WHO ARE YOU LISTENING TO?
1 Corinthians 15:33 (KJV)
33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
WHO ARE YOU FELLOWSHING WITH?
1- Proverbs 13:20 (KJV)
20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
2- Psalm 1:1-3 (KJV)
1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
NOW FOR AN ALTERNATIVE…
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
…AND THE BENEFIT
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
HOW CAN I GET VICTORY?
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
Some have said that the second half of this verse was added by a scribe. Some say it was a mistake. The same thing is said also in verse 4, so it fits the way that Paul would speak. But that’s not the point, don’t get hung up on part of the verse and discredit the whole verse. We as Christians should not be fulfilling the lust of out flesh and walking in a worldly manner. We are the light of the world. My sins are covered in the blood that Jesus shed, so there is NO condemnation. Walk in victory not defeat.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
WE HAVE FREEDOM
Do you want true freedom? We are free from the shackles that bind us and the weight that burdens us. Sin carries a heavy cost and we have been delivered from its curse.
3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Same as verse one. Jesus was our example and he gives up the power needed to walk away from temptation. Unfortunately we too often choose to indulge in sin rather then distance our self from it. If God convicts you of something he will give you what you need to walk away. Don’t buddy up to sin, it will kill you.
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
DEATH vs LIFE and PEACE
The choice is yours. You only have yourself to blame for most of the mess you get into. I choose life in Christ. Why is this hard to do? Verse 7…
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
WHAT IS CARNEL?
σάρξ sárx, sarx; probably from the base of G4563; flesh (as stripped of the skin), i.e. (strictly) the meat of an animal (as food), or (by extension) the body (as opposed to the soul (or spirit), or as the symbol of what is external, or as the means of kindred), or (by implication) human nature (with its frailties (physically or morally)
Is there any hope then? Yes there is look at verse 9:
9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
IT ALL COMES DOWN TO JESUS.
KNOW JESUS/KNOW LIFE
NO JESUS/NO LIFE
FAMILY OF THE DEVIL <VS> THE FAMILY OF GOD.
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
DON’T LIVE ACCORDING TO THE FLESH.
13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
BECAUSE YOU WILL DIE! The reward for being part of the devils family.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
I AM A CHILD OF GOD.
15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
BECOME PART OF A FAMILY.
16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
WE HAVE AN INHERITANCE. The reward for being part of God’s family.
From Suffering to Glory
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of [f]corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession [g]for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
God’s Everlasting Love
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Sometimes we just need to look at things from a new point of view. If you were faceing a problem and Jesus came down and set his hand on your back it would change your attitude. He always has your back. Paul lays out a classic example of if you understand this, then let me show you something else teaching.
Romans 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
REMEMBER WHO PAUL WAS.
WHO IS HE TALKING TO?
2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
THIS WAS THE LAW, PAUL IS MAKING A POINT.
4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
DON’T BE MARRIED TO THE LAW.
5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
NEWNESS OF SPIRIT.
6 But now we are DELIVERED from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should SERVE in NEWNESS OF SPIRIT, and not in the oldness of the letter.
It is God who can give you a fresh start and when he is on your side, everything will work out. Trust him today and you will see, He is a good good God.
Romans Chapter 1... This chapter has us all missing the mark. So glad for the grace of God, we need it. The list of things Paul lays out is pretty extencive and covers a multitude of sins. There is something else that can wash away sin, find out in today message.
WHAT ARE WE TO DO WITH SIN?
Ignore it. “Like” It’s not wrong. This leads to - Declare it with No shame.
Abhor it. Because, "it is wrong." This leads to Repair it, In Jesus name.
How can we find repair?
1st, Realize we all have to deal with our own sins.
2nd, Realize only through Jesus can we find forgiveness.
3rd, Share what Jesus did for us.
And before you jump up on a stump shaking you finger at someone else make sure you check out chapter 2.
Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
Remember where you were and what you have been through, Jesus loves people enought to give his life so that they might be saved. Pray for people with the zeal and compassion. I needed it, you needed it, and they need it.
There is a lot of talk about hate in the news of recent. It seams that if anyone disagrees with a point of view they are labeled a "Hater". When you have real love for people it will show it self in a scriptural and Godly manner. It will also not turn a blind eye when a person is being destructive to themselves. Real love would never leave someone in a pit of despair. When someone turns away from the scripture and lives without care to God's will for their life, it brings sadness and suffering. The devil comes to kill and destroy, but Jesus came to give us life. It is true love to show people how to find a way to live out their faith according to the scriptures that the faith of Christianity is based on. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that who ever believes on him wont perish with out God, but have eternal life. Our eternal destiny is contingent on the greatest act of love ever. Jesus died on the cross so that we could have life. When we understand that, it changes the way we act toward others. If we say we have love then it is time we show it. How can YOU show the love of God to others? Here is a few things to get you started:
Love is patient and kind.
