Oct 11, 2015
The Hour of Darkness
TheManwiththePlan (2)In what is called “THE DARKEST HOUR” (Chapter 26) of THE STORY, Jesus by His Death made entrance into Eternal Life with His sinless blood for all who believe in Him. In the Gospel lesson this morning a rich young ruler asks Jesus a question to which everyone wants the answer. “Good Teacher what must I do to inherit eternal life?” We learn from Jesus’ reply and answer that He alone is the ONE who has done the GOOD DEED that provides the inheritance to eternal life for all who follow Him in faith. It is only by faith in Christ that good deeds endure eternally.
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  • Oct 11, 2015The Hour of Darkness
    Oct 11, 2015
    The Hour of Darkness
    TheManwiththePlan (2)In what is called “THE DARKEST HOUR” (Chapter 26) of THE STORY, Jesus by His Death made entrance into Eternal Life with His sinless blood for all who believe in Him. In the Gospel lesson this morning a rich young ruler asks Jesus a question to which everyone wants the answer. “Good Teacher what must I do to inherit eternal life?” We learn from Jesus’ reply and answer that He alone is the ONE who has done the GOOD DEED that provides the inheritance to eternal life for all who follow Him in faith. It is only by faith in Christ that good deeds endure eternally.
  • Oct 4, 2015Jesus: The Son of God
    Oct 4, 2015
    Jesus: The Son of God
    TheManwiththePlan (2)“Who do you say I am?” It was the most important question, Peter ever answered. People did not know what to make of this Jesus. He was like no other rabbi. 2000 years had passed since the covenant God made with Abraham. God promised that through Abraham all nations would be blessed. Now, in Jesus, God’s marathon plan of redemption was sprinting toward its climax. Peter’s answer to the question, changed His life forever. This morning, the question is posed to us.
  • Sep 27, 2015No Ordinary Man
    Sep 27, 2015
    No Ordinary Man
    TheManwiththePlan (2)One thing about this Jesus: He never invited neutrality. His followers called Him the Christ. His contenders called Him a blasphemer. Some were drawn to Him, while others could muster nothing in His presence but contempt. His teachings were revolutionary and His miracles undeniable. He claimed nothing less than equality with God and proclaimed Himself as the long expected Messiah. Jesus never left “sitting on the fence” as an option, nor does He today. His Name is still a stumbling block and an offense…. And yet, His is the only Name that saves. How one receives Jesus is a matter of eternal significance!
  • Sep 20, 2015Jesus’ Ministry Begins
    Sep 20, 2015
    Jesus’ Ministry Begins
    TheManwiththePlan (2)When we see professionals who accomplish outstanding athletic plays we often say, “Who is that guy?” or “How can she do something like that?” When Jesus Christ came into public ministry, people made these kinds of statements: “Who is this?” “How can he have such wisdom?” “How can he do that?” “… and by what authority?” Jesus often didn’t go into a lot of explanation about His miracles, but let His actions and wisdom speak for themselves.
  • Sep 13, 2015The Birth of the King
    Sep 13, 2015
    The Birth of the King
    TheManwiththePlan (2)Heaven had been very quiet for 400 years. No burning bushes. No parting seas. No visions or dreams reported by prophets. No message from God…just silence. Then, in a magnificent yet inauspicious way, God broke the silence, but not just by speaking a word – but by sending THE WORD … His Son, to take on flesh and blood. His birth was unspectacular, yet His presence dispelled darkness and cast an inescapable ray of light across history. God’s promises to Abraham and David had found fulfillment at long last. In a way that only God can, He planned the birth of Jesus to perfectly fulfill the promises He made to the world through His Nation, Israel. Today we celebrate the birth of the True King of Heaven and the coming of our Savior. He is the focal point of The Story.
  • Sep 6, 2015Rebuilding the Walls
    Sep 6, 2015
    Rebuilding the Walls
    GodisSpeakingDSOur story today opens nearly 60 years after Zerubbabel led 43,000 exiles carrying temple treasures, gold and silver back to Judah to rebuild the temple, and 15 years after Esther saved the Jews. As at all times in history, some people had hearts fully set on God, and some didn’t – including, and even, those Jews who returned to Jerusalem. So God sent three people with very different gifts to help and strengthen those in the Persian province of Judah who wanted to know Him. Ezra taught, Nehemiah built, and Malachi exhorted. In all cases, God responded.
  • Aug 30, 2015The Queen of Beauty and Courage
    Aug 30, 2015
    The Queen of Beauty and Courage
    GodisSpeakingDSIn Las Vegas you can roll “lucky sevens,” or you can also lose it all. You can win a massive windfall or experience colossal disaster. It all seems like coincidence, just the roll of the dice. In the Book of Esther, it seems like the destiny of the Jews is subject to the roll of the dice. But we discover that even though His name is not mentioned in the whole Book of Esther, God is working behind the scenes to fulfill His grand, saving purpose. Knowing this, we can take heart believing that even when God seems distant, unconcerned, or even absent in our lives, He is still at work. God is always working!
