What Is Your Number One Priority?
Pastor Joel Rissinger

Philippians 2:5-11

Galatians 2:20

BIG IDEA: If we do the four things Jesus did when he became one of us, we will succeed as Christians! In brief, this means we must , and  like Jesus.

  1. Learn to   – don’t chase or cling to fame and fortune. 
    Philippians 2:6, Philippians 4:8-9
  2.  …learn to give things up for the gospel! 
    Philippians 2:7a, Luke 6:38, Malachi 3:8-12
  3. Choose to nobody else will do.
    Philippians 2:7b, James 4:10
  4. Live in   to the law of Christ.
    Philippians 2:8, Matthew 28:20, I Corinthians 9:21.

    THE RESULT: Philippians 2:9-11

CALL: To follow Christ’s example and watch God lift us up in blessing, for His glory!

Personal Notes

How God Defines Success
Pastor Terry Wilcox

Numbers 20:6-12

God’s faithfulness is well-established! But what of our faithfulness to him?

Numbers 20:6-12
The first emphasis is God’s amazing grace to Moses and the Israelites.
The second emphasis is that we cannot be complacent or casual about God’s grace.
Moses was not to do, he was to say.

Psalm 106:32
God obviously places a premium on faithfulness.

I Corinthians 4:1-2

I am not equating their missing the promised land to missing heaven.
Ephesians 2:8-10

Proverbs 3:6 in Living Bible – “In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.”


  1. Obedience to God’s directions.
    Joshua 1:7-8
    Mark 8:36
  2. You can’t obey God’s directions if you don’t read them.
    Acts 1:24
  3. Work
    Ephesians 2:10
    Illustration: the parable of the talents – Matthew 25
    Colossians 3:23
    Ephesians 4:28
    Knowing, obeying, and doing God’s will changes our outcomes now and for eternity.
    John 6:27


Where Should We Start?
Pastor Terry Wilcox

Genesis 1:1-2

Our world is suffering the “religion” written about in “The Humanist Manifesto I” of 1933 and “The Humanist Manifesto II” of 1976

Today science is accepted as the gospel and the Bible is regarded as an ancient irrelevance.

God is not at odds with the search for . However, the worship of science is .

Peel the onion of causation and we find: Problems science can’t address, problems of the  .

“Lev” is Hebrew for “heart.” It means your mind, soul, and spirit. That by which you know .
I Kings 3:12
Jeremiah 17:9

Science repaired my , but God has changed my heart for eternity!

  1. Consider God’s attributes:
    Sovereign, , omniscient, omnipresent, , immutable.

    Four others that to some degree the Holy Spirit manifests in believers: 
    Righteousness, justice, , and truthfulness.

    a. He is , as in self-existent. Genesis 1:1
    John 17:4
    b. His Omnipotence is displayed in self-sufficiency.
    “God created” in the Hebrew “Elohim” is in the plural and the word for created is in the singular.
    Genesis 1:26
    Genesis 1:2
    We glimpse the .
    John 1:1

  2. He created.
    Genesis 1:2
    Genesis 1:2 ESV

    a. God created out of .
    Romans 4:17
    The power of God progressed from nothingness and formlessness to form and fullness.

    “The six days of creation (see v. 5, 8, 13, 19, 23, and 31) are presented in such a way as to suggest a careful literary structure. On day 1 “light” is formed. On day 4 “two great lights…the stars also.”  On day 2 “God made the firmament, and divided the waters.” On day 5 these were filled with “great sea creatures…and every winged bird.” On day 3 “Earth” is formed along with vegetation. On day 6 “God created man in His own image;…and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth.'” Tōhû is finding “form,” as outlined in the first three days, and bōhû is finding fulfillment in the fourth through the sixth days.”  – Dr. D. S. Briscoe

    b. Six 24-hour days?
    Sincere Christians view this differently. “Day” is translation of Hebrew “Yom” which can accurately be translated: or .
    “The Christian View of Science and Scripture” by Bernard Ramm
    Ken Ham, CEO of Answers in Genesis
    Does it require more faith than God creating everything out of nothing?

  3. God’s affirmation
    Genesis 1:31

    a. Believing “a good earth” leads to enjoyment and .
    b. A desire and willingness to  the image of God through  and obedience.
    c. A sense of  at all of creation.

