Central Church of Christ Blog

Sermon Notes 6/9/24 – River of Life (Rev.22:1-5) – Patrick Lankford

Welcome to Central Church of Christ.  Show God’s Love. Tell God’s Story, Be God’s Family.

We all need water. It is one of the 3 basic needs.

Specifically, water:

  • brings nutrients to cells 
  • gets rid of waste
  • protects joints and organs 
  • maintains body temperature
    • Simply: It cleanses us, sustains us, and maintains us.

God uses water as a powerful symbol of the source of life with Him

Cleansing (& New Beginnings)

    • Flood- Gen 6:17-19 
  • 17 For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female.
    • The Red Sea- Ex. 14:29-31
  • 29 But the people of Israel walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 30 Thus the LORD saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31 Israel saw the great power that the LORD used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the LORD, and they believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses.
    • Purification Rituals
  •  
    • Jordan Crossing- Josh. 2 & 3:17 
  • 17 Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan.
    • Naaman- 2 Kings 5:14,17-18 
  • 14 So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. 
  • 17 Then Naaman said, “If not, please let there be given to your servant two mule loads of earth, for from now on your servant will not offer burnt offering or sacrifice to any god but the LORD. 18 In this matter may the LORD pardon your servant: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, leaning on my arm, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, when I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon your servant in this matter.”
    • Baptism-
      • Jesus- John 1:29-34
  • 29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”
      • 3000 souls- Acts 2:40-41, 47b
  • 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.  
  • 47b …And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

God is the Source of that Life (He Sustains and Maintains)

The River of the Water of Life is Eternal and Flows From God’s Presence

    • Tree of Life- Gen. 2:5-6,10
  • 5 When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up–for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, 6 and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground–
  • 10 A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers.
    • From God’s Throne- Rev. 22:1-3 
  • 1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.
    • God’s Word- Psalm 1:1-4
  • 1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. 4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
    • Ultimately In Jesus- John 4:6-14 
  • 6 Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. 7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
      • John 7:37-39– Jesus is the source of living water (the Spirit)
  • 37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
      •  

Are You Connected to the Source?

    • Galatians 5:19-23- 
  •  19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
    • James 3:11-12- 
  • 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

Conclusion:

God has provided access to the river of the water of life through Jesus.

    • John 19:34
  • 34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.

Are you connected to the source? Do you have eternal life?

  • Have you been made clean from sin and death and made new?
  • If you are connected, are you sharing that life with others and connecting them to the source?

Read more...

June 2024 Daily Bible Reading

June Bible Reading- “Rooted in Jesus: Flourish”

Click the link to each chapter to read, listen, and study the Scriptures. 

As I engage the Scriptures, what is the Holy Spirit teaching me about: Who I am? Who God is? What I am created to do? 

  1. Luke 1
  2. Luke 2
  3. Luke 3
  4. Luke 4
  5. Luke 5
  6. Luke 6
  7. Luke 7
  8. Luke 8
  9. Luke 9
  10. Luke 10
  11. Luke 11
  12. Luke 12
  13. Luke 13
  14. Luke 14
  15. Luke 15
  16. Luke 16
  17. Luke 17
  18. Luke 18
  19. Luke 19
  20. Luke 20
  21. Luke 21
  22. Luke 22
  23. Luke 23
  24. Luke 24
  25. Galatians 1
  26. Galatians 2
  27. Galatians 3
  28. Galatians 4
  29. Galatians 5
  30. Galatians 6
If you would like to discuss the reading, comments can be posted on the church website below the post. Link here.
 

Read more...

May 2024 Daily Bible Reading

May Bible Reading- “Rooted in Jesus: Mighty King”

If you would like to discuss the reading, comments can be posted on the church website below the post. Link here.

As I engage the Scriptures, what is the Holy Spirit teaching me about: Who I am? Who God is? What I am created to do? 

  1. 1 Samuel 16
  2. 1 Samuel 17
  3. 1 Samuel 18
  4. 1 Samuel 19
  5. 1 Samuel 20
  6. 1 Samuel 21
  7. 1 Samuel 22
  8. 1 Samuel 23
  9. 1 Samuel 24
  10. 1 Samuel 25
  11. 1 Samuel 26
  12. 1 Samuel 27
  13. 1 Samuel 28
  14. 1 Samuel 29
  15. 1 Samuel 30
  16. 1 Samuel 31
  17. 2 Samuel 1
  18. 2 Samuel 2
  19. 2 Samuel 3
  20. 2 Samuel 4
  21. 2 Samuel 5
  22. 2 Samuel 6
  23. 2 Samuel 7
  24. 2 Samuel 8
  25. 2 Samuel 9
  26. 2 Samuel 10
  27. 2 Samuel 11
  28. 2 Samuel 12
  29. 2 Samuel 22
  30. 2 Samuel 23
  31. 2 Samuel 24

Read more...

Declutter Day 4/27/24

This Saturday, April 27th, we will be having a de-clutter day at Central. We will be going through various parts of the buildings and removing or re-purposing items in the buildings that have exceeded their purpose.If you could share some time this Saturday, please meet at the building at 10:00 am. This is open to anyone who could share a few minutes to help with this clean-up effort . Men & Women are welcome.


Read more...

What Is Your Hope? Sermon Notes 4-7-2024

What do you hope for? What do you wait for?

1 Cor. 13:13 that the 3 spiritual gifts that will remain are faith, hope, and love.

What is biblical hope?
  • Hope: 
      • Hope is the desire for something good in the future.
      • Hope is the good thing in the future that we are desiring.
      • Hope is the reason why our hope might come to pass.
  • Worldly Hope:
    •  
    • Uncertain. 
  • Biblical Hope: 
    • It is certain. Like a rope under tension, about to break.
      • Biblical hope is waiting with a confident expectation and desire for something good in the future. 
    • Because God is certain.
      • Exodus 34:6-7a-“The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in faithfulness and truth; who keeps faithfulness for thousands, who forgives wrongdoing, violation of His Law, and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished,” 
      • Heb 6:17-20- In the same way God, desiring even more to demonstrate to the heirs of the promise the fact that His purpose is unchangeable, confirmed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to hold firmly to the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and reliable and one which enters within the veil, 20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

What does the Bible say Christians hope?

  • In Jesus and His Resurrection
    • Romans 3:23- for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
    • Eph 2:12- having no hope and without God in the world.
    • Is 11:10/Romans 15:12- “THERE SHALL COME THE ROOT OF JESSE, AND HE WHO ARISES TO RULE OVER THE GENTILES, IN HIM WILL THE GENTILES HOPE.”
    • Titus 2:11-14- For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously, and in a godly manner in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, eager for good deeds.
    • 1 Peter 1:3-5- Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
  • For Our Resurrection:
    • New Life and New Body
      • John 11:25-26- Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; the one who believes in Me will live, even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.
      • 1 Cor. 15:42-49- So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
  • New Heaven and New Earth
    • Rev. 21:1-5- Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among the people, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” 5 And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”
    • Rev. 21:22- I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
 
One of my favorite songs is “My Only Hope is You.” 

v. 1- “My only hope is you, Jesus. My only hope is you. From early in the 

morning, to late at night, my only hope is you.”


Read more...

Spring 2024 Growth Group Topic “Unashamed”

Our Spring Growth Group topic will be “Unashamed: Living Out Loud for Christ,” themed around Romans 1:16.
Being confident in our faith isn’t always easy. Culture wants us to conform rather than stand out and church culture often glorifies perfection and power, making us want to hide our flaws and weaknesses. So how do we proclaim the gospel when it is much easier to stay silent? Can we live boldly for Jesus when we know we are weak and flawed? Join Grammy and Dove Award-winning hip-hop artist Lecrae in this six-session series as he equips, empowers, and encourages us to live unashamed of our faith and of who God created us to be.
 
Topic Overview: 
March 10 – Unashamed of Weakness
March 24 – Unashamed to Follow
April 14 – Unashamed to Serve
April 28 – Unashamed to Profess
May 12 – Unashamed to Lead
May 26 – Unashamed to Hope
 

Read more...

March 2024 Daily Bible Reading

The YouVersion App is no longer hosting our selected Bible readings. So, we will host our Bible readings via the church’s app and website instead. Paper copies will still be made available at the church building. We apologize for any inconvenience. 
 
The March Bible reading starts March 1!
Topic: “Rooted in Jesus: Letters”
Click on each chapter to go to the reading via BLB.

Read more...

Involvement Forms!

We are still accepting involvement forms!
Fill yours out at bit.ly/centralinvolve

Read more...

Feb 2024 Bible Reading

Join our February Bible Reading, starting Feb 1!
Rooted in Jesus: “Miracles”
https://bit.ly/48UJB7v
 
PDF version
 
We have found Android users might have trouble with the link above. If so, please use the link below:

Read more...

