Tates Creek Christian Church

Updates and Insights from Tates Creek Christian Church

Archive for the month “August, 2015”

Tough Love

Let me get straight to the point.  When is the last time you and I have talked to someone who doesn’t have a relationship with Jesus about Christ Jesus?  Sharing with non-believers where we go to Church and posting scripture on Facebook, doesn’t count.  What I am talking about is having a face to face conversation with non-believers about Jesus by walking through the gospel.  Some cannot say they have ever shared the gospel with a nonbeliever before.

These are some of the heart felt questions I have been dealing with in the past few weeks.  Are we as Christians not supposed to be bold and courageous to communicate the love of God to all people?  Romans 10:17 says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”  How are people going to hear if you and I are not sharing the gospel?  How have we become so comfortable?  Am I the same person on Sunday morning as I am on Wednesday morning?  Matthew 28:19-20 says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age.”  What if Tates Creek persued with a greater passion and desire for the great commission?

I know sharing the gospel can be difficult, and talking to someone about Jesus is so contrary to our culture today.  But isn’t sharing the gospel what Christians are called to do?  There is so much more to Jesus’ claim “follow Me” than we can imagine.  It is a total surrender, which is giving everything you have to God and trusting fully in Him.  Church, let us step out of our own comfort, be bold for the salvation of other individuals, and be the disciples God is calling us to be.  So today, tell someone about Jesus.  Today, be bold!

Conor Doyle

Sermon Outline, August 30, 2015, “Repentant Prayer”

Repentant Prayer

Psalm 51

Repentant Prayer Acknowledges Sin.

Acknowledges Sin against God.

~ I John 3:4

Acknowledges Personal Sin against God.

~ James 2:10

Repentant Prayer Reaches for Truth.

Truth is Honest with God about sin.

~ Hebrews 4:13; Luke 8:17

Truth is Honest with Self about sin.

~ John 8:32

Repentant Prayer Appeals to God’s Grace.

God’s Grace provides Cleansing.

~ Isaiah 1:18; I John 1:7; Ephesians 1:7; I Peter 1:18-19

God’s Grace provides Change.

~ II Corinthians 5:17; Luke 13:3

Praying with Right Motives

We all want our prayers to be “effective”, right? To have our prayers answered, and in the way that we want them? We look so much at the “results” of our prayers, we sometimes become selfish in our desires and pray with the incorrect intentions.
“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” James 4:3. We also need to make sure that we are praying in a way that lines up with God’s will. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us” 1 John 5:14. Praying with God’s will in mind is essentially praying while knowing what He would want, and we can find God’s will in Scripture. In keeping with what I wrote about last month, we should pray continually. In Luke 18:1, we are told to pray with persistence and “not give up.” We should also make sure that when we present our requests to God, we pray with faith (James 1:5-6). It is the strength of our faith, not the length of our prayers, that pleases Him. After all, God knows what our needs are even before we ask (Matthew 6:8).

Lesley Tipton

The Lord’s Prayer or the Model Prayer…that is the Question!

Quite often, we hear someone speak of the Lord’s prayer when they are actually thinking of the Model prayer that Jesus taught us in Matthew 6:9-13. Some versions also include the additional words “for Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever, Amen.” Similar words to these are found in I Chronicles 29:11. I am sure many of you grew up in a church family that recited the “Lord’s Prayer” every Sunday as a part of the worship order. I am not sure what has caused this common reference to these words as the Lord’s Prayer. I know that many of us enjoy the musical version of this prayer through the music of Albert Hay Malotte, as it is a favorite song at weddings and special worship occasions. But, if we are honest, we would realize that many of us said these words over and over again for years without really thinking about their true impact in our lives. These verses, like many others in the Bible, are prayers where we should be speaking directly to God as we pray them.
I guess that I have always thought of the Model Prayer as a beginning point in our adult prayer life just as “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep…” is to children.
The powerful prayer of Jesus (or the Lord’s Prayer) is found in John 17. This entire chapter is an earnest prayer from Jesus to His Father! In these words Jesus prays for Himself as He prays to honor God through the work God sent Him to do on earth. Then He prays for His disciples, the ones selected by the Father and given to Jesus for the work He had to do. He prays for their protection in the work they have yet to complete. Then He prays for all who believe and those who will come to believe, that they will be united with Him in mission and in bringing honor to God through their lives.
Yes, this is truly the Lord’s Prayer…that we may all bring glory to the Father through our lives and that the world will see us as being united with the Father, the Son, and other believers. Seeing all of us as ONE will bring true honor and glory to the Father. This is effective prayer; praying for the Father’s will and unity in all things. Let us focus on sincerity in our own prayers and not be caught up in using familiar phrases we have heard others use. Effective prayer should focus on what God wants and what others need, not our own wish list!

