Listen Week 5 - When It Is Hard to Hear

When its hard to hear - 

  • Have you asked Him?
  • Doubt - it is unavoidable but it should not go unchallenged 
    • What are God’s promises?
      • John 10:27
      • Jeremiah 33:3
      • Matt 7:7 - Ask you will receive - Seek you will find - 
    • What is God’s Character? - How does He feel about you?  
    • Return to a promise you CAN believe and use it as a safe place to move forward
    • Was that me or just my imagination? - 
      • this question is not helpful - “Is it true?” 
      • God will use your imagination as a screen upon which to project his voice
  • Static - those other voices we talked about last week can act as static to make it hard to hear the Lord
    • find a place - 
      • a quiet place or at least a place where it is easier to concentrate
      • turn off your phone / tv / radio
      • maybe play wordless music
      • for me I need moving air and natural light if possible
    • be ruthless with the static - if one of those other voices intrudes deal with it quickly
      • note pad - write it down to get it out of your head
      • if the enemy is saying things then SHUT HIM UP - 
      • if you have not eaten or you aren’t feeling well go eat something take a nap!
      • if you are emotionally compromised it is not a good time to try and hear God - just go to Him and let Him heal and calm your heart THEN try and get direction!
  • You may be hearing God and just not realizing it - Balaam’s donkey - the angel etc.
    • God often speaks in pictures and memories
      • when a picture or a memory pops into your head ask Jesus - is that you?  Especially if it won’t go away
      • Then ask him to interpret it for you - or take it to someone else for interpretation
        • some of the most powerful words I’ve ever received I could not interpret without help.
    • Coincidence
      • there truly is no such thing as luck or happenstance
      • Psalm 37:23 the steps of a righteous man are ordered of the Lord
    • Wise Counsel
      • Prov 11:14
  • Has he already answered this question?
    • Sometimes the Lord will not answer again a second time if he has already answered and we did not obey
  • Do you really want to hear?
    • sometimes there are things the Lord wants to talk to us about and we do not want to hear the answer.
    • we are afraid
    • we are ashamed
    • we are sensitive
    • we are rebellious
    • we don’t want to do what we know the Lord wants us to do
  • Tuning in - Jesus is there anything you have wanted to say to me that I have refused to hear?



Advent Week 3 - Dec 17, 2018

Phil 4:4 Rejoice and again I say rejoice


On a day 2000 Year’s ago Jesus walked into his home town and almost got killed for what he said.  This is what he said...

Isaiah 61 

Exaltation of the Afflicted

1The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners;

  • I have good news for the afflicted 
    • The ones having trouble of some kind
    • The poor
    • The meek
    • The humble
  • To bind up the broken-hearted 
    • The ones broken in pieces 
    • He will put you back together
    • He will hold your disparate pieces together 
  • All the prisoners go free
    • A divine get out of jail free card
    • He will open the doors for the ones who want out
    • He will go in and carry out the ones who cannot remove themselves 

2To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfortall who mourn,

  • To tell you the time is NOW!  WAITING IS OVER!
  • To comfort all who mourn
    • All that is lost will be returned 
    • All that has been stolen returned!

3To grant those who mourn [in] Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.

  • No longer a time for sadness 
  • Celebration not sorrow
  • You thought all chance at happiness was over but this is the beginning not the end!
  • You will do a victory dance not the walk of shame not giving up but winning 
  • Towering sumbols of life and stability 
    • Unshakable 
    • Deeply rooted
    • People will wonder if you ever weren’t strong 

4Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, They will raise up the former devastations; And they will repair the ruined cities, The desolations of many generations.

  • Then the restoration will move backward 
    • Restoring what past generations have lost
    • Rebuilding dreams that have died

5Strangers will stand and pasture your flocks, And foreigners will be your farmers and your vinedressers.

6But you will be called the priests of the LORD; You will be spoken of [as] ministers of our God.You will eat the wealth of nations, And in their riches you will boast.

7Instead of your shame [you will have a] double [portion], And [instead of] humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion. Therefore they will possess a double [portion] in their land,Everlasting joy will be theirs.

8For I, the LORD, love justice, I hate robbery in the burnt offering; And I will faithfully give them their recompense And make an everlasting covenant with them.

9Then their offspring will be known among the nations, And their descendants in the midst of the peoples. All who see them will recognize them Because they are the offspring [whom] the LORDhas blessed.

