Your Place at The Table

Audio from Associate Pastor Josh Carpenter on Sunday morning April 15th, 2018.

What is the significance of sharing a meal together?

To look forward, let's first look back:

Many mealtime customs described in ancient Biblical writings are still practiced by those living in the lands the Bible describes. In a harsh environment like the Near East, hospitality was and is valued.

◦ Meals can affirm Kinship, friendship and good will. Genesis 31:33-54

◦ Meals can acknowledge one’s status. 1 Kings 17:8-16, 2 Kings 4:8-11

◦ Meals would be used to recognize a peaceful disposition and a commitment to non-aggression. Genesis 26:26-33

More meals in the Text:

◦ Abraham is blessed by Melchizedek Genesis 14:17-20

◦ Abraham and Sarah are visited by three significant guests. The birth of Isaac is announced over a meal. Genesis 18:1-15

◦ A yearly calendar of seven major feasts and a weekly day of rest commanded for a people who had spent 400 years in bondage. Leviticus 23

The importance of the family table in Jewish culture:

A quotation from the Jewish Talmud (a Rabbinic discussion of Biblical text) after the destruction of the Second Temple by Rome:

“And now that we no longer have the Temple in Jerusalem and its altar to bring about atonement for sin, a person’s family table gains reconciliation and forgiveness.”

Today's research on the physical, mental and emotional benefits of regular family meals:

◦ Better academic performance

◦ Higher self-esteem

◦ Greater sense of resilience

◦ Lower risk of substance abuse

◦ Lower risk of teen pregnancy

◦ Lower risk of depression

◦ Lower likelihood of developing eating disorders

◦ Lower rates of obesity

How can God use our Dinner Tables?

• Make your table a place of Remembering

Luke 22:14-19 NIV
14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

Why do we remember? So we can proclaim! We see what God has done in our past, to keep moving forward.

Exodus 12:24-26 NIV
24 “Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. 25 When you enter the land that the Lord will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. 26 And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’

What would children do around the table at Passover? They would ask: "Why do we celebrate?". A time to recall what God has done!

A professor and neuroscientist at Vassar University in NY claims “Taste memories tend to be the strongest of associative memories that you can make,”

When our 20-somethings recall a taste/smell from their childhood, will they remember the Word of God being spoken at the table?

• Make your table a place of Mending

An impersonal text or social media message can't repair our broken relationships.

Psalm 23:5 NIV
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

◦ Arabic meeting of reconciliation: Sulha A meal is shared between two parties, they would break bread and agree that the offense is finished.

John 21:7-9 NIV
7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

◦ Greek word: anthrakia (a fire of coals)
Only used twice in scripture: John 21 and John 18. Peter stands beside a fire of coals after his first denial of Jesus. We remember the day we were restored from our sins, will we use our table to extend the same to others?

• Make your table a place of Invitation

Matthew 9:10-11 NIV
10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

Jesus is often smeared and criticized for his eating company. He was called a drunkard and a glutton.

The motives of his accusers attempting to compare his life with an unruly son: Deuteronomy 21:18-21. When the elitists saw a table full of people without hope, Jesus saw a table full of those on the outside who needed to be brought in.

See his interaction when invited to a Pharisee's home to eat: Luke 14:1-14

• We have a place setting at God’s Table

Exodus 24:4-11 NIV
4 Moses then wrote down everything the Lord had said.He got up early the next morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain and set up twelve stone pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 Then he sent young Israelite men, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as fellowship offerings to the Lord. 6 Moses took half of the blood and put it in bowls, and the other half he splashed against the altar. 7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, “We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey.” 8 Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.” 9 Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up 10 and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as bright blue as the sky. 11 But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank.

How can we identify with this text?

Jesus has established a new covenant with his blood. His blood has been sprinkled on us for the forgiveness of our sins. We now have a place at the meal!

Revelation 19:9 NIV
9 Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

A place at God's table has been prepared for us. Have we prepared a place at our table for others?

Start a new nightly routine after dinner! Consider this family style devotional from Bible.com and the YouVersion Bible app: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/428-once-a-day-bible-family

 

 

The Triumphal Entry (Palm Sunday)

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning March 25th, 2018.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/383940

Matthew 21:8-11 NIV
8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,“Hosanna to the Son of David!”“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”“Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

1. The Scene
Why was Jesus and other devout Jewish men and even families going to Jerusalem?
- To celebrate PASSOVER:

- Scripture tells us in Deut. 16:16 that God commanded all Jewish males to appear before Him in Jerusalem. (in Jerusalem 2 Chr. 6:6).

Deuteronomy 16:16 NIV
16 Three times a year all your men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the Lord empty-handed:

2. WHY PALM BRANCHES?
Palm branches were gathered at the Feast of Tabernacles.
- “TO TABERNACLE” means “TO DWELL.”

- The Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) - the last feast God gave Israel looks forward to the Messianic Kingdom, when the Messiah will reign, when God will DWELL with man - when the Messiah will reign from the throne of David in Jerusalem.

- The Jewish people - at Passover - were waving branches and laying branches on the ground before Jesus… This was NOT how they celebrated Passover. (like celebrating July 4 fireworks on Christmas. You don’t typically do that)

- They were used 2 centuries before Jesus’ entry by the people who celebrated the victory of Judah the Maccabee in his victory over the Greco-Macedonian oppressors.

- The were also a powerful symbol of victory over oppression

In waving them upon Jesus entry into Jerusalem, they were announcing their belief that their King is here to overthrow Rome - thus they shouted: “Hosanna” which means - “save us” or as “God save us”

3. THE ROUTE: JESUS CHOSE TO ENTER JERUSALEM
- Anytime we see such details: “Ask, why do I need to know this?”

- Jesus is aligning Himself with another story

- Compare 2 Samuel 15-18

- Jesus came as the SUFFERING SERVANT (Matthew 20:25-28)

4. THE DAY - THE TIMING.Why this day?
Why did Jesus choose this day to go to Jerusalem?
- Specifically: the 10th Day of Nisan
What is significant about “THIS DAY”?

- Lamb Selection Day

Exodus 12:3-5 NIV
3 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. 4 If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. 5 The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats.

LAMB SELECTION DAY: Why lambs/goats?
Leviticus 17:11
Atonement: (at-one-with) to cover over, to reconcile. (God covered Adam & Eve’s sin)
For 4 days: Lambs were to be examined (tested) and (proven) to be without spot, blemish, defect

Leviticus 17:11 NIV
11 For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.

