Thursday, July 29, 2010

Urban Legends, Part 4

This past weekend I shared a variety of Urban Legends, some true, some false. Two of the more popular ones are the ones below. Both are true! :-)

Paul Karason puts a whole new spin on "feeling blue.” For more than a decade, the 57-year-old has been living with a blue face. (read more by clicking here)

While most folks today are too squeamish to take more than a glance into the casket during a funeral, in the late 19th through early 20th centuries someone dying meant it was time to break out the camera for a family photo. The practice was known as memorial photography. (read more by clicking here)

Crazy pill stuff but totally true. The point of the message was to tackle the Urban Legend that God wants you to be poor. I talked about the FACT that God wants to prosper you & bless you to be a blessing. You can listen to the podcast by clicking here & the notes are below!

Urban Legends II- Part 4
FICTION- GOD WANTS YOU TO BE POOR/ FACT- GOD WANTS YOU TO PROSPER
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 (NKJV)
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers." 3 John 1:3 (KJV)

The Greek word "prosper" here is euodoo (yoo-od-o'-o)
which means "to have a successful journey through life."

DO YOU HAVE A POVERTY OR PROSPERITY MENTALITY?
The Hebrew words for prosper are:
sakal (saw-kal') Definition: consider, expert, instruct, prosper- in other words, to experience prosperity as a result of wise decision making.
tsalach (tsaw-lakh') Definition: prosper, success, to break out & come mightily- in other words, to experience sudden supernatural prosperity.
shalom (shaw-lome') Definition: favor, To make amends, happiness, restore, Peace, Prosperity, Wellness, Wholeness- In other words, all your needs are being met, Spirit, soul and body.

YOU WILL PROSPER BECAUSE OF GOD’S PRESENCE

"The LORD was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. 3 When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did..." GENESIS 39:1-6

GOD’S GREATEST DESIRE IS TO TAKE YOU FROM THE PIT TO THE PALACE FOR HIS PURPOSE!

THE PROCESS OF PROSPERITY (TURN TO JOSHUA 1:6-9)
1. Be strong and of a good courage.
2. Be strong and VERY courageous.
3. Observe
4. Don't turn to the right or the left.
5. Prosper
6. Mouth
7. Meditate
8. Only then!

sakal--tsalach--shalom (wisdom, supernatural breakthrough, peace & wholeness)
Joseph's master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king's prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21 the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. 22 So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. 23 The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph's care, because the LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did. GENESIS 39:20-23

 39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you...” Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt.." GENESIS 41:39-44

PROSPERITY ISN’T MERELY FOR OUR PLEASURE, BUT FOR GOD’S PURPOSES
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” GENESIS 50:20 (NLT) *see also LUKE 19:10, 2 PETER 3:9

This Week’s APP-
Change your perspective from one of poverty, to one of prosperity. Know that you are blessed to be a blessing & that God has good things in store for your life. Prosperity is for the purposes of God, not merely pleasure! Take time to meditate & think about Joshua 1, Psalm 1 & Psalm 112 this week & get ready to prosper!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Urban Legends Updates!

We've been in the midst of a fantastic series called, "Urban Legends." If you missed last weeks great message by Pastor Bob Hulett, or any of the messages, click here to listen. Also, many of you requested seeing the video that we shared just a few weeks ago courtesy of Bryan Allain & our drama team. Take a few moments & check it out, very funny! Next week I'll post my notes for the completion of our Urban Legends series. The message is entitled, "God wants you to be poor." Can't wait to challenge your thinking this weekend. Good stuff! Enjoy the video...

The ScamWow from Bryan Allain on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Urban Legends II- Part 2, Everything Happens For A Reason

EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

WHEN BAD STUFF HAPPENS:

 
The Good News: Everything happens for a reason.
 The Bad News: It’s not always the reason we hoped for!

 The Promise: It says, “In all things God works for good” – NOT “all things are good!” 

Larry Osborne writes in his book, 10 dumb things smart Christians believe, “No matter what happens, God is in control. But that doesn’t mean that everything that happens is something that he wants to happen & it certainly doesn’t mean that everything he allows is good. God didn’t cause Lucifer to rebel, Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, or David to sleep with Bathsheba. He didn’t kill Abel, build the tower of Babel, or force the crowd to cry out Barabbas. Those who carried out these evil deeds bear full responsibility for their actions. They can’t blame God. Adam tried. It didn’t fly. You can look it up”

 Two Conditions:
1. If we LOVE God.
  "If you love me, you will obey what I command.” John 14:15
2. If we’re PART of God’s family.
“So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.” 1 John 3:10 (*see also Galatians 3:26-28, Rom. 1:6-7, 1 Timothy 6:12-14  &  2 Timothy 1:9)

5 Things To Consider Before You Claim This Promise



(1) We live in a FALLEN world.
      
“Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.” Genesis 1-4:8
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.” 1 Peter 4:12 (Heb. 9:27, 1 Cor. 15:21-26, Isaiah 5:20, Dan. 1:1-6)
Sometimes bad people do things and good people get hurt. When it comes to the consequences of our fallen world, we’re not offered immunity, we’re offered eternity.
Remember: This World Is Not Heaven
“If our hope in Christ is good only for this life, we are worse off than anyone else.” 1 Cor. 15:19 (*see also 1 Peter 5:6-10, Rom. 8:35-39)

(2) If we’ve IGNORE God’s warnings. 
    If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God...” DEUTERONOMY 28:1-2
“However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you...” DEUTERONOMY 28:15
*see also Romans 6:23, Proverbs 1:23-33, Proverbs 19:2-3

(3) If we’ve made FOOLISH decisions. 
A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it. Proverbs 22:3
   “...A man's own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the Lord." Proverbs 19:2-3
Sometimes trials & hardships we face are the result of our own sinful choices. Self-inflicted wounds. That’s not God’s doing, it’s ours.

The belief that God is the direct cause of everything that happens & has a specific reason and blessing for it is not only untrue, it has the potential to produce great spiritual harm, including:
-unjustified anger at God, -glossing over sin, -irresponsibility


(4) If it’s a necessary step toward a greater GOOD.
“God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:5-12 (*see also 2 Cor. 1:3-6)
Key thought- How you live is far more important than where you live (Genesis 39,40, 13:5-11; 18:17-19:30, Daniel 1-6)

(5) If God has something BETTER in mind.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20

Back to our story of Joseph... God was obviously present & working behind the scenes. When Joseph’s brothers eventually came to ask him for mercy despite their evil behavior, Joseph didn’t call his brothers acts good or even necessary. He didn’t say that everything happened for a reason. He simply pointed out that God was at work despite their evil intents. Joseph had no clue that God was up to something special.
It’s easy to see for us that God OVERCAME the brother’s sin to position him for a high post in Egypt’s royal court. In the process, God provided for Joseph’s father and brothers and put them in a setting where a small nomadic clan could grow into a great nation. JOSEPH SIMPLY OBEYED. Joseph obeyed and trusted. He did the right thing no matter what. Sometimes we’ll be rewarded in the present, other times in the future in heaven. Only time will tell.
Joseph obeyed and trusted. He did the right thing no matter what. Sometimes we’ll be rewarded in the present, other times in the future in heaven. Only time will tell.

Jesus lived a sinless life yet was rushed to judgement in an illegal trial that broke jewish law, accused unjustly & put to a horrible death. For that, God had a reason & the reason was YOU. (John 3:16)

This Week’s APP-
Remember, God never wastes a hurt & He never wastes a pain!
*If you are going through difficulty, consider the 5 things that we talked about today. Can you claim the promise found in Romans 8:38-39?
*Ask God for wisdom & favor as you deal with the issues of life.
God wants to use you to save many lives!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Urban Legends II- Christians Shouldn't Judge

CHRISTIANS SHOULDN’T JUDGE

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. 2 For you will be treated as you treat others.The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. 3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” Matthew 7:1-5 (NIV)

This urban legend is one of the most misunderstood, misquoted & misapplied teachings of scripture. If we were forbidden to make moral and spiritual judgments, we would have no objective way to distinguish between truth and error. If we follow the crowd on this one, we’ll end up going down a trail that not only differs from what Jesus said but also defies logic, obscures truth, and propagates sin. The verb that’s translated "judge" (krinete) is one that basically means "to separate", or "to make a distinction" between things, to discriminate. Our word critic is derived from this word. It means to sift out and analyze evidence.
 Simply put to judge means to observe the evidence, evaluate it, and arrive at a certain conclusion based on the evidence.

WHEN ARE CHRISTIANS NOT TO JUDGE?

Christians are not to judge people’s MOTIVES or INTENTIONS.
“Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.” 1 Corinthians 4:5
Christians are not to judge other Christians regarding DISPUTABLE MATTERS.
“Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.” Romans 14:1-2 (rd. 1-10)
Christians are not to pass judgement on people for their MORAL FAILURES.


“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” Romans 2:1-5 (see also Luke 6:37-38)
Christians are not to judge UNBELIEVERS.
“What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside.” 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 (see also John 3:17)

WHAT ARE CHRISTIANS TO JUDGE?

1. Christians are to judge DOCTRINE.
“If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.” 2 John 1:10-11
2. Christians are to judge OURSELVES.
“But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.” 1 Corinthians 11:31-32
3. Christians should judge UNREPENTED SIN among those who claim to be Christians.
“So watch yourselves. "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.” Luke 17:3
“In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.”
2 Thessalonians 3:6 (see also, 1 Corinthians 5)

HOW ARE CHRISTIANS TO JUDGE?

Christians are to use the MIND OF CHRIST to make judgements about everything.
“The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:15-16
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword... it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
Christians are to offer GRACE and MERCY to others.
 “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.” Galatians 6:1
 “Blessed are the merciful,for they will be shown mercy.” Matthew 5:7