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Pride vs Humility Part 5

Mark 10:43-45

Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many

When Paul wanted to cultivate humility in the members of a local church, he took them straight to the gospel. In fact, Philippians 2:5-11, Paul describes the humility of Jesus in His incarnation, obedience, and death. And when Jesus taught His disciples servanthood, He pointed them to His own vocation as Servant, to be both their highest example and deepest motive for serving others. Our humility is the fruit of, and a response to, the humility of Christ Himself. The only way we’ll be freed from the pride of boasting in ourselves is if we find a more worthy object in which to boast and to worship. That’s why the wisdom of Scripture never simply says, “Do not boast, but be humble”; instead it directs us to “boast in the Lord” (Psalm 34:2; Jeremiah 9:23-24; 1 Corinthians 1:26-31) and to “boast in the cross.” As Paul wrote in Galatians 6:14, “Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

Note the three things people tend to glory in. Some people boast in wisdom, whether in the form of education, natural intelligence, practical know-how, or wit and cleverness. Others tend to boast in might—a sharp physique, physical strength, fitness, muscle tone, beauty, & AWESOME BEARDS. Still others are proud of riches—wealth, prosperity, success, affluence. But God says we should glory in understanding and knowing God, not in our own human distinctions and accomplishments. One of the most important keys to humility is a sight of the satisfying God who is infinitely greater than we are.

Dan Ousley - Worship Leader - StoneBridge Baptist Church

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May God be your Ebenezer

 I Samuel 7:12, says,  "Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”"

I want to key in on the words, "Thus far the Lord has helped us." These words define the word, "Ebenezer". Often times in the Old Testament God's people would set up altars that would remind them of the blessings and the provisions of God. They would erect these altars and make sacrifices to the Lord in remembrance of all the great things God had done for them.

In this passage, the Philistines had continually threatened, and attacked the Israelites. But Samuel prayed for Israel. The Israelites had rid themselves of their idol worship; had put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only. Because of their devotion and commitment to the Lord, the Lord delivered them from the hand of the Philistines. God was their help in time of need. 

Even so today, we may not have the Philistines fresh on our backs, but yet, there are times when situations in our lives seem hopeless. We must come to the same conclusion as the Israelites did; they put away their idols and served the Lord only. If we want to experience God's best, we too, must put away our idols and serve the Lord only. The question that I have for you is, what or who is standing in your way of complete surrender to the Lord? Why not surrender your idols to the Lord and serve Him alone?

May God be your Ebenezer not only this week, but all the days of your lives.

Jason Sheffstall - Lead Pastor - StoneBridge Baptist Church

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Pride vs Humility Part 4

Jeremiah 9:23-24
Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”

Excessive pride is a tell-tale sign of an unforgiving spirit. When we encounter people who are very prideful, we can quickly see that they suffer from un-forgiveness. In my opinion, people with excessive pride have often been deeply wounded in the past by someone they trusted. They have never learned humility, because they are terrified of getting hurt again. By seeing themselves as superior to everyone else, they come to the mistaken conclusion that they are invincible. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Proverbs 16:18 reminds us, Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. We can see by this Scripture reference that pride does not make us invincible. In fact, it makes us vulnerable to destruction. Pride becomes a wall around a person that does not allow others to get close. It's a very high wall that can even keep God at a distance. The wall must come down before forgiveness can take place.

In thinking ourselves far greater than we really are, we see great things far smaller than they really are. The lie of pride causes us to see God smaller, less important than he is. And in trying to make truly great things subservient to our false su­premacy, pride shrinks our capacity to experience joy and wonder and we learn to only value what satisfies our appetites.

