New Life Gillette Church Teachings

New Life Gillette Church

Listen to the teachings from New Life Gillette Church in Gillette, WY where they invite you to come as you are and become who God created you to be. read less
Religion & SpiritualityReligion & Spirituality

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Saved By Faith
3d ago
Saved By Faith
Galatians: Rescued & Recruited - Week 2   New, Life, Gillette, Church, Bible, Mike, Wilson, Wyoming, Grace, Salvation, GalatiansDespite the trials and tribulations many of us face, it's crucial to remember that joy is a choice. While it's okay to grieve and struggle, we mustn't allow ourselves to remain stuck in negativity. Instead, we must actively choose joy, celebrating the good things that God is doing in our lives. The Gospel: Good News Indeed Galatians‬ ‭2‬:‭17-20‬ 17 But suppose we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then we are found guilty because we have abandoned the law. Would that mean Christ has led us into sin? Absolutely not! 18 Rather, I am a sinner if I rebuild the old system of law I already tore down. 19 For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. 20 My old self has been crucified with Christ.a]">[a] It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. The Christian message is often referred to as the gospel, which simply means "good news." Unlike other religions that preach a message of works-based salvation, Christianity offers a radically different perspective. In Christ, we find freedom from the burden of trying to earn our way to Heaven. Instead, salvation is a gift bestowed upon us by a gracious and loving God. Living by Faith, Not by Works In the past, many of us may have fallen into the trap of trying to earn God's favor through adherence to religious laws and regulations. However, as the Apostle Paul eloquently explains in Galatians, our righteousness does not come from our own efforts to obey the law. Rather, it comes from placing our faith in Jesus Christ, who lived a perfect life on our behalf. Understanding the Role of Faith Faith is more than just acknowledging the existence of God; it's about trusting in Him for our salvation. Just as believing a doctor's diagnosis of cancer is only the first step towards healing, so too is believing in Jesus Christ the initial step towards salvation. It's not our belief that saves us, but rather God's grace working through our faith. Contrasting Christianity with Other Belief Systems Unlike the ladder-climbing mentality prevalent in many other religions, Christianity offers a unique message of grace and redemption. While other belief systems emphasize human effort and merit, Christianity proclaims that salvation is a free gift available to all who place their trust in Jesus Christ. Rejecting Legalism and Embracing Grace ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭3‬:‭1‬-‭4
On A Team
Apr 8 2024
On A Team
Galatians - Rescued & Recruited - Week 1 Joining the Team: Discovering Your Purpose Welcome to the kickoff of our new teaching series, "Galatians: Rescued and Recruited." Today, we dive into the profound message of this ancient letter and explore what it means to be part of a team. But first, let's unpack the backstory. Meet the Author: The Apostle Paul The book of Galatians is a letter penned by none other than the Apostle Paul, a towering figure in the early Christian movement. Paul, formerly known as Saul, underwent a radical transformation from a persecutor of Christians to a passionate follower of Jesus. Despite not being one of the original 12 disciples, Paul received a special commission from Jesus himself, making him an apostle. Acts 9:1-6Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers.a]">[a] So he went to the high priest. 2 He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them—both men and women—back to Jerusalem in chains. 3 As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” 5 “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! 6 Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” Understanding the Context The church in Galatia faced a pressing issue: the temptation to blend legalism with Christianity. Paul's letter serves as a corrective, reminding them that salvation isn't about adherence to laws but about faith in Christ. Like the Galatians, we're often tempted to add rules to our faith, but Paul's message remains relevant today: in Christ, we are all one team. Rescued and Recruited Becoming a Christian isn't just about being saved; it's about being recruited into a team with a purpose. While praying a salvation prayer marks the beginning of our journey, it's only the first step. We must also consider what we're saved from and what we're saved for. Just as an investor asks what we're saving for, God saves us from death, offers us new life, and calls us to a mission. Galatians 3:28
Easter 2024 - He Paid Your Fine
Apr 2 2024
Easter 2024 - He Paid Your Fine
