Tag Archives: Titus

Words to Live By Series Outlines

Words to Live By: Meek 2-12-17

  • 1strecognize poor of spirit (spiritually bankrupt, true knowledge of ourselves)
  • 2ndcomes mourning (sacred grief)

[Matthew 5:5]

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”

“Blessed [inwardly peaceful, spiritually secure, worthy of respect] are the gentle[the kind-hearted, the sweet-spirited, the self-controlled], for they will inherit the earth.”

[Galatians 5:23] – fruit of the Spirit “prautes” (prah-oo-tace) – mildness, gentleness

What it is not…

It’s not weakness. It’s not about being nice or easy going.

It’s not about not getting easily upset.

MEEK – Strength under control

The elephant’s truck has more than 40,000 individual muscles. Strong enough to rip branches from trees, but gentle enough to pick up a single blade of grass.

Having the power to do something but refraining from it

Meekness begins & ends with God

  • “The person who bears and suffers evils with meekness and silence, is the sum of a Christian man.” – John Wesley
  • Don’t fight because you trust God will fight for you.
  • Patient Endurance

 

[Numbers 12:1-4]

Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth. “anav” (aw-nawv) – poor, afflicted, humble, meek

 

[Psalm 37]

Meek are… People who wait for the Lord

  • Trust God[v. 5b] – this means bearing insults – LEAN ON / RELY ON

 

  • Commit their way to God[v. 5a] GOD’S WILL

 

  • Quiet before God & wait for Him[v. 7a] – quietly submit to God – BE STILL AND REST, PATIENTLY LEANING UPON HIM

 

  • Don’t fret over wicked[v. 7b] – keep silent or answer softly/gently

 

  • Produces peace[v. 11] “anav” (aw-nawv) – poor, afflicted, humble, meek – SHALL DELIGHT THEMSELVES IN AN ABUNDANCE OF PEACE

 

 

[Ephesians 4:2] Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. “prautes” (prah-oo-tace) – mildness, gentleness

Forgiving disposition – no resentment, don’t return evil

Slow to anger – Not easily provoked

IF THIS IS NOT YOU – YOU ARE NOT SHINING LIGHT LIKE YOU COULD

 

[2 Timothy 2:25] Opponents must be gentlyinstructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, “prautes” (prah-oo-tace) – mildness, gentleness

 

[1 Peter 3:15] 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. “prautes” (prah-oo-tace) – mildness, gentleness

 

 

BENEFITS

  • Will be guided by God[Psalm 25:9] He leads the humblein doing right, teaching them his way. “anav” (aw-nawv) – poor, afflicted, humble, meek – leads & teaches

 

  • Will be satisfied[Psalm 22:26] The afflictedwill eat and be satisfied; Those who seek Him will praise the LORD. Let your heart live forever! “anav” (aw-nawv) – poor, afflicted, humble, meek – Those who [diligently] seek Him and require Him [as their greatest need] will praise the Lord.[AMP] – TRUE SATISFACTION

 

  • Will be filled with joy[Isaiah 29:19] The meekshall obtain fresh joy in the LORD, and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel. “anav” (aw-nawv) – poor, afflicted, humble, meek – The afflicted also will increase their joy in the Lord[AMP] – THIS IS A JOY NO ONE CAN TAKE AWAY

 

 

Promise to inherit the earth gives us the strength to endure.

It’s a promise that God has already sealed for you and I through a Messianic King

 

  • [Zechariah 9:9] Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowlyand riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. “ani” (aw-nee) – poor, afflicted,humble

 

  • [Matthew 21:5] “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentleand riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.'” “praus” – meek

 

  • [Matthew 11:29] Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentleand humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. “praus” – meek

 

 

Meek = JESUS

 

[Philippians 2:6-8]Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

 

[John 10:18] No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

 

[Isaiah 53:7] He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.

 

  • WHO AM I that He would give up His divine privileges?
  • WHO AM I that He would be led as a lamb to the slaughter?
  • WHO AM I that He would be spit on, beaten, & hung on a tree… to die a criminal’s death on a cross?

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Words to Live By – Pure in Heart

[Matthew 5:8]

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

What does it mean to be pure in heart?

What does it mean to see God?

  • What does it mean to be pure in heart?

