2nd look

Learning to Live Without Lust

How would you define the difference between physical attraction, which is a God given desire, and lust, which turns that desire into sin?

What do you think about the 48 hr. fast from all media outlets in order to get our priorities straight?
Are you willing to give it a try?

Can you think of any other pro active steps we can take to minimize the exposure to all of the sexual temptations we are inundated with?

Discuss the concept of the difference between a temptation and sin.
Does this help with understanding and dealing with temptation?

What are the things that occupy your thought life.
What are some ways to help stay focused on Godly things and not worldly things?

Enjoy your 2nd Look,
DeRon



Earth-Shaking Prayer: Forgive Us As We Forgive

Hello everyone.

This past Sunday we looked at how God forgives us.

I read Romans 5:6-11 for us and then showed us God’s three step way of forgiving us.

 

God’s three step plan as found in Romans 5:6-11

  • God is wronged- and He knows it.
  • Instead of taking revenge God cancels the debt through Jesus Christ.
  • God gives them the Holy Spirit. In essence He gives them up to God to be blessed.

 

My point was that God models for us how we can forgive others.

My invitation to you this week is to spend some time in Romans 5:6-11 thinking about how God forgave you.

 

As always my prayer for you is that you will be blessed by God, granted his incomparable peace!

 

Pastor Ryan



Earth-Shaking Prayer: Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done

Howdy everyone!

For this week’s 2nd Look I want to share with you some juicy quotes that will help you think about this line:

“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread…”

 

Read these quotes a few times this week and think about what they are teaching us about this prayer:

 

  • When Jesus directs us to pray, “Thy kingdom come…” he does not mean we should pray for it to come into existence. —Dallas Willard

 

  • “If we only had eyes to see and ears to hear and wits to understand, we would know that the Kingdom of God in the sense of holiness, goodness, beauty is as close as breathing and is crying out to born both within ourselves and within the world; we would know that the Kingdom of God is what we all of us hunger for above all other things even when we don’t know its name or realize that it’s what we’re starving to death for. The Kingdom of God is where our best dreams come from and our truest prayers. We glimpse it at those moments when we find ourselves being better than we are and wiser than we know. We catch sight of it when at some moment of crisis a strength seems to come to us that is greater than our own strength. The Kingdom of God is where we belong. It is home, and whether we realize it or not, I think we are all of us homesick for it.”
    – Frederick Buechner

 

  • “The third clause of the Lord’s Prayer is repeated daily by millions who have not the slightest intentions of letting any will be done except their own.”  –Aldous Huxley in The Perennial Philosophy, p.221

 

  • Before we can pray, “Lord, Thy Kingdom come,” we must be willing to pray, “My Kingdom go.” —Alan Redpath

 

  • Too often, we are conditioned to think of prayer as asking God for what we want—dear God, give me this, give me that.  But now, in praying that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven, we are attempting to school ourselves to want what God wants.  We receive, not what our hearts desire, but rather we become so enthralled with a vision of what God is doing on earth and in heaven, that we forget the story that the world has told us—that we have nothing better to do than to satisfy our desires.         William H. Willimon & Stanley Hauerwas in Lord, Teach Us. p. 66

 

  • “Prayer is uniting our will with the will of God.  It is not an attempt to get God to do our will.  It is desiring to do what delights God.  It is discovering that what pleases God will ultimately bring us joy as well.  It is following in his footsteps even when he leads where we fear to go.”  James Mulholland, in Praying Like Jesus,  p. 63

 

Which quote speaks to you right now?

Why do you think it is jumping out at you?

In what ways is it encouraging or challenging you?

Bring this to the Lord in prayer.

 

May god grant you his glorious peace this week! Pastor Rya



Earth-Shaking Prayer: Hallowed Be Thy Name

Hey everyone!

I’m back from the men’s retreat along with ten other amazing brothers from our church. We had a great time- being together- eating great food- throwing axes and being men! We also took some great time to look at the temptations Jesus faced and how those are the temptations we face as well. It was a great weekend.

 

Many thanks to Gerard, for stepping in and preaching in my absence. It is such a blessing to have brothers here I can trust to preach.

 

On Sunday we began our community wide prayer emphasis. We are calling our series: “Earth-Shaking Prayer.” Gerard looked at the line:

Our father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

 

Below I’m listing several names, attributes and works of God.

My invitation for you this week, and for this month is: when you pray- take some time to simply praise God for some of these names or qualities listed below.

May God bless you and grant you His incomparable peace this week!

Shalom!

