Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Many times in our lives we are focused on the future. When what we need to do is take time to look back and look at where we are now. We need to make selah a part of our everyday walk not just something we do before we feel a crash coming. We need to be clear in our past and present so we can be hopeful for the future. The enemy wants to cloud your path so you lose vision in your life. Take time for Selahs (pauses) in your life in order to be clear in where God has brought you, has you, and is going to take you. We need Selah moments to allow God to be the lifter of our heads. Deliverance belongs to the Lord.
1 O Lord, how many are my foes!
Many are rising against me;
2 many are saying of my soul,
“There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah
3 But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
my glory, and the lifter of my head.
4 I cried aloud to the Lord,
and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah
5 I lay down and slept;
I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of many thousands of people
who have set themselves against me all around.
7 Arise, O Lord!
Save me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
you break the teeth of the wicked.
8 Salvation belongs to the Lord;
your blessing be on your people! Selah
“Selah’ means to look back and reflect on it” Kanye West
We need Selah moments. To allow God to be the “lifter of our heads” to reflect, retune, reawaken, reinvigorate, rejuvenate, repair, replenish, resuscitate, refurbish, revitalize, restore, reinstate, rekindle, etc…
Marination is the same as meditation.
Evaluate the on-ramps and the off-ramps.
Everything that is an engine needs rest and rhythm.
1) Where has God been faithful in your life when you were unfaithful?
2) What do you think God is wanting to clear out of your past?
3) What are the things in your life in the present that you feel God is calling you to focus on to change so you can clear the path for the future?
4) What are the specific things you can do to walk in faith to bring change in your life? Who are you going to allow to hold you accountable to take these steps?
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Continuing in the “It’s Complicated” series, tonight we’re going to discuss the intricacies associated with our relationships with those who are “lost." Up to this point in this series we’ve been discussing relationships such as; dating, marriage, family, and strangers. Each of these relationships is significant and has massive implications for each of our contexts. The positive or negative impact of these relationships can have far-reaching ramifications for how we live our lives going forward. But tonight, the relationship that we are going to talk about carries with it eternal significance. Tonight we are talking about how we should engage with those who are lost.
As Pastor David shared his story of the redemption, we are reminded that the same God who saved Pastor David is the same God who wants to save those who are lost in your life. But, just as was the case for him, we must be willing to be the hands, feet, voice, and love extended into the life of those individuals.
"14 Shout for joy, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! 15 The Lord has taken away His judgments against you, He has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; You will fear disaster no more.
16 In that day it will be said to Jerusalem: 'Do not be afraid, O Zion;
Do not let your hands fall limp. 17 The Lord your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.' "
"9 You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, And called from its remotest parts And said to you, ‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you. 10 Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ "
"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?"
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."
"For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."
"For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."
"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."
"The craziness of God's vast love is incredible."
"The same promise that God made to Israel is the same promise He makes to us. We might think that God is hurting us, but He is actually holding us."
"God uses the tragic in me to become a testimony in me"
"A lot of people go to your church for the wrong reason, but God is bigger than their reason."
"Love is a magnet."
"He who begets a good work in you is faithful to complete it."
"We don't need religion. We need redemption."
1) Do you have memories of past interactions that have tainted your view of God?
2) Do you have any doctrines about God which have not bridged the gap from your head to your heart? from concept to practice?
3) What is God mighty to do in your life? Mighty to save? Mighty to wrath? Mighty to give grace? Mighty to harbor hatred?
4) How are you conforming to the patterns of this world to find community?
5) Do you have someone in your life who is lost? Who is it? Is there something keeping you from sharing the Gospel with them (Fear, unforgiveness, rejection, etc.)?
What is the Romans Road?
Wednesday, October 23, 2019
In this week's teaching, Pastor David unpacked what it means to show hospitality to those around us. The internet’s intent to connect us together has left us more hostile to strangers and controversial to build relationships with them. The antidote to this hostility is hospitality. The word itself is rooted in two words to “love” and ”stranger”. The “love of the stranger” is the desire to get to know them and provide an opportunity and place of healing for others. This is a biblical mandate we see in 1 Peter 4:8-9. It is an expectation for both men and women to exercise our gifts towards the strangers we encounter. As it becomes a way of life, availability and vulnerability will come with it. Opening your life and home can be entertaining, but it’s not entertainment. If it becomes more about being impressive, then the attempt becomes intimidating. Hospitality is about being interested in others, not making yourself interesting. Hospitality is also discerning. This means open doors, but also a door lock against false teachers who declare false essentials about the faith. These exercises exemplify the gospel and represent God’s kingdom here on earth. Hospitality is more than just fine china, but the opportunity for eternal change in the strangers we meet.
“Let love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality.”
1 Peter 4:8-9
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.”
2 John 10-11
"If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work."
1 Cor 5:11-13
“This is also the rare case for a believer in habitual, unrepentant, flaunted sin that has resulted in church discipline.”
“Jesus is the perfect picture of hospitality”
“Hospitality is a sign that a community is alive. To invite others to be with us is a sign that we aren’t afraid. And that we have a treasure of truth and of peace to share. A community that offers hospitality to strangers is a sign of contradiction. A sign of hope that love is possible In a fractured and broken world” -Jean Vanier
“Hospitality must be shaped by God’s will, performed by God’s power, and aimed at God’s glory through Jesus Christ…. God’s hospitality is motivated by his unwavering commitment to the glory of his own name.” - John Piper
“Glory is the root and love is the fruit of hospitality.”
