The Apostle Paul's letter to the church of Rome, which we find in the Bible, is a wealth of information on the Christian faith. In this short, four-week series, Pastor Stephen leads us in a 10,000 ft overview of Paul's masterpiece focused on the essentials--the foundation, or "brass-tacks"--of the Christian faith.
In the beginning was the word. The word was with Godand the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God all things were made through him. And without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness and theDarkness has not overcome it.
These are the words that the Apostle John opens his gospel his account of Jesus's life with
he talks about Darkness Darkness is something that we all can see are going on around us in this world and in our own lives. Darkness can be represented by. What a feeling of hopelessness that many of us carry see it. When you look around theworld. Will you turn on the news you hear about the Hopeless situation were in report after report about how we're now in in Dire Straits when it comes to the environment that we've gotten to the point.
We look at the economy.
We look at at potentially Rising interest rates. We with scrape to get by in life. We work hard just to make ends meet but the culture tells us that we need more more more.
Darkness and in this Darkness we want hope undefined hope we go to people other people who live in the same darkness that we do who are still stumbling around in the dark trying to figure out where they can go and they claim to offer some hope, but they're in the same kind of Darkness we are.
Darkness we live in in distress Darkness Comes about as a result of sin. again, if you Turn on the news to CNN or something like that. And you hear about the latest thing to go on. American news cast hear about the latest school shooting
we live in a world. Darkness it's in this world.
For many of us it's in our lives. headed into our darkness that Jesus came Jesus is the light coming into the world and it's this light that has come that is what we celebrate. at Christmas time
I thought John starts off his gospel by telling us about who Jesus is. How about the full Divinity of Jesus? This is not a man. Just a man that were talking about. But that Jesus is God. Because God Lives father son. Holy Spirit one God in threeuncreated Eternal co-equal person. and what this means for each of us is that when Jesus came to Earth, he wasn't just a mere representative of God. Do you want them to someone that God tagged and was like, you know what you're going todo my work. Jesus wasn't just a prophet. Sent to warn people or to share good teachings with people. He's not someone that we just point to as just another human, but the God had a special relationship with him know Jesus were told is God.He was with God and he is God all things are created in him.
This is a powerful truth because it means that the Eternal God came to Earth to reconcile his rebellious creation back to himself hear me. It's not that God decided he would work through someone in order to to make himself feel better becausewe're bad people God himself loves us so much that he was willing to sacrifice himself to throw himself into this Dark World to bring us back to him. The light has come. And that light is Jesus.
It can be tempting though as we look at things if you think that God must have made some kind of mistake. I mean for God to have to come to Earth and die on a cross and if there had to be some kind of mixed up when he created us what Imean. Nobody would would plan would they
and yet the truth of the Gospel The Narrative that we read is God reveals to us. Creation of the world and his plans for us and who he is.
Comes down to the fact that Jesus coming to Earth is not an afterthought that that had to come about to fix things. Jesus's birth and later his death and Resurrection. They were always part of the plan. always part of the plan back before theworld was created. God good plan to rescue us was Jesus coming to Earth.
Imagine that before the world was created God's good plan to rescue us was Jesus coming to Earth before God said let there be light.
They're already plans for Jesus to come. Is already in the works God already knew what was going to happen because God loves us so much that he planned out exactly what would need to happen in order to bring us into a relationship withhim.
I remember it's got to be about 12 and a half years now on my wife could tell me the exact date. I have to admit that I don't remember it at all there came a point in my relationship with Embree. But I realized I wanted to marry this girl and that itwas time to to ask the big question and living for for a while living for a while. But I know for a while for a number of years we had times where we've stopped in and expenses diamonds in Vancouver and taking a look at rings and all that kind ofstuff, you know, go to different. I'm so pretty. No this one's not all that sand feel your bank and things in your mind you just paying attention to it all that's why I remember there came a time. I'm like, I'm going to propose to this girl. So I went tothe ring store and decided on what I was going to buy. I've been saving for a while putting some cash away. And so I bought this ring.
