Wednesday Sermons

The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat

Bulletin 1.24-25.15

 

SERMON NOTES

LIFE GROUP/FAMILY QUESTIONS 

January 24 – 25, 2015

Pastor Randy Phipps

The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat.

Purpose: My purpose today is to encourage the congregation to overcome this world and it’s agony by continuing to be faithful to your personal discipleship and the pursuit of “Loving God... Investing in People.”

Text: 1 John 5:1-5

1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

1. Set your mind to thinking victory!

1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

2. Focus on the Promise not the problem.

Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

3. Engage in the Battle.

Proverbs 21:31; The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But deliverance is of the LORD.

 

4. Learn to live a life of Praise

Psalm 98:1

Oh, sing to the LORD a new song!

For He has done marvelous things;

His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.

 

Life Group Discussion Questions 

Discussion Starter:

What has helped you grow as a disciple of Christ?

 

 

Recall a time when your faith overcame the “world.”

 

 

Digging Deeper:

Being victorious means using our faith to overcome the world. Study the following passages in Revelation:

2:7; 2:11; 2:17; 2:26; 3:5.

 

What promises await IF we are overcomers? How does that encourage you as a believer?

 

 

Taking it Home (Application):

Have you been focusing so long on a PROBLEM that you’ve lost sight of the PROMISE? What do you need to do to put things back in proper perspective?

 

 

 

What does your praise time look like? Does charismatic worship, lifting your hands, singing out loud feel awkward to you?

 

 

 

Make a plan to show praise and adoration to God – have your life group hold you accountable to follow through!

 

 


God's Plan for You: Do You Know It?

Bulletin 01.17-18.15

SERMON NOTES
LIFE GROUP/FAMILY QUESTIONS

January 17 -18, 2015

Pastor Chuck Loftis

God’s Plan for You: Do You Know It?


Text: Isaiah 43:1-7.

Introduction:
A great part of God’s call upon this church is to prepare you (“... Investing in people”) to pursue God’s plans for you. So, I ask: do you know it? Is God plan for you to be a doctor? To be a pastor? To be a teacher? To be a foreign missionary? To be a lawyer? Getting involved in serving now prepares you for even greater achievement later in God’s plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11-13). While our ministry plans are designed in response to God’s prophetic direction for OBCC to come alongside you and help you reach destinations He has ordained for you, it still requires your affirmative response.

Purpose: To prompt your deliberation, “What is God’s plan for my life?” and offer two very important considerations concerning His call for us to serve.

I. The call of God is not just for a select few but for everyone (Isaiah 6:1-8).

A. Note that God did not direct His call to a single servant in this instance (“...who will go for Us?”)

B. Whether I hear God’s call or not depends on the condition of my ears, and exactly what I hear depends upon my spiritual attitude.

1. Those chosen are they who’ve:

a. Come into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ;

b. Had their spiritual condition changed and their spiritual ears opened.

2. These hear “the voice of the Lord” continually asking, “...Who will go for Us?”

II. Serving the LORD in some calling isn’t compulsory... it flows from relationship.

A. Remove the thought from your mind of expecting God to come and force you or to plead with you to serve – whether locally or nationally or globally; whether vocationally or as a volunteer.

B. Note that God doesn’t single out someone and say, “Hey, what are you doing Here? You have to be the one who goes, now git!” Note from Isaiah 6:8...

1. He did not force His will on the man of God;

2. In this instance, hearing the call was due to proximity as Isaiah was in the presence of God.

3. His response was performed in complete freedom.

III. The one and only ability God asks us to bring to the ministerial table.

A. When our Lord called His disciples, He did it without irresistible pressure.

1. The nature of Christ’s invitation to His disciples is one that appealed to something deep inside them (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

2. The quiet, yet passionate, insistence of His “Follow Me” was spoken to men whose every sense was receptive (Matthew 4:18-22).

3. The beauty in Christ’s call upon that rag-tag bunch of first -followers wasn’t based on luck... it was based on their lack (II Corinthians 12:7-10).

B. Like every generation before, our minds are often confounded by a misunderstanding that (as the cliché goes), “God only calls the equipped.” In truth, it’s exactly the opposite.

C. While God has knitted spiritual and mental goodies into whom He has created each of us to be – and use those things when called upon – there’s only one ability He asks of us to bring to ministry’s table and that’s availability.

1. On a worldly level, job applicants are considered on their qualifications, so the new hire ends up making the boss look good.

2. In Christianity, The Boss says, “Come unto to Me all you who are unqualified but available and I will utilize that for My Father’s glory!”

