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Shipwrecked Faith from a Shipwrecked Church

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The Church Has Left the Building

The Church Has Left the Building

The following is an article I received today from Roberto Bottrel, who is serving European churches by helping them multiply via cell-group ministry.  If you remember, this very subject is what we talked about the first Sunday we had to go online.  You might want to take a listen again, if you have forgotten.

Anyway, enjoy and get ready to embrace the future.

Because change is coming, and there is nothing we can do about it but prepare and adapt.

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May 19, 2020 – Turning Stones into Bread

May 19, 2020 – Turning Stones into Bread

Join us today as we look into Satan’s first shot at Jesus, tempting Him to turn stones into bread (Matt. 4:2-3).  On the surface, this doesn’t seem like that big of a deal.  But as you will discover, this temptation of Jesus is so effective against each of us today.  In fact, I think you’ll see how easily we all fail and turn our own stones into bread.

And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If (since, because) You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” (Matthew 4:2-3)

Intrigued?  Good.  Then let’s look at this incredible event together.

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May 18, 2020 – Shepherd or Cowboy?

May 18, 2020 – Shepherd or Cowboy?

Today we look into what it means when it says Jesus was “led up by the Spirit into the wilderness” (Matt. 4:1).  And Mark describes this event as “the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness” (Mark 1:12).  For many, the idea of being led is like a parent leading a child to a place he needs to go.  But “drove Him” gives us the impression of a cowboy driving cattle against their will.

In fact, there are three different Greek words used to describe the same event.

Then Jesus was led (anagō) up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. (Mathew 4:1)

Immediately the Spirit drove (ekballō) Him into the wilderness. (Mark 1:12)

Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led (agō) by the Spirit into the wilderness. (Luke 4:1)

So what is happening here?  Let’s find out together.

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Certainty in the Days of Uncertainty, Part 2

Certainty in the Days of Uncertainty, Part 2

As a brief word of encouragement today, let’s look at one of the most profound and powerful chapters in all the New Testament, Romans 8.  And let’s look at just the last two verses and see if we can get something for today to help us smile.

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).

In the middle of these uncertain times, when we seem to have more questions than answers, it is always good to rest and meditate on the certainties in God’s word.  And this is one of them.

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Certainty in the Days of Uncertainty

Certainty in the Days of Uncertainty

Yesterday was the second Sunday we met together virtually, and I for one can’t wait until we can put aside social distancing and meet again face-to-face.  I miss your voice as you sing songs to the Lord and offer prayers to Him for the sake of others.  I miss your attentiveness as we look into His Word together and I especially miss our times of fellowship when we can catch up on things and see how everyone’s doing.

But since it appears this ordeal our nation is going through will last for several more weeks (hopefully not longer), I thought it would be encouraging to remember in the face of uncertainty what we do know for certain, and in our world of constant change, what is unchangeable and will remain forever.

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Prayer: Ephesians 3:8 – The Unsearchable Riches of Christ

Prayer: Ephesians 3:8 – The Unsearchable Riches of Christ

As I shared this last Sunday, I’ve been rather overwhelmed with the phrase found in Ephesians 3:8, the “unsearchable riches in Christ.”  It has literally taken me a few days to get my head around what all that phrase entails.  Paul begins this verse by expressing his profound gratitude for God’s choice of him by verbalizing how unworthy he is of such grace.  He calls himself “less than the least of all the saints,” yet he received from the Lord the divine calling to “preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph. 3:8).

You and I, like Paul, have different mission fields.  For Paul, it was the Gentiles.  For us, it may be our families, work associates, neighbors, those in our extended sphere of influence, or anyone the Lord places in our path to shine His light in their darkness (Matt. 5:14, Eph. 5:8).  But the message we preach is the same as Paul’s.  And that message is simply this; we preach the “unsearchable riches of Christ.”

Our verse to help focus our prayer time today reads as follows:

To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ – Ephesians 3:8.

The word Paul uses, “unsearchable” (anexichníastos), means “untraceable or impossible to trace,” like looking for fading footprints in the snow.  Elsewhere it’s translated as “unfathomable, incomprehensible, endless, boundless, incalculable, inexplorable, inexhaustible, and without limit.”  It conveys the idea of something never-ending and beyond human measure.

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