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Sunday, December 03, 2017

 

Grace Bible Church is about to embark on a three-year journey of faith: our Ministry Investment Campaign, "Ground in Faith, Growing to Serve".

Our church was founded with a focus on the needs of families within our community and the surrounding areas. And that demographic has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, which has caused us to consider prayerfully how we might need to grow in order to meet the growing need.

Long story short: Our current facilities are bursting at the seams. Our goal is to raise the funds for a building that will allow the different age groups of our children and youth to have their own space, and allow us to meet their needs with age-appropriate instruction and activities. And ultimately our goal is to make disciples who will share the love of Jesus Christ with their friends, families, and the world.

How much each person gives is between that person and God (2 Cor. 9:7). But the gift should have an element of sacrifice to it (Mark 12:41-44).

To download the audio of today's sermon, click here.

For a copy of the study notes, click here.

And if you feel led to contribute to the "Grounded in Faith, Growing to Serve" ministry investment campaign, there's a special designation for that through the giving portal on our website (http://www.gbcsl.com/).

Thank you for however you choose to participate! (2 Cor. 8:12)

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Sunday, November 26, 2017

 

"You will take nothing from this life except the history of how you lived it. But through a commitment to the things of God, your influence and your history can outlive your days."

With these words Pastor Dave encouraged the congregation to begin praying about the level of commitment each of us will make to our Ministry Investment Campaign, "Grounded in Faith, Growing to Serve."

But he reminded us of what Jesus said as he watched people giving their offerings in the Temple: the wealthy gave a lot, but a poor widow put in only two small coins. He pointed out that her gifts to the Temple may have been meager from a human standpoint, but they were many times larger in the eyes of God because of her level of sacrifice. (See Luke 21:1-4.)

For some in this church, a sacrificial gift may be a lot of money. For others it will be far less, but God will honor the level of sacrifice for both.

To download the audio of today's sermon, click here.

For a copy of the sermon notes, click here.

There's also a devotion to accompany the fourth week of our focus on the Grounded in Faith, Growing to Serve Ministry Investment campaign. To download the devotion, click here.

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

 

You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully. (2 Cor. 9:7 NLT)

God wants us to be free from financial worries, so we can become generous, just as he is. And Jesus said in Luke 6:38: "Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full--pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back."

 But we must be careful not to fall into the trap of giving for the purpose of getting!

Generosity can be held back by two errors: Fear and/or Greed.

Fear says, "I'd like to be generous, but how would I pay my bills? I'm barely getting by as it is."

Greed says, "Hey! It's my money and I don't like you talking about it."

Greed...

  • loves things (more than people)
  • wants what it sees
  • always wants more
  • wants it NOW
  • wants it for free
  • has no integrity.

To download the audio of today's sermon, click here.

For a copy of the sermon notes, click here.

There's also a devotion to accompany the third week of our focus on the Grounded in Faith, Growing to Serve Ministry Investment campaign. To download the devotion, click here.

 

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

 

Faith means choosing to trust in what God has said, living by what we know; not be our emotions.

Passive faith is trusting God to take care of us when everything seems to be going wrong and all the plans we make fall apart. 

That's all well and good, but if that's the extent of our faith then it has become sort of like a spare tire in the trunk of the car: we only take it out when disaster strikes (and we hope it will hold air!).

But God's desire is that we have an active faith that functions like an engine, powering what we do.

Active faith is obeying God when he asks us to do something, even if it doesn't seem to make sense.

True Faith, from the perspective of human wisdom or commen sense, will always look foolish and reckless.

To download the audio of today's sermon, click here.

For a copy of the small group study notes, click here.

There's also a devotion to accompany this second week of our focus on the Grounded in Faith, Growing to Serve Ministry Investment campaign. To download the devotion, click here

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Sunday, November 05, 2017

 

You're a Good Good Father
That's who You are.

And I'm loved by You
That's who I am.

-- Good, Good Father © 2014 by Anthony Brown & Pat Barrett

A recent study brought to light the characteristics of a good father:

  • Dependable
  • Involved
  • Compassionate
  • Expressive
  • Honest
  • Playful
  • Industrious

When eartlhy fathers are all of these things, their children are far more likely to become healthy, happy, responsible adults.

And in God the Father we have the perfect model of fatherhood (see Eph. 3:15, AMP-C, EXB, and Phillips). 

When we don't understand that God is dependable, and actively involved in our lives, we look for security elsewhere...most often by an unhealthy focus on making money.

But money can give only a false sense of security. In the long run, it is undependable. The things of this world can never give true security.

