Welcome to our livestream! Bro. Jason Davidson will be bringing us the word this morning. In addition to that, the praise team is back and will be leading us in some great worship. So, grab your coffee, prepare your heart, and enjoy todays service!
Welcome to our livestream! Pastor David will be bringing us the word this morning and you don’t want to miss it! In addition to that, the Praise Team will be leading us in worship so, join us right here on the livestream, prepare your heart, and enjoy todays service!
Don’t forget that we are outside today. The weather is perfect, the Lord is good, and the time is right 🙌 #rsumc #worshipoutside#togetherGrab a lawn chair, blanket, cup of coffee, and whatever else you think you might want or need and head on out to church tomorrow morning. We will meet in the back parking lot at 9. It will be a beautiful morning to be outside and we can’t wait to see you!! #RSUMC #feelslikehome #RsumcOutside ... See MoreSee Less
They say, “the more things change, the more they stay the same”. Maybe that’s true but we all have times of significant change in our lives: starting school, graduating high school, getting a job, going to college, getting married, starting a family, and on and on.
Change is often exciting and/or uncertain – especially graduating high school and becoming an “adult”. Whether it is taking a job, going off to college, leaving our family at home (only to start a new one) or even just laying up on the couch in the basement at home with a controller in hand, that time right after high school may be the biggest transition of all! It’s usually the time we realize that we need a re-route on life’s GPS!
The Church at the Springs (RSUMC) wants to come alongside you on life’s journey. That’s what CROSSPOINTE is all about! As a part of CROSSPOINTE you will…
➢ Find a safe place to ask the tough questions of life ➢ Join fellow travelers on the same journey because we were never meant to travel alone ➢ Make deep connections in small groups as we explore questions of life, faith, and meaning ➢ Enjoy fellowship, fun, and food as we gather at the table and other opportunities to do life together ➢ Seek spiritual direction for the journey as we connect to our true GPS (God’s Positioning System)
So, if this is the road you’re on, from those last couple of years in high school to the time of transition to your career or college or even if you have no idea where the road is taking you, we invite you to join us at 6PM, Tuesdays, September 14, 21, and 28 at RSUMC for CROSSPOINTE! Let’s come together and see where it takes us! ... See MoreSee Less
Grab a lawn chair, blanket, cup of coffee, and whatever else you think you might want or need and head on out to church tomorrow morning. We will meet in the back parking lot at 9. It will be a beautiful morning to be outside and we can’t wait to see you!! #RSUMC#feelslikehome #RsumcOutside ... See MoreSee Less
Sometimes when God calls us to something, it is completely outside of our comfort zone and thus completely uncomfortable for us. But His greatest blessings are often in the places we least expect them. Let's just trust Him - even when it gets uncomfortable! #rsumc#feelslikehome#rsumceveryone... See MoreSee Less
A decision has been made about tomorrow's service- we will be in the sanctuary with overflow in the ROCK. We will require a mask until everyone is seated and any time you are up moving around.
Tomorrow we will also be celebrating Holy Communion and taking up the 5th Sunday offering (we are a little late). 1/2 will go to the Kentucky Methodist Home for Children and half will go to UMCOR for Hurricane relief efforts.
We look forward to seeing you in the morning at 9 in the sanctuary (overflow in the ROCK). Don't forget your mask and your gift to the Methodist Children Home and UMCOR. ... See MoreSee Less
One thing about Kentucky weather is that if you don't like it, wait 15 minutes and it will change.
With that in mind, we want to let you know that our plans for Sunday's worship service are kinda "up in the air". In the event that the weather is cooperative, we will meet outside in the back parking lot. Bring a lawn chair, a blanket, and/or an umbrella. We will also have chairs available so don't worry if you don't have one or if you forget.
If the weather is too hot or it is raining, we will meet in the ROCK. If we meet in the ROCK, we ask that everyone wear a mask until seated.
There are so many uncertainties but we do know that Sunday is the day of the Lord and that regardless of the temperature, location, requests, etc., we will worship Him! #rsumc #feelslikehome#rsumceveryone... See MoreSee Less
We have a little project we want to start working on but we are going to need some people who are willing to do a short little video (1-3 minutes). If you are willing, shoot us a message and let us know! Thanks so much!! #RSUMC#feelslikehome#rsumceveryone... See MoreSee Less
There is a special invitation to RSUMC for Worship on Main! September 18th is gonna be an awesome night at the Billy Grider Stage on Main Street in Russell Springs. At 6PM we will kick off an evening and worship with the Church House Worship Group which is a house church group of RSUMC, we will hear a short testimony by Paul Wilson, and then RSUMC's own Dustin Gosser will deliver a message. It is exciting to see and hear Jesus proclaimed on Main Street and we would love to see all of you there to share in that as well! Sept 18 6PM on Main Street Russell Springs at the Billy Grider Stage - bring a lawn chair and a heart of praise! ... See MoreSee Less
Well, the important thing is that we are all together, right?
In an abundance of caution and pursuant to the CDC and Lake Cumberland District Health Dept recommendations, beginning immediately, masks will be worn inside the building until seated.
We are all aware that it isn't our favorite but it isn't a huge problem either, and it is only until you are seated. It won't really be that bad, especially if you look as cute as Pastor David's grandson, Nathaniel!
Thank you for your cooperation and we look forward to seeing you very soon! ... See MoreSee Less
It has been a wonderful Sunday here at RSUMC! If you couldn’t join us this morning or even if you’d just like to relive it all again, here is a video recap of our day. Remember your baptism; remember who you are!
Our online Baptism Renewal Service will air again tonight at 7 p.m. right here on Facebook Live and over on our YouTube Channel. We hope to see you there! ... See MoreSee Less
In Christ’s time, leprosy was a vicious condition with no known cure. It caused lumps as well as scale like wounds to grow all over a person’s body and could lead to the complete degeneration of the skin and twisting of the bones, ultimately deforming its victims. Fingers, toes, ears, and noses would rot away and fall off, making it difficult for a person to breathe and more likely for them to go blind, as well as making it impossible to do the daily work required to survive.
