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Now displaying: 2016
Oct 10, 2016

Join us this week as we have a special guest Pastor Rick Cochran. 

Jun 3, 2016

Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring. James 3:1-12

 

LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR TONGUE. 

 

1. THE TONGUE A BATTLE WE ARE BORN WITH

 

For I was born a sinner--yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. Psalms 51:5

 

2. THE TONGUE IS POWERFUL

 

The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences. Proverbs 18:21

 

3. THE TONGUE IS DIRECTIONAL

 

But the words you speak come from the heart… Matthew 15:18

 

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23

 

And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. James 3:4

 

4. THE TONGUE HAS QUICK IMPACT

 

5. THE TONGUE IS CONFLICTED

 

OUR EMOTIONS KEEPS US VICTIMS WHEN WE WERE MEANT TO BE VICTORS.

 

TAKE HOME

 

THE TONGUE CANNOT BE TAMED WITH HUMAN STRENGTH BUT BY DIVINE STRENGTH

 

Take control of what I say, O LORD, and guard my lips. Psalms 141:3

 

  • STOP BEFORE YOU SPEAK

 

You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. James 1:19

 

A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent. Proverbs 17:27-28

 

  • THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK

 

T – is it True?

H – is it Helpful?

I – is it Inspiring?

N – is it Necessary?

K – is it Kind?

 

  • PRAY BEFORE YOU SPEAK

 

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. James 1:5

Asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. Ephesians 1:17

 

QUIT TALKING ABOUT YOUR MOUNTAIN AND START TALKING TO YOUR MOUNTAIN.

 

I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, 'May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. Mark 11:23

May 27, 2016

What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? James 2:14

 

GRACE WITHOUT TRUTH IS NOT GRACE AT ALL AND TRUTH WITHOUT GRACE IS NOT TRUTH AT ALL. THERE MUST BE BALANCE.

 

Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Romans 6:1-2

 

OUR REFLECTION IS BASED UPON OUR ACTIONS.

 

“If you love me, obey my commandments. John 14:15

 

A HEALTHY FAITH IS NOT MOTIVATED BY A REWARD, BUT BY A RELATIONSHIP.

 

EXAMINING OUR FAITH

 

GROWTH IN LIFE BEGINS WITH AN HONEST EVALUATION

 

Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith. 2 Corinthians 13:5

 

1. IS MY FAITH DEAD?

 

So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. James 2:17

 

Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds. But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”” James 2:18

 

WORDS ARE NOT ENOUGH, THERE MUST ALSO BE FRUIT!

 

Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions. Matthew 7:20

 

2. IS MY FAITH MISGUIDED?

 

You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. James 2:19

 

KNOWLEDGE WITHOUT APPLICATION IS FOOLISHNESS

 

But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus--the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God. Acts 20:24

 

If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? Matthew 16:25-26

 

3. IS MY FAITH COMPLETE?

 

You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. James 2:22

 

TAKE HOME

 

  • A COMPLETE FAITH IS TRUSTING

 

Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? James 2:21

 

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28

 

  • A COMPLETE FAITH IS CLEAR

 

Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. James 2:25

 

ANYONE CAN BE MORE THAN THEIR PRESENT SITUATION

 

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

 

  • A COMPLETE FAITH IS GROWING

 

Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works. James 2:26

 

When I was living among you, you lived in responsive obedience. Now that I’m separated from you, keep it up. Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you… Philippians 2:12-13 MSG

 

TAKE OUR FAITH ONE DAY AT A TIME.  TODAY LET ME HONOR GOD BY THE WAY I LIVE.

May 20, 2016

***(VIDEO)***

 

Judgement is when you assume to know why someone does what they do. 

 

My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives? Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him? But you dishonor the poor! Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? Aren’t they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear? James 2:1-7

 

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

 

EVERY PERSON IS SPECIAL TO GOD, EVERY PERSON MATTERS TO GOD, & EVERY PERSON IS LOVED BY GOD.

 

Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law. For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. For the same God who said, “You must not commit adultery,” also said, “You must not murder.” So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law. So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you. James 2:8-13

 

4 WAYS TO OVERCOME JUDGING OTHERS

 

1. WE MUST VALUE PEOPLE

 

Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Philippians 2:3

 

The LORD doesn't see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

 

SEEING VALUE IN PEOPLE IS NOT ABOUT THEIR VALUE TO YOU, BUT THEIR VALUE TO GOD.

 

2. WE MUST ACCEPT PEOPLE

 

When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” Matthew 9:12

 

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” -John Maxwell

 

Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Matthew 9:13

 

Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

 

3. WE MUST FORGIVE PEOPLE

 

UNFORGIVENESS WILL HARBOR RESENTMENT AND THAT WILL TURN INTO BITTERNESS

 

Surely resentment destroys the fool Job 5:2

 

Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. Hebrews 12:15

 

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

 

4. WE MUST PURSUE RELATIONSHIPS

 

ISOLATION IS A BREEDING GROUND FOR JUDGEMENT.

