How We Can Mentor Each Other

6 Ways to Participate in the Spirit’s Power
1 Thessalonians 5:14
Matthew Raley (10-20-13)

In our current sermon series, Pastor Matt is teaching us the ways in which God’s people can participate in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Last week we saw that all of us need to deepen our skills. Apollos, a highly educated man, needed to deepen his skill in teaching doctrine. The Holy Spirit brought him to Priscilla and Aquila, and empowered his ministry greatly.

If we look at the challenge facing our church and our culture, so much of it boils down to skills. Couples have trouble communicating. We are challenged in our personal finances. Some lack skills in preparing nutritious food, and their diet drains their physical and emotional health. Others want to be effective in ministry, but they get discouraged because they don’t have the right tools. Many struggle to get command of their schedules.

If we had these kinds of skills, not only would our church thrive, but our culture would become more stable. The first Christians understood that these were spiritual issues. So they exhorted one another to participate in the Spirit’s power by giving and receiving mentoring.

Whether you are being mentored or mentoring someone else, the Spirit uses the process to change you. You can meet your challenges by helping others meet theirs.

Published in: on October 21, 2013 at 11:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

How the Spirit Mentors People

6 Ways to Participate in the Spirit’s Power
Acts 18.24-28
Matthew Raley (10-13-13)

In our current sermon series, Pastor Matt is teaching us the ways in which God’s people can participate in the power of the Holy Spirit.

In today’s message we will observe how the Holy Spirit used Priscilla and Aquila to mentor Apollos so that his ministry had a deeper impact on people.  Everyone needs to deepen their skills.  There are few things more urgent for us than that we become mentors of each other.  If we engage in that work humbly, we will see the Spirit work powerfully in us.

Published in: on October 21, 2013 at 11:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

How We Can Pray Together

6 Ways to Participate in the Spirit’s Power
Philippians 4: 4-7
Matthew Raley (10-6-13)

In our current sermon series, Pastor Matt is teaching us the ways in which God’s people can participate in the power of the Holy Spirit.

When Christ’s people share life by praying together, they discover Christ’s power and purposes in fresh ways through the Holy Spirit. We saw this principle last week as the church prayed for Peter. There is an outlook of strength and health that comes from praying together.  Today we will discover that the emotional benefits of prayer are most powerful when we pray with others.

 

Published in: on October 21, 2013 at 11:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

How the Spirit Uses Prayer

6 Ways to Participate in the Spirit’s Power
Acts 12:1-17
Matthew Raley (9-29-13)

In our current sermon series, Pastor Matt is teaching us the ways in which God’s people can participate in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Last week we learned how the Spirit shows his power through believers who connect with each other.  In today’s message we will look at Peter’s imprisonment after the martyrdom of James to see how the Spirit uses corporate prayer in the life of the church.

Praying with others in their trials actually strengthens us in our own.  And when the church witnesses God’s power together, discovering more about him together, it is more powerful than an individual discovering God alone.

 

Published in: on October 21, 2013 at 11:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

How We Can Connect With Each Other

6 Ways to Participate in the Spirit’s Power
Romans 12:9-10
Matthew Raley (9-22-13)

In our current sermon series, Pastor Matt is teaching us the ways in which God’s people can participate in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Last week we learned that the Holy Spirit uses connections between believers to power the Kingdom. Today we follow up by asking a simple question of the scriptures:  if the Spirit shows his power through believers who connect with each other, how can we participate in his power? How can we connect with others?

We will find that when we focus on others, the Spirit empowers us and strengthens us for our own challenges.

 

Published in: on October 21, 2013 at 11:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

How the Spirit Connects People

6 Ways to Participate in the Spirit’s Power
Acts 11: 19-26
Matthew Raley (9-16-13)

In our current sermon series, Pastor Matt is teaching us the ways in which God’s people can participate in the power of the Holy Spirit.

In today’s message, using Barnabus as our model, we will see how the Spirit worked in the early church through making connections between people. Through these new relationships, brought about by a wise connector, the church at Antioch became a center of fresh leadership, giving, and worldwide Kingdom focus. This is one example of the Holy Spirit’s power at work in God’s church.