Those suspected of contracting the disease had to show themselves to the priest, who would evaluate their condition, diagnosing them as clean or unclean. And “unclean” meant you were counted as good as dead and banished from the city to keep the disease from spreading. Lepers were forced to live in tents or caves in designated colonies in the wilderness, wore bells in order to alert people to their presence, and were required to yell, “Unclean! Unclean!” should anyone accidentally come within the legal range.
Having been ripped from their homes, families, friends, and all other comforts in life, the only hope of relief for them was death.
News of the preaching healer had been spreading from town to town – to leper colony. Luke says there was a man “full of leprosy” who approached Jesus, which means (1) he’d had the disease for a while, (2) he’d been living in physical and emotional hell, and (3) somehow there remained in him a modicum of hope enough to violate the law and throw himself at the feet of Jesus.
Perhaps prior to getting sick he’d studied the Torah and knew its prophecies about the coming Messiah, such as Isaiah 61:1: “The Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; He sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” (which Jesus quoted in Luke 4:18-19).
But perhaps his understanding of the prophecies had changed since he’d become a captive in his own body. Healthy Jews were longing for the Messiah to bring relief from the Roman occupation and heavy taxation – they assumed that liberty for captives meant freedom from the Roman Empire. But despite living in a conquered land, they still got to go home after work, eat at their own table,, and watch their children grow up. But this man, this broken soul now living out his years in isolation, maybe he’d come to understand what the prophecies actually meant – that the Messiah’s purpose was much more personal than anyone yet knew.
Whatever his story, something drove him past the law that required him to stay back, past the wall of disbelief that he could ever be restored, past the fear that the preacher man would shun him too.
“Lord, if you will, you can make me clean,” he said (Luke 5:12).
So Jesus “stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I will; be clean.’ And immediately the leprosy left him” (v. 13).
The best part of the story isn’t the healing that took place, though the healing was awesome. And it isn’t the faith of the man, though he’s an example for us to follow. The best part is when Jesus reached our His hand and touched him. Because Jesus could’ve just spoken the words; instead He moved in and bent low to touch a man who no one had been willing to touch for a very long time. He touched him before he was clean. So while the words of healing restored his body, no doubt Jesus’ touch restored his soul. ... See MoreSee Less
Welcome to our livestream! Pastor David will be bringing us the Word this morning as we participate in a Baptism Renewal Service. It will be great and we don’t want you to miss it! In addition to that, the praise team will be leading us in some beautiful worship. So, sit back and enjoy today’s service!
ITS GONNA BE A GREAT DAY AT RSUMC!!! This is going to be a very special Sunday at RSUMC. We will be sharing in a Baptism Service. We are very excited about this service and how the Lord will move among us as we celebrate baptism or remember our own baptism. Service will begin at 9AM and will take place in the ROCK #RSUMC#feelslikehome#rsumceveryone... See MoreSee Less
40 Days with Jesus Day 23 – Relationship Read John 2:23-25
From Adam’s first breath, God has been watching. Every choice, every thought, every motive for every act – can you imagine what He’s seen? Sure, there have been moments of goodness, righteousness, and love; many were recorded in Scripture and rewarded by God. But the bad far outweighs the good. Look at today’s headlines and multiply the negative by a gazillion, and you’ll begin to grasp just how wretched and sinful the human race is.
Jesus was doing amazing things in Jerusalem, and the people were in awe. They followed Him around and listened while He preached, no doubt motivated by the things they were seeing. In other words, as long as the people were experiencing miracles, they were willing to stay. But being in attendance, being in awe, being emotionally impacted, and even believing in the supernatural don’t always result in a relationship with Jesus.
Case in point: On the way to Jerusalem He was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as He entered a village, He was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving Him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:11-19)
The lepers called Him Master and begged for mercy. And Jesus obliged. He sent them to the priests because according to the Law, lepers had to be deemed clean in order to reenter society. They obeyed and went, and along the way were miraculously healed, which means by the time they arrived at the synagogue, the priests did indeed pronounce them clean. After that, I’m guessing most of them ran home to their families and friends, then resumed their lives.
Only one of the ten ran back to thank Jesus. Why?
Jesus posed the same question, but it was rhetorical because He knew what was in that man. He’d been watching since the beginning.
Far too often, people want the perks of a relationship with Jesus without the actual relationship. They take credit when things go well and offer up Hail Mary prayers when things go badly. They attend church, but only on holidays of only half-heartedly. They want assurance of heaven while maintaining devotion to the world. They have a faith-someday mentality – I’ll go to Jesus when I’m older; when I’m done living life on my terms. But unfortunately, human terms are sin soaked.
Jesus is looking for people who are willing to run to Him, to fall on their faces, to repent, surrender, and worship because of who He is, and to learn and grow in a faith that remains even when the miracles cease. Jesus knew what was in people’s hearts – it’s the reason He came. And so, true believers aren’t just in it for the miracles; they have been fundamentally and irrevocable changed by Jesus Himself, making relationship with Him the ultimate prize! ... See MoreSee Less
40 Days with Jesus Day 22 – All Y’all Read Luke 5:30-32
To grumble not at Jesus but at His disciples – what a passive-aggressive way for the Pharisees and scribes to behave. They had the legal authority (and personalities) to chastise Jesus; instead, they directed their challenge to the ones they were insulting.
And I imagine this ragtag dinner party had no idea how to respond. All of it was so new: They just met Jesus, so while they were thinking He was maybe the long-awaited Messiah, they couldn’t have been 100 percent sure. Not to mention they were, in fact, hanging out with society’s most despised – a category that included a few of them. Certainly the Pharisees’ question had crossed the minds of everyone sitting at the table.
I’ll bet they leaned in to hear Jesus’ response.
