Monday, December 21, 2009

The Mission of Jesus

Part 5 of The Real Jesus

Jesus came to earth to fulfill the three major offices in Israel in the OT: (1) prophet, (2) priest, and (3) king.

Jesus the Prophet
  1. Jesus revealed God's word to us (Mark 1:38).
  2. Jesus revealed God to us (John 1:18).
Jesus the Priest
  1. Jesus offered a sacrifice for our sin (Heb. 2:17).
  2. Jesus intercedes for us (Heb. 7:25).
Jesus the King
  1. Jesus was born as a king (Matt. 2:1-2).
  2. Jesus died as a king (Matt. 27:37).
  3. Jesus rose as a king (Eph. 1:20-21).
  4. Jesus will return as a king (Rev. 19:6).
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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Nativity Quiz

QUESTIONS

Here is a quiz to see how well you know the biblical account of Jesus' birth.
  1. On what kind of animal did Mary ride from Nazareth to Bethlehem?
  2. What did the innkeeper say to Mary and Joseph?
  3. How long was Mary in Bethlehem before she gave birth?
  4. Where in Bethlehem was Jesus born?
  5. How much did baby Jesus cry?
  6. How many angels were present at Jesus' birth?
  7. How many kings came to pay tribute to baby Jesus?
  8. What time was it when the wise men showed up on the night of Jesus' birth?
ANSWERS

Let see how you did.
  1. A donkey? The Bible doesn't say. Luke 2:4 simply says they "went" from Nazareth to Bethlehem.
  2. Luke 2:7 says, "There was no room for them in the inn." But no innkeeper is mentioned. Actually, the Greek word for "inn" can be translated "guest room" (Luke 22:11). So the "inn" was probably very different from our present day motels.
  3. People usually assume that Jesus was born on the first night Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem. But Luke 2:6 states, "While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born." We are not told how long they had been there.
  4. Most people think Jesus was born in a stable. However, there is no mention of a stable. We do read that Jesus was "placed in a manger" (Luke 2:7). A manger was a feeding trough for animals, so wherever Jesus was born, animals were present.
  5. The song "Away in a Manger" says, "The cattle are lowing, the Baby awakes, but little Lord Jesus no crying he makes." But if Jesus cried as an adult (John 11:35), surely He cried as a baby.
  6. Angels appeared to the shepherds in the fields outside Bethlehem, but we don't read that any angels were visible at the place of Jesus' birth.
  7. First, they were not "kings"; they were "magi" or "wise men." Second, though tradition says that there were three wise men, the Bible doesn't give us a number. We only know that they gave Jesus three gifts.
  8. Most nativity scenes have the wise men present on the night of Jesus' birth. Actually, they probably arrived in Bethlehem some time later. Matthew 2:11 says they found the "child" (not baby) Jesus in a "house" (not outside).
Here is a video we showed in today's worship service that goes well with this quiz.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Self-Emptying of Jesus

Part 4 of The Real Jesus

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:3-8).

The true spirit (attitude) of Christmas is humble self-sacrifice. Imitate the Christ of Christmas.

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Monday, December 7, 2009

The Virgin Birth of Jesus

Part 3 of The Real Jesus

Jesus was conceived in the womb of His mother Mary by a miraculous work of the Holy Spirit and without a human father.

"The virgin birth is posted on guard at the door of the mystery of Christmas; and none of us must think of hurrying past it. It stands on the threshold of the New Testament, blatantly supernatural, defying our rationalism, informing us that all that follows belongs to the same order as itself and that if we find it offensive there is no point in proceeding further." (Donald MacLeod, The Person of Christ, p. 37)

Why is the virgin birth important?
  1. It made possible the uniting of full deity and full humanity in one person.
  2. It made possible Christ's true humanity without inherited sin.
  3. It showed that salvation must come from God.
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Monday, November 23, 2009

The Humanity of Jesus

Part 2 of The Real Jesus

"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel,"--which means, "God with us" (Matthew 1:22).

