Lovin' The Law

The Vine & The Branches

September 25, 2022

Have you ever missed the obvious when you couldn't figure out why some electrical device wasn't working? Chances are, each of us has had at least one silly moment like that in our lives, when we searched high and low for the answer to why the alarm clock, light, vacuum, or drill wasn't working only to eventually realize that we simply didn't have it plugged in to a power source. Unless it remains plugged into the source, the device cannot work. In the same way, Christians are commanded to remain in Christ, for He is the Source for all that we need and it is only through Him that we can bear the expected fruit. If we're not remaining plugged in, we simply won't work the way we're supposed to work. This week at Friendship, our elder Tim Ellis will be bringing a message called "The Vine and the Branches", referring to Jesus and His followers in Scripture. Those attending the church retreat will get a similar message from multiple speakers. Wherever you may be this weekend, join with your brothers and sisters in worship and urge one another to remain in Christ throughout all circumstances.

Don't Covet, Be Happy

September 18, 2022 • Pastor Logan Ames

In my home, there are somewhere between 947 and 17,685 different toys for my two precious daughters to utilize. Obviously, I'm having fun with a number I don't actually know and haven't counted, but it's a lot of toys. Yet, what continues to amaze me is how often both girls want the same exact toy at the same exact moment. Generally, this phenomenon is preceded by neither child caring one bit about any of the toys. But as soon as one of them begins to use and enjoy a scooter, markers, a toy car, or a favorite stuffed animal, the other immediately wants it and will spare absolutely no tantrum to get it. If you're laughing right now, it's because you've had children, and you totally get it. Our goal is to teach our children not only the value of sharing, but more importantly the benefit of being content with what you have instead of comparing it to what your neighbor has. This week at Friendship, we'll talk about the 10th commandment which deals with the problem of covetousness. It's a sin that we've all clearly battled since we were young children, but God's desire is for us to be content in what He has given us, and what He has done for us. Join us as we are reminded about true happiness and joy in Him!

Taming the Tongue

September 11, 2022 • Pastor Logan Ames

When I was a child, I learned about an animated Disney character who has been around since just about all of you were young. His name is Pinocchio and he was mostly known for his long nose, which grew anytime he told a lie. Aside from the fact that having a long nose like that would certainly be a nuisance anytime you try to walk or move through tight spaces (Could you imagine trying to turn a steering wheel or look closely through a window?), the biggest reason not to be like Pinocchio is the fact that your sin is on display for all to see. On one hand, the fact that you cannot hide the consequences of your sin would be terrifying. But on the other hand, that's a good thing and a great deterrent. This week at Friendship, we address the challenge of "Taming the Tongue" as we cover Commandment #9 which deals with bearing false witness against our neighbor. Remember, while we don't have a growing nose or anything else which may identify our sinful choices to others, we worship a God who knows, sees, and HEARS all things. He knows when you've told that lie, started that rumor, or spread that gossip. Join us this weekend for a necessary reminder of the power of speech, both in sin and in righteousness.

It's Not Yours

September 4, 2022 • Pastor Logan Ames

We've probably all had the reaction depicted in the attached picture. This was true in a literal sense growing up if your parents had a stash of cookies and you had the constant temptation of knowing they are there but the rules say you can't have one. It weighed on your mind and your appetite until you finally worked up the courage to boldly go where no one in your house had gone before - stealing from the cookie jar. If you were successful, it was thrilling. If you were caught with your hand in the cookie jar, it was embarrassing. And the worst part was you didn't even get to keep the cookie! Of course, it was a good lesson, so that as you matured, you wouldn't continue the act of stealing and end up with way worse consequences than embarrassment. This week at Friendship, we'll look at the eighth commandment regarding the sin of stealing and we'll consider the ways in which we are all susceptible to this sin. Ultimately, even when it seems legal and appropriate, in God's eyes, it's stealing when "It's Not Yours". Join us this week as we focus on making sure we are not, figuratively speaking, getting caught with our hands in the cookie jar!