The lie of pride is that it promises us happiness through God-usurping self-exaltation, which turns out to be the very thing that kills our happiness. The more highly we think of ourselves, the smaller our capacity for wonder and worship over what is most worthy. Have you ever heard someone say, “The last place I want to be is in church” or “I just don’t feel like worshiping, reading my bible, or praying.”  How about, “I don’t feel like doing the right thing, they don’t deserve it” or “I deserve to do this, I have earned it”. How often have you used an excuse to do the wrong thing that somehow justifies it in your way of thinking? That’s pride at work!

Dan Ousley - Worship Leader - StoneBridge Baptist Church

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PRIDE VS HUMILTY PART 3

Superficiality

When pride lives in our hearts, we’re far more concerned with others’ perceptions of us than the reality of our hearts. We fight the sins that have an impact on how others view us, and make peace with the ones that no one sees. We have great success in the areas of holiness that have highly visible accountability, but little concern for the disciplines that happen in secret.

Defensiveness

An immediate defensive posture when you are challenged, confronted, or advised of hurting someone is a sure sign of pride. . If someone is criticized, they lash out and deny any wrong-doing. They may even turn the tables on the critic and criticize them. They say things like “Well if you didn’t do this, I wouldn’t have done that”.

True humility is not knocked off balance and thrown into a defensive posture by challenge or rebuke, but instead continues in doing good, entrusting the soul to our faithful Creator. I love this quote from Johnathan Edwards, “For the humble Christian, the more the world is against him, the more silent and still he will be, unless it is in his prayer closet, and there he will not be still.”

Desperation for Attention

Pride is hungry for attention and worship in all its forms. Maybe it’s being unable to say “no” to anyone because we need to be needed. Maybe it looks like obsessively thirsting for or fantasizing about a better marriage because you’re hungry to be adored. Maybe it looks like being haunted by your desire for the right car or the right house, the right kitchen, or the right title at work: all because you seek the glory that comes from men, not God.

DAN OUSLEY - WORSHIP LEADER - STONEBRIDGE BAPTIST CHURCH

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Family!

You know, there’s really nothing like family. My family has been in Texas for the past week and a half; I have missed them terribly! 

Yet, I am thankful that Kristie and the kids (besides Josiah) were able to visit their Gran and Pap. Pap had a procedure done and they did not find any blockages, just a weak heart. Please pray for him. 

When you think of being away from family; it is true that absence does make the heart grow fonder. I can’t help but think about loved ones and family members who have passed away, and yet, one day (if they knew Jesus), we will get to see them again. And, what a reunion that will be!

If you have yet to put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, please do it today! 

Realize that your sins have separated you from a loving God who desires nothing more than for you to call on his name and seek his forgiveness. Once you have been forgiven, God has a great plan in store for your life. So, hang on, it’s only going to get better!

Jason Sheffstall - Lead Pastor - StoneBridge Baptist Church

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PRIDE VS HUMILITY PART 2

Identifying the Spirit of Pride:

The spirit of pride grows from the root of bitterness in the heart. It often originates in self-righteousness and makes one wise in his/ her own eyes. Pride is based on falsehoods and prevents us from admitting any wrong in ourselves. Often when one is prideful, there are things they don’t like about themselves or know things they have done wrong but will never confess it and instead take on the mantle, everyone else is wrong but you. The proud feels he/ she is the standard that everyone else must come up to. Pride is also “Yeah I know I am wrong when I do this, but I am unwilling to change it”.

In the Hebrew, pride means to lift up self to be equal to. It is puffed up, stiff necked (stubborn) and stuck up. It is to act arrogantly and is the idolatrous worship of self.

  • The spirit of pride gives in to greed when self feels it does not have enough.
  • The spirit of pride gives in to envy when self feels someone less worthy has received the honor it deserves.
  •  The spirit of pride gives in to acting out in anger when self is offended. 
  •  The spirit of pride gives in to a critical spirit when self’s esteem has been injured.
  • The spirit of pride gives in to resentment when self has been threatened.

The spirit of pride promotes self-sufficiency. It says I can do it myself, I don’t need anyone’s help. God does not honor our self-made lives. He measures success based on obedience to His Word, plan and purpose PERIOD.

