Chris opened his message by playing a clip from the movie “The Shack”. Mackenzie, the main character, was shown a chair where he could judge others by their actions. The point of the clip was to emphasize that the antithesis of love is often judgement. Chris explained that judgement is a heart posture that allocates worth to one’s self at the cost of others. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:1-6 details the fact that there are two types of judgement.

1. An honest assessment, discernment, or disagreement
2. God-like prosecution or condemnation over one’s inner self

Chris also mentioned that when we participate in sin we become more like the sinners we accuse and less like God. Matthew 7:3-5 states: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” The speck in this verse refers to the faults and shortcomings of others and the plank refers to our own faults and issues. Paul exemplifies this attitude in his letter to Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:15: “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” Removing the judge-mentalism in our lives allows us to see clearly enough to meet and help out others that are struggling. Chris concluded his message by stating that you can’t judge someone and save them at the same time, and that often times relationships need to be firmly founded before advice and counsel can be given from one to another.

Chris references only 0:00 to 2:51


Precept: 1) a general rule intended to regulate behavior or thought; 2) law
Principle: 1) a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning; 2) a concept
Person: 1) a human being regarded as an individual.

Jon opened his thoughts by exploring the topic of adoption. Adoption is personal and relational.  Whereas law and principles are often the exact opposite.  To call God Abba, or Dad, is to say that God is relational.  To call Jesus an actual person is to claim God is personal.  To say there is a Trinity means that the force behind everything we see is pulling things into proper relationship with itself.  

In 1 Corinthians 15, we read that the power of sin is the law.  The purpose of the Law was to help us to know we need a Savior.  The law was never meant to be the essence of relationship, but a catalyst to bring us into relationship.  We can see this from the beginning.  God creates humans to be in loving, intimate, relation with him.  Likewise, principles or the concepts of the law, are intended to help us make good people and societies. However, simple principles, or ways of being, can’t by themselves change hearts.  Jon gave the example of the Roman Empire.  The Roman society fell apart from within when its principles and precepts failed.  

Which leads to the person of God.  God calls us his children.  Jon concluded to say that God isn’t looking for us to self-qualify to be reunited with Him.  Rather He is looking for us to accept the gift of grace through faith to walk into the father’s arms.


11.19.17 "When the Time is Right"
Pastor Ron Burgio

Check out the Facebook Live Video: https://www.facebook.com/northgatebuffalo/videos/10155284389014436/

Sometimes in life, the unexpected happens, leaving you afraid, hurt, and uncertain. What do you do? Pastor Ron spoke this Sunday about his own experience with the unexpected. Two weeks of fruitful ministry a couple years ago ended with the unexpected news that he had prostate cancer. From his own journey through this tumultuous time, Pastor Ron shared how focusing more of his time and energy in the three “Words” (the written word, the living word, and the prophetic word) led him to trust Jesus in new ways.

Leaning on scriptures (such as Psalms 31:14-16, Isaiah 60:22, Habakkuk 2:1-4, Ecclesiastes 3:11, etc.), on Jesus (in prayer and worship) and on the prayers, preaching and encouragement of friends, Pastor Ron began to trust Jesus in new ways. He realized that when the time is right, God will bring deliverance. 6 months after his diagnoses with prostate cancer, Pastor Ron had been completely healed. Now, Pastor Ron prays with more boldness and confidence that God will bring healing to others, he shares his testimony of what God has done, and is a person many go to when they receive unexpected diagnoses.


Check out the Facebook Live Video: https://www.facebook.com/northgatebuffalo/videos/10155302024384436/

Pastor Jon opened his message by explaining the fact that Thanksgiving is a mindset, offering encouragement from Bill Johnson that you can’t afford to have a thought about yourself that God doesn’t think about you. This quote references Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Pastor Jon also explained that there is a war that is constantly waging in our minds. The battlefield in our minds begins with our thoughts, and to overcome this it’s important to fill our minds with thoughts that God thinks of us. Often, the antithesis of positive thoughts is fear. As we consume fear, it can overwhelm us both spiritually and emotionally. In terms of Thanksgiving, our prayers have the ability to change the atmosphere that we live in (Pastor Jon used the thermostat versus thermometer analogy in his message). He also referenced 2 Corinthians 10-:3-5 and summarized it by emphasizing that even though we walk in the flesh, we don’t war according to the flesh. In other words, don’t use things that are happening in this world to justify our perspective or our world view; we should see things on earth as God sees them (also referenced in Ephesians 6:12). The conclusion of the message focused heavily on Ephesians 6:11-20, where Paul speaks to the people of Ephesus, saying that we should put on the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, feet fitted with the readiness of an understanding of the gospel, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.