Archive for June, 2013

6-30-13 Mark 16 NIV

I.  What God Communicates

A.  Servant hood is worth it.

B.  His purposes are above ours.

C.  Supernatural is everywhere.

II.  What We Experience

A.  Things must be done.

B.  The place of death.

C.  Fear is real.

III.  Belief in Jesus Conquers

A.  Belief helps us shed our past.

B.  Belief re-orients our sense of authority.

C.  Belief fixes anyone’s vision.

D.  Belief kills death.

IV.  Belief Drives Life

A.  Confidence grows.

B.  Action follows.

C.  Signs accompany God’s work.

D.  Unbelief, doubt, and apathy stifle growth.

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Why Are We Having Easter on June 30?

This Sunday is a special day for Goss Memorial Church.  For almost two years, the focus of our Sunday morning worship has revolved around preaching through the Gospel of Mark.  Jesus truly is the King, worthy of worship and obedience.  He has gained authority by leading in a way that shows true focus on God in every situation.

This week will be the final chapter, Mark 16.  The resurrection of Jesus is a powerful doctrine!

I’m sure some people think I’m crazy (or stupid!) for thinking we should have Easter Sunday in the middle of summer. Here are a couple reasons I think our church will benefit from doing this.

1. Marking the end of a season.

No pun intended. “Mark-ing”, get it? Ha ha!  Okay, now that my Pastor Bud influenced humor (we love you Bud) is out of the way, a day like this helps us understand that a season of our church’s life has come to an end. When you have special times in your family, you celebrate.  I don’t think Sunday is much different.  It should be noted that we are at a special time in our church’s life, so let’s give glory to God.

2. The doctrine of the resurrection is powerful.

All of Jesus’ miracles, teachings, and claims are validated because he was dead, then living again. If Jesus never rose from the dead, he would be another dead nice guy who somehow did a lot of miracles. And the people who killed Jesus would have been very happy. Instead, the love of God (displayed by Jesus over and over throughout this Gospel story Mark has written) is validated because he truly overcame all of His enemies by conquering death.

3. Human unbelief is shattered because of this doctrine.

Without the resurrection, I would not be a Christian.  Some would, many would not.  What we have to get is that in the wake of this doctrine, any shred of human doubt the disciples had evaporated as they launched the message of Jesus Christ into the world. Unbelief is conquered because Jesus conquered death.

I hope you make plans to pray for and join our special day. Here’s the schedule:

7:30 Gospel of Mark reading in Sanctuary (you do NOT have to arrive right at 7:30 in order to participate).

9:15 Breakfast

10:00 Children’s Department open downstairs

10:30 Morning Worship

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6-23-13 Mark 15:33-47 NIV

I.  God in the Darkness

A.  Literal darkness

B.  Soul darkness

C.  Spiritual Vision darkness

D.  Death darkness

II.  Signs of Light

A.  Barriers were removed.

B.  Spiritual eyes were opened.

C.  Women matter.

D.  Jesus died quickly.

III.  The Burial of Jesus

A.  It’s a part of the Gospel.

B.  Difficult faithfulness portrayed.

C.  Finality seemed real.

IV.  Why the Title?

A.  God suffered.

B.  God is glorified in suffering.

C.  God is satisfied when we suffer well.

D.  God is satisfied when we relate to suffering.

Discipleship:

Suffering grounds our lives.  God is satisfied when we glorify Him in the dark.

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4 Things God did at Project Shine 2013

1) Teenagers professed faith in God and Jesus Christ.  We got to see God soften hearts and students show their desire to follow God for the first time.  How joyous it is to see teens choosing life in Christ as God pours out His salvation upon them.  The joy is beyond words.  Praise God!

2) There was a cross and a fish in the sky during our Thursday community event.

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Now I admit, I am a skeptic with things like this.  But come on, seriously?  A clearly visible cross and fish in the sky over our parking lot as we were sharing the gospel with the neighborhood?  That’s pretty sweet.  And we certainly didn’t strategize for that to happen – God did it.

