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Not Ashamed (2 Timothy 1:1-8)

We are starting a new sermon series this evening. In 2021 our theme has been on hope in hard times. We have been talking about the hope God gives us as we go through trials, suffering, and hardships. Our focus and theme for 2022 is going to be about growing and strengthening our faith. I will have more to say about those things in future lessons as well as in the bulletins over the next few weeks. Our Sunday evening series that will carry us into the new year is about Faith In Uncertain Times which comes from the book of 2 Timothy. Paul’s second letter to Timothy is what we believe to be Paul’s final recorded words. He is a prison and it looks like Paul is not going to be released from this prison but die for the cause of Christ. Paul is writing to Timothy in these difficult and uncertain times about how to have faith and press forward.  It is unfortunate that there is a strong belief that 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus are books that are only good for preachers and shepherds. But this is really a mistake because these books are more practical than that. Second Timothy teaches how to endure as God’s servant (chapter 1), reveals pictures of God’s servant (chapter 2), the challenges of being God’s servant (chapter 3), and the proclamation God’s servant makes (chapter 4). Let’s read the first eight verses of 2 Timothy 1 and listen to how Paul is stirring up the faith of Timothy…

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There Is No “S” (Galatians 5:22-26)

If you have grown up in the pews or been a Christian for a significant amount of time, you have likely heard about the fruit of the Spirit. You have probably heard lessons about the fruit of the Spirit. Often the approach to Galatians 5:22-23 is to talk about each of these characteristics and then tell us that we need to focus on showing more love, kindness, gentleness, self-control, and so forth. But this is a misreading of the text and not Paul’s intent. So we need to back up and consider what the apostle Paul is trying to tell his readers as he talks about what it looks like to be a follower of Jesus…

To read more of this lesson click here.

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Whispering Hope (2 Kings 23-25)

How do you end the telling of Israel’s history? The author of Kings started with the rise of Solomon and has described for us the complete failure of the nation. Solomon’s sins have trickled down until we have heard the Lord declare that Jerusalem will be wiped like a dish so that there will be nothing left. So how do you end the telling of Israel’s history when its history has been one of complete failure? Israel has failed in its divine purpose in representing God to the world. Israel has failed in being a light to the nations and bringing salvation to the ends of the earth. Israel has failed so catastrophically that we were told that the people are behaving worse than the nations that lived on the land before them. It is interesting to me that as humans we cannot bear to watch a movie or television show that ends on a bad note. It just does not seem right. Intrinsically we need there to be a happy ending or something is just wrong. The final message to Israel is an important message to us as we face our difficulties as well…

To read more of this lesson click here.

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It’s Obvious (Galatians 5:19-21)

We started our series on Discipleship a few weeks back and we are looking at what the apostle Paul says to the Galatians about what it looks like to follow Jesus. We began with Paul telling us that this is a winnable war against the sins of the flesh. Walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). We talked about being miserable Christians because we are trying to live in both spheres. We are trying to walk by the Spirit while at the same time gratifying the desires of the flesh. But freedom is only found by walking by the Spirit. So now the apostle Paul is going to talk about the sphere we need to not walk in…

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