Speaker: Multiple Speakers Jul 19, 2015 - Aug 30, 2015

The Grace To Teach

Speaker: Dennis Baril Jul 19, 2015

Listen Teaching Slides

In our new series, The Grace to Teach, Pastor Dennis will explore some things about God that he hasn’t had the grace to preach about until now. This morning, we will look at a story of God’s grace, and what happened when someone violated God’s grace.  

Finding God’s grace is elusive at times.  You may feel you are moving in God’s grace, but over time start to doubt God’s grace and lean on your own understanding.  Sometimes this detour is repairable, sometimes you have to start over. 

In this story about Moses from Exodus, shows us how to lead others while following God’s spirit. After the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, the people were anxious and uncertain and Moses was a young leader, dependent on God. Moses knows they are heading to the Promised Land, but he doesn’t even know where that is. Moses leads them to a place directed by God, the people are settling in, and then realized they didn’t have water. 

Exodus 17:3 (MSG) “The people were thirsty for water there.  They complained to Moses, ‘Why did you take is from Egypt and drag us out here with our children and animals to die of thirst?’”

The people are upset and want to return to Egypt.  Moses knows that this attitude is testing God, so he asks God what to do next. 

Exodus 17  “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Walk out in front of the people.  Take your staff, the one you used when you struck the water of the Nile, and call some of the elders of Israel to join you.  I will stand before you on the rock at Mount Sinai.  Strike the rock, and water will come gushing out.  Then the people will be able to drink.’ So Moses struck the rock as he was told, and water gushed out as the elders looked on.  Moses named the place Massah (which means ‘test’) and Meribah (which means ‘arguing’.)”

After Moses was faithful in this act, he started getting the body of law found in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers.  God spoke to Moses face to face and gave him the laws. God wants to give each one of us all we need and what we are graced to do. As a church, God wants to give us everything we need to do what we are called to do.

Eventually, Moses learns that the Promised Land is only a few days journey.  The people send 12 spies out to check out the land, testing things out before they venture out. The spies come back with great reports about the land, but it is inhabited by large people.  Eleven of the twelve spies said the Israelites could never conquer this land.  God hears them grumbling, but Moses prays that God would overlook their grumbling. 

Numbers 14:20-23 (MSG)  “God said, ‘I forgive them, honoring your words. But as I live and as the glory of God fills the whole Earth – not a single person of those who saw my Glory, saw the miracle signs I did in Egypt and the wilderness, and who have tested me over and over and over again, turning a deaf ear to me – not one of them will set eyes on the land I so solemnly promised to their ancestors.  No one who has treated me with such repeated contempt will see it.”

God had shown the Israelites miracle after miracle and still they complained and did it their own way.  God had had enough of the Israelites grumbling.  So what should have been a few days journey, turned into 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, because they wouldn’t learn what God wanted to teach them. During this wandering period, they have no water and they start to complain to God and Moses again. 

Numbers 20:2-3 (NLT)  “There was no water for the people to drink at that place, so they rebelled against Moses and Aaron.”

This time God instructed Moses to take the whole community to witness the miracle of water.  Rather than hit the rock, this time God commanded Moses to speak to the rock.  But Moses was mad and frustrated and he hits the rock instead of speaking to it. When he hit the rock, water came out.  That is God showing grace for his people. Even though Moses didn’t do what he was told, God still honored God’s people.

Numbers 20:7-12 (NIV)  “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together.  Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water.  You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink. So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him.  He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, ‘Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?’ Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff.  Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. 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.’”

Sometimes, when everyone is telling you that you did a great job, you are the only one who knows you didn’t know what God told you to do. 

Through the rest of the book of numbers, God tells Moses how to divide the land of Canaan, even though Moses isn’t going into Canaan.  

There are three things that our church may have hit the rock when we should have spoken to the rock.  Over the next three weeks, Dennis will talk about some things that God has given him grace to talk about when we hit the rock. The three areas where we may have hit the rock are God’s empowering presence, the ability to talk about money, and the authority of the Eldership.  

If God tells you to speak to the rock, don’t hit the rock!

 

 

 

Thoughts to Ponder

Whenever you have the grace to move forward, there is always a giant in the way.  Will you trust God or won’t you?

Sometimes, when everyone is telling you that you did a great job, you are the only one who knows you didn’t know what God told you to do. 

Without an understanding of how the Holy Spirit is working in our lives and in our church, we will not be able to fulfill all that God wants to do through us.

