Apr 21, 2019
Mark 16 “Resurrection Reactions”
Series: (All)
The wonder of the Resurrection is often overshadowed by our familiarity with the narrative of that early Sunday morning.  We know the story and how it turned out and so we read right over the emotions and reactions of the women at the tomb.  When we do this, the Easter narrative becomes just another story in our religion. But... the Easter narrative is not just another story, it is THE STORY of Christianity.   Christianity without the resurrection is not like a book where the last chapter is ripped out, the Christian faith without the resurrection of Jesus is literally nothing.  1 Corinthians 15 says, “if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith… if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins… but Christ has been raised…”  The Resurrection of Jesus is everything in our faith, and it changes everything in this world! Questions to take home:
  1. The stone is a big part of the Easter narrative, a massive barrier between the women and Jesus.  Are there things in your life that you see as a barrier between you and your relationship with Jesus Christ?  How does the truth of God’s work here speak to that?
  2. Why do you think that the women in Mark’s account of the Resurrection left in fear?  Have you ever experienced fear when you are talking about Jesus? Where do you think that comes from?
  3. What is one thing that stands out to you in the narrative of the Ressurection, either here or in the other Gospels?  How does it impact your faith? How does it impact how you live?
WatchNotesDownloadDateTitle
  • Apr 21, 2019Mark 16 “Resurrection Reactions”
    Apr 21, 2019
    Mark 16 “Resurrection Reactions”
    Series: (All)
    The wonder of the Resurrection is often overshadowed by our familiarity with the narrative of that early Sunday morning.  We know the story and how it turned out and so we read right over the emotions and reactions of the women at the tomb.  When we do this, the Easter narrative becomes just another story in our religion. But... the Easter narrative is not just another story, it is THE STORY of Christianity.   Christianity without the resurrection is not like a book where the last chapter is ripped out, the Christian faith without the resurrection of Jesus is literally nothing.  1 Corinthians 15 says, “if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith… if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins… but Christ has been raised…”  The Resurrection of Jesus is everything in our faith, and it changes everything in this world! Questions to take home:
    1. The stone is a big part of the Easter narrative, a massive barrier between the women and Jesus.  Are there things in your life that you see as a barrier between you and your relationship with Jesus Christ?  How does the truth of God’s work here speak to that?
    2. Why do you think that the women in Mark’s account of the Resurrection left in fear?  Have you ever experienced fear when you are talking about Jesus? Where do you think that comes from?
    3. What is one thing that stands out to you in the narrative of the Ressurection, either here or in the other Gospels?  How does it impact your faith? How does it impact how you live?
  • Apr 18, 2019John 13:1-17 “True Servanthood”
    Apr 18, 2019
    John 13:1-17 “True Servanthood”
    Series: (All)
    Maundy Thursday Worship
     
    Rev. Andrew Phillips, Hopkins United Methodist Church, leading communion.
  • Apr 14, 2019Luke 19:28-44; Matthew 19:16-30 “Why Give?”
    Apr 14, 2019
    Luke 19:28-44; Matthew 19:16-30 “Why Give?”
    Series: (All)
    Scripture records that as He approached Jerusalem, with crowds cheering, singing, and waving their palm branches, Jesus wept over the city.  It doesn’t seem like a normal response for this particular event, but the depth of Jesus passion and desire for His people to know God’s love is both stark and profound. Jesus is fully aware of what is about to take place in His life.  He is also completely aware of what is going on in the hearts of those people who are, at this moment, cheering for him and will be, in just a few days, calling for His death.  This, I think, is what brings about this overflow of emotions. Jesus wants our hearts, not just empty cheering on a given day. It’s easy to show up and sing the songs and say the words, but God wants more… to see our whole lives transformed and freed! Questions to take home:
    1. Think about the two times that Scripture records Jesus weeping.  What are the commonalities between Jesus emotions surrounding Lazarus’ death and His reaction to seeing Jerusalem?
    2. Jesus has two separate interactions prior to His entrance to Jerusalem with the rich young ruler and with Zacchaeus.  Compare these two narratives and the results; what can we learn from them?
    3. Following Jesus’ triumphal entry, during what we consider to be ‘Holy Week,’ there are a number of times when Jesus interacts and teaches around the subject of money.  What are they and what do they teach us about our heart when it comes to giving?
  • Apr 7, 2019Ephesians 3:14-21 “Why Pray?”
    Apr 7, 2019
    Ephesians 3:14-21 “Why Pray?”
