On Wednesday, May 8th, 2013, Eric Scalise came for a visit. He’s got tons of wisdom due to his experience as a counselor. So, naturally, he talked about the importance and power of relationship.
SPEAKER: Eric Scalise
TITLE: The Power of Relationship
Acts 3:1-10 NKJV
Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God. Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
6 things Peter and John gave this beggar:
1) a sense of worth
-Real relationship and ministry always confers on another person “You are somebody”.
-They gave him their time and attention just by stopping.
-NY is a busy place. When you and I stop and give people time and attention we say: “You count. You’re of value. You were created in His image like I was.”
-They didn’t judge him. They didn’t read him the riot act. They just loved him.
-It was as if they were saying, “Shame off you!” instead of “Shame on you!”
-Peter and John were doing a good thing. They were on their way to church but God was doing something else.
—Be willing to be interrupted if you want to be part of God’s miraculous work.
-Join God in what he’s doing.
—Henry Blackaby basically said, “Rather than waking up and asking God to bless what I’m doing, I ask, “God will you show me what you’re doing today and can I join you in what you’re doing?”
2) a reason to hope
-Real relationship and ministry always brings hope with it.
-They created a sense of expectancy.
—The beggar was expecting to receive alms.
-We need to (with humility and confidence) tell someone, “Look at me.”
Colossians 1:27 NIV
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you,the hope of glory.
—It’s Jesus that’s attractive in us.
—Paul has said be imitators of God but he’s also said be imitators of him.
3) an introduction to Jesus
-We need to let people know who can change their life.
-Peter and John first acknowledged Jesus’ name.
-They didn’t offer him doctrine but deity.
-They didn’t give him a manual but introduced him to Emmanuel.
-They also acknowledged Jesus’ humanity. Jesus gets it. He knows what pain is, what hurt is, what it is to die—and to be resurrected.
4) real help
-We can be so heavenly-minded that we’re no earthly good.
-Peter and John were involved.
-Peter seized the beggar by his right hand.
—When Jesus healed people, more often than not, He touched them.
—Find ways to touch people emotionally, spiritually, and relationally.
-Our generation can be so technologically connected but relationally disconnected.
-The beggar didn’t need a hand out but a hand up.
-When Peter saw Jesus walking on water, he got out of the boat and took a few steps. He sunk but at least he got out of the boat. And when he sunk, Jesus seized him by the hand.
-We can’t put our hand out for the world without first reaching our hand upwards.
—If God hasn’t done something in us he can’t do something through us.
5) a sense of belonging
-People who are in gangs or cults have a void of belonging so they trade illegal, criminal things in order to feel like they belong.
-Peter and John accepted him where he was.
—He didn’t get a Bible or go to New Believer’s class. But instantly as soon as they touched him, he belonged to the family of God. He didn’t shower or get a new set of clothes.
-They led him in a new direction.
—He was outside the gates and now he is walking into church.
-They changed his life script.
-We are not stuck with the hand we were dealt with in life.
-Once you own the rights to the story you’re free to tweak it.
—What does it mean when Jesus redeemed us? He purchased us so now he owns the rights to our stories.
Hebrews 12:2 NKJV
…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
-Jesus is the author and finisher of the story.
-Everyone has a story to tell and everyone needs to tell it.
—Old script: the beggar was lame, begging, and outside the gate
—New script: the beggar was healed, dancing, and in the Body (in church)
-Jesus can take your old script and change it.
6) opportunity to be a witness
-When the Gospel intercepted your life it was just on the way to the next person. Because when God does something, it’s a testimony that he is God.
-Peter and John were visible and present.
-They confirmed the impossible.
—We don’t need a God of the possible. We can do that. We need a God of the impossible.
—It gives us the opportunity to point at who did it.
—It draws the hungry.
-Church happens wherever you go.
-Everywhere an ambassador steps is considered sovereign territory.
—We’re not from this world. Every place we step in this city is sovereign territory of God.
-C. T. Studd said, “Some wish to live within the sound of church and chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.”
-The Bible is the last will and testament of Jesus. Because Jesus died, we have the provision of His will.
On Sunday, May 5th, Josh Kimes revisited his message called “Freedom Ain’t Free”. If you haven’t had a chance to hear the message or read the notes, they’re definitely worth going through. You can find my notes for that message here.
On Wednesday, April 1st, Kevin Singleton gave us a lesson on the G.A.P. Principle.
SPEAKER: Kevin Singleton
TITLE: The G.A.P. Principle
The gap is the space between where you are and where you feel you’re called to be.
The G.A.P. principle:
G: Goals—set goals, make them measurable
A: Application—you have to actually apply yourself to working toward the goal
P: Persistence—anytime you attempt to close that gap you’re gonna fail. And when you do you need to have persistence. What are you gonna do when you make a mistake?
