Click on the link below to get to the podcast homepage. Enjoy our full Contemporary service including the song service and preaching. You can get a copy of the outline for the message below.
Jesus is Praying for You
“What does Jesus do when we are facing the sometimes crashing and chaotic times in life?” Today we will consider the unshakable hope in the promise that Jesus is praying for us when we face life’s intense storms. (Rom. 8:34)
I. We All Face Storms…
A. J________ H__________ faced storms.
a. His F_________ thought he was out of his mind. Mark 3:21
b. His closest F_________ deserted him at his arrest. Mark 14:50
c. His O____ P____________ rejected him. Luke 23:20–21
d. He prayed with fervent cries and tears. Heb. 5:7–8
B. Jesus’ Early F__________ faced storms.
a. Peter & J_____ were put in jail for preaching. Acts 4:3
b. S___________ was stoned for his belief in Christ. Acts 7:57–58
c. The E_______ C_________ was persecuted for Christ. Acts 8:1
d. Paul & S_______ were beaten & imprisoned for preaching. Acts 16:22
C. Jesus’ F_________ T______ will face storms. “In this world you will have trouble” Jn 16:33 1. R_______ 2. F_______ 3. Emotional 4. S______ Phil. 1:29
II. But We Have Jesus Praying For Us!
A. Jesus I____________ for Us Before the F__________
“I____________” means “to make specific requests or petitions” (Rom. 8:34).
1. Jesus is our A___________/D_____________
Acts 1:9; Col. 3:1; 1 John 2:1,2; 1 Tim. 2:4; John 14:6
2. Satan Is our A______. Job 1:6-12; Rev. 12:10; 2 Cor. 5:21 No match for Jesus!
3. N___ O_____ Else Is M_________ between God & Mankind “one mediator also between God & men” 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 10:18-22; 4:14-16; 1 Pet. 3:12
B. Jesus H__________ His E_______ Followers
Matt. 14 - a real-life threatening storm; Luke 22:32 – Peter’s spiritual storm
C. Jesus Is Able To H______ Us D_______
“I pray also for those W___ W____ believe in me through their message” John 17:20; “he always lives to I______ for them.” Heb. 7:25; “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence… to help us in our T___ of N____.” Heb. 4:16 “To him who is able to K___ Y__ from stumbling…” Jude 24-25; 1 Tim. 2:5
Robert Murray M’Cheyne, a 19th-century Scottish minister, said, “If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet the distance makes no difference; he is praying for me!” We can all rest in the unshakable hope that Jesus is praying for us.
God Gets You
Today, we will look at the unshakable promise that, “Our high priest [Jesus] is able to understand our weaknesses” (Heb. 4:15 NCV).
I. Worship Of Jesus Our High Priest
1. Jesus created all things. John 1:3
2. Jesus sustains (holds together) all things. Col. 1:17
3. Jesus declares he has all ultimate authority: Matt 28:18
4. Jesus demonstrated His Power on Earth: Matt. 8:26-27; 9:6-8; John
11:43-44; 6:19; Luke 4:35-36
5. Jesus is called God & Has Juxtaposition With the Father Titus 2:13-
14; Rev. 19:16; 21:22; 22:1,3; 1 John 5:20
6. Jesus arrived as God in human flesh. Jn 1:1, 14; Phil. 2:5-8; Col. 2:9
- Because Jesus was fully divine - We worship Him. Matt. 14:33;
28:9; 28:17 He is our King and our Lord.
II. Appreciation For Jesus Our High Priest
1. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit & born to a virgin Luke 1:35
2. Jesus was born to a poor couple (Luke 2:7, 22, 24 )
3. Jesus faced all the experiences of human life in a sinful world, yet
He never sinned. Heb. 4:15-16
- Because Jesus was fully human we draw near to Him.Heb. 10:21-23
III. Confidence In Jesus Our High Priest
-What is your need right now that He might help you with - Tempted? (Mark 1:13). Tough financial times? (Matt. 8:20). Frustrated? (John 2:15-16). Tired? (John 4:6) Disappointed? (Luke 13:34). Rejected? (John 6:66). Sorrowful? (Matt. 26:38). Troubled? (Jn 12:27) Anxious you could die? (Matt. 26:38) Overwhelmed with grief? (Jn 11:35) Facing ridicule? (Mark 15:19) Lonely? (Matt. 27:46)
- Because Jesus was fully Human & Divine, we draw near to Jesus & find confidence that He can help us in our time of need. Heb. 4:16
Mother Teresa once wrote, “Loneliness is the leprosy of modern society.” When we suffer alone, we die, but Jesus came to suffer with us and for us. He died so we could live.
God Gives Grace to the Humble
1 PETER 5:5
Pride is the sin most likely to keep us from crying out for a Savior. Those who think they are well will not look for a doctor. But if we humble ourselves, we have this promise: “God gives grace to the humble” (1 Pet 5:5). Let’s explore this promise today…
I. God Hates Pride
- Prov. 8:13; 16:5; 16:12; 11:2 – “God resists the proud because the proud resist God.” – Max Lucado
- Pride prevents reconciliation with God & with people
-Pride causes us to reject God’s rightful place in our lives: Satan cast out - Is. 14:14; Ezek. 28:17; Adam & Eve cast out – Gen. 3:5, 14–19, 24; Prov. 16:18
- Jonathan Edwards - 7 sneaky symptoms of pride: 1. Fault-Finding
2. A Harsh Spirit 3. Superficiality 4. Defensiveness 5. Presumption Before God 6. Desperation for Attention 7. Neglecting Others
- Nebuchadnezzar was the proud king who God humbled – Dan. 3 – 4
II. Jesus Demonstrated Humility
-“I am . . . humble in heart” Matt. 11:29
-“Being in very nature God . . . he humbled himself” Phil. 2:6, 8
- “though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor” 2 Cor. 8:9
- Jesus "did not come to be served, but to serve…” Matt. 20:28
- Jesus washed the disciple’s feet – John 13:4-17
III. We Are Called To Humility
-Matthew 18:3-4 – Become like children knowing we need help
- 1 Pet. 5:5 - Take action daily to clothe ourselves "with humility”
- Is. 57:15 - Acknowledge our total dependence on God.
- Eph. 2:8; 1 Cor. 15:10 – Remember Humility positions us to receive God’s grace.
Many people, including some Christians, live under the tyranny of one diabolical question: What are other people thinking of me? The true and most important question is: What is God thinking of me? The first question will lead us to pride, but the second question will lead us to humility.
Death Has Been Defeated
1 CORINTHIANS 15:54
Jesus faced death, entered into death, and conquered death so that we could have life. Today, we will explore this unshakeable promise from God that through Christ, death has eternally been defeated.
I. Death Is A Reality
- The intention was that we should live forever with God! Gen 2:7; 3:8
- Sin separated us from the source of life – God. Is. 59:2; Eph 4:18; John 5:26
A. Spiritual – Eph. 2:1; 1 Tim. 5:6; Rom. 8:6
B. Physical – When the spirit leaves the body - James 2:26; Eccl. 7:2
C. Eternal –– punishment for the wicked – irreversible separation from God. Heb. 9:27. Rev. 20:14-15; 21:1; Jude 12 & 13; Matt. 7:23
II. Death Is a Result and Penalty For Sin
- Gen. 2:16-17; Ezek. 18:20; Rom. 6:23; 5:12; James 1:15; 1 Cor. 15:21-22 - death entered the world spread to all men through one man’s sin, Adam.
-1 Pet. 1:15-16; Rom. 6:23; 1:28-31 - divine holiness demands punishment
-John 10:10 The devil himself is the true author of death!
III. Death is A Feared Enemy
- Heb. 9:27; 1 Cor. 15:56; Heb. 10:31 - Death is the threshold to the court room and the judge for the wicked
IV. Death is a Deceptive Enemy
-Satan exploits the universal fear of dying and he prompts us to come up with false solutions to the problem: Evolution, Cryogenics, Freudism, Inspirer, Occult, Reincarnation, Spiritism.
- All false glorification of death is alien to Christianity- Isaiah 28:17-18
- In its basic nature, death is nothing but a curse, an enemy, a foe.
V. Death is a Defeated Enemy
-Jesus’ purpose in coming here was to battle & defeat death- Heb. 2:14-15
- Jesus’ death & Res. struck a death blow to death - Luke 4:18; Rev. 1:17-18.
- The resurrection of Jesus is one of the most well attested Facts in History
- Most disciples died Martyrs’ deaths – No one dies for a hoax! - Matt. 28:6
- We have the unshakable hope and promise of our own resurrection when Christ returns. - Rev. 20:14 There will never be another funeral. Rev. 21:4
- As Christians, we are no longer in slavery to fear and lies. 2 Cor. 5:1-8
- Firstfruits” - Jesus was the first of resurrected people - 1 Cor. 15:20 & 23
Because Jesus rose from the dead, death has been conquered for all of us. Have you found unshakeable hope in the face of death?--- You can!!!
Your Prayers Have Power
Prayer is “talking to God.” God loves this exchange with His children, just as we love the exchange we have with our children. James wrote, “When a believing person prays, great things happen.” (James 5:16 NCV) Today, we will consider this promise that our prayers have power!
I. God – (Who Gives Prayer it’s Power) The Engine
1. God Listens To Us - Psalm 55:16-17; 66:19–20; 1 Peter 3:12; 1 John 5:15
2. God’s Powerful Resources Are Available to Us - God is All Powerful!
Daniel 2:20; Luke 1:37; Psalm 147:5; Job 37:23
- Elijah powerful prayer from an ordinary person who trusted in an All
Powerful God – 1 Kings 18:37
II. Prayer – (What it Changes) The Vehicle
1. Prayer Will Change Us. Matt. 5:44; Phil. 4:6-7 Williams Carey - “Prayer –
secret, fervent, believing prayer – lies at the root of all personal godliness.”
2. Prayer Will Change Others. James 5:16; 1 Tim. 2:1-2; Matt. 9:37-38;
3. Prayer Will Change Circumstances. Elijah -James 5:17; Daniel -
Daniel 6:10,22; Hezekiah -2 Kings 19:19.
III. Us – (How Do We Correctly Pray) The Operator
1. Pray First -We give priority to those things we consider to be most
important! - Mark 1:35; Luke 5:15-16; Luke 6:12.
2. Pray In Faith – James 1:6-7; Hebrews 11:6; 1 Chron. 5:20; 1 Peter 2:9;
Romans 8:17; James 5:17-18
3. Pray In Accordance to God’s Will –John 15:7; 1 John 5:14-15; Luke 22:42
– “Yes, No, Wait” – May be the Answer
4. Pray With Right Motives - James 4:3
5. Pray In Obedience - Psalm 66:18; John 9:31; James 5:16 Deliberate,
unrepented, continuing sin in the life of a Christian blocks prayer.
6. Pray Regularly – “Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment
with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees.” - Corrie Ten
Boom Daniel 6:10; Mark 1:35; Acts 2:42
7. Pray Persistently – John 11:21; Job 23:10; “Pray Without Ceasing.”
1 Thess. 5:17; Luke 18:7
Prayer is our powerful partnership with God in getting things done in the world. We are never without hope because we are never without prayer. What is keeping you from making prayer your priority and your passion?
You Are An Heir of God
It is awesome to become a part of God’s own family. Yet in the stresses and struggles of everyday life, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that we are children of the almighty God. God’s unshakable promise is we are heirs of God. Today, we will look at what this means and how it should shape the way in which we live.
I. Thanks Is Due To God Who Qualifies Us As Heirs
- Col. 1:12; Titus 3:7; Eph. 1:14 - We are Christ’s heirs by means of His grace. We are more than slaves, servants, or saints.
- 1 Chron. 29:11 - We have access to breathtaking Resources of God
- Numbers 13 – the Israelites overlooked that God had not told them to take the land by force—but to receive it as a gift.
- Joshua 1:1–3 - Joshua believed God even though they faced trials
II. Trust In God Is Due To Our Heavenly Father Who Adopted Us
- Eph. 1:3-6 - God has endless resources available to us – we need to Trust Him More.
- 1 John 3:1 - God has endless love for us
- Hebrews 10:23 - God has endless hope for us.
- Ephesians 2:8 - God has endless grace for us.
- James 1:5 - God has endless wisdom for us.
- Rom. 8:17; 1 John 4:17 – We are children of God & co-heirs with Christ.
- Rom. 8:15 – We are children not slaves
III. Service Is Due To God Who Rewards Us
- Colossians 3:23-24 – Working for the Lord should come natural
- John 14:23-24 - God’s love motivates us, moves us, makes us what we need to be!
- Rev. 2:10 – Faithfulness until death is required
- 1 John 4:16-19 - God’s love removes fear and makes us confident of our reward
“I am so glad that our Father in heaven- Tells of His love in the Book He has given; Wonderful things in the Bible I see— This is the dearest, that Jesus loves me.” - Philip Bliss
God Will Win the Victory
All Christians are in a real battle with a real enemy of God and all Christians, yet God has made a tremendous promise about the outcome of this conflict. As Paul wrote, “The God who brings peace will soon defeat Satan and give you power over him” (Rom. 16:20 NCV). The promise we will look at today is that God will win the victory.
