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Stones Hill Community Church

Stones Hill Community Church

By Matt Gaff
Weekly broadcast of our Church Sermons from Stones Hill Community Church our website is www.stoneshill.org/
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The Chosen 7/25/2021
The Chosen - Episode 1 The Gospel is not so much an argument to assent to (though there are many arguments one can make for the Gospel); but more than this, the Gospel is a person that you place your confidence in. And that’s what Mary Magdalene does in this first episode. Church traditions dating back to the early fathers have identified Mary Magdalene with the anonymous woman of Luke 7. And there's one detail I want you to pay attention to in the story: the flask around her neck. The text says "she brought an alabaster jar of perfume..." This jar was not a mega-sized container. Think necklace-size, more like a vial or flask than a jar. An alabaster flask was a little globular … It had a bulb, and it had a very long, skinny neck. At the very top there was a tiny, little opening. Inside this flask, when it was created, perfume was placed in the bulb, so the aroma could get out, but there was absolutely no way for the perfume to spill out. When the text says she pours, the only way to pour was to break the flask. The jar wasn’t that valuable; and the stuff inside varied in price – from not that expensive to a whole years wage – depending on the quality of what was in the vial. This was the most expensive thing she owned. It was important to her and one of the tools of her trade. She wore it often. For a woman to take the tool of her trade off and pour it at his feet was to say, “I have a better use now for this perfume.” She was changing the direction of her life. She’s saying, “If you are who you say you are, that changes everything. I come to you without conditions. I give you everything I am. I give you everything I have.” She refused to see anything more valuable than Him. That means making him master of everything: your job, your behavior, your ethics, the way you use your money, your relationships, your sexuality, your thought life, your intellectual life. Everything! She is saying, “Lord, I have always trusted in my beauty. I’ve always trusted in my desirability,” and, of course, her beauty and desirability are not going away. But she says, “No longer will this be the fundamental thing I trust in my life. No longer, because though I trusted in it, it mastered me. It controlled me, and now you are the Master. Everybody has a little flask around their neck, the things that are important to them. You’re going to pour them out at somebody’s feet. There is something in someone that you’re going to live for. Who gets your heart? Whom do you live for utterly and entirely? Would you be willing to pour it out at His feet today?
24:12
July 25, 2021
Sunday Service 7/18/2021
Sunday Service 7/18/2021
51:31
July 18, 2021
Sunday Service 7.11.2021
Sunday Service
50:25
July 11, 2021
Sunday Service 7.4.2021
Sunday Service
32:59
July 4, 2021
Letters from Prison 6/27/2021
Letters from Prison - Colossians 2:11-15 Alive! In Him. Are you alive spiritually to Christ? Have you dethroned the “flesh” as Paul calls it? Forgiven! With Him Have you personally accepted His forgiveness? Are you free from guilt? Victorious! Through Him Do you enjoy a life of spiritual victory? Would you like to make the victory of Jesus your very own?
59:37
June 27, 2021
Letters from Prison 6/20/2021
Colossians 3:17-25 NIV 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. 18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. 22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism. Letters from Prison - Colossians 3:21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. Our text this morning is straightforward and simple. It divides naturally into four parts: Involved Consistent Aware Nurturing Ken Canfield calls these the I CANs of fathering. It’s a framework for what every child needs. I'll explain in the message, but here's the outline: First there is the address, "Fathers..." Involved Second, there is the command, "Do not exasperate, embitter, provoke…" Consistent Third, there is the focus of the command – “your children...” Aware Fourth, there is the purpose of the command, "That they may not lose heart." Nurturing
44:35
June 20, 2021
Letters from Prison 6/13/2021
Letters from Prison - Colossians 2 I want to talk to you today about avoiding capture or avoiding being spiritually kidnapped. The section from verse 8 to verse 19 consists of three warnings. The three ways in which Paul raises the alarm are forceful and expressive: 1. Don’t let anyone kidnap you! (verse 8). See to it that no one takes you captive… You need a Pastor! 2. Don’t let anyone condemn you! (verse 16). Therefore do not let anyone judge you... You need a Savior! 3. Don’t let anyone disqualify you! (verse 18) Do not let anyone… disqualify you. You need a Church!
35:17
June 13, 2021
Letters from Prison 6/6/2021
Letters from Prison - Colossians 2:1-10 Colossians 2:6-8 is a short version of the Christian life. Consistency. Keep walking with Jesus through your experiences. Stability. Deepen your growth in Jesus over time so that several years from now, you’re still on this Jesus-journey. Memory. Activate a radical gratitude that looks for the Lord’s blessing and remember where you’ve come from.
31:08
June 6, 2021
Letters from Prison 05/30/2021
What is forgiveness? Forgive as the Lord forgave you. We’re going to talk about what forgiveness is and what it is not. But first, why is it so hard to forgive, especially when forgiveness is more beneficial and relieving? Why we won't forgive? Paul Tripp suggests that we hold people in our debt for the following reasons: 1. Debt is power. There is a power in having something to hold over another’s head. 2. Debt is identity. We feel superior, more righteous and mature than the person who has offended us. 3. Debt is entitlement. We are owed and we deserve this after what we’ve endured. 4. Debt is weaponry. We can throw stuff in their face. 5. Debt puts us in God’s position. We make sure that they feel an appropriate amount of guilt. What forgiveness is NOT Most of us think forgiveness is a good idea, till we have to give it. What does this word mean? Let’s start off with what it doesn’t mean. 1. Forgiveness is not pretending that it never happened – that’s called repression. 2. Forgiveness is not excusing what the other person did. 3. Forgiveness is not reconciliation. 4. Forgiveness is not giving up on justice and change. 5. Finally, forgiveness is not forgetting.
01:03:04
May 30, 2021
Letters from Prison 5/23/2021
Letters from Prison - Colossians 3:5-11 One pastor calls this passage “Negative Newness”. Why? Well, Paul writes about stuff that holds you back in your spiritual growth. You can present “Negative Newness” in a positive form. The stuff Paul says to stop engaging in will result in newness of life… 1. There’s a new cleanness (3:5-7) 2. There’s a new calm (3:8) 3. There’s a new candor (3:9-10) 4. There’s a new community (3:11) Do you need a new cleanness? A new calm? A new candor? A new community? I think Paul is trying to position the church in Colossae to love people back to life. This is really hard to do if we are not like Christ in our purity and in the expression of our emotions and feelings and words. In Search of a New Calm John Van Diest says that anger hurts others when: You hold onto it too long; you refuse to forgive; you attack the person, not the action; you let it become a habit; you lose control; you become abusive; you hurt those you love; you react rather than act; you dwell on it constantly; you damage someone’s reputation. Do you need a new calm? You’re not a slave to your anger anymore. When you get those anger invitations, you can decline them. You don’t have to go to every anger party you’re invited to. When it comes to hurt and anger, you have one of three alternatives. 1. Repress it. 2. Express it. 3. Confess it. So speaking of anger, are you mad today? How come? If you were honest, could you trace your anger back to your own ego or your own disordered loves? Furthermore, upon a closer analysis, would you be willing to admit that maybe you're angry with God? It's important to admit our anger; to be in touch with our anger. Admit it because anger tends to hide itself. Until we recognize disordered love, we can’t heal disordered anger. What you’re doing in confession is ordering your love, in a way. You’re saying, “Look, why do I love that so much?” "God, I want to call an emotional time out. This is how I feel. Can you help me understand why I feel this way? Can you show me what I should do about it? Can you transform this into something helpful and good?"
