Timothy’s Encouraging Report! * Pastor Jerry Ghirardo * 05/12/2019

Timothy’s Encouraging Report!

I Thessalonians Chapter 3

May 12th, 2019

Verse of the Week

“But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love.”

~ I Thessalonians 3:6

1.    Paul sends Timothy to STRENGTHEN and ENCOURAGE the Thessalonians.

I Thessalonians 3:2 – “We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith.”

Hebrews 10:24-25 – “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

I Thessalonians 3:3 – “So that no one would be unsettled by these trials.  For you know quite well that we are destined for them.”

I Thessalonians 3:4 – “When we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted.”

I Thessalonians 3:5 – “For this reason when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith.”

2.  Timothy returns with an ENCOURAGING Report.

I Thessalonians 3:6 – “But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love.  He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we long to see you.”

Romans 1:11-12 – “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.”

I Thessalonians 3:7 – “Therefore, brothers and sisters, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith.”

I Thessalonians 3:8 – “For now we really live since you are standing firm in the Lord.”

I Thessalonians 3:9 – “How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?”

I Thessalonians 3:10 – “Night and day, we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith.”

3.    Paul’S BENEDICTION for the Thessalonians.

I Thessalonians 3:11 – “Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you.”

I Thessalonians 3:12 – “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.”

I Thessalonians 3:13 – “May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.”

Paul’s Pastoral Heart! * Pastor Jerry Ghirardo * 05/05/2019

Paul’s Longing For The Church!

I Thessalonians 2:13-20

May 5th, 2019

Verse of the Week

“But brothers and sisters, when we were orphaned by being separated from you for a short time… out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you.”

~ I Thessalonians 2:17

1.    The Apostle Paul is thankful for the Thessalonians BELIEF in the Word of God.

I Thessalonians 2:13 – “And we also thank God continually because when you received the word of God… you accepted it not as the word of men but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.”

2 Timothy 3:16 – “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

2.    Paul commends the Thessalonians for IMITATING the churches in Judea.

I Thessalonians 2:14 – “For you brothers became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus…”

I Thessalonians 2:14-15 – “You suffered from your own countrymen the same things those churches suffered from the Jews, who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out.”

Matthew 5:11 – “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven…”

3.    Paul condemns those who PERSECUTE the Church of Christ.

I Thessalonians 2:15-16 – “They displease God and are hostile to everyone in their effort to keep us speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved.”

I Thessalonians 2:16 – “…In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit.  The wrath of God has come on them at last.”

4.    Paul has a tremendous LONGING to see the Thessalonians again.

I Thessalonians 2:17 – “But, brothers, when we were torn away from you for a short time (in person not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you.”

I Thessalonians 2:18 – “For we wanted to come to you… again and again, but Satan stopped us.”

Daniel 10:12-13 – “…An angel came to Daniel in response to his prayer but the angel was delayed for 21 days by a powerful evil spirit.”

I Thessalonians 2:19-20 – “For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes?  Is it not you?  Indeed, you are our glory and joy.”

Daniel 12:3 – “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”

Paul’s Pastoral Heart! * Pastor Jerry Ghirardo * 04/28/2019

Paul’s Pastoral Heart!

I Thessalonians 2:1-12

April 28th, 2019

Verse of the Week

“We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…” ~ I Thessalonians 2:8

1.    The apparent FAILURE of Paul was actually a great VICTORY for the Lord.

I Thessalonians 2:1-2 – “You know brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results.  We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you the gospel in the face of strong opposition.” 

Colossians 2:15 – “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

Hebrews 11:32-40 – Records a litany of abuses, persecution, and killing of Christians, which were all tremendous successes in God’s kingdom. 

2.    Out of his love for others, Paul boldly PROCLAIMS the gospel with pure motives and no matter what the cost.

I Thessalonians 2:3-4 – “For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motive nor are we trying to trick you.  On the contrary we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel.”

I Thessalonians 2:4 – “We are not trying to please men but God who tests our hearts.”

I Thessalonians 2:5-6 – “You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed…  We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else.”

