Tag Archives: God

Carols Series: Fall on Your Knees Outline

Worship the King

Matthew 2:1-12 English Standard Version (ESV)

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 saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

O Holy Night

O holy night the stars are brightly shining

It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth

Long lay the world in sin and error pining

Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices

For yonder breaks a new glorious morn

Fall on your knees

O hear the angels’ voices

O night divine

O night when Christ was born

O night divine o night

O night divine

 

Strong’s Concordance

barak: to kneel, bless

Transliteration: barak

Phonetic Spelling: (baw-rak’)

Definition: to kneel, bless

Showing respect, give something of value to another

 

Psalm 103:1-5 English Standard Version (ESV)

103 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!

2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,

3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,

4 who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

5 who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

 

Psalm 103:11-14 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

12 as far as the east is from the west,

so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

13 As a father shows compassion to his children,

so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

14 For he knows our frame;

he remembers that we are dust.

 

Psalm 29:2 English Standard Version (ESV)

2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;

worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.

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Acts: You Will Be My Witnesses Outlines

YOU WILL BE MY WITNESSES

First 8 chapters – time period of 30-33 

Luke quotes OT LXX (Septuagint or “70”), not Hebrew – early Greek translation of OT

Chapters 1-12 – Peter’s Ministry / Chapters 13-28 – Paul’s Ministry

Pentecost is 50 days after Passover (known as Feast of Weeks), Greek word “50th”

Pentecost is one of 3 major feasts (Deuteronomy 16:16) – the Festival of Unleavened Bread [begins day after Passover for a week, in remembrance of the Exodus/no leaven], the Festival of Weeks/Harvest [gratitude of Harvest], and the Festival of Tabernacles/Booths [5 days after Day of Atonement, dwell in tents to remind of time before Canaan] 

Acts 1:4-7 – Promise of Holy Spirit / Acts 1:5 – Wait for the Holy Spirit / Acts 1:9-11 – Ascension

Holy Spirit is the beginning

Only belong to Christ with the Holy Spirit – Romans 8:9

Adopted – Romans 8:14-17

Be Body of Christ with Holy Spirit – 1 Corinthians 12:13

          Tongues of Fire – Speech, communication of Gospel; Fire – God’s purifying presence

Mt. Sinai – Exodus 19:16-18 – fire came down at one place, now every believer

Only baptized by Holy Spirit once – Ephesians 4:4-5

Sins Against the Holy Spirit

Insulting Him – Hebrews 10:29

Lying to Him – Acts 5:3-4

Resisting Him – Acts 7:51

Blaspheming Him – Mark 3:29

Grieving Him – Ephesians 4:30 – Cause Him sorrow/sadness because of indwelling sin

Quenching Him – 1 Thessalonians 5:19 – Allow sin to hinder influence of Holy Spirit, won’t allow His power to yield righteous fruit because of this sin

How YOU will be His witness – John 14-16

Comforts YOU (Acts 9:31) – He is known as the Comforter

Fills YOU with power (Acts 1:8)

Guides YOU to Truth (16:13)

Reminds YOU of Jesus’ Words (14:26)

Gives YOU the words to say (Luke 12:12)

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You Will Be My Witnesses

What I Have

Acts 3 – Healing of a Lame Man

The Lame Man Settled 

We settle with our circumstances

We accept our pains, our struggles, our situations

What if we thought beyond what was possible in our eyes?

What if we put everything into God’s hands?

Peter & John shared WHAT THEY HAD

What do you have?

Do you get caught in thinking what you have is time, talent, treasure, but forget the most important item you have?

People need the message of eternal life— people need JESUS and the SALVATION He freely gives more than the temporary things of the earth.

This lame man was not given money to get him through the day— He was provided with healing for the temporary but through Christ Jesus he also was offered SALVATION – ETERNAL LIFE

Why would we rather toss some money at someone then give them what is truly needed above all things?  {Road Dogs – not about the hot dogs, about Jesus}

The healing was done IN THE NAME OF JESUS

He gives you authority (power to influence, power to command)

When they say this, it means they are stating that Jesus gave them the power and authority to do this on Jesus behalf. It is all about Jesus. We are the vessels.

Are you using the authority and power you have been given to witness to others? 

In verse 20, it speaks of seasons of refreshing that come from the presence of the Lord. We are all in need of this refreshing.

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You Will Be My Witnesses

All In

Acts 6:8 – Acts 7:60 – STEPHEN’S WITNESS

Stephen kept his eyes fixed on Jesus

Face of an angel (6:15) 

Moses at Mt. Sinai (Exodus 34:29-35)

Stephen followed the example of Jesus

He did not defend himself though the leaders were noting he was heard speaking blasphemous words (6:11) and presented false witnesses (6:13)

These same charges against Jesus (Matthew 26:59-60)

He spoke the truth despite the consequences, calling the people stiff-necked people with uncircumcised hearts and ears. He told them they are always resisting the Holy Spirit (6:51). He told them they received the Law but haven’t kept it (6:53).

