“The Sacrament Of The Present Moment”, Part 3, “What If The Present Moment…Is Terrible?”, 8/2/2020

“The Sacrament Of The Present Moment”
Part 3, “What If The Present Moment…Is Terrible?”
I Kings 19
 
 
I. The Hammer And Chisel Of The Lord
 
A. Finding God’s Presence In All Things
 
(Quote) Caussade, “How foolish to refuse to breathe the open air! To search for a spot on which to place the foot when there is the whole countryside before you; to be unable to find water when there is a whole deluge at your service, nor to possess and enjoy God, nor to recognize his action when it is present in all things.”

B. A Work We Cannot Produce
 
(Quote) Caussade, “It is obvious that a work such as this cannot be affected by cleverness,
intelligence, nor subtlety of mind, but only by the way of abandonment to, its reception, and by yielding to it like metal in a mold, or canvas under the pencil, or stone in the hands of the sculptor.”
 
C. Yielding To The Work Of The Sculptor
 
(Quote) Caussade, “…a stone that is destined to become a crucifix or a statue without knowing it, if it were asked, ‘What is happening to you?’ would reply if it could speak, ‘Do not ask me, I only know one thing, and that is, to remain immovable in the hands of my master and to endure all that comes my way.’”

D. God’s Business Is God’s Best
 
(Quote) Caussade, “As for the end for which I am destined, it is God’s business to understand how it is to be accomplished; I am as ignorant of what God is doing as of what I am destined to become; all I know is that God’s work is the best, and the most perfect that could be, and I receive each blow of the chisel as the most excellent thing that could happen to me…”

(Quote) Caussade, “…although, truth to tell, each blow, in my opinion, causes the idea of ruin, destruction, and disfigurement. But that is not my affair; content with the present moment I think of nothing but my duty, and I endure the work of this clever master without knowing, or occupying myself about it.”
 
(Quote) Caussade, “Allow God to act, and abandon yourself to God’s will and work in your life. Let the chisel perform its office, the needle do its work. Let the brush of the artist cover the canvas with many tints which only have the appearance of daubs.”
 
 
II. “I have had enough, Lord…take my life…”
 
1 Kings 19:1-2, “When Ahab got home, he told Jezebel everything Elijah had done, including the way he had killed all the prophets of Baal. 2 So Jezebel sent this message to Elijah: ‘May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow I have not killed you just as you killed them.’” NLT
 
1 Kings 19:3-4

1 Kings 19:5-6

1 Kings 19:7-9

1 Kings 19:9-10
 
1 Kings 19:11-13, “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
 
1 Kings 19:14
 
1 Kings 19:15-18
 


“The Sacrament Of The Present Moment”, Part 2, “Contentment In The Present Moment”, 7/26/2020

“The Sacrament Of The Present Moment”
Part 2, “Contentment In The Present Moment”
Philippians 4:4-13
 

Introduction
(Quote) Caussade, “To be satisfied with the present moment is to delight in, and to adore the divine will in all that has to be done or suffered in all that succession of events that fill, as they pass, each present moment.”
 
 
I. Pursuing Contentment In Every Moment
(Quote) Caussade, “If that which God…chooses for you does not content you, from whom do you expect to obtain what you desire?”

1 Thessalonians 4:3, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified…” NIV
 
Romans 8:29-30, “God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son… 30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself.” NLT

(Quote) Caussade, “…I should die of thirst rushing … from one fountain to another, from one stream to another when there is a sea at hand, the waters of which encompass me on every side.”

(Quote) Caussade, “All that happens to me therefore will be food for my nourishment, water for my cleansing, fire for my purification, and a channel of grace for all my needs. That which I might endeavor to find in other ways seeks me incessantly and gives itself to me through all creatures.”
 
 
II. Contentment In The Present Moment
Philippians 4:4-7, “Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” NIV
 
A. Four Contentment Producing Decisions
 
(Number 1) Rejoice In The Lord Always – v. 4
 
(Number 2) Let your gentleness be evident to all – v. 5
 
(Word Study) Gentleness, “Epieikes”, (ep-ee-i-kace) This is one of the most untranslatable of all Greek words. Some of the best English attempts are gentle, yielding, kind, forbearing, and lenient.
 
(Number 3) Don’t be anxious – pray about everything – vv.6-7
 
Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
 
Philippians 4:7, “…the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

(Number 4) Think On These Things – vv. 8-9
 
Philippians 4:8, “Finally…whatever is true, …noble, …right, …pure, …lovely, …admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”
 
 
Conclusion
(Quote) Caussade, “I have run through all Your workshops and have admired all Your works, but have not as yet, by abandonment, received even the bare outlines of Your pencil.”


