Sunday, April 5th, 2020
The temptation to be in control is stronger than ever. We need to surrender our lives to God and #LetGo. Let's get #LetGo trending.
It is growing increasingly popular to espouse disrespect, disgust or is regard for other people. But followers of Jesus have been called to a much greater standard that includes showing kindness to all. In a world where pejoratives and mean tweets are the norm, how can the people of God show incredible kindness. Can we get “being nice” trending?
Sounds simple right? When people see us, they immediately see Jesus, right? The call of Jesus followers is to live a life such that it points people to Jesus. We often stand as the greatest critics of our contemporary world. How do we get the name of Jesus trending?
Seeing what God sees.
Let's talk openly and honestly about giving. Taking our cue from the generosity of God and the example of Macedonian Christians, we will be encouraged to be generous in our offering of both ourselves and our money.
How do our personal finances look? Do we have a budget? Are we crippled with debt? In this sermon, we will discuss the value of being honest and responsible with our personal finances. Does scripture give us a roadmap to achieve good personal/family finances?
Let's explore the place of money in the life of followers if Jesus. Here we highlight our struggle to be honest about money. Our interaction with money is part of discipleship and our walk with God.
It has been said more than once that we have been created to do life together. In doing life together, we are tasked with doing things on this earth to impact the earth. Some might call this our purpose for living. In scripture, we are reminded in numerous accounts that God intends for his people to work together to do something special on this earth. What does the Bible reveal about our story together?
It is amazing to see how the human experience has developed since the creation of humans. We find a striking similarity of the human condition over the many generations since the beginning. The bible has astonished us in that, although it was written thousands of years before today, it reveals much about who we are. How will a robust reading and study of scripture help us understand who we are more fully?
Throughout the pages of the scriptures, we meet God over and over again. It is impossible for the pages of Scripture to contain a full definitive view of God, but it does a really good job of giving us a glimpse of God. It is up to us to take cues from scripture to embark on our own journey of understanding. What does the Bible tell us about God?
God's mission for our church must remain the focal point of our story as a church.
During this season of Advent let the Prince of Peace come and abide with us, and remind us that He never left. He is Love.
During this season of Advent let the Everlasting Father be the one who protects you, the one who provides for you. He is our Joy.
During this season of Advent let the Mighty God be the one who rescues you, the one who is your hero. He is our Peace.
During this season of Advent invite the Wonderful Counselor into the best of rooms, your heart. He gives us Hope.
The kingdom of God is a party and we are all invited, so let's celebrate!
Don't waste the talents God has given you (they're God's talents, you know).
Maybe there's more here about rich exploitation of the poor than what we care to see or believe. Let's take a closer look.
In both of these stories the hearer is told to give up control of the things God does and to be proactive in what they can do. In other words, rather than trying to figure out the soil just scatter seed. But maybe more importantly, be good soil.
Two men went up to the temple to pray...
Are we so focused on our own goodness that we miss out on the goodness of God?
To a Jewish person in the first century, a Samaritan was anything but "good". The Jews hated the Samaritans and the Samaritans hated the Jews.
To many in the day of Jesus, his teachings regarding the Kingdom of God were unfair. Some categorized his teachings as backwards and upside down. It seemed like Jesus' teachings always favored the small, the weak, and the underdog. Those who wanted to be powerful, in first place or the greatest, just didn't get what Jesus was talking about. This is one of those parables that makes people complain "this is backwards" or this is "unfair".
Let's pray, together, and for one another.
It is undeniable that the early church placed heavy emphasis on the practice of prayer as a community. In key moments in the story of the early church, we find them praying. In one particular episode, while the church was praying, the house where they were praying began to shake. In this last sermon of the series, we will be encouraged to participate in a 21 Day prayer event. May God shake our house, shake our lives and move powerfully amongst us.
Sometimes we feel apathetic, disinterested, discouraged, weary, frustrated and all alone. Do we pray when we feel this way? Do we pray for those who are feeling this way? May we be driven to our knees to pray to God. May we have ears to listen and a heart to feel his reassuring message of hope, strength and the confidence of being part of Gods faithful community.
One of the most important features of mobile phones is the GPS app that gives directions and helps us to get to our desired destinations. Several of Paul’s prayers for the church were based on a desire for the church to find its way and position in God’s kingdom.
Why did Jesus withdraw from the crowds and his disciples repeatedly? The scripture says that Jesus “often” withdrew to lonely places to pray. In this initial sermon, we will look to Jesus to give us direction in our own prayer lives. It is important for us to “disconnect” so that we can connect.
With limited resources (financial, people, etc.), our church has been able to accomplish a lot. There is still a lot in store for the people of God at Reynoldsburg. In this sermon, we will explore current and upcoming opportunities for us for the rest of 2019. This again presents us with a moment to celebrate God, celebrate each other and celebrate our common purpose as a faith community.