He had recently gained a lot of notoriety. People were traveling from Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem to hear Him preach and see Him heal. No doubt the assumption of the religious leaders was that He’d be impressive – that He’d look and behave like them; like someone worthy of the reports they were getting.
On the contrary.
Instead, they found a normal-looking guy, hanging out with normal people, doing normal people things like eating – that is, when He wasn’t casting out demons and making blind men see. Luke 5:29 says that Jesus was “reclining at [the] table with them”. He was relaxed and shooting the breeze. He was getting to know them (and they Him) when the Pharisees showed up at Matthew’s house uninvited.
I wonder if they rang the doorbell before barging in. I wonder if they stood in the corner whispering like middle school girls. I wonder if they grumbled loudly but pretended Jesus couldn’t hear them from three feet away. I wonder if they came prepared with specific questions but changed course when they saw Jesus with the riffraff. I wonder if anyone at the table was offended by their question, or if they were too used to being hated and judged to care. I wonder if the Pharisees’ question endeared the insulted guests to Jesus all the more.
Surely His answer did.
I’ll see your passive-aggressive, indirect question and raise you with an indirect statement of My own – I’m calling sinners to repentance, not the righteous.
Hmmmmm. While His answer shut them up (which was no doubt fun for the spectators), I have a feeling the Pharisees sensed the meaning of Romans 3:10-12: “None is righteous, no, not one; no on understands; no one seeks God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, no, not one.”
Perhaps a more direct response would’ve been, “I’m hanging out with the people who know they need Me. I don’t hang out with people who are too self-righteous to know they need Me. But you do need Me. All y’all desperately do.” ... See MoreSee Less
IT WAS HOT LAST SUNDAY!! And it appears that the heat this Sunday will be just the same....therefore, we will gather in the ROCK for our service at 9AM and will step outside for the baptism portion of our service. We will take all necessary precautions in the ROCK to protect our most vulnerable. Chairs will be distanced and we ask that you wear a mask until everyone is seated. We look forward to sharing this special service with you on Sunday, August 29, at 9AM! Please share to pass the word along!
Reminder, LEAD Team! We have a meeting Sunday (8/29) at 5PM in the ROCK. LEAD Team members are as follows: Jessica Asman, Jana Bowmer, Jeff Brumett, Marin Brumett, David Calhoun, Pam Coffey, Sherri Coffey, Jennifer Edwards, Sandy Evert, Vickie Glenn, Dustin Gosser, Matt Gosser, Sheena Grider, Rodney Johnson, Kami Lawson, Courtney McQueary, Rosan Medaris, John Meincken, Dennis Price, Lynette Price, Drew Richards, Tracy Richards, Charlene Skaggs, Chris Smith, Gene Smith, Kyle Stephens, Linda Stephens, Karen Wade, and Joy Wilson ... See MoreSee Less
40 Days with Jesus Day 21 – Useful Read 2 Timothy 2:21
A vessel (think water pitcher) is designed and created for the purpose of containing something. A utensil (think fork or knife) is designed and created for the purpose of doing something.
And “those who cleanse themselves” become vessels (2 Timothy 2:21).
As Christ followers, there are plenty of things we’re exhorted to do. Yet we are never referred to as ordinary utensils; rather, we are chosen instruments – vessels. Ergo, we are to contain more than do.
Of course, this begs the question, what are we supposed to contain? As obvious as the answer should be, it’s just not. Throughout Scripture we’re told repeatedly that human beings are vessels designed and created for the purpose of containing …God.
Still, we tend to get hung up on utility. We have this proclivity for assessing people based solely on what they can do.
Take Matthew, for instance, and why he was chosen to be a disciple.
His ability to keep a ledger for the Romans while pilfering a pile of cash for himself demonstrated a keen proficiency in accounting. Check.
He was also literate, a bonus skill that would come in handy for future Gospel writing. Check.
Personality-wise, Matthew wasn’t shy about public appearances. Check.
He wasn’t timid or apologetic about rendering his tax-collecting services. In fact, that persistent workaholic attitude would prove especially useful when carrying out the Great Commission. Check. Check. Check.
All true. But no, that’s human logic.
Jesus didn’t see Matthew sitting at his collection booth and think, oh, perfect. I don’t have an aggressive numbers guy yet. He wasn’t rounding out His team based on their resumes, core competencies, and Myers-Briggs results. In fact, their prior accomplishments were effectively useless, as evidenced by the five thousand folks served fish by the fishermen who had nothing to do with the catch.
Jesus didn’t need ability. He required availability.
Matthew was not chosen based on what he could do. He was called because of what he was willing to give up, which was everything. He chose to take Jesus at His word; “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39).
And Matthew found it. He walked away from all the stuff, handed over the keys, and vacated the premises. He became a vessel of honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, and prepared for every good work. He was ready to go and do, only because of what he contained
Matthew was a vessel designed and created for the purpose of containing God. And he nailed it. ... See MoreSee Less
40 Days with Jesus Day 20 – Trust Read Proverbs 3:5-6
Matthew was an easy guy to hate because he was a money-grubbing tax collector. On behalf of the Roman Empire, he and his comrades extorted their fellow Jews far beyond what was owed to the government.
And Matthew was perfectly cool with that.
The corrupt system worked in his favor. It was a great gig since Matthew was all about Matthew and excelled at doing exactly what Solomon warned against in Proverbs 23:4: “Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist.” On the contrary, Matthew was wearing himself out to get rich. He was trusting in his cleverness.
Pre-Jesus Matthew’s response would’ve been, ‘So what, man? If you’re going to wear yourself out doing something, it might as well be getting rich. Besides, if you can’t trust yourself, who in the world can you trust?’
We get it, Pre-Jesus Matthew. We get it.
