Tag Archives: embrace

Handle With Care: Iron Low Heat

Week 6 – Iron Low Heat

[Proverbs 1:32, Revelation 3:14-22]

 CARING WITHOUT COMPLACENCY

Romans 12:11 – Do not lack diligence (enthusiasm); be fervent in spirit (hot enough to boil); serve the Lord. [HCSB]

 

John Stott – The Laodicean church was a halfhearted church. Perhaps none of the seven letters is more appropriate to the twentieth-century church than this. It describes vividly the respectable, sentimental, nominal, skin-deep religiosity which is so widespread among us today. Our Christianity is flabby and anemic. We appear to have taken a lukewarm bath of religion.

Proverbs 1:32 – For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them; [ESV]

Complacency – self-satisfaction, unawareness of deficiencies

 

Amos Religion without Repentance (4:6-13), Religion without Reformation / No change (5:11-12)

 

Revelation 3:14-22 – Church of Laodicea – Had religion, lacking RELATIONSHIP

 

verse 18 – Buy three things (v. 17 notes “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked”)

  • Gold purified in fire – Laodicea banking industry – know Jesus & be truly rich [FAITH]
  • White clothes – Laodicea black wool industry – be dressed (shameful nakedness not exposed) [RIGHTEOUS]
  • Ointment – Laodicea medical school famous for producing eye salve – spread over eyes to see [WORD OF GOD & ANOINTING OF HOLY SPIRIT]

 

verse 19 – God’s purpose of discipline – not to punish, to bring us back to Him

ALL ABOUT RELATIONSHIP

 

Breakout Session Questions

1) Read Psalm 51:10-12. What is the cause of complacency in this passage? What can we do to fight the complacency?

2) Read Ephesians 1:15-16 and Revelation 2:4. What is the cause of complacency in these passages? What can we do to fight the complacency?

3) Read John 17:17 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17. What can we do to fight the complacency? Why is this so important?

4) Read Jeremiah 29:13. What can we do to fight the complacency? Why is this so important?

5) Read Acts 2:46-47. What can we do to fight the complacency? Why is this so important?

 

Handle with Care is a 6-week series focused on studying God’s Word and responding with care. The six weeks of messages may sound like instructions for laundry care — but you will soon find Handle with Care beckons you to examine within, to gauge how you truly love God and love others, and to grow inward and outward. Caring starts with the heart and pours out into the community.

 

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Handle With Care: Empty Pockets

Week 5 – Empty Pockets

[Matthew 6:19-21]

CARING FOR TREASURES

  • Treasures in heaven can’t be destroyed
  • Treasures in heaven can’t be stolen
  • Treasures will point to your heart

 

Time

  • God is in control of time (Psalm 74:16-17)
  • Make the best use of time (Ephesians 5:16)
  • Teach us to number our days that we may gain heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12)

 

Talent

  • Each of us have been entrusted/given gifts/possessions dependent upon our ability (Matthew 25:14-30)
  • Use your gifts to serve others & glorify God (1 Peter 4:10-11)

 

Treasure

  • Your soul is more important than the treasure of this world (Matthew 16:26)
  • Your life does not consist of an abundance of possessions (Luke 12:13-21)
  • Give and it will be given to you (Luke 6:38)

 

Breakout Sessions

Read Matthew 25:14-30, The Parable of the Bags of Gold (The Parable of the Talents)

1) Why do the men each get different amounts of gold/talents? What does this mean for us?

2) When we look at this parable, what do we see that is required of us as stewards?

3) What is the immediate response of the three men when they received their talents from their Master? What does this mean?

4) Why is the third servant described as a “wicked, lazy servant”?

 

Handle with Care is a 6-week series focused on studying God’s Word and responding with care. The six weeks of messages may sound like instructions for laundry care — but you will soon find Handle with Care beckons you to examine within, to gauge how you truly love God and love others, and to grow inward and outward. Caring starts with the heart and pours out into the community.

