Ordinary Heroes Week 5: Caleb

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning June 30th, 2019.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/646124


Life is like a race. Every day 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 today's study, we find an ordinal hero, a strong runner - Caleb.


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.”


Caleb:

>Ran the same race as all the other, but not like all the others.

>Why did he get the prize?



Let's take a closer look: Numbers 13:1-14:9



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.”


What Caleb saw, experienced, & received was the same as everyone else.

>His faith was unmovable and strong

>He ran to get the prize (Joshua 14:6-15)


Numbers 14:6-15 NIV

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.” 10 But the whole assembly talked about stoning them. Then the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the Israelites. 11 The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them? 12 I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they.” 13 Moses said to the Lord, “Then the Egyptians will hear about it! By your power you brought these people up from among them. 14 And they will tell the inhabitants of this land about it. They have already heard that you, Lord, are with these people and that you, Lord, have been seen face to face, that your cloud stays over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. 15 If you put all these people to death, leaving none alive, the nations who have heard this report about you will say,


Did you catch that? - Caleb received his reward … 45 years later. 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 us 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


Our closing prayer:

God, help us remember who we are in You.

Help us know and embrace Your purpose and give us the strength to do it. Lord, work in us so that others may see You and know Your love and glorify You, oh Lord. Amen


Did you catch that? - Caleb received his reward … 45 years later.

>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:

1. In the right race - on the path set before us by God (God’s path)

2. Courageous – not afraid of the giants.

3. Obedient – followed God “wholeheartedly ”

4. Faithful -he believed God’s promises

5. Persistent -he never gave up


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.

Your Will Be Done

Audio from Associate Pastor Josh Carpenter on Sunday morning June 23rd, 2019.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/641135


Matthew 6:9-10 NIV

9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Do we give a second thought to the internal war going on inside of us?

Explore Galatians 5 for more on this idea.

1 Peter 2:11 NIV

11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.

Let's look at 4 areas of our will that stand in opposition to God's will.

1. My will says: comfort above all

God’s will says: Christ above all

Luke 22:42-44 NIV

42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

Matthew 6:24 NIV

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Hebrews 11:24-26 NIV

24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.

2 Timothy 3:12 NIV

12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

1. My will says: comfort above all

God’s will says: Christ above all


Familiar territory: the comfort zone and the status quo

Jonah 1:2-3 NIV

2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” 3 But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.

Genesis 12:1-4 NIV

1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation,and I will bless you;I will make your name great,and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you,and whoever curses you I will curse;and all peoples on earthwill be blessed through you.” 4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran.

Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV

22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

3. My will says: the world’s approval

God’s will says: reject sin

James 4:4 NIV

4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

Galatians 6:1 NIV

1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.

4. my will: a faith that costs me nothing

God’s will: a surrendered life

Isaiah 53:3-5 NIV

3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.Like one from whom people hide their faceshe was despised, and we held him in low esteem. 4 Surely he took up our painand bore our suffering,yet we considered him punished by God,stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,he was crushed for our iniquities;the punishment that brought us peace was on him,and by his wounds we are healed.

Mark 10:28 NIV

28 Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!”

“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, in the end, "Thy will be done." - C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

Father's Day: The Tamarisk Tree

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning June 16th, 2019.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/638893


When you read the Bible you find that it has a great deal to say about fathers. You will find many teachings, many instructions and many words of wisdom for guidance.



One particular action done by a father has recently struck me and has had a powerful effect on me.


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.


Before we can really understand Abraham's motives for planting a tree, we need to hear the back story.

Genesis 12:1-9


Genesis 12:1-9 NIV

1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation,and I will bless you;I will make your name great,and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you,and whoever curses you I will curse;and all peoples on earthwill be blessed through you.” 4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. 6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him. 8 From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord. 9 Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev.


Abram(ham) went to Egypt for a while during a great famine but later returned with Lot his nephew. They had to part because of how large their flocks were growing then:

Genesis 13:14-18


Genesis 13:14-18 NIV

14 The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. 15 All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. 16 I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. 17 Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.” 18 So Abram went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he pitched his tents. There he built an altar to the Lord.


So let's kinda summarize:

God makes a covenant with Abraham

God gives Abraham land.

Abraham plants a tree.



This is an important fact because it reveals that Abraham truly trusted in God and His provision. His faith was revealed in his action. He just didn’t say he believed, he responded in God’s goodness by passing on the blessing to future generations. To better understand this, we have to investigate the tamarisk tree.


What are the interesting characteristics about the tamarisk tree that set it off from other trees? Why would you plant one in the desert?


It appears that Abraham did not simply plant any tree upon arriving in Beersheba. He planted special tree to bring comfort and relief to the one who would live in the harsh desert environment. To a Bedouin or a Jew of the Middle East, the saying is this, “you don’t plant a tamarisk tree for yourself, you plant it for your grandchildren to enjoy”.



So what is Abraham saying in planting this tree?

>God, I so totally believe you, I’m going to plant a tree…even though I don’t have a place to bury my wife…or for me to be buried!

>This is my land and for generations to come, my family is going to be here.

>I’m going to plant a tree my grandkids will sit under because this will be our land!



As we think about Abraham’s blessing of planting a tamarisk tree for his offspring, we have to ask ourselves the question,



How much of what we do in life is done for just ourselves? Our comfort, our profit, our satisfaction?



Do we do anything to bless or plant a seed for the generations that are to come?



Is there anything that you are currently involved in that will outlive you?



We need to plant seeds of faith. A Godly heritage of walking with God is greater than any earthly possession.


Fathers, you are called to be the spiritual leader in the family. You, dad, set the spiritual direction of your family.



I have found that if a father walks with God, most likely his wife and children do as well. Let Jesus Christ be the center of your life and plant seeds of faith… your family needs to:

>Hear you pray, see you pray.

Life is full of challenges, struggles, desert places. Your children need you to plant seeds of “How you deal with these moments.” This conveys to them your dependance on God. It instills hope and security. It shows them that you know how to step out of the heat of the daily challenges, the issues of the day and take refuge.



>They need to see you and hear you worship God,

>They need to see you and hear you read the Bible.

>They need to see you and hear you be compassionate and share God’s love with others.

>They need to be part of your walk with God. They need to see you walking “in step” with the Bible.

>They need to be recipients of the fruit that comes from God through your life: See Galatians 5:22-25


Galatians 5:22-25 NIV

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.


Walking “in step” with God is like this… we open our eyes to His Word, learn His ways, we see how walk in step and align ourselves to it, making corrections along the way, we rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us, nudge us in place… the Church is important in this as well, we are encouraged and strengthened as we watch how other believers walk in faith, aligning themselves to God’s word and ways. We listen as well, we listen to the Word, to the voices of men and women who help, admonish, and challenge. Sometimes even nudge us to WALK in step with God as they walk with God…


Abraham knew the harshness of the desert climate. He knew that other generations would have to face the same heat, trials and desert challenges. So he planted the tamarisk tree to bless them and give them some relief.



What are you planting, growing and working on that will help and bless your family for generations to come?



Repent if needed, pray and respond. God empowers you, as you put your faith in Him. Go plant your Tamarisk tree.

Ordinary Heroes Week 3: Thomas

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning June 2nd, 2019.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/630528


The Bible is full of ordinary people that God has walked with, encouraged, and empowered through hard times and places, in order that His name be made great. These were ORDINARY people. But with God, they did extraordinary things. Their lives have been recorded for us to see, examine, and find encouraging insight for our daily lives. In this series we will look at many ordinary people who God used.



This morning I want to look at the nature of the Apostle Thomas, as much as we can, from the three times He is mentioned in John.

Was he, Thomas the DOUBTER or Thomas the DOER?


