Better Together // God’s Heart for Relationships

Family Pastor Vincent Carpenter continued our Better Together series, sharing what it means to be part of the Body of Christ and how we are all called to place honor upon each other. Every part of the human body is important, and the same goes for the church body. Without each other, we would miss the fullest picture God is revealing of Himself on the earth through the Church.

Super Natural // Fruit of the Holy Spirit

Family Pastor Vincent Carpenter wrapped up our Super Natural series with a sermon on the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The fruit has nothing to do with us but can only be produced by the power of the Holy Spirit at work inside us. While we can’t produce it, we can cultivate our lives in such a way that spiritual fruit can grow, sowing in the spirit in what we listen to, think about, talk about and how we respond in life.

Be sure to tune in next week as we kick off a new series.

Super Natural // Fruit of the Holy Spirit

This resource page is designed to supplement your study of the Holy Spirit throughout our 4-week Super Natural series. Each Sunday, you’ll have access to additional resources that accompany that week’s sermon topic. You can study and complete these materials in one sitting, or spread them out through the week, whichever is most helpful for you. We hope you enjoy taking a closer look at who the Holy Spirit is, what He offers us, and how He moves in our lives.

Devotional

If you were to plant apple seeds in the ground, what would you expect to grow? An apple tree, right? In the same way, God puts His Holy Spirit in us, planted in the soil of our hearts, and expects that to bear fruit – fruit of the Holy Spirit – in our lives. If you’ve ever gardened, you know that producing a crop of any kind depends not on the seed, but on the soil…the soil must be carefully tended and overseen from start to finish by the gardener.

Jesus teaches His disciples about this kind of tending as “abiding” in John 15:4-5.

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

As we abide in Jesus through the Holy Spirit who lives in us and leads us, prompts us, and helps us, we bear fruit – in thought, word and deed. Holy fruit. Fruit that remains. Instead of giving in to and being led by our fleshly desires, we can choose to demonstrate the fruit of the Holy Spirit, as we stay connected to Him throughout the day.

Sermon Recap

The baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit can happen and manifest in a single moment. The fruit of the Holy Spirit, however, develops more slowly and methodically over time.

Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control

It’s not a list of nine qualities you have to master. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is produced inside of you, as natural fruit is produced by a tree or vine. You already have the fruit of the Spirit because you have the Holy Spirit – but you can choose to cultivate the soil for that seed and let the Holy Spirit lead with the fruit of the Spirit in your life, or you can choose your own fleshly behavior.

We cultivate our lives through what the Bible calls “sowing into the Spirit.”

Cultivating the soil of our lives, sowing through faith, includes praying and meditating on the Word of God, thinking about the character and ways of God and His Kingdom, and expressing thankfulness towards God.

The trials, particular pressures in life, can be an opportunity to cultivate the spiritual ground in our lives as well. These challenges are an opportunity to deliver the good fruit that is inside of us by the Holy Spirit.

Scriptures from the Sermon

Study the Fruit

Click HERE for a deeper study the fruit of the Spirit.

Challenge

Our Supernatural series spans 28 days (February 16 – March 16). One great way for you to study the Holy Spirit throughout this series is to read one chapter from Acts each day (there are 28 chapters). As you read, circle or highlight any place that the Holy Spirit is mentioned – make notes in each place about what happens (how does the Holy Spirit appear and what is the result).

 

By Meredith Zuercher

These Things We Must Do // Making Disciples

Family Pastor Vincent Carpenter shared how when we invest our lives into the lives of others, we multiply our kingdom potential beyond what we think is possible and that potential is unlocked by investing in someone else. Discipleship, at whatever stage, is how we fulfill the Great Commission in today’s age.

Be sure to tune in next week as we continue our series, These Things We Must Do.

Hark! // When God Whispers

“We like it when things are loud and clear. This is how we like God to communicate with us, and although He does sometimes, He does not all of the time.” Vincent Carpenter //

This Christmas season, we are centering our attention on listening to God. There is so much noise, both external and internal. Not only are there all of the festive sounds of the holiday season, but marketing and ad campaigns are coming at us from every angle, trying to get us to believe that we need to buy more to be happier. There are the voices of extended family and potentially strained relationships. And on top of that, it is so easy to start the comparison game and allow negative voices to captivate our attention just by watching everyone’s highlight reel on social media.

That is why it is so vital that you pause and take time to listen. Give God space to speak into your life, and recognize His voice. Sometimes this can be through a loud and bold declaration like the shepherds experienced when they were told of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:9). However, we also need to pay attention to the soft and subtle suggestions from God, as demonstrated in Elijah’s story (1 Kings 19:12).

