[Weekly - Su/M] What did you learn/teach at church?

Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
Because my wife and I join our Sunday school class over Zoom at the same time our church livestreams the Sunday morning service and because said livestream is updated and made available on Tuesday mornings instead of immediately, I've taken to watching services a week later rather than live. (If COVID-19 cases start to trend downward, @Ember and I may try returning to church in person without the kiddos in the near future.)

Last week's sermon continued a series on 1 Peter and the call to holiness. The sermon focused on holiness in the home and the husband-wife relationship. At the end of the sermon, our pastor challenged us to examine areas where we struggle in holiness toward our spouse and to seek out the counsel and experience of older Christian couples who have withstood the challenges of life.
 

Kendrik

Moderator
Staff member
Our pastor had family matters keeping him away the last couple of weeks. He was back this week to finish out a series on loving difficult people. Really good closer. Big take away for me was that in a world all in on us vs them, the us vs them for the church isn't this church vs that church, this mindset vs that mindset, or even the church vs everyone else. Rather, the us vs them is Christ vs the evil one.

My inclination this year is to take after ol' Treebeard and say "I'm on no one's side because no one is on my side." This weekend more than ever have I felt "everyone outside this home is now a them." The sermon really challenged me on that.
 

Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
This past Sunday, our pastor taught on transformational ministry. Verses referenced included 2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 8:29, and 1 John 3:2. One key lesson from the sermon is that the church should be focused on inward transformation, not outward religion.
 

Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
TIMESHIFT

I've been watching livestreams one week after they air (Are they still livestreams at that point? We need a :thinking: emoji.) and last week's sermon was on hospitality. And it was an uncomfortable sermon because this is not something I excel at. I like to be kind to others when it's convenient for me and on my own terms. I also like reserving a space for myself. Sometimes that's keeping healthy boundaries, but I strongly suspect that more often, it's more a matter of me being selfish with my time and resources.

But enough about me! The key verses for the sermon were Acts 28:23, 30-31.

The sermon was definitely a challenging one, but I'm praying it will help root out that selfishness I mentioned before...
 

Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
Last Sunday's sermon (which I watched yesterday) was on the subject of intentional growth in our faith. The pastor taught from Colossians 2:1-7 and used the illustration of "walking" to tie together the main points. He opened by explaining that "to walk" means "to make progress and to make use of opportunities." He emphasized that the moment we come to a saving faith in Jesus is not the end, but rather the beginning of a life-long walk with Christ. The Bible teaches us how to walk well and God uses other Christians to help us along.
 

Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
October 11's sermon was on the topic of generosity and, wow, did it kick my butt. Generosity has never come easily to me and this sermon definitely convicted me of my tendency toward selfishness. The pastor used the story of the woman and the alabaster jar in Mark 14:1-9 (and in other books of the Bible as well) to illustrate the lesson. The sermon point that challenged me most was that generosity begins with where you are and what you have.

Another great sermon!
 

Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
Currently watching sermons 2 weeks after the livestream. The sermon I watched this morning was on the subject of Advent and the key text was Isaiah 9. Much of the sermon was spent setting up the historical context in which Isaiah delivered God's message to Israel. The culture of the time was corrupt and the people of Israel were going through the motions but not serving God with their hearts. Isaiah 8 includes a pronouncement of judgment, but Isaiah 9 delivers a message of hope. Judgment does not last forever and, in Christ, God gives us someone who can carry the full weight of our hope.
 

Krissa Lox

Active Member
From today's Online Chapel services of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America:

"The divine Maximus, who was from Constantinople, sprang from an illustrious family. He was a lover of wisdom and an eminent theologian. At first, he was the chief private secretary of the Emperor Heraclius and his grandson Constans. When the Monothelite heresy became predominant in the royal court, out of hatred for this error the Saint departed for the Monastery at Chrysopolis (Scutari), of which he later became the abbot. When Constans tried to constrain him either to accept the Monothelite teaching, or to stop speaking and writing against it - neither of which the Saint accepted to do - his tongue was uprooted and his right hand was cut off, and he was sent into exile where he reposed in 662."


It's always the right thing to stand up for truth even when it doesn't lead to earthly prestige and blessings, because falsehoods - intentional or not - left unchecked to take root and gain more momentum to spread will cause greater damage and division in the end.
 

Krissa Lox

Active Member
From today's GOAA Online Chapel:

St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 10:32-38

Brethren, recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to abuse and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on the prisoners, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that you may do the will of God and receive what is promised. "For yet a little while, and the coming one shall come and shall not tarry; but my righteous one shall live by faith."
 

Krissa Lox

Active Member
From today's GOAA Online Chapel:

The Gospel according to Luke 19:1-10

At that time, Jesus was passing through Jericho. And there was a man named Zacchaios; he was a chief collector, and rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not, on account of the crowd, because he was small of stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaios, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today." So he made haste and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it they all murmured, "He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner." And Zacchaios stood and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded any one of anything, I restore it fourfold." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost."

In times where life seems to be getting a lot more complicated and difficult to figure out our personal roles in it, it helps to remember that Christ's focus has always been on seeking and saving the lost, not on fixing the world.
 

Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
Our pastor taught on Jesus' conversation with the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-27). The main points were that (1) the doctrine of the Resurrection is essential to Christianity and (2) what you believe about the Resurrection has eternal significance. He also pointed out that Jesus addressed the disciples' heart ("O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe") rather than their ability to reason. Rather than reveal Himself immediately after that statement, Jesus pointed to the Word to explain the necessity and the purpose of His death and resurrection.
 

Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
This past Sunday, our pastor delivered a sermon on unexpected delays and used the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt (and specifically Exodus 13:17-22) to illustrate the lesson points. The highlight for me, having grown up in a church sub-culture that trended toward Prosperity Gospel, was the point that delays do not necessarily mean that God is not leading us. Yes, we need to be constantly vigilant for sin in our lives, but delays (as we measure time) don't mean we've missed God's plan for us.
 

Krissa Lox

Active Member
This past Sunday, our pastor delivered a sermon on unexpected delays and used the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt (and specifically Exodus 13:17-22) to illustrate the lesson points. The highlight for me, having grown up in a church sub-culture that trended toward Prosperity Gospel, was the point that delays do not necessarily mean that God is not leading us. Yes, we need to be constantly vigilant for sin in our lives, but delays (as we measure time) don't mean we've missed God's plan for us.

One of the other takeaways from the Exodus story along those lines - and against the logic of the prosperity gospel - is that sometimes the delays are multi-generational. I think it was something like 400 years of Israelites lived and died in slavery to Egypt, not because of anything they did wrong, but because the Canaanite's iniquity was "not yet full."

Which has got to be tremendously painful and frustrating to try to maintain faith in that situation, to literally sacrifice all of your earthly prospects for the sake of God's will and your future descendants, but I'd presume they must have gotten some equally tremendous rewards in the afterlife for keeping that faith.
 
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