I. Thomas Willing to Risk His Life (John 11:1-16)

1. The first time that we see Thomas mentioned is found in the passage about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.


John 11:1-16 NIV

1 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” 4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” 8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.” 11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.” 12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. 14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”


The disciples have a good point here. They tell Jesus, hey that isn’t such a great idea.

“Let us go back to Judea.”

>Vs 11:8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”

>The Disciples: “You know there are people out there who are trying to kill you.”

>Jesus insist that they still go.

Vs. 16 is key: Thomas speaks out… “Let’s go too – and die with Jesus.”



Thomas, the one who we always refer to as doubting Thomas, makes the bold statement “I am willing to follow with you, Jesus, even if it means death.”



Application

What can we learn from this?

>First of all Thomas was not just a doubter.

>Thomas was willing to put in all on the line.

>In his mind there was a strong chance that he would be killed if he went to Judea.

Thomas was willing to risk death to follow Jesus

Do you have that same passion to follow Jesus?

Do you have that same desire to follow Jesus?

Do you have the same boldness to follow Jesus?



Thomas confronts us with this...

>He was willing to put life, his goals, his future in God’s hands and follow Jesus at all cost.

>Are we willing to obey even unto death? He did... and we should too.




II. Thomas was willing to ask the questions that we all were wondering (John 14:1-6)


John 14:1-6 NIV

1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God ; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 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. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.


>This is a very important moment. Jesus has just washed the Disciples to show them how to serve. Then He tells them how He is going to die. Now He is comforting them with these words…



>Let us be honest, if this was the first time you heard about all this you would be confused too.



>I can see the disciples sitting around and shaking there head and pretending they understand what Jesus was talking about.

I get that look from time and time when I am preaching, I don’t think you understand what I am saying but you smile and nod anyways.


Here we see Thomas saying to Jesus: I don’t get it. I am confused. Help me understand.

>Notice Jesus did not rebuke Thomas

>Jesus did not make fun of him for his honest question

>Jesus used a different way and expanded on some things to answer the questions that Thomas had.

>The rest of the disciples in their mind I am sure they were saying thank you Thomas for asking that question



What can we learn from this?

>You know one of the biggest misconceptions that we have been taught is questions are wrong.

>Honest questions are not sin.

>To want better understanding of a situation is not a sin.

>Sometimes we just don’t understand… life, a situation, a hard spot we are in…



Be willing to ask God the questions, be willing to examine things, figure out what exactly is going on.


III. Thomas Willing to Accept the truth (John 20:24-29)


John 20:24-29 NIV

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”


Thomas gets a bad label here in John 20:24-29, but we have to understand what was going on before:

(Mark 16:1-13)


Mark 16:1-13 NIV

1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ” 8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. 9 When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. 12 Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.


Did you catch that? None of the disciples believed Jesus was alive. But Thomas was the one that got tagged “DOUBTING.”



>When they were together Thomas was not there.

>Where was Thomas? The Bible does not say.



But when Thomas gets the news, He is like the rest. Thomas did not want to blindly accept what his fellow disciples said. He wanted to make sure that everything was correct.



So the Lord showed up, and showed him.

Thomas then makes one of the most overlooked statements in the Bible….in verse 20:28 “My Lord and my God”

a) This statement is amazing, it’s actually incredible

b) Thomas declares exactly who Jesus is - “My Lord and My God”




What can we gain from this story?

>First of all, understand that doubt is not sin. It is not sin to doubt. If it were, Jesus would have said why are you sinning against me, he did not say that.

>We all wrestle with doubt from time to time.

>Notice something here, Thomas never doubted Jesus, he doubted his fellow disciples.

>Once Jesus showed him, he believed and admitted it.



Doubt should lead us to ask sincere questions. Our own mind and the way we are wired leads us to make conclusions, summaries and search for understanding. The human psyche demands meaning.



>1 + 1 = ________ You just had to answer it, didn’t you.

>Roses are red, violets are blue, you love me and I love ______. Again you just had to answer it didn’t you…



To doubt the resurrection is not that uncommon. Dead people rarely get up and are alive again.



It is hard to make faith fit in with the painful realities of life. This occurs when: a loved one dies, we loose our job, marriage falls apart and your struggling to make sense of it. It’s hard when your kinds are chasing after things you know are harmful, it’s hard when you feel like you are barely treading water because of all the stuff, the pressure, the pain.



God wants help us in these times, and in these places. I always think of Psalm 46 in these times. It’s then that I realize that God is God, God cares for me, and God listens to me.




Conclusion

I hope I have made a good case to stop calling Thomas, “Doubting Thomas.”

>Thomas was no where near doubting as he was willing.

1. He was willing to risk his life and follow Jesus...

2. He was willing to Ask some really hard questions..Those questions caused him to trust so much He went to the other side of the world for Jesus. (India)

3. He was willing to accept the truth.. In the end He was so committed to the truth that he planted countless church’s (some say he planted more churches than Paul.)



I think we need to be more like Thomas.

>Be willing to follow Jesus at all cost.

>Ask God the hard questions.

>Be willing to accept the truth when confronted with it.

Ordinary Heroes Week 2: David

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning May 26th, 2019.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/626315


The Bible is full of ordinary people that God has walked with, encouraged, and empowered through hard times and places, in order that His name be made great. These were ORDINARY people. But with God, they did extraordinary things. Their lives have been recorded for us to see, examine, and find encouraging insight for our daily lives. In this series we will look at many ordinary people who God used.



Today we will look at David. Not the good stuff, but the bad side of David. Fighting Goliath was "faith in action" and God was victorious. But what about when man isn't walking in relationship with God anymore and really messes up? What does REPENTANCE look like? Let's look at this part of David's life today and see what God has for us.


2 Samuel 11:1-27 NIV

1 In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. 2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, 3 and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” 4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home. 5 The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.” 6 So David sent this word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent him to David. 7 When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going. 8 Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him. 9 But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master’s servants and did not go down to his house. 10 David was told, “Uriah did not go home.” So he asked Uriah, “Haven’t you just come from a military campaign? Why didn’t you go home?” 11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my commander Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and make love to my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!” 12 Then David said to him, “Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 At David’s invitation, he ate and drank with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master’s servants; he did not go home. 14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15 In it he wrote, “Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.” 16 So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were. 17 When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David’s army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died. 18 Joab sent David a full account of the battle. 19 He instructed the messenger: “When you have finished giving the king this account of the battle, 20 the king’s anger may flare up, and he may ask you, ‘Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didn’t you know they would shoot arrows from the wall? 21 Who killed Abimelek son of Jerub-Besheth? Didn’t a woman drop an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you get so close to the wall?’ If he asks you this, then say to him, ‘Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.’ ” 22 The messenger set out, and when he arrived he told David everything Joab had sent him to say. 23 The messenger said to David, “The men overpowered us and came out against us in the open, but we drove them back to the entrance of the city gate. 24 Then the archers shot arrows at your servants from the wall, and some of the king’s men died. Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.” 25 David told the messenger, “Say this to Joab: ‘Don’t let this upset you; the sword devours one as well as another. Press the attack against the city and destroy it.’ Say this to encourage Joab.” 26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. 27 After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the Lord.


