Believe Be - Patience

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Believe Be - Patience

KEY QUESTION

How does God provide the help I need to deal with stress?

KEY IDEA

I am slow to anger and endure patiently under the unavoidable pressures of life.

KEY VERSE

Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.

Proverbs 14:29”

 

  • Patience is NOT
    • lethargy - a lack of energy - I just don’t feel like moving…
    • Procrastination - a lack of motivation - I’ll do it later
    • Being paralyzed by fear or indecision - The Deer in the Headlights
  • Patience IS
  • We are patient with others BECAUSE - God is patient with US!
    • the old song - “have patience”
    • Exo 34:6  The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,
    • Pro 16:32  Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
  • A lack of patience is an issue of FAITH 
    • “Impatience is a form of unbelief. It's what we begin to feel when we start to doubt the wisdom of God's timing or the goodness of his guidance.“
    • The opposite of impatience is not a glib superficial denial of frustration The opposite of impatience is a deepening, ripening, peaceful willingness either to wait for God where you are in the place of obedience, or to persevere at the pace he allows on the road of obedience”  
    • "To Wait in His Place - To Go at His Pace” - John Piper
  • Romans 2:7 - to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life
  • Isaiah 30 - “Ah, stubborn children,” declares the LORD, “who carry out a plan, but not mine, and who make an alliance, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin; 2  who set out to go down to Egypt, without asking for my direction, to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt! 3  Therefore shall the protection of Pharaoh turn to your shame, and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt to your humiliation.
    • When we doubt God’s timing and rush ahead before He tells us yes or gives us a plan on how to move forward.
      • This is either a manifestation of FEAR or a manifestation of PRIDE
        • FEAR - God’s not going to come through in time
        • PRIDE - I can handle this myself - I know better than God in this instance.
      • Or we doubt God’s goodness and change our minds about obeying Him.
  • What to do when you feel impatient
    • Be aware - 
      • this feeling of fear, doubt, or shame IS NOT FROM GOD
      • IT IS from the ENEMY and HE ONLY WANTS TO STEAL KILL and DESTROY
      • if you act out of impatience you will be playing into Satans hands!
    • Do Battle in your soul
      • But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.       Isaiah 40:31
      • Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.John 14:1
      • Matthew 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
      • John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid.
      • 2 Tim 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

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Believe Be - Hope

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Believe Be - Hope

KEY QUESTION

How do I deal with the hardships and struggles of life?

KEY IDEA

I can cope with the hardships of life because of the hope I have in Jesus Christ.

KEY VERSE

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf.

Hebrews 6:19 – 20”

Hope is an absolute need of the human soul.  

We are a people of Hope -  a People of the GOOD NEWS

WE HAVE HOPE

Because we know who our God is.  We know His heart. Because of What He has done!

  • Romans 5:1-6  God has already acted to give us assurance of His heart toward us AND what has already been accomplished FOR US.
    • 1  Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,4  and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,5  and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.6  For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
  • 1 Peter 1:8  He has set a destiny before us - the salvation of our Souls
    • 3  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 through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,4  to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,5  who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.6  In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,7  so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.8  Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,
  • Romans 8:22-26 Not only that but Even MORE the salvation of all creation
    • 22  For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.23  And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.24  For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?25  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

WE ARE HOPE

  • In a world where hope is all to rare we are a gift of hope to the earth.
    • Hope for people who are broken - they can be healed
    • Hope for people who are lost - they can be found
    • Hope for people who are confused - there is an answer
    • Hope for people who have no purpose - there is a reason a “why” behind all of this
    • Hope for those who have no destiny - God has amazing plans for your life!!!
    • Hope for those who are bound - there is FREEEDOM!
    • Hope for those who have made mistakes - there is forgiveness and restoration

 

Romans 15:13 - Benediction

13  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

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Believe Be - Joy

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Believe Be - Joy

Key Question - What gives me happiness and contentment in life?

Key Idea - Despite my circumstances I feel inner contentment and understand my purpose in life

Key Verse - John 15:11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete

 

God is joyful

 

You were created to be deeply and joyfully satisfied - the only thing which will deeply and joyfully satisfy you both now and FOREVER is God in all of his glory and reality.

 

Joy is a matter of perspective - taking on Gods perspective is the key to true joy.

