The Church (part 3) Sermon Audio

On Sunday, May 19, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, Student Pastor Jonathan Holmes preached a message based on Acts 2:42-47.  This message was part 3 in “The Church” series.  Below is the audio of the sermon to listen to, download, or share.

 

To download the sermon audio, click on this link:

The Church #3 5.19.19

 

To listen online, use the audio player below:

 

To watch the service, visit the Facebook stream by clicking here.

 

The Church (part 3) Sermon Questions

On Sunday, May 19, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, Student Pastor Jonathan Holmes preached a sermon based on Acts 2:42-47. This message was part 3 of “The Church” series. Below are questions related to this message for personal reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Questions:

1. Pray
2. This is the third week in the series called, The Church. How has your view of the church changed as we have looked at the creation of the church, the mystery of the church, and most recently the community of the church?
3. How does our culture and technology make it hard for us to connect in community with each other?
4. In Acts 2:42-43, what do we see the Community of the Church is devoted to? How do these priorities reveal the mission of God?
5. Compare Acts 2:44-45 and Acts 4:32-34, what similarities do you see? What will this church be remembered for? If Wildwood were to disappear tomorrow, what do you think people would remember?
6. How does viewing the church as a people, not a place change how we view our Sunday worship gathering?
7. Much of our life is simply lived “day by day,” in faithful obedience to what God has called us to do, but who is in control of the outcome (Acts 2:46-47)? How does that give the believer confidence?

 

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

The Church (Part 3) Preview

In Matthew 16:18, Jesus confidently declares that He will be building His church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.  In the ~2,000 years since Jesus gave this promise, He has been doing EXACTLY THAT!

But what has He been building?  A building?  A place?  Or a PEOPLE?

This Sunday morning, May 19, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, Student Pastor Jonathan Holmes will be continuing our sermon series on “The Church” by looking at Acts 2:42-47 . . . as we see that the church is DEFINITELY a PEOPLE and not simply a place.

Make plans to be with us this Sunday at 9:45 or 11:00 as we continue this series (and celebrate our High School graduates!)  See you Sunday!

“Home & Away” Sermon Audio

On Sunday, May 12, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a topical message (featuring a number of passages) entitled “Home and Away.”  This message was a part of our Mother’s Day Sunday services and focused on women influencing people for Christ.  Below you will find the audio from this message to listen to or share.

 

To listen offline, click the link to download:

Mother’s Day 5.12.19

 

To listen online, use the media player below:

 

To watch video of the worship service, use the Facebook livestream by clicking here.

In the message today, I mentioned Wildwood’s paper on Women in Church Leadership (authored by our Elders).  Find this paper on Wildwood’s website under our “bylaws and papers” section by clicking here.

“Home & Away” Sermon Questions

On Sunday, May 12, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on a variety of New Testament passages called “Home and Away:  Women Influencing Others for Christ.”  This message was a part of our Mother’s Day Sunday services.  Below are a set of questions related to the message for personal reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Think about the creation account in Genesis 1-2.  In this inspired by God re-telling of the creation of the world, an emphasis is made on the creation of both genders of humans in the image of God.  What are some observations you can make from these two chapters about men and women?
  3. Women have an opportunity to have an impact for Christ in their homes . . . specifically we looked at the opportunity for influence as a daughter, a mother/grandmother, and a wife.  What are some ways in which you have seen or felt the positive influence of someone in these 3 roles in moving you toward a deeper relationship with Jesus?
  4. Women also have an opportunity to have an impact for Christ AWAY from their home . . . what are some of the ways in which you have been ministered to by women in the church?
  5. Both men and women have the chance to influence others for Christ with our lives.  Jesus has given us gifts to help us minister to others (1 Peter 4:10).  In what way do you see the gifting of Jesus in YOUR life?  What would it look like for you to use that gift to point others to Christ?
  6. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

“Home & Away” Sermon Preview

 

In the beginning, the only thing that “WAS”, was God.  Nothing else had a past tense at that point.  In the time that we know of as the beginning God already WAS and everything else WASN’T.  

