Sermon for October 29, 2017

Scripture readings: Deut. 34:1-12 and Ps. 90:1-6,13-17 (or Lev. 19:1-2, 15-18 and Psalm 1) 1 Thess. 2:1-8; Matt. 22:34-46 Sermon by Ted Johnston from 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 (drawing on commentary by John Stott) Leading Well with Jesus Introduction Last week we began a series in 1 Thessalonians looking at the apostle Paul's instructions concerning the important relationship between the gospel and the church. We noted in chapter 1 how Paul addresses the topic of evangelism---the calling the church has to live and share the gospel. Now in chapter 2, we'll see how Paul addresses the topic of Christ-like, gospel-focused church leadership. Ideas for application of this sermon: A primary aspect of the church's disciple-making... Read the article

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Kids Korner: Thoughts from Walt Disney

This issue of Kid’s Korner is from Jeffrey Broadnax, National Coordinator for GCI Generations Ministries (GenMin). [caption id="attachment_340" align="alignright" width="201"] Teach children how they should live, and they will remember it all their lives. (Proverbs 22:6)[/caption] My family and I recently spent a few days in Orlando’s magical world of Disney. Along with thousands of people at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot Center theme parks, we enjoyed the sights, sounds, rides and food. Our hotel was located near Disney Springs, a hybrid of Disney and a shopping mall. As my wife and I walked through Disney Springs, I noticed several quotes from Walt Disney posted along the walkways. I’m not sure how many people actually stop... Read the article

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Sermon for October 22, 2017

Scripture readings: Ex. 33:12-23 and Ps. 99 (or Isa. 45:1-7 and Ps. 96:1-13) 1 Thess. 1:1-10; Matt. 22:15-22 Sermon by Ted Johnston from 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10 (drawing on commentary by John Stott) Living and Sharing the Gospel Introduction Our reading from the epistles today is from Paul's first letter to the Christians in the Greek city of Thessalonica. [caption id="attachment_5312" align="aligncenter" width="440"] Ruins of ancient marketplace in Thessalonica (source)[/caption] Following greetings in 1 Thess. 1:1-4, Paul links the gospel and the church in 1 Thess. 1:5-10. He shows in three steps how the gospel creates the church and how the church then lives and shares the gospel: "Our gospel came to you" (v. 5). ... Read the article

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Transformed by Jesus

This issue of "Equipper" celebrates GCI's transformation, which is leading us to more active participation in what Jesus is doing to reach out to those outside the walls of our churches. This month's articles and sermons are linked below. From Greg: Celebrating Our Transformation Greg Williams rejoices in GCI's continuing transformation as seen at the recent We Are GCI conference, and as illustrated in the story of Zacchaeus. Hospitality "Outside the Walls" Josh McDonald shares a message in which he encouraged his congregation to extend hospitality to others "outside the walls" of the church. Kid's Korner: Thoughts from Walt Disney Jeff Broadnax shares insights about ministry to children and teens gained from a recent... Read the article

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From Greg: Celebrating Our Transformation

Dear Brothers and Sisters in ministry, [caption id="attachment_5219" align="alignright" width="206"] Greg and Susan Williams[/caption] I know we're all praying for those who have suffered loss and those still in harm's way in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey that has devastated parts of Texas and Louisiana. For a report on how our members in the affected areas fared and how you can help, click here. Susan and I were richly blessed to spend time with many of you at We Are GCI, our Denominational Conference held last month in Orlando, Florida (click here for video highlights). During the conference we heard stories from around the world showing what it looks like to participate with Jesus in his ongoing ministry of reconciliation.... Read the article

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Sermon for October 15, 2017

Scripture readings: Ex.32:1-14 and Ps. 106:1-6, 19-23 (or Isa. 25:1-9 and Ps. 23) Phil.4:1-9, Matt. 22:1-14 Sermon by Josh McDonald from Philippians 4:4-9 Practicing Aggressive Gratitude In Phil. 4:4-9, Paul urges believers, rather than being anxious, to practice "prayer and supplication with thanksgiving." Today I want to elaborate on that thought, discussing what we might call "aggressive gratitude." Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it? We're not used to putting these two ideas together. Aggressive gratitude takes the familiar emotion of aggression (fighting, conflict, anger) and couples it with gratitude, which Paul associates with giving, receiving and peace. Paul's anxiety-producing circumstances When Paul sent this letter... Read the article

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Hospitality “Outside the Walls”

This article is from Josh McDonald, lead pastor of GCI's congregation in Indianapolis, IN. It is excerpted from a sermon Josh gave to his congregation in casting a vision for outreach to the community surrounding their church. [caption id="attachment_5477" align="aligncenter" width="374"] Josh with his wife Heather, their children and Minnie Mouse[/caption] I ended college with student teaching. Every day, I had 80 tenth-graders staring at me. They all pretty much knew I had no clue what I was doing. They were out of control, I was underprepared and my supervisor-teacher spent most classes with her head in her hands. Around Thanksgiving, my student teaching professor took me out for coffee and let me know in no uncertain terms that I... Read the article

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Sermon for October 8, 2017

Scripture readings: Ex. 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20 and Ps. 19 (or Isa. 5:1-7 and Ps. 80:7-15) Phil.3:4b-14, Matt. 21:33-46 Sermon by Ted Johnston from Philippians 3:12-16 (drawing on commentary by Warren Wiersbe in The Bible Expository Commentary and Francis Foulkes in The New Bible Commentary) Running Strong with Jesus Introduction In Philippians 3, Paul rejoices in who Jesus is and who we are as believers in union with him. Paul rejoices that Jesus is at work, through the Spirit, redeeming our past (vv. 1-11) and securing our future (vv. 17-21). Then in vv. 12-16, Paul looks at our present, noting that Jesus, who has saved us, invites us to participate with him as he ministers through the Spirit. Paul uses a sports metaphor to compare... Read the article

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Sermon for October 1, 2017

Scripture readings: Ex. 17:1-7 and Ps. 78:1-4,12-16 (or Ezek.18:1-4, 25-32 and Ps. 25:1-9) Phil. 2:1-13; Matt. 21:23-32 Sermon by Martin Manuel from Philippians 2:1-13 Sharing in Jesus' Incarnational Living [caption id="attachment_5319" align="aligncenter" width="494"] (source)[/caption] Each year, Time (magazine) names a Person of the Year. In 2014, Time gave that award not to an individual but to the group of people who fought the deadly Ebola virus in Africa. Time said they "risked and persisted, sacrificed and saved." Here's a video about them: (on YouTube at https://youtu.be/7t9VRBaOjlY) The sacrifices made by these Ebola fighters remind me of Jesus. I'm not suggesting they are equal to Jesus, but in them I see a... Read the article

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