Highlights:

>David sees Bathsheba on roof

>David pursues her, commits adultery, she’s pregnant

>David has her husband, Uriah, killed

>David marries Bathsheba

>God is not pleased with David


2 Samuel 12:1-31 NIV

1 The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. 4 “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.” 5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die! 6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.” 7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 9 Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’ 11 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’ ” 13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.” 15 After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. 16 David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground. 17 The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them. 18 On the seventh day the child died. David’s attendants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, he wouldn’t listen to us when we spoke to him. How can we now tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.” 19 David noticed that his attendants were whispering among themselves, and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked.“Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.” 20 Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate. 21 His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!” 22 He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” 24 Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and made love to her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The Lord loved him; 25 and because the Lord loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah. 26 Meanwhile Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites and captured the royal citadel. 27 Joab then sent messengers to David, saying, “I have fought against Rabbah and taken its water supply. 28 Now muster the rest of the troops and besiege the city and capture it. Otherwise I will take the city, and it will be named after me.” 29 So David mustered the entire army and went to Rabbah, and attacked and captured it. 30 David took the crown from their king’s head, and it was placed on his own head. It weighed a talent of gold, and it was set with precious stones. David took a great quantity of plunder from the city 31 and brought out the people who were there, consigning them to labor with saws and with iron picks and axes, and he made them work at brickmaking. David did this to all the Ammonite towns. Then he and his entire army returned to Jerusalem.


Key Points:

>David is confronted about his sin.

>There are two very significant phrases I want to point out in this story:

1. verse 7 “You are the Man”

2. verse 11 “I have sinned against the Lord”



I think that we all get to that point in our faith at one time or another – it might not be as disastrous a sin as adultery and murder, but at some point we hear the words “you are the man” and they strike deep with in us – we look at ourselves and are horrified at what we’ve done, who we’ve become.



At that point we are ready for repentance – turning our hearts back to God. In the story, David says “I have sinned against the Lord.” But in the Psalms we find out that those words were just the beginning: true to form, David wrote a song to sing out his grief, shock, and his desire to return to God. We have this song in Psalm 51 – the words, not the music. And it teaches us how to respond when we are drawn into repentance.




Psalm 51:1-2 NIV

1 Have mercy on me, O God,according to your unfailing love;according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.


Psalm 51:3-6 NIV

3 For I know my transgressions,and my sin is always before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinnedand done what is evil in your sight;so you are right in your verdictand justified when you judge. 5 Surely I was sinful at birth,sinful from the time my mother conceived me. 6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;you taught me wisdom in that secret place.


Psalm 51:7 NIV

7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.


Titus 3:5 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,


Psalm 51:8-9 NIV

8 Let me hear joy and gladness;let the bones you have crushed rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sinsand blot out all my iniquity.


Psalm 51:10-12 NIV

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presenceor take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvationand grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.


Ezekiel 36:25-27 NIV

25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.


This promise is fulfilled in Jesus and the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives.




Titus 3:4-7 NIV

4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 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.


NOTE: The heart of this Psalm is in verse 12: RESTORE – it is not about ducking the lightning bolt, it is about relationship – David’s relationship with God is so precious to him – he can’t bear to lose it.


Psalm 51:13-15 NIV

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,so that sinners will turn back to you. 14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,you who are God my Savior,and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. 15 Open my lips, Lord,and my mouth will declare your praise.


Once David is freed from the bondage of sin and shame, his heart desire is to reveal the love and the forgiveness he received. Imagine experiencing something that renewed your joy and you saw others around you without joy, without hope… wouldn’t you share? help them? David commits to declaring God’s praise.


Psalm 51:16-17 NIV

16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. 17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;a broken and contrite heartyou, God, will not despise.


>God doesn’t want the ritual of a one whose heart is unclean. He wants a broken heart.

God is not too impressed with sacrifice or extravagant giving if it is just there to cover a heart that is far from him.


Isaiah 1:11 NIV

11 “The multitude of your sacrifices—what are they to me?” says the Lord.“I have more than enough of burnt offerings,of rams and the fat of fattened animals;I have no pleasurein the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.


You can’t buy God off – you can’t give enough to him to make it all go away… he already owns everything – you can’t give him what he already owns! What he wants is your surrendered will. He wants a life that brings Him glory.


Psalm 51:18-19 NIV

18 May it please you to prosper Zion,to build up the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,in burnt offerings offered whole;then bulls will be offered on your altar.


Verse 18 and 19 are the responses of the righteous - not the sinner. For the righteous, God delights in their offerings. For the sinner, God doesn’t want their outward sacrifice but their repentance as a sacrifice.


God wants RESTORATION.

This is repentance – a focus on God and his mercy, a focus on healing the broken relationship, a brokenness over who you are and what you have done.



The good news is that God does not leave us to wallow in our guilt – he wants a restored relationship as much as we do: even more than we do!




1 John 1:9 NIV

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.


Where is your life at today? Are you holding on to sin and excuses? Have you come to terms with that sin? Can you honestly say “I am the man,” "I am the one"… "I am a sinner" or "I am sinning."

Where is your relationship with God?



Jesus is waiting to lead you to the Father, pray, call out to Him today and meet His kindness and love. He is waiting… He wants to forgive us and purify us. He wants our lives to reveal His love and our hope.

Ordinary Heroes Week 1: Joshua

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning May 19th, 2019.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/622644


The Bible is full of ordinary people that God has walked with, encouraged, empowered, and placed in hard places in order that His name be made great. These were ORDINARY people. But with God, they did extraordinary things. Their lives have been recorded for us to see, examine and find encouraging insight in our daily lives. In this series we will look at many ordinary people who God used.



But first, we must embrace the method for learning about these people. God reveals His relationship in His way, in His story, in His Book. God loves to reveal through story. Simple stories, complex stories, long stories, short stories. That is very eastern. These stories are not a form of entertainment but for gaining knowledge. Stories teach. It is not so much about information transfer, but an invitation to join... Join the story.

As you hear a story you are drawn into the action, the characters, identifying with someone. God wants us to join the great story, not just simply know the story or what the story means.



To start this series, we are going to look at the story of Joshua.



So let’s go to Joshua 1 and read a bit of God’s interaction with Joshua…


Joshua 1:1-7 NIV

1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. 7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.


This is a pivotal time in Joshua’s life. Moses is dead and God has just tapped him and said, you’re up…



How was this a challenging position to fill?



In order to fulfill God’s plan, Joshua is told that God was with Him

>Joshua 1:3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.

>Joshua 1:5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

>Joshua 1:6 - 7 - Joshua is told twice to be strong and courageous (once of those times (very) courageous - vs 7.



God is calling Joshua to walk by faith and not by sight.



As I have looked at Joshua’s life, I see a few things that I feel we need to glean from… I am sure there is more but these are key.




1. He knew God was with Him

-Joshua heard the cries from captivity

-Joshua saw God bring Moses the deliverer

-Joshua saw the 10 plagues

-Joshua saw how God delivered Israel from captivity

-Joshua saw how God parted the Red Sea and rescued Israel

-Joshua was there when God gave Israel water from a bitter brook, the rock and quail and manna to eat in the wilderness.



A significant moment that Joshua knew God was with Him:

(Exodus 17:8-16)


Exodus 17:8-16 NIV

8 The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. 9 Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” 10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. 14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.” 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.”


Why tell Joshua? (verse 14) Could it be that God wanted Joshua to know and understand how he was victorious in battle? I believe so…The result: Joshua saw God working in the life of His people to deliver them, provide for them and protect them. (All faith builders)


FOR US:

Where have you seen God work in your life? Most of the time, we don’t acknowledge God’s provision properly, but sure long for it when it’s not there.



A faith-builder for us, look back over your life, ask God to help you see and remember those moments of deliverance, provision and protection.


Another thing that made Joshua strong and courageous:

2. He spent time in God’s Presence

-As Moses assistant (Exodus 24:12-18)

-At the Tent of Meeting (Exodus 33:7-11)


Exodus 24:12-18 NIV

12 The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone with the law and commandments I have written for their instruction.” 13 Then Moses set out with Joshua his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God. 14 He said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are with you, and anyone involved in a dispute can go to them.” 15 When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, 16 and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud. 17 To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain. 18 Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights.


Exodus 33:7-11 NIV

7 Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the Lord would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. 8 And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. 9 As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the Lord spoke with Moses. 10 Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to their tent. 11 The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.