Because, sadly, that’s exactly the kind of self-reliant, succeed-at-all-costs, follow-your-own-truth ethos our world goes bananas over. Our culture of consumerism feasts on it. I mean, who doesn’t love a good rags-to-riches story? And if those riches were attained through disgustingly selfish, ill-gotten, greedy means….eh. Details.
The desire to be on top is like an electromagnetic force. And it can seize any one of us, like a thumbtack sucked up by a magnet. So then, think about what it would take to reverse that mighty pull once you’d been seized. What would cause you to willingly give it up, walk away from the money, and lay down the power?
Only the most dramatic of plot twists. For Matthew, it came in the form of two simple yet profound words: “Follow Me.” Jesus ‘went out and saw a tax collector…sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, ‘Follow Me’. And leaving everything, he rose and followed Him” (Luke 5:27-28).
This was not a casual interaction. In a single moment, Matthew’s need for more stuff was obliterated when he stood face-to-face with the Author of Life. All the trust-in-yourself and follow-your-own-truth nonsense vaporized the second he locked eyes with Truth and was called to follow the ultimate force, the desire to know and love God in the flesh. Matthew, the easy-to-hate, crooked, money-grubbing tax collector was standing in the presence of pure love. And it changed him instantly. Radically.
We get it, Matthew. We get it!
Because, beautifully, that’s exactly the kind of Jesus-reliant, trust-at-all-costs, “follow Me” ethos our heavenly Father goes bananas over. So much so, He orchestrates a plot twist for each of us to respond to. And we too must decide. God longs to make our crooked paths straight (Luke 3:5) and script the ultimate rags-to-riches story, which sometimes involves trading in our earthly riches for a few temporary rags.
And Matthew was perfectly cool with that. He saw how much more this redemptive system worked in his favor. It was a great gig, as Matthew became all about Jesus. ... See MoreSee Less
This is going to be a very special Sunday at RSUMC. We will be sharing in a Baptism Service. If you have not been baptized and would like to take part in baptism this Sunday, August 29th, please let us know so that Pastor David can schedule a time to discuss with you before Sunday. If you have previously been baptized but would like to participate in a renewal or remembrance of your baptism, that opportunity will be afforded to you as well on Sunday morning. We are very excited about this service and how the Lord will move among us as we celebrate baptism or remember our own baptism. Service will begin at 9AM and will take place in the back parking lot or the ROCK (depending on weather and temperature). #RSUMC#feelslikehome#rsumceveryone... See MoreSee Less
40 Days with Jesus Day 19 – Worry Read Matthew 6:33-34
Trouble. Each day has plenty of it, and tomorrow will usher in more. That part of the teaching the disciples had no problem accepting. It was the “do not worry” part that proved trickier. In fact, the entirety of their ministry would be spent trying to understand Jesus’ triumph over every kind of trouble.
Jesus could’ve kicked off His signs and wonders with a parting-of-the-Red-Sea-caliber miracle. Instead, He chose a simpler approach – He changed water into wine because it ran out. It was a relatively minor problem Jesus was asked to solve. His mother was anxious on behalf of the wedding hosts and wanted Him to step in – so He did. Which means it was during a party that Jesus chose to reveal His glory to His disciples for the first time. It was the public debut of triumph over trouble.
In doing so, Jesus demonstrated that nothing is inconsequential. Every predicament is an opportunity for divine intervention and continued celebration. We too tend to worry about issues large and small, and Jesus cares about each one, especially because of the opportunity they present – but we have to do our part. Like Mary, we have to ask even with seemingly small matters. Otherwise, we’ll read verses about not worrying and worry even more about our inability to cease worrying, rather than seeking and asking so that Jesus can prove Himself triumphant.
Perhaps that’s why He honored His mother’s request. The simplicity of it represents so many kingdom principles. For example, it takes faith to surrender our worries and trade them in for kingdom seeking and Jesus trusting. When we do, He goes to work on our behalf. Of course, that doesn’t mean He’s literally going to turn water into wine, but He’s going to always do the spiritual equivalent: work things out for good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
Trust Him with the little things, and He’ll prove time and again that you can trust Him with everything. And don’t worry about whether or not you have the ability to cease worrying. You don’t. That’s the point. Your job is to seek Jesus and His righteousness. His response will be to reveal more of His glory, and the outcome will be your refreshed and increased faith. And, miraculously, a whole lot less worrying. ... See MoreSee Less
40 Days with Jesus Day 18 – Emmanuel Read John 2:6-11
There was a bona fide crisis underway. Back in Jesus’ day, wine was a staple at most meals and a must at any respectable celebration. But at this wedding, the wine had run out – a humiliation of epic proportions for the groom’s family, who was hosting the part. Jesus’ mother, Mary, took it upon herself to find Jesus and bring Him up to speed.
“They have no wine,” were her words (John 2:3), but her sense of urgency and meaning were clear – HELP! No one in attendance except His mother had reason to believe Jesus could provide; He was as poor as anyone. He was seemingly normal. Up until that moment, there was little to set Him apart from the other partygoers, which makes His mother-directed debut a precious backdrop to what followed (vv.5-11).
The setting of His first miracle, the need in front of Jesus (potential embarrassment), and His obedience to His mom was consistent with everything else in His life; He was ordinary. Jesus was born in a stable, raised by simple people, and worked as a carpenter like His dad. He attended school and synagogue – and now a party – because God’s method of rescuing the world was to enter into it.ine. Not just any wine but awesome wine, the quality of which brought honor to the host since common practice was to serve the cheap stuff as soon as guests were too drunk to notice. The party and reputation of his friends were saved, but of all the miracles Jesus could’ve performed first, He chose a wedding and wine and only a few witnesses.
Because He’s Emmanuel – “God with us” (Matthew 1:23).
The setting of His first miracle, the need in front of Jesus (potential embarrassment), and His obedience to His mom were consistent with everything else in His life; He was ordinary. Jesus was born in a stable, raised by simple people, and worked as a carpenter like His dad. He attended school and synagogue – and now a party – because God’s method of rescuing the world was to enter into it.
