November 19, 2017 “God Models Forgiveness”

God modeled forgiveness when, in love, He sent Jesus  to earth (John 3:16-17).  Jesus gave His life in order to forgive us (Matthew 26:28; Romans 10:13).  Jesus’ forgiveness is so radical He even asked His Father to forgive those who crucified Him (Luke 23:34)!  Forgiveness isn’t justice, it’s mercy.  The people who crucified Jesus didn’t deserve it, but He gave it just the same.  Relationships thrive when the person that was hurt extends mercy, grace and forgiveness (Romans 5:20).

Christians are not challenged to only be nice to nice people, they are called to be like God.  Healthy relationships thrive only amid mercy, grace and forgiveness!

Scripture Reading: Luke 23:32-37

Sermon Length – 19:44

November 19, 2017 The Limit of Forgiveness Summary

The Limit of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is essential to all healthy relationships, and is the ultimate expression of love.  Forgiveness means to erase an offense and no longer hold that offense/hurt against the offender.  Forgive from your heart (Matthew 18:35), mean it.  When you forgive you:  1. Resist revenge and returning evil for evil, (Romans 12:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:15), 2. Desire good for them and are willing to help them, (Luke 6:28; Proverbs 24:17; Matthew 5:44; Exodus 23:4), and 3. Seek to restore the relationship, if possible, (Romans 12:18).  Forgiveness is Not:   1. The absence of anger at sin, (1 Peter 2:23; Psalms 30:5), 2. The removal of the consequences, necessarily, (2 Samuel 12:9-13; Psalms 99:8), and 3. The same for a repentant person verses an unrepentant person, (Luke 17:3-4; Matthew 18:17).  A restored relationship can happen only when the offender is repentant.  An unrepentant person will sabotage trust and intimacy.  The word limit means the “point where something ends.” Where does forgiveness come to an end?  Whatever you think the limit is, Jesus pushes the envelope and stretches us.  We  are challenged to love, in a meaningful way, difficult, hateful, cruel, greedy, selfish, unkind, and even wicked people (Luke 6:27-36).  Jesus’ logic is anyone can be nice to nice people, but He expects much more from His followers.  If you have received and experienced God’s forgiveness, you will forgive others (Matthew 6:12, 14-15; Mark 11:25-26).

How can we forgive and love difficult/hurtful people?

#1  Look Inward  at how much Christ has forgiven you. Connecting forgiveness and love together, Jesus said, “…he who has been forgiven little loves little.” (Luke 7:47b).  The more you have been forgiven, the greater your capacity to love will be.

#2 Look Upward to God’s example.  He is kind to ungrateful, wicked people.  “Be merciful just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36).  We’re challenged to be like God!

#3  Let gratitude in your heart motivate you to more easily forgive others.  #4  If you cannot forget the hurt done to you, also remember your decision to forgive.  God modeled forgiveness when, in love, He sent Jesus to earth (John 3:16-17).  Jesus gave His life in order to forgive us (Matthew 26:28; Romans 10:13).  Jesus’ forgiveness is so radical He even asked His Father to forgive those who crucified Him (Luke 23:34)!  Forgiveness isn’t justice, it’s mercy.  The people who crucified Jesus didn’t deserve it, but He gave it just the same.  Relationships thrive when the person that was hurt extends mercy, grace and forgiveness (Romans 5:20).  Christians are not challenged to only be nice to nice people, they are called to be like God.  Healthy relationships thrive amid mercy, grace and forgiveness!

 

 

 

 

November 12, 2017 “God Motivates Us”

If you have been forgiven by God, if you have received and experienced God’s forgiveness, you will forgive others. A natural result of being forgiven is to readily forgive others.

What is forgiveness? 1. You don’t take revenge; 2. You desire good for them; and 3. You seek to restore the relationship, if possible.

Forgiveness is not: 1. The absence of anger toward sin; 2. Forgiveness may not remove sins consequences; and 3. Forgiveness of an unrepentant person doesn’t look the same as forgiveness of a repentant person. Let gratitude in your heart motivate you to more easily forgive.

Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:9-15

Sermon Length – 28:40

November 5, 2017 “God Pushes the Envelope”

God pushes the envelope on forgiveness. How can we forgive and love, in a meaningful way, difficult, hateful, cruel, greedy, selfish, unkind and wicked people?

#1 Look Inward. Reflect on sin in your own life and how much Christ has forgiven you. “ . . . He who has been forgiven little loves little.” Luke 7:47b

#2 Look Upward. God is kind to ungrateful, wicked people. “Be Merciful, just as you Father is merciful.” Luke 6:36.

Do you have someone you need to forgive and no longer hold their offenses against them?

Scripture Reading: Luke 6:27-36

Sermon Length – 22:43

October 29, 2017 Carlene Kohler Message

Do you know that you are known BY God? Do you know Him? Through prayer and time in the Bible we grow in our knowledge of Who He is and who we are in Him.  Spend time with Jesus, seek to go deeper in your relationship with Him. You won’t be disappointed.