 

Handle With Care: Fasten the Zipper

Week 4 – Fasten the Zipper

[John 17:20-23]

CARING FOR UNITY

Why?

  1. Jesus Prays for Unity
  2. Unity points to Jesus

 

 

1 Corinthians 1:10 – I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. [ESV]

  • Agree in what you say / No division
  • Same understanding – Same conviction

Aim for Unity

  1. Stay Connected to the Vine
    1. Jesus is the Vine. We are the branches.
    2. Ephesians 4:16 – from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. [ESV]
    3. Knit together. Properly working as each other individually.
  2. One mind. One purpose.
    1. 1 Peter 3:8 – Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. [ESV]
  3. Live your gifts
    1. Romans 12:4-5 – For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. [ESV]
  4. All about Jesus
    1. Don’t let pride get in the way.
    2. Romans 12:16 – Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. [ESV]

 

Psalm 133:1 – Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! [ESV]

 

 

Breakout Sessions

1) Read Romans 12:4-5 and Ephesians 4:15-16. Paul writes to the Ephesians about walking in unity. What did Paul say was important for us to do as followers of Christ in the Ephesians passage? Why do you think this action is important? What would be the result(s) of doing this? How do we ensure we are doing our own part? How do we encourage others to do the same?

2) Read Romans 12:16 and 1 Peter 3:8. These passages speak about the unity—one mind, one purpose—and the humility we should live by so we may live in harmony. How can we live with one mind, one purpose? How do we humble ourselves?

 

Handle with Care is a 6-week series focused on studying God’s Word and responding with care. The six weeks of messages may sound like instructions for laundry care — but you will soon find Handle with Care beckons you to examine within, to gauge how you truly love God and love others, and to grow inward and outward. Caring starts with the heart and pours out into the community.

 

 

Handle With Care: Add Fabric Softener

Week 3 – Add Fabric Softener

[Hebrews 10:24-25]

CARING LIKE BARNABAS

 

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 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. [NLT]

 

GENEROUSActs 4:36-37 – Barnabas sold land to provide for fellow Christians

ACCEPTINGActs 9:26-28 – Barnabas took a chance with Paul when the other’s weren’t accepting him.

ENCOURAGINGActs 11:23-24 – Barnabas was glad to see what God did through others and encouraged them to all remain true to God.

GRACIOUSActs 15:36-41 – Barnabas extended grace to John Mark, not giving up on John Mark.

 

Embrace – Encourage – Equip – Empower

 

Put yourself aside and let others get ahead (Philippians 2:3-4)

Speak what is helpful for building others up (Ephesians 4:29)

 

2 Timothy 4:11 – Paul later requested John Mark because he was profitable to the ministry.

 

Breakout Session Questions:

1) Read Acts 15:36-41 and Philippians 2:3-4. How does this passage in Philippians relate to the narrative in Acts 15?

2) Read Ephesians 4:29. What does Paul describe in this passage? How do we live this out?

3) Read Romans 15:1-6 Who are we to please? What does this passage describe as the relationship between the strong and weak? How can we live this out?

4) Read 1 Timothy 2:1-3. What does this passage say is most important, and why is this most important?

 

Handle with Care is a 6-week series focused on studying God’s Word and responding with care. The six weeks of messages may sound like instructions for laundry care — but you will soon find Handle with Care beckons you to examine within, to gauge how you truly love God and love others, and to grow inward and outward. Caring starts with the heart and pours out into the community.

 

Handle With Care: No More Bleach

Week 2 – No More Bleach

[Matthew 23:1-36]

CARING FOR TRUTH

Living a Façade

Live the Truth to Glorify God

If you are living a fake life, you aren’t living as He created you, but as you have concocted. Isaiah 43:7 – you were created to glorify God. Ephesians 2:10 – You are God’s masterpiece – He created you to do good works that He planned long ago.

Accept the Truth to Receive Grace

If you don’t accept the truth, you don’t accept the grace God is ready to pour out. Ephesians 2:8 – It is by grace you have been saved.