 

Finding satisfaction for our deepest needs in God

10 desires you were built with

These are things that God designed into our hearts that are NOT sins but can lead us into either sin or into the meaningful and real relationship with HIM that we were created to have.

The longing for identity -

  • We all want to know who we are
  • We all want to know why we exist
  • Abba Father creates us for relationship with Himself

 

The longing for safety -

  • We want to feel safe protected from harm
  • We want to feel like there is something between us and the big bad guy
  • God protects us Jesus saved us - from the real eternal harm we have eternal safety “do not fear the ones who can harm the body”
  • He is safe
  • He is Good

 

The longing for provision -

  • He is our provider

 The longing to be fascinated –

  • We were created to experience Awe and Wonder
  • We cannot function at full emotional or mental capacity without fascination.
  • We chase secular entertainment, and thrills to fill this need they will never satisfy.
  • ONLY the Beauty of God can satisfy this basic longing forever.  We have this longing BECAUSE God is endlessly beautiful and we are created to be endlessly fascinated by His endless splendor and Glory Psalm 27:4, 

The Longing to be attractive or possess beauty

  • We want to be cool or looked upon with delight by others, to feel beautiful
  • We try and dress up our outsides and adopt titles and positions to feed our pride but it will never be satisfied
  • Eating and sexual disorders are all human broken attempts to chase down this prize of beauty
  • ONLY in hearing the voice of our Bridegroom King singing over us that HE sees us as beautiful forever can satisfy this deep longing in us.
  • Song of Solomon SoS 2:10, SoS 4:9

3.  The Longing to be great or successful

  • We want to accomplish great things with our lives, to be more than just a “nobody.”
  • We try to gain earthly significance, build earthly kingdoms, gain wealth or fame, but it will never satisfy our hearts
  • ONLY the understanding of the place that we WILL fill in Heaven forever at the right hand of Jesus as royalty in the Age to come and the bridal      partner of Jesus can we be eternally great and successful Rev 2 or 3 We will experience nobility and honor. 

 4.  The Longing for intimacy without shame

  • We all long to be known truly and deeply beyond all barriers and secrets and in that to be accepted.  To be without shame in that place of true and utter nakedness
  • We search for this in earthly friendships and in love relationships but our hearts will never be satisfied
  • Only in the intimacy of the Heavenly bridegroom, with us every moment, knowing every thought, feeling every emotion and perfectly understanding all we are, every action, every motive and STILL calling us beautiful, still protecting us from accusation, still rescuing us from the consequences of our sin, do we find true intimacy that will last forever.  NOT ONLY THAT but we are invited to know as we are known!  To know HIM without boundary, without privacy, completely and wholly without shame or fear for perfect love cast out fear!!!!!
  • “No fear to be left to live the mystery of life alone”
  1. The Longing to be Whole Hearted
  • We all long to be recklessly whole hearted in our love.  To burn with passion for someone or something without regard to cost or consequence.  We desire this because we were made for love!  We desire lovesickness.  We long to be abandoned.  To live a life where our hearts are touched by love in such a way that it never ends, it is never defiled and never compromised!  A passion that never wanes forever and ever and ever.  To live like the lovesick hero storming the castle for his lady fair!
  • We try and find something on the earth that we can feel this way about. There is nothing.  No person deserves it and no cause is worth it.
  • ONLY in the eternal worth of Jesus do we find a man worth dying for!  More importantly worth living for!  For us to live is Christ to die is gain!

 6.  Longing to make a significant and lasting impact

  • We long to change the lives of the people we love.  We long to fix problems and create things that are useful
  • We try and build a name or a monument that will last forever on earth but nothing will. “All is meaningless” Even the Pyramids are crumbling and their builders have been forgotten.
  • ONLY in Jesus and by His power can we make eternal and real impact.

7.  Longing for the assurance of being enjoyed!

  • We all long to be enjoyed by others, to be delighted in.  To be worth something to someone.
  • We search for this in earthly friendships and love relationships.  We do things we don’t want to do to make people like us.  We tell lies about ourselves to make us acceptable and enjoyable.  We wear masks and false personalities to make ourselves enjoyable
  • He likes you, He enjoys and pursues you.  Even when you have sinned He still enjoys you!  Hedoes not look on you as a nuisance or a problem you are His best beloved and He loves having you around!  We are His friends!  The ones He chooses to hang out with!

