And He expounded concerning himself – April 21, 2019

Elder Bryce Lowrance begins preaching in first Corinthians chapter 15 concerning the gospel, namely the importance to the gospel of the resurrection, that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, and that the dead will be raised on the last day. He then turns to the gospel according to Luke chapter 24, focusing on the account given in verses 13-36. Brother Bryce looks at what Old Testament scriptures Jesus might have preached to the two disciples when it was written in verse 27 “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” Finally, he also considers how it was recorded that their hearts burned at the gospel message, encouraging us to rejoice and share with others when our hearts burn within us at the preaching of the gospel, including the assurance in knowing He is risen and alive today.

Joshua series: What it means to follow the Lord – April 14, 2019

Elder Bryce Lowrance continues preaching from the book of Joshua and considers what it means to follow the Lord. He begins in chapter three recounting how unified the Israelites were as they moved and followed after the ark of the covenant. He notes in verse four that the space was there “that ye may know the way by which ye must go.” Brother Bryce exhorts the church that we should stay in the word of God to know the way we must go today. He goes on to add that we should glorify God, and he looks to passages in Psalm 119 and Ephesian 1 to explain how we are in Christ and that His word should inform our Christian walk here in this world.

Joshua series: Faith of a hooker – April 7, 2019

Beginning in Hebrews chapter 11, Brother Bryce considers Rahab’s act of faith in “receiving the spies in peace” as recorded in the book of Joshua. He notes how God is the author of Rahab’s faith, that Rahab is therefore just, and that she also lived by faith and did so when she asks that her loved ones be spared. Looking to the events in the book of Joshua, he establishes how God showed Rahab that he loves her, even as she doesn’t have it all right. Ultimately, Brother Bryce considers how encouraged we should be here today that the Lord changed the heart of the harlot Rahab and that we’re never too far away from the Lord that He can’t change our hearts, as well.

Joshua series: Comprehending God’s love – March 31, 2019

Elder Bryce Lowrance begins by considering God’s love as mentioned in Ephesians chapter three, as well as the promises of God to the Israelites as found in the book of Joshua. Much like the Israelites were commanded to go in and possess the land, we can pray and encourage one another to fight the right battles with the knowledge that God already won the war and loves us with a perfect love. Brother Bryce then exhorts the congregation to fight one another’s battles always, especially when we may be doing well and our brothers and sisters in Christ are struggling in their battles or burdens. Finally, in considering that the “good courage” mentioned in Joshua means having the right way of thinking, we can gain further understanding of the Apostle Paul’s prayer for the minds of the saints in Ephesians chapter three to comprehend “the breadth, and length, and depth, and height” of God’s love.

Joshua series: A good courage – March 24, 2019

Joshua Series: A good courage – March 24, 2019 – Elder Bryce Lowrance begins a series of sermons concerning the book of Joshua, giving particular attention to how the accounts of the physical battles of that time can help us understand how to fight the spiritual battles of today and press into His kingdom, the church. He charges us to make the Lord’s will the priority of our lives, how to heed Hebrews 12:1’s command to run the “race that is set before us,” and how to understand the “good courage” spoken of three times in the first chapter of Joshua.

Prayer – June 2, 2019

June 2, 2019 – Prayer – Elder Bryce Lowrance preaches a message concerning the importance of prayer, beginning with how not praying affected the Israelites as recorded in Joshua chapter 9. He goes on to consider how the Lord was merciful when Joshua turned back to the Lord and prayed. He also examines the importance placed upon prayer in early America, exhorting us to pray and rely upon God’s counsel as we move forward in this world.

Courage

 

Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.  Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.  This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.  Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Joshua 1:6-9

God has never command us to feel a certain way. He only commands us to do something that we are capable of doing. When He tells us to love our enemies, He intends for us to do something for them not just feel love for them. So, when  Joshua is commanded to be courageous, God is commanding him to do something not just feel courageous.

So, what does that mean?

What do you think of when you hear the word courage?

Honestly, the first thing that comes to my mind is the Cowardly Lion from the movie The Wizard of Oz! When Dorothy first meets him, the Lion repeatedly fakes courage by being a bully. And just like Dorothy smacks him on the nose for being a bully, we too need a smack so that we will realize this is not what God intends for disciples to be.

I think we can safely ignore the popular opinions of today that teach courage to be macho or just be so big and mean that no one or nothing will mess with you.  These opinions do not fit well with the idea that we are supposed to be meek at the same time we are courageous.

The Oxford English Dictionary tells us that, in the 17th century when the word was used by the KJV translators, it meant “what is in one’s mind or thoughts; purpose; inclination.” Further it explains “Courage is a quality of mind which shows itself in facing danger without fear.”

The key to courage is not brute strength or rage. It is a state of mind. It is taking factual knowledge and applying it to the situation so that we can fully understand what God intends for us to do. Joshua was reminded that God was with him just like He was with Moses.  This is the fact that Joshua was to hold strong in his mind and that would allow him to face the dangers of battle without fear.  It wasn’t because he was a mighty warrior. He may have been. But at this point, Joshua was 80 years old! Human strength was not what he needed. He needed to know that God was with him and wasn’t going to abandon him in a time of need.

We too need to face our spiritual battles with a few facts. God chose His children before the world began. They are safe in His hand and no one can ever take them away from Him.  He has also promised to be with us in our trials.

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Isaiah 41:10

He is the Almighty God. Sometimes He gives us the strength to fight on our own. Then there are times where He takes up arms with us and helps. Finally, there are some things that we just cannot do so He does them for us by the power of His right hand, Jesus Christ.

With this knowledge we can have the proper mindset to face the spiritual dangers from day to day.  The promise is not that the dangers will go away, but that God is with us to fight!

Toward the end of the movie, The Lion gets a badge of courage but the wizard makes a very interesting statement that shows what courage really means.

“My fine friend, you’re a victim of disorganized thinking.”

While the rest of the Wizard’s reasoning may be a little off, he makes the point that courage is linked to knowledge and wisdom.