As a follow-up to the worship message each Sunday, Pastor Tom (or whoever preached that Sunday) jots down some additional thoughts for us to ponder. We hope these thoughts enrich your time as you meditate on Sunday's message and on God's Word.
*Sermon Afterthoughts from December 2010 through June 2012 can be found on our Facebook page in the Notes section.
A follow-up to Sunday's sermon (10/02/16) entitled, "Love in Word and Deed and Truth" by Pastor Chris Sicks (1 John 3:11-24):
1 John 3:16 says we ought to love our brothers and sisters, but that when we see our [singular] brother, we must not close our hearts to him. About this, C.S. Lewis said, “it is easier to be enthusiastic about Humanity with a capital “H” than it is to love individual men and women, especially those who are uninteresting, exasperating, depraved, or otherwise unattractive. Loving everybody in general may be an excuse for loving nobody in particular.”
Why is it that the people closest to us are sometimes the hardest to love? What can we do about that tendency?
A follow-up to Sunday's sermon (8/28/16) entitled, "When Jesus Speaks" by Pastor Tom Holliday (Mark 4:35-41):
When Jesus spoke and the waves and the wind obeyed His voice, the disciples understood in new ways the identity and mission of this Messiah. In the midst of a great storm, they learned much about their own fears. One of the lessons and takeaways from the Gospel of Mark is that the opposite of faith is not so much doubt, but fear. Fear arises when we think we're losing control. When things are spinning out of control, we are prone to question God's nearness, goodness and power. They did; and so do we.What we need in the midst of our own storms is a voice that we can hear above the storm. An authoritative voice yet also tender. "Peace, be still." Our hearts need to sit and be still, and hear His voice. It's hard to do that in our storms, isn't it? We are not in the boat alone. Even when it appears that He is asleep, unaware of what's going on around us, He is ready to have a conversation with us about our fears. Fortunately for us, He not only hears and sees our fears, but He speaks as well as He listens. And He is able to speak today, into your life and mine: "peace, be still."
A follow-up to Sunday's sermon (8/21/16) entitled, "Seeing Clearly" by Pastor Tom Holliday (Mark 8:22-26):
The ministry of Jesus was authenticated in many ways, including the miracles He performed. What makes this particular miracle unique is that it was a "two-stage miracle.” The blind man was not healed completely after Jesus touched his eyes with the saliva. The fact that he saw "people but they looked like trees, walking,'' indicated that his sight was far from clear. So, Jesus touched his eyes a second time, bringing about complete healing for his blindness.One of the main takeaways from this encounter between Jesus and the blind man is that we are all the blind man, In other words, our ability to understand the person and ministry of Jesus continues to grow more clearly as our eyes are opened more and more through the illuminating working of the Holy Spirit. The disciples were evidence of this as they progressively learned over time who Jesus Christ truly was and why he came to earth. Ironically, right on the heels of this passage in Mark’s Gospel, Peter is rebuked by Jesus as Peter tried to dissuade Jesus from going to the cross. Peter needed more insight and understanding, which only the Holy Spirit can provide. There is so much more about the majesty and the healing power of Jesus that He longs for us to perceive.Yes, we are the blind man; and yes, we are Peter. ‘'''Open my eyes Lord; open my eyes, I want to see Jesus.''
A follow-up to Sunday's sermon (8/14/16) entitled, "All Things New" by Pastor Bruce Forsee (John 2:1-12):
The three chapters, John 2-4, form a unit, beginning in Cana and ending in Cana. In these three chapters, Jesus is presented as the Bridegroom coming to claim His bride, the church. In John 3:29, John the Baptist points out that “The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice.” In other words, the wedding at Cana is a sign that points to Jesus Himself as the true Bridegroom who provides the “good wine.” Up until this time, the Jews relied on rituals for purification (John 2:6; 3:25). But Jesus brought true cleansing. This “Bridegroom” image is brought to completion when Jesus confronts the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4. She is a wonderful metaphor for the church, the bride of Christ. She is of mixed race, Jew and Gentile. She has a sordid history with no righteousness of her own to bring to Jesus. She is thirsty and tired and confused even about worship. As a metaphor of the church, she is a picture of the bride of Christ. The apostles are astonished that Jesus would even speak to such a woman. But they don’t yet understand the extent of His grace. Jesus intends (metaphorically) to marry her! This sinful woman is not simply someone to talk to; she represents His bride. Too often in this story in John 4 we identify with the disciples. As the church, we are to identify with the Samaritan woman who was without hope until she met Jesus. In Jesus, we find not just rescue, but a Bridegroom who delights in His bride.
10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
5 For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.
A follow-up to Sunday's sermon (8/7/16) entitled, "Every Nation Shares in the Feast" by Pastor Chris Sicks (Acts 11:1-26):
Christian means “Christ-one” or “Christ follower.”
The Jewish word Messiah = “Christos” in Greek.
So, it’s fascinating that the very word “Christian” is connected to the salvation of Gentiles in Antioch, who came to believe in the Jewish Messiah — who is actually the Savior of anyone who trusts in His name.