5. JESUS - THE LAMB OF GOD - TESTED
TEST 1 - The Chief Priest and Elders question Jesus about His AUTHORITY (Matthew 21:23-46)
TEST 2- The Pharisees and Herodians question His POLITICS (Matthew 22:15-22)
TEST 3 - The Sadducees question His THEOLOGY of resurrection (Matthew 22:23-33)
TEST 4 - The Pharisees question His THEOLOGY, this time asking which is the greatest commandment. (Matthew 22:34-40)

Matthew 21:23-46 NIV
23 Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you this authority?” 24 Jesus replied, “I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 25 John’s baptism—where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or of human origin?”They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’—we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”Then he said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 28 “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ 29 “ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. 30“Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. 31 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”“The first,” they answered.Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him. 33 “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 34 When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit. 35 “The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36 Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. 37 Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. 38 “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ 39 So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40 “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41 “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.” 42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “ ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’ ? 43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44 Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.” 45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. 46 They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.

Matthew 22:15-22 NIV
15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. 16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. 17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?” 18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” 21 “Caesar’s,” they replied.Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” 22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

Matthew 22:23-33 NIV
23 That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. 24 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for him. 25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. 26 The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. 27 Finally, the woman died. 28 Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?” 29 Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 31 But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” 33 When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.

Matthew 22:34-40 NIV
34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

JESUS IS THE SPOTLESS LAMB: He was found blameless - without blemish. YET - on the 14th of Nisan, at 9am in the morning, as the animal Passover lambs were being brought into the Temple to be slain, our perfect Passover Lamb was nailed to a wooden cross.
At 3 PM, as the last animal Passover Lamb was killed by the high priest in the Temple, Jesus cried out on the cross, “IT IS FINISHED” - and he died…

JESUS WAS VICTORIOUS:
GUARANTEEING that we who ask Him for forgiveness of our sin, we who have trusted in Him for our salvation - will also be resurrected, have life and have it eternally with our Heavenly Father.
- Jesus is our Lamb of Atonement.
- In Him we are covered, restored, forgiven.

Building Blocks Week 6: Who is The Holy Spirit (Part 2)

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning March 11th, 2018.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
http://bible.com/events/375905

Jeremiah 16:21 NIV
21 “Therefore I will teach them—this time I will teach them my power and might.Then they will know that my name is the Lord.

John 14:26 NIV
26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

As we continue our study on “The Building Blocks of Faith” today we are going to look at: Who is the Holy Spirit?" What is His function?

As you look at Jeremiah 16:21, we see that God is going teach of His power and might. I believe that this is a direct reference to the sending of the Holy Spirit into the lives of believers so that they may truly know and understand God’s ways, be empowered to walk in His ways, and in this power, be light in darkness, ambassadors for Christ, ministers of reconciliation, and the fragrance of Christ among the lost and perishing.

In the Old Testament God spoke to his people through primarily through prophets. People like Isaiah, Daniel and Jonah. He spoke to the prophet and the prophet spoke to the people.

Then Jesus came and spoke face to face with people about the Kingdom of God. When he walked this earth for 33 short years he was the voice of God. After his ascension into heaven He sent the Holy Spirit to continue His work. The Bible says:

“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26 NIV

REVIEW -
So who is this TEACHER - The Holy Spirit?
Here are a few of the Holy Spirit’s functions. (As we understand the function, we will get a much better understanding of WHO He is.)

REVIEW From Last Week-
1. FUNCTION: To Teach Truth John 16:7-15
2. FUNCTION: Indwell believers John 14:16-17
3. FUNCTION: To Renew Believers Titus 3:5-7

4. Function: TO CONVICT OF US OF SIN (John 16:8)
John 16:8 NIV
8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment:

5. Function: GUIDES US IN TO ALL TRUTH (John 16:13)
What is the difference between TEACH and GUIDE?

John 16:13 NIV
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
6.

Function: REMINDS US OF TRUTH (John 14:26)

John 14:26 NIV
26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.


How can He remind us of something that we do not know? First learn His Word, then the Holy Spirit will remind us of the Truth as we walk the path of life before us (Psalm 119:11; Psalm 119:103-105)

Psalm 119:11 NIV
11 I have hidden your word in my heartthat I might not sin against you.

Psalm 119:103-105 NIV
103 How sweet are your words to my taste,sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104 I gain understanding from your precepts;therefore I hate every wrong path. 105 Your word is a lamp for my feet,a light on my path.

Is Jesus Christ the Lord of your life?
If so, are you allowing the power of God to transform you into who He would have you be or are you still on your own agenda, chasing your own ways for your own pleasure, results and desires?

I encourage you: Allow God to teach you, renew you as He dwells (tabernacles) in you. As you go about your day, study His truth, He’ll remind you of that truth and if you sin, He’ll convict your heart and guide you back on to the right path. God is empowering you to be His living Word of hope and love in a lost and evil world.

 

Building Blocks Week 5: Who is The Holy Spirit? (Part 1)

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning March 4th, 2018.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/371910

Jeremiah 16:14-21 NIV
14 “However, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ 15 but it will be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ For I will restore them to the land I gave their ancestors. 16 “But now I will send for many fishermen,” declares the Lord, “and they will catch them. After that I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them down on every mountain and hill and from the crevices of the rocks. 17 My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes. 18 I will repay them double for their wickedness and their sin, because they have defiled my land with the lifeless forms of their vile images and have filled my inheritance with their detestable idols.” 19Lord, my strength and my fortress,my refuge in time of distress,to you the nations will come from the ends of the earth and say,“Our ancestors possessed nothing but false gods,worthless idols that did them no good. 20 Do people make their own gods?Yes, but they are not gods!” 21 “Therefore I will teach them—this time I will teach them my power and might.Then they will know that my name is the Lord.

As we continue our study on “The Building Blocks of Faith” today we are going to look at: Who is the Holy Spirit?" What is His function?

As you look at Jeremiah 16:21, we see that God is going teach of His power and might. I believe that this is a direct reference to the sending of the Holy Spirit into the lives of believers so that they may truly know and understand God’s ways, be empowered to walk in His ways, and in this power, be light in darkness, ambassadors for Christ, ministers of reconciliation, and the fragrance of Christ among the lost and perishing.

In the Old Testament God spoke to his people through primarily through prophets. People like Isaiah, Daniel and Jonah. He spoke to the prophet and the prophet spoke to the people.

Then Jesus came and spoke face to face with people about the Kingdom of God. When he walked this earth for 33 short years he was the voice of God. After his ascension into heaven He sent the Holy Spirit to continue His work. The Bible says:

John 14:26 NIV
26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

So who is this TEACHER - The Holy Spirit?
Here are a few of the Holy Spirit’s functions. (As we understand the function, we will get a much better understanding of WHO He is.)