Three reasons why God the Son needed to become human:
  1. To be our example (1 John 2:6)
  2. To be our mediator (1 Timothy 2:5)
  3. To be our substitute (Hebrews 2:16-17)
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Monday, November 16, 2009

The Deity of Jesus

Part 1 of The Real Jesus

"...you, a mere man, claim to be God."--Jesus' enemies in John 10:33

No one is more loved and hated that Jesus Christ.
  • "Jesus" (Greek) is equivalent to "Joshua" (Hebrew) and means "the Lord saves."
  • "Christ" (Greek) is equivalent to "Messiah" (Hebrew) and means "the Anointed One."
What did Jesus say about Himself?
  1. Jesus said He is eternal (John 8:58).
  2. Jesus said He is sinless (John 8:46).
  3. Jesus said He can forgive sin (Mark 2:5).
  4. Jesus said He has power over death (John 2:19).
  5. Jesus said He is the Son of Man (Matthew 26:64).
  6. Jesus said He is equal with God the Father (John 10:30).
  7. Jesus said He is the only way to heaven (John 14:6).
"I am trying to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about him, 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the sort of thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic--on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg--or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."--C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

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Friday, November 13, 2009

New Series: The Real Jesus

Christmas is getting close, and once again we will celebrate the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. But do we really understand who Jesus is? Over the next few weeks, I will post a five messages that will present the truth about the Baby in the manger.
  1. The Deity of Jesus
  2. The Humanity of Jesus
  3. The Virgin Birth of Jesus
  4. The Self-Emptying of Jesus
  5. The Mission of Jesus

Monday, November 9, 2009

God's Message of Triumph

Part 4 of Haggai

God's message to Zerubbabel (2:20-23) points forward to Jesus Christ:
  • "Son of Shealtiel": Jesus (as to His human nature) is a descendent of King David through Shealtiel.
  • "My Servant": Jesus is Isaiah's "Servant of the Lord."
  • "Chosen": Jesus is the "Messiah," which means "chosen one."
  • "Signet Ring": Jesus will reverse the curse on King Jehoiachin and reign as King of kings.
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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Remembrance Day Communion Meditation

The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes (1 Corinthians 11:23b-26).

Twice Jesus told His followers, "Do this in remembrance of me." It's as if Jesus said, "When I am gone, don't forget Me. Whenever you eat this and drink this cup, remember Me and all that I suffered for your sake."

Today, I am wearing a poppy as a symbol of remembrance, a reminder of the blood-red flower that still grows on the former battlefields of France and Belgium. During the terrible bloodshed of the second battle of Ypres in the spring of 1915, Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, a doctor serving with the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, wrote of these flowers which lived among the graves of dead soldiers.

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.


As Christians, we also have symbols of remembrance. These symbols are before us: the bread and the cup of the Lord's Supper. Why do we need Remembrance Day and the Lord's Supper? Because we are forgetful people. We need to be reminded to remember.

On Remembrance Day, we hear the phrase, "Lest we forget." As Canadians, we should never forget the sacrifice of our brave soldiers who lost their lives in battle. And as Christians, we should never forget the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ who gave His life for our eternal salvation.

Monday, November 2, 2009

God's Message of Correction

Part 3 of Haggai

Religious acts do not make us holy. But the defilement of our hearts do make our acts defiled.

God blesses those who serve Him with pure hearts.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

God's Message of Encouragement

Part 2 of Haggai

The people were discouraged. The temple they were building seemed to be nothing compared to Solomon's glorious temple. So God sent them a message of encouragement through the prophet Haggai.
  1. "Be strong" (2:1-5a). Why? Because of God's presence: (a) the almighty God is with us; (b) the unchanging God is with us; (c) the faithful God is with us.
  2. "Do not fear" (2:5b-9). Why? Because of God's plan: (a) the kingdom is coming; (b) the King is coming; (c) glory is coming; (d) peace is coming.
Because of God's presence and plan, we can live with unshakeable strength and courage!

