Summer Chaos

Summer Chaos

 The last week of school is truly loosely organized chaos. This is in my home with the girls, the office with the staff, and the school with the students. Loosely organized chaos in every sector of life is enough to challenge the resolve of the stoutest of faith. The schedule all summer is out of whack without school to normalize it; kids are running free in the neighborhoods. Who is in control around here?

John and the disciples asked this to Jesus many times in various ways when things seemed to be getting out of hand. David wrote prolifically in the Psalms about this very thing. My favorite is John the Baptist from jail asking Jesus, “Are You the One who is to come, or shall we look for another?” We start to worry, wonder and doubt when things don’t go our way, and we look for someone or something else to follow.

In the 1 Peter reading for this weekend, we are called as believers to submit ourselves to the appointed authorities in our life, whether they are getting it done for us or not. We do this not out of respect for the individual or team, but rather, out of respect for God! To endure suffering, but also to endure poor leadership, out of respect for and trust in God. Faith that God can use you in this difficult place and also faith that God can accomplish His will even through the evil intentions of others.

This does not mean that we need to take on a fatalistic attitude, that we must take whatever sin comes our way or that we cannot fight against evil. We do these things in God’s name respectfully so that we do not create a power struggle of the flesh but a culture of faith. The times of greatest growth in the Christian faith are when Godless leadership is in power, and then through faithful persistence, leadership is converted to true faith in Christ. Similarly, some of the greatest decline is when Christian leadership has not lived the faith but leveraged their faith or authority for personal gain.

God calls us to submit to authority in life because it is God’s will that through humility and faith we would overcome all things. In this we know that our strength and victory are from the Lord, not ourselves. It keeps us faithful instead of being deceived and tempted by the success of the flesh.

So what do we do when all chaos breaks out, leadership breaks down, the inmates are running the asylum, and we are completely scared and uncomfortable? Exercise our faith in God, His will and His timing. He who did not spare His own Son but willfully sacrificed Him on the cross for you and me will not abandon you. He will not ask you to hopelessly endure. Rather He promises that through faith you will conquer the chaos in His name, and He will work good, for His Kingdom, through your faithfulness. “The peace of God, that surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord!” Philippians 4:7


Have a blessed summer,

Pastor Erik Gauss

To hear this week’s message click below:

































Jesus: More than a Man

There is one thing the whole world agrees on: Jesus existed. History, literature and archaeology give credibility to the physical existence of a man named Jesus of Nazareth. That is about the end of the agreement though as the world is predetermined that Jesus is nothing more than a historical person of significant influence.

Was Jesus a great man or was He God incarnate? The answer is “Both!” which, to many, seems more preposterous than if we were to say Jesus was an angel or a prophet. I have been having some great discussions with leaders in the congregation this month over the current and next sermon series on “Biblical Worldview” and “What Does God Say About?” and we keep getting back to the place the Bible has in our lives. If we trust/believe the Bible, then the stuff we want to know about God is real easy to find out. If we don’t believe the Bible, then it is difficult to determine what truth is.

The Bible tells us Jesus was more than a man; He was a prophet, priest and king of God’s people. Jesus is also the long awaited Messiah promised to Adam and Eve shortly after the consequences of their sin in the Garden of Eden: “I will put enmity between you (serpent) and the woman (Eve), and between your offspring and her offspring; He (future Messiah) shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” Genesis 3:15. This Jesus is prophesied about throughout human history and “…. when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” Galatians 4:4.

More than the Bible, historians that are non-Christians have written about the works Jesus did and the testimonies of His followers. This is where it gets tricky. The testimonies about Jesus are remarkably consistent and have not “changed” throughout time. They have not gotten more mythical as some like to suggest. If anything, the accounts of Jesus are remarkably unflattering and straightforward. The Bible says Jesus was accused of being a drunkard, hanging with sinners, followed by high school dropouts. Isaiah prophesied in 53:3, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.” The rest of the Scriptures confirm He and the disciples were “ordinary men” Acts 4:13.

Yet in the ordinary, God works the extraordinary! “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness.Colossians 2:9. The Bible gives a very clear testimony about who Jesus is and what He has done! The question is, “Are we willing to believe it?” Many have said it is not possible; everyone who saw it agrees it was miraculous! What we can’t do is ride the fence. Jesus who is not God is pointless. Jesus with no Authority from heaven is like following the teachings of Oprah Winfrey, just another person with another agenda about how you should see things. The only thing left is to discern who do you say that Jesus is? Are you out? Or, are you willing to stand up like Peter before all men and declare, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:16. It isn’t a decision; it is faith from the Holy Spirit given to us through the Word of God that allows us to declare this boldly! May God bless and grow your faith daily!

