Unlikely Hero

Good morning! While we missed Pastor Alan last Sunday, we were blessed to have Terry step in to take us through chapters 6 & 7 of the Book of Judges, teaching us about God uses unlikely heroes. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included some notes and links to Scriptures he references. Enjoy!

Unlikely Hero

Judges 6 & 7

God has called us: not the mighty or the famous, but those who are willing to let Him work through us. (1 Corinthians 1:22-29)

  • Judges 6:1 – shows the rebellion of God’s people & the sovereignty of God over all things
  • Judges 6:2-7 – Midian laid waste to Israel until the people finally “cried uncle”
  • Judges 6:8-10 – God sent a prophet to remind the Israelites of all He had done for them, and of their disobedience.
  • Judges 6:11-12 – Gideon, hiding from the Midianites, was approached by the angel of the Lord, who called him “mighty” (God can use any willing heart – 1 Corinthians 1:22-29).
  • Judges 6:13 – Gideon essentially asked the question we all are probably asking in these days, “Why are things the way they are?”
  • Judges 6:14 – Instead of answering his question, God began to impart His strength.
  • Judges 6:15-16 – Gideon told God he was unworthy to be sent out, but God reminded Gideon that He was with him.
  • Judges 6:17-21 – Gideon asked God for a sign to prove that this calling was really from Him
  • Judges 6:25-27 – God told Gideon to tear down the idols, but Gideon (still fearful) did it at night.
  • Judges 6:34 – the Spirit came upon Gideon
    • In the Old Testament, the Spirit came when needed, but then departed.
    • In the New Testament/Covenant, the Holy Spirit ABIDES in His people
  • Judges 6:37-40 – Gideon, still wanting to make sure this is from God, asked for more signs.
  • Judges 7:1-8 – God winnowed down the Israelite forces until only 300 remained to go against over 135,000 Midianite forces, so there’d be no doubt Who defeated the Midianites.
  • Judges 7:9 – God had already won the battle, already knew the outcome. All that was left was for Gideon and his 300 men to remain faithful.
  • Judges 7:10-14 – God knew Gideon’s heart, so He gave Gideon a fourth sign.
  • Judges 7:16-22 – Gideon & his men were “armed” with trumpets, torches, and pitchers to cover the torches. God did the work – He confused the enemy & they destroyed themselves. Not one of Gideon’s 300 men were killed!
  • The story of Gideon shows us that the idols in our lives must come down first before God can prove Himself mighty in/through us.
    • Hebrews 12:1-2 – throw off those things holding us down, so that we can finish strong
  • We need to redeem the time, for the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16)

The Holy Spirit’s Work

Good afternoon! Pastor Alan recently continued his message series from the Gospel of John by teaching about the work of the Holy Spirit. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included Pastor Alan’s outline with links to the verses he references. Enjoy!

The Holy Spirit’s Work

John 15:26-16:15

  1. The Holy Spirit bears witness of Jesus (especially through the Word).
    • As we live by the Spirit, we witness/testify/tell the truth about Jesus. (John 15:26-27)
  2. The Holy Spirit keeps us from falling away.
  3. The Holy Spirit is the cure for our self-first perspective & for seeing life only in light of our current circumstances.
    • Joy is not based on circumstance. (John 15:11)
    • People will never see Christ in us if they only see us. (John 16:5-6)
  4. The Holy Spirit is our indispensable help & our biggest advantage.
  5. The Holy Spirit is the One who convicts & convinces us of 3 things: (John 16:8-11)
    • our sin/unbelief
    • our lack of righteousness (Matthew 5:20)
      • A great definition of grace: it’s no longer my righteousness that God sees when He looks at me, but the righteousness of Christ.
    • the judgment (1 John 2:15)
  6. The Holy Spirit guides in truth & allows us to do many things in the truth. (John 16:12-15)

Conclusion: My hope is we have seen how indispensable it is to ask for the Holy Spirit’s help in our lives.

