Sunday, January 20, 2013

Regaining Confidence in our Confident Confidant Pt. 2

*Here are passages that relate to Revelations chapter 2. The church at Ephesus lost it's first love...a passion for God and people. God is jealous when something else takes His place in our lives. Take a look at these passages.

Pastor Alex

Bible Passages re: God’s Jealousy

  1. Exodus 20:5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,
  2. Exodus 34:14 Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
  3. Deuteronomy 4:24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
  4. Deuteronomy 5:9 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,
  5. Deuteronomy 6:15 for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.
  6. Deuteronomy 32:21 They made me jealous by what is no god and angered me with their worthless idols. I will make them envious by those who are not a people; I will make them angry by a nation that has no understanding.
  7. Joshua 24:19 Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the Lord. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins.
  8. Nahum 1:2 [ The Lord’s Anger Against Nineveh ] The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The Lord takes vengeance on his foes and vents his wrath against his enemies.
  9. Acts 7:9 “Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him

Monday, January 14, 2013

Regaining Confidence in our Confident Confidant

Series Set-up:

  • All out in this season (2013)
  • We’re missing the mark
  • Sin = Missing the mark
  • Our lives are so strategic to God...God’s call to us is so poignant... Life’s greatest fulfilled is in answering that call...regardless of the cost!
  • “No one should be more joyous than the saints/people of God” {I want this back}

You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? (Galatians 5.7)

Favorite childhood responses: “No!” & “I don’t know...

⤳ Parents: We wanted children to think thru actions and answers so that a better way could be chosen.

John Maxwell ~ Paul saw life as a race to be run; a battle to be won; a trust to be kept. 
I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.  (John 10. 10)
  • God has major, abundant plans for your life; better than you’ve ever dreamed

Life is precious! A life with purpose is sweet; Life with purpose and a Just God to fulfill that purpose is irresistible
We often miss the Promised Land (a place promised, provided and prepared by God for our fellowship and collaboration) for a Land of Promises (...give me that God and I promise...I’ll be satisfied...i’ll be good...I’ll be prayerful...I’ll be thankful...I’ll be effective)
Sermon Set-up

Book of Hebrews:

  • Christianity spread throughout Mediterranean world
  • Written around early 60s to Roman Christians
  • Roman had about 1 million people (40K-60K were Jewish)
  • Suspicion and persecuted had broken out against Christians & Jews
  • By the time Hebrews was written (unknown author), the spiritual climate had waned terribly. Some were leaving the Christian faith
  • This book is written as a pastoral response to struggling people to encourage both obedience and endurance.
  • Hebrews lays out what God has spoken about and through His Son
  • Jesus was an example of enduring faith during his suffering and is our Heavenly support as Lord of Universe.
  • Our perseverance in the faith will be only as strong as our understanding of Who Jesus is and what he has accomplished for our benefit.

Saturday, January 12, 2013
Message Series: Hit The Reset Button: Getting Back on Track 
Message Bible Verses: Hebrews 10.22-25; 35-39
Message Goal: Stir followers of Jesus to great works of faith,  compassion & service.

Let’s draw near. Let’s hold fast. Let’s Consider others & stirs them up! 

✢Week One: What Got You Off Track?
Proverbs 29:18, "Where there is no vision, the people perish..."
⤳(Loss of Vision) Not just Lack of Vision ...everyone has vision...Inappropriate vision:

  • Looking Back: "No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." Luke 9:62

  • Israel’s exodus’s twists/ “We should’s stayed in Egypt!/Pillars

  • Looking At What Others Have: (Never satisfied & always comparing) 

  • 1 Kings 8 Israel wants a king like the other nations

➥Comparing always breeds dissatisfaction.  Always!
➥Lack of appreciation

  • Looking At Circumstances: 2 King 6.16

  • Not Keeping our eyes on Jesus (Peter on the water Matt 14)
  • Looking to Jesus as an example of the faith (Heb 12.2)

➥What you look at or look for...determines what you will see.
➥Samson looked a backstabbing opportunist and saw a wife?

