Easter – Resurrection Power

There are some experiences in our life that mark us for the rest of our lives. These experiences can be full of pain and anguish but can guide us to our understanding of our redemptive God. If you look at your scars they tell a story of a broken world: A physical illness, a story of abuse, a divorce, a fatherless child, an orphan, a life of poverty, a death of a close friend. If you look closely at your life, these experiences are calling out to you to see the great power of the resurrection of Jesus to set you FREE!  The moment dawn broke on that day – YOU WERE FREE!
 sunrise-sky-blue-sunlight-67832

“…Death no longer has any power over Him,” Romans 6:9

4 Ways To Break Free This EASTER

  • Resurrection Power – Do you believe? This is the question. Belief that Jesus that has forgiven you gives you access to the resurrection power, and it is no JOKE! We see Jesus raise someone from the dead in Luke 8. But are you living like you are dead or alive? What have you given the enemy power over in your life. God wants to give you Resurrection power in EVERY area in your life. To overcome sin, addiction, failure, you now have access!
  • Invitational Lifestyle – Are you taking anyone with you? Literally, who are you bringing along with you to be your rock? Who prays for you, believes with you, cares for you? Better yet, who are you praying for, believing in and caring for? Individualism is overrated. The world says be great, Jesus says to make Him Great and then make others great. (Matthew 22:37-39)
  • Strong Theology – It’s not just that you believe the easy parts of the bible, but the framework that supports that belief matters. What we believe about God will determine what we do for him. Jesus isn’t a genie in a bottle granting wishes, but is more like a shepherd guiding us along the pathway of life. Here are 4 key ideas regarding who we believe Jesus is from 217church.
  1. Jesus is Savior – The bottom line is we are forgiven Acts 2:38, and our guilt is gone. Romans 8:1 This happened as a result of the blood that was shed on the cross for our sins.
  2. Jesus is Sanctifier – This means we have separation from Sin 1 Peter 1:15-16, and separation to God, Revelation 1:6
  3. Jesus is Healer – His healing power points everyone to him. John 9 Physical, spiritual, emotional, it’s all covered!
  4. Jesus is our Coming King – This means Jesus is coming back to Earth his appointed day to rescue us! Acts 1:11 Are you ready for His imminent return?

(You can read more in depth about these four ideas here)

  • Killer InstinctIf you are going to Break Free you have to put to death your fleshly desire. Romans 8:13 . Put to death your pride, greed, and desire for more control. You need to realize you are in a battle with your own sin nature and the world. James 1:12-18 But this is where is gets good! Remember DEATH HAS NO POWER OVER YOU

We would love to see you at our Good Friday and Easter Services this year at Sharon School in Robbinsville!

easter weekend

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church meets Sundays at 10:30am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here 

If the Easter Story is True…

This Sunday, more people will probably worship Jesus corporately on one day than EVER have in HUMAN HISTORY.  The church is on the move and you can be a part of it.  If it’s true that Jesus rose from the dead, and if Jesus really is God, there are some SERIOUS ramifications for our day and the rest of our lives.  This day is going to be INCREDIBLE and here are 4 reminders for you.  I believe you MUST do these things this Easter:

“There is NO power greater than LOVE.”

Easter cross Bible

“And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.”  Luke 24:5-6

See that tomb, yep, it’s EMPTY!  Ain’t nobody there.  He isn’t there.  You can look again, but he isn’t there and Jesus hasn’t been for close to 2,000 years.  Death has no sting!  You have been forgiven and his blood WAS GOOD ENOUGH to redeem us. You can have eternal life through the power of Jesus.  Think about that for a while and let it sink in.  SO, if this is TRUE, what now?

It’s Easter – Do This:  

#1 Reflect on Where You’ve Been – What sins are you carrying or have you carried in the past.  They have no ownership and absolutely NO POWER over you!  Do you believe it?  If you do, you will live differently.  Once you start to make a list of the sins you have committed and the INCREDIBLE grace that has been given, you start to release the guilt, leave the legalism and depend on God’s love.

