Messages

Sermon On The Mount – Murder

21 “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. 23 Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. 25 Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.26 Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.
– Matthew 5:21-26

1. THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL OF UNLAWFUL ANGER

2. THE NEEDED RECONCILIATION FROM UNLAWFUL ANGER

21 “I hate, I reject your festivals,
Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies.
22 “Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings,
I will not accept them;
And I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings.
23 “Take away from Me the noise of your songs;
I will not even listen to the sound of your harps.
24 “But let justice roll down like waters
And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
-Amos 5:21-24

Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.
– Psalm 34:14

3. THE HOPE OF FRIENDSHIP OVER UNLAWFUL ANGER

Sermon On The Mount – Jesus And The Law

17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20 “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
– Matthew 5:17-20

1. THE LAW OF CHRIST IS NOT A FIGHT BUT A FULFILLMENT

How is Jesus the Fulfillment of the Law?
1. Born under the Law
2. Obedient to the Law
3. Bore the Curse of the Law
4. Fills the Roles of Adam, Israel, Prophet, Priest, King
5. Completes the Sacrificial System, Ceremonial System, Tabernacle/Temple

2. THE LAW OF CHRIST IS NOT AN ANNULMENT BUT AN AGREEMENT

Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
– Matthew 5:19

3. THE LAW OF CHRIST IS NOT HUMAN-DRIVEN BUT HOLY-DRIVEN

“For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
– Mathew 5:20

Sermon On The Mount – Salt and Light

11″Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 13″You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. 14″You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:11-16 (NASB)

A Blessed Follower
1. Poor in Spirit
2. Mourn
3. Gentle
4. Desire Righteousness
5. Merciful
6. Pure in Heart
7. Peacemakers
8. Persecuted

1. OUR CONNECTION TO CHRIST GIVES US VALUE AS A WITNESS

Salt of the Earth
1. Preserve
2. Flavor
3. Wisdom
4. Commitment

2. OUR CONNECTION TO CHRIST GIVES US VALUE TO THE WORLD

12Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
John 8:12 (NASB)

5While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”
John 9:5 (NASB)

8for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light
Ephesians 5:8 (NASB)

3. OUR CONNECTION TO CHRIST GIVES US VALUE IN HIS WORK

11Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:11 (NASB)

 

Faith In The Fire – When God Speaks

1Nebuchadnezzar the king to all the peoples, nations, and men of every language that live in all the earth: “May your peace abound! 2It has seemed good to me to declare the signs and wonders which the Most High God has done for me.
3″How great are His signs
And how mighty are His wonders!
His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom
And His dominion is from generation to generation.
Daniel 4:1-3 (NASB)

Christian Testimony
1. How we came to know God
2. How Christ made Salvation possible
3. How the Holy Spirit is moving in our lives

1. THE PEOPLE PROVIDED IN BUILDING A TESTIMONY

8But finally Daniel came in before me, whose name is Belteshazzar according to the name of my god, and in whom is a spirit of the holy gods; and I related the dream to him, saying, 9’O Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, since I know that a spirit of the holy gods is in you and no mystery baffles you, tell me the visions of my dream which I have seen, along with its interpretation.
Daniel 4:8-9 (NASB)

14How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?
Romans 10:14 (NASB)

2. THE PLAN PROVIDED IN BUILDING A TESTIMONY

23In that the king saw an angelic watcher, a holy one, descending from heaven and saying, “Chop down the tree and destroy it; yet leave the stump with its roots in the ground, but with a band of iron and bronze around it in the new grass of the field, and let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him share with the beasts of the field until seven periods of time pass over him,” 24this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king: 25that you be driven away from mankind and your dwelling place be with the beasts of the field, and you be given grass to eat like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven; and seven periods of time will pass over you, until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes.
Daniel 4:23-25 (NASB)

3. THE PRAISE PROVIDED IN BUILDING A TESTIMONY

31While the word was in the king’s mouth, a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: sovereignty has been removed from you, 32and you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field. You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and seven periods of time will pass over you until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes.’ 33Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled; and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.
Daniel 4:31-33 (NASB)

