Adult Search Phuket




FEBRUARY 28 - 29

Our 4th and 5th grade retreat is coming up. Registration is online. It is $50 for the weekend . We are going to Bloomington, IL for the kids to hear from amazing speakers participate in workshops and learn about their faith and grow closer to God! Questions? Contact Joe at 708.288.1027 or



Join Cornerstone Women's Ministry as we once
 once again as we gather with other Springfield area
 sisters-in-Christ at Hope Church for IF:Gathering 2020.

Doors open at 5:00 PM on Friday for a boxed dinner and 8:15 AM Saturday (Saturday also includes a catered lunch.)

Cost is $45. You must register and pay at

Please register by February 21. Please let Kara Hamilton know you've registered so we can coordinate sitting together. 217.341.4306.



The Clothing Connection has an average of 20-30 people come through each time it is open. We could 
always use the extra hands to help sort. You can be a part of blessing our community by volunteering. For more information Contact Patty Sergent at 217.622.1032.



Iron Sharpens Iron is a one day men's conference
 designed to help men grow in their relationship with God. There is powerful worship with over 1,000 men, intensely practical teaching on how to be a godly man, husband, and father.

With 3 main sessions and breakout classes you can choose from it is a day you don't want to miss.

The cost is $55 including lunch. If you are interested please talk to Ed Gerken (217.414.0043) or Nic Cook (



This morning I want to start off my sermon by talking about a spiritual principal that I have noticed in my life. I’m tempted to believe that it applies to other people as well, but I’ll start with myself. I’ve never been a particularly organized person. It’s not been something that I was really bothered by or worried about. I didn’t really care if my room was clean growing up. I was focused on other things.

However, as I got older it became a little more important to me. Like if you’re going to pick up a girl on a date you don’t want your car to be trashed and gross and to smell funny. I cared what the girls that I was dating thought about me so at the very least I would make sure my car got cleaned up before I when on a date. And around that same time, I became aware that my room was the same way. If I had friends coming over, I would do a quick cleaning up. And if I didn’t have time to do a good job at it, I would hide stuff under the bed or throw it in the closet. I also learned the fine art of stacking things because a pile is a slightly better-looking version of a mess. Again, I didn’t want my friends to think I was a slob or be grossed out by weird smells.

There are two reason that I bring this story up.

(1) I care about how others think about me

(2) my outer environment tends to reflect my inner environment.



So, to give a little bit of background here, Jesus has been preaching and teaching for over 2 years at this point. And He is regularly speaking to Jewish people who had grown up being taught that there are two major categories that they needed to learn in order to have a good relationship with God. The first is the law and prophets which we now have in the first half of our bibles that we call the Old Testament. These writings told them how God had spoken to their ancestors over time about who he was and what he expected from them. We know some of them as the Ten Commandments or Ten sayings of God. Worship God alone, don’t worship false Gods. Honor your parents, don’t commit murder, adultery, lie, cheat or steal. These give us MORAL boundaries in life. 

But then God went on and gave his people more specific things that they needed to avoid or how to become clean if they came into contact with them. Some of these things that God commanded we can classify as CEREMONIAL laws. You find most of them in everyone’s favorite book of the bible called Leviticus. It talks about how God wanted them to avoid coming into contact with DIRT, BODILY DISCHARGES, DISEASE, and DEATH. One of the things about these ceremonial laws that is pretty amazing is that although they seem strange, many of them had a dual purpose. The first is that many of these laws had practical life-preserving purposes. They had a way of preventing diseases and promoting health.

But the PRIMARY REASON God gave these laws to his people was so that they could learn SPIRITUAL PRINCIPALS by following PHYSICAL RITUALS. Just like today we know that if you go into surgery and you don’t wash your hands, serious sickness can happen. A little dirt in the operating room can turn into a small infection that turns into a big one that eventually can lead to death. There has to be a thorough scrubbing, washing, and cleaning of the outside to prevent disease, decay, and death. And God was giving them pictures of what sin was like. I love the way a pastor named Tim Keller says it.

  • SIN DOES TO THE SOUL WHAT DIRT, DISEASE, AND DECAY DO TO THE BODY. Sin is when we base our identity and our happiness on anything but God.  And when we sin it corrupts us. And God gave them these physical laws like not eating certain things, not touching certain things, avoiding certain things, and these ceremonial washings of themselves and things to help them see that sin does to the soul what dirt, disease, and decay to to the body. 

GOD’S LAWS + MAN’S TRADITIONS: The problem is that over time there were a bunch of additional rules that weren’t given by God that got added to his commands. They thought, I want to make sure that I don’t even get close to breaking God’s law. GOD’S LAWS + MAN’S TRADITIONS= CLEAN! SIN AVOIDED! And one of those additional human traditions was if you ate without washing your hands you were unclean.

