2nd look

The Highest Power

2nd
Look 3.28.16

 

Hi everyone,

Welcome to the 2nd look for this week.

Since last week was Easter, I’d like to follow this up with a wonderful scripture that we need to be reminded of. It’s power packed- full of hope. Recently, a dear friend of mine who has been battling brain cancer has seen all known possible treatments fail. He has decided to enter hospice care to manage his pain and symptoms in his final days of life. It is terribly sad; we are all grieving greatly for him and for his wife and three beautiful young girls. Please pray for them in the days ahead. The reason I bring this up is that in moments like these I am reminded of this wonderful hope we’ve been given in Christ. It sometimes is the only thing we can cling to as we grapple with this awful loss. But as we know our dear friend is in the hands of God- that he is a deeply passionate man who loves Jesus Christ- we grieve as people who have hope; that we will see him someday again. We have this hope because of verses like the one I’m about to share with you. Check it out- you can see the wonderful promise God makes to us…

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you!

Romans 8: 9-11

What wonderful hope we have today. Sunday we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus. It can be so awesome to be reminded again that this resurrection didn’t just mean something to Jesus but it ushers in; it opens the door; to a “new and living hope”… FOR US!!!!!

Have a wonderful week my dear friends and may God bless you richly with His peace.

Pastor Ryan



Defeating the Junk That Destroys Us

2nd Look 3.21.16

 

Hi everyone,

Welcome to the 2nd look for this week. This week is very special as it is the week leading up to Easter. So I’m going to depart from typical 2nd look modus operandi and simply invite you to immerse yourself in the Easter story this week. Take some time daily to read the passion story. I have copied over a reading plan for you to use as you progress through the week leading to Jesus’ crucifixion. In a way, you will walk this week with Him. I pray the Lord blesses you and your loved ones.

-Pastor Ryan

 

Day 1 (Palm Sunday): Read Matthew 21:1-11

(for more reading: Luke 19:29-44 Mark 11:1-11, John 12:12-50) 

Day 2: Read Matthew 21:12-20 and John 12:1-14

(for more reading: Mark 11:11-33) 

Day 3: Read Matthew 21:20-27

(for more reading: Matthew 21:28-23:39, Mark 11:20-12:44) 

Day 4: Read Luke 22:1-6 and Mark 14:1-11

(for more reading: Matthew 24-25, Matthew 26:17-30) 

Day 5 (Last Supper): Read John 19:1-16 and Isaiah 54:7

(for more reading: Luke 22:7-52, John 13-17, 1 Corinthians 11:23-25, Mark 14:12-72) 

Day 6 (Good Friday): Read Mark 14:53-15:41, Isaiah 53:5-6, and 1 Peter 1:18-21

(for more reading: Luke 22:47-53, Luke 23:39-43, John 19:1-37) 

Day 7: Read John 19:38-42 and Romans 6:22-23

(for more reading: Mark 15:42-47, Matthew 27:57-66) 

Day 8 (The Resurrection): Read Mark 16:1-7 and Matthew 28:1-20

(for more reading: John 20:1-21:31, Acts 1:9)

 



God why won’t you let me do this?

2nd Look 3.15.16

“God why won’t you let me do this?”
This is a question I have asked often. After all there are lots of things out there I would love to do and yet it seems from the scriptures that God has asked us not to do them. Why? Why would He be such a cosmic killjoy?
Let’s put on our “Philosopher” hats for a second.

Here’s our original question: “Why would God give us a list of things we can’t do – when all those things seem so enjoyable and many who do them are happy?”

There are several possible answers to this question:

  1. God is mean, and a jerk. He takes joy in making us suffer – in robbing us of things that are fun and pleasurable.
  2. God is foolish. He tells us to avoid things and make a big deal out of things that aren’t really a big deal because He’s actually misguided in his prudish notions. He’s making mountains out of molehills because he is foolish.
  3. God is uptight. Maybe that’s simply the case; God likes things the way He likes them – he’s inflexible- uptight – a cosmic snob.
  4. God is wise and has a great reason. This is the one I want to develop a little bit.
Ok – so if any of the first three options are true – then there is reason to distrust God and the picture of the life He calls us to. BUT – to be honest – if there is an all powerful God who has told us to do something or we’ll be crushed like a bug – do we really have an option to go against Him?  We do so to our peril. For any of the first three answers – it doesn’t matter what God’s intentions are because we are simply his creations at his disposal and whim.
But this is not the picture we see painted in the scriptures. The picture; or the claim; the scriptures make, is that God is good; benevolent; loving; and all wise. If this teaching is true then our answer to the initially proposed question is this:

Question: Why does God ask us to avoid things that seem to be so pleasurable and fun?
Answer:
God exists and created all things.
God is all wise and loving.
If these two statements are true – then it is logical to assume.
The loving, all wise, God who created all things would have a good reason.
The ask us to avoid certain things.
Because He knows the best way to live – and that these things ultimately hurt us.

