Posted in Sermon Notes

Sermon Notes: Is There Any Comfort When There Are No Answers?

This week’s sermon was about comfort through tragedies when there are no answers.  For most humans, this is a toughie!  When things go horribly, horribly wrong, we shake our fists to the skies and ask “Why God??”  Trust me!  I’ve had my share of these moments.  I really needed this sermon.

Pastor Mark’s sermon was based on the book Job.  For those who are unfamiliar with this story, Job was one of the greatest men in the region.  Not only was he wealthy but righteous.  God set Satan loose on Job.  Satan had free reign to do whatever to him except take his life.

I hope you all get comfort out of this sermon as I did.

Pastor Mark
Title: Is There Any Comfort When There Are No Answers?
Scripture: The Book of Job


Answers seldom give you comfort.

Knowing Him gives you comfort.

It’s part of being human to go through tragedies.

1. Some insights Job gained on the anvil of his experiences.

Job lost everything but his wife.

People who lack insight try to offer comfort through your tragedy but it does not help.

If you going to speak for God, it better be God speaking.

God builds you up and not break you down.

Things Job wrongfully accuses God of:
1. God does not care.
2. God does not control the universe.

Job 3:11

Job 30:20-23

Job 31:35

The question of all questions:  Why God?

2. God responds to Job’s Questions.

Job 38:1-3

How much do we really understand the universe?

Job 38:4812

God has created a world of depth we will never understand.

Job 39:1-2, 9, 19, 27

Job 40:6

2 animals were ceremoniously killed by the pharaoh after he was crowned.
Behemoth (hippo) – Job 40:15, 23-24
Leviathan (croc) – Job 41:1, 10-11

3. Job responds to His replies.

Job 40:3-5 — Job has had an attitude adjustment.
Job 42:1-6 — Job repents.

Job had a terrific change in heart and mind.

Did God give Job any answers? No.

God overwhelmed Job with His presence.

There is comfort from the reliant character of God.

We have forgotten He loves us and that He ascends all of our troubles.

The greatest comfort to a human being: God has everything under control.

Rest can come to us when we have confidence in God’s character.

The source of comfort is not in our own knowledge but in God’s character.

The greatest comfort is not through answers but by knowing God.

Psalm 46:10

Posted in Sermon Notes

Sermon Notes: Empowering the Poor

(Sorry kids!! It’s another twofer as I forgot aka didn’t have the energy to type up last week’s Sermon Notes.  Enjoy!)

This week’s sermon included tips on empowering the poor.  Being poor doesn’t necessarily mean the lack of material possessions or money to sustain life. It can also mean relationally or spiritually poor.

It was an opener to me because instead of empowering the right way, I was doing it all wrong.  Hope these notes help you to empower the poor.

Pastor Dan
Title: Empowering the Poor
Scripture:  Proverbs 19:17 and 1 John 3:17-18


God wants us to empower the poor.

Matthew 25:40

When we help people, we are doing it for Jesus.

It’s more than an attitude.  It’s something we do.

Followers of Jesus are to be the hope of the world.

1. What is poverty?

When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor… and Yourself.” by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert

In America, we define poverty as a lack of material things.

Defined by underdeveloped countries, “Poverty is a mindset.  An ongoing feeling of shame.”

People need more than material things. We need to invest in their lives and change their mindset.

The root of poverty is the result of brokenness.

There are all different types of poverty.

Luke 19:20

Jesus came to restore every system.

Luke 4:16-21 – Jesus is the fulfillment of these words.

Jesus is the one who saves us from imprisonment and binds our broken heartedness.

2. We are called to serve others, not save others.

Point them to the answer.

We are not the answer.

When we come in contact with poverty:

a. provide relief
b. restoration/rehabilitation – lifetime involvement.

Luke 10

3. We are called to relate with people, not rescue people.

Those who are struggling are not a project. They are people who we love.

We need to get to know people.  Ask them what their story is.

Never do for somebody else what they can do for themselves.

4. We called to reach out, we never reach down.

Never reach out because we think we are better than them.

“We have divided the world into those who need help and who help.  But we are both.”

We are all broke and need help in some part of our lives.

We are all the same.

This isn’t about going to a 3rd world country.  We can help in our neighborhood.

Spend time with people.  Value people. Empower people and not just have pity.