I. A Real Devil
A. Satan was an Angel of God - Isaiah 14:12 Ezekiel 28:12–13
B. Satan wanted to be worshiped like God - Isaiah 14:13–14; Ezekiel 28:17
C. God cast Satan out of heaven - Ezekiel 28:17; Revelation 12:9; 2 Pet. 2:4
II. A Real War With The Devil
A. Satan is an enemy to God and God’s followers.
1 Peter 5:8; Matt. 13:38; John 10:10; Job 1:7 NIV
B. Satan’s Names reveal his wicked strategy. 1. Accuser Rev. 12:10; 2. Destroyer Rev. 9:11; 3. Evil one Matt 13:19; 4. Father of Lies John 8:44; 5. God of this age 2 Cor. 4:4; 6. Prince of this world John 12:31; 7. Ruler of the kingdom of the air Eph 2:2; 8. Tempter 1 Thess. 3:5; 8. Serpent Gen. 3:1; 10. Devil (diabolos – divider, splitter, separator) Gen. 3:1–5; Mark 3:25
III. A Real Need For Spiritual Weapons To Fight the Devil
We have divine weapons to defeat the tactics of the enemy. - 2 Cor. 10:4
A. We Battle Through the Word - Eph. 6:17 This is part of our spiritual armor Eph. 6:14-17: a. belt of truth b. breastplate of righteousness c. shoes of the gospel of peace d. shield of faith e. helmet of salvation
B. We Battle Through Prayer - We engage the power of God Eph. 6:18
C. We Battle Through Worship - Through worship, we do what Satan refused to do and submit ourselves to God and put Him on the Throne of our heart! Psalm 95:6–7
D. We Battle Through Fellowship - Eccl. 4:12; Acts 2:42
IV. A Real Defeated Devil
A. Jesus Defeated Satan at the Cross/Resurrection - Col. 2:15; 1 John 3:8
B. God will keep his promise to give us the ultimate victory over Satan. Romans 16:20; 1 Cor. 10:13; James 4:7; 1 John 4:4; Rom. 8:37
We have read God’s book. Jesus was—and is—victorious over Satan. The devil has been cast out of heaven, but not out of our lives. Yet we can face the devil with all his deceptive schemes and win. Why? - Because Jesus has already won for us.
You Are Stamped with God’s Image
“Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature.” Gen. 1:26 The Message Our Prayer today - “Father, I have been made in your image. Because of this truth, I have great value in your eyes. This is my Identity. I will embrace my role as Your Image Bearer to this world.”
I. Made In God’s Image – Our Value Defined
A. God Created Human Beings in His Own Image and Likeness.
1. God kept His Word and made human Beings in His Image. Gen. 1:27
- All creation declares the glory of God, but human beings are the only ones made in His image to reflect God’s being. Ps. 19:1; 104:24; Rom. 1:20
- We bear the fingerprints of the Divine Maker! Gen. 5:3
- We are set apart from animals – Gen. 1:28; 2:20; 3:8
- We are like God Mentally, Morally, Socially - Gen. 1:31; 2:18
- All life has value from infants in the womb to the aged on life support
- God cherishes us because we bear a resemblance to Him!
2. All human beings bear God’s image—there are no exceptions: Born, preborn, rich, poor, male, female, urban, rural, all ethnicities.
B. Sin has Distorted God’s Image in Human Beings, But it Has Not
Destroyed it. Rom. 5:12, James 3:9; Eph. 4:24; 2:8-9; 2 Cor. 5:17
II. Made To Bear God’s Image – Our Vision & Mission Defined
A. God Intends for us to Grow in our Role as His Image-Bearers.
- Sanctification. Ps. 17:15; 2 Cor. 3:18 We were created to “take after” God and to demonstrate his wisdom, love, grace, forgiveness, and kindness.
- Paul tried to be an imitator of Christ Jesus who was sinless. 1 Cor. 11:1
- We should look more like our Heavenly Father all the time -Prov. 22:1
B. Growing as God’s Image-Bearers Transforms our Vision.
1. We see Ourselves Differently—as loved children of God. 1 John 3:1; Duet. 31:26; John 3:16
2. We see Others Differently. Every human being deserves dignity and respect because he or she is God’s image-bearer. 1 John 4:20
C. Growing as God’s Image-Bearers Gives us our Mission.
1. We are to grow in knowing our loving Father Jn 17:3; Eph. 4:15; Col. 1:9ff
2. We are to grow in making God our Father known to others. Psalm 105:1; 2 Cor. 5:20; Matt. 28:19-20
Today, we have a choice to make:
1. Will we see our value as God does?
2. Will we embrace our role as God’s image bearers?
3. Will we live to reflect God to others?
Curing the Pharisee in Me – Part 4 of 4
Step 4 – Finishing Touches
Curing the Pharisee in each of us involves: 1) Recognizing and Admitting that you are a Pharisee, 2) Repentance, and an ongoing 3) Commitment to change. Today we want to put the 4) Finishing Touches on our treatment by embracing the following:
I. A_____________ at God’s Amazing Grace
What do we expect from God?
A. Pharisees Expect to Work & Earn Heaven
-Gal. 3:10-11 “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do E_______________ written in the Book of the Law.” Do you want to rely on what you have done when you face God? Gal 3:24-25, 13, 21-22; Matt. 5:3. What the ________ couldn’t do, God’s __________ did.
B. Recovering Pharisees are Amazed at God’s Grace
-We have been saved; we have been R______________!
Rom. 5:17; 2 Cor. 9:14; Eph 1:6-8; 2:7 “incomparable riches of His Grace” 1 Tim. 1:14 Astonishment comes from being S____________!
II. G________________ for God’s Amazing Grace
A. Pharisees are P___________ of What They Have Done
-Pharisees don’t respond well to gifts. The receiver must now become vulnerable to the giver. Pride is the enemy of thankfulness. James 3:16
B. Recovering Pharisees are T_________ for What They Have
-Thankfulness changes our whole life. Phil 4:11 Take I___________ of your life and see if you find resentment, pride, envy, and judgement. If you see these things, - apply thanksgiving to the situation.
III. S________________ of God’s Amazing Grace
A. Pharisees Show off Their S_________________
-“Church Lady – She was the perfect expression of what everyone ________ about self-righteous, judgmental Pharisees.
-We are not as ________ as we make ourselves out to be, but we aren’t exactly getting that point across to the world. 1 John 1:10
-If we were P_________ we wouldn’t need Jesus.
B. Recovering Pharisees Show Their N_________ for Jesus
-Our witness to others by its very nature will have components of our failures, our shortcomings, our mistakes, our s_______: if we didn’t have these things we wouldn’t need Jesus.
We have got to get the spotlight off Pharisaical self-righteousness and back on the good news of Jesus Christ!
Curing the Pharisee in Me – Part 3 of 4
Step 3 – Repentance
Today we talk about growing up in our commitment to God and recovering from our Pharisaical ways. To do this I need to:
I. R________________ Daily My Own Sin
A. Avoid Self-Deception
-1 John 1:8. E_______ sins. Own up to it. Only Jesus was sinless.
-1 Cor. 15:34; 1 Jn 5:18; Gal. 3:1-3 We are saved each day by the ___ way we were saved the first time: “Nothing but the blood of Jesus”
B. Salvation is a P______________
-Justification – Jesus Christ death for us did this – Past Rom. 5:1
-Sanctification – Becoming like Jesus D______ – Present 1 Thes. 4:3
-G_________ – We receive our new bodies – Future 1 Cor. 15:42-49
C. More of God – More A_____________ of Sin
-1 Tim. 1:15-16. Paul understood that the more he saw of God, the more aware that what he saw in himself was not of God.
-We need to find & root out our own sin – no one else’s. 1 Cor. 4:4-5
II. R________________ the Sins of Bible Heroes
- Preconceived Sunday School Misconceptions
B. God Chooses the W____________
-Rom. 3:9,10,12; 1 Cor. 1:27-29 We like the faithful of old are O_______ people with an extraordinary God! Tell Your Whole story too!
-We are participants in the Story of which Jesus Christ is the beginning, the middle, and the end. Let G_______ be the focus!
III. R________________ Seeking out the Sin in Others
A. A_______________ Those Around You
-Instead of putting others _______, we should put them ____ Phil. 2:3-4.
-Do we truly believe that others are better than us?
B. See What They Could Be in Christ
-Not seeing what people are but what they could be in Christ requires putting on the glasses of F________ and L______. 1 Cor. 13:7
-We can often create an environment for people to change.
C. Take Blame, Don’t C_________ Blame
-Jesus took the blame for all we have done on the cross.
Will you see that you are to blame if you don’t see the need to change this world for Jesus? Will you commit to look for the good in others and share THE GOOD NEWS of JESUS with them?
Curing the Pharisee in Me – Part 2 of 4
Step 2 – Repentance
Recognizing and admitting that you are a Pharisee is a big first step discussed last week. But we must turn from this sin and resolve to change this sinful behavior! So how do we do this?
I. We Must Choose God’s Mercy rather than Justice For Ourselves and Others.
A. Thank God that He is a Merciful God.
-Exodus 20:5-6 God is both just and merciful, and there should be no doubt here which one of those qualities he F________.
-Num. 14:18; Psalm 103:8-10; 145:9 God is U_____________.
B. Remember that this is the Day of S____________.
-Do we want to bring judgement upon this world right now? Rom. 2:1-5
-2 Pet. 3:9, 15 The longer God waits, the more can be S_________.
-James 2:12-13 Now is the time to focus on the salvation of others & leave the judgement to another day and another J________! Jonah 4:2
II. We Must See God’s Teaching and Rebuke As Applying To Ourselves, Not Others.
- How do you Listen?
-We are masters of D__________. Matt. 22:15; Luke 20:26; John 8:6
-Often we listen to be critical & to prove how much we know.
-We have changed from a L_______ to S_____, from disciple to critic.
B. Do you Think you Already Know all you Need to Know?
-1 Cor. 8:1-2 There is no greater O________ to truth and revelation than to think you already know what you need to know. This attitude is usually accompanied by a C__________ spirit.
-Rom. 2:17-21 “Do you not teach yourself?” John 21:21
III. We Must Seek God’s Righteousness, Not Our Own.
A. We Must Humbly Trust God.
-Pharisees are usually not very T_________. That’s why God usually chooses to humble us so that we will L__________ Phil. 3:4-9
B. We Must See the Need for F_______________.
-Acts 22:16 Do we see that we have _______? Do you see the need to have Christ righteousness, His sinless life, & His loving sacrifice to take the peace pf all our “righteous acts that are like F______ R____.”
Come to Jesus today depending on His great mercy, receiving this teaching as directed to you, & seeking God’s righteousness that covers over all our sins and best efforts.
Curing the Pharisee in Me – Part 1 of 4
Step 1 – Confession
As we grow in Christ there is a corresponding struggle with pride and self-righteousness. We must recognize the symptoms of the disease & admit that we are infected before proper treatment can be applied.
I. We Need to Admit That We Like To Judge People.
A. Judging others is an almost ______ event for most of us. Luke 6:36-38
Even C_______ is not a safe haven from our judging ways!
Our eyes look O_____, they do not look I____.
B. Judging is an addiction that is often hard to see in Ourselves.
One reason we like judging so much is the S_______ & autonomy.
Outside help is often needed to actually see the problem.
II. We Need to Admit That We Like To Make Others Look Smaller Than Ourselves So That We Look Greater.
A. We Judge to A_________ ourselves. If I can show that I am better than someone else – anyone else – then I can think of myself as being worthy based on that assessment alone. Luke 18:11-12
B. We Should Stand Awhile in Someone Else’s S________.
How do other people see us? We need to be open to someone else’s perspective and, in some cases, to ______ for it.
C. We need to give others the benefit of the D________.
Empathy is a marvelous antidote for the tendency to judge others, and P_____________ P_______ is the pathway to empathy.
III. We Need to Admit That We Detest Mercy Being Given to Those Who, unlike us, Haven’t Worked For It and Don’t Deserve it.
A. We Judge to Have C___________ Matt. 23:13 The Pharisees then and now like being the “gatekeepers.” Matt. 23:5-7
B. Don’t Neglect the More Important M_______ Mark 7:9 Matt. 23:23
1) J_______ would force them to admire their own guilt. 2) God’s Mercy on everyone who accepts Him moves me to show mercy to others. 3) F______, not perfect, because I must depend on God’s mercy.
C. Give up the Connection between W_____ and pay. Matt. 20:1-16 God’s grace makes L_______ ground. Luke 8:18 God’s Mercy is a threat to a Pharisee control. We want to be in control of who’s in and who’s out, but God is in charge of His mercy – NOT US!
Want Love? Give love. Want mercy? Give mercy. Want acceptance? Give acceptance. Want to judge? Get ready to be judged. Want to escape judgement? Don’t judge at all. Don’t do it!
Jesus Demonstrates Worship
“Seek and you shall find,” Jesus said. Some seek a “nice” worship service and they find it. But, some seek more. They seek the very presence of God. Jesus did this and He taught us some important lessons on worship in the process.
I. Prepare Your _________ For Worship. Matt. 17:1
*P_______ before you come. S________ before you come. R______ the W_______ before you come.
*Come Hungry. Come W________. Come expecting God to Speak. Come asking to see ____________.
II. Let God Change Your __________ Through
Worship. Matt. 17:2
*God invites us to see His ________ so He can change ours. 2 Cor. 3:18; Ex. 34:29-35; Acts 6:15; 7:55-56
*Worship is the act of M___________ God. Ps. 34:3 We E________ our vision of Him. Our Perception Changes.
III. Demonstrate Your C___________ L_________ In Worship. Matt. 17:4
*Our heartfelt worship is a M_____________ Appeal. 1 Cor. 14:24-25; Ps. 40:3; Mark 9:6; Luke 9:33
*When people see our C_________ F______, they want to see God’s F______. What does yours show to the Seeker, your children, or your co-worker?
How will you come to worship differently? What have you learned from Jesus today that you will put into practice? How can you grow in your worship of God?
GOD CAN BUILD HIS CHURCH
Matthew 16:18 and 28:16-20
Jesus said, “I will build my church, & the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” But what kind of church did Christ intend to build?
I. The Nucleus of the Church
- The Disciples Were Ordinary People
- The Disciples Were Imperfect People
- The Disciples Were Obedient People
II. The Authority of the Church
- There is an ultimate Supreme Power over us.
- Jesus has Delegated Authority in 3 spheres of Influence.
III. The Mission of the Church
Primary mission – Evangelism. “The church is the one institution that should exist primarily for the Benefit of non-members.”
- Make Disciples… of All Nations Matt. 28:19; Luke 19:10
- Make Disciples… Baptizing Them in the Name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit
- Make Disciples… Teaching Them to Obey Everything I Have Commanded You Secondary mission – Edification.
IV. The Assurance of the Church
A. God Goes with Us! Matt. 18:20; Acts 4:31.
- The Church should Be Prepared for Spiritual Warfare.