Contact info: Dr. Alan Brock, albrock.ab@gmail.com, www.Summit40.com

Relating to Christ, Believers, & Haters

The first Sunday in July, we joined Ridgway Community Church for the 35th Annual Sunday in the Park in Ridgway (always a wonderful time & highly recommended, if you’re in the area). Last Sunday, Pastor Alan taught us about John 15 and how to relate to Christ, to our fellow believers, and to those who stand against us. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below.

Relating to Christ, Believers, and Haters

John 15

  1. Our Relationship to Christ (John 15:1-11)
    • Life flows from Jesus, and if there is life there will be some degree of fruit.
    • This is the last of the seven “I Am’s” in John’s gospel. All of them show the uniqueness of Jesus.
      • Jesus doesn’t say, “I am a vine.” He doesn’t say, “I am the vine.” He emphatically says, “I am the true vine.” So, in essence, Jesus is saying you don’t have to be of Israel to be right with God. You only need to find life in Him.
    • So, what is the evidence of being a living branch that is abiding in Christ?
      • There is pruning.
        • Those the Lord loves, He disciplines.
        • A constant conviction, perhaps to get rid of the dead wood in life. (v. 2)
      • There is assurance.
        • Yes, there needs to be personal examination but don’t become depressed and paralyzed by over-examination.
      • Abiding is putting His Word in you and asking of Him through prayer.
        • Connection is strengthened by communication. (v. 7)
        • What we ask for is shaped by the Word.
      • There is love.
        • Obedience doesn’t earn love, but it’s the evidential measure of love.
      • There is joy.
        • Joy is linked to connection, obedience, and assurance.
        • It’s ultimately not letting the world get you in a state of constantly being overwhelmed. (v. 11)
        • If you grew up in an environment that dished out portions of love in connection to your performance and obedience, this concept may be hard to grasp.
        • Jesus wants you to have a joy that overcomes a dark world.
  2. Our Relationship to Believers (John 15:12-17)
    • In a word, we are to love one another, and that often involves giving a part of our selfishness up. It’s called making sacrifices.
    • Jesus would have His followers primarily see Him as their friend. As a friend, Jesus does three things:
      1. He reveals His Father’s will to us.
      2. He chooses us.
      3. He appoints us to bear the fruit of love and joy.
  3. Our Relationship to Haters (John 15:18-27)
    • If we are connected to Christ, have even the slightest conviction about His teaching, and reflect His life, we will be hated. The hatred toward Christianity in this country is growing. How should we respond?
      1. Don’t be surprised.
      2. Remember who you belong to. (Acts 5:40-42)
      3. Don’t be an obnoxious jerk in response.
      4. Remember, no one likes being exposed. In a sense, a person living for Christ exposes those who aren’t.
      5. Don’t judge the world as if it knows the way, the truth, and the life. Pray for them and witness to them when you are ready for their responses.
      6. Rely on the Spirit’s protection and comfort as you confront the world — He (the Spirit) will bear witness.

Salt & Light

Good evening! I’m trying to get caught up, and I apologize for the late postings. This message was from the last Sunday in June. Pastor Alan was away, so we got to learn from Terry about Matthew 5:13-16. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below.

Salt & Light

Matthew 5:13-16

  • Jesus said He was the light of the world, while He was in the world. (John 9:5)
  • When He ascended, He passed the torch onto us. (Matthew 5:14)
  • Though “good itself does not dwell in me” (Romans 7:18), God makes us salty and puts His light in us.
  • v. 16 is a command, not a suggestion.
  • The Church of Laodicea is the church of the last days. (Revelation 3:14-22) But, Jesus doesn’t talk to the CHURCH who overcomes… He speaks to the ONE who overcomes… (Revelation 3:21) It’s an individual calling to rise above, be salty, and shine your light.
  • v. 16 is also an INDIVIDUAL command, not a corporate one. Don’t wait for the Church to shine; it’s on you!

Peace, Love, & the Holy Spirit

Good evening! Last Sunday, Pastor Alan shared another wonderful teaching in the book of John. He continued his lessons on what occurred in the Upper Room, focusing this week on “Peace, Love, and the Holy Spirit.” To listen to this message from John 14, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included Pastor Alan’s outline with links to the verses on Bible Gateway. Enjoy!

