Jan 31, 2021
Matthew 6:5-15; Acts 2:42-47 “Vision in Action: Exectant Prayer”
Thoughts for Reflection: In the next 7 years HCC will boldly bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to every household in the greater Hopkins Community through Expectant Prayer, Effective Evangelism, and Radical Obedience to the Holy Spirit.  Last week we laid out God’s Vision for HCC over the next seven years; today we begin to unpack it and it all begins with prayer.  Everything that the Apostles did in Acts and all the growth of the early church and the Kingdom was bathed in prayer and so shall our efforts be as well. Prayer is something that we all know we should do.  It is something Jesus taught about and modeled and something the disciples continued to do and to teach after He had ascended.  They prayed boldly & expectantly, believing that God would work mightily on their behalf.  How often do our prayers feel this way?  Do we approach the throne boldly, expecting to have God’s ear and concern or do our prayers default to rote repetitions with a faint hope that God might hear us? Questions to take home:
  1. Read 1 Timothy 2:1-4.  What does Paul have to say to Timothy about prayer here?  Who & what should be prayed for?  How does this encouragement match up with Jesus’ teaching on prayer that we read today from Matthew 6:5-15?
  2. If God showed up today and answered all of the prayers you prayed in the last week what would happen?  Would anyone new be entering the Kingdom of God?  How is this answer encouraging or convicting?  What changes do you think might need to come from this?
  3. Our first major goal in the HCC Vision is to meet our neighbors in the Village of Hopkins.  Go for a drive (or two) this week through the neighborhoods of the village.  Ask God to give you eyes to see things here the way He sees them.  Listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.  What did you see and hear?  How is God leading you to pray for the Village of Hopkins in the next month?
WatchNotesDownloadDateTitle
  • Jan 31, 2021Matthew 6:5-15; Acts 2:42-47 “Vision in Action: Exectant Prayer”
    Jan 31, 2021
    Matthew 6:5-15; Acts 2:42-47 “Vision in Action: Exectant Prayer”
    Thoughts for Reflection: In the next 7 years HCC will boldly bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to every household in the greater Hopkins Community through Expectant Prayer, Effective Evangelism, and Radical Obedience to the Holy Spirit.  Last week we laid out God’s Vision for HCC over the next seven years; today we begin to unpack it and it all begins with prayer.  Everything that the Apostles did in Acts and all the growth of the early church and the Kingdom was bathed in prayer and so shall our efforts be as well. Prayer is something that we all know we should do.  It is something Jesus taught about and modeled and something the disciples continued to do and to teach after He had ascended.  They prayed boldly & expectantly, believing that God would work mightily on their behalf.  How often do our prayers feel this way?  Do we approach the throne boldly, expecting to have God’s ear and concern or do our prayers default to rote repetitions with a faint hope that God might hear us? Questions to take home:
    1. Read 1 Timothy 2:1-4.  What does Paul have to say to Timothy about prayer here?  Who & what should be prayed for?  How does this encouragement match up with Jesus’ teaching on prayer that we read today from Matthew 6:5-15?
    2. If God showed up today and answered all of the prayers you prayed in the last week what would happen?  Would anyone new be entering the Kingdom of God?  How is this answer encouraging or convicting?  What changes do you think might need to come from this?
    3. Our first major goal in the HCC Vision is to meet our neighbors in the Village of Hopkins.  Go for a drive (or two) this week through the neighborhoods of the village.  Ask God to give you eyes to see things here the way He sees them.  Listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.  What did you see and hear?  How is God leading you to pray for the Village of Hopkins in the next month?
  • Jan 24, 2021Luke 4:16-21; Matthew 9:35-38, 28:18-20; Acts 1:8 “A God-Sized Dream”
    Jan 24, 2021
    Luke 4:16-21; Matthew 9:35-38, 28:18-20; Acts 1:8 “A God-Sized Dream”

    Thoughts for Reflection:

    God is a God of both mission and vision.  From the very beginning, God’s mission in creation was to love and live in relationship with humanity that would also love and worship Him.  When creation was broken through Adam and Eve’s sin, God laid out a vision to repair and redeem all of creation, because of His great love, through His mercy, grace, and sacrifice.  This Vision was realized by the death and resurrection of Jesus and a new Vision, that of a great multitude of worshippers and a New Heaven and Earth, recorded in Revelation became the new Vision of God to be realized when Jesus comes again.

    God’s mission, from the very beginning, has not changed.  His vision, however, has seen many seasons and shifts as God works out His will to its ultimate end.  Hopkins Community Church exists to connect people to Christ and Community; this is our mission and it has been a part of who we are… in our “DNA” for much of HCC’s existence.  Today we begin to lay the groundwork of a 7-year vision to boldly bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to the community of Hopkins through Expectant Prayer, Effective Evangelism, and Radical Obedience to the Holy Spirit.