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Monday, October 19, 2009

God's Message of Motivation

Part 1 of Haggai

Introduction to the book of Haggai:
  • Author: Haggai
  • Date: 520 B.C.
  • Recipients: The exiled Jews who had returned to their homeland to complete the temple
  • Occasion: Opposition and apathy had brought the work to a standstill
  • Purpose: To motivate the people to complete the temple
What can we learn from Haggai 1?
  1. Refuse to offer excuses.
  2. Set right priorities.
  3. Get involved in God's work.
  4. Receive God's enablement.
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Series: Haggai

The book of Haggai might be known as a "Minor Prophet," but it contains a valuable message for our lives today. Over the next four weeks, I will post four messages on this obscure, yet inspiring, book of the Old Testament.
  1. God's Message of Motivation (1:1-15)
  2. God's Message of Encouragement (2:1-9)
  3. God's Message of Correction (2:10-19)
  4. God's Message of Triumph (2:20-23)

Beyond the Turkey (Thanksgiving 2009)

"Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!" (2 Corinthians 9:15).
  1. God's gift is the sacrifice of His Son.
  2. God's gift is too amazing for words.
  3. God's gift is worthy of our deepest gratitude.
We should give thanks by doing something to show our thankfulness.

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(sorry, no audio)

Faith & Love

Part 2 of Philemon

"I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints" (Philemon 4-5).
  • Faith is not just an intellectual thing; faith works.
  • Faith is not just an individual thing; faith connects.
  • Love is not a selective thing; love accepts.
  • Love is not a sentimental thing; love acts.
Real Christianity is real faith expressing itself through real love.

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(sorry, no audio)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Spiritual Equality

Part 1 of Philemon

Introduction to Philemon:
  • Written by: Paul. When? Around A.D. 60.
  • Written from: Prison. Where? Probably Rome.
  • Written to: Philemon. Who? A prominent Christian in Colossae.
  • Written about: Onesimus. Who? A runaway slave who was saved.
What Paul wrote about Onesimus can be applied to every believer: We are to welcome and love every believer as an equal brother or sister in Christ.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

God's Hand in Our Redemption

Part 4 of The Story of Ruth

Charles Haddon Spurgeon once described Jesus as "our glorious Boaz."
  • Like Boaz, Jesus became our near kinsman. How? Through His incarnation.
  • Like Boaz, Jesus was willing to redeem us. Why? Because of His great love.
  • Like Boaz, Jesus paid the price to redeem us. What? His own life.
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Monday, September 14, 2009

God's Hand in Our Risks

Part 3 of The Story of Ruth

Acting on God-given opportunities is risky. But sometimes being too cautious is the greatest risk of all. What risk of faith is God calling you to take? What is the potential danger? What is the potential return?

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Helpful Church Media Resources

Here are a few church media resources that I have found helpful in my ministry:

Sermon Network - This is the website I use to broadcast my sermon audio. A basic account is free. You can also use Audacity to record audio for free.

Faithwebsites - The cost is about $400 per year, which is a bit expensive. But for someone who doesn't know much about web design, it's an extremely helpful service.

Igniter Media - In my opinion, Igniter Media produces the highest quality worship videos. And they give away a lot of their stuff for free. You may also want to check out Muddy River Media. They offer all their resources for free.

PowerPointSermons.com - A one year membership is $199 (don't pay full price). For me, the membership has been worthwhile. There is also a separate membership for motion backgrounds.

EasyWorship - This program allows you to do much more than PowerPoint. It costs about $400.

Open Lifechurch.tv - We use the LifeKIDS resources for our Sunday morning children's program. All of the resources on this site are free.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

God's Hand in Our Luck

Part 2 of The Story of Ruth

In Ruth chapter 2, some good things start to happen for Ruth and Naomi. On the surface, it appears that their good fortune is due to some lucky coincidences. But the eye of faith can see that God is behind the scenes working out his good plan for Ruth and Naomi.

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

God's Hand in Our Suffering

Part 1 of The Story of Ruth

Three truth we must remember when life falls apart:
  1. God is both sovereign and good.
  2. God's plan is often not understood until later.
  3. God asks us to trust Him.
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New Series: The Story of Ruth

The book of Ruth is a story of God's grace in the midst of difficult circumstances. Over the next four weeks, I'll be posting the following four messages:
  • God's Hand in Our Suffering (Ruth 1)
  • God's Hand in Our Luck (Ruth 2)
  • God's Hand in Our Risks (Ruth 3)
  • God's Hand in Our Redemption (Ruth 4)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

Part 7 of Stories that Changed the World

The key to forgiveness: Stop focusing on what others have done to me; start focusing on what God has done for me.

