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Now displaying: 2020
Jul 14, 2020

Pastor Mike speaks on the 5 A's of Mental health this week.

Jul 6, 2020

Yet, as God’s servants, we prove ourselves authentic in every way... 2 Corinthians‬ ‭6:4‬ ‭TPT‬‬

 

'We have proved ourselves by... showing kindness, by the Spirit of holiness (by the Holy Spirit within us), and by our uncritical love for you.' 2 Corinthians 6:6 TPT

 

So  we decided we're going to park here for a little bit and really talk about what the Holy Spirit produces in our lives. So we are looking at Galatians at a deeper level which of the attributes of the Holy Spirit produces in our lives. 

 

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control… Galatians 5:22-23

 

but this is what you got to understand about God he will never force you to be you are called to be. The holy spirit will convict you and the Holy Spirit Will directs you but you've got to choose to walk in the person that God wants you to be.  Secondly, you need to understand that these attributes are not ala carte That you can't say you want peace and joy and not want patience or self-control. these attributes build off of each other like we discussed last week and I encourage you the watch last week sermon and it is why I titled these sermons Driven by love because Love is the foundation. Lastly, you need to understand these attributes have an outward impact.  Many times we read them with this inward focus on self… OOOO I want joy, I want peace, and I want to be loved, but actually these are what the HS produces in you to give to the world around you!

 

Self-Control: egkrateia 

Mastery; More Properly Dominion Within

 

means strength within… It is about an inner character…It’s about being a person that reflects the character as much in private as we do in public…

 

Now the fullness of this is a strength that comes from God, but it is a decision that comes from us. This type of Mastery can only be accomplished by the power of the Lord. 

 

First, let’s understand a little about self-control…

 

SELF CONTROL IS A BATTLE WITHIN AND THE DISCIPLINE TO MOVE FORWARD

 

That we have this battle between a divided self inside us… Listen to what Paul says…

 

And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.  Romans 7:18-19

 

You ever felt like that?  You ever felt that battle rising within… Paul says what a miserable person I am… You ever thought that about yourself… He goes on to say Who will free me?  Then he says Jesus… We will get into this a little later… But what Paul is saying here is that we have to first identify that there is a battle going on in our hearts!

 

Jesus said this…

 

“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9:23

 

Jesus says that Daily we have to understand this battle and daily we have to make conscious decisions on which self will have control of our sinful desires or spiritual… Now many people hear this and they become overwhelmed because they are like you mean Daily I have this choice and this battle that seems like a lot…

 

But the question is what in life that has value is not filled with these daily choices… You want to be a good parent sometimes you have to make conscious decisions even if you don’t feel like… Sometimes you are exhausted and you don’t want to feed them, I don't care if they are juggling knives I don't want to deal with it, sometimes you just want to scream GO TO YOUR ROOM I DONT WANT TO SEE YOUR FACE THE REST OF THE NIGHT…. But even if you don’t feel like it you know daily you have to have the discipline choose to do what is right as a parent.. 

 

The same thing as being a spouse sometimes you just want to be selfish and have this fend for yourself mentality I am doing my own thing regardless of your feelings or you emotions are on the rise and you just want to go off, but you have to have the discipline to make that choice

 

Or as a leader in your influence… Sometimes you just want to yell just do what I said I don’t feel like telling you why we do what we do… I don’t want to help you problem-solve… Just get together…You have to have the discipline choose to be an effective leader

 

And we make mistakes in all these just like we do spiritually, but we have to recognize its a daily battle

 

WE ARE ALWAYS FIGHTING FOR SOMETHING. WE ARE EITHER FIGHTING FOR A HEALTHY SELF OR AN UNHEALTHY SELF.

 

Regardless no matter what it's still a fight and we have a choice on where that fight will take us… that choice is fueled by our discipline…

 

All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it todo what it should. 1 Corinthians 9:25-27

 

Notice Paul says “I” discipline my body which means he is making a conscious decision to daily examine his life. An athlete understands the disciplines they need to place in their life to go to the next level… They also understand they need discipline in their lives to stay away from things that keep them from going to the next level.

 

Now the writer of Hebrews tells us we must throw off the sin that is slowing us down and the sin that is tripping us up and how do we do this????

 

'We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. ' Hebrews 12:2

 

Fix our eyes on Jesus- We imitate the lifestyle of Jesus he was the perfect model of our faith… When we do that it initiates something in our life we want to strive like Paul says to be perfect reflection of the design God created us to be.  We know we aren’t perfect but daily we strive to get rid of the negative things in our life and strive to be who God created us to be! All of this happens because of the death and resurrection of Jesus and that resurrection Spirit that is moving in us… 

 

Remember the HS will point things out but we must choose to embrace it and want to change. So we must understand what disciplines we need to add to our life and what we need to be disciplined to stay away from…

 

So think clearly and exercise self-control. 1 Peter 1:13

 

Both the Corinthians said that our bodies our souls are temples for the Holy Spirit…  So what we put in and expose ourselves to matters beyond just ourselves, but also matters because it shows our gratitude and respect towards God… 

 

So Paul says the way we readjust this is…

 

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. Romans 12:1

 

So we must offer our bodies to God… Let our hearts be pleasing to God… So we are going to talk real quickly the areas we need to be careful on exposing ourselves to unhealthy disciplines and what are the healthy disciplines we need to go to the next level…

 

  1. WHAT DO WE EXPOSE OUR TONGUES TO?

 

What fills our speech… Avg person speaks 18,000 words a day and now with social media, many of those words are now reaching people that normally would have never been exposed to our daily speech.  What things do we expose our tongues?  Are they life-giving or life-taking because that will start to affect you?

