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Game On – Week 3

23 When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; 24 and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; 26 and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. 27 When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” 29 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house.33 And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. 34 And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household.
– Acts 16:23-34

1. OUR TESTIMONY OF JOY

25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them;
– Acts 16:25

2. OUR FOCUS OF JOY

28 But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!”
– Acts 16:28

3. OUR MESSAGE OF JOY

31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
– Acts 16:31

Game On – Week 2

17 So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days.18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off; 19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother.20 Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him, but Mary stayed at the house. 21 Martha then said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” 23 Jesus *said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”24 Martha *said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”27 She *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.”
– John 11:17-27 (NASB)

30 Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
– John 20:30-31 (NASB)

1. We Have Hope in His Powerful Discernment

The 7 “I AM” Statements
1. I am the bread of life. (John 6:35, 48, 51)
2. I am the light of the world . (John 8:12)
3. I am the door of the sheep. (John 10:7,9)
4. I am the good shepherd. (John 10:11,14)
5. I am the resurrection and the life. (John 11:25)
6. I am the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6)
7. I am the true vine. (John 15:1)

The 7 Signs
1. The turning of water into wine. (John 2:1-12)
2. The healing of the royal official’s son. (John 4:46-54)
3. The healing of the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda. (John 5:1-17)
4. The feeding of the five thousand. (John 6:1-14)
5. The walking on water. (John 6:15-25)
6. The healing of the man born blind. (John 9:1-41)
7. The raising of Lazarus. (John 11:1-46)

2. We Have Hope in His Powerful Declaration

3. We Have Hope in His Powerful Demonstration

Game On – Week 1

15 Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him. Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

So He told them this parable, saying, “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
– Luke 15:1-7

1. JESUS CARES AND PEOPLE ARE CONNECTED

2. JESUS CARES AND PEOPLE ARE CALLED

I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
– Luke 15:7

10 For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
– Luke 19:10

3. JESUS CARES AND PEOPLE ARE CELEBRATED

And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’
– Luke 15:6

Old Time Religion – Part 8

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and havingput on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

21 But that you also may know about my circumstances, how I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make everything known to you. 22 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know about us, and that he may comfort your hearts.

23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.
– Ephesians 6:10-24

1. A UNIFIED CHURCH IS PROACTIVE

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forcesof wickedness in the heavenly places.
-Ephesians 6:12

2. A UNIFIED CHURCH IS PREVAILING

The Prevailing Principles of a Unified Church
1. Truth
2. Righteousness
3. Gospel
4. Faith
5. Salvation
6. Word

3. A UNIFIED CHURCH IS PERSEVERING

19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
– Ephesians 6:19-20

 

Old Time Religion – Part 7

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother(which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.

And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
– Ephesians 6:1-9

1. UNITY IN THE CHURCH THROUGH RIGHT OBEDIENCE

2. UNITY IN THE CHURCH THROUGH RIGHT SERVICE

With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.
– Ephesians 6:7-8

3. UNITY IN THE CHURCH THROUGH RIGHT UNDERSTANDING

And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
Ephesians 6:9

The United Work of the Church
1. Seeks the Welfare of one another
2. Encourages one another
3. Submits to the Lord
4. Shows no Favoritism

Old Time Religion – Part 6

22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,30 because we are members of His body.
– Ephesians 5:22-30

1. A WILLING COMMITMENT TO PROTECTION

The Christian Commitment
1. Be Imitators of God
2).Walk in Love
3. Walk as Children of Light
4. Be Filled with the Spirit
5. Be Subject to One Another

21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
– Ephesians 5:21

2. A WILLING COMMITMENT TO HOLINESS

27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.
– Ephesians 5:27

3. A WILLING COMMITMENT TO MEMBERSHIP

30 because we are members of His body.
– Ephesians 5:30

Old Time Religion – Part 5

Christian Religion – Faith and Practices of the Followers of Christ

1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
– Ephesians 4:1-7

Paul’s Prayer
1. Be Strengthened
2. Be Rooted
3. Be Connected
4. Be Filled

1. THE ONENESS OF CHRISTIANITY

Bond of Peace
1. One Body
2. One Hope of your Calling
3. One Lord
4. One Faith
5. One Baptism
6. One God and Father
7. One Grace

2. THE ONENESS OF THE BODY

8 Therefore it says,

“When He ascended on high,
He led captive a host of captives,
And He gave gifts to men.”

