(2) Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the Disciple of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work.”
This scripture was written by Paul to Timothy. Paul and Timothy were very close friends. In fact, Paul referred to himself as Timothy’s spiritual father. 2 Timothy is the second letter Paul has written to Timothy. The first was much more formal where as this one was less formal and more to the point. Paul’s situation had changed and he was now in prison and knew his time on this earth was coming to an end. Chapter three is a warning to Timothy of those who would be abandoning the faith. The chapter wraps up with Paul reminding Timothy to rely on scripture for everything he needs.
Psalm 119:105: Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
The first benefit of the Bible is that it will guide you and provide you with counsel. There’s no other book that can give such complete guidance for every life experience. By studying the Word of God daily we are in direct contact with the mind of God. This contact provides assistance in making the best choices for our life. This is especially true when challenges arise in our lives that are outside of our daily routine.
God knows the Future and loves us
Jeremiah 29:11: says; For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Who better to provide guidance and counsel than someone who loves us and knows what is ahead of us? Have you ever been driving down the road and a car coming towards you in the opposite direction flashed head lights at you? What was the driver communicating to you? There’s a police officer ahead of you, so make sure your doing the speed limit. We listen to people who know what’s ahead of us. God knows not only what’s ahead of us, but what’s at every turn and step of the way for the rest of our lives. There is no better guidance and counsel than the Word of God.
See also; Psalm 32:8-9, Psalm 25:9
Matthew 4:4 Jesus said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God.”
We get our nourishment which provides us with strength from the food we eat. Jesus commands that we are not to live on bread alone. This is a strong statement since the food we eat helps to sustain our life. The commandment is to be nourished and strengthened by the Word of God.
It stands to reason then; not living on the word of God daily can have a similar effect as that of not eating daily. We can become weak and malnourished.
See also; 1 Peter 1:23
1 Peter 2:21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.
As Christians we are Disciples of Jesus. Our goal is to imitate Him and walk as He walked. He is our example as to how we are to live our life.
Hebrews 12:2 says; Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
How can we be like Jesus unless we study his ways? How can He perfect our faith unless we look to Him through His Word?
The Holy Bible can be a deep and seemingly confusing book to read. But then any book read out of context can be confusing. Who begins reading a novel by starting anywhere other than the beginning? Not only that, don’t you always read the synopsis of the book before reading. In fact, we read that to decide if we want to read the book at all. However, when it comes to the Bible we think its okay to pick it up and read it as standalone verses. While we often derive inspiration from single passages, we don’t get the whole picture or the intended message.
When studying the Bible ask questions such as; who, what, when, where and why
Regardless what scripture you’re reading you need to know the details surrounding the text to put it into proper perspective. Who wrote it and who was it written to? What was going on at the time and why was it written. When we study scripture we should also consider what it meant to its original recipients.
The Bible is filled with a wealth of information and wisdom designed to enrich our lives. The more time you invest in this Book the more benefits you’ll reap from its pages.
Bible Study Method: S.O.A.P
It’s also important to determine how you’re going to study the Bible. Will you be using a store bought study guide or systematically going through book by book? On (of many) methods of studying the Bible is called, S.O.A.P. This is a simple journaling method that can be used to enrich your study time.
S.O.A.P stands for;
Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. Below you will find instructions as well as a sample page to use for journaling during your own Bible study.
Pastor Bryan – Community Church | Discipleship: Be One; Make One (26 min.)
Years ago there was a movie called the Karate Kid. It was about a young teenage boy who moves to a new town with his mother. He meets a girl shortly after starting school and just when he thinks things are starting to look up for him, he learns she has a jealous ex-boyfriend.
There is a confrontation and ongoing bullying from him and his friends. It comes to a head one night when he is walking home from a party and gets jumped by the ex-boyfriend and his friends. Although he was beat up pretty bad, something happened during this event that changed his life forever. He was rescued by an older man who was well versed in Karate.