We need to understand not how to give to the church, but what money means when used in God’s hands. 

If God tells you to speak to the rock, don’t hit the rock!

Speaker: Dennis Baril Jul 26, 2015

Listen Teaching Slides

As Christ followers we have this amazing gift available to every one of us – it’s called the Holy Spirit. This is a gift from God to all those who have said YES to living this life surrendered to God and His ways. The Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity and is a PERSON. Just as God is the Father, and Jesus Christ is the Son, the Holy Spirit is also a person – the third person of the trinity. 

The Holy Spirit is God Himself
The Holy Spirit is not an IT or The Divine or simply spirit. No, the Holy Spirit is a person. This person comforts us, leads us, guides us, empowers us, and helps us to become more like God.

2 Corinthians 3:8 says, “All of us, then, reflect the glory of the Lord; and that same glory, coming from the Lord, who is the Spirit, transforms us into his likeness in an ever greater degree of glory.”

It’s difficult to describe the Holy Spirit because you can’t see an actual person, but its role is very clear – “to transform us into HIS likeness in an ever greater degree of glory.” This is exciting! We have God Himself living within us or “tabernacling” in us empowering us to become more and more like Him in all we do and say. 

The early writers had trouble describing the Holy Spirit so they used metaphors to try and explain what they were witnessing. 

Acts 2:1-3 “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.” 

Although it may be difficult, even today to describe the Holy Spirit, it’s important to see the Holy Spirit as a person. A person who is here to help me; he’s my friend, leader and mentor who is in my life to help me live this one life more fully for God. 

Acts 17:27-28 “He is not far from any of us: We live in him. We walk in him. We are in him.”

The Holy Spirit is God’s Presence
This is the amazing truth about the Holy Spirit and our relationship with Him. We are never alone. We always have access to His wisdom. We can always be empowered by the same spirit who raised Jesus from the dead. This is the person of the Holy Spirit who lives within us.

1 Corinthians 3:16 “Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?”

What an amazing truth! This reveals a very real question for each of us to wrestle with. Do I live my life with the reality that I’m in control and can go it alone or do I live my life convinced that it’s ONLY with God’s Presence that allows me to live the abundant life? 

The truest sign of God’s presence in our lives is the fruit of the Spirit and whether or not we are growing in our love for God and neighbor. The fruit of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. When these are evident, we can be sure that we are in God’s presence.

The Holy Spirit is God’s EMPOWERING Presence
He is not THE FORCE, but He does empower us to do His will and purpose. This is what gives our lives significance and makes life in Christ the Great Adventure. God wants to use us to build His kingdom and to impact those around us with His love. But, at the same time, God’s Empowering Presence can be painful and help us through the pain. God will prune us/discipline those He loves, which can be a painful process, but it’s through the Holy Spirit that this is done with love and we will become more like Christ if we allow this work to be done in our lives. Also, the Holy Spirit helps us endure painful circumstances with joy filled hearts. This is a mystery to me but I believe it to be true. This is some of God’s best work, and it’s in His Empowering presence where this is possible.

Colossians 1:11 “We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father.”

 

Thoughts to Ponder

What do you think about the Holy Spirit being a PERSON? Have you ever thought about this? If not, how does it change how you think about the Holy Spirit in your life?

When you think about the reality that God’s presence is within you, how does this impact your life?

Have you ever thought of the Holy Spirit as an IT or The Divine? How is this different than thinking of him as the third person of the trinity?

How has the Holy Spirit, as God’s Empowering Presence, been realized in your life?

Speaker: Dennis Baril Aug 2, 2015

Listen Teaching Slides

Speaking about money in church is a sensitive topic.  The church needs money to fulfill its mission and meet its needs, but the leadership doesn’t want to make it all about the money.  If we remember that ‘Every good thing we have comes from God’, then it is much easier to think about how we use our money.

Psalm 24:1-2 (TLB)  “The earth belongs to God!  Everything in all the world is his!  He is the one who pushed the oceans back to let dry land appear.”

1 Corinthians 4:7 (TLB)  “What do you have that God hasn’t given you?  And if all you have is from God, why act as though you are so great, and as though you have accomplished something on your own?”

There are Biblical promises that we can rely on.  One promise is that God provides and responds to offerings with blessings.

Malachi 3:10 (NLT)  “’Bring all the tithes (offering) into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple.  If you do’, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, ‘I will open the windows of heaven for you.  I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in!  Try it!  Put me to the test!’”