3.    Paul’s LOVE for the flock shines through in his tender caring approach with the Church.

I Thessalonians 2:7 – “As apostles of Christ, we could have been a burden to you but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her children.”

I Corinthians 9:22 – “To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews… to the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.”

I Thessalonians 2:8 – “We loved you so much that were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.”

Jeremiah 3:15 – “Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.”

I Thessalonians 2:9 – “Surely you remember brothers our toil and hardship, we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.”

I Thessalonians 2:10-12 – “You are witnesses of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed.  For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.”

From Death To Life! * Pastor Jerry Ghirardo * 04/21/2019

From Death To Life!

John 28:1-18

April 21st, 2019

Verse of the Week

“Jesus said to her, ‘ I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’” ~ John 11:25

1.    The cross of Jesus, his agonizing death, speaks to us of his great SACRIFICE and great LOVE for us.

Isaiah 53:5-6 – “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him and by his wounds we are healed.  We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

John 15:13 – “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

2.    The focus of Good Friday is the death of Jesus; the focus of Easter is the celebration of Christ’s RESURRECTION.

John 20:1-9 – Mary Magdalene and the disciples find that the tomb is empty.

John 20:10-18 – Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene in person. 

1 Corinthians 15:55-57 – “Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God!  He gives us the victory through the Lord Jesus Christ.” 

3.    Christ’s death and resurrection brings  RECONCILIATION and HOPE

Ephesians 2:12-13 – ‘… at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenant of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.” 

Romans 6:4-5 – “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may life a new life.  If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.” 

4.    Jesus is the RESURRECTION and the LIFE

John 11:25-27 – “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.  Do you believe this?’  “Yes, Lord,’ she told him.  I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come in to the world.”

Hosannah In The Highest! * Pastor Jerry Ghirardo * 04/14/2019

Hosannah In The Highest!

Matthew 21:1-14

April 14th, 2019

1.    Jesus’ TRIUMPHAL entry into Jerusalem is accompanied by throngs of people worshiping Him and shouting “Hosanna in the Highest!”

This event is recorded in all 4 of the gospels:  Matthew 21:1-14, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, and John 12:3-19.

Matthew 21:8 – “A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.  The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted… “Hosanna in the Highest!”

2.    The time had come for Jesus to reveal his true IDENTITY. He came to present himself as the King of the Jews, as the Messiah.                                                                                        

Matthew 21:3-4 – Jesus comes into Jerusalem riding on a donkey in fulfillment of scripture.

Zechariah 9:9-10 – “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!…  See your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation,  gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of donkey… He will proclaim peace to the nations.  His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River (Euphrates)  to the ends of the Earth.”

Matthew 21:9 – “Hosanna to the Son of David!”  This is a clear reference to the Messiah who would come from David’s lineage and sit on his throne forever.

3.    Jesus came in PEACE 2000 years ago as the King of Kings to save the people and deliver them from their sin and he still comes in peace today.

Matthew 21:9 – “Hosanna in the highest!”

Hosanna literally means “Save us now!”  The term Hosanna refers to the salvation and the deliverance of the Jewish people.  It is a joyful expression coupled with huge expectation.

Based on all the miracles they had witnessed and the profound teachings of Jesus for several years, the people hoped that he was the Anointed One, the one who could save them and bring them peace.

Jesus is the one and only King of Kings and he is still inviting everyone to come and enjoy the eternal peace that only comes from embracing him for who he truly is – our Lord and Savior.

Thank you Lord Jesus!  “Hosanna in the Highest!”

Thankfulness For The Church * Pastor Jerry Ghirardo * 03/24/2019

Thankfulness For The Church

I Thessalonians Chapter 1

March 24th, 2019

1.    Paul is extremely THANKFUL for the local CHURCH.

1 Thessalonians 1:2 – “We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers.”

1 Corinthians 1:4 – “I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.”

1 Thessalonians 1:3 – “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Thessalonians 1:4 – “For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction.”

2.    Paul is thankful for the TESTIMONY of the church.                                                                                                           

1 Thessalonians 1:6 – “You became imitators of us and of the Lord, in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with joy given by the Holy Spirit.”

1 Corinthians 11:1 – “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.”

Ephesians 5:1-2 – “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God, as a fragrant aroma.”