January 21 Worship Service Update

We will have our regularly scheduled morning class and worship service. Our Sunday evening service is canceled. Please use extreme caution if you choose to join us in the morning. If you do not feel comfortable traveling, we invite you to join us via our livestream on Facebook, YouTube, or our website (christiscentral.org/videos)

Read more...

Wednesday PM Service Update

Due to current weather conditions, we will not meet for service tonight at the church building.
James Farris will be hosting a devotional through our live stream from 6:30 – 7:00 PM.
God bless and stay safe.

Read more...

Take-Home PM Devotional 12/31/23

LOOKING TO 2024 – REFLECTIONS AND EXPECTATIONS

Only Jesus can provide us with abundance and enable us to walk in the light. (John 8:12, Matthew 5:14)  Last week we considered some of the blessings God provided for us in 2023.  Certainly, all His gifts to us will be ever-present until life is over.  How blessed we are!

            Tonight, we turn our attention inward.  We stand at the door of a new year with new beginnings.  We ask a simple question now.  How can I change my life and do more to bring God glory in 2024?  Let’s consider ways to improve our lives and dedicate ourselves to that end. 

SPIRITUAL EXPECTATIONS-NEW BEGINNINGS

What Will We Do for God in 2024?

Song Selection:  Take My Life and Let It Be

Song with Lyrics (click the link): youtu.be/gAOcYrbYHr8 

FULLY GIVE OURSELVES TO THE LORD.
(Acts 8:1-4) How will discipleship guide your life in 2024?
 
FULLY EXCHANGE OUR WILL FOR HIS. (Matthew 16:24-27)
How can I change to make that happen?
 
FULLY TRUST HIM TO KEEP HIS PROMISES. (1 John 5:1-4) 
Will His promises strengthen you daily? 

PRAYER:  “Lord, as we go into the new year, we are thankful for all you have done for us in the past.  We trust in your will for our lives and know our future can be strong and certain.  Help us to always see your plan and remember we are part of it.  Give us faith, hope and love each day.  May we go forward in your Son’s name, to live at our highest spiritual potential.  It is in His name we offer this prayer.”

“Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.” (Isaiah 55:6)

May God bless your efforts each day in our future together.


Read more...

Take-Home PM Devotional 12/24/23

LOOKING TO 2024 – REFLECTIONS AND EXPECTATIONS

REACHING OUR POTENTIAL IN 2024

            As we close the door on 2023 and begin 2024, how can we improve our spiritual lives in the future?  As we seek our fullest potential, we should understand what Jesus called “abundant life”.  Jesus wants to convey a life of spiritual blessings with gifts that overflow into our lives.  He laid out His purpose for us in John 10:10.  “I have come that you may have life and that life more abundantly.”  He gives life unlike anything we could have ever enjoyed without Him.

            We should be thankful for such a blessing.  Jesus said in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world, he that follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life.”  Only He can give you a life better than the world offers.  As you wake to a new year, do so with your eyes opened to His way of thinking.  Tonight, we will reflect on the spiritual blessings God has given us.  Next Sunday night, we will consider some expectations for ourselves in 2024.  We pray this time of devotion will benefit everyone who takes part.

SPIRITUAL REFLECTIONS-A YEAR OF BLESSINGS

What Has God Done for Us in 2023?

Song Selection- What the Lord Has Done in Me

Song with Lyrics (click the link): youtu.be/nJDgKrl2gDg

GOD GAVE THE GIFT OF HIS LOVE.  (Colossians 1:9-14) 
How did you display His love in 2023?
 
GOD GAVE A YEAR TO SOW THE SEED. (1 Corinthians 3:5-9)
Where did you “plant the seed” of the gospel in 2023?
 
GOD GRANTED A YEAR OF DISCIPLESHIP. (Acts 2:38-47) 
In what ways did you grow closer to Jesus in 2023?

In considering these points, if you found deficiencies, how will you commit to improving them in 2024?


Read more...

New 2024 Bible Reading Plan- Jan. Sign Up

Read together through the YouVersion Bible App: https://bit.ly/3RSSKpR 

We hope you fill join us to be and remain “Rooted in Christ” this year. Each month of 2024, there will be a new themed Bible reading. Each day you will read 1 chapter, after which you can share your reflections with others on the plan through the YouVersion Bible App.

January’s theme is A New Beginning. Use the link above to sign up and invite others to join us, starting January 1!

Paper copies are available at the church building and linked here.

 


Read more...

Growth Groups- 9/24/23

Our second Growth Group meeting is tonight! 

Helpful Resources:
  • Leader/Study Guide (Go to Session 2): https://reader.rightnowmedia.org/5/160672
  • Lesson 2 Participant Guide is here
  • More info at https://www.christiscentral.org/growth-groups/
  • Reading for tonight: James 1:13-18
“Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”
‭‭James‬ ‭1‬:‭13‬-‭18‬ ‭ESV‬‬
https://bible.com/bible/59/jas.1.13-18.ESV

Read more...

First 23-24 Growth Group Meeting Tonight

Growth Groups begin tonight! 

Important Info:
  • All groups will start at 5, unless your leader has told you otherwise.
  • Leader/Study Guide: https://reader.rightnowmedia.org/5/160672
  • Lesson 1 Participant Guide is here
  • Attendance form for Co-Leader is here
  • More info at https://www.christiscentral.org/growth-groups/
  • All members have been requested to read James 1:1-12:
“James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings. Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits. Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”
‭‭James‬ ‭1‬:‭1‬-‭12‬ ‭ESV‬‬
https://bible.com/bible/59/jas.1.1-12.ESV

Read more...

Bloom Ladies Service Project

This Wednesday the Bloom Ladies will be getting together to clean the Farris’s home that they will be renting. Please meet at the Annex at 10 am if you would like to help. 


Read more...

The Book of James- A Preview Devotional

This Fall/Winter our Growth Groups will be studying The Book of James. We are getting excited to start our third year of Growth Groups on September 10th, and we hope that you are getting excited too! Below is a short preview of our study of James, with some questions for you and your family to enjoy time discussing together.

The book of James was written by James, the half-brother of Jesus, from Jerusalem, to Jewish Christians living outside of Palestine, around 40-60 AD. These are people like us, trying to live out in the world and be a follower of Christ, who need encouragement and wisdom to follow Him. Thus, James is a very practical book, almost like a manual for everyday Christian living, giving it the nickname “the Proverbs of the New Testament.”

Below is a preview of some questions James helps us answer. Please take some time to discuss with your family and friends how you would answer them, and take a look at what James has to say. 

  1. How do you react when being a Christian gets hard? (1:1-18)

  2. How do you react to temptation? Do you blame God for allowing the temptation? (1:13-18)

  3. What is the difference between calling yourself a Christian and being a Christian? (2:14-26)

  4. Why do negative words seem to have a greater impact on people than positive ones? (3:1-12)

  5. How is the wisdom of the world different from the wisdom of God? (3:13-18)

  6. How have you seen the power of prayer work in your life? (5:13-20)

 
If you haven’t signed up for Growth Groups yet, there is still time! You can sign up by turning in one of the fliers located in the church foyer, or on the church website at

Read more...

Growth Group Preview and Sign-Ups for Fall/Winter 23-24

Sign-up for Growth Groups here: https://forms.gle/cXGYJZtUJvczRBc9A 
Deadline to sign-up is August 27.
 
FALL WINTER 2023/24 – “The Book of James”
To get access to RightNowMedia CLICK HERE
JAMES TRAILER VIDEO: RightNow Media
 
Online Leader Guide: Leader Guide
 
Meeting #1: September 10, 2023
Focus Scripture: James 1:1-12
Participant GuideSession 1 Group Handout    
 
Meeting #2: September 24, 2023
Focus Scripture: James 1:13-18
Participant Guide: Session 2 Group Handout
 
Meeting #3: October 8, 2023
Focus Scripture: James 1:19-27
Participant Guide: Session 3 Group Handout
 
Meeting #4: October 22, 2023
Focus Scripture: James 2:1-13
Participant Guide: Session 4 Group Handout
 
Meeting #5: November 5, 2023
Focus Scripture: James 2:14-26
Participant Guide: Session 5 Group Handout
 
Meeting #6: November 19, 2023
Focus Scripture: James 3:1-12
Participant Guide:  Session 6 Group Handout
 
Meeting #7: December 10, 2023
Focus Scripture: James 3:13-18
Participant Guide: Session 7 Group Handout
 
Meeting #8: January 14, 2024
Focus Scripture: James 4:1-12
Participant Guide: Session 8 Group Handout
 
Meeting #9: January 28, 2024
Focus Scripture: James 4:13-17
Participant Guide: Session 9 Group Handout
 
Meeting #10: February 11, 2024
Focus Scripture: James 5:1-6
Participant Guide: Session 10 Group Handout
 
Meeting #11: February 25, 2024
Focus Scripture: James 5:7-12
Participant Guide: Session 11 Group Handout
 
Meeting #12: March 10, 2024
Focus Scripture: James 5:13-20
Participant Guide: Session 12 Group Handout

Read more...