“The Sacrament Of The Present Moment”, Part 1, “Breath From God”, 7/19/2020

“The Sacrament Of The Present Moment”
Part 1, “Breath From God”
Job 27:3
 
Introduction
 
1 Peter 2:12-17
 
Romans 13:1-2
 
“The Sacrament Of The Present Moment”, Jean-Pierre de Caussade – 1675-1751
 

I. Breath From God
 
Job 27:3, “But for as long as I draw breath, and for as long as God breathes life into me,” (MSG)
 
Job 27:3, “As long as I live, while I have breath from God,” (NLT)
 
Job 27:3, “For as long as life is in me, And the breath of God is in my nostrils,” (NASB)

Caussade, “To be satisfied with the present moment is to delight in, and to adore the divine will in all that has to be done or suffered in all that succession of events that fill, as they pass, each present moment.”
 
 
II. The Power Of The Present
 
“Peace of mind” and an “untroubled soul” are the consequences of recognizing the sacrament of the present moment.
 
 
III. How To Live In The Present
 
Luke 10:38-42
 
A. Mary’s Way
 
1. Do Things Consciously
 

2. Savor The Moment
 

3. Develop Gratitude For The Right Now
 

4. Focus On What Matters
 

5. Enjoy The Present For What It Is
 

Conclusion

(Quote) Caussade, “The one thing necessary can always be found for it is in the present moment. It is no longer a choice between prayer and silence, seclusion and society, reading and writing, meditation and cessation of thought, flight from and seeking after spiritual consolations, abundance and dearth, feebleness and health, life and death, but it is all that each moment presents by the will of God…making it our soul satisfaction to sustain the present moment as though there were nothing else to hope for in the world.”


Announcements, July 12, 2020

 Church Schedule Reminders
∙ Wednesday Bible Study is cancelled until further notice

∙ Light Source will be meeting on Sunday mornings after worship, in The Loft (206)

∙ Precept Bible Study is cancelled until further notice

∙ Men’s and Ladies’ Prayer Breakfasts are cancelled until further notice

∙ Sunday School classes will hopefully resume on Sunday, September 13th
 
 
VCC Church App
Stay Connected with our church app! It gives you quick access to sermon podcasts, announcements, church calendar, online giving and more. Search your device’s app store for Valley Community – Sacramento.
 
 
2020 Altar Flower Calendar
The 2020 Altar Flower Calendar is available at the Information Counter. If you would like to remember an anniversary, wish someone a happy birthday, or donate as a memorial to a loved one, please sign up for a date with the name of the person ordering first, followed by the name of the person and occasion being remembered. The total cost at this time is $43.40, for which you receive giving credit. The flowers are yours to take home after service.
 
 
VCC now offers Online Giving
How people give to support their community of faith is changing in our day and age. VCC is now able to facilitate online giving through our church website and through the mobile app “easytithe”. After creating an account, you will be able to give directly to VCC by using your debit or credit card. To create an online account, visit our website, www.vccweb.org and click on My Online Donation. You can also download the free app, “easytithe”, for your Smart Phone. You can also continue to send eChecks through your bank’s eChecks option.


Announcements, July 5, 2020

 Church Schedule Reminders
∙ Wednesday Bible Study is cancelled until further notice

∙ Light Source will be meeting on Sunday mornings after worship, in The Loft (206)

∙ Precept Bible Study is cancelled until further notice

∙ Men’s and Ladies’ Prayer Breakfasts are cancelled until further notice

∙ Sunday School classes will hopefully resume on Sunday, September 13th
 
 
Happy 4th of July!
Please and enjoy and take advantage of our 4th of July Photo Op on the church patio this Sunday
 
 
VCC Church App
Stay Connected with our church app! It gives you quick access to sermon podcasts, announcements, church calendar, online giving and more. Search your device’s app store for Valley Community – Sacramento.


Announcements, June 28, 2020

Current Church Schedule
∙ Wednesday Bible Study will resume on Wednesday, July 8th at 7 pm in the sanctuary

∙ Light Source will resume on Wednesday, July 8th at 7 pm in The Loft

∙ Precept Bible Study will resume on Friday, July 10th at 2 pm in the Burchett Hall

∙ Sunday School classes will resume on Sunday, September 13th
 
VCC Online Giving
How people give to support their community of faith is changing in our day and age. VCC is now able to facilitate online giving through our church website and through the mobile app “easytithe”. After creating an account, you will be able to give directly to VCC by using your debit or credit card. To create an online account, visit our website, www.vccweb.org and click on My Online Donation. You can also download the free app, “easytithe”, for your Smart Phone. You can also continue to send eChecks through your bank’s eChecks option.
 


Announcements, June 21, 2020

Church Schedule
∙ Wednesday Bible Study will resume on Wednesday, July 8th at 7 pm in the sanctuary
∙ Light Source will resume on Wednesday, July 8th at 7 pm in The Loft
∙ Precept Bible Study start date still to be determined
∙ Sunday School classes will resume on Sunday, September 13th
 
Good Friday Service
Join us Friday, June 26, at 7 pm for our Good Friday communion service. Childcare will be provided for Nursery through Happy Hoppers. Please sign up for Childcare at the Information Counter. Older children will join us in the sanctuary where Pastor Lynn will have a special Kid Talk for them.
 