1 John 4:4 “…He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”   That’s #ResurrectionPower

#2 Worship Big Time – Don’t hold back on the expression this Sunday.  Don’t come to a worship service and give a half baked expression of your love for God!  Mumbling casually in some religious obligatory way won’t cut it.  C’mon church! Raise your hands, scream out and celebrate, and dig deep into his Word.  Pray like you’ve never prayed before and sing like it’s your last worship song on earth.  Be found as one who W
ORSHIPS.

Psalm 30:11 “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing…” That’s #ResurrectionPower

#3 Claim Victory – This is the Sunday to stomp on the head of the enemy.  Go ahead and give that visual a moment to sink in…  STOMP – ON – HIS – HEAD.  CRUSH HIM LIKE THE BELLY SLITHERING INVERTEBRATE THAT HE IS!  God has given you the victory.  Depression – defeated, guilt – gone, pain – healed, debt – paid, sin – forgiven.

1 Corinthians 15:55  “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?  That’s #Resurrection power

Let’s do this

Josh

Easter FB 2016


Easter is upon us Sunday March 27th!  I can’t believe this will be the 7th Easter we have celebrated together at 217church!  217church is a multi-campus church with 3 services in 2 locations this Easter:

9 & 10 AM at the Hamilton AMC24 Theater

11 AM at the Robbinsville Sharon Elementary School

If it is your 1st time, we have a special gift waiting for you!

Join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 10:00am and Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ at 11:00.  Our new Robbinsville/East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, we would love to have you join us.  Don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here

Live Resurrection POWER this Easter

This Sunday, more people will probably worship Jesus corporately on one day than EVER have in HUMAN HISTORY.  The church is on the move and you can be a part of it.  If it’s true that Jesus rose from the dead, and if Jesus really is God, there are some SERIOUS ramifications for our day and the rest of our lives.  This day is going to be INCREDIBLE and here are 4 reminders for you.  I believe you MUST do these things this Easter:

“There is NO power greater than LOVE.”

Easter FB 2016

“And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.”  Luke 24:5-6

See that tomb, yep, it’s EMPTY!  Ain’t nobody there.  He isn’t there.  You can look again, but he isn’t there and Jesus hasn’t been for close to 2,000 years.  Death has no sting!  You have been forgiven and his blood WAS GOOD ENOUGH to redeem us. You can have eternal life through the power of Jesus.  Think about that for a while and let it sink in.  SO, if this is TRUE, what now?

It’s Easter – Do This:  

#1 Reflect on Where You’ve Been – What sins are you carrying or have you carried in the past.  They have no ownership and absolutely NO POWER over you!  Do you believe it?  If you do, you will live differently.  Once you start to make a list of the sins you have committed and the INCREDIBLE grace that has been given, you start to release the guilt, leave the legalism and depend on God’s love.

1 John 4:4 “…He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”   That’s #ResurrectionPower

#2 Worship Big Time – Don’t hold back on the expression this Sunday.  Don’t come to a worship service and give a half baked expression of your love for God!  Mumbling casually in some religious obligatory way won’t cut it.  C’mon church! Raise your hands, scream out and celebrate, and dig deep into his Word.  Pray like you’ve never prayed before and sing like it’s your last worship song on earth.  Be found as one who W
ORSHIPS.

Psalm 30:11 “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing…” That’s #ResurrectionPower

#3 Claim Victory – This is the Sunday to stomp on the head of the enemy.  Go ahead and give that visual a moment to sink in…  STOMP – ON – HIS – HEAD.  CRUSH HIM LIKE THE BELLY SLITHERING INVERTEBRATE THAT HE IS!  God has given you the victory.  Depression – defeated, guilt – gone, pain – healed, debt – paid, sin – forgiven.

1 Corinthians 15:55  “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?  That’s #Resurrection power

Let’s do this

Josh


Easter is upon us Sunday March 27th!  I can’t believe this will be the 7th Easter we have celebrated together at 217church!  217church is a multi-campus church with 3 services in 2 locations this Easter:

9 & 10 AM at the Hamilton AMC24 Theater

11 AM at the Robbinsville Sharon Elementary School

If it is your 1st time, we have a special gift waiting for you!