Morning Breakfast with James Farris

We are excited to have James Farris and his family with us this weekend. James is interviewing for our minister position.
 
Tomorrow morning at 8:30 am, we will have a Meet and Greet with James. Coffee and donuts will be provided. Also, we will have a church, eat, church service, so bring your dishes!
See you all tomorrow morning!

Read more...

Father’s Day Devotional

Father’s Day: Put a New Twist on an Old Tradition

This year also consider all your Heavenly Father has done for you.

by Rachel Lovingood

The idea for Father’s Day began when a woman heard a Mother’s Day sermon and decided that she didn’t want all that her dad had done for her to go unrecognized. When you think about Father’s Day, what comes to your mind? Can you relate to this woman who was concerned about taking her father for granted?

Honoring fathers is important. After all, the Bible commands us to honor them; but, this year, think of Father’s Day with a new twist. Take some time to consider all your Heavenly Father has done for you and how you might be taking Him for granted.

God is Our Model Father

God Almighty is your Heavenly Father, and He is the perfect example of what it means to be a dad. Looking at each of the letters that make up the word “father,” consider some of the characteristics that set Him apart and provide a model for our human dads.

F   Forgiveness is a huge part of your relationship with your Father. He is willing and able to forgive you of any sin you commit if you will only ask Him. It’s comforting to know that nothing you do is ever so bad that God won’t forgive you (Romans 8:38-39; 1 John 1:9). Now, that’s unconditional acceptance.

A   He is active in your life all the time. God is always at work around you. Ask God to show you what He is doing. You will be amazed at all that is going on. More important, the invitation is open for you to get involved with Him. You never have to wait for your turn to be active with God (John 5:17).

T   Time for you. While humans get too busy to do this or that, God always has time for you. Whenever you feel lonely, struggle with a problem, want to share a thought, or need to deal with a concern, He is there for you. You can’t find a time in your day when He is too busy to talk or listen to you (Jeremiah 33:3).

H   The heart of the matter is that God knows your heart, and He loves you anyway. Proverbs tells us that the heart is deceitful above all things. Some people may not want to be in your life if you make mistakes. God wants to be with you anytime, and He alone is able to change your heart to be all you were created to be (1 John 4:9-10,19).

E   Everywhere sums up God’s place in your life. If you’re a Christian, there is nowhere you can go where He isn’t with you. It can be encouraging to realize that when you are in a tough place in your life, He is right there with you. Whether other people are there or not, God is by your side (Romans 8:35-39).

R   Rest and Read. These are two areas where most people could use a little work. Rest is important to you because it’s easy to become so busy that you don’t take time with the Lord. He wants you to set aside daily time to rest in Him and to read His Word. The Bible is His letter to His children. The best way to get to know your Father is to spend quality time resting and reading all about Him in His Word (John 14:21; Psalm 46:10).

All these attributes of God’s character make Him who He is. If you have been blessed with an earthly dad who has a lot in common with our Heavenly Father, be grateful. If you have missed out on a relationship with an earthly dad, be thankful that God is there for you and wants to meet the needs in your life. Let God know how much He means to you.
 

Link to Original Article: https://www.lifeway.com/en/articles/marriage-men-fathers-day-a-new-twist-on-an-old-day 


Read more...

Sermon Notes- Lessons from the Life of Gideon- Neil Hight- 4-23-2023

Judges 6:13-16
 
Lessons from the Life of Gideon
 
Why? -6:13
  • Why do bad things happen to good people?
  • Why do good things happen to bad people?
Excuse -6:15
  • I can’t____
  • I don’t WANT to
Rom 12:6  Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 
Rom 12:7  if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 
Rom 12:8  the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. 
 
Show Me – 6:36-40
  • EVIDENCE
  • 5874 manuscripts
  • Early Historians notes/letters/sermons
  • Archeology
Trust ME – 7:1-8
  • 2 Pe 1:3  His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 
  • John 10:10b I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly.
  • I AM the ……….
Victory Guaranteed -7:15
  • Mat 16:18  And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
  • 1Th 4:17  Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 
Opposition – 8:6-9
  • Religious Leaders –opposed Jesus
  • Matt 10:36 – opposition from own home
  • 1 Tim 4:12 – be an example
  • Matt 7:1 vs John 7:24
  • John 8:7 – cast the first stone
  • Gal 6:1 gentleness and 2 Tim 2:25 humility

Read more...

WILDLIFE VBS 2023 at Central

You are invited to a WILD LIFE VBS, July 16-19, from 5:30 PM – 8 PM.
 
Each evening we will start with a free meal at 5:30, follow by games, crafts, activities, and classes for kids of all ages.
 
We will be having a water activity on Wednesday, July 19 around 7:30 PM. Please send your child with a towel, and in appropriate, dark-colored clothing they can get wet in.
 
Registration is at bit.ly/centralvbs23
 
More information will be shared as we get closer to the event! Please follow our church’s Facebook page for more updates.
 
If you have any other questions, please contact the church office at office@spartacoc.com or Patrick Lankford at patricklankford@spartacoc.com.
 
Flyer here 

Read more...

Sermon Notes- 4/2/2023- Bruce McLarty- At the Feet of Jesus

Welcome to Central Church of Christ, a people who strive to Share God’s Love, Tell God’s Story, and Be God’s Family.
 
Luke 10:38-42
 
Where does this Sunday find us?
 
At the Feet of Jesus:
 
Mark 5:22-23- Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet and implored him earnestly saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.”
 
Mark 7:25-26- Immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter.
 
Luke 7:37-38- A woman of the city, who was a sinner . . . brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with ointment.
 
Luke 8:28-38- When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.” …”When the herdsmen saw what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid”
 
 
Luke 17:15-16- Then one of them (Lepers), when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. 
 
Matthew 15:30-31- Great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others, and they put them at his feet, and he healed them . . . And they glorified the God of Israel.
 
Matthew 28:8-9- So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.
 
What is OUR story from OUR time spent at the feet of Jesus?
 
Ian Maclaren- “Y ‘ill say what richt, nae doot o’ that, and a ‘body ‘ill be pleased wi’ ye, but oh, laddie, be sure ye say a gude word for Jesus Christ.”
 
In its essence, evangelism is sharing a God-touched piece of one’s own soul, sharing our own experience at
the feet of Jesus.
 
“I love to tell the story” – Jim Bill McInteer
 

Read more...

Sermon Notes- What Does It Mean to be a “Christian”? 3-26-2023

Welcome to Central Church of Christ, a people who strive to Show God’s Love, Tell God’s Story, and Be God’s Family.

What does it mean to be a “Christian”?

Etymology: 

Acts 11:26b“And in Antioch, the disciples were first called Christians.”

Blue Letter Bible-

OT Usage:

Gen. 31:13“I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. Now arise, go out from this land and return to the land of your kindred.’”

Gen. 28:10-2210 Jacob left Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 And he came to a certain place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. 12 And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! 13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. 14 Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” 18 So early in the morning Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. 19 He called the name of that place Bethel, but the name of the city was Luz at the first. 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, 21 so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, 22 and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house. And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.”

When something is anointed, it is a mark of a connection between heaven and earth, and a mark of God’s blessing.

Exodus 28:41

1 Samuel 10:1Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head and kissed him and said, “Has not the LORD anointed you to be prince over his people Israel? And you shall reign over the people of the LORD and you will save them from the hand of their surrounding enemies. And this shall be the sign to you that the LORD has anointed you to be prince over his heritage.

1 Samuel 16:13- Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.

1 Kings 1:39

1 Kings 19:16- And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place.

2 Kings 2:6-22

NT Usage: For Jesus

Matthew 16:16

Mark 8:29

Luke 22:67

John 11:27

Psalm 132:17-18- There I will make a horn to sprout for David; I have prepared a lamp for my anointed. 18 His enemies I will clothe with shame, but on him his crown will shine.”

Isaiah 61:1-2a- The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,

Luke 3:21-22

John 1:51And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you,[a] you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

John 14:6– Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.,

Matthew 8:16– That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick.

John 3:16– For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 

Matthew 4:17

Heb. 4:14-16

Is. 9:6-7

1 Tim 6:14-17

John 3:16

Matt. 4:16-21

NT Usage: For Us

2 Cor. 1:21-22And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us, 22 and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

Close:

His Hand Is Bigger Than Mine


Read more...

Sermon Notes- Spiritual Maturity, Patrick Lankford, 2-5-2023

Titus 2:1-8– But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. 2 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. 7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.

