Equip: From Cessationism to Continuationism

I grew up in a cessationist church.  Cessationism is the belief that the miraculous sign gifts of the Spirit ceased within the first 100 years of the church. The opposing viewpoint is continuationism which is the theological belief that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit have continued to the present day. The church I grew up in was full of gracious people and the gospel was preached.  I assumed most good churches believed in cessationism.  I heard horror stories of ridiculous preachers doing comical sign gift routines with their churches that we attributed not to the Spirit but to Satan.  I was taught that in 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 when this passage says that prophecies, tongues, and knowledge will pass away when “the perfect comes” which my teachers saw as the completion of the scriptures.  

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Fred KusikequipComment
Equip: Parenting in Proverbs

In our midweek Christian family night, we just completed a two-week study of parenting in the Book of Proverbs. Two proverbs often come up in discussions of parenting.  “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (ESV), is one. “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him,” (from which we get the English proverb, “Spare the rod and spoil the child”) is another. Both are found in Proverbs 22, verses 6 and 15, respectively.  Together these two proverbs form a tightly bound parenting model, but we need some context to use them profitably.  

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Being the Church in Janesville - Six Months and Counting

I would ask Mercy Hill as a whole to continue to pray that God continues his work in the Rock County location. It has been a privilege to see Jesus grow His church in these ways and others. Please pray that God would continue to provide the finances that we need to expand our children’s ministry area and materials for outreach. Pray that God would continue to grow His church through a healthy mix of unbelievers, Christians, the hurting, the healthy, and leaders. And pray that he grants us wisdom in ministering to the city, and new ways to authentically engage our city, proclaiming the Gospel in relationship and actions.

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Fervent Prayer: Outreach

"Throughout Holy Scripture, it is clear to us that we have been commissioned by Christ to go forth into the world as his ambassadors (2 Cor 5:20). As we do this, we are to proclaim the Gospel wherever we go, endeavoring to raise up disciples as we ourselves follow after Christ who is with us “to the end of the age” (Matt 28:19,20)."

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Fervent Prayer: World Missions

"...So it seems that God will most definitely accomplish this in the culmination of all things.  So why do we need to be involved then?  This reminds me of the story of William Carey. He was a lay Baptist pastor in 18th century England who went on to become known as the “Father of Modern Missions”.  It was believed by most in the Church at that time that the Great Commission was only a command to the apostles and that those in other “heathen” nations were of no concern to them."

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Fervent Prayer: Sing

God chose us and then the message we received from God was Jesus. In Jesus the Messiah we received from God our Father heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. He accepted us through Jesus and forgave us for all the wrong we have done and will ever still do. Through Jesus we have forgiveness and peace with God our Father and are put together with others in Christ’s body, the Church. And what are we the Church doing? Singing, singing, singing songs that teach and warn leaving us very grateful to God our Father through Jesus our Messiah.

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Fervent Prayer: Confession & Commitment to Spiritual Disciplines

"...it is essential that we face the call in Christ to train ourselves for godliness and recommit ourselves to the spiritual disciplines that help to produce in us this godliness that is of value in every way. There is a long list of spiritual disciplines that many find valuable for the production of godliness in their lives but there are 3 specifically that as pastor at Mercy Hill church I would like to see us commit ourselves to in 2017..."

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Looking Beyond

If I were to believe social media or popular culture, 2016 is a year to wipe from our collective memory.

Celebrity deaths. Politics. Terrorism. Civil wars. Cyberattacks. And so much more. It has spawned all sorts of viral memes and metaphors from the silly to the dead serious. But in the echo chamber that has become popular culture, I have noticed one thing that is distinctly missing.

Hope.

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Dan Ryan Comments
Honoring our Co-Laborers in Christ

If you were at service this last Sunday you were made aware of the tragic deaths in a house fire of our dear friends Steve and Patti Gray, the pastors of International Christian Fellowship in Padova, Italy. Many of you know of our special relationship with this church and these co-laborers in Christ as a result of our annual missions trips to minister to the church but many of you do not know the profound role this church and these ministers played in the formation of Mercy Hill Church. 

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Tommy Orlando Comment