Embrace the Truth to Grow in Christ

You can’t allow God to work through your life to prune, discipline, etc. if you aren’t acknowledging the truth. Colossians 2:6-7

Seek the Truth to Enjoy Peace in Christ

Trying to keep up the fake life causes you to carry a heavy burden, one day you will not be able to keep it up. Philippians 4:7 – He offers a peace beyond understanding.

Share the Truth to Guide Others to New Life in Him

Living transparent life allows people to see what God is doing in YOUR life – and this will point people to Jesus! 2 Corinthians 5:20

 Luke 16:15 – And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. [ESV]

 

Breakout Session Questions:

1) Read Matthew 23:4.

  • What does this mean?
  • How do we do this?
  • How can we live without placing heavy loads on people?

 

2) Read Matthew 23:13-14.

  • What does this mean?
  • How do we do this?
  • How can we live as door openers?

 

3) Read Matthew 23:23-26.

  • What does this mean?
  • How do we do this?
  • How can we live focused on the more important?

 

Handle with Care is a 6-week series focused on studying God’s Word and responding with care. The six weeks of messages may sound like instructions for laundry care — but you will soon find Handle with Care beckons you to examine within, to gauge how you truly love God and love others, and to grow inward and outward. Caring starts with the heart and pours out into the community.

 

 

Behold the Lamb Series

Week 1 – The Lamb of God

[John 1:29, Leviticus 17:11]

Here is the LAMB OF GOD who takes away the sin of the world.

  • Behold –to point something out
  • Here – to indicate a place … John is drawing attention to Jesus
  • Lamb of God – sent by God, provided by God
  • Takes Away – removes, blots out

Lamb in a Sacrificial Sense: God is holy and righteous, separate from sin

Atonement – Reconciliation – wipe clean, sacrifice that cleanses from sin

Leviticus 17:11 – For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have appointed it to you to make atonement on the altar for your lives, since it is the lifeblood that makes atonement. [CSB]

Leviticus 4:32-35 – “kipper” – make atonement, make reconciliation, to purge, to wipe clean

Leviticus 5:5-6

Leviticus 4:5-6 – The anointed priest will then take some of the bull’s blood and bring it into the tent of meeting. The priest is to dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle some of it seven times before the LORD in front of the curtain of the sanctuary. [CSB]

Leviticus 16:14-16 – He is to take some of the bull’s blood and sprinkle it with his finger against the east side of the mercy seat; then he will sprinkle some of the blood with his finger before the mercy seat seven times. When he slaughters the male goat for the people’s sin offering and brings its blood inside the curtain, he will do the same with its blood as he did with the bull’s blood: He is to sprinkle it against the mercy seat and in front of it. He will make atonement for the most holy place in this way for all their sins because of the Israelites’ impurities and rebellious acts. He will do the same for the tent of meeting that remains among them, because it is surrounded by their impurities. [CSB]

Hebrews 9:11-12, 16-22, 24-28

Confession / Costly / Identification / Personal

Breakout Session Questions:

1) Read John 1:29. Does John the Baptist’s statement about the Lamb of God refer to sacrifice? If yes, how can you tell?

2) The phrase “sin of the world” is bold and radical. Why? How can we live this out?

3) In what sense is God’s provision of the animal sacrifice for forgiveness of sins an expression of mercy?

4) Were animal sacrifices actually adequate to atone for sin?

5) How is the Lamb of God a more sufficient sacrifice than the previous sacrificial system?

 

Week 2 – The Lamb Who Takes Our Place

[Isaiah 53]

Substitute – a person acting or serving in place of another.

Bears Our Sin (v. 4)

2 Corinthians 5:21 – He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. [CSB]

Christ never sinned! But God treated him as a sinner, so Christ could make us acceptable to God. [CEV]

1 Peter 2:24-25 – and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. [NASB]

Receives Our Punishment (v.5-6)

Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. [NIV]

Acts Voluntarily (v. 7)

John 10:11 – I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. [ESV]

Mark 10:45 – For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many [NLT]

 Revelation 5:6, 9-10 – Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth… And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” [NIV]

Breakout Session Questions:

1) Read Isaiah 53:1-3. How was Jesus a man of sorrows? How is the description of Jesus that we read about in this passage not what was expected?

