PLEASE NOTE:  If you have trouble viewing study guides in Chrome Incognito or Private Browsers, open a regular browser window to view.

Pastor’s Update | “He Is Risen” 4-14-20

Two days ago, we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the single greatest event in the history of the world and the cornerstone of the Christian faith.
It is so foundational to Christianity that anyone who denies the physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ—cannot be a genuine Christian. Without the resurrection there is no Christian faith, no salvation—and no hope for man.
As Paul the Apostle said, “If Christ is not risen, then our preaching is useless, your faith is meaningless, we are still in our sins, those who have died believing in Christ are lost and we are of all men the most pathetic. We might as well eat, drink, be merry and then die—for there is nothing more to life than this.”
However, Paul went on to say, “But now Christ is risen from the dead and is the first fruits from the grave of those who have died believing in Jesus.”


Avoiding The Sinkhole Syndrome-2020

In Ephesians 3:16 Paul offered a prayer for the Ephesian believers—but it’s a prayer that pertains to all Christians—

Ephesians 3:16 (NKJV)
16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,  This is a very important request for every believer—especially when living in stressful and difficult times.

Even though, under this current administration, the economy has improved and the number of people working is at an all-time high—yet people are still dealing with a lot of inner turmoil, anxiety and even depression. The reasons for this vary with each individual and the personal struggles they are facing. Some of these struggles are financial in nature, some are health related, while other struggles are due to loneliness, substance abuse (alcohol, opioids), family issues (marriage, rebellious teenagers, being estranged from family members)—and various other external pressures due to the stress of ‘life in the fast lane’ modern, craziness!



The Book of Ephesians is divided up into two sections—the first three chapters are doctrinal and the last three chapters are practical—and that order is no mistake! Paul realized that doctrine must always precede duty because—Christian living depends on Christian learning.
The believer who does not know his or her wealth in Christ will never be able to live for Christ. In Ephesians chapter two Paul wants to tell us some of the wonderful blessings that God has given to us now that we are in Christ. But before he talks about what God did for us—he first talks about what sin did to us.
Or in other words the predicament we found ourselves in before we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
Ephesians 2:1-3 (NKJV)
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.


The Power of the Tongue

We all remember the proverb growing up, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.”  Our parents taught us to say that to the kids who were making fun out of us by calling us names.
As a kid I tried using that tip several times as a defense against the mean words that some directed at me—but I have to be honest, it really didn’t stop the pain of those hurtful words.  As I got older and reflected on that saying a little, I came to realize that, although our parents meant well, the reason their advice didn’t help to stop the pain of unkind words is because—that saying isn’t true!
While it’s true that sticks and stones can inflict physical pain and may even break a bone or two—those wounds usually heal without any lasting effects. But an unkind word spoken carelessly or in a moment of anger—well, that can wound for a lifetime.
That’s why the psalmist prayed—
Psalm 64:2-3 (NKJV) Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked, From the rebellion of the workers of iniquity, Who sharpen their tongue like a sword, And bend their bows to shoot their arrows–bitter words.