“Hospitality is not a suggestion, but a command in scripture. “
“Paper plates can be more powerful than fine china. Especially if our attempt to be impressive becomes intimidating.”
“Hospitality is not work, it is worship”
“Hospitality is a non-negotiable and what is non-negotiable for God must be non-negotiable for his people”
“The ultimate goal of hospitality is God’s glory”
“Because someone is valuable to God they are valuable to us”
“Hospitality is not just an open door, but a door with hinges and a lock.” - Edith Schaeffer
1) When did someone show you radical hospitality? When was the last time you showed others hospitality?
2) How can we become the type of people who are hospitable rather than hostile?
3) What are some practical steps we can take to love people that society deems as strange or different?
4) How does hospitality exemplify the gospel?
5) How can we discern opening doors for strangers versus opening doors for false teachers?
6) Is there anything that the Spirit is prompting you to change in your daily routines to practice intentional hospitality?
7) What are some people that come to mind right now you can show hospitality to?Postedby William Scheren at 8:40 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
In this week’s message, Pastor Evan Wickham spoke on how Jesus breaks the addiction to envy in our hearts. Jesus cuts right into the motivations of our hearts. He sees us completely; we cannot hide from Him. In our daily lives, we are constantly tempted to be prideful. We want to be the most successful. We want to be the most popular. We want to have the most money or status. We want to be the most attractive. We even compete in spirituality; being prideful in our spiritual gifts or wisdom. However, when envy rules our lives, roots of bitterness grow in our hearts. These roots of bitterness actually keep us from the personal relationship God intends for us.
Our spiritual sickness is envy and to remedy this poison, we need Jesus to redefine our reality so that envy would lose its power. Envy is ironic because we assume that we have the same knowledge, attitude, and perspective of God. It is God that gets to decide how he wants to bless and use each of our lives. God wants to give us His vision for the world, but envy will steal our perspective. It will steal our joy, good from others, and glory from God.
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius[a] for the day and sent them into his vineyard.
3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went.
“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’
7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.
“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’
8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’
9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’
13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’
16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
2 Peter 3:5
5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water.
3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
1 Corinthians 12:20-21
20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”
20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
"Comparison is the thief of joy." -- Teddy Roosevelt
"We are addicted to comparison."
"Unhealthy comparison will keep you from experiencing the face to face love that God wants you to experience with Him."
"Complaining blinds us and everyone around us because it changes perceptions."
"Envy steals our joy, steals good from other people, and steals glory from God."
"We have to see each other through Christ's lens and not through a cultural lens."
"God calls us to live in His reality, not our lives."
"The inability to celebrate other peoples' victories is a huge sign that you are living in envy."
"God needs your beautiful, unique, contribution to His Kingdom."
1) Where are you comparing yourself to others?
2) Do you find it difficult to rejoice over the good that comes to other people?
3) Have you ever stopped to think about the power of your words? How are your words shaping your reality? Are they bringing chaos into order?
4) How is envy robbing you of stepping into your beautiful, unique, spirit empowered life?
5) Will you let God break your addiction to envy and unhealthy comparison? Practically, what are the ways we can turn away from envy and stand on truth?
Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Rebekah and Gabe Lyons sat down with Pastor David to talk about the importance of mental health. Anxiety and loneliness have been a stronghold for many in our generation of constant connectivity. Rebekah taught about four Rhythms of Renewal. Two of these rhythms—rest and restore—focus on our input. Rest is about our spiritual health. Restore is about our physical health. The other two rhythms—connect and create—focus on our output. Connect focuses on our relational health. Create focuses on our vocational health. The reason so many are experiencing internal turmoil is because they are outputting far more than they are inputting. Rebekah and Gabe offered us a way to evaluate our current rhythms to see if there is anything that needs to change so that we can find renewal and come into line with the rhythms God created us to live in.
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
2 Timothy 1:7
“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.”
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
“And without faith, it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
“77% of society is experiencing physical symptoms of stress.”
“18-24 year-olds are the most prone to anxiety and depression.”
“46% of people your age are experiencing high levels of loneliness and 27% say they do not have a real friend.”
“You cannot heal what is hidden. Secrets lose power when they exit the dark.”
“If we try to do this alone, this doesn’t end well. But when we come together and acknowledge the pain, we can get healthy together.”
“The trials that you endure are directly related to the measure of hope you can offer the world.”
“We do not want to over-spiritualize the mental health conversation. But we also do not want to under-spiritualize the mental health conversation.”
“When we stay within the rhythms that God established, we flourish. When we go outside of those rhythms, we experience chaos.”
“Confession is the gateway to freedom. If we cannot say what we struggle with, there is no chance that we will ever get freedom from it.”
“These rhythms are not used to add to your schedule, they are used to take things out of your schedule.”
“These rhythms are an invitation to grow in our faith through obedience.”
“You do not have to create the fruit of the Spirit. You are the branch. You simply need to abide in the Father.”
1) How has your faith grown this semester? Do you trust God more today than you did last semester?
2) How have you seen bitterness impact your physical health in the past? Is there someone you need to connect with today in order to seek reconciliation? What is the first step you can take in order to extend forgiveness?
3) Are you someone who leans more towards confession or concealment? If you have been struggling in silence, what is the next step you can take in order to bring it into the light of Christ and find healing?
