Tates Creek Christian Church

Updates and Insights from Tates Creek Christian Church

Archive for the month “February, 2016”

I Would If I Could, But I Can’t – Romans 7

Do you ever struggle with the tug of war between the right action to take in a situation and what your flesh is crying out to do? Do you often think, “Well Lord, I would do it your way, I would if I could, but I can’t.”

We have to realize we are impotent except for the Holy Spirit who indwells each of us as baptized believers. On our own we cannot do the right thing. Thanks be to God, we have the power to draw on so as to shake our fist at the force that wants us to chose our own way. We can shout out with great resolution, “I can and I will.”

The fleshly part of us is always trying to spring forth and dominate our actions. We are tempted to take offense, to be judgmental, to think our way is the only and best way to deal with a situation. The old nature is always trying to control our actions so we lose our witness for Christ by our behavior. We have the key to victory. He lives in us in the form of the Holy Spirit. We just have to look soberly at the choice and make room for His way.

Some of us have a long history of pleasing ourselves with the attitude, “Lord, I can handle this, let me do it my way.” The power of sin in us tries to sabotage our best intentions. Sin still has us in its evil grasp unless we stop it in its tracks. We have to practice reaching down deep past the flesh that is ever trying to dominate and draw on the inner man empowered by the Holy Spirit. It may require talking to ourselves, reminding our self we have a choice in a challenging situation – God’s way based on scriptural principles for Christian behavior and attitudes, or the human nature way focused on self-gratification.

Let us resolve to listen to and obey that inner counselor knowing that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Peggy Park

Sermon Outline, Feb. 28, 2015, “Dead to Sin”

Dead to Sin

Romans 6

Consider Your Death Experience.

Baptism is a Death Experience.

~ Romans 6:11

Baptism is a Burial Experience.

~ Hebrews 10:26

Consider Your New Life.

Walk in the New Life.

~ II Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 5:8

Walk Faithfully in the New Life.

~ Romans 7:19

Consider Your New Master.

God empowers us to say “No” to Sin!

~ Philippians 2:12; Ephesians 5:18

God empowers us to say “Yes” to Righteousness!

~ Romans 8:13

A “Thank You” from the Kern Family

(Stefan and Sharon Kern and their four children have lived in the TCCC Mission House since May 2015.)

When my family was starting to talk about returning from Mozambique, where we have been serving as missionaries since 2006, many emotions started cycling through our minds. To say excitement was one of the emotions would have been an understatement! It had been 4 years since our children had experienced anything from America and our youngest was just a baby when we were last stateside. Balancing that “excitement” was the parents’ emotion of dread!! Where will we live? How will we furnish the house? Will we live in a safe section of town? These questions (and many more) are questions many missionaries are faced with when they return to their passport country for a brief period of home assignment. When we left, many of us sold our home and furnishings to set up our “new home” in the country of ministry.

As He always does, the Lord provided….not just sufficiently BUT abundantly through the TCCC Mission House! There are so many details I wouldn’t have space to write about. Everything from the condition of the house, (EXCELLENT) to the furnishings, (BEYOND WHAT WE IMAGINED) and the layout of the house. Just such an answer to prayer! We continue to be humbled by how perfect this house has been for us these 10 months.

As we prepare to return to Mozambique, we can truly say that we are refreshed and energized for the task at hand. There are still over 2,000 people groups with NO ACCESS to the gospel. Our passion is to come alongside the African Church and help equip them as they seek to take God’s Story to cultures that have never heard.

To the community of believers that call Tates Creek Christian Church “home”….thanks for your efforts. Thanks for your sacrificial giving. Thanks for the unique way that you have chosen to steward your finances for the furthering of His Kingdom.

From the bottom of our hearts….Stefan, Sharon, Cohen, Christian, Wesley and Alexandra….we thank you!

