Brand New Day: A Brand New Day of Living

2018-04-08
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

 

Memory Verse:  1 John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

 

1 John 1:1 (NLT) We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. 2 This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy. 5 This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

 

1. A Brand New Day of Salvation
– recognition
– belief – Romans 10

 

2. A Brand New Day of Action
– baptism  (Matthew 3:13-17) “it should be done”
– seeking him daily

 

3. A Brand New Day of Living
Vss 5-6 This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth.
  • this epistle of John addresses a heretical view at that time that Jesus and the Christ were not the same
  • John was addressing the absolute holiness of God to counter the viewpoint that one can “know” God and still be living in darkness
  • Knowing God, as declared by Jesus Himself, is through Jesus alone – John 14
4. A Brand New Day of Walking
Vss 7-8 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.
  • John, again, dealing with the heretical view that one can know God apart from Christ
  • Yes, we are all sinners, but through Christ we obtain forgiveness of our sins
  • But, living in the light, requires a new way of walking through life
  • This new way is not found in believing that we can do whatever we want and still be fine in our relationship with Him
  • God is a holy God and cannot tolerate sin; the OT dealing with Israel is a clear picture of this
  • Paul addressed the problem of sin in the heart of the believer in Romans 7:14-25
5. A Brand New Day of Forgiveness
vs 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
  • And so while we must live our lives dedicated to moving away from our sinful desires and moving towards holiness, there will be times we fail
  • Our failure does not equal losing our salvation or our hope in Him, in fact, it is another reminder of the great hope we have because of Him because of the forgiveness He quickly offers

Easter – A Brand New Day

2018-04-01
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

The Cross. A powerful symbol. Think of what it must have been like that day. Three wooden crosses, fashioned from the rough wood of a recently felled tree. They didn’t spend time putting the finishing touches on these works. No smooth finish, no shiny lacquer. Just rough, splintering wood. Left that way to ensure the greatest pain for the criminal who would die there. As the condemned would slowly push up with their legs to grasp for air, getting ever more difficult with each move, the splinters from that rough tree would rip at their already shredded skin.

Three crosses stood that day. The whole town no doubt came out to see what this was all about, to watch these men die. The pharisees and religious leaders there to see their plan come to fruition. Their friends and family, with tears in their eyes, standing by in denial of what they would see witness. The soldiers simply doing what they were told to do, just another day at work.

Soon, the crowd grew larger as these men were led to the hillside. Their pain already more than most could withstand. They were brought to where the wooden crosses were waiting. Nailed to these trees then lifted to begin the agonizing process of dying as they hung for the world to see. Three men dying for the sins committed. Two for their own sins, one for the sins of us all.

2 Cor. 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

“Him who knew no sin” became our sin. That’s why Jesus died. The substitutionary atonement for the sins of the world. Payment for your sins and mine. You see, someone had to pay. That’s what His substitutionary death was all about.

God is a Holy God. A righteous God, and the righteous Judge. He hates sin, cannot allow sin to go unpunished, to go unpaid. He had to judge and punish sin. But God is also a God of love. Ultimate love, unending love. And so, through His great love, He found a way for our sins to be punished, for the price to be paid, without getting what we deserve.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death…

That way was for His only Son, Jesus, to pay that price. To bear the weight of our sins, to be punished for our wrongdoing.

Isaiah 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.

Jesus came to this earth, hung on that cross, died a horrible death. Not for what He had done, but for what we had done. Not for His bad acts, but for ours. Not for His sin, but for mine, and yours, and for all of mankind. Why? Because God loves us that much. Jesus stepped in and took the punishment so we wouldn’t have to suffer. To save us from our sin, to save us from Hell, to save us for Heaven.

That day was a long day. As they watched Jesus hanging on the cross, the pain he endured became greater and greater. The words He uttered became more troubling with each passing breath. And eventually, He breathed His last.

Luke 23:46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.'” Having said this, He breathed His last.

When He died, the earth shook, the sky darkened, dead people came out of their tombs, the veil in the temple was ripped in two. It was utter chaos. The family, friends and disciples who stood nearby were gripped by grief and fear. Tears rolled down their cheeks as they watched the man they loved, the man they had followed, for whom they had given up everything, slowly lose His life. Now, they probably slipped further away from the crowd, not sure what to do next.

The pharisees and religious leaders, those who had set this into motion, were no doubt filled with pride. Never again would they hear of this man Jesus, never again hear His teachings, never again see Him turn over the tables in the temple, never again dealing with those He healed, never again listening to what they perceived to be blasphemies uttered from His lips. Never again, this Jesus. They walked away with heads held high, they had won. The day had ended in defeat for this Jesus.

The soldiers? Just another day at work. They had done what they were told to do, accomplished their assigned tasks. No big deal, just another day at the office. The day was over, it had ended. Time to go home.

Soon, His body was taken down from that cross. Wrapped and prepared for burial. Carried off to the tomb borrowed for this purpose, not a great distance from where they stood. He was placed in the tomb, the entrance way sealed with a great rock. Guards placed there to ensure that no one would steal the body to cause confusion. The day was done, Jesus was dead, it was finished.

Not much is said about what took place between that day and a few days later. Reading the Gospel accounts, we are aware of a number of different events that took place on that morning. Angels appeared, soldiers knocked out, stone rolled from the entrance way to the tomb, disciples coming and going. Peter looking into the space seeing that Jesus wasn’t there and running away. But there’s an account in John 20 that I want to take a brief look at this morning because I believe it captures a special moment after the resurrection of Jesus.

John 20:11 But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” 14 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).

Mary had come to the tomb filled with hopelessness, pain, loss and grief. She had come that day to continue to grieve. To anoint His body as Mark 16 tells us. Her heart was broken because Jesus was dead. Now, to add insult to injury, His body was gone.

As she stood there, angels spoke to her asking her why she was upset. She answered because they had taken away the body of Jesus. Then she sees another man who also asks why she was upset. Thinking this man was the gardener, she begs him to just tell her where the body is, tell me where they’ve taken him! With the tears in her eyes, the grief in her heart, the pain that flooded her spirit, she had no idea who she was talking to at that moment. Then, one word changed everything. The man simply said…MARY!

A simple word, her name, that immediately changed everything about this situation. She heard her name spoken, she had heard it a million times before, but this wasn’t just another mention, she wasn’t overhearing this common name spoken by someone else, this was her name uttered by someone that meant everything to her. It was Jesus. He was alive. She immediately recognized His voice, she looks at Him and speaks, RABBONI (rabb-ee-oh-NEE). Teacher! The one who had taught her everything that really mattered. The one who had healed her. Seven demons cast out of her by this Man. It was Jesus. He was ALIVE! It was a BRAND NEW DAY! Everything changed! Jesus is ALIVE!

Lamentations 3:22-26 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” 25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him. 26 It is good that one should hope and wait quietly. For the salvation of the Lord.

I love that phrase in verse 23…”they are new every morning!” What an amazing concept. Everyday is a brand new day with Him.

DARKNESS, SLEEP AT NIGHT, WAKE UP
a. Darkness
b. Uncertainty
c. Worry

You just want your mind to shut down, to stop thinking about all of the problems, the challenges, the hurts and worry. But yet in the midst of the darkness of night, sometimes it seems as if that is all we can think about and it just won’t stop. But, when day arrives, when dawn breaks, when the light begins to shine, it seems as if everything is okay once again.

That’s a picture of verse 23…NEW EVERY MORNING! That’s the picture of His resurrection. Darkness reigned, worry consumed, grief overwhelmed, fear abounds, then morning came! The light shines, Jesus raised from the grave! GREAT IS THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD! No matter how bad it might seem, He is faithful because HE LIVES.

Verse 24 states, “Therefore I hope in Him, the Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who sees Him!”

Our hope is in Him because He has defeated death, the grave and hell. He has destroyed the plans of Satan himself. The darkness that was all-consuming when they rolled the stone in front of the entrance to the tomb was shattered by an ever-burning, ever-present light that can never be extinguished. Jesus rose from the grave, HE IS ALIVE FOREVERMORE! Darkness, then the dawn.

Verse 25 states, “It is good that one should hope and wait quietly. For the salvation of the Lord.”

For the salvation of the Lord! That is what Easter is all about, the salvation of the Lord. God the holy One, the righteous judge, has to see sin punished. He hates sin and cannot allow sin to go without payment. Our sin, the sins of the world, is something that God cannot tolerate and will not let slide. He has to punish sin. The sin must be covered and it requires the shedding of blood to atone for our sins.

Hebrews 9:22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.

There must be blood to pay for our sins and the blood that was required was our own. For the wages of sin is death…We deserve to pay that price, we deserve to suffer, we deserve to die for our sins. But yet God, the righteous judge, loves us so very much that He wouldn’t hear of it. He doesn’t want us to pay with our blood, our lives, for our sin. He doesn’t want us to pay eternally for the sin in our lives. His desire is for there to be a covering and Jesus is that covering.

1 John 2:1-2 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

For the whole world. He is that covering, He Paid that price. That is the Gospel in a nutshell. He died for our sins according the Scripture, and he was buried, and He rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15). Jesus died and rose again so that everyone of us, all of us, could have victory over the darkness of our lives, the pain of our past, the severity of our sins, the suffering we deserve. He died and rose again so that we might have life in His name. He died and rose again so that by believing in Him, we can escape the reality of the Hell we deserve to experience the hope of the Heaven we’ve been given through Jesus Christ.

Today we celebrate, not because it’s Spring, not because of the Easter bunny, not because we might like candy, not because we like to look for little plastic eggs. We celebrate because there’s a God in Heaven who loves us so very much that He gave His all (His Son Jesus) to pay it all, for us all, so we could have it all…if we will just believe.

Jesus shed His blood. He died. He was buried. But praise God, on the third day, He shattered the darkness, He broke through the bondage, He cast aside the shackles, He tossed off the guilt, He wrapped His arms around us, He welcomed us into His family, and gave us the greatest gift that one could ever imagine. He gave us A BRAND NEW DAY! A BRAND NEW TOMORROW! A BRAND NEW ETERNITY!

BECAUSE HE LIVES!

They thought He was dead. They thought He was defeated. They thought it was over, that Jesus had been stopped. They thought they would never again have to hear about what He had done, no more miracles, no more sermons, no more throwing the money changers from the temple, no more graves robbed, no more supposed blasphemies from His lips. He was dead, locked away in His tomb, sealed away for all time, dead, gone, forever! BUT…

UP FROM THE GRAVE HE AROSE;
WITH A MIGHTY TRIUMPH OVER HIS FOES;
HE AROSE A VICTOR FROM THE DARK DOMAIN,
AND HE LIVES FOREVER, WITH HIS SAINTS TO REIGN.
HE AROSE, HE AROSE, HALLELUJAH, CHRIST AROSE!
Robert Lowry, 1826-1899

Crossroads – Facing Points of Brokenness!

2018-03-18
Dr. David Wheeler

Memory Verse:
John 20:21  (NKJV)
21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me,
I also send you.”

Focal Passage – John 21:1-19 Holman Christian Bible
21 After this, Jesus revealed Himself again to His disciples by the Sea of Tiberias. He revealed Himself in this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called “Twin”), Nathanael from Cana of Galilee, Zebedee’s sons, and two others of His disciples were together. 3 “I’m going fishing,” Simon Peter said to them. “We’re coming with you,” they told him. They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. 4 When daybreak came, Jesus stood on the shore. However, the disciples did not know it was Jesus. 5 “Men,” Jesus called to them, “you don’t have any fish, do you?” “No,” they answered. 6 “Cast the net on the right side of the boat,” He told them, “and you’ll find some.” So they did, and they were unable to haul it in because of the large number of fish. 7 Therefore the disciple, the one Jesus loved, said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tied his outer garment around him (for he was stripped) and plunged into the sea. 8 But since they were not far from land (about 100 yards away), the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish. 9 When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish lying on it, and bread. 10 “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus told them. 11 So Simon Peter got up and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish—153 of them. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 “Come and have breakfast,” Jesus told them. None of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You?” because they knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread, and gave it to them. He did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to the disciples after He was raised from the dead.
Jesus’ Threefold Restoration of Peter
15 When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said to Him, “You know that I love You.”
“Feed My lambs,” He told him.
16 A second time He asked him, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said to Him, “You know that I love You.”
“Shepherd My sheep,” He told him.
17 He asked him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?”
Peter was grieved that He asked him the third time, “Do you love Me?” He said, “Lord, You know everything! You know that I love You.”
“Feed My sheep,” Jesus said. 18 “I assure you: When you were young, you would tie your belt and walk wherever you wanted. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will tie you and carry you where you don’t want to go.” 19 He said this to signify by what kind of death he would glorify God. After saying this, He told him, “Follow Me!”

Here are some highlights –

John 1:40-42 – Jesus calls Peter and recognizes his great potential.
When Jesus saw him, He said, “You are Simon, son of John.[ad] You will be called Cephas” (which means “Rock”).

Matthew 14:22-33 He walked on water – but fell to the flesh and took his eyes off of Jesus and in his own strength, began to sink!
27 Immediately Jesus spoke to them. “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s You,” Peter answered Him, “command me to come to You on the water.” 29 “Come!” He said. And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid. And beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Matthew 16:13-20 He confessed Jesus as Messiah:

He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets. 15 “But you,” He asked them, “who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah (Christ), the Son of the living God!”

Peter then continued and blew it in Matthew 16:21-23:
21 From then on Jesus began to point out to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and be raised the third day. 22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, “Oh no, Lord! This will never happen to You!” 23 But He turned and told Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me because you’re not thinking about God’s concerns, but man’s.”
. . . Peter’s mouth and his mind were disconnected from his heart – they wrote a check that his heart could not cash. Talk is cheap, knowing about Christ without personally and fully connecting to His eternal plan emasculates our faith and results in religious pride without personal surrender. Bottom line, for wisdom to be effective – it must be connected to understanding. Again, Peter displayed Charisma over character!

Luke 9:28-36 – Mount of Transfiguration
30 Suddenly, two men were talking with Him—Moses and Elijah. 31 They appeared in glory and were speaking of His death, which He was about to accomplish in Jerusalem. 32 Peter and those with him were in a deep sleep, and when they became fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who were standing with Him. 33 As the two men were departing from Him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it’s good for us to be here! Let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said.
34 While he was saying this, a cloud appeared and overshadowed them. They became afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 Then a voice came from the cloud, saying:
This is My Son, the Chosen One; listen to Him!
He was at the Transfiguration – he sought outward sacrifice over inner surrender. Peter is like the person recording their experience on social media without really living it out, or the guy missing the moment because he is too concerned in impressing others with his social posts. Remember . . . Jesus always desires mercy over sacrifice!

John 13:36-38 Prediction that Peter would deny Christ
33 “Children, I am with you a little while longer. You will look for Me, and just as I told the Jews, ‘Where I am going you cannot come,’ so now I tell you . . . 36 “Lord,” Simon Peter said to Him, “where are You going?” Jesus answered, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you will follow later.” 37 “Lord,” Peter asked, “why can’t I follow You now? I will lay down my life for You!” 38 Jesus replied, “Will you lay down your life for Me? I assure you: A rooster will not crow until you have denied Me three times.
John 18:1-11 – Peter cuts the ear off of the High Priest’s Slave, Malchus
10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. (The slave’s name was Malchus.) 11 At that, Jesus said to Peter, “Sheathe your sword! Am I not to drink the cup the Father has given Me?”
John 18: 15-18; 25 -27 Peter Denies Christ Three Times
16 But Peter remained standing outside by the door. So the other disciple, the one known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the girl who was the doorkeeper and brought Peter in. 17 Then the slave girl who was the doorkeeper said to Peter, “You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” “I am not!” he said. 18 Now the slaves and the temple police had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold. They were standing there warming themselves, and Peter was standing with them, warming himself . . .
25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They said to him, “You aren’t one of His disciples too, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not!” 26 One of the high priest’s slaves, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said, “Didn’t I see you with Him in the garden?”27 Peter then denied it again. Immediately a rooster crowed.

John 20:1-10 Peter goes to the empty tomb

Now we come to John Chapter 21 . . .

1. It always begins with the Resurrected Lord

Too many people try to cheapen Easter and the Trivialize the resurrection.

In spite of the World’s Attempts to Trivialize Christianity and to Marginalize Christians . . . Make NO Mistake that from the Immaculate Baby to the Miraculous Risen Savior, the Message is the same . . . It is all about Hope and Restoration!!!

Joy to the World:
Verse 1
Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

2. How did Peter respond seeing the empty tomb, the first thing he did was return to what he knew – He fished!

Fishing was Peter’s default mode. In spite of Jesus having already twice revealed Himself to the disciples in His resurrected state, he appears to be so caught up in himself that all he can do is default back to his previous self.

What is our default? We all have a default!

3. Then it all changed when Peter was again confronted by the Risen Jesus:

15 When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said to Him, “You know that I love You.” “Feed My lambs,” He told him.
16 A second time He asked him, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” “Yes, Lord,” he said to Him, “You know that I love You.” “Shepherd My sheep,” He told him.
17 He asked him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved that He asked him the third time, “Do you love Me?” He said, “Lord, You know everything! You know that I love You.” “Feed My sheep,” Jesus said.

4. What should we notice: Peter was desperate and broken – he was finally moldable and willing to surrender – this is always the KEY!

I love what Jim Cymbala says in his book, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire:

“I discovered an astonishing truth: God is attracted to weakness. He can’t resist those who humbly and honestly admit how desperately they need Him”

5. It was then that Peter finally spoke the eternal words that transformed his life, “Lord, you know everything!”

6. Here is the KEY Crossroads Principle for today . . . Life begins when you do not care if you die, you just care the Christ is glorified and that His gospel is proclaimed regardless of the price . . . in life or in death – We must willingly surrender everything under His authority!

By the time we get to Chapter 21, Peter is broken
John 21 – the apex of the Peter story, after denying Christ three times, he is exiled to the loneliness of his self imposed grief – he lacked courage, belief, he lacked true understanding! He was finally so miserable and afflicted that he was willing to admit that Jesus as God “knew everything!” The transfer of ownership was finally complete. He would now become the man who preached powerfully at Pentecost, who stood up to the religious elite and faced almost certain death in Acts 4, to become the leader of one of the greatest movements of prayer and truth in history! Would he die, YES, but not before he finally lives!!! He was home – he was redeemed! As Jesus called him out in John 4, he would now begin “fishing for men!”

21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”

Crossroads: Walking to Heaven

2018-03-25
Jerry Vines

Memory verse:
Micah 6:8
He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?

Scripture says of Enoch that he “walked with God.” This is a descriptive way of saying that Enoch lived his life in fellowship with God. The Christian faith is sometimes described as “the way.” Throughout Church history this figure of walking has been used. John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” follows this theme. To walk with God suggests the three phases of the Christian life. We walk in- that’s conversion; we walk on- that’s sanctification; we walk out- that is glorification!

Gen. 5:21-24 KJV
21 And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:
22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:
24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

Enoch walked IN, ON, OUT.

Crossroads – Hope for Tomorrow and Forever

2018-03-11
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Key Verse: John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

Last week, we started our walk towards Easter with a new series entitled, “Crossroads.” This is a series that takes a brief look at those whose lives intersected with Jesus during His earthly ministry on the way to the cross and how they were forever changed. Last week, we talked about the blind men from Matthew 20. Today, we’re going to look at someone a bit closer to Jesus. His intersection occurred when he was called to be a disciple, to follow Jesus. We know him as Thomas.

John 11:1 (CSB) Now a man was sick, Lazarus, from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, and it was her brother Lazarus who was sick. 3 So the sisters sent a message to Him: “Lord, the one You love is sick.” 4 When Jesus heard it, He said, “This sickness will not end in death but is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus. 6 So when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. 7 Then after that, He said to the disciples, “Let’s go to Judea again.” 8 “Rabbi,” the disciples told Him, “just now the Jews tried to stone You, and You’re going there again?” 9 “Aren’t there 12 hours in a day?” Jesus answered. “If anyone walks during the day, he doesn’t stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 If anyone walks during the night, he does stumble, because the light is not in him.” 11 He said this, and then He told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I’m on My way to wake him up.” 12 Then the disciples said to Him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will get well.” 13 Jesus, however, was speaking about his death, but they thought He was speaking about natural sleep. 14 So Jesus then told them plainly, “Lazarus has died. 15 I’m glad for you that I wasn’t there so that you may believe. But let’s go to him.” 16 Then Thomas (called “Twin”) said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go so that we may die with Him.”

Here, we pause in the story because usually, one continues to read the amazing story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. And, that is an amazing story, but not the one we focus on today. Today, we focus on Thomas. In John 11, Thomas appears, not as the doubter we believe he might be, but a man willing to walk into harm’s way, following the Master. The other disciples were concerned (John 11:8) for their safety since people in Judea were seeking to stone Jesus. But Thomas was ready…to follow Jesus even if it meant his own death. So then, why do we have the view of Thomas as the “doubter.”

Hope for Now and Forever

John 14:1 “Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also. 4 You know the way to where I am going.” 5 “Lord,” Thomas said, “we don’t know where You’re going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

1. Thomas was unsure of what tomorrow might hold (vs 5)

– Thomas wanted more information, he wanted to know the way

2. Jesus gave the answer (vs 6)

– I AM (eggo EYE-me)

3. Thomas’ tomorrow came quicker than expected

– Jesus was soon arrested, tried, and killed

John 20:24  But one of the Twelve, Thomas (called “Twin”), was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples kept telling him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “If I don’t see the mark of the nails in His hands, put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will never believe!”

4. Thomas forgot what Jesus had said (vs 25)

– Jesus had shared His mission with them (Mark 8)

26 After eight days His disciples were indoors again, and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and observe My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Don’t be an unbeliever, but a believer.” 28 Thomas responded to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Those who believe without seeing are blessed.”

5. Jesus again gave the answer – HOPE (vs 27-28)

– “Trust me”

– “My Lord and my God”

John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. 26 Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die—ever. Do you believe this?”

6. Jesus’ answer is always the same – I AM (eggo EYE-me_)

HOPE FOR TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOREVER

Crossroads – Crossing His Path

Crossroads
2018-03-04
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Key Verse:
Matthew 15:30 Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them.

Matthew 15:29 Jesus departed from there, skirted the Sea of Galilee, and went up on the mountain and sat down there. 30 Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them. 31 So the multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.

When our paths cross His path, everything can be made whole. Notice the word used in the previous sentence…”can.” It’s critical for us to notice that the greatest hindrance to Christ doing His greatest work, outside of Salvation, in our lives is us, not Him.  Over the next few weeks, leading to Easter, we’re going to take a look at some of the moments found in Scripture where people’s lives crossed with Jesus, some of which were inadvertent, and they were forever changed because of the intersection of their lives with Christ. Our prayer is that these stories of life change will be a catalyst to all of us to remember the power found in Christ and for some of us, that He is the only way to Heaven.

Matthew 20:29-34 (Christian Standard Bible) As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed Him. 30 There were two blind men sitting by the road. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” 31 The crowd told them to keep quiet, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” 32 Jesus stopped, called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” 33 “Lord,” they said to Him, “open our eyes!” 34 Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they could see, and they followed Him.

What they did…

1. They heard…

vs 30b When they heard that Jesus was passing by…

– this indicates that they had already heard of this man Jesus
– they knew of His power- the stories of what Jesus had done had no doubt brought about serious conversations for these men, but they had not acted on it.

2. They called…

vs 30c …they cried out…

3. They knew…

vs 30d …Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!…

– theirs was not a problem of lack of belief, it was a problem of lack of action

4. They persisted…

vs 31a The crowd told them to keep quiet, but they cried out all the more…

– when they finally decided to act, nothing was going to stop them

What He did…

5. Jesus listened…

vs 32 Jesus stopped, called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?

– in every situation found in Scripture when people called out to Jesus, He listened. Not once did He ignore those calling.

6. Jesus cared…

vs 34a Moved with compassion…

– the constant state of Jesus during His ministry here, and still today

7. Jesus healed…

vs 34b … Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they could see…

– what Jesus ALWAYS did

8. They followed…

vs 34c …and they followed Him.

Difference Makers: To Serve Is To Give

2018-02-25
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Key Verse:
2 Corinthians 8:9
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.

Last week, from Galatians 5

1. Serving is the antidote to selfishness

2. Serving is fulfilling God’s command

3. Serving will keep us together

Last week, we began this sermon of which we will conclude today. It is the final sermon in our series, Difference Makers. Last week we talked about the importance of serving. Today, we continue and talk about giving. Giving is how we serve. Giving of our time, our talent and our treasure. Today, I want to talk specifically about the treasure element of that statement.

But first, let’s take a quick journey through the history of giving our treasure as it relates to the Bible.

Gen. 14 – Melchizadek received a “tithe” from Abraham as he returned from war

Lev. 27 –   400 years later, Moses receives the law which states that they are to give a tenth

Deut. 14 – 40 years later, Moses reminds them, “You must set aside a tithe… Bring this tithe to the designated place of worship…”

Mal. 3 –    1,000 years later.  “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me!  But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’  You have cheated me of the tithes (mah-ah-SAY-er = a tenth) and offerings due to me.” (Malachi 3:8)

Now, we’ll move into the New Testament. Some have argued that the tithe was an Old Testament thing, under the Mosaic Law, not applicable to the New Testament. However, the New Testament continues to teach regular, systematic giving, to the church. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 16.