1 Thessalonians 1:7 – “And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.”

3.    The testimony of the Church is marked by a remarkable FAITH in God, 

 a complete change in WORSHIP and BEHAVIOR and an unwavering HOPE in our Savior and His return.

1 Thessalonians 1:8 – “…your faith in God has become known everywhere.”

Acts 4:20 – “For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 – “…They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead – Jesus who rescues us from the coming wrath.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away and behold the new has come.”

Titus 2:13-14 – “While we wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”

Overview of I Thessalonians * Pastor Jerry Ghirardo * 03/10/2019

Overview of I Thessalonians

I Thessalonians

March 10th, 2019

1.    Background: Paul planted the CHURCH in Thessalonica during this 2nd missionary journey and he was forced to leave Thessalonica under duress. (Acts 17:1-10)

Out of concern for the young Church, Paul sent Timothy to check up on them and also to help encourage them.  (I Thessalonians Ch 3)

Timothy came back with an excellent report:  the believers were remaining faithful to the gospel.                          (I Thessalonians Ch 3)

Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians is considered his very first epistle and most scholars believe that Paul wrote the letter in 52 A.D. (Raymond E. Brown, An Introduction to the New Testament, Anchor Bible, 1997, pp. 456-466)

2.    Key Themes: Jesus is the source of our HOPE and his future RETURN motivates us to live godly lives.

Jesus is our hope - the savior who rescues us from the coming wrath of God.  (I Thessalonians 1:10)

 Paul’s thankfulness for the Church he planted at Thessalonica.  (I Thessalonians 1:2)

Paul’s pastoral heart and concern for the Thessalonians.  (I Thessalonians Ch 2)

Paul’s admonition for holy living.  (I Thessalonians Ch 4)

The rapture and the return of Christ. (I Thessalonians Ch 4 – 5)

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” (I Thessalonians 4:16-18)

Joshua's Legacy * Pastor Jerry Ghirardo * 03/03/2019

Joshua’s Legacy

Joshua 24:29-33

March 3rd, 2019

1.    Joshua dies and is buried in the PROMISED LAND.

Joshua 24:29 – “After these things, Joshua, son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of a hundred and ten.”

Joshua 24:30 – “And they buried him in the land of his inheritance, at Timnath Serah in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.”

2.    There are important parallels between Joshua and JOSEPH.

Genesis 50:22 – Joseph stayed in Egypt along with all his father’s family.  He lived a hundred and ten years.

Genesis 50:24 – “Then Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am about to die.  But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.’  And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath and said, ‘God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.’”

Joshua 24:32 – “And Joseph’s bones which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt, were buried at Shechem in the tract of land that Jacob bought for a hundred pieces of silver from the sons of Hamar, the father of Shechem.  This became the inheritance of Joseph’s descendants.”

3.    Joshua and Eleazar have a very special LEGACY unto the Lord.

Joshua 24:31 – “Israel served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had experienced everything the Lord had done for Israel.”

Joshua 24:33 – “And Eleazar son of Aaron died and was buried at Gibeah, which had been allotted to his son Phinehas in the hill country of Ephraim.”  He was the second High Priest of Israel after his father Aaron.

Joshua 24:6-7 – “When your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stories mean to you?’  Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.  And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.”

2 Timothy 4:7-8 – “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store  for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will reward to me on that day; and not to me only but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 

Choose This Day * Pastor Jerry Ghirardo * 2/24/2019

Choose This Day

Joshua 24

February 24th, 2019

1.    God wants us to make a CHOICE to take a PUBLIC stand for Him.

Joshua 24:1 – Joshua assembled all the tribes at Shechem.  He summoned the elders, leaders, judges and officials of Israel, and they presented themselves before God.

Joshua 24:2-13 – Joshua provides a recap of their entire history from Abraham to the conquest of Canaan.

Joshua 24:14 – “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness.  Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.”

Joshua 24:15 – “Then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Matthew 16:15-16 – Then Jesus asks his disciples, “But what about you?... Who do you say that I am?  Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.’”