Welcome to Central Church of Christ, where we strive to Show God’s Love, Tell God’s Story, and Be God’s Family. 

Joseph Campbell’s “hero’s journey” or “monomyth.” 

John 14:6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Matt. 28:18-20– “18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Each of us is at one of these different points in our spiritual journey:

  • Point #1- Accepting the Call
  • Point #2- Struggling with Challenges and Temptations
  • Point #3- Maturing and Mentoring

Point #1- Accepting the Call

Romans 6:23- “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Gen. 1:26–  “Then God said, “Let us make man[a] in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Romans 3:23–  “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

John 3:16-18– “16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his  only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. “

Acts 2:38– “And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 6:3-4– “3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”

Point #2- Struggling with Challenges and Temptations

1 Peter 1:25b – 2:2And this word is the good news that was preached to you. So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation”

Heb. 6:1-2Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 and of instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.

Hebrews 5:12-14– “12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”

1 Cor. 2:14 – 3:3 -”14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. 2:1 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, 3 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?

Heb 5:1414 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”

Point #3- Maturing and Mentoring

Hebrews 5:1212 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food,

Ephesians 4:11-1611 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

James 3:1 “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” 

Matthew 28:18-20– “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[b] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” 

Deut. 11:18-19“You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 19 You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

Titus 2:1-8But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. 2 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. 7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.


Read more...

1/15/2023 Sermon Notes- “New Life” John 14:6- Patrick Lankford

New Life and New Year Resolutions

Welcome to Central Church of Christ, where we seek to Show God’s Love, Tell God’s Story, and Be God’s Family.

Top New Year’s Resolutions for 2023

New Year’s resolutions are hard!

How do we keep our goals?

  • Deeply understand why you want to change.
  • Set specific and challenging long-term goals
  • Set small and realistic short-term goals
  • Find like-minded people with the same goal

Why Do We Make Resolutions?

The Problem: An Life of Death, separated from God 

Gen. 1= Seven good things- 

  1. light v.4
  2. the land and sea v.10
  3. first life of plants v.12
  4. the lights of the sky v.17
  5. the creatures of air and water v.21
  6. the land creatures v.25
  7. everything with humanity in God’s image was very good v.31

Gen 2= Garden of Eden: 

  • A land of abundance v.8-9

And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

  • People had purpose v.15

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

  • They had healthy relationships with each other and with God v.18,24-25

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

  • Humanity had one choice to make: trust God and do what was right in His eyes, choosing life, or distrust God and do what seems right in their own eyes, choosing death. (v.16-17)

16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Gen 3:1-6

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.  He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

The world is no longer “very good.”

  • The man and woman hide themselves from each other and God. They fear both each other and God. Their relationships are broken. v.7,8,16
  • The serpent is cursed to live on the earth, and he is promised a deathblow from the seed of the woman. v.14-15
  • The ground is cursed to withhold its fruits from man, and man must labor for his food until he dies. v.19
  • Death enters the world (v.19 & 21), and man is driven out of the garden, away from God and away from the tree of life.

The Promise: A New Life, with God through Christ

Gen 3:15- I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

“in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Gen. 12:1-3 

Is 7:14-15

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 15 He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good.

Is 42:1

Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.

Is 52:13-15; 53:4-6,10-

13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. 14 As many were astonished at you— his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—15 so shall he sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths because of him, for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand.

53:4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

Jesus always chose to follow God’s wisdom. 

  • “in [His] father’s house” Luke 2:49
  • “fulfill all righteousness” Matt 3:13-15
  • “It is written” Matt 4:4,7,10.

Jesus’ call to a new life:

  • “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17
  • Matthew 9:2-7
      • 2 And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” 3 And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” 4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? 5 For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 7 And he rose and went home. 
  • John 3:14-21
      • 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
  • John 14:6- “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Matthew 16:14-16

And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Matt. 26:63-66

63 But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66 What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.”

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

2 Cor. 5:21- “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

1 Pet. 3:18– “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,”

Rev. 1:17-18

17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.

A New Life Resolution: Today and to Come

Ephesians 4:17-24:

17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

The new life today: v.25-32

  • We speak the truth v.25
  • We do not sin in our anger, and we don’t let the problem fester, we resolve the problem promptly v.26
  • We don’t even give the tempter a chance v.27
  • We do honest work, and share with anyone in need v.28
  • We build each other up with grace v.29
  • We don’t grieve the Holy Spirit v.30
  • We are kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving, like God in Christ v.32

Eternal life to come- 

Romans 6:22-23

22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Rev. 21:1-7:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” 5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 

Outro: What’s Your Resolution?

To be successful, remember to:

  • Deeply understand why you want to change.
    • Our world is broken because of our sinful choices that lead us to separation from God and each other.
  • Set specific and challenging long-term goals
    • We want to achieve eternal life with God and each other.
  • Set small and realistic short-term goals
    • We can do that today, by choosing to follow God’s wisdom and living the new life He gives us.
  • Find like-minded people with the same goal
    • You are not alone and don’t have to try and do it by yourself. We are all aiming for the same goal, and we are here to encourage each other to get there.

Matt 25:31-46

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you as a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

What’s your choice?


Read more...

2023 Involvement Form

Join us as we strive to Show God’s Love, Tell God’s Story, and Be God’s Family!
 
Click the link below to get involved!
 

Read more...

Sermon Notes 1-8-2023 “Be a Faithful Steward” Les Tubb

Be a Faithful Steward- Matthew 25:14-30 
  • What is a Steward?
      • 1 Cor.4:1
      • A steward is a servant entrusted with the management of a master’s possessions or people. The most essential quality of a steward is faithfulness. A faithful steward is trustworthy, dependable, reliable.
  • A Master delegates responsibility. 
      • Their responsibility matches their ability. v.14-15
      • Each steward manages his opportunity. v.16-18
  • The master returns and holds accountable v.19
      • Why are the first and second stewards blessed? v.20-23
      • Why is the third steward cursed? v.24-27
          • The good-for-nothing steward is terminated v.28-30
  • The point of Jesus parable
      1. Use your God-given abilities
          • 1 Peter 4:10
      2. Seize every opportunity
          • Galatians 6:10
          • Colossians 4:3,5
      3. Advance the Lord’s church
          • Matthew 28:18-20
          • Matthew 22:34-40
          • Acts 2:14-47
Faithful Unto Death”
 
John Wesley- “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you can.”
 
Matthew 25:21- “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’”

Read more...

1/8 Bible Classes Announcement

All teen and adult bible classes will be in the auditorium today!


Read more...

Growth Group Preview “Psalm 119” Winter-Spring 2023

WINTER-SPRING 2023 – “Psalm 119”
 
Access our Growth Group Curriculum: https://app.rightnowmedia.org/join/ccocsparta
 
Psalm 119 Trailer: RightNow Media
 
Participant Question SheetPsalm 119 Group Handouts
 
 
Schedule:
Meeting #1: January 8, 2023
Focus Scripture: Psalm 119:1-16
 
Meeting #2: January 22, 2023
Focus Scripture: Psalm 119:17-32
 
Meeting #3: February 12, 2023
Focus Scripture: Psalm 119:33-48
 
Meeting #4: February 26, 2023
Focus Scripture: Psalm 119:49-64
 
Meeting #5: March 12, 2023
Focus Scripture: Psalm 119:65-96
 
Meeting #6: March 26, 2023
Focus Scripture: Psalm 119:97-120
 
Meeting #7: April 9, 2023
Focus Scripture: Psalm 119:121-136
 
Meeting #8: April 23, 2023
Focus Scripture: Psalm 119:137-152
 
Meeting #9: May 14, 2023
Focus Scripture: Psalm 119:153-168
 
Meeting #10: May 28, 2023
Focus Scripture: Psalm 119:169-176
 
For more information, click here.

Read more...

2023 Daily Bible Reading Link

You are invited to join our daily Bible reading through the Bible App using the link below or by downloading the pdf.

 

Read more...

Sermon Notes: 9/25 – Joy & Hope for Christ

Joy & Hope For Christ – by Topher Wiles

09/25/2022 – Central Church of Christ

  • Scripture Reading: Philippians 1:1-6
  • INTRO: The Tennessee Vols football program is now 4-0 on the season after beating the Florida Gators 38-33 yesterday! Honk if you’re excited for the Vols! 

It all began with Philippians 1:3 and ends with Philippians 4:18 which say,

Php 1:3  I thank my God in all my remembrance of you”

“Php 4:18  I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.”

Eph 5:20 always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Col 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

1Th 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Read Matthew 25:31-40. “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Eph 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no-one can boast.

Php 4:19  And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 

  • Heb 6:10 “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”
  • Luke 6:35“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High…”
  • Pr 19:17 He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.
  • Mt 25:40 “The King will reply, `I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

Php 4:14  Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. 