Easter 2024 Discovering the Path to Eternal Life Easter is more than just a holiday; it's the story of Jesus bridging the gap between Earth and Heaven. He walked among us, performed miracles, taught profound truths, faced crucifixion, conquered death, and ascended to Heaven. Today, I aim to address the most crucial question anyone can ask: What is the Way to Heaven? In a world that often preaches self-belief, the path to Heaven isn't found in ourselves. Belief in God is the key. Despite our efforts, our sinful nature renders us incapable of meeting Heaven's standards. Even a lifetime of perfection couldn't undo the sins we've already committed. Understanding Sin and Redemption Sin isn't just about committing egregious acts; it encompasses any deliberate deviation from God's plan, whether it's harming ourselves or others. Trying to justify ourselves as "good people" falls short because God sees through our façade. We can't deceive the ultimate Judge. The Sacrifice of Jesus The beauty of Christianity lies in Jesus taking our punishment upon himself. Just as someone can pay a speeding ticket fine on our behalf, Jesus bore the consequences of our sins on the cross. His sacrifice offers us redemption. Illustrating Redemption Imagine standing before Judge Judy, facing the consequences of your actions. Yet, just as she's about to pass judgment, she declares you free because someone else paid your fine. That's akin to what Jesus did for us on the cross. Visualizing Redemption Using a coffin as a metaphor, we illustrate the gravity of sin and the promise of salvation. Buried under layers of dirt, dead, and deprived of air, we're powerless to save ourselves. However, Jesus offers us new life and forgiveness through his death and resurrection. Embracing Salvation Romans 6:23 The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Salvation isn't earned through merit but received as a gift of grace. Our faith in God, not our deeds, secures our place in Heaven. We humbly accept this gift, acknowledging our inability to save ourselves. Accepting the Gift of Eternal Life By accepting our limitations and placing our trust in God, we ensure our eternal destiny. The empty cross symbolizes Jesus' victory over death and the assurance of our salvation. Saying "yes" to Jesus means embracing new life and eternal joy with him. An Invitation to Transformation As an invitation to embrace this truth, we offer a symbolic gesture. Fill out the card provided, acknowledging your need for God's grace. Then, approach one of the coffins in the room to signify the death of self-reliance. Receive the cross as a reminder of Jesus' sacrifice and resurrection, and say "yes" to the transformation he offers. Easter isn't just about commemorating Jesus' resurrection; it's about experiencing our own resurrection through faith in him. Take this opportunity to affirm your commitment to Christ and embark on a journey of eternal significance.     Did you like Easter 2024 Message? If so, check out more of our Sunday teachings here.
Serve Faithfully
Mar 25 2024
Serve Faithfully
Shut Your Pie Hole - Week 5 Serve Faithfully We're reaching the final installment of our series, "Shut Your Pie Hole." Who's ready to move on from that phrase? Throughout this series, we've been examining a pie chart to help us navigate our journey with Jesus. Each week, we've explored different aspects of our faith, from community to generosity, faith growth, and worship. Today, we delve into a crucial component of our walk with Christ: serving faithfully. 1 Peter 4:7-117 The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. 8 Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. 10 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 11 Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen. Understanding the Call to Serve Serving others may not always excite us, whether it's at church, home, work, or in the community. We often prefer being served rather than serving. But Jesus understands our reluctance. He knows our struggles, as we'll see in the conversation between Jesus and his disciples. Learning from the Disciples' Request The disciples, James and John, approach Jesus with a request for positions of honor in his kingdom. They desire seats of prestige and power, akin to calling "shotgun" in a car ride. However, Jesus challenges their perspective, highlighting the sacrificial nature of his impending journey. Reframing Leadership Through Service Jesus teaches a crucial lesson: true leadership in his kingdom involves servanthood. Instead of seeking positions of authority, we're called to lift others up. It's a paradigm shift from the world's view of power and status. Embracing the Example of Jesus Jesus exemplifies servanthood by giving his life as a ransom for many. He served us completely, and now calls us to live for him by serving others. It's a foundational aspect of the Christian life. Practical Ways to Serve Peter, an intimate follower of Jesus, offers practical guidance on serving others in his letter. He encourages us to be intentional in prayer, show deep love, and practice hospitality. These acts of service reflect God's love and character. Practical Steps for Serving Peter's teachings provide a framework for serving in various contexts, whether at church, home, or in the community. From prayer to hospitality to utilizing spiritual gifts, there are numerous opportunities to serve faithfully. Serving with Joy and Purpose Serving others isn't merely a task; it's a mission. When we serve with God's strength, our chores and responsibilities take on a deeper meaning. We become part of something eternal, contributing to God's