Join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 10:00am and Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ at 11:00.  Our new Robbinsville/East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, we would love to have you join us.  Don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here

 

Easter 2016 – Special Invite

Easter is upon us Sunday March 27th!  I can’t believe this will be the 7th Easter we have celebrated together at 217church!  217church is a multi-campus church with 3 services in 2 locations this Easter:

9 & 10 AM at the Hamilton AMC24 Theater

11 AM at the Robbinsville Sharon Elementary School

If it is your 1st time, we have a special gift waiting for you!

(Please note: If you are viewing video on a Mobile Device you must scroll to bottom and enable “DESKTOP MODE”)

We would love to see you this Sunday and celebrate the resurrection with you.  Our text this week will be Luke 24.  Jesus is risen from the dead!  In Luke’s account of the resurrection, we see the amazing truth of the resurrection and the reaction of several different people.  Peter realizes he is forgiven and everything Jesus said was absolutely true.  Because of the love of Christ and resurrection power, we are to leave sin, embrace life, and embody love.

 

Want To SAMPLE 217church before you come?  You can:

Listen to our Sunday PODCAST on the Go HERE

Watch a recent message here:  “What God says about you…”

We just celebrated our sixth anniversary as a church! For Nehemiah and the people, the wall is complete!  In just fifty-two short days the people complete the wall and Nehemiah realizes the incredible power of a God given vision.  Although the attacks will still come, we must remember we are chosen, crafted and privileged as God’s sons and daughters.

 

For more on the Relaunch 40 Day spiritual growth emphasis, a series our church just completed:  READ THIS

Hope to see you soon!

Josh

 

Join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 10:00am and Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ at 11:00.  Our new Robbinsville/East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, we would love to have you join us.  Don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here

Easter is Tomorrow – But Today Was AWESOME

Tomorrow marks the largest celebration of the year for most churches, EASTER!  We look forward to this day all year because it is when we get to celebrate HUGE our resurrected savior.  But the reality is, Monday is just as important as Sunday, and as Friday and as, well you get it, Today!  That is why I am so pumped today.  TODAY we served over 800 people in the Bromley Neighborhood in Hamilton and at the Grace Rogers School in East Windsor.  For those of you who were there, you know it was absolutely incredible seeing all of us connect with the people we love so much and were called to plant 217church for.

Today was AWESOME because it was our largest serving event we have ever pulled off.

Namiah

Even our own 217kids were getting into the act of serving by face-painting at our free Egg hunt events.

Today just felt right!  This is what we are about, who we are as 217churchSERVING RELENTLESSLY and rebuilding lives one person at a time.  It was exciting on so many levels because we saw the fruit of 4+ years serving the Bromley neighborhood and the relationships that have been built as well as the possibilities that are before us in East Windsor.  But How do we make the most of this Easter?

Here Are 5 Ways To Make The Most of Your Easter –

#1 Serve Someone – You’d be surprised how easy this is.  My friend Matt’s wife did an egg hunt in for all the neighborhood kids.  You could still probably pull that off!  Maybe no one will see your act of service, but nevertheless, Just do it because JESUS IS ALIVE!

#2 Leave a HUGE TIP – If you go out to eat on Easter Sunday and call yourself a Christ Follower, TIP LIKE JESUS HAS JUST BEEN RESURRECTED!  Tip like Jesus owns your money.  Tip because most likely, that person serving you tomorrow, had to sacrifice time with family.  How about a 100% tip.  Make them smile when you leave. JESUS IS ALIVE!

#3 Make Things Right With JESUS – You’ve been attending church for years for once a month.  You know stuff about Jesus.  Truth is, most of us are educated far beyond our level of obedience.  But today, it’s time to make things right.  YOU NEED FORGIVENESS.  Guilt, gone.  Shame, done. Pain, healed.  Discontentment, smothered by the peace of Jesus.  JESUS IS ALIVE! 

#4 Focus on Monday – One of the biggest mistakes we make is blowing by Easter and changing NOTHING, ZERO, ZILCH in our behaviors.  Don’t just get caught up in the emotionalism and the crowd worshiping Jesus.  Have a plan for your Monday transformation.  Start a new habit, write a letter, forgive your family, release the grudge.  JESUS IS ALIVE!

#5 Tell Your Loved Ones How You Feel – Don’t let this Easter pass by without reaching out and grabbing the hand of that Dad, mom, husband, wife, daughter, son, or friend, and tell them how much you LOVE THEM.  This may be a HUGE act of courage, but JESUS IS ALIVE!  It’s worth it.