The next day he spoke to the man who rescued him the night before. The young boy was completely amazed by the older man’s skills and asked to be trained to fight like him. The old man (now his sensei/ teacher) agreed under the conditions that he do exactly what he was told without question or complaint. He also had to commit to seeing the training through to the end, no matter how difficult. The boy agreed, and so the training began. The teacher first had the boy way all six of his cars; he then had him sand his deck, followed by painting his fence. With each chore the teacher had a specific way he wanted the young boy to perform the work. With each assignment the boy got more and more frustrated, believing he was being taken. All he wanted to do is learn karate and he was eager for the training to begin. After he completed his final chore, he was so angry he confronted the teacher. He believed all this work was a breach of agreement.
After his rant, the teacher asked him to demonstrate how to paint a fence. The young boy was still feeling his time was being wasted. He half heartedly agreed to go along with the teacher’s request. Systematically the teacher demonstrated how each chore he had the young boy complete was in fact, teaching the art of karate. The boy was shocked how his teacher’s unconventional methods had taught him karate, without him realizing he was being trained. He never questioned his teacher’s methods again. From that point forward he trusted and believed in his sensei.
This is a good illustration of the discipleship process. We get a glimpse of Jesus, and what he’s about and want to learn more. People often believe discipleship begins once a person is saved. In fact, discipleship begins prior to a person being saved. Discipleship begins when we desire to learn more about Christ. It carries on for the rest of our lives for those who come to believe.
Matthew 28: 18-20 says; “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Christ gives a command, make disciples. He tells us how to do this and also provides a promise to be with us ALWAYS. Discipleship is much more than sharing scripture with a person or inviting them to church. It’s entering into a relationship where we take interest in their future. It involves not only teaching but living out scripture as you model Christ-like behavior. It’s being Christ to those we teach.
A hog and a hen sharing the same barnyard heard about a church’s program to feed the hungry. The hog and the hen discussed how they could help. The hen said, “I’ve got it! We’ll provide bacon and eggs for the church to feed the hungry.” The hog thought about the suggestion and said, “There’s only thing wrong with your bacon and eggs idea. For you, it only requires a contribution, but from me, it will mean total commitment!” That’s the cost of discipleship.
(Matthew 28: 19-20) Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
(Ephesians 5:1-2) Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
See also; John 13:15, John 15:4, 1 Corinthians 11:1
(John 13:34-35) A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
See also; John 13:12-17, Ephesians 4:2, 1 John 4:8, Matthew 22:37-39
(Luke 14:27) Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
See also; Luke 9:23, Matthew 10:38, Matthew 16:24
Salvation is FREE but discipleship cost Everything.
(Acts 2:42) They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer
See also; Hebrews 10:25
If you want to make sure you are following through with your commitment to be a Disciples of Christ, here are five steps you can take to ensure you’re on the right path.
Sermon – Pastor Bryon (July 2, 2017)
Years ago as a young Christian I struggled with my lifestyle not measuring up to what I thought it should be. I wanted to live like a Christian and tried time and time again to live a wholesome lifestyle, but failed miserably. I couldn’t understand how “those people” in the church seemed to be doing it so easily, while I was struggling. What resulted from my failure and frustration was giving up. I believed being a hypocrite was worse than being a failure, so I just stopped trying. Although I gave up, there was something inside of me that yearned to be close to God. This produced chaos inside of me and created a battle in my mind that went on for years.
It took me a long time, but I have come to understand one simple fact; I didn’t know Jesus at all. I knew He was God and I confessed with my mouth and accepted Him as my savior, but I didn’t know Him and what He was really about.
The essence of who Jesus is and what He’s about can be summed up in Matthew 11: 28-30
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
When Jesus spoke these words His audience was made up of Jews and He knew firsthand the load they were under. The Mosaic Law was burdensome. The Jewish people were living under the demands of a system that required more from them than they could give.