 

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. James 3:5-6

 

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

 

You may think your post on social media is no big deal, or the way you talk to that coworker, or how you speak to your wife or children is no big deal.  It is just something small I said.  But it grows.  We have the choice of what are we going to expose our speech with because it will start to expose our future… Either future of life or death…

 

“The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18

 

“A tongue that brings healing is like a tree of life. But a tongue that  tells lies produces a broken spirit.” Proverbs 15:4 

 

Are we going to be those that heal or are we going to be those that destroy…  So here is your heart check… Start replaying your conversations… Are you talking about people, are you constantly being negative or are elevating people and speaking life.. Also, see what fills your FB statuses and comments because those are your digital words are they life-giving or taking and if you have to wonder then I would say I wouldn't press send or speak it…. Think before you speak and think before you type and ask does this imitates Jesus because I promise if he becomes your filter it will save you a lot of heartache in life!

 

  1. WHAT DO WE EXPOSE OUR EYES TO?

 

The very words of Jesus says,

 

Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. Matthew 6:22-23

 

Our sinful nature is a lot like the story “give a mouse a cookie”  glass of milk, then he will want a straw, then a napkin, then a mirror, etc… Which on a side note is my son Kingston!!!!

 

but it is especially dangerous with what we watch.  The more unhealthy things we see the more desensitized we become… Things tend to not shock us as it once was and when Jesus it says that effects your entire body its because it starts triggering your emotions, filling your thoughts, and sometimes hinders your desires…

 

You can really see this in culture… Things that we are appalling decades ago are normal now… Things you would never see on TV or in magazines is normal for the world, but is detrimental to your moral character… Violence, hate rhetoric, everything is over-sexualized, language is just filthy on all the sites.  

 

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. Romans 12:2

 

That means despite what culture tells us is right or wrong we must have the discipline to make the healthy choice even if its the road less traveled… Maybe there are certain shows, movies, magazines, websites that we just shouldn't expose our hearts to…

 

I will lead a life of integrity in my own home. I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. Psalms 101:2-3

 

  1. WHAT DO WE EXPOSE OUR EARS TO?

 

1 Corinthians says bad company corrupts good morals… 

 

NEGATIVE INFLUENCES ALWAYS DESTROY POSITIVE RESULTS.

 

That is why they say show me your friends and I will show you your future… That’s not just a school assembly cliche its a reality… Leadership Studies show that people with success that are high caliber leaders surround themselves with other high caliber leaders… 

 

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

 

I want to surround myself with people that build me up… I don’t want to be surrounded by negative people, I don’t want to be around a gossip bashing festival, I don’t want to be around people that are not motivated… I want to be around people that encourage and build me up!!! 

 

  1. WHAT DO WE EXPOSE OUR HANDS & FEET TO?

 

Oh that our lives are summed up with an eternal purpose… That we live for life beyond ourselves… That we expose our hands and feet to do something with meaning in this life… 

 

I’ve said this before

 

DON’T POUR SWEAT, SPILL BLOOD, AND SHED TEARS OVER SOMETHING THAT DOESN’T CARRY ETERNAL INTEREST

 

Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Romans 12:11

 

Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. 1 Corinthians 15:58

 

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:23-24

 

It is so tempting to live and work for ourselves… It is so tempting to strive for convenience and be comfortable, but it is the moments that when we live beyond ourselves we find meaning and we are stretched and taken to places we could never imagine!

 

Too many times we are chasing what the world calls success and but those things die when we do, but when we invest in people they carry on…

 

If you chase money and temporary you will never catch it, but if you chase purpose it will actually push you to greater distances… 

 

So let’s expose our works to purpose…

 

  1. WHAT DO WE EXPOSE OUR MINDS TO?

 

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ 2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV

 

The mind is a battlefield and once we starting doubting the nature and character of God and the power of God… We start suffering spiritually…

 

That’s why Isaiah says this…

 

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3

 

That we have peace when we trust that God is who says he is and our minds and thoughts are fixed and focused on that!  

 

WE DEVELOP INNER STRENGTH WHEN OUR THOUGHTS ARE FIXATED ON THE THINGS OF GOD

 

Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.' Philippians 4:8-9

 

The way I love to look at this scripture is this… The more I read God’s word and the more I meditate on the promises of God… The more I start becoming who I was always created to be… That my inner thoughts, desires, destiny, and dreams start coming to the surface…

 

Do we understand who God is and what His promises truly say? Are we feeding our minds and souls with the promises of God… Because if God is for me who can be against me… What weapon formed against shall prosper… I will never drown because God is my strength… I am Gods workmanship created with a purpose… I am child of God not a slave to fear… I am a new creation the old is gone… 

 

For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded... But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation. 1 Thessalonians 5:5-6;8

 

As we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 1:3




Jul 6, 2020

Yet, as God’s servants, we prove ourselves authentic in every way... 2 Corinthians ­6:4TPT

 

'We have proved ourselves by... showing kindness, by the Spirit of holiness (by the Holy Spirit within us), and by our uncritical love for you.' 2 Corinthians 6:6 TPT

 

So last week we decided we're going to park here for a little bit and really talk about what the Holy Spirit produces in our lives. Remember Paul said we got to prove ourselves authentic and Jesus says that people are defined by their actions like a tree is defined by its fruit. You are what you do oh, you are what you say, you are what you put online. Now, the great thing about Jesus in his grace is that we don't have to stay that way but we do need to identify like the writer of Hebrews says the weight that is slowing us down from being who we are called to created us to be in the sin that's tripping us up.

