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Have you ever been a member of a church in crisis? If not, have you ever been in a personal crisis? Oftentimes when the alarm of the catastrophe becomes acute for us, our immediate thought is what do I need to do to get out of this – right now! In our passage today we find young Pastor Timothy in crisis at the church of Ephesus. Approximately midwa…
 
Here in the American West, we oftentimes see ourselves as individuals. We are a low-group culture. The culture in which Jesus was socialized was a high-group culture; they viewed themselves not as individuals, but a part of a larger social group. This social construct is evidenced in today’s story. Matthew, Jesus’ newest disciple, immediately upon …
 
When was the last time you shared your testimony with someone? Do you have one? Is it written down? It doesn’t have to be sensational, but is it compelling? In today’s narrative, Jesus delivers a man from demonic destruction and then sends him to evangelize his family & friend and then ten cities; armed with no apologetics, no biblical background, …
 
Today’s message will probably reveal that we’ve been on both sides of this particular equation. Ever been thrust into a circumstance where you found yourself doubting what you once believed to be true of God? On the flipside, have you ever had a believing friend seek consolation from you because they just didn’t think they could put their trust in …
 
The definition of contagious is the transmission or spread of something from one person or object to another. In the medical field they distinguish between contagious and infectious ailments. A contagious ailment is contracted through general contact: a hand shake. An infectious ailment can be only be transmitted through specific contact: a blood t…
 
Did you know that you are under arrest? The Fourth Amendment states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to …
 
What do you have planned for 2014? Are there any big moves on the horizon? How do you approach short-term or long range planning? Do you plan at all? Or, do you take life as it comes? Is it wrong to draft plans? What does the Bible say about planning? As we prepare for a New Year pregnant with new possibilities, how do plan in a uniquely Christian …
 
There are 613 commandments in the Torah (Genesis- Deuteronomy), but they can all be summed up by 2: The Great Commandment. Remember from last week, the Great Commandment is a two-sided coin. What does it look like when we love God and love our neighbor? And who is our neighbor? The story of the Good Samaritan is easily one of the more scandalous st…
 
The Greatest Commandment in the Bible is a two- sided coin. Last week we looked at the vertical side of that coin as God commanded us to love Him with all of heart, soul, possessions & Jesus later adds our mind. This week, we consider the other side of the coin: the horizontal aspect of The Great Commandment. This teaching is important in our day b…
 
Jesus’ famous encounter with the rich young ruler is insightful for a host of reasons. First, this young man would fit perfectly into VCF’s target demographic. The young man inquires about how to obtain eternal life. How does Jesus respond to his inquiry? What might we learn about how to respond to similar questions directed to us as we reach out t…
 
God’s mission for VCF, should we choose to accept it, is to win our generation for Christ! Many would argue that this mission is ministry suicide, mission impossible, a waste of time & resources. What do you say? Can we reach our generation for Christ? If this mission impossible is to become possible, what are adjustments that will need to take pla…
 
As the abortion debate rages on in every sector of our country, the question that stifles our nation's ability to arrive at a morally justifiable position is ethical. How do we, as the people of God, make an ethically persuasive arguement for the pro-life cause? Today we are going to discover a couple of things: First, ethics and morality are often…
 
Today we are going to see the inconsistency in the way in which the United States Courts make judicial decisions & US Congresspersons formulate laws that pertain to the unborn. Therefore, because these two branches of government are all over the map on this issue, we as the salt of the earth & light of the world need to be unwavering in our stance …
 
What does the New Testament say about homosexuality? We discovered last time that God abhors homosexuality... period! What is God's disposition towards this sexual orientation & those who practice it in the Church Age? Does God take a softer postion on it as a result of Christ's sacrafice at Calvary or is He cocsistent in both Testaments. Let's sur…
 
Our task this week is to take a look at a couple of the most prominent passages in the in the Old Testament that highlights God's disdain for sexual vice, in particular: homosexuality. A helpful distinction is in order, we want to differentiate between being: homoerotic and homosexual. Homoeroticisim is a sexual attraction for the same sex. Whereas…
 
Our passage focuses on the second theme, obeying God in the midst fierce opposition. How are we as God’s sons & daughters to live in the midst of hostility? When we encounter hostility, where should our focus be directed? The here & now? The hereafter? Or, both? Preview: In today’s passage we will see: (1) The results of God’s awesome love for us, …
 
As we come to the end of our five month trek through the Sermon on the Mount, we discover two verses that function as response by the adoring crowds to the teaching of Jesus. There are a few insights that we can glean from these short verses that can enhance our commitment to follow Jesus. Let's consider a few questions as we begin: When was the la…
 
The concluding paragraphs of the Sermon on the Mount serve as an ominous warning to those who believe they will one day enter the Kingdom of God. Today we'll examine one of the most cryptic passages in the entire Bible. What does it mean to be self-deceived about whether or not you will enter the Kingdom of heaven? What might cause someone to be mi…
 
Thoughout this teaching the Lord Jesus has eloquently articulated what kingdom living looks like. Now like any good preacher He ends His spectacular with an invitation to enter the kingdom of heaven. Next He warns His disciples about the dangers of false prophets. As we share our faith with others we would do well to pass along these essential less…
 
Tupac said, "Only God can Judge me." Was he right? We've all heard someone say in response to some criticism of them by another person, "The Bible says don't judge. Sure Jesus said that, but is that really what He meant? And why doesn't anyone ever define what they mean by "judge" We're going to identify three possible judgements that Jesus could h…
 
Most of us are probably "all over the map" when it comes to the spiritual disicpline of fasting. Today, we're going to answer the following questions: What is fasting? Why did people fast in biblical times? Who were some of the most notable people who fasted? Jesus is set to teach His disciples who were very familiar with fasting, how to perform th…
 
Once and for all can we agree that "The Lord's Prayer" is simply a model for how disciples are to pray and not a prayer to be recited verbatim? How do we know? Because Jesus says, "In this way you are to pray..." He does not say, "Pray these words..." How do our prayers compare with the model that Jesus taught His disciples & by extension - to us a…
 
It May strike some as strange that Jesus would challenge His new disciples to pay close attention to their motives as they practice the "spiritual disciplines". Again, to perform the right action with all the wrong intentions profits you absolutely nothing in the eternal scheme of things. We would be wise to heed the Master's teaching and check our…
 
Aaron's priestly blessings / benediction has been pronounced over at some point in our church experience by a pastor or clergyman of some sort. We have often received these gracious words, but have never thought deeply about them. Today, in light of Easter, let's consider what would be necessary for this benediction to really be yours.…
 
Traditionally, we hear Palm Sunday sermons highlighting the festive exuberance of the people as they usher Jesus into Jerusalem for the last time during His earthly ministry. However, Luke's account of the occasion highlights the fact that Jesus' disposition does not mirror that of the adoring crowd. What are we to make of this?…
 
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