The Upper Room, part IV: Peace, Love, and the Holy Spirit

John 14:15-28

  1. Jesus’ words on love. (John 14:15, 21-24, 28)
  2. Jesus’ words on the Spirit. (John 14:16-20, 25-26)
    • Various translations of John 14:16
      • Advocate, Counselor, Helper, Paraclete
      • The idea is this: Jesus will send the Spirit as His ambassador (notice the word “another”). As that ambassador, He:
        • reveals truth
        • brings truth to remembrance
        • indwells
        • gives guidance and strength when we are helpless (as orphans)
        • is instrumental in our salvation (John 3:6-8; John 6:63)
        • sanctifies us/helps us become more like Christ (Galatians 5:22-26)
        • gives gifts to serve God & others (Romans 12:6-13)
    • Father’s Day note: It’s tough to lose a person you turned to the most for strength and guidance. The disciples had Jesus as their spiritual father for strength and guidance. He was going to leave them physically but would be with them always through the Holy Spirit.
  3. Jesus’ words on peace (John 14:27-28)
    • Peace is linked to Jesus
    • There are two kinds of peace (worldly peace & godly peace)
    • Peace can’t really be found without being right with God and living in faith to God (Matthew 5:2-10).
      • “Trust & Obey”
      • “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”
    • Romans 5:1-5 ties it all together.

Father’s Day note: What is the legacy we would most like to leave behind? Jesus leaves us peace. Are we peacemakers?

Conclusion: Are our lives marked by a sense of peace and obedient love and being guided by the Spirit?

The Upper Room, part III

Hello! We had a lovely service on Sunday, where Pastor Alan taught on John 14:1-14. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. Also included is Pastor Alan’s outline with links to Bible Gateway, so you can read the verses. Enjoy!

The Upper Room, part III

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

  • A Clear Word to Confused Minds (John 14:5-14; 1 Corinthians 14:33)
    • The Clarity of Christ’s Uniqueness (John 14:6-7)
      • Christ is not just another way among many to be in connection to the Father in heaven.
      • To know Christ is to know truth, direction, and life.
      • “And tho’ this world, with devils filled, Should threaten to undo us, We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph thro’ us. The prince of darkness grim, We tremble not for him–His rage we can endure, For lo, his doom is sure: One little word shall fell him.
    • The Clarity of the Triune Godhead (John 14:9-11)
      • Christ’s connection to the Father and to the Spirit
    • The Clarity of Christ’s Work to be Seen in the Apostles’ Works and Teaching (John 14:12-13)
    • The Purpose of Praying & Living is to do so to God’s glory. (John 14:13)

Conclusion: We need to know God’s promises and grow in clarity about who He is. It’s not enough to believe in God just as a higher power or that all gods are equal. To believe as Jesus taught is to believe in the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and the role each member plays in our lives.

Love, Betrayal, & Denial

Good afternoon! This past Sunday Pastor Alan taught from John 13:18-38, sharing a message about love, betrayal, and denial. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included Pastor’s notes with links to the verses he references in his message. Enjoy!

The Upper Room Part II

Love, Betrayal, and Denial

The Last Supper:  In Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting, the apostles are grouped in three.  One grouping is John, Simon Peter and Judas.  These three are referenced in John 13:18-38.  All are in conversation.  John records part of that, as does Luke in his gospel.  In Luke we find out that part of the conversation was an argument among friends.  Luke 22:15, 24-30. So that’s the setting.

Now let’s go back to the 3 principle characters in John.  John, Judas and Peter and the three main things we know about each of them.