1. FUNCTION: To Teach Truth

John 16:7-15 NIV
7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer;11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. 12“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

First off - note: the Holy Spirit is part of the triune God. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Not three Gods… One God uniquely expressed in three parts. In this, the Holy Spirit is NOT a mystical force, power or just an influencer. The Holy Spirit is spoken of as HE not as “it”. This is important because if you listen carefully to people speaking, many times the Holy Spirit is referred to as a force or power. If seen just as a power or influencer - the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives loses the personal aspect. The Holy Spirit needs to be thought of in the person of God the Father and the Son. As a person, HE may be grieved (Ephesians 4:30), HE may be quenched in terms of exercise of HIS will (1Thessalonians 5:19) and HE may be resisted (Acts 7:51).

John 16:8 "When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment:
The Holy Spirit’s function is to convict the world of sin and righteousness and judgment.
-Why do you think you feel guilty when you lie?
-Why do you think you feel shame when you mistreat someone?

If you are a born again Christian the Holy Spirit will work in your life and convict you of sin. You can try to convince yourself that what you did is justifiable or surround yourself with other people who are just as wrong as you so you feel right, but deep down inside, the Holy Spirit is revealing the truth.

Why? Because it is the Holy Spirit’s function is to convict the world of sin and simultaneously convict the world of righteousness. That means that the reason you know what is wrong is because the Holy Spirit is working in you to reveal what is right.

The Holy Spirit teaches us the right path to walk on and the wrong path to avoid.

2. FUNCTION: Indwell believers.

John 14:16-17 NIV
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and 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 in you.

Ephesians 1:13-14 NIV
13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Because of the Holy Spirit’s dwelling in me… I can be led by Him, in a personal way. I can genuinely feel His abiding peace and presence. In this, God is revealed. Through Him: Ministry occurs... Sometimes I feel absolutely compelled to call someone or reach out to someone or help someone. I know that it is the Holy Spirit living in me that is prompting me to take action. That’s one way that God works. As the Holy Spirit lives in you and you listen to Him, He will guide you.

Because of His dwelling in you, His power and presence is transforming you as you surrender to Him.

3. FUNCTION: To Renew Believers

Titus 3:5-7 NIV
5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

When we surrender our lives to the Lordship of Christ, we are saved from the wrath of God and His judgement against our sin. In repentance we are are forgiven, washed clean, made alive in Christ…this is all because of the rebirth and renewal of the Holy Spirit poured in us. Hallelujah!

God is at work in us by the Holy Spirit.
GRACE: God’s changing and enabling power through His presence in our lives, causing us to be who He would have us be, doing what He would have us do. (Our lives revealing His love)

We are being changed from moment to moment.
2 Cor. 3:18 says we are “being transformed into his image.”

Philippians 1:6-7 (NIV) that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Is Jesus Christ the Lord of your life?

If so, are you allowing the power of God to transform you into who He would have you be or are you still on your own agenda, chasing your own ways for your own pleasure, results and desires?

I encourage you: Allow God to teach you, renew you as He dwells (tabernacles) in you. Stop and ask God to teach you, speak to you of His ways. Open the Word of God, pause and ask… meditate on His Word, He will teach you, instruct you, and in this, He will empower His Word through you for His glory.

Building Blocks Week 4: Who is Jesus?

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning February 25th, 2018.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/367319

Matthew 16:13-16 NIV
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Throughout history many people have attempted to answer this question, “Who is Jesus?” Some have done so accurately, but many have not. Our best source for answering this question is–once again–God's own word. The Bible presents us with some inescapable truths about Jesus that demand a response. Anyone who seriously studies Scripture to learn more about Jesus must answer two probing questions “What do you think about Jesus Christ?” and “Who is he?”

The writer C.S.Lewis made this observation in Mere Christianity: “You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

Jesus was not just a good man. He was – and he is – the God-man - the Son of God.
Today we are going to look at three questions about Jesus:
1. Who does the world say He is?
2. Who does the Bible say He is?
3 .Who is Jesus to you?

1 - WHO DOES THE WORLD SAY JESUS IS?:

There are many books written to inform, dispute and discuss who Jesus is… He is the most controversial and wrote about person in history.

Even in Jesus' day, there was various thoughts on who He could be...In Matthew 16:14, the disciples told Jesus that some people thought He was John the Baptist. Others thought He was Elijah, or Jeremiah, or one of the other prophets. In other words, He was a good man, a religious man who did great things and taught well, but surely not God or the Son of God.

Things haven’t changed much. Some people today still think Jesus was just a prophet – the Muslims for example recognize that He was a good teacher and a fine religious leader, but surely not the “only begotten Son of God.” It is ironic that while people think Jesus taught great things and taught the truth, they miss that one of His fundamental teachings was His deity. How can they say He taught the truth and yet deny what He taught? The Mormons teach He was a son of God, but just a son like you and me. Some think He was a nut, an exhibitionist, a psycho looking for fame. To others He’s just a myth, a figment of our imagination. He’s a crutch for weak-minded people.

Maybe He was a great historical figure. He was certainly a good man, a good teacher, a man of character and integrity. He can be any number of things to an endless number of people, and it is easy to become appalled at what many think about Jesus. He was hated and ridiculed then and He is hated and ridiculed today.Just like in Jesus day, people believe all kind things about Him… to most people He is anything but a Savior, let alone the One to whom they will give an account.

2. WHO DOES THE BIBLE SAY HE IS?

Is Jesus just a prophet? Is He just a good man? Not hardly! What did Peter say? (Matt 16:16, “You are the Messiah (the Anointed One, the Christ), the Son of the living God."

Peter is declaring who Jesus is, the Messiah (as defined in Hebrew), the Anointed One, THE CHRIST (Christos). (Note: Peter most definitely has an understanding of what was foretold regarding the ONE to come. Also, God has opened His eyes and revealed this to him.)

The name Christ is the official title of our Lord, occurring 514 times in the New Testament. It means that He was anointed or consecrated to His great redemptive work as Prophet, Priest, and King of His people. He is Jesus the Christ. To believe that "Jesus is the Christ" is to believe that He is the Anointed, the Messiah of the prophets, the Savior sent of God, that He was, in a word, who He was prophesied to be and what He claimed to be. (Is. 9:6-7; Micah 5:2; Is. 7:5)

Peter went on to say that He was the Son of the living God. He recognized Jesus for who He claimed to be. Jesus truly is the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One, the only begotten Son of the living God, not a dead God but a living God! But even these things are just the tip of the iceberg concerning the person of Christ. He was all of that and so much more! It is a tragedy that most people who fill most churches only see Jesus as a Savior – somebody to give them fire insurance and keep them out of hell. Listen, if you’re a child of God and you’re growing in your relationship with Him, He’ll be more than that to you!!!