1 Cor. 16:1-2 Now regarding your question about the money being collected for God’s people in Jerusalem. You should follow the same procedure I gave to the churches in Galatia.  2 On the first day of each week, you should each put aside a portion of the money you have earned. Don’t wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once.

So, a New Testament picture of giving that emulates the Old Testament.

1. First

2. Intentional

3. Proportionate

We have a clear mandate from God’s Word that giving is a critical part of following Christ. Jesus says in Matthew 23:

Matthew 23:23 What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.

TO SEND IS TO SERVE, TO SERVE IS TO GIVE, TO GIVE IS TO LOVE

2 Corinthians 8:1-12 Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. 2 They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. 3 For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. 4 They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. 5 They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do. 6 So we have urged Titus, who encouraged your giving in the first place, to return to you and encourage you to finish this ministry of giving. 7 Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving. 8 I am not commanding you to do this. But I am testing how genuine your love is by comparing it with the eagerness of the other churches. 9 You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich. 10 Here is my advice: It would be good for you to finish what you started a year ago. Last year you were the first who wanted to give, and you were the first to begin doing it. 11 Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have. 12 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have.

TO SERVE IS TO GIVE

4. Giving Is The Pathway To Abundant Joy

– Vs 2 They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.

5. Giving Is A Sign Of Spiritual Maturity

– vs 5 They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.

6. Giving Is A Calling From God

– Vss 6-7 So we have urged Titus, who encouraged your giving in the first place, to return to you and encourage you to finish this ministry of giving. 7 Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.

– excel in serving AND giving

7. Giving Is A Response To Your Love For Christ

– vs 8 I am not commanding you to do this. But I am testing how genuine your love is by comparing it with the eagerness of the other churches.

Difference Makers: To Send Is To Serve, To Serve Is To Give, To Give is to Love

2018-02-18
Key verse:

Galatians 5:13
For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

The last several weeks we’ve talked about being a difference maker. We’ve talked about making an impact in our world, in our community, with the Gospel. Not just in helping people know who Jesus is and what He has done, but helping them grow in their faith and become witnesses for Him. That is called discipleship, which is a command from God to all of us.  Last week specifically, we ended with this statement:

SEND them out on mission

– In other words, we need to help them map their mission to impact others with the Gospel story (this is replication)

Today and next week, I want to talk about how to make that happen. And the one clear understanding we must all have about discipleship, about SENDING them, is this:

TO SEND IS TO SERVE, TO SERVE IS TO GIVE, TO GIVE IS TO LOVE

Galatians 5:13-15 (NLT) For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.

TO SEND IS TO SERVE

1.   Serving is the antidote to selfishness

– vs 13b But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.

2.   Serving is picture of God’s command (the great commandment)

– vs 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

3.   Serving will keep us together – division will dissipate

– vs 15 But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.

SERVE
– serve them by helping them walk in the way and the word
– START book
– Group Life
– Serve TOGETHER

2 Corinthians 8:1-12 Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. 2 They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. 3 For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. 4 They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. 5 They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do. 6 So we have urged Titus, who encouraged your giving in the first place, to return to you and encourage you to finish this ministry of giving. 7 Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving. 8 I am not commanding you to do this. But I am testing how genuine your love is by comparing it with the eagerness of the other churches. 9 You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich. 10 Here is my advice: It would be good for you to finish what you started a year ago. Last year you were the first who wanted to give, and you were the first to begin doing it. 11 Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have. 12 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have.

TO SERVE IS TO GIVE

4.   Giving Is The Pathway To Abundant Joy

– vs 2 They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.

5.  Giving Is A Sign Of Spiritual Maturity

– vs 5 They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.

6.   Giving Is A Calling From God

– vss 6-7 So we have urged Titus, who encouraged your giving in the first place, to return to you and encourage you to finish this ministry of giving. 7 Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.

7.   Giving Is A Response To Your Love For Christ

– vs 8 I am not commanding you to do this. But I am testing how genuine your love is by comparing it with the eagerness of the other churches.

Next week, we’re going to talk about what giving really is…

Difference Maker: What does the walk look like?

2018-02-11
Jonathan Falwell

Key Verse: John 9:25 He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”

Two Weeks Ago:
1. Know who you are
2. Know who they are
3. Know what your job is

Last Week:
1. Identify them
2. Pray for them
3. Tell Them
4. Invest in them
5. Walk with them

John 9:6   When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. 7 And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing. 8 Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, “Is not this he who sat and begged?” 9 Some said, “This is he.” Others said, “He is like him.” He said, “I am he.” 10 Therefore they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered and said, “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight.”

What does that walk look like?

TELL– the Gospel story, pray for them, invite and invest, show God’s love to them

GROW – help them grow in their obedience to God’s Word, invite them to church/group, START book

SEND – help them do with others what you’ve just done with them

1. Tell them the Gospel story 

Vs 11b …So I went and washed, and I received sight.”

Vs 25 He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”

– The greatest waste in life is not a person who has failed but a person who never tried

– The distance between a missed opportunity and making a massive difference is one simple step

2. Help them grow in their awareness of, and identity in, Christ

vs 26 Then they said to him again, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?”27 He answered them, “I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?” 28 Then they reviled him and said, “You are His disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples. 29 We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from.” 30 The man answered and said to them, “Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes! 31 Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. 32 Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. 33 If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.

– The hope we have in Christ should be enough to make us want to let others know

3. SEND 

– Help them map their mission

Vs 35  Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” 36 He answered and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” 37 And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.” 38 Then he said, “Lord, I believe!”  And he worshiped Him.

What are the simple steps you can take today?

1. a call, a visit, a letter

2. Stopping to notice

3. Engaging

Difference Maker: Come See A Man…

2018-02-04
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Key Verses:
John 4:28-29
The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men,  “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”

Last week:
Know who you are…
Know who they are…
Know what your job is…

John 4:1 (NLT)
Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John 2 (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). 3 So he left Judea and returned to Galilee. 4 He had to go through Samaria on the way. 5 Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. 7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” 8 He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. 9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” 10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” 11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?” 13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” 15 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.” 16 “Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her. 17 “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied. Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband—18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!” 19 “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. 20 So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?” 21 Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. 23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” 25 The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Then Jesus told her, “I Am the Messiah!” 27 Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?” or “Why are you talking to her?” 28 The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, 29 “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” 30 So the people came streaming from the village to see him.

1. Identify them

family members, neighbors, co-workers, friends, fellow students

– all of them are people for whom Jesus died (2 Peter 3:9)

2. Pray for them – No one call tell your story but you, and if you don’t…

Romans 10:1-4
Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved. 2 I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. 3 For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. 4 For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God.

3. Tell them your story – No one call tell your story but you, and if you don’t…

vs 28-29 The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, 29 “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?”

Acts 26:15-18 Who are you, lord?’ I asked. “And the Lord replied, ‘I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. 16 Now get to your feet! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant and witness. Tell people that you have seen me, and tell them what I will show you in the future. 17 And I will rescue you from both your own people and the Gentiles. Yes, I am sending you to the Gentiles 18 to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me.’

4. Invest in them

– Spending time with them, helping them follow Jesus

Matthew 28:19-20a Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you…

– nothing to fear because He will give you everything you need

Vs 20b And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

5. Walk with them

– Recognize you will grow as you help them grow

Difference Maker: Where Do I Start?

2018-01-28

Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Key Verse:
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:9-10 (NLT)
The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.

Last week, we started our series, Difference Makers, talking about the God-given duty and responsibility we all have to make a difference – a positive difference – in our world today through the Gospel. We discussed the four characteristics of a difference maker:

1. They change their thinking

2. They put others first

3. They look for ways to help

4. They start from the perspective of Christ.

Where do I start?

 

1. Know who you are

–  a Christ follower

– What is a Christ Follower

A. One who has believed and received the Gospel story of Jesus [His death, burial, resurrection], has followed Jesus in baptism, is obeying all that Jesus taught, and is helping others do the same

– The Gospel story (Good News)

1 Corinthians 15:1-4a Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures…

– Believing and Receiving

John 14:6  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Romans 10:9-13 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

B. One who is loving God with their heart, soul, mind, strength and loving others like Jesus

Matthew 22:37
Jesus said to him, ” ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

 

2. Know who they are

– those whom Christ died for

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

– Look at the people with whom you live, work, and play near

– Make a prayer list of those people you know who are far from God or don’t know God and pray fervently for them

 

3.  Know what your job is

 

– To Tell

– “Go into all the world…”

Difference Makers: What does it mean?

2018-01-21
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

 

Key Verse: Acts 1:8
“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.”

 

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

 

John 20:21b Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.

God has called us all to be Difference Makers in our world today. These verses, and many others throughout the Bible, clearly indicate we have a responsibility to impact our world for Christ. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to talk about how we can make sure we are fulfilling our God-given mission.

The TRBC Mission Statement:
To Change Our World By Developing Christ Followers Who Love God and Love People!

 

What does it mean to be a difference maker?

 

Nehemiah 1:1-4 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. It came to pass in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the citadel, 2 that Hanani one of my brethren came with men from Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who had survived the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. 3 And they said to me, “The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.” 4 So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

 

The definition of a difference maker

 

1. Changes their thinking

 

– negative thinking will always lead to negative results

 

– positive thinking will always lead to positive results

 

– Nehemiah could have responded to the reports of those in Jerusalem with the attitude that nothing could be done, there’s no use.

 

2.  Puts others first

 

– humility

 

– care and concern for others

 

– Nehemiah – “sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.”

 

3.  Looks for ways to help

 

– not a critic

 

– sees every challenge or problem as an opportunity to make things, and others, better

 

– Nehemiah 2:4 Then the king said to me, “What do you request?”  So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5 And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.”

 

4.  Starts from the perspective of Christ

 

– sees things, and people, the way Christ does

– LOVES PEOPLE, USES THINGS

– a difference maker has a heart for the hurting (Nehemiah)

– a difference maker has a heart for the lost (Christ)

– Matthew 9:35-38 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

 

– A Christ Follower

 

– One who has believed and received the Gospel story of Jesus [His death, burial, resurrection], has followed Jesus in baptism, is obeying all that Jesus taught, and is helping others do the same

 

– One who is loving God with their heart, soul, mind, strength and loving others like Jesus

Our Response To Christ’s Church

2018-01-14

Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Key Verse: Colossians 1:18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

Ephesians 2:19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.

Last week, we talked about the church. We focused on what the church really is and used the Bible to give us a clearer description of the church. Today, I want to talk about our response to knowing what the church truly is. But first, let’s revisit what we talked about last week:

1. The church is God-ordained

2. The church is not a building, it’s you

3. Jesus is the Head of the church

4. Jesus gave us the plan for the church

5. Jesus gave us the keys to the church

So in knowing these truths about the church and having a deeper understanding of the importance of the church, what should we do?

1. We are required to carry out His plan

– the Great Commission

Matthew 28:19a Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…

– tell grow send

2. We are required to serve within the church

Ephesians 4:11-12 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.

(NLT) 11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ

– the responsibility every leader within the church has is to help the church (all of us) do the work of building up the church

3. We are required to baptize believers 

Matthew 28:19b …baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

-Baptism is an “ordinance” of the church – or “an act we must perform” per the Word of God.

– Matthew 3:15 “it is fitting”, “NLT says “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.”

4. We are required to remember how Christ established the church

– through the broken body & shed blood of Jesus Christ!

– Communion is an ordinance of the church

I Corinthians 11:23-26 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”  26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.

5. We are required to pray that the world would believe

1 Timothy 2:3-7a For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, 7 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle

Luke 10:1-2 After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. 2 Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.

– In other words, we actually are required to care about the world

– We must have the same desire Christ has, to see the world come to know Him

– 2 Peter 3:9 “not willing that any should perish”

Luke 19:10 – “the Son of man has come to seek and to save that which was lost”

WE ARE REQUIRED TO…

…TELL our salvation story to all

…GROW others in their walk with Christ

…SEND ourselves and others out into the world to let them know

A New Day In The Old Way

2018-01-07
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Matthew 16:18 (NKJV)
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

What is the church?
Why is the church important?
Is it still relevant today?
Do I really need to be a part of the church?

These are questions that many people ask often about the church. Today, on the first Sunday of the year, it might be good for us to review our understanding of what makes the church the church.

Matthew 16:13-18 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” 14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

1. The church is God-ordained
(vs 18b I will build My church)

– Jesus builds our church

– church (ekklesia) A group called out for a particular purpose

– what we do here is not a construct of man, it is a God-ordained, God-planned movement

– And, when done according to His plan, there’s no stopping it!

(vs 18c and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.)

2. The church is not a building or an organization, it’s YOU!

I Corinthians 1:1-3 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

– “the church” is not a specific place, title, denomination…it is “a group called out for a particular purpose”

– meaning, WE ARE THE CHURCH

(vs 2a To the church of God which is at Corinth)

3. Jesus is the Head of the church

Colossians 1:18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

– The “head” (kay-FALL-ay) the leader, one responsible to care for

– “preeminence” (pro-TOO-oh) the first, the most prominent

– Any time that anything is placed in higher priority or importance than the proclamation of the Gospel and the preeminence of Christ in a church, the church ceases to be the church Jesus talked about in Matthew 16:18

4. Jesus gave us the plan for the church

Acts 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

– the teaching, the gathering, the fellowship, the praying, the serving

– Worship, Bible teaching, Lifegroups, personal growth, service=

Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

– The acting? The proclamation of the Gospel

– Outreach, missions, camping ministry, personal evangelism

5. Jesus gave us the keys to the church

John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.

– The keys? Belief in Jesus Christ as the only savior of the world!

Ephesians 2:19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.

Pressing On

2017-12-31

 

Pastor Jonathan Falwell

 

Key verse: Philippians 3:14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

 

Philippians 3:1 (NLT) Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith. 2 Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved. 3 For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, 4 though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more! 5 I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. 6 I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault. 7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!  12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

 

1. The past should stay there

 

– vs 13a No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past

 

A. Our beliefs about the past

Hanging on to our past guarantees a difficult future

– Regrets from yesterday will translate into regrets tomorrow

– Allowing the failures of yesterday to write today’s narrative will lead to tomorrow’s pain

– we’re not good enough (vs 2)

– following the narrative of our beliefs could never be enough (vss 4-6)

– all of it is worthless (vs 7)

– following the narrative of our beliefs could never be enough (vss 4-6)
– all of it is worthless (vs 7)

 

B. What we should believe

– knowing Christ is all there is (vs 8)

– this should be our goal in 2018 – One With Him (vs 9)

– faith

2. The goal is clear

 

– Knowing Him

 

vs 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death,

 

– Serving Him

 

– Being honest with ourselves

 

vs 12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.

 

3. The goal? Pursuit of Christ and the Promise of Heaven

 

Vs 13-14 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Things to do:

S (specific), M (measurable), A (awe inspiring), R (relevant), T (timed)

1. Set specific time to meet God (Prayer, Bible reading/study)

2. Set specific goals of enhancing relationships (family, friends, coworkers, strangers)

3. Set specific ways to serve (giving self, giving stuff)

4. Set specific goals of making yourself better (health, knowledge, wisdom)

5. Set specific goals of handling your finances more responsibly (“act your wage”)

Christmas Eve – The Light of the World

2017-12-24

Jonathan Falwell

Key Verse: Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

* Wonderful – the wonder of Christmas season is nothing compared to the wonder He brings

* Counselor – When life falls apart and we don’t know what to do, He came to be the One to guide us through our most difficult day

* Mighty God – With Him, nothing is impossible

* Everlasting Father – In the loneliness of life, He is the one with always open arms

* Prince of Peace – In the midst of chaos, He is the constant source of peace

He is all of these things, but so much more. He is the LIGHT OF THE WORLD. He is your light in the midst of all the darkness we face.

Isaiah 9:2 The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined.

* “land of the shadow of death” – Heb. 9:27, …appointed unto man once to die
Rom 5:12 …through one man..death entered

* We are all in the land of the shadow of death

* We need LIGHT

“A light has shined” is the image of what the birth of Christ would mean for us all. And, oh how that light is needed.

Isaiah 60:1-3 Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. 2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. 3 The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.

The wise men came to see this baby born as the light of the world.

Matthew 2:1-2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”

John 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Sad words indeed. The light shines, but world didn’t understand. The story of Christmas is the light that shines to take away the darkness from the world, from you!

Will you let Him?

The Point of Christmas: From Fear to Peace

2017-12-17
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Key verse: Luke 2:10-11 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

Luke 2:8-18 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” 15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

1. The shepherds were not expecting this arrival (vs 9a)

– Why these shepherds?  Some believe the shepherds were watching the sheep that would be used for the sacrifices at the Temple (Mishna)

– This was their daily routine of watching, protecting the animals from all dangers to ensure they were able to fulfill their destiny

– The angel changed their routine, and changed their destiny

2. Fear was the first response (vs 9b)

– no one can blame the shepherds for their response, this wasn’t a normal occurrence in the hills of Bethlehem

– this was a disruption of what was normal which causes fear in most people

3. Alleviating fear requires listening (vss 10-14)

– the implication is that the shepherds clearly listened to the Angel’s pronouncement

– in our daily journeys, we too often fail to listen to the message because we are gripped in fear over the disruption

– Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

4. When fear vanishes, peace arrives (vss 15-16)

– as the shepherds listened to the angel, immediately their fear was replaced by wonder and amazement…because God’s power and glory was revealed

– what a great lesson for all of us!

5. When peace arrives, there’s a story to tell (vss 17-18)

– “the saying” – meaning this was the messiah

– “GOOD TIDINGS” (evangelizō) which means to preach the good news, the Gospel

– vs 11 – For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord

– about 700 years before Jesus was born, this messianic prophecy was given

Micah 5:2-5 But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.” 3Therefore He shall give them up, Until the time that she who is in labor has given birth; Then the remnant of His brethren Shall return to the children of Israel. 4 And He shall stand and feed His flock In the strength of the Lord, In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God; And they shall abide, For now He shall be great To the ends of the earth; 5 And this One shall be peace.

– and so they couldn’t help but go, and tell

The point of Christmas is that Christ came to cover our sins, to alleviate our fear, to fill us with peace and to send us to tell the world.

The Point of Christmas Is… SACRIFICE

2017-12-10
Matt Willmington / Harold Willmington

Memory Verse:
Genesis 22:14
And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”

Genesis 22:1-14 (NKJV)
1 Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”
2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.
4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off.
5 And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.
6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together.
7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”
8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together.
9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.
10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
11 But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.”
12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.
14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”

QUESTION: What do you have to put on the altar?

The Point of Christmas – The Covering

2017-12-03
Pastor Jonathan Falwell
Key Verse:
Hebrews 10:5

Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me.”

Hebrews 10:1-18 (NLT)
The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. 2 If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared. 3 But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. 4 For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 That is why, when Christ came into the world, he said to God, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings. But you have given me a body to offer. 6 You were not pleased with burnt offerings or other offerings for sin. 7 Then I said, ‘Look, I have come to do your will, O God— as is written about me in the Scriptures.’ ” 8 First, Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them” (though they are required by the law of Moses). 9 Then he said, “Look, I have come to do your will.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. 10 For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time. 11 Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. 12 But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 13 There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. 14 For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy. 15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies that this is so. For he says, 16 “This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” 17 Then he says, “I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.” 18 And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.
The point of Christmas – The Covering

1. All have sinned (vs 1)

– 1 The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship

2. We needed an out (vs 2)

– 2 If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared

3. The old way was never enough (vss 3-4)

– 3-4 But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. 4 For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins

4. We needed a covering (vs 5)

– 5 That is why, when Christ came into the world, he said to God, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings. But you have given me a body to offer

– Genesis 3:6-11 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. 8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”

5. Jesus paid it all

– 7 Then I said, ‘Look, I have come to do your will, O God— as is written about me in the Scriptures.

– 10 For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.

The Heart of Thanksgiving

The Heart of Thanksgiving
2017-11-26

Key Verse:
Colossians 3:17
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Colossians 3:12-17 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

The Heart of Gratitude

1. Be different (vs 12)

– the world has a picture of what life is supposed to be like, God’s plan is different

2. Be caring (vs 13-14)

– the world is hurting, make a difference

– help one another

– forgive one another

– love one another

3. Be together (vs 15)

– peace and thankfulness go together

4. Be consistent (vs 16-17)

– have a heart of gratitude to God for all He has done

– let your life be a picture of gratitude in how you act, serve, live

Tiny Giants: Jude – Remaining Faithful

2017-11-19

Memory Verse: Jude v20-21

20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

 

Pastor Jonathan Falwell
This letter is from Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James. I am writing to all who have been called by God the Father, who loves you and keeps you safe in the care of Jesus Christ. 2 May God give you more and more mercy, peace, and love. 3 Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people. 4 I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. 5 So I want to remind you, though you already know these things, that Jesus first rescued the nation of Israel from Egypt, but later he destroyed those who did not remain faithful. 6 And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them securely chained in prisons of darkness, waiting for the great day of judgment. 7 And don’t forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment. 8 In the same way, these people—who claim authority from their dreams—live immoral lives, defy authority, and scoff at supernatural beings. 9 But even Michael, one of the mightiest of the angels, did not dare accuse the devil of blasphemy, but simply said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (This took place when Michael was arguing with the devil about Moses’ body.) 10 But these people scoff at things they do not understand. Like unthinking animals, they do whatever their instincts tell them, and so they bring about their own destruction. 11 What sorrow awaits them! For they follow in the footsteps of Cain, who killed his brother. Like Balaam, they deceive people for money. And like Korah, they perish in their rebellion. 12 When these people eat with you in your fellowship meals commemorating the Lord’s love, they are like dangerous reefs that can shipwreck you. They are like shameless shepherds who care only for themselves. They are like clouds blowing over the land without giving any rain. They are like trees in autumn that are doubly dead, for they bear no fruit and have been pulled up by the roots. 13 They are like wild waves of the sea, churning up the foam of their shameful deeds. They are like wandering stars, doomed forever to blackest darkness. 14 Enoch, who lived in the seventh generation after Adam, prophesied about these people. He said, “Listen! The Lord is coming with countless thousands of his holy ones 15 to execute judgment on the people of the world. He will convict every person of all the ungodly things they have done and for all the insults that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These people are grumblers and complainers, living only to satisfy their desires. They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want. 17 But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ predicted. 18 They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. 19 These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them. 20 But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, 21 and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love. 22 And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. 23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives. 24 Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. 25 All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.

 

1. How you live really does matter

 

– vs 4. I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

– many today believe that they are free to do whatever they want to do because of what Christ has done

– truth of the matter is that we are free NOT to do the things of the world because of what Christ has done. We have been set free, no longer slaves to sin.

Romans 6:6 We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin.

 

2. Living right is always under attack

 

– vs 12-13 When these people eat with you in your fellowship meals commemorating the Lord’s love, they are like dangerous reefs that can shipwreck you. They are like shameless shepherds who care only for themselves.

 

– vs 16 These people are grumblers and complainers, living only to satisfy their desires. They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want.

– it is not politically correct to live right, do it anyway

– do not allow yourself to fall into the trap of verse 16

 

3. We must remain faithful and fruitful

 

– vs 20-23 But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, 21 and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love. 22 And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. 23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.

 

How?

a. Encouragement

 

– vs 20a … build each other up in your most holy faith…

– be a person who genuinely cares for others and wants to help

– don’t tear others down for the purpose of making you look better

 

b. Prayer

 

– vs 20c … pray in the power of the Holy Spirit

– prayer actually does make a difference

– Acts 4:31 says, “And when they prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.” God shook them physically and spiritually. I believe that our churches today could use a good spiritual “shaking.”  The early Christians prayed, God shook them by filling them with the His Spirit, and then he shook the world as they witnessed boldly for Christ.

God ministered to through them to perform mighty miracles. There was no way to they were going to keep silent. They had “seen and heard” too much from their Lord. Their lives had been radically changed. It all began with prayer! Perhaps if we would pray as they did, we too would be “shaken.” We just might “see and hear” more from the Lord then we do presently – Steve Gaines 

c. Outreach

 

– vs 22b-23a … show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. 23 Rescue others…

 

d. Remaining true

 

– vs 23c … but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.

* https://prayforrevival.wordpress.com/tag/steve-gaines/

Tiny Giants – 3 John: Do What’s Right

2017-11-12
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Key Verse: 3 John 3-4 For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

Today we continue our study of the the shortest books of the Bible. We’ve looked at Philemon, 2 John and today we move to the shortest of all the books in the Bible…3 John. This book was written by John in the late first century, probably around 90 A.D. from the city of Ephesus. John, as the last living apostle wrote this letter to help strengthen the local church and to provide guidance on how to act within the church. While 1900 years old, this book is timely as the same struggles and challenges continue to exist within the modern day church.