9 (Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.)
– Ephesians 4:8-10

The Descended Christ?
1. Incarnation
2. Hell
3. Death and Burial

Gifts of Grace from the Living Christ
1. Apostles
2. Prophets
3. Evangelists
4. Pastors and Teachers

12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
– Ephesians 4:12-16

3. THE ONENESS OF THE MISSION

A New Walk
1. Speak Truth
2. Don’t let anger turn to sin
3 . Work with Integrity
4. Speak with Integrity
5. Honor the Holy Spirit
6. Put away Bitterness
7. Be Kind
8. Be Tender-Hearted
9. Be Forgiving

Old Time Religion – Part 4

3 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— 2 if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you; 3 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. 4 By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; 6 to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, 7 of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power. 8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; 10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.13 Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.
Ephesians 3:1-13

1. THE RIGHT ROLE FOR THE CHURCH

22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
– Ephesians 1:22-23

16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.
– Ephesians 2:16

to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,
– Ephesians 3:6

2. THE RIGHT PRAYER FOR THE CHURCH

Paul’s Prayer for the Church
1. Be strengthened through the Holy Spirit
2. Be rooted and grounded in Love
3. Be able to comprehend with all the saints
4. Be filled up to all the fullness of God

3. THE RIGHT GOAL FOR THE CHURCH

20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
– Ephesians 3:20-21

Old Time Religion – Part 3

2 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
– Ephesians 2:1-3

1. WALKING IN DEATH AND LIVING IN SIN

Dead People Walking
1. Spiritually Dead but still walking in trespasses and sins
2. Physically Alive and still sinning in the lusts of our flesh

2. WALKING IN MERCY AND LIVING IN GRACE

3. WALKING IN HIS PLAN AND LIVING IN HIS UNITY

In Christ
Believers are United in Spiritual Blessings
Believers are United in Salvation
Believers are United in the Church

Old Time Religion – Part 2

Christian Religion–Faith and Practices of the Followers of Christ

15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which existsamong you and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
– Ephesians 1:15-23

‘us’ = Faithful Believers
Blessed us – with every spiritual blessing
Chose us – to be holy and blameless
Predestined us – for adoption
Redeemed us – to an inheritance

1. A CHURCH FOCUSED ON KNOWING HIS SPIRIT

Wisdom – Capacity for Knowledge of God

Revelation – Uncovering the Knowledge of God

10 Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.
– 1 Corinthians 1:10

2. A CHURCH FOCUSED ON KNOWING HIS CALLING

3. A CHURCH FOCUSED ON KNOWING HIS POSITION

Old Time Religion – Part 1

Christian Religion – The Faith and Practices of the Followers of Christ

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insightHe made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him 11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.
Ephesians 1:1-14

1. THE FAITHFUL IN CHRIST

2. THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST

3. THE RESPONSE TO CHRIST

Don’t Be Fooled – The Ascension

50 And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51 While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they, after worshiping Him, returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple praising God.
– Luke 24:50-53

Truth in the Easter Story
The Death of Christ – Path to Reconciliation
The Resurrection of Christ – Assurance of Victory over Death
The 40 Days of Christ – Clarity of our Commission
The Ascension of Christ – Promise of Joining Christ in Heaven

1. THE BLESSING OF THE ASCENSION

2. THE RESPONSE TO THE ASCENSION

3. THE CONTINUATION FROM THE ASCENSION

And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. 11 They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”
– Acts 1:9-11

Don’t Be Fooled – The Truth in the Room

36 While they were telling these things, He Himself stood in their midst and *said to them, “Peace be to you.” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit. 38 And He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.41 While they still could not believe it because of their joy and amazement, He said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave Him a piece of a broiled fish; 43 and He took it and ate it before them.

