The church of Jesus Christ cannot be stopped or destroyed; the more it is suppressed, the more it grows. This phenomenon has always baffled its enemies. Jesus put it this way, “The gates of hell will not prevail against it.” The apostle Paul said, “If God is for us who can be against us?” What an honor to be associated with the only human institution that is also eternal.
From Acts 6:1-7. In the Book of Acts, the community of Jesus Christ started from nearly nothing and grew so fast that it seems the Apostles were always scrambling to keep up. Signs and wonders, organizational challenges and martyrdom – that’s a lot to handle. Whenever the Spirit of God is at work there is always action. The Apostles certainly could not have predicted these dramatic developments but with God’s help they were up to the task.
When the early followers of Jesus shared their faith it often produced persecution, but in spite of the circumstances their attitude was remarkable: “No matter what happens, we will trust you.” This Sunday we look at Acts 4:23-31 to consider how their remarkable faith might be implemented in our lives.
From Joshua 5:10-15. ECC’s founding pastor returned today to give the message on our 40th anniversary! He encouraged us to remember God’s faithfulness in the past and to embrace those memories that will enrich our future.
From Acts 2:1-21. They were the same characters–the ones who didn’t understand, who deserted Jesus at the cross…but now things had changed. Though the disciples possessed the same faults and failures from the past, God decided to use them in a mighty way. Is it still true today that God can use us to accomplish his purposes, not because of us but in spite of us? I hope so, don’t you?
This week’s message continues our April emphasis on missions and begins our journey through the Book of Acts with the story of Jesus commissioning his disciples to the ultimate mission – to be his witnesses in all the earth by the power of the Holy Spirit. Josiah explores the impact of this passage on our identity and purpose as the community of Christ today.
Connexion this past Sunday evening featured a panel discussion with 4 members of our congregation: Rick and Melissa Hullinger, Ed Ackerman, Brenda Whitaker. Josiah will host a conversation with these individuals on how God has worked in their lives in leading them to serve in the places they are today and how their faith in Christ impacts the way they approach their work on a daily basis. Join us in learning from these individual’s experiences of walking in faith in Christ in their respective vocational fields (college professor, medical doctor, school principal, and CEO)!
As part of our April missions focus on ministry to those in extreme poverty, our speaker Jack Larson came to us from Mission Emmanuel, a cross-cultural, relational, Christian ministry in the Dominican Republic. Sound familiar? Some of our youth and college students have helped them out!
We wrapped up our Life in the Kingdom series this past Sunday with a message from Josiah titled “Faith and Finances” (or, “Everything I wish I knew about money when I was in college.”). Listen as we dig into Christ’s teachings on possessions and wealth and consider their implications for this phase of your life.
From Acts 9:1-19. William Larkin wrote, “The most important event in human history, apart from the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, is the conversion to Christianity of Saul of Tarsus.” Okay, so that’s probably a bit of an overstatement (but not by much). Paul’s Damascus Road experience changed his life; in fact, it changed the world and the whole course of human history, making it one epic road trip! Come discover with us what Paul discovered two millennia ago – these truths still have power!