A Place Of Grace
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        Congregational Meeting

        January 27, 2017 - 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
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        Congregational Meeting

        January 27, 2017 - 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
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        Chili Cook-off

        January 26, 2020 - 12:00 PM - 12:00 PM
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  • My wife and I spent last weekend celebrating 18 years of marriage, truly blessed to have her by my side as we embrace this life God has given us together. We spent time in my hometown where I lived as a young child… I noticed I kept saying with nostalgia (I remember when…) as if it was better, I then would contrast it with what I saw now.
    I was with a group of pastors some time back… they were talking about ministry, the church, and I heard them reflect on how wonderful it must have been to live in the days when God was doing amazing things like:
    Parting the waters of the sea
    Toppling down walls and defeating armies
    To see God close lions mouths or spare His own from the fiery flames
    Observe Jesus walk on water or walk out to Him
    Be in awe of storms listen to His voice or see the dead rise
    As I sat and listened I realized they were of the mindset that this amazing God of the Bible was somehow taking a break from doing amazing things!!!
    PAUSE… This will be a good practice for you. Think of one thing God did amazing in the last two weeks in your life, an amazing answer to prayer, then write it down!
    The last three weeks we have discussed GOD:
    The last three weeks we have discussed GOD:
    God the Father
    God the Son
    God the Holy Spirit
    All three Persons of the Godhead functioning as One! The work of God is harmonious, unified, single minded!
    Luke has been unfolding this throughout his writing… he begins in giving us these things in consecutive order “so that” we can know the exact truth!
    Luke 1:1–4 NASB95
    Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.
    As Luke finishes up his first writing he closes with the words of Christ in
    Luke 24:44–49 NASB95
    Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. “You are witnesses of these things. “And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
    As Luke begins his second volume writing about the Acts of the apostles he lays out the work God will do in
    Acts 1:1–8 NASB95
    The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
    Luke here states clearly:
    The work of Jesus had only just begun!
    They were going to receive from the Father the POWER of the Holy Spirit
    In this POWER (the Holy Spirit) they are to take the gospel to the world!
    PAUSE… It is easy to stop mentally right here and say, “yeah but” that was Paul, Peter, Barnabas, or Luke. Those “good old days” of God using amazing men… well that’s back then.
    New Assignment: Write down something amazing God did in His Church in the last two weeks… How is He building up His Church?
    New Assignment: Write down something amazing God did in His Church in the last two weeks… How is He building up His Church?
    God is using Luke to record for us how He is building up His Church! This is not about individuals rather His bride, the body of Christ, the Family of God
    Consider the verb-age Luke uses as he records key transitions and summaries of God’s Working… Just watch Him work as we read...
    Acts 2:42 NASB95
    They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
    Acts 2:46–47 NASB95
    Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
    Acts 6:7 NASB95
    The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.
    Acts 9:31 NASB95
    So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase.
    Acts 12:24 NASB95
    But the word of the Lord continued to grow and to be multiplied.
    Acts 16:5 NASB95
    So the churches were being strengthened in the faith, and were increasing in number daily.
    Acts 19:20 NASB95
    So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing.
    ends Luke’s account with the message of Christ moving forward! God using and building up His church!
    Acts 28:30–31 NASB95
    And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters and was welcoming all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.
    PAUSE… Two assignments given. Maybe difficult maybe not. I would venture to say that the second was harder than the first.
    We tend to be more individualistic in our thinking and behavior
    It even comes out in our prayers and prayer request
    Illustrate faithful prayer request for lost souls (WEEKLY!!!)
    Did you recognize the unity mentioned in ???
    Do you realize this was a direct answer to prayer? UNITY is a characteristic of God Jesus states in
    John 10:30 NASB95
    “I and the Father are one.”
    The unity of the church is a prayer answered that Jesus Himself prays for…
    John 17:13–23 NASB95
    “But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. “For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.
    God the Father used His Church to turn the world upside down with the Gospel of His Son Jesus Christ through the POWER of the Holy Spirit!
    Church, Jesus Christ is still praying that prayer for His church today…
    We can look around and say wow wish it was like that now, focusing on the difficulties, hardships, uncertainties, OR...
    As we can take time to look at what God is doing here and now, we can look to this God who is One, we can unify our hearts, our minds, and our prayers for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
    The apostle Peter had these words to share as he encouraged the church in his day where their unified focus should be (NOT on themselves)…
    1 Peter 4:11 NASB95
    Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
    God is still working… Watch and be amazed!
      • Luke 1:1–4NLT

      • Luke 24:44–49NLT

      • Acts 1:1–8NLT

      • Acts 2:42NLT

      • Acts 2:46–47NLT

      • Acts 6:7NLT

      • Acts 9:31NLT

      • Acts 12:24NLT

      • Acts 16:5NLT

      • Acts 19:20NLT

      • Acts 28:30–31NLT

      • John 10:30NLT

      • John 17:13–23NLT

      • 1 Peter 4:11NLT

  • Song gem dust
  • We are in the Gospel of Luke… today we are going to tackle most of one of the largest chapters in the Bible (80 verses!) We are going to be looking at the events of a man by the name of Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth:
    He is a priest
    They are said to be considered righteous in the sight of God
    I am so glad God is watching!
    An angel will visit him
    God will work a miracle
    In the end this priest will prophesy and praise God…
    BUT FIRST! Let’s rewind and go back 400 years...


