Monday, January 22, 2018

The Master Plan

Destiny Church
Mission’s Conference
“Light Your World”
Monday Evening
January 22, 2018

                                The Master Plan

God has a plan, He will succeed, and we have a chance to participate.

In a moment we are going to be going to First Corinthians 2 but before that allow me to share some points to ponder:

·       Faith makes things possible; it does not make things easy.

·       Principles before problems.

·       Success is in secondary leadership, even if your name is Jesus.

The Old Testament is a picture of approximately 4000 years, give or take a few, showing what God did to bring Messiah to a lost and hurting world.

The New Testament is a snapshot of only about 40 years (AD 27 to AD 67) and it details what was done by only one generation after God brought Messiah to a lost and hurting world.
·        The New Testament is an account of the adventures of one home group of about 120 people who were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to follow the guidelines of the Great Commission.
·        These 12 boys, minus Judas Iscariot, plus Paul, took the Gospel of Jesus Christ to:
o   Jerusalem; Judea; Samaria; Antioch; Cyprus; Malta; Corinth; Philippi; Laodicea; Thessalonica; Ephesus; Colosse; Thyratira; Pergamos; Patmos; the region of Galatia; Troas; Miletus; Athens and Rome, just to name a few, in only one generation.
o   This little group of a few young boys and girls took the Gospel to their whole known world in only 40 years and not one of them even owned a bicycle!

The New Testament is both a model and a mandate for the work that is incumbent upon the Church in every generation.

1 Corinthians 2:2 (NKJV) For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

·        God has handled bigger problems and worse people than we face today.

A brief historical perspective of the life and times of the Apostle Paul
o   The Apostle Paul was most likely born around the year AD 5
o   He became a believer in Jesus as Messiah at about 26 or 27 years old when he had his Damascus Road conversion experience.
o   Between 30 and 35 years later, Paul is in his late 50s and early 60s and writes several letters from Rome where he is imprisoned.
§  Including Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon and 2 Timothy, which is believed to be written by Paul at the age of 62 just before he was martyred
§  Rome burned in AD64 – Horrific persecutions of Christians
o   About AD 66/67 Paul was beheaded by order of Nero
§  Nero was one of the worst and most depraved men who ever lived
§  A brief synopsis of Nero’s reign
o   Today’s bad guys pale in comparison to Nero and the government of Rome during the time the Apostle Paul was living there and writing these letters.
§  These things were not done in secret – Paul was there!
o   The Church has faced much more horrible governments and political demons throughout history than those we face today and it has grown under every persecution and each problem has been but a light affliction which has worked for us a far more and exceeding and eternal weight of glory … while we look to the unseen!

·        Stay on Point

o   Jesus is the only light of the world
o   If there were no communists, atheists, Buddhists, or other “ists” this, in itself, would not guarantee people go to heaven.
o   We must be more for what we are for than for what we are against
o   Cursing the darkness does not equal lighting a lamp.
o   The Apostle Paul never got distracted but stayed on point.

Acts 19:37 For you have brought these men here who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of your goddess.

o   Now there’s a testimony to have after 2½ years of living and ministering in what was arguably the most demonic city in the Roman Empire.
o   Paul kept the focus on Jesus … only the Light of the World can change the world.
o   We are not attempting to make bad men better but rather to make dead men live and only Jesus can satisfy the soul!

·        Preach the Gospel

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

In the year AD100 there were 360 Non-Believers to every 1 Believer. I think if I had lived in the year 100 and was a Believer in Jesus that I could have witnessed to my 360 people. If every Christian could have been that faithful witness the fulfillment of the Gospel would have occurred and it would have been heaven on earth by now. Do you imagine you could have witnessed to 360 people in your lifetime? The Bible does not say we have to get them saved only that they have to be told and given a chance.

In the year AD2018 there are only 7 Non-Believers to every 1 Believer …

·       Light your world

·       Preach the Gospel

·       Stay on Point


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Destiny Church - Closer to Change

Destiny Church
Mission’s Conference
“Light Your World”
Monday Morning 1st Workshop
January 22, 2018

                                Closer to Change

Before we get to the main topic this morning let’s review a few principles that will serve to encourage all of us to be better able to minister the Gospel of Christ.

·        Run to Win - Paul revealed his approach to ministry in that he said he became all things to all people if by any means he might win some to Christ.

1 Corinthians 9 NKJV
19 ¶  For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more;
20  and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law;
21  to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law;
22  to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
23  Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.
24 ¶  Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.