Acts 7:55-56 – “But Stephen full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.  ‘Look,” he said, ‘I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

2.    The Israelites follow Joshua’s lead and take a STAND for the Lord.

Joshua 24:16 – “Far be it from us to forsake the Lord to serve other gods.”

Joshua 24:19-20 – “Joshua said to the people, ‘You are not able to serve the Lord.  He is a holy God; he is a jealous God.  He will not forgive your rebellion and your sin.  If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, he will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you, after he has been good to you.’”

Joshua 24:21 – “But the people said to Joshua, ‘No!  We will serve the Lord.’”

Psalm 100:2 – “Serve the Lord with gladness, come before Him with joyful singing.”

3.    Joshua establishes the COVENANT for the people at Shechem.

Joshua 24:22 – “Then Joshua said, ‘You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the Lord.’”

Joshua 24:25 – “On that day, Joshua made a covenant for the people and there at Shechem, he reaffirmed for them decrees and laws.”

Joshua 24:6 – “And Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God.  Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the Lord.”

Joshua 24:8 – “Then Joshua dismissed the people, each to their own inheritance.”



God Fulfills His Promises * Pastor Jerry Ghirardo * 2/17/2019

God Fulfills His Promises

Joshua 23

February 17th, 2019

1.   God FIGHTS for us.

Joshua 23:3 – “You yourselves have seen everything the Lord your God has done to all these nations for your sake.  It was the Lord your God who fought for you.”

Joshua 23:5 – “The Lord himself will drive them out of your way.  He will push them out before you and you will take possession of their land, as the Lord your God promised you.”

Joshua 23:9-10 – “The Lord has driven out before you great and powerful nations; to this day no one has been able to withstand you.  One of you routs a thousand, because the Lord your God fights for you, just as he promised.”

Joshua 1:5 – “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life.  Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.  I will not leave you or forsake you.”

2.    Be strong, study God’s Word and OBEY all his commands.

Joshua 23:6 – “Be very strong.  Be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses without turning aside to the right or the left.”

Joshua 1:7 – “Be strong and very courageous.  Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.”

Joshua 23:7 – “Do not associate with these nations… do not invoke the names of their gods or swear by them… But you are to hold fast to the Lord your God, as you have until now.”

Joshua 23:10 – “So be very careful to love the Lord your God.”

Joshua 23:12 – “Don’t turn away and ally yourselves with the survivors of these nations… Don’t intermarry … otherwise they will become a snare and a trap for you…until you perish from this good land.”

3.    God always FULFILLS his promises.

Joshua 23:14 – “You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord God gave you has failed… Every promise has been fulfilled.”

Joshua 21:43-45 – “So the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their forefathers, and they took possession of it and settled there.  The Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their forefathers.  Not one of their enemies withstood them; the Lord handed all their enemies  over to them.  Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.”

Lamentations 2:17 – “The Lord has done what he planned; he has fulfilled his word; which he decreed long ago.”

Jeremiah 1:12 – “The Lord said to me, ‘You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.’”

Commitment to the Lord * Pastor Jerry Ghirardo * 2/10/2019

Commitment to the Lord

Joshua 22

February 10th, 2019

1.    The Lord REWARDS us for our faithfulness to Him and to His community.

Joshua 22:1-4 – “Then Joshua summoned the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh and said to them, “You have done all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded, and you have obeyed me in everything I commanded.  For a long time, now – to this very day – you have not deserted your fellow Israelites but have carried out the mission the Lord God gave you.  Now that the Lord your God has given them rest as he promised, return to your homes in the land that Moses… gave you on the other side of the Jordan.”

Romans 2:6 – “God will repay each according to what they have done.”

Galatians 6:9 – “Let us not become weary of doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

2.    The Lord wants us to be fully COMMITTED to Him no matter what the cost and even if others MISUNDERSTAND our intentions.

Joshua 22:10 – “When they came to Geliloth near the Jordan in the land of Canaan, the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh built an imposing altar there by the Jordan.”

Joshua 22:16 – “The whole assembly of the Lord says, “How could you break faith with the God of Israel like this?  How could you turn away from the Lord and build yourselves an altar in rebellion against him now?

Joshua 22:18 – “…If you rebel against the Lord today, tomorrow he will be angry with the whole community of Israel.”

