This is the perfect place to catch up on Pastor Jon’s previous messages, or to research more about what our message really is as a church. We also have provided you with the Scripture text, main point, and any sub-points for each message. We pray that the application of these messages are a profound blessing in your life, and please let us know if you have any questions.

 

Rise & Shine

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Rise & Shine

[1Thessalonians 4]

As our lives are changed by our spiritual awakening, we enlighten our environment.

 

Receiving good news is changing our daily lives

[1 – 3a] Finally then, brothers, we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus, that as you have received from us how you must walk and please God—as you are doing —do so even more. For you know what commands we gave you through the Lord Jesus.  For this is God’s will,  your sanctification….

[Romans 12: 1 – 2] Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you  to present your bodies as a living sacrifice,  holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed  to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will  of God.

 

Embracing sinful desires is rejecting our holy God

[3b – 8] …that you abstain from sexual immorality, so that each of you knows how to control his own body in sanctification and honor, not with lustful desires, like the Gentiles who don’t know God. This means one must not transgress against and defraud  his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger of all these offenses,  as we also previously told and warned you. For God has not called us to impurity  but to sanctification. Therefore, the person who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who also gives you His Holy Spirit. 

[Galatians 5: 19 – 23] Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality,  moral impurity,  promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery,  hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance—as I told you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit  is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

 

Avoiding healthy work is diluting our family impact

[9 – 12] About brotherly love: You don’t need me to write you because you yourselves are taught by God to love one another. In fact, you are doing this toward all the brothers in the entire region of Macedonia.  But we encourage you, brothers, to do so even more, to seek to lead a quiet life,  to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, so that you may walk properly in the presence of outsiders and not be dependent on anyone.

 [Jeremiah 31: 33 – 34] “Instead, this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days”—the Lord’s declaration. “I will put My teaching within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people. No longer will one teach his neighbor or his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least to the greatest of them” —this is the Lord’s declaration. “For I will forgive their wrongdoing  and never again remember their sin.”

 

Applications and Next Steps

  • Are you ready today to begin pursing God’s will for you?
  • Because you are set apart for God, what needs to change in the way you view your sexuality?
  • Because you are set apart for God, what needs to change in how you structure your life?

 

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Checking for Spiritual Vital Signs

[1Thessalonians 3]

Our spiritual awakening encourages those who encourage us.

Relationships matter on our spiritual journey [1 – 8]

Prayer matters in our relational connections [9 – 13]

 

Applications and Next Steps

  • How do we go about increasing our love for one another?
  • How can you support fellow C3er’s this week in prayer?
  • What is the state of your trust in Jesus today?

 

Click here for a Connection Card to respond to what Jesus is telling you today.

Click here to give generously towards what God is doing through his church in the Lakeview Neighborhood of Chicago.

Click here to go to our Facebook Live page and join us through video at 10AM on Sunday Mornings, or to watch previous videos already posted.

 

Receiving a Spiritual Wake-Up Call

[1Thessalonians 2]

We need people upstream from us who model the Gospel lifestyle.

 

We have influence on one another as a family

[1 – 6] For you yourselves know, brothers, that our visit with you was not without result. On the contrary, after we had previously suffered,  and we were treated outrageously in Philippi,  as you know, we were emboldened by our God to speak the gospel of God to you in spite of great opposition. For our exhortation didn’t come from error or impurity or an intent to deceive.  Instead, just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted  with the gospel,  so we speak, not to please men, but rather God,  who examines our hearts.  For we never used flattering speech, as you know, or had greedy  motives —God is our witness — and we didn’t seek glory  from people, either from you or from others.

[7 – 12] Although we could have been a burden as Christ’s apostles,  instead we were gentle among you, as a nursing mother nurtures her own children. We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. For you remember our labor and hardship, brothers. Working night and day so that we would not burden any of you, we preached God’s gospel to you. 10 You are witnesses,  and so is God, of how devoutly, righteously, and blamelessly  we conducted ourselves with you believers. 11 As you know, like a father with his own children,  12 we encouraged, comforted, and implored each one of you to walk worthy of God,  who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

 

We face difficulties on our journey as a norm

[13 – 16] This is why we constantly thank God, because when you received the message about God that you heard from us, you welcomed it not as a human message, but as it truly is, the message of God, which also works effectively in you believers. For you, brothers, became imitators of God’s churches in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, since you have also suffered the same things from people of your own country, just as they did from the Jews who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets and persecuted us; they displease God and are hostile to everyone, hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. As a result, they are always completing the number of their sins, and wrath has overtaken them at last.

 

 We await reunion in our struggle as a prize  

[17 – 20] But as for us, brothers, after we were forced to leave you for a short time (in person, not in heart ), we greatly desired and made every effort to return and see you face to face. So we wanted to come to you—even I, Paul, time and again—but Satan hindered us. For who is our hope or joy or crown of boasting in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?  Is it not you?  For you are our glory and joy!

 

Applications and Next Steps

  • Are you ready today to respond to the message from God?
  • How can you encourage those who are upstream from you?
  • How can you encourage those who are downstream from you?

 

Click here for a Connection Card to respond to what Jesus is telling you today.

Click here to give generously towards what God is doing through his church in the Lakeview Neighborhood of Chicago.

Click here to go to our Facebook Live page and join us through video at 10AM on Sunday Mornings, or to watch previous videos already posted.

