To Know Jesus, Week 2

January 8, 2023
Lead Pastor, Nate Levering

We were so grateful for a break in the storm to gather together with you. What a way to open the service, seeing a worship team made mostly of middle school and high school students. It is a pure gift to see teens with a desire to serve the Lord and make Him known, while then watching families in both the 8:45 and 10:30 service make the decision to dedicate their families to the Lord. Raising those precious babies to know Christ is the greatest gift you can offer them.

Our Lead Pastor, Nate Levering preached Sunday's service, focusing mainly on the life of Paul. Paul was a disciple of Jesus and lived his life with the mission to make Christ known. It's easy to look at and read about people like Paul, considering them the heroes of faith and surely then to think we will never measure up. What we may not always consider when reading of Paul's missionary journeys and the many people he led to the Lord, was that his beginning was anything but heroic. His history before becoming Paul, was as a man named Saul, known as a murderous man amongst the church. "Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison" (Acts 8:3). From putting people in prison because of their belief in Christ, to condoning the murdering of others, Saul was not who we'd associate as a person who God would then use. But then, in the way only God could do, He changed everything.

Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything. (Acts 9:1-9)

Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah. (Acts 9:18-22). 

Saul's name was changed to Paul around Acts 13 and it is documented as him being filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus changes everything. The history of Paul hardly qualified him to lead others, or so thought many in the villages he went to where his reputation preceded him. What qualified him, rather, wasn't his reputation but the testimony he now had, being full of faith.

I once was blind but now I see.
I was dead but now I'm alive.
I was a lost but now I'm found.

Do you see yourself and your story in any of those lines?

So, who do you say He is?

Jesus answers us, "I am the WAY and the TRUTH and the LIFE" (John 14:6). If He is those things, which we know to be true, and we get to know Him and know that He changes EVERYTHING, what then? How then will we see ourselves? How will we see those around us? Will we measure our lives differently and our testimony according to His power, not ours?

Concluding the service, long-time missionaries, Harold and Coni Knepper with Hope of the Nations in Tanzania, shared an update and encouragement to do something and do different", to our congregation. In sharing about the many ministries and needs within this organization, Coni shared a story about the need to give these 7 chickens away before they came back to visit the states. "We have to give the chickens away!" Hear the story of how a young boy gave his life to Christ ... and it was all because of chickens, here!
Pastor Nate
Harold and Coni Knepper with Hope of the Nations, Tanzania
(some of our missionaries)
Thanks again for joining us and reading along here today! We are so encouraged by all that our Lord, our Good Shepherd, is doing in and through His people. You are those people, called according to His purpose and you are a gift.
Heads Up:

  • ATTENTION ALL HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS AND FAMILIES: Sign up for the Winter Retreat (happening March 3-5) here! Space is limited. 
  • GriefShare begins on Wednesday, January 11 at 6:00 in the Kids Building, room G. All are welcome!
  • MOPS is this Thursday from 9:00-11:00 in the Worship Center. For more information and to register your kids, click here
  • LifeGroups are launching the week of January 22. If you'd like to sign up to be placed in a LifeGroup, please click here. If you're interested in starting a LifeGroup, email Emily at 
  • If you're new or newer to the Sierra Bible Church family, please join us on Sunday, January 29 after the 10:30 service for lunch. We'll gather in the Music Room for an opportunity to meet you and allow you to meet the staff team. Please RSVP to Emily at
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