What You Got for Christmas, Part 2

Some of us like surprises, we don’t even want a hint about our gifts.
Some just have to know what’s in the box.
And some want the present now!

Jenga, the game of fear!

Introduced at the London Toy Fair in 1983
The fear of just one false move from crashing down. That’s the excitement of the game, it’s all about that fear.

The way a lot of people live their lives.

Jeremiah 29:11

Slinky, invented in the early 1940s

Everything worthwhile is uphill.
John Maxwell

Anything worth having requires effort.
Downhill is easy.
Even dead things flow downstream.
Anything besides downhill takes effort, even just holding your ground.
Going with the flow isn’t hope, that’s wishing for luck!

Etch-A-Sketch, introduced in 1960

Nothing on this earth is permanent… it all ends.
But every ending is a potential new beginning! Every day holds promise of a new friendship, opportunity, victory, blessing, miracle!

You’re writing the story. Be careful what you write, like Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3:10.
So be careful what you build. You get to start a new week at work or school tomorrow but you don’t get to start a new job or new school every week!

Jesus is all about second chances!
But at some point we have to stop relying on do-overs and start creating the masterpiece that is our life!

Matthew 4:16

What You Got for Christmas

The Hula Hoop, invented in 1958

 Self-centeredness, it all revolves around you

Matthew 2:1-2a

The level of selfishness in our lives is in indirect proportion to our personal long-term joy and fulfillment in life.

“As sure as a math formula,
as the x of selfishness increases,
the y of soul diminishes.”
– Barry York

Monopoly, invented in 1935

Materialism, he who has the most wins

Matthew 2:11

Where can I be light in someone’s darkness?

Magic 8-Ball, invented in the 1950’s

Randomness and chaos, there are no right or wrong answers, no point to life

Matthew 2:2b

I don’t believe God is interested in the little things of my life. God is interested in all things in my life!

Play-Doh, developed in the 1930s then marketed to schools and kids in 50s

Relativism, making the world whatever you want

Matthew 2:9-11

We’ve been given false ways to see the world and our relation to it.  Jesus coming gave us the gift to see the purpose in creation and our place within it! The wise men found a King to serve.

What you and I got for Christmas:
The call to focus on others
The challenge to be light in someone’s darkness
A King who is interested in all things in my life
Purpose beyond ourselves

One More Thing

Luke 18:22

It wasn’t that he couldn’t own possessions. It was obvious from his reaction that his possessions owned him.


We have a record of Abel’s giving but no record of the directive to give, what amount, etc. Maybe there was, maybe there wasn’t. Maybe for someone who recognizes God as the source of strength, talent, wisdom, opportunity, etc to have a good job, career and make money, it was natural for them to offer a portion of their increase to God. By the time of Abram and Melchizedek 10% appears to be understood.

Tithing is stewardship, acknowledging Who the real owner is

Tithing is partnership, acknowledging God helped me win this battle

Genesis 4:4, Genesis 14:17-20, Malachi 3:10, Luke 11:42


Giving to Needs

In Luke 10 the Good Samaritan, went to the dying man, medicated him, bandaged him, carried him, led him to safety. But there was One More Thing.

When we see a need it doesn’t matter if it’s our passion or not!

Here’s a radical thought… What if we budgeted for some personal benevolence every month?

Does our giving say “Leftovers” or “Lord”? Article by J. D. Greear

Giving to our Passions

Kentucky Christmas Blessing toys are due 12/1/19

Hope House (Honduras)
Bread of Life Orphanage and Feeding Centers (Romania)
Refuel Ministries (disaster relief food support)
A21 (ending human trafficking)
The Wellhouse (female victims of human trafficking)
Fight the New Drug
Shepura Men’s Center and Royal Pines Rehab – (recovery)

Jesus, do something in us and for us today so You can do something through us this week!

Impacting Powerfully

Many people talk about changing the world. Few actually do.

Every person ever born has had the ability and the opportunity to change the world. Few actually do.

Every person? Absolutely! Helen Keller, Frederick Douglas, Walt Disney, Franklin Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, etc.

A tax collector, a tentmaker and a bunch of fishermen are household names today because they impacted the world! But a rich, powerful young man is forever nameless. (Matthew 19:21-22)

You have to decide what YOU believe about Jesus

Who He is

You have to decide if you believe in a good guy or the Son of God.

His nameActs 3:6, Philippians 2:9-11

His blood – there is Peace, Redemption, Forgiveness, Being made right with God, Cleansing of our thoughts, Healing, Connection with to God

His Word

When we speak His Word we aren’t just talking but speaking THE Word of life!

