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  • Last Sunday's Message:
    April 23, 2017
    Standalone Messages Scripture:
    Acts 2:41-47
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    Speaker: Jon Kopp - The glory of God changes everything. We know that on a grand scale. Weekends like Easter or amazing messages or miraculous life-change grab our attention. But, none of us live in those types of experi...
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Faith that Works
Sun, Nov 13, 2016
Hits: 727
54 mins 40 secs
Speaker: Jon Kopp - "We all too often want a Christianity and church on our terms according to our preferences and aligning with our lifestyles. We are a people happy to go to church just so long as nothing in our lives has to change. We are a people happy to be Christians as long as we can define Christianity according to what accommodates us. The only problem with that is that in order for the religion of Christianity to be authentic, true and actually acceptable to God, we have to let Him define what it looks like. And His definition of true Christianity is radically different from ours." (David Platt) In James 1:26-27, God defines for us what true Christianity looks like. It isn't easy and doesn't make us comfortable, but it does reveal whether our hearts have been "brought forth by the Word of truth." May God transform us to reflect a Christianity that is valuable, pure and undefiled.
Faith that Works
Sun, Nov 06, 2016
Hits: 558
45 mins 13 secs
Speaker: Lukus Counterman - The first chapter of James has laid out tests for authenticating true believers. The author examines a persons response to certain things in life and concludes the following: true believers respond to trials with joy and endurance, trusting in God who uses them for our benefit and his glory. True believers respond to temptation by understanding the ensnaring tendency of sinful desires and running to God who is good and who gives what we truly need. In our text this morning James explains how true believers receive the word of God with submission, purity and humility. And then they respond with more than just hearing. They move to faith-filled heeding. May the Lord help us to be doers and not hearers only - that we might be blessed and that He might be glorified.
Faith that Works
Sun, Oct 30, 2016
Hits: 737
41 mins 57 secs
Speaker: Lukus Counterman - One tendency is to forget how bad we are, another is to forget how good God is. In times of trial especially, we lose sight of the good things that God has given us. We can be deceived about what God is like. So, having reminded us of the evil desires that spring up from within (1:13-15), James now draws our attention to the good gifts that come down from above: (1:17) “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” God is the source of all blessing – every perfect gift comes from God’s gracious hand. He is powerfully, dependably, and graciously good. And it’s this that we need to keep in the forefronts of our minds, especially when facing the trials and temptations that will be a part of our lives each day.
Faith that Works
Sun, Oct 23, 2016
Hits: 609
50 mins 13 secs
Speaker: Lukus Counterman - Our reflex so often is to lay the blame for our temptation elsewhere. This is a tendency that runs very deep in us, and we find it very easy to even blame God for the temptations we experience. But James counters this by reminding us of what God is like – He is un-tempt-able. He is utterly pure, and because of this, we can be sure he is not trying to trip us up. Instead we need to realize that our own desires are the cause of temptation. The desire to sin wells up within our own hearts. And when it does, it sets off a chain reaction that eventually leads to death. Sin doesn’t stop where we want it to. It keeps taking us further and further until we are eventually ruined. So when we are tempted, we must immediately run to God and take the way of escape that He provides. May the Lord help us today and in the week ahead.
Faith that Works
Sun, Oct 16, 2016
Hits: 664
49 mins 31 secs
Speaker: Lukus Counterman - The Scriptures present some tensions that are good for us to wrestle with. Not everything in the Bible is easy to understand. Not everything fits into neat categories. Actually, there are concepts in scripture that almost seem to contradict each other. There are paradoxes that don’t fit within our boundaries of logic or our frame of reference. In the world of theology they are called “antinomies” - seeming paradoxes. In James 1:12 one of those tensions are brought to the surface. James speaks about the promise of a crown of life (eternal security), and he also speaks about the requirement of steadfastness (perseverance of the saints). In the seeming paradox, truth is maintained: believers are secure and believers must/will endure. May the Lord guide us into truth as we seek to listen to his voice.
