Sunday – July 2, 2017 Genesis 43:1-34 “Tears and Fears”

Sunday – July 2, 2017 – Read the Word on Worship

Sunday – July 2, 2017 Genesis 43:1-34 “Tears and Fears” from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

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Genesis 43:16-19
When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to his house steward, “Bring the men into the house, and slay an animal and make ready; for the men are to dine with me at noon.” So the man did as Joseph said, and brought the men to Joseph’s house. Now the men were afraid, because they were brought to Joseph’s house; and they said, “It is because of the money that was returned in our sacks the first time that we are being brought in, that he may seek occasion against us and fall upon us, and take us for slaves with our donkeys.”

Joseph’s brothers provide us with an excellent illustration of salvation. In their current spiritual state they faced Joseph with the greatest fear. They perceived their only “salvation” to be in their “works” of returning the money they found in their sacks and in the pistachio nuts and other presents they brought from Canaan. The first was refused by the steward, and the second was ignored by Joseph. It was not their works that endeared these brothers to Joseph; it was their relationship to him. That is what they did not yet realize.

In the same way today sinful men dread the thought of standing before a righteous and holy God. The future must be faced with great fear. Frantically men and women seek to gain God’s favor and acceptance by their “pistachio nuts” of good works. Such things as trying to live by the Golden Rule or the Sermon on the Mount, joining the church, and being baptized, are unacceptable to God as a basis for salvation. What saves a man or a woman is a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ.

When we stand before the throne of God, the only thing God will be interested in is our relationship to His Son, Jesus Christ. As our Lord Himself put it, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6). This is the consistent message of the Bible: “And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life” (I John 5:11-12).

Have you come into a relationship with Jesus Christ? I urge you to acknowledge that you are a sinner, deserving of God’s eternal wrath. Let your eternal destiny rest in Jesus Christ, Who died in your place and Who offers you His righteousness and eternity with Him. Realize that any work which you may do will do nothing to gain God’s favor; He is pleased only with the work which Christ has already done on the cross of Calvary.

Jacob was putting all his hopes for the future on his son Benjamin (42:38; 44:29-31). Without Jacob’s realizing it, God had purposed to save him and his sons through Joseph, who was rejected by his brothers, marked for death, and who was, so far as Jacob knew, dead. Later this son who “was no more” was elevated to the throne where he was able to save his brethren. Jacob’s hopes were placed on the wrong son. It was through Judah, who offered himself in place of Benjamin, and Joseph, who was rejected and then exalted, that Jacob and his sons were saved. Jacob would be saved God’s way or not at all. God had to systematically pull out all the props from under him before he was willing to accept things God’s way. How little has changed between the time of Jacob and today.

Sunday – August 21, 2016 Thom Rachford “Today is the Day of Salvation”

Sunday – August 21, 2016 – Read the Word on Worship

Sunday – August 21, 2016 Thom Rachford “Today is the Day of Salvation” from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

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Today events are moving rapidly to the end of this age, this period of human existence.

Persecution and intolerance of Christians is increasing worldwide, persecution and intolerance of Jews is increasing worldwide. Both are more out of favor in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, even in the United States. Violent death for both groups is increasing rapidly.

While you rarely if ever hear it on the nightly news; this information is available for any who are interested in finding out. The better your information, the better your choices in prayer, politics, charity, and your personal stand for rightness every day.

But as the end of the age approaches, so does the end of the day of relative ease and peace. God’s wrath is quickly reaching its fullness and soon will be poured out. The following days will be much harder and more challenging for everyone, ending with either Heaven or Hell.

Now is the time to make a decision for Heaven by believing in Jesus as the Christ (Messiah). He will receive any and all who come to him.

Today is the day of decision. Today is the day of salvation.  Help others understand and choose today.

Sunday April 5, 2015 Jude 24 & 25 “The Guarantee of the Resurrection”

Sunday – April 5, 2015 – Read the Word on Worship

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Jude 24-25
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”

When we buy something, we ask, “What’s the guarantee?” And somebody says, “There’s no guarantee, it might not work tomorrow.” Will we make the commitment to buy? Or when we enter into a contract of significance, like leasing a dwelling place or a vehicle, we want to see the contract so we know just what kind of deal we are getting ourselves into. But if you heard, “Oh, there’s no guarantee. I might come back and take this house in three days but you have no guarantee.” Only a fool would engage in that kind of commitment.

You have now been told that to follow Christ is a one-way trip, requiring you to pick up your cross daily, to die to yourself in the hope of spending an eternity with Him. You have to give up all to be forgiven, give up all to receive the promise of heaven, only to be told that this deal comes without a guarantee? You’re asking a lot out of me, God. You mean to tell me that I give myself up totally to You to be my Lord and Master that You might not keep me? You might not hold on to me? There isn’t any guarantee? That really makes it even more difficult if not almost impossible to make this level of commitment.