3 John 1 (NLT) This letter is from John, the elder. I am writing to Gaius, my dear friend, whom I love in the truth. 2 Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit. 3 Some of the traveling teachers recently returned and made me very happy by telling me about your faithfulness and that you are living according to the truth. 4 I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth. 5 Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you. 6 They have told the church here of your loving friendship. Please continue providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God. 7 For they are traveling for the Lord, and they accept nothing from people who are not believers. 8 So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth. 9 I wrote to the church about this, but Diotrephes, who loves to be the leader, refuses to have anything to do with us. 10 When I come, I will report some of the things he is doing and the evil accusations he is making against us. Not only does he refuse to welcome the traveling teachers, he also tells others not to help them. And when they do help, he puts them out of the church. 11 Dear friend, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God’s children, and those who do evil prove that they do not know God. 12 Everyone speaks highly of Demetrius, as does the truth itself. We ourselves can say the same for him, and you know we speak the truth. 13 I have much more to say to you, but I don’t want to write it with pen and ink. 14 For I hope to see you soon, and then we will talk face to face. 15  Peace be with you. Your friends here send you their greetings. Please give my personal greetings to each of our friends there.

 

1. Someone who encourages (vss 1-8) – Gaius

– 3 John 3 Some of the traveling teachers recently returned and made me very happy by telling me about your faithfulness and that you are living according to the truth. 4 I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.

– Gaius had a good reputation (vs 3a)

– he was living in the truth of God’s Word (vs 3b)

– he was helping and serving others (vss 5-6)

– This is a picture of what was right in the early church

2. Someone to avoid (vss 9-11) -Diotrephes

– 3 John 9-10 I wrote to the church about this, but Diotrephes, who loves to be the leader, refuses to have anything to do with us. 10 When I come, I will report some of the things he is doing and the evil accusations he is making against us. Not only does he refuse to welcome the traveling teachers, he also tells others not to help them. And when they do help, he puts them out of the church.

-he was filled with pride (vs 9)

– he rejected others’ wisdom and leadership

– he spread gossip about those in church

– he sought ways to hurt them

– This is a picture of what was very wrong in the early church

3. Someone to emulate (vs 12) – Demetrius

– 3 John 12 Everyone speaks highly of Demetrius, as does the truth itself. We ourselves can say the same for him, and you know we speak the truth.

– Gaius was given the right example in how to continue to live and lead

– vs 11 Dear friend, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good

Lessons we can learn from 3 John:

1. Follow the example of Christ in serving and encouraging others

2. Be careful to never fall into the trap of pride

– seeing yourself as more important than others in the church is the first

step towards being the modern day pharisee

3. Surround yourself with the right kind of Christ followers as this will make

everyone better

Tiny Giants: Truth In Love

2017-11-05
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Key Verse: 2 John 6 This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.

2 John 1 (NLT) This letter is from John, the elder. I am writing to the chosen lady and to her children, whom I love in the truth-as does everyone else who knows the truth-2 because the truth lives in us and will be with us forever. 3 Grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ-the Son of the Father-will continue to be with us who live in truth and love. 4 How happy I was to meet some of your children and find them living according to the truth, just as the Father commanded. 5 I am writing to remind you, dear friends, that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning. 6 Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning. 7 I say this because many deceivers have gone out into the world. They deny that Jesus Christ came in a real body. Such a person is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked so hard to achieve. Be diligent so that you receive your full reward. 9 Anyone who wanders away from this teaching has no relationship with God. But anyone who remains in the teaching of Christ has a relationship with both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth about Christ, don’t invite that person into your home or give any kind of encouragement. 11 Anyone who encourages such people becomes a partner in their evil work. 12 I have much more to say to you, but I don’t want to do it with paper and ink. For I hope to visit you soon and talk with you face to face. Then our joy will be complete. 13 Greetings from the children of your sister, chosen by God.
This letter is a clear statement against the common misconception in today’s world that it really doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere. John emphasizes the importance of truth and of love, but he defines love in the clearest of terms meaning obedience to God’s Word, which is truth.

1. The encouragement of truth (vs 1-3)

Verse 3a Grace, mercy, and peace…

– Truth is not subjective, it is objective. It is not something you decide on your own, it is given from the beginning.

– …because the truth lives in us and will be with us forever. (vs 2)

– Today’s world determines to decide truth based on feelings, situations, and desires.

– Truth is based on truth (God’s Word) John 14:6

2. The requirement of love (vs 4-6)

– Truth and love go hand in hand. It is impossible to truly love without loving in truth.

Verse 4a I am writing to remind you, dear friends, that we should love one another…

– HOW DO WE LOVE? WHAT DOES LOVE REALLY MEAN?

Verse 6 Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning.

– Love is not accepting what the world says regardless of what God’s Word says.

– Love is obeying God’s Word by reflecting it to the world.

– Is it truly love if we accept the sin of another without trying to speak truth into their lives?

3. The importance of discernment (vs 7-11)

Verse 7a I say this because many deceivers have gone out into the world.

– The world, and the church, is full of deceivers who have subverted God’s Word to allow for that which disobeys God’s Word.

Verse 8a Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked so hard to achieve.

– Acceptance of sin and bad theology is a sure way to slow or destroy the work of a church and of a believer.

Verse 8b  Be diligent

– Know truth by being IN GOD’S WORD so we can spot deceit the moment it walks in.

– The world’s call for tolerance is based on a false view of love.

– Are we really showing God’s love if we are not really showing God’s truth?

– Allowing someone to continue in sin without showing them truth, in love, will lead  to their ultimate destruction. That is not love!

Verses 10-11 If anyone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth about Christ, don’t invite that person into your home or give any kind of encouragement. 11 Anyone who encourages such people becomes a partner in their evil work.

4. The value of fellowship (vs 12-13)

Verse 12b For I hope to visit you soon and talk with you face to face. Then our joy will be complete.

– This is a first century encouragement to develop real relationships, not just virtual ones.

– God’s design is one that involves fellowship, iron sharpening iron.

Tiny Giants: Mercy Matters

2017-10-29
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Key Verse: Philemon 7 For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother.

Today, we’re going to begin a a short series, just three weeks, focusing on some small books in the New Testament. They’re not small in content or impact, just small in size. We’ve entitled this series, Tiny Giants, and today we’re going to spend time in the book of Philemon, the third shortest book in the Bible (335 words.) Next week, we will move to 2 John (245 words) and then conclude the series with 3 John (219 words.)

Philemon 1 (NLT) This letter is from Paul, a prisoner for preaching the Good News about Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy. I am writing to Philemon, our beloved co-worker, 2 and to our sister Apphia, and to our fellow soldier Archippus, and to the church that meets in your house. 3 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. 4 I always thank my God when I pray for you, Philemon, 5 because I keep hearing about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God’s people. 6 And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ. 7 Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people. 8 That is why I am boldly asking a favor of you. I could demand it in the name of Christ because it is the right thing for you to do. 9 But because of our love, I prefer simply to ask you. Consider this as a request from me—Paul, an old man and now also a prisoner for the sake of Christ Jesus. 10 I appeal to you to show kindness to my child, Onesimus. I became his father in the faith while here in prison. 11 Onesimus hasn’t been of much use to you in the past, but now he is very useful to both of us. 12 I am sending him back to you, and with him comes my own heart. 13 I wanted to keep him here with me while I am in these chains for preaching the Good News, and he would have helped me on your behalf. 14 But I didn’t want to do anything without your consent. I wanted you to help because you were willing, not because you were forced. 15 It seems you lost Onesimus for a little while so that you could have him back forever. 16 He is no longer like a slave to you. He is more than a slave, for he is a beloved brother, especially to me. Now he will mean much more to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord. 17 So if you consider me your partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. 18 If he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, charge it to me. 19 I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it. And I won’t mention that you owe me your very soul! 20 Yes, my brother, please do me this favor for the Lord’s sake. Give me this encouragement in Christ. 21 I am confident as I write this letter that you will do what I ask and even more! 22 One more thing—please prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that God will answer your prayers and let me return to you soon. 23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you his greetings. 24 So do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my co-workers. 25 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Mercy Matters

1. The Right Testimony

Verses 4-7 I always thank my God when I pray for you, Philemon, 5 because I keep hearing about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God’s people. 6 And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ. 7 Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people.

– Philemon was a church leader who found Christ through Paul, probably in Ephesus

– The church actually met in his home

– His testimony was one that had even reached Paul, in prison, in Rome (1300 miles)

– Our testimony is an important part of our faith walk as it allows us to be known for the things of God

– Paul wrote this letter to bring healing to a tense situation and to restore fellowship

2. The Right Response

Verse 8 That is why I am boldly asking a favor of you. I could demand it in the name of Christ because it is the right thing for you to do.

Verse 10 I appeal to you to show kindness to my child, Onesimus. I became his father in the faith while here in prison

– Key phrase is here is “That is why…” Paul was asking based on what he already knew about Philemon’s character

– Onesimus was a thief, a deserter, and according to Roman law, could have been legally and rightfully punished for his actions.

– Yet, Paul said the right thing to do was forgive and restore

3. The Right Action

Verse 21 I am confident as I write this letter that you will do what I ask and even more!

– Here is the concept of “over-deliver

– Paul knew it was the right thing to do, but he desired for Philemon to not only forgive but to restore and to develop a relationship that had never existed before

– This was not “I’ll forgive but I won’t forget” (1 Cor. 13 – no record of wrongs)

4. The Right Example

Verse 25 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

– Key word – GRACE

This short book is a picture of how to deal with the certain conflicts of life with others, from both perspectives.  Paul knew it was the right thing to do for Philemon to forgive and restore. But, Paul also knew it was the right thing to do for Onesimus to go back. Onesimus didn’t have to tell Paul of his wrongdoing, but he did. Every element of this story is a great example of how to do everything right.

START: Taking the Next Step of Service

2017-10-22

Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Key Verse:
John 13:15
For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.

Today, we conclude our brief series entitled START: Taking the Next Step From The Step You’re On. We’ve talked about awareness of our security in Him, the security of His Word, the power of prayer, and fighting for what really matters. Today, I want to conclude by discussing how to take the next step of service. The church should never be a haven for placeholders but rather a launching pad for world changers! This comes through service.

John 13:4 (NLT) So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, 5 and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him. 6 When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.” 8 “No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!” Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.” 9 Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!” 10 Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.” 12 After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. 16 I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. 17 Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.

 The Next Step of Service

1. Putting Jesus First

– serving others is not done for a feeling of self worth or validation, it is done as an expression of love for Christ

– Matthew 25:40 And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’’

 

2. Putting Others First

Phil 2:3-4 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.  4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. 

How?

1. With what you have

– vs 4-5 So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, 5 and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him

– Don’t wait until you feel you are equipped to serve, serve now!

2. With what you know

– vs 6-8 When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.” 8 “No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!” Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”

– we are all uniquely gifted in certain ways and can use those gifts and that knowledge  for the Kingdom

3. With Christ as the model

– vs 13-15 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.

– Jesus stepped out of the role of leader/teacher to serve the Disciples in a way that the world would have looked down upon, yet He did so not just to teach a lesson, but because it is the right thing to do.

What’s next?

1. Pray

Pray about what opportunities are around you every day where you can serve

2. Offer

–  Take a step of faith and simply offer to serve

3. Try

– If at first you don’t “like it” try something else! Practice makes perfect!

START: A Fight Worth Fighting

2017-10-15
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Ephesians 5:15
15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

We live in a world that always seems to be fighting. Fighting in the workplace, fighting online, fighting at home and fighting within. Today, I’d like us to spend some time focusing on fights that are actually worth fighting.

1. FIGHT FOR YOUR HEART

Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.

– Make what you care about what God cares about

– Proverbs 4:24 Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech. (NLT)

2. FIGHT FOR YOUR MIND

Galatians 6:3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

– Don’t let the world define who you are based on the world’s ideas of right and wrong

– The world today bombards us with images and ideas that are intended to take our minds where they should not be. RESIST

– Philippians 4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise (NLT)

3. FIGHT FOR YOUR FAMILY

Eph 5:25 (NLT) For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. 29 No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. 30 And we are members of his body. 31 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” 32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. 33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

– Lead by example, not by status. Being the spiritual head of the household doesn’t make you the dictator. It just makes you the primary servant.

– The world is desperately trying to destroy your family, serve as the protector within the home.

1 Timothy 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (NKJV)

4. FIGHT FOR THE CHURCH

Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT) Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

– Don’t let the world define for you what it looks like to be a leader, look to the word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

– Matthew 16:18 tells us the gates of hell can’t prevail against the church, but that requires the church to PUSH! Are you?

1 Corinthians 16:14 Let all that you do be done with love.

START: Prayer Matters

START: Prayer Matters

2017-10-08

Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:

1 John 5:14

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

WE continue a brief series we started two weeks ago entitled START: Taking the Next Step from the Step You’re On. This is really a refresher on a few of the basics of our faith walk. Two weeks ago, we talked about our security in God’s hand. Last week, we talked about the importance of God’s Word. Today, let’s talk about prayer.

15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

Prayer Matters

1. Prayer is talking to God your Father

– 1 Peter 5:6-7 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

– Prayer is actually the ability we have to talk to the One who created us, and everything

– Unfortunately, many treat prayer as a ritual rather than an unbelievable privilege

2. Prayer is a conversation

–  Hebrews 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

– It is an actual conversation where we can find the help and hope we need

3. Prayer is powerful

– James 5:16b …the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

– It actually works, it makes a difference

How do I pray?

– Luke 11:1 Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”

1. Know who God is

… Luke 11:2a So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name…”

2. Recognize the importance of God’s plan

– Luke 11:2b …Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.

3. Know that God cares about you

– Luke 11:3 Give us day by day our daily bread.

4. Be in the right place for prayer

– Luke 11:4a And forgive us our sins…

5. Be in the right attitude for prayer

– Luke 11:4b …For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.

6. Seek God’s leading in your life

– Luke 11:4c …And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.

7. Be thankful for everything

– Luke 17:17 – Jesus taught us that simply saying thanks is important

– He healed ten but only one came back to say thanks

– How many times have we ignored the blessings of God?

START: The Power of the Word

2017-10-01
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

Today, we’ll continue talking about how to take the next step from the step you’re on in regards to your faith walk by talking about God’s Word. Last week, we focused on our assurance. It is vital if we are going to walk the path that God has for us, we must recognize the keeping power of God. Today, we’ll talk about the incredible way that God speaks to us and guides us along the journey.

THE POWER OF THE WORD – Hebrews 4:12 The Word of God is living (zah-oh – full of life) and powerful (ener-gais – able to make things happen, bring them about)…

– Inspiration – God breathed out His Word

– Inerrancy – every word is accurate and absolute

– Infallible – absolutely trustworthy, exempt from error

Our response to the living and powerful Word…

1. Read what it says

– 16a All Scripture is given by inspiration of God

“It is God’s present Voice which makes His written word all-powerful.  Otherwise it would lie locked in slumber within the covers of a Book.” – A.W. Tozer

 

– Reading the Word of God is the only way to discover the Will of God. If you’re trying to discover God’s Will for your life without reading God’s Word for your life, you’re wasting your time.

2. Learn what it means

16b …and is profitable for doctrine (teach us what is right), for reproof (convict, show us what is wrong), for correction (teach us how to fix it)…

– We must be diligent in studying God’s Word in order to find its meaning and application

– We can do this through church, Bible studies, life groups, books, radio/tv

“God did not write a book and send it by messenger to be read at a distance by unaided minds.  He spoke a Book and lives in His spoken words, constantly speaking His words and causing the power of them to persist across the years.” – A.W. Tozer

– Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

– Psalm 119:11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.

3. Put it into practice

– 16c …for instruction in righteousness

– 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

– Our lives, or more importantly, our success in life is directly dependent on how we put God’s Word into practice in our daily lives

– If we are not actually applying His Word to life, we not only will fail, we are living in sin

– James 1:22   But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

“It is one thing to know that the Scripture is the Sword of the Spirit, but it another thing to know how to use it effectively. God expects us to use the Sword, not merely hang it up as a decoration.” – Rev. Jerry Falwell

I Corinthians 15:3-4 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.

START: How Can I Be Sure?

2017-09-24
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

 

Memory Verse:
Ephesians 2:4-5
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

Last week, we talked about suffering. Why does it exist? Why is this world so broken? Simply put, why God? We took time to examine how the brokenness of this world is not God’s fault, it’s ours. We landed last week in Romans 8 talking about the promise of God that nothing can separate us from His love. That is what I’d like to talk about today…How can we be sure?

Romans 8:39b …(nothing) shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 2:1-9 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

How can I be sure?

The Holy Spirit regenerated, sealed, baptized, and indwells—and prays for us. The Son was crucified, resurrected and intercedes for us forever. Finally, the Father said the elect would never perish (John 3:16, 10:27-29), thirst (Jn 4:14), be judged (1 Corinthians 1:8,9), die spiritually (Jn 8:52), or be forsaken (Philippians 1:6, Heb 13:5)

1 John 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

 

1. Because I can do nothing to secure my own salvation – John 14

2. Because He has declared us righteous through Justification

Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

3. Because Jesus has us firmly in His grip

Hebrews 7:23-25 (NLT) There were many priests under the old system, for death prevented them from remaining in office. 24 But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. 25 Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.

John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”

From our newly published START book: Reading 1 John is meant to help with our assurance. Guard your feelings to deal with the emotional fear and know the facts to confront the mental doubt. As 1 John shows, true Christians have these marks in their life, either past or present:

Hebrews 7:23-25 (NLT) There were many priests under the old system, for death prevented them from remaining in office. 24 But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. 25 Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.

John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”

From our newly published START book: Reading 1 John is meant to help with our assurance. Guard your feelings to deal with the emotional fear and know the facts to confront the mental doubt. As 1 John shows, true Christians have these marks in their life, either past or present: 

1. You will want to know Him (1:3,4), look forward to seeing Him (3:2,3), and relate to Him by His Spirit within them (4:13).

2. Convicted of your sin (1:5-10), despise their sin (2:15), and practice sin less and less (3:5,6).

3. Seek fellowship with other Christians (1:3,4; 3:14).


4. Understand the power of prayer – They have seen prayer work and had God answer their prayer (3:22, 5:14,15).

5. Recognize the importance of God’s Word – They believe Scripture (5:1-2), know what is not Scripture (4:1-3), and want to obey Scripture (2:3-5).

Why Then Do We Suffer?

2017-09-17
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Romans 8:18 NKJV
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Life is full of trouble and pain. Often, we are left wondering why. Questions fly over how God could allow such suffering to take place if He is a loving God, or does He even exist at all. Today, let’s spend some time asking the question, WHY?

Job 5:7 Yet man is born to trouble, As the sparks fly upward.

Job 14:1 Man that is born of woman is of full days and full of trouble

1. This World Is Not What God Intended

Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.

– God created a perfect world and a perfect world must include choice

– A perfect world could not include forced servitude and worship

– Garden of Eden created a perfect place (Genesis 2:9 – every good tree, pleasant to sight)

15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”Proof of man’s ability to choose good or evil

– Through an act of choice, sin entered into the world. Through that one act, the world

was forever changed.

– The world, and everything in it, are still God’s perfect creation but we messed it up, and we still do

“The problem of reconciling human suffering with the existence of God who loves, is only insoluble so long as we attach a trivial meaning to the word ‘love’ and look on things as if man were the centre of them.”

(The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis)

2. Even Still There Is Hope

Romans 8:18  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?

– Our hope is found in looking not at the pain and suffering of today but in the joy and promise of what is to come. But it requires patience.

25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

3. Our God Is Still In Control And Taking Care Of Us

Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

– In the midst of the pain of this world, we remain fully in the perfect love of God

– Adrian Rogers said, “Sin is not just breaking the laws of God, it is breaking the heart of God.

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world…No doubt Pain as God’s megaphone is a terrible instrument; it may lead to final and unrepented rebellion. But it gives the only opportunity the bad man can have for amendment. It removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth within the fortress of a rebel soul.

(The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis)

“Nothing is impossible with God”

2017-09-10
Ben Guttierez

MEMORY VERSE: Matthew 19:26 (NKJV)

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

 

What type of person Does God use?  Does a person of real influence have to be a ‘perfect’ person? What determines if we are going to do great things for God?  Can God use me?  Answer:  God Can Use Anybody!   God is the forgiver of sins & the determiner of one’s mission in life. If we submit our hearts and lives to God, God can use us to bring Him great glory. God uses a heart that has humbly confessed all sin and desires forgiveness by God. God uses a heart that is submissive to His Will. God can receive glory from a heart that is totally committed to living for Him.  Therefore, God Can Use Anybody! We need only submit to Him in all things.  You can be used of God! You don’t have to be experienced in ministry, professional, perfect, or sinless.  As long as you have a submissive heart that remains sensitive to the Holy Spirt, God Can Use You!

 

Matthew 10:2-4

2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these:
The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him.

Matthew 9:9

As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector’s booth; and He said to him, “Follow Me!”
And he got up and followed Him.

Luke 3:12-13

12 And some tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 13 And he said to them,
“Collect no more than what you have been ordered to.”

Luke 18:10-11, 13a

10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 “The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector… 13a “But the tax collector, standing afar off was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’”

Luke 5:27

After that He went out and noticed a tax collector named Levi sitting in the tax booth.

Matthew 9:9

As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector’s booth…

 

Matthew 9:1-6

1 Getting into a boat, Jesus crossed over the sea and came to His own city. 2 And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Take courage, son; your SINS are FORGIVEN.” 3 And some of the scribes said to themselves, “This fellow blasphemes.” 4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, “Why are you thinking evil in your hearts? 5 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your SINS are FORGIVEN,’ or to say, ‘Get up, and walk’? 6 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to FORGIVE SINS”—then He said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your bed and go home.”

Matthew 9:10-13

10 Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many TAX COLLECTORS and SINNERS came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why is your Teacher eating with the TAX COLLECTORS and SINNERS?” 12 But when Jesus heard this, He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are SICK. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but SINNERS [to REPENTANCE].”

Matthew 16:26

For what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

Luke 7:34

“Jesus…is a friend of tax collectors and sinners!”

Matthew 19:26

…With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

The Believer’s Exciting Future!

2017-09-03

Dr. Ed Hindson

Memory Verse:

1 Thessalonians 4:17 NKJV

Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

Dr. Ed Hindson, Dean of the Rawlings School of Divinity at Liberty University will speak on, “The Believer’s Exciting Future.” He will point over seven key promises in the Bible that clearly predict our eternal future from the Rapture to the New Jerusalem. These seven promises will bless your heart and fill you with wonderful anticipation of our eternal home in heaven.

1. Rapture

“We which are alive and remain shall be caught up…”

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17

2. Bride to the Father’s House

“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

John 14:2-3

3. Judgment Seat of Christ

“We shall all appear before the judgment seat of Christ to receive the things done in the body.”

2 Corinthians 5:10

4. Marriage of Lamb

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!  For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.  Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.”

Revelation 19:7-8

5. Triumphal Return

“The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.”

Revelation 19:14

6. Millennial Reign


“they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years”

Revelation 20:1-6

7. Eternal City

“Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.”

Revelation 21:1-2

Flannelgraph Faith – Jonah

2017-08-27
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse: Jonah 2:9 But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.

Today, we conclude our Summer series, A Flannelgraph Faith: Reframing the Familiar, with one of the most familiar stories in the Old Testament. The story of Jonah and the Whale (even though whale is not used in the Bible.) This is another of the great stories of God’s provision and protection. Although this one has a slightly different twist. Unlike Daniel and Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego who were protected for the faithfulness, Jonah was protected even through his lack of faithfulness.

What can we learn from this great story?

 

1. God’s Call Trumps Our Comfort

Jonah 4:2 So he prayed to the Lord, and said, “Ah, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm. 3 Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!”

– Jonah fled from the call of God because it didn’t fit in his plan

– He questioned God’s call, but not God’s mercy

– Interesting that many of us today do the same thing

2. God’s Redemption Trumps Our Contempt

Jonah 4:7  But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm, and it so damaged the plant that it withered. 8 And it happened, when the sun arose, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat on Jonah’s head, so that he grew faint. Then he wished death for himself, and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.” 9 Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” And he said, “It is right for me to be angry, even to death!” 10 But the Lord said, “You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. 11 And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock?

– He wanted to see the evil get what they deserved rather than receive what God can freely give

– Unfortunately, that still happens today

– This is another great revelation that God is not willing that any should perish and that He is willing to “go the extra mile” to bring salvation

3. God’s Salvation Trumps Everything

Jonah 2:2 And he said, “I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction, And He answered me. “Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, And You heard my voice. 3 For You cast me into the deep, Into the heart of the seas, And the floods surrounded me; All Your billows and Your waves passed over me. 4 Then I said, ‘I have been cast out of Your sight; Yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.’ 5 The waters surrounded me, even to my soul; The deep closed around me; Weeds were wrapped around my head. 6 I went down to the moorings of the mountains; The earth with its bars closed behind me forever; Yet You have brought up my life from the pit, O Lord, my God. 7 “When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord; And my prayer went up to You, Into Your holy temple. 8 “Those who regard worthless idols Forsake their own Mercy. 9 But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.”

10 So the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

– This prayer is a statement from Jonah within the fish that captures all of our stories, we have all been to that place of utter darkness and desperation, the question is whether we have cried out to Him for salvation

– God sent that fish to protect Jonah when he really didn’t deserve any protection, yet God was willing to make provision for Jonah despite Jonah’s sin of disobedience

– The key to this story is God’s care for the people of Ninevah, God’s call on the life of Jonah, and God’s forgiveness of both

Flannelgraph Faith: Daniel

2017-08-20

Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Daniel 6:27
He delivers and rescues, And He works signs and wonders, In heaven and on earth, Who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.

