From Sucklings to Servants
by Steven Pawley on October 18th, 2022
Camps, and conflicts cause believers who should be working together in the great commission to have a “come-apart”. Our spiritual thumb is in our mouth when envy, strife, and division are perpetuated. Sometimes we foolishly take sides in disputes and act like – well, babies. Paul calls us on it! (From 1 Co. 3:1-9).
Between a Rock And a Hard Place?
by Steven Pawley on October 11th, 2022
Ever find yourself between a rock and a hard place? How about in a situation in which people you love and respect disagree? What do we do when competing views put us between a rock and a hard place? Some things aren’t as “cut and dry” as those claiming the authority of Apollos, Cephas, Paul, or Christ suggest! Who’s right? Each claims their beliefs, behaviors and be-attitudes are biblical. But division is not. (From 1 Cor. 2:9-16)
A Healthy Distraction
by Steven Pawley on September 27th, 2022
Paul points these divided disciples to the depths of Christ crucified - the mystery of the gospel, godliness, and of God’s goodness and grace. It’s a healthy distraction. Paul will bring two key things to bear to help these conflicted Christians: The Mystery of the gospel of Christ not revealed before the New Testament, and the Mind of Christ revealed through God’s word. We’ll take the first part today (From 1 Corinthians 2:6-10):
Do You Practice What You Preach?
by Steven Pawley on September 20th, 2022
The apostle Paul meant it when he said “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” And “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do.” Paul understood a “Christian” to be an imitator, impersonator, follower of Jesus Christ’s example and determined to be one. His life was a road less traveled because it was all about Jesus and the gospel and made sure everyone knew. It would be good for us to follow his good example. (From 1 Corinthians 2:1-5):
Is Your Boast in Christ?
by Steven Pawley on September 13th, 2022
What is your claim to fame? It’s the thing or person by which you want others to know you. Friend, if your identity is tied up in anything other than Jesus Paul calls you back to what matters most. The world’s wisdom, wealth, and might can’t compete with a life that glorifies Jesus. (From 1 Cor. 1:25-31):
No Arguments, Just Awe
by Steven Pawley on September 5th, 2022
Have you ever experienced a moment of truth so powerful that it left you speechless? There were no more arguments or answers - just awe. Lee Strobel, a journalist for the Chicago Tribune, Yale Law student, atheist, and skeptic wrote a book about just such a moment in his life. Using his skills in investigative journalism and legal depositions, he sought to vanquish the Christian faith by disproving...
Let's Not Complicate It
by Steven Pawley on August 23rd, 2022
If you could choose the greatest challenge to unity in the church, what would you pick? What stumbling-block or sin separates us the most? Is it an action or an attitude? 1 Corinthians deals with both. Winning people from our culture gets messy and problems manifest themselves at times within the church. We complicate it with our contentions. But he starts with arguably our greatest challenge: Self-will. (From 1 Cor. 1:10-18)
It's Your Call, Take It
by Steven Pawley on August 16th, 2022
If you’ve ever been around someone who sensed a “call” upon their life and took it, you know how influential their testimony is. They were living a certain way, struggling with some challenge, viewing life through a distorted lens… Then came the call, they answered it, and everything changed! The Christian’s calling changes everything too! We’re called to radical transformation via urgent evangelization while in a continuous state of spiritual development, all by the power of the same indwelling Spirit of Jesus Christ and His word. It started when we answered the gospel call (From 1 Corinthians 1:1-9)
It's A Mess
by Steven Pawley on August 1st, 2022
If I asked how messed up can a Christian be and still be saved? Or does God plant a church in a society captivated by sin, wealth, religion, immorality, indulgence, and idolatry, to bring light amid darkness and order among chaos and entrust her to graciously serve there? What book gives the answer and the antidote? What might that church look like today and how would it manage the tension created by uncritical acceptance of cultural influences, clashing views, values, lifestyles, and levels of spiritual growth yet saved by the same grace? (From 1 Cor. 1:1-11).
This One's Personal
by Steven Pawley on July 25th, 2022
If you could bring only one thing to the house of God, what would it be? What if you knew that security was so tight that whatever you bring would be revealed before you entered? Would that change your choice? Well, what one thing did David bring to the house of God when things got personal, and he knew security was tight? A clean heart. And it started with a committed “morning routine” (From Psalm 5:1-12):
God Hears Your Cry from "Hell"
by Steven Pawley on July 18th, 2022
In my years pastoring I’ve seen many running from God. They might be angry about some hurt or hardship in their life. Or they’ve experienced injustice and blame God. Others get entangled in sin and are ashamed. For some, they know what God wants, refuse to do it, and so they run. The prophet Jonah feels God is asking too much and runs. In the process he gets himself and others in deep peril. He’d rather die than do what God wants. Ever been there? (From Jonah 1:12-3:3):
Talking to The Troublemakers
by Steven Pawley on July 11th, 2022
Do you ever talk to your troublemakers? There’s a conversation in your head, or upon your bed late in the night, and your trouble is as real in that moment as if you were living the actual experience. It becomes hard to tell if you’re talking to yourself, God, or the troublemakers, right? Embarrassed? Don’t be. King David did it too! (From Psalm 4). (Disclosure: The night before I prepared this message, I experienced it - two hours of wrestling before the rest returned! Can you relate?)