2 Corinthians 9:7-8 (NLT)  “You must each decide in your heart how much to give.  And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure.  ‘For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.’  And God will generously provide all you need.  Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others

The Bible also gives us direction on how to use our money.  God directs us to give to His work and to those in need.  The Bible directs us to support the mission of the church and the poor.

Deuteronomy 15:10 (NLT)  “Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.  There will always be some in the land who are poor.  That is why I am commanding you to share freely with the poor.”

Deuteronomy 26:1-3 (NLT)  “When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you as a special possession and you have conquered it and settled there, put some of the first produce from each crop you harvest into a basket and bring it to the designated place of worship – the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to be honored.”

The Bible even tells us how much to give to the church and others.  God wants us to keep far more than He asks us to give.

Genesis 14:18-20 (TLB)  “Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High, brought Abram some bread and wine.  Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing: “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.  And blesses be God Most High, who has defeated your enemies for you.”  Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the good she had recovered.”

Acts 20:35 (NIV0  “I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard.  You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus:  ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

The Bible also instructs us how to give: with humility and thanksgiving (remember, it all came from God.)

Matthew 6:3-4 (NLT)  “When you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.  Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”

Mark 12:41-44 (NLT)  “Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money.  Many rich people put in large amounts.  Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins.  Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions.  For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.’”

Speaker: Multiple Speakers Aug 9, 2015

Listen Teaching Slides

The governance of the church is prevalent throughout the entire Bible.  A church is simply a gathering of believers in Jesus Christ who form a community to worship and do the work of God here on earth.  As soon as this community of believers forms, there must be some type of governance to direct this group.  Governance of the church means ‘how will the church make decisions?’, ‘what are the beliefs of the church?’, ‘how does it use its resources?’, ‘what are the rules of the community?’

The Bible is not very clear on this subject, but it upholds certain principles of good governance.  The Bible makes it clear that good governance is vital to a church, but it leaves the process up to the individual churches.

Many denominations (Congregational, Presbyterian, Methodist) have common forms of governance.  As some churches began to develop in the boomer generation, many non-denominational churches began to form their own style of governance.  

Our church is governed with a body of elders from our local roots.  Being governed by Elders is a rich tradition as we see throughout the Bible. The elders are there to anoint and support the leader.  

Exodus 3:16 (NIV)  “Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord, the god or your fathers – the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt.”

Deuteronomy 31:28 (TLB)  “Now summon all the elders and officers of your tribes of that I can speak to them,”

Joshua 7:6 (TLB)  “Joshua and the elders of Israel tore their clothing and lay prostrate before the Ark of the Lord until evening, with dust on their heads.”

1 Samuel 8:4-5 (NIV)  “So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah.  They said to him, ‘You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.”

2 Samuel 5:3 (NIV)  “When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a compact with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel.”

Isaiah 314 (NIV)  “the Lord enters into judgment against the elders and leaders of his people:  ‘It is you who have ruined my vineyard; the plunder from the poor is in your houses.”

In the New Testament, we start to get some idea of how the elder will work in the new church.  Paul tries to tell us how it will work in the New Testament church.

Luke 7:3-4 (NIV)  “The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant.”

Paul tries to tell us how it will work in the New Testament church.

Titus 1:7 (MSG)  “As you select Elders, ask, ‘Is this man (woman) well-thought-of?  Are his (her) children believers?  Do they respect him (her) and stay out of trouble?’  It’s important that a church leader, responsible for the affairs in God’s house, be looked up to – not pushy, not short tempered, not a drunk, not a bully, not money-hungry.”

Hebrews 13:17 (NKJV)  “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account.  Let them do so with joy and not with grief,”

1 Timothy 5:17 (NIV)  “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.”

1 Timothy 4:14 (NIV)  “Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.”

1 Timothy 5:19 (NKJV)  “Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.”

Revelation 19:4 (NIV)  “The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne.  And they cried: ‘Amen, Hallehujah!’”

Elders have a really high calling and really tough calling.  God never intended the church to be un-governed.  

The government of the United States gets their power because the people give them that right through our votes, then they follow the law.  A corporate board of directors get their authority through the shareholders and govern by finances.  The Elders of a church get their authority to govern by surrendering to God and following His will.

When the Elders have it right, there is no greater place to be.