  • THE LONGER YOU’RE IN THE CHURCH, THE MORE LIKELY YOU ARE TO FALL INTO THIS TRAP! I’ve seen this in my own life and the life of so many other Christians. We give our life to Jesus and we’re so grateful that he loves us and has saved us. But then we start learning more about what God is like and how our lives should be different and then we start trying to live better by following the rules.  And it always leads to PRIDE, HYPOCRISY, OR DESPAIR. And Jesus gives them BAD NEWS and then HINTS AT THE GOOD NEWS!
  • BAD NEWS: YOUR WAY OF CLEANING DOESN’T WORK!  Sin isn’t about how you eat, what you eat, what you drink. It’s about the dirt and mess in your soul! Defeating Sin is not about simply stopping something from happening on the outside. Stop doing this, start doing that, stop doing this, start doing that… It is about a transformation on the inside. And then MARK in [verse 6] hints at the GOOD NEWS: 
  • GOOD NEWS: IF I SAY YOU’RE CLEAN, THEN YOU’RE CLEAN! He’s saying it’s not possible for us to do it on our own. Only I can make you clean! Stop looking at the few things you can do on your own and feel better about yourself and realize that you’re still regularly sinning 600 other ways. Stop, looking down on others as if you’re any better. Jesus knows you’re a mess. Jesus knows I’m a mess. He’s not saying get your junk together. Get yourself cleaned up. He’s saying only I have the power to make you clean. It’s not You EARN IT and be clean, it’s I DECLARE IT and you’re clean. So how does Jesus make us clean, what do we have to do for Jesus to declare us clean? This next part of Scripture might seem like it doesn’t fit but it does and it tells us how we are to approach Jesus in order to be declared clean.


After this the confrontation with the Pharisees Jesus leaves and takes his disciples into the area of Tyre and Sidon. This is Non-Jewish country. These people would have been considered unclean to the Jews. You don’t associate with them, you don’t do business with them if you can help it, you avoid them. And we have this story of a person that if there was a worldly checklist of things that shouldn’t have allowed her to approach Jesus it was her. By every religious perspective she had no right to come to Jesus. But she doesn’t care how unworthy she seems to be to them, she knows that only Jesus is capable of meeting her need. And so she breaks every custom, religious tradition, and social norm to get to Jesus. And she threw herself at his feet. This is an act of submission. A humble admission of need. Jesus I need you! And she begs him to help her. And Jesus response is absolutely stunning!

  • NOT A CHILD YET, BUT ALLOWED IN THE HOUSE: Let’s be honest, no one really wants to be called a dog. That’s an insult no matter what culture you’re from. But Jesus is doing something here that we would miss because he’s not speaking English. The original word for dog is not the scavenger dogs that were wild and a nuisance. It’s the word that is translated into the domesticated dogs. But not just pets, but little dogs. Puppies. Jesus is giving her hope. He’s saying I’ve come to meet the needs of my children first. The Jews are the children of God. Jesus is telling her that it’s not her time at the table yet, even though she’s allowed into the house! And this is the powerful lesson that this women teaches us about how to approach Jesus appropriately…


  • HUMILITY & BOLDNESS: She doesn’t look at Jesus and say, how dare you! I’m every bit as valuable as any Jew. I’m so offended! I’m going to take to social media and post about how Jesus doesn’t value me or accept me because I’m a woman, I’m a Gentile, my religion is different. No, here response is one of HUMILITY. She says “yes Lord”. She accepts that she has no right to demand anything from Jesus. She knows she can’t clean up her mess on her own. You’re right, I’m a dog, not a child. But then this is the awesome part. She sees that Jesus hasn’t told her to leave. She sees that Jesus isn’t kicking her away from the table but treating her like she’s allowed near the family table. And she BOLDLY says “yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” She’s saying I know that what you are capable of doing is so big that there’s more than enough to go around. Even the crumbs left over from what you have to offer to your children is enough to meet my needs! I’d be satisfied with whatever you are willing to do for me! Please?! And Jesus is basically says “for this statement” you’ve gotten what I was leading you towards, and you were humble enough to come and bold enough to ask that I’m going to bring healing! And Jesus healed her daughter. This is a huge story!
    • JESUS MAKES THE OUTSIDER AN INSIDER AND CLEANS THE UNCLEAN! Jesus paints a picture that says because of your humility, accepting that you don’t deserve anything from me, but because of your boldness in approaching me in faith, I’m going to treat you like a child and not a dog. Too many times we err on the side of pride. I’m not a dog! I’m a good person. Or we err on the side of despair, I’m a dog! Jesus could never want me! And Jesus is pointing to a middle way. He confronts our pride. He says stop trying to clean up your own messes on your own. Let me make you clean. He also says come to me in faith, ask for help. Ask me to do what only I can do. If you come near boldly I’ll respond to help you. How does he make the outsider an insider and clean the unclean! BECAUSE JESUS…


