August 13, 2017: Galations 6:1-10 (Rich Merkouris)

Scripture Passage Galatians 6:1-10

Bear One Another's Burdens

6 Brothers,[a] if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. 5 For each will have to bear his own load.

6 Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. 7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Timeline of Message

  • 0:00 God, others, myself
  • 1:50 You were not redeemed just for God
  • 3:00 Your earthly family is important, but the family of God is eternal 
  • 6:40 We need to realize that we have blind spots in our lives and we need people to speak to the things we do not see
  • 7:30 v1: We need to appraoch those that are struggling.
    • Being "caught in transgression"  can mean that someone is drowning not just I caught you in your sin
    • Be watchful for others struggling but be careful to compare yourself to others
  • 11:25 v2 We are called to walk alongside others with the burden of their life
    • That will at times require difficult conversations
    • It will also require us to admit we need help as well.
  • 14:50 Our goal needs to be someone who restores others
  • 16:10 The church is a community of people gathering together
  • 17:35 So do you belong to the church? Are you responsible to others and that they are responsible to you?
  • 19:00 We need to fight isolation? Satan will fight for every way to be isolated
  • 21:45 We also need to dig deep. If we only talk about surface level things, we will only impact each other on surface level things.
  • 23:10 Ask deep questions? 
    • What have you been praying for lately?
    • What has the Bible been speaking to you lately about?
    • What are you afraid of these days?
  • 15:00 Take time. You can not microwave relationships 
  • 26:25 Remember what unites us. As Christians, Christ unites us.
  • 30:00 When we realize the necessity of others, we can help others and be able to say "I need help"

August 6, 2017: Matthew 8:28-34 (Rich Merkouris)

Scripture Passage Matthew 8:28-34

28 And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes,[a] two demon-possessed[b] men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. 29 And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” 30 Now a herd of many pigs was feeding at some distance from them. 31 And the demons begged him, saying, “If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs.” 32 And he said to them, “Go.” So they came out and went into the pigs, and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the waters. 33 The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told everything, especially what had happened to the demon-possessed men.34 And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region.

Timeline of Message

  • 0:00 Story of the huge fish
  • 2:00 I'm afraid many of us have started to feel like the Bible is a giant fish story
  • 3:15 Supernatural is something that science cannot explain
  • 3:50 If you deny supernatural activity, then we deny Jesus himself
  • 4:30 I'm saying that the teachings of the Bible are true, but not literally. To believe that the Bible is true we have to believe that the supernatural activity in the Bible was true
  • 5:55 When Jesus came it was the pinnacle of spiritual war
  • 6:00 There were 3 reasons why there was more supernatural activity
  • 7:05 #1 The demons knew that the "time" v29 was coming
  • 8:19 #2 Jesus performed many miracles as a sign, which was pointing to evidence of who Jesus was
  • 9:00 #3 The activity was evidence of Jesus authority 
  • 10:12 #4 There were times Jesus had compassion
  • 10:35 However, Jesus did not heal everyone, so there is a level of ministry 
  • 11:25 It's time to recognize the spiritual battle you are in
  • 13:10 The reason why you should listen to this sermon is that there is someone outside of your life who wants to destroy your life
  • 13:45 So are you going to ignore it? It isn't going to go away.
  • 15:00 C.S Lewis describes the issue we deal with when we deny demonic activity or dwell too much on it
  • 16:00 Many of us have fallen into functual deism. We believe in a higher power, just not in the day to day
  • 17:20 Satan 101
    • Satan is a fallen angel. This also should remind you that Satan is not the opposite of God.
    • Satan has been defeated. The moment Jesus died on the cross, a way was provided to be condemnation free.
    • The worst enemy is the one who has nothing to lose and he has nothing to lose
    • There is a lot of mystery of what power Satan has
  • 22:00 4 things we need to be thinking about with the battle of Satan
  • 23:00 #1 You need to raise your awareness. When was the last time that you really thought about that?
  • 24:10 Ask yourself "what would the evil one have me do in this situation?"
  • 24:55 #2 Satan's main job description is lying. Satan just wants to twist the truth. He just takes a little bit of truth and twists that a little bit.
  • 27:10 #3 When you are in a relationship with other people and there is a difficulty, recognize Satan is at work. If you do not engage in this battle, Satan is going to continue to rob you of your joy.
  • 30:00 #4 Do not become obsessed with supernatural activity. Satan cannot take away your spiritual joy. Hold fast to the fact your name is in the Lamb's Book of Records.

