Monday, August 31, 2015

READ IT! - "Bye Bye Nasty: Get Gone" AND "Jesus Move: Dance Til U Just Can't" - Matthew 14, Romans 7


During our 2-sermon-series-in-1, we will be studying Matthew 14 and Romans 7.



Matthew 14

John the Baptist Beheaded

14 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the reports about Jesus, 2 and he said to his attendants, “This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead! That is why miraculous powers are at work in him.”

3 Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, 4 for John had been saying to him: “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5 Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered John a prophet.

6 On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests and pleased Herod so much 7 that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” 9 The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted 10 and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother. 12 John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus.

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”

16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Jesus Walks on the Water

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.



Romans 7

Released From the Law, Bound to Christ

7 Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? 2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. 3 So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.

4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. 6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
The Law and Sin

7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.

13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death,so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging waragainst the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

PREPARE FOR IT! - "Bye Bye Nasty: Get Gone" AND "Jesus Move: Dance Til U Just Can't" - Matthew 14, Romans 7


During our 2-sermon-series-in-1, we will be studying Matthew 14 and Romans 7.



Matthew 14

John the Baptist Beheaded

14 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the reports about Jesus, 2 and he said to his attendants, “This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead! That is why miraculous powers are at work in him.”

3 Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, 4 for John had been saying to him: “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5 Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered John a prophet.

6 On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests and pleased Herod so much 7 that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” 9 The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted 10 and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother. 12 John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus.

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”

16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Jesus Walks on the Water

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.



Romans 7

Released From the Law, Bound to Christ

7 Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? 2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. 3 So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.

4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. 6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
The Law and Sin

7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.

13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death,so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging waragainst the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Living on Mission – Bring Them Here to Me

Living on Mission – Bring Them Here to Me

“They said to Him, ‘We have only five loaves here and two fish.’ And He said, ‘Bring them here to me.’” (Matthew 14:17,18 ESV)

I’ve often heard the idea that if we give whatever we have to God, He will multiply it and use it for His glory and we’ll be amazed at what He can do with the little that we offer. How true! I’ve seen this played out in my own life. He has often made so much more out of the small things I have offered to Him.

But, this aspect is not what struck me about this passage when I read it today. The thing that stood out to me was the word here. “We have only five loaves here…Bring them here to me.”  Is it the location that matters? Possibly. Maybe, though, it’s the proximity to Jesus that really matters.

Have you ever offered something to God from afar? Oh, I have! Here’s my money, Jesus. Here’s my praise. Catch! Have you ever launched prayers as if from a catapult, hoping they land somewhere in His general vicinity? When I compare those moments to times when I have moved close to lay something at the feet of Jesus, the whole experience is completely different and so is the outcome.

Maybe it’s less about the thing we are offering and more about where we are in relation to Him.

Let’s practice Living on Mission and move very close to give whatever we're offering to Him.


Pastor Angela

Thursday, August 27, 2015

PRAY IT! Bye Bye Nasty - Romans 7:18-20

Do you ever just feel whiny as you pray? 
Or maybe extremely needy?
Have you ever felt like you were on continual rewind and repeat with God? 

"God... I'm sorry.  I messed up.  Again."
"Hi God... it's me.  I need help."
"Hi God... I thought I said adios to 'the nasty' but apparently it doesn't speak Spanish..."
"God, it's like an annoying puppy... yip, yip, yip... I tell it to go away but it just keeps coming back."

What gives?

In our passage this week, Paul succinctly sums up the battle Christians face and the frustrations that can run through our minds.

God, I want to do good, and I want to please you, but I can't do it on my own. 
God, instead of radiating rays of goodness today, all I did was vomit up more of the same ick. 
God, I really want to do good, and not bad.
But. It's. Just. Not. Happening.

"What should we pray then?" as we continue to make our way through the Romans portion of our two-sermon-sermon series (Bye Bye Nasty/Jesus Move).  Catch up here:  Romans 7:18-20

The answer is really the same as it was last week.  And it'll remain the same long after the series concludes.  We need to pray honestly, consistently, and desperately for more of God and His presence and power. 

I have a potted pepper plant growing on my apartment balcony.  It requires sun.  It requires me to water it.  (And sometimes I do...)  No one says, "Hey, pepper plant, one day you'll be healthy enough to go at it on your own."  No one expects the pepper plant to some day be self-sufficient enough to not need the sun or water. 

The same holds true for us and God.  We're not striving for some kind of warped idea of "Christian maturity" in which we just don't need God anymore because we've been walking with Him so long already.

We cannot (nor is it the expectation) live this life apart from God, with any kind of God-honoring success.  John 15:5 "I am the vine; you are the braches.  Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."

Dear God,

I want You to move through me.  Therefore, I need Your presence and Your power.  Help me to notice ways in which to include You in my day more and more, never exiting Your presence.  Help me say "bye" to the ick I create when I'm left to my own devices, and hello to the mighty move of Your transforming presence.  Guard me from the habit of self-sufficiency and instead bless me with a child-like need for You.