3) A great partnership with Mission Akron.  Several months ago, we found out the Akron Bridge and Temple (a larger church right around the corner from us) was doing a missions outreach opportunity for their teenagers the same week we do Project Shine.  Throughout the past several months, we had been working with the Mission Akron leaders to find practical ways to partner, and last week we got to witness teens & adults from multiple churches (and mission trips) working together for the same cause.  It was an incredible experience for us all to work together in the Kenmore community, and we are confident that it was God that allowed the partnership to work so well.

4) He gave us our life and breath.  I was personally challenged with this thought throughout the week.  Yes, we finished 8 house paints, 13 yard jobs, 11 decks, and 7 garages for a total of 39 projects.  Can we take credit for that though?  I mean isn’t it God who created our hands that did the work?  Did he not give us each breath, each heart beat to accomplish the work before us?  We can’t take credit for anything, and he gets all the glory.

There are dozens of other things that I could mention.  I could mention the weather, how God provided leaders in specific areas, or how he spoke through our main speaker in specific ways.  I’m confident there are even things that God did that I don’t know about, and that is awesome.

Let’s remember, HE is the one who accomplished a great work through Project Shine 2013 – not us.

Blessings,

Josh

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6-16-13 Mark 15:16-32 NIV

Having Confidence in the Death of Jesus

I.  Prophecy Fulfilled

A.  Psalm 22:7 — Insults are hurled.

B.  Psalm 22:11 — No one was there to help.

C.  Psalm 22:15 — Thirst is a part of suffering.

D.  Psalm 22:18 — Garments were divided.

II.  This King Is Not Their King

A.  A robe and a crown.

B.  Hatred carried over into soldiers.

C.  Striking and spitting showed they wanted nothing to do with him.

III.  This is Not Comfortable

A.  Imagine being Simon.

B.  Place of the skull.

C.  Clothing removed.

D.  The crowd and leaders had no confidence.

Summary:

Is this the foundation of everything you are?

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Project Shine 2013 and Seasons of Service

There are times on our calendars when either we or people we know participate in intensive seasons of service.  People go on missions trips, or weekends.  They commit a short period of time to aid a certain ministry, or pull off a certain event designed to  support or promote a specific cause.

These times should NOT define our faith.  Why? Because if they did, the world would know a Christianity that is only relevant when events on Christians’ calendars say it’s relevant.

So, how should we prepare for times when God does call us to a specific, intensive period of service? How should any Christian planning to participate in Project Shine (www.projectshineakron.org) next week consider this service opportunity? Here are three things to keep in mind:

1. We should ask God to make the most of it.

God does do great things when efforts of believers are concentrated on specific ministries and events.  The death and resurrection of Jesus came when people were in Jerusalem for the Passover.  The Holy Spirit poured out at Pentecost; again, a time when people were focused on one event.  Any missions opportunity can be a great time of God’s moving – we should ask God to make the most of it.

2. We should pray for lasting effect.

If you talk to anyone who’s been in leadership on a short term trip, among their frustrations would be the dynamic of the spiritual high followed by the spiritual letdown.  We should pray for lasting effects of these opportunities. Are people inspired to serve and evangelize more in their every day lives because of what they learn on missions trips? That’s the hope, but not often the result.  Pray for that!

3. We should pray against Satan.

Satan does not like when Christians are united and gathered to serve and proclaim Jesus. Human flaws are exploited. Relationships are attacked. Careless words are taken the wrong way. Griping divides.  We should pray that these results would be minimized in any short term service opportunity.  Jesus is more glorified when the hearts of the people gathered to serve are unified. When communication flows, loving expressions follow.  When communication breaks down, divisiveness ensues.

 

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6-9-13 Mark 15:1-15 NIV

The Silence in the Noise

I.  King Jesus

A.  The morning can’t cover the night.

B.  The Kingdom delivered, not taken away.

C.  God WILL be glorified.

II.  Pilate

A.  He was aware of the injustice.

B.  Herod and Barabbas show he tried to escape.

C.  He was backed into a corner.

III.  Crucify Him!

A.  Murderous hatred defeated reason.

B.  Pilate caved.

C.  Physical torture began.

D.  Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice.

Summary:

Are we ashamed?

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