Tuesday, 26 March 2013

How Do I Integrate God's Word Into My Life?

40 Days In The Word – Part 6
March 24, 2013

      “What I want most of all and at all times is to honor your laws.”            Psalm 119:20 (CEV)

how to integrate god’s word into my life
(Using My Memorized Verses)
1.   I must build on it.
“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine, and puts them into practice, is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”  Matthew 7:24

Unreliable Foundations
·         Culture
·         Tradition
·         Reason
·         Emotion
2.   I must feed on it.
      “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.”  Colossians 3:16

            1.  Receive it with my ears (listen)
2.  Read it with my eyes
3.  Research it with my hands & mouth (study)
4.  Reflect on it with my mind
5.  Remember it with my heart

3.   I must live by it.
      “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11

4.   I must grow through it.
       “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.”    Psalm 119:18

            1.  The hardened soil = ­a closed mind

            2.  The shallow soil = a superficial mind

            3.  The weedy soil = a preoccupied mind

            4.  The good soil = a willing mind

5.   I must act on it.
      “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.”           James 1:22

            Picture it!                    Visualize the scene in your mind
            Pronounce it!               Emphasize each word aloud
            Paraphrase it!              Write it down in your own words
            Personalize it!              Put your name in the verse
            Probe it!                      Ask the S.P.A.C.E.P.E.T.S.  questions
            Pray it!                                    Pray the verse back to God
6.   I must trust in it.
      “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”           Psalm 119:105


                        1.  Commit to stay in your Small Group Study
                        2.  Commit to stay in the Word daily.
                        3.  Have a party!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

How Do I Understand the Meaning of a Bible Passage?

40 Days In The Word – Part 5
Robin Burley     March 17, 2013

            Observation: What does it say?  
            Interpretation: What does it mean?
            Correlation: What other verses explain it? 
            Application: What will I DO about it?

JOHN 15:1-17

Problem Verse:
Vs. 6 “If anyone doesn’t remain in me, he’s like a branch that’s thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”


1.   Consider the Historical Context
 Chapters 13 to 17 = Jesus’ final words of comfort to his disciples before his arrest.
Vs. 11 “I’ve told you these things so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete!”

2.  Define Key Words
            “Love” = mentioned 9 times “Fruit” = mentioned 9 times   
        “Fruit” & “Fruitful” = 45 times in New Testament
            What is meaning of “fruit” in this context?

3. Interpret  Unclear Verses With Clear Verses
   Vs. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” John 15:4 (NIV)

·      BEARING FRUIT is produced by remaining in Christ

   Vs. 8 “This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

·      BEARING FRUIT brings glory to God

Vs. 11 “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

·      BEARING FRUIT will give me complete joy

4. Look for the Most Obvious Meaning in the Text
   Vs. 7 “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you!” 

·      REMAINING IN CHRIST PRODUCES answered prayers

   14:13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
·      Answered prayer brings glory to God!

   16:24 “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete!”
·      Answered prayer GIVES ME COMPLETE JOY!

   Vs. 16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name!”

   I BEAR FRUIT BY asking in prayer


My prayer for bearing fruit this week:

Memory verse: “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house upon the rock.”  Matthew 7:24

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Easter Letter 2013

Easter Letter — 2013

Dear Church Family,

Dramatic presentations of the Bible are nothing new.  For centuries, actors have portrayed Bible stories, and now most recently, there is a ten hour television series on the History Channel, called The Bible. They do an admirable job, and I encourage you to watch it.  This Easter we will portray one event in the Bible as depicted in a famous painting.  At the front of our sanctuary is a copper tooled picture of Leonardo da Vinci’s mural, “Last Supper.”  This painting has appeared on everything from mirrors to mouse pads, to musical pillows.  If Leonardo were still around, he would be earning plenty on licensing fees alone.

This painting, while not an exact representation of the text is, at its heart, a story rooted in the truth of God rescuing humanity.  This truth, while controversial, is vital for our world. The Bible tells us that where there is no revelation of God, the people live as they please. (Proverbs 29:18)  Maybe you have noticed, as I have, that when left on our own, we do not make great life choices.  As with the producers of the TV series, I see a crisis of faith in our community and an opportunity for the church to impact a lost world!

