Posts Categorized: Messages
Pastor Matthew Johnson shares about the vision of the church as he talks about the history of Lancaster Community Church, where we have been in the past year, and where the church is going over the next year.
It is hard for us to invest our “physical” in the “spiritual” as long as we keep looking for “life” in physical things. We think life finds it’s worth in material possessions but it really finds itself ONLY in a relationship with Jesus. When Jesus is first in our priorities, then we can start to… Read more »
Pastor Matthew shares how sometimes, when a task is big and the part we play is small, we can feel intimidated by two major emotions and one serious behavior while reminding us that because we play a PART of something big, we lose sight that we play a BIG PART.
Jesus surrendered all that was His to become man to win man back. He sacrificed for a greater good. Every generation is called to do the same. We are here as Christians because EVERY generation has had faithful people who sacrificed for the Kingdom of God to continue. We must do the same for our… Read more »
Tithing is really a relational desire of God. In Malachi 3, God’s command is for the people to “return to me” by once again trusting Him with their tithes. The people had “left” God by no longer being obedient in giving which meant that they were relationally disconnected. God’s desire was a return to a… Read more »
When we are a steward instead of an owner, we are called to both a posture and a practice The posture is contentment. The practice we must put into use is giving first. When we give to God first, it makes Him the priority and also increases our faith.
Before you can understand any of the teachings from the Bible about money, you must first embrace a proper perspective concerning your resources. From the very beginning of God’s relationship with His people, He has taught them that 100% of what they have is His and they are simply stewards of it. When you own… Read more »
For for more tools to help you study the bible, please visit: www.desiringgod.com
You don’t become a great football player on the field, it’s what is done in practice that makes an athlete great. Faith is not forged in the lions den, but in the upper room through prayer. Prayer is simply a way to connect with God. It’s never been a religious activity, but rather a relationship… Read more »
The goal of marriage is for two to become one. That was God’s initial design but that design only works with God as the focus of the marriage. When Adam and Eve sinned, God was pushed out and replaced with SELF. From that point on, every marriage struggles because people by nature are selfish. When… Read more »
The process of being disciples and making disciples is very difficult when we think we have to be good enough to actually lead someone else. The truth is Jesus never meant for us to simply lead others as much as He meant for us to get into groups of like minded people and together walk… Read more »
Dozens of times Jesus said “Follow me” to people and each person was different, had different struggles, were in different places and have different degrees of understanding. The goal was the same for each of them in spite of their diversity and so was the expectation. Jesus told them all to follow and to be… Read more »
This is the story of the good Samaritan. In this event, a man sets out to test Jesus and in their conversation, the man then asks a common but wrong question: “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus flips it around by telling the story of the good Samaritan. What Jesus communicated is that it’s not about… Read more »
The 72 return from their journey with stories of success and miraculous happenings. They seem almost shocked at all that God had done through them, and they are excited. Jesus confirms their excitement by rejoicing with them and yet Jesus takes the moment to remind them of something even greater than their success in ministry…. Read more »
God wants to speak through us to others to encourage them. Sometimes God speaks prophetically through you to encourage someone or He will speak through someone else to encourage you. Either way, it’s all a gift of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus calls each of us…not just the “professionals” (ie. pastors, missionaries, apostles) to advance the kingdom of God. And we each have been uniquely designed and uniquely placed where we are (in our jobs, families, hobby, clubs) to bring the gospel to our center of influence in order to advance the kingdom of God.
Before you watch here are some things about the message: 1. It’s way longer than normal (65 minutes) because it is a study on the topic. 2. It is a message from a pastor to his church. This message is best heard from someone who has credibility with you. 3. Feel free to post, but… Read more »
God gives us the tools we need to accomplish the impossible task of living for Him and making disciples of the world. This only happens through the power of the Holy Spirit as God uses His gifts to help us in supernatural ways.
The Holy Spirit works ON us so that He can also work THROUGH us. He convicts, challenges, empowers, etc. our lives so that we can be a blessing to others. Our natural bent is sin. In Galatians our spirits are described in dramatically sinful ways. The Holy Spirit wants to change that.
In the same way that when you are saved, you receive the full benefits of salvation through obedience, the baptism in the Holy Spirit also works. Once you receive Him by faith, you need to walk in obedience to experience the full benefits and power of the Holy Spirit.
