Rejoice Always

There are a lot of places in Scripture where it specifically says, ‘this is the will of God”, although it is certainly implied in most places. And, definitely is in the commandments…

Yet, here is one where it’s absolutely clear. It was our kids memory and handwriting verse at school Monday and Tuesday. Originally, until I said something, they looked at three verses and saw them as separate.

I had they take a closer look then zoom back out again. Guys, it’s all one sentence, one thought, one instruction.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16‭-‬18 ESV
https://bible.com/bible/59/1th.5.16-18.ESV

The Prayers of the Savior

This is part four in our series, Jesus, Who? In our first message, Jesus According to Jesus, Jesus told us his identity and purpose. We then listened as he taught The Sermon on the Mount. And, we walked with his closest friends during their Conversations in the Garden.

Today, we are going to be parked in John 17. The Prayers of the Savior. These are Jesus’s prayers for his Church (that’s us) and his apostles right before he is handed over to the Jewish leaders for trial.

They are our Lord’s final words of prayer before his death, burial, and resurrection. This is also the longest prayer of Jesus we have recorded. We have been flying through Jesus words and teaching at about 30,000 feet. Today, we are going to kneel in the Garden with Jesus and listen closely to his prayer. I believe it’s worth taking a close look.

Thanks again to my son, Robbie, for video editing…the camera worked right this week!

Audio is available here…

Conversations in the Garden

This is important stuff, maybe more important than the Sermon on the Mount, because these are Jesus’s final words before he is taken off to be tried and killed.

His first words in verse one of chapter 14 are,
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” John 14:1

Just how important are those words??? How important are the final words of hope and instruction Jesus left his closest friends right before they saw him tortured and killed?

Just how important are those same words for us today. We are struggling in a post-Christian society. We are struggling in a world and country terrified by a pandemic. We are struggling with those who are becoming disillusioned with attending church. Those who are unplugging from the community of believers completely, not even viewing a service online if they have the option. We are struggling against a society that is more and more opposed to hearing the Word of Truth. Jesus tells us as well,
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” John 14:1

I apologize, we had some camera issues this week, so only audio is available. Listen here.

Conversations in the Garden

Going Back in Time

Going Back in Time 
By Stacy Bohl 

If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. (Hebrews 12:8) 
There have been dramatic changes for everyone this past year. Both of our children had been away at college for a couple years. We were used to being “empty nesters” and had changed one of the kid’s rooms into an office. Shortly after the pandemic hit, our children finished their studies for the year, and we made the tough decision that they would stay home for 2020- 2021 school year. 

My husband and I both switched to working at home, so we are all at home, together, almost 24/7. I had gotten used to not having the kids around. After the kids had left, I often spent many hours working at my main job and my side-business, sometimes working 10-12 hours. 
My daughter kept coming into my office and asking me when I’d be done. On lunch breaks she’d ask me if we could go out and do something. My other daughter would accuse me of working too much. I would make excuses and even get angry when they came into my office while I was working. 

When our kids left for college, we were sad to see them go. Our family is close, and we would call each other often, but I never dreamed I would have them back at home. Why should I be angry that my kids wanted to spend time with me? That’s not what God would want for me. I decided to recognize this change as a gift from God. I adjusted by scheduling “family-only” time on my calendar. It has helped me to make sure I don’t work longer than I should. It works!

Challenge: If there areas in your life that you might be putting too much or too little time, how might you make a change?

The Sermon on the Mount

The Sermon on the Mount, part two of Jesus, Who?

Matthew 5-7, the Sermon on the Mount, is one of the longest single passages of Jesus’s actual words and teaching. Today’s sermon is a fly-by at 30,000 feet and highlights just some of what Jesus taught his disciples early in his ministry before he was rejected by Israel.

While a single sermon can hardly do it justice, when volumes have been written about this passage. We’re aiming for an overview of how his followers should interact with God and the world around us according to Jesus.

For those watching the video, I apologize, the camara cutoff after 29 minutes. Fortunately, my son, Robbie, is getting better with video editing. The beginning and end are different than the full audio, but you still get the message.

Audio has the full sermon.

Full sermon, audio only

Side note for my followers… Would posting a transcript of the sermon be better for some of you, or stick with audio and video?

Jesus According to Jesus

The Gospels and the writers of the New Testament all give us a picture, a description, a historical record from many different individuals’ perspectives. Over the next four weeks though, I want to focus mostly on what Jesus said about himself. For those of you with red letter Bibles, those words throughout the New Testament that are written in red. 

Over time, as we align our congregations with God’s will and Jesus’s plan and action growing his church, and we witness to people about the hope that is within us, as Peter tells us to do…we need to know Jesus.

The best way for us to know Jesus is to know what he said about himself and why he was here, what he did for us.

Watch or listen now, as we learn more about what Jesus said about himself in our message, Jesus According to Jesus, part one in our series, Jesus, Who?

Pastor Joe, Jesus According to Jesus, audio only
Pastor Joe, Jesus According to Jesus