This Easter season, as we remember and celebrate our redemption through the sacrifice of Jesus, we are going to focus on the depth of meaning within the “Last Supper.”  It’s more than a famous painting.  It’s an inclusion by Jesus Christ of his followers in his imminent death and resurrection.

Christ in the Passover:  This meal that Jesus shared with his disciples was connected to an ancient commemoration of God’s rescue of his people from slavery.  Jesus places himself as the redeemer, and his followers as the redeemed.  We will celebrate “Christ in the  Passover” together on Monday evening, March 25, at 6:00 pm.  We will follow the ancient Seder traditions and see how they connect with freedom in Christ.  We will also enjoy a meal together as part of the evening.

Last Supper “Living Picture”:  On Good Friday, March 29, at 11:00 am, we will witness a presentation of da Vinci’s famous painting.  Thirteen characters will give their version of what is happening as Jesus prepares to die for the sins of the world.  Then, all of us will have the opportunity to share the bread and cup together in recognition of Jesus’ sacrifice for us, and in symbolic partnership of our death to sin and new life in him.

Easter Sunday Celebration:  Easter Sunday is always a great celebration of all that Jesus Christ brings into a hurting world.  He offers what our soul craves: a longing for intimacy; a longing for destiny; a longing for meaning.  Sunday morning is our time to grab that reality with both hands.  We will start with a really great breakfast at 9:00 am. Then we will meet for our Resurrection Celebration at 10:45.  This is a family of God gathering you don’t want to miss!

Plan to join us.  Stay close to Jesus!

Pastor Vernon Vickruck

The Back Page

Baptism:        Are you, or is someone you know, interested in being Baptised this June?  Talk to Pastor Vernon about classes that will start soon after Easter.

As we consider Christ’s total sacrifice for us, there are some matters in which we can be involved that enhance our ministry in the community.  As you consider your Easter Offering gift this year, here are some items to consider:

                       As part of our 250th Anniversary Celebrations, we would really like to pay off the mortgage on our ministry facilities.  We only owe $100,000 and we believe we can do more effective ministry when we no longer need to make monthly payments.

                       Again this year we are hosting the “Kids to Camp” Ball Hockey Tournament — which sends community kids to Camp Wildwood.  As this is for kids outside our church, more donations help more kids learn about Jesus. (April 26-27)

                       Finally, all of the ministries in which we engage are made possible by our congregational partnership.  You are part of our outreach to the community by your volunteer hours, your prayers, and by your financial support.  As we studied this past year, we must live generous lives. We must learn to be open-handed Christians in a tight-fisted world.  Your giving to our general budget is vital for our influence in the community.

Prayerfully consider where God would have you give this year, not out of compulsion or guilt, but cheerfully, giving thanks to God who has provided for you.

 Calendar of Events

Christ in the Passover:        Monday, March 25, 6:00 pm.

Good Friday:                         Living Picture Theatre of the Last Supper, 11:00 am.

Easter Sunday:                     Breakfast at 9:00 am.
                                                Celebration at 10:45 am

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

How Do I Study a Bible Passage?

40 Days In The Word - Part 4      March 10, 2013

The key to Bible Study is asking good questions.

   I.          OBSERVATION: What does it say?

·  Paul intends to send two men to Philippi.
      “I hope to send you Timothy” vs.  19
      “I think it is necessary to send Epaphroditus back to you.”  vs.  25

·  Paul endorsed these men as role models.
            (Timothy) “I have no one else like him!”  vs.  20
             (Epaphroditus) “Welcome him...  HONOUR men like him.”  vs.  29

·  What does it mean to be like these men?  What are they like? 

                vs.  20-21 “takes a genuine interest”
                vs.  22 “has proved himself”
                vs.  25 “my brother, fellow worker, fellow soldier”
                vs.  26 “longs for all of you and is distressed”
                vs. 27-30 “almost died for the work of Christ, risking his life”

II.        INTERPRETATION: What does it mean?
         vs.  21 “I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare.  For            everyone else looks out for his own interests…”

      (TEV) “genuinely cares for you … others only care about themselves
            (Ph) “...they are all wrapped up in their own affairs...” 
      1.  A godly person is caring.                    

      vs.  22 “Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father, he has served with me in the work of the gospel.”    
             (GW) “...you know what kind of person Timothy proved to be.”
      2.  A godly person is consistent.

vs.  25 “I send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs.”  (GN) “...he has worked and fought by my side”
      3.  A godly person is cooperative.
            vs.  26 For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard     he was ill.” 
      4.  A godly person is considerate.

      vs.27+30 “Indeed he was ill, and almost died...he almost died for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up for the help you couldn’t give me.”
            5.  A godly person is courageous.