 

So we are looking at Galatians at a deeper level which of the attributes of the Holy Spirit produces in our lives. but this is what you got to understand about God he will never force you to be you are called to be. The holy spirit will convict you and the Holy Spirit Will directs you but you've got to choose to walk in the person that God wants you to be.  Secondly, you need to understand that these attributes are not ala carte That you can't say you want peace and joy and not want patience or self-control. these attributes build off of each other like we discussed last week and I encourage you the watch last week sermon and it is why I titled these sermons Driven by love because Love is the foundation. Lastly, you need to understand these attributes have an outward impact.  Many times we read them with this inward focus on self… OOOO I want joy, I want peace, and I want to be loved, but actually these are what the HS produces in you to give to the world around you!

 

So last week we set this up the talking about love this is outward expression towards others because we walk in this deep gratitude of the love we have experienced from God.

 

'But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. This is real love-not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 1 John 4:8;10

 

Did you see this? That God didn't love us because we did something nice for him and he felt compelled to act. no, God loved us despite our sin and the mistakes we have made and his love drove him to act despite what he never received from us because he saw the potential he created us with and he was compelled to help us reach it. this is the love he calling disciples to live in. You don't just treat somebody good because they treated you good you treat someone good despite the way they treat you because you see potential in them to be who God created them to be and you are not going to be defined by the fruits of this world you're going to be defined by the fruit of heaven and we don't function the same way.

 

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

 

Now I want to reiterate something we received this love even though we didn't deserve it. even when we were living a lifestyle contrary to the love we’ve received God still gave us that love…

 

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

 

This verse is love with an action attached to them!!! They all have movement… They are not just saying I love you they are acting with Love…

 

It uses the same Greek word for love which is

Agapao which means

Deep and constant love and interest of a perfect Being toward entirely unworthy objects.

 

This is the highest form of LOVE… it is found 142 times in scriptures and they respond with action…

Though we don’t deserve it a God much greater and grander than us responded with Love that had movement to it and restored us through Jesus…

 

Now, remember this is the love of God calls us to give to others because this is the love we received. We see their needs and we react to their needs whether we think they deserve it by their actions.

 

Now, remember again from last week when we remain in that love we will experience the joy that overflows when we follow the commands of God, and what did Jesus say that command was in that passage to love others and lay your life down for someone else. so when we walk in an Agapao love towards people that may not deserve it and we lay our lives down for them that's where we discover joy!

 

This week we are diving into Kindness & Goodness

 

Popular English Bibles translate the single Greek word chrestotes into two English words: kindness and goodness.

 

Goodness is being good Moral excellence; virtue; the best part of anything;

Kindness is goodness in action, the sweetness of disposition, gentleness in dealing with others. 

 

Both of these fruits or words at the root of the biblical term means Active Character…

 

Kindness and Goodness is not feelings or personalities here… What it is acting on those qualities… It is allowing our actions to speak louder than our words…

 

Golden Rule…

 

“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. Matthew 7:12

 

This doesn't say to be nice… That when you are wronged to respond with kindness and goodness.. This actually says Take initiative in being kind and good… Look for opportunities to allow your character to have action to it and do good… 

 

This concept is different than other religions or philosophers…

Confucius "What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others

Buddhism:"Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.”

Zoroaster "Whatever is disagreeable to yourself, do not do unto others.”

 

So other concepts of this is not do harm to people just be nice… But Jesus is saying seek opportunities to make a difference in the lives of people around you!

 

BE KIND AND DO GOOD

 

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

 

It's like God has a divine to do list and it has our name on it.

 

That life is meant to be filled with purpose and we are to walk in that purpose… We are called to leave this world a better place than when we entered because he planned it as he created us his masterpieces to do good in this world…

 

“A life isn’t significant except for its impact on other lives.” -Jackie Robinson

 

BREAK

 

1. WE MUST POINT PEOPLE TO JESUS

 

When it all comes down to it it's not about our opinions, our politics, or our preferences it's about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It's about the fact that we are Brothers and Sisters in Christ and are a spiritual family. It's about people walking and restoration that only Jesus can give.

 

It is also not about how awesome we may think we are as a person.  We will never have enough in the tank to heal, restore, and change people… We are kind and we are good because we want people to experience the only one who is truly kind, good, and life-changing which is Jesus Christ…

 

Taste and see that the lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! Fear the lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the lord will lack no good thing. Psalms 34:8-10

 

That ONLY God can give all you need a life that is long and prosperous… David understood he must push people towards God…

 

Matthew 5 Jesus talks about it… He says we are the light of the world and don’t hide the fact that you are radically changed by God but share it with the world…

 

Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. Matthew 5:16

 

Don’t get it twisted I do what I do to elevate the name of Jesus, but that doesn’t mean I don’t battle the Monster of Me that wants to elevate the name of Mike Carlton, elevate my opinions, lean into my preferences regardless of whether it is beneficial to the majority. I have to constantly remind myself The why behind my what. I have to always remind myself the reason behind my actions in the good times when people see my good works I have to remind myself it's all about Jesus I'm not the savior, but I also have to remind myself in the hard times when people expect me to be perfect and place impossible standards on me and the weight is heavy I must remind myself Jesus said he will carry my burden.  Have to remind myself I am Laying the seeds of the message of Jesus into people's lives and I may not be the person that sees those seeds grow and produce fruit, but down the road, someone else may be watering it and speaking life into them and I have to remind myself I'm playing the Eternal game.

