Posts Tagged ‘Religion and Spirituality’

Stair-Master “Faith”

10/12/2011
Church of Christ at Wedderburn, Victoria

Image via Wikipedia

Today is part one of a two-part message, I put together to describe two different kinds of “faith” people like to follow, or tend to, and it is unfortunate that they chose either.

Have you ever been on a stairmaster? Ever gotten off of one, realized how much work you had just done, and acknowledged the fact that you are standing in the exact same place you were, pre-workout?

That is the crummy faith life that many in our modern society have. They show up for church on Sunday, maybe even two or three more times during the week, but as soon as the key is in the ignition and they drive out of the parking lot, followed by unlocking the door and walking into their homes, it’s over until next time.

They built up a spiritual sweat during service and worshipped with all of their hearts while learning with all their minds. But when the lights of the church go off for the day, so do those people’s faith.

The workout in the gym might be great, but living your faith life that way is absolutely counterproductive to what Christ instructed us to do. We are instructed to serve the purpose of Christ in all aspects of our lives, not only at church.

My advice for you today, if any of the above applies to you, as your personal spiritual trainer for the day, get off of the stairmaster, and hit the spiritual cross-country track of the world to share the love and redemption of Christ.

 

Chris

Faking It

10/11/2011

Today closes the books on our series “Lose your faith in 5 easy steps”. And lastly, but certainly not the least of those steps is faking it.

How many people have left churches over what they called “hypocrisy” in the church or church leadership. My church is currently working on a fall campaign titled “Christian Atheist”. It is someone who behaves and claims to be a christian, but behaves and thinks as if God is not really there, or doesn’t do what he says he will.

My wife once had issues with a family member, and was told by another family member to “fake it, until you make it”. I can see how being in a situation where you are forced to work with a family member or be around one can make you grow more fond of them over time. Fungus does grow on you right?

All jokes aside, I love seeing her interact positively with that family member these days. They get along GREAT. So why is this a bad thing in church? Why is bad to be a fake christian until you become comfortable enough to be a REAL DISCIPLE?

That is simple. If Jesus himself doesn’t know when he will be sent back to Earth by the Father in Heaven to collect his children, they how can you possibly KNOW THAT, but act like you have all the time in the world to make the REAL and GENUINE transaction that will insure your eternal security?

Food for thought.

 

Chris

Loving The World

10/10/2011

Today we continue our formerly postponed series “Lose your faith in 5 easy steps”. Today is step 4, loving the world.

Loving the world isn’t the same as drifting away from Him like a boat floating from a dock. Loving the world is hopping in the driver’s seat, firing up the motor, and flying out to deep water.

1 John 2:15 tells us “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is no in him”. That makes it pretty cut and dry. You see, the world makes it so easy to love it. Many things seem to feel better when done the world’s way. Many equate this with material things, and being yourself. Not true, nothing is wrong with self-expression of having a few things here and there, the problem comes when we use those two things as justification for idolatry.

I know tons of “rich” and “blessed” people but from my experience with them, they don’t put those things above God. On the same token, I know those who do. I have been one of them. On both ends.

I have allowed my human “wants” to outweigh my spiritual “needs”. And if you are being honest with yourself, you have to.

How do we fix this and avoid step four? We keep God closer to our hearts than we do things of this Earth. Sounds easier than it is, but it is far greater to have the love of the Lord in our lives, than a love for cars, boats or houses.

 

God Bless,

Chris

Barking Up The Right Tree

10/03/2011

Bulletin/Handout notes

 Original Message/Sermon:  Pastor Jeff Daws
 
From morning service at Stockbridge Community Church on 9/25/11.
 
(listen to sermon or make a donation at SCCview.Net)
 
Today’s point: Unity makes Stockbridge Community
 
Jesus said “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall”. Luke 11:17 NIV
 
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:3 NIV
 
How to keep the unity of Stockbridge Community.
 
1. FOCUS on what we have in common, not our differences.
 
So let’s agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don’t drag them down by finding fault. Romans 14:19 MSG
 
2. Be REALISTIC in your expectations.
 
Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Ephesians 4:2 NLT
 
3. Refuse to LISTEN to gossip.
 
Fire goes out for lack of fuel, and tensions disappear when gossip stops. Proverbs 26:20 LIVING
 
4. By stepping up as ONE through CONNECT GROUPS.
 
I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. John 17:22-23
 
When we step up as ONE through Connect Groups we….
 
Offer hope through friendship.
Nurture leaders through commitments.
Engage our campus through worshipping God together.
 
 
Your next steps today:
1. I will become one with my SCC family by joining a Connect Group (See SCCVIEW.net)
2. I have been away from Christ & am recommitting my life to Him today.
3. I have not accepting Christ in my life before today, but I now accept Him as Lord & Savior.
 