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Believe Act - Give

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Believe Act - Give

Key Question:

How do I best use my resources to serve God and Others?

 

Key Idea:

I give my resources to fulfill God’s Purposes

 

Key Verse:

2 Cor 8:7

“Since you excel in everything — in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you — see that you also excel in this grace of giving. ”

 

This Question of Giving is about a deeper internal issue.  An issue that can only be resolved in the act of Giving.

 

Mark 10:17

“What must I do to inherit eternal life?”

    A young man who had wealth AND power AND prestige

    BUT - He knew something was missing

 

Jesus answer is fascinating - 

“Why do you call me good? - only God is good” - translation - “are you REALLY ready to hear this?  It requires your acknowledgement that there is a God - someone in charge - other than yourself!?!”

 

Jesus continues - Obey the commandments! - here Jesus names the earthly commands but not the ones that have to do with God!

‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother’

 

All these I have done! - Jesus I know those - I do those but there is STILL SOMETHING MISSING!!

 

Yes there IS still something missing - Jesus says - ONE THING you lack.

 

Give all your possessions to the poor and come follow me.

 

Why this response from Jesus?

  1. Jesus does NOT say this man worships his wealth
  2. Jesus response is “how difficult it IS for the rich to enter the kingdom”!
    1. the folks around are like - whoa if that guy can’t get in how can I get in?
    2. Jesus makes the key statement!!!! Jesus reveals the real issue.
  3. With MAN it is impossible - With God all things are possible!!

 

Giving is not about money - Giving is about faith

 

this rich young man’s problem wasn’t his money - it was his reliance upon his own skill, ability and understanding of the world and himself.  He asked Jesus - "what must I DO?”

 

A Person of Faith lives life in partnership with God - relying upon on and cooperating with Him.

  • take my yoke upon you and learn of me - Matt 11:28
    • God is the leader and senior partner - he is also the one who does almost all the work!
  • Giving is the MOST TANGIBLE WAY we enter into a this partnership

 

Money is intensely personal! - that’s why we don’t like to talk about it!

  1. Money has always been the key measure of a persons status and value
    1. We talk about what a person is WORTH
  2. When we give It takes Money out of the crosshairs of our life and puts God’s plans and purposes in its place
  3. Giving of our money does something to us
    • It DETHRONES Money as the thing we rely upon to make life happen
      • don’t you hate leaving the house without your wallet / purse?
    • It ENTHRONES God in our lives
      • when we have nothing else to rely upon other than God we find that he is truly and wonderfully reliable
      • Jesus sent his disciples out on mission with NO WALLET!

 

Jesus instructions about Giving go like this:

  1. Secretly
    1. If “how much you give” becomes another symbol of status then one of the reasons for giving is taken away!  It becomes about YOU and not about God!
  2. Sacrificially
    1. Tithe - The Old Testament pattern of the giving of the covenant people was to give one tenth of your personal income as a testimony that you are IN Covenant with God
    2. Offering - The New Testament pattern goes beyond this - it maintains the tenth but then tells us to give above that AS the Holy Spirit leads!!

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Believe Be - Love

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Believe Be - Love

We have talked about what we should THINK

We have talked about how we should ACT

It is time to talk about What we should BE

We are meant to BE disciples of Jesus - Disciples are

"students, apprentices, practitioners – of Jesus Christ, steadily learning from him how to live the life of the Kingdom of the Heavens into every corner  of human existence.” Dallas Willard

To BE a disciple of Jesus Christ means to live a life becoming LIKE HIM.  The next ten weeks we are going to learn about this.  What is Jesus LIKE?

We are going to start with LOVE - 

Key Question: What does it mean to sacrificially and unconditionally love others

Key Idea: I am committed to loving God and Love others

Key Verse: 1 John 4:10-12

10This 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. 11Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 12No 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.

 

Jesus teaching, in fact the entire Bible, can be beautifully encapsulated in two statements

Love God first and most

Love Others as much as you love yourself

 - We have talked a LOT in this church about the first and second greatest commandments.

