Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Living in the Spacious Place: Got-ta-get-to-Goshen

September 17, 2011

Sermon: Living in the Spacious Place: Got-ta-get-to-Goshen

Sermon Text: Exodus 8:21-23 (NIV)

Context:
God is trying to bring Pharoh ro his senses. There have been two plagues thus far: frogs and gnats. So far, God’s people have not been affected God will not allow His people to be overwhelmed by what He is doing. This is about more than getting His people out of bondage; it’s also about showing others that He is God. The same goes for today, although we may not be going through a plague, we are not living in normal times. With all of this going on do you ever wonder “God, what about me?”

Point 1: God Will Deal Differently With Me (vs. 22)
God is making His presence known. He is present in both the plagues and in Goshen. HE is both a God of the plagues and of tranquility. He is manifesting Himself in two places. It would be like having good health, but you car is not working. It’s important to remember, the moment you obey God’s word you force Him to deal with you differently.

Deuteronomy 28:1,151 If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 15 However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you:

Be obedient to His word, when you do His blessings will overtake you. The Israelites where not affected because they obeyed Him and stayed in Goshen. We wonder why we are going through, it’s because we are outside of Goshen.

Point 2: God Will Make A Distinction (vs. 23)
God said He would distinguish His people. Here, distinguished means redeemable. God believed the Israelites were worth putting in a safe place. The safe is true for you. You become distinguished when you give your life to Christ. You are too expensive for God to lose in a bad situation. He has paid too much for you. He would not let a bad situation take you out.

Point 3: God Will Do It (vs. 24)
God always does what He says He is going to do. The plagues came but Goshen was not harmed. God will do the same for you. God is not a man that He should lie, nor the son on a man that He should repent. God puts His word above His name. You may need to re-evaluate where you are currently residing. Are you living in a neighborhood of disbelief, disobedience, or avoiding God? Perhaps you need to move.
3 Things to help you move:
1. Pack: just take yourself; leave the baggage.
2. Move: Move now, stop putting it off. You must get to the right neighborhood.
3. You must stay put: When you move don’t wonder about what’s going on where you left. Stay where God has taken you.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Service Before Self

September 11, 2011

Sermon: Service Before Self

Sermon Text: Mark 9:35 (NIV)

35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

Context:
When we look at the text we believe it is obvious that the disciples would have decided to follow Jesus because they wanted to serve. You would think it would be obvious to them that they were called for service. Perhaps they joined for the wrong reasons. Jesus had to remind them of why they were with Him. In order to be with Jesus, service before self was required.

Point 1: Stronger than Yesterday (vs. 33b)
“What were you arguing about on the road?”
Jesus did not have to ask the question because He knows all but He forced them to answer the question. He reached into the past in order to show them what would be required in the future.
In order to be the servant leaders the disciples had to be:
1. They had to be stronger than their previous understanding about service.
2. They had to be stronger than any bruised feelings about past events.
3. They had to be stronger than the past.

Point 2: Stronger than Excuses (vs. 35a)
In this part of the text Jesus does not allow them time to come up with any excuses. Often times we do not serve due to a plethora of excuses. We must remember that we make time for what we want to. The Kingdom deserves our best; God deserves our best.
3 Common Barriers to Service:
1. Self-Centeredness: Phil. 2:4 (MSG)
a. “Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.”
2. Perfectionism: Eccl. 11:4
a. “If you wait for perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done.”
3. Materialism: Matt 6:24
a. “No servant can serve two masters... You cannot serve both God and money."

Point 3: Stronger than Ordinary (vs. 35)
We must be willing to do what others will not do. We must be willing to serve and to go beyond what is ordinary to achieve great things for God’s Kingdom.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Playing Dodge Ball With the Devil: Table Manners

Sermon Notes
September 3 and 4, 2011

Sermon: Playing Dodge Ball With the Devil: Table Manners
Sermon Text: Luke 22: 14-23 (NKJV)

14When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. 15 Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 Then He too the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; 18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them saying, “This is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you. 21 But behold, the hand of my betrayer is with me on the table. 22 And truly the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!” 23Then they began to question among themselves, which of them it was who would do this thing.

This text talks about the Passover meal and how Jesus’ intention was to make sure the disciples could make it once he was gone. If you want to go anywhere in life, you must watch your manners, particularly your table manners.


Point 1: Don’t Talk With Your Mouth Full (vs 33)
Peter said he was ready to go with Jesus to both prison and to death, but he was really just talking with his mouth full.

If we would just think about what we are going to say before we say it, we’d be much better off. If you want to know what’s in someone’s heart, just wait for their conversation. David says in Psalm 51:10- “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” When your mouth is full its because your heart is full. You must look at your situation and speak life into your situation, not negative things.

Proverbs 18:21-“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”
A.)Your words have power
B.)You are what you eat
C.)You will reap what you sow

Example: if you continue to speak hateful words, you will eat what hate produces


Point 2: Don’t Ruin a Good Meal (vs 23)
Every meal has a desired outcome. Their outcome was that they would be able to live without Jesus and be able to tackle the enemy.

The mistake we make in today’s time is that we put service with business. We always expect to get something back for our service or to be paid. Biblically speaking, the servant worked for the master for FREE.

There are some things you must understand with regards to the meal:
Recipe:
Luke 22: 28-30-“But you are those who have continued with me in my trials, 29 and I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as my Father bestowed one upon me, 30 that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

We’re usually concerned about what we’re going to eat and not how we can give our lives to serve.

Reception:
Luke 22: 26- “But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves.”

We must move from a “where will I sit” mentality to a “how will I serve” mentality. You will never be as great unless you choose to get on your knees and serve.