Php 4:16  Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. 

Philippians 4:1 “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.” 
 

 


Read more...

Outdoor Service

Central News: This Sunday 9/25 we will host our annual parking lot drive-in worship service at 10am. With this Sunday as his last sermon as minister of Central Church of Christ, Topher Wiles finishes his 5 year commitment of service. Join us for outdoor worship of Jesus & be a part of honoring God along with the Wiles family in their farewell service. A pot-luck lunch meal open to all will be held in the annex following the AM worship service.

Read more...

Sermon Notes: 9/18 – Heaven is Enough

 
• WELCOME: to Central Church of Christ, not a place, but a people called out to show God’s love, tell God’s story, and be God’s family. There is part of a song in the Old Testament – Psalm 119 that points us to a very desperate and needed truth in our faith! – Verses 174-176.
174 I long for your salvation, O LORD,
and your law is my delight.
175 Let my soul live and praise you,
and let your rules help me.
176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant,
for I do not forget your commandments.

“There is no humor in heaven.” And he said he preferred “Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.”(Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven) 

 

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. – Revelation 21:1

 

Revelation 4:2-3 “The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they were SINGING A NEW SONG before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders…”

 I Corinthians 15:51-53 says “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

The story’s told of a missionary work amongst the Chol Indians in Southern Mexico. The work lasted for years but it ultimately resulted in a thriving church of 12,000 believers. What’s interesting is that when the missionaries came, the Chol Indians didn’t know how to sing. But when they fell in love with Jesus, the believers in the tribe became known as “the singers”.       

One of the missionaries noted:

“They love to sing now, because they have something to sing about.”

(“Psalms of the Heart,” George Sweeting)
https://www.preaching.com/sermon-illustrations/singers/

 

Here’s a song in Daniel “… there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was LED INTO HIS PRESENCE. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an EVERLASTING DOMINION that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” – Daniel 7:13-14

 

“a NEW heaven and a NEW earth” Revelation 21:1

‘Behold, I am making ALL THINGS NEW…’” Revelation 21:5

“The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, clear as glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald,… etc. etc.”   Rev 21:18-19                                

 

Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

2 Samuel 12:8 “if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more!.”

 

Revelation 21:3-4 

“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

 

“No dust, nor rust, no rats, no rot,

No raucous rock, no potent pot.

All tell the truth, state only facts,

No wars, no debts, no income tax.

No growing old with weakened sight,

No dentures slipping when you bite,

No bombs, no guns, no courts, no jails,

Where all succeed and no one fails.

According to this dream of mine

In Heaven no one stands in line.

And there are only smiling faces

And lots and lots of parking places.”

(Humorist Richard Armour)

1 Thessalonians 4:16 “the Lord himself shall descend from heaven WITH A SHOUT…”

 

“Enough suffering.

Enough starvation.

Enough terror.

 Enough death.

Enough indignity.

Enough lives trapped in hopelessness.

Enough sickness and disease.

Enough time.

Enough!”

(A missionary named Gregory Fisher quoted in a sermon on sermoncentral.com)

 

I long for your salvation, O Lord,

    and your law is my delight. – Psalm 119:174

 

 

CLOSE: Revelation 22:1-2 tells of the Eternal River of Life.

 

“Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.”

 

This natural spring in Blackville, South Carolina has the unusual distinction of being legally owned by God. The spring was known for its healing powers by Native Americans, and news of its magical abilities spread when six badly wounded Revolutionary War soldiers made stunning recoveries after drinking and bathing in it.  The land was purchased by Lute Boyston who believed the spring should be free for all and in 1944 he deeded the spring and surrounding acres to “Almighty God, for the use of the sick and afflicted.”
https://www.guideposts.org/better-living/travel/7-of-the-worlds-amazing-healing-waters

 

INVITATION Song: Have you Been to Jesus – 904

Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing pow’r?

Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?

Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?


Read more...

Jim Cantrell Baptism

We praise God that Jim Cantrell was baptized into Christ this morning at the Central church building! We are also grateful that Earlayne expressed a desire to recommit her life to Christ today. We thank God for those who share faith in Christ Jesus!
 
Make sure to give them a hug when you next see them!

Read more...

Sermon Notes 9/11 – Rev 20 – Judgment

The Judgment Seat

Daniel 7:13-14 “… there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was LED INTO HIS PRESENCE. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an EVERLASTING DOMINION that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”

Colossians 1:13  “(God) has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the KINGDOM of his beloved Son.” 

II Peter 3:9-12  “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

  But THE DAY OF THE LORD will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

  Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!”

 

Revelation 20:6 “Blessed and holy is the one who SHARES IN THE FIRST RESURRECTION! Over such THE SECOND DEATH HAS NO POWER, but they will be PRIESTS OF GOD and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.”

 

Revelation 20:11-12 “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.”

 

“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened. AND ANOTHER BOOK WAS OPENED, which is the book of life.”

: “And whosoever was NOT FOUND written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15

Revelation 21:27 tells us “But nothing unclean will ever enter (heaven), nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

 

In Acts 16 a Philippian Jailer asked Paul and Silas “What must I do to be saved?”

And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…” Acts 16:31

But this jailer didn’t know what to believe about Jesus… so for the next hour or so they taught he and his family what they should believe about Jesus. And “he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family.” Acts 16:33

Once this jailer and his family knew what to believe they baptized the jailer and his family into Christ that very hour. It would have been a little after midnight.

“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38

 

The Bible is very clear on how we should respond to God’s free gift of salvation.

  • Believe in the Lord Jesus (Acts 16:31)
  • Repent of our sins (Acts 3:19)
  • Confess Jesus as our Lord and Owner (Romans 10:9-10)
  • Be buried in the waters of baptism for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38)
  • Life for Christ (Mark 13:13)

 


Read more...

Sermon Notes 8-28: Revelation 12 Dragons

Crazy Predictions – http://frankdimora.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83534afe169e20134854dac9b970c-pi

  • Whisenant, Edgar C. (1988). 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988.Predicted that the Rapture would occur in 1988.
  • Whisenant, Edgar C. (1989). The final shout: Rapture report 1989.Predicted that the Rapture would occur in 1989.
  • Whisenant, Edgar C. (1993). 23 reasons why a pre-tribulation rapture looks like it will occur on Rosh-Hashanah 1993.Predicted that the Rapture would occur in 1993.
  • Whisenant, Edgar C. (1994). And now the earth’s destruction by fire, nuclear bomb fire.Prediction for 1994.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_C._Whisenant

Jesus said “about that day or hour (of His return) no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matthew 24:36

https://earthsky.org/human-world/biblical-signs-in-the-sky-september-23-2017/

“I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,

“NOW the salvation

and the power

and the kingdom of our God

and the authority of his Christ HAVE COME,

for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down…”     Revelation 12:10

 

 “… now is the time of God’s favor, NOW is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2

“… you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation…” Ephesians 1:13

Romans 1:16 says: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the POWER of God for the SALVATION of everyone who believes…”

Colossians 1:13 tells us that God “… has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the KINGDOM of the Son he loves”

1 Corinthians 4:20 “… the KINGDOM of God is not a matter of talk but of POWER.”

Ephesians 1:19-22 That power (that God has given us) is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, FAR ABOVE all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God PLACED ALL THINGS UNDER HIS FEET….”

Revelation 12:1-2

“a great SIGN appeared in heaven: a WOMAN clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.”

She gives “… birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. Revelation 12:5

   Revelation 12:17 “… the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring— those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.”

Galatians 4:22-26 “it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman (Hagar) and one by a free woman (Sarah). But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise.

 

Revelation 12:9 “that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan”

“… “the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it.” Revelation 12:4

Hebrews 2:14 says: “through death (Jesus destroyed) the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil”

Revelation 12:7-9 tells us “there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down— that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

   1 Peter 5:8 says it this way: “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

 

Revelation 12:11 says “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony”

https://www.southernstandard.com/sports/another-heartbreaker/

 


Read more...

River Jean Webb born today

We are excited to share that Aaron & Ashley Webb have a wonderful baby girl! River Jean Webb was born at 3lbs 10oz and 16 3/4″ long! River & Ashley are both healthy. Thank you for praying!
 
We will upload a picture later when we receive one.  Praise God!

Read more...

Sermon Notes: 8/21 – God’s Army in Revelation

OPEN: Years ago, there was a TV show called Kojak. It starred Telly Savalas as a lollipop-sucking detective who always went around saying, “Who loves ya, Baby?”

Welcome: Over the last few weeks we’ve been looking deeper into the “Last Chapter, or Last Battle” as some like CS Lewis call it in the Bible.   This week we look for Hope in Revelation Ch 8.

“Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.

Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me.

