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Distractions are everywhere. Have you ever started on something, got half way and then got hung up on some details? The enemy is constantly looking for ways to defeat the work that God is doing in the local church. We must not miss what Christ has for the church because the church itself is in the way. We are to be actively living out the Christian…
 
God has a reason for salvation, and grace needs to be worked out and expressed in the way that we live. A new Christian can sleep well at night, his sins are forgiven, he can be secure in God’s grace. Yes, there are things to do, but he can rest in Christ. We as humans have a pretty small role to play, but there is an element of choice that God giv…
 
Philemon 1:1-25 – Onesimus, the slave of Philemon was suddenly gone. He didn’t show up, he had run away. Even before running away Onesimus was already a disappointment, he wasn’t a very good servant. How might Paul and Onesimus connected in Rome? We don’t know. Did things get bad for Onesimus and he hit bottom and thought about Paul? There is a goo…
 
2 Timothy 2 – When we talk about God being absolutely faithful we mean it is an absolute truth, it isn’t going to change. There is no circumstance or factor that changes this truth. If we endure, we will also reign with Him. God does have a plan for us, this plan is in the future, it is with Him, and it is beyond generous. If God is faithful (and H…
 
Grace is what God does… faith, belief, these are the things that are part of our “mustard seed” response to God’s offer. If we respond in faith it results in a “new birth” or the “beginning of the salvation journey.” One thing that is a common thread between the newest most immature babe in Christ, and the most mature, gray-haired, lifelong, pious,…
 
Romans 8:28 – This is probably one of the most well-known verses in the Bible, right up there with John 3:16. What does it mean for us? Many of us one way or another have experienced hard things in life. Sometimes these hard things are short-lived and then life is back to normal. When those things seem to go on and on, believing this verse can beco…
 
Whosoever will may come. Whoever desires to, is invited to come to Jesus. These are great invitations, Jesus says that few will respond to his invitation. We’ve sung the song “Just As I Am” many times. Though it is often sung at revival meetings, it seems like it is applicable to all of a Christians life. From conversion to wherever we are in our s…
 
Text: Matthew 28:18-20 Other Scriptures referred to: Habakkuk 2:2; Acts 2, 4; Acts 10, 11; Galatians 2:11; Acts 15; Colossians 2 Characteristics of a New Testament church: It has a mission or purpose (Matthew 28:18-20) It has a shared vision of what God wants to accomplish through this church It has struggled with relational and disciplining issues…
 
Esther was a remarkable lady. She was born with some handicaps but she didn’t let them stop or discourage her, she was a cheerful soul. She was contented, and at peace with how things were. Esther may not have moved gracefully or easily, but she did move. She had limitations, what can a person with limitations do for others? God values and uses sma…
 
1 Thessalonians 5:11-15 – These are instructions to every member of the church in Thessalonica to comfort one another. Always pursue what is good for both yourselves and for all. Do all of these things in patience. Some churches would say, and would actually have it written in their constitution, that church member problems are the work of the deac…
 
Matthew 28:18-20 – The mission of the church of Jesus Christ is to make disciples of all nations. Disciples who are formed into the character of Christ. We are called to bring people into a yielded heart relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord. Galatians 4:19 – That Christ may be formed in you. Seeing Christ formed in each individual is the mission …
 
What was Paul’s thorn in the flesh? There are several ideas, but it seems to be some kind of “bodily ailment.” What does God mean by “weakness?” When God says that His grace is made perfect in weakness He isn’t talking about character flaws. God can do more through weak people. God’s power can do more with people who are aware of their limitations.…
 
It isn’t that we’re so strong, it is that we are under God’s control and choose to be gentle no matter what situation we find ourselves in. We often think of cowardly, weakness, etc when talking about meekness, but that isn’t the real definition of meekness. If you care deeply about something you’ll find your passion showing up when someone attacks…
 
Matthew 6:9-15 – We know that God’s will is not done on earth as it is in heaven… so how does this prayer even begin to be answered? A lack of cooperation is a trait of untrained, unbroken horses. They are big and strong and can be dangerous if they are not under control. To be useful, horses need to be broken and trained. The godless, kicking and …
 
It starts in Genesis. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth… God saw it all, and it was good! After Adam and Eve sinned, entropy began. Everything that has order, moves towards chaos. The only way to maintain that order is through an intelligent outside force. Just as a worn-out and wrecked vehicle can’t restore itself, neither ca…
 
Our attitude affects us, but it also affects those around us. We do have something to say in our current attitudes. There is a lot of teaching here that applies to everyone in the church, not just Elders. 1 Peter 5:1-4 – Peter first reminds his readers that he is qualified to talk to them about the frustrations that they are experiencing. He has ex…
 