 

When we elevate people we elevate them to Jesus! We reflect Jesus with our good works… We brag about Jesus.  My prayer is that our acts of kindness reflect the greatest kindness this world ever has seen! 

 

2. WE MUST WARN PEOPLE.

 

Kindness is not just the absence of negativity… And it is not just being nice… Its fighting for peoples well being because you care for them

 

JUST BEING NICE STAYS ON THE SURFACE, BUT BEING KIND AND GOOD DIVES DEEPER.

 

We must care for people beyond the surface and deal with matters of the heart…

 

I heard it said like this “Kindness is not the same thing as being nice.  You can be nice and thats kind, but you can be kind and its not always nice.”

 

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17

 

Thats not always easy and doesn't always feel nice… This doesn't mean that we are rude, hateful, demeaning, or angry… So if you are approaching these sharpening moments with those emotions thats not the biblical way to handle it…

 

This means you are willing to have tough conversations with someone.  You love someone so deeply that you are willing to discuss unhealthy areas in their lives because you want to see the greatness they are created with start making its way to the surface… 

 

Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. Galatians 6:1-3

 

This thought to help people back on the right path is common in most translations as Restore in greek “Which means set a bone that has been broken back in place” Painful… Then you would take a broken bone and put a splint on it or today put a cast to protect t so it can heal properly…The same way we as believers surround and protect in a time of healing…

 

Now let me explain something very clearly this isn't a public warning it's a private conversation in love. and you don't earn the right to have a private conversation with someone if you have it shown publicly you have their best interest at heart. Your Facebook post isn’t going to change anybody’s life, but your private conversations will. Notice the ministry of Jesus the greatest life change with people that work in unhealthy place has happened in the most intimate settings not from his public sermons he went to Zacchaeus house and had a meal with him in his own intimacy of a friendship, keep it down and spoke in the life of the adulterous woman one-on-one after he defended her publicly, it had an intimate one-on-one conversation with the Samaritan woman, he was insulted by the Pharisees for eating meals with quote-unquote notorious Sinners which was a deeply personal thing in the Jewish culture. and it's in those places he called them to repent and called them to be more but it was because they were friends not just acquaintances or a mass audience without a face.

 

BREAK

 

3. WE MUST GO THE EXTRA MILE

 

If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Matthew 5:41

 

When Jesus tells the disciples to go an extra mile. Referencing the Roman soldiers carrying the bags. In those days 1 mile was 1000 steps. It was the law that if a Roman soldier saw a Jew walking he could make that Jew carry his bags for a mile Nothing more but a mile… Jesus is saying we respond beyond the norm…

 

Everybody and anybody can go 1000 steps but let’s be people doing 2000 steps. Let’s be a church that goes above and beyond because we serve a God that went above and beyond for us… He didn't just do a 1000 steps he walked 10,000 steps… He didn't just keep pardoning and covering our sins as we offered man-made sacrifices but sent his son to die so that our sins would be washed completely clean, our past sins gone, obliterated, and sent a heavenly sacrifice for us…

 

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16

 

Didn't talk about forgiving us… Didn't just speak forgiveness and a pardon… Literally & physically sent his son to die for us!

 

We go beyond because we serve a God who went beyond…

 

'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

 

4. WE GLORIFY GOD THROUGH THE CHURCH

 

If I can be honest with you this has been my biggest takeaway throughout the last several months COVID. as a personal conviction as a pastor, I felt as a whole we got a little too big for our britches. we lost the intimacy of discipleship we lost the intimacy of Pastoring people.  We are great at pulling off events, but we lost the beauty of intimacy. I knew to go into this year. He’s calling us to be hashtags for the Ozarks and I knew he was calling us to look outward oh, but I think that was the start of something much deeper. he was calling us to get back to the heart of discipleship. for us as a church don't have a personal investment in others and see them grow in bloom and everything they are called and created to be.

 

If you can't tell especially coming out of the time home isolation what people need more than any is friendships, life-giving relationships, and a community that stirs them to be a part of something bigger than themselves. The majority of adults prior to COVID when surveyed said they were deeply alone and desperately wanted authentic relationships. The #1 way we can be For the Ozarks is by first being a healthy church, that provides a healthy community, that builds healthy relationships, where we can disciple people and encourage each other.

 

That is why lead people into a community… We are called and we spiritually need to live the gospel together in a community fulfilling the great commission as church body… We tether it all back to church…Because you need a life-giving community to support each other and help in your growth and in living the gospel purpose for every believer.

 

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:25

 

Other translations say don't forsake the assembly which means the gathering or I love the MSG it says don’t miss worshiping together… We do life Together… We glorify God through that life…

 

All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. Acts 4:32

 

We are better together… We need to love and serve each other… We may not be able to change the ENTIRE world but we can change OUR world

 

ACTION STEPS   

 

COME JOIN GIVE INVITE

Mar 11, 2020

He (Jesus) ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of God

 

What does the Bible say about the ascension?

 

“When the Lord Jesus had finished talking with them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. And the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked through them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs.”

