Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Providence of God and the Work of the Gospel, Part 1, by Pastor Charlie Handren




The Providence of God and the Work of the Gospel, Part I
By Pastor Charlie

When George Müller was twenty-two years old, he learned of a missionary opportunity in Bucharest, Romania. After a time of prayer, he decided to apply for the position, for despite his weaknesses, he “had a great desire to live wholly for God” (Autobiography of George Müller, Westminster Literature, 23).

After receiving the consent of his father and spending some time with him, he returned to Halle [Germany], and now prepared with earnestness for the work of the Lord.
I set before me the sufferings which might await me. I counted the cost. And he, who once so fully served Satan, was now willing, constrained by the love of Christ, rather to suffer affliction for the sake of Jesus, ‘than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.’ I also prayed with a degree of earnestness concerning my future work. (23)
However, as he prepared himself to go, he encountered an older Christian friend who was about to give up on a ministry to the Jews simply because of his age. On hearing of this, the Lord began to stir in Müller’s heart to take his place and thus he began learning Hebrew and otherwise taking steps in that direction. But since he had committed to the work in Romania, he thought it best to follow through with that, trusting that the Lord would guide him along the way.

Amazingly, due to a war between the Turks and Russians, the mission society decided not to send Müller or anyone to Bucharest, and just at that time one of Müller’s mentors offered him a position as a missionary to the Jews. After a time of prayer, Müller was not sure of what the Lord would have him do, but he thought it good to apply to the position and trust the Lord to guide his path.

Accordingly, Müller applied for the position in December of 1827 and received an answer on June 13, 1828—seven months later! While they did think it good to accept his application, they wanted him to come to London to interact with the committee, pray, and make final plans. This wasn’t good news to Müller. However, upon consideration he saw the wisdom in going, received the blessing of his Father, and began the process that would lead to the journey.

Next week, we’ll consider the conclusion of the story, but for now, please reflect on what you’ve read and ponder the providence of God.
  • How do you see the Lord working in Müller?
  • What might we learn from the Lord’s work in his life?
  • How is the Lord working through the various circumstances of your life and of our life together as a church?







Sermon Questions - May 28, 2017



The Son Can Do Nothing on His Own
John 5:19-30
May 28, 2017

Questions for Study and Meditation

  1. Read 5:19-23. What is Jesus’ main point? What are his four supporting points? (Hint: look for the word “for.”)
  2. Read 5:24-29. What’s the main subject of these verses? What is Jesus’ authority to judge? On what basis will Jesus render judgment? What will be the outcome for those who believe? For those who do not believe?
  3. Read 5:30. What is the source of Jesus’ judgment? What is Jesus’ goal in rendering judgment?
  4. What’s the most important thing you learned from today’s sermon? From John 5:19-30?
  5. How has this sermon helped you to grow in love for God and others?
  6. What’s the most important thing Jesus would have you do in light of this sermon?
  7. Take some time to worship Jesus. Thank him, praise him, and ask for his help as you seek to strive with other believers for the faith of the gospel.


Announcements - May 28, 2017





Announcements - May 28, 2017

Volunteer Appreciation Sunday Today: We would like to honor and recognize all of the Sunday morning and Wednesday night volunteers who minister in our child and youth discipleship efforts. They are being honored by providing delicious coffee from Dunn Brothers for the whole church to enjoy. Grab some coffee and thank a volunteer! A list of names is available so you can personally thank them for their service.
Honoring Our Graduates: We have a special event on Wednesday night, May 31 at Otsego Park from 6:00-8:30 p.m. Anyone who would like to attend a time of worship and celebration is welcome. Pastor Charlie will be speaking and Pastor Kevin will be offering the blessings to the 2017 graduates—Ethan Perry, Robert Gunderson, Annika Morgan. RSVP to Pastor Kevin. Bring a side dish to share and something to grill for your family.
Love Somalia Feed My Starving Children Packing Event  Monday, June 5 from 3-6 p.m.: A Glory of Christ Fellowship Team is being established. Contact David Gunderson about joining the team.
Wednesday Morning Prayer Meeting: Anyone who would like to join in corporate prayer may do so. The prayer time is from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. at the church office.
Next Week’s Fighter Verse
When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you. For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life..
Proverbs 6:22-23


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sermon Questions - May 21, 2017



My Father is Working
John 5:1-18
May 21, 2017

Questions for Study and Meditation

  1. Where did this story take place? Why is this place historically important? What would the daily scene have been like in those days?
  2. Why did Jesus ask if the man wanted to be healed? How did the man answer? Why did Jesus then act on his behalf?
  3. Why were the Jews upset about this healing? What were the biblical roots of their concern? How did they misunderstand the Lord S heart about the Sabbath?
  4. Why did Jesus warn the man in verse 14? Does this mean the man was responsible for his illness?
  5. Why were the Jews persecuting Jesus to the point of wanting to kill him?
  6. What’s the most important thing you learned from today’s sermon? From John 5:1-18?
  7. How has this sermon helped you to grow in love for God and others?
  8. What’s the most important thing Jesus would have you do in light of this sermon?
  9. Take some time to worship Jesus. Thank him, praise him, and ask for his help as you seek to strive with other believers for the faith of the gospel.  


