Tates Creek Christian Church

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Archive for the month “March, 2015”

Jesus is the Conqueror – John 20

One of my favorite sayings is “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. I guess you can call me a skeptic.

Garnet and I recently received an advertisement from a local auto dealership. The ad said they would allow us up to $4,500 above book value for our car. I quickly began to figure how inexpensively we would be able to drive around in a brand new car.

We walked into the dealership and were greeted by a salesman. When we described our car, he told us how much the trade-in would be. That figure turned out to be $3,000 less than the book value – not $4,500 more. Needless to say, we are still driving our old car. As we left the showroom, we were reminded “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”.

Put yourself in the shoes of Mary Magdalene, Peter, John, or one of Jesus’ other followers on that first Easter morning. He had told them that He would be betrayed, have to suffer and die, but would rise from the grave three days later. They didn’t begin to understand what He was talking about. Even if they had, it would have sounded too good to be true.

But it is true. Mary Magdalene saw Him, believed He was alive, and went and told the disciples. The disciples saw Him and believed He was alive when He showed them His hands and His side.

However, one of His chosen followers was not there when Jesus appeared. We know this disciple as ‘Doubting Thomas’ because he said he would not believe unless he saw the nail wounds in His hands. But even this doubter was convinced eight days later when Jesus appeared to them again.

There were several other appearances over the next forty days. He walked and talked with the two on the road to Emmaus. He appeared to His apostles while they were fishing. Those same men were present and watching when He ascended into heaven. The preponderance of evidence assures us it is true. Jesus conquered death, the final enemy (I Corinthians 15:26). If we confess our faith in Him, and confirm that faith by our obedience, He will make us conquerors, too.

Ron Eversole

Sermon Outline, March 29, 2015, “Jesus is the Savior”

Jesus is the Savior

John 19:16-30

I Corinthians 1:18

Through His Death Jesus proclaims God’s Love.

God loves us Unconditionally.

~ Romans 5:6; Romans 5:8

God loves us Sacrificially.

~ John 3:16; Isaiah 53:4; I Corinthians 15:3

Through His Death Jesus justifies us.

Jesus justifies us by His Blood.

~ Romans 5:9

Jesus justifies us by our Faith.

~ Romans 5:1

Through His Death Jesus reconciles us.

Jesus’ death removes the Barrier.

~ Romans 8:2-4

Jesus’ death restores the Relationship.

~ Romans 5:10

He’s Alive!

On Feb. 27, 1991, at the height of Desert Storm, Ruth Dillow received a very sad message from the Pentagon. It stated that her son, Clayton Carpenter, Private 1st Class, had stepped on a mine in Kuwait and was dead. Ruth later wrote, “I can’t begin to describe my grief & shock. It was almost more than I could bear. For 3 days I wept. For 3 days I expressed anger & loss. For 3 days people tried to comfort me, to no avail because the loss was too great.” But 3 days after she received that message, the telephone rang. The voice on the other end said, “Mom, it’s me. I’m alive.” Ruth Dillow said, “I couldn’t believe it at first. But then I recognized his voice, & he really was alive.” The message she had received was all a mistake! She said, “I laughed, I cried, I felt like turning cartwheels, because my son whom I had thought was dead, was really alive. I’m sure none of you can even begin to understand how I felt.”
In John’s Gospel the 11th chapter is the story of the death of Lazarus, his sisters’ grief, and the message which soon arrived that though he was dead yet shall he live. The message, unlike the phone call Ruth Dillow received, was delivered by the life giver himself. Can you even imagine the comfort and joy Ruth received? So much so, and even more must have been the comfort and joy Mary and Martha experienced when they heard the message straight from Jesus. The wonderful news which they received was not just for them however. In that great passage, where Jesus is quoted, we find the word “whoever.” Jesus said, “Whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” Again, can you imagine the great comfort and joy Ruth Dillow experienced? Can you imagine the comfort and joy Mary and Martha must have experienced? Don’t you imagine we should be experiencing that same comfort and joy, we who have received life? Do you feel like turning cartwheels because of what Jesus did for you? We certainly should, and if we did, perhaps more people would want what we have…..life in and through Jesus Christ.

Kim Beckwith

Jesus is LIFE!

