Tates Creek Christian Church

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Archive for the tag “Jesus is Greater Than…”

Jesus is Greater than The Enemy – I John 4:1-6

Daily, we are reminded of the cost to follow Christ.  Currently in the United States we continue to enjoy the freedom to worship Him, however, in many parts of this world the cost is great and often requires one’s life.  Do not be fooled, we are in the midst of a spiritual war and it is being waged on a daily basis.
As Christians it is easy to become overwhelmed with a sense of discouragement as we give thought to the state of our society.  We have become numb to all immoral topics of today: abortion, homosexuality, infidelity, divorce, drug abuse, and many others.  As we give thought to these and others that are plaguing our culture, we feel as if there is no hope.
But, Scripture says something completely different.  We, as Christ followers, must be assured that our victory is not here, but instead it rests in eternity with our Creator.  In John 16:33 we read these words of Jesus, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  We are to have confidence in the authoritative power of Jesus.  The victory took place when He defeated death on the cross and when He arose from the tomb.  This same truth is once again repeated when John wrote in 1 John 4:4  “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than He who is in the world.”
As we awake each morning let us rejoice in these great truths and let us, with confidence and bravery, fight the good fight.  Let us stand for the truth of God’s word and, with love in the depths of our heart, minister to broken people who the enemy is fighting so hard to fool with his lies.  We can, without doubt, proclaim that Jesus is greater than the enemy!

Nick Wallen

Jesus is Greater than Satan – I John 3:4-12

Jesus is greater than Satan.  How long have you known that to be true?  For me, it’s easy to read that statement, agree with it because it is a fact I’ve known since I was very young, and move on without taking the time to appreciate it and what it should mean to me.
When I first read a passage like 1 John 3:4-12, I tend to focus on the negative.  I think of the times my attitude isn’t right, the times I do things I shouldn’t do, and the times I don’t do things I should do. I don’t think I am alone in that.  Thankfully for us all, John isn’t saying that because we all sin we don’t know Jesus.  He is instead talking about what our life is characterized by.
Not only is that good news, but he also gives us two very simple ways that we can make sure our life isn’t characterized by sin.  First, do what is right.  Second, love one another.  As an example of their importance, when Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment he responds with love God and love people, essentially the same thing John says we should be characterized by.
How are you doing with those two things?  Do you always do what is right, or is there something that you can’t help doing or something you don’t do that you know is the right thing to do?  Do you love everyone you come into contact with?  Not just put up with them or like them, but do you really love them?
We all know we have room to improve in those areas.  We can make improvements on our own, but to really improve through our major struggles, we must rely on the fact that Jesus is greater than Satan and came to destroy his work, to take away our sin.  Will you rely on this fact to make sure your life is the life of a child of God?  He is ready to help if you will let him.

Nathan Koebcke

Jesus is Greater than Darkness – I John 2:7-17

It seems we live in a world that continues to demand more and more of our time to just complete daily tasks.  Our work lives are filled with schedules that require us to make every attempt to multi-task just to keep up.  In the past few years technology has been available that promises ways to communicate anytime and anywhere.  Partner this with software applications that allow us to check email, review schedules, and social media, as well as text work, friends, and family nonstop; we can be connected 24 hours a day.
Once our work day is complete, family activities are another demand on our time and attention.  Whether it be home work, ball games, recitals, as well as the chauffeuring required for all of those extracurricular activities.  Don’t forget the laundry, meals, and daily housework waiting to fill what time we have left.
Once our tasks are complete and we take time to contemplate our daily lives, we may discover that we strive to be more efficient, but have less free time for our walk with God.  We are technologically available, yet feel disconnected and lonely.  We fill our schedules, but our lives seem emptier. We look at ourselves and find we have neglected the thing that needs to be first on our list of priorities.  We have not spent quality time in God’s word, nor have we spent time in prayer, and are too exhausted to attend mid-week church services or small groups.  We are slaves to planning activities, but lose focus on leading our family.  Instead of growing in the light of Christ, we are growing in darkness, tired, and distracted.
The enemy can, and will, purposely distract us with even the good things in this world so we are spiritually weakened.  Let’s not be fooled; the enemy is clever, and it is not always the things that are obviously “wrong” or “evil” that ensnare us.  He is the master of lies, and we are all vulnerable to his traps.  As Christians we have an advantage.  The Holy Spirit can help us in recognizing these traps, but we must continue to mature and grow in the Spirit.  We must strive to live in the world without being of the world; vigilant and faithful in our walk.  Prayer, study in the word, and being aware of our spiritual growth is what gives us the discernment to recognize the attack of the enemy.  John emphasizes to the early church in his letter that faith must be action.  We must walk the walk!  This is how we grow and conquer spiritually.

