Repentance is an invitation of hope to begin again; to start over and to not let anything keep you from becoming who God has called you to be. Matthew 4:16 says, “…the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a...
Saved people, serve people - Real disciples are passionate about serving, about helping others in humility for Jesus' sake; pride and ego are out the window. I am so proud of so many of you as you serve the Kingdom here through the church on Sunday morning and in so many other ways. Every...
Satan will always have this one lie underneath whatever other lies he's whispering into your life. The one lie he has is "I have the power to destroy you if…" and then you fill in the blank. A part of our breaking free from overwhelmed is that we stop believing lies! We stop...
We could be a church of 5,000. Not for the glory of man, but because that would be 4,000 more people who are living Jesus' story! Imagine a group of believers who were struggling through life but so free of themselves that they were able to be filled with the spirit of God and to reach...
When I meet people, I gotta say my heart goes out to them, because when I meet somebody, I see in their face, I see in your face, somebody that Jesus is passionate about!For He chose in advance each of us. You are not abandoned, you are not an orphan, you are not an afterthought, or an...
If you can imagine jumping out of an airplane without a parachute, that is the picture of the world when sin separated us from God. From that moment forward to the time when the world ends, and God begins it over, the world is in a total free fall!While it feels like everything is falling apart...
Worship time on Sunday mornings is filled with much authentic praise through different worship songs. Many of the songs we sing are original, written by members of the Worship Tribe.
We asked Hannah Martin, a song writer, musician, and member of the Severn Run Worship Tribe, what it is like to write a song. Here is what she had to say:
It always starts with the same question…”What do You want to say?”
I ask God this question every time I sit at my piano, or hold my guitar.
Before I ever play a note, or write a word, I want it to be from HIM.
Sometimes He says nothing.
But sometimes He speaks, and when He speaks the message is louder, clearer, with more impact than I ever could have on my own.
The words start pouring out, truths that He reveals in His word put to music.
The music starts flowing, rhythms and melodies start to form.
Piece by piece it’s weaved together.
My pen can’t write fast enough as He lavishes His thoughts into my mind.
These songs are different. People can’t really explain it, they say things like “that song really touched me” or “that song gave me goosebumps” and the reason is because it was from God.
I was just a glove that He decided to use.
These songs bring me to my knees at the thought that God would choose me. His heart is so kind, His mercy is so great. The thought that he would want me to relay His love to His people is overwhelming.
God picks people to say what He wants His people to hear. And if we listen, if we’re patient and willing enough...we will hear them, and there will be an impact.
If you would like to continue to be impacted by the songs from our Worship Tribe, their album, Fill the Room, is available on iTunes or from the Gear Shop on Sunday mornings.
We’re officially six months into our On The Road journey, time for a big update! We’re really happy with how our biggest capital campaign ever is starting out, and we know that God will continue to do amazing things through each one of you who have chosen to participate as well.
Here at The Church at Severn Run our mission is to reach as many people as possible by creatively revealing the love of the Father through the life of the Son in the power of the Spirit. In 2015, God called our Lead Pastor Drew Shofner to begin pursuing our next big milestone: becoming a worshipping community of 5,000 growing disciples. Currently Severn Run is composed of about 1,300 people and we are getting closer each day to maxing out each and every physical resource that we have on our campus to accommodate new Severn Runners. In order to achieve our goal of becoming this amazing community of 5,000 people, we are aiming to raise $6 million that will help us reduce our current financial responsibilities and plan for future expansion opportunities. These funds will also help us increase our mission capital and broaden our ministry friendships both locally and globally.
In February we officially launched On The Road church-wide and gave each one of you the opportunity to join us on the trip of a lifetime! We were really excited to get over $1 million in pledges in the first round of commitments as well as an amazing return from the creative ideas initiated from our $5 jar giveaway back in January.
Where We Stand: Commitments
On page 11 of our On The Road brochure, we set specific Severn Runner giving goals based on family units, and we wanted to give you an update as to where we stand there:
What’s not shown here are the 46 families that have pledged outside of a specific category as well as those of you who have chosen to give without turning in a commitment card.
That being said, our current pledged total is:
$1,007,973 coming from 201 families.
At the end of our two-year campaign we plan to see $2.5 million come from Severn Runners total. That means we’ve got an additional $1,492,027 in pledges and 404 Severn Run families remaining to reach our goal. We can’t wait to see what God does through those who are going to make future commitments.