    Questions to take home:

     
    1. The terms “mission” and “vision” get thrown around a lot, yet they are not the same thing.  How would you say that mission and vision are different, and how are they related?  Have you ever considered what your personal “mission” and your current “vision” are for your life?

    2. Have you ever thought about what God’s ultimate “mission” is?  How does understanding His mission better help us to understand and participate in our Scripturally given roll?  What is our Scripturally given roll in God’s mission?

    3. How does God’s vision for HCC over the next 7 years strike you?  Are you excited?  Overwhelmed?  Skeptical?  What do you think it is going to take for us to get there and how do you see yourself as a part of it?  Would you commit to praying for HCC and about this Vision in the next couple of months as we start moving forward with it?

  • Jan 17, 20211 Samuel 17 “David and Goliath”
    Jan 17, 2021
    1 Samuel 17 “David and Goliath”
    Series: Discipleship
    Cadet Sunday
    Jim Fredricks Preaching
  • Jan 10, 2021Luke 9:1-6, 10 “Making Disciples Jesus’ Way”
    Jan 10, 2021
    Luke 9:1-6, 10 “Making Disciples Jesus’ Way”
    Series: Discipleship
  • Jan 3, 2021Jeremiah 29:4-14 “Settle In”
    Jan 3, 2021
    Jeremiah 29:4-14 “Settle In”
    Thoughts for Reflection: We all have high hopes for 2021, especially after the year that we’ve just had.  You don’t have to look far, however, to see that any immediate change for the better is still fairly far into the future.  Whether it is mutated strains of COVID-19, continuing political turmoil, the moral degradation of society, increased tensions in the Middle East, or the general darkness of the winter season, pinning our hopes on something worldly to go right is ultimately a fruitless endeavor. When the Kingdom of Judah was dragged into captivity, having lost any sense of “normal” for their lives, God spoke to them words of comfort and reassurance.  Even in the swirling chaos that they experienced, God was there and He was still actively working in and through His people.  Rather than sitting and waiting, protesting or resisting, God encourages His people to “settle down” and live as His people in a foreign and hostile land.  Perhaps it is time for the Church to do the same and recognize that even though our world has “changed”, we are still called to the same mission, serving the same unchanging God. Questions to take home:
    1. What is one thing that you’ve been holding on to this year hoping it would return to normal soon?  Do you think that holding on to this has been hindering you in any way?  How could you experience freedom in your life by giving it to God?
    2. How does thinking about our current life as the “new normal” change your perspective for how you think about the things going on around you?  How does your view of God’s work in and through you change?
    3. We, the church, are called to be “Christ’s Hands and Feet”, to minister and proclaim the Gospel in the context that we are in.  What do you think needs to change for us if we are to do this effectively?  What about for you?
  • Dec 27, 2020Luke 2:41-52 “Christmas: Setting the Stage for Mission”
    Dec 27, 2020
    Luke 2:41-52 “Christmas: Setting the Stage for Mission”
    Message from December 27, 2020  
  • Dec 24, 2020Luke 2:1-20 “Christmas: Setting the Stage for Salvation”
    Dec 24, 2020
    Luke 2:1-20 “Christmas: Setting the Stage for Salvation”
    Series: Advent
    Christmas Eve Service
    Pastor Jon VanderWall Preaching
  • Dec 20, 2020Isaiah 92, 6-7; 7:14 “Advent: Setting the Stage – Prophecy”
    Dec 20, 2020
    Isaiah 92, 6-7; 7:14 “Advent: Setting the Stage – Prophecy”
    Series: Advent
  • Dec 13, 20202 Samuel 7:12-16 “Advent: Setting the Stage for the Kingdom”
    Dec 13, 2020
    2 Samuel 7:12-16 “Advent: Setting the Stage for the Kingdom”
    Series: Advent
    Thoughts for Reflection: Throughout Jesus’ earthly ministry, the Kingdom of Heaven is one of the topics that He addresses most.  Often speaking through parables, Jesus explains what this Kingdom is like and how it expands.  This, however, is not the first time this sort of language is spoken of in Scripture.  From the time of King David, God puts forth the understanding that His Kingdom would be established on earth through David’s line, ultimately resulting in the birth of Jesus, the Messiah. God tells David that his throne would be established forever.  This too points to Jesus not just as a relative of David, or as an exemplary teacher and moral example, but as the true King of kings and Lord of Lords.  So many New Testament passages affirm this position of Jesus, seated on “David’s throne” and at “God’s Right Hand.”  Ultimately, though, as we look forward to Christmas, we must consider what it means for us that the King of Heaven came into the world, when we declare Jesus as Lord and King of our lives as well. Questions to take home:
    1. What do you think about when you hear “Kingdom of Heaven/God”?  Where would you say you have learned the most about that?  How has that understanding been challenged or confirmed through today’s Scripture passage?
    2. Jesus fulfills three Old Testament rolls: Prophet, Priest and King.  How do you understand Jesus as your King and what implications does that have for your life and walk of faith?
    3. We talk often about seeing “the Kingdom expand” in the community of Hopkins.  What does that mean for you?  How do you envision that being accomplished?  How do you see yourself as a part of that expansion?
  • Dec 6, 2020Genesis 12:1-9; Exodus 20:1-21 “Advent: Setting the Stage – Covenant Promise”
    Dec 6, 2020
    Genesis 12:1-9; Exodus 20:1-21 “Advent: Setting the Stage – Covenant Promise”
    Series: Advent