Greg Wheeler

Jesus is Greater than Sin – I John 1-2:2

I have known a few preachers in my life, my Dad being one, who had a quick wit and a somewhat smart tone.  This often comes out when they are are asked about the subject of an upcoming sermon.  I have often heard them reply with that smart tone and one word, ‘sin’.  I am not sure that is the case so much anymore.  ‘Sin’ is not a word we hear or use much in our culture.  It certainly is not politically correct and doesn’t much help you ‘win friends and influence people’.  But why is that the case?  It’s not like some of us sin and some of us don’t.  Sin is a universal problem.  Some of us admit it and some of us try to hide it.  Some are trying to eliminate sin and some are content to wallow in it.  John makes it perfectly clear in I John 1:10, “If we claim we have not sinned, we make him (God) out to be a liar and His word is not in us”.
John ought to know what it means to have ‘His word in us’ because he spends the first part of this chapter reminding us that he is an eyewitness to God’s Son, Jesus, whom he also called the Word.  It was the time he spent with Jesus that changed John’s life to the point that he was known as the ‘Disciple of Love’ instead of a ‘Son of Thunder’.  It was walking in the light, with Jesus, that allowed John to walk in the light, instead of the darkness of sin.  John says this also makes it possible for the blood of Jesus to purify him, and us, from all sin.  Not only does Jesus purify us from our sin, when we confess, he also forgives us of our sins.
What great power John is striving to describe in Jesus, power that can remove the stain of sin from us.  However, he has not yet reached the climax, that comes at the beginning of the next chapter, when John makes it even more personal.  He reminds us that the goal becomes that we are ‘sin-free’.  When we fail to reach this goal what happens?  The very one who has removed our previous sins from us, stands up (advocates) for us with the Father.  Jesus doesn’t say, “I have covered enough of your sin and I won’t cover any more.”  He stands up for us with the Father and says, “I paid the price”.
The power over sin is His!  Praise God!  Praise Jesus!  Praise the Holy Spirit!  We could not have a better advocate.

David Eversole

Enjoy the Journey

Many years ago while serving as a youth minister in Southern Illinois I was asked to go to West Virginia to hold a revival. Never having been there before we drove the interstate to Charleston. It was then that the map showed the road we needed to take exiting the four lane and taking a two lane road. I still remember the experience! It was the most winding, crooked road I had ever been on. Debbie and I were both worn out and a little car sick from driving it when we arrived at the church where I would be preaching. When the people there asked how our trip was, I commented about the road we had taken. They said, “Oh you shouldn’t have taken that road. You should have taken the interstate.” It seems our map was out of date and didn’t show a new interstate that would have replaced 70 effort filled sickening miles with an effortless and safe four lane. We ended up moving there and ministering to that church for four years. It was a sweet ministry and we still have fond memories of our time spent there, but that probably would never have happened if it hadn’t been for the interstate. The thought of traveling that winding road any time we wanted to get somewhere would have kept us from going there.

In much the same way, many people will be kept from the sweetness of Heaven because of the road they are taking. Winding roads of men’s inventions and alternatives. Even as those people said the interstate was the only way to go, Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Me.” John 14:6 There truly is a better way to go, the only way really, and it won’t wear out. It won’t disappoint or discourage you when you travel it.

Kim Beckwith

VBS Upcoming

I’m sure almost all of us remember going to at least one Vacation Bible School when we were kids. I remember quite a few of them actually. While I don’t remember exactly what the lessons might have been, I do remember the excitement and the energy that the adults had that were in charge. I remember their enthusiasm, and that they cared for the kids and what we were learning.
The goal that Matt and I have for the VBS here at Tates Creek is simple…that the kids have a fun, unforgettable experience while making sure they understand the main point, that God loves them. We also make a huge push for local missions, and the kids are thrilled to help outreach with different projects for the community.
We want a team of people with us that are willing to do these same things! How about it? Are you willing to join our team July 11-14 from 9 am to12 pm? Are you excited to help kids learn about God? Or do you have a child you would like to have come join us? Ages 3 years to 5th grade. I promise, we are going to have a ton of fun that week, both adults and kids!