If you and your family are still deciding on what you can commit to On The Road, feel free to reach out to anyone here on staff with questions you may have along the way. And remember, you can turn in your commitment card any Sunday in the giving basket, or online by visiting ontheroad.severnrun.com.
Where We Stand: Total Given So Far
Severn Runners, you are faithful to your commitments! We are so excited to see that over $187,000 has been given to On The Road so far. We are on track to meet our commitment goal by the end of our two-year campaign, and here’s how we can stay on track! By the end of 2016 we are making it our goal to have at least $500,000 total given to the On The Road campaign. That means we only have $313,000 to go in the final 6 months of the year.
$187,000 Given To Date
$500,000 End Of Year Goal
$313,000 To Go!
Where Do You Stand?
If you’ve committed to On The Road, or given to anything here at The Church at Severn Run this year, you should have received a giving statement in the mail last week. This giving statement is a great way for you to check in on where you stand with your regular tithes and offerings as well as your On The Road Commitment. If you have turned in a Commitment Card to On The Road at any point in time, you will see a quick update of where you stand on the right side of your giving statement. It shows gifts given to date and the balance that remains in order to fulfill your commitment in the next year and half. If you are noticing that your On The Road gifts are not showing up in that column, be sure your gifts are designated clearly in your chosen form of giving.
Our next big call is coming soon at our 10th Birthday Party this August. We’re praying for this time to be a place where many families are able to commit to the On The Road Campaign for the first time, as well as a time where those who have already committed to continue to listen to God’s call to generosity on their lives. Please join us in praying for our 10th Birthday Party on August 21!
In 2017, we are looking forward to launching the “Ask” portion of the On The Road Campaign that aims to partner with community members and businesses to raise the remaining $3.5 million. Be praying about who you personally know that may be interested in giving towards our goal of becoming a worshipping community of 5000 disciples who will make a huge difference in our community for Jesus.
Ready to Start Now?
If you’re ready to help us meet our year-end goals now, here are a couple of action steps you can take!
Send in your commitment card.
Click here to submit your commitment card to On The Road today. This card lets us know that you are getting On The Road with us and helps us to know where we stand with our goals! Also, did you know that those who commit to On The Road get an awesome free gift from the staff? You may have seen them around!
Set up your On The Road gifts online.
One of the best ways to remain faithful to your On The Road commitment is by setting up a specific recurring gift on our giving page. Click here to visit the giving page to get started.
- Select “On The Road Capital Campaign” under “For.”
- You can give weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly. Choose the frequency that is right for you
- You can set a start and end date right away! Utilize this feature for an easy way to “set it and forget it!”
If you prefer to give in-services each week, be sure to visit the On The Road Pit Stop in the Atrium to pick up a few of our On The Road Giving Envelopes. Stick them in your wallet or Bible to help you remember to give to On The Road at your committed frequency.
We are so excited to see what God will do next through each one of you! Thank you for an amazing start to On The Road, let’s keep the good times rolling.
“In the same way that the prophet Jonah was a sign for the people of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be a sign for the people of this day.” (Luke 11:30 GNT)
Are you still waiting for a sign?
God has already given us a multitude of signs, but perhaps it’s not the one you’re looking for.
It’s unlikely that God will reveal himself in ways that we expect of him. In fact, he will always reveal himself in a way that we as humans could never fully expect or understand. You should not look for God in the way you imagine in your mind, but instead be open to the idea that he will show himself to you in his own way.
The people of Jesus’ time were looking for what they expected God to be, but when he was right in front of their very faces, they refused to believe that he was what they were expecting.
The crowd answered, “Our Law tells us that the Messiah will live forever. How, then, can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” (John 12:34). So, do not be discouraged! They saw Jesus first-hand and many of them still missed him.
It’s okay to have your doubts, but you must not put God into a box. Be open-minded and trust that he will show you the path in his own way, and by his own timing.
Just be ready!
So then, you also must always be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you are not expecting him. (Matthew 24:44 GNT)
A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. (Matthew 12:35)
In 2013, John and Mary stumbled upon what is now known as the Saddle Ridge Hoard. In a field they owned in California, a collection of coins buried in the late 1800s was discovered. These coins had a face value of $27,890 and now valued at $10M. What a treasure! No one knows who left it. Someone spent a lifetime gathering a treasure and never used or shared it. That’s not what God intended for our treasures.
We all have a treasure we can share. It has no cost and there's no fee to disburse it. For some it comes easily, not so with others. Words are that treasure. Such an immense treasure that if chosen carefully they can:
Change a life.