2) Read Isaiah 53:4-6. List every “our” phrase. What does the list say to you?

3) Read Isaiah 53:6. Are you one of the sheep? Even today?

4) Read Isaiah 53:7. How does this passage describe the Lamb of God?

5) Read Isaiah 53:10. Who killed Jesus? Who was to blame?

 

Week 3 – The Lamb Who Redeems Us from Slavery

[1 Peter 1:18-19, Mark 10:44-45, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20]

Intro: Last week we looked at Isaiah 53, which promised One Who was coming to redeem from their bondage to sin and death… tonight we discuss The Lamb Who Redeems Us from Slavery.

Free: Not bound, confined or detained; having no obligations; capable of moving or turning in any direction.

Slave: Held in servitude; completely subservient.

We were REDEEMED from the empty way of life

1 Peter 1:18-19 – For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. [NIV]        Redemption – deliverance from captivity by means of ransom price

With the life of Jesus given as a RANSOM for many

Mark 10:44-45 – And whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” [NASV]

We were bought with a high price, so we must HONOR GOD WITH BODY

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. [NLT]

Galatians 5:1 – For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

How to live free?

  1. Accept God’s Word2 Timothy 3:16 – All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. [ESV]
  2. Accept God’s GraceRomans 5:18 – Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. [ESV]
  3. Accept God’s Victory1 John 5:5 – Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. [NIV]

Breakout Session Questions:

1) Read Romans 8:1-4. What does it mean that the law was weakened by the flesh? How did Jesus fulfill the law’s requirement?

2) Read Romans 8:5-9. What are the two types of people? In reading this passage, do you think it is possible for a believer to be living with the mind-set of the flesh and be hostile to God?

3) Read Romans 8:15-17. How is this passage empowering?

4) From tonight’s reading in the book of Romans, what are some of the things the Holy Spirit will help us live out if we live in the Spirit?

Week 4 – The Passover Lamb of Whom We Partake

[1 Corinthians 5:7, Exodus 12:3-14, Matthew 26:26-30]

Passover Lamb – Passover Instituted

Exodus 12:3-14 – Instructions for Passover

The Lord’s Supper Instituted

Matthew 26:26-30 – 3rd cup, Cup of Redemption

Bread – blessed, broken – “Take and eat it; this is My body.”

Cup – “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

Cup of Promise – 4th cup “I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” PROMISE TO COME

Handling the Leaven

1 Corinthians 5:1-8

  1. 3 – Even though I am absent in the body, I am present in spirit.
  2. 7 – Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new unleavened batch as indeed you are. For Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed.
  3. 8 – Therefore, let us observe the feast, not with old leaven or with the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of SINCERITY and TRUTH.

Remove old yeast – sin/sinner

We are to be the new unleavened batch

  • Sincerity of mind & integrity of character (Pure inner motives)
  • Truth – divine truth / God’s Truth

Breakout Session Questions:

1) Looking at Exodus 12, in what ways did the Passover lamb protect the families of God’s people?

2) How is the Passover lamb in Exodus similar to the sacrifice of Christ?

3) Read Matthew 26:28. How could these words fill us with sorrow? Why should these words fill us with joy?

4) Read Matthew 26:29. How does the celebration of the Lord’s Supper anticipate a future celebration with Jesus? How does this give you hope?

5) Read Exodus 12:11. How is this in relation with how we approach the Lord’s Supper?

Week 5 – The Triumphant Lamb We Worship

[Revelation 5]

Jesus has fierceness & fearlessness of a Lion (v. 5) and tenderness and humility of a Lamb (v. 6).