Love does not envy or boast.
Love is not arrogant or rude.
Love is not self-serving.
Love is not easily angered,
nor does it keep a count of wrongs.
Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness.
Instead, it rejoices in the truth.
Love bears all things,
Love believes all things,
Love hopes all things,
and Love endures all things.
Love NEVER fails.
A CHURCH SHOULD BE:
A people who hunger for God, experience the presence of God, and stand in awe of His holiness as He changes believers into conformity with Christ.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6
Hunger for God.
Do you have a hunger for the things of God?
Good food produces a good smell, a good smell can make you hungry. Ahhh the smell of good cooking. It’s like when you drive past a good restaurant and can smell the food all the way out in the street. It can make you want to eat. Hunger for God can be like this too, if you surround yourself with garbage you will have a hard time getting hungry for the things of God. You don’t get an appetite by smelling trash.
Q: Is there trash in your life that needs to be cleaned up?
Hunger brings Presence.
The presence of the Lord is like no other experience in life.
What happens when the presence of God comes on people?
The children of Israel were afraid.
God is here:
Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.
God is there:
Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
God is everywhere:
Joshua 1:9 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
Sin hinders everything now, especially man’s experience of God’s presence.
Presence brings Holiness.
Hebrews 12:14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
Q: What happened to Holiness?
Q: What is Holiness?
Greek Holiness= English Words used in KJV:
holiness 5 times
sanctification 5 times
from <G37> (hagiazo); properly purification, i.e. (the state) purity; concrete (by Hebrew) a purifier :- holiness, sanctification.
Holiness brings Change.
CHANGE brings CONFOMITY:
If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. - Jesus
God does not change, so we must.
What has changed since we believed?
We must be born again.
Are we still the same?
Are we acting like Jesus?
John 14:17 The world cannot receive Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you do know Him, for He abides with you and He will be in you.
How is your relationship with God?
Do you know in your knower that you are going to heaven?
How can you know?
If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN A CHURCH:
A body that is directed by the Spirit, fully understanding that baptism in the Holy Spirit is both a personal blessing and endowment of power for witness and service in fulfilling the Great Commission.
Looking for a church to call home? Been out and about but you still have not found a place that is the perfect church? Well if you ever find the perfect church, don’t go there; it won’t be perfect any more. The best way to is to be a part of the team. Simply put it is about being more than just a hearer, but also a doer. I can tell you that churches we have gone to and found things lacking in are the places we volunteered. Why would we feel compelled to get involved? What makes some Christians take the next step. How can people just sit in the same seat Sunday after Sunday and never do something? No job in the church is a small thing. Greeting people, cleaning, ushering, praying, landscaping, vacuuming, it is about service. Some are called, some are sent, some just packed up and went. Here are three things that can motivate you into being more of a part on the inside than looking in through the windows. We need workers, singers, sound techs, and even tithers to make the church effective. It is US we are the team. Are you ready to take the next step?
STEP ONE: BE LEAD
God wants to lead you; he wants to show you how to serve Him. That is why we have the Word. It is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. If we don’t ask for directions we tend to get lost. Have you ever felt that you just don’t need to go in a certain direction of place only to find that if you had, you would have been in the middle of a mess? That’s the leading. The more you follow the better you get at listening. Jesus said ”My sheep know my voice” That means he speaks to us, are you listening?
Romans 8 13
For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh; but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
Q: How can I be a better follower?
STEP TWO: BE FILLED.
You prayed and accepted what Jesus did for you on the cross and believe he rose from the dead. You confessed with your mouth what you believed in your heart. But your life still is stuck in the same old same old. Still living without a feeling of victory? Becoming a Christian does not end all your troubles in life, it just means we win in the end. We can have abundant life and live in victory. Wouldn’t it be great if like a superhero we had some kind of dynamo power inside that would turn us from just getting by in this walk to having a power that made us stronger in the Lord? There is, the Holy spirit wants to fill you to overflowing like he did the apostles and early saints of the church. Look at this passage about some believers that Paul ministered to.
And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples 2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism 4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
Here are some scriptures where people were filled with the Spirit and what happened:
Luke 1:41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
Acts 13:52 And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.
STEP THREE: WITNESS AND SERVE.
