Real Love

On Mother’s Day, Steve spoke about how the Bible defines real love. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included our Call to Worship and links to verses Steve references in the message.

Call to Worship
Psalm 91
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

3 Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.

9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

Scripture References

The Shadow

Pastor Steve continued his series on Psalm 23 this past Sunday, teaching about Psalm 23:4. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included the Call to Worship and verses he references in his message.

Call to Worship
Isaiah 55:8-13
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
    and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
    will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
    will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
    and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord’s renown,
    for an everlasting sign,
    that will endure forever.”

Scripture References

Restored Souls

Hello! Pastor Steve continued his teaching on Psalm 23 on Sunday with a message of restoration. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. You’ll also find the Call to Worship, as well as links to the verses he references in his message.

Call to Worship
Psalm 139:13-18, 23-24
13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.

Scripture References

Green Pastures

Happy Sunday! Pastor Steve continued his series on Psalm 23 this morning by teaching on the second verse in this beloved Psalm. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included the Call to Worship and links to verses Pastor Steve references in the message. Enjoy!

Call to Worship
Psalm 121
A song of ascents.
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

Scripture References

The Shepherd’s Arms

Good afternoon! Today’s message from Pastor Steve was all about our Good Shepherd. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. As usual, I’ve also included our Call to Worship and links to the verses Steve references in his message. Enjoy and God bless!

Call to Worship
John 10:1-10
The Good Shepherd and His Sheep
10 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.

7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Scripture References

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!

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