I think we see this thought in 1 Corinthians 6:12. I want to invite you to take some time the remainder of this week with this verse. Read it – reflect on it. In the end – we might need to avoid destructive things because – that is exactly what they are – destructive. Here’s the verse. Have a great week everybody:

You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything.

1 Corinthians 6:12


Gifts

Hi everybody!

For this week’s 2nd look I’d like to invite you to spend some time in the Scriptures.

Take a few minutes every day this week and read the following Scriptures. As you do – what thoughts come to mind?  What do you notice? What do these passages teach you about the spiritual gifts? 

I’d also like to ask you to take a few moments and pray asking God what your spiritual gifts are. Here is a reading order for you…

Monday: 1 Corinthians 12

Tuesday: 1 Corinthians 13

Wednesday: 1 Corinthians 14

Thursday: Ephesians 4

Friday: Romans 12:3-8

Have a great week everybody and may God bless you!

Pastor Ryan



Your Fruits Depend On Your Roots

Hello SNC Friends!

For this week’s second look I’d like to remind you of our sermons major statement.

 

“Your Fruits Depend On Your Roots”

 

This week I want to invite you to ask these questions with me. Take at least 5 minutes a day and simply sit with these questions. There’s no need to force things or come up with some huge epiphany – simply sit in the quiet with God – ask these questions and see what comes up. Let me warn you though – these are some very powerful questions that can be quite life altering. Here they are:

 

Lord – what’s going on between us?

 

Is there anything in my life that pulls me from you – that puts a wall up between us?

 

Is there something you’re trying to teach me?

 

Is there something that hinders me from hearing you and being closer to you?

 

May God bless you guys- have a great week!

 

Pastor Ryan

 

 



Rhythms of Grace

Hello SNC friends and family and welcome to this week’s second look. For this week I’d like to direct you to click here listen to this beautiful song titled “Rhythms of Grace” by Hillsong United. 

 

These are the lyrics of the song. Take some time – sit down and consider the lyrics of this song. Let it be a prayer for you this week.

 

Have a wonderful Week everybody!

 

Rhythms of Grace

 

My life is a life for your cause

My will laid aside for your call

And reserved all the depth of my heart

Only for You

 

I’m caught in the rhythms of grace

They overcome all of my ways

We align in each step that we take

To live for Your glory

 

There’s none beside You, God

There’s none beside You, God

 

You’re there in dark of the night

While holding the sun and its light

Through the triumph and trials alike

There’s no one beside You

 

Your voice calls the stars by their name

You whisper them all to their place

To testify of Your wonder and praise

Both now and forever

 

There’s none beside You, God

There’s none beside You, God

I live my life to shine Your light

‘Cause there is none beside You, God, oh

 

No eye has seen, no ear has heard

The depths of Your love, Lord

No mind can fathom the love You deserve

How great You are



How The Holy Spirit Leads

Hello SNC Friends!

For this week’s second look I’d like to start by directing you to a Bible verse.

 

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28

 

This past Sunday we talked about three invitations the Holy Spirit gives us. He gives us an Invitation To Truth; and Invitation To Know And Live In The Grace Of God; and an Invitation To Something That Brings Glory To Jesus. Each of these invitations are not “Overnight Results” kind of things. They are like journeys. God will often invite us into a truth journey and it can take some time – but are we willing to follow where he leads us- even if it is painful? Sometimes – to learn grace – we need God to do some healing work freeing up the places in our hearts where we cannot receive God’s grace. That can take time – and can sometimes be painful. And Sometimes – the invitation to something that brings glory to Jesus can take years to develop. You may be doing something in ten years that is way out of what you expected you would be because God has been slowly moving you in that direction! Sometimes that journey of trusting God and choosing to do the things that honor Jesus are scary – or seem undesirable – and yet – this is God’s invitation. Do we take it?