In this message, we will explore our current condition as a local church. I will share our worship schedule, our current involvement in ministry and our health as a body. This sermon will serve as a “State of the Body” address. Prayerfully, we will take note of our challenges and the Holy Spirit’s presence in our body to meet and overcome our challenges in the name of Jesus.
In this sermon, we will briefly speak about our story as a church including our identification with the A cappella churches of Christ and the story of the Reynoldsburg church in the city of Reynoldsburg. In order to know where we are going, it may be important to know where we’ve been.
Relationships run on the currency of time and conversation. Same goes for our relationship with God.
There is constant temptation to fall into the ways of the world, or to assimilate in such a way that goes counter to what God wants.
During difficult times of trial, persecution and harassment, Simon encourages the church community to lean on their relationships with one another.
It is important for us to see ourselves as partners with God in the transformation of the world. We have the honor of bringing more good to our world.
Trying to be like someone else is not uncommon. Actually being someone else is impossible. But that's exactly what Peter tells us to do.. to be Jesus.
You ARE God's special people. You are his possession, a people he calls his own. You don't have to walk around feeling rejected and dejected. You belong to him.
What does holiness mean? Is it a function of our shifting culture? Or is it a defining attribute of God that we need to observe and experience, and let it change us more and more into the likeness of Jesus?
"Exiles and strangers" are words often used to describe the current condition of Jesus' followers. We often feel like outsiders, or like things are strange. It should be that way. We may live here, but our true home and citizenship is found in a totally different place.
The Holy Spirit was poured out on the church on Pentecost - celebrated today throughout the world - and is still poured out on the church today, as evidenced in a small part by the work done at Central Ohio Work Camp 2019.
Thrive wherever God leads you. Bless those around you, and he will bless you, too.
Although Jesus' apostles jumpstarted the movement, millions of other ordinary people like you and me have decided to be witnesses and give testimony to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We have committed to be the difference.
The story of the early church community was a story of a worshipping community and a caring community. We can pray and endeavor to mimic this caring community.
Make no mistake about it, our faith and our practices as followers of Jesus must be fueled by the power of the resurrection. It's easy to argue that the resurrection was the primary motivation for the early followers of Jesus to be so radically committed to the way of Christ. Can the same be said of us?
He is Risen! Easter Sunday prompts us to celebrate life because of Jesus. Our Lenten Fast is concluded, and we emerge with new life, new perspectives and new energy. Resurrection Sunday is also a moment to remind the church that fear will not be the default setting for disciples of the Risen Lord. We conclude this sermon series by proclaiming the power of the resurrection and declaring that we are unsubscribing from fear!
It seems that we are living in a world that continues to invent ways for us to grow more independent and individualistic. The story of God’s church is a story of comradery, community, and collaboration. As Jesus prepared to depart this earth, he left a powerful reminder of this truth. As we highlight communion this morning, we will be challenged to unsubscribe from isolation.
The opioid epidemic is on the minds of everyone in our society. Drug addiction has always been a part of our community. Additionally, addiction in various forms (shopping, eating, pornography, cell phone) are on the rise. As someone noted, we are now “the most in-debt ... obese ... addicted and medicated adult cohort in U.S. history.” Cravings and addictions are hard-wired into our hearts. How do we deal with the abundance of cravings and addictions? Today, we are challenged to unsubscribe from unhealthy cravings.
Why do they have a bigger house? Why does she have a better job? That church is doing more than we do. These are questions and statements we make repeatedly throughout the course of our lives. In making these comments, we are thrusting ourselves into the realm of comparison with others. Comparing ourselves to others may not be the best way to evaluate the quality of our lives. Instead, we should consider the beauty of our lives as created and destined by God himself. Today, we are challenged to unsubscribe from comparisons.
A Harvard Psychologist noted:
“The more worried you are that you might get sick, the more likely it is that you will, or if you do get sick that you'll end up sicker, or even dead, from an illness you might have survived if you just didn't worry so much.”
Worry is as American as apple pie. It is engrained in our psyche. Yet worrying has never solved a problem, made a problem better or helped us navigate the problem. Worrying is probably unavoidable, but it need not consume us. Today, we will be challenged to unsubscribe from worry.
One could argue that the enormity of our “to-do lists” and the busyness of life has greatly increased the velocity of our daily lives. Accordingly, we are living life so fast that we are in danger of missing the important things in life. In this sermon, we will be encouraged to slow down so that we can “recover our lives”. Today, we will be challenged to unsubscribe from hurry.
Many of us are haunted by our pasts. We have done some horrible things. We have failed to do some good things. We experience the heartache of missed opportunities. During the season of Lent, we are encouraged to unsubscribe from allowing the past to be the prime mover in our lives. The blood of Jesus washes us clean and launches us into to newness of life.
