Sunday, April 26, 2015

Justified Victory (Victorious Living Series)

Sunday, April 26
Theme: Victorious Living!
Message Title: Justified Victory
Message Focus: Victory is personal but never personalized
Message Text: Matthew 12:19-21 (NIV)

→Message Aim: Encourage a posture of victory that spills over to our everyday civic lives.

19 He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets.
20 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory. 21 In his name the nations will put their hope.” Matthew 12:19-21 (NIV)

15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” 16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” Matthew 14:15-16 (NIV)


7 The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern. Proverbs 29:7 (NIV)


➣├ľAnd while the church is a visible manifestation of God's kingdom, the church is not all of God's kingdom. God is concerned with making every realm of his creation whole.


Biblical justice involves making individuals, communities, and the cosmos whole, by upholding both goodness and impartiality. It stands at the center of true religion, according to James, who says that the kind of "religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world" (James 1:27). Earlier Scripture says, "The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern" (Prov. 29:7).

Only as we despair of ourselves and cling to Jesus can we participate in his work of restoring lives, the church, and the world by the Spirit of the Lord. We, the church, are to live now in light of Jesus' restoration of all things.

Both individual transformation and community transformation are part of restoring wholeness. While morality and immorality are birthed in the human heart (James 3:10-18), justice is centered in God's heart. We are to purify our hearts (James 4:8) whose desires lead us to sin. With transformed hearts, we are to extend God's justice to the poor, orphans, and widows, and to show no partiality.
#1 Original message to early church was one of hope in the victory which Jesus had won for them.

They preached the resurrection of Christ because of the victory it confirmed.

People who heard scripture (early times) were anything but comfortable. They were people in need of great comfort because of the hardship of life via persecution of faith and/or culture.

The Word of God and message of hope gave solace to people who’s lives and sanity were on the line.

Today, victory represents something else…

People (of faith) are comfortable and satisfied…we’re pursuing a temporal victory rather then eternal reward.

The message now isn’t “hold out, Jesus is coming back;” but rather, the message is, “let go, Jesus is coming back!

#2 Another trap is an insatiable desire for knowledge and no desire for application. Studying scripture for knowledge sake re: reverence for it’s author, audience or adherents. 

#3 Focus of Jesus’ Victory should:

  • convince us of our helplessness in saving ourselves
  • convince us of our chosenness by God
  • convince us of our righteousness, established by and confirmed in the risen Jesus Christ, hence creating a worthiness of victory as ratified by the Exalted Jesus Christ
  • Aw we worship Jesus, we affirm our God, Chris’t resurrection, Christ’s ascension, Our Intercessor, Our authority. 

The good news…or gospel…isn’t merely that Jesus died for the world any more than a bag of ingredients from the grocery store is a gourmet meal.

Next Steps:

  • Find out what scripture states about how injustice breaks God’s heart & find ways to help address a particular issue
  • Find out where God is at work and join in (Henry Blackerby)
  • God told Israel to remember its humble beginnings by helping others who are in similar situations. 
  • Pray for understand that you are vehicle for God’s solutions!
  • Take the next leap of faith in your faith journey

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Relentless Victory!

Sunday, April 19 ~Theme: Victorious Living!
Message Title: Relentless Victory
Message Focus: We need to develop the attitude that victory is already and always, ours!…handed to us by God!

See it is I who have created the smith who blows the fire of coals, and produces a weapon fit for its purpose; I have also created the ravager to destroy. No weapon that is fashioned against you shall prosper, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, says the Lord. Message Text: Isaiah 54:16-17 (NKJV)

→Message Aim: Our victory is challenged but it isn’t ever overturned

Thoughts about Relentless Victorious:

Start with the victory in mind 
  • Nothing can overpower our victory
  • Nothing can separate us from God
  • The Holy Spirit cannot be outsmarted
  • Scripture talks about the once-and-for-all nature of Jesus’ sacrifice!
  • Victory calls for victorious living! It anticipates the next victory and the need to be on “standby
  • Victory is omni-directional. In one fell swoop we are reacting to a current victory and preparing for the next.
  • Shout and praise with the victory in mind 
  • God never loses…our victory is dependent upon our ability to hitch a ride with him.

1 Samuel 4:5-8 (NLT)  
When the Israelites saw the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord coming into the camp, their shout of joy was so loud that it made the ground shake! "What's going on?" the Philistines asked. "What's all the shouting about in the Hebrew camp?" When they were told it was because the Ark of the Lord had arrived, 7they panicked. "The gods have come into their camp!" they cried. "This is a disaster! We have never had to face anything like this before! 8Who can save us from these mighty gods of Israel? They are the same gods who destroyed the Egyptians with plagues when Israel was in the wilderness.



as when a hungry person dreams of eating, but awakens hungry still; as when a thirsty person dreams of drinking, but awakens faint and thirsty still. So will it be with the hordes of all the nations that fight against Mount Zion. Isaiah 29:8 (NIV)


“All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. Isaiah 41:11(NIV)

→What happens that we seem to lose the victory?
  • Our desired outcome competes with God’s desired outcome (pos or neg)
  • Our frame of mind that we know what’s best, actually gets us off center and offers wiggle room for the enemy to play with
  • The enemy’s weapons hit us, but they don’t proser (fulfill it’s intended purpose)


→Questions to ponder:
  • What does our victory look like to God? What’s the connection btw victory/witness?
  • How many times does Scripture refer to Jesus as victorious BEFORE Jesus’ death/burial/resurrection?
  • Why were those in Hebrews 11 referred to has heroes if they didn’t receive what they were looking for? (Because the acted the way God wanted them to.)
  • Why do we confuse obedience and perfection? We don’t need to be perfect…just synced with God’s plan. (Not mystery if we’re instructed in what to do! Coaching example…)


→Victory:
  • Israel was aware of the Covenant it had with God. This Covenant is why victory was assured…if they obeyed…and denounced… if they did not obey.

