Two Things

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I will make this short.

Thing One

We ended our Divine Direction series last week, and the feedback we have received has reinforced the reality that many of us are looking for some divine direction. It's not easy, and it is not often instantaneous, but to know the direction God wants us to go is vital to living a life of faith. Let me encourage you with the three core elements we discussed:

1. Today is an opportunity to make the little necessary decisions to be the person God wants you to be.

2. Be open and honest with God and yourself about those primary barriers that are preventing you from seeing and hearing the direction in which He is leading you - confront, confess, and repent of the sin in your life.

3. Ask yourself, am I handling this situation or decision with wisdom and discretion? Am I asking the right questions, and am I inviting others to pray with me about it?

Thing Two

For many of us, there is a disconnect between what we believe and how we live. It's not an intentional disconnection, and it may bother us to some degree, but ultimately because we are not sure what to do about it, we struggle to make any progress. Then when confronted with the question, "Does my life look any different than that of someone who is not a follower of Jesus?" we can shy away from the idea altogether. We know following Jesus should look different, we want it to, but don't know what the next step should be. 

Thankfully Christians for thousands of years have wrestled with that question, and even around the time of Jesus, some of His earliest followers struggled as well. On June 30, we begin a new series called Prove It. This series will be a study of 1 John and will focus on what has us disconnected and how we can create new ways to live out our faith. 

Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday,

Bradley

Inside Forum

To the Forum Christian Family,

I’ve got some significant news to share with you. Since December of 2018, as I’ve been working through recovery from my stroke, Bradley has functioned as the Interim Lead Pastor and has continued to do a great job. The elders recently reviewed my recovery and have decided to utilize me in a new role in the area of adult education. The elders have unanimously decided to put Bradley forward as the next Senior Minister. Church members will be asked to affirm Bradley Williams as the new Senior Minister for Forum Christian Church by vote on June 30. This is the right decision. A decision that is going to move the church forward and advance the kingdom of God, and I am fully endorsing it and the role for Bradley, for the church, and the ministry.

The future looks bright for Forum Christian Church, and the ministry will continue to reach people for Jesus Christ. Bradley will be a great steward of the vision and mission of the church. He will do a spectacular job of leading the staff and leading the church in ministry. I’m looking forward to seeing the church continue to grow and thrive, and I fully support and embrace this decision.

Melody and I have been blessed by the elders with a sabbatical over the next 3 months in order to let Bradley fully lead out with me cheering him on in prayer. Though I will be away on a planned family vacation on June 30, I fully intend to cast my vote to affirm Bradley for this new role. Forum continues to intentionally connect people to Jesus, and I look forward to serving under Bradley’s leadership.  Melody and I are so grateful for the way the church has prayed for us and blessed us during this time of adjustment. 

Please keep the ministry of Forum Christian in your heart and prayers. Pray the ministry continues to intentionally connect people to Jesus. We look forward to being back with you in the fall and serving in a new role. 

Sincerely,

Scott

Help Build Hope

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It's not too late to join us!

This Saturday we have a fantastic opportunity to put our faith into action right in our own parking lot. In partnership with Help Build Hope, we'll be joining together as a church body to build the walls of a home for a family at Show-Me Christian Youth Home.  It doesn't matter what your skill level is, how strong you are, what your age is, or even if you've pre-registered - you can contribute!

Come to the Family Life Center at 7:30 Saturday morning for breakfast, team assignments, and instructions. Stay for as little or as long as you'd like. If you can't be there right at the start, come when you can, check in at the Operations Center tent in the parking lot, and we will put you to work.

Signing up at www.myforum.me will help us prepare for breakfast and lunch. 

What a blessing it will be to work side-by-side to change lives!

