Posts with the category “sunday-follow-up”
February 11th Follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on February 12th, 2024
1 Thessalonians 5The Day of the Lord is coming, get readyApparently, there was some confusion among the believers in Thessalonica about the Day of the Lord. Paul told them two things. First, the Day of the Lord would come like a thief in the night. Second, the Day of the Lord would come when people are saying peace and safety.The term Day of the Lord encompasses a period of time that includes the ...
February 4th Follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on February 6th, 2024
1 Thessalonians 4While we wait for his returnOne day soon, each of us will be going about our day as normal, and there will be the sound of a trumpet, and those of us who are followers of Jesus will find ourselves with Him. As the saying goes – “I can’t wait”. But that is exactly what we are doing right now. Waiting for His return. While we wait we should be watching and preparing for His return.T...
by Dean Ceccarelli on January 29th, 2024
1 Thessalonians 2:17 – 3:13Let’s do life togetherI shared yesterday this caption I found years ago.“Community is not just about being together, it’s about doing life together, thanks for doing life with me”.What does it mean to do life together? Aren’t we doing life together when we gather on Sundays? Not necessarily. When we are doing life together with other believers, we are sharing our struggl...
January 21st follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on January 22nd, 2024
Living in light of His coming1 Thessalonians 2:1-16“What will our testimony be?”I am guessing each of us has been to a funeral service. Typically during the service individuals will come forward and share some memories of the deceased person. In a way, those folks are testifying to what they witness about that individual.For those of us who are followers of Jesus, one day our time here will come t...
January 7th Follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on January 8th, 2024
Colossians 3:18 – 4:18Faithful servantsOne day all followers of Jesus will appear before the Bema (reward) Seat of Christ. There we will learn of how we did in our service to Jesus. If you are like me, I long to hear those words – “well done good and faithful servant”. But what is a faithful servant? How can I know if I am being a faithful servant? As a side note, faithful does not mean perfect. H...
December 31st follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on January 1st, 2024
Colossians 3:1-17“Our new life”I would venture to say that many of us have heard others speak of how they found a new lease on life. Maybe it was someone who went through a very difficult marriage and eventually a divorce. A person who declares they have a new lease on life is one whose circumstances have changed which leads them to believe things will be better.Though it is great to be able to gi...
December 17th follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on December 18th, 2023
Colossians 1:24 – 2:23When our faith comes under fireThe faith of the believers in Colossae was under attack from false teaching. The truth is though, the faith of believers has been under attack since the church was birth. Still today, as followers of Jesus, our faith continues to come under attack.Sometimes our faith comes under attack in the form of suffering. Suffering entails undergoing pain,...
December 3rd follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on December 4th, 2023
Colossian 1:1-14What would others say about you?Paul begins his letter to the church of Colossae by telling them how he thanked God every time he prayed for them for what he had heard about their faith, love, and hope. This got me to thinking about what would others say about me or you to those who don’t know us. Would they say basic things like they are a nice person, friendly, etc... Or would th...
November 26th follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on November 27th, 2023
PhilemonWhat can help us forgive others?Philemon was a slave owner who had a slave named Onesimus who stole from him and ran off. An offense that could be punishable by death. Onesimus ends up in Rome, meets Paul, and then comes to faith in Christ. Paul and Onesimus agree that the right thing for Onesimus to do is to go back and deal with his sin. Paul asks Philemon to receive Onesimus back as a b...
November 19th follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on November 20th, 2023
Philippians 4“How to improve our spiritual health”I’m sure most of us are aware of how our society has put a greater emphasis on improving one’s physical health through diet and exercise. Why is that? Because we have come to learn and accept that unhealthy diets and lack of exercise tend to lead to health issues later in life. So we will sacrifice foods we love to eat and will make time to exercis...
November 12th Follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on November 13th, 2023
Sunday follow-up: Philippians 3 - “Our past, present, and future”As followers of Jesus, we need to live each day in the present, while looking to the future, but also being mindful of our past. This can be a challenge at times.Our past is part of our life, but it should never define us. We are defined by who we are in Jesus, not who we were in the past. Sometimes believers can find it difficult to...
November 5th follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on November 6th, 2023
Philippians 2:12-30“How to Shine for Jesus”I want you to imagine you are at home, it’s nighttime, and your power goes out. You go outside to see if it is just your house or if others are having the same issue. As you look around, all your neighbors are in the same boat as you but one. One of your neighbors has a home generator that kicks in when the power goes off.Now imagine you are living in Pho...
October 29th follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on October 30th, 2023
Philippians 2:1-11“Striving together”Yesterday I spoke of striving together as the church. To strive together means to make great efforts to achieve or obtain something together. The heart of God for His church is that we strive together for the furtherance of His kingdom through the sharing of the good news of Jesus and the building up of the body of Christ.Striving together starts with being lik...
October 15th follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on October 16th, 2023
Philippians 1:12-30“When we change our perspective”Yesterday I talked about what changing our perspective can do when dealing with difficult situations. Perspective is the way we see something. We can’t control what comes our way, but we can control how we respond. How we respond, outwardly and inwardly, will be determined in large part by our perspective. The thing about perspective is that we ca...