(Galatians 5:25)

Pride and Haughtiness is the opposite of love. It is self-interest, while love is selfless interest in another.

  • The Spirit of pride is easily offended and joy departs when pride is upset.
  • The spirit of pride robs us of our peace with ourselves and others.
  • The spirit of pride is unforgiving and says I don’t have to put up with this.
  • The spirit of pride is rough and abrasive and the opposite of gentleness.
  • The spirit of pride is good only to itself.
  • The spirit of pride is faithful only to itself.
  • The spirit of pride gives back handed comments in order to injure another and manipulate them.

The spirit of pride will not be limited by anything, anybody or even the Word of God. For it asks itself, why can’t I have, why can’t I do? It tells us that we are doing the best we can, even when our walk does not show it...

Two chapters later in Acts, the apostle Paul experiences people praising him and Barnabas  after God healed a crippled man using Paul and Barnabas as vessels, “When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying, ‘The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!’” (Acts 14:11). How does Paul respond to their praise? “We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them” (Acts 14:15).

Instead of soaking up the attention and basking in the glory, Paul and Barnabas grieved over it (Acts 14:14). And they used their new platform to proclaim all that God had done (Acts 14:15–17). Whenever people are under the impression that we have done something impressive, we have a golden opportunity to teach them we never do anything impressive or meaningful in our own wisdom or strength or ability. God and God alone gets all the glory and praise!

Dan Ousley - Worship Leader - StoneBridge Baptist Church

 

 

 

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PRIDE VS HUMILITY PART 1

Scripture Reference: Proverbs 6:16-19

The words “Haughty” and “pride” are synonymous in meaning. A haughty spirit is the result of a spirit of pride.  It is to be disdainfully proud, snobbish, and arrogant. God hates the spirit of pride, for the spirit of pride kills our ability to obey God’s word, follow His plan and purpose. Pride is anti-God. It is the turning away from God to seek satisfaction in or for one’s self.

Do you know how the apostle James, brother of John, died?

James was one of the very first disciples, one of Jesus’s closest friends, and he was the first apostle to be killed for his faith. James and his brother were fishermen before Jesus called them into the ministry. He watched Jesus raise a 12-year-old girl from the dead (Luke 8:51). He stood with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration (Luke 9:28). He went with Jesus to the garden of Gethsemane the night Jesus was betrayed (Luke 22:39). And then King Herod had him killed with the sword simply to entertain angry Jews (Acts 12:1–2).

Herod hated the apostles, but mainly he seemed to simply love himself. He killed James, and then, “when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also” (Acts 12:3). He couldn’t murder Peter that day because of the Jewish Passover celebration. But he planned to execute him publicly within the week (Acts 12:4).

An angel came and rescued Peter from captivity (bound with chains, a soldier sleeping on each side, and two more guards by the door). When Herod came the next day to kill Peter, and realized he was gone, he killed the sentries instead (Acts 12:19).

One of the greatest tragedies of the spirit of pride is self-deception, for the one trapped by this spirit is unable to see himself or herself as he/ she really is. Our view of ourselves must align with how God views us. Our view of others must be in line with God’s view of others.

This offensive spirit infects our purity, character, and our relationship with God and with our sisters, brothers, spouses, family, and our children even.  It is the root of most of the problems within the church and marriage. Pride is always in competition with others and often times with God’s plan and will for your life.

Because we are talking about the ugliness of pride, let’s go back to Herod again in Acts chapter 12. Herod turns his anger against the people in Tyre and Sidon, so they plead for peace and mercy. “On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them” (Acts 12:21). The people shouted, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” (Acts 12:22). He killed for praise. He dressed for praise. He performed for praise. And then he received his reward.

Luke writes, “Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last” (Acts 12:23)

God’s final hammer fell when Herod took pleasure in being exalted by people, when he plagiarized the power and authority of God, presenting himself as wise in his own eyes, as strong in his own strength, as great in his own greatness.

