Sunday – December 20, 2015 Christmas Message

Sunday – December 20, 2015 – Read the Word on Worship

Sunday – December 20, 2015 Christmas Message from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

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Word On Worship – Sunday – December 20, 2015 Download / Print

Luke 1:46-48
“And Mary said: “My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; for behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.”

Mary’s hymn of praise overflows with information about the attributes of God. But it’s not dry, academic information. Mary exults in God as she considers what He has done in choosing her to be the mother of the Savior. She calls Him “God my Savior,” because Mary knew she was a sinner; since no one but sinners need a Savior. Everyone who realizes they need a “Savior” understands they are lost and alienated from God because of the sin they personally have committed. We don’t just need a little boost from God to set things right or a few tips on how to succeed in life. Savior is a radical term that implies that we are helplessly, hopelessly lost unless God in His mighty power intervenes to rescue us.

Mary refers to God’s power when she speaks of how, “He has done mighty deeds with His arm,” referring to His scattering the proud, who would scoff at the notion that they needed a Savior. Pride is a heart attitude of self-sufficiency, not humility. The proud person thinks that he doesn’t need God. God is mighty in mercy to the humble, but mighty in judgment toward the proud. Mary also teaches that God’s name is holy. His name refers to His person, the sum of His attributes. To be holy means to be set apart. In this context, it refers not only to God’s absolute moral righteousness, but also to His being set apart as the only sovereign authority over people. He is to be held in highest esteem and to be feared because He is holy.

Thankfully, Mary does not leave us with just these attributes of God, or we would not dare to approach Him. She goes on to emphasize God’s mercy, “His mercy is upon generation after generation toward those who fear Him … He has given help to Israel His servant, in remembrance of His mercy.” Mercy tells us of God’s compassion due to our misery as sinners. His mercy is on those who recognize His holiness and bow in reverence before Him. It was His mercy that caused Him to send the Savior. How wonderful would it be if everyone acknowledged their need of the mercy of the Lord like Mary did?

You can’t pick and choose which attributes of God you like, and ignore the rest. God isn’t operating a religious cafeteria. You come to Him His way, as a guilty sinner needing a Savior, or not at all. If you repent of your pride and selfishness and sin, and come to the cross, He will pour out His tender mercy on you. If you proudly cling to your own righteousness and self-sufficiency, God will send you away empty. And if God sends you away empty, you are absolutely empty. You don’t want to go into eternity empty, without God’s mercy. Come to the Savior this Christmas.

Sunday – March 29, 2015 Jude 20 to 23

Sunday – March 29, 2015 – Read the Word on Worship

Jude 20 to 23 from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

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Word On Worship – Sunday – March 29, 2015 Download / Print

Jude 20-23
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.

Every thinking person sometimes wrestles with doubt. That’s true not only for thinking Christians, but also for atheists and agnostics. They sometimes wonder, “What if I’m wrong and there really is a God?” And every thinking Christian sometimes wonders, “What if I’m wrong and Christianity is not true?” For some, the bouts with doubt are short and relatively minor. For others, the doubts are deep and disturbing. But wherever you are on the spectrum, if you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, you have gone through battles with doubt.

The sources of my personal struggles with doubt vary. Sometimes it stems from wrestling with certain difficult theological issues. At other times the problem of unanswered prayer has tripped me up. And I’ve had to face doubts related to the age-old problem of suffering: Why would a good and all-powerful God allow His people to die in the prime of life, while the wicked prosper? How can a loving God allow sweet little children to suffer?

While there are different biblical answers to all of these sources of doubt, there is one answer that under girds them all. I usually come back to it when I’m struggling with doubt. The apostle Paul said that the entire Christian faith rests on one foundation, the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Cor. 15:13-19). If that fact of history is true, then our faith has a solid footing in spite of our doubt that we cannot fully resolve. perhaps ever in this life. On the other hand, if Jesus Christ is not risen from the dead, then the strongest faith in the world is useless, because it rests on a faulty object.

If you wait to trust in Christ until all of your doubts are cleared up, you’re not an honest doubter. Rather, you’re using your doubts as an excuse so that you can hold onto your sin. If you don’t repent, you’ll go to your death alienated from the Savior. There is more than adequate evidence to support a reasonable faith that Jesus Christ is the risen Savior. The question is: will you lay aside your doubts, which serve only as excuses, and trust in Jesus as your Savior and Lord?

Sunday – October 27, 2013 Judges 2:6 to 3:4 “Say it Again Sam(uel)”

October 27, 2013 – Read the Word on Worship

“Say it Again Sam(uel)” Judges 2 verse 6 to 3 verse 4 from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

So how will the next generation of Israel learn who God is personally? In the same way the previous generation did. If they go to war and trust in God they will see His works and know Him personally. God wanted this next generation of Israel to know His power and grace, So He left Canaanites in the land. Israel would have to fight in order to know the God they had yet to know by personal experience. That is the problem I see in the church at large today. We know a lot about God but we don’t know Him personally. And that has grown out of our avoiding the battle. We know from Scripture we have already been thrown into a spiritual war, but are we floating with the current or are we fighting against the current? If we are going to do battle, we need to be where the war is – in the workplace, in the culture and in the streets. Only then will we experience Him and know that the Lord is good. Join as Pastor Andy leads our study this week with his message, “Say it Again Sam(uel)


Word On Worship – October 27, 2013 Download / Print

Judges 2:10
All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel.”

I have been a witness to many great things God has done in my life. But the question that often haunts me is does the next generation know the Lord or the work that He has done? That is the very problem facing Israel in our scripture. Based on the text, it is not so much that the last generation were poor teachers, but rather the next generation did not “catch” it. They have heard about God but they do not know Him. And so I must ask myself, how many in the next generation have seen God active in the lives of their parents or grandparents, but have yet to experience God personally themselves?

What is at issue is a personal relationship with God versus personal knowledge of God. Obviously it is important for the next generation to know that God exists, but personally knowing God is what is critical; not just knowing about Him. It is this generation’s failure to know God personally that is the cause for Israel’s trouble we see in Judges 2. The effect of their failure to know God personally is to bow down to the Canaanite gods and earn for themselves the anger of God against them.

God is angry at the sin of the people and turns His hand against Israel. But God does not turn away from Israel, In His mercy and grace He provides judges for Israel. Why are judges a matter of grace? That wonderful topic we tragically think is only a New Testament concept. Repentance is nowhere to be found in the passage. God sends a deliverer before there is any indication of repentance. And even after that deliverer comes and delivers the Israelites for that judge’s lifetime, they are still going to turn away. Whatever good that takes place here has everything to do with who God is. It is His character and His covenant that is the basis for His deliverance of Israel.

So how will the next generation of Israel learn who God is personally? In the same way the previous generation did. If they go to war and trust in God they will see His works and know Him personally. God wanted this next generation of Israel to know His power and grace, So He left Canaanites in the land. Israel would have to fight in order to know the God they had yet to know by personal experience. That is the problem I see in the church at large today. We know a lot about God but we don’t know Him personally. And that has grown out of our avoiding the battle. We know from Scripture we have already been thrown into a spiritual war, but are we floating with the current or are we fighting against the current?  If we are going to do battle, we need to be where the war is – in the workplace, in the culture and in the streets. Only then will we experience Him and know that the Lord is good.