47:17
May 23, 2021
Letters from Prison 05/16/2021
Letters from Prison - Colossians 3:1-11 This is the "bridge passage" that links together the two main sections of this letter. The new believers of Colossae were being influenced by a first century type, progressive Christianity: a lot of mysticism, legalism, ritualism, and asceticism. So, here is how the book flows. Colossians 1 First, in verses 1 through 14, we find that Jesus Christ is preeminent in the Gospel. Second, in verses 15 through 17, we find that Jesus Christ is preeminent in the Creation. And third, in verses 18 through 23, we find that Jesus Christ is preeminent in the Church. And fourthly, in chapter one verses 24 through 29, we find that Jesus Christ is preeminent in genuine ministry. Colossians 2 And then in chapter 2, under the overall heading that Jesus Christ is the Truth, we have Christ’s preeminence defended. And Paul defends Christ’s preeminence against three dangers that just about every individual Christian, and just about every local church, will face sooner or later. First, there is the danger of empty philosophies, like Critical Race Theory, instead of Christ, in chapter 2 verses 1 through 10. Second, there is the danger of legalism instead of Christ, in chapter 2 verses 11 through 17. And thirdly, there is the danger of man-made doctrines instead of Christ, in chapter 2 verses 18 through 23. So in chapter 2, the Apostle Paul defends the preeminence of Christ against those three dangers, and he declares the preeminence of Christ as the sure cure for vain philosophies, and for legalism, and for man-made doctrines. Transition: Our passage is a “bridge” passage that joins the indicatives concerning our salvation in Christ (chap. 1-2) with the ethical demands, the imperatives that flow from these grace truths (chap. 3-4). And then in chapters 3 and 4, under the overall heading of Jesus Christ is the Life, we have Christ’s preeminence demonstrated. And Paul says that the preeminence of Christ must be demonstrated in the believer’s life, and in the life of the church, in 6 ways. Colossians 3 and 4 First, Christ must be preeminent in the Christian’s conduct. We have that in chapter 3 verses 1 through 11. Second, Christ must be preeminent in the Christian’s character. We find that in chapter 3 verses 12 through 17. Third, Christ must be preeminent in the Christian’s home. We find that in verses 18 through 21. Fourth, Christ must be preeminent in the Christian’s work. Paul addresses this in chapter 3 verse 22 through chapter 4 verse 1. Fifth, Christ must be preeminent in the Christian’s witness. We find this in chapter 4 verses 2 through 6. And finally number six, Christ must be preeminent in the Christian’s service. We find this in the rest of chapter 4, verses 7 through 18.
21:01
May 16, 2021
Sunday Service 5.9.2021
John 14:15-16​ 15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever. (NIV)​ 1. ARE YOU  ALLOWING THE  HOLY SPIRIT TO BE WITH YOU IN YOUR VALLEY? ​ 2. ARE YOU CALLED TO BE WITH ​ SOMEONE WHO IS IN A VALLEY ​ RIGHT NOW?​
54:39
May 9, 2021
Letters from Prison 05/02/2021
Letters from Prison - Colossians 3:1-11 This is the "bridge passage" that links together the two main sections of this letter. The new believers of Colossae were being influenced by a first century type, progressive Christianity: a lot of mysticism, legalism, ritualism, and asceticism. So, here is how the book flows. Colossians 1 First, in verses 1 through 14, we find that Jesus Christ is preeminent in the Gospel. Second, in verses 15 through 17, we find that Jesus Christ is preeminent in the Creation. And third, in verses 18 through 23, we find that Jesus Christ is preeminent in the Church. And fourthly, in chapter one verses 24 through 29, we find that Jesus Christ is preeminent in genuine ministry. Colossians 2 And then in chapter 2, under the overall heading that Jesus Christ is the Truth, we have Christ’s preeminence defended. And Paul defends Christ’s preeminence against three dangers that just about every individual Christian, and just about every local church, will face sooner or later. First, there is the danger of empty philosophies, like Critical Race Theory, instead of Christ, in chapter 2 verses 1 through 10. Second, there is the danger of legalism instead of Christ, in chapter 2 verses 11 through 17. And thirdly, there is the danger of man-made doctrines instead of Christ, in chapter 2 verses 18 through 23. So in chapter 2, the Apostle Paul defends the preeminence of Christ against those three dangers, and he declares the preeminence of Christ as the sure cure for vain philosophies, and for legalism, and for man-made doctrines. Transition: Our passage is a “bridge” passage that joins the indicatives concerning our salvation in Christ (chap. 1-2) with the ethical demands, the imperatives that flow from these grace truths (chap. 3-4). And then in chapters 3 and 4, under the overall heading of Jesus Christ is the Life, we have Christ’s preeminence demonstrated. And Paul says that the preeminence of Christ must be demonstrated in the believer’s life, and in the life of the church, in 6 ways. Colossians 3 and 4 First, Christ must be preeminent in the Christian’s conduct. We have that in chapter 3 verses 1 through 11. Second, Christ must be preeminent in the Christian’s character. We find that in chapter 3 verses 12 through 17. Third, Christ must be preeminent in the Christian’s home. We find that in verses 18 through 21. Fourth, Christ must be preeminent in the Christian’s work. Paul addresses this in chapter 3 verse 22 through chapter 4 verse 1. Fifth, Christ must be preeminent in the Christian’s witness. We find this in chapter 4 verses 2 through 6. And finally number six, Christ must be preeminent in the Christian’s service. We find this in the rest of chapter 4, verses 7 through 18.
52:41
May 2, 2021
Letters from Prison 4/25/2021
Ephesians 6:5-9 NIV 5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free. 9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him. Letters from Prison - Ephesians 6:5-9 Think about how much of your life is built around work. How can we approach our work and jobs in a way that honors Jesus? Paul says a great employee is going to be: 1. Obedient - obey your earthly masters... – do what is asked (not immoral things of course). 2. Respectful - obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, – show deference to your boss who is responsible for things. Show respect to everyone. Be friendly and open, not territorial. 3. Vested - serve wholeheartedly- give it all you’ve got with a good attitude. Bring a can-do spirit – an energy to every task. 4. Loyal - when their eye is on you – you never know who sees what you do; but do good work anyway. 5. Sincere - sincerity of heart – really get after it. Solve problems. Share your expertise so others can get better too. How to See My Job Three ways to see your job… See Your Job as a Partnership and Stewardship with God. “Look at God in the eye when you’re working.” See Your Job as a Place of Preparation and Opportunity. You are doing something for Jesus by living for Him where you work. And you’re earning income that you turn into ministry. See Your Job as a Position of Truth-Exhibition and Servant-Ministry. You’re the only Bible some people will ever read. Ironically, it will be your life bearing witness to the truth of Jesus. Let me state these three things another way… Do great work, but don’t brag. Let the work speak for itself. It will get noticed in time. Help your co-worker, but don’t lag. Pull your part of the load. You don’t want to be the one to bottle-neck everything. Live the truth, but don’t nag. It’s not your job to clean up everybody’s language or dirty jokes. Live the truth.