Be Careful Little Eyes

August 28, 2022 • Associate Pastor Ben Sorbello

Okay, with a show of mental hands, how many of us love PHYSICS Have you heard the expression "every action has a reaction"? How about "think before you speak"? The bible teaches us in John 13:34-35 that love matters and is in fact how people will know we follow Jesus! I would ask my children growing up, "If what you are about to do is not based on love, then why are you going to do it? Make sure you have love in your heart at all times. When you are with someone, be with that someone completely. Do not let the world distract you. Silence your thoughts and focus on them. Silence your cell phone. As a matter of fact, turn it off. Too often, we are meeting with someone and are distracted while they are speaking with us. This week at Friendship, we will learn how David, a man after God's own heart, fell victim to the world, committed adultery, and broke God's heart. How do we NOT break God's heart and not make Him cry?

More Than A Feeling

August 21, 2022 • Pastor Logan Ames

Dr. Tony Evans told of a woman he spoke to once her described her marriage in this way: "I was looking for the ideal, but it quickly turned into an ordeal, and now I want a new deal!" Why does that happen in our marriages? The rates for divorce, pornography, infidelity, etc. are virtually the same INSIDE the Church as they are in the world. The marital relationship is one of the most blessed on earth, with it being almost as old as God's relationship with humanity. And that's why there is so much strife; since marriage is at the heart of creation and God's relationship with mankind, it's one of the first places our enemy the devil tries to attack, deceive, confuse, and destroy. After causing Eve to question God's word when she was alone, the devil immediately gets to work driving a wedge between she and her husband. And he's been doing it ever since. But let's not give the devil too much credit, for in Christ we have power over him. This week at Friendship, we'll look at God's commandment that we are not to commit adultery. We'll see that it takes "More Than a Feeling" to make a great marriage, and to break one. When our feelings drive us without us surrendering them to Christ, we end up engaging in behaviors that satisfy only for a moment but bring lasting shame and suffering. Join us as we identify our temptations and weaknesses regarding sexual sin and encourage one another to submit them to Jesus!

Life Matters

August 14, 2022 • Pastor Logan Ames

Going through the Ten Commandments is a reality check and a slice of humble pie if we are honest in our reflections. It's fairly easy for most of us to consider how we have fallen short of the standard communicated by each one of the laws. When we come to the Sixth Commandment, however, it feels like a bit of a reprieve. "I may be a pathetic Christian but at least I haven't murdered anyone" is what we likely tell ourselves. Yet, even this law spoken directly from God should stop us in our tracks, especially when we consider how our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, further explains it in the New Testament. You see, murder might be the outward extent of what begins in the heart, but Jesus came to make us deal with the core issues as well. This week at Friendship, we'll talk about some of those matters of the heart that, when unchecked, lead to horrible and tragic consequences, including murder. Ultimately, murder happens due to our rejection of the reality that "Life Matters" to God. And that rejection begins long before we take a life. Join us as we continue in this important series on repentance and right living, according to God's holy standard.

A Command and a Promise

August 7, 2022 • Pastor Logan Ames

Several years ago, in a speech that has since become a popular Facebook meme and saying, NBA star Kevin Durant, who had just won the league's MVP award, spent a considerable amount of time talking about his mother and what she had meant to him, then declared to her, "You da real MVP". It's incredibly important for all of us, regardless of what levels of success or failure we reach in life, to remember and honor those who gave us life, who provided for our needs and gave us opportunities. God put all of those people in our paths, and He began first and foremost by choosing which parents He wanted for us. While we've all experienced some form of pain at the hands of our parents, God commands us to honor them. Why? Because it's not really about them in the first place; it's about Him! This week at Friendship, we'll dig into the 5th of the Ten Commandments in a message titled "A Command and a Promise". What is the promise if we honor our fathers and mothers, and what happens if we don't? These questions and more will be answered as we look at the bigger picture regarding family relationships. Join us over the weekend as we address this very important topic.