Divine Direction

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This past Sunday we closed out our “What’s Next?” series looking at the willful determination of the early church leaders to move forward. We looked at the countercultural mindset of “What can I give into this situation?” that stands against the “What’s in it for me?” attitude. Pouring ourselves into situations elevates the circumstances of life. We saw how we are part of God’s unfolding plan to change the world to follow Christ. We looked at how we can change from being self-centered into being others-centered. We looked into the reality that the community of believers was united in heart and mind because they were mission driven, spirit empowered, and community supported. The church grew immeasurably due to this process playing out in their lives. When the church moves forward in unity there is a beautiful growth that occurs within ministry. We have this type of blessing as a ministry. God continues to grow His church at the corner of Forum and Nifong. 

This upcoming Sunday, we start a new series entitled “Divine Direction” where we will explore how we can know the direction God wants us to go. Throughout the Scriptures, God at times reveals Himself to people in unique and sometimes powerful ways. Often when we find ourselves amid hardship, trouble, or when we have to make a difficult decision, we turn to God and look for His divine direction. The question then becomes, how do we know what direction God is leading us? How do we know the divine direction? This series will explore those questions, and through our study of Daniel, we will be challenged and encouraged.

This Sunday we get the opportunity to ordain my son, Justin Sutherland, into ministry. Justin has taken a ministry leadership role with Bright Church in Bright, Indiana, in the role of lead youth minister. He finished his Master’s Degree from Johnson University in May and is ready to help lead a church. As his sending church, Forum gets to be a part of his ongoing ministry story and we will share in this Sunday. 

This Sunday will be a great encounter in terms of worshiping God and getting re-centered on Him. It’s great that we have a Christ centered church, isn’t it? A church focused in on God’s word, His holy communion, the fellowship, and prayer. It’s God’s design and we continue to follow His pattern that He set up nearly 2000 years ago. It’s a privilege to carry this message forward. Can’t wait to worship with you this Sunday. 

-Scott

Unhindered

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This past Sunday, we looked at what to do when life causes you to have an interruption. We saw how the church started out and how they faced an immediate interruption coming at them from the Jewish leadership. Peter and John were doing a good and right thing, healing a lame man. The Jewish leadership had them arrested. These leaders told them to stop preaching and teaching in the name of Jesus. We read of Peter and John stating firmly and boldly, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him?  We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.” They had an overcomer’s attitude as they lived their lives. They went about doing the mission God called them to do in spite of the obstacles placed in front of them. Do you have an overcomer’s attitude? Do you stay on mission in spite of life’s interruptions? What do you do when adversity comes your way? 

This Sunday we’re going to look at God’s ongoing mission in the life of the church. We’ll be in Acts 4 looking at the mission God has called us to do in His name. The book of Acts ends in a way that feels incomplete because Paul is in prison. But the last word in the book of Acts is a very telling word. It’s the word “unhindered” in the original Greek. The verse says, “And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters and was welcoming all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.” There was no limit to the movement and preaching of Paul and the mission of the church. The mission of the church has remained a constant throughout the 20 centuries it’s existed. We continue to live that mission daily as believers in Christ. The mission of Christ reaches people in his name. When you extend a smile to another person, you are doing the mission of Christ in your life. When you help someone out, you are doing what Christ would have you to do. When you ask someone to church, you are spreading the gospel. When you teach someone about what Christ means in your life, you are on mission for Christ.

This Sunday would be a great Sunday to bring a friend or an acquaintance to attend church. We’ll lift up God’s word and preach and teach Christ Jesus as Lord. Looking forward to worshiping with you this Sunday. See you then. 

Keep Going

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This past Sunday, Blake opened up the scriptures and led us through the mission that God has in front of us. Using the life of Paul in Acts 19 and the book of Ephesians, we saw the mission of God and the purposes of God for our lives unfolded in a very clear way. Are you discipling anyone? Are you leading anyone towards a life-changing connection with Jesus? We saw God using the church to accomplish God’s purposes as the church was in its infancy. God’s mission prevailed in the life of the early church. Here we are today, nearly 2,000 years after the church started, still celebrating and living out this vital mission. The charge from Paul to the Ephesians still holds true today. Ephesians 1:9-10 says, “God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth.” God is working through Christ to bring everything together under the authority of Christ, and He accomplishes this through His church. You and I are the church that God uses to glorify Him. We preach and teach Jesus Christ in a passionate and loving way each week to the glory of God. 