10I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom deckshimself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

11For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, And as a garden causes the things sown in it to springup, So the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise To spring up before all the nations.


Believe Be - Humility


Believe Be - Humility

Matt 23:1-12 - the opposite of humility is arrogance 

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples,

Mat 23:2  “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat,

Mat 23:3  so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice.

Mat 23:4  They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.

Mat 23:5  They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long,

Mat 23:6  and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues

Mat 23:7  and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others.

Mat 23:8  But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.

Mat 23:9  And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.

Mat 23:10  Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ.

Mat 23:11  The greatest among you shall be your servant.

Mat 23:12  Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.



Mark 10:35-45

“James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”

“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”

“We can,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”

When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all[…]”


1 Peter 5:6 humble yourself under the hand of God that in due time he might exalt you.



Arrogance robs from us

  • It robs us of each other - 
    • you become my adversary. I’m locked in an endless struggle to stay better/bigger than you
    • I can never receive from you
    • I can never cooperate with you
  • It robs us of ourselves 
    • We have to lie to ourselves constantly - maintaining the story - explaining away the brokenness
    • We have to keep others at a distance so they stay fooled
  • It robs us of God 
    • We cannot need him
    • We cannot be honest 
    • We cannot admit failure or problem 


Humility is a key to happiness:

  • Mistakes are allowed. In fact expected
  • Failure becomes a Friend because it does such a great job teaching 
  • No more competition
  • No more shame
  • No need to pretend
  • No need to hide
  • It’s not up to you to make things happen 
  • We get to trust in and receive from Jesus


Humility flows from:

  • a revelation of God - when we see him we can’t brag about ourselves 
  • Honesty about ourselves 
  • Pain brings humility Pain plants the flag of reality in the fortress of a rebel heart.


Believe Be - Gentleness


Believe Be - Gentleness


How do I demonstrate thoughtfulness and consideration?



I am thoughtful, considerate and calm in my dealings with others.



Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

Philippians 4:5


Gentleness - it means - strength held under control

you don’t have to tell a weak person to be gentle.  They cannot do otherwise - it takes a strong person to be gentle!


Psa 103:10-17  He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.  For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.  

  • “those who fear Him” - does not mean they are afraid of Him - they hold Him in esteem and awe.  They are choosing to return to His will and way - but they have mad mistakes
  • In the midst of our sins the Lord is FORGIVING - and FORGETTING God


As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him.  For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.  

  • Our God is AWARE of our weakness and our difficulty.  
  • He is mindful of His glory and our brokenness
  • God sees not only our mistakes but the reasons - the wounds - the weakness - that lead to our failures


Matt 11: 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

  • This is a picture of two oxen in a yoke - 
    • an older, stronger, wiser one - and a younger, weaker, untrained one.  
    • the older sets the pace and carries the load - 
      • so the younger doesn’t wear himself out before the job is done
  • The Lord Jesus teaches us His way by calling us to PARTNER - to apprentice
    • The Lord Jesus does not stand over us with a balled fist to threaten us into motion
    • He leads by example and by patient endurance of our foolishness
  • He calls us to rely upon His gentleness and patience
  • Following Jesus IS rest.


Isaiah 42:3 - 3"A bruised reed He will not break And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice.

  • He doesn’t count our weakness, our brokenness, or our damage against us
  • He heals the broken
  • He reignites the flickering flame


So what does it mean for US to reflect Jesus Gentleness to the world?

  • We cannot have the clenched fist
    • toward’s others
      • We cannot use FORCE - of words - of guilt - threat - or shame to move people toward the way of Jesus
      • we have to do what God does
        • draw them close - relationship - partnership - friendship
        • tell the truth - honesty - 
        • be an example
        • show them love
        • be patient 
    • towards ourselves
      • fear, shame, condemnation are NOT ways to change - 
        • they will change us for a minute but they will not change us forever AND they warp us in the midst of the change
          • would you break your back so you can touch your toes?
      • draw close to Jesus
      • accept His grace
      • rely on His help
      • live in hope


Believe Be - Faithfulness


Believe Be - Faithfulness


Why is it important to be loyal and committed to God and others?


I have established a good name with God and others based on my loyalty to those relationships.


Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.

