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2/1/2019 – Pastor Post (and sermon questions)

Cornerstone Friends,

 

Each year I claim a verse and pray it into my heart for the year. This year, Psalm 46:10 has captured my soul: “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 

Stillness is an attitude of security and peace amid storms and trials. Stillness shows itself in less anxiety and more prayer. Stillness overwhelms and covers a person like a polar vortex and a fresh layer of snow. Stillness is what I long for, stillness is what I need.

Christ purchased stillness for us on the Cross. Death, judgment, and hell were swarming over our souls, but Christ died in our place, taking our judgment, death, and hell, so we can be still before the God who now receives us completely and totally forgiven…the gift for anyone and everyone who believes. Hallelujah.

A look back and a look ahead…

 

First, I want to thank God for each of you who contributed dollars and hours to our Sunday School room project. It’s nearing completion, and this opens a door for another project this summer. On one hand, “it is just a building,” but on the other hand God saves and sanctifies people in real spaces in real history. May He do so here.

 

Looking ahead in 2019…

    Membership Class Coming: For those interested in becoming members of Cornerstone, we’ll hold a 4-8PM Membership Class Sunday night February 17 (supper provided; no childcare on site, but we will reimburse for babysitting expenses you incur.)

   Associate Pastor Search: The search team has worked through resumes, talked with some candidates over phone and coffee, conducted interviews, and  have moved on with getting references. Pray for wisdom and grace to permeate this process.

 

   Small Groups are launching. These weekly gatherings are for seeking God in His Word, and in prayer, with others. Each groups is unique. Let me know if you want to join one of the groups who has some space for new folks…

   Tuesdays @6PM in Marion (1025 Parkview Drive): Leader David Gardner (361.4303) – This groups has a bring-your-own supper together every week, followed by a Bible study based on the upcoming sermon text.
  Wednesdays @6:30PM in Cedar Rapids (4717 Savannah Ct SE): Leader Roy and Janel Leidahl  (826.3744) – This group eats a monthly meal together with an evening of prayer, and then uses the other 3 Wednesdays per month to have a Bible study based on the upcoming sermon text.
  Thursdays @6:30PM in Cedar Rapids (349 30th St SE): Leader Randy Pospisil (435.8160) – This group meets for a meal about once a month, and each week has a study based on the upcoming sermon text.
  Thursdays Women’s Study 9:30AM in Church Conference Room: Leaders Becky Bell (614.378.3728) and Lisa Weber (213.6450) –  Babysitting provided (Sonlife Discipleship Study)

 

   Most of these small groups study the sermon text in advance of our Sunday gathering. They go through the text, often using the questions I provide. I’m including the questions that relate to the February 10, 2019 sermon…

 

Biblical Text: Exodus 7:8-8:32

 

Read Exodus 7:8-7:24

   Summarize the two incidents.  How are they similar? How are they different? What do these encounters reveal about God? How did Pharaoh respond?

 

Read Exodus 8:1-32

   Summarize the three incidents. How are they similar? How are they different? What do these encounters reveal about God? How did Pharaoh respond?

How is Pharaoh’s response similar to how people respond to Jesus, or the Bible, or life situations today? 

 

Note that Pharaoh wasn’t responding to God’s judgments. What does it mean  for us or others when we reject the mercy and grace that comes from Jesus’ death on the Cross?

 

May God bless you as you meditate and respond to His Word.

 

TAKE CARE MY FRIENDS!!

-Pastor Matt


Be Equipped – Pastor Post – October 17, 2017

Church Family,

1 Corinthians 15:58 reminds us that all labor unto the LORD is not in vain. In other words, when you let your Jesus-freak flag fly in word and deed, God takes those steps of faith and multiplies them for eternity. We live in a world starving for love and truth; we are lights to this love and this truth–Jesus Christ.

