GotMercy Weekly Sermons from Mike Nelson of Mercy Vineyard Church in Raleigh, North Carolina

May 21, 2017  

King David writes Psalm 16 describing 7 habits that contribute to a life filled with God's joy . . . #1. Consistently deepen trust in God / Christ as Savior;  #2. Stay in fellowship with other believers, valuing Christian community as high priority;  #3. Purposefully avoid those things that take your focus off of knowing and serving Jesus;  #4. Practice being content and acknowledge God's goodness poured into your life;  #5. Seek God, His will, and His wisdom BEFORE making decisions;  #6.  Praise God often!;  #7. Understand and pursue the truth that fullness of joy in life is found in God's Presence alone.

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May 14, 2017  

Scripture:  1st Samuel 1:1-11  The Model of Hannah, a barren woman who wanted to be a mother

Hannah models for us 2 primary characteristics of a Godly woman / mother . . .
#1. She suffers and struggles, longing to have a child and in that struggle she turns to the Lord and pursues Him.  Hannah suffered with the cultural shame of barrenness in her day.  And she suffered at the hands of a tormentor, a thorn in her side -- her husbands' jealous 2nd wife who did have children. But where did she turn?  She turned to persistent prayer.

#2.  Hannah had confidence in her prayers because she knew to Whom she was praying -- The Lord God Almighty!  The Living God Who is able to do all things  And her prayer was simple . . . Lord "remember" me.   This is a great, pregnant word inviting God Almighty to "act on our behalf", to "rescue", to "help".   It's the same word used when God speaks through the prophet Jeremiah promising he will not "remember" the sins of His people ( He will not act to punish them ).   It is the same word uttered by the dying thief on the cross next to Jesus:   "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom"  ( Act on my behalf, save me, forgive me ).   A simple, powerful prayer . . . remember me, God Almighty.

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Galatians 2:1-10 / Acts 4:32-37. A person we hear very little about in the church today is Joseph from Cyprus.  He was nicknamed Barnabas (son of encouragement) because after being transformed by the Grace of Jesus, his life became characterized by exhortation / comfort / encouragement of others.

His encouragement was shown through unity in the midst of diversity, great financial generosity, and a powerful influence on the life of others ... especially on the life of Paul.

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April 30, 2017  

Amazing Grace -- Paul's Letter to the Churches in Galatia / Turkey
Chapter 1, Verses 11-24

The Apostle Paul spent much of his life seeking to earn God's approval and acceptance through obedience to the law.  That striving led him into deception, thinking that violent persecution of Christians and the Church was actually service to God.   But then God intervened and transformed Paul's life!   Paul's encounter with Jesus brought a complete life change -- Paul was converted.  One of the profound changes is seen in Paul's passion and commitment to tell others about the love and Grace offered through Jesus.  That passion is a reflection of the very heart of Jesus who came to seek and to save lost people.   Are you converted?   Do you have that same passion to share the good news you've found in Jesus?

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April 23, 2017  

The Apostle Paul's letter to the Galatians, Part 1, The Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ

Paul begins his letter to a group of churches in Turkey (which he founded) by reminding them of two of the greatest gifts received through faith in Jesus . . . Grace and Peace.  Grace is the unique gift of God offering us unconditional love, forgiveness, acceptance and eternal life.   It is a gift that cannot be earned.  Peace is the cessation of hostility and alienation with God caused by our sin, as well as an internal calm and well being that can be experienced even when the storms of life are raging all around us.

The Galatians began their relationship with Jesus by fully embracing His Grace and receiving His Spirit.  But, "false brethren" came in preaching Grace AND additional requirements . . . circumcision, following dietary laws among others and thereby perverted and distorted the Good News of Grace.  Paul writes to call the Galatians back to where they began . . . in Grace living by the power of the Jesus' Spirit.

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April 16, 2017  

As Jesus hung on the cross darkness covered the entire land (God's judgment) and an earthquake shook the earth.  Jesus spoke quoting Psalm 31 as He had from childhood saying:  "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit".  Father, Abba . . . that is how Jesus taught us to relate to God.  Our Father is a good Father who loves to give good gifts to His sons and daughters.  This is an essential foundation for our relationship with God.  With this foundation we can commit our lives into the strong hands of our Heavenly Father at every stage of our lives.

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April 9, 2017  

Jesus proclaims that He has completed the work the Father gave Him to do while He was here on earth.   There is nothing left for Him to accomplish.  He has come as a light so that people can choose not to live in darkness . . . He has come seeking and saving lost people who are frustrated and confused on where to turn for answers about eternal life.   And He has offered His sinless, perfect life as a sacrifice for our sin, satisfying the justice of God the Father and providing a path of Mercy for all who will accept it.
    Those who believe and trust in Jesus can rest.   There is nothing needed to earn acceptance with God.    There is no need to strive to be good enough.  All good works are necessary -- there is much work to be done -- but those works are offered in thanksgiving and gratitude only.   It is finished

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April 2, 2017  

When the bible speaks of intense longing and desire it often uses the metaphors of hunger and thirst.  Psalm 42 is a familiar example ... the deer pants for streams of water ...

In this 5th word Jesus demonstrates His humanity.  The church believes Jesus' self revelation that He is fully God and fully man which is vital theology on multiple levels.

Jesus is also also expressing His inexpressible longing to be re-united with The Father Who turned away from Him on the cross as Jesus became sin and endured wrath and just punishment in our place.

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March 26, 2017  

Jesus quotes Psalm 22 which was spoken by King David describing the crucifixion in detail 1000 years before Jesus' death on the cross. Jesus utters what many suffering people verbalize or at least think in their hearts as they pray and hear only silence.

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March 19, 2017  

Jesus, suffocating and bleeding out on the cross, sees His mother.  Loving her to the end He entrusts her to the Apostle John (Gospel of John chapter 19 verses 25-27).  And loving us to the end Jesus gives us the gift of a new family ... one that is entered into through a spiritual rebirth by the power of God (Gospel of John chapter 1 verses 9-13).

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