Being The Church

Where is the church? In Acts 2:40-42 we learn about the purposes of the church. “With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
Three Parts of “Being the Church”
1. The Church is to be active. (and not just on Sundays)
Filled with joy, the realization of “church” is outside the building: at work, school, with families, neighbors, and in the community… Acts 2:43-47
2. Be the church – not just sit in it. (the building)
When will we seize the opportunity given to us to be the hands and feet of Jesus? John 13:12-17 12When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13″You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘LORD,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your LORD and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
3. The church is called to bring the hope of Christ into the world. The walls can’t but you can… 1 Peter 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and Romans 5:2-5 (In Christ) through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
If you trust in Jesus as your Savior, then you are the church!
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
Amen?


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Greatest Love

Recently I officiated a wedding. I have been blessed seeing the couple grow and mature in the Lord. It was an honor to participate in their wedding and lives. Paul loved the church, the bride of Christ. As he wrote to the church in Corinth, he did so as a Father loving his child with a great word from God.
There are many wonderful things that we can experience in this world, but three: faith, hope, and love come to the top. As I experience life (in other words “as I age”) I agree wholeheartedly with Paul’s summation of life.
You don’t have to get married to consider these words of love found in 1 Corinthians 13:
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Praise God today for His great love offered so freely to us through Jesus. Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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Never Leave You

Are you tired, frightened, or grieving? Jesus gives us His comfort and promise in the Gospel of John:.

1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” – John 14:1-7

In His last words to us in Matthew 28:18-20 – 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Think about it!
God will never leave me, I am never alone.
God will never leave you, you are never alone.
Let’s embrace this beautiful truth today, and apply it to our lives.
Amen?


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Let’s Go

When a horse isn’t moving fast enough the rider must give it a “spur”! Isn’t it ironic that God’s Word says in Hebrews 10:24, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” Showing God’s love takes motivation sometimes.
First check to see how you are serving God and showing Jesus to the world around you. Then encourage other believers to do the same. The result could be world changing.
This week find three believers and “spur” them by praying for, encouraging, and telling them that you want to help them as they follow Christ.
Time that we all pick up the pace.
Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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Hands Up

Are you feeling burdened or overwhelmed these days? God’s Word says in Psalm 16:1, “Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge.” That’s good counsel for all of us.
It’s built in to a child’s DNA to reach up when they feel lost or afraid. You see it wherever there are a group of children with their caregivers. Hands go up to be held and reassured. When a child is lifted up it gives them an entirely different perspective and view. Believers are called children of God. He will protect His children, comfort them, and give them a new perspective on life. It’s in our spiritual DNA, but some have just forgotten or repressed it. That leads to a sense of abandonment, fear, and loneliness.
Today and always go to the Father for protection, peace, and rest. Hands up!
Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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Walk Like Jesus

You can’t do the walk until you know the talk (the Bible!). God’s Word says in 1 John 2:6, “Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.” You cannot pattern your life after someone unless you know all about them.

Walking as Jesus did takes us back to WWJD? – What would Jesus do?
– You need to accept Jesus as your Savior and Lord.
– Lead a Spirit filled and directed life.
– Stay in communication constantly through prayer.
– Read, study, and meditate on His Word every day.
– Belong to a Bible believing and teaching church and small group.
Be Jesus’ hands and feet. The world needs you to show Him in your life.
Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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A Good Mystery

This week we are looking in Colossians 1:24-28 to see the attributes of how Paul models God’s heart to the world. The third thing that is required is to have the Heart of the message. We see this in verses 26-27: the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people.27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

The Message says it like this: The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple.

Six things we can learn about the mystery:
1. We have one faith in common in Christ Jesus.
2. Salvation has been fulfilled by Jesus Christ. There is nothing we need to do accept believe.
3. The blessings that come from our salvation are experienced by those who belong to Him by faith
4. The hope of glory is for all eternity, and eternal hope = present hope.
5. This relationship with Christ results in hope toward the possibilities of this life prior to Christ’s return.
6. God does not promise us worldly happiness but eternal hope and joy in our salvation.

Remember that Christ is in all believers – share His glory. Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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Together In Mission

In Colossians 1:24-28 we see the attributes of how Paul models God’s heart to the world. The second thing that is required is to have the Heart of a messenger. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness.