July 30, 2017: Galations 5:16-26 (Rich Merkouris)

Scripture Passage Galatians 5:16-26

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy,[a] drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do[b] such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Found at Bible Gateway

Timeline of Message

  • Intro -  Story of Rich's first car purchase - Cool vs Weird

  • 4:00 Have we focused on what is cool in our lives instead of looking to the Spirit

  • 5:00 Warning against Lawlessness
  • 7:00 Walk in the Holy Spirit - Walk under the influence of the Holy Spirit every day
  • 7:50 Remember that the Holy Spirit is a person
  • 8:30 Be aware of the Holy Spirit and submit to the Holy Spirit
  • 9:15 Paul gives us a list of ways to recognize you are walking in the flesh
    • v19 Works of the flesh
    • sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy,[a] drunkenness, orgies, and things like these
  • 11:30 Sometimes we emphasize other things in this list over others, but that is okay. We typically only highlight the things that come under attack. For example: there is no legislation against Jealousy, therefore we do not highlight it as much.
  • 12:50 As Christians we can not give ground because of v21 we will not inherit the Kingdom of God
  • 16:50 Paul sets up a second list of what are the fruits of the Spirit
  • 17:50 Want to know if the fruits of the Spirit are in your life... ask someone if they think they are?
  • 18:30 Life is found in following the Holy Spirit
  • 19:00 Here are 4 ways to follow the Holy Spirit
    • 19:20 #1 Acknowledge the Holy Spirit
    • 20:07 #2 Put yourself in a position for the Holy Spirit to work
      • Don't be passive.. there is personal responsibility here
      • We need to put ourselves in a position to do His work
      • Do we give the Holy Spirit space to work
      • Reading your Bible puts yourself in a position for the Holy Spirit to work
    • 24:50 #3 You need to act on promptings 
      • Follow the promptings
        • Gossip starts to enter the conversation, follow the prompting to leave
        • If the Holy Spirit gives you a prompting to encourage someone .. do it
    • 27:00 #4 By knowing the Character of God
      • The Law of God gives us insight into the heart of God to allow us to understand when promptings are from the Holy Spirit vs the World
  • 28:50 Do you have a vibrant spiritual life?
  • 29:05 Are you living in apathy? You just don't care.
  • 29:45 Our apathy affects our decision making and our character
  • 30:00 Its time to look outside myself to Holy Spirit for new life
  • 30:25 Some of us are focused on our performance... looking like we are doing the right thing
  • 31:10 How do you know you are in this category?
    • Are you quick to buy the next great thing?
    • True spirituality brings contentment
  • 31:58 No one knows the true stress or brings you true joy in your life
    • True spirituality brings meaningful relationships in your life
  • 33:00 So when it comes to you spiritual well being, are you going to go for the cool and the in or the weird where true life is found?


July 23, 2017: Galations 3:1-7 (Rich Merkouris)

Scripture Passage Galatians 3:1-7

3 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by[a] the flesh?4 Did you suffer[b] so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?

7 Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.

