Small steps in faith

Sunday, April 18, 2010

"Our Humanity and the Gift of Suffering"

These are my notes for this morning's sermon at Apex.

There was a baptism which is always an emotional moment for me plus we sang a Phil Wickham song "Safe" which made me choke up.

The series "Human" is continuing with the following scripture

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Sanctification = growth in Christ
Bible,Prayer,Community,Obedience and Suffering's the box we'd like to leave on the shelf but you can't shortcut around it

Paul talks about his thorn.

What is the thorn?
Nobody really knows. It could be could be psychological

We all have thorns

Thorns are painful
Thorns are chronic
Thorns expose our weakness

The thorn is allowed by God but the instrument of the thorn is Satan.
God uses Satan as the messenger.
The thorn makes you vulnerable
words are the messenger of Satan..Satan speaks's his native tongue

When you look at your life through your thorn , what conclusions do you come up with?
1 Bitter
2 Damaged
3 Unforgiven
4 Angry
5 Abandoned
6 Depressed
7 Weak
8 Hopeless

When you look at your life through God you are:

1 Blessed
2 His child
3 Chosen
4 Holy
5 Blameless
6 Loved
7 Predestined
8 Adopted
9 In Christ
10 Enjoyed
11 Freely loved
12 Redeemed
13 Forgiven
14 Loaded with grace

Which side are you living on?

Paul prays for his thorn to be removed 3 times but he understands the gift of the thorn

Our suffering is an act of God's grace

"God sees we need sickness for the goodness of our souls more than healing for the healing of our bodies"

What is the purpose of the thorn?

Thorns help us...

1 Stay humble
2 Treasure grace
3 Operate in Christ's power
4 Learn contentment

Monday, April 05, 2010

"For those of us who were not there"

These are my notes from Easter service at Apex. Darrell and I went Sat night so I wouldn't miss worship music and we would be able to find a seat since we were doing welcome/info table. There were easily 1100 people at the 9:30 service.

1 Corinthians 15:3-6

Rob directed his sermon to two separate groups
The first part of the sermon was for skeptics

Compelling truths regarding the resurrection of Jesus

1. The viability of the scriptures
Manuscript evidence is very strong.
Most differences that are found are insignificant.
There are eyewitness testimonies
In the old and new testaments..the characters have good and bad parts to them..there are doubters,murderers,thieves,adulterers,etc.
It says women were the first eyewitnesses to the resurrection. This would be something that wouldn't have been common in this culture.
It includes many details that can't be disproved.

2. The amt of eyewitnesses
After the resurrection, Jesus spent 40 days on the earth teaching..this wasn't done in secret. Over 500 eyewitnesses are described. It's not illusion or mistaken identity

3. The illogical nature of the resurrection

4. All rational human beings want it to be true(even if we don't want to believe it)

The second part of the sermon is for those believers who are full of doubt

Are you a disciple of Jesus but going through a season of doubt?

1. Can cause you to remove yourself from Christ-centered community. In scripture..Thomas had separated himself from the other disciples Doubt starts when our faith gets uncomfortable for us. We need to be gentle,consistent, encouraging to doubters.

2. Can cause you to place conditions on God in order to believe again. God is bound by nothing and no one.
Blessed are those who have not seen but have believed

God's ultimate miracle..The cross and resurrection. When you doubt..go through a "Thomas season", remember God has given you love, trust,joy, and hope. Cling to those truths.

Hebrews 11:6

Thomas went to India and lived out his life for the glory of God.