What seals the deal is the guarantee, and that’s true in salvation. Yet it is so sad and tragic and misleading that vast numbers of professing Christians live with the notion they can and may forfeit their salvation and end up in hell if they don’t hang on. So the question is simply this: can one who has been forgiven, justified, regenerated, converted, redeemed, and ransomed yet lose the blessing that came through that saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross? May it never be!

How does God do it then? It is accomplished through the gracious gift of God with a permanent faith, a new heart and the indwelling Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “My Father who has given them to Me is greater than all and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” (John 10:28) Jesus won’t let go. The Father won’t let go. Who has the power to force Him to release anyone? That’s why in Philippians 1:6 Paul tell us, “He that began a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Our God who started it will finish it. God did not resurrect His Son to allow anyone to fall through the cracks. Our Lord has the will and He has the power to preserve us.

Sunday – February 8, 2015 Jude verses 1 & 2

Sunday – February 8, 2015 – Read the Word on Worship

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Jude 1-2
“Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ: May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you.”

There is a familiar story about three men who were working on a stone pile at a construction site. A curious passerby asked the first worker, “What are you doing?” He tersely replied, “Chiseling stone.” Hoping for a better answer, he asked the second worker, “What are you doing?” “Bringing home a paycheck.” Still wondering what was going on, he asked the third man, “Sir, what are you doing?” The man dropped his sledge hammer, stood erect, and his face brightened as he waved toward the site and exclaimed, “I’m building a great cathedral!” All three men were doing the same job, but only the third man had the proper vision to make his job meaningful and to put his heart into it.

Our calling is not on what we do for God, but rather on what God has done for us. The basis for any service for Christ is that God has effectually called us to belong to Christ, He has set His love on us, and He has set us apart unto Himself, bestowing His grace and peace on us. Throughout Scripture, God the Father is the one who calls us to salvation. For example, in 1 Corinthians 1:9 Paul writes, “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” Here Jude tells us God calls us to belong to Jesus Christ.

“Called” in the New Testament epistles always refers to God’s effectual call to salvation. It is not merely an ‘invitation,’ but the powerful and irresistible reaching out of God in grace to bring people into his kingdom.” Paul makes this clear in Romans 8:30, “and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” The entire chain of salvation is God’s doing, so that no one may boast in himself, but rather, only in the Lord.

To be a Christian means that God has intervened in your life, calling you out of darkness and into His kingdom of light, where you now belong to Christ and have fellowship with Him. Paul often refers to our new standing as being “in Christ.” We are totally identified with Him. This implies a fundamental break with the world, where we no longer love the world and live for the same things that the world lives for. We now are those who have been called to belong to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Sunday – April 13, 2014 1st Peter 1:17-19 “The Impartial Judge” Ken McAuley

Sunday – April 13, 2014 – Read the Word on Worship

1st Peter 1 verses 17-19 Ken McAuley from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.


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 1 Peter1:17-19
And if you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

Most of the time we don’t want to think of our God as a Judge because that’s ‘scary’; most of the time it means condemnation, humiliation, and penalty to us. But we forget that a judge can also give a reward for work done. The question then becomes: will the judgment be condemnation or reward?

The Impartial Judge judges us based on our status before Him. If we obey Him, He treats us as sons. If we don’t obey Him, it doesn’t go well with us. We have no hope for a good outcome. If we are treated as sons, we can expect grace and mercy. So, how can we tell if we are pleasing to Him? The Word of God says that we must have faith to please God. What is faith? Simply stated it is trusting that God means what He says. If God says that we must trust in Jesus Christ for our salvation, it requires that we look into what He means by that so that we can make a valid decision. What He means is that there is no way that we can accomplish our own salvation without Jesus Christ.

Can He really be that restrictive? Surely there is something that I can do. I mean, I am a good person after all. Didn’t He make me this way? The problem is that we inherited an evil nature from Adam when he sinned and disobeyed God and God had to ban him from the Garden. Since then we have a tendency to displease God just as Adam did. We can’t do anything about that. That means that anything we do is tainted by evil motives. We’re always looking to get around having to obey God. We want to do everything our own way. If that condition isn’t fixed, God can’t accept anything we do as good. He compares our good works to “dirty rags.”

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” That confirms that we must trust in Jesus Christ for our salvation, as stated earlier, which He states in John 3:16. There is nothing else we can do to get to heaven – it is God’s place by the way – except trust in what God says is necessary. It cost Him the precious blood of His only begotten Son to make it possible to restore the relationship that He intended to have with us before Adam sinned. Why should we think that our desires must override His at such a cost to Him. He not only offers Salvation but adoption as sons and an inheritance.

What more could we ask for in exchange for perishing in a Lake of Fire and eternally suffering apart from the presence and power of a good, kind, righteous and loving God who is not merely loving but just and holy.

Accept God on His terms since He is the potter and we are only clay. After all, He is the Impartial Judge.

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.


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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.


