Walk for the World T-shirts are coming!

Walk for the World T-shirts are on sale for Pre-order THIS SUNDAY (5/18) and WEDNESDAY (5/22)! You may pre-purchase your shirt for $15.00 via check, cash or plastic! Available in Adults AND kids sizes!

Walk For The World T-Shirts**If you are not walking, this is a GREAT way to support the cause! You may guarantee your size by pre-ordering! Orders made AFTER May 22 will be $20 and sizes are not guaranteed!

**If you ARE walking and have the required $50 in sponsorships for a free shirt, please see Lisa Smythe to order your size.

As you can see, these shirts can have a duel meaning. Not only is it supporting our walk FOR the world, but it is a reminder that we are to go TO the world making disciples! Matt 28:19:20!

And as always, make sure you free your calendar for our Celebration picnic following the walk at 11:30 am, bring a side to share!

See you June 1 at Pinkerton Park!

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Celebrating an Imperishable Beauty

God ordains womanhood, of which motherhood is a subset.  There is much pain in motherhood.  Yet, due to hope in God, mothers are able to soar above their difficulties and give glory to God.

As we note Peter’s instruction to women we make direct application to mothers.  First, women are able to influence their husbands through godly behavior.  A woman need not resort to manipulation and coercive arguing to influence her husband.  She speaks gracious words but her actions are her strongest argument.  Her actions are maintained by hope in God, not hope in her husband.

A godly woman does not pursue fulfillment in external appearance.  She pursues God.  Due to God being her strength, her spirit becomes calm and gentle.  This is the imperishable beauty that overwhelms a worldview based on mere externals.  Her beauty is her spirit and this is true beauty.

This is the model of Old Testament women, especially that of Sarah.  Women of faith are Sarah’s children when they do good and refrain from being fearful.

The application of these truths is profound for everyone.  For now we apply them to mothers.  May your work be powered by your hope in God.  Correction has its place but a basis of godly behavior will set a lifelong example for your children.  Pursue a gentle and quiet spirit.  Children can be shepherded best by a mother whose spirit is gentle and quiet.  From this base she is able to instruct with all patience.

Scriptures:  Genesis 3:20, 1 Peter 3:1-6

Want to listen? Here’s the online sermon archive.

Walk by the Spirit

How can a believer overcome the lusts of the flesh?  The answer is that he must walk by the Spirit.  The believer, by faith, relies upon the Holy Spirit to be the means by which he overcomes.

The lusts of the flesh are at war with the Spirit.  The Christian life is a life of war.  The Spirit is at war with the flesh.  The flesh is everything in us that is profane and godless.  In a believer it is the residual of what ruled before we came to Christ.  It is what must be put down daily.

So what do we do we flesh this out?  We consciously yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit for the duration of our lives.  This thinking and meditating keeps us focused on him.  We yield to his direction for our lives.  We yield in the unexpected.  When something comes up, out of the ordinary, take a moment to consult the Spirit’s wishes.  It is precisely in the unusual that we default to old-man categories of fleshly lusts.  Take a moment to listen.

We also hear his pleasure for us in the long term.  We live too random and too fast, so fast that we can’t hear him.  We would do well do slow down and listen to what the Spirit says to us individually as to what he wants in place for our lives.  We are speaking here of rhythms, not shortcuts and erratic bursts of fervor.

Focus on the fruit of the Spirit.  It is this agreeing and tasting that provides the soul with the food it needs to live.  The fruit of the Spirit is of the Spirit.  Think about it, meditate on it, and live it.

Finally, may we not forget Paul’s overarching argument in Galatians?  Salvation and sanctification both happen by faith.  Trust in the Spirit just as you trusted Christ for salvation.  Your sanctification literally depends on it.  We must consciously distinguish between us winging it or the trusting in him.

See Galatians 5:16-25

Want to listen? Here’s the online sermon archive.

Walk For The World – June 1, 2013

WALK FOR THE WORLD

Saturday June 1, 2013 | Pinkerton Park in Franklin, TN

  • Walk starts at 7:30 AM for all 1/2 marathoners and 9:00 AM for all other walkers
  • Lunch 11:30 AM

All proceeds go to the 2012-2013 National Alliance Women’s Project “Let It Shine” supporting Children’s Ministries of the C&MA overseas.

