Monthly Archives: July 2012

SERMON LEFTOVERS 7.30.12

An Example of Faithfulness Acts 20:17-36

God wants us to be examples of faithfulness

Paul uses himself as an example of what it means to be faithful

He was able to say; I was with you 3 years – this is what you saw

Paul is addressing church elders, but God wants each of us to be an example

Let’s expand this; God wants our entire church to be an example

Each of us is an example of something, to someone

Thinking about that can be scary and exciting

We worry that weakness is our example, but God can work with that

God can make our weakness a testimony of his faithfulness and power

Remember our example is not of our abilities, but of our faithfulness to God

We can have many weaknesses and still be a wonderful example

Being an example for God, is all about who he is – in us and through us

Faithfulness to God requires faithfulness with his word

vs 20-21 Paul reminds them his consistency with God’s word

v 27 he did not back off any part of God’s word

There is no faithfulness to God without commitment to his word

God’s word is a direct expression of his heart and character

Yet, self-proclaimed followers of Christ treat his word lightly!

When we neglect to learn his word and take it seriously

When we fail to make God’s word our wisdom

Faithfulness to God’s word is to be faithful in what is best for us!

Faithfulness to God’s word uses our mind, but it is driven by our heart

Be consistent in learning his word, making it a priority

Trust God’s word even when it seems to put us at a disadvantage

Stand by God’s word when all around us cry out differently

  • This is why our church is serious about how the word taught in any setting church setting
  • This is why we are selective about materials used in any church ministry.
  • This is why we ask that everyone in a leadership role to regularly spend time in a Discipleship Group

Faithfulness to God requires being faithful to his church

v28 tells us why we should be concerned for the church

God deeply cherishes the Church; He paid an enormous price for it

1 John 4:20-21 informs us that love for God is shown by loving the people in his church

Biblical love is defined by our commitment and actions

We misuse the Church if we treat it like a choice or an organization

The Church is God’s beloved!  We are to love the Church and serve her

  • This is why our church is aggressively working at how we practice community
  • This is why we urge everyone to get involved in a Small Group
  • This is why all of us should serve and give to our church

Faithfulness to God does not change with circumstances

v19 & 23-24 This is a prominent point in Paul’s admonition in

Life throws many things at us that test our willingness to be faithful

The grind of life can wear us down and we give in to being less faithfulness with little things

When life is hard enough we are tempted to think God is unfair

What should be our example of faithfulness?

Be consistent in the little disciplines of following God

Be joyful in the graces of the gospel and in our opportunity to touch lives

Why should we be faithful to God?

He deserves our faithfulness

We are foolish not to be faithful

TIPS FOR BETTER BIBLE STUDY

Not many Christians will argue against the need for better personal Bible study, but far fewer Christians are actively doing something about it. Mark Driscoll gives “7 Tips for Better Bible Study” in this blog article.

While there are a wealth of tips that could be given and would be helpful, I appreciate the simple, practical and foundational quality of Driscoll’s list

SUMMER SCHEDULE

I want to thank you for giving your time to read my blog. I do not take this privilege lightly. Over the past 20 months the readership has slowly grown. I am thankful to God for this and I pray regularly  that He will use these posts to help us grow in our love for Him.

Maintaining a schedule of five articles a week can be overwhelming at times. I enjoy blogging, but I don’t want to become burned out by it. For the rest of the summer, I will reduce my articles from five times a week to three times a week. That will make a big difference for me. In September I plan on returning to my regular schedule of publishing five days a week

I want your suggestions for how to improve my blog, so please send me your thoughts at the Well Rooted email address:  khuber.wellrooted@gmail.com


SERMON LEFTOVERS 7.23.12

“The Gospel Always Fits” Acts 19:8-20

Paul’s ministry led him to many unusual circumstances

Paul’s ministry in Ephesus is one of the most dramatic in Acts

Unusual miracles took place and powerful confirmations about Paul occurred (vs 8-12)

But those who wanted to capitalize on Paul’s success found that didn’t work (vs 13-16)

Paul’s success was not a human formula, his focus was on proclaiming God’s word

What was the real success of Paul’s ministry? (vs 17-20)

v17  Not Paul becoming famous, but Jesus being exalted

v18  Not Paul experiencing miracles, but  people believing the gospel

v20  Not Paul’s leadership, but people submitting to God’s rule

Are we defining a successful life by the place God has in our life?

