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"Saved" Esther 9:1-19 In another stunning reversal, the decree of life is carried out. People marked for death are spared and given a new lease of life. This reversal feels harsh to us, but it would have been seen as equal justice in the time. And yet this event foreshadows a much greater reversal, one in which life also came out of death—the Cross…
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Sin is rampant. There is war, disease, and natural disasters. In addition to this, the world is against God and his church. At best Christians are seen as foolish, naive or backwards. At worst, the church is hated and persecuted. Within the church, there is corruption, abuse and false teachers. As we look around it seems overwhelming and we wonder …
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"A Decree of Life" Esther 8:1-17 God's providence leads to another reversal. An irrevocable decree that brought death to the Jews had been given, but now a counter degree bringing life. In the same way, a decree of death stands against us for our sin that can't be revoked, but the counter decree of the gospel has been issued, bringing life. When we…
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As we continue our "Growing in Grace" sermon series on 2 Peter, we will look at 2 Peter 1:5-11 in a sermon called "Faith in Action." Grace is not something we can know but remain unchanged. If we believe in what Jesus has done in our lives then we cannot remain who we were when we were saved. Peter challenges us to "make every effort" to live out o…
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"Justice of a Sort" Esther 7:1-10 God provides another amazing reversal; justice is served, and Hamman meets the fate that he had set for Mordecai. The death of a substitute satisfied the King's wrath. With Mordecai and Haman, it was the guilty dying in the place of the innocent; with Jesus and us, it is the innocent dying in the place of the guilt…
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Have you ever packed for a trip and then had that feeling like you were forgetting something? I feel this way every time I pack! I can't imagine leaving the house for a trip and being absolutely sure that I had everything I needed. In our "Growing in Grace" sermon series on 2 Peter, we are looking at 2 Peter 1:1-4 in a sermon called "Everything We …
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"The Man the King Delights to Honor" Esther 6:1-14 God's providence leads to a great reversal; Mordecai is honored instead of Hamman. This is really no surprise since scripture says that God "opposes the proud and shows favor to the humble." Both Hamman and Mordecai were servants of the King, but Mordecai had the humble heart of a servant, so he wa…
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We are starting a new sermon series called "Growing in Grace" which will cover the New Testament book of 2 Peter. In this short letter, Peter, knowing his life would soon be over, gives some final reminders to people he cares about. Most importantly, he wants them to know the grace given to them through Christ and for them to be diligent to live li…
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"The Prequel" John 14:15-31 At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out with power on all believers, and the church was formed. With this passage for today, Jesus helps us understand that the Holy Spirit comes to help us to know Him more, to live our faith in Him, and to continue His ministry in the world. Orchard Community Church 8180 Telephone R…
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When we became followers of Christ, we began to look at the world differently. Almost as if we were given brand new eyes to see with. The way we view our culture and the world changes when Christ comes into our lives. But in a sermon titled "Spiritual Blindness" we look at an encounter between a physically blind man and Jesus that shines a light on…
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"Approaching the King" Esther 5:1-14 In this passage, we have contrasting characters. Esther approaches the king by faith and with humility. Haman has an approach, too; his is one of foolish pride in his accomplishments. With God, it's never about accomplishment; it's always about relationships. Do we know and belong to Him? _______________________…
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We conclude our sermon series on the local church called "A Peculiar Unity" by looking at Ephesians 3:20-21 in a sermon titled "The Power and the Glory." There are times throughout history when having faith in Jesus has not been popular. Followers of Jesus face persecution and ridicule. It is easy to get discouraged and feel like being a Christian …
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"Seize the Moment" Esther 4:1-17 God will accomplish His purposes. The question is whether He'll do so through or in spite of us. In this passage, Mordechai and Esther's faith comes to life, and they begin to follow God's lead. No matter where we find ourselves, we can be confident that God can use us for his purposes. God's providence leads Esther…
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We continue our sermon series called "A Peculiar Unity" where we are looking at the importance of the local church in God's plans. In a sermon called "Guardrails," we look at how our unity must be shaped by a common mission and shared values as we look at the mission statement and core values of Orchard. I hope we are all be challenged to make sure…
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"Buckle Up" Esther 2:19-3:15 We live in a broken world where life is often hard and unfair, and we often sin and suffer, but God is always near and at work for the good of His people. So we always have hope, not least of which is for a greater King! ________________________________________________________ Esther God Behind the Scenes Esther is the …
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I remember as a kid watching reruns of the show called "The Lone Ranger." Just the title gives away the basic idea which is that there is one person, who is all by himself, taking on the world. Of course, he wasn't actually all by himself as he had help along the way. But our culture today values the idea of a person who does not need anyone and is…
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"God Prepares the Way" Esther 2:1-18 While Xerxes is enacting his plan, God's providence leads Esther to become Queen because of the role she will play in His plan. God is often at work in our lives in ways we can't see, and He can use us despite our situations, shortcomings, and sins. _______________________________________________________________…
