November 3rd News

October 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Last week in our series What It Means to Be a Disciple of Jesus, we talked about the fact that a disciple is a friend. A primary scripture we looked at was Jesus’ command to his disciples in John 13:

John 13:34-35

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

We looked at how to practically “love one another” in the church and talked about 1) Spending time with each other; 2) Encouraging each other; and 3) Keeping short accounts with each other.

I wanted to spend one more week looking at this idea of being a friend because it is so important in our daily lives.

To prepare, read James 1:19-21. In this passage we can learn some very basic- but incredibly important- lessons about how to interact with one another in a loving, up lifting way.

As we go through this series, you should be thinking about practically applying the things we are learning. This will require some effort on your part– but I believe that the Holy Spirit will bless you in the process!

Looking forward to Sunday!!

 

Grace and peace,

Doug

________________________________

GRACE2F HAPPENINGS

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Grace2F Bible Study

Join us Wednesday nights from 7:00pm-8:30pm in the Hilltop Community Church Fellowship Hall.

___________________

Russell House Ministry

October Nov. 3rd at 2:00pm.

Join me at the church service at Russell House to minister to the men and woman who attend.

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How do we “love one another”?

October 28, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Last week we looked at how a disciple of Jesus is a worshipper. It was interesting to realize that I needed to be more specific because, in reality, everyone–the religious and the irreligious– worship something or someone (many times several somethings or someones).

Last Sunday we looked at another characteristic of a disciple of Jesus…

A disciple is a Friend. This focuses primarily on how we are to relate to other Christians in the church. Here are some of the thoughts from the message…

Early in the gospels we see that Jesus brings together a diverse band of guys (the disciples) to join him in carrying out the greatest rescue mission in the history of the cosmos. In John 13 he gives them a key component in how this mission defined and how it is going to succeed:

John 13:34-35

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

That is the mission… LOVE

Like the disciples, Jesus organizes his people into local groups called the church. The church is made up of different and diverse people— economically, socially, genderly (I know this isn’t a word but you get the idea), chronologically, racially, culturally, politically, etc.

And then he says to this incredibly diverse group: to be a disciple you have to love each other.

This can be challenging… But here are three ways that we can live out this command in the church:

1) Spend time with each other

Acts 2:42-47

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

We see that the early church spent a great deal of time together. There is a proximity in love. We must be physically close to other believers to love them as Jesus commanded. This takes time and effort, but the reward is great.

2) Encourage each other

Hebrews 10:19-25

19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

This is related to “spending time with each other”.  In order to encourage and “spur on”— we must keep meeting together to know what is happening in each other’s lives. There is a saying I heard a few years ago that I believe is true and related to this idea:

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Now, although these first two points are necessary to love one another, they create a challenge…

Think about it: If people with a bunch of differences spend a bunch of time together, then spur on one another on…What might result?

CONFLICT… And this is where it becomes harder to be a friend.

But you must understand this:

  • Love isn’t the absence of conflict
  • Love is a remedy to conflict

And this idea leads us to our last principle of being a friend..

3) Keep short accounts with each other

Matthew 18:15-19

15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

The issue isn’t whether you will have conflict with others in the church—the issue is how you handle the conflict that will eventually occur. In this passage, Jesus tells us to deal with it directly—going first to the person on your own. If that doesn’t work, take two or three others who are in a relationship with the person who has sinned. The main idea is not punishment or discipline here, but rather restoration.

 

Grace and peace,

Doug

 

Worship: Idols or Jesus?

October 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Last week we looked at how a disciple of Jesus is a worshipper. It was interesting to realize that I needed to be more specific because, in reality, everyone–the religious and the irreligious– worship something or someone (many times several somethings or someones).

Blaise Pascal displays how we all try to fill our lives with something bigger than ourselves when he said:

“There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.”

Although Pascal’s conclusion is the only true way to fill our lives is with God through Jesus, it is obvious that we try to fill that vacuum on our own—with all kinds of stuff. A whatever that is becomes our object of worship.

We see this clearly in Romans 1:21-23

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

When we don’t worship God we worship idols.