Excerpt from the preface of the 1828 American Dictionary by Noah Webster:
In the year 1783, just at the close of the Revolution, I published an elementary book for facilitating the acquisition of our vernacular tongue, and for correcting a vicious pronunciation, which prevailed extensively among the common people of this country.
Soon after the publication of that work, I believe in the following year, that learned and respectable scholar, the Rev. Dr. Goodrich, of Durham, one of the trustees of Yale College, suggested to me the propriety and expediency of my compiling a Dictionary, which should complete a system for the instruction of the citizens of this country in the language.
At that time, I could not indulge the thought, much less the hope, of undertaking such a work; as I was neither qualified by research, nor had I the means of support, during the execution of the work, had I been disposed to undertake it.
For many years, therefore, though I considered such a work as very desirable, yet it appeared to me impracticable; as I was under the necessity of devoting my time to other occupations for obtaining subsistence.
-Subsistence: making just enough to meet your needs
—Noah knew he wanted to do this but he needed to work menial jobs.
Once we find out who we are in Chrst we can begin to close the gap.
Healthy people grow personally and interpersonally.
-Personally: As an individual, physically, spiritually
-Interpersonally: In the way we deal with other people
Tommy Nelson said: “If you’re output is greater than your intake then your upkeep will be your downfall.”
-You have to have more of the Word/worship/encouragement in you than you give out.
You have to take action:
1 Peter 1:13 NIV
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.
-Prepare your minds for action not just prepare your minds to prepare your minds.
—We need people at markers along the path of our race where we’re most vulnerable who can be there to encourage us.
John 3:3 NIV
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
-Just because you can see the door doesn’t mean you’re through it.
Philippians 1:6 NIV
…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
-You didn’t start your faith.
Philippians 3:12 NIV
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
-Whatever God apprehended me for, I want to apprehend.
Philippians 2:12 NIV
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling…
You have to work out what he’s worked in you
Work it out:
Joshua 1:8 NIV
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditateon it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
-Another version says, “Do not let these words depart from your mouth.”
-Talk about the Word all the time.
-You are the only person who can “do not let” for you. What is your learning genius?
-The Word needs to be in your conversation. But don’t get so knowledgable that you start to condemn people. Then people won’t want to join you in your worldview.
-Meditate: study, memorize, rhumenate
-You can meditate through music or memorization.
Kevin took one of the songs we sing called Beneath the Waters (I Will Rise) and matched the lyrics of the bridge up to verses in the Bible:
Lyrics to Beneath the Waters (I Will Rise):
“I rise as You are risen”
Romans 6:4 NIV
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
“Declare Your rule and reign
My life confess Your Lordship”
Romans 10:9 NIV
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,you will be saved.
“And glorify Your Name”
1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
“Your word it stands eternal”
Psalm 119:89 NIV
Your word, Lord, is eternal;
it stands firm in the heavens.
“Your kingdom knows no end”
Isaiah 9:7 NIV
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.
“Your praise goes on forever
An on and on again”
Psalm 79:13 NIV
Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture,
will praise you forever;
from generation to generation
we will proclaim your praise.
“No power can stand against you
No curse assault Your throne”
Colossians 2:15 NIV
And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
“No one can steal Your glory
For it is Yours alone”
Psalm 115:1 NIV
Not to us, Lord, not to us
but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.
“I stand to sing Your praises”
Psalm 9:2 NIV
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.
“I stand to testify”
Revelation 12:11 NIV
They triumphed over him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.
“For I was dead in my sin
But now I rise”
Ephesians 2:1;5 NIV
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins…
…made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
Kevin did the same thing with the chorus of Cornerstone:
“Christ alone, Cornerstone
Weak made strong; in the Savior’s love”
Ephesians 2:20 NIV
…built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
“Through the storm He is Lord,
Lord of all”
Mark 4:41 NIV
They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
Words have power. And God often uses music to carry messages around the world.
Take the songs you really like and look up the verses that go with it. These songs make you agree with the word of God which transforms your world.
On Sunday, April 28th, love was the theme of the day. Joel Houston gave his message called Love Is War. Frank Damazio spoke about one of the most important things in our Christian faith: God’s love for us.
SPEAKER: Frank Damazio
TITLE: Lavishly Loved By God
John wrote out of a relationship with Jesus where he was the one loved by God. He wasn’t always known as a lover of people or anything. He was called a Son of Thunder.
-After spending time with Jesus, he changed from a driving carnality to a whole different person.
-He wrote this epistle when he was 90. In his life, he had been tortured, seen friends die, almost died himself, etc. So he’s the last of the 12 disciples—the ones who were actually with Jesus. He was a mentor of people who would build the church in that century.