·        Product Driven
o   It matters less what we say than what people hear and take home.
o   Identifiable Groups Jesus Ministered to in the Gospels
§  5000                 Matthew 5,6 & 7
o   Bless Me; Feed Me; Heal Me
§  70                     John 6
o   Hard sayings
o   They turned and walked with Him no more
§  12                     John 6
o   Where would we go
o   You have the words of life
§  3                      Matthew 16
o   Mount of transfiguration
o   Deeper in the garden
o   Get behind me satan
§  1                      John 19
o   Behold your son … your mother
o   Gave over the care of His family

·        First Grade Teachers Aren’t Stupid!
o   It’s not that they don’t know calculus, rather it’s that they have the good sense not to teach calculus to first graders.

Now for our lesson today, which is the very first lesson God taught us about Him and how He and we should handle the problems we face in life.
Closer to Change …

Genesis 1 NKJV
1  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2  The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3  Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

The first lessons God teaches us about Himself shows that He does not avoid problems. It was His world, His creation, His possession but it needed help. Like me,
·        The world was without form and void and darkness covered the face of the deep!
·        The Spirit of God came down and moved across the waters and God said … Let there be light!
·        This is a picture of the salvation offered to every man!
·        Jesus came down and moved across our lives by His Holy Spirit and gave us the Light of Life!
·        When God has a problem … He gets closer in order to change it!
·        That’s the first lesson God teaches us … we must be willing to get closer to the problem and declare the Light of Life!

We have to get closer to change anything from a flat tire to a hairdo … if we are going to affect real change in the things we have, we must be willing to be more like God and get closer.

Don’t draw away from your problems or the things or even people who need to change. Marriage, family, finances, friends and foes … get willing to get closer.


Question and Discussion Time

Almost

Gtcotr/ss012118a

Acts 26
27  “King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.”
28  Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”

Almost persuaded …

A few years earlier, around the year AD30, Jesus was on His way to the cross when He neared the city of Jericho and encountered a Young Rich Ruler with a question of utmost importance.

Mark 10
17 ¶  Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”
18  So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.
19  “You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ”
20  And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”
21  Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
22  But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

Almost satisfied …

In hopes of teaching us God’s perspective, Jesus also gave an account of the Prodigal Son which brings focus to another Almost kind of guy …

Luke 15  NKJV
25  “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.
26  “So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant.
27  “And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’
28  “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him.
29  “So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends.
30  ‘But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’
31  “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.
32  ‘It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’ ”

Almost in the house …

What was this older brother missing …

·        There was joy in the house.
·        There was meat in the house.
·        Relationship was in the house.
·        The father’s presence was in the house.
·        The future of the family was in the house.

Marriage, career, family, salvation, church, friendships, peace, true riches --- it’s all so close.

Don’t be an almost kind of person. Come on in!

How do I get in?

Saturday, January 20, 2018

In The House


Gtcotr/ss012118

The treasure of God’s blessing on our life is found in the field of God’s will for our life.

The continuing story of the prodigal son: (Recap from last Sunday…He Recognized; Repented and Returned)

Keep in mind that life may not always be all about you … sometimes, God may need you to help Him by being nice to others. Just a thought …

Luke 15  NKJV
25  "Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.
26  "So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant.
27  "And he said to him, ’Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’
28  "But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him.”

The older son was angry and refused to go into the house and welcome his brother home. If we read farther into the account we see that the older son becomes accusatory of both his brother and his father. Although he was in the family, the older brother was not in agreement with his father and therefore not in the house … he was near the house but not in the house …

We can be in the family technically and yet miss all comes from being in the house.

1.   There was joy in the house.
2.   There was meat in the house.
3.   Relationship was in the house.
4.   The father’s presence was in the house.
5.   The future of the family was in the house.

So many times people who are in the family miss out on so much because they refuse to come into the house and participate. They end up being angry and isolated not realizing the joy, provision, relationship and the future they forfeit by staying just outside. Whether in marriage, family, Church or career the true blessings are on those who are in, not outside.

Matthew 13:44  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

The treasure is the attraction but the field is the possession. If we want the treasure we must buy the field. Whoever owns a field, owns its potential.

At times we are attracted to the treasure without realizing that it only yields its blessings and benefits to those who actively work the field.

There are undiscovered treasures hidden in your fields. (Concealed; covered over; in secret – unrevealed) Why let a stranger discover the treasure and buy the field? Take another look … God wants to bless you.

It’s the same principle the older brother experienced when he would not go into the house. There was joy and provision and restored relationships and a better future and the blessings of the Father available in the house. Look around, others are enjoying what they have found and so could you. Don’t be like the older brother: angry, unforgiving, bitter, pouting, fussy and alone … but, you’ll have to work for the treasure … and it may not be easy.