Easter Celebration WILL BE INCREDIBLE tomorrow.  For my out of town family and friends who read this, I love and miss you all, BUT I know I will see you again SOON!  Here is an excerpt of My preaching text tomorrow.

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. ”  Matthew 28:1

In Just 12 short hours, we start setting up the theater…This is going to be fun.

Josh

 

Join us at 217church for our Easter celebration and for our new series Live Differently…

April 20 – Easter – A Life Transformed

April 27 – Spiritual Health

May 4 – Financial Health

May 11- Family Health

May 18 – Physical Health

This Easter Sunday April 20th join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 9:30 & 11am and Grace Rogers School in East Windsor, NJ at 10:15.  Our new East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information.

 

 

 

How To Optimize Your Total Health

If you want to Optimize your health you must ask this question, How do I define success?  Not a new question, but a relevant one.  For some it is an amount of money earned and others it is a position obtained.  Yet others it is one simple word, happiness.  But even of you are happy, make a ton of money, and arrive at your dream job, you could be missing the point, and look back with a ton of regret.  What if you could OPTIMIZE 4 key areas of your life and live with no regrets?

If you don’t OPTIMIZE these 4 key areas, you will miss out on opportunity.  How Jesus defines success will surely elude you.  Optimizing your health has a new meaning in two simple words:  LIVE DIFFERENTLY.

Live-Differently-2014 FB

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,” Romans 12:2

But something has to happen before we see all the results we want to see.  We must first be transformed by the power of the Gospel of Jesus.  It is more about dependance on Him and less about performing for others and pleasing ourselves.  The story is simple, God created man, there was a great deception of sin, Jesus provided redemption and then He gave us His presence to live a full life.  An OPTIMIZED life with no reservations.

4 Areas that MUST be Optimized –

#1 Spiritual Health – What if you and Jesus were like PB & J? What if you prayed constantly and felt the presence of the Jesus?  What if the words of the Bible started leaping off the pages at you?  What if you were living on mission through your local church?  What if you practiced sabbath and experienced true REST with Jesus?  It’s time to Optimize.

#2 Family Health – What if everyone in your family never doubted love?  The church can get another pastor but my wife only has one husband and my kids only have one person who can fulfill the role of Dad!  Man is that sobering.  What if your family got top priority in your schedule?  What if you forgive and serve your spouse?  What if you created a memory with your kids this week?    It’s time to Optimize.

#3 Financial Health – What if you actually lived financially like God owned all your possessions?  What if you gave at least 10% of your income away?  What if you were 100% debt free?  What if you only purchased what you absolutely NEEDED?  It’s time to Optimize.

#4 Physical Health – What if you lost all that weight and got control of your eating habits?  What if you lived to see your grandchildren graduate from high school?  What if eating became and meaningful act of worship?  What if you were confident in your physical appearance?  It’s time to Optimize.

Jesus has already given you success, you don’t have to “try harder”.  Each one of these areas of your life needs to be transformed by the power of the Gospel of Jesus.  He is the only path to optimization.  This Easter at 217church we start a 5 week series  “LIVE DIFFERENTLYOptimize Your Health. Here is the schedule:

April 20 – Easter – A Life Transformed

April 27 – Spiritual Health

May 4 – Family Health

May 11- Financial Health

May 18 – Physical Health

Anticipating His transformation…

Josh

 

This Easter Sunday April 20th join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 9:30 & 11am and Grace Rogers School in East Windsor, NJ at 10:15.  Our new East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information.

 

 

 

Break Free This Easter

There are some experiences in our life that mark us for the rest of our lives. These experiences can be full of pain and anguish but can guide us to our understanding of our redemptive God. If you look at your scars they tell a story of a broken world: A physical illness, a story of abuse, a divorce, a fatherless child, an orphan, a life of poverty, a death of a close friend. If you look closely at your life, these experiences are calling out to you to see the great power of the resurrection of Jesus to set you FREE!

