The Culture for Christ: "We Forgive"

Randy Christian

Christians forgive.  We don’t just talk about it, we do it.  We do it because we understand how much we have been forgiven—and that no ultimately no one has sinned worse than we have, when we understand that our sin caused the death of Jesus.  But our forgiveness of others is related to our awareness and appreciation of our own forgiveness.  It is essential for spiritual health that we understand the connection between these two.

THE CULTURE OF CHRIST - We Forgive study guide

The Culture of Christ: "We Love"

Randy Christian

Jesus said people would know we belong to Him because of our love for one another.  Understandable when you remember that John said the very nature of God is love.  Of course, that bets a question.  What love?  Whose definition of love?  What exactly are we commanded to do?  Whether our spouse, a neighbor, a friend or an enemy, this commands pretty much covers how we respond to everyone, so it is important for us to understand what Christians do when we say “we love”.

THE CULTURE OF CHRIST - We Love study guide

The Culture of Christ: "We Listen"

Randy Christian

Christians listen to God.  We start with His Word, because that’s why He gave it to us.  We listen through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and through the guidance of wise counsel reflecting the Word.  This sounds simple—and it usually is.  The complicated part is when we become doers of the Word, not just hearers.

THE CULTURE OF CHRIST - We Listen study guide

The Culture of Christ: "We Are Loyal"

Randy Christian

We have a King.  What does that mean?  It commands loyalty.  If we can’t serve two masters, and Jesus is the master, then we serve Him.  Not out of duty alone, but loyalty to the King.  Loyalty beyond question or opinion—extreme, fierce loyalty.

 THE CULTURE OF CHRIST - We Are Loyal study guide

The Culture of Christ: "Our True Heritage"

Randy Christian

The heritage of a culture is the richness of values, beliefs and behaviors which characterize that culture.  For Christians, this means looking into the Word and understanding what God has already told us about belonging to Him.  We have a heritage—that which is passed on to us as members of the Culture of Christ.  We need to understand it, cherish it and live by it.

THE CULTURE OF CHRIST - Our True Heritage study guide

Labor Day Weekend 2018: "Labor of Love"

Randy Christian

Traditionally, Labor Day in America is a time where workers get off from their usual job as a rewards for their year long daily grind. However, when it comes to Christ, our work is daily, and we must always be ready and willing to share the Gospel with those we encounter. It is our labor of love. For Labor Day weekend in 2018, we asked some guest speakers of the congregation to share with us on how their work and services has shaped their walk with Christ and with others who are seeking the Lord.

THERE IS NO STUDY GUIDE THIS WEEK

Ancient Tweets: "Forgiveness"

Randy Christian

It’s not easy to forgive someone who has hurt us.  But when we do something to hurt others, we want to be forgiven.  And above all, we want God to forgive our sins.  Does that just happen, or do we have something to do with forgiveness?  Many have opinions on this, but the one whose opinion we need to know is the one whose forgiveness we seek.  What has God said?

ANCIENT TWEETS - Forgiveness study guide

Ancient Tweets: "Friends"

Edmund Brooks

Friends are important to us.  Casual friends, close friends, BFFs.  Friends are not just important to us—they influence us.  How many of us remember the peer pressure of adolescence?  Of course peer pressure—and the need for peers—doesn’t change as we emerge from adolescence.  We all have peers.  The difference between adolescents and adults is we can do a better job of choosing our friends and governing our friendships?

ANCIENT TWEETS - Friends study guide

Ancient Tweets: "Garbage In, Garbage Out"

Randy Christian

Those of us with a few years on us remember the retort GIGO when we complain about the result of something.  It was used to describe why computers—which were supposed to be so advanced—could make such extraordinary errors.  The answer?  Garbage In Garbage Out.  So, are we the same as computers?  Is what comes out of us—thoughts, words, actions—the result of what goes in?  If so, what is the garbage we have to beware of?

ANCIENT TWEETS - Garbage In, Garbage Out study guide

Ancient Tweets: "The Perfect Woman"

Randy Christian

We have a nasty habit of “rating” people—whether by simply comparing them with one another or by using some sort of numerical system.  But God has the final word on what “perfection” looks like, and he doesn’t keep it a secret.         

ANCIENT TWEETS - The Perfect Woman study guide

Ancient Tweets: "Plans"

Randy Christian

Failing to plan is planning to fail!  We all know that.  We need to know where we’re going and how we’re going to get there.  There’s only one problem.  We have no way to be sure our plans will come to pass—or for that matter that they’ll even be good if they do!  So how do we plan to make plans?

ANCIENT TWEETS - Plans study guide

Ancient Tweets: "Parenting"

Randy Christian

Pretty much every parent has had this experience:  we bring our first child home from the hospital.  Emotion is running rampant.  We’re so happy and thrilled—and scared to death.  How can the doctors and nurses let us take this baby home—by ourselves!?  From the beginning of their lives, these little ones (who become big ones) present some of the biggest and most important challenges to us.  But God hasn’t left us entirely without guidance!

ANCIENT TWEETS - Parenting study guide

Ancient Tweets: "Words"

Edmund Brooks

We’ve all done it.  Open mouth and insert foot!  Something said in anger, something meant to be funny, a cutting remark or sarcastic response.  There are so many ways we can say the wrong thing.  There are so many ways we can get into trouble.  But how can we stay out of trouble?  How do we tame our own tongues? 

ANCIENT TWEETS - Words study guide

Ancient Tweets: "Pride"

Randy Christian

Pride is important in this world.  We have Pride weeks—for various groups.  We take pride in ourselves.  We want to be proud of our kids.  We try not to hurt others’ pride.  Pride is a good thing—isn’t it?  Or should we take another look at pride.  What does God think about pride/?  Does He want us to have pride, or is there a better way to approach life?

ANCIENT TWEETS - Pride study guide

Ancient Tweets: "Wisdom"

Randy Christian

In ancient times, what we do with “tweets” would be done by crafting a pithy saying—a proverb.  These brief statements were like pills of wisdom—they could be taken and applied in given situations to make life better.  In this series, we explore some of they key Proverbs, beginning with those who specifically address Wisdom.

ANCIENT TWEETS - Wisdom study guide

Father's Day 2018: "The Good Father"

Edmund Brooks

Some of us have had amazing experiences with our earthly fathers, but some, unfortunately, have left us hurt. Thankfully, our Heavenly Father is perfect, loving, and works for the good in everything. He is the perfect Father, and on this Father's Day, we look to God as an example and guide for what a good father should be.

FATHER'S DAY 2018 - The Good Father study guide

Change of Heart Update: "Real Safe:

Randy Christian

The change of heart requires that we be both real and safe.  This isn’t new to the congregation, but in this sermon we will explore both more fully.  “Real” means authenticity, integrity, truth. “Safe” means safe to explore, to heal, to grow, to be real, to struggle with doubt, sin, change, etc.  It does NOT mean acceptance of all behavior and thought—especially for Christians.  Where is the balance between “real” and “safe”?  When we find that balance, we will have Jesus’ heart!

CHANGE OF HEART UPDATE - Real Safe study guide

Change of Heart Update: "Three Empty Chairs"

Randy Christian

If you have been part of NOCC for more than a year, you have noticed some changes—not all of them good.  The changes are in something we tend to not talk about at NOCC—the attendance at worship services.  We aren’t interested in just packing in numbers of people.  But each empty chair represents a specific person.  If we are to have Jesus’ heart, we need to know who these people are, and what our Lord wants us to do to reach out to them.

CHANGE OF HEART UPDATE - Three Empty Chairs study guide