Monday, December 15, 2014

1 John: We Know

1Jn 5:13  I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.
Because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ there are a lot of things that we know. We know we have eternal life. We know we have confidence to pray to the Father and he hears us. We know that we are loved. In this final sermon from 1 John, Church Elder Martin Hornfischer teaches us what we can know through the Gospel.
Delivered to the Galena Bible Church, Sunday December 14th, 2014.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Leaving an inheritance

I have thought a little over the past several years of ministry about legacy. What will I be remembered for? Today I lost a mentor and friend. Randy and his beautiful daughter Ariana died in a freak interstate accident. My heart is heavy for myself and Shell as we personally grieve. My heart aches for his amazing wife Jennifer and his three other children. There are no words for the pain so I want to give words to the joy. 
Randy was my youth pastor and first ministry boss as I interned under him the summer of 2000. Randy had a unique way of explaining God's Word in a way that people could understand and grab on to. His passion for loving Jesus was only equalled by his determination to show teens that Jesus was worth everything. I saw in him a preacher that I wanted to be like in my ministry. He also loved his wife well. Adored is a much better term. I remember going on youth trips and seeing the longing in Randy's eyes to be home with his bride. When he performed Shell and my marriage I did think that I wanted to love Shell like Randy loved Jen. 
Proverbs 13:22 says "A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children..." The text is talking about money but I believe there is a spiritual truth too. A good man pours into his children in such a way that his grandchildren are blessed. Seeing the tributes to Randy have reminded me that that's true. If you've been blessed by any aspect of my ministry, it's because you've received an inheritance from Randy that he shared with me. An inheritance of joy in Jesus. He has his great joy now. And I would share with you the same Joy. I will see you again Ari and Randy and it will be in joy. 

I've started a gofundme account to be used by Jennifer however she sees fit. Please share and give as you feel led. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

1 John: The Testimony Never Ends

1 John 5:6-12
1John 5:11-12  And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Your testimony (the story of Jesus' work in the Gospel in you) contains your salvation experience, but no more ends there than your marriage does at "I do". In fact a billion years from now you'll still be sharing your testimony of Christ's goodness toward you.
But have your ever heard that Jesus has a testimony? What is it and what does it say about Him? In this sermon Pastor Chris Kopp takes us through 1 John 5:6-12 and we'll see that:1. Jesus has a testimony, 2. We have a testimony, and 3.The world needs our witness.
Delivered to the Galena Bible Church, Sunday December 7th, 2014.

Monday, December 1, 2014

1 John: It takes faith to love

1 John 5:4
For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith.
A Chiasm (><) is a Greek literary style of communicating a specific point using a similar choice of words. Like an X is big on both sides and comes to a singular point in the middle, so a chiasm phrases statements in such a way to illustrate a big idea. Here in 1 John 5 the apostle shows that the Gospel frames all obedience to God in His commands, and that inside the context of the Gospel is how we can truly love people. All of this is accomplished by faith.
Delivered to the Galena Bible Church, Sunday November 30th, 2014.

Monday, November 24, 2014

1 John: Abiding Love

1John 4:16  So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

When Jesus tells us to "abide in my love" what does he mean? Just hang out with Jesus? Feel "funny" about Jesus? No, abiding love is a holistic and love DOES more than it it ever FEELS. The Apostle Jon describes a vertical (God <--> Man) abiding love, and a horizontal abiding love (man <--> his fellow man) and in this sermon Pastor Chris describes what we do in abiding love.
Delivered to the Galena Bible Church, Sunday November 23rd, 2014.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Exciting Normalcy

November is about the only time that I would say, for me, that ministry life feels normal. It's not that it's absent of busy schedules, it's just routine schedule. Nothing normally out of the ordinary. That said, normal is some exciting stuff around here. Yesterday afternoon we sent a team from GBC 60 miles north to share the testimonies of two native ladies who's lives have been changed through the Gospel. The reports I've heard were they were well received and we pray that the Holy Spirit would do the same work in the hearers as He did in these two ladies.

Meetings are normal too. We have a weekly meeting of SEND guys to talk through vision, planned trips, personal challenges, and planting churches. We have a monthly meeting of the elders of GBC where we prayerfully look to the spiritual health of the church. We also have a bi annual meeting for the SEND North interior team which currently represents three villages and 8 missionary families. Here we dream and ask what we can do to join God in His work to make disciples and plant churches. Meetings can be boring, but not when the Gospel is involved. 

Then there's what we would call everyday life normal. Fourwheeler fall through the ice? (Not mine by the way) Happens man. Sure we'll go play arctic AAA service. I love that brothers are not afraid to ask for help, and I love that there are brothers who will help. The Gospel creates a family that would otherwise not exist. Exciting normal. 

So how about you? Feel busy, worn thin, or have too much on your plate? Look through the lense of living and shareing the Good News of Jesus. If it can't be shaped by the Gospel, I'm convinced it shouldn't be what you are doing. 

Special Giving Idea: the SEND North 206 airplane that we use to travel to villages without evangelical churches costs $260/hr to operate. Maybe this Christmas you'd like to sponsor a trip or two. Average round trip time is about 3 hours to our furthest village. Email me at for giving details. 

Things you can be praying for:
- That people would come to know Jesus in Galena and the surrounding villages. 
- That dorm staff would find the selfcare that they need as they pour themselves into teenagers lives. 
- For the team led by Bill Pagaran of Carry the Cure who is comin to serve in Galena this week. 

1 John: Here is Love

1 John 4:10 "In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."

The world offers a paint by numbers cheap imitation of the masterpiece called God's Love. Love has become so misunderstood that the fundamental questions about it have to be re-answered and not assumed. Where does love come from? What is love? What are we to do with love? If you take away one lesson from this, let it be this: God loves you. If that does not boggle your mind you have no earthly idea what love is.
Delivered to the Galena Bible Church, Sunday November 16th, 2014.