For the next three years, the disciples saw Jesus do extraordinary things in ordinary, everyday circumstances. They watched the Messiah be hungry, happy, tired, frustrated, angry, and – in the garden of Gethsemane – afraid. They saw Him love on the poor and rich alike, often using the common to display His heavenly glory, like loaves and fish, much, waves, trees, and tombs. They learned to minister to real people with real problems, to love without prejudice, to preach the gospel no matter the conditions, to perform miracles and to obey unto death.
And through it all, the disciples followed in His steps because of their faith in the one who was with them: Emmanuel – God with us, who “dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). ... See MoreSee Less
40 Days with Jesus Day 17 – Come and See Read John 1:43, 45-46
Come and see – what an interesting strategy. Like Andrew and Peter, Philip hardly knew the one he now believed was the Messiah. In fact, the only thing we know for sure is that Jesus said, “Follow Me,” and suddenly Philip was proselytizing in His name.
But why? What occurred between the seeing and the following? Nathanael’s first few moments with Jesus give us a clue:
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” (John 1:47-49).
Jesus had a disarming way about Him. Nathanael was humoring his friend Philip and probably his own curiosity, but he was skeptical of Jesus and clearly a bit prejudiced. The town of Nazareth was very small and considered by its neighbors to be uneducated, unreformed, and unrefined. So, in Nathanael’s mind, anyone born and raised there couldn’t possibly be the Messiah they’d been waiting for – and he was quick to say so. Which made Jesus’ first words to him so interesting and gracious. Instead of, “Behold, an Israelite in whom there is bigotry and zero tact,” Jesus called him honest and took Nathanael off guard. He was indeed a person who spoke his mind, and he was proud of it. He was practical and learned and dealt in brass tacks – but how did the Nazarene know that?
Because Jesus had been watching him, and not just while he sat under a tree. The one-two punch of knowing Nathanael’s whereabouts along with the values that made him tick (unredeemed though they were), was evidence of the supernatural that set Jesus apart. And so Philip’s come and see strategy proved effective because Jesus did the convincing.
As He always does.
Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under a fig tree,’ you believe? You will see greater things than these…Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (John 1:50-51).
I imagine Nathanael’s 180 made Jesus chuckle. No doubt there was an omniscient smirk on His face, knowing the signs and wonders Nathanael would come to see on a daily basis – and for the rest of his life.
Welcome to our livestream! Pastor David will be bringing us the word this morning and you don’t want to miss it! In addition to that, the Church House Worship team will be leading us in worship so, join the livestream, prepare your heart, and enjoy todays service!
40 Days with Jesus Day 16 – Repent Read Mark 1:14-15
Despite popular consensus, teaching folks to “love thy neighbor” was not Jesus’ main thing. Nor was it convincing them to turn the other cheek, to be hospitable, or to help the poor. All good things, just not the main thing.
This was the main thing: Jesus came to proclaim the kingdom of heaven – God’s sovereign rule and reign, now and for all of eternity.
How did He go about it? By picking up where His predecessor left off. Like John the Baptist, Jesus commanded all who would listen to repent and believe. Following more rules wasn’t part of the equation, lest someone think salvation could be earned.
Jesus was calling for heart change. Radical inward transformation was the price of kingdom admission. Nothing more. Nothing less. And it just so happened that a disastrous night of fishing, followed by a boatload of revelation (pun intended) set the stage for Simon to experience just that.
Knowing Simon had an unsuccessful night of fishing, Jesus told him to go back out into the deep and let down the nets (Luke 5:4-5). Peter complied.
As soon as the nets hit the water, they were filled beyond capacity. So much so, Simon and Andrew needed help from others to handle it. Very quickly, both boats were nearly sinking with the massive haul of fish.
That’s what did it. The miraculous catch compelled Simon to fall to his knees in front of Jesus and say, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” (v. 8 NIV). Because that’s what miracles do – they bear witness to the sovereignty of God and expose human frailty. Which should result in what Simon did: repentance.
Do not be afraid,” Jesus responded. “From now on you will fish for people” (v. 10 NIV). And just like that, Simon went from being questioning to sure. He and the men pulled their boats out of the water, left everything, and followed Jesus.
It wouldn’t be the last time Simon would come face-to-face with his weaknesses; it was a reoccurring theme. So was repentance. So was forgiveness, which was why Jesus would repeatedly send Simon back into the deep. There were more men to catch and hearts in need of changing. But because of his own repentant heart, Simon would pick up where his predecessor left off and proclaim the kingdom of heaven – Gods sovereign rule and reign, now and for all eternity. ... See MoreSee Less
40 Days with Jesus Day 15 – Rock Read Matthew 16:18-19
His name was Simon. So, what a strange and presumptuous “how do you do?” to be told your name would Peter. (I’m sorry – what?) His brother, Andrew, was all in already. He’d been a disciple of John the Baptist, and when John identified Jesus as the Messiah, it was all the proof Andrew needed. He became one of Jesus’ first disciples, and he was good at it. By all accounts, Andrew was steady, studied, good-natured, and easy to have around. As for Simon? Not so much.
Simon Peter was emotional. When Jesus tried to wash his feet, Peter refused to allow the Master’s humbling act of service: “[But] Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no share with Me.’ [So] Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!’” (John 13:8-9). As it often did, the feelings pendulum swung.
Simo Peter was impulsive. When soldiers came to arrest Jesus, Peter drew his sword and cut off a guy’s ear (18:10). It was perhaps the most ineffective countermeasure possible to take on an entire temple guard by way of one man’s ear. Not sure what the plan was there.
Sometimes Simon Peter was afraid of stuff. After Jesus’ arrest, all of Peter’s ear-cutting bravado vanished. To avoid being arrested, he denies even knowing Jesus - not once but three times, just as Christ predicted he would (vv.17, 25-27).