The Message says it like this: When I became a servant in this church, I experienced this suffering as a sheer gift, God’s way of helping me serve you, laying out the whole truth

The source of Paul’s calling is God’s commission* (with/together)
Our mission is within and with the church – to be able to share to the world the good news (by working together).

There are no Lone Rangers in God’s army, only team (God’s) players. We are on His mission together!

Make sure you are on the right team and you‘ll never lose! Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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Lacking

These days it seems that truth is relative and right and wrong have swapped places. Many people believe there is no God, or that they are their own God. Sad times indeed. The Bible is really clear on these issues. To ignore it doesn’t change the truth it contains. Ignorance of God’s law is not an excuse for disobedience.
God’s Word says in Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge”
The greatest knowledge one can have is in knowing Jesus Christ as Savior. True wisdom and guidance come from God through His Spirit and His Word.
The Apostle Paul wrote these great words; You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. – 2 Timothy 3:14-17
Sin is sin. Amen? Or Oh me?
Pastor Ty Choate


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When You’re Weary

God’s Word gives a hope and wisdom on just about every subject we’ll encounter in life. Matthew 11:28-30 is a very familiar verse for the tired and weary. Those that feel the crushing weight of this world and their sin. The Law (and the world) is full of expectations of perfection with no real power to achieve it. Jesus’ offer of forgiveness and God’s power leads us to rest, peace, forgiveness, and comfort. It doesn’t seem like a hard choice. But people turn their backs on God all the time.

Another way to say Jesus’ words: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Message)

I think I’ll hang out with Jesus. Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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Faith, Obedience, and Trust

We are all given a choice in life, and everyone will choose. Jesus is the Way to God, the Truth on all matters, and the abundant Life for today and all eternity. God’s Word says in Psalm 1:6, “For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish”.
God knows and guards His own, and it ends in glory. Evilness ends in destruction. What will you choose?
Paul writes, “For everyone who calls on the Lord will be saved”!
Jesus said, “No one comes to Father God except through Me (the Way)”.
We tell Satan to leave us alone by being obedient to God. Jesus said to the devil in Matthew 4:10, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”
This is where having the right heart comes in to play again. To serve like Jesus served should be our goal.
When we have reached this level of maturity then our hearts and minds will be in the right place. Life may not be easier, but how to handle it will.
Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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In Hard Times

The Scriptures teach the need for balance in one’s life and attitudes. A good passage concerning proper balance is found in the Book of Ecclesiastes. It tells us that there is a time for everything under heaven; “A time to give birth, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to tear down, and a time to build up. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing. A time to search, and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep, and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; A time to be silent, and a time to speak. A time to love, and a time to hate; A time for war, and a time for peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-9).

Being a Christian does not mean a life without sorrow or troubles. It does not mean that expression of sorrow is a sign of weakness. It does mean that we, with the help of God, maintain a balanced perspective in all of life’s circumstances. Jesus will be with us during these hard times. Amen?


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God’s Trees

A friend of mine told me that the drought had been hard on trees. Many have died or diseased. It made me think of the first formal sermon I ever preached. It was titled, Be a Tree. I based it out of the first Psalm, and a lifetime of experience in seeking to be who the Lord wanted me to be. God’s Word in Psalm 1:3 says, “He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.”

As God’s “tree” we should be:
1. Straight (vertical focus and purity)
2. Strong (in the Lord, for He is our strength)
3. Supplying fruit (righteous living and sharing the Gospel)

A child of God should be like that tree: growing strong for the Lord, but you may be experiencing some “drought” in your life. Seek the Living Water who will replenish you. He said that if you seek Him with all your heart you will find Him. Look for healthy “trees” you’ll find Him there.

Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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The Question

I love the conservation that takes place at the beginning of the “Lazarus” story. We usually miss it because we want to get to the part where a man who had been dead four days hops out of his tomb! Okay that’s pretty spectacular, but the truth found earlier in Jesus’ discussion with Martha is life-changing for all of us.
Jesus said in John 11:25, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.” Then He asks her if she believes.
Every person is asked that same question. Do you believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior?
Your answer chooses your eternal destiny. The choice is yours. To be born once and die twice, or be born twice die once. Think today about what a faithful God has promised you and then think about the promises you have made to Him.
Faith is defined as; “Belief, trust, and loyalty to a person or thing. Christians find their security and hope in God as revealed in Jesus Christ, and say “amen” to that unique relationship to God in the Holy Spirit through love and obedience as expressed in lives of discipleship and service.”
Since God is faithful to us He deserves our faithfulness to Him in return.
God’s Word says in Hebrews 10:24 says, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.”

Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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Sheep Business

Believe it or not for a short time in my life I was a shepherd! Okay, not in the traditional sense, but I did own and care for two pregnant ewes for six months. I learned a lot about them. First of all, sheep are pretty helpless and really do depend on their owner for all their needs. Secondly, sheep aren’t very bright. They could turn their face to the corner of the stall and start crying (baaa-ing), because they thought they were lost. So then I read what Jesus said in John 10:10, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”

Hmmm I guess that says a lot about our relationship, and the sheep/shepherd one. We depend on Jesus for all our needs, and without Him we’re lost. I’m glad He loves and cares for us aren’t you?

I just want to be a sheep. Amen?


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Love Like That

The world will tell you many things that are not true like: there are many ways to heaven or that there is no God. Jesus said in John 15:26, “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father He will testify about Me.” The Holy Spirit speaks the truth. The only way to God, the Father is through Jesus Christ the Son.

So why do “we” have a hard time grasping this? There are probably many answers to this but boils down to what’s called free will. In His infinite wisdom and great love God lets us choose what to believe!

This has led to disappointment. From the beginning he gave Adam and Eve one rule. That should be pretty easy… but they broke it and sin came to humanity. I have thought many times why didn’t God just make us obedient with no choices. But then what kind of love would that be?

Today let’s try to love God like He loves us. It may be impossible but it will be a journey of a lifetime.

Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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Do Likewise

What’s so hard about the Truth?

The problem is focus. We lack kingdom minded foundational type of focus. This lack of focus does not mean that there is a lack of intention. We are at an all-time high of busyness, great intentions, and availability of information and resources.

Jesus came to earth to fulfill the work of the father in saving people from their sin. He came to live His life, and to give up His life in order that we might have salvation. This alone allows us to live abundant lives! He left the church (that He called in to being) to fulfill what He began on earth.

The Great Commission tells us what to do. The Great Commandment shows us what to obey. Remember that Jesus’ focus was on one thing – the kingdom of God. Let’s do likewise.

Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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Loving Bread

I admit that I really love all kinds of bread! Trying to limit my gluten has been tough. I like eating all breads – white, wheat, hard, soft, loaves, buns, pumpkin, garlic, sweet, banana, muffins, raisin, rolls, dumplings, rye, flat, bagels… – any way and any taste I really do enjoy them. There is one though that I don’t have to ever worry about consuming too much.
Jesus said in John 6:35, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry.” Be filled with Jesus!
Being filled with God must have been what the psalmist was thinking in Psalm 34:8 which says, Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. When we obey the great commandment to love the Lord with all we have then He becomes a part of us as believers filled with His Spirit.
Consume the Word – Be filled with the Holy Spirit – satisfaction guaranteed. Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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Importance

What is the most important thing in your life? The answer to this question can be found in how you live your life, spend your time, thoughts, and money on. Seriously, think about what someone would say is most important to you judging by these criteria. We might be surprised by the answer.
Jesus said in Mark 8:36, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?”
Stuff and titles don’t impress God. Our love, faith, and obedience puts a smile on His face. We all have a limited amount of time here on earth. Doesn’t it make sense to focus on things that last and truly make a difference?
What the world offers is momentary. God’s gift is eternal.
Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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Remedy

I saw this in a quote recently. It really helps to be reminded when you are going through the storm who to keep focused on. Amen?

Our God is not only greater, but He is the absolute greatest. Even in the midst of trouble, instead of praising your problem and magnifying it, give praise to your God, magnify Him, and watch Him stand up and step in on your behalf. Hallelujah!

Like the old hymn reminds us:

O soul, are you weary and troubled?

No light in the darkness you see?

There’s light for a look at the Savior,

And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.

See Jesus and bask in His presence! Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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