God giving us His presence/Spirit was His plan all along because He is the only one who can accomplish true life in us and through us.I am talking about how giving us His presence/Spirit was His plan all along because He is the only one who can accomplish true life in us and through us.
Luke lays out all of the ways that Jesus is great: heals the sick, raises the dead, controls the weather, authority over spiritual forces, does miracles like feeding the thousands, and transfigures in front of His disciples. The differences between the realities of His greatness and submission are laid in stark contrast to the response… Read more »
The crowds were amazed at Jesus and were in awe of His power. They marveled at the sick healed and the demon drove out. They were astounded at His authority and His words. The temptation for Jesus was to buy into and set up an actual throne. The disciples and the crowd would have helped… Read more »
God uses the experiences of our lives to prepare us for the future. Every experience God takes us through has a present day purpose but also a future purpose. Our response to our experiences is either to worship God or to create an idol out of it. The way that we use it for worship… Read more »
Jesus clearly explains that the only way to follow Him is to deny yourself, die to yourself and then follow. He goes on to explain that if you don’t follow this pattern, you are not really following Him or experiencing life. This world offers an illusion of life. Jesus offers the real thing. We must… Read more »
Jesus asks His disciples who the crowd thinks that He is. Jesus then asks Peter, “Who do you say that I am?” This question is being posed to men who left everything, made financial sacrifices, and risked their lives to follow. Isn’t it obvious who they think He is? Jesus wanted them to declare… Read more »
Often our steps of faith feel bigger than us and are hard because God doesn’t always ask us to take steps when things are ideal (ie…we have enough money, we have enough rest, we have enough time) or easy, but rather God asks us to take steps of faith in the midst of our busy,… Read more »
Jesus asked the disciples to do something unique and seemingly illogical. He told them to go on a trip and don’t do any of the things you would normally do to prepare for it. Jesus was preparing them to take a step of faith. He wanted them to go alone, trusting God would supernaturally provide… Read more »
For thousands of years, people got sick and died without ever knowing what was killing them. Mankind’s ignorance that bacteria was the force behind sickness was destructive for so long. What if we are living in a more destructive time and even more ignorant? We are. The reality is that there is an unseen force… Read more »
At times, Jesus leads our lives to “storms” (difficult situations) so that we will learn to trust Him so our faith will grow. The reason we fear present situations is because of past experience (whether ours or someone else’s). Jesus wants us to understand that present reality changes past experience…Jesus is now in the boat… Read more »
Jesus continues His theme of responding to His commands/teachings with obedience. He then gives an illogical example. He says, “No one lights and lamp and covers it with a jar.” The idea is that no one gets saved (the light of Jesus) and then hides it by not doing good works. That’s illogical. An honest… Read more »
All of human history is now viewed in relation to one event, the birth of Jesus Christ. When Jesus came into the world, He changed human history on two important levels. He changed the very culture (how people viewed needy people, women, slaves, generosity, etc.) and He changed the spiritual reality. Before Jesus, everyone was… Read more »
The heart of the message, and I think the heart of Jesus, is getting people to recognize (not for condemnation but for the hope of change) where they are…what type of soil they are and calling for them to desire to be the good soil.
When we understand how much we have been saved from, we will show greater mercy to other people and worship Jesus more. The way to love better, be more forgiving, be more patient and be less judgmental is to realize how great your own sin is/was and that Jesus forgave it.
Each idea in this passage is challenging the religious community that was simply going through the motions and trying to justify themselves. Jesus’ whole message was that to follow Him takes obedience through actual behavior.
Jimmy Evans, from Marriage Today, provides insight into the internal issues that inhibit intimacy so couples can remove the negatives and then understand the ethics of intimacy.
While submitting to and serving others may not come natural to us, it is the way Jesus calls us to live and that posture makes for healthier and safe relationships.
God’s math requires supernatural help. He says in marriage, 1 + 1 + 1= 1. The only way that a marriage can work is for both parties to pursue God so that He can be the fulfiller of all their deep needs. He must heal them, set them free, forgive them, etc. Once we focus… Read more »
All of us want and even expect life to turn out good. I think it’s a byproduct of being raised in America. We simply expect to turn out good or get bailed out. The problem is that we don¹t plan and live in a way that leads toward what we really desire. Are we willing… Read more »
Jesus questions His audience why they would call Him, “Lord, Lord” (master or savior in this context) and yet not obey me? It’s a ridiculous thing to call Him Lord and not obey. Either He is God, or He’s not. Saying it but not believing it to the point of action makes no sense.