Amen.

PoC|Coverage is tonight at 6pm.  Come pray with us!  Sometimes, the best way to learn about something is to do it! 

Pastor Celia

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

EXPLORE IT - Romans 7:18-20


Romans 7:18-20  I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. {18 Or my flesh} For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-- this I keep on doing.  20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
In our culture today, we often describe individuals as “a good person.”  They may not be Christians, but they are kind and caring and seem to be “good.”  These good people may be involved in other faiths or may be active in community services or charities.  It is sometimes a challenge for us to support the knowledge that being “a good person” is not enough to go to heaven.
In our Romans passage this week, Paul would disagree with the premise that any of us are inherently good.  According to Paul, we may desire to be good, we may desire to do good, but none of has the capacity to be good on our own because of our sinful nature.  Sin is so powerful within us, we are unable to do the good we desire.  We may be doing “good,” but have alternative motives.  We may be doing good things for the accolades or recognition from others instead of from a foundation of love.
Love is one of the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23, (“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”).  In order to gain love, we must have the Spirit.  In order to have the Spirit, we must have Jesus.  Sin will rule our life unless we have Jesus.  We must accept Jesus as Lord of our life and build a relationship with Him in order to truly become “a good person.”  Without Him, we have no capacity for good.
If you haven’t asked Jesus into your heart as Lord or if you aren’t intentionally building a relationship with Him, why not start today?  God doesn’t want any of us to die without Him, but He desires that we would all repent and come to Him (2 Peter 3:9). 
Blessings,
Pastor Amy

Monday, August 24, 2015

READ IT! - "Bye Bye Nasty: Get Gone" AND "Jesus Move: Dance Til U Just Can't" - Matthew 14, Romans 7


During our 2-sermon-series-in-1, we will be studying Matthew 14 and Romans 7.



Matthew 14

John the Baptist Beheaded

14 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the reports about Jesus, 2 and he said to his attendants, “This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead! That is why miraculous powers are at work in him.”

3 Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, 4 for John had been saying to him: “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5 Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered John a prophet.

6 On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests and pleased Herod so much 7 that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” 9 The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted 10 and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother. 12 John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus.
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”

16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Jesus Walks on the Water

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.



Romans 7

Released From the Law, Bound to Christ

7 Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? 2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. 3 So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.

4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. 6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
The Law and Sin

7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.

13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death,so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging waragainst the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

PREPARE FOR IT! - "Bye Bye Nasty: Get Gone" AND "Jesus Move: Dance Til U Just Can't" - Matthew 14, Romans 7


During our 2-sermon-series-in-1, we will be studying Matthew 14 and Romans 7.



Matthew 14

John the Baptist Beheaded

14 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the reports about Jesus, 2 and he said to his attendants, “This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead! That is why miraculous powers are at work in him.”

3 Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, 4 for John had been saying to him: “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5 Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered John a prophet.

6 On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests and pleased Herod so much 7 that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” 9 The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted 10 and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother. 12 John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus.

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”

16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Jesus Walks on the Water

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.



Romans 7

Released From the Law, Bound to Christ

7 Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? 2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. 3 So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.

4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. 6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
The Law and Sin

7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.

13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death,so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging waragainst the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Living on Mission – Wait, Who’s Moving Where?

Living on Mission – Wait, Who’s Moving Where?

That evening the disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.’ But Jesus said, ‘That isn’t necessary—you feed them.’” (Matthew 14:15,16)

Hey Jesus, it’s been a long day. We should get these folks moving so they can get some food and get settled for the night. It was perfectly logical. Compassionate even. But Jesus had something else in mind. He didn’t want the crowd to move away to another place in order to get their needs met. He wanted the disciples to move to where the crowd was so He could meet their needs right there.

Hmmm… I wonder if He still works like this today?

Has He sent you? Yes
Can you meet the needs of the people He sent you to? Nope
Can He meet the needs of the people He sent you to? Yes
Will you stay close enough to Him to hear His voice leading and directing you? Yes!

Let’s practice Living on Mission and being prepared to move in ways we never expected.

Pastor Angela

Thursday, August 20, 2015

PRAY IT! Bye Bye Nasty - Romans 7:13-17



I recently updated to Windows 10. In the process, my mouse and cursor have gone AWOL. A task (typing up and posting my blog) that was relatively easy and painless thanks to my suffering through typing class in junior high and high school now has to be done very differently. It's awkward and slow. I'd like to throw my laptop out the window, but that is not a healthy solution. I need help! I need patience! I need intervention beyond my own abilities!

As we continue to make our way through the Romans portion of our two-sermon-sermon series (Bye Bye Nasty/Jesus Move), Paul speaks to the struggle of sin in the life of all Christians.

Just a sentence past our passage, Paul says in Romans 7:18, "For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. "

We need help! We need intervention! We do not have the ability to say "bye bye" to the "nasty" on our own. We need the power of the Holy Spirit.