Mark 16:19-20 

 

“While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up to heaven. So they worshiped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy. And they spent all of their time in the Temple, praising God.”

Luke 24:51-53

 

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him.”

Acts of the Apostles 1:8-9

 

Christ’s Exaltation

 

 “(God) raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.”

Ephesians 1:20-23

 

“Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.”

Hebrews 7:25

 

“Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Philippians 2:9-11 

 

“Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything. For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.”

Colossians 1:18-20

 

 

The Giving of the Holy Spirit

 

“But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you.”

John 16:7

 

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me.”

John 16:13-14

 

  1. “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth…”  GUIDANCE 

 

  1. “He will tell you about the future…”  REVELATION

 

  1. “He will bring me glory by telling you whatever He receives from me…”  DIRECT ACCESS

 

The Eternal Dwelling of God’s People

 

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.”

John 14:1-4 

 

What does the ascension means to us?

 

  1. The Vindication of Jesus

 

“The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”

Mark 1:15

 

The Reality of Heaven

 

“In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.”

1 Peter 5:10 

 

Our Union with Christ

 

“Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was.”

Romans 6:5

 

 

 

“But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.”

Ephesians 2:4-6

 

Take Home:

 

Our Salvation is Certain

 

We must Live Boldly

 

“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 4:16

 

“Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.”

Romans 8:34

 

“...And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.””

Matthew 28:20 

Mar 2, 2020

 

On the Third Day He Rose From the Dead

Apostle’s Creed - Week 6  

 

ON THE THIRD DAY HE (JESUS) ROSE AGAIN FROM THE DEAD

 

“FOR IF THERE IS NO RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD, THEN CHRIST HAS NOT BEEN RAISED EITHER. AND IF CHRIST HAS NOT BEEN RAISED, THEN ALL OUR PREACHING IS USELESS, AND YOUR FAITH IS USELESS. AND WE APOSTLES WOULD ALL BE LYING ABOUT GOD – FOR WE HAVE SAID THAT GOD RAISED CHRIST FROM THE GRAVE. BUT THAT CAN’T BE TRUE IF THERE IS NO RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD. AND IF THERE IS NO RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD, THEN CHRIST HAS NOT BEEN RAISED. AND IF CHRIST HAS NOT BEEN RAISED, THEN YOUR FAITH IS USELESS AND YOU ARE STILL GUILTY OF YOUR SINS. IN THAT CASE, ALL WHO HAVE DIED BELIEVING IN CHRIST ARE LOST! AND IF OUR HOPE IN CHRIST IS ONLY FOR THIS LIFE, WE ARE MORE TO BE PITIED THAN ANYONE IN THE WORLD.”  1 CORINTHIANS 15:13-19 

 

 

WITHOUT THE RESURRECTION THERE IS NO CHRISTIANITY 

 

  1. THE PROBLEM

 

  • EMPTY GOSPEL

 

“AND IF CHRIST IS NOT RISEN, THEN OUR PREACHING IS USELESS” – 1 CORINTHIANS 15:14

 

“NOW I WOULD REMIND YOU, BROTHERS, OF THE GOSPEL I PREACHED TO YOU, WHICH YOU RECEIVED, IN WHICH YOU STAND, AND BY WHICH YOU ARE BEING SAVED” – 1 CORINTHIANS 15:1-2

 

A DEAD SAVIOR CAN’T SAVE ANYONE

 

  • EMPTY FAITH

 

“…AND YOUR FAITH IS USELESS…” 1 CORINTHIANS 15:14

 

  • STILL SINNERS

 

“AND IF CHRIST HAS NOT BEEN RAISED, THEN YOUR FAITH IS USELESS AND YOU ARE STILL GUILTY OF YOUR SINS” – 1 CORINTHIANS 15:17 

 

  • NO HOPE 

 

 

“IF THE DEAD ARE NOT RAISED, LET US EAT AND DRINK, FOR TOMORROW WE DIE” 1 Corinthians 15:32 

 

“BUT IN FACT, CHRIST HAS BEEN RAISED FROM THE DEAD. HE IS THE FIRST OF A GREAT HARVEST OF ALL WHO HAVE DIED.” – 1 CORINTHIANS 15:20

 

  1. THE PROOF 

 

 

“IF I WERE AN ENEMY OF CHRISTIANITY, I’D AIM RIGHT AT THE RESURRECTION, BECAUSE THAT’S THE HEART OF CHRISTIANITY” – BILLY GRAHAM 

 

 

“…HE WAS RASIED FROM THE DEAD ON THE THIRD DAY, JUST AS THE SCRIPTURES SAID. HE WAS SEEN BY PETER AND THEN BY THE TWELVE. AFTER THAT HE WAS SEEN BY MORE THAN 500 OF HIS FOLLOWERS AT ONE TIME, MOST OF WHOM ARE STILL ALIVE, THOUGH SOME HAVE DIED. THEN HE WAS SEEN BY JAMES AND LATER BY ALL OF THE APOSTLES. LAST OF ALL, AS THOUGH I HAD BEEN BORN AT THE WRONG TIME, I ALSO SAW HIM.” – 1 CORINTHIANS 15:4-9