01:05:19
April 25, 2021
Letters from Prison 4/18/2021
Letters from Prison - Ephesians 6:1-4 There are two questions parents have to answer; two crucial questions that all of us as children need answered from the beginning of our lives. If they're answered positively, then "honoring your parents" is a joy. If they're answered negatively, not only does it leave us vulnerable, but honoring and obeying parents will always be a struggle. Here are those two questions: 1. Am I worthy of love? (Am I important to someone?) 2. Are others capable of loving me? (Am I safe?) Based on how these two questions get answered forms our identity and our core beliefs about ourselves. If parents / caregivers do a good job of answering them, then a child feels safe and secure, thus a greater ability to deal with lifelong stress. And we feel safe and secure and we can try new things without fear, because we are convinced that failure doesn’t bring condemnation or abandonment. But if these questions go unanswered then we end up having these scathing inner dialogues with ourselves as we get older. “I’m worthless. Nothing I say or do is ever right. I’m ugly, fat, and lazy. I’ll never amount to anything.” And what makes these scathing inner monologues and self-abuse even more dangerous is how a person tries to silence those voices with various mechanisms and strategies. An early rupture in attachment with parents or caregivers can be devastating. If you’ve experienced abandonment on some level, when it comes to your parents, you may feel pain, anger, and confusion rather than closeness, warmth and security. And so, when we talk from Ephesians 6:1-4 about honoring parents, then it will be a struggle. Would you like to do a great job of answering those two questions for your kids? Would you like to find a measure of healing from the pain you've endured because those two questions were not answered for you? I would invite you to consider what is shared today in the message and to open your life up for Christ to meet you in your wounds and bring about your healing. Ephesians 6:1-4 NIV 1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” 4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
01:15:14
April 18, 2021
Letters from Prison 4/11/2021
Ephesians 6:1-4 NIV 1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” 4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Letters from Prison - Ephesians 6:1-4 Paul reflects a basic understanding for how fathers, mothers and families work in our passage today. Moms & Sons There are three N’s for wives and moms. The “training and instruction of the Lord” through a mom is: Nourish. Nurture. Nest. (with Sons as a focus in the sermon) Dads & Daughters There are three P’s for husbands and dads. The “training and instruction of the Lord” through a dad is: Protect. Provide. Push. Protect. Provide. Push. (with Daughters as a focus in the sermon) Mistakes Parents Often Make Some common mistakes that parents make. (with help from Rick Johnson). Mistake 1. Emphasizing weaknesses, not strengths. Mistake 2. Avoiding physical affection. Mistake 3. Giving too little time. Mistake 4. Pushing for performance. Mistake 5. Forgetting to have fun. Mistake 6. Fearing failure. Mistake 7. Abusing your power. Mistake 8. Neglecting your own need for friends and recreation. Mistake 9. Being inconsistent. Mistake 10. Being complacent or passive.
01:07:00
April 11, 2021
The Hope of Easter Remains 4/4/2021
The Hope of Easter Remains - 1 Peter 1:3-5 How does the resurrection give us hope? There are five things in our text today. FIVE reasons why we have hope… We have been completely forgiven.In his great mercy We are no longer terrified of death.an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. We now have God’s Spirit at work in us.he has given us new birth… shielded by God’s power We know that God will never abandon His plans for us.This inheritance is kept in heaven for you We know what God’s purpose for our life is. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! … he has given us… a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
15:49
April 4, 2021
Sunday Service 3.28.2021
Sunday Service 3.28.2021
56:04
March 28, 2021
Letters from Prison 3/21/2021
Letters from Prison - Ephesians 5:21-33 “Mawwiage Is What Bwings Us Togevah” - Sidewalk Sign in Seattle What every spouse wants and needs... 1. He wants and needs you to affirm his leadership. She wants and needs you to lead. 5:22-24 Be attentive in conversation. 2. He wants and needs your sacrifice. She wants and needs your sacrifice. 5:25-27 Be encouraging in hardships. 3. He wants and needs your tenderness. She wants and needs your tenderness. 5:28-30 Be gentle in disagreements. Talking Points: Three Pictures in Ephesians 5:25-27 There’s all kinds of things playing in verses 25-27. In order for us to understand this sanctifying love, I want us to think of three pictures or layers: a Jewish picture, a Prophetic picture, and a Marital picture. The Jewish picture is this: A bride’s wedding day... The Prophetic picture is this: Jesus and the church... The Marital picture is this: You and your spouse... Ultimately, marriage points to the spousal love of Jesus Christ. You need Him to do marriage. Will you receive Him today? Would you take the place of this Man in self-sacrifice? Would you take the nails from His hands - and live a crucified life?
01:02:11
March 21, 2021
Letters From Prison 3/14/2021
Letters from Prison - Ephesians 5:22-33 After reading through this passage, tucked away within the seams of these verses are two questions. There’s so much controversy in all this. How can we bypass all of it and get right to the heart of the issue? Two questions: Question #1: The wife must set aside self-centeredness and come to terms with her calling and ask: “Do I love my husband enough to live for him?” Question #2: And equally important, the husband must set aside self-centeredness and come to terms with his role and ask: “Do I love my wife enough to die for her?” The wife is told to love her husband so much that she lives for him, but the husband is told to love his wife so much, he would die for her. The wife is given the analogy of the Savior’s life. But the husband is given the analogy of His death (help from Strike the Original Match, Charles R. Swindoll). Application: “Do I love my husband enough to live for him?” As I examine these verses, I find that a wife’s primary responsibility is to know herself so well and to respect herself so much and walk with Jesus so closely, that she gives herself to her husband without hesitation. She chooses to honor and respect her husband as an overflow in her walk with Christ regardless of how much she’s being loved or neglected. “Do I love my wife enough to die for her?” I find that the primary responsibility of a husband is to love his Lord so deeply and to accept himself so completely, that he gives himself to his wife without conditions. He chooses to lead and love and serve his wife and family regardless of how much respect he is shown or isn’t shown. Notice, the husband is not told to demand respect from his wife – that’s something you earn. And the wife is not told to demand love from her husband – that’s something you woo him to do. Marriage is a primary focus and center of your life. If everything around you is weak, but your marriage is strong, it doesn’t matter about the rest of life. You move out into the world in strength. If everything around you is strong, but your marriage is weak, it doesn’t matter what’s out there. You move out into the world in weakness. Your marriage is the center of everything. It’s the vortex of your life. If you neglect it, you’ll struggle so much in so many other ways (Tim Keller).
25:02
March 14, 2021
Letters From Prison 3/7/2021
Ephesians 6:10-20 NIV 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
59:28
March 7, 2021
Sunday Service 2.28.2021
Sunday Service 2.28.2021
22:25
February 28, 2021
Letters from Prison 2/21/2021
Letters from Prison - Ephesians 6:10-20 How can we claim the reality of Christ’s victory over the darkness? How can we live in His authority? By understanding THREE things… Three Things that Lead to Living in Christ's Authority The Nature of Our Weapons – they’re spiritual and powerful The Need for Our Weapons – we have an enemy and an evil day to face The Names of Our Weapons – the weapons cover the whole body. ****************************************************** Four Things that Prepare You For Spiritual Warfare There are FOUR things we need to do when we are facing spiritual warfare in our lives; four things to consider if you intend to activate your Christ-provided authority. 1. Acknowledge the adversary. Remember: There is an enemy. Satan is real (1 Peter 5:8-9). Why would God send his Son to fight what does not exist? The Bible says in 1 John 3:8, “ (NLT). When you’re being attacked, it’s proof that you’re a believer. The more you make an impact for God, the more the Devil is going to fight you. You never outgrow it; it just gets more intense. 2. Accept God-given authority. Remember: The victory has already been won. Most believers don’t understand about the authority they have against the Devil. Matthew 28:18-19 says we have all authority in Heaven and on Earth. Then Jesus says, “ (NIV). He transfers the authority to you and me. He does that because he’s given us a specific mission: sharing the message of Jesus as his ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20). 3. Put on God’s armor. Remember: The enemy is not people. When Paul wrote about the whole armor of God in Ephesians 6:11-17, he was in prison chained to a Roman guard. Paul used the Roman centurion as a model for spiritual armor. Paul says that just as the Roman soldier was properly dressed to do battle, we also need to be dressed for battle. What is that battle? Prayer. 4. Aim the artillery at your thoughts. Remember: You yourself will be your own worst enemy. The battlefield for spiritual warfare is primarily in your thought life (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). The weapons God gives you to demolish arguments are truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and Holy Spirit. Take every thought captive!