Timeline of Message

  • 0:00 Story of the broken lawn mower
  • 1:45 Is your spiritual walk like a self propelled lawn mower that will gets stuck?
  • 3:15 How do you have Vibrant Spiritual Life?
  • 3:50 The problem is you want control
  • 4:20 A healthy vibrant spiritual life means you need to give up control
  • 5:00 It's impossible to have a vibrant spiritual life without the Holy Spirit
  • 5:50 Who is the Holy Spirit?
    • The Holy Spirit is not the Father or the Son
    • It is actually a person (Mathew 28, John 14)
    • A personal being dwelling among us
  • 11:50 You can't have spirituality without the Holy spirit
  • 12:20 The Necessity of the Holy Spirit
  • 13:00 You can not come to God without God
  • 13:50 You can not follow God without God allowing it
  • 14:50 Faith is a gift and it is dependent on God
    • 1 Corinthians 12:3 3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.
    • The Holy Spirit is a Necessity
  • 16:50 The Holy Spirit is Available for us
    • Galatians 3:2-3  Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by[a] the flesh?
    • God is asking "Why would you do it on your own when the Holy Spirit is avaialble?"
    • Luke 11:13  13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
    • Jesus is saying the Holy Spirit is available today!
  • 19:25 Do you believe in the availability of the Holy Spirit?
  • 20:00 We need the Holy Spirit as the Flesh is very strong
  • 21:15 True Christian Spirituality is not looking to oneself it is looking to the Holy Spirit for Strength, Power and Identity
  • 22:00 And this can make some of you uncomfortable, but do not resist it
  • 22:30 Pray "Holy Spirit I submit to you"
  • 24:30 Do not rest on your feelings regarding the Holy Spirit, rest on the promises of God
  • 26:40 Jesus said in Luke 7 "Ask and you will receive" 
    • Pray "Lord make me aware of your Spirit and sensitive to your word."

July 16, 2017: Galations 2:15-21 (Rich Merkouris)

Timeline of Message

  • 1:15 Huffington Post "Top 10 rules to Live By"
  • 2:50 What would you want people to say what you lived by at your funeral?
  • 3:25 Scripture Passage Galatians 2:15-21
    • 15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16 yet we know that a person is not justified[a] by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

      17 But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness[b] were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

  • 5:25 Paul was trying to warn people of some of the things they were getting into. 
    • Forcing people to become Jews
    • Circumcision 
  • 8:00 Works of the law do not equal salvation, it is through Jesus Christ
  • 9:30 God has one rule "I live by faith through Jesus."
  • 10:00 Scripture Passage John 3:16-18
    • 16 “For God so loved the world,[i] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 
  • 12:00 Faith in Jesus is in God's plan and we need to be reminded of it, because we tend to add.
  • 12:30 The human heart has a tendency for scorekeeping and wants to add Jesus + something and that is not correct
  • 14:20 There are 3 implications by living by faith in Jesus Christ
  • 14:40 #1 You have to know Jesus - We believe in the concept of God, but do you trust in Christ? If you are going to trust a person, you need to know a person.
  • 16:30 Sadly, we have turned faith in to a one time deposit by focusing on the first moment we accepted Christ into our life
  • 17:30 Faith is not a one time deposit, it is an ongoing relationship
  • 18:50 Jesus knows you, he wants you to know him
  • 19:00 #2 Following Jesus Christ is not a neat little box
  • 19:35 Jesus is not neat and tidy. It can be messy
  • 20:30 Scripture Passage Matthew 9:10-13
    • 10 And as Jesus[b] reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

  • 22:00 There will be misunderstandings with other Christians and it will lead to at times awkward situations
  • 23:30 We have an example (Jesus) in the scriptures and a Spirit to help us follow, but not everything is black and white.
  • 25:00 #3 You are not going to be like those around you
  • 25:10 Scripture Reading
    • 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.17 Sanctify them[b] in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself,[c] that they also may be sanctified[d] in truth.
  • 26:00 You are going to march to a different drumbeat than others. 
  • 28:00 There is only one pathway "Faith in Jesus Christ"
  • 28:50 "What do you live off" 
    • Being in control
    • Appreciation form others
    • Impurity
  • 30:00 Live off Jesus

July 9, 2017: Galatians 1:1-10 (Rich Merkouris)

Timeline of Message

  • 0:10 Story of driving without directions
  • 2:30 Have you been on a road to nowhere?
  • 3:00 Road to nowhere: A pathway of religion - religious activity
  • 4:15 Religious activity puts us in a state of pride. 
  • 5:00 Road to nowhere: A pathway of Free For All
  • 5:30 A concept of love is God -  Who are you to judge me
  • 6:30 Road to nowhere: Third pathway: Me First! -  Every decision that always revolves around me
  • 7:18 Road to nowhere: Fourth pathway: People pleasing - "Are they going to still like me if I do this?"
  • 8:00 God wants a different path for you
  • 8:45 Galatians 1:1-10 
    • Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2 and all the brothers[a] who are with me,

      To the churches of Galatia:

      3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

      No Other Gospel

      6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

      10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant[b] of Christ.