The Bible says that Jesus is… (DIG DEEPER)
· Your Lord and Master (Romans 10:9)
· Your Comforter (2 Cor. 1:3-5)
· Your Advisor (Is. 9:6, 11:2)
· Your Mediator (1 Tim. 2:5)
· Your Advocate (1 John 2:1)
· Your Strength (2 Cor. 12:9-10; Eph. 6:10)
· Your Inspiration (Rom. 8:37-39)
· Your Protector (Heb 13:6)
· Your Provider (Heb. 13:20-21)
· Your Shepherd (John 10:11, 14-16)
· Your Peace (Eph. 2:14)

To Abraham He was the ram. To Israel He was the lamb. To Ruth He was a Redeemer. To Nehemiah He was a Master Builder. To David He was the Tender Shepherd. To Solomon He is the Wise and All-Knowing God. To Amos He was the Burden Bearer. To Malachi He was the Son of Righteousness with healing in His wings. To Mark He was the Suffering Servant. To John He was the Lamb of God and the Light of the world. To Paul He was a Wonderful Savior.

If you really want to know who Jesus is, then you need to get into the book that identifies who He is! We’ve considered who other people say Jesus is, and more importantly we’ve considered who the Bible says Jesus is, but now let’s consider the third and most important question of them all.

3 - WHO IS JESUS TO YOU?

Who He is, is revealed in HOW WE TALK WITH HIM.

I want to close today with a story and a few questions:

The Story:

Luke 18:35-43 NIV
35 As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38 He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied. 42 Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” 43 Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.

The Questions:
If Jesus walked in right now, stopped in front of you and asked “What do you want me to do for you?” What would you say? You probably already know enough about Him and about your need to say something:

Save me, heal me, cleanse me, help me, comfort me, protect me…shepherd me to a place of peace? Maybe, you say to yourself, I don’t believe in all this… but what about that inner fear you have? That lack of belonging? I encourage you, talk to Jesus… can you get real about it? go ahead… I am…

What would you say? Who is Jesus to you?

Visuals set to the audio of the famous sermon "Seven Way King" as spoken by Dr. S.M. Lockridge.

Building Blocks Week 3: Who is God? (part 2)

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning February 18th, 2018.

John 17:1-5 NIV
1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

Interesting request that Jesus made in this prayer. Now this is eternal life: ______________________, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

Jesus prayed that we would know God. This word “know” goes beyond just knowledge. It is to know within your heart. An understanding that is entwined within your beliefs, values, actions and thoughts.

When we do, our words and actions then become a great evangelist tool of His redemption, love, care and hope.

Let’s look closer at the descriptions of God and grow in our knowledge so that we can grow in faith and grow deeper in our understanding. Let’s know Him more…WHY?:

Luke 6:45 NIV
45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

SO THAT - Our heart overflows into our actions. This is ministry.

Colossians 3:17 NIV
17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

REVIEW - FROM LAST WEEK

ELOHIM. The first place we see God is again in Genesis 1:1. God is the “All-Powerful One Creator.” In this we see His creation of order where there was chaos. Life where there was death, nothing, a void. God created. How: In this we see that He knows all, creates all, and is everywhere at all times. In His creation we see His provision where there was absolutely nothing.

Aren’t you glad that our God can handle the darkness, the emptiness?
God looks into the emptiness of your life and can create LIFE. Eternal life through Christ Jesus.

El Elyon (The Most High God) Gen. 14:17-22
He is Sovereign God in whom we can put our trust. He has supremacy over all false Gods. God was referred to as El Elyon 3 times by Melchezidek when He blessed Abram.

El Roi (The God Who Sees Me - with a Fatherly awareness) Gen. 16:11-14; Ps. 139:7-12

El Shaddai (The All Sufficient One, The God of the Mountains, God Almighty) Gen. 17:1-3, 48:3, 49:25, 35:11; Ps. 90:2.

El Olam (The Eternal, The Everlasting God) Gen 21; 33
He is the beginning and the End, the One who works His purposes through the ages.

Jehovah Jireh - The Lord will PROVIDE (Gen. 22:13-14)

Jehovah-Mekaddishkem - The Lord Who Sanctifies

Jehovah-Nissi - The Lord is My Banner

Jehovah-Rapha (The Lord Who Heals)

Jehovah-Rohi (The Lord is My Shepherd)

Today let’s look a more names of God. For the name reveal His character.
The most used name in the Bible for God is:
YHWH (YAHWEH) - “I AM” The One Who is The Self-Existent One

Exodus 3:13-15 NIV
13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’“This is my name forever,the name you shall call mefrom generation to generation.

-This name of God is known as the tetragrammaton, meaning “the four letters” and is used over 7000 times in the Old Testament.

Exactly how this four letter name was to be pronounced is no longer known, Jews inadverttenly did it in order to obey the command in Exodus 20:7 “You shall not take the name of YHWH your God in vain,” they would substitute another Hebrew word that meant “Lord.” In the course of time, the proper pronunciation of this name of God, YHWH, was forgotten.

The central truth that God reveals in this name is: He is the God that never changes. His promises never fail. He is the covenant-keeper.This name is also JEHOVAH (In Hebrew: Y=J sound, H, V=W sound, H)

This variation occurred in the 16th century when a German Bible translator wrote the name YHWH using the vowel sounds of Adonai. There is a long debate and discussion as to why he did this. But whatever the case, the name JeHoVaH appeared in the KJV Bibles since. When you see Jehovah, it is also YHWH. (LORD)

ADONAI - “to judge” or “to rule” - Lord, Master, Owner (Ps. 8, Is. 40:3-5, Ez. 16:8, Hab. 3:19)
This name also deal with the name YHWH but it also has the meaning of “lord.”
The core truth in this name is “God is owner.” The One who is Lord over, ruler over, master over; has dominion and authority over.

Our response to this name is centered in obedience. Jesus instructed His disciples to obey out of love: John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

If people ever ask the question, "How can believers show their love for God?" The answer is , “They do not show their love for God through emotionalism, they show their love for God by means of their obedience." This was the way Jesus showed His love…He obeyed…even at an early age - “Don’t you know I must be about my Father’s business.” He did so unto death…

Qanna - Jealous (Exodus 34:14) (a righteous jealous - like a Husband or wife jealous over their adultrous spouse.)

Exodus 20:4-5 says, “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God,”

God is jealous when someone gives to another something that rightly belongs to Him.

EL - THE STRONG ONE (Ex. 15:2, Numbers 23:22, Deut. 7:9 (Mark 15:34))
-Appears over 200 times in O.T. as a compound - first part of a name (we see this in EL-ELYON, EL-OHIM, El-ROI, El- SHADDAI, EL ELOHE YISRAEL (God, The God of Israel)

JEHOVAH (YHWH) SABAOTH - The LORD of HOSTS, The Lord of ARMIES - ALMIGHTY (1 Sam. 1:3, 1 Sam. 17:45, Ps. 46:7, Mal. 1:10-14 (Rom.9:29))
The Lord will always prevail.