All of his instability begs the question, Why did Jesus call him Peter? Especially considering the name Peter means “rock”.
The answer? Jesus makes us what we’re not.
Notice some correlations between pre-Jesus Peter and post-Jesus Peter: 1. Pre-Jesus Peter was directed by emotion. Post-Jesus Peter was directed by his intense love for Jesus. 2. Pre-Jesus Peter was impulsive. Post-Jesus Peter was stable, but the culture was not. Christianity was changing everything, and leading that charge required the ability to adjust, pivot, and respond to the Holy Spirit on the fly. 3. Pre-Jesus Peter was afraid. Post-Jesus Peter was afraid of ever turning his back on Jesus again, therefore becoming fearless regarding everything else.
And the same power that transformed the unruly fisherman is at work in all who believe. Jesus accepts us as we are, but He knows who we’ll become by His power, and He’s making us what we’re not yet. ... See MoreSee Less
40 Days with Jesus Day 14 – Boldness Read Luke 11:9
Andrew was an early adopter of the ask, seek, and knock principle. As far as we know, Andrew was the first of the twelve disciples to ask Jesus for anything.
It started the moment they met, which happened to be right after John the Baptist pointed Jesus out. Andrew was a disciple of John’s, so when the guy who’d been preparing the way for the Lamb of God shouted, “Behold, the Lamb of God” (John 1:29), Andrew didn’t waste any time. He and another of John the Baptist’s disciples took off after Jesus.
“What do you want?” Jesus asked.
They answered with a question: “Where are you staying?” (v. 38 NIV).
Jesus rewarded their boldness with an invitation to spend the day with Him, so they followed Him to His place – where Jesus opened the door. In other words, one proverbial knock led to one actual conversation, and they knew they’d found the Messiah.
Andrew ran and told his brother Simon. And when Jesus called Simon on a beach, Simon and Andrew dropped everything and ran to follow Him. It was a whirlwind, game-changer of a day that all started with the simple question: What do you want?
They wanted Jesus.
When the ministry was in full swing, a disciple asked Jesus to teach them to pray the way John the Baptist taught his disciples (Luke 11:1). It’s not a stretch to assume it was Andrew, the former John the Baptist follower who wasn’t shy about asking Jesus for stuff. Jesus again obliged and taught them the Lord’s Prayer, then continued with a story about an audacious asker – a guy who knocked on a friend’s door at midnight wanting three loaves of bread. The friend was in bed and the house was locked, but he got up anyway – not because his friend was asking, Jesus explained, but because of the guy’s crazy midnight-asking boldness. Jesus punctuated the story with the famous exhortation: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (v. 9 NIV).
Jesus and Andrew’s initial exchange is a sweet and simple proof of the “seek and find” promise. Andrew was bold. He wanted answers, so he asked. He sought after the Messiah, and Jesus opened His door to him and gave him the Bread of Life.
Jesus asks us the exact same question: What do you want?
You never know, the answer could incite a whirlwind gamer-changer of a day! ... See MoreSee Less
40 Days with Jesus Day 13 – Authority Read Luke 4:31-32
In Jesus’ day, authority was limited to a select few. The Jews had a religious system that not only governed their places of worship; it also determined the laws of the land politically, culturally, and socially. Religious leaders had authority to tell everyone else how to live because they were the ruling class of Israel. As high priests tasked with interpreting the law of Moses, they also determined what constituted crimes and often carried out punishments, sometimes in the middle of the street. No trial or appeal to a higher court was given because they ran the show. So you can imagine how off-putting it was when a carpenter’s son turned their well-oiled governing machine on its ear – and the people loved Him to boot.
Stepping into such a rigid system, it wouldn’t take long for Jesus to make a name for Himself. “When the sun was setting, all those … with various diseases [were] brought to Him, and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them” (Luke 4:40). No doubt the healing thing drew crowds of people to Jesus, but the Bible repeatedly says they were also in awe of the authoritative way He spoke, and that people came from far and wide to hear Him.
What must a person sound like to solicit awe? “He speaks with authority” is such a specific observation, yet people made it repeatedly. And spoiler alert, the way He spoke is what got Him killed. The religious rulers were terrified of losing their power, and only someone with authority greater than their own could threaten it.
Luke 20:1-2 records one such confrontation: “One day, as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up and said to Him, ‘Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave You this authority.’”
The Jews tried to understand where the authority that oozed out of Jesus came from. Who granted it? Who taught you how to speak this way? What entitles you to come onto our turf and teach our people?
His answer was simple but would seal His fate: “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58).
And there it was. The claim that made both the way Jesus spoke and the reaction He received make sense. “I AM” was the name God gave Himself when He sent Moses to free the Israelites from Egypt (Exodus 3), and the way He continually referred to Himself in the book of Isaiah – and His listeners were well versed in the Scripture He referenced.
Simply put, Jesus spoke by His OWN authority.
Of course, He was never at a loss for how to respond to questions or how to interpret the Law 0- He wrote it. Of course, He didn’t fear the Romans or any other governing body – empires rose and fell by His Word. The authority with which He spoke was His own. He is the one who whispered the world into existence; who holds planets in orbit and mountains in their place; who commands tides to rise and orchards to bloom; who created things like E minor and puppies; who rose from the dead – and we’ll all give account to Him one day.
