Field Notes

Thoughts, musings and directions for shepherds of FFC

“Led By the Spirit” by Dr. Clem Ferris, November 5, 2017

Opening Scripture:
Galatians 5:16-18  But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

John 16:13  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

If we allow the Holy Spirit to be our guide, He will lead us down a clear pathway.

The Holy Spirit is a “professional” of the future. Jesus never taught us to follow our heart; our hearts are not designed as the leader.

Proverbs 3:5-6  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

2 Thessalonians 3:5  May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.

In John 11, Mary and Martha sent an urgent request, an appeal to emotions, to Jesus.
John 11:3  So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.”

What goes out of the heart is selfishness. Jesus was not led by his heart (emotions) but from the Spirit.

John 11:9-10  Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”

John 11:15  “And for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

The Jews were waiting for Jesus to come so that they could stone him. Jesus did not move until the Holy Spirit released him. He was not moved by emotions.

Jesus waited to walk in the light being led by the Spirit.

There is light in you. Proverbs 20:27  The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.

Guidance from the Holy Spirit doesn’t come externally; it comes internally.

Romans 8:14  For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

The Greek text puts us following the Spirit.

We need to be aware of the “inner tug” from the Holy Spirit. It can be so gentle, we can miss it.

There are times when it can be agonizing to be led. When the Spirit is tugging on your heart, to lead you and tell you, but it doesn’t make any sense to your mind. There is a conflict between the mind and the spirit.

Your mind tries to talk you out of it.

How do we begin to move in the gift of prophecy?
Start in church, training, and hearing God.
As you are learning to prophesy, learn to give beyond tithing.
Go and talk to someone in the church.

We watch Jesus being led by the Spirit in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Luke 22:39  For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
Luke 22:41  And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed.

Jesus is being led by the Holy Spirit to the cross. He has agonized in prayer with drops of blood for sweat. There was a conflict between the flesh and the Spirit. Jesus won the victory in the garden.

Luke 22:50-51  And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him.

It was imperative that Jesus did this and fixed Peter’s mess. Peter was going to become a major apostle and he had just assaulted a public official. Here Peter was being led by emotion and not by the Spirit.

Luke 22:54  Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance.

No one “took” Jesus. All these miraculous demonstrations of power were from the same Spirit that led Him.

The soldiers literally wrapped a rope around Jesus’ neck and led Him like an animal.

Isaiah 53:7  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers are silent, so he opened not his mouth.

He was not just being led by those soldiers. He had the power to resist. He was being led by the Spirit of Truth.

But, to be led that night, he had to deal with agony in His soul.

Have you ever had God tell you to do something and it was agony to obey? Your heart knew it, but your head agonized over it. Being led by the Spirit often comes with agony.


1. What is the Holy Spirit telling you to do in your life right now? Is it something that is opposed to what your flesh tells you to do?
2. Why is it so difficult sometimes to follow the Spirit rather than our flesh?

“Peddlers of Hope” by Pastor Jarrod Albergaria, October 29, 2017

Hopelessness is being perpetuated by the news that the world puts its faith in.

In order for us to be effective in the topic of touch evangelism, we need to be selling something different than the world. We need to be peddlers of hope.

This hope does not pay attention to the fake news of this world but focuses its attention on the Good News of the Gospel.

Opening Scripture:
Revelation 21:4  “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Matthew 11:28  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”

If we wait for the Lord,
We will gain new strength;
We will mount up with wings like eagles,
We will run and not get tired,
We will walk and not become weary. (Isaiah 40:31)

A peddler is someone that moves from place to place selling an item, an idea, or a view.

Jesus provides us example after example in His Word of how He went from place to place and showed people their need for hope that lay only in Him.

In John 5, we find Jesus at a moment in His ministry where He demonstrates a beautiful example of tough evangelism and a moment where He restores hope in the hopeless.

John 5:2-9  Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes. In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, waiting for the moving of the waters; for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted. A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, “Do you wish to get well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.” Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk.

Profile of hopelessness in this man:
– Ill; weakness in the original text; the man was paralyzed.
– 38 years; longevity breeds hopelessness.
– Alone; I have no one to put me in the water.
– Defeated; he never came in first when the water was stirred; repeated disappointment and defeat.

The world today looks a lot like this broken man.

But, Jesus brought hope to a hopeless situation; it is only in Him that we will see hope in this one.