Relationships:

Luke 22: 24- “Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest.”

We need not to be concerned with who is going to be considered “number one.” Jesus was saying “I want you to be second.” He wanted to assess relationships.


Point 3: Remember Your Tenses at the Table
(vs 19)
Jesus wanted them to remember the past, present, and the future.

Past: Jesus is the unblemished lamb and the sacrifice that has redeemed you. Remember that his death brought about salvation, free of charge. It doesn’t matter if other people accept you or not because you became acceptable when Jesus died for you.

Present: we can commune with Christ now. The word “communion” means fellowship, participating in, and sharing together. We don’t simply keep a dead memory alive but we keep an alive Jesus in our hearts. He is present with us now.

Future:
in between the time that He leaves and when He comes back, people are to see him through us. 1 Corinthians 11:26- “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” We have to live a life of faith for Him until He comes back.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What To Do When Satan Has His Bulls Eye on You (Dodge Ball with the Devil)

Sermon Notes
August 20 &21, 2011

Sermon: What To Do When Satan Has His Bulls Eye on You (Dodge Ball with the Devil): An Unlikely Deliverance


Sermon Text:
Luke 22: 31-34 (NKJV)

31And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” 33 But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” 34 Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”

Context:
Jesus is hours from trial. The Lord’s Supper has been given. Jesus is now teaching them what they would need to know after He’s gone. He tells Peter that Satan wanting to sift him like wheat and then tells him that He will pray for him. Have you ever felt like Satan was out to get you? Jesus has a process for making or breaking you and Satan has a part in that plan. When you play dodge ball with the devil, he intends to take you out. Satan may have it out for you, but remember this is a part of God’s plan for your life. God intends to use this as a way of refining you. It’s time you learn to play dodge ball with the devil…and win.

Point 1: Denial is Not Your Dead End (vs 34)
We must remember that just because we are denied something doesn’t mean it is the end. What is said to you can catapult you or stop you in your tracks. When we hear what Jesus says to Peter we believe this may be the end of Peter’s career with Jesus. However, peter’s faith is not shaken just because Jesus gave him a hard word. Remember, Jesus isn’t always going to tell you what you want to hear. He isn’t a lottery machine. Every now and then He will have a hard word for you. What may seem like a hard word to you may be the very thing to get you out of your situation. Peter pressed through, so should you.

Point 2: Delay is Not Your Demise (vs 34)
Just because you didn’t get what you wanted right now does not mean it will be the demise of you. When Jesus tells Peter he will deny him three times Peter’s aspirations are delayed. He now knows delays are a part of the journey. Because we live in a fast-paced society we have issues with waiting; we want things when we want them. We get tired of the journey. This is when you make bad decisions and the enemy comes in. Here are reasons you should not get tired:
1. Being tired is a sign that you are almost there. (Rev 3:11)
2. Tired means you have stopped doing things in your own strength and you are now relying on God. (Eph 3:20)

Point 3: Disaster is Your Delivery (vs 34)
Sometimes we mistake disaster for the end when it is your deliverance in a disguise. Peter had a disastrous mouth. The mouth that was once used to create disasters was transformed and began to preach the gospel.


What To Do When Satan Has His Bulls Eye on You (Sifted for Service)

Sermon: What To Do When Satan Has His Bulls Eye on You (Sifted for Service)
Sermon Text: Luke 22: 31-34 (NKJV)
Sermon Notes
August 24, 2011


31And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” 33 But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” 34 Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”

Satan always wants to take out the person with the most faith, the person trying to grow their faith, or the person using their faith to live by. He comes with every weapon to sift the Lord’s people.

Jesus was praying that Peter didn’t lose his faith. We always pray that we don’t lose things, such as a job, car, or a house. However, we should be praying that we don’t lose our faith. Your faith must HOLD up, GROW up, or TAKE YOU up.

Point 1: Sifting Signifies (vs 29)
Jesus did not pray that Peter didn’t get sifted. The devil decided to sift Peter to put him to the test after he received a promise from Jesus.

Usually when you’re sifted, its right after you’ve received great revelation, or God is at great work in your life, or you’re desiring to do more in life. We always claim that we want to be great, but we don’t want to be sifted. You must be on your guard when you get spiritual revelation.

If Satan is after you, it means that you have potential to do great harm to his kingdom. When we make a decision to follow God, an alarm goes off in hell. Satan wants to take you out so that everyone connected to you will go down too. He wants to sift you because he knows what’s coming in your future. What is it that God has in your future that you don’t even know about? Often times we get caught up in the sifting and not the signal.

Point 2: Sifting Separates (vs 33)
Peter expressed that he was ready to go with Jesus to both prison and death.

Don’t ever become too “puffed up”, or in other words, too overconfident in your spirituality. Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 10:12 “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”

Sifting-to be turned upside down, shaken, and separated so that all the dirt can come out.

Things to remember:
A.)Sifting silences Satan
B.)Your sifting helps to develop sifting for others
C.)Sifting increases your dependence on God. John 15:5-“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
Passive denial
D.)When we’re too busy to pray, we deny that God is the center of our life
E.)When we neglect his word, we deny that he’s competent enough to guide us
F.)When we worry, we deny that he’s the Lord of every circumstance

Point 3: Sifting Gives a Second Chance (vs 32)
Jesus said Peter would still return and decided that Peter was worth saving. Jesus also knew that Satan desired Peter, but Jesus desired him more.

Let us warn others that are going through difficult times that we’re praying for them. Let us also tell them that when they are restored, God will use them.

GREATER - The Amos Effect

Sermon Text: Amos 1: 6, 7:12-17 6 Thus says the Lord: “For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, ...