Faith that Works
Sun, Oct 09, 2016
Hits: 691
31 mins 57 secs
Speaker: Jonathan Albright - We live in a world that defines our ultimate value in the positions that we hold, the influence we have, and the wealth we possess. Consequently, our outlook and reactions to our trials can be significantly swayed by where we find ourselves on the economic scale. People who perceive themselves as lacking material possessions jealously desire to acquire riches in order to eliminate the struggles of life, whereas the wealthy seem to live in safety and security by insulating themselves from financial hardship. There probably is not an area of our lives that is more connected to the trials we face than the financial position we find ourselves in. In light of this reality James is going give us an example of wisdom applied in the passage this morning, and he is going to deal with this matter of wealth directly by giving instruction that levels both the rich and the poor and calls them to evaluate their position by spiritual rather than material standards.
Faith that Works
Sun, Oct 02, 2016
Hits: 718
49 mins 37 secs
Speaker: Lukus Counterman - Trials are not for nothing, and they are never wasted experiences. Why? Because God is achieving something in us as we persevere through them. He is investing in our faith. Now that doesn't mean that they are not painful. We are not to pretend trials and grief do not hurt us; it is natural and normal that they do. Suffering in and of itself is not a good thing. But what James is saying is that what God can accomplish through suffering is a good thing. During times of intense pain, it is common to feel a sense of disorientation, to lose our bearings. We do not need to feel that trials are times we have to prove we have it all figured out. James assumes that when we face trials we will need wisdom and so he counsels us to ask God for it. God gives, he gives to all, he gives without finding fault – so ask him for wisdom today. May the Lord help us to have single-minded faith and resolute confidence in God in the midst of trials. May the Lord give us wisdom to discern and do his will through the painful moments of life.
Faith that Works
Sun, Sep 25, 2016
Hits: 880
50 mins 30 secs
Speaker: Jon Kopp - God’s word is very clear that believers will face trials of many kinds. Just as our Lord was tested in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-11), and just as he endured temptation (Heb. 4:15), so we too are called to endure trials and temptation. However, the Bible also promises us that God will use our trials for our good, strengthening us and leading us to rely more fully on him. Both Peter and Paul make similar points in Rom. 5:3-5 and 1 Pet. 1:6-7. So, “when all kinds of trials crowd into your lives my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character with the right sort of independence.” - JB Phillips paraphrase of James 1:2-4
Faith that Works
Sun, Sep 18, 2016
Hits: 668
45 mins 29 secs
Speaker: Lukus Counterman - The letter of James has strong claims to be both the most celebrated and most criticized of all New Testament books. It has been criticized because the words “Christ” and “Jesus” appear only a couple times. Martin Luther fumed that “James mangles the Scriptures and thereby opposes Paul.” He was referring to the faith and works discussion in chapter two. But in spite of such charges, this letter has persistently found its way into the hearts and affections of countless Christians through the ages. It remains one of the most cherished books of the Bible because it is very practical. James addresses everyday issues of living such as how we speak, how we should think about wealth and poverty, how to approach conflict, sickness and suffering. James is a wonderfully down to earth book, and through our study, may the Lord show us what genuine faith looks like in real life. May the Lord show us how real faith works hard and lives distinctively.
Open House
Sun, Sep 11, 2016
Hits: 830
45 mins 43 secs
Speaker: Lukus Counterman - The Apostle Paul had embarked on his long-anticipated return to Jerusalem. He was a passenger on a merchant ship slowly making its way down the Aegean toward the Mediterranean. The boat stopped in Miletus, just 30 miles from Ephesus as the crow flies. The layover was scheduled for several days, so Paul called for the elders from the church of Ephesus. They came to meet Paul, and he delivered some farewell words regarding ministry. In the book of Acts we get glimpses at how Paul speaks to different audiences. A Jewish audience in Pisidian Antioch (13:16-41) A Pagan audience at Athens (17:22-31). But in our text this morning, we hear Paul speaking to Christians. This conversation should be instructive for us on the topic of church ministry. May the Lord use his word to encourage and challenge us this morning.