They're expensive. You know that? I bought this ring. But I remember that that I wanted to make things just this perfect experience, right? I knew that we would took a lot of walks around a park in Abbotsford where we were living at the timecalled Mill Lake. I've basically a duck swamp. If you've never been to Abbotsford, I'm told it used to be nice anymore. I did some scouting on my own and I found this really nice location just the perfect place to propose and I picked that out. Ibegan to plan things just intricate detail, you know and went out and I bought one of those fancy picnic blanket that has a semi waterproof bottom cuz it it was BC and if you ever lived in the Fraser Valley or visited there, you know, it's wet. It'sjust in case, you know got one that can handle a little bit of water that look really nice. I picked up one of those wicker picnic baskets that came with stemware and fancy Cutlery and all of this stuff and I and I made some good food and boughtand I spy because I wasn't going to try my hand at pie. And you know, I got it all together had that the sparkling apple. spider
and then I had to put some more details because I took my parents out to this place, right and I show them exactly how I wanted everything to be laid out. I'm like, you know, this is where I want you to put each of the three or four dozencarnations that I've got sand and this is where I want the picnic basket to be in the blanket and all of this and that and we're going to be around here at this time. And so at this time I need you out of here, but not before that so that nobodycomes in co-ops my picnic, you know what I mean? Somebody else comes around the corner and suddenly a guy proposed and didn't even know he was to happen and everything out and walking around Mill Lake and I'm trying to avoid thatpart of the park until it's the right time or walking along and finally I see that the clock is getting towards that time so we make our way over there. Now I got to say that. It seems to me upon reflection. That's very good thing that I went to all thiseffort with the intention of proposing because it seems that there's something in a girl's mind the kind of sees something like this thing cuz I know it's going to happen if anybody is here and you're thinking about doing something special forsomeone just make sure that the right program that you're not sending the wrong message, but then we have our meal. She's just beaming And I remember where we're getting to desert sand. So as I reach in to grab the pie also grab the ring boxthat I had hidden underneath the pie and I had it behind my back and I press the little release switch on the ring box and and she heard it. And we'll basically what I'm doing right now. The stammering is all that was coming out of her mouth atthat point. Apparently I could ruin the whole surprise of the thing was no longer something we are going to eat. So apparently now I did this not because there was the serious problem in our relationship and I figured the only way that she wouldever say yes to me as if I went out and did all of this stuff break my plans weren't done because I had to go out and fix the mistake that I've made what my plans were done because I love her. I wanted to show my love to her. How we have tounderstand as we read about Jesus being the light that comes into the world about him being the light that dispels the darkness is that he's not an afterthought, but that in fact God knew the cost of creating people who can freely choose how tolive their lives.
Have you ever watched a lot of really any sci-fi you may have come across one or two episodes where you know, somebody ends up taking some kind of a potion with or fantasy. I get some kind of Potion Love Potion and then they realize thatthis making this person love them in this way. It's just unfair feeling because the person doesn't have a choice in the matter. Are there some kind of alien thing that happens in the person's forced to to love someone else or a robot is made to lovesomeone it always turns out the real real love requires the ability to say no, It requires a choice. It's a God created people who could choose how to live their lives knowing what would happen knowing that we would reject him knowing that wewould push him away God chose to create us as Free People. Anyway, knowing the price that he would gladly pay.
He loves us that much.
Do you ever doubt that somebody in this world loves you? Know that God loves you so much that at the moment that he breathed creation into existence.
But he already knew what you would have to do to save you. To adopt you as his child.
2 John he gives us this great truth of who God is
when he shows us that as God Jesus is the lights that overcomes the darkness.
In the midst of our hopelessness, he is the light that shines through at Christmas time. This light that came to Earth. This is what we celebrate that the light has come understand friends with Darkness tried to win, but they couldn't overcome thelight of God's plan Darkness part 1 Put Jesus on a cross in the very Act of Darkness trying to win it brought about its own demise because of Jesus being nailed to that cross was all part of God's Eternal plan. And if he was there, he bore uponhimself our sins all of our rejection against God's all of the hatred all the anger all the things that we've done the missed the mark on who we were created to be it was all poured out on Jesus. God took it on himself and pay the debt that weowed him for our transgression against him for are going against him and rejecting him and rebelling against him. He paid it all himself.
sweater the perfect and just God Is Justice could be satisfied?
This isn't some kind of weird thing where he picked somebody that would be a sacrifice but God sacrificed himself. And in darkness greatest moments of Triumph. It was actually its greatest moment of defeat and then 3 days later.