AWAKE! – Responding to the Alarm

[1Thessalonians 1]

The message of the Gospel involves more than just words, it is a call to follow an example of action.

Be grateful for the siblings God has given

[1 – 4] Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy: To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to you and peace. We always thank God for all of you, remembering you constantly in our prayers. We recall, in the presence of our God and Father, your work of faith, labor of love, and endurance of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, knowing your election, brothers loved by God.

 

Be intentional about the pattern God has provided

[5 – 8] For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, in the Holy Spirit, and with much assurance. You know what kind of men we were among you for your benefit, and you became imitators of us and of the Lord when, in spite of severe persecution, you welcomed the message with joy from the Holy Spirit. As a result, you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. For the Lord’s message rang out from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place that your faith in God has gone out. Therefore, we don’t need to say anything,

 

 Be faithful in the hope God has granted

[9 -10] …for they themselves report what kind of reception we had from you: how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead —Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.

 

Applications and Next Steps

  • Are you ready today to respond to the power of the Gospel?
  • How does your life need to change to match Jesus’ pattern?
  • How are you powerfully bringing the Good News to your friends?

 

Click here for a Connection Card to respond to what Jesus is telling you today.

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Click here to go to our Facebook Live page and join us through video at 10AM on Sunday Mornings, or to watch previous videos already posted.

 

God sometimes allows strange things to happen

[1Samuel Chapter 28]

God’s message was still clearly spoken through Samuel long after he was dead.

Fear drives a person to unthinkable options [1 – 14]

God makes an enemy of incalculable proportions [15 – 19] 

Darkness offers a fellowship of unavoidable costs [20 – 25]

 

Applications and Next Steps

  • Are you ready today to stop your hostilities towards God?
  • How do we go about entrusting our fears to God?
  • How do we repent of compromises with the darkness?

 

Click here for a Connection Card to respond to what Jesus is telling you today.

Click here to give generously towards what God is doing through his church in the Lakeview Neighborhood of Chicago.

Click here to go to our Facebook Live page and join us through video at 10AM on Sunday Mornings, or to watch previous videos already posted.

 

God is capable of stopping his opponents

[1Samuel Chapter 19]

We live in a world saturated with spiritual influence, which we can only safely navigate with God’s assistance.

Opponents often emerge in unexpected places [1 – 17]

Mentors always encourage during perilous times [18 – 24] 

 

Applications and Next Steps

  • What spiritual strongholds are in your life & family?
  • To whom could you run if everything was falling apart?
  • Are you ready to start a relationship with God today?

 

Click here for a Connection Card to respond to what Jesus is telling you today.

Click here to give generously towards what God is doing through his church in the Lakeview Neighborhood of Chicago.

Click here to go to our Facebook Live page and join us through video at 10AM on Sunday Mornings, or to watch previous videos already posted.

 

God is not impressed by our facades

[1Samuel Chapter 17]

God gives his people both the courage and the resources needed for victory when facing apparently impossible odds.

Some of life’s problems truly are monstrous [1 – 30]

Some of our solutions are truly ridiculous [31 – 40]

Many of God’s acts are truly miraculous   [41 – 58]

Applications and Next Steps

  • What is a situation you are facing in which you are having trouble finding your courage?
  • How has God over the years already prepared you for the circumstances you are facing?
  • Are you willing to trust God and find your courage in him?

 

Click here for a Connection Card to respond to what Jesus is telling you today.

Click here to give generously towards what God is doing through his church in the Lakeview Neighborhood of Chicago.

Click here to go to our Facebook Live page and join us through video at 10AM on Sunday Mornings, or to watch previous videos already posted.

 

God is not impressed by our facades

[1Samuel Chapter 16]

God sees past all of our superficialities, and empowers with his Holy Spirit those whom he calls.

God is not fooled by the way things look [1 – 13] 

God is not hindered by way things change [14- 23]

Applications and Next Steps

  • What superficial criteria do you use to judge others?
  • How has the Holy Spirit gifted you to be a blessing to others?
  • As God looks through your masks today, what does he see?

 

Click here for a Connection Card to respond to what Jesus is telling you today.

Click here to give generously towards what God is doing through his church in the Lakeview Neighborhood of Chicago.

Obedience > Religion

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Obedience > Religion

[1Samuel Chapter 15]

God would rather have you obey him than offer him great gifts.

God blesses us to be engaged in his mission [1 – 11]

God expects us to be obedient to his instructions [12- 23]

God wants us to be responsible in our reactions [24 – 35]

 

Applications and Next Steps

  • How could you be an encouragement to a spiritual leader?
  • What sin is in your life of which you need to honestly repent?
  • Are you going to bow before Yahweh today?

 

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God Can Make Things Happen

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God Can Make Things Happen

[1Samuel Chapter 14]

God is not limited by our pragmatic calculations of what is realistic and practical.

One brave voice can defy the statistics [1 – 14]

One merciful God can determine the outcome  [15 – 23]

One foolish move can dilute the achievement [24 – 46]

Applications and Next Steps

  • How do we go about trusting God when facing the impossible?
  • How has God impacted your life beyond what you deserve?
  • How do we avoid derailing what God is doing in our lives?
  • Are you going to begin a relationship with God today?

 

Click here for a Connection Card to respond to what Jesus is telling you today.

Click here to give generously towards what God is doing through his church in the Lakeview Neighborhood of Chicago.