TO BE CONTINUED

DAN OUSLEY- WORSHIP LEADER- STONEBRIDGE BAPTIST CHURCH

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The Power of the Holy Spirit

Acts 4:11-12

This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Week after week we gather to sing and praise the King of Kings. Sometimes it is easy to forget that we are singing to a powerful and glorious God who loves us. For me, as a drummer it sometimes can be a little hard to worship because I am focused on keeping time and making sure i do my part. The thoughts of how awesome, forgiving, and mighty God is can be hard to obtain when you are playing music. There are a lot of distractions. It can be tough as well when you are out in the crowd to get in a place of worship, after fighting with kids on the way to church, spilling your coffee on your favorite pair jeans, and having a random person say something rude to you that morning. I get it, it is rough sometimes.

This past Sunday morning I was spending time with the Lord before services. I was reading Acts 4. Peter, John and the power of the Holy Spirit healed a lame beggar at the gate of the temple. Then they began to preach the Gospel! This did not sit well with the Priests and Sadducees, who were opposed to the idea that Jesus was the Messiah. The two were imprisoned until the next day where they would stand trial. The question was asked to Peter and John in verse 7, ““By what power or by what name did you do this? Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and answered in verses 10-12, “Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by Him this man is standing before you well. 11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

After reading this, I was reminded that the same Holy Spirit that filled Peter and John is alive in me. My prayer for worship that morning was to be filled with the Spirit. What happened next? Worship was amazing! That same Holy Spirit that was given to us through faith in Jesus IS ALIVE. This week, my prayer for you is to invite the Holy Spirit and be filled. Be filled with love and be filled with the blessed assurance that God the Father is Sovereign! Sometimes church is the same old, same old. Pray for that to change! Worship the King Sunday knowing that, like Peter said, HE IS THE CORNERSTONE!

Sean Walters - Student Ministry - StoneBridge Baptist Church

 

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Great is the LORD!

Dear Friend,

“Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭145:3-4‬ ‭KJV‬‬

The Psalmist declares the greatness of the Lord and informs us that His greatness is unsearchable. I know that this is basically a repeat of what the Psalmist said, but it causes me to simply ponder the fact that we serve and worship a GOD (and there’s only one) that is truly great! 

His greatness did not stop with the first generation of humans, as a matter of fact, His greatness has been passed down from one generation to another! 

We worship the Lord because He has allowed us the opportunity and privilege  to know Him personally! 

If you have yet to place your faith in Jesus to be your Lord and Savior why not do it today? Simply call on Him to forgive your sins and come into your life. If you will genuinely pray the prayer of salvation, the Lord (in His Greatness) will rescue you from Hell and transform you into the Kingdom of His dear Son! 

Jason Sheffstall - Lead Pastor - StoneBridge Baptist Church

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HOLD FAST YOUR CONFESSION!

Hebrews 4:14-16

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

How do you draw near to the throne of grace? This is not a rhetorical question for which you just ponder it without giving an answer. I really want you to ask yourself and answer it. Write your answers down, read them over and over again and decide whether or not you actually "draw near" and what that looks like for you. 

Drawing near to God with the confidence Hebrews 4 tells us about is paramount. Jesus made the way for us so that we can confidently approach the throne of grace. When the world is beating you down  telling you, you don't measure up,  you will never be good enough, and you're a failure. God's word tells us "hold fast your confession". What he is saying here is you should persistently continue speaking in faith, agreeing with what God has said, regardless of circumstances. If it never seemed like it was not working, there would be no need to hold fast, or hang on, to a confession of faith. 

Again, as I have used David's psalms as examples the past couple of weeks, you can clearly see him time and again, holding fast to his confession of faith during his times of worship. Reminding himself of what God's word says.