Pray the promises, speak His Word into situations, against adversities. Matthew 21:18-22, Lamentations 3:37, Psalm 33:6-9, Hebrews 11:3, Luke 7:6-10, Mark 4:39, Luke 4:38-39, Genesis 1:3-24, Mark 9:25-26

You have to decide if you believe in His purpose. Isaiah 61:1-3

Jesus was given authority for us! And He gives it to us! Ephesians 1:19-22, Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-18, Acts 1:8

Jesus didn’t intend that we simply see people in need but that we see to it their world is changed!

Jesus is not hoping or suggesting, He is declaring you and I will accomplish His purpose through His authority!

Finally, You have to decide if you are comfortable with life as it is,
your circumstances, your career and finances, your family issues, the pain in this world, the troubles your classmates and coworkers have to deal with, etc.

But what can I do? Test Jesus! Read through the devotional below this week and prepare yourself to pray the prayer that reveals the power of God, speak Words of life into the world around you and find purpose in serving Jesus!

Note: this week all scripture links are included in the devotional instead of the above sermon notes.



Impacting Those Who Can Do Nothing For Us

Matthew 25:40

Acts 1:8
A couple questions for today…
– Who needs me that I don’t even know?
– Are we just as ready to sacrifice to help those who will never do anything for us?

Romans 15:26-27

2 Corinthians 8-9

“With so much soap, why are there so many dirty people in the world? Christianity, like soap, must be personally applied if it is to make a difference in our lives.”
– Billy Graham

  • 75% of the earth’s surface is covered with water, but 790 million are without clean water to drink
    Plenty of food yet every second a person dies of hunger
  • 939,000 Facebook posts and comments every minute yet people are still lonely
  • The self-help industry is worth 11 billion dollars but people still have problems
  • Over 50,000 marriage counselors and therapists but people are still getting divorced
  • Over 14,000 drug rehab/treatment facilities but people are still addicted

Plenty of commercials this holiday season will encourage us to spend more, eat more, decorate more, etc. So at Church 29:11 we want to encourage everyone to look outward more.

  • Thanksgiving outreach
  • Remember the homeless – you can give to the Jimmy Hale Mission, $20 feeds 10 homeless people this Thanksgiving.
  • To help supply the emergency shelter at Restoration Ministries contact Lexie Bear
  • Those trapped in the sex trade – you can support and give to A21, a ministry actually rescuing them
  • Pray earnestly over Amber alerts
  • Do something for disaster victims – you can give to and support Refuel Ministry, that goes into disaster-impacted areas and feeds those displaced and the teams responders
  • Bless and reach into 3rd world countries – missions trip interest meeting on 11/17/19 @12:30, or text “Romania” or “missions trip” to 205-476-2911 for more info
  • Pray for persecuted Christians – Open Doors
  • Royal Chicks Operation Christmas Blessing – text 205-504-2576 for more info
  • Kentucky Christmas Blessing, deadline for toys is 12/1

“Authentic Christianity is more about what we give than what we get. Our giving doesn’t earn us our salvation, of course, but it’s a joyful response to a God who gave everything for us. Christians should be the most generous and selfless people on the planet. Sadly, we’re often known as the stingiest and most selfish (ask any non-Christian who’s worked at a restaurant). The Gospel calls us to die to ourselves so that others may live and to put something bigger than ourselves above ourselves. If you give your life away, you find it. When you die to yourself, something greater rises.”
– Carey Nieuwhof

No one has to do everything.
But everyone should do something!

Impacting Our Communities

“Communities” is plural because we each have multiple communities (worship, school/work, activities, trade/shopping, neighborhood, etc)

At 29:11 we do a lot of things to touch as many people as possible. Today, let’s look at three ways we can have a lasting impact on the people in our communities.


Five ways to pray the prayer that reveals the power of God

1. Pray the Blood of Jesus – His blood isn’t just for forgiveness, but for healing (1 Peter 2:24) and protection, too (Exodus 12:21-23)

2. Pray the Name of JesusJohn 14:12-15, John 15:4, Luke 10:19

Authority is connected with accountability.

3. Turn God’s promises into prayersExodus 14:14, 14:25, Deuteronomy 1:30, 3:22, Nehemiah 4:20 and  James 1:5, Proverbs 2:6, Daniel 2:21, Ecclesiastes 2:26

You have to know His promises to apply them!

4. Pray in agreement with another Christian(s)Matthew 18:19, 18:16, John 8:17, Deuteronomy 19:15, Timothy 5:19, Hebrews 10:28

5. Pray in FaithJames 5:15, 1:6, Mark 9:23, 11:24, Matthew 21:21

Finally, we must connect Jesus to the prayer in order to reveal His power through the prayer! Acts 3:1-7


SPEAK WORDS OF LIFE and freedom, not death and bondage.