He trusted God with his spirit (7:59)

Jesus said — “Father, into Your hands I entrust My Spirit” (Luke 23:46)

He asked for forgiveness of those who stoned him (7:60)

Jesus said — “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34)

Stephen received a “standing ovation” for his witness (7:55-56)

He saw the glory of God

He saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God

When he spoke this truth, he was saying Jesus was equal to the Father

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NOT FOR SALE

Acts 8:9-25

Severe persecution broke out again the church in Jerusalem (8:1)

Saul was ravaging the church

People scattered throughout the land of Judea and Samaria

Those who were scattered continued preaching the Word (8:4)

Philip went to Samaria

Samaritans were considered unclean

When the Northern Kingdom of Israel fell to Assyria, the Jews and Gentiles intermingled — resulted in the Samaritans

Samaritans had a their own temple, read a different version of the Pentateuch, and had differing views about the Messiah

Philip’s ministry to the Samaritans was fruitful, only one called Evangelist

Crowds were all paying attention, many were healed

Simon the Magician/Sorcerer

He amazed the people with magic, called “Great Power of God” (not from God)

When Philip evangelized, even Simon declared he believed and was baptized

Simon followed Philip everywhere, watching him perform sings & miracles

Laying Hands = Holy Spirit

The Samaritans believed but did not yet receive the Holy Spirit

Many believe this delay of the Holy Spirit was to confirm unity, the laying of hands was affirmation of the spreading of the Gospel to Samaria

When Simon saw this power, he offered to buy it (like Judas, put monetary value on something spiritual) – heart not right before God (8:20)

Peter rebuked Simon, told him to repent & pray for forgiveness (8:22)

God’s Salvation is Not For Sale

Ephesians 2:8

God’s Spirit is Not For Sale

1 Corinthians 12:7

God’s Blessing is Not For Sale

Psalm 1:1-6

Matthew 6:33

Psalm 67

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Chosen

Here I Am (v. 10)

Told WHERE to go — street called Straight, house of Judas

Told WHO to go to — Saul, man from Tarsus

Told WHEN to go — at once

Told WHY he must go – since he is praying there, needs to place hands on him and pray so his sight can be restored

BUT this man… (v. 13-14)

Very evil, Power to harm

He is my CHOSEN INSTRUMENT (vessel of election) (v. 15)

He will carry my name before the Gentiles, kings, and children of Israel

He is chosen to suffer for Jesus Christ

We are to WITNESS to GOD’s CHOSEN ONES

They are chosen ones because they will accept Jesus (PREDESTINATION)

Ephesians 1:4-5 — even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.

God wants to freely pour out His grace & mercy on His chosen ones

2 Peter 3:9 — The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

God has a plan for His chosen ones

Romans 8:28-30 — And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

You are called to say “Here I Am” to God’s leading you to share Jesus so that His message of hope and salvation can reach the chosen ones

2 Timothy 1:9 — who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began

Ephesians 1:11-12 — In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.

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FREE AT LAST

Acts 11:1-18

The Truth will set you free (John 8:31-36)

Everyone who believes is set free (Romans 8:1-4)

No Condemnation

Free from the Law of sin & death, Jesus fulfilled the Law

Acts 11:1-18

Approach God with freedom (Ephesians 3:12)

Don’t submit to yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1)

Be slaves of God (Romans 6:22)

Slaves of Righteousness

Charles Spurgeon said as slaves of God, enjoy:

Perfect Freedom

Joyful Existence

Heavenly Prospect

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Deliverance

Acts 12

King Herod (Agrippa I)

His grandfather was Herod the Great (slaughtered babies after Magi visit – Matt. 1

His uncle was Herod Antipas (murdered John Baptist) – Mark 6

James (brother of John) executed by sword

12:17 is James, Jesus’ half-brother who is leading Jerusalem church

“Wartime Walkie Talkie” – John Piper’s description of prayer

James executed, Peter arrested

Herod attacks by sword, church counters with prayer

Peter was sleeping, not anxious/panicked (confidence in God)

Peter doesn’t escape… he is delivered

Angel had to strike Peter on side too wake him (v. 7)

Chains fell off Peter’s wrist (v. 7)

Gate opened by itself (v. 10)

Peter was too asleep to even know what was happening (v. 9, 11)

Deliverance comes after church praying fervently to God (v. 5, 13)

Prayer is the church’s weapon

They didn’t believe Peter was at the door even though they were praying for him

Perhaps didn’t think he could be rescued, that he was going to end up like James so prayed differently

Perhaps thought he was already dead (mentioned seeing his ghost)

God can do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20)

1) Made In Faith

“All things are possible for one who believes.’ Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!  – Mark 9:23

2) Abide in Him 

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” – John 15:7 [NASB]

3) In Jesus Name

“You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” – John 14:13-14 [NLT]

5) For God’s Will

“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” – James 4:3 [NIV]

“We are confident that God listens to us if we ask for anything that has his approval. We know that he listens to our requests. So we know that we already have what we ask him for.” – 1 John 5:14-15 [GW]

6) Persistent and Bold 

Ask, Seek, Knock  – Continuous (Not Single Request – Present Tense) – Matthew 7:7-11

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Walk with Integrity

ACTS 5:1-16

Ananias & Sapphira

Joseph aka Barnabas… sold a field, laid money at apostles’ feet (Acts 4:36-37)

Ananias & Sapphira sold a piece of property too… but lacked integrity… didn’t fear God

Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Galatians 6:7 – Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.