The context of this epistle is that people were preaching false doctrine about earning and doing. John’s message to get everyone right is “the love of God.”
Theres a theme to John’s epistles: God is light. God is life. God is love.
If you walk in the light and understand that Jesus is life (not doctrine). It’s about the life of Jesus not just the behaviors of Jesus.
1 Corinthians 13 is for us to learn how to love and how not to love. But 1 John makes some bold statements about love.
How you’ve been loved determines how you will love.
The love experience:
-Unloved: never felt it or had it
-Abusive love: manipulated, controls, teaches you the wrong thing—to close off God and everyone else
-Shallow love: never went anywhere with it
-Selfish love: always about the other person never about you. You end up feeling used
-Broken love: tried to love but got crushed so withdrew
-Disappointed love: disappointed when you finally open yourself up to someone
-Unfulfilled love: you can’t find a way to fulfill your love and so turn to unhealthy things
A person can be so messed up that when someone says, “God loves you,” they say, “What do you mean? I don’t buy it. How does he love me?”
1 John 3:1 NKJV
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
1 John 3:1 MSG
What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are. But that’s also why the world doesn’t recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he’s up to.
1 John 3:1 NIV
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
“What manner…” = What sort of thing could this love be? Come again?
Definition of lavish love:
The lavish love of God towards us is an extravagant unrestrained excessive love that holds back nothing; an abundant outpouring of his favor with unexpected surprises and rich provisions.
-When does God’s love come toward us? It comes even when you don’t want it or deserve it. He loved us while we were yet sinners. It doesn’t wait for you to be ready to receive it.
The lavish love of God brings life transformations that start you on the right path for love.
“Thy kingdom come thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”—not earth earth, but earth heart.
There’s shallow soil/hearts, weedy soil/hearts and good soil/hearts.
-Unless you get the kingdom of God in you, it can’t come from you.
—You are the earth. If you’ve never experienced the love of God, it can’t come from you.
-If the love of God centers a person, everything else comes out fixed.
-The church can be fixed if we understand how God loves us and then turn around and love others that way.
The lavish love of God that comes to you is:
-It’s affections that Jesus brings without limitations and you can’t earn anything he brings to your life. It’s unearned territory.
-Most of what we experience is conditional so it’s hard to understand the agape love of God.
-There are no conditions that can make God stop loving you.
-When you receive that kind of love, you want to please the person who loves you so wholly. It will form your mind and your heart.
2) absolute and absolutely focused on individuals not groups
-Jesus’s whole ministry was about individuals: Jesus talks about going after the one instead of the group.
—You see this in the story of the lost sheep, the woman at the well, and the leper at the bottom of the hill, the man with the lost son, etc.
-Christianity isn’t about the masses; it’s about the church meeting the need of the one.
-The ripple effect on society is more than what you would get with a track or a sermon.
Deuteronomy 7:7 NIV
The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.
-There’s no “because” to his love. He doesn’t love you because of anything. He loves you the way you are right now.
Ephesians 3:17-19 MSG
And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
5) full of second chances
-There are no limits to second chances.
-God never says you used up all your chances. They’re new every morning.
Love people because of who they are not what they do.
There’s no “fair” with the lavish love of God.
The love of God in you will cause you not to become that person who abuses others, takes advantage, etc. Because we’re approved, not rejected, we’re valuable.
On Wednesday, April 24th, Josh Kimes gave a message that could almost be the Remix to his message By The Roadside. He talked about fighting for your vision when the voices of the crowd try to drown it out.
SPEAKER: Josh Kimes
TITLE: Vision and the Voices
Mark 10:46-52 NIV
Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging.When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
“Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.”Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
In and of ourselves, we can’t be the person we want to be. We always fall short.
-But the good news is that God—your Creator—has a plan, purpose, and vision for your life and he’ll push you to go further than you thought.
Jesus’ plans for you involve you knowing who you are, knowing Him, making a difference in life, relying on His strength not yours, and living beyond what you could imagine for your own life.
“Most people are not really free. They are confined to the world they carve out for themselves. They limit themselves to fewer possibilities by the narrowness of their vision.”
Vision isn’t just a picture of what could be; it’s a call to become something more.
Proverbs 29:18 KJV
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
-Let’s be the kind of Christians that allows a God-given vision and purpose position. Let’s be the kind of church that allows vision to propel us into greater influence and greater impact in this city.
-Vision inspires change, keeps you disciplined, gives you a reason to get up, keep going, lifts you out of discouragement and into destiny.
Back in those times, blind people weren’t allowed to work. They were given a government-issued begging cloak and would have to be led by the voices of the crowd to their spot in the square.