All of this had great effect on Joshua - what he had seen God do, what He had heard God say. He knew God was with Israel.



Joshua was confidant in his knowledge that God was with them (him). We hear this in his words to Moses after they had been sent out to spy the land they were promised. 12 spies were sent out - only 2 had a good report - Joshua and Caleb. (Numbers 14:6-9)


Numbers 14:6-9 NIV

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.”


Sadly, the people continued to rebel against God, so God punished them all. Even Caleb and Joshua had to walk through it… After forty years, Moses dies, and the whole of that rebellious generation except Joshua and Caleb died. Then, Joshua is chosen to lead.



God is calling him back to his earlier faith... "Be strong and courageous" (as you were). In order to stay strong and courageous, God gives Joshua clear commands: (Joshua 1:7-9)


Joshua 1:7-9 NIV

7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”


God gave Joshua 3 things here to do in order to have the right results:

1. OBEY

2. STAY ON THE RIGHT PATH

3. PUT GOD's WORD IN, SO GOD’s WORD COMES OUT



To do this: Joshua must meditate on it constantly.

Define: Meditate (haggah)



Result - Overcome fear because of strength

Result - Overcome discouragement because of knowledge. (you know - “God is with you.”)


Closing thoughts:

Because of Christ and our faith in Him, we find strength and courage in the issues of daily life. We too can have strength and courage - it is given when we realize God is with us, He has given His Holy Spirit to be our guide, teacher, and encourager. The Holy Spirit gives us rebirth and renewal into a new and glorious purpose (Titus 3). We have God’s living word that we can learn, embrace, live in and live out. His words need to be our words, His Word gives us guidance and sets out the right path for us to walk on. He empowers us by the Holy Spirit to walk this path and gives us the Body of Christ. Strength and Courage are ours - today. Join His story... live in the strength and courage He gives in order that you reveal His love and life to those around you. Then you lead them like Joshua into a land flowing with God's blessing.


1 Thessalonians 5:14-18 NIV

14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Mother's Day 2019

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning May 12th, 2019.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/618560


God is making it very clear that we’re to pass on the things that He has taught us to the next generation. We hear this time and time again…Exodus, Deuteronomy, Joshua, (Psalm 78:4)

We’re NOT to keep our wonderful experience of learning God’s truth to ourselves. We are to share what we’ve learned with the next generation. Until we plug our life into God’s plan for caring for others, including the next generation, we’re missing out on some of the greatest joys for which God created us.

You don’t have to be a biological parent to do this. Every adult needs to be aware of his or her responsibilities to the next generation. Anytime you’re around somebody younger you have a chance to positively influence him or her and you need to take advantage of that opportunity. Whether it’s a child here at JOY, or a neighborhood child that needs an older person in his or her life, or someone in your family, God wants you to share your knowledge, wisdom and experience.

So, how do we do this? How do we effectively communicate and convey the spiritual truths that God has shown us to the next generation? God’s Word places an emphasis in several areas.


1. THE NEXT GENERATION NEEDS WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE.


Proverbs 16:16 NIV

16 How much better to get wisdom than gold,to get insight rather than silver!


The Book of Proverbs, which was originally written for the next generation, says that it’s better to have knowledge and wisdom than money. It’s better to be spiritually smart than to have material possessions.

>We must get this settled in our own minds if we’re going to pass it on to the next generation.

We need to teach them that everything belongs to God.


Psalm 24:1-2 NIV

1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,the world, and all who live in it; 2 for he founded it on the seasand established it on the waters.


The earth belongs to the Lord and WHAT in it? Everything!

When we help the next generation settle this issue their lives become much less complicated, much less stressed.

How do we get the next generation to see that wisdom and knowledge are better than silver and gold?

>We teach them from a very young age to see themselves as stewards, managers, of the things that belong to God.

>We teach them not to worry as much about “whose cookies are they?” as gaining spiritual knowledge.

The next generation needs to know how to live more than they need to know how to make a living.


2. THE NEXT GENERATION NEEDS CHARACTER AS A MORAL COMPASS.


Ephesians 4:21-24 NLT

21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.


Character is a word that describes morals and ethics and integrity. It’s about learning how to be the right kind of person and how to do the right kind of thing, especially in tough situations.

Every generation needs character. Living without character is like trying to find your way around Atlanta with a map of London. Many members of the next generation will be following the wrong map unless we instill biblical principles in their lives.


Two great ways to pass character on to the next generation:

1. Protect their minds from evil thoughts.


Proverbs 15:14 NLT

14 A wise person is hungry for knowledge,while the fool feeds on trash.


The old adage is “Garbage in – garbage out.” If we want to keep the next generation innocent regarding evil, so that they can mature in what is good, then we must help them feed on the truth and not on trash. (teach media discernment)


2. Don’t protect them from difficulty.


Romans 5:3-4 NLT

3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.


Maturity doesn’t come with age. It comes with responsibility. Some people are mature at 17 while others aren’t mature at 37. Why? Sometimes because they haven’t taken on responsibility. They can’t learn responsibility if we protect them from difficulty.

The key to these two character promoters is balance. If you go too far to either extreme you encourage an imbalance in character development. The next generation will be confronted with unwholesome ideas and suggestions. Our job is to help them filter through the lures of our culture without over-sheltering them.

If we’re too strict – the spirit of the next generation is shattered. That’s why the Bible says,


EPHESIANS 6:4 AMP

4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to the point of resentment with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by showing favoritism or indifference to any of them], but bring them up [tenderly, with lovingkindness] in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.


That’s good advice for every adult interested in training the next generation. We don’t want them to become bitter and resentful. So we don’t want to come down too hard on them. We show them respect.

But we also don’t want to be too permissive. Then they’ll not have boundaries so they end up being involved in behavior that is harmful to them and to others.

Pray for wisdom to find balance…


3. THE NEXT GENERATION NEEDS CONVICTIONS, VALUES TO LIVE BY.


1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NLT

13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. 14 And do everything with love.


Convictions are the values you live by, something you won’t give up for peer pressure. It take courage and strength to live by faith and not by sight.

One of the many great biblical illustrations of conviction comes from the Book of Daniel. We remember how Daniel was thrown into the den of lions because he wouldn’t worship the king’s idol. That was conviction! But his determination to live by conviction began much earlier in his life.


Daniel 1:8 NIV

8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.


Daniel was a next generation Jew, probably a teenager, when taken captive to ancient Babylon. But he didn’t give up the tenets of his belief system just because he was in a foreign land and ungodly people were in control. That took courage, strength… that’s conviction. You make up your mind that you’re going to do what God says and you live by that whether or not it's always easy.

Do you remember what happened to Daniel? God promoted him and others respected him because he was a person of conviction! Kings wanted to know what Daniel thought. He became their advisor.

Convictions produce passion, and passionate people change the world. It isn’t the person who lives a willy-nilly life and does what is easy all the time that rises to influence and success in life. It’s the person who has the courage to live by their convictions!


If children don’t have convictions, they’ll be captivated by the four main values of our culture:

a. Pleasure – “I want to feel good.”

b. Possessions – “I want to have a lot of stuff.”

c. Prestige – “I want other people to envy me.”

d. Power – “I want to be in control.”

How do we effectively pass our convictions on to the next generation?

Convictions must be modeled. They are more “caught” than “taught.”


Titus 2:6-8 NIV

6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.


If you’re passionate about your convictions then the members of the next generation that you influence will pick up on that passion. If your life exhibits an honest reflection of what you say you believe in, they will know the true value of convictions.

Our behavior has an enormous influence on the behavior of the next generation. If we want to direct the behavior of future generations we must look at our own behavior.


Closing thoughts:

So let’s close this message by doing just that. Let’s look at our own behavior.

