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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Someone’s Knocking at the Door

The Bible uses the example of dark and light to symbolize the ways of God (light) and the ways of evil (dark). Darkness contributes to our lost-ness, and confusion. Light allows us to see things: clearly, distinctly, openly, truthfully, and eternally.
Jesus said John 8:12; ” I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness.”
When my kids were little we always made sure we had “night lights” on so they wouldn’t stumble if they awoke in the dark. If we are Christ followers we can always have His light reflected in us. It can keep us and others from falling.
The way, truth, and light is how Jesus describes Himself on the night of betrayal. This gives all of humanity clear directions on the way to God. He is truth. The Light that comes from Him illuminates and clarifies how we can be in the right relation with God. Jesus said in John 10:9, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.” We are given the opportunity to enter through this gate into the kingdom of God!

The Christian faith is much easier to understand than any other religion. We all have sinned and separated ourselves from the Lord, but God loves us enough that we can be forgiven.
Jesus, the Way, provides the only entry door to Heaven. We just have to open it. He’s knocking.
Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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Bringing Jesus

Every Lord’s day should be a Back to Church Sunday! Everyone is encouraged to invite the unchurched and “haven’t seen you in a while” to come. Our hero, Andrew would be all about inviting everyone he knows and meets. John 1:40-42 shows us his passion; Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.

If he was with us today I think these might be some of his closing words of encouragement:

1. Look for Jesus throughout the day. Christ sightings are all around us – have an open heart, mind, and eyes to His presence.
2. Look for opportunities to introduce others to Jesus. Friends or strangers – everyone needs Jesus!
3. Look for ways to show Jesus’ power to the world. Greater is He that is in you, believer, than anything this world can do.
Who do you need to invite to church next week?
I’m excited to see who God will lead you to today. Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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Let Them Know

Most of us have heard of Jesus’ disciple Peter, but if it wasn’t for his brother they might not have met. You see this week’s hero is Andrew who brought Peter to Jesus. The God theme of his life might be to “Go out and eagerly share the good news about Jesus Christ”.
Look at some of Andrew’s encounters with Jesus:
First to follow Jesus. (John 1:35-40) (Told his brother, Peter, could this be the Christ?)

Called to be a fisher of men. (Matthew 4:19)

Sent out on a mission to the Jews to preach “the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons. (Matthew 10:5-8)

Informed Jesus that several Greeks wanted to see him. (John 12:20-22)

Told Jesus of the boy with five loaves of bread and two fish. (John 6:8, 9)

Was present when Jesus appeared to the disciples after the Resurrection. (John 20:19-25)

Was present for the Great Commission when Jesus sent his disciples to all nations. (Matthew 28:16-20)

Witnessed Jesus being taken up into heaven. (Acts 1:8, 9)

Andrew believed in Christ and wanted everyone else to know Him too. May we have that same kind of enthusiasm for sharing the Gospel. Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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Gone Fishing

Over time as you study God’s Word you will discover that there is a deeper meaning to almost everything Jesus says. As He called His disciples He was specific in His choices and clear about His expectations. In Mark 1:17 Jesus said, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men”. Many of us were taught the Jesus used this language because many of His students were previously fishermen (of fish) and now they would catch people with the life saving truth of Jesus. This is a good explanation but it goes much deeper than that.
You see people of that time would have known the qualities of a great fisherman. Jesus did to and knew these same qualities would be needed in sharing the Gospel. I was recently reading an article by O S Hawkins who said that following Jesus means you’ll be expected to fish! Those same “fishing traits” are what God looks for in His followers today.

Four traits of a real fisherman (and follower of Christ):
1. They are positive. Every day is a good day to catch a fish (or witness).
2. They are persistent. They will never give up until they catch a fish (or share the Gospel).
3. They are patient. They (both) will try different methods to reach the goal, and wait as long as necessary.
4. They are passionate. They (both) hate to lose one! Fishing, (following, evangelizing) is their life.

Jesus still uses ordinary people to do things extraordinary for His kingdom and glory. Amen?
Pastor Ty Choate


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