At that time, God set out to make a universe that was GOOD for His GOOD purpose.  He created the sun, moon, and stars (and then said, “It was good.”)  This pattern repeated itself as God created plants, oceans, and animals (He would create it, then state that it was “good” – see Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25).  

However, there was a moment in the creation process where God said specifically that something was NOT GOOD.  That moment was when only man (Adam) existed on the earth.  When the only human was a male, the Lord said (for the first time in our Bibles) that something was “not good” (Genesis 2:18).  Now, what did God mean by this?  A few possibilities exists:

  1. God FORGOT to create female humans.  (NOT A REAL OPTION FOR AN OMNIPOTENT, OMNISCIENT GOD).
  2. God was only concerned about the propagation of the species . . . Adam could not reproduce physically alone, so an “Adam only” world was “not good.”  (THIS IS POSSIBLE, BUT IT SEEMS AS THOUGH SOMETHING MORE WAS AT STAKE GIVEN THE REST OF THE NARRATIVE IN GENESIS 2.)
  3. God wanted to highlight the necessity of men AND women in accomplishing His work in this world.  

I think option 3 is the preferred understanding, and best explains Genesis 1:27’s emphasis on both men and women being created in the image of God, and how a humanity with both men and women (different yet equal in God’s eyes) led God to comment that a universe with Adam AND Eve was not just “good,” but “VERY GOOD (1:31).”

As God set up humanity for His good purpose on this earth, He gave some distinct roles of honor to both men and women in two of the primary building blocks of His social economy:  the home and the church.  While certain complementary roles are encouraged for men and women in these spheres, the objective is the same for both genders – to influence people for Christ and to bring glory to God wherever we go.  

This Mother’s Day Sunday at Wildwood Community Church in our 9:45 and 11:00 service, we will be looking at a variety of New Testament texts to see what the Bible teaches about the awesome opportunities women have to influence people for Christ both home (in their physical family) and away (in their spiritual family – the church).  

My life has been and continues to be greatly blessed by the women the Lord has placed around me home & away, and I am looking forward to celebrating the gift the Lord has given to our world in the women around us who follow Jesus together to the glory of God.  Can’t wait to see you Sunday as we dive into God’s Word together.

 

The Church (part 2) Sermon Audio

On Sunday, May 5, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Ephesians 3:1-13.  This message was part 2 of “The Church” series.  Below is the audio from the sermon to listen to, download or share.

 

To listen offline, click the line to download the audio:

The Church #2 5.5.19

 

To listen online, use the audio player below:

 

To view the livestream of the service, visit the Facebook livestream by clicking here.

 

 

The Church (part 2) Sermon Questions

On Sunday, May 5, 2019 at Wildwood Community Church, I preached a sermon based on Ephesians 3:1-13.  This message was part 2 in “The Church” series.  Below are a series of questions related to this message for personal reflection or group discussion.

Sermon Questions:

  1. Pray
  2. Read Ephesians 3:1-13
  3. Do you have a favorite “mystery” story?  What makes it your favorite?  
  4. Jesus sent Paul (and by application the church) on a mission . . . a ministry . . . to share with others the Gospel.  What is the Gospel message?  Have you ever had the privilege of sharing that message with someone else?  How did it go? 
  5. In what sense is the church a “mystery” according to Ephesians 3:1-13?  Does the fact that the Old Testament did not talk about this aspect of the church impact you in any way?
  6. What message does the unity of believing Jews and Gentiles in “one Body” communicate to Jewish people?  To Gentiles?  To the angelic realm?
  7. In what way are you currently (or recently) tempted to “lose heart” or think that God is distant and uncaring about our lives?  How does Ephesians 3:1-13 help give you a mindset of continuing to walk with God regardless of the circumstances in your life?
  8. What is one particular application you took away from this message?

To access these questions in pdf format, click here.