 

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” Luke 6:37-38

 

TAKE HOME

 

  • HOW DOES JESUS VIEW THIS PERSON?

He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession. James 1:18

Fearfully and wonderfully made… We are Gods workmanship formed in our mothers womb…

 

  • CAN JESUS RESTORE ANYONE?

 

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

  • IS JESUS’ FORGIVENESS AVAILABLE FOR ALL?

 

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 1 John 1:9

 

  • AM I PURSUING LIFE-GIVING RELATIONSHIPS?

 

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

May 13, 2016

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: James 1:19

 

You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives… James 1:19-21

 

WHEN WE COMPROMISE GODLY VALUES WE COMPROMISE OUR DREAMS.

 

Humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. James 1:21

 

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. James 1:22-24

 

But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. James 1:25

 

But they delight in the law of the lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. Psalms 1:2-3

 

If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. James 1:26

 

UNDERSTANDING THESE 3 THINGS…

 

You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. James 1:19

 

1. WHAT ARE WE HEARING?

 

But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. James 1:25

 

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 NKJV

 

I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalms 119:11

 

WHAT WE HEAR IS WHAT WE ABSORB AND THAT IS WHAT IMPACTS OUR HEART

 

So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. Hebrews 2:1

 

2. WHAT ARE WE SAYING?

 

If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. James 1:26

 

THE GENUINENESS OF OUR FAITH IS FOUND IN OUR CHARACTER WHICH IS REFLECTED BY OUR WORDS.

 

A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. Luke 6:45

 

The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences. Proverbs 18:21

 

Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything. Proverbs 13:3

 

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Ephesians 4:29

 

3. WHAT ARE YOU FEELING?

 

Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. James 1:20

 

“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell. “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. Matthew 5:21-24

 

WHEN EMOTIONS CALL THE SHOTS IN YOUR LIFE, DESTRUCTION WILL FIND A PLACE IN YOUR FUTURE!

 

And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. Ephesians 4:26-27

 

The lord gives his people strength. The lord blesses them with peace. Psalms 29:11

 

TAKE HOME

 

3 QUESTIONS TO ASK OURSELVES

 

  • WHO ARE THE MAIN VOICES IN MY LIFE?

 

  • IF CERTAIN PEOPLE HEARD MY CONVERSATIONS WOULD I BE ASHAMED?

 

  • WHAT LEGACY DO I WANT TO LEAVE?

 

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. James 1:27

May 6, 2016

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes scattered among the nations. James 1:1 NIV

 

You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. Psalms 16:11

 

So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:18

 

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10

 

THE JOURNEY OF OUR FAITH IS FILLED WITH TESTINGS & TEMPTATIONS AND OUR RESPONSE TO THEM IMPACTS OUR GROWTH.

 

TESTINGS

 

1. GRASP THAT PERSPECTIVE IMPACTS YOUR FUTURE

 

Dear brothers and sisters,when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. James 1:2

 

Tragedy is when we allow OUR circumstanceS to blind us from the learning experience.

 

For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. James 1:3

 

Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2

 

2. DON’T FIGHT THE PROCESS

 

So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:4

 

GOD CARES MORE ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER THAN YOUR COMFORT.

 

“My child,don’t make light of the lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. For the lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? Hebrews 12:5-7

 

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. 1 Peter 1:6-7

3. ASK GOD FOR HELP

 

TOO MANY TIMES WE SEEK GOD AS A LAST RESORT INSTEAD  OF A FIRST RESPONSE.

 

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. James 1:5

 

4. DECIDE TO FULLY TRUST

 

But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. heir loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.James 1:6-8

 

YOUR ATTITUDE IS THE KEY THAT ACTIVATES GOD MOVING IN YOUR LIFE.

 

God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

 

TEMPTATION

 

1. UNDERSTAND THE SOURCE OF TEMPTATION

 

And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.  James 1:13

 

2. UNDERSTAND THE PROCESS OF TEMPTATION

 

Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. James 1:14-15

 

  • TEMPTATION
  • FANTASY
  • STEP TOWARDS SIN
  • ACT OF SIN
  • DEATH

 

There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death. Proverbs 14:12

 

3. UNDERSTAND THE VICTORY OVER TEMPTATION

 

So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. James 1:16-17

 

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13

 

TAKE HOME

 

  • MAKE A LIST OF WHO AND WHAT TRULY MATTERS IN YOUR LIFE

 

  • STAY AWAY FROM UNHEALTHY INFLUENCES

 