Lesley Tipton

Jesus is Greater Than Bitterness – Genesis 42-45

If only… Why did I… How could you…
These are some of the most painful phrases in the English language. In an instant, the emotional pain both caused and received is communicated. Whether intentionally or inadvertently, one of the things at which we humans excel is hurting each other. This leads to regret on the part of the giver and resentment on the part of the receiver. They are two sides of the same bitter coin.
Genesis 42-45 continues the story of Joseph being sold as a slave by his jealous older brothers. At least 11 years have passed. Joseph has risen to a position of high authority in Egypt. Jacob has come to accept the death of his favorite son, though he still mourns. His brothers have attempted to go about their lives, but they still beat themselves up over what they did to Joseph; their first reaction to being interrogated in Egypt was, “Why did we do that?”
Upon recognizing his brothers, Joseph accuses them, threatens them, throws them in jail, and demands that the youngest brother be brought to him. It’s easy to see the bitterness Joseph felt toward his brothers. He could have continued down the path of revenge. He could have allowed his brothers to wallow in their agonizing regret. Instead, he plotted what can best be described as the most elaborate practical joke in the Bible.
Regret and resentment are bitter pills that corrode a person’s soul. Jesus offers a better solution. He offers forgiveness: the power to forgive those who’ve hurt you and the power to forgive yourself for the hurt you’ve caused others.
They say the only things you truly regret in life are the risks you don’t take. I disagree. There are many more words and actions that I’d like to take back than risks I shied away from. If resentment stems from not forgiving others, then regret follows from not forgiving yourself. As difficult as it is to forgive someone else, it’s even harder to forgive myself for the pain I’ve caused others. That’s something only Jesus can do.

Dan Ewing

Being a Father

Since Father’s Day is in June, I want to share some perspectives from a Dad! One of the many joys of being a Dad is observing children grow, learn, develop, and mature. Many wonderful memories flood my mind when I think of our children being at home. One such memory comes when I would take the children to school before going to the office. One morning on our way to school, Joel said, “Dad, there is no such thing as Santa Claus, is there?” Before I could say a word, Elizabeth said, “Don’t answer that Daddy!” Then Joel said, “And there is no such thing as the Easter Bunny, is there Dad?” Again, Elizabeth said, “Don’t answer that Daddy!” And then Joel said, “And there is no such thing as the Tooth Fairy, is there Dad?” Again, before I could say a word, Elizabeth said, “Don’t answer that one either Daddy!” So, I never had to answer that question.
Another great memory took place when our children became Christians. They were both young. Zella & I wanted them to make this decision for themselves; not because we were Christians and not because we were in Christian Ministry. So, when Elizabeth asked about becoming a Christian, I sat with her and explained to her what the Bible says about becoming a Christian. When Joel asked about becoming a Christian, I did the same with him. What a great joy to explain to your children the Gospel of Jesus Christ, see them make the decision to follow Jesus, and baptize them into Christ!
What is great to see is that the faith they have is their own faith! While it is true that faith in Christ is a great heritage for them with their great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents, the faith they have is their own personal faith in Jesus! What a great joy to see both of our children, and their families, following and serving the Lord! Elizabeth and her family have recently moved to Northern Kentucky where her husband, Josh, works for the Toyota Parts Distribution Plant. I am sure, as soon as possible, they will find a new church home and involve themselves in the Lord’s work. Joel and his family live in Northern Kentucky as well. Joel serves as the Student Minister with the Lakeside Christian Church Campus at Hebron. His wife, Alecia, works as a nurse in the Oncology Department with Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati. While there are many days that Zella & I wish they were still growing up in our home, we are very thankful to our Heavenly Father for their walk with Jesus Christ!

