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
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
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
‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ Matthew 4:4
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
I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalms 119:11
So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
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
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
“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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33