The Church (part 2) Sermon Preview

Do you like a good mystery?  Sherlock Holmes?  Agatha Christy?  Jessica Fletcher? CSI?  Matlock?  Surely in there somewhere you gave an AMEN!

We like a good mystery.  A mystery is a reality that has not yet been revealed.  In the context of the protagonists mentioned before, mysteries are crimes that have already been committed, but the details are obscured until the end of the episode.  Mysteries engage us at a very deep level.

Where did half of the Marvel Universe go when Thanos snapped his fingers (and will we ever see them again?!)?  Will Luke Skywalker be back in Episode 9?  These are pressing questions that we want to know the answers to, but we have to wait until the producers release the films to find out the conclusions . . . even though the author already knows what is going to happen.  

I share these points about “mysteries” today because in Ephesians 3:1-13, the word “mystery” is used by the Apostle Paul three times.  What is the mystery he is referring to?  The mystery he is referring to is “the church.”  That’s right . . . there is a mystery playing right now that is starring you and me (and all other followers of Jesus in this world!)  

In what way is the “church” a mystery?  What is God premiering through us?  How does this impact our lives and lead us to worship God?  Tune into Wildwood this Sunday morning at 9:45 or 11:00 in our worship services as we try to understand what God is doing in the “Mystery of the Church” – part 2 of “The Church” series.  See you Sunday!

Psalm 57

Over the past year, I have been reacquainted with the Psalms.  Through a combination of reading the Psalms in my One Year Bible reading plan and listening to some new modern arrangements of Psalms set to music, I have found these songs to more and more find their way into my personal and corporate prayers.

In particular, I have loved listening to Shane and Shane’s Psalm based albums, as well as Keith and Kristyn Getty’s “North Coast Sessions.”  In each instance, the artists took a particular Psalm as an inspiration to arrange the content in modern vernacular and to contemporary music.

These artists have inspired me to begin writing some Psalm adaptations of my own.  The first one I wrote is based on Psalm 57.  I used the actual Psalm 57 as my prayer in yesterday’s service, but last month, I wrote (without the music) my own version of this Psalm.  I am including it below in case it helps guide you to worship today!

In Your shadow, I will shelter

As the siren sounds around

In Your shadow, I will shelter

’Til the final trumpet sounds

 

My enemies are near

Angry words thrown like spears

Seek to pierce me to the wall

God most High, to you I call

 

In Your shadow, I will shelter

As the siren sounds around

In Your shadow, I will shelter

’Til the final trumpet sounds

 

My enemies make plans

Traps set to fell this man

Wake up now and praise His name

Salvation comes, I will proclaim

 

In Your shadow, I will shelter

As the siren sounds around

In Your shadow, I will shelter

’TIl the final trumpet sounds

 

Lord, Not what I did earn

‘Tis Your mercy I yearn

Look around and see your grace

Comfort, care, a friendly face

 

In Your shadow, I will shelter

As the siren sounds around

In Your shadow, I will shelter

’TIl the final trumpet sounds

 

My heart remains with You

To God alone be true

For the nations hear Your fame

Glory, glory praise Your name

 

In Your shadow, I will shelter

As the siren sounds around

In Your shadow I will shelter

’Til the final trumpet sounds

A few notes about the imagery of this song . . .

  1.  Living in Oklahoma, we are used to “sirens” going off in the spring time, pushing us to our shelters – tornado shelters!  In life, however, we have a more secure “safe place” . . . finding our protection in the shadow of our God.
  2. Old Testament David wrote this Psalm while in a cave hiding from King Saul.  Saul literally tried to pin David to a wall with a spear, yet in Psalm 57, David references the words of Saul, even more than Saul’s spear.  “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is not a sentiment shared by David . . . or me.
  3. The mercy of God is demonstrated to David by the kindness of  Jonathan (Saul’s son).  His friendly face gave David hope and encouragement.  So often God’s mercy is demonstrated to us through the kindness of others.

Let me know your thoughts!