 

One of my favorite preachers - Brian Zahnd says it this way - “Life is not a game; it is a gift.  The purpose of life is not to “win” but to learn to love well”

Nat King Cole in His classic song “Nature Boy” sings the refrain that I wish ALL Christians would learn by heart and believe - “The Greatest Thing You’ll Ever Learn Is Just to Love and be loved in return"

 

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Believe ACT - Spiritual Gifts - Pentecost Sunday

vs 4 - 5 - 6: There are a variety of gifts but the same Spirit and a variety of services but one Lord one master and many activities but one God empowering them all - Many different manifestations of the Holy Spirit, and ALL serve the purpose - the purpose of the King.  The Holy One.  He is the Spirit of Christ.  If it is not serving Christ it is not His Spirit!  If it is the power of man it is not God’s thing.

vs7 to each - the Holy Spirit will work through everybody - there is not one person through whom the Spirit will speak - He is speaking and working in and through the WHOLE BODY

vs 8 - 11 is a list but NOT an exhaustive list.  This is NOT the whole thing just a few examples

  1. Word of Wisdom - a supernatural gift of wisdom  - knowing WHAT to do and HOW to do it.  Also could be a specific skill given by the Spirit
  2. Word of Knowledge - a supernatural knowledge of something that a person could not have known any other way - a fact that comes to us not through the senses or human facility
  3. Faith - All faith is a gift.  Even the smallest grain of faith.  This could be just a higher level of faith or specific faith for a specific thing.  “If you have the faith of God” 
  4. Healing - specific instances of healing - literally A healing - we should not say the gift the gift of a healing
  5. Miracles - literally “acts of power” so good
  6. Prophecy - forth telling AND foretelling 
  7. Distinguishing between spirits - judgement of winds - there are lots of people who have different understandings of this.
  8. various kinds of tongues - 
  9. interpretation of tongues

 

Here are the other 16 gifts not listed in 1 Cor 12

 

  1. Helping (1 Cor. 12:28)
  2. Administration (1 Cor. 12:28; Acts 6:2-3)
  3. Ministry/service (Rom. 12:7; 2 Tim. 1:16-18)
  4. Teaching (Rom. 12:7; Eph. 4:11-14)
  5. Encouragement (Rom. 12:8; Heb. 10:24-25)
  6. Giving (Rom. 12:8; 1 Cor. 13:3; Acts 4:32-35)
  7. Leadership (Rom. 12:8; Acts 13:12)
  8. Mercy (Rom. 12:8; Luke 5:12-13)
  9. Apostleship (Eph. 4:11)
  10. Evangelism (Eph. 4:11; 2 Tim. 4:5)
  11. Pastoral guidance (Eph. 4:11)
  12. Grace (Rom. 12:6; Eph. 3:7; 4:7; 1 Pet. 4:10-11)
  13. Willingness to face martyrdom (1 Cor. 13:3)
  14. Intercession (Rom. 8:26-27)
  15. Hospitality (1 Pet. 4:9)
  16. Celibacy (1 Cor. 7:8)

It seems like some people receive a specific gift more often than others.  I think that is a function of faith.  People receive via faith and when we get to a cert

 

vs 11-12 - 

11But one and the same Spirit works all these things,distributing to each one individually just as He wills.

12For even as the body is one and [yet] has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.

  • The variety of our gifts is an expression of our unity and a mechanism to draw us closer together
    • we need each other because nobody has all the gifts!
  • The variety of our gifts is an expression of God’s creativity and a mechanism to make us more reliant upon the Holy Spirit.
    • Each gift flows from our connection to the person of the Holy Spirit
    • Each gift is divided and granted via our connection to the person of the Holy Spirit
    • Each gift is given to the BODY through the individual!
      • these are not your gifts - you are the steward and carrier of these gifts that are meant to be given AWAY to others!

 

vs 13 - 

13For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whetherJews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

  • All of the disperateness that we had before we have been brought together here and given the Spirit to drink - one reality we partake of that give us the life of Christ

 

vs 14 - 26 - honoring and valuing

14For the body is not one member, but many. 15If the foot says, "Because I am not a hand, I am not [a part] of the body," it is not for this reason any the less [a part] of the body. 16And if the ear says, "Because I amnot an eye, I am not [a part] of the body," it is not for this reason any the less [a part] of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.19If they were all one member, where would the body be? 20But now there are many members, but onebody. 21And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; or again the head to the feet, "I haveno need of you." 22On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weakerare necessary; 23and those [members] of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestowmore abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, 24whereas our more presentable members have no need [of it]. But God has [so] composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that [member] which lacked, 25so that there may be no division in the body, but [that] the members may have the same care for one another. 26And if one member suffers, all the members sufferwith it; if [one] member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

  • Look around you - 
    • Each of these people is a precious gift TO YOU FROM GOD
    • Each one of these people carries a gift FROM GOD that is FOR YOU
    • you carry a gift from God for these people!
  • What gifts do YOU CARRY?
  • Are you giving them away?

