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This lesson reviews the seven qualities of the Christian walk from 2 Peter 1:3-8, binding them together in the concept of our spiritual walk or gait.  The walk has several unique identifiers that are visible, including: (1) walking blamelessly, (2) walking worthy, and (3) walking in the light.  The lesson also discusses developing your gait and the reasons why this is important. The lesson concludes with the encouragement to be diligent to practice these spiritual qualities and an invitation to respond to the message was offered.

In this continuing series taken from 2 Peter 1:3-11, we explore the final attribute Peter describes, which is love.  The lesson defines love in the context of God’s divine love, in contrast to humanity’s variety of emotion-based definitions.  Then the lesson proceeds to discuss whether godly love is in our nature, how the Spirit helps develop this fruit of love, and what love in action looks like in our lives.  The lesson ends at the cross of Christ, which teaches us that love is at the core of everything we are and do, in fact, it is the autograph of God. 

This lesson seeks to answer the question of our purpose and God’s will for our lives.  Using verses from Romans 1:1-7 and 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12, the idea of purpose is defined by Roman 1:6 as being called to belong to Jesus Christ and this theme is developed as the nature and authority of Jesus is explored.  The second area discussed is what belonging to Christ looks like in practical, daily living terms which includes living pure lives, planning to please God, being set apart for his purposes, abstaining from sexual immorality and excelling in brotherly love.  The lesson ends with an invitation to respond to the message.

This lesson, based on Philippians 2:1-5, challenges the church to explore how we may point people to Jesus in uncertain times.  We are reminded that God is seated on his throne and in control as we delve into three challenging truths and three reassuring realities.  The challenging truths are: (1) we live in a tense and divided country, (2) March 8 is not coming back soon (the last time our whole congregation met), and (3) we are incredibly flawed people.  The three reassuring realities that balance out these truths are: (1) righteous prayer is effective and needs to be offered for all elected leaders, (2) stay on the mission to “share the Gospel”, and (3) keep moving forward.

Continuing the series on our Christian identity from 2 Peter 1:3-8, this lesson goes deeper into godliness, defined as being devoted to God.  The main points of the lesson are: (1) a brief analysis of the world, (2) how we can be different from the world, and (3) practical ways to stay devoted and clean.  The lesson ends with the encouragement to to “be in the world but not of it!”

This lesson in the Identity series, based on 2 Peter 1:3-8, explores the attribute of godliness.  This mainspring or driving force of Christian character is defined as devotion to God.  The two main concepts, covered using various scriptures from 1 Timothy and Titus, are the pursuit of godliness and the profitability of godliness for all things.  The lesson ends with the encouragement to be lights in this world.

This lesson is based on Psalm 46 and explores the ideas of how we navigate the realities of the sometimes harsh world around us.  Breaking down the Psalm into 3 major sections, the psalmist addresses three aspects of life’s changing dynamics as follows: (1) changes in nature, (2) changes in society, and (3) changes in my attitude.  In each area of change, we are also presented with the responses we should experience by trusting God is our refuge: (1) I will not fear, God sees, verses 1- 3; (2) I shall not be moved, verses 4 & 7; and (3) Trust God, no matter what happens, verses 8-11.  The lesson ends with the encouragement to “Be still, and know that I am God” and to respond to the message.

This lesson in our Identity series focuses on the virtue of perseverance, which Peter identifies in verse 6 of 2 Peter, chapter one.  After defining the term, examples of heros from the Old And New Testaments are discussed in light of their struggles to persevere.  Then, from Acts 18:9-11, 3 reasons to remain steadfast are discussed, as follows: 1) do not be afraid, God is with you, 2) God is present during our times of loneliness, and 3) God gives us a purpose.  The lesson ends with the encouragement to be steadfast and never quit, and with an invitation to respond to the lesson.

Next in this series on Identity, the characteristic of self-control is explored.  Referencing scriptures from 2 Peter and 1 Corinthians, four suggestions for developing self-control are presented as follows: 1) self-control develops by knowing your purpose, 2) self-control requires discipline, 3) self-control grows with an eternal perspective, and 4) avoiding the penalty of disqualification.  The lesson concludes with the encouragement to continue pressing on towards the goal of heaven by developing your identity in Christ.