Worship Enthusiastically
Mar 18 2024
Worship Enthusiastically
Shut Your Pie Hole - Week 4 Worship Enthusiastically In our journey of spiritual growth, we encounter two types of habits: vices and virtues. Vices, such as isolation and anger, hinder our progress, while virtues, like generosity and study, propel us forward. Today, we delve into an action that can either be a vice or a virtue: worship. Understanding Worship as a Habit True worship transcends fleeting emotions; it perseveres even when circumstances are bleak. It's easy to praise when life is good, but authentic worship arises when faced with adversity. This habitual worship, practiced in both highs and lows, cultivates virtues within us. Worship in the Midst of Pain When life throws us into pits of despair, our response determines our spiritual trajectory. Like my wife, who worshipped amidst her grief, we must learn to lift our eyes to God even in the darkest moments. Pain is inevitable, but will we choose to worship God amidst it? Offering a Sacrifice of Praise Praising God during trials requires sacrifice. It's easy to praise in abundance, but true worship emerges when we offer praise amidst scarcity and suffering. Drawing Inspiration from Acts 16:16-31 16 One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit that enabled her to tell the future. She earned a lot of money for her masters by telling fortunes. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved.” 18 This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And instantly it left her. 19 Her masters’ hopes of wealth were now shattered, so they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities at the marketplace. 20 “The whole city is in an uproar because of these Jews!” they shouted to the city officials. 21 “They are teaching customs that are illegal for us Romans to practice.” 22 A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. 23 They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. 24 So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks. 25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. 26 Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fel
Grow Consistently
Mar 11 2024
Grow Consistently
Shut Your Pie Hole - Week 3 Grow Consistently Welcome, everyone, to another impactful week of our teaching series, "Shut Your Pie Hole." Today, we delve into the theme of "Growing Consistently." But before we proceed, let me pose a question for reflection: On a scale of 0 to 5, how spiritually mature do you perceive yourself to be? Now, let's clarify something fundamental: spiritual maturity isn't merely about knowledge acquisition; it's about the application of that knowledge through love. As we embark on this journey of growth, remember, it's not what you know that matters most, but what you do with what you know. I Corinthians 8:1 While knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church. Understanding Spiritual Growth Through the Lens of the First Covenant Let's take a brief journey through the first three books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, and Leviticus, which provide an overview of God's initial covenant with His people. Genesis: Separation Genesis narrates the sorrowful tale of humanity's separation from God due to sin. Just as Adam and Eve turned away from God, we, too, have fallen short of His glory. However, despite our shortcomings, God extends salvation to us. Exodus: Salvation In Exodus, we witness God's redemptive act of rescuing His people from bondage in Egypt. Similarly, Jesus saves us from the enslavement of sin, offering us salvation as a free gift. Leviticus: Sanctification Leviticus details God's instructions for sanctifying His people. This sanctification, or setting apart, is essential for us to dwell in God's presence. It signifies being purified and consecrated for a divine purpose. Applying the Principles of Sanctification In Leviticus, we encounter two significant aspects: purity and rituals. These rituals, although seemingly mundane, hold profound significance for believers today. Purity: Through Jesus Christ, we are purified and made holy, enabling us to stand blameless before God. Rituals: These rituals encompass offerings, confession, worship, and fellowship, which play a vital role in nurturing our spiritual growth. Just as the Israelites adhered to these practices, we, too, must engage in spiritual disciplines to cultivate maturity. Embracing Rituals for Spiritual Nourishment While our modern-day rituals may differ from those in Leviticus, their essence remains unchanged. Our offerings, prayers, worship, and fellowship serve as cornerstones in our journey of faith. The Role of the Church in Spiritual Development The church serves as the epicenter of our spiritual growth, mirroring the significance of the tabernacle in ancient times. It is within the church community that we find support, accountability, and nourishment for our souls. Investing in the Church: A Path to Spiritual Flourishing Some may argue that church attendance isn't essential for Christian living. However, just as a healthy marriage necessitates intentional investment, our relationship with God and His church requires dedicated commitment. Ephesians 5:25-27 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.