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The Power of a Praying Woman - Believe "Act" Prayer

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The Power of a Praying Woman - Believe "Act" Prayer

Happy Mother’s Day!!

We are moving on to our second week of the Believe Series

We are going to talk about prayer - 

I feel like it is ordained of the Lord that we are talking about Prayer on Mother’s Day.  I have never known a more prayerful group of people than women.

Hannah - 

Samuel 1:5-18

 5but to Hannah he would give a doubleportion, for he loved Hannah, but the LORD had closed her womb. 6Her rival, however, would provoke her bitterly to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb. 7It happened year after year, as often as she went up to the house of the LORD, she would provoke her; so she wept and would not eat. 8Then Elkanah her husband said to her, "Hannah, why do you weep and why do you not eat and why is your heartsad? Am I not better to you than ten sons?"

9Then Hannah rose after eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priestwas sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the temple of the LORD. 10She, greatly distressed, prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly. 11She made a vow and said, "O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant,but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the LORD allthe days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.” 12Now it came about, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eliwas watching her mouth. 13As for Hannah, she was speaking in her heart, only her lips were moving, but her voice was not heard. So Elithought she was drunk. 14Then Eli said to her, "How long will you makeyourself drunk? Put away your wine from you." 15But Hannah replied,"No, my lord, I am a woman oppressed in spirit; I have drunk neither winenor strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before the LORD. 16"Do not consider your maidservant as a worthless woman, for I have spokenuntil now out of my great concern and provocation." 17Then Eli answeredand said, "Go in peace; and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of Him." 18She said, "Let your maidservant find favor in your sight." So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was nolonger [sad].

Why did the Lord deny children to this woman?

  1. We are often presented with circumstances that do not seem fair, that are painful to us, that we do not understand - we have a decision to make in those moments. 
  2. Are we going to let our circumstance inform us about our God or are we going to let our God inform us about our circumstance?
  • Hannah could have complained - look at the conversation she has with her husband - no complaining spirit there!
  • Hannah could have gotten bitter and angry - tried to take revenge on the other wife of her husband and gain something for herself in that way
  • Hannah could have turned from the Lord 

 

God was not punishing Hannah

God was not displeased with Hannah

There is nothing here of God saying - "if you only wanted it bad enough”, or “you’re gonna have to work for it"

 

  1. Theres something about desperation: it is a beautiful breeding ground for faith.  It changes our perspective.  We will try anything.  We will reach for impossibilities.  We will believe anything.
    • the Cyrophoneacian woman - Mark 7
    • the woman with the issue of blood - Mark 5
    • the man who’s son was throwing himself in the fire - Mark 9
    • the centurion - Luke 7
  2. God was letting hunger do it’s work in Hannah
    • God was waiting for Hannah to learn to trust Him.
    • God was inviting Hannah to believe for a higher destiny for her son -
    • God had a powerful calling in store for Hannah’s son and until she was aligned and surrendered to His will for Samuel it was not time for Samuel to come.
    • God was waiting for Hannah to be able to see the kind of future for her boy that she had not been able to see before

 

Anna - Luke 2:36-38

 36And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribeof Asher. She was advanced in years and had lived with [her] husbandseven years after her marriage, 37and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastingsand prayers. 38At that very moment she came up and [began] giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

 

Mary at the death of Lazarus - Luke 11

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Believe "ACT" - Worship

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Believe "ACT" - Worship

Key Question - How do I honor God in the way he deserves?

 

Key Idea - I worship God for who He is and what He has done for me.

 

Psalm 95:1-2

1Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.  2Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.

 

Worship - my all time favorite topic - and God's

Worship IS what we were created for - Worship is the purpose of your salvation - Worship is FAR MORE than just songs or an activity - Worship is everything.