When you lack vision for your life, you’ll live at the expense of others. You’ll find yourself competing, comparing, and striving, and people-pleasing. You’ll be exhausted, discouraged, and frustrated.
-Our culture and society would love to have us focused on ourselves and living small.
Living with God-given vision:
1) Refuse to allow the voice of the crowd to drown out your vision.
-The crowd would love for you to be so self-consumed that you miss what God is trying to do.
—In the days of Abraham, the crowd wanted to worship idols.
—In the days of Joshua and Caleb, the crowd were afraid to conquer the land.
—In the days of Samuel, the crowd wanted a king to be like other nations. But God was their king He never meant for them to be like the other nations.
—In the days when Jesus was on the earth, the crowd cried out for His crucifixion.
-The crowd is the voice of intimidation, doubt, discouragement, and rejection.
-Don’t be ruled by the voice of the crowd. You matter more than you think you do. Your purpose is bigger than you think.God loves you more than you think he does.
-What voices do you need to drown out?
-If the voices you allow into your world don’t line up with the Word of God, they’re not worth listening to.
—If they don’t line up with God’s character or nature, don’t pay attention to them.
John 1:1 NIV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:14 NIV
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
2) Remember that vision is worth fighting through the voices.
-Jesus allowed Bartimaeus to call after Him above the crowd instead of going straight to him.
-Your future, family, friendships, integrity, character, purity, etc. is worth fighting for.
-When you have vision for your life, you have to fight for it: build it, protect it, guard the voices you allow in.
—It’s not time for complacency or convenient Christianity.
Proverbs 1:32 NIV
For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
-Complacency will cripple your vision.
-We were never created to live an ordinary existence.
—Bartimaeus had shameless audacity and reckless faith.
-What do you see for your life and future?
—If all you see is the here and now, then you’ll never see all there is to see. God has more in store for you.
-You live in the tension of the vision and the voices.
—You’ve gotta get back to the Word and let it be the loudest voice in your ear.
Proverbs 24:16 NIV
or though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again,
but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.
2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Psalm 100:5 NIV
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Joshua 1:9 NIV
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
-When you have vision, the vision will start to drown out the voices.
Mark 10:49-50 NIV
Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.”
Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
-Bartimaeus threw off the cloak that represented his old identity.
Mark 10:51 NIV
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
-Jesus knew what Bartimaeus needed but He wanted him to speak it out because there’s power in our words.
Genesis 1:3 NIV
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
-The first purpose of words is not communication but creation.
—What are you framing with your words?
-Bartimaeus doesn’t run off and celebrate. He wasn’t mesmerized by the vision but by the vision-giver: Jesus.
—When challenges come, stay mesmerized by Jesus—who He really is, not what culture has watered Him down to be.
On Sunday, April 21st we had the pleasure of having the Big Eagle fly in. We met at the Roseland Ballroom and the day couldn’t have been better. Here’s his message that he gave all day about ruins coming to life.
SPEAKER: Pastor Brian Houston
TITLE: Glorious Ruins
Lyrics of “Glorious Ruins”:
When the mountains fall
And the tempests roar
You are with me
When creation falls
Still my soul will soar
On Your mercy
I’ll walk through the fire
With my head lifted high
And my spirit revived in Your story
And I’ll look to the cross
As my failure is lost
In the light of Your glorious grace
When the world caves in
Still my hope will cling to Your promise
When my courage ends
Let my heart find strength in Your presence
Let the ruins come to life
In the beauty of Your name
Rising up from the ashes
God forever You reign
And my soul will find refuge
In the shadow of Your wings
I will love you forever
And forever I’ll sing
We serve a God who takes ruined things and brings them to life. Humanity does the opposite.
Zachariah 11:3 NKJV
There is the sound of wailing shepherds!
For their glory is in ruins.
There is the sound of roaring lions!
For the pride of the Jordan is in ruins.
-This verse is talking about the Cedars of Lebanon which were called the pride of the Jordan. Now their glory is in ruins.
Ruined glory speaks of the physical temple of the Old Testament which held the presence of God inside.
-Ruins also speak of humanity.
—Anything God makes is glorious. Through sin, the glory God created was ruined.
-Ruins often represent past glories, past disasters, abandonment, neglect, etc.
Ezra 9:8-9 NKJV
And now for a little while grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and give us a measure of revival in our bondage. For we were slaves. Yet our God did not forsake us in our bondage; but He extended mercy to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to revive us, to repair the house of our God, to rebuild its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem.
-From the destruction of the temple, people were displaced and devastated.
-Everyone “was” something but now we can live in the promise of Jesus Christ.
-These verses in Ezra speak of release, revival, reparation, and rebuilding.