Will the church stand for the Christ of the Bible, or will we fashion our own gospel of convenience? (Matt. 24:35; John 16:33; Rom. 8:31)
Particular Roles In Marriage
Eph. 5:21-33; Gen. 12:1-5; 21:8-14
In our day of change, men and women often have a hard time understanding their individual roles in marriage as God designed them. Much hardship in marriage results because of this. Will we seek God’s plan by not being conformed to this world, but by being transformed by the renewing of our minds? (Rom 12:1-2) Let’s see what God intended:
- Husband’s Role (Eph. 5:21, 25-33; Gen. 12:1-5; 3:16; Heb. 11:10) --- Example: Abraham
- Christlike L_________ - “as Christ is head of the church”
- Leads by P________ I___________ - “Action”
- Leads by S______-S__________ (Eph. 5:25)
- Leads by U____________ L______ (Eph. 5:25-27)
- Leads by T_________ K____________
- Wife’s Role (Eph. 5:21-24, 33; Prov. 31:10-31; Gen. 21:8-14; 1 Peter 3:1-3) --- Example: Sarah
- Christlike R_________ - “submissive to their husbands”
- Respond V______________ (Phil. 2:5-8)
- Submitted J____________ (Heb. 12:2)
- Submitted with H___________ (Phil. 2:9)
God knew what He was doing when he designed male and female and also when He designed marriage. What makes us think we have a better plan? Are you fulfilling your Christlike role in Marriage? Is your example to others what it needs to be?
Building Sand Castles
Matt. 6:19-21; 2 Cor. 9:6-8
The beginning of the New Year is a time to examine all that God the Father has done for us. A wise old preacher said, “You can’t take it with you, but you can send it on ahead.” How do we do that?
I. Storing Heavenly T_________: S_______ Investments
Three Investments that won’t wash away… Matt. 6:19-21
A. The N__________ ( Prov. 19:17; Matt. 5:42; 25:34-40; Acts 4:34-35; 1 John 3:17; 2 Thess. 3:10)
B. Our C_____________ (several reasons: it is truly a benefit to them; you can enjoy it with them; a tax advantage; you can keep them accountable; you can teach them to be good stewards)
C. The L________ C___________ (Lev. 27:30; Malachi 3:8-10; Rom. 6:14 the standard is grace, not law; 2 Cor. 9:6-8)
II. Sowing Heavenly S_________: G_________ Rewards
Three Principles for Giving that will stand strong… 2 Cor. 9:6-8
A. Give G____________ (God is not serving us – we are serving Him) Two types of givers: those who give by reason and those who give by revelation. “Tithe if you love Jesus – Anybody can Honk!” Our level of sacrifice is a measure of our generosity – Luke 21:4
B. Give W____________ Matt. 6:1-4 We are not to give out of reluctance or compulsion.
C. Give C____________ Matt. 6:21 God loves a “hilarious” giver. Let our giving flow from the thanksgiving and gratitude in our hearts for what God has done for us! “Throw your H______ into the kingdom of God, and your M_______ will follow”
“Time will take your Castles” – Are you going to spend your time building sandy empires on this earth or treasures in heaven?”
How To Make This Year A Year To Remember
1 Timothy 4:7-8
New Years is often a time for many to examine their life, consider habits that need to be changed, and even commit to do some things different in the coming year. Today we look at how we can make this New Year a year to remember. We can do this by Regular:
I. Meditation and S___________
- Isaac Gen. 24:63; David Ps. 63:6, Ps. 1:2; Eli 1 Sam. 3; Elijah 1 Kings 19; Jesus Matt. 14:13 = All Saught the Father
- Eastern Meditation is an attempt to E_______ the mind whil Christian Meditation is an attempt to F______ the mind!
- John 8:32 What can set us free from sin, habits, fears, & worry?
- Ps. 119 – “Chewing the Cud” – God’s Word if not ment to be F______ F______. Take time for a good long chew!
- Rom. 12:2; Phil. 4:8; “Transformed by the renewing of our Minds” “…Think about such things”
- Ps. 119:16 Do we find delight & joy in the Word?
- Moses, Daniel, Elijah, Esther, Daniel, Paul, Jesus
- Luke 4:2 – abstaining from all F______
- Usually it is a P________ matter between you and God.
- Lev. 23:27 & Joel 2:15 – Whole body of believers did it in response to Repentance, Atonement, & National Emergency
- Commanded or not? Matt. 6:16-18; 9:15; Acts 13:2-3
- Why do it? 1) Reminds us of what really sustains us – Matt. 4:4. 2) Helps us keep B_________. 3) Increases C___________, helps us pray, makes us more receptive to God’s will. 4) Glorifies God.
- It lies at the root of all personal godliness. It is the central avenue God uses to transform us. James 4:3
- It was viewed as the main business of life to those who walked closely with God (Jesus & David) Mark 1:35; Ps. 63:1
- It is something we L________ Luke 11:1; 18:10-12; Matt. 6:5-8 It focuses on God not on S_____. It requires openness & sincerity
- 1 Thess. 5:17; John 15:7; Luke 22:42 It is to be more than a parachute. It is how we grow in faith.
- The best time for P________, isn’t found. It’s Made!
The Miracle of the Manger
John 1:1-5, 9-14; Matt. 16:13-16
Almost every major religion teaches that Jesus was a prophet or a good teacher or a godly man. The problem is that the Bible tells us that Jesus was infinitely more than a prophet, a good teacher, or a godly man. The identity of Jesus is the most important discovery of our life. Let’s discover today why it is so important to identify the miracle of the manger.
I. Who Some Say Jesus Was
- Islam - one of God's important prophets & wise teacher
- Judaism – The most influential and most damaging false Messiah.
- Hinduism – Holy Man & wise teacher, and could be “a” god
- Buddhism - was an enlightened man and a wise teacher.
- New Agers - he was a wise moral teacher.
- Growing Number of Modernists – Not convinced He really existed
- Scholars – Divided over whether He was God or a good man
- C.S. Lewis – “Liar, Lunatic, or Lord”
II. Who We Say Jesus Is
- God – John 10:30-33; 8:58; 1:1,14; 20:28; Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 1:1; Isaiah 9:6; Matt. 1:23; 16:13-16
III. Why It Is Eternally Important
- The most important reason that Jesus has to be God is that if He is not God, His death would not have been sufficient to pay the penalty for the sins of the whole world. Only God could pay such an infinite penalty. – Matt. 1:21; 1 John 2:2; Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21; John 14:6; 1 Tim. 1:15
Who do you say Jesus is? How is that affecting your daily activities, your priorities, and your family? (Luke 10:27)
The Miracle of the Moment
How God chose to save us is often hard to understand and difficult to grasp. Let’s revisit this topic today with fresh eyes to see that….
I. God's Methods Transcend Us
- 1) Jesus was born a helpless, defenseless baby. 2) Jesus was born to humble, poor parents. 3) Jesus was born in a harsh stinky stable.
- Phil. 2:6-8 “He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant”
- Genealogy in Matthew 1 includes the unlikely: Abraham, Rahab, & David.
- Isaiah 55:8-9 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways.”
- Over and over and over again, God chose plain, sinful, ordinary people through whom He could do His extraordinary work.
- Matt. 1:18-19 “she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit… he had in mind to divorce her quietly” – Joseph must have had questions!
II. God's Methods Include Us
- Jesus’ birth was announced by an Angel to Shepherds – Luke 2:8-15
- Jesus appeared first to women after His Resurrection! Matt. 28:9-10
- Jesus entrusted the gospel to a small band of followers – Matt. 28:19-20
- We boast not in our abilities, but in God alone! - 1 Cor. 1:26–29, 31
- Our abilities are not as important as our attitude and availability.
- Jesus calls us to be His Ambassadors - 1 Cor. 5:20
III. God's Methods Sanctify Us
we experience problems, pains, and pressures.
- God is working to shape us and mold us - Romans 8:28
- God is at work in our lives to produce a beautiful tapestry.
- Continue to trust God, even though you don't understand how He is at work in your life. - Prov. 3:5-6
- Continue to follow Him and your life will be richly blessed here and in the hereafter! - Mark 8:34-35
- Continue to obey Him - Real obedience arises from believing God knows more than we do and out of love. - John 14:15
The miracle of the method is that God uses ordinary people like you and me to accomplish extraordinary things for the sake of His kingdom. God is at work in our lives in ways that we do not understand. Pray: “Help us to continue to trust You when we don't understand how you are working.”
The Miracle of the Message
God is not aloof & uncommunicative! God has consistently communicated with mankind from the beginning & He does so today so we can know Him & draw near to Him! What will we do with this message?
I. The Sender "In the past God spoke…” Heb. 1:1
- Who is the Source of the Miracle Message? : He is Creator – Gen 1 & 2; Ps. 33:6-9… He is Sustainer – Heb. 1:3; 1 Cor. 8:6… He is Provider – Ps. 147:8; Phil. 4:19… He is Omnipotent – Jer. 32:17; Gen. 17:1… He is Omniscient – Dan. 2:21; Ps. 139:4… He is Omnipresent - Ps 139:7-12; Jer. 23:23-24… He is Eternal – Ps. 90:2; Gen. 1:1… He is Worthy of Worship – John 4:24; Ps. 145:3… He is Holy - 1 Pet 1:14-16; 1 Sam. 2:2… He is Sovereign - Dan 4:35; Job 37:2-13… He is Absolute Truth - Jn 14:6; Rom. 3:4… He is Righteous –Eph. 4:22-24; Ps. 71:19… He is Just –Deut. 32:4; 2 Cor. 5:10… He is Love –Rom. 8:35, 37-39; 1 John 4:7-8, 20-21… He is Merciful – Matt. 5:7; 1 John 1:9… He is Faithful – 1 Cor. 10:13; Heb. 10:23… He is Never Changing - Mal. 3:6; Heb. 3:8… He is Savior – Luke 1:47; Acts 4:12; Rev. 7:10
II. The Messengers
"…through the prophets at many times and in various ways” Heb. 1:1
- Past: Creation –Rom. 1:20; Walked with – Gen. 3:8; Burning Bush – Ex. 3:4; Smoke & finger – Ex. 19:20, 31:18; Prophets – Luke 1:70… still small voice, visions, family circumstances, potters clay, dreams, donkey, Urim and Thummim, symbols, natural events
- Now: Christ – "He has spoken to us by his Son …” Heb.1:2; Jn 1:1,14; 14:9; 10:30; 8:34… Holy Spirit – Jn. 14:26… The Word – Rm. 10:17; 2 Tim. 3:16-17
III. The Message
“After He had provided purification for sins…” Heb. 1:3
Freedom from Sins Through Jesus Christ – Matt. 1:23; 1 Tim. 2:6; Rom. 5:10; Luke 4:18-19; Rev. 1:5
IV. The Recipients
"" but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…” Hebrews 1:1-3
- “All People, Every Nation, To the ends of the Earth, Everyone” - Titus 2:11; Acts 10:34-35; 13:47; 2 Pet 3:9
Will we receive God’s Miracle message through Christ this Christmas? Will we continually listen for God’s messages through His Word and His Spirit? Will we be the messengers to bring the message to someone who does not know Jesus?
The Miracle of the Moment
Many missed the moment of Jesus birth for one reason of the other. Today, it is so easy to get all wrapped up in the activity of the season that we miss the miracle of Christmas & all that Jesus should mean.
I. At Just The Right Moment Jesus Came To Us
Galatians 4:4 "When the time came to completion, God sent His Son…”
- Right Moment Because: 1) Breakdown of Various Heathen Religions meant spiritual hunger; 2) Roman Roads made spreading the gospel farther & faster; 3) Roman Rule brought Universal Peace that allowed the spread of the gospel; 4) Common Language made spread of the Gospel Possible; 5) Early Converts around the whole area because of Roman recruited soldiers; 6) Great Jewish Expectation of the Coming Messiah through the Law, Prophets, Sacrificial System, & Old Testament History. (Rom. 3:20,23; Gal. 3:24; Is. 7:14; Mic. 5:2; 2 Sam. 7:12-13; Heb. 10:10-14; Luke 2:10-11, 25-32)
II. At Just The Right Moment Jesus Died For Us
Romans 5:6 “At the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly”
- Jesus was a baby born to die - that was His mission. - 1 Tim. 2:5-6
- Jesus death on the cross was no mess up in God’s planning - Acts 2:23
- Jesus laid down His life– no one took His life - John 10:18; Matt. 26:53
- Jesus’ life on earth was centered on the cross - John 3:16; 2:4; 7:8
III. At Just The Right Moment Jesus Returns For Us
Jesus “will come back” - Are you ready now? - Acts 1:11
- No one knows when He will return but the Father - Matthew 24:36
- We need to live our lives as if He Could return anytime -. Matt. 24:42,44
- We need to live holy lives as we look forward to His Return -2 Peter 3:3-11
- Jesus will keep His promise – He is preparing a place for us and will come back to get us – John 14:1-3
IV. At Just The Right Moment Jesus Saves Us
“Now is the day of salvation.” - 2 Corinthians 6:2
- The time has come - Repent and believe - Mark 1:14-15
One moment in time can determine an eternal destiny. It is the miracle of the moment that gives you an opportunity to be saved TODAY! Don’t miss this moment!
The Storm is Calmed
We all face Storms in Life! We need the reassurance that God will get us through these storms – He certainly did His Disciples years ago… and He will for us today as well!
I. Stormy Weather Report
A. Categories of Storms:
1. Storm of Suffering – Physical. 2. Storm of Sorrow – Emotional. 3.
Storm of Separation – Relational. 4. Storm of Sin – Spiritual. 5.
Storm of Situations – Financial.
B. Characteristics of Storms:
1. They Are Inevitable - James 1:2. 2. They Are Unpredictable – Matt.
8:22, Prov. 1:27, Ja. 4:14. 3. They Are Impartial - Matt. 5:45; Job 1:8.