Jesus begins this invitation with a request, come to me. This isn’t a simple request to come stand by my side. He’s saying, believe in me and be my disciples. His appeal is to everyone who is tired; beat down, depressed, weary, and carrying a heavy load. Jesus follows it up with a promise of rest. He’s offering something that appeals to most everyone. We can all relate to being overburdened from time to time. His audience was most certainly made up of people who were terribly troubled and even oppressed by the leaders of the day.
When Jesus refers to the burden He puts on us as a yoke, He is most likely using the language His audience can relate to, such as farmers. A yoke is a wooden harness used to guide oxen or other draft animals while plowing fields. Jesus uses the word yoke figuratively. He doesn’t say there is no yoke, but rather the yoke is “easy”. In fact, it is by taking on His yoke that He can provide this rest.
So what is the yoke Jesus puts on us?
To take on the yoke of Jesus is actually a release from burden. Yokes are made to bring two animals, such as oxen together. The yoke helps distribute the load between them. Jesus said his yoke is light. This is because He carries all the burden of His yoke. We co-labor with Christ as He uses his own strength. That’s why Paul says, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil 4:13).
In John 6:28-29 Jesus was asked what is required to do the work of God, and Jesus responded; “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” TO BELIEVE IN THE ONE HE SENT. That’s what God wants from us, believe. This is why the Good News is so good. In fact, we should be calling it the Great News. Jesus has offered up himself as a sacrifice for our sins. The requirement to partake in what he has for us is merely to believe in Him. To partake in the peace that He has for us, believe in Him, to make it through the hard times, believe in Him, to save your marriage, believe in Him.
Like the early Jews we keep trying to take on the heavy burden of a hard yoke because there has to be more to this Christian life. In Acts 15 Paul and Barnabas were confronted with a situation where men were teaching, you must be circumcised according to the laws of Moses to be saved. Peter responded to the men by asking, “why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
Jesus has given us all we need to live a life pleasing to God. The best part, He carries the burden. Try as we may, we’ll never be good enough and we’ll never be righteous in the eyes of God except through the blood of Jesus. Rather than focusing on our problems, our sin and trying to be righteous, let’s shift our focus.
Focus on this
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12: 30-31)”
Focus on loving God and loving people. In order to love anyone we need to get to know them, spend time together, learn their ways.
God is no different; to love Him we need to get to know Him. There are three ways to do this;
Make a commitment to spend time everyday in His word.
Spend time in prayer speaking to God every day. Always take time to listen too.
This is essential to your relationship with God and without it you won’t experience the fullness of all God has for you.
These three steps will change your life. Before you know it, you will be stronger spiritually, and emotionally. Some of those struggles you’ve been dealing with will start to fade away and you will experience true peace in your life.
Sermon: Pastor Bryon, June 25, 2017
Have you even gotten onto a crowded elevator packed full of strangers? How does it make you feel? I get a little uneasy and my stress level tends to rise a bit. In fact, sometimes when I’m waiting for the door to open to an elevator I get little uneasy knowing elevators can be socially awkward. When the door finally opens, and I step inside, I immediately check the buttons to find my floor, and then I find my place to stand. Even if there’s only one other person inside, two strangers riding the elevator in silence is pretty awkward, wouldn’t you say?
What If, when the elevator door opens, everyone inside was good friends instead of strangers? I’d probably feel at peace and even joy as I stepped inside. I’d be engaging, maybe joking with certain ones and making eye contact.
Let’s take it one more step, as the elevator door opens; we notice it is full of good friends. However, we notice there’s one person in the back who we recently had a heated disagreement with that hasn’t been resolved. What type of feelings does this induce? For me, the feelings may be very similar to that of the first scenario, where everyone was a stranger. Although everyone else is a friend, I probably wouldn’t feel at peace, and I wouldn’t be as engaging and talkative.
Why do we react like this? Why does conflict and even strangers make us feel so uneasy?
