Blog from the Denver Church of Christ

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Rob Ferry

Rob Ferry and his wife Dawn currently serve as Evangelist and Women’s Ministry Leader for the Southeast Region of the Denver Church of Christ. Rob relocated his family to Denver from Philadelphia in August of 2006. He was converted in the campus ministry at the University of Pennsylvania in 1994, just as he was completing his Ph.D. in Neuropharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. Together he and his wife have planted churches, served on the mission field in New Zealand, and have had the privilege of leading campus, singles, and marrieds ministries. Rob passionately loves Jesus, his wife of 18 years, his three incredible children and all things Colorado!
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Recent Posts

Know Your Enemy

Posted on Feb 27, 2017 9:33:32 AM by Rob Ferry in war, in enemy, in satan

 

So, when’s the last time you felt like you got shot—emotionally, right? You had that recently? Doctor says, “It’s cancer.” Friend says they don’t want to be with you anymore. Spouse says, “I think we’re done.” Shot financially—you lose your job, you’re upside down, something busts, you don’t have money for it. You find yourself in real trouble. You’re shot spiritually—you don’t know why, but you’re discouraged, depressed. It feels like there is a cloud that is encircling you. Your thoughts are foggy, and your hope is fading.

What we tend to do in those moments is look up to God—“God, where are you? I thought you were good. I thought you loved me. I thought you would take care of me. I thought you would provide for me. Why do you hurt me? Why are you opposed to me? Why are you—why are you fighting me?”

You ever felt that? People go all kinds of directions when they find themselves in those moments of getting shot. “Maybe there is no God. Maybe God isn’t good. Maybe God loves other people, but God doesn’t love me. Maybe God isn’t that powerful.”

KNOW YOUR ENEMY

You need to know, I need to know, we need to know that it’s not just us and God. There’s a third variable that we absolutely have to factor into everything, and that’s Satan and demons.

We live in a day when, through psychology, through explanation, through a resistance to the supernatural, people don’t even believe in Satan and demons. We turn them into fictitious cartoon characters and mythical parts of our historical narrative; the stories we tell and the fairy tales we enjoy—we don’t think they’re real. We don’t think that Satan is real; we don’t think that demons are real. And so we tend to, every time we are shot, question or blame God, while Satan laughs and runs away.

This is incredibly important. The world is not the way it should be. Not everything that happens is God’s idea. There is also God’s enemy. And it’s so important that it’s the final word in the book of Ephesians.

Turn to and read Ephesians 6:10–24. This is the last word from God through Paul, and it’s about Satan and demons. Yes, the book does talk about your salvation. It does talk about your friendships. It does talk about your marriage. It does talk about your work life. It does talk about your children. But if you overlook, if you neglect, the existence and the war from Satan and demons, it will infect, affect, destroy everything God is trying to do in your life, in our church.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness—(that’s demons)—against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)

It’s very clear. There’s the church, there is God, and then there is a war against God and his people that is waged by Satan and demons. And I want you to know this, Denver Church: when we read this verse, because we come from a hyper-individualistic cultural background, we tend to read this and think that this is to be applied one by one for each of us. And so when we teach this section of Scripture to little boys in Sunday school, they all get dressed up like soldiers. The truth is, we’re all soldiers. But it takes an army to win a war.

This is a word to the whole church—not just individuals in the church but the whole church, laboring, warring, working together. This is a word for us. It’s a word for you, but it’s word for you as part of us. Jesus loves us; Satan hates us. Jesus has plans for us; Satan has plans to oppose us. Jesus, in every way, will bless us; but Satan will, in every way, seek to undermine that blessing. It’s a war!

Do you know that? Most Christians don’t! We live in a therapeutic culture where God is reduced to a life coach who comes along to ask you what you want and to give you tips and tricks to do a better job, to live for your glory, to be what you want, to get what you want, to do what you want! And in that way, it’s absolutely demonic! God does not exist to serve you; you exist to serve him!

IT’S A WAR!

It’s a war! How many of you feel like this life is just an insane war? You know why? It’s an insane war! The closer you get to Jesus, the more resistance you’ll get! The more you advance to the kingdom of God, the more shots you’ll take! Don’t be a coward who says, “Oh, things are hard. It must not be God’s will.” The harder it gets, the closer you are to the will of God.

So, Paul has a very strong word. This is a military word from a commander in chief to troops on the ground for what is to come.  Do you know you have an enemy? Do you know you’re not loved by everyone and everything? Do you know you’re hated, despised, and opposed? Do you know that we are? “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood”—Ephesians 6:12—“but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

People are not our enemy; Satan and demons are our enemy. The Bible speaks of non-Christians as captives. What happens in a war is an overtaking army then enslaves and takes captives the citizens who are conquered. That’s called earth. The world has been conquered by Satan and demons (2 Corinthians 4:4). We’ve been taken captives in the war.

