God promised Jacob that through him, all the nations of the earth would be blessed. Sometimes we cannot discern God's presence, but just as he promised Jacob, "I am with you and will watch over you whever you go (Genesis 28:15), God still promises to work out his grand plan through our lives.
Jacob's faith is revitalized in Genesis 31 after 20 years where the word "God" does not cross his lips. He mentions God often in this section, and become more spiritually connected and directed as the leader of his family.
His revitalized faith also leads him into an adventure for which he was not totally prepared. However, God walks with him through it all, working behind the scenes, and providing solutions for each new problem that arises.
This sermon reveals three bad examples from the OT on how to handle a blessing from God. Isaac, Rebekah and Jacob were very foolish, but God still chose to bless them. Even so, we learn that some aspects of the blessing not able to be received by anyone without a holy heart.
In this Memorial Day message, Pastor Mark recalls the phrase, "Freedom Isn't Free," which he saw written on the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D. C. The sermon talks about the cost of freedom, and the obligations placed on our lives when someone has died for us. A small section of this message treats the much neglected doctrine of "mortification." It also includes a touching story of a young man who died, protecting his wife, in the recent Joplin tornado.
In this, the first in our Summer Sermon Series on the life of Jacob, Pastor Mark Friz discusses the paradox that "the life God blesses may not be the life you'd choose." The life God blesses even incorporates our messy sins. It does, however, demand that we value our "family birthright." This sermon may bring encouragement to those who feel their lives are beyond God's redemptive touch.
Pastor Mark outlines the phenomenal growth in the 1st Century Church, and the trouble that came with it: persecution, sin issues, division, distraction. This sermon asks Christians the question: "Are you willing to deal with the uncomfortable realities of growth?" The sermon also deals with opportunities that growth provides, and ways to take advantage of those opportunities.
This message deals with the story of Ananias and Sapphira, and the first sin in the early church. The sin of lying was dealt with immediately and harshly by God because of the possibility of hurting the unity experienced in the early church. God loves unity in the church, and it is one of the signs of revival!