Posers / Liars / Deceivers

Pretended to do a righteous act, lied about it

Planned this deception, both were on board

Praise seekers 

They sought recognition for their act of giving

Greedy

The word used in v. 3 means “to keep back” or to “pilfer” (“steal in small amount”) – embezzlement is what we would call it today

The Holy Spirit was grieved by this couple who professed Jesus

Proverbs 10:9 – Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.

The word means “blameless,” “upright,” “innocent.”

To walk with integrity means:

Live the Truth

Stay Humble

Be Generous

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Not God

Acts 14:8-20

Lystra

Part of Galatia

Temple dedicated to Zeus at the town gates

Pagan people lived there — they had no knowledge of Old Testament so Paul adjusted message to the people so they could understand

He started with the very beginning – God who made the heaven & earth

Legend

Zeus & Hermes came down to Lystra. No one would welcome them except an old couple (Philemon & his wife)

Philemon & his wife. They made a temple, appointed the couple priest & priestess

They sent a flood to destroy the others.

Paul called Hermes (messenger of the gods) because he was speaker of the duo

Keep the focus on God

God is Creator (v. 15)

God is Provider (v. 17)

If you offer someone something other than God, it will fail

How Do You Make Sure You are God-Focused as a Witness:

1. Receive the Gospel daily

Sinner, saved by grace

Ephesians 2:8

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; [NASB]

IF YOU DON’T RECOGNIZE YOUR NEED FOR THE GOSPEL, YOUR PRIDE WILL RISE UP AND TAKE HOLD OF YOUR WITNESSING.

IT WILL THEN BE ALL ABOUT YOU HELPING, YOU SAVING, YOU DOING

2. Thank God daily

Gratitude reminds us of how blessed we are– that our blessings come from God. 

Psalm 50:23

The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!” [ESV]

Gratitude reminds us that He is our Creator and He is our Provider.

IF YOU DON’T THANK GOD OFTEN FOR THE BLESSINGS, YOU MAY HARBOR A FEELING OF ENTITLEMENT. 

IF YOU DON’T THANK GOD OFTEN FOR THE BLESSINGS, YOU MAY BECOME NEGATIVE…. FOCUSING ON WHAT YOU DON’T HAVE… FOCUSING ON THE BAD THINGS YOU SEE OR THINK YOU SEE.

3. Live in His Truth daily

Be in the Word

Matthew 4:4

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” [NIV]

Walk in Faithful Obedience

James 1:22

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. [ESV]

4. Glorify God always

Acts 12:20-23

But things went from bad to worse for Herod. Now people from Tyre and Sidon put him on the warpath. But they got Blastus, King Herod’s right-hand man, to put in a good word for them and got a delegation together to iron things out. Because they were dependent on Judea for food supplies, they couldn’t afford to let this go on too long. On the day set for their meeting, Herod, robed in pomposity, took his place on the throne and regaled them with a lot of hot air. The people played their part to the hilt and shouted flatteries: “The voice of God! The voice of God!” That was the last straw. God had had enough of Herod’s arrogance and sent an angel to strike him down. Herod had given God no credit for anything. Down he went. Rotten to the core, a maggoty old man if there ever was one, he died.

God is our Creator

We were created to glorify Him… to point to Him!

God is our Provider

We are given all we need by Him… to point to Him!

Let us glorify Him

To Him alone be all honor, glory, and praise… point to Him!

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PRAISE AT ALL TIMES

Acts 16:25-34  

Matthew 26:30

After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. [NASB]

After the Last Supper, sang a hymn and then went to the Mount of Olives. 

Read Acts 16:25-34

Fortune Teller – power from evil spirits/demons – Paul commanded the demon come out in Jesus name. Owners lost money.

Paul and Silas were beaten, flogged, and jailed

Praying and singing hymns (v. 25)

Prisoners were listening – PEOPLE ALWAYS LISTENING

Earthquake – prison doors open/chains off – jailer & household saved!

Acts 16:25-26

Along about midnight, Paul and Silas were at prayer and singing a robust hymn to God. The other prisoners couldn’t believe their ears. Then, without warning, a huge earthquake! The jailhouse tottered, every door flew open, all the prisoners were loose. [MSG]

ROBUST – strong, vigorous

Acts 16:25

Paul and Silas, undaunted, prayed in the middle of the night and sang songs of praise to God, while all the other prisoners listened to their worship. [TPT]

UNDAUNTED – not intimidated or discouraged 

Why are we talking about this today?

We were made to glorify God. (Isaiah 43:7)

1 Peter 1:3-9

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. You are being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. You rejoice in this, even though now for a short time, if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials  so that the proven character of your faith —  more valuable than gold which, though perishable, is refined by fire  —  may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him; though not seeing him now, you believe in him, and you rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. [CSB] 

How can we be undaunted (not discouraged) & sing robust (strong) praises to the Lord at ALL times so we can point to Jesus Christ (be the “good” witness)?

Be Grateful at ALL times

Always look for God’s grace. Seek it out. 