Speaker: Multiple Speakers Aug 16, 2015

Listen Teaching Slides

We began talking about the Holy Spirit at the beginning of this series, and today we are going to go deeper into this subject.  The Holy Spirit is a person, not a thing.  When the Holy Spirit comes in us, he guides and counsels us on how to live our lives. 

Most of us have had moments when we feel God’s presence intensely.  This is the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit comes into our lives to give us power to do God’s work. We can choose to push the Holy Spirit away, or to listen and respond.  

Denominations have been created and shaped by ‘the truth’ about God.  We believe that God is revealed in the narrative of the Bible, leaving us to interpret the truth based on the narrative. When you ask ‘what are you saying to me, God?’, rather than ‘God declared….’, you may be able to better understand what God wants from you.

There are many keys verses in the Bible that gives us some understanding of the Holy Spirit. 

Jesus tried to explain the Holy Spirit to his disciples…

John 14:16 (NIV)  “(Jesus) I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth.”

John 14:20 (NIV)  “(Jesus) On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”

John 16:13 (NIV)  “(Jesus) When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.”

After Jesus is risen from the dead he gives them the Holy Spirit and continues to try to explain the Holy Spirit to his disciples…

John 20:21-23 (NIV)  “Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you!  As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’  And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘receive the Holy Spirit.”

There is one other time when God breathes on people:

Genesis 2:7 (NIV)  “The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

Jesus tells the disciples they will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.

Acts 1:5 (NIV) “(Jesus) ‘For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’”

Acts 1:8 (NIV)  “(Jesus) ‘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.’”

If the disciples weren’t confused already, then the day of Pentecost came and they were given a special gift of tongues to reach all the people of the earth with the message of Jesus.

Acts 2:1-4 (NIV)  “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.  Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”

Peter speaks up and tells people they can receive the Holy Spirit by repenting and being baptized.  

Acts 2:38 (NIV)  “Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, In the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Acts 4:8 (NIV)  “Then Peter, filled with the Holy spirit, said to them: ‘rulers and elders of the people!’”

Acts 4:31 (NIV)  “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”

We can accept or deny the Holy Spirit when he comes upon us as Stephen shares with his accusers:

Acts 7:51 (NIV)  “(Stephen) ‘You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears!  You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!’”

But we also learn that everyone can follow Jesus and accept the Holy Spirit:

Acts 8:15-17 (NIV)  “When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.  Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.”

Acts 9:17-19 (NIV)  “Then Ananias went to the house and entered it.  Placing his hands on Saul, he said, ‘brother Saul, the Lord-Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here – has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again.  He got up and was baptized.”

Acts 10:44-46 (NIV)  “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.  The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles.  For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.”

Acts 10:47 (NIV)  “Then Peter said, ‘Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water?  They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.’”

There is much confusion about certain spiritual gifts (such as speaking in tongues or prophesying.) God gives us all gifts and the purpose of those gifts (speaking in tongues, prophesying) is to be used in love to further God’s Kingdom, not for personal credit. 

The purpose of the Holy Spirit in our lives is that we would be able to live in emulation of Jesus.  Some believe we are filled with the Holy Spirit when we accept Jesus as our savior, some believe it is when we fulfill a certain process.  The argument between how we receive the Holy Spirit has caused us to diminish the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We need God’s spirit as his people.

Speaker: Brandon Lemois Aug 23, 2015

Listen Teaching Slides

Every one of us is a leader and we are all also followers. We don’t always know if we are giving good leadership or receiving good leadership.  But the Bible tells us how to be good leaders.  In Ezekiel 13 & 14, the prophet Ezekiel speaks for God and reprimands the leaders of Israel and tells them how to be better leaders.  We can learn how to be Godly leaders and how to be lead in a way that is Godly as well.

Ezekiel 13:1-3  “The word of the Lord came to me: Son of Man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel, who are prophesying, and say to those who prophesy from their own hearts: ‘Hear the word of the Lord!’  Thus says the Lord God, Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing.”

Ezekiel is calling the leaders to say ‘You say that you have the word of God, but you don’t.’  In the time of the most uncertain times, the Israelites forgot that God’s wisdom outweighs their imagination.  They tried to lead from their own minds instead of following God’s wisdom.

God’s WISDOM outweighs My IMAGINATION

1st Questions to Ask: Am I addressing problems? (Ez 13.5-14)

‘Don’t Ignore Problems.’

Ezekiel 13.5 “You have not gone up into the breaches, or built up a wall for the house of Israel, that it might stand in battle in the day of the Lord.”