Scripture Reading: Psalm 121

Sermon Length – 42:09

October 22, 2017 “Concerning the Wanderer”

Are we our brothers’ (and sisters’) keeper?  Are we to keep track of each other?  Yes!  If someone wanders from the Christian faith, and is not actively living for Christ, seek them out.  Help them come back to the truth.  The stakes are high because you are saving them from eternal spiritual death.  With an attitude of love (1 Peter 4:8), gentleness, and humility (Galatians 6:1), ask them some probing questions.
1.        What do you mean by that?  Seek to understand them and get their perspective.
2.       Where do you get your information?  Is it fact or opinion?
3.       How do they know that’s true?  In a kind way you’re asking them why you should believe them.
4.       What if you’re wrong?  Some issues and beliefs have lasting impact, especially our beliefs about God.
Use these questions to spark meaningful conversations!

Scripture Reading: James 5:19-20

Sermon Length – 24:30

October 22, 2017 – James Chapter 5

James chapter 5, Summary

What does it take for you and me to live with contentment? How much is enough?  For the Apostle Paul, food and clothing was enough (1 Timothy 6:6-10).  Being a Christian with money is a huge responsibility.  Just living a respectable life is not enough. God wants more from us.  He wants us to use our money for good, for others, and for God.  Paul said God gave him the strength to live contentedly (Philippians 4:12-13) regardless of the circumstances.  Pastor David Roper said, “Our task today is just to accept things as they are and to be content, knowing that in the love, wisdom, and providence of God this moment is as good as it can possibly be.”

When you’ve been mistreated, James says, be patient, wait in calm, show self-restraint instead of getting even.  Be patient because the Lord’s return is near (James 5:8).  While we wait we can develop the “quieter virtues” of submission, humility, patience, joyful endurance, and persistence in well-doing.  Your struggle and suffering is not meaningless, every millisecond is shaping you (2 Corinthians 4:17).  Wait persistently for your compassionate and merciful God to act.  His coming is near.  Endure until He comes. Christians should maintain a high standard for truthfulness in all their speech.  The face-value of their words should be trustworthy. If a Christian is sick or weak (in body, mind or spirit), they can ask church Elders and leaders for prayer and anointing with oil for healing, forgiveness and wholeness.  God, in His sovereignty, decides how He will respond, but spiritual wholeness should be our highest desire. Anointing and prayer for healing isn’t magic, it’s an act of obedience and faith in God.

Are we our brothers’ (and sisters’) keeper?  Are we to keep track of each other?  Yes!  If someone wanders from the Christian faith, and is not actively living for Christ, seek them out.  Help them come back to the truth.  The stakes are high because you are saving them from eternal spiritual death.  With an attitude of love (1 Peter 4:8), gentleness, andhumility (Galatians 6:1), ask them some probing questions.

  1.   What do you mean by that?  Seek to understand them and get their perspective.
  1. Where do you get your information?Is it fact or opinion?
  2. How do they know that’s true?In a kind way you’re asking them why you should believe them.
  1. What if you’re wrong?Some issues and beliefs have lasting impact, especially our beliefs about God.

Use these questions to spark meaningful conversations!

 

 

October 15, 2017 “Oaths and Prayer”

At the end of James he talks about truthful speech and prayer for healing. Christians should maintain a high standard for truthfulness in all their speech. The face value of their words should be trustworthy.

If a Christian is sick or weak (in body, mind or spirit), they can ask church Elders and leaders for prayer and anointing with oil for healing, forgiveness and wholeness, God, in His sovereignty, decides how He will respond, but spirited wholeness should be our highest desire. Anointing and prayer for healing isn’t magic, it’s an act of obedience and faith in God.

Scripture Reading: James 5:12-18

Sermon Length – 36:23

October 8, 2017 “Patience in Suffering”

When you’ve been mistreated, James says , be patient, wait in calm, show self restraint instead of getting even. Be patient because the Lord’s return is near (James 5:8). While we wait we can develop the “quieter virtues” of submission, humility, patience, joyful endurance, and persistence in well-doing. Your struggle and suffering is not meaningless, every millisecond is shaping you (2 Corinthians 4:17). Wait persistently for your compassionate and merciful God to act. His coming is near. Endure until He comes.

Scripture Reading: James 5:7-11

Sermon Length – 30:39

October 1, 2017 “Gaining and Using Money”

What does it take for you and me to live with contentment? How much is enough? For the Apostle Paul, food and clothing was enough (1 Timothy 6:6-10). Being a Christian with money is a huge responsibility. Just living a respectable life is not enough. God wants more from us. He wants us to use our money for good, for others, and for God. Paul said God gave him the strength to live contentedly (Philippians 4:12-13) regardless of the circumstances. Pastor David Roper said, “Our task today is just to accept things as they are and to be content, knowing that in the love, wisdom, and providence of God this moment is a good as it can possibly be.”                                                   

Scripture Reading: James 5:1-16

Sermon Length – 23:12