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The Parable of the Prodigal Son (2)

Part 6 of Stories that Changed the World

Two lessons from the older brother: (1) don't resent the grace of God in the lives of others and (2) don't think that you don't need God's grace in your life.

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Monday, August 31, 2009

The Parable of the Prodigal Son (1)

Part 5 of Stories that Changed the World

When we turn from our waywardness, God withholds from us what we do deserve (rejection) and gives to us what we don't deserve (acceptance).

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The Parable of the Persistent Widow

Part 4 of Stories that Changed the World

God's delays are not His denials. Don't give up!

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Parable of the Pharisee & the Tax Collector

Part 3 of Stories that Changed the World
  • Be like the tax collector, not the Pharisee, and approach God in humble repentance.
  • Be like Jesus, who welcomed "sinners" like tax collectors.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Parable of the Sower

Part 2 of Stories that Changed the World

The parable of the sower presents four different ways people respond to God's word. What lessons are in the parable for us today? (1) Make sure your heart is like to good soil, and (2) share God's word with everyone.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Part 1 of Stories that Changed the World
  1. We are not to ask who our neighbor is; we are to be a neighbor.
  2. To be a neighbor is to show compassion.
  3. Even my enemy is my neighbor.

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New Series: Stories that Changed the World

One of the trademarks of Jesus' teaching was His use of parables. A parable could be defined as an earthly story that teaches a spiritual truth. This summer, we will examine several of the stories of Jesus (including favorites such as the Prodigal Son, the Sower, and the Good Samaritan) and discover some important lessons for our lives today.


The Fruit of the Spirit

Part 5 of Nooma: Discovering the Holy Spirit

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23).

The Holy Spirit wants to produce His fruit in our lives. But how is the fruit of the Spirit developed?

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Monday, June 15, 2009

The Unity of the Spirit

Part 4 of Nooma: Discovering the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit has created unity in the body of Christ. It's up to us to keep that unity!

"Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:3).

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The Gifts of the Spirit

Part 3 of Nooma: Discovering the Holy Spirit
  1. Spiritual gifts are God-given abilities.
  2. Every spiritual gift is important.
  3. Spiritual gifts are intended for service.
  4. Spiritual gifts are not a guarantee of spirituality.
  5. Spiritual gifts do not limit you to only one kind of service.
  6. Spiritual gifts are developed by constant use.
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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Filling of the Spirit

Part 2 of Nooma: Discovering the Holy Spirit

"Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18). Being drunk on wine and being filled with the Spirit both cause a person to come under an outside influence. But the results are very different.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Who Is the Holy Spirit?

Part 1 of Nooma: Discovering the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit can be mysterious to us. Jesus said, "The wind [pneuma] blows wherever it pleases. You heart its sound, but you cannot tell where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit [pneuma]" (John 3:8). The Greek word pneuma can be translated "wind," "breath," or "spirit." The Holy Spirit is like the wind. Both are invisible, but we can see their effects.

The Holy Spirit was always in the world, but on the Day of Pentecost, He "came" in a new way. The Spirit began to indwell all believers so that we might be changed into the likeness of Christ.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

New Sermon Series: Nooma

Before Jesus went back to heaven, He promised His followers, "I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever--the Spirit [Greek, pneuma] of Truth" (John 14:16-17).

The presence of the Holy Spirit is a gift for every believer. But there is so much about the Spirit and His ministries that many Christians don't understand. In this series, we will learn who the Spirit is and what He wants to do in our lives.
  1. Who Is the Holy Spirit?
  2. The Filling of the Spirit
  3. The Gifts of the Spirit
  4. The Unity of the Spirit
  5. The Fruit of the Spirit

The Appearance to Thomas

Part 5 of He's Not Here

Jesus said to Thomas, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (John 10:29). How can we who have never seen Jesus be sure He really rose from the dead?

