Author Archives: Bill Stegemueller

The Apostle’s Doctrine…

From the Heart of Bill

A couple of months ago  I opened up a dialogue on what made the early church so EFFECTIVE in reaching people for Jesus Christ.  We looked at Acts 2:42-47 and talked about FELLOWSHIP and PRAYER.  This month I want us to focus on the importance of the APOSTLE’S DOCTRINE

Acts 2:42–47 (NKJV) — 42 And they continued steadfastly in the APOSTLES’ DOCTRINE and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

What does it mean when it says that the church continued steadfastly in the APOSTLE’S DOCTRINE?  This is referring to the inspired teachings of the apostles which was delivered orally at first and is now preserved in the New Testament.   They were eager to learn everything they could about the Lord.

Notice this was something they CONTINUED STEADFASTLY in.    Just as they continued with FELLOWSHIP and PRAYER.  They also continued in the APOSTLE’S DOCTRINE.

I love the fact that Medina United Methodist Church has always been hungry for the whole counsel of God.  That’s one of the reasons we are very intentional about studying the Bible expositionally.  That is, book by book; chapter by chapter; verse by verse not skipping over the uncomfortable portions of Scripture.

No, the original apostle’s are no longer with us, but they left us the inspired written word that we can have access at any time.  That is HUGE! 

I encourage us to CONTINUE STEADFASTLY in the word of God. 

Remember my challenge as we work through the book of Ephesians?  There are six chapters in Ephesians.  Let’s read through the book (a chapter a day) every week in preparation of our Sunday Study.  Then let’s reread it and reread it; over and over again with the goal of not just knowing it, but OWNING IT and letting it be a part of it. 

Ephesians has been called, “The Grand Canyon of Scripture,” it is as DEEP as it is WIDE and it (through the Holy Spirit) will change your life. 

See you in Church as we continue to BE THE CHURCH!

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Bill

The Wealth, Walk, and Warfare of the Christian

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “The Wealth, Walk, and Warfare of the Christians,” taken from Ephesians 1:1-3

Team Ministry Part 2

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in the second of a two part series, “Team Ministry,” taken from Ephesians 4:10-18

Team Ministry Part 1

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “Team Ministry,” taken from Colossians 4:7-9

From the Heart of Bill: Prayer

From the Heart of Bill

Last month I opened up a dialogue on what made the early church so EFFECTIVE in reaching people for Jesus Christ and we looked at Acts 2:42-47 and talked about FELLOWSHIP.  This month I want us to focus on the importance of PRAYER.

Acts 2:42–47 (NKJV) — 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in PRAYERS. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

The early church had demonstrated a dependence on God in their daily practice of prayer.  Prayer is many things.  It’s not just talking to God, it’s LISTENING to Him.  In other words, it’s INTERACTING with Him. 

Sometimes I think we make prayer more complicated than it needs to be.  Prayer is simply interacting with God and as you develop what I call a “God Consciousness,” you can pray at all times and in all places.  It doesn’t matter if you’re standing or sitting.  It doesn’t matter if your eyes are open or closed.  It doesn’t matter if you pray out loud or silently.   When you think of prayer as INTERACTING with God, prayer becomes as natural as breathing.

Brother Laurence was a French Priest who lived in the 1600’s and he put together a collection of teachings called, “The Practice of the Presence of God.”   The book is Public Domain and can be read and downloaded for free.   In his book, Brother Lawrence writes about little and big ways that we can practice the presence of God.   For example when you sin (and we all do…) why not turn that sin around into something POSITIVE.   It’s important that we confess and repent of sin, but why not also pray…

               “Lord, thank you for reminding me what I am apart from You.”

Do you see the TWIST?  Taking something BAD and turning it around for GOOD.  That’s Biblical.  When Joseph’s brothers repented of the sin of selling Joseph into slavery, Joseph’s response was, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.”  (Gen. 50:20)   Romans 8:28 says, “That we know God causes ALL things to work together for good…”   Why not take that principle and use it in our prayer lives?

Practicing the presence of God IS PRAYING.   I also believe that’s what the Bible means when it tells us we need to WALK IN THE SPIRIT.  (Gal 5:16)

WALKING IN THE SPIRIT can be FUN!  Walking in the Spirit means that whatever situation you walk into, you are interacting with God and sizing things up in the spiritual realm.  Dialoguing with God, “What is it you want me to know about this situation?  How do You want me to Pray?  What is You want me to say?  What is it you want me to Do?”

As you WALK IN THE SPIRIT, I encourage you to keep this church and its pastor in your prayers.   Things are going well for us as a church.  The tendency when things are good is not to pray as much.  Prosperity can be a curse when it gets our eyes off God.   That’s why the Christians in China are praying for us.  They view our prosperity as a curse and to a certain degree they’re right.   I know that I go after God with a lot more intensity when things are going BAD than when things are going GOOD (more on this next month…)

Hebrews tells us that we need to always FIX our eyes on JESUS the author and the perfector of our faith.  (Hebrews 12:2)

My prayer is that we PRACTICE THE PRESENCE of God as individuals and as a church. 

Shalom,


Bill

Praying with Purpose

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “Praying with Purpose,” taken from Colossians 4:2-6

Serving in the Workplace



Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “Serving in the Workplace,” taken from Colossians 3:22-4:1.



FAMILY MATTERS: Part 3 – Children and Parents

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a series on FAMILY MATTERS taken from Colossians 3:18-21. This week’s message is on children and parents!

FAMILY MATTERS: Part 2 – Husbands

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a series on FAMILY MATTERS taken from Colossians 3:18-21. This week’s message is on husbands!

FAMILY MATTERS: Part 1 – Wives

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a series on FAMILY MATTERS taken from Colossians 3:18-21. This week’s message is on wives!