How are you doing in some of the main areas that it takes to leave a legacy for the next generation? Not just moms, since this is Mother’s Day, but all adults. Ask yourself…

1. Am I sharing wisdom and knowledge with the next generation?

2. Am I teaching character to the next generation?

3. Am I modeling convictions for the next generation?

Don’t feel down if you are doing so good… that’s why we come here… engage God in His word, take what is good and make it better, take what we’re struggling in and get stronger. Thank God for breath, for each breath represents another opportunity. An opportunity to sow a good seed: to teach, instill, persuade, instruct, correct, love, nurture and leave a lasting legacy.

Ask God for strength, He’ll give it…

Ask God for wisdom, He’ll give it…

Ask God for peace, He’ll give it…

I Want so I Won't

Audio from Associate Pastor Josh Carpenter on Sunday morning May 5th, 2019.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/613154

Galatians 6:7-9 NIV

7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

For every want, there are wont's.

Galatians 6:9 NIV

9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

For every area of life we want change in, there are actions that will sabotage that change.

Change our thinking: Instead of: "I want to change, BUT..."

Lets try: "I want to change, SO..." I won't do this thing anymore

Four major areas of "want":

1. I want to grow closer to God.

Luke 9:23 NIV

23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

I won’t live as if my faith should cost me nothing.

Matthew 19 (The Rich Young Ruler) & Genesis 12 (Abram's Call)

2. I want less stress in my life.

Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I won't look to myself as the Lord of my life.


The right type of foundation for wind and waves:

Matthew 7:24-27

3. I want a stronger marriage.

Proverbs 20:6-7 NIV

6 Many claim to have unfailing love,but a faithful person who can find? 7 The righteous lead blameless lives;blessed are their children after them.

I won't feel embarrassed to seek God with my spouse.

Don't even wait until you get home. Husbands pray for your wives, and wives pray for your husbands before you leave today!

4. I want my children to make godly choices.

Psalm 78:1-8 NIV

1 My people, hear my teaching;listen to the words of my mouth. 2 I will open my mouth with a parable;I will utter hidden things, things from of old— 3 things we have heard and known,things our ancestors have told us. 4 We will not hide them from their descendants;we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,his power, and the wonders he has done. 5 He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel,which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, 6 so the next generation would know them,even the children yet to be born,and they in turn would tell their children. 7 Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. 8 They would not be like their ancestors—a stubborn and rebellious generation,whose hearts were not loyal to God,whose spirits were not faithful to him.

I won't allow the church to be the primary discipler of my children.

Jesus Changed Everything

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning April 14th, 2019.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/606112


Throughout history events and inventions have shaped the way we live. We are all affected by them… many things are so ingrained in our life that we don’t give it much thought to what it was before the event, before the invention.

Here’s a case in point…electricity.

We don’t give it much thought, we just have become use to having it. We don’t give it much thought of what life was without it. But life without it was very, very different.

What would life be without electricity?

In 1879, the great American inventor Thomas Edison was finally able to produce a reliable, long lasting electric light bulb in his laboratory. By the end of the 1880’s, small electrical stations based on Edison’s designs were in a number of US cities.

Now, we don’t give light bulbs much thought until we have to change one that is blown or the power goes out from a storm…


An even greater event - One event in history has changed everything… beyond what we can hardly even comprehend: Jesus’ resurrection.

Let’s look at this a little closer today.

Before Jesus’ resurrection - Here’s the truth of the how bad it was:

1. Sinful man is cutoff and alienated from God


Romans 5:6 NIV

6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.


Romans 5:6 NLT

6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.


Romans 5:12 NIV

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—


Verse 5:18 says we were condemned. (doomed, lost)

The sentence of judgment came from God in Genesis 2:16-17


Genesis 2:16-17 NIV

16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”


>We faced despair, condemnation, hopelessness, which leads to have fear in life and be helpless in the face of death.

>We were alone and in chaos.

2. Our sinful behavior made us the enemy of God


Romans 8:8 NIV

8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.


In Romans 8:8 Paul says that if we live in the realm of the flesh, we cannot please God. For the flesh is hostile to God.


Colossians 1:21 NIV

21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.


What a really sad condition… man is destitute.

I love these two passages that show an interruption in the chaos… One starts with a “But Then”, and the other starts with a “But Now”…

These are significant moments - For in them, we hear the good news of how Jesus changed everything:


Romans 5:8-9 NIV

8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!


Jesus reconciled us to God.

"But now..."


Colossians 1:21-22 NIV

21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—


Let’s look at these "But then, but now" history changing moments:

Luke 23:26-Luke 24:12


As a result of Jesus' death, burial and resurrection... everything changed.


2 Corinthians 5:16-18 NIV

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:


The significance of His resurrection is incredible. He is the first fruits of those to be raised from the dead, ensuring that we will be raised, too (1 Cor. 15:20-23; Rom. 6:4-5). The power that raised Jesus from the dead, the Holy Spirit, is at work in us now (Eph. 1:17-20). The Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will give life to our mortal bodies. Rom. 8:10-11)

Communion: 1 Cor. 11:23-26

Zakar - remember so that you live in and live out what has been given

Getting Spiritually Fit Week 5

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning April 14th, 2019.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/601801


Spiritual Fitness requires Stewardship.

A true disciple is one who says, “Jesus, I want to know what you know so that I can respond to others like you with the resources God has given.”

But it is more than behaving like Jesus, it is having a heart for God that is passionate for what God is passionate about: Redeeming the lost, bringing shalom to chaos.

Our whole goal then is to become spiritually fit, to mature/grow in such a way that we build people up, serve them, encourage them to fall in love with God. We're not just trying to make them better people or better Christians, but to help them to better know the awesome power and intimacy of God’s love, - and that will radically change their hearts and lives.


Ephesians 4:11-16 NIV

11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.


Paul concludes this thought of building, equipping and maturing with a call for each of us to do our part. God has given us provisions to do our part. Whatever God has called us too, He provides. We have time, energy, and talents expressed and invested in relationships, resources, and money. We need to see the product of our life in the terms of STEWARDSHIP.


Matthew 6:21 NIV

21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.


Stewardship is about who is in charge of your life. As this grows clearer in our understanding, the more we move in step with God - with our time, talents, resources, and money.

Great story of knowing that God has blessed and will bless.

Genesis 12 - 14


Genesis 12:1-5 NIV

1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation,and I will bless you;I will make your name great,and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you,and whoever curses you I will curse;and all peoples on earthwill be blessed through you.” 4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.


Abraham obeys. Trust God with his life and does what God says. Time passes, Abraham is sees God’s blessings, his herds increase… so much so that he and Lot must part and chose a place near Sodom (13:12). The place where Lot settled was not only wicked, but a war torn land. Look at Genesis 14:

In Genesis 14 we see 4 Kings join forces against 5 kings. The 5 kings lost and became subject to them. This went on for 12 years and until the 5 kings said enough and didn't want to pay anymore.. They rebelled.


Genesis 14:13-16 NIV

13 A man who had escaped came and reported this to Abram the Hebrew. Now Abram was living near the great trees of Mamre the Amorite, a brother of Eshkol and Aner, all of whom were allied with Abram. 14 When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 He recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other people.

SO here in Genesis 14 we see battle lines drawn, 5 armies with their kings against 4 armies and their kings. The 5 lost…As the 4 kings swept the land to pillage and take captives to make them slaves or sell them as slaves, Lot, his family and his possessions are taken captive.


Here we see Abram going out to rescue Lot. In verse 14 it says that he took 318 men with him. Why 318? It was all he had…

This may seem like a small army - 318 against 4 great armies that just defeated 5 great armies…

But what did Abram have on his side that guaranteed a victory?

God’s Word!!!