“BUT ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, AT EARLY DAWN, THEY WENT TO THE TOMB, TAKING THE SPICES THEY HAD PREPARED. AND THEY FOUND THE STONE ROLLED AWAY FROM THE TOMB, BUT WHEN THEY WENT IN THEY DID NOT FIND THE BODY OF THE LORD JESUS. WHILE THEY WERE PERPLEXED ABOUT THIS, BEHOLD, TWO MEN STOOD BY THEM IN DAZZLING APPAREL. AND AS THEY WERE FRIGHTENED AND BOWED THEIR FACES TO THE GROUND, THE MEN SAID TO THEM, “WHY DO YOU SEEK THE LIVING AMONG THE DEAD? HE IS NOT HERE, BUT HAS RISEN. REMEMBER HOW HE TOLD YOU…” LUKE 24:1-6

 

“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

 

“LET ME NOW REMIND YOU, DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, OF THE GOOD NEWS I PREACHED TO YOU BEFORE. YOU WELCOMED IT THEN, AND YOU STILL STAND FIRM IN IT. IT IS THIS GOOD NEWS THAT SAVES YOU IF YOU CONTINUE TO BELIEVE THE MESSAGE I TOLD YOU – UNLESS, OF COURSE, YOU BELIEVED SOMETHING THAT WAS NEVER TRUE IN THE FIRST PLACE. I PASSED ON TO YOU WHAT WAS MOST IMPORTANT AND WHAT HAD ALSO BEEN PASSED ON TO ME. CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS, JUST AS THE SCRIPTURES SAID. HE WAS BURIED, AND HE WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD ON THE THIRD DAY, JUST AS THE SCRIPTURES SAID.” 1 CORINTHIANS 1-4

 

  1. THE PROMISE

 

The resurrection promises 4 things:

 

  1. OUR FAITH HAS MEANING 
  2. WE’VE BEEN FORGIVEN
  3. WE CAN BE CERTAIN ABOUT OUR FUTURE
  4. WE CAN WALK IN RESURRECTION POWER

 

 

“WHEN JESUS CHRIST WAS CRUCIFIED, HE PAID SIN’S PENALTY; HIS RISING FROM THE GRAVE REVEALED HIS DEATH’S SUFFICIENCY” – ????

 

 

THE RESURRECTION IS THE FATHER’S “AMEN” TO THE SON’S “IT IS FINISHED” Our Daily Bread

 

 

THE RESURRECTION SECURES THE PROMISE OF OUR SALVATION.

 

“HE (JESUS) WAS DELIVERED UP FOR OUR SINS, AND ROSE AGAIN FOR OUR JUSTIFICATION” – ROMANS 4:25 

 

“BLESSED BE THE GOD AND FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST! ACCORDING TO HIS GREAT MERCY, HE HAS CAUSED US TO BE BORN AGAIN TO A LIVING HOPE THOUGH THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST FROM THE DEAD, TO AN INHERITANCE THAT IS IMPERISHABLE, UNDEFILED, AND UNFADING…” 1 PETER 1:3-4

 

“THE SPIRIT OF GOD, WHO RAISED JESUS FROM THE DEAD, LIVES IN YOU…” ROMANS 8:11 

 

 

Feb 26, 2020

(JESUS) DESCENDED INTO HELL

"For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless." 1 Corinthians 15:56-58

BE STRONG AND IMMOVABLE

WORK ENTHUSIASTICALLY FOR THE LORD

"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? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God." Romans 6:1-13 

WE ARE ETERNAL BEINGS WHICH MEANS ONLY THE ETERNAL WILL GIVE US FULFILLMENT!

"For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are His children, we are His heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share his suffering. Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later." Romans 8:16-18

“GOD USES TEMPORAL STRUGGLES TO FORGE ETERNAL BEAUTY” -Addison Bevere

“Then He said, 'I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.'” Matthew 18:3 

“There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. 'Rabbi,' he said, 'we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.' Jesus replied, 'I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” “What do you mean?' exclaimed Nicodemus. 'How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?' Jesus replied, 'I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.' 'How are these things possible?' Nicodemus asked.” John 3:1-9 

"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

1. BEFORE YOU CAN CHANGE YOU HAVE TO WANT CHANGE

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Psalms 139:23-24 

2. GET YOUR PERSPECTIVE ALIGNED WITH GROWTH OVER COMPLAINTS

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

3. TESTINGS PRODUCE CHARACTER; WHILE COMPLACENCY PRODUCES COMPROMISE

4. BE ALL IN

"Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God." Romans 6:13

Feb 19, 2020

(JESUS) SUFFERED UNDER PONTIUS PILATE WAS CRUCIFIED, DEAD, AND BURIED

JESUS DID NOT MERELY DIE FOR US; HE ALSO SUFFERED FOR US.

 - We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us… 1 John 3:16

JESUS THE SUFFERING SERVANT

1. GOD’S PROMISE OF THE SERVANT

 - “See, my servant will prosper; he will be highly exalted.” Isaiah 52:13 

 - “For all of God’s promises find their 'yes' of fulfillment in Christ. And as his 'yes' and our 'amen' ascend to God, we bring him glory!” 2 Corinthians 1:20

2. THE MISSION OF THE SERVANT

 - “Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” Isaiah 53:4-5

 - “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV

JESUS CAME FOR MY SAKE, TO TAKE MY SIN, TO MAKE ME RIGHTEOUS ALL THROUGH HIS SUFFERING!