I want you to be equipped for these works of faith, so here are a few ways to be trained up in godliness in the days ahead:

#1: This Sunday, October 22, you have 3 opportunities to pray with others: (1) 30 minutes before the service from 8:40-9:10AM in the conference room; (2) immediately after the worship service with prayer teams in the sanctuary; and (3) the city-wide prayer gathering and worship service at New Covenant Bible Church at 6PM (rumor has it some of our members are serving on the singing team).

#2: Also, this Sunday, October 22, I’ll be giving my second Protestant Reformation Lecture on “The Loved and Hated John Calvin,” at 4:30PM (we’ll start at 4:30PM sharp for those who plan to go to the city-wide prayer gathering, so come a little early, 4:20 or so). Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. Let us be men and women who know the history of God’s people who have struggled to rightly understand God’s Word and apply it to their lives.

#3: Since many of you have relationships with friends and family influenced by the dangerous heresy of “Health and Wealth” (also known as “The Word of Faith” movement), please give this 90 minutes podcast a listen. This is an interview of Costi Hinn, the nephew of the false teacher Benny Hinn. Costi has left the Health and Wealth movement and has embraced the Christ who calls us to pick up our cross to follow and suffer. The reason I so appreciate this interview is that Costi Hinn still loves his uncle and those who haven’t seen the light. It’s a thought-provoking interview. There was also a September 20th, 2017 Christianity Today article by Costi Hinn entitled, “Benny Hinn is My Uncle but Prosperity Preaching Isn’t for Me.”

Members, don’t forget to put our November 5th congregational meeting on your calendars. We’ll all eat a potluck immediately after the service at 11AM, and head back into the sanctuary for our meeting around 12PM (more info will come out this week from Alex Steele regarding the meeting).

You are my friends. Thanks for laboring with me to love and serve Jesus.

Under grace,

Matt


Kids SS – Malachi 1-4 – Get Ready!

Sorry I haven’t been very consistent on making these blog posts. This week we are studying the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi, chapters 1-4. The main point of this week is: “God told His people to repent and get ready for Jesus.”

Read especially chapter 3:1-4. God rails at Israel for not living as God had instructed them to live, especially the priests. But God is coming, and he is sending his messenger, who would be John the Baptist, to tell them to get ready.

Have you ever had someone come to your house and you weren’t ready for them. Right now our house is in complete disarray as we get ready to move. There are boxes everywhere. We have almost everything stored away. If we had someone come over right now, we would most assuredly not be ready.

How much worse if our lives are in disarray and we are not ready for God!

So, how do you get ready? First, believing that he is coming. And second, acting like it. We believe that Jesus has come and is coming again. We believe that he paid the penalty for our sin and made us right with God. And we put feet to that belief. We put that belief in motion by walking in faith.

 


Sneak preview of Sunday’s lecture – Martin Luther

“The year is 1510 and we find ourselves in the city of Rome. The foundation of St. Peter’s Basilica has only just been built, and Michelangelo is painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel as we speak. Two German monks have been sent to Rome to have a dispute related to their monastery settled by the Pope.  One of those monks is a 27 year old named Martin Luther.”  (come on Sunday to hear more…)
I’ll be giving a 30-40 minute lecture on the life of Martin Luther and his role in the Protestant Reformation! There will be time for Q&A. Bring any friend intersted in history, theology, or Jesus.
 
Here are the dates/times for all 3 upcoming Sunday afternoon lectures (all at the Cornerstone Church facility):
September 24 @4:30PM – “The Larger than Life Martin Luther”
October 22 @4:30PM – “The Loved and Hated John Calvin”
November 12 @4:30PM – “She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Forgotten, Women of the Reformation”
Your history-loving and nerdy pastor and friend,
Matt

Kids SS – Nehemiah

This week we continue our journey through the Old Testament with the story of Nehemiah. If you’re looking for an interesting way to tell the story to your kids this week, try reading this story to them: http://www.eldrbarry.net/mous/serm/h50924.htm. This is one of my favorite versions of the story.

Have a great week.