3 Take-Aways from Jesus’ Interaction:
1.  We have to see people.
– Verse 6 says that Jesus first saw the man.
– Jesus didn’t see a man that was supposed to be lame by a well; He saw a man that was supposed to get up and walk.
– In order for us to bring hope to the hopeless, our lives have to do the same. We have to see the person and not the sin.

2. We have to remove aloneness.
– When Jesus asked the man if he wanted to be healed, his response was that he had no one to put him into the pool.
– Why didn’t any of the people in the community help those that were lying waiting to be healed?
– Why didn’t any of the people that sat with this man year after year and were healed go back to help him?

3. We have to tell them the truth!
– Jesus told the man to rise, take up his bed, and walk. What He told him was true because the results were immediate.
– When we tell people about Jesus, we are showing them the Way, the Truth, and the Life they are receiving. (John 14:6)
– We can’t hold back or delay. We have to let them know that they can get up and walk.
– We need to tell people the truth about who they are supposed to be not who they are today.

Peddlers of hope:
– See people.
– Remove their aloneness.
– Tell people the truth; tell people to get up and walk.

Who has God put in your life that needs hope?

If you feel hopeless, you know that:
– Jesus sees you.
– He wants to remove the loneliness.
– He wants you to get up and walk.
– He wants to give you hope!


– What would your life look like today if that person had not told you the truth about Jesus?
– Who has God put in your life that needs hope?

“Priceless Salvation” by Pastor James Gallaher, October 22, 2017

Have you ever heard someone tell their testimony where their past sounds so amazing that you wonder why they ever chose to follow God?

Opening Scripture:
Romans 5:1-2  Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Let’s contrast “justification” with “regeneration.” Regeneration is death to life and hell to heaven.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

This is where salvation begins, but certainly not where it ends. Paul introduces this word, “justification;” it deals with our standing before God and our answer to our guilt.

Acts 13:38-39  Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.

Hebrews 10:17  “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

We should not choose to remember what God has chosen to forget.

Philippians 3:13  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.

He places to our account the righteousness of Christ.

Philippians 3:9  And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.

It was all done through Christ by the fulfillment of the law on the cross.

2 Corinthians 5:21  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Romans 5:1-2  Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

vs. 1 We have peace with God. This takes care of our past. We don’t live in fear of what has happened.

vs. 2 This takes care of our future. Not only are we justified, not only has He forgive us, but then He adopts us into His family.

Regeneration changes our nature.
Sanctification changes our standing.
Adoption changes our position.

You become viewed as having been born into the Kingdom of God.

Ephesians 1:5  Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.

Galatians 4:4-7  But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

My fear is that too many Christians fall short of this understanding of salvation. We got in the door because someone asked us if we wanted to go to hell, and we said no. Unfortunately a lot of people stop there. They never find out the rest.

No discovery is complete until the desire to share it fills our hearts.

How do we share the message of salvation?

One of the best examples is Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well. (John 4)

When you share your message:
1. Be intentional
vs. 4  But He needed to go through Samaria.

2. Be relational – the Holy Spirit puts you there
vs. 6  Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

3. Be direct
vs. 13-14  Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
– With this water, you will thirst again. You’re going to keep coming back to the well of broken relationships over and over.

Part of understanding what I need is becoming aware of what I have.
4. Reveal Jesus
vs. 26  Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”

5. Close the deal. Do you want to receive Jesus?

Your story is a powerful bridge to the gospel message Unfortunately too many Christians’ stories are lacking an understanding of the value they truly have.

The value of salvation in your life isn’t being withheld, it’s just unrealized. There’s more to it than forgiveness.

Justification is available. Adoption is His choosing of you.

Receive the Spirit of adoption. Close the deal.


– What motivates non-Christians towards Christ? Heaven? Salvation? The church?
– What motivated you toward those things?
– How have those motives changed or grown as you have grown?

“Heavenly Truths” by Pastor Dennis J. Gallaher, October 15, 2017

Albert King, one of the greatest blues guitarists of the twentieth-century, was famous for his lyrics, “Everyone wants to go to Heaven, but no one wants to die.”

Consequently, Heaven has been relegated to FarSide cartoons, misconceptions, and myths.

To really embrace the desire for evangelism, you’ve got to have a clear goal in mind. That goal is the same as the thief’s goal on the cross next to Jesus.

When the curtain draws on this world and we turn toward eternity, everyone wants their first glimpse to be of Heaven and not hell.