4) Is there anything the Spirit is prompting you to change in your daily routine so that you can put into practice the input rhythms (rest and restore)?
5) Is there anything the Spirit is prompting you to change in your daily routine so that you can put into practice the output rhythms (connect and create)?Postedby William Scheren at 8:44 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Special guest Clayton King spoke at Campus Community tonight. He continued the “It’s Complicated" series by sharing his personal story of finding his biological family. King was adopted in 1972 by a God-fearing couple. Clayton suffered the tragedy of losing both his adopted mother and father within two years. On Christmas morning Clayton King, under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, began to write out prayer requests. Among the prayer requests, Clayton asked the Lord to find his biological family in 2019. Clayton King shared his story of being reconnected with his biological family in 2019 as he had prayed. Clayton was reunited with sister Paige and brother Clint.
Clayton King reminded us that we serve a kind, God. A God who is constant. A God who is in the details.
Clayton encouraged us that our past does not define us, and our heavenly Father loves us. There is no need to change our past because Jesus died on the cross to redeem it. There is no one we must impress because our identity is in the love of Jesus. Life is complicated but the Gospel is not. Life is rocky but we are safe and secure in Jesus’ love forever. Surrender your past, present, and future to Jesus. He will make all things new. Abundant life is in Jesus.
"4Sing to God, sing praises to his name;
lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts;
his name is the Lord;
exult before him!
5Father of the fatherless and protector of widows
is God in his holy habitation.
6God settles the solitary in a home;
he leads out the prisoners to prosperity,
but the rebellious dwell in a parched land."
“Our past does not define us, but our past does play into our story.”
“We adopted you because we loved you. You will be adopted again when you are adopted into Christ’s family.”
“Deal with your father issues…Jesus wants to be the perfect Father that you need.”
“You have a heavenly Father that wants to fill the voids in your story.”
“My history doesn’t define me, but my Heavenly Father is the only opinion that matters.”
1) What keeps you from taking the next step in giving everything to Christ?
2) What in your past is hindering your view of God?
3) What fears do you allow to hinder your prayer life?
4) Are there prayer requests that you have not surrendered to the Lord because it hasn’t been answered in the way that you were expecting? What steps do you take to surrender them?Postedby William Faber at 8:35 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
In this week’s message, Pastor David spoke about honor, relationships, and revival. Tonight’s message was a message of conviction, confession and personal revival.
Is salvation free? Yes. But is revival free? No.
It costs brokenness, humility and the admittance that it’s not enough to just be a Christian anymore rather the desire to be a victorious Christian. It is allowing God to strip away the things in you that repel the presence of God and foster the things that attract the special presence of God.
Opening with a remembrance of his trip to Rwanda, Pastor David shared the story of the genocide that occurred there. Neighbors were killing neighbors in the most violent ways imaginable because of hatred between tribes. The result of exposure to the overt racism seen in the Rwandan genocide is anger and outrage. But the Lord begins to convict about the subtle racism in your own life. You begin to search your own heart and realize the same evil seen there can also be seen in you. While visiting a church and memorial site he met a woman who watched her family be butchered in front of her. When asked who attends the church now, which tribe, she replied she didn’t know. When asked how she could be around people who murdered her family she replied, “Since they are expensive to God, they are expensive to me”. She honored the potential the Lord had for each one of them not just the shame of their depravity.
“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor”
1 Peter 2:17
“Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path”
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves, so be as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves.”
2 Chronicles 7:14
"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”
1. I should never deny someone the dignity that God has afforded them.
2. Honor is not a response. Honor is a conviction. An eye for an eye is a natural response, turning the other cheek is supernatural.
3. True honor must be a work of the Holy Spirit or it will quickly turn into fabricated honor. Flattery for example is fake honor, which is in fact, dishonor.
4. My interactions with someone are important. My interactions about someone are even more important. Honor must be given in both presence and absence.
5. There is something broken in me if I enjoy the art of shamming. If I enjoy the “burn” of the broken.
6. We honor God when we battle vain imagination & choose to give people the benefit of the doubt.
7. Never miss a great opportunity to shut up! Clarifying, critique and accountability can be honorable, but contempt never is.
8. The image of God exists in every human being. Christian and non-Christian. This can drive the way we view the matters that matter.
Abortion is an honor issue, for the mother and the baby.
Pornography is an honor issue.
The immigrant crises is an honor issue.
Orphan work is an honor issue.
Global Missions is an honor issue. Love this country enough to not make an idol out of it.
If we want revival it will come at a cost.
We are either on the verge of revival or retreat.
Let’s say God doesn’t bring a campus wide revival to LU because the truly honorable are the exception and not the norm but at the very least, I am postured for personal revival.
Responsibility for a Christian is our response to His ability - Adrian Rodgers
I don't want to just live a Christian life but a victorious Christian life
Honor is not a suggestion, it is a command.
Honor is the ability to see people in their full value and worth. Both their shame and their glory. Both their pitfalls and potential.
Flattery is motivated by selfish ambition, honor is seeing dignity in people and extending grace. You’re either demonically driven or you’re Christ-like.
It takes no courage to bow up and fight back, it is not weakness to turn the other cheek it is meekness.
Unlock your imagination to see honorable things in others rather than assuming the worst.
This message was about a passionate pursuit for more of God in your own life.
If people are expensive to God, then they are expensive to me.