Read Psalm 118

Be God centered

Don’t look at the situation. Look to God…. To His Truth, His Promises!

Don’t focus on the mess… remember the future ahead!

Rest in your confidence in Him!

Ex: Waiting for your child to finish tying his/her shoes

Habakkuk 3:17-19

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments. [NIV]

SALVATION IS FROM GOD — v. 18 is salvation (God alone offers salvation through Christ Jesus)

VICTORY IS FROM GOD — v. 19 is control, victory (God is in control, He provides victory)

Psalm 34:1-3

I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will boast in the LORD; the humble will hear and be glad. Proclaim the LORD’s greatness with me; let us exalt his name together. [CSB]

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Not A Suggestion

You Will Be My Witnesses

It is not a suggestion to repent and turn to God.

God is our Creator and Sustainer.

In Him we live, move, and exist!

We long for Him & through repentance, turning toward God we can do life with Him!

It is not a suggestion to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

People are living life blinded by sin, unable to be in the presence of God, unable to experience life as it is intended.

We have been commanded to share Jesus through the Great Commission — it is not a suggestion! 

Acts 17:22-34 The Passion Translation (TPT)

Paul Speaks to the Leaders of Athens

22 So Paul stood in the middle of the leadership council and said, “Respected leaders of Athens,[a] it is clear to me how extravagant you are in your worship of idols.[b] 

23 For as I walked through your city, I was captivated by the many shrines and objects of your worship. I even found an inscription on one altar that read, ‘To the Unknown God.’[c] I have come to introduce to you this God whom you worship without even knowing anything about him.

24 “The true God is the Creator of all things. He is the owner and Lord of the heavenly realm and the earthly realm, and he doesn’t live in man-made temples. 

25 He supplies life and breath and all things to every living being. He doesn’t lack a thing that we mortals could supply for him, for he has all things and everything he needs. 

26 From one man, Adam, he made every man and woman and every race of humanity, and he spread us over all the earth. He sets the boundaries of people and nations, determining their appointed times in history.

27 He has done this so that every person would long for God, feel their way to him,[e] and find him—for he is the God who is easy to discover![f] 

28 It is through him that we live and function and have our identity; just as your own poets have said,[g] ‘Our lineage comes from him.’[h]

29 “Since our lineage can be traced back to God, how could we even think that the divine image could be compared to something made of gold, silver, or stone, sculpted by man’s artwork and clever imagination?

30 “In the past God tolerated[i] our ignorance of these things, but now the time of deception has passed away.[j] He commands us all to repent and turn to God.[k] 

31 For the appointed day has risen, in which he is going to judge the world in righteousness by the Man he has designated. And the proof given to the world that God has chosen this Man is this: he resurrected him from among the dead!”[l]

32 The moment they heard Paul bring up the topic of resurrection, some of them ridiculed him, then got up and left. But others said, “We want to hear you again later about these things.” 

33 So Paul left the meeting. 34 But there were some who believed the message and joined him from that day forward. Among them were Dionysius, a judge on the leadership council,[m] and a woman named Damaris.[n]

Hebrews 10:22 The Passion Translation (TPT)

22 we come closer to God and approach him[a] with an open heart, fully convinced by faith that nothing will keep us at a distance from him. For our hearts have been sprinkled with blood to remove impurity and we have been freed from an accusing conscience and now we are clean, unstained, and presentable to God inside and out![b]

1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 The Message (MSG)

7-10 Do you know that all over the provinces of both Macedonia and Achaia believers look up to you? The word has gotten around. Your lives are echoing the Master’s Word, not only in the provinces but all over the place. The news of your faith in God is out. We don’t even have to say anything anymore—you’re the message! People come up and tell us how you received us with open arms, how you deserted the dead idols of your old life so you could embrace and serve God, the true God. They marvel at how expectantly you await the arrival of his Son, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescued us from certain doom.

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Judgment

Acts 24:22-27

Felix listened to Paul about Jesus

Felix was originally a slave, freed by Emperor Claudius

Felix became one of the emperor’s infamous favorites

As governor, Felix committed every act of extortion

Felix lured Drusilla away from her husband because he desired her

She was one of the three daughters of Herod Agrippa I

Her father murdered James

Her uncle murdered John the Baptist

Her great grandfather murdered the Hebrew babies

PAUL WAS NOT ASHAMED

Romans 1:16-17 New Living Translation (NLT)

16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile 17 This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”

Felix sent for Paul often (v. 26)

Felix thought Paul would offer a bribe

When asked to share truth about “the faith in Jesus Christ,” Paul did not dampen the message to not offend

PAUL WAS PREPARED

1 Peter 3:14-16 English Standard Version (ESV)14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.

FELIX WAS CONVICTED & FEARFUL

Fear stopped Felix from listening fully

He feared judgment which was surely coming

THE TIME WAS NOT CONVENIENT

Felix sent Paul away for a convenient time 

Time is never convenient

Follow the Holy Spirit’s leading

Recognize you may be sent away like Paul

JUDGMENT IS COMING

Hebrews 10:26-31 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Christ or Judgment

26 For if we go on willfully and deliberately sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice [to atone] for our sins [that is, no further offering to anticipate], 27 but a kind of awful and terrifying expectation of [divine] judgment and the fury of a fire and burning wrath which will consume the adversaries [those who put themselves in opposition to God]. 28 Anyone who has ignored and set aside the Law of Moses is put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much greater punishment do you think he will deserve who has rejected and trampled under foot the Son of God, and has considered unclean and common the blood of the covenant that [a]sanctified him, and has insulted the Spirit of grace [who imparts the unmerited favor and blessing of God]? 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine [retribution and the deliverance of justice rest with Me], I will repay [the wrongdoer].” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is a fearful and terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God [incurring His judgment and wrath].

