Often when we say that someone is “talking to themselves”, we mean it in a way that questions that person’s sanity. But, in the Scripture, the skill of learning to “talk to yourself” is an important one. The Psalmist does it all of the time! If that’s the case, then what exactly should we say to our self?
How do you feel when someone is staring at you? Does it make you uncomfortable? What if they could see what you were thinking too? God says that he is watching us and considering everything we do. How can we ever endure such intimate and continuous examination?
According to Romans 13 we should be subject to governing authorities, but the governments authorities are not absolute. In this message we look at five instances where we can or must disobey the governing authorities in order to be subject to the higher authority of God himself.
Why does Jesus perform the same sequence of events? Why did it take so long to heal the blind man? Why do even believers continue to act in selfish ways? Why does our faith sometimes seem to grow so slowly, or move backwards? And, what do we do about all of it?
We need regular encounters with Jesus to help us learn and re-learn what is means to follow him.
Last words are often most important. How much more so when those words come from the lips of Jesus!
Consider one of the most amazing statements of Jesus on the cross when he quotes Psalm 22:1:
“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”
But, that’s not where the story ends. It ends with the most profound hope of all – that death is conquered and life is eternal through our relationship with Jesus Christ
Suffering is bad enough, but not knowing how long it is going to last can make it even more difficult to bear.
Interestingly, in Psalm 13, David starts with the question “How long?” – he asks it 4 times! But his question never gets answered, at least not in the way expected.
When we look at the world around us, it’s easy to think that it’s all out of control. Life in this complicated world is full of dangers and stressors.
But for the believer, there is a perspective that we need to remember. God’s perspective.
He is on the throne, and he’s observing everything.
God is wonderfully glorious in all his works and ways. There are many reasons to offer him praise.
In this message, as we study Psalm 8 together, we consider the specific reasons that led King David to sing, "LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!"
Jeremiah contains a lot of harsh language of destruction and judgment and Jeremiah 19 has some of the harshest.
We’ll ask some questions of the text: What led to this warning? Had Israel reached a point of no return? Was God’s action justified?
How should we understand and respond to it?
Where do you find safety? Maybe it’s your 401k, the locks on your doors, or another person.
What about spiritual safety?
Israel in Jeremiah’s time found safety in rituals, words, and the Temple of the Lord. Jeremiah, as prophets tend to do, aimed to tear away that safety blanket to expose the grave danger they were in.
One could say that ours is the day of choices. How many versions of coffee are there anyway? How many flavors of ice cream? But there are still occasions when there are only two options, when there is either this or that. And sometimes these choices are the most important of all.
Sunday's Sermon (1/12/2020) wasn't recorded. In this message, Pastor Steve shares a recap of a memorial service sermon he conducted over the weekend. In it he contrasts, first, the story of naturalism and the story told in the Scriptures. Second, he contrasts the story of Adam, that leads to death, and the story of Christ, that leads to life. Key texts are Romans 5 and Revelation 21.
Text: Mark 5:1-43
Are you ready to take life by the horns and make 2020 your year? Are you ready to get control back of your home, your health, your relationships, and your job? What happens if that doesn’t work out? What happens when our best plans crumble or when the unexpected happens? Where is Jesus when life is out of control?
Text: Mark 4;35-41
A lack of faith leads to fear.
Faith calms our fears.
Faith teaches us how to respond to our fears.
Faith means recognizing the presence and power of Jesus.
Awe plus faith casts out our fears.
Text: 1 Peter 4:7-11
How does God manifest his grace to us? One way is through giving us spiritual gifts.
How do we manifest God's grace to others? One way is through using the gifts he gives us to serve others.
“Uh oh. The pastor is talking about money today.”
Yes, it can be an uncomfortable topic, but for Paul, generosity was a key part of following Jesus.
Why? Because the gospel is a story of a gift, of grace and, in giving, we get to mirror the actions of our Savior.
What is God doing in your life?
Where does He want to take you?
What result is He pursuing?
The answer to those questions is important.
What does God want us to do for one another as part of the same church?
The answer to that last question depends on the answer to the first ones.
What is the connection between the freedom we receive in Christ and the Christian pursuit of justice for those under social oppression?
This message explores that question by looking at the movements of Scripture from freedom to slavery and slavery to freedom, landing finally in Galatians 5.
Is there a wrong way to do a Communion Service?
What are we supposed to think about during a Communion Service?
What does it mean to take the Lord's supper in an unworthy manner?
Text: 1 Corinthians 11:17-34
We receive many good gifts from God, but life is also filled with much pain and sorrow. That pain has the power to make us bitter, and that bitterness can seep out in our relationships with other people.
David Brooks says that “pain that is not transformed is transmitted.” If that’s true, then how can the pain we all experience be transformed?
Peter spoke to a congregation experiencing severe trials, but he saw in those trials the possibility of redemption.
