Sunday, March 31, 2013

Pardon Me! (Easter 2013)

[Slide #1] Acts 3:14-16 (CEV)
14 You rejected Jesus, who was holy and good. You asked for a murderer to be set free, 15 and you killed the one who leads people to life. But God raised him from death, and all of us can tell you what he has done. 16 You see this man, and you know him. He put his faith in the name of Jesus and was made strong. Faith in Jesus made this man completely well while everyone was watching.

  • Jesus’ resurrection is a HUGE deal. Apostles preached it!
  • It, along with Creative, were documentable proofs of God’s power and splendor
  • Resurrection underscores Jesus’ ability to pardon us

Resurrection should be an occasion for reflection, assessment & decision for action.

[Slide #2] Message Title: Pardon Me!
Message Text: Micah 7:17-19
Message Goal: Motivate us to demonstrate the resurrection with our lives

[Slide #3] What is a Pardon?
A pardon is a method through which an executive authority legally forgives someone for a crime, and reinstates rights lost post-conviction. 
Clemency is the term for the action taken by the president in a pardon.  Acts of clemency include the president's power to pardon, commute (reduce sentence) and give respite (short term action of delaying sentencing to buy time.) and remission (act of releasing from a legal obligation to pay something back).

Many leaders pardon on their way out to avoid the backlash of public opinion. Jesus pardons as he ascends to the throne so that he can have fellowship with us...
Famous Presidential Pardons
Bill Clinton pardoned Patty Hearst. George H.W. Bush pardoned Caspar Weinberger, a man convicted for an illegal arms sale with Iran. Gerald Ford's pardon of President Nixon for the Watergate scandal. Jimmy Carter pardoned Vietnam draft dodgers. 
  • A Pardoning Official does not pay any cost, serve any sentence or accept any culpability of the individual being pardoned. It’s usually a political move.
  • Jesus fully satisfies the Father’s justice; demonstrates the Father’s love; Model’s the Father’s wisdom; Extends power to those being pardoned; Fully reinstates individuals granting them the right to be called free, redeemed, blameless & heirs.
[Slide #4] We were (Romans 3): Sinners (Lacking fortitude to obey God); Ungodly (Lacking character to be like God); Enemies (Lacking peace with God); Powerless (Lacking power to save ourselves)

Jesus’ resurrection was a reversal of everything laid on Jesus and on us!

Jesus was finished judicially, politically, spiritually, physically. He was done!

Religion, law, God, man and death had all seemed to have their way with him. He was wiped away!!

No power on Earth could rescue or reinstate him...

  • Accused of blasphemy...God raised him and called him Son.
  • Accused of sedition...God raised him as King (Savior & Lord)
  • Hanged as a curse...God raised his as the savior of the cursed

[Slide #5] Resurrection is determined forever. It is a historic reality! What is in question is what will you do in light of it?
Robben Island:

[Slide #6] Challenges/Next Steps: Evaluate
  • Evaluate God’s gift of love to you: The cost of the giver and the unworthiness of recipient
  • Evaluate to the state of your spiritual life and where you need to be right now
  • Evaluate the status of your Pardon and ask yourself if you know liberty
  • Decide today to pray with someone for your pardon or for a reinstatement of your rights since your pardon

“Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities.You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:17-19)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Message Title: A Rich Inheritance

[Slide #]
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Message Series: Shared Legacy~Getting What’s Coming To Us
Message Goal: Motivate believers to claim their inheritance

What is our inheritance in Jesus?

[Slide #2]

Salvation: Being saved

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4.12)
Saved From:

Saved from the power of darkness (our enemy)
Saved from ourselves (evil desires and limited mindset)

Saved For:

Saved for God’s pleasure (relationship)
Saved for God’s purpose (bringing others in relationship with God)
Saved for God’s plan (restoring order in the universe)

[Slide #3]

Justification: Forgiven and made upright and in right standing with God

Luke 18:13-15
New International Version (NIV)

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner. 14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
*Wealthy friend example
*College admission example

[Slide #4]

Deliverance: Being Rescued (Breaking the enemy’s power from influencing our influence)

Hebrews 2:13-15 New International Version (NIV)
13 And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says,“Here am I, and the children God has given me.” 14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power(E) of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
Liberty & Freedom: Maintaining our deliverance

Liberty: The Opportunity, Avenues, availability To Accomplish. Having Permission To Do Something.

Freedom: The Inward Fortitude, Faith, Confidence, Security To Pursue Your Avenues And Opportunities. *Self Determining. Being Able To Assert Inexplicable Spontaneity Or Self As Possessed Of So-Called Free-Will. (*Webster)

►Jesus grants us liberty. We must choose to be liberated. (Freedom). Freedom is the application of liberty!

[Slide #5]

We become heirs~1st rule of heirdom is sharing what’s been given to you. 

  1. Romans 8:17 And if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His inheritance with Him]; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory.

  1. Galatians 3:29 And if you belong to Christ [are in Him Who is Abraham’s Seed], then you are Abraham’s offspring and [spiritual] heirs according to promise.

