New Sermon Series on Samson

On Sunday we started a new sermon series called Samson: Strong Man Gone Wrong. Here is a list of the five messages in the series:

A Promising Beginning – Judges 13:1-25 (Samson’s birth)
Marriage Gone Wrong – Judges 14:1-20 (Samson’s marriage)
Vengeance Gone Wrong – Judges 15:1-20 (Samson and the Philistines)
Love Gone Wrong – Judges 16:1-22 (Samson and Delilah)
God’s Purposes Fulfilled – Judges 16:23-31 (Samson’s death)

(Note: Links will go live as each message is preached.)

Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 6/10/2018

Sunday’s message in the Hot Button Topics series was called Transgender: Caring for those who experience issues with gender identity, taken from Genesis 1:26-27. Here is a brief outline of the message:

I. Understanding transgenderism
   A. Understanding the terms
      – gender/sex; male/female; man/woman
      – gender identity; gender dysphoria
      – transgender; transsexual; intersex
   B. Understanding the issues
      – medical issues
      – cultural issues
      – political issues

II. What does the Bible say?
   A. God created us male and female
      – Genesis 1:26-27, 2:23; Deuteronomy 22:5; Matthew 19:4,11-12
   B. God’s created order is distorted by the fall
      – Romans 8:20-21
   C. One day God will restore creation
      – Romans 8:22-25; Philippians 3:20-21
   D. Jesus offers you abundant life now
      – John 10:10; Romans 8:1

III. How should we respond?
   A. Listen – listen to those who struggle with gender identity
      – James 1:19
   B. Learn – learn more about the issues involved
      – Proverbs 18:13
   C. Love – accept the person; speak the truth; share the gospel; seek their good (Matthew 18:6, 22:39; John 8:31-32; Ephesians 4:15)

Note: Click on the Sermons tab at the top of the blog for this and other messages.
 

Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 6/3/2018

Sunday’s message in the Hot Button Topics series was called Homosexuality: Caring for those who experience same-sex attraction, taken from 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. Here is a brief outline of the message:

I. Show compassion
   A. We are all created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27)
   B. We are all sinful, just in different ways (John 8:7; James 3:2)
   C. Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39)

II. Speak the truth
   A. Homosexual relations are unnatural (Genesis 1:27; Romans 1:26-27)
   B. Homosexual practice is sinful (Leviticus 18:22; 1 Timothy 1:8-10)
   C. Homosexual sin is forgivable (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
   D. What about marriage?
      1) Marriage is to be honored by all (Hebrews 13:4)
      2) Marriage is between a man and a woman (Matthew 19:4-5)

III. Provide supportive friendships within the church
   A. We are all family in the body of Christ (Matthew 12:49-50)
   B. Be devoted in love; practice hospitality (Romans 12:9-13)
   C. Encourage each other towards love and good works (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Note: Click on the Sermons tab at the top of the blog for this and other messages.
 

Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 5/27/2018

Sunday’s message in the Hot Button Topics series was called Divorce and Remarriage: Covenant, commitment, grace and forgiveness, taken from Matthew 19:3-9. Here is a brief outline of the message:

1) Biblical definition of marriage:
   – created by God (Matthew 19:4)
   – a sacred, covenant relationship (Matthew 19:5; Eph 5:32)
   – between a man and a woman (Genesis 1:27, 2:24)
   – based on a public vow of lifetime faithfulness (Matthew 19:6)

2) Two ways to break the marriage covenant:
   – Adultery breaks the covenant of sexual faithfulness (Ex 20:14)
   – Divorce breaks the covenant of lifetime commitment (Mal 2:14-16; Matt 19:7-8)

3) You can be divorced and still married in God’s eyes
   – Only God can separate what he has joined (Matthew 19:6)
   – In this case remarriage would constitute adultery (Mk 10:11-12; Lk 16:18; Rom 7:2-3)

4) When are divorce and remarriage allowed?
   – in the case of marital unfaithfulness (Matthew 5:32, 19:3,9)
   – in the case of an unbeliever divorcing a believer (1 Cor 7:12-16)
   – Otherwise, you should stay married, remain unmarried or be reconciled (1 Cor 7:10-11)

5) What about abuse?
   – No abuse of any kind is ever acceptable in marriage or any other relationship (verbal; physical; emotional; sexual)
   – A person in an abusive situation should: 1) Call the police; 2) Get away from the abuser; 3) Get long-term help
   – Scripture does not give clear grounds for divorce and remarriage in the case of abuse. All agree you should separate from the abuser and put your safety and the safety of your children first.

Note: Click on the Sermons tab at the top of the blog for this and other messages.
 

Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 5/20/2018

Sunday’s message in the Hot Button Topics series was called Living Together: Dishonoring those you love the most, taken from Hebrews 13:4. Here is a brief outline of the message:

I. You dishonor God
   – Genesis 2:24-25; Hebrews 13:4

II. You dishonor each other
   – Proverbs 14:12; Ecclesiastes 3:1,5; 1 Corinthians 6:18; Galatians 6:7-8; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:2-5

III. You dishonor your family
   – Genesis 39:9; Exodus 20:12; Proverbs 10:1; Proverbs 17:25

Living together without sex:
   1) The problem of temptation
   2) The problem of testimony
   3) The problem of trivialization

Note: Click on the Sermons tab at the top of the blog for this and other messages.
 

Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 5/13/2018

Sunday’s message was a Mother’s Day sermon from the Famous Mothers in the Bible series. The message was called Rebekah – The Conniving Mother, taken from Genesis 25 and 27. Here is a brief outline of the message:

I. Favoritism leads to rivalries (Genesis 25:21-34)
   A. Be careful to preserve marital unity
      – Genesis 25:21-28
   B. Be careful not to provoke sibling rivalry
      – Genesis 25:29-34, 37:3-4; Ephesians 6:4

II. Manipulation disrespects relationships (Genesis 27:1-17)
      – Ephesians 5:33
   A. Don’t try to manipulate people or situations around you
      – 2 Corinthians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 2:3-5
   B. Trust God to fulfill his plans in his way and in his time
      – Proverbs 3:5-6

III. Dishonesty prevents people from working out best solutions together (Genesis 27:41-46; Proverbs 15:22)
   A. Deception is just as bad as lying
      – Proverbs 12:22; Acts 5:1-4
   B. Commit to speaking the truth at all times
      – Ephesians 4:25; Galatians 6:7

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Note: Click on the Sermons tab at the top of the blog for this and other messages.
 

“Had I Been Joseph’s Mother”

Here is a poem by Ruth Bell Graham for Mother’s Day. Read out loud to catch the rhyming scheme which keeps shifting from stanza to stanza. Enjoy!

“Had I Been Joseph’s Mother” by Ruth Bell Graham

Had I been Joseph’s mother
I’d have prayed
protection from his brothers:
“God keep him safe;
he is so young,
so different from
the others.”
Mercifully she never knew
there would be slavery
and prison, too.

Had I been Moses’ mother
I’d have wept
to keep my little son;
praying she might forget
the babe drawn from the water
of the Nile,
had I not kept
him for her
nursing him the while?
Was he not mine
and she
but Pharaoh’s daughter?

Had I been Daniel’s mother
I should have pled
“Give victory!
This Babylonian horde –
godless and cruel –
don’t let them take him captive
– better dead,
Almighty Lord!”

Had I been Mary –
Oh, had I been she,
I would have cried
as never a mother cried,
“…Anything, O God,
anything …
but crucified!”

With such prayers
importunate
my finite wisdom
would assail
Infinite Wisdom;
God, how fortunate
Infinite Wisdom
should prevail!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 5/6/2018

Sunday’s message in the Hot Button Topics series was called Racism: A sin against God, humanity and the gospel, taken from Revelation 5:9. Here is a brief outline of the message:

I. Racism is a sin against God
   A. We are created in God’s image
      – Genesis 1:26-27; James 3:9-10
   B. God commands you to love your neighbor as yourself
      – Matthew 22:37-40; Luke 10:25-37

II. Racism is a sin against humanity
   A. God created us as one human race
      – Genesis 3:20; Acts 17:26
   B. God created us with diversity
      – Acts 17:24-26

III. Racism is a sin against the gospel
   A. Jesus died for all
      – Romans 3:22-23; 5:12,18-19; 1 John 2:2
   B. Jesus died to make us one
      – Gal 3:28; Eph 2:14-16; Phil 2:1-2; Col 3:11
   C. Heaven: “from every tribe and language and people and nation”
      – Genesis 12:3; Psalm 22:27; Revelation 5:9

Note: Click on the Sermons tab at the top of the blog for this and other messages.
 

Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 4/29/2018

Sunday’s message in the Hot Button Topics series was called Alcohol: God’s Dangerous Gift, taken from Psalm 104:14-15 and Proverbs 20:1. Here is a brief outline of the message:

I. Alcohol is one of God’s good gifts that he gives us to enjoy
   A. Alcohol is presented as a blessing from God
      – Psalm 104:14-15; Ecclesiastes 9:7
   B. Alcohol is used positively in celebrations
      – Gen 14:18-20; Dt 14:26; Is 25:6; Mk 14:23-25; Jn 2:1-11
   C. Alcohol is also used for medicinal purposes
      – Proverbs 31:6-7; Luke 10:34; 1 Timothy 5:23

II. Alcohol poses special dangers (Proverbs 20:1)
   A. The danger of intoxication
      – Lev 10:9; Eph 5:18; vice lists (Rom 13:13; Gal 5:19-21; 1 Pet 4:3-4)
   B. The danger of potential addiction
      – Proverbs 23:29-33; Isaiah 5:11; 1 Cor 6:9-10; Titus 2:3
   C. The danger of negatively impacting others
      – Proverbs 31:4-5; 1 Corinthians 8:9; 1 Timothy 3:2-3,8

III. Alcohol use is a matter of Christian freedom
   A. We should not judge those with different convictions
      – Romans 14:1-3
   B. We need to be sensitive to those who struggle with alcohol
      – Romans 14:13-16
   C. We need to maintain a clear conscience before God
      – Romans 14:22-23; 1 Corinthians 10:31

Note: Click on the Sermons tab at the top of the blog for this and other messages.
 

Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 4/22/2018

Sunday’s message in the new Hot Button Topics series was called Assisted suicide: Caring for the elderly and infirm, taken from 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Here is a brief outline of the message:

I. What is my value?
   A. Created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27)
   B. Bought with the blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19)
   C. Called to care for each other
      1) Honor the elderly (Leviticus 19:32)
      2) Comfort the suffering (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

II. Who has authority over my life?
   A. God is the giver and taker of life (Ex 20:13; Job 1:21; Acts 17:25,28)
   B. My body belongs to God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
   C. We belong to God in life and in death (Romans 14:7-8)

III. Who directs my path?
   A. God directs my path (Proverbs 3:5-6)
   B. God has good purposes for me (Romans 8:28)
   C. Only God knows the future (Psalm 139:16)
   D. Eternal life awaits the believer in Christ (1 Cor 4:16-18)

Note: Click on the Sermons tab at the top of the blog for this and other messages.
 

Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 4/15/2018

Sunday was the first message in our new Hot Button Topics series. The message was called Abortion: Caring for mothers and children in crisis pregnancy situations, taken from Psalm 139:13-16. Here is a brief outline of the message:

I. Protecting the lives of unborn children
   A. The unborn child is a living, human being (science)
      – S.L.E.D. (size; level of development; environment; degree of dependency)
   B. The unborn child is created in God’s image (Scripture)
      – Genesis 1:26, 9:6, 25:22; Psalm 51:5, 139:13-16
   C. The unborn child is worthy of protection (law)
      – Exodus 23:7; Proverbs 6:17, 24:11-12

II. Supporting mothers in crisis pregnancy situations
   A. Need various levels of support (emotional; material; spiritual)
   B. Need loving counsel and care
   C. Need the support of church and family

III. Sharing the good news of forgiveness in Christ
   A. We have all sinned and fall short of God’s glory (Rom 3:23)
   B. Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for our sins (1 Pet 2:24)
   C. No sin is too big to be forgiven (1 Timothy 1:15-16)

Note: Click on the Sermons tab at the top of the blog for this and other messages.
 

Hot Button Topics (Sermon Series)

Starting Sunday, April 15 we will be starting a new series of messages at church called “Hot Button Topics.”

hot-button-topics

Over the next eight weeks we will be looking at various hot button issues that often stir up controversy in our culture. The culture around us is constantly presenting its ideas on these topics, and it’s important that we know what God’s word has to say on each of these important issues.

The purpose of the series is to present each topic in its cultural setting, to study the appropriate Scriptures, and to equip people to better respond with God’s love and truth to each situation.

If you’re interested in following along, you can access each message as it is preached at the following link: http://www.rayfowler.org/sermons/hot-button-topics/

Here is a schedule of the topics we will be looking at together over the next eight weeks:

————————————-
4/15 Abortion:
Caring for mothers and children in crisis pregnancy situations (Psalm 139:13-16)

4/22 Assisted Suicide:
Caring for the elderly and infirm (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

4/29 Alcohol:
God’s dangerous gift (Psalm 104:14-15; Proverbs 20:1)

5/6 Racism:
A sin against God, humanity and the gospel (Revelation 5:9)

5/20 Living Together:
Dishonoring those you love the most (Hebrews 13:4)

5/27 Divorce and Remarriage:
Covenant, commitment, grace and forgiveness (Matthew 19:3-9)

6/3 Homosexuality:
Caring for those who experience same sex attraction (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

6/10 Transgender:
Caring for those who experience issues with gender identity (Genesis 1:26-27)