 

Published in: on October 21, 2013 at 11:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Holy Spirit in Christ’s People

Six Ways to Participate in the Spirit’s Power
Acts 1: 6-8
Matthew Raley (9-8-13)

Today Pastor Matt kicks off the fall season with a new sermon series which will teach us, from the Scriptures, the ways in which God’s people can participate in the power of the Holy Spirit. Because Peter and the rest of the disciples received the Holy Spirit and participated in the Spirit’s power, the body of Christ became witnesses to the ends of the earth. The witness of the community is a critical part of our testimony to the grace of Christ, just as it was for the early church. In today’s message we will see how the Spirit worked in the early church and be challenged to see how our own lives will change as we participate in the Spirit’s power in the body of Christ, the Church.

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Published in: on October 21, 2013 at 10:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Dinner Party

Three Miracles of Jesus
Luke 14:1-6
Matthew Raley (7-28-13)

Today we will be exploring the works of Christ through the eyes of Isaac, a fictional eyewitness.

Isaac is reclining at table with his friend Simon, a prominent Pharisee, and Jesus. Isaac sees a prostitute moving toward Jesus on her knees, tears smearing her make-up. She breaks open an alabaster flask and the luxurious odor fills the room. She washes Jesus’s feet with her tears, dries them with her uncovered hair, and pours the ointment on them. Jesus forgives her sins.  The Pharisees are scandalized.  Jesus had no right to release such a woman from her shame.  Only God can forgive sins.

This is the first of three dinner parties where Isaac and his fellow guests are confronted by the mercy of Christ.

Through them we will encounter several characteristics of Jesus’s mercy which will teach us something more about the nature of faith.

Published in: on August 25, 2013 at 11:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Agonizing Wait

Three Miracles of Jesus
Mark 5:21-43
Matthew Raley (7-21-13)

Jairus, the synagogue ruler, is sitting with his twelve-year-old daughter who is dying. After she falls asleep, he goes to his roof and begins to pray.  As he calls on the promises of God, he notices people running through the streets shouting, “Jesus!”  He cannot reach Jesus easily. A massive crowd has gathered. Jairus pushes through the people for what seems like hours. When he finally reaches the front of the crowd, he falls at Jesus’s feet and implores him to come heal his daughter.

Jesus agrees and they start off for Jairus’s home. The crowd slows their progress. People just as desperate as Jairus are crying out to Jesus, grabbing at him. The disciples are struggling to form a barrier around Jesus. Suddenly Jesus stops and turns around. He stares at various people. “Who touched my garments?” No one answers. His disciples ask, “What do you mean? The crowd is pressing around you.” But Jesus keeps looking from person to person.

Jairus tenses.  He doesn’t have time for this.  His daughter is dying. In fact, during this delay, Jairus’s servants have been struggling to reach him to tell him his daughter is dead.  Jesus seems unfazed by this news. He looks at Jairus and says, “Do not fear, only believe.”

We learn a great deal about the nature of faith from this story. In today’s message we will be asking the question: What about Jesus are you trusting?

Published in: on August 25, 2013 at 11:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Dying Boy

Three Miracles of Jesus
John 4.43-54
Matthew Raley (7-14-13)

A royal official returns, filled with anxiety, to his home in Capernaum.  He rushes to his son’s room where his manager is overseeing the boy’s care. No physician has been able to stop the boy’s decline. The most expensive treatments have accomplished nothing.

The manager says, “Jesus of Nazareth has returned to Cana.” The official has followed Jesus’s rise as a teacher. Wherever he goes, there are signs of God’s power in him and large crowds now listen to him. If Jesus can perform these kinds of wonders, then he can certainly heal the official’s son.

But he looks at the feverish boy, sinking  by the minute. Cana is more than 15 miles away. Jesus won’t do the boy any good over there. The official starts early the next morning and finds Jesus by midday. He implores him to come home with him to Capernaum to heal his dying son.

Today we begin a short series on faith.  We will see that Jesus’s response to the official teaches us a great deal about the nature of faith.

Published in: on August 25, 2013 at 11:05 pm  Leave a Comment