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If we want a cup of coffee, we have a lot of different places to go. We can go to Tim Hortons one day, McDonalds on another day, and then Starbucks on another day. There is nothing wrong with this. But what if we have this attitude toward the church? There should be a difference between our attitude toward our place for coffee and our local church.…
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“Where is God?” Esther 1:1-22 It may seem to us at times that God is absent when, in fact, He is present behind the scenes. God used one person standing up for what was right, exposing the frailty of this worldly kingdom and creating the opportunity for his plan to unfold. God's power and providence mean we always have hope, not least of which is f…
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There are many ways to be united with other people. You can find others who are just like you. You can find others who like the same things you like. You can find people who hate the same things you hate. But at some point something can change. Maybe you don't like or hate the same things anymore. What happens to the unity then? If our unity is dep…
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I Am the Bread of Life Jesus is the one who fills us John 6: 32-39 Guest Preacher - Melinda Hoyt Orchard Community Church 8180 Telephone Rd Ventura CA 93004 www.OrchardVentura.org Contact us at Info@OrchardVentura.org Orchard's Streaming and Song Select CCLI# 160190توسط Orchard Community Church
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"When God wanted to bring the incredible message about new life through His Son’s death and resurrection to the world, He didn’t create a program, build a structure, or start a country. He used a group of people. Though these people were different from each other and were each flawed, what joined them together was that they had been changed by Jesu…
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“He is Risen!: Two Disciples on the Road” Luke 24:13-35 After Jesus was crucified, two of his disciples encountered an amazing man on the road to Emmaus, and their lives were forever changed when they realized that Jesus had risen from the dead! As we encounter Jesus, may our lives be changed, too, as we realize that He is the Risen Lord! (Easter S…
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We celebrate the most important, history-changing, life-altering event in the history of humanity. It is impossible to overstate the magnitude of the impact of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross and His resurrection from the grave. We look at the greatest problem of humanity, the greatest act of love ever committed, the most profound act of bot…
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The Adoring Crowds Mark 21:1-11 Crowds of people on the road to Jerusalem encountered Jesus, and they adored him because they believed He was the Messiah. As we encounter Jesus, who do we say that He is, and how could that change our lives? __________________________________________________________ Encounters with Jesus (Lent) Throughout the Gospel…
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There comes a point in a journey when you are almost to your destination. When the journey is long, that time when you are almost there is both exciting and agonizing. You long to be where you are going, but you still have a little ways to go before you get there. We conclude our sermon series called "Are We There Yet? Glory, Grace and Grumbling in…
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“A Reluctant Participant” John 5:1-15 A man who could not walk had an encounter with Jesus, and he took a leap of faith that changed his life. As we encounter Jesus, he also calls us to take leaps of faith. ______________________________________________ Encounters with Jesus (Lent) Throughout the Gospels, people had amazing encounters with Jesus. T…
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There was a phrase I would often use with my kids as we pulled into whatever place we were going. It was the phrase, "Now, remember..." and then I would proceed to remind them about their manners, things they were allowed to do or not allowed to do, that they needed to stay where we could see them, or just anything that they needed to remember wher…
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A Paralyzed Man Mark 2:1-12 A Paralyzed man encountered Jesus, and he was healed and forgiven. As we encounter Jesus, He desires to heal and forgive as well. _____________________________________________ Encounters with Jesus (Lent) Throughout the Gospels, people had amazing encounters with Jesus. These were ordinary people who were forever changed…
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We look at a very difficult passage in the book of Numbers. In Numbers chapters 31 and 32 God's people are faced with several very difficult choices. Understanding these chapters for us is very difficult as well, since the issues facing God's people are very foreign to us. But by looking at the choices they made - some good, some not so good - we c…
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“A Girl and a Woman in a Mess” Mark 5:21-43 A girl and a woman had encounters with Jesus, and they found that He had the power to deal with even the biggest and messiest problems in their lives and that He didn't turn them away because of them. As we encounter Jesus, we find these same things are true of Him for us as well. ________________________…
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The day I was leaving for college was a very memorable day because of the words my dad gave me. The conversation was direct and void of any waste. My dad wanted to give me some final advice before he dropped me off for college with the hope that I would remember some critical things to help me survive till I would see him again in November. What wo…
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“A Dishonest Man” Luke 19:1-9 A dishonest tax collector named Zacchaeus encountered Jesus, and when he did, not only did his life change, but his values changed, too. As we encounter Jesus, our lives and values are also supposed to change. ___________________________________________________ Encounters with Jesus (Lent) Throughout the Gospels, peopl…
