June 2018

A Christian Case Study - June 24, 2018

Pastor Joel Leyrer

Text: 2 Corinthians 5:14-21

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Dear Friends in Christ, a not uncommon plot line in books and movies has to do with an individual seeking their lost identity. Usually some sort of amnesia is involved. An accident or a bump on the head or another traumatic event has wiped away all previous knowledge of who the person is, and suddenly this person’s life becomes a blank slate. The rest of the story revolves around the person trying to pick up clues and bits of information in the attempt to reconstruct their life, all along hoping that something they learn along the way will trigger them back into knowing who they are. Let’s pretend that each of us is the person in such a story. Let’s pretend that as soon as each of us walked through the door of the church today we were suddenly hit with a case of spiritual amnesia. All we know is that we are here, and the reason we are here is because we are obviously Christians. Beyond that, we’ve forgotten everything. Well, the portion of Scripture we have before us today is all we need to reclaim our spiritual identity. In fact, it is such a thorough treatment of who and what we are that we might call the words of the Apostle Paul, A CHRISTIAN LIFE CASE STUDY 

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Called to a Permanent Home - June 17, 2018

Pastor Kyle Bitter

Text: 2 Corinthians 5:1-10

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Called to a Permanent Home: If you were designing your dream home – the place where you’d live for the rest of your life – what would you include? Would it be a huge mansion – complete with tennis courts and a pool? Would it be a pent house suite at the top of a building in the center of a booming metropolis? A perfectly landscaped suburban neighborhood? A quiet, rustic cabin buried deep in the woods? I’m sure each one of us would come up with something a little different, reflecting different personalities and different interests. But I’m also reasonably confident that no one would design their dream home as a tent. 

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We Don't Give Up - June 10, 2018

Pastor Eric Schroeder

Text: 2 Corinthians 4:13-18

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If you have ever read any books or seen any television programs about the elite military warriors who make up what are called the Navy SEALs, then you have probably heard of Hell Week. If you haven’t heard of Hell Week before, I can give you a brief description of what I know. Hell Week is just one part of the qualification process, and by all accounts, it is one of the most difficult stages, designed to test the physical and mental toughness of the candidates. This testing is constant, as Hell Week consists of 5 ½ days of continuous training: for more than 20 hours of each day teams of four or five men swim for miles in the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean, or paddle inflatable boats into the rough surf, hoist logs above their heads and carry them around, and run more than 200 miles total, most of the time soaking wet and covered in sand. They do get plenty of food to eat, but you can read stories of guys who literally fall asleep in their food, since they are only allowed to sleep four hours—not four hours a day, but four hours for the entire week. By the end of Hell Week, on average, 75% of the candidates will walk, stumble or crawl over to the bell that follows them everywhere. Ringing the bell is their way of letting their instructors know that they give up. Their Hell week is over, but so is their dream of becoming a SEAL. What about the 25% that make it all the way through? This is from the Navy SEAL website. ”It is often the greatest achievement of their lives, and with it comes the realization that they can do 20X more than they ever thought possible. It is a defining moment that they reach back to when in combat. They know that they will never, ever quit, or let a teammate down.”

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Paul Speaks For Us All - June 3, 2018

Pastor Leyrer

Text: 2 Corinthians 4:5-12

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Dear Friends in Christ, if you’ve ever been put in the position of having to defend your words or actions because of people who have either misunderstood or purposely misconstrued them, then you know what the Apostle Paul was going through when he wrote 2 Corinthians. Let’s set the stage: By his own definition in our lesson for today (and elsewhere), the Apostle Paul was first and foremost a “servant of Christ.” Jesus Christ himself commissioned Paul as a missionary to the Gentile (that is, non-Jewish) world. In the process he made four extensive missionary journeys. The Lord used his work, and Christian congregations sprung up throughout Asia and Europe. Anyone with even the slightest familiarity with the divinely inspired letters Paul wrote in the New Testament will quickly determine that he loved both his Lord and the work he was called to do. Paul’s letters are punctuated with expressions of praise, and the ministry is always held up as being a high privilege.

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