We have spent the last couple of weeks talking about being passionate toward God.  This is all I am trying to say.  To live WHOLE HEARTEDLY toward HIM.  To love Him more than anything else in such a way that it is manifestly OBVIOUS!

 

Matt 22:37-38

Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 

 

This is the definition of Worship - 

Heart - the will - the decision making capacity - to CHOOSE to love HIM

 

SOUL - the emotions - to delight deeply in him - to have a true emotional love affair with Jesus

 

Mind - the intellect - to be fascinated and entranced by Him. To Fill our minds and employ our intelligence in the pursuit of the Knowledge of God!!!

 

But it cannot stop there because we are human beings and we must EXTERNALIZE all that is INTERNAL!  Faith without WORKS is dead.

 

God COMMANDS EXTERNAL acts of worship!

sing, GIVE, dance, clap, shout, kneel, bow…

 

Why sing songs?? - have you ever wondered this?  Worship is far more than just songs, but we CANNOT neglect the singing of songs to God because he commands us to do so!  Why?

 

CS Lewis talks about this beautifully in his short work - A reflection on the Psalms

  1. "We all despise the man who demands continued assurance of his own virtue… we despise still more the crowd of people round every dictator, millionaire, every celebrity who gratify that demand” page 77
    • So how is it that we can be OK with God demanding - our praise??  How is that loving of Him?
  2. What do we mean when we say that a picture is “admirable”… that admiration is correct, adequate, or appropriate… that if we do not admire we shall be stupid, insensible, and great losers, we shall have missed something! page 78
    • to NOT admire God is to seriously miss something!  
  3. (God) is the object to admire which is simply to be awake, to have entered the real world; and not to appreciate (God) is to have lost the greatest experience and in the end to have lost ALL. page 78
    • imagine those poor people who have never eaten a taco!
    • or a chocolate chip cookie!
    • never seen a great movie
    • never been in love!
    • never had a great friend!  
    • to miss these things is not to have lived at all!
  4. But the most obvious fact about praise - whether of God or anything strangely escaped me.  I thought of it in terms of compliment, approval, or the giving of honor.  I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise unless shyness of the fear of boring others is deliberately brought it in to check it.  The world RINGS with praise - lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favorite poet, walkers praising the countryside…  I had not noticed either that just as men spontaneously praise whatever they value, so they spontaneously urge us to join them in praising it!  “isn’t she lovely?” Wasn’t it glorious?”… My whole, more general, difficulty about the praise of God depended on my absurdly denying to us, as regards the supremely Valuable, what we delight to do, what indeed we can’t help doing, about everything else we value. I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation… delight is incomplete until it is expressed! (Page 81)
    • Worshipping God is the unstoppable expression of a person who has EXPERIENCED GOD and the completion of our enjoyment of HIM comes ONLY when we are allowed to express that enjoyment through praise!!!
    • take a bite of that cookie and you cannot help but say MMMMMM.
    • you offer a bite to someone else immediately - OH You HAVE to try this!!!  Then you enjoy THIER ENJOYMENT of it!

God commands us to worship with every form of expression because it is only IN THE EXPRESSION of our enjoyment of Him that we will enjoy him TO THE FULLEST!!!

 

Worship is meant to be lavish, unashamed, and COSTLY

Mary pouring out the alabaster box on Jesus Feet

David refusing to worship God in a way that cost him nothing.

 

 

However if our External worship is ever disconnected from an internal reality it becomes detestable to God!

 

Worship from a wrong heart or wrong motive is detestable to God.  If it is EVER about “doing your duty” and your heart is not in it God will not receive it!

Isaiah 1:11 - 20

11"What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?" Says the LORD. "I have had enoughof burnt offerings of rams And the fat of fed cattle; And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats. 12"When you come to appear before Me, Who requires of you this trampling of My courts? 13"Bring your worthless offerings no longer, Incense is an abomination to Me. Newmoon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies-- I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly. 14"I hate your new moon [festivals] and your appointed feasts, They have becomea burden to Me; I am weary of bearing [them]. 15"So when you spread out your hands [in prayer], I will hide My eyes from you; Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are coveredwith blood. 16"Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil, 17Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Pleadfor the widow. 18"Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool. 19"If you consent and obey, You will eat the best of the land; 20"But if you refuse and rebel, You will be devoured by the sword." Truly, the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

 

but in the place of submission and repentance all will be forgiven and new worship can be released and judgement can be turned away.

