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“Where is God?” Esther 1:1-22 It may seem to us at times that God is absent when, in fact, He is present behind the scenes. God used one person standing up for what was right, exposing the frailty of this worldly kingdom and creating the opportunity for his plan to unfold. God's power and providence mean we always have hope, not least of which is f…
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We celebrate the most important, history-changing, life-altering event in the history of humanity. It is impossible to overstate the magnitude of the impact of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross and His resurrection from the grave. We look at the greatest problem of humanity, the greatest act of love ever committed, the most profound act of bot…
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“He is Risen!: Two Disciples on the Road” Luke 24:13-35 After Jesus was crucified, two of his disciples encountered an amazing man on the road to Emmaus, and their lives were forever changed when they realized that Jesus had risen from the dead! As we encounter Jesus, may our lives be changed, too, as we realize that He is the Risen Lord! (Easter S…
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The Adoring Crowds Mark 21:1-11 Crowds of people on the road to Jerusalem encountered Jesus, and they adored him because they believed He was the Messiah. As we encounter Jesus, who do we say that He is, and how could that change our lives? __________________________________________________________ Encounters with Jesus (Lent) Throughout the Gospel…
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There comes a point in a journey when you are almost to your destination. When the journey is long, that time when you are almost there is both exciting and agonizing. You long to be where you are going, but you still have a little ways to go before you get there. We conclude our sermon series called "Are We There Yet? Glory, Grace and Grumbling in…
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“A Reluctant Participant” John 5:1-15 A man who could not walk had an encounter with Jesus, and he took a leap of faith that changed his life. As we encounter Jesus, he also calls us to take leaps of faith. ______________________________________________ Encounters with Jesus (Lent) Throughout the Gospels, people had amazing encounters with Jesus. T…
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There was a phrase I would often use with my kids as we pulled into whatever place we were going. It was the phrase, "Now, remember..." and then I would proceed to remind them about their manners, things they were allowed to do or not allowed to do, that they needed to stay where we could see them, or just anything that they needed to remember wher…
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A Paralyzed Man Mark 2:1-12 A Paralyzed man encountered Jesus, and he was healed and forgiven. As we encounter Jesus, He desires to heal and forgive as well. _____________________________________________ Encounters with Jesus (Lent) Throughout the Gospels, people had amazing encounters with Jesus. These were ordinary people who were forever changed…
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We look at a very difficult passage in the book of Numbers. In Numbers chapters 31 and 32 God's people are faced with several very difficult choices. Understanding these chapters for us is very difficult as well, since the issues facing God's people are very foreign to us. But by looking at the choices they made - some good, some not so good - we c…
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“A Girl and a Woman in a Mess” Mark 5:21-43 A girl and a woman had encounters with Jesus, and they found that He had the power to deal with even the biggest and messiest problems in their lives and that He didn't turn them away because of them. As we encounter Jesus, we find these same things are true of Him for us as well. ________________________…
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The day I was leaving for college was a very memorable day because of the words my dad gave me. The conversation was direct and void of any waste. My dad wanted to give me some final advice before he dropped me off for college with the hope that I would remember some critical things to help me survive till I would see him again in November. What wo…
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“A Dishonest Man” Luke 19:1-9 A dishonest tax collector named Zacchaeus encountered Jesus, and when he did, not only did his life change, but his values changed, too. As we encounter Jesus, our lives and values are also supposed to change. ___________________________________________________ Encounters with Jesus (Lent) Throughout the Gospels, peopl…
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We are forgetful people. This is why so often in the Old Testament God teaches His people to be intentional about remembering what He has done for them. In a sermon called "Intentional Remembering," we look at Numbers chapters 28-30 where God gives His people specific things to help them remember Him when they come into the Promised Land. We learn …
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“Some Random Fishermen” Mark 1:14-20 Some random fishermen encountered Jesus. He called them to repent, believe, and follow Him, and their lives were forever changed as they did so and became his first disciples. As we encounter Jesus, He calls us to repent, believe, and follow Him so that we might also become his disciples. (Ash Wednesday) _______…
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“A Woman at a Well” John 4:1-26, 39-42 A woman at a well had an encounter with Jesus, and it changed her life and the lives of others in her town, as she and they came to believe in Him as their savior. As we encounter Jesus, He calls us to believe in Him and receive Him as our savior, too. ____________________________________________________ Encou…
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Sometimes starting over is hard. You get to the end of a project and realize you made a mistake and you have to start over again. That can be frustrating. But sometimes starting over is exciting. You get a new beginning to avoid the mistakes you made the first time. In a sermon called "New Beginnings", we look at Numbers chapters 26 and 27 as part …