Lots of Promises

When we look at the sermon texts for February, we find several promises in Romans 4, 5, & 6. There is so much wonderful truth in these chapters that it is difficult to condense them into a short article such as this one. But let me try to hit some of the highlights:
First of all, we read of Abraham. Can you think of an Old Testament person who tells us more of the power of faith than Abraham? We are reminded in Romans 4 that “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Wow! That simple statement that “Abraham believed God” is a powerful one that unleashes a great discussion contrasting faith and works. The chapter closes with an affirmation of the power of Abraham’s faith and how we are all blessed because of it.
In Chapter 5, there is a wonderful promise that we can enjoy peace and joy because of our faith. We can even rejoice in our sufferings because of our faith relationship with God. Did you realize that suffering produces good things in our lives? Suffering can produce perseverance, character, and hope. Hmm…next time I am suffering because of illness, disappointment in someone, or when someone says something unkind to me, I hope I can remember those situations can and should make me a better Christian. I also love the contrast in chapter 5 between Adam and Christ. Adam brought death; Christ brings eternal life. That is a pretty great promise!
Then, there is that powerful Chapter 6. Quite often, this passage is read before a person turns their life over to Christ and is baptized. This is one of the those chapters where one doesn’t know where to stop reading when sharing the Scripture with the congregation. I especially like the promise in these verses: “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:3,4)
We find lots of great promises in these three chapters. I am anxious to hear about them in our upcoming sermon series. We will sing about those promises, too!

Don Seevers

Dead to Sin – Romans 6

It’s a whole new season of “The Walking Dead”, the TV ad blared. I have to admit, I’m not a fan of “The Walking Dead”. Fact is I’ve never watched it, I mean, dead people don’t walk . . . or anything else for that matter.
Yet, as I was thinking about this, I realized there are some “walking dead” around us. Paul knew some. He wrote; “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:11) Apparently some Christians didn’t know they were dead to sin and were still walking around in it.
So Paul says, ‘Hey, consider yourselves dead”. I like the KJV’s word: ‘reckon’. Both are good words, I reckon, as both mean to give careful thought to something and come to a conclusion. I reckon being an old(er) preacher, I’ll suggest three reasons why we should “reckon ourselves to be dead to sin”.
First, because it’s true! This isn’t some form of positive thinking, it’s truth. Being united with Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, because of our faith in Him, has enabled us to die to sin. You may not realize it yet, but you are dead–to sin that is.
Secondly, this “reckoning” is a part of the transformation process. Later Paul tells us to be “transformed by the renewing of our mind”. Whoa, too much there for this little devotion except to note that our transformation progresses as we learn to see life from God’s perspective. In Christ, God sees you forgiven and dead to sin!
Third reason, related to the second; Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinketh within himself, so is he”. In context this is a negative thing, but it is also true in a positive sense. As someone has said, “what we think, we are”. Remember, Jesus said if you think about sexual sin you are just as guilty as if you committed the act. The power of thought!
What if, when confronted with the opportunity to sin, I say to myself, “I reckon I’m dead to sin, so I can’t do that.” Sin has no power over me, I’m dead! The devil can’t make me sin, I’m dead! Could that make a difference in how we live for Jesus? Well, I reckon!

Ken Jurgens

Sermon Outline, Feb. 21, 2016, “Behold the Man”

Behold the Man

Romans 5:12-21

The Obedience of Christ is All Sufficient!

Adam’s Disobedience left its Effects.

~ Ezekiel 18:4

Christ’s Obedience cancels the Effects of Adam’s Disobedience.

~ Philippians 3:9; Philippians 2:8

The Justification of Christ is All Sufficient!

Adam’s sin resulted in Condemnation.

~ Romans 6:23; Revelation 14:11; Matthew 25:30; Revelation 21:8; Mark 9:48

Christ’s Death resulted in Justification.

~ Ephesians 1:7

The Grace of Christ is All Sufficient!

His Grace is Greater than our Sin!

~ II Corinthians 12:9

His Grace Reigns!

~ Ephesians 4:32

The Power of Prayer

“Jesus got up early in the morning, left the house while it was still dark and went to a quiet place to pray.” (Mark 1:35). He loved talking to his Father. We have no greater privilege than the blessing of talking to our Father through Jesus our Savior.
Our Father wants us to talk to him about everything in our lives. He loves us so much that I can see him smile every time we go to him in prayer. He is very interested in everything we have going on in or lives; our family, our marriages, our friends, our church, our struggles, and just every day life.
Sometimes I have down days and I struggle to find the right words to say, but I am so blessed that my friend the Holy Spirit is always ready to help me form my words and my thoughts. If we just trust him, his words are better than ours. He knows us so well because he lives in our hearts, never to leave us.
I really enjoy talking during my prayer time also, sometimes too much. I need to learn to spend more time listening to my Father and waiting for His guidance. But, I am learning to “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm. 46:10), in every situation of life.
Sometimes we become too impatient to wait for God’s answers. We need to learn that His timing is perfect, not ours. And sometimes we don’t receive the answers we want. Again, God knows all about us and what is best for us, so we just need to trust His heart.
We are so blessed to be called sons of God, His people, and His family.

