Monthly Archives: November 2014

Preparing for Worship – November 30, 2014

He Came (Main Generic)

This week, we put our Ephesians series on hold and begin a short Advent series called He Came. We will be studying the incarnation of Jesus. What is the incarnation? The incarnation is a term that indicates that Jesus, the Son of God, took on human flesh. He came to dwell among us. John 1:14 says:

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Why did Jesus come to earth?

This is precisely what we will be discovering in the coming weeks leading up to Christmas. The reasons why Jesus took on human flesh. We will see that:

He came

He came humbly

He came to redeem

He came to ransom

He came to save

Join us in the coming weeks as we worship Jesus, our Savior who came to rescue us from death and make us alive in him.

 

Preparing to sing together

To prepare to sing together, check out these helpful links:

Oh! Great Is Our God! (Listen | Purchase)

Angels We Have Heard On High (Listen | Purchase)

I Stand Amazed (Listen | Purchase)

O Come O Come Emmanuel (Listen | Purchase)

Jesus! (Listen | Purchase)

See you on Sunday.

Preparing for Worship – November 23, 2014

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This week, we continue our series In Him by studying Ephesians 3:7-13

7 Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. 8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. 13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.

The gospel made known

God used Paul to make the gospel known to many. In fact, we are also beneficiaries of God’s work through Paul’s words in the book of Ephesians.

Did you know that God has placed that same call upon the church – even today? To make the gospel known (v. 10). I encourage you to be praying in the next few days about how God would want to use you to proclaim the excellencies of Christ (to make the gospel known) to the world around you.

 

Preparing to sing together

To prepare to sing together, check out these helpful links:

Before the Throne (Listen | Purchase)

Here is Love (Listen | Purchase)

Take My Life (Listen | Purchase)

Jesus Paid It All (Listen | Purchase)

Psalm 18 (Listen | Purchase)

See you on Sunday.

Made Alive

On August 24th we began a sermon series in the book of Ephesians. One of our talented artists (Major Chisholm) put together an entire series of paintings based on the book of Ephesians. Read his statement and look at the images below. The size of this painting commands the attention of the viewer, but you will have to experience that in person. Stop by the building this Sunday.

MajorChisholm

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, Ephesians 2: 4-6
 
Made Alive was one of the hardest concepts for me to express in a painting.  As an abstract expressionist painter this verse didn’t lend any of the iconic credo one wishes it would.  Instead I looked at the verse in two ways.  The first from Gods perspective and the second from mans perspective. “God being rich in mercy…made us alive with Christ.” The idea that God sacrificed His son for our salvation is displayed through the silver line bleeding into the casket and taking us to the white circle at the top of the painting -representing fellowship with God. 
 
Man’s perspective is deserving of death.  The casket.  A place of finality – “Even when we were dead in our trespasses.”  What we deserve but have not given is this; God “made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” 
 
The silver line descends from heaven into our caskets, the place from which we can never remove ourselves.  We have to be removed from death and brought into life.  Only then are we Made Alive.  
 
MadeAlive

Made Alive – 24×36 – Acrylic

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MadeAlive2MadeAlive1

Preparing For Worship – November 16, 2014

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This week, we continue our series In Him by studying Ephesians 3:1-7

For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power.

The mystery of the gospel

Have you thought about the gospel lately? The fact is, there are aspects to the gospel that don’t quite seem logical. For instance, it isn’t logical that Jesus would suffer and give his life to redeem  sinners like you and me. It isn’t logical that when God looks upon us, he sees  Jesus’ righteousness instead of our sin. It isn’t logical that God would pour out the favor that Jesus deserves on us – the undeserving ones, and pour out the punishment that we deserve on Jesus – the perfect one.

The truth is, in some ways, the gospel is a mystery. Join us this week as we unpack the mystery of the gospel

Preparing to sing together

We will be singing a new song together this week called The Gospel, which simply and succinctly describes the message of the gospel (and is based on 1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Here are some of the words we will sing together:

So Jesus’ death has conquered death and killed our sin / And Jesus’ life has brought us life, we live in Him / Oh, look what God has done / Oh, through His Son

Christ died for our sins / Met death in His grave / Then rose to life again / By this we are saved

To prepare to sing together, check out these helpful links:

Praise To The Lord (Listen | Purchase)

The Gospel (Listen | Purchase)

Made Alive (Listen | Purchase)

Alas! (Listen | Purchase)

Grace Alone (Listen | Purchase)

It is Finished (Listen | Purchase)

See you on Sunday.

Preparing for Worship – November 9, 2014

slideInHim

This week, we continue in Ephesians. Specifically, Ephesians 2:19-22

19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

No longer strangers and aliens

Over and over, in the book of Ephesians we have seen that because of our sin, we were on the outside. We were strangers and aliens. The best two words of this particular phrase in verse 19 are these: No longer. Praise be to God!

Fellow citizens and saints

Because of Jesus’ work on the cross, we have been granted citizenship into the kingdom of God. A kingdom that cannot be shaken. A citizenship that cannot be taken away.

Not only that, but because of Jesus’ work on the cross, we inherit HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. That alone is why we can be called saints.

Join us this Sunday to celebrate Jesus with other fellow citizens and saints. To prepare to worship in song together, check out these helpful links:

Rejoice (Listen | Purchase)

Before the Throne (Listen | Purchase)

God Undefeatable (Listen | Purchase)

Jesus! (Listen | Purchase)

 

See you on Sunday.