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April 18th, 2021 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Over the past several years I have noticed that a member of our family has not been coming to family events. His wife comes with their child, but he is predictably absent each time. When we visit them at their home, he is cordial, personable, and warm. However, when the family is together as a group, he is never present. Recently I asked his w...

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April 11th, 2021 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day As we have continued our study of Galatians, we have continually seen Paul's defense of justification by faith apart from works of the law. He has defended the gospel from the assault of those who would have the Galatians keep the law's command of circumcision. Paul's argument seems to imply that the law is contrary to the gospel. As such one ...

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April 4th, 2021 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day This past week I found myself staying awake quite a bit later than normal to watch the NCAA tournament. I love to watch an underdog beat out a higher-ranked team. There is nothing as exciting as a game that comes down to the final seconds. Even those who only have a casual interest in college basketball can get hooked into watching with antici...

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March 28th, 2021 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Have you ever known someone who was hoping for an inheritance but when the time came realized they had received nothing? Maybe it was someone who failed to save for retirement believing that their rich uncle would provide all that they needed, only to find out that he was not as rich as they believed. Maybe it was a friend who cared for their ...

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March 21st, 2021 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Paul tells us that he was punished five times by the Jews for preaching the gospel, and each time he received forty lashes minus one for his crime (2 Corinthians 11:24). Tradition holds that when a prisoner was being whipped, he was required to read out the twelve curses of breaking God's law recorded in Deuteronomy 27. This reading acted as a...

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March 14th, 2021 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day How do you know that you are a true member of the family? Growing up with two adopted brothers meant that I was faced with the meaning of belonging to a family. There was a time when my brothers were not members of our family. They were born with different parents. They lived in a different house. However, by God's providence, these two boys w...

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March 7th, 2021 - Preparing for the Lord Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day In Galatians chapter three Paul begins by asking the Galatians, "Who has bewitched you?" Paul has spent the first two chapters defending his Apostleship against the attacks of the false teachers but now in chapter three, he turns his attention to defending the theological foundation of the gospel. He had preached the pure gospel of faith in Je...

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February 28th, 2021 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day God has designed human beings as aiming creatures. Aim is built into our physical and spiritual framework. The Lord has given us eyes that are designed to look forward and focus on a target. He has given us minds that can imagine a future target and aim our actions toward achieving that goal. As a result of this design, we are enthralled by su...

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February 21, 2021 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Many of you might be familiar with Evangelism Explosion (E.E.). It is an evangelism program that was developed by Presbyterian Minister D. James Kennedy. This program utilized two diagnostic questions that help Christians begin an evangelistic conversation with a nonbeliever. "Have you come to the place in your life where you know that if you...

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February 14th, 2021 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day This past summer Ronnie Long was released from prison after the state of North Carolina vacated his convictions. In 1976 Long was found guilty of a crime that he did not commit. He was sentenced to 80 years in prison and remained there for the past 44 years. He maintained his innocence, but it was not until this summer that he was found to be ...

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February 7th, 2021 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Standing up to your friends is often more difficult than standing up to your enemies. We call it peer-pressure and it is a powerful force in our lives. Who cannot think of a story of giving in to do something stupid or even illogical because a friend pressured you? Your first drink; your first cigarette; your first act of vandalism. These were...

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January 31st, 2021 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day The events of this past year have produced more disunity in our nation, our communities, and in our families than I have ever personally experienced. Differing responses to the COVID pandemic have created a division between those who desire more caution and those who desire less. Differing opinions on politics have created multiple fracture li...

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January 24th, 2021 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Perrier is the iconic French sparkling water. And on each label of the green bottles, it says, "Source: Perrier." The Perrier spring is a naturally pure spring in southern France that produces carbonated water. This spring has been known of since the Roman period and in the last century, it has become the premier bottled sparkling water. Centr...

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January 17th, 2021 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Why is Paul so upset in his letter to the Galatians? It was a common form, in first-century letter writing, to offer some type of thanksgiving or compliment to the recipient. If one investigates Paul's other epistles, he will find that Paul follows this convention. However, in Galatians, he skips with the initial gestures and goes right to his...