In His service and yours,

Pastor Erik Gauss

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Why is there suffering in the world? Why do bad things happen to good people? If God is good, why does He allow evil to exist? How do I avoid having bad things happen to me or my family? Nobody likes a bad thing; that’s why it is called bad, so why do bad things exist? If there is a God, why doesn’t He do something about these bad things? Have I asked enough questions yet?

biblical world view

When it comes to evil in the world and bad things happening, there seem to be more questions than answers. And yet, there is a very comprehensive answer we don’t like to hear; it is called sin. Sin is the answer we never like to hear; it makes us feel guilty and responsible. This is compounded when we work hard to do good and be good, yet bad things still happen; it just seems unfair. The existence of bad things, evil things, can challenge even the most faithful believer to doubt the existence of God.

Bad things happen because when Adam and Eve chose to eat the fruit in the garden they were effectively saying, “God, leave me alone; leave us alone; we can figure it out ourselves.” But God is good; life without God is evil. How do we say we don’t need God who is good and yet get upset when bad things happen?

Bad things are allowed to happen to remind all creation it is broken and needs a Savior. Last weekend my family and I spent three days in a condo at Lake of the Ozarks. It was a wonderful getaway that had the kids asking if we could live there! Alicia and I said, “What about your friends, your house, your neighbors, your activities? Do you really want to leave all that behind?” They were ready to start over in a new place because there was a TV in every room! We finally told the girls that if we moved there, the TVs would not stay in their rooms. Suddenly they were happy to go back home.

We often get enamored with this world, the relationships, the experiences, the things, the opportunities. It is very easy for us to get caught up in the present and forget all about God and our relationship with Him. Bad things happen as a reminder that this world on its best day is nothing compared to the glory that will be revealed in us. Read Romans 8:18 and following to start understanding this perspective.

Romans 8:18 (ESV)

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

God wants us to enjoy the world He has given to us without forgetting that it is nothing compared to what God will do for those whose trust is in Him. In the beginning God made the world perfect, without suffering, and we were not satisfied. We now have suffering, and in that suffering, God promises to be our strength and deliverance. Through Jesus Christ, suffering turns us toward God to free us from the bad things of this world. This weekend in worship we will dig a little deeper, but for now, in the midst of your suffering, pray for the Glory of God to be revealed to you today, that you would know freedom forever.

To hear this week’s sermon please visit

In His service and yours, Pastor Erik Gauss


Biblical Worldview

biblical world view   Biblical Worldview

 Perspective: a powerful word that literally changes everything. If we change perspective, we can change our life and the world. A person of little to no hope gains hope, a person of great anger receives peace, a person with resentment offers forgiveness, a broken relationship is restored. The list goes on and on, but are we willing to see it, embrace it, and live it?

This next series goes through one of my favorite books of the Bible, 1 Peter. 1 Peter resonates with me because it addresses truth and doesn’t sugar coat the reality in which we live. Some people of faith would rather not deal with truth; it is more fun to talk about joy, hope, love in a purely superficial way. 1 Peter knows faith, hope and love are earned, at a price by our Lord Jesus Christ. To live out faith, hope and love costs us our ability to be selfish and pursue treasures of this world.

1 Peter is a shorter book, so for that reason it is an easy read. It is also filled with tons of content; it gets right to the point so it is an impactful book without a lot of filler. The purpose of the book is clearly stated by the author as he summarizes his writing in the conclusion: “… I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.” 1 Peter 5:12. This is our hope for the sermon series this month: to encourage and testify to the grace of God that we could stand fast in it as the world pursues its own truth just as quickly!

Are we willing to see the world as God sees it? Or, will we continue to walk in the paths the world sets for us, pursuing things that the flesh and mind determine to be necessary? This series in May will address major concepts that distinguish how we think and perceive the world as people of God. It will lay a foundation for us as we will then move into the June series about hot topics in the world for believers. This will be a series to encourage us that we can know the mind and will of God, that we can live out that will and that we can recognize it, to distinguish ourselves as people of faith rather than people of flesh.

Be careful! As God calls us to Himself, reveals His truth and opens our eyes, our perspectives change. As people of God we start to walk by faith, not by sight. It changes everything; it frees us and others to live by truth and not to be deceived by false understandings. It allows us to have life and live life to the full! Let’s read and work through 1 Peter together, asking God to open our hearts and minds to the truth He would reveal so our perspective of the world might be the same as the One who made it all!

In His service and yours, Pastor Erik Gauss