The most powerful man in the world wakes up in a cold sweat in the middle go the night because of a terrifying dream. This ancient king will learn what we must all learn, God’s Kingdom trumps all others. We also learn from the faithful servant of that pagan king, Daniel, how to stand against the unjust use of power – boldness regardless of the consequences, humility, and a prophetic edge where he unequivocally speaks the truth. There is a kingdom that is going to come and will never end, and that is what fueled Daniels faithfulness. In the midst of all of the chaos in this world, do we truly believe that God’s kingdom trumps all others? Because God’s kingdom trumps all others, we can stand against injustice, share the gospel, serve instead of hating or assimilating, turn our pain into power, lose knowing we really win, and be saved. You can listen to this message on Daniel 2 by Pastor Mike HERE!
Have you ever felt that you were out of place? That you didn’t belong? One of the most difficult aspects of the life of a Christian is that we navigate through a world in which we do not belong. Our time here is limited, and the book of Daniel shows how we can survive and thrive during this time of earthly exile. How did Daniel react to the adversity and life altering events? He did not seek to impose his faith. Instead he was faithful to the God who was faithful to him and he left the results up to God. Faithfulness belongs to us but the results are up to God.
Nebuchadnezzar was a blood thirsty dictator who was the most powerful man on earth and he wanted the Israelites to be like Babylonians in every aspect of their lives. This is what the system of the world tries to do to us. We are placed at a crossroads where one path leads to dishonoring God through assimilation and the other path leads to honoring God by going against the popular beliefs, even at the risk of personal danger. What is the last thing from which you were determined to stay away from to honor the king and to be faithful to Christ? Everyone loves Christ until it is time to declare it with their actions. Daniel and his three friends were determined to be faithful to their God while being in a godless place. The ultimate faithfulness is found in our Lord Jesus Christ who was led to the cross and took upon the full weight of God’s wrath. How is the Holy Spirit leading you to push some things away to serve the king better? Daniel had total dependence in God. It is easy to say you depend on God until you face opposition, until your faith is challenged, until He’s the only thing we have. The only thing we really need is Him. Jesus is not the copilot; He is THE pilot. During times of trials and uncertainties, the answer to all of the whys in our lives is who. Who is in control? Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. You can listen to this message on Daniel 1 by Pastor Tyler HERE!
We don’t want to be a church that exists without the gospel, where the gospel becomes assumed, then distorted, and is ultimately lost. We must keep the main thing, the main thing: the gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to insist on the gospel. Being gospel centered isn’t just having the right propositional truths in our heads, it is the posture of our hearts to worship Jesus for who he is and what he has done.We need to avoid non issues that diminish the gospel, not majoring in the minors and minoring in the majors. The focus cannot be more on the results of the gospel than the fuel of the gospel. In what fashion are we really confessing the centrality of the gospel? We need to reject people who lead others from the gospel. Divisiveness in the body of Christ is detrimental. Those who stir up division (remember the fancy Greek word?!) need to be disciplined. We need to pursue good works, the fruit of the gospel. We need to learn to devote ourselves to good works, to be nourished, trained, and protected. As members of Restore, we will gather weekly, serve intentionally, give sacrificially, walk in community, and reconcile swiftly. We have to keep the main thing, the main thing! You can listen to this last message of our Titus series on Titus 3:8-15 by Pastor Mike HERE! Also, if you missed last week’s message, you can catch that HERE! Next week we will start a new sermon series on the book of Daniel! Please come join us Sunday morning 11am at the PO (2701 Joy Rd. Detroit Mi 48206)!
Is your life built upon a shaky foundation or on a sure foundation? What drives us? What are we anchored in? We can fall into two ditches at the road to grace: driving with the security club, following a set of rules out of obligation, and driving without a steering wheel, allowing the feelings to interpret Scripture rather than the feelings being interpreted by Scripture. One’s about doing and the other is about feeling, but both are not grounded in the truth, embracing the lifestyle but not the life. The starting point must be God’s glory rather than man’s need when we look at the Christian walk. Jesus was a hero, a good example, but more importantly he is our Lord and Savior, to whom we owe our very lives. Even the faith that we are required to be saved cannot be mustered up on our own; it is given to us as a gift. Grace is not merely a definition, but it is a person, teaching us to pursue after Jesus rather than the ungodly passions in our lives. Only out of the proper understanding of grace and the love for Jesus can we do the good works for glory of God, reading the word, praying, and being in community of believers.We are not entitled to anything. It’s not about our likes and dislikes. It’s all about Jesus. Is He your Lord and Savior, or is he just your hero? You can listen to this message on Titus 2:11-15 by Pastor Clete HERE!
False teachers outside the church and faction creators inside the church are those who stir up division by leading people falsely with what they believe and how they are to live. A church without a strong qualified leadership is similar to a body without a functioning immune system. Elders are to be the immune system for the church. One of the reasons to the calling of a godly eldership is because of the proliferation of hairetikon, those who divide. They are many outside and inside the body that do damage to the church. They are deceivers who are unwilling to submit to God, God’s word, or to God’s leaders, while distorting the gospel by adding to it. These people might do damage from a pulpit, but the biggest damage they inflict is in the private places where families are turned over and led astray. They teach for shameful gain, being more interested in money, reputation, position and power than serving God’s people and His church, and they often reflect the sins from the culture that they come from, rather than fighting against it. They profess to know God but deny him with their works. So what is the necessary response from the leadership? These people must be silenced, their platform to infect the body removed, and sharply rebuked, all which come from a heart of a broken father who protects his family. You can listen to this message by Pastor Mike on Titus 1:10-16 HERE!
As Restore Church continues to grow, we thank God for the ways that He has used our church to preach the gospel, make disciples, and reach our community. But as we’ve outgrown the living rooms that we were first meeting in, we also need to grow our capacity to meet the needs of our church. To help meet some of these needs, particularly in the area of administration, Heather Fitzgerald will be joining our team in a part-time role. We are grateful for Heather’s clear gifting, her experience at The Summit Church in North Carolina, and her deep love for the community. Aside from being a Penn State football fan, she is a perfect fit for our team and will be a “force multiplier” for us. God has been very kind to send Heather our way! For those of you who don’t know her, here is a quick introduction:
I moved from Durham, NC to Detroit a little over a year ago because I felt God leading me here to minister to women who are engaged in street-based prostitution. I had no idea what that meant a year ago, and let’s be honest, I’m still trying to figure out what that looks like! What I did know, however, was that I needed to find a church. I moved to Detroit on a Friday, found Restore that Sunday, visited a D group on Wednesday, and knew pretty much immediately that I had found my home at Restore Church.
I say “y’all.” A lot. I love North Carolina BBQ and BigTen football (preferably together). I also love seeing Jesus redeem and restore what is lost and broken. I spent a long time resisting the fact that “administration” is actually a spiritual gift and, even worse, that it is my spiritual gift. I wanted to be gifted in a way that was more, well…spiritual. Eventually I gave up fighting it and recognized that I could pout about not having the gift of miracles (because don’t we all wish we had that gift?!), or I could actually use the gift that God gave me to honor Him and to serve His church.
So that’s what I’ve been trying to do ever since. Prior to moving to Detroit, I spent 5 years working as part of the administrative team at my church in North Carolina, and I hope that experience will be valuable to our church family as I serve Restore in this role!