III.       CORRELATION:      What do other verses say?
      Timothy: 1 & 2 Timothy Epaphroditus Ph.  4:14-18

   IV.  APPLICATION: What does it mean to me?
             S.P.A.C.E.P.E.T.S.  Personal Practical Possible Provable

Monday, 11 March 2013

How do I see what God wants me to see?

40 Days In The Word – Part 3     March 3, 2013

      ILLUMINATION: Letting the Holy Spirit show me the meaning of God’s Word and how it applies to my life

“The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”       John 14:26

“He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth.”  John 14:17 (NLT)

      “…the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.”  John 16:15

      “I ask the glorious Father and God of our Lord Jesus Christ to give you his Spirit. The Spirit will make you wise and let you understand what it means to know God.”   Eph. 1:17 (CEV)

      “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened         in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”  Eph. 1:18-19


1.   I see the solutions to my problems.
“Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.”  Genesis 21:19

2.   I see the barrier to my progress.
“Then the Lord opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.”  Numbers 22:31

3.   I see the defense for what’s attacking me.
      “Elisha prayed, ‘O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha!” 
      2 Kings 6:17

4.   I see how God is walking with me.
“Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.”  Luke 24:31


1.   I must begin a relationship with Jesus Christ.
“The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”  1 Cor. 2:14

      Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born          again."       John 3:3
2.   I must ask God in faith to open my eyes.
      “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your Law!”   Psalm 119:18

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt.”
James 1:5-6

      "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”  Matt. 7:7

“I WILL instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I WILL counsel you and watch over you.”  Psalm 32:8 

3.   I must come with a humble attitude.
      “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.”        Psalm 25:9 

      “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”           Prov. 3:5-6

4.   I must cleanse my heart of sin and conflict.
      “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matt. 5:8

      “Whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.”    1 John 2:11

5.   I must commit in advance to do what God says.
       “Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end.  Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and             obey it with all my heart.”  Psalm 119:33-34

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. DO what it says!”           James 1:22

Monday, 4 March 2013

How Does the Bible Change Us?

HOW THE BIBLE CHANGES US  40 Days In The Word – Part 2
February 24, 2013
Listen online at: https://www.facebook.com/middlesackvillebaptistchurch

      Jesus: “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are   life!” John 6:63 (NIV)

      “The Word of God is LIVING and ACTIVE.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)


1.   It Recreates My Life
“He chose to give us birth through the word of truth…” James 1:18 (NIV)

      “You have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring Word of God.” 1 Peter 1:23 (NIV)

2.   It Eradicates My Guilt
Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the Word.” Ephesians  5:25-26 (NIV)

      You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.” John 15:3 (NIV)

3.   It Activates My Faith
Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of Christ.” Romans 10:17 (NIV)

4.   It Stimulates My Growth
“I commit you to God and to the Word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” Acts 20:32 (NIV)

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)

5.   It Illuminates My Mind
“Understanding your Word brings light to the minds of ordinary people.” 
Psalm 119:130 (CEV)

“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”  Psalm 119:105 (NIV)

6.   It Elevates My Mood
Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”  Rom. 15:4 (NIV)

“You're my place of quiet retreat; I wait for your Word to renew me.”  Psalm 119:114 (MSG)

7.   It Liberates My Potential
“If you continue in My Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free!”  John 8:31-32 (NAS)


      1.   I Must Learn It
      Jesus: “Your trouble is that you don't know the Scriptures...”  Mark 12:24 (LB)

      2.   I Must Accept It
      “When you received the Word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the Word of God, which is at work in you who believe.”
      1 Thes. 2:13 (NIV)

      3.   I Must Act On It
            “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”       John 13:17 (NIV)