C. Consequences of Storms:
1. Obvious To Others - people can see;
2. Oblivious To Others - people can’t see; 3. Obstacles For Us – They
Set Us Back; 4. Opportunities For Us - They Can Propel Us Forward
II. Stormy Weather Reasons
A. Jesus Allows Some storms to Humble Us
- “An unguarded strength is a double-weakness.” Oswald
Chambers Prov. 16:18; 2 Cor. 12:7-8
B. Jesus Allows Some storms to Strengthen Us
- John 16:33; 2 Cor. 1:8-9; 1 Peter 1:6-9;
C. We are responsible for Some Storms
1) Disobedience of God 2) Discipline From God 3. Giving the Devil a Foothold
III. Stormy Weather Preparedness
A. Realize God’s Closeness - Jesus seems to sometimes be asleep
during our storms, but He is Near! James 4:8
B. Relax in God’s Care – Mark 4:38; 1 Peter 5:7; John 14:27; Heb. 13:6
C. Rely on God’s control – Luke 8:24; Is. 43:1-3
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Ps. 46:1) He Can Calm Our Storm - We Need To Run To Him!
The Hungry Are Fed
I. Why Should We Follow Jesus? (v1-2)
- It Shouldn’t be For what we get - Matt. 20:28; John 13:14; Luke 10:27; Luke 9:23;
- Following Jesus requires sacrifice, commitment, & surrender - a cost many are not willing to pay - John 6:66; Luke 14:28 - Many missed the Message, the Mission, and the Messiah… they were only interested in the Miracles!
- Jesus looks at us with Compassion – Mark 6:34; Luke 15:20
II. When Do We Most Often Forget Jesus’ Past Faithfulness? (v.3-7)
- Jesus was testing Philip’s faith directly and all of us indirectly.
- When life gets messy, things go wrong, nothing seems right, and we face what seems like unsurmountable odds – we become forgetful.
- Remember God’s Promises – 1 Cor. 10:13; 2 Thess. 3:3; Ps. 59:17; Phil 4:13; Matt. 19:26 - Our God Rescues! Our God Saves! Our God Provides! Our God Is Faithful even in the Face of our Greatest Need!
III. How Might Jesus Stretch our Resources Farther Than We Imagine? (v.8-13)
- How do we feed that many people? 4 Solutions Proposed: 1) Disciples say send them away – Mark 6:35-36; 2) Philip thought about raising money – John 6:5-7; 3) Andrew found a boy with 2 little fish and 5 barley cakes, but he didn’t know how that could really help. – John 6:9; 4) Jesus had the real Miraculous Solution John 6:11-13
- Max Lucado - “In the midst of a bakery – in the presence of the eternal baker – they tell the ‘Bread of Life’ that there is no bread.”
- God Can Bless You Beyond Any Known Measure! - Mal. 3:10; Ps. 23:5; Luke 6:38; Luke 12:48; Prov. 3:9-10
IV. What Kind of King Do We Fashion Jesus Into? (v.14-15)
- Jesus’ Kingdom is not what they thought and perhaps not what we most often think - John 18:36; Phil. 3:20; Matt. 4:8-10
- Phil 2:9-13 – Is God working out His purpose in your life? Is He truly Lord of your life?
The Dead Rise
Jesus’ Raising of Lazarus from the Dead provides for us many life lessons we would do well to pay attention to…
I. Jesus Is Always On Time – We Need Not Fret (v. 17-22)
- Jesus Could Have…. Matt. 8:5; Acts 19:12
- Why did Jesus Wait? John 11:4,15,45 --- 3 Reasons: 1)For God’s Glory. 2) Strengthen Disciples Faith. 3) For Others to believe in Jesus
- Waiting is Not Easy! Will we Wait? - Ps. 27:14
- Will you walk close enough to God & ask God to have the wisdom to know how to wait patiently? - Is. 40:31; Is. 55:8-9; James 1:5; Gal. 4:4
II. Jesus is Resurrection & Life – We Need Not Lose Faith (v.23-27)
- Martha’s faith needed reassurance & to be strengthened!
- Martha showed a belief in the afterlife. Heb. 11:6
- The Lord Jesus identifies Himself as THE SOURCE of the Resurrection and of LIFE itself! John 11:25-26; John 1:1-4; Col. 1:15-17
- Pray and ask God for increased faith and strength. He will answer your prayer! - Luke 17:5; Ps. 119:28; Mark 9:24; Prov. 15:29
III. Jesus Is Moved By Our Difficulties – We Need Not Feel Alone (v.28-37)
- Jesus is not aloof, cold, uncaring, and unfeeling! John 11:35
- Jesus lived here and knows the difficulties of our human existence. – Heb. 4:15-16; Mark 3:5; John 13:21; Rom. 12:15
- We are never alone… never uncared for … never discarded … never abandoned! Deut. 31:6; Matt. 28:20; Heb. 2:14-18
IV. Jesus Is All Powerful Over Death – We Need Not Fear (v.38-44)
- We Need Not Be Afraid of Facing Passing Away. – Rev. 1:18; 7:17; 1 Cor. 15:50-58; 2 Tim. 1:10; Rom. 6:4-5; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 2 Cor. 5:1-7
- Death for the Christian means an eternity of joy in God’s presence.
- “Death may be the King of terrors... but Jesus is the King of kings!”
Will you learn from this account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead what God wants you to learn today?
The Lame Walk
Jesus Cares and Jesus Saves! This was a message needed in the first Century and one needed today. Jesus performed miracles demonstrating this message. Let’s learn some life lessons from Jesus’ healing of a lame man…
I. Jesus Cares for the Physically Sick John 5:1-7
- Matthew 9:12 – It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the
- Matthew 14:14 - He had compassion on them & healed their
- Matthew 9:35 – Jesus went through all the towns and villages…
healing every disease and sickness
II. Jesus Taught Through Miracles John 5:8-13
- Matthew 12:1-8; 11:20 - Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath.
- Mark 16:20 – Confirmed His Word by the signs!
- John 2:23; 6:2 - Great Crowd followed Him because they saw signs… by healing the sick.
- Acts 2:22 – Accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs.
III. Jesus Came To Save the Lost John 5:14-15
- John 8:10-11 – Leave your life of Sin!
- Luke 15:7,10,23-24 - Lost Sheep, Coin, Son – Great Rejoicing when they are found!
- Matthew 26:28 – His blood was poured out for our forgiveness of sins!
Jesus brings salvation and healing – Do you believe? Will you trust Him with your life? What has He been teaching you? Are you listening?
The Water is Changed to Wine
Jesus was involved in everyday life while he walked this earth and He can be involved in our everyday life if we invite Him in. Are you calling on Him to help you with life’s problems – He is Able!
I. Jesus Can Be Invited Into Our Everyday Life!
- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
- Revelation 3:20
II. Jesus Is Interested In Helping With Our Everyday Life!
- Philippians 4:6-7
- 1 Peter 5:7
- Matthew 10:29-31
- Proverbs 23:20; 20:1
III. Jesus Can & Will Intervene In Our Everyday Life
- Matthew 7:7-8
- Jeremiah 33:3
- Acts 17:27-28
- Matthew 19:26
Jesus cares about the everyday events of your life. He is not just some remote supernatural being who is totally removed from our need. He cares about the smallest details of your life and waits for you to call Him into your times of need so that He can minister to you and change you or your circumstances. What is your need today?
The Good Shepherd Provides
David wrote, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1). But everybody seems to want more today. (Luke 2:14; Phil. 4:12; 1 Tim. 6:8; Heb. 13:5). The earmark of the Christian should be contentment. Notice the benefits provided by the good shepherd in Psalm 23 that should enable us to say with David, “I shall not want.”
I. In Life, the Good Shepherd Provides Us With Every Need
A. He Provides F____ - Psalm 23:2 makes me lie down in green pastures. (Is. 53:6; Matt. 9:36). We have P________! Sometimes the Lord makes us lie dow and we’re forced to look up and see the Shepherd.
B. He Provides W____ - Psalm 23:2 He leads me beside the still waters. God knows are weaknesses & protects us from temptations we can’t handle. (1 Cor. 10: 13; Ps. 32:6, 7).
C. He Provides R______________ - Psalm 23:3 “He restores my soul” Jesus went to the cross to restore our souls. 1 Peter 2:24, 25
D. He Provides D______________ - Psalm 23:3 “He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” Jesus alone leads in paths of righteousness. John 14:6
II. In Death, the Good Shepherd Protects Us From Evil Attack
Heb. 2:15 The “F____ of D______” can really disturb our contentment, but even in the valley of death, we don’t have to fear – Why?
A. “You are with me” Psalm 23:4 – He M_______ us in the valley!
B. “The rod and staff” are there to C______ the attack of the evil one.
C. “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies” Psalm 23:5. As the devil is doing his worst to you in death, God is preparing a F________ for you to enjoy when you arrive in Heaven!
III. In Judgement, the Good Shepherd Promises Eternal Life
A. “You anoint my head with oil” (Psalm 23:5). When we become Christians, God seals us with His Holy Spirit- a D_________ guaranteeing our inheritance (Eph. 1:13-14; 2 Timothy 2:12)
B. “My cup overflows” (Psalm 23:5). Instead of complaining about what we don’t have, we should be O_____________ with God’s goodness.
C. We can have an assurance of eternal life because when we stand before God on Judgement Day, “M________” will be there. (Psalm 23:6)
D. In contentment – we are S_________ to “dwell in His Home forever!”
Since we have such a Shepherd: What more could we possibly want? Is the Good Shepherd truly “My” Shepherd to you?
Cowardice or Courageous?
What terrifies you? Most of us have real fears some that really disable us. If not conquered, our fears can hinder our relationships with God & others. Fear can control & enslave us. Let’s examine 1) Fear, 2) Someone who faced it, & 3) God’s Promises concerning it.
I. OUR FEARS E_______________
A. Paralyzing P______________
B. Fear of P_____________ D_____________
C. Fear of L_____________ C_____________
D. Fear of R_____________ who I R_____________ am
E. Fear of D_____________ People
F. Fear of being R_____________
“God Does Not Want You To Be Afraid”
John 14:27; Isaiah 43:1-3; Romans 8:15
II. JOSHUA’S FEARS E_______________
A. He was following a L______________
B. He had witnessed a previous F_____________
C. The enemy forces were I_____________
D. He had not performed M_____________
E. They had little B_____________ E_____________
III. GOD’S PROMISES E_______________
Joshua 1:5; Isaiah 41:10; Titus 1:2
A. Through the T______________ of O______________
Joshua 2:9-11; 1 John 4:4
B. Through the Support of G______________ L______________
Joshua 3:6; Phil. 1:12
C. Through U_____________ Circumstances
Josh. 3:15-16; 2 Tim. 1:7; Prov. 3: 25-26;
Ps. 23:4-5; 27:1; 1 John 4:18; Heb. 13:6
Do you constantly face a fear og aging, losing a loved one, or losing your job? Had God called you to do something that frightens you – break a sinful habit, confront a wayward friend, or heal a broken relationship? Remember God allows you to experience fear so that you might depend on Him. Conquer your fears with God’s help. He has promised to be with you always. Remember His reassuring words to you: “The Lord is my Helper!”
Guilty or Forgiven
We all know what it means to feel guilty. Our conscience is the part inside of us that makes us feel guilty at times. In a study about guilt, it’s important that we understand the biblical view of the conscience. It is also important to understand God’s answers and promises to us in times of guilt.
I. THE CONSCIENCE OF MAN
The Bible mentions four types of conscience.
A. ___________ CONSCIENCE – 1 Corinthians 8:7
B. ___________ CONSCIENCE – 1 Tim. 4:2; Psalm 119:11
- Three-cornered thing inside my heart that cuts
C. ___________ CONSCIENCE – Heb. 10:22; Rom. 3:10-12, 23
- There are times when we should feel guilty, because we are guilty.
D. ___________ CONSCIENCE – 1 Peter 3:15, 16
- There are two ways to get a clear conscience: 1. We can be
w__________ sin. 2. We can be f__________ of our sin.
II. THE PROMISES OF GOD
- GOD PROMISES A S___________
2. Through the L_______ – Heb. 10:1-4
3. Through the Old Testament Prophets – Is. 53:4-6; Jer. 31:34
4. Jesus is the F_____________ of the Promise – John 1:29; Matt. 3:15
B. GOD PROMISES F___________ OF SINS
Rom. 3:23-25; Is. 53:6; Rom. 8:1; 1 John 1:9
1. God R_______ Our Sins as far as East from West! – Ps. 103:11-12
2. God Makes Our “Scarlet” Sins White as Snow! – Is. 1:18
3. God F________! – Is. 43:14, 25
4. Our Sins Disappear Like the M________ D______! – Is. 44:6, 22
5. God Buries Our Sins in the Depths of the Sea! – Micah 7:18-19
C. GOD PROMISES F___________ FROM THE LAW
Rom. 8:1-2; 6:14; Gal. 4:24-25
D. GOD PROMISES THE GIFT OF E___________ L________
John 3:16-18; 5:24; Rev. 2:10; 1 John 5:11-13
God Promises us freedom from sin if we will accept Christ’s death for us. What a great promise! Once we have trusted In Christ’s saving grace and have “put on” Christ, we don’t have to feel guilty, because we aren’t guilty anymore!
Casual or Committed?
2 Corinthians 11:16 - 33
"Casual" or "Committed" - which would best describe you? Do the people you associate with in the world know that you are a follower of Jesus Christ? The Apostle Paul had characteristics that showed who he was in Christ, and we would do well to learn from him. They are:
I. I___________ in R_____________ with People (v.20-21)
- Eph. 4:25 "Put off Falsehood & speak T____________ to neighbors"
- I____________ : “D_____ what you said you would do" Matt 5:37
- We aren’t to be the E_________ to the Rule, but the E__________
- "Great occasions for serving God come S__________. Little ones
surround us D___________. Col. 3:17
ll. Painful S________________ (v.22-27)
- Paul didn't talk about S__________, he talked about S_________.
- There ought to be some reflected in C_________ & C___________!
- S___________ for Christ Leads to Joy, F___________, & Fellowship
- Mark 8:35; Luke 19:10; Rom. 12:1-2 – To give our ALL - this proves
we are G_________ B___________
lll. Concern for the C______________ (v.28-29)
- Paul loved them -1 Cor. 1:10; Phil. 4:2; Col. 2:1; 2 Cor. 11:29
- Love in 3 Stages: 1) Romantic 2) Tolerance 3) M_____________
- 5 Practical ways to express our Love for the Church:
1) Attend Services R____________ Heb. 10:25
2) Minister to H__________ People Sympathetically 1 Cor. 12:26
3) Esteem Church L____________ Highly 1 Thess. 5:12-13
4) Live up to it's P______________ Consistently
5) Talk about it P_______________
IV. H____________ in Service (v.30-33)
- God uses us in our W___________ to demonstrate His P________
- H_________ means there is a C________ A__________ of the need
for God in our life. James 4:6 "God opposes the proud..."