In a few days, the season of Lent will commence. Lent is a shortened form of the English word “Lenten” which means “spring”. Accordingly, this time represents an entering into a new season. During this new season, we enter a period where we abstain from things (fast) and we introduce new practices (discipline). Someone described Lent as
“a season of preparation, self-reflection and repentance when we seek to literally ‘turn around’ and realign our lives and focus toward God. It is a time to give up things as well as take on new life-giving practices, helping us rid ourselves of distractions and our own selfish desires. By doing so, we seek to live and love as more faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.”
This morning, we prepare for the fast by discussing the ever-growing list of that creates clutter, confuse, and challenge our journey with God. We will zero in on the need to “unsubscribe” from things that get in the way. Our journey is one that we pray will lead to freedom.
In case you hadn't noticed, the American political climate is a raging dumpster fire on social media. When was the last time someone actually changed their mind because of a Twitter rage, or a Facebook tirade?
Are the words of Jesus to "do to others as you would have them do to you" needed now more among Christians in our current climate?
Why do bad things happen to good people? Why does God allow his children (whom he claims to love) to suffer when he could remove their suffering? Where is God when it hurts?
How do you deal with being disappointed with God? Is it wrong to be disappointed with God?
When Jesus read from Isaiah's prophecy in the synagogue, he pronounced his mission, vision and purpose. The life Jesus lived flowed out of commitment to the mission, vision and purpose that God placed in his life. Likewise, as Jesus' disciples, we will find fulfillment when we live into the mission, vision and purpose that God has revealed to us.
The mission of God through the Reynoldsburg church will take the intentional participation of all of its members. God has blessed this church with gifts, talents, interests and passions. It is in this spiritual atmosphere that God's glory shines brilliantly in our world and community.
The baptism of the Lord is a fascinating event. As the spotless lamb of God, he didn't need to be washed of his sins. So why was he baptized? The baptism of the Lord affords us an opportunity to learn more about the importance of our own baptisms and the privilege to offer the blessing of baptism to others.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us
The "Light" is a gift given by God for his people to live in among the blinding darkness of the world. In this light, we are given a directive to "arise" or "get up". Rescued out of darkness, we are able to see that God's glory and grace has been made available to everyone. As we reflect on that tremendous blessing, we will review and forecast the place of the Reynoldsburg Church of Christ in God's mission to rescue humankind out of darkness.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
God's love for us has been demonstrated in the most powerful way when the messiah, who was promised long ago, gave his life as an offering for those he loves.
It would be cute if the story of Christ was only about a crib. But the truth is that it involved a cross.
It would be cute if the story of Christ was only about a mother soothing her child. But the truth is that later, a crying mother would be soothed by the words of comfort spoken by her son as he hung on a cross.
It would be cute if the story of Christ was only about a host of angels singing hymns from heaven. But the truth is that later, those same angels watched in horror as the son of God breathed his last.
The story of crib to cross is... the Christmas Gospel.
Joy is on the Way
It is a unique and valuable gift to emanate peace. When you are around a person of peace, it has a profound impact. When chaos strikes, they speak comfort in a way that is meaningful and deep.
Are you one of those people?
Optimism and hope are radically different attitudes.
The optimist speaks about concrete changes in the future. The person of hope lives in the moment with the knowledge and trust that all of life is in good hands.
Our participation in this Eucharist is a time to reflect on many things:
Let's proclaim together the Lord's death until he comes.
Offering our contribution isn't separate and apart from the Eucharist, it is an important extension of the communion. By extension, as we receive, we also give.
As Christ followers, we have a lot to celebrate:
In the Eucharist, we are giving thanks to God for freeing us to live in communion with God and one another.
Guyana Update 2018
Many doors in life open and close to us. Jesus stands as the ultimate open door, and he invites us to enter in.
Are we just going through the motions? Jesus has the prescription for what ails us. Maybe it's time we looked at our vital statistics to make a determination of our health.
Every day we are presented with the choice to remain true to a committed relationship with the God of heaven and earth, or to flirt with other gods and to eventually try to worship both.
Like Pergamum, our country is full of competing voices that vie for our allegiance. What does Jesus' message to this former administrative center of the Roman empire say to us today?
The American church's experience of persecution more correctly resembles inconvenience. But throughout history real persecution - imprisonment, violence and death - has been a part of the church's experience. Smyrna was one of those places. Put the message of encouragement from Jesus is that he is in our midst, that he cares for us, and that we will not be hurt by the second death.
It's easy, over time, to loose site of our first love. But Jesus calls us back to him, because he's the only one worthy of being our first love.
Fear is THE word that many associate with the book of Revelation. Imagery of war, death, destruction and darkness - eek! But to its original recipients, the seven churches, it was a message of comfort and encouragement to these early Jesus communities who were hurting.
