Sunday – April 29, 2012

April 29, 2012 – Read the Word on Worship

The Curse of Careless Worship from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

What do you do to prepare for your day? Do you prepare for a business meeting you have on your schedule? Take time to check you appearance in the mirror? Pay attention to the TV show you are watching so you can discuss it with your friends around the water cooler? Take time to study for that test that is coming up? We all do things to prepare for the events of our day. So what did you do to prepare for church? Did you read the passage ahead of time? Did you show up on time to worship? Were you spending more time thinking about what you would do after the service than what you were doing in the service? Join us in our heart challenging study in the Book of Malachi as we continue in chapter 1 verses 6 to 14 and examine “The Curse of Careless Worship”. May our time cause us to rethink how we enter into worship.

Word On Worship – April 29, 2012 Download / Print


Sunday – April 22, 2012

April 22, 2012 – Read the Word on Worship

Think of your own life…. when did you ask the question (because we all do at some time in our lives), "How have you loved me?" Was it after you got bad news from the doctor, or when you were let go from a job, or even today as you look at your life situation? "God, how have you loved me?" God was asked that question by Israel as they had become complacent and self sufficient. God's answer to Israel was something they never expected, and something we don't expect either unless we are willing to RESET our hearts. Join us Sunday morning as we continue our study in the Book of Malachi as we look at Malachi 1 verses 1 to 5 in "How Deep the Father's Love for Us"

Word On Worship – April 22, 2012 Download / Print

Malachi 1:2-3
I have loved you,” says the LORD. “But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’
“Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” the LORD says. “Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals

Every one of us asks the question in our heart at some point. It is not necessarily a statement of anger or resentment; usually it is a heart question so deep inside we are afraid to admit even to ourselves: God, how have you loved me? I believe there is more than a little of that in all of us. You may be here this morning and your life is in such disarray that you stand with the Israelites and ask: “How have you loved me God?”

God has loved you with an unconditional love. God’s love for Israel is the same as His love for us — an act of pure grace. “The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers.” (Deut 7:7-8). We, too, are a rebellious and a hard people, yet He loves them because He chose to love them and He loves us because He chose to love us. Jacob had done nothing to prove he was more worthy of the love God when God elected to love him over Esau. With no one to twist God’s arm, God decided of His own sovereign will to love the people He made his covenant.

And God has loved you with an everlasting love. “The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” (Jer 31:3) In Isaiah 49:16 God tells the people of Israel, “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” God tells Israel that only when the sun ceases to rise and the moon and stars cease to shine by night will He forget His covenant of love with Israel. God made a covenant of love with Abraham, and confirmed that covenant with Isaac and with Jacob out of grace — and purposed it for eternity.

But Israel asked how had God loved them? If you love us God, prove it! Where is the evidence? How easy is it for us to fall into the same trap? Malachi’s oracle speaks to our easy going, nominal Christianity just as it spoke to Israel in his day. You may be here this morning thinking God has neglected you, forgotten you in your turmoil and depression. Maybe the enemy is whispering in your ear about the disaster your life has become and raising the issue of where are the promises of God now? Today God is calling to you for renewal, to reset your heart and refresh your relationship with Him. Immerse yourself in the eternal, never-changing love of God for you. God chose you by grace, and shed the precious blood of His own Son to redeem you. The ball is in your court. So how will you respond to the question of God’s love?

Sunday – April 15, 2012

April 15, 2012 – Read the Word on Worship

Why Study Malachi? from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

RESET your heart
REBOOT your worship
REFRESH your relationship with the Lord
Join us this Sunday as we begin our study in the Book of Malachi, a message from God to His people to RESET, REBOOT and REFRESH their hearts and pursue their God with excellence.

Word On Worship – April 15, 2012 Download / Print

Malachi 1:1-2a
“An oracle: The word of the LORD to Israel through Malachi. “I have loved you,” says the LORD …”

Though Malachi is only four short chapters long — in the Hebrew Bible it’s only three chapters — it has much to say to the social, political, and religious compromise in both Malachi’s age and our time today. Originally written some 2,500 years ago, the message for us now is contemporary and equally convicting.

Malachi simply means my messenger. Other scholars prefer to translate it as my angel, but of course the word for angel and messenger are the same. What I find interesting is that we don’t find the name Malachi anywhere in scripture outside of this book of prophecy. Some believe it’s even the surname of one particular prophet. In fact, Malachi at the beginning of this book doesn’t name his father, which many other prophets do, to give us an idea where he came from and who he is. For that reason, some scholars believe that Malachi is not a proper name at all, rather a descriptive term. Nevertheless, I think it will be clear as we go through this study that Malachi was an individual person. Although he is not considered the last Old Testament prophet — John the Baptist was the last — Malachi is the last prophet to write Old Testament scripture.