  • 10:00 the reality is that there is not another Gospel. Paul is stating there is only one true way to God.
  • 11:15 Watch out for false teachers.
  • 14:00 We need to return to the heart of the main message which is the message of Jesus Christ
  • 14:35 The Gospel means Good News
  • 15:15 Romans 1:1-6 
    • Paul, a servant[a] of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David[b] according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, 6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
  • 17:40 The Gospel is the announcement of Jesus Christ
  • 19:00 The Gospel shares that we are free from Satan and also satisfying the wrath of God.
  • 20:50 Is my view focused on the Gospel? Do I believe that Jesus is King?
  • 22:20 Who is King in your life?
  • 24:50 You know you are a people pleaser if you have gotten to the point what you are supposed to do or forgotten who you are
  • 24:50 It is freeing to live as a servant of Christ because you have approval of the one who matters so you can live the same whoever you may be around.
  • 25:35 The best way to battle discouragement is to have the approval of the almighty King. It doesn't compare to anyone else.
  • 27:15 Let's be people who say "I'm going to glorify God than worry about pleasing others."
  • 27:45 The story of nothing worse than standing at a funeral and not knowing where that person is.
  • 31:20 Return to the Gospel
  • 32:19 Are you ready for your funeral? It's a 100% death rate.

July 2, 2017: Luke 10:1-20 (Rich Merkouris)

Timeline of Message

  • 1:30 The Importance of Joy
  • 2:00 The disciples and the power given to them
  • 3:30 Jesus gives a reminder to not rejoice in the success of your ministry
  • 4:00 Rejoice that your names are written in the book of heaven
  • 5:00 It's okay to want to be joyful
  • 5:30 Psalm 16 - God is in the Joy business
  • 7:00 John 17:13 God wants us to have his Joy
  • 8:00 Phil 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice
  • 10:00 Hebrews 12:2 "For the Joy that was set before him, He endured the cross."
  • 12:00 Comparison robs us of our Joy
  • 12:20 We are in the top 5% of wealth in the world
  • 13:50 We are constantly in the comparison trap whether in suffering or when things are going well
  • 15:10 Your comfort is robing you of Joy
  • 15:30 If you are comfortable you are not relying on God
  • 17:30 Story of Munchies 
  • 18:20 Where would Jesus have you go? Have your kids go?
  • 20:30 A temporary perspective will rob you of your joy
  • 20:25 Do you have a temporary or eternal perspective?
  • 21:10 What are you a consistent presence of?
  • 24:00 Luke 10 Go spread the Word to all people 
  • 25:50 You and I would not be here today if others had not spread the Word of God
  • 27:00 Luke 10:4 The method of spreading the Word of God
  • 32:00 Our battle is not against flesh and blood it is against Satan
  • 33:15 We need to change our perspective that we have an opportunity to share the Word
  • 33:30 Story of brushing teeth
  • 35:00 We got to be all in because of what is at stake
  • 35:45 Your circumstance is temporary because your eternity is fixed
  • 36:00 We rejoice because our name is in the book of heaven 

June 25, 2017: Hebrews 11:1-3 (Pastor Samuel Gayetaye)

Timeline of Message

  • 1:30 Thank you for your partnership with friends in Liberia
  • 5:50 Reading of Hebrews 11:1-3 
  • 10:10 Eternal Life is received through Faith by Grace
  • 12:12 Walking by Faith
  • 14:30 Speak the word of Faith and put your Faith in the Lord
  • 16:10 Job going through trials
  • 19:00 Anything you have God has given to you
  • 20:30 Is God counting on you? Are you dependable?
  • 22:10 Where is your Faith?
  • 24:30 Stop speaking in negative words
  • 26:50 "Walk by Faith, not by sight"
  • 28:30 Combating the Devil
  • 30:30 God is a God of miracles
  • 34:30 Faith is the victory that overcomes the world