el segundo church, african american church, southern california, torrance, south bay
3 Jul
2014

Community Corner Outreach is coming up! July 12, 2014

Join Another Level Saturday July 12th for our community outreach event! It will be held at 145th and Chadron Ave. Food will be served 10am-12pm. Come out and meet your church community!

Community Corner (Generic)

13 Jun
2014

block party

15 Feb
2014

Kings Kids Outing

Santa Monica Playhouse, February 22, 2014 –  2pm

15 Feb
2014

02/09/2014 Sunday Sermon – “I Want to Know Him”

I Want to Know Him…Philippians 3:1-10

Pastor Jonathan Hemphill

 heavens

At a recent Bible study I made a point that God changes us through circumstances. The text we were reading was Romans 8:28 that says, “All things work together for the good of them that love Him and are called according to His purpose.” I made the statement that just because it does not feel good does not mean it’s not working for my good. I shared a brief synopsis of my life story and concluded that everything I have gone through to date did not always feel good, but it has worked out for my good and I am in a much better place than I think I should be because God works it out.

I have been thinking so much about our lives in relationship to Christ and what does it take for people to dig deeper than the mere surface. How do I empower us toward more? I haven’t the answer, but I do know that your life’s story has to be part of your quest to know God for yourself.

The apostle Paul here in a quick letter to the Philippians church is speaking about confidence we have in our flesh. The challenge for us is we are both flesh and spirit. We cannot serve God in our flesh; we must serve God through our spirit. Flesh is contrary to God by way of our sin nature. For believers the sin nature is always in conflict with our spirit. Our flesh wants what it wants and we often have not exercised our spiritual muscles enough to overcome of our flesh, so our flesh wins.

Paul in Philippians is clear about his flesh. A quick side note too, that our flesh is not just things that are sexual, but also intellectual (knowledge). I often think our own intellect can stifle our faith because we have to reason that which make no sense. There becomes a blockade between that which is reality and that which is not. So, faith struggles in the presence of intellect. Because it has to disengage what I see in front of me to what I believe based on a hunch or an anomaly.

Paul rattles off this list of all the reason he should have confidence in his flesh. He lists accomplishments, his family origin, his education, his rites of passage, his religious heritage and comes to the end of his list to say, “but what was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.”

Here are a few thoughts to ponder on…

 

1.) Everything pales in comparison for the sake of Christ

I grown to a place that everything I have means nothing and becomes less important than obtaining Christ. Why is it that we can fight for causes and champion cures, but we don’t even stand for Christ? Why is it we can put up with bad relationship, abusive friendships, but can’t stand for Christ? Why is it that everything else is more important than God and somehow when it comes to the things of God He has to wait His turn. I’ll get to you Jesus, but I have to go and do the other thing first.

Paul lifts up this fact that everything I gained to this point means nothing in my life. Give me Jesus. I need you to know that there is nothing more important that Christ Jesus, period. Paul goes a bit further in the text and says, “even more I consider everything a loss to the surpassing power of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord.

He is speaking now of a two-fold principle, one is of relationship. I’m willing to take a loss to have relationship with Christ. Secondly he speaks positional, Christ is my Lord, and I am submitted under His will. My will takes a back seat to that which Christ desires to do in my life.

 

2.) Desire to Know Christ

Just like we get to know people, we must have that same approach toward knowing Christ. The question is how do I know Christ? Wow the answer is simple yet it is difficult for most people. In his word you get to know his history, mannerism, how he did things, then how he explained what he did. You will find insight to his mission, his purpose and his passion. You will read what made him mad, what him cry and what drove his action. Also, you get to learn about his relationship with his parent both earthly and spiritually, with people, leaders, and the systems and customs of that time.

Paul talks about a righteousness that comes through faith as oppose to the law which is really about works. But then in verse ten, he starts at it again and says, “I want to know Him.”

This word know is to experience, personal knowledge, not mere facts, but a relationship. I want to know Him better. He ends that series with this most powerful statement, “I want to share in the fellowship of his suffering, becoming like him in death.”

3.) To know Christ is to know Suffering

Paul understands suffering. He has suffered a great deal as result of preaching the gospel. As a matter of fact, He is in prison writing this letter by way of preaching. What he is saying here is that there is a correlation between suffering and knowing Christ.

Many of us would not know Jesus if we had not been going through something in our lives that has driven us too him. I’m not encouraging crisis, but that is the very thing that pushes us to God. Suffering then becomes a conduit in which God uses, for us to know Christ. Jesus Christ suffered for us, He died a death that you and I could not even fathom; He was wounded for our transgression and bruised for our iniquity.

Paul is saying here that I want to know it. There then has to become a dying to our old self, our sin nature in order for us to live a resurrected life in Christ. This then becomes the brilliant picture of our Baptism, we go under the water and rise up to new life.

What then is this suffering? This suffering is the wrestle in your flesh to push you toward your spiritual awareness in Christ. The more you go through, the deeper the relationship should become in Christ.  In Romans 8:18 says, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” What we go through produces something amazing on the other end. To know God is to know suffering. If I’m not going through I wonder, how much do I know Christ. This is not to say you are going to always suffer. Even our perception of suffering is jaded. Jesus did not suffer because He was doing the wrong thing. He went through because he was doing the right thing.

I wonder if there is anybody going through a test or a trial in your faith. I wonder if the enemy has assigned haters to your life. I wonder if you have been tried in any area of your life. Because if you have or are in the process then I tell you, you are in the right place, because that is where God does His best work.

Here is the good news, don’t get mad at your hater, Thank God for them, because they pushed you closer to Christ.

Don’t get mad at you terrible situation, Thank God for it, because you now have a deeper relationship with Christ.

Don’t come out of pocket with your enemy, because they have just strengthen your faith muscle in Jesus.

