Proverbs 22:6 states: “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Tom emphasized the fact that there is more than one path for children to follow and it is a parent’s responsibility to encourage children in the path that God has for them, not the path the parent has for their child. Further, Proverbs 13:24 explains the concept of Christ-centered discipline: “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” Tom concluded his message by mentioning the fact that parenting is not something that can be outsourced and you are the only one that has what it takes to raise your children.
Chris Parker preached on the importance of what it would look like if the Holy Spirit did not only dwell inside of us, but also wanted to sit upon us, like the dove mentioned in Matthew 3:16: “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.” Chris also mentioned that he has gone through periods where he knew in the moment an event or an experience happened that he would remember it, but admitted that those situations don’t happen very often. Chris concluded his message with an admission that we, as humans, are all separated by an “us vs. them” mentality. This statement is contradicted by the final verse Chris shared, found in Matthew 3:43-46: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?” Chris summarized that it all comes down to love, and loving one’s enemies amidst great conflict and persecution is exactly what Christ is referring to in these verses.
Penn Clark shared his first sermon in a series of messages regarding the “Holy Spirit Week” theme. He began his message by referencing Genesis 2:7: “Then God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Who God is was breathed into Adam, and in this God became a life-giving being. Additionally, John 20:20-22 states: “And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” The disciple’s spirits came alive in that moment. Jesus also wants to breathe who He is into you. Penn also explained that it’s not enough for us to breathe God in; we must also breathe Him out. Finally, Acts 2:2-4 states: “And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.”