Dan Ousley - Worship Leader - StoneBridge Baptist Church

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Worship Him Regardless

Psalm 103: 1-5

The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses, His deeds to the people of Israel: The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

Last week I told you about the awesome and surreal blessing of finding and meeting my biological father. Thank you for all of you who have celebrated  this with me.

I wanted to dive a little further into how David was reminding himself of God's goodness during his time of worship in Psalm 103. You can look at all 150 Psalms and see him reminding himself of God's goodness and promises time and time again. Many people would probably think I was crazy or weird if they were able to see me when I am driving alone or by myself working in the yard etc. Why? Well, I talk to myself a lot. When I am having a bad day, feeling depressed, or feeling like a failure, I often have to remind myself of what God says about me. When I am struggling with frustration, anger, and pride, I have to remind myself what Gods word says and put myself in check. 

During times of worship it is no different. When I am singing to the Lord, I am often singing to myself as well. I don't know if any of you have seen me leading worship, when I lose it for a second or get choked up? Well it is because the words or phrase I am singing or just sang impacts me and permeates my heart in such a way, it causes an involuntary reaction that I can not control. Weather it be through tears, a shout of joy, or an uncontrollable need to lift my hands in surrender and praise. But I had to be intentional at first. I had to be what others would call WEIRD in order to get the blessing He has for me. I had to talk myself into it. 

I was watching "The Voice" the other night and couldn't help but be absolutely dumbfounded at the sight of people raising their hands, with their eyes closed, as if worshiping, because one of the contestants was doing a really good job at singing a song by Aretha Franklin. No question this girl had some major vocal chops. But people where practically worshiping her or the song, but not God! The song had absolutely nothing to do with God. Then I look at people in churches standing as straight as a board and show absolutely no emotion or gratitude to Jesus for His sacrifice, salvation, and grace. Yet the minute a song from there childhood or one of there favorite rock, rap, r&b, techno, classical, bluegrass, or country songs come on, they get all fired up!

Those people may call you weird for worshiping a God who paid  the ransom for your heart, laid himself on a cross, and called you to a life of abundance and freedom. To often Christians allow what the world thinks to hold them back from true worship and commitment. I encourage anyone who reads these words, to stop caring what the world thinks especially where it concerns your relationship and worship to the Living God.

2 Samuel 6:16
As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart. 

David didn't care what she or anyone else thought. He was gonna worship God with his whole heart, his whole body regardless of what people "might" think.  He then says to her in verses 21 - 22, "It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord's people of Israel - I WILL CELEBRATE BEFORE THE LORD. I will become even more undignified than this and I will be humiliated in my own eyes!" 

Dan Ousley- Worship Leader- StoneBridge Baptist Church

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How stubborn are you?

People are stubborn and rebellious! That's an understatement, right? 

The Israelite people wanted a king, so the Lord gave them one! When the man of God reminded them of the responsibilities of kings, i.e., they'd only take and not give back; the people wanted to hear nothing of the sort. Therefore, they rejected Samuel's prophecy and stated that they still wanted a king (just like all of the other nations). We can learn to take heed to the Word of God! It is more important to hearken to the Lord than to listen to the people of the world!

1 Samuel 8:6-9, "6 When the elders said that, Samuel was not pleased. He prayed to the Lord, 7 and the Lord told Samuel, “Listen to whatever the people say to you. They have not rejected you. They have rejected me from being their king. 8 They are doing as they have always done. When I took them out of Egypt, they left me and served other gods. They are doing the same to you. 9 Now listen to the people, but warn them what the king who rules over them will do.”  The Everyday Bible: New Century Version. (2005). (1 Sa 8:6–9). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Someone once said that the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. There are many of us who want to lose weight, grow in our relationship with the Lord, build up our current relationships, get our budgets in order, but yet, we simply stay where we are (or possibly even move backwards) because we are not willing to do the things that will help us make better choices, which lead to better results. 

