Jude Extra

Over the past few Sunday evenings, we have been studying the short letter of Jude.  One aspect of the letter that we have looked at is the comparisons between 2 Peter and Jude.  This past Sunday I displayed a chart to use for comparing the two.  Several people have asked for it so I am including it below.  
Jude 2 Peter
4 2:1
6 2:4
7 2:6
8 2:10
9 2:11
10 2:12
11 2:15
12 2:17
13 2:17
16 2:18
17 2 Peter 3:2
18 2 Peter 3:3
“Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.” (Jude 21)
Blessings,
 
Pastor Steven


Pleasing Him

“Pleasing Him – John 8:29”  
 
All too often we do things that please ourselves.  We might even be tempted to please other people to gain their favor.  Much of this line of thinking comes from our sin natures as well as worldly influence.  However, followers of Jesus Christ are supposed to be different.  In fact, we are to model our lives after the very One who redeemed our lives.
 
In the gospels, we quickly and repeatedly see Jesus’ desire to please the Father alone.  For example, in John 8:29 Jesus states that “I always do the things that are pleasing to him.”  Jesus was completely consumed with a desire to please God and to fulfill His will.  This is miraculous for several reasons, but especially since one of the Father’s desires was for him to provide salvation through his sacrificial death (John 8:28).
 
Part of doing what pleases God is spending time with Him each day.  When we do this we better understand what He has for us to do in this life.  In our society today, we have many things that distract and pull us away from time alone with the LORD. 
 
Why not pray to Him today asking that your heart’s desire be to know Him and to do what pleases Him?  Then, stay focused on His will which will always please Him.  

 

Blessings,
 
Pastor Steven


Moving Too Slowly

Today, we live in a culture that has grown accustomed to quick sound bites, short videos, and one-minute solutions.  With the advancement in technology, we do not have to wait on many things that used to require us to.  This has led to what we often hear called the “culture of instant gratification”, etc. 
 
The Bible teaches and encourages us, however, that there is also a need to be patient and wait on the Lord (Psalm 27:14).  Waiting on the Lord is something we all encounter at different points in life.  There are times while waiting on the Lord that it appears He is moving slowly.  However, we know that God works in His own time and way, all for His purposes and glory. 
 
Waiting on the Lord requires that we trust Him and not rush ahead.  Two key words with regards to waiting on the Lord are “trust” and “patience.”  The Bible is filled with examples of people that missed out on the Lord’s best by rushing ahead of God (ex. Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 16).
 
If you are waiting on the Lord today, or any time in the future, read and pray through the following verses.  Then, rest in knowing that it only appears God is moving too slowly.  In reality, He is moving everything exactly in accordance with His perfect timing.
 
Psalm 37:34; Proverbs 20:22; Isaiah 25:9; Lamentations 3:25-26; Hebrews 6:15.  
 
Blessings,
Pastor Steven


Daniel Extras – Part 5

Currently, our Sunday evening sermon series is on the book of Daniel.  Below are some extra resources related to the next two messages on the Seventy Weeks of Daniel.

  1. What is meant by the Seventy Weeks of Daniel?
 
  1. A great article dealing with options to calculate the 70 Weeks?
 
  1. This is helpful in looking at ten key things related to the 70 weeks.
 
  1. Brief summary videos.
 
Blessings,  
Pastor Steven


Passover and the Lord’s Supper

This past Sunday we had the great privilege of observing the Lord’s Supper.  Our scripture was from 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 where Paul speaks of Christ Jesus as our Passover.  We looked at a few parallels between Passover and the Lord’s Supper during the message.  Several people have asked for the chart that we used, so I am providing it below.

Exodus 12 – Passover Jesus
12:1-2 – Feast marked a new year and beginning for the people 2 Cor. 5:17 – Believer is a New Creation.  Old life replaced with a new life in Christ.
12:5 – A spotless male lamb was sacrificed. 1 Peter 1:19 – Jesus was with Lamb slain without blemish.
12:7,12, 22 – The blood from the sacrificed lamb was placed on the door post.  The blood covering spared them from God’s judgment.
John 1:29; Rom. 3:25 – Jesus blood covers (justifies) us and removes sin.
*Hebrews 10:1-18 – Jesus was the final sacrifice.
12:14 – Passover was kept to remember what God had done for the people. Luke 22:19 – Lord’s Supper done to remember what the Lord had done for them.
Finally, you might find these two articles helpful as well.
 
