Apr 4, 2021
Easter 2021: You Can’t Have Easter Without A Cross
Series: Stand Alone

The greatest day the Earth has ever known is the day that Jesus was raised from the dead to give us new life... but that day cannot come without Good Friday, the prize cannot come without a price... and that price is the cross.

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  • Apr 4, 2021Easter 2021: You Can’t Have Easter Without A Cross
    Apr 4, 2021
    Easter 2021: You Can’t Have Easter Without A Cross
    Series: Stand Alone

    The greatest day the Earth has ever known is the day that Jesus was raised from the dead to give us new life... but that day cannot come without Good Friday, the prize cannot come without a price... and that price is the cross.

  • Mar 28, 2021James Part 3: Temptation / Truth
    Mar 28, 2021
    James Part 3: Temptation / Truth
    Series: James

    For those of you who have struggled with sin only to shrug it off as someone else's fault... sin just got a lot more serious didn't it. If you can't pin it on someone else, if you can't blame it on God or Satan... well now you have to deal with it... and dealing with sin is not easy. Sin is deception... so how exactly do we move from temptation into truth? How do we overcome the temptation to sin in our lives? Well, it's hard to bait a full fish. In other words... When we feast on the blessings of God we lose our appetite for the base temptations of the flesh. Feast on the goodness of God and you will no longer be attracted to sinful things. No matter what... you can't escape temptations... but you can beat them. How? By knowing the true nature of sin. Deception leads to desire which leads to disobedience... which culminates in DEATH. The better you know what sin is and how it manifests itself in our lives, the easier it is to defeat. And by knowing the truth of God's goodness... which is ultimately salvation in Christ. If we trust in Christ to take away our sin and the lure of sin forever... if we feast on his goodness... we won't have any room for sinfulness. 

  • Mar 21, 2021James Part 2: Trials / Triumph
    Mar 21, 2021
    James Part 2: Trials / Triumph
    Series: James

    Faith is messy. It's not a “if we go through trials.” It's a “when we go through trials.” Like, if you aren't in one right now... you will be in one soon. We will all experience trials and storms and suffering. It's not a maybe... its a guarantee. But in the midst of our trials we have a promise that they aren't all bad... in fact they are good. I don't know about you... but thats messy.

     What about divorce? Well, I love that James just lumps every trial into the word “various.” Divorce would fit in various. What about a kid who is just off the rails? Various. What about loosing a loved one? Yep. What about financial trouble? Various. All of them. If you fear it and if it tries your faith... its a trial.

    And so every trial that we fear to go through is a test of our faith meant to lead us to a triumphant finish. Our trials have a purpose and a plan... and so we don't need to be afraid of them. In fact we are called to embrace them. We are called to consider them all Joy!

  • Mar 14, 2021James Part 1: Big / Small
    Mar 14, 2021
    James Part 1: Big / Small
    Series: James

    James a servant of God has been impressed upon by the Holy Spirit to share with the church a letter which really speaks to a myriad of issues and themes but at the center of it is this... God is big and we are small and yet God cares about the big and the small. I want you to think about this... the God of the universe who governs all there is; how hot the stars burn, how far the planets travel in orbit, the speed of light, the depth of the oceans, the amount of food needed to feed China today, and the amount of rain needed to grow that food, the same God that governs all of that Big stuff... is the same God who cares about you. To quote Bill Paxton's character in one of my favorite movies, Tombstone; he says, “look at all the stars. You look up and you think, God made all of this and He remembered to make a little speck like me. It's kind of flattering, really.” It's more than a little flattering... it's downright scandalous. The Big God of Big things... who runs all that Big stuff... so Big we can't even comprehend... cares for us specks. It doesn't make a lick of sense. For example Luke 12:7 tells us that even the hairs of our heads are numbered.  Psalm 139:16 tells us that God knew us before we were formed and wrote down every one of our days. He put together your personality, your humor, your IQ, EQ, ADHD, and IBS. He knit you together and made you alive, a unique, a specific awesome individual! He cares about the Big stuff and the Small stuff! The universe and your hair!

    But why? Why does God care about your hair? Why does he care about you intimately and specifically? So he can lead you to walk in the fullness of Joy while at the same time bringing him the most glory possible.  He wants to see your faith work.  This is the story of James. 

  • Mar 7, 2021Resist The Exist 8: Finish Strong
    Mar 7, 2021
    Resist The Exist 8: Finish Strong
    The regret that comes with having given up on the things that matter the most is often a pill too hard to swallow. Yes, it is very easy to quit something that is difficult. And yes, it is hard to continue a course that is painful and punishing. But if that course is for something greater than you or me, something greater than the trivial pursuits of pleasure and prestige... then perhaps they are worth it.
     