Yes, Jesus loves me.

Yes, Jesus loves me.

The Bible tells me so”

  • He “… loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood.” Revelation 1:5
  • He has “… made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father…” Revelation 1:6
  • He has given us robes made “… white in the blood of the Lamb.” Revelation 7:14
  • ”… he’ll guide (us) to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from (our) eyes.” Revelation 7:17
  • We will conquer Satan “… by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of (our) testimony….” Revelation 12:11
  • We have “his name… written on (our) foreheads…” Revelation 14:1
  • And we sing “… a new song before the throne…” Revelation 14:3

 

I came across this chart dealing with a powerful prophecy from Daniel 9.

https://www.rockofages.org.sg/pastoral-reflections/2020/3/11/daniels-seventy-weeks-prophecy

The prophecy is called the “70 weeks prophecy”  – I don’t quite buy it.  
 
… crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”- Rev 7:10

 

Revelation 7:4b-8 – “I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:

12,000 from the tribe of Judah were sealed,

12,000 from the tribe of Reuben,

12,000 from the tribe of Gad,

12,000 from the tribe of Asher,

12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali,

12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh,

12,000 from the tribe of Simeon,

12,000 from the tribe of Levi,

12,000 from the tribe of Issachar,

12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun,

12,000 from the tribe of JOSEPH,

12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin were sealed.”

 

“… he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart…” Romans 2:28-29

“But now IN Christ Jesus you who ONCE were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”  Ephesians 2:13

 

Back in 325 A.D. the church held a conference in the city of Nicea. We’re told that there were 318 delegates who attended. Of those 318 delegates, “fewer than 12 had not lost an eye or lost a hand or did not limp on a leg lamed by torture for their Christian faith.” Vance Havner.
https://books.google.com/books/about/Scars.html?id=eM0LvgAACAAJ
https://www.equip.org/articles/what-really-happened-at-nicea/

 

C.S. Lewis once said: “As you perhaps know, I haven’t always been a Christian. I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.”

https://www.lewisquotes.com/quotations/happiness/happiness-and-religion.html

 

Ephesians 2:1-5 tells you and I “… you (and I) were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.  But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.”

 

Revelation 19:11-13 “Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.”

 

II Corinthians 10:3-4 “… though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…”

Revelation 8:1-5  “When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

  “Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel.”

 


Read more...

Sermon Notes 8/7 Last Chapter 3

Worthy is the Lamb

Revelation 5:1-14

It’s time to Re-Think Jesus in a Biblical Way.

 

WELCOME: To Central Church of Christ, not a building, but a people called out to Show God’s Love, Tell God’s Story, and Be God’s Family. We’re in week 3 of our sermon series inspired by C.S. Lewis’ book, “The Last Battle” in which the great Lion takes care of Creation once and for all.  Last week we asked the question, Why was a Worship setting thrown right there in between letters to 7 churches and the great battle. 

Rev 21:4 – He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, 4 and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. – Rev 5:3-4

           

There was a song in 2001 by country artist Tim McGraw that reached Billboard Top Hits #1.  When was the last time you heard a song hit the #1 most popular in the world.  The song repeats the chorus of “I don’t know why they say Grown Men don’t Cry.” 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQjp5s6DJlw

https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/4682475/Tim+McGraw/Grown+Men+Don%27t+Cry

 

 “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” Revelation 5:5

https://www.google.com/search?q=lion+jesus&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS760US760&sxsrf=ALiCzsayjJoNI7__Tzgh-k5bS72hw0P-TA:1659871736688&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjPnPOJ0LT5AhXpj2oFHS5LDqYQ_AUoAXoECAEQAw&biw=1920&bih=969&dpr=1

“… between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.” Revelation 5:6

Caricature of Will Smith on screen

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyJIz-goLto

John 1:29 John the Baptist “…saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the LAMB of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

Isaiah 53:7  “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a LAMB before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth.”

  • Rev 7:10 “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
  • Rev 7:17 “… the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd…
  • Rev 12:11 “… (Christians) have conquered (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb…”
  • Rev 19:7 “…the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready”
  • Rev 21:27 tells us that the only ones who will enter heaven will be “… those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

 

This Lamb Is All About Who Jesus Is.

He is the Lamb of God who was slain for our sins.

He is God in the flesh.

He is ALL POWERFUL.

And He is ALL SEEING.

 

    “WORTHY are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation…

  Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “WORTHY is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”

  And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”    Revelation 5:9-13

 e “… they have conquered (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” Revelation 12:11

 

“But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33b

 

“You will conquer (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of (your) testimony, for (you have) loved not (your) lives even unto death.” Revelation 12:11

  I want to close with a story about a young man named Keaton Jones who lives two hours away, just north of Knoxville. (2017)
https://www.tennesseetitans.com/news/titans-stand-with-keaton-jones-boy-who-spoke-against-bullying-19959371

 

Keaton was the object of bullies in school, so much so that he quit going to lunch because some kids kept pouring milk on him day after day. When his mom filmed his response to it one day and posted it on Facebook, two NFL Tennessee Titan Linemen (Titans tight end Delanie Walker, tackle Taylor Lewan)  and the Quarterback for the UT Vols (Jarrett Guarantano) contacted him.

Walker, Lewan, & Guarantano all met with Keaton Jones & his family, giving their personal cell phone numbers if he ever needed them.  Wow, could you imagine? 


Read more...

Sermon Notes 7/31 – The Last Battle – Rev 4

Here’s a quick reminder that we are looking for ideas, leaders, co-leaders, and hosts for growth groups. Please fill out the survey here: https://forms.gle/nCAkzsUJSdazMX5fA

OPEN:  21 years ago, many of you remember what you were doing.  You had plans for the day, you went to school, you went to work, I was in my 4th year at Lipscomb about to go to morning chapel. But for most of us, our plans were shattered in a moment’s time… along with the plans of millions of Americans across the nation.
https://www.newsweek.com/new-yorkers-and-tourists-remember-their-where-they-were-september-11-2001-269997

“But courage, child: we are all between the paws of the true Aslan.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle

 
  • “Revelation 21:4 – He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

 

REVELATION 4 – READ IT:

After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” 2 At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. 3 And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. 5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings[a] and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, 6 and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.

And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: 7 the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. 8 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,

    who was and is and is to come!”

9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God,

    to receive glory and honor and power,

for you created all things,

    and by your will they existed and were created.”

 

ILLUS: For example, how many of you have heard of the mark of the Beast? (“666” described in Rev. chapter 13)  https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2006-10-04-0610040047-story.html

1 John 4:4 “You are of God,… and have overcome… because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

 

Jesus taught us: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

 

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”

 

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”

 

ILLUS: In 1637, a German named Martin Reinkardht wrote a powerful hymn that has been sung in churches for over 400 years.  Let me read a couple of the verses for you.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKNM5KD9__Q

 

“Now thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices

Who wondrous things has done, in whom His world rejoices

Who, from our mother’s arms has blest us on our way

With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today

All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given

The Son, and Him who reigns with them in highest heaven

The one eternal God whom earth and heav’n adore

For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.”

https://talkofjesus.com/nun-danket-alle-gott/

 

Note the words of that last verse:

All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given…

The one eternal God whom earth and heav’n adore

For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.”

 

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

 


Read more...

Sermon Notes: 07/17 Summer Fruit #7 Faith

WELCOME TO CENTRAL CHURCH OF CHRIST. Let’s talk about FAITH in God’s love, God’s Story, and God’s family!  We’re wrapping up the Fruit of the Spirit today. 

 

  • “… the righteous shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17)
  • Philippians 3:9 “…righteousness … is through faith in Christ….
  • Ephesians 6:16  “… shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
  • Hebrews 11:6 “…without faith it is impossible to please God…”

 

“…if you have faith and do not doubt… you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.” Matthew 21:21 

 

  1.  (Hebrews 11:1)

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

 

 

“… by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!…. Hebrews 5:12-13

 

Ephesians 2:10  “…we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

 

Essentially, “2nd Work of Grace” is the teaching that you get the Holy Spirit on two occasions

1st – when you’re saved the Holy Spirit comes into your life

2nd – later in life, you essentially get a booster shot of the Spirit that leads you on to a higher level of maturity.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_work_of_grace#:~:text=According%20to%20some%20Christian%20traditions,life%20of%20an%20individual%20Christian.

 

Now, I say this is a “man-made” doctrine for two reason:

1)         the phrase never shows up in the Bible. That doesn’t necessarily disqualify doctrines, but it should make us at least look at such teachings closely.

2)         there’s absolutely no Scriptures that teach this idea.