Foundations where ruins can come to life:
1) praise power
-We underestimate the power of praise.
Ezra 3:10-13 NKJV
When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests stood in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the Lord, according to the ordinance of David king of Israel. And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord:
“For He is good,
For His mercy endures forever toward Israel.”
Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.
But many of the priests and Levites and heads of the fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this temple was laid before their eyes. Yet many shouted aloud for joy, so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard afar off.
-The temple hadn’t been built yet. Only the foundations were being laid and they were praising.
—They were praising responsively, not religiously.
-The temple was not yet glorious; it was still a ruin.
-Praise doesn’t just belong after a miracle or a turnaround. It belongs before the miracle and before the ruin is made glorious.
—A great foundation for any miracle is praise.
Psalm 100:4 NKJV
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
-Praise is an entry point.
Psalm 150:6 NKJV
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord!
—Moses was the leader of the Israelites because he praised God before the miracle and the parting of the Red Sea whereas the Israelites were grumbling before the miracle and only praised God after.
—Peter praised God in prison and God delivered him.
-You can praise your way out of bondage.
John 11:35-44 NKJV
Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!”
And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?”
Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”
Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said,“Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”
-Jesus praised God before the miracle—while Lazarus was still dead.
-The ruins can come to life in the beauty of God’s name.
-It’s hard to be negative and a praise God at the same time. You can bring life to a dead spirit like depression by praising.
2) prophetic power
Ezra 6:14 NKJV
So the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they built and finished it,according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the command of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.
-The promise prospered on the prophecies.
-God wants to speak life into you by looking ahead. Start building on the promise of the future.
-Haggai and Zachariah both talk about the temple ruins becoming glorious.
Haggai 2:6-9 NKJV
“For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations,and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts.”
-God will do what he says he will do. What he will do in the future will be greater than the past.
-He wants to bring you a new beginning you never imagined was possible.
Zachariah 4:6-10 NKJV
So he answered and said to me:
“This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel:
‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’
Says the Lord of hosts.
‘Who are you, O great mountain?
Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain!
And he shall bring forth the capstone
With shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”’”
Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
“The hands of Zerubbabel
Have laid the foundation of this temple;
His hands shall also finish it.
Then you will know
That the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you.
For who has despised the day of small things?
For these seven rejoice to see
The plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.
They are the eyes of the Lord,
Which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.”
-Shouts of “grace to it” also means shouts of “favor to it”.
Zachariah 9:9-10 NKJV
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.
I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
And the horse from Jerusalem;
The battle bow shall be cut off.
He shall speak peace to the nations;
His dominion shall be ‘from sea to sea,
And from the River to the ends of the earth.’
-Zechariah was prophesying about Jesus who was a glorious ruin. Jesus allowed His body to be ruined but the good news is that the ruins came to life.
-Prophesy is the power of the Word speaking life into your future, not some strange person coming up to you with a weird “word for you”.
-If you think that something is dead in your life, God is going to breathe life into it.
3) personal power/devotion
-Know the wonder of spending time with your Savior.
-This is power through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Ezra 7:10 NKJV
For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel.
-Ezra let the Word, loved the Word, lived the Word, and led in the Word. We need to do the same.
—We can underestimate the power of spending time with God.
—We need to do what the Word says. Live it out.
—We need to lead through the principles of God’s Word no matter where or what industry you’re leading in.
Ezra 8:21 NKJV
Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions.
-Let praise be a platform for your life.
-Let the Word speak life into you.
-Bring God into your home instead of building your home at the abandonment of God. Trust God with your home.
On Wednesday, April 17th, 2013, Josh Kimes gave my favorite message of his to date.
SPEAKER: Josh Kimes
TITLE: Freedom Ain’t Free
Exodus 3:7-12 NIV
The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concernedabout their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivitesand Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them.So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”
Galatians 5:1 NIV
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Freedom was never talked about when the Israelites were slaves in Egypt. It hurt too much. Generation after generation were born into slavery.
-After a while do you accept what is wrong as right? Do you accept what is abnormal as normal?
How free are you?
-We might not be bound by slavery externally but we can be bound internally: mistakes, guilt, insecurities, surroundings, emotions, mediocrity, your past, failure
-God wants to set you free so you can live free and set others free.
—If we want to live free and set others free, we’re gonna have to face some pharaohs in our life: a person, a thought pattern, anything that tries to restrict you in life to your fears, doubts, and discouragement, anything that keeps you enslaved.
3 Pharaohs we need overcome if we’re going to live free and help set others free:
1) A pharaoh called self.
-We need to see ourselves as God sees us.
-Until we know whose we are, we don’t know who we are.
