Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Are You a Disciple?

What does it mean to be a disciple of something?
Adherent, follower, pupil…adherent means a follower of a leader, party, or profession.
Act 11:26...Christian/Disciple same thing.
Luke 14:25-27 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. 27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
Jesus didn’t command the disciples to go and make Christians. He commanded to go and make disciples…Matt 28:18-20…
What does it mean to deny ourselves and carry our cross?
What does it mean if we cannot be or we are not His disciples? Not saved. Not going to heaven.
John 14:15-24 “If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”
22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”
23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
We are called to be disciples of Jesus. If we are not than we don’t know God and therefore we aren’t alive (not saved, not going to heaven).
We need to not just know what is right and wrong, we have to do it. The standard is dying to ourselves and being like Christ.
Matt 10:37-39 “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Responses of the Heart

- We make common reactions to similar events.
- What are some common reactions we make to: tripping?, getting dumped, scoring a winning goal?, acing a test, Wedding Day(some cry, some get cold feet), death.
- We make similar reactions to varying events.
Mark 4:1-9 Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water's edge. 2He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: 3"Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times."
9Then Jesus said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
- Let’s describe the different soils…path-hard, rocky-shallow, weeds-cluddered, good soil-soft and receptive.
- Vs. 9 – “those who have ears…” – why say it? People don’t have to listen. Those that have humility.
Mark 4:10-20 10When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11He told them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12so that,
" 'they may be ever seeing but never perceiving,
and ever hearing but never understanding;
otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!'[a]"
13Then Jesus said to them, "Don't you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14The farmer sows the word. 15Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown."
- Vs. 10-12 – God wants only the right kind of hearts in heaven.
- Vs. 13-14 – lets look at the common reactions of the heart to the word of God.

1. Hard heart :
- Vs. 15
Hebrews 3:12-14 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. 14We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.
o there is a way to change a hard heart, got to recognize it and then surround yourself with the right kind of people.

2. Shallow heart:
- What makes a shallow heart shallow?
o No conviction.
- What are things that make a heart shallow?
o Not wanting to get real, or have to deal with our lives.
o Not wanting to do the work to build conviction.

3. Distracted heart:
- Vs. 18-19 – weeds choke out the word.
- What are some of the most enjoyable aspects of life? What are the things that you enjoy more than any other thing? These are not bad things. However, if used improperly these things could be the things that prevent us from loving Jesus.
o What are some of the most important things in your life?(school, family, etc…)
o Lk 14:25-27 – HATE

4. Good /soft heart:
- Vs. 20 – The good heart hears, accepts, and produces fruit.
- Why do you think Jesus tells the 4 different types of reactions possible with the word?
o So we can choose to be the right soil.
o Being the good soil is a choice, make the right choice, and study the bible.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hating Sin---Feel the Pain

1 Pet 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.
God made us in His image. We feel pain because He feels pain. When it comes to the cross…Feel the pain! Our sin hurts God. This truth we must feel before we can be saved and we must continue to feel even more convicted to remain saved.
• Have you ever had someone take advantage of you and use you? Remember the pain? Now feel God’s pain!
• Did you ever have a friend who turned on you? Remember the pain? Now feel God’s pain!
• Have you ever been neglected? Forgotten? Rejected? Remember the pain? Now feel God’s pain!
Amazing grace cost amazing pain. Feel God’s pain—the pain endured because our sin.
What would it feel like if the man or woman of your dreams committed his or her life to you in marriage and then committed adultery? How would you feel? Betrayed? Hurt? Angry? Jealous? Distressed? Yes! In fact the world would seem to stop as your heart aches and breaks. This is how God feels when we are untrue to Him—when we “make love” to the world. Our sins hurt God before, but they certainly hurt God even more once we pledge to live our lives for Him.
James 4:4-5 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?
• How does God about a lack of care, a lack of trust, about sexual sin, being pushed aside for the sake of work/school, or a lack of desire for Him? He loves much more than us and He feels pain much more than us. More love = More potential to be hurt. When it comes to the cross we need to emphatically state all the days of our lives—feel the pain!
“Assume for a moment that you fall in love, get married and have the cutest baby in the world. One day your spouse is bringing groceries into the house, leaving the door open while your child plays on the floor. Suddenly, a large ferocious dog enters the house and grabs the child by the throat ripping the life out of the baby. You enter the room; see the pool of blood and your lifeless, disfigured child on the floor. The dog is crouched in the corner with blood drooling from its mouth. Now, what is your attitude towards the dog? Do you say, “Her doggy—you poor frightened thing?” Do you take your hand and comfort the dog by petting him? Of course not! You hate that dog. You want to destroy that dog because it just brutally killed the object of your love. IN the same way, your sin put Jesus on the cross. Sin brutally murdered Jesus. So, how do you feel about your sin? Do you pet the sin? Do you go and play with the sin? Do you allow the sin to stay with you? No, you hate the sin. You want to destroy the sin because it murdered the object of your love. It killed you Jesus—your Savior.”
• Honestly, how much do you hate sin? You will find that your hatred for sin is in proportion to your love for the one who died for you. The cross speaks of that love. Are you in touch with God, your sin, and the cross?
I love my family…good, bad, fun, sad, and everything in between. And because I love them, I don’t want to hurt them. How much are you in love with God? How precious is that relationship to you? Sin hurts God. What’s the depth of your desire not to hurt God with your sin? How real is the cross for you?
Challenge: Today, make a lasting decision about your sin and your relationship with God.
• How? Feel the pain!
James 4:7-10 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Unconditional Love-While We Were Still Sinners