Hebrews 11:1 –“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

 

II Corinthians 3:18 describes it this way:  “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (KJV)

Galatians 5:25  “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

 

CLOSE: Let me close with this observation about TOMBSTONE

 

TOMBSTONE CLOSE:  – OUTLAW OF FAITH (1993 Movie)

Tombstone is the story of legendary lawman, Wyatt Earp, his brothers Virgil and Morgan, and the Shakespeare-quoting, dentist-turned-gunslinger sidekick, Doc Holliday, as they cleaned up Tombstone, Arizona, in the 1880’s. Recently, I watched clips.  Just like my first viewing of this movie, I was riveted. I was no longer tired or exhausted, but sat straight up, drinking in each scene of triumph of good over evil.

 

As the story unfolds, the Earp brothers are retired from law enforcement, have left Dodge City, and are settling down with their wives in Arizona, looking for some peace and quiet. Tagging along with them is the ubiquitous, tubercular Holliday. Little do they know that the town is run by a weak mayor, has a crooked sheriff, and is under a virtual siege of terror from the marauding Clanton and McLaury gangs, along with the bloodthirsty outlaw, Johnny Ringo.

 

The Earp brothers have no interest in cleaning up another town. But after the local U. S. Marshall is gunned down in the streets in front of terrified women and children, steely-eyed and flinty Virgil Earp is persuaded to become the new Marshall, deputizing a young and idealistic Morgan, and a reluctant and resentful Wyatt.

 

As I sat there, I wondered why, after all these years, I was still drawn to this movie.

 

Tombstone is a guy flick. It’s rough and earthy. Tough, rugged men fight bad guys, protect women and children, and bring law and order by spilling their own blood. They shoot and they get shot. They stand tall and they ride hard. Guys watch movies like this and live their lives vicariously through the bold and courageous characters. The stories call out the slumbering warriors in us who, deep inside, yearn to be bold heroes to our wives and children, and soldiers of faith to our Commander, Jesus the Christ.

 

Until we go to be with the Lord, we are living in Tombstone today. It is often a lawless town. The Clantons and McLaurys are here. Johnny Ringo lays in wait outside our doors. The innoccent desperately need us to people filled with the Spirit. The bride of Christ needs us to guide in FAITH. God is calling us to be Gideons, the Elijahs, the Shadrachs, Meshacks, & Abednegos.   Our Marshall, Jesus Chrisdt is in town. He has called you to live by His Spirit, to wear the badge of faith. So Saddle your horses.

 

Put on His Badge in Confession, Repentance, and Baptism.  Be immersed in Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, & Self Control.  Walk in the Holy Spirit of Christ today

https://bible.org/article/saddle


Read more...

Sermon Notes: 07/10 Summer Fruit 06 – Good for Nothing

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…” Galatians 5:22-23a

NAME: Agatha – It is the Greek word for Good!

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Agatha

Jerome speaks over her in the 200’s as being a woman of virtue and faith. She resisted the advances of a Roman prefect sent to govern Sicily, and was tortured for her devout faith in Jesus. It’s said that a Vision of Peter comforted and healed her wounds, and when she was put on a stake to be burned an earthquake occurred and the crowds immediately took her down. 

Galatians 6:9  “… not become weary in DOING GOOD, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

“Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but WHAT IS GOOD. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.” 3 John 11

“God will give to each person according to what he has done…  for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger… but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good…” Romans 2:6, 8 & 10

 

  “… a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

  Jesus replied “Why do you ask me about what is good?. There is only One who is good…” Matthew 19:16-17a

Romans 3:10  “There is no one righteous, not even one”

“Romans 3:23 says ‘… all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.’”

 

INSTAGRAM FILTERS: ysmorphia-how-beauty-filters-are-changing-the-way-we-see-ourselves/?sh=75fbd6bb4eff

“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” John 15:4 

Luke 6:43-45

  “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers.

  The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”

 

“let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another— and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25

Tim. 3:16, 17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

In 1980, the State of Kentucky had a law that every classroom in its in public schools had to post the 10 Commandments.

  The Supreme Court ruled against the state of Kentucky ordering it to take down all copies of the Ten Commandments from the walls of its schools saying: “Having the commandments on the wall may induce a student to read, meditate upon, and actually obey what is therein written.”

https://www.mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/696/stone-v-graham#:~:text=the%20Associated%20Press)-,In%20Stone%20v.,the%20display%20was%20essentially%20religious.

 

I recently read on a college website that 59% of high school students admitting to cheating on a test in the last year.  https://shsnews.org/24160/opinion/cheating-in-the-classroom-increases-in-the-digital-age/

Wonder Why?

 

Eph. 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

Acts 11:24 “Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith – and many people were added to the Lord through him”

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 

A little girl who, on the way home from church, turned to her mother and said, “Mommy, the Preacher’s sermon this morning confused me.”

  The mother said, “Oh! Why is that?”

  The girl replied, “Well, he said that God is bigger than we are. Is that true?”

  “Yes, that’s true,” the mother replied.

  “He also said that God lives within us. Is that true too?”

  Again the mother replied, “Yes.”

  “Well,” said the girl. “If God is bigger than us and He lives in us, wouldn’t He show through?”

https://www.all-creatures.org/humor/showing.html

https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-trust-and-obey

 

 

 

Invitation


Read more...

Sermon Notes: 7/03 – Summer Fruit #5 – Killing with Kindness

https://lambertcastle.org/an-act-of-kindness/

We were invited to visit a curiosity in the neighborhood.  This is a monster in human form.  He is 27 years of age; his face, from the upper part of his forehead to the end of his chin, measures 20 inches, and round the upper part of his head is 21 inches; his eyes and nose are remarkably large and prominent, chin long and pointed.  His features are course, irregular, and disgusting and his voice is rough and sonorous.  His body is only 27 inches in length, his limbs are small and much deformed, and he has the use of one hand only.  He has never been able to stand or sit up, as he cannot support the enormous weight of his head; but he lies constantly in a large cradle, with his head supported on pillows.

General Washington, while quartered at the Dey family mansion for several months in the year 1780, was told of the unfortunate little boy.  Thereupon, he visited the child and was, indeed, alarmed but equally saddened by the grotesque sight before his eyes.  Upon subsequent visits, Washington gained the friendship of the boy and spent much time in conversation with the lad.  He also encouraged his many staff officers and generals to visit the boy.  His purpose was clear.  George Washington wanted to bring cheer and comfort to the life of a small boy who, like himself, knew the pain of isolation, of loneliness and of despair.

CHURCHES KINDNESS _- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qftpoMfe08

            Pastor James McDonald 2018 – Youtube. 1:00-2:31 mark

            “I wanted to see how we were doing when it is hardest to love.”

 

Romans 3:12 tells us “All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good (literally “kindness” – the same word found in Galatians 5:22), not even one.”

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:31 

https://www.qcc.cuny.edu/socialsciences/ppecorino/ethics_text/chapter_8_kantian_theory/Not_Golden.htm

Did you realize that Jesus wasn’t the first to say something like this???

* 500 years before Jesus, Confucius said “Do not unto others what you would not wish done to yourself.”

* The Buddhists 6th Cent BC also said Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.

* In the Old Testament Apocrypha in the book Tobit 4:15: “Do not do to anyone what you yourself hate.”

* Rabbi Hillel (20 B.C.): “What is hateful to you, do not do to anyone else. This is the whole law; all the rest is only commentary”

https://johnstott.org/bible_studies/9-dec-2017/#:~:text=In%20the%20Old%20Testament%20Apocrypha,while%20standing%20on%20one%20leg.

 

“DO to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:31 

 

ILLUS: Book – The Claims of Christ by Barry Davis (2001) – tells this story. 

https://books.google.com/books?id=Z5FzWaW86lwC&pg=PA87#v=onepage&q&f=false

Boy came home one day to find his mother sitting at the table with an old tramp. Apparently she had gone shopping, met the tramp along the way, and invited him home for a warm meal.

   During the conversation the tramp said, “I wish there were more people like you in the world.”

  Whereupon his mother replied, “Oh, there are. But you must look for them.”

  The old man simply shook his head, saying.  “But, lady, I didn’t need to look for you… you looked for me.” 

 

World Kindness Day is November 13th this year.  On Inspirekindness.com it says, “The purpose of this day, celebrated on November 13 of each year, is to help everyone understand that compassion for others is what binds us all together.”  https://inspirekindness.com/world-kindness-day#:~:text=World%20Kindness%20Day%20is%20a,what%20binds%20us%20all%20together.

 

Luke 6:27-36

“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that.

And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full.

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because HE IS KIND to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qftpoMfe08

            Pastor James McDonald 2018 – Youtube. 1:00-2:31 mark

            “I wanted to see how we were doing when it is hardest to love.”