God created us to be in relationships with one another (Gen. 2:18), and it goes against our nature to be out of relationship. When social situations arise where, we either aren’t engaging in an ongoing relationship, or actively working on a new one, it creates uneasy feelings inside.
Have you ever been on an elevator and stranger strikes up a conversation with you? Your first feelings may be, I don’t want to be bothered, or you may be on guard against unsafe people. But doesn’t it seem to relieve some of the tension in the elevator? I’ve had times when I stepped off the elevator smiling because I had a pleasant encounter with a stranger.
There’s no doubt new relationships can be challenging. Past relationships and bad experiences may have put us on guard, or you may have led a sheltered life and just haven’t developed your social skills.
To build a healthy church we need to actively and purposefully work on building healthy relationships. God commands us that we are to love God and love people (Mat. 22: 36-39). That means we have to put ourselves out there and get close to folks, even when we don’t feel like it.
What the formula for a healthy relationship?
Healthy relationships possess certain characteristics which help it to be healthy. Here is a list of some of those characteristics we need in order to thrive in a relationship.
What are your top five must have characteristics in a healthy relationship?
For any relationship to work we must have trust. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.
How do we get to trust in a relationship?
Dignity + Respect + Honesty = Trust
Take any of the above 4 characteristics away and you lose an essential aspect needed for a healthy relationship.
Have you ever had someone be brutally honest with you about something and it hurt you? Honesty alone doesn’t build trust. When I know the person being honest with me is doing it out of love and they are being respectful of my feelings and treating me with dignity, I can accept their honesty.
As we actively and purposely work to build healthy relationships we need to keep three things in mind.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (Eph. 4:2-3)
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. (Eph. 4:25)
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. (Jam. 1:19)
As we move forward towards our first church service and beyond we realized something, WE NEED HELP…. As funny as it would be to watch the Pastor preach and work the audio/ Video equipment at the same time, we think it might be best if we get him some help. Here is a listing of some of the immediate volunteer positions we have available, along with a volunteer job description with each.
Other volunteer positions coming soon
If you believe one of the immediate needs is something you would like to do, please contact Pastor Bryon at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Title: WHAT IS OUR PURPOSE?
Scripture: Acts 1: 1-11
1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
Overview of the book of Acts (Acts of the Apostles)
Nowhere in the book itself does it say outright that Luke is the author. However, there is plenty of information, both within the Bible, as well as external sources, which confirms him as the author. People sometimes get confused about Luke, believing he was one of the Apostles. He was not an Apostle; he was a friend of Paul (companion).
Luke wrote this book from the perspective of a historian, to record the work of the Apostles. The book provides a model for today’s church.
Consider these two questions for Wednesday night
What Is Our Purpose Here On Earth?
Before we can consider the purpose of the Church, we should first consider our own purpose in this world. You may have many different purposes in life. As a mother or father your purpose may be to raise a healthy, loving, secure child. As a husband or wife your purpose may be to love your spouse and provide, honor or cherish them. As an employee to your employer your purpose may be to provide an honest day’s work.
As we move forward in this study let’s consider an overall purpose and go a bit deeper. What are your gifts and how do you use them? What are you passionate about?
Jesus Established Purpose
Acts 1: 1-11 records potentially the most important events of the entire Bible. Jesus was born, walked and preached among us, and died on a cross. If that was the end of the story we’d be left to wonder about the truth of who Jesus was. His disciples probably wouldn’t have continued His ministry. They may have even returned back to what they were doing before meeting Jesus. His appearances gave the Apostles the confidence not only to continue the Ministry and spread it throughout the world, but to also go to their deaths defending what they knew to be true. Records show almost all of the disciples died a martyr’s death in distant lands.
What did Jesus accomplish during his resurrection appearances before his ascension?
Famous last words:
Last words spoken by a person who knows they are dying often represent what is most important to them. Or in the case of the last two below (atheists) may have been an unveiling of truth.