Opening Scripture:
2 Corinthians 10:3-5  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

Look at the words used to describe the common attack against the believer, “speculations and lofty things raised against the knowledge of God.” God wants you to know Him and the devil does not. The lies, half-truths, and deceptions against the true knowledge of God keeps people from knowing not just God, but the love of God, the truth of Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus said this about satan:
John 8:44  You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

The first lies that he began to tell were about eternity. Eve repeats what God said, “If you eat from the tree, you will die.” The devil’s response is the first recorded and most devastating lie of all:

Genesis 3:4 

Here is the truth:
Heaven and earth are two distinct locations.You can’t have earth in Heaven, and you will never have Heaven on earth. The greatest counterfeit of Heaven is earth.

The idea of Heaven has become what we can posses here on earth. Our society, which has attained such wealth, comfort, self-indulgence, and sufficiency, has little use for Heaven.

1 Corinthians 2:9  “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

2 Corinthians 12:3-4  Paul was “caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.”

That is why the lie is so dangerous and destructive to the truth! If this is all there is, then just keep living a sorry life. But if Eternity with Jesus is just a few short breaths away, doesn’t it make sense to live in such a way that Paradise and Heaven can also be mine someday?

Colossians 3:1-4  Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

Truths About Heaven:

1) Isaiah 25:6-12  The Lord of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain; a banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow, and refined, aged wine. And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples, even the veil which is stretched over all nations. He will swallow up death for all time, and the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces, and He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; for the Lord has spoken. And it will be said in that day, “Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain, and Moab will be trodden down in his place as straw is trodden down in the water of a manure pile. And he will spread out his hands in the middle of it as a swimmer spreads out his hands to swim, but the Lord will lay low his pride together with the trickery of his hands. The unassailable fortifications of your walls He will bring down, lay low and cast to the ground, even to the dust.

2) Luke 13:29-30  “And they will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God. And behold, some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last.”

3) John 14:2-4  “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.”

4) Revelations 7:13-17  Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?” I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

5) Revelations 21:4  “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

6) Revelations 22:3-5  There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.

The lies will be done. The curse of sin and death will be over. Creation will be released form the bondage of corruption.

Paul said:
Romans 8:18-19  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.

Nothing will age. Nothing will be lost. All work will be enduring and productive.

Don’t you want to be with Him in Paradise?


For those that look to Jesus, this world is not your home; you are just passing through.

So, our lives and the way we live point to Heaven where Jesus is, not the earth where the curse and lies live.

Colossians 3:1-7  Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.

– What are some lies, myths, or misconceptions you’ve heard about Heaven?
– Why is it important to know the truth about Heaven in the context of evangelism?
– What excites you about Heaven? Why? (This is important to keep in mind and remember as we go through the struggles, difficulties, rejections, heartbreaks, and persecutions of life. Set your mind on things above; remember this world is not our home.)

“End Times Evangelism” by Pastor Dennis J. Gallaher, October 8, 2017

The signs of the end times are all around us. Do not let the frequency, distance, or 24 hour news cycle put you to sleep.

The disciples wanted to know when the end would come.

Opening Scripture:
Luke 21:7  They questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, when therefore will these things happen? And what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?”

Matthew 24:3  As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

We are so wrapped up with the economy, politics, radio pundits, tweets, or Facebook posts, we no longer ask the right questions.

All the shiny objects dangled by satan to a naive church have stolen our attention away from the obvious and loving signs the Lord gave.

Jesus said there would be wars and rumors of wars.
Jesus said there would be earthquakes, famine, and weather.
Jesus said there would be martyrdom.

John 16:2  They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.

Matthew 24:9  “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.”

Christians are now the most persecuted believers in the world.

Matthew 24:12  Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.

Most people’s love, agapē, which is the love of God, will grow cold. The love that seeks to serve and is a choice for the highest good will grow cold.

It is that agape love that is the fuel for evangelism.

Matthew 24:13-14  But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

We have been talking about a new evangelism that sees men and women as alone in need of another and not only sinners in need of a Savior. This is what we call “Touch Evangelism.”

Why? Jesus did more touching than preaching and more comforting than condemning. He touched hearts that were stone cold with loneliness, hearts that were empty with fear, and He did it all because He came to be with us and never leave.

With all these signs more apparent than at any time in history, our indifference to the lost and alone is nothing short of a heart that has grown cold.