1 Samuel 17:45-46 NIV
45 "David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord
(YHWH) Almighty (The LORD of Armies), the God (ELOHIM - The All-Powerful One) of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied."

God is in your battle - (Jesus is in your boat) - don’t loose heart, grow weary or be afraid. Trust God’s path and embrace His presence.

JEHOVAH (YHWH) SHALOM - THE LORD IS PEACE (Num. 6:22-27, Judges 6:22-24, Is. 9:6, (heb. 13:20))
God defeats our enemies to bring us peace. Jesus is our PRINCE of PEACE. God brings us inner peace and hope.

JEHOVAH (YHWH) SHAMMAH- THE LORD IS THERE, THE LORD MY COMPANION. (Ez. 48:35, Ps. 46 (Matt. 28:20, Rev. 21))
God is not limitied to a location, a place… like in the OT - Tabernancle or Temple. He is accesible to all who love Him and obey Him.

JEHOVAH (YHWH) TSIDKENU - THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (Jer. 23:5-6, Jer. 33:16, Ez. 36:26-27, (2 Cor. 5:21))
Jesus is our King and in the One who imparts His righteousness to us. He brings us in to right standing with God.

IMMANUEL - GOD WITH US (Is. 7:14, Is. 8:8-10 (Matt. 1:23)
More on this next week…

God has revealed who He is throughout the ages, He’s revealed Himself in miraculous ways - for the soul purpose of US knowing Him.

To know Him, simply come to Him on His terms. When we stop and really surrender, calling out from our desperate need, our brokenness, genuine desire… asking Him to show us the way to Him, and walking in humility,- God show us His ways, blesses us with peace. In this we are filled with hope, love and His presence. You can know God… walk with Him.

-Do you want to know Him more? Do you feel like He is not there or millions of miles away?

-It could be that you aren’t coming to God on His terms… Instead of God I want this or this… simply say, God I surrender my life to You. Help me understand who you are so that I may grow closer to You and reveal Your love to others.

 

 

Building Blocks Week 2: Who is God?

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning February 11th, 2018.

John 17:1-5 NIV
1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

Interesting statement that Jesus made in this prayer. (Verse 3) "Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." The only way we can know Jesus is to know God. Jesus prayed that we would know God.

Let’s look closer at the descriptions of God and grow in our knowledge so that we can grow in faith and understand the promises, provision and presence of God.

Who is God?
The first place we see God is Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God

Who is this God who was at the beginning of all?
-Challenging question
-Answered in the Bible

At the core of our being, there is a need to know God and be known by Him. Many search for Him and never find Him. Jesus said it this way:

Matthew 7:13-14 NIV
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Many walk the wide path. This path is all about "SELF." They make life all about themselves. Some don’t care about God and His purpose for their life, many are trying to conform God to there ways and ultimately come away not knowing Him… many are ambivalent towers God… want Him in the storms, act like He’s not there in the calm.

Jesus said that the way to Him is small and narrow and few find Him. Few find Him. Many try to find God on their terms, few try to find Him on His terms.

When we get to the end of our selves, when we find we can’t fix a big problem, faced with mortality, bow in great anguish and are overcome with hard questions that go beyond our reasoning… in surrender, in contrition, we find God.

>Ps. 51:17 “a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.”

Psalms 34:18 “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Matthew 5:3 (NLT)  “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

So let’s stop now: ask God to help us… repent, surrender, stop… ask God to help us truly realize, we need Him. We are survivalist… we figure things out, we are resourceful. But when all that has played out, we come up short, feelings empty… that is what poor in spirit feels like… We need God.

I am so glad that God desires to redeem us and have a relationship with us. I am so glad that He reveals Himself to us and that we have truthful testimony of Him and His love.

God has given us an incredible account of His Words, His ways and testimonies of those who struggled in their faith, defined their faith, proclaimed their faith. Let’s look at God’s Word, find Him in His story. The first name place we see God is in Genesis 1:1. We see His actions more that His attributes. It is only after His creation of man do we hear of His love, care, provision. To better understand Him, let’s look at His names. Usually in our modern translation we only see the name GOD or LORD, but in the Old Testament Hebrew and in the New Testament Greek, there are so many names that He is called by, known for, expressed in.

ELOHIM. The first place we see God is again in Genesis 1:1. God is the “All-Powerful One Creator.” In this we see His creation of order where there was chaos. Life where there was death, nothing, a void. God created. How: In this we see that He knows all, creates all, and is everywhere at all times. In His creation we see His provision where there was absolutely nothing.

Aren’t you glad that our God can handle the darkness, the emptiness?
God looks into the emptiness of your life and can create LIFE. Eternal life through Christ Jesus.

In Genesis we also see God as :
El Elyon (The Most High God) Gen. 14:17-22
He is Sovereign God in whom we can put our trust. He has supremacy over all false Gods. God was referred to as El Elyon 3 times by Melchezidek when He blessed Abram.

Genesis 14:17-22 NIV
17 After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). 18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying,“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,Creator of heaven and earth. 20 And praise be to God Most High,who delivered your enemies into your hand.”Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. 21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.” 22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth,


El Roi (The God Who Sees Me) Gen. 16:11-14; Ps. 139:7-12
Hagar called the Lord by this name beside a fountain of water in the wilderness. God knows all of our thoughts and feelings. It is great to know that there are no circumstances in our lives that escape His fatherly awareness and care. God knows us in our troubles.

Genesis 16:11-14 NIV
11 The angel of the Lord also said to her:“You are now pregnantand you will give birth to a son.You shall name him Ishmael,for the Lord has heard of your misery. 12 He will be a wild donkey of a man;his hand will be against everyoneand everyone’s hand against him,and he will live in hostilitytoward all his brothers.” 13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” 14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.

Psalm 139:7-12 NIV
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me,your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide meand the light become night around me,” 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;the night will shine like the day,for darkness is as light to you.

El Shaddai (The All Sufficient One, The God of the Mountains, God Almighty) Gen. 17:1-3, 48:3, 49:25, 35:11; Ps. 90:2.
God calls Himself - El Shaddai when He confirms His covenant with Abraham. God is the all-sufficient source of all our blessings. He is all-powerful. It is great when we know Him as El Shaddai… for we know that our problems are not to big for Him to Handle.

Genesis 17:1-3 NIV
1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. 2 Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.” 3 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him,

Genesis 21:33 NIV
33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Eternal God.

El Olam (The Eternal, The Everlasting God) Gen 21: 33
He is the beginning and the End, the One who works His purposes through the ages.