Actor Michael Landon, best known for Little House on the Prairie and Highway to Heaven, died of cancer in 1991. His family gathered around his bed, and his son said it was time to move on. Landon said, “You’re right. It’s time. I love you all.”
Writer T.S. Eliot was only able to whisper one word as he died: “Valerie,” the name of his wife.
Football coach Vince Lombardi died of cancer in 1970. As he died, Lombardi turned to his wife Marie and said, “Happy anniversary. I love you.”
John Wayne died at age 72 in L.A. He turned to his wife and said, “Of course I know who you are. You’re my girl. I love you.”
And according to Steve Jobs’ sister Mona, the Apple founder’s last words were, “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.” (Atheists)
Voltaire’s last words, “I am abandoned by God and man! I shall go to hell! O Christ, O Jesus Christ!”. (Atheists)
Last words spoken by Jesus: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
What does the words of Jesus mean to you personally regarding your purpose?
Developing our own Mission Statement
When you think of the words, “mission statement”, often it is associated with an organization or church. Community Church has a mission statement, “Partnering with one another to develop lives full of hope and purpose, as we connect with God, each other, and strive to make a positive impact on our world.”
Mission statements are the reason we exist and are usually formulated in short, one to three sentence statements.
Let’s take a few minutes to consider our own personal, life, mission statement and see if we can develop one that accurately defines our purpose.
What’s important to me? (Examples: Husband, Wife, Career)
What does “the best” look like for me? (Describe your best possible result. This isn’t the time to be realistic. This is the time to dream. Example, I want to bring peace to the world)
What is a driving force in your life or what motivates you? (Examples: Family, Faith, Work)
How do I want to act? How do you want people to describe you? (Think of a few words you would want to come to mind when people think about you)
What is your mission statement?
Mission Statement Examples
“To inspire positive change through teaching and coaching.”
“To create opportunities for today’s youth.”
“To encourage, engage, and equip others to grow in their faith.”
“To positively impact the life of every person I meet.”
“To encourage everyone I interact with on a daily basis.”
In preparation for Wednesday nights Bible study, I’d like to share our scripture for that lesson. This will give you time to read and consider the passage and how it applies to your life. I’m also providing an overview of the book of Acts for better perspective while studying.
Title: WHAT IS OUR PURPOSE?
Scripture: Acts 1: 1-11
1 The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, 3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me[a]in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
Overview of the book of Acts (Acts of the Apostles)
Nowhere in the book itself does it say outright that Luke is the author. However, there is plenty of information, both within the Bible, as well as external sources, which confirms him as the author. People sometimes get confused about Luke believing he was one of the Apostles. He was not an Apostle; he was a friend of Paul (companion).
Luke wrote this book from the perspective of a historian, to record the work of the Apostles. The book provides a model for today’s church.
Read Luke 1:1-4 and then read Acts 1:1-11 again.
Consider these two questions for Wednesday night
This past Thursday we had an information meeting. We discussed the vision for Community Church to include outreach and discipleship paths. Here is a brief outline of some topics we covered.
Partnering with one another to develop lives full of hope and purpose, as we connect with God, each other, and strive to make a positive impact on our world.
PLANTING CHURCHES THAT PLANT CHURCHES
Community Church will enter into this ministry with the understanding it has a mid range goal to plant a church. The church we plant will also be founded with the goal to plant a church, and so on.
WORSHIP SERVICES: We want to foster an environment that’s warm and welcoming.
What to expect for church service:
WHAT WE BELIEVE
God is responsible for salvation and worrying about sin. We’ll focus on the following:
Bible studies scheduled for the next two Wednesday evenings.
Everyone is welcome to come and join us for the Bible studies as well as the journey ahead.
We set a date for our next meeting which is next Thursday May 25,2017 at 6:00 PM. This will be an informational meeting as well as a prayer meeting and open to anyone wishing to attend. A post will be put on Facebook to inform the community.
Get Directions to Community Church