Sunday, March 14, 2010

Assemby Required: The Power of Agreement

Power of Agreement = Harmony. Accord.

forsake not the assembling of yourselves... (Heb 10:23-24)

23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Heb 10:23-25).

Ancient teachers from Greek philosophers to Qumran's founding teacher established communities of followers to perpetuate their teachings...

  • Bin Laden
  • Charles Manson
  • These men’s adherents should be viewed just a suspiciously as their leaders...why isn’t that the case with Christians?

  • I want to teach FoLifers to embrace the Body of Christ

  • My family taught me that we ALWAYS side with family.
    • You never fight publicly
    • You always defend family
    • If one of us was not welcome in a place, none of were
    • if one of you gets jumped unfairly...or the other relative is losing this’d best jump in or you’d have a “fight” when you got home.

Hebrews was likely written to Hellenistic Jews who were facing persecution...

(Paul explains what that might’ve looked like in Act 26.9-11).

These strong believers wanted to be encouraged as they were being challenged to die for their faith...

  • be
  • spur each other on to good works...who?
  • continue meeting together!!
  • The author of Hebrews said what AA, NA, SA advocates have been saying for years... go to your meeting!!

What can coming to the house of the Lord can do?

  • reflect on the past week and prepare for the upcoming week
  • confess sin/ hear testimony/ experience artistic expression of faith/ silence
  • study the faith of ancient believers/ hear a message that contradicts the voices of mainstream america
  • praying & being in the company of people who are trying to do all these things.

Watchman Nee (Famous Chinese Author):

The Lord revealed to me that He desired to build up local churches in various places to manifest Himself and to bear the testimony of unity on the ground of the local churches. In this way, each saint [believer] is able to function in the church and live the church life. What God wants is not individuals trying to be victorious or spiritual; He wants a corporate glorious church presented to Himself.


  • Talk about co-signing
  • Talk about exchange
    • my relationship with presbyterians

  • Our attitude is wrong...gathering is about seeing God (direction); worshiping God (empowerment for service & witness); encouraging others (family time)

  • Why was the church so hard on sin?
    • it destroyed community
      • inappropriate dress
      • inappropriate conversations & propositions
      • schisms
      • you don’t crap in the water you drink from

Acts 12

Peter's Miraculous Escape From Prison

5So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him...

12When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying.

Where do I want to end up?

  • Explain that the sense of isolation and disconnection from others has been a huge part of the sin problem

    • Adam’s sin was incubated in the fact that he didn’t think about how his actions would impact others...and God.

  • Community is where we spur others on to faith and good works

  • Each time you see a powerful outpouring of God’s Spirit in the Book of Acts, it was when a great unifying event had taken place.


  • Ask for volunteers for a First Sunday Fellowship
  • Use purple forms this week to write a note of encouragement for the any member of the ministry team (children, youth, music, set-up, janitorial, sound/video, ushers, etc.)
  • Make a point of hanging back for a few minutes after service each week in order to meet a new person each Sunday.

God’s view of the POWERFUL local church:

  • settle disputes & avoid the courtroom (...You and your sister fought at school?!)
  • put people out of church if they wouldn’t live/act right
  • reinstate people when they got right

Friday, March 5, 2010

I Will Be You God and You Will Be My People (Sermon)

Sermon: I Will Be Your God and You Will Be My People

Character is the ability to follow through on a resolution long after the emotion with which it was made has passed.

(Brian Tracy)

Jeremiah 31:31-34

31 "The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to [d] them, [e] " declares the LORD. 33 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."

Recap: God frees Israel from Egyptian Bondage in order to given them liberty and a relationship with a real God.

  • Following God Almighty whole-heartedly requires a total break for former gods
    • fear, comfort, selfishness, greed, hatred

  • God’s presence was revealed...God’s character is taught (they didn’t know God)

  • A full-break with the old god is required in order to clearly see God Almighty

  • Israel needed to be retrained (spiritually, attitudinally, emotionally) before they could handle the Promised Land.

  • God is certainly with the destitute...but at some point, God expects the destitute to have a hand in bringing other broken people to God.

Today: We fast forward to Jeremiah: (Jere 31:31-34)

  • He prophesies because Israel forgot or ignored what happened in Egypt, Sinai and Canaan

  • He prophesied that Jerusalem should surrender to Babylonian powers

  • He further prophesies of a New Covenant and points to Calvary

Where I want to end up:

  • Israel often felt like an orphan, a nomad or an refugee.... Neither had roots or stability!

      • God offered them a promise to be their God and they’s be the people of God
      • Become a people was dependent upon having a leader (God)

  • God wants to renew our minds and give us new character that will beckon his continued presence in, and pleasure with, our lives.


  • Do you find yourself feeling alienated from the plan of God and the center of that will?

  • As a believer, Is God an after thought in your life?

  • How is the New Covenant working for you?

  • How do you follow the presence of God to a place where the Holy Spirit can begin to write the truths of God into the fiber of your being?

  • The Lord God Almighty is willing to be your God...are you willing to be God’s People?


  • When we fail to pursue the God Who is pursuing us; we find that we have fallen prey to a lesser god that has been desiring to pursue us in order to devour us.

  • It’s is God’s character that ushers the Presence of God into our midst