December 3, 2017: Don’t Be Afraid of the Supernatural

Preached by Cortney Kluver (01:06)

The Christian life is supernatural. The Spirit of God lives inside every believer and yet elements of the supernatural makes us nervous. It’s easier to shy away from God’s power in everyday life than to embrace the possibility of it. The Spirit of God is orderly, but he pushes the us to the boundaries of our comfort.

Elijah was a great prophet of God but that doesn’t mean his access to God is different from yours. Elijah encountered the supernatural Spirit of God because he regularly invited the Spirit to move is noticeable and powerful ways. When Elijah was challenged by the false prophets and the Spirit of God fell on the altar, notice that the fire of God fell on a sacrifice that was prepared. It didn’t randomly fall in the middle of no where. The fire of God fell because of preparation and a prayer.

Listen as Cortney shares lessons we can learn from Elijah.  Expect God to show up in powerful ways.  Don’t fake the Spirit of God.  Don’t hide from the Spirit of God.  Expect the Spirit of God and let him show up when and how he wants.

Scripture references: 1 Kings 18:20-40

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Let There Be Light

The light of Christmas was a baby in a manager.  A baby who grew into a man who proclaimed the year of the Lord.  Jesus came to “call us back to God” (2 Corinthians 5:14-21).  The Spirit of the Lord was upon him, for he was anointed to bring Good News to the poor. He was sent by God to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come (Luke 4).

He came to release you.  He came to give you sight.  He came to proclaim to you that the Lord’s favor is available to you.

In the song “Let there be Light” (by Hillsong, album Let There be Light), the words beautifully capture the reason for Christmas:

Let there be light
Open our eyes to Your heart
Desperate just to know who You are
Shine in us we pray
Jesus have Your way
Good news embracing the poor
Comfort for all those who mourn
For the broken hearted
We sing louder
Release from prison and shame
Oppression turning to praise
For every captive
Sing louder
Restoring sight to the blind
Breaking the curse of the night
For all in darkness
Sing louder
Proclaiming freedom for all
This is the day of the Lord
Beauty for ashes
Let there be light
Open the eyes of the blind
Purify our hearts in Your fire
Breathe in us we pray

At Christmas, we are reminded that he came to us and he came for us.  Jesus, a real human being, was born into this world.  He became like you in order that he might save you.  A star that shone high above Bethlehem announcing his coming also foretold that Jesus brought with him the great light of God to shine the way back to him.  This Christmas, rejoice an say “Let there be light!” for the light has come and the light is come.

November 26, 2017: Be Excited about Jesus

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Preached by Evan Stewart (00:25)

Each year, Black Friday shopping events bring amazing deals that create excitement for shoppers. During the holiday season we get excited about stuff and events, but do you get excited about Jesus?

There were a few people that saw the birth of Jesus like some of us might see the ultimate Black Friday deal. The shepherds, Simeon, and Anna; they were the Black Friday shopper’s for Jesus. The shepherd’s spontaneously went into Bethlehem when they heard the ad for the best deal in town. Simeon came to the temple for the door buster deal. Anna camped inside the store for the once in a lifetime event. The tragedy is that they didn’t have to push and squirm through a crowd. They were the only ones.

We can become so wrapped up in everyday life that we can be like the other people at the temple that day who had no idea or care who that little baby was. The Creator of everything was in the temple and only two people noticed.

As you prepare for Christmas, listen as Evan encourages us to find ways to be excited about Jesus.  Jesus’ coming should excite you.

Scripture references: Luke 2:8-38; 2 Corinthians 5:14-21

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November 19, 2017: Thanksgiving

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Preached by Tary Hanson (00:25)

The Bible contains so many examples of thanksgiving. God reminds us to remain in a thankful attitude and thankful actions.  As the psalmist wrote in Psalm 100:4:

Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.

As you enter the Thanksgiving holiday, be encouraged to stay thankful everyday. Listen as Tary shares insights from a story of thankfulness found in Luke 17 and teaches that:

  1. Gratitude produces worship
  2. Miracles produces gratitude
  3. Obedience produces miracles
  4. Knowing God’s love for us produces obedience

Scripture Reference: Luke 17:11-19; Psalm 100:4

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November 5, 2017: How’s Your Soul?

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Preached by Rod Benner (00:31)

How’s your soul? Are you caught up with the circumstances of your life or are you caught up in the Spirit of God?

How can you make it through dark times of life and still be joyful? The condition of your soul has much to do with how you respond.

A healthy soul has less to do with how perfect people think you are and more with who you rely on. Jesus is the sure foundation for life. If you lean on Jesus, then you will still be joyful even when your emotions and physical body feel pain. Can you keep your eyes on Jesus Christ or are you swamped with the circumstances of life?

Scripture Reference: 1 Corinthians 11

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Sending the Joy of Christmas

OCCDuring the next two weeks, Life’s Journey will offer shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.  This is a wonderful  opportunity to partner with churches all over the world to prepare shoe boxes filled with gifts for Christmas.

Every  Christmas, hundreds of thousands of gift-filled shoe boxes are sent to Samaritan Purse distribution centers which are then delivered around the globe to various children outreach programs.  Each box provides a way for children to celebrate the joys of Christmas and most importantly to learn that Jesus Christ loves them.

Get your shoe box at Life’s Journey, fill them with gifts, and return them to Life’s Journey on or before Sunday November 19.

October 29, 2017: Pursue God

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Preached by Cortney Kluver (00:58)

God wants pursuit. He is pursuing you and he wants you to pursue him. Did you know God pursues you? How well or often do you pursue God?

We sometimes approach God like a bid on an item. Some online bids require a reserve. You put in a lot of money, but if the reserve isn’t met the seller won’t sell the item. We can be like the seller in that we reserve a part of ourselves instead of giving it all to God. You will never fully know who Jesus is unless you are willing to follow him with all of you. God says “Pursue me with all of your heart.”

Don’t “try God out” and then plan an exit.  Rather, embrace him with everything.

Scripture Reference: Jeremiah 29

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October 22, 2017: The Blood – Uncomfortable and Messy

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Preached by Rod Benner (00:31)

The blood of Jesus is the central theme in the New Testament. The Bible speaks of blood as the means for forgiveness of sins. Not just any blood, but the blood of a perfect, sinless sacrifice; Jesus Christ. Blood is a messy and uncomfortable topic to discuss, yet understanding the blood of Jesus is critical to understanding life.

Join the discussion as Rod highlights five reasons why the blood of Jesus is so important. Through Jesus’ blood a person:

  1. Gains bold access to the throne of Heaven; the presence of God.
  2. Receives forgiveness of sin.
  3. Receives the righteousness of Jesus
  4. Gains victory over the enemy (the Devil and death)
  5. Can live life with a clear conscience and purpose.

 

Scripture Reference: Hebrews 10, 13; Ephesians 1:17

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October 15, 2017: Doing What you Know

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Preached by Rod Benner (00:39)

Knowing what the Bible says you should do is often times easier than doing what the Bible says you should do. It is all to easy to mistake knowing for applying; where we can know the truth but think that knowing the truth is the same as doing the truth. The irony is that if you don’t apply the truth the right way then you don’t fully know the truth.

In John 1:12, you are told that if you know Jesus as friend and master, then you are a child of God. You “have the right” to be called a child of God. You can know that God says this about you, but do you live like this? Are you often acting as if God doesn’t care about you or if God doesn’t have a purpose for you? If you act this way then you haven’t applied the truth you say you know.

Wake up each morning seeking to always move from knowing to doing.

Scripture Reference: John 1:12; Ephesians 6:10-12

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