Joshua 22:24 – The tribes East of the Jordan actually built the altar to help ensure that the rest of the Israelites would understand their commitment to the Lord.  The altar wasn’t built in rebellion or to replace the altar at Shiloh. 

Joshua 22:26 – “That is why we said, ‘Let us get ready and build an altar – but not for burnt offerings or sacrifices.”

Joshua 22:27 – “On the contrary, it is to be a witness between us and you and the generations that follow, that we will worship the Lord at his sanctuary… Then in the future your descendants will not be able to say to ours. ‘You have no share in the Lord.’”

3.    It’s important to stay committed to the COMMUNITY of Christ and to remain UNITED in Him.

Joshua 22:31 – “And Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, said to Reuben, Gad and Manasseh, ‘Today we know that the Lord is with us, because you have not been unfaithful to the Lord in this matter.  Now you have rescued the Israelites from the Lord’s hand.’”

Joshua 22:32 – “Then Phinehas… and the leaders returned to Canaan from their meeting with the Reubenites and Gadites in Gilead and reported to the Israelites.  They were glad to hear the report and praised God.”

Joshua 22:34 – “And the Reubenites and the Gadites gave the altar this name: A Witness Between Us - that the Lord is God.”

1 Corinthians 1:10 – “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions  among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”

God Grants Us Rest * Pastor Jerry Ghirardo * 2/3/2019

God Grants Us Rest

Joshua 21

February 3rd, 2019


1.    After the tribal allotments, the Levites RECEIVED their allotment of 48 towns dispersed throughout all of the promised land.


Joshua 21:2 – “The Lord commanded through Moses that you gave us towns to live in, with pasturelands for our livestock.”


The Lord wanted the Levites, the priests, to be located throughout Canaan not just in one tribal area.


Joshua 21:41 – “The towns of the Levites in the territory held by the Israelites were forty-eight in all, together with their pasturelands.”


Numbers 35:6 – “Six of the towns you give the Levites will be cities of refuge, to which a person who has killed someone may flee.  In addition, give them forty-two other towns.”


2.    The Lord provides us REST after the work is done.


Joshua 21:43 – “So the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors and they took possession of it and settled there.”


Joshua 21:44 – “The Lord gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their ancestors.  Not one of their enemies withstood them; the Lord gave all their enemies into their hands.”

Genesis 2:2-3 – “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.”


Exodus 20:8-10 – “Remember the sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God.”


Exodus 33:14 – “The Lord replied, ‘my presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’”


Hebrews 4:9-10 – “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.”


3.    The Lord provides us with his REST and PEACE along the way.


Matthew 11:28 – “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”


Matthew 11:29 – “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.”


Philippians 4:7 – “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

John 16:33 – “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Justice & Mercy * Pastor Jerry Ghirardo * 1/27/2019

Justice and Mercy

Joshua 20

January 27th, 2019


1.    To protect the INNOCENT , God set up cities of REFUGE in the promised land.


Joshua 20:1 – “…Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses, so that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood.”


Joshua 20:4 – “When they flee to one of these cities, they are to stand in the entrance to the city gate and state their case before the elders of that city.  Then the elders are to admit the fugitive into their city and provide a place to live among them.”


Numbers 35:12 – “They will be places of refuge from the avenger, so that anyone accused of murder may not die before they stand trial before the assembly.”


Numbers 35:6 – “Six of the towns you give the Levites will be cities of refuge.” - 3 in Canaan and 3 east of the Jordan River.


2.    God established the laws for the Israelites to provide PROTECTION from the sinfulness of others and to dispense JUSTICE for those who don’t obey God’s laws.


Numbers 35:29 – “This is to have the force of law for you throughout the generations to come, wherever you live.”


Numbers 35:33 – “Do not pollute the land where you are.  Bloodshed pollutes the land and atonement cannot be made for the land on which blood has been shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it.”

Numbers 35:34 – “Do not defile the land where you live and where I dwell for I, the Lord, dwell among the Israelites.”


Titus 3:1 – “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.”


Ecclesiastes 3:17 – “God will bring into judgment both the righteous and the wicked for there will be a time for every activity, a time to judge every deed.”


