October 19, 2014
Paul didn’t seem to react to things the same way we do. When people tried to hurt him, he asked one question: Is this helping or hurting the gospel? Why? Because Paul lived by a simple principle–he wanted to live in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.
October 12, 2014
As we begin our study of Paul’s letter to the Philippians, Paul greets his readers and reminds them that God is working in them–and that he will continue to do that work until he has completed it! We need to be aware of God’s work in us as well–and know that, regardless of how we feel, God isn’t finished with us yet!
October 5, 2014
The “Converge” series ends today with an exploration of the simple question, “Where do we go from here”? Given our mission and what we’re doing to accomplish it together; given the parts we each play as we work together, what needs to happen for us to be as faithful in accomplishing our mission as possible? Today, we converge on a simple adjustment of strategy designed to insure that this church is faithful to the one we belong to!
September 28, 2014
For us to “Converge” effectively, it is important for each of us to understand our own part of the mission—who we are and what role we play in the body of Christ. When we understand the mystery of the body of Christ, we appreciate our own roles and the roles others play alongside us—and we’re able to converge on the mission the Lord has given us.
September 21, 2014
NOCC has many positive things going for it right now—many people serving faithfully, and God changing and strengthening lives. We are working together to fulfill our mission. All we need to do now is continue what we are doing, and make sure we are pulling together and in the same direction. So, today we begin “Converge”—a time to explore our mission and make sure we are accomplishing it—together.
September 14, 2014
If God loves us the way we are, but loves us too much to leave us that way, then spiritual maturity is open to all of us—not just a select few. But we all know we don’t start out that way. So, part of the good news is that we get to change! This happens when we open ourselves to God’s work in our lives by getting rid of the smelly, dirty, gross things of our past and donning the clean, pure and beautiful things God has prepared for us!
September 7, 2014
In our relationship with God, he isn’t just working around us—he is working in us! When we come to the Lord, Jesus loves us just the way we are—but he loves us too much to leave us that way. So, we get to grow! We get to become spiritually and emotionally mature as we open ourselves, not just to helping out Father with one of his projects, but BEING that project!
August 31, 2014
While our culture celebrates the American Labor Movement (or for some, just the recognized end of summer), we turn our attention to the Labor of Love we experience when, like small children getting to help their dad with a project, God allows us to be part of his ministry. We recognize and celebrate the many ways he lets us help—always remembering what it cost for us to be those children instead of criminals awaiting judgment!
August 24, 2014
Jesus made it clear that not everyone who calls on his name will be accepted. That’s scary. Can we know whether we will be or not? What is this acceptance–or lack of it based on? Do we have to be good enough? How can we be sure that we are with Jesus now and forever?
August 17, 2014
Jesus said not to judge, but Paul chews out the Corinthians for not judging. How can these both be right? To understand, we have to understand what “judging” is, when it is appropriate and when it is not. Ultimately, what happens when we judge?