Join the Alliance Women in raising money for Children’s Ministries around the world! Pick up or print off a sponsor sheet, get some sponsors, come at 9 am that morning and walk with us! If you bring more than $50 in sponsorships and receive a free t-shirt! (fccfranklin.com to print sposor sheet) Can’t walk? Come at 11:30 for a round up feast! Burgers, hot dogs and drinks provided! Bring a side to share. You can purchase a t-shirt to support the cause at $20 per shirt! Please RSVP for the picnic no later than Memorial Day!

Sponsorship Form:

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Be Filled with the Holy Spirit

What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit?  To be filled with the Holy Spirit is to be under his control.  When someone is under the influence of alcohol he/she loses control of the motor skills and subsequently does things he later regrets.  Such a person is under the control of alcohol.  This is an excellent illustration for us to better understand the filling of the Spirit.

Being filled with the Spirit takes on certain characteristics.  Some may wonder whether being filled with the Spirit consists of a lifetime mountaintop experience.  Maybe it means we more or less float above every situation and never feel pain, ever.  Maybe it means we’re never happy but always dutifully doing what we are supposed to do.  Eph. 5:19-21 tell us that the Spirit filled believer is one who is full of praise and thanksgiving.  He speaks about the Lord to the brothers and sisters, he speaks to the Lord with thanksgiving and praise.  It is as if he has a river of living water flowing out of his inner man.  This river consists of praise and thanksgiving.

There are obstacles to being filled with the Spirit.  Someone might believe it is only for the superstars, the ones with the magnetic personality.  Some might believe it is too intense for the average Christian.  Others might not want the discomfort of being controlled by the Spirit.  These reasons all fall short of God’s best.  Surely we do not want to be controlled by fear and our own appetites.  We must repent of all false imaginations that keep us from communion with God.

How do I get filled with the Spirit?  It is actually quite simple.  Give up control!  It is what you did at salvation.  However, living in the age of the Spirit means we give up control all the time.  Being filled with the Spirit is not for the professionals, it is for the Christian.  And, it isn’t complicated, it is very simple.  Give up control!  Then live in the contentment of yielding to the Holy Spirit and letting him run your life.

Want to listen? Here’s the online sermon archive.

The Holy Spirit- His Work to Us

The Holy Spirit works!  He doesn’t merely reside, he works.  We want to press into what he does specifically, in the life of a believer.

You may not remember when you were a little child.  However, others do.  Others changed you, fed you, clothed you, and provided shelter and you didn’t even know it.  Similarly, the Holy Spirit lovingly worked for you when you were converted and you didn’t even know it!

Here is what he did.  He regenerated you.  That means he made you become alive.  Now you can talk to God, think spiritually, exercise faith, and glorify God!  Before you were made alive spiritually you could not do any of these things.

He indwells you.  The very person of God indwells the believer.  He comforts you, teaches you, and guides you into all truth.  This mighty advocate of ours is our primary resource for life.  Talk to him!  Ask him questions about life, where you are to go.  We do not believe in fatalism.  The Spirit has specific counsel for you so listen to him.

You were baptized in him.  This happened upon salvation.  The Spirit now empowers you to overcome unbelief, habitual sin, and every imagination that raises itself against you.  This baptism results in spiritual power but it also accomplishes sanctification.  We are holy by position!  Therefore, act like you are.

Finally, he seals you.  His presence is the sweet promise of greater things to come.  Now we enjoy him.  However, then we will have all of God.  To us, the Spirit is a down payment of more to come.  May we rejoice at the riches we possess right now but also at the riches to come.  May this truth result in joyous and rich living.

Want to listen? Here’s the online sermon archive.

The Holy Spirit Introduced

Why consider the Holy Spirit?  First, the times require it more than ever.  A supernatural response to evil is illogical and but also irrefutable.  Second, the Spirit applies the redemption of Christ.  Knowing more about his work helps us cooperate better with him.  Lastly, the ministry of the Holy Spirit is by nature that of a behind the scenes helper.  For that reason he is often not recognized as much as the Son or the Father.

Moving on, we affirm that the Holy Spirit is both divine and a person.  These two bedrock foundational truths which will launch us into his activity in the world and with the believer in weeks to come.

By way of application, we do not disregard persons.  Trees, inanimate objects, and such are means to our ends.  They serve us.  However, with persons it is entirely different.  Persons demand respect, interaction, and love.  The Holy Spirit is not some vague ambiguous power force.  He is real.  He has feelings, a will, and intelligence.  As such we need to listen to him.

Because the Holy Spirit is God our response to him is all the more critical.  As a divine person, the Holy Spirit’s promptings and urgings can be trusted.  He is safe, he is wise, and he is God.  Therefore, we ought to take heed to his voice and not disregard him, just because we can.