The transformation of the disciples is perhaps the greatest evidence of all for the resurrection. Thomas went from "doubting Thomas" to "daring Thomas." Church tradition says he went all the way to India to preach the gospel and eventually was martyred.

None of the theories used to deny the resurrection are believable: (1) the disciples did not steal the body; (2) the disciples did not go to the wrong tomb; (3) the disciples did not see a resuscitated Jesus; and (4) the disciples did not hallucinate.

"Men will die for what they believe to be true, though it may actually be false. They do not, however, die for what they know is a lie" (Paul Little, Know Why You Believe, p. 52).

All of the apostles, except John, were killed for their faith in the risen Jesus. Liars make poor martyrs.

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Easter Video

Here's a video called "It Wouldn't Have Mattered" that we showed on Easter Sunday.

It Wouldn't Have Mattered from Igniter Media on Vimeo.

The Appearance to the Disciples

Part 4 of He's Not Here
  1. The message: We have a story to tell: "You are witnesses of these things" (Luke 24:48).
  2. The method: We must go into the world as Jesus did: "As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you" (John 20:21 NLT).
  3. The might: We can receive power from the Spirit: "I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49).

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Parallels Between Luke 2 & 24

N. T. Wright, in his book The Resurrection of the Son of God, points out some interesting parallels (pp. 650-651) between the account of Jesus' appearance to the Emmaus disciples (Luke 24:13-35) and the story of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41-51).
Another Passover, another Jerusalem visit: a couple beginning their journey away from Jerusalem, discovering (in chapter 2) that Jesus was not with them, or (in chapter 24) that he was, but unrecognized. Mary and Joseph hurry back to the city, like Cleopas and his companion but with a very different mood. They search in vain for three days (2:46), the parallel to which hardly needs pointing out. When they find the boy Jesus, his quizzical reply echoes down through the gospel story to the response of the unrecognized Jesus to the two on the road. "Why were you looking for me? Didn't you know that it was necessary for me to be among my father's affairs?" (2:49); and then, at last, "Foolish ones, slow of heart to believe all that the prophets had spoken! Was it not necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and enter into his glory?" (24:25-26). The tired, anxious couple in the Temple are matched by the sad, disappointed couple on the road. Mary and Joseph discover Jesus, only to be confronted with a strange word about divine necessity; Cleopas and his companion, hearing the strange word about divine necessity, sit down to eat and discover that it was Jesus all along.

The Appearance on the Road to Emmaus

Part 3 of He's Not Here

There are three revealing meals in Luke's Gospel:
  1. The Feeding of the Five Thousand: Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people (9:16). This meal revealed that Jesus is the Messiah.
  2. The Last Supper: And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me" (22:19). This meal revealed that Jesus would suffer.
  3. The Meal at Emmaus: When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them (24:30). This meal revealed that Jesus has risen!

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The Appearance to Mary Magdalene

Part 2 of He's Not Here

Death is not the end of the story. Believers will one day follow Christ in resurrection.
  1. Our resurrection is guaranteed because of Christ's resurrection.
  2. Our resurrection will be a transformation, not a restoration.
  3. Our resurrection will happen when Christ returns.
  4. Our resurrection is the final stage of our salvation.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Empty Tomb

Part 1 of He's Not Here

Was the tomb really empty?
  • If the enemies of Jesus had taken the body, they could have easily disproved the resurrection.
  • If the friends of Jesus had taken the body, they would not have risked their lives to proclaim the resurrection.
  • If grave robbers had taken the body, the grave clothes would not have been neatly left behind.
  • Yes, Jesus is risen!

If the tomb had not been empty, life would be empty.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Life. Money. Hope.




















May 17, 24, 31


Next month at Forest Hills we are offering a 3-week series on Sunday evenings (6:00-7:30) called Life. Money. Hope.

Leading financial expert Dave Ramsey will share (by video) timeless advice on money matters:
  1. The Basics of Biblical Finance
  2. Breaking the Bondage of Debt
  3. The #1 Myth about Money

(We appreciate LifeChurch.tv offering this resource free to churches.)