Have you ever felt unloved, or unsure that you are loved? How did that make you feel?What a difference it makes when we know that we are loved and there has been a demonstration to prove it!
However, if we are loved because of looks, performance, money, etc.; we are left with an insecurity that lies beneath the surface. We are uneasy because accident, illness, failure, or bankruptcy could rob us of the thing that endears us to others.
Rom 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
When we stand at the foot of the cross and behold the love of God, we see how unbelievably unconditional his love is. You can lose your health, possessions, job, reputation, looks, and God’s love for you will not be affected in the slightest. You can slip, screw up or fail and God’s heart would not even quiver. While we were still sinners-in the worst of shape-God demonstrated His love for us.
This doesn’t mean that God is not tough on sin: He is the toughest on sin. It is a testimony to how never-ending His love really is. (Eph 3:18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,) It is a mystery that a God who hates sin so much loves sinners so unconditionally. This is what the cross establishes and makes so clear, this is what the cross demonstrates and proves: Nothing we do or fail to do will stop Him from loving us. Even if we tried to make God stop loving we could never do it because He already sent His Son to die while we were at our worst. We could never understand the depth or breadth of God’s love because it “surpasses knowledge” (Eph 3:19).
This means that years past or now, when you were “more spiritual” or flailing, or just downright disgusting: it doesn’t matter. God loves you and died for you while you were His enemy. The cross proves it and faith accepts it.
We should stand in awe of the cross and God’s love. It needs to change us. We are called to…
Eph 5:1-2a Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and live a life of love…What we find in the cross, the way God deals with people; we need to treat people that way. God calls us to…1 John 4:11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another…
We need to love as He loved us. Is there any one that you love that way? Or, do you treat them conditionally, ready to withdraw love when they don’t live up to what you want or expect? Do you treat God this way because He hasn’t done what you wanted?
You think you know God? If you don’t love, you don’t even know Him (1 Jn 4:7-8).
Stand at the foot of the cross and stand in awe. Let it change you. Paul did. His response was change and he sought out help because he knew that…
1Tim 1:15 Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst
…Let us have the same attitude as Paul and discover love in a deeper way and change ourselves to love as Christ did. We want to help you to love as you have been loved. Let’s do it together.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Matthew 13:44-46 44"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
45"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
2 Men: (1 describes you today)
1 – Seeking
1 – Stumbled upon it…
Both found a treasure. Just like you.
They each had the same response…
1 – They were excited.
2 – They sold EVERYTHING…Made a commitment!
3 – They obtained the treasure.
Do you think they would have obtained the treasure had they not paid the price?
What do you think your price is?
Jeremiah 29:11-13 11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
The price is that you seek God with ALL YOUR HEART!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

What does the word believe mean?
• Believe (
o : to accept as true, genuine, or real
o : to have a firm conviction as to the goodness, efficacy, or ability of something
• Know
o : to be aware of the truth or factuality of : be convinced or certain of
• Faith
o : something that is believed especially with strong conviction
• These sound extremely similar
• Do you think that believing, knowing, and having faith in Jesus is enough?
• Let’s look at some people who believed, knew, and had faith in Jesus.
John 8:31-32 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
Who is Jesus talking to here?
• Jews who believed him…knew the truth.
Hold to
• : to make liable or accountable or bound to an obligation
• : to give firm assent to : adhere to strongly
• : to maintain a grasp on something : remain fastened to something
• James 2:17b faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
• James 2:26b faith without deeds is dead.
Jesus was telling these people here that belief is not enough, knowledge is not enough, talk is not enough. He was telling them that you have to put your money where your mouth is. There are no words, beliefs, or knowledge that can save you. The only thing that can save you is knowing/believing the truth and DOING IT!!! HOLDING TO IT!!!........THEN the truth will set you free. Like our quotes from James, if you aren’t finding out the truth by studying the bible and working to obey (refer to definition of “hold to”) then you won’t be (and you aren’t) set free (you aren’t “saved”).
Don’t let another day go by that you aren’t trying to HOLD TO Jesus’ teaching. Get with Ashley or me and set up a study today! Put your money where your mouth is and do it!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Walk as Jesus Did

What pops into your head when I say, “religious person”?
• Good to an extent, but also a hypocrite…sometimes…
If you are religious, are you a hypocrite? When are you? When aren’t you?
We all have sin, so what is the difference between a hypocrite and a Christian?
2 Tim 3:1-5 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

• What do you notice about this list?...Lovers of stuff, sin, self, etc….self-focused.
• Hypocrites have a form of Godliness because they are religious, but they deny the power of being religious because they love self and not God.
• You may say that you love God, but what does it mean to love God?
1 John 5:3 3This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,
John 14:15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command.”
You see, what you obey and do determines what you love and whether you are a true Christian or just a religious person.
Rom 6:15-16 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

Obedience leads to righteousness, not belief, not religion.
You are a slave to something even if it is to yourself.
Let’s choose to be a slave to God and receive life?
How can you obey God if you don’t know what his commands are? Let’s study the bible!!
1 John 2:3-6 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.


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