(The introduction of a new element or quality into something.) Is it time for you to have a new element infused into you walk with God? Take some time and ask God to fill you to the brim with his presence and then stay there till you are overflowing with the goodness of God. When this happens it will spill over into all areas of your life. It will be strength to see you through. It will give you boldness, joy, and repair. Trust God, he will help you in your prayer time and when the flowing starts it will be pure power.
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
Acts 2:38 -39 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
If you are spending week after week just attending church and not feeling like you have the motivation to get involved, then please take some time to pray for God to fill you with this same power found in the book of Acts. God still pours out his Spirit on the church today. He still does miracles, He still answers prayers and YOU will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.
Church of God Intercession City would love to have you visit. Sundays at 10am.
Charlie Brown’s search for the true meaning of Christmas leads him in many directions. What he’s looking for is something that will make him happy, but it goes beyond happiness. Charlie Brown is looking for joy and contentment, something that will not just fill his Christmas but his entire life.
Q: How happy is Snoopy?
What does Snoopy do to get in the Christmas spirit?
We set up lights on the house, shine them with LED projections. Decorate the door, put up a manger…
Why was Snoopy decorating his dog house?
THINGS WE TURN TO FOR HOLIDAY HAPPINESS:
Decorating, Dining and Dancing
DECORATION: Attention and approval of others.
Look at all the pretty lights. Look at the house down the street. You could land a plane in some neighborhoods. Lights, music, synchronized displays. Snoop when all out on his décor and when asked what it was all about, Charlie was handed a sheet of paper explaining the contest with big cash prizes. Awards, pats on the back we all love to be acknowledged for our achievements. But those awards gather dust. It will make you feel good for awhile. Then just like that it’s all gone.
If decorating doesn’t work some celebrate by dinning and drinking.
For some Christmas is about dining.
Food, Food, and more food. Cookies, cake, candy, turkey, pies, and pastries.
What is your favorite Christmas dish?
What are the consequences of over eating all the sweets?
Eggnog, hot chocolate, and apple cider.
If the highlight of your Christmas is about eating than you will have to pay the price come January.
Food doesn’t satisfy either and so we turn to another means of finding happiness –
DISTRACTION. We also turn to entertainment during this season to find happiness.
Some people are already in line to get into the new Star Wars movie but the force won’t stay with them for long. Eventually there will have to be another movie, another concert, another game, another “dance” in order to stay happy. The entertainment of the world doesn’t bring lasting happiness so the search goes on.
If we look to these things or anything in this world to bring us lasting joy – we will be let down. Decorations, dining and distractions and the happiness they bring don’t last.
The pleasures they provide are temporary and tied into what’s happening around us and they don’t bring abiding joy.
Snoopy offers Charlie Brown happiness, but Charlie Brown is looking for something more and something that will last, something that will endure and actually help him when times get tough.
What Charlie Brown needs and what we need, IS JOY.
REJOICE. It is a command given to us over and over again in the Bible and yes it is a command.
Rejoice Always. 1 Thessalonians. 5:16.
God is commanding us to be joyful – it’s not a suggestion. It doesn’t read try joy, or might I suggest you be joyful – it says, Rejoice – Be Joyful. Because it is a command, joy must be possible for us at all times because God is not going to tell us to do something that can’t be done. Certainly God is not going command us over 300 times to be joyful if joy were not a possibility for us. If joy is possible at all times then it cannot be tied to what is happening around us, it must come from someplace else.
James 1:2-3 says, consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
Joy is what carries us through those tough times because joy is the understanding, conviction and certainty that God is in control and that God is with us.
Psalm 5:11-12. Let all who take refuge in God rejoice.
So what does it mean to take refuge in God so that we can find this joy?
Taking refuge in God means that we follow Jesus and abide or remain in him.
Jesus said, I am the vine and you are the branch, remain in me and I will remain in you.
When we remain in Jesus, when we give ourselves to him and strive to walk with him each and every day we are taking refuge in God and the joy will come.
Because joy is one of the fruits of God’s spirit we know it will develop and remain in us as we allow the Spirit of God to dwell in us.
So we experience joy not by turning to the things of this world, or even turning to ourselves but in daily turning to God to receive God’s love.
For many of us, this is where the problem comes; it is hard for us to trust that God really loves us.
It is hard for us to place our lives fully in God’s hands when we keep wondering how God can love a sinner like me.
We can see God’s love for others.
We can see God reaching out and caring for those around us, but many of us still question whether or not God can love me with all my doubts and problems and sin. I’m not sure what we can do to increase our understanding of God’s love for us because the word of God can’t be any clearer.
