Sunday, January 26, 2014

Delightful Living: Delighting in the Lord (First Things First Series)

Psalm 37

✔People of faith want a purposeful’s why we’ve responded to faith initiative

✔We (FOL) are in a process of lining up our lives with the larger plan of God so that our lives are purposeful

✔We somehow think that faith is about getting what we want...

✔Faith is about trusting in a God, Who...

  • Is SO vast that God can’t be manipulated
  • So Brilliant that His thoughts defy gravity
  • So Strong that He needs no help & never-been-seen-before concepts into existence
  • Yet...He sees us and considers for partnership in something fantastic

✔God wants to assume that if you’ve bowed your knee to must somehow assume...

  • His Vastness/Brilliance/Strength
  • What we presume is that He just might have a plan of His own!

  • Perhaps faith is about believing God for passion and resources for doing something you were created to do! 

  • And that thing is advancing God’s Kingdom (God’s Big Agenda...and not our own.)

**(Phone calls to my cousin John or Rodney...I call and they start in “like I was saying”...or, “you know, Rev....” ITS MY CALL! :)

✔When we think God’s Agenda is about getting was it ours...we have missed the mark...misunderstood God...and are dangerous to ourselves and those around us.

(A friend recently reminded me as I flinched at the enormity of what I’m called to ~ “If you thinks it’s about you, you’ll drag your insecurities into a picture they weren’t asked to pose for. If you realize God is using you for His’ll agree to greatness, should that be what the task requires.)

✔People have co-opted scripture for personal gain
  • That forging God’s check...signing His name

✔Delight means to under the influence that is spell-like
  • Delight ourselves in the Lord..
    • His ways/ His attitudes/ His values

Why is this important? (Psalm 37...People are not to fret...God will avenge,)

➢The context of this Psalm 37 (song) is frustration over injustice!
➢We see things that break our hearts. For David it was bullying (hence his fight with the Giant, Goliath)
➢David’s instruction in this Psalm was “Become charmed by God...and you’ll see what you’re desiring to see.”

Being Charmed has two implications:

  1. We’re all “charmed” by something! We’re “charm-able,” We’re all charmed, I’m sure.

  1. Become influenced...under the influence of the Spirit and you’ll become a part of the solution!

    1. You’ll forget your own agenda
    2. You’ll become military-like...trained to save/serve others
    3. Your needs become secondary
      1. We’ve lost this in the faith community
      2. We’ve become a rogue army!!
  1. Or...if we don’t become charmed or delightful... or don’t stay that way...we become destructive

    1. David neglected his charm and the spell was broken
    2. He was free to do as he pleased
    3. He coerced married women to sleep with him ( )
    4. Scandal: Women became pregnant so the King had her husband that the King could have the women, without the shame or mess.


Psalm 37 Don’t fret over evildoers...they’ll get their reward

David became the abuser of the power and wealth that used to sicken him.

David was considered by God as a “Man after God’s heart” while he was “charmed” or “delighting” in God.

David became destructive, abusive, arrogant, murderous, womanizing...when he allowed the charm to wear off.
Wisdom Teeth Extraction:
  • I didn’t care what the doctors do to me once I was delighted! And I did not want to wake up from the “delightment” 

  • When my “delight” wore off...all my pain surfaced

  • We have to submit to delightful living...

  • We’re delighted by something right now (our possession, reputation, resources, comfort, lifestyle, etc.)

  • A person who delights in the Lord (charmed: motived and rewarded by...) is dangerous because they can’t be co-opted

Next: Ask to see your “charm”...then...denounce it & ask to be delighted  by God

Sunday, January 19, 2014

First Things First Pt.2 (Influence vs. Affluence)

Priorities That Honor God

  • By following God’s “first” you get on a route towards His purpose
    • It puts you on a trajectory that aims at God’s highest honor & our greatest pleasure.

  • When we miss putting first things first, we put 2nd things first and problems occur
    • Sara v. Hagar (not believing the promise)
    • Good enough isn’t ever goon enough

  • When first things are 2nd, then 2nd things become first
    • David and Bathsheba

Priorities are the fruit of choice

Choice is the fruit of Divine honor

Divine Honor is the fruit God’s Goodness 

God’s Goodness is a facet of God’s Character

God’s Character never forces compliance

Because Compliance suggests respect

And respect suggests love

And love suggests sacrifice

And a sacrifice means something important is released in order to acquire something that is of more pressing importance.

And a when we press for what is important to God...we honor the very nature of God by recognizing His gift to us...Choice.
When God gives us the freedom to choose Him...or not...and we do indeed chose becomes significant in Heaven...and extravagant in the Kingdom...creating intimacy in our souls...and power in our lives!

A choice to adapt to something by one’s own volition has tremendous ramification in the Kingdom---->

  • Choice is an opportunity to visibly display one’s value or estimate of God.
    • Although God reigns from Heaven, the entire universe is under his rule, yet, God’s will never force His will upon us in order to demonstrate....
      • The power of choice.
        • The Kingdom is not is accepted!
          • The evidence of that acceptance is witnessed as we choose God.

*Choice answers the question: “If your mother and I were in a sinking boat and you only had one life preserver....

When First things are first...

  • An entrance for Godly affluence (resources) rather than merely Godly influence (nudging) kicks in.