Psalms 90:1-2 NIV
1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. 2 Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Genesis 22:13-14 NIV
13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”

As man walked with God, cried out to God, saw God’s mighty acts of justice, provision, guidance and grew in knowledge of who God is… more names were given as testimony of His character.

Jehovah Jireh - The Lord will PROVIDE (Gen. 22:13-14)
Just as God provided a ram as a substitute for Isaac, He provided His Son Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice. God will meet our eternal needs.

Exodus 31:12-13 NIV
12 Then the Lord said to Moses, 13 “Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy.

Jehovah-Mekaddishkem - The Lord Who Sanctifies (Ex. 31:12-13; 1 Pet. 1:15-16; Heb. 13:12; 1 These. 5:23-24)
God sets us apart as a chosen people, a royal priesthood, Holy unto Himself, like Israel, a people of His own. He is at work in us, by grace, growing us, maturing us cleansing us to reveal His love, His life, His ways to a dark world in chaos.

Exodus 17:15-16 NIV
15 Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. 16 He said, “Because hands were lifted up against the throne of the Lord, the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”

Jehovah-Nissi - The Lord is My Banner
God gives us victory against our sinful flesh, the world and the devil. Our battles are His battles. Victory is in Him. Jesus conquered the darkness…

Exodus 15:25-27 NIV
25 Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became fit to drink.There the Lord issued a ruling and instruction for them and put them to the test. 26 He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.” 27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water.

Jehovah-Rapha (The Lord Who Heals) (Ex. 15:25-27; Ps. 103:3; Ps. 147:3)
God has provided the final cure for spiritual, physical, and emotional sickness in Jesus Christ

Psalm 23:1-3 NIV
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul.He guides me along the right pathsfor his name’s sake.

Jehovah-Rohi (The Lord is My Shepherd) Ps. 23; Is. 53:6
The Lord protects, provides, directs, leads, and cares, for His people. Jesus is the GOOD shepherd who played down His life for all people.

We are going to stop there today and pick it back up next week. I pray you’ve been encouraged to know this God of ours better.

For this God of ours, desires to be known. Throughout the ages, He’s revealed Himself is miraculous ways.

To know Him, simply come to Him on His terms. When we stop and really surrender, calling out from our desperate need, our brokenness, our genuine sincere desire… asking Him to show us the way to Him, and walking in humility,- God show us His ways, blesses us with peace. In this we are filled with hope, love and His presence. You can know God… walk with Him.

Do you want to know Him more? Do you feel like He is not there or millions of miles away? It could be that you aren’t coming to God on His terms… Instead of God I want this or this… simply say, God I surrender my life to You. Pray: Help me understand who you are so that I may grow closer to You and reveal Your love to others

 

Building Blocks Week 1: Faith

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning February 4th, 2018.

Romans 10:17 NIV
17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

Hebrews 12:1 NIV
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,

Whether you are a seasoned Christian, strong in faith, knowledgeable of God’s living Word, and walking in His divine purpose, or you feel like you barely understand the Bible, you feel like you have more questions than answers about the Christian life, possibly still struggling in define your beliefs…I believe this new series will help and strengthen you. We are going to talk about the the Building Blocks of Faith. In this series we are going to look at Who is God, Who is Jesus, Who is the Holy Spirit, Why do we call the Bible God’s Word and How did we get it, What is the Church and Why is it Important, What is Baptism, Communion,… If you have a topic that you would like know more on, see me and maybe we can study this as well…

In Old Testament times, major cities would often be fortified with large stone walls surrounding them. Building these walls was labor-intensive, time-consuming and expensive. Once completed these walls served as an effective deterrent to invading armies. The bigger the wall, the harder for the invading army to gain victory.

Your life is a like a fortified city built through a series of experiences controlled much by your beliefs, values, talents and influences. Your faith in God was established like this as well, precepts built upon precept, stone upon stone.

https://www.persecution.com/whoweserve/
Soon after 13-year-old Susan Ithungu came to know Christ in 2009, her Muslim father began to beat her, once even threatening to kill her with a knife. After trying for months to persuade Susan to deny Christ, he finally locked her in a small space in their mud shanty.

Six months passed before neighbors realized what was happening to Susan and notified the police, who rescued her and took her to a hospital. A pastor who visited her immediately after her rescue said she was extremely thin and unable to walk or talk. “Her hair had turned yellow, she had long fingernails and sunken eyes, and she looked very slim, less than 45 pounds,” he said.

Sadly, Susan’s story is not unique in Uganda. While 85 percent of the country’s population is Christian, those who convert from Islam to Christianity face persecution and physical abuse from family members if they convert from Islam to Christianity. Susan suffered from untreated malaria while locked away in the small room, and the months of calcium deficiency affected her growing bones. After two major operations on her left femur, she can now walk with crutches.

VOM paid Susan’s medical bills and provided funds that enabled her to travel to a hospital in Kenya. We also provided living expenses for her and her Christian caregiver, Dreda. She and
Dreda relocated to another village, where Susan is protected from her father. Through all of her difficulties, Susan has held onto her faith. “I feel very well,” she said with a smile, “because I’m now with Christ.” “This girl has gone through a tough time,” the VOM worker said. “She has, however, stood firm no matter what she had to go through, including rejection by [her] father and subjection to walking by crutches. She has pulled through and is growing stronger in the Lord every moment.”

1. Faith grows as we hear the TRUTHS from God’s Word, the Bible, not just once or twice, but repeatedly and repeatedly.
2. Faith grows as we live in, through and walk in obedience to God’s Word.
3. God’s Word is for us today and can be believed & trusted:
>Isaiah 40:8 (NIV) 8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”
>Hebrews 4:12-13 (NIV) 12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

From the foundation to the fortification… the Word of God teaches, reveals, and empowers us. When we embrace the truths and believe them… It renews our thinking… thereby changing our beliefs and perspective. Think about the relational process you moved through when you met your spouse. From strangers to soul mates. From a friendship to a “till death do we part relationship”…a love that is more than a word… it is something so deep inside of your being that it is hard to verbalize. FAITH is more than a word… like saying “I LOVE my wife. LOVE is more than a word…

Growing in our relationship with God comes by knowing Him, learning His ways through seeing His acts of love that are just as real and relevant today as they were when Adam and Eve, Abraham, Moses, David and the disciples walked the planet. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

We need to meet God on His terms, through His ways, in His Words and then obey as a heart action… when we do, we grow in faith. Obedience without heart relationship isn’t true FAITH. WE MUST BE CAREFUL.