    Holman- “Malchi rebuked God’s people for specific violations of the covenant, such as laws concerning sacrifices, divorce, and tithes, but he also prophesied the coming of the Messenger who will set things right.
    At first glance it would appeared God had been silent or forgotten for 400 years after sending Malachi to the people and declaring His promise...
    Feelings of forgotten as a nation
    Zacharias forgotten as a priest (will God speak again?)
    Elizabeth forgotten as she is barren no children
    When in reality, God had not forgotten, but was DOING what he promised!
    & declare what God will do in the coming future...
    Malachi 3:1 NASB95
    1 “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts.
    Malachi 4:4–6 NASB95
    4 “Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel. 5 “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. 6 “He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”
    The world stage had to be set… made ready for His Messenger who would come:
    Daniel had prophesied the things that would occur before the Messiah would come
    Alexander the Great would come in… create one language Greek
    His empire would be divided four way among his generals
    Eventually Rome would take over the world… roads being developed for transportation!
    God had not forgotten… On the contrary, He was remembering His promise, fulfilling His Word! In fact His promises… THE PROMISE goes all the way back to the beginning!

    God’s Promise

    The Seed of the woman would deliver a death blow to Satan
    Genesis 3:15 NASB95
    15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
    We see the three sons of Noah and there is a blessing passed to Shem
    Genesis 9:25–27 NASB95
    25 So he said, “Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brothers.” 26 He also said, “Blessed be the Lord, The God of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant. 27 “May God enlarge Japheth, And let him dwell in the tents of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant.”
    Through Abraham’s seed all men would be blessed this is made clearer in Genesis 15
    Genesis 12:3 NASB95
    3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
    Abraham had many sons… Yet Issac is the one God’s blessing was with.
    Isaac had two sons yet the blessing (Promise) was with Jacob… The God of Abraham, Issac & Jacob.
    Jacob had 12 sons… Jacobs name is changed by God to Israel (one who wrestles with God)
    God’s blessing of promise is passed from Jacob to Judah in Indicating the One to come would be royal, a ruler King.
    Genesis 49:10 NASB95
    10 “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
    From the line of Judah comes a man who was anointed king by the name of David… in and God Promises this...
    2 Samuel 7:16 NASB95
    16 “Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.” ’ ”
    The Hebrew word: mashiyach, meaning “the anointed” gradually became a title for the Promised Savior-King Messiah!
    God did NOT forget… He had been working all along in even the smallest of details!
    NOW… back to Luke.

    We Can Take God at His Word!

    Priest had their turns to serve in the temple… this was Zacharias’ time
    Selected to go in and offer incense (prayers) to God… Usually on behalf of the people of Israel
    Luke 1:11–17 NASB95
    And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John. “You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. “For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb. “And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. “It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
    I don’t think this man was praying for a son… too old.
    Praying for the people, felt forgotten, feeling the oppressions of the Romans, whatever it was GOD HEARD!
    Wow! the angel states the Zacharias’ son will fulfill the prophecy of Malachi
    Your son will prepare for the Promised Messiah
    It Is Time! The Messiah is coming!!!
    What God says WILL HAPPEN!
    Moody- Zacharias ought to have been focusing on the divine “promise” of the message, not the human “problems” of the message.
    Did you miss it? Do you doubt God due to human limitations?
    The Promise of the scriptures was being fulfilled and this is Zacharias’ response…
    Luke 1:18–20 NASB95
    Zacharias said to the angel, “How will I know this for certain? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.” The angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. “And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”
    Several lessons here:
    Be careful when you ask God to prove it or for a sign!
    This was good news, not intended to create a problem
    The last words he could hear was the promise, his last words were questioning God
    God has a time table and a plan, He is NEVER late and always stays true to His Word

    God’s Hand Working Deserves Praise

    “ His Name is John”
    These are the words Zacharias would write on a board for the questioning crowd…
    Wait a minute… Zacharias, he’s not going to carry your name?
    NO this baby boy would carry something much greater… the message that the Messiah has come repent!
    His Faith to obey and listen loosed his tongue… He begins to prophesy for all there to hear and share!
    Luke 1:67–79 NASB95
    And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of David His servant— As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old— Salvation from our enemies, And from the hand of all who hate us; To show mercy toward our fathers, And to remember His holy covenant, The oath which He swore to Abraham our father, To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days. “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways; To give to His people the knowledge of salvation By the forgiveness of their sins, Because of the tender mercy of our God, With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.”
    Look at the people’s response to all they heard and had seen…
    Luke 1:65–66 NASB95
    Fear came on all those living around them; and all these matters were being talked about in all the hill country of Judea. All who heard them kept them in mind, saying, “What then will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was certainly with him.
    Darrel Bock- The story’s close indicates that the Lord’s hand was with him. Luke is saying, in effect, “Be assured, Theophilus or any other reader of my account, that God was in these most unusual events.” When God’s hand is mentioned, usually an opportunity for deliverance is around the corner!

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