3. THE INNOCENCE OF THE SERVANT

 - “He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave.” Isaiah 53:7,9

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

4. THE SACRIFICE OF THE SERVANT

 - "But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants…" Isaiah 53:10

 - “He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” Philippians 2:8 

 - "With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever." Hebrews 9:12 

5. VINDICATION THROUGH THE SERVANTS SUFFERING

 - “When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.” Isaiah 53:11-12 

DECLARATION: BECAUSE JESUS GAVE ME HIS EVERYTHING I WILL GIVE ALL OF ME!

“Since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Romans 8:17-18

Feb 18, 2020

(JESUS) WHO WAS CONCEIVED OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY

 

Isaiah 7:14

 

JESUS’ DIVINE CONCEPTION - BORN WITHOUT SIN

 

2 Corinthians 5:21

 

JESUS’ DIVINE NATURE - TRULY GOD & TRULY MAN

 

Hebrews 2:14, 17

 

Hebrews 4:15

 

Hebrews 4:16 

 

JESUS’ DIVINE WORKS - GOD’S REDEMPTION 

 

Romans 5:6-9 

 

Luke 1:26-38 

 

YOU MUST ANSWER THE QUESTION:WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT ME? THEN YOU MUST TRUST THAT ANSWER AND SURRENDER TO HIS WILL!

 

2 Peter 1:3-7

 

  • OUR FAITH - I TRUST THAT GOD HAS MY BEST INTEREST AT HEART

 

Isaiah 26:3 

 

Isaiah 41:10 

 

  • MORAL EXCELLENCE - I KNOW & FOCUS ON MY IDENTITY IN JESUS

 

Philippians 4:8 

 

1 Peter 2:9 

 

 

  • KNOWLEDGE - WE HUNGER FOR THE TRUTH FROM THE SCRIPTURES

 

John 17:17 

 

Colossians 1:9-10 

 

  • SELF-CONTROL - I’M NOT EXPOSING MYSELF TO LIFE-TAKING ENVIRONMENTS

 

Romans 12:1 

 

  • PATIENT ENDURANCE - I RUN TO WIN A HEAVENLY PRIZE

 

 

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 

 

 

  • GODLINESS - I WILL HAVE AFFECTION FOR MY FAITH FAMILY & LOVE THE WORLD

 

Isaiah 1:11-12, 15-19 NLT

Feb 3, 2020

“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 

 

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24 

 

“The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.” John 15:19

 

“At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?” Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God. ” John 6:66-69 

 

1. JESUS THE CHRIST

“When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon...”Matthew 16:13-17 NKJV

 

“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!” Revelation 3:15-16 

 

“Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation...for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth... and he holds all creation together. Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body… For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.” Colossians 1:15-20 NLT

 

• JESUS THE CHRIST PERFECTLY REVEALS GOD

 

• JESUS THE CHRIST IS SUPREME.

 

“Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11 

 

JESUS THE CHRIST LEADS THE CHURCH AND REDEEMS THE BODY.

 

“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 

 

2. JESUS GOD'S ONLY SON

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

 

God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:17 

 

“Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.” Hebrews 2:14, 17-18 

 

“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 oursunderstands 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. JESUS OUR LORD

 

TAKE HOME

 

• I WILL SURRENDER MY LIFE TO THE LORD OF MY LIFE

My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10 

 

 

• I UNDERSTAND THAT MY PERSONAL FAITH CONFESSION IS A COMMITMENT TO THE COMMUNITY OF FAITH.

 

• I WILL LIVE THE MISSION OF MY LORD

 

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God! 2 Corinthians 5:17-20

Jan 28, 2020

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. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. James 1:6-8

I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. 1 Corinthians 1:10

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

GOD, MAKER OF HEAVEN AND EARTH

By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen. Hebrews 11:3

For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused ...They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. Romans 1; 18-25

Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us….. So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:26-27

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

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. James 3:5-6

What you say flows from what is in your heart. Luke 6:45

ACTION STEP: DAILY I WILL EVALUATE THE FRUIT OF MY WORDS AND REALIGN MY HEART TO MY CREATED STATE

GOD, THE FATHER ALMIGHTY

When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased. Luke 3:21-22 NIV

IDENTITY - YOU ARE MY SON

AFFECTION - WHOM I LOVE

AFFIRMATION - WITH YOU I AM WELL PLEASED

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. Romans 8:15-16

The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-31

ACTION STEP: I DECLARE THAT I AM A CHILD OF GOD, I AM PRECIOUS, I HAVE A PURPOSE, AND I REST IN THOSE TRUTHS!

Jan 14, 2020

DECIDE THE TYPE OF PERSON YOU WANT TO BE.

PROVE IT TO YOURSELF WITH SMALL WINS

 

 

 

Samson led Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines. Judges 15:20 NIV

 

 So for 20 years, Samson is the leader of Israel, he's the hero of the people of Israel, and for the most part the people of Israel live in peace and for the most part during the twenty years, they're prospering. So he goes from the hero to being beaten by the Philistines, a prisoner of the Philistines, eyes gouged out, and he is who they bring out to Mock and ridicule at all their parties. He went from a hero to a laughing stock and it feels like almost instantly when you hear me paraphrase the story, but if you look deeper that's not what happened. 

One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her. The people of Gaza were told, “Samson is here!” So they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the city gate. They made no move during the night, saying, “At dawn we’ll kill him.”Judges 16:1-2 NIV 

 

RARELY DO WE GET TO THE WRONG PLACE IN LIFE BY ONE BAD CHOICE. WE GET THERE ONE STEP AT A TIME, ONE DAY AT A TIME, AND ONE BAD HABIT AT A TIME.