May we learn to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God in order for Him to lift us up!

Have a great week!

Pastor Jason Sheffstall

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Praise God from whom all blessings flow

Psalm 103: 1-5

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things s that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Since May of last year, I have been on a journey that has taken me through a roller-coaster of emotions. At 39 years of age, I found out my dad was NOT my biological father. My mother lied to me my entire life and in 2012, she took that secret to her grave. You could imagine what that may feel like, now multiply that by a thousand.  

So during this journey and all of its twists and turns. The late nights weeping and utterly broken. The anger I have felt towards my mother and the confusion and feelings of betrayal have all been very tangible and heavy. I would be lying if I said I didn't deal with bitterness and downright hate for her at times. And in all honesty, even now those waves still crash ashore in my heart, often times when I least expect it. The journey of forgiveness has been brutally hard but I am determined to truly forgive because He has forgiven me. But what has gotten me through it?

Psalm 103 has been an awesome example to me and I want to encourage you to read the entire chapter and apply the example in your daily worship. King David worshiped the Lord, and during those psalms he was also speaking to his own heart. He was reminding his spirit of Gods benefits, His healing power, His redemption, His love for him. He was reminding himself of God's righteousness, His Justice, His power, and His compassion. I have discovered through the years, when I worship Him in my anguish and turmoil, when I fall to my knees and sing of His promises, regardless of what my dire circumstances look like, I remind my heart, my spirit and mind, of His power and goodness. He has given us a powerful tool to persevere through the hardest parts of our journeys. WORSHIP!

Last week on April 19th, at the age of 40, I met my biological father for the first time. After a year of DNA testing, searching, and learning hard to swallow truths, we found him. It was an awesome union. God was faithful to me. But I had to remind myself of His faithfulness in worship, even before I saw it fulfilled. 

Praise God from whom all blessing flow!

Dan Ousley - Worship Leader StoneBridge Baptist Church

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Things are happening at StoneBridge!

Dear Friend,

This Sunday at StoneBridge we will have a special opportunity for you to give financially towards our Belize Missions Trip. We have thirteen people from StoneBridge that will be traveling to Belize to share God's love with the Belizean People. Would you consider giving above and beyond your regular tithe to StoneBridge this weekend? We know that your gift will be used to impact lives in Belize. Thank you in advance for your generosity!

On April 29, 2018, our church is hosting FRIEND DAY! We have set a goal to have 29 first time guests on the 29th! This is a fun and easy way to remember it and to encourage you to invest and invite your friends to church on this special day! We'd also like to encourage you to spend some time with your friend after the services. So, take them out to eat, or buy them a cold coke, or a cup of hot coffee. You can also encourage them to think about coming to our Discovering StoneBridge Class immediately following the 10:30 a.m. service on this day!

Let me give you a few tips on how to invite your friends to church:

  1. Make a list of friends that you'd like to invite.
  2. Pray for your friends to receive your invitation.
  3. Meet them at a specific time/location so they do not feel awkward when they attend StoneBridge.
  4. Sit with them in the service.
  5. Give them a tour of our facilities. 
  6. Thank them for attending.
  7. Send them a card letting them know how much you appreciate their friendship; inviting them to be your guest again the following week or the weeks to come.

These little tips will give you an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus. 
If our staff can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to call on us!

Have a great week!
Pastor Jason Sheffstall

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Your Word is a Lamp.

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Psalm 119

Corporate Worship, A Commanding Invitation 


Psalm 119 stands as an invitation to approach God’s word with our whole mind (Psalm 119:113) and our whole heart (Psalm 119:2). It commands us to think rightly and feel deeply about God’s word. It leaves no room for a clean division of the intellect and emotions, but rather demands a response from both the mind and the heart. Every time we hear the words of Scripture, God is speaking to his people. His word commands our attention, our affection, and our obedience.We see in the 176 verses of Psalm 119 an unbreakable chain of knowing and feeling. The psalmist has tasted the word of God, and has developed an unquenchable appetite for it. His passions have been fixed on knowing and experiencing God’s word. 

