Saturday, February 28, 2009

2009 Lenten Devotional and Prayer Guide

February 27

 

And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”          (Ezekiel 36:27)

 

The new covenant, established in Jesus’ blood, is not a change in the moral code of “the Law.”  The promise is for a change in the human heart (see v 26).  The only way for a change to happen is if something greater than the Law and the stubbornness of the human heart to take hold.  It is more than information or application of that information.  It is transformation.  The question for us today becomes, is the Spirit of God in you?  We may not want to hear this, but the test is simple: do we obey God? [Written by: Pastor Dan]

 

February 28

 

I will save you from all your uncleanness.”  (Ezekiel 36:29a)

 

Unclean” is a very colorful Old Testament image.  A person could become unclean for many reasons.  The one most of us are familiar with is “leprosy.”  Leprosy is a bacterial infection that causes the flesh to rot.  Today’s medical world knows “leprosy” as Hanson’s disease and is curable with modern medicine.  Because the disease was contagious and ancient Israel had no cure, the victims were isolated from the general population to prevent its spread.  Leprosy becomes a picture of sin.  It is highly contagious, but it is also curable.  The question for us today is: are we part of spreading this contagious illness or the cure?  [Written by: Pastor Dan]

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Thursday, February 26, 2009

2009 Lent Devotional and Prayer Guide

February 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.” (Ezekiel 36:26)

 

I remember the day I accepted Christ as my Savior… Vacation Bible School, August 1988. I can still remember the great joy I felt when I said aloud, “Forgive me Father.” I remember the look of extreme pride on the face of the VBS leader as he said “Thank you Lord.” It truly felt like I had a new heart, a new purpose. Though I have struggled with faith in times since, my heart has always come back to Jesus. Despite the worldly temptations and my many shortcomings, that new spirit has never left me. I still have a lot learn about God’s Word and I know that my path will be rocky, yet my faith is assured knowing that I will never return to having a heart of stone.

[Written by: Tammy]

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

2009 Lenten Devotional

Forward

 

The original purpose of this project was to be a prayer guide for the 2009 Lent season.  Throughout my ministry I have done several of them.  However, this one became different when Billie suggested we seek devotional ideas from the congregation (instead of just using the Bible verses).  You hold the first fruits of that idea.

 

My prayer is that this Lenten season will be made special and meaningful in ways nobody could imagine because of the work of our contributors.  Their boldness should encourage us.  Their insight should make us marvel at the depth and richness of God’s mercy, grace, and loving-kindness this Lent.  I was amazed at how they worked separately yet how God knitted the ideas together to give us a thought-provoking prayer journey to travel this year.

 

My prayer is also that this journey will bear much fruit and result in a harvest of holiness and many lives changed for the glory and honor of Jesus Christ.  Carefully read and pray over the Bible verses and devotional thoughts.  Open your heart to what God wants to do for you this Lenten season.

 

Many thanks to Billie, Holly, and our devotional guides.  Billie is our “publisher:” formatting and printing this booklet.  Holly is the editor.  

 

[Pastor Dan Waite]

 

 

February 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”  (Ezekiel 36:25)

 

Idols. In Ezekiel’s time idols were literally monuments for god’s that people worshipped. I think many people write off the idea of idols when they consider the challenges that Christians of today are facing; but idols have not all fallen by the wayside. If you turn on primetime TV, you will see many programs engaging in and encouraging idol worship. The popular television series Survivor has its contestants compete for an immunity idol, which keeps them alive in the game. Another example is the singing competition American Idol and there, well, the name really says it all. In America fame, fortune and power are common idols. The temptation to worship them is strong, yet Ezekiel shows us that in God we can be cleansed from idols and from all of our shortcomings. Have you taken that cleansing step? Are you ready to? [Written by: Billie]

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Monday, February 23, 2009

Spiritual gifts and spiritual imbalances

Colossians 1:9 – 14

Balancing our Imbalances

 

A.        Facts:


“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. [5] There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. [6] There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.” [1 Corinthians 12:4 – 6]

 

            1.         There are three different concepts mentioned by Paul. (Ways to understand spiritual gifts)

 

                        a.         Gifts – (Greek “charisma”) are the spiritual quality or ability.

 

                        b.         Service – (Greek “diakonia”) are the applications of those abilities.

 

                        c.         Working – (Greek “energema”) are the effects.