3.    Thanks to God’s tremendous LOVE for us, God grants us his MERCY.


Ephesians 2:4 – “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive in Christ even when we were dead in our transgressions.”


Titus 3:5 – “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.  He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit., whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior.”


Exodus 34:6-7 – “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.”


Deuteronomy 7:9 – “Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep his commandments.”


Luke 6:36 – “Be merciful just as your Father is merciful.”


Psalm 89:14 – “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; mercy and truth go before your face.”

Pressing On Toward The Goal * Pastor Jerry Ghirardo * 1/20/2019

Pressing on Toward the Goal

Joshua 18-19

January 20th, 2019


1.    The Israelites _______________  ______________ over Canaan and set up the tent of meeting at Shiloh.

Joshua 18:1 – “The whole assembly of the Israelites gathered at Shiloh and set up the tent of meeting there.  The country was brought under their control.”


Joshua 18:2 – “But there were still seven Israelite tribes who had not yet received their inheritance.”


Exodus 25:8 – “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.”  The tent of meeting was the sanctuary where the Israelites kept the Ark of the Covenant.


Exodus 33:7 – “Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.”  Anyone inquiring of the Lord would go to the tent of meeting…”  It was where God met with the Israelites.  It was the holiest place and the center of worship and sacrifice in the nation of Israel.


Shiloh was centrally located which made it more accessible for all the tribes to come and worship there.


2.    While the Israelites had made significant progress, they still had to _________________

_________________ to finish the work and occupy the rest of the land for the remaining 7 tribes.

Joshua 18:3 – “So Joshua said to the Israelites, how long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors has given you?”  Sometimes, we need a push.  We need to get moving.


Psalm 119:60 – “I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.”  If we remain idle when the Lord has called us forward, it’s a mistake.  We can miss out like the Israelites did in the desert.  (Deuteronomy 1:19).  They didn’t move out in faith to take the Promised Land when they should have and the Lord was not pleased with them.

James 4:17 – “If anyone then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”


Philippians 3:14 – “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  We should have had the attitude of the Apostle Paul to press on until the job is done.


Joshua 18:11 – Joshua 19:48 covers the allotments for the 7 remaining tribes:  Benjamin, Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and Dan.  God directed these allotments through the casting of lots and the Israelites moved out to claim these territories.


3.  Joshua received his allotment __________________  __________________ the tribes were situated.

Joshua 19:49-50 – “When they had finished dividing the land into its allotted portions, the Israelites gave Joshua son of Nun an inheritance among them, as the Lord had commanded.  They gave him the town he asked for – Timnath Serah in the hill country of Ephraim. 


A servant leader will also make sure that others are taken care of before they take care of their own needs.


1 Corinthians 10:24 – “No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”


Philippians 2:4 – “Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interest of others.”


Matthew 20:26-27 – “But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave.”


4.  The Israelites finished _________________ the land under the _________________ of the Lord.

Joshua 19:51 – “These are the territories that Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun and the heads of the tribal clans of Israel assigned by lot at Shiloh in the presence of the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting.  And so they finished dividing the land.”


Joshua 18 begins with the reference to the divisions at the tent of meeting and Joshua 19 ends with the same reference.


The Lord was intentional in dividing the land and he used the chief priest, the leader of the nation, the tribal leaders and the casting of lots to make the allotments.

The Promised Land, God's Provision, Our Possession * Pastor Jerry Ghirardo * 1/13/2019

The Promised Land, God’s Provision,

Our Possession 

Joshua 15-17

January 13th, 2019


1.    God’s provision doesn’t involve just ______________ the promised land, but ______________ it as well.


The first 12 chapters of Joshua pertain to the conquest of Canaan.  The faith of the Israelites is on display as they trust in the Lord who fights for them.

The next 12 chapters describe the partition of the land to the 12 tribes, the clans, and even specific families as an inheritance, a possession from the Lord.


Numbers 33:53 – “Take possession of the land and settle in it for I have given you the land to possess.”


Deuteronomy 30:16 – “For I command you today to love the Lord your God and to walk in obedience then you will live and increase, and the Lord will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.”