JESUS BECAME UNCLEAN SO THAT WE COULD BECOME CLEAN FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES. Remember how we said that God gave the ceremonial laws to people so that we could see that would dirt, disease, decay, and death do to the body, sin does to the soul? Well Jesus’ soul was perfectly clean for his entire life. He never sinned. He never turned his back on God or his designs. He never attempted to be his own King or put his will above the Father’s will. And because of that he was perfectly clean. And yet he chose to die the most dirty, grotesque, bloody, and unclean way ever designed. He was covered in blood, and spit. He was thrown and fell into the dirt over and over. He was stripped naked and exposed. And then on the cross he took all of the filth of each of our souls. Everything we’ve done and everything we’ve had done to us on himself. He took our pride in trying to be good enough. He took our shame for continually failing. He took everything we’ve done that people have seen us do, and all the things that we hide from others, and he took it all on himself. Scripture tells us 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. [1 Cor. 5:21] 

JESUS BECAME LIKE A DOG SO THAT WE COULD BECOME CHILDREN. But Jesus also became like a dog. With this rare description that we talked about today, Scripture repeatedly uses the term of “dogs” for people who sin and turn away from God and are excluded from being in his presence. The last chapter of our bibles say that the people that are excluded from God’s presence in heaven are “dogs” [Rev. 22:15] But on the cross, Jesus was excluded from God’s presence for us. That’s why he uttered the desperate yet hopeful cry of “Father why have you forsaken me” because he was experiencing for the first time in all eternity separation from God and his loving presence. But Jesus died for us dogs and rose again so that we could become children. 

I absolutely love the way that 1 John 3 says it “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!” [1 Jn. 3:1] It’s not about cleaning ourselves up, or deserving it. It’s because Jesus loves us and died for us to make us children. So there are some really practical next steps this morning…


COME AND BE MADE CLEAN: If you’re tired of trying to fix the mess inside, trying to be good enough, or feel like it’s hopeless to even try you’re in a good place. That means you’re ready to stop trying to be your own savior and ready for Jesus. And we’re told that “if we claim to have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth, but if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. [1 Jn. 1:8-9] And we are promised that when we come to Jesus, believe that he is the son of God, that he died for our sins, live as if he’s king, and are obedient and are baptized that our sins are forgiven, past, present, and future. I love how the song So will I says it “And as you speak, a hundred billion failures disappear” We go down into the water and the old us dies, and when we come out there is a new us. Christ in us. Not a dog but a child. Not unclean but clean. The water doesn’t save us, Jesus uses the water to change us. 

BUT ONCE WE ARE CLEAN, WE MUST BE REMINDED TO LIVE AS IF IT IS TRUE: The enemy, Satan and his demons, work with our conscience wants to accuse us that once we screw up that we’re not clean. We eventually go back to TRYING TO EARN what JESUS HAS DONE AND DECLARED! And we need to preach this truth to ourselves. [28]I am part of God’s chosen people, I am part of his royal priesthood, I am holy and part of his nation and kingdom. I am God’s special possession. And I will praise him for taking me out of the darkness and bringing me into the light. Jesus has DONE IT and DECLARED IT over me and I don’t have to earn it. Don’t let feelings overshadow reality. Guilt and shame are not your identity. You are in Christ. And finally…[29]

ASK GOD TO USE HIS HOLY SPIRIT TO MAKE IT MORE TRUE: God change the affections of my heart. Help me to love you and follow you. Help me not to be drawn away from your desires and designs by people, power, pleasure, and posessions. Find a mature Christian to talk about where you’re wanting to grow in holiness. Ask them to ask you how you’re doing and confess to them when you fail so that you can be prayed for and encouraged to keep pursuing holiness.


If you would like to listen to sermons from previous weeks or other sermon series, you may do that at



Thanks so much for being part of what God is doing at Cornerstone.

Your generosity allows us to help MAKE and MULTIPLY DISCIPLES that KNOW, REFLECT, SERVE and POINT others to Jesus.

Our online giving is secure so you can give with full confidence knowing that your information is safe.

In addition, you may also text to give. Text 217-210-0317 and “GIVE”. Then enter the amount you would like to give.



We believe that significant life change best takes place in the context of intentional relationships. Groups are the places where real life and real issues are discussed. This is the environment to celebrate the successes and good times of life, as well as comfort one another in the tough and disappointing times. It’s a place to be encouraged, equipped, and challenged to grow in our relationships with Jesus Christ.