We all know that good relationships make life much more enjoyable. In 1 John 4 we get a clear picture and reminder that our love for each other and our love for God are very much connected. We’ve probably all heard of cure-alls or home remedies that can fix just about anything. When we read these scriptures, the Bible really has the answers for wha…
 
Ephesians is full of lofty ideas. Sometimes they are ideas that dig deep inside. Our focus this morning is on three mysteries that are discussed in Ephesians. The Mystery of God’s Redemption in Christ Ephesians says quite a bit about redemption in Christ. Some of it is simple, and some of it is more complex and lawful. Talking about a mystery here …
 
Peter talks about a number of things but keeps coming back to the theme of a limited amount of time, there is an end coming. The question then is how should I be using the time I have left? Christians need to keep learning to think like Jesus. People who think like Jesus are a serious threat to the kingdom of darkness. Christians who don’t think li…
 
We are so worried about a works religion that we don’t want to talk about practical things. What are we doing with our stuff? What are we doing with this world? The goal of true religion is perfection and God loves people who are patiently pursuing that goal. Do you have a passion for being perfect? Here in Matthew 6, Jesus exposes a divided person…
 
Matthew 5 deals with moral issues, chapter 6 deals with Christian piety and the spiritual aspects of our lives. Matthew 6:16-18 – Jesus assumes that we will fast, He says, “when you fast.” The Jews were really involved in fasting. To the Jews, fasting was a sign of repentance. The senses are heightened during fasting. Matthew 6:19-34 – Jesus is unc…
 
Tonight we are talking about resistance against evil, and against those who harm us. Unlimited love was definitely shadowed within the Old Testament. Jesus said that He had come not to destroy lives but to save them. Jesus demonstrated a better way. We are called to a battlefield, we are fighting a real battle, but we have a different commander, ha…
 
The law was intended for our well-being. God mercifully telling His people how to live. God created the universe, He was telling man right upfront how the universe should be worked with. Man needs law, our wills are lazy. We need the reminder that we need to do some things. We are clever at making things right in our minds, even though deep down we…
 
Joy is the infallible evidence of God’s grace in life. The beatitudes don’t leave us staring at the heavens but at a scared and messed up humanity. The Lord really wants to perfect us. We empty ourselves to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Does the Spirit get all of you when you become a Christian? The joyful warrior embraces peacemaking. Some peopl…
 
Jeremiah 10:23 – Right action isn’t intuitive, it doesn’t make sense to forgive, to give your extra money away, to turn the other cheek. Jesus bases His Kingdom on a radically transformed character. Matthew 5 – Did you ever wonder why the sermon on the mount doesn’t start with the new birth? The beatitudes are a practical look at what the new birth…
 
God has given us desires, we need to know how to use these desires properly, but the desires themselves are from God. The problem with these desires is that the devil takes these desires and perverts it. God’s righteous rule is just, and kind, and good, and right. The problem is that the gospel is presented a lot of times as a “save me” gospel. Sal…
 
The issue with a fishhook in the finger is not the fishhook so much as the barb on the end of the fishhook. This little tiny barb makes all the difference in the world! If you have something in your eye, it doesn’t need to be very big at all to potentially do a lot of damage. You wouldn’t want to just put some numbing agent in the eye, you need to …
 
Ephesians 6:10-20 – We won’t be specifically talking about the armor that is covered here. We read about the spiritual life being a journey sometimes, but it is not just a leisurely stroll, it is often a battle. There is opposition all along the way. Matthew 26 and 27 – We know the story of Jesus. Throughout his life, from the cradle to the grave, …
 
This morning we are going to look at John 15:9-17 – What a packed portion of scripture. Looking at God’s love is such a vast and unsearchable depth. The post The Love of God is Vast and Unsearchable appeared first on Bethel Mennonite Church.Bethel Mennonite Church による
 
1 Peter 3:13-17 – Peter asks a rhetorical question here, and the implied answer is “No one.” The whole letter from Peter kind of expects persecution, he is writing to people who are in the middle of suffering. Peter is saying that there is a sense in which no one can harm God’s children. We know that no one can separate us from God’s love. No one c…
 
Regardless of when you hear this, the fact is that the present is always a good time to be preparing for the future. 2 Corinthians 4:16 – Even if it is March, there is time to start the things you need to be working on. The top 13 New Years’ resolutions include things like, lose weight, quit smoking, take a trip, etc. Most New Year’s resolutions te…
 
Matthew 5:13-16 – We know that large crowds were following Jesus as He went around to teach and heal people in different towns. Jesus was seeking out the ones who were outcasts and were despised. Jesus was speaking to people who believed Him and were receptive to Him. Jesus had just started His ministry and had just called His disciples. There were…
 
It is an extremely daunting task for a church to figure out how to apply or pursue the vision that they agree upon as their mission. When you try to put this into words and develop a framework in a church it can be quite challenging. We are guilty at times when it comes to the task or mission of the church. We like to think and reason about it, and…
 
