Sunday Morning Archives
Maybe godliness has more to do with the overflow of God from us to others, than it has to do with what we do! Be challenged to let your light shine in all situations!
Continuing our discussion of 1 Peter 1:3-7 we look at the importance of self control and perseverance as we grow into maturity with Jesus.
This is the 2nd part of a series on Growing in Maturity. This teaching is on Moral Excellence & Knowledge, words found in 2 Peter 1.5. God’s desire for us is to be spiritually transformed in moral excellence and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. The meaning of the words might surprise you.
In this message Bruce examines how Jesus fulfills the description of the ancient East Eastern “king”–and how His kingship was revealed through His birth, at His death, and in His glorifying existence as “King of all kings!” Then Bruce asks if Jesus rules our lives in three specific areas: in our words, our responses, and our decisions.
One of the most powerful lessons in the Christmas narrative is the faithfulness of God to his people. We can be encouraged in our own lives as we wait for certain promises of God to come into reality, and as we go through difficult times, that God will sustain and encourage us, and complete his work in our lives!
The Christmas story is filled with examples of God speaking and leading his people. In fact, the whole Bible is full of these great stories! The question is, can our lives be full of them too?
What if you knew Jesus was returning next week? Would that change how you live your life?
God uses broken people! He uses hurting, disadvantaged, and searching people. Learn how God has a great plan for our lives, in spite of our weaknesses!
In this message, Jonathan talks about the crucial role of desperation in our relationship with Jesus.
In this teaching Bruce examines in detail the “message” of the gospel we are to “go” and “tell” others about–the good news about King Jesus and His global Kingdom. Using texts from Daniel 7, Mark 1, Mark 4, and Mark 16, Bruce shows how Jesus proclaimed not only Himself as Messiah but as the One who set up the Kingdom of God on planet earth. And that as we preach Jesus and His Kingdom, the “signs’ of the kingdom in Mark 16 will “follow” our witness even as we who believer “follow” our Lord!
In our examination of seven responses to Jesus by different persons in the gospel of Mark, there was one common denominator: each response was provoked by a personal encounter with Him and/or something He did. This speaks to the reality of belief in Jesus being grounded in personal experience with Him. (In his teaching, Bruce looks at seven persons or groups who encountered Jesus and how they responded to him. He calls us to measure our own responses to the Lord through the lenses of their biblical characters.)
You can’t read the book of Mark and not see the miraculous at every turn. How are we to cultivate a life that has the supernatural as a natural part of it? Faith, hope, and love play a major part in preparing the way!
Throughout the first 8 chapters of Mark, Jesus is shown again and again to be above all. The challenge for the disciples, and for us, is recognizing and receiving his Lordship in our lives!
In this teaching Bruce outlines three steps he personally uses to overcome personal fears in his own life, particularly the fear of public speaking. Step one involves dealing with any demonic influence, step two offers acting in humility and faith in God’s strength within, and step three is obedience.
In this teaching, Jonathan Latshaw shares about why we fear commitment and how to overcome this fear.
Reference: Psalm 37:5
Reference: Ephesians 2:10
Our society tells us that our significance depends on our performance and what people think about us. But this isn’t what God says about us. We are significant because we are God’s masterpiece.
Psalm 68:6 God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity
As we wait for God to bring a spouse into our lives, or even any promise of God spoken to us, we often wait passively as though a switch will be flicked when the blessing comes. Often times this causes delay. The Holy Spirit desires to draw us to Himself through what we lack, causing us to run after and pursue Him like never before. It is in our hunger for His kingdom, pursuing our calling, and serving one another that we get so distracted by Jesus, the blessing comes. As we wait, in the “meantime,” we are to not be anxious, but be about the Father’s business, being uniquely ourselves in the kingdom. As we seek Him first, The Lord adds everything we need to us, and causes us to be in the right place at the right time.
In this teaching with interactive video interviews with three couples in the church, Bruce explores some key essential scriptural truths on how to have a blessed marriage.
In this teaching Bruce examines Luke 6: 27-38, the portion of “the Sermon on the Plain” that addresses relating to our enemies specifically. These verses are pointed reminders of how impossible it is to live out kingdom relationships without the empowering indwelling help of the Spirit of God. Loving, doing good, blessing, and praying for our enemies–even “loaning” to them without expecting any kind of re-payment–these are challenging commands from Jesus concerning the kind of love should mark His disciples, the kind of love that transforms enemies of the gospel like Saul of Tarsus into disciples like the Apostle Paul.
Relationships are, by definition, over the long haul! Faithfulness is a key quality that can make or break healthy relationships.
Cell phones, Facebook, Instagram, texting…with all the distractions, are we even able to pay attention to each other? The Bible calls us to a depth of relationship that is being challenged by our current societal norms. Let’s rise above it all and give each other the attention we deserve!
We don’t naturally know how to treat each other. This teaching looks at how Jesus relates to people, especially unbelievers or followers who sinned against Him. Jesus models for us what relationships look like in the Kingdom.