"Don't store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be." (Matthew 6:19-20 NLT)

To download the audio of today's sermon, click here.

To access the small group study notes, click here.

There's also a devotion to accompany the first week of our focus on the Grounded in Faith, Growing to Serve Ministry Investment campaign. To download the devotion, click here

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Wednesday, November 01, 2017

 

Today we completed our review of our vision as Grace Bible Church:

Our Action Statement is Inviting Your World to Experience God's Grace.

How to we do that?

Through Growth + Relationship + Authenticity + Community + Expression = GRACE.

 

The focus of today's sermon is on the final component of our vision: Expression.

Expression = To communicate the life-changing gospel through word and deed as individuals and as a church. 

This is demonstrated by believers expressing the transforming love of God by actively serving others and speaking truth in love (Eph. 4:15).

If you are a Christ-follower, your life-story has the power of God flowing through it!

 

To download the audio of today's sermon, click here.

To download a copy of the small group study notes, click here.

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Sunday, October 22, 2017

 

Today we continued our review of our vision as Grace Bible Church:

Our Action Statement is Inviting Your World to Experience God's Grace.

How to we do that?

Through Growth + Relationship + Authenticity + Community + Expression = GRACE.

The focus of today's sermon is on the two more components of our vision: Authenticity & Community.

Authenticity = To seek a life where our actions match our words, free from pretense, hypocrisy or deceit. 

Living a life of Authenticity means being honest about our struggles... because we all have them.

 

Community = To extend ourselves eyond personal relationships into broader interactive community; the body of Christ, united by the gospel.

"True community is not something that is discovered, it's something that is built." Author James A. White

Community demands intentional commitment.

One of the main things God desires is that we learn to take our focus off of ourselves and turn it towards others.

To download the audio of today's sermon, click here.

To download a copy of the small group study notes, click here.

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

 

Today we begin a 3-week review of our vision as Grace Bible Church:

Our Action Statement is Inviting Your World to Experience God's Grace.

How to we do that?

Through Growth + Relationship + Authenticity + Community + Expression = GRACE.

The focus of today's sermon is on the first two components of our vision: Growth & Relationship.

Growth = To live a life increasingly characterized by faith, hope, and love. 

In other words, living a life of Growth is the same as being called to become a disciple of Jesus.

A disciple is one who is committed to learning. Jesus' 12 disciples spent years with him, learning from the greatest example of love, wisdom, and godliness who ever walked the earth.

Relationship = To build genuine and meaningful relationships with God and others.

Godly love is not a feeling: it is based on action.

Loving God: There is one definition throughout the Bible of love for God, and that is obedience. Jesus said "If you love me you will obey my commands." (Jn. 14:15)

Loving your neighbor (friend, family member, co-worker, even your enemies): Spend time with them. Jesus didn't just serve as a mentor to his disciples; he shared life with them.

To download the audio of today's sermon, click here.

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Sunday, October 08, 2017

 

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 6:4-7 NIV)

Our guest speaker, Pastor Dennis Larkin, gave us a sobering reminder that our children are watching us 24/7: "You can teach what you know, but you can only reproduce what you are."

He also gave us many great suggestions of how to impress the character of Christ on our children. Among them:

- Talk openly with your children: be authentic.

- Let your sons and daughters know you're crazy in love with them, no matter what they do or how they behave.

- Discipline in love.

- Expose your kids to godly people. And take them with you to do ministry: serving the poor, the hurting, etc. (See "authenticity" above!)

One more:

- Major on the majors, not the minors. Focus on character, not fashion.

"Your greatest accomplishment may not be what you do, but someone you raise." -- Andy Stanley

To download the audio of today's sermon, click here.

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Sunday, October 01, 2017

 

Oscar Wilde famously said, "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it."

And as a result of following his own philosophy, he died at age 46 from the ravages of an STD, a penniless alcoholic.

When God gives us boundaries and limitations in how we live, it's for our own benefit: to help save us from lives filled with drama and trauma.

We may not always understand those boundaries, but it's really no different than a child who doesn't understand why s/he can't have candy for every meal.

What God wants for us is greater than happiness; he wants us to live lives marked by joy. Happiness is situational; joy is not.

Joy is a result of spiritual maturity. It is evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives:

"...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." (Gal. 5:22-23).

God wants us to pursue holiness more than happiness. Because when we delight ourselves in the Lord, happiness will pursue us! (See Psalms 37:4, 23:6).

To download the audio from today's sermon, click here.

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