 

Pastor Ryan

 

Names of God

Yahweh Jireh- The Lord Provider                          Yahweh M’Kadesh- The Lord Who Sanctifies

Yahweh Rophe- The Lord Who Heals                          Yahweh Shalom-  The Lord Is My Peace

Yahweh Rohi- The Lord Is My Shepherd                    Yahweh Hissi-  The Lord Is My Banner

Yahweh Shammah- The Lord Is There

 

Nature and attributes of God

Holy                          Faithful  Righteous             Loving                     Omniscient

Just                           Benevolent                            Omnipresent       Gracious                 Sovereign

True                          Omnipotent                           Merciful                                     Infinite                     Compassionate

Patient                    Eternal

 

The Works of God

My Redeemer                       My Stronghold                                       My Deliverer

My Creator                              My Loving Father               

My Resting Place                My Light Upon The Path                 My Rock To Stand Upon

My Refuge                              My Shield                                                  My Strong Tower

My Hiding Place                   My Mighty Warrior                                 My Provider

My Healer                                My Shelter In A Time Of Storm



Learning to Live Without Anger

Hello everyone and welcome to the 2nd Look.

 

The main idea of this chapter is that anger is caused by unmet expectations mixed with fear, which leads to a feeling of threat from which anger is a very natural response. Life in the kingdom of God provides us with a unique antidote: an ability and opportunity to counteract these unmet expectations and fears. What is this unique antidote? Walking in step with the Holy Spirit.

 

Think about a time you were angry? What were your unmet expectations? What were your fears or the ways you were feeling threatened? How might the truths listed below help you counteract these things?

 

  • You are not condemned when you are in Christ. Romans 8:1
  • Our present sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that awaits us. Romans 8:18
  • The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We’re not alone. Romans 8:26
  • God works all things for good. Romans 8:28
  • God is for us and nothing can separate us from His love. Romans 8:31-39

 

Part of the reason we list one of our core values as knowing the Gospel- is because we realize just how powerful it is to know and have the truths of the gospel sink into our souls and change the way we see the world. I invite you to let these truths from Romans 8 sink into your soul this week and if/when you get angry about something, you can explore your unmet expectations and fears, and then counter them with the truth of what Jesus has taught us!

 

May God’s peace be with you all,

Pastor Ryan



The Grand Invitation

Howdy folks-
The 2nd Look is here. I hope you had a great Labor Day. It’s interesting how a passage, like the one we studied in the sermon this week, has for many of us, become a source of labor and striving to us. In Matthew 5:1-12, Jesus gives us a list of blessings and we turn it into a list of requirements. But what if the things Jesus lists in Matthew 5 are not requirements we must meet in order for God to bless us, but rather a grand invitation to all kinds of people, especially those who you wouldn’t think would be invited to the kingdom? Here’s a quote from the sermon this week:
 
“Jesus isn’t saying: Folks you need to be these things in order to enter the kingdom. He’s saying: Hey you people, who are these things, the kingdom is for you and there is redemption here- there is hope- there is healing- there is new power- there is the pot of gold at the end of your rainbow of searching, there is hope even in the midst of your suffering. All of your struggle finds its home and redemption in my kingdom and my friend- you are invited!”
 
I invite you to take some time with this quote and with Chapter 3 of The Good and Beautiful Life. In what ways does this challenge or encourage you? Take this to prayer with the Lord.
 
Have a great week everyone!
Pastor Ryan



The Gospel Many People Have Never Heard

Hello Everyone!

2nd look time!

 

Below is a quote from the chapter this week. As you read it, consider what it is saying.

What do you think about this?

How does this challenge you?

How does it open your eyes?

I invite you to take this to the Lord in prayer.

 

Here’s the quote:

“The Kingdom of God is a present reality that will be fully consummated in the future. It is here and is as real and powerful as it ever will be. Everything Jesus said about the Kingdom is true in our lives. Yes, one day it will be the governing power over the entire universe, but for now it is intended to be the governing power over you and me…”

 

“The Kingdom of God exhibits the greatest power in the universe. Sickness and storms can be brought under its power. Demons are subject to a single word uttered from the Kingdom. Paul stated it clearly: “The Kingdom of God depends not on talk but on power.” (1 Corinthians 4:20) So when Jesus invites us to be with Him in order to become like him, He assumes that we will experience the same authority and power that He has.”

 

May the peace of God be with you this week my brothers and sisters!

Pastor Ryan



The Good and Beautiful Life Intro

Hello everyone and welcome to the 2nd Look.

 

(Please note that if you are in a small group the second look may repeat some of what you will cover in your group session, but it doesn’t cover all of it. This is the benefit of being in the small group, and this book is really BEST to go through with other people. This is my little disclaimer.)