  1. John is closet to Jesus.  The one Jesus loved is a self-description.  The theme of walking in love is major in his writings.  He in fact records Jesus’s words, “A new command I give you:  Love one another. As I have loved you love one another.  By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  John was the only male disciple that was present with Jesus at the cross and Jesus entrusts the care of his mother to John when he says, “Behold your mother.”  So John is a reminder to us of the positive which is to love and remain close.
  2. The other one mentioned is Judas.  He reminds us of the potential there is to betray and how Satan can take over.  It says when he ate the morsel Satan entered in and he left out into the dark.  A contrast here is that the supper was, and is, all about signifying taking Jesus, the bread of life, into us and walking in the light.  Judas allowed himself to go the opposite direction.  We are capable as well.  The end for Judas was a sorrow that led to his taking of his own life.  He got to a point beyond repentance and forgiveness.  Interesting that his betrayal started with denial.  He says, surely not I, recorded in Matthew 26:25.  Both Peter and Judas deny Jesus but only one let himself forever be defined by betrayal.  Both wept but one’s sorrow would lead to repentance, the other’s to death. As it says in 2 Corinthians 7:10, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation  and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow leads to death.”  In 2nd Peter 3, it seems some were beginning to think the Lord wasn’t going to come back.  Peter clears that up and in essence says don’t think his delay, in human understanding of the time, means he isn’t coming again.  He is delaying to give you the opportunity to repent.  2 Peter 3:9-13.
  3. Simon Peter reminds us of the possibility of denial due to fear.  What was Peter’s first mistake?  Denial was the results of a 2-fold mistake. He didn’t realize his limitation and he didn’t ask for strength.  Even though Jesus still prays for him, even though he doesn’t ask.  Mark 14:27-31, 66-72.

So, 3 apostles

–      One calls us to love

–      One stands as a warning against betrayal and non repentance

–      One stands as a warning against denial but the promise that turning back to Jesus brings forgiveness and restoration. 

John 21:15-end

They call us to self-examination as we take the Lord’s Supper today. Matthew 26:26-29

The Upper Room & Foot Washing

Hello again! Here’s the next message from Pastor Alan. He taught last Sunday from the first seventeen verses of John chapter 13. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included Pastor’s outline and links to the Scriptures he references. Enjoy! 🙂

The Upper Room & Foot Washing

The Upper Room

The place where:

  •   Jesus washes the disciples’ feet
  •   The Last Supper is taken
  •   The followers hid after the crucifixion
  •   Jesus appeared after the resurrection
  •   Jesus gives the discourse and prayer recorded in John
  •   Jesus appears to Thomas
  •   The followers wait for the Holy Spirit
  1. Foremost, it is a place where there was closeness between Jesus and His disciples.
    • What is your “upper room” place?
      • The place where you listen to Jesus’ instructions and carry them out.
      • Luke 22:7-13
  2. We should have an eagerness to commune with Jesus.

Foot Washing (John 13:1-17)

  1. John emphasizes the contrast between outward religious acts of purification and inward cleansing and life that come from Christ.
  2. Foot washing not only symbolizes inward cleansing over outward cleaning, it is an act of a servant.
    • It is a reminder of the hierarchy of authority (v. 16)
    • It is a reminder that love without action is often just empty sentiment. (John 13:34-35)
    • Philippians 2:4-8
    • There can be nobility in the drudgery.

Purposes of the Cross & the Problem of Unbelief

Hello! I’m trying to catch up, so I’ll be posting two messages today (from May 22nd and 29th). The message below is Pastor Alan teaching on John 12:27-50. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included Pastor’s outline with links to the verses he references. 🙂

Purposes of the Cross & the Problem of Unbelief

Purposes of the Cross (John 12:27-36)

