Unearned Freedom :: BEST GIFTS OF 2023

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 12/03/23 by Pastor Steve Shields.

For Advent 2023, Pastor Steve will be speaking on a series titled Best Gifts of 2023. The first Best Gift of 2023 is Unearned Freedom.

Why is unearned freedom a best gift? God prizes freedom. Freedom allows for heart expressions. Freedom allows us to really live.

We are free from condemnation. We are free from the law of sin and death. We are free from the Law of Moses. There is freedom in the law of the Spirit who gives life.

Don’t waste your freedom. Consider the source and cost of your freedom. Consider the purpose of your freedom.


Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 12/25/22 by Pastor Steve Shields.

As Pastor Steve discusses Isaiah 9:1-7, he points out that the passage is a promise that light is coming.

We see God’s faithfulness to the promise in John the Baptist’s birth. We see God’s faithfulness to the promise when Jesus is presented at the temple. We see God’s faithfulness to the promise in Jesus’ ministry.

God’s faithfulness destroys every kind of darkness.

The Light of Christ overcomes spiritual darkness.

The light of Christ eliminates Evil’s darkness.

God’s faithfulness has brought you light. It points you to Jesus. It points you to salvation. It points you to transformation.


Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 12/18/22 by Pastor Steve Shields.

God’s love is also hidden in the manger. We see many aspects of God’s love in the manger, and Pastor Steve discusses just three of them.

God’s love is generous.

God is love, not just overflowing with love, but pouring from Him.

God’s love is loyal. His love is unfailing because He is unfailing.

Lean into God’s generous love towards you. Allow God to pour out abundant love to you. Feel His loyal love.


Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 12/11/22 by Pastor Steve Shields.

God had good reason to be angry at Christmas. The people rejected Jesus. Herod, the king, committed wholesale infanticide.

God’s anger is different than we may expect.

His anger is slow to ignite, and we can see His patience. God’s anger is just. His anger is not His go to response.

God’s anger gives us peace. He doesn’t give evil a pass. He never judges prematurely. God always gives opportunity for repentance and redemption.


Presented at Curwensville Alliance by Pastor Steve Shields on 12/4/22.


Grace is there from the beginning, but we need reminded regularly of God’s grace.

Receiving God’s grace has nothing to do with what we do, and everything to do with God’s goodness.

God takes delight in what He has created, and He takes delight in giving grace.

God is never short on grace. Grace and truth are not opposites. Rather, grace is “I forgive you” and truth is “My forgiveness is your hope”.

Grace overflows to us.

What’s Hidden in the Manger? :: ADVENT

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 11/27/22 by Pastor Steve Shields.

Why may the Goodness of God seem hidden to us?

Because we take it for granted. We don’t see it because it is always there, right in plain sight.

Because pearls don’t sit well before swine.

Because the enemy blinds us to God’s Goodness. We can be so focused on other things – even good things- that we totally miss God’s Goodness.

The manger is filled with compassion!

Compassion is an emotional word, and stands opposed to indifference. Compassion is an action word. Compassion is a connection word. Advent demonstrates that connection like little else.

Focus your eyes on what’s hidden in the manger. Make it your aim to let God define Himself. Fill your mind with truth about God’s Goodness. His compassion that reaches out to connect with us. His grace that shows us blessing when we deserve judgement. His patience that gives us one opportunity after another to turn to him. His loyal love that keeps all His promises to us. His faithfulness that doesn’t shift or fail or give up on us.

Walking In The Light :: ADVENT

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 12/19/21 by Pastor Steve Shields.

Jesus is the light! He is light for everyone. He is a powerful light, but some do not recognize Him. He is a rewarding light as well as the glorious light.

Walking in the light with Christ is beautiful! It brings self awareness. Walking in the light helps us avoid danger as well as brings creativity and productivity. Light brings us life. Christ brings us eternal life.

Walking with Jesus is walking in the light. When we humble ourselves and follow Him, we expose the darkness in our life. When we read the Bible and learn His word, we can see the path ahead of us. When we interact with His people, we sharpen each other.

God’s Deliverance :: ADVENT

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 12/12/21 by Pastor Steve Shields.

The passage in Luke 2:25-35 uses different words to describe deliverance including the consolation of Israel, the Lord’s Messiah, your salvation, a light of revelation and a sign.

What does Christ deliver us from? The darkness of others that we all have experienced through abuse, neglect, injustice, poor examples, disappointments, and everyday darkness.

Christ also delivers us from the darkness in our hearts as well as the darkness of the world.

God delivers us to the glory of His presence. He delivers us to wholeness as a new creation. God delivers us to our inheritance through restoration.

God’s Wisdom Moves Us From Darkness to Light :: ADVENT

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 12/05/21 by Pastor Steve Shields.

Who are the Wise Men?

They are curious. They scanned the heavens looking for anything unusual, and God gave them a sign.

They are from the East, and they are wise as they pursued wisdom.

What does it look like to pursue wisdom? It is a journey of trust, worship and transformation.

Questions to ask yourself as you pursue God’s wisdom. Am I trusting God’s mercy? Am I worshiping in a sacrificial way? Am I cooperating with changes He is bringing to my heart?

God’s Promises Move Us From Darkness To Light :: ADVENT

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 11/28/21 by Pastor Steve Shields.

Advent Season is upon us. Listen as Pastor Steve details how God’s promises move us from darkness to light.

Sometimes God’s promises are misrepresented by others which can injure your soul. But you can trust God’s promises.

God’s promises bring light to our souls. There is no more gloom because Christ is the Great Light. With Him there is relief from oppression. The Peace He brings ends conflict.

The essence of the promise is the Christ child. Christ is for us, He will lead us in peace, and He will act with zeal.