    For us as Christians this goes so much further. We know for a fact that there is nothing more important to pursue than the mission of Christ glorified through the salvation of sinful people. If we know that life and death hang in the balance... If we know that eternal life and the supreme glory of our God are on the line, then nothing should be able to stop us; no pain, no agony, no adversary, no obstacle. We simply cannot quit. Why? Simple. Because... nothing will ever be tougher than living with the regret of having given up on Christ.

    Resisting the Exist is not just for today or tomorrow. Resisting the Exist is for the rest of your life until you cross the finish line. We don't know when that day will be do we... but we do know we are not promised our next breath and that we could finish our race any day now. So with that in mind... we should live every single day like it's the final leg, the final stretch and we should finish strong!

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

     

  • Feb 28, 2021Resist The Exist 7: Contributors or Consumers
    Feb 28, 2021
    Resist The Exist 7: Contributors or Consumers

    We have a pandemic in the American church today and it's not Covid... it's Consumerism. In existing we've become a people who ask not what we can do for our God or our Church but ask what our God or our Church can do for us. In our apathetic attempt to run out the clock the only thing we've aspired to... the only thing that arouses us out of our religious stupor is when we become the center of attention. When others serve us, when we are entertained, when we are given special preference... then we'll show up. But when we are called upon to serve others, minister on a team, or weather shaky or difficult times... well that doesn't interest us in the slightest. It's unfortunate but the church in America has become a consumer driven industry, where we attempt to produce a quality product to lure new members who fill seats. We've catered to consumers for years and now we shouldn't be surprised when our churches are filled with them.

    We must shift our focus and change our mentality. God doesn't desire a church filled with people waiting to be blessed... he's looking for a church filled with people who are saying, how can I be a blessing.

  • Feb 14, 2021Resist The Exist 5: Persevere
    Feb 14, 2021
    Resist The Exist 5: Persevere

    Our keyword here is Persevere! Hold Fast, Outdo, Remain, and Persevere. Sounds like a very good defense against existing doesn't it. Persevere, means to simply not give up; to be patient in tribulation. It's right there in the text. Throughout the Bible, God constantly calls us to not give up when things get hard. It's kind of like our signature move as believers. We love others genuinely and we have a hope that perseveres through hardship. But of course it's easier said than done. When things get hard... our first response is usually to shelter up and try to survive... to keep existing. We say.. okay I didn't sign up for this so I'm out. But that mentality is not for us... if we are to resist the exist we must persevere.

    So how exactly can we persevere, how can we be patient in tribulation? This morning our verse gives us three ways we can be patient in tribulation and not give up. And what we will see is... If God has never given up on you, how could you ever give up on Him?

  • Feb 7, 2021What We’ve Learned In Our First Year As Stone Creek
    Feb 7, 2021
    What We’ve Learned In Our First Year As Stone Creek
    Series: Stand Alone
    A short devotion going over 7 or more lessons that we've learned our first year as Stone Creek Church.  
  • Jan 31, 2021Resist The Exist Devotional: Restore The Church
    Jan 31, 2021
    Resist The Exist Devotional: Restore The Church
    In Galatians 6:1-9 we see the Christian's responsibility to restore the broken, carry their burdens, and refrain from growing weary.   How are you restoring your brothers and sisters who are struggling with sin?  How are you carrying their burdens as Christ has carried yours?  Don't quit, don't grow weary.  Resist The Exist & Restore the Church! 
  • Jan 24, 2021Resist The Exist 4: Remain Passionate For The Lord
    Jan 24, 2021
    Resist The Exist 4: Remain Passionate For The Lord

    A passion for God is the defining characteristic of a Christian... or at least it should be. Merely existing is the opposite of that. Those who are merely existing have become apathetic, uncaring, mediocre in their faith, and simply lazy. They have given up on what matters the most to simply run out the clock. They have no passion for ministry or for the mission of God. Their fire has all but gone completely out. I see Christians like this all the time. Their hobbies get them excited. Their sports teams get them excited. Their shows get them excited. They are passionate about a great many worldly things, but when it comes to their Lord and Savior... they have very little passion... if any at all. For example, this morning we sang some very powerful songs about our Lord... but many of us probably just sang words rather than feeling the impact of what those words meant. Would anyone look at us singing these songs and say that we are passionate about our God? I'm not judging... I'm just trying to help us realize that it is possible that we have forgotten what a passion for God even looks like anymore. Let's face it church... we, and the rest of the American Church have a serious problem. We claim to be Christians yet we have lost our passion for our God and with it our identity.