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Obviously, Peter always wanted to know more and to understand better.  And that sort of inquisitiveness is a healthy feature of being a follower of Jesus--especially one who can eventually lead other to follow Him as well.  Inquisitive people make good leaders.  They are hungry to find answers.  Knowledge is power.  Whoever has the information has the advantage.  (MacArthur, 2004)

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An old pastor once said he could tell when a Christian was growing because a growing Christian would always talk more about Christ and less about himself. (MacArthur, 2004)

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In order to be a fully committed follower of Christ, one needs to feed on Him. One who is feeding on Christ will become like Him.  Such a person will manifest His purity, goodness, tenderness, compassion, His interest in others.  You take a professing Christian who is hard and bitter and critical of others, and you know he has not been feeding of Christ for a long time.  You take a Christian who is drifting into worldliness, and carelessness, who is becoming vain, and haughty and self-centered- he has not been feeding on the Savior. (Ironside, 1920)

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There is always a group of "iffy" folk round high energy  They want to be known as part of the high energy but they do not want to make the necessary investments to be an integral part.  The is no shortage of claimants to the authorship of 'The road to hell is paved with good intentions'. The expression is often attributed to the Cistercian abbot Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)

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Finally, it also belonged to discipleship that customary values be radically broken (cf Mark 10:41-45)  Conditional relations are to be carefully considered, in-light-of the break with the past: It is discipleship which demands and makes possible this break, but the break itself is not to be equated with discipleship.  The call of Jesus demands and makes possible the break with the past, in as much as it gives the disciple a new future. (Weder, H. 1992).

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The focus of the our church is "Discipleship", ACTS' Goal for 2017 is "To change our world, one person at a time, for Jesus Christ".  Pastor Tom Mercer correctly says: "When the truth that God put us here for a reason -- to be a part of the greatest initiative in world history -- burrows deep roots into the soul of a believer, and they understand that no one else can fulfill that purpose in their relational world as well as they can, then something transformational happens. (Mercer, 2009)

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A group of shepherds would become the first people outside of Jesus' family to know of his arrival (Luke 2:8-20).  We often think in our society that to have an impact we must harness the forces of earthly power.  If only Christians controlled TV! If only Christians ruled the nations! Yet God's way is often very different.  The Gospel of Luke teaches us that God can take obscure and poor people and use them to transform the world.

Direct download: Sermon_12-25-16.mp3
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Direct download: Sermon_12-18-16.mp3
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It is called Bethlehem-Ephratah, both names of the same city, as appears in (Genesis 35:19).  It was little among the thousands of Judah, not considerable either for the number of the inhabitants or the figure they make; it had nothing in it worthy to have this honor put upon it; but God in that, as in other instances, chose to exalt those of low degree, (Luke 1:52). (Henry, M. 1994)

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The Christian gospel is the proclamation of an event, the event of Jesus Christ.  In the Christian view of reality, Jesus is final. He is the revelation of God and the revelation of true humanity.

Direct download: Sermon_11-27-16.mp3
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