“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with [Gifts] the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. [10] And we pray this in order that you may live [Service] a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, [11] being strengthened with all power [Working] according to his glorious might” ... [Colossians 1:9 – 14]

 

            2.         Specific gifts can have a corresponding responsibility for EVERYONE. (Not inclusive list)

 

                        a.         giving — tithing

 

                        b.         evangelism — sharing faith

 

                        c.         missions/pastor — supporting


***** Just because you do NOT have a gift does not excuse you from your biblical and universal responsibility. *****

 

            3.         Specific gifts can have multiple applications. (Not inclusive list)

 

                        a.         generosity/giving — money, time, resources

 

                        b.         evangelism — group, personal, electronic/written

 

                        c.         missions/pastor — visionaries, people person, preaching


***** The use of gifts in service comes from the context, opportunity, possibilities, personality, and talents of the person. *****

 

            4.         Specific gifts have related effects and perspectives. [These become our strengths and weaknesses.]

 

                        a.         Gifts through wisdom and understanding [v 9]

 

                        b.         Service to live worthy, bear fruit, growth (commitment) [v 10]

 

                        c.         Working involving strength, reflecting God’s might (power) [v 11]


(See Christian Schwarz “The 3 Colors of Ministry”)


 

B.        Problems:

 

            1.         We tend to view the world through our own perspective (gift preference).

 

                        a.         We don’t understand people who are different.

 

                        b.         We don’t like people who are different.

 

                        c.         We don’t want to work with people who are different.

 

            2.         We tend to think everyone is (or should be) like us.

 

                        a.         If you are heavily into wisdom and understanding, you might be critical about efforts and strategies to evangelize.

 

                        b.         If you are “holiness” you might frown on those who have insight into “legalism.”

 

                        c.         If you are “charismatic” you might be disgusted with those who don’t seem to worship or experience the power of God.

 

            3.         We tend to think the answer to everything is from our personal comfort zone.

 

                        a.         People heavily into wisdom think “church growth” and its resulting philosophies and models are rubbish. Churches don’t grow because they’ve become offensive in their “end justifies the means.”

 

                        b.         People who are into commitment thing “church growth” is simply a matter of wanting to... therefore if a church is not growing, its because they don’t want too.

 

                        c.         People who lean toward power seem to think that the reason the church does not grow is because it lacks the presence of God.

 

            4.         We can take a hard-line and become unbalanced.

 

                        a.         Wisdom oriented people become critical without improving. Wisdom becomes human in origin and orientation.

 

                        b.         Commitment oriented people become devastatingly discouraging without love. Commitment becomes a matter of “want-to” with no room for understanding others.

 

                        c.         Power oriented people become judgmental. Absolute power/authority is given to experience, the more emotional the more divine...


(Ill.) An airplane: for some reason the flight crew becomes unable to fly the plane. The first person knows how to fly but lacks the desire, confidence, or willingness to fly the plane. The second person jumps into the pilots seat and immediately flips the airplane upside down and suggest that the reason people are not happy is because they were not wearing their seat belt. The third person organizes a prayer meeting, cartwheels into the cockpit, knocks the second person out, and commands the airplane to fly and land safely at their destination!


***** This unbalanced life is without true transforming power. There may be “success” but the imbalance eventually undermines any success, progress, or growth. *****


 

C.        Proposed Solutions:


(Ill. Nature: An unbalance wheel is a problem. A wheel that is mostly round will hit those flat spots. A wheel that is flat and riding along on whatever is happening at the moment eventually destroys itself.)

 

            1.         There is NOT one way to do ministry or for a church to grow. Different is just different. Different gifts, different ways to serve, different effects. The body needs diversity in gifts, service, work.

 

            2.         What works today may not work tomorrow. (It’s why there is seldom sustainable growth... we find something that works and work it until it works against us. Church growth cycles run in about 2-years of growth followed by decline or plateau.) Just because you put weight on the right leg to walk does not mean that will continue your progress, you have to shift your weight to the left leg to continue.

 

            3.         The key is to discover:

 

                        a.         What is your gift/s?

 

                        b.         How can your gift/s be used in useful service?

 

                        c.         What will be God’s part in the use of your gift/s?


