Face to Face

The Gardener Did It | EASTER 2024 | Pastor Steve Andres

March 31, 2024 • Pastor Steve Andres

Where Is The Other Simon | Face to Face | Pastor Steve Andres

March 24, 2024 • Pastor Steve Andres

How do you guard your heart and life? This weekend Pastor Steve Andres shared a message about Jesus’ face to face encounter with Peter on the night before his crucifixion, and a question from Pastor Tim Dilena that has served as a challenge for decades. Matthew 26:31-33 Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”  Every Gospel records this unflattering story of Peter’s boast and denial on the night of Jesus’ trial. Not only does this authenticate the historical nature of the Gospels, but it also illuminates some important truths. 1) "It is written" beats my opinion. Peter was sincere in his belief in himself. The other disciples said the same, but "it is written" always beats the majority opinion. God’s Word is the standard for truth, not our sincerity. Isaiah 55:11 My word that goes out from my mouth:   Will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire   and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. We can choose to disagree with the Bible, to be offended by it, to vilify it, to call it irrelevant and dismiss it, but we cannot undo it.  2) My failures cost more than me. Jesus knew that when a leader fails, others are impacted. If you strike the shepherd, sheep will scatter. Your life in Christ is not personal, it is public, and your example matters. 3) Self-confidence can be self-deception. Peter underestimated his own weakness and dependence on God’s help. A humble attitude keeps us grounded in an awareness of our need for God’s grace to obey Him. 4) Prayer is the antidote to temptation. Jesus tells his disciples, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” (Matthew 26:41) Prayerlessness is pride because it ignores our daily need for help from the Holy Spirit to serve God. 5) Sin gets easier with repetition. When confronted at Jesus’ trial, Peter begins by simply claiming ignorance, but as he is challenged again, he adds an oath and finally, cursing. Sin always gets easier with repetition. When the rooster crows, Peter leaves in sorrow and shame. The next day, Jesus is tortured and forced to carry his cross, and the Bible says soldiers forced Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross for Jesus. Over twenty years ago, Pastor Tim Dilena asked the question, “Where is the other Simon?” Where was Simon Peter when Jesus needed help carrying his cross?  God raises Jesus from the dead, and Jesus beautifully forgives and restores Peter. But Peter’s failure still serves as a warning to us. When we guard our hearts and lives, we keep ourselves available for God to use at the most pivotal moments of his plan for our generation!

Healing At The Pool | Face to Face | Pastor Steve Andres

March 17, 2024 • Pastor Steve Andres

Do you want to be well? This weekend Pastor Steve Andres continued our FACE TO FACE series with a message about the stories that define us. John 5:5-6 One man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, “Do you want to be well?”  After such a long season of hardship and disappointment, the man who has longed for healing is face to face with the Healer. What can we learn from the way that Jesus interacts with him? 1) Jesus addresses his foundation. The stories that we tell ourselves about ourselves define our future. After Jesus asks him a simple question, the man responds with a story about frustration and defeat. Before the man could receive his miracle, his mindset would need to change.  2) Jesus addresses his feelings. The danger in discouragement is that it steals our hope. Our prayers become tame, and our dreams get domesticated. Yet, in spite of his discouragement, the man at the pool kept showing up, and that created space for God to work! 1 Corinthians 15:19 And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. But we don’t have a hope for this life alone, we have a RESURRECTION HOPE! And that hope translates to courage. So the Apostle Paul continues: 1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. The enemy wants pain to paralyze you. He wants you to give up. He doesn’t win if you're hurt, he wins if you quit. But we have a RESURRECTION HOPE, and that hope gives us courage to keep showing up. 3) Jesus addresses his faith. STRONG FAITH is about power, but LONG FAITH is about perseverance. After many years of hoping, Jesus arrives and simply tells the man to take his mat and walk. The mat that had been the symbol of brokenness and marginalization now became the symbol of God’s overruling goodness and power.  This is the Gospel message! When Jesus chose the cross, He transformed it into a symbol of our forgiveness and freedom, and because He triumphed over sin and death, our stories can be redeemed and transformed!

My Face to His Feet | Face to Face | Pastor Devin Gough

March 10, 2024 • Pastor Devin Gough • Luke 8:40–50, Luke 8:50, Romans 10:15, Psalm 22:16, 1 Peter 5:5

Have you ever been waiting on God and wondering where He is? This weekend Pastor Devin Gough shared a message about desperation and the faithfulness of God. Luke 8:49-50  While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.” But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” Jairus was a synagogue leader and a man of influence, but on the day he came to Jesus he was a desperate father with a dying daughter. He came humbly to Jesus, but when Jesus was delayed by another woman’s sickness, Jairus had to make a choice between FEAR and FAITH. His story teaches us how we respond to God when we feel ignored or afraid. 1) RELEASE THE FEAR. Jesus’ instruction to release this fear is not just about dismissing emotions but about redirecting trust away from the situation and towards Him. 2) RELY ON FAITH. Faith, in the Biblical context, is trust in God's character, promises, and power, even when the evidence seems to suggest otherwise. 3) REST ON HIS WORD. For Jairus, resting on Jesus' word meant believing in the promise of his daughter's recovery. When Jesus said, “She will be well,” it was a promise that Jairus could count on. Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. In the end, Jairus trusted and watched Jesus faithfully fulfill His word. The same is true for you: Do not fear, only believe, and it will be well!

The Order of Grace | Face to Face | Pastor Steve Andres

March 3, 2024 • Pastor Steve Andres • Luke 19:5–6

Do you know the order of grace? This weekend Pastor Steve Andres continued our FACE TO FACE series with a message about the generous love of God. Luke 19:5-6 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. Zacshaeus was a man who has become famous for his short stature. What can we learn from his unexpected face to face meeting with Jesus? 1) Be willing to climb a tree. Tree-climbing is for children, but not for respectable adults. That Zacchaeus was willing to appear foolish to see Jesus meant that he was humble enough to receive the kingdom of God. 2) Get over the crowd. Other people can be mean and hypocritical, but in order to see Jesus you have to be willing to look past them. Extend to others the same patience and grace you extend to yourself. 3) Bring Jesus home. Zacchaeus doesn’t invite Jesus over, Jesus invites himself. Pay attention to the order of grace. The love of Jesus is not the payment for our efforts. The love of Jesus is what produces a deep change in our lives! How do we know that Jesus loves us? Because when we were lost, he climbed a tree for us, choosing the foolishness of the cross so we could have a place at his table!

The Thirst Trap | Face to Face | Pastor Steve Andres

February 25, 2024 • Pastor Steve Andres • John 4:3–38, Acts 4:12, Psalm 19:7

This Sunday we continued our Face to Face series, where we're exploring different biblical accounts of people who were changed by personal interactions with Jesus. 1) The miracle of his reach. 2) The boldness of his honesty. 3) The narrowness of his offer.

The Reach Is Worth The Risk

February 18, 2024 • Pastor Steve Andres • 2 Corinthians 1:8–10, Hebrews 12:11, Isaiah 59:1–2, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Mark 1:35–45

This Sunday we started a new series called "Face to Face," which will take us through easter during the next 6 weeks. Throughout the bible, we see this idea of "Face", which can also be translated as "presence." The radical idea that the New Testament explores is that when people came face to face with Jesus, they were coming face to face with God himself. So between now and Easter, we will look at different face-to-face encounters in the Gospels! 1) Pain makes us press in. 2) Labels are lazy. 3) Trauma makes us turn inward.  4) The reach was worth the risk.