 

I invite you to read Matthew 7:24-27. Read it several times this week. What do you notice? What strikes you or stands out to you?

 

If you need some help picturing what Jesus is talking about. Check out this video:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzhikWJ2RQY

 

This is a modern day rendering of the home without a good foundation.

 

May God bless your reading of Chapter 1 this week. Next Sunday we will cover Chapter 2 of the book. Also please don’t forget to try the soul training, it’s really an awesome part of this book and takes what you learn to the next level!

 

Have a great week everybody!

 

Pastor Ryan

 



Recapturing: Know, Live, Share

Hello everyone and welcome to the 2nd look!

 

This past Sunday we looked at Hebrews 10:19-25.

I closed the sermon with this set of phrases:

 

This passage calls us to:

Draw near to God… Because we can

Spur one another on…. Because we are meant to

Encourage each other…. Because we need it

Live in view of Jesus’ return… Because he is going to!

 

The idea I tried to propose here: if we build our lives on these principles, we will live blessed. Think about this:

 

·      The Bible tells us that as we walk with or draw near to God we will see the fruits of God’s Spirit grow in our lives. More love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control. We will be TRANSFORMED slowly but surely!

·      As we spur one another on, we also get spurred on ourselves. We get inspired and challenged and we learn a ton. We find part of our meaning and purpose in life through this!

·      When we encourage one another, we are living out one of the greatest callings for us as a church- but we also find how much others encourage us as well.

·      When we live in view of Jesus’ return, we are continually returning to hope in the midst of life. We grow to be more grateful and hopeful people.

 

All of these things are meant to become more and more true of us as we progress down the road with God. As these things happen in our lives we find more and more blessing. It’s really awesome!!! How great are these things?!?!

 

  Oh Lord, How gracious you are to us.  Would you lead us by your holy Spirit this week as we reflect upon these things?  May all of this lead to you having more and more of our hearts and our lives, so that we might become more fully devoted followers of you!  Most of all, we pray for your glory to be wrought through us!

 

We love you Jesus.  Thank you for loving us first!

 

Have a great week everyone. 

Pastor Ryan



The Passion of Jesus Part 3: The Road Through the Cross, Mark 14:43-16:8

Hello, and welcome to our final 2nd Look in our “Enjoying Jesus” series.

Yesterday afternoon, after church ended, I began moving all the files I had on my computer desktop that were accumulating during the last 2 years we’ve done this series. I had logos and backgrounds for sermon slides on my desktop where I could easily find them. It was a bittersweet moment moving them into my “Sermon Vault.” It’s been quite a journey to get to this place. There were so many sermons I preached from the Book of Mark; it’s hard for me to remember them all! But it also got me thinking: Were there some moments I remember from this series? What was a sermon that stood out to me? Can I remember back that far??

 

In order to help me remember, I looked back in the vault at the titles.

“Geesh, there’s a lot here!”

 

Here’s some stuff I remember:

  • “Jesus has this annoying habit!”

This was one of my favorite sermons from this series. Jesus has this annoying habit of hanging out and loving people who don’t deserve him. I loved this sermon and it seems this line kept surfacing for me throughout the series.

  • “When faith is M.I.A; fear is not far away”

Our faith is Misplaced when we see Jesus Inaccurately and this leaves our faith’s power Absent.

This was another one of my favorite sermons from the series. This is the story of Jesus calming the storm.

  • “We are children of the Father’s blessing”

This came out of the 2nd sermon- where we looked at all God did to bless his son and how he does the same for us. This was a very powerful reminder to me, something I’ve needed to be reminded of again and again.

 

These are just three examples of things we’ve looked at over the past 2 years! I truly had a great time Enjoying this book with all of you!

 

Let me give you something to ponder this week.

If you remember we taught repeatedly that Mark’s main message is that Jesus is a messiah who suffers for his people, and that we as his people will be called to walk in his path of victory. This path will likely lead us through suffering in various forms but we know Jesus is ultimately victorious.

 

What does this truth mean for you this week?

What does it mean to you that Jesus chose a path of suffering to redeem and rescue you?

What does it mean that he reigns victorious and his promise is true no matter what season of life you are in?

What does it mean to you that walking in his path means walking sometimes in a path of suffering?

 

These are deep questions I want you to ponder this week.

 

Once again everyone, thank you so much for joining me on this wonderful journey through such a beautiful book of scripture!

 

Oh, and one last thing. Here’s a link to the video from the Bible Project. It may remind you of the journey we’ve been on.

May God bless you all this week with his incomparable peace in Jesus Christ!

 

Your pastor who’s feeling very nostalgic!

Ryan Low