Pastor Craig posted this year-in-review for us…
I have the high privilege of being able to shepherd Calvary Assembly of God. It’s a privilege and responsibility I take as a charge from God, and the Scripture makes it clear that those who have been given such
Just one way I can use such stewardship is in the weekly sermons I prepare for our church family. I faithfully study and pray to get God’s mind on the topics that we need to grow in Him. Below is a brief overview of each of the series of messages I shared in 2018, along with links to the weekly recaps I post after delivering each message.
The Prayers Of David—The life of David is an open book for us. One of the unique things about David’s life is that we get to read both the historical narrative of his life, and his diary-like thoughts recorded in his psalms, songs, and prayers in the Book of Psalms. David’s prayers are gut-level honest and full of raw emotion. His prayers are also very helpful for anyone who desires to be as close to God as David was, to be one God describes as “a man after my own heart, who will do everything I want him to do.”
- Prayer is the battle
- For crying out loud!
- A “Hallelujah!” lifestyle
- How confident are your prayers?
- The wonder of God’s forgiveness
Come And See—Survey after survey, and personal interview after personal interview, all report the same indisputable truth—the #1 reason unchurched people don’t come to church is no one has invited them! Wow! Christians have the life-changing truth of what a personal relationship with Jesus Christ can do, and they are for the most part keeping it to themselves. I want to present a very simple way to invite people to hear about our Risen Savior, and it’s just three simple words: Come and see.
A.L.I.V.E.—It is the foundational claim of Christianity: Christ died on a Cross and was raised back to life.It is also the claim many skeptics of Christianity find so difficult to process. This series explores evidence for for the resurrection of Jesus in each of the five letters of “ALIVE.” These messages are specifically designed for those skeptical of the claims of Christianity. The evidence won’t be a bunch of “churchy” platitudes, but court-room-level evidence that will attempt to make the case for what Christians believe about the death and resurrection of Jesus.
- The “A” is for Apologetics
- The “L” is for Lives changed
- The “I” is for “It is finished”
- The “V” is for Verified prophesy
- The “E” is for Engagement of Christ’s followers
God’s Favor—What if I were to tell you that God is for you? What if I were to tell you that God wantsto bless you? What if I were to tell you that God’s favor is constantly pursuing you? Well, here’s me telling you that it’s all true! Why would God do this? Because if you feel distant from Him, how can you glorify Him? If you feel disconnected from His love, how will you draw others to Him? If you feel like your relationship with Him is hanging by a thread, how can you happily abide in His presence? Knowing God’s favor is the key to living the abundant life Jesus purchased for you on the Cross!
- God is for you!
- Finding God’s favor
- What if I sin?
- 5 lessons from 2 mothers
- Pentecost shows us that God is for us
- Do people know that you know that God is good?
- Is it really the 11th hour?
- God’s gift to the world
- A warrior for God’s favor
What Is Church?—All across the world on Sunday morning, people met for church? But what exactly is church? Is it a place we go to? Is it something that only happens on Sundays? For Jesus, neither the day of the week nor the location determined the way He lived.Peter summed it up this way, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38).
Selah—The word Selahappears nearly 70 times in the Bible, almost exclusively in the Psalms. Although it is primarily a musical term, it applies beautifully to our new summer series. Throughout the Psalms, Selahappears at the end of a verse, at the end of the psalm, or sometimes even mid-sentence. But each one of them is perfectly placed by the Spirit-inspired authors to get us to take a breath and deeply contemplate what we just read or sang.
- Argument vs. experience
- The Selah that keeps us from sinning
- Grudges can block God’s blessings
- Unexpected praise
- Renewed passion for prayer
- Going into the heavy presence of God
- Confession is good for you
- Let’s put that in perspective
Aliens And Strangers—Christians are not citizens of Planet Earth. Our citizenship is in a place called Heaven, and yet we are traveling on Earth during our present lifetime. So the question is: How is a citizen of Heaven supposed to act while visiting Earth? The Apostle Peter was one of the most active disciples of Jesus. During Christ’s first visit to Earth, Peter is recorded as speaking more than all of the other disciples combined. And not surprisingly, Jesus speaks more words directly to Peter than He does to all of the other 11 disciples combined. Peter got a lot of training! With that background, Peter gives us invaluable instructions in his first letter to the church. He calls Christians things like: strangers in the world, chosen people, peculiar people, and aliens and strangers in the world.He tells us travelers not only howto behave while traveling on Earth, but whywe should travel in a God-honoring way.
- Living lives that make sense
- Unlearning limiting fears
- Life is hard! Now what?
- Alien anxiety
- Battle ready
- Alien friendships
I ♥My Church—If you lived in the early first century AD—and if the donkey carts had bumper stickers—I’ll bet that you would have seen “I My Church” bumper stickers on everything the early Christians owned. Both the Bible and historians of that day talked about the positive societal changes that Christians were making in their communities, and how every place they lived and worshipped got better. Why not today? Why not in your community?
Shalom—God makes a promise in Isaiahabout His perfect peace being made available to His people. Ahhh, who wouldn’t want God’s perfect peace?! Sadly, many people actually block God’s peace from coming into their hearts. You see, God’s peace is always there, but there are things we humans frequently do that keeps us from experiencingHis perfect peace. The Hebrew word for peace is shalom, which is a word packed with rich meaning! There are things God-loving people can do to keep shalom at the center of their lives, and I want to share these things with you.
- What is Shalom?
- The dangers in grumbling
- Overcoming unbelief before it’s too late
- Reversing the distress cycle
The Carols Of Christmas—How many “old familiar carols” have you heard Christmas after Christmas until the words have almost lost their meaning? If we’re not careful, any song repeated too often can lose the richness of its original intent. There are some amazing messages in many of our old familiar Christmas carols because many of those messages are saturated with the old familiar story of Redemption that the Bible tells over and over again.
- Joining the angel choir
- The everlasting hope in our everlasting Lord
- The powerful name of Jesus
- Living between the Advents
- Four kings of kings
If you live in northern Kent county and you don’t have a church home, I would love for you to join us in 2019.