44 Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
– Luke 24:36-49

1. THE TRUTH OF PEACE

2. THE TRUTH OF THE PROMISE

3. THE TRUTH OF THE PROCLAMATION

24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

26 After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus *came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace bewith you.” 27 Then He *said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus *said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”
– John 20:24-29

31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
– John 20:31

Don’t Be Fooled – The Truth on the Road

13 And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them. 16 But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him. 17 And He said to them, “What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?” And they stood still, looking sad. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, “Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?” 19 And He said to them, “What things?” And they said to Him, “The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the sentence of death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened. 22 But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see.” 25 And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

28 And they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He were going farther. 29 But they urged Him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly over.” So He went in to stay with them. 30 When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. 32 They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” 33 And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them, 34 saying, “The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.
– Luke 24:13-35

1. THE WALK OF TRUTH

The Walk of Truth
1. Jesus the Messiah
2. Fulfillment of Prophecy
3. Atonement
4. Alive

2. THE DISAPPEARING DINNER GUEST

John 16:13 – But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

3. THE REALLY RISEN SAVIOR

Don’t Be Fooled – The Truth of the Resurrection

1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing; 5 and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? 6 He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, 7 saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” 8 And they remembered His words, 9 and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles. 11 But these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them. 12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he *saw the linen wrappings only; and he went away to his home, marveling at what had happened.
– Luke 24:1-12

12 Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. 15 Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.
– 1 Corinthians 15:12-20

1. THE INTERRUPTED FUNERAL

2. THE IMPOSSIBLE REPORT

3. THE INSPECTED TOMB

Don’t Be Fooled – The Truth of the Death of Christ

44 It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last. 47 Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent.” 48 And all the crowds who came together for this spectacle, when they observed what had happened, began to return, beating their breasts.49 And all His acquaintances and the women who accompanied Him from Galilee were standing at a distance, seeing these things.
Luke 23:44-49

1. THE TIME OF DEATH

Death was not beyond the power of Jesus
John 10:17-18 – For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again.  No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative.  I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.  This commandment I received from My Father.

2. THE DETERMINATION OF DEATH

Death was always a part of the plan for Jesus
Old Testament – Psalm 22 – Isaiah 53
New Testament – Matthew 16, 17, 20, 26 – Mark 8, 9, 10, 14
Luke 9, 18, 24 – John 3, 8, 10, 12

3. THE TESTIMONY OF DEATH

Death is preached by the followers of Jesus

Acts 2:22-24 – Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know– this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.  But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.

Love, The Greatest Of These – Week 4

11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
– 1 Cor. 13:11-13 (ESV)

1. Live Like a Spiritual Grown Up

2. Live in the Big Three Now

3. Live in the Greatest of These Forever

Love, The Greatest Of These – Week 3

8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
1 Corinthians 13:8-12 

1. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LOVE AND GIFTS 

2. THE DEVELOPMENT OF SPIRITUAL MATURITY 

3. THE DELIGHTFUL COMPLETION OF LOVE 

Love, The Greatest Of These – Week 2

4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 [a]bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
– 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

1. WHEN OUR LOVE IS CONSISTENT WITH GODLY LOVE

Godly Love is… Enduring, Endearing, Engaged

2. WHEN OUR LOVE IS NOT CONSISTENT GODLY LOVE

Godly Love is not built on… Pride, Provocation, Personal Pleasure

3. WHEN GODLY LOVE IS DISPLAYED THROUGH US

Godly Love is Displayed as… Harmonious, Hopeful, Helpful

Love, The Greatest of These – Week 1

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
– 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

