Sermon for January 28, 2018

Scripture readings: Deut. 18:15-20; Ps. 111:1-10; 1 Cor. 8:1-13; Mark 1:21-28 Sermon by Ted Johnston from 1 Cor. 8:1-13 (drawing on commentary from Warren Wiersbe in The Bible Expository Commentary and Bruce Winter in The New Bible Commentary) Exercising Our Freedom in Christ, part 1 Introduction Today is the fourth Sunday after the Epiphany, which celebrates the revealing (epiphany) of Christ to the world. Let's begin with a video of the song, Mary Did You Know?---it says a lot about who Jesus is as the one who brings light into a dark world. On YouTube at https://youtu.be/ifCWN5pJGIE. Our reading today in the Epistles takes us to 1 Corinthians 8, where Paul shows how we, through our actions, show forth (reveal) the... Read the article

Read the article

Remembering our journey of renewal

This December issue of GCI Equipper (articles and sermons linked below) looks back at our journey of renewal in 2017. From Greg: A look back at 2017 Greg Williams takes a look back at our journey with Jesus as seen in the issues of GCI Equipper published this year. Wholehearted, part 1: Finding Fellowship in Jesus Cathy Deddo presents part 1 of a 2-part essay addressing the nature of the Christian life. Kid's Korner: Focus on the child Lance McKinnon shares an encouraging message about the love the Father has for the kids we minister to as parents and youth ministers. RCL sermons for January, 2018 Here are the Revised Common Lectionary-synced sermons for January: - Sermon for January 7 - Sermon for January 14 ... Read the article

Read the article

Wholehearted, part 1

Here from Cathy Deddo is part 1 of a 2-part essay looking at the Christian life. The essay compiles presentations made by Cathy to GCI's Denominational Conference in Orlando, FL, in August 2017. For part 2 of this essay, click here. For an article that includes both parts, click here. Wholehearted, part 1: Finding Fellowship in Jesus Introduction [caption id="attachment_6199" align="alignright" width="160"] Cathy Deddo[/caption] What does it mean to be a Christian? Is it about believing certain doctrines? Behaving in certain ways? Practicing certain spiritual disciplines? Embracing certain purposes? Though all these have their place, as we'll see in this two-part essay, the essence of the Christian life... Read the article

Read the article

From Greg: A look back at 2017

Dear Ministers of Christ, [caption id="attachment_5219" align="alignright" width="203"] Greg and Susan Williams[/caption] Hard to believe, but 2017 is nearly over! Before we dive into 2018 (and I’m excited about what lies ahead!), let’s take this opportunity to look back on some of the key messages we’ve addressed in GCI Equipper during 2017. Our over-arching theme this year has been renewal—continuing our Spirit-led and empowered journey with Jesus both corporately (as a denomination and individual congregations) and personally (with a particular emphasis on the renewal of our pastors and ministry leaders). [caption id="attachment_6472" align="aligncenter" width="437"] "The Pilgrims of Emmaus on the Road" by Tissot ... Read the article

Read the article

Sermon for January 21, 2018

Scripture readings: Jonah 3:1-5, 10; Ps. 62:5-12; 1 Cor. 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20 Sermon by Josh McDonald from Mark 1:19-20 A Lesson from Big Jim from the ’Burbs Introduction Let's talk about boredom. A fourth century monk wrote this about it: The demon of boredom—also called the noonday demon—is the one that causes the most serious trouble of all. He presses his attack up on the monk at the fourth hour and besieges the soul until the eighth hour. First of all he makes it seem that the sun barely moves, if at all, and that the day is fifty hours long. Then he constrains the monk to look constantly out the windows, to walk outside the cell, to gaze carefully at the sun to determine how far it stands from lunchtime, to look this... Read the article

Read the article

Sermon for January 14, 2018

Scripture readings: 1 Sam. 3:1-10, 11-20; Ps.139:1-6, 13-18 1 Cor. 6:12-20; John 1:43-51 Sermon by Martin Manuel from John 1:43-51 Our Journey with Jesus Introduction Today is the second Sunday after the Epiphany, which commemorates the revealing of Jesus. Our Gospel reading today is John 1:43-51. Let’s begin with an enactment: On YouTube at https://youtu.be/bnb-8veFppQ The Gospel reading on the day of Epiphany is Matthew 2:1-12, the story about the revealing of Christ to the Magi, and through them to King Herod and the residents of Jerusalem. On the first Sunday following Epiphany this year (last Sunday), the Gospel reading was about the baptism of the Lord by John the Baptist, which brought about another revealing of... Read the article

Read the article

Kid’s Korner: Focus on the child

This Kids Korner is from GCI Pastor Lance McKinnon. [caption id="attachment_340" align="alignright" width="168"] Teach children how they should live, and they will remember it all their lives. (Proverbs 22:6)[/caption] December and the Christmas season it entails has a way of focusing our attention on our kids in ways other months do not. Parents are searching for gifts that are fitting for their little ones. Pastors and children's ministry leaders are searching for appropriate ways to include their youth in the Christmas celebrations. This added focus may also bring into sharp view the fact that we have one less year with the kids in our care. Add to that the approaching New Year and we are challenged with how we will parent and... Read the article

Read the article

Sermon for January 7, 2018

Scripture readings: Gen. 1:1-5; Ps. 29:1-11; Acts 19:1-7; Mark 1:4-11 Sermon by Sheila Graham from Acts 19:1-7 and Mark 1:4-5, 7-11 This Sunday (January 7) is the day after the Epiphany, which always occurs on January 6, the 12th day of Christmas. The first Sunday following the Epiphany (epiphany means revealing) typically focuses on one of two great events in the life of Jesus that revealed his identity: the Magi's visit and Jesus' baptism. The Gospel reading this Sunday is from Mark's account of the baptism. Life in the Spirit What does it mean to live in the Spirit? Some people say it's about doing good works all the time. But that's not it---many non-Christians do good works, and though God loves them and takes note of their... Read the article

Read the article

On Leadership: Go to the source

This article from GCI-USA Regional Pastor and Equipper writer and feature editor Rick Shallenberger continues our series on Christian leadership. This is part 5 of a series on Christian leadership. For other articles in the series, click a number: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8. [caption id="attachment_6089" align="alignright" width="158"] Rick Shallenberger[/caption] Many years ago, several people “warned” me about a person I was going to be working with. I was told that this person was really difficult to work with and I’d better go into the relationship prepared for battle. I’m ashamed to say I fell for the talk, and wasn’t at all surprised to find conflict as we started working together. One day, while praying for this person... Read the article

Read the article

Sermon for December 31, 2017

Scripture readings: Isa. 61:10-11; 62:1-3; Ps. 148; Gal. 4:4-7; Luke 2:22-40 Sermon by Ted Johnston from Gal. 3:26-4:12a (drawing on the writings of John Stott, G. Walter Hansen and Gary Deddo) Live Like Adult Children, Not Slaves Introduction Today (December 31), is the 7th day of Christmas in the Western Christian tradition. During this season, we are exploring the truth that with Jesus' birth, a new day dawned for humanity. But do we understand fully the implications of Jesus' first advent? Down through the ages, some Christians have not---they have erred by looking to the Law of Moses or other rules as the basis for their life in Christ. Having encountered this error among Gentile Christians in Asia Minor, Paul wrote them... Read the article

Read the article