  • IN YOUR STRUGGLE YOU MUST GET OUT OF IT EMOTIONALLY AND GET THEIR SPIRITUALLY

 

  • DEVELOP LIFE-GIVING RELATIONSHIPS

 

He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession. James 1:18

Apr 28, 2016

MISPLACED ATTENTION AND UNAUTHENTIC ATTENTION LEAD TO A FALSE SENSE OF HAPPINESS

 

…A person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people. Romans 2:29

 

Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. Galatians 1:10

 

PURSUING GODS ATTENTION IS WHERE YOU DISCOVER YOUR HEALING AND YOUR IDENTITY

 

SEEKING GODS ATTENTION

 

Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road. When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” “Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him. But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.” So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you!” Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. “My Rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!” And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road. Mark 10:46-52

 

 

1. YOU NEED TO KNOW WHO JESUS IS?

 

When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David…” Mark 10:47

 

As they were walking along, he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say you are one of the other prophets.” Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Messiah.” Mark 8:27-29

 

THERE IS AN AUTHORITY YOU RECEIVE WHEN YOU BELIEVE WHO GOD IS IN YOUR LIFE!

 

The name of the lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe. Proverbs 18:10

 

The lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the lord forever. Psalms 23

 

  • SHEPHERD

 

  • PROVIDER

 

  • PEACE

 

  • STRENGTH

 

  • RESTORER

 

  • REDEEMER

 

  • PROTECTOR

 

  • HEALER

 

  • PURSUER

 

2. YOU NEED TO KNOW GOD GIVES US MORE THAN WE DESERVE

 

“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Mark 10:47

 

He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. Psalms 103:10-12

 

So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:14-16

 

3. YOU NEED TO PURSUE JESUS AND BE SPECIFIC

 

Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. “My Rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!” Mark 10:50-51

 

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

 

One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. “There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people. A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’” Luke 18:1-5

 

4. YOU NEVER GO BACK

 

Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road. Mark 10:52

 

But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62

Apr 24, 2016

For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.  James 1:23-24

 

WHY THE BIBLE?

 

1. THERE IS NO OTHER DOCUMENTATION THAT COMPARES TO THE BIBLE

 

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 2 Timothy 3:16

 

“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life. John 5:39-40

 

2. THE ACCURACY OF THE BIBLE IS BEYOND COMPREHENSION

 

(can you put these in the notes on the confidence monitor like we did a few weeks back?

700 BC Isaiah chapter 7 says there will be a virgin birth & bout the suffering of Jesus

800 BC Micah chapter 5 says where Jesus will be born

Zechariah 12 & Psalms 22 describes the crucifixion of Jesus)

 

3. THE WAY THE BIBLE POINTS TO THE PERSON OF JESUS

 

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Gandhi

 

…The scripture cannot be broken John 10:35 KJV

 

“We’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die. Then they will hand him over to the Romans to be mocked, flogged with a whip, and crucified. But on the third day he will be raised from the dead.”. Matthew 20:18-19

 

They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.” Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself; Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared! They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”  Luke 25:23-27;31-32

 

The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. Romans 8:11

 

WITH THE KNOWLEDGE THAT THE BIBLE IS IN FACT TRUE THEN WE MUST ALLOW IT TO RADICALLY DEFINE OUR LIVES BY HEARING IT, BELIEVING IT, AND APPLYING IT!

 

“The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands! Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow. Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up. These events will bring great honor to the lord’s name; they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.” Isaiah 55:10-13

 

TAKE HOME

 

  • READ REGULARLY

 

‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ Matthew 4:4

 

  • PRAY FREQUENTLY

 

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14 NIV

 

  • MEMORIZE CONSISTENTLY

 

I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalms 119:11

 

  • SHARE INTENTIONALLY

 

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Apr 15, 2016

Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me. John12:25-26

 

I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:1-2

 

WE ARE NOT CALLED TO BLEND IN, BUT STAND OUT!

 

4 WAYS WE IMITATE THE LIFE OF JESUS

 

And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1

 

  1. MEASURE YOURSELF

 

I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Romans 12:3

 

WHAT YOU TOLERATE BECOMES YOUR STANDARD

 

Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

 

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Hebrews 12:2

 

Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

 

2. USE YOUR GIFTS

 

We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. Romans 12:5-8

 

USING YOUR GIFTS IS MORE ABOUT BEING A STEWARD WITH YOUR OPPORTUNITIES THAN FINDING A SPECIFIC ROLE.

 

But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant Matthew 20:26

 

3. MAKE LOVE VISIBLE

 

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Romans 12:9-10

 

LOVE IS NOT SPOKEN IT IS EXPERIENCED

 

Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Romans 12:11-13

 

HEALED PEOPLE HEAL PEOPLE AND  CHANGED PEOPLE CHANGE PEOPLE.