God says to us over and over again how much he loves us so I’m not sure we can do anything to make that clearer, maybe what we need is to just hear that message more often.
The first people who heard about the birth of Jesus were a group of shepherds on the hillsides of Bethlehem. The angel told them, Fear not for behold I bring you good news of great joy. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Now shepherds were not the most respected group of people.
They weren’t the most religious, faithful, or trustworthy but they were the first to hear this good news of great joy. And the angels didn’t tell them they had to clean up their act before they could go and find the babe lying in a manger.
This means that...
WE CAN ALL COME TO GOD JUST THE WAY WE ARE.
God doesn’t require us to change before He will love us, He loves us first and then allows His love to change us and fill us with joy.
GOD’S LOVE FOR US IS UNCONDITIONAL which means that we can rejoice always or as the Psalmist says it, we can ever sing for joy. Because of God’s love for us we can experience joy at all times and in all places.
GOD’S LOVE DOESN’T DEPEND ON THINGS GOING WELL OR ON US DOING WELL, it is always available which means joy can be experienced in all circumstances. Even when we are in trouble and in danger, God is there to bring us joy,
look at Psalm 5:11b.
Spread your protection over them that those who love your name may rejoice in you. God doesn’t keep us from experiencing pain in lives – we will all go through hardships and suffering, but when we do, God’s protection, or presence, is there so that even during those times we can experience joy. The joy in these moments comes from knowing that God is with us and that his strength and power and the power of his love will see us through.
Q- So what’s holding you back from experience the joy God has to offer?
Q- What’s keeping you from being content and causing you to keep searching for something to make you happy?
During this hectic season of the year, don’t look for joy in decorations, dining and dancing, don’t look for joy in any of the things of this world, look for it in God’s unconditional love and take refuge in him.
WHAT NOW: 5 days to be Content challenge.
Read 1 Thessalonians 5:16
Q- Where do you look for happiness during the Christmas season? What things destroy this happiness?
God commands us to rejoice which means joy is not based in our circumstances or situations.
Q- Where can you find joy?
Read Psalm 5
What does it mean for you to take “refuge” in God?
In what areas of life do you need to follow Jesus more closely?
Jesus said he is the vine and we are the branches. How can you stay connected to Jesus this week and draw your life from him?
Joy also comes in knowing that we are unconditionally loved by God.
Read the following Scriptures then talk to God about His love for us.
In what areas of your life do you need God’s love and protection to spread over you?
DO: Ask God for that help today.
Joy is also found in giving ourselves away.
Find a way to do an act of service during this season.
Based on a message from Faith Church and re-imagined by Pastor Matt.
What are you hoping for this Christmas? What’s on your Christmas list? Me, if I could have anything, like I mean ANYTHING, a helicopter would do fine. Imagine going to work without getting snarled in traffic. Perhaps a stealth car that drives slightly out of sync with our current detention. As a kid I wanted a robot toy back in the early 70s. Trains, walky-talkies, Hot wheels, action figures, anything start wars. What did you want as a kid? What gift is it that you just have to have in order for your life to be complete and for you to finally be at peace?
When we get older the gifts we often hope for can’t be bought from amazon.
Through the years what we hope for changes. We still long for gifts that we think will bring us peace.
What Charlie Brown hoped for was something to help bring his life a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Sally had an extensive Christmas list. There were so many items on her list that she decided to make it easy on Santa and just ask for money.
HER HOPE AND HEART WAS SET ON MATERIAL GOODS.
Her expectation and desire was for cold hard cash, she thought would bring her peace.
Today if we are looking for something that will bring us peace, we have a choice.
1- WE CAN LOOK TO THE MATERIAL GOODS AND WEALTH.
2- WE CAN LOOK TO GOD FOR PEACE.
Sally was a young girl who looked for peace in the world.
Mary was a young girl who looked for peace in God.
She dreamed of marrying a honest God fearing man and having lots of children because these were signs of God’s blessing Like all good mothers she dreamed that her children would grow up to have a life blessed by God and a life that would be a blessing to others. These were all things Mary would have hoped for and these were the things that would bring her life true and lasting peace and like most girls she would have thought these things would all come through the normal channels of life like a husband and marriage, but then Mary had a visit from an angel.
OPEN YOUR BIBLE TO: Luke 1:26-38.
Suddenly Mary is faced with a choice. Would she place her hope for a child, and the hope she had for that child, in herself and trust in her upcoming marriage to Joseph or would she place her hope and trust in God?
MARY TRUSTED GOD TO HELP HER FIND TRUE PEACE.
Q- If we are looking for peace, where will we turn and what will we trust?
