Trustworthy Messengers

Pastor Jay continues the sermon series, Be Encouraged, Brothers. This week’s message is “Trustworthy Messengers,” from 1 Thessalonians 2:1-3.

1 Thessalonians 2:1-3 (ESV)

For you yourselves know, brothers, that our coming to you was not in vain. But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict. For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive.

Gospel messengers should be proven trustworthy.

  • They should be willing to suffer for the gospel.
  • They should be bold for the gospel.
  • They should preach right doctrine in the gospel.
  • They should preach the gospel in purity.
  • They should preach the gospel honestly.

Parent Connection Questions:

  • Is it easier to be a fan of a winning team or a losing team?
  • Have you ever worked really hard to get something you wanted? What was it?
  • Sometimes it takes work to follow Christ, but it’s always worth it. How is it hard for you?
  • Talk with your parents about how you could show yourself to be a true follower of Christ.

A Good Report

Pastor Jay continues a new sermon series, Be Encouraged, Brothers. This week’s message is “A Good Report,” from 1 Thessalonians 1:9-2:1.

1 Thessalonians 1:9-2:1 (ESV)

For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,  and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. For you yourselves know, brothers, that our coming to you was not in vain.

Genuine believers are known by the quality of their conversion.

  • A genuine believer in Christ repents.
    • We have to turn away from our old gods.
    • We have to turn to the true God.
  • Genuine believers are known by their faith in Jesus Christ.
    • We’re waiting for him to come again.
    • We’re looking forward to our rescue.

Parent Connection Questions:

  • Can you tell the difference between Dillon’s soda and the real Coca-Cola?  How?
  • How good are you at spotting the differences between two pictures?
  • How can someone who loves Jesus different than someone who just says they love him?
  • Do you need to ask God to make your friendship with Christ more “real”?  How would you do that?

A Snapshot of Discipleship

Pastor Jay continues a new sermon series, Be Encouraged, Brothers. This week’s message is “A Snapshot of Discipleship,” from 1 Thessalonians 1:6-8.

1 Thessalonians 1:6-8 (ESV)

And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything.

We ought to see a new disciple becoming transformed.

  • A new disciple becomes an imitator.
    • He imitates the pattern of the disciplemaker.
    • He imitates the pattern of Christ.
    • He imitates a pattern of joy in affliction.
  • A new disciple becomes an example to others.
    • In sharing the gospel.
    • In sharing his faith.

Parent Connection Questions:

  • Can you do any impressions of other people? (not mean ones!)
  • If you could become like, not just imitate, anyone, who would it be? Why?
  • How would you imitate Christ?
  • How would your week look different at home if you imitated Christ there this week? At school?

The Real Deal Continued

Pastor Jay continues a new sermon series, Be Encouraged, Brothers. This week’s message is “The Real Deal Continued,” from 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5.

1 Thessalonians 1:4-5 (ESV)

For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.

Be encouraged when you see the genuine work of God in those who believe the gospel.

  • Because this is evidence that God loves them.
  • Because this is evidence that God has chosen them.
  • Because this evidence is that was there from the start.

Parent Connection Questions:

  • Have you ever been in a play or somewhere you had to act?
  • Is it easy or hard to act differently than you really are?
  • If Jesus is in our hearts, should there be a difference in how we act?
  • What is one way you could show others this week that Christ has changed your life?

Premarital Counseling Intensive – Marriage 101

For a long time now, I have wanted to find a way to streamline premarital counseling without shortchanging the much-needed preparation. Over the last few years, I have wanted to incorporate a day-long premarital retreat for engaged couples. In the year 2015, we will do just that.

Saturday, March 28 is the date we have set. We are asking anyone who wants to be married at our church in the coming year, 2015, to sign up and attend that day-long intensive. On that day we will go through most of the major premarital topics, such as communication, conflict resolution, budgeting and similar. We will use a curriculum called Marriage 101.

I believe that having more than one couple going through this material at the same time will be beneficial. The group dynamic and discussion should stimulate more insights than individual sessions would produce. We may also throw this open to other churches in town.

Please note that though we will expect any couple wishing to be married at Grace to go through the session, participation does not guarantee that we will host the wedding. Couples must still meet the church wedding policy criteria and have a pastor from Grace who has signed off on the wedding.

Will this replace all counseling sessions with an individual pastor? No. The pastor will still need to meet with the couple to determine if he is comfortable performing the wedding. Also, there may be other additional areas he would want to go over with them in one or two further sessions.

If you plan to be married in the year 2015, please contact the church office so we can put you down for the intensive. If you know a couple who plans to be married in 2015, please share this information with them.