“…Death no longer has any power over Him,” Romans 6:9

4 Ways To Break Free This EASTER (R.I.S.K.)

  • R – Resurrection Power – Do you believe? This is the question. Belief that Jesus that has forgiven you gives you access to the resurrection power, and it is no JOKE! We see Jesus raise someone from the dead in Luke 8. But are you living like you are dead or alive? What have you given the enemy power over in your life. God wants to give you Resurrection power in EVERY area in your life. To overcome sin, addiction, failure, you now have access!
  • I – Invitational Lifestyle – Are you taking anyone with you? Literally, who are you bringing along with you to be your rock? Who prays for you, believes with you, cares for you? Better yet, who are you praying for, believing in and caring for? Individualism is overrated. The world says be great, Jesus says to make Him Great and then make others great. (Matthew 22:37-39)
  • S – Strong Theology – It’s not just that you believe the easy parts of the bible, but the framework that supports that belief matters. What we believe about God will determine what we do for him. Jesus isn’t a genie in a bottle granting wishes, but is more like a shepherd guiding us along the pathway of life. Here are 4 key ideas regarding who we believe Jesus is from 217church.
  1. Jesus is Savior – The bottom line is we are forgiven Acts 2:38, and our guilt is gone. Romans 8:1 This happened as a result of the blood that was shed on the cross for our sins.
  2. Jesus is Sanctifier – This means we have separation from Sin 1 Peter 1:15-16, and separation to God, Revelation 1:6
  3. Jesus is Healer – His healing power points everyone to him. John 9 Physical, spiritual, emotional, it’s all covered!
  4. Jesus is our Coming King – This means Jesus is coming back to Earth his appointed day to rescue us! Acts 1:11 Are you ready for His imminent return?

(You can read more in depth about these four ideas here)

  • K – Killer InstinctIf you are going to Break Free you have to put to death your fleshly desire. Romans 8:13 . Put to death your pride, greed, and desire for more control. You need to realize you are in a battle with your own sin nature and the world. James 1:12-18 But this is where is gets good! Remember DEATH HAS NO POWER OVER YOU!

So isn’t it time to TAKE A RISK and follow Jesus with your whole heart? It’s easy to follow Jesus on Easter, your true test will come Monday morning. I’m looking forward to seeing you at one of the below Easter celebrations during Holy week. If you are nervous about coming, consider this e-mail I just received from someone who was at 217church for the first time this past Sunday:

“We really enjoyed the service on Sunday. This was our first time coming out and we felt everyone from the time we walked into the first door and ultimately taking our seat made us feel welcome. The service was well organized and we felt the message was straight to the point and relevant. We look forward to coming out again this coming Sunday.”

217church Easter Schedule 2013

  • Good Friday Open Prayer Time- March 29th 6 PM – 9 PM @ 217church Youth Center 200 Whitehead Rd, Hamilton, NJ
  • Easter Celebration Services- March 31st 9:30 & 11am @ AMC24 in Hamilton, NJ
  • Special Easter Kids Party- March 31st in Theater 20 @ 9:30 & 11am

P.S.- Know someone looking to attend a contemporary church in Mercer County, NJ for Easter? Take a risk and tweet, Facebook or email this blog post! There will be a HUGE party with Easter Egg hunt for the kids and a great time of worship with other individuals and families in the surrounding Mercer County and Bucks County areas (Hamilton, Lawrenceville, Trenton, East Windsor, West Windsor, Princeton, Robbinsville, Mercerville, Yardville, Yardley, Newtown, Langhorne and more!). Join us!

Why Easter Changes Everything

On my wall growing up was a small plaque with this bible verse:  “Have I not commanded you, be strong and courageous, do not be frightened.” Joshua 1:9.  Little did I know how much I would need that verse throughout my life in my walk with Jesus.  As the spring arrives and the last bit of snow melts away, you have an opportunity like no other in your life this Easter:  This is your opportunity to let Easter 2013 be the day that changes everything!  In order to do that, you have to be willing to Take A Risk and ask some incredibly difficult questions…


“…Have I not commanded you, be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened”  Joshua 1:9

Although Jesus isn’t dead, before we know it, we can start living like the resurrection never happened!  It is easy for us to be misguided in our focus and start worrying, complaining, and thinking always about our current problems.  But when we fully embrace the Easter story, we cannot stay the same.

