Tates Creek Christian Church

Updates and Insights from Tates Creek Christian Church

Archive for the month “May, 2015”

Sermon Outline, May 31, 2015, “The Author of the Bible”


II Timothy 3:16

Paul says in this passage that all scripture is God-breathed.

  • This doesn’t mean that it is recited.
  • This doesn’t mean that it is a mystery text.
  • This doesn’t mean that it is mysticism.
  • This doesn’t mean that it is meditation.
  • This doesn’t mean that it is magical.
  • And it doesn’t mean that it is a law book.
  • But it does mean that it is Spiritual.

The Spirit inspired people to write about how God worked in their lives.

The Spirit is still writing in our lives through formation.

The Spirit’s perspective in the Bible is different from our perspective.

The Spirit calls us to study and talk to each other about His story.

The Spirit also calls us to tell everyone His story.

Following God’s Call

Over the past year or two my husband Brad and I have faced a lot of new challenges. We have felt a calling to possibly adopt a child since before we were even married. The cost of that on one salary has always made that calling feel out of reach. So we have prayed about it for a long time. We then started thinking about being foster parents and that possibly leading to an adoption. While we were praying about that, Tates Creek Christian Church allowed the Bair Foundation to come in and give more information about their foster care agency. God’s timing was perfect as always. As we were praying about becoming foster parents and thinking about taking classes through the state they were put directly in our path. We finished up our classes and paperwork by the end of September 2013. Then the waiting began because our agency did not have the paper work they needed to start placing children. In January 2014, our agency finally received the paperwork they needed and we prayed even harder for God’s plans for us and our home. On January 15th, we got a call asking if we would be willing to take 3 children. We both agreed right away that we wanted these kids to be able to stay together. Within 5 hours, those three children were placed in our home. From that moment on I prayed constantly because Satan attacked with a vengeance. Things were crazy and nobody was getting any sleep. I started to wonder what I had done to deserve the mess my life had become. I no longer liked who I was. That was when a sweet friend said to me, “You must be doing something right to make Satan this mad.” Oh, now I knew what was going on. I wasn’t being punished, I was doing what God called me to do. We are thankful for good friends and prayer that got us through those first couple of months. Now the children are back home and we are still able to keep in touch with them. We still pray for them and remain in their lives as much as we can. While we don’t know what God has for us next, we know that as long as we pray he will lead us to his plans.

Prayer Team – Brad & Marty Byington

Listening to the Spirit

Recently I have felt a very strong ‘something’ in my mind and heart. I can’t explain it, it just makes me feel that a big thing is about to happen. I am continuing to pray about it so I can truly find out what this big thing is supposed to be. Does that make sense? Have you ever felt like there is something inside that is bursting to get out, but you just have no idea what it is? Do you ignore it? Do you try to figure it out on your own without any help? Or do you continually pray about it and try to find the way, place, or thing God wants you to do?

I think that sometimes it is very easy for us to forget about the Holy Spirit, or to purposefully ignore Him. There are times the way He leads us is not comfortable, or we don’t recognize it because it is so subtle. I find it fitting that the memory verse for May in Critterland is “God’s way is perfect” 2 Samuel 22:31. We so desperately want to make sure that everything is just-so in our lives that we don’t realize the way He wants us to go is the right way—the perfect way.

Lesley Tipton

The Holy Spirit

Without the Holy Spirit, there is no church. The Spirit gave birth to the church fifty days after the cross, Acts 2. Without Him, there is no creation, no Bible, no effective prayer.

He gives to us the Bible by “inspiriting” the writers.
He acts in creation, as “the Spirit of God moves across the face of the
He intercedes for us as we pray.
He makes it possible for the Christian to display the fruit of the Spirit.
He is God’s holy presence in each believer.

I love Titus 3:4 “When the kindness and love of God, our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy, He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Spirit.

Is the Holy Spirit a reality in you? Here’s how you know:
When the believer repents and is baptized, the Spirit is promised to indwell.
As the believer engages life in Christian service, the promise of the Lord, “I am with you always,” becomes real.
God also invites us to pray for the Spirit. “If any ordinary father gives good gifts to his child, how much more will God give his Holy Spirit to those who ask.” Luke 11:13. As we pray, we ask not to “get more of His Spirit,” rather we pray that we will allow His Presence to get more of us.

There are two principal descriptions of the Holy Spirit in the Bible. One is “pneumatos” or wind. He dwells in us as the air fills our lungs, to empower us to go on with life as challenges arise. The other is “paracletos” or the One who walks beside us. He is sometimes called “The Comforter,” which literally means, “with power.”