We devalue the power of the cross if I look at it as enough to save me but not enough to change me
I am responsible for my own heart, my own mouth, and my own thumbs!
1) When you step into a new conversation with someone, are you quick to see potential or pitfalls?
2) How do we move to seeing people more clearly?
3) Do you sometimes confuse venting or prayer requests with gossip? Do you truly honor others behind their back? What does a genuine prayer request look like?
4) How does pride repel the special presence of God?
5) We as Christians have a dual citizenship? What efforts can we take to live more through citizenship of the kingdom of God?Postedby William Faber at 8:37 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
In this week’s message, guest John Mark Comer spoke on going back into your past in order to move forward in healthy relationships.
The journey to healing is not done alone but in community. Opening up in Mark 5, we see the story of a woman healed of a wound of 12 years' time. John Mark theorized that because the wound was so deep, she needed Jesus and she needed a community to know her wound and her healing. The practice of community in this day and age is challenged with connectivity and chemistry. Connectivity is mistaken for the community thanks to Instagram, Facebook, and other social media, but it does not replace the face-to-face we need with a dear friend. Chemistry is another obstacle we face, because while we may have chemistry with other we may not have community with them. Community is deeper than connectivity and chemistry. It’s the commonality as followers of Jesus to live life together in exposure and encouragement to develop who you are becoming in Christ.
John Mark reminded us of vulnerability and accountability. The center point of following Jesus is not the pulpit, but the body and blood of Jesus. Where we come before God and each other and lay our souls bare before Him. With vulnerability comes accountability. Freedom and breakthrough will happen when we confess our sins with one another and are vulnerable in our relationships.
We were designed and wired for relationships. Our adult relational patterns are set by the patterns of our parental relationships. Avoidant, Anxious, Scattered, and Secure attachment styles all affect our relationships with one another and with God. Following Jesus is being adopted into his family and about God the Father reparenting us. It means putting off the unhealthy ways and patterns we picked up early on and putting on the new way of love in the family of God. And the way God does this is through the community.
Mark 5: 24-34
24 And he went with him. And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. 25 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, 26 and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. 27 She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. 28 For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” 29 And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” 31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 And he looked around to see who had done it. 33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
“Face to capacity for empathy. It’s where we experience ace conversation is the most human – and humanizing – thing we do. Fully present to one another, we learn to listen. It’s where we develop the joy of being heard, of being understood.”
Sherry Turkle (2015) Reclaiming Conversation
“The root of all friendship is, ‘You too?’” C.S. Lewis
Latin word was communitas is “to share in common”.
“If you decide you want to become a person of love in the way of Jesus… don’t start by trying to love somebody close to you… start by trying to love somebody you don’t know very well… a co-worker on the other side of the office, a neighbor one street over… because the closer we are to someone, the harder it is to love! We see through the illusion to who they really are… and they see through the illusion to who we really are…”
Dallas Willard, American Philosopher, and Author
“love-drenched accountability.” David Brooks’ Manifesto
“What does loneliness tell us about ourselves? Be it chronic or acute, slight or significant, loneliness is proof of our relational design. At the core of our being is this truth – we are designed for and defined by our relationships. We were born with a relentless longing to participate in the lives of others. Fundamentally, we are relational souls. We cannot, not be relational.”
“The Relational Soul” by Richard Plass and James Cofield
1) What is THAT thing (past or present) that you need to reach out to Jesus and be healed from?
2) What are some areas in which you can give up “connectivity” in order to pursue community?
3) What are practical ways you can embrace the community the Lord has placed around you and not just connect with those who are like you?
4) What is the sin in your life that you have yet to verbally confess before your community?
5) What type of attachment style do you believe is most applicable to you (i.e. avoidant, anxious, scattered, secure)? Why? How has this affected your current relationships or how you interact with others?
6) What steps do you think you need to take to build a healthy attachment style and authentic community?
Wednesday, September 4, 2019
In this week's message, Pastor Ben Stuart taught how we can evaluate a good dating relationship.
Good dating relationships can be characterized by many things. A good dating relationship contains the excitement, especially concerning character. Instead of focusing on physical attraction, we should focus on whether or not the person has good character, particularly kindness. Healthy community around us will help us evaluate a person's character. A good relationship will also result in our improvement in our lives, including our own character and skills. The other person should challenge and push us to be God's version of us. A good relationship will also endure difficult conflict and be characterized by good, honest communication.
Pastor Stuart also reminded us of the importance of taking our time in healthy relationship building.
Healthy dating relationships are formed in community, where we are guarded against temptation and receive feedback on the healthy and unhealthy aspects of our relationships. He also reminded us that it is important for us to get our relationship with the Lord right before we get our dating relationships right.
Song of Solomon 1:1-4
1 The song of songs, which is Solomon’s.
2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—For [b]your love is better than wine. 3 Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, Your name is ointment poured forth; Therefore the virgins love you. 4 Draw me away!
Song of Solomon 2:8-16
The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes Leaping upon the mountains, Skipping upon the hills. 9 My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Behold, he stands behind our wall;
He is looking through the windows, Gazing through the lattice. 10 My beloved spoke, and said to me: “Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away. 11 For lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. 12 The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove Is heard in our land. 13 The fig tree puts forth her green figs, And the vines with the tender grapes Give a good smell. Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away!
14 “O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, In the secret places of the cliff, Let me see your [c]face,
Let me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet, And your face is lovely.”