  • Aug 23, 2015The Return Home
    Aug 23, 2015
    The Return Home
    GodisSpeakingDSDo you know the feeling of getting back home after an extended time away – either for work or vacation, it doesn’t matter - the feeling is the same! It is so good to get back to your comfortable surroundings with familiar things. Even the not-so-nice things like loose doorknobs, squeaky stairs and weeds in the garden comfort you. The Bible tells of a number of “homecomings.” The prodigal son, the adulterous woman, and the people of Israel know this feeling of coming back home. So do we. Today in The Story, we see the people of Israel are invited back to their home in the Promise Land by God. When they get there, they see the nice things of home, but they also see a not-so-nice thing: There is no temple in Jerusalem. Their exile isn’t over yet. No homecoming is complete without the presence of God.
  • Aug 16, 2015Daniel in Exile
    Aug 16, 2015
    Daniel in Exile
    GodisSpeakingDSEarlier in the Old Testament, we read about Joseph, one of Jacob’s twelve sons who was sold into slavery (by his own brothers!) and became a prisoner in a foreign land. Far from home, with no one he knew that would see or critique him, Joseph led a life of staggering integrity. Fast forward to Daniel and three other young men from Judah who have been exiled in the capital city of their sworn enemies and captors. They were in a place where “no one was looking.” They could compromise and cut corners and no one would ever know … except God. Our culture invites and encourages us to compromise too, but like Daniel living in exile, we live by a higher authority.
  • Aug 9, 2015The Kingdoms’ Fall
    Aug 9, 2015
    The Kingdoms’ Fall
    GodisSpeakingDSHas God ever asked you to do something you didn’t want to do? He sure did this to the prophet Jeremiah. He told him to stand in the rubble of Jerusalem and weep. This was hard for him to do, not only because it represented the fall of the capital city of God’s chosen people and the temple of God, but because the people still refused to listen to him! Hard and stubborn hearts often know no other way. Sound familiar in our day? Yet in this we learn something else about our God. He still has the power to give an abundance of undeserved grace and mercy, even after The Kingdoms' Fall…
  • Aug 2, 2015The Beginning of the End
    Aug 2, 2015
    The Beginning of the End
    GodisSpeakingDSWhat if the U.S.A. had kings instead of presidents? Some suggest that George Washington was asked to be a kind of “king” of America following the Revolutionary War. He, however, rejected the offer following a popular sentiment and motto among colonists, “No king but King Jesus.” God’s people in Israel should have had a motto like that: “No king but King God.” They however, wanted human kings – who got the nation into a heap of trouble. The nation split into two smaller, weaker nations, and during the time of the divided kingdom there were 38 kings in all. All but a handful of those kings were wicked and did evil in the sight of the Lord. They failed to lead their subjects to honor the One True God, and because of it the nation suffered.
  • Jul 26, 2015God’s Messengers
    Jul 26, 2015
    God’s Messengers
    GodisSpeakingDSWe pick up The Story in chapter 15 or the Book of 2 Kings. Because the Bible is arranged topically and not chronologically, many people will enter “the black hole” of their Bibles at this point. The Old Testament books are arranged as history, poetry and prophecy. It’s at this point that the story seems to get jumbled up and further confused by the division of God’s people into two kingdoms—10 tribes called Israel in the north and two tribes in the south called Judah. We will see that this divided Kingdom leads to much unfaithfulness in the land. God sends messengers – the prophets, but they are ignored. God's people continue to disobey. Despite this tension, God, as He always does, remains active and faithful.
  • Jul 19, 2015What’s on the Other Side?
    Jul 19, 2015
    What’s on the Other Side?
    UntitledEvery culture in our world has an overarching "cultural narrative." This means that people groups of all time and places seek to answer some of the most important questions about life. They strive to describe how and where we can find meaning, purpose, and value in our lives. A large part of any culture is the "narrative," or the answers to questions like, "Why are we here?" "Why do bad things happen?" "What is truth?" and "What will happen when I die?" In popular new movies like "Interstellar," Hollywood seeks to enter this narrative. Filmmakers postulate in a manner of speaking answers to these questions. Movies, however, are so advanced and convincing today that it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. We must remember that these are stories based on imagination. Yet, in reality, these questions still remain. So how can we find answers to these meaningful questions of life with any confidence and hope?
  • Jul 12, 2015God’s Incredible People of Faith
    Jul 12, 2015
    God’s Incredible People of Faith
    UntitledThis last week at Vacation Bible School, the children considered what it took to be a "Superstar." They learned that it is not fame, riches, or even natural ability that make a person "super" in God's eyes. They learned that we are all made special and unique by God, and that He loves us no matter what we accomplish .... even if we stumble and fail. They learned that what makes us "super" to God is our faith in His Son Jesus, who died to take away our sins. Today as we consider some "Incredible" heroes of the Bible, may we recognize that what is truly amazing is that God has restored us to Himself, so that we can be in a relationship with Him. May we come today to worship our almighty and "incredible" God!
  • Jul 5, 2015Faith of Our Fathers
    Jul 5, 2015
    Faith of Our Fathers
    UntitledToday as we celebrate our nation's freedom and independence, we recognize that our freedom comes at a cost. Many fought ... and now still do fight ... to protect the freedom with which we are so accustomed. But what is freedom for? We could contend that the greatest cause for freedom is to allow the unfettered spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, that is perhaps the foundational freedom on which our country was built! But what about today? What can we as the Church do to use our freedoms in a God pleasing way?