Faith

Radical Joy: "Press On"

Edmund Brooks

Have you ever finished a really long race? Maybe it was a 10k or a half-marathon. When you were trying to motivate yourself to finish it, did you look back to where you previously where or did you look forward? In this chapter Paul reminds us to look forward to what God has in store for us who finish the race.

RADICAL JOY - Press On Study Guide

Radical Joy: "Learn By Example"

Edmund Brooks

Do you ever wish that you had someone to show you how to do spiritual things? Your Christian walk, like most things in life would benefit if someone was modeling spiritual essentials to you. In this section, Paul gives us good examples to follow.

RADICAL JOY - Learn By Example study guide

The Christmas We Forget: "Rescue"

Randy Christian

With our focus on happiness and joy to the world, we forget that Christmas is ultimately about rescue. The Christmas story begins with the truth that God determined Jesus would be born, would live and grow into the man He was, and would give His life for us. This was God’s plan of rescue and He would not allow anything men did to derail His plan. His love for us was too strong, and His plan to rescue us was too important. The very end of the Christmas narrative is a reminder of this fact. God loved the world so much He made certain His plan of rescue would be carried out.

THE CHRISTMAS WE FORGET - Rescue 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

Faith is Life: "Faithful Leadership"

Randy Christian

1 Peter 5:1-13

Jesus told us that, to be great, we must be servants.  Even those who are placed in positions of leadership, lead as servants.  Truly faithful followers of Jesus are humble and serve God and others.

FAITH IS LIFE - Faithful leadership study guide

Faith is Life: "Intensely Faithful"

Randy Christian

1 Peter 4:1-19

At NOCC we have a Mission statement:  We exist to facilitate a passionate, personal relationship with Jesus Christ, leading to lifelong discipleship.  “Passion” looks different in different situations, and for different people.  But there is always a fervency—an intensity—that shows itself in our love for the Lord and for others.

FAITH IS LIFE - Intensely Faithful study guide

Faith is Life: "Faithful Relationships"

Randy Christian

1 Peter 3:1-22

The faithful live in relationships just as others do.  But the way we live in those relationships is different.  Those of us who follow Jesus have very clear instructions as to what that looks like, whether we are interacting with the world in general, or in the most intimate of relationships.

FAITH IS LIFE - Faithful Relationships study guide

Faith is Life: "Faithful in the World"

Randy Christian

1 Peter 2:13-25

We are not of this world, but we are in it.  We live in this world, we interact with it—in fact we are sent here to represent Jesus to the world.  But the way we respond to the world is based on who we are, not how we feel about the world.  Whether people in authority or just people, we relate to them as Jesus does.

FAITH IS LIFE - Faithful in the World study guide

Faith is Life: "The Identity of the Faithful"

Randy Christian

1 Peter 2:1-12

The one who follows Jesus has to change his or her identity.  We can no longer align ourselves with different groups of people in the world.  Instead, we need to understand ourselves as God does, and live accordingly.

FAITH IS LIFE - The Identity of the Faithful study guide

Knowing Jesus: "Faith That Doesn't Move"

Randy Christian

Colossians 2:1-5
Knowing about Jesus can satisfy curiosity—even make us think we have faith.  But when life’s struggles hit, such knowledge doesn’t keep our faith from shifting, causing us to fall.  But Knowing Jesus is different—it can provide strength and stability that allows us to stand, unmoving, in our faith when life’s struggles come.

KNOWING JESUS - Faith That Doesn't Move study guide

Christian?: "How Do Christians Act?"

Randy Christian

Christians are human, and they act human.  In fact, the first qualification for someone to become Christian is for him to admit he is a sinner.  But, human as we are, there are standards of behavior we are to aspire to.  So, how do faithful Christians act?

CHRISTIAN? How Do Christians Act? study guide

Christian?: "What do Christians Believe?"

Randy Christian

There are as many sets of “statements of faith” in the US as there are Christians.  Each group has its own set of beliefs.  But if “Christian” is defined by scripture, then so are Christian beliefs.  What does the Bible say Christians believe?

CHRISTIAN? What do Christians Believe? study guide

Parables of Jesus: "Assumptions"

Randy Christian

It is easy to make assumptions based on our own experiences — particular assumptions about our personal lives. But we all know assumptions can get us in trouble, and it is dangerous to assume without checking it out.

PARABLES OF JESUS - Assumptions Study Guide

What's Going On? - Perspective

Randy Christian

God promises several times in The Word that He will never give us more than we can handle, and that all things occur for the good. How, then, can we rationalize these facts when we face terrors such as cancer, war, death, and loss? It all boils down to perspective. We are humans, and, thus, we cannot see all that is happening or will happen. God is the only omnipresent being with the divine perspective. He knows all and sees all. This week, let us take the back seat and look at our lives through God’s perspective.

WHAT'S GOING ON? - Perspective Study Guide

What's Going On? - Celebrity

Randy Christian

We see the stars and the gossip flooding TMZ, magazines, and even the daily news, and we often think “it must be nice to be them” because, after all, they seem to have it all – good looks, money, and an important status. However, we also see the negative effects of the limelight and how it impacts their social wellbeing and faith, or often, the lack of it. Yet, we still want fame for ourselves. Join us as we discuss the biblical standpoint of fame, and how God wants his celebrities to represent Him.

WHAT'S GOING ON? - Celebrity Study Guide

The Battle - I Don't Know and I Don't Care

Randy Christian

What’s the difference between apathy and ignorance? I don’t know and I don’t care. Of course, these don’t describe Christians, right? But how would we know? And what do we do about it if we find out these are present in our lives?

THE BATTLE - I Don't Know and I Don't Care Study Guide