If we want to learn a formula from Paul’s success here it is:

Use God’s word in all that we do, and God will use us in what He is doing

A life rooted in God’s word will always be fruitful, because it follows God who makes fruitfulness

Paul’s ministry took him to all types of people

Paul consistently worked within the context of those he was reaching

In each city his language and illustrations fit the audience

Paul never shaped the gospel to please to his audience, but he communicated the gospel in language people understood

When it comes to what the Bible teaches, there is nothing to omit

Some biblical truths will be more controversial to some people

It is good to be sensitive to how biblical truths affect people, but the gospel can only have one shape, which is the one God gave it

Every truth in God’s word is fit for every person

Every person needs Christ and all their issues are God issues

Regardless of who you meet, the gospel fits their need

The real issue in everyone’s life is their separation from God

Regardless of what circumstances people face, the gospel fits those circumstances

Paul also went through different seasons of ministry

We have seen his years of travel in which he preached the gospel and established churches

We will soon see him in his prison years, when ministry was primarily through his pen

But we never see Paul without seeing him active in serving the gospel

The gospel always fits where we are in life

All seasons of life are for God and to serve the gospel of Christ

Do we put off serving God for a more opportune time?

How we can serve God does change with the seasons of life, but the time to serve Him is always now

An event we will all share is to stand before God

Is your life fit for that moment?

Will God be able to say about you, “well done good and faithful servant”?

ONE ANOTHER

Several weeks ago I gave a sermon found here presenting the mutual responsibilities that all Christians have toward “one another”. In western culture we typically think first of our individualism. Although we are individually saved, our growth and responsibilities do not remain in the arena of individualism. We are part of something far grander – if we will just step into it!

The word pictures that the Bible uses for the church emphasize interconnection: the body of Christ, a temple for God and the family of God. The pictures tell us that to live for Christ we must live in connection to other believers. There is no way around it; to neglect this truth is to live in neglect and disobedience to Christ.

Character building and Christ following require connection with fellow believers.

How are we connected with the people of our church? Is it simply surface friendliness or do we care for one another? Are we acquaintances or do we share life with one another? I understand wanting to hold back and keep in my own world, however I also know how satisfying it is to see my life have meaningful interaction with fellow believers, both in my church and in other parts of the world.

If honesty leads you to the conviction that you are not part of “one another” in any significant way, the good news is that there are simple steps you can take right now. Talk to a pastor about being part of a small group. Ask a mature believer to participate with you in a mentoring role. If you are in a small group, pray for the people in that group, and spend time with them beyond official meeting times.

Sharing life with one another is work, but it also brings richness and grace into our life. God works in us and He works through us when we faithfully connect with one another. These are wonderful realities to experience.

But don’t put this off – do something today!

The One Another chart above is from the Visual Theology series by Tim Challies. If you click on the image it will get large enough to see the writing (the first click may make it smaller, click again to fill your screen). You can see the rest of the Visual Theology series at this link

Thoughts from the Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference

Debbie Huber, Guest Blogger

Last month I had the opportunity to attend The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference in Orlando, Florida.  Along with the almost 4000 other women in attendance, we heard from many speakers including John Piper, Tim Keller, D.A. Carson, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Nancy Guthrie, Elyse Fitzpatrick, and Paige Benton Brown (to name a few).  With the theme of “Here is Our God:  God’s Revelation of Himself in Scripture”, the speakers guided us through the Bible’s unfolding revelation of God to human eyes and hearts. We heard exposition of biblical texts in which the Lord shows himself to his people throughout Scripture.

I would have loved to have all of you there with me to worship together and to be encouraged in the joy of knowing God more through His Word.  But since the logistics of this was not possible, I am able to share a link to ALL of the video and audio from the conference!  The Gospel Coalition has generously shared all of the sessions to be viewed for free! You can see them at this link

As you will see there were many sessions to attend and I attended everyone available to me.  A wonderful truth that was emphasized throughout the teachings is that God’s plan of salvation is unfolding throughout all of Scripture.  To see His Story unfold from the Old Testament through the New Testament is humbling, amazing and awe-inspiring.

We saw that our God is a God of splendor and sacrifice, terrifying yet beckoning, majestic but also a suffering servant.  He cannot be contained yet He chooses to reside in his children.   And these truths of God are seen throughout all of scripture, from Genesis to Revelation.

During Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s session she quoted a statistic that, when her audiences at conferences are surveyed, almost invariably 90% of the women respond that they do not have a consistent devotional life.  I am afraid that this may be true of many devoted Christian women in our church.  If we do not have a consistent time everyday reading His Word how will we grow in knowing our God and be impacted by His amazing story of redemption?  How often will our daily thoughts and interactions not even consider the Gospel if we are not immersed in knowing Him more?  We are part of His story!   In spite of how much we sin against God, He displays His grace toward us and loved us with an amazing love to die for us.

Don’t let the mundane of life take away from the amazing!  Read God’s word and be amazed at who He is, that He took the wrath of our sin in our place despite how undeserving we are.  His love is unfathomable and humbling!

As Elyse Fitzpatrick said in her session, “We are more sinful and flawed than we ever dared believe but we are also more loved and welcomed than we ever dared hope.”

CUPCAKE THROWDOWN . . AND THE WINNER IS

The Huber Family Cupcake Throw down may be over, but the smiles and the added pounds will last for awhile.

All the contestants and the judges

We offer our thanks to the judges, chefs John and Victoria Merlino, who pushed their way through eating a lot of cupcakes in order to select a winner.

Ten cupcakes were entered into the contest:

  • Pina Colada cupcake with coconut and rum whipped cream, pineapple juice reduction and toasted coconut (Jordan Huber)
  • Peanut butter cupcake with peanut butter icing and chocolate ganache (Ryan Pattison and Jillian Huber)
  • Gluten free vanilla cupcake with chocolate chip cookie dough center and frosting, and cookie topping (Shelby Burton)
  • Lemon cupcake with lemon butter cream frosting (Jennifer Huber)
  • Gingerbread cupcake with caramelized mango frosting (Jennifer Huber)
  • Buffalo chicken cornbread cupcake with blue cheese icing (Jennifer Huber)
  • Cinnamon streusel cupcake (Kappy Huber)
  • Vanilla caramel custard cupcake with fresh whipped cream and salted caramel sauce (Pasquale and Hudson Tedeschi)
  • Three layered banana caramel cupcake with whipped cream and caramel frosting (Elyse Huber)
  • Chocolate cupcake with salted caramel frosting (Debbie Huber)


John and Victoria judged the cupcakes on appearance, creativity, texture and flavor using a five point grading system.

And the contest winners are . . .

Driest cupcake

Jennifer Huber for her cornbread buffalo chicken cupcake

Third place

Ryan Pattison and Jillian Huber for their peanut butter cupcake

Second place

Debbie Huber for her chocolate, salted caramel cupcake

First place was a tie

Elyse Huber for her three layered banana caramel cupcake

Pasquale and Hudson Tedeschi for their vanilla caramel and custard cupcake

Most Beautiful Cupcake Baker (My personal category addition)

Debbie Huber

Contest winners

SERMON LEFTOVERS 7.16.12

“Don’t Forget the Holy Spirit”

Acts 18:24-19:6

The book of Acts begins with a strong emphasis on the Holy Spirit’s role in our lives. Jesus tells his disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit who would empower them (Acts 1:4-8)

Throughout Acts the Holy Spirit is central to effective ministry. This principle is so essential; Acts tells us when ministry was attempted apart from the Holy Spirit

Chapter 18 introduces us to the ministry of Apollos (18:24-26)

Apollos had everything going for him. He was eloquent, well educated and fervent

Yet something was missing, Apollos knew about Christ, but his understanding was incomplete

Apollos ‘only knew the baptism of John’. He had a deficient grasp of the gospel and the work of the Holy Spirit in our salvation

The effect of Apollos deficiency is recorded in chapter 19

Paul recognizes something is missing in the disciples there

His question about the Holy Spirit indicates there was no evidence of the Spirit’s power in their lives

Why is this side story in Paul’s ministry presented?

1.  It is a warning against an incomplete gospel message

Apollos message was deformed, because it was incomplete. The consequence was a lifeless message and lifeless disciples

It really does matter that we get the gospel right

To grasp the good news we must first see that we are under bad news

To receive Christ as Savior we must make him Lord

If our message is incomplete then those who believe it will be incomplete

2.  This story is a warning against ministry that does not rely on the Holy Spirit

Jesus told his disciples to wait until the Holy Spirit came upon them, because any attempt to serve God would have been empty without Him

The Holy Spirit is the deciding factor in our ability to follow God and serve Him

The Holy Spirit is our confidence at all times, despite all of our weaknesses and many obstacles

Since the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, Christians don’t have to ‘wait’ for the Spirit

The Spirit baptizes all believers into the body of Christ at the moment of salvation (I Corinthians 12:13)

However, we can neglect the Holy Spirit

  • When we live as if Holy Spirit’s role doesn’t matter
  • When we live as if the Holy Spirit is powerless
  • When we live as if the Holy Spirit is absent

3.  It tells us serving Christ is of first importance

If we get this wrong, we get life wrong!