This Sunday, in the “What’s Next?” series, we’ll look at what happens when you get interrupted. The early church was off to a great start with 3,000 people being baptized into Christ when the church began. What happens next? The early church experiences opposition to the mission of God. Shouldn’t they expect this? After all, Christ told them, “I have told you these things so that you won’t abandon your faith.  For you will be expelled from the synagogues, and the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God.” (John 16:1,2) So the early Christians should have expected turmoil. How do you deal with opposition? How do you deal with it when people in life threaten you? Do you stop doing what you know to be true and trustworthy, or do you keep going? We’re going to look at the early church leaders and how they dealt with opposition this Sunday.  

Looking forward to worshiping with you this Sunday. It would be a great Sunday to invite someone to come to hear the word of the Lord, and for them to experience God’s church singing praises to the Lord. Be on mission! Invite someone to encounter a real experience with our church that is sold out to Christ. I’ll see you Sunday. 

- Scott

Community

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Are you being led by the Holy Spirit of God? This past Sunday, Tyler Hensley did a great job of leading us through “What’s Next” in terms of looking at the Holy Spirit leading the church. Jesus told his disciples to go to Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came on their lives. They obeyed Christ’s lead, and the Holy Spirit was deposited in their lives in a phenomenal way. They then preached Christ to the large crowd, and 3,000 people confessed Jesus as Lord and were baptized for the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit. What an incredible “next” in the history of the world. Jesus said it was better for him to go away so that the Spirit may be distributed (John 16:7). Do you realize the power of God at work within your life? Do you comprehend the amount of spiritual stamina God gives to you to keep going? Do you think about the reality that God’s Holy Spirit is living inside of you? It’s a blessing we fail to recognize in our lives. But this I know, if you have made Jesus your Savior and been baptized in his name - his Holy Spirit lives within you. He guides you through that Spirit. You walk with Him in your life. God is changing you to be like Christ through His Spirit working within you. 

This Sunday we’ll look at the community of believers God establishes in the early part of the book of Acts. We’ll see how they met one another’s needs and how they shared together with their possessions. We’ll see how the early church was devoted to the fellowship (the church) and to the breaking of bread (communion), and to prayer. We’ll see this is the pattern and lifestyle of believers that we pattern to this day. We strive to follow the ancient paths laid out to us by these early believers. God’s church is the hope of the world today, and you are part of it. It takes a faithful group of people to proclaim God’s truth and His word to the world. We strive to do that each Sunday. We strive to intentionally connect people with Jesus Christ. That’s our mission, and I pray we are being faithful with that call of Christ upon our ministry.

Hope to worship with you this Sunday as we look at the church and God’s established community of believers. See you then!

- Scott

It Begins!

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To submit to the Lordship of Jesus and His resurrection stands as the cornerstone of your faith. Christ gave the disciples the command, "I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.”  (Matthew 28: 18-20) Christ stands as the authority behind this command. He called on us to make disciples of people, teaching people to obey all he has commanded. One of the primary commands was for us to baptize or immerse people into his name. Sunday we focused on these elements of following Christ. Bradley asked us the question, “How are you doing with that one thing?” Let me encourage you to make the name of Christ first and foremost on your lips. Let me encourage you to tell others of Christ. Let me encourage you to pour into people the love of Jesus. When you teach people about Christ, you honor God with your speech and your life. 

This Sunday, we’ll look at what comes next in terms of the kingdom of God and the movement of God. We’ll look Sunday at God establishing the church. We’ll see Peter preaching about Christ and his resurrection. We’ll see thousands of people respond to this message by stepping up and being baptized in the name of Christ. We’ll see the beginning of the church in terms of the historical narrative. We’ll see the early church begin thriving as people accept Jesus as Lord of their lives. This is a climactic time in the kingdom of God. His earliest disciples were on fire for the name of Jesus and they preached with great passion and authority with the Holy Spirit leading them. This is an exciting message of the beginning of God’s church in this world. It’s a pattern we strive to replicate as a church. 

