Tuesday, March 05, 2013
Saturday, March 02, 2013
What Is the
means, simply, "good news." There are numerous so-called gospels
in the world proclaiming good news to those who would listen, and these gospels
come in any number of forms—from the gospel of wealth and power to the gospel
of health and beauty. These gospels, however, do not address the most basic
problem that all men and women have—the problem of sin and guilt; that is,
the Gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ. It is good news because, without
it, we stand condemned as sinners before a holy and just God, deserving His
wrath. In Isaiah's vision of the throne room of God, seraphim (angelic beings)
cry out continually, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole
earth is full of His glory!” Isaiah, overwhelmed in the presence of God, cries
out in despair: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and
I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the
King, the Lord of hosts!” (Isa. 6:3, 5)
God's perfect holiness—and this is the good news—God has, in His good pleasure,
made a way for sinners to be reconciled to Himself through His Son Jesus
Christ. John 3:16-17 says,
For God so
loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should
not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world
to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.
lived a righteous life and then died a terrible death on a Roman cross for His
people. "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to
his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all" (Isa.
53:6). Thus, Jesus Christ satisfied the holy and just requirements of God. God
then raised Him from the dead, vindicating Christ's work.
called to repent and believe the Gospel and to trust in Christ for salvation.
Sinners receive this free gift of salvation from God through faith alone in
Jesus Christ alone and are thereby counted righteous before God. Romans 10:9-13
confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God
raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes
and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the
Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to
shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same
Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on Him. For
"everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
justified, Christians are called to walk as "living sacrifices" unto
Him through the Holy Spirit because they are not their own, but were
"bought with a price" (Rom. 12:1; 1 Cor. 6:20). Just as God raised
Jesus Christ, so Christians await a resurrection of their own bodies, Christ
being the "first fruits" of the new creation (1 Cor. 15:20).
Ultimately, this is their hope—that God has begun His work of "making all
things new" in the work of Jesus Christ and in the continued sanctification
of His saints (Rev. 21:5). They await the new heavens and new earth in which
there will be no more sin, pain, or sorrow (Rev. 21:4).
Friday, March 01, 2013
Getting Back to the Basics
Text: Matthew 28:16-20 NIV - 16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Matthew 9:9 NIV – “As Jesus was going down the road, he saw Matthew sitting at his tax-collection booth. “Come, be my disciple!.” Jesus said. SO Matthew got up and followed him.”
Matthew was a "publican" or tax collector for the Romans. Tax collectors made a good living. They were generally despised by their fellow Jews and merely tolerated by their Roman employers. Tax collectors were creative in finding ways to tax the people. Luke 3:13 states, "They overcharged [and] brought false charges of smuggling in the hope of extorting hush-money". Other ways of making money included taxes on axles, wheels, animals, roads, highways and admission to markets. Some even charged pedestrians taxes. He was literate and an educated writer and scribe, fluent in Greek and Aramaic
Disciple(s) is used 266 times in NT.
We must be clear on the definition: It’s meaning is a follower of Jesus Christ
To be disciplined we must master the fundamentals:
1. I must spend time with Jesus
“If you want to be my disciple you must come and follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And if they follow me, the Father will honor them.” John 12:26 NLT
“The plan was that they would be with him and then he would send them out to proclaim the Word.” Mark 3:14a (Msg)
2. I must love Jesus supremely
“If you want to be my follower you must love me more than your own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, more than your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26 NLT
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:29-30 NIV
3. I must love His Church
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35
“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.”
I John 4:20
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”
I John 3:16
4. I must obey Him completely
“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
“So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them…” Matthew 26:19
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:7-8
5. To Serve others unselfishly
“Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Mark 9:35
“just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24
6. I must pass on the Good News
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him” Matthew 4:19-20
“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” II Timothy 2:2
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Becoming a Life Giving Leader
Don’t be afraid to lead – rid yourself of the thinking that you are inadequate or unqualified.