When was the first time you really understood that Jesus is LIFE? That time your cup was so full of love and grace that it poured onto everyone you came into contact with. Maybe it was at your baptism when you realized that you were no longer dead in your sin, but alive. For some people it was when they experienced God’s power in an amazing way with their child’s health. It could have been when you were nearly killed in an accident, but God’s protection saved you. When you are alive and realize that Jesus is the life, you are different. Suddenly you start living with a purpose. You understand that coming to the well of Christ is the place you never want to leave again. It’s the time you just want to dance uninhibited.
In my life I have experienced several of these events. I remember the first time it really hit me. I was on a mission trip to Honduras (my first one). I didn’t know anyone and I had kind of tried to outrun God. I knew I needed to be drawn close to him and I longed to have Him near me. One of the locals explained that at the top of one of the mountains you could see for at least 12 miles. The next morning I left the camp early and hiked to the top of the mountain peak. On the mountain something changed. I couldn’t help but worship and sing at the top of my lungs. When I returned to camp one of the team members had also gotten up early and soon realized it was me singing. She asked me if she could go with me the next day, and I agreed. By the time we made it through the week long trip the entire team was up early for our adventure with God and hiking to the top of the mountain for worship.
The next time I remember it was during our ministry in Indiana. During the week of Vacation Bible School we had challenged the children to raise $8,000 for clean water in Liberia. Through the week the kids had raised nearly $4,600. I couldn’t imagine standing in front of the kids and telling them they had been faithful with their small things and God didn’t show up to do something big. So I prayed! Then, I sent out messages and called everyone I could. I truly believed that God was going to blow us away on our last night… and HE DID! That night just over $3,600 was given!
Once you have experienced that Jesus is the LIFE, it becomes addicting. You pray for others to see it too. You ask God to allow them to be overwhelmed by the grace they have been given through Jesus. In fact, when Jesus brings you back to life, you want nothing to do with being dead. Is it time for you to take a step of faith, to love like Jesus, or to get WAY out of your comfort zone? I was desperate to be alive, and I would do anything I could to not die. Especially knowing that Jesus was offering LIFE!

Matt Lee

Jesus is the Savior – John 19:16-30

Rescuer. Liberator. Deliverer. Emancipator. Champion.
Who comes to mind when you read those words? The war hero that is outnumbered and holds off the enemy to save his unit? The movie character that saves a city by disarming an explosive and, of course, always gets the girl? The football player that intercepts a pass in his endzone to ensure a Super Bowl win for his team?
In John 19 we see the execution of Jesus, a man who, for many years prior to his birth, had been proclaimed as rescuer, liberator, deliverer, emancipator, champion – savior to the Jewish people. Oddly enough, the Jewish leaders are the ones trying to eliminate Him. Why is that?
As Christians, we’re often guilty of reading stories about the missteps of the Jews in the Bible and thinking, “how could they be so dense?”, but I think it’s probably because they were thinking a lot like we still do today. The Jewish people of the time were looking for the Messiah to arrive on the scene as a powerful, charismatic political and military leader that would lead them to independence from the immediate burden in their lives – the Roman government. They wanted a man that they could stand behind as he slayed rulers. Afterwards, they would carry him off on their shoulders as crowds cheered. Sound familiar?
The Jewish leaders of the time held to the Old Testament scriptures describing the power and glory of the coming Messiah – as well as the power and glory He would return to Israel. They weren’t necessarily looking for a Messiah that would be “despised and rejected by mankind”. The Jews wanted a “savior” to free them from Roman oppression and restore them to power. What are some things we look for a “savior” to free us from? Are we looking for a “savior” to bring us health, wealth, or power? Are we satisfied in a Savior that has come to free us from the oppression of sin and the consequences of sinful living? Or, like the Jewish leaders, are we prone to discard Jesus because it doesn’t appear that he is saving us from our worldly burdens?
Sometimes we may feel like the disciples as they watched their leader die a painful, humiliating death. We may wonder where Jesus is when we’re afraid, hurting, sick, or confused. Jesus is our Rescuer, Liberator, Deliverer, Emancipator, Champion, and Savior. He has conquered evil, and despite it’s efforts to rule over us, evil will never prevail because Jesus offered Himself as the ultimate sacrifice so that we may have eternal life with Him in glory.

Cory Wilson

Life is a Precious Gift

During 2014 our family experienced some firsts. It was the first time that I remember my father’s life being in jeopardy and having major surgery to save his life due to blocked arteries. I am thankful for the life-saving 4-way bypass surgery he had back in November. I know that several in our church family have had the same surgery and are enjoying many years of an active lifestyle as a result. As I write this, my father is putting the finishing touches on a message he will preach at the Winter Workshop in Gatlinburg, TN, where several hundred seniors will gather for worship and encouragement. He is grateful for this second chance at life and the opportunities that he will have to win souls for eternal life through the preaching of the Word.