Both the religious world and the secular world can be unforgiving places: “Adhere to the external standards or you don’t belong. Fail, and don’t expect a second chance.”
But God is “rich in mercy.” He loves to give it away, an offer of free grace, to those who don’t deserve it.
Christians are those who have received mercy. And, having received it, extend it to others.
Did you know that angels are attracted to women?
Did you know that angels once came to earth and had mighty descendants through human women?
Well, neither of those statements are true – but a lot of people think those kinds of things are in the Bible!
Where do those ideas come from? Let’s talk about that today, as we look at the often confusing text about women wearing head coverings in church.
We need to receive grace upon salvation, but God keeps giving us gifts in Jesus. Receiving grace comes from daily abiding in Jesus.
When we abide in Jesus, we will bear spiritual fruit, which is a “natural” process of the supernatural life.
What does it mean to remain in Jesus? What does it mean to bear fruit?
Text: Hosea 1-3
There aren’t many books in the Bible that are more “R-rated” than Hosea. It’s ugly. It’s shocking. But that’s the point!
The prophet Hosea’s life, while rather scandalous, can teach us a whole lot about sin, unfaithfulness, and the absolutely unrelenting love of God. So, while it might be a bit embarrassing to modern sensibilities, let’s dive into the book of Hosea and see what it can teach us today.
Christians are a people of the truth. We stake a lot on things that we believe are absolutely true.
But what if another believer thinks differently about something that we think is important? Are we both right? Is there more than one truth?
How do we agree to disagree?
Let’s talk about disputable matters like this today as we study God’s Word from 1 Corinthians.
Text: 1 Cor 8:1-11:1
It can be easy to get discouraged. Prominent leaders fall away. A majority of churches declining. We have personal struggles and failures.
Christians confess that God is always at work in the world, but sometimes we see what appears to be counter evidence. Instead of progress, we see what looks like regression.
The parables in Mark show us the inevitability of God's work through Jesus = but they also show us the mysterious and surprising ways in which he works.
God is at work in Jesus: Bringing the life of God's reign, calling followers into his presence, forming a new people.
How will we respond to this movement? Will we be open to his words or will we dismiss him as dangerous or crazy?
Text: Mark 3:7-35
Is it good to be single? Is it good to be married? Which is better?
In this sermon, Pastor John looks at Paul's instructions to the Corinthian church on the matters of singleness and marriage.
Text: 1 Corinthians 7:1-9; 25-40
"Idolatry." Outside of a religious context, this word is mostly meaningless. Even in religious circles it can be ambiguous. But getting a handle on idolatry matters for faith. We need to be able to identify idols so that we can truly worship the Creator God and so that we can be freed from the sway of their power.
Text: Jeremiah 10:1-16
Did you know that it’s possible to go to church, to pray, and to regularly read your Bible but not actually have saving faith in Jesus? Especially in a place like West Michigan, it is relatively easy to adopt the culture of Christianity while denying Christ at a heart-level.
The prophet Micah has a bit to say about this. Let’s see what his book might say to us today.
Text: Micah 6:1-8
Are all sins the same? Are some sins worse than others?
Sometimes we emphasize how heinous some sins are, but sometimes we emphasize that we’re all guilty before God? Which is it? Do we have to choose?
In this message we look to the prophet Jeremiah for insight. He has words for the entire sin, but he calls out a select group. In the end, we rejoice that God is the God of justice and mercy.
Title: The Nature of Judgment
Text: Jeremiah 4:5-31
Wrath. The fierce anger of the Lord. Judgment and destruction.
What emotions emerge when you read these words and phrases? Do they make you uncomfortable? Embarrassed? Defensive?
In this sermon, we look more closely at the nature of judgment. Can judgment be "good news"? In what way? We try to clear away misunderstandings while, at the same time, taking the harsh language of Jeremiah's plea to Wake Up!
Text: 1 Corinthians 6:9-20
"My own body; Sometimes I love it. Most of the time I hate it.
Sometimes I control it. Often it controls me!"
What does God think about our bodies? Does he love them? Does what we do with and to our bodies matter to him?
In this message study what God has to say about our bodies.
Is it Ok to allow someone else to win, even if they cheat to do so?
Is it Ok to let someone take something from us that does not belong to them?
What if that person is a fellow believer? Shouldn’t they be brought to justice?
Maybe not! Let’s think about this today as we consider another difficult situation in the Corinthian church.
Text: 1 Corinthians 6:1-8
Speaker: John Dubois
Text: 1 Corinthians 5
Since Jesus forgives all of our sins, even the ones that we will commit in the future, why should we take sin so seriously?
Is it really a big deal?
What about God’s grace? Doesn’t grace cover everything?
