Author Archive for stephenlawes

Child of the King, husband to Alice, father to Sarah and Douglas, grand father to Samuel, Avery, Stevie, Eloise, Reed, Madeline and Margaret, pastor to the Vineyard in Big Pine Key, sometime writer and blogger, jogger, kayaker and founder of the Jesus Moment Bible Institute and Seminary (onlinebibleinstitute.org).

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Ministry Chat – Now and Forever Part 8

February 19, 20180 Comments

This week our Ministry Chat on Online Ministry Training continues our discussion on loving our neighbor as ourselves. We will be focusing on the love and power of God and how His love and power flow through us and into the world around us. We will use Ephesians 3:13-4:1 as the foundation for the message this week:

Ephesians 3:13-21 (NIV)
13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory. 14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Now and Forever Part 7

February 19, 20180 Comments

The preaching notes for this message are included here on Online Ministry Training.

Scripture Reading

Mark 12:28-31 (NIV)
28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

We have looked at loving God with all our heart (the control panel) and loving God with all our soul (our personality and emotions) and loving God with all our mind (knowledge, wisdom, imagination) and loving God with all our strength (living by trying to do the next right thing).

Now we are going to look at the second part of this great commandment.

Mark 12:31 (NIV)
31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

This love springs out of our all in love for God.

Love your neighbor as you love yourself.

1. As you love yourself

I want to dig a little deeper into this idea of what it means to love yourself. The command in verse 31 is to love your neighbor as your self.

One of the ways that we love ourselves is that we take care of ourselves. If we are hungry, we get something to eat. If we have a need we try and meet it. If we are treated badly we think it is unfair and try and do something about it. We do these things because we are thinking about ourselves. It is a part of who we are. It is our nature to do what we think will make us happiest in the moment. This is loving yourself. But it’s not all about us.

It is some about us but not all about us.

Jesus is not commanding you to love yourself, He is assuming you already love yourself and He wants that love to be the basis for loving your neighbor.

So we need to look at this idea of loving ourselves for a little while.

I would think it is fair to say that every single one of us wants to live a fulfilled life. And we’re searching after that.

I got an email from a credit card this week that said “live a fulfilled life with one of our 5,000 personal loans at 6.9%”.

Abraham Maslow developed in 1943 what he called the hierarchy of needs. And, if you don’t remember that, his hierarchy of needs looked something like this.

Physiological needs. Safety. Love and belonging. Esteem. Self-actualization.

Abraham Maslow, in his later parts of life, changed his hierarchy of needs and he said, “Self-Actualization is not the highest form of human achievement.” The highest form of human achievement he labeled “transcendence.” He said, “People live a fulfilled life, they become all that they were created to be when they are pouring themselves into others and leaving a legacy that is beyond themselves.”

Our journey isn’t fruitful with self-actualization. It’s fruitful engaging the full and abundant now and forever life in Christ. It’s more than us, bigger than us, not all about us, love your neighbor as you love yourself.

2.) Fully engaging the now and forever life

Ephesians 1:17-19 (NIV)
17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

a) From Lost to Saved

Ephesians 1:17a (NIV)
17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

It starts with Jesus.

b) Getting past your yesterdays

Ephesians 1:18a (NIV)
18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you…

What Paul says is this. Paul says, “I want your eyes of your heart to be so enlightened so that you know the hope to which he’s called you.”

To get past your yesterdays and to understand what God wants and to start living a full and abundant now and forever life, we have to realize how great that hope is that we’ve been called to.

c) We have a life of purpose

Ephesians 1:18b (NIV)
18 …the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,

Do you remember last week when I talked about

2 Peter 1:3-4 (NIV)
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

d) He empowers us to live this life

Ephesians 1:19a (NIV)
19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

The Holy Spirit is giving us the power to do what God has called us to do.

Ministry Chat – Now and Forever Part 7

February 16, 20180 Comments

This week on Online Ministry Training we are going to look at loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. We will talk about the reality that living a fulfilled life is found in being other focused. In order to experience the full and abundant now and forever life we have to make the Kingdom shift from selfish to selfless!

Creative Bible Study Methods – Part 5

February 15, 20180 Comments

CHAPTER STUDY

STEP ONE: SELECT A CHAPTER TITLE

STEP TWO: MARK PARAGRAPH DIVISIONS

STEP THREE: CREATE A CHAPTER STUDY CHART

STEP FOUR: CREATE A CHAPTER OUTLINE

PARAGRAPH STUDY

STEP ONE: DO A CHAPTER STUDY:

STEP TWO: OBSERVE THE DETAILS:

Connectives:
General Structure:
Repetitions:
Questions And Answers:
Summaries And Conclusions:
Progressions In Thought:
Literary Form:
Key Words:

STEP THREE: CREATE A PARAGRAPH OUTLINE:

VERSE STUDY

STEP ONE: STUDY THE VERSE WITHIN ITS CONTEXT:

STEP TWO: STUDY RELATED VERSES:

STEP THREE: CREATE A VERSE STUDY OUTLINE:

WORD STUDY

STEP ONE: SELECT THE WORD

STEP TWO: STUDY THE WORD WITHIN ITS CONTEXT

STEP THREE: DETERMINE THE MEANING OF THE WORD

STEP FOUR: SUMMARIZE YOUR STUDY

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