We are consumed with our little dysfunctional worlds, to the point where taking the good new to those we know is not even on our radar. It must be because the days are growing short.

Here are two reasons for this:

1) The Battle Between Truth & Lies

John 14:6  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

John 17:7  Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You.

John 1:14  And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

This Kingdom is most identified by this Word, this God-breathed, Holy Spirit empowered Word that gives light to our path. It is a sword in the hand of the Holy Spirit, and we are to preach it in season and out.

The other reality is the kingdom of hell is defeated but is fiercely fighting in spite of that defeat.

John 8:44  You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Jesus said that the ruler of that kingdom has no truth in him. He is a liar and the father of lies.

There is a battle between The Truth and the father of lies. As long as our focus is on the constant noise of this world, you will not tune into the still, small voice of the Defender of Truth, the Holy Spirit.

2) Rebellion Against God

1 Samuel tells the sad story of Saul, the first King of Israel. He was given specific instructions to annihilate the Amalikites. They are a picture of the flesh in the Scriptures. They continually attacked the weak and elderly in the wilderness.

Instead of obeying God, Saul rebels by taking the spoils of the battle. He then defends his actions, wanting credit for emphasizing religion and ritual above obedience.

1 Samuel 15:23  “For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king.”

Here Samuel tells Saul that his rebellion is equal to witchcraft.

Now, we have the Truth. We have the commissioning to go to the highways and byways and to care for the ones in the ditch. We are told to preach the Good News and to come along side of the lonely to share the love of God.

At what point do we call our lack of evangelism…
– our unwillingness to cross the street.
– our reluctance to share the love of God.
– our phobia of not being liked if we do that.

At what point does not sharing the Truth, Jesus, become sin?


Matthew 24:25  Behold, I have told you in advance.

The real value of His prophetic warnings is that we would know what to do when chaos, confusion, and the ever-shifting morals of our culture have seemingly taken over.

He tells everyone of us…
– I am coming back.
– Don’t be seduced by the lies of the world.
– “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
– “He who believes in Me will live, even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.”

There are two concerns at the forefront:
1) Those who have made an excuse out of sinfully neglecting the commissioning of the Lord.

We are calloused and blind to the human tragedies that surround us. At some point, our refusal to obey God is rebellion.

2) Those who have yet to bow their hearts to Jesus.

Those of us who come to Jesus are admitting that we are broken, powerless, and in need of a change we cannot make ourselves.

Matthew 11:28  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”


– What are you allowing to hold you back from sharing the Gospel openly?

“Overcoming Prejudices” by Pastor James Gallaher, October 1, 2017

Two Types of Prejudices:
Pre-judgement – willful choice
Prejudice by omission – ignorance

The gospel was given to invade brokenness and provide for us reconciliation.

Opening Scripture:
Acts 1:8  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.

This is the power of reconciliation. Up to this point, God dealt almost exclusively with Israel. Jesus is now hinting at a dramatic shift that is going to take place at the birth of the church. Acts lays out the movement from Judaism to Christianity.

The struggle though is that we are drawn to people who look like us, talk like us, and think like us. We are drawn to what is familiar rather than what is diverse.

Acts 10:23-28  And on the next day he got up and went away with them, and some of the brethren from Joppa accompanied him. On the following day he entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter raised him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am just a man.” As he talked with him, he entered and *found many people assembled. And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean.

Acts 10:34   I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality.

Acts 10:44-48   While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days.

The Holy Spirit brings reconciliation between this Jew and this Gentile. Peter’s heart experiences a shift, so much so that when life is pressed, he boldly offers a defense for the encounter.

Acts 11:1-2   Now the apostles and the brethren who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those who were circumcised took issue with him.

Now realize, they never even mention salvation. This is all about the prejudice. The problem for them was not about salvation of the Gentiles or what God had done, they couldn’t get past the fact he ate with them.

Peter tells them plainly what God had done and how they need to get over it.

The problem was that Peter, like many of us can do, drifted from what he experienced in Acts 10 back to what he was comfortable with. As a result, we have the confrontation in Galatians 2 between Paul and Peter.

Galatians 2:11-14   But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?

We have a tendency to drift back towards what looks like us and what we are comfortable with.

Paul points out that separated community is not in line with the Gospel.

Ephesians 2:8-9   For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Remember that none of us got into the Kingdom by anything we did.

Ephesians 2:11-16   Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.