2.    God’s ______________ is not random but quite specific and all in accordance with His divine purpose.

In Joshua Chapters 15-19, the Lord provides specific allotments to the various tribes in accordance with His divine will and foresight.


It’s not the Wild West with a land grab by those racing to stake a claim but an intentional process directed by the Lord to provide for each family, each clan, each tribe.


Joshua 15:1 – “The allotment for the tribe of Judah, according to its clans, extended down to the territory of Edom, to the desert of Zin in the extreme south.”


Philippians 4:19 – “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”  God provides for all our needs and gives us specific blessings each day to accomplish His purposes in our lives.

3.    Even the ordering of God’s blessing is ___________.

Joshua 15 – The first allotment was to the tribe of Judah.    This is the tribe of King David and Jesus.  This is a choice allotment where Caleb and his family also received their inheritance.


Joshua 16 – The second allotment was to the tribe of Ephraim.  Joseph’s inheritance was split between his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh.  Due to his faithfulness, Joseph received a double blessing.


Genesis 48:17-20 – Ephraim was Joseph’s second son but God chose to bless him before Manasseh, Joseph’s first born.  The tribe of Ephraim received a choice allotment a little to the north of Judah.


Joshua 19:49-50 – Joshua receives his inheritance in the hill country of Ephraim.


Joshua 17 – The third allotment was to the tribe of Manasseh.   This tribe was so large that it was split into the two half tribes of Manasseh.  The allotment was split into two areas west and northeast of the Jordan river.

4.    While God is always ___________ to fulfill his promises, God’s full blessing requires us to step out in ___________ and also to ask him boldly to ___________ our territory.

II Corinthians 1:20 – “All of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding Yes!”

Joshua 15:16-17 – Ohniel, Caleb’s nephew, wins Caleb’s daughter’s hand in marriage by fighting against their enemies and driving them out of the land.

Joshua 15:19 – Caleb’s daughter Aksah requests additional land so that she would have springs in the desert.

Joshua 15:63 – “Judah could not dislodge the Jebusites, who were living in Jerusalem; to this day the Jebusites live there with the people of Judah.”


Joshua 17:14-18 – Ephraim and Manasseh request additional lands since they were a numerous people, and the Lord had blessed them abundantly.  Joshua grants their request to extend their territory but they have to fight the Canaanites for it.


The Lord wants us to act with boldness and great courage and expand our territory of influence personally and through the Lighthouse!

Predictions For The New Year * Pastor Jerry Ghirardo * 1/6/2019

Predictions For The New Year 

Colossians 1:3-14

January 6th, 2019


1.    Bad Prediction: “The stock market will go up and it will go down many times during the year.”

 Good Prediction: “You will continue to grow in your faith in Jesus through the ups and downs (if you trust him more and more).”

2 Peter 1:5-8 – “For this reason make every effort to add to your faith goodness, and to goodness knowledge and to knowledge self-control and to self-control perseverance and to perseverance godliness.”


James 1:2-4 – “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”


2.   Bad Prediction: “In 2019 you will have some good days and some bad days.”

Good Prediction: “You will continue to be a blessing to Christ and others through the good days and the bad days.”

Matthew 5:16 – “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works, and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”


2 Corinthians 9:8 – “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

3.   Bad Prediction: “You will get a little older this year.”

Good Prediction: “You will get wiser as you get older through the study of God’s word and reflection on Him.”


Hebrews 6:1 – “Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity.”


Ephesians 4:13-16 – “Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”


4.   Bad Prediction: “You will become more like the world this year as you are immersed in the gossip, the news, and the culture that surrounds us.”

Good Prediction: “You will become more like Christ as you remain devoted to him and the study of his Word.”


Colossians 1:9-10 – “We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way.”


2 Peter 3:18 – “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.”


Romans 12:2 – “Do not conform to the pattern this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is -his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Jesus Came to Serve * Pastor Jerry Ghirardo * 12/30/2018

Jesus Came To Serve!

John 13:1-17

December 30, 2018

  1. Jesus didn’t come to be SERVED; he came to SERVE.

    Matthew 20:28 - The baby born to the virgin Mary on Christmas day came into this world to serve you and me.