I think what the Holy Spirit is really telling us is simply that God wants to communicate the most important thing, the message, and not the messenger. It would do us all well to remember that Malachi’s chief concern was his faithfulness delivering God’s message rather than his personal fame.

As we study this little book, in the weeks ahead, let us receive what the Lord is saying to our hearts as His people in this age. As Israel had lost touch with God, Malachi’s message was simply this: whatever changes in the world, whatever changes among His people, whether they be Israel or the New Testament church, whatever changes in your transitory life, God never changes!

Sunday – April 8, 2012

April 8, 2012 – Read the Word on Worship

He’s Alive! Resurrection Sunday 2012 from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

The end of the Gospel of Mark is not a favorite passage for Easter services. It raises many questions among believers. So is the case to ignore the resurrection account in Mark air tight? I don’t think so. Mark may not have the ending you expected, but there is much for us to consider. Join our Resurrection Sunday service in Mark 16.

Word On Worship – April 8, 2012 Download / Print

John 20:17-18
Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.'” Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that He had said these things to her

The resurrection is the testimony of when the impossible meets the God of the universe to whom all things are possible. It looked impossible to be able to secure the body from the Roman government to prepare it for burial. It looked impossible to find a burial place for Jesus before the sun went down. And once the body of our Lord was discovered missing, there seemed to be no possible way to recover it. For John, there was only one unavoidable conclusion — God raised Jesus from the dead. Every detail was orchestrated by God, at just the right time, and in just the right way, so that the Scriptures would be fulfilled.

This was not a conclusion based on the Lord’s prophecies, which John and the other disciples had forgotten. John believed in the resurrection of Jesus because there was no other explanation. The disciples believed because the evidence was compelling, and that is the way God wanted it to be. The open and empty tomb was compelling evidence. No longer was there a large stone sealing the tomb, gone was the Roman seal upon the stone and the Roman guard at the tomb scattered in fear at the sight of angels. The vacant tomb was proof that the claim of our Lord to be the Messiah, the King of the Jews was true.

The resurrection is the foundation of Christianity. If Jesus was not raised from the dead then we are deceived beyond everyone else. Saving faith is resurrection faith. As Christians, we do not believe in the resurrection because we feel obligated to do so. We believe in the resurrection because it is true, and there is no other reasonable explanation for the events which we find described in the Gospels or in the rest of the Bible. This event turned the disciples sorrow to joy, their weakness to strength, and the fears into boldness and courage. That is the power of the resurrection.

The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ saves us from our sins and the penalty of death. Have you trusted in Him, in His death on the cross of Calvary for your sins, and His resurrection from the dead, so that you may have eternal life? Let me invite you to do so this very minute. May the truth of the resurrection be a turning point in your life, to His glory and your eternal gain!

Sunday – April 1, 2012

April 1, 2012 – Read the Word on Worship

Dealing with Life’s Thorns from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

Pain. No four letter word causes so many questions about the love of God and His plans for our lives. Every one of knows it is a part of life and every one of us will experience it at some time in our life. But the question that hides behind the word pain is “why”? Join us Sunday as we look at “Dealing with the Thorns of Life” and see what the Bible has to say about dealing with pain in our lives as we look at 2 Corinthians 12 verses 2 to 10.

Word On Worship – April 1, 2012 Download / Print

2 Corinthians 12:9-10
And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

I am often asked why some godly Christians are not blessed by God for their righteousness as He promised. There are several answers to this question, but there is a clear answer Paul provides in this passage: if God were to bless us according to our works, the blessings would not be very impressive. But when we are weak, God deals with us on the basis of grace. Grace deals abundantly in our lives, according to God’s generosity, rather than in response to our merit.

Many will promise God’s blessings now based on your righteous acts and even more often on your giving. True servants of Jesus are willing to suffer now for Christ’s sake and patiently wait for God to deal with them graciously in their time of weakness. Those who measure blessing with the ruler of self righteous acts hate grace because for them it is a form of charity, something which is not flattering to the one who is blessed. Grace gives the one blessed no grounds for boasting, other than Christ, the source of all blessings.

So then is prayer the answer? If we get enough people to pray for us or come to God with enough faith as we pray, can we get God to remove the “thorn” from our flesh? I think Paul would give us a different answer. Paul does not demand Satan be bound or that the devil depart from him. He pleads with the Lord to remove the thorn and when that petition is declined, Paul accepts God’s promise of grace. God’s grace is sufficient, and His power is perfected in Paul’s weakness. Our prayer life is truly the outward measure of our sense of self-sufficiency, apart from God’s grace and power. In prayer we see just how dependent we are on God’s grace,

So what is your thorn in the flesh? Each one of us has at least one. It may be that the very thing you most want to be rid of in your life is what God wants you to have. It may be that the trial you see as an excuse for ministry actually is the key to the ministry God wants you to have. I urge you to take inventory of your life and consider the thorns in your flesh. And then ask God to use those thorns in your life to manifest His grace and power, to His glory and for your good.