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Effective Prayer James 5:16, Mark 11:20-25 Effective prayers come from seeking to live God's way, remembering to ask, and doing so by faith without doubting that God can do what we've asked for. Prayer Matters As we move into the new year, we'll begin a new series of messages called "Prayer Matters" because prayer really does matter a great deal. A…
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It is an amusing sight at a kids sporting event when someone takes the ball in the wrong direction and scores for the opposing team, but it would not be so funny if that happened this weekend in the Super Bowl! There comes a point when people understand what is at stake and should know better. In a sermon called "Helping the Enemy" we look at Numbe…
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"How Should We Pray?" Mathew 6:5-14, Ephesians 6:18, 1 John 5:14-15 We should pray, seeking an honest and intimate connection with God and using the Lord's prayer as a guide. We should also pray all kinds of prayers constantly and with confidence. Prayer Matters As we move into the new year, we'll begin a new series of messages called "Prayer Matte…
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In this sermon we look at a classic story from the book of Numbers - the story of Balaam and his talking donkey. It reminds me of Sunday School stories as a kid or illustrated children's books. But the book of Numbers is no children's book and the account of Balaam is much more complicated and sinister than what we might typically teach to kids. In…
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Does God Really Listen and Answer Prayer? Psalm 139:1-4, Jeremiah 33:3, Proverbs 28:9, James 4:3, Mark 11:24, 1 John 5:14 God hears everything, including our prayers. God does answer our prayers. When people ask faithfully, God frequently grants their prayers, more often than we may realize. However, God does not always give us what we pray for, an…
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Where do we go when we need help? Where do we turn when things seem like they are falling apart? This sermon on Numbers 20:14 - 21:45 is titled "Look Up and Live" and looks at a time when the Israelites, once again, got themselves into trouble in the book of Numbers. God had done so much for them, yet again they grumble and complain against him. As…
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"Why Should We Pray?" Colossians 4:2, Matthew 6:5-7, James 5:16, Mark 14:36, Matthew 6:6 We should pray for a number of reasons: we are called to pray in scripture because prayer is powerful, but most importantly, we should pray in order to grow a deep and intimate relationship with God. _____________________________________________ Prayer Matters …
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We struggle with wanting to be first. Or maybe just wanting to be right. Or just wanting others to think that we are right. Every aspect of our culture feeds the flame within us that says we are right and we should get what we want. This sermon looks at a very difficult passage in Numbers 20:1-13. We need to look carefully at these 13 verses becaus…
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"What is Prayer?" John 17:1-2, 11: 20-21, Matthew 14:23, Matthew 6:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Prayer is communication and communion with God, which is central to the Christian life. _____________________________________________ Prayer Matters As we move into the new year, we'll begin a new series of messages called "Prayer Matters" because prayer real…
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"Walking Through the Messes with Him" (Magi) Matthew 2:1-12, Ephesians 3:16-17 The Magi could have let the messes they encountered stop them. Instead, they sought Jesus in the mess, and they found Him. May we follow their lead, seek Jesus in the messes, and learn to walk through them with Him. Epiphany Sunday _______________________________ Messy C…
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We follow our annual tradition of using the first Sunday of the new year to look at an overview of the entire bible. This sermon iis called "The Big Picture" and we see that in Scripture God gives us one big picture of who He is, who we are, the relationship that God has created us for, as well as His plan and work to make that relationship possibl…
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"Jesus at Work in the Mess" (Us) John 4:39-42 On this Sunday, a few members of our Orchard family will share stories of how God has been at work in their lives, and together, we'll lift up prayers for the New Year. Faith Stories Sunday featuring Neepa DeVries Micheal McQuillan June Verloop ___________________________________________________________…
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Exploring Paul's letter to the Galatians where he reminds us that the Gospel was not a one time event but rather the thing that shapes our lives forever. As Christ followers, we should look at every aspect of our lives through the lens of the Gospel. Paul encourages us to remember that what we started in the Spirit, we finish in the Spirit, as the …
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“Love in the Mess" (Joseph) Matthew 1:18-25, 1 John 4:9-10 An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream with the news that he would have a son, Jesus the Messiah, who would bring with Him the gift of love in the midst of a messy world and our messy lives. ___________________________________________________ Messy Christmas The first Christmas was messy: a…
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“A Savior Who Meets us in the Mess" (Jesus) Luke 2:1-20, 1 Timothy 1:15 In Jesus, God himself came to meet us in the mess of this world and the mess of our lives in order to be our Savior. ____________________________________________________________ Messy Christmas The first Christmas was messy: an unwed mother, a father thinking of leaving, a chil…