Today, we build on the fantastic story of last week of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. We now move to Daniel 6 and find him in a similar situation that these three found themselves last week. Different King, different conspirators, same old story. Jealousy leading to deception leading to what they hoped would be certain death. But God had a different plan.

Daniel 6:3 Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm. 4 So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. 5 Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.”

1. Being Faithful In The Tough Times Is Vital
Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.

– Even when Daniel knew that he would pay a price for his faithfulness, he was faithful anyway

2. Our Faithfulness Will Be Noticed By Even Those Against Us
Daniel 6:16 So the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. But the king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.”

– The King knew that Daniel was firm in his trust in God

– The King probably didn’t agree that he would be saved, but he knew that Daniel believed it

3. Our Faithfulness Breeds Confidence When We Need It Most
Daniel 6:21 Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you.”

4. Our Faithfulness Changes Others
Daniel 6:26 I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God, And steadfast forever; His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, And His dominion shall endure to the end. 27 He delivers and rescues, And He works signs and wonders In heaven and on earth, Who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.

– Daniel was comforted in knowing that the same God that had sustained him in the good times is the same God that would sustain him in the bad times

5. Our Faithfulness Is Only Possible When It Comes From The Heart
Daniel 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

– Half hearted faith will never result in total victory

– Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself early in his life and it sustained him throughout his days

Flannelgraph Faith: Prayer and His Presence

2017-08-13
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Daniel 3:17
If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.

Today, we’ll take a look at one of the great Old Testament stories of faithfulness and deliverance. There are many such stories in the OT but the supernatural power found in this and next week’s story are unmatched. Today, we’re talking about the fiery furnace and Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego.

These three were dear friends of Daniel and, like him, had been taken from their homes to serve before the King as described back in Daniel 1. God had protected them and given them special wisdom and strength during their time in captivity.

Daniel 1:17 As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.

Through some pretty interesting circumstances, they had been given special authority by the King because of the events of Daniel 2. But things were about to change. The trials of life were about to hit them head on.

 

How To Make It Through When It Doesn’t Seem Possible

1. Pray Like It Matters…Because It Does

Daniel 2:16 So Daniel went in and asked the king to give him time, that he might tell the king the interpretation. 17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the decision known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, 18 that they might seek mercies from the God of heaven concerning this secret, so that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. So Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

* When their life depended on it, they prayed, do you?

2. Compromise Will Never Deliver

Daniel 3:17  If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

* Once again, their very lives depended on their decision at that very moment, but they didn’t waiver. Their trust in God was absolute

* Many Christians today trust God and believe His Word but when another option shows up that might seem better, they fold

* Had they agreed to bow down at that moment, they may well have been saved from being thrown into the fiery furnace, but at what cost?

3. The World’s Power Is No Match For His

Daniel 3:27 And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.

Daniel 3:28 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God!”

* These three didn’t enter the fire alone, God was with them

* Today, God has sent His Holy Spirit to walk through anything with us

John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

Isaiah 43:2b – 3a When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. 3 For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;

Matt. 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Flannelgraph Faith: David – Facing the Giant

2017-08-06

Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse: 1 Samuel 17:47 NKJV

Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.

Today, we continue in our Flannelgraph series and talk about one of the most popular stories of the Old Testament. The story of David and Goliath. This is a story of human power defeated by the power of God. A story all of us have been inspired by in our lifetime.  But there are lessons that we can also walk away with from this story. And these are lessons that we can use in facing the giants in our own lives.

1. The greatest challenge in life is rarely the actual challenge

* If David had listened to the crowd, he would have never walked onto that field

* If David had listened to his brother, he would have no confidence

2. Facing opposition while doing God’s will should be expected

* David walked into a wall of opposition when he said he could defeat Goliath

* Eliab – a brother who thought David was useless – 1 Samuel 17:28

* Soldiers – who thought David was a joke

* Saul – a King who thought there was little hope

* We see the same type of opposition in our own lives

3. Your success or failure is directly related to how you handle that opposition

* So Many Christians Never Achieve The Maximum Potential In Their Lives    Because They Never Conquer The Thing That They Fear The Most

* Recognize that it is in God’s power that we find our victories

* David responded to his brother in 1 Sam. 17:29 – IS THERE NOT A CAUSE!

4. Depending on God’s power in the face of your biggest giant is always a winner

* Goliath lost this battle because he trusted in himself

* David won because he trusted God alone

* God didn’t simply hand Goliath over to David and Israel, He made them fight the battle

– 1 Samuel 17:51b …And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled

When we depend solely on the power of God in our lives, and His sufficiency, we will walk through the battlefields of life in victory.

2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God

Flannelgraph Faith: Samuel – God’s Way, Always!

2017-07-30
Ben Gutierrez

Memory Verse
I Samuel 15:22 NKJV
So Samuel said:
“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.”

The Story of the Life of Samuel is both a familiar story in the Bible and a significant season in the life of Israel. Samuel is highly regarded as one of the greatest prophets and judges that the Lord appointed to rule and guide his people. After reading I Samuel, it is easy to see that the theme of Samuel’s life is “God’s Way, Always!” As a young boy or seasoned adult, Samuel always obeyed God and followed His ways – even when no one else chose to obey God. As you study I Samuel, there is also a strong sub-theme to the story – The importance of making your own CHOICE of whether you will follow God or not! Will you follow the crowd of disobedient people who chose to disobey God? Or, will you make the choice to follow the Lord even when it is not easy or popular. This sermon takes time to observe the circumstances surrounding Samuel’s life and the many individuals who had a choice to make – to follow God’s Way or to disobey God. This sermon encourages the listener to make his/her own choice to “Choose you this day whom you will serve.”

I Samuel 8:5
“Look,” they told him, “you are now old, and your sons are not like you. Give us a king to judge us like all the other nations have.”

I Samuel 13:13-14 NLT
“How foolish!” Samuel exclaimed. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. Had you kept it, the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom must end, for the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart. The Lord has already appointed him to be the leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.”

I Samuel 15:22 NLT
But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.”

 

CHOICES!

Nothing & No one can make you choose the way You Choose.

Bad Choices lead to Worse Choices!

Judges 2:19 NLT
But when the judge died, the people returned to their corrupt ways, behaving worse than those who had lived before them. They went after other gods, serving and worshiping them. And they refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.

Only Obedience from a Pure Heart Honors God.

I Samuel 15:22 NLT
But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.”

“To Obey is Better Than ___________”

Joshua 24:15a,c
“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

 

Flannelgraph Faith: Ruth – Everyone Matters

2017-07-23
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Ruth 2:10
So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?”

We continue through our Flannelgraph series today focusing on the story of a woman named Ruth. This is a fascinating story, particularly a love story that is cherished by so many. It is a story that encourages us but also one that helps to guide many in their marriages.

This story takes place in Bethlehem and in Moab, occurring in the time of the Judges though written after this period had ended. It’s a story of intrigue, romance and redemption

Ruth 1:1 Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons

Elimelech, Naomi and their sons left the famine of Bethlehem and traveled to Moab to find hope Soon after, Elimelech dies and leaves Naomi with her two sons. They find wives there.

The sons marry Orpah and Ruth. Not long after, both sons die and leave the three women. Naomi tells the wives to return to their families and she will go back to Bethlehem.

They arrive in Bethlehem and Naomi sends Ruth off to glean the fields of barley for their food. She follows along behind the other workers and soon the boss arrives, his name is Boaz.

Ruth catches Boaz’s eye. He takes care of her, feeds her, sends her home with lots of food and is definitely interested. Ruth tells Naomi of this man and Naomi sends her off with a plan.

After finding out that Ruth is his relative, he seeks to marry her. He must find a closer relative to determine if he has a chance. He meets with the man, he comes up with the plan, and seals the deal that he will marry Ruth. They make the contract among the elders.

Boaz marries Ruth and later have a child. This child, Obed, later has a child named Jesse. Jesse later has a child named David, King of Israel. Down through the generations, eventually another child is born. His name is Jesus.

Ruth 4:14-15 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel! 15 And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.”

 

Application

1. God uses the famines of life to bring blessings

– Naomi wanted to be called “Mara” because she felt God had forgotten her

Ruth 1:20-21 But she said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. 21 I went out full, and the Lord has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?”

2. God’s love is not exclusive

– God proved His love through using unfortunate circumstances and unlikely participants to bring about deliverance

Ruth 4:15a And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age…

3. God’s plan is greater

– When Elimelech and his sons died, no one could have guessed from that broken home the future king of Israel, and the future of King of Kings, would come.

– Our brokenness in life is always an opportunity for God to do the unexpected, the unimaginable

Flannelgraph Faith: Samson – The Promise That Remains

2017-07-16
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Judges 16:28
Then Samson called to the Lord, saying, “O Lord God, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God, that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes!”

We continue in our Flannelgraph series today focusing on the familiar story of a man named Samson. This is a story that children, especially young boys, love to hear and tell because it is a story of power and of strength.

This story takes place as Israel was still without a leader and had once again fallen into sin. Their judgement for this sin had begin and they find themselves in the hands of the Philistines.

Judges 13:1 Again the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord delivered them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years.

 

Manoah’s wife was visited by an angel who promised her a child. A child that would deliver the Israelites from the Philistines. (Verse 13:2 & 5).

 

This woman was given strict rules for this promise to come to be. Samson was born and grew to a strong young man (Verses 13:24-25). Then Samson found a woman but along the way, his first display of supernatural strength comes to light. (Verses 14:8)

 

Samson marries this young girl who begins to undermine him almost immediately. The Philistines try to destroy him but he shows them who is stronger (Verses 15:4-5).

 

Again, they attacked Samson and tied him to kill him. Once again, he shows his God-given strength and breaks the ropes, gets a jawbone and kills 1000 men. But they just keep coming after him. (Judges 15:14-15)

 

After losing his first wife, he finds a woman named Delilah. He falls for her, another massive mistake in the life of Samson. Like the first one, she begins to undermine him. She searches for his secret and finally discovers it is in his hair. They cut his hair and finally capture Samson and put out his eyes. The power of the Lord had left him.(Judges 16:15-20)

 

After his capture, the Philistines throw a massive party. They parade Samson to celebrate their “victory” but Samson had other plans. He prays for the power of God to return, one last time (Judges 16:23-28)

 

Judges 16:29-30
And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars which supported the temple, and he braced himself against them, one on his right and the other on his left. 30 Then Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” And he pushed with all his might, and the temple fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than he had killed in his life.

 

Application

1. God’s Promises Are Filled With Purpose (Verses 13:5)
– God has a specific plan for your life

2. God’s Promises Can Be Derailed By Our Actions
– Samson continually sought out the things of the world while retaining a portion of God’s plan
– Our future deliverance in His power is dependent on our obedience

3. God’s Promises Are Forever Promises
– When He speaks truth, the world cannot change the plan

Judges 16:28
Then Samson called to the Lord, saying, “O Lord God, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God, that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes!”

Flannelgraph Faith: Gideon – Defeating Fear

2017-07-09
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Judges 6:16
And the Lord said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.”

Today we begin a Summer series using a “technology” that is pretty old. That technology is flannelgraph. I remember seeing these stories on a flannel graph board when I was a child. Right here at TRBC, flannel figures were used to teach me and thousands of others the great stories of the Bible. This Summer, we’re going to do the same thing, telling the great stories of the Old Testament through this old-school method while reframing these familiar stories so they apply to us today.

Today’s story is about a man named Gideon. This was about forty years after Israel had entered the promised land, Canaan. Joshua was dead and a new generation of Israelites were now living.

These Israelites had long since forgotten the promises and deliverance of God. They kept falling into sin, into idol worship and walking away from the one true God.

Judges 6:1
The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight. So the Lord handed them over to the Midianites for seven years.

The attacks were overwhelming. So much so that the Israelites dug holes in the ground in order to hid themselves (Verse 2).

Israel got to the place where they knew that something had to change and once again they remembered the God who had delivered them. So they cried out to God. (Verses 6-10) There was one man that God had chosen to deliver them from their enemies…and from their fears.

The Angel appeared to Gideon and told him that He would deliver them. But Gideon was just as afraid as everyone else. He didn’t believe that he could do it. He said that he was not capable of leading them out of this mess. But God assured Gideon of His faithfulness (Verses 11-16). Gideon then bargained with God for proof…twice!

So Gideon called for help and 32,000 showed up. But God said it was too many so he told those who were afraid to go home. 22,000 left. But God said there were still too many, so he took them to a stream for a test. Gideon was left with 300 men. (Judges 7:1-7)

God told Gideon and his men to go to the Midianite camp and wait until nightfall. They hid there until they heard the dream of one of the men. This dream encouraged them that God was truly with them. They did as God instructed and the Midianites were so afraid, they began killing each other. (Judges 7:9-22) Gideon got more help and continued to pursue the Midianites eventually capturing the kings. (Judges 8:1-21)

After the victory, Gideon asked all the men to bring gold to him. He made a golden ephod and placed it in the midst of the city. While God had made it abundantly clear that He was their victory and the only one to be worshiped, Gideon became a little to comfortable in his power and his celebrity. (Judges 8:22-27)

Judges 8:28
That is the story of how the people of Israel defeated Midian, which never recovered. Throughout the rest of Gideon’s lifetime—about forty years—there was peace in the land.

Judges 8:33
As soon as Gideon died, the Israelites prostituted themselves by worshiping the images of Baal, making Baal-berith their god. 34 They forgot the Lord their God, who had rescued them from all their enemies surrounding them. 35 Nor did they show any loyalty to the family of Jerub-baal (that is, Gideon), despite all the good he had done for Israel.

Application

1. Defeating Fear Requires Faith  (Verses 6:13 & 15, 16)

Faith in yourself

– As a result of your faith in God

2. Defeating Fear Requires Focus  (Verses 7:2 & 7)

– As the men beside the water were focused on the job at hand, we too must be focused on God’s will and plan for our lives

– we do not have the luxury of being distracted by the “things” of the day

3. Defeating Fear Requires Fidelity  (Remaining true to Him) (Verses 8:27 & 33)

The True Definition of Freedom

2017-07-02
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Titus 3:4-5
But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit

The true definition of freedom. We use the word freedom in so many different ways. We use it to describe our ability to live the way we choose in America. We use it to describe what happens when we out of school for the Summer. We use it to talk about vacations with the family. But there is one real definition that I want to focus on today and it’s found in the book of Titus.

Titus 3:1-8 (NLT)
1 Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. 2 They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone. 3 Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. 4 But—When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. 6 He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy saying, and I want you to insist on these teachings so that all who trust in God will devote themselves to doing good. These teachings are good and beneficial for everyone.

1. Freedom Requires Submission

Vs 1 Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good.

– On this July weekend, it’s important to remember the responsibility we have to be good citizens

– Our freedom in Christ requires us to “live right” while here

2. Freedom Requires Humility

Vs 2 They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.

– Reminder of the great commandment (Love God, Love People)

3. Freedom Requires Reflection

Vs 3 Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other.

– For us to truly celebrate our freedom, we must remember from whence we came

– We were once slaves because of our sins

Galatians 4:3-7
3 And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world. 4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. 6 And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” 7 Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.

4. Freedom Requires Release

Vs 4-5 But—When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.

– Freedom comes through salvation, through a release from sin’s bondage

– New birth (change in status) to New life (change in action)

5. Freedom Requires A Future

Vs 6-7 He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.

– If freedom didn’t promise a future, then the benefits would be minimal

– Eternal life is the reward for freedom given through salvation

6. Freedom Requires A Response

Vs 8 This is a trustworthy saying, and I want you to insist on these teachings so that all who trust in God will devote themselves to doing good. These teachings are good and beneficial for everyone.

– Freedom through salvation should never result in our being selfish with the Gospel

– Outreach and Discipleship are critical components of our freedom in Christ

This is Your Life

2017-06-25

Charles Billingsley

This Sunday Charles Billingsley reminds us that our lives can leave an incredible impact on this world if we will lives totally surrendered to Christ. We will take a close look at the amazing events in Acts 16 and discover important lessons taught to us by the testimonies of Paul and Silas.

Everyone has a story.  What is yours?

Acts 16:6-34 (NKJV)

6 Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. 7 After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit[a] did not permit them. 8 So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.

11 Therefore, sailing from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and the next day came to Neapolis, 12 and from there to Philippi, which is the foremost city of that part of Macedonia, a colony. And we were staying in that city for some days. 13 And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there. 14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.

16 Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. 17 This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” 18 And this she did for many days.
But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour. 19 But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities.
20 And they brought them to the magistrates, and said, “These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city; 21 and they teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive or observe.” 22 Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. 23 And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. 24 Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. 27 And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. 28 But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.”
29 Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.

1. The great life: It starts with Surrender:

A. Surrender to the ways of God

6 Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. 7 After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit[a] did not permit them. 8 So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas.

When you don’t know what to do…continue to do what you DO know you are supposed to do.

B.  Surrender to the will of God

9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 Now after he had seen the vision, immediately WE sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.

C.   Surrender daily to God

2. The great life: It’s Energized by a purpose

11 Therefore, sailing from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and the next day came to Neapolis, 12 and from there to Philippi, which is the foremost city of that part of Macedonia, a colony. And we were staying in that city for some days. 13 And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there. 14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.

A.  It’s God’s plan

B.  It’s God’s purpose

16 Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. 17 This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” 18 And this she did for many days.
But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour.

GOD wants you to get where He wants you to go, even more than YOU want to get where He wants you to go.

19 But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities.
20 And they brought them to the magistrates, and said, “These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city; 21 and they teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive or observe.” 22 Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. 23 And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. 24 Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

Luke 9:23 — “Then Jesus said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

3. The Great life: Is Sustained by worship

25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.

A. There is power in worship

B. There is freedom in worship

4. The great life: Is Motivated by Love

A. Love of God

B. Love for others

27 And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. 28 But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.”
29 Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.

it is God’s love for us that should motivate our love for others.

Am I totally surrendered to God?
Am I energized by His plan and His purpose?
Am I sustaining my walk with him with a lifestyle of Worship?
Am I motivated by a genuine love for Him and a love for others?

The choice is yours! It’s your life!
 

 

Act Like Men

2017-06-18

Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:

1 Corinthians 16:13 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done with love.

1 Corinthians 16:13 (NASB) Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love.

1. Man of Protection

v13a Watch

– NASB Be on the alert..

What for?

– Second coming – how we should live in light of that truth

– False Teachers

– Prayer

2. Man of Purity

v13b stand fast in the faith

– NASB ..stand firm in the faith..

– Grounded in truth of God’s Word

– Church at Corinth was one being influenced by the pagan culture

– Church was being influenced more than it was doing the influencing

3. Man of Power

v13c be brave

– NASB ..act like men..

dependable, trustworthy, honest, caring

– this is what our world needs today

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men – Frederick Douglass

4. Man of Purpose

v13d be strong

– Strong in face opposition

– Not giving in at the first sign of trouble

– weakness not an option

5. Man of Perfection

v14 Let all that you do be done with love

1 Corinthians 13:1 (NLT) If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;* but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

vs 8 “LOVE NEVER FAILS” (NKJV)

What Does Service Look Like?

2017-06-11
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Matthew 5:16
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Today, we’re going to look at a familiar passage that underscores the importance of service.

There are many different views of what service should look like in today’s church. Some views are accurate, some are misguided, some are completely wrong. The best guide to becoming a fully engaged servant of Christ is to let Him explain what it looks like.

Matthew 5:13-16
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

 

1. We are to speak truth

vs 13 You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

– Salt is a seasoning that adds flavor

– It is also a preservative which slows or prevents decay

– Our roles of service in the Kingdom are to fulfill both of these elements

– How?

1. Stand for Truth

2. Call for Repentance

2. We are to show love

vs 14a You are the light of the world…

– The purpose of light is to fill (replace) the darkness

– In the absence of light, darkness prevails

3. We are not to be ashamed

vs 14b A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden

– Our salvation is an amazing gift, an undeserved gift, that should compel us to share

Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek

4. We are to share the Gospel

vs 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house

– The “light” of the Gospel is given for all, to all, to be shared with all

– The church has been too good at putting our lights under “a basket”

– Reasons:

– “I don’t want to offend”

– “I don’t want to be made fun of or criticized”

– “I’m not sure what to say”

– “What if they ask a question I don’t know the answer to”

5. We are to set the pace

vs 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven

– How do we “let our light shine?”

1. Consecration – “a setting apart”

2. Dedication – working to show ourselves approved (2 Timothy 2:15)

3. Motivation – keep moving forward in our service to Him

– Genesis 24:27 – “being on the way”

1. Daily Bible reading and study

2. Committed to prayer

3. Connected to the local church

4. Telling others about Him

5. A constant pursuit of holiness

6. Giving of myself, my talent, my time, my treasure

Not My Jesus: Christ In Me

2017-06-04
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Galatians 2:20 (NKJV)
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

During this series, we have examined who Jesus really is. While the world’s view of Jesus is always in conflict with God’s Word, we have been given a proper view of who He is through studying the Scriptures. Last week, we discovered what Jesus believes about you, how He views you which is encouraging. In light of who He is and what He thinks of us, today let’s talk about changing how we live in response to who Jesus really is.

Christ In Me

Galatians 2:20 (NKJV)
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

Romans 8:9 (NLT)
But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. 12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
1. The World Does Not Control Us

vs 9a But you are not controlled by your sinful nature.

BUT…
2. He Does

vs 9b You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)

BECAUSE…
3. He Dwells Within Us

vs 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God.

AND…
4. The Holy Spirit Leads Us

vs 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

1 John 2:6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.

TO…
5. A Life That’s Different

12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

1 Peter 1:13 So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. 14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. 15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. 16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”

The world does not control us but He does because He dwells within us and the Holy Spirit leads us to a life that’s different!

Not My Jesus: What Does Jesus Say About You?

2017-05-28
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
John 15:11
“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”

Over the past few weeks, we’ve examined what the world says about Jesus, what God says about His Son, we’ve examined the words of Christ and what Jesus said about Himself. During this journey, we’ve discovered many encouraging truths about who Christ really is. Today, however, I believe we will be encouraged in even greater ways as we spend some time studying what Jesus said about us.

John 15:1-27
1 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. 9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other. 18 “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. 20 Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. 21 They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me. 22 They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Anyone who hates me also hates my Father. 24 If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my Father. 25 This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures: ‘They hated me without cause.’ 26 “But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. 27 And you must also testify about me because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry.”

1. You are ready

vs 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.

– We have been prepared by the “vinedresser” through the “vine” to produce

2. You are protected

vs 5a Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches…

– The branches of any plant are only healthy if they are connected to the vine

– Jesus provides us with life giving protection so that we can thrive

3. You are powerful

vs 5b …Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.

– Phil 4:13 “I can do all things…”

– This refers to remaining in His Word, His presence, His impact

– vs 8 refers to the proof of our discipleship or growth

4. You are loved

vs 9-10 I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.

– He loves us with an everlasting love, He proves that love through what He has done and continues to do for us

– We must prove our love in the same way

5. You are promised joy

vs 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!

– We find joy through Him and through finding our purpose in Him

6. You are His friend

vs 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.

7. You are chosen

vs 16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.

– We have been chosen to serve alongside the King of the Universe

– That ability is found in the power and presence of God in our lives

8. You are given great help

vs 26 But I will send you the Advocate-the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me.

– We are given the Holy Spirit, the comforter, to come alongside

9. You are called

vs 27 And you must also testify about me because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry.

– Speaking to the disciples, He calls them to continue the work

– Speaking to us, He calls us to the same work

10. You are forgiven

Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)
6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Not My Jesus: Who Did Jesus Say That He Is?

2017-05-21
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory verse:
John 8:12 (NKJV)
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

Over the last few weeks, we’ve looked at what the world thinks say about Jesus, what the Father says about Jesus, what Jesus said about us, now this week let’s see what Jesus said about Himself.

John 8:12-58  (NLT)
12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” 13 The Pharisees replied, “You are making those claims about yourself! Such testimony is not valid.” 14 Jesus told them, “These claims are valid even though I make them about myself. For I know where I came from and where I am going, but you don’t know this about me. 15 You judge me by human standards, but I do not judge anyone. 16 And if I did, my judgment would be correct in every respect because I am not alone. The Father who sent me is with me. 17 Your own law says that if two people agree about something, their witness is accepted as fact. 18 I am one witness, and my Father who sent me is the other.” 19 “Where is your father?” they asked. Jesus answered, “Since you don’t know who I am, you don’t know who my Father is. If you knew me, you would also know my Father.” 20 Jesus made these statements while he was teaching in the section of the Temple known as the Treasury. But he was not arrested, because his time had not yet come. 21 Later Jesus said to them again, “I am going away. You will search for me but will die in your sin. You cannot come where I am going.” 22 The people asked, “Is he planning to commit suicide? What does he mean, ‘You cannot come where I am going’?” 23 Jesus continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You belong to this world; I do not. 24 That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I Am who I claim to be, you will die in your sins.” 25 “Who are you?” they demanded. Jesus replied, “The one I have always claimed to be. 26 I have much to say about you and much to condemn, but I won’t. For I say only what I have heard from the one who sent me, and he is completely truthful.” 27 But they still didn’t understand that he was talking about his Father. 28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I Am he. I do nothing on my own but say only what the Father taught me. 29 And the one who sent me is with me—he has not deserted me. For I always do what pleases him.” 30 Then many who heard him say these things believed in him. 31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 “But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?” 34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. 35 A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. 37 Yes, I realize that you are descendants of Abraham. And yet some of you are trying to kill me because there’s no room in your hearts for my message. 38 I am telling you what I saw when I was with my Father. But you are following the advice of your father.” 39 “Our father is Abraham!” they declared. “No,” Jesus replied, “for if you were really the children of Abraham, you would follow his example. 40 Instead, you are trying to kill me because I told you the truth, which I heard from God. Abraham never did such a thing. 41 No, you are imitating your real father.” They replied, “We aren’t illegitimate children! God himself is our true Father.” 42 Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me. 43 Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me! 44 For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me! 46 Which of you can truthfully accuse me of sin? And since I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.” 48 The people retorted, “You Samaritan devil! Didn’t we say all along that you were possessed by a demon?” 49 “No,” Jesus said, “I have no demon in me. For I honor my Father—and you dishonor me. 50 And though I have no wish to glorify myself, God is going to glorify me. He is the true judge. 51 I tell you the truth, anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!” 52 The people said, “Now we know you are possessed by a demon. Even Abraham and the prophets died, but you say, ‘Anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I want glory for myself, it doesn’t count. But it is my Father who will glorify me. You say, ‘He is our God,’ 55 but you don’t even know him. I know him. If I said otherwise, I would be as great a liar as you! But I do know him and obey him. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad.” 57 The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I Am!