What shall we pray, then?

-For God's clarity through His Word and Holy Spirit to help us realize our sin.

-For God's love to continue to transform us so that the sin in our lives that matters to God, begins to matter to us.

For God's power through the Holy Spirit to be overcomers - not frustrated and powerless, but victorious.

Dear God,
Please fill me with your Holy Spirit. I desire more of You - Your guidance as to what is helpful and what is harmful to me, and Your power to help me overcome. Please help everything that matters to You, matter to me.

Amen.

PoC|Coverage - tonight at 6pm!

Pastor Celia

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

FAMILY IT! - Wednesday Family Devotional - Jesus Move!

FAMILY IT! Wednesday Family Devotional - Jesus Move!

Supplies: Bible; Mirror
SHARE 

Once when I was a kid (a long long long time ago…but not as long ago as your parents…give or take ), I was in a kid’s choir.  At the end of the year it came time for a final concert and we were going to present our director with a thank you gift.  I hadn’t been a part of the choir for very long, so I was surprised when one of the parents said, “And Todd is going to share a few words and present the card!!”  I gasped inside my head and wondered, “Why me?”  I didn’t want to do it.  I asked one of my friends why I had to do it.  He said, “Well somebody has to.”  I thought, “Well, that’s true!  I guess somebody = me!”

READ

We are kicking off 2 new sermon series – Bye Bye Nasty… get gone (Romans, ch. 7) as well as Jesus Move:  Dance til U Can’t Dance! (Matthew 14).  Grab your Bible and check out our passage for today (Matthew 14:13-21).


THINK

In this passage, the disciples tell Jesus that he needs to send the great crowds away because they are hungry and need food.  But, Jesus sees the possibility of a miracle.  He says to the disciples, “You feed them.”  Now, the crowd was GREAT – 5000 men plus women and children.  I’m sure the disciples thought, “Why do we have to do it!”  

How do you think you would feel if you were one of the disciples?  


APPLY

I think Jesus knew that all of us would come face to face with the needs of others.  I think He knew that our temptation would be to ask Him or someone else to simply take care of it.  But, Jesus here, wisely encourages the disciples to step up to the plate and to lean into the full flow of the Spirit and the power of the Lord.  He want them to depend on Him to provide through them.  Someone had to meet the need.  Why not the disciples?  Why not you?

Even though it may seem silly, go to a mirror in your house and say, “Today I will see somebody in need.  I need to ask Jesus to help me meet that need!”


PRAY

Dear Jesus, take my hands, my feet, my voice, my will, and my vision and use me to meet somebody’s need today.  May you receive the glory.  Amen


REPLY

Did you and your family enjoy this devotional blog?  We'd love to know about it!  Our hope is to continue providing this weekly opportunity for families to do a devotion together.  If your family did this devotion, please shoot us an email, text or just post a comment to this blog. 
Blessings,
Pastor Todd

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

EXPLORE IT - Romans 7:13-17


Romans 7:13-17  Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.  14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.  15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.  16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.  17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.
Have you ever known the right path to take, but you went in the opposite direction for some reason?  Or you knew the right thing to say, but chose to not be so nice?  It seems, in life, we know what we should do, but for some reason or another we choose to do something else.  We know we should have vegetables with dinner, but instead we have ice cream.  We know we should apologize, but instead we accuse and blame someone else.  What makes us do that?  How come we can’t get it together?!?
As we continue our sermon series this week, we journey a little deeper into Romans 7 where Paul addresses this very topic.  It’s oddly encouraging that the Apostle Paul says, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do,” (Romans 7:15).  Paul struggled too with doing what he knew to be right!
The previous verse brings light to this struggle.  Paul says that “the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual…” (Romans 7:16).  The word for “spiritual” here is “pneumatiko,j (pneumatikos).”  This refers to something that is caused or filled with the Holy Spirit.  The law is filled with the Holy Spirit!  So like the Holy Spirit it is holy, perfect, divine, blessed, etc.  Paul on the other hand (and we fit in this category as well) is “unspiritual” or “sarkiko,j (sarkikos),” meaning fleshly, an earthly thing, weak, and sinful.  The Law is of God and we are earthly.  We are set up to fail from the beginning!
This is why once we accept Jesus as Lord, we must follow the command Paul gives the Church at Ephesus when he says, “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.  Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:17-18).  The “be filled” here is a Present Imperative Passive verb in the Greek.  The Imperative means that it is a command.  The Present tense tells us that this is something we must continually, habitually follow; so we are ordered to continually, habitually be filled with the Holy Spirit.  The most interesting part is that this is a passive verb, which means this is something that happens to us.  The Holy Spirit must fill us Himself, we cannot do this on our own.
Have you asked the Holy Spirit to fill you today?  If not, how come?  This is not a once and done thing, this is something we must do every day…sometimes multiple times during our day.  With His infilling, we then have the power to do the things we know we should do…we are not unspiritual any more, but spiritual!
Blessings,
Pastor Amy