We look for these invitations – these fingerprints of God but in the end – it all comes down to whether we truly believe this verse above. I’d like to invite you this week to read this verse with me every day. Take five minutes and consider it’s words – let it roll around in your mind. You might be amazed what this verse may say to you over this week.
May God bless you guys – have a great week!

 

Pastor Ryan



What Is God Doing In Your Life?

Hello Everyone

And Welcome to this week’s 2nd   LOOK

 

“What is God doing in my life?”

 

This is a question we as Christians need to get used to asking. What is He doing? What is He showing me? Where is He leading me?

 

These are all forms of that same initial question. As we want to walk in Step with the Spirit – this seems to be one of the most important questions we can ask. How can we walk in Step with Him if we don’t see what He’s doing in our lives – or what He is trying to show us.

 

This week, I’d like to invite you to take some time to begin asking this question. Or ask one of the other three questions. Take some time everyday to pray and ask the Lord to show you how He is at work- and then to maybe take a good look at what is going on to see if you can see His fingerprints on your life.

 

It’s always pretty exciting and awe inspiring when you can see God at work in you.

 

Have a wonderful week everybody!

 

Pastor Ryan



Who Is The Holy Spirit?

Hello SNC friends and family,

Last week we looked at 4 simple but major truths about who the Holy Spirit is.

This week- as you continue to consider the person and the presence of the Holy Spirit- I’d like to leave you the quote I shared from RA Torrey. Take some time to read this everyday this week. Let your mind just marinate in this short article. This quote has continually ministered to me over the years. Have a great week everybody!

 

“Before one can correctly understand the work of the Holy Spirit, he must first know the Spirit himself. A frequent source of error and fanaticism about the work of the Holy Spirit is the attempt to study and understand His work without first of all coming to know Him as a Person.

            It is of the highest importance from the standpoint of worship that we decide whether the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person, worthy to receive our adoration, our faith, our love, and our entire surrender to Himself, or whether it is simply an influence emanating from God or a power or an illumination that God imparts to us. If the Holy Spirit is a person and a Divine Person, and we do not know Him as such, then we are robbing a divine Being of the worship and the faith and the love and the surrender to Himself which are His due…..

It is also of the highest importance from the practical standpoint that we decide whether the holy Spirit is merely some mysterious and wonderful power that we in our weakness and ignorance are somehow to get a hold of and use, or whether the holy Spirit is a real Person, infinitely holy, infinitely wise, infinitely mighty and infinitely tender who is to get a hold of and use us. The former conception is utterly heathenish, not essentially different from the thought of the African fetich worshipper who has his god whom he uses. The latter conception is sublime and Christian. If we think of the Holy Spirit as so many do as merely a power or influence, our constant thought will be, “How can I get more of the Holy Spirit,” but if we think of him in the biblical way as a Divine Person, our thought will rather be, “How can the Holy Spirit have more of me?” The conception of the Holy Spirit as a divine influencer or power that we are somehow to get hold of and use, leads to self exaltation and self sufficiency. One who so thinks of the holy Spirit and who at the same time imagines that he has received the Holy Spirit will almost inevitably be full of spiritual pride and strut about as if he belonged to some superior order of Christians. One frequently hears such persons say: ‘I am a Holy Ghost man’, or ‘ I am a holy Ghost woman.’ But if we once grasp the thought that the holy Spirit is a Divine Person of infinite majesty, glory and holiness and power, who in marvelous condescension has come into our hearts to make his abode there and take possession of our lives and make use of them, it will put us in the dust and keep us in the dust. I can think of no thought more humbling or overwhelming than the thought that a person of Divine majesty and glory dwells in my heart and is ready to use even me.

It is of highest importance from the standpoint of experience that we know the holy Spirit as a person……



Happy New Year!

Hello Everybody.

This week’s 2nd look is blissfully and blessedly short. I’d like to invite you to take some time to reflect on How God has been good to you this year, and how you might want to respond to Him. I want to invite you to think about something you might want to try this year that would help you grow closer to God. What is that thing? How will you know when you’ve done this thing? Who can help you do this thing?

Think about this thing, pray about it and ask God to reveal this to you. Remember we do this thing – not to make God love us more – He already could not love us more than He does – but God does want to see us grow and thrive as Christians. What is one way we can grow?

Have a great week!

Pastor Ryan