(Ill.) An airplane: for some reason the flight crew becomes unable to fly the plane. The first person knows how to fly but lacks the desire, confidence, or willingness to fly the plane. Being unwilling to fly the airplane they climb into the co-pilot’s seat and gives instructions. The second person jumps into the pilot’s seat and immediately flies the airplane with instructions from the first person. The third person organizes a prayer meeting, commands the airplane to fly and land safely, realizes everyone needs encouragement and serves dinner as an act of faith.


Sounds silly? This actually happened! [Acts 27:9 – 36]


 

D.        Personal proposal:

 

            1.         Give careful consideration to your strengths and gifts.

 

            2.         Give prayerful consideration to your weaknesses and blind spots.

 

            3.         Ask God for the needed balance. Personally and in our church.

 

            4.         Learn from others and help/allow others to be good at what they are good at (instead of becoming bad at what they are bad at).


Blogged with the Flock Browser

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Love is a four-letter word

Mark 12:28 – 31

“Love is a four-letter word.”


 

I.         The heart is where the decisions are made.


(Ill.) We have expression such as follow the heart. As if the heart were an inanimate will outside our own.

 

            A.        The heart is our disposition... predisposition. What we default to when we need to decide.

 

                        1.         The heart is trained by our past experiences and emotions. It often dictates what we want.

 

                        2.         The heart is tainted by bad experiences and sometimes incorrect or illogical perceptions. It often dictates what we do not like or want.

 

            B.        The heart has become a symbol of “love.”

 

                        1.         Adam Clarke “nothing in comparison... nothing but in reference to...”

 

                                    a.         When we are “in love” nothing/nobody compares to the object of our affections.

 

                                    b.         When we are “in love” everything is done in reference to the object of our affections.

 

                        2.         As a symbol of love it has become a symbol of emotions.

 

                                    a.         Love is more than emotion, it is choices... MANY choices.

 

                                    b.         (Ill.) Story of the man who said to his wife, “I told you I love you at the wedding, if I change my mind I’ll tell you.”


Love means we LEAVE our rights behind. (Heart)


            Rights – what we think we should have/get. What we want.


 

II.       The soul is our very life.

 

            A.        It is one thing to think or believe, it is another to live out...

 

                        1.         Sometime our actions and our words or beliefs are in conflict.

 

                                    a.         Actions and Beliefs about those actions can have internal Consequences.

 

                                    b.         Consequences are also externally imposed because of our Actions. When this happens we have to examine Beliefs. Typically we then re-orient our beliefs at this point. (justify, re-name, convert, etc...)

 

                        2.         The Bible speaks of choosing (“choose you this day,...” “Do not harden your hearts...”)

 

                                    a.         What we do comes from a choice.

 

                                    b.         These choices define our character and who we predictably are... or will become.


“Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right.” [Proverbs 20:11]

 

            B.        The soul is who we are.

 

                        1.         Love for God, “keeps us and helps against everything that rivals him.” (Matthew Henry)

 

                                    a.         The “who we are” is our character and our patterns.

 

                                    b.         It is our orientation. (Our “default.”)

 

                        2.         Love is also a reflection of God in our lives.

 

                                    a.         God is at work, so it makes sense that God’s work in us is reflected by constant and personal growth.

 

                                    b.         There are some things we may always struggle with... but the direction reflects an internal compass that constantly leads us to God.


Love means we ORIENT our lives to another. (Soul)


            Selfishness – is the core idea of sin, it’s also enemy of everything good. It is a self-orientation instead of a God-orientation. It also keeps us from being truly “other-centered.”


(Ill. Man died and went to heaven. Asked to see hell first... taken to a place where there was a massive banquet laid out. Puzzled he asked how this could be hell. Told to watch. The spoons and forks were all 6 feet long, the people could not feed themselves. Getting the point, he asked to go to heaven. There he found a massive banquet with 6 foot long spoons and forks. Puzzled he asked, what’s the difference. Told, in hell the selfishness of the people keeps them from enjoying the good God has provided. Here we have learned to enjoy the good God has provided, we feed one another!)

 

III.      The mind is the battle ground.

 

            A.        To know God and God’s will becomes the key issue: “Opinion proceeds affection.”

 

                        1.         God revealed Himself through Jesus.


“If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” [John 14:7]

 

                        2.         God revealed Himself through His works.


“You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other.” [Deuteronomy 4:35]

 

                        3.         God revealed Himself through His words.


“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] He was with God in the beginning. [3] Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. [4] In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” [John 1:1 – 4]

 

            B.        The trouble is our minds are easily distracted.

 

                        1.         Short memories keep us from remembering the good... Inability to forget keeps us fanning the flames of bad memories.