It’s the first day of school in Russell County. Watch out for the buses, children, teachers, staff, crying mommas, and happy mommas today. We pray this year is the best one yet! #RSUMC #Rsumcinthecommunity #feelslikehome... See MoreSee Less
Hey, RSUMC! It’s time to get back in MOTION!! We’re excited to announce that our Wednesday evening ministries are scheduled to be in full MOTION by September 8! Whether you are young or old, a longtime member or a brand-new seeker there is a place for you! As we continue to work out the details, we are quite sure there will be opportunities to serve in the following areas: • FRIENDS: We need 6-8 servant leaders to minister to children from preschool age through 4th grade • BOYS & GIRLS ACADEMIES: An additional 4 (2 men and 2 women) servant leaders to minister with our 5th & 6th-grade boys’ and girls’ groups. • STUDENT LIFE: Our youth ministry is in need of 2 more adult leaders when school starts back for all groups. • ADULT MINISTRY: We are still in the process of working out details but we anticipate “Table Talk” groups of adults that share a meal and conversation together. Special efforts will be made to reach persons who are not involved at RSUMC. We are considering using the ALPHA Course to help facilitate discussion around basic questions of the Christian faith. We anticipate a team of 8 – 10 servant leaders. • KITCHEN CREW: Meals will be served beginning at 5:30PM and those wanting to serve in this vital ministry are welcomed!! • SET-UP & TAKEDOWN: Often the most vital and easily overlooked need is for those who are faithful in setting up for an event and then putting things back together afterward. This is a great opportunity for service that doesn’t require speaking in front of people or preparing a lesson. • TRANSPORTATION: This is a great opportunity for someone who wants to just be able to love on people! Again, no need to prepare a lesson or assemble supplies, you just drive to some homes, pick up some families, and share God’s love while driving to and from the church. If you are interested in serving in any of these positions, have questions about any position, or if you just want to talk it over with someone, please contact the church office and we will make sure you have the answers you are looking for! ... See MoreSee Less
40 Days with Jesus Day 12 – Rejected Read Luke 4:24, 28-30
As the saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt. Which means when Jesus went home for a visit, it didn’t go so great. He attended synagogue and volunteered to read. When He sat back down and said, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21), they seemed cool with it. Jesus was being gracious enough – odd but gracious, so they “spoke well of him” (v. 22). But then Jesus didn’t return the favor. Knowing their hearts, He responded with, “No prophet is accepted in his hometown” (v. 24 NIV). It was a dig. He followed up with a reminder that Elijah and Elisha weren’t sent to heal their own people, because it would’ve been a waste of time.
Uffdah. Jesus effectively told His hometown crowd they had the same issue as their Old Testament relatives – and they came unglued. So much so, they wanted Him dead. With scant provocation from the guy they’d known for thirty years, the Nazarenes became so insanely offended and incensed that they drove Jesus out of town and up a hill so they could throw Him off a cliff. They were going to murder Mary and Joseph’s boy.
Extreme? Yes. Expected? You bet. That day Jesus had read from the prophet Isaiah who proclaimed the coming Messiah along with the response the Messiah’s presence would engender from humankind: He would be “despised and rejected” (Isaiah 53:3).
These people knew Jesus. They should’ve been all the more in awe of God’s power and authority clearly on display in Him. What the heck else could it be? He was the carpenter who grew up with them, and now He was preaching and healing all over the place. But we tend to reject anything or anyone that represents a big change in understanding or perspective, even if it comes from someone familiar – especially from someone familiar. The notion that what they thought they knew could be wrong was as incomprehensible as the notion of changing your mind in a Facebook argument. So they hardened their hearts, hated Him, and tried to push Him off a cliff.
In doing so, they fulfilled Old Testament prophecy: “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held Him in low esteem” (Isaiah 53:3 NIV).
If you have the time and ability, we would encourage you to join this time of prayer. We can assure you that the last year has been hard and your pastors, church staff, and church leadership are truly weary. Your prayers really do have the power to change things. We will be a part of this prayer event and we hope that you will too. #RSUMC#rsumcadults#rsumceveryone#feelslikehome#PRAYERWORKS... See MoreSee Less
A Kairos Moment at Mickey D's from Pastor David Ok, long post but worth every minute of it. This morning I sped through my outpatient physical therapy, finishing all workouts in 35 min. I was up against the clock because I wanted to get to the McDonald's drive-thru before 10:30 am, which is when they quit serving breakfast. I wanted to get an iced vanilla coffee (I know, iced coffee is against my religion) for a friend who was celebrating 10 years of sobriety today (not from coffee) and (the real reason) I was craving an Egg McMuffin. I made it on time with 15 min to spare and got in line behind a family in a minivan. Turns out to be something you don't see often in rural KY, an African-American family from New York, per the license plate on the van. The driver sort of stared at me in the side rearview mirror for a few moments and as he did I sensed the Holy Spirit say, "You need to meet him." Of course, I started tossing thoughts back and forth in my head - Is it really the Spirit or just my impulsive, sometimes wacky thoughts? - but I couldn't shake the impression that the Lord was, in fact, speaking. So, when we both pulled out of the drive thru, I followed him. At first I thought it would be silly to try and follow him, because I fully expected that he would turn right out of McDonald’s and onto the highway to continue the journey to NY or wherever, not to mention how freaky it might seem to have an old, bald-headed white dude stalking you in rural Kentucky. Well, to my surprise he turned a slight left and began cruising rather randomly through the Kroger parking lot. I followed past the first row of cars but it felt sorta weird, so I pulled into a parking space to wait to see where they were going. I realized after a while that they were probably looking for a place to pull over and eat their breakfast. I watched for a bit and almost drove away, thinking that this was all, again, my imagination instead of the Spirit’s leading. Then, the unexpected (or expected, depending on your theology) happened! The van turned down the row where I was parked and started coming directly toward me! I pulled out of my space in order to pull up beside them, opened my window and waved for him to stop. He did and rolled down his window. I asked if they were from New York and if they were driving all the way back today. He confirmed they were from Brooklyn, the same burrow of my oldest brother and two nephews, and, yes, they were driving home today. We had a really nice conversation – this family from New York City was returning home after a week’s vacation on Lake Cumberland – even to the point that I had prayer with them, asking God for safe travel and expressing gratitude for what felt like a divine appointment or, what I like to