Share Generously
Mar 4 2024
Share Generously
Shut Your Pie Hole - Week 2 Share Generously Welcome to the second week of our "Shut Your Pie Hole" series! We're glad you're here. Now, let's dive into today's message on sharing generously. Before we delve into the topic, let's address the elephant in the room: the title. "Shut Your Pie Hole" might raise a few eyebrows, especially if you're a pie enthusiast like me. Growing up, pies were a staple in my household, thanks to my mom's incredible baking skills. From pumpkin to blueberry to lemon sponge, my mom's pies were legendary. But what made them truly special was her generous spirit. She didn't just bake pies for our family; she shared them with anyone who needed a little sweetness in their life. That's the essence of generosity we'll be exploring today. Why Generosity? Generosity is a fundamental aspect of the "Shut Your Pie Hole" pie. It's not just about giving money; it's about sharing our time, resources, and love with others. When we assess our spiritual habits, generosity is a crucial indicator of our relationship with Jesus. Today, we'll examine two stories from the Gospel of Luke that highlight the different responses to Jesus's generosity. The Rich Young Ruler: In Luke 18, we encounter a wealthy young man who approaches Jesus with a burning question: "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" Despite his adherence to the commandments, Jesus sees beyond his outward righteousness and challenges him to sell his possessions and follow Him. However, the young man's attachment to his wealth proves too strong, and he walks away saddened by the cost of discipleship. What can we learn from his story? The rich young ruler's struggle reflects our innate desire to earn salvation through our own efforts. He trusted in his wealth and achievements, rather than in God's grace. Jesus's response challenges us to examine our priorities and let go of anything that hinders our relationship with Him. 1 Timothy 6:9-109 People who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.10 For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. Zacchaeus the Tax Collector: In the following chapter, we encounter Zacchaeus, a notorious tax collector despised by society. Despite his wealth, Zacchaeus is curious about Jesus and seeks Him out, climbing a tree for a better view. Jesus not only notices him but invites Himself to Zacchaeus's house, shocking the crowd with His generosity toward a sinner. Zacchaeus's encounter with Jesus transforms him from a greedy tax collector to a generous giver. He pledges to give half his wealth to the poor and repay anyone he's wronged fourfold. Jesus declares salvation over his household, emphasizing that He came to seek and save the lost. What sets Zacchaeus apart? Unlike the rich young ruler, Zacchaeus embraces Jesus's generosity and experiences true life change. His response challenges us to trust God with our lives and possessions, allowing His generosity to flow through us. 1 Timothy 6:6-8 6 Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. 7 After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. 8 So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. Living Generously: As followers of Jesus, generosity is not optional; it's a na
Connect Regularly
Feb 26 2024
Connect Regularly
Welcome to the "Shut Your Pie Hole" series! Curious about the name? Well, it's all about examining our spiritual habits and identifying areas where we can improve. Just like a pie with its slices, we'll assess various spiritual disciplines to help you grow. But first, let's take a closer look at what this series entails. Discover Your Personal Spiritual Agenda (PSA): Our journey begins with the PSA Pie. Each slice represents a different spiritual discipline, and we're here to help you identify the gaps in your spiritual routine. Visit newlifegillette.com/psa to take a short assessment or fill out the paper version provided. Once completed, our team will pray over your responses and offer personalized recommendations for your spiritual growth. Understanding the Shut Your Pie Hole Series: Here's a quick overview of what we'll cover: Week 1: Connect RegularlyWeek 2: Share GenerouslyWeek 3: Grow ConsistentlyWeek 4: Worship EnthusiasticallyWeek 5: Serve Faithfully Today, our focus is on connecting regularly, a cornerstone of Christian community. The Importance of Connection: Did you know that loneliness is considered one of the greatest public health threats in America? Despite technological advancements, many individuals still experience profound isolation. Even extroverts and leaders are not immune to feelings of loneliness. Biblical Community: The church offers a unique form of community rooted in unconditional love. While the world may prioritize information dissemination, our purpose transcends mere knowledge. As 1 Corinthians 8:1 reminds us, love strengthens the church. 1 Corinthians 8:1But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church. Building Lifelong Friendships: Loneliness is not just a feeling; it's a signal that our need for community is unmet. By proactively building relationships, we can combat loneliness and experience the transformative power of Christian fellowship. Lessons from Ruth and Naomi: Ruth 1:1-16 Elimelech Moves His Family to Moab 1 In the days when the judges ruled in Israel, a severe famine came upon the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah left his home and went to live in the country of Moab, taking his wife and two sons with him. 2 The man’s name was Elimelech, and his wife was Naomi. Their two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in the land of Judah. And when they reached Moab, they settled there. 3 Then Elimelech died, and Naomi was left with her two sons. 4 The two sons married Moabite women. One married a woman named Orpah, and the other a woman named Ruth. But about ten years later, 5 both Mahlon and Kilion died. This left Naomi alone, without her two sons or her husband. Naomi and Ruth Return