When you ignore problems, they just get bigger and bigger, and then when disaster strikes, it will crumble.

Be Honest About Your Problems

Ezekiel 13.10-11  “Precisely because they have misled my people saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, and because, when the people build a wall, these prophets smear it with whitewash, say to those who smear it with whitewash that it will fall!”

We are uncomfortable when things in our lives do not look perfect. God can see through the whitewash we use to cover up our problems, and they will eventually be exposed.  

We need to build a community where we can be honest about our problems, so we can build each other up.

Covering Problems Up Makes Them Worse

Ezekiel 13.14 “I will break down the wall that you have smeared with whitewash, and bring it down to the ground, so that is foundation will be laid bare.”

As leaders, we need to address problems.

Here are some healthy ways to address problems:

  1. Stop ignoring what you know to be true
  2. Have the conversation you keep talking yourself out of
  3. Be completely transparent and receive feedback

2nd Question to Ask: Am I Being Myself? (13.20-21)

Ezekiel 13.20-21 “I am against your magic bands with which you hunt souls like birds, and I will tear them from your arms and I will let the souls whom you hunt go free.  Your veils also I will tear off and deliver my people out of your hand and they shall be nor more in your hand as prey.”

As leaders, we often try to just keep performing so our results mask what is going on.  If your integrity is not in line, everything behind you will suffer.  Are you being yourself?  What magic are you trying to perform in front of people right now to hide your true self?

One of the most helpful things in this is to know yourself well.  If you are receiving constructive criticism from people who care about you …listen.

Here are some ways to tear off veils of deceit:

  1. Name your strengths and weaknesses
  2. Stop denying clear feedback
  3. View criticism as a valuable source of information

3rd Question to Ask: What Is My Heart Captured By? (14.1-5)

Ezekiel 14.1-5 “Some of the elders have taken their idols into their hearts and set the stumbling block of their iniquity before their faces.  Should I indeed let myself be consulted by them?  Therefore speak to them and say, ‘[If these men come to you] I the Lord will answer him as he comes with the multitude of his idols that I may lay hold of the hearts of the house of Israel who are all estranged from me through their idols.”

Sometimes when we hear hard things or we are in tough spots, the reason is so Jesus can get hold of our hearts.  When we trust in things other than Christ, whether it be praise, fame, internal satisfaction, you will never become the person you want to be without surrendering your life to Jesus Christ. 

Romans 1.21-23  “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or given thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Claiming to be wise, they become fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man.”

They claimed to be wise, but became fools.  The problem is that we look toward things as God that aren’t God.  Our heart is made to look for fulfillment from God, but we often fulfill this desire with other things.

C.S. Lewis says, ‘It would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak.  We are half-hearted creatures fooling about with drinking and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the seat.  We are far too easily pleased.’

We spend all of our time desiring the immediate rewards in this world, when Jesus wants us to desire him.  There are leaders in the Bible who talk about God with passion and desire:

Moses: ‘Show me your glory.’ (Ex 33.18

David: ‘My soul pants for you, my God’ (Ps 42.1)

Paul: ‘I want to know Christ…’ (Phil 3.10)

Do you talk like this about Jesus?

Ways to let Jesus capture your heart:

  1.  Are your aspirations the same as Christ’s?
  2. Set time aside to ‘Get to Know Jesus’ by reading scripture and praying
  3. Learn from others in a Small Group

4th Question to Ask:Do I Practice Confession and Repentance? (14.6-11)

Ezekiel 14.6,11  “Therefore say to the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Repent!  Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices… Then the people of Israel will no longer stray from me, nor will they defile themselves anymore with all their sins.  They will be my people and I will be their God, declares the Sovereign Lord.”

God wants us to repent and confess not to make us feel badly, but so that He can lay hold of our heart. God wants us to ‘return (shuv)’ to God’s design for our life.  Repentance isn’t so much about focusing on the sin, but on focusing on our savior.  It is more about returning to the savior, rather than stopping a certain behavior.

James 4.8-10 “Come close to God and God will come close to you.  Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.  Let there be tears for what you have done.  Let there be sorrow and deep grief.  Let there be sadness instead of laughter; and gloom instead of joy.  Humble yourself before the Lord and he will lift you up in honor.”

Ways to Confess and Repent:

  1. Say I am sorry and don’t qualify your action
  2. Own your sin personally and don’t try to excuse it
  3. Come close to God

Be good leaders.  Be good followers.  Address problems.  Be Yourself.  Have your heart captured by Christ.  Confess and Return to God’s design for your life.