October 8th follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on October 9th, 2023
Philippians 1:1-11“Keeping one another in our thoughts and prayers”We live in a technological age where people can stay connected like never before. We have cell phones, email, and various apps including church apps. And yet at times, it seems as though our church families are still disconnected. I don’t believe it’s because people don’t care.There is an adage that says “Out of sight out of mind”....
October 1st follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on October 2nd, 2023
2 Corinthians 12:11 – 13:14“The heart of a disciple”For those of us who have been saved, we often refer to ourselves as Christians, followers of Jesus, or believers. But one thing we can’t forget is that we are disciples of Jesus. Here is a definition of a disciple:A disciple is one who follows Jesus, is being changed by Jesus, and is committed to the mission of Jesus. As a result, a disciple love...
September 3rd Follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on September 4th, 2023
Sunday Follow-up2 Corinthians 8 – “A biblical view of giving”When it comes to giving to the Lord financially, believers generally fall into one of several camps.One camp is comprised of those who see giving as a duty. They give because that is what Christians do. They give their ten percent because Christians are called to tithe.A second camp is comprised of those who are indifferent. They underst...
August 27th Follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on August 28th, 2023
Sunday Follow-up2 Corinthians 7:2-16 – “Mending relationships”All believers have a relationship with one another. Whether we are acquaintances, friends, or loved ones. Regardless of the closeness of our relationships, we are all part of the family of God. Our relationships are not immune to being wounded, damaged, or broken. Sometimes wounded relationships are self-inflicted. Sometimes they happen...
August 20th Follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on August 21st, 2023
Sunday Follow-up2 Corinthians 6:3-13 – “Faithful servants”If you are a follower of Jesus, you are likely familiar with the parable of the talents where the master says to two of his servants – “well done good and faithful servant”. I don’t know what rewards await me, but my heart longs to hear Jesus say to me – “well done good and faithful servant”.What does faithful mean and what does a faithful ...
August 13th Follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on August 14th, 2023
Sunday Follow-up2 Corinthians 5 – “Followers with a mission”In Matthew 4:18-20 we are told this - 18 While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, ”Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him.Not only w...
by Dean Ceccarelli on August 7th, 2023
Sunday Follow-up2 Corinthians 4 – “Why perspective matters?”Perspective is how we choose to see things and our attitudes toward those things. Holbrook, AZ is located in the high desert. Not much in the way of vegetation. Some people’s perspective of the desert is that it is ugly. Their preference is for lots of trees and grass. Others look at the desert and see beauty. Neither perspective is right...
July 30th Follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on August 1st, 2023
Sunday Follow-up2 Corinthians 3 – “The beauty of the gospel”Yesterday I shared two things from 2 Corinthians 3 that demonstrate the beauty of the gospel. The first is the ability of the gospel to transform a person’s life. Paul is a wonderful example of how one can be transformed by the good news of Jesus when they respond to the truth of who He is and what He has done.Since the day I heard the go...
July 23rd Follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on July 24th, 2023
Sunday Follow-up2 Corinthians 2:5-17 – “We know how the story ends”Upon Jesus’ death and resurrection, sin and death were defeated. The war was won. For those of us who have put our faith in Jesus, His victory became our victory.Though the war has been won, there are still many battles to be fought. These battles may show up in health issues, financial issues, or relationship issues. One area that...
July 16th Follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on July 17th, 2023
Sunday Follow-up2 Corinthians 1:12 – 2:4 – “Showing that our God is trustworthy.”The greatest day of my life was on the day that I received God’s gift of salvation. The day that I decided to follow Jesus. And if you are a follower of Jesus, I am guessing that was the greatest day of your life as well. On that day we placed our trust in God. We declared that we believe and trust what the bible says...
July 9th Follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on July 10th, 2023
Sunday Follow-up2 Corinthians 1:1-11 – “Declaring God’s glory through our lives”I want you to imagine living in a home where you can sit down anywhere in the home and look out a window to a beautiful scenic view. Now what would happen to that view if winds were to blow in smoke from a neighboring forest fire? All of a sudden those beautiful views would become obscure.As followers of Jesus, every d...
July 2nd Follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on July 3rd, 2023
Sunday Follow-up1 Corinthians 16 – “How are you doing spiritually?”We live in a time when people seem to be more concerned and aware of their health than before. This includes believers. But shouldn’t we have the same concern and awareness of our spiritual well-being?Sometimes people go to the doctor because they are not feeling well only to find out through a series of tests that they have cancer...
June 18th Follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on June 20th, 2023
Sunday Follow-up1 Corinthians 13 – “The way of love”Yesterday's focus was on understanding God’s way of love. The way of love is a way of life for the follower of Jesus. We are told in John 13:35 that others will know that we are Jesus’ disciples by our love for one another. In chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians Paul said this about love:1 Corinthians 13:4–7 (ESV) Love is patient and kind; love does not ...