If you live in HRM, we invite you to join us for this series! For more information or to register, please click here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Good Friday Video

Here's a video called "The Crowd or the Cross" that we showed during our Good Friday Service.

Monday, April 6, 2009

New Sermon Series: He's Not Here

“If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17). Starting on Easter Sunday, I will begin a new series on Christ’s resurrection called He’s Not Here. This series will focus on the resurrection stories and will explain why the empty tomb is so important to our faith.
  1. The Empty Tomb
  2. The Appearance to Mary Magdalene
  3. The Appearance on the Road to Emmaus
  4. The Appearance to the Ten Disciples
  5. The Appearance to Thomas

Monday, March 30, 2009

Reconciliation

Part 4 of Finished

Reconciliation is the act of God whereby He does away with the hostility between a sinner and Himself and establishes peace.
  1. Reconciliation was necessary because of our sin (Romans 5:8-11).
  2. Reconciliation was accomplished by the cross (Colossians 1:19-22).
  3. Reconciliation produces peace with other believers (Ephesians 2:14-18).
  4. Reconciliation is a message God wants us to share (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Links of the Week II

Here are this week's links:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Propitiation

Part 3 of Finished

In pagan religions, it was believed that man could appease an angry god by offering gifts or sacrifices. This was propitiation.

Biblical propitiation is much different. Our sin does anger God, but it is not the sinner who offers the propitiation. "God set forth [Jesus] as a propitiation by His blood" (Romans 3:25 NKJV). "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10 NKJV).

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Redemption

Part 2 of Finished

Redemption is deliverance by the payment of a price. The price paid is called a ransom. Jesus declared, "The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45). The ransom price that is able to redeem us is the blood of Jesus. "It was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ" (1 Peter 1:18-19).

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Links of the Week

I thought I would start posting links to some sites that I have found helpful or interesting. So here's the first installment of "Links of the Week":

Monday, March 9, 2009

Substitution

Part 1 of Finished

Jesus declared, "The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45). The Greek word translated "for" is anti, which means, "instead of, in place of." On the cross, Jesus died instead of us, in our place.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

New Sermon Series: Finished

Just before His death on the cross, Jesus cried out, "It is finished!" (John 19:30). The original Greek could also be translated, "It is fulfilled!" or "It is completed!" or "It is accomplished!" What was finished/fulfilled/completed/accomplished?

This Sunday I am beginning a four-part series called Finished. In this series I will present four accomplishments of Christ on the cross.
  1. Substitution
  2. Redemption
  3. Propitiation
  4. Reconciliation

Monday, March 2, 2009

You Can't Please Everyone

Part 3 of You Don't Have What It Takes

Are you living for the applause of people or the approval of God?

Becoming obsessed with what pleases people is the quickest way to forget what pleases God. As followers of Christ, we need to constantly remind ourselves of the following fact: "I can't please everyone, but I can always please God."

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Follow the Leader

A Baptism Message

Question: How many times are the words "Christian" and "Christians" found in the New Testament?
Answer: Only 3 (Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16).

Question: How many times are the words "disciple" and "disciples" found in the New Testament?
Answer: Almost 300!

"The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch" (Acts 11:26). "Disciple" was the original name for those who believed that Jesus was the Christ.

Every true Christian should consider himself/herself a disciple (follower) of Jesus Christ. And a disciple's primary duty is to imitate Jesus.

(Free graphics for this message can be found at stufficanuse.com.)

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

You Can't Control the Future

Part 2 of You Don't Have What It Takes

How do you view the future? Are you filled with self-confidence because you think you are in control? Are you filled with worry because you know there are many things out of your control? Or are you filled with faith because you believe God is in control?

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

God Is Love

A Valentine's Day Message

The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately one billion Valentine's cards are sent each year worldwide. But God didn't send us a card to express His love; He sent His Son. "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

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You Aren't Good Enough

Part 1 of You Don't Have What It Takes

You and I don't have what it takes to be good enough to win a place in heaven.

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Q & A

Part 4 of So You're Dead... Now What?

Jonathan answers questions about death, judgment, heaven, and hell.

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