Blessings,
Pastor Steven


Every Thought

“Every Thought” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
 
What we think about throughout each day is important.  In time, these thoughts will come out in both our words and actions.  When our minds begin to become saturated with carnal and worldly thinking, it will come out in what we do and say.  This idea is similar to what Jesus stated in Matthew 12:34.  There, he states that what comes out of the mouth flows from our hearts. 
 
In 2 Corinthians 10, Paul transitions from writing in a warm and loving way to defending himself and his ministry against opponents (see also 2 Corinthians 11:13, too).  Rather than resorting to human forms of warfare, Paul states that Christians should choose to use spiritual weapons (Ephesians 6:10-18).  These weapons are primarily the Word of God and prayer.
 
In 2 Corinthians 10:5, one specific area that Paul mentions that we choose to have control over is our thinking.  We must not allow carnal or worldly thinking such as lust, greed, anger, revenge, etc. to take over.  Instead, we must choose to stop thinking these types of thoughts and submit all of our thoughts over to Christ’s total control.
 
When a wrong type of thinking comes to your mind, prayer and bringing to mind scripture will help you overcome the wrong thinking.  We do not have enough strength in ourselves to overcome sinful thoughts.  See Psalm 139:23, Proverbs 4:23, Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:22-32, and Philippians 4:8 the next time you need to bring a thought under Christ’s control.
 
Blessings,
 
Pastor Steven


1 Thessalonians – A Few Resources

1 Thessalonians – A Few Resources  
 
Recently, we began a new sermon series on Sunday morning entitled “Living in the Light of the Lord’s return.”  The series is based on Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians.  Below is a list of several resources that you might find helpful during our series.  
 
“For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?  For you are our glory and joy.” (1 Thessalonians 2:19-20, NASB)  
Blessings,  
 
Pastor Steven


“Abundance of Things – Luke 12:15”

Jesus was often asked to intervene to help solve problems. Such was the case in Luke 12:13-15 prior to telling a parable about a rich man. A man from among the crowd asked Jesus to solve a family problem related to inheritance. Instead of answering the question, Jesus deals with the real issue which was a person’s heart in regards to greed, money, and possessions.   Essentially, Jesus asked him what is more important in life. Were money, possessions, and the things of this world most important? The problem Jesus points out is that no amount of money or possessions can truly satisfy the soul of a person. So no matter how much inheritance they received, it would never satisfy them. One reason is that man is often covetous which reflects a heart of discontentment. Being covetousness simply means we want for things we do not have.         
To explain this point better, Jesus tells a short parable in Luke 12:16-21. The parable shows that a man can have many things in this world, but be poor to God.   Are you laying up treasures on Earth while remaining poor of heavenly riches (Matthew 6:19-21)? Are you content with what the Lord has already given you (Hebrews 13:5)? Why not take time to thank the Lord for what He has already provided for you.  
 
Blessings,   Pastor Steven


Resurrection Reading & Videos

On Sunday, April 21 we will be celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Jesus stated before his death that he would rise again on the third day (Matthew 28:6).  Furthermore, Paul states that the resurrection is vital to the Christian faith (1 Cor. 15:14).  With such an important time of the year approaching, I wanted to provide you with some suggested reading to prepare your hearts for this great day.  Below you will find a list of reading related to our Lord’s resurrection.  Also, I included a few links of some videos that you might like.    

May the Lord bless you and encourage your hearts because our Savior lives today.   

Blessings,

Pastor Steven



Seventy Times Seven

“Seven Times Seventy” (Matthew 18:21-35)   The ability to forgive is an attribute that is essential for a disciple of Jesus Christ. Peter asked Jesus how many times he would need to forgive someone. The Rabbinic tradition was that you needed to do so three times. Although Peter assumed seven times would be adequate, Jesus taught him that there were no limits set on how often we are to forgive.   To help the disciples better understand this, Jesus teaches them using a parable. There was a servant of the king who owed a debt so large that he could never pay it back. When asked to pay it, he pleaded with his master to give him more time to repay the debt. Because of the master’s great mercy, he forgave all of his debt.   However, the servant then went out and found another servant who owed him just a small amount. When the second servant asked for time to repay, the first servant refused and threw him into prison. When his master learned of this, he jailed the first servant for his unwillingness to forgive even though he had been forgiven so much himself.   Jesus teaches us that we have had all of our sins forgiven by God’s great mercy. This serves as our model for forgiving others. We need to be willing to forgive, no matter how many times it is needed.   Is there someone you need to forgive? Let us be a people who know no limits to forgiveness.   Blessings,   Pastor Steven