 

Ephesians 4:32  “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

 

“A PRIEST happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a LEVITE, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.”  Luke 10:31-32

“the fruit of the SPIRIT is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness…” (Galatians 5:22)

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hudson_Taylor

1800’s British Missionary James Hudson Taylor said “If your father and mother, your sister and brother, if the very cat and dog in the house, are not happier for your being Christian, it is a question whether you really are”

 

In the Greek

The word Christ is “ChrIstos”

And the word for Kindness is “ChrEstos”

 

CHALLENGE: TO USE YOUR FREEDOM – REVOLUTIONARY WAR HERO BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

During the American Revolution, he served in the Second Continental Congress and helped draft the Declaration of Independence in 1776. He also negotiated the 1783 Treaty of Paris that ended the Revolutionary War (1775-83)

“He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.” – Ben Franklin

https://www.themarginalian.org/index.php/2014/02/20/the-benjamin-franklin-effect-mcraney/


Read more...

Sermon Notes: 6/26 Summer Fruit 4 – Puzzling Patience

“Everything I needed to know about life, I learned from a jigsaw puzzle.”

  1. Establish the border first. Boundaries give a sense of security and order.
  2. When things aren’t going so well, take a break. Everything will look different when you return.
  3. Working together with friends and family makes any task quicker and more fun.
  4. The creator of the puzzle gave you the picture as a guidebook
  5. Don’t force a fit. If something is meant to be, it will come together naturally.
  6. Patience pays off. Every puzzle goes together bit by bit, piece by piece.
  7. Anything worth doing takes time and effort. A great puzzle can’t be rushed.
    https://www.appleseeds.org/Life_Jigsaw.htm

WELCOME TO CENTRAL CHURCH OF CHRIST: We PATIENTLY desire to Share God’s Love, Tell God’s Story, and Be God’s Family. For the summer months we’re going to jump into a deeper understanding of the Holy Spirit of God and how He lives in our lives!  First week we longed for a Deeper Love in the Spirit. Then we journeyed toward Joy.  Last week we got Spiritual about Peace. Now, let’s take a look at the SPIRIT’s POWER OF PAITENCE– Love Joy Peace Patience Kindness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control.

Galatians 5:15  “If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”

 

“sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.” ”I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21

The Greek word here “Makrothumi” means “Slow to anger” (COMPOSITE – makro LONG/FAR, thumos= ANGER/WRATH)

Or, as the KJV puts it “Longgggg – suffering”

 

ILLUS: Funny Prayer of a Woman – Prayer for Patience

I pray for –

Wisdom – to understand my man;

Love – to forgive him;

Patience – for his moods;

Because, Lord if I pray for Strength, I’ll beat him to death.

In Jesus Name, Amen.
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/538250592937031193/

“…be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit— just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:2-6)

 

God’s objective is to take people from many different walks of life – people who have struggled with many different kinds of sins – THEN save them and join them together… like they were pieces of a puzzle. His goal is to take these people of various shapes and sizes and colors and fit them together to form a glorious picture of unity that can impress even the most jaded skeptic or critic.

 

Ephesians 4:15-16 tells us that our goal should be to speak… “the truth in love, (so) we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together (kind of like pieces of a puzzle) by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

“… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, PATIENCE… If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5:22 & 25

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:12-14)

“…the riches of his kindness, tolerance and PATIENCE, (that) leads you toward repentance…” Romans 2:4 

“Bear(ing) with each other and forgiv(ing) whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive AS THE LORD FORGAVE YOU.” (Colossians 3:14)

 

“…first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:5

“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.” (Matthew 18:15)

 

https://www.readersdigest.ca/health/relationships/lesson-from-a-five-year-old/

 

John 15:8 says, This is to my Father’s Glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

 


Read more...

Sermon Notes: 6/19 Summer Fruit #3 – Power of Peace

ILLUS OPEN: FATHER’S DAY GIFTS

Not sure what to get dad for Father’s Day this year? According to a new survey, you’re better off reaching for the phone, than buying a “World’s Best Dad” mug.

The new poll of 2,000 dads revealed that more than three in four dads (76 percent) prefer an experience over a physical gift for Father’s Day.

And the top gift you can give your dad this year? A simple phone call.

And, surprisingly, the survey found that 57 percent of dads actually said it’s their favorite day of the year.

TOP 10 GIFTS DADS WANT FOR FATHER’S DAY THIS YEAR

Phone call from my kid(s) 47%

A big juicy steak 41%

Peace and quiet 38%

Taking in a ball game with the family 38%

An ice cold beer or two 35%

A cheaper, practical gift (socks, tie, etc.) 35%

Glass of wine 34%

Watch whatever I want on TV 34%

Glass of whiskey 29%

A physical, expensive gift (apple watch, etc.) 29%

https://swnsdigital.com/us/2019/06/heres-what-dad-really-wants-for-fathers-day/

 

WELCOME TO CENTRAL CHURCH OF CHRIST: We desire to Share God’s Love, Tell God’s Story, and Be God’s Family. For the summer months we’re going to jump into a deeper understanding of the Holy Spirit of God and how He lives in our lives!  First week we longed for a Deeper Love in the Spirit. Last week we journeyed toward Joy.  This morning, let get Spiritual about Peace. – Love Joy Peace Patience Kindness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you….” John 14:27 

“The Prince of Peace, and of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end…” Isaiah 9:6-7 

https://theyoungleader.experiencegla.com/be-bold-how-to-win-an-argument-with-your-parents-for-the-right-reason/

“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.” James 4:1-2a

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives…” John 14:27 

“… the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 

Philippians 4:2.  Paul is saying “I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 6:19b-20 “…You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”

SOUTHERN LIVING, Things we put sugar in.

  • Sandwiches when were were kids: sugar and butter.
  • I put it in cornbread—even though my Memaw said, ‘Cornbread with sugar is cake.’
  • Just a light sprinkle on asparagus before grilling.
  • Just a touch on veggies.
  • Just a little in turnip greens to take the bitter out. Vera Wyatt’s special secret.
  • A tiny bit in the baby lima beans.
  • I know they aren’t for everyone, but with a little sugar, rutabagas are so, so good! Yumm!
  • Collards! Pinch of sugar, cup of wine, and vinegar are all must-haves in collards.
  • My grandparents put sugar on tomatoes.
  • My grandma put sugar in her potato saladand coleslaw. Her slaw is known by the family as “Grandma Slaw.” She had a unique way of hand-cutting the cabbage with a paring knife that made it taste so good.

·    Tea, Tea, Tea

  • Do we even need to talk about this one? No. No, we do not. On the sweet tea issue, we are a united people.

Philippians 4:5-7 says “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

“… must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” James 1:6-8

 

ILLUS: As children bring their broken toys with tears for us to mend,

  I brought my broken dreams to God because He was my friend.

But then, instead of leaving Him in peace to work alone,

  I hung around and tried to help with ways that were my own.

At last I snatched them back and cried, “How could you be so slow?”

  “My child,” he said, “What could I do? You never did let go.” – Loretta P Burns

https://www.scrapbook.com/poems/doc/27113.html

 

Philippians 4:8&9   “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable— if anything is excellent or praiseworthy— think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me— put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

 
 

Read more...

Passing of Denny Gilliam

We are saddened to share the passing of Denny Gilliam this morning. Please pray for peace and comfort for Joan, Jennifer, Chaz, & Chelsey. Visitation will be at 1pm on Wednesday at Hunter’s and the funeral service will follow at 3pm. Our Central family will be providing a meal for the family of the Gilliams in the Central annex for Wednesday after the services. Please bring food by 2pm Wednesday to the annex. Please contact Janice with any questions. May God bless the Gilliam family in their loss.
 

Mr. William Dennis Gilliam, better known as Denny, age 73 of Sparta, passed away at 7:09am Monday, June 13, 2022 at his residence.

Denny was born August 12, 1948 in Sparta, Tennessee to the late William Clark “Bill” & Anna Geneva Lowery Gilliam. He was a former machinist. Denny served in the United States Army. He was an avid bird watcher and history buff with an emphasis on war history. Denny loved to listen to music and had a vast catalog of songs he liked to listen to. He would often use music lyrics in everyday conversation and he enjoyed passing that love of music on to his children. In addition to his parents, he is also preceded in death by an infant sister, Darlene Gilliam.

Survivors include his wife of 38 years Joan Gilliam

Daughter: Jennifer Gilliam Rodriguez & husband Andrew

Son: Chaz Lee Gilliam

Daughter: Chelsey Lea Curry & husband Dan

Grandson: Beau Curry

A host of close cousins and friends

In honor of Denny’s wishes, he will be cremated and a memorial service will be conducted 3:00pm Wednesday, June 15, 2022 from the Chapel of Hunter Funeral Home. Military honors will be presented by the Veterans’ Honor Guard. The family will receive friends after 1:00pm Wednesday at Hunter Funeral Home. Christopher Wiles will officiate.


Read more...