In this message, Bruce and Bob point us to receiving and growing in the love of God the Father. In order to have healthy relationships with others, it’s crucial we know how God sees us and how he loves us.
The story of Jesus coming to earth in the form of a baby is the story of greatness! Listen as we discuss the majesty of God as revealed in the person of Jesus!
Jesus came not just to save us but to lead us. What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus in your everyday life?
Jesus isn’t always convenient to follow. His plans often call for sacrifice and total commitment. In this Advent season, are we making room for Him in every area of our lives?
As we begin our four week series on Advent, let us be inspired to long for, seek after, and find Jesus in our daily lives.
There is more to life than what mostly consumes us! God is offering us a life “out of the boat” and “on the water” with him!
Being transformed to be more like Jesus is a difficult process. Jonathan shares from personal experience about his own journey towards Christlikeness and tips he learned along the way.
In this teaching we look at who God says we are in relation to other people; He sees us as part of a community. It’s not good for any of us to be alone because it’s in our DNA to need to be in community. When we form a tight community as believers, the Holy Spirit comes, our needs are met, miracles happen, and many are saved because they see how much we love each other.
In this teaching Bruce follows up last week’s examination of Part 1 of the church’s four-part vision statement: Encountering God, Nurturing Community,Transforming Lives, Living the Adventure. Bruce answers three questions: why we should encounter (meet personally with) God on a frequent and regular basis, what does it biblically “feel” like to be richly in God’s manifest presence, and how do these “encounters” with God typically occur. An ideal instruction for those who want to enrich and strengthen their capacity to abide in God on a daily and diverse basis!
At the bedrock of who we are as a church is our passionate desire and commitment to encountering the living God. We are not “in this” for religion, or to be a social club. We are here to know, love, and experience Jesus. To this end, be challenged to rekindle a passion for his presence.
Reference: 2 Timothy 1:5-7
As we follow the wind of the spirit we will encounter opportunities to experience the fire of the spirit. Let’s reignite our passion for ministry and gifts today!
In this message Bruce describes the second major flow of the Spirit in the life of the believer: the baptism or infilling (and re-filling) of the Holy Spirit. He talks about the purposes of this infilling and the biblical conditions for maintaining Holy Spirit fullness.
Reference: John 4:14
When the greatest evangelist of the nineteenth century, D.L. Moody, was asked why he said he needed to be filled continually with the Holy Spirit, he replied, “Because I leak!”
God designed us to need Him in the same way that we need water. But we all leak. We get thirsty often for His Presence in our lives over and over again and this will be true forever. Our thirst for the Holy Spirit in our lives will never go away. The good news is that the Holy Spirit will never stop supplying the water. We can drink as much as we want whenever we need to drink. This teaching compares our natural need for water to our spiritual need for the Holy Spirit on a continual basis.
Reference: John 14:17–“The Spirit now abides with you, but will be in you.”
In this teaching Bruce explains how miraculously extraordinary it must have been for the disciples to transition from the Holy Spirit WITH them to the Spirit IN them. For three plus years they had experienced Jesus as their “external” teacher, guide, counselor, mentor, and friend. Then Jesus told them as he spoke of His death: “I will not leave our orphans. I will come to you.” And so He did, in the person of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling. Another One just like Jesus came to abide with them forever. And so it is with us too: as we receive Jesus as Savior and Lord, His Spirit “dwells” in us, living in our bodies even as we do, radiating the nature of Jesus in and through us!
Reference: John 14:15-17
As we begin this new series, let’s re-ignite our passion for the Holy Spirit. Let’s invite him, wait on him, receive him, and then let him flow through us!
Reference: Romans 12: 9-21
In this teaching Bruce applies the principle of “replacement”–acting opposite to the enemy’s intention in order to advance the kingdom of God–to the issue of taking personal revenge when someone commits a sin against us. Using Romans 12: 9-21 as the overall text relating to this subject, we find that replacing revenge with “release” is key to the solution. That, plus choosing proactively to “do good” to the one who has “done evil” to us. Bruce explores this truth from his personal perspective and in ways that apply to all followers of Jesus.
Reference: Romans 12:21
In this teaching Bruce shares his own experience of overcoming rejection by choosing to pro-actively “accept” those who he felt rejected him. He then examines the three kingdoms mentioned in the NT–of God, of Satan, and of the world–and shows how they interact with each other in our real-life experience. We defeat Satan’s kingdom and advance God’s when we choose to respond to evil by doing the “opposite” of the particular evil’s direction.
Reference: Genesis 49:18
We have built within us a desire to run away or fight when troubles come, but a better way to go is to wait on God. Lynn describes for us very practical steps to shut down our immediate “flesh” reaction, and instead respond by waiting on the Lord for His direction in all situations!
Reference: Romans 12:1-2
Kicking off our new series, we discuss the power of culture and how it can suck us away from the things of God if we aren’t intentional about following the way of Jesus. Often His way is “upside down” compared to the way of this world, and we need to break ourselves free and be transformed by His power!