In this continuing series on embracing our true nature, the quality of knowledge is explored.  Using 2 Peter 1:3-8 and related scriptures, the lesson develops 2 central points regarding knowledge: 1) developing a deeper, experiential, practical knowledge of God and Jesus, and 2) applying this practical knowledge in our lives.  The lesson ends with the encouragement to embrace true knowledge and to experience the transformation as application is made in our lives.

This lesson series discusses the 7 qualifying marks of our Christian identity.  Moral excellence or virtue is covered in this particular lesson using 2 Peter 5-9 and related scriptures to explore three main points: 1) our challenge to display moral excellence, 2) the impact that association with other saints has on our character, and 3) the dedication to maintain heavenward thinking.  The lesson ends with the encouragement to be a moral hero and bring glory to God with our influence.  

This lesson explores the concept of control and the struggles we have dealing with control in the various aspects of our life.  Using scriptures from Ephesians 6:11-12 and related passages, the three main points covered are: 1) recognize some things are out of our control, 2) recognize we can control some things, and 3) recognize the things only God has control over.  The lesson ends with an invitation to respond to the message.

Using verses from Lamentations 3:22-24, this lesson provides encouragement to trust in the steadfast love of the Lord.  Jeremiah, the prophet, wrote these words of hope after the fall of Jerusalem in 587 BC to encourage the people in captivity to look to God’s goodness in the midst of their difficulties.  These words also encourage us today to remember the steadfast love of the Lord, to anchor to the rock of his kindness and loving mercies, and to daily be refreshed in the new every morning beginning God provides.  The lessons ends with the invitation to respond to the message.

Based on the text of Hebrews 10:22-25 and related scriptures, this lesson discusses two of the aspects at the heart of worship.  The spiritual food of God’s Word and the close connection to God that we build through consistent prayer are explored as we look at Jesus in his life example and teachings.  The lesson concludes with a comparison of the Christian life to a climber, drawing the conclusion that as Christians, we are not meant to climb alone, but rather we are intimately connected with our brothers and sisters, and one component that is critically important to our worship is the unity we share in Christ.

This lesson, from Luke 15:11-32, takes a deeper look at this familiar parable to discern important characteristics of God’s love, compassion and mercy.  The main points include God being extravagantly approachable, reckless in his release, excessive in his patience, and wasteful in his waiting.  The lesson concludes with an invitation to come home to the excellent love of our Heavenly Father.

Using texts from Ecclesiastes 12:9-12 and other related scriptures, this lesson explores the importance of unity in the church.  The primary points covered are: 1) there is inherent strength in being united with one another, 2) there is sweet fellowship in unity, 3) unity and prayer go together, and 4) Christians are called to unity.  The lesson concludes with the encouragement to love one another and an invitation to respond to the message.

This lesson, taken from Philippians 3:17-21, develops the idea of how short this earthly life experience is when compared with eternity.  The two main points of the lesson are: 1) the dangers of living only for today, and 2) the need to develop a proper view of life and eternity.  The lesson concludes with two thought provoking stories about future perspective, and the encouragement to make right decisions now.

Based on Joshua 24:14-24 and related passages, this lesson explores key components of our commitment as followers of Jesus.  Some of the key points covered include the meaning of commitment, the nature of commitment and examples of commitment.  The lesson concludes with several probing questions regarding commitment and with the encouragement to be completely devoted in your commitment to God.

This lesson from Philippians 3:7-16 develops the spiritual metaphor of how the promise of spring fuels our ability to weather the storms of winter.  Using various examples of times when God’s people experienced spiritual winter, such as the 400 years of Egyptian bondage, the 40 years of desert wandering, the Assyrian/Babylonian captivities, the crucifixion of Jesus and the 3 day wait for his resurrection, this lesson demonstrates that God is always faithful to bring his people out of winter into spring, by strengthening them to overcome the trials.  Three key parallels are demonstrated from these examples: 1) we must die to self, 2) don’t look back, and 3) live tenaciously.  The lesson ends with the encouragement to finish the race well!

