Archive for the ‘Pastor’s Corner’ Category

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.”

Enjoy.

https://soundcloud.com/pastor-brian-mackie/imperfect-worship-of-a-perfect-god

Brian Mackie

Pastor

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

30 Day Church Challenge Complete

Hey everyone,

I wanted to say thank you so much for your participation in this 30 Day Church Challenge.

We learned that Jesus has a vision for each of our lives and for our church.

We saw that Jesus wants us to devote ourselves to:

Community (loving one another)

Worship (loving God with everything we have)

Growth (forming habits like prayer and Bible reading to help us grow)

Stewardship (using our time, talent and treasure for His kingdom and to serve others)

Outreach (sharing the good news with those who don’t yet know Him)

I hope you continue to devote yourselves to these things and make this a way of life.

I know it will please God and grow His Church.

 

God Bless,
Brian Mackie

Pastor

White Branch COB

How To Live Radically Pure

Greetings,

I hope you are enjoiyng the milder temps before we climb back up this weekend.

 

This week we will continue our series on "The Greatest Sermon Ever" with a look at "How to Make a Marriage that Lasts" from Matthew 5:31-32.

 

This coming Sunday will also be our first combined Sunday School at 9:30 in the sanctuary.  We will be spending about 15 minutes together and will have a special presentation to our children and we will give everyone a look at our typical Sunday School opening.

 

Bible Study continues on the Sermon on the Mount this Thursday at 7 pm with a look at Matthew 6-7.

 

Below is an outline from Sunday’s Sermon.

 

God Bless,
Brian Mackie

 

SermonNotes

 

TheGreatest Sermon Ever:    “How to live radically pure”

Matthew5:27-30

Howto defeat lust

 

1. Admit your failures and weaknesses to God and others

 1John1:8-9, James 5:16

 

2.  Gethelp (especially if it is an addiction)

 CelebrateRecovery (Henry Co. 765-524-6007)

 Prayeror Accountability Partner

 Pastoror Christian Counseling

 

3.  Findthe trigger points and doyour best to eliminate them

 

 

 

4. Think right thoughts

 Philippians4:8

 

5. Change your media intake

 

 

 

6. Meditate on the Word of God often

 Joshua1:8, Psalm 119:9, Romans 12:1-2

 

7. Express more love and thanks toward your spouse

 Proverbs5:15-20

 

8.  Be agiver

 

9.  Fast

 

10. Pray for God’s power/help

 

 

 

Thisweek:  Circle one step to help you live radically pure.

How To Live Radically Pure

Greetings,

I hope you are enjoiyng the milder temps before we climb back up this weekend.

 

This week we will continue our series on "The Greatest Sermon Ever" with a look at "How to Make a Marriage that Lasts" from Matthew 5:31-32.

 

This coming Sunday will also be our first combined Sunday School at 9:30 in the sanctuary.  We will be spending about 15 minutes together and will have a special presentation to our children and we will give everyone a look at our typical Sunday School opening.

 

Bible Study continues on the Sermon on the Mount this Thursday at 7 pm with a look at Matthew 6-7.

 

Below is an outline from Sunday’s Sermon.

 

God Bless,
Brian Mackie

 

SermonNotes

 

TheGreatest Sermon Ever:    “How to live radically pure”

Matthew5:27-30

Howto defeat lust

 

1. Admit your failures and weaknesses to God and others

 1John1:8-9, James 5:16

 

2.  Gethelp (especially if it is an addiction)

 CelebrateRecovery (Henry Co. 765-524-6007)

 Prayeror Accountability Partner

 Pastoror Christian Counseling

 

3.  Findthe trigger points and doyour best to eliminate them

 

 

 

4. Think right thoughts

 Philippians4:8

 

5. Change your media intake

 

 

 

6. Meditate on the Word of God often

 Joshua1:8, Psalm 119:9, Romans 12:1-2

 

7. Express more love and thanks toward your spouse

 Proverbs5:15-20

 

8.  Be agiver

 

9.  Fast

 

10. Pray for God’s power/help

 

 

 

Thisweek:  Circle one step to help you live radically pure.

Shine Your Light

Hello,

Hope everybody is doing great this week and making a difference in someone’s life.

This past Sunday I preached on being "salt and light and a city on a hill." We can do that by praying, by striving for purity in our lives, in by showing compassion. This week we are focusing on compassion and finding a way to do something for someone else.

Tonight (Thursday) we continue our study on Jesus through Matthew 3-4. We will also be anointing Bill Bowman for his surgery tommorrow (Friday).

This Sunday we will be continuing "The Greatest Sermon Ever" with the topic will be "How To Be More Righteous Than a Pharisee" from Matthew 5:17-20.

Hope to see you there.

 

God Bless,
Brian Mackie
Pastor

White Branch COB

How To Be Truly Happy

Hello,

Welcome to August.

 Are you going all out for Jesus?  Sunday in my message I gave the challenge to go all out for Jesus for the next few months and see if you are not happier with your life.

 Tonight (Thursday) you have an opportunity to continue to know and follow Jesus as we will begin our new study on Matthew.  We will be looking at chapters 1 and 2.  I encourage you to come to the Bible Study on Thursday nights at 7 pm at the church while we are looking at the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) on Sunday mornings.

 This Sunday the message will be "Shine Your Light" from Matthew 5:13-16. 

 If you cannot come on Thursday nights I encourage you to read along with our chapters each week in Matthew and do you own study or meet with a partner once a week to do your own study on Matthew.  Every week I am going to make a post on our church’s website www.whitebranchcob.org and Dustin’s and my personal ministry website www.muchofgod.com about the last section of Matthew.  I hope you can follow along there as well.

 I really want us to dive into Jesus for the next few months, go all out and let Him change our lives!

 I hope to see you there tonight and/or Sunday.

 

God Bless,
Brian Mackie

Pastor

White Branch COB

Here is the sermon notes from Sunday:

 

Sermon Notes

“TheGreatest Sermon Ever”

Part One:  “How To Be Truly Happy”

Scripture: Matthew 5:1-12

 

“Godcannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because itis not there.  There is no such thing.” 

-C.S. Lewis

 

Happinessis only truly found in Christ.

 

Godis the Creator.  The Creator knows best how life works.  We will betruly happiest when we live the way He told us to.

 

Ibelieve you will be happiest in following Christ, but at first (andat times after) it may make you miserable.

 

8 Attitudes that Jesus says are “blessed”

 

Attitude                                              Promise

 

#1 Poor in Spirit–                             Kingdom of Heaven

 

#2 Those Who Mourn–                    Comforted

 

#3 The Meek–                                  Inherit the Earth

 

#4 Hungry for Righteousness–        Filled

 

#5 Merciful                                     –Shown Mercy

 

#6 Pure in Heart                             –See God

 

#7 Peacemakers–                             Called Sons of God

 

#8 Persecuted–                                 Great Reward in Heaven

 

This Week:  Commit to going all out for Jesus.