Speaker: Multiple Speakers Sep 13, 2015 - Nov 22, 2015
Speaker: Dennis Baril Sep 13, 2015
We can look to scriptures to find wisdom about transitions in life. Whether it is a transition in a job, a leader, or family dynamics, transitions can be challenging. One of the greatest transitions in history is the transition from Moses to Joshua.
The book of Deuteronomy is a story of transition. Moses is speaking to the children of Israel reminding them of the story of their 40 years of wandering. Moses goes back through the stories of Israel and reminds them of God’s purpose in every part of the story. Finally, in Chapter 26, Moses tells them if they do the things that God wants them to do, they will be blessed, and if they don’t do them, they will be cursed.
Deuteronomy 1:1-3 (NIV) “These are the words Moses spoke to all Israel in the dessert east of the Jordan…Moses proclaimed to the Israelites all that the Lord had commanded him concerning them.”
Choosing a Successor
Moses was the only leader the people of Israel they had ever known, and now Moses must decide who will be his successor. Moses had two sons, but neither of them came forward as the next leader of Israel. Aaron was Moses’ brother and is a dominate character in this time period, but he wasn’t a viable option for the next leader.
Numbers 20:12 (NIV) “But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.’”
Deuteronomy 10:16 (NIV) “There Aaron died and was buried, and Eleazar his son succeeded him as priest.”
God spoke to Moses face to face, and Moses would bring Joshua with him as he went to meet with God.
Exodus 33:11 (NIV) “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.”
Joshua was a warrior who went out to battle the giants in the land. Joshua pleaded with the people to trust God, even though the hurdles were tough. Joshua demonstrated faith.
Numbers 14:38 (NIV) “Of the men who went to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived.”
The Emotion of Transition
When a leader changes, the people have a lot of anxiety about the unknown. But still, Moses knew his time as leader was coming to an end and he needed to choose a new leader. Moses speaks to Joshua and tells him not to be afraid of the changes he will have to make.
Deuteronomy 31:7-8 (NIV) “The Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, ‘Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their forefathers to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.’”
Moses is fearful about what is going to happen to his people after he steps down. This is a normal fear in any transition situation.
Deuteronomy 31:28-29 (NIV) “Assemble before me all the leaders of your tribes and all your officials, so that I can speak these swords in their hearing and call heaven and earth to testify against them. For I know that after my death you are sure to become utterly corrupt and to turn form the way I have commanded you.”
At the end of chapter 32, Moses finishes his speech, he lays hands on Joshua, and he climbs Mount Nebo to see that land that the Israelites will inhabit, and he dies. Moses knows all that Israel will become and can see the land they will inherit, but he realizes he will never enter this land with them. It was just a necessary for the people to leave Moses as it was for Moses to leave his people.
Deuteronomy 32:48-50 (NIV) “On that same day the Lord told Moses, ‘Go up into the Abarim Range to Mount Nebo in Moab, across from Jericho, and view Cannan, the land I am giving the Israelites as their own possession. There on the mountain that you have climbed you will die and be gathered to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered in his people.”
At the end of Deuteronomy, Joshua takes control of the Israelites and begins his leadership struggles.
Deuteronomy 34:9 (NIV) “Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses.”
Hope For The Future
Joshua 1:1-3 (NIV) “The Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: ‘Moses my servant is dead. Now them, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan river into the land I am about to give to them – to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.’”
Joshua wins some battles, but loses some too. Joshua goes into a major battle without God’s help and he loses the battle. But Joshua fell down and repented before God and the elders followed his lead.
Joshua 7:6 (NIV) “Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell facedown to the ground before the ark of the Lord, remaining there till evening. The elders of Israel did the same, and sprinkled dust on their heads.”
Joshua realizes he needs to get back to the things Moses had taught them.
Joshua 8:35 (NIV) “There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded that Joshua did not read to the whole assembly of Israel, including the women and children, and the aliens who lived among them.”
There will be lots of different emotions surrounding change. But if we remain faithful to God, He will see us through to a new day.
Speaker: Dennis Baril Sep 20, 2015
We are looking at transitions in leadership in the Bible to see what we can learn from them. This morning we are going to look at the transition from Saul to David. Saul was the first king of Israel, and David was the second anointed king of Israel.
Saul started out with greatness, but then became troubled over time. David was chosen by the prophet Samuel to be anointed by God to be the next king when David was just a young boy. Over time, Saul becomes more jealous of David, and Saul’s story shows us the dark side of a leadership transition. But David lived through the persecution from Saul and went to become the greatest ruler of Israel, until Jesus came.
In the book by Gene Edwards, ‘The Tale of Three Kings’, the author discusses Saul, David and his son Absalom. It talks about David’s character and uses scripture to describe David’s relationship with God. This book is not just about leaders, but it is about each one of us, and what we can learn from David.
