As a follow-up to the worship message each Sunday, Pastor Tom (or whoever preached that Sunday) jots down some additional thoughts for us to ponder. We hope these thoughts enrich your time as you meditate on Sunday's message and on God's Word.
*Sermon Afterthoughts from December 2010 through June 2012 can be found on our Facebook page in the Notes section.
A follow-up to Sunday's Easter sermon (3/27/16) entitled, "Witnesses of the Resurrection" by Pastor Tom Holliday (Acts 2:22-41):
The first New Testament sermon, preached by the apostle Peter, on the day of Pentecost, is a model sermon in many respects. The content of the sermon was the historicity of essential facts that were empirically verified: the life and ministry of Jesus, the death of Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus and His exaltation and ascension to heaven.
Peter understood that what is critical for hearers are facts; the facts are either true or not. Peter boldly declared these truths in Jerusalem, in the very place where there were many witnesses to all these historical events. In other words, it is not the teaching of Jesus that saves us as much as it is the events of His life. Apart from the saving events, the teaching could do little for us.
So, this Easter season, let us all give thanks to the Lord for sending His Son into a real world, saving real sinners, with a real Gospel.
A follow-up to Sunday's sermon (3/20/16) entitled, "The Mystery of the Gospel" by Pastor Tom Holliday (Ephesians 3:1-13):
In Ephesians chapter 3, the apostle Paul speaks of the manifold wisdom of God. The word that he uses, manifold, means many colored. It's the same word that was used in the Old Testament to describe Joseph's coat of many colors.
In this context, Paul uses it to refer to the great mystery of the gospel, which is, that Christ's Church is made up of many peoples, nations and races. This was mind boggling to the Jewish nation of his day. What many did not understand was that Jesus Christ broke down the wall of hostility by His death. The gospel means that this world is not divided between the outsiders and the insiders. Us versus them. The Gospel humbles us to the core, showing us that whatever the differences between us and them, it's not us that makes the difference. This is a hard truth for a proud heart.
Paul knew this very well, having once been a man with a proud heart himself. Yet when he met Jesus Christ the forgiveness which he received he extended to others. No more walls based on race, color, performance. So God chose the correct word to describe such a phenomenon: mystery.
A follow-up to Sunday's sermon (2/21/16) entitled, "The End of Hostility" by Pastor Chris Sicks (Ephesians 2:11-22):
In the Body of Christ, there is no black or white, male or female, Asian or Latino, white collar or blue collar, Republican or Democrat, young or old—but all are one in Christ Jesus, who crushed the dividing wall of hostility between God and people, so we can be united as well.
Some day, people from all nations and ethnicities will worship with one voice in heaven. And I suspect the Lord may go over to Abraham and say, “See, Abraham! I told you I would do this. Just look at all the nations that I promised to bring into my Kingdom.”
We can experience that unity here on earth, or just wait until heaven to see it. But God’s going to do it anyway, with or without us. As for me, I want more of a foretaste of that heavenly congregation, today.
A follow-up to Sunday's sermon (2/21/16) entitled, "A Life-Changing Prayer" by Pastor Tom Holliday (Ephesians 1:1-14):
The apostle Paul's prayer in the second half of the Ephesians chapter 1, properly understood , is a life-changing prayer. Paul prays, "I keep asking… that the glorious Father may give you the Holy Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you may know Him better."
Paul prays for three things specifically: that God’s people will pray to be able to live with hope, to see the treasure that Gods people are to him, and to access the power of God in our daily lives. The more we reflect on the things that he is asking God to provide, the more startling we understand the request.
This introduces us to a whole new level of praying; not merely for our circumstances in life, but for growing faith and an enlarged heart. This is a daring prayer! Would you dare to pray such a prayer? Our spiritual health and growth is depending on it.
"Father, give us faith to see all that you are laying before us so that we may grasp and experience all that you have for us."
A follow-up to Sunday's sermon (2/7/16) entitled, "The Battle with Pride" by Pastor Tom Holliday (Luke 18:9-14):
The battle with pride: a battle which lasts far longer and leaves more casualties then we could ever imagine. Jonathan Edwards was right; the human heart is very much like the layers of an onion — always more layers of pride to peel back.
Because spiritual pride is by its own nature secretive, it is best discerned by its fruits and effects. That is why unless we have people in our lives who are willing and courageous enough to speak into our lives, it is most difficult to detect.
However, more is required than simple willingness and courage. Unless we are committed to love people well, we will shierk back from the responsibility. It’s a gospel thing. Only the gospel draws us to open ourselves up (because our spiritual performance is not our righteousness — Jesus is) to the people whom we love to give them permission to speak to the "fruits and effects ‘' of our pride.
If you have such a friend in your life, consider yourself blessed.