Pure – Katharos (Kath-ar-os)– clean, pure, unstained – either literally or ceremonially or spiritually; guiltless, innocent, upright, unmixed without undesirable elements, being purified by God – being free from contaminating influences of sin

Heart – Kardia (Kar-dee’-ah)– Spiritual center of life (thoughts, desire, sense of purpose, will, understanding, character), inner self, mind, intention

The heart is what you are

Life with Jesus is not about behavior modification or breaking bad habits… it’s about purifying a dirty heart, having a change of heart

Undivided clean (pure) heart – [Matthew 22:37] Love God with all heart

But many of us have a split heart, a divided heart – willing 2 things instead of 1.

Single-minded devotion to God

God’s truth & God’s value in everything we do, align with Him, magnify / glorify Him, pursue God with single-mindedness

All about JESUS

[Jeremiah 17:9] Heart is deceitful

[Matthew 15:8-9] Honor with lips, but your heart is far from Me – worship Me in vain

[Matthew 23:25-26] – 1stclean inside of the cup (inside you are full of greed & self-indulgence), clean the inside and then the outside will become clean too. – JESUS IS CONCERNED WITH OUR HEART

[1 Samuel 16:7] Man looks outward, the Lord looks at the heart

[Proverbs 11:20] The LORD detests people with crooked hearts, but he delights in those with integrity. (crooked / perverse)

[Jeremiah 31:33] This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put My law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people.”

[Jeremiah 32:39] And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants.

[Titus 3:5] He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.

[Psalm 119:9, 11] Keep pure with living according to the Word, keep Word in heart. {{LIVING BY THE WORD}}

[2 Chronicles 16:9] The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been! From now on you will be at war.

[Proverbs 3:5] Trust in the LORD will ALL your heart, do not lean on your own understanding

[James 1:6-8] But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.

[James 1:23-24] For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.

[James 4:4, 4:8] Clean hands, purify heart, don’t be double-minded(heart divided between God & world)

  • What does it mean to see God?

To see God – to see face – to be in presence – to be admitted in presence

Expression of great favor

Dwell with Him in His kingdom

 

[Revelation 22:3-4] Seeing God – servants will worship Him, they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads

 

Seeing God – perception, understanding, discernment

 

  • Admitted into the His presence
  • Stand in awe of glory– awestruck by the glory – direct experience of His holiness
    • [Revelation 21:23] His glory will be very light in which we move – the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light.
  • Confronted by His grace[Psalm 27:7-9] – Hear me as I pray, O LORD. Be merciful and answer me. My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.”DO NOT HIDE YOUR FACE FROM ME. Do not turn your servant away in anger. You have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God of my salvation.

Believe Jesus saved you[James 1:6-8]

Confess your sins[1 John 1:9] But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

Eagerly Expect[1 John 3:3] – And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.

  • Ask God for a clean heart ([Psalm 51:10] Create in me a pure (clean) heart, renew a steadfast (loyal) spirit within me.
  • Trust [Acts 15:9] Heart purified by faith, cleansed by Spirit

 

[Psalm 24:3-4] Clean hands, pure heart – Who may climb the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in His holy place?Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies.

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Words To Live By: PERSECUTED – pMatthew 5:10-12

First 3 Beatitudes lead us to a hunger for righteousness (right with God).

#1 – Poor in Spirit– Realize we are poor in spirit (Spiritually bankrupt, Nothing without Jesus)

#2 – Those Who Mourn– Mourn / grieve over our sin – Realize “I am a sinner” (Dead in Sin, Need Savior)

#3 – Meek– Strength under control, God’s will over my will – Realize God’s plan is better and say, “Not my will, but Your will be done.”  (Living for Jesus)

These three beatitudes remind us that we are empty & have a need

This need results in a hunger…. A hunger for…

#4 – RIGHTEOUSNESS– we desire to be right with God, to fill that void, to connect to the One who created us, Who designed us to be in fellowship with Him.

Because of this hunger for righteousness, we are satisfied by the next 3 Beatitudes.

#5 – Merciful – Receive mercy of God, overflowing mercy poured out to others (we received what we don’t deserve, pour out the same to others)

#6 – Pure Heart– Single-minded devotion to God, desiring only Him & His will (it’s all about Jesus)

#7 – Peacemaker – Peace with God, peace with others, sharing message of Prince of Peace with all. (spreading the peace of God)

Living this out… having these the words you live by, provide the fullness. You’re no longer empty. The result of this though is persecution.

