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June 18, 2017 - Rules Are Rules - Exodus 20

posted Jun 25, 2017, 5:16 PM by Grant Garber

John Dillman | Exodus 20

June 11, 2017 - The Hand-Off - Matthew 28:16-20

posted Jun 12, 2017, 11:56 AM by Grant Garber

Phyllis Goodyear | Matthew 28:16-20 NRSV

June 4, 2017 - Dealing With Depression - Psalm 42

posted Jun 4, 2017, 7:54 PM by Grant Garber

  • Depression is a major ill that affects more people than we imagine and infects them more than we realize.
What can cause depression?
  • One’s temperament
  • Physical disability or illness
  • Being overtired or stressed
  • Clinical depression
  • Spiritual depression (sin/guilt)
  • The details of David’s circumstances may differ from ours, but the experience of his depression isn’t at all different from the symptoms suffered by so many. Self-pity, worrying, withdrawal, and pessimistic reminiscing have been the painful lot of the depressed in all ages.
  • David was depressed and he knew it and was prepared to admit it.
  • David communicated his depression to the Lord.
  • David delved into the situation in which he found himself. He asked some relevant questions.
  • There is a major difference between allowing your depressed state to talk to you and you talking to your depressed state.
  • David determined to “remember” the Lord even though the very environment in which he was going to do the remembering was hostile.
  • There is no better cure for depression than praise.
  • God became the focal point of David’s attention -- -
    • “God of my life” (vs. 8)
    • “God my rock” (vs. 9)
    • “God my hope” (vs. 11)
Pastor Jim Spon | Psalm 42

May 28, 2017 - The Unfairness of Life - Psalm 37:1-36

posted Jun 4, 2017, 7:47 PM by Grant Garber   [ updated Jun 5, 2017, 4:24 PM ]

  • The unfairness and injustice of life is one of the hardest things to take!
  • People who try to do things God’s way have a difficult road ahead of them. They are called to a life of conflict.
  • Through all our turmoil and disaster shines the fact that the Lord God has gone on record that He will ultimately triumph.
  • It is a short step from the triumph of God to the prevailing of good.
  • The ones who try to resist the pressures and swim against the tide will finally discover that they chose the right course.
Specific instructions for those who endure injustice but who understand that God will ultimately triumph and good will ultimately prevail -- -- -
  1. Trust and Do Good (vs. 3)
  2. Delight and Desire (vs. 4)
  3. Commit and Trust (vs. 5)
  4. Rest and Wait (vs. 7)
Pastor Jim Spon | Psalm 37:1-36

May 21, 2017 - Wanted: Forgiveness - Psalm 32

posted Jun 4, 2017, 7:42 PM by Grant Garber   [ updated Jun 5, 2017, 4:23 PM ]

  • There is nothing like forgiveness for making the heart sing and the soul rejoice!
  • Because many people have failed to understand sin they have little idea of the immensity of God’s forgiveness.
  • To transgress is to trespass.
  • Not doing what we ought is sin.
  • Iniquity is an inbuilt capability that perverts what is right and makes it into something wrong.
  • Guile is the projecting of that which is false. Hypocrisy is a good word to describe it.
  • Since Christ came, the scapegoat is no longer necessary for He bore our sins.
  • God is committed to forgiving sin so thoroughly that He will put it out of His mind, out of remembrance, and out of sight.
  • The great news of forgiveness is that God places our debts on Christ’s account.
  • The experience of finding forgiveness is not without its pressures. David was suffering from such guilt and conviction that he was dry, depressed and thoroughly upset.
  • Beware of the mistaken idea that once confession has been made and forgiveness received, we are free to go on as before. Forgiveness introduces you to a new responsibility to be different.
  • We are forgiven to be great forgivers!
Pastor Jim Spon | I Corinthians 15:12-21

May 14, 2017 - The Many Faces of Fear - Psalm 27:1-3, 14

posted Jun 4, 2017, 7:37 PM by Grant Garber   [ updated Jun 4, 2017, 7:38 PM ]

What Causes Fear?
  • Personality type/temperament
  • Traumatic events
  • Environment
  • Spiritual/Sin
  • Guilt concerning the past
  • Inadequacy
Answers to Fear?
  1. “The Lord is My Light”.
    • For many the future is like a long dark tunnel. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. That light is the same One of whom David said: “The Lord is my Light.”
    • The future can be divided into two parts. The future that lies ahead of us up to the grave and the future that stretches ahead after the grave. The Lord sheds great light on both!
  2. “The Lord is…..My Salvation”.
  3. “The Lord is the Stronghold of My Life”.
So, David asks…..

     4. “Whom Shall I Fear”?