15 Catch us the foxes, The little foxes that spoil the vines, For our vines have tender grapes.
16 My beloved is mine, and I am his. He feeds his flock among the lilies.
“One of the first things that attracted the Shulamite woman was the strong reputation of the man’s character."
"You know you're ready to pursue marriage with someone when you're excited about them, but excited about the right things."
"You should not only enjoy their company, but be improved by their company."
"The right person at the wrong time is the wrong person."
"The process of courtship is a deepening of trust and a deepening of vulnerability."
"Confession is a binding thing and when you bond through confession, you will be tempted to act out physically. You need your community to help you in this. If you don't find mercy from the person you have confessed with, then good riddance because they are not like Jesus."
"Don't expedite a romance that can't go anywhere."
"Half claim is not a claim."
“What should attract you is the character and kindness of the person”.
“If you can’t work through conflict with clarity of communication, it is not going to work”.
“The closer you knit your hearts together emotionally, the more you’ll want to knit your bodies together physically”.
1) When your name is spoken how do others react?
2) What is most important to you when looking for a potential date?
3) What is/was your motivation behind choosing to step into a relationship?
4) How has dating shaped who you are and how you view members of the opposite sex?
5) Is there such a thing as spiritual boundaries when it comes to a dating relationship?Postedby William Faber at 8:40 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, August 28, 2019
Paul has written a letter to the early church in Ephesus, which was a godless society. He took their godless vision on marriage and showed them how it is completely changed with Jesus. Women were not respected in the culture of that time. Paul was taking the view of women in society and transforming it. Marriage is a mutual submission between husband and wife. Paul is showing men not how to rule their wives but love them sacrificially as Christ loved the Church. Husbands have to submit themselves to the Holy Spirit and to their wives by sacrificially loving their partner. We have to submit our own needs for personal satisfaction to God. Paul emphasizes that men are not greater than women and women don’t have to submit to all men but only to their own husband. Men need to guard, be gentle, tender, and love like Jesus. Lead and love so well that your wife wants to be under your leadership. You have to have realistic and biblical expectations. Passionate love is a flame that burns out. Companionate love is a vision of two vines that are intertwined over time. Don’t believe what the world tells you is better than God’s standards.
“Eve was not taken out of Adam's head to top him, neither out of his feet to be
trampled on by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be
protected by him, and near his heart to be loved by him.”
- Matthew Henry
“Our marriages should preach the gospel of relational reconciliation to a culture of relational fracture”
- Jon Tyson
“An engagement period that is preparing for a marriage and not planning for an event”
- Jon Tyson
1) Culture and experiences can easily become our framework for marriage. What was your parents’ marriage like growing up?
2) Where will you get your vision of marriage from?
3) What are some unbiblical expectations you are placing in finding a future spouse and in marriage?
4) Why do you want to get married?
5) How is your marriage going to reflect the Gospel?
6) How does the world’s idea of submission differ from the Bible’s teaching on submission?Postedby William Faber at 8:56 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, August 21, 2019
The image of a triune God is the image of a relationship. Tonight at Campus Community, we kicked off our series “It’s Complicated”. During the series, we will be covering the various family backgrounds and context and how they affect who we are. For the first installment of the series, Pastor David highlighted the most important relationship in our lives, our relationship with God. Our horizontal relationships are usually a reflection of the health of our vertical relationship with God. We often have misconceptions that would cause us to put unfair expectations on others that can only be fulfilled by God. While there are different kinds of love, they all come up short without the divine agape love God gives. Completeness cannot be obtained through behavior modification. True completeness can only be obtained through God himself. However, we can cheapen the cross when it makes it about change. God wants us to exchange who we are and become a new creation in Him. Pastor David closed out the message with a great illustration about being in a Hilton in Greenville but realizing he was in the wrong Greenville. Sometimes it can appear that we are in the right place. Especially when it appears we are doing all of the right things. But when we take a closer look, are we truly where were are supposed to be. Are we sure we are right with God through Christ?
2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here
The image of a triune God is the image of a relationship.
"Holy Holy Holy- Lord God almighty. God in 3 persons, blessed trinity"
If you try to find intimacy with another person before achieving a sense of wholeness on your own, all your relationships become an attempt to complete yourselfî (Dr. Les Parrott)
"Life is all about whose hands you are in."
"Our Compulsion for completion can only be satisfied in God."
There are 7.5 billion people in this world yet none of them have the power to complete you. If that's true, then why let 1 of them ruin your life?
It is unfair and unhealthy to expect anyone to fulfill a void that can only be filled with God.
Only in the fullness of God are relationships fully healthy.
We cheapen the cross of Christ if we make it about change & not exchange.
The changed life is behavior modification
The exchanged life is an identity transformation.
1) Why is it so tempting to look toward someone else to find completion for yourself?
2) Why is it unfair to expect someone else to complete you?
3) Why is it important to make sure our relationship with God is healthy before we can expect horizontal relationships to be healthy?
4) What is the difference between trying to change yourself for God and exchanging your sinfulness for Christ's righteousness?
5) How is your relationship with God? Are you sure that you have a relationship with God through Christ? If so, what kind? He is Lord? Does He have all of you?Postedby William Faber at 8:57 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
God moved in a big way tonight! Instead of our normal questions and discussion time, take time to keep the movement going within your community groups, confessing to one another, praying for one another and continuing to lift up all those we prayed for in the room tonight.Postedby William Faber at 9:02 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Broken Vessels: Shattered Pieces Put Together to Tell a Better Story
If the Gospel truly lands on your heart it should change you in a major way, not just a slight change.?
