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Category: College

Prepare Him Room | by Anna Maria Gardiner

Prepare Him Room | by Anna Maria Gardiner

The long awaited Christmas season has finally arrived—the Christmas music is playing

on our radios, our neighborhoods are slowly beginning to glow from Christmas trees shining through the windows, gift displays are filling the stores, and the Hallmark Christmas movies are in full swing.

Each year, I eagerly anticipate the arrival of Christmas season, excited for the cozy nights spent at home with family, the beautiful Christmas services at church, and the extra time to truly reflect on the reason for the season—the humble birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The Word becoming flesh. However, if you’re like me, it often seems that I reach the end of Christmas and look back thinking “I had such greater intentions for this Christmas season.” Maybe it’s the busy holiday schedules… maybe it’s the temptation to use Christmas break as a time to be lazy… maybe it’s the distraction of earthly gifts… maybe it’s just a big ole’ mix of all these things.

So the question that we must ask ourselves is: “How can I be proactive now in preparing myself and my heart for what God has planned to do in me and through me this Christmas?”
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2018 Fall Retreat Sessions

2018 Fall Retreat Sessions

The theme of the Retreat was Abiding with God. Through the sessions, praise and worship, community time and individual devotions, we sought to answer the question, What does God want out of His relationship with us? The answer is intimacy. We spent our time fleshing out what intimacy with God looks like, what it means to find our home in Him and how this affects our relationship with the body of Christ. We are most ourselves, and most available to others for God’s purposes when we learn how to abide with Him.

Session 1: Intimacy: the Nature of Our Relationship with Christ

Session 2: What Does it Mean to Abide?

Session 3: My Responsibility in Abiding

Session 4: How Intimacy Equals Community

Coming Down From the Mountain

Coming Down From the Mountain

Exodus 34:29 It came about when Moses was coming down from Mount Sinai, that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because of his [God’s] speaking with Him.

When we have been on the Mountain with God coming down from the mountain is a challenge for both us and those we come in contact with at the bottom.

It is a challenge for us because our hearts have been changed. We have been with God. We have seen Him as He is, we have come to understand Him in new ways and evaluated our lives accordingly.  We have also encountered new truth, been given space to be moved by the spirit and have come to new resolutions. In short, our faith has been renewed and we have repented of the frivolous things in our lives. These moments are powerful as all encounters with God should be.
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First College Welcome Week 2018

First College Welcome Week 2018

Welcome Week, or some form of it, has been going on this week at the University of South Carolina and other midlands colleges. This mission field of over 40,000 students is just a few city blocks away from us. Be in prayer for our students as they get into their regular school routines and build relationships with other students in their classes, residence halls, and apartments. If you have a college student that you would like to send our way or if you would like to get involved as a volunteer with First College Ministry, please e-mail Rob Nicholes.

See what’s been going on in this video below.

Gather-Care-Work

Gather-Care-Work

Lesson originally delivered on 4/29

  • Romans 12:4-21
    • Collectively, we need to understand the function of the body
    • The Church is a body that works in the world, not simply a place to gather
    • We must work for each other and with each other
      • It sounds right, but we don’t always experience that
      • How do we do this?
        • We Gather together
        • We Care for one another
        • We Work in the world
    • If we have the Holy Spirit we are supposed to use our gifts for the good of the body
      • If you are discipling someone, disciple them with excitement
      • If you are running sound, run it to the best of your ability
      • Find purpose in serving.
  • How can I serve? What is my contribution to the body? How am I helping my community?
  • Look at verses 13-21, there are 12 exhortations. What would it look like if I were to do these in my own life?
Our Response of Sacrifice

Our Response of Sacrifice

Lesson on Romans 12:1-3 originally delivered on 4/22.

 

Here are some takeaways from the lesson:

  • Romans has three movements
    1. Our condition without Christ
    2. God’s act of salvation
    3. Our response
  • Because of Romans 1-11, we should respond (Romans 12)
    1. Plea to lay down ourselves (V. 1)
      • The only thing we can really give is ourselves
        • Christ bids man to come and die
        • The condition of the life we offer matters
          • Leviticus 22:19-22
          • Ephesians 1:4, 5:27, Colossians 1:22
    2. Why we should respond this way (V. 2)
      • Conformity to the world happens without intentionality in the other direction
        • 2 Corinthians 4:18
          • We are called to the eternal
        • Hebrews 11:10
          • What can I do to turn my gaze to heaven?
      • The process is not the result
      • We know the will of God by laying ourselves down (Submitting to Him)
    3. How do I live God’s way?
      1. Think about ourselves correctly by immersing ourselves daily in the reality of who we are in Christ and who He is to us
      2. John 4:34 – Like Jesus, we must desire the will of the Father.
  • How is the Holy Spirit asking me to respond?

