Sunday, April 29, 2012

Power Surge

Sermon: Power Surge
Key Text: Acts 1:1-8
Sermon Focus: He have been deputized to join Christ in his great work!
*We’ll talk later about what the disciples let’s discuss what they had

** They were deputized to act as Jesus reps
♥The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach...(Acts 1.1)
* Jesus had built an infrastructure for the Kingdom
✓His work isn’t finished...he works from a different position.
✓Jesus lived among disciples for 40 days to give proof of his resurrection and instructions concerning his kingdom.
The arrival of God’s Kingdom which began at conception, Proclaimed at birth, confirmed at his baptism, ratified by His death, affirmed at his resurrection, re-established for 40 days, sealed at his ascension and the rights to the book & movie were distributed at Pentecost!
      • ☒The full story of Jesus and the reality of the Kingdom of God is ready to be told...the miracle is that when we preach it, it is present and available to be experienced. We, not angels, proclaim this truth! Nothing can stop its power.
* Remember: He calmed the winds and waves from within the storm!
♥Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1.6)
***Role of Power? Roman occupation didn’t slow the advancement of the Kingdom, so minorities in that world became power brokers w/i a corrupt system & Kingdom became focus.
✓When The Disciples Asked About Roman Occupation Jesus Talks About His Own Occupation Jesus gives the disciples some subtle insight into his plan to subvert personal and spiritual occupation. 
♥But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1.8)
Power of the Spirit came to give us power to preach and live out the witness of the resurrection! 
→☒The most radically visible proof of the presence or God’s Reign=God’s Kingdom (thru Justice & Love) was Jesus’ resurrection! The second most visible proof of the existence of God’s Reign=Kingdom is the Church=human beings who PLEDGE themselves to God as followers/disciples by living in unity, in service and as a messenger of the completed sacrificial and substitutionary work of Jesus.
→When we live for God by the power of God...the same witnessing power that raised Christ AND exalted Him to a position of authority and influence...resides in us, surrounds us, and is present as we proclaim the Kingdom, whether in word or deed!
→The Roman officials 1st try to discredit Jesus's story by saying he was stolen from the grave.
→The disciples's credibility was questioned by calling them uneducated
→When they could not discredit their witness they threatened their lives/safety
→They couldn’t not get them to change their story!
→One of two things is true:
Either these ignorant fishermen, tax accountants and women staged the masterminding theft of Jesus’ body right from under the noses of the tightest military guard in the entire western world....Or they didn’t...and Jesus truly rose!
→Either these disciples weren’t as ignorant as they thought or Jesus wasn't as dead as they claimed. 
→The disciples testified to the world “We may be ignorant but we ain’t stupid, blind or scared”
→☒When you have a witness who is too informed to lie...too alive to fear death...and too hot for the enemy to handle...they are a dangerous & hostile witness....
→At which point the witness doesn’t need a protection program...the enemy does!
  • ☒Apostles were called to give proof of the resurrection
    • A witness doesn’t just tell a story; a Witness shares something that they’ve experienced directly and that information has bearing on the case.
  • The same power of God that dethroned the god of this world also dethrone that god in our lives (heart, will, actions).
  • Jesus is alive and is @ work with us and within us
Acts 1.8 Jesus tells the disciples the resource (Spirit), content (Witnessing) and scope (The entire planet) of their main task.
♥Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” (Acts 1.9-11)
*Joshua was told that Moses was dead; Disciples were told: Jesus is gone & present!!
*Jesus took the training wheels off
  • Why the Ascension?
    • Perhaps to demonstrate that an empty grave was not enough to prove his identity!
    • Perhaps to prove to the disciples that He was healthy!
    • Or, to keep the disciples from looking for him...thus forcing them to live as though they had found...or been found by Him. This ascension into Heaven would save countless hours of looking for Jesus!
  • It is one thing to fabricate a resurrection.
    • It is quite another to testify to his ascension!
Great Commission is the last thing Jesus tells his followers.
Words/Work of Jesus----Which were begun...are carried out By Jesus in us!!
Why are you just standing there?! Do something!

Questions, Challenges & Next Steps:
  • Are you living and functioning like Christ’s deputy?
  • Assess the cost of not doing so
  • Spend time this week identifying what jeopardizes your usefulness to God
  • Ask God for a surge of His Power today
  • Why are you just standing there looking in the something?!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Threat of Resurrection!