01:04:23
February 21, 2021
Letters from Prison 2/14/2021
Letters from Prison - Ephesians 6:10-20 There’s an “Oh, no!” in this passage. And there’s an “Oh, wow!” in this passage. "Oh, No!" When Paul talks about spiritual armor, he’s saying, “This is your new default view of life: ‘Life is war.’” The Christian life is not a playground, but it is a battleground. Spiritual warfare is an invisible chess match behind enemy lines. There’s a behind-the-scenes maneuvering, where people are locked in mortal spiritual combat. That’s the “Oh, no!”. "Oh, Wow!" What’s the “Oh, wow”? Well, there is spiritual warfare, BUT we have “weapons of authority.” The key is to understand these weapons and activate them. By ourselves, we are nothing. But when we put on that red uniform known has the blood of Christ, Satan has to stop and take notice. How can we claim the reality of Christ’s victory over the darkness? How can we live in His authority? By understanding THREE things… The Nature of Our Weapons – they’re spiritual and powerful The Need for Our Weapons – we have an enemy and an evil day to face The Names of Our Weapons – the weapons cover the whole body. Invitation: Jesus was and is the ultimate warrior. Jesus lived in righteousness and faithfulness for our salvation. Jesus gave us all a breastplate of perfect righteousness. He secured our peace so that no matter where we go, we can share peace with others. Jesus tells us who we really are and shields us from accusations. Jesus wielded the sword of the Spirit to defend our place in creation. "Oh, Wow!" Receive Him today!
59:48
February 14, 2021
Letters From Prison 2/7/2021
Letters from Prison - Ephesians 5:17-21 Everyone fills their life with something. Bank accounts. Sports. Adventure. Collectibles. Friends. Romance. Children. Accomplishments. Current events. Books. Alcohol. Beer bashes. Parties. What will you fill your life with? I know how Paul would want you to answer that question. How many live lives filled with the Spirit; where He occupies every room in your house? And if one chooses to not be filled with the Spirit, what will you be filled with? And if the church is not filled with the Spirit, who will be? What does new life in Christ look like? What will happen if you are living the Spirit-filled life? You’ll speak to one another. Approachable. You’ll sing with one another. Joyful. You’ll give thanks with one another. Thankful. You’ll submit to one another. Respectful. Summary: Approachable. Joyful. Thankful. Respectful. Sounds like a vision statement; my kind of family; my kind of church; my kind of party. Sometimes people may ask: “Is that a Spirit-filled church?” Do you see the sensational happening: Miracles. Emotional experiences. Visions. Sensational prophecies. Do you know what Paul says a Spirit-filled church is? It's actually pretty basic to everyday life. You’ll speak to one another, regardless of your differences. You’ll sing with each other and create a joyful, positive interactions. You’ll live in contentment and express gratitude. You’ll put others first and submit to spiritual authority in your life. What are you filled with? Why don't you step into the "Jesus-Life" and be filled with Him?
01:09:35
February 7, 2021
Letters from Prison 1/31/2021
A Christian ultimately is not trying to lead a godly life simply because immorality is terrible. A Christian leads a godly life because he or she is infused, his consciousness is infused, with the glorious facts of who you are. Put on the new self means remember your identity. Remind yourself of who you are now that you’re a Christian. That is the secret. That is the principle, and that makes the Christianity very different than all other ethical systems. When we accept Christ and are welcomed into the family of God, we are essentially playing for a new team! Stepping out into the same life but with a different agenda.4:24 and to put on the new self... In appealing for proper Christian conduct Paul says that Christians are to put off the conduct associated with their former life apart from Christ and put on a new pattern of behavior, just as they might put on a new dress or suit. Would you like to exchange your old life for a new life? Exchange the old marriage for a new marriage? Exchange the old habit routine for a new routine? Exchange the old cantankerous spirit for a new perspective? Exchange all the fear for a lot of hope? Why don't you come to Christ today?
01:07:06
January 31, 2021
Letters from Prison 1/24/2021
Letters from Prison - Ephesians 4:25-5:4 Each of the following exhortations in our passage about a believer’s conduct has three parts: (1) a negative command, (2) a positive command, and (3) the reason for the positive command. Note: "the course of action (consisting of both a negative and positive command) is followed by a motivating clause" or reason for the positive command. The "motivating clauses" have to do with community life. And in all this, Paul will occasionally drop a couple of hard-hitting lines that really could fit anywhere in the list. Today, we’ll just look at a couple of these and we’ll deal with the entire list in an upcoming message. Ephesians 4:27 and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. What is a foothold? It isa ledge, hollow, or other place affording a secure grip for the foot, as you might need if you were climbing. But let’s keep it where most of us live. A foothold can be best understood by most of us non-climbers by imagining yourself being chased by a person. You run up to your room and try to close the door, but the person sticks his shoe at the bottom end of the door so you can't close it. That part of his foot that prevents you from closing the door effectively is called a "foothold." The Devil has many “foothold” techniques that He likes to use to keep you from being intentional in your obedience. Later in Ephesians 6 we’ll talk about the devil’s schemes. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. What are the devil's "footholds" and "schemes"? So, what are these "schemes", these "footholds"? (with help from *Deb Koster) All of the things in our passage create... Distraction – all of this drama in our passage created distraction. Delay – all of this drama takes so much of our energy and time that we put-off important things. Discouragement – all of this drama has a discouraging affect on the whole group. Distortion – all of this drama in our passage distorts our perspective. Doubt – all of this drama creates doubts, especially when we pray and seek God’s face in the face of all the falsehood in the world. These tools of the devil are devious, but as we recognize them, we discover that Christ has overcome. John 16:33 Jesus tells us, "In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." Christ has conquered evil, and as the Spirit empowers us, we go forward well-equipped to handle the devil's snares. On D-Day, Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy. It was critical that they establish a beachhead — that is, a foothold on the beach that would allow them to set up a staging area to bring in more men and equipment for the battle. From that tiny foothold, the Allied forces were able to push inland in an effort to liberate France. Let God have a foothold in your life. Paul contends that all the old-life things in this Ephesians list gives the devil a beachhead from which to organize further attacks. Well, because of our new life in Christ, we can also give God a beachhead to operate from. Who has the best foothold in your life? God or the devil. Why don't you yield to the Lord Jesus today? *5 Ways You Give the Devil a Foothold in Your Life | FamilyFire
01:12:17
January 24, 2021
Letters from Prison 01/17/2021
Ephesians 3: 14-21
31:18
January 17, 2021
2021 a New Year of Hope Concert
This is our online concert celebrating 2021 and bring in Hope.  To find out more about Stones Hill Community Church please visit our website https://www.stoneshill.org 
43:47
January 11, 2021
Sunday Service 10.10.2021
Sunday Service 
47:11
January 10, 2021
Letters from Prison 1/3/2021
Letters from Prison - Ephesians 2:1-10 So, a basic outline for today's message: What We Were – (v.1-3) Are we really this bad? What We Are – (v.4-6) Is God really this good? What We Shall Be – (v.7-10) Is our future together really this bright? ************************* Kathy Koch has observed in her book Five to Thrive that we’ll never unlock who we were meant to be until we connect with the One who made us. She asserts that we need five key questions answered. It occurred to me this week that Paul answers all five of these questions in Ephesians 2:1-10. Who can I trust? That’s a security question. Who am I? That’s an identity question. Who wants me? That’s a belonging question. Why am I alive? That’s a purpose question. What do I do well? That’s a competence question. *************************** First, have you been made alive with Christ? Has God put his new principle of life within you? Do you sense a new spiritual disposition in what you do? Are you born again? Second, have you been raised with Christ so that your orientation is now heavenly, rather than being only earthbound? Finally, have you been seated with God in Christ in the heavenly realms? That is, have you made your true, blessed, and intimate home with God?