- F________ & F________ will humble us. When we get too
P______ God will let us F______! 1 Cor. 10:12; Matt. 20:25-28
ls your faith obvious? Are you a Casual or a Committed Christian?
When Confrontation is Needed
2 Samuel 12:1-14
Sometimes Confrontation is needed and that’s a very sensitive assignment and we need to learn from Nathan’s approach. Or sometimes, like David, somebody might approach us and hold us accountable for a serious offense. And we can learn from David about how to react in that defining moment.
I. When We Confront… Nathan’s Confrontation
2 Timothy 3:16; 4:2; Titus 2:15; Prov. 28:23;
A. Make Sure We Are The Right Person To Go
Do we care about them? Do we have their best interest at heart?
Do we look forward to going - then we shouldn’t go.
B. Make Sure It Is A Major Issue.
Gal. 6:1 “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are
spiritual should restore him gently.”
C. Make Sure To Go Alone. Matt. 18:15 “one on one”
D. Make Sure To Go In God’s Timing
David’s conscience had time to work. Pray, let emotions calm down.
E. Make Sure You Know The Facts Before You Go
Don’t go on “hear say” or rumor.
F. Make Sure Your Words Are Truthful, But Tactful
Prov. 25:11; 2 Sam. 12:5-9
II. When We Are Confronted… David’s Response
A. Be Approachable. We all need somebody close enough to us to
tell the truth & we need to listen. Prov. 27:17
B. Quickly Confess Sin. David immediately admitted his guilt.
2 Samuel 12:13; Psalm 32:3-6
C. Truly Repent of Sin. Ps. 51:1-12; Micah 7:19; Heb. 8:12;
1 Cor. 13:5; Ps. 103:12 A Complete Disclosure of Everything!
D. Accept Consequences of Sin. (Without bitterness) 2 Sam. 12:13
E. Forgive Ourselves. 2 Sam. 12:24; 1 Chron. 3:5 If we’ve repented,
then accept God’s forgiveness and move on.
Has God sent someone or a message to confront you? Do you need to tenderly confront? Let’s follow the examples of David and Nathan!
When Opportunities Arise
2 Samuel 9:1-11, Gal. 6:10, Col. 4:5
Most of US don’t even think about the opportunities that present themselves ALL THE TIME to show compassion inside and outside the Church. But as Christians – we need to recognize that we have an opportunity to present a stark contrast to the world by just caring for one another—especially for people in need.
I. An Opportunity Opened Up For David
- We should keep our word even when it hurts – 2 Sam. 9:2-3;
- David doesn’t ask, “How severely is he disabled? How did it
happen? What does he look like?” He just asks, “Where is he?”
Why doesn’t he ask these questions? 2 Sam. 9:4 – Grace!
- Grace is giving something to someone who doesn’t earn it and can’t
- Sometimes we can give a lot to people and instead of them
continually being grateful, it’s, “What have you done for me lately?”
But… 1 John 4:20; Matt. 5:16; 1 Pet. 2:12
- Mark Twain - “Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can read.”
II. When Opportunities Open Up For Us
A. Seek Opportunities. 2 Peter 1:5-9
- Are we seeing needs where others don’t see them.
- Are we growing in our Christian walk or nearsighted and blind?
B. Seek Opportunities to Act. James 2:15
- It’s more than just words & more than just feelings
C. Seek Opportunities To Build Relationships. John 11:33-36
- Often Relationships are more needed than possessions.
“God has shown me that there are no unimportant people in His eyes.” - Pastor Hammond Are you seizing opportunities to show compassion and love. Have you received the grace and compassion shown on the cross?
2 Cor. 12:11-18
Scriptures emphasize that our thoughts are of great concern to God. He has the ability to read our minds & to discern our motives. But we cannot read other people’s minds nor know their motives.
I. Questioning Our Own Motivations Is Needed
Prov. 16:2; Jer. 17:9; Heb.4:12; Rom.8:8; 2 Cor. 9:7; James 4:3;
Matt.6:1-6,18; Prov. 4:23; Phil. 1:17; 1 Thess. 2:4; Ps. 139:2, 23-24
Questions To Evaluate Our Motivations
1. If no one ever knows what I am doing (giving, serving), would I still do it?
2. If there was no visible payoff for doing this, would I still do it?
3. Would I joyfully take a lesser position if God asked me to?
4. Am I doing this for the praise of others or how it makes me feel?
5. If I had to suffer for continuing what God has called me to do, would I continue?
6. If others misunderstand or criticize my actions, will I stop?
7. If those whom I am serving never show gratitude or repay me in any way, will I still do it?
8. Do I judge my success or failure based upon my faithfulness to what God has asked me to do, or how I compare with others?
II. Questioning Other’s Motivations Is Not Our Job
1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Chronicles 28:9; 1 Corinthians 4:4-5; Matthew 7:1-2; Acts 15:8; Psalm 44:21; Luke 16:14-15; Acts 5:1-4; Jeremiah 17:9-10
Questions To Evaluate Our Questioning of Others
1. Do we tend to question others reasons for doing things as a way to make ourselves appear better than them?
2. Do we question others motives as a sort of way to spread “gossip?”
3. Does our questioning of others motives reveal secret sin motivations in our own heart?
4. Do we usually do this questioning publicly with others – why?
5. Are our concerns about others motivations truly inspired by love for them or something else?
6. What good is derived by our questioning their motivations?
7. Is our questioning of others actually a ploy of Satan to distract us from our own deceptive motivations or sinful practices?
8. Do we really believe God is the only one who truly knows all hearts?
Let’s leave judging motivations up to God, & just look in the mirror.
2 Cor. 12:1-10
Tests can help us to grow in our spiritual walk with God. However, the sad truth is that many of us have allowed our tests and trials to break us, to make us bitter instead of better. Let’s learn today from the apostle Paul who serves as an example of how to handle tests in the right way…
I. Our Favor (v.1-6)
A. Paul had many blessings – Phil. 3:4-11
B. We have many blessings - Prov. 10:6; Eph. 1:3; Ps. 32:2; Mal. 3:10; Luke 11:28; Rev. 14:13
II. Our Father (v.7)
A. God permits trials to Humble us – 2 Cor. 12:7
B. God permits trials to Deepen us - Rom. 5:3-4; Job 42:5-6
C. God permits trials to Refine us - Zach 13:9; Ps. 66:10-12
D. God permits trials to Prove our Faith Genuine– 1 Pet 1:6-7; Luke 15:11-32
III. Our Furnaces (v.7)
A. Paul’s Thorns/Trials - 2 Cor. 11:21-31
B. Our Thorns/Trials -
IV. Our Focus (v.8-10)
A. Relief/Removal – We can Ask consistently for help & know God hears us. 1 John 5:14; Ps. 116:1-2; Ps. 18:6; James 1:5; Phil. 4:6-7
B. Recognize – We must listen for God’s Answer - James 1:19; 1 Sam. 3:10; Romans 10:17; Prov. 3:5-6
C. Rejoicing – We should Seek the Good –2 Cor. 12:10; James 1:2-4; Rom. 8:28
V. Our Faith – (v.8-10)
A. Made Stronger Through Christ – 2 Cor. 12:10; Phil 4:11-13;
B. Made Evident to Others– 2 Cor. 4:7-9; 2 Cor. 1:3-5
Remember as you go through trials that God often says, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Tower of Babel
Series: God Said It – Believe It Genesis 11:1-9
Properly understanding the account of the events at the Tower of Babel will help us to relate so much better to people of other languages and other races. But more importantly, it helps us to better understand God and his purpose for our lives.
I. The Construction of the Tower of Babel
A. God Was Displeased Because They were Directly Disobeying His
Command to Disperse and Replenish the Earth. Gen. 9:1
B. God Was Displeased Because They were Totally Self-reliant
Rather than Relying on God. Gen. 11:4; 3:5
C. God Sees All We Do Whether We Realize it or Not. Heb. 4:13;
II. The Confusion of Languages at the Tower of Babel
A. God Intervened to Slow Down Man’s Regression into Sin.
B. Here is the Origin of the World’s Different Root Languages.
C. There’s Only One Race and That’s the Human Race. Acts 17:26
- Two factors that affected their skin color: 1) Genetics; 2) Climate
Gen. 9:26; Num. 12:1
D. World Government is Not God’s Will; World Evangelism Is.
Acts 17:26-27; John 15:5; Prov. 10:28; Jer. 29:11
III. The Conclusions We Need to Draw From the Tower of Babel. “Any Construction Without God is Futile.”
A. Education Without God is Futile.
B. Leisure Entertainment Without God is Futile
C. Church Without God is Futile
We must Build on Jesus Christ! “If I would be lifted up, I will draw
all men to me.” John 12:32; Matt. 16:18; Acts 2:1-6
“For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” 1 Cor. 12:13 Jesus bridges the race barrier, sex barrier, & language barrier. That’s the only hope! In any language, His atoning death on the cross for our sins reads: “LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!” Jn. 3:16; Gal. 2:20
The Fall of Man
Genesis 2 & 3
We often ask, “What is wrong with this world? Why is there so much evil in our world? How can this be?” The book of Genesis is so important because it tells us where we came from, what our purpose is, and what’s gone wrong with the world. Genesis tells us that human beings have revolted against God and against his created order and the entire creation has been thrown out of joint. It also hints as to our future restoration with God.
I. The Perfect Creation
A. Perfect in Completeness (Gen. 2:1-3),
B. Perfect in Purpose (Rom. 11:36; Col. 1:16)
C. Perfect in Morality (Gen. 3) “Good” used 7 times in Gen. 1
II. The Fallen Angel
A. His Origin: Heaven - Is. 14:12-15; Rev. 12:7-9; Eph. 6:12
B. His Form: Serpent - Gen. 3:1, 14
III. The Temptation, Sin, & Results
A. Satan Questions God’s Word (Gen. 3:1)
B. Satan Denies God’s Word (Gen. 3:4)
C. Satan Reverses God’s Word (Gen. 3:5)
D. Man Rejects God’s Word (Gen. 3:6)
E. Sin Brought Consequences: Guilt, Shame, Withdrawal From God, &
Blame Game (Gen. 3:7-8, 12-13)
IV. The Punishment of Mankind
A. Painful Childbirth (Gen. 3:16)
B. Cursed Environment (Gen. 3:17-19)
C. Physical Death (Gen. 3:19 & 22; 2:17; Rom. 5:12; 6:23;
1 Cor. 15:21–22)
V. The Future Redemption
A. Crushing of Satan (Gen. 3:15; 1 John 3:8)
B. New Clothing (Gen. 3:21; Heb. 9:22; 1 Pet. 1:18-19)
We cannot save ourselves. We cannot defeat the evils of the world on our own. Our only hope is for God to intervene. He has and He will - “For as in Adam all die even, so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
1 Cor. 15:22
Creation of Everything
Genesis 1:1-15, 24-31 “God Said It – Believe It” #1
The question of “origins” – “Evolution vs Creation” is crucial--- How we think about ourselves eventually comes out in how we behave. Are we just a mistake of nature? Or are we deliberately created in the image of God? Our morality, our purpose, our eternal destiny rests in the verdict.
I. “Creation of Everything by God” Is Contained In the Bible
- Some say the Bible is Old, but it is Reliable - Matt. 24:35
- The Bible is remarkable in its Scientific Accuracy - Is. 40:22; Job 26:7; Gen. 15:5; Psalm 8:8; Eccl. 1:6; Gen 1:1-31 - All things created by God & are good!
II. “Creation of Everything by God” Is Logical
- Reason Concludes It. It’s Just Common Sense: A Creation Calls for a Creator… A Design Demands a Designer.
- “…so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:20
… DNA - “For you created my inmost being...” Ps. 139:13
-“The fool says in his heart there is no God.” Ps. 53:1
III. “Creation of Everything by God” Is Unanswered By Evolutionist
1. Does the theory of evolution explain the origin of life? 2. Why are there respected scientists who believe in creation and don’t believe in evolution?
3. Why is there no fossil evidence of any transitional forms? 4. Why are there no living transitional forms? 5. Why aren’t breeders successful in crossing the boundaries between species? 6. Doesn’t the Big Bang Theory presuppose an original cause? 7. Would you explain the principle of irreducible complexity and how it relates to evolution?
IV. “Creation of Everything by God” Is Hated By the Opposition
- Creationist are Despised; Refusal to teach Creation in Schools
John 3:19-20 “Everyone who does evil hates the light” Romans 1:18 “Men suppress the truth by their wickedness.”
-“ What consistent Darwinism means: No life after death, no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning for life, no free will.” – Provine
V. “Creation of Everything by God” Is Taught By Jesus
1. He was there when it happened. John 1:2-3; 8:58; Matthew 19:4
2. He demonstrated superiority over the creation. Mark 4:39; Matt. 14:25; Matt. 14:18, 21; John 2:9, 4:46; Mark 9:31; Mark 13:19; Mark 8:38
We can trust what God said about Creation – Believe it! (Heb. 6:19; 2 Pet. 1:19; 1 John 5:13) We’re not here by natural selection; we’re here as a special, divine creation. In the end it’s not going to be the survival of the fittest at all; it’s going to be the survival of the faithful.
How Do I Gain Respect?
1 Samuel 2:12-29
In this nation, we live in an age of disrespect. Rebellion against any type of authority is commonplace. The home is where the basic foundation for learning respect takes place. “As the home goes, so goes the nation.” The Bible speaks clearly on respect & submission to authority: Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Pet. 2:13-14; Heb. 13:17; & Eph. 6:1-3. How do we gain respect again in our homes, schools, and nation? This is our focus today.
I. The C____________ of Disrespect
A. They did not respect G______ (v. 12)
B. They did not respect the H_________ of G____ (v. 15-17)
C. They did not respect O________ P_______ (v. 22)
D. They did not respect their F______________ (v. 25)
II. The C____________ of Disrespect
A. Sometimes dads believe their F_________ are more important, but
act as if their J________ are.