  • Influence is how we God’s gets attention
  • Affluence is how God resources us for most joyous journey of our lives which brings God’s reality to everyone’s attention.

1 Kings 18:21
And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. (KJV)
21 Elijah challenged the people: “How long are you going to sit on the fence? If God is the real God, follow him; if it’s Baal, follow him. Make up your minds!”
Nobody said a word; nobody made a move. (NIV)
21 Elijah came near to all the people and said, How long will you halt and limp between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him! But if Baal, then follow him. And the people did not answer him a word. (MSG)

Next Steps: Thinks about when you exert time, talent and resources right now. That will tell you what your priorities are.

Prayer: Ask God to show you what it means to delight in God, making His ways a priority.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

You're Outta Order (First Things First)

First Things First (Series Title)
Sunday, January 12, 2014

Priority: A thing that is regarded as more important than another; something that is more important than other things and that needs to be done or dealt with first

Related Words: Preference; urgency; ascendancy, preeminence, primacy, supremacy, transcendence, order, front burner.

Right-of Way-----saves lives‣

Antonyms: Back burner

➣God knows priorities govern your life/Teach priorities & your teach life

  • God sits above...priorities protect us from oncoming traffic
  • Priorities will determine and shape values
    • (Obedience to God --->love for God)
    • (Love for God ---> love for God’s priorities)

➣What is God really saying to us when asking us to prioritize our relationship with Him?

**Consider the Context
‣ Jesus’ identity/purpose has been identified (fulfilling Father’s priorities)
‣ Jesus is laying to framework of eternity & preparing them for citizenship

Matt 6:30-33 “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met

Seek my kingdom. Seek my kingship!

*Israel wanted a king like everyone else~ protection, tangible care, provision (1 Sam 8)

  • Anxiety keeps you from giving God your very best...Which keeps God from...

  • When we prioritize our relationship with God...

  • It make us an extension of His plan... a part of it. (God NEVER fights Himself)

  • It makes us privy to information/intel that aids in focused living and meaningful service.

Take Away: Effective lives line up with an Effective God

Obedience>Godly Actions>Godly Experiences>Godly Expectations>Godly Results>Godly Joy>Godly Passion>Intimacy (connectedness & vulnerability>Re-prioritized Life>Effective Witness>Transformed Society>Kingdom Fulfillment

  • God loves everyone
  • God invites everyone to fruitful living
  • Only some hear
  • Of the hearers...only some listen
  • Of the listeners...only some prioritize...when it is convenient
  • Of the listeners who prioritize their relationship with God...His anointing rests powerfully upon them and they experience joy in their God-given purpose
  • These become powerful witnesses of the kingdom of God

➣Commit yourself to discovering God’s priorities via fellowship, study, prayer worship and service. (Do this do discover God’s priorities...and in doing you have discovered God’s priorities.......your search of Him)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

May I Have Your Attention Please? (Epiphany 2014)

Message Title: May I Have Your Attention, Please.
Message Text: Matt 2:1-12

Attention: Notice taken of someone or something; the regarding of someone or something as interesting or important.

Synonyms: Awareness/Notice/Observation/Heed/Regard/Scrutiny

  • Matt 2 quotes OT where the Messiah would be born
  • Matt 2 quotes OT Hosea 11 (Out of Egypt) Where he’d hide
  • Matt 4 quotes Is 9 (Great Light will be seen in Gentile region of Zebulun/Naphtali...Where he’d begin ministry.

The Great Epiphany AND mystery is not that the Messiah came to Earth
The Great Epiphany is that the Messiah came to the despised people first!

This isn’t new!!!!

Deut 7.7 states:

The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous(A) than other peoples, for you were the fewest(B) of all peoples.(C)

The moment that the Eternal Word is uttered outside the bosom of the Trinity and steps forth into the human condition, the Word gives himself to all creatures. . He ceases to be alone and becomes, by virtue of his creative activity, totally involved in the human adventure. He cannot be indifferent‣. Any theology that suggests that he is unconcerned is not the revelation of Jesus. On the contrary, the meaning of the life and message of Jesus is that the reign of God is "close at hand": the whole of God is now available for every human being who wants him.

Seekers: Herod/Magi

✔Epiphany as a literary style: moving from ignorance to insight....In a spiritual sense it is moving from human oblivion an denial to Holy transformation
As Thomas Merton put it, we are "to become what we already are."

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 & imitate Him.

✔Epiphany came to those who were outsiders of the faith! (This may be a good time to look at the unlikely candidates of God’s grace and affection i.e. Bathsheba, Rahab, Moses, Abraham.....Gideon). This is not shocking because God told Israel that He chose them because they were the smallest...not because they were powerful. (Deut 7.7)

Most people would have trouble following God’s logic. You can’t!! You must follow His nature.


Where is God?! (Judges 6:13)
  • That was long ago!
  • What has He done lately?

Ephiphany reveals that God did something crazy in order to get our attention!

Israel had been so beaten down by Kings....Jesus, the King, couldn’t look like one to the eyes...but had to act like one in the heart in order to catch them off guard!!!!

John 1:10-12 (NIV)
10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him,(A) the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.(B) 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed(C) in his name,(D) he gave the right to become children of God(E)

Questions: #1 Where are you on the continuum from oblivion to revelation? #2 How can we help you move to revelation? #3 Will you take light to Zebulun?