Communication
Feb 19 2024
Communication
We're delving into the vital aspect of communication within marriage, exploring how biblical principles can enhance our relational dynamics. Did you know that regular church attendance can reduce the risk of divorce by almost 50%? This statistic underscores the efficacy of God's wisdom in fostering healthier marriages. Foundations of Communication: Before we proceed, it's crucial to emphasize God's unconditional love, even in the context of divorce. While divorce is a painful reality for many, it doesn't diminish God's love for individuals who have experienced it. Now, let's address the key predictors of divorce identified by psychologists, which remarkably align with biblical teachings. 1. Criticism: Criticism, characterized by demeaning remarks or insults, erodes the foundation of trust in a marriage. Instead of resorting to derogatory language, strive to uplift and honor your spouse. The golden rule, "Do to others as you would like them to do to you" (Luke 6:31), guides us to offer praise and encouragement rather than criticism. 2. Defensiveness: Defensiveness arises when we feel attacked, leading to counter-complaints or adopting a victim mentality. Accepting responsibility for our actions fosters humility and strengthens marital bonds. As Galatians 6:5 reminds us, we are each responsible for our conduct, urging us to confess our mistakes and strive for improvement. 3. Stonewalling: Stonewalling, characterized by emotional withdrawal during conflict, inhibits intimacy and communication. Actively engaging with your spouse's thoughts and emotions demonstrates genuine interest and fosters connection. Philippians 2:4 exhorts us to take an interest in others' concerns, emphasizing the importance of maintaining intimacy through attentive listening and responsiveness. Nurturing Intimacy: Investing in intimacy is essential for navigating marital challenges and preserving harmony. Turning toward bids for attention and demonstrating enthusiasm fosters closeness and overrides minor conflicts. Long-term intimacy requires ongoing effort and investment to sustain the vibrancy of the relationship. A Call to Action: Though communication may not always be comfortable, it is indispensable for cultivating thriving marriages. Let's exemplify Christ's love through our relationships, demonstrating sacrificial love, alignment in purpose, and unwavering commitment. As we embody the command to love God and love others, let's strive to communicate effectively and build marriages that reflect God's design for relational harmony.
Trust
Feb 12 2024
Trust
Fix your Marriage - Week 2 Welcome to our ongoing series, "Fix Your Marriage." Today, we dive into the cornerstone of any successful marriage: trust. Without trust, no marriage can truly flourish. When two individuals commit to marriage, they intertwine their lives and pledge to share everything. They say, "I put my trust in you," promising honesty and transparency regardless of the challenges they face. Foundations of Trust: Scripture urges us to confess our sins to each other (James 5:16), emphasizing the importance of honesty and openness in marriage. Divorce, like a bolt cutter, severs the bond of trust, a bond that God values deeply. Trust thrives on transparency, just as God knows everything about us, successful marriages are marked by complete honesty. Uncomfortable Conversations: To cultivate trust, we must address uncomfortable topics head-on. Finances, internet usage, alcohol consumption, and sexual intimacy are crucial areas where transparency is paramount. Hidden finances, unchecked internet browsing, secret alcohol consumption, and withheld intimacy can erode trust. Real intimacy is built on transparency, where spouses are fully known and accepted. Boundaries and Rebuilding: Marriage dismantles boundaries, requiring couples to navigate life together. Rebuilding trust after breaches takes time and effort. Christians are called to give trust quickly, mirroring God's forgiveness. Forgiveness isn't dependent on feelings; it's a conscious choice to let go of resentment and extend grace. Emotions and Sacrifice: Contrary to popular belief, marriage isn't solely about feelings but about sacrificial love. Sacrifice builds trust, as spouses prioritize each other's needs over their own. Disagreements, when handled constructively, can strengthen trust, fostering compromise and understanding. Being equally yoked, as advised in 2 Corinthians 6:14, aligns values, facilitating compromise and unity. Shared Purpose: A shared purpose, rooted in faith, can sustain a marriage through challenges. While temporary goals may fade, faith in Jesus provides an enduring foundation. Seeking to understand each other through open-ended questions fosters trust, friendship, and optimism for the future. As we explore the depths of trust in marriage, let us commit to openness, forgiveness, and sacrifice. By aligning our values, fostering open communication, and grounding our marriage in faith, we can cultivate a relationship built on trust, resilience, and shared purpose. Together, let us embark on this journey of trust-building and renewal, trusting in God's guidance and grace every step of the way.   Did you like Fix Your Marriage – Week 2? If so, check out more of our Sunday teachings here.
