Tates Creek Christian Church

Updates and Insights from Tates Creek Christian Church

Are You Showing Gratitude?

Have you ever thought of how some of the toughest commands from the Bible are usually the ones that are the most straightforward and cut straight to the heart?  For example, “pray without ceasing,” “follow me,” “be joyful always,” and how about this one, “give thanks in all circumstances.”
To give thanks in all circumstances is tough, isn’t it?  There is no room for excuses or loop holes that give us a free pass.  God desires for our lives to be characterized by thankfulness, even when it is hard.  God longs for us to trust Him enough that we can be thankful even when it hurts and life doesn’t make sense!
To give thanks in all situations does not mean that we “fake it until we make it”. Instead, we are to have an attitude of gratitude that flows out of our hearts and is seen in every area and circumstance of our lives.  How we respond when tough situations hit speaks volumes. People are daily looking for purpose and meaning and we have an opportunity in the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ times with how we respond to point people towards Christ.
Consider this, we would have nothing good in our lives if it were not for God placing it there.  Do you realize that?  I think so often we take for granted the gifts that God has given us. James tells us that every good gift we have comes from God (James 1:17).
Every good gift!  It does not matter how big or small, every gift was given to us by the God of the Universe.  Here is an idea, as we enter this season, I challenge you not to wait until Thanksgiving Day to reflect on how thankful you are.  Instead, would you consider daily how much we have and give thanks with a grateful heart?  We have a Good Father who deeply loves us through the good and bad times. We have a lot to be thankful for daily!

Geoff Lawson, Student Minister

Sermon Outline, November 12, 2017, “Stewardship Reveals Faith”

                                                     Stewardship Reveals Faith

 Luke 9:23-26

 

Commit to Christ Personally.

Denying self for Christ is a Struggle.

~ Romans 7:19             For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.

 

~ Matthew 6:24           No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

 

~ James 4:4                 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

 

Denying self for Christ is Required.

~ I Peter 4:1-2             Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

 

~ Luke 12:34   For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 

 

Commit to Christ Entirely.

Commit to Christ Daily.

~ I Corinthians 15:31  I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

 

~ II Corinthians 4:10    always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

 

Commit to Christ Totally.

~ Philippians 4:19       And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

 

~ II Corinthians 9:8     And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;

 

 

Commit to Christ Solely.

Focus on the Person of Jesus.

~ Philippians 1:21        For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

 

~ Galatians 2:20          I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

 

~ Romans 8:1              Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

 

~ I Corinthians 15:57   but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

~ Galatians 5:6            For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.

 

~ Ephesians 1:3           Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

 

~ Philippians 4:4         Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!

 

~ Colossians 3:1          Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

 

~ I Thessalonians 4:16, 17      For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

 

Focus exclusively on the Person of Jesus Christ.

~ John 14:6                 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

 

~ Proverbs 3:9             Honor the Lord from your wealth And from the first of all your produce;

 

~ Malachi 3:10            Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.

 

~ 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.

Rejoice and be Thankful

When times are hard, who is it that you turn to in your life?  Your spouse, your children maybe?  Friends?  Most importantly, do you turn to God?  With this season of Thanksgiving, I felt it would be appropriate to share verses that help through difficult situations.  They remind me that no matter what may be going on with my earthly problems, I can rejoice and be thankful for the things God has given me in my life, and especially for the greatest gift of all, His Son.
1 Chronicles 16:34 “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”
Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Hebrews 12: 28 “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.”
1 Timothy 4:4-5 “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.”

Lesley Tipton, Preschool Director

In Everything Give Thanks

In this season of focusing on thanks, we can reflect back on being part of a church or family group where we sat in a circle and told the others about those for whom we were thankful.  Or perhaps there were other items of thanksgiving shared such as a job, an item or an honor we had received, etc.  Many times we heard a lot of repetition as we went around the circle.  We certainly do not want to doubt the sincerity of those who participated, but I find that those who have faced adversity in their lives seem to have a better and deeper understanding of true thanksgiving.  We hear their testimonies of how God brought them through these adversities and we are moved to a deeper level of thanks for what we have and what God has done for us through His Son.

There are two people in Scripture that stand out to me as those expressing thanks through extreme adversity.  In the Old Testament, one who stands out is Job.  Most of us cannot even begin to imagine his life.  He is a good and prosperous man who loses everything that we all hold dear.  These losses include his offspring, his health and his property.  God allowed Satan to take these things from him and yet Job said these famous words:  “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.  The Lord giveth and the Lord has taken away;  may the name of the Lord be praised.”  Job 1:21  Later, God allowed Satan to cover Job’s body with painful sores from head to feet.  His wife wanted him to curse God and die!  His closest friends dialogued with him and yet Job preached back at them.  Read through all 42 chapters and you will see that God blessed Job again by doubling all he had enjoyed before his time of testing.  Job is an outstanding example of thankfulness.   In the New Testament, I think of the Apostle Paul.  Much of the New Testament was written as divinely inspired from God through the pen of Paul.  He wrote many of those letters from prison where he was beaten and suffered in chains for his faith and testimony.  Yet, Paul continued to praise God and share the Gospel with the churches in different cities where he had planted congregations.  After Paul had persecuted Christians, he went through a dramatic conversion and completely turned his life around to win thousands of people to Christ.  Paul, like many of the Old Testaments prophets, was not always popular.