    He didn’t come as royalty to be waited on hand-and-foot. He didn’t come so that others could serve him. He didn’t come to lead a lavish lifestyle.

    He came to lead a humble life and pour out his life for many.

    Mark 10:45 - “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life for many.”

  2. Jesus came to teach us how to serve by SHOWING us how to SACRIFICE for others.

    John 13:1-17 - At the Last Supper, Jesus washes his disciples’ feet. He shows them how to serve with love and humility.

    Mark 9:35 - “Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, ‘Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.’”

    Matthew 23:11-12 - “The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

  3. Jesus is the perfect example of a SERVANT leader.

    1 Peter 5:2-3 - “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them…not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.”

    Luke 22:26 - “But not so with you. Rather let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.”

    Acts 20:28 - “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God which he bought with his own blood.”

    Psalm 78:72 - “And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.”

    1 Corinthians 9:19, 22 - “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a servant to everyone, to win as many as possible…I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.

For God so Loved the World! * Pastor Jerry Ghirardo * 12/23/2018

For God so Loved the World!

Luke 1:26-35

December 23, 2018

  1. Jesus truly is the Messiah, the begotten SON of God.

    Mathew 1:18, 21 - “This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: his mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit…She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name, Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

    Luke 1:31-32 - “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.”

  2. God so LOVED the world that he gave his one an only son, Jesus.

    John 3:16 - “ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

    Galatians 2:20 - “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

    1 John 4:9-10 - “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only son into the world that we might live through him. This is love; not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice of our sins.”

  3. God sent JESUS to save the world by sacrificing his life for us!

    Ephesians 2:4-5 - “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our transgressions. It is by grace you have been saved.”

    Romans 5:8 - “But God demonstrated his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

    Titus 3:4 - “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he save us not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.”

    John 15:13 - “Greater love has no man than this; to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

Joy To The World! * Pastor Jerry Ghirardo * 12/16/2018

Joy To The World!

Luke 2:8-14

December 16, 2018

  1. The birth of Jesus Christ brought great JOY to the whole world.

    Isaiah 9:3 - “You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy!”

    Song lyrics - “Rejoice, Rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.”

    Luke 2:10 - “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”

    Song lyrics - “Joy to the world, the Lord has come! Let earth receive her king!”

    Matthew 2:10 - When the Magi saw the star, they were filled with joy!

    Song Lyrics - “Oh, star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright, Westward

    leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.”

    Luke 1:46 - “And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.’”

  2. It’s not our circumstances but CHRIST himself who is the source of true joy!

    Philippians 4:4 - “Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, Rejoice!”

    1 Peter 1:8-9 - “You are extremely happy with joy and praise that can hardly be expressed…as you obtain the salvation that is the goal of your faith.”

    Psalm 16:11 - “You will fill me with joy when I am with You.”

    John 5:9-12 - “Just as the Father has loved me, I have loved you. Now remain in my love…I have told you this so that my joy will be in you. I also want your joy to be complete. Here is my command. Love each other, just as I have loved you.”

  3. Thanks to Jesus, we can REJOICE in Him in all things!

    1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 - “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

    Psalm 47:1 - “Clap your hands and shout to God with cries of joy.”

    2 Corinthians 7:4 - “In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy.”

    Romans 5:13 - “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

The Greatest Christmas Gift! * Pastor Jerry Ghirardo * 12/2/2018

The Greatest Gift!

Isaiah 9:1-7

December 2, 2018

  1. The advent of Christ involved God’s perfect PLANNING and PREPARATION.

    1 Peter 1:20-21 - “He was chosen before the creation of the world but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.”

    Galatians 4:4 - “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law.”

  2. The birth of Christ involved the miraculous fulfillment of numerous PROPHECIES.

    Micah 5:2 - “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are of old, from ancient times.”

    Isaiah 7:14 - “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

    Isaiah 9:7 - “He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.”

    Daniel 9:25 - “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks…”

  3. God provided us the greatest gift of CHRIST himself and through him salvation and the hope of ETERNAL LIFE.

    John 3:16 - “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

    Romans 3:23 - “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

1 Peter 1:3-6 - “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”