• ~IMPORTANT~

    Our New Year's Eve Eve Party is 12/30 from 1-4! Come our and invite a friend!

The 12 Words of Christmas— 12/17/17

Happy Monday, and welcome to the last update for 2017!

We will start off this update with a short video clip of three of our singers having a little Christmas fun… They sound much better than this on stage:)

We kicked off last night with a new game titled, “Shoot the Breeze”. This is a game where students get a balloon to blow up before shooting the air out of the balloon to blow cups off of the table. The team that blows all of their cups off first wins. We did the best two out of three, and you can check out a clip from the game below!

The message, the final message in our “You Are a Gift Series”, was “The 12 Words of Christmas”— “A Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.” We looked at the setting of the story that took place, the gift that the angels told the shepherds about, and the scene of the birth of Jesus.

1. THE SETTING

This was a gift that no one expected, given at a time that no one expected, to people that no one expected. Israel was in the middle of what you could call a 400 year silent treatment from God. God did not speak to the Jewish people as a result of their pagan lifestyle and dishonoring him, their families, and others.  God’s chosen people hadn’t heard from a prophet, had any visions, etc. from God. Imagine a son asking his Father, “Dad, have you ever hear from God?” The
Dad answers, “No, son. Neither did my Dad, or his dad, or his dad, etc.” If I’m in the place of the Israelites, I’m probably going to be a little afraid for
God to break the silence— 400 years of silence, anger, and disappointment from God being let out…

Mary and Joseph are under a cloud of scandal. They are not married and Mary is pregnant. Their story, which was the truth, was that Mary is still a virgin, and that the child is from the Holy Spirit. This was physically impossible, and no one really believed them. Most bible scholars believe that Mary was around 15-16 years of age at this time. Imagine you are a 15-16 year old girl, and you tell your parents that you are pregnant. They start freaking out, and you try to calm them down by telling them that the baby doesn’t belong to your boyfriend. Your parents hit full-blown freakout mode because now they think you are sleeping around with multiple guys, and then you drop the news that your still a virgin… Chances are that your parents aren’t going to believe you. A virgin birth is something that had never happened before and will never happen again. It was a miracle from God. Now, you get an idea of what Joseph and Mary were going  through!

2. THE GIFT

The shepherds were out in the field nearby the place Jesus was born when the angels appeared and told them about the gift of the Messiah being born.
Shepherds weren’t exactly high-class society people. They were considered unclean because of the work they did, and they were typically even considered the weakest and most dispensable in their families. God chooses to send the angels to the shepherds and reminds us the cultures opinion of us does not affect the plan, purpose, and worth that God places on us! The shepherds were terrified! They had just been given word of an incredible gift, and they left to go receive it.

3. THE SCENE

Mary and Joseph are just trying to find a place to stay. They likely staid down the hill from the stable in something like a small cave where the animals gather to find shelter in storms, and the “manger” was more than likely a feeding trough that the animals ate out of. Mary has to be thinking to herself, “Please God, not here, not now! However, it did happen there, and it was perfect! It reminds us that God does not need our circumstances to line up with his promises in order to deliver on his promises to us!

The shepherds arrive to find Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus. Remember, God himself had still not spoken. Matthew 1:22-23 says, The virgin will give birth to a son, and they will call him, Immanuel- “God with us.” Jesus was fully man, and fully God all at the same time, and he broke the finally broke the silence after 400 long years with the cry of a baby! God didn’t yell, call them failures, and lecture them on why he had not spoken to them for 400 years. His cry said, “I hear you, and I am crying with you. I’ve seen your brokenness and sadness, and now I am here to restore everything that has been broken if you will simply trust in and follow me.

“A Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.”

Who do you know that needs the silence in their lives to be broken with the 12 Words of Christmas? You are a gift! Give yourself this Christmas by using the gifts and talents that God has created you with to make a difference in someone’s life this Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

-Pastor Dustin

You Are a Gift — 12/10/17

The title of Sunday’s message was, “You Are a Gift”.

A gift is a talent or something beneficial given to someone without expecting something in return.

1 Peter 4:10-11NIV and Romans 12:3-8 says,

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others.” God has given us each gifts and talents to serve others and make a difference in the world around us. We are all part of one body, but we are different with different gifts, and it’s important that we don’t fall into the trap of comparing your gifts to the gifts that God has given others. Check out some of these gifts: speaking, serving, prophesying, teaching, encourage, giving, leading, mercy.

Each of us has been given gifts and talents, but do you believe that you are a gift? Some my say, I have gifts but I don’t see how that makes me a gift?

A gift doesn’t become a gift until it is given. Check out this verse from Paul in Colossians 1:24-25ESV,
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known,

Paul had received the gift of a minister and servant from God for the benefit of others. Paul used and applied his gift. Our gifts and talents that God has given to us aren’t meant to be for our benefit only!

It’s still easy to struggle with the lie that we’re not a gift worth giving to others, but think about it this way— How would someone feel if they gave a gift and someone gave it back to them because they didn’t like it, or didn’t think it was worth anything? When we say that we are not a gift worth giving to others, that is exactly what we are saying to God. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20NIV says, You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. Jesus paid the price for us on the Cross, and he believes in each one of us so much that he desires to give us as gifts to those around us using the gifts and talents he has blessed us with.

Colossians 1:26-27,
I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness—26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

God’s gift to you was Jesus. Your gift to others, Jesus in you, the hope of glory. Think about this phrase from Colossians for a second— “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Anyone who has a relationship with Jesus has the Spirit of God living on the inside of them— the hope of the world within you. God has blessed us with gifts and talents to make known the hope of the world to those around us!

What gifts and talents has God given you to share him with others? Your smile, sense of humor, music, smile, encouragement,
compassion, drawing, drama, prayer, leading, teaching, athleticism, etc?

You are a gift. How will you give of yourself this Christmas?

Be Blessed!

-Pastor Dustin