Celebrating Easter Sunday, June 28th
Sunday, June 28th, we will celebrate Easter! This will be a Family Worship service. Children will be dismissed to their classes after worship.


“Why We Need A Family Of Faith”, 6/14/2020

“Why We Need A Family Of Faith”
I Peter 1:3; I Timothy 3:15; Ephesians 2:19

Introduction
1 Peter 1:3 “God has given us the privilege of being born again so that we are now members of God’s own family.”

I Timothy 3:15,“That family is the church of the living God, the support and foundation of the truth.”

Ephesians 2:19, “…you are no longer strangers to God and foreigners to heaven, but you are members of God’s very own family, citizens of God’s country, and you belong in God’s household with every other Christian.” (TLB)
 

I. Benefits Of Belonging
 
 
A. A Family Of Faith…
 

1. …Helps Us Focus On The Lord

Matthew 20:2, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.”

Psalm 34:3, “Magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt [God’s] name together!”
 
 
2. …Helps Us Face Life’s Challenges

I Thessalonians 5:10-11, “Jesus died for us so that we can live together with Him. So encourage each other and give each other strength.” (NCV)

1 Peter 3:8, “…all of you should be of one mind, full of sympathy toward each other, loving one another with tender hearts and humble minds.” (NLT)
 
Romans 12:5, “In Christ, we who are many, form one body and each member belongs to all the others.”
 
 
3. …Helps Us Mature In Our Faith

Hebrews 6:1, “Let us go on and become mature in our understanding as strong Christians ought to be.”
 
Ephesians 3:10, “God’s intent was that through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known.”
 

4. …Gives Us A Place To Develop Meaningful Relationships

1 John 1:7, “But if we are living in the light of God’s presence, just as Christ does, then we have wonderful fellowship and joy with each other,” (TLB)
 
Psalm 55:13b-14, The Psalmist is talking about a friend and he says, “my companion and my friend. 14 What fellowship we had, what wonderful discussions as we walked together to the Temple of the Lord on holy days.” (TLB)


“Dividing Walls Healed”, 6/7/2020

“Dividing Walls Healed”
Ephesians 2:11-22

I. Bringing Us Near Through Christ – vv. 11-13
Ephesians 2:11-13, “Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called ‘uncircumcised’ by those who call themselves ‘the circumcision’ (that done in the body by the hands of men)– 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.” (NIV)

A. The Gentiles Were…
“…separate from Christ…”
“…excluded from citizenship in Israel…”
“…foreigners to the covenants of the promise…”,
“…without hope…”
“…without God in the world.”
 

II. Bringing Us Peace And Breaking Down Walls
Ephesians 2:14-18, “For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. 15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. 16 Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.  17 He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. 18 Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.” (NLT)
 
(Word Study) Reconciliation – This is a powerful word and to understand its full meaning we need to consider it in several ways.
* A change from a hostile to a friendly relationship.
* Bringing together again, a reuniting, a re-connecting.
* The enmity is so completely laid aside that complete good will follows.
* Restoration of something that was there before.
 
 
III. Bringing A Worthy Cornerstone
Ephesians 2:19-22, “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” NIV

A. The Church As A Kingdom – “…fellow citizens…”

B. The Church As A Family – “…members of God’s household…”

C. The Church As A Temple – “…built on the foundation…”

1. The Cornerstone
1 Peter 2:6, “As the Scriptures express it, “I am placing a stone in Jerusalem, a chosen cornerstone, and anyone who believes in him will never be disappointed.” NLT
 
2. The Living Stones
Ephesians 2:21-22


“The Wind And Warmth Of The Spirit Of God”, 5/31/2020

“The Wind And Warmth Of The Spirit Of God”

Acts 2:1-13

Acts 2:1-6, “On the day of Pentecost, seven weeks after Jesus’ resurrection, the believers were meeting together in one place. 2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm in the skies above them, and it filled the house where they were meeting. 3 Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. 4 And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. 5 Godly Jews from many nations were living in Jerusalem at that time. 6 When they heard this sound, they came running to see what it was all about, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.” NLT
 

I. Significant Symbol Number One = Wind

A. A Rich Biblical Background

Genesis 1:1-2, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” NASU
 
Genesis 2:7, “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
 
Isaiah 2:22, “Stop regarding man, whose breath of life is in his nostrils; For why should he be esteemed?” NAS
 
B. The Roaring Of A Mighty Windstorm
 
Acts 2:2-3, “…there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm in the skies above them, and it filled the house where they were meeting.”
 
Acts 2:3, “Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them.”
 
 

II. Significant Symbol Number Two = Fire

Ezekiel 1:4, “As I looked, behold, a storm windwas coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing forth continually and a bright light around it, and in its midst something like glowing metal in the midst of the fire.” NASU

A. Fire = The Presence of God

1. Fire Brings Light
 
1 John 4:4, “…greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” NASU

2. Fire Brings Warmth