Nic Cook Home Group
This group meets in the home of Nic and Susan Cook. They meet on Wednesday nights @ 6:30 – 8:00 PM. There is childcare available. Home group discussions are based around the topics and scriptures that are discussed in the previous Sunday sermon.
Lori Minks Home Group

This group meets in the home of Shawn and Lori Minks. They meet on Monday nights @ 6:30 – 8:00 PM. There is childcare available. Home group discussions are based around the topics and scriptures that are discussed in the previous Sunday sermon.

Jeff Millsap Home Group

This group meets in the home of Jeff and Jennifer Millsap. They meet on Wednesday nights @ 6:30 – 8:00 PM. There is childcare available. Home group discussions are based around the topics and scriptures that are discussed in the previous Sunday sermon.

Jennifer Millsap Sunday Group

This group meets in the kitchen at Cornerstone. They meet on Sunday mornings @ 9:00 – 10:00 AM (during 1st service). There is childcare available. Home group discussions are based around the topics and scriptures that are discussed n the previous Sunday sermon.

Ed Gerken & Ken Allen Sunday Group

This group meets in the High School room at Cornerstone. They meet on Sunday mornings @ 10:30 – 11:30 AM (during 2st service). There is children’s programming available. Sunday group discussions are based around the topics and books of the bible of the teachers choosing.

Ed Gerken Men's Group

This group meets in the kitchen at Cornerstone. They meet on Monday evenings @ 7:00 – 8:30 PM There is no childcare provided. The Men’s group discussions are based around the topics and books of the bible of the teachers choosing.




NURSERY l SUNDAYS from 9-11:30 AM

On Sunday mornings from 9-11:30 AM, infants and toddlers are cared for in our nursery area. The children are being cared for during our adult worship and Sunday group gatherings.


On Sunday mornings our kids, Pre-K – 5TH grade, will enjoy age appropriate creative and interactive bible teaching, fun activities and crafts. It’s a great chance to make friends as they learn more about Jesus.


On Sunday mornings our kids, Pre-K – 5TH grade, will worship together by singing and dancing to songs with biblical truth. Each week, kids will participate in large and small group activities to discover who Jesus was and continue to build their faith.



Once a month during the school year, kid’s K – 5th grade will participate in a fun activity or service project. We encourage kids to participate with their parents in Showing Jesus to the community around us through serving him and his mission.


CIY Superstart 2020

Calling all 4th and 5th Graders! You are invited to join us this year in Bloomington, IL on Feb 28-29th at CIY Superstart! 2020. We will be exploring Hebrews 10:23 and learning how to find hope even when the odds are stacked against us. This year's SuperStart tour is about changing the game through the promises of God - When life is hard and seems like there is no way to win we can find hope in the promises that God gave us to help us continue to move forward. By helping preteens find hope, SuperStart will help them change the game of life to see God's promises fulfilled.  

Register Here!


If you have any questions please contact Joe Shepherd at




On Sunday mornings, our Jr. High students gather to learn, and build friendships with each other during our Sunday groups. There also might be doughnuts involved.


Our Cornerstone Student Ministry meets on Sunday evenings for games, worship, shenanigans, teaching, small groups, food, and more shenanigans.

Jr. High students meet from 4:00-6:00pm.

High School students meet from 5:30-7:30pm.


CIY: Believe March 6th and 7th

Register Here

CIY Move is a weekend retreat for our junior high students, where they get to learn about their faith and experience it in a real way. They experience amazing worship and speakers while signing up for workshops to develop knowledge and discipleship, all while growing in relationship to their peers who are walking in the same journey of developing their faith. Questions? Talk to  Joe Shepherd (

CIY: Move June 8th through 12th

Register Here

CIY Move is a 5-day retreat for our High School students, where they get to learn about their faith and experience it in a real way. They experience amazing worship and speakers while signing up for workshops to develop knowledge and discipleship, all while growing in relationship to their peers who are walking in the same journey of developing their faith. Questions? Talk to  Joe Shepherd (

Our Upcoming Series: Choose your own Adventure

We talk about how when we are trying to grow closer to Jesus there is no formula that will work for every single person. We have to embark on this adventure to find the path that our Savior is trying to relate to us. Our life circumstances will push us past where we are comfortable, grow us in ways we never thought possible, and love us in way that we can't even imagine.

CSM: Home Groups

With Student ministry we follow the model of meeting at the church for games and bible study but the last week of every month we make small groups the main event and Small group leaders have their groups meet in homes. This helps build relationships and connection outside of the church building and providing an environment for deeper connections. Questions? Talk to  Joe Shepherd (


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