Category: Chapel (page 1 of 8)

Fear God, Not Man

What do you fear? Spiders? The dark? Thunderstorms? How about not being accepted? Not fitting in? Or maybe, not being loved?

Those fears don’t go away; they follow us through our entire lives. But as believers, those who have been accepted by God because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ, we can have confidence in our sovereign and holy God. We fear God, not man.

As we continued in our Faithful series, on Monday we came to Nehemiah chapter 6, where we find Nehemiah faced with situations that could have made him afraid. In fact, we discover that he is told to be afraid five times. But Nehemiah’s decisions are driven by his love and fear of the Lord, not by fear of man. Like Nehemiah, when the lies of the enemy cause us to fear, we need to replace them with the truth of God’s Word.

We find application for our lives through four key points in Nehemiah 6:1-19.

  1. Peace Summit (1-4) – There are times we have to have the resolve to say no to something we shouldn’t do. Can we say no to temptation? To something not wise?
  2. Rumors of Rebellion (5-9) If we take care of our character, living the way we should, God will take care of our reputation.
  3. Treachery in the Temple (10-14) God’s will never contradicts God’s Word.
  4. Spies in Your Midst (1-19) Who are our friends? We should not be close friends with anyone who would try to lead us away from walking with the Lord.

God is faithful; you can trust Him. Fear God, not man. Join us as we walk through Nehemiah 6 together.

 

Dr white speaking in chapel

Servant Leadership

What do you think of when you hear the term “leader”? What does our society think? From a secular perspective, a leader typically is focused on popularity and possessions, seeking to be served rather than serving others. They might be prideful, arrogant. We will encounter people like that. We may even be tempted to be people like that; after all, because of our sin nature, it comes naturally. But as followers of Jesus Christ, we must fight against that kind of self-centered leadership. The fear of the Lord motivates us to serve God and others.

As we come to Nehemiah 5 in our Faithful series, we find Nehemiah modeling what a servant leader looks like. He points us to Jesus, the greatest servant leader there ever was.

We find three characteristics in Nehemiah that we should mimic:

  1. He listened compassionately (1-6) – Do we listen or do we prejudge? Do we give grace to others?
  2. He led courageously (7-13) – Are we willing to do the hard things and have the hard conversations?
  3. He lived charitably (14-19) – Are we generous to others, as God is generous to us?

You may not feel like a leader, but we all have influence. We must be good stewards of the gifts God has given us by using them to serve others. We live for the approval of the master, not the applause of man.

Watch as we learn from Nehemiah what it means to be a servant leader.

Dr. White preaching on the chapel stage

The Sword and the Trowel

Continuing in our Faithful sermon series, Monday we came to Nehemiah chapter four, where we discovered ridicule, contempt, criticism, hostility, adversity, and fear. Has anyone else ever felt those? Have you ever had someone question your abilities to accomplish a task? Have you ever been overwhelmed with self-doubt? We’ve all been there, just as Nehemiah was. Perhaps no other Old Testament passage is more applicable to our lives than this one.

But like Nehemiah, from this passage we discover that in times of trial or opposition, we don’t have to be afraid. We must keep pursuing the Lord’s will while finding strength in our great and awesome God.

We find four key applications in this passage:

  • Agitation (1-6) – You don’t have to do something wrong to make enemies. When we stand for God’s Word, we will face opposition.
  • Intimidation (7-9) – Nehemiah was being attacked from all sides. His response: “We prayed to our God.”
  • Dejection (10-14) – External pressure magnifies internal problems. If we are pursuing God’s will, we should never be afraid or let the hard times derail us.
  • Determination (15-23) – How did Nehemiah respond to times of trials or opposition? He returned to work with the people around him. If we’re going to accomplish anything great for the Kingdom in our day, we need to do it together.

Like Nehemiah, we face opposition. We face criticism from the world around us. We face doubts from within ourselves. But also like Nehemiah, we can lean into God during those times of adversity. Read His Word, spend time with Him in prayer, and find your strength in Him.