34″But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.
Daniel 4:34 (NASB)

37Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.”
Daniel 4:37 (NASB)

Faith In The Fire – Faith Consumes the Fire

15Now if you are ready, at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery and bagpipe and all kinds of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, very well. But if you do not worship, you will immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?” 16Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. 17If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” 19Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with wrath, and his facial expression was altered toward Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. He answered by giving orders to heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. 20He commanded certain valiant warriors who were in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego in order to cast them into the furnace of blazing fire. 21Then these men were tied up in their trousers, their coats, their caps and their other clothes, and were cast into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire. 22For this reason, because the king’s command was urgent and the furnace had been made extremely hot, the flame of the fire slew those men who carried up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. 23But these three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, fell into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire still tied up.
Daniel 3:15-23 (NASB)

1. FAITH IS SEEN IN THE FIRE

6In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:6-9 (NASB)

Joy in a Fire-Tested Faith
1. Trials are Temporary
2. Christians honor Christ
3. Salvation is the Outcome

2. FAITH IS SEEN IN THE REDEEMER

25He said, “Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!”
Daniel 3:25 (NASB)

11Moreover, the thing which the king demands is difficult, and there is no one else who could declare it to the king except gods, whose dwelling place is not with mortal flesh.”
Daniel 2:11 (NASB)

3. FAITH IS SEEN IN THE TESTIMONY

27The satraps, the prefects, the governors and the king’s high officials gathered around and saw in regard to these men that the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men nor was the hair of their head singed, nor were their trousers damaged, nor had the smell of fire even come upon them. Daniel 3:27 (NASB)

28Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God. 29Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation or tongue that speaks anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego shall be torn limb from limb and their houses reduced to a rubbish heap, inasmuch as there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way.” Daniel 3:28-29 (NASB)

Faith In The Fire – The Power Of No

1Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, the height of which was sixty cubits and its width six cubits; he set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent word to assemble the satraps, the prefects and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates and all the rulers of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. 3Then the satraps, the prefects and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates and all the rulers of the provinces were assembled for the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 4Then the herald loudly proclaimed: “To you the command is given, O peoples, nations and men of every language, 5that at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe and all kinds of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up. 6But whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire.”
– Daniel 3:1-6 (NASB)

1. THERE IS NO REASON TO COMPROMISE OUR FAITH

12There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon, namely Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. These men, O king, have disregarded you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.”
– Daniel 3:12 (NASB)

2. THERE IS NO REASON TO QUESTION GOD’S POWER

15Now if you are ready, at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery and bagpipe and all kinds of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, very well. But if you do not worship, you will immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?”
– Daniel 3:15 (NASB)

17If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king.
– Daniel 3:17 (NASB)

3. THERE IS NO REASON TO FEAR THE RESULTS

18But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
– Daniel 3:18 (NASB)

“So long as the breath is in my body, I will never deny my Lord Christ and His known truth. God’s will be done in me.”
– Nicholas Ridley

“Be of good comfort, Mr. Ridley, and play the man. We shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust never shall be put out.”
– Hugh Latimer

Faith In The Fire – However, there is a God in Heaven

24Therefore, Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon; he went and spoke to him as follows: “Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon! Take me into the king’s presence, and I will declare the interpretation to the king.” 25Then Arioch hurriedly brought Daniel into the king’s presence and spoke to him as follows: “I have found a man among the exiles from Judah who can make the interpretation known to the king!” 26The king said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen and its interpretation?” 27Daniel answered before the king and said, “As for the mystery about which the king has inquired, neither wise men, conjurers, magicians nor diviners are able to declare it to the king. 28However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days. This was your dream and the visions in your mind while on your bed. 29As for you, O king, while on your bed your thoughts turned to what would take place in the future; and He who reveals mysteries has made known to you what will take place. 30But as for me, this mystery has not been revealed to me for any wisdom residing in me more than in any other living man, but for the purpose of making the interpretation known to the king, and that you may understand the thoughts of your mind. Daniel 2:24-30 (NASB)

