New Life

Happy Resurrection Day! At Colona Church, we celebrated our risen Savior with a beautiful message from Pastor Steve, followed by the communion service. What a blessing! To listen to Pastor Steve’s message, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included our Easter Call to Worship and links to the Scriptures which are referenced in the message. Enjoy!

Call to Worship
Matthew 28:1-10
Jesus Has Risen

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

Scripture References

1 Peter 1:3

John 3:5

Ezekiel 37:6

Titus 3:5

1 Corinthians 15:17

Colossians 1:13

Matthew 7:7

Romans 5:5

1 Peter 1:4

1 Peter 1:5

1 Peter 1:6-9

Praise Him!

Faith That Works

Hello all! Pastor Steve brought us a message this morning that was all about faith that works. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included the Call to Worship for this Palm Sunday and link to the Scripture references.

Call to Worship
Matthew 21:1-11
Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King
21 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

5 “Say to Daughter Zion,
    ‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
    and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Scripture References

James 2:26 NKJV

Ephesians 2:8-9

James 2:14-25

2 Peter 1:5-11

Revelation 22:12

James 2:20-26

Ephesians 2:9-10

Titus 2:13-14

Narrow Road

Happy Spring! Pastor Steve continued his series on being the salt and light by teaching today about the narrow road. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included our Call to Worship and links to some of the verses referenced in the message.

Call to Worship
Psalm 104:1-13
1 Praise the Lord, my soul.

Lord my God, you are very great;
    you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

2 The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment;
    he stretches out the heavens like a tent
3     and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
    and rides on the wings of the wind.
4 He makes winds his messengers,
    flames of fire his servants.

5 He set the earth on its foundations;
    it can never be moved.
6 You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment;
    the waters stood above the mountains.
7 But at your rebuke the waters fled,
    at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;
8 they flowed over the mountains,
    they went down into the valleys,
    to the place you assigned for them.
9 You set a boundary they cannot cross;
    never again will they cover the earth.

10 He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
    it flows between the mountains.
11 They give water to all the beasts of the field;
    the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 The birds of the sky nest by the waters;
    they sing among the branches.
13 He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
    the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.

Scripture References

Matthew 23:5-7

Matthew 7:13-14

John 15:18-19

Ephesians 2:8-9

John 14:6

Greater Love

Hello! Our recorder got some fresh batteries (yay!), and Pastor Steve gave a wonderful message yesterday about Greater Love or The Value of Friendship. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included our Call to Worship and links to the verses Pastor Steve referenced in his message. Enjoy!

Call to Worship
Psalm 8

1 Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory
    in the heavens.
2 Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
    to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?

5 You have made them a little lower than the angels
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
    you put everything under their feet:
7 all flocks and herds,
    and the animals of the wild,
8 the birds in the sky,
    and the fish in the sea,
    all that swim the paths of the seas.

9 Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Scripture References

Proverbs 18:24

Romans 6:23

2 Corinthians 5:21

2 Corinthians 5:19 NKJV

John 15:13

John 15:14

Micah 6:8

Matthew 26:38-39

Imitators

Hello! Unfortunately, technology has betrayed us once again — the batteries died on the recorder! So, I’ll do my best to summarize the wonderful lesson from Pastor Steve as he continued his teaching on being salt and light. But first, the Call to Worship.

Call to Worship
Psalm 16
1 Keep me safe, my God,
    for in you I take refuge.

2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
    apart from you I have no good thing.”
3 I say of the holy people who are in the land,
    “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
    I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
    or take up their names on my lips.

5 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
    you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
    With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
    nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

This week, Pastor Steve took us into the book of Ephesians.

Ephesians 5:1-2 says that we need to be imitators of God. We need to model our conduct after Christ, Who gave His life for us. Our “Thought for the Week” in our bulletin talked about this, too. We have been looking at Greek words each week, and this week’s reading said, “The word ‘imitators’ comes from the Greek word mimétés. This is the same root word as our English word ‘mimic.’ It means exactly what you’d think it does: an imitator or emulator; properly, the positive imitation that arises by admiring the pattern set by someone worthy of emulation. There is no one more worthy of imitating that God, who sent His Son to be a perfect example for us to follow…. To be like God, and to set ourselves to resemble Him, is the sum of all Christian duty.”