Jesus tells us that if the tree is healthy, it will produce good fruit. Jesus is telling us the proof of if we are following Jesus’ desires is in our actions. We will know we are following Him when our lives produce fruit.
Jesus once again challenges the way that comes naturally to us and is modeled by all of culture. He challenges us to not judge other people. Judging is more than forming an opinion, it is including a sentence/judgment with that opinion. Jesus’ challenge is to start with yourself by examining your own life. When you… Read more »
In one of the most challenging passages of scripture in the Bible (Luke 6:27-36) Jesus challenges us on how we are to respond to those that hurt us.
Jesus was always challenging people to realize this earth is temporary and true wisdom and life is found in thinking about God’s Kingdom over earthy treasures.
God will lead us to make decisions we would not make on our own. He will also lead us to go places we would not go on our own. When we live with an open posture, God surprises. And with God, we can learn to make wise decisions.
We live in a highly productive, highly stimulated, highly stressed culture and we all desire rest. But despite vacations, weekends, naps, hobbies and entertainment, I would contend that we never really get the rest that we are looking for. But true rest is only found in Jesus, because only He has the ability to make… Read more »
You can’t keep living your way and follow Jesus. Jesus will not only call you to things that challenge you as a whole, anything you grip will become the focus of what He asks for. Comparing your life with the world is missing the mark of life. It’s only in living with a new message… Read more »
Jesus called Levi (Matthew) from the place He finds him. He tells Levi to follow Him from where he is. Jesus never asks him to change and clean up first. The same is true for us. Jesus calls us from where we are…He never asks us to clean up our messes first. He tells us… Read more »
When the tension exists between what currently is and what will be, we wait and trust Christ.
Jesus touched the untouchable leper and healed him. Jesus still touches the untouchable sinner and heals him. Culture tells the leper to avoid the clean and it also tells the sinner to avoid Jesus. Jesus shows us that He his the only way to find the healing/forgiveness that will allow us to approach God.
God blesses us with things so we will learn to trust Him. He wants us to trust Him so we will be willing to leave it all for Him. It’s a spiritual mindset instead of an earthly mindset.
There is a tension that happens in the life of a person who is actively seeking after Jesus. The tension is this: How do I know what I’m called to do? This tension is not resolved in a one-time answer such as a profession. This tension happens frequently…maybe even daily as the amount of needs… Read more »
Jesus heals & saves us so that we will in turn serve. The problem for us is that the place we are where we needed to be saved from, to us becomes a disqualifier for us being used. Our past becomes a roadblock to our future, but that’s never what Jesus intended. Just the opposite. Where we are… Read more »
Our enemy (satan) doesn’t have any real power against us so he uses manipulation and strategy. He finds our vulnerabilities and then tries to exploit them with lies. The only way we can combat it is through the truth of God’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit.
The message of Jesus demands a response and unfortunately, just as the people really rejected Jesus’ message, we do the same. The only proper response to Jesus’ message is to dedicate our lives to Him. No matter how hard or sacrificial the message of Jesus, it has to become the standard for our lives. We might have to… Read more »
The temptations of Jesus were unique to Jesus but the strategy behind them is the same for our temptations. satan always tries to give us a shortcut to whatever God has called us to. But God’s path not only leads to life but IS life.
This message covers the genealogy of Jesus. What seems like a hard passage to teach is really a list of God’s power and grace and how He enacts His plan to come into the world through broken, dysfunctional, unimportant (to the world) nobodies.
The Holy Spirit fills the life of a believer so that he/she can accomplished the otherwise impossible task of making disciples.
The presence of God is one of the greatest gifts of God. His presence represents defense, guidance, and salvation. It did then and still does today. We have to make it a priority though. We have to make it/Him a priority as Jesus did. So many of our mental, spiritual, emotional and physical problems could… Read more »
God should get the first and best part of everything we have because God has given us everything we have. God gave first and we are simply giving back as a sign we recognize where it all comes from. Jesus was the fulfillment of the first born being consecrated to God. His consecration as a baby was the most powerful… Read more »
We take a look at Luke 2, the Birth of Christ as we celebrate His resurrection and new life.
Repentance prepares our lives for what Jesus wants to do. John was given the purpose of preparing the way for Jesus and he preached for people to repent. This is still true today.