B. Though we Love our C__________, we must make sure that we
Honor G______ First. 1 Sam. 2:27-29
C. P___________ Behavior and Lack of D____________ from parents
toward children can end tragically. 1 Sam. 4:11, 18
III. The C___________ T__________ of Respect
A. It is E_________- Not Merely Demanded
“Actions speak louder than Words.” “He who truly knows has no occasion to shout.” 1 Cor. 11:1
B. It Involves C________ - When there is Disrespect
“If respect for authority is not taught in the home, it is rarely caught outside the home.” Prov. 29:15
2 Keys to Parental Discipline: 1) C___________ 2) C______________
C. It is a P_____________ - Not Gained Overnight Jn. 15:15
4 Building Block Periods: 1) D________: birth to five; 2) Training: 6 to
12; 3) C________: 13 to 19; 4) Friendship: adults
This Father’s Day could be the day you determine to be the Father, Mother, or Grandparent God has called you to be. Be one that teaches respect, and in turn has many blessed days with respectful offspring.
How Do I Bring Them In?
“Bring them in, bring them in, Bring the wandering ones to Jesus” – this is our mandate as Christians, but it is often something that we neglect. Today we look at how this was done in the New Testament as patterns for us…
I. Failure To Bring Them In
Reasons why we don’t…
II. Finding Your Style To Bring Them In
1. Direct Approach (Confrontational) Peter (Acts 2:14-41)
- Get right to the point, tell them about Christ, & seek a response. 2 Tim. 4:2
- Traits & Cautions: Bold & Strong Convictions; but seek the Spirit’s help to be sensitive & tactful (Eph. 4:15 “speak the truth in love.”)
2. Intellectual Approach – Paul (Acts 17:16-34)
- Analytical; Logical; Inquisitive; Likes to debate 2 Cor. 10:5
- Traits & Cautions: More concerned with what people think than what they feel so Avoid getting stuck on academic points, arguments, & evidence (1 Pet 3:15 have “gentleness & respect.”)
3. Testimonial Approach – Blind Man (John 9:1-41)
- Clear communicator, Good listener, Vulnerable about personal life 1 Jn 3
- Traits & Cautions: Tells powerful stories of Christ’s saving work in their lives, but Keep Christ and the Gospel message as the centerpiece
4. Interpersonal Approach (Friendship) – Matthew (Luke 5:27-29)
- Conversational, Sensitive, Friendship oriented – 1 Cor. 9:22
- Traits & Cautions: Focuses on people & their needs, but Beware of valuing friendship over Telling them they are sinners in need of a Savior; be patient
5. Invitational Approach – Woman at the Well (John 4:1-42)
- Enjoys meeting new people, hospitable, persuasive - Luke 14:23
- Traits & Cautions: Sees outreach events as opportunities; but do not get discouraged if people don’t come & be wise as to what to invite to
6. Service Approach – Dorcas (Acts 9:36-42)
- Others-centered; Sees needs and finds joy in meeting them; Shows love through action more than words – Rom. 10:14
- Traits & Cautions: Seeking God daily for opportunities to serve; Remember that “actions are not substitute for words.”
May the Holy Spirit energize and make you ready to share the good news with others in the unique way God has gifted you! What approach/approaches fit your personality?
Recipe for Continued Romance
1 Thess. 3:12; Rev. 2:4-5; Eph. 4:31-32; Luke 15:11-32
Many people have been married a long time, but they were NOT “happily married.” “May the Lord make your love increase & overflow for each other and for everyone else.” 1 Thess. 3:12 The goal for our marriage we talk about today is deepening romance. The Recipe for Continued Romance:
- “Remember the height from which you have fallen!” Rev. 2:5
- Luke 15:17-18 Review of tender memories from the past
- Believe that with the Lord’s help you can be lifted back up, because the Bible says, “With God all things are possible.” Matt. 19:26
- “Repent.” Rev. 2:5 - Remorsefully ask forgiveness for past offenses.
- “Father, I have sinned.’” Luke 15:18
- “I was wrong. I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you.” - Cliff B.
-Prov. 15:22 “Plans fail for lack of counsel.” We all need Advice!
- Forgive – Eph. 4:31; 1 Cor. 13:5 “Love keeps no record of wrongs.”
- Forgive: 1) Giving up -give up the right to retaliate. 2) Giving notice -reveal clearly what was done so as to heal. 3) Giving love when there is no reason to love & no guarantee that love will be returned.
“Do the things you did at first.” Rev. 2:5 Back to the Basics Luke 15:19
A. Return to the Basics of Spirituality.
- Instead of having God at the top of our priority triangle, some have career, material possessions, recreation/food , children - Matt. 6:33
B. Return to the Basics of Communication. Eph. 5:33
- Our schedules can get crazy -spend time together talking & listening
C. Return to the Basics of Romance.
- “familiarity can breed complacency” - Be creative
- Have a servant’s heart - put the other first - Phil 2:3-4
D. Return to the Basics of Character.
-2 Cor. 4:16-17 – We should mature to value inner beauty
Make it your goal to have a lasting Marriage! Make it your goal to hear from God, “Well done good & faithful servant…” Matt. 25:21
Elohim: The Lord Is Creator
“In the beginning God created,” those words form our basis for meaning and purpose in life. Yet, we live in modernistic society that denies our very beginning. Today we consider the implications of understanding the truth that God created us and revealed His purpose for doing so!
I. Creation: God Created It
- “God” Elohim – One Triune Creator revealing His power and supremacy through Creation – Gen. 1:1-2; John 1:1-3.
- God existed before Creation. He is an infinite being without beginning & without end – the Great “I AM” Rev. 21:6; 22:13; Ex. 3:14; Is. 43:10
- “Create” Ex Nihilo – God is the source of everything since He “created” everything out of NOTHING. He spoke “ALL” into existence! Everything was formed at God’s Command. – Gen. 1 & 2; Matt. 19:26; Luke 18:27
- Compelling Evidence that God is Creator – Ps. 19:1-6; Rom. 1:18-20
- “By Faith” – Heb. 11:3. Which requires more faith – Creation or Evolution?
- Speculation OR Revelation – Which will it be for us? (Eph. 1:11)
II. Creation: God Ordered It
- God created a universe that is orderly – not chaotic. - Isa. 45:18
- God created a universe that is open – not closed. – Gen. 3:6
- God created man in His image – not animals. – Gen. 1:26-27
- God fulfills our ultimate longing and purpose – we were created by Him and for Him. (Col. 1:16) Pascal - “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man.” Augustine - “Our hearts are restless till they rest in Thee.”
III. Creation: God Liked It
- “God saw all that He had made and it was very good.” Gen. 1:31
- Ps. 148:5-6; Is. 45:18; Ps. 104 – Praise is due to the Lord for His Marvelous Creation!
- Even after Consequences of the “Fall of Man” (Gen. 3:14-19; Rom. 3:23; 6:23) God had a plan! – 1 Cor. 15:22; Rom. 8:20-21
The Design demands a Designer! The Creation demands a Creator! Will you worship Him as Creator and seek to find your purpose and direction from the ONE who designed you?
Abba/Pater: The Lord Is Father
In the Greek the word “Pater” and in the Hebrew the word “Abba” means “FATHER.” For most of history and in most cultures of the world, fathers have been the primary figure in families. God is identified in this way in His Word to help us understand something about our connection to Him as His Children. Today we explore 3 words that reflect that connection:
- Honor Is Due - Isaiah 9:6; Lev. 19:3 ; Ex. 20:12; 1 Sam. 2:12, 29,30
-Discipline Grows Out of Love.. Heb. 12:5-11
- “Discipline” and “Disciple” have the same root word.
- 4 Visual images of how parents discipline (Dave Stone):
- Matthew 25:21
- Protection - Ps. 5:11; 12:7; 20:1
- Support – Ps. 54:4; Eph. 3:20; Phil. 4:19
- Guidance – Ps. 37:23; Rom. 8:14; Prov. 3:5
- Power – 2 Chron. 16:9; Zechariah 4:6; Ps. 18:32, 37
- Amazing Grace – 1 Pet. 4:10; 2 Cor. 4:15; Eph. 1:5-7
- We SHOW grace because we RECIEVED grace.
- Unconditional Love – John 3:16; 14:15; Rom. 8:38-39; 1 John 3:16; 5:1; John 13:34,35
- Reclaim your birthright to know and enjoy and love Abba as your Father
Will your connection to “Our Heavenly Father” be what He designed it to be? Will you reflect that relationship to your family and in this world for others to see and learn and discover?
YAHWEH and Adonai: Lord
How well do you know God? I mean really know Him? The more deeply we explore our God, the more we are able to move beyond simply knowing about Him to truly knowing Him. Today we begin a study exploring the names of God to get to know Him better.
I. What God Desires
A. To Know Him by His Names
1). Any relationship begins by knowing someone’s name (Gen. 17:1; 28:10-
2). A relationship without a name inevitably means distance
B. For Us to Know Him Personally
1). Naming means vulnerability (Luke 1:30-33)
2). God is at our disposal (Heb. 13:5)
II. What We Need
A. To Understand His Name
1). God is eternal (John 8:58)
2). God is unchangeable (Exod. 3:14)
3). God is personal (Rom. 8:38-39)
B. To appreciate His Name
1). Who is MASTER/LORD of your life?
2). How could He better be LORD of your life?
3). What parts of your life do you need to make Him MASTER?
If Jesus is not Lord, what is it that is keeping you from making Him so? Why not change the relationship you have with the True Lord today?
Be Infectious2 Corinthians 5:11-21
Many believers make Christianity unattractive. They’re boring, joyless, hypocritical & negative. This should not be! Today we are going to look at Biblical characteristics that will help us make Christianity contagious & infectious in a world that desperately needs Christ.
I. Be Real (5:11-12)
- Reasons we are to persuade people to accept Christ: 1) Jesus Commands it (Matt. 28:19-20) 2) God designed us to Share good news (Acts 5:42) 3) If we believe the Bible – people are lost heading to Hell without Christ
- Acts 26:29 – Paul didn’t fake it nor disguise his motives
- Our Behavior is important - There’s something attractive &contagious about a person who is authentic
II. Be Passionate (5:13-15)
- Rev. 3:16; Rom. 12:11 – We should never lose our zeal!
- Acts 26:24-25 - Passion should come automatically if we really believe our message is true.
- Luke 19:41; Acts 20:31 – Have you wept over the lost?
III. Be Insightful. (5:16-17
- The world evaluates people by the externals. The World sees possessions; we should see potential.
- What did others see in… Simon Peter, Saul, Mary Magdalene, Nicodemus, & Zacchaeus?
- John 4:39 - Woman at the well - Others saw a degenerate woman; Jesus saw an effective evangelist.
- We are a new creation if we are in Christ Jesus!
IV. Be Reconcilers. (5:18-21)
- We are under a huge debt of sin – Is. 59:2; Rom. 6:23
- Jesus paid it for us! – 2 Cor. 2:21; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:13
- It’s our ministry to bring those who are at odds with God to peace and reconciliation with Him. What a great assignment!
- We are ambassadors – NOT Negotiators! We must share it accurately even if some may not receive it.
Will we be the infectious contagious body of Christ the world needs? Jesus is the world’s only hope - And He has entrusted to us the responsibility to share that message!
2 Corinthians 4:8-18
The people who really achieve anything in life stay with it longer. They don’t quit easily. They are not intimidated by obstacles. In fact they see them as opportunities. Today we discuss the importance of perseverance in the Christian life because we all get knocked down. Paul says, “Therefore we don’t lose heart.”
I. Get Back Up When We Get Knocked Down. (4:8-9)
- Examples of Perseverance….
- Prov. 24:16; Rom. 2:7; Heb. 12:1-3
II. Love the Lord More Than Life Itself. (4:10)
- Acts 19:30-31; Matt. 16:24-25; Luke 16:10
- Do you love Jesus More Than…..
- Annie Dillard – “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.”
III. Believe What We Say We Believe. (4:13-15)
- 2 Tim. 1:12; Job 13:15; Prov. 3:5-6
- That belief that Paul’s life was helping others motivated Paul to keep going.
- We need to be people who know what we believe and why.
IV. Keep Our Eyes On The Goal. (4:16-18)
- 2 Cor. 2:12; Phil. 3:12-14
- Our goal is to go to heaven when we die and take as many people as we can with us, but the adversary (Satan) will do everything possible to distract our attention.
We’re not promised that this life is going to turn out as we want. But this world is not our home. There won’t be an exemption from hurts here, but God promises “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.” “Therefore, we don’t lose heart” & we get back up when we fall down.
2 Corinthians 4:1-7
Our nation is plunging deeper and deeper into spiritual darkness and uncertainty. Our spiritual foundations are being shaken to the core. Psalms 82:5 describes us. ”They know nothing, they understand nothing. They walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.” How can we confidently let the light of Christ shine through us in a world that is so spiritually dark and uncertain?
I. Be Positive in a World of Negativity (4:1)
- If Christians are converted, we shouldn’t be continually miserable and depressed. We ought to be joyful and optimistic even in the midst of negative circumstances.
- 1 John 4:4; Matt. 16:18; John 16:33; Rom. 5:20; Phil. 4:13 – God is greater -Christ Strengthens us
II. Be Truthful in a World of Deception (4:2)
- Satan is a crafty liar, deceiver, disguised as an angel of light – a wolf in sheep’s clothing. So it shouldn’t surprise us that the world is full of his misleading ways.
- 1 Pet. 2:12; Phil. 2:14-16; 2 Cor. 4:3-4; John 3:19 – Show integrity, and shine the consistent light of the truth of the Gospel.
III. Be Selfless in a World of Selfishness (4:5)
- The world is accustomed to most looking out for Number 1. When we put the needs of others above ourselves, we’ll stand out!
- Matt. 5:16; Mark 10:43-45 – Jesus is our Ultimate example.
IV. Be Real in a World of Phoniness (4:7)
- Those in the world try to cover up, pretend, and wear masks and we as Christians can get caught up in this too! But there actually there are few things more compelling than someone who is authentic and humble enough to admit their weaknesses.