The light Rose Victorious over sin death and Satan. Jesus could not be held down. Jesus could not be defeated cuz he's not just a mere man, but he was God and man. Fully both in the mystery of the Incarnation. This is the Glorious truth that wecelebrate at Christmas time to Christmas time looks ahead to Easter. That's what makes it so glorious. The time of Hope hit the timer of Peace because we know that's for the war has been won. And yes, we're still at War but it's a victory isassured and even as we wage war against the powers of sin and darkness of the Peace. Christ in us through his holy spirit.
Jesus wants to give you his life his his light overcoming the darkness and giving you Victory and life so you can be who you were always made to be to do we go through Darkness 3% Sinister things aren't right. Talk to anybody that really paysattention to the world around us and they'll say there's something not right intermixed with the seasons where we look at the mountains. We say they're so beautiful.
We have to realize as well, but there's also something not right. The mountains are so beautiful on that. We drive through Frank. Where we see the aftermath of one of the deadliest Rock slides in Canadian history.
There's something not right in the world.
Because the world lives in darkness and yet Jesus came as the light to shine into the darkness friends in closing this morning free Jesus coming to Earth with the light coming to the world and elsewhere in scripture. Jesus tells if it were notmeant to keep the light that he has given just in our self. But that were meant to shine brightly. There were to be. city on a hill can't hide that light. when I've been away for awhile, maybe visiting Calgary or driving in the left fridge to do someshopping and spend a lot of you've been here you drive back after dark and things are really dark and then all of a sudden you get Pincher Creek and you look off to the left and you can't miss that even if it's a foggy day. You still see light. It'sshining in the darkness. It's there.
And yet friends Pincher Creek to be quite honest is a very dark place.
the dark place
Darkness pervades as we look at people that roam our streets with no hope stumbling around thinking that maybe the next paycheck is going to be the thing that makes them happy to bring them. Peace. Thinking of that new piece of huntinggear whatever it maybe is going to to excite them enough to make the next month worth living.
people that are enslaved to to their addictions to their habits self-medicating people abusing one another hating each other other people that own the outside seam all good, but really they're just they're just doing life as best as they can as theystumble one step after the other through the darkness.
Friends, if you've accepted Jesus in your life than he's dispelled that darkness and he calls us to begin to share it with Pincher Creek.
We have had a vision that the leadership at this church feels called to hear and then we're calling you into and that is to see 600 people touch with the love of Jesus and 20 new vibrant fruitful Believers in Jesus by the end of 2020.
Friends by my neck my account Rich who we have 18 to go.
weave 18 to go but praise God that we've got to with two years to go 9 a year and I praise God that we have the ability to see him work in miraculous ways to bring people over in darkness to him begin to imagine for a second if we allow Jesus tocome and begin Shining Light in our Dark Places and just beginning to pull back the dark spots in our lives in beginning to shine light in those places where there was no hope for we couldn't see things and see what he had in store for us that lifewith the people of Pincher Creek as where once there was Darkness or once there was no people didn't know as the God wanted for people begin to Steve. In fact, it is a beautiful world that God has created that God does in fact Love us so muchthat he died for us and then his plan all along with the cast out the darkness and show us his great. Love people can exist. Not in darkness put in Jesus's light.
my friends catastros with a job to do there's a reason why at this church we repeat time and time again that everyone of us is a minister every one of us has a Ministry and not one of us is called to be a spectator. It's because if he's giving you thelight of his life in your life and your heart. Then it's your job to shine. Brightly. Remember a song that we used to sing in Sunday school This Little Light of Mine. I'm going to let it shine hide it under a bushel. No, I'm going to let it shine hide itunder a bushel. No, I'm going to let It Shine Let It Shine Let It Shine. Let It Shine sometimes these simple children's songs has so much truth and so much power to them that we need to let our light shine Get the light came into the darkness. Butthe darkness has not overcome it. praise God, praise God Today if you're ready to let your light shine or have Jesus Shine his light into your life. Here's my call to you today. If what I want to see you do this this weekend over the coming weeksthis Christmas season receive victory over your darkness by accepting. Jesus is light in your life and inviting others to do the same. Receive victory over your darkness by accepting. Jesus is light in your life and inviting others to do the same.
