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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Now and Forever Introduction – F.L.O.W.

January 7, 20180 Comments

The preaching notes for this sermon are posted here on Online Ministry Training:

Scripture Reading

Revelation 22:1-2 (NIV)
1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

The water flowing from the throne is a picture of the water of eternal life, crystal clear to reflect the glory of God in a dazzling, never-ending stream.

Those who believe in Him will have streams of living water flowing from them.

John 7:38 (NIV)
38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”

I want to start this year by talking about flowing in this life. This now and forever life we have in Christ. As an introduction, this week I am going to talk about an acrostic I want you to learn to help us experience and enjoy this amazing now and forever, full and abundant life that Jesus came to give us.

F.L.O.W.

During our Advent series I said that one of the most amazing gifts that God gives us is that we can experience His peace. Peace that passes understanding. And when we are not at peace it means that something is wrong and that it is on our end. I always remind you of the prayer, Help! I think that if after you realize that you need help you follow these 4 little ideas that you can get back into the flow of eternal life.

1. Focus

Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)
3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.

I often find myself saying this verse:

Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)
2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I think about Jesus. What He has done for me. That because of my relationship with Him I have been reconciled to God. I am a new creation. That I am the joy set before Him. And it goes on and on… Then, as I begin to rest in Him again…

2. Listen

Isaiah 50:4b (NIV)
4 …. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.

We need to better listeners. With God and with others.

James 1:19 (NIV)
19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

I think we have a tendency, particularly if we are not flowing in His life, to be quick to anger and quick to speak and slow to listen. Just breathe and listen. And then…

3. Observe

Isaiah 42:20a (NKJV)
20 Seeing many things, but you do not observe;

Get your perspective right. Throne room perspective. Get yourself out of the center. See beneath the surface. It’s like looking at the ocean and then looking at it again with polaroid glasses. See with the eyes of your heart.

Ephesians 1:18 (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, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,

And then,

4. Wait

Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV)
31 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

Colossians 3:12 (NIV)
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

We are going to be digging into this now and forever life that we have in Christ in the weeks ahead. But when you are not at peace and rest in your soul, just think of this little acrostic and get back into the flow of eternal life.

Ministry Chat – F.L.O.W.

December 30, 20170 Comments

This is the first ministry chat that I have done here on Online Ministry Training since the arrival of Hurricane Irma. It has been quite a ride for the last four months or so beginning with evacuating and then coming back and getting involved in all of the recovery stuff. During this process, one of the things that has made a difference for me is trying to stay in the FLOW of the now and forever life that I have in Christ. So, I developed this little acrostic that I have found to be helpful. F.L.O.W.

1. Focus

Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)
3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.

2. Listen

Isaiah 50:4b (NIV)
4 …. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.

3. Observe

Isaiah 42:20a (NKJV)
20 Seeing many things, but you do not observe;

4. Wait

Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV)
31 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

Try it for yourself. I think you will find it helpful.

Living Invitations 19

September 4, 20170 Comments

Our Living Invitations series continues on Online Ministry Training with Part 19. In this message we begin a discussion on “fellowship”. For the purpose of our discussion, we will spend the next few messages talking about some of the “one another” verses and how they impact fellowship. Our relationship with God and our relationship with people in relationship with God are eternal. This reality makes the importance of fellowship stand out. We were not designed to walk this life in Christ alone. We were made to do it in the context of relationship with other believers. This weeks message is the introduction to this fellowship sub-series. Over the next three weeks we will focus on the importance of unity, love and humility as it relates to fellowship.

Living Invitations Part 19 Ministry Chat

August 30, 20170 Comments

This week’s Living Invitation ministry chat will help us start our discussion on fellowship here on Online Ministry Training. Fellowship is the relationship we have with other believers in Christ. These relationships are vital for all of us. When you think about it, our relationship with God and our relationships with people in relationship with God are eternal. Unlike most of the things of our life, which are temporary, we will be in relationship withe other believers forever. Thinking this way helps us to see how important and amazing fellowship is. To help us in this discussion, we will be looking at some of the “one another” verses that run throughout the New Testament.

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