refer to as a “Kairos moment.” (PM me if you want to know what that’s all about.) Now, here is where the story gets deeper. My oldest brother, Louis Calhoun, Jr. has been laid up in a rehab center in Brooklyn with a broken ankle – actually, shattered ankle would be a better description – for well over a year. He has endured 2 surgeries and has yet to be able to put any weight on his injured leg for 15+ months. He is scheduled for another surgery with hopes that he will finally be able to stand and even walk again by late September. Louie has always been a hero of sorts to me since my childhood. He is 15 years older than me and, when I was a small child, he was a champion of the Civil Rights Movement while attending the University of North Carolina. He even spent 9 months in jail as a college student for his participation in the “lunch counter demonstrations” in the fight for desegregation. His career as a social worker, literally up until his ankle injury, has involved a lifelong commitment to serve the impoverished and marginalized in the inner cities of Philadelphia and New York City. I have talked to him weekly since his hospitalization and the thing I regret the most has been an inability to visit him due to Covid restrictions, my own work schedule and the distance from here to there. Well, I told my new New York friend, Olufemi (he’s originally from Nigeria), about my brother and his legacy and about my regret. In response he and his wife enthusiastically told me to share with them the contact information for the rehab center and they would gladly visit him! And, if I do get up to Brooklyn to see him - which I plan to do sometime this fall - then we would get together to share a meal! We exchanged our contact info with the intent to reconnect once they are home in New York. Oh, yeah, one more crazy coincidence (yeah, right)! Olufemi’s Brooklyn address, the address where my brother lives, and the location of the rehab center where he is currently are all within about a 2 mile radius from each other in a New York borough with a population that would make it the 3rd most populous city in the United States if it wasn’t part of New York City! In yesterday’s message at Russell Springs United Methodist Church I talked about the need to think differently if we truly desire to live into the new life we are born again into as followers of Jesus Christ. Changing the way we think, the literal meaning of repent, involves turning off the noise of this world’s way of thinking to listen to the voice of our Heavenly Father. I really think God confirmed that with me this morning! And all because of a craving for an Egg McMuffin 😊 ... See MoreSee Less
40 Days with Jesus Day 11 – Proclaim Read Luke 4:18-19
Many people have said Jesus never claimed to be God – that He was a good man and a powerful teacher, a humanitarian and an example we should follow, but that He didn’t actually claim to be more than that and His followers added the “divine” part.
Take for instance this moment in the synagogue in Nazareth, His hometown. He showed up on a Sabbath day like He’d always done and volunteered to read from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He found the place where our verse of the day was written (a verse written in the eighth century BC about the coming Messiah) and read it out loud. Then He sat down and said, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (v. 21).
Um, excuse me?
How crazy that statement must’ve seemed to the people who’d attended a gazillion Shabbat services with Jesus. He’d grown up in their small town, sat under the rabbis’ teaching, played games with kids in the street, whittled wood with His dad, and – according to the Bible – wasn’t above average in any visible way.
And during Jesus’ life of thirty years (not to mention the four hundred prior), the people were eagerly waiting for the Messiah – the one who would be king and liberate them from oppressive Roman rule. At least, that’s what they assumed the Messiah would be and do. But they misunderstood the prophecies.
To proclaim good news to the poor.
Jesus came preaching heaven, its riches, its beauty, its infinity, and its availability. He came with the message that there’s more to life than what we see – more for those literally disenfranchised and more for those impoverished in their souls.
To proclaim liberty to the captives.
Jesus wasn’t a political liberator; He was a spiritual liberator. He came to pronounce freedom from the sin that enslaves and all the eternal consequences it ensures.
Recovering of sight to the blind.
Jesus healed people physically, but the physical healing was only a picture of what was necessary spiritually. Jesus came to open people’s eyes and hearts to their sin, to their need for help and mercy, and to His desire and ability to restore them.
To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
Jesus and the gift of salvation He would offer expressed God’s favor toward us, a world in desperate need of Him.
Jesus was indeed a good man and a powerful teacher, one who was kind and loving and inclusive and all that. But He also claimed to be the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy regarding the one who would save the world. And on the Sabbath day in His quiet hometown, He proclaimed it in a way no one in the room misunderstood.
The long-foretold Messiah you’ve been preaching about in your synagogues for centuries?
40 Days with Jesus Day 10 – Tested Read Colossians 1:15-17
All things were created through Jesus. And the factors composing His test in the wilderness were no exception. Matthew 4:1 sets the scene: “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” Right off the bat, we’re clued into who’s in control. “Then” connotes time. Obviously, so do forty days and nights. Thousands of years before He was miraculously conceived into it, Jesus created the passage of time. Prior to His incarnation, He transcended every physical law and dimension that governs this world; then Jesus set omnipresence aside and surrendered Himself to the vassalage of time. In the beginning, Jesus created the Judean wilderness. He spoke into existence the rocky terrain, deep ravines, barren grades, and scant vegetation. When He marked out the foundations of the earth, the precise coordinates for this period of His own suffering were noted. Jesus set opulence aside and surrendered Himself to the blistering, desolate landscape. The body Jesus inhabited was made. He designed His own human suit. He constructed its cellular respiration, metabolic reactions, and biochemical energy, knowing how each of these complex systems would respond to His voluntary deprivation. Jesus was experiencing physiologically what He’s designed supernaturally. He set heavenly perfection aside and surrendered Himself to physical depletion. Even His temper was created. God created satan as Lucifer, the highest-ranking angel, who rebelled and was cast to earth, where he has operated as the devil ever since. How satan became evil is unexplained; God saw fit to keep that part a mystery. But what the testing in the wilderness makes crystal clear is that nothing can foil God’s divine purposes, not timing, not harrowing circumstances, and certainly not satan. For the sake of our being chosen, Jesus put all opposition in its place, literally. Then He was led by the Spirit to surrender Himself to the will of the Father. The disciples were tested, the religious leaders were tested. Pilate was tested, we are tested. We can’t know in advance how we’ll respond to it, and success or failure is not determined by us. But make no mistake – the test is not an accident. ... See MoreSee Less