“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” – 2 Timothy 3:12 [ESV]

Diókó (dee-o’-ko) – to pursue, aggressively chase, like a hunter pursing a catch (prize), to be hunted down, to harass

[Matthew 5:10-12]

“Those who are persecuted for righteousnessare blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. You are blessed when they insult and persecute youand falsely say every kind of evil against youbecause of Me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” [HCSB]

You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom. Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you downor throw you outor speak liesabout you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, Ido! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.” [MSG]

 

“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. ‘Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.’”– 1 Peter 3:12-14 [NIV]

 

“Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of the Messiah, so that you may also rejoice with great joy at the revelation of His glory.” – 1 Peter 4:13 [HCSB]

 

“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.”– Romans 8:18 [NLT]

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Words to Live By – The Lord’s Prayer – 4-2-17

[Matthew 6:9-13, Luke 11:2-4]

 

[Philippians 4:6] Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

 

This isn’t an actual prayer that Jesus prayed. Note He says “pray like this.”

For an example of how Jesus prays, see John 17.

*connection with God*

Our Father in Heaven

[James 1:17] Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Jesus prays to Abba Father. Only prays to “God” instead of “Father” while on the Cross when darkness came and God couldn’t face the sin that was upon His Son. When He turned away, Jesus said, “My God, why have you forsaken me?”

OUR FATHER – In relation to Him

 

Kezazah means “the cutting off.” Think of shunning. It appears in the Talmud as a ceremony for those Jews who lose their inheritance to a Gentile. They are shunned, cut off from the community when they return. When the person would return home, they break a pot in front of them.

The father ran toward his son, didn’t care how he would appear though it was something men didn’t do (considered undignified). It appeared bad. He ran before this ceremony could happen—to accept him, forgive him, welcome him home. THIS SAME FATHER OPENS HIS ARMS TO YOU!

The reason for the celebration when the son arrives home is because of the sacrifice of the Father. He sacrificed his social dignity by running. He broke the patriarchal code. He graciously restored his son.

Is He your Father?

[John 1:12] But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.

[Galatians 3:26] So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.

 

IN HEAVEN – In reverence of God

Recognize He is separate from all and He is exalted above.

He is higher than all. Sovereign.

He has the power to answer prayer.

 

Hallowed be your name

[Psalm 46:10] Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.

Declare God is holy.

Keep His name holy.

Realize who we are praying to.

 

See God for Who He is – He is holy

Honor Him, Treasure Him

 

 

*surrender to God*

 

Your kingdom come

 

[Matthew 6:33] But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

 

Do you acknowledge His sovereignty?

 

Are you ready for His kingdom?

 

The Kingdom is present but also future.

 

Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven

 

[Romans 6:13] Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.

 

Do you really want His will?

 

Are you accepting God’s authority?

 

God is a good Father and He wants to give you good things—the best things.

*dependence on God*

 

Give us today our daily bread

 

Do you recognize Him as the One Who provides?

 

[Deuteronomy 8:3] He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

Provides the food we eat daily – physical and spiritual

[Luke 22:19] And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

Provides the Sacrificial Lamb that pays for our sin – our daily sin

Do you trust that He gives you what you need for the day?

 

[Philippians 4:19] And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

The provision of God supplies all we need – to bring glory to God

[2 Corinthians 9:10-11] For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.

He gives enough for everything needed, everything we are called to do—this means He provides enough for us to be generous!

 

 

*cleansing from God*

 

Forgive us our sins and we forgive those who sin against us

 

[1 Peter 2:24] 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.

 

Must admit we sin to be forgiven of sin

Must forgive those as He forgives us

[Matthew 6:14-15] For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

[Ephesians 4:32] Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

 

[Lamentations 3:40-41] Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the LORD! Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven.

 

[Hebrews 12:1-2] Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

*deliverance from God*

 

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil

 

God does not tempt us—He gives us the power to overcome any temptation

 

[Hebrews 4:15-16] For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

[1 Corinthians 10:13] No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

 

*fulfillment from God*

 

For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen.

Doxology (“glory” & “saying”) – an expression of praise, usually at end of psalm or hymn

This wasn’t something that was in original text. It was in later manuscripts.