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We are forgetful people. This is why so often in the Old Testament God teaches His people to be intentional about remembering what He has done for them. In a sermon called "Intentional Remembering," we look at Numbers chapters 28-30 where God gives His people specific things to help them remember Him when they come into the Promised Land. We learn …
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“Some Random Fishermen” Mark 1:14-20 Some random fishermen encountered Jesus. He called them to repent, believe, and follow Him, and their lives were forever changed as they did so and became his first disciples. As we encounter Jesus, He calls us to repent, believe, and follow Him so that we might also become his disciples. (Ash Wednesday) _______…
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“A Woman at a Well” John 4:1-26, 39-42 A woman at a well had an encounter with Jesus, and it changed her life and the lives of others in her town, as she and they came to believe in Him as their savior. As we encounter Jesus, He calls us to believe in Him and receive Him as our savior, too. ____________________________________________________ Encou…
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Sometimes starting over is hard. You get to the end of a project and realize you made a mistake and you have to start over again. That can be frustrating. But sometimes starting over is exciting. You get a new beginning to avoid the mistakes you made the first time. In a sermon called "New Beginnings", we look at Numbers chapters 26 and 27 as part …
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Effective Prayer James 5:16, Mark 11:20-25 Effective prayers come from seeking to live God's way, remembering to ask, and doing so by faith without doubting that God can do what we've asked for. Prayer Matters As we move into the new year, we'll begin a new series of messages called "Prayer Matters" because prayer really does matter a great deal. A…
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It is an amusing sight at a kids sporting event when someone takes the ball in the wrong direction and scores for the opposing team, but it would not be so funny if that happened this weekend in the Super Bowl! There comes a point when people understand what is at stake and should know better. In a sermon called "Helping the Enemy" we look at Numbe…
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"How Should We Pray?" Mathew 6:5-14, Ephesians 6:18, 1 John 5:14-15 We should pray, seeking an honest and intimate connection with God and using the Lord's prayer as a guide. We should also pray all kinds of prayers constantly and with confidence. Prayer Matters As we move into the new year, we'll begin a new series of messages called "Prayer Matte…
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In this sermon we look at a classic story from the book of Numbers - the story of Balaam and his talking donkey. It reminds me of Sunday School stories as a kid or illustrated children's books. But the book of Numbers is no children's book and the account of Balaam is much more complicated and sinister than what we might typically teach to kids. In…
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Does God Really Listen and Answer Prayer? Psalm 139:1-4, Jeremiah 33:3, Proverbs 28:9, James 4:3, Mark 11:24, 1 John 5:14 God hears everything, including our prayers. God does answer our prayers. When people ask faithfully, God frequently grants their prayers, more often than we may realize. However, God does not always give us what we pray for, an…
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Where do we go when we need help? Where do we turn when things seem like they are falling apart? This sermon on Numbers 20:14 - 21:45 is titled "Look Up and Live" and looks at a time when the Israelites, once again, got themselves into trouble in the book of Numbers. God had done so much for them, yet again they grumble and complain against him. As…
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"Why Should We Pray?" Colossians 4:2, Matthew 6:5-7, James 5:16, Mark 14:36, Matthew 6:6 We should pray for a number of reasons: we are called to pray in scripture because prayer is powerful, but most importantly, we should pray in order to grow a deep and intimate relationship with God. _____________________________________________ Prayer Matters …
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We struggle with wanting to be first. Or maybe just wanting to be right. Or just wanting others to think that we are right. Every aspect of our culture feeds the flame within us that says we are right and we should get what we want. This sermon looks at a very difficult passage in Numbers 20:1-13. We need to look carefully at these 13 verses becaus…
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"What is Prayer?" John 17:1-2, 11: 20-21, Matthew 14:23, Matthew 6:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Prayer is communication and communion with God, which is central to the Christian life. _____________________________________________ Prayer Matters As we move into the new year, we'll begin a new series of messages called "Prayer Matters" because prayer real…
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We return to our sermon series "Are We There Yet? Glory, Grace, and Grumbling in the Book of Numbers." We are stepping back into the wilderness between Egypt and Israel where God's people struggled to accept God's grace at work in their lives. In a sermon called "Life in a World of Death" we look at Numbers chapter 19.…
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"Walking Through the Messes with Him" (Magi) Matthew 2:1-12, Ephesians 3:16-17 The Magi could have let the messes they encountered stop them. Instead, they sought Jesus in the mess, and they found Him. May we follow their lead, seek Jesus in the messes, and learn to walk through them with Him. Epiphany Sunday _______________________________ Messy C…
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We follow our annual tradition of using the first Sunday of the new year to look at an overview of the entire bible. This sermon iis called "The Big Picture" and we see that in Scripture God gives us one big picture of who He is, who we are, the relationship that God has created us for, as well as His plan and work to make that relationship possibl…
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"Jesus at Work in the Mess" (Us) John 4:39-42 On this Sunday, a few members of our Orchard family will share stories of how God has been at work in their lives, and together, we'll lift up prayers for the New Year. Faith Stories Sunday featuring Neepa DeVries Micheal McQuillan June Verloop ___________________________________________________________…
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