He spoke boldly the message of the Cross to those who were his enemies.  He also had his mysterious “thorn in the flesh.”  Yet, in many of his epistles (letters) Paul offered genuine
thanksgiving to God.  You can read his prayers of thanksgiving throughout his letters, including Philippians 1:3-5.

And today, I think of those who are suffering for their faith around the world.  So far, we have it pretty easy in the United States as Christians.  Then there are those who are suffering physically and especially those who are ravaged from cancer.  In my own family, my brother Mark, and his wife Cheri, are both dealing with cancer.  Here in our church family, we have many suffering from disease and especially cancer.  One of my good friends at Tates Creek was struck by cancer earlier this year at age 29.  I have witnessed his testimony of appreciation and thanksgiving for those who have ministered to him through his posts on Facebook.

Now, remember the group where we sat in a circle?  If we were to do that today, I would hope that we would be able to sincerely express our thanks in a deeper way.  Yes, it is very difficult to be thankful through the hard times.  But the hard times can make us stronger and more thankful for the important things.  This song, from the pen of Lanny Wolfe, is a great reminder to us.

In Everything Give Thanks

In everything give Him the thanks, all the thanks. In the good times, praise His name, in the bad times do the same; In everything give the King of kings all the thanks! With all the good things that had come his way, It’s no wonder you could hear Job say: ‘The Lord giveth and He taketh away, I’ll give Him thanks;’ But when the tables were all turned around, And Job’s world came crashing down, His faith in God caused Job to say, ‘I’ll still give Him thanks!’ When troubles come, and there’s no one around, Satan tries to tell me that God’s let me down; Through every dark hour the best thing I’ve found Is to give my God thanks; For He has never failed me yet, so why should I start now to worry or fret? In everything I won’t ever forget to give God thanks!
Don Seevers, Worship Minister

Daily Prayer Guide

What Heaven will be Like

Revelation 22:4

they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.

 

Daily Prayer Guide

What Heaven will be Like

1 Thessalonians 4:17

Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

Daily Prayer Guide

What Heaven will be Like

John 14:3

If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.

Sermon Outline, November 5, 2017, “Faith Reveals Joy in Giving”

Faith Reveals Joy in Giving

 

II Corinthians 9:8

 

A Cheerful Giver desires to honor God.

A Cheerful Giver honors God’s Power.

~ Malachi 3:10            Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.

 

A Cheerful Giver honors God’s Grace.

~ Psalm 23:1-3, 5        The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.

 

~ Philippians 4:19       And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

 

~ Luke 6:30-35           Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. 31 Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. 32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

 

~ Luke 6:38     Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

 

 

A Cheerful Giver receives Joy in Giving.

A Cheerful Giver gives Voluntarily.

~ Acts 2:44-45            And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.

 

A Cheerful Giver is loved by God.

~ Acts 20:35                In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

 

~ Romans 8:32             He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

 

 

A Cheerful Giver Experiences Freedom.

A Cheerful Giver experiences freedom from Sin.

~ Matthew 6:19           Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

 

~ Psalm 62:10             Do not trust in oppression And do not vainly hope in robbery; If riches increase, do not set your heart upon them.

 

~ Proverbs 11:28         He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.

 

A Cheerful Giver experiences freedom to Give.

~ Matthew 10:8            Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.

 

~ John 3:16-17            For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

Daily Prayer Guide

What Heaven will be Like

Matthew 5:8

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

Kill Your Sin with Thankfulness

“But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.  Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.  For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” (Ephesians 5:3–5, ESV)   In the Bible, cultivating a heart of thankfulness toward God is not just a nice suggestion, it is a strategy for killing sin.  Far from the sentimental feeling suggested on holiday greeting cards, thankfulness is one of the absolutely essential offensive weapons Christians must use to put to death the deeds of the body (Romans 8:13).    Look at the passage above from Ephesians 5.  Notice how Paul challenges the Ephesian believers to fight against sexual immorality, impurity, filthiness, and the like.  He tells them to replace those things with thankfulness.  But why?  He gives us a clue in his list of sins by including covetousness.    At the heart level, every sin springs out of the covetous desires of our hearts.  We want what we are not supposed to have, and we are not content with what we do have.  It is no coincidence that James writes, “You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.” (James 4:2, ESV)    Even though the Ten Commandments include laws against both stealing and adultery, the last of the ten reveals that coveting in the heart is the sin that precedes them both: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” (Exodus 20:17, ESV)   So one of the ways we fight and kill sin in our hearts is by cultivating thankfulness.  We need to take regular time to thank the Lord for all that he has given us.  When we sing “Count your many blessings, name them one by one,” it’s not just feel-good sentimentality… them’s fightin’ words.
~ John Davis, Minister of Evangelism & Discipleship

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