 

WE DON’T BELIEVE OUR BAD HABITS OR DISOBEDIENCE WILL COST US.

 

But Samson lay there only until the middle of the night. Then he got up and took hold of the doors of the city gate, together with the two posts, and tore them loose, bar and all. He lifted them to his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron. Judges 16:3

 

 Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. Judges 16:4 NIV

 

The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels of silver.” So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.” Judges 16:5-6 NIV

 

After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. And his strength left him. Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him. Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grain in the prison. Judges 16:19-21

 

HOW DO YOU BREAK BAD HABITS?

 

YOU MUST ACKNOWLEDGE THEM

 

DEFINE THE TYPE OF PERSON YOU WANT TO BE AND WHAT HABITS ARE HINDERING THAT

 

But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. 1 Timothy 6:11

 

So get rid of every filthy habit and all wicked conduct. Submit to God and accept the word that he plants in your hearts, which is able to save you. James 1:21 GNB

WE HAVE TO GET TO THE POINT WHERE YOU LOVE FREEDOM OVER THE CONVENIENCE OF YOUR TEMPTATION

 

THE DISCIPLINES WE HOLD IN OUR PRESENT LEADS TO A HARVEST IN OUR FUTURE

 

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 

Ephesians 5:11 NIV

 

That is why the Bible says FLEE FROM SIN…MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO COMPROMISE

 

Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life. Don’t do as the wicked do, and don’t follow the path of evildoers. Don’t even think about it; don’t go that way. Turn away and keep moving. Proverbs 4:13-15

 

4 MAJOR TRIGGERS:

 

PLACE     

 

TIME

 

MOOD    

 

Tremble and in your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the Lord. Psalms 4:4-5 NIV

 

 

PEOPLE

 

 

Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. Proverbs 13:20

 

Do not be fooled. “Bad companions ruin good character.” 1 Corinthians 16:33 NIV

 

ACTION STEP: SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE GOING THE DIRECTION YOU WANT TO GO

 

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25

Jan 8, 2020

 

 

Definition

A habit is a routine or behavior that is performed regularly-and, in many cases, automatically. 

 

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9

 

SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE DO CONSISTENTLY OTHER PEOPLE DO OCCASIONALLY. 

 

 

Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps... Daniel 6:3 NIV

 

...by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. Daniel 6:3 NIV

 

 

WE NATURALLY DRIFT TOWARDS COMPLACENCY, BUT WE STRATEGICALLY PLAN FOR GROWTH. 

 

At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.” Daniel 6:4-5 NIV

 

Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. Daniel 6:10 NIV

 

GOD CAN DO MONUMENTAL MIRACLES THROUGH ONE SMALL HABIT OF OBEDIENCE! 

 

Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” Matthew 17:20

 

YOUR HABITS ARE HOW YOU EMBODY YOUR IDENTITY AND YOUR IDENTITY IS LITERALLY YOUR REPEATED BEINGNESS.

 

Toward the end of Paul’s life, he is writing to Timothy who is a leader that Paul has been mentoring.  Paul understood that Timothy had a lot of challenges he was facing based on leading the church, facing false teachers, learning how to identify and develop elders in the church, how to have a dynamic prayer life, conduct church services, take care of widows and the elderly… The list goes on and on with the duties of Pastor.  Yet Paul in his wisdom ends his letter to Timothy with this...

 

But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness; Timothy, guard what God has entrusted to you. 1 Timothy 6:11;20

 

For lasting success and change we have to build identity-based habits.  This is what you have to get in your mind.  A keystone habit is formed by who you want to be. For me, it is what type of husband, father, Pastor, and the leader I want to be.  Focus on who you wish to become! 

 

TRUE BEHAVIOR CHANGE IS IDENTITY CHANGE!  

 

Research shows that once a person believes in a particular aspect of their identity, they are more likely to act in alignment with that belief.

 

ACTION STEPS

 

DECIDE THE TYPE OF PERSON YOU WANT TO BE.

 

You have to decide who you want to be. this is an individual decision this also works for your company for your family for your team. What are your principles what are your values what do you want to stand for who do you wish to become? 

 

 

WHO IS THE TYPE OF PERSON THAT COULD GET THE OUTCOME I WANT? 

 

Who is the type of disciple that has a vibrant faith? Who is the type of person you can lose 100 lb?  who is the type of person that earns that type of salary? Who is the type of spouse that has a healthy marriage like that? Who's the type of person that can start that business? Who is the type of parent that has a great relationship with their kids?

 

 

PROVE IT TO YOURSELF WITH SMALL WINS

 

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin… Zechariah 4:10

 

Once you identify the person you want to be you can begin by taking small steps to reinforce that identity. I love the example James gives in his book when he talks about a friend who lost a hundred pounds and she did it by asking herself a series of questions. the questions all rooted in this what would a healthy person do? All-day long those questions would be her guide.  would a healthy person walk or take a cab? would a healthy person order a burrito or salad? she figured if she acted like a healthy person long enough, eventually, she would become that person. And she was right!

 

  YOUR HABITS SHAPE YOUR IDENTITY AND YOUR IDENTITY SHAPES YOUR HABITS. 

 

Once you identify who you want to be you start asking yourself in small ways what actions does a person carry and then you start walking and what Paul is instructing Timothy you are a man of God and a man of God runs from evil and focuses on godliness, faith, love, perseverance!

 

I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6

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