 

God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

 

4. BLESS YOUR ENEMIES

 

Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Romans 12:14-18

 

For "Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.” Romans 10:13

 

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

TAKE HOME

 

“Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:6-9

 

  • ASK THE TOUGH QUESTIONS

 

  • TAKE A SPIRITUAL GIFTS TEST & START SERVING

 

  • REPLAY YOUR PAST CONVERSATIONS

 

  • INVITE

 

Apr 6, 2016

ARE YOU WILLING TO SACRIFICE A 1,000 LITTLE LIKES FOR THE ONE LIKE THAT MATTERS FOR ALL ETERNITY?

 

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. Matthew 7:13-14

 

The road the righteous travel is like the sunrise, getting brighter and brighter until daylight has come. The road of the wicked, however, is dark as night. They fall, but cannot see what they have stumbled over. Proverbs 4:18-19 GNT

 

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33

 

FIVE A’s OF EMOTIONAL HEALTH

 

1. ACCEPTANCE

 

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.  Romans 5:8

 

You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. This is my command: Love each other. John 15:16-17

 

There are "friends" who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

 

2. AFFECTION

 

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

 

THERE IS POWER & SECURITY IN THE REALIZATION THAT NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM GOD’S LOVE, BUT THERE IS ALSO RESPONSIBILITY IN THAT KNOWLEDGE.

 

Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. 1 John 4:11-12

 

3. APPROVAL

 

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. Psalms 139:14-16

 

But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”;This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. 1 Corinthians 12:18-21;25-27

 

4. ATTENTION

 

How precious are your thoughts about me,O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me! Psalms 139:17-18

 

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. James 5:16

 

5. APPRECIATION

 

You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. Mathew 5:14-16

 

Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:35

 

TAKE HOME

 

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33

 

  • SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM

 

  • SEEK HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS
Mar 22, 2016

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10

 

People that Thrive understand that prayer CONNECTS US TO life

To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing. —Martin Luther King JR

Powerful Prayer is not the words that you say, but the mindset that is attached to that prayer!

 

6 Mindsets of the Lords Prayer

1. Make it
Personal

Our Father in heaven Matthew 6:9

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it! John 14:12-14

 

2. Honor the name of God

Hallowed be Your name. Matthew 6:9

For you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. “Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9-10

 

3. Seek God’s agenda

Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2

 

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s masterpiece, He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the things he planned for us long ago.”

4. Ask God to be your source

 

Give us this day our daily bread. Matthew 6:11

 

Give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. Proverbs 30:8

 

“I am the bread of life.  Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again.  Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35

 

5. Full circle forgiveness


And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. Matthew 6:12

 

6. Lets Fight

“And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.” Matthew 6:13

Ephesians 6:10-11,18 “Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes….And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayer.”

James 5:16 “The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much”

TAKE HOME

  • PRAYERS MUST BE UPWARD

 

  • PRAYERS MUST BE INWARD

 

  • PRAYERS MUST BE OUTWARD

 

 

Mar 18, 2016

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10

 

“Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.” Galatians 4:7

 

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” John 14:12

 

PEOPLE THAT THRIVE HAVE A PROPER PERSPECTIVE ON THE PROMISES OF GOD.

 

PERSPECTIVE IS EVERYTHING

 

1. PERSPECTIVE UNDERSTANDS CHRISTIANITY IS ABOUT A RELATIONSHIP NOT AN OBLIGATION

 

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: “Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!” Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.” “No,” they replied, “there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.” But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Later the others also came. “Sir! Sir!” they said. “Open the door for us!” But he replied, “I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.” Matthew 25:1-12

 

“You are trying to earn favor with God by observing certain days or months or seasons or years.” Galatians 4:10

 

Then the Lord said to him, “You Pharisees are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and wickedness!” Luke 11:39

 

Jesus said, If you love me, you will obey what I command” John 14:15

2. PERSPECTIVE UNDERSTANDS FULFILLMENT ONLY COMES FROM GOD.

 

I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun. . . . So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. Ecclesiastes 2:10-11, 17

And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” Mark 8:36-37

 

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever. Psalms 23:1-6

 

3. PERSPECTIVE UNDERSTANDS KNOWS WHAT TO FOCUS ON.

 

WE MUST HAVE SOMETHING TO FOCUS ON THAT IS BIGGER THAN OUR PROBLEMS.

 

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

“We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die.
But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to
rely only on God, who raises the dead. And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has “graciously answered so many prayers for our safety. 2 Corinthians 1:8-11

 

TAKE HOME

 

  • WRITE OUT A GRATITUDE LIST

 

  • PRAY WITH A HEART OF SUBMISSION

 

“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood. Luke 22:42-44

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