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One of the things I enjoy about this time of year are the TV specials and magazine features that look back on the year that was. We see this in news, stories that impacted us, sports, highlights and bloopers of the year, entertainment, who we were talking about, watching.
And so on this last Sunday of 2014, we wanted to pause to look back on the year that has been for our church family.
The two words that come to mind are God’s provision and presence.
Here’s Pastor Mike inviting us to pause to praise as we wrap up 2014!
When you couldn't get to God, God came to you.
That is the message of Christmas. That is what we celebrate and that is what makes a world of difference.
In this short (13 minute) devotional from Christmas in the City, Pastor Mike shares two stories about the big picture of Christmas, God come near. May you be encouraged to know that you are not and never will be alone!
Light is best viewed on a background of darkness.
The Light of the World comes into the world in a time of deep darkness. Not just the darkness of our world, but the darkness of our lives.
And the big question is are we going to make room for the light of the world to become the light of our world.
Here's Pastor Mike with a powerful Christmas message on the gift of light.
Grace is not just a word or a concept or a theological understanding. Grace is a person. Grace has a face. And once you’ve actually encountered the Face of Grace, you are never the same again.
Here's Pastor Mike with a powerful reminder of what makes grace truly amazing. From the John 8 account of the woman caught in adultery.
There are a lot of things we look to to quench our thirst. But only one that actually will.
“Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” Jn 7.37-38 (NLT)
Here's Pastor Levi with a powerful message in our series on the Gospel of John, 'That You May Believe'.
Are you hungry?
Do you know you will live forever?
These are two massive questions from Jesus that we all need to answer. And the good news, the answer is found in the one who asks them.
Join Pastor Mike as we unpack the Bread that Satisfies, in a message that may actually change the trajectory of your life.
What are you afraid of?
I’m not talking about a fear of spiders or heights or public speaking. I’m talking about much deeper fears that rise to the surface when life’s unpredictable storms hit. An unwelcomed call from the doctor’s office. A deteriorating relationship. Financial hardship. Aloneness.
All of us have these fears. And all of us need to hear these amazing words of Jesus. “Don’t be afraid. I am here.”
When the storms hit, and they will, know that you are not going to face them alone! Here's Pastor Mike Penninga with part 12 of our series in the Gospel of John, "That You May Believe"
Have you ever wondered whether God is able to provide for your day-to-day needs? Maybe you wonder whether God can actually use you to provide for others.
As we continue our journey through the Gospel of John, we find ourselves in a very familiar but incredibly powerful account of our God who answers both those questions in the affirmative! Let’s lean in.
It’s an amazing claim that Jesus Christ is the “Logos,” the One through whom all things have been made (John 1)! And even more interesting that modern science points to Something or Someone behind the incredible order and complexity of our universe.
In Pastor Marcus’ message today on John 5:16-47, we hear how this Jesus, the creator of the universe, has—not surprisingly—the Life in himself that each of are seeking. It’s in our spiritual sleep that we try to find this Life apart from the Son of God, but Jesus, in his unfailing love, comes to wake us up to the Son! There is Life—eternal, spiritual life—found in Jesus and he invites us all to come and receive Him who is Life. So enjoy this word and discover where to find the Life you were made for!
One of the greatest words in the English language is the word “miracle”. You can’t even say it without your heart skipping a beat with excitement. And it’s always a positive thing. Miracles are always good. You don’t have “bad” miracles.
Wherever you stand when it comes to miracles, it’s a topic you can’t ignore when you’re talking about Jesus. They are everywhere!
So what do we do with these miracles? Why are they documented? And what do they mean for us today?
In part 9 of our journey through the Gospel of John, Pastor Mike fixes our eyes on two amazing stories of miraculous healing, back-to-back, which speak of a God who is able to do exceedingly more than we ask or imagine. And along the way, we’ll discover that His miraculous powers are still at work today!
Three strikes and you’re out.
That seems to be the mindset in our culture.
But it isn’t the mindset of Jesus.
In fact, Jesus takes great joy in seeking out those the world wants to keep out.
In this powerful message from John 4, KGF Intern Bethany Smith shines fresh light and ah-ha moments on the Samaritan woman at the well. And in the process, we are reminded of a God who seeks us out to remind us who we are truly looking for is Him.
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!