01:00:45
January 3, 2021
Sunday Service 12/27/2020
Sunday Service 12/27/2020 Guest Speaker - Levi Nelson
33:37
December 27, 2020
Letters from Prison 12/20/2020
Letters from Prison - Ephesians 1:1-14 You will move into a life of significance as all of your ambition and plans move toward these THREE things: A greater glory in the Father (who works out everything in His will). A deeper love in the Son (who self-sacrifices for those he loves). A lasting joy in the Spirit (who transforms our hearts and our fears and brings us contentment) You have items in your spiritual bank account, deposited there by the Trinity. Ephesians 1:1-14 tell us how much God was willing to give in order to win you back and restore you and all of creation. The first thing Paul wants to talk about is the selection of the Father. Then he’s gonna talk about the sacrifice of the Son. He will conclude this section with the sealing of the Spirit. At the end of each section he’s going to tell you why God has done this. So again, this section of Ephesians is the open vault of… the selection of the Father (1:4–6), the sacrifice of the Son (1:7–12), and the seal of the Holy Spirit (1:13–14). There are key words in each of these sections and we'll look at some of those.
01:00:25
December 20, 2020
Letters from Prison 12/13/2020
Letters from Prison - Ephesians 1:1-14 Passages like we have today can get very theological and deep and we miss the practical. While we'll deal with some weighty concepts, like predestination, election, and the Trinity, we'll also apply this to the real life experiences of young ladies - and in so doing, I think we'll get insights into all of our hearts and lives. The culture of Ephesus put a lot of pressure on young girls. Artemis (Greek name) or Diana (Roman name) had a temple there and it was one of the seven wonders of the world to this false goddess - Diana. This was the Ephesian claim-to-fame; it was their identity. It took 244 years to build it. It was four times the size of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece (418 by 239 feet) Artemis was the patron goddess of young girls. As the saying goes, Diana fell out of heaven from Zeus. She is depicted with many breasts, a superwoman as it were. And these young Ephesian girls loved jewelry and they were conditioned by beauty, wealth, security. Diana was worshipped in nature. When a young girl came of age, they would give their maiden garment as well as a lock of their hair to this goddess in an offering. They lost their identity in all of it. Do you young girls know how secure you are in Christ? The experiences of young ladies mirror what we all feel; they teach us about identity and worth in their struggle to find it. I think there were many women in Ephesus with identity issues. Almost all young ladies are wanting answers to these four questions: Who am I? What do I want? Who do I want to be? What should I do? Come to think of it, I think we all want answers to these questions. The experiences of young ladies mirror what we all feel; they teach us about identity and worth in their struggle to find it. We'll look at ourselves through the mirror of "young ladies" today and see what God has to show us.
40:20
December 13, 2020
Letters from Prison 11/29/2020
Letters from Prison
55:48
December 10, 2020
Letters from Prison 12/6/2020
Letters from Prison - Ephesians 1:1-14 Background As Paul traveled about the Roman empire, he came to colonies and to cities where people were spiritually and materially impoverished -- they were poverty-stricken people. Many of them were slaves. They had nothing of this world's goods. They were depressed, discouraged, beset with fears and anxieties, jealousies, and hostilities. They were under the grip of superstition and filled with the dread of the future. They had no hope of life beyond death. And it was the apostle's great joy to unfold to them the riches available to them in Jesus Christ -- riches which, if accepted as facts, would free them, would transform them and make them over into wholly different people, would bring them into a sense of joy and love and faith and radiant experience. That happened again and again. So the apostle gloried in these exceeding great riches in Jesus Christ. You have these same riches. The first three chapters of Ephesians deal with doctrine (teaching), and the last three with practice (application). In the first three chapters, he tells you what your riches are; and in the last three he tells you how to use them, in key areas such as sex, marriage and alcohol. Of course, there is some doctrine in the last three chapters and some application in the first three, but generally this is how Paul organized his material. The first 3 chapters are filled with truth about who God is and what he’s done in the gospel; the last 3 chapters offer some of the most practical instruction you’ll find anywhere in the Bible— on marriage, forgiveness, conflict management, family, workplace relationships and a host of other day-to-day issues. Some say that you could do all your biblical counselling from Ephesians alone. This is said because Paul, in Ephesians, places so much emphasis on our identity being in Christ alone. As Christians, we live from our identity, not for it. We are defined by who we are in Christ. That’s why Paul begins his letter to the Ephesians the way he does; he defines himself, and he defines his listeners, both in relation to Jesus.
35:22
December 6, 2020
Letters from Prison 11/22/2020
Letters from Prison - Philemon 1:1-25 As we draw this second letter from prison to a close, there are two outstanding questions that remain for our consideration: First, will Philemon forgive Onesimus, his runaway slave? Second, whatever happened to Onesimus after returning home? Will Philemon Forgive? Will You? Matthew Henry cited 14 arguments, that Paul used in verses 8 through 21, to convince Philemon to receive and forgive Onesimus: Philemon's love for all the saints (v. 8); Paul's authority (v. 8); The basis of Paul's appeal being love, rather than authority (v. 9); Paul's age and his condition as a prisoner (v. 9); Paul's spiritual relationship to Onesimus (v. 10); Philemon's own interest (v. 11); Paul's love for Onesimus (v. 12); Paul's self-denial in parting with Onesimus (vv. 13-14); The assurance that Onesimus would not run away again (v. 15); Onesimus' relationship to Philemon as his spiritual brother (v. 16); Onesimus' identification with Paul (v. 17); Paul's promise to pay Onesimus' debt to Philemon (vv. 18-19); The joy that Paul would receive by Philemon's acquiescence (v. 20); Paul's good opinion of Philemon (v. 21). If I could give you 14 reasons to forgive someone, would you do it? How about if I just gave you one? The primary reason to forgive: Jesus.
01:01:05
November 22, 2020
Letters from Prison 11/15/2020
Letters from Prison - Philemon 1:1-25 Pay close attention how Paul treats Philemon in this letter and the power of his example. For in this, we have insight into what you and I can do with others - appeal on the basis of love (verse 9). Philemon 1:8-10 8 Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, 9 yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus— 10 that I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. Consider what Paul the prisoner did: *He led Onesimus to Christ—You can do that. *He risked a friendship to help a new believer–You can do that. *He took a stand in a small way—You can do that. *He applied the gospel to a personal need—You can do that. *He saw God’s hand at work and gave God all the credit—You can do that. *He personally intervened to help someone in need-You can do that. *He offered to pay the debt Onesimus owed—You can do that. *He didn’t complain about an unjust system and about how he unfairly imprisoned and he didn’t focus on anything but the problem at hand—you can do that. *He didn’t try to be a hero and change the world. He just tried to help out wherever he could—You can do that. Paul didn’t do anything unusual, strange or extraordinary. He simply did what any Christian should do—and could do – on the basis of love. That’s the power of individual example.