 

                                    a.         Every wonder why the good is so fleeting and the bad and offensive last to the fourth generation?

 

                                    b.         There must be a spiritual dimension.

 

                        2.         Focus through discipline is necessary.

 

                                    a.         Discipline is not punishment, it is courageous correction.

 

                                    b.         Discipline, to work, requires it to be constantly maintained through habitual and intentional focus. (That’s one reason why consitent church attendance and daily devotions and prayer are so important.)


Love means we VIGILANTLY guard against the “little foxes.” (Mind)


            Little Foxes“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.” (Song of Solomon 2:15)


“The straw that broke the camel’s back.” The little things eventually get us and corrupt/ruin a relationship.

 

IV.      Our strength is all our mental and physical abilities.

 

            A.        Time and energy are required in a relationship.

 

                        1.         What/who you invest your energy in is you true love.

 

                                    a.         Maybe it is a house, in the form of housework or maintenance.

 

                                    b.         Maybe it is yourself. (CAUTION: We do need to take care of ourselves... the older I get the more maintenance my body and mind requires.)

 

                        2.         What/Who you invest your energy in exposes your true priorities.

 

                                    a.         Some of us need to take better care of ourselves physically...

 

                                    b.         What are we doing to take care of ourselves spiritually?

 

            B.        Jesus boiled it down to two things:

 

                        1.         Love God and love others.

 

                        2.         Interesting thing: when we focus on ourselves life deteriorates and slips out of control. When we focus on God and others, we are never alone in the struggles or joys of life.


Love means we ENERGIZED by the relationship. (Strength)


            Energized – are given energy through nurturing someone else.


Love means we LEAVE our rights behind (Heart), ORIENT our lives to another (Soul), VIGILANTLY guard against the “little foxes” (Mind), and we are ENERGIZED by the relationship (Strength).

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Sunday, February 08, 2009

The four uses of spiritual gifts.

1 Corinthians 12:7 – 11, 27 – 31

The four uses of spiritual gifts.




Principles to understanding spiritual gifts.


 


1.         When I talk about “spiritual gifts,” I mean the totality of the church’s supernatural
ministry. [charisma, diakonia, and energema for the Greek students/scholars]






“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. [5] There are different kinds of service,
but the same Lord. [6] There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them
in all men.”
[1 Corinthians 12:4 – 6]


 


2.         God has placed each gift as needed. [see 1 Corinthians 12:18]


 


3.         UNITY is a non-negotiable in shared suffering or mutual honor. [see 1 Corinthians 12:26]


 


4.         The PURPOSE of spiritual gifts is to equip for service to build the body of Christ. [see
Ephesians 4:12]




The four uses of spiritual gifts:


 


1.         Influence – Used to influence values, decisions, and direction.


 


2.         Initiative – Used in service to the church and the world.


 


3:        Information – Used to keep us on task and focused.


 


4.         Inspiration – Used to generate emotions to energize or calm, this energy is directed
toward God as worship or toward the world as witness.




How they work:




***** This list is NOT meant to be all inclusive. It is compiled, mainly, from Romans 12, 1
Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4. *****


 


I.         Influence (values, decisions, and direction)


 


            A.        “Message of wisdom.” [v 8]


 


                        1.         Wisdom is the quality of experience that can correctly apply information.


 


                        2.         An American understanding of “wisdom” may be “common sense.”


 


            B.        “Distinguishment between spirits.” [v 10] (“Discernment”)


 


                        1.         This is in context to the speaking of tongues.


 


                        2.         Necessary survival, keeps us from being gullible.


 


            C.        “Guidance” [v 28] (“Administration”)


 


                        1.         The Greek word is borrowed from Latin. It means “to steer” or “to be a
dictator.” (If you don’t do one, you will do the other...)


 


                        2.         This is a “big picture” or “visionary” type of gift... not the hold down a
desk, oil the machinery of government, type.