- 2 Cor. 12:9; 1 Tim. 1:15; Rom. 3:23; James 3:8 – Be Transparent, Confess your sins, Admit Weaknesses, Let Jesus Shine through you!
Will you be genuine for Christ? Will you step out of the darkness of this world and walk in the confidence of the light of Christ daily?
2 Cor. 3:1-18
We live in turbulent times. However, the Bible underscores the confidence that the Christian should have in the midst of uncertainty. This comes from being humble and trusting in God Himself, His instructions, and His provisions.
I. Trust C_________ – Not O_______________ (3:1-3)
- 2 Cor. 3:4-5 - Paul’s Confidence Was in God & What He Could do,
- Psalm 27:1-5; 2 Tim. 4:16-18 – We Can be Confident Because We
Trust in God’s S__________, Not Our Own. We Don’t Have to be
- To Trust in Christ, and Not Yourself, Takes H_____ Because you have
to Swallow your Pride & A_____ your own I__________. - Phil. 4:13
II. Trust G________ – Not Our W___________ (3:6)
- Heb. 2:15 – The Fear of D________ Holds Many in S__________
- 2 Cor. 3:7-11 – The Differences Between the Old & New Covenant…
- Eph. 2:8-9 – This takes Humility to Accept G_______ since we Don’t
D_________ it and We Haven’t E___________ it.
III. Trust C_________– Not Our A_____________ (3:13-18)
- 2 Peter 1:5-8 – Jesus C__________ Lives from W__________!
- 2 Cor. 4:16 - The Older You get in the Christian Life, the more
A___________ You Should Become on the I__________.
- Col. 3:12-13- Be Authentic and Real with Others, Showing Kindness,
Patience, and F________________ - This is What God V________!
John Ortberg wrote, “We’d like to be humble, but what if no one notices?” Only through Christ can we grow the fruit of humility. And the more we humble ourselves, the more confident we will become in what our mighty God can do in us, through us, and for us!
2 Corinthians 5:1-10
We live in a day where we don’t know what lies around the corner neither with Iraq, North Korea, China… nor with our own Countries future morally, economically, or politically. The more uncertain the present becomes, the more important that future assurance of a Heavenly Home is needed.
I. We Know (5:1)
- When this life is over there’s a better life waiting for us.
- This tent is so fragile; it can so quickly be destroyed!
- John 14:1-3 – Our hope isn’t on speculation but on the
demonstration of God
II. We Are Guaranteed (5:5)
- We have the Holy Spirit as a Deposit (engagement Ring)
- Rom. 8:11 – The Holy Spirit lives in us!
How do we know He is living in us? 3 Questions:
1) Have you put your trust in Christ and Obeyed Him? (Acts 2:38)
2) Have you observed spiritual fruit growing in you? (Matt. 7:16; Gal.
3) Have you Noticed Sensitivity to Spiritual Spurs? (1 Cor. 2:12, 14;
III. We Are Confident (5:6, 8)
To eliminate fear and instill confidence we are told about…
A. A gradual deterioration of the body. 2 Cor. 4:16 – It’s not Sad –
It’s a folding up of our tent, reminding us it’s almost time to move
into a new building from God.
B. A departure of the spirit. 2 Cor. 5:8
C. An immediate presence with God. 2 Cor. 5:8
D. A glorified, resurrected body 2 Cor. 5:3; John 5:28-29;
1 Cor. 15:51-54; 1 Thess. 4:14-18 No more Winter!
E. A judgment of our works. 2 Cor. 5:9-10; Matt. 16:27
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Heb. 11:1) “Death… It is the most misunderstood part of life. It is not a great sleep but a great awakening. It is that moment when we awake, rub our eyes and see things at last the way God has seen them all along.”
The winter season can be the toughest to bear, yet it can be the sweetest. Let us see How God blesses even in the cold of winter!
I. The Wonder of Winter
A. It is a Time of Celebration, Blessing & Rest – Col. 4:6; 1 Pet. 3:9;
Phil 1:21-23; Heb. 6:7 Gen. 2:2-3 Ex. 16:29; 2 Tim. 4:6-8
B. It is a Time of Conveyance – 1 Cor. 11:23-26; 15:1-4; Deut. 4:9;
C. It is a Time of Caution
- Don’t Cling Too Long – 2 Kings 18:5,7; Is. 38:1-3; Is. 39
- Don’t Underestimate God – 2 Cor. 12:7-10; is. 46:4 ; Ps. 92:12-15
II. Seasonal Summaries
A. Remember That Seasons Begin & End - Psalm 30:5; Gen. 8:22;
B. Develop Seasonal Consistency – 2 Tim. 4:2; Prov. 20:4; 21:5;
C. Learn From Each Season – James 1:5; Gen. 50:20
D. Find Joy In Your Season - Phil. 4:4, 6-7, 11-13
E. Be Prepared for the Next Season – Eccl. 11:4; Luke 14:28;
F. Be Confident – God is at Work In Every Season – Ps. 1:1-3; Mal. 3:6;
James 1:17; 4:8
G. Thrive in Every Season - Psalm 16:11; John 15; Esther 4:14
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens… He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Eccl. 3:1,11
Life’s autumn seasons are generally when people make their greatest contributions. They gather the seeds they planted in spring and labored over during summer to produce a harvest in fall. Ecclesiastes 3:2 reminds us that there is “a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted.” How can we be prepared for the best Fall seasons in our lives? It begins by asking ourselves some questions and following Biblical examples…
I. What You Do - Deborah (Judges 4 & 5)
- Taking Responsibility, Mastering Skills, Investing in Others, Maximizing Impact, Being a Positive Difference Maker
- Finding Purpose and Making the Most of it
II. Who You Influence – Paul (Acts 14-15)
- Spouse, Children, Grandchildren, Co-workers, Friends, Fellow-Christians
- Through: Love, Communication, Forgiveness, Example, Boldness
III. Who You Are – John the Baptizer (Matthew 3)
- Still Growing, Reaping, Adjusting
- Reaping What You Have Sown
IV. Whose You Are – Elijah (1 Kings 18)
- Our view of God is Paramount
- Our Faith is in?
- Our Spiritual Development comes by practicing good habits for the long haul
- God uses Ordinary people to do extraordinary things!
What are you doing to prepare for Fall harvest? How will you allow God to use your life for Him? What habits do you need to change?
Eccl. 2:24; 3:3; 5:19; 9:10; Prov. 30:25; Neh. 2:18
Summer is far from the end, yet it’s no longer the beginning. We’ve moved from the excitement of the start-up to a new stage marked by labor and growth. Most worthwhile endeavors require hard work and encounter setbacks and difficulties. Living as a true Christ follower is no different. If we want a fruitful harvest the work of summer is a necessity!
I. Doing The Work of Summer
- The work is there to do, and we are designed to do it – Eccl. 3:3; Eph. 2:10; Phil. 2:12-13
- Enjoyment of our toil may not always come naturally to us, but it can be ours through God’s grace. Eccl. 2:24; 5:19; 9:10
- Summer Work means an opportunity to learn patient endurance, which is a priceless treasure – Rom. 5:3-4; 2 Thess. 3:6,11; Heb. 6:12
- When our summer labor follows God’s pattern- God gets the glory! – Neh. 2:12; 4:4-16
- We must watch for Summer Dangers – they are many!
II. Determining The Work of Summer
A. Our Identity – Spring is when we get our foot in the door; summer is what we do once we’re inside. Prov. 10:5; 6:6-8
B. Our Relationships
- Marriage - It takes hard Summer work to keep a marriage healthy and strong – it isn’t luck. Eph. 5:21-33
- Children – Raising children is not for the lazy! Each new stage in the lives of our children requires adjustment from parents. Eph. 6:4
- Friends - The quality of our relationships depends on how hard you work at them in the summer. Prov. 17:17; 18:24; Eccl. 4:9-12
C. Our Roles - Those that work hardest, smartest, and depend on Jesus the most in the summer --- are the most likely to enjoy a glorious harvest in autumn. Heb. 5:12; Eph. 4:16; 1 Pet. 2:2
D. Our Faith - While spring is when God invites us to enter into a deeper, more vibrant walk with Him, summer is when we put in the time it takes to get there. Matt. 13:3-9; 1 Kings 19:19-21; Luke 5:27-28; Matt. 28:19-20; John 15:5-8
Are you doing the work of summer so that the fruits of your labor may bring God glory? Are you determining how God can use the summers of your life to produce a harvest for Him?
Seasons Of Life - Spring
Not properly interpreting the Seasons of Life is an oversight that can fill our outlook on life with confusion, doubt, and stress. Ultimately, this huge misconception concerning our situations and seasons in life can lead to wasted months, lost years—even a squandered life.
I. Making Sense of the Seasons
A. Seasons - God’s Plan
-Gen. 1:14, 16 – God built change and variety into creation
-Eccl. 3:11 - Our ability to taste life’s experiences at their best is governed by
their seasonality. We can glimpse now the perspective we’ll gain in heaven.
B. Ten Laws of the Seasons of Life
1. Each of us experiences repeated cycles in life that are profoundly mirrored
in the seasons we see in nature.
2. These seasons are more than simply a metaphor for aging.
3. Each season is unique and adds important dimensions to life.
4. Our seasons follow a set order.
5. Our seasons vary in length & intensity—and in what they require from us.
6. The way we handle one season profoundly impacts how we experience the
seasons that follow.
7. We can, & often do, fail to recognize & understand our particular season.
8. Understanding our seasons of life requires a vital, open, trusting
relationship with God.
9. We experience different seasons in different aspects of our lives.
10. We are meant to thrive in every season. Richard Blackaby -Seasons of God
II. Understanding Your Spring-Time
A. Potential, Promise, & Possibilities
B. Precautions – Dangers in Every Season
- Season Rushers & Season Graspers
III. Applying Spring-Time Spiritual Concepts
A. Your Identity - Ps. 139:15-16; 2 Cor. 5:17
B. Your Roles – 1 Tim. 4:12; Col. 3:23; Rev. 2:10
C. Your Relationships – Prov. 13:20; 1 Cor. 15:33
D. Your Faith – Gen. 9:20; Ex. 3:10; Mark 1:16-20
Every aspect of our lives is governed by the ebb and flow of seasons. Because of Jesus - Death is not the final season. When Jesus comes again we each one will experience a wonderful, new, eternal springtime if we have answered His call.
Purpose & Preparation – Worship
William Hendricks wrote in his book, Exit Interviews: Revealing Stories of Why People are Leaving the Church, “That the most common complaint was: NOT that church services were not Interesting, but that they WERE NOT Worshipful… The most significant benefit of a church service is connecting with God… People come to church because they expect to find God there.”
I. What Is Worship?
- William T. - “Worship is the submission of all of our nature to God.”
- 2 ingredients that are always present in genuine worship: Awe and
Joy Psalm 8:1, 3-4,9; Acts 2:46-47; Psalm 100; 46:10; 47:1
- Failure to understand these two aspects of worship causes a lot of
controversy and division in churches today.
II. What Is The Purpose Of Worship?
A. Worship Glorifies God - Psalm 29:2; 147:11
B. Worship Edifies Believers - Is. 43:21; Heb. 10:25
C. Worship Challenges Seekers - Acts 2:47; 16:30
- Sally Morgenthaler -“Worship is the most powerful tool we have for
satisfying the hunger of famished souls…”
III. How Can We Get Back To The Heart Of Worship?
A. Preparation Eccl. 5:1 – “Guard your steps when you to the house
of God…” Don’t Come Casually - Be Ready -
- Singing - Eph. 5:19; Psalm 33:1; Psalm 150 - God loves variety.
God loves newness – “New Song” repeated 9 times in Scripture.
- Communion – 1 Cor. 10:16
- Offering - 1 Chronicles 16:29
- Preaching – Heb. 4:7; 1 Cor. 1:21
- Living Obediently - Rom. 12:1; Matt. 15:8
- Praising God Daily - Ps. 71:8; 35:28
Gordon D. -"Most middle class Americans tend to worship their work, to work at their play, & to play at their worship." Let it not be so!
Responsibility and Choices - Truth
We have become specialists at shirking our responsibility and blaming other people for our actions. The Bible tells us that we are responsible for our choices. There are 3 things I want us to learn today about Truth and our responsibility and accountability for abiding in the truth and remaining in Christ. (1 John 2:24, 27, 28)
I. Truth is Truth Regardless of Public Opinion
- 2 Cor. 10:12 – Who do we compare ourselves to?
- J. Vernon McGee - “Sometimes majority opinion just means you have a lot of fools in one place.”
- John 14:6; Matt. 7:13-14 - Jesus is the Only Truth & Many will not accept this truth
- Gen. 6:9 – Noah choose to live differently than the world
- Psalm 147:11 – God is delighted when we choose to walk with Him instead of the world
II. Truth is Truth Regardless of Personal Feelings
-2 Peter 2:5- Noah preached 120 years without a convert!
- Deut. 30:19 – “Choose life, so that you and your children may live.”
- You can make the right choice: Joseph & Moses did!
III. Truth Is Truth – Regardless of Preconceived Ideas
- Gen. 6:22; Heb. 11:7 - Noah was a man of Faith who obeyed God
- Francis Shafer - “Faith is standing against what is seen at the moment and being willing to be out on a limb in believing God.”
- “Truth will always be truth, regardless of lack of understanding, disbelief or ignorance.” – W. Clement Stone
- “Fake News” – In Christianity?
- “Illusion of truth” – when you hear certain information so many times, you believe it, regardless of its accuracy.