So, our war is not against the captives; our war is against their captors, Satan and demons. We strive that people would be spiritually, in every way, set free to become the children of God. This is why Jesus says very early in his earthly ministry that he has come to set captives free. That’s what he’s talking about. So, our war is not against the non-Christians. Our war is not against those who would disagree with biblical faith. Our war is against Satan and demons who have taken people captive to do his will.

  • How can you remind yourself this week that there is an enemy?
  • How can knowing you have an enemy help you?

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Recovering from Low Expectations

Posted on Feb 24, 2017 10:01:02 AM by Rob Ferry in expectation, in dream

 

Join us in person or online this Sunday at 10 AM at our LifeSource location! Livestream will take place on the DCC Facebook page (search @DenverChurchOfChrist). For a preview, click  http://bit.ly/2l7F6Oc . Theme text Acts 3:1-10.

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Higher Expectations

Posted on Feb 20, 2017 11:47:58 AM by Rob Ferry in expectation, in dream

 

 

Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” Acts 3:4

Here was this man waiting at the gate of the temple. The striking thing about this is that when he asked alms of Peter, Peter stopped, and said to him, “Look at us.” This is very important, because it is right in line with the activities of Jesus whenever he wanted to heal anyone. He rarely walked up to someone and merely touched him and healed him, without first directing his attention to himself. He always captivated the attention of the individuals he wanted to heal, directed them to focus their gaze upon him. The reason is that this arouses a sense of expectation. It always activates faith. This is what happened here. This man expected to receive something from Peter and John. He did not know what he was going to get, but his faith was quickened by Peter's words. This is very necessary in order to receive anything from God. You must expect something from him.

One of the reasons why there are people who attend church but whose lives are hardly any different than when they first came, is that they have never given their attention to God. They have never expected to receive anything when they came. Unfortunately there are those, young and old alike, who turn off their minds when they get into a church service. They start thinking of all kinds of other things, start taking mental trips and playing mental games. I have always thought it would be most interesting after service to know where everyone had been! Unfortunately, the life-changing truth that goes out from the Scriptures misses many, passes right by, and and church attenders can sit here for years and never be changed.

There are young people who have been raised in church, but who are no different, exhibit no evidence that God is at work. This is largely because they never have heard that word, “Look at me,” and paid attention. This is why Jesus always said to the crowds to which he preached, “He who has ears, let him hear...” (Matthew 11:15) Let him listen. This is always necessary for the working of faith.

The minute Peter had this man's attention, he did two interesting things: First, he admitted his bankruptcy in the material realm: “Silver or gold I do not have,” he said. “That's what you are looking for, but I can't help you there.” He then demonstrated his amazing adequacy in the spiritual realm: “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” In that electric moment, as this man was looking at Peter and John, and heard these words, at the mention of the name of Jesus something remarkable happened. Strength came flowing into his ankles, and Peter, sensing it, took him by the right hand and lifted him up. The man rose and began to leap and shout and jump around, trying out this new found strength in his legs which he had never known, because he was lame from birth.

Father, thank you for the name of Jesus. It has lost none of its power. It is still transforming men and women, as it always has — and not only spiritually, but occasionally physically. Thank you for those demonstrations of your power still today. We know that you can change a sick and ailing body and make it well. But also you can take a sick and ailing spirit and make it whole.

Life Application:

  • What does this passage teach us about our expectations of God? How does it apply to you?
  • Are there any broken areas of your life that you have accepted as normal? What’s one step you can take today to begin healing?
  • When people look at you are they drawn to the power and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ? 

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We are more connected than we think

Posted on Feb 16, 2017 9:36:20 AM by Rob Ferry in Diversity, in connection, in humanity

 

 

This VIDEO was sent to me by a brother in the SE region earlier this week.  Turns out there is an entire series of videos just like this one.  As part of an effort to celebrate diversity, 67 people from all over the world took a DNA test. It turns out that they have much more in common with other nationalities than they would ever have imagined.

In the spirit of our diversity weekend, I thought you would be inspired and encouraged by these stories of learning how connected we all really are.

Grace and Peace,

Rob

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Why You Should Take Back The Family Calendar

Posted on Feb 13, 2017 8:46:52 AM by Rob Ferry in Peace, in Still, in Reclaim, in busyness

 

At the end of a typically crazy busy week, we look in the mirror on Sunday morning and wonder, Why are we doing this?

Though divorce, addiction, and depression may win the most headlines for defeating families, often there is an “undercover” predator luring us into these and other family struggles: busyness. We and our kids seem overtired, baggy-eyed, and irritable.

I was reading one article where the writer described how “ a life bulging with activity nearly became a trap for our daughter…” Most of us know well this “bulging activity” that threatens to consume our families, our sanity, and our health.

God’s best for us is not being crazy busy, but being peacefully still.

Schedule saturation and the resulting family calendar chaos has us zooming in all directions at break-neck speed, and we know we are headed for an inevitable crash. Life has become a NASCAR race with 500 laps but too few pit stops, so quickly we run out of gas and blow off our wheels from sheer exhaustion.

How Did We Get So Busy?