Personal Notes

The Unsung Christmas Hero
Pastor Terry Wilcox

Matthew 1:18-25

A hero is a person admired for their  and/or their nobility of . (Matthew 1:18-25)

A biblical perspective on being a hero: Romans 15:1-2

An explanation of: “pledged to be married” (Matthew 1:18); “Joseph, her husband…” (Matthew 1:19), and “…he had in mind to divorce her quietly…” (Matthew 1:19).


3 Steps in the Jewish Wedding:

  1. The , a contract arrange by the families.
  2. The , a public ratification of the contract.
  3. The marriage ceremony (usually one year after engagement).

Termination of a betrothal required a .


What does the text tell us about Joseph?

  1. He was  (moral rightness based on the ). Matthew 1:19 – “Because Joseph, her husband, was faithful to the law…”
  2. He was , careful to consider all the circumstances. (Matthew 1:19) – “…he did not want to expose her to public disgrace.”
  3. He was sensitive to the Spirit of God. (Matthew 1:20)
  4. He  God. (Matthew 1:24)
  5. He controlled his . (Matthew 1:25)


How Matthew identifies Jesus:

  1. Jesus the Messiah (Matthew 1:18)
    “Christ” is Greek for the Hebrew word for “Messiah”
  2. Jesus, the Savior (Matthew 1:21)
  3. Immanuel (Matthew 1:23)
    In  = “God with us” or “God became one of us”

Matthew 1:22 – “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet.”
In Matthew’s record of Jesus, he often supports Jesus as the Messiah with Old Testament prophesies.

Isaiah 7:14 – “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”


I believe that God does not need me to  his miracles.

Which miracle requires more faith?

  • The conception of Jesus via the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20)
  • The creation of earth (Genesis 1:1-31)
  • The creation of Adam (Genesis 2:7)
  • The creation of Eve (Genesis 2:22)
  • That God gives us spiritual birth (Titus 3:4-6)
  • That “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

All the miracles of God confront us with a to believe what we cannot .
Romans 8:11

The Incarnation is God’s greatest affirmation of humanness. In the Incarnation God demonstrated that He could become human without becoming sinful. Humanness and sinfulness are not synonymous. Sinfulness is the perversion of the truly human, the perversion of the Imago Dei (the image of God) in which we were created. Salvation is, among other things, the restoration of the truly human in our lives, the correction of perversion so that we may be persons who express again the image of God.
-Dr. Myron Augsburger

Because of the Incarnation, all of us can be .


Personal Notes


His Dad Was God
Pastor Terry Wilcox

Matthew 1:17-18


Periods in History

  1. Abraham to David
  2. David to exile in Babylon
  3. Captivity to Jesus

Hebrews memorized and passed on their history.

Knowing where you , why you , and where you  is critical to a joyous, productive life.

Jesus’ genealogy establishes that He is the unique  of God.


These three periods of history symbolize three stages in the  history of people:

  1. God designed us for .
    Genesis 1:26-28
    Genesis 1:31
  2. Humankind lost greatness by willful .
    1. “Whatever else is true of man, man is not what he was meant to be.”
      – G.K. Chesterton
    2. James 1:13-15
  3. People can regain .
    John 3:1-3, John 3:14-17


Matthew 1:1-16 contains something most unusual:

Matthew 1:3 (Genesis 38)

Matthew 1:5 (Joshua 2)

Matthew 1:5 (Deuteronomy 23:3)

Matthew 1:16

Rejoice in  genealogy!!


Personal Notes


Those Forgiven Much, Love Much
Pastor Terry Wilcox

Luke 7:41-43

Review context

Luke 7:36-50

The woman’s actions were considered .

Luke 7:47 TPT

Romans 3:22-24

Jeremiah 17:9

Mark 7:20-22

Three Take-Aways

  1. Gratitude is the great  of love.
    James 1:17
    Luke 7:42-43

    Simon’s basic problem was .