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What does peace mean? Is it a feeling when everything is calm and quiet? Is it a ceasefire between two enemies? As we continue our Christmas Sermon Series "Unto Us a Child is Born," we look at the last title used for the coming Messiah in Isaiah 9:6 which is "Prince of Peace." We need peace in our lives and peace in this world, but we must truly un…
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“Joy in the Mess" (Angels) The angels announced the amazing news that Jesus the Messiah had been born, who would bring with Him the gift of joy in the midst of a messy world and our messy lives. Choir Sunday - To hear more of the amazing, joyful worship of our choir, visit our YouTube page and watch the whole service. ______________________________…
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This sermon is called "Everlasting Father" as we continue to look at the titles for the coming Messiah given in Isaiah 9:6. It is interesting to think of the baby born in the manger on Christmas Day as being an "everlasting father". We see how we all need a true father to watch over us, teach us, and protect us. Sometimes we have great examples of …
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“Peace in the Mess" (Shepherds) Luke 2:8-15, John 16:33, John 14:27 An angel appeared to the shepherds with the news that Jesus the Messiah had been born, who would bring with Him the gift of peace in the midst of a messy world and our messy lives. _____________________________________ Messy Christmas The first Christmas was messy: an unwed mother,…
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“Hope in the Mess" (Mary) Luke 1:26-38, Jeremiah 29:11, Titus 2: 11-13 An angel appeared to Mary with the news that she would bear a child, Jesus, the Messiah, who would bring with Him the gift of hope in the midst of a messy world and our messy lives. Messy Christmas The first Christmas was messy: an unwed mother, a father thinking of leaving, a c…
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Over the next month, people will gather in places all around the world to sing the famous "Handel's Messiah." In grand style they will declare "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of …
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"Offering Our Resources" Matthew 6:19-24 & Proverbs 3:9-10 The resources we have in this life are gifts from God that we're called to offer to God by seeking to use them according to His will and for His glory. _________________________________________________________________ Offering When it comes to stewardship, many people think of offering fina…
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We are taking a break from our sermon series on the book of Numbers until after the New Year so that we can focus on Thanksgiving and then Christmas. Giving thanks is an important biblical theme. In a sermon called "How To Be Thankful," we look at the powerful words of Psalm 100 where we are instructed to give thanks and given important ideas on ho…
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"Offering Our Gifts and Talents" 1 Corinthians 12:1, 4-7, 1 Peter 4:10-11 Everyone has been given gifts and talents from God, and we're called to offer these gifts and talents to God by seeking to use them according to His will and for His glory. Offering When it comes to stewardship, many people think of offering financial gifts and tithes, but Bi…
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In this sermon we see the devastating effect of pride among God's people. Pride is a destructive problem in our lives and in our society. Pride looks at what we have and says we deserve more. Pride looks at God's authority and says we could do better. Pride looks at God's Word and says we know better. In a sermon called "The Problem of Pride" we wi…
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"Offering Our Time" Psalm 90:12, Exodus 20:8-11, Colossians 3:17, 1 Samuel 12:24 Time is a precious gift from God, and we're called to offer our time to God by seeking to use it according to His will and for His glory. Offering When it comes to stewardship, many people think of offering financial gifts and tithes, but Biblical stewardship is much m…
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We are looking at Numbers chapter 15 in a sermon called "Grace and Worship." Here we see that even though God's people rebelled against him, He has not given up on them. In this chapter we also see that when God gives us grace we are to respond in worship. Worship is our purposeful response to who God is and what God has done. It becomes part of ou…
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“Less Coffee, More God” Philippians 4:2-23 Authentic faith leads us to a place of contentment. __________________________________________________ Authentic Faith The Book of Philippians We live in a world where there are lots of expressions of faith that fall short of what we'd hope for. We don't want to live our faith in a way that's plastic or fa…
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Fear is a powerful force. It can grow inside of us and cause us to turn away from what is right. It can spread from us to others. It can wear us down and lead us astray. This sermon looks at Numbers chapters 13 and 14 where God's people face a difficult choice. They must choose whether to respond out of fear or out of faith. Most of them respond in…
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“Glory Days” Philippians 3:12-23 Authentic faith leads us to live life looking forward, not backward. Authentic Faith The Book of Philippians We live in a world where there are lots of expressions of faith that fall short of what we'd hope for. We don't want to live our faith in a way that's plastic or fake, or in a way that's for show, nothing mor…
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We are all prone to complaining at times. Maybe something didn't go the way we thought it should. Maybe someone lets us down. The book of Numbers is full of times that God's people complained. In a sermon called "Grumbling and Complaining," we be look at Numbers chapters 11 and 12. These chapters are the beginning of the 2nd main section in the boo…
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