Welcome to Cornerstone Church of Parker! Sharing God's good news in a practical way.
Focused on the Church
In an effort to maintain the unity of the church during a crisis, the Apostle Paul encourages the Ephesians to minimize the conflict that naturally occurs during a crisis by focusing on less on their differences and more on their similarities. As they did this and continued to fulfill the special role that God had given them, then they would be able to maintain unity during the crisis. We are presently facing a crisis and it is only natural for believers to create conflict with one another. As a result, our unity is being broken, which means Paul’s counsel to the Ephesians is very relevant for us today. Considering what and Who we have in common, there is no reason for our differences to divide us. Also, considering that God has given both church leaders and believers a special work to do, there is no reason why a crisis has to hinder this special work from continuing. The body of Christ, our local congregation, and the larger Christian community can maintain good health, continue to grow, and be full of love despite a crisis. With these things in mind, let’s adjust our focus away from the crisis and onto being a united congregation.
Focused on Others
It's only natural for us to focus primarily on ourselves during a time of crisis. What we think, feel, want, or need seems to be at the forefront of our minds, so much so that we forget to consider and value what other people think, feel, want, or need. Additionally, during a time of crisis people tend to share their opinions about how to move forward, even if no one else is asking for their opinion. And so, amidst all the self-focus and opinionating that occurs during a crisis why so much conflict tends to occur. Everyone is speaking, but no one is listening. Everyone wants others to understand them, but no one is taking time to understand other people. It's a viscious cycle that God wants us to avoid. In Ephesians 3, Paul reminds us that through the church God wants to show the world that unity amidst diversity is possible, even during a crisis. In fact, it's during a crisis when that unity is needed most. In this sermon, Pastor Mike will share why don't experience unity amidst diversity as often as we should and what we can do to cultivate during a crisis.
Focused on Who We Are
In a time of crisis, persecution, or temptation it is only natural for us to forget who we are spiritually-speaking. Our physical circumstances can cause us to forget who we used to be, how God saved us, and how much He has changed us. It is only natural in those times to feel like our best days are behind us, but in Ephesians 2 we learn that our best days are still ahead of us because of who we are in Christ. Truth is, that we are not defined by our circumstances. We are defined by Who lives in us and He says that we are holy, we are family, and that we are part of something bigger than us. That's who we are in Christ and as long as we maintain faith in Christ that aspect of our reality will never change. This should give us hope and the strength to get through whatever crisis we are presently facing.
Focused on God
A time of crisis, persecution, or temptation can make us question who God is, how our experience fits into His plan, and what greater purpose our experience is fulfilling. This is our natural response and it is motivated by what we can sense in the physical realm, but in Ephesians 1 Paul is asking us to adjust our focus and to look into the spiritual realm to see God for who He really is. And when we do we will realize that God is very kind and has blessed us immensely. He has gone to great links to make us a part of His family. Therefore, we can rest assured that His plan and purpose for our lives and the world-at-large are being accomplished even when we don't understand how. The very best thing that we can do in times of crisis, persecution, or temptation is to pray for spiritual insight and spiritual strength. God is more than willing to give us the insight and strength we need to get through whatever crisis we are presently facing. Our response is to choose to trust, believe, and praise Him regardless of our circumstances.
Adjusting Our Focus | Series Overview
In this series, we will study Paul's letter to the Ephesians. In it, we will see how Paul encourages the Ephesians to adjust their focus. On earth, the Ephesians were facing persecution and temptation, but this is not what Paul wanted them to focus on. Paul wanted them to focus on their spiritual reality and in doing so they would begin to see their situation differently. In our day and age, especially considering the trials we are currently facing, it is easy for us to focus on our physical reality. In doing so, we tend to forget what God is like, who He made us be, and what His purpose and plan are. In this light, Paul's message to the Ephesians is incredibly relevant for us today. For the next several weeks we will adjust our focus and in doing so, find the strength to make it through the trial or temptation we are presently facing.
Free in Community
As Paul wraps up his conversation with the Galatians he continues to describe how Spirit-led Christians are to relate to one another. In the community of believers no one is immune to temptation. Everyone gets caught in a sticky situation once in awhile. In those moments, it’s easy to forget that freedom is but a few words away and that there are others willing to help us. For sure, there are consequences for our actions, but as we make more and more Spirit-led choices we are going to find that those sticky situations occur less frequently. God wants us to live in freedom, but this freedom was designed within a larger community, so that we are able to help one another stay on track.