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The Way of Salvation

The Way of Salvation

Lesson on Romans 10 originally delivered on 4/15

Here are some takeaways from the lesson:

  • Matthew 1:21
    • Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua (Yeshuah), His name means “Yahweh saves”
    • “For he will save his people from their sins”
  • We should be excited about our salvation
  • Obedience in the midst of relationship
    • Nehemiah 9:29
    • Romans 7:10
  • We need to be zealous for God as it relates to righteousness
  • Deuteronomy 30:11-14
    • God’s salvation, that which he offers, is not impossible through him.
  • Romans 10:9
    • Confessing and Believing
      • Confession of Christ is our public declaration of the Lordship of Christ in our lives
      • Belief details the heart — Our confession needs to be an inward expression of our hearts
  • 1 Corinthians 15:16-17
    • The resurrection means everything to the Christian faith.
    • Salvation is something we enter into and that propels us forward — Jesus satisfies
  • What does it mean to call on the name of the Lord?
    1. To recognize Christ as the only authority
    2. To know we have access to Him and He can do something about it.

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God’s Sovereign Mercy

God’s Sovereign Mercy

Lesson on Romans 9:19-24 Originally delivered on 4/8

Here are some takeaways from the lesson:

  • Four Truths:
    1. Israel has the same standards for salvation as Gentiles (It is the Gentiles who are grafted in)
    2. Ethnic Israel’s failure to obey does not mean God/God’s Word has failed
    3. God has chosen to use Israel to bring about His specific will
    4. Because of this, we cannot charge that God is unjust
  • Justice depends on correctness
  • God’s Character
    • Hebrews 3:12-15, Colossians 2:8, Hebrews 12:25, Ezekiel 18:30-32, 2 Peter 3:9, 1 Timothy 2:4, Revelation 2:21, Romans 2:4
      • God is patient, wanting all to repent and hoping none perish
      • John 3:17, 1 Timothy 4:10
    • Now is the time for salvation
    • Our worth to God is not changed by what we do or do not do
    • Jeremiah 18:1-12
      • God’s standard does not change — Mercy comes with our obedience
    • V. 22-23: What if we don’t understand the application of His mercy
      • Now is the time for mercy and compassion
        • Joel 2:13, Jonah 3:10, 2 Timothy 2:21-22, Exodus 34:6-7, Ephesians 2:3-5
  • God does not harden someone’s heart unless they have first gone astray
  • Ultimately, God’s mercy comes from His love for us
    • Deuteronomy 7:7-8

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God’s Salvation – Part 7

God’s Salvation – Part 7

Lesson on Romans 8:26-39 Originally delivered on 3/25

Here are some takeaways from the lesson:

  • Not only are we given a different identity in Christ, we are given new power
    1. We have the Holy Spirit
    2. The HS gives us the power to walk in newness of life
    3. Through the HS, we must live in the spirit and put to death the things of the flesh
  1. The Holy Spirit’s Ministry in Salvation (V. 26-27)
    • Not only does the Spirit enable us to walk, it also intercedes for us.
      • John 14:16, Hebrews 7:25
  2. God’s On-going Work in Salvation (V. 28)
    • We often misinterpret this verse
    • “For those who love God”
      • John 14: 15, 21, 23; John 15:10
      • 1 John 5:3, 2 John 6
      • This is not a general encouragement, but a specific encouragement to live the life we were called to live
      • Genesis 50:20- Even when we do not understand, God is working things for good
  3. God’s Purpose in Salvation (V. 29-30)
    • “Moral conformity to the likeness of His Son” — Robert Mounce
  4. God’s Assurance in Salvation (V. 31-39)
    • God is for us
    • Paul uses plural pronouns (“us”/”we”) 11 times — We are called to live communally
    • We need to be persuaded to cherish the church enough that we want to bring others in

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God’s Salvation – Part 6

God’s Salvation – Part 6

Lesson on Romans 8:1-25 Originally delivered on 3/18

Here are some takeaways from the lesson:

  • Romans 5:10-6:6 tells us we were saved not just from sin, but also so we can walk in newness of life
  • Living under the law < Living under grace
  • New reality of Christ: Regenerate Man
    • V. 1-12
    • Holy Spirit + Jesus’ sacrifice enable me to live differently
    • V. 13: We have a flesh mind, but when we trust in Jesus we are given the mind of the Spirit
  • Galatians 5:16-24
  • Are you living by the Spirit?
  • V. 16: When living in the Spirit, we’re not relying on the flesh
    • Who are your guiding voices?
    • We must put Scripture in our minds to help us stop gratifying the flesh
    • Am I fighting sin, or just giving in?
  • V. 17-19: We must actively engage the Spirit
    • My sin also affects others. We must understand what sin does and why it’s so disastrous
  • V. 22-23: Fruit of the Spirit
    • When living in the Spirit, we will exhibit these traits.
  • V. 24: I must crucify the flesh
  • Put to death desires that are not of God’s Kingdom/righteousness
    • 1 Peter 4:1-4
  • Romans 8:14- Spirit led –> Child of God
  • V. 15-16: Spirit of Adoption
  • V. 17-18: Suffering is worth it. We are fighting sin now with the promise of future glory
  • V. 24-25: We have the power to live by the Spirit by spending time with God.

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