Series: Radical
Sermon Title: The Threat of Resurrection!
Key Scripture: Matt 28:11-15
Thesis: God Wants To Do Greater Things In & ThroughYou...
Matthew 28:11-15 NIV
The Guards’ Report
While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.
Paul epistles were written before the gospels were recorded:
    • Apostles were getting older and realized that Jesus wasn’t returning during their life time.
    • They decided to record the eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ life before all the eyewitnesses and writers died off
    • Until the gospel was recorded we had preaching and some of Paul’s epistles
      • The focus???: The resurrection of Christ and it’s call to a new life!
➢What then was the focus of the preaching...what was the basis for faith...what was the convincing angle that drove conversions?
The Resurrection from the dead!!!!
This (resurrection) is as contentious for the enemy as Jesus’ death.
  • If believers don’t believe in the resurrection, it’s being registered, but not voting!
  • Jesus’ death will have significance in Heaven...but not earth!
  • It’s the ultimate Will Call Booth...and no one “Calls”
What did/does Resurrection mean?
  • To Jesus it meant an acceptance of his sacrifice the Father’s Satisfaction
  • To the lost it meant being found and raised also from a LONG DEATH
  • To the enemy it meant that death and the grave were no longer victorious
  • To the Jewish Religious Leaders it meant the threat of localized power
  • To the Roman Officials it could mean their jobs...or worse..their lives
  • To The Church it means:
    • Eternal and FINAL acceptance by the Father
    • A promise that death is not the end
    • An invitation to live as though you have 9 Lives
➸ To everyone it meant that EVERYTHING else Jesus claimed is also true.
  • He’s going to the Father
  • Israel would fall
  • We’d be with him in glory
  • God would be our God and our Father, too.
  • We’d receive power to work in His Name to live changed lives.
  • We’d receive power to change the world
If the resurrection is a lie, we are men most miserable (1 Cor 15.19)
If the resurrection is true, it’s denial is as treasonable as the denial of his Virgin Birth (Incarnation), Sinless Miraculous Life, His Miracles, or Substitutionary Death!!
➸ If Jesus’ resurrection is true, all bets are off and no one is safe!
➸ If Jesus’ claims are true...we need to be careful to not mimic the sins of Peter or Judas.
Resurrection for Jesus meant a new History & The Kingdom
It also means a new position for us!! We can’t deny that without denying Christ!
Live Large!! (Next Sunday...Threat of Power! Next Series...The Radical New Life)


  • Ask Yourself: What’s the difference between Jesus’ resurrection being a hoax and living like it doesn’t pertain to you?
  • When we don’t walk with in the power of the resurrection, we are no better than the men who accepted the bribes…or, the ones who offered it!
  • Resurrection is the answer to the fear of dying or failing. God will raise us up----let’s not live like we’ve got two strikes and no one on base! Let’s live like God has our back!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Scandalous Savior: The Radically Righteous Jesus!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Radical (Scandalous Savior: The Radically Righteous Jesus!)

And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be
offended in me. Luke 7:23

In Luke 24 (one of my favorite passages of scripture) demonstrates the difficulty of losing our agendas--the seemingly legit ones--to the plan of God.

Offended (Grk): Skandalan (reacting negatively to something)

If we truly believed who Jesus claimed to be---it’d change lives...situations..attitudes...priorities...success...and our world!

Skandalan means trap or’s not merely’s something that clamps down on your ankle and won’t let you go! A trap NEVER releases itself*

Cleopas? (When did he get off track?!) Why wasn’t Galilee on his itinerary?

When did people notice that they’d fallen off the wagon? Men like:

  • Peter? (When did he stop following Jesus?! He was clearly conflicted his discipleship then convicted by his abandonment of Jesus.)

  • Judas? (When did he get off track?! He gets only bad press, however, he demonstrated remorse...which is MORE than what I see in MANY Christians concerning their blatant repeated sins.)

  • Other disciples? Why didn’t they believe the women?

☞The sad thing is that these men may have very well been followers at one time.

      • These followers turned out to really be groupies.

Followers adhere. Followers know those who they are following.

Groupies show up. They hope to be noticed by those they’re groupying.

The individual, or group of individuals, involved in obsessive adoration of entertainers such as musicians, actors, athletes, and even political figures. Behaviors are juvenile and influenced oftentimes by crush-like emotions or lustful sentiments...Most commonly viewed as consumed by their interest, as opposed to the normal realm of enjoyment experienced by the great majority of public.

▻And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee. Mark 14:26-28 (KJV)

    • Jesus wrestled so that he wouldn’t be offended (or, disobey)
    • When we say yes to God, we see the light. When we say no, deception pursues.

▻So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble (reject me) on account of me.” After John’s messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? Luke 7:22-24 (NIV)

There was a lot of doubt that arose over Jesus’ ministry, promises and declarations. People like John wanted to really know because their very lives were staked upon this truth. When one really claims to believe Who Jesus claims to be, it is life changing.

Background Scripture re: Being Offended by God

As it is written: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” Romans 9:33

...They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. 1 Peter 2:8

Peter said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be.” Mark 14:29

John 6:51-61 (I am the living bread...this is a hard saying...Does this offend you?)

☞Jesus is saying in Luke 7.23 “ I have accepted you and loved you. Now let me be me. Let me do me and don’t be offended by it.”

*Perhaps this is why the Peter, Judas, Cleopas ignored Jesus’ instruction to believe and to meet him in Galilee...perhaps they were offended my his choice of actions.

