Sermon for September 27, 2020

Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16 • Exodus 17:1-7 • Philippians 2:1-13 • Matthew 21:23-32 This week’s theme is the obedience of faith. In Exodus Moses is told to strike a rock for water in response to the Israelites questioning whether the Lord was among them. The companion Psalm for this Old Testament selection recalls this story among others with a focus on God’s faithful acts among Israel. The sermon from Paul’s letter to the believers in Philippi enlists an early Christian hymn focused on Christ’s obedience, and the Gospel reading in Matthew uses a parable to contrast a response of faithful obedience with that of unfaithful disobedience. Grasping Our Identity Philippians 2:1-13 Today’s text presents us with three notable... Read the article

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Sermon for September 20, 2020

Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45 • Exodus 16:2-15 • Philippians 1:21-30 • Matthew 20:1-16 The theme this week is the God who sustains us. In Exodus 16, we see Israel liberated from Egypt, sustained by God in the desert with the gift of manna. Psalm 105 is the hymn of praise about this exodus, retelling the story. Matthew 20 is the parable of the rich landowner who provides payment and sustenance to whomever he wishes. Philippians 1, on which our sermon is based, tells about God’s refreshing strength for us in a tired and broken world. An Open Door in a “No Exit” World Philippians 1:21-30 ESV Read, or have someone read the text prior to the sermon: Jean Paul Sartre, French atheist existentialist philosopher, wrote a play on the human... Read the article

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Sermon for September 13, 2020

Psalm 114:1-8 • Exodus 14:19-3 • Romans 14:1-12 • Matthew 18: 21-35 The theme for this week is living grace fully which encourages us to move through the world with more thoughtfulness and kindness. Ex. 14:19-31 and Ps. 114 tell the story of the parting of the Red Sea, and we can see how recognizing God’s grace in our own lives can strengthen our belief. This week’s sermon outline is based on Rom. 14:1-12, where the issue of judgmentalism is dealt with squarely by Paul, convicting us to hold our personal preferences and opinions lightly and leave the bigger issues for God to correct. Lastly, Matt. 18:21-35 talks about extending grace to others and what real forgiveness looks like. Living Grace Fully Romans 14:1-13 If you... Read the article

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Sermon for September 6, 2020

Psalm 149 • Exodus 12:1-14 • Romans 13:8-14 • Matthew 18:15-20 The theme for this week is the God who passes over. The first reading, Exodus 12, describes the literal Passover, when God liberated Israel and passed over them and crushed Egypt. Psalm 149 describes this gracious God taking pleasure in his less-than-perfect people and “adorning the humble with victory.” In Matthew 18, Jesus gives instructions for restoring someone in sin to the community. Romans 13, on which our sermon is based, centers on the gracious ways of a gracious God. Putting On the Lord Romans 13:8-14 ESV Read, or have someone read Romans 13:8-14 ESV. Daniel Day-Lewis is an English actor best known for his role in Last of the Mohicans and Lincoln.... Read the article

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Time to Break the Silence

It is time to stand up and declare that all people are made in God’s image, all people are redeemed and reconciled to the Father through Jesus, and Jesus is the cure for the evil of racism. By Charles Young, GCI Pastor, Atlanta, GA Have you ever come to a place of decision? A place where the consequences of remaining silent in the face of evil are far greater than standing up and speaking out? There are times in our lives when something happens in our world, or situations occur that are so bad that you cannot and must not remain silent. Such a time is occurring in our nation regarding the issue of race, and the answer is the gospel. The apostle Paul found himself in that place of decision in Galatians, chapter 2. He either had... Read the article

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One Blood

That we might be brought to complete unity By Jeff Broadnax, Regional Director — East U.S. Picture 1,000 dimes ordered neatly on a table. See yourself lifting the last dime from the bottom right hand corner. Hold it between your thumb and index finger. Look at it against the backdrop of the other 999 dimes arrayed on the table as you consider this finding of the Human Genome Project: “All human beings are 99.9 percent identical in their genetic makeup.”[i] Science has proven that only one tenth of one percent of our genetic make-up accounts for every difference we see among human beings (things like eye color, height, susceptibility to disease and skin color). Why then do humans choose to divide, devalue, and destroy each... Read the article

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The Door of No Return

Our Superintendent serving Europe, James Henderson, writes an informative and inspirational letter from his personal experiences. In April 2019 I, along with Kalengule Kaoma and Mat Morgan had the opportunity to tour two of the slave castles in Cape Coast, Ghana. The Atlantic Slave Trade lasted for 300 years, from the 16th through the 19th century. It is estimated that 70,000 slaves per year were trafficked out of West Africa and some 40 castles participated in this inhumane enterprise. Former President Barack Obama was exactly right when he said “it reminds us of the capacity of human beings to commit great evil.” (GCI President Greg Williams) Jesus took on the guilt of our evil, and not once did he say, “I didn’t do it.”... Read the article

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Ordinary Time?

In the GCI Worship calendar, we are now under what is called “Ordinary Time”—the time between Pentecost and Christ the King Sunday. It’s a time that celebrates the mystery of the church and the mystery of Christ living in us. The word ordinary can sound boring, simple, and non-energetic, yet most of our days would fall under the category of ordinary time. We don’t celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and special events every day; most of our year is spent living a rather ordinary life—however that looks to each person. This doesn’t imply the rest of the year is less important, less effective, or less essential. It is during this “ordinary time” that our work is done, our projects are completed, our day-to-day life is... Read the article

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Law and Grace

Article by Gary Deddo, President of Grace Communion Seminar Even after centuries of debate, Protestantism does not seem to have settled on how best to speak about the connection between faith in God’s grace in Jesus Christ and the life of obedience. All informed biblically grounded Christian teachers recognize that salvation is God’s work and that it is received by faith. They also recognize that the resulting life with Christ involves obedience to Christ. The problem is how to affirm one without denying—or severely qualifying—the other. How to avoid both works righteousness and antinomianism. Click here for the full article. Read the article

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Sermon for August 30, 2020

Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45 • Exodus. 3:1-15 • Romans 12:9-21 • Matthew 16:21-28 *The theme for this week is “the blessing of following.” In Exodus 3, we read the story of Moses and the burning bush, and we learn that God always equips us for any leadership role we’re given. Psalm 105 reminds us to seek the Lord and glory in his name, to give thanks and to praise. In Matthew 16, Jesus reminds Peter and the disciples to trust him, deny ourselves and follow him. The sermon outline, titled “True Discipleship: Loving as Jesus Loves” discusses the attributes of disciples of Jesus. True Discipleship - Loving as Jesus Loves Romans 12:9-21 NRSV Ask the members to give a practical characteristic or example of what a “true... Read the article

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