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We are born believing that we hold the Number 1 position in life. You don’t need to teach babies or toddlers to be selfish, to look out for only their own interests. It comes naturally.
One of the most important decisions you will ever make is whether you will try to hold onto this position, or give it to someone or something else. Really, this is a question of “worship”. We worship what we put first.
There are lots of options as to who or what we can give this number 1 to, but only one that is truly satisfying. And when you get this decision right, everything else seems to fall in place.
Pastor Mike draws our attention to a very significant encounter with John the Baptist, who has a clear understanding of who is “Greater Than”.
We find ourselves face to face with the most famous verse in the entire Bible, John 3:16. Even people who don’t consider themselves Christians have most likely heard of John 3:16. It’s the most searched, most shared, most quoted, most memorized verse in the Bible. It’s the Gospel in a nutshell. It’s the good news in a sentence.
I like how Max Lucado said it. “John 3:16 is a parade of hope: beginning with God, ending with life, and urging us to do the same. Brief enough to write on a napkin or memorize in a moment, yet solid enough to weather two thousand years of storms and questions. If you know nothing of the Bible, start here. If you know everything in the Bible, return here."
John 3:16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
What’s interesting is Jesus shared this powerful truth with a man who thought he knew everything about the Bible, and yet was missing the whole point of it. His name was Nicodemus. And he was religious. But his religiosity was actually keeping him from the answer.
Here’s Pastor Mike Penninga with Part 6 of our series, “That You May Believe” in the Gospel of John.
Jesus is not content to let anything stand in the way of our devotion to Him. For us, that means He may turn over some tables to get our attention. Here's guest preacher, Wayne Laurie
Miracles are really revelations of Jesus’ glory. They are opportunities to believe. They are your chance and my chance to acknowledge his true identity. They are signs that point the way.
That is the purpose of the Gospels.
John 20:30-31 “The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.”
That you might believe. That you might see Jesus as more than a good prophet or a good teacher or a miracle worker. That you might see him for who He really is, and as a result, see you for who you really are.
Here’s Pastor Mike Penninga with a message on Jesus’ first miracle, and how it is a beautiful foreshadowing of a much bigger wedding feast that we don’t want to miss!
“Come and see!” Those three words from Jesus are an invitation that leads to an unbelievable opportunity for real life change. Some of you are curious about Jesus, and that’s all that is needed to start. But I believe time with Jesus will see the curious become convinced! That’s where we’re going in Part 3 of our Gospel of John Series, “That You May Believe”.
Our family had the chance to take in the IPE in Armstrong at the end of August. Loved it, lots to see and do. And one thing we enjoyed was a Children’s Illusionist who dazzled us with his “slight of hand” tricks. I don’t want to give things away, but there is no magic involved. It’s simply a matter of the illusionist distracting you so your eyes go where he wants you to go and away from what he wants to do.
When it comes to Jesus, people want to distract you from the main point. They will bring up evolution, or abortion, or the various denominations, or poor examples of Christianity in the past, or politics, or Bible translations. But anytime we move our frame anywhere other than Jesus, we are putting our eyes on the wrong thing.
In Part 2 of our extended series in the Gospel of John entitled “That You May Believe”, Pastor Mike invites us to fix our eyes on Jesus. Because it matters who you are looking at!
The Gospel message is really love coming to town. Love taking up residence. The creator becoming part of his created. The author stepping into the story.
John 1:14 in the Message paraphrase reads "the Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.
Why? The answer is in this amazing quote from St. Augustine.
“God became a man for this purpose: since you, a human being, could not reach God, but you can reach other humans, you might now reach God through a man. And so the man Christ Jesus became the mediator of God and human beings. God became a man so that following a man—something you are able to do—you might reach God, which was formerly impossible to you.” —St. Augustine
Don’t miss this. People will argue about a lot of things, but you need to settle this. . .who was Jesus, and what does that mean to me today? That’s what this Gospel is about. Answering the “who” question, and how that changes everything. The whole purpose, That You May Believe. . .
Here's Pastor Mike and week 1 of this new, extended series in the Gospel of John.
We were not meant to journey through life alone.
This isn’t a married thing or a single thing it’s a human thing.
We are hard-wired for relationship, for traveling companions, and we are better when we are together. We are sharper when we have people in our lives who are sharpening us.
As we close our summer series, “Everyday Wisdom” from the book of Proverbs, Pastor Mike brings us to a very famous and significant verse that can actually shape us in surprising ways. Along the way, you’ll discover the benefit of build your house near others. Let’s lean in together!
Titanic has become synonymous with overlooked warning signs because of pride and a refusal to take an honest look at reality. Have you ever ignored some warning signs in your life that came back to haunt you?
In part 8 of our summer series, “Everyday Wisdom”, Pastor Rolly Rangno jumps off this very well known story to some significant spiritual application. We do well to lean in close and be reminded that the good news isn’t good news until we realize the bad news.
Proverbs 16:25 “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”
We turn our attention to perhaps the most practical element covered in Proverbs – money. How do we navigate the money maze in a way that honors God? If you make money, spend money, save money, borrow money, and give money, then this message by Pastor Mike is for you!
What does Proverbs have to say about friendships? Pastor Marcus Schmaling takes us through 3 key elements of a true friend as outlined in Proverbs.
Due to a computer error, the message was not recorded, but you can download Marcus' transcript below.
You may have noticed in your reading of Proverbs that its wisdom concerns itself with matters both high and low, but all of them are things that we might consider normal, everyday aspects of life. Nothing, perhaps, is so ‘everyday’ as the words we speak, both to each other and to ourselves. In part 5 of our summer series, “Everyday Wisdom” in Proverbs, Pastor Levi Simpson reminds us that life and death can be found in the spoken word!
Have you ever seen a sign that said “Wet Paint” and just wanted to reach out and touch it? What is it about warnings that actually draw us towards the item we’re being warned about? In part 4 of our summer series, “Everyday Wisdom” in Proverbs, Pastor Mike looks at the warnings we find in Proverbs, and why we are wise to listen to them!
“Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2
As we continue with our summer series “Everyday Wisdom” on the book of Proverbs, we come to a recurring theme throughout Scripture. Those who lift themselves up will be at odds with God. Those who are humble will find favor with Him. What does it look like to walk humbly? Pastor Mike shares candidly from his own journey and invites us to get a bigger picture of God which leads to a proper picture of ourselves. Let’s lean in close!
People keep talking about "getting wisdom", but is wisdom all it cracked up to be? Why should we pursue it at all costs? What benefit does wisdom really bring to our lives?
These are the questions Aldon Loeppky tackles in part 2 of our 9 part series on the book of Proverbs entitled, "Everyday Wisdom".