Exodus 3:11 NIV
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
-Moses didn’t see himself as much.
—We can see ourselves like this when we’re called to defy culture and lead.
-How you see yourself will influence how you see others and how others see you.
-Sometimes it’s good to talk to yourself in the mirror like this girl:
-What you see and what God sees can be totally different.
-If you don’t see yourself that way in your mirror, then you’re probably looking in the wrong mirror. You need to look in the mirror of the Bible
-What you see and what God sees can be two totally different things.
—Where you see guilt, God sees grace.
—Where you see failure, God sees a future.
—Where you see a slave, God sees a son/daughter.
-Get over yourself and get beyond yourself.
-If you can beat yourself, you can’t be beaten.
—Don’t be your worst enemy.
-God doesn’t call the equipped; he equips the called.
—What we think disqualifies us is often what actually qualifies us.
—You were created in his image
—You have a purpose
—You’re complete in him
—You’re the light of the world
—You’re the salt of the earth
—You’re more than a conqueror
—You’re a partaker of his divine nature
—You’re more than a conqueror
-You don’t need to chase influence in your life. When you see yourself the way God sees you influence chases you.
2) A Pharaoh called silence
-If you don’t speak up, your Pharaoh will shut you up.
Exodus 8:1 NIV
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me.
-Worship brings perspective in the midst of chaos.
-Worship brings passion. It’s powerful.
—When you’re a slave to fear, mediocrity, etc the first thing to go is your worship.
-For 400 years no one spoke up for the slaves.
-Your pharaoh would love you to live a silent life to struggle and suffer in silence.
Proverbs 18:21 NIV
The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.
-It’s not time to remain silent. It’s time to speak up and worship through the doubt, feelings, and discouragement.
—Speak to your pharaoh. “Let me go so I can worship!”
-Don’t live silent about the hope you have in Him.
-Don’t get to the end of your life and find that you’ve done more talking than living.
—Let your life, generosity, joy, passion, and kindness speak for itself.
-Let your life speak louder than your lips.
3) A Pharaoh called setback
Exodus 14:10-12 NIV
As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord.They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”
-They’re telling Moses not to give them hope.
—The setback stood in the way of God’s promise, provision, peace, purpose, and freedom
Exodus 14:13-14;21-22 NIV
Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided,and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.
-When God is in the picture your setback is just a set up for a comeback.
Galatians 5:1 NIV
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm,then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
-That freedom was bought with a price.
On Sunday, April 14th, 2013, Pastor Carl continued his scandal series by talking about the scandal of grace. If you’d like to check out the first message he’d done on Easter, you can find it here.
SPEAKER: Pastor Carl Lentz
TITLE: A Scandal Called Grace
Scandal: a situation that has gone down that shouldn’t have happened.
-Favor you don’t deserve. Access to areas you shouldn’t be allowed in.
-When people can figure you out, you need to be living deeper. People should ask, “Why are you here?
Grace is personified in Jesus.
-Because of Jesus alone we have the right to believe we can be healed, etc.
-The same grace that saved you should be sustaining you today.
—It never stops: grace, grace and more grace
John 11:1-4 ESV
Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord,he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
-You can come back from a lot of things but not death. Death was undefeated…so far.
-You’re the one who Jesus loves.
—Have that same confidence. He went to that cross for you.
-Even when you’re at your worse, God can still do something for his glory.
John 11:25-27 ESV
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”
-The resurrection is not an event, it’s a many…
-If there’s a situation in your life, it probably doesn’t look the same from heaven’s point of view.
John 11:38-44 ESV
Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.”Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them,“Unbind him, and let him go.”
-Don’t miss the message. Martha was concerned about the smell
-Leave everything in the tomb. Don’t let anything from your old life come into your new life.
-Jesus didn’t have to raise him from the dead. He didn’t have to comfort them but He did.
-God is for you. You don’t have to sit and hide anymore.
There are three interesting characters in this story: Thomas the doubter, Mary the discouraged, and Martha the frustrated
Because of His grace:
1) Doubt does not have to define you. Your faith can.
-If God’s grace came through before it’ll come through again.
-Doubt doesn’t have to crush your faith. It can build it.
John 11:16 ESV
So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
-Thomas said let’s all go so we can all die with him. Thomas didn’t even want to go.
—Maybe you’ve felt the stung of doubt or opened yourself up to someone just to be betrayed and now you doubt.
-The more you doubt Him, the more He shows up.
-Decide not to be defined by your doubt. Faith is our portion.
-We have the trajectory of our perspective. We know the end of the story.
-Beware of doubt-dealers in your life.
—They’re people who, no matter all the great things happening, they’ll still doubt. They give passive aggressive answers like, “I doubt it,” “Don’t get too comfortable because people are always losing jobs,” “Just so you know, the divorce rate is the same as outside the church,” etc.