01:12:06
November 15, 2020
Letters from Prison 11/08/2020
Letters from Prison - Philemon 1:1-25 Martin Luther wrote, “We are all the Lord’s Onesimi.” Martin Luther said, “All of us are Onesimuses!” and he was right. Are you stealing from your Master? Are you robbing your Lord like Onesimus was robbing from Philemon? Maybe your parents raised you right, and you’ve dishonored them. God gave you a healthy body and you’ve squandered it on drugs. The Lord blessed you with a good job, but you never give to anyone anything. God gave you a great person to date, and you took more than you should have. God gave you a talent, but you won’t honor Him with it. God created you to serve Him. He is your rightful owner and master. But, like Onesimus, you rebelled against Him. You said, “I will not have this Master to rule over me.” And so you took the body, the intelligence, and the talents that God had entrusted to you to use for Him and squandered them on yourself. Claiming to be free from God, you became the slave of sin. Like Onesimus, you were a condemned fugitive on the run, useless to your rightful Master, guilty, and indebted to Him. You had robbed God. Are you stealing from your Master? I’m not going to command anything. I appeal. If you’ll return home and live for Him, you’ll like it when it comes to say goodbye to this world.
58:23
November 8, 2020
Letters from Prison 11/1/2020
Letters from Prison - Philippians 1:9-11 In some ways the prayer in Philippians 1:9-11 covers the whole range of what God wants to do in us and through us. 1. It starts with abounding love 2. That manifests itself in knowledge and discernment 3. Resulting in the ability to make wise choices under pressure 4. And the visible fruit of a righteous life 5. That comes from a living relationship with Jesus Christ 6. So that God alone gets the glory. There are several prayer requests listed here for what I see as a Supernatural Life. Implied in this entire prayer is Paul’s hope that they would make great decisions. Our life is the sum of all our decisions. Essentially, this is a prayer that every decision they make would be motivated by love. your love may abound more and more Message talking points: Superabounding Love Superabundant Growth Superfocused Decisions Superopen Approach Supersized Results All of this - One Supernatural Life! In the supernatural life, our love should be flowing, growing (in insights), knowing (in decisions), showing (in authenticity), and sowing (for fruitfulness). Is your love abounding? Are you growing? Has your discernment deepened? Can you be real and authentic? Is your life producing fruit? Is God lifted up through you? This is my prayer for you!
32:26
November 1, 2020
Letters from Prison 10/25/2020
Letters from Prison - Philippians 2:1-11 The Mind of Christ Paul’s under house arrest; he’s in chains, under constant guard, without any freedom of movement, isolated from his friends and misunderstood by the church in Rome – and here he says, “What would really make me so incredibly joyful would be for you to demonstrate the unity of humility.” I couldn’t help but wonder – how would we fill in this blank? “What would really make my joy complete would be _____.” What would you fill in that blank? “What would really make me incredibly happy in life is _____.” Paul effectively says here, “What would top off my tank of joy isn’t getting out of house arrest – it isn’t getting all my friends back – it isn’t being vindicated before church leaders who are condemning me – given an award for serving Christ – no. Paul says it would bring me incredible, fulfilling joy to see the church demonstrating humility toward one another. We don’t all love the same things, but we share the same love. We have all received the love of God through Christ. And we’re to demonstrate that by taking that same kind of selfless love and live it out with each other. What is the profile for the selfishly ambitious? There is an inability to admit wrong-doing or fault. They get extremely angry and defensive if criticized while they themselves have a critical spirit. They will not forgive easily. They are given to petty jealousies. They love to hog the credit. They want to be the one who came up with the great idea. They want to be the one in charge, the one that everything has to come through, the one who controls everything. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Humility of mind is an attitude. It’s not so much how you dress, or what you drive, or where you live. In fact, we’re never commanded to “look” humble. No, humility is an attitude of the mind and heart. It say’s “I don’t have to be first all the time.” It says, “I care about those beneath me.” It say’s “I’m going to help someone else win for a change.” Furthermore, it say’s “I’ll help others win even when no one notices.” Humility is not a phony-baloney style of fake piety, a self-degrading attitude, full of self-pity. It’s not a sad or long face. Rather, it’s a genuine attitude that doesn’t push ourselves forward, nor push ourselves backwards. But rather, humility forgets self and pushes others forward and upward. Will you follow the mindset of Jesus? What Paul is doing in the Philippian passage is that he’s holding up the incarnational example of Jesus and he’s saying that the only way people can be reached and relationships healed and joy found sometimes is through extreme self-demotion. And what he’s saying is that Christ volunteered and said, “I’ll be demoted.” We want love to work another way, a less painful way, a less costly way, but love can’t. Paul talks about a death to self so that the life of Christ can be born more fully in us. They were to be like Christ, the chief servant. Christ’s attitude was to become theirs. They were to focus on giving rather than receiving. If God chose to exalt them, they would be truly exalted, but there were no guarantees of what that meant. True servanthood can never be perceived as simply an alternate route to the top, to exaltation.
01:01:03
October 25, 2020
Letters from Prison 10/18/2020
Letters from Prison - Philippians 4:15-20 Generosity is the act of being kind, selfless, and giving to others. Why be generous? It frees you from materialism. You generally feel better when you sincerely help someone else, not that you do it for that reason, but it’s generally true. And someone is going to remember what you did for them and they may do the same someday. Changing even one life is worthwhile. Generous people have an assurance that God will meet every need. They know in life the days are long, but the years are short. Make it count. Generous people are generally more relaxed, have better relationships with people, and bring more confidence and contentment to life, realizing that it’s God’s universe, not theirs. And, a generous person is rarely ever mentally ill. How might God meet your needs? And how will He use what appears to be your unmet need in a way that affirms His love for you, touches others, and accomplish His purpose? 1. It might be personal. (a Christian friend who loves God may meet a need) 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 2. It might be through a promise (God shows you in the Word that you don't "need" it). 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 3. It might be a unique provision. (you find that you don’t owe what you thought you did) 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 4. Your unmet need might be to get you to a Person. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.20 To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 5. Your needs might root you in a new life purpose. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. 20To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Conclusion: What is your need today? Will you put that need into the hands of a loving Father? Will you trust Him to meet your need? Will you show the world that your source and supply is from your Heavenly Father? Will you be that person who will allow God to work through you to meet someone else’s need? Will you adopt an attitude of faith that knows God will take care of you, therefore, you begin to see who you can help? Remember, my God will supply all your needs….
01:01:10
October 18, 2020
Letters from Prison 10/11/2020
Letters from Prison - Philippians 4:10-13 How would you like to be a truly contented person? People can get new stuff and you’re fine. Friends can get married and you’re fine. Teammates can win awards and you’re fine. Your ex can get the kids, you’re fine. Co-workers get the promotion and you’re fine. Others make more money, you’re fine. Marital partners get along great, you’re fine. Contentment – at ease and at peace. Contentment is being at peace with the unchangeable circumstances, choices, and mistakes of my life (Jeffress, Solomon…27). Contentment isn’t just sitting back and saying “Well, God’s going to do what God is going to do. So I’ll just hang back and let it all happen.” I don’t think that is what Paul is saying. Contentment is a “Steady confidence that God is at work while you’re being faithful to do what he’s called you to do or things you’re having to do due to current life circumstances or events.” Even as he sat in prison, God was stirring the hearts of Christians hundreds of miles away to minister to Paul’s needs. God can do that. Discontent is the result of negative thinking about yourself, about your suffering, about what you don’t have, what’s not going right, what you don’t like, and it’s a monster that if well feed gets very large. Consumer debt? The rate at which we move? Divorce rates? Violent protesting? Legal cases? Seventy-billion spent on lottery tickets in a single year? It’s not hard to diagnose our discontent. So the grass is always greener in the next lawn. The traffic is always faster in the next lane. People are always happier in the next state and life is always better with the next person. Contentment. How can I get you there? How can we raise your contentment level a little? FOUR WORDS… 1. The first word is gratitude. 2. The second key word is responsibility. 3. There’s a third word that comes to mind in this text – and it’s the word, acceptance: Not only should you appreciate whatever you have; And apply whatever you learn. Thirdly, accept wherever you are. 4. Fourthly, a final key word - dependence. Appreciate whatever you have; Apply whatever you learn. Accept wherever you are; And now finally, Abandon to Christ whatever you do.