 
 
 
 
You can find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/stockbridgecommunitychurch

Serving > Ourselves

09/22/2011
Bulletin/Handout notes
 
Original Message/Sermon: R. Frisone
 
From One50Five service on 9/19/11.
 
(listen to sermon at one50five.com)
 
From the series: ”  > ”  (Greater Than)
 
“He must become greater; I must become less.” John 3:30
 
Three truths about serving:
 
1. Serving is NEVER about us.
2. People see God through serving.
3. Serving HUMBLES us.
 
Walk away point:
 
We need to become >.

Lose your faith in five easy steps!

09/20/2011

Today is the first in a five-part series I am titling “Lose your faith in 5 easy steps”. That probably sounds a little counterproductive to what we normal shoot for at I.M., but I think it is far past time we talk about the five main things that immediately kill our faith, and these things aren’t even the BIG things people normally think about, these are the small things, that eat away at our faith like a cancer slowly but surely over a long period of time. I was inspired for this series by reading the book Weird, which I recommend, Craig Groeschell is an awesome Christian author.

Have you ever found a piece of glass on the beach? Probably not, but trust me, they are there. The thing about glass shards dropped on beaches is that over time, the elements smooth the rough edges, grind the piece down, and eventually, it just looks like another smooth-sided pebble on the beach. We have a choice to avoid becoming like very other pebble on that beach by resisting these five things.

First on the list is our title for today, BLAMING GOD. We will be getting in to that tomorrow in our audio section, stay tuned!!

Why the blood?

09/15/2011

Thanks for stopping in for Episode 19 of Inspired Audio. You can listen to today’s audio by CLICKING HERE NOW.

Prayer that goes beyond blessings

09/13/2011

I have recently finished reading Pastor Craig Groeschel’s book titled “Weird: Because Normal Isn’t Working”. It is a life changing book if you take it to heart, because it makes you look yourself eye-to-eye and see the real you. Not the you that everyone else see’s, the REAL you. There is a prayer in his book that I wanted to share with you all today, as opposed to our usual format. I pray you enjoy, print, and continuously take the steps in your life to be weird also.

“Years ago someone wrote this prayer for all of us who long for more than just the gratification of normal blessings:”

“May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart. May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace. May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, and starvation, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy. And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done. May God bless you with the weirdest blessing possible—his divine burden.”

When many people pray for blessings, they pray for financial needs to be met, their kids college grades to come back higher than last semester, their local (or favorite) sports team to win the big game, their health or the health of others. Praying for the health of others is probably the noblest of those listed above. But what about praying for the ability to feed the hungry, take care of widows and orphans, teach the gospel, or lead people to Christ? I pray you ask God to place a divine burden on your heart today. A divine burden to do more, to help more, to serve more, to aid wherever it is needed in His work.

 

God bless,

 

Chris

 

Stepping Up As ONE: 2020 Vision

09/03/2011

Bulletin/Handout notes

 Original Message/Sermon:  Pastor Jeff Daws
 
From morning service at Stockbridge Community Church on 8/28/11.
 
(listen to sermon or make a donation at SCCview.Net)
 
“DOING LIFE IN ORANGE” Series (Part Four)
 
Today’s point: When we step up as ONE, our kids win!
 
Jesus said: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. Luke 11:17″
 
HOW TO STEP UP AS ONE:
 
1. By becoming one in JESUS CHRIST.
 
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28
 
2. By working together as ONE.
 
Offer Hope. (Matthew 5:16)
Nurture leaders. (Proverbs 11:14, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Hebrews 3:13)
Engage your campus. (Malachi 3:10)
 
 
Will you take the ONE challenge with me?
 
Next steps today: 
a) I am giving my life to Christ for the first time.
b) I am recomitting my life to Christ today.
c) I accept the ONE challenge, stepping up with my church family and making Jesus and His word my boss!
 
SCCview.net
You can find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/stockbridgecommunitychurch

POWERLESS

08/29/2011

Bulletin/Handout notes
 
Original Message/Sermon: James Chastain
 
From One50Five service on 8/21/11.
 
(listen to sermon at one50five.com)
 
From the series: “I AM SECOND” 
 
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
 
3 QUESTIONS WE SHOULD ASK OURSELVES EVERY DAY
 
1. Who am I sumbitting to? God, or the world?
 
Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. 1 John 2:15-17
 
2.) Who am I resisting? God, or the devil?
 
“Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” James 4:4b
 
“Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” Romans 12:21
 
**DOING GOOD REQUIRES YOU TO: Become powerless. (Humbleness: a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience.)** 
 
3.) Am I receiving God’s POWER by becoming POWERLESS?