—Don’t buy what they’re selling.
-If no one goes with you, be okay with that. You can’t kill them.
-Give them room to doubt
—What we believe is ridiculous.
—Be okay with people doubting you
—The same people who doubt you today may be sitting in church with you next week.
—They always have something bad to say to make you want to doubt.
—You don’t need doubters stealing your faith. Minimize their influence in your life.
-When you can, get around as many hope dealers as much as you can
—Sometimes the only time you do that is at church on Sunday.
—A little bit of hope goes a long way.
—We take for granted the great relationships we have.
-You’ve been saved and called. Don’t doubt the calling.
—Don’t limit what you can do
-The grace that set you free is gonna keep you free.
—People tend to believe in the grace that saved them but not that grace equips, calls, and sends them.
-We have all been saved under this amazing sky of grace. It’s unmerited favor for anybody.
-Everybody walking has the same access to Jesus. There is no one holier than anyone else
-You have just as much right to believe in the grace of God in your life. The call of God is vibrant in your life.
2) Discouragement doesn’t have to contain you.
-The grace of God can set you free.
-Discouragement is doubt on wheels.
—Doubt gets you to stop but discouragement will keep you like the walking dead and you miss out on the joy of His scandalous grace.
John 11:17-20 ESV
Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tombfour days. Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house.
-Have you ever been so discouraged that you can’t even move anymore You don’t know if you can fight anymore.
—You know your God is good and he’s in the neighborhood. Stand up and say that discouragement isn’t your portion
-Discouragement is a choice so you can choose scandalous joy instead.
—Martha chose to run out and chase the Savior and the joy in its way.
-What happens to you doesn’t have to change what comes through you. Our God has set us free.
-When you hold onto discouragement it affects everyone around you. You can’t stay in that defeat because you need to remember that God won the war even if you lost the battle.
-Don’t stay seated in that place of discouragement.
3) Delay doesn’t have to confuse you. Delay does not mean denial.
-In God’s kingdom delay doesn’t mean he’s not coming or answering; it means he’s doing more than you can imagine and it’ll take longer than you expect.
-Pray but the rest is up to God.
-Delay is part of the journey.
-Jesus did nothing when He initially heard about Lazarus.
John 11:21-22 ESV
Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.”
-People believed that the spirit of that person would hang around the body until 3 days.
-Delay destroys dreams. Don’t let delay keep you from chasing Jesus.
-Have a “but even now” moment because He saved you even now.
—Even in the middle of your sin you can ask God to help you.
-Be persistent in your faith.
—Jesus is gonna roll the stone away even now.
—You’ve got death on one page and on the the next page is life.
—You think you’re so far away from where you’re supposed to be and your not. God’s working on your behalf.
-You have the right to believe that there is a scandalous turnaround waiting for you.
On Friday, April 12th, 2013, the women in our church gathered for a Sisterhood event. These nights are always special and eagerly awaited. We were encouraged by Pastor Laura to engage our feistier side (in the right context).
SPEAKER: Pastor Laura Lentz
TITLE: It’s Time For A Girlfight
Women give the devil too much mind space. He shouldn’t have any real estate up there.
What if women actually stood up and learned how to fight these thoughts that come at us?
-We need to know what’s available to us as Christians.
-God fights for us but we also have to fight. There’s a tension in trying to figure out when to fight and when not to fight.
-There’s a human element and a divine element to this life: the human element is when we’re fighting and the divine is when God is fighting for you.
How do you know what to fight for or what we’re fighting for?
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NIV
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
3 Battles We Face:
1) The battle is unavoidable.
-The battle is unavoidable so stop trying to avoid it.
-The devil is always trying to get to you. He’s a liar. He’s there to cause dissension and separation. Nothing he does is good. He’s there to destroy you.
—Are you prepared for that? Because its unavoidable. So figure out how to deal with them and then go forward.
-You can’t control every situation in your life. But you need to know what you have available to you.
-We aren’t called to be weak Christians who step back when things get tough.
-Stand up for injustice and what’s right. Learn what to fight for: Fight for relationships, your friendships, and your marriage. Fight for your church, your job, and your life.
2) The battle is spiritual.
-Every trial and challenge you face isn’t necessarily there because you did something wrong. A lot of times it’s there because you did something right.
Acts 16:16-30 NIV
Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.
When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities.They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”
The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods.After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”
The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
-Paul and Silas were put in prison for doing the right thing.
-Remember that God loves you and he saved you by his grace.
-There are moments when we are put in situations that aren’t fair.
—Negative thoughts, sickness, accusations, negative people, judgements, unemployment, etc.