1. We Know Some Things. However, God Knows All Things.

17As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams.
Daniel 1:17 (NASB)

2. We Establish Some Things. However, God Establishes All Things

The Statue and Interpretation of the King’s Dream

Head Gold Babylonian Empire
Chest and Arms Silver (Medo-Persian Empire)
Stomach and Thighs Bronze (Grecian Empire)
Legs and Feet Iron and Clay (Roman Empire)

44In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. 45Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.”Daniel 2:44-45 (NASB)32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”Luke 1:32-33 (NASB)3. We Control Some Things. However, God Controls All Things47The king answered Daniel and said, “Surely your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, since you have been able to reveal this mystery.”Daniel 2:47 (NASB)

Faith In The Fire – Pray With Purpose

Now in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was troubled and his sleep left him. Then the king gave orders to call in the magicians, the conjurers, the sorcerers and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king. The king said to them, “I had a dream and my spirit is anxious to understand the dream.”

Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic: “O king, live forever! Tell the dream to your servants, and we will declare the interpretation.” The king replied to the Chaldeans, “The command from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you will be torn limb from limb and your houses will be made a rubbish heap.But if you declare the dream and its interpretation, you will receive from me gifts and a reward and great honor; therefore declare to me the dream and its interpretation.” They answered a second time and said, “Let the king tell the dream to his servants, and we will declare the interpretation.” The king replied, “I know for certain that you are bargaining for time, inasmuch as you have seen that the command from me is firm, that if you do not make the dream known to me, there is only one decree for you. For you have agreed together to speak lying and corrupt words before me until the situation is changed; therefore tell me the dream, that I may know that you can declare to me its interpretation.”10 The Chaldeans answered the king and said, “There is not a man on earth who could declare the matter for the king, inasmuch as no great king or ruler has ever asked anything like this of any magician, conjurer or Chaldean. 11 Moreover, the thing which the king demands is difficult, and there is no one else who could declare it to the king except gods, whose dwelling place is not with mortal flesh.”
– Daniel 2:1-11

1. A PRAYER OF PURPOSE INCLUDES PATIENCE

17 As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams.
– Daniel 1:17

14 Then Daniel replied with discretion and discernment to Arioch, the captain of the king’s bodyguard, who had gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon; 15 he said to Arioch, the king’s commander, “For what reason is the decree from the king so urgent?” Then Arioch informed Daniel about the matter. 16 So Daniel went in and requested of the king that he would give him time, in order that he might declare the interpretation to the king.
– Daniel 2:14-16

2. A PRAYER OF PURPOSE INCLUDES PERSPECTIVE

Daniel’s Prayer of Perspective
1. Pray with other Believers
2. Pray with Reverence
3. Pray with Specificity
4. Pray with Honesty

3. A PRAYER OF PURPOSE INCLUDES PRAISE

20 Daniel said,
“Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
For wisdom and power belong to Him.
21 “It is He who changes the times and the epochs;
He removes kings and [a]establishes kings;
He gives wisdom to wise men
And knowledge to [b]men of understanding.
22 “It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
And the light dwells with Him.
23 “To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise,
For You have given me wisdom and power;
Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You,
For You have made known to us the king’s matter.”
– Daniel 2:20-23

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast ]about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
– 2 Corinthians 12:9

Faith In The Fire – Make a Stand

8 But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself. 9 Now God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials, 10 and the commander of the officials said to Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has appointed your food and your drink; for why should he see your faces looking more haggard than the youths who are your own age? Then you would make me forfeit my head to the king.” 11 But Daniel said to the overseer whom the commander of the officials had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah,12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance be observed in your presence and the appearance of the youths who are eating the king’s choice food; and deal with your servants according to what you see.”

14 So he listened to them in this matter and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of ten days their appearance seemed better and they were fatter than all the youths who had been eating the king’s choice food. 16 So the overseer continued to withhold their choice food and the wine they were to drink, and kept giving them vegetables.

