Connecting 3: Near

This TOTAL 7-week series is centered on the idea that God comes near. He came near. He is near. Our God is a God of connection. He will not allow sin to ultimately separate Him from His people. Jesus’ declaration that launched His public ministry in Mark’s account of the Gospel...14Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand;e repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:14-15 is now finding its ultimate validation as Jesus makes His way to the cross. Here He closes the gap. The chasm that exists between God and man, will be bridged. As Calvary comes NEAR, we also get a glimpse of the victory song of EASTER, and rejoice in our own resurrection knowing the reality of an ever-present God for all eternity. Alleluia! Alleluia!

Near, part 7: No Way!
Pastor Matt Wipperman

Focus:  Amazed. Truly amazed. The impossible...happened. Not just resurrection, but ascension. Not just ascension, but heaven. Not just heaven, but eternal life, with Jesus IN HEAVEN….and not just IN HEAVEN, but when He returns, on earth, on a renewed, restored, and gloriously-absent-of-sin-death-and the devil….forever. No wonder they returned to the temple and blessed God!! 

Main Text: Luke 24:50-53


Near, part 6: No Problem
Pastor Jeff

Focus:  Ever been overwhelmed by the size of the task in front of you? You can just imagine the disciples’  hearts pounding as Jesus details the plan(keep in mind, they are still completely shell shocked at His presence….He’s ALIVE!!!!). It’s not enough that He’s alive again…...WOW!! Now He gives them a task….a mission, and says,  “repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” Then he says, You are witnesses of these things.” Gulp.  And, here is where we begin to finally understand what “clothed with power from on high” means. He is near as we go far in His name. 

Main Text: Luke 24:36-49


Near, part 5: No Question
Pastor Jeff Meyer

Focus:  This message could be entitled, “When Truth Comes To Visit.” This is a beautiful, powerful story of Truth himself walking and talking with people who love Truth but don’t recognize Truth when they meet him. But he opens the Scriptures and then opens their eyes after he makes their hearts burn.

Main Text: Luke 24:13-35


Near, part 4: No Nonsense
Pastor Jeff Meyer

Focus:  Not taken seriously. Our claim on this day to the world is often rejected. And, we who have seen the Risen Christ, and believe He is Eternal Life are held at arms length. Consider the Easter women (Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women. Vs. 10)  These witnesses, overcome with praise and wanting to share the joyous news of the Master Jesus’ resurrection, are met with mistrust. Their “words appeared to [the apostles] as nonsense, (ESV, translates idle tale) and they would not believe them.”  Luke 24:11 How crushing is this for Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women? They’ve had this amazing experience, a baffling yet complete reversal of what they thought the situation was—they’ve seen angels for crying out loud—and what do they get for their big news? Denial. Maybe a pat on the head. Dismissed. But hold on...

Main Text: Luke 24:1-12


Near, part 3: No Doubt
Pastor Jeff Meyer

Focus:  “Your redemption is drawing near.” 

Main Text: Luke 21:25-36


Near, part 2: No Let Down
Pastor Mike Peters

Focus:  The Galilean Jews had waited so long for their national savior. Time and again they thought that “this was it” only to be disappointed. In this life, hopes have a way of being dashed. Even Jesus massively disappointed his followers, perhaps more severely than any who came before, when he died—but then on the third day, he delivered beyond their wildest dreams. Whoever trusts in Jesus will never be disappointed in the end.

Main Text: Luke 19:28-40


Near, part 1: No Failure
Pastor Jeff Meyer

Focus:  Consequences of our missteps hurt. But, they are not our King’s rebuke. We may have failed but we are not failures. Many of us….more accurately….every one of us has been overwhelmed by stress and are afraid of failure. It’s what keeps some of us from risking anything significant. We play it safe. We find it difficult to move because, …..”What if….?” We never have to be afraid that God will bite our heads off for trying and screwing up. In his kingdom, success is sure, and his approval is secure.

Main Text:  Luke 19:11-27