Sunday – October 5, 2014 1st Peter 1:5-7 “Rejoicing in Life”

Sunday – October 5, 2014 – Read the Word on Worship

Ken McAuley 1st Peter from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

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1 Peter 1:5-7
“……protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Are you one of those who are frustrated with wanting to be forward about sharing the Gospel but not knowing how to start? I think I have found a solution. It’s not the only way, but it’s about The Way. REJOICE! Be joyful! Have a smile on your face even in the midst of severe difficulties. People will wonder what’s wrong with you and what you are up to. And then you can share with them the Hope that is in you. In 1 Peter 3:15, Peter says in his letter to Believers, “sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” Rejoicing at all times means that we have to keep our Lord Jesus Christ in our thoughts continually. If spending time with Him is a bore or seemingly unproductive, you are not paying attention. He has something He wants to share with you that you can receive in no other way. Open your Bible and see what you can learn about Jesus. He will show you marvelous things about life in Him, about Him, and with Him. It’s impossible to keep Him in your thoughts if your thoughts are never about Him. The cares of this world and what you can do about them on your own, without Him, are very distracting. We need to seek His wisdom and understanding because He knows all about them.

So, how serious are you about sharing the Truth? Spontaneity is important otherwise it seems like you are preaching, when you just want to meet people where they are. If you want to share your Hope with them, it has to mean something to you, not just something you have memorized, cold and impersonal. Jesus wants to share His life with you. Spend some time with Him. You will be glad you did. He will remind you of reasons to REJOICE!

Sunday – June 23, 2013 “God Does Not Act Needlessly”

June 23, 2013 – Read the Word on Worship

God Does Not Act Needlessly from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

Why does God require people come to Him through Jesus Christ and His work upon the cross? Join Elder Ken McAuley as he walks us through Galatians chapters 2 and 3 to see the mind of God for salvation of sinful mankind. While the cost of our sin was so great, praise God, He does not send His Son needlessly, but with a specific purpose and plan.

Word On Worship – June 23, 2013 Download / Print

For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.” Galatians 3:10

Ever give any thought to the fact that the Scriptures declare that anyone who puts his trust in the Law of God to gain the approval of God, is under a curse? Most people think that the Law of God is righteous and holy and it is! But to be under a curse if you put your trust and hope in it?!?!

The issue is that one has to obey every one of them or you are guilty of breaking the whole Law. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. James 2:10. We don’t like to look at it that way. We want to believe that it is a good code of conduct that everyone should live by. There is nothing wrong with that idea. Everyone should live by it, but when we think God will look on our behavior and say that our good works are deserving of Heaven, the idea is from someone’s imagination and not from what God has said in His Word, the Holy Scriptures.

You see, the Law requires death as the penalty of breaking even one of them. Some curse, eh? But God has a remedy. The Scriptures say that the Law is but a tutor to lead us to Christ. We must realize that we need help being righteous. Christ is the sacrifice of God for our sin to satisfy His requirement for the penalty of death for breaking His Law. That’s why Jesus had to die and rise again. That’s something that we can’t do for ourselves. That sounds pretty special to me!

So, all we have to do is put our trust in Christ. That may sound strange to some. How do we do that? What does it mean? We simply believe that Jesus did for us all that needs to be done to satisfy God. There is nothing that we can do to earn God’s approval or get Him to recognize that we are good enough. When we acknowledge that God’s sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross is all we need and stop depending on how good we think we are, our dependence transfers from ourselves to Him. We call it faith. His grace then gives us the gift of Salvation from the bondage of this evil age and gives us hope for the future in Heaven with Him. We can then focus on Him instead of ourselves. It’s not about us. It’s all about Him.

Sunday – May 19, 2013, Can Good Works Get You to Heaven?

May 19, 2013 – Read the Word on Worship

Can Good Works Get You to Heaven? from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

Do you want to go to heaven? Of course you do, who wouldn’t want to go to heaven? But how do plan on getting there? Work a deal with God? Perform some special act of service? Elder Ken McAuley takes us into a thoughtful examination of Galatians 2 and 3 as he examines the basis of our salvation and the natural tendency to gratefully accept salvation by grace, but then seek to fall back on good works to demonstrate your worthiness to enter the Kingdom of God.

Word On Worship – May 19, 2013 Download / Print

(Galatians 2:16)
… a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus.

Often we think that by doing something good we will please God in some way for our personal benefit. Our thought is that we can do something that we consider good and that it will also fall into God’s category of good. Most of the time, we hope that it will result in what we want to accomplish, whether it pleases God or not. In other words, our desire is not primarily to please God, but to get what we want. It may not be something evil, just not focused on God. It may be hypocritical or selfish or designed to draw attention to ourselves and we wonder why our prayers are not answered. Surely God has our interests at heart.

Take Lent, for example. What are we giving up, something evil? Then why don’t we give it up for the rest of our lives? Is it something that we consider needful, a sacrifice, to show God that we depend on Him to supply? Then why don’t we depend on Him to supply all the time? The point is, are we trying to please God or impress someone else of our piety? God knows our heart and He’s not impressed.

Are we trying to work our way into Heaven with our good works? Do you realize that God says in His Word that we are on the wrong track? Our motives are corrupt.  Whether you take it from the Psalms 14:1-3 or Romans 3:10-12, the truth about our works of self-righteousness remains the same.  Everything we generate from our own thinking is tainted in some way, and ultimately falls short when it comes to His righteousness or goodness (Romans 3:23).  But He has a fix for this dilemma.