  1. The cross is the place where Jesus took God’s wrath against unrepentant sin upon Himself. (v. 27)
  2. The cross would ultimately bring God glory as death is turned into victory. (v. 28-29)
    • Jesus’ faithfulness is demonstrated in His total submission to the will of the Father.
    • Our faithfulness is only made possible by Christ’s faithfulness (Galatians 2:20 & Romans 3:22 KJV)
    • How do we glorify God? Live a life of faithfulness to God based on the faithfulness of God.
    • The Father’s will for us is to unleash Christ to act through us.
  3. The cross is the initial judgment and starts things moving toward Judgment Day.
    • Judgment on this world began at the cross and will end at His 2nd Coming.
    • The cross brings life to those who believe, but judgment and death to those who don’t believe and to the “ruler of this world.”
    • Prayer is entering into the conflict between God and the “ruler of this world” (Matthew 6:9-13)
  4. The cross is the point where all people are drawn. (v. 32-34)
    • Not that all would believe, but all would be drawn.
    • All = both Jews & Gentiles (all nations)
    • Drawn = the cross cannot be ignored (except at one’s peril)
    • The bronze serpent lifted up was a shadow of Christ (Numbers 21:4-8)
  5. The cross was, & still is, a call to walk in the light as things grow darker. (v. 35)
    • The only way we can navigate this dark world is by the Light of Jesus & the Lamp of the Word

The Problem of Unbelief (John 12:37-50)

  1. Unbelief is not the same as indecision/misunderstanding/nonbelief (v. 38)
    • It is not believing in the face of undeniable evidence.
    • It is rejection, often in the form of hatred.
  2. Unbelief is being blinded and hardened of heart. (v. 39-41)
    • Our natural state is a depravity of the heart; only God can renew it.
    • “Faith is not born in the ordinary human faculties but is a unique and rare gift of God.” -John Calvin
  3. Half-hearted belief is the result of fear over what people might think or what they might do to us. (vs. 42-43)
  4. Belief is acting on the revelation of Christ. Unbelief is rejecting the revelation of Christ, choosing darkness, and falling under condemnation. (v. 44-49)
    • It’s not a matter of if there will be a judgment, but where you end up after judgment.
    • The words that the Father commanded Jesus to speak lead to eternal life. (v. 50)

Three Marks of a Follower of Christ

Good afternoon!

First, we’d like to ask for your prayers for those of our neighbors who are currently evacuated due to the Simms Mesa Fire and for those who are fighting to contain the fire. We praise God that the winds have decreased and that rain/snow is falling now. But we also pray that the fire would be put out quickly and without loss of life. Thank you for your prayers!

Last Sunday, Pastor Alan continued taking us through the Gospel of John, teaching from John 12 about “Three Marks of a Follower of Christ.” To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included Pastor’s outline (Thank you Jen!), as well as links to the verses referenced.

Three Marks of a Follower of Christ

John 12:1-26

  1. We are to be a giving people (vs. 1-10)
    • We give in light of the death of Jesus on the cross.
    • We give in service with a heart of humility. Example of feet washing
    • We give in love remembering how much we have been forgiven.  (Luke 7:36-49)
    • We give in faith based on grace.  Not as a work based on a rule or formula. (2 Corinthians 8-9)
    • We give with a proper perspective of what we possess.  Do our possessions possess or do they bless?
  2. We are to be praising people. (vs. 12-19)
    • We praise Him by declaring His title (vs. 12-13)
    • We praise Him by acknowledging He is King of His Kingdom (v. 15)
    • We praise Him by remembering His glory. (v. 16)
    • We praise Him by witnessing of Him (v. 17)
    • We praise Him by going after Him. (vs. 18-19)
  3.  We are to be a dying people (vs. 20-26) (Matthew 16:24-25, Galatians 2:20, Esther 4:15-16, Colossians 3:1-4)

The principle is this: The only measure to which Christ will be seen living in and through us is the measure to which we are willing to die to our self.  Just as a seed is buried in the ground, and in a sense “dies” to produce, we have to die to our self-centered agendas to be productive.  We must be like Esther in the Old Testament who said, “If I perish, I perish.”  She was willing to die if it could save her people.

Conclusion:  How are we doing at giving, praising, and dying? 

Sources: 

NIV translation of the Bible,

The Bible Exposition Commentary:  Warren Weirsbe

If I Perish, I Perish:  A Study on Esther by Major Ian Thomas

Christ Centered Exposition of John by Matt Carter and Josh Werdberg


*Special Note: Pastor Alan taught at Calvary Community Church in Ouray last Sunday evening, and if you are interested in hearing his teaching on the afterlife from that service, check out our “Listen to a Message” page.