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Sunday Sermon June 11th, 2017



Good News Radio Program

In case you don’t know we have been on the radio since April.

Here is one of our recent broadcasts, “Imperfect Worship of a Perfect God.”


Brian Mackie


Confronting the Fearsome Foursome

I realize it has been awhile since I have posted about my quest to live the abundant life.

I wanted to wait until I felt I had something of substance to share. Sure, I had some thoughts, but most of those were from earlier stages of my journey. I was awaiting some fresh insights to share. Today I want to share my four core issues.  You may be able to relate to some or all of these since they are common threats the evil one uses to keep us from living the abundant life in Christ.

They are:
#1 Fear
#2 Frustration
#3 Worry
#4 Condemnation

I had some battles with all four of these during these past couple of weeks and realized these have been lifetime struggles for me. As I was meditating on what to do about them I came to a couple of conclusions.

Conclusion #1: These may be my life’s limp. In Genesis 32 Jacob wrestled with God. During the wrestling match God got ahold of Jacob’s hip and left a constant reminder of his need for God.

Verses 30-32 in the Message say, “30 Jacob named the place Peniel (God’s Face) because, he said, “I saw God face-to-face and lived to tell the story!”

31-32 The sun came up as he left Peniel, limping because of his hip. (This is why Israelites to this day don’t eat the hip muscle; because Jacob’s hip was thrown out of joint.)”

He limped for the rest of his life. He had a weakness that reminded him of seeing God face to face. Sometimes we are left with limps to remind us of our need for God. In some ways these four threats will be a constant source of reminding me how much I need God.

#2 Through God’s grace and help from others these can be overcome when they arise.

In 2 Corinthians 12:8 Paul pleaded with God for his “thorn in the flesh” to be removed. God would not. Instead He told Paul that he would be strengthened.

It says, “8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

God’s grace is sufficient for me when these confront me.

My struggle and weaknesses will likely never go away completely. Like Paul, I will keep asking that they do. In the meantime, I will trust God’s grace to help me in my weaknesses and to use them to draw me closer to Him and be strengthened.

The fearsome foursome are not fruit of the Spirit. Therefore, God does not want me to allow each of these to dominate me. I will spend some time in the coming months dealing with each of these individually and what God is teaching me to confront each of these but for now I have one more thought…

#3 Worship God; take down the idol of self.

This is the hardest one to hear. I like to think I am not selfish, self-centered, and do not make an idol of self. The problem is, that is not true. All sin revolves around the big “I” in the middle. All effects of sin, like fear, worry, frustration and condemnation revolve around the big “I.” I want to look good. I want to be successful. I want people to admire me. I want things to go my way. I want to always live righteous (so I will look good spiritually). When that does not happen I get frustrated and condemned. When I am concerned that it won’t I get fearful and worried. All four are fruit of the same root, “self-idolatry.”

Like Peter walking on water, if we keep our eyes on Jesus, we can walk on water during the storm.(Matthew 14:25-33) Like Peter, if we put our eyes on our circumstances (the raging storm) or on ourselves (and our lack of ability to walk on water) we will sink. Thank God that when Peter sank, Jesus reached out His hand of grace and mercy and pulled him back. Thank God He does the same for us.

Living the Abundant Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”-Jesus (John 10:10, ESV)

A day after my son’s 5th birthday, in the midst of Lent, with spring right around the corner and my age being 35, I decided to embark on a journey. This journey is my quest to live the abundant life Jesus came to offer.

It is not a spontaneous desire therefore I do not anticipate this being a short-lived New Year’s Resolution type of quest. Instead I am putting into words and making public what has been building in my heart most of my adult life.

When I was a 17 year-old Freshman at Central Michigan University I made my adult decision to follow Jesus and re-committed my life to Christ in my dorm room after hearing Jay Laffoon speak of being “Extreme for Christ.” (I say that to give props to Jay in case he reads this, I am forever grateful for how God spoke through you that night with your unique presentation and humor.)

I prayed a prayer like this, “God, from now on my life is yours.”

In my 17 and 1/2 years since that day (now half of my life), one verse keeps coming back to me, John 10:10. I have this insatiable desire to live the full and abundant life Christ came to give me.

For years I have read, studied, prayed, attended church, gone on missions, and served as a spiritual leader. I have grown much in my understanding of God, life and myself. Yet, I feel like I have much more room to grow. I feel the last 17 years have provided a foundation to grow and build into the mature, whole man that I desire to become. Now, I desire to mature. I desire to grow. I desire to live the full and abundant life God has for me.

So…I begin my quest. I say along with the apostle Paul,”12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained. (Philippians 3:12-16, NIV)

For the rest of the year, 2014, I plan to blog here about my quest, my journey to live up to what I have already attained in Christ, my desire to press on toward the goal of the abundant life in Christ.

I will blog about it here for 3 reasons.

#1 To make it official.

When one goes public with a desire, it becomes more than a closet dream. I do not want this desire to lay dormant. I want to pursue it with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.

#2 To encourage you.

If you are reading this, you may be prompted to grow. As I share my journey, it may encourage you on yours. You may or may not frame your journey with God as a journey toward the abundant life, but the goal of becoming all Christ has designed us to become is one that I hope you will share.

#3  To be encouraged by you.

Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Since God has called us to live our lives not as individuals but in communities of faith (hence God created the family and the church), I welcome you to share your journey and how you are becoming all God wants you to be (aka living the abundant life).

Conclusion: I begin my quest now to learn how to live the abundant life and to share that journey with others.

The Unbeatable Life

Want to know how to live a life without defeat?

I am not suggesting trying to win all the time. I am saying one that is incapable of being defeated. If so, then check out this series based on the book of the Bible called Philippians.

It will show you how Jesus lived the “unbeatable life” so that we too could share the “unbeatable life.”

Join us Sundays in January and February at 10:30 am for worship.

Unbeatable Life

Back to Church Sunday

 Are you ready to check out church again?

Maybe you have not made it a priority.  Maybe it has slipped off your schedule.

Maybe you have been skeptical.

Maybe you have a friend or a family member you want to invite to church.

If you fit any of these categories (and even if you don’t :) I encourage you to join us Sunday September 16, 2012 at 10:30 am for "Back to Church Sunday."

We will be having a message on "Amazing Grace" and a meal following.

We hope you can join us.



Welcome to our Church

We exist to make Jesus Christ known, loved, and obeyed.


2044 North County Road 900 East
Hagerstown, IN,47346


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