This lesson explores the influence mothers have in their many roles.  It begins with a brief review of some biblical examples of motherhood starting with Eve in Genesis 1 and culminating with Mary, Jesus’ mother.  From this foundation, 4  reasons to salute mothers are developed: 1) their persistent love, 2) their influential impact, 3) wherever they are is home, and 4) they are living bibles.  The lesson concludes with an invitation to respond to the message.

This lesson based in the book of Daniel, explores the components of growing into a mature faith.  Using key verses from Daniel and other related scriptures, we explore situations where Daniel and his 3 friends experienced the trials that stretched their faith, strengthened their faith, tested their faith, and ultimately matured their faith.  The lesson concludes with the question “Where is your faith?”, and with the encouragement to believe in Jesus, by committing or recommitting to trust in him.

Based on Matthew 6:25-34, this lesson looks at the human tendency to worry about various things, which categorize into 2 general areas, matters that are outside of our control or unknowns in the future.  The lesson develops 3 key concepts to implement that can help rid our lives of unproductive worry: 1) time spent focusing on God rather than focusing on problems, 2) thinking on good, true, excellent, commendable ideas, and 3) tasks that fulfill the purpose of the Christian life. The lesson concludes with the encouragement to be faithful and trust in God’s provision.

Waiting is something most people dislike, but the experience is not new for God’s people.  The scriptures describe many examples where God called his people to wait in the midst of various circumstances, such as Abraham, Moses, the children of Israel, Mary, and Christians.  Using Isaiah 40:28-31 as the focus, several key concepts are developed including: 1) waiting implies trust and hope, 2) waiting brings renewed strength, and 3) waiting for the Lord removes weariness.  The lesson concludes with the encouragement to claim God’s promise and lift up your eyes to the Lord.

The lesson, included in this congregational worship recording, is based on 1 Peter 1:3-5 and explores the foundational message of the resurrection of Jesus as the primary focus of our hope, joy, and lives.  The three key areas discussed are: 1) our Living hope, 2) our Lasting hope, and 3) our Loving hope. The lesson concludes with an invitation to make Jesus your foundation if you have not, or to be reconciled if you have drifted away.

This lesson explores the question of “Where do you find your hope?”  The focus of the lesson is a contrast between finding the eternal hope we can have based on our relationship with Jesus compared to the temporal hope that is grounded in changing circumstances such as wealth, health, or entertainment.  The key ideas discussed are: 1) the better hope found in Christ, 2) the joy and peace we have by the power of the Holy Spirit, and 3) the heavenly stimulus package we are promised as our living hope. The lesson concludes with the Lord’s Supper and the encouragement to fix your hope in Jesus and “shelter in peace”.

This lesson begins with thoughts from 1 Corinthians, chapters 10 and 11 including a celebration of the Lord’s Supper.  The rest of the lesson is focused on the subject of fear and how we should handle it. An illustration regarding skunks is used to set the stage for the bulk of the lesson from Psalm 46.  The two major points covered are: 1) God is a present help in times of trouble and 2) he is our shelter. In him we can “shelter in peace” trusting in his care through every circumstance, whether it is natural disasters or the conflicts that arise in this world.  The lesson ends with the encouragement to find peace in the stronghold of God, concluding with the biblical questions “How do we make God our refuge and have you made Jesus the bedrock of your life?”

Feeling overlooked?  Serve God!
This lesson, taken from 1 Kings 19:19-21, takes a look at the calling of Elisha to become a servant to Elijah and how his journey parallels our journey as servants of the Lord.  The lesson discusses several key concepts including serving God with everything you have wherever you are, being faithful where you are, and serving from where you are while trusting God for the courage to succeed.  The lesson concludes with the encouragement to never diminish God’s power to the size of our own thinking and in order for us to be engaged in God’s work, we have to want to be engaged.  