Revelation 6:16-17 English Standard Version (ESV)

16 calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

Setting Out Outline

2-28-16

Rabbi Jason Shulman said, “There are many books that tell us how to find God but the truth is that God is not lost or hiding. In fact, it is the actual, continuous, omnipresence of God that is so hard for the human mind to fathom.”

 

As we are setting out, we need to be available for God—we need to be able to allow our experiences and the environment to speak to us. We need to pay attention to what is happening around us and within us. Only when we fix our eyes on what He is doing around us and focus within us are we able to continue on the path He has designed for us.

 

For this reason, my morning walks have been such a blessing.

 

Psalm 19– everything that exists praises the Creator

  • The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
  • Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.
  • They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.
  • Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
  • It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
  • It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth.

 

Job 12:7-10—“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lordhas done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.

 

 

All of life is bathed in beauty and sacredness

We either….

  • Don’t See
  • See, miss message, do nothing
  • See, misinterpret, wrong path
  • See, understand, move forward

 

Why do we miss Jesus?

  • We make false division between sacred and secular– REMEMBER GOD IS EVERYWHERE

 

  • We consider God stuck between the pages of Bible– REMEMBER GOD IS ALIVE
    1. Exodus 29:45 – “Then I will live among the people of Israel and be their God”
    2. Ezekiel 37:27 – “My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

 

  • We don’t have the kind of relationship that results in recognition– REMEMBER YOU CANNOT RECOGNIZE WHAT OR WHO YOU DO NOT KNOW

 

  • His appearance is different than our expectations– REMEMBER GOD DOES NOT THINK AS WE THINK
    1. God spoke through
      1. Burning Bush (Exodus 3)
      2. Plagues (Exodus 7-11)
  • Balaam’s Donkey (Numbers 22)
  1. God’s Sign Language
    1. Noah and the Rainbow (Genesis 9)
    2. The Exodus – the pillar of cloud and fire (Exodus 13)

 

  • We are too focused elsewhere to notice – something else has priority
    1. Fear of Missing Out – DISTRACTIONS
    2. Focused on temporary – PRIORITIES
    3. Don’t understand what really matters –BUSYNESS
      1. Leonard Sweet – “We are so busy. Usually too busy for God.”
    4. To pay attention means you are no longer the center of attention.
    5. Hebrew 2:1– “We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.”

 

  • We do not want to see Him– REMEMBER YOU WON’T SEE GOD IF YOU TRULY DON’T WANT TO – DISINTEREST
    1. Matthew 6:21 – Jesus said our hearts follow what we treasure / pay attention to—“Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”

 

Examples of Missed Boats

  • Samuel thinks God is Elithe Priest (1 Samuel 3)
  • Birth of Jesus(Old Testament) – the Jews just didn’t get it
  • Pilate– what is Truth? (John 18)
  • Thief on the Cross– “One of the criminals who hung there heaped abuse on Him. “Are You not the Christ?” he said. ‘Save Yourself and us!’” – Luke 23:39
  • Walk to Emmaus(Luke 24) – two fellas walking with Jesus had no clue

 

What does the Bible say?

 

Proverbs 8:34– “Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors.”

  • Listen – Prayer- Prayer is fully paying attention to God
    1. Show Up
    2. Slow Down
    3. Shut Your Mouth
  • Watch – Requires you to be INTENTIONAL
  • Wait – Requires PATIENCE

 

Habakkuk 2:1– “I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint.”

  • I will stand on my guard post
  • I will keep watch to see what He will say

Habakkuk 2:20– “The LORD is in His holy temple; let all the earth be silent before Him.”

  1. Silence
    1. absence of sound
      1. Your mouth is quiet
      2. No noise
    2. absence of movement
      1. You aren’t doing
        1. You aren’t focused on the next thing
        2. You aren’t multitasking
        3. All of you is still

 

Remember the quote from the beginning from Lewis Carroll

“Don’t just do something, stand there.”

 

As we set out, remember Who we are walking with…

 

God walks ahead of us and we are to walk in a way that

our lives cast only ONE SHADOW.

 

As the sun shines down upon your life at this journey point, will there be only one shadow to be seen?

 

Sanctity of Life Outline

The Sanctity of Life 1-17-16

“I call upon the citizens of this blessed land to gather on that day in homes and places of worship to give thanks for the gift of life, and to reaffirm our commitment to the dignity of every human being and the sanctity of each human life.” – excerpt from the Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, 1984Ronald Reagan

 

We are supposed to protect the weak and vulnerable during all phases of life.

