There are so many reasons why we don't study the Bible. I wish we had a longer list of reasons why we DO study the Bible. Today's message is very practical. We need to get a grip on God's Word. Do you have a high view of God's Word? If you do, then you are probably a student of the Word as well. The purpose of personal Bible study isn't to simply gain more knowledge but to know the Author of the Book.
No matter where you are on the spectrum of your spiritual journey, I think it is safe to say that everyone wants to be better at praying. Whether it's consistency or depth or vigilance, we long to strive for more. Praying is hard work. It is a discipline too. In our series, Stuff Christians Believe, we see the importance of a lifestyle of prayer. Take up the challenge and pray for the 500 with us!
Why do we worship? Genuine worship is our response to who God is. Last week we were reminded that God is Awesome. In response to that truth, we worship. We recognize our utter dependence on Him. Psalm 96 is a call to worship. We are called & created by God to worship. The Westminster Shorter Catechism: the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.
This Easter we kicked off a new sermon series called Stuff Christians Believe, highlighting some of the foundational beliefs and practices of Christians throughout the centuries. On Easter Sunday we talked about how to categorize Jesus. Pop culture accepts Jesus as a good moral teacher, but in this message we show why Jesus cannot be just a good moral teacher. In an adaptation of C. S. Lewis' classic argument, we show that Jesus must be either a Liar, a Lunatic, a Legend, or the Lord. What do you do with Jesus?
What happens when you follow God's will for your life & things go south? You can still trust God even when things don't turn out the way you thought they should. You can still trust God that he will provide justice in his time. The stories of Acts 16 should bring hope to all of us that we can rejoice in our sufferings when doing what God has called us to do.
Very few of us like being told "no." But what happens when God says, "No." How do we react? How we react is a pretty clear picture of our spiritual maturity. In today's study in Acts, we see the Holy Spirit stopping the Pauline entourage from entering Asia and Bithynia. In the Christian vernacular, we often say that "God closed a door." To many, when that happens, it can be very devastating. Closed door are one of the most effective tools that the Holy Spirit uses to guide us.
Have you ever messed up in a big way? You failed, let down a friend, broke trust, hurt someone you love, shattered a relationship... Maybe you feel like damaged goods, useless and ruined. Take heart! Mark made that kind of life-changing mistake, but God picked up the pieces of his broken life, put them back together, and used Mark to do incredible things for the Church (including writing a book of the Bible)! This is Mark's story...
Conflict. Dissension. Debate. Just as The Church is seeing "all the things God has done", a council is called to settle the dispute. The process of resolution is uncanny for the sake of the gospel and the expanse of the Kingdom which was meant to create unity. What was the dispute? They must answer, "What does a person have to do to be saved?"
What are the qualities of a disciple-maker? Before we can produce those qualities, we need to know what a disciple is and how to make one. We cover all of that in today's message. Paul and Barnabas made disciples. We can too. In fact, that's what we are supposed to do.
"For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction." This was Sir Isaac Newton's Third Law of Motion. It's not only true in the physical world, but in the world of relationships too. Besides that, Paul & Barnabas experienced reactions and responses to the gospel. Some of the responses were positive. Some of the reactions were negative. Today's message teaches us to be prepared for different responses to the gospel.