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January 10th, 2021 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day No Other Gospel: A Study of Galatians Everyone is born a legalist. That is to say, everyone has a natural tendency to view acceptance and reward as the just fruits of our proper action. This instinct can be useful and helpful in this world. Children who behave and study are rewarded with acceptance and good grades. Employees who follow protoc...

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January 3rd, 2021 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day It is easy to think of prayer as an inward-looking practice. However, what we see in the word of God is that there is nothing more powerful than prayer to send people out on a mission. This first Sunday of the year we will begin by looking at the power that prayer gives to move people out into the world on a God-given mission. This sermon will...

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December 27, 2020 - Preparing For The Lord's Day

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I think it's safe to say we all want to lead productive lives. We want to give ourselves to people and projects that add meaning and joy to our lives and theirs. That's why it can be frustrating when you come to the end of your day, and there are still things left to do. There are unfinished projects and plans. There are unreturned emails and phone calls. It can be frustra...

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December 20, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day On this fourth Sunday of Advent, we focus our attention on the theme of love. Love is a difficult theme to grasp since its nature eludes simple definition. One simplistic expression of love is the feeling of attraction. In this manner one might say, "I love my wife Linda, my child John, my dog Farfel, Virginia Tech football, and chocolate chip...

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December 13, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day This Advent season we have focused our attention on the theme of waiting. We have seen that we are to wait with hope and with peace, and this week we will look at how we are to wait with joy. Psalm 97 begins and ends with a command to rejoice. To give praise to the Lord with gladness and joy. And this command is rooted in the reality of the Lo...

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December 6, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day In the sermon for this week, I make an important distinction between waiting for peace and waiting with peace. The difference between these two realities is expressed merely by a difference of preposition yet is experienced by a difference of magnitude. To wait for peace means that peace lies somewhere in the future. It is far off. It may even...

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November 29, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord’s Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Throughout our lives we are often waiting. We wait for the alarm to wake us to a new day. We wait for the traffic lights to change as we drive to work/school. We wait for the work/school day to end to return to the comforts of home. Some of us are waiting to graduate from school, to hear from a job interview, to marry a fianc, to deliver a bab...

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November 22, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day There are many signs that your home has been built on a poor foundation. Some of these signs include cracks in the brickwork, doors, and windows that stick when you open them, sagging or uneven floors, or counters and cabinets that are separating from the walls. You might try to fix all of these issues but if you have a poor foundation the pro...

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November 15, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

Preparing for the Lord's Day Home Town is one of HGTV's most popular shows. It showcases couple Ben and Erin Napier who restore historic homes in their hometown of Laurel, Mississippi. Their vision is to bring new life to vintage and historic homes which have fallen into disrepair. This dedication has made for great TV but it has also created a great boon to the local eco...

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November 8, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day As I write this post there is no clear winner of the 2020 Presidential election. It looks to be decided by the most razor-sharp of margins in a few battleground states. However, as Christians, there is no question as to who will ultimately be in control for the next four years. Whatever the outcome we know that the Lord Jesus is the King of ki...

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November 1, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day With the elections this Tuesday, the ongoing navigation of the Coronavirus pandemic, and the persistent labor for racial and ethnic peace, there is much that could create anxiety and fear in the hearts of God's people. Yet, praise God for the intimacy and strength we enjoy with a Savior that calls us to freedom from anxiety and worry. This S...

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October 25, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day The dawn of the sixteenth century in Western Europe brought with it much anxiety about the future. The political, cultural, and religious landscape were in a period of transition unlike anything the region had experienced in centuries. The status quo of the Medieval period was coming to an end. What would replace it? It was in the midst of thi...

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October 18, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing For The Lord's Day At first glance, our Psalm for this Sunday seems a bit presumptuous. As James Mays says about Psalm 26, "The theme sounds theologically wrong and the occasion unlikely." And if we misunderstand the occasion and the request we will come to the same conclusion. Verse one of the Psalm says, "Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have walked in my integrit...