It’s not enough to chase the attractions of life without being committed. Being married, for example, does not equal having a marriage. Being in business does not equal success. Having a child does not equal being a parent. Success in anything, including your relationship with Jesus, will cost you. A blessing is something for which we may have paid a price but for which we did not bear the cost. A blessing repays us more than just our investment. Others work hard to contribute to the blessings we receive. When we won’t work with them we often go without those blessings.

The cost of the treasure is not found in the price of the field.

If you go to the store to purchase a bottle of olive oil you may find the price to be $10. However, that price does not reflect the cost. If you want to know the cost, you will need to go and ask the olive.

The price we pay to have a family or a business or a Church or a Savior in no way reflects the cost which others bear and the contribution they make. It’s easy to start a family but it takes time and effort from everyone, including you, to be a family. The price we pay to be a Christian, have a Bible and attend Church pales in comparison to what it cost God to make those blessings available. Greater blessings are always the result of us working in the fields God has given us.

Today we are going to be praying for:
·        Those of you who are on the outside and you need to be on the inside.
·        Those who see others being blessed and having a good time while you stand near the house but not in the house.
·        Those who own a field which you imagine holds no treasure

The price paid for your life was a cost only God could bear. Now, won’t you come inside enjoy the blessings God has for you …

·        Will you just stop for a moment and let go of whoever or whatever went wrong with yesterday? Then realize …
·        It just may not always be all about you!
·        Quit looking at all the things that aren’t like you like them and start praising God for the things which are.
·        You have been invited to a party … the Father is in there … ask yourself why aren’t you comfortable …
·        Don’t become legalistic and hold out on God and on the joy He wants to bring.
·        Don’t allow unforgiveness, bitterness or anger or disagreements make you critical and keep you outside …
·        Jesus did the hard part … now He is pleading with you to come on in and enjoy the blessings.
·        Just please the Father in your marriage, money, family, business, community and Church. Don’t just stand near … come on in!



Sunday, January 14, 2018

Revelation’s Remedy


Gtcotr/ss011417

Never underestimate a person who is going in the right direction.

The most important thing you own is your future.

The past happens so quickly, and it cannot be changed.

We must not allow something we cannot change to change us.

The future has not been written yet.

You have no promise greater than the future.

Let’s look at a passage in the Book of Luke, chapter 15, that shines a light on the steps a person can take when they feel lost or imagine they need to move to a better place in life.

The first 10 verses of this chapter confirm the fact that God loves to see people take positive steps to get their lives in better shape. Specifically, all of heaven rejoices when a person gets back on the right road. In fact, …

Luke 15:7  “I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.”

Luke 15
11  Then Jesus said: “A certain man had two sons.
12  “And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood.
13  “And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his money with wild living.
14  “But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want.
15  “Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16  “And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the husks that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.
17  “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18  ‘I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you,
19  “and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’
20  “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.
21  “And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22  “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.
23  ‘And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry;
24  ‘for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

This young man is thought to have been educated and we know he was heir to some amount of land, animals, servants and goods. However, the road he chose led him down a wrong pathway and into ruin. Not only was he poor but he was also mentally and emotionally drained. His bad choices brought him to the brink of despair. He was lost …

One thing I love about the God of the Bible is that He will never leave us in despair. Every time one of His children makes a bad decision or experiences a hardship in life, God shows us way to make it better while He works on fixing everything for us for all eternity. As long as there is breath in this body, God offers us redemption and a way to a better day.

All we ever need to do is to get back on course. Allow me to offer some steps we can take to begin making life good again.

1.  Recognize the fall.
a.   Remember from whence ye are fallen … (Revelation 2:5)
b.   Take an honest look at where you are versus where you should be.
c.   Imagine what you would say to someone else who was in your situation. How could they make it better – paint the picture …
d.   Ask yourself the question: Where did it or Where did I go wrong?
e.   Forget the remedies for a moment – focus on the cause …
f.    Why am I in this pigpen?
2.  Repent of your sins.
a.   Sin indicates an error in judgement, thought, speech or deed.
b.   Repent means to change directions.
c.   In order to repent in the right way we must:
                                         i.    Own the fall … Own the error.
                                        ii.    Accept your failure
1.   Your fault or not … it didn’t work!
2.   What did you do or not do that contributed>
3.   How did you process the fall … even if it wasn’t your fault … how did you respond?
d.   Just fess up to yourself and to God … that’s enough to make a right turn.
                                         i.    Find a way to just be honest with yourself …
                                        ii.    Don’t accuse or blame others … leave them to God.
3.   Return home – come back home to the Father’s house.
a.   Don’t allow yourself to wallow in the mire
b.   Take steps to get out of the pigpen and back on course
c.   The first step is the hardest and then the next steps get easier
d.   If you fall, get back up and keep going

Revelation’s Remedy:
        Revelation 2:5a  “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works.”

The only thing you have left is the future. What will you make of it?