At the end of Saul’s life, there is a battle going on and Saul’s side is losing. Saul’s son Jonathon dies in the battle, Saul gets wounded and the great king takes his own life.
1 Samuel 31:4-5 (NIV) “Saul said to his armor-bearer, ‘Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and run me through and abuse me.’ But his armor-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it.”
2nd Samuel begins with David getting word that Saul was dead. David doesn’t put on a false lament, but he stops everything and spends a day in mourning for their king. David writes a lament about Saul, David didn’t celebrate Saul’s death, he mourned him.
2 Samuel 1:23-25 (NIV) “’Saul and Jonathan – in life they were loved and gracious, and in death they were not parted. They were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions. O daughters of Israel, weep for Saul, who clothed you in scarlet and finery, who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold. How the mighty have fallen in battle!’”
1 Chronicles 10:13-14 (NIV) “Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord; he did not keep the word of the Lord and even consulted a medium for guidance, and did not inquire of the Lord. So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.”
The book, The Tale of Three Kings, tells us the reality of living humbly before God. We all try to avoid pain, but pain is God’s school, that is what the argument of this book is. Those who dare to live in pain, learn the most.
Speaker: Dennis Baril Sep 27, 2015
As we look at great leadership transitions in the Bible, the transition from Solomon to Rehoboam is very interesting. David decided that Solomon would succeed him as king, even though Solomon had ‘a lot of baggage’. Solomon’s mother was Bathsheba, which was a complicated relationship.
1 Kings 1:28, 30 (NIV) “Then King David said, ‘Call in Bathsheba.’ So she came into the king’s presence and stood before him…’I will surely carry out today what I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel: Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne in my place.’”
Solomon was a different candidate than most people were expecting for their next ruler. But God is part of the appointment of Solomon and is working in his life.
2 Chronicles 1:1 (NIV) “Solomon, son of David, established himself firmly over his kingdom, for the Lord his God was with him and made him exceedingly great.”
King Solomon reigned over all the Promised Land, and built the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem. Solomon followed David’s plan to build the temple.
2 Chronicles 2:1-2 (NIV) “Solomon gave orders to build a temple for the Name of the Lord and a royal palace for himself. He conscripted seventy thousand men as carriers and eighty thousand as stonecutters in the hills and thirty-six hundred as foremen over them.”
Solomon took control and assumed leadership by building on what David had begun. Humility is a rare commodity in a young leader. Solomon was a great king because he was both strong and humble. Anytime you are promoted or asked to do more, you are insecure. When you take a new role, one of things that will make you successful is to say ‘teach me.’
1 Kings 3:7-9 (NIV) “Now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
The temple gets built and Solomon became the wisest and wealthiest men who ever lived.
2 Chronicles 5:1 (NIV) “When all the work Solomon had done for the temple of the Lord was finished, he brought in the things his father David had dedicated…and he placed them in the treasuries of God’s temple. Then Solomon summoned to Jerusalem the elders of Israel, all the heads of the tribes and the chiefs of the Israelite families, to bring up the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Zion, the city of David. “
The first thing Solomon did after completing the temple, he brought in all of the things David had dedicated first. Then he brought in the Ark of the Covenant and gave all the glory to God. Solomon is wise because he honors the past and God.
1 Kings 4:29,34 (NIV) “God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore…Men of all nations came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.”
Because Solomon demonstrated wise and effective leadership, people came from all over to listen to him.
1 Kings 10:23-25 (NIV) “King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart. Year after year, everyone who came brought a gift – articles of silver and gold, robes, weapons and spices, and horses and mules.”
The transition of leadership from David to Solomon was:
So how do you follow Solomon as a leader? David had defeated everything, Solomon had built everything, so how do you follow that?
Rehoboam was the successor to Solomon, but one of the powerful men of the region, Jeroboam, challenged Rehoboam’s authority. Jeroboam wanted Rehoboam to lighten the burden on the people who had helped build Solomon’s temple.
1 Kings 12:4 (NIV) “(Jeroboam) ‘Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.’”
Rehoboam asks his father’s elders how to handle the demands of Jeroboam. The wise elder’s of Solomon told Rehoboam to give some relief to the people. But then Rehoboam consulted with his contemporaries and rejected the advice of the elders. Rehoboam flexed his power by being extra tough, which ultimately resulted in a divided kingdom.
1 Kings 12:6-7 (NIV) “Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. ‘How would you advise me to answer these people?’ he asked. They replied, ‘If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.’”
1 Kings 12:10-11 (NIV) “The young men who had grown up with him replied, ‘Tell these people who have said to you, ‘Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter’ – tell them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.’”
1 Kings 12:13-14 (NIV) “The king answered the people harshly. Rejecting the advice given him by the elders, he followed the advice of the young men.”