Thinking Rightly

Notice how the right thinking of the psalmist also communicates such depth of emotion being expressed here in (Psalm 119:7), (Psalm 119:54), & (Psalm 119:81). His salvation and hope have been fixed on the word of God, and have resulted in a continuation of longing, hoping, singing, and praising. Each of these feelings is built not on a base of human experience, but on the foundation of God’s perfect word. God’s word commands that we believe its authority, its sufficiency, its finality. God’s word is the first and last word. We cannot worship God with our whole hearts if our minds are not also transformed by his word. For us to respond to the word of God, we must know it and immerse our lives in it. We must think rightly about the word of God.

Feeling Deeply

Your testimonies are my delight. (Psalm 119:24) My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times. (Psalm 119:20) Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life. (Psalm 119:40)

We also want to feel deeply regarding the word of God. God’s word is meant to work through our emotions, to cause us to feel deeply, to love what we learn about God. There is a grave difference between knowing about God and knowing God. The next time you hear God’s word in corporate worship, listen. Whether in the call to worship, or the sermon,  let your heart be warmed by the flame of God’s voice. Allow your heart to tremble at the reality and veracity of God’s word.

May we be a people marked by thinking rightly and feeling deeply about the perfect, sufficient, enduring word of God.


Excerpt taken from article written by Matt Boswell
https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-wonder-of-the-word-in-corporate-worship

         Dan Ousley - Worship Leader - StoneBridge Baptist Church

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HE IS THE ONLY WAY

           DAN OUSLEY - WORSHIP LEADER - STONEBRIDGE                                                   BAPTIST CHURCH

          DAN OUSLEY - WORSHIP LEADER - STONEBRIDGE                                                   BAPTIST CHURCH

John 14: 6

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.."

This past Sunday was one of my favorites. I love Easter. The promised resurrection of Jesus. Only because of His sacrifice, I was restored to a place where I have access to God the Father. No longer is my sin in the way because Jesus laid Himself on the cross and suffered a criminals' death to pay for my sins. I didn't deserve mercy. I didn't deserve grace. BUT He did it anyway because he loved me in spite of my sin. He died on that cross, and then rose from the dead, ripping away the power of death, hell, and the grave. THANK YOU JESUS!! 

Hallelujah for the Cross. 

I would be hopeless without Your goodness
I would be desperate without Your love
Slave to the darkness if it wasn't for the cross

You have won me with Your kindness
Chased me down when I was lost
Where would I be if it wasn’t for the cross?

Hallelujah, thank You, Jesus
I was a prisoner, now I'm not
With Your blood, You bought my freedom
Hallelujah for the cross

All my shame was met with mercy
Now Your mercy will be my song
And oh, the glory, oh, the power of the cross

Hallelujah, thank You, Jesus
I was a prisoner, now I'm not, ohh
With Your blood, You bought my freedom
Hallelujah for the cross

And by Your stripes, I'm healed
And by Your death, I live
The power of sin is overcome
It is finished, it is done

Hallelujah, thank You, Jesus
I was a prisoner, now I'm not, ohh
'Cause with Your blood You bought my freedom
Oh, hallelujah for the cross


https://youtu.be/npe6gqweNUk

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THE UNLIKELIEST OF HEROES!

Dear Friend,

Luke 24: 1-7 says,

1. But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3. but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6. He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7. that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” 

Happy Easter!  He is Risen, He is Risen Indeed!  Praise God for all the blessings currently at StoneBridge. This past Easter Sunday, we celebrated the fact that we have been rescued! We were saved in the greatest rescue mission by the Unlikeliest of Heroes.  Jesus came from the glories of Heaven to be crucified on Mount Calvary to be the ultimate sacrifice for you and me.  Why?  Because he loves us and sin separated us from the Father. There is no more separation through Salvation!  Let us not just remember what Jesus did on Easter, but every day.  