  • Nearly 50% of pregnancies are unintended; of those about 40% are terminated.
  • There are thousands of kids in state care, only so many foster homes to meet the demand.
  • 18% of seniors live alone, while 43% report feeling lonely on regular basis. Isolated elders have a 59% greater risk of mental and physical decline than those not alone.

 

Life is HOLY

Why? Why is life holy? This is a question even the Psalmist pondered…

“When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is manthat You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him?”(Psalm 8:3-4 ESV)

Why is human life holy?

 

  • WE ARE MADE IN GOD’S IMAGE (Genesis 1:26-2:25)

 

If we are made in the image of a HOLY GOD, then we too should be holy.

We are image bearers of God – created in the image, shadow, likeness of God.

We are imprinted with godlike characteristics.

“To be fully human is to fully reflect God’s creative, spiritual, intelligent, communicative, relational, moral and purposeful capacities.” (Relevant Magazine)

  • WE ARE SET APART – that means we are holy

We are set apart above all creation(Genesis 1:26-28)

We are handmade

Only part of Creation made with God’s hands. Remember, He took the dirt and formed Adam. He took Adam’s bone and made Eve. He gave us breath (the breath of God). Other parts of Creation were spoken into existence but humans He handmade.

We are set apart as God’s chosen people

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)

Do you not know that you are God’s templeand that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)

We are set apart for fellowship with God

For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (2 Corinthians 6:16b)

We are set apart and crowned by God with glory and majesty

What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.(Psalm 8:4-5).

 

  • GOD VALUES ALL LIFE

You are valuable. “Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuableto him than they are?”(Matthew 6:26)

He values new life – He creates new life. He knit you together (Psalm 139). It’s all a part of God’s great plan.

He values young ones – He blesses them and says to let the little children come when the disciples rebuked them. (Matthew 19:13-15)

He values teens & young adults – Paul writes that youth should not be looked down on for being young. Instead, be an example to believers in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity (1 Timothy 4:12)

He values the mature adults – You shall stand up before the gray head & honor the face of an old man, & you shall fear your God: I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:32)

Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. (1 Timothy 5:1-2)

He values the poor, the widows, the strangers –For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. (Deuteronomy 10:17-18)

If Life is Holy, how is Life Not Worth Living?

The world is filled with

  • Murder
  • Abortion
  • Suicide

This is unnatural death. God’s ways are life, not death.

  • Murder
    • Cain murders Abel(Genesis 4:9-15) – Cain is punished, but God also says that anyone who kills Cain would face vengeance.
    • Ten Commandments– Do not murder (Exodus 20:13)
    • Eye for eye– murder and be put to death (Leviticus 24:21)
    • Cities of Refuge– cities for those who killed unintentionally (Numbers 35)
  • Suicide
  • Abimelechwas injured when a woman from tower dropped millstone on his head and cracked his skull. He considered himself mortally injured and asked his armor bearer to kill him with his sword, which he did (Judges 9:52-54)
  • Samsonpulled down the building to kill the Philistines, resulting in his own suicide (Judges 16:29-30)
  • King Saulwas injured badly in war so he fell on his own sword (1 Samuel 31:4-6)
  • When Ahithophel’s advice wasn’t taken, he killed himself (2 Samuel 17:1-29)
  • King Zimrisaw his city was taken and burned down his house while inside (1 King 16:15-20)

What does God say about death?

See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand. (Deuteronomy 32:39)

LIFE AND DEATH IS IN HIS HANDS

The world is filled with abuse of life

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Economic
  • Mental
  • Sexual

Abuse steals peace. Abuse kills joy. Abuse destroys hope.

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justlyand to love mercyand to walk humblywith your God. (Micah 6:8)

Equip others. Empower others. Encourage others. Embrace others.

Speak life. Stand up for and speak for those who cannot stand up or speak for themselves.

 

The world is filled those who misunderstand the purpose of life

            What is the purpose of life? To glorify God.

Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them. (Isaiah 43:7)

            Our greatest desire is to know God, to have a relationship with God.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)

The Most Important Life – Eternal Life

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”(John 3:36)

God values life so much that He sent His one and only Son to die on the Cross so we could live forever with Him.

John 3:16says “For God so loved the worldthat he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

The worth of a human soul can be estimated only by the light reflected from the cross of Calvary. … It was the joy set before Christ in accomplishing so great salvation, that led him to submit to shame, agony, and death. How do all the treasures and the glories of earth sink into insignificance when compared with the value of a human soul!– Ellen White

 

  • Value Life– everyone is valuable to God’s Kingdom
  • Celebrate Life– praise the Lord for your life and for the lives of others
  • Embrace Life– seek out what God has for your life
  • Speak Life– speak life to others
  • Share Life – share the Good News of Eternal Life

May your life bring glory to God

 

Don’t Stop Here: Keep on Building Outline

Don’t Stop Here: Keep On Building (REV FEST)

 

God made you for greater things, not just good things (John 14:12).

You need to focus on YOU and then you can go out in community & make a mark for Kingdom – THIS IS THE GREATER THINGS PART

Today, let us look at building – allowing the Spirit to build us up, and then going out in the community and continuing the building through Jesus Christ.