Leadership is Influence – John Maxwell
Our day today is an emotionally charged, overweight, burden down society that needs LIFE, from life giving leadership! (John 10:10)
I. What Life Giving Leadership Is:
A. Leadership is not a project, leadership is a spirit. People don’t need a position to be a leader.
B. Leadership must give encouragement and confidence
C. Joshua’s Leadership Training – (Joshua 1:9 – “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid, do not be dismayed.”) God was focusing on Joshua’s spirit.
D. For God to get us to where he would like us to be, He needs us to realize our leadership is more about a spirit than a task. Be strong, inspired, and full of courage, life and purpose.
E. Paul Revere and William Dawes – Had the same message at the same time over the same distance - Why was there a different impact?
•Leadership is more than information, communication, and projects. Leadership is spirit
•Remember this - “Your Leadership can be something that people have to overcome, or something that helps people overcome.” – Kevin Gerald
F. It should cause people to lighten up
• When the life of God is flowing, there should be lots of smiling and laughing. (Seattle fish market – a fun place to work)
G. Life Giving leadership is positive and inspiring – Proverbs 16:15 (message) says, “Good tempered leaders invigorate lives; they’re life spring rain and sunshine.”
H. We will not resort to a negative, forceful, or whiney approach to motivate. This leads to immaturity.
I. To be an effective leader – STAY POSITIVE.
J. Leaders are like an elevator – you are either taking people up or taking them down. Make a decision to take people up!
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Love Actually Part 4:Unmarried Solutions: Getting it Right
Mr. or Mrs. Right
(Genesis 2:18-22 NIV) “The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
I. What to do until Mr. or Mrs. Right comes
Are you the person the person you are looking for is looking for?
(1 Thessalonians 5:23 NIV) “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1. Focus on your external life.
(1Peter 5:8 NIV) “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
(1 Thessalonians 4:3-6 GWT) “It is God’s will that you keep away from sexual sin as a mark of your devotion to him. Each of you should know that finding a husband or wife for yourself is to be done in a holy and honorable way, not in the passionate, lustful way of people who don’t know God. No one should take advantage of or exploit other believers that way. The Lord is the one who punishes people for all these things.”
2. Focus on your internal life.
(Romans 12:2 NLT) “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”
(Philippians 4:11, 13 NCV) “I have learned to be satisfied with the things I have and with everything that happens. I can do all things through Christ, because he gives me strength.”
3. Focus on your spiritual life.
(Galatians 2:20 NIV) “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
II. If You have the Gift of Singleness
(1 Corinthians 7:7) “I wish everyone could get along without marrying just as I do, but we are not all the same. God gives some the gift of marriage and to others He gives the gift of singleness.”
1. Make the choice to accept your circumstance.
(Philippians 4:11, 13) “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.”
(Psalm 118:24) “This is the day God has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
(2 Chronicles 15:15) “All the people of Judah were happy because they had made this covenant with all their heart. They took delight in worshiping the Lord, and he accepted them and gave them peace on every side.”
2. Adopt the conviction of God’s Word.
(1 Thessalonians 4:5, 8) “Don’t use your body for sexual sin like people who do not know God. The person who refuses to obey this is disobeying God, not simply a human teaching.”
(1 Thessalonians 4:3 Message) “God wants you to live a pure life so keep yourself from sexual promiscuity.”
3. Utilize your freedom
(1 Corinthians 7:32-34) “I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs--how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world--how he can please his wife--and his interests are divided.”
III. Unmarried Solutions; When you find Mr. or Mrs Right
(Ecclesiastes 4:10) “If one person falls the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble.”
1. You must have spiritual compatibility.
(2 Corinthians 6:14) “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
(Proverbs 15:13) “A happy heart makes the face cheerful but heartache crushes the spirit...
(Psalms 26:2) “Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth.”
2. You must have life purpose compatibility.
(Amos 3:3) “Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?”
(Hebrews 3:1) “Brothers and sisters, you are holy partners in a heavenly calling.”
3. You must have family compatibility.
(Ephesians 6:4) “And now a word to you parents. Don't keep on scolding and nagging your children, making them angry and resentful. Rather, bring them up with the loving discipline the Lord himself approves, with suggestions and godly advice.”