Remember back up in Genesis 12:


Genesis 12:1-2 NIV


Abram had faith. He knew God. He saw God’s hand of blessing upon him. Abram knew that these 318 would win. He knew that all he had belonged to the Lord and that God would use these simple 318 men to do mighty things.



Abram was a steward of God’s blessing.

Friends the message is simple today:

God has blessed us as well. Deut. 8:18 “But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth…” We are wealthy in relationships. We’ve been given opportunity, time, energy, resources, money… But for what purpose? What do we do with them? What are we doing with God’s provision?

(Consumers gain riches for personal wealth and use. Stewards work with a different set of views on wealth and its purposes).


Matthew 6:19-21, 24 NIV

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.


CONSUMER MENTALITY: GREED seeks money for personal gain

STEWARDSHIP MENTALITY: serves God and uses money to further His purposes.

I am not saying we should not prepare for retirement, save money, or have nice things…

Proverbs 21:20 The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.

The important thing is to make sure we maintain the right heart, perspective and use of what we have and what we work for…

Many wear themselves to gain riches: Proverbs 23:4-5 Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. 5 Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

Again, back to the driving word of Ephesians 4. We are called to build up, mature, work, & serve. We need to see our selves as STEWARDS of God’s people.


What does that look like:

1.Time with people (includes our talents). Not just hanging out and having a good time but being intentional to build up, encourage and help them know God, His Word, and His purpose. We live together in such a way that we are living examples of His Word in action.

2. We need to give of our resources. This includes our money. We need to see tithing and giving offerings as an act of worship. Two things that are important in this: 1. Do we really believe that God has blessed us? We tend to forget at times where our provisions has come from. A great way to refocus our lives is to keep GREED in check. Tithing on a regular basis helps detach us from GREED. It is us, give back to God knowing where it came from. … Tithing is a great expression of humility, worship and simply saying, “God I am yours.” 2. Tithing is also a BIBLICAL truth.


Malachi 3:6-12 NIV

6 “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7 Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.“But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ 8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’“In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.


Some may say… V that is OLD TESTAMENT and it doesn’t apply to us today. Well, gravity was created in the OT, does it apply today?

There are those who desire to argue, debate and say tithing isn’t for today. Either way, the truth is still the same. God desires to reveal who He is to a lost and hurting world - that didn’t change... that didn't change from OT to NT. Instead of the law making us righteous in the OT, we now have grace in the NT… the purpose though is the same… why do we not want to give of our resources? of our money?


CLOSING THOUGHTS:

>As members of the family of God in the body of Christ, we belong to each other, we need each other, we influence each other, and in love, we should minister to one another.

>Each of us has different gifts and abilities, resources, money amounts, that we should use for building up one another in the church of Jesus Christ.

>We should ask God not only to bless others by meeting their needs but also to make us a blessing to others and share what we have.

>The Lord says to us as he said to Abraham, “I will bless you… and you will be a blessing” Genesis 12: 2–3

So we are confronted with a choice and an opportunity: Do we take what we have, what we work for, what has been given and merely consume it for ourselves? Enjoy it for our on pleasure? OR Do we join God in His great purpose and reveal His love, care, compassion and provision with those we see, encounter, walk with, work with and live beside?

We need to remind ourselves repeatedly that we are God’s appointed stewards and that He is prepared to give us what we need so that we may accomplish His will. We are blessed so that we may bless…





Getting Spiritually Fit Week 4

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning April 7th, 2019.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/597420


Spiritual Fitness requires Discipleship.

A true disciple is one who says, “Jesus, I want to know what you know so that I can respond to others like you.”

But it is more than behaving like Jesus, it is having a heart for God that is passionate for what God is passionate about: Redeeming the lost, bringing shalom to chaos.

Our whole goal then is to become spiritually fit, to mature/grow in such a way that we build people up, serve them, encourage them to fall in love with God. We're not just trying to make them better people or better Christians, but to help them to better know the awesome power and intimacy of God’s love, - and that will radically change their hearts and lives.

Following the example laid before us by Jesus, a disciple is a builder of people.


Philippians 2:1-8 NIV

1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God,did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant,being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man,he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!


Paul is instructing the believers in Philippi to have the same mindset as Jesus: again in verse 5- "In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus"

Paul gives us the pattern to follow here:

1. Have love for one another (love what God loves)

2. Don’t be selfish or conceited

3. Be humble

4. Value others above yourselves

5. Be a peacemaker

6. Be a servant

7. Obey at all cost

Let me give you an example of a different builder. In this example, we see something other than people being built, but in it, we see a great truth in understanding the heart of a disciple. We see these seven attributes at work.


Nehemiah 1:1-3 NIV

1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah:In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem. 3 They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”


Nehemiah was one of the greatest leaders of all time.

>He took a task that seemed impossible, mobilized a team of people, and accomplished the task of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.

>Today you and I have a task and that is to rebuild the lives of people.

>Since we are God’s handiwork crafted in Christ Jesus, vessels He has poured in to and now running over - our task is specifically, to rebuild the lives people.

Well let’s take a look at how Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem and then maybe you and I can get some pointers on how we can rebuild the lives of people.


1. Nehemiah Had a Burden

The way you and I are going to see God use us to build lives is to have a burden to see people reached with the good news of Jesus.

>Nehemiah had a burden… if gripped his heart for days, overwhelmed him. It filled his thoughts and motivated him.

>Do we feel the pain of others, the lonely, the depressed, the young person who feels they have no hope, the drug addict, the hurting?

We need to feel the burden of our friends, relatives, acquaintances, neighbors, co-worker/classmates, our community, our city…


Nehemiah 1:4 NIV

4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.


2. Nehemiah Prayed about the Need

>Not only did Nehemiah hear about the need. He then began to pray to the God of heaven to do something about the need.

>He didn't just pray for God to raise someone up, but he was willing to be used by God to make a difference in the need.

>When is the last time that you and I prayed that God would use our lives to help meet the needs of hurting people.

Jesus told His disciples - to pray. Matthew 9:37-38 (NIV) 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.”

STRONG STATEMENT: If we aren’t praying about being used by God, then we aren’t Spiritually Fit? Could it be we are weak and in trouble


3. Nehemiah Understood that He Couldn’t Do it Alone:

After examining the the destruction of the wall around Jerusalem, Nehemiah saw that this was a massive task and the only way to do it was to motivate helpers.

In chapter 3 we see all the people that helped Nehemiah get the job done.

>If you and I are going to impact others we need to know that it is going to take everybody working together to accomplish the task.

This is not a one man show. Nehemiah knew he couldn't do it alone. So he had a team and everybody contributed what they were good at.

Let me ask, how are you willing to help us impact this world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

What do you have to offer to the team and are you willing to help?

- I am not talking about stuff or even your abilities- all of which are good.

- To reach people we need to be willing to spend TIME with them, walk with them through life. Grow in relationship with them, peel back the layers to get to the heart…

It’s not going to be easy but it is important and necessary.

There are going to be challenges and hurdles…


Nehemiah 2:17-18 NIV

17 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” 18 I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me.They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.


4. Nehemiah Endured Opposition

>If you and I are going to be consistent in touching lives and get the job done, then we need to know that we are going to face opposition.

>We need to learn how to keep pushing and serving even in the midst of opposition.

The key is going back before the Throne of God and refocusing, seeking wisdom and asking for strength.

Nehemiah 4:9 (NIV) 9 But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.

We must be motivated to finish strong, pray, pray, pray (together)... - I don't want to be a quitter but I want to be a finisher? Finishing strong is not finishing alone…


Nehemiah 4:7-9 NIV

7 But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. 8 They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. 9 But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.


5. Nehemiah Rebuilt the Walls

>The wall was rebuilt... a great accomplish that revealed the One True God.

