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November 21st, 2017 -Pastor Tom Kirkendall

What is your favorite juice? I am thinking about those infomercials with a buff couple juicing just about anything they can find to increase health.
This Sunday is “Juicing Sunday.” Okay not really, it is actually what we call “Celebration Sunday.” It is one of our favorite services because it gets our “gratitude” juices flowing preparing us for family, turkey, and pumpkin pie (not to mention black Friday!).

We close out our Character of God series. It seems a bit premature because let’s face it we could never, ever exhaust that discussion of our infinite God. This is more like switching gears as we get our hearts ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas and consider our thankfulness to God.

The sermon title is “God Is…and We Are Thankful” and our scripture will focus on a scene painted by Luke where Jesus was invited to dinner and Jesus gives those gathered a lesson in gratitude, forgiveness and worship. Check out Luke 7:36-50 if you want to read ahead.

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“God is”

November 11th, 2017 -Dr. Tim Anderson

God is…

God is good, love, sovereign, holy, and just.

God is so much more than we can get our minds around. How grateful we can be that God revealed his true nature to us. What a privilege to know our Creator through the Scriptures. God’s word has been direct and clear. God is… and we see specific statements that the complete that thought throughout the Bible.

God has also chosen the medium of anthropomorphisms to reveal his character to us. God’s face, eyes, hands, arms, and ears all speak volumes to us about God’s attributes, as well as, how God desires to relate to us.

 We welcome to our services Dr. Tim Anderson, professor of Theology at Corban University in Salem, OR. Tim will open the Scriptures to us as we examine this important body (pun intended) of truth. Let the embrace of truth open your heart to our Heavenly Father’s love.

Below please find some Scriptures to prepare you

 

Num. 6:24-26 The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

 

Psa. 67:1 May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.

 

Psa. 27:9 Hide not your face from me.

Turn not your servant away in anger,

O you who have been my help.

Cast me not off; forsake me not,

O God of my salvation!

 

Psa. 27:8 You have said, “Seek my face.”

My heart says to you,

“Your face, Lord, do I seek.”

 

2Cor. 4:6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

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“God is Just.”

November 5th, 2017 -Pastor Keith Cromie

Have you ever met someone famous?
Perhaps you met an author at a book signing or an athlete who gave you an autograph. You may still have that signed edition or the autographed ball.
How well do you know that person? I suspect you don’t know them at all. Without ongoing relationship, it just isn’t possible to know someone, to really know them.
The amazing message of the Bible is that because of Jesus, we can know God, and I mean really know him. That requires an ongoing relationship, ongoing fellowship, and a personal investment in drawing close to God.
We are nearly to the end of our current series of Sunday messages entitled God is… The privilege of getting to know that God is good, love, holy, and sovereign has encouraged us to stay close to our creator. We have seen how these attributes of God are exemplified in Jesus and how these qualities give us assurance of God’s grace and strength for our lives.
This Sunday we will consider the righteousness of God and the faithfulness of God. What an encouragement to see God’s character through these lenses of truth.
Here are some Scriptures to prepare you to worship our righteous and faithful God.
Deut 32:4 “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.
Psa. 19:8 …the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
Deut. 7:9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations….
1Cor. 1:9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.

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October 29th, 2017 -Pastor Keith Cromie

God is sovereign!

Is there an easier concept to define and a harder concept to understand?

God is sovereign, meaning that God is working out his plans and purposes to his glory. But if God is sovereign, why is the world so messed up? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why is there evil? Why are children abused? Why are women exploited? And how could a good God allow his Son to be tortured?

In one sense this should bother us. After all, there are real people involved in this discussion with real pain, real hurts and real struggles. Our desire to understand can motivate deep and honest searching for understanding. Our confusion can drive us to God. If the Old Testament patriarch Job taught us anything it is that we can bring our confusion to God for a frank and honest conversation.

But on the other hand there are many things that we can define to a reasonable degree of satisfaction and yet can just as easily get lost in the mystery surrounding what we know. Do we not see this in the pursuit of the natural sciences? We certainly see this in our close family relationships. We can press the edges of our understanding and the mystery only gets bigger.

So it is with the sovereignty of God. There is the indisputable claim of Scripture that God is working out his holy plans, and there is mystery that surrounds the outworking of those plans, especially as it touches your life and mine.

So we go where angels fear to tread and determine to grow in our understanding along the way. Not every question can or will be answered, but we can learn how to live under the encouraging truth that God is sovereign. Here are some Scriptures to help stir the mind and the heart.

Is. 46:8 “Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, 9 remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ 11 calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.

Acts 2:22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.

Eph. 1:11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

 

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“God is Holy.”

October, 22nd 2017 -Pastor Keith Cromie

God is good. God is love. God is holy.

Which statement are you most thankful for?

Our minds are encouraged that God is good. Our hearts filled with peace as we consider the love which God himself defines and demonstrates.

But what do we do about the holiness of God?

For some, discussing the holiness of God was expected, like those who were waiting for the other shoe to drop. Yes, God is good, but…. Yes, God is love, but…

Our concerns are natural but not warranted. The holiness of God points to His glorious perfection in all His attributes. Like a diamond but without the flaws, like the most majestic view without cloud or smoke, like light in its most pure form, God’s holiness is his perfect beauty and this can evoke awe and wonder in the hearts of His children.

