Preparing for Sunday - October 1, 2017

Hey Shoreliners!

I’ve been up at Liberty University in Virginia this week challenging college students to serve the Lord overseas. It’s been a great time, but I missed being with you all on Sunday. A big thanks to James and the team for leading so well. I’m looking forward to be back with you all as we continue in our study of Ecclesiastes! 

Check out what songs we’ll be singing this week:

1.   It is Finished - Dustin Kensrue

We last sang this song during our Easter services. It’s been awhile, but I believe we should rejoice and sing about the cross as often as possible! It’s a great way to start our service, by worshiping our Savior for finishing the work of redemption. “It is finished, He has done it, let your weary heart rejoice!”

2.   How Marvelous - Traditional (arrangement by Chris Tomlin)

As we continue singing, this is a great hymn to help us rejoice in our salvation. We are so unworthy and yet we can sing with confidence, “How marvelous, how wonderful is my Savior’s love for me!”

3.   Our Great God - Fernando Ortega

I love singing this song that focuses on His attributes, and His sovereign & creative power. He is eternal, unchanging, mysterious, and unknown. He lavishes His boundless love and grace upon us in spite of our weakness and frailties. The chorus sums up what our response should be - “Hallelujah! Glory be to our great God!” 

4.   How Deep the Father’s Love for Us - Stuart Townend

This modern hymn will focus our minds on the cross and our Savior’s great love & sacrifice for us. It’s a great way to help us prepare to take communion together. Almost every line of this song corresponds to a specific scripture, but one of my favorites is Hebrews 12:2, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

5.   Jesus, Thank You - Sovereign Grace Music

We introduced this song during last communion, and I’m excited to sing it again with you. The lyrics focus on our response to the what Christ has done for us - “Your blood has washed away my sin, Jesus thank you!”. My favorite line in the songs speaks of how we were once at enmity with God, and now we are invited to His table - “once your enemy, now seated at your table, Jesus thank you!”

Sermon Recap (3/20) "Crucified"

The cross is the centerpiece of Christianity. But sadly, many people see the cross as cool, elegant, or even unnecessary. We studied Mark 15:21-47 and saw 7 different eyewitnesses at the cross.

Simon of Cyrene

We met Simon, the Libyan proselyte who was in Jerusalem to worship. We learned that Simon was forced to carry Jesus' cross, and that most likely he and his family received Christ after this encounter. Paul seems to mention Rufus (Simon's son's name) in Romans 16:13 as well as Simon's wife being an encouragement to him. We learned that even random encounters with Jesus can change people's lives forever.

The Thief on the Cross

Jesus was crucified between two thieves. Luke tells us in his Gospel that one of these thieves repented and confessed Christ as Lord. Even in our fleeting last moments there is hope that we can be with the Lord. 

The Centurion

This captain of 100 Roman soldiers had observed dozens, if not hundreds, of crucifixions. Yet there was something about the way Jesus died that stood out to him and caused him to confess Jesus as the Son of God. Even people we write off as "unreachable" may be impacted by the Gospel as they see Jesus.

Mary Magdalene | Mary mother of Joses | Salome

These women would normally not be admitted as eyewitnesses in a trial, yet Mark uses them as key witnesses to Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection. He also points out that they had been ministering to Jesus even as far back as His work in Galilee. They followed Jesus even to the cross, while the disciples (other than John) were in hiding.

Joseph of Arimathea

Joseph was a prominent Sanhedrin council member, yet boldly gets the courage up to ask Pilate for Jesus' body. He then methodically and carefully prepares Jesus' body for burial, allowing Jesus to be buried in his own (rich man's) tomb, a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy.

These testimonies tell us one thing: THE CROSS OF CHRIST CHANGES LIVES! Today we could be guilty of emptying the cross of its power (1 Cor 1:17) by trying to spice up our communication of the Gospel. But this is unneeded. We merely need to preach Christ and Him crucified (1 Cor 2:1-5) and be faithful to live lives that are daily crucified (Gal 2:20). The cross should inform every area of our lives and we should be known foremost as "People of the Cross".

I can't wait to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ this Sunday together with our community!! He is risen indeed!!