Did you ever give any thought as to why Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Almighty God had to go through all that torture and shame and death?  Because in God’s way of thinking, there was no other way!  Jesus Christ was the perfect sacrifice, as a human, for our sin because He was without sin. Because Jesus Christ was without sin He satisfied the requirement of a Holy God to pay the just consequence for our sin.  The only thing He requires from us is to believe that to be true and place our trust in what Christ did, not in anything we can do.  He then places His Spirit within us to inspire us to do things that are truly good.  Then getting into Heaven is no longer an issue because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. But our works, whether good or not so good, testify of our relationship to Him and can affect how we live there.

Sunday – May 5, 2013, “Promises, Promises”

May 5, 2013 – Read the Word on Worship

Promises, Promises from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

We are often told about the faithfulness of God and the promises He has made to the believer, but how certain are you about these promises made to you. It is one thing to believe these promises made to the church from a generic sense, but it is another to realize these promises were given to you. Join Elder Ken McAuley as he examines the faithfulness of God and how that is pictured in the marriage relationship from his study on Matthew 19 verese 1 to 12 and Jeremiah 6.

Word On Worship – May 5, 2013 Download / Print

Gal. 3:21-22
Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

I promise. What does that mean to you?  Does it have built-in conditions or provisions that one is supposed to expect?  Or, is it unconditional and you intend to keep it no matter what?  Usually it is something in between. You intend to keep it, but there might be circumstances that might keep you from fulfilling it. It’s like a handshake. It might mean that your word is for sure, but if it isn’t in writing, it might not hold up in court.

It seems as though we don’t care about our promises anymore unless it’s convenient. It used to be that we would fight if someone called into question something that we said. It’s sad that our word can’t be taken at face value anymore. Jesus told us that our yes should be yes and our no, no. In other words I think we should give more thought to what we say so that we don’t have to go back on our word so easily.

Our marriage vows are like that. We promise to love and to cherish, no matter what, until death. But prior to saying our vows we make prenuptial agreements that look forward to the failure of our marriage for any reason at all. What a sad commentary on today’s society. Why don’t we make plans to stay together and nurture our relationship in every possible way? If we did, our children wouldn’t have to go through counseling the rest of their lives because they imagine that somehow they were the cause of our breakup when it was only because of our own selfishness. The reasons for divorce may sound good at a given time because one or both parties have been hurt or angered, but there is nothing that can’t be remedied if divorce wasn’t so easy and commitment so weak.

What if Jesus had told His Father, God, that He didn’t want to go through the pain and suffering of the cross because we, the people whom He had created with whom to have fellowship, had no integrity? They couldn’t keep their promises so why should God keep His? His Father would have simply reminded Him that they, we, needed someone to be the example and show the way. After all, He created us, not the other way around. He promised to redeem us from death that leads to Hell, and He kept His promise even though it cost the death of His only begotten Son. Have you received the Gift that He has provided at such great cost? That is the only way to have fellowship with Him in His Heaven. We are incapable of getting to that place by our own efforts, no matter how good we are.

Sunday – April 21, 2013, “Remember, Obey and Be Thankful”

April 21, 2013 – Read the Word on Worship

Remember, Obey and Be Thankful from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

Does it seem like your walk with the Lord is a boring repetition of that actions day in and day out? It certainly must have felt that way for Israel during their 40 years in the Wilderness. For 40 years they ate the same food, worn the same clothing that did not wear out and followed the same commands of God. It was so easy for them to forget why they were doing the things they were doing. And it is the same with you and I. We fail to remember the faithfulness of God and then begin to disobey thinking all we have is from our effort and innovation only to fail to be thankful for the grace and provision of God. Join Elder Ken McAuley in this insightful journey through Deuteronomy 8 and take this important reminder to heart.

Word On Worship – April 21, 2013 Download / Print

Deuteronomy 8:1-2
“All the commandments that I am commanding you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to give to your forefathers.  “You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 

God wanted to know whether or not His people would pay attention to Him. He is still doing the same thing today. He leads us into and through tough times to see if we will turn our attention to Him. He promised to lead them into a rich land full of milk and honey if they would keep His commandments. They didn’t pass the test and spent 40 years wandering around in the wilderness. He used those 40 years to try to get their attention so that they would teach their children to do what they refused to do, trust in the Lord their God.

How many years will it take the Lord our God to get our attention as He takes us through rough places in our lives until we realize that we can’t always do on our own what it takes to provide for our families, make our business successful, win that tournament, etc. Sometimes even our friends can’t help. He only wants us to acknowledge Him so that He can give us His blessing. It may not be what we want and how we want it, but it will be better than we could have imagined in the long run.

God provided water out of a rock (unexpected), clothing that did not wear out (unexpected), manna and quail for food (unexpected). What do you suppose He could do for you in your circumstance? Does it have to be what you would expect?  He doesn’t have to operate within the box. All He wants you to do is keep His commandments. Jesus said, “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)  That sums up the 10 commandments for us today if we will listen to Him.

God provided His sacrifice to provide redemption for us who don’t even know we need it. The wanderers in the wilderness needed it and offered sacrifices for their sin as the Lord their God demanded so that He could deal with them. Without those sacrifices He would not have been able to even look upon them because of His righteousness. It is the same today. We need to realize that we need salvation from the wilderness of Hell that we are doomed for if we don’t acknowledge that God has provided the only way that works for Him. And He is the God of Heaven. Jesus Christ is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through Him” (John 14:6). If you can accept this, then your hope is to dwell with the Father in Heaven (our promised land) for Eternity. This message is for the people of God. Are you included?

Elder Ken McAuley