Let us keep in step with the Spirit. We can! And we must! In fact, “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.” Romans 8:9

Brad Walden

Sermon Outline, May 24, 2015, “The Person of the Holy Spirit”

The Person of the Holy Spirit

John 14:16-18, 26

Respect the Holy Spirit as a Person.

The Holy Spirit is a Person.

~ John 4:24; Hebrews 1:14

The Holy Spirit is our Helper.

~ Proverbs 18:24; Hebrews 13:5

The Personal Pronoun for the Holy Spirit is Masculine.

~ John 14:16, 26

The Personal Activities of the Holy Spirit speak to His Person.

  • Intellectual Activity ~ I Corinthians 2:11.
  • Volitional Activity ~ Acts 13:2.
  • Speaking Activity ~ Acts 8:29.
  • Teaching Activity ~ John 14:26.
  • Emotional Activity ~ Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 10:29.
  • Respect the Holy Spirit as a Divine Person.
  •  The Inclusion of the Holy Spirit in the Trinity speaks to His Divine Person. ~ Matthew 28:19; Ephesians 4:4-6
  •  His Attributes speak to His Divine Person.
  •                         ~ The Holy Spirit is Holy ~ I Corinthians 6:19.
  •                         ~ The Holy Spirit is Eternal ~ Hebrews 9:14.
  •                         ~ The Holy Spirit is Omniscient ~ I Corinthians 2:10-11.
  •                         ~ The Holy Spirit is Omnipresent ~ Psalm 139:7-10.
  •                         ~ The Holy Spirit is Omnipotent ~ Genesis 2.
  • Honor the Leadership of the Divine Holy Spirit. ~ Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:16

Living Through the Spirit

Recently, I asked the kids in Uptown to draw a picture of Jesus. I didn’t put any limits on their ideas, I just wanted to know what they thought Jesus looked like. To most of the kids, Jesus was a normal looking guy. He did wear a long, dress like outfit and more than likely had a long beard. In nearly every picture he was smiling. Some of the kids pictured him still on the cross. Others pictured him showing others love. A couple of the kids decided their picture of Jesus was Him in Heaven. In Heaven He is surrounded by rays of light with His arms open. These are the incredible thoughts of pure minded children and how they see Jesus, but Jesus did some truly unbelievable things while he walked and talked on this earth. Jesus told a blind man to see and he could see! He told a dead man to live and he lived! He commanded a tree to die and it died! JESUS CAME BACK TO LIFE!!!!
After His resurrection He took an ordinary group of people, called them disciples, and somehow they did many of the same things Jesus had done. Since those days Christians have been battling and trying to make sense of something we can’t comprehend. The power of Jesus was the Holy Spirit! The power of the disciples was the Holy Spirit! The power of the church is the Holy Spirit! The power of our ability to change Lexington, to lead others to the feet of Jesus, to reach out and love the poor is THE HOLY SPIRIT!
To be honest I tried really hard to do life without the Holy Spirit, because I thought I was supposed to. I grew up in the church, but every time we talked about eternity the message somehow always stopped at Jesus. As a young preacher’s kid, I watched many leaders put a cap on the Holy Spirit when it required them to become uncomfortable. Through college I felt God’s presence and His leading through the Spirit, but I really didn’t want to listen. I had been in children’s ministry for nearly 5 years full time and I was struggling with doubt. I asked myself, “Do I believe that God is still God? Do I believe that He is still capable of doing everything He did in the Bible?” First, I asked for forgiveness for doubting. Second, I thanked God for being so faithful in my life. Third, I asked God to show me how to trust in Him and His power. That’s when He introduced me AGAIN personally to the Holy Spirit and it changed my walk dramatically! Every day I learn the Holy Spirit gives life and fills us so full that He pours out to others through us. He is Jesus’ power and mine too! I literally can’t do anything without Him and I really don’t want to try to anymore either! If your walk is powerless– let me introduce you to the Holy Spirit! I have some crazy stories I would love to share with you!

Matt Lee

Learning with the Spirit

When I became a Christian, I knew the Bible taught that when we became Christians we received the Gift of the Holy Spirit to live within us. But I certainly did not understand much about the Person of the Holy Spirit. Even today, there is still much I need to learn about the Person of the Holy Spirit and His ministry. Someone has compared our understanding and learning about the Holy Spirit to a baby learning and understanding what to do with their hands. When a baby is born, the baby does not know nor understand about their hands. It is fun to watch them grow in their understanding and learning of the use of their hands. Babies soon learn to hold their own bottle. As they become a toddler, they learn to pick up everything and then quickly learn the meaning of “No!”