1. THE OFFENSIVENESS OF LANGUAGE WITHOUT LOVE

Yet even lifeless things, either flute or harp, in producing a sound, if they do not produce a distinction in the tones, how will it be known what is played on the flute or on the harp? For if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle? So also you, unless you utter by the tongue speech that is clear, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air.
– 1 Corinthians 14:7-9

2. THE IGNORANCE OF KNOWLEDGE WITHOUT LOVE

20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
– 2 Peter: 1:20-21

3. THE EMPTINESS OF GIVING WITHOUT LOVE

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.

“So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
– Matthew 6:1-2

This Is My Year – Week 4

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1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
– Ephesians 4:1-6

I DON’T GO TO CHURCH BECAUSE…
1) THE CHURCH IS NOT RELEVANT
2) THE CHURCH LACKS COMMUNITY
3) THE CHURCH PROHIBITS DOUBT
4) THE CHURCH IS MISSING GOD
5) THE CHURCH DOSEN’T PROVIDE NEW INSIGHTS

1. I NEED A CHURCH WITH A WORTHY WALK

Qualities of a Worthy Walk
1) Humility and Gentleness
2) Patience
3) Showing Tolerance in Love

2. I NEED A CHURCH WITH A UNITED SPIRIT

Colossians 3:14 – Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.

3. I NEED A CHURCH WITH A RIGHTEOUS DEVOTION

Additinal Study Questions

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This Is My Year – Week 3

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14 “Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
– Joshua 24:14-15

The Life of Joshua
1. Lived through Slavery and Exodus from Egypt
2. Crossed the Red Sea
3. Witnessed God providing Manna from Heaven
4. One of the 12 Spies to enter the Promised Land
5. Survived the Wilderness Experience
6. Selected by God to replace Moses
7. Crossed the Jordan
8. Saw the walls of Jericho fall
9. Leader for the Military Campaign to take the Promised Land
10. Leader for 67 years and lived to be 110 years old

1. THE QUALITIES OF A COMMITTED FAMILY

The Look of a Committed Family
1. Serve with Reverence
2. Serve with Sincerity
3. Serve with Truth
4. Serve with Exclusivity

2. THE CONVICTION OF A COMMITTED FAMILY

3. THE LEGACY OF A COMMITTED FAMILY

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This Is My Year – Week 2

Additinal Study Questions

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Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
– Philippians 2:5-11

49% of Americans rarely attend Church
22% say they used to attend regularly
– Pew Research

Why are people leaving the church?
1. Too Busy
2. Beliefs Changed
3. Personal Priorities
4. Practical Difficulties
5. Family Changes
– Pew Research

1. AN ATTITUDE IN NEED OF ADJUSTMENT

2. AN ATTITUDE IN NEED OF HUMILITY

He left Heaven’s glory for earth’s poverty. He did, for a while, hide His heavenly fame in an earthly frame.  Even though He retained every single attribute of deity while on earth, He surrendered the independent exercise of those divine characteristics.
Wilmington’s Bible Handbook

3. AN ATTITUDE IN NEED OF SUBMISSION

Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.
– 1 Peter 5:6

Additinal Study Questions

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This Is My Year – Week 1

Growth of the “Nones” – from 16% to 26% in the United States

Decline of Christianity – from 78.4% to 70.6%

26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

27 Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.
– 1 Corinthians 12:26-28

1. THIS IS MY YEAR TO SHARE IN THE MOVEMENT

A Christian Team
-Believes in the Message            -Believes in the Mission
-Believes in the Members          -Believes in the Movement

2. THIS IS MY YEAR TO SHARE COMMON DIFFERENCES

“the main reason people leave a church is because they have an entitlement mentality rather than a servant mentality.”
– Thom Rainer

3. THIS IS MY YEAR TO SHARE GOD’S GIFTS