 

God’s kingdom, power and glory are HIS.

[Romans 11:36] For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.

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Mentor Outline

6-18-17 Mentor

A mentor is a wise & trusted counselor or teacher

The word “mentor” is not used in the Bible; many mentor relationships appear.

 

2 Thessalonians 3:7 –For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you,

Philippians 4:9 –Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me–everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

1 Peter 5:3 –Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example.

1 Corinthians 11:1 –And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.

 

 

PREPARE FOR FUTURE – ALL ABOUT GROWTH /CHANGE (Embrace, Encourage, Equip, Empower)

 

Moses – Joshua (Exodus 33, Numbers 27)

  • Exodus 33:11 –Joshua assisted Moses at Tent of Meeting
  • Numbers 27 –Joshua commissioned to lead

 

Eli  – Samuel (1 Samuel 3)

  • Samuel served Lord by assisting Eli (v. 1)
  • Eli taught Samuel how to respond to God – “Speak Lord, your servant is listening”

Elijah – Elisha (1 Kings 19, 2 Kings 2)

  • Elisha was plowing the field when called to be a prophet
  • Elijah told Elisha to consider what he did for him
  • 2 Kings 2– Elisha was still beside Elijah & he was prepared when Elijah taken up

Jethro – Moses (Exodus 18)

Jethro was father-in-law to Moses – Moses had RESPECT for him (v. 7), they had CONCERN for each other (v. 7), they had COMMUNICATION with each other (v. 7), Jethro had DELIGHT for what God was doing with Moses (v. 9-10), Jethro offered ADVICE to Moses (v. 14, 17-18) and God was at the center of the advice – GOD-CENTERED (v. 19-23)

 

Samuel – Saul

1 Samuel 10:8Samuel was RELIABLE

1 Samuel 13:8-11 – Samuel took long time to show up and Saul handled offering

1 Samuel 15:26-28 –Samuel says the hard things / SPEAKS TRUTH / ACCOUNTABILITY

 

Mordecai – Esther

Esther 2– Mordecai took Esther in – she was his young cousin, her parents died – He helped when she was in need – ASSISTANCE

Mordecai told her to not disclose herself as a Jew for safety (2:9, 2:20) – GUIDANCE / DIRECTION

He had CONCERN for her – every day walked to check on her (2:11)

 

Barnabas – Paul (Acts 9, Acts 11)

INVEST in person, ENCOURAGE / MOTIVATE person (Acts 9:26-27)

Brought Saul alongside him to serve (Acts 11:22-26)

 

Priscilla & Aquila – Apollos

Acts 18 – Paul lived and worked with Priscilla & Aquila as tentmakers

Apollos knew scripture well, but only knew John’s baptism so Priscilla & Aquila took him aside and explained more accurately. (Acts 18:24, 26) – KNOWLEDGE & UNDERSTANDING

Naomi – Ruth

Naomi and Ruth had a tight bond as mother-in-law / daughter-in-law

Naomi gave Ruth ADVICE (2:22), told to be patient (3:18)

Naomi looked for BEST INTEREST in Ruth (3:1)

 

Paul – Titus

Wise instruction to young Pastor Titus – KNOWLEDGE, UNDERSTANDING, EXAMPLE FOR LIFE

 

Paul – Timothy

2 Timothy 1:3 –Timothy, I thank God for you… Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers – PRAYED FOR HIM

2 Timothy 1:12 –Paul talks about his suffering, but reminds Timothy about the importance of sharing the Good News. He says he’s suffering in prison, but not ashamed because he knows the one in whom he trusts. Reminds Timothy to carefully guard the precious truth entrusted.            BE REAL

2 Timothy 4:17 –The Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear. And He rescued me from certain death. SHARE TESTIMONY

2 Timothy 2:2 –You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. PASS IT ON

 

Tea Tosser

My son is quite the tea tosser. What is a tea tosser? One who tosses tea! I am a coffee drinker, but even more so, I am a bigger tea drinker. One of my mugs is black so it is not as easy to distinguish if the mug is completely empty when the beverage is closer to the bottom of the mug. When my son had seen my mug sitting on the counter top and it appeared to be empty, he thought he would be funny. He grabbed the mug and attempted to juggle it around. Needless to say, he dumped my tea all over the place. We had a good laugh. He truly thought the mug was empty. The joke was on him, as was the tea!