In the last 40 years, the pace and busyness of the average person’s life seems to have doubled. We now have more access to things to do, as worldwide communication delivers new recreation ideas multiple times a day. We see every activity being done by every people group on the planet, and we feel driven to be that versatile, that trendy, that competitive, and so on.

If we see 7-year-olds in Sweden playing rugby four times a week, we think, Oh! My kids don’t know rugby! Let’s start that with the recreation department, along with soccer, football, volleyball, baseball, Zumba, line dancing, yoga, pottery and canvas painting!

Our intentions are good, but we soon overload ourselves and our families with a frantic pace and major pile-up of places to be and people to see. This leaves us little quality time to just be with each other, rest, play outside, and have meaningful conversations. Though we don’t always see the connection, busyness corners us into traps which sabotage our relationships and our health.

How Do We Escape From Busyness?

1. Recognize and acknowledge — we are trapped!

When we are enslaved to anything other than Jesus, we are trapped (John 8:34-36). The first step to breaking free from busyness is acknowledging the ways it enslaves us.

2. Be still and listen for God’s guidance.

God will use the Bible, good counsel from wise friends, sermons, songs, and more to show us a way of escape, but we must be still and quiet enough to hear Him. God offers us stillness and rest, and He promises to give us what we need:

  • “He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth’” (Psalm 46:10).
  • “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:14).
  • “Show me Your ways, LORD, Teach me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth and teach me, For You are God my Savior, And my hope is in You all day long” (Psalm 24:4-5).

3. Resist and reject the lure of the trap.  

We may be viewed as “backward” or “old-fashioned,” but when God says we need to trim back our activities, we should accept His pruning shears and start cutting away the bindings of the trap. GotQuestions.org explains the dangers of busyness this way:

“Our culture promotes “bigger and better” and subtly challenges us to keep up. Whew! Who made these rules anyway? Satan loves to keep us running in circles trying to beat the clock. If he can distract us, he can minimize our usefulness to the Kingdom of God. Satan may be the Prince of Darkness, but he is also the Duke of Distraction.

As Christians, we cannot allow ourselves to be swept away in the undercurrent of the cultural stopwatch. Romans 12:2 says, ‘Do not conform to the pattern of 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.’”

Move Forward in Freedom

Taking steps toward a less busy lifestyle may indeed draw some criticism and/or misunderstanding from our friends and neighbors who are still in the busyness trap. Our best response is to invite them to join us in the freedom of escape, into the life with time for rest, meaningful conversations, and undisturbed thinking and prayer. Others may not understand our choices at first, but when they see us enjoying our freed-up lives, they may just ask us, “So, what’s your secret?”

God’s best for us is not being crazy busy, but being peacefully still.

Why stay in the trap any longer...what step can you take this week to escape the busyness trap?

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SE Region 2016 Fall Leadership Kickoff and Workshop

Posted on Aug 14, 2016 10:36:36 PM by Rob Ferry in leadership

Our leadership training and workshop to gear up for our fall semester in the church.  Listen in and learn from Joshua 1 about how to GET READY, personally and as a leader, for our fall season by understanding God’s Vision, God’s Expectations, and the importance of a Leader’s Execution.

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South East Summer Midweek Classes

Posted on May 18, 2016 12:02:30 PM by Rob Ferry in Midweek, in teens, in marriage, in finances, in relationships, in genesis

SE Summer Midweek Classes get underway in THREE weeks!
 
Click HERE to let us know which class you want to sign up for and to claim your spot!
 
Classes will run 6-8 weeks at Presbyterian Church of the Covenant on the following dates:
- June 14, 21, 28
- July 12, 19, 26
- And in some cases, August 2, 9
 
The following classes will be offered:
 
1.  You and Me.  
A class for marrieds based on book of same title by Francis Chan.  The class will focus not just on marriage but also on being sold out, passionate, and mission-focused in our marriages and families.
 
2.  Health, Wealth and Relationships.  
Most of us want to be healthier but either don't know what that looks like it or how to practically get there.  Likewise, most of us want to win with money in a godly way as well as to strengthen and improve our most important relationships but we don't know the way there.  In this class we will share ideas and strategies for living life to the full in the key areas of health, wealth and strong, healthy relationships.
 
3.  Encountering and Exploring Genesis
A flood, dinosaurs, and fathers of the faith.  In this class we will tackle key apologetic questions raised in Chapters 1-11 of Genesis as we investigate evolution versus creationism, God versus science, and other tantalizing topics in the first 11 chapters of Genesis.  Then we will move on to examine and learn from the inspirational faith of two of the great patriarchs in scripture:  Abraham and Joseph.  

 

4.  Class for Teens
Various devotional topics and fun activities!
 
Classes for KK-aged children and MS kids will be offered similar to past summers.

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Missions is Too Important to be Left to Just the Missionaries!

Posted on May 17, 2016 1:19:36 PM by Rob Ferry in Special Missions

Missions is Too Important to be Left to Just the Missionaries! Ever thought of it that way?  

I believe that God's desire is for all of those who follow him to be involved in his global mission of bringing life, hope and restoration to all peoples.

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