“Unchained…”

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “Unchained,” taken from Acts 28:17-31

Adult and Teen Challenge Testimonies

Adult and Teen Challenge testimonies at Medina United Methodist Church.

“A Mother’s Prayer”

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “A Mother’s Prayer,” taken from 1 Samuel 1:1-20

“Keys to Finishing Well”

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “Finishing Well,” taken from Acts 28:11-14.

“God’s Plans Are Bigger than Our Plans”

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “God’s Plans are Bigger than Our Plans,” taken from Acts 28:1-10

“Without Faith…”

FROM THE HEART OF BILL

For the next few months I want to touch on a few things that really make for an effective CHURCH.

This month I want to talk about the role of FAITH in the Church.   2 Corinthians 5:7 tells us that we are to walk by faith and not by sight.   Hebrews 9:27 says that without FAITH it’s impossible to please Him.   In fact, Jesus is drawn toward faith.

Years ago Henry Blackaby wrote a book/curriculum entitled, “Experiencing God.”   It was one of the most powerful books I have ever read.  One of the many life changing quotes in that book was, “You cannot stay the way you are and go with God.”   I believe that applies not only for the individual, but also to the Church.

Too many individuals and churches are playing it safe by operating within its their own means.  People say, “God will never ask me to do something I can’t do.”  That has not been my experience at all!  Over and over again in Scripture you see God asking people to do that which they could NEVER do on their own.  The kind of assignments God gives in the Bible are ALWAYS God sized.  They are well beyond what people can do so that God can demonstrate His power and grace to His people and a skeptical world.

I’m not saying that we should go out and live reckless lives, but I think too often we play it way too safe.  That is walking by sight.   Walking by sight is the opposite of walking by faith.  God never leads us to do something that He doesn’t also provide us a way to accomplish His will.

Our mission statement is: To Know Christ and to Make Him Known.  One of the best ways to make Him known is for the world to see what God can do with a person that walks by faith.

The world needs to see not only the GRACE of God, but also the POWER of God manifested in His church.  What would’ve happened if the early church played it safe and chose to simply operate within its own resources?  Scary thought.  I’m not sure there would be a church today.  What make the early church powerful was that it chose to walk by faith and NOT BY SIGHT.

Two questions for this month:  (1) What is God calling YOU to do that requires faith?  (2) What is God calling US (as a church) to do that requires faith.  Remember, without faith it is impossible to please God.

You say, “I don’t think I can do what God is calling me to do.”   Perfect!  That it means it’s probably a God sized task in which you have to depend on Him.  He wants you to depend on Him!   I would encourage you to be honest with God with your struggles.  Remember the father that struggled with his faith?  He said to Jesus, “I believe, but help my unbelief.”  You know what?  Jesus helped him and I believe He will help us as well IF WE ASK.

See you in church.

Bill

 

 

“Storms…”

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “Storms…” taken from Acts 27

“I’ll Stand” Pt. 2

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in the second part of a message entitled, “I’ll Stand” taken from Acts 26:12-32

“I’ll Stand” Part 1

Bill Stegemueller preaching at Medina United Methodist Church in a message entitled, “I’ll Stand” Part 1 taken from Acts 25:23-26:14

“Fellowship in the Church”

FROM THE HEART OF BILL

For the next few months I want to touch on a few things that really make for an effective CHURCH.

Our vision statement at Medina United Methodist Church is:  “To Know Christ and to Make Him Known.”

This month I want to share with you some thoughts on FELLOWSHIP.   The church is called the BODY OF CHRIST.   That is, when believers meet together in His Name that the world ought to be able to see Him more clearly.  Jesus said in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”   The church is very important in making Christ known.

One of my favorite movies is, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”  It is a comedy love story based on the real-life experiences of Greek American Actress Nia Vardalos.   At 30 years of age, this unattractive, slightly overweight woman seemed doomed to be a hostess in her father’s Greek restaurant for the rest of her life.  But Toula has dreams of a better life.  Those dreams cause her to made something out of herself.   She goes to college and then lands a great job where she meets and falls in love with a long-hair, non-Greek, English teacher, Ian.

Ian’s parents are a wealthy couple without any kind of real extended family.  One day they accept a dinner invitation at Toula’s parent’s home and are shocked at what they find.  As they drive up to the house, nearly 100 people – the entire Greek clan, greet them on the front lawn with hugs and kisses.  Amid the dozens of cousins, aunts, and uncles (most of whom are named “Nick”), there is a goat hanging on a spit over an open fire.

Toula’s father smiles and says, “Welcome to my home!”  Toula’s mother approaches the bewildered couple and gives them the traditional hug and kiss on the cheek. The initial shock eventually begins to wear off and soon they start to relax once they realize how much they are loved.

What a picture of what the family God can be!  I think the movie really captures a dimension of fellowship that is so rich and vital to the church.  I am so glad everyone at church doesn’t look and act alike.  How boring that would be!  God made us incredibly different in terms of taste and preferences.  I’m so thankful that there is rich diversity in the midst of our unity in Christ.  My prayer for all of us is that we might have a rich fellowship in which we truly let it all hang out and be real with one another.  (1 Corinthians 12:12-26)

In Christ,

Bill