 

 

 

 

Speaker: Sean Smith Aug 30, 2015

Listen Teaching Slides

1. Leaders Do What’s In Front of Them

Leaders trust in God, rather than working toward what we think is next.  We always tend to think the grass is greener, instead of tending to our own grass and making it greener.  When we are searching for the next thing, we want to play God, instead of being faithful with what God has given us now.  God uses the moments in our life to prepare us for what is next. Sometimes we want to get to the next step so fast, we miss the lessons God is trying to teach us right now.

We are right where God wants us to be right now.  Do you believe that God has a special place and purpose for our life?  

The story of David illustrates some key leadership guidelines.  Samuel was establishing a kingship for Israel, and God has chosen Samuel to rise up a king in Saul.  Saul was anointed by God to lead Israel and God’s favor was on Saul.  Saul had it all, if he would just remain faithful to God’s instructions.  But Saul did not follow God’s instructions. 

1 Samuel 13:13-14 (NIV)  “’You have done a foolish thing,’ Samuel said.  ‘You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time.  But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.’”

God sought a man after his own heart, and that man was David. 

1 Samuel 16:10-13 (NIV)  “Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, ‘The Lord has not chosen these.’  So he asked Jesse, ‘Are these all the sons you have?’  ‘There is still the youngest,’ Jesse answered.  ‘He is tending the sheep.’  Samuel said, ‘Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.’ So he sent for him and had him brought in.  He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.  Then the Lord said, ‘Rise and anoint him; this is the one.’ So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David.”

Sometimes, the trivial and mundane task is what God wants you to work on.  If you are faithful in the small things, you can be trusted with larger things.  David had spent years tending the sheep, protecting and guiding them, and this is how God prepared him for the task of slaying Goliath.

1 Samuel 17:34-37 (NIV)  “But David said to Saul, ‘Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth.  When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will recue me from the hand of this Philistine.’ Saul said to David, ‘go, and the Lord be with you.’”

David had learned how to battle lions and bears, which gave him the courage and faith to go up against the giant.  What is the lion or bear that you are facing now?  What do you need to be faithful in right now?

2. Leaders Have A Steely Determination

Leaders are willing to get back up again and again.  David took five stones with him to challenge Goliath, because he knew it might take more than one shot to be victorious.

As leaders, we need to keep standing in the face of the enemy and not give up. We have to have more than just blind faith, we need to come prepared to fight with faith.  We need to keep getting up and fighting.

1 Samuel 17:40 (NIV)  “Then David took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and , with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.”

In 1 Samuel 17:41-49 (NIV), David, a young boy, challenged Goliath, who simply laughs at him.  But David came at Goliath with everything he had, and didn’t give up.  David stands up to Goliath’s taunts and at the same time inspired the Israel army to get in the fight.  David strikes Goliath with one stone from his slingshot and slays him.

3. Leaders Love Deeply

In 1 Samuel 18, Saul begins to get jealous of David, because he had been more successful in battle than Saul.  David ends up fleeing to a cave to hide from Saul. David went from a military victor to running around like a criminal.

David cries out to God, and doesn’t ask for an army or victory, he simply wants to praise God.  

Psalm 142:1-7 (NIV)  “I cry out to the LORD with my voice; with my voice to the LORD I make my request.  I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble.  When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then You knew my path. In the way in which I walk they have secretly set a snare for me.  Look on my right hand and see, for there is no one who acknowledges me; refuge has failed me; no one cares for my soul.  I cry to you, Lord; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living. Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.  Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name.  Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.’”

David ends up gathering an army of 400 desperate men, not the elite military men needed to defeat a king.  

4. Leaders Create A Sense of Meaning

David gives his men a mission in 1 Samuel 22:1-2 (NIV).  God was shaping David’s heart in this time for the kingship that God had in David’s future.  David teaches his men to love one another and honor God in their fight.  David honors Saul because Saul has been anointed by God, even though Saul ran him out of town.  Saul gives his men the mission to be part of the army of God which will set the Israelites free.

With God you have a purpose, to bring His kingdom here and now.  The scriptures say very simply, ‘love never fails’ and ‘love covers over a multitude of sins.’  Loving those in your life are the gifts from God, and he will use the lessons you learn through these people to prepare you for what lies ahead.  

Leaders do what’s in front of them, they have a steely determination, love deeply and create a sense of meaning.

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