 


            D.        “Leading” [Romans 12:8]


 


                        1.         This is the “point” in a military operation. The first one into battle, the
head of the column.


 


                        2.         It is also the one who “ranks” higher or presides over...


 


            E.        “Evangelism” [Ephesians 4:11]


 


                        1.         Technically this is not a gift or skill set, its an office in the early church.


 


                        2.         It was someone who proclaimed the gospel. [Invited people into a saving
relationship with God through Jesus.]


 


II.       Initiative (Service)


 


            A.        “Miraculous powers.” [vv 10, 28]


 


                        1.         We get our word “dynamo” from this Greek word.


 


                        2.         These are demonstrations of God’s power. The event that attracts people
to listen to the gospel.


 


            B.        “Apostles.” [v 28, Eph. 4:11]


 


                        1.         Apostles were ones who were “sent.” The specific title refers to the 12.


 


                        2.         Those doing the work of “apostles” are missionaries and church planters.


 


            C.        “Helping” [v 28]


 


                        1.         This is helping people in need.


 


                        2.         Active sympathy to see a need an meet the need.


 


            D.        “Serving” [Romans 12:7]


 


                        1.         This is were we get the word “deacon.”


 


                        2.         The original deacons were servers... they waited on tables. [see Acts 6:1 –
4]


 


            E.        “Generosity” [Romans 12:8]


 


                        1.         The idea is “giving.”


 


                        2.         The key to giving is to NOT have an ulterior motive. [In other words, you
give only to get something in return.]


 


            F.        “Craftsmanship” [Exodus 31:2 – 6]




“See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, [3] and I have filled
him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts-- [4] to make
artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, [5] to cut and set stones, to work in wood,
and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship. [6] Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of
Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given skill to all the craftsmen to make
everything I have commanded you”
[Exodus 31:2 – 6]


 


                        1.         God provides people to do the physical work.


 


                        2.         God provides people to do the art work.


 


III.      Information (on task and focused)


 


            A.        “Message of knowledge” [v 8]


 


                        1.         If “wisdom” is how to then “knowledge” is the what.


 


                        2.         Knowing... implies “scientific” approach.


 


            B.        “Interpretation” [vv 10, 30]


 


                        1.         Another gift in context to tongues. [Notice there are TWO control gifts
associated with tongues... or inspirational gifts.]


 


                        2.         It is were we get “hermeneutics.” (Our “science” of correctly handling the
Word of God.)


 


            C.        “Teaching” [v 28, Eph. 4:11, Rom. 12:7]


 


                        1.         This is the only gift to show up on all three lists! It’s like God is saying,
it’s necessary, and it’s necessary, and it’s necessary!


 


                        2.         Without this gift/office, we are strangely misguided fools with only
ourselves as a point of reference.


 


            D.        “Prophecy” [vv 10, 28]


 


                        1.         OT image of one who foretold things to come and spoke God’s word to
the people.


 


                        2.         NT image of “inspired” speaking (our preaching?)


 


IV.      Inspiration (Generate emotional response)


 


            A.        “Faith” [v 9]


 


                        1.         This is beyond “saving faith.” (Conviction)


 


                        2.         It is a reliance on God that makes us wonder why we don’t rely on God
more!




[Ill. The Cebu FM church was in need of a library. Pastora Naomi asked God, believing God
would provide. The day she asked they were given a book store that had gone out of business.]


 


            B.        “Healing” [vv 9, 29]


 


                        1.         All healing is from God... Doctors are God’s front line in this work.


 


                        2.         Sometimes God chooses to do something different, for a reason, to get
people’s attention. (We may not see much of this because it would be
wasted, explained away, ignored.)


 


            C.        “Tongues” [vv 10, 28]


 


                        1.         The first instance of “tongues” was actually speaking the native language
of people in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. (See Acts 2)


 


                        2.         It became a “sign” to the Jewish believers that God had accepted Gentiles
into the church. (See Acts 10:23 – 11:18)




“So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who
was I to think that I could oppose God? When they heard this, they had no further objections
and praised God, saying, "So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.”

[Acts 11:17 – 18]


 


            D.        “Encouragement” [v 8] (“exhortation”)


 


                        1.         Literally it means “to come along side of” and is the same word for one of
the Holy Spirit’s ministries.


 


                        2.         When we encourage people we invite (call) them to health and whole
relationship with God and the church.


 


            F.        “Mercy” [Romans 12:8]


 


                        1.         Literally it means “to have compassion.”


 


                        2.         This is a compassion that moves us to action.


 


            G.       “Music”


 


                        1.         David’s music calmed King Saul.




“Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief
would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.”
[1 Samuel 16:23]


 


                        2.         Miriam’s music energized people.




“Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron's sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women
followed her, with tambourines and dancing. [21] Miriam sang to them: "Sing to the LORD, for
he is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea.”
[Exodus 15:20 – 21]

Friday, February 06, 2009

Whenever...