June 11th follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on June 12th, 2023
Sunday Follow-up1 Corinthians 12 – “Do you know why you are important to your church family?”Human nature is such that we can fall into the trap of believing that certain spiritual gifts are more important or have greater value to our church family than other spiritual gifts. Why do we sometimes think that way?Could it be because some spiritual gifts are more readily seen when they are used? Or be...
June 4th Follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on June 5th, 2023
Sunday Follow-up1 Corinthians 10 – “What we need to understand about temptation”There are some portions of roads in Scottsdale Arizona, where there are road signs that say – “Do not enter when flooded”. These signs were put in place because people would try and cross those sections of roads when they were flooded. This resulted in their vehicles being stranded in the flood waters. Even after the s...
May 28th Follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on May 29th, 2023
Sunday Follow-up1 Corinthians 9 – “What are we willing to sacrifice for others?”I would imagine each of us has made sacrifices for others. It may have been for our spouse, our children, our parents, our siblings, etc… When it is people we care about, we tend not to mind as much. What about those who are just friends or acquaintances? Or those who are in your church family? What about people who ar...
May 21st Follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on May 22nd, 2023
Sunday Follow-up1 Corinthians 8 - “How to live for Jesus with others in view”All believers have the freedom to do things that are not sinful, but not all believers possess that knowledge. What one believer may feel free to do could potentially be a snare for another believer. One believer may develop a conviction that certain things are wrong to do, but another believer may not share that same c...
May 14th Follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on May 15th, 2023
Sunday Follow-up1 Corinthians 7 – “A proper perspective of marriage”If you are a young unmarried person, you need to be praying for your future spouse. If you have been divorced, learn from your mistakes and try again. If you are a widow, give yourself time to heal and start the search again. This is the wrong kind of thinking some have. If you are not married, should one assume that it is God’s w...
May 7th Follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on May 8th, 2023
Sunday Follow-up1 Corinthians 6:12-20 – “Choose wisely”If you want to know what God has deemed to be sinful, read the Bible. Anything God has declared sinful, we are not free to do. Yet some in the church in Corinth believed it was lawful (or that they were free) to commit sexual immorality. I think we can all agree that when Paul said “All things are lawful” he did not mean that the Corinthians w...
April 30th Follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on May 1st, 2023
Sunday follow-up1 Corinthians 6:1-11 – “When you have conflicts with other believers”I’ve had my share of conflicts with other believers in the time that I have been following Jesus as an adult. Some have been with my wife. Some have been with those I served with. Some have been with those who were part of the same church family as I was. No matter what the reasons were for those conflicts, I am ...
April 23rd follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on April 24th, 2023
Sunday Follow-up1 Corinthians 5 – “Are you looking for the perfect church?”As a follower of Jesus, I know that on this side of eternity, I will not be perfect. When I say perfect, I mean sinless. However, at times the word perfect in the Bible refers to spiritual maturity. My goal as a follower of Christ is not to reach a state of sinlessness, but to grow and mature in my walk with Him.Part of our...
April 16th Follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on April 17th, 2023
Sunday Follow-up1 Corinthians 4 – “How do we want to be judged?”If you have ever been misunderstood, criticized, or judged by other believers, then you are in good company with the Apostle Paul. He too was criticized and judged by other believers including some in Corinth. He stated in 1 Cor. 4:3 (NIV) – “I care very little if I am judged by you”. Why did Paul say this? Because the only judgment t...
April 9th Follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on April 10th, 2023
Sunday Follow-up1 Corinthians 15 – “Does the resurrection matter?”There was a teaching floating around in the church of Corinth that said there was no resurrection of the dead. A belief held in Greek culture and was most certainly perpetuated by unbelievers in the church. But for some reason, a few of the believers in Corinth decided that it must be true. What they did not consider were the ramif...
April 2nd Follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on April 3rd, 2023
Sunday Follow-up1 Corinthians 3 – “Keys to Spiritual maturity”Spiritual maturity is not something we obtain upon our spiritual birth, nor does it happen automatically. Spiritual maturity comes through spiritual growth and it is something that we have to be intentional about. There are things we can do to facilitate our spiritual growth thus allowing us to mature in our walk with Jesus.But what is ...
March 26th Follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on March 28th, 2023
1 Corinthians 2"The Spirit of God, working through the word of God, using servants of GodI have a brother-in-law who is very forthright in sharing the gospel with others. It doesn’t matter where he is or what the situation is, if there is an opportunity to share Jesus with someone, he will. I know there are other believers like him, but there are many more who are not.Found this from Lifeway resea...
March 19th Follow-up
by Dean Ceccarelli on March 20th, 2023
Sunday Follow-up1 Corinthians 1:10-31 “It’s the message, not the man”If you are a follower of Jesus, I want you to think back to the moment you were born again. The day that your life was forever changed. You made a response to the gospel message. It was a message that may have been conveyed to you by a friend or family member, a pastor during a church service, or listening to someone speak of ...
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