Posted in Sermon Notes

Sermon Notes: The Secret of Humility

This week’s sermon was about humility.  It was also about using a fresh eye to what the message Jesus was conveying in His parables.  Pastor Mark pointed out that we tend to skim through the parables because we have read them over and over.  We feel that we already know the lesson.  But we need to look more closely into what He’s trying to teach us.

Pastor Mark
Title: The Secret of Humility
Scripture: Luke 18:9-14


Sometimes we get bored of the Parables.

As soon as we read the cast of characters, we come to the conclusions.

In the time of Jesus, the Pharisees were religious successes. They were a pillar of the community.  They were serious about God.  The community admired them.

Tax collectors in the 1st century were despised. They were in the company of extortionists and evil-doers.

1. We must be more concerned with self-righteous comparisons than with conceit.

Low marks were not given for either one for prayer and being in the temple.

We feel like the Pharisee is conceited.

We like our heroes to be modest.

Conceit is really a minor thing to God.

It’s a way for people who feel small on the inside to look good on the outside.

The problem with the Pharisee was not conceit. It was the sin of pride.

It’s a manifestation of a spirit of the self-righteous.

The smell of grace gone putrid: When people compare their virtues with others’ flaws. They are not heartbroken and don’t help. They just feel special that they are better than others.

2. We must be more concerned with living in God’s presence than with hypocrisy.

We think that being a hypocrite is the worst.

When you are in the presence of God, you are more receptive to your sins.

Isaiah 6:1-5

We need God and cleansing.

We never outgrow the need of God’s grace and forgiveness.

Humility is looking into the face of God to see ourselves and to see humility.

When I see my sin, I will see my need for forgiveness.

Posted in Sermon Notes

Sermon Notes: The Scandal of Grace

Pastor Mark
Title: The Scandal of Grace
Scripture: Matthew 20:1-16


Grace is receiving what you don’t deserve.  Mercy is not receiving what you do deserve.

Grace is not of this world.

We have no clue how to give or receive.

Grace saves even the lowest sinners.

We are forced by our hatred to go back to the cross and ask did Jesus die for some or all.

Grace is greater than our sin.

We can not outsin the cross.

The two things are damnable – people who think they outsin the cross or people who outshine the cross.

People need grace now!!

Matthew 20:3-7 – How many of us would trust enough to be hired without being told how much you’ll be getting paid?

Landowner is not only concerned about the vineyard but also about the unemployed workers.

Matthew 20:11-12 – They reacted as predicted.

The late comers weren’t paid any less. Early comers weren’t paid any more.

The Early comers were happy with the wages promised to them that day.

Do you think the same grumblers will come back to work the next day?

Matthew 20:16

This means our positions in Christianity don’t mean a thing.

Grace makes us all equal.

1. Grace reminds us that God’s favor is a gift.

Don’t take God’s Grace for granted.

Sometimes we demand Grace.

God dispenses not wages.

Romans 6:23

2. Grace keeps us from looking down on ourselves.

You don’t have live up to others.

Seasoned Christians should be the best servants.

3. Grace makes us equal to everyone else.

Romans 12:3

Let’s not be so hard on others (not condoning sin). Be generous.

4. Grace offers us a fresh start.

It doesn’t matter if you ask in the 3rd or 11th hour.

It doesn’t make us first or last.

We should run out to find ways to give grace to others.

God doesn’t need your approval to save people.

Matthew 6:15

Posted in Sermon Notes

Sermon Notes: Caramel Coated Christianity Won’t Cut It

The theme of this week’s sermon was about giving God your all and not just a percentage of yourself.  Pastor Dan also talked about serving false gods.  This doesn’t mean that you bow down to a half man/half donkey golden statue.  It means whatever you elevate above God.

Pastor Dan
Title: Caramel Coated Christianity Won’t Cut It
Scripture:  1 Kings 18:17-39


Luke 10:27

God wants all our hearts not just a portion.

Many people compartmentalize their lives.

They slip into their religious compartment on Sundays and their secular compartment through the week.

False gods promise what only God can provide

Example:  Lots of money can bring you security & happiness.  Only God can provide security and happiness.

Monotheism – one God
Polytheism – more than one

Most of us are polytheistic because we put things above God.

Anything we put in front of God is the sin idoltry.

What do I put above God?  Video games.

Elijah’s prophetic message: It’s time to quit wavering.

1 Kings 18:21

Most people accept Jesus as fire insurance.

People nowadays want to worship God but don’t want to sacrifice.

Pick a side. Make the decision.

Go all out for God and hear Him say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”

A coach wouldn’t accept 50% of a team. Would God?