Satan and our own sinful nature wantS to meet God on our terms. One of the big mistakes that many Christians make is limiting God to something His is not or adding to what He is. Sometimes people take God’s Word and conform it to their desires, and in doing so they add to it, twist it, take it out of context and ultimately make a new God and have faith it something is more of a false idol than a true FAITH in the ONE TRUE GOD. If we believe that the Bible is outdated, wrong, irrelevant to today's culture and worldview, then we will NOT grow in faith, NOT establish a relationship with God and we will NOT live in lasting peace and hope. We must understand the Satan comes to still, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). Our own nature will lead us from God (James 1:15)

FAITH is truly an issue of the heart. (The core of belief)

Listen to Jesus Words:

Luke 8:4-15 (NIV)
4 While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: 5 “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. 6 Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” 11 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

The key to strong FAITH in life’s struggles:
do you retain God’s Word, (OBEY) the truth and do you persevere (put it into practice through redeemed desire and obedience)

When we face life’s storms, the struggles, temptation to sin… OUR FAITH in PRACTICE determines whether we have hope, confidence, strength, or peace.

Later in this passage:

Luke 8:22-25 (NIV)
22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. 23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. 24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. 25 “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.

Matt 8: 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”
Mark 4:40 “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

I have heard this parable so many times… We tend to focus on the outcome - the storm ceased because Jesus stopped it. So we come away from this parable with:

If you have faith, your storms will cease.
But the true take away it this: Faith Says - Jesus is with me and because He is with me, why be afraid.

Romans 8:35-39 NIV
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:“For your sake we face death all day long;we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So what about your faith?
Through life’s storms, trials, temptations… How does your faith handle those times? Could it be that much of the struggle comes from little or no faith. Or from not putting God’s word into practice.

We need really examine the foundation of our life, the core of our relationship with God.

Hear Jesus again, but this time not to the disciples but to you:

Where is your Faith?

You have no faith.

You have little faith.

Where do you stand? no faith, little faith, maybe you’ve had strong faith in the past but it’s absent lately…Ask God to inspect your foundation:

Psalms 139:23-24
23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Don’t be ashamed of, prideful, or trivialize what God reveals. He desires that your faith in Him be genuine, strong and lasting so that you are not tossed around by false teaching which leads to a false witness. He desires that you place your faith in Him so that when storm's come, the enemy rages, doubt, worry, fear attack.. you have faith in truly knowing that God is with you. He desires that you reveal His true love and bare a true witness to those around us. My God is real... my faith is strong.

Crossing the Generational Divide

Audio from Associate Pastor Josh Carpenter on Sunday morning January 28th, 2018.

2 Timothy 1:1-5 NIV
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, in keeping with the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, 2 To Timothy, my dear son:Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

2 Timothy 4:6 NIV
6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near.

2 Timothy 4:9 NIV
9 Do your best to come to me quickly,

1. Our generations are in desperate need of discipleship

Matthew 9:36-38 NIV
36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV
18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

Moses & Joshua (Exodus 24)
Elijah & Elisha ( 1 Kings 19)
Eli & Samuel (1 Samuel 1)
Paul & Timothy (Acts 16)

2. Where there is community there is unity

John 17:20-21 NIV
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

Ephesians 4:2-3 NIV
2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

3. Allow your hindsight to be another’s foresight

Psalm 71:17-18 NIV
17 Since my youth, God, you have taught me,and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. 18 Even when I am old and gray,do not forsake me, my God,till I declare your power to the next generation,your mighty acts to all who are to come.

 

Running the Race set before Us

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning January 21st, 2018.

Life is like a race. Everyday when our feet hit the ground, we are pressing toward a goal, a prize. There is something we want to achieve - obtain the prize. As Christians, in our race we need to run in such a way that others see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven. (Matthew 5:16 let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.) So let’s talk about that… the race set before us…

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NIV
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

We are called to run a good race, to obtain a prize that is ETERNAL.

Whatever God calls us to be or instructs us to do, there is most likely a story (sometimes many) that help us from His Word. In todays study, we find a strong runner.

CALEB - (RAN A GOOD RACE AND GOT THE PRIZE):
>Witnessed the plagues, the parting of the sea, the glory of God.
>He was there… suffered under Pharaohs slave drivers.
>Was there in the suffering, may have been one crying out to God for deliverance
>Was there in Egypt as Moses and Aaron came from the wilderness with the message of deliverance
>Saw the mighty finger of God strike Egypt with 10 plagues.
>Was there in his home packed, ready to go with blood on the doorpost when the death angel came and struck dead the first born of Egypt.
>He was there when Israel made there way out of Egypt, pursued by Pharaoh’s great army.
>He probably saw the cloud that was between Israel and sure death from the massive army of Pharaoh.
>He was there and saw Moses raised his staff and the sea parted
>He experienced incredible and powerful salvation, (on dry ground) he crossed over to the other side of safety.
>He was there and saw the sea close up on the past. The oppressors were destroyed (Pharaoh’s army was drowned as the sea closed in over them.
>He was there during the worship of God as they camped that night. Oh the feeling of amazement and hope…
>He was there and heard the crumbling.
>He was there as hunger and thirst crippled the hearts and heard the groans against Moses and God.
>He ate the manna, the quail, drank water from the rock
>He was there and probably fought as Moses sat with arms raised, one held by Aaron and the other by Hur. While down below a fierce battle against the Amalekites raged. He saw experienced victory over the Amalekites as Joshua commanded the warriors.
>He was there and heard the thunder and saw the cloud that came down Mt. Sinai as Moses met with God and was given the law.
>He was there when Aaron made the golden calf and saw the sinful worship of the calf.

And then as they camped east of the land of Canaan this day came: (chosen to spy out the land of Canaan - God’s promised land)

Numbers 13:1-33 NIV
1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.” 3 So at the Lord’s command Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran. All of them were leaders of the Israelites. 4 These are their names:from the tribe of Reuben, Shammua son of Zakkur; 5 from the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat son of Hori; 6 from the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh; 7 from the tribe of Issachar, Igal son of Joseph; 8 from the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea son of Nun; 9 from the tribe of Benjamin, Palti son of Raphu; 10 from the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel son of Sodi; 11 from the tribe of Manasseh (a tribe of Joseph), Gaddi son of Susi; 12 from the tribe of Dan, Ammiel son of Gemalli; 13 from the tribe of Asher, Sethur son of Michael; 14 from the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi son of Vophsi; 15 from the tribe of Gad, Geuel son of Maki. 16 These are the names of the men Moses sent to explore the land. (Moses gave Hoshea son of Nun the name Joshua.) 17 When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, “Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country. 18 See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. 19 What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? 20 How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees in it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.” (It was the season for the first ripe grapes.) 21 So they went up and explored the land from the Desert of Zin as far as Rehob, toward Lebo Hamath. 22 They went up through the Negev and came to Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, lived. (Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 23 When they reached the Valley of Eshkol, they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs. 24 That place was called the Valley of Eshkol because of the cluster of grapes the Israelites cut off there. 25 At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land. 26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.” 30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

Numbers 14:1-9 NIV
1 That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. 2 All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” 5 Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there. 6 Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes 7 and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. 8 If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. 9 Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”

Caleb was one of the 12 spies, he saw the land, saw the large men, saw the grapes… while others bowed their hearts in fear because of what they saw, Caleb’s faith powered his heart is the Lord His God and in His promises. When they came back: he heard the fear, the doubt, the lack of belief in the Lord’s powerHe spoke up when others did not.