Rehoboam was insecure in his leadership, so instead of acting humbly and learning, he ‘powered up’ and showed his strength. This led to a split in the nation of Israel.
1 Kings 12:16 (NIV) “When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, they answered the king: ‘What share do we have in David, what part in Jesse’s son? To you tents, O Israel! Look after your own house, O David!’”
Jeroboam takes the ’10 lost tribes’ of Israel and separates from Judah. The northern kingdom becomes ‘Israel’ and the southern kingdom becomes Judah. This division led to many of the struggles the middle-east still suffers today.
The Divided Kingdom
Israel – 10 Lost Tribes – Jeroboam
Judah – 2 Tribes (Rehoboam)
We can learn a lesson from history. In all transitions there are three converging pressure points: Seasoned Wisdom, New Leadership and Exciting Vision. Seasoned wisdom says ‘we need to consider this’, and have people hear the options. Another side is the young leaders who have vision; well-constructed, this vision can lead to success, ill-constructed this vision can lead to chaos. New leadership can be insecure, so the new leader needs to be humble and learn rather than flex his muscles. These three pressure points often cause the people to choose sides during a transition. How a transition is presented, how it is pursued and the amount of grace given to the leader to become secure will shape the success of a transition.
Speaker: Sean Smith Oct 4, 2015
In a very heartfelt message, Sean Smith shared his thoughts and hopes about how God teaches us that there is purpose in our pain. Whenever we go through something painful, it's vitally important to step as far back as possible to gain a Godly perspective. Too often, we allow the pain to consume ourselves only allowing us to think about our own well-being instead of seeing the big picture of what God is doing right in the midst of our pain. Sometimes, things don't go as planned or don't make sense to us, so it's imperative that we search the Scriptures so we can see our situation through God's Word. As we go through this time of transition, may we keep choosing to step back to gain Godly perspective, cling to God's Word and fight for unity!
Speaker: Multiple Speakers Oct 18, 2015
Over the next five weeks, we are going to go through the five Core Values of our church: connect, grow, serve, reach and worship. As we examine these during our time of transition, both Dennis and Brandon will share their perspective of these values.
When we talk about “Connect”, it is a vertical relationship (between God and us) and horizontal (with each other.) We need to connect with one another because of our faith in God. God created the world so that we could be in relationship with Him and with each other. It is pleasing to God when the church comes together in unity loving him.
Ephesians 1:4-6 (NLT) “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.”
James 1:18 (TLB) “It was a happy day for him when he gave us our new lives through the truth of his Word, and we became, as it were, the first children in his new family.”
Central to the whole idea of Christianity is that we can’t do this life by ourselves. We need Christ to infuse life into us, and that should carry out to our relationships with people. The idea of private faith is an oxymoron. Christ saved you personally, but you are not the only one He saved. A personal relationship with Jesus is good and it satisfies our need for intimacy with God, but it falls short of all that God has planned for his creation. It is impossible to claim to be a follower of Christ and not be in meaningful connection with other Christians.
God creates us with an innate desire to connect with other people. Our desire to connect is huge, but that doesn’t mean we have community. In Acts 16, Paul goes to the city of Philippi to start a church. The first leaders of this new church include Lydia, a rich businesswoman, a prostitutes saved from demon possession and a prison guard. Paul later writes a letter to these founders, encouraging them to build unity as a group.
Philippians 2:1-4 “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
In the story of the paralytic’s friends, Jesus points out the importance of the faith of the group.
Luke 5:17-20 “On one of those days, as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith, he said, ‘Man, your sins are forgiven you.’”
It is nearly impossible to say you are connecting to God in a strong way if you are not connecting with others.
To build community at our church, we use Small Groups to bring people together to connect with God and each other. Small Groups support one another, lift each other up, and love one another. Sin drives us to dependence (where you get your value from another person or thing) or independence (I can do it all myself.) The scriptures teach an inter-dependence, where we are all dead and all need God and each other. Inter-dependence drives us to open our hearts and homes to other people. A Small Group breaks down our presentation of being self-made, it makes us vulnerable.
We find this type of community in different things. We seem to be able to find community through our children sports, our co-workers or our shared interest because this is fairly easy. But sacrificing time for a Small Group to grow in Christ takes effort, it is not part of our daily routine.
If you have friends who believe in Jesus, get together with them and share life with them. This makes for a great Small Group.
It is up to you to respond to God’s call to be in community with other followers.
Speaker: Multiple Speakers Nov 1, 2015
The Core Values are the foundational way of understanding what we are to do as a New Testament Church. The five Core Values are Worship, Connect, Grow, Serve and Reach. Today we are going to focus on Serve.
Christian serving isn’t a requirement or an obligation; it is something we want to do because of our relationship with Christ and with each other. We were made by God to do something.
