This Sunday was packed as John Kaserman and John Bower gave an update on Launch, our building initiative. Then with a little help from Eric Zito, we learned about the faithfulness of God (1 John 1:9; 1 John 5:9-11; Numbers 23:19; Psalm 117:1-2; Hebrews 13:5-6; John 15:15).
With the help of Justus Murimi, Mo Lawson and Anne Alley's homemade cookies, we celebrated the "Launch" of our building initiative. John then led us through a time of unpacking our purpose as a church body: to advance His Kingdom (Philippians 2:1-2; Matthew 4:17; Matthew 6:9).
This week we celebrated the Resurrection of Christ. Christ's Resurrection means Christ is Lord, death is conquered and debts have been canceled. Best of all, His reason for the Cross and Resurrection - "For God so loved the world". (Matthew 28:1-10; 1 Corinthians 15:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:50-58).
This week we transitioned from Hearing God to learning about another set of our core-values, joy & gratitude. Joy is one of the main results of hearing and obeying Jesus' teachings. Having Joy and gratitude are choices we make each day and are not dependent upon our circumstances. (John 15:5-11; Hebrews 12:1-2; Isaiah 51:11).
This week our friend Peter Louis came in to kick off our teaching on joy and gratitude. The fruit of joy is our strength, evidence of His kingdom among us and is not based off our circumstances (Galatians 5:22-24; John 15:1-11; John 6:56-57).
This week we finished out discussing Hearing God and ended with a "presbytery." Our elders and their wives gave prophetic words to our body for upbuilding, encouragement and consolation (1 Corinthians 12:7-11; 1 Corinthians 14:3; 1 Timothy 4:14).
In this sermon, Mark Heger continues the topic of hearing from The Lord, and specifically talking about hearing our Identity from the Lord. Because when we hear The Lord speak Identity over us, it empowers us to walk in that Identity, which gives us purpose and direction for the mission that God has called us to. Mark walks us through three different Identities Jesus spoke to Peter and how it allowed Peter to respond to each of those Identities.
This week we continued thinking through hearing God. Our world is mired with many competing voices, wrought with accusations, condemnation, and lies. It is necessary to become competent and confident in recognizing God's voice above the others. Thankfully we have scriptures to guide us into hearing His voice (John 8:44; John 10:10-15; Revelation 12:10; John 8:12; John 15:7-15).
This week we started our next value, hearing God. We believe that God speaks today and hearing God has its foundation in friendship with Him. As we walk with Him we must learn to discern between the Father of lights and the father of lies (Psalm 23; Exodus 29:43-46; Exodus 33:11; John 15:14-15; 1 John 4:7-12).
We closed out our discussion of the Word this week with some help from Eric Zito and Kasey Bower. Eric answered the question "can we and should we trust the scriptures" and Kasey's testimony was a personal account of how she persevered with the Word (2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Romans 4:17-22; Ephesians 3:14-21).