54:55
October 11, 2020
Letters From Prison 10/4/2020
Letters from Prison - Philippians 4:1-9 Christianity isn’t a Joy Ride, but a Joy Road. When we travel Jesus’ road, we’ll experience more joy than just a ride. Today, we’ll talk about the right mindset to travel on the Joy Road of Philippians 4. God give us… A Big Heart A Firm Stance A Warm Embrace A Merry Soul A Relaxed Body A Clear Mind Does this describe your life? Would you like to travel this kind of road? Perhaps you feel you're in a kind of "prison" like Paul was when he wrote the letter to the Philippians. Turning your prison into a palace. Is this even possible? You say, “Well, Pastor, I’m not in prison, and I don’t intend to be.” Well, there’s more than one kind of a prison, isn’t there? There are some right here who are in a dungeon of despair. Others are surrounded by walls of resistance. There are others who are in chains of poor health. Others are behind iron bars of disappointment. Some are in the bondage of circumstance. Some are immersed in technological bondage. You may feel that "There is no way out of these prisons". But how about you invite Jesus in - and lets see what happens?
55:26
October 4, 2020
Letters From Prison 9/27/2020
The key word is focus. Here is how you focus. Regarding Your Past – Forget It! Forgetting what is behind… Are you carrying some major life regret? The scholarship you turned down? The error that cost your team the championship? The way you raised your child? The times you ignored your parents? Are you carrying some major life regret? The crime you committed? The date you went on? The move you made? The words you spoke? Will you just come to the Lord and respond to his love today? Regarding Your Present – Live It! But one thing I do… right now! When Paul was imprisoned in Rome, he didn’t sit there resting, thinking about all the things he couldn’t do because he was in jail or bemoaning all of his bad decisions in life. He wrote letters to churches. He dispatched messengers. He resolved problems. He built relationships. He enlarged the lives of those around him. He led Praetorian guards to Christ. Paul had a “can-do” spirit. He was surrounded by so many negative people at times. But he had settled the question of who he was going to live his life for. Regarding Your Future – Seize It! I press on toward the goal to win the prize… Paul said, “I’m not quitting. I’ve made some wrong turns in the race, but I’m on track now.” Your whole life is about one thing. Your whole life is pushed into one thing. As a result, you become a person of enormous energy and power. There will be times of exhaustion that will make you want to quit. There will be times when other runners make you mad enough to quit. There will be times when you feel that you can’t win anyway so you might as well quit. Stay in there anyway. Endurance or stamina is the key. Run for the satisfaction of knowing that you please your Master-Coach. And remember, Paul is in his senior years. There’s a lot of mileage on that body. But I don’t get a feeling that Paul is going to coast any. Are you weak? -- Press on. Are you weary? -- Press on. Are you worried? -- Press on. Are you weeping? -- Press on. “Press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
01:20:02
September 27, 2020
Letters from Prison 9/20/2020
Paul uses five terms to describe Epaphroditus... 1. A Brother 2. A Fellow Worker 3. A Fellow Soldier 4. A Messenger 5. A Minister Epaphroditus made some key decisions which each allowed him to give his very best: 1. He was a People Lover Question: Do you long for people? 2. He was a Risk Taker Question: Do you play it safe? 3. He was a Tireless Worker Question: Do you work tirelessly? 4. He was a Servant-Leader Question: Do you lead the way in some area of service? ************************* How do you build a golden bridge for someone to come back home? (with help from John C. Maxwell and Les Parrott III) 1. Start With Yourself – who built a golden bridge for you? 2. Practice the 30 Second Rule. Say something encouraging in the first 30 seconds. Philippians 1-Paul’s joy focused. 3. Let People Know You Need Them. Paul did with the Philippians. 4. Create a Memory and Visit It Often – Paul did this in his prayer for them. 5. Compliment People In Front of People – Paul supports Epaphroditus publicly. 6. Give Others a Reputation to Uphold – Those Philippians were in elite company. 7. Say the Right Words at Right Time – Paul was a master at the timely word. 8. Encourage the Dream of Others – They wanted a stake in this Gospel Enterprise. 9. Pass the Credit Onto Others – Paul gave the Philippians a lot of credit. 10. Offer Your Very Best – Epaphroditus gave all he had and then some. 11. Share a Secret With Someone – Paul told them they were the only ones that helped him. 12. Mine the Gold of Good Intentions – Paul affirmed their intentions. 13. Keep Your Eyes Off the Mirror – Paul never felt sorry for himself. 14. Do for Others What They Can’t Do for Themselves – Paul was in a position to bestow honor and he did. 15. Listen With Your Heart – Paul knew how much this meant to them. 16. Be the First to Help – Philippians jumped on this opportunity. 17. Add Value to People – By the time Paul is done, Epaphroditus is a hero. 18. Remember a Person’s Story – Paul knew their story of Acts 16. 19. Give With No Strings Attached – Philippians made no demands. 20. Write Notes of Encouragement – That’s why we have Philippians. 21. Live so as to be missed. How do you do that? By becoming a brother or sister to those in this family around you; By becoming a fellow laborer in our common mission and a fellow soldier with common courage to represent Christ and His gospel; By becoming a messenger boy whose great delight is in serving someone; talking about someone else; living for someone else; By risking all that you are – for all that Christ is – for all that Christ’s church can become..
01:33:14
September 20, 2020
Letters From Prison 9/13/2020
Letters from Prison - Philippians Paul is teaching in Philippians that it’s not the circumstances of your life, it’s not whether things go well for you or go ill for you, it’s the way you define life that will determine whether you stand or fall in this world. ****** What is your definition of life? What are you living for? What is the most important thing for you? what is that thing which will make your life worth living regardless of what else happens? What is life? ****** Later in Philippians 1, Paul will say “to live is Christ.” Tragedies and troubles come to us, and they take away that which makes our life worth living. Unless you change your definition of life, you collapse. We say, “To me, to live is to have that.” When the circumstances, the tragedies of life, come and go after your bottom lines, you utterly collapse. Paul says there is only one definition of life. There is only one bottom line. ****** If your whole life is collapsing, the problem is not the circumstance of your life; it’s the definition of your life. What do you live for? Who do you live for? What’s the passion for which you live? What drives you? What sucks up your energies? What dominates your time? What dominates your thinking? What dominates your reading? What makes your life tick? What passion do you carry in your heart? ****** Everybody is passionate about something. All of us have someone or something that we live for - some passion or ideal that drives us on giving our life purpose - some sense of meaning raising us up from a mere level of existence. ****** What is your bottom line?
