Thursday, January 30, 2014
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Nicodemus was afraid to come to Jesus in the daytime because all he could lose and what others would think. However, he was very intrigued by Jesus and his miracles. He wanted to be a follower but only in secret. Jesus wanted Nicodemus in the daytime and the nighttime.
Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. ” “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” (John 3:1-15 NIV)
Nicodemus started to be a follower in front of his friends and co-workers, by sticking up for Jesus when the religious leaders tried to find ways to arrest him.
Thus the people were divided because of Jesus. Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him. Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and the Pharisees, who asked them, “Why didn’t you bring him in?” “No one ever spoke the way this man does,” the guards replied. “You mean he has deceived you also?” the Pharisees retorted. “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law—there is a curse on them.” Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?” They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.” Then they all went home, (John 7:43-53 NIV)
After Jesus's death, Nicodemus shows up again!!! Look what he does.
Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. (John 19:38-42 NIV)
What do you think this last gesture cost Nicodemus?
Moses had to stand up to the Pharaoh several times to be a follower of God.
Noah had to build an ark for several years and collect animals to be a follower of God.
Daniel had to be thrown into the lions den and his friends in a fire furnace to be a follower God.
For a ticket into heaven, isn't it all worth it?
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Dollars & Sense
*Nearly half of the parables Jesus told were about money.
*1-7 verses deals with money.
*500 verses on prayer, fewer than 500 on faith, but over 2000 verses on money
-Jesus knows that money is a way Satan can have a foothold in our lives.
*Gen. 14:20b - first mention of tithe
*Jacob in Gen. 28 tithes a tenth of everything God gives him.
* In the book of Leviticus, tithing was also required on flocks.
The bible is full of money and giving.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:10 NIV)
You can't worship God fully without your money.
The Big Idea: Tithe is a part of worshipping God!
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?’ “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 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. (Malachi 3:7-10 NIV)
One area of scripture where God says we can test him is tithing!!! (Malachi 3:10)
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38 NIV)
Do we have a plan to tithe?
Give first to the church, save seccond, and life off what's left.
Tithe supports... (30% of members give 10% of their income)
Building & Maintenance
District, Regional, & General Budgets
New Sanctuaty- 3 phase plan
If the other 70% of the churhc who is not giving currectly was giving 10% of thei income we wouldn't need to take out a loan.
Why new vision?
People who are not yet saved
Do you have a plan to tithe? Tithing is a part of worshipping God.
Two reasons to give:
1. Worship with your whole self which includes your money.
2. The money you give helps to resource the church tot spread the message of Jesus.
People need The Lord!!!
Do you love your church? Do you believe in what your church is doing? Shouldn't you support what they are doing?
First Miracle: Water to Wine
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:1-5 NIV)
Mary didn't pay attention to what Jesus said she just believed he could fix the problem because her son was God on Earth. In fact Jesus even says in the gospel of Luke: He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. (Luke 17:6 NIV)
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” (John 2:6-10 NIV)
Jesus didn't just make sure there was wine but it was the best wine. How many times does God answer of prayers better than expected? My husband and I prayed for a coaching job for him while he was still working on his elementary education degree. He not only got a job, but the sport he truly is passionate about, in a school district with a lot of athletic support, and a winning history.
What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days. (John 2:11-12 NIV)
Jesus had just gathered his disciples before this party. Some were John's disciples. They had just met him and I'm sure feeling apprehensive of their new teacher. However, because the witnessed this miracle it gave them an idea of how great Jesus was and who they were following.
The Big Idea: Have faith it will be done and God will make it better than we intended.
Thursday, January 2, 2014
John the Baptist was born to prepare a way for Jesus.
"There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light." (John 1:6-8 NIV)
Isn't that a similar reason why all of us were created? God has a plan for each one of us for His purpose. We should all be preparing a way for Jesus into others' hearts and souls. In anything and everything we do, we can use this as our mission field.
"I now serve the good news because God gave me his grace. His power is at work in me. I am by far the least important of all of God's people. But he gave me the grace to preach to the non-Jews about the wonderful riches that Christ gives. God told me to make clear to everyone how the mystery came about. In times past it was kept hidden in the mind of God, who created all things. He wanted the rulers and authorities in the heavenly world to come to know his great wisdom. The church would make it known to them. That was God's plan from the beginning. He has worked it out through Christ Jesus our Lord. Through him and through faith in him we can approach God. We can come to him freely. We can come without fear. So here is what I'm asking you to do. Don't lose hope because I am suffering for you. It will lead to the time when God will give you his glory." (Ephesians 3:7-13 NIRV)
Therefore, at work, in my yoga class, in my photoshoots, during triathlon training, or races those are my mission fields to prepare a pathway for Jesus to enter others. I have to ask myself, "Am I a good role model in those places? Have I done a good job up until now?" It doesn't matter, I need to be better.