  • Promote Personal Building – THE TAKING IN STAGE
    • Abide in Him – Word, Prayer– U abide in Him / He abides in U (John 15)
    • Home Church– Praise/Worship, Bible Study, Fellowship – make a point to attend each week—get invested

Our community has problems with homelessness, with addiction, and so on. I personal know some young people who have died of drug overdose. I personal know people who had promising lives & are now in prison. People are hurting. People are feeling empty. People are reaching for something.

God calls us to shine the Light in Lebanon County and beyond. About 95% of Christians NEVER led a person to Christ. To share Jesus, to shine the Light, first we must CARE. We have to care for the people out in our communities. We have to care for the people in our cities. James 4:17 says if we know the good that we should do and we don’t do it, then it’s a sin. Remember, love God. Love people. And then GO. Go and make disciples.

Non-believers are not the enemy. They are BLINDED BY THE ENEMY. They are people who NEED JESUS. We ALL need Jesus. We were once blinded too.

  • Promote Kingdom Building – THE POURING OUT STAGE
    • Plant Seeds, allow Spirit to grow(1 Corinthians 3) – job isn’t the growing
    • Invest in people– invest time, talent, treasures (Luke 6:38, Luke 12:48)

They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest. – Psalm 126:6

Dead or Alive Outline

Dead or Alive

Bad or Good versus Dead or Alive

Some are Alive to Sin and Dead to God

 

Romans 3:23 – All fall short

Romans 6:23 – Wages of sin = death

 

TABERNACLE “miskan” – “dwelling place” – Leviticus 16:15-16

HOLY (most holy place) / CLEAN (holy place) / UNCLEAN (courtyard)

 

 

1 Corinthians 15:21-22

“For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” [ESV]

 

We are “made alive with Christ”

We are “raised up with Christ”

We are “made to sit with (Christ)”

 

 

Ephesians 2:1-10

Once dead – sin, disobedience, obeying the devil, desires of a sinful nature

 

BUT GOD – Rich in mercy, loved us so much despite our sins, gave us life

ONLY BY GOD’S GRACE

Seated with Christ, United with Christ

 

God’s Masterpiece – created anew in Christ to do GOOD THINGS He planned long ago

 

 

2 Places of Outer Court

Bronze Altar / Altar of Burnt Offering (27:1-8, 38:1-7)

Offer sacrifice of blood (burnt offering)

Romans 3:25a

“For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding his blood.” [NLT]

 

 

Get Rid of Hindrances

Hebrews 12:1

 

 

Psalm 137:23-24

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

 

 

 

Bronze Wash Basin (30:17-21, 38:8)

Ceremonial washing of water

 

Being washed in water of God’s Word (Ephesians 5:26 – sanctifies)

 

Water Baptism

 

Remember Your Baptism

 

 

Psalm 51:1-4

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.  Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.

 

 

 

 

3 Places within Holy Place (outer veil)

Lampstand / 7 Golden Candlesticks (25:31-40, 37:17-24)

7 Spirits of God

Lamps/candles always lit

Galatians 2:20

“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…” [NLT]

Symbolizes the Testimony of our Life

Galatians 5:22

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.” [NLT]

  • Quench—1 Thessalonians 5:19Do not quench the Spirit. (NIV) Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. (NLT)
    • NOT ALLOWING HIM TO MOVE FREELY
  • Grieve—Ephesians 4:30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (ESV) [[“Lupe” – To cause grief / To offend]]
    • ACTING OUT IN SINFUL MANNER

 

Psalm 16:5-6

LORD, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance!

Table of Bread of Presence (25:23-30, 37:10-16)

Bread alwaysat Table – 12 loaves (for 12 tribes)

 

 

Fellowship of body of Christ with bread of presence

HOLY COMMUNION

Communing with Jesus and the Body of Christ

 

 

Psalm 62:5-8

My soul, wait in silence for God only,For my hope is from Him.He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.On God my salvation and my glory rest;The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.

 

 

 

 

Golden Altar of Incense (30:1-10, 37:25-29)

High Priest was to burn incense every morning/evening & pray

Smoke clouded so couldn’t see past the inner veil

Keep Praying – no incense altar needed – we have the Spirit

Psalm 63:1-2

O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory.

 

         The Veil

Hebrews 6:19-20

This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.” [NLT]

Psalm 138:1-3

I give you thanks, O Lord, with all my heart;I will sing your praises before the gods.I bow before your holy Temple as I worship.I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness;for your promises are backedby all the honor of your name.As soon as I pray, you answer me;you encourage me by giving me strength.

 

Most Holy Place / Holy of Holies (inner veil)

Ark of Covenant (25:10-22, 37:1-9)

With mercy seat flanked by its covering cherubs

  • Ten Commandments (Word of God)
  • Jar of Manna (Provision of God)
  • Aaron’s Budding Staff/Rod (Authority of God)
  • With Torah in the front of Ark

Place of Communion, where God’s presence was manifest & God’s glory made known

Treasure Jesus Above All Else

Matthew 13:44

Live with Attitude of Thankfulness

Luke 17:16-19

Psalm 119:9-16

How can a young person stay pure?By obeying your word.I have tried hard to find you—don’t let me wander from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. I praise you, O Lord;teach me your decrees. I have recited aloudall the regulations you have given us. I have rejoiced in your lawsas much as in riches. I will study your commandmentsand reflect on your ways. I will delight in your decreesand not forget your word.