It is easy to get into the day to day habits of life and forget what you have in the Holy Spirit, living within you!  This week, dwell on the fact that IT IS FINISHED.  Period.  Role Credits.  Jesus IS the end all.  Our sins held him to that cross until death overcame him.  BUT,  just like it says in Luke 24,  the stone has been rolled away and Jesus conquered the grave!  Y'all have a great week!

Sean Walters
Student Ministries

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UNLIKELY HEROES!!

Psalms 118:22

"The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone".

I LOVE THIS VERSE!! 

The Stone is JESUS!!!

 Last week we celebrated with nine people who made the decision to take the next step in their walk with Jesus, and were baptized during our Sunday service. How fitting is it, we will be celebrating the promised resurrection of our Lord this coming Sunday, April 1st! 

As I was praying this morning, I was asking the Lord to lead me to particular people to invite to our Easter services as well as our upcoming Friend Day on April 29th. During that prayer I asked God to not just lead me to those people, but to help give me the words that would urge them to come. I then asked myself, "why do I want them to come?" Well, I want them to come to hear the same gospel that changed my life forever. I want them to feel the same grace I have experienced. And I want them to experience being in a room full of people, worshiping a living God, and what that looks like. Through the years I have seen people impacted by just standing in a room full of people worshiping God. I was one of those people. I was drawn to repentance and salvation in the exact same scenario. 

Sometimes we won't have the words. But bring people to a place where true worship happens, and you WILL see the power of God change lives.  Furthermore, if you live a life of worship, you will demonstrate (through how you live your life) the resurrecting power of Jesus Christ, and people will be drawn to that, thus giving you an awesome opportunity to speak to them about His love and saving grace! 

Dan Ousley - Worship Leader StoneBridge Baptist Church

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No matter how small a step!!

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One of our Core Values at church is Celebration. We celebrate the blessings that God has given us. This past Sunday was a record day for StoneBridge! We had 320 people in attendance, baptized nine disciples, and welcomed around eighteen new members at our church. 

This coming Sunday is Easter Sunday. Churches all around the world will be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ! Let me continue to encourage you to invite your friends, family and foes to an Easter Sunday service. 

If you do not have a church home, then we invite you to assemble with us!  
Service times: 9a.m. or 10:30a.m.

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REMEMBERING!

Colossians 2: 11-15

When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature.  For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.  He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.  In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

Every time we approach a baptism service here at StoneBridge, it takes me to a place of remembrance. I don't first remember when I was baptized. I actually first reminisce about the moment I laid myself at the mercy of Jesus and confessed my sins and pleaded for His saving Grace. I remember how I asked Him to come into my heart and be the Lord of my life. I remember the experience of going from feeling Lost to feeling hope. From feeling desperate to feeling loved. From the feeling of insecurity to the feeling of confidence.  I also remember how LIFE tried to knock me down soon after I made that decision. How at times it seemed life got harder. The difference was and is, I now had an advocate. I had someone who actually defended me and had my back, when often times in life we question who our true friends are, or if there are actually people who will defend us when we need it. The difference was and is, I now have Jesus.

Then I think about the decision I made to be baptized. Baptism is not just the act of being fully submerged in water, representing dying to our sin, and being raised to Life in Christ. To me, baptism is also one of the greatest acts of worship. Because you are publicly displaying your commitment to the Lord, that you have decided to follow Christ. You are telling all of those people watching that you are a sinner and you asked Jesus to come into your life and take over, and you are fully committed to surrendering to Him. Baptism is a crucial "NEXT STEP", an important step, and it also serves as a reminder as you walk this journey in life, of Just how good God is and how He saved you. That is something worthy of worshiping Him about.  

Dan Ousley - Worship Leader, StoneBridge Baptist Church

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