Posts from December 2019

Posts from December 2019

God Calls Even Those Who Doubt – Matthew 28:16-17

The eleven disciples traveled to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but some doubted. (Matthew 28:16-17) Pastor John’s Notes: It seems odd that after all the time they spent with Jesus, some of the disciples were still doubting. Doubt is a normal part of our reorientation to the ways of God. The truths of the gospel are so wonderful that it is hard to believe they are real. But Jesus doesn’t…

The Great Commission – Matthew 28:16-20

This week we will study “The Great Commission,” the assignment Jesus gave to his disciples on the Mount of Ascension before he went into heaven. This study will prepare us for the upcoming series in January, “United in Purpose,” which will be an important and formative series in the life of our church.  The eleven disciples traveled to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but some doubted. Jesus came near and…

Mary and Elizabeth’s Friendship – Luke 1:56

And Mary stayed with her about three months; then she returned to her home. (Luke 1:56) Pastor John’s Notes: Friendships deepen over time. Mary and Elizabeth were relatives, but their friendship grew deeper through their understanding of God’s plan. God had woven them together in an extraordinary way. One was to bear John the Baptist, the herald and forerunner of the Messiah. He would prepare the hearts of the people for the coming of Christ. The other would bear the…

God Fulfills His Promises – Luke 1:54-55

Mary said, “He has helped his servant Israel, remembering his mercy to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he spoke to our ancestors.” (Luke 1:54-55) Pastor John’s Notes: God never forgets his promises, and God never changes his mind. When God speaks, his words are entirely reliable. The beautiful thing about our relationship with God is that God is always consistent in everything he does and says. The more we grow in our understanding of God’s activity in the…

God Exalts the Humble – Luke 1:51-53

Mary praised God saying…”He has done a mighty deed with his arm; he has scattered the proud because of the thoughts of their hearts; he has toppled the mighty from their thrones and exalted the lowly. He has satisfied the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty.” Pastor John’s Notes: Here we get a glimpse of what was in Mary’s heart and why it is that God chose her among all the young women of Israel. Mary…

Generational Blessings – Luke 1:50

Mary praised God saying… “His mercy is from generation to generation on those who fear him.” (Luke 1:50) Pastor John’s Notes: In the original language of the Bible, to fear God is to respect him. While this definition of fear certainly includes a realization of God’s power to judge us, it holds a much broader perspective than the mere desire to avoid punishment. To fear God is to honor him in the same way that we honor someone in authority…

Mary’s Song – Luke 1:46-49

And Mary said: My soul praises the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, because he has looked with favor on the humble condition of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed, because the Mighty One has done great things for me, and his name is holy. (Luke 1:46-49) Pastor John’s Notes: When Mary visited Elizabeth and found in her a friend who knew the secret of what God had…

Mary Visits Elizabeth – Luke 1:39-55

In those days Mary set out and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judah where she entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped inside her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she exclaimed with a loud cry: “Blessed are you among women, and your child will be blessed! How could this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For you see,…

Joseph’s Obedience – Matthew 1:24-25

When Joseph woke up, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He married her but did not have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to a son. And he named him Jesus. (Matthew 1:24-25) Pastor John’s Notes: Obedience to God is a necessary part of our journey. God calls us to be obedient in lesser things so that we can be responsive to His will in greater things. Joseph was already obedient to God’s general commands,…