Many times, things are not like they appear. We look at the outside of a person, but we do not see the heart. We see outward actions, but we do not know the inward motives. The Lord looks at our heart. No matter how hard we try to disguise ourselves, how much we pretend to be something we are not, God sees. He knows how much tea is in the mug, and He knows how pure and how deceitful is the condition of your heart.

The Bible tells us that the heart is the most deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). It is clear our hearts are in need of some deep cleansing. Thank God, He has the perfect cleaner to get that accomplished (Titus 3:5). Our heart is purified by faith and cleansed by the Spirit (Acts 15:9). Ask the Lord today, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10 NIV).

Faithful Walkers

Every day, twice a day, the dogs and I take a mile walk. The dogs love their daily adventures and I enjoy the fresh air and quiet time with God. Plus, we all need exercise. I am sure that onlookers enjoy the entertainment we provide on our travels. Often people will slow down and smile at us because it’s quite odd to see a Shih-tzu walking alongside an overweight Black Lab.

I’ve never realized that our morning and evening walks were being observed by so many people. A neighbor approached me and told me once that she enjoyed watching us pass by each morning. Last night, a lady said that I am faithful to my dogs, faithfully walking them each day, so much so that they likely are accustomed to the special treatment. I always knew that people that drove by might see us on our walks; however, I never realized that my neighbors had their eyes focused on us.

Whether you see people looking at you or not, people are watching. People see the choices you make, the things you do, the way you spend your time. People see – people are watching. Your friends and family should be able to see you faithfully walking with Jesus. If they are not noticing a difference in your life, then you may want to look at who is leading you. Are you allowing the Spirit to lead you, thereby walking faithfully, or are you following your own desires?

“And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.” – Titus 2:7 [NLT]

His Very Own People

Jesus gave His life so that we can be free. We are free from every kind of sin. Jesus gave His life so that we can be cleansed. Because He carried all of our sins, because He paid the penalty of our sin, we are redeemed. We are cleansed by His cleansing blood. He made the atonement. He paid the price. Because of the sacrifice of Jesus, we are made righteous through faith. Because of Jesus, we have the opportunity to be God’s very own people.

When God created man, He created man to live with Him. He walked with Adam and Eve before the Fall. After the Fall, God still had a heart for His very own people. With Abraham, He made covenant. He promised blessing and descendants and land. As the descendants multiplied, the Israelites were His very own people; however, they continued to go astray. Every time they fell away, God brought them back. Every time they went against God, He forgave them and showed them mercy.

Today, God wants you to be His very own. He has offered you freedom. He has offered you cleaning. He has offered you a new life. He loves you. Take the step today to reach back to the One Who always has His arms reaching towards you.

“He gave His life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us His very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.” – Titus 2:14 [NLT]

Living Denial

There are people in this world who say that they know God, but when you examine their lives, you cannot tell God is part of their lives. You cannot even tell that they know God. They actually deny God by the way they live their life. Paul is clear about these people. He says, “They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.”

These words seem harsh, but they really aren’t harsh at all if you understand the context. Paul is speaking about people who are claiming that they know God. It is one thing to claim you know God; it is another thing to live like you know God. When people go around claiming they know God, claiming that they are Christians, but they don’t have a true relationship with Jesus, the world hears and the world is turned off by Jesus. This is why Paul uses these words. These people are disobedient to the Word of God. These people are worthless for doing anything good—they are turning people away from Jesus Christ. That is detestable.

Today, remember that there is a difference between claiming to know God and actually knowing God. There is a difference between living life with God or living life only speaking of God. It’s one thing to say you are a Christian. It’s another thing to live for Christ. I pray you are not a living denial of Jesus. I pray that when people see you, they are pointed to the King of Kings!

“Such people claim they know God, but they deny Him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.” – Titus 1:16 [NLT]

More Than A Story: Obedience

[The Vineyard Workers: Matthew 20:1-16]

Isaiah 1:19 – “If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land.” [HCSB]

God uses EVERYONE obedient to Him – Peter asks “WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME”?