Consider the declarations of the Psalmist concerning the holiness of God:

Sing to the Lord, you saints of his; praise his holy name. Psalm 30:4

 

For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Psalm 33:21

 

Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. Psalm 68:5

 

I will also praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praises to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. Psalm 71:22

 

Your way, O God, is holy. Psa. 77:13

 

Oh sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. Psalm 98:1

 

Let them praise your great and awesome name! Holy is he! Psalm 99:3

 

Our God is holy, holy, holy! (Isa 6:3; Rev. 4:8) Let’s worship him in the beauty of his holiness!

 

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“God is Love.”

 

October, 15th 2017 -Pastor Keith Cromie

I have good news!

God is love.

God is, as to his very nature, love. He defines love. His love is pure, infinite, just, and holy. His love is sovereign and unchangeable.

The Apostle John declares:

1John 4:16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, andGod abides in him.

The Apostle Paul declares:

Rom. 5:6-8 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

God has revealed himself in creation, in Jesus, and in his Word. And there is no way to avoid the encouraging, clear, and obvious truth that God is love. However, this attribute of God can be misunderstood.

People of every generation want to define love for God even to the point to turning the statement around. Despite such attempts, the phrase love is God is simply not true. But it is true that God is loveand that truth is worth exploring.

 

 

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“God is Good.”

October 8th, 2017 - Pastor Keith Cromie

When it comes to knowing God, people tend to run off in all directions. Some question whether God exists. Others question whether God can be known. Sometimes these discussions become debates that produce more heat than light.

CGCC has always held that the God who created the universe and everything in it, does indeed want to be known. We believe that God has revealed himself in creation, in Jesus Christ, and in His Word, the Bible.

This Sunday, we will begin a new series of messages entitled, God Is... It is our goal to know God as He really is, and not how humankind has made Him to be. There is mystery to be explored. We will discover encouragement for our hearts. There is wisdom and strength for one’s soul as we grow to know God more personally.

The first attribute of God that we will encounter is His goodness. God is good. This simple statement has a world of mystery that surrounds it and a power to bring life to the most defeated heart.

As the gospel song declares, “God is good… all the time. All the time… God is good.”

 

 

 

1Chr. 16:34 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

Psa. 33:5 He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.

Psa. 107:8 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!

Rom. 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Rom. 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;

we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

Rom. 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Rom. 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

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October 1st, 2017 -Pastor Keith Cromie

Buildings with weak foundations are not long for this world. The calamities of hurricanes and earthquakes are all we need for conclusive proof.

Our lives are not much different. Relational storms and circumstantial earthquakes can shake us to the core of our being.

Jesus was well aware of those realities. So he taught with authority, clarity, and compassion. He laid out the truth about how life with God can look and pointed out conclusively that it was worth the pursuit even if the way seemed hard.

The conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount is our focus this coming Sunday and it should be no surprise that Jesus talks to us about the foundation of our lives. We must build our lives, our relationships, and our ministries wisely. And the teachings of our Lord are the building blocks of a solid foundation and a strong life that we all desire. Strong hearts, strong careers, strong influence, strong marriages, strong families and strong churches fit into our deepest desires. Jesus points the way to that kind of strength. Listen to Jesus’ final exhortation to us who wish to follow the Savior with a whole heart. Here is the text for this week:

 

Matt. 7:24 - 27 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

Matt. 7:28-29 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.

 

 

P.S. Each Wednesday the Cedar Grove Facebook page posts a sneak peak at some of the music for Sunday morning. Often the worship team will play a new song that supports the scripture and sermon, and more often than not that song will be new. Posting it on Facebook a few days early, gives you a chance to check it out and walk into church on Sunday already familiar with it. Find this week’s post below.

https://www.facebook.com/CedarGroveCC/

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9/24/2017 -Pastor Keith Cromie

It is time to decide.

You have been there before. All the facts are on the table. All the knowledge you are going to gain is in your brain. Your experience has enough data points so that you can project with some certainty what the future will look like. You know there will be surprises down the road. It is time to decide.

So…

· You buy the car.

· The engagement happens and a date is set

· You take the job or you don’t

· A thousand other decisions both big and small.

Jesus, in his Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5-7), has been speaking with characteristic clarity and boldness. He has confronted the hypocrisy of religious performance. He has reminded us all of the brokenness in our hearts. He has clearly declared his intention to live perfectly so as to meet the standards of God’s law. He has pointed the way to repentance of sin, humility before God, and the path of living in relationship with our Heavenly Father.

It is time to decide.

Will we take the easy way of religion or will we make the harder decision to follow Jesus? Why are some ways easy and God’s way hard? What is at stake with this decision? Who is responsible for this decision? Tough questions deserve straight answers and Jesus gives us those answers.

Jesus commands us to enter the Kingdom of God on God’s terms. Then he provides three warnings to help us with our decision.

 

 

Matt. 7:13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

 

Matt. 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

 

Matt. 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness

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9/17/2017 -Pastor Keith Cromie
 
Prayer.
If there is a greater privilege than prayer, I don’t know what it is. The opportunity to talk things through with our Creator with the confidence that our Creator cares is beyond amazing.
Jesus has said a lot about prayer in his famous Sermon on the Mount. He told us how not to pray. Then He gave us a model upon which to build a life of prayer. But Jesus has more to say. Read the text for yourself:
Matt. 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
Matt. 7:12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
These powerful words from the Savior call us to a life of prayer. In that prayer-centered space we experience personally the goodness and generosity of God.
 
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