1. Light of the World

vs 12b “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

-Psalm 119:105 Your Word is a lamp unto my feet, a light unto my path

Following Jesus will illuminate every situation, no matter how dark

2. God Incarnate

vs 19b Since you don’t know who I am, you don’t know who my Father is. If you knew me, you would also know my Father.

vs 23 Jesus continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You belong to this world; I do not.”

– Jesus literally took on flesh without leaving His divine nature behind

– Bible speaks of His incarnation (Isaiah 7, Psalm 2, John 1, Hebrews 1)

3. Messiah

vs 25 “Who are you?” they demanded. Jesus replied, “The one I have always claimed to be.”

vs 28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I Am he. I do nothing on my own but say only what the Father taught me.”

– John 14:11 – Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.

John 1:29 – The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

4. The Word

vs 31-32 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

– John 1 – In the beginning was the Word…

5. The Sent One

vs 42 Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me.

Even in Luke 2, as a child, he stated that He was “about His Father’s business…”

6. GOD

vs 57-58 The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I Am!

– Exodus 3:14 “I am who I am…I AM has sent you”

God in three persons – TRINITY

 

From Dawson McAllister

* God the Father’s role is to generate things. Things originate with him and flow from him. God the Father is equal with the Son and the Holy Spirit, but things start with him. The Father sent both the Son (John 3:16-17) and Holy Spirit (John 14:26) into the world.

* God the Son’s role is to pay for our sins with his blood, which he did on the cross (Romans 5:9). The Son also acts as a lawyer for us before God, acting as a “mediator” between us and God (1 Timothy 2:5), and speaking “to the Father in our defense” (1 John 2:1).

* God the Holy Spirit has many roles. The Spirit helps us pray (Romans 8:26-27). He gives us new life (John 3:3-6). He is our Comforter, and he helps us understand God’s word (John 14:26). He lifts up Christ (John 15:26). He convicts us of sin (John 16:7-11). He helps us to live holy lives (Romans 15:16). He gives us love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). He helps us share our faith (Acts 1:8). And he lives inside us (Romans 8:11).

From Harold Willmington

* Tri-theism: Idea that there are three Gods who cooperate

* Modalism: One God who reveals Himself in three different forms (husband, father, brother

* 3 Leaf Clover, Water, Egg, Man (body soul spirit) are all NOT good representations of the Trinity as they can be separated

* Best example is the Dimensional Illustration

* A book has three dimensions (height, width, length) that cannot be separated

* Another good example: FIRE (three components – fuel, heat, oxygen) take away any of the components and fire ceases to exist

Not My Jesus: What Jesus Really Said

2017-05-14
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Matthew 5:12
Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:1 And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit. For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers,For they shall be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Not My Jesus: Who Is The Real Jesus?

2017-05-07

Memory Verse:
Hebrews 1:1-2
1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;

Hebrews 1:1 (NLT) Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. 2 And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. 3 The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. 4 This shows that the Son is far greater than the angels, just as the name God gave him is greater than their names. 5 For God never said to any angel what he said to Jesus: “You are my Son. Today I have become your Father.” God also said, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son.” 6 And when he brought his supreme Son into the world, God said, “Let all of God’s angels worship him.” 7 Regarding the angels, he says, “He sends his angels like the winds, his servants like flames of fire.” 8 But to the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. You rule with a scepter of justice. 9 You love justice and hate evil. Therefore, O God, your God has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.” 10 He also says to the Son, “In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands. 11 They will perish, but you remain forever. They will wear out like old clothing. 12 You will fold them up like a cloak and discard them like old clothing. But you are always the same; you will live forever.” 13 And God never said to any of the angels, “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.” 14 Therefore, angels are only servants—spirits sent to care for people who will inherit salvation.

1. The Final Word
vs 2 And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son.

John 1:1 In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He existed in the beginning with God. 3 God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. 4 The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

2. God’s Only Representative
vs 3a The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God

3. God’s Greatest Joy
vs 5 For God never said to any angel what he said to Jesus: “You are my Son. Today I have become your Father.” God also said, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son.” 6 And when he brought his supreme* Son into the world, God said, “Let all of God’s angels worship him.”

4. He Is God
vs 8 But to the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. You rule with a scepter of justice. 9 You love justice and hate evil. Therefore, O God, your God has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.”

Our God is Three Persons In One – Trinity
(Father) God the Father – Galatians 1:1
(Son) the Word was God – John 1:1
(Spirit) Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit . . . ? You have not lied to men but to God. – Acts 5:3–4

5. He Is Creator
vs 10 He also says to the Son, “In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands.”

6. He Is Eternal
vs 11 “They will perish, but you remain forever. They will wear out like old clothing. 12 You will fold them up like a cloak and discard them like old clothing. But you are always the same; you will live forever.”

7. Our Final Hope
vs 3b When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.

vs 13 And God never said to any of the angels, “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.”

Not My Jesus: The World’s View of Jesus

2017-04-30
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Matthew 16:15-16
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

When you mention the name, Jesus, everyone on the face of the earth has an opinion. For some, He’s the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the Savior of mankind. For some, a great teacher. For others, a good moral example. And for others, He’s a fraud.

As followers of Christ, it is important that we understand truly who He is and why He is. Over the next few weeks, we will spend time strengthening our view and understanding of the most important person that has ever walked the face of the earth.  Today, we’ll take a brief look at what the world believe, and set the stage for defending what we believe.

READ: Matthew 16:1-17

1. World is always looking for a sign

vs 4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.

Matthew 12:38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” 39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.

2. There are signs from above and signs from below

vs 12 Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Jewish

* He was jewish

* Ignored from 3rd century forward

* From year 1000, Jews felt that Jesus was source of their persecution

* After 14th century, Jesus was a religious and ethical master, reformer

Islam

* They agree with his virgin birth

* He was a prophet

* His divinity is denied

* Ranks after Mohammed

* Spiritual teacher

* Mentioned in Quran 25 times, more than Mohammed

* Messenger of God but NT is not that message

* Believe that he was not killed or crucified

Hinduism

* Some admire but no commitment

* Some love Him, and use Him as guide in their hinduism

* Some believe

* Ghandi admired teaching of Jesus

* No problem with Jesus being divine, but not exclusively

Buddhism

* Some view Christ as an example of denial of self (Kenosis)

* Admire His compassion (Dalai Lama)

* Attracted to His teaching

* Don’t agree with Him as Son of God

* No real view on Jesus as Buddha didn’t focus on God

Atheists for Jesus
Ken Schei says:”Secondly, when I say that I am “for Jesus”, I do not mean to imply in any way that I have converted to Christianity or that I now believe Jesus to be a god. What I do mean is that I have come to have a great deal of respect for the teachings of Jesus. My respect for Jesus is not based on the Cross, but rather on the Mount–not on His death and supposed resurrection, but on His teachings as exemplified by the Sermon on the Mount.

I will be attempting to present convincing evidence that the Ebionites were who they claimed to be (the Original Apostles and their followers), and that they presented the most accurate picture of the life and teachings of Jesus that is available to us today. If I am successful, the major effect will be to show that Jesus taught that the way to get to Heaven was the difficult path of working to live a good life (the position held by the Original Apostles) rather than the easy path of simply believing in a salvation provided by Jesus’ death (as presented by the followers of Paul).” 1

2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted–you may well put up with it!

3. The greatest revelation of who Jesus is? Himself

vs 13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” 14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.:” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.”

Mark 8:29 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.”

 

1 Ken Schei, Founder and President of Atheists for Jesus http://www.atheists-for-jesus.com

Not my Jesus – The Case for Christ

2017-04-23
Lee Strobel

“If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” – 1 Cor. 15:17 (NIV)

1. EXECUTION

“Jesus’ death as a consequence of crucifixion is indisputable.”
— atheist scholar Gerd Lüdemann
2. EARLY ACCOUNTS

“This tradition, we can be entirely confident, was formulated as tradition within months of Jesus’ death.”
– Historian James D.G. Dunn
3. EMPTY TOMB

4. EYEWITNESSES

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, [even] to those who believe in His name.”
– John 1:12 (NASB)

Believe + Receive = Become

Easter: The Outsiders – Truly He Is The Son of God

2017-04-16
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Matthew 18:11 (NKJV)
For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.

The day started in agony. Jesus had already been ridiculed before Caiaphas, Annas, Pilate and Herod. He had already been beaten and bloodied. But now, the real journey began. The long road to Golgotha.

Mark 15:20 (NKJV) And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him. 21 Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross. 22 And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull. 23 Then they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it. 24 And when they crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots for them to determine what every man should take. 25 Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him. 26 And the inscription of His accusation was written above: THE KING OF THE JEWS 27 With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on His right and the other on His left. 28 So the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with the transgressors.” 29 And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 save Yourself, and come down from the cross!” 31 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him. 33 Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” 35 Some of those who stood by, when they heard that, said, “Look, He is calling for Elijah!” 36 Then someone ran and filled a sponge full of sour wine, put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink, saying, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to take Him down.” 37 And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last. 38 Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!”

At the moment Jesus breathed His last, the one man commissioned to kill Jesus was the man who immediately recognized Him for who He was. What must have gone through his mind at that moment. He had been present for the trials, he was present when Jesus was mocked and beaten, present for the crown of thorns. And, most certainly, present and complicit in nailing Jesus to the cross, complicit in His death. And now, he sees that Jesus was indeed the Son of God.

Many still mocked at this point, but this man knew Jesus was God. How many today know this same thing, yet ignore the truth?

Jesus was dead. His body removed from the tree and placed in a tomb. The tomb was sealed. The Sanhedrin were done with Him, putting this difficult moment in their past. There was no more worries about this man Jesus.

Mark 16:1
Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 7 But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”

“You seek Jesus who was crucified, who was dead, but He is alive!”

Everything was different now. The soldiers feared for their lives, the disciples weren’t sure what to think, the women who were there…confused, frightened, unsure. Until one very important thing happened…they saw Him. And when they did, the fears were gone, confusion ended, uncertainty disappeared. Never again did they have to be encouraged to tell others, never again were they concerned about what others might think. Why? Because they had seen the risen Lord. Their words echoed the centurion who gazed upon the body of Jesus on the cross.

“Truly this Man was the Son of God!”

Two thousand years have come and gone since the events of those days. Two thousand years have passed since Malchus was healed in the garden, since Jesus spoke those supposedly blasphemous words to Caiaphas. Since Jesus uttered “It is as you say” to Pontius Pilate. Since the centurion uttered those amazing words…truly this man was the son of God.

And while the calendar has changed, the truth has not. The same Jesus who died, was buried and rose again is the one who today still lives. And loves. And loves you!

As you gaze into the face of Jesus today, what are your words? Confusion, complacency, not interested? Or are your words, truly this man IS the Son of God?

Matthew 18:11 For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.

Outsiders; Pilate

2017-04-09
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse
John 18:37b
“…For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

John 18:28 Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover. 29 Pilate then went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?” 30 They answered and said to him, “If He were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him up to you.” 31 Then Pilate said to them, “You take Him and judge Him according to your law.” Therefore the Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death,” 32 that the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled which He spoke, signifying by what death He would die. 33 Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” 37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” 38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.39 “But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40 Then they all cried again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.
John 19:1 So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. 2 And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. 3 Then they said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck Him with their hands. 4 Pilate then went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him.” 5 Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!” 6 Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.” 7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.” 8 Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid, 9 and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?” 11 Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” 12 From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.” 13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15 But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!” 16 Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. Then they took Jesus and led Him away.

1. Complacency

vs 18:29 Pilate then went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?” 30 They answered and said to him, “If He were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him up to you.” 31 Then Pilate said to them, “You take Him and judge Him according to your law.”

* Pilate wanted nothing to do with Jesus, most likely because he didn’t want to be bothered by what he saw as a personal vendetta by the Sanhedrin

vs 18:38b …And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.

Matthew 27:19 While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, “Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.”

2. Confusion

vs 18:33 Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” 37 Pilate therefore said to Him,”Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” 38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?”

* Pilate was confused during this conversation because he couldn’t really understand what it was that Jesus was saying.

* Pilate dismissed Jesus’ words with “WHAT IS TRUTH?”  – Our comfort is more important than truth

3. Compromise

vs 19:6b …Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.” 7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.” 8 Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid,

* Pilate compromised his leadership and authority by stating “I find no fault..you do it”

vs 19:15b …Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!” 16 Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. Then they took Jesus and led Him away

Matthew 27:24 When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.”

* This act was to say that he was not responsible for what would take place, but he was

* He compromised what he believed, what is truth, because of cultural pressure

How can we battle Complacency, Confusion and Compromise?

1. Knowing God’s Word and God’s Will will keep you focused on what’s important

2. Knowing God’s Word and God’s Will will help you recognize what’s right and what’s wrong

3. Knowing God’s Word and God’s Will will help you do the right thing, no matter the pressure

The Outsiders: One For All

2017-04-02
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
John 11:50
“…nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.”

Today, we continue our series, The Outsiders. Looking at the story of the passion of Christ from those who helped bring about His death. Last week, we looked at Malchus, the assistant to the High Priest whose ear was cut off by Peter and healed by Jesus. What an amazing story. Imagine what must have been going through Malchus’ mind during Christ’s trial and execution…this man healed me!

Today, we look at the high priest, Caiaphas. The man who wanted Jesus dead.

John 11:45 Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him. 46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus did. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. 48 If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.” 49 And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad.53 Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death. 54 Therefore Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, and there remained with His disciples. 55 And the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went from the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves. 56 Then they sought Jesus, and spoke among themselves as they stood in the temple, “What do you think—that He will not come to the feast?” 57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a command, that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it, that they might seize Him.
The plot began. Caiaphas was the High Priest of Jerusalem. He was the son in law of the former High Priest, Annas, and was appointed in 18 a.d. to serve in this capacity. He maintained that position until around 36 a.d. when he was thrown out by the Roman procurator. The fact that he served that long proves that he knew what he was doing. He was a politician and knew how to play the games, and please the right people. He knew that he had to keep everything in line if he was going to maintain his power. That’s why he had to stop Jesus.
After the arrest in the garden, Jesus was led from the Garden across the Kidron Valley and taken first to Annas and then to the home of Caiaphas. Annas was appointed high priest by Quirinius, governor of Syria, in 7 A.D. The account of Jesus’ trial before Annas is found in John 18. Jesus was bound and sent to Caipahas.
It was during this time that Peter denied Jesus three times, just as Jesus had said. Let’s pick up the story as Jesus appears before Caiaphas at his house on Mt. Zion.
Matthew 26:57 And those who had laid hold of Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. 58 But Peter followed Him at a distance to the high priest’s courtyard. And he went in and sat with the servants to see the end. 59 Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, 60 but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward 61 and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’ ” 62 And the high priest arose and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” 63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!” 64 Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy! 66 What do you think?” They answered and said, “He is deserving of death.” 67 Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands, 68 saying, “Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?”
Why is the viewpoint of Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin so important to understand? Their religion was more important than truth. Their tradition was more important than hope. Their power was more important than God’s plan. Sound familiar?

1. The world is always looking for another way

vs 59 Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, 60a but found none…

* Their desired result was more important than truth
* Their comfort was more precious than their faithfulness

2. Jesus claimed to be able to do what no one could imagine

vs 60b …But at last two false witnesses came forward 61 and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’

* This is from John 2:19-22 where Jesus cleaned the Temple
* Jesus was referring to His body as the Temple he would rebuild in three days
* After His resurrection, the disciples remembered these words

3. Sometimes in the most difficult moments of life, He remains silent

Not because He is powerless, but rather because His timing is far better than ours

vs 63a But Jesus kept silent… (He could have saved Himself but His plan was far greater)
vs 63b …”I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!”
64 Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

* Caiaphas played an important role in carrying out the mission of Christ
* Sometimes the most vicious attackers are the greatest opportunities to help bring about God’s perfect plan

4. Jesus’ plan was the one we so desperately needed

John 11:47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. 48 If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.” 49 And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.”

– Caiphas had no idea that in these few simple words, he gave one of the greatest prophecies in all the Bible. He proclaimed the truth of Christ’s presence on this earth. One for all. The question is…will it be “all for One!”

Outsiders: Jesus at the Center

2017-03-26
Charles Billingsley

Today we begin a 4 week sermon series called “OUTSIDERS.”  In this series we will take a look at the heart and the mindset of 4 different characters in scripture who had a front row seat to the events of the Passion week and even played significant roles in the crucifixion narrative.  None of these characters were followers of Christ, but each one of them encountered Him directly, and each one was impacted by the grace of our Lord.  We will reach a finale to this series on Easter Morning as we examine the response of the Roman centurion at the foot of the cross.  This week we begin in the Garden of Gethsemane, where, after three agonizing hours of prayer, Jesus is confronted and arrested by a small army led by His betrayer, Judas.  But, Judas is not in charge of this mission.  The man in charge is named Malchus, the servant of the High Priest.  Malchus has been commissioned to bring Jesus in for trial and execution.  He’s just there to do His job…but ends up face to face with grace.

Scripture memory verse:
John 3:17 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

John 18:1-11

1 When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered. 2 And Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with His disciples. 3 Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. 4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, “Whom are you seeking?”

5 They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. 6 Now when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

7 Then He asked them again, “Whom are you seeking?”

And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

8 Jesus answered, “I have told you that I am He. Therefore, if you seek Me, let these go their way,” 9 that the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, “Of those whom You gave Me I have lost none.”

10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.

11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”

1. The Power of Jesus is Undeniable

2. The Love of Jesus is Unconditional

3. The Grace of Jesus is Indescribable

Storytellers: The Story of a Servant

2017-03-19
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
John 4:10
Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

John 4:1-14
1 Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John 2 (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). 3 So he left Judea and returned to Galilee. 4 He had to go through Samaria on the way. 5 Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. 7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” 8 He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. 9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” 10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” 11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?” 13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

Application:

1. See the worth in every person (vs 7)

-no matter the sin, no matter the pain they’ve caused, God values them

2. See them the way Christ sees them (vs 10a)

He is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9)

– He loves us despite our sin and desires to redeem EVERYONE (Rom 5:8)

3. See the value of the message (vs 10b)

the only message that change a life is the Gospel…IT IS WORTH TELLING!

4. See the importance of telling them (vs 11)

– the world has a view that it’s what THEY do that will give them hope

– they need to know that it is what Christ has already done that makes the difference

5. Do whatever it takes (vs 13)

we have a limited time to take this message to the world…OUR WORLD

– your story, simply and genuinely told, can be the catalyst that introduces someone to Jesus

Storytellers: “Story Takers” Matthew 9

2017-03-12
Matt Willmington

Memory Verse: Matthew 9:38 (NKJV)
“Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

When we hear about or see a movie we love, we tend to tell our friends. The gospel is God’s Good News story, better than any movie! Are you taking it to your friends? Bring it to them, or take them to hear – just do it!

The Good News Story – John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

• God’s Story: He loves me! [John 3:16]
• My Story: I’m a sinner and deserve to be punished [Rom.3:10, 23]
• God’s Story: Jesus paid the price on the cross [1 Peter 3:18]
• My Story: I have been given salvation by His grace. I must call on His name. [Romans 10:13, Eph.2:8-9]
• God’s Story: He promises to save me for eternity! [Rom.8:38-39]

1. TAKE PEOPLE TO JESUS [v.2-8]

v2 Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.” 3 And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, “This Man blasphemes!” 4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? 5 For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’? 6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” — then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” 7 And he arose and departed to his house. 8 Now when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such power to men.

• team
• work
◦ “They tried to take him inside to Jesus, but they couldn’t reach him because of the crowd. So they went up to the roof and took off some tiles. Then they lowered the sick man on his mat down into the crowd, right in front of Jesus” [Luke 5:18-19 NLT]

• faith
• praise
◦ “the man jumped up, picked up his mat, and went home praising God:”. [Luke 5:25 NLT]

2. TAKE JESUS TO PEOPLE [v.9-13]

v9 As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him. 10 Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

“So Levi got up, left everything, and followed him. Later, Levi held a banquet in his home with Jesus as the guest of honor. Many of Levi’s fellow tax collectors and other guests also ate with them.” [Luke 5:28-29 NLT]

• obedience
• courage
• hospitality

3. TAKE JESUS’ BURDEN [v.35-38]

v35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

• He served those in need
• He had compassion
• He asked God to send workers

Storytellers: The Story of Sight

2017-03-05
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse: John 9:39 NKJV
And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.”

Today, I’d like to spend some time talking about the importance of a story. How a story can change everything in the eyes of others. How an honest story of God’s love and redemption can change the world.  And, one of the greatest stories to emphasize this truth is found in John 9.

John 9:1-27 NLT
1 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. 2 “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” 3 “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. 4 We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. 5 But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes. 7 He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “sent”). So the man went and washed and came back seeing! 8 His neighbors and others who knew him as a blind beggar asked each other, “Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some said he was, and others said, “No, he just looks like him!” But the beggar kept saying, “Yes, I am the same one!” 10 They asked, “Who healed you? What happened?” 11 He told them, “The man they call Jesus made mud and spread it over my eyes and told me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash yourself.’ So I went and washed, and now I can see!” 12 “Where is he now?” they asked. “I don’t know,” he replied. 13 Then they took the man who had been blind to the Pharisees, 14 because it was on the Sabbath that Jesus had made the mud and healed him. 15 The Pharisees asked the man all about it. So he told them, “He put the mud over my eyes, and when I washed it away, I could see!” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man Jesus is not from God, for he is working on the Sabbath.” Others said, “But how could an ordinary sinner do such miraculous signs?” So there was a deep division of opinion among them. 17 Then the Pharisees again questioned the man who had been blind and demanded, “What’s your opinion about this man who healed you?” The man replied, “I think he must be a prophet.” 18 The Jewish leaders still refused to believe the man had been blind and could now see, so they called in his parents. 19 They asked them, “Is this your son? Was he born blind? If so, how can he now see?” 20 His parents replied, “We know this is our son and that he was born blind, 21 but we don’t know how he can see or who healed him. Ask him. He is old enough to speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who had announced that anyone saying Jesus was the Messiah would be expelled from the synagogue. 23 That’s why they said, “He is old enough. Ask him.” 24 So for the second time they called in the man who had been blind and told him, “God should get the glory for this, because we know this man Jesus is a sinner.” 25 “I don’t know whether he is a sinner,” the man replied. “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!” 26 “But what did he do?” they asked. “How did he heal you?” 27 “Look!” the man exclaimed. “I told you once. Didn’t you listen? Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?”

1. The Beginning of a Story

vs 7 He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “sent”). So the man went and washed and came back seeing!

– Story begins with Jesus seeing a man who had always been blind

– It is also a story that begins in Christians judging someone

– But Jesus took what the world sees as a sinful, punished man and turns it into the miraculous

– This took belief and action on the part of the man

2. The Power of a Story

vs 8 His neighbors and others who knew him as a blind beggar asked each other, “Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some said he was, and others said, “No, he just looks like him!” But the beggar kept saying, “Yes, I am the same one!”

– Instantly the man wanted everyone to know about this miracle

– He had spent his entire life blind, and now he sees, and couldn’t stop sharing.

– This story turned the community upside down

3. The Faith of a Storyteller

vs 10 They asked, “Who healed you? What happened?” 11 He told them, “The man they call Jesus made mud and spread it over my eyes and told me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash yourself.’ So I went and washed, and now I can see!”

– There was no fear to share this story, no worry over being ridiculed

– The formerly blind man was now a spokesman for Jesus, who was not there

– This man had absolute faith in what had happened because he could see

4. The Courage of a Storyteller

vs 15 The Pharisees asked the man all about it. So he told them, “He put the mud over my eyes, and when I washed it away, I could see!”

vs 25 “I don’t know whether he is a sinner,” the man replied. “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!”

vs 26 “But what did he do?” they asked. “How did he heal you?” 27 “Look!” the man exclaimed. “I told you once. Didn’t you listen? Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?”

