Outpost to the Kingdom

SERMON NOTES  
Rev. Dr. Jim Toole
Women in the Bible
Acts 18:1-3

“Outpost to the Kingdom”

Since I was a child I have been fascinated by all the stories in the Bible but even more than just the stories, I love the different characters in the Bible. All the great heroes were flawed people, I guess that has always given me hope. But I also love the smaller characters in scripture as well, not necessarily heroes but folks who had a significant role. Many of these characters were women. Today we are going to look at another early church leader, Priscilla.

What do we learn from this story of Priscilla and Aquila?

They took literally the commandment of Jesus to love their neighbor.

Loving our neighbor starts in our home.

Loving our neighbor starts with mentoring.

(Graphic) The Art of Neighboring – Jay Pathak & Dave Runyon

Seizing an Opportunity

SERMON NOTES  
Women in the Bible
Rev. Dr. Jim Toole
Acts 16: 11-15

“Seizing an Opportunity”

Since I was a child I have been fascinated by all the stories in the Bible but even more than just the stories, I love the different characters in the Bible. All the great heroes were flawed people. I guess that has always given me hope. But I also love the smaller characters in scripture as well, not necessarily heroes but folks who had a significant role. Many of these characters were women.

Today, I want to talk to you about a woman entrepreneur by the name of Lydia who became a tremendous catalyst for Paul’s Church Plant in Philippi.

What do we learn from this short story of Lydia?

First, God can use us no matter how experienced we are in faith.

God can use us no matter how experienced we are in faith, but it takes paying attention to the tugs at our heart.

Second, we might just be the fulfillment of someone else’s prayer or vision.

You could be the answer to someone else’s prayer but it takes paying attention to the tugs at our heart.

Carpe Diem – “Seize the Day”

Carpe Opportunitatem – “Seize the Opportunity”

Lydia was an entrepreneur economically and spiritually.
Lydia knew how to seize on an opportunity. I imagine she was quite successful. But she also knew how to seize on a tug from God. She saw God at work and seized upon it.

women of the bible 22.jpg

Who Is Jesus?

SERMON NOTES  
Rev. Dr. Jim Toole
Easter 2017
Luke 24:36-47

“Who Is Jesus?”

I think this question of Who Jesus is, is a question all of us wrestle with in different seasons of our lives. Regardless if you are fervent in faith or a skeptic, I want us to wrestle with Who Jesus says He is.

Theme: When we allow our lives to encounter the power of Jesus something beyond our comprehension happens, we become transformed from the inside out.

“While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering”

“While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, He said to them, “Have you anything here to eat? They gave Him a piece of broiled fish, and H e took it and ate in their presence.”

This is more than Jesus being hungry. Jesus knows before they can hear the truth they need to spend time with Him. Jesus throughout the Bible has meals with tax collectors, the poor and the rich, because He knew before they would listen to Him they had to trust Him and encounter Who He was.

So how do we encounter the power of Jesus?

We symbolically have a meal with Jesus, we crack the door to making space for Jesus in our lives. When we make space for Jesus we start to experience Jesus’ grace and mercy. Like laughter through tears, it takes over us, and suddenly we find our hearts being changed inside out.

This is the redemptive process of making something beautiful and new out of us. God can make beautiful things out of the dust. God can take what looks dead and chaotic, and somehow turn it to good. This is what we celebrate when we celebrate the resurrection.

Start having meals with Jesus. Make space to spend time alone so you can encounter your Savior afresh. Open yourself to God’s saving Grace. All you must do is surrender and respond to the voice Who is calling you by name.