Joshua didn’t even speak up first. (13:30) I believe Caleb had his eye on the prize. He believed God and believed in God’s promise of provision. He had experienced it already… and trusted God for it in the the future.

Think about this:
*What Caleb saw, received, experienced was the same as everyone else, yet he embraced it in such a way that his faith was unmovable and strong. *He was running the same race as the others yet he was running in such a way as to get the prize.
*Even when Moses wasn’t strong, Caleb was. Caleb spoke for God when others were silent.
*Joshua joined with Him moments later and tried to rally the people to trust God and take the land. But fear and lack of faith crippled them.
*Caleb endured God’s discipline. For 40 years he lived in the wilderness and watched his kinsmen die in the wilderness.
*He was there when Moses died.
*He was there the day that God appointed Joshua to lead the remnant in to the promised land.

Caleb ran a good race... and received His reward (after 45 years)

Joshua 14:6-15 NIV
6 Now the people of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know what the Lord said to Moses the man of God at Kadesh Barnea about you and me. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, 8 but my fellow Israelites who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt in fear. I, however, followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly. 9 So on that day Moses swore to me, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.’ 10 “Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. 12 Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.” 13 Then Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron as his inheritance. 14 So Hebron has belonged to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite ever since, because he followed the Lord, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly. 15 (Hebron used to be called Kiriath Arba after Arba, who was the greatest man among the Anakites.)Then the land had rest from war.

There is much that we can draw from in this today and spend all day talking about it. But simply put, as Caleb we need to be:
>In the right race - on the path set before Him by God (God’s path)
>Courageous – not afraid of the giants.
>Obedient – followed God “wholeheartedly ”
>Faithful -he believed God’s promises
>Persistent -he never gave up!

THERE IS A TIME TO CRY OUT AND THERE IS A TIME TO GO, A TIME TO ACT.
>When we are oppressed and enslaved by sins grip -This is the time to cry out for forgiveness and repent.
>As we start moving along God’s path and encounter obstacles of fear, doubt, a lack of understanding - cry out for strength to move on… Pray for understanding, endurance and knowledge of God’s ways. He is faithful…
>Ask God to help you to persevere in learning His ways through His word.

What if God has given you the manna for today, should you cry out for more, pray for more? Should you ask Him for other provisions when what He has faithfully given is really all you need for today's journey. Oh that we could discern these things. (I think we can… as we get ourselves in tune, in rhythm, in sync with God’s power.) I have found that the greatest way to align myself with Him is through prayer and large sessions of reading/hearing His Word. It is during these times that the Holy Spirit leads, empowers, encourages and directs me.

I want to encourage you:
IT COULD BE THAT AS WE PRAY FOR A MOVE OF GOD, GOD IS SAYING “GO BE A MOVE OF GOD. I’VE GIVEN YOU EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR THE RACE SET BEFORE YOU… I’ve given you power, be strong in the Me and now run a good race… whatever else you need along the way, I will supply."
“STEP OUT, SPEAK UP”
“REACH OUT AND I’LL POUR THROUGH”
God, help us remember who we are in you and what You’ve called us to be and do. Help us run this race in such a way that others see you and glorify you.

Matthew 5:16 NIV
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

What is Worship?

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning January 14th, 2018.

Psalm 34:1-3 NIV
1 I will extol the Lord at all times;his praise will always be on my lips. 2 I will glory in the Lord;let the afflicted hear and rejoice. 3 Glorify the Lord with me;let us exalt his name together.

Let’s talk about
1.What worship is not, and what it is.
2.Why worship
3.What does that look like and sound like at JOY

Worship: to kneel before, bow, in awe or reverence.

>Other actions tied to worship- singing, dancing, clapping, kneeling, bowing, (rejoicing) in response to God’s goodness and faithfulness.
At the heart of worship we find a God who desires to interact, love on, be a part of His creation.
>He walk in the cool of the day with Adam (Gen. 3:8)
>He tabernacled with Israel (Ex. 24-30)
>Now in Christ, we are filled with His Holy Spirit… How is that for tabernacling. (Col. 1:19-20)

At the heart of worship we find man capable to meet with God. Capable because of Christ Jesus our Lord. Worship then is our response to His presence. As we understand the reality of His love, provisions, life and hope. We respond. Worship connects our mind, heart and will to God through thankfulness, love, need, and desire.

A. What Worship Is Not: (Can be found in these, but not limited to)
1.Worship is not AN EVENT.
2.Worship is not MUSIC.
3.Worship is not A PERFORMANCE.
4.Worship is not A FEELING.
5.Worship is not something that’s CONFINED to one day a week.
6.Worship is not about us.

B. What Worship Is.
1. Worship is A RESPONSE TO GOD. 1 John 4:19
2. Worship is HEART-FELT. John 4:23
3. Worship is THAT WHICH VALUES HIM ABOVE EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING. Mark 12:30
4. Worship is a CHOICE. Is. 12:4-6

C. Why do we Worship?
A. We Worship Because of Who God Is.
>Praise is a response to what God does.
>Worship is a response to who God is.
I praise God; I thank Him for His mercy when He answers my prayers. I praise Him in response to His works, but I worship Him for who He is, simply because He is God.
I am not worshipping Him because of what He will do for me, but because of what He is to me. When worship becomes commercial, rote, passive, style driven, it ceases to be worship. When it isn’t to God, about God and God centered, then it ceases to be worship.

WHAT does this look like and sound like at JOY?
At JOY we believe in the importance of worship.
Corporate worship conveys many things:
>TO God - our gratitude, our true heart felt love of Him
>TO God - we are making a declaration of dependence and devotion to Him
>TO Others - in our testimony of song, witness- we love God
>TO Others - we are dependent on Him
>In Others - encourages them to open there lives to Him
>In Others - Helps others know His love, goodness and strength

There is a place for various types of songs in our corporate worship services as long as we remember why we are singing, and what it is all about. When we loose sight we will not have worship but division, flesh and in some churches - war.

Homework: WORSHIP
Meditate on Psalm 95