In his book Counterfeit Gods, Pastor Tim Keller reveals 4 common idols:

  • Power, Approval, Comfort, Control

In order to examine your own life, here are some thoughts on each of these idols:

If you seek POWER (success, winning, influence)…

  • Your greatest nightmare: Humiliation
  • People around you often feel: Used
  • Your problem emotion: Anger

If you seek APPROVAL (affirmation, love, relationships)…

  • Your greatest nightmare: Rejection
  • People around you often feel: Smothered
  • Your problem emotion: Cowardice

If you seek COMFORT (privacy, lack of stress, freedom)…

  • Your greatest nightmare: Stress, demands
  • People around you often feel: Neglected
  • Your problem emotion: Boredom

If you seek CONTROL (self-discipline, certainty, standards)…

  • Your greatest nightmare: Uncertainty
  • People around you often feel: Condemned
  • Your problem emotion: Worry

Finally, here is the difference between all idols and Jesus…

  • Idols take from you—Jesus gives
  • Idols use you—Jesus serves you
  • Idols defile you—Jesus cleanses you
  • Idols draw you away from the Father—Jesus draws you toward the Father
  • Idols demand that you die for them—Jesus died for you
Grace and peace,
Doug

 

Discipleship Part 3-Worshipper

October 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Series: What It Mean To Be a Disciple of Jesus

Part 3: Worshipper

What is worship? How does the Bible tells us to worship? What are some of the challenges to worship?

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October 20, 2013 | What It Means To Be a Disciple of Jesus -Part3| Sermon | Virginia Beach Church |Download Audio

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October 27th News

October 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

We are currently in a series called What It Means to Be a Disciple of Jesus.

What does a follower of Jesus look like.? What do they do? How do they act? What motivates and drives them?

Last week we talked about the fact that a disciple is a worshipper. However, this is not specific enough– because everyone is a worshipper of something. The key in worship is the object— who or what do you worship?

As Christians, we proclaim that God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) is the object of our worship. He has the glory and we look to him in and for everything in our lives. But even then, we often face distractions and other “idols” competing for our attention and we need to encourage one another to focus on Jesus and how he has freed us from sin to God worship in spirit and in truth.

This week we will see that a disciple is also a friend. If you are a disciple of Jesus you are called to interact with and relate to other believers in a very special way. This can be challenging because the family of God is made up of very different and diverse people.

How are we to be friends with other believers and what does that relationship look like?

To prepare,  read John 13:34-34, Acts 2:42-47, Hebrews 10:19-25, and Matthew 18:15-17. In these passages we will discover four things that  help define what a friend is and does.

As we go through this series, you should be thinking about practically applying the things we are learning. This will require some effort on your part– but I believe that the Holy Spirit will bless you in the process!

Looking forward to Sunday!!

 

Grace and peace,

Doug

________________________________

GRACE2F HAPPENINGS

________________________________

Grace2F Bible Study

Join us Wednesday nights from 7:00pm-8:30pm in the Hilltop Community Church Fellowship Hall.

___________________

Russell House Ministry

October Nov. 17th at 2:00pm.

Join me at the church service at Russell House to minister to the men and woman who attend.

________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

October 20th News

October 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

We are currently in a series called What It Means to Be a Disciple of Jesus.

What does a follower of Jesus look like.? What do they do? How do they act? What motivates and drives them?

Last week we saw that disciples must be Prayers. We discovered that God invites us into his presence, that he wants us to “bother” him in prayer, and that he actually hears our prayers.

I hope you have been praying this week (If you want ideas on what to pray about/for, check out our website at www.grace2f.org).

This week we will see that a disciple is also a worshipper. Disciples of Jesus worship regularly.

What is worship? Many people feel that they are not skilled in worship– but I would say that is incorrect. Everybody worships something with incredible zeal and passion. The true question is what/who is the object of your worship.

To prepare, I want to encourage you to read Psalm 100, Psalm 95:1-7; Exodus 32:1-8, John 4:19-26, and Romans 11:33-12:1… This may seem like a lot to read, but it isn’t. Read the passages and consider what they are saying about worship.

As we go through this series, you should be thinking about practically applying the things we are learning. This will require some effort on your part– but I believe that the Holy Spirit will bless you in the process!

Looking forward to Sunday!!

 

Grace and peace,

Doug

________________________________

GRACE2F HAPPENINGS

________________________________

Grace2F Bible Study

Join us Wednesday nights from 7:00pm-8:30pm in the Hilltop Community Church Fellowship Hall.