  2. Overwhelming  results from forgiveness.
    Simon’s prideful hypocrisy was the greater debt.
    Proverbs 16:5a
    Proverbs 21:4

    “Pride always runs up a monstrous debt with God. The sign that we are overextended in debt is that we think someone else needs forgiveness more than we do.”  -Dr. Lloyd Ogilvie

  3. Her confession of need resulted in and the promise of  peace.
    Luke 7:48-50
       How can we thank Jesus?
    Matthew 25:40

Personal Notes

But Lord, That’s Not Fair!
Pastor Terry Wilcox

Matthew 20:1-15

This parable follows Peter’s question in Matthew 19:27
A “worldview” cries not fair.
A “Kingdom view” sees that the benefits of the Kingdom of God are   for all who embrace the  of the King.

This parable addresses Peter’s question and the complaint of the Pharisees regarding Jesus’ acceptance of tax collectors and prostitutes.

In Matthew 20:13 Jesus uses “friend’ one of three times in Matthew, each one referring to someone in the wrong.

Dr. Lloyd Ogilvie named his book on Jesus’ parables, Autobiography of God.
The characters: landowner =                                workers = those invited by the owner


Three Observations About the “Owner”

  1. The Owner chooses the workers – Matthew 20:1, 3, 5-6
    Ephesians 1:4-5
    a. The parable is not about our salvation

    A prevailing, pernicious, and persistent falsehood promoted by the purveyor of lies is that people earn salvation.

    b. This parable is about the right  in service.

    Two categories of workers: 
    Those with a and those without.

    Ephesians 6:6
    Recall Peter’s question in Matthew 19:27 – “What then will be for us?”

    The landowner was generous. What is your attitude toward his generosity to those who join the team later?

  2. This parable shouts the unmerited love of God.

    God’s love presents us with a two-sided conflict to our natural thinking:

    a. God loves me regardless of what I have done.
    “I’ve only worked a short time, and they worked all day.”
    God’s grace is not compatible with our idea of .

    b. We deserve more than they do.
        Even though the landowner fulfilled their contract,  they were dissatisfied.

        I Corinthians 4:5

  3. with the Lord is the ultimate reward.
    Recall two or three of your fondest experiences. Now answer this question:

    a. Life in this world is measured by the .
    Those who come into His Kingdom early in the day have more joyous experiences with God than those who come in later in the day.

    b. God’s gracious gift of eternity renders our earthly concerns with rankings meaningless.
        Matthew 20:16

        Genesis 15:1

Personal Notes

Parable of the Sower
Pastor Terry Wilcox

Matthew 13:1-23

Does God Talk to You?
“God whispers in my delights, speaks in my problems, and shouts in my perplexities.”

One truth is clear – God intends that His communications be expressed in my  and my actions.

To understand parables – note the players and the objects:

  1. The farmer = 
  2. The seed = the message about the Kingdom
  3. The soil =  

In the Hebrew context – the heart is the seat of  emotion and .

Four conditions of the soil. Note the soil is essentially the same earth – it’s what had been added to it or what’s happened to it.

  1. The soil of a path is packed hard. Matthew 13:4 & 9
    A. First application is to the Pharisees, but be careful there are hard-hearted people with hearing problems in churches today.
    B. When we have convictions we don’t live out, we block our sensitivity to  further truth.
  2. The second group is   Matthew 13:5 & 20
    Remember the heart = intellect, , and .
    A. Emotional Christians – enthusiastic and expressive.
    B. Intellectual Christians – never allow Jesus Christ to deal with feelings.
    C. The rock under the thin layer of intellectual accent to faith is made of unresolved ,
         stunted , and conflicting !

    Burned out Christians have roots stopped by the bed rock of the unsurrendered will, unrecognized , or refusal to think through the .

  3. Thorny soil 
    Matthew’s and Luke’s accounts of these parables indicate Jesus was speaking about the competitive loyalties of worry, , and pleasure.

    Worrying over an aspect of our life is a sure sign we are trying to accomplish our with our .

  4. The good soil is productive. Matthew 13:8 & 23
    Result of hearing is the transformation of our .

    Galatians 5:22

    God does speak! We can hear Him – if we truly hear, we are motivated by love to produce the fruit of what we hear.