Lesson from Verse 14:
  • The one who has learned to master fear becomes an encourager of the fearful.
Pastor Jim Spon | Psalm 27:1-3, 14

May 7, 2017 - Answers to Discouragement - Psalm 11

posted Jun 4, 2017, 7:31 PM by Grant Garber

  • There is no doubt that there is much to make people discouraged. But there is no reason why anyone should stay discouraged.
  • People have a natural tendency to “flee to the mountains” when things get tough.
  • Things can get tough, and the tougher things get, the harder it is to resist discouragement.
  • Whenever “foundations” of any kind are destroyed, the result can be that horrid sinking feeling. But I believe the righteous should never quit!
  • Everyone is inadequate at some point in his/her experience.
  • What should one do? Take refuge in the Lord. Unashamedly run to Him!
  • Part of the present ministry of the Lord is to intercede on our behalf.
  • God does reign in the affairs of humankind. There is a throne in heaven and there is a God on that throne.
  • There is no time when the Lord isn’t carefully and lovingly watching over His own.
  • There are those whom the Lord views critically. His eyes tryingly examine them. But there are others who know His eyes examine them not critically but lovingly.
  • In addition to knowing he/she has God as High Priest, King and Judge, the trusting believer also knows that one day he/she will see the face of the Lord. This is the glorious hope of the trusting soul.
  • Ask yourself, “Have I allowed the things that discourage me to get on top of me so much that I have forgotten to trust the Lord?”
Pastor Jim Spon | Psalm 11

April 30, 2017 - Inquiring Minds Want to Know - Psalm 2

posted Jun 4, 2017, 7:26 PM by Grant Garber

Question #1
Why do the nations conspire?

Question #2
Why do the people plot in vain?
  • Whoever today’s kings are and wherever they meet their whole approach to life and, therefore, the influence they apply on people, is opposite to the Lord’s ways.
  • The psalmist had no doubt that the leaders of his day were “…against the Lord and against his Anointed One.” For the most part, the situation is the same today as it was then.
  • Self-sufficient people, wrapped up in their own schemes, content with their sins, and bent on living their own lives, don’t want to know about a Redeemer.
  • The leaders and opinion makers of humankind are vocal and they are busy making opinions and selling them attractively packaged. The “chains” and “fetters” that they want to get rid of are the principles and standards of God and His Word.
  • God has no time at all for clever schemes that ignore His sovereignty and replace it with the sovereignty of created humankind.
  • The wrath of God is as pure as the holiness of God. It is as consistent with who He is as is His love.
  • The contrast between the kings who set themselves and the King whom God has set must not be missed.
  • While chaos reigns on earth as a result of humankind’s arrogant rejection of God and our attempts to bring our own rebellion and independence under control, God and His Anointed One are seated in heaven confident and in command.
  • Those who have been in arrogant rebellion against God must exercise their minds (“be wise”) and use their wills (“serve the Lord”).
Pastor Jim Spon | Psalm 2

April 23, 2017 - Life after Death - I Corinthians 15:12-21

posted Jun 4, 2017, 7:21 PM by Grant Garber   [ updated Jun 4, 2017, 7:22 PM ]

  • One of the things about which the Bible is crystal clear is that humans are but mortal, created of dust and to dust we return. But we have always craved immortality.
  • There is nothing in the Bible that teaches the immortality of the soul. What the Bible teaches is the resurrection of the body.
  • Every time in history that a society loses its ability to be righteous, what do we find reappearing but a belief in the immortality of the soul.
  • The Bible cautions, you are a mortal. You live among mortals. And you are called to take mortal life as seriously as God does.
  • Paul goes on to claim that after death, those who participate in the life of Christ will also participate in His resurrection.
  • The point of heaven is to take bodily life on earth very seriously. And the reason we take it seriously is because God makes the body sacred by resurrecting it to eternal life.
  • As Christ participates in our humanity, so do we participate in His holiness through sanctification. And that is the only way to become a saint.
  • Down here on earth, people who believe in this resurrection live differently than others.
  • There isn’t a saint in heaven who is there because they were good enough. They’re there because by grace, God raised them from the dead.
  • Heaven above you and the saints around you proclaim, “Don’t waste today. Don’t take it for granted. Today is your opportunity to bring heaven and earth a little closer together.”
Pastor Jim Spon | I Corinthians 15:12-21

April 16, 2017 - Looking for Life Among the Dead - Luke 24:1-12

posted Jun 4, 2017, 7:17 PM by Grant Garber   [ updated Jun 5, 2017, 4:23 PM ]

  • We assume that we’re to get all we can out of life before it is over, and the ending is always the same – death.
  • Even though we all know about it, we try hard not to think about death. The real reason we prefer not to think about death and dying is that it tears apart our illusions of control.
  • Easter claims we don’t do the best we can with life on our own, then we die and enter some vaguely described place called heaven. Easter claims that’s not real life at all. It’s just avoiding death as long as possible, which is never the same thing as living.
  • It is amazing how much of our understanding of life’s mission boils down to looking for a life among the dead.
  • What if we could stop looking for life among the dead where everything is given back? What if we could begin eternal life, right now, today, here on earth? Then our life’s mission would be dramatically changed. And the biggest change is that we would be fearless.
  • Easter proclaims that life is an eternal gift from God.
  • The Bible teaches us to think vertically. It claims that life breaks in from above, it belongs to God, and it is always lived in His hands. Death is just a passage into even more life, but it is more of the life we can have today.
  • Unless you fear Easter, you will always fear everything else as just something else to lose.
  • Our daily mission is to receive the mystery of life unfolding before us.
  • No one who is anxious can enjoy beauty.
  • How do we stop anxiously looking for the living among the dead? By encountering the risen Savior.
  • The resurrection is God’s breaking into ordinary life.
  • Will you join those who have gone before you in giving to Jesus the life you can’t keep to receive a new life you can never lose?
Pastor Jim Spon | Luke 24:1-12 (RSV)

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