01:13:22
September 13, 2020
A Worthy Walk 9/6/2020
A Worthy Walk
01:15:26
September 6, 2020
Sent 8/30/2020
Sent Some perspectives Paul always kept in mind (with help from Tim Keller): 1. Life is a struggle. Paul says, “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2. Death is an adventure. The word departure was a way of talking about death, but it’s a fascinating way because it’s a word that means to untie. It was especially used for untying a boat so the boat could leave and go on a voyage. I want you to see this incredible balance Paul has, that the Bible has, with regard to death. When a boat unmoors and goes off, on the one hand it’s sad. It’s a departure. On the other hand, it’s exciting, because it’s a newness, it’s a journey, it’s a voyage, and it’s something new. 3. The gospel can’t be stopped Why does Luke end not telling us at all what happens to Paul? Did he get a fair trial? Did he actually speak before Caesar? That was a big deal. Was he able to preach the gospel to Caesar? Did it ever happen? Luke doesn’t even tell you. All it tells you is … Here’s the last line. “The gospel is being preached with boldness and without hindrance.” Do you know the reason why we’re kind of saying, “Whatever happened to Paul?” and Luke doesn’t even tell you? Because the book is not about Paul. What is the story of the book of Acts about? It’s about the gospel, and it’s about the progress of the gospel. For Luke to end it this way is his way of saying, “Look at all this stuff the world threw at us. Look at the world. Look at the flesh. Look at the Devil. Look at all the opposition. Well, you can imprison people, you can kill people, but you can never imprison or kill the gospel. The gospel cannot be stopped.” 4. Ultimately, in the end, you only need one primary thing. In some ways this is the key to the rest, and as I said, Paul knew there was only one thing in the end he really needed. Do you know what that is? Look here in 2 Timothy 4:16. “At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me.” Then he says, “But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength…” Do you have a sense of his presence like this? You say, “Well, how do you get that?” I’ll tell you how Paul got it. It’s through the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is so much fear: Fear of authoritarianism. Fear of pandemic. Fear of personal safety. Fear of political uncertainty. Fear of economic collapse. Fear of failure. Who is at your side?
01:09:56
August 30, 2020
Sent 8/23/2020
Sent A pastor described Agrippa with the phrase "the curse of casualness." He seemed to be relaxed and unconcerned. Indifferent. Apathetic. Contrast this with Paul. Paul had a sense of urgency. What is urgency? Something requiring immediate action or attention. A key verse is Acts 26:28. It says: "Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” (NIV). The reading is slightly different in the NKJV (New King James Version): "Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” This verse gives us three important words (with help from Warren Wiersbe): "Christian" - a despised word "Persuade"- a decisive word "Almost" - a dangerous word
01:06:09
August 23, 2020
Sent 8/16/2020
Sent This passage highlights the lasting legacies of Paul’s ministry in Ephesus and indeed, can be a model for those of us who would follow in Paul’s steps. The legacies were and are: (1) a personal example, (2) a preached Word, (3) a present surrender, (4) a prepared leadership, and (5) a powerful closing. At the heart of the matter of texts and topics is the issue, What do you want to leave behind? What lasting legacy do you want to entrust to those who remain when you depart? Would you want anyone to follow your personal example? Do you have a high view of Scripture and is it authoritative in your life? What is your life mission and how do you act on it daily? Who will replace you and are they ready? Have you endeared yourself to anybody through authentic living and relationships?
01:06:02
August 16, 2020
Sent 8/09/2020
Sent “Lord, I can’t do this anymore.” That's how Paul felt in Acts 18. He faced several challenges. We'll note those challenges today. But allow me to encourage: Do what you are called to do. Not everyone will understand. Not everyone will approve. Not everyone will applaud. Not everyone will affirm. Not everyone will celebrate. Not everyone will support. Not everyone will stay. Not everyone will encourage. Do what you are called to do. That's what Paul did and so can you. I have a Three-fold purpose for the message today: - to encourage you as you face life-challenges; - to alert you as you face a dangerous new worldview (I'll elaborate more); - to invite you to be a disciple of Jesus.
01:11:02
August 9, 2020
Sent 8/02/2020
Sent Despite what we are seeing in the culture, revolution is NOT the answer. It’s revelation. It’s understanding what our gods are, what is behind our idolatry, and how Jesus corrects our faulty view of God and shows us His beauty instead. Question then? How do you move people from revolution to revelation? Relationship. Paul builds a bridge so Jesus can eventually walk over it into your life. In Acts 17, Paul takes the Athenians through the whole Bible: creation, resurrection, judgment, but he never quotes it. While doing so, he addresses two things: A Common Fear – God Isn’t Good (but Paul Says He is) Our Common Groping’s – Invalid Approaches to God (Paul said to Stop Searching) You could say we are defined by our searches. What does your data trail say about you? Where does the search you are on lead? We have disordered loves. It’s called idolatry. It’s not some crude statue in a distant country. It’s a sophisticated approach to justify my gods. What disappoints you (disproportionate disappointment)? What do you complain about the most (its what really matters)? Where do you make financial sacrifices (where does your money go)? What worries you (your job, you health)? Where is your sanctuary (where do you go when you’re in - HALTSD)? What infuriates you (makes you crazy)? What are your dreams (to give God glory) Set aside God’s competition, set your affection on Him, and see what happens.
01:02:14
August 2, 2020
Sent 7/26/2020
Sometimes "sent" people make mistakes on this Gospel-oriented life adventure. Mark made a mistake; he wasn’t ready for pioneer missions. Paul made a mistake; he was too harsh. Barnabas made a mistake; he separated from his close friend. We all make mistakes! How can we make the most of them? . Step Back: Mark went back to Jerusalem. Mark needed some space to sort this out if he was going to be a team player. Scale Down: Mark had to go back to Jerusalem and think things over a little more before he engaged in the rigors of pioneer missions where you’re up against all kinds of challenges. He had to get back to something familiar in order to process what this all meant for him. Change Patterns: Eighteen years after the events of Acts, chapter 15, Paul has evidently changed, and so has John Mark! Something in your life went before the mistakes you’ve made. You were trying to get validated; you were trying to prove your worth; you were reacting to a hurt or disappointment in your life; you were searching for your purpose; you were trying to numb some pain that may have been unacknowledged. Understand these issues enough so that you can steer shy of future mistakes, especially when you know your tendencies. Rebuild Credibility: Mark was mentored by Peter (who happened to know a thing or two about failure). Just as Paul had adopted Timothy as his young disciple, so Peter had adopted Mark. The apostle who benefited most by a second chance given by God, now discipled his son in the faith, this son of the second chance. It takes time to rebuild trust with others and to personally sort out what’s truly important to you. People will question your actions and motivations and only time can convince them you’re for real this time. When you’ve broken trust, you have to do extra things to build it back; its par for the course for those who have stung others with betrayal. Take Time: It took Mark 10 years or more to sort things out and for Paul to change his mind about him.
01:08:55
July 26, 2020
Sent 7/19/2020
You’re not Peter or Paul or Barnabas. But you can be "you". You are SENT with a message. Don’t hold on to what God is calling you to give away. 1. Do not automatically remove any possibility. He may have you going to the strangest of places like Antioch to do his work. 2. Do not allow lots of activity to dull your senses from hearing God’s new course for your life. 3. Do not require others to do what you are being selected by God to do. Some won’t go with you, and that's ok. And sometimes, you’ll want to go do something, but God will say, “Nope, that’s for them to do, not you.” 4. Do not resist the Lord’s leadership. When He says “Go” – obey Him.
01:10:27
July 19, 2020
Sunday Service 7.12.2020
Sunday Service 7.12.2020
37:59
July 12, 2020
Restart My Heart 7/5/2020
Restart My Heart 7/5/2020
26:22
July 5, 2020
Hidden Figures 6/28/2020
So, we’re wrapping up the series today: Hidden Figures. We’re looking at some people who aren’t as well known in the Bible, yet they fulfill a vital calling; they’re hidden figures who do an incredible work. The Bible is full of stories about such people who took considerable risks to lead boldly in their time. This series will focus on how some of these biblical figures used their influence to advance God’s purposes. We will also look at who the “Hidden Figures” might be in our lives today and what they can teach us about how to lead with wisdom, strength and God's bold vision for justice and mercy in our world. Welcome to Stones Hill Community Church and Online Notes!
01:13:29
June 28, 2020