“And He said, ‘Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.’ And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.” 1 Kings 19:11-13

God can definitely be in the wind, the earthquake, the fire, but He chose in that moment to speak in a still, small voice. If we are expecting Him to be loud, then we may miss the very whispers that are supposed to draw us in. When I am close, there is less need to shout.

Right now, take time to ask yourself, who are you listening to today? In this season? What is the primary voice you are hearing? Is it your own voice, telling yourself all that you need to get done? Is it something else, like fear? Or is it the voice of your loving heavenly Father? The easiest path would be for us to assume that we are hearing from God or believe that He is silent when really we may be listening to something we shouldn’t, and He actually is speaking but it may be in a whisper.

It is important to remember that when God whispers, it’s not only for us but for those around us who will be impacted by what we have heard. As you remember to focus on God’s whispers in this season, who is someone around you that could receive encouragement? Listen again, asking the Holy Spirit to put someone on your heart, bringing them to your mind to text or call and share the love that you have just received. Because when God whispers, we want to listen and respond.

Hark! // When God Whispers

Family Pastor Vincent Carpenter continued our Christmas series, Hark! As seen throughout the Bible, sometimes when God speaks it is through a bold declaration and other times in a still, small voice. Through the story of Elijah, Vincent highlighted key times when God whispers and how we can respond.

Be sure to tune in next week as we continue our series this Christmas season.

Family Matters // Part Three

“… to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel … according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.  To me … this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 3:6-10 //

This week Vincent Carpenter shared part three of our series, Family Matters. Throughout the series, we are diving into the book of Ephesians and learning about what it means to be part of God’s family. Because we are part of God’s family, the way we live matters. As we read Ephesians three, we see that as children of God we have access to a spiritual inheritance.

WE ARE ALL IN THE PROCESS OF RECEIVING OUR SPIRITUAL INHERITANCE.

If we think that we have nothing to give, we are not receiving the inheritance God has for us. Before we can give something away, we first have to receive. This inheritance is available to everyone. In Kingdom of Heaven the more you give away, the more you receive. The same revelation through the Holy Spirit that Paul describes in in Ephesians 3:4-6, is part of the spiritual inheritance that Jesus made a way for all of us to receive.

WE SHOULD USE OUR SPIRITUAL INHERITANCE TO DEVELOP UNITY.

Paul had a revelation and stewarded it to form a bridge between the Jews and the Gentiles. In the same way, the revelation we receive as children of God is not just for us to know, but to steward wisely to create unity. We also can be bridge builders, unifying others and ourselves in Jesus. When we are unified, the world gets its inheritance by being introduced to the life and hope found in Jesus.

IN RESPONSE //

If we are going to receive our inheritance, we need to have a relationship with the One we are receiving from. When we spend time with God, we create space to continue receiving greater revelation. This week, take time to press pause and spend time in Word, worship and prayer.

  • Word // Throughout our series, we will be reading through the book of Ephesians. Follow along with summer reading plan and spend time reflecting on the truth of God every day.
  • Worship // Whether in your car, at work or in your home, we want to create an atmosphere of continual worship. In that place of worship, we create space for the reality of heaven to come to earth.
  • Prayer // Have a conversation with God, and pray into the things you’re believing for.

Reflect //

  • Who can you be cultivating unity with this week? This person could be someone in your world who is different from you. Pray, ask for revelation and choose to think the best about the person. Extend the inheritance you receive, and act on it to create unity.

Family Matters // Part Three

This week Vincent Carpenter shared part three of our series, Family Matters. Throughout this series we are diving into the book of Ephesians and learning about what it means to be a part of God’s family. Because we are part of God’s family, the way we live matters. As we read Ephesians three, we see that as children of God we have access to a spiritual inheritance. This inheritance is not just for ourselves, but is meant to create unity.

Standing in the Storm

This week adult pastor Vincent Carpenter shared a message on persevering through the storms of life. Challenges tempt us to take our focus off of what God is doing. But God is faithful to meet us in the midst of our storms, and makes a way for us to make it to the other side.

The Gifts We Give //
Part Four – The Gift of A Sign

This week Vincent Carpenter concluded our series, The Gifts We Give, with a message on the gift of a sign. Just as God gave the Wise Men the star as a sign that led them to Jesus, God gives us signs to lead us. At times, the signs may seem hard to discern, but we can be confident that God is always wanting to lead us into greater life.