Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Friendship with God

Four ways to grow my friendship with God:

  1. Choose to be honest with God.
    • I don't have to be perfect.
    • I do have to be completely honest.
  2. I must choose to OBEY God in faith.
  3. I must choose to value with God values. 
    • Friends value their buddies interests.  
    • God isn't going to value something that shouldn't be valued.
  4. I must desire a friendship with God MORE than anything else!  
    • What do I put before God?
    • What is more important than building a stronger relationship with God?  

Monday, September 25, 2017

Gossip vs. Trustworthiness

Gossip vs. Trustworthiness

Proverbs 25 has many lessons in it.  Today when I read it, I found a theme.  This theme warned against gossip and encouraged trustworthiness.

In verses 9-10, Solomon tells us using gossip to get ourselves out of trouble will only end badly:

If you take your neighbor to court,
    do not betray another’s confidence,
10 or the one who hears it may shame you
    and the charge against you will stand.

In verses 18, it says using gossip is like using a lethal weapon:

Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow
    is one who gives false testimony against a neighbor.

And, in verses 23, it says using gossip makes you look bad:

Like a north wind that brings unexpected rain
    is a sly tongue—which provokes a horrified look.

In addition, in verses 28, Solomon tells us because gossip is a lack of self-control, a person who participates in such thing will be broken down:

Like a city whose walls are broken through
    is a person who lacks self-control.

However, in verses 13, Solomon says a trustworthy messenger is like a fresh glass of water and "refreshes the spirit."

Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time
    is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him;
    he refreshes the spirit of his master.

Sunday, September 17, 2017



Why are personal goals important?

1. Goal setting is a spiritual responsibility.  

Paul: “I know that I am not yet what God wants me to be. I haven’t reached that goal, but I keep moving toward it to make it mine because Christ made me and saved me for this. I know that I haven’t yet reached my goal, but there’s one thing I always do. Forgetting the past and straining toward what is ahead, I keep my eyes focused on the goal so that I may one day win the prize that God has called me to receive through Christ in the life above. All of you who are spiritually mature should think this same way, too.” Philippians 3:12-15

2. Goals are statements of faith.

- Goals stretch your faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God.  (Hebrews 11:6)

"Now to him who by the power that is working within us is able to do far beyond all that we ask or think," Ephesians 3:20

“According to your faith will it be done to you.”
Matthew 9:29 

(Let the size of your God be the size of your goal!)

3. Goals focus my energy. 

“I do not run without a goal. I fight like a boxer who is hitting something—not just the air.”
1 Corinthians 9:26 (NCV)

4. Goals help me keep going. 

When you feel like you are going through hell, goals help you keep going.  Jesus kept preaching, loving, and healing although he knew he would endure the cross because he knew the ultimate goal to save mankind.

- You can't learn without mistakes or failures.  Failures help you learn.
- Don't waste your failures.
- Short-term set backs lead to long-term goals.
- Strive for many small steps forward.

Job: “I do not have the strength to endure. I do not have a goal that encourages me to carry on.”
Job 6:11 (NLT)

5. Goals build my character. 

- Drifting doesn't build your character. Without a vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29:18).

Paul: “...I keep striving toward the goal...” Philippians 3:12 (TEV)

6. Good goals will be rewarded. 

If your goals are good, you will be respected.” Proverbs 11:27 (TEV)

“All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step.”

1 Corinthians 9:25-26a (NLT)

Pastor Rick Warren's Sermon

Friday, August 11, 2017

Fruit of the Spirit: JOY

Fruit of the Spirit: Joy

‭”The Joy of Jesus is not something we can fake. It is not happiness that depends on our circumstances or moods but rather the fruit of a Spirit-filled and controlled life. Consequently, it does not fluctuate with conditions. It is by the Holy Spirit (1) who dwells within us, we can have the joy of Jesus in the midst of trials. Again, it is the third person of the trinity God the Holy Spirit that brings the Joy of Jesus into our lives!” - Hal Warren
  1. Jesus is our joy provided through the Holy Spirit.
    1 Thessalonians‬ ‭2:19-20‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.”

    1 Thessalonians‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭NET
    “And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, when you received the message with joy that comes from the Holy Spirit, despite great affliction.”

    Romans 14:17 NET
    “For the kingdom of God does not consist of food and drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

    Romans 15:13 NET
    “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in him, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

    John 15:11
    “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
  2. Joy doesn’t depend on our moods or circumstances.

    Luke 1:47 GW
    “Mary said, “My soul praises the Lord’s greatness! My spirit finds its joy in God, my Savior, because he has looked favorably on me, his humble servant. “From now on, all people will call me blessed because the Almighty has done great things to me. His name is holy.”