Stop letting it just be behavior modification because Christ is ready to change everything.
You can't rededicate something that you never truly gave to God in the first place.
The gospel does not shift a few things it results in a complete trajectory change.
Isaiah 6:1-9- ESV
1 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”
4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” 9 And he said, “Go, and say to this people:
“‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’
1) What's a time in your life where you saw the Lord do something new through you?
2) When you think of God do you view Him the way Isaiah described Him??
3) When was the moment your trajectory changed, or has it?
4) Have you simplified your view of God to make yourself more comfortable?
5) Have you ever had an encounter with God so real that it wrecked you to the point that you have never been the same?Postedby William Faber at 8:25 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
God Uses Broken Vessels to Deliver the Beautiful Gospel
God chose Mary as a broken vessel who was not pure, not perfect but was willing to be obedient even though it cost her reputation and more. She knew God would provide the way for her to accomplish what He set out for her to do through her. Mary’s response was “behold I am the Lord’s servant, let it be according to Your word."
Favor is costly but is worth it. God wants us to be his servant, He isn’t looking for perfection but pursuit, faith, and obedience. God wants available people that are willing to be poured out as an offering.
· Favor is Costly (reputation)
· Favor is worth it (glory)
· God will never give you Vision without provision
· God is looking for servants of faith not celebrities of fame
· God uses Broken Vessels to deliver the beautiful gospel
Luke 1:26-38 ESV
In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed[a] to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”[b] 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”[c]
35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born[d] will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant[e] of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
· There are hundreds of prophecies of old just came into fruition in these verses - God is the original promise keeper, and He keeps it
· The lineage of Jesus is a pretty jacked up lineage - Jesus did not come from a lineage of perfection
Luke 1:28 "Greetings"
· God sent an angel and He spoke to Mary. This actually happened.
· God is the same God who sent that angel.
Luke 1:28 "… Oh favored one."
· If it were us we would question what if was for and how would it play out for us.
· Mary responds differently
Luke 1:29 "And she is greatly troubled…"
· Mary understood the big difference between favor from God and favors from God
· Mary was confused
· The favor God gave Mary was in pregnancy and she is a virgin
· The child God gives to Mary is the SAVIOR OF THE WORLD - all the prophecies you grew up learning its that
· Mary knows these prophecies, she knows that this baby is not hers but it will be crushed for the sins of this world.
· Mary accepted the fact that she is the Lord’s servant and is willing
1) Looking beyond color, does your sphere of influence look like heaven? If not, have you asked the Holy Spirit for that?
2) Share with your group some of the broken vessels within your lineage. How has the Lord blessed you despite that lineage?
3) What are the costs (Reputation, comfort, relationships, etc.) in your life for following Jesus and being fully available to be used by Him?
4) What does hearing from the Holy Spirit look like in your life?
5) Name a place or situation you’re praying the Lord never asks you to serve. How can you remain open to be used by God in that place or situation?
6) What is the mark of a true servant?Postedby William Faber at 8:11 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Break Up or Break Down
God has created us for relationships. Our relationship with Him is the foundation of our life. However, God wants to use our horizontal relationships to transform us too. These relationships take work. We grow in our horizontal relationships when we let the Holy Spirit work in our hearts. John 15:1-4 calls believers to abide in the Lord. In our abiding, God prunes us. To prune is to cut. This means, as we abide in Him we grow as He removes sin from our hearts. To have a healthy relationship, we have to break up with ungodliness or else those things will break us down. We have to break up with Fairy Tales, Feelings, Fate, and Failure.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint;
but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” - C.S Lewis
"Whoever you married is going to be your greatest asset or your greatest liability" - Rich Wilkerson Jr.
"If you don’t figure out what hurt you, you will bleed on people who never hurt you" - Rich Wilkerson Jr.
1) In John 15, Jesus talks about pruning. What in your life is God trying to prune? “You can’t produce if you aren’t pruned,” what is God trying to produce in your life?
2) ?Tonight, we heard “chose your spouse based on their patterns.” ?What patterns are you looking for in a person and why?
3) 1 Corinthians 13 talks about love. Read the description then practically describe what each one looks like in a relationship?
4) What does it mean to break up with failure as it relates to relationships? “If you are tired of starting over, stop quitting,” what does it look like fleshed out?Postedby William Faber at 8:19 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
The Rich Young Ruler
Continuing our conversation about broken vessels, we pick up with the story of the Rich Young Ruler. Although this story does not seem to have a positive ending, there is actually hope. The Rich Young Ruler did not reject Jesus outright. The passage tells us that he walked away and his heart was grieved. The fact that his heart was broken tells us that it hurt him to know that he wasn’t in the place to be able to follow Jesus whole-heartedly. Another interesting aspect of this story is that we have a description of this man but no name. This man has the trifecta of desire: to be prosperous, pretty and powerful and yet we do not know his name…why? Likely because this man was so obsessed with his own name rather than the name of Jesus. Nevertheless, he humbled himself and initiates a conversation with Jesus, even to the point that he comes and bows before Jesus. The only thing that could bring him to this place is an incessant void within his heart that tells him that, in spite of all that he has, there is still a void in his heart. There is still something missing from within.
17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.”