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October 11, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing For The Lord's Day One of the great joys and privileges we have as parents is to tell our children and the coming generation about the Lord. Psalm 78:1-8 reminds us of that very thing and gives us detailed instructions on the things we should tell our children about God. We are to teach them about the glorious deeds of the Lord, the laws that God gives us to obe...

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October 4, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing For The Lord's Day As we are entering the eighth month of the Coronavirus pandemic there is a particular phrase in Psalm 79 that stands out, "How long, O LORD?" I think that most of us went into this time with a sense that we would be on the other side by mid-summer. We thought that we would be back to normal by now. Yet restrictions remain and the virus continu...

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September 27, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing For The Lord's Day What do you do with your guilt? Whether you are a Christian or not you understand what I mean when I ask about guilt. Guilt is a universal human experience. We have all come to a place in our lives when we feel the weight of wrongdoing. Maybe we have lied to get out of trouble, or we have spoken hurtful words to a spouse or a child. Maybe we h...

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September 20, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing For The Lord's Day When we come to Psalm 125 we are reminded of two fundamental truths. 1) The world is a dangerous place. 2) The Lord is a sure place of refuge. Inherent in life is risk. When you open your front door and venture out into the world there are no guarantees that you will return unharmed. Accidents, disease, and violence are a real part of this wor...

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September 13, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day How are we to understand what God is saying to us in a world that is so crowded with noise and distractions? In the midst of our mixed up and confusing circumstances how are we to listen to God's voice? We are living in a time of great uncertainty. It is difficult to know whose advice to follow and how to make sense of it all. There are days w...

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August 30, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day How are we to have peace in a world filled with storms? I remember moving from Washington State, where we had plenty of rain but very few storms, to Georgia, where an evening lighting storm was almost a nightly occurrence in the summer. Following a particularly bad storm in Columbus, Georgia my father and I went out to investigate the damage. ...

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August 23, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day What does it mean to trust? It can be easy to believe that you trust in something or someone until that trust is tested by times of trouble. Pastor Ron shared of a situation in which he was sailing off the coast of Maine when dense fog rolled in. He could barely see ten feet in front of the bow of the vessel. Numerous times he had trusted his ...

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August 16, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day It has become increasingly clear that we are living in a world of uncertainty and confusion. Nothing is a given any more. How then are we to find focus and peace? In Psalm 19:14 we read this prayer, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer." (Psalm 19:14 ESV) This ...

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August 9, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Why do we practice infant baptism at Rivermont Evangelical Presbyterian Church? I assume that many of you have a Baptist background, like myself. Therefore, you have many questions concerning the reasons why we baptize children who are not yet old enough to personally profess faith in Christ. First, four reasons we do not baptize infants. We d...

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August 2, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day In Matthew 7 the Lord Jesus teaches that following after him is not the easy road in this life. He explains, "Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few." (Matthe...

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July 26, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Why is it so difficult to see our own faults? We tend to be able to spot what is wrong with others but when it comes to our own shortfalls and destructive patterns we remain in the dark. It reminds me of a time in college when I was driving through campus and everyone was pointing and waving at me. I wasn't sure what was happening, so I just w...

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July 19, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day As many of you know Pastor Mike Palombo is going to be a father soon. Watching him and Whitney prepare for this time has reminded me of when my first child was born. I was excited and desired to be a good father. April and I read books on parenting. We asked family and friends for their advice. However, nothing could prepare us for the reality...

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June 21, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Leland Ryken called them Worldly Saints. It is a name that might not fit your perception of the Puritans. Yet central to the Puritan movement was a quest for all of life to be conformed to the word of God. Puritanism was a movement to do what God commanded and to live for God's glory not just in the Church but in the world. The Puritans were s...

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June 14th, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day This Sunday we return to the study of Christian meditation as we come to Psalm 119. Psalm 119 is the longest Psalm in the Bible and it provides for us an extended meditation on the Word of God, itself. Six times in this Psalm there is direct teaching on the concept of meditating on God's word (vv. 15, 23, 27, 48, 78, 148) and many other refere...