Watching our grandson, Lincoln, grow in his understanding of the use of his hands is a lot of fun! One of the first things he learned to do was point and grunt. The other thing he loves to do with his hands is to take hold of the steering wheel of my truck. As children grow, they learn how to use their hands. They learn how to hold a pencil and write; how to make their own bed; how to play the piano; how to hold, throw, and catch a ball; how to wash the dishes; and so on. We observe a similar process in the Christian life growing in our understanding of the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit within us.

The Bible teaches us much about the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit. One of the things we learn about the Holy Spirit is He provides us with power to live the Christian life in order to please God. Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us” (NASB). Romans 8:13 says, “For if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirt you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (NASB). The Holy Spirit gives us the power to overcome the lusts, passions, and desires of the flesh. The flesh has very strong lusts and desires. The battle between the flesh and the Holy Spirit within us rages constantly. However, the power of the Holy Spirit is greater than the power of the flesh, if we will yield to the Holy Spirit. Someone has given the analogy that there are two teams of horses within us pulling in opposite directions ~ the power of the Holy Spirit and the lust of the flesh. Which team within us will win? The one to which we say, “Giddy-up”! Sunday, May 24, we will begin a new sermons series about the Holy Spirit. May we come with a hunger and thirst to learn more about the person and the ministry the Holy Spirit.

Greater is He Who is in you!

Tommy Simpson

Spiritual Formation

During a series on listening to the Holy Spirit’s call in our lives, our high school students were challenged to see the Spirit’s role in our day to day lives. In fact, if we don’t listen to the Spirit when He is prompting us to listen in the little decisions of our day to day life, how can we expect to listen to him in life-changing decisions such as college, career, or marriage?

To illustrate this, each student was given a lump of Play Do and asked to form a dog out of the Play Do. To spice it up, I made it a competition where the small group that did the best would receive donuts the next week. The groups quickly got to work, with their fingers and thumbs moving feverishly to finish their puppy.

During the exercise, it occurred to me that each little push of the students’ fingers and thumbs were like the Spirit’s nudges on our hearts and minds. It isn’t in the spectacular events where our spirits are molded to be more like Jesus, but rather we are formed little by little through the Spirit’s gentle nudges on our lives. And when you look back over your life, you can see those nudges on your spirit just like the finger and thumb prints were apparent in the sculptures.

But one other thing that happened is a number of students complained to me that they weren’t able to work with their Play Do because it was too dry and clumpy. No matter how much they tried to work with it, nothing could be formed. The dogs wound up looking de-formed! This served as the warning for the day, that if we don’t listen to the Spirit and resist his nudges on our lives consistently, then we won’t allow him to make us into the image of Jesus. We will miss out on the great moves of the Spirit because we rejected him long ago in our personal lives.

Brad Haggard

Serving the Least – Matthew 25:31-46

Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. … whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.
Is it possible to ignore those in need around us and still be a Christian? In a description of the final judgement, in Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus very plainly shares with us that he expects us to serve one another. Not just service through acknowledgement of the need, but actual works that assist our brother or sister.

How many of us have seen someone on the corner or been approached by a stranger asking for money? How many of us have personally known someone that we would call a friend that was in need?

Is there a difference in how we should respond? I would say that most of us would quickly respond to the friend in need and unfortunately many us may look the other way and ignore the stranger. Is this what Jesus meant when he praised the blessed for helping “him” in time of need? Not really, Jesus actually continues in this parable telling the goats to depart because “whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”

Jesus tells us that it is just as important to help the strangers as it is to help those we know and love. In John 13:34-35 he says: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

What better way to demonstrate the love and kindness and compassion of Jesus Christ than by reaching out to the “least of these” among us? Our ability to provide service to others is a blessing and if we actively pursue it, we can share the love of our Christ to others. Did Jesus not tell us in Mark 12:31 to “Love your neighbor as yourself”?

Larry Bugg

Sermon Outline, May 17, 2015, “Serving the Least”

Serving the Least

Matthew 25:31-46

Serving the Least requires Compassion.

Compassion sees the need.

~ Colossians 3:12; Matthew 16:26; Luke 12:15

Compassion yearns to meet the need.

~ Philippians 2:3-4

Serving the Least requires Action.

Action goes beyond Good Intentions.

~ James 2:15-17; James 4:17

Action serves the Need.

~ James 1:22; Luke 6:46; Luke 12:48

Serving the Least requires Motivation.

Heaven should motivate service to the Least.

~ Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11

Hell should motivate service to the Least.

~ Mark 9:48; Revelation 14:11; Revelation 21:8

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