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Now and Forever Part 2

January 15, 20180 Comments

The preaching notes for the sermon are posted here on Online Ministry Training.

Last week we looked at

John 10:10 (NIV)
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Galatians 2:20 (NIV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

The life I live now, we talked about lifestyle and belief systems and I said that God is interested in you and that He created you to love you, your life matters and that we have a purpose. I want to dig a little deeper today and talk about our response to His interest in us. What does God want me to do? What does it take? Why should I do it?

Scripture Reading

Ephesians 5:15-17 (NIV)
15 Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

Be careful. Don’t be careless about your life. Be thoughtful. Be wise. Make the most of every opportunity. Know what God wants you to do.

1. What does He want me to do?

Live by doing the next tight thing.

Put Him first in everything.

Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

C. S. Lewis once said, “The only thing Christianity cannot be is moderately important.”

Luke 14:16-20 (NIV)
16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ 19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ 20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’

The three excuses..wealth, work, and wife.

Here’s the amazing thing about the Kingdom of God. When you seek Him first He takes care of everything else.

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness – and all these things will be given to you as well.

2. How do I do that?

How do I put Him first?

1 Timothy 4:7 (NIV)
7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.

1 Timothy 4:7 (NKJV)
7 But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness.

1 Timothy 4:7 (NASB77)
7 But have nothing to do with worldly fables…., discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness;

Train, exercise, discipline…

You cannot be a disciple of Jesus Christ without being disciplined. The two words go together.

The word “discipline” means delayed gratification.

We are going to develop some new habits.

Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

3. What is my motivation?

2 Corinthians 5:15 (NIV)
15 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.

Jesus gave His life completely for you and He wants your life completely in return. And when you do, He gives you now and forever, full and abundant life!

Romans 12:1 (NIV)
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.

Creative Bible Study Methods – Part 1

January 12, 20180 Comments

Jeremiah 36:2 (NIV)
2 “Take a scroll and write on it all the words I have spoken to you concerning Israel, Judah and all the other nations from the time I began speaking to you in the reign of Josiah till now.

Revelation 1:19 (NIV)
19 “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Hebrews 9:22 (NIV)
22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Hebrews 9:11-15 (NIV)
11 When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! 15 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.

Ephesians 1:9-11 (NIV)
9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment–to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. 11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,

Luke 24:44 (NIV)
44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

Luke 24:45 (NIV)
45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

Luke 24:46-48 (NIV)
46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.

THE BOOKS OF THE LAW: Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy

THE BOOKS OF HISTORY: Joshua Judges Ruth I and II Samuel I and II Kings I and II Chronicles Ezra Nehemiah Esther

THE BOOKS OF POETRY: Job Psalms Proverbs Ecclesiastes Song of Solomon

THE BOOKS OF PROPHECY: Major Prophets: Isaiah Jeremiah Lamentations Ezekiel Daniel Minor Prophets: Hosea Nahum Joel Habakkuk Amos Zechariah Obadiah Haggai Jonah Zechariah Micah Malachi

THE GOSPELS: Matthew Mark Luke John

John 20:31 (NIV)
31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

THE BOOK OF HISTORY: Acts

LETTERS: Romans Titus I and II Corinthians Philemon Galatians Hebrews Ephesians James Philippians I and II Peter Colossians I, II, and III John I and II Thessalonians Jude I and II Timothy

PROPHECY: Revelation

Revelation 2:10 (NIV)
10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.

Preaching in Shorts

Ministry Chat – Now and Forever Part 2

January 9, 20180 Comments

This week on Online Ministry Training we are going to continue our discussion on the full and abundant, now and forever life we have in Christ. We will be using Ephesians 5:15-17 as the main scripture passage:

Ephesians 5:15-17 (NIV)
15 Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

How do we live carefully? How do we make the most of every opportunity? How do we know what the Lord’s will is? Those are the questions we will be raising and attempting to answer this week.

Now and Forever Part 1

January 8, 20180 Comments

The preaching notes for the sermon are posted here on Online Ministry Training.

Scripture Reading

Galatians 2:20 (NIV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20 (NKJV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Everybody you’ve ever met is in the process of living a lifetime. Every one of them has developed a certain approach to life; we call it a lifestyle. Behind every lifestyle is a system of beliefs that determines attitudes and actions.

A Belief that God exists or a belief that there is no God.

Bertrand Russell was considered to be one of the greatest philosophers of the 20th century. He was also an atheist. He said, “Unless you assume the existence of a God the question of the meaning and purpose of life is irrelevant.” What he is saying is if you don’t believe in God then there is no meaning and purpose to life.

For the purpose of this series we will assume that there is a God.

Even for those who believe in God, there is often the question of whether He is actively involved and interested in us or not.

Today I hope to show you that He is very interested in you.

1. Why am I here?

Ephesians 1:4 (MSG)
4 Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love.

We are the focus of His love.

2. Does my life matter?

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

You matter to God so much that you were made to last forever.

2 Corinthians 5:1 (NIV)
1 Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.

3. What is my purpose?

To find you purpose you need to talk to the creator and read the owner’s manual.

Ephesians 1:11 (MSG)
11 It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living,

He had designs on us for glorious living, now and forever. We will pick up this discussion again next week.

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