– His testimony took great courage. His own parents were afraid (vss 18-20)

– Anyone who acknowledged Christ would be put out of the synagogue.

– Yet the man continued to tell the same story…I once was blind but now I see

– The man not only continued to share the story, he pushed back against the Pharisees. (vss 30-34) He was even thrown out for it, yet he stood and believed. (vs 35)

5. The Importance of a Storyteller

vs 4 We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work.

– Jesus made it clear, time is short, we must share our stories NOW!

Overflow: He Is All That You Need

2017-02-26
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Over the course of this series out of Hebrews 12 and 13, we’ve tried to convey a message that is so vital in our lives. Namely, in order to experience God’s best for our lives, we cannot be bogged down by the things of this world. Romans 12:2 says it this way:

Romans 12:2 NKJV
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Romans 12:2 NLT
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Therefore, we must do everything possible to ensure that we follow the instructions of Romans 12:2, and Hebrews 12:1, and get rid of the things that stop us. In doing so, God promises a great reward. We talked about that last week. Today, I want to focus on just two verses that are great reminders that HE IS ALL THAT WE NEED!

Memory Verse:
Hebrews 13:21 NKJV
(May GOD) make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 13:20 NLT
Now may the God of peace— who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood— 21 may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.
He is…

1. Our Peace – vs 20a
Now may the God of peace…

Here it reminds us that it is God in whom all our prosperity is centered. There is no well-rounded life that does not depend on him.”

This passage was written to a believers who had been persecuted, who were challenged in their faith, and were questioning their commitment to Christ.

2. Our Shepherd – vs 20b
…the great Shepherd of the sheep…

  • Matthew 9: Jesus had compassion on the people, because they wandered about, like sheep without a shepherd.
  • We all need a shepherd in our lives, one who will watch over us, care for us, guide us when we are lost, protect us when we are attacked

3. Our Deliverer – vs 20c
…and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood.

– a reminder that Jesus made an eternal promise to all of us and this promise was made through the shedding of blood

4. Our Provider – vs 21a
May he equip you with all you need for doing his will…

Katartizo (create, complete, restore) or “guarantee”

5. Our Hope – vs 21b
…May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him.

– key thought: through the power of Jesus…

Overflow: Risk and Reward

2017-02-19
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Hebrews 13:5
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Hebrews 13:1
Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. 2 Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! 3 Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies. 4 Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery. 5 Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” 6 So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?”

Living our lives in the overflow means we can…

1. Truly love one another

v1 Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters.

philadelphia – brotherly love is encouraged here

– What does brotherly love look like?

– relationship (not helicopter relationships)

– genuine care and concern

– provision of needs

2. Have room to help others

v2 Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! 3 Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.

– When we are not “bogged down” by the burdens of life, we are free to help others, care for others, spend time with others

– These two verses focus on the importance of kindness to all and the importance of helping those who are less fortunate

– Service, Missions, Outreach

3. Have the marriages we’ve always dreamed about

v4a Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage.

– honor = timios (TEAM-eeh-os = valued, costly, prized)

v4b God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.

4. Have the right attitudes about “stuff”

v5 Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”

– encouragement to “not be greedy, selfish” about money

– 1 Corinthians 4:2 calls us to be “stewards” over what God gives us

– 1 Timothy 6:10 says the “love of money is the root of all kinds of evil”

– Money not that important. Why? Because He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us

5. Have the right attitude about God

v6 So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?”

– This is reference to Psalm 118

– Our dependence is on Him, not ourselves, not our money, not our status, not our power, not our job

– Therefore, nothing to fear. No one can destroy us.

Application:

1. Get rid of pride

– If it is a struggle, pray for deliverance

(If it’s all about you, it’s all about over)

2. Look for the opportunities to bless others

– Don’t just wait for the random opportunities, go make those opportunities

3. Look at your spouse as a gift from God, not a burden

– And treat and respect them as such

4. Stop caring so much about things

– There are scores of marriages and families that have been destroyed because they are so focused on “having” rather than “being”

5. Start caring about your relationship with Him

– Take it seriously

– A haphazard faith leads to a hazardous future

– Word/prayer/group/service/sharing

Overflow: Forgiveness, Holiness and Peace

2017-02-12
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Hebrews 12:14 NKJV
Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord

Hebrews 12:14 NLT
Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. 15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. 16 Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal. 17 You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears. 18 You have not come to a physical mountain, to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai. 19 For they heard an awesome trumpet blast and a voice so terrible that they begged God to stop speaking. 20 They staggered back under God’s command: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” 21 Moses himself was so frightened at the sight that he said, “I am terrified and trembling.” 22 No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. 23 You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. 24 You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.25 Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven! 26 When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” 27 This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain. 28 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. 29 For our God is a devouring fire.

There are two major forms of discouragement in our lives: 1) discouragement brought on by our own actions, 2) discouragement brought on by the actions of others.  Last week, we talked about the first, today…we talk about the second. How do we respond to those who’ve hurt us. The only way to a life that is full to overflowing is to live a life that responds the right way.

1. Forgiveness

v14a Work at living in peace with everyone…

– Key Word: WORK (dee-OH-ko – following in order to catch or attack, to seek to attain)
– Translation – it does not naturally happen, it’s a choice!

– When we don’t forgive:
1. We are allowing ourselves to be bound by a heavy weight
2. We are accepting that we will always live in the past, not the future
3. We are putting our potential for happiness and joy in the hands of others
4. We are choosing to look at the ugliness of this world, not its beauty
– But, when we do forgive:
1. We are setting ourselves free from the burden and able to see new things
2. Forgiveness is the greatest way to recognize our own forgiveness from God
And, it brings about,

2. Holiness

v14b …and work at living a holy life…

– Again, WORK
– Does not come naturally
– Romans 3:10 – None is righteous, no not one
– Ezekiel 28:15 – You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created
– Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is desperately wicked
– 1 John 1:10 – If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar
– Romans 3:23 – All have sinned
– SO, WORK!

We work at forgiveness, we work at holiness, what happens?

3. Peace

v15a Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God…

If not… LOOK OUT!

4. Bitterness will always follow

v15b …Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.

– Some individuals can act like a poisonous weed and utterly devastate believers around them

5. A matter of the heart

v28 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.

– The world’s plan always leads to destruction, discouragement, death
– God’s plan leads to life, overflowing and everlasting

Overflow: The Right Correction for the Right Direction

2017-02-05
Pastor Jonathan Falwell
Memory Verse:
Heb. 12:11 (NKJV)
Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Hebrews 12:5 (NLT)
And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the LORD’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. 6 For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” 7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? 10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. 12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. 13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.

The Right Correction for the Right Direction

Today, is a message on discouragement. There are two major forms of discouragement in our lives: 1) discouragement brought on by our own actions, 2) discouragement brought on by the actions of others. Today we’re going to deal with the first form, and next week will deal with the second. And, the way that we bring on discouragement as a result of our own actions comes from the consequences of our actions.  That is, the price we pay for the things we do.

Heb. 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

1. All sin has consequences

– The sinfulness of sin is equal before God, but the consequences can be different

vs 5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the LORD’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you.”

– Newton’s Third Law – For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction

– There are bad decisions we make that may not be sin, but still bad

2. Those consequences can leave us discouraged if we don’t see their value

vs 6 “For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”

– every reaction from our action should be an opportunity to learn

Proverbs 3:11 My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. 12 For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.

– rarely does one see a negative reaction to our action as a positive

3. God’s discipline is a clear picture of His love for us

7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all.

– This should be one of the most eye opening and frightening verses in all of Scripture

4. This discipline will ALWAYS make us better

vs 10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.

– The purpose of discipline is to bring correction, not simply punishment

– God’s plan is to allow our bad to shape our good

– If we don’t allow this process to happen, our bad will only create our “WORSE”

– “discipline” paideia (pie-DAY-o) – punished for the purpose of improved behavior

BUT, this is your choice

5. Don’t allow these moments to get you down, let them raise you up

vs 12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. 13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.

– the picture of discouragement (tired hands and weak knees)

– God says “Therefore, stand up, keep moving, and let the past shape you for a better future”

Action Points

1. Make a list of consequences you are facing, or have faced, as a result of bad decisions

2. Evaluate each one from the viewpoint of what you learned from those consequences

3. If you can’t find something you’ve learned, take some time to determine what you should learn

4. If there is unconfessed sin that is part of this, confess it and ask forgiveness

5. If you need to seek forgiveness for something you’ve done to others, do so

6. Is there an action you need to take to move past it

7. Move on

Overflow: Filled To Flow

2017-01-29
Matt Willmington

Memory Verse:

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Psalm 23:5 NKJV
God wants to fill us so we overflow for others…

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 NKJV

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.” Psalms 23:5 NKJV

“I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.” Genesis 12:2 NKJV

You can’t overflow if you are empty

Elijah’s Story…

“So he went and did according to the word of the LORD, for he went and stayed by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook. And it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.” I Kings 17:5-7 NKJV

“Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.” And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” So she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. For thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth.’ So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke by Elijah.” I Kings 17:10-16 NKJV

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. And the angel of the LORD came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” I Kings 19:4-7 NKJV

And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” So he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.” Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” And he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.” I Kings 19:9-14 NKJV

Lessons:
1. Fill how God chooses

2. Fill daily

“Give us this day our daily bread”

3. Fill with God’s presence

“God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other.” C.S.Lewis

4. Fill by serving and loving

Overflow: Losing Weight To Win

2017-01-22
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Last week’s Memory Verse:
Hebrews 12:1
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

Today’s Memory Verse:
Hebrews 12:2
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1 (NLT)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people;* then you won’t become weary and give up. 4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.

Losing Weight To Win

1. You’re Not Alone

1a Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith…

– one of the greatest hindrances to living a “freed: life is being bound by loneliness

– byproducts of loneliness
– discouragement
– fear
– inadequacy
– apathy

2. Let It Go

1b …let us strip off every weight that slows us down…

– weight (onkos – impediment, encumbrance)
– Typical “weights” that slow us down
– financial
– health
– lack of wisdom
– double-mindedness
– sin

3. Clean It Up

1c …especially the sin that so easily trips us up…

– sin will always stop us from winning
– our tolerance of sin grows exponentially as our lack of repentance grows

“Never confuse God’s patience in punishing sin as God’s tolerance and acceptance of our sin” – Steve Gaines

– Daniel 4:27 ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, please accept my advice. Stop sinning and do what is right. Break from your wicked past and be merciful to the poor. Perhaps then you will continue to prosper.’ 28 “But all these things did happen to King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 Twelve months later…”

4. Never Quit

1d …And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

– endurance (hypomonē – perseverance, capacity to continue to bear up under difficult circumstances)

– Why should we never quit? Because this is God’s plan!
– the race God has set before us.

5. Know What Matters

2a We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus…

ACTION POINTS

1. Look for the weights (i.e. discouragement, financials, health, relationships, anger)

2. Come up with a game plan to fix it

3. Stop sin
– getting into God’s Word will help you avoid sin
– right crowds will help you avoid sin
– “Garbage in/Garbage out”

4. Seek the race God has for you
– prayer
– discernment

Overflow: Proven Biblical Money Principles

2017-01-15
Special Speaker: Dave Ramsey
Sermon Title: “Proven Biblical Money Principles”
Live on a written BUDGET
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish?”  – Luke 14:28
Avoid DEBT
“The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is slave to the lender.”  – Proverbs 22:7
Foster high-quality RELATIONSHIPS
“Do not be deceived: evil company corrupts good habits.”  – I Corinthians 15:33
SAVE and invest
“In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil.”  – Proverbs 21:20
Be incredibly GENEROUS
“…for God loves a cheerful giver.”  – 2 Corinthians 9:7

A New Heart for a New Church

2017-01-08
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Ephesians 4:30
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Last week, we talked about “A New Walk For A New You” in this new year. We discussed making sure that we are making room for God, family, others and that we are living with eternity in mind. Today, I want to talk about the church, specifically, this church.

Eph 4:23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

Rev. 2:1 Write this letter to the angel of the church in Ephesus. This is the message from the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand, the one who walks among the seven gold lampstands: 2 “I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. 3 You have patiently suffered for me without quitting. 4 “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! 5 Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches. 6 But this is in your favor: You hate the evil deeds of the Nicolaitans, just as I do. 7 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give fruit from the tree of life in the paradise of God.

Rev. 3:14 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amen—the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s new creation: 15 “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! 16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! 17 You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. 18 So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. 19 I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference. 20 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. 21 Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne. 22 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.”

Two churches with two different and distinct problems, but those problems are directly related to one another. And, every church that starts down the road where the church at Ephesus found itself will eventually find itself in the same condition as the church at Laodicea. We cannot, and will not, allow that to happen to this church.

1. Doing the good things doesn’t always equal doing the right things

2 “I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. 3 You have patiently suffered for me without quitting.

2. The right things always spring from the heart

4 “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first!”

5 Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches.

3. Lacking the right thing will always turn your heart the wrong way

15 “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other!

17 You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.

4. Make the right thing the main thing

16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!

20 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. 21 Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.

Eph 4:30b Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

A New Walk For A New You

2017-01-01
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Ephesians 4:32
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4:17-32 (NLT) With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. 21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. 25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. 26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil. 28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. 29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. 30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

1. A New Walk

17  With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.

– Make room for God

24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy

– set aside time for devotions daily
– Make room for family
– recognize the great gift they are
– Make room for others

32  Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

2. A New You

– Commitment to live right (Get rid of the bad)

23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.

– Commitment to live better (Get more of the good)

28b Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

– Commitment to live with eternity in mind (Share Him with the world)

30b Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

“Let your past prepare you, your present preserve you, and your future propel you to be the person God wants you to be in this new year”

3. Communion

1 Corinthians 11:23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
Examine Yourself
27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.

“And He shall save…”

2016-12-25
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Over these past few weeks, we looked at Zecherias and Elizabeth’s miraculous story in the birth of John the Baptist. We’ve talked about the Angel’s appearance to Mary, her time of personal worship after hearing of God’s plan and His faithfulness. Last week, we heard from Matt Willmington about the calling on all of our lives to point people to Christ. All of these sermons have been based out of Luke chapter 1. Today, we’ve heard from the children the amazing story of Christ’s birth, that great appearing of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords in the form of a baby born in a manger.

In all these passages, the one person we haven’t discussed that much is Joseph. If anyone had the opportunity to throw his hands up in disgust and walk away from this story, putting himself first, it was Joseph. His bride to be, the love of his life, was now pregnant and he knew this baby was not his. So today, let’s look at the angel’s announcement to Joseph that changed his heart, and that today, should change all of ours as well.

Matthew 1:18-21 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
1. The Purpose of His Coming
21 “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Heb. Yeshua), which means Yahweh is salvation or “the Lord saves”
God’s purpose in the birth of Jesus was to fulfill all of the OT prophecies of the coming messiah
God’s purpose in the birth of Jesus was to redeem what He had created, to provide a way out and a way back for all of us

Romans 5:12 When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. 13 Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break. 14 Still, everyone died—from the time of Adam to the time of Moses—even those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did. Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come. 15 But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. 16 And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. 17 For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. 18 Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. 19 Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous. 20 God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. 21 So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

2. The Promise of His Coming

23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
A fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14

A reminder that because of this “Greatest Gift”…
a. God is here with us
b. He can be known by us
c. He put on flesh and became one of us, yet without sin
d. He will never leave us
e. We can run to Him anytime (Heb 4:16)

The greatest of all gifts is that without Christ we all die, without hope, without a future…but with Christ we have eternal life, eternal hope, eternal joy…if we believe!

Self on the Shelf: The Christmas Calling

2016-12-18
Matt Willmington
Memory Verse:
Luke 1:76 (NKJV)
“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways.”
God gave His Son at Christmas as a baby. But He also called another baby to be His Son’s announcer. He calls us to do the same – to announce Jesus’ salvation to those people who need it the most. Will you answer His call?

“God has called you to announce Jesus in His timing.”

57 Now Elizabeth’s full time came for her to be delivered, and she brought forth a son. 58 When her neighbors and relatives heard how the Lord had shown great mercy to her, they rejoiced with her.

59 So it was, on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child; and they would have called him by the name of his father, Zacharias. 60 His mother answered and said, “No; he shall be called John.”

61 But they said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name.” 62 So they made signs to his father—what he would have him called.

63 And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, saying, “His name is John.” So they all marveled. 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, praising God. 65 Then fear came on all who dwelt around them [fear 3x in ch.1]; and all these sayings were discussed throughout all the hill country of Judea. 66 And all those who heard them kept them in their hearts, saying, “What kind of child will this be?” And the hand of the Lord was with him.

1. Answer God’s Call

67 Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, [3x in ch.1] and prophesied, saying: 68 “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited and redeemed His people, 69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His servant David, 70  As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, Who have been since the world began, 71 That we should be saved from our enemies And from the hand of all who hate us, 72  To perform the mercy promised to our fathers And to remember His holy covenant, 73 The oath which He swore to our father Abraham: 74 To grant us that we, Being delivered from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear, 75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.

76 “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, 77 To give knowledge of salvation to His people By the remission of their sins, 78 Through the tender mercy of our God, With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; 79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.”

2. Announce Jesus

Isaiah 40:3
The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord; Make straight in the desert, A highway for our God.”

Malachi 3:1
“Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me.”

Malachi 4:5
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.”

80 So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.

3. Accept His Timing

Self on a Shelf: Our Worship Matters

2016-12-11
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Luke 1:49 (NKJV)
For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name.

For the past few weeks, we have been looking at Luke 1. We started with a discussion of the Angel’s appearing to Zacharias about the gift of a son, John the Baptist. Last week, we talked about another appearing. This one from the Angel Gabriel to Mary about the gift of THE SON, JESUS. Over these couple of weeks, we’ve seen the promise of God in the gift of Christmas. Today, I’d like to talk about a response to that gift.

Luke 1:46 (NLT)
Mary responded, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. 47   How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! 48 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. 49 For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me. 50 He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him. 51 His mighty arm has done tremendous things! He has scattered the proud and haughty ones. 52 He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands. 54 He has helped his servant Israel and remembered to be merciful. 55 For he made this promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children forever.”

In order to “empty ourselves of ourselves,” – – to put ourselves on the shelf – –  it requires worship. Mary responded to all the angel had told her and all that Elizabeth said to her through worship and praise. The kind of worship that had nothing to do with a show, nothing to do with a church service, nothing to do with performance, but had everything to do with the condition of the heart.

1. Worship comes from within

v46 Mary responded, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. 47   How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!”

– Many look at worship as what we are led to when a church service begins, Mary saw worship as a response to what welled up inside her, from her very soul.

– This is a lesson for all of us. She took time to reflect on what the Angel had told her, what God was doing for her, and it changed her from within.

2. A life of worship results in a response from God

v48 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. 49 For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me.

– The key word in this passage is “LOWLY”

– Her humility and love of Him caused Him to bypass all others in His choice

– Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.

3. This response is needed in our daily struggle

v50 He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him. 51 His mighty arm has done tremendous things! He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.

– Mary recognized His mighty power and knew that it was necessary for life

– This is true of our journey as well..His mercy overcomes anything we might face

4. This response is all that is needed

v52 He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands. 54 He has helped his servant Israel and remembered to be merciful.

– Many fear retribution or criticism from the world, Mary understood that everyone is subject to His power

– She recognized that those who truly love and worship Him will be taken care of, those who depend only on themselves and their own abilities will come to ruin

– God’s response to our worship, to our love for Him, is not only promised, not only needed, it’s a promise

5. This response is permanent

v55 “For he made this promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children forever.”

– Mary recalled her study of Old Testament promises of God and His faithfulness to all that had come since, and all that will ever live. His promises are forever.

– She was about to return home, three months into a pregnancy as a single young girl

– She worshipped God because she knew she needed His promise, protection and provision for the days ahead

– Her worship was in advance of what she knew God would do, not simply in thankfulness for what He had already done.

“My soul doth magnify the Lord.” Here is an occupation for all of us who know the Lord, and have been born into His family. It is an occupation which may be followed by all sorts of people. This humble woman speaks of her low estate, and yet she could magnify the Lord. All believers, of every rank and condition, can attend to this work. This is an occupation which can be followed in all places. You need not go up to the meeting-house to magnify the Lord, you can do it at home. You may be tossed about upon the sea in a storm, but you may trust His name, and be calm, and so magnify Him. Or, you may be no traveller, and never go a hundred yards out of the village in which you were born, but you may magnify the Lord just as well for all that. This is not an occupation which requires a crowded congregation, it can be fitly performed in solitude. I suppose this sonnet of the Virgin was sung with only one to hear it, her cousin Elisabeth. There is quorum for God’s praise even where there is only one; but, where there are two that agree to praise God, then is the praise exceeding sweet.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Self on the Shelf: A Reason For Hope

2016-12-04
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Isaiah 9:7
Of the increase of His government and peace, There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice, From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Last week, we talked about Zacharias and Elizabeth. In the first part of Luke 1, we read the story of how the Angel of the Lord appears to Zacharias and announces the upcoming birth of his son, John the Baptist. Today, we bring into the conversation a contrasting story that is found immediately following the one from last week, and of course this is the Angel’s announcement to Mary of Christ’s birth. This takes place about six months into Elizabeth’s pregnancy and, while similar in content, vastly different in consequence.

Luke 1:26-45 (NLT)
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” 29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” 34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” 35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. 36 What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God.” 38 Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her. 39 A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town. 40 where Zacharias lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. 41 At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. 43 Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? 44 When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. 45 You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.”

It is important for us as we continue talking about putting the right perspective in our hearts for Christmas that recognize the miracle that is Christmas. God with us.

1. Christmas is a reminder that Christ reigns

v32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!

1. Christmas is a reminder that Christ reigns
32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!

Five descriptions of Jesus:
1. He will be great – this not the same as being great in the sight of…
2. Called the Son of the Most High – His divinity (John called “prophet of Most High in Luke 1:76)
3. Throne of His ancestor David – messiah
4. Reign over Israel forever – God’s promise to David

2 Sam. 7:16 Your house and your kingdom will continue before me for all time, and your throne will be secure forever.’

1 Kings 9:5 then I will establish the throne of your dynasty over Israel forever. For I made this promise to your father, David: ‘One of your descendants will always sit on the throne of Israel.

5. His Kingdom will never end – Isaiah 9:6-7

Is. 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice, From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

– It is easy in today’s world to feel as if we are on the losing side
– As a result, we see many Christians who find themselves discouraged
– Not only through, outside influences but also from internal struggles
– The birth of Christ was a declaration from God Himself that Jesus will rule and reign forever

2. Christmas is a reminder of His power

v37 For nothing is impossible with God.

– The Christmas story itself was actually the first miracle of Jesus’ life
– The fact that He was born in those circumstances left Mary and Joseph with no doubt who their child was
– This should also be true of us

3. Christmas is a reminder of God’s plan

45 You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.

– Believing in God’s perfect plan for your life brings nothing but blessings
– It is difficult to be truly discouraged when we believe in the sovereignty and power of God’s plan in our lives

Self on the Shelf: Refocus or Regret

2016-11-27
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
1 John 2:15
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

The common theme at Christmas is “What’s In It For Me?” This view of the beginning of the most beautiful love story in all of history has destroyed countless Christmases and as many lives. Today, we begin a four week series entitled “Self on the Shelf” to spend some time trying to refocus our attention on what really matters Christmas…not what’s in it for me but rather, “what’s in it for others from me?”

1 John 2:15 (NLT)
Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.

The World’s View

v16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.

God’s View

17b …But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.

So, in light of the Spirit of Christmas, let’s refocus ourselves on that which pleases God! Let’s take some time to put our selfish ambitions on the shelf and focus on God’s plan for our lives. And, it starts with living right, no matter what!

Luke 1:5 (NLT)

When Herod was king of Judea, there was a Jewish priest named Zechariah. He was a member of the priestly order of Abijah, and his wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron. 6 Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. 7 They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old. 8 One day Zechariah was serving God in the Temple, for his order was on duty that week. 9 As was the custom of the priests, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense. 10 While the incense was being burned, a great crowd stood outside, praying. 11 While Zechariah was in the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar. 12 Zechariah was shaken and overwhelmed with fear when he saw him. 13 But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. 14 You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.

1. A refocused heart is one fixed on Him

v6 Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations.

– As we read from 1 John 2 this morning, the world is not interested in what is righteous in God’s eyes nor in obeying all of the Lord’s commands. However, to live our lives in a way that god recognizes as righteous is the right focus for all of us.

2. Even when things don’t go your way

v13b …God has heard your prayer.

– It is obvious that Zechariah and Elizabeth had been crying out to God over the fact they didn’t have children. Yet, their hearts were in the right place. They were “righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all…”

– They didn’t trust God only when things were good, they trusted God completely, and it made all the difference in the world

3. Refocus or Regret?

– what about you? Where is your heart in the midst of disappointments and shortcomings?
– The typical response is anger, discouragement, a lack of trust, an accusing heart.
– The right response is righteousness and obedience

This Christmas season has many opportunities for the right heart or the possibility for discouragement and disappointment for the heart of regret. Let’s be sure to focus, not on the things of this world but on the things of God.

1 John 2:16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.

Being Thankful

2016-11-20
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verses: Psalm 100
Psalm 100:1 Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! 2 Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. 3 Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. 4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. 5 For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.