Reference: Luke 24:1-12
Are you living the life that Jesus raised from the dead to give you? Jesus raising from the dead changed everything! Our lives are meant to be lived in accordance with His resurrection power for us–and not in the chaos dictated by the pressures of this world.
Reference: Philippians 2:9
In this teaching, Jonathan talks about the dangers of having false expectations on God and how unfulfilled expectations can be so damaging in our journey with Jesus. The only way we can escape from this trap is to allow God to transform our expectations!
In this teaching Bruce concludes the “Prepare” series. He clarifies the difference between “evangelism”–being an evangelist–and “witnessing”–being His witness. Bruce defines both terms biblically and concludes that evangelism is a more specialized ministry, requiring preparation in the scriptures and a special anointing from God. And while not all are called to be “evangelists” (Eph. 4:11; 1Co. 12: 23), all followers of Jesus are called to be His witnesses–to simply and naturally tell others what He has done in our lives–what we have seen and heard and experienced Him do for us and for others. Bruce concludes by calling us all to this form of sharing Jesus–not as a judge, a defense attorney, or a prosecuting attorney, but as a “witness”– an honest reporter who simply tells others what he has experienced in his/her own life!
Reference: 1 Corinthians 3:5-9
Continuing with the 5 R’s of the harvest, we talk about Root, Release, and Restore. Find your place in the harvest!
Reference: 1 Corinthians 3:5-9
We all have a place in the harvest but sometimes we too narrowly define those places. We will look at what roles fit you best! This teaching looks at the first two R’s of the 5 R’s of the harvest, Rescue & Reach!
Reference: John 13:15
Christians are often viewed by unbelievers as people who are against people and things. But we are people who are supposed to be carrying the good news of Jesus’ salvation. Let’s become for Jesus rather than protesters.
Reference: 1 Corinthians 2:1-3
In part 3 of the series PREPARE, Jonathan shares his thoughts about what it means to share Jesus with the secular world.
Reference: John 4:1-26
In this teaching Bruce shows how Jesus, being “on mission” in His work doing what His Father was doing, draws the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well to salvation. In a seemingly “routine” time of traveling from one place to another, the kingdom breaks through through this “divine appointment.” Jesus uses this occasion to teach His disciples (and us) that the fields are always “ripe for harvest” and we need to be prepared, to have “eyes to see,” whenever the Father sets up an encounter where we can help draw someone to Jesus–through a kind word, a healing, a prophetic word, an act of compassion–a “chance” encounter that turns out to be God’s set-up as we partner with Him in kingdom harvest.
Reference: Matthew 9:37
Jesus said, “the workers are few.” What needs to change in our hearts for us to be workers in God’s harvest?
Reference: 2 Kings 2
Elijah’s own good choices after going through a crisis show us two ways that we can finish strong in our own lives
Reference: 1 Kings 19:1-21
Through the story of Elijah, discover how God never gives up on us, even if we already have.
Reference: Luke 1:17
In this teaching Bruce explores the second half of the verse in Luke 1:17, where John is said to come “in the spirit and power of Elijah.” The question is asked, what is the power of Elijah? along with two additional questions–how is that power generated, and how is that power released? Part of the answer to these questions is provided in James 5:17-18, where Elijah’s praying in 1 Kings 18 is mentioned as an example of the kind of prayer that heals the sick and “accomplishes much.” Covered in this teaching are 1) the power of repeated faith-filled prayers, and 2) the power of “the prayer of faith” or the prayer of command such as Jesus’ speaking to the fig tree.
Reference: 1 Kings 18:25-46
In the second part of the Elijah Series, Bruce Latshaw focuses on the spirit of Elijah and how that applies to us today. Bruce exhorts the church to embrace the same spirit Elijah had and step out in boldness and obedience while following the Holy Spirit!
Reference: 1 Corinthians 12:27
In this teaching Bruce discusses three more obvious reasons we don’t use our spiritual gifts. Then he examines the biblical characters of Gideon and Paul to investigate two “strongholds” that hinder us from using our gifts–inadequacy and fear. The teaching ends with exhortation on how to overcome these personal “giants” so we can fulfill our destined ministries in the Church.
Reference: 1 Corinthians 12:31
Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. Scripture tells us that we each have at least one gift but to use that gift we must be willing to own our lives and take responsibility to grow and develop our gifts. We can’t be passive. God gives us the gift but we also have responsibility to strongly desire the gift so that it develops and we can do the things God imagined for us to do when He first created us.
Reference: 1 Corinthians 12:7
Have we set the bar too low for our lives? God has invested heavily in us and we are capable of much greater things than we often attempt. Be encouraged in this teaching to step out into life with confidence in who God has made you to be!
Reference: 1 Corinthians 12:18
You are here for a reason! God has brought you to this church on purpose because He has a plan for you here! Christian kicks off the “Get in the Game” series with an impassioned plea for each of us to find our places of meaningful ministry here at VCF!