  • (Is 54.17 reference to heritage:)
  • This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord
  • God’s servants are his sons~ He has provided an inheritance for them… 
  • God’s promises are their heritage for ever (Ps. 119:111); and their righteousness is of me…
  • God will clear up the righteousness of their cause before men…for he will plead it. 


Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. (Ps 119.111)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Victorious Support (Series: Victorious Living)

Theme: Victorious Living!

Victory is one of those strange church words that’s thrown around. I want to help the  FOL family to understand the mechanics of victory: What is it? Who is it for? How was it gained? Who maintains it? How does it materialize in our lives? I desire us to experience the abundant supernatural influence of God’s power in our lives that’s called victory; the power that allows us to overcome obstacles and setbacks.

12 Give us aid against the enemy, for human help is worthless. 13 With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies. Psalm 108:12-13 (NIV)

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57
**********************************************
#2 Sunday, April 12th
Theme: Victorious Living!
Message Title: Supernatural Support
Message Focus: Why be defeated by a defeated enemy?
Message Text: Psalm 60:11-12 (NIV)

11 Give us aid against the enemy, for human help is worthless.12 With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies. Psalm 60:11-12 (NIV)

✺ Message Aim: Understanding that our enemies are not defeated and then re-released!  They are destroyed by God!

Supernatural: of, relating to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal. 2. of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or attributed to God or a deity.

We as humans, do not determine the supernatural acts of God. Gideon did not ask God to do what God did. Nor did Moses. Yet, we have this rich history… Not so that we can tell God what to do… But that we know what God is capable of, so that we can prepare our hearts to receive what God is offering supernaturally.


Big News: We have a victory that was won for us by God!
(Picture of Selma; Picture of service leaders; 

What is the enemy’s power? (Deception. He no longer rules over death/grave)
What is a stronghold (mind)? (A concept that controls reality & shapes action)
How are we delivered? God’s role? Role of Truth? Role of constant renewal?
Let’s Look at 2 stories of supernatural defeat of the enemy:
  1. Moses & Pharaoh
  2. Elisha’s Servant (2 Kings 6.17)


MOSES
  • The purpose of the signs of the plagues was to impart knowledge" and a wonder "basically points to something extraordinary…

  • (Exodus 3:20). This confirmation was to serve at least two purposes: to show the Israelites that the 1. God of their fathers was alive and worthy of their worship and 2. to show the Egyptians that their gods were nothing.

  • They believed He existed and worshiped Him, but they doubted that He could, or would, break the yoke of their bondage.

➣The Lord Almighty broke the backs of the natural-phenomenon gods…..

➣The Lord Almighty broke the economy by messing with the Nile, the blood of Egypt.

➣The fourth plague, flies, was a judgment on Uatchit, the fly god. In this plague, God clearly distinguished between the Israelites and the Egyptians, as no swarms of flies bothered the areas where the Israelites lived (Exodus 8:21–24).

➣God's creation-wide concern is explicit in the plagues as is his ability to act even in the middle of "enemy territory” (Thou prepares a table for me in the presence of…)

➣Last 3: Let indelible impressing with Pharaoh (specifically) of Who he (god) was dealing with!!
*****************************************
Message Insights!

  • Miracles make statements. Statements that are meant to be heard!

  • Take roads signs for example…points to something coming up…won’t repost a sign just because you weren’t looking.

  • Do we more need more miracles or more faith in & knowledge of our God?

  • The miracles in Egypt taught something about God’s nature without God having to redo them…we simple re-play them in our hearts. (We have to sit with Truth!)


[It’s time to believe in God and God’s victorious hand, again!]


ELISHA & HIS SERVANT

2 Kings 6:17New International Version (NIV)
And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots(A) of fire all around Elisha.

  • Victory was present, but he was oblivious to it
  • His eyes were open! Not to merely view victory as a reality, but to view God Almighty as his Protection and Promise Keeper.



Takeways:

  • If I had a choice of walking in the miraculous and walking closely with a miraculous God, I’d take the latter.

  • God wants to change the landscape of your horizon (how you function!)

  • Your victory is in your Miraculous God…not in your miracle, per se.

  • I am spending time meditating on the goodness and nearness of my Miraculous God rather than waiting on my next miracle. 

  • If in fact, you have received a miracle…you’re not waiting waiting on your next miracle…God is waiting for you act/react appropriately in light of that miraculous interaction.

Next Steps:

  • Get prayer today that your eyes will be opened to the reality of God around you!
  • Ask for God to open your eyes to His Miraculous Power and Constant Care for His people as you read/study scripture