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May 31st, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Last week we celebrated the ascension of Christ which occurred forty days following the resurrection. Ten days later, or fifty days following the resurrection, the ascended Christ sent upon his people the promised Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. The Lord Jesus promised that he would send the Holy Spirit upon the Church so that they might ...

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May 24th, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Forty days following the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Bible teaches us that He ascended up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God the Father (Luke 22:59; 24:51). The ascension of Christ means that His incarnation continues. Jesus Christ is currently in heaven ruling and interceding on behalf of His Church. This past Thursday wa...

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May 17th, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day This past week Virginia Governor, Ralph Northam, began unveiling his plan for reopening Virginia from the lockdown. We were overjoyed to see that worshipping communities have been given the green light to hold live worship services once the Commonwealth enters phase one of the reopening plan. Now, as you would expect, there are many precaution...

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May 10th, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day The love that a mother has for her children is a great picture of the love that the Lord has for his people. Often in Scripture the Lord uses pictures of motherhood to describe his love and protection. In Hosea, God describes himself as a mother bear who will enact vengeance on those who stole her cubs (Hosea 13:8). In the Gospel of Matthew, J...

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May 3rd, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Psalm 148 is the third hymn in the final five Psalms that make up the final doxology of the Psalter. Each of these five final Psalms call for worship of the Lord. Psalm 150 concludes, "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!" Psalm 148 calls upon not only those things that have breath, but upon all things in all of the created order to...

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April 26th, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day As we have been isolated in our homes over the last several weeks it has given us an opportunity to reflect upon the nature of the gathered Church. So often we take for granted the blessing of joining with one another for Sunday worship. We have a hard time articulating what is unique or special about the gathered body compared to small groups...

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April 19th, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day How are you to rest when you are on the run? Our Psalm for this Sunday, Psalm 3, tells us that it was written by King David while he was on the run from the rebellion of his son Absalom. Yet in this Psalm where David is on the run, we also read in verse 5, "I lay down and slept" If you read the history of this rebellion you will see that Absal...

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April 12th, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Impossible means that it can't happen, by definition. An impossible mission is one that is not even worth spending your time on. You can't make a triangle a square. It is impossible. You can't make black white. You can't go back in time. You can't make "a" equal "b" and "a" not equal "b" at the same time. These are things that are impossible. ...

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April 5th, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day In Philippians 4 the imprisoned Apostle Paul says, "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice." It seems a strange command for him to give when his own situation is so dire. However, that is what makes the command so powerful. For we can rejoice even in the midst of our suffering as Christians. We have in the Lord Jesus Christ the ...

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March 29, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day How do you move from lament to praise? To lament is to give voice to your hardships and struggles. It is to call out in distress and frustration to the Lord. When we enter into periods of suffering it is only natural for us to lament all that we are enduring. Nevertheless, as God's people we are called to move from lament to praise, from distr...

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March 22, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day It is every Pastor's worst nightmare. You come to preach your sermon and there is nobody in the sanctuary! Throughout my years as a pastor I have had such fearful dreams yet this week it came to pass. But in a way that I could never have foreseen. Last Saturday the Pastors and staff met together to decide if we would hold a public worship serv...

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March 15, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Psalm 23 begins with a powerful and meaningful confession of faith, "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want." Guidance, provision, and protection of life are entrusted to the Lord God alone who cares for his people as a shepherd cares for his sheep. The title of shepherd was given not only to those who literally cared for sheep, but in the ...

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March 8, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day As the father of five young children I have seen the following situation play-out in a variety of ways throughout the years. A young child has a birthday party. There is cake, ice cream, and decorations. There are fun activities and favors for all present. And, of course, there are gifts for the birthday boy or girl. Despite all of the fun, th...

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March 1, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day It is common to express one's experience of guilt as being weighed down or burdened by the emotion. One might think that it is merely an expression, but research suggests that people who have feelings of guilt literally feel heavier. There is a true physical feeling of carrying a weight when one's conscience is sounding the alarm. To alleviate...

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February 23, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Our Psalm for this week holds a special place in the life and history of Rivermont Presbyterian Church. As many of you know Psalm 121 is painted on the wall panel adjacent to the pulpit. The dedication inscription says, "In Loving Memory of Graham and Lena Gilmer who served this congregation from 1923-1953. Given by their children and grandchi...