Nehemiah tapped into God’s purpose and God blessed them to get the job done. The finished wall revealed that God is at work in the land… not some statue, some rock that is impersonal and unapproachable, but alive, personal and approachable. God took the ruined and rebuilt security.


Nehemiah 6:15-16 NIV

15 So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days. 16 When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.


CLOSE:

The Greeks had a race in their Olympic games that was unique.

Lampadephoria was an ancient Greek type of relay race using a torch which was passed between the runners. The winner was not the runner who finished first. It was the runner who finished with his torch still lit. If a torch went out the team would lose the race.

I want to run all the way with the flame of my torch still lit for Him.

We are all running a race… but what is the prize you are after?

A disciples prize is “bringing glory to God” through touching peoples lives with His love. It is the same purpose as Jesus'.

May we grow spiritually fit and reveal His love everywhere we go...


1 Corinthians 9:24-26 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.



Getting Spiritually Fit Week 3

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning March 31st, 2019.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/593119


Psalm 46:1-11 NIV

1 God is our refuge and strength,an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give wayand the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foamand the mountains quake with their surging. 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,the holy place where the Most High dwells. 5 God is within her, she will not fall;God will help her at break of day. 6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;he lifts his voice, the earth melts. 7 The Lord Almighty is with us;the God of Jacob is our fortress. 8 Come and see what the Lord has done,the desolations he has brought on the earth. 9 He makes wars ceaseto the ends of the earth.He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;he burns the shields with fire. 10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;I will be exalted among the nations,I will be exalted in the earth.” 11 The Lord Almighty is with us;the God of Jacob is our fortress.


What a great passage that tells us God is near. It is a great passage to embrace when we are pressing through tough times.

We all have times when life is tough. Each of us has a tidbit of wisdom about perseverance - some taught, some learned from the school of hard knocks. The greatest encouragement we can embrace comes from God’s Word.

Jesus told His disciples that they would face challenges, trouble: (Jn. 16:33)


John 16:33 NIV

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”


We have been called to be disciples of Jesus and these words ring true for us as well.

A disciple is one who wants to be full of the right knowledge - God’s Word - in order to know how to respond the right way in every circumstance. We are vessels that God wants to fill. He wants to fill you with His Spirit, His knowledge, His Word, His purpose, His ways. It’s not going to be easy. JAMES said it like this: (James 1:2-5)


James 1:2-5 NIV

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.


We will face trials in this life…this means that we are called to a life of perseverance, a steadfast determination to follow Jesus no matter the cost. Through perseverance we grow mature, we become Spiritually Fit.

Paul understood this and even gave us encouragement about persevering. 2 Cor. 4:7-18


2 Corinthians 4:7-18 NIV

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. 13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


Paul helps us understand a little about who we are and how to see our lives. He uses a metaphor here… comparing our lives to a clay pot.

I think Paul is drawing off the Words of Jeremiah and Isaiah. (Jer. 18:1-7) (Isaiah 84:8)


Jeremiah 18:1-7 NIV

1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. 5 Then the word of the Lord came to me. 6 He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel. 7 If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed,


Isaiah 64:8 NIV

8 Yet you, Lord, are our Father.We are the clay, you are the potter;we are all the work of your hand.


Clay Pots:

>weak, fragile, easily broken, damaged.

What gives the jar value?

>the thing inside. The jar is of little value compared to what is inside.

(vs 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay.)


Treasure:

A treasure is something that is valuable, expensive.

In verse 7 Paul speaks of a "treasure."

>What is the treasure?

Christ and the gospel. Again, it’s the treasure within the vessel that gives it value.

The important thing is that the vessel be clean and available for service.

As the Holy Spirit fills the vessel the power of God is seen.


God desires to shape us into what He would have us be, to do what He would have us do. We are like jars, jars filled with a great and valuable treasure.

Paul goes on to describe the challenges we face.

8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

>We may be troubled but Christ helps us in our distress.

Paul said in verse 8., "We are hard pressed" - which is to be squeezed, oppressed, hedged in and pressured. "BUT NOT CRUSHED" - We might find ourselves in troubled times but we are never beyond the assistance that God can give. God never leaves us without hope.

We may be perplexed, at a loss, doubting, not knowing what to do, which way to go, what to say - but Christ’s power keeps us from despair, from hopelessness. In His presence we find security and confidence.

Perseverance comes as we embrace the TRUTH of who Jesus is and who He is in our lives. He has paid our sin debt and has given us access - to the Father to stand before His presence.


We need to remember what Christ did, where He came from, why He came. We need to remember what He did for us on the cross and embrace the gift of LIFE He gave. We need to remember that since He is our Lord, no weapon formed against us will separate us from His love (Is. 54:17/Rom. 8:38-39). Paul went own to say (vs 16-18)


Isaiah 54:17 NIV

17 no weapon forged against you will prevail,and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,and this is their vindication from me,”declares the Lord.


Romans 8:38-39 NIV

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.


2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


Because of who Jesus is and what He has done, we can have confidence in the (Jn. 10:10) abundance of grace given to persevere through adversity. In these times, we can rely on His strength, His presence and have hope of a better day. Through it all, know that God is at work in you so that He may be known through you.

Getting Spiritually Fit Week 2

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning March 24th, 2019.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/589080


Ephesians 4:11-16 NIV

11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.


Paul is talking about a fit, mature Body. We are called to be people who grow, are equipped and ready for works of service. But...I think that the Body is out of shape (spiritually).


Speaking of "out of shape"… More than three-quarters of U.S. adults say being in shape and looking good are "very important" to them, yet less than a third exercise regularly and nearly half admit they are not active at all.


So, what about Spiritually Fit?

Do you feel satisfied with your relationship with God, do you understand His purpose for your life?

Do you feel like He is good with your relationship with Him? To you feel Spiritually Fit? Ready to minister, ready to share?


Here’s the facts, compiled through my research from Christianty Today and Barna Research:

>Most don’t feel like they know the Bible very well.

>Most don’t pray unless they really need something.

>Most don’t persevere through tough problems well.

>Most don’t make disciples or even know how.

>Most don’t understand that they are stewards of God’s blessing.


Throughout the Bible - The human culture varied by time and region, but the relational culture with God was one of prayer. Take a look:


1 Chronicles 16:11 NIV

11 Look to the Lord and his strength;seek his face always.


2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV

14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.


Ephesians 1:18 NIV

18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,


Ephesians 6:18 NIV

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.


Jeremiah 29:12 NIV

12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.


Job 22:27 NIV

27 You will pray to him, and he will hear you,and you will fulfill your vows.


John 17:15 NIV

15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.


James 5:13 NIV

13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.


Matthew 5:44 NIV

44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,


Matthew 6:7 NIV

7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.


Matthew 26:41 NIV

41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”


Proverbs 15:8 NIV

8 The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked,but the prayer of the upright pleases him.


Psalm 17:6 NIV

6 I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.


Psalm 141:2 NIV

2 May my prayer be set before you like incense;may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.


Romans 12:2 NIV

2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.


Romans 12:12 NIV

12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.


Psalm 4:1 NIV

1 Answer me when I call to you,my righteous God.Give me relief from my distress;have mercy on me and hear my prayer.


Psalm 145:18 NIV

18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,to all who call on him in truth.


Proverbs 15:29 NIV

29 The Lord is far from the wicked,but he hears the prayer of the righteous.


Matthew 6:9-13 NIV

9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ’


Luke 6:12 NIV

12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.


Philippians 4:6 NIV

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.


1 Thessalonians 5:17 NIV

17 pray continually,


1 Timothy 2:8 NIV

8 Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.


James 5:16 NIV

16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.


1 Timothy 2:1-2 NIV

1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.


Acts 2:42 NIV

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.


Well, do you see the point? Cultures change, but God relationship is grounded and connected through prayer.

What about our lives? Has our culture affected our lives so much that even our prayer life has changed?