    ‭‭Although Mary is a young girl, engaged to Joseph, and never had relations with a man, she chooses to be joyful in God’s plan in her life. She will become the talk of the town and she is unsure of the road ahead but she trusts and believes God has chosen the best for her.
  3. Joy through the Lord gives us strength in all circumstances.

    Nehemiah 8:10 (NLT)
    And Nehemiah[a] continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”

    John 16:33 (NET)
    I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble and suffering, but take courage—I have conquered the world.”

    Revelations 12:11-12a (NET)
    “But they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.  Therefore you heavens rejoice, and all who reside in them!”
What does Satan use to steal our joy?
  1. Anxiety

    Jeremiah 17:7-8 GW
    “Blessed is the person who trusts the LORD. The LORD will be his confidence. He will be like a tree that is planted by water. It will send its roots down to a stream. It will not be afraid in the heat of summer. Its leaves will turn green. It will not be anxious during droughts. It will not stop producing fruit.”

    I Peter 5:6-10 ESV
    “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

    Matthew‬ ‭6:34‬ ‭HCSB‬‬
    “Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

    ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭94:19‬ ‭NIV‬‬
    ‭‭“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”

    ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6‬ ‭NIV
    “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
  2. Resentment from hurt
    ‭‭Job‬ ‭5:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬
    “Resentment kills a fool, and envy slays the simple.”
    ‭‭Mark‬ ‭11:25‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses."
  3. Confusion ‭‭Acts‬ ‭19:32‬ ‭ESV‬‬ “Now some cried out one thing, some another, for the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together.” PSALM‬ ‭115:5-9‬ ‭AMP‬‬ “They have mouths, but they cannot speak; They have eyes, but they cannot see; They have ears, but they cannot hear; They have noses, but they cannot smell; They have hands, but they cannot feel; They have feet, but they cannot walk; Nor can they make a sound with their throats. Those who make them will become like them, Everyone who trusts in them. O Israel, trust and take refuge in the LORD! [Be confident in Him, cling to Him, rely on His word!] He is their help and their shield.” Ephesians‬ ‭4:26-29‬ ‭CSB‬‬ “Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, and don’t give the devil an opportunity. Let the thief no longer steal. Instead, he is to do honest work with his own hands, so that he has something to share with anyone in need. No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear.”

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Fruits of the Spirit: Love

Galatians 5:22-23 English Standard Version (ESV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Fruit of love:
What is LOVE?  
Agape - Greek word for unconditional and impartial love of God
1 Corinthians 13 (ESV)

The Way of Love

13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
  1. Keeping God’s commandments is showing our love for Him.
    John 15: 9
    As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.”
    Daniel 9:11-13 (NET)
    “I prayed to the LORD my God, confessing in this way: “O Lord, great and awesome God who is faithful to his covenant with those who love him and keep his commandments”
    Deuteronomy 11:13 (NET)
    “Now, if you pay close attention to my commandments that I am giving you today and love the Lord your God and serve him with all your mind and being”
  2. Loving one another and letting God love through your actions to others
    1 John 4:7-21(ESV)
    God Is Love
    7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
    Matthew 25:34-40
    “Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?'40 And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'”
    Romans 12:10
    “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”
  3. Love your enemies and pray for them.
    Matthew 5:44 (ESV)
    44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,“
    Luke 6:32 (NLT)
    ”If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them!”
    ‭‭Luke‬ ‭6:32‬ ‭NLT‬‬
  4. Love is a sacrifice.
    Psalm 51:17 (NIV)
    “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.”
    I John 4:10 (NIV)
    ‭‭“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”‭
    Psalm 4:5 (HCSB)
    Offer sacrifices in righteousness and trust in the Lord.”
    Ephesians 5:2
    “And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
  5. Loving involves discipline.
    Proverbs 13:24 (NIV)
    “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”
    Proverbs 11:12 (NET)
    “The one who loves discipline loves knowledge, but the one who hates reproof is stupid”
I John 4:18b (AMP)
“ ...But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].”
What LOVE isn’t:
  1. Love isn’t jealousy, bragging, or arrogant.
    I Corinthians 13:4b (ESV)
    “...love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant”
  2. Love isn’t rude, inflexible, irritable, or resentful.  
    I Corinthians 13:4b-5
    “it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful”
  3. Love doesn’t enjoy sin.
    I Corinthians 13:6a
    “it does not rejoice at wrongdoing,...”
  4. Love never ends.
    I Corinthians 13:8a
    “Love never ends…”
  5. Love doesn’t involve fear. I John 4:18 (AMP) There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].”