#HeKnows#2

Written by cycleguy on February 2nd, 2023

There are 4 perfections of God’s character that we must know and believe:

He is Immutable- He never changes.

He is Omnipotent- He is All-Powerful.

He is Omnipresent- He is All-Present (Everywhere present)

He is Omniscient- He is All-Knowing.

It was the latter attribute that I focused on last week and will continue that this week-He is Omniscient. I took us through the first 4 churches which are covered in Revelation 2. This week I am going to look at the last 3 churches, which are found in Revelation 3.

Letter #1- Ephesus- He knows what and who we love.

Letter #2- Smyrna- He knows what we are willing to suffer for.

Letter #3- Pergamum- He knows what we really believe.

Letter #4- Thyatira- He knows what we are willing to tolerate.

Letter #5- Sardis- He knows our spiritual condition.

Letter #6- Philadelphia- He knows the state of our commitment.

Letter #7- Laodicea- He knows who we are depending on.

I hope you will join me in our worship this Sunday-in person or online. We start at 9 and 10:45. 

 

 

#HeKnows

Written by cycleguy on January 25th, 2023

There are certain characteristics (attributes) of God that are non-negotiable.  There are three which always come to the forefront:

His Omnipotence- He is all-powerful.

His Omnipresence- He is all-present (everywhere present)

His Omniscience- He is all-knowing.

To know those characteristics of God AND TO BELIEVE THEM is absolutely essential.  As I continue my series on Revelation, I hit this week what is probably the most familiar 2 chapters in all the book- the 7 churches.  I plan to take chapter 2 this week and follow up next week with chapter 3.  I plan to focus on what God knows, especially on what He knows about the churches (and by proxy…us).

What does it mean He knows? He knows absolutely everything that can be known. He has no need to learn anything. He does not a computer (don’t you wish?) He doesn’t need Google (again…I wish). And He certainly doesn’t need any of us telling him what He must and must not do, or should or should not do!

I’ll be summing up the first four churches this week like this:

  • Ephesus- He knows what and who we really love.
  • Smyrna- He knows what we are willing to suffer for.
  • Pergamum- He know what we really believe.
  • Thyatira- He knows what we are willing to tolerate.

Join us won’t you? We meet in person and live stream at both 9:00 and 10:45.

 

 

#Revelation#FeastonHim

Written by cycleguy on January 19th, 2023

Someone has said, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” It is certainly hard to argue with that. I think we might all admit to forming an impression of someone before we were totally informed of who they are or what they do or the circumstances in their life.  When Jo and I first met, she couldn’t stand me. I was a hot-shot basketball player (or so I thought) and arrogance oozed out of my pores.  We hung around with a group of other college students and did a lot of outings together. But she still couldn’t stand me. I’d like to think my lovable charm, my dashing good looks, and my over-the-top humor won her over. But truthfully, I’m not sure what did. 🙂 Maybe I began to grow up??

What do you know about Jesus? What is your impression of Him? How would you picture Him? A handsome man with blonde hair and blue eyes. (You would be wrong). Somewhat meek and mild and sort of like a milquetoast? (You would be wrong again).

John’s vision of Jesus is disturbing. Well, it was to him. It was nothing like he remembered from their 3 years together as Rabbi and disciple. John takes us into that vision in this week’s sermon from Revelation 1: 9-20. I guarantee it will wake a few folks up.

Join us won’t you? We meet in person and via live stream at 9 and 10:45.

 

 

#HearYeHearYe!!

Written by cycleguy on January 12th, 2023

Until they got their own network, I used to love watching Fixer Upper. I really don’t care what people say about the show; I enjoyed it. Critics talk about whether shows like that are real or not; it matters not to me.  Being very non-crafty, and being very “unhandy,” I loved watching the transformations which took place.  The part I loved the most was what they called “The Great Reveal.” They would stand the person or couple in front of a big display of what their house looked like before any renovations were done. They then asked the couple if they were ready to see their new house and pulled apart the display.  All you heard or saw were gasps, “O my goshes,” or even tears.

The image of pulling back the curtain to reveal what is behind it is sort of what we are being asked to do as we read the book of Revelation. God has been and is now at work in our world as He prepares us for the coming of Christ and a new world.

After an “introductory-type” sermon last week, we hit the nitty-gritty this week.  Revelation wastes no time with verse 1 telling us, “The revelation of Jesus Christ…which must soon take place.”  We are going to talk about several thoughts from 1: 1-8. 