Dissatisfaction
Feb 5 2024
Dissatisfaction
Our theme verse, Ephesians 5:31-33, sets the stage: "A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." Learning from the Good Almost everyone has encountered the impact of divorce, either personally or through someone close. This series is not just about avoiding pitfalls but about studying successful marriages. Good marriages don't happen by accident; someone decides to put in the work. January, known for a surge in divorce filings, highlights the challenges couples face, from holiday stresses to the blues of winter. If your marriage feels fragile, remember, God can do extraordinary things even with what seems ordinary. God's Extraordinary Plans Before making any decisions about your relationship, join us for all four weeks of this series. We open with some light-hearted wisdom from kids on love and marriage, but our anchor is Isaiah 55:11: "It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it." We are here to explore what Scripture says about successful marriages because relationships flourish when done God's way. The Key Verse The series revolves around Philippians 2:5, urging us to have the same mindset as Christ Jesus in our relationships. Unhealthy opinions about relationships often stem from influences like movies, pornography, romance novels, and social media, creating unrealistic fantasies. God's plan, summed up in Philippians 2:5, is to "Give more, expect less." This principle may not work for everyone, but it holds transformative power for most. Dealing with Dissatisfaction Dissatisfaction in marriage can be a silent killer. Feeling you're giving more than receiving can lead to disaster. Just as an orange yields orange juice when squeezed, our reactions under pressure reveal what's inside us. Our goal is to destroy dissatisfaction, not by demanding more from our spouses, but by adjusting our expectations. Expect less, and you'll likely find more satisfaction. The Christlike Mindset James 1:19 guides us: "You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry." Applying this mindset to our marriages involves sacrificing our desire to be heard and focusing on truly listening to our spouses. Christ on the cross exemplified this sacrificial love, and we aim to embody it in our relationships. Join us on this journey to explore God's timeless wisdom and practical advice for fixing and fortifying your marriage. By the end of this series, we believe you'll find renewed hope, deeper understanding, and practical tools to navigate the beautiful and challenging landscape of marriage.
Grace, Hope, and Holy Living
Jan 29 2024
Grace, Hope, and Holy Living
Grace, Hope, and Holy Living The essence of Christian living is beautifully encapsulated by the interplay of grace, hope, and holy living. Peter, drawing from his personal encounters with Jesus, expounds on the transformative power of God's grace leading to hope and culminating in a life marked by holiness. Peter, a firsthand witness to Jesus' grace, emphasizes its foundational role in our spiritual journey. Grace, defined as an undeserved merit or blessing, forms the starting point of our relationship with God. Peter encourages believers to praise God for this unmerited love, highlighting its significance as the bedrock of their faith. The trajectory from grace to hope is articulated by Peter as an innate progression. He underscores the idea that the reception of God's grace naturally instills hope in believers. This hope is not a mere wishful thinking but a confident anticipation of a future inheritance stored in heaven. Peter draws a parallel between the joyous expectation of an earthly inheritance and the profound hope anchored in the resurrection of Jesus, promising an eternal communion with Him. Crucially, the manifestation of hope in believers' lives leads to a state of holy living. Contrary to misconceptions, holy living is presented as a dynamic and fulfilling way of life. Peter dispels the notion of it being dull or restrictive, asserting that it mirrors the life of Jesus. As believers grow in faith and follow Jesus, they experience a positive transformation, becoming better at life through the work of the Holy Spirit within them. The connection between hope and holy living becomes evident as Peter addresses the inevitability of trials in the earthly journey. Trials, characteristic of a fallen world, are portrayed as transient in comparison to the eternal life awaiting believers. This perspective shapes the believers' response to trials, demonstrating a unique quality of holy living—a life lived with enduring joy despite temporary challenges. Peter elucidates that trials serve as a refining process, testing the authenticity of one's faith. The believer's response to trials becomes a testament to the genuine nature of their faith, akin to how fire tests and purifies gold. In navigating trials, believers not only grow in their relationship with God but also become a visible testimony to others—showcasing the goodness of God amid life's difficulties. In conclusion, Peter's message resonates with a call to embrace and celebrate the transformative journey from grace to hope and holy living. This journey, marked by praise, confident expectation, and resilience in trials, portrays a life that mirrors the character of Jesus. Peter's words echo through time, inviting believers to experience the profound interplay of grace, hope, and holy living in their daily walk with God.