Join us as we discover what it means to pursue God during adversity.

That’s Not My Job

As we continued our walk through Nehemiah in our “Faithful” series in today’s chapel, we came to chapter 3, which, if we’re honest, is the kind of chapter we may typically choose to skip over. There are a lot of small details and a lot of big names that are hard to pronounce. We know every word of Scripture is inspired by God, but do you ever wonder why He included a passage like this?

In all those details and big names we learn that God’s people had a God-sized task to accomplish, restoring the wall that protected His chosen city. And, as we dive into the text, we discover a principle that is still very relevant to us today: God uses normal people to accomplish His purposes for His glory.

As we read through the passage, we find the text divided into three parts:

  • Repair the Wall – God used people from all walks of life to come together to accomplish a big task.
  • Refuse to Serve – There were some who refused to help, whether from pride, fear, laziness, apathy, or distraction.
  • Recognizing Others – When God uses us to accomplish His purposes, we should not brag but should share the praise with others and, ultimately, give the glory to God.

So how does this apply to us today? Just as the Israelites were called to build a wall to re-establish God’s glory, we are called to be engaged in furthering the Kingdom of God on this earth. What has God called you to do? Whatever it is, remember that He is faithful to use you to accomplish His purposes for His glory.

Join us as we walk through Nehemiah 3.

Dr. White preaching on the chapel stage

Enjoy Chapel on Your Smartphone With New CU Chapel+ App

Phone with Cedarville's chapel app discplayed

Chapel is the heartbeat of Cedarville University, and now this iconic campus experience is available for our alumni, parents, and friends through the CU Chapel+ App. Through the app, you’re able to watch chapel via livestream (plus other Cedarville video on demand), stream live events such as Homecoming and Community Christmas Concert, preview upcoming chapels, save chapels you’d like to watch for later viewing, and share meaningful chapels with family and friends. The CU Chapel+ App is available in the Apple app store and the Google Play store.

The State of the University: Blessed by a Faithful God

It was a joy to welcome many guests to chapel Friday as part of Homecoming and Parents Weekend: our Board, alumni, parents, retired faculty and staff, and many more. We were blessed with their presence. As is customary for this weekend, it was also my privilege to deliver the State of the University address. To sum up our state: we have been blessed by a faithful God. Cedarville University has never been stronger.

While we celebrate God’s graciousness to us as a University, we do not do so with pride. We recognize that God is faithful in the challenges as well as in prosperity. We give Him the glory for all He has done at Cedarville and celebrate with humble thanksgiving.

God has been so kind to us, showing His faithfulness this year in many ways, including:

  • Fall Bible Conference – 50 students made professions of faith, and 200 more made other decisions for Christ.
  • Chapel – God has brought incredible speakers to campus, and our students are engaged and eager to hear God’s Word.
  • Enrollment – We celebrated another record enrollment this fall.
  • Finances – We have retired all internal debt and are working hard to retire all external debt, Lord willing, by next fall.

As we look ahead, we have set the following goals for this year:

  • Pursue becoming a more prayerful campus
  • Select architects and began developing plans for the next phase of the campus master plan
  • Launch the quiet phase of the 1,000 Days fundraising campaign

Much of what we celebrate at Cedarville we owe, in part, to the men and women God has brought to serve here. It was my privilege to honor one of them. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I was honored to present Trustee Emeritus Loren C. Scharnberg with the Cedarville University Medal of Honor in recognition of his 25 years of faithful service to Cedarville.

To further honor Loren and his contributions to Cedarville, his son, Mark, on behalf of the Scharnberg family, was on hand as we announced the family’s $10 million gift to Cedarville, the largest gift in the University’s history. Our new building for the School of Business Administration will be named the Loren C. Scharnberg Business Center. It will be a stone of remembrance for years to come of all God has done through this faithful servant.

God has indeed been faithful and incredibly gracious to us, more than we could ever deserve. Our God is good, and our God is faithful. You can trust Him.

Join us as we celebrate His faithfulness.