5 Reasons Easter Change Everything 

1. Following Jesus Gives Hope – As I look at people’s eyes in the local coffee shop, some are empty as can be.  People are pursuing all sorts of different goals and ambitions that at the end of the day leave them wanting more.  Something twisted happens when you finally arrive at what you think you want.  You become EMPTY.  But the alternative to pursuing worldly wealth, power and pride is pursuing Jesus.  When you follow Jesus you live differently and He gives you a new plan, a new identity, and a hopeful future.  In John 14 Jesus says, “I am going to prepare a place for you.”  This is no doubt a reference to heaven and what comes after we die for those who confess Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  When you come into a relationship with Jesus, you don’t just get heaven, but as it says in John 10:10, you also get a new life and a Fresh Start! Take A Risk and follow Jesus!

Question:  Are you willing to follow Jesus?  March 31 Sermon Topic at 217church 9:30 & 11 am

2. Jesus Has Your Best Interest In Mind – Hearing what Jesus says is one thing, but actually doing what He wants us to do in obedience is another!  What we fail to realize is we think we know what is best, but what we don’t have is perspective.  We often make decisions based on what we think is best for the moment and not what is best for the long haul.  We often forget that Jesus knows our tomorrow and we need to give him our today.  What is God telling you to do?  Sell something? Move somewhere?  Go to college? Serve someone?  Whatever it is, the sooner you do it, the sooner you become unstuck and can move into the next growth season of your life.  Take A Risk and obey God.  Never forget Jesus has a plan for you.  Jeremiah 29:11

Question:  Are you willing to do what God tells you?  April 7 Sermon Topic

3. Your Possibilities are ENDLESS! – Sometimes we don’t receive from God because we don’t ask and sometimes we don’t receive because we ask from the wrong heart with the wrong motives.  The more you develop your relationship with God through prayer, the more you are able to get in sync with what He wants for your life.  This is something that takes a lifetime to master and there is no quick fix.  It all starts with the foundational belief that says, “I believe Jesus has amazing plan with purpose for my life.”  If you have lost faith and don’t have this belief, you have to pray and get it back.  The good news is that God is a God of second, third and fourth chances.  He is faithful and is waiting for you to activate your faith.  Ask Him for His heart in every matter and Matthew 21:22 says, “If you believe you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” This verse has limitless possibilities for you. It’s time to Take A Risk and Ask for BIG things from God

Question:  Are you willing to ask for ANYTHING?  April 14 Sermon Topic

4. Go Ahead, Let Go Of Your DreamsThere comes a time when we must let go of what we want and start embracing what God has for us.  When your dream dies it is the most exciting day of your life.  It isn’t a time of mourning, but a time of great celebration.  Most of the time, the death of a personal dream involves a change in the way you view your MONEY!  In order to grasp God’s dream for your life, you must change the way you view money.  It isn’t your money, but it’s HIS money! For some of us, the biggest risk we can take is to give without restraint.  Most of us trust in things.  Don’t deny it, I’m human, your human, we all have “material issues.”  This simply means at some level we all have selfish problems in the way we handle money.  There is a deep connection between money and following Jesus and it’s time to Take A Risk and trust Jesus.

Question:  Are you willing to Give without restraint?  April 21 Sermon Topic

 5. We Can Let Go Of BitternessSome of us discover very early in life that life is FULL of pain.  It is not a matter of if we will get hurt but when we will get hurt.  Once we are hurt if we aren’t careful, bitterness can take root and start to destroy our soul.  It eats away at our emotions and causes insecurities to form.  There is a saying that I use, “hurt people…hurt people.”  So the key to this is realize the resurrection power lives in you.  This means you have the power to forgive.  It doesn’t mean you even need to want to, but by His strength, you are going to forgive. We are to be agents of forgiveness, always willing to turn the other cheek.  This only happens when we get our heart right with God.  Are you willing to Take A Risk and forgive?

Question:  Are you willing to Forgive without reservation?  April 28 Sermon Topic

Are you willing to TAKE A RISK?  It’s time.