It was also the first time that we have had a child born that was 10 weeks premature! My great-nephew, little Kasen, remains in a hospital still struggling to gain strength in his little lungs so that he can breathe without assistance. He has now been in the hospital for about 4 months. There are other stories I could tell here about other family members, but I know we all have stories about the importance of life and how we have learned to appreciate it more through difficulties. Some in my family laughed that my Christmas letter read like a medical journal.

None of us knows how many days we will have on this earth. Life is precious, but as believers we know that what is more precious is the life that we have to look forward to…eternal life. The Scriptures are full of promises, but none is sweet than this one! Here is one of my favorites:

“And this is eternal life, that they know You the only true God,
and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
~ John 17:3

Don Seevers

Life in the Vine

A year or so ago, when we were trying to think of a name for our third service, we came up with lots of creative and cool names. When I was in college, I had attended a service at Southeast Christian church that was aimed at college age and young adult people and really connected there. The name of the service was “The Vine”. They had since changed the name, so I felt like “The Vine” was fair game, haha.

The more we tried to whittle down our list of names, the more “The Vine” stuck out to me. John 15 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. Specifically John 15:5 which says,

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (NIV)

I think it’s such a great reminder for us each week when we come to worship to stay connected to the true Vine, Jesus Christ. He is the very source of life, and if we stay connected to him, we will have eternal life. This is what Jesus was talking about in John 14:6 when he said,

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (NIV)

The way to the Father is through the true Vine. If we stay connected and abide in him, we will meet the Father in Heaven and have eternal life with Him!

Mike Allen

Jesus is the Resurrection – John 11:1-45

Can you think of something in your life now, or in the past, you would consider a “God Thing”? In other words, it wouldn’t have happened without Divine intervention. Lois and I met at a Hospice Grief class and were soon married. We believe our marriage is a “God Thing”.

The “God Thing” in the Gospel of John, is Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. We see the glories of Christ revealed in an astonishing manner. “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God …”. 2 Corinthians 3:5
In the Greek text of Johns’ gospel, we find our Lord’s “I AM” mentioned twenty three times. He joins His “I Am” with seven tremendous metaphors, which are expressive of His saving relationship toward the world.
Jesus speaking to Martha; “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this? John 11:25-27 She said to Him, “yes Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” Martha believes this truth as an event in the far-off future, so remote from the present life, indeed, as to be powerless to comfort her now. Jesus’ first two words, “I AM”, teaches Martha that resurrection is to be thought of as His person, and that is to be thought as present. Lazarus was raised after four days of being in the grave and the process of decomposition started. (John 11:39) The resurrection of Lazarus is the most dramatic sign in John’s Gospel. The reason for the miracle was to authenticate Jesus’ claims to be the Messiah and Son of God.
One of the great tenets of Scripture is the claim that Jesus Christ is completely sufficient for all matters of life and godliness.
Would you like to experience “The God Thing”? Ask the Holy Spirit to take control of your life.
The counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I said to you.John 14:26

Charles Slone

Sermon Outline, March 15, 2015, “Jesus is the Vine”

Jesus is the Vine

John 15:1-17

The Call to Fruitfulness.  (John 15:1-2)

We are to be Fruity people.

~ Romans 12:2, 1 Corinthians 1:18, Colossians 3:2, 1 John 4:5-6

Only fruity people produce fruit.

~ John 15:5

Only fruity people are true disciples.

~ John 15:8b

The Caution Against Unfruitfulness.  (John 15:1-2a)

The crafty nature of unfruitfulness.

The certain cure for unfruitfulness.

~ John 15:8a

The Character of Fruitfulness.  (John 15:16-17)

Power beyond comprehension.

Purpose beyond compare.

~ John 15:13

What is Prayer?

Prayer is speaking time with our Father, sharing our days concerns with Him, knowing He has a listening ear and a caring heart.

A very important aspect is our faith. We know that there is no situation that our God cannot handle. We know that He walks with us through every experience and gives us His peace and His strength. It is believing in God’s love and presence in our lives.

A scripture that is very close to my heart is found in Philippians 4:6-7.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God,
and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Our Lord is ever faithful. Are we?

Vivian Voss

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