___________________

Russell House Ministry

October 20th– 2:00pm-3:00pm

Join me at the church service at Russell House to minister to the men and woman who attend.

________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

Discipleship Part 2-Prayer

October 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Series: What It Mean To Be a Disciple of Jesus

Part 2: Prayer

We all know that we should pray. But, often, this can be a confusing and frustrating process. How can we enjoy a vibrant prayer life?

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October 13, 2013 | What It Means To Be a Disciple of Jesus -Part2| Sermon | Virginia Beach Church |Download Audio

Grace2F is a Virginia Beach Church

What Is the Gospel? Part 5-The Rest of the Narrative Gospel

October 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

In this series we take a closer look at the Gospel.

In Part 5, we will see the whole story of the Gospel from Creation, to Fall, to Redemption, to Restoration. It is “His-Story”– God’s story and how we are a part of it. This week we get the second half of the story– Redemption and Restoration– and we see that God has made a way for us to have our relationship with him restored forever.

I learned the Narrative Gospel from one of my most important mentors and friends. His name is Dr. David Nicholas and he was my pastor and boss for 12 years. David is now at home with Jesus– but his influence will live on through all of the people he pastored, mentored, loved, and taught.

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September 29, 2013 | What Is the Gospel? 5| Sermon | Virginia Beach Church |Download Audio

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October 12th News

October 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

We are currently in a series that deals with What It Means to Be a Disciple of Jesus.

What does a follower of Jesus look like.? What do they do? How do they act? What motivates and drives them?

Last week we saw that disciples must be Students— and one of the best ways to live this out is to read the Bible. God’s Word (The Bible) is a living thing– and it will transform our minds as we experience it.

This week we will see that a disciple is also a Prayer (pray-er). Disciples of Jesus pray.

If you have been in church for any period of time, this is not a new idea. We know that we should pray. But we also struggle with this  idea.

Sunday we shall see two things that prevent an effective prayer life and a couple things that will encourage an effective prayer life.

To prepare, read Matthew 6:5-14 and Luke 18:1-8.

Try applying what we talked about last week… When you read these passages, ask yourself these questions:

1) What does it say?

2) What does it mean?

3) What does it mean to me?

Also, I want to encourage you to pray that God would open your heart and mind to these principles of discipleship. Pray that he would increase your desire to read his Word and pray!

Looking forward to Sunday!!

 

Grace and peace,

Doug

________________________________

GRACE2F HAPPENINGS

________________________________

Grace2F Bible Study

Join us Wednesday nights from 7:00pm-8:30pm in the Hilltop Community Church Fellowship Hall.

___________________

Russell House Ministry

October 20th– 2:00pm-3:00pm

Join me at the church service at Russell House to minister to the men and woman who attend.

________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

October 5th News

October 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

This week we beginning a new series called What It Means to Be a Disciple of Jesus.

What does a follower of Jesus look like.? What do they do? How do they act? What motivates and drives them?

This is an important question to consider once you understand the gospel of Jesus. In the New Testament, Jesus gathered twelve men whom we refer to as disciples. We know that they changed the world… We know that they exhibited certain traits and characteristics… We know that we are called to be disciples as well.

For the next few weeks we are going to take a Biblical and practical look at what it means to be a disciple.

This week, we will see that a disciple is a Student. A student is taught something and, hopefully, learns something. How does that happen for a follower of Jesus?  How can we actively pursue this idea of being a student?

To prepare, class, you have an assignment (of course you have an assignment!):

1) Read Matthe

w 28:18-20

2) Read Matthew 7:24-27

3) Think about what significance these passage have in the idea of dealing with What It Means to be a Disciple of Jesus.
Let’s take this educational field trip together and see how being a disciple can transform our lives and then the lives of others.

Looking forward to Sunday!!

 

Grace and peace,

Doug

________________________________

GRACE2F HAPPENINGS

________________________________

Grace2F Bible Study

Join us Wednesday nights from 7:00pm-8:30pm in the Hilltop Community Church Fellowship Hall.

___________________

Russell House Ministry

October 20th– 2:00pm-3:00pm

Join me at the church service at Russell House to minister to the men and woman who attend.

________________________________