And this truth of what Jesus has done for you has impacted you. And everything in you says, I need to know more about this. If you want to know more. Please make sure that you contact us or chat with me after service. We we want to be able tohelp you make your way towards a relationship with Jesus, or maybe you're here on an online and you thinking right now. I'm ready. I want to follow this Jesus. I want him to tear back the darkness in my life and shine his light into me to changeme a note in your life that Jesus changes everything but anything that you hold sacred right now. But it must be subjected to him. But if you're here right now and you want to give your life to Jesus if you're ready to put your trust in him and turnfrom your old way of living and follow him into a new way of living but you to pray a simple prayer with me. That's just giving him. Thanks and committing to him. Pray with me. Will you Heavenly Father? I know that I'm a sinner. I know that Ideserve the consequences of my sin. But I trust in your son Jesus Christ is my master. And as my savior. Thank you Lord for forgiving me. Place my trust in you from this time forward. Jesus name amen from your heart from the first time. I justencourage you to grab one of those blue car seat back in front of you in and fill that out you can place that face down in the offering plate is goes by in just a moment online that if you want to send us a Facebook message letting us know thedecision you've made or go to a SCC. Life tap on the get connected tile and let us know the decision you've made there. We want to be able to get in touch with you wherever you are right now. Make sure that that you're not going through thisjourney alone cuz we're call the body of Christ. And that means that there are many parts that make the whole we're not meant to do this by ourselves. An enclosing and prayers the music team makes their way back up here. Heavenly father. Ijust thank you today that you do shine in the dark places that we can trust in you. More that that no Darkness can overwhelm the light that even the smallest bit of light in a dark place. I can show people that there's something there. The Lord nomatter how brightly are light is shining today. We ask that you help us to let it shine. Lord that you'll stoke the flames in our hearts so that we can break the rest of the week and shine brightly and this Dark World. Bring hope to people whodesperately need help. Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Text to Read: 2 Samuel 23:8 NIV
Watch the whole message:
The main points:
We don’t die when our hearts stop beating. We die when our hearts top skipping a beat in pursuit of God and the dream he’s given us, when our hearts stop breaking for the things that break the heart of God.
When you pursue a dream you’re passionate about you’ll see it through.
See Jeremiah 20:9 NLT
Your ultimate source of passion comes as a response to the passion of Jesus Christ.
See Philippians 3:7-8 NLT
See Matthew 6:21 NIV
Spend time reflecting on the significance of Jesus’ sacrifice for your life until you rediscover your passion for Christ.
Prefer just to listen? Find us by searching “Abundant Springs Sermons” on your favourite podcast app, or listen here:
As much as we try to ignore it or delay it, death affects us all and brings with it a deep sense of helplessness. However, Easter is a day that reminds us that there is hope, because Easter is a celebration of the One who defeated death and brings us life.
Text: John 11:11-44 (NLT)
A few notes on this passage:
- Jesus' deep anger is not directed toward those who are mourning; instead, Jesus is angry at the hopelessness his enemy, death, has caused in those he loves.
- As Jesus approached Lazarus' tomb, he was facing off against death. This is a battle between Death and the Resurrection and the Life. The best part: Jesus won!
- A short while later, Jesus would defeat death again; this time, it would be with his own death and resurrection.
Jesus' death paid the price for your sin (i.e., your rebellion/rejection against God; your wrongdoing or failure to do what's right). At the cross, he took your sin on himself. His resurrection proves that Jesus is who he claims to be, that you can trust him, and that he has defeated death itself!
When you try to find your own way through life, death is inevitable and nothing good lay beyond it.
Jesus has overcome the hopelessness of death with the hope-filled promise of eternal life.
Imagine going through life with hope for the future and assurance of great things to come, even after this body dies!
It may be tempting to drag your feet and try to squeeze out few more days living for yourself before you give yourself to Jesus and his hope for you. It's easy to put off thinking about the end, but it comes sooner than you think!
April 15, 2017, ushered in a historical milestone. On a day that most of us can't even recall, Emma Morano died in Italy at the age of 117. None of us knew her, but she was the last known person born in the 19th century. Although the 1800s were a long time ago, this quiet passing reminds us that a time comes for each generation when the last remaining person dies.
No longer how long we put it off, death comes for everyone.
Will this short life be one full of hope now and for the future? Jesus is inviting you to step out of the grave and accept his offer of life.
Place your hope in Jesus and choose to follow him.
Listen to the entire message: