Speaker: Dennis Baril May 31, 2015 - Jul 12, 2015

Don’t Waste Your Life is a five-week teaching series focused on the five greatest needs in the world.  The resurrection of Jesus teaches us that this life matters so it is time for the audience to be an army, consumers to become contributors, and spectators to become participators on our journey to living a full life.

Don't Waste Your Life

Speaker: Dennis Baril May 31, 2015

Listen Teaching Slides

We are starting a new series today called Don’t Waste Your Life with a message on reconciliation.  How would you answer the question ‘what are the greatest problems in the world from God’s perspective?’  In this series we are going to talk through spiritual emptiness, corrupt leadership, extreme poverty, pandemic disease, and illiteracy and lack of education.  These five problems are all solvable.  The mission of the church is to focus on these problems in the world. 

Reconciliation is defined as ‘the ending of conflict or the renewing of a friendly relationship between disputing groups.’  Making friends, or reconciliation, is about putting things to rights in God’s world.

2 Corinthians 5:16-20 (MSG)  “We don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look.  We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know.  We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore.  Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new.  The old life is gone; a new life burgeons!  Look at it!  All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other.  God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins.  God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing.  We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them.  We’re speaking for Christ himself now:  Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.”

Once we are reconciled to God, we need to work to promote reconciliation in God’s creation.  Our original purpose in Genesis was to care for God’s creation. Today, as we become His disciples, we have the same purpose. As a church one of the things we need to always be aware of is to be reconciled with other churches and other Christians.   As a church, we pursue ways to help people become friends with each other, and friends with God.   We need to promote reconciliation in our homes, in our jobs, in our government, in our churches, and in our world.

Micah tells us that reconciliation is required of us:

Micah 6:8 (NIV)  “He has showed you, O man, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

John 3:16 is a famous salvation verse, but often we miss the first part of this verse.  God loves the world.  Our job is to help restore back God’s purpose in His creation.

John 3:16 (MSG)  “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son.”

Dr. Martin Luther King wrote in Strength to Love:

‘Jesus recognized the need for blending opposites.  He knew that his disciples would face a difficult and hostile world, where they would confront the recalcitrance of political officials and the intransigence of the protectors of the old order.  He knew that they would meet cold and arrogant men whose hearts had been hardened by the long winter of traditionalism.  So he said to them, ‘Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves.’ And he gave them a formula for action, ‘be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.’ It is pretty difficult to imagine a single person having, simultaneously, the characteristics of the serpent and the dove, but this is what Jesus expects.  We must combine the toughness of the serpent and the softness of the dove, a tough mind and a tender heart.’”

Church has a role in society and it has a desperately needed role in culture. When God is removed from the center, that society is on the path way of failure.  Because we are designed by God for his purpose, and when we accept this, and live with God as our true leader, then local churches become the hope of the world.  With Christ as our center, the church can positively impact every life, every organization and every culture in the world. 

We need to work to reconcile the injustice, the corrupt leaders, the economic inequalities, the unnecessary loss of human life, and the inequality in education for God’s people. 

Jesus Christ is the head of the church; he is the author, the cornerstone, the center, the founder, the designer, and the hope of the world. When Christ is for us, who can stand against us?  When we follow Jesus as a church, we can be part of God’s plan to reconcile the world.

 

 

 

Thoughts to Ponder

Micah tells us that reconciliation is required of us. (Micah 6:8)

If the church can find reconciliation among its people, how can we pursue reconciliation in the world?

With Christ as our center, the church can positively impact every life, every organization and every culture in the world. 

“It is pretty difficult to imagine a single person having, simultaneously, the characteristics of the serpent and the dove, but this is what Jesus expects”, Dr. Martin Luther King.

Our mission is to work to reconcile social injustice, corrupt leaders, economic inequalities, unnecessary loss of human life, and inequality in education for God’s people. 

 

 

Speaker: Dennis Baril Jun 7, 2015

Listen Teaching Slides

Last week, we outlined the five giant problems the world faces that God wants us to focus on.  These are spiritual emptiness, egocentric leadership, extreme poverty, disease and illiteracy and poor education. 

When a healthy church looks toward reconciliation and restoration in the world, healthy leaders will come from it. Today’s talk on leadership will focus on the idea that the church must play a part in reconciling the remaining three big problems and we need servant leadership to lead us.  

Corrupt leadership is rampant across the globe and it feeds into the five major problems mentioned earlier.  We have a shortage of godly, unselfish, compassionate leaders in every area of life. Your family, business, church and community are in trouble without servant leaders.

Proverbs 11:14 (NLT)  “Without wise leadership, a nation falls.”

Egocentric leadership creates a culture where the leader believes people are there to serve them.  Jesus teaches us that leaders serve others.

Zechariah 10:2 (TEV)  “The people wander about like lost sheep.  They are in trouble because they have no leader.”

Luke 22:26 (TLB)  “The one who serves you best will be your leader.”

Matthew 20:28 (NIV)  “Even I, the Son of man, came here not to be served but to serve others and to give My life as a ransom for many.”

So what is leadership?  It is not a position, title or based on charisma. A leader is someone you turn to when the emergency strikes. Leadership in its simplest definition is ‘influence.’  A leader can use his influence for good or bad.

5 Characteristic of a Servant Leader

1. Set an Example

Leadership starts with an example; those who live right, lead right.  We have developed a separation between the public life and private life of a leader – this is wrong. If you don’t have a moral base in your private life, you cannot lead others morally. 

John 13:15 (NLT)  “I have given you an example to follow.  Do as I have done to you.”

Paul tells us we are to be examples to others in the way we live our lives.

1 Timothy 4:12 (NLT)  “Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith and your purity.”

2. Show Us How To Do It

A servant leader doesn’t tell you what to do, they show you what to do.  They share principles rather than directions.  

Matthew 4:19 (TLB)  “Come along with Me and I will show you how to fish for the souls of men.”

Godly leaders want to give away their knowledge, skills and insights so others can become better.  Leaders give everything away so others around them can grow and the whole can rise.

2 Timothy 2:2 (MSG)  “Pass on what you heard from me to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others.”

3. Speak the Truth

A servant leader always speaks the truth.  You have to be a person of integrity. 

Jesus says ‘I tell you the truth’ 78 times in the New Testament.  It takes courage to tell the truth, because sometimes it hurts.  Servant leaders are more concerned with hearing and speaking the truth than having people like them.

Proverbs 20:28 (MSG)  “Love and truth form a good leader; sound leadership is founded on loving integrity.”

Ephesians 4:15 (NIV)  “By speaking the truth, in a spirit of love we must grow up in every way to Christ.”

Speaking the truth can be hard, because it often hurts.  Leaders tell the truth.

4. Stretch Our Faith

Jesus constantly stretched people’s faith, because it is the only way to grow.  If you are not challenged, you are not growing.  We all need a challenge in life. 

There are three ways to use your influence to challenge others to stretch their faith: encourage people to face a fear they have, challenge them to do what seems impossible to them, or help them to think bigger.

When you believe, you can accomplish anything.  When a man asked Jesus if he could do something to help his son, Jesus responded:

Mark 9:23 (NIV)  “’What do you mean if I can?’ Jesus asked. ‘Anything is possible if a person believes.’”

5. Sacrifice Their Comfort In Order To Get the Job Done

Why is Jesus Christ the most influential person in history?  Not only did he give up his life, but he gave up being God to become one of us.  He sacrificed everything for us. 

Titus 2:14 (NIV)  “Jesus gave Himself for us so He might pay the price to free us from all evil.”

There is always a price for leadership.  You cannot be a servant leader over anything without sacrifice. 

Hebrews 13:16 (TEV)  “Don’t forget to do good and to help one another. Because these are the sacrifices that please God.”

Jesus told us we must make sacrifices for others.

Matthew 19:29-30 (MSG)  “Anyone who sacrifices home, family, fields – whatever – because of me will get it all back a hundred times over, not to mention the considerable bonus of eternal life.”

The five principles of servant leadership give us a test for every person and every leader.  If a leader demonstrates these traits, they are a leader worth following. 

Servant leadership starts in our own lives. 

Ephesians 4:1 (NLT)  “Lead a life worthy of your calling for you have been called by God.”

 

Thoughts to Ponder

In our culture, we don’t know the difference between celebrities and leaders.  Celebrities are famous for being famous, and are doing it all for themselves.  Leaders are people who do something for others.

We are suffering from having the wrong kind of leaders in the wrong places.  

What do you look for in a leader?  A servant leader sets an example, shows us how to do it, speaks the truth, stretches our faith and sacrifice their comfort in order to get the job done.

Speaker: Dennis Baril Jun 14, 2015

Listen Teaching Slides

This series, Don’t Waste Your Life, is foundational to what we do as a church and how we think about the world.  There are five key problems in the world: spiritual emptiness, egocentric leadership, extreme poverty, pandemic diseases and crippling illiteracy.  God is aware of these problems and injustices in the world, and he gives us the authority and means to help solve these problems.

Today we are going to discuss how to define extreme poverty and how to assist the poor.

Proverbs 11:14 (NLT)  “The righteous care about justice for the poor but the wicked have no such concerns.”

Why is there poverty?  There are internal reasons (poor choice poverty) and external reasons (circumstances.)  We often presume that poverty is due to bad choices made by the individual, but the majority of poverty worldwide is because of circumstances.

Poor Choice Poverty

  • Laziness

When we see someone who is lazy, it is easy to assign laziness as the reason for poverty.  We think, ‘if those people would just get a job…’, but we don’t realize how hard it is to get a job in different parts of the world. 

Job 12:5 (GW)  “A person who has an easy life has no appreciation for misfortune.  He thinks it’s the fate of those who slip up.”

Proverbs 10:4 (NCV) “A lazy person will end up poor.”

Proverbs 28:19 (TEV)  “People who waste time will always be poor.”

  • Foolishness

Proverbs 21:5 (TLB)  “Hasty speculation brings poverty.”

Proverbs 17:18 (MSG)  “It’s stupid to try to get something for nothing, or run up huge bills you can never pay.”

Individuals and even countries can end up in poverty because of foolishness. Trying to get something for nothing is an easy trap to fall into, and foolish choices can lead to poverty.

While poor choices can lead to poverty, the majority of the world doesn’t have the opportunities we have in this country.  What we experience every day is unique in the world and unimaginable to most of the world. The major causes of extreme poverty are much bigger than poor choices.

Major Causes of Extreme Poverty

  • Tragedy

As we saw in our recent economic downturn, tragedies, whether man-made or natural disasters, can lead to poverty in unexpected ways.

Ecclesiastes 9:12 (NLT)  “People can never predict when hard times might come.  Like fish in a net or birds in a snare, people are often caught by sudden tragedy.”

Tragedy is a very real cause of poverty, and often people don’t ever recover from it.

  • Culture

Culture can lead to poverty and the poor have no way to get out of poverty.  For example, the Hindu caste system labels groups of people as untouchables and they will forever be stuck in poverty.  Governments can create cultures that define poverty, as in North Korea or ancient Egypt.  There is also generational cultural poverty; if everyone in your culture has poverty, you probably won’t be able to envision anything besides poverty.

Deuteronomy 26:6 (GW)  “The Egyptians treated us cruelly, oppressed us, and made us do back-breaking work for them.”

Job 7:6 (TLB)  “My life drags by – day after hopeless day.”

Psalm 88:4 (MSG)  “I’m written off as a lost cause, one more statistic, a hopeless case.”

  • Corruption

The world is filled with business, religious and government leaders who are corrupt, crooked and dishonest.  They take bribes and kickbacks, dominate and tyrannize, so people can’t get ahead.

2 Peter 2:19-29 (NLT)  “They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption.  For you are a slave to whatever controls you.”

Galatians 6:8 (ESV)  “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption,”

  • Business of Poverty

The world spends billions and billions of dollars on poverty, and change is too slow, non-existent, or things are getting worse in some places.  How can that be?  The fact is poverty is biggest business in the world.  There is more investment supporting people who work to end poverty, than improvement in the injustice of poverty (see articles in the Insights section of Connections.) ‘Aid without relationship is a failure.’  You have to know the people you are trying to help, or you will be in a power relation with them instead of an empowering relation with them.

Proverbs 30:14 (TEV)  “There are people who take cruel advantage of the poor and needy; that is the way they make their living.”

How Can I Help?

  • Treat Everyone with Dignity

Don’t assume you know why someone is poor.  When you get to know them personally, you may be able to find a way to help them.  Ask the questions, find out their story, never criticize.  There are two sides to every story, take time to find out the other side before you form an opinion. 

Proverbs 22:2 (NLT)  “The rich and poor have this in common: The Lord made them both.”

Because we have wealth and education, we don’t know how to live in poverty. 

Romans 12:16 (NJB)  “Give the same consideration to everyone alike.  Pay no regard to social standing, but meet humble people on their own terms.”

  • Offer Opportunities for Betterment

Galatians 6:10a “When we have the opportunity to help anyone, we should do it.”

Don’t give handouts, offer an opportunity for betterment.  This takes time and effort to figure out how to help.  The best way to help the poor long term is to create opportunities by giving them training, capital, and a way to trade. 

Deuteronomy 15:7-8 (NLT)  “If there are any poor people in your towns when you arrive…do not be hard-hearted or tightfisted toward them.  Instead, be generous and lend them whatever they need.”

  • Fight for Justice (not charity)

Proverbs 31:8-9 (NCV)  “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; defend the rights of all those who have nothing.”

Psalm 82:3-4 (CEV)  “Be fair to the poor and to orphans.  Defend the helpless and everyone in need.  Rescue the weak and homeless from the powerful hands of heartless people.”

Challenging corruption is bringing God’s kingdom to earth.  

Proverbs 21:13 (NLT)  “Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need.”

  • Be Wise and Be Generous

If you have ever thought, ‘someone should do something about that…’, you need to realize that you have the authority to help people.  It is not someone else’s problem, it is every Christ follower’s problem. 

Matthew 10:16 (MSG)  “Stay alert.  This is hazardous work I’m assigning you.  You’re going to be like sheep running through a wolf pack, so don’t call attention to yourselves.  Be as cunning as a snake, inoffensive as a dove.”

1 John 3:18 (TLB)  “Let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions.”

Assisting the poor begins with a small step. When we stop trying to program things or create systems, we become less effective because we haven’t put the work in and built relationships.

 

Thoughts to Ponder

Don’t assume you know why someone is poor.  There are two sides to every story, take time to find out the other side before you form an opinion. 

The world spends billions and billions of dollars on poverty, and change is too slow, non-existent, or things are getting worse in some places.  How can that be?  

Poverty is a mindset that is created out of a set of circumstances, it fosters a culture or hopelessness. 

If you have ever thought, ‘someone should do something about that…’, you need to realize that you have the authority to help people.  It is not someone else’s problem, it is every Christ follower’s problem.

Speaker: Dennis Baril Jun 21, 2015

Listen Teaching Slides

The world faces five big problems: spiritual emptiness, corrupt leadership, intense poverty, pandemic disease and illiteracy.  These five things are windows to view the world and make a difference.  Ordinary people will be empowered by God to make a difference in the world when we tackle these problems together.  The solutions to these problems can be put to use on an individual level, a community level and a global level.

This morning we will talk about caring for the sick.  There is sickness in the world because there is evil in the world, and our bodies wear out over time.  There are different ways to respond to illness: sickness is an illusion/ denial (Hindu response), indifference/refuse that you are sick (Buddhist response), it’s the will of God/fatalism  (Islam response), toughness, grin and bear it (American response), and compassion and care (Biblical/Christian response).

Matthew 14:14 (NIV)  “Jesus had compassion on them and healed their sick.”

How to Care For the Sick

  • Thoughtfulness

Before you can care, you have to be aware of what is going on.  Compassion starts with consideration.  God is aware of us, and He gives us examples of how we should treat others.  

Psalm 106:44 (ICB)  “God saw their misery and heard their cry.”

Psalm 106:44 (TEV)  “…He took notice of their distress.”

You have to make a decision to intentionally notice others.  There are people all around us who feel lonely and sick.

Psalm 142:4 (NLT)  “I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought!  No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me.”

You don’t have to be able to heal someone to take care of them.  It just takes time to be aware and thoughtful.

Matthew 25:36 (NLT)  “I was sick, and you cared for me.”

  • Presence

Be willing to spend time with those who are ill.  Those who are sick often feel alone. 

Psalm 38:11 (CEV)  “Because of my sickness, no friends or neighbors will come near me.”

We can feel afraid of those who are sick because we don’t know what to say or what to do.  All you really have to do is spend some time with them and give them some hope. Get over your fear, visit them, listen to them and pray for them.

We all want to be self-sufficient, and God does give us strength to tackle the problems in our lives.  But as the second part of this verse shows us, we need to support others in their troubles.

Philippians 4:13-14 (GW)  “I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.  Nevertheless, it was kind of you to share my troubles.”

  • Acceptance

Sometimes, when we are sick, we are embarrassed by our sickness or weakness.  But we will all get sick, our bodies break down and wear out.

1 Corinthians 15:43 (TLB)  “The bodies we have now embarrass us, for they become sick and die; but they will be full of glory when we come back to life again.  Yes, they are weak, dying bodies now, but when we live again they will be full of strength.

Hiding only intensifies the hurt.  

Psalm 32:3 (NCV)  “When I kept things to myself, I felt weak deep inside me.  I moaned all day long.”

God wants us to respond to those who are physical, mentally or emotionally ill as the church responded to Paul.

Galatians 4:14 (NIV)  “Even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn.  Instead, you welcomed me…as if I were Christ Jesus himself.”

  • Affirmation

We need to encourage those who are sick.  Don’t allow people to give up prematurely. 

Proverbs 18:14 (TEV)  “Your will to live can sustain you when you are sick, but if you lose it, your hope is gone.”

Proverbs 15:4 (CEV)  “Kind words are good medicine.”

  • Healing

Use the best medicine available.  It is not a lack of faith to use medical knowledge.  Medicine is a gift to us and there are many examples in the Bible of people using the medicine God has given us.

Luke 10:34 (NIV)  “(The Good Samaritan) went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine.  Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him.”

Proverbs 31:6 (ESV)  “Give strong drink to the one who is perishing.”

  • Prevention

We know more about health and preventing illness than most of the world.  Our responsibility is to share our knowledge with others.  God wants us to use preventative measures to stay healthy.  

Proverbs 4:21-22 (NCV)  “Don’t ever forget my words…They are the key to life (and) they bring health to the whole body.”

Two thirds of the laws in the Old Testament are public health laws. Our world is different today, but these laws kept Israel healthy.

Exodus 15:26 (NCV)  “If you obey all My commands and keep My rules, I will not bring on you any of the sicknesses I brought on the Egyptians. 

  • Prayer

Ask God to heal.  

James 5:15 (NLT)  “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.”

Everyone who believes in Jesus Christ is a minister in healing.  Anyone can pray for the sick.  All you have to do is ask God to be with them, watch over them and help those who are caring for them.

James 5:14 (GW)  “If you are sick, call for the church leaders.  Have them pray for you and anoint you with oil in the name of the Lord.”

3 John 1:2 (TLB)  “I am praying that all is well with you and that your body is as healthy as your soul is.”

We can do a lot as Christ followers to help the sick in our church, our community and the world. The Bible shows us we should practice thoughtfulness, presence, acceptance, affirmation, healing, prevention and prayer for those who are ill. This is central to the Kingdom of God. 

 

Thoughts To Ponder

What is your initial reaction in dealing with illness?  What kind of example does Jesus set for us?

You have to make a decision to intentionally notice others.  There are people all around us who feel lonely and sick.

Those who are sick often feel alone. Be willing to spend time with those who are ill.  

Everyone who believes in Jesus Christ is a minister in healing.  Anyone can pray for the sick.  All you have to do is ask God to be with them, watch over them and help those who are caring for them.

The Bible shows us we should practice thoughtfulness, presence, acceptance, affirmation, healing, prevention and prayer for those who are ill.

Speaker: Dennis Baril Jun 28, 2015

Listen Teaching Slides

Ordinary people, empowered by God, can make a difference together, wherever we are.  This is the foundation of our series as we look at the five major problems in the world: spiritual emptiness, corrupt leadership, extreme poverty, pandemic illness and illiteracy.  While we might not be able to fix all the problems in the world, we can make a difference.  God calls us to use our gifts to resolve these problems in our individual lives, in our community and in our world.

Joel 1:3 (NCV)  “Tell your children about these things, then let your children tell their children, and let your grandchildren tell their children.”

God created us to educate the next generation.  Knowledge is not passed down through our genes, we have to teach and educate the next generation. All of us are teachers.  

Isaiah 38:19b (NLT)  “Each generation can make known your faithfulness to the next.”

Foundation of Education

1. Knowledge

Knowledge asks ‘what does someone need to know?’ In our country we feel the next generation needs to know how to read and write, use the internet and many other things.  But in Haiti, the next generation needs to know how to gather food and water.  

Proverbs 16:16 (TEV)  “It’s much better to have wisdom and knowledge than gold and silver.”

Do you believe that being wise and knowledgeable is more important than being rich?  Smart people make a difference, smart people survive.  

Proverbs 10:14 (TEV)  “The wise get all the knowledge they can.”

God says it is wise to gather knowledge.

Proverbs 24:5 (CEV)  “Wisdom bring strength, and knowledge gives power.”

Today, we have so much information coming at us every day, and yet we are starving for wisdom.

Proverbs 15:2 “When wise people speak, they make knowledge attractive” (TEV)  or “A wise teacher makes learning a joy.” (TLB)

Proverbs 1:7 (NCV)  “Knowledge begins with respect for the Lord.”

1 Timothy 6:21 (TLB)  “Some people have missed the most important thing in life – they don’t know God.”

John 17:6  (NCV)  Jesus: I showed what You are like to those You gave Me…”

God is the foundation of our knowledge.  You can have all the degrees and certificates in the world, but without a foundation you will flounder.

2. Perspective

Perspective is learning to see things from God’s point of view.

Isaiah 55:8 (MSG)  “I don’t think the way you think.  And the way you work isn’t the way I work,’ says the Lord.

We need to develop a divine perspective, God says the way to get things is to give, the way to get over hurt is to forgive, the way to be first is to be last. When you have perspective, you can love God and others, you can see things as God sees things.

Luke 18:27 (NLT)  “What is impossible from a human perspective is possible with God.”

Proverbs 2:6 (CEV)  “All wisdom comes from the Lord, and so do common sense and understanding.”

Proverbs 16:20 (GW)  “Whoever gives attention to the Lord’s word prospers.”

Wise people make a difference in our lives.  Invite wise and interesting people into your life.

Proverbs 13:20 (NCV)  “spend time with the wise and you will become wise, but the friends of fools will suffer.”

3. Convictions

An opinion is something you will argue about, a conviction is something you will give your life to.

Romans 14:2 (NAS)  “The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God.”

The people who make the greatest impact on this world are not the wealthiest, the smartest, the royalty, but they have convictions and are willing to fight for them.  Our society’s convictions (simple pleasure, wealth and possessions, prestige, and power) go against God’s convictions.  God says purpose is more important than popularity, people are more important than possessions, and peace is more important than prestige.

Hebrews 11:1 (NAS)  “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

1 Corinthians 16:13 (MSG)  “Hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute.”

1 Thessalonians 1:5 (TEV)  “We brought the good news to you, not with words only, but also with power and the Holy Spirit, and with complete conviction of its truth.”

What are you convicted about?

4. Skills

We have to teach skills to the next generation.  Skills turn knowledge into something I can do.  

Daniel 1:17 (MSG)  “God gave these four young men knowledge and skill in both books and life.”

Ecclesiastes 10:10 (NIV)  “If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill will bring success.”

Skill is practiced and taught.  When you have skills, you can work smarter rather than harder. 

We think every person has a heart and passion for something, and they have the ability to make a difference. Our spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality and experiences all come from God and shape us into who we can be.  We need to help the next generation what their SHAPE is and how to develop that.

Job 10:8 (NIV)  “Your hands shaped me and made me.”

Philippians 4:9 (TLB)  “Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and saw me doing…”

John 17:18 (NIV)  “Jesus: As you sent Me into the world, I have sent them into the world.”

5. Character

We can produce character in others.  Character is what you do when no one is watching.

We have to allow others to learn from failure, that is what builds character. 

Ephesians 4:23-24 (MSG)  “Take on an entirely new way of life – a God fashioned life, renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.”

Galatians 4:19 (TEV)  “Just like a mother in childbirth, I feel the same kind of pain for you until Christ’s nature is formed in you.”

Proverbs 15:14 (NLT)  “A wise person is hungry for truth, while the fool feeds on trash.”

Romans 5:4 (CEV)  “Endurance builds character, which gives us a hope.”

John 17:15 (NLT)  “Jesus: “I’m not asking You to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.”

Much of our time is spent on things that don’t matter.  If you want to make a difference, here is what matters most:

Galatians 5:6 (NIV)  “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”

Knowledge is just the beginning of the education of our next generation.  We also need to give them a Godly perspective, develop convictions, learn skills and build character.  This is true not only for our children, but throughout the world.  This is God’s purpose and God’s calling in our lives.

 

Thoughts To Ponder

What is your responsibility to educate the next generation?

Where is my opportunity to help the next generation grow in knowledge, perspective, convictions, skills and character?

Do you believe that being wise and knowledgeable is more important than being rich?  Smart people make a difference, smart people survive.  

Consider the people you invite into your home, even the voices that speak to you and your family through TV, the internet, Facebook.  Are you being influenced by wise voices, or wasting time with fools?

Our society’s convictions (simple pleasure, wealth and possessions, prestige, and power) go against God’s convictions.  God says purpose is more important than popularity, people are more important than possessions, and peace is more important than prestige.

Wise people make a difference in our lives.  Invite wise and interesting people into your life.

Speaker: Dennis Baril Jul 12, 2015

Listen Teaching Slides

It is our responsibility to care about spiritual emptiness, corrupt leadership, extreme poverty, pandemic disease and illiteracy. We are the CHURCH; this means we are the “called out ones.” We have a mission and a purpose founded in Scripture and it is part of God’s final redemptive plan. As part of the Church, we are here to help put the world back to rights as part of God’s divine rescue plan. This is exciting to anyone who is a Christ follower because every day we wake up with a purpose that is bigger than ourselves and we get the privilege to participate together as a local church. 

Matthew 16:18 (Jesus) I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. 

It’s a given that in God’s sovereignty, He will build His Church come what may – the real question is whether or not we will join Him in His mission. 

Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. 

Micah makes it very clear what we should be doing as The Church, but are we being the voice and the feet to which God has called us in our day and age. God has each of us here and now for a reason and it’s up to us to play our part. 

Over the years we have found it quite helpful to think through the role of our local church through a diagram that we call the Town Square Model. The Town Square consists of Commerce (banking), Town Hall (government), Social Sector (education, healthcare, profit, non-profit organizations, etc), and The Church. Each of these has their role to play and when all four are working well together then the society as a whole should reflect health. Commerce is responsible for creating prosperity through reinvestment, creating wealth (GDP) and creating jobs through managing money and capital. The Town Hall maintains security, establishes and enforces laws of commerce & social responsibility, develops and maintains infrastructure (roads, public health, etc.), and collects taxes. The Social Sector includes for profit, non-profit NGO’s, and governmental organizations which are in place to provide care and development of “the other” through education, health care, and caring for basic unmet needs. 

What has happened over the years is that the voice of the Church has gotten more and more quiet, and thus, has become less influential into all the other parts of the Town Square. The values of compassion, justice, forgiveness, and love, to name a few, have become silent in the Town Square. Unfortunately, when these values are not upheld, we see the negative consequences in our society. The Church stands on the Two Great Commandments given to us in Scripture.

Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

The first commandment is the focus within the church and the second commandment focuses in the Town Square. 

Dallas Willard, author of “Divine Conspiracy” wrote: 
“When individuals work together in dedicated, loving, and sacrificial service to God and His kingdom, their efforts will shine in such a way that all will see their benefits; it will be impossible to hide the effects…this is the sacred calling of servant leadership in the Scriptures.” 

This is what we’re called to be and do. The Church truly is the hope of the world when it is working well. We must become an active participant in the Town Square once again so that biblical values permeate the other sectors. The way in which the kingdom of God will advance is when we change the conversation in the community about both, church and God. One of the primary reasons why people are giving up on church is because many folks have made the gospel as “only” being about “my personal salvation” instead of realizing the importance of bringing the church and its values into our community and world. As rescued rescuers, we are called to be the light of the world because this is the message and teaching of Jesus Christ. As kingdom citizens we must influence the Town Square through our lives and values. 

Matthew 5:14-16 You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. 

When we engage in reconciliation, servant leadership, assisting the poor, caring for the sick, and educating the next generation, then we are being The Church and fulfilling its mission. Let’s do our part and live a life filled with love for God and others!

 

Thoughts to Ponder

What does it mean to you to be a Rescued Rescuer?

How can you live out the two Great Commandments of Scripture in your every day life?

What do you think about the Town Square Model and our need to change the conversation about the church and God?

 

 

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