4-years ago started a study through book of Acts. We’ve watched the early church grow from a small group of ragamuffins-outsider-misfits … to a larger group of ragamuffins-outsider-misfits. All propelled by the power of the Spirit and the Good News of Christ Jesus.
Tonight, we conclude our study of this book; the final chapter; the end of the story. Of course, we know it’s not the end of the story. The church didn’t end in Acts 28. Decade by decade; century by century; 2000 years later; we’re still here; and we’re still a group of ragamuffins-outsider-misfits.
This past Saturday night, we aired a recorded conversation between myself and my friend and fellow Refuge misfit Dwayne Jackson. It’s a conversation he and I have had often, and will continue to have. It’s a conversation we all need to be having. It’s a conversation that ought to be pointing us to no place but the Gospel.
On this Saturday night, Carly Leotti talked about wisdom, love, being a fool and knowing thyself. Connect Acts and the wisdom of Proverbs, this is a fantastic journey into introspection, faith and the Gospel.
Because of past trials and storms Paul knows himself very well. He’s grown; he’s matured; he’s been made new in Christ day-by-day, storm-by-storm. And so, in the midst of this current storm, he’s able to empathize with others and provide assurance. The calling of the church is not simply to tolerate one another; we’re to mourn with one another; to bear one another’s burdens; to deliberately devote ourselves to empathy.
This past Saturday night at Refuge Church we continued our study through the Acts of the Apostles (through the power of the Spirit) and began to look at Paul and his ability to remain in control of his thoughts and emotions through his trials and tribulations. John Calvin wrote that we can’t truly know God without knowing ourselves, but we can’t truly know ourselves without knowing God.
Full Sermon Audio
For the next few weeks, we will continue the study of Paul, and continue our journey to better know ourselves including a live ZOOM meeting this upcoming week (May 23rd), and our first LIVE TOGETHER (outdoor) worship gathering on May 30th to coincide with a blood drive to serve our community. Check out our Facebook Group page for all the details.
This past Saturday night at Refuge Church we began our 4th and final journey through the Book of Acts as part of our original four year teaching plan. This week we looked at Chapter 21, and dissected the differences between COURAGE and STUPIDITY, as well as the challenges we face in discerning the Spirit of God.
This past Saturday night as a church we concluded the Gospel of Luke (chapter 24) through a virtual worship gathering. Often in the church, doubt is like a 4-letter word. You start expressing your doubts and people start avoiding eye contact, or even worse, they give you the look of judgment like you’re already half way down the highway to hell. Working through doubt is like getting an immunization for a virus; it helps ward off future disease; it can make us healthier in the long run. Faith is not the opposite of doubt; it’s the pursuit of Jesus in the midst of our doubts.
This past Saturday night at Refuge Church we were once again a livestream from the Coronavirus stay at home order. Our teaching came from Mark 14. It’s the story of two people, one in slavery, the other in freedom. Why do two people in the same circumstances experience such different levels of contentment and happiness. It’s simple math … Happiness = Realty/Expectations. To have freedom (happiness); we have to see the beauty of Jesus.
What an odd way to gather for our Easter worship service, but God made it beautiful. This week, we concluded our study in the Gospel of Luke looking at the first appearance of Jesus after his resurrection and the very first Christian converts. We all assume life will continue down this linear path, but if anything, the Coronavirus has clearly shown us otherwise.
What about death? Do you live like you have an endless supply of days, or have you stopped and considered a plan of survival when the worst case scenario happens?
This past Saturday night, on our live stream virtual gathering, we looked at the five meals in history (from a Christian) perspective that changed everything. Five meals we can look at that we can draw a line in the sand and see a clear “world before” and the “world after”.