Proverbs 3:3 – 4”


Psalm 36

Lamentations 3:19-24


Deu 7:9  "Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments;

God IS Faithful

  • He never changes
    •  Heb 13:8 - Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
  • He will ALWAYS act like HIMSELF
    • 2 Tim 2:13 - if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.
  • His promises are always trustworthy
    • 2 Cor 1:20 - For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.
  • His character - the way He reacts to the world - can be COUNTED UPON


God is calling and empowering US to be Faithful - and to be like God we must CHOOSE FAITHFULNESS

  • The culture we live in is a culture that shuns commitment - 
    • we do not want to be obligated
    • we refuse to feel obligated
    • We would always rather give our time and money to an event or a project than to make ourselves be connected to a long term objective or plan.
  • Faithfulness is the FOUNDATION of the Kingdom
    • 2 Tim 2:2 - FAITHFUL MEN
    • What would we do??
  • We are called to mirror the love and faithfulness of Jesus in our relationships with others - especially within the body of Christ
    • We are called to Make commitments to each other
      • long term self-sacrificial connections - to BE FAMILY to one another - 
      • Connections that survive because of Grace
        • disagreements 
        • hurts
        • betrayals
        • mistakes
        • we forgive - because we have been forgiven
      • Connections that are not based on circumstance or convenience
        • They may change from season to season but they never go away
        • Our relationships with one another may get difficult but we don’t get to give up
    • We are called to be faithful in giving our time, talents, and treasure into the Kingdom
      • We are called to be mindful of the resources we have and to USE THEM CONSISTENTLY for the Glory of Jesus
        • 1Pe 4:10  As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:
      • We are called to SHOW UP when there is a need.
    • We are called to think of each other before we think of ourselves
        • Gal 5:13 - For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
  • As followers of Jesus Christ - WE ARE OBLIGATED to Faithfulness - to CONTINUE and never stop 
    • Obligated to love - even when it is hard
      • Romans 13:8 - We OWE each other Love.
    • Obligated to the LOST
      • Romans 1:14 - I am under obligation to all men
    • Obligated to serve - even when it is costly
      • We are in this - not for ourselves but to be FAITHFUL in serving one another - thinking of the other before we think of ourselves
    • Obligated to SHOW UP


 4For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not havethe same function,

  • We are not complete without one another
  • We are together a whole that suffers without the other

 5so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.


 6Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, [each of us is to exercise them accordingly]: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; 7if service, in his serving; orhe who teaches, in his teaching;

 8or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality;he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

9[Let] love [be] without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.

 10[Be] devoted to oneanother in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 

11not lagging behind in diligence,fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;

 12rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,13contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.

14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind,but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath [of God], for it is written, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord. 20"BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD." 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


Believe BE - Goodness / Kindness


Believe BE - Goodness / Kindness


What does it mean to do the right thing? How do I know?


I choose to be kind and good in my relationships with others.


Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

1 Thessalonians 5:15”


If we are going to be kind and good we need Jesus example and we need Jesus empowerment!


So What does it mean that God is good?

Tozer on the Goodness of God - Knowledge of the Holy

The goodness of God is that which disposes Him to be kind, cordial, benevolent, and full of good will toward men. He is tenderhearted and of quick sympathy, and His unfailing attitude toward all moral beings is open, frank, and friendly. By His nature He is inclined to bestow blessedness and He takes holy pleasure in the happiness of His people.


Exo 33:18  And he said, "Please, show me Your glory."

Exo 33:19  Then He said, "I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."


Exod 34:

The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,

Exo 34:7  keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin


Gods goodness is central to His personality!

Gods goodness is His love in action - on display 


What does it mean for us to be GOOD in the world?


We have to look at our world in a different way.  We have to look at each moment, each encounter, each detail as an opportunity to BE GOOD.

  • Eph 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, Eph 2:9  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.Eph 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
  • We are the conduits of Gods grace working in and through us into the world - we walk in cooperation with God
    • He prepares the good works
    • Our goodness is His love working through us to display His nature!  That HE may be glorified!
    • Matt 5:13. You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may seeyour good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.


Being Good isn’t about NOT being BAD.  We’ve gotten that one wrong for a long time.

BEING GOOD is about

thoughtfulness, sensitivity to others and the subtle nudges of the Holy Spirit.


  • 1 Thes 5:15 15See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 


    • 14And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle,c encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 
    • 16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19Do not quench the Spirit.
  • Become. Walking demonstrations of Gods love in the earth


Believe Be - Patience


Believe Be - Patience


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


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


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
      • 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.


Believe Be - Hope


Believe Be - Hope


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


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


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


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.


  • 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.


Believe Be - Joy


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!


Believe Act - Give


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!!


Believe Be - Love


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"