The Gentiles were not looking for a Savior. This broke down the dividing wall.

If we have any hope for reconciliation, it must be driven by the Gospel.

This will require us all to enter areas where we will feel uncomfortable and will be misunderstood.

The church will continue to suffer until we become intimately aware that she was not built for our comfort and preferences, but the church is the means to provide reconciliation and salvation to a divided world.

What will you do to make sure the message of the Gospel remains central to our focus?

What personal prejudices have stood in the way of reconciliation either between you and someone or that person and Christ?

Until we honestly evaluate our own hearts, we will continually drift towards and become content with that which is not like us.


– What types of people do you harbor prejudice against?

“Fear of Evangelism” by Pastor Dennis J. Gallaher, September 24, 2017

Opening Scripture:
Proverbs 29:25  The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted.

What is the fear of man?
– The desire for other’s approval
– The need to be well liked by all
– The approval of the world is more important than God’s approval

To desire the approval of men means we do not desire the approval of God.

The two are mutually exclusive – you will either fear man or fear God. One is a snare, and the other is the life-source of wisdom.

Proverbs 9:10  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Jeremiah 32:38-40  They shall be My people, and I will be their God; and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me always, for their own good and for the good of their children after them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me.

Deuteronomy 10:12-13  “Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the Lord’s commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?

Mathew 10:28-31  Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

We are to love God supremely and fear God supremely…they are two sides of the same coin.

If we are to increase our understanding, our love, and our success in and for evangelism, we must stop fearing man and seeking his approval, and return to fearing God and knowing His approval. I know this because the Bible tells me so.

Proverbs 11:30  The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise wins souls.

Godly fear…
– Reaches up and obey the Father’s commands
– Reaches out and serves those around
– Reaches down and leads others in the Everlasting Way

Godly fear is the missing ingredient in much of evangelism.

The opposite of godly fear is defiance against God.
– It is independence, rebellion, and devaluing authority, especially spiritual authority.
– It is giving a pass to the flesh and making an excuse for sin.
– It is deflecting responsibility away from self to others, circumstances, and even God.

We can change that, because the fear of the Lord brings wisdom and he who is wise saves souls!

How does the fear of man show up? We decide…
– “They don’t want to listen.”
– “They probably go to church already.”
– “They are not like me.”

Psalms 78:41-42  Again and again they tempted God, and pained the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember His power, the day when He redeemed them from the adversary.

They “pained” the Holy One.  (provoked, tempted, vexed God)

The Hebrew word for “pained” has two root words that mean “grieving God by scratching out an imprint.” In short, limiting God means to make a circle around Him saying, “God is in here in my world, and He goes no further.”

The early church in Jerusalem confined Jesus to the Jewish population. The church in the 20th century limited God to those who dressed, spoke, and acted accordingly.

But, Jesus will never be confined. Loving Him and fearing Him means we get out of our little safe circles and take the Good News with us.

Prove yourself wrong. Where is that one house on your block that seems to be a mystery? Instead of continuing to speculate about the person or family that lives there, go over to that house and learn something new about them.

“Risky Evangelism” by Pastor James Gallaher, September 17, 2017

Life is moving at a faster pace now than it ever has. Unfortunately, this has become the reason most believers cite for not being more engaged in the work of the Gospel.

Opening Scripture:
Psalms 37:23   The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way.

If the “he” here is us, then it would seem that even in chaos, “we” would delight.

Maybe the problem isn’t with my schedule but with my understanding. On Friday, I did what we have been learning in our neighboring Sunday school class; I went across the street and gave care to a neighbor whose husband is dying.

Purpose changes perspective.

Do you believe that our ways are ordered by God so that we might delight in His ways?

I worry because it appears that most Christians are just hanging on, trying to preserve what is left rather than increasing what they have.

Read Matthew 25:14-28  The story of the talents

Jesus called the third servant “wicked.” It seems to become more about what he didn’t do than what he did. He didn’t capitalize on what he was given and as a result had even what he was given taken away.

When it come to time, are you capitalizing on the investment?

My concern is that evangelism has become more about preserving the image of Christ rather than increasing the presence of Christ.

But like the stewards, increasing Christ’s presence requires risk, a risk that we may fail, be misunderstood, or rejected.

Throughout Scriptures, the kingdom of God advanced through great risk with no guarantee for success.