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(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 – October 28, 2012

October 28, 2012 – Read the Word on Worship

Why Is Jesus So Cranky? from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

Does Jesus ever get grumpy? Just wake up on the wrong side of the bed after dealing with the disciples with yet another problem? Maybe if we saw Jesus in His full glory on the Mount of Transfiguration we would understand what Jesus sacrificed to come to earth to redeem mankind. Join us this Sunday for our continuing study of the Gospel of Mark in Mark 9 verses 1 to 29 as we look at “Why Is Jesus So Cranky?”


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Mark 9:18-20
“I told Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not do it.” And He answered them and said, “O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to Me!”

The pandemonium that greets Jesus and the three disciples when they come off the mountain might give Peter new incentive to return to the place of glory to build those shelters, far removed from the noise down below. Coming back from the glory of the Transfiguration and into collapse of the disciples’ failure to cast out the demon was not what anyone expected. How many times have we desired to retreat from life’s failures or from a faithless generation?  I am sure the disciples would understand the commercial that asks, “Want to get away?”

This episode is different from the other exorcisms we have already seen in the Gospel of Mark. The earlier encounters demonstrate the authority of Jesus over the demons but here Mark turns our attention to the failure of the disciples to cast out the demon and the father’s need for faith. The disciples are just like us – beset by failure, eager to engage in arguments, undisciplined in our prayer lives, and more interested in learning technique instead of taking the time needed to walk closely with God. This incident shows us how feeble we all are when we are running on our own steam.

To their credit, the disciples want to learn from their failure. Their question to Jesus reveals their assumption that it is all about their technique. They thought it was all about their skills and power, so the only reason why something went awry had to be the result of poor technique. Power in our spiritual lives has nothing to do with the right combination of words or actions. There is no lamp to rub to get our magical three wishes. The answer Jesus gives His disciples makes it clear that spiritual power has nothing to do with secret lore, techniques or incantations. They had trusted in themselves and their power rather than in God.

Only when we, like the disciples, come up short in failure do we realize that we posses no power in ourselves. Those who belong to the faithless generation do not cast out evil. God does. The power belongs entirely to God and must be received afresh from Him through a life of prayer and self sacrifice. We cannot take a course to learn the ins and outs of spiritual effectiveness, as if the power of God is earned like a merit badge. Our attitude must be like the father in Mark 9:24: “I do believe; help my unbelief.” It is only then we will be useful as healers and agents of comfort for those who suffer.

Sunday – September 09, 2012

September 09, 2012 – Read the Word on Worship

Devinely Designed Delays from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

Ever get stuck and in a traffic jam and missed an appointment? How about when that phone call comes in just as you were preparing to leave to meet a friend who had a problem? The frustration we have for delays can drive us up the wall. Or it could be a divine delay. Jesus knew all about delays in travel and ministry itineraries. But they were never a cause for concern, but an opportunity for God to demonstrate His sovereignty. Join us Sunday September 9th as we continue in our study of the Gospel of Mark and look at “Divine Delays” in Mark chapter 5 verses 21 to 43.


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Mark 5:35-37
While He was still speaking, they came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?” But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.” 

The theme of belief runs through the gospel of Mark. But belief is one of the least understood concepts today. We have confused biblical belief with opinions, personal desires, and the evaluation of people and situations. When we lump the belief in Jesus Christ with our belief in a political philosophy, our plans for the future and the likelihood of our favorite team making the playoffs, is it any wonder we do not see the power of God in our lives?

Belief opens the door to the power of God. By it, divine power is given to those who are utterly powerless. Faith can be bold; it can be halting; it can be imperfect and it can be filled with trepidation. All that is needed for it to be effective is for it to be directed to Jesus Christ. When faith is in the person of Jesus Christ, it overcomes obstacles. The woman worked her way through the crowds and overcomes any sense of shame she had to reach out and touch His garments. The synagogue leader had to overcome the peer pressure of the other religious leaders who were already conspiring how they may put Jesus to death and humbly ask Jesus for the healing of his daughter.

Belief is not invisible, but always demonstrated by action. It is seen in the men digging through the roof to lower their friend to Jesus. It kneels, begs and reaches out to touch. It is not merely belief about Jesus that brings about healing, but a faith in Jesus that causes action which does. Neither Jairus nor the woman identifies Jesus as Messiah or even as a prophet. But they believe He has the power to heal and are willing to put their faith to the test to come to Jesus. Faith does not wait for the sea to divide before stepping out. Belief steps out, trusting God will do what is needed.

Belief is not a magic bullet to receive everything we may desire. Evil, illness and death still continue in our lives. Not every touch will bring healing, and those with great faith still hear the dreaded words from the doctor, “Your daughter is dead.” A miracle does not occur in every situation, but it does not diminish God’s power to save. If God intervened in every situation we asked of Him, we would never have to exercise faith. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego expressed the only kind of faith that will carry us through tragedy when they declared, “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18).