217church Easter Schedule 2013

  • Good Friday Open Prayer Time- March 29th  6 PM – 9 PM @ 217church Youth Center 200 Whitehead Rd, Hamilton, NJ
  • Weekend Celebration Services- March 31st 9:30 & 11am @ AMC24 in Hamilton, NJ
  • Special Kids Party- March 31st in Theater 20 @ 9:30 & 11am

Easter Series Topics:

March 31 – Follow Jesus

April 7 – Do What God Says

April 14 – Ask For Anything

April 21 – Give Big

April 28 – Forgive

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This Easter, we are announcing our biggest RISK ever!  And you can to be a part of it!
P.S.- Know someone looking to attend a contemporary church in Mercer County, NJ  for Easter?  Take a risk and tweet, Facebook or email this blog post!  There will be a HUGE party and Easter Egg hunt for the kids and a great time of worship with other individuals and families in the surrounding Mercer County and Bucks County areas (Hamilton, Lawrenceville, East Windsor, West Windsor, Princeton, Robbinsville, Mercerville, Yardville, Yardley, Newtown, Langhorne and more!). Join us!

Easter 2013 at 217church | AMC 24 Theater Hamilton, NJ

What is the biggest risk you have ever taken in life?  Maybe it was the day you said “I do?”, or better yet the day you quit your job when you didn’t even have another one lined up?  Risk is a tricky subject because the moment we think we have life figured out, God will “shake our snow globe” and say, “If you want to truly follow me, you have to take risks!” 


“…Without faith it is impossible to please God.”  Hebrews 11:6

Following Jesus is risky business.  What we tend to do as Christ followers is look for the path of least resistance.  To follow Jesus means that we turn the other cheek, give like no one else is giving, relentlessly obey God’s commands and submit to God in every aspect of our lives.

 

Why it’s Hard To Follow Jesus 

 

1. Say Goodbye to Conventional Wisdom – Over and over again in the bible, we see the conventional wisdom of the world smashed by the wisdom of the heavens.  1 Corinthians 1 even says, “Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?”  Let’s take just one example of God’s wisdom, “Do not repay evil for evil.”  (Romans 12:17)  This is one that is probably most difficult for everyone.  The first thing I want to do when someone sins against me is sin back!  But we are to be people of peace.  Being a person of peace is an act of faith!  The wisdom of man will always lead you astray, but the wisdom of God will be a rock in your life.

2. Get Ready to Be Misunderstood – Jesus was misunderstood and lived the original “alternative lifestyle.” His disciples were ostracized and martyred for their faith and people were genuinely confused how living like Jesus was beneficial.  People will immediately think you are manipulating them and trying to get something out of them.  In reality, an authentic Christ follower serves ’till it hurts, loves when it seems impossible and forgives when it is improbable. This make absolutely no sense to the people of the world, yet there is an intrigue to the life of Jesus that CANNOT be denied.  He came to seek and save the lost and we are to carry on His mission until he returns to redeem the earth.

3. Your Critics Will Multiply– Ever been made fun of because of your crazy beliefs?  Ever been called an ultra-old fashioned conservative?  Ever felt like the world was entirely against your way of thinking?  Ever been publicly ridiculed, blogged about or secretly thrown under the bus at work or in the community?  Ever read the bible and had people stare in disbelief? Ever tried to do something in love and been refused because they didn’t like your “religion”? Ever take a stand for something that was biblical but unpopular and lose a friend and even your position and prestige? Ever been called a name publicly or privately because of your faith?  Welcome to what it means to follow Jesus and may this be your blessing:  “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!”  Matthew 5:10  BOOM!

4. Your Plans Have To Die – We all have desires to “be something” in life.  Whether it is to be the best mom possible or to succeed at a career, human ambition is rampant in our culture.  But in order to follow Christ, YOUR DREAMS HAVE TO DIE!  We must die to ourselves and “put to death the earthly sin nature that lives within us.” (Romans 8:13)  This is not easy, popular or catchy.  It is flat out counter-cultural & demading.  Is God calling you to give a HUGE generous gift?  Is God calling you to forgive an act that seems unforgivable?  Is God calling you to quit a job?  Is God calling you to work with the poor, the widows and orphans?  These are not “good deeds” in which we pat ourselves on the back, these are faith challenges in which we are shaped and “crucified with Christ.” (Galatians 2:20)  This Easter better not be a religious holiday with bunnies and eggs, it must be a reminder of the high demand to a lifestyle marked with RESURRECTION POWER!  Following Christ isn’t a burden, it is the HIGHEST CALLING on EARTH!

