Sunday, February 15, 2015
There are many things in life that are important to guard. I remember as a young man hearing Larry Byrd give a motivational speech in which he said that intense practice guards our skills as athletes. Notice the language, “guards.” What is implied is that we are given gifts: be it athletics, public speaking, playing a musical instrument, or singing. We don’t grow it or develop it. It is a gift that must be guarded, watched, protected.
Sunday, February 8, 2015
February 8, 2015 | Pastor John Bayles | Before I Leave You: The Privilege and Purpose of Election | John 15:17-28
Jesus has just made an astounding assertion to His disciples and to us who are a part of that number: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name” (John 15:16). We are God’s choice. An astounding statement, yet one that if properly understood demonstrates that without it, we would be eternally lost in the mire of our own self-will.
Sunday, February 1, 2015
Jesus’ public ministry is over. The setting for these verses is the upper room where Jesus has gathered with His disciples for the Passover meal and His final meal with them. He has washed their feet. Though there is no mention of the Lords supper in the Gospel of John, it is clear from the Synoptic Gospels that He has instituted the celebration of the new covenant meal. Judas has been identified as the betrayer and has left the group to do his evil deed. Jesus begins to teach His disciples. His subject is discipleship.
Sunday, January 25, 2015
January 25, 2015 | Pastor John Bayles | Before I Leave You: True Peace, True Reconciliation | John 14:26-31
These are that last comments that Jesus will make with his disciples in the upper room during the Passover and the last supper. It is interesting that here, in this upper room, He reveals to them that the Holy Spirit will come to them. Could it be that in this very same upper room, not many day hence, the Holy Spirit Jesus speaks about in this room, will come in power in the same room?
Sunday, January 18, 2015
To this point in his Gospel, Jesus has not spoken very much about the Holy Spirit. We should not, however, assume that there is no presence of the Holy Spirit. The fact that this Gospel and all of the scriptures has been written and preserved throughout time and history is the absolute evidence of the inspiring and preserving work of the Holy Spirit. As the Apostle Peter stated, “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20,21).
Sunday, January 11, 2015
In today’s text the Apostle Paul renders one of the most meaningful expressions of prayer and praise in all of Pauline literature. As we enter into the new year, my hope is that this prayer will become a reality in each of our lives. In this prayer we see a synopsis of the whole of the Gospel message and especially as we seek to become caught in it’s day to day flow in our lives.
Sunday, January 4, 2015
Under all the anger and persecution against the heretics of the Way, was a heart that had hoped for the Messiah. During his lifetime of education both as a child and then as a man engrossed in the Pharisaical training under the great Gamaliel, Saul had been prepared to the highest levels of his Hebrew religion.
Sunday, December 21, 2014
December 21, 2014 | Pastor John Bayles | Fourth Sunday of Advent: Jesus, the Suffering Servant | Hebrews 12:1-4
How often do we interpret the life of Jesus from the vantage point of how we perceive our own life? Jesus was a man like us. He “endured such opposition from sinful men” (Heb. 12:3). We know from the Scriptures that He “suffered when He was tempted” (Heb. 2:18) and that “...we have One Who was tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin” (Heb. 4:15). We can identify in a very worldly way with our Savior. However, though Jesus shared the humanity that we understand, it is wrong to believe that He experienced it as we do. Jesus’ visitation in the flesh was not at all common or even similar to us. Basically, He was like us in the flesh, but we are not like Him.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
December 14, 2014 | Pastor Tom Mabie | Third Sunday of Advent: Who is This Jesus? | Isaiah 52:13-53:12
This is a season of preparation, anticipation, and expectation. The question is what is expected. What was expected in Jesus’ day? What do we expect today?
It’s really a question of who is Jesus and what is his purpose. It is really about Jesus’ identity. I want to invite you to spend some time looking together with me a Jesus’ identity as we walk through part of Isa 52 and Isa 53. Here we see Jesus identified, as the suffering servant, the Messiah, the Lamb of God and the perfect sacrifice who takes away sin of the world. Jesus’ identity is also affirmed in his baptism when God said, "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased" (Luke 3:22).
Sunday, December 7, 2014
December 7, 2014 | Pastor John Bayles | Second Sunday Of Advent: What A Great Grace Is Mine! | Ephesians 2:1-10
The sentiment has been expressed throughout the ages that if we do not first understand how miserable our condition was and how far we actually were from God, we will not fully appreciate how great the benefits to us are of the cross. As has been the case throughout all of history, our present culture wants to think about the goodness of man, the greatness of man, the kindness of man. In fact it is believed by most that if treated well, fed well, and given equal freedom and comforts, mankind would never turn to evil naturally.