others?


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Jesus, Friend of Sinners (Sermon Outline for October 25, 2015)

When we interact with people both inside and outside of the congregational setting, do we treat them like they are welcome in God’s Kingdom?

In Luke 15:1-7, the Pharisees condemned Jesus because he “welcomes sinners and eats with them.” This comment reveals the Pharisees attitudes towards people who didn’t strive to maintain purity in every area of their lives. They believed that faithful Jews should follow the Old Testament purity laws as close as possible even though the Law only required the priests to keep them.

In our modern society, where family meals are slowly becoming a thing of the past, we miss the importance of Jesus’ actions when he ate with sinners. In his book Religious No More , Mark Baker writes: “table fellowship played a central role in Jesus’ life and teaching. In that era, the Pharisees had brought even more than normal attention to the table. They sought to eat every meal to the degree of purity observed by officiating priests in the temple. Every Jew did not follow all the rules for purity that the Pharisees prescribed. There was, however, some spillover effect even if just in a heightened awareness of the issues. In the Pharisees’ campaign to return holiness to Israel they used table fellowship as ‘the major vehicle of social and religious ostracism….To share a meal with a person was an expression of acceptance; to refuse to share a meal symbolized disapproval and rejection.”


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Taming the Tongue

Do your realize your tongue has affected every person you’ve come into contact with today?

Although the tongue is a small part of our body, it wields tremendous power because of the words it speaks. We can use our tongue for good, such as praising God and encouraging other people. We can also use it for evil, such as cursing, gossiping, and being sarcastic. Out of the same mouth comes both praises and curses (James 3:1-12).

The reason we do this is because “the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Luke 6:45). If our heart is full of gratitude and love, our words will be uplifting and positive. If our hearts are hard and full of evil, then complaining, curses and sarcasm will come out of our mouths. Think about the words you have spoken today. What do they reveal about your heart?


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An Unspoken Reality – Dealing with Domestic Violence (Sermon Notes from October 11, 2015)

Domestic violence is a serious issue in our American society. Sadly, it is also present in the church.

According to domesticviolence.org, “domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other.” Examples of abuse include: name calling and putdowns (How many times have Christians done this?), keeping a partner from contacting their family and friends, withholding money, stopping a partner from getting or keeping a job, actual or threatened physical harm, sexual assault, stalking and intimidation.

The statistics regarding domestic violence are startling. According to domesticviolencestatistics.org:


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Is Grace Enough? (Sermon Notes from October 4, 2015)

What is God’s grace? It is “the unmerited favor of God in which he unconditionally loves us, forgives us and reconciles us to himself.” When we accept it, Jesus comes to live in us so we can be who we never thought we could be.

Ephesians 2:1-10 explains how God’s grace benefits us. We were once dead in our transgressions and sins. This also meant we were separated from God and were destined to receive God’s wrath. But in His mercy, God raised us up with Jesus Christ and redeemed us.

As we live our lives in a world that is full of temptations and difficulties, is God’s grace enough for us? Or, do we want something more? Our attitudes and emotions can answer these questions for us. Do we typically have an attitude of thankfulness to God because of what He has done for us or are we more often than not angry, frustrated and lacking faith? It is so easy to take our eyes off God and start concentrating on our problems.


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Expectations – Sermon Outline for 9/27/2015

Opening Question: When you think about the ministries we currently have in our congregation as well as the direction you would like to see us take in the future, what criteria do you use to make your decisions? Are they based on what’s best for the congregation – or what’s best for you and your family? (Of course, sometimes what’s best for you is what’s best for the congregation. But, what if it isn’t?)

1) The Christians at Corinth were struggling with divisions and controversies in their congregation, including the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:17-34). Based on historical research, it appears the wealthy members of the congregation were eating choice foods and drinking wine in the dining room and were not sharing it with the poorer members of the congregation who were relegated to the atrium area of the house where they were meeting.  Paul chastised them for acting like this because in the church there are to be no social or ethnic boundaries.

2) To help them understand this, he reminded the rich Christians that Jesus Christ shed his blood and broke His body for them as well as for the poorer members of the church. As a result of the sacrifice Jesus made for them, they needed to realize God expected them to act better than this because when they sinned against other people, they are also sinning against the Lord. Because of these sinful habits, some of them were weak and sick and God had even removed some of them through death.

3) This passage shows God also has the following expectations for us as well: A) We are to put the good of the body (that is the church) above our own personal wants and desires. And B) We are to take our sin seriously because God certainly does. (more…)

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Greetings everyone,

Here is the sermon outline from Sunday (9/20/15). I realize it’s a bit complicated so contact me if you have any questions.

1) Luke, the author of Acts, opens Acts with a reminder that his previous book (Luke) told all that Jesus did and taught.
– Our salvation is based on what Jesus did, not what he said or thought.

2) We need to understand Luke before we can truly understand Acts.
-Luke 4:14-30 is Jesus’ first recorded sermon in Luke. In this passage,
he states He is the fulfillment of Isaiah 61:1-2a. (more…)

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Living in Peace

Here is the outline for yesterday’s sermon from John 14:15-31 about “Living in Peace”:

1) The world defines peace as: freedom from war, tranquility, mental calm, harmony, peace treaty and law and order.

2) Although there are times when we experience some worldly peace, for the most part it doesn’t happen because life is difficult and the world is full of sinful people.

3) Jesus said He offers us peace but His peace is different from the world’s definition of peace. His peace is “shalom” which means wholeness, completeness, health, security and even prosperity. (Vs. 27) (more…)

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