1 Corinthians 11:26


“Whenever...”




“For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he
comes.”




Four theological truths, what they mean to us, and one action-point.




1. Jesus lived on this earth. [Life]




“But made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human
likeness
.
” [Philippians 2:7]




Jesus knows what it means to be fully human. That means Jesus understands our need, our
suffering and our struggle. It makes Jesus our source of help in time of need.




“For this reason He had to be made like His brothers in every way, in order that He might
become a merciful and faithful high priest
in service to God, and that He might make
atonement
for the sins of the people. [18] Because He himself suffered when He was tempted,
He is able to help those who are being tempted.”
[Hebrews 2:17 – 18]




Not only does Jesus understands our struggle, Jesus sympathizes with our “weaknesses.” Notice
it is not weakness (singular) but weaknesses (plural). What Jesus demonstrates is the possibility
of living outside the tyranny of sin.




“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we
have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin.”
[Hebrews
4:15]




Jesus had to have lived to have died...




2. Jesus died a human death. [Faith]




“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death--
even death on a cross!”
[Philippians 2:8]




Imagine the King of Glory, God Almighty, dying. Physical death was one result of sin. Physical
death is part of “the curse” we all inherited from Adam and Eve. Jesus entered to total human
experience, including death because sin also caused a separation between God and humanity.
Since, we cannot bridge the gap, Jesus did it for us.




“And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who
died for them and was raised again.”
[2 Corinthians 5:15]




This means we will no longer live for ourselves. Instead we live for Jesus.




“For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive
the promised eternal inheritance--now that He has died as a ransom to set them free from the
sins committed under the first covenant.”
[Hebrews 9:15]




Because of Jesus’ death, we have an eternal inheritance. Jesus’ death was an act that ransomed
us from the grip of sin. The ransom was paid covering our debt of sin which is eternal retribution
(payback not correction).




Some of us do not think we deserve eternal retribution (a.k.a. “Hell”). What is worse than the
eternal retribution of hell would be being forced, against our will, to live in the presence of a
pure, loving, and holy God.




3. Jesus is alive. [Hope]




“Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every
name.”
[Philippians 2:9]




God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. Jesus has returned to His former glory and
place, waiting for that time God the Father has appointed for the end of human history.




“And who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by His
resurrection from the dead
: Jesus Christ our Lord.”
[Romans 1:4]




The resurrection is proof of Jesus’ life, ministry, authority, and divinity. Every thing depends on
the truth of the resurrection. If Jesus was resurrected then Jesus was and did what the Bible says
He was and did. Jesus is the long promised and awaited Messiah (Christ). Jesus is Lord (God)
and ruler of all.




We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus
those who have fallen asleep in him.”
[1 Thessalonians 4:14]




Jesus’ death and resurrection also looks forward to Jesus’ return. Which means we will also
have a resurrection to eternal life.




4. Jesus is returning. [Joy]




“This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his
powerful angels.”
[2 Thessalonians 1:7b]




This return is in victory. Once Jesus died so we may live and have abundant life. Once Jesus
was raised from the dead to leave no doubt to who He is and His claim of King (Lord) of all.
Someday, maybe soon, Jesus will return to set all wrongs right.




It doesn’t matter who you are, what your beliefs are, or what side you are take:




“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
[11] and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

[Philippians 2:10– 11]




Angels, humans, and demons will all understand and proclaim without a shadow of a doubt the
truth of Jesus as Lord (King).




ACTION POINT: You proclaim these truths as you participate in this table.




These truths, to the follower of Jesus Christ, are non-negotiable. These are the cornerstones of
our life, faith, hope, and joy. As we celebrate this time, we proclaim with our minds, our
mouths, our lives these truths.




Today if you are following Jesus, you are invited to this table. If you are struggling with the
effects of sin you’ve done, you are invited to repent and join at this table.




This is a place where you can leave your sin, leave your weaknesses, leave your loneliness, leave
your selfish, stubborn, resisting self and be washed in the soul cleansing blood of Jesus.




This is a proclamation of a new covenant, a new life, and a new promise.