Saul & David
In life we will come across many obstacles. One that can rear it's ugly head is fear. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of poor health, fear of loneliness, fear of too many things to name. As Christians we never want to paralyzed by our fears, but overcome fear through the power of Christ.
We also don't want fear to dictate our actions. When we are caught up in fear we tend to react instead of respond, i.e. making rash decision instead of seeing the greater situation and responding clearly. Think about it this way: try to have a balcony perspective in any given situation instead of being in the orchestra pit.
The first two kings of Israel, Saul and David, both made mistakes, acted out of fear at times and were given the opportunity to respond instead of react. Saul was overcome by fear and it became his downfall. David learned to listen to the truth tellers in his life, repent and respond when faced with a hard situation.
The challenge for each of us is to name our fears, recognize if we are in the balcony or pit and allow others to speak truth into our situations. This empowers us with the strength of Christ to respond and not react.
God uses Esther, a young queen to the Persian king, to bring salvation to the Jewish people. One might not have expected much from her, but God has a calling on her life. An invitation to a sacred purpose.
Esther’s call and her effectiveness was this three fold picture. One, God moving to put her into a place of influence and power for such a time as this. Two, her response to God. Her willingness to say yes, to be used by him in such a way. But the last cord is just as important. Three, that King Xerxes was willing to listen.
How God moves is a dance between us all. It is how we listen and respond to Him. It’s how others give us the freedom to be used by God. It’s how others respond to the movement of God through us!
The story of Esther is about her as a person. And it isn’t. It’s about King Xerxes, Hamon and God’s people, and it isn’t. It’s really about the overarching theme of how God moves through our interconnected lives when we are open to His working. It’s about God ability to use each of us, as we are, in our exact stage and circumstance for this exact moment... for such a time as this.
Once a year, we take a Sunday to remember our loved ones whom have passed and claim our identity as saints in this world. More than that, All Saints Sunday is the opportunity to recognize the amazing love of Jesus Christ who invites us into the priesthood of all believers and gives us the peace to know our loved ones no long experience pain or sorrow.
As part of the Navigate process and as we reflect on PULSE and what God has been doing in our congregation, we also look at All Saints Sunday as an opportunity to dream again! As saints we are empowered to be about the Kingdom of God. We are invited into a ministry of grace to reconcile the world to our loving Father. As saints we know that Christ is with us and goes before us. Each day we can say YES to what the Spirit has in store.
Therefore, as we remember the saints that have gone before, as we honor their memory and their faith, we also say yes to being saints in the here and now. We want to dream new dreams of ministry and impact to bless this community. With the Lord, all things are possible.
Five hundred years ago, a man nailed a treatise to a church door and the world would never be the same. This past Sunday marked the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther was a good Catholic priest. He loved God and wanted others to love Him. Little did he know that challenging the norms and "the way we do things around here" would birth a revolution of faith.
Martin Luther wanted people to deepen their faith. He wanted to not simple do things the ways they have always done them, but get to the heart of the matter. He wanted the church to dream new dreams. And with his challenge nailed to the doors of the church, new dreams burst forth.
In memory and celebration of Reformation Sunday, we ask the Lord to give us new dreams. We desire to deepen our faith and see new things. Let us follow the faith and boldness of Martin Luther as we look to the future.
4 For the word of the Lord is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
5 The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.
6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
15 he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.
16 No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
18 But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
20 We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.
“Stand up, plead my case before the mountains;
let the hills hear what you have to say.
2 “Hear, you mountains, the Lord’s accusation;
listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth.
For the Lord has a case against his people;
he is lodging a charge against Israel.
3 “My people, what have I done to you?
How have I burdened you? Answer me.
4 I brought you up out of Egypt
and redeemed you from the land of slavery.
I sent Moses to lead you,
also Aaron and Miriam.
5 My people, remember
what Balak king of Moab plotted
and what Balaam son of Beor answered.
Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal,
that you may know the righteous acts of the Lord.”
6 With what shall I come before the Lord
and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Matthew 26: 47-56
While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.
50Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.”50 Or “Why have you come, friend?”
Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
52 “Put your sword back in its place,”Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.53Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?54But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”
55In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me.56But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.”Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path.
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
2 Timothy 3:14-17
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancyyou have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
John 1: 1-5 & 14
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Sacrificial & Generous Living & Giving
“One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered."
Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
Why does talking about tithing put up barriers? If money is such a part of our day to day lives, why do we shy away from the topic in church?
What is the difference between a generous heart and dutiful giving?
It’s not about the amount, it’s about the posture. What keeps you from worshipping God through your time, talents & resources?
God provides everything in our life. He invites us to be a part of His great ministry through our generosity. But people still don’t tithe regularly. Why not?
Missional Marker Series
In this series we will be talking about how to answer the questions: Where is the intersection of resources and community need? Where is God speaking to us? And now that we are listening to God, where is HE leading us and how do we follow? These are the questions to answer in order to understand the importance of vision.
Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Weekly Devotional Questions:
What is your definition of worship?
What are ways to worship besides singing?
How do we make worship about us and not about God?
How can your whole life be an act of praise?
What holds you back from living a life of praise? How can you change that this week?
Transforming Walk With Jesus
1 Corinthians 5:17-21
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Questions to help you with this week's Devotional:
Christianity is an invitation to new life through Jesus Christ! What does that mean to you?
Do you see faith as a journey? Why or why not?
A life of faith means continual growth. How has God been stretching and growing you lately?
He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion! What stands in your way from seeing God move in your life?
How is your walk with Jesus?
Romans 10:9-10 & 14-15
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved… How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
Weekly Devotional Questions
What is the gospel? What does evangelism mean to you?
Are you consciously dependent on the Holy Spirit and open to the people God has in your path? Why or why not?
What first attracted you to God and the church? Do you see those aspects in Trinity? Why or why not?
Do you believe the gospel is good news? What holds you back from sharing it with others?
Evangelism is less preaching on a street corner or sharing the “4 spiritual laws” and more about loving with a Christ-like love and sharing how God has changed your life. We challenge you to be open this week and share your story when prompted!
Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
1 Peter 2:12
“Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”
Weekly Devotional Questions:
Your identity is founded in God: as His loved and His child. Your very nature is as HIS image bearer. How does that effect how you see yourself? How does that effect how you see others?
What does compelling mean to you? What makes a Christian community compelling? What is not compelling about it?
What first attracted you to God and the church? Do you see those aspects in Trinity? Why or why not?
How can you be salt and light to others this week?
Looking at the construct of vitality including a non-anxious presence, conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit, responses to change and others.
Holy Week Services
Palm Sunday, Sunday April 9th, 10am
Service of Forgiveness, Wednesday April 12th, 7pm
Maundy Thursday, April 13th, 7pm
Good Friday, April 14th, 7pm
Easter Sunday, April 16th, 10am
This series will be based on the gaining of a better understanding of Jesus through the Gospel. We will learn about Jesus through his actions (his "way") and put them into action in our own lives. We challenge you to 'Know Your Savior' and grow in faith!
Join us on a 3 week study of our Behavioral Covenant. In the first in this series Pastor Cathy will look at being Christ-Centered. She talks about our faithful obedience to God and the Scripture as well as our conscious dependency on the Holy Spirit in our prayer.