Fighting the Good Fight | 02.14.16

Standing Strong

Nehemiah 4:10-14

  • remember the Lord who is great and awesome
  • acknowledge that you have weak areas (but it is foolish to not protect it from Satan)
  • obey spiritual authority (this is a weapon)
  • if we don’t know how to submit to our parents’ authority, there is NO WAY we will learn how to submit to God’s authority when we grow older

Nehemiah 4:15-23

#1 equip yourself with weapons (the Word of God0

  • memorize verses to keep close to your heart
  • spiritual death is caused by distancing ourselves from our dependency on God

#2 Join with others in battle

  • find an accountability partner/group

#3 Recognize that God will fight the battle

  • peace in our hearts

#4 Be ready

Nehemiah 6:1-4

  • distraction is a tactic from Satan
  • Satan knows no two people are alike
  • distractions cause us to lose our first love
  • our weapon against distraction is single-mindedness (pursuit after God)

James 1:22 –> be doers of the Word, not just listeners

Nehemiah 6:5-9

  • tactics of persistence and lies (Satan)
  • recognize the lies and do not be afraid
  • lies: God cannot forgive us for our sins; God will not punish us for our sins
  • we are not in control of our own destiny
    • causes us to not depend on Him and trust in Him with our whole lives
  • when we see Satan’s lies, don’t fight, just ignore because you know the truth
  • we need a BIBLICAL world view

1 Corinthians: we are not our own

  • we were bought with a price
  • we are fearfully and wonderfully made (we are not amazing, but our creator is)
  • creator gives worth to the creation
  • we think we are allowed to hate people, but NO, love covers a multitude of sins
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The Preeminence of Christ | 02.07.16

Colossians 1:15-20

  • Why do we need Jesus in our lives (besides being forgiven of your sins)?
  • At the same level that we need Jesus to defend us in the face of God, we need Jesus right now
  • A church without Christ is no church at all
  • How evidently present is Jesus in our life?
  • faith should not be equaled with fun

#1 Because the fullness of God is in Christ

#2 Because the power of God is in Christ

#3 Because the completeness of Christians is in Christ

  • We reflect certain things about God
  • Jesus Christ defines and represents God purely
  • vague notions of God are clearly displayed through the life of Christ
  • we are able to know God and see God through Christ
  • Jesus Christ is above all powers (visible powers = government//positions of authority/invisible powers = slumber, depression, anxiety)
  • scientists can try and figure out how our universe came into existence
    • however, only Jesus knows WHY this universe came into existence
  • only Jesus can keep our lives together (He is the sustainer of life and this universe)
  • Jesus is the source of our lives
  • the further we move from Christ, the more our life begins to unravel
  • the well-being of a church is dependent on whether the people of the church look to God or not
  • pastor is like a UPS, only delivers the package (package = gospel, sender = God)

The Importance of Community in Our Spiritual Growth | 01.31.16

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

  • community helps us to not lose our motivation
  • nonnegotiable: the Word, prayer, community
  • the reason why we decline in our passion for God after a retreat/mission trip is because we are removed from a community

#1 Community: same interest and in the same circumstance

  • what is a Christian community?
    • a group that has Chris at the center of their lives (must have a shared DESIRE for God)
  • church can be a false assurance that you will grow in your Christian faith

#2 Why we join a community: two are better than one because if one falls, the other can lift him up

  • King Solomon (wisest man to walk the Earth) wrote Ecclesiastes
  • Satan divides us, then conquers us

#3 How to create a community:

  • sin kept in darkness will only grow like bacteria

The Importance of the Word in Our Spiritual Growth | 01.10.16

Psalms 1

  • a chapter a day keeps the devil away
  • Satan would rather have you go to church, mission trips, retreats, etc than read the Bible
  • He wants us to lose our appetite for the Word
  • Psalm 119:105, Deuteronomy 8:3, Isaiah 40:8
  • as long as Satan keeps you from reading the Bible, you do not know what a Christian life looks like
  • a cursed person is restless, constantly doing things (no feeding)
  • a blessed person meditates with God day and night (saturated with the Word of God)
    • He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yield its fruit in its season
  • Chaff = husks of corn (very dry)
    • when hardships (wind) come your way, you get blown away

01.03.16

1 Timothy 4:7-10

  • desire has to be met with discipline

#1 Diet

#2 Exercise

  • in our resolution to be spiritually fit, we have to watch what we consume with our mind and though
  • “have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths”
  • do not consume every teaching, every world value, that is being thrown at you
  • TRAIN
    • we see the Holy Spirit as a plastic surgeon, with little work on our part
    • He is more like a personal trainer
  • growing pains –> no pain, no gain
  • WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
  • physical training is of some value
  • godliness has value both in present time and future –> benefits us in every aspect of our life and our life to come

 

An Experience Followed by Action | 12.27.15

Hebrews 10: 19-25

#1 Let us draw near

#2 Let us hold fast

#3 Let us consider how to sir up one another

  • even though we want to run to God, we can’t because our sin (guilt) holds us back
  • Jesus is like the tree, and we are His branches. If we are snapped off, we wither away and die. Jesus is our source of life.
  • draw near to God with the confidence that Jesus’ blood has cleansed away our sins
  • sin keeps us away from God, the cross draws us near to God
  • cling onto our faith –> “confession of our hope”
    • sins forgiven
    • sinners saved
    • God is faithful, even when we are not
    • God is doing the work of sanctification
  • don’t be of this world, but engage with it

Spiritual Fullness | 12.21.15

Psalm 119:25-32 (Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible!

  • the limitations of love are liberating
  • true fullness is not found in the absence of limitations, but found in the right limitations
  • LIFE/DESIGN/FREEDOM

#1 Life: “Give me life according to your word!”

  • maybe in our emptiness, we make self-destructive choices
  • God’s promise of fullness is in embracing His limitations
  • freedom is not the absence of restrictions, it is in the presence of the right restrictions, limitations that will unleash you to be who you are meant to be

#2 Design: “make me understand the ways of your precepts…”

  • all of us have got a way about us
  • look at the one who made you to find your way
  • God is not a dictator, He is a designer and we are His masterpieces
  • God’s design is not to make you boring, but to unleash you to the fullest form of life
  • because God is our designer, and created us with a way in mind, we should go to Him to find our way

#3 Freedom: “I will run in the way of your commandments…for you have set my heart free.”

*FREEDOM FROM VS. FREEDOM FOR

  • the reward for discipline (focused limitations) is always freedom
    • ex: practice leads to muscle memory
  • we are spiritually training for life
  • ask to know God’s ways
  • God is giving us greater capacity to rejoice, to obey, to weep –> more you see Him –> more you love him –> more you see Him
  • as you turn away from the Word, your spiritual sensitivity shrinks, you tried to gain freedom by running away, but in doing so, you lose your ability to walk
  • every year we grow, we will find God bigger