1. We Serve Him

v1 Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! 2 Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.

– we serve at His pleasure, and it is a great honor that we can
– not only for the impact it brings for Him, but for the joy it brings to us

2. He Is Our Creator and Sustainer

v3 Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

– His great love for us as our creator causes Him to take care of us
– Even when you don’t feel as the shepherd is close, he always is

3. We Can Stand In His Presence

v4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name

– we have this great gift of being able to approach Him, boldly

Heb. (NLT) 4:16a So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God…

– confidence that we can always enter into His presence without question or fear

4. He Has Shown Us Mercy

v5a (NKJV) For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting…
v5a (NLT) For the Lord is good, His unfailing love continues forever…

Heb, 4:16b …There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

– we do not deserve His mercy but He gives it…always

5. His Truth Will Never End

v5b (NKJV) …And His truth endures to all generations.
v5b (NLT) …and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

– every promise He’s given in His Word are absolute
– they can be counted on in the best of days and the worst of days
– His love never fails – 1 Cor. 13

Making Room For Joy

2016-11-13
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory verse:
Galatians 5:14 NKJV

As you walk the streets of this city, it is guaranteed that there are very few people you pass who are truly filled with joy. I’m not talking about happiness, that’s a different thing altogether. I’m talking about true joy. The kind of joy that fills your heart to overflowing. The reason, in my opinion, is that most people have allowed circumstances, situations, conflicts etc., to crowd out any room for joy. The focus is on here rather than on Him!

Our constant battle for personal preferences and desires has led us to conflict with one another, even in the church, which can do nothing but stop us in our pursuit of joy. The book of Galatians was written by Paul to encourage believers to let go of the burdens of the past and of sin and cling to the freedom that comes from Christ. As a result of living in this way, all will be able to experience the joy that Christ came to give. While Galatians is a powerful book full of theological truths, today we’re going to focus in on one specific passage that I believe is particularly relevant for this day.

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Galatians 5:13-26 (NLT)
13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another. 16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. 19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. 22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.

Let’s talk about what it takes to make room for joy. It doesn’t happen by accident, nor does it happen naturally by default, it happens through action.  How?

1. To serve in love
13b …Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.

– To make room for joy, we must be willing to do for others, to recognize that true joy does not come in what you can get for yourself or through what others can do for you but rather through what you can do to serve

Q. – What can I do today for someone that will put a genuine smile on their face?

2. To speak in love
15 But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.

– Our actions, and reactions, determine the room for joy in our life

– this verse was a direct reference to those in the church who were destroying one another through their attacks on one another

– biting, devouring, destroying (Greek references to fights of wild animals to the death)

Q. – What can I say to someone today that will encourage them, to lift their spirit?

3. To act in love
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

– Simple words. Easy to say so hard to actually do.

– How do we have this fruit in our lives?

– Always see the good in others, even when you want to see the bad

– Make efforts to stop a conflict rather than feed it

– Be a genuinely kind and good person

– When your personal desires are at war with what is right, take a breath, then do the right thing

The opposite:
19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.

Q. – How can I change my actions today to show these fruits of the spirit to others?

4. To reflect Christ in love

25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

– The only way to find joy is to find Him and follow

14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

“Here am I Lord, use me”

2016-11-06

The Barrick Family

The Barrick family (Andy, Linda, Jennifer & Joshua) share their miracle story of how God has carried them and turned tragedy into triumph. Learn about forgiveness and how God can heal your scars and wounded heart and use you in greater ways for HIS glory. Isaiah 6:1-8. Here am I Lord, use me.

Isaiah 6:1-8 NIV
1 In the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and honored. His long clothing spread out and filled the house of God.
2 Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings. With two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.
3 One called out to another and said, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of All. The whole earth is full of His shining-greatness.”
4 And the base of the doorways shook at the voice of him who called out, while the house of God was filled with smoke.
5 Then I said, “It is bad for me, for I am destroyed! Because I am a man whose lips are unclean. And I live among a people whose lips are unclean. For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of All.”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, with a burning coal which he had taken from the altar using a special tool. 7 He touched my mouth with it, and said, “See, this has touched your lips, and your guilt is taken away. Your sin is forgiven.” 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom should I send? Who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Living In Peace

2016-10-30
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Matthew 5:9
Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.

There is no question that our world today is in desperate need of “peacemakers.” This is a role that has been occupied so many times in history by the church, yet in today’s world, there seems to be a conspicuous absence of the church in this area.  Today, I believe it would be encouraging, and challenging, to us all to spend some time in James chapter 3 seeing what our role should be as the church and as Christ followers in world lacking peacemakers.

Romans 12:18
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

James 3:13-18
If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. 15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. 16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. 17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

Living in peace

1. Serving and humility

v13 If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.

– “prove” is a critical word here because it encourages action

– “doing good works with the humility…” means serving others with no ulterior motive and no desire for recognition

– this is the kind of service that comes from Godly wisdom and also the kind of service that is so often missing in our world today

2. Pure Heart

v14 But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. 15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. 16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.

– “don’t cover up the truth” – this is a condemnation against hypocrisy

– the elements of hypocrisy do nothing but lead to disorder and evil

3. Desire to live as Christ lived

v17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.

To be pure, (hog-NOS = free from moral defect) believers must separate themselves from the vices of earthly wisdom.

– “peace loving”

Those who work for shālôm (wholeness and harmony rather than strife and discord in all aspects of life) and who reconcile others to God and each other will “be called sons of God.” Others will identify them as God’s true ambassadors, as those who are being conformed to his likeness.

– “no favoritism” indicates that we must see all as Christ sees all

– definition is without partiality AND non-judgmental

The Result

4. A changed world

v18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

– the defining term for all Christ followers

– Acceptance of Christ

– Seeking after Him

– Doing His will

– Changing His world

“A church that is rich in reconciling activities, that is, evangelism, the defense of the poor, counseling the troubled, offering hospitality to the stranger, providing shelter for the battered, sending gospel missionaries throughout the world, and many more, certainly reaps a rich harvest of righteousness. Wherever the church of Christ is doing these things, the kingdom of God is in evidence. This harvest precisely is what Jesus meant by the admonition to seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness:”

Unfinished: How To Finish Well

2016-10-23
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
2 Timothy 4:18 NKJV
And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!
2 Tim. 4:6 NKJV
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 9 Be diligent to come to me quickly; 10 for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry. 12 And Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come—and the books, especially the parchments. 14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works. 15 You also must beware of him, for he has greatly resisted our words. 16 At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them. 17 But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. 18 And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen! 19 Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus stayed in Corinth, but Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick. 21 Do your utmost to come before winter. Eubulus greets you, as well as Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brethren. 22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.

How To Finish Well
1. Walk worthy

v7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

– each of us have the opportunity to be just as successful as Paul
– Finishing well has less to do with what is in the past and everything to do with what’s in your future
2. Look up

v8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

– There is no doubt that God rewards those who have served faithfully
– To “love His appearing” means to to live our lives according to His principles
– To “make Him proud”
3. Stand strong even if you must stand alone

v10-11a for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me…

v16a At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me…

– At times, it may feel as if you are all alone, serve Him anyway
4. Forgive often

v16b …May it not be charged against them.

Luke 23:34 Father forgive them…

– Sometimes, our potential to finish well is impeded because of our lack of a forgiving spirit
– Even when we are wronged, Jesus encourages us to “turn the other cheek”
– Why? To reflect the 1 Cor. 13 type of love of Christ
5. Never quit

v17-18a But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. 18 And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom.

– Paul finished well because he knew God was with him
– “so that the message might be preached fully through me”
– Interesting that Paul makes this statement in light of what he knew was coming
– Paul didn’t see his “deliverance” from the world but rather he saw it from the Heavenly perspective

Unfinished: The Time Is Now

2016-10-16
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
2 Timothy 4:5
But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

2 Timothy 4:1-5
1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
1. Our Command (vs 2a)

2a Preach the word!

– It is important that each of us understand our responsibility as it relates to the Gospel
– “Preach” is not just a command to me, it’s a command to us all

2. Our Commission (vs 2b)

2b Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching

– “In season and out of season”
– How do we?
– What does this preparation look like?
– What does the implementation look like?
– Convince
– Rebuke
– Exhort
– With long-suffering and teaching

3. The Time Is Now (vs 3-4)

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

– The world is already moving away from what we know and believe
– There is only one thing that can call them back – the power of the Gospel

Romans 10:13-14
13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
14a How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?

4. Your Time Is Now (vs 5)

5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

– We are here for such a time as this!
– What will you then do?

Romans 10:14b
And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

Unfinished: Never Give Up! Never Quit!

2016-10-09
Ben Gutierrez

In Paul’s last “Will & Testament” (II Timothy), he offers a passionate plea to both Timothy and every Follower of Christ to endure to the end, serve the Lord without wavering, and complete the work the Lord has started in this world!  The Apostle Paul, near the end of his journey, had fought the good fight, finished his course, and kept the faith.  He encourages all Followers of Christ, Never Quit! Never Give Up!  Why?  There is unfinished work to be done in the lives of every Follower of Christ & in the world!   Dr. Ben Gutierrez expounds on II Timothy 3:10-17 and identifies Three Spiritual Anchors each Follower of Christ should cling on to in order to endure through hardships, slander, and persecution while serving the Lord with passion and confidence.

II Timothy 3:10-16 NKJV
10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Context of II Timothy:
1. Paul’s Last “Will & Testament”
2. “The Faith” is now established – Defend it & Live it!
3. Many people were giving up on God!

I Timothy 1:6
“…some having strayed…”

I Timothy 1:19
“…some having rejected the faith have suffered…”

I Timothy 4:1b
“…some will turn away from the true faith.”

I Timothy 6:10
“…some have strayed from the faith…”

I Timothy 6:21
“…some people have wandered from the faith by following such foolishness.”

II Timothy 1:15
“As you know, ALL from the province of Asia has deserted me.”

II Timothy 4:16
“At my defense no one stood with me, but ALL forsook me.”
4. Many Personal Friends were giving up on God!

II Timothy 1:15
“This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.”

II Timothy 2:17b-18a
“Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth…”

II Timothy 4:10
For Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed
It Was Becoming Difficult to Endure.
Three Spiritual Anchors
1. God’s Faithful Followers!

II Timothy 3:10-14
10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them.

Philippians 3:17
Brethren, join in following my example, and take note of those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.

Philippians 4:9 NLT
Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

I Corinthians 11:1
Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.

II Timothy 1:5
I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.

Acts 16:1
Then he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek.

2. God’s Trustworthy Word!

II Timothy 3:14-16
14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

Titus 1:2 NLT
This truth gives them confidence that they have eternal life, which God—who does not lie—promised them before the world began.
3. God’s Perfect Work!

II Timothy 3:15-17
15 From childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
You Can Make It!
Be An Anchor!
Hebrews 6:18-19a NLT
18 So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. 19 This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.

Never Give Up! Never Quit!

Unfinished: Sin Stops

2016-10-02
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
2 Timothy 2:22
Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

It’s a simple choice really. Flee and pursue or allow sin to stop you dead in your tracks. Today, our focus is on a world that is desperate for righteousness, holiness, truth. But it is also a world that takes the easy way out, seeking personal pleasure over spiritual strength.

2 Timothy 3:1-9
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; 9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.

1. Sin will keep you from the presence and the power of God (vs 2-4)

v2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,

– A description of the self centered life

– when given the opportunity to either do the right thing or to please themselves, they will always choose themselves

2. Self-deception doesn’t make things better (vs 5a)

v5a “having a form of godliness but denying its power”

– this is nothing more than making the declaration – “I don’t need God!”

– BEING RELIGIOUS IS NOT THE SAME AS BEING RIGHTEOUS!

– In the current church….people who value authenticity more than valuing what’s right

– Accepting the sin of others and themselves by wrapping it in conversations of being true to themselves

What was Paul’s response to this situation?

3. Turn Away! vs 5b

v5b And from such people turn away!

The three steps of TURNING AWAY!

– Finishing the unfinished work of God requires repentance

In essence, a “turning away” from sin

– Finishing the unfinished work of God requires diligence

v7 lways learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

– knowledge is not a replacement for truth

– don’t just learn, “study to show yourself approved”

– the Bible is the source of truth

– the Holy Spirit will do His work in you

– Prayer

– Finishing the unfinished work of God requires dependence

v9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.

– Dependence on God develops character

– Who we are is all about our character

– Character can never be developed when we are nothing more than “Lovers of Self”

Get to know God’s definition of love, seek His love and acceptance, Live according to His truth, and the unfinished work He has set out for us will be accomplished.

Unfinished: Living Faith In The Margins

2016-09-25
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
2 Timothy 2:15
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Tim. 2:1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. 7 Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things. 8 Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, 9 for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. 12 If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. 13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself. 14 Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” 20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. 22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. 24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

1. Be Strong

v1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus

– Being strong is possible because of what God gives to us

– His Grace – the free and unmerited favor of God

2. The Gospel Still Works

v8 Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, 9 for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained.

– last week, we talked about the “message of life”2 Tim 1:10

He has abolished death and brought life…

– This verse clearly states that this message, the Gospel, cannot be stopped

– Often times, Christians are afraid of sharing the Gospel, spreading their faith, out of fear. This verse clearly indicates that we have nothing to fear because nothing can defeat the Gospel.

3. Live Differently

v15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.

Two elements in these two verses

  • First, be a student of God’s Word that is driven to serve with God’s Word
  • Second, to pursue holiness with our lives

–  Our impact with the Gospel is heavily influenced by how we live our lives

v19b “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”

– It does matter how you live

– A Christian who lives just like the world will never be a Christian who changes the world

4. Use Your Faith In The Real World

v22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Living right starts by seeking the right things

5. To Finish What Christ Began

v25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

– Truth in love cannot be separated

– We must speak truth in a culture that is full of deception (Satan is the father of lies)

– But that truth must be wrapped in Christ’s love

– Christ came so that sinners would repent

– God has called us to lead people to that end

Unfinished: A Work Worth Doing

2016-09-18
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
2 Timothy 1:12 NKJV
For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

Last week, we began walking through the book of 2 Timothy, a letter written by Paul to Timothy from a jail cell in Rome. Nearing death, Paul’s desire was to encourage Timothy to continue the important work of reaching others for Christ. It was a work that was unfinished and Paul wanted to be sure never stopped. And, it’s a work that even today we have a duty to continue.

2 Tim. 1:8-18 NKJV
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. 13 Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. 15 This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes. 16 The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain; 17 but when he arrived in Rome, he sought me out very zealously and found me.18 The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from the Lord in that Day-and you know very well how many ways he ministered to me at Ephesus.

From last week, we ended with verse 7…For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. …THEREFORE:

1. Never be ashamed

vs 8a Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord

– While the world might attack, might laugh, the Gospel must be proclaimed
– Why? (Romans 1:16) It’s the only way
– Timothy had not yet been ashamed but Paul knew it was possible because of what was not underway, Paul wanted to remind Timothy what an important role he had
2. Because you are called

vs 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,

– It is a great honor, a holy calling, to pursue Him and reach others
– 2 Characteristics of Christ listed here:
1. He has always been…
2. He was always be the only way…
3. With the message of life

vs 10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,

– The effect of the Gospel – “Death has been defeated”
– Still physical death, but not eternal
– nothing to fear

4. Though the journey might be tough

vs 12a For this reason I also suffer these things;

– what reason? The sake of the Gospel
– “Use the pain of now to strengthen the hope of the future”
5. God is faithful

vs 12b nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

– Even with Paul knowing he would soon be executed, he was not afraid
– Nothing to lose
– ABLE TO KEEP

6. You are not alone

vs 14 That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.

– Don’t let culture or compromise destroy or diminish
– When it seems to much to bear, you are not alone!

Unfinished: Here and Now

2016-09-11
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

2 Timothy 1:1-7 NKJV
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, 2 To Timothy, a beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, 4 greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, 5 when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. 6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

God has placed us here and called us now for a purpose. Often in life, we struggle with questions, “Why am I here? Why was I even born? What’s the point?” Over the coming weeks, I want to use God’s Word to help us all see why we’re here, why the church exists, what’s the point of following Christ and…what does He want us to do?

It is vital to start this discussion by laying some groundwork from God’s Word. We will spend the next few weeks walking through the book of 2 Timothy. These are Paul’s final words to us yet are so important for all of us to understand from the outset. Paul was attempting to get in some key thoughts to Timothy before Paul was to be executed so that Timothy would carry on the great work. Let us think of these words in the same context as we read them. They were given to us so we will carry on the UNFINISHED work God has for us in life.

1. Life Exists Only In Christ

– vs 1b …according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,

– Not just life eternal
– LIFE HERE!
– Purpose & meaning in life is only found in a life lived for Christ
2. In a crazy world, hope only comes from Him

– vs 2b …Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

– While the world searches frantically for hope in hopeless situations, our hope is found in Him
– Grace, Mercy, Peace
– Grace – charis – of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues
-Mercy – eleos – kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them
– Peace – eirēnē – of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is

3. Finding purpose in life starts with Him

– vs 3a I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience…

– “service”

– vs 4 greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy

– When our lives are fixed on serving Him, we desire to serve others
– Natural results = JOY

4. It’s been entrusted to us

– vs 5 when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.

– This is a great gift given to us by others, for others, and to be passed on to others

5. Our starting point

– vs 6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

– Stir up the gift…
– We must work diligently towards accomplishing what God has already placed within us
– Unique gifting to be used for the Kingdom

6. Peace through strength

– vs 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

– While we live in a world gripped by fear, because of God, we should have none

– Power – dynamis – inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth

– Love – agape – affection, brotherly love, care

– Sound Mind sōphronismos – an admonishing or calling to soundness of mind, to moderation and self-control
This is a pretty amazing picture painted by the opening verses of 2 Timothy. A picture of a life that is understands meaning and purpose, a life that is focused on being all we’re intended to be. It’s also the setup for a letter written to challenge Timothy, and us, to a great work. This is a great work because of the unfinished nature of our world. God has a plan, a purpose and a mission for all of us to reach this world with truth, the Gospel. It’s an UNFINISHED WORK ENTRUSTED TO US!

Plugged In: Nehemiah 2 – Commissioned

2016-09-04

Matt Willmington

Memory Verse:
Nehemiah 4:14b
“Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.”

WORK

Nehemiah 2:17 Then I said to them, “You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach.” 18 And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me. So they said, “Let us rise up and build.” Then they set their hands to this good work.

WAR

Nehemiah 4:13 Therefore I positioned men behind the lower parts of the wall, at the openings; and I set the people according to their families, with their swords, their spears, and their bows. 14 And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.”

WORD

Nehamiah 8:1 Now all the people gathered together as one man in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate; and they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded Israel. 2 So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh month. 3 Then he read from it in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. 4 So Ezra the scribe stood on a platform of wood which they had made for the purpose; and beside him, at his right hand, stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Urijah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah; and at his left hand Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam. 5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. 6 And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. Then all the people answered, “Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. 7 Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, helped the people to understand the Law; and the people stood in their place. 8 So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading.

Plugged In: The Power of Sharing

2016-08-28
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Over these couple of weeks, we’re taking some time, as we do each back to school season, to reflect on who we are as a church. We want to be sure that we are doing what we are called to do, focusing on the things that are important. Last week, Charles did a wonderful job of helping us to see the value in knowing God, of truly seeking Him out in our daily lives. This falls in line with our mission statement and our values.

To Change Our World By Developing Christ Followers Who Love God and Love People

Commitment to Scripture
Culture of Prayer
Lifestyle of Worship
Connected in Community
Heart for Serving
Passion for Sharing

These values and this mission statement are the core foundational statements for everything we do as a church. If we keep these at the forefront, God will use this church to continue impacting our world with the Gospel. Today, I want to focus on the passion for sharing.

2 Corinthians 5:11 (NLT)
Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too. 12 Are we commending ourselves to you again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart. 13 If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. 14 Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

Our mission statement is inspired by the words of Christ during His ministry on earth. In His words, He made it clear. CHANGE YOUR WORLD! To change your world…

1. It takes work

vs 11a Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others…

– changing our world doesn’t happen by accident
– it is NOT a natural occurrence that, given enough time, will just happen
– we must deliberately work at it

2. It takes commitment

14 Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.

– It is such an important distinction to make, HIS LOVE CONTROLS US
– It determines our actions AND our reactions!

3. It takes acceptance

16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

– Changing our world can never be an private event
– We must look at others and love others that way God does
– See them for who they are…people for whom Jesus died

4. It takes HIM!

19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.

– Good deeds are important, charitable actions are vital, but ONLY THE GOSPEL can change the world
– New Creation
– What Jesus did on the cross for the sins of the world is the answer to every one of life’s problems and crises

5. It takes YOU!

20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

– He has sent you

Change your world…

Mark 16 – Go into all the world…

Acts 1 – you shall be witness to me in Jerusalem…
by developing Christ followers…

Matthew 28 – Go therefore…

who love God and love people.
Matt 22 – Love the Lord your God…

Plugged In – Keep Calm and Carry On: Overcoming Fear with Faith

2016-08-21
Charles Billingsley

Keep Calm and Carry On: Overcoming Fear with Faith

Today we will start a sermon series called “Plugged In”. For the next three weeks we will study ways how we can:

1. Plug deeper into our faith walk with Jesus as individuals.
2. Plug deeper into our faith walk with others
3. Plug deeper into our faith walk with our fellow church members

This week we tackle the idea of plugging deeper into our faith walk with Jesus as individuals. Specifically, we will talk about how to live a life above the chaos and the anxiety and the fear we all face in a very uncertain and troubled world.
We will be looking at Psalms chapter 46 to be our guide.

Question: When fear comes knocking at your door, will faith answer?

Psalms 46:10 – Be Still and Know that I am God.

“BE” – Life is not just about doing, but it is about being…being who God wants us to be.

“Still” – Comes from the Hebrew word “Raphah” It means to stop fighting; cease striving – God is firmly telling us to let go of anything that is capturing our attention away from Him. He demands our undivided attention so He can shape us into who He created us to be. We do this by learning to practice the discipline of solitude.

“And Know” – The word ‘know’ comes from the Hebrew word ‘Yada’. It carries with it the idea that we are to know God with the intimacy of a husband and wife who’ve been married for 50 years. Knowing God is not just an intellectual thing, but it is emotional, practical, and spiritual.

To Know God is of utmost importance. Knowing Him will dispel a multitude of fears. Set a time and place each day to get to know Him.

“I AM God” – The last part of this first phrase in Psalms 46:10 is the most powerful. It reminds us of the awesomeness of God. He is the great I AM. Yahweh – or I AM – is the greatest name that’s ever been. This name is only given to one who has supreme power, supreme authority, and supreme position. It is our job as His children to trust, worship, and truly know the great I AM.

Overcomer – Finishing Strong

2016-08-14
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse
Deut. 31:6 NKJV
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

Deut. 34:1-8 NKJV
1 Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is across from Jericho. And the LORD showed him all the land of Gilead as far as Dan,
2 all Naphtali and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, 3 the South, and the plain of the Valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar. 4 Then the LORD said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have caused you to see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.” 5 So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. 6 And He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth Peor; but no one knows his grave to this day. 7 Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died. His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished. 8 And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days.

Finishing Strong

Moses led a life of power and deliverance. The word overcomer can certainly be applied to who he was as a person and what he accomplished for God. But, as with all of us, there are moments in the midst of following God where we once again fall. In Moses’ life, one of those moments happened in Numbers 20.

– Wilderness of Zin
– No water
– In verse 2, the children of Israel rose up against Moses and Aaron
– Why didn’t you just let us die in Egypt?
– God spoke to Moses to speak to the rock, yet Moses in anger struck the rock
– God told Moses:
Num. 20:12 Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”

Moses had led Israel through so much, had delivered them from Egypt and was heading towards the finish line, the promise of God. But because of disobedience, here God told him you will not see the promised line.

How discouraging…he could have given up, but no. Moses continued and finished strong. How?

1. He didn’t let his past failure stop him from his future obedience

– In the same passage in Numbers 20:27…God once again told Moses what to do and it says, “So Moses did just as the Lord commanded…”

2. He continued to lead

– In Numbers 20:28-29, as Aaron died, Moses led the next generation, Eleazer, to serve.

3. He continued to bless those around him

– In Deut 32 and following, Moses knowing he was nearing death, began to pour out blessings of those around him.
– He blessed each of the tribes
– He blessed Joshua
– He was ensuring that nothing would stop the work of God

– KEY POINT – It was God’s work, not Moses’

Deut. 31:1 Then Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel.

Deut. 31:2 And he said to them: “I am one hundred and twenty years old today. I can no longer go out and come in. Also the LORD has said to me, ‘You shall not cross over this Jordan.’

Deut. 31:3 The LORD your God Himself crosses over before you; He will destroy these nations from before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua himself crosses over before you, just as the LORD has said.

Deut. 31:4 And the LORD will do to them as He did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites and their land, when He destroyed them.

Deut. 31:5 The LORD will give them over to you, that you may do to them according to every commandment which I have commanded you.

Deut. 31:6 Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

Finishing Strong has far less to do with your weakness and far more to do with His strength.

We must focus our lives on total dependence on God, even when we blow it, and God will allow us to continue to reap the rewards of the committed life.

Deut. 34:7 Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died. His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished.