17 As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams.

18 Then at the end of the days which the king had specified for presenting them, the commander of the officials presented them before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and out of them all not one was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s personal service. 20 As for every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in all his realm. 21 And Daniel continued until the first year of Cyrus the king.
– Daniel 1:8-21

“The Babylonians could change Daniel’s home, textbooks, menu, and name, but they could not change his heart.” – Warren Wieresbe

1. AN UNCHANGED FAITH SHOWS ENDURANCE

25 But you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst.
– Exodus 23:25

2. AN UNCHANGED FAITH IS EQUIPPED

3. AN UNCHANGED FAITH IS POSITIONED

Faith In The Fire – Security in the Selection

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the vessels of the house of God; and he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and he brought the vessels into the treasury of his god.

Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his officials, to bring in some of the sons of Israel, including some of the royal family and of the nobles, youths in whom was no defect, who were good-looking, showing intelligence in every branch of wisdom, endowed with understanding and discerning knowledge, and who had ability for serving in the king’s court; and he ordered him to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans.The king appointed for them a daily ration from the king’s choice food and from the wine which he drank, and appointed that they should be educated three years, at the end of which they were to enter the king’s personal service. Now among them from the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. Then the commander of the officials assigned new names to them; and to Daniel he assigned the name Belteshazzar, to Hananiah Shadrach, to Mishael Meshach and to Azariah Abed-nego.

But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself.
– Daniel 1:1-8

1. A SECURE FAITH PROVIDES DISCIPLINE

Disciplines of the Faith
1 .Prayer
2 .Worship
3. Service
4. Trust His Word
5. Focus on Christ

2. A SECURE FAITH PROVIDES DEFINITION

 

Daniel Belteshazzar
God is my judge Bel protects
Hananiah Shadrach
The Lord is gracious. Commanded by Aku
Mishael Meshach
Who is like the Lord? Who is like Aku?
Azariah Abed-nego
The Lord is my helper Servant of Nego

 

3. A SECURE FAITH PROVIDES DETERMINATION

Church Family – Week 3

17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
– 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 (NASB)

1. HOW THE RECONCILIATION TOOK PLACE – WORLDWIDE

34But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.
– Luke 23:34 (NASB)

30Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
– John 19:30 (NASB)

2. HOW RECONCILIATION TAKES PLACE – PERSONALLY

3. HOW RECONCILIATION IS CARRIED OUT TO OTHERS

9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
– 1 John 1:9 (NASB)

Church Family – Week 2

but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
– Acts 1:8

1. YOUR POWER COMES FROM GOD’S SPIRIT

16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;
– John 14:16

2. YOU ARE EXPECTED TO BE HIS WITNESS

3. YOUR WITNESS IS TO BE TO EVERYONE

48 but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.
– Luke 12:48

What it Takes:
An obedient heart
Alertness to opportunities

BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVE ENGAGEMENT:
Philosophical & Practical
A – Secular VS. Sacred
B – You have to live it before you give it.
The world’s 3 questions for the Christian:
Is It Real?
Does it Work?
Is it worth it?
C – NO CONTACT, NO IMPACT!

N.F.L.Neighbors, Friends, Loved ones.

2 questions before the throne of God:
A – What did you do with My Son?
B- What did you do with your life?

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyonelight a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
– Matthew 5:14-16

Church Family – Week 1

37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” 40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” 41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. 42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. 44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
– Acts 2:37-47

1. THE NEED FOR CHRISTIAN DEVOTION

They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
– Acts 2:42

Church Devotion
1. Teaching
2. Fellowship
3. Holiness
4. Prayer

2. THE NEED FOR CHRISTIAN PARTNERSHIP

3. THE NEED FOR CHRISTIAN CELEBRATION

praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding [a]to their number day by day those who were being saved.
– Acts 2:47

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

Additinal Study Questions

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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

Additinal Study Questions

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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

Additinal Study Questions

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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