The Good Stuff
Jan 22 2024
The Good Stuff
Romans 12:1-2 (The Message) 12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Galatians 5:19-25 19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. 22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
What is Grace?
Jan 15 2024
What is Grace?
There is no formula to start a relationship with God. Did you know there’s not just one way to teach someone the gospel message? When you read the New Testament, you’re constantly reading different prescriptions for salvation. In one place it says believe and you’ll be saved. In another place, it says to believe and be baptized. Another place says repent and believe. Another verse says we’re saved by faith. Jesus told one guy he needed to sell everything he had and give it to the poor to be saved. When the apostles told Gentiles about Jesus they talked about the resurrection, but when they talked to the Jews, they focused on Jesus being the Messiah. There’s no formula. It’s not a script we memorize. It’s a relationship, and there are many ways to start a relationship. Maybe you met your wife on a dating app, in a bar, or in school, but the ultimate goal was the relationship. ‭Ephesians‬ ‭2‬:‭8‬-‭10 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. God created us. Then we sinned. So to fix the problem, God has offered to recreate us. Why? So we can do what He created us to do. There are two ways people try to get to Heaven. Most people think that you get there by being good enough, but God tells us that's not going to work. The right way to get to Heaven is by faith. We have to trust Him, not our good behavior. Romans 8:3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body, God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. What does the world say when we go about it the right way? "Oh, that's too easy...You're just saying that's the way to be saved because you want to keep sinning and still go to Heaven." So they CHOOSE to do it the hard way because it makes them feel more righteous. That's what the Pharisees did. They got mad at Jesus because he didn't follow or obey their laws. Can you imagine! The Pharisees called JESUS a sinner, and that's what people will do to you if you live by grace rather than by laws. Do you know what will happen if you try to get saved the wrong way, by obeying rules? You'll get a lot of smoke and heat...and that's not Heaven. It's so hard for me to see all these Jews, Muslims, and all these other religions trying so hard to do the right thing. They're doing very hard things to try to get to Heaven, and their belief in good behavior is actually taking them to Hell. Isaiah 64:6 When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. So I'm going to put the full-court press on today. I don't want anyone to leave here today without being absolutely positive that they are going to the promised land, that they will spend eternity in Heaven with God. So here's what I'm going to ask you to do. I want to ask everyone who is reading this to fill out this out. If today you are ready to stop trying
Buckets Leak
Jan 8 2024
Buckets Leak
All of us are like a bucket with holes. When we give our lives to God, we're filled with passion and excitement about our relationship with God, but faster than we want it to Passion fades. When we're in a relationship the honeymoon faze is the best..."it's so cute how she holds her coffee with 2 hands and sips it...then we're married 2 years, and ..."could you PLEASE STOP slurping your coffee!" This happens in our relationships with God. So, what do we do? We have to go back for more. In order to keep the bucket full we have to pour water into the bucket by coming to church and singing, listening to a sermon, reading a book, and praying. But the cool thing is that Grace doesn't only forgive us. It seals us. The longer we're in relationship with God, the more holes are sealed. We learn Biblical truth and gain confidence. We remove a habit, and it distracts us less. We pray and get peace, but the truth is We all still have holes. So we keep filling. We want grace to plug every hole, but that doesn't happen fast. BUT the cool thing is we fill enough holes, that we can start helping other people fill their buckets when they leak. The Apostle Paul said, 2 Corinthians 4:14-18We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. 15 All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. 16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
Christmas Eve 2023
Dec 26 2023
Christmas Eve 2023
The manger Jesus was born in wasn’t pretty. God's Son deserved a castle, but his beginning was humble. But why? Why was Jesus laid in a manger? Luke 2:7 [Mary] laid [Jesus] in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them. Because there was no room for Him in the house, so He was born among the sheep. They went home for the holiday and their family didn't prepare them room. - Do you know this song? Joy to the world, the Lord is comeLet Earth receive her KingLet every heart __________ What does your Christmas schedule look like? Will make room for Jesus tonight and tomorrow? Don't fill it so full of activities that you forget to prepare room for Jesus. - Practically, it means that on Christmas we Don't over-indulge. Don't wake up in the new year overly lethargic and tired because you...bought all the stuff and ate all the stuffing... Does anyone else overeat on Christmas because you start a diet in January? Don't do it. - and I love how it's worded: "prepare Him room" Tomorrow morning, before you open presents, talk about Jesus. Tell His story. Sing Happy Birthday to Him. - What did John the Baptist tell people to do when Jesus came? He said, Matthew 3:2 Prepare the way for the Lord. It's about your heart. So many people recognize a need to have Jesus in their lives, but their hearts are so full of the worries of this world, that they don't have time to think about Heaven. Life is hard. We all have stuff in our lives that we don't want there. So eventually we have to decide to let things go. Sometimes we have to put past hurts, we have to give up some activities. We have to prepare room. And we're not just preparing room so we're empty. We're preparing room because we need something more important than all of this stuff. We NEED Jesus. The problem is, that people don't make room for Jesus because they think this life is all there is, but this life is not all there is. Someday you will stand before God to be judged, and if He has to judge you based on how good you are, you will be found guilty, BUT if you will make room for Jesus in your heart, invite Him in, then on judgment day you won't be judged based on your goodness. Instead, God will see that you are in a relationship with Jesus, and you will be forgiven, forgiven for everything. So will you prepare room in your heart for Jesus today? If so, will you fill out this for us and we will be in contact with you to talk with you about this amazing decision you made?