Deut. 34:8 And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days.

Overcomers: Overcoming Together

2016-08-07
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Exodus 18:11 NKJV
“Now I know that the LORD is greater than all the gods; for in the very thing in which they behaved proudly, He was above them.”

In this series, we mentioned last week that for the first several weeks, we looked at the internal elements of being an overcomer but last week we began looking outward. We talked last week about overcoming the attacks that are certain to come. Today, I want to build on that topic by continuing to discuss how to overcome when things keep hitting us head on.

13 The next day, Moses took his seat to hear the people’s disputes against each other. They waited before him from morning till evening. 14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, “What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?” 15 Moses replied, “Because the people come to me to get a ruling from God. 16 When a dispute arises, they come to me, and I am the one who settles the case between the quarreling parties. I inform the people of God’s decrees and give them his instructions.” 17 “This is not good!” Moses’ father-in-law exclaimed. 18 “You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself. 19 Now listen to me, and let me give you a word of advice, and may God be with you. You should continue to be the people’s representative before God, bringing their disputes to him. 20 Teach them God’s decrees, and give them his instructions. Show them how to conduct their lives. 21 But select from all the people some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as leaders over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten.2 2 They should always be available to solve the people’s common disputes, but have them bring the major cases to you. Let the leaders decide the smaller matters themselves. They will help you carry the load, making the task easier for you. 23 If you follow this advice, and if God commands you to do so, then you will be able to endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace.”

1. It is difficult to overcome when you are overwhelmed

13 The next day, Moses took his seat to hear the people’s disputes against each other. They waited before him from morning till evening.

– 76% of Americans feel stressed
– Nearly half of Americans say they don’t have enough time in the day
– 1/3 of American teens are stressed out
– Media consumption of 15.5 hours per day!

2. Living life in a whirlwind rarely leads to accomplishment

14a When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, “What are you really accomplishing here?”

– When we are constantly overwhelmed, we rarely accomplish what really matters
– We may feel as if we’re making progress but at the end of the day it seems as if there’s more on us than when we began
– This is not only true of daily tasks, it is true of the problems in life

We must:
– Take a time out to evaluate what really is important
– Prioritize the major issues in our lives
– Make everything we do and everything we face a matter of prayer
– Never allow our stress and our “stuff” to crowd out God
– Seek help from others…

3. Building Godly relationships is a great first step in finding your way out

21 But select from all the people some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as leaders over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten.

– God’s plan is for us to surround ourselves with Godly people that can help us navigate
– Family, friends, professionals
– Sometimes it is nothing more than having people we can have fun with
– We all need people we can grow in our faith with
– Sometimes we need to seek help for the deeper issues and pains that life brings

4. Overcoming together is God’s plan

23 If you follow this advice, and if God commands you to do so, then you will be able to endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace.”

– Jesus Himself chose 12 to walk with him through His ministry
– Did He need them? Probably not, other than to give us the example of how we are to live
– Are you building those types of relationships?

Overcomer: Overcoming the Attack

2016-07-31
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

In this series thus far, we have focused on the internal battles we often face in becoming all that God intends us to be.  We’ve talked about overcoming our past, overcoming our insecurities, overcoming our personal situations.  Today, we’re going to take it from the internal to the external. How do we overcome when we are being attacked?

Memory Verse:
Exodus 6:1 (NKJV)
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh. For with a strong hand he will let them go, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.”

Exodus 5:1-11 (NLT)
1 After this presentation to Israel’s leaders, Moses and Aaron went and spoke to Pharaoh. They told him, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Let my people go so they may hold a festival in my honor in the wilderness.” 2 “Is that so?” retorted Pharaoh. “And who is the LORD? Why should I listen to him and let Israel go? I don’t know the LORD, and I will not let Israel go.” 3 But Aaron and Moses persisted. “The God of the Hebrews has met with us,” they declared. “So let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness so we can offer sacrifices to the LORD our God. If we don’t, he will kill us with a plague or with the sword.”  4 Pharaoh replied, “Moses and Aaron, why are you distracting the people from their tasks? Get back to work! 5 Look, there are many of your people in the land, and you are stopping them from their work.” 6 That same day Pharaoh sent this order to the Egyptian slave drivers and the Israelite foremen: 7 “Do not supply any more straw for making bricks. Make the people get it themselves! 8 But still require them to make the same number of bricks as before. Don’t reduce the quota. They are lazy. That’s why they are crying out, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifices to our God.’ 9 Load them down with more work. Make them sweat! That will teach them to listen to lies!” 10 So the slave drivers and foremen went out and told the people: “This is what Pharaoh says: I will not provide any more straw for you. 11 Go and get it yourselves. Find it wherever you can. But you must produce just as many bricks as before!

Overcoming the Attack

1. Our Battle Is Bigger Than We Think

5:2 “Is that so?” retorted Pharaoh. “And who is the LORD? Why should I listen to him and let Israel go? I don’t know the LORD, and I will not let Israel go.”

– Our battles are not simply against people who don’t like us, our battles are about people who don’t like our God!

Eph. 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood…

We cannot be shocked or discouraged when the world is attacking us for believing what they don’t understand or what they don’t know

– But….

2. Our Hope Is Bigger Than We Believe

5:3a But Aaron and Moses persisted. “The God of the Hebrews has met with us,” they declared.

– We must continue to stand on truth and stand on God’s promises

– When God calls us to a work, no matter how great the attack, nothing can stop HIM

– Persistence in the face of attack is the first step towards victory

3. The Attacks May Keep Coming

5:7 “Do not supply any more straw for making bricks. Make the people get it themselves! 8 But still require them to make the same number of bricks as before. Don’t reduce the quota.

– Pharaoh had already said “No, they cannot leave…” But now he’s making it even worse, punishing Moses, and all of Israel, for God’s call.

– This is so familiar to all of us. When an attack happens, it seems as if they keep coming at every turn. There might be attacks on several fronts, from many attackers, all showing up at the exact same time.

– Your response (and your attitude) in the face of adversity is the single greatest predictor of the outcome.

4. The Victory Is His

Ex. 9:16 But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.

– God says, “I have raised you up…” so He can show His power in you. Important statement: “HIS POWER”

If you manipulate and market your way to a public platform, you will lack the muscle to fight off a horde of demons waiting for you on it.

Ex. 10:1 Now the LORD said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his servants, that I may show these signs of Mine before him,

Ex. 10:2 and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and your son’s son the mighty things I have done in Egypt, and My signs which I have done among them, that you may know that I am the LORD.”

Ex. 14:4 Then I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, so that he will pursue them; and I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD.” And they did so.

Ex. 14:13 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. 14 The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”

Ex. 14:31 Thus Israel saw the great work which the LORD had done in Egypt; so the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD and His servant Moses.

Overcomer: Overcoming Insecurity

2016-07-24

ststor Jonathan Falwell

Today, we continue our series, “Overcomers,” looking at the life of Moses. What an amazing life story he leaves to us. A life of truly overcoming every type of challenge and obstacle one can imagine. It is important that we use these stories, this inspiration, to lead us in overcoming as well.

Memory Verse:
Exodus 4:31
So the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel and that He had looked on their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped.

Every person on the face of the earth has moments of insecurity. None of us are immune to this fact of life. From the youngest to the oldest, from the richest to the poorest, from the most successful to the just starting out… we’ve all faced those moments of believing we weren’t good enough. Today’s message is not a self help seminar, it is a sermon that will hopefully lead us all to spend less time doubting our abilities and more time trusting our God.

Let’s pick up the story from last week from the “burning bush” moment of Moses’ life. Last week, we focused on how to overcome our past. Today, we focus on how to push through to our future.

Overcoming Insecurity

1. I’m Not Good Enough or Smart Enough

Exodus 4:1 But Moses protested again, “What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? What if they say, ‘The LORD never appeared to you’?” 2 Then the LORD asked him, “What is that in your hand?” “A shepherd’s staff,” Moses replied. 3 “Throw it down on the ground,” the LORD told him. So Moses threw down the staff, and it turned into a snake! Moses jumped back.

– Interesting start to this chapter… “But Moses protested again…”
– Moses really didn’t have great confidence in his ability to pull this off… sound familiar?
– Each of us battles the inner voice that tells we are not good enough, not smart enough

2. I Don’t Know What To Say

10 But Moses pleaded with the LORD, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” 11 Then the LORD asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the LORD? 12 Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”

– This is an all too common response that we use…”I’m not very good with words”
– One of the the greatest reasons that the church doesn’t evangelize the way it should
– Lack of trust

3. I’m Too Scared, Someone Else Should Do It

13 But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.” 14 Then the LORD became angry with Moses. “All right,” he said. “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he speaks well. And look! He is on his way to meet you now. He will be delighted to see you. 15 Talk to him, and put the words in his mouth. I will be with both of you as you speak, and I will instruct you both in what to do. 16 Aaron will be your spokesman to the people. He will be your mouthpiece, and you will stand in the place of God for him, telling him what to say.

– This is also a common response, the belief that someone else can do it better
– God was getting fed up with Moses’ lack of response, but never gave up on him
– How often do we excuse our inaction by assuming someone else will do it.

4. When You Trust God With Your Today, God Will Take Care Of Your Future

31 Then the people of Israel were convinced that the LORD had sent Moses and Aaron. When they heard that the LORD was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.

– After all of Moses’ protests, he finally relented and trusted God
– “Then the people of Israel were convinced that the Lord had sent Moses…”
– “…they bowed down and worshiped”
– God used Moses despite his insecurities and it changed the course of history

Overcoming Our Insecurities

No one is ever good enough or smart enough on their own
Our words will always be insufficient, what matters is our heart
Sure there are others who could do what God has called us to do, but He called us! Let’s get to it and see what can happen when we all show up to do what He wants.
It is only when we trust God fully that we begin to see how truly powerful He is…

– “God’s ability in our lives can only be revealed in the availability in our lives”

Overcomer: Overcoming The Past

2016-07-17
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Exodus 3:12 NKJV
So He said, “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”

Exodus 3:1 NLT
One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. 3 “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.” 4 When the LORD saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” “Here I am!” Moses replied. 5 “Do not come any closer,” the LORD warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. 6 I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God. 7 Then the LORD told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live. 9 Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. 10 Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” 12 God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.” 13 But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?” 14 God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. Say this to the people of Israel: I AM has sent me to you.”

1. God doesn’t look at our past to determine if He wants to use us

vs 2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. 3 “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.” 4 When the LORD saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” “Here I am!” Moses replied.

2. God’s holiness trumps our messiness

vs 5 “Do not come any closer,” the LORD warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. 6 I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.

3. God’s plans will always be grander than ours

vs 10 “Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.”
4. God’s power will always be enough

vs 11 But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” 12 God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.”

5. The only way to overcome our past is to know our future

vs 14 God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. Say this to the people of Israel: I AM has sent me to you.”

Overcomer: Overcoming The Past

2016-07-17
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Exodus 3:12 NKJV
So He said, “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”

Exodus 3:1 NLT
One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. 3 “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.” 4 When the LORD saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” “Here I am!” Moses replied. 5 “Do not come any closer,” the LORD warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. 6 I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God. 7 Then the LORD told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live. 9 Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. 10 Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” 12 God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.” 13 But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?” 14 God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. Say this to the people of Israel: I AM has sent me to you.”

1. God doesn’t look at our past to determine if He wants to use us

vs 2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. 3 “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.” 4 When the LORD saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” “Here I am!” Moses replied.

2. God’s holiness trumps our messiness

vs 5 “Do not come any closer,” the LORD warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. 6 I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.

3. God’s plans will always be grander than ours

vs 10 “Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.”
4. God’s power will always be enough

vs 11 But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” 12 God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.”

5. The only way to overcome our past is to know our future

vs 14 God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. Say this to the people of Israel: I AM has sent me to you.”

Overcomer: Overcoming Perilous Times

2016-07-10
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Exodus 3:7 NKJV
And the LORD said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.”
Exodus 2:11  (NLT)
Many years later, when Moses had grown up, he went out to visit his own people, the Hebrews, and he saw how hard they were forced to work. During his visit, he saw an Egyptian beating one of his fellow Hebrews. 12 After looking in all directions to make sure no one was watching, Moses killed the Egyptian and hid the body in the sand. 13 The next day, when Moses went out to visit his people again, he saw two Hebrew men fighting. “Why are you beating up your friend?” Moses said to the one who had started the fight. 14 The man replied, “Who appointed you to be our prince and judge? Are you going to kill me as you killed that Egyptian yesterday?” Then Moses was afraid, thinking, “Everyone knows what I did.”15 And sure enough, Pharaoh heard what had happened, and he tried to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in the land of Midian. When Moses arrived in Midian, he sat down beside a well. 16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters who came as usual to draw water and fill the water troughs for their father’s flocks. 17 But some other shepherds came and chased them away. So Moses jumped up and rescued the girls from the shepherds. Then he drew water for their flocks. 18 When the girls returned to Reuel, their father, he asked, “Why are you back so soon today?” 19 “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds,” they answered. “And then he drew water for us and watered our flocks.”

Overcoming perilous times

1. Be realistic about what is going on – vs 11a

vs 11a Many years later, when Moses had grown up, he went out to visit his own people, the Hebrews, and he saw how hard they were forced to work…

2. Be willing to get involved – vs 11b-12

vs 11b-12 During his visit, he saw an Egyptian beating one of his fellow Hebrews. 12 After looking in all directions to make sure no one was watching, Moses killed the Egyptian and hid the body in the sand.

3. When trouble surrounds you, don’t stop doing the right thing – vs 17

vs 17 But some other shepherds came and chased them away. So Moses jumped up and rescued the girls from the shepherds. Then he drew water for their flocks.

Moses was in his comfort zone yet he was wiling to go out and look for the hurting, he was willing to do what was necessary to help the hurting, and was willing to fight whatever battle needed to be fought in order to bring peace. For us to make it through the perilous times we face, we must be willing to do the same. Keeping our heads buried in the sand in the midst of turmoil will never result in our being called…overcomer!

Overcomer: What Does It Take To Be An Overcomer?

2016-07-03
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Exodus 2:24
So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.

Today, we begin a series for the rest of the Summer on the life of Moses, one of the principal characters of the Old Testament and one of the greatest examples of being an OVERCOMER of all time. Moses lived in the mid-1400’s BC in a time when the descendants of Abraham, God’s chosen people, were an unorganized and enslaved people not the great nation that God had promised. Moses barely escapes death at his birth, grows up in opulence in the house of Pharaoh and very easily could have never become the great leader we know him to be. But there was something different about him, something that changed the trajectory of his life from being ordinary to overcoming. What was it?

Heb. 11:23
By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command. 24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. 27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them. 29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.

1. Faith
23a By faith Moses…

Definition:
1. complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
2. strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

Biblical Definition:
“Being Sure Of What You Hope For And Certain Of What We Do Not See!” – Heb. 11:1

Charles Spurgeon once said: Not only in prayer, but in duty, the man who has great faith in God, and whom God has girded with strength, how gigantic does he become!

* Something Bigger than Yourself
* Confidence in the promises and protection of God
* Awareness of God’s presence in the darkest of moments

2. Looking to God for significance

vs 24b-25
…when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,

* Moses was unwilling to give in to the pressures of culture
* He saw the affliction of the Jews and was willing to forgo what was certain in order to do the right thing
* He knew the value of life was not found in what others think of us but rather in what God thinks of us
* We will never overcome in life as long as we are dependent on acceptance from others. Man’s desperate desire for acceptance usually leads us to compromise in order to gain it or discouragement when we don’t.
* In Luke 9, Moses once again appears with Jesus and Elijah. He overcame so much because his focus was on God

3. Recognition of what matters

vs 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.

vs 26 (NLT) He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward.

* He knew it was always the right thing to do the right thing, even if it began in suffering
* He knew that the value of God’s rewards were far greater than the value of man’s
* He was willing to walk away from the things of this world in order to find meaning and purpose

God had a plan for Moses from the moment he was born. Even in the midst of danger, uncertainty and fear, God provided the way to overcome. Knowing our salvation comes from and through Him is key to overcoming the problems of today.

To overcome requires faith!

 

We’ve come this far by faith, now what?

2016-06-26
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Mark 11:24
“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”

Acts 20:18-21 NLT
When they arrived he declared, “You know that from the day I set foot in the province of Asia until now I have done the Lord’s work humbly and with many tears. I have endured the trials that came to me from the plots of the Jews. I never shrank back from telling you what you needed to hear, either publicly or in your homes. I have had one message for Jews and Greeks alike—the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and of having faith in our Lord Jesus.”

In The World But Not Of It: Never Waver!

2016-06-19
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
1 Kings 18:21
Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”

1 Kings 18:21 (NLT)
Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent. 22 Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only prophet of the LORD who is left, but Baal has 450 prophets. 23 Now bring two bulls. The prophets of Baal may choose whichever one they wish and cut it into pieces and lay it on the wood of their altar, but without setting fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood on the altar, but not set fire to it. 24 Then call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by setting fire to the wood is the true God!” And all the people agreed. 25 Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “You go first, for there are many of you. Choose one of the bulls, and prepare it and call on the name of your god. But do not set fire to the wood.” 26 So they prepared one of the bulls and placed it on the altar. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning until noontime, shouting, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no reply of any kind. Then they danced, hobbling around the altar they had made. 27 About noontime Elijah began mocking them. “You’ll have to shout louder,” he scoffed, “for surely he is a god! Perhaps he is daydreaming, or is relieving himself. Or maybe he is away on a trip, or is asleep and needs to be wakened!” 28 So they shouted louder, and following their normal custom, they cut themselves with knives and swords until the blood gushed out. 29 They raved all afternoon until the time of the evening sacrifice, but still there was no sound, no reply, no response. 30 Then Elijah called to the people, “Come over here!” They all crowded around him as he repaired the altar of the LORD that had been torn down. 31 He took twelve stones, one to represent each of the tribes of Israel, 32 and he used the stones to rebuild the altar in the name of the LORD. Then he dug a trench around the altar large enough to hold about three gallons. 33 He piled wood on the altar, cut the bull into pieces, and laid the pieces on the wood. Then he said, “Fill four large jars with water, and pour the water over the offering and the wood.” 34 After they had done this, he said, “Do the same thing again!” And when they were finished, he said, “Now do it a third time!” So they did as he said, 35 and the water ran around the altar and even filled the trench. 36 At the usual time for offering the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet walked up to the altar and prayed, “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command. 37 O LORD, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.” 38 Immediately the fire of the LORD flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench! 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, “The LORD—he is God! Yes, the LORD is God!”
1. Make a choice (vs 21)

vs 21 Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent.

– Christians live their lives with one foot in, one foot out
– If we believe that God is truly God, what’s the problem?
– Silence is not following

2. Have confidence (vs 25)

25a Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “You go first, for there are many of you.”
– Elijah was not worried about public opinion
– He was sure of the outcome

3. Go all in (vs 30-35)

30 Then Elijah called to the people, “Come over here!” They all crowded around him as he repaired the altar of the LORD that had been torn down. 31 He took twelve stones, one to represent each of the tribes of Israel, 32 and he used the stones to rebuild the altar in the name of the LORD. Then he dug a trench around the altar large enough to hold about three gallons. 33 He piled wood on the altar, cut the bull into pieces, and laid the pieces on the wood. Then he said, “Fill four large jars with water, and pour the water over the offering and the wood.” 34 After they had done this, he said, “Do the same thing again!” And when they were finished, he said, “Now do it a third time!” So they did as he said, 35 and the water ran around the altar and even filled the trench.

– Elijah didn’t hedge his bets
– He wanted this to be an “all or nothing” proposition
– He believed God fully and took God at His Word!
– ARE YOU?

The “Following” Church

2016-06-12
Matt Willmington

“Following Christ” means that we let go of our idols, come to Jesus for salvation, and let Him lead our lives. But what if we all did that TOGETHER? That is what a church is to be – a group of Christ followers carrying out His mission. So, what does a “Christ following” church look like in a community?
Last week Following Christ. WHAT IF we follow TOGETHER?
Church =
FAMILY of God
AUTHORITY of God
WORD of God
MISSION of God

ROME
Tacitus – “Rome is where all things hideous & shameful from every part of the world find their center & become popular”
Government Division
Rampant Immorality
Government Bankruptcies
Government Dependence
Gladiatorial Games
Slavery

CHURCH
– 200,000 end of Acts [annual 22% increase 30 yrs]
– 500,000 by AD100
– 10 million by 300ad [10% of Empire]

“The early church was strikingly different from the culture around it in this way – the pagan society was stingy with its money and promiscuous with its body. A pagan gave nobody their money and practically gave everybody their body. And the Christians came along and gave practically nobody their body and they gave practically everybody their money.” ― Timothy Keller

Tour the Early Church…
2:37 Convicting
2:47 Favored
4:13 Amazing
4:13, 31 Bold
4:21 Glorifying
4:32 Generous
4:33 Grace
4:33 Power
4:32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.
5:11 Fear
7:54 Hated

The Epistle to Diognetes, AD130 – “They display to us their wonderful and confessedly striking method of life… They marry, as do all others; they beget children; but they do not destroy their offspring. They have a common table, but not a common bed. They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh. They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven. They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives. They love all men and are persecuted by all. They are unknown and condemned; they are put to death and restored to life. They are poor yet make many rich; they are in lack of all things and yet abound in all; they are dishonored and yet in their very dishonor are glorified. They are evil spoken of and yet are justified; they are reviled and bless; they are insulted and repay the insult with honor; they do good yet are punished as evildoers. When punished, they rejoice as if quickened into life; they are assailed by the Jews as foreigners and are persecuted by the Greeks; yet those who hate them are unable to assign any reason for their hatred. To sum it all up in one word — what the soul is to the body, that are Christians in the world.”

UNITED [Together] in…
Witness [1:22, 4:13, 33]
1:8 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.”
Spirit
2:1 “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
Prayer – 1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

Matthew 19 – Following Christ

2016-06-05
Matt Willmington

What is a CHRISTIAN? Are YOU a Christian?

Jesus prayed in John 17 for His followers, that they would be children of light, unified, have authority, etc. But what was His definition of “follower”? And, more importantly, are YOU His follower? Are YOU a Christian?

WHO? 
* young v.22
* wealthy v.22
* ruler Luke 18
* seeker Mark 10, Lk 10:25

QUESTION
16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” 17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to Him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” 20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?”

* “One good thing to gain eternal life?”
* JESUS – “God is good. Keep commands”
* Young Man – “Which ones?”
* JESUS – “Love your neighbor”
* Young Man – “I have. What do I lack?”

ANSWER
21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

* JESUS  “Sell – Donate – Follow”
* Wealth NOT issue
* $50k .31% [99] $25k 2% [98]  $12.5k 13% [87]
* HEART – IDOL
* Acts 2, 4 church did INSTINCTIVELY
* Mk10:21 “Then Jesus, looking at him, LOVED him, & said”

DECISION
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

* YM walked away sad…
* He asked the wrong question…

In, But No Of, part 3

2016-05-29
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
John 17:26
“And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

Today, we’re going to finish up taking a look at Christ’s prayer from John 17. A prayer offered just before His arrest, His trial and His crucifixion. It’s a prayer that should encourage us, but also push us forward in our faith walk with Him.

John 17:20
“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. 22 I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. 24 Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!  25 O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. 26 I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”

Two weeks ago:
* We have authority
* We have a future
* We can make an everlasting impact
* The answer is Christ

Last week:
* The message is clear
* We must stand in unity
* Standing on His Word
* Only in Christ we have hope

Let’s put it all together. How can we do this? How can we be successful?

1. Know that Jesus is praying for you

v20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.”

– It should be incredibly empowering to us all to know that Jesus is praying for us

– He knew then about what you face now

Romans 8:34
Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

2. Jesus is with us every step of the way

v23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.

– Every day, He is present in our lives, in every situation

– When it seems as if we’re neglected, all alone, He is there

– If we embrace this truth, we will be strengthened in unity

3. We have the answer

v25 “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me.”

– Knowing Christ makes all the difference

– It should transform our thinking

– It should push us to share this truth

4. So let it shine!

v26 “I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”

– Let this be a catalyst for you share and show Christ’s love to the world

Ephesians 5:8
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.

In, But Not Of, part 2

2016-05-22
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
Ephesians 5:8
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.

Last week, we began looking at a prayer. A prayer that Jesus offered for us as we face the challenges of this world. Today, we’re going to continue looking at this prayer as we see how His words can guide us day by day.

John 17:7 NLT
Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, 8 for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me. 9 “My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. 10 All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory. 11 Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. 12 During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold. 13 “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. 14 I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do. 17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. 19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.

Last week,
* we have authority
* we have a future
* we can make an everlasting impact
* the answer is Christ

1. The Message is clear (vs 7-8)

7 Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, 8 for I have passed on to them the message you gave me.

* The World needs to hear the Gospel
* The church must be the one to tell them

Ephesians 5:8
For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! 9 For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.

2. We must stand in unity (vs 11)

11 Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are.

* a church that is not unified in message is a church that will never be unified in mission

3. Standing on the Word of God (vs 14-18)

14 I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do. 17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.

* it really does matter that we read, learn and know God’s Word if we are going to be light in a dark world.

4. Only in Christ do we have hope (vs 19)

19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.

Ephesians 5:1
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.