StoneBridge Community Church
Three Lasting Gifts
Pastor Jeff Cheadle
Locations & Times
  • StoneBridge Campus
    4832 Cochran St, Simi Valley, CA 93063, USA
    Saturday 5:30 PM, Sunday 9:00 AM, Sunday 10:30 AM
  • Growth Groups
    Simi Town Center Way, Simi Valley, CA 93065, USA
    Sunday 12:00 PM

Online "Connection Card"

Thanks for joining us today! Follow this link to our online "Connection Card" where you can let us know you were here and share any prayer concerns.

The Text in Context

Richard D. Patterson, "Faith, Hope, and Love"

St. John the Baptist Preaching (detail), c. 1665, by Mattia Preti.

Winnowing, Logar province, Afghanistan.

A friend is one to whom one may pour out all the contents of one’s heart— chaff and grain alike— knowing that the gentlest of hands will keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.

Does God Expect Blind Faith?

Article "Does God Expect Us to Have Blind Faith?" GotQuestions website.
1. The gift of…
1. The gift of faith— our truly trusting God— remains.
For Reflection/Discussion: In what way, if any, are John the Baptist's words about winnowing (separating the wheat and the chaff) words of grace? As you think back on your life, what is the "wheat" worth keeping and what is the "chaff" that isn't important? Is there any "chaff" that you would do well to release? In 1 Corinthians 13 the Apostle Paul says that three things will remain, abide, and last forever. What are they? How would you define faith? In what way is in similar to but different from believing in God? What is the difference between faith and blind faith? How would you respond to someone who said that faith and reason are opposites, and that you have to make a choice between the two? Hebrews 11.6a says that "Without faith, it is impossible to please God." What are some of the ways that people try to please God? Why does Hebrews say that it is faith that pleases God? How is faith defined in this message? Do you live your life with faith as defined here? Which is more important: the strength of our faith or the object of our faith? Why?

Why Hope Isn't Just Optimism

"What we hope for should always be second to… who we hope in." —Scott McClellan, "Why Hope Isn't Just Optimism" Relevant, June 22, 2016.

Christianity and Realism

Article "How Should a Christian View Realism?" GotQuestions website.

Bruce Springsteen said that every great rock song is a song about longing.

"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.

World's Largest Anchor, Kish, Hormozgan Iran.

2. The gift of…
2. The gift of hope— our resting in God's promises— remains.
“In my folly, before this time I often wondered why, by the great foreseeing wisdom of God, the onset of sin was not prevented: for then, I thought, all should have been well… But Jesus, who in this vision informed me of all that is needed by me, answered with these words and said: ‘It was necessary that there should be sin; but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.' —Julian of Norwich

Julian of Norwich

Dan Graves, "All Shall Be Well" Article #31, Christian History Institute.
Unwanted events have God-ordained limits. Every problem has a limited lifespan.
For Reflection/Discussion: How would you define hope? In what way is it similar to but different from optimism, wishful thinking, or the expectation, without evidence, that things will "just turn out right in the end"? In Romans 8.28 Paul writes, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." What is Paul saying? How does this verse help us understand Christian hope? What conditions apply? In this message hope is defined as "resting in God's promises." How does this kind of hope give us peace in the midst of events that we don't necessarily understand?
3. The gift of…
3. The gift of love— the greatest gift— remains.
"Each of the divine persons (of the Trinity) centers upon the others. None demands that the others revolve around him. Each voluntarily circles the other two, pouring love, delight, and adoration into them. Each person of the Trinity loves, adores, defers to, and rejoices in the others. That creates a dynamic, pulsating dance of joy and love. The early leaders of the Greek church had a word for this – perichoresis. Notice our word “choreography” within it. It means literally to “dance or flow around”.” ― Timothy Keller, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

Four Types of Love in the Bible

Jack Zavada, "Four Types of Love in the Bible" ThoughtCo, October 8, 2018.
For Reflection/Discussion: How would you define love? In what ways, if any, has your thinking about love changed over the years? According to the article by Jack Zavada, what are the four types of love in the Bible? In 1 Corinthians 13 the word translated "love" is agape. What is agape love and how is it different from other kinds of love? How is the Christian doctrine of the Trinity related to the New Testament assertion that "God is love"? Why, in your judgment, does the Apostle Paul say that, between the three gifts of faith, hope, and love "the greatest of these is love"? As you think about the life that you live and work that you do, what legacy would you like to leave behind? How would you like to be remembered? What can you do today to make that happen?

One way our church family celebrates this holy season is through our special Heart of Christmas offering. The Heart of Christmas offering is divided between five important ministries that impact lives all year long— ACTION, IMPACT, Front Porch Ministries, New Church Development, and The Christmas Joy Offering. You’ll find a special Heart of Christmas offering envelope in your program this weekend or you can donate online through our website.

The Angel Tree provides an opportunity to assist people in our congregation who are in need this holiday season. Each ornament contains an idea for a gift certificate. Choose an ornament, purchase the gift certificate, and return it by Monday, December 17 to the office or to a Deacon on the patio. Thank you for your generous spirit during this Holiday Season.

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