Remembering God

July 31, 2022 • Associate Pastor Ben Sorbello

When you read the word "Sabbath", what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Sunday? Black Sabbath? For me, it was Sunday, followed by "Sunday Bloody Sunday", the U2 song. So, I started to think about that song and why it was written and found out a few things. It turns out the song was written to bring attention to the Bogside massacre of January 30th,1972, during which British troops fired on 26 civilians, killing 14 of them. All of the deceased were Christians. So maybe suffering and sacrifice can be a part of how we define the Sabbath. As we expose the 4th Commandment this weekend at Friendship Community Church, we will be letting the Holy Spirit of God reveal to us what it is and why we should be following it. He does COMMAND US to follow it! Are we listening to Our Father, Jesus our Lord, King, Brother, and Savior, and the Holy Spirit of God that dwells inside of us to guide our steps? Take a few days before you come to worship with your church family and think about this 4th Commandment, and be prepared to be challenged regarding your beliefs about the Sabbath in your Faith Journey to the Cross! Do you LOVE THIS LAW?

Something About That Name

July 24, 2022 • Pastor Logan Ames

What's in a name? Well, I guess that depends on whose name it is. I know people who named their children after celebrity musicians or athletes who are here today and gone tomorrow. I even know one man who named is son "Shea" after the former New York Mets stadium - a stadium for crying out loud! And it doesn't even exist anymore. Some put a lot of thought and effort into picking their children's names, while others just pick something. According to legend (from my parents because I was not yet even 2 years old and thus do not remember), they did not have a name picked out for my baby brother when he was born. It wasn't their fault because they believed he would be a girl and were ready with a girl's name. However, when he surprised them, he was nameless for several days until a nurse brought a list of baby names in and they simply selected "Jordan" from that list. God had a hand in it though, as it carries Biblical significance. Whatever we think about human names, God's Name is so important for those who follow Him that we are commanded to treat it with the utmost reverence. There's just "Something About That Name". This week at Friendship, we'll be talking about the 3rd of The Ten Commandments, which deals with the misuse of God's holy name. Maybe you've never thought this matters, but be assured that God takes it very seriously. We'll talk about the common ways we break it, as well as the consequences if we remain in it and the grace if we repent and abandon it. Don't miss this very important and relevant message for today!

Generational Impact

July 17, 2022 • Pastor Logan Ames

We all have a tendency to bemoan the fact that life isn't fair. We don't all have the same advantages in upbringing, culture, family, experiences, or wealth. Some suffer more than others. While we complain about this, we also understand that all who call on the name of the Lord with humility and repentance can be saved, no matter where they come from or what they've had to endure. Through salvation in Jesus, God has leveled the field, so that those who had favorable circumstances and those who had unfavorable circumstances have the same access to eternal life, and the same requirements to attain it. We can recognize how our past has helped define and develop us, while realizing that our future is determined by God. This week at Friendship, we'll talk about the "Generational Impact" of our choices and the choices made before our time. We'll do this in connection with the 2nd Commandment, which prohibits the worship of any idol or image we might create to represent God. He promises that such choices will impact future generations, both positively and negatively. We will also be joined by the choir from New Life for Girls for music and testimony. This will be a powerful weekend for those suffering from the effects of others' decisions as well as their own. We urge you not to miss it!

No Other Gods

July 10, 2022 • Pastor Logan Ames

Ronald Reagan once said, "Law and freedom must be indivisible partners. For without law, there can be no freedom, only chaos and disorder; and without freedom, law is but a cynical veneer for injustice and oppression". When God brought the Israelites out of captive Egypt, where they had been forced to adhere to unjust and oppressive laws, the people experienced something they never had before - freedom. When sinful human beings don't know what to do with freedom, it can be a very dangerous thing. Chaos threatens to destroy the nation before it even begins. But laws are necessary within any society to govern the conduct of the people toward one another and toward authority. For the Israelites, God saw fit to give them laws, ten of which were written directly by Him onto stone tablets. You know them as the Ten Commandments, and they were given to establish a standard of behavior for the people to follow as they related to God and to each other. This week at Friendship, we begin our new sermon series based on these commandments to examine how they instruct our morality still today as followers of Jesus Christ. We may not be under the law as Israel was, but God is unchanging in His holiness. We will talk about what it means to fear Him, to cast off idols, and walk in righteousness. Join us for this very important first step back toward Biblical morality!