Ephesians 2:10 (NIV) “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
In the Kingdom of God, doing good works is fulfilling and all of us have a place to serve. Everyone who follows Jesus is called to serve. We use the acronym SHAPE to define how we can serve. Your SHAPE is made up of you Spiritual gifts, Heart Passion, Abilities, Personality and Experiences.
Everything we need to do the work of God in our community is present in our church right now. If we each gave our gift, we could do amazing things.
1 Peter 4:10 (NIV) “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
Right in the beginning of the Bible, (Genesis 1:26-28 and Genesis 2:15-20), we see that God gave Adam a job. Before sin ever existed, God told Adam to help bring order to creation by naming the animals. God didn’t really need Adam’s help naming the animals, but God saw it would be valuable for Adam to participate with Him in the ordering of creation. God is still calling us to help order, or restore order, in His creation today. You are participating in the Kingdom of God when you give your gifts to help reconcile all things back to him.
Serving isn’t just the function of what you do, but it is how you were created because God asks you to have a part in the reconciliation of the kingdom.
We often try to earn our relationship with God by how we act or what we do. We need to make sure our service is founded in the gospel. Pride, compassion or obligation can motivate our service, but our service needs to be founded in the gospel and motivated by the generosity of Christ.
Serving is counter-cultural in our world today. The world tells us to work hard to get ahead and serve ourselves, where Jesus taught us to love our neighbor and serve them least among us.
All of us struggle with the question ‘what is my purpose in life?’ Church is a great place to find out what your SHAPE is and how God wired you to serve. You can learn to serve best of all in the church. There are many ways to help in the church through ‘gathered serving’ and ‘scattered serving.’ Things that happen on Sunday and throughout the week are part of gathered serving, while things that happen outside the church environment is scattered service.
God is asking you to be part of something much bigger than you are. Our job as a church is to empower people in ministry.
Small Groups are another way to discover your gifts and grow closer to Christ, because your group can help you grow and work as a group to serve others. All the love and sense of community experienced in a small group should be moved beyond the group to serve others.
When the value of serve is a lifestyle, it changes your whole life. You begin to understand that you have the gifts and abilities to make a difference in the world. Each one of us is empowered to make a difference, and once we understand that we begin to see the world differently. Serving is the way we live, not just something we do.
Christ calls us to serve and to view the world through a different perspective. Link to Matthew 20:25-28. While the world says we should use our gifts and talents to climb the ladder of success, the Bible tells us we were given gifts and talents to help reconcile God’s kingdom.
Speaker: Multiple Speakers Nov 8, 2015
The core value of Reach means to have mission or be engaged in helping people get reconciled to God and helping people reconcile their relationships.
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.”
Justice in this verse doesn’t mean legal justice or a court decision, it means that all people are equal in God’s eyes and should be treated equally. This requires love and mercy. We do this because we are humbled that God has chosen us to participate in this reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19 (NIV) “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation (making friends): that God was reconciling the world (cosmos) to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message (logos) of reconciliation.”
God loves his whole creation, not just the people, he loves everything he created and he asked us to care for it properly.
Within every human being are four yearnings, according to N. T. Wright:
These yearnings are the echoes of God in our hearts. When we work toward these things we are helping to reconcile the world as God intended.
Matthew 6:10 (NIV) “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
A healthy church lives out all five core values. A healthy church cannot rely on only saving people, serving at church or connecting; a healthy church understands the value of each of the core values in God’s plan for reconciliation.
When God created the world, it was perfect, but then sin entered into the world. Ever since that point, God wants to have us help reconcile the world to what God intended. ‘Reach’ did not need to exist until sin entered the world. As we see in this verse, God has been searching for man ever since sin entered the world.
Genesis 3:8-9 (NIV) “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’”
God is searching for you. You have to follow any desire in your heart to grow closer to God.
Our natural impulse is to pull away from the way God designed things to be and God draws back to that. Mission or Reach is something that exists as part of God’s reconciliation plan.
As the church, we join this as participants in his mission to reconcile all people back to God. The gospel changes are hearts to desire this participation. When we hunger to know God more, we want to reach out to the world. We are participants in this mission to bring people back to God.
John 1:1-5 (NIV) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, (a) and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
What you see in the Bible is a God who is constantly moving toward people. He came to earth to shorten the divide between man and God. When we join in the mission of God, we do the same thing. We see what is wrong in the world and genuinely serve to see death come to life.
We need to believe that the Bible is actually true and what it says matters. When this happens, we allow it to create within us a sense of urgency. We know Christ and have been changed, and we want to world to be changed too.
We believe that Prayer is powerful and can change the world – not just for today but for generations to come. We believe that lives and whole communities are changed forever when we lift up our needs to God in prayer. Please let us know if there is something you would like us to pray for.
(Please specify if this is a private request so it is not distributed on our church-wide e-prayer newsletter)