2nd look

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



Advent Week 3

Hello Everybody!

Welcome to this week’s 2nd look!

 

As you may recall we are in our third week of the advent season. Last Sunday we talked about how when Jesus appears- a doorway has opened to God’s wisdom being available to us. God’s wisdom.. What is that? Do you remember how we looked at God’s wisdom being Redemption; righteousness and holiness? These things are available to us in Jesus Christ. This week, I’d like to invite you to read a passage everyday to consider how Jesus has become for us wisdom from God. Take five minutes a day, and read the verse and simply reflect on it. What feelings or thoughts does it bring to mind?

 

Here are the Bible verses for this week:

 

Monday: Colossians 1:24-29

Tuesday: 1 Peter 1:8-16

Wednesday: 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 (emphasize verse 18)

Thursday: 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Friday: James 3:13-18

Saturday: 2 Corinthians 4:1-6

 

Have a great week everybody!

 

Pastor Ryan



Advent Week 2

Hi everybody.

This is the beginning of week 2 of advent.

Here is what we’ve looked at so far:

Miracle #1: When Jesus Appears Nobody Becomes Somebody.

Miracle #2: When Jesus Appears Nowhere Becomes Somewhere.

If you remember from the sermon- we talked about how Jesus chose to make himself a kid from the wrong side of the tracks because he chose to be a servant; and because he chose to be planted in the middle of darkness to bring the light of God. This week as we continue looking forward to the birthday of our savior- I’d like to invite you to consider these verses that talk about these issues. Please remember to give yourself a five minute space of time to read a verse and simply reflect and pray on it. What truth is it teaching you? Have a great week everybody!

Monday– John 1:1-13

Tuesday– Matthew 20:28

Wednesday– Philippians 2:5-11

Thursday– John 8:12

Friday– 2 Corinthians 4:6

Saturday– Ephesians 5:8



Advent – Week 1

Hello Everyone!

On this first week of the advent season I want to invite you to try something.

Some of you may be aware that one of the traditions in advent is to give up something as you wait for the birth of Christ. Maybe you give up Starbucks coffee – or soda – or ice cream late at night. Maybe you give up TV or playing computer games. Who knows what it is. The point is – that whenever you long for that thing you gave up – you take that moment to remember the longing mankind has for a savior and you let that moment be an opportunity for prayer and reflection.

As the advent season goes on, I also want to invite you to join me with doing some daily advent “timeouts.” What is this? Each week I’ll send you some Bible verses, you read one a day and take a 5 minute “Timeout” to simply sit and reflect on that verse. Each compilation of verses will follow along with the sermon theme from the previous Sunday…

This week the theme of our sermon was: “When Jesus appears; nobodies become somebodies…”
Here are the verses for our Daily Advent Timeout:
Monday- John 3:16
Tuesday- Romans 5:8
Wednesday- Ephesians 2:1-10
Thursday- 1 Peter 5:6-7
Friday- Romans 8:37-39
Saturday- John 1:9-13

Have a great week everybody!!!

Pastor Ryan

PS- have you pulled out the Christmas music yet? I’d like to recommend to you some really amazing Christmas cds that my family and I have been enjoying over the last couple years. They are made by indie artists.  The albums are titled:
“A Christmas Together” and they come in different volumes made by Christian independent artists. You heard one of the songs this past Sunday. Well done – very creative – and many new Christmas songs to really freshen things up for you.  Click here for a link to the cds.

 



What Enables Your Faith?

Hello everyone,

I want to give you a verse to contemplate with me this week. Here it is:

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.  Ephesians 3:20-21

Take some time to read this verse every day. What do you notice? What comes to mind for you as you read?

I pray the lord will bless you as you reflect on His word this week!

Have a great week everybody!

Pastor Ryan

 



Just. Love. Jesus.

Hello Everyone,
As we close this book of Ephesians, we are left with a powerful reminder.
Just. Love. Jesus.
This love grows from God’s great agape love for us.
A love that moves Him to action.
A love that moves Him   To pursue us
                                        To identify with us
                                         To Sacrifice for us
                                          To live with us
                                           To forgive us
                                            To be for us.
This week I’d like to invite you to read Ephesians 1:3-14 again and look for the ways God has loved you. It’s pretty amazing.
Have a great week everybody!
Pastor Ryan


Live In Truth

Hello everybody. Here’s a question I think would naturally arise from this past week’s sermon:

 “Ryan, you talk about how important it is for us to live in truth. How do I know I’m doing this?”