How are we preparing ourselves each day to serve our Savior and Lord?

Our understanding of the Holy Spirit’s role keeps this from overwhelming us

Serving Christ is not complicated, we love him and follow his agenda – the Holy Spirit makes this effective

Your life is filled with opportunities to influence people for Christ, but we can only lead others where we are going

Is your life a place that encourages others to know Christ?

Sermon Leftovers 7.09.12

“The God Worth Knowing” Acts 17:16-31

Paul visits a city of “very religious” people who were confused about God

What do you know about God? Where do you get your information? Most importantly, how does it affect you?

People are good at finding ways to obscure God

1.  Like the Epicureans (v18) we put our comforts first

We put off spiritual disciplines when they are no longer easy

We retreat into what we enjoy and what comforts us

The result is a lack of spiritual consistency and maturity

2.  Like the Stoics (v18) we want to be practical about life

We focus on what we think are the practicalities of getting through life

The problem is if we’re not convinced loving God is the most practical thing we can do

The result is a lukewarm relationship with little fruitfulness

3.  Like the Athenians (v21) we obscure the truths of God by exalting the opinions of men

We hesitate to accept how wrong the wisdom and the ways of world truly are

  • All human religions are “dead” wrong, because they cannot save
  • All human causes without God are misplaced, because they ignore the root issues

Are we willing to sift everything thru God’s Word? If not we will swallow man-centered ways of thinking and living. An evidence of this is when we’re willing to make judgments about God

4.  We minimize God by undervaluing Christ and his gospel

We may be grateful the gospel has saved us, but it doesn’t lead us

  • The gospel should be our identity. It defines who we are
  • The gospel should hold our hopes and dreams. It is our future
  • The gospel should be where we go for answers. Where else is there to go?

Does your life serve the gospel?

Does your life serve the body of Christ?

Paul describes the God worth knowing vs 22-31

1.  God is our creator v24

God who designed everything, is the one source of truth and wisdom

God has a plan for what he created and people are fools to think they can brush it aside

2.  God is the giver of life v25

We all want what’s good. God designed beauty and our capacity for pleasure

Any good thing will be corrupted and lost unless God is the center of it

3.  God is the sustainer of life v28

Nothing exists by its own power, so why fear anyone but God?

God is glorious!  Life shrivels up when we neglect Him

4.  God is our Lord v24

Everything is his possession, we belong to God. He has expectations for all areas of our life

There is no hope if ignore God’s ways; and hope is never lost if we embrace them

5.  God is our judge v31

God will exercise his authority over his world

If live in recognition of our Judge can welcome his judgments

How should we respond to this God?

1.  Repent v30

Repentance is to turn from attitudes or actions that minimize God

Unless we change behavior have not repented; simply having regrets is not repentance

2.  Keep Christ first in all we do v31

Put Christ first by putting his agenda first

As we do this we gladden the heart of God

 

A GOOD REASON

The recent storm that created varying degrees of disruption in our lives, cancelled church services and made a gi-normous mess, also illustrated the importance of being involved in one of our church small groups

The storm not only knocked over trees and knocked out electricity, it crated widespread problems with mobile phone service. The church lost phone and email  capabilities for several days. We did not know who in the church was in trouble or needed help. At our house we were unable to make contact with family members for hours.

But for those who are in small groups, there were people who lived close by who could more easily follow up on each other. Small groups give us a small circle of relationships that we can follow up and who will look after us.

Our small group was even able to have a church service (along with other families in our area).  This is the second time we have gather for a service when extreme weather conditions kept the entire church from meeting.

If you are not in a small group, you ARE missing a important part of what church is meant to be. You are disconnected from how God wants to use you and bless you. But here is the good news. All it takes to change this situation is to start showing up at a small group.

Get engaged this week. And if you are not sure how to start or it seems intimidating, simply ask a pastor and we will gladly help you get connected