1 Corinthians 11 – Paul was addressing this issue because he felt like it needed attention. We aren’t talking about this morning because we need a major overhaul, but rather to encourage what we’re currently doing. God has a plan for order, when we fit into His order, that is the best place that we can be. Some teach that this scripture was just fo…
 
Philippians 3 Pressing Forward and Forgetting the Past We are in the first month of a new year, and I wonder if you have made any new year’s resolutions, or thought about how you want to live this year, or thought about whether the direction of your life and the target you are aiming at will take you to the goal you want to reach. There is a prover…
 
This is a New Years’ message… sort of. Looking back at 2020 a lot of us would say that it was a very challenging year and we’re hoping that 2021 will be a better year. Regardless of what this new year brings we can know that God will be faithful. We all need wisdom, for raising children, for church, and for other things. How can we be growing in wi…
 
James 4:14 – We aren’t here for very long, even for those who live many years it is a short time. Knowing Jesus gives us a bright and very different perspective about brother Wesley’s passing. Because of Jesus, it is possible in grief and loss to have a great and settled hope. John 3:16 – Jesus came into a messy world. A sin-sick and dying world it…
 
There were many people who were looking for the Messiah! Simeon and Anna praised and blessed God. The shepherds believed when the angels appeared and told them about Jesus. There was sickness and death and cruelty and injustice in the world when Jesus, the Messiah, came to earth. He provided a hope, and a peace, and a joy to those who accepted him.…
 
This morning we’re going to focus briefly on some of the miracles surrounding God’s supreme gift of His Son. The virgin conceived and the “Word who was in the beginning” came to earth as a baby. In Christ’s birth God is with us. Christ’s self-sacrifice can transform us into humble servants. John 1:1-2 – The “in the beginning” eternal Word became a …
 
Matthew 5, Luke 6 – Here we have a list of things that Jesus values. He promises to bless us if we have these values. We live in a world that has a very different value list than what Jesus talks about here. The rewards for these kinds of people are all about pleasing ourselves and getting more for ourselves. When we look at the beatitudes, and Jes…
 
If you listen to the things around us it is troubling. There are many troubles in the world. Beyond this, we all have our own troubles and burdens. We live in a fallen world, there are physical consequences of the fall that we all experience. What role does faith have in life being what it is? There are even times when it feels like God isn’t liste…
 
There is a phrase that is often used to talk about helping someone through the end of life journey “walking someone home.” This world is not our home. Walking someone home means going as far as we can with someone towards their destination. Brotherhood looks appealing, maybe even inexpensive. The fact is though that good brotherhood takes work. Luk…
 
1 Peter 3:1-22 Let’s take care of each other. Let’s fight evil with good. Let’s stay the course. Let’s be growing in brotherly love towards each other. Christians should have a special love towards each other. One exercise to think about here if you have a sibling that you really love, is there a resemblance between how I care for that person and h…
 
We’re talking together this morning about qualifications for a leader. This is an important part of the life of a church. Our nation just went through an election to choose a leader for our country. The church is not like that! Jesus said that his kingdom is not of this world. It is a holy process… It should be a peaceful process because the member…
 
When the world is going crazy we need to be doing what we should have been doing all along, going, and looking to Christ. John 15:1-27 – The word of God is all about Jesus. Genesis through Malachi has the theme “He is coming.” The Gospels theme then is “He is here” and the rest of the New Testament “He is coming again.” There are lots of different …
 
We live in interesting times these days, the issues that our country and the world is facing require a lot of wisdom to get through. Revelation 1:3 – There is a blessing for those who read this book. Regardless of how our week went, God is still on the throne and He is still in control. There are two realms that are “in play” every day, there is th…
 
Psalm 116:1-11 – Imagine yourself on a frosty roof for some reason and you slip and fall. As you slide you are grasping and scratching and clawing, but there is no way to stop yourself. This is a very helpless feeling. Sometimes we feel like we are completely helpless. An inner struggle that has gotten the best of you and you don’t know which way t…
 
This morning we’ll be looking at a story in the Bible that we have a fair amount of detail about. Sometimes we look at different stories in the Bible and wonder why we hear more about one person in a story than another person in the same story. This morning we are going to be looking at the church at Philippi. We have a fair amount of detail about …
 
Children becoming functioning adults doesn’t happen by accident. The opposite is also true, it isn’t an accident when people who have struggles emerge from communities and families. Ezra 8:21 – We are seeking a right way for us. This is what the church of Christ is instructed and authorized to do. The digital revolution has happened quickly. What w…
 
With all the “stuff” that information technology offers us, are we really coming out on top? We are constantly wired into things that can give us constant anxiety. When we are too thickly immersed in information technology there are certain skills that we fail to develop. It’s not as simple as just counting on the promise of technology to deliver. …
 
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