When Paul described a well-functioning church to Timothy, he described a church that was all about relationships. The relationship between members and the Holy Spirit was significant. But for Paul, the well-functioning church was built on strong inter-personal relationships. Caring for widows, for the elderly, the brothers and sisters in the faith, and the people who gave themselves in ministry to the congregation was – and continues to be – the hallmark of a well-functioning congregation.
In 1 Timothy 4, Paul makes reference to some false teachings that had arisen in the early church that were leading believers to abandon their faith. In his instructions to Timothy, he holds these false teachings up against the truth of God’s word. And in the process, he encourages Timothy to be diligent in teaching the truth of the gospel.
Paul provides Timothy with some qualifications for church leaders that all hinge on his belief that the church should be the pillars of truth in the world.
Requests, Prayer, Intercession, Thanksgiving, Holiness, Peace, and Unity are the hallmarks of a spiritually healthy church according to Paul. May we all strive to develop a congregation that meets those hallmarks for the sake of the gospel!
While in Philippi, Paul wrote to his ministry associate/student Timothy, who he had left in Ephesus to continue the work of ministry there. In his letter, he encouraged young Timothy to stay in Ephesus, and to continue working to combat divisions and incorrect doctrines that had arisen among the Ephesian Christians. But Paul’s main concern was to remind Timothy that the goal of his teaching, preaching, and exhortation should always be love. And more specifically, love that comes from a “pure heart and a good conscience, and a sincere faith.” (1 Timothy 1:5)
In the parable of the lost sheep, the shepherd left the 99 in pursuit of the 1. What a blessing it is to know that we are that 1%, that no matter what failures or shortcomings we bring to the table, Jesus will always pursue us.
In a world that is constantly changing, where nothing seems consistent, and where the bar is continually being moved, we find peace in knowing that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The sermon this morning is from Hebrews 13, and offers hope and stability in unsure times.
The prophet Isaiah uses a beautiful poem about a vine master and his vineyard to describe the relationship between God and the people of Judah. This “love song” details the careful provisions that God (the vine master) made on behalf of his vineyard (the nation of Judah) only to have Judah produce rotten, putrid grapes of wrath instead of the good fruit they were designed to produce. By seeking God, and by relying on his provisions including the Holy Spirit and the Messiah Jesus Christ, we can help to ensure that we are not grapes of wrath, but rather that we are producing fruit fit for the kingdom of heaven.
The Bible contains 7,487 promises made from God to humankind, and God is faithful to keep every single one of those promises. But sometimes, as was the case for Abram in this morning’s scripture, God has to move us out of our comfort zone – out of the safety of the light, and out of the places where WE are in control – and move us into the darkness of the night. For it is only in the darkness that we can see the stars. And only once we have seen the stars can we fully recognize just how faithful God is, and how many promises he has kept for us.
Waiting is difficult for any of us to do, regardless of what we are waiting on. And that is especially true when we are waiting on God. By looking at Luke 12:32-40, we learn that there are 3 “W’s” to waiting. There is a when – a definitive time that we are waiting. There is a where – meaning that our waiting has a specific location. And there is a what – as in, what are we waiting for?
Using Luke’s version of the Lord’s prayer as our guide, we discuss how Christians today can have a more faithful prayer life by modeling the prayer that Jesus taught to his disciples.
A look at Mary and Martha as seen in the 10th chapter of Luke’s gospel, and a lesson about being so distracted with the things going on around us that we fail to see the Messiah sitting right in front of us.
Next Chapter. A message of endings and new beginnings from Philippians 4:1-9
Find your story. Tell your story. A lesson from John 3:1-17.
A message from Acts 2:1-21 for Pentecost Sunday. It’s a Party!
The fifteenth and final sermon in the Sunday School Stories series. A lesson from Matthew 28:16-20 and The Great Commission.
The fourteenth installment in the Sunday School Stories sermon series. A lesson from Mary, Martha, and Luke 10:38-42.
Teh thirteenth sermon in the Sunday School Stories series. A lesso from Zacchaeus and Luke 19:1-10
The twelfth sermon in the Sunday School Stories series. A lesson from Mary, Joseph, and Luke 2:41-52
The eleventh sermon in the Sunday School Stories series. A lesson from the woman at the well and John 4:4-42
The tenth installment in the Sunday School Stories sermon series. A lesson from Joshua and the Battle of Jericho and Joshua 6:1-20
The ninth installment in the Sunday School Stories sermon series. An Easter message from Mary Magdalene and John 20:1-18
The eighth installment of the Sunday School Stories sermon series. Lessons from Jesus’ Triumphal Entry and Matthew 21:1-11
The latest installment (7, I think?) in the Sunday School Stories sermon series. A lesson from Daniel 3:1-30
The fifth installment in the Sunday School Stories sermon series. A message from Daniel 6 – Daniel in the Lions’ Den
The fourth installment in the Sunday School Stories sermon series. A lesson from Jonah 1:1-2:1 and 3:1-3
The fourth installment in the Sunday School Stories sermon series. A lesson from David and Goliath and 1 Samuel 17:32-49
The third installment in the Sunday School Stories sermon series. Today’s story is Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors.
The second sermon in the Sunday School Stories series. A message from Exodus 3:1-15
The Baby in the Basket. The first sermon in the Sunday School Stories series
A message from Luke 6:17-26
Only Trust Him. A message from Luke 5:1-11
A message from Jeremiah 1:4-10
Lessons from the Water Gate. A lesson from Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
Many Gifts, One Spirit. A lesson from Paul and 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
A lesson from God through the prophecy of Isaiah. Isaiah 43:1-7
Lessons from the second chapter of Matthew and the wisemen
Words – A Lesson from John 1:1-14
The Blessing of Home. The fourth sermon in the Come Home for Christmas series. A lesson from Micha 5:2-5a and Luke 1:39-45
The Joy of Home. The third sermon in the Come Home for Christmas series. A lesson from Zephaniah 3:14-20 and Luke 3:7-18