Thank you Father for your never ending love that you give us daily. May we always remember to come to you with thankful hearts and lives. Amen.

Carlletta Carpenter

Preparing for Battle

What will you do when the devil shows up when you least expect it? Will you be ready? Will you run and hide or beg him to leave you alone? Do have the scriptural depth to stand firm against his schemes as he seeks to steal, kill, and destroy? Throughout the last few years the devil has shown his evil face. Through tragedies on the global front, wars, murders, and divorce. He has roared like a lion and dared anyone in any place to come and face him. Will the church respond with one voice, “We won’t go away quietly! We have the Spirit to fight for us! Our God will win every battle! While your weapon is hate, we have LOVE! Bring it on devil, THE CHURCH doesn’t fear you! It is the bride of Christ!!!”
Since the beginning of the school year the elementary kids have been preparing for battle in the Uptown Castle! Together we are learning about the devil’s schemes and the tricks up his sleeve. We have learned that we aren’t challenged to tuck our tails and run, but that we should stand firm. With God on our side and a life of dependence on HIS strength, we can overcome. So far, we have learned that God has provided us with the equipment of Truth, Righteousness, and the Gospel of Peace. These tools can defend, protect, and be used to defeat our opponent. Over the next few months we will continue to learn the other parts of our Armor from Ephesians 6:10-18! Join with us and prepare for battle. The question isn’t will the devil attack, but when. He won’t wait for you to be ready, but our scripture provides us with two secrets. Depend on God’s strength (Ephesians 6:10) and PRAY for one another (Ephesians 6:18)!

I LOVE serving with people that desire to Love the church and serve willingly! When the format for services changed, our team of volunteers in Uptown and Critterland sacrificed and served with flexibility. Thanks to all who serve our kids each week which is more than 100 people on rotation! Instead of losing team members we gained a stronger team and greeters for our youngest families in Critterland!
Thanks to Steve and Tara Waters, Lucas and Jaime Moore, and others that cared enough about the church to put together last month’s Family Friday Movies! Thanks to Jim and Mary Furnish for loving their neighbors and helping us deliver Christmas baskets to 6 families before Christmas! Each of you, and many others are Making a Difference!!!

Matt Lee

You Are The Man – Romans 5:12-21

Someone has said, “The early Christians did not say in dismay; ‘Look at what the world has come to,’ but in delight, ‘Look what has come to the world.’” They saw not merely the ruin, but the resources for the reconstruction of that ruin. They saw not merely that sin did abound, but that grace did much more abound. On that assurance, the pivot of history swung from blank despair, loss of moral nerve, and fatalism, to faith and confidence that at last sin had met its match. Something new had come into the world, not only here and there, but on a wide scale, men could attain to that once thought impossible thing, goodness. And not only goodness, but health of mind and body, rhythm and harmony in their total being.
That same sense of confidence must possess you if you are to pass from an anemic, noncreative, nay-saying type of person to one who is master of himself, his circumstances, and his destiny. But this confidence and faith must not be based on a self-hypnosis, a mental and spiritual fool’s paradise; it must be based on the solid confidence that your life is related to the sum total of reality, and that reality is working with you and not against you.
Ask yourself this question. Have I a faith in, and loyalty to, something beyond myself that gives ultimate meaning, coherence, and goal to life? And, is that something, God? Or, are there still areas of self-centeredness? Have I really shifted the center of my life from myself to God?
Don’t wait for some miracle to be performed on you from without, lifting you above your fears, doubts, and self-centeredness. You help God from within by showing love to others, and miraculously your fears, doubts, self-centeredness will vanish. The miracle starts from within, not from without.
The secret of abundant living can be summed up in this one sentence: “Not your responsibility, but your response to God’s ability.”
“Father God, my heart beats a little faster, my pulses throb in expectation at the prospect of being the person that I have felt I might be. That is my desire. I follow after You. Amen.”

Bill Johnson

Sermon Outline, Feb. 14, 2016, “Not Guilty”

Not Guilty

Romans 5:1-11

Stand in Grace.

Stand in Grace by Faith.  ~ Ephesians 2:8

Stand in Grace with Peace.  ~ Isaiah 53:5

Stand in Hope.

Stand in Hope during Tribulation.  ~ Romans 8:35; Romans 8:38-39

Stand in Hope for the Glory of God.

~ I John 3:2; I Corinthians 15:53-54; Revelation 21:3-4

Stand in Love.

Stand in God’s Unconditional Love.  ~ John 3:16; I John 4:10

Stand in God’s Abundant Love.  ~ Romans 8:31-32

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