Announcements - May 21, 2017




Announcements - May 21, 2017

Last Week of Sunday School Classes Today: Classes will resume in September. Enjoy the summer break!
Volunteer Appreciation Sunday, May 28: We would like to honor and recognize all of the Sunday morning and Wednesday night volunteers who minister in our child and youth discipleship efforts. This includes volunteers who served in the nursery, Sunday school, and Wednesday night programs. We will honor them next Sunday by providing delicious coffee from Dunn Brothers for the whole church to enjoy. Coffee will be available by 8:30 a.m. There will also be a list of names available next Sunday so you can personally thank them for their service.
Honoring Our Graduates: We have a special event on Wednesday night, May 31 at Otsego Park from 6:00-8:30 p.m. Anyone who would like to attend a special time of worship and celebration is welcome to attend. Pastor Charlie will be speaking and Pastor Kevin will be offering the blessings to the 2017 graduates—Ethan Perry, Robert Gunderson, Annika Morgan. RSVP to Pastor Kevin. Bring a side dish to share and something to grill for your family.
Love Somalia Feed My Starving Children Packing June 2-5: 6.2 million people in Somalia need assistance with food and water, more than half of the country’s population. This is a critical need. Be a part of the solution! Register online at lovesomalia.org to pack meals. Questions? Talk with David Gunderson.
Wednesday Morning Prayer Meeting: Anyone who would like to join in corporate prayer may do so. The prayer time is from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. at the church office.

Next Week’s Fighter Verse
My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching.
Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck.
Proverbs 6:20-21





Saturday, May 20, 2017

Preaching the Word on Its Own Terms, By Pastor Charlie Handren



Preaching the Word on Its Own Terms
By Pastor Charlie

George Müller is well known as the founder and director of several orphanages. But did you know that his primary job was to serve as the preaching Pastor of Bethesda Chapel in Bristol, England. As Pastor George read and preached the Bible year after year, he developed the conviction that it should be read and preached from beginning to end over the life of a church. He gives five reasons why this approach is good, right, and God-exalting (from the Autobiography of George Müller, Westminster Literature, page 22).
First, reading and preaching the whole Bible throws light upon critical connections between various parts and doctrines, while failing to do so makes “it utterly impossible to ever to understand much of the Scriptures.” Please think about this. If we don’t understand the whole, we cannot understand the parts. This is a critical truth, and one that is getting lost in our evangelical zeal to grow churches.
Second, while we remain in the flesh, we need variety to hold our attention and to integrate the things of God into our lives. The Scripture provides much variety which, over time, meets the needs of the seeking soul. However, the church that contents itself with only certain portions of Scripture will soon become bored and stagnate in faith.
Third, reading and preaching the whole of Scripture “tends to the glory of God, for leaving out some chapters here and there is practically saying that certain portions are better than others or that there are certain parts of revealed truth [that are] unprofitable or unnecessary.” While we may affirm with our mouths and statements that all Scripture is God-breathed and useful for life in Christ (2 Timothy 3:16), we can unwittingly deny this important fact in our personal and corporate practices. The primary way a church can honor the whole Word of God in the life of the church is to read and preach the whole word of God in the prominent worship services of the church.
Fourth, reading and preaching the whole of Scripture keeps us from erroneous views because it leads us to see the Scripture as a whole and to interpret specific parts in light of the whole. It adds context, tempered insight, and proper balance. It disciplines the preacher and people alike to read, understand, and apply the Word on God’s terms rather than ours.
Fifth, the “Scriptures contain the whole revealed will of God, and therefore we ought to seek to read from time to time through the whole of that revealed will. There are many believers, I fear, in our day, who have not read even once through the whole of the Scriptures, and yet in a few months, by reading only a few chapters every day, they might accomplish it.” And preaching through the whole Word inspires people to read through the whole Word.

May the Lord bless us as we seek to savor the whole of the Scriptures!


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sermon Questions - May 14, 2017



Mercy and Belief
John 4:46-54
May 14, 2017

Questions for Study and Meditation

  1. Where did Jesus go in Galilee? Why do you suppose he returned to this particular city? Where was Capernaum and what was happening there?
  2. What was happening with the official’s son, and how was God at work in this circumstance? What did the official do and why?
  3. Why did Jesus respond as he did in 4:48? How did the official react to his question? What did Jesus decide to do and why?
  4. How did the official and his household discover the details of what Jesus had done? How did they respond?
  5. What’s the most important thing you learned from today’s sermon? From John 4:46-54?
  6. How has this sermon helped you to grow in love for God and others?
  7. What’s the most important thing Jesus would have you do in light of this sermon?
  8. Take some time to worship Jesus. Thank him, praise him, and ask for his help as you seek to strive with other believers for the faith of the gospel.