Change of Heart: "Civil Disagreement"

Randy Christian

One of the most difficult things for people to do in the US today is to disagree without being personally attacking.  With electronic communication over personal, and people of all generations and backgrounds struggling with the use of appropriate “filters”, those with Jesus’ heart have to learn the balance Jesus’ mastered between loving people and condemning their behavior.

CHANGE OF HEART - Civil Disagreement study guide

Change of Heart: "A Driven Heart"

Randy Christian

When someone is said to “have a heart” for something, it implies that this motivates him/her.  So, it is reasonable to assume that whatever motivates us truly is our heart.  So, what does that say about us?  Paul’s life was totally turned around by his change of heart.  He not only wanted to share the gospel—he believed he would be miserable if he didn’t share the gospel.  His heart was driven by Jesus’ heart.  What does that look like for us?

CHANGE OF HEART - A Driven Heart study guide

Change of Heart: "Whose Heart?"

Randy Christian

The most important thing for anyone who wants to follow Jesus isn’t being true to one’s own heart—but being true to the right heart.  If we are truly followers of Jesus, the first thing we have to be sure of is whether we are being true to His heart.  Is it possible to be Christian, if Jesus’ heart is not ours?

CHANGE OF HEART - Whose Heart? study guide

Christmas People: "Jesus"

Randy Christian

Surely everyone understands that Jesus is the central person in the Christmas story.  But why?  To understand that, we need to know more about Jesus himself, and about the “Christ” of “Christmas”.  Who was he, and who exactly was the “Christ”—the Messiah of God

CHRISTMAS PEOPLE - Jesus study guide

Christmas People: "Shepherds"

Randy Christian

Shepherds were extremely common in first century Palestine.  So, it makes sense, but also is a little confusing, that God would grant them a special role in the welcoming of the Messiah to planet earth.  What was that role, and why did he pick common shepherds?  What should we learn from this about celebrating Christmas?

CHRISTMAS PEOPLE - Shepherds study guide

Christmas People: "Joseph"

Randy Christian

Joseph, one of the “royal family” of Christmas, was also the outsider.  He wasn’t the Messiah—he wasn’t even carrying the Messiah.  But he was tasked with protecting the baby God became and teach him as a Father.  But we know little about Joseph and therefore tend to miss the important life lessons he teaches us in the Christmas story.

CHRISTMAS PEOPLE - Joseph study guide

Christmas People: "Mary"

Randy Christian

When we think of the people we associate with Christmas, several are likely to come to everyone’s mind—and one of these has to be Mary.  When we realize who Mary actually was, and put ourselves in her place as she discovered she was pregnant with the Messiah, we not only grow in our respect for her, but in our ability to learn from her.

CHRISTMAS PEOPLE - Mary study guide

Thanksgiving 2017: Intergenerational Service: "An Expression of Thanksgiving to God"

NOCC Pastoral Staff

Periodically, the people of NOCC gather intergenerationally—meaning all ages (in this case Kindergarten and up) worshiping together.  As we close the Thanksgiving weekend, we will be gathering together in this way to express thanks to our Lord with others in the body of Christ.

NO STUDY GUIDE for this sermon

Thanksgiving 2017: "How Do We Say Thanks?"

Randy Christian

With the budget being discussed and voted on in a few weeks, the holidays upon us and the new year around the corner, we need to understand the scriptural expression of gratitude in worship—tithing and offering to God. 

Thanksgiving 2017 - How Do We Say Thanks? study guide

 

 

Escape: "Two Judges"

Randy Christian

Jonah knew God was a just and compassionate judge—and he didn’t like it.  His response was to give God some instruction—let him know what a real judge would say in response to Nineveh.  By doing this, he not only put himself in the place of judgment over Nineveh—he set himself up to judge God Himself.  But his judgment and God’s judgment had a very different basis.

ESCAPE - Two Judges study guide

Escape: "Change"

Randy Christian

Change is often difficult for people.  It is almost impossible for an entire kingdom.  But because of Jonah’s prophecy against the Assyrian capital, Nineveh repented!  Real repentance brings change, and God can see the change both in our behavior and in our hearts.  God’s response to this repentance is predictable—and comforting.
 

ESCAPE - Change study guide

Escape: "Jonah's Prayer"

Randy Christian

We pray at prearranged times.  We pray spontaneously.  But rarely do we pray when we are in the very act of rebellion against God.  Jonah did—and it was a good thing!  By turning to God and getting rid of any pretense, he was able to see God working in ways that were good.  God’s response was to set him back on the right track—albeit temporarily.

ESCAPE - Jonah's Prayer study guide

Escape: "Betrayal"

Randy Christian

Betrayal is a strong word, and it evokes strong emotion in the person who feels betrayed.  Jonah felt betrayed by God—and by God’s very nature.  Yet it was Jonah who betrayed God.  Like Jonah we tend to betray God and then try to lay the blame on God Himself.  But like Jonah, God doesn’t respond in kind to our betrayal.

ESCAPE - Betrayal study guide

Escape: "The Mission"

Edmund Brooks

Many of us have heard the tales of Jonah and how her ran away from God's plan, but we often don't put ourselves into his shoes. When God calls upon us, what is our response? Yes, it is scary and hard, but it is asked by God! We, as Christ followers, an't say no to his plan. We must accept the Mission.

ESCAPE - The Mission study guide

Community: "Can We Handle This?"

Randy Christian

When a community is strong, its members are not self-centered.  Rather, they voluntarily put others—and the community as a whole—as a priority.  Jesus made it clear that service both in this community and to those in the world was essential to Christian community.

COMMUNITY - Can We Handle This? study guide