“Noah found favor (or he found grace) in God’s sight.” We are responsible for making right choices, but it is not our right choices that save us. It is the choice of Jesus Christ that died for us on the cross. We are saved by putting our faith in His righteous work. (1 Pet. 3:18, 20-21)
Love And Respect - Marriage
Satan is out to destroy families and marriages today! How do we make our marriages strong as God intends? “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:33
I. God’s Directives To Husbands
A. Expressively Love Her – Eph. 5:25; Rev. 21:9-10
1. Our Love Should Be Decisive - Hosea 1:2-3 ; 3:1
2. Our Love Should Be Sacrificial – Matt. 26:39
B. Eagerly Forgive Her – Eph. 5:26-27; Luke 6:37
C. Excitedly Cherish Her – Eph. 5:28-29
- A Woman’s Key Needs:
II. God’s Directives To Wives
A. Respect His Leadership – Eph. 5:22-24, 1 Pet. 3:3-6
B. Respond To His Needs – Eph. 5:22-24; Prov. 31:30;
1 Cor. 7:3-5
- A Man’s Key Needs:
C. Remain Faithful To Him – Eph. 5:31, 1 Cor. 7:10-11
Husbands - model Christ-like love for your wives. Wives - model respect for your husbands. In this way others may see the faithfulness and the love of Jesus Christ in us. This will protect and preserve our marriages and be a witness to a needy world.
Empowered & Renewed – Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit can empower us to follow God’s will, overcome temptation, pray effectively, witness boldly, understand Scripture, & cope with suffering. If we try to do those things on our own power we will find ourselves pretending, exhausted, and ineffective. 2 Peter 1:3 tells us: “His divine power has given us everything we need for life & godliness…” We are…
I. Empowered To Serve Sensibly
- Acts 6:1-7 Stephen was - “full of the Spirit and wisdom”
- In our own power, we can’t do what God wants done.
- 2 Cor. 3:13; Acts 4:8,31 What can be done to recharge our spiritual battery?
- 1) Repent of Sins – 1 Thess. 5:19; Eph. 4:30; Ps. 51:11
- 2) Get Into the Word – 2 Pet. 1:21
- 3) Pray Daily– Luke 11:13
- 4) Encouragement from Christians – Eph. 5:18
- 5) Worship – Ps. 68:35
- 6) Use Your Spiritual Gifts – 2 Tim. 1:6-7
II. Empowered To Witness Wonderfully
- Acts 6:8-10 - “…they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke.”
- The Spirit will energize us to speak boldly for Jesus – Acts 4:31
III. Empowered To Croak Confidently
Acts 6:11-15 -“they saw that his face was like the face of an angel”
- He was bold in the face of opposition – Acts 7:51
- Heb. 2:14-15 – we are free from slavery to fear of death
- Ps. 23:4; Rom. 8:11 - What God says: He will do!
- Col 3:2 – Let’s keep our minds on our Eternal home!
IV. Empowered To Forgive Freely
- Acts 7:60 - “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’”
- We can’t in our own strength forgive – through the power of the Spirit we can release the right to retaliate Eph. 4:30-32
We must turn our life over to Christ, making Him Lord of all – and The Holy Spirit will empower us. What are you called to do today through His Spirit?
The Ideal Church
What do you look for when you’re looking for the ideal church?
I. MARKERS OF WHAT WE OFTEN PERCIEVE TO BE THE IDEAL CHURCH
A. It Would Be Ideally Comfortable.
- What we think – Dress, Music, & Size like we like.
- “Many folks would define the perfect church as a place where
people are like them. “
- Acts 2:9-11 - As Different as they were: Their devotion to Christ was
stronger than their prejudices and their preferences.
B. It Would Be Ideally Accepting.
- What we think - always warm & friendly, no problems, no hang-ups
- Acts 9:26 Paul wasn’t accepted at first - Hang in There & Take Steps
C. It Would Be Ideally Peaceful.
- What we think: No fighting, vying for control, personality conflicts
- Acts 15:39 Team broke up: Paul went one way & Barnabas another
D. It Would Be Ideally Mature.
- What we think - perfect retention & participation, universal maturity
-The church is imperfect because it is made up of imperfect people
II. MARKERS OF THE REAL CHURCH
A. Christ is Foundational.
- Acts 2:38-47 Baptized in Christ, teaching is about Christ power of Christ,
motivated by love for Christ, worship Christ
- We’re not claiming to be perfect but we do claim to know and lovethe
One who was and his name is Jesus. And He is the basis of our unity.
B. Community is Intentional.
- Intense, intentional connectedness.
- Acts 2: 42-46 shared values, experienced things together, shared their
resources, worshiped together & spent time in each other’s homes
C. Service is Normal.
- Acts 2 42-46 They sold their goods in order to do good, shared their
homes, gave their time to their spiritual priorities.
Wouldn’t you like to be part of a REAL church like that? Well friends if you are a member here, you are! The more you learn God’s will for your life and His church and give yourself to that will, the stronger this church will be.
God’s Church was intended to be powerful! Would you describe the Church as “powerful” today? What do Samson and the Church have in common? Today we explore God’s powerful Church as He designed for it to be—learning from Samson.
I. Divinely Created -
A. Samson - Judges 13:2-3
B. Church - Joel 2:28; Acts 2:1-4, 41, 47
II. Divinely Dedicated
- Samson - Judges 13:5; 15:20;
- Church - Matt. 28:19-20; Rom. 1:5; Heb. 5:12;
III. Divinely Empowered
- Samson & The Church – Great Power
- Judges 14:6, 19; 15:14-15; 16:3-4; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 2:3-5; 1 Thess. 1:4-5;
- Samson - Weakened but Restored
- Judges 16:28-30
- Church – Weakened but Restored?
- Joshua 7:12, 24-25; Matt. 5:13-16; Heb. 10:23-31; Matt. 6:33; John 14:23-24; 8:11; Luke 15:7
We are the Church! How will you represent Christ this week? Will others see a “powerful” Church through you? May your prayer be, “Let them see You (Jesus) in me!”
From its earliest days, the church has faced difficulty with quarrels & strife. Satan has sought to conquer the kingdom of Christ by one key tactic: divide & conquer. Jesus wants all His followers to get along so that our testimony would be believable. Jesus instructed: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall..” (Luke 11:17)
I. Importance of Unity
Prov. 6:19; 1 Cor. 1:10; Deut. 6:4; Acts 2:44, 46; Ps. 133:1
A. Unified In Nature – John 10:30; Phil. 2:6; Rom. 12:18
- Different but Equal – Gal. 3:26-29; 1 Cor. 12:21-27
B. Unified In Mind – John 11:42; Phil. 2:5-7
C. Unified In Will – Matt. 26:39; Eph. 4:2-5
D. Unified In Purpose
- To Win the Lost & Edify the Saved - Matt. 28:19-20; John 17:20-
21; Col. 1:28; 3:16
- Stand Firm Against Our Common Enemy – Phil. 1:27-28
II. Threats to Unity
A. False Teaching Acts 20:29-31; Acts 15; 2 Pet. 2:1-2
B. Legalism and Liberalism- Rom 14; 2 Tim. 2:14; “In opinions liberty”
C. Criticism - James 3:5-6
D. Uncontrolled Ego/Pride- Prov. 11:2; 16:18; 29:23 –
EGO “Edging God Out”
E. Selfishness and Favortism James 3:16; Phil 2:3-4
III. Keys to Keeping Unity
A. Respect Leadership - Hebrews 13:17
B. Avoid Controversy if Possible - Titus 3:9
C. Practice Servanthood - Luke 24:22-27; John 13:5
D. Be Quick to Forgive - Matt. 6:15; Luke 23:24; Col. 3:13
E. Stay Connected To Christ & the Word - Col. 2:19; 1 Pet. 2:2
A divisive, dogmatic spirit is not a mark of maturity, but of immaturity. “Peace” is a fruit of the Spirit! It grieves the Father when we fight & are divided. It brings joy to His heart when the Church is unified & harmonious.
Isaiah 58:1, 12
The Restoration Movement of which we are a part, determined to use the Bible as the plan-book or "blueprint" to "restore" the Church to its original doctrines, ordinances, and faith. Have we succeeded in totally restoring the New Testament Church? We need to work on restoring the Church because the walls are broken and in need repair in several areas:
I. Purity (Rom. 12:1-2) Have we neglected holiness & godliness? Have we become too much like the world around us? Are we rubbing off on the world or is the world rubbing of on us?
A. Presentation – Offer Our Bodies -Comletely to Christ
1 Cor. 6:18-20
B. Consecration – Don’t Conform -Start Acting Redeemed
1 Pet. 1:14-16
C. Transformation – Renew Our Mind - We are changed in the
way we think… so we “tell others” Rom. 8:5-6
II. Perfection (Matt. 5:48 ) Have we remained the same Spiritually? Are we moving forward in Christlikeness? Are we aiming for perfection or just content to let grace cover our mess? 2 Cor. 7:1; Luke 8:14
Loving - 2 Thess. 1:3; Matt. 24:12-13 Giving – 2 Cor. 8:7
Speaking –1 Cor. 16:13; 1 Tim. 4:12; James 3:9-10 Praying – 1
Thess. 5:16-18; Rom. 12:12; Col. 4:2 Persevering – James 1:2-5
Learning –1 Pet. 2:1-3; 2 Pet. 3:18; Col. 1:10
III. Purpose (Matt. 28:19-20) Have we vered from God’s original design for the Church? Are we passionate about what we need to be passionate about? Do we need to recapture God’s design for His Church?
A. We Are A Body Not A Business - Col. 1:18; 1 Cor. 12:12-14, 27 ;
1 Cor. 15:1-5; 1 Cor. 2:1-2
B. We Are To Evangelize or Fossilize! - Matt. 28:19-20 ; Luke 20:1;
C. We Are To Make Disciples Not Converts – Matt. 28:19-20;
Luke 14:26-27, 33
Let’s work to “Restore” the Church of the New Testament!
What Happens At Judgment?
Two of the Bible’s certainties: “It’s appointed for men to die once and after this comes the judgment.” (Heb. 9:27) That there will be a judgment day is one of the foundational teachings of the Christian faith. (Eccl. 12:14; Acts 17:31) But what exactly do we know about this day? Let’s discover today what God’s Word says about that day.
I. When Is Judgment Day?
A. We don’t know what day - Matt. 24:36
B. We do know the order of events – Matt. 25:46; 16:27; Rev. 11:18 –
Jesus return, raptures, judgment day, eternal states
II. Who Will Be The Judge & The Judged?
A. God is the Judge, not us. – Heb. 12:23; 2 Thess. 1:5; Rom. 14:10
B. Both Wicked and Righteous People Will Be Judged –
Rom. 3:6; 14:10-12; Matt. 25:32; 2 Cor. 5:10
III. What Will Be Judged?
A. Works Will Be Examined
1. All The Works of All People - Rom. 2:5-10; 14:12; Matt. 12:36-37
2. Justified by Faith, Yet Judged by Works? – Rev. 20:11-15;
2 Cor. 5:10
B. Motives Will Be Exposed – 1 Cor. 4:3-5
“Our observable actions will testify of our unseen attitudes.”
IV. What Is The Purpose of Judgment Day?
A. To Distribute Rewards and Punishments - Matt. 25:31-46;
1 Cor. 3:12-15; James 3:1; 2 Tim. 4:8
B. To Defend God’s Condemnation – Col. 3:25; Rom. 1:18-21;
C. To Deify God’s Mercy – Jude 20-25
V. Are You Ready For Judgment Day?
Matt. 24:44; Heb. 9:27-28
Are you ready to sing, “O the King is coming, The King is coming! I just heard the trumpets sounding, And now His face I see, O the King is coming, The King is coming! Praise God, He's coming for me!”
What Do We Know About Christ’s Second Coming
Paul said, “By His power God raised the Lord from the dead, and He will raise us also.” (1 Cor. 6:14) There is another Resurrection that I want to focus on today that is made possible by Christ’s Resurrection. It is our resurrection from the dead when Jesus returns the Second time.
I. The Certainty of His Coming
A. The Promise of Christ’s Return Is Very Clear. John 14:1-3; Rev. 22:7, 12
B. The Delay of Christ’s Return Is As Planned -2 Pet. 3:3-4, 8-10; Acts 3:19ff
II. The Manner of His Coming
A. Personal - Acts 1:11; 1 Thess. 4:16
B. Visible & Audible - 2 Thess. 1:7; Acts 1:11; Rev. 1:7; 1 Thess. 4:16
C. Sudden - Matt. 24:27 ;1 Thess. 5:2; Matt. 24:36, 44
D. Triumphant - Matt. 24:30; 2 Thess. 1:7-8; Rev. 6:15-17; 1 Pet. 4:13
III. The Time of His Coming
A. Description of the Last Days
1. A Time of great Falsehood- John 8:44; Rev. 20:8; Matt. 24:5, 24
2. A Time of great Wickedness- 2 Tim. 3:1-7
3. A Time of great Persecution - Rev. 16:14; Matt. 24:9; Rev. 17:6
B. Deliberate Ambiguity
IV. The Events Accompanying His Coming
A. Victory Over the Enemies of God – 2 Thess. 1:7-8; Rev. 19:11-16; 6: 16-17
B. Resurrection of the Dead -1 Cor. 15:52-57; Rev. 21:4
C. Transformation of the Living- 1 Thess. 4:16-17; 1 Cor. 15:51-52
D. Raptures- 1 Thess. 4:17; Matt 13:24-43; Matt. 24: 40-41
V. The Message of His Coming
A. Eagerly Await Jesus Return. Phil. 3:20; 1 Cor. 1:7; Rom. 8:23
B. Live In Readiness For Jesus Return. Matt. 24:44; Luke 12:38-40
Jesus came the first time to save us from our sins through His sacrificial death on the cross. He rose again on the third day defeating death and assuring us that because of that we too would defeat death. He ascended and promised He was coming back to take us to Heaven. We need to be able to echo John’s words, “Come, Lord Jesus.” Rev. 22:20
What Lies Ahead Between Death and Resurrection?
Paul said, “Regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer.” (1 Thess. 4:13, MSG) The question always “comes up,” doesn’t it? Paul did not dodge it and neither will we as we learn to….
I. Live With Heaven On Our Minds While Here On Earth
- We really need inspiration to “think” long-term and not be deceived by Satan’s traps & snares - James 1:15
- Behavior before death impacts our circumstances after death - Luke 16:19-31
- No Uhauls behind our hearse. We will not carry our position or our possessions into eternity.
- Phil 3:20 – We are citizens of heaven
- Col. 3:20 – We are to Set our minds on things above
- Mark 12:30 – We are to love God with all our “Mind”
- Rom. 8:5-6 - The mind set on the Spirit is life & peace
II. Live With%2