Conclusion:
The idea of ministry isn’t really all that mysterious. Men, our wives’ feet get cold. They expresses such. We’re nearby and hear them. Out of love and concern, we put down the remote, the paper, the magazine, and we get up go into the other room and fetch them socks or slippers. That’s a perfect metaphor for the idea of answering the call of God from the basis of relationship. God is always speaking about needs on earth that can be enabled by His power in the heavens. Saints, are you listening?
If we will allow the Holy Spirit to bring us face to face with God, we too – like Isaiah – will hear what Isaiah heard: the voice of the Lord. In perfect freedom we, too, will say, “Here am I! Send me.”

Life Group Discussion Questions

Discussion Starter:

Describe a time you felt “called” by God to do something. Were you obedient? Share the details.

 

What “skills” has God given you that could be used to serve/bless others?

 

Digging Deeper:

Study 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. Discuss Paul’s attitude towards his physical “challenge”. What did this do for Paul’s relationship with God?

 

Review Ecclesiastes 3:9-11 and discuss what it means that “He put eternity in their hearts...”

 

Taking it Home (Application):

Have you asked God to remove obstacles from your life but they haven’t moved? How have you reacted to that disappointment?

 

How available are you for God to use? How can we strengthen our “Here am I! Send me!” approach with the Lord? (How will He know we are available for Him to use?)


The Volunteer Difference: Celebrating Those Who "Love God - Invest in People" Through OBCC!

Bulletin 1.10-11.15

SERMON NOTES

LIFE GROUP/FAMILY QUESTIONS

January 10 –11, 2015

Pastor Chuck Loftis

The Volunteer Difference:

Celebrating Those Who “Love God – Invest In People” Through OBCC!

 

Text: Ephesians 4:7-16.

Introduction:

It’s vital we get this right from the beginning of this weekend’s message: the pastoral staff’s primary purpose in this church isn’t to do all the works of OBCC ministry. God’s calling on all of us as, and our primary function as servant leaders, is to equip you – the saints – for the works of ministry (Ephesians 4:12).

It is the saints we’re honoring and celebrating today who make ministry happen to its greatest extent in human terms.

Purpose: To publicly honor and encourage celebrate the eternal difference OBCC’s ministry volunteers make!

 

I. In serving, you’re fulfilling God’s purpose for your life.

A. Volunteers, you were made with a specific purpose and ministry planned for you (Ephesians 2:10).

B. The term workmanship comes from the same Greek word from which we derive poem. In essence, you are God’s work of art.

C. In fact, God’s design for you began before you were born (Psalm 139:13-14).

D. In the same way and for the same reasons, God has an eternal purpose and plan for your life.


II. In serving, you’re reflecting God’s glory and the image of Jesus.

A. As we serve others, they get a picture of our heavenly Father (I Peter 2:11-12).

B. Our actions reflect the beliefs of our heart.

1. Jesus gave us an example of servanthood for us to follow his model.

2. Jesus has called us to serve so we may demonstrate His example to others (Mark 10:45).

a. Sometimes, your actions have inspired others to catch the spirit of Jesus’ form of servant leadership.

b. Sometimes, your actions have shown other how to serve like Jesus.

c. And, at other times, your service has healed the broken and hurting and, now, they’re paying that forward to others.

3. Truly, this is the greatest thing about serving: we show forth Father God’s and His Son Jesus’ supremacy (I Corinthians 3:5-8; Colossians 1:9-18).


III. In serving, yours is a temporal contribution with an eternal reward.

A. God takes the ministry we do and uses it to influence the course of eternity in the lives of others (Colossians 3:22-24).

1. The great 19th Century Christian leader Dwight L. Moody sagely uttered these words, “Our greatest fear should not be failure, but of succeeding at something that doesn’t really matter.”

2. The service that really matters lasts for all eternity (I Corinthians 3:9-14).

B. Contrast the definitions of the following words:

1. Significant: sufficiently great or important to be worthy of attention; noteworthy; having a particular meaning; indicative of something.

2. Insignificant: too small or unimportant to be worth consideration; without power or influence; meaningless.

C. Truly, our volunteers’ ministry service fits the former!

 

Conclusion:

Ministry is more than the opportunity of a lifetime. In serving others, for His glory, God offers us an opportunity beyond our lifetimes.

On behalf of a grateful congregation whose lives have been touched significantly: THANK YOU for all you’ve done; THANK YOU for all that you’re doing; and THANK YOU, in advance, for all you will do in 2015!

If you are not involved in ministry here at OBCC, please register for our Church 201 Class and find a place to start!