This Friday and Saturday, let me encourage you to come and see our children’s theatre perform  “WE ARE UNITED”. It’ll happen at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and at 2 p.m. on Saturday. This is a great event that our kids have worked so hard to learn and it’s outstanding. Melody and I watched the dress rehearsal on Sunday afternoon and it’s delightful. Come out and support our children by attending this great event. 

This would be a great Sunday to invite a friend to come to experience Forum as a church. We strive to create a great environment so people feel welcomed and accepted. Looking forward to the movement of God happening here at Forum on Sunday. 

-Scott

What's Next?

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Easter weekend was phenomenal! 

Great job to the worship team and Tyler Morris for adjusting to the strained circumstances of no power in the facility and putting things together for us to worship God in the Good Friday service. Everyone adjusted well to the extreme circumstances and God was praised in a mighty way. The lack of electricity brought an intimacy to the room in an uncanny, and God-uplifting way. Bradley's message on Good Friday connected the suffering of Christ to the reality that you are worth dying for; this truth continues to change lives today. It was great worshiping in the dark with you on that Friday night.

Then Easter morning, as we celebrated Christ’s resurrection, it was truly a day to be remembered. We live streamed the message down to the new family life center, where over 100 people were gathered in second service.  We repeated the live stream during third service for over 130 people worshiping in the family life center. The worship timed out well and to see Bradley give the message live via video stream was outstanding. To all the servants who helped pull off this very big day, we say, “Thank you for serving Christ in the way you did.” Whether you were helping in the children’s area, driving a shuttle, serving in the Guest Services ministry, serving as an auditorium host, serving on the worship team, or serving in any other fashion, Christ was glorified through the whole of the morning. With 2218 in attendance hearing the word of God proclaimed, the morning was truly indescribable. To God be the glory for the great things He is doing at Forum Christian Church! 

This Sunday we start a new sermon series called, “What’s Next?” This series will focus on what happened after Christ rose from the dead, what came next? This series will look into the early church and her mission to this unsaved world. We’ll see how the gospel message that Jesus saves is a message that changes hearts and minds. This is a message that transforms the world if we let it. Allowing Christ to be the focus of our life changes everything. We’ll be looking at the transforming power of Christ in this series.

This would be a great series to invite a friend or acquaintance to attend because we’re talking about the transformative power of Christ to change entire regions as well as individuals. In the early church, people were accepting Christ by the thousands because they heard the truth, and God’s truth changed them forever. God is in the change business. When we give our lives to Christ, we’re never the same again. Looking forward to great worship with you Sunday. 

-Scott

I am the Alpha and Omega

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“I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.” This hallmark confession stands at the center of our faith. It was excellent hearing of the Old Testament background connected to Christ as the anointed Messiah in last Sunday’s sermon. We learned, from John 11, the crowds surrounded Jesus and treated him as a victorious king as he rode into Jerusalem.  As the Israelites awaited their coming king, they had so many expectations and thoughts about who and what this king was to be. These expectations went unfulfilled in their minds, as a group of people, and as a city. The crowds turned on Jesus and crucified him after hailing him as a triumphal king just the week before. How do we cope with situations when it seems they aren’t going the way we think God should handle them? Do we turn on Him and question Him, or do we stay focused on God and His ways? God sees the bigger picture and always has the best plan.

This Sunday we will celebrate Easter in a big time way. We’ll have all four of our services at their normal times, but we will have additional, simultaneous services in the new Family Life Center at 9 and 10:15 with live music in both of those services. The message will be live streamed to give everyone a great experience. We’ll also have overflow parking at the Boone Hospital building with vans shuttling people to and from campus. Consider possibly parking there to make more room for visitors. 

On Good Friday, we’ll have a celebration of Christ in which we will lift up Christ in song and hear a message on the hope of Christ. We’ll celebrate communion together as we think about Christ dying on a cross for our sins. “Good Friday” is a message of irony and paradox because the event that brings good news to the world was marked by the death of Christ Jesus, our Lord. We praise Christ together in word and song throughout this entire weekend. 