 

We were meant to worship TOGETHER

Nearly all of the commandments to praise and worship are given to a body of believers.  They are not meant to be heard individually but CORPORATELY.

Psalm 149:1

"Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, And His praise in the congregation of the godly ones."

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Easter - New Life Begins

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Easter - New Life Begins

What’s the deal with Easter?  Why do we celebrate this day?

on Passover which was only a few days ago the jewish children are taught to ask - “why is this day different than any other?”

It’s a good question!

 

A lot of holidays are just excuses to indulge in excess we wouldn’t normally allow

 

but in Easter - we find something truly worth celebration

In Easter we learn How NEW LIFE begins.

2 Cor 5 17Therefore if anyone is in Christ, [he is] a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 

 

That's what this is all about.  Old things passing away. New things have come!

 

Jesus took the old into the grave and brought out the new!

 

Let's read the story:

John 20

1Now on the first [day] of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark,and saw the stone [already] taken away from the tomb. 2So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him." 3So Peter and the other disciple went forth,and they were going to the tomb. 4The two were running together; and the other disciple ran aheadfaster than Peter and came to the tomb first; 5and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying [there]; but he did not go in. 6And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying [there], 7and the face-cloth which had beenon His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. 8So the otherdisciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed. 9For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10So the disciples went away again to their own homes.

 

11But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and lookedinto the tomb; 12and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, wherethe body of Jesus had been lying. 13And they said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She saidto them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him."14When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing [there], and did not know that it was Jesus. 15Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?"Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, "Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me whereyou have laid Him, and I will take Him away." 16Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" (which means, Teacher). 17Jesus said to her, "Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.'" 18Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord," and [that] He had said these things to her.

 

Jesus among His Disciples

 

19So when it was evening on that day, the first [day] of the week, and when the doors were shutwhere the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace [be] with you." 20And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side.The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21So Jesus said to them again, "Peace [be] with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you." 22And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 

 

What JESUS took into the grave with him

  • He took our Sin - 
    • Romans 6:23 - the wages of Sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord
    • Everything we've ever done - and we've all done things
    • Romans 3:23 - All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God
  • our self centeredness
    • When Jesus died we died our old lives lived for our own ends our own 
    • Gal 2:20 - "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
  • Our shame
    • We have all done things we regret. Been people we never thought we were JESUS took that with him into the grave 
    • Isaiah 54:4“Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced;  But you will forget the shame of your youth, And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.  5“For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD of hosts;And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.
  • Our sickness and our DEATH
    • Isaiah 53:5 5But 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.
    • 1 Cor 1551But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. 54Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die,j this Scripture will be fulfilled Death is swallowed up in victory.k55O death, where is your victory?O death, where is your sting?l56For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

What JESUS brought OUT of the grave

  • Forgiveness -  a second chance -  a brand new life - free of all those things he took with him into the grave
    • Romans 10:9 - 9If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 
    • Romans 4:25 - He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification
  • Freedom and power
    • Romans 8:1-3 1So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2And because you belong to him, the powera of the life-giving Spirit has freed youb from the power of sin that leads to death. 3The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature.c So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.
  • Acceptance 
    • From God
      • Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.
    • From the body of Christ. The brotherhood of the resurrected 
      • 1 Peter 2:10 "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."
  • Purpose
    • Gal 2:20 - "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

2 Cor 5 17Therefore if anyone is in Christ, [he is] a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 

 

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Believe Journey - Eternity

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Believe Journey - Eternity

Click below to view the visual presentation 

 

Key Question - What happens next?

 

Key Idea - I believe there is a heaven and a hell and that Jesus will return to judge all people and to establish his eternal kingdom

 

Key Verse - John 14:1-2

1“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in Goda ; believe also in me. 2My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

 

We are eternal beings - We were not created to die - we were created to rule with God forever - but sin stole that a bit

something of your existence will continue on forever - you will never end.

 

the question is what will your eternity look like?  That is something that begins here in this time - you are deciding that RIGHT NOW.