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February 16, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

Preparing for the Lord's Day Dick Thomson was my first pastoral visit in ordained ministry. I had recently received a call to pastor a church in Gaffney, South Carolina and it was my goal to meet all the members, face to face, including the shut-ins. I really did not know what to expect when I arrived at Mr. Thomson's apartment in the Eden Terrace nursing facility. I was ...

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February 9, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Our Psalm for this Sunday invites us to ask the question, "What is the nature of a blessed life?" Our culture presents us with a variety of different answers to the question of what constitutes a well lived or happy life. There is the take life by the horns approach. This says that the blessed life is one that is filled with adventure and risk...

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February 2, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

Preparing for the Lord's Day James 4:6 tells us that, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." It is a theme that runs throughout God's word, those who trust in man fall but those who trust in the Lord are raised up. The men who built up the tower of Babel were cast down in humility (Gen 11:8). Yet when Joseph was unjustly casted down into prison the Lord ra...

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January 26, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day It took twenty-five years for the Lord to fulfill His promise to Abraham. As a seventy-five year-old man, the Lord promised to make him a father and I am sure Abraham thought that it would be soon. Yet, year after year the promise did not come to pass. His wife Sarah remained barren and the hope of a child was tested. The Lord was gracious to ...

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January 19, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Is the world an open or a closed system? Is material existence the only reality or are there unseen spiritual forces at work in this world that have true effects on nature, history, and humanity? In the premodern world it was very difficult to conceive of a closed existence. Spiritual realities played a central role in everything from family l...

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January 12, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day "Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity" (Psalm 133:1)! Thinking of the blessings of peace and fellowship, we are bound together in life through innumerable ways. We often enjoy ties of relationship or friendship, common tastes, personal likings, and occupation. At times, we come together to live above the world and ...

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January 5, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

Preparing for the Lord's Day:The Everlasting Kingdom of Jesus Christ With unsurpassed poetry, the Psalms guide us through the full range of human experience. With various themes as thanksgiving, praise, enthronement, pilgrimage, lament, and wisdom, the Psalms consistently point us to Christ in worship and praise! This Sunday, we continue our Journey through the Psalms for...

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December 29, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

Preparing for the Lord's Day We live in a world that is all about strength and that tries to extend our days on this earth as long as possible. Yet Scripture, as usual, paints a different picture of humanity and we are told that we are dusty people. We are just a chronic disease, a tragic accident, or an injury away from being reminded of the reality of our frailty. The b...

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December 22, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

Preparing for the Lord's Day When we are in a place of need we tend to grasp for anything in which to trust. This week I heard a public service announcement warning people about debt consolidation schemes. While there are legitimate debt consolidators, there are also many who see an opportunity to take advantage of those in need. A promise that all your financial struggle...

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December 15, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

Preparing for the Lord's Day "That is not fair!" I am not sure how children learn the concept of fairness so quickly but almost instinctively they have a desire and a hope for equity. They want to make sure that they get their fair share of the good things in life. Siblings will fight over having a just division of screen time. Children all over the world say things like,...

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December 8, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Longing for Peace Advent is a season of anticipation. As a people we are directed to look forward to the coming of Christ. We look first to the birth of Christ into the world to bring peace (Luke 2:14) and then to the return of Christ to establish his eternal kingdom of peace. Yet while we wait, we must feel the deprivation of what is absen...

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December 1, 2019 Preparing for the Lord's Day

Preparing for the Lord's Day Longing for Christ: "Longing for Restoration" Giving thanks to God for His goodness to us in all things is always appropriate for Thanksgiving. Pastor Mike will be taking up the theme of "Yet Will I Rejoice in the LORD" from Habakkuk 3:17-19 for the Thanksgiving Day worship service at 10:00am. Come join us as we look to the Lord with thank...

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November 24, 2019 Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Spiritual Training:Missions We conclude our sermon series on Spiritual Training by looking at missions. So often we think of missions as something that only the spiritually elite are engaged in, or we think of missions as only being a department or ministry of the church...something that only those interested in missions do. Looking at miss...