20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
“Three Reponses when confronted by Jesus: Submission, Rejection, Polite Indifference”
"Jesus annihilates his perception of success by taking what he saw as horizontal and turning it vertical” (Tim Keller)
“Jesus loves him even though he knows that this is not going to end well”.
“The Rich Young Ruler was willing to put Jesus on the top shelf but Jesus wants to be on the throne”.
“One way to have a life worthy of imitation is to not be self-absorbed”.
“We have horizontal ideas to gain favor, Jesus says, “it’s about the vertical submission to what He’s already done””.
1) When is the last time that you actually ran to Jesus to hear from Jesus as opposed to running to someone else (favorite author, pastor, speaker, etc.) to tell you what Jesus said to them?
2) With whom do you tend to compare yourself?
3) What do you “own” that actually “owns” you?
4) What is your ONE thing? What is the one thing that is keeping you from being a true follower of Jesus?
5) Are you willing to move beyond the invitation to salvation into the invitation to give up everything in order to follow Jesus?
6) Have you surrounded yourself with people who love you enough to tell you the truth, even when it’s a hard truth?Postedby William Faber at 8:19 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Jesus the broken vessel
1 Corinthians 10:16
“The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.”
The communion table brings us to remember our:
Union with Christ
Union with Christ’s people on earth
Union with Christ’s people in heaven
Postedby William Faber
at 8:04 PM |
Comments (0) | Permalink
“The union that we enjoy at the Lord’s table is independent of distance and independent of date. Simply, what Jesus offers us is the meeting point of all who are in Him, in the past, the present and the future”
1) Did you learn something new about communion tonight?
2) Are there areas that you have unbelief about your union with Christ?
3) Do you have difficulty believing the truth that God is with you in trails (fire) in your life?
4) How can you move forward in surrendering these over to the Lord?
5) What scripture(s) can you look to help you in your unbelief?
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Over the years, the American church has become consumer driven.
We find ourselves preoccupied with the things that do not matter in place of the One who does matter: Jesus.
The church should be solely concerned with whether or not we are talking about our love for Him.
We should have an obsessive love for Christ to the point that our focus is only on Him.
What God wants from His church is devoted worshipers; a generation of people who long for His presence wherever they are and whomever they are with.
He desires people who, out of love for Him, will love each other and be unified.
God desires for His church to be unified and have intimacy with each other in the same way He and Jesus have intimacy.
It is through this intimacy and unity that the world will know that Jesus is the Messiah.
When we have intimacy with each other, the power of the Holy Spirit will manifest.
We will find ourselves transformed into the people God wants us to be; going to the ends of the earth to be witnesses for Him.
God’s desire for His church is that we would be obsessed only with Him and nothing and no one else.
“And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!"
“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.”
“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.”
1 John 3:4-10
“Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.”
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
“Father we thank You, we are, by our very nature, objects of wrath. Where would we be without Your mercy and Grace, God?”
“Lord may there be an unstoppable force of Your Spirit within these students that drives them to be more like You”
“You know when someone is in love, it is all they can talk about. My concern is I don’t hear people talking about their love for Jesus that way.”
“Can we seriously just have a posture of surrender to Jesus.”
“God desires that we the Church are in complete unity so that the World will believe that Jesus is the Messiah”
“Our unity is a sure sign to the lost, of their destruction and our salvation.”
“What if it was all up to us (Liberty) to reach every lost person in the world, what would our lives look like?”
“When we talk about being the Church of the Bible, know that there will be suffering but isn’t that what you want, to follow Jesus with everything in you?”
“I am not working for anything less than what God wants, He is going to be back soon.”
1) How do you know the Holy Spirit is moving in your life?
2) [Explain life jacket analogy] What has been a temporary life jacket for you?
3) What things would you consider essential within the church you chose to serve?
4) What does urgency for the gospel look like where you live?
5) What is the Lord specifically calling you to sacrifice in order to love others?
Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Ezra, a prophet in exile in Babylon, loved God and he lived in a broken world. Ezra finds out of what is happening in his world and is so affected by what is affecting his God that he tears his robe. 49 times in this passage, Ezra takes ownership (his usage of our or we) of what is happening around him. Although Ezra was not the one committing the sin, his prayer was, “God forgive us.” If our world is broken and it breaks the heart of God then it should break us. It has to be bigger than the people, the effects, and the symptoms, it has to be about God.
It’s one thing for brokenness to be caused by broken people but it is another thing when those who claim to be believers contribute to the brokenness. Those who should have known better weren’t speaking up against the brokenness.
What does it look like for you tonight to become a defendant of the defenseless? When do we get to the point where if it breaks God’s heart, then it breaks mine.
God looks upon this world and says, “I am so broken about this world that I will break my Son over it”
We live in a broken world.
We live in a broken world that is breaking the heart of God.
What breaks the heart of God should break the heart of his people.
500,00 homeless in the us
7,000 homeless in Virginia
680 homeless in Lynchburg
56 million abortions/year worldwide
25% of all pregnancies end in abortions
3,000 abortions every day in the US
50 million aborted in the US since roe v. Wade 1973
90K abortions in the US in 2017
3.6 million children abused every year in US
300K victims of rape & sexual assault each year in the US
15 million adolescent girls worldwide have experienced forced sex
about 18 million women have been the victims of rape since 1998 in the US
A person with a disability 2 times more likely to be a victim of sexual assault or rape than a person without a disability.