Don Seevers

Sermon Outline, August 23, 2015, “Surrendered Prayer”

Surrendered Prayer

Matthew 26:36-46

Trust God’s Will in the Storm.

God’s Will provides Stability in the Storm.  ~ Romans 12:2

God’s Will provides Hope in the Storm.  ~ Hebrews 6:19

Trust God’s Will in the Struggle.

God’s Will provides Strength in the Struggle.  ~ Romans 7:19; Galatians 5:17

God’s Will provides Fellowship in the Struggle.  ~ I Peter 5:9

Trust God’s Will in the Silence.

Silence calls for us to Examine Self.  ~ Psalm 66:18; Matthew 6:14-15; I Peter 3:7

Silence calls for us to Trust God.  ~ Proverbs 3:5-6; James 1:12

Confession

An issue that comes up frequently with youth is that they don’t feel confident praying to God for anything and everything. “How do I know that He will hear me?” “What does it feel like when God listens to your prayer?” “I’ve never had God answer a prayer of mine, so what should I do?” In thinking through those questions, there is one key element that students experience at camp and on retreats which opens up the power of prayer, confession.

In James 5:16 we are encouraged to pray because “the prayer at work of a righteous person accomplishes much.” (16b), but there is a stipulation to the verse. The key to being “righteous” is to “Confess your sins to one another and pray for each other so you may be healed.” (16a) For James, prayer simply wasn’t as effective if it didn’t come from someone who had confessed their sins and repented.

This is a huge part of the camp and retreat experience for students. They are pulled away from all of their normal distractions and forced to examine their lives in light of the teaching. If there is a time in a young person’s life where they are most likely to open up about their lives and find support, it is at camp or a retreat.

So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that the prayers offered up during these times are the prayers that have the most effect in the lives of our students. Hearts are renewed, minds are transformed, and students are called into ministry. It’s difficult to think of a more powerful time of prayer than on these retreats where the group is praying for each other.

Since most of us don’t have regular retreat experiences anymore, we must find ways to make confession to each other part of our regular spiritual habit. Then we can find the true power of effective prayer.

Brad Haggard

Moving Mountains

In Matthew 17, Jesus was approached by a father whose son was possessed by a demon. This demon would cause the boy to have seizures or fall in fires and water. This father begged for Jesus to have mercy on his son and to drive out this demon. And Jesus, of course, drove out the demon. However, the disciples had already tried to cast out the demon but failed. They asked Jesus why they couldn’t cast out the demon and He answered them, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20

This past year I took a Greek exegesis class, which was my fourth and final semester of Greek. (Thank the Lord.) We had to translate this verse, Matthew 17:20, and I will never forget what my professor said in the discussion. He said something along the lines of, “we all know that a mountain won’t literally move if we pray even with a little bit of faith.” I stopped at that point and pondered over what he just said. Please understand that the professor was looking at it from an exegetical perspective. Jesus was giving an example, imagery, etc., to the disciples to illustrate faith. Jesus wasn’t necessarily being literal in moving a mountain. But, think about it! I think my professor, without even knowing it, had missed the whole point Jesus was trying to make. Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 18:3. I don’t think a child would doubt Jesus when He said that mountains would move if they had faith, would they? In times of today, as my professor did, we too miss Jesus’ point. Maybe we too are like the disciples. When is the last time you prayed and God moved a mountain? Maybe that mountain is a person who hasn’t been moved by Jesus yet?

Conor Doyle

The Fehls on Furlough

Every time we’ve come ‘home’ on furlough, we’ve been tired. But really, it’s more than being tired. It’s the feeling that you don’t have the energy to deal with even one more problem. Plus, something is missing. That “something” is a reservoir of rest and energy.

In September when we came home we were deep tired, and we had unanswered questions: “Where is the money going to come from for the Addis Ababa church and office that need to be built upon our return to Ethiopia?” “Where is Addison going to college?” “Will I enjoy teaching the spring semester at Cincinnati Christian University?” “Will we ever feel rested?”

But then, after a busy fall travel schedule and a successful financial appeal for our construction needs (we raised $70,000!), we hunkered down at CCU and fell into a rhythm that allowed us to rest. We homeschooled the kids, I taught twice a week at CCU, Addison decided to study Engineering at the University of Oklahoma, the kids got involved in the youth group, and Jen and I got to go bowling.

Then one morning in March, I realized I wasn’t tired any more. God had answered our prayers for refreshment. He had brought new life and energy back to our imaginations. He had renewed us and restored us.

After we take Addison to college in August, we’ll head back to Ethiopia for our fifth term. Our plans are to get busy orienting the Haley family (new to our team) and getting construction going on the Addis Ababa church and offices. Jen will refocus on homeschooling Mallory and Ethan while Darby attends the Bingham Mission School.

And surely, problems that we can’t foresee or imagine right now will arise to challenge us. But fresh from furlough, with a refilled reservoir of energy and faith, we’ll get through whatever comes.

Please praise God with us because He is Good and Gracious! Thank you for your continuing support of our family.

Adrian for all the Fehls

Surrendered Prayer – Matthew 26:36-46

Throughout our lives, we as Christians will most certainly face difficulties and hardships. However, none of us will ever have to bear the sins of the world. But, Jesus has shown us how to strengthen our lives through prayer.

In Matthew 26:36-46, we find Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane where he went to pray before his pending crucifixion. Jesus was in deep anguish as he prayed, “If possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” Matthew 26:39 Luke’s account states, “He prayed earnestly; and His sweat was as if it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Luke 22:44 He knew He was about to die for our sins. The cup of suffering is not taken away from him, so he drinks it in full, obedient to the point of death. In doing so, he teaches us willingness to follow the Father’s plan even if it does not align with our own. In our prayers, we should ask God for what we want, but we should also fully embrace his will for our lives, trusting him without reservation.

In the remaining months of my husband’s life, this was my daily prayer. After 50 wonderful years of marriage, I wanted to keep him with me for a little longer. However, his health was failing so quickly and numerous doctors could not help him. So instead of praying for his health to improve, I began my prayers for God’s will to be done in his life. And so when he passed very quickly on May 31, 2014, I knew the Lord’s will had been accomplished. This is not what I wanted, but I had to accept God’s will.

Like Jesus, let us learn not to follow the desires of our own heart. Rather, let us trust in God’s will. At the end of Jesus’ time in the Garden, He arose and told his disciples to follow Him. He knew the will of the Father was at hand. Jesus entered the Garden in a state of suffering, but left strengthened with His resolve. Prayer was the answer!

Mona Vannatter

Sermon Outline, August 16, 2015, “Jesus’ Prayer”

Jesus’ Prayer

John 17

Pray for People to Know Jesus.

To know Jesus is to know His Person.

~ Matthew 16:16; John 3:16

To know Jesus is to know His Work.

~ I Corinthians 15:3-4

To know Jesus is to know His Word.

~ John 14:21; John 15:14

Pray for Spiritual Protection.

Pray for Protection from Sin.

~ Psalm 121:7

Pray for Protection from Satan.

~ Ephesians 6:12; II Thessalonians 3:3

Pray for Faithfulness to God’s Word.

Be Faithful to the Truth of God’s Word.

~ John 10:35; II Timothy 4:3-4

Be Faithful to the Obedience of God’s Word.

~ James 1:22; Matthew 7:21; Luke 6:46

Pray for Unity.

Pray for a Solid Unity.

~ John 1:14; Ephesians 4:15

Pray for the Purpose of Unity.

~ Ephesians 4:4-6

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