 

Discussion Starter:

What different ways have you served in the body of Christ?

 

What has been the most rewarding way you’ve served the Lord? What made it so enjoyable for you?

 

 

LIFE GROUP/FAMILY DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Digging Deeper:

Read James 2:14-20. Discuss how we successfully balance “good works” (serving) and our personal spiritual disciplines (bible study, prayer, church attendance).

 

Review Colossians 3:23-24 from the weekend’s message. What part does attitude have in serving God and man?

 

Taking it Home (Application):

If you are currently serving in the body of Christ – are you being fruitful and feeling fulfilled in this ministry?

 

If yes, continue and THANK YOU for serving!

 

 

If no, where do you feel drawn to do ministry? What is your plan for making that happen in the next month?


God's Vision and Mission for OBCC in 2015

Bulletin 1.3-4.15

SERMON NOTES
January 3 – 4, 2015
Pastor Chuck Loftis
God’s Vision and Mission for OBCC in 2015

Text: Habakkuk 2:1-4; Proverbs 29:18.

Introduction:
Unless a quality foundation rests on quality footings, the house has no chance at being quality. I and the entire leadership team of this church are committed to keep building OBCC upon this firm foundation: Jesus Christ and Him crucified being the chief thing we’re known for and pursuing Father God’s will for us as a local member of the Body of Christ in western South Dakota.

Purpose: to do some groundwork – laying down some more footings and foundation – for where we’re headed with ministry programming at OBCC in 2015.

I. What is vision?

A. What does the phrase, God’s vision really mean?

1. Simply this: in a biblical sense, it is the picture of God’s desired and preferred future.
2. It is what the sum of what His work looks like over time (Joshua 1:8; I Kings 3:14; 11:38; II Chronicles 7:14; Jeremiah 29:11-13; Zechariah 3:1-7; John 14:1-4).

B. There are great things about pursuing God’s vision for OBCC. Plainly put for all to understand (v. 2a; Proverbs 29:18):

1. Vision defines what is – and isn’t – progress.
2. Vision distinguishes between further busyness and Father’s business.
3. Vision describes our destiny.

C. There are three things one can count on concerning the pursuit of realizing God’s vision for any entity or one’s self (vv. 3-4):

1. It requires preparation.
2. It requires action.
3. It requires faith.


II. What is mission?

A. Mission answers three vital questions about a church:

1. Who are we?
2. Where are we going?
3. And how are we going to get there?

B. Understanding mission is akin to:

1. Knowing our mode of travel toward God’s destiny for us (I Corinthians 3:6);
2. Packing the proper attire for conditions we know lieahead (Psalm 33:1);
3. Discerning dangers and preparing for them (II Corinthians 2:11; I Peter 5:8).

C. Our mission is simple: we are committed followers of Jesus Christ assisting families to establish and develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ by "Loving God and Investing in People" in the greater Rapid City area and beyond.

III. Where the path of “Loving God – Investing in People” leads in 2015.

A. Loving God (Matthew 22:37-38). Faithful and obedient in:

1. Biblical standards in the pulpit.
2. Pursuing those things clearly commanded in scripture.
3. Fulfilling our duty to lead toward those things He’s calling us to pursue.

B. Investing in people (Matthew 22:39). In order for us to continue gaining ground in pursuit of God’s vision for our church, we are committed to developing leaders (Matthew 23:1-12; Mark 10:35-45; Luke 22:24-30) thru:

1. Recruiting grade school students in our Junior Bible Quiz ministry;
2. Offering Church 201 Class to mobilize more of us into ministry;
3. Enrolling even more of us into INSTE Bible College (www.inste.edu);
4. And inviting those of you between the ages of 16 and 600 to participate in a ministry called Leadership Academy, the purpose of which is to jumpstart and develop and provide guidance to those desiring to grow in godly influence.

Conclusion:
One of the tragic tales of ministry is when a local church hasn’t discovered God’s desired and preferable future for her. Too often, the ministry programming devolves into aimless activities based in cultural traditions, powerful members’ preferences, or worse.

The main objective of our church is to fulfill the great commission by reaching those who do not have a relationship with Christ (Matthew 28:16-20).
There are many things which make any organism tick.

We simply believe that no church can fulfill the great commission without God. Therefore, our church is seeking to know God and make Him known (John 15:1-17). As we know God, His heart for people will grow in our heart. In this, we are growing and being stretched to fulfill God’s vision to make disciples glocally (locally + globally).