Personal Notes

Prayer Alone Is Powerless
Pastor Terry Wilcox

Revelation 3:19-20

  1. Is prayer powerful?
    Prayer has been called “the breath of the soul.”
    a. Our diaphragm muscle and atmospheric pressure 
        Prayer released power, but  is the  of that power.

    b. Is there power without prayer?
        In his marvelous little book Destined For The Throne, Paul Bilheimer says it this way,

        “The Church, by virtue of her faithful use of prayer, wields the balance of power not only in world affairs but also in the salvation of individual souls. Without violating the free moral responsibility of any individual, the Church, by means of persistent, believing intercession, may so release the Spirit of God upon a soul that he will find it easier to yield to the Spirit’s tender wooing and be saved than continue his rebellion.”

        John Wesley said, “God does nothing but in answer to prayer.”

  2. Does God answer the prayers of the unsaved?
    Genesis 3:13-16
    Why? Romans 5:8

Five Problems With Prayer

  1. Failure to .
    Matthew 7:7-11

    Dr. Ole Hallesby explains:

    “God has all that we need, and there is nothing that He would rather do than impart His gifts. But we do not ask. We do not have the time, we say. Or we forget to pray. The result is that we go about like spiritual cripples or dwarfs, spiritually starved and emaciated, with scarcely enough strength to stand on our own feet, not to speak of fighting against sin and serving the Lord.”

  2. Failure to recognize our  in Christ.
    E.W. Kenvon wrote:

    “I am convinced that the most outstanding enemy in prayer is the lack of knowledge of what we are in Christ, and of what He is in us, and what He did for us, and of our standing and legal rights before the throne.”   -from In His Presence

    Luke 10:18-20
    Hebrews 2:14-15

  3. Laziness
    a. We do not need to “wrestle” good things from a loving Father. Greek lexicon says “easy”
        originally meant to take things with ease. It has transitioned to: take the easy way, do wrong
        things, play the rogue.

        Proverbs 6:6

        “A busy man is troubled with but one devil; the idle man a thousand.”

    b. The solution is to make a regular, iron-clad habit of praying before you .

  4. Our .
    “The world is being moved by people who don’t  like it.”  -David Hubbard

    The author of The Problem With Prayer shares this caution, “When it comes to prayer, feeling is not the most important thing. Feelings are fickle, easily influenced by health, morale, weather, and mood. Prayer is too important to be put at the mercy of our feelings.”

    always trumps feeling! (Ask a mom.)

  5. Not getting the answer we want.
    In Matthew 6 Jesus responds to his disciples’ request that he teach them to pray.
    In Matthew 6:10 he declares the  of prayer.
    James 4:3

Personal Notes

A Man With a Message From Hell
Pastor Jon Betz

Luke 16:19-31

The Rich Man

  • He lived and he died.
    Hebrews 9:27
  • He lived on in a place of torment.  =  Hades  (one of 3 Greek words used)
  • He had had spiritual knowledge before his death.
    “Father Abraham”     “they will Repent”
  • He could remember.
  • He became concerned about others (after it was too late).


Questions about Hell

  • What Is it?
    • A Place of Divine Judgement.
      Matthew 25:41
      Galatians 6:7-8
    • A Place of Eternal Destiny.
      Devil & his angels

  • What will it be like there?
    • It will be a Lonely place.
    • It will be a God Forsaken place.
      2 Thessalonians 1:9
    • It will be a Lake of Fire.
      Revelation 20:15
    • It will be a place of Outer Darkness.
      Matthew 8:12
    • It will a place of Weeping and Gnashing of teeth.
      Matthew 22:13
    • It will be a place of Tormenting Conscience forever.
  • Who will be there?
    • The Devil.
    • His Angels.
    • Those who refused God’s Call.
      Matthew 25:41
    • Those who walked over the Blood of Christ.
    • Those who would not obey the Holy Spirit.
    • Those who just put it off.
      Message by Robert Jeffress. “Why God sends Good Men to Hell”
    • Those who love the World & Pleasures more than God.
      Demas (2 Timothy 4:10)
      2 Timothy 3:4-5 
    • Those who do not Know Jesus as Savior and Lord.
      Matthew 7:21-23
      Revelation 3:16-22

  • How far away is it?
    • The Rich Man didn’t know.
      Luke 12:16-20 “. . .this night thy soul shall be required . . .”
    • Judas
      Acts 1:25 – “. . .his own place”
    • Amos 4:12 – “. . .  prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.”