    Series: (All)
    Over the season of Lent, we have been challenged personally to commit to the daily reading of Scripture, prayer, and tithing.  We would probably be hard pressed to find a professing Christian that would say that prayer is not an important part of a believer’s life.  Like reading Scripture, we know that prayer is important but far too often this important discipline finds itself in the peripheral part of our lives, rather than at the center. Paul, after explaining the truth of the Gospel to the church in Ephesus, dives into a beautiful and impactful prayer for the believers there.  In reading Paul’s prayer, we not only see the importance that he places on prayer as it relates to the message of the Gospel but can also learn from the focus and specificity that he brings before God on their behalf. Questions to take home:
    1. Read through Paul’s prayer for the church in Ephesus again.  Now, read through the Lord’s Prayer as Matthew records it (6:5-15).  What similarities do you notice? Differences? How do these two prayers inform your own prayer life?
    2. Read Philippians 4:4-9 & 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.  What does this say about the importance of prayer? Do you find yourself bringing everything before God and thanking Him for His response?  What do you need to change to live more faithfully into this Scriptural teaching?
    3. Read Acts 2:42-47.  What did the followers of Jesus devote themselves to.  Do we as a church devote ourselves to these things? What ideas do you have to help us as a church better be about these things?  Please send them to someone in leadership!!
  • Mar 24, 20192 Corinthians 9:8 “Tell Your Story” – GEMS Sunday
    Mar 24, 2019
    2 Corinthians 9:8 “Tell Your Story” – GEMS Sunday
    Series: (All)
  • Mar 17, 2019Luke 14:25-35 “The Cost of Commitment”
    Mar 17, 2019
    Luke 14:25-35 “The Cost of Commitment”
    Series: (All)
    Most of us probably have some sort of image in our mind, whether from cinema or Sunday School, of Jesus carrying His cross toward Golgotha, the place where He would later be crucified.  Jesus, was not, however, the only one to do this. It was common practice in those days to force criminals to carry the crossbeam of their mode of execution on their back to the place of their eventual death. All this was done in very public fashion, humiliating the individual, and sending a clear message to the masses.  Everyone knew that the cross-carrier was on a one-way journey. In Luke 14, Jesus’ command to take up your (our) cross and follow Him carries much the same theme: this should be a one-way journey.  There is (or should be) no turning back. If we give our lives over to Christ, following Him, modeling Him, and walking if faith is non-optional. Questions to take home:
    1. When people look at your life, do you think that they see that you are on a one-way journey with God?  What things do you think they would see as evidence of that? What things might give them pause?
    2. Take a moment to think about your past week.  How much time did you set aside to spend with God in His Word or in prayer?  Did you meet that goal? What things helped or hindered you from accomplishing your goal?
    3. A challenge to “take up your cross” for the next month, until Easter, was given in church today.  Will you take the challenge? What do you need to do, whether adding or taking away, to make it happen?
    The Challenge:
    - Read. One chapter in the Bible each day until Easter.  Start with Mark, then read Romans.
    - Pray. 10 minutes, twice a day.  No distractions, not multitasking.  Just spend time with God.
    - Give. A full tithe (10% of your income) each Sunday through Easter.
  • Mar 10, 20192 Corinthians 9:8 “Be a Blessing” – Cadet Sunday
    Mar 10, 2019
    2 Corinthians 9:8 “Be a Blessing” – Cadet Sunday
    Series: (All)
  • Mar 3, 2019Daniel 6 “Uncompromised Obedience”
    Mar 3, 2019
    Daniel 6 “Uncompromised Obedience”
    I am not a runner.  As such, I have never experienced seeing the finish line in a race.  However, if you ask a runner when the time they need to push the hardest is, they will likely tell you it is in the final paces of any race.  This is the time your body is fatigued, the time when your muscles hurt, and the time you have to dig down deep for that final push to finish well. In our Scripture today, Daniel is now in his late 70’s.  He has served God in Babylon for most of his life. Yet, even in his twilight years, Daniel shows us that the life of faith takes no time off and knows no retirement  We too, from the youngest to the oldest, face the challenges of the world around us to compromise the living out of our faith or stand on the Rock of our Salvation as the center and foundation of our lives. Questions to take home:
    1. What are some of the “holy habits” that you have developed in your life and in your relationship with Jesus?  Are these habits consistent or sporadic? What could you do this week to move toward more consistency?
    2. Daniel’s commitment to prayer became the basis on which he was convicted of following God.  Could the way that you live lead to your conviction of being a Christian?
    3. Are there things in your life that are drawing you away from your relationship with God?  What are they and how will you combat those things this week?