Want to listen? Here’s the online sermon archive.

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Confusion, bewilderment, unbelief, and all manner of speculation fade away in the light of Jesus’ presence. We track the story God has left for us in John 20 and watch God move things along. Here Mary tries to make sense of the odd facts presented to her: the stone rolled away, no body, and linens left neatly in the tomb. Not knowing how to deal with it, she runs and reports her findings to the apostles. They too observe the same facts. John believes but doesn’t comprehend it fully.

Mary continues to weep in anguish. She interacts with angels and even Jesus without knowing their identity, so great is her grief. Jesus breaks through the hysteria and reveals himself to her. At this point she is overcome with joy! He calls her off and dispatches her to the brothers with a message of greeting and affirmation.

This story, then, is the foundation of the doctrine of the resurrection. What does it matter? First, while not seeing Jesus personally, we believe the report given to us. We do not believe it on intellectual grounds primarily, though. We believe it because we have encountered him personally! Those who believe on him do so due to his personal drawing and visitation. Just as joy and confidence characterized Mary, so it does us.

Second, this doctrine furnishes hope for us of things to come. Since Jesus is resurrected, so we too will be resurrected. In this Jesus guards us against hopelessness and fear of death. Death does not hold dread for us because we know we will rise to a new life in a glorified state.

Third, the doctrine of the resurrection stabilizes us. Things were as bad as they could be for the disciples. What could be worse? Yet, God worked apart from their contribution and turned things around. He did it decisively and with finality. May we rest in God’s power to turn things around. Yes, the culture is disintegrating in front of us. Yes, things are moving fast, way fast. They were moving fast during the passion week too. Rest, relax, God will work when he is ready. He will surely once again shake the nations and restore his glory. We serve a God who turns things around and vindicates himself (primarily) and his people (secondarily).

John 20:1-18

Want to listen? Here’s the online sermon archive.

Living and Speaking with Conviction

We will do a very simple exposition of those basic passages which speak to our mission.  Our mission is to take the gospel out to the ends of the world.  We are witnesses with a divine mandate.  We tell our story to others.  Just as we were in darkness so now we are in light.  We speak of this transition to others and fill them in on all the teachings of Jesus.  We do it here, the next county over, and in Mongolia.

By way of application, we will speak pointedly to our identity as witnesses of the one true God.  Understanding our identity facilitates correct and confident behavior.  When we are deceived into thinking we are less than God’s ambassadors then our behavior follows.  When we come under God’s identity for us then we are liberated to walk in the paths he has set for us; speaking for him.

Secondly, we will speak to the practice of talking about the Lord to the brothers and sisters.  Ironically enough, when believers get together there can often be a conspicuous lack of discussion about the Lord!  How natural then that we should feel awkward or ill equipped to boast of the Lord to others.

Lastly, let’s ask ourselves what God is doing in our lives today that is worth talking about.  If God isn’t active in our lives today, affirming and vindicating his ways, small wonder that our testimony seems so weak and devoid of conviction.  If we are not convinced of God’s activity in our lives today then let us remain quiet until we do.  Let’s be convinced of God, his ways in our lives, and then speak about it.

Matt. 28:16-20, Acts 1:6-8, 1 Pet. 2:9

 

 

Loving Words to a Servant of God

The call of Jeremiah is a loving one.  God tells Jeremiah he knew him before he was conceived.  He consecrated him before he was born.  It was God’s plan to appoint Jeremiah as a prophet.  God’s love and plans for Jeremiah existed before Jeremiah did.

Jeremiah, however, did not receive God’s call.  He referenced youth and inability to speak as causes for not being a prophet.

God kindly overruled the young prophet.  God pointed out fear as the basis for Jeremiah’s resistance.  Then he reminds Jeremiah of his sovereignty and enabled him to accomplish his task.

There are several things here for the believer.  God calls us not we ourselves.  This simply means that God does the heavy lifting, not us.  When we believe this then we close the door to fear.  Fear can only enter in when we doubt God’s ability to manage a situation.  When we slip this way we inadvertently take control of the situation and rightly begin to fear.  God is sovereign.  We needn’t fall prey to paying too much attention to secondary matters.  When we do we lose our way.  Lastly, God enables his people to do the work he assigns.  This is true of the man at work, the woman at home, and the young person growing up at home.  May we rest in God’s sovereignty and save ourselves from fear and anxiety.

Jeremiah 1:4-10