  • Scroll is the action plan
    • Scroll is an Action Plan to judge, cleanse, and prepare the nations for Jesus’ rule over Earth, while bringing the Church to maturity and into unity with redeemed Israel.
  • Scroll is the Title Deed to the Earth
    • By taking the scroll, He accepted responsibility to cleanse and rule Earth.

Jesus is the only Man found worthy, deserving, and capable to take scroll from Father.

  • Who is worthy? No one.
  • John wept bitterly.
  • He hears – Lion of Tribe of JudahLion – boldness, strength, fierceness
  • He sees – Lamb SlainLamb – humility, gentleness, weakness, submission

He alone could redeem us:

  • He was related to us (Man of God)
  • He was willing to do it
  • He was able to pay the price

Highest government council around throne. (Living angels – angelic, elders – human)

They fell awestruck before the worthy Man and boldly proclaimed their agreement with the Father’s decree to make Jesus supreme leader of whole Earth forever.

Because of His obedience to death, God highly exalted Jesus in heaven and on earth

Philippians 2:8-10 – And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death– even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. [NIV]

 Breakout Session Questions:

1) Read Psalm 96:1-9. This Psalm speaks of the King of the earth and provides reasons to worship. What are some of the reasons listed?

2) Read Psalm 96:6-12. This passage speaks of the need to “ascribe to the Lord.” What does it mean to “ascribe to the Lord”? This passage speaks of our witness. When considering this passage, what are we supposed to be sharing when we witness? In verse 10, it says, “Say among the nations,” which is again pointing to our witness. When considering this passage, what are we supposed to be sharing when we witness?

3) Read Psalm 96:11-13. How does this passage describe worship? How does this description change the way you think about worship? This Psalm ends waiting for what? How does this relate to tonight’s look at Revelation?

 

 

Leadership 101 – 2-Part Series

Week 1 – Leadership 101

Sermon Outline:

ALONE WITH GOD

John 15:5 – I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. [ESV]

TOGETHER WITH OTHERS

Luke 22:25-26 – Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves. [NLT]

Philippians 2:3-4 – Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. [ESV]

SELAH

Psalm 90:12 – Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. [NIV]

 

Breakout Session Questions:

1) Read Mark 1:35, Luke 5:16, and Matthew 14:23. What do these passages say about the rhythm of prayer? How does time with God help you to better lead those you are called to lead? How can you be more intentional with your time with God?

2) Read Philippians 2:3-4. What does it mean to count someone more significant than yourself? Why is this an important quality for a leader? How can you be intentional to look out for the interests of others?

3) Personal Reflection: Rest is important. Do you have a Sabbath day, a day when you don’t work but you rest with God? If not, consider why you have not made this a priority.

Week 2 – Leadership 101

Sermon Outline:

Ephesians 4:14-16 – Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. [NIV]

Stay HUMBLE

John 3:30 – He must increase, but I must decrease. [ESV]

Colossians 3:17Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. [NASB]

Act in LOVE

1 Corinthians 16:14 – Do everything in love [NIV] (1 Corinthians 13)

Protect your MORAL AUTHORITY

1 John 3:18 – Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. [NASB]

SERVE Others

Matthew 20:26-28 – It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” [NASB]

Breakout Session Questions:

1) Read Matthew 23:1-26. In verse 3, what does Jesus say to the people? What would the behavior of the Pharisees and scribes do the people they were leading? In verse 4, we read of the heavy loads that are put on the shoulders of people—loads the leaders would not be willing to carry. What can we glean from this as a leader? Verse 13 is harsh. What does it say? What does that mean? Verses 23-24 speak of the giving of the scribes and Pharisees. How does this poorly reflect a leader? Verses 25-26 speak of the clean outside and the dirty inside. What does this mean for a leader?

Handle With Care: Stain Removal

Week 1 – Stain Removal

[Genesis 14:22-23]

I will not take anything from you so that you can’t say you made Abram rich.