 

  1.  Will your eternity be based on your righteousness or the righteousness of Christ Jesus?
  2. Eternal Time Line
    • Today
    • Death
      • Hades
      • Paradise
    • 1st Resurrection - at the Rapture - these people stay
    • Millennial Reign of Jesus
    • 2nd Resurrection all who have ever lived and died
    • Great White Throne of the Final Judgment

       

      • New Heavens and New Earth
      • Gehenna - The Lake of Fire
      • “for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
  3. Hell is a real place and the eternal destiny of those who reject God’s offer of forgiveness
    • was not created for mankind - it was created for Satan and His “angels” Matt 25:41
    • It is not God’s will that ANYONE go there at all - 2 Peter 3:9
    • Hell is deserved - by all sinners - thats all of us Romans 3:23 - ALL have sinned and fallen short of the Glory
    • God provides a way OUT
    • Men choose to be with God forever or to run from God forever and God allows them that choice.
    • There is are 3 different “hells” in scripture
      • Hades - the current abode of those who have not been written in the lambs book of life
      • Tartarus - the place where the worst of the angels who rebelled in different ways are being held until judgement day
      • Gehenna - the lake of fire where those who are lost and resurrected will go after the final judgement
      • a brief end times time line - we will go into this MUCH deeper on May 20th!!!!
  4. Heaven is a real place and the eternal destiny of those who receive God’s righteousness as their own by grace through faith in the work of Jesus on the Cross.
    • there are multiple heavens
      • Abraham’s side - where the promised redeemed dwelled before the Cross which is now empty
      • Paradise - the place where the saved dead go now until the resurrection/rapture of the church
      • The New Jerusalem - a city 1600 MILES cubed. - the dwelling place of the resurrected saints for all eternity
      • The New Heavens and the New Earth
        • Heaven is not some place far away which we will go to.  Heaven is coming HERE for all eternity
  5.  Still more to think about… REWARD
  6. SO!!! What will make it through the FIRE???
  7. Matt 25:14-30 - the parable of the talents
    • What have you done with all that you have?
    • based upon your understanding of the nature of the master - 
      • will you invest?  Risk?  Do the scary unsafe thing?
      • do you trust the master?
      • Things done BY FAITH
      • Things done AT GREAT PERSONAL COST
  8. No Pain, No tears, No death, No Sorrow, All things will be made new.  All we have lost because of sin will be returned to us.  All that we were meant to be we will be.  Far greater, far more glorious, far more FUN and beautiful than we can imagine, because we will be with Him.

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Believe Journey - Compassion

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Believe Journey - Compassion

Key Idea - “I believe God calls all Christians to show compassion to people in need”

Key Scripture - Psalm 82:3-4 

Defend the weak and the fatherless;

deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.

4Rescue the weak and the needy;

Compassion - Is who God is:

Ex 34:5-75The LORD descended in the cloud and stood there with him as he called upon the name of the LORD. 6Then the LORDpassed by in front of him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious,slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; 7who keeps lovingkindness for thousands,who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave [the guilty] unpunished,visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourthgenerations." 

Nehemiah 9:17 Psalm 86:15, John 4:2, Psalm 103, Psalm 145, Joel 2:13

The Hebrew word used here is an adjective that is only ever used to describe God - it has the same root as the term for “Mother” - the same root as my wife’s name Rachel

God declares this of Himself before Moses - this is HIS GLORY.  His compassion is His Glory.

Compassion was the center of Jesus ministry:

Matt 14:14, Mark 6:34, Mark 8:2, Matt 9:36, Matt 20:34, Matt 15:32, Mark 1:41, Mark 7:13

Jesus Compassion was behind healing, teaching, raising the dead.

When Jesus was moved with compassion some of his greatest miracles were released.  

God desires that HIS Compassion be alive inside His people:

Luke 10:25 - 37 The Story of the good samaritan.  Begins with the question “what must I do to inherit eternal life”

the answer is - "Love God and Love your neighbor” - what does that look like? - 

Love your neighbor - looks like compassion - vs 37 "Go and do likewise”

When you see pain - take it on.  

When GOD’s Compassion comes alive inside of us His POWER will be released to meet the needs of those He sends us to!

The need you SEE is YOUR ASSIGNMENT

Matt 25:37 37"Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feedYou, or thirsty, and give You [something] to drink? 38And when did we see You a stranger, and inviteYou in, or naked, and clothe You? 39When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'40"The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, [even] the least [of them], you did it to Me.

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