    Thoughts for Reflection:

    Having set the stage for the coming Messiah, a Redeemer and Savior from the sin humanity has become bound to, Scripture then takes us on a journey. Along that journey God reveals how he is going to bring about this Messiah, what this Savior will be like, and how redemption will be accomplished. Through a series of covenants, God gradually sets the stage for the coming Messiah, His Son, and shows His people both their need for Him and what He will be like.

    As we journey through Advent and look forward to the Christmas holiday, we find ourselves thinking a great deal about the story of that first Christmas night. Shepherds and angels, wisemen and a manger, and a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths. That’s what Christmas is all about, right Charlie Brown? But there is so much more wrapped up in those cloths than just an infant and the way that we understand and recognize Him, His Mission, and ultimately His deity and Holiness has been part of God’s work for hundreds of years.
     

    Questions to take home:

    What are some of the normal things that come to mind when you think about the Christmas narrative? Do you ever find yourself dismissing this amazing happening because you’ve “heard it before?” How can you intentionally work to deepen your understanding of the Incarnation of Christ this year?

    We read the 10 Commandments today. Read Romans 3:9-20 & 7:7-25. What is the connection to the Messiah here? How do these passages help you understand the person of Jesus Christ better?

    Ultimately, the story of Christmas is a message that we are called to share. How does our understanding of God’s word to “set the stage” for the coming of Jesus Christ help you better share the Good News with others?

  • Nov 29, 2020Genesis 3:1-15 “Advent: Setting the Stage”
    Nov 29, 2020
    Genesis 3:1-15 “Advent: Setting the Stage”
    Series: Advent
    Thoughts for Reflection: Though the contemporary season of Advent is not truly outlined in the Bible, the theme of “expectant waiting” and anticipation for the coming of the Lord and His work is found throughout Scripture. From the very beginning, humanity had been waiting for the One who would crush the head of the serpent. The people of God waited through both good times and bad times for the coming of the Messiah. In the present age, we wait once again for Christ’s Second Coming and the ultimate fulfillment and completion of His redemptive work. In the season of Advent, we reflect on and even practice this sort of “expectant waiting” as we approach the celebration of Christmas. This year, our waiting seems to go beyond just Christmas though as our yearning for a “return to normal,” a release from this pandemic is on our minds. Throughout Scripture, we see God at work through the difficult times, setting the stage for something greater for His people. As we consider the Advent season, maybe this year we need to broaden our gaze as we wait expectantly for the great work God is preparing in advance for us. Questions to take home: Read Psalm 130. The word “wait” means to “hope for”, “put trust in” and “anticipate”. These are major themes of the Advent season. How do these themes and this Psalm alter your perspective on our present season (most of 2020) of “waiting”? Read Romans 8:18-30. Scripture is very clear that God is working for the “good” of those who “love Him.” If you have declared Christ to be Lord of your life, how does this passage help to clarify your perspective on God’s work in and through your present situation? What do you think He is “setting the stage” for in your life? How can the hope/anticipation of Psalm 130 and the Truth of Romans 8 impact your prayer life in the next month? Read Hebrews 11. Pay special attention to Verses 13-16 and 39-40. How does the faith of these “heroes of the faith” inspire you in this difficult time? How can we put our faith into action in this Advent season? 4 Ways to Pray during Advent: Acknowledge Present Difficulties Renew Trust in God's Faithfulness New (renewed) Vision for God's Present Work Expectant Hope for God's Future Plans
  • Nov 22, 2020Philippians 4:4-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Cultivating a Thankful Heart”
    Nov 22, 2020
    Philippians 4:4-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Cultivating a Thankful Heart”
  • Nov 15, 2020Psalm 16 “Trust and Contentment”
    Nov 15, 2020
    Psalm 16 “Trust and Contentment”
    Thoughts for Reflection:
    Time and again the Bible reminds us, even commands us to trust God in all things. Life, however, is full of daily challenges to this imperative. We find ourselves longing for things that have been, desiring a return to “normal”, and wanting what comfort we had back. Rather than looking for and delighting in what God has for us in the here and now, our focus is elsewhere and we find ourselves discontent with grumblings and complaints.
     