 

Psalm 27:4

The one thing I ask of the LORD–the thing I seek most–is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.

“Glory of God is man fully alive.” – St. Irenaeus

Scaling Walls Outline

Scaling Walls 1-22-17

{Overcome obstacles through God}

 

“In Your strength I can crush an army;

with my God I can scale any wall.”

[2 Samuel 22:30, Psalm 18:29]

“Vault the highest fences” [MSG]

 

David wrote this Psalm. He killed a lion & bear (see 1 Samuel 17:34-36). He killed many troops. He understood obstacles. He overcame obstacles.

 

Romans 5:3– We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.

James 1:2– Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it anopportunity for great joy.

David strengthened himself in the LORDwhen people wanted to stone him (see 1 Samuel 30:6).

Recognize you are weak. Only then can you humbly accept God’s power.

“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” (see 2 Corinthians 12:8-10)

Recognize He gives you the strength to complete all He has called you to do for His purpose. (Philippians 4:13)

God gave us His word to equip us [2 Timothy 3:16-17]

God gave us Holy Spirit to help, to encourage, and to reveal His Truth [John 14:25-27]

 

Ephesians 6:10Be strong in the Lordand in His mighty power.

 

When faced with obstacles, we must be strong in the LORD and recognize…

NOT BY MIGHT NOR BY POWER, BUT BY MY SPIRIT [Zechariah 4:6]

 

Zerubbabel faces overwhelming task of rebuilding Temple

Oil – God’s Spirit

2 Olive Branches – Zerubbabel the ruler, Joshua the priest

Do not despise the small beginnings (Zechariah 4:10) – the work is just beginning

 

GREATEST OBSTACLE to accomplishing God’s work – SIN

Flying Scroll & Woman in Basket are a challenge to Israelites to repent (see Zechariah 5:1-11)

 

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. – MLK

 

In 1985, Super Mario Bros arrived on the scene. Life forever changed.

Buzzy Beetleand Koopa Troopa– jump on shell & toss them to help you; shell was an obstacle that helped your progress in the game

  • Obstacles in your life do not hinder your relationship with God; they grow your relationship with God and increase your faith.
  • PRAISE GOD FOR THE OBSTACLES!! They are opportunities to grow deeper in Christ.

 

He has trusted you with the obstacles. These obstacles will bring you closer to Him and bring Him the greatest glory.

  • If you are suffering, praise Him for it.
  • If you are facing mountains before you, thank Him for it.

Our Identity Outline

8-12-17 Rev Fest

Genesis 1:26-28– Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” MADE IN THE LIKENESS OF GOD

Genesis 3:4-5– But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. ALREADY WERE LIKE GOD, BUT THE DEVIL GOT THEM TO FORGET THIS TRUTH

 

Philippians 2:9-10– Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth. GLORY TO JESUS.

Isaiah 43:7– Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.

Romans 6:13 – Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.

 

Colossians 3:10-11 – and have put on the new selfwho is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.

Isaiah 64:8– But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and You are our potter; we are all the work of Your hand.

Isaiah 29:16– You have turned things around, as if the potter were the same as the clay. How can what is made say about its maker,” He didn’t make me“? How can what is formed say about the one who formed it,” He doesn’t understand what he’s doing“?

Ephesian 2:10– For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance as our way of life.

 

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.

 

Exactly Like You

Something we often all find ourselves doing at some point in life is trying to make God exactly like us. There are many people who have their own personal god who they have created and believe to be God. As Isaiah notes, we cannot think like God. Even so, we tend to believe we know what He would think was best, how He is always going to act, His preferences, etc. If we think a certain way about a person, He must as well. If we lean towards a particular plan or agenda, so would He agree. This is dangerous.

We can only declare what the Word tells us about God. The Bible is Truth. Whenever a statement starts off with, “God thinks” or “God believes,” be hesitant to instantly believe what follows. Seek the truth for yourself. The Bible does provide us with a doorway into the heart of God. Still, we won’t know everything, and we cannot “think for God” and decide what He would say or think or how He would act. He’s above all—and that means you too!

The Psalmist notes in Psalm 50 that the people were thinking that because God was silent, He must be just like the people. He was okay with the sin since He wasn’t chiming in and declaring it wrong. How foolish for us to consider His patience as tolerance or acceptance. How foolish for us to even consider this dishonoring of God would be accepted. But then again, if we look at the personal gods we often construct, it is easy to see we do the same thing.

We are made in the image of God. We share in many attributes of God. Even so, He is holy, perfect, and good at all times. He is not exactly like you. He is awesome, mighty to save, compassionate, and above all. Take some time to get to know Him today. Dig into His Word and get to know the Great I AM!

“When you did these things and I kept silent, you thought I was exactly like you. But I now arraign you and set my accusations before you.” – Psalm 50:21 [NIV]