CARING FOR GOD’S GLORY

 

  • You were made to glorify God – Isaiah 43:7
  • No one can steal God’s glory – Isaiah 42:8
    • Satan loves when you try to steal God’s glory
  • The Earth will be filled with the knowledge of His glory – Habakkuk 2:14

 

How do we live this out?

Live By His Strength [1 Peter 4:11] – remember, THE SAME POWER

Bear Fruit [John 15:8] – remember, ABIDE IN HIM

Shine Light [Matthew 5:16] – remember, DON’T HIDE THE GOOD NEWS

Live Intentionally [1 Corinthians 10:31] – remember, KEEP PRESSING FORWARD

GLORY BE TO GOD

 

Breakout Session Questions

1) Read Isaiah 6:3, Isaiah 60:1-3, and Revelation 21:22-25. What is the glory of God?

2) Read Isaiah 42:8. What does it mean that no one can steal God’s glory, if we know that often we do things to take His glory all the time?

3) Read 1 Peter 4:10-11. What have we been given to help us to live for God’s glory? Within this passage, we are given the answer to how we can do what we have been called to do – to live a life for God’s glory. What can we glean?

 

 

Handle with Care is a 6-week series focused on studying God’s Word and responding with care. The six weeks of messages may sound like instructions for laundry care — but you will soon find Handle with Care beckons you to examine within, to gauge how you truly love God and love others, and to grow inward and outward. Caring starts with the heart and pours out into the community.

 

In the Breach

We can glean a lot from the leadership of Moses. This picture we get of him standing in the breach is one that exemplifies what it means to be a leader. Don’t stop reading with the excuse that you are not a leader. Everyone is leading someone. The question is—do you stand in the breach?

First, you have to know what it means that Moses stood before God in the breach. When you consider a breach, picture a wall. You have a wall for protection. This wall works great so long as it remains intact. However, there are moments when there is a breach in the wall—a breakdown of the wall at some point that makes the wall ineffective. Now whatever you are trying to keep out is now coming through this break in the wall. When soldiers are protecting an area and there is a breach, the soldiers will use their own bodies to stand at the breach to continue to ensure the area is protected.

When we look at Moses and this picture of him standing before God in the breach, we see a leader who is concerned for the Israelites, the people he was leading. Despite their sin, their shortcomings and failures, he cared for the people. He sought for their best interest. He stood between them and God and made his plea of intercession. He recognized their weakness. He recognized their sin, but he did not let that change the way He cared for them. He sought the mercy of God. He prayed for the people.

As a leader, the most important thing is to care for the people you are leading—to love them. Love them like Jesus loves them. Love them with all that you are and love them despite their shortcomings and failures. Look at them as God sees them. Do all you can to stand in the breach. Pray for them. Give them your very best as you pour into their lives. Treat your time with them as precious. Don’t sell them short. Don’t treat them as a number or a task. Seek their best interest always. Love them. Love them like Jesus.

“So he said he would have destroyed them–if Moses his chosen one had not stood before him in the breach to turn his wrath away from destroying them.” – Psalm 106:23 [CSB]

Taste and See

The Bible tells us to taste and see the Lord is good. This is one small step toward God, drawing near to Him to see Him with eyes opened. But it isn’t supposed to be a simple taste. Just as we don’t sit down at a full meal and simply taste a bite of food and walk away satisfied, so it is with our life with God.

Too many people take a small bite of the meal the Lord has prepared for them. Too many people are living life okay to have the assurance that they are saved because of their belief in Christ Jesus, yet the Lord has prepared so much more.

Are you missing the fullness of God because your relationship with Him was only about salvation? Are you not seeking the Lord’s face because you did not recognize His great desire to reveal Himself to you in a personal, intimate way? Are you living life on the breadcrumbs, and missing out on the power, the peace, the joy, the love that God has for you today?

Oh, taste and see, taste and see His goodness. Partake. Enjoy His presence. Rejoice in His provision. Thank Him for His great love. Drink deep of His mercy and grace. Consume His Word. Allow Him to have His way in every area of your life – blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” – Psalm 34:8 [ESV]