In Matthew 6:21 Jesus says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Simple steps can be taken to build this treasure of your heart:
- Spend time with God daily.
- Ask questions.
- Take a sabbatical from social media.
- Watch what you watch.
What is put into the word treasury is what comes out when you talk to yourself and with others.
Good stuff in, good stuff out!
Today, build and share the treasure of your heart and use your words to change life - your life and the lives of those around you!
As we continue talking about what the "tension of truth" is, there's a lot of tension in the words of Jesus. And as we get into Matthew Chapter 12, here's what you are going to discover, it may be one of the hardest things that Jesus has to say to us. What I really think Jesus is asking us is, "Are you willing to stand behind your words?"
Our words say a whole lot about us and this is what Jesus is bringing into play as He approaches this particular teaching in Matthew 12:33. I'm going to warn you that this is going to get rough because quite frankly Jesus is the one who makes this incredibly hard to deal with! Beginning in verse 33, Jesus says this, "A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad." Jesus makes this pretty simple didn't He? A good tree equals good fruit. Then listen to what He said, "You brood of snakes!" Does that sound like Jesus? Have you heard Jesus talk like that a whole lot? We like to think that Jesus is neat and kind, but sometimes He just fires away!
You see, He recognized the crowd that He was speaking to. He recognized who He was speaking to were the religious and even political leaders of that day, and these guys named the Pharisees and Sadducees, (sorry ladies you weren't allowed to be involved) these "guys" who made all of the rules and had all the power, many of them had memorized the Torah before they were even in middle school! They knew every story in scripture, they knew what it all had to offer and Jesus looks at them and He says, "You brood of snakes!"
As soon as Jesus says this, He levels probably what was the greatest insult that could have possibly been leveled at these guys! Because as soon as He said "You brood of snakes," what would have went through their mind was the first story that we discover in scripture! Right after creation takes place, who is it that shows up in the garden to deceive Adam and Eve? A snake - and the snake talks and uses the first words of deception in which the snake says, "If you will just eat of this tree, then you will be like God." (Genesis 3:4)
The first lie that we are able to see in the Bible came through a snake! Jesus looks at these guys and He says "You're not just a snake you're a brood of snakes causing deception in the world!" (Paraphrased) These people who were supposed to be bringing truth and love were bringing deception. Then in Matthew 12:34-37 Jesus says, "How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.”
I mean Jesus is not letting anybody off the hook is He? He's saying for every good, bad and for every idle word that you speak, someday you're going to have to stand there and it will all completely be exposed!
Here's what I'll just say to you folks, we say a lot on this thing called social media nowadays don't we? Everything that you say and everything that you write, lives forever! It was true before the internet and it's now truer than ever before because our words absolutely say something about who we are and we will give an account on Judgement Day for every idle word that we speak! For everything that we posted on social media, so if you can't say it in here (in the Worship Center) you shouldn't say it out there!
For what we said to our children and what we said to our coworkers, for what we said to our spouses and what we said to those that we like and those we don't like. The words that you say right now, they reflect your fate; showing the truth about what is in your heart! They are showing whether you are a Christ follower or not. You may claim to be, but if the stuff that comes out of your mouth is poison to your family, your friends and those around you, then it's reflecting where your heart really is!
Your words are like holding up a mirror to your life, showing everybody who you really are! Either you will be justified by them, Jesus said, or you will be condemned!
But I want to tell you there is hope, we can change our words. We don't have to live a life that is poisoning others by what comes out of our mouths. One of the first things that we need to understand is that "Good words don't come naturally."
What are some words that you have to teach your children? Please...Thank you...I'm sorry...Excuse me. What you do know if you have children is that good words don't come naturally. You have to teach them good words, they don't come naturally do they? What He actually tells us is that good words come from a treasury in verse 36 "A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart."
Every word that you've spoken to your spouse, every word that you've ever spoken to your child, to an employee, to a friend, whoever it may be, every word that you have ever spoken has been added to somebody's treasury. And every word that you have spoken to yourself when you wake up in the morning is added to yours! If you wake up not believing what God believes about you, and you begin to believe the things that you believe about you, when you speak those things into your life, you are adding to a treasury. But it may not be silver or gold that you're adding - you may be adding a brood of snakes!
Every word - does that not make you consider who you are and what is coming out of your mouth? When you are speaking words to your spouse in front of your kids, you are speaking words into their treasury! Think about everything you've ever said in every conversation you've had, just in the last week alone. A lot of things get said and expressed and the question becomes, are you willing to stand behind your words? -Pastor John B. Smith