—These things can strip you of your faith if you’re not careful.
-Just say, “It’s an attack. It’s fine. I can do this. I’ll stand.”
—Choose to stand and fight or it’ll take you out.
-You can’t let it take your confidence.
-Don’t forget that God is for you.
3) The battle is mental.
2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
-Our mind is the battlefield.
-You can look like you’re winning on the outside but on the inside you feel defeated because of the attacks on your mind.
-What comes out of you in your challenging situations?
—The first things Paul and Silas do are sing and pray.
—It’s hard to be negative in your mind when you’re singing about Jesus.
-Where do you go? What’s your first response? Is it to swear? Have a negative thought? Talk down to people or yourself? Just “peace out” on life? Go into isolation? Because our first response should be “Jesus I love you. I don’t know what’s going on but I’m aware of it.”
-You have to be aware of it in order to fight.
-They did their part of focusing on Jesus and God did his part and sent an earthquake.
-Jesus’ only job in heaven is to pray for you.
-Try focusing on Jesus the next time you feel attacked.
Philippians 4:6-8 NIV
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
How to fight:
Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasionswith all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
-You’ve gotta know your Bible.
The Shield of Faith:
-In ancient times, it was huge and protects your whole body as well as the armor you already have on. It moves with you—protecting every part of your life
-Faith is confidence and assurance in Jesus Christ.
-If you don’t have faith, you’re gonna get hit.
-The devil throws things on you and if you don’t have this shield you just take it. And every time you take it, you’re dying.
—“You’re a loser.” You can come back at him and say, “No, I’m more than a conquerer.”
—“You’re never gonna amount to anything.” “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
—“You’re ugly. No one’s gonna love you.” “I’m created in the image of God for his good works.”
Know what the Bible says: “I have no lack, I have the mind of Christ, I have the peace of God. I am an overcomer. Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.”
-Did you know that these battles have already been won? But you need to know what the Bible says. You have to know it or else you’ll just take what the enemy gives you.
-Your Bible is the most important thing in your life.
-You have to know what’s available to you.
-The Bible is a letter from God to you.
-You’ve gotta know what to pray too. You don’t need to have elegant prayers. Your father knows your voice.
—You can just say, “Help me. I sucked today. I need your help in this decision.”
-You’ve gotta believe what the Bible says about you
-The war has already been won.
-The enemy only has the power over you that you give him.
Luke 11:22 NIV
But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder.
-Jesus stripped the devil of his armor. He has nothing. He’s weak.
-Jesus took the keys of sin and death to gave you eternal life.
-Quit giving the enemy so much control over your life.
-Submit your thoughts and life to Jesus because its amazing what He can do.
-You have everything you need for this fight right now to overcome.
-God will never fail you. It might not be in the way you planned. But God’s got your back.
-But you have to live by faith and know what he says about you.
-Too many women compare themselves and live in insecurity. Realize you have the power of God within you.
On Wednesday, April 10th, 2013, Kane Keatinge hit us with another incredible message on the fruit of the spirit; this time the focus was on joy. You can find the first message he did on Love here.
SPEAKER: Kane Keatinge
TITLE: The Fruit of the Spirit: Joy
Galatians 5:16-23 NIV
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factionsand envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
-The spirit and the flesh are warring against each other.
Happiness: an experience of feeling good often expressed outwardly and triggered by an event
-From the mind through the body
Joy: not necessarily triggered by external stimuli but through an internal state
-It’s in your spirit and then goes through your mind to body
-It’s something you can’t explain.
-It isn’t as outwardly expressed as inwardly known.
-Joy is a deep-rooted knowledge that Jesus has done enough. Even if He never did another thing good, He’s done enough.
-Joy is in the journey. But the key to the journey is perspective and people.
James 1:2-3 NIV
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
-Perseverance gives way to life.
-These fertilizers will produce fruit and growth in your life.
-When you’re in a situation with growth you will also have the opportunity to grow the wrong things. You’ll get weeds with the fruit—weeds like bitterness.
2 fertilizers that will cause the fruit of joy to grow in your life:
-When you’re in a season of lack, it’s easy to lose perspective and not see that you’re on a journey.
-Even when we’re faithless God is faithful.
-It’s good to come to church and see that God is being faithful in other people’s lives so he’s gonna be faithful in yours as well.
-Church will lift your spirit.
—Realize you are a spirit first. You’re a spirit with a body, not a body with a spirit.
-Having people around you is important.
—Connect Groups are the most important thing we do—get prayer, can talk to people, it’s not rushed.
-If you’re going through anything, if you are with people or just with Jesus, you’re gonna make it.
Hebrews 12:2 NIV
…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneerand perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Psalm 16:11 NIV
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.