  • Feb 24, 2019Luke 18:1-8 “PUSH: Pray Until Something Happens”
    Feb 24, 2019
    Luke 18:1-8 “PUSH: Pray Until Something Happens”
    Series: (All)
  • Feb 17, 2019Daniel 3 “Uncompromised Faith”
    Feb 17, 2019
    Daniel 3 “Uncompromised Faith”
    The narrative of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and the fiery furnace tends to be a familiar Sunday School story.  In that familiarity, we tend to miss the dramatic decision that these three face as they stand up against the cultural push to worship something other than God.  It can also be somewhat unrelatable, being that most of us never expect to face physical death for choosing to not worship an idol. Make no mistake, however, that the decision that Daniel’s friends faced is not one that is unfamiliar to us.  Culture pushes many things at us that can and readily do take the place of God in our lives. Though the worldly consequences of such choices are seemingly non-existent, certainly not like the fiery furnace, there are both personal and kingdom impacts to living with uncompromised faith. Questions to take home:
    1. Have you ever been in a situation where you were pressured to do something that you knew was wrong but everyone else seemed to be ok with?  How did you feel? Why did you act the way you did in that situation?
    2. What “idols” do you see around you in the world today?  How do you find yourself struggling to keep Jesus Christ as Lord of your life in the midst of cultural pressures?
    3. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to compromise their faith, even if God didn’t act on their behalf.  Have you experienced a similar situation? How did God come through for you?
  • Feb 10, 2019John 5:1-15 “How Would You Answer?”
    Feb 10, 2019
    John 5:1-15 “How Would You Answer?”
    Series: (All)
    Guest Preaching: Pastor Rick VanderWall
  • Feb 3, 2019Daniel 1 “Uncompromised Identity”
    Feb 3, 2019
    Daniel 1 “Uncompromised Identity”
    Have you ever been in a situation where the way people acted and the expectations seemed completely foreign to you?  In one sense, you may not know how to act and if your normal way of behavior is acceptable. In another sense, you may get the impression, whether directly or indirectly, that there are expectations of how you are to be that you may not know or be comfortable with. The book of Daniel takes place as Daniel is taken captive and forced into a foreign culture.  He is offered the best food, education, and position the culture has and is forced to decide whether or not he will engage these things or separate himself from them.  We too find ourselves in a culture that is foreign to the way Scripture calls us to live. Every day we face the question of how we can live uncompromised in a world that offers us the “best” it has to offer? Questions to take home:
    1. Daniel is presented with the best of everything Babylon has to offer; he says yes to some and no to others.  Daniel’s ability to discern and live differently was transformational to those around him. How do you discern between the things of this world that we can cooperate with and those we should resist?
    2. Are there things in your life that have or are actively compromising your faith, witness and/or obedience to Jesus Christ?  What are they? What is one step you can you take this week to move away from it?
    3. In the story of Daniel, God blesses Daniel and his friends in specific ways through their obedience to Him.  How have you experienced God’s specific blessing in your life through intentional obedience to Him in the face of cultural pressure?
  • Jan 27, 2019Daniel 1 “Uncompromised Sovereignty”
    Jan 27, 2019
    Daniel 1 “Uncompromised Sovereignty”
    Have you ever been in a situation where the way people acted and the expectations seemed completely foreign to you?  In one sense, you may not know how to act and if your normal way of behavior is acceptable. In another sense, you may get the impression, whether directly or indirectly, that there are expectations of how you are to be that you may not know or be comfortable with. The book of Daniel takes place as Daniel is taken captive and forced into a foreign culture.  He is offered the best food, education, and position the culture has and is forced to decide whether or not he will engage these things or separate himself from them.  We too find ourselves in a culture that is foreign to the way Scripture calls us to live. Every day we face the question of how we can live uncompromised in a world that offers us the “best” it has to offer? Questions to take home:
    1. The happenings recorded at the beginning of Daniel 1 are credited to God’s sovereign power.  How has God worked through disasters in your life to bring about transformation in you or those around you?
    2. Western culture has, more and more, become a foreign culture in the face of Biblical Christian principles.  How do you see this becoming apparent in your life? In what ways do you feel challenged to conform to or resist the cultural influences in your life?
    3. Daniel is presented with the best of everything Babylon has to offer; he says yes to some and no to others.  Daniel’s ability to discern and live differently was transformational to those around him. How do you discern between the things of this world that we can cooperate with and those we should resist?
  • Jan 20, 2019Romans 6:1-7 “Dead TO sin or dead IN sin?”
    Jan 20, 2019
    Romans 6:1-7 “Dead TO sin or dead IN sin?”
    Series: (All)
  • Jan 13, 2019Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9 “Testimony”
    Jan 13, 2019
    Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9 “Testimony”
    Series: (All)