    The reality for us, though, is that our discontentedness betrays our mistrust of God. We see the bad things going on, whether it's a virus, the economy, the election, or something else going on in our lives, and we lose sight of God’s work in it. In a word, we doubt. Yet, contentment is directly connected to our confidence that God is who He says He is and that He can and will do what He says He will do; that He is in control. Contentment grows in proportion to trust. The more you trust God, the more content you become.
     
    Questions to take home:
    • What specific things have challenged your trust in God this year? Name them specifically and take time to pray and share them with God. Perhaps this needs to be a time or repentance and a renewing of your trust in Him. 
    • Discontentment is almost always accompanied by lies from the enemy.  Of the things you named in question #1, what lies are associated with them. Take some time to search Scripture for Truth to combat and replace those lies. Write down the lie, cross it out, and then write the TRUTH the opposite side of a card or piece of paper and carry it with you this week to remind you.
    • Contentment is found when you reach the place where you can say “Even when I cannot understand I will still trust God.” What can you do to develop a mindset to trust God for all you have and need, thus choosing Contentment, even if you do not understand?
     
  • Nov 8, 2020Philippians 3:1-14 “Where Our Confidence is Found”
    Nov 8, 2020
    Philippians 3:1-14 “Where Our Confidence is Found”
    Thoughts for Reflection: As we gather for worship this Sunday morning we may or may not actually know who the President of the United States is going to be for the next four years.  We may or may not agree with who got elected.  There may or may not be questions regarding the nature and veracity of the election in our minds.  This week began with a great deal of questions, none of which really seemed to be answered. Truthfully, though, for those who are following Jesus, not much should be changing from our perspective.  Our confidence doesn’t come from governments or political parties, from laws or even the constitution.  The goals and calling of Christ-followers doesn’t change based on election outcomes or the cultural climate.  We do not put our hope in human leaders or political promises of any sort.  Instead, our confidence is found in the shed blood of Jesus and in the empowered call that He has placed on our lives to follow Him and proclaim Him daily with our whole lives. Questions to take home:
    1. Take a moment to evaluate how you have been over the last week.  How have you felt the impacts of the election coverage?  Read Hebrews 13:8 and some of the surrounding verses.  What do you feel like the Spirit is saying to you here?  What are you going to do about it?
    2. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 talk more about our Spiritual Armor (Ephesians 6:10-18).  How can you apply these verses to your life now and in moments of uncertainty?  What does it mean for you to “take every thought captive”?  How will you practice that this week?
    3. This year, and particularly the last month, has been tumultuous; anxiety and uncertainty have been a constant in the media and culture.  Take a few minutes to take stock of your own life?  Have there been places where you have given into fear?  Have you strayed in your devotional life?  Prayer life?  Generosity?  Loving attitude?  Witness for Christ?  What adjustments might you need to make to put Christ back at the center of your life again?
  • Nov 1, 2020Matthew 6:25-34 “Remember who I AM”
    Nov 1, 2020
    Matthew 6:25-34 “Remember who I AM”
    Thoughts for Reflection:
     
    So much is swirling around in our lives these days. As we move toward what many feel is the climax of 2020, with all of its angst and anxiety, it seems that the collective tension around us is getting worse and worse. With the near-constant drone of political ads, health advisories, natural disasters, and all of the fall-out of these things in our “normal” lives, the proverbial storm that we are experiencing is intense, persistent and, most of all, exhausting. Maybe you, like me, have even found yourself asking questions like “will we be ok?” and “where is God in all of this?”
     
    Anxiety about the world around us is certainly nothing new for humans. In Jesus’ time, the Jews faced the occupation of Rome and the new constant threat of political uprising and revolt. An event like that would have led to more extreme measures taken by the Romans, ultimately seen in the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 and the scattering of the Jewish people (not to mention the church). Jesus’ words to us today in Matthew speak into that cultural environment, reminding us about the TRUTH of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness in the midst of life’s storms.
     
    Questions to take home:
    • Read Isaiah 43:1-3. What strikes you about this passage? What are the fires and floods in your life right now? How does the truth of this passage impact how you go into this week?
    • Read Luke 8:22-25. We can feel a lot like the disciples in this passage. As the winds blow and the waves wash over our lives, how have you found yourself reacting? What in this passage convicts you?
    • Read Philippians 4:4-9. In the midst of all this chaos, how has your prayer life been? How does the promise in this passage assure you? How will you lean into this passage this week?
    • Read Hebrews 12:1-3. Today is Reformation Sunday, a day we remember the Protestant Reformation. Many struggled and even died to see a great reform in the Church. What does their witness and what they fought for teach us about the priorities in our lives? How does that encourage you?