Loss of Passion = Passive (non-reactive) ➙ Passé

Part A. Becoming Casual about God

  • The Lord instructs us to have disciplines because it is not natural to worship due the self-absorptive nature of humans.

  • I don’t not miss my strict legalistic past, however, what I gleaned what that God was not to be taken for granted.

Part B) Becoming Casual About People

  • Only parable about a person being in hell depicted a wealthy person who was unconcerned about someone who God was concerned about. 

Loss of Accountability = Loss of shareholders/Investors

  • Find a fruitful person...examine their circle of influence
    • If fruitful person has bad circle...they’re slumming and what you think is fruit or success is only a mere shadow of who they can be.

  • Find an unfruitful person...examine their circle of influence
    • If an unfruitful person has a really good circle...then they are trampling valuables in the mud and living a very sad life that life-givings can’t lift them.

Loss of Self-control = Lack of moral judgment and license to kill vision

  • A person who won’t maintain self-control cannot properly be led by the Spirit

  • Sloppy living becomes en-vogue and grace becomes “Whiteout” rather than “Auto Spell-Check”

  • We become dull to God, Who, is the Only One Who assures the success of His great plan for our lives.

Challenge/Next Step:

  • Get your mojo back by learning to fix your eyes on Jesus. Scripture study, fellowship, and service are 3 of the best ways to get a clear picture of Who Jesus really is. Make a commitment to all 3 in this season. Start with a commitment to one of these this week and keep building.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Now You See Me...Now You Don't (Epiphany Sunday 2013)

Epiphany Sunday Jan 6, 2013
Sermon Title: Now You See...Now You Don’t
Bible Text: Matt 2.1-3; Matt 3:16-17

The Wise Men
When Jesus was born in the village of Bethlehem in Judea, Herod was king. During this time some wise men from the east came to Jerusalem and said, “Where is the child born to be king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” When King Herod heard about this, he was worried, and so was everyone else in Jerusalem. Matthew 2.1-3
Jesus’ Baptism
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:  And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matthew 3:16-17

*Definition of Epiphany/East v. West Celebration. Age of Celebration

Epiphany isn’t accomplished via introspection, self-improvement or even astute study. Epiphany is a revelation from God. A God-shown light on something that had been hidden or obscure. The only thing you can do is stand near the Light so that you can see what is unveiled by the Light.

☞Remembering the Epiphany reminds us that we also have been sought out. God has come looking for us through His Word and Sacraments. Through these He has revealed His Son to us personally, so that through faith we know Jesus to be the mighty God, the Savior of the world; and we believe Him to be our God and our Savior. But God condescended to us hence incorporating the willing ones into his Body/Family.

The whole of God is now available for every human being who wants him.

  • Epiphany as a literary style: moving from ignorance to insight....In a spiritual sense it is moving from human oblivion and denial to Holy transformation

  • Epiphanies come in order to display what has been hidden. We are to draw conclusions from the Epiphanies and determine what God is saying to us.... We are then to act accordingly.

  • Epiphanies build trust ( reliance upon the nature of...) by demonstrating the Father’s good nature.

  • God want us to see His so that we can understand Him & obey Him.

Why Epiphany is difficult: Peter had one re: Jesus and was praised for his insight. As soon as he turned around---- Jesus rebuked him for telling Him that He wouldn’t die. Peter had to understand who Jesus was and what that meant. The Son of Man came to give His life for many. (Matt 16; Mark 8; Luke 4)

*The key that Peter did really “get” it was that Jesus told him that the Father had revealed this to him....What did people do with that revelation?

 Once you try to see Jesus for your own purposes........he’ll shake you. Herod didn’t find Him. (Matt 16:13-24) [NOW YOU SEE ME, NOW YOU DON’T!]

...It’s why Herod couldn’t find him...

☞ Epiphany came with a cost! It comes with a cost. It’s worth every expense!!

Hagar: I see the God who sees me Gen 16:13-15

Challenge: Ask God for the Epiphany that will put your life and soul on track with His greater good.

Call to the table: We celebrate what they didn’t at the first passover. We are sought after...We are seen...Hence no longer invisible.