This is not a message of condemnation but of tough love.

God is not made. He wants us to turn back to Him.

See God for who He is and all the false gods will fall away.

We need an intimate relationship with Jesus the person. It will be more difficult to keep those idols in our lives.

For a month commit to reading the Gospel of John with your family

Posted in Sermon Notes

Sermon Notes: Mercy Came Running

Sorry guys!  I’ve been suuuuper busy this past week!  My Papa turned 90 last Tuesday, I went to my grandparents house after church and had lunch which meant I spent most of the day there, my youngest had an open house on Thursday, and so on and so forth.

This means you all get a double dose of sermon notes.  WAH HOO!!

This week’s sermon was about Baptism and how it is an outward expression of our love for Christ and what He has done for us.

Pastor Mark
Title: Mercy Came Running
Scripture: Romans 6:1-7


Sometimes we trivialize salvation and baptism as a formula to get into Heaven. Instead of an act to give God your mind, body, and soul.

Mercy & Grace are not twins. They are sisters.

Grace – getting what you don’t deserve
Mercy – not getting what you deserve.

4 truths of Baptism

  1. Baptism is an act of Worship

    Once Jesus shed His blood, all mercy will break loose.

    Freedom prevails. Freedom is never a Hell thing.  It’s an ALL Heaven thing.

    Matthew 27:51

    Worship is loving God back.

    Baptism is a celebration of a new life.

    Matthew 28:19

    When someone gives us a last word, we should listen and follow it out.

    Encourage believers to be baptised if they haven’t.

  2. Baptism is an external expression of an internal reality.

    Salvation is doing it.
    Baptism is saying you’ve done it.

    Romans 5:12

    We are conceived with the sin nature. We cannot ourselves break free from it.

    Romans 3:23

    John 11:25

    Being of Christ they recognize their sin nature.

    You think of damnation, you lose the joy.

    It would be very hard to enjoy life on death row.

    If you don’t know Jesus, you are just in a cell on death row.

    Romans 10:9

  3. Baptism is a reminder we cannot save ourselves.

    Mercy at the highest level.

    We have a relationship with God.

    Baptism didn’t save me. The blood of Christ did.

    Baptismo – the act of drowning.

  4. Baptism is publicly announcing that we are not ashamed of Christ.

    Matthew 10:33

    Jesus does not want us to be ashamed of Him.

    Baptism is saying that I am not ashamed and I don’t care what I lose in a worldly sense.

    John 8:36

Posted in Sermon Notes

Sermon Notes: Just As I Am

This week’s sermon was about John 3:16.  This is a very basic and well known verse in the Bible.  As Pastor Mark says it’s only 26 words (NIV) but it packs a big punch.  If you all haven’t read the entire chapter of John 3, you should do it right now.  It’s full of hope and love.

I didn’t take really good notes this time.  Pastor Mark is one of my favorites.  He’s just so fast and has a lot of stuff to say in the short amount of time that I only wrote down the quotes that stuck out.

The main point that really spoke to me was when he said “If you really believe in Jesus, your life must be changed.”  My life really didn’t start changing until I started to accept who He made me to be and started to really believe that He loved me.  It was an amazing and freeing moment when I came to that realization.

Pastor Mark
Title: Just As I Am
Scripture: John 3:16


John 3:16 tells the most basic truths in 26 words.

Do you want to perish or have eternal life?

This [scripture] summarizes the Good News.

1. God loves the people of the World.

Read John 20:31.

John meant the people who don’t love God.

God feels anger and love at the same tiem.

God gives the people time to make peace with Him.

God loves you no matter what we’ve done in our lives.

2.  God expressed His love to the world by giving His one and only son.

Would you be able to sacrifice the one you love the most to have your enemy be well?

God did this for us.

Jesus died for our sins.

Jesus set us free and attone for our sins. Jesus is special and can do this.

Whatever you have been through, never doubt God’s love.

3. You must believe in Jesus Christ.

It doesn’t say follow all the commands.

It doesn’t say good works.

It says you must believe in Jesus.

Authentic belief is a heart thing.

Heart belief is like an athlete following a coach and his rules even if he doesn’t understand it.

Make Jesus your life coach.

A relationship with Jesus is the only thing that matters.

If you really believe in Jesus your life must be changed.

Are you living your own life and  asking Him to bless your life or are you living by His will?

Our lives are important to Him.

God will take you from your darkest place and bring you to the light.

There is Hope for everyone!