Together Sermon Series at First Baptist Church, Hallowell, Maine.

Together-Foundation

Ephesians 3:20  God is building a home.  He’s using us all, irrespective of how we got here, in what He is building.

Pastor Michael opened his sermon by stating that each stage of our lives brings different opportunities and challenges.  One stage of life is either buying or building a house.  You begin with an idea in your mind of what you want your house to look like, but based on your budget you have to revise your plans.  You decide what you want now and figure out what you will add on later.  You love your first house and see the potential it has.  It is the same way with God.  He adores you right where you are.  God is excited and proud of what you give Him.  He sees the potential in what He has created for you and what you can do with a little direction.

God is building a home and He is using you in what He is building.  It doesn’t matter how you got here.  We all come from different paths.  The things that you think you are not good at are the things God uses.  Being different is good.  Our differences make us stronger as we unite through Christ.  God made you unique for a reason.  It’s not about you, but about what God can do through you.  God uses weaknesses more than strengths to bless and bring hope to those who need it.  Pastor Michael continued by telling the story of Saul of Tarsus.  Saul believed in God, but not Jesus.  He thought he was doing God’s work and was preserving God by killing the followers of Jesus.  When Saul saw Jesus, he realized he had been doing the wrong thing.  God chose Saul to deliver His message and he became a strong component of spreading the gospel.

God takes people that don’t fit in and makes them fit in.   God has a plan.  He is working in me to be a light in you.  We are all part of a movement called church, but it bigger than a building.  We are “bricks” in this building and are valuable.  We can show people what the real church looks like by changing one person at a time.  By starting small and showing one person what the love of God looks like we become difference makers.  That is how the world changes.

Together Sermon Series at First Baptist Church, Hallowell, Maine.

Together-Belong

Ephesians 2:19-You’re no longer strangers or outsiders.  You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone.

At some point in your life you may have felt like an outsider.  You may even feel like an outsider right now.  Pastor Michael’s sermon focused on belonging, as he broke down Ephesians 2:19 into three points.

The first point says you are no longer an outsider as you are part of the family of Christ.  Jesus said you have as much right to be a Christian as anyone.  When you feel like an outsider, you feel hopeless.  Jesus said you don’t have to live your life without hope as you have a future that includes an eternal Heaven.  FBC wants to find the outsiders and let them know what it feels like to be an insider.  It’s not about one or two people.  It’s about us altogether.  Jesus said you fit in.

The second point is you belong here.  Sometimes when you are a part of something, you can have a fear of being replaced.  With Jesus you do not need to have that fear as your relationship with Him is inside you and on going.  We are stronger together than we are apart, even though we are different.  Our differences balance each other out.  Sometimes we don’t recognize that we belong to something bigger than ourselves.  There is a hunger in us that can’t be filled with money or stuff.  It can only be filled with our desire to be a part of God and to have a relationship with Him.

The third point is you have the right to the name Christian.  You are a member of God’s family.  Being part of His family is not contingent on what you do.  You are God’s masterpiece with all of your flaws and imperfections.  God is proud of you and He loves you.  God did not mess up when He created you.

God is moving through FBC.  We have prayed about our Home for Good and received a donation of land.  We prayed for healing and it happened.  People are realizing they fit in and marriages are being saved.  We are a part of something much bigger.  Don’t miss out on what God is doing.

Together Sermon Series at First Baptist Church, Hallowell, Maine.

Taking This Journey Together


Deuteronomy 8:10-14, 17-18
17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.

Pastor Jack spoke about taking a journey with God. He broke this journey into three chapters. The first is God’s gift of a place of blessing. God’s purpose is to bless His people. At times we feel that we have to bargain or negotiate with God in order to be “good enough” for Him to bless us. That is not the case, as God blesses us because He loves us. We can see that when we walk with God.

The second chapter is temptation and self-pride causing us to become complacent. When life is going well it can become easy to lose our reliance on God. We become dependent on ourselves rather than God which can lead to attending church less, praying less and not thinking about Him as often. When our lives are not going as well, then we often look to God for guidance and leadership. We need to remember that God gave us all of our blessings. When we become complacent then God opens the school in the wilderness, which is chapter three.

The wilderness is any situation in which the supports we depend upon have been taken away. These are the times that our world has been turned upside down. God knows we make mistakes, go through rough patches and drift away. When we are alone in the wilderness, we can see and hear things very clearly. God doesn’t cause the wilderness, but He does allow it. He has given us a world of freedom and tragedies do happen. Remember that God is with us through the wilderness and is teaching us all the way. When we come out of the wilderness to the place of blessing, we will be stronger, more compassionate, better people and more receptive to God. In the land of blessing, we need to work harder to keep our focus on God. Remember He has given us everything we have and is always moving us forward. We just need to trust Him.

Together Sermon Series at First Baptist Church, Hallowell, Maine.

Together – 2016 Vision!

Ephesians 2:19-22

You’re no longer strangers or outsiders.  You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone.  God is building a home.  He’s using us all together, irrespective of how we got here, in what He is building.  He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation.

Now He’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the Cornerstone that holds all the parts together.

We see it taking shape day after day, a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a sanctuary in which God is quite at home.

Pastor Michael opened today by stating he feels God creates waves of direction.  God has uniquely designed you and placed something on your heart that moves you individually.   He gave several examples of how people at FBC have used what moved their hearts to give back to their community.  Pastor Kelleen is passionate about prayer and created the worship on the water event.  Jason Gibbons has used his love of basketball as a way to spread a powerful anti-bullying message and several food/ hat & mitten drives took place to fill a need in our schools.  One person can make a difference.  Kim beautifully sang “The Man in the Mirror” to reiterate the point that change begins with you-the person you see in the mirror everyday.

Pastor Michael then posed the question of what can a whole group of people do together? We have size in our favor and being unified by God allows us to change our community. God is blessing and leading us in the direction He wants us to go.  FBC is made up of people with a variety of backgrounds, beliefs and skills making us more powerful in reaching the lost. Due to our strength together, the only weapon the enemy has is distraction causing us to stand alone to fight our own individual battles.  When Christ is not the cornerstone holding us together, our core becomes weak.  When we are weak, we have a hard time accomplishing anything.   When we unite as one, we can accomplish what is not supposed to happen.  Then we not only survive, but we win.  One person can make a difference, but together we are unstoppable.