Love Is Not….

Sermon:  February 7, 2016
Scout Sunday
Rev. Ben Herlong
1 Corinthians 13:1-6a

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150, A Good Solid Number

Sermon:  January 31, 2016
UMW Sunday
Guest Speaker:  Cathy Ford

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The Basic Essential of the Word

As I have mentioned in a recent sermon, the basic truth of the Christian life lies in the hearing and receiving of the Scripture. As new born babies desire milk, so we, too, need the basic truth of the Word. When a lady cried out after hearing Jesus speak saying, “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you,” Jesus responded, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it.” The Word is more essential to life than necessary food. But, beyond the basic truths, where do we go for further spiritual growth?

When Jesus and the disciples were hungry, the disciples left him and went to town to buy food. That’s when the Samaritan woman came to get water. We know the story. He shared the Gospel with her. She told the townspeople. They came to hear Jesus themselves. The disciples were amazed that He talked to the woman, interacted with the Samaritans, and really did not seem interested in eating the food they had just brought. He said, “I have meat to eat that you know not of.” There is something about sharing Jesus with others that feeds our souls. But how do we do that?

There is no better instruction than to just do it. But if we need encouragement, instructions abound in the Bible. The book of Acts tells us what the disciples and the growing church did. You can’t read it without seeing the centrality of the Word and reliance upon the Holy Spirit’s power. They were together in one accord continuing in the doctrine, fellowship, service and power with all things centering on the person of Jesus as the essential for life everlasting; the only one who gives us true hope. As I shared before, even to serve tables, one had to be filled with, endued with power from, the Spirit. This is what the Word tells us.

If we are to grow, we must get more from the Bible than just the basics. We must continue therein, digging even deeper. We will find “meat to eat” that we have not yet discovered. We will find spiritual growth as we see what those early Christian did by the same Spirit dwelling in us today. Are we ready for a different feast than what we have grown accustomed to? As you see something new take place, it may just be the old, old Gospel from the old, old Word doing some new, new thing to you! — Ben

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Basics For Christian Growth

Sermon:  January 24, 2016
Hebrews 5:12 -6:3
Rev. Ben Herlong

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Why Baptism

Sermon:  01/17/2016
Rev. Ben Herlong
Acts 16: 25-34

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In Whom I Am Well Pleased

Sermon:  January 10, 2016
Luke 3:15-17, 21-22
Al Quarles

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2016: A Year of the Word and the Spirit

As we approach yet another year, we find ourselves in the same predicament as always; not really knowing what to expect. Yet, it is not the same as always. Another year brings great opportunities and challenges personally, nationally, socially and even ecclesiastically. We don’t know what’s going to happen to us individually; job changes, illness or blessings. What will happen nationally; economic bust or boom, ISIS, war or peace? What will happen in church; global revival, persecution, denominational concerns or, more importantly, right here at Aldersgate? Here is where we confront the nation and the world. It all comes here. How are we to prepare for whatever comes? By standing close to the One who knows what we don’t, Jesus prepares us to bless and be blessed. There is always the Kingdom of God which raises us above the worries of the world to embrace the opportunities to advance the Kingdom.

In doing so we must avail ourselves of Christ’s provisions. These are encompassed in two resources: the Holy Spirit and the Book the Holy Spirit inspired. These two bring spiritual growth to everyone who embraces them. Spiritual growth is not an option in Christian life; it is the expectation.

Peter writes, “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.” The purpose of the Bible is to make us grow into spiritual maturity. The Bible contains foundational truths which we never grow away from, but from which we grown into maturity as we delve into the deeper things which the Bible also contains. These things not only have to do with being born of the Spirit (which is foundational), but also growing in our experiences of the Spirit which encourages us to be “doers of the word, and not hearers only,” bringing us to maturity. But in order to do the word, we must hear it. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing of the Word of God.” In response to the word of faith received, the Spirit empowers us and spiritual growth occurs.

So, what’s in your outlook for the New Year? I encourage us to delve anew into the Scriptures and with great expectation grow into further experiences of the Holy Spirit. The church was born of the Spirit. Can we truly grow without continuing with Him?  — Ben

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The Other Helper

Sermon, January 3, 2016
Acts 8:4-6, 12, 14-17
Rev. Ben Herlong

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Darkness Into Light

2015 Christmas Cantata
AUMC Chancel Choir

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Guided By God

Sermon, 12/27/2015
Matthew 2:1-12
Rev. Ben Herlong

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