“Then Peter chimed in, ‘We left everything and followed you. What do we get out of it?’ Jesus replied, ‘Yes, you have followed me. In the re-creation of the world, when the Son of Man will rule gloriously, you who have followed me will also rule, starting with the twelve tribes of Israel. And not only you, but anyone who sacrifices home, family, fields—whatever—because of me will get it all back a hundred times over, not to mention the considerable bonus of eternal life. This is the Great Reversal: many of the first ending up last, and the last first.’” – Matthew 19:27-30 [MSG]

“Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous? So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”- Matthew 20:15-16 [NIV]

1) This parable is not about salvation or eternal life

Salvation is not earned by works

Ephesians 2:8-9“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” [NASB]

Titus 3:5-6He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.” [NLT]

2) This parable is not about rewards for service

God rewards differently

1 Corinthians 3:8 – “He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.” [ESV]

LABORERS WHO BEGAN AT 6AM FAILED TO BE THANKFUL – SELF-SERVING ATTITUDE

We all will receive great rewards for following Jesus (see Revelation 22:12)

OBEDIENCE – act of obeying, words or actions denoting submission to authority, dutifulness

  • Obedience expresses faith in His wisdom and love. (Hebrew 11:6)
  • Obedience expresses hope in a future blessing. (Mark 10:29-30)
  • Obedience expresses love (John 14:15, 2 John 1:6)
  • Obedience glorifies God (Matthew 5:16)

Bible Study Questions:

1) In this parable, we read about a Landowner, Laborers, a work day, a Vineyard, and the end of the work day. What do you think these people/things represent?

Landowner –

Laborers –

Vineyard –

Day of work –

End of the work day –

2) Those who were hired last were unworthy of what they received. They were receiving a day’s wage despite working less than a day’s work. They were paid first. They were treated equally.

How does this resemble God’s grace?

What reminds us of our unworthiness?

3) Those who were hired first were paid last. It was their opinion that they were treated unfairly though they were paid an equal amount and given exactly what was agreed upon.

Why was it difficult for these workers to accept God’s grace towards others?

What made this an unfair transaction (from their vantage point)?

4) Before this parable, Peter asks what the disciples will gain for leaving everything behind. Jesus twice speaks of the Great Reversal. Those who are first will be last; those who are last will be first. It wasn’t about the difference of the reward. We should all be thankful.

How can we obey with an attitude of gratitude? What does this look like?

What should be our motivation of service?

more than a story

More Than A Story is a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on the parables of Jesus.

Richness
Forgiveness
Persistence
Fruitfulness
Obedience
Humility
Compassion
Responsiveness
Repentance
Readiness
Faithfulness
Kingdom-Focused

What is Truth

Matthew 27 / Mark 15 / Luke 23 / John 18-19

 Pontius Pilate – Roman Governor –Procurator.

  • He was in charge of appointing the high priest and controlling the Temple and funds.
  • He had full control of the province.
  • He had full powers of life and death as he could reverse capital sentences passed by Sanhedrin.
  • He had a bad reputation with Jews and Samaritans.
  • He was guilty of slander, robbery, violence and murder – and at least twice was called to account by the Roman imperial authority.
  • Because people threatened Pilate, that they would inform the emperor that Pilate hadn’t eliminated a rebel against Rome, Pilate went against what he knew was right. He didn’t do the right thing.
  • He was later removed from his office for unnecessary and brutal treatment of his subjects.
  • Pagan historians only mention Pilate when mentioning his authorization of the death of Jesus (Tacitus).
  • Historians documented that Pilate was forced to commit suicide during reign of Gaius (AD 37-41).

 1) DISCOVER THE TRUTH – What is Truth?

Jesus told Pilate, “In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth” John 18:37 (NIV). The question that Pilate and many others have asked is “what is truth?” (v. 38 NIV). The Bible mentions the word “truth” over two hundred times. God revealed truth to us through Jesus. Jesus says in John 14:6 that He is “the way and the truth and the life” (NIV).

I believe absolute truth is God’s truth. The Bible is God’s Word and God’s Word is Truth. The Bible says that God cannot lie (Titus 1:2), which therefore means that He speaks only what is true. The Psalmist writes “Teach me your ways, O LORD, that I may live according to your truth” (Psalm 86:11a NLT). God is the source of all truth. I believe Jesus is “the way and the truth and the life” and I believe that Jesus is infinite, living Truth.