Think about this:

If God answered all your prayers with ‘yes’ how would the kingdom be furthered? The question strikes a chord because it forces us to stop and think. What effect do my prayers have on the kingdom of God? How much time do I spend praying about Spiritual things? What true good would come from God giving me all the things I am praying for? When you look at the things you pray for ask yourself: if God answered all of these prayers with a yes, how would the kingdom be changed? We need to learn how to pray kingdom minded prayers.


Before we can have kingdom minded prayers however, we need to better understand prayer.


Prayer is communication - the deeper the communication, the more intimate the prayer. One of the things I’ve noticed is the parallel between the levels of communication and our intimacy with God.


Here is the progression of communication:

1. Small talk

2. Sharing info

3. Sharing your personal opinion

4. Sharing feelings

5. Sharing who you are - being transparent


Prayer is a conversation with God that stems from a personal relationship in which communication naturally occurs.


Closing Thoughts

>Prayer is an important part of our Christian lives.

>We are to devote ourselves to prayer.

>Prayer should be a key pillar in our lives, a regular part of our everyday life.

Getting Spiritually Fit Week 1

Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning March 17th, 2019.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/584920


Ephesians 4:11-16 NIV

11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.


Paul is talking about a fit, mature Body. We are called to be people who grow, are equipped and ready for works of service. But...I think that the Body is out of shape (spiritually).

Speaking of "out of shape"… More than three-quarters of U.S. adults say being in shape and looking good are "very important" to them, yet less than a third exercise regularly and nearly half admit they are not active at all.

So, what about Spiritually Fit?

Do you feel satisfied with your relationship with God, do you understand His purpose for your life?

Do you feel like He is good with your relationship with Him? To you feel Spiritually Fit? Ready to minister, ready to share?


Here’s the facts, compiled through my research from Christianty Today and Barna Research:

>Most don’t feel like they know the Bible very well.

>Most don’t pray unless they really need something.

>Most don’t persevere through tough problems well.

>Most don’t make disciples or even know how.

>Most don’t understand that they are stewards of God’s blessing.


So let me ask you something: Do you ever feel like you truly want to know Him but don’t really know how? Getting to know God can seem so complicated sometimes but it doesn’t have to be.

Man is not an independent entity, the Bible calls us vessels.

Isaiah 64:8 NIV
8 Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Romans 9, Paul calls this clay a vessel.


Vessels are designed to be filled with something. We were designed to fill ourselves with God but we sometimes stray from that design.


Our lives are filled with one of two things:

1. with ourselves which fills us with stuff we pursue for our pleasure or

2. with God - which drives us toward bringing glory to Him.


Sin is essentially when we fill our lives with something other than God.

What we put into our lives effects what we get out of them. Man is designed to be filled with God. So then it is important for us to learn how to do that.

>How do we fill ourselves with God while keeping out the subversive forces of our enemy and our own selfish nature?

>How do we fill ourselves with God?


The First Discipline: Studying the Bible

The study of God’s word is one of the most important spiritual disciplines. We must know the truth. If we don’t we can’t live it.

In Colossians 2:2 Paul shows us the importance of the word of God in our lives.

Col 2:2 My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, Col 2:3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Do you see Paul’s desire?

He is wants the church to experience the full riches of complete understanding.


In Matt. 4 Jesus says man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Sometimes we forget the importance of investing ourselves fully in Him. The truth is, if we are too busy to give God a few hours a day in the study of His word to fill our lives with Him we are too busy for our own good.

I want to ask you to think and carefully consider your answers to these questions:

Do we really live our lives on a regular basis any different than those who have never heard the name of Jesus?

Do we spend that much more time in the word than those who do not have access to a Bible at all?

Do we realize the beauty of the Bible?


Studying the Bible should not be a chore.

WE NEED TO SEE IT AS A WAY, AN INCREDIBLE PRIVILEGED WAY TO KNOW GOD.

We desire this connection with God and we reach out for Him.

The bible is one of the ways that God reaches back.

As we invest ourselves in the study of His word, God reaches out and touches us. He connects with us on a personal level and we see His heart and experience Him. James (4:7) tells us when we draw near to God that God draws near to us.

What better way to be filled with God then to draw near to Him and watch as He draws near to us?


Closing Thoughts:

>We are vessels meant to be filled with something.

What we are filled with is a direct result of how we live our lives and what we invest ourselves in.

>If you want to know God, you need to fill your life with Him.

To fill your life with Him you need to practice Spiritual Discipline, through understanding His word, prayer, obedience, and following His example.

Friends, we need personal and group Bible study.

God’s word is His revelation of His character to us.

We cannot really know Him if we don’t know His word. We must invest ourselves in a relationship with Him, we must fill our hearts with His word that we may begin to fill ourselves with Him.


In Matt. 4 Jesus says man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Sometimes we forget the importance of investing ourselves fully in Him. The truth is, if we are too busy to give God a few hours a day in the study of His word to fill our lives with Him, we are too busy for our own good.

Do we really live our lives on a regular basis any different than those who have never heard the name of Jesus?

Do we spend that much more time in the word than those who do not have access to a Bible at all?

Do we realize the beauty of the Bible?



Barely Above Water

Audio from Associate Pastor Josh Carpenter on Sunday morning March 10th, 2019.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.
https://www.bible.com/events/579225



○How many of us would say: I wish I had more time for ________________?

○When you ask someone, "How's life been?" What is the number one response? Busy.

○Being able to say "I'm so busy" has become a point of pride. Being busy = Being Valuable

○I wish I had time for the important things that I value.



2 Peter 1:3 NIV

3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.



○If we believe God has given us everything we need to live out His plan for our lives, we must also believe He has given us the time we need.

○We make time for the things that are most important to us.

○So often we allow good things, or even unimportant things to get in the way of the most important things.



Busy doesn't mean best.



Luke 10:38 NIV

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.



○Jesus is in town. Martha is hospitable and invites Jesus over. This is a good thing! But something takes away from this moment for Martha...



Luke 10:39-40 NIV

39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”



○Can you identify with Martha? How often do we allow the urgent to take precedence over the important.

○Was it good to prepare for Jesus' stay? Yes. Was it the most important thing to do? No. Her sister, Mary, had it right.



Luke 10:41-42 NIV

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”



○Have you ever been, or are currently in a similar situation with Jesus in your life?

○We have everything we need for an incredible relationship with Christ, but we’re distracted by everything else we’ve made so important.

○We can be full time with life’s concerns, but part time with Jesus’ concerns.



Getting Practical:

○What's one thing we can do to turn this ship around?



Do less, better.



Our idea of fixing an area of lack: add something new to our plate. Go further under the water.

Our lives might be full of ‘good things’ but we’ve left little time for the best things.



Luke 14:28 NIV

28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?



○How can we not be bogged down with more to do for the sake of doing, but do what we can with better results?



○What about spending time with our kids?

○Nurturing our relationship with our spouse?

○Reading God's word?



Getting Practical:

○Whats the most important question I can ask myself?



Has my relationship with God been the most important thing?



Matthew 6:33 NIV

33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.



○For God to have His way in our lives, our marriages, in raising our kids, in our careers; we seek Him first.

○So how would you answer that question? Is your relationship with God the greatest thing?



For your week:
Take a look at this 7 day reading plan, dealing with the pace of life.

Thanks for being with us today.

If you feel like you've made time for what's good (or not so good) and not for what's best- a decision made today can be a game changer for your life.

We're here to pray for you and walk with you. You can send in a prayer request on our website as well: www.thechurchofjoy.org/prayer. There are so many great opportunities to plug in at Joy.

If you feel that Joy isn't the home for you, we are happy to help you find where God wants to plant you. We're all on the same team and we want God's kingdom come and His will be done, in and through your life!