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November 17, 2019 Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Spiritual Training:Evangelism I have a bad eating habit. Halfway through enjoying lunch I find myself asking, "What's for dinner?" This is not because lunch is unenjoyable, but because the delicious flavors of lunch get me excited about the next delicious meal to come. What would happen if we had a similar appetite for evangelism as we have f...

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November 10, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Spiritual Training:Christian Service This Sunday, Rivermont is pleased to welcome Dr. Sandy Willson to the pulpit to expound God's Word. Pastor Willson is Pastor Emeritus of Second Presbyterian Church (EPC) in Memphis, TN. He has been invited by the session of Rivermont to lead our men's retreat this Friday and Saturday and to preach on Sun...

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November 3, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Spiritual Training:Christian Giving Daylight saving time ends this Sunday, turn your clocks back on hour. As we have enjoyed in the past, our Sanctuary Choir will be singing the Prelude before the welcome and announcements. Please arrive early to the Sanctuary to prepare your hearts for worship. It is a pervasive issue. If you make $50,...

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October 27, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Spiritual Training:The Preached Word His nickname was The Trumpeter of God. John Knox, the leader of the 16th century Reformation movement in Scotland and the founder of the Presbyterian Church, was truly a man who sounded forth the Word of God. In his mission to reform the Scottish Church he engaged with monarchs and statesmen, he fought the...

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October 20, 2019-Preparing for the Lord's Day

Preparing for the Lord's Day Spiritual Training: "Prayer" Prayer is something many Christians feel like they need to do, but something many Christians don't feel like they know how to do. From feeling awkward, uncomfortable, distracted, and distant the reasons not to pray are plentiful. ThisSunday, we continue our sermon series,Spiritual Training for the Purpose of Godli...

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October 13th, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

Preparing for the Lord's Day Spiritual Training: "Christian Meditation" In a world that is filled with endless information the discipline of Christian meditation is the most powerful practice for growth in Christ. To meditate means to give your attention to a particular topic for an extended period of thought and reflection. It means to fix your mind upon a subject to un...

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October 6th - Preparing for the Lord's Day

Preparing for the Lord's Day Spiritual Training:"Christ's Peace and His Word" By God's grace, Rivermont Evangelical Presbyterian Church has a Godly heritage to embrace God's word as being God-breathed; we receive the Bible as authoritative and sufficient for all of life. Our Biblical commitments bless us with God-focused and Christ-centered worship, discipleship, and m...

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September 29th, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Spiritual Training: "Sabbath Rest" From the very beginning of creation, the Lord has ordered our time around a one in seven cycle of work and rest (Gen 1-2:2). Six days have been given for work and the activities of the world and one day has been set-apart for worship and rest. As we begin our study of the spiritual disciplines, we start wi...

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September 22, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day "Spiritual Training" Introduction What is the difference between a vital and an anemic Christian life? I think that many of us would feel that our spiritual lives are lacking in some way. We feel that there should be more depth to our faith, more stability in times of trial, deeper knowledge of God's Word, and more love and humility. Howev...

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September 15, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day True Grace 1 Peter Sermon Series This week we come to the end of our study of the book of 1 Peter. In these final verses Peter offers his concluding thoughts and greetings. Throughout his letter to exile Christians Peter has continually pointed to the central importance of the grace of God in Christ Jesus (1:2,10,13; 3:7; 4:10; 5:5,10). It...

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September 8, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day The God of All Grace 1 Peter Sermon Series If you have ever run on a treadmill you know that you have two display options. Your miles can count up or they can count down. For some reason I enjoy watching the numbers go down. It might be that I don't enjoy running on a treadmill very much and watching the distance I have left to run diminish ...

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September 1, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Christian Resistance 1 Peter Sermon Series Stephen Charnock once wrote, "The goodness of God makes the devil a polisher, while he intends to be a destroyer." The Lord Jesus warned his followers that the devil has come to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10), yet the Lord has come to bring life and bring it abundantly. Often, we are blind ...

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August 25, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day The Strength of Humility 1 Peter Sermon Series In our passage for this Sunday, the Apostle Peter calls God's people to the strength of humility in our relationships with the Lord and with His people. While the world "humility" is not so popular with the secular world, there is Spirit-given stability and growth as we become meek and lowly bef...

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August 11, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day EXILES IN A FOREIGN LAND 1 Peter Sermon Series It is always difficult to trust someone else's judgment. When you are in the car with someone who brakes a second later than you, it is difficult not to comment. If you are in a meeting at work and you disagree with the approach your boss is taking, it is difficult to follow his directive. When ...

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August 4, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day EXILES IN A FOREIGN LAND 1 Peter Sermon Series While suffering is not a popular topic, it is an important one for Christians to study. While there are many who would present Christianity as a path away from suffering, the reality is that all Christians should expect suffering in this life. Jesus promised that His disciples would suffer. In 1...

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July 28, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day EXILES IN A FOREIGN LAND 1 Peter Sermon Series Westminster Shorter Catechism #1 asks, "What is the chief end of man?" The answer: "Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever." In our passage for this Sunday the Apostle Peter calls upon all Christians to do just that, to glorify God. He explains that in all things we must brin...

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July 21, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day EXILES IN A FOREIGN LAND 1 Peter Sermon Series In his book, Bowling Alone, Robert Putnam surveys the decline of social capital in the United States since the 1950's. Statistically, there has been a decrease in political involvement, loss of membership in civic organizations, and fewer volunteers for groups such as the Cub Scouts or the Red C...

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July 14, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day EXILES IN A FOREIGN LAND 1 Peter Sermon Series Mania, confusion, and hysteria are what we should expect at the end times if we are to believe the film and popular novels which depict this event. How many watched A Thief in the Nightand came away horrified about what the end would be like? How many have read the Left Behind Serieswith the hop...

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July 7, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day EXILES IN A FOREIGN LAND 1 Peter Sermon Series What is it that motivates human action and decisions? While there are several factors involved in driving the human will, the Bible simplifies human motivation into two categories: a person is either living to the flesh or to the spirit (John 3:6). By virtue of humanity's fall into sin, we are a...

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June 30, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day EXILES IN A FOREIGN LAND 1 Peter Sermon Series How are we to find freedom from the power of sin in our lives? There are some who believe that they can overcome the power of sin through moral self-improvement, an act of the will to align one's behavior with what is ethical. Others believe that they will overcome sin if they break old habits a...

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June 23, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day EXILES IN A FOREIGN LAND 1 Peter Sermon Series Often living the Christian life is meant to be lived by looking back. We look back as a reminder of who God is, of who we are, and what He has done in and for us. That is absolutely vital when we face trials and suffering in the Christian life. If we don't have a good grasp of these reminders, w...

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June 16, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day EXILES IN A FOREIGN LAND 1 Peter Sermon Series As we live the good life Christ has called us to live, people will ask us questions. Why have you given up so much to follow Christ? Why do you endure through life's challenges and suffer with such patience and persistence?They may ask an even more ultimate question: What hope do you have that c...

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June 9, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day EXILES IN A FOREIGN LAND 1 Peter Sermon Series In commenting on 1 Peter 3, John Calvin wrote, "How is it that we are overwhelmed with fear...unless because we ascribe to mortal man more power to injure us than to God to save us?" This week we will be talking about fear and in particular how we overcome the fear of man by properly fearing the...

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June 2, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day EXILES IN A FOREIGN LAND 1 Peter Sermon Series In our passage for this week, the Apostle Peter presents us with the question, "Who desires to love life and see good days?" Which of us does not want such a blessing? Who doesn't want to love life? Who doesn't want to see good days? It is human nature to desire such blessings. How then might we...

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May 26, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day EXILES IN A FOREIGN LAND 1 Peter Sermon Series Last week we looked at the creation and the corruption of marriage in the opening chapters of Genesis. There we saw that God's original design for the marriage relationship was personal union between one man and one woman rooted in equality of nature and difference of roles. The creation culture...

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May 19, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day EXILES IN A FOREIGN LAND 1 Peter Sermon Series Dearly beloved, we are gathered here in the presence of God, to join this man and this woman in holy marriage. The bond and covenant of marriage is instituted by God, regulated by His Word, and blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ. It signifies to us the mystery of the union between Christ and His C...

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May 12, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day EXILES IN A FOREIGN LAND 1 Peter Sermon Series How does the gospel change the way Christians work? We understand that the gospel is not to be compartmentalized to Sunday mornings and private devotions, but how does it effect our "nine-to-five" lives? In our passage for this week, Peter is speaking to how Christians are called to live when un...

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May 5, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day EXILES IN A FOREIGN LAND 1 Peter Sermon Series What is the relationship between a Christian and the governing authorities? It is clear from Scripture that we are called to submit to the authorities that have been established in our lives. However, what are we called to do when these authorities act in ungodly ways? How far is our submission ...

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April 28, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Who is worthy to receive the grace of the Lord? Of course, we have been taught to answer such a question with a response along the lines of, "No one is worthy of God's grace." Nevertheless, we tend to treat people as more or less worthy of God's grace. We treat people with greater wealth, a better status, or a good family as worthier than some...

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April 21, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Easter Sunday The women who followed Jesus had an unfinished task to attend to on Sunday morning. Friday evening they had seen that the crucified body of Jesus had been laid in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. They had prepared spices and ointments to anoint the body. Yet evening came and they obediently rested on the Sabbath. Therefore, the ...

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April 14, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Palm Sunday What will be the defining hour of your life? Throughout the Gospel of John, Jesus continually refers to His hour(2:4; 4:21; 7:30; 8:20; 12:23,27; 13:1; 16:32; 17:1). In this hour, He will be glorified and will bring glory to God the Father. In John 12 we come to the passage of Scripture which is commonly called the triumphal entry...

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April 7, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

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What does it mean to live a beautiful life? In our passage for this coming Sunday, the Apostle Peter calls all Christians to keep their conduct "honorable" among the unbelieving world. The word translated "honorable" has a broader meaning of "beautiful" or "well ordered." Conduct which is honorable is sound and whole and beautiful. The life of a Christian should be one tha...

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October 20, 2017 - Cupola Express

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Preparing for the Lord's Day Union with Christ is short hand for describing the relationship that Christians have with their savior. It means that we have been so joined to Christ that we have a new identity, that we have been forgiven and that we have spiritual life that all flows from our Savior. As a result of this union, whatever Christ does, affects us. If He dies, w...

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October 13, 2017 - Cupola Express

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Preparing for the Lord's Day We do not often speak of the session of Christ. We speak of His incarnation, His death, His resurrection, and His ascension. Yet those have all taken place in the past. What is Jesus Christ doing right now? The theological term for what Christ is doing right now is session. Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God ruling this world with all p...

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October 6, 2017 - Preparing for the Lord’s Day

Puritan John Preston once commented that, "To be in Christ is the ground of all salvation." It is from our union with Christ that every aspect of salvation flows. Our election, calling, regeneration, conversion, justification, adoption, sanctification, and glorification all flow from being joined to Christ by God's grace. This week, we will begin a three week study of unio...

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September 30, 2017 - Cupola Express

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Weekly Preparing for the Lord's Day and the latest announcements and information...

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September 22, 2017 - The Cupola Express

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This week's Preparing for the Lord's Day and the latest announcements and information....

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September 15, 2017 - Preparing For The Lord’s Day

Have you ever been trapped? Maybe when you were a child you got your head stuck in the banister. Or, as an adult you have been locked in a room by accident or stuck in traffic for hours. It is a rather helpless feeling to be trapped. To know that unless someone comes to rescue you, you have no hope of freedom. This week we will continue our study of Colossians focusing on ...

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September 8, 2017 - Preparing for the Lord's Day

Have you ever struggled to be free of a besetting sin? Something that you desired to leave behind but for some reason could not stop yourself from doing? We all struggle in this way. Yet as Christians our response is not the same as the world's response. To be free from the power of sin we do not look to the law but rather to the power of the gospel. This week we will cont...

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