  1. Ephesians 2:3 Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind.

[Slide #6]

Challenges/Next Steps:

  • Pray with someone today if you haven’t surrendered your life to Jesus Christ...or if you aren’t sure if you have

  • Commit to studying God’s inheritance to us (God’s word) and the life of Christ. (Wednesday nights)

  • Ask God to show you how to have confidence in your inheritance.

  • Learn how to share your inheritance with others.

Message Title: A Rich Inheritance (Pt. 2): God’s Spirit

[Slide #1]
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Message Series: Shared Legacy~Getting What’s Coming To Us
Message Goal: Motivate believers to claim their inheritance
[Slide #2]
Question: What’s so rich about our inheritance?

[Slide #3]

Galatians 3:13-14 (The Message)

13-14 Christ redeemed us from that self-defeating, cursed life by absorbing it completely into himself. Do you remember the Scripture that says, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”? That is what happened when Jesus was nailed to the cross: He became a curse, and at the same time dissolved the curse. And now, because of that, the air is cleared and we can see that Abraham’s blessing is present and available for non-Jews, too. We are all able to receive God’s life, his Spirit, in and with us by believing—just the way Abraham received it.

Galatians 3:13-14 New International Version (NIV)
13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

[Slide #4]

Galatians 3:2; Joel 2:28; John 20:22; Acts 2:33 (Promises of the Spirit)
I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Galatians 3:2
“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Joel 2:28

And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. John 20:22
Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. Acts 2:33

[Slide #5]

What Does God’s Spirit Grant Us?
  • God’s nature

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1.3
  • God’s power
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. Romans 8.11 (NIV)
  • God’s authority
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—John 1:12 (NIV)

[Slide #6]

God’s Nature + Power + Authority = Servanthood

[Slide #7]

Challenging thought:
John 10:10 (NKJV)
10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
  • Jesus came to give us life the way that God Almighty has it.
  • Jesus wants us to live the way God does
  • Jesus wants those who don’t know God’s love to know God’s love

What steps will you agree to take today to make sure that the spirit has free rein in your life today?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Sign of the Cross

[Slide #1]
Sunday, March 3, 2013
Message Title:  The Sign Of The Cross
Message Goal: To help us become fully alive in God’s unconditional love

➢ The Cross was a window into the Father’s unfathomable love for us. It is a peek into how He Himself, His world, His plan and His children.

➢God pursues us through the Sign of the Cross.

[Slide #2]
Romans 8:15-17 (CEV) 
15 God’s Spirit doesn’t make us slaves who are afraid of him. Instead, we become his children and call him our Father.16 God’s Spirit makes us sure that we are his children. 17 His Spirit lets us know that together with Christ we will be given what God has promised. We will also share in the glory of Christ, because we have suffered with him.
➢ We are children of promise!

[Slide #3]
Ephesians 1:3-6 The God of Glory
3-6 How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.

➢ Predestined
➢ Foreknew

[Slide #4]

Romans 4:16 (Contemporary English Version)
16 Everything depends on having faith in God, so that God’s promise is assured by his great kindness. This promise isn’t only for Abraham’s descendants who have the Law. It is for all who are Abraham’s descendants because they have faith, just as he did. Abraham is the ancestor of us all.
[Slide # 5]

Ephesians 1:11
11-12 It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.

[Slide #6]
Galatians 4:5
4-7 But when the time arrived that was set by God the Father, God sent his Son, born among us of a woman, born under the conditions of the law so that he might redeem those of us who have been kidnapped by the law. Thus we have been set free to experience our rightful heritage. You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, “Papa! Father!” Doesn’t that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you’re also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance.
➢ Jesus pursues the Father’s goal and gives us credit for it.
➢ Jesus was the God in bodily form
➢ The Cross was love of the Bodily God on display for all eternity or observe
➢ Jesus absorbed death’s sting...and stain for us

[Slide #7]

Galatians 3:24-26 (CEV)
24 In fact, the Law was our teacher. It was supposed to teach us until we had faith and were acceptable to God. 25 But once a person has learned to have faith, there is no more need to have the Law as a teacher. 26 All of you are God’s children because of your faith in Christ Jesus.
➢ Justification: May completely right with God. Alignment is offered our souls.

John 1:12-13 (CEV)
12 Yet some people accepted him and put their faith in him. So he gave them the right to be the children of God.13 They were not God’s children by nature or because of any human desires. God himself was the one who made them his children.

➢ We are His children in a literary or metaphorical way. We have rights and access...a destiny...a name!

[Slide #8]

Challenges/Next Steps

➢ Step 1 is believing that the message of God’s love is true and ask for forgiveness from God and for the presence of Jesus Christ to enter your life and make you brand new. (This is an act of faith...we cannot earn God’s love.)

➢Ask God for power to turn from everything that blinds you to the truth of the story.

➢Live like Children

➢Learn to tell the story

➢Tell this story to others.