Paul On Trial: Felix
Sun, Mar 26, 2017
For we have found this man a plague, one who stirs up riots among all the Jews throughout the world and is a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. He even tried to profane the temple, but we seized him. By examining him yourself you will be able to find out from him about everything of which we accuse him.” -- Acts 24:5-8 (ESV) Revolutionary! Cult Leader! Blasphemer! These were charges leveled at Paul by the Jewish establishment lawyers. These weren’t new allegations. The crowd at Thessalonica had called Paul and his companions, ‘men who had turned the world upside down’ (Acts 17:6). Riots and revolution did seem to follow them everywhere. How would Paul respond? Would he come out with guns blazing and scripture flying? Would he respond like Christ at his trial by being silent? How would you respond? What if your life hung in the balance? This week we will look at Acts 24 and Paul’s trial before Felix. This passage gives a view into how Paul saw himself and his relationship to the secular government, to the religious establishment, and to God. I encourage you to take a few minutes before Sunday morning and read it through.
Gospels, Church, Mission
Wed, Mar 22, 2017
Coming into the NT. How does the Story come together? Who is the one we were looking for?
A Theology of Crappy Things
Sun, Mar 12, 2017
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. - James 1:17-18 (ESV) The grace of God is a beautiful truth. When we realize what God has done for us it can be overwhelming. But when we encounter difficulty and tragedy, our rest and awe of the grace of God can grow dim. How do we continue to see God’s grace even in the difficulties of life? As we come together this week we will consider God’s good gifts to us by looking at James 1. I’m excited to have Jon Wymer open up God’s word to us. Jon has joined us for the last few months. He is here on temporary assignment to the Redstone Arsenal. But in civilian life he is the pastor of York EV Free Church in York, Nebraska. It's been great to get to know him. I’m looking forward to what he shares with us.
Poets & Prophets
Wed, Mar 08, 2017
Closing out the OT. We are looking at how the Prophetical and Poetical books fit into the Storyline.
God's Plan & Our Struggle
Sun, Mar 05, 2017
. . . and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. Ephesians 6:19-20 (ESV) We see their mug shots on the news. We quickly drive by them when see the ‘chain gang’ picking up trash on the side of the road. We fear what they have done and what they might do. In our minds, criminals are there because of their bad choices and sins. We think they need help. We doubt they could ever help us. And we would look with suspicion at any of them that would seek to lead or teach or preach to us. After all, they're criminals. But this week, we encounter a criminal. He would be locked up for the rest of Acts and be in that state for most of the rest of his life. While Paul has had freedom to travel and blast the gospel into the corners of the known world, now his freedom will be restricted. How would you respond if your pastor, friend, or missionary was locked up? Would you have fears? Would you go silent or would you protest? Or would you see it as an opportunity? Take some time to read through Acts 21-22 as we look into this next phase of Paul’s ministry. And why not invite a friend to join you.
Gospel Freedom
Sun, Feb 26, 2017
When we had come to Jerusalem, the brothers received us gladly. On the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. After greeting them, he related one by one the things that God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. Acts 21:17-19 (ESV) Missionaries are those people that cross oceans, speak different languages, enter into different cultures, and endanger themselves and their families for the gospel. That's how we often think of them. This allows us to both support them and distance ourselves from them. They are adventurers. We are the home bodies. They are risk takers, we are the constants. They are the missionaries, we are just church folk. Part of our mission statement at Hope is that we would be people that are 'fearlessly on mission'. This is something that I dream for us to realize both corporately and individually. In a real sense it's a desire to eliminate the gap in our thinking between the 'missionaries' and us. This is a desire and a dream that we have yet to realize. This week we enter into the final section of Acts. Paul is focused on two places - Jerusalem and Rome. His face was set to reach both. The first was to encourage and give to those who had been the epicenter of the church. The second, Rome, was to plunge the gospel into the heart of the Empire. What Paul knew is that this mission involved danger, but he didn't care. Take a few minutes to read through Acts 21 to prepare your heart and mind for this Sunday. We will also be worshiping through some special music and communion. So plan to be there! Program note: we have been trying out FB Live. So in addition to the podcast of the weekly services. You can now watch live at about 10:55 on Sundays by going to the Hope FB page or you can go watch the video afterward. Pass the word!
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