 Let me give you several things that are indicators you ARE living in truth…

 

1. Lying is not present.

This is obvious. Lying is the opposite of truth, and when we lie to God, ourselves, and others, we create a sort of momentum of untruth in our lives. It becomes easier to lie again. We become a tiny bit hardened to the fact that we have invited untruth in our lives. Now, the natural question is: Yea I get that Ryan, but what about those moments like when your wife asks you – hey honey do you like this dress? Obviously, this is a tricky situation. I would suggest you opt for truth even in situations like this – but you don’t need to give them a full out assault. You could say something like: “Honey to be honest, I don’t really like that dress on you…. And you know, it’s uncomfortable for me to be here shopping with you and you ask me these questions.” You could always just say: “I don’t want to go into this conversation” and then run away!  But the reality is – if you don’t like the dress and you lie about it – then she may buy the dress and you will have to see her wearing it over and over again. Lying is usually something we do to protect ourselves. We tell ourselves we are protecting the other person – but deep down that is actually a rare occurrence. We are protecting ourselves… In the end, it usually bites us. Living in truth is a healthy place to be. It may be awkward sometimes – and certainly we need to speak the truth lovingly,  but in the end, lying rarely ever helps..  

 

2. Growing to cling more and more to the truth of our identity in Christ.

We live in truth, when we make an effort to learn and remind ourselves about our identity in Christ. Do you know your identity in Him? Do you know how God sees you? Do you know who He says you are to Him? This is extremely important and can be very freeing for us. A great book on this issue is: “The Search For Significance” by Robert McGee. The more we can be reminded of our true identity in Christ, the more freedom we begin to experience in life. This is some of the most powerful truth you can know.  Seriously. It’s life changing stuff!

 

3. I know and am able to acknowledge the truth about me.

One of the most damaging things to us is our inability to know and acknowledge truth about ourselves. Here are some powerful areas of truth we need to know and acknowledge

  • Our feelings… so often we don’t have a good sense of what we are feeling in life. We are tired and we don’t know it. We are angry, lashing out at others and not able to see it. We are weak, unwilling to admit it. We lack emotional awareness and it can create havoc. One way to combat this is to take some time at the end of your day, and sit down and think back over your day. What things did you feel during the day? What was going on when you feel these things. How do you feel now? You can also stop at any moment and simply take stock of your feelings. This develops emotional awareness and can help you in the long run.
  • Thoughts And Beliefs: For many of us we are led by our thoughts and beliefs. The things we truly believe will lead us. They are like a pair of sunglasses through which we view the world. Everything is colored by them. We often need to learn why we do the things we do. Why did I react the way I did to that situation? It often has largely to do with some kind of belief system we carry within ourselves. Let me give you an example: the next time you get angry, take a moment and ask yourself: “What am I truly angry about right now? Can I describe what is making me angry in a short succinct sentence? What belief is driving this anger?” It’s not always easy but you can go deeper and deeper with this and discover some powerful reasons why you live the way you do? Why do you feel the pressure you do? Why are you a work-a-holic? Why are you addicted? There are deep roots and getting to the truth of these things can have powerful consequences! 

4. Others know more and more of the truth of me. 

As humans our most natural tendency is to protect ourselves and stay hidden from others. This was the first thing we see Adam and Eve doing after they fell in the garden. They hid. We’ve been hiding ever since the garden. But this is not a movement of truth. Each of us needs a handful of people who know what’s really going on with us. They know our weaknesses, or strengths, our failings and accomplishments. They know how we truly feel and what we truly believe. They know our dreams and our fears. We don’t need a large group like this but we need a few folks. The more people know the truth about us – the more we can find deeper healing. The challenge is- for many of us as Christians, we worship together on Sundays; but in many ways we are alone. We struggle in our marriages but nobody really knows. We struggle with pain, sadness, anger, addiction and nobody is there to love and help us through it. We need this in our lives.

 

So as you think of these four indicators of living in truth, please remember: God loves you. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have this down. God is going to keep leading you towards these things. He has not given up. The question is: “Are we ready and willing for him to develop these things in our life?” I guarantee you: it will change your life.

 

Have a great week everybody!

 

Pastor Ryan