Starting in Genesis 3:1-6, this lesson explores the relationships we have with one another as Children of God and the challenges we face in getting along.  The points covered in the lesson include instructions by Paul from Ephesians 4 and Colossians 3, encouragement to continue in hope from 1 Peter 1:3-5, and practical reminders of how we ought to love another from 1 Peter 1:22 - 2:3.  The lesson concludes with an invitation to respond to the message.

In this lesson taken from Acts 20:17-31, the Great Commission to teach the world about Jesus is explored by looking at the Apostle Paul’s example.  Three key concepts are covered: 1) the Message needs a great attitude, 2) the Message should be taught anywhere, and 3) the Message should be taught to anyone.  The lesson ends with the encouragement to keep your attention focused on the big picture and with an invitation to respond to the message.

Using John 20:18-23, this lesson seeks to answer the question “Where do you go to find peace?”  The situation explored is the Apostles' state of mind and their reactions to the events surrounding Jesus’ resurrection and his appearances to them in the locked room.  In the midst of their fear, Jesus came and gave them (and all of his followers) peace in four areas: 1) peace with God, 2) peace with other Christians, 3) peace with self, and 4) peace with the world.  The lesson concludes with a recap of the purpose all followers find in being sent to offer His peace to the world and with an invitation to respond to Jesus.

“God was in Christ, making peace between the world and himself. In Christ, God did not hold the world guilty of its sins. And he gave us this message of peace. So we have been sent to speak for Christ. It is as if God is calling to you through us. We speak for Christ when we beg you to be at peace with God.”  ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:19-20‬ ‭

Your Identity is Key to Your Destiny 

In this continuing series on finding our Christian Identity, 1 Peter 2:4-11 is explored to develop the theme of protecting our spiritual identity.  The main concepts covered are: 1) your identity is a powerful resource, 2) protecting your identity, and 3) a proper view of your identity will lead to your destiny.  The lesson ends with encouragement from 1 John 1:9 and an invitation to respond to the message.

This lesson, in the continuing series on finding our Christian identity, uses John 5:1-24 and other related scriptures to look at the character and personality of God as revealed in the person of Jesus.  The main points covered in this lesson are: 1) the Son of Life, 2) the Son of Judgement, and 3) the Son of Honor. The lesson concludes with the text of Hebrews 1:3, describing Jesus’ attributes as the exact representation of God, and an invitation to respond to the message

 This lesson, on finding our identity as Christians, is based on 2 Peter 1:1-4 and discusses embracing our true nature.  The three main points covered are: 1) knowing who you are, 2) knowing where you stand, and 3) knowing what to do. The lesson concludes with the encouragement to take hold of God’s divine qualities.

This lesson begins a new series on finding our identity as Christians.  Using 2 Peter 1:1-13 as the outline, this lesson explores the foundation of our identity beginning with faith.  The main points covered are: 1) obtaining faith, 2) obtaining the divine qualities of faith, and 3) the rewards we reap.  The lesson concludes with the encouragement to add the divine qualities of God’s nature to your life.

This lesson, based on Psalm 23, discusses the attributes of entrusting ourselves to Jesus.  Looking at the words of David, three main concepts are developed: 1) entrusting your life to the Shepherd, 2) entrusting your plans to the Shepherd, and 3) following the Shepherd.  This lesson concludes with an invitation following the encouragement to trust God with your today as well as your future.

Beginning with a reading from Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 and using Proverbs 29:18 as an outline, this final lesson on Building Bridges looks at envisioning the future.  The three main points of the lesson are: 1) building a bridge to the future requires vision, 2) two things in common with future bridges, and 3) sharing a common pursuit.  The lesson ends with the encouragement to develop true vision and an invitation is offered to anyone needing to respond to the message.

This lesson looks at the first five verses of Psalm 103, where David praises the Lord with his soul and whole being as he reflects on the benefits he has received.  The three main benefits emphasized are forgiveness, redemption and being crowned with love and mercy. The lesson concludes with an invitation and is followed by a 2019/2020 budget summary being presented to the congregation.

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