Other verses also call us to be imitators of God. Ephesians 3:19 tells us to be filled with all the fullness of God. Our goal is to be like Him. Matthew 5:48 says we are to be perfect as our Father is perfect. There is no way we can ever do this on our own. That is why God sent His Son. 2 Corinthians 5:21 explains that Christ became sin for us, so that by His death on the cross and His resurrection, our sin could be wiped away when we repent — so we can become righteous, right with God and able to be in His presence.

Ephesians 5:3-7 tells us some of the ways to imitate God while we are in the world. Just as Romans 12:2 told us, we are to be different from the rest of the world, not conformed to it. Deception surrounds us at all times; it is one of Satan’s greatest tools. So, we need to remember to test those things that are spoken or given to us, to make sure that they are God’s truth, not just what we want to hear, as 1 Thessalonians 5:20-22 and 1 John 4:1 remind us.

And, finally, Ephesians 5:8-10 takes us right back to where this all began: we are children of light in this dark world, meant to shine the love of God onto others. When we accept Christ as our Savior, we are rescued from the darkness (Colossians 1:13). Those spiritual forces which are battling against us cannot overcome us when we are walking in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:2, Galatians 5:25, Ephesians 6:12). If we follow Him, we will not walk in darkness any longer (John 8:12); we are God’s holy people, called into the Light (1 Peter 2:9).

Christ gave His life for us. It is our reasonable service (Romans 12:1 NKJV) to give all that we have to be like Him: lights in the darkness.

Have a blessed week!

Transformed vs Conformed, pt. 2

Hello! Yesterday, Pastor Steve continued his teaching on being the salt and the light in the world. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included our Call to Worship, links to Scripture references, and some very brief notes from the lesson. 🙂

Call to Worship
Philippians 2:12-18
Do Everything Without Grumbling
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

Scripture References

Romans 12:1-2

2 Corinthians 4:16

Matthew 25:4

Ephesians 4:23

Titus 3:5

Ephesians 6:17

Ephesians 5:18

1 John 1:9

Romans 14:9

Mark 11:24

Luke 11:23

Luke 8:17-18

1 John 2:17

Notes

Source = God
Course = following Jesus
Force = the Holy Spirit
Series of Twos
2 Agents - The Holy Spirit & the Sword of the Spirit
2 Actions - Be willing to be renewed & practice daily discipline
2 Attitudes - Be serious & be submissive

Transformed vs Conformed

Hello! Sorry for the late posting. I’m getting old, and my brain doesn’t work as well as it used to. 😉 But Pastor Steve continued his teaching last Sunday on what it means to be salt and light. He talked about being transformed versus being conformed. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included the Call to Worship and link to Scriptures that Pastor Steve referenced in his lesson. Enjoy!

Call to Worship
Titus 3:1-8
Saved in Order to Do Good
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.
At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

Scripture References

Luke 8:16-18

Matthew 5:13-15

John 10:27

Matthew 5:16

Romans 8:29

Romans 12:1-2

Galatians 2:20

Colossians 1:27

Psalm 37:5

Paradigm Shift

Hello from snowy Colona! We had a small, but faithful, group this morning, due to the crazy February snow that blew in overnight. But Pastor Steve made it safely to the church to continue his teaching on salt & light. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. Also included in this post are the Call to Worship and links to verses that Steve references in his message.

Call to Worship
1 Peter 1:13-19
Be Holy
13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

Scripture References

Matthew 25:1-13

Matthew 5:13-15

John 3:19

Luke 8:16-18

John 9:5

Matthew 5:16

Colossians 1:13

Romans 12:1-2

Covert Discipleship

Pastor Steve is finally back on his feet, so we got to hear him teach today on Matthew 5:15-16. To hear this message, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included the Call to Worship and Scripture references.

Call to Worship
2 Corinthians 5:16-21
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Scripture References

Matthew 5:13-16

John 3:19-21

John 8:12

Luke 8:16-18

2 Corinthians 5:17-20

Ephesians 5:8

1 John 1:7

1 Peter 2:9

Colossians 1:13-14

Ephesians 2:8

Jeremiah 29:13

Life and Death

Since I was out of town last weekend, I am going to post two messages as soon as I can get them uploaded! This message was given by Terry last Sunday, teaching on Luke 16:19-31. To listen to this teaching, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve included the Call to Worship and Scripture references as well.

Call to Worship
Romans 8:31-39
More Than Conquerors
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Scripture References

Luke 16:19-31

John 9:1-7

Galatians 6:7-10

Matthew 11:28-30

Hebrews 13:2

Matthew 6:21

Matthew 6:33

Hebrews 10:4

John 5:28-30

Ephesians 1:10

James 4:14