  • It is a “revelation.” What does that mean?
  • What does verse 3 hold for us?
  • How does John describe Jesus in verse 4-5? How does that affect us?

Mining everything in Revelation is not easy. In fact, no matter what some say, I don’t think it can be done. But we can bring our tools and start! I hope you will join me Sunday either in person or on the live stream at 9:00 and 10:45.

 

 

#JustSoYouKnow

Written by cycleguy on January 6th, 2023

As I stated in my previous post, I am starting a series on Revelation. To know more on how that came about go hereThis is the first official week of the series I’ve entitled The Lamb Wins!!

What possessed me?

Karl Barth, considered one of the greatest theologians of the 20th century once said, “If only I know what to do with Revelation!” Yeah…me too Karl.  🙂

Another tongue-in-cheek quote by a man named Ambrose Bierce says, “Revelation, n. A famous book in which St. John the Divine concealed all that he knew. The revealing is done by by commentators, who know nothing.”  I thought that one was funny.

Revelation is a bewildering book…without a doubt. I don’t see me un-bewildering it. My prayer will actually be that I don’t bewilder people even more! To be sure, studying Revelation is not an easy task. But the words of Revelation 1:3 speak loudly: “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.”

This first sermon will be an introductory-type of sermon.  I’ll try to answer two question to start with: Why do we avoid Revelation? and Why should we study it? The second half of the sermon will introduce the 4 schools of thought regarding interpreting Revelation. There is a really cool pamphlet the church is making available for the people to have.

Four Views of the End Times Participant Guide (DVD Small Group)

All I can say is buckle up and strap yourself in. We are going to go on quite a ride! Join us in person at 9 and 10:45. If you are unable to do so, then please join us via live stream. You can go to the church’s website and the links are there to watch it on YouTube or the church’s FB page.

Oh yeah…you can pray for me. I think I’m going to need it!  🙂

 

 

#SayWhat?

Written by cycleguy on January 5th, 2023

And so it begins. “What am I talking about?” you may ask. This week I embark on a journey I have NEVER taken before. And perhaps when I get into the meat of it, I may still ask myself the question: “Why? Why did I say I would do this? What possessed me to preach on Revelation?”

Yep. You read that right. A sermon series on Revelation.  Now to be honest, I have preached from Revelation before. The “safe” passages like the 7 churches in chapters 2 & 3. Or a sermon on worship inspired by chapters 4 & 5.  I’ve used chapters 21 & 22 in funeral messages before.

But preaching a whole series on Revelation? Not this dude! Until sometime in the Spring of 2022 I got a wild hair to do a series of devotional posts on my Shadow blog. Then I went in for back surgery in June and, as I was awake at night, I got a wild hair to possibly do a sermon series on Revelation.  So I got my Bible and put my awake time to good use and began to do a sparse outline of Revelation.  I finally conked out at chapter 9 but the seed had already been planted.  I wanted to push it aside but God wouldn’t let me. So I began to strongly consider it and then committed myself by announcing from the pulpit one Sunday that my first sermon series in 2023 would be one on Revelation. I saw a lot of smiles and heads nod. I also saw a lot of eyes “blow up,” like seriously?

Then I began to read Revelation over and over in different translations. I was trying to saturate myself with the message of the book. There were months I read Revelation twice in different translations. I highlighted and underlined. Strangely, I did not take notes. I wanted to allow the message to soak in.

So…this Sunday starts the Theme for 2023. As you can see it is called Victory! This Sunday will also start the series which I have entitled The Lamb Wins!! The next post will tell you about Sunday’s sermon.

 

 

#UnexpectedDawn

Written by cycleguy on December 29th, 2022

Every seven years it happens.  Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on Sunday. So…let me be the first to wish you a Happy 2023.

I started a week later than planned on my Christmas series because I was doing a series on the Feasts of the OT and had to wait a week due to having a guest speaker. So that put me behind for the 4-week series I had planned. Rather than cut it short, I decided to run it into the new year and simply take up the first Sunday with the final one. I’ve called it The Unexpected Dawn as part of my Expect the Unexpected series.

What will 2023 bring? Of course, no one really knows. Only God does and He isn’t telling!!  🙂  There are certain things I am sure of though.

God is Present.

God is Sovereign.

God is Omniscient.

God is the One who is ultimately in control. 