Tommy Simpson

Greater Faith

What is the last movie you have watched? Are you a fan of action, sci-fi, romance, comedy, or possibly even animation? For Onah’s eighth birthday, he requested a date with mom and dad instead of a big birthday party. After a dinner out and a short shopping spree, it is time for the movie. The newest movie out for kids is “Zootopia.” In this movie, a small country rabbit dreams of leaving the carrot farm and being a police officer in the big city. While everyone doubts the skills, talents, and even size of the little female rabbit, we eventually find that it isn’t the size of the rabbit that makes the difference. Instead, it is the heart, focus, and determination that leads her to make a huge difference.
I am typically not a very good movie watcher, because half way through the story I lose focus and doze off. However, through this entire movie I found myself connecting with and cheering for the little rabbit. Something inside of her convinced her that she had a much greater purpose.
As we prepare on Sundays to look at the life of Joseph, I find a similar drive behind him. In fact, his story, I believe, is one that would make an incredible big screen movie. The storyline could go something like this… ‘A young dreamer betrayed by his brothers, sold as a slave, falsely accused and thrown in prison, who becomes the very person to save the lives of his entire family and the nation!’
Joseph was known by his brothers as a dreamer and the favorite son of their father. In the beginning of his story, I think Joseph was trying to find his way. He clearly had dreams that God had given him, and he knew the dreams were greater than he was. He simply shared them in a way that didn’t please his brothers. A difficult challenge as the youngest brother.
As the youngest of three brothers, I think Joseph did the best with sharing his dreams that he could. Unfortunately, brothers don’t like it very much when you say things like you are going to bow down to me one day. When you are smaller than they are and you talk too much, they see it as their responsibility to keep you in your place. I can relate with his story, though I never had dreams like Joseph. My dreams were more like, one day I am going to be bigger than you and then I will put this same whoopin’ on you. A couple years ago I finally beat one of my brothers in arm wrestling! Two years later in Water Basketball (more like drown Matt to get the ball), I dunked the ball with both older brothers hanging on my back. Their faces afterward were priceless. They were stumped that the younger brother just lifted them both out of the pool. If they read this, they will make sure it never happens again, but it happened once! If you are the younger brother, I know you can relate with me. If you can relate with me then you can also relate with Joseph.
Joseph’s story continues, and at each turn we find ourselves cheering for him. We cheer for him because no matter what the situation, Joseph chose the high road. Throughout his story, Joseph finds himself in different situations. He quickly becomes loved by the boss, but when the boss’ wife tries to make a move on him, Joseph is sent to prison. In prison, Joseph interprets a couple dreams. This eventually leads not only to his release, but to Joseph becoming the right hand man of Pharaoh. As you read his story, can you find a place where he shakes his hand at Heaven? Can you find the part of his story where he becomes entitled like he deserves something better? What about the time he could have really made a mess by sharing a bed with Potiphar’s wife? Did you read the time he manipulated the Cup Bearer or Baker’s dreams to include something about himself? Not once. In fact, with the exception of talking too much as a little brother, it is a challenge to find any wrong in Joseph. How is this possible? How does he stay so focused in spite of betrayal, lies, deceit, pride, selfishness, bitterness, and so much more?
Joseph didn’t have any secret over what we as Christians should already know! In Genesis 45:7 Joseph says, “God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by great deliverance.”
At the end of this amazing story, Joseph tells his brothers something that changed their perspective! He told them that GOD IS GREATER! That means His plans will reign in the end. Shouldn’t our stories look similar to Joseph’s too, or do we really not believe that God is greater?
We know that God has plans for you that are greater than you are! That He dreams of eternity with you, your friends, and your family! He provided a way for you through Jesus! He gave us the Holy Spirit to guide and comfort us. Have you fallen asleep in the middle of your story, before you were able to see God use you in a GREATER way? Leave the popcorn, grab your Bibles, and get back in the story!

Matt Lee

Jesus is Greater Than Comfort – Genesis 41

I have earned a place on the team and even been victorious many times against the competition. Achievements garner rewards and recognition from family and friends alike. Diligence and hard work in the workplace has provided a good income, a nice house, and associated valuables. This level of comfort surely reflects my ability to control my own destiny and determine desired outcomes along the unpredictable path of life. These are not times of “need” for HIM nor is it necessary to recognize the value of GRACE as the real source of understanding, peace, and salvation for our existence. Life is good. How easy it is to discount taking the time to really listen for the word of God through the Holy Spirit.
Page 2 of Paul Harvey’s story portrays a very different scenario by slamming the door on previous chapters of life. Major technology changes impact products essential to my corporate world. Leadership positions change. My wife is diagnosed with a significant neurological disease. My mother passes away due to a stroke. “Need” is suddenly redefined! Grace is now desired, prayer crescendos, and faith is challenged. It becomes readily apparent that Jesus is suddenly of greater value than comfort.
Perhaps the biblical story of Joseph parallels the personal dilemma described above. The son of Israel, with strong family roots and a secure childhood, is suddenly uprooted by jealous, deceiving brothers and cast into Egyptian slavery as a scorned prisoner. Joseph recognizes that his destiny is not within his control and devotes significant time to “listening”. Despite the hardships, he maintains devout faith and trusts God as he continually speaks of HIS intent and will. Even though he eventually earns the favor of Pharaoh, Joseph does not lose focus on God’s plan for him. Joseph realized that his human accomplishments were provided by GRACE and did not let success overcome the need to forgive as he provided food and assistance to his family in Canaan.
For me, the portrayal of Joseph in the Book of Genesis represents the paradox of life. When times are good, we sometimes drift into the aura that we are in control and able to manage with minimal interface with God. When times are bad, we quickly revert to prayer and share our “needs” with God. Perhaps, it is vitally important to recognize that the teachings of the Old Testament and those of Jesus Christ should take precedence in our thoughts and actions on a daily basis.

Henry Evans

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