These men had no guarantee that God would show up:
– Abraham as he went to sacrifice Jacob
– Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego being thrown into the fire
– Jonathan and his armor bearer

1 Samuel 14:6-7  Then Jonathan said to the young man who was carrying his armor, “Come and let us cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; perhaps the Lord will work for us, for the Lord is not restrained to save by many or by few.” His armor bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart; turn yourself, and here I am with you according to your desire.”

There was no guarantee for these guys; they all took a risk. Without risk, the kingdom will not advance.

Why did the first 2 servants risk when the third did not?

Matthew 25:24-25   “And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’”

The third guy didn’t trust his master’s goodness. The other two saw a different master: one who was gracious and able to handle mistakes made in pursuit of risk.

“Every great risk in God’s name begins with confidence in the goodness and trustworthiness of God. “

What you believe about God determines how you will respond to Him.

Verse 25 shows that he was afraid. Fear will always keep you from taking risks.

1 John 4:18   There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

The first two guys believed their master loved them.

What would you risk if you believed in that kind of love, the real catch-me-if-I-fall kind of love?

God’s trust in you began when He called you; He trusted you because He loves you.

Redeem the schedule; be busy with purpose and allow purpose to change your perspective.

We need people who are willing to take a risk for the kingdom.

– How can you better capitalize on your time this week, allowing purpose to change your perspective?
– Who can you reach out to and take a risk with this week?

“A New Evangelism” by Pastor Dennis J. Gallaher, September 10, 2017

The old story is this:
– Jesus Christ came to save sinners.
– He empowered His church to preach the Good News that God’s grace is for all and freedom from sin and hell is for the asking.
– Whoever calls on the Name of Jesus will be saved.
– Whoever turns from their rebellion will live a life with purpose, freedom, and joy.
– Whoever does not will be bound by the chains of sin and be delivered to hell on judgement day.

It is the task of every generation to take this message forward.

The problem with the world today is rebellion – hatred, willful, deliberate turning from God.

This has been the condition since the Garden when Adam chose the devil’s lies over the truth of God’s own voice.

It is our privilege to be the messengers of the Gospel of Grace that saves, heals, trains, and releases a life of true freedom through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

How are we, Freedom Fellowship Church, going to deliver this grace to our community?

Genesis 2:7   Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

All the rest of creation was spoken into existence, but not mankind. He mixed dirt and water together with His own hands forming man into the image of God himself. Then He took that lifeless form and blew into it the breath of life, and man became a living soul.

Before man was alive, he was touched by God with His fingerprints all over him, as well as His divine breath within him.

Genesis 2:18   Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

The first crisis was not sin but being alone. God created Adam with a holy need for relationship with others.

Sin destroys relationships, first with God and quickly with others. Adam’s first response to sin was to cover himself from Eve and then to hide from God.

When Jesus came, He came to restore. The way He did it was the same as in the Garden; He touched dead, lifeless men, women, and children.

The word for “touch” is used 36 times in the New Testament. It means to modify or change by touching, touching that influences, to start a fire, to kindle a flame.

John 9:2   And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

This healing story begins where most evangelism begins.

Man is a sinner in need of a Savior. But before he was a sinner in need of a Savior, he was alone in need of another.

John 9:6   Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud.

Just like in the Garden, He touched him.

What happened next are 3 rejections:
1.  His neighbors – they argue about whether it is him or not.
2.  Synagogue, the church – they tell him his doctrine is wrong, his belief system is different.
3.  His family – they know him but they tell them to ask him, he is of age.

John 9:35   Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

Jesus heard what happened, and he went and found him. He touched his life with grace, soothed his soul with comfort, and removed his aloneness by being with him.

John 9:38   He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.

Then He saved his soul!

Touching people is …
– Seeing them as stamped with the image of God.
– Seeing them as alone in need of another.
– Knowing how to give an account for the hope that is within you.
– Opening your eyes and seeing people the way Jesus sees them.

This is what I now call “Touch Evangelism.”

How many people can you intentionally come alongside of this week?
How often can you leave people less alone?
How often can you cross the street and demonstrate through sincere care “the hope that is within you?”


John 9:31   We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.

People believe they have to get cleaned up, stop messing up, and God will hear them.

Matthew 11:28-29   Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

If you will come to Jesus, He will touch you with all His grace, mercy, forgiveness, and kindness!

– How many people can you intentionally come alongside of this week?
– How often can you leave people less alone?
– How often can you cross the street and demonstrate through sincere care “the hope that is within you?”

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