When her husband died, Ruth experienced loss of a husband, loss of security and loss of the possibility to have a child. Seemingly, life is over. But Ruth, with the help of her mother-in-law Naomi, places her story in the hands of God. He shapes her into a woman of integrity, she becomes a woman integral to the lineage of David. What happens when we experience road blocks in our lives? Are road blocks cues that we need to stop so that God can do some work in our lives?
Naaman, was an army commander. He was on top of the world. He was a trusted official. He had clout. But… he had leprosy. He was given some instructions to receive healing, but it included dipping in a dirty river. When he obeyed, he was cleansed and healed. While we are under construction, we are likely to go through rough patches. What is God doing when we are experiencing tough times?
Saul was one of the most feared men in the first century. He had power, a reputation and a solid commitment to destroy the new and growing movement of Jesus followers. One day, on a road to the city of Damascus, he was given a detour that jumpstarted a construction project that lasted the rest of his life. While we are under construction, we will experience detours that will afford God the opportunity to improve our lives.
All over this world, men and women are searching for a life that encompasses the hope of a “better than right now” reality. Unfortunately, many try to find this reality in material things or in other people. Our hope is one that is certain and it is demonstrated in the way we live on this side of heaven.
Satan doesn't like unity. He doesn't like when we come together. It's one of the reasons he uses the device of disagreement. Satan says, "You don't agree with that person. You can't work together. You need to expose him/her. You need to make your disagreement a test of your fellowship. You are better that that person, and until that person gets on your level, you cannot walk together."
That is a lie.
From the beginning, God has shaped and prepared his people to serve. To embody the life and spirit of Jesus is to embody the heart of a servant. Our firm commitment to serve community and meet the needs of its inhabitants is a direct response to Jesus’ call to serve just like He did.
“Love God and love others” is not some platitude to be followed loosely. It is the command in which the church has been called to flourish. In order for the world to know us by our love, they need to see our radical love on display toward God and toward one another.
NT Wright wrote, “We read scripture in order to be refreshed in our memory and understanding of the story within which we ourselves are actors, to be reminded where it has come from and where it is going to, and hence what our own part within it ought to be.” Relegating scripture to just a manual or rule book diminishes the power and beauty of scripture, and obstructs us from seeing the fuller story of God and the role we play in His story.
Any statement of beliefs embodied by the church starts with belief in God. This foundational truth is the impetus behind the existence of our church. Our belief in God informs us, inspires us and instructs us. Our belief in God, makes us, motivates us and moves us. The history of God’s church has always included professions and confessions of a robust belief in the Triune God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). Our belief in God determines our attitudes and our actions.
It is the belief of the leadership team at the Reynoldsburg Church that participating in a small group with other Christians will help in one’s development as a disciple of Jesus Christ. As we grow as disciples, we will also be better prepared to participate as partners with God in his mission to transform the Reynoldsburg community (and surrounding areas). This was the narrative of the early church, which grew exponentially in the first century without any of the technological advances and conveniences we enjoy today.
In small groups, we are presenting with a glowing opportunity to connect more deeply with our brothers and/or sisters through confession, sharing and serving together. Meeting together affords us spaces to grow in our relationship with God and one another.
There is an overwhelming epidemic of loneliness plaguing men, women and children all over the world. Even in the church, we are finding that many in the body of Christ simply do not feel like they are a part of the body. In this sermon, we will explore how small groups provide an opportunity for deeper connecting to God and one another in the body.
The story of the Exodus highlights to tension in our human condition. Even after the Lord displayed his miraculous might, the people were prone to want to return to oppression. Today, we display the same lack of faith and trust.
Don't be afraid to venture into the unknown waters of your life; God is leading you.
What's your baptism story? Do you remember how it felt? Do you remember feeling freed from sin? Do you remember feeling freed from burdens? Do you remember feeling alive? Do you remember feeling like you were going to change the world? Do you remember feeling so close to God?
Let's look at the reason our baptisms are so significant.
How do we live in the tension between where we are, and where we see ourselves being?
Values or Vision Goals:
The multiplying power of the gospel is usually not just in words. It’s in action motivated by love - sacrificial love. It’s in inviting someone into your life, day by day, year over year.
How far would you go to save one soul? What lengths would you go to reach the lost? Our mission is to communicate the good news of Christ to a lost world. We need to translate that message into the language, culture, and setting of the people around us – just as Paul did.
Jesus crosses social, racial, and cultural barriers because no one is beyond his love. And he can use anyone, no matter how unexpected that person may be, to turn the world upside down.
He Is Risen! This momentous declaration will never grow old. On this Resurrection Sunday, we proclaim boldly that Christ is Risen and that his Life brings us New life as individuals and collectively as a church. Through stories of resurrected lives and resurrected churches, we will proclaim our intention to “Come Alive” in 2018, growing in our passion for God and our passion for others!