  • Peter was tough, rugged, non-subtle and a go-getter. Perhaps Jesus continual reference to crucifixion and death seemed week to him.

    • Peter rebuked Jesus for talking about death

    • Peter told Jesus “Ok..let the attackers come...I’ll back you up (i.e. there’s no boogyman underneath the bed...I’ll check.)

    • Moses and Elijah appear to Jesus, John, James & Peter. Perhaps Peter thought “Are you happy now?” or, “feel better about things now?”

    • Peter cut off the high priest’s servants ear...

    • You’re fighting for yo’ boy...and he’s picking daisies and hugging trees---but not fighting for himself. This is very disheartening for a man.

  • Judas was chosen by Jesus. He must’ve brought some value to the team, right?

    • Perhaps when Jesus let that woman take a bottle of perfume that was worth a year’s salary and rub it on his crusty feet....Judas got salty because Jesus was playing with his money!

John told his disciples to ask “Are you the one....?”

We don’t know exactly what these folks were thinking, however, we know that Jesus pursued Peter & Cleopas and Thomas...because his Kingdom (the word enterprise is not vast nor accurate enough to describe what he was inaugurating) depended about their total adherence, unfeigned love, undying loyalty and obedience!!

He did what he needed to do to assure people that not only were they following the right one...they were following The Righteous One!

*If we start becoming offended by the way Jesus does things, we’ll never make it in faith. He stated:

Isaiah 55:7-9 (NKJV)

7 Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. 8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

What does scripture say we to do if we are offended by someone? Leave our gift that we are offering God and get it right.

Many of us will not progress if we continue to be offended by Jesus. Your cornerstone will become your stumbling block if his ways and standards cause us to not want to follow him.

Challenges/Next Steps:

  • In what area of your life are you most prone to be offended by Jesus and his teachings? (Financial Stewardship? Disciplined Living? Forgiveness? Unity? Faith? Personal Holiness? Being Critical and Judgmental?)

  • What happens to your spiritual walk when you’re offended by Jesus?

  • Wrestle with understanding what role trust must play in your healthy relationship with Jesus.

  • Commit yourself to Prayer, fellowship, introspection and accountability to help you become freed from your trap of offense.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Jesus Christ Superstar Pt.2

Jesus Christ Superstar (Pt. 2)

>1John 12 & Luke 19 passages

The radicalness of God’s love:

Humankind was banished from God’s presence
The radicalness of Jesus=God with us is staggering
The radicalness of being pursued by God is amazing
Jesus wept over Jerusalem because it fending for herself and didn’t realize that God Almighty was fending for her. Still blinded by sin to the goodness of a loving God caused God to weep.
This is a picture which proves that God’s heart has been broken since the fall in Eden

Human’s were dull in their senses concerning the love and presence of God
Jesus needed to invade our space in order to get in our face in order to grab out attention and do something completely radical that would challenge and overturn their perception of God

God would establish a law system just to come and fulfill it on our behalf!!

Sin in Eden--->Promise of Messiah---->Messiah Comes---->
People only see Him via the lens of their greed---->He parades in like a sheep which is led to slaughter----->Weeps over Jerusalem because it is still blind----->Cleanses the temple to show that his commitment to judgement is just as strong as his commitment to love.

(This is true because God rejects no one---His nature will not allow it. He can only be rejected...a deliberate act of the human will.)

Sacrifice is proof that you can see again!!
Everyone who sees only their own need and entitlements will not sacrifice to God

Mary perceived who Jesus really was and sacrificed oil that was worth a years’s wages ($16K)

That’s why he said radical stuff like:
Love me more than mother and father
Don’t put your hand on the plow and look back
Let the dead bury the dead
Take up your cross and follow me

This all seemed extreme to those who were still “dead” & “blind”. It is the ONLY response to the one who has had an epiphany of the love and provision of God.

John Stott (Incomparable Christ) “It was not a visitation, but an incarnation. He became a human being in Jesus of Nazareth. The paradox is amazing. The Creator assumed the human frailty of creature. The eternal one entered time. The all-powerful made himself vulnerable.The all-holy exposed himself to temptation. And in the end the immortal died.”

Jesus’ Journey to Jerusalem:
Brothers don’t believe in him (John 7:3-5)
People are tired of Jesus’ guessing games. “Tell us who you are!” (John 10.24)
Although he is a wanted man, Jesus goes to Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead and he also proclaims that he is the Resurrection & the Life! (John 11)
Many follow Jesus because of this (v. 45)
Caiaphas (High Priest) states that it’s better for one man to die than a whole nation (v. 49-50)
Jesus becomes a recluse (v. 54-57) until he returns to the scene of the crime in John 12 when he rides in to Jerusalem on a donkey.

Pray to see this resurrection celebration with new eyes
When God is truly perceived (this is the work of the Holy Spirit), we must respond with sacrificial living
God Almighty suffered because of our sins, are we really too blind to see that we will also. They good news is that we don’t have to if we chose not to.
Use your God given option called Choice!