We often hear people going into a new year making all sorts of resolutions. I stopped doing that years ago. I know me. I know I will break them quickly and then feel shame. So I stopped making resolutions and started asking God what He wants me to do for Him this coming year.  One way that has helped me is it has given me an “eye” for is seeing God work in ways I never dreamed of. It has also helped me to realize that “tomorrow will be a better day.”

The dawn of the coming of Messiah was something prophets predicted and people waited for.  That day finally came and sadly, many were not looking, ready for it, or denying it was here. There was a group of people who didn’t have that feeling. They saw a star and chose to follow it. We know them as the magi or wise men.  The gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh were a glimpse ahead of who and what this child would become.

He would usher in a new period, a new age, a new identity, a new message of good news for all people. 2023  lies ahead of us. What message will we carry?  Please join us at 9 and 10:45, either in person or via live stream, to hear the final sermon for 2022 as we consider the Unexpected Dawn which the Savior will usher in.

Happy New Year 2023!!!

 

#UnexpectedNews

Written by cycleguy on December 22nd, 2022

Talk about unexpected news! How about good unexpected news!

The weather event that was supposed to come starting last night (Wednesday) and affect us through the whole week is not materializing (at this point). The cold temps (single digits)? Yes. The blanket (more like a heavy comforter) of snow? No. I’m okay with that!!

We will be offering both a Christmas Eve and a Christmas morning worship to our folks. The CE service is from 6-7:00 and the Christmas morning service is from 10-11. Both will have common elements. The only difference will be the songs which will be sung and how they will happen.  And if you are unable to attend or would simply like to join in, the Sunday morning service ONLY will be live streamed.

My topic will continue the 4-week series I’m preaching with this being the 3rd one: The Unexpected News. The Gospel is for all people-rich, poor, clean, unclean, whole, blind, deaf, prostitutes, immoral- you name it.  I will be looking at the very familiar Scripture (to most) in Luke 2: 1-17 where the angel announces the birth of Jesus to the shepherds, then he is joined by a whole chorus.

It is hard to believe next Sunday brings us to the end of 2022. My last sermon in this current series will on January 1. Then I start a series on Revelation. Now that ought to be interesting……Hmmmmm.

Join us this weekend if you are able to. If not, join us on line Sunday morning. You can go to the church’s website for information on directly connecting to the live stream.

 

#UnexpectedChild

Written by cycleguy on December 15th, 2022

There are a lot of truths which make us feel Christian doctrine is confounding. The Trinity for one. Who of you totally understands it? Certainly not me! He is three-in-one: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To understand it is hard enough; to explain it so it can be understood? Above my pay grade. 🙂

God made flesh is one which boggles the mind and has us grasping for answers to understand how God could come to earth in fleshly form. ‘Course it is easy to say, “God can do whatever He wants to do,” but that still does not help us understand it any better.

There are more I can add but I’m guessing none is more difficult to understand, and to wrap our mind around than the two I want to deal with this Sunday. “God made flesh” is one; He was one person with two natures is the other.  He was born of a virgin and He was fully God and fully man.

They might appear to be heavy topics for a Christmas message (and they are), but they are absolutely essential, not only to our Christian faith, but to truly realizing the meaning behind this holiday.  It will not be an easy topic to preach on or to listen to, but one that is essential.

Join me please in person if possible. If not, join us at 9 & 10:45 as we live stream both services. Meanwhile, may I ask you to pray for me, for us? Thanks.

 

#ExpecttheUnexpected

Written by cycleguy on December 8th, 2022

When someone uses the phrase “Expect the Unexpected” they are saying something which is pretty obvious: there will be times when something happens to you-you don’t know where, when, or why-that will totally surprise you.

Have you ever watched It’s a Wonderful Life? (Hard to imagine there is someone who hasn’t).  There is a scene in it where George comes home defeated and Mary informs him “George Bailey lassos stork.” He is so surprised and asks her, “Mary, Mary…are you on the nest?”  I chuckle every time I see that. Who says that today? But to my point: he was surprised.

Imagine Mary’s surprise when she is visited by Gabriel (not Clarence) and is told she is going to have a child. Her first reaction is to be expected: “How can this be since I am a virgin?” Gabriel tells her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.”

Mary’s song called the Magnificat is a response to this announcement and to Elizabeth’s confirmation (the baby leaping in her womb when Mary showed up). It is a beautiful song of praise to God. I will be focusing some on this song of praise and what it says to us.

I hope you will join us in person. If not, then I invite you to join us via live stream at 9 and 10:45. Expect the Unexpected will be a four-week series that will focus on the birth of Jesus and get us ready for the new year.