Q- Will we trust the material goods of the world to make us complete?
Q- Will we trust the things that make sense to us and the things that don’t bring any risk or will we look for peace in God?
TO FIND PEACE IN GOD MEANS WE HAVE TO COMMIT OURSELVES COMPLETELY TO GOD, and say like Mary, Here am I, the servant of the Lord, let it be with me according to your word. Mary surrenders herself fully to God and places herself completely in God’s hands and that is the only way to find true peace. To find peace today we have to submit ourselves to God and submission is a totally commitment. Surrendering to God in order to find peace doesn’t mean that everything is going to run smoothly.
Think again about Mary; engaged to be married, but now pregnant by God.
Q- What will Joseph say?
Q- What will the people in the community say?
When it was time for her to give birth they had to take a journey –
when they got to Bethlehem there was no place for them to stay –
when the baby arrived all they had was a manger.
but because she was fully surrendered to God and trusted him, she was able to remain strong. Mary wasn’t looking to things of this world to bring her peace and comfort;
she was placing all of her faith and trust in God.
PLACING OUR TRUST IN GOD MEANS GIVING ALL WE HAVE TO GOD AND THEN STICKING WITH GOD EVEN WHEN THINGS GET DIFFICULT.
OPEN YOUR BIBLE TO: Luke 1:46-55.
We can have peace like Mary when we believe three things.
God could not have done anything in Mary if she had said no.
those who will first bow down to him. James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord
and he will lift you up.
Today peace still comes from God but only when we are willing and able to say,
Here am I, the servant of the Lord, let it be with me according to your word.
In these days leading up to Christmas we need to surrender to God. Don’t look to the world to bring you peace and make you whole.
Turn to God,
Trust God and
Surrender to God
This the only path that leads to peace, a true and lasting peace that passes all understanding.
- Humble yourself before God in worship and prayer
- Think of others before yourself during the Christmas Celebration.
Q- Growing up, what gift did you think you just had to have in order for life to be complete?
Q- How long did the peace and fulfillment last?
Q- What gift do you want this year?
Q- Is it something that will bring true peace?
Read the story of Mary in Luke 1:26-56
Mary experienced true peace because she surrendered herself to God.
Q- What would complete surrender look like in your life?
Q- What area do you struggle to give to God?
Q- What can you do this Christmas to draw closer to God?
Peace for Mary came in knowing that:
- God knows us – Luke 1:48
Q- Do you find this scary or encouraging? Why?
Q- What hope and dream can you share with God?
- God will do great things in us – Luke 1:49
Q- What great thing has God already done in you?
Q- What great thing would you like God to do in you?
Q- What great thing can you do between now and Christmas? Prayer, Giving, Faith Sharing
- God will lift us up – Luke 1:52
Based on a message from Faith Church and re-imagined by Pastor Matt.
The Thanksgiving season is a time we spend with our loved ones giving thanks for the blessings we are given. We gather around the table and have a good family meal. For some its one of the few times the family that has moved around the country gather for a meal. Time to catch up on stories and get picked on by your older siblings... No not me I was the youngest of 5. It is a time to reflect on what you are thankful for.
Fun aside, we often spend the very next day scurrying around trying to find the best deals on Christmas gifts. Big TVs, computers, video games, and phones... What happened to being thankful for the things we have? How can we keep that attitude of thankfulness? Here are six scriptures to keep you on track.
SIX SCRIPTURES TO GIVE THANKS ABOUT.
1) 1 Chronicles 16:34
Give THANKS to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
A- The bible tells us to give thanks.
B- Because HE IS GOOD.
C- And his love endures F O R E V E R.
2) Colossians 3:15-17
And let the peace of Christ rule in your HEARTS, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
A- Let the Peace of Christ in your hearts, Its going to work out.
B- Let the Word of Christ dwell in you, it brings faith.
C- Encourage others to trust what God has done.
3) Philippians 4:6
Do not be ANXIOUS about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
A- Don’t Worry. It wont help and only makes things worse.
B – Bring it and leave it to God.
4) Isaiah 12:4-5
And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his NAME, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. “Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth.
A- Share it with others, we could use some good news.
B- There is power in the name of Jesus.
5) Hebrews 12:28-29
Therefore, since we receive a KINGDOM which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.
A- What does it mean “We receive a KINGDOM”? Have you received Jesus?
B- What do I do if I have failed God? Ask him for help.
6) Psalm 30:10 - 12
Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me; Lord, be my help.” You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.
A- Let the Lord help.
B- Through prayer problems can become victory.
Stay thankful friends and share good news with the people you come in contact with, we all could use good news for a change.