Thomas white speaking in chapel

Resolve

It was a joy to welcome hundreds of prospective students and their parents to chapel for our first CU Friday of the academic year. As we continued in our Faithful series, we came to Nehemiah 2:9-20.

In the text we see that Nehemiah has made the long journey back to Jerusalem, where he discovers powerful enemies who stand in his way as he seeks to honor God by rebuilding the city. You can feel the tension as he faces a God-sized task.

How do we react when we face the evil of this world around us? Are we willing to do the tough things to make a difference for Jesus Christ? Or, do we stay where we’re comfortable and do nothing?

From Nehemiah, we learn that we will never do anything amazing for God in this life without faith. Nehemiah stood firm because he had faith that God would make him prosper.

I challenged the students as I challenge myself: Get involved in what Jesus is up to in our world, because as we learn in the book Revelation, Jesus wins in the end. We may look at our world with all its problems and wonder how we can possibly make a difference, but we must look at these problems through the lens of faith. God will make us prosper when we pursue His endeavors. Whatever the world throws at us, we know that we are on the winning team.

Listen as we learn from Nehemiah’s example of faith.

Dr. White preaching on the chapel stage

It Pleased the King

As we continued our “Faithful” chapel series, we looked together at Nehemiah 2:1-8, where we observed Nehemiah as the king’s cupbearer nervously approaching the king. We’ve probably all felt that kind of fear when delivering big news or making a large request to someone. But from Nehemiah we learn that when God calls us to something, He also provides the way.

In the text, Nehemiah provides us with three positive examples to follow when faced with a difficult circumstance:

  • Dependent Prayer: Nehemiah practiced habitual prayer. He walked with God because he talked with God.
  • Deliberate Plan: Before approaching the king, Nehemiah put in the work of developing a well-thought out plan.
  • Directed Praise: In humility, Nehemiah gave the credit for his success to God.

When we serve an audience of One — the one true King — we don’t have to be afraid. In faith, we can take our concerns to God, trust Him to help us accomplish His plan with excellence, and then give Him the glory.

Join us as we walk through Nehemiah 2:1-8.

Dr. Thomas White preaching on the chapel stage

Fall Bible Conference Focused on Spiritual Maturity

Dean Inserra, Lead Pastor of City Church in Tallahassee, Florida, was the featured speaker for this year’s Fall Bible Conference. Dean themed this year’s conference “The Process,” focusing on 1 Corinthians 2:9-3:3. He challenged all of us to continue in Christian growth and maturity, highlighting clear markers that indicate if we are advancing through the process. There was an amazing moving of the Spirit in our midst as hundreds of students made decisions to grow in their walk with Christ, including many who accepted His free gift of salvation for the first time. You can listen to Dean’s powerful conference messages in our chapel archive.

Nehemiah: “Remember”

Yesterday we began our 2019-20 chapel series in Nehemiah — “Faithful: A Journey Through the Book of Nehemiah.” Looking at Nehemiah 1:1-11, we discovered how Nehemiah is seeking to serve God and others. Specifically, we learn how Nehemiah:

  • Realizes the situation (1:1-3) – Nehemiah shows genuine, ministerial concern for the people and the circumstances they are in.
  • Repents of sin (1:4-7) – Nehemiah wept, mourned, and fasted for days in anguish over the sins of the people.
  • Remembers God’s Word (1:8-10) – Nehemiah leaned into God’s promises, recognizing His faithfulness.
  • Requests mercy (1:11) – In a position of power as a cupbearer to the king, Nehemiah humbly asked for God’s favor.

So, how can we apply this passage to our lives? I encourage you to consider the following questions, as I consider them for myself:

  • Are we seeking to serve God and others?
  • What is our reaction to trials? Do we go to God first?
  • How do we pray?
  • Do our prayers line up with God’s Word?
  • Do we put more faith in “this man” of the world than in the great and awesome God?

Join us as we begin our journey through Nehemiah and discover what God wants us to “Remember.”

Dr. Thomas White preaching

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