Your suffering produces His glory. So if you reign with him, you got to suffer with him. To know him is to go through with him. I’d rather go through with Jesus on my side than anybody us. Because last time I look in the Bible, Jesus was victorious. We win!

Paul looks at his life and gathers I want to attain resurrection from the dead. He is talking about being regenerated. In other words to spend eternity with Jesus Christ is his goal. He is not looking at this earthly vessel, but beyond this life into the next one.

You have been created to endure circumstances beyond often human ability, you have been created with a desire to know Christ and you have been created to reckon a loss for relationship with Jesus often times you just didn’t know it yet.

 

I want to know Him!

25 Jan
2014

Sunday Sermon

Press In Mark 5:25-34 Pastor Jonathan Hemphill January 19, 2014

What seemingly to be a simple text provides one of the most powerful examples in scripture of what could happen in a person’s life if they learn to just press in. This woman has live with this bleeding condition for twelve long years. Could you imagine living with something that was so depleting of your energy that you could not have a normalized life? Your mood was always down, could not have relations due to the situation, and probably no man would ever be interested in her. Cut off from society, cut off from family, cut off from friends… she was even cut off from going to worship because she was considered to be unclean. Twelve years a slave to her condition. She was unwanted, untouched, unloved, uncared for, and just plain UN.

All too often if truth were to be told a lot of people live in a less than condition too. Their condition might not be her condition, but yet there is something that crippling them, an addiction that is holding them, a sickness that is marginalizing them, a relationship that is draining them, a habit that is depleting them, or a stronghold that encapsulates them. They have been living in something that is uncomfortable, unpredictable, uncaring, unloving, unwanted, and they are finding themselves often by themselves. I come to learn that people can be around people and still feel alone.

We learned how to mask ourselves and never get down to the root of the problem.
Some people are bleeding out and don’t even know they bleeding. We are bleeding from past hurts, broken promises, failed attempts, hurtful words, pride, bad attitudes, childhood stuff, family secrets, bad relationships, addictions, and then some.

What do you do when you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired? May I suggest to you that this lady was at her wits end, gone the distance, tried everything she knew, spent all of her money and now she was sick and tired and the only thing left to do was to get into the presence of the Lord .

Here are a few things I think is important about learning how to press into the Lord:

1.) Hearing produces Hope
All the text says she did was hear about Jesus. She did not know Jesus and the text does not say she was a follower of Jesus all it says was she heard. We teach our children to listen to our voice. When mommy or daddy says something I need you to respond. We expect that in a moment of crisis if we just speak to our children they would respond just by hearing our voice.

The lady in our text heard something about Him that produces hope within her. Maybe she heard that he was on his way to heal Jairus’ daughter and she thought I could get mines in too. Maybe she heard about blind Bartemeaus or maybe she hear about the boy that lay by the Pool of Shalom, Perhaps she heard about the fellow that was lowered through the roof. At any rate it doesn’t matter, she heard what she needed to hear to get what she needed to get.

If we are going to press in we have to be the place to hear what we need to hear and we cannot hear God if we are not plugged into the place God is.

2.) Actively Reach Up
We need to learn how to touch God. Everybody is looking for a hand out, but never a hand up. What am I saying? I need you notice that this lady in our text belief was not in him touching her, but in her touching him. Are you suggesting that we touch God? Yes I am suggesting that if you are going to press in, you are going to have to see things different. It’s not always about God changing us, but sometimes about us changing for God. I’m suggesting here that this broken lady, twelve years a slave, her deliverance was in touch. Her touch was her surrender. She reached up.

3.) Surrender Your Life
People don’t always want to give up their lives, but they want the benefit of following God.
You can’t get the benefit if you are not willing to do whatever it is you got to do to get to Jesus. The cost being a disciple is costly. Several passages in the bible that is clear if you want to find your life, you got to lose it for my sake and take up your cross and follow me.

This lady was demoralized yet she was determined, she was ostracized yet she was steadfast, she was broken, yet she had hope, she was tired, yet she found strength, she was bleeding, yet she found comfort and surrender her everything to the one who gave her everything.

4.) Press in
Don’t allow anything to stop you from getting to Jesus. Jump over the hurdles, find a way, go around if you have too, crawl if you must, scoot if that works, roll if you can, but whatever you do press until you can’t press no more. To press means to push against something with significant force. It means to put weight on something. This lady relented to leave the same way she came. She fought to get into the presence of the Lord… and she did.

—-
At the end of the text Jesus asked a question, “who touched me?” Some looked at him crazy, like for real? But, his question was about relationship. Who touched me, not why did you touch me but who? The reason I believe he asked question is not just because power left him, but because he wanted to identify the pain of this woman with the peace of her Savior. I want you to identify yourself because you no longer have to be marginalized by what was holding you hostage. You are free. You only get free after you are pressed in……Amen!

17 Jan
2014

01/12/2014 Sunday Sermon – A New You, A New Life

New Years is always an intriguing time in the lives of people. We often hear an array of resolutions, regrets, and reflections about yesterday and days to come.

I guess what I’m interested in this year in the lives of people is this notion that we don’t have to wait for a cycle of time to pass us by for us to live like new. In other words you don’t have to wait for something to happen or for time to dictate to you what God is already doing in you. If God moving you on already from something than He is beginning something new. If God is revealing something to you that has never been revealed before, than He is already doing something new.

The challenge I have with a New Year is often people stay messed up longer than they have to because a calendar, a clock, or a situation as related to time versus a fresh revelation from the Lord.

-Have you heard somebody say, “I can’t wait for the New Year so I can start…”
-Have you heard it said, “I’m waiting until the season is over before I do that…”

A change in calendar date does not equal a change in a person
If they are doing the same things after the clock struck before the clock then they are going to get the same results.

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