Let’s make this an Easter that counts in terms of our lives. We’ll be studying the name for Jesus, “I am the Alpha and Omega” focusing on Jesus being the beginning and the end. When Christ spoke from the cross, “It is finished,” he completed God’s plan of redemption for this world. It’s such a grand story in which we can participate. I’m looking forward to sharing Easter with you this year. We’ll see you Sunday. 

-Scott

Jesus is the Christ

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Isn’t it great to know there is a God in heaven, maker of heaven and earth, that you can call “Father”? Isn’t it wonderful to know that God loves you more than you can even fathom? As we learned Sunday, “And because we are His children, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” (Galatians 4:6). We can call out to God at any moment, “Dad” and He listens to us in our moment. No matter what that moment may entail. It may be one of your highest points in life, or it may be one of the lowest points you’ve ever experienced. It may be anywhere in the middle, emotionally speaking. God is your Father who hears when you can cry out to Him in any situation. 

This Sunday, we are going to look at the name given to Jesus, as God in the flesh, as Christ. Does the name “Christ” mean anything to us today? We make the good confession when we give our lives to Jesus that says, “I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God.” What does this term Christ mean? How does it have relevance for us today? How does the name Christ reveal the nature of God on this planet? What does it mean to follow the Christ? This week, we’ll explore the nature and revelation of Jesus as the Christ, the son of the living God, in a way that will help you draw close to him. 

We serve and worship a living God. He’s not made of stone or wood. He’s living and active. He rules the universe. He revealed himself to us in Jesus. This Sunday, we come to worship at his feet. We lift Him up on high. We adore Him. We desire to help you connect to Jesus. Why not invite friends and family this week to attend Forum as a place of worship? We will be revealing the nature of Jesus, and they will be blessed by hearing the good news of the gospel message. See you then. 

-Scott

Dad

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Is your view of God big? This past Sunday, as we heard Bradley talk about getting a larger view of God, the message had to stretch your vantage points of God. To see the pattern we as humans fall into is quite humbling. We are humans who are bound to our feelings and emotions. Put us into tough situations, and we tend to crack. Thus, the Israelites complaining about their lack of water and turning it onto Moses, rings very true and typical of human behavior. I know it rang true of my life. Ultimately, we tend to blame God for the life circumstances we are going through and lodge our complaints there. But to have an attitude of dependence upon God in every circumstance is to have a bigger view of God. To go to God when in the highs and lows of life glorifies Him. Having that type of dependent attitude is where God would have our hearts.

This Sunday we look at God as our Father. We cry out to Him, “Abba - Father.” Some hear that word and start thinking about the song “Dancing Queen” (from the 1980’s group ABBA), but it’s a Syriac or Chaldean word that means “father.” It’s a term of affection and of intimacy. It’s like calling out the word, “Daddy.” Isn’t it great to know the God of the universe is that close at hand? We can cry out to Him in a moment’s notice, and He listens to our concerns and cares. I think about the time Jesus taught his disciples to pray. What a revolutionary statement it was to hear Jesus teach the phrase, “Our Father, which art in heaven” because the word “Father” is such a term of endearment because of close family ties. When you approach the throne of God, you approach God as His child. What a great position to be in as a follower of Christ! 

This Saturday morning starting at 8 a.m., we’re having an outdoor workday to get the grounds up to speed for the spring and summer. Come at 8 a.m. ready to work, and we’ll point you in the right direction for that work. 

Looking forward to a great day of worship with you Sunday. This is a great message of God’s position in your life. It would be a great Sunday to invite someone to come and hear about the intimacy they too can have with God. I’m excited to be here this Sunday to hear this message. 

-Scott

God as Our Healer

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God is with you and for you. We learned this past Sunday about God as being the God who gave you birth and created you. Wasn’t it great to hear our speaker do such a passionate job of bringing this message to us Sunday? Thanks Randy, for sharing God’s word with us. Make every day of your life count for Jesus. 

So far in this series we’ve seen God as the Creator - the God who spoke the world into existence. We’ve seen God as El-Shaddai - the God Almighty who overcomes our sin and shortcomings. We saw God as Provider who provided a ram for a sacrifice for Abraham on Mount Moriah. God ultimately provided Jesus for our sins. We looked at God as the great “I AM” who was, and is, and always will be. We saw God as our shepherd and the one who leads us. Then last week, we saw God as the one who gave us birth and was instrumental in our formation. 

This Sunday we will look at God as Jehovah-Rapha - God as our healer. God places His hands on us and brings about healing to us. He brings about physical healing and spiritual healing for our souls. Our God cares for the details of our lives and brings about healing to our bodies. As a church, we’ve seen God heal people of cancer, of heart disease, and of so many things in between in terms of seriousness. God is working for our good. He loves us and provides for us in so many ways. Isn’t it great to worship such an incredible and almighty God? God knows what you are going through and is with you at each step of your life. He’s got the details of our lives in His control and is working to bring about what is best for us. 

Looking forward to worshiping with you this Sunday. This is a great sermon to ask your friends to come to because we are talking about something that is pertinent to everyone. God as our healer is important for people because we all have health concerns and the need for healing is common to everyone. Let’s come ready to worship our great God this Sunday. 

-Scott

The God Who Gave You Birth

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We learned Sunday that the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. We learned that God is the good shepherd, and you can hear His voice. We saw that God provides, He protects, and He ultimately brings us home as the good shepherd. David declared this truth when he affirmed God as his shepherd in Psalm 23. When we declare Him as our shepherd, all the truths contained in Psalm 23 apply to us. The big news is that God leads us when we let Him. He is our God, our shepherd, who takes care of us and provides for us daily. 

This Sunday we look at our God who was ultimately the one who gave life to us. God formed you in the inmost parts of your mother’s womb in terms of your development. He created you and knit you together. The odds for this happening are astronomical. God doesn’t make mistakes, and He doesn’t make any junk. I know there are times when people wish they were more attractive, or slimmer, or more healthy, but it’s okay to be comfortable in your own skin. God fashioned you and created you just as you are. You are perfect to Him. He loves you perfectly. He gave His one and only son for you. God is at work in this world, and you are one of His creations designed by Him to give Him glory. 

Come out for a great day of worship this Sunday at Forum Christian Church. We will uplift Jesus Christ higher than any other name. We will proclaim Him loudly in worship and in our actions. We will worship for the glory of God.

-Scott

The Lord is my Shepherd

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“I am that I am.” God announced this to Moses as His name for all generations. Commonly it’s translated “THE LORD” into our Bibles, but that name represents the great “I AM.” This would be the name of God that Moses would tell the Israelites is the God he met there and who spoke to Moses from the burning bush as he tended sheep. So many times we think about God in descriptive words: God is love; God is holy; or God is silent or God is absent. We tend to paint our expression of God with our circumstances - when things are good, then God is good. When things are tough or stretching us, then “God is not there.” But God is. He is the uncreated one who made the entire universe at His spoken word. He is the one who made a way for their deliverance and rescue from Egypt. He is the great I AM who has made Himself known to Moses in the burning bush. “THE LORD” made Himself known to the world through Jesus Christ who pointed to his own deity by using “I am” statements throughout his ministry while he lived on this earth. Do you have faith in this unchanging God who created the world? Do you believe that God is good? Do you believe He’s watching over you and leading you?

This Sunday we’re going to see God as our shepherd. This expression was written by a shepherd by the name of David. If anyone knew the rigors and role of the shepherd, it’s David. David states that God’s the one who leads us in green pastures for His names sake. We’re going to see His care over us as the God of love who leads us into places we’ve never dreamed. God ultimately leads us to heaven where we will live in the presence of God forever. How wonderful to know that God leads us. He makes our paths straight when we seek Him and follow Him.

This is a Sunday filled with the promises of God. I encourage you to invite a friend or family member to come to church to hear about our great shepherd who leads us. God is doing great things at Forum; invite others to experience God’s presence and power as we worship together. I can’t wait to worship our great God with you this Sunday.

-Scott   

I AM

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God provides (Jehovah-Jireh) for us daily and throughout our lives. God has a generous spirit to where He looks out for His creation and He cares for you daily. This last week we saw God provide a sacrifice for Abraham and Isaac by orchestrating a ram in the thicket. Abraham called the place “Jehovah-Jireh” which means “God provides”. God provided this location as the place for His temple for Israel to worship. God provided Jesus as a once and for all time sacrifice. Jesus went to the cross in the very place where God had led Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham trusted God with his life and his whole being. Are you walking by faith like Abraham? Are you trusting God to be your provider?  

Speaking of Israel, our 55+ ministry just returned from a trip to Israel where they explored the Bible land and where Christ walked. 55+ is a great ministry where older adults can get involved and participate in ministry together. If you are over 55, stop by the kiosk to ask Tarry and Poppy Koutz about their Israeli adventures and see how you can get involved in this ministry.

This Sunday we look at God revealing Himself as “I AM” or “Yahweh” as He gives His name to Moses at the burning bush. We worship the God who was, who is, and who is to come. He is eternal and everlasting. Before there was time as we know it, God was there. God’s unchanging power and purpose go on forever and unfold for His glory each and every day we live. God demonstrated His power to Moses there at the burning bush as He led Moses beyond his moments of doubt and worry to become the leader of Israel. Do you have personal doubts and lack confidence? Trust in the great “I AM.” Turn your eyes onto our unchanging God and take confidence in Him. Don’t rely on yourself, but rather, place your faith in Him.

I look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday.

-Scott   

The God who Provides

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This past week we looked at the name of God, El-Shaddai, which means “God Almighty.” We saw how God is bigger than our mistakes and shortcomings. We saw, through the life of Abraham, how God can use anyone in spite of them taking matters into their own hands. Tyler did a great job of opening up God’s word to us in terms of helping us see how our God is Almighty God.

Do you rest on this truth?

Do you have your faith in God Almighty? He’s the God who takes your sin and transforms your life and makes you righteous and holy. Talk about an almighty God! 

This week we are learning about Jehovah-Jireh - the God who provides. God provides for us daily with the air we breathe, with the food we eat, and with day to day functions of life. Additionally, He provided a once and for all time sacrifice with Jesus Christ who went to the cross for our sins. He sat down at the right hand of God and now intercedes for our sins before God. God’s provision runs deep spiritually speaking. God is the initiator of His provision. He doesn’t hold back from us but instead He provides every step of our lives. With that provision He expects us to knowingly act by faith in Him. Faith is more than mental assent but, is rather, action oriented in terms of our response towards Him. We couple our head knowledge with the way we live and demonstrate our faith with our lives. We live it out. This week, we’ll see Abraham leap into action by trusting God in faith. 

Won’t you step out on faith this week? Won’t you ask someone to come to church? Won’t you share your faith with them? Won’t you live and act by faith in God? This would be a great Sunday to invite someone to come to church with you. They will hear about our God who provides. He provides a means of salvation for each of us through Christ Jesus. This is a great thing to introduce to your friends. Looking forward to worshiping with you on Sunday. 

-Scott

El-Shaddai

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Elohim  - our God, the Creator. Isn’t it great to know you follow the God who created the world? Isn’t it wonderful knowing He has a design and purpose for your life? Isn’t it astounding to align your life with His pattern and design for it? This past week we started our study on the names of God and saw that “Elohim” is the name given to God in the first chapter of Genesis. We saw that it’s the plural form of “El”- which is the singular form of the word for God. We discovered that Elohim was used over 2300 times throughout the scriptures and signifies God as our Creator. We learned that He created marriage and designed marriage as a cornerstone relationship for society. We see how the Spirit of God hovered over the waters. God didn’t step away from creation, but He actively cares for and watches over His creation. We can cry out to Elohim and ask Him to speak into our lives and situations. He can make something meaningful in the midst of brokenness. God gives to us purpose for how we live life in the midst of darkness and brokenness because He is our Creator. We should communicate this truth into the lives of people around us and put hope out there for people to embrace.

This Sunday we will explore the name of God as “El-Shaddai” which means “God almighty.” It’s in God’s power and His sovereignty that we can gain comfort and insight in life. God revealed this name to Abraham as He made this promise to Abraham, “I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.” As we see the unchanging character of God and His providence and purposes, we gain knowledge in knowing that He orchestrates our lives and our steps. Abraham trusted God and built his faith walk on God. He saw a future that rested in God and realized he could trust God in all ways. Abraham  trusted God with his life. Abraham trusted God with the way he lived, walked, and talked. We can do the same.  

We turn to God and call on His name “God Almighty” as we live daily. We center and orient our lives upon Him. God deserves our unfailing and unflinching obedience. He is God Almighty who orchestrates and providentially leads our lives just as He did in the Bible. 

We look forward to being in worship in His presence this Sunday. This would be a great Sunday to invite a friend to come and hear about God Almighty - El Shaddai.  Why not take a moment to pray for your friends to come under God’s sovereignty and His rule in their lives?

-Scott

The Names of God

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This past week we learned to love our enemies. This is one of the most provocative statements of Christ. It pushes us all to the brink of our wherewithal because it’s so counter-intuitive. The world says, “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy.” Yet, Christ says to go beyond this and demonstrate love for those who persecute you and speak poorly of you or treat you with contempt. This mindset and shift in behavior demonstrates the attitude of God who sends the rain to fall on the good and the bad. If you only love those who love you, how are you any different than anyone else? God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were sinners, He sent Christ into the world to save us from our sin. That’s a world-changing reality thought up in the mind of God. 

This week we start a new series called “The Names of God” in which we focus on the different names of God and how each name reveals His nature and character to us. We tend to think simply of God being God and leave it at that, but there’s much more to His nature than that. The names of God help to define Him to us. They reveal who He is and how He cares for His creation. This Sunday we’re going to see God as our Creator and how He demonstrates His power and dominion in the action of creation. Do you realize you follow the plans of a master architect?  God is an architect who designed and created you with great purpose in His mind. Do you realize that when you are in His presence worshipping Him, you order your life around His power and dominion? This Sunday we start this new series highlighting the names of God and discover how each name has meaning for us today.

We look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday. This would be a great time to invite a friend to come to church and help them get to know about God and His nature. See you Sunday! 

-Scott

2018: A Great Year of Growth

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This past week we looked at the provocative and counter-intuitive teaching of Christ where he tells his followers to “go the extra mile,” “to turn the other cheek,” and “to give the cloak off of your back.” This is an attitude of extravagance, an attitude and action of grace that is undeserved. It’s a sacrificial generosity that goes beyond human attitude. This takes an obedience to the Holy Spirit of God that comes from supernatural power working in your life. But when you are wronged, ask yourself this question, “How would Christ respond to this wrong doing?” You then put that action into play in your life. Christ was God’s earthly demonstration of the love of God working on this earth. We strive to replicate that with our actions. 

This Sunday we look at one of the hardest application sections of scripture that there is when Christ says, “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:43-45) To go to the place of love in your heart for your enemies is completely counter-culture. To pray for those who persecute you is an action of Christ’s work in your life. 

When Christ says something, we replicate that and go into action. We love because Christ first loved us. While we were sinners, Jesus loved us. He went to the cross. As he died he prayed for us, “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.” Talk about going the other direction and unleashing a love for those who persecute you! It doesn’t get any more counter-intuitive than that. We’ll be studying the challenge of Christ this week. 

I’m looking forward to another great day of worship in God’s house with you Sunday! See you then! 

-Scott

Annual Meeting

This Sunday is our annual information meeting. Darren Grayson, chairman of our elders, will be giving an update in all 4 services. Then at 1 p.m., there will be a meeting in the lobby for those people who want to hear a more detailed report.