September 10, 2017 - Pastor Gerry Koning
Paul journey continues on to Ephesus, one of the most morally bankrupt and demonic cities of that time. But Paul is not deterred. He has seen the Spirit work before and is not disappointed here, when there is a fourth outpouring to the Spirit, just as Jesus has proclaimed in Acts 1:8. This outpouring led to a preaching of the Gospel to some of the uttermost ends of the known earth at that time, and also to extraordinary miracles. Conflict was a continued reality in ministry for Christ, but so was God's guidance through the conflict. And this led to great outcomes of both complete surrender on the part of those previously committed to demonic power, and complete freedom for those previously enslaved to perversions of money and sexuality through idol worship.
September 3, 2017 - Pastor Gerry Koning
Sometimes when we contemplate the future and see the uncertainty of it all, we become fearful and do not want to keep moving forward. What we need to keep in mind is that when we are on mission with God, He will always provide because He is already in that place that may seem so scary to us. God provides for us in two ways: through people we meet and through protection. When Paul was in Corinth, God provided for him through Aquila and Priscilla and through Sothenes. God also provided protection for Paul through Gallio. God always provides for us and always protects us when we are on His mission.
August 20, 2017 - Pastor Gerry Koning
The church in Berea was known for having great listeners and learners. In Acts 17 we learn three things about the Bereans that contributed to this ability to hear and learn well. First, they had noble character, which literally means they had a great willingness to learn. They were willing to to assess a situation and, even if it wasn't what they expected, to learn from it. The Bereans were also eager to receive. They loved to learn more from Scripture because they loved Jesus. And finally, the Bereans were faithful in spending daily time in Scripture, wanting to know it well enough to be able to discern truth. As a result of this abitliy to learn, many Bereans became Christians!
August 13, 2017 - Pastor Gerry Koning
In Paul's visit to Thessalonica in Acts 17 we get a good understanding of what all is involved in a good telling of the Gospel. The passage uses four different verbs to describe all that Paul did. He reasoned from Scriptures, he explained by answering their questions, he proved by way of testimony, and he proclaimed the Good News by telling it with passion. How good are we at telling the Gospel? And when we do speak of the Gospel, do we do so with such a great passion that others are compelled to hear the message?
July 16, 2017 - Greg Vander Horn
July 9, 2017 - Pastor Gerry Koning
When bringing the Gospel to a pluralistic society, a society that has many gods and where truth is relative to each individual or culture, there are three principles that Paul followed and that we should keep in mind too. First, our Gospel message should include ministry to the needy. This will serve to confirm our message of grace by the ways that we show miraculous compassion and generosity, and even miraculous signs and wonders. Second, we must contextualize the message to the hearers worldview and find points of contact that meet them where they are and address what they long for. Finally, we must continue through hardships, recognizing that these bring us personally deeper into the Kingdom, and also that how we deal with hardships can validate the Gospel for those outside the Kingdom.
July 2, 2017 - Pastor Gerry Koning
In Acts 13 we find Paul moving into the area of Galatia and facing strong opposition, but also finding great triumph as he faithfully preached the gospel message of resurrection in both its fact and fulfillment. It was a very difficult journey just to reach Pisidian Antioch, but Paul was compelled by his calling to bring the gospel message to Gentiles. Despite the arduous journey and the persecution of jealous Jews, Paul saw that all whom God had appointed to eternal life did believe his message and were saved. He learned from this experience, and many others to follow, that when we go on mission with God we will find strong opposition, but also the triumph of God in people's lives.
June 25, 2017 - Greg Vander Horn
June 18, 2017 - Pastor Gerry Koning
In Acts 13 we find Paul and Barnabas receiving their call and being sent out by the church to go out and proclaim the gospel to the world. Their sending church was Antioch, not Jerusalem, and it is interesting to look at the leadership team at this church and see why Antioch was the best church to send missionaries to the Gentiles. Antioch was blessed with a very sociologically diverse leadership team that was comprised of generous, culturally sensitive people. These men were also very Spirit-led and mission oriented. They chose to send their best teachers out as missionaries, left a diverse group in charge to lead the church in Antioch, and found that the Holy Spirit will indeed lead us in amazing directions when we work well together with everyone.
June 11, 2017 - Pastor Gerry Koning
The apostle Paul took many journeys in the course of his ministry, but in reality his whole life was a spiritual journey that continually formed and transformed him. The same is true for all Christians. And a key point in that journey, a point that must be recognized by any true follower of Christ, is the point of conversion. This is that moment when the true God collides with the gods we have created for ourselves and we realize that our gods are too weak to change our hearts. Then the miracle of spiritual light comes to us and we see the truth about Jesus, about ourselves, and about the church. And once we know that truth we embrace new, selfless relationships and allow God to do His transformative work in us.
June 4, 2017 - Pastor Gerry Koning
The Pentecost described in Acts 2 is not the first Pentecost, but it is a new Pentecost. The first Pentecost actually took place when God came down on Mt. Sinai fifty days after the first Passover, when God's people were delivered from Egypt. The new Pentecost not only has God coming down in love to a new mountain, which includes everyone in whom the the Spirit now dwells, but God also gives a new ministry and makes us new people. The new ministry is that we all proclaim the wonders and works of God, not our works, to all people in all languages. And we are new people in the sense that we are now unified and culturally sensitive people because of the presence of the Holy Spirit in us.