Are you ready to TAKE A RISK?  It’s time.

This Easter at 217church, will be a season of celebration!

217church Easter Schedule 
  • Good Friday Open Prayer Time- March 29th  6 PM – 9 PM @ 217church Youth Center 200 Whitehead Rd, Hamilton, NJ
  • Weekend Celebration Services- March 31st 9:30 & 11am @ AMC24 in Hamilton, NJ
  • Special Kids Party- March 31st in Theater 15 @ 9:30 & 11am

Easter Series Topics:

March 31 – Follow Jesus

April 7 – Do What God Says

April 14 – Ask For Anything

April 21 – Give Big

April 28 – Forgive

Mercer County Church Blog Home

P.S.- Know someone looking to attend a contemporary church in Mercer County, NJ  for Easter?  Take a risk and tweet, Facebook or email this blog post!  There will be a HUGE party and Easter Egg hunt for the kids and a great time of worship with other individuals and families in the surrounding Mercer County and Bucks County areas (Hamilton, Lawrenceville, East Windsor, West Windsor, Princeton, Robbinsville, Mercerville, Yardville, Yardley, Newtown, Langhorne and more!). Join us!

 

P.S.- Know someone looking to attend a church in Mercer County, NJ for Easter?  Take a risk and tweet, Facebook or email this blog post! 

Easter – From Sickness to Health

We have all been there, sick, lying on a bed, desperate for disease to be gone, held captive by a virus or imprisoned by a temporary bout with fever and exhaustion.  Most everyone has experienced the moment when your health fails you.  YOU – ARE – SICK and you know you need help.  You need a doctor and there is no denying it. When we are sick we come face to face with our mortality and our illusion of our control and power.

Why does Easter Matter? Let me spell it out for you…P-O-W-E-R!  Without Jesus, you have none but if you know Jesus you are given the privilege to tap into it.  The same power that conquered the grave lives in you. Realize it, Revel in it, Reveal it, then Roll with it! It’s time to activate our faith!

On Easter, April 8th 217church launches into a new series Live Differently focusing on 4 areas of health:  Spiritual, Financial, Physical and Family.  The only way you will be healthy is through the Power of the resurrection.  One of the things I have come face to face with is the actual weight of this series.  There is a ton of material to cover, a huge amount of work to be done in our hearts, and a multitude of opportunity for us to make excuses for ourselves. But let’s not shrink from the challenge, let’s get transformed against the odds.

So How do we get healthy?  I think this following verse sums up what we need:

“I pray the eyes of your heart will be enlightened in order that you may know the hope in which he has called you to, the riches of his glorious inheritance of His holy people…” (Ephesians 1:18 NIV)

  • A Heart Change – You can try harder all you want…and it won’t matter.  You can get an accountability partner…and it won’t matter.  You can read another motivational book…and it won’t matter.  Your heart has to be enlightened by the Holy Spirit.  There is no substitute for real heart change.  Everything else just treats the symptoms. Are you using drugs to treat your symptoms?  What are you “medicating” with? Its a never ending cycle.
  • A Hope Transplant – Are you kidding me?  Do I really have to write this?  Yes I do, because I know although many of us have known Jesus for years, we have lost our hope.  Our daughter Lydia was born during a time of discouragement in our life. Her middle name is HOPE.  Her name is a constant reminder of God’s faithfulness.  Hope gives us the strength to make it through one more day.  The resurrection moves us from despair to HOPE!
  • An Inheritance By-Pass – We work so hard to accumulate here that we forget the inheritance we already have both HERE and THERE (yes I am talking about earth and heaven)  We worry so much about material things we fare distracted from the spiritual dimension of God’s eternal provision. It sounds incomprehensible, but the inheritance I am getting is NOW through dynamic power of the local church. LATER it will be through the second coming of Jesus because Jesus isn’t dead.  Death has no sting and has been defeated and Jesus is preparing a place for us.  (John 14)

These next 50 days of Live Differently at 217church will be life changing!  It starts with EASTER you NEED to be there.  You will have the opportunity to join a 217group and experience the Live Differently field guide as a heart renewal covenant. How will you make the most of What God will do?

We got this!  That stone rolled away was just the beginning,

It’s on!

Josh