17k murdered this year in the US
1 million people commit suicide every year
8000 Recorded Victims of Racial or Religious Hate Crime in the US / Year
68.5 million refugees worldwide
40 million slaves worldwide, most are women and girls.
10 million child slaves worldwide
20 million people are trafficked
4.5K cases of human trafficking in the United States this year
60 thousand slaves in USA right now
25K people died of terrorist attacks this year
215 million Christians are persecuted
3K Christians were killed; 1.2K were abducted; 1K were raped or sexually harassed; and 793 churches were attacked in 2018
Ezra 9:1-15 NIV
After these things had been done, the officials approached me and said, “The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands with their abominations, from the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. 2 For they have taken some of their daughters to be wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy race[a] has mixed itself with the peoples of the lands. And in this faithlessness the hand of the officials and chief men has been foremost.” 3 As soon as I heard this, I tore my garment and my cloak and pulled hair from my head and beard and sat appalled. 4 Then all who trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the faithlessness of the returned exiles, gathered around me while I sat appalled until the evening sacrifice.5 And at the evening sacrifice I rose from my fasting, with my garment and my cloak torn, and fell upon my knees and spread out my hands to the Lord my God,6 saying:
“O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens. 7 From the days of our fathers to this day we have been in great guilt. And for our iniquities we, our kings, and our priests have been given into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plundering, and to utter shame, as it is today. 8 But now for a brief moment favor has been shown by the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant and to give us a secure hold[b] within his holy place, that our God may brighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our slavery. 9 For we are slaves. Yet our God has not forsaken us in our slavery, but has extended to us his steadfast love before the kings of Persia, to grant us some reviving to set up the house of our God, to repair its ruins, and to give us protection[c] in Judea and Jerusalem.
10 “And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken your commandments, 11 which you commanded by your servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land that you are entering, to take possession of it, is a land impure with the impurity of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations that have filled it from end to end with their uncleanness. 12 Therefore do not give your daughters to their sons, neither take their daughters for your sons, and never seek their peace or prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good of the land and leave it for an inheritance to your children forever.’ 13 And after all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, seeing that you, our God, have punished us less than our iniquities deserved and have given us such a remnant as this, 14 shall we break your commandments again and intermarry with the peoples who practice these abominations? Would you not be angry with us until you consumed us, so that there should be no remnant, nor any to escape? 15 O Lord, the God of Israel, you are just, for we are left a remnant that has escaped, as it is today. Behold, we are before you in our guilt, for none can stand before you because of this.”
Sometimes statistics are just another number emotionally but it becomes something that breaks our hearts when we know someone who is a part of that statistic.
It has to go beyond a statistic, it has to become reality for us!
Time, Talent, and Treasure. These are three of our resources that we can bring to the table to help the brokenness in this world.
1) We are living in a broken world which breaks the heart of God. We all have experienced this brokenness. From your life journey share how you have seen God redeem this brokenness.
2) What actions can we take as sons and daughters of Jesus to combat the evil that we see in the world around us?
3) Taking time in prayer, seek God and ask Him to reveal to you what may be keeping you from seeing brokenness as God does. Can you share what he is saying to you. Is he calling you to action, repentance?Postedby William Faber at 8:23 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Broken Vessels -Temptation: Moses-Jesus
God uses our brokenness to create a beautiful picture of who He is and most importantly, His love. God takes the broken pieces of our lives to create a beautiful masterpiece. Pastor David explained that temptation is when a rightful desire is baited to find its satisfaction in the wrong fulfillment. Do we truly use God to satisfy the hunger pains in our life? Instead of suppressing these desires, go to God to fulfill them. Temptation is both a test and an opportunity. Temptation is not a sin, acting in the enticed temptation is a sin. Temptation can cause us to stretch, learn and advance. Jesus uses "It is written over 63 times." Jesus knew to override the temptation in the moment by the Word of God to fight temptation.
Deuteronomy 6:13 (ESV)
13 It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear.
16 “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah.
3 And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word[a] that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
I have hidden your word in my heart, so that I will not sin against you.
1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.
6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you and they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.
9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
Defining & Describing Temptation:
Temptation is when a rightful desire is baited to find its satisfaction in the wrong fulfillment.
Temptation is not a sin but a test and opportunity.
"It is written"- 63 times in the Bible
Temptation points: cracks/ chinks in armor/ fault lines/ vulnerabilities
Spurgeon: Provision, Protection, Pride, Power and Pleasure
Cs Lewis: materialism, hedonism, and fantism
Mike Breen: appetite, ambition and approval
Ravi Zacharias: intellect, will and imagination
"When you're hungry for God, you're not a food critic for what He puts in front of you"- Pastor David
"Priority to acquire the Word of God so you can see the warning signs"- Pastor David
**Before getting into tonight's questions, please take the time to pray for those in Sebring, Florida. Today a gunman shot and killed at least 5 people in a SunTrust Bank. Please pray for the victims and families affected by this tragedy.
1) God created us as creatures with an "appetite." Are you hungering for things that cause separation from Him or draw you closer to Him?
2) Temptation is something we battle every single day. Are there areas in your life where you are making it easy to fall into it? How can you fight falling into temptation?
3) God has given us the strategy of fighting temptation by declaring truth from His Word. What does the Word of God say about the areas you struggle in? How can you apply these truths to your life? (And not just tonight- but every day?)Postedby William Faber at 8:22 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink