March 4, 2018 – James 5:12 – Pastor Zeke Mack

Calling us to be “People of our Word”, Pastor Zeke spoke this morning on how “We as Christians must be known for our integrity.”

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Main Points & Outline

  1. Warnings from Biblical History (Matthew 5:33)
    1. Numbers 30:2
    2. Case Studies
      1. Joshua 9
      2. Judges 11:29-40
      3. 1 Samuel: Saul’s frequent misuse of “As the Lord lives”
      4. Matthew 14:6-12
  2. Christ is the Source of our Integrity (Matthew 5:34-36, James 5:12)
    1. We can’t sweat by anything that God does not have authority over
  3. Practical Steps to Pursue Everyday Integrity (Matthew 5:37, James 5:12)
    1. Analyze what you say
      1. Do you intend to keep those things? (e.g. I’ll pray for you)
      2. Have you thought through the promise
    2. Realize God’s power
      1. Do you have the power to keep your promise?
      2. Have you asked God to help you keep your promise?
    3. Pursue humility and forgiveness
      1. We won’t be able to live perfectly, but we can ask God to forgive us and empower us to live more upright lives.

Scripture: James 5:12

12 But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation. (ESV)

February 25, 2018 – Philemon – Craig Miller

Craig & Karena Miller, missionaries with Crossworld, joined us this morning to speak about their ministry. Listen as Craig speaks on the book of Philemon and how it relates to global missions.

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Scripture: Philemon

Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,

To Philemon our beloved fellow worker and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.

Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you—I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus— 10 I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I became in my imprisonment.11 (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) 12 I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. 13 I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, 14 but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord. 15 For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, 16 no longer as a bondservant but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

17 So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. 18 If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. 19 I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. 20 Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ.

21 Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22 At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that through your prayers I will be graciously given to you.

23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you,24 and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.

25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. (ESV)

February 11, 2018 – James 5:7-11 – Pastor Zeke Mack

Continuing our series “James: God’s Wisdom for us Today”, Pastor Zeke focused on the how “we must be patient in our sufferings as we look to our Lord’s current and future victory.”

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Main Points & Outline

  1. Battle for Patience (v. 7)
    1. We are commanded to be patient.
    2. Why? Because our tendency is to rely on ourselves instead of God.
  2. Battle Plan for Patience (v. 7-9)
    1. We must establish our hearts. But how?
      1. Plant ourselves in God’s Word
      2. Surround ourselves with other believers
      3. Live life in the light of Christ’s return
  3. Blessings from Patience (v. 10-11)
    1. On the Day of the Lord we will receive tremendous blessing
    2. The blessings of Job will be nothing in comparison. We will live with God forever! (Revelation 21:1-5)

Scripture: James 5:7-11

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. 10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. (ESV)

January 28, 2018 – James 4:11-17 – Pastor Zeke Mack

Pastor Zeke continued through our series in James, giving us a proper perspective on our view of others and our plans.

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Main Points & Outline

Premise: We must humble ourselves by prioritizing God in the way we view others and plan our lives.

  1. We must not judge others (v 11-12)
    1. Important question: Who are you to judge your neighbor?
    2. Our behavior:
      1. Our tendency, given our knowledge of God, is to judge others.
    3. Who God is:
      1. God is both the legislative and executive branch. He makes and enforces the Law.
  2. We must submit our plans to God (v 13-17)
    1. Important question: What is your life?
    2. Our behavior:
      1. Our tendency is to forget about God and eternity in our day to day lives.
    3. Who God is:
      1. God has a plan for your life. Plan accordingly.

Scripture: James 4:11-17

11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. (ESV)

January 21, 2018 – James 3:13-4:10 – Pastor Zeke Mack

We continued through our series in the book of James this week, looking at the two competing desires that we experience everyday.

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Main Points & Outline

Main Premise: We must listen and follow God’s wisdom or we will default into the foolishness of worldly desires.

  1. Resist Worldly Passions (3:14-16; 4:1-4)
    1. Application: list the things you did this week for someone else; for God.
    2. When we allow the world to counsel us we open ourselves up to confusion and sin (v 16)
  2. Listen and Follow Godly Wisdom (3:13, 17-18; 4:5-10)
    1. Humility and gentleness define Godly wisdom (v 13, 17-18)
    2. We have a God who is infinitely jealous for our love and abundantly gives His grace (4:5-6)

Scripture: James 3:13-4:10

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. (ESV)