How is Life Made New?
Dec 25 2023
How is Life Made New?
We've all found ourselves stuck in life. Either we developed a habit that's beyond a New Year's resolution fix. Or we got a divorce or had a moral failure or we just feel purposeless, & we want something new. How? Faith We believe that when we put our faith in Jesus He makes our lives new. He will lead us on a journey of becoming the people He created us to be. It'll be rocky. There will be setbacks, but He will continually renew us. ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭11‬:‭1‬ ‭NIV‬‬ Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Faith is confidence. I am confident I've put my faith in the most logical worldview, the most logical explanation for the existence of the world. - The world likes to conflate 2 different kinds of faith. There's real faith. That's when you trust in something for a reason. - The world believes everything came from nothing. I believe everything came from something. Which one's more logical? I am confident there's a God, and that gives me hope. Faith gives me hope. If I trust God, I hope that He has a good plan for me. If I trust my wife, I hope that we're going to live a good life together. If I trust this stage, I have logical hope it's not going to break. - Then there's Blind Faith. There is a reason why you have to add the word "blind." It's a different thing than faith. We do not have blind faith. We have evidence of what we put our faith in and because it's blind, it doesn't give us hope.
Rooted
Dec 18 2023
Rooted
My mom has a green thumb. My wife and I will kill a plant then right before we throw it away, Mom says, "Wait, I can save it." She'll find a piece of the plant that is alive, she'll replant it, and it will grow. I believe something a little controversial. I believe God has a green thumb. If God puts His seed in you, it WILL grow. If you will let it, it will change you. He will plant it. He will water it, and He will make it grow. The apostle Paul said, I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. I Corinthians 3:6-7 Matthew 13:3-9 3 He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one: “Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. 4 As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. 5 Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. 6 But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. 8 Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! 9 Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” If you're not growing, you're not healthy, and it's time to make some changes. The cool thing about this parable is that Jesus actually interprets it for us. So let's go through His interpretation: Matthew 13:18-23 18 “Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: 19 The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. 20 The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. 21 But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. 22 The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. 23 The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” God doesn't need my money, but He wants my sacrifice. When people brought tithes to the priests, they literally burned them. It’s not about what God needs. It’s about attention. Jesus listed Two Thorns: The worries of this life. If your attention is on the worries of this life it’s because you’ve taken your eyes off Christ. The birds and lilies trust God, and so should we.
That Changes Things
Dec 11 2023
That Changes Things
Christmas is all about things becoming new…or being made new, transformed, and changed because of the story of Christmas.  And that started all the way back in the original story of Christmas for everyone involved.  Let's look into that story, into the beginning of the story, before the shepherds in the fields and the wise men get involved. Luke 1:26-38 26 God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” 29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.  30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” 34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” 35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. 38 Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her. What Makes Mary Favored? God is with her.God has a plan and purpose for her.God shares His Word to clarify.Mary says "yes" and follows God. Mary was favored and blessed.  She got to raise the Son of God from birth to a man.  Why?  Because she said yes to God. Mary was favored!  But so are you!!! God is with you.  He has a plan and purpose for you.  And God has given you the details of how to live out your life. What is it for you? What have you heard from God, but have said NO to Him in the past? If you want a fresh start.  If you want your life to be new and better and even more blessed.  If you want to be even more favored than you already are.  Give yourself a Christmas present.  Take a lesson from Mary. Say yes to the next step that God has for you.  Start living what you know God is saying to you.