More Than a Nativity Scene

Bulletin 12.27-28.14

 

SERMON NOTES
December 27 –28, 2014
Pastor Christi Hendrickson

More Than a Nativity Scene

Text: Luke 2; Matthew 1-2

Introduction: It doesn’t say anything in the scriptures that Jesus’ birth happened in a nice cozy barn, filled with clean hay and gentle animals. In fact, there weren’t an abundance of stick built barns like we think of them in that time period. So instead of a spacious place with neat stalls and fresh hay – Mary may have had a dank, cold, smelly cave to give birth in. We always want to picture something BETTER than it likely would have been – in this case we want Jesus to have been born in a holy, peaceful, lovely place. But His reality was more humble.

Purpose: Today we will be paying attention to the important parts of the Nativity Scene and watching how each participant responded to the birth of Jesus Christ. In watching their first- hand reaction, we may catch a glimpse of how we can react to Him today.

 

I. Responding With Obedience:

A. Mary 


 


 


 

B. Joseph 


 


 


 

C. Shepherds 


 


 


 

II. Responding With Reverence

A. Mary


 


 


 

B. Joseph


 


 


 

C. Shepherds


 


 


 

D. Wise men


 


 


 

III. Responding with Humility

A. Mary 


 


 


 

B. Joseph 


 


 


 

C. Shepherds


 


 


 

D. Jesus


 


 


 

IV. Application


 


 


 

What can we learn from each of the members of the Nativity Scene?

A. Mary


 


 


 

B. Joseph


 


 


 

C. Shepherds


 


 


 

D. Wise men


 


 


 

E. Jesus


 


 


 

Conclusion: How do we STILL RESPOND to the Nativity Scene?

1. Obedience


 


 


 

2. Reverence


 


 


 

3. Humility


 


 


 

 

Life Group Discussion Questions will resume in January!

 

 

 


The Pearls of Advent!

Bulletin 12.20-21.14

SERMON NOTES
December 20 –21, 2014
Pastor Chuck Loftis

 

The Pearls of Advent!


Text:
Isaiah 7:13-16a.

Introduction:

Advent simply means coming, and for many corners of our Faith’s household, it is the season when – in anticipation of our cultural observance of Jesus’ birth, Christmas – we recognize His incarnation into humanity.

In days of old, advent meant the welcoming or the arrival of a special king and for those who observe it today, we remember the arrival of Jesus of Nazareth, who is the King of kings.

This is what the Old Testament prophecies foretold concerning Jesus' Incarnation: He would be the Word made flesh for our hope and atonement that would bring us spiritual deliverance from sin (John 1:14; 3:16).

Purpose: To encourage believers that each Christmas season is an opportunity to remember and celebrate God the Son’s purpose in coming to Earth.

I. Hope.

A. What Is hope? To look and long for with surety; eagerly looking forward to what will happen.
B. We can have hope because God not only promised to send His Son but also
demonstrated His faithfulness through Christ’s incarnation to humanity.
C. Our hope comes from God and He will continue keeping His promises (Revelation 13:8; Romans 15:12-13; cf. Isaiah11:10).

II. Preparation.

A. Preparation is the process of making something ready; becoming ready for something.

1. At once, it could be that we are arranging something for others.
2. At another time, it could be said that we are readying ourselves.

B. The pearls of hope and preparation are clearly related. It could be said, then, that preparation is hope in action (Luke 3:1-6; cf. Isaiah 40:1-5).

III. Joy.

A. Joy is a settled state of contentment, confidence, and delight.

1. Happiness is external. Joy is internal (II Corinthians 4:16-18).
2. Happiness is circumstantial. Joy is sourced in the Savior (Philippians 4:11).
3. Happiness comes by chance. Joy is a result of choice (Deuteronomy 30:19).

B. Have you ever wanted to have something in common with angels? One does when one abides in and expresses joy in the LORD (Luke 2:8-10; I Peter 1:8).

IV. Love.

A. Love that God has for His people since time’s beginning is sacrificial in nature.

B. And God’s love for His people was first made manifest in His plan made for mankind’s redemption (John 3:16-17; Romans 5:8). 

Conclusion:
Advent season represents our expectation, anticipation, and preparation for who Christ is and what He has done for us. He arrived into the world fully God and fully man. He came to identify as one of us, as the Son of Man, as a baby born in a manger. He came for us; He came for you; He comes into our lives and into our hearts.

Having now invited Jesus Christ to make our hearts His home, we remain expectant that one day He’ll come again in great power and glory to establish His Kingdom on earth (Acts 1:9-11; Revelation 19:11-20:6).

Please join us Christmas Eve (4 p.m. or 6 p.m.) for Part II of The Pearls of Advent!