Text: Jeremiah 3:1-4:4
Series: Jeremiah - The Exchange
Outline: (1) God's love is radical (2) Because of his live, he calls us to repent (3) When we repent, he saves and he restores (4) So repent, not just with words, but with your heart.
It's crazy to trade God for anything else.
The people of Jerusalem traded Everything for Nothing, the Living water for broken cisterns, sonship for slavery, salvation for destruction, and their faithful husband for faithless lovers. In short, they traded the glorious presence of God for worthless idols.
Have we made the same exchange? Is there a remedy?
Text: Jeremiah 2:1-3:5
We live in a time when everyone has a voice and every idea is regarded as equally valid and worthwhile.
But, is that true?
Paul’s words are weightier than others (or even ours), not because he is a better person (even though he might be), but because of who he is speaking for, as an apostle.
Does pride really come before a fall? According to Obadiah it does.
It is somewhat ironic that the smallest book in the Old Testament deals with a nation that had one of the biggest egos. Edom’s pride and arrogance, especially against Israel, was very much unwarranted. And this prophet promises that Edom will not have reason to boast for long.
But what can Obadiah teach us about our pride today? Let’s find out together.
Pastor John and Pastor Steve spent some time answer questions about Easter. What are the best arguments for the resurrection? How would you respond to some of the objections? If Jesus's death paid for our sins, why does it matter that Jesus was raised?
In a world often devoid of peace, and full of counterfeit offers, we meet Jesus, the King on a mission of peace.
He achieves that peace in a surprising way: Through sacrifice.
How will we respond to this King? Will we suppress Him? Will we fail to see Him? Or will we rejoice that He has come to set all things right? Here's the good news: Jesus will be praised, and we can join in the praise of all creation.
Text: Luke 19:28-44
Does it matter how we live?
If Jesus forgives all of our sin, and we’re already perfect in Christ (which we are), then what difference does it make how I live my live now?
We know that we love Jesus, and we do want to please him out of our gratitude for what he has done for us. But is there anything more than that?
Text: 1 Corinthians 3
God has given us rest as a way to preserve our lives. Jesus saw the Sabbath as a good gift of God for our flourishing. He did not break the Sabbath law. He fulfilled it. As the one who fulfilled the law, he is able to give and save life.
Passage: Mark 2:23-3:6
The prophet Amos makes his way to Bethel, the city at the heart of the Northern Kingdom’s religious and political power, and he begins pronouncing judgement on all of Israel’s neighbors. But he does not stop there. At the climax of his judgement-list lies the harshest judgement of them all, and that one was pointed directly at Israel itself.
However, if the people of Israel turn from their injustice and seek YHWH once again, they will find life and redemption.
Speaker: Colby Hetcel
Text: 1 Cor 2:6-16
Is there anything that you can’t learn if you study really hard?
Is it possible for something to be so clear that even a child can understand it, and yet a mature and educated adult cannot understand at all?
That’s exactly the way it is. Let’s learn more about it today.
Text: 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5
We’re often afraid to share our faith with our neighbors. And if feels like there’s good reasons to be afraid, because what we have to say about Jesus really seems like foolishness – especially in the eyes of the unbeliever. But, that’s one of the things that makes the Gospel so beautiful! It is foolish to people, but it’s also the wisdom and power of God!
Let’s see how that is true as we study together today in 1 Corinthians.
Text: 1 Corinthians 1:10-17
People often disappoint us.
Sometimes we’re disappointed when we see a Christian leader behave in competitive or jealous ways. It can really hurt our feelings.
Or, if a gifted and loved leader falls morally, we’re also deeply wounded and grieved.
These kinds of tragedies can almost ruin our faith! But God wants us to follow Jesus alone.
What happens when we divide the world into groups: Two types of people, the "good guys" and the "bad guys"? In this short story from Mark, Jesus both challenges the Pharisees tendency to do this, and provides us with a different lens by which to view the world and our relationship to him.
Text: Mark 2:1-12
Title: The Son of Man
Quiz: Finish these lines: “Luke, I am your…” “Four score and …” “Life, liberty, and…” “I’ll never let go, Jack…”
Pop culture is steeped in iconic quotes and imagery. We can say just a few words of a speech or a movie and a whole world comes into view.
Now try this one… “The son of man has authority to…”
For people in Jesus’s day, the expression “son of man” called to mind fantastic images and supernatural hope.
This message explores what the phrase "son of man" has to do with Jesus' identity and mission, and our identity and mission.
At the end of this week, WPBF will be sending a team from our church to serve at The Pines Orphanage in South Africa. In preparation for the trip the team members have been sharing their testimonies and how that fits into this mission trip. This Sunday we got to hear from Darwin Buist.
What can we know for sure?
Can we be certain about anything?
The Bible certainly says so.
This message starts a new series in the book of 1 Corinthians.