When we read the garden scene in Genesis 3, it is quite clear that God presents absolute truth with regard to this tree of knowledge of good and evil to Adam and Eve. Satan challenges God’s truth, and deceives Adam and Eve into questioning what God says as well. Even today, Satan attempts to get us to challenge God’s Truth, to ask “did God really say” when we encounter His Truth. God’s Truth does not change; though we may attempt to misrepresent or skew His Truth, it still remains as Truth, as absolute reality. We can choose to accept His Truth and live by it, or to deny it and live as a fool, lost and wandering in search for another alternative which just is not there.

Some people believe that there is truth and it can be found through science and logic. Anything claimed of God that has no scientific or logically basis is not seen as being true. Other people reject the idea of absolute truth and believe that what may be true for one person is not necessarily what is true for another person. Truth is what we make it to be and we each will find our own truth. That means one person can claim God to be God and that is seen as Truth for that person. Another person may claim that there are three gods and that is truth for that particular person.

Many people will spend their lives asking the same question as Pilate, and will never get the true answer because they are seeking for answers in the wrong place. I cling to the promise found in John 16:13, “But when he, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth” (NIV). Only through a relationship with God, as a result of Christ’s redemption and the working of the Holy Spirit are we able to understand Truth. If only Pilate realized that he was speaking to the Truth, he would have seen the answer was right before him.

Truth is God’s Truth

Jesus is God’s Truth – John 1 says Jesus is full of grace and TRUTH.

God’s Word is Truth (John 17:17) – We find truth when we read & study the Bible. We need the belt of Truth in place (Ephesians 6:14)

We are to correctly handle/explain God’s Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)

To be a disciple of Christ, you must continue in His Word and you will KNOW the truth and the truth will SET YOU FREE. (John 8:32)

 Pilate said, “So you are a king?” Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true. – John 18:37 [NLT]

Every child of God knows the truth as Jesus, and is on the side of truth, and stands by it.

Pilate avoided the truth:

  1. Tried to get out of the situation?                             Sent Jesus to Herod (Luke 23:6-17)
  2. Tried to get someone to side with him?
  3. Tried to put responsibility on someone else – Told Jews “judge by your own law” – a mockery (John 18:31)
  4. Tried to escape – offer to release “criminal” (John 18:39)
  5. Tried to washed his hands – though it didn’t cancel guilt (Matthew 27:24)
  6. Tried to compromise – Had Jesus flogged (John 19:1-3)
  7. Tried to appeal to sympathy – Shall I kill your King? (John 19:15)

All this despite Pilate never having doubt of Jesus’ innocence – 3 x’s said NOT GUILTY!

2) DOING THE RIGHT THING EVEN WHEN IT COSTS EVERYTHING

When you know the Truth – then you must make a choice – what will you do with the Truth?

James 1:23-24 speaks about person who stares in the mirror and walks away, forgetting what he looks like. The mirror becomes useless after you walk away from it. James was saying that if we simply hear the word but don’t act, it’s useless just like the mirror.

St. Augustine said, “Wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it. Right is right even if no one is doing it.”

Right choice could mean

          Social Rejection / Career Loss / Public Ridicule

“Teach me your ways, O LORD, that I may live according to your truth” (Psalm 86:11a NLT).

Here’s my heart, Lord

Speak what is true

Here’s my life, Lord

Speak what is true

The Cost of Integrity

When Paul and Barnabas were in Lystra, Paul healed a lame man and the people began to call the duo gods. Paul and Barnabas tore their clothing as a sign of mourning and shouted at the crowd that they were only human. They could have accepted the glory for themselves. They could have allowed the people to sacrifice to them as they had wished. Instead they spoke of the living God, and things changed.

Even as they spoke the words, the people still attempted to sacrifice to them. But then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium. The Jews influenced the crowd and the men that were once considered gods were now looked at differently. Paul was stoned. He was stoned so badly that they thought he was dead (see Acts 14).

Integrity is rare today. Here we see Paul and Barnabas standing firm. Paul might not have been stoned if he had accepted being called Hermes. But then the message he was sharing all over would not have meant much. The message never changes. The Bible never changes. To be taken serious, we must walk with integrity. We must stand firm even if the stones will come flying. If we present anything but the Truth, we won’t be taken seriously. Integrity costs.

“And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.” – Titus 2:7 [NLT]

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