Text: 1 Corinthians 1:1-9
You are invited to join our church for worship Sunday mornings at 9:30 at 2260 Porter St. SW, Wyoming, MI 49519
Genesis 22 is the heart-wrenching story of Abraham's near sacrifice of his dearly loved son Isaac. On the mountain, God provided a sacrifice of his own. He spared Abraham's son.
From here we can look through the lens of Genesis 22 to the story of Jesus where, on another mountain God again provided a sacrifice not sparing his own dearly loved Son. In this sermon we look at the cost of the cross to the Father, the cost to the Son, the cost to the believer, and the help of the Spirit.
Text: Zechariah 3
Zechariah is a weird book. There’s flying scrolls, angelic visitations, bizarre dreams in the night, and Satan himself even makes an appearance. At first glance, this Minor Prophet might seem more like reading a science fiction novel than scripture. However, Zechariah is one of the most quoted books in the New Testament. It might be odd, but it has a lot of important things to say about God’s grace and the work of the Messiah.
Jesus comes as the Messianic King proclaiming the nearness of the Kingdom of God. This immediately sets him in conflict with rival kingdoms, those who have set themselves up in opposition to God. In this sermon on Mark 1:21-40, we see how Jesus shows his power over one of those rival kingdoms - the demonic spiritual world.
Series: The Book of Mark: Jesus in Conflict
How can we get the results we’re looking for? Are results guaranteed if we follow the right formula, or are they basically random, the products of a world completely outside of our control?
Asked theologically, does the outcome depend on us or does it only depend on God’s sovereignty?
In this message we explore the biblical metaphor of gardening to shed light on these questions. We ask what this means for us personally, and what it means for us as a church.
Sermon date: 1/6/2019. Speaker: Steven Kopp. Primary text: 1 Corinthians 3:5-15.
We know so much of the Christmas story from carols and story books.
But, are those things really in the Bible? What parts of the story do we know for sure, and what parts of the story have been added on by traditions?
It often seems like our lives are out of control. We don’t understand why things happen to us.
It is helpful to remember that God is in control of all things, and he is working in all things for his purposes and the maturity of believers.
We can see this hand of God in Abraham’s life from the stories in Genesis 20-21.
Jeremiah was given the task of sharing some very bad news with Israel: armies were about to pour in from the north to bring about unparalleled destruction.
But he also brings a message of hope and restoration, of a great reversal that will happen… in God’s time.
In this exposition of Jeremiah 1:10-16 we look at how Jeremiah's message of destruction and hope, uprooting and replanting, demolition and reconstruction, work together, and how both point to Jesus.
God doesn't always ask us to do easy things. Sometimes he asks us to do things that threaten our comfort, security, or approval of others.
The call of Jeremiah is unique, but it also gives us a pattern of responding to the costly call of following God.
"Do I need to forgive someone right away?"
This post is Pastor Steve's attempt to answer the question above. It depends a little on what we mean by forgiveness. Do we mean releasing internal anger and hurt, or restoring a relationship, or both? What if it's not possible to restore the relationship? Does the nature of the relationship need to stay the same?
The phrase “Love Wins” has a lot of traction in our culture today. It
represents the idea that in the end, God’s love will overcome anything
and everything else in order to bring us good.
Is that what it means when the Bible says, “God is love”?
Have you ever doubted that you were saved?
What do we do with those kinds of doubts?
Can we really know for sure?
This sermon looks at what the book of 1 John has to say about these important questions.
Have you ever been excited for something to happen that didn’t quite live up to your expectations? At home? At church?
The people in Haggai’s day were excited to return to their land after 70 years in exile. But when they returned, their expectations were not met.
And because of it, they responded with disobedience.
How do we respond to disappointment, and what can Haggai teach us about this today?
This sermon explores the series of decisions and events that led up to the destruction of Jerusalem at the time of Jeremiah.
As the Assyrians raided the land once again and sent the people into exile they would have asked, "how did we get here?" The author of Kings wants us to know the answer to that question.
Reform: To make a change for the better.
Israel’s history is bleak: A divided kingdom, unrelenting pressure from violent neighbors, and a long series of corrupt kings.
But there were a few bright spots too: Kings that brought much needed
Could these kings save Israel?
What can we learn from their example?
This sermon summarizes the reigns of Joash, Hezekiah, and Josiah.
Text: 1 John 1:1-4.
Series: 1 John: Assurance
Speaker: John Dubois
The coming of Jesus, into the world, is the greatest good news of all.
Jesus came clearly and tangibly. His followers really saw him and heard him in time and space. They touched him, and he was really there!
The basis for our faith is grounded in the certain reality of the coming of Jesus.
We therefore have great confidence in God through Jesus.
Pastor Steve's first sermon in his series on the book of Jeremiah. This sermon examines the Northern Kingdom's road to destruction and exile. It serves as a warning for us today and establishes the context for Jeremiah's prophetic word to Judah.