Words are powerful! Matthew 12:37, Proverbs 18:21, Romans 10:10

Speak faith, hope, peace, joy, love, patience – how? Ephesians 4:29, Jeremiah 29:11, 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Words are declarations of our faith, or lack of faith. So it starts with your faith. And if you have faith then your words are like seeds to be planted in places where they can grow. In other words, through faith you can speak words of life!

You need to see yourself speaking words like seeds that bring life everywhere they are sown!


It is impossible to have a positive impact on others while focused on yourself!



How We Impact One Another

The #1 reason to attend small group and church? Someone needs you.

We should encourage one another, stand up for each other, be an example to each other!

Romans 14:1-3

Someone’s walk with God is more important than my opinion!
We need to be careful how we impact one another, making sure it is always in a positive way

Matthew 18:15-17

Listening to rumor, gossip, innuendo, etc. will impact the people around you.
Refusing to listen will impact those around you, too, but in a different way!

Guilty and innocent people have this in common, they all need somebody to be their friend. And maybe a guilt person needs it more!

Galatians 6:1

Marks of Maturity

  • Keep commitments
  • Have humility
  • Put space between emotions and actions
  • Display gratitude
  • Pursue wisdom
  • Make peace
  • Easily delay gratification
  • Have a distaste for drama
  • Know they don’t know everything
  • Listen more than they talk
  • Not easily offended
  • Accept responsibility, don’t deflect blame
  • Selfless sacrifice without expectation of return
  • Find joy in other people’s success
  • Prioritize others over themselves – like Jesus did, & taught – Romans 15:3

There is a progression to becoming like Jesus in this:
– Doing what you want or like
– Taking care of what you need
– Doing what has to be done
– Seeing someone else’s pain or need
– Responding to needs beyond yourself
– Living to help others, a serving lifestyle

So where are we going with this? Look around.
Someone nearby just lost their job or will this week.
Someone got bad news from their doctor this week, or will this week.
Someone is struggling in their marriage.
Someone else is hurting financially.
Someone feels alone, is depressed, or is afraid of something you’ve already been through!

Stop avoiding eye contact!

The last person you dodged may be the one God was trying to connect with you.

Romans 12:13

People who are too busy can’t have impact!

Lasting Impact

Being a Christian:
isn’t visiting a building on Sunday morning
isn’t telling people you’ll pray
isn’t posting to social media
isn’t hoping for change

Being a Christian:
is actually being the church 24/7
is actually praying for needs
is actually connecting with people
is actually being the change we want to see!

Being a Christian is not merely influencing, impressing, inspiring or exciting others.
Influencing someone may cause them to act differently.
Impressing someone may cause them to see differently.
Inspiring someone may cause them to think differently.
Exciting someone may cause them to evaluate differently.

But impact leaves it’s mark!

We’ve had many leaders in this world. All leaders have influence. But some have had impact!

I have a dream!
Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy…
Ask not what your country can do for you, ask …
Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall.


Matthew 28:19-20

That’s not influence, that’s impact!

Matthew 5:13

In Jesus’ time salt was a curative, a preventative, a tool, a powerful force that impacted anything it touched. Who is the salt?
The phrase for “lost its saltiness” by definition means more literally to lose one’s wisdom or strength, in other words to become simple or lose the ability of its original purpose.
And when salt was in contact with the ground or exposed to rain and sun it became insipid, or useless, and was only good as gravel for footpaths.
Jesus’ intent is for us to have the power and the purpose of impact!


When Jesus went to “church” He didn’t just warm a pew!
He healed people in church – Matthew 12:9-14, Luke 13:10-13
He even made some people mad at church – Luke 6:6-7, 13:14
He cleared profiteers out of the temple – Matthew 21:12-13

People were amazed at Him, one time even in an uproar – Matthew 22:33, Matthew 7:28-19, Matthew 21:10-11

He was healing every sick person – Matthew 10:1, 4:23, 8:16, 9:35, 12:15, 14:35-36, 20:32-34, 15:30-31

Matthew 8:2-3, 5-13, 14-15, 26-27, 9:6-8, 20-22, 24-25, 9:27-31, 14:14-21, 15:32-39, 17:15-18, 21:14, 18-19


We weren’t given a certificate or a Bible bookmark or a gold star.
We have been given power and authority over evil powers and to heal diseases.

Luke 10:19

Following Jesus

Following is a commitment to the One you’re following

Today let’s talk about two things that Jesus started – for us!


The top 3 reasons all Christians must be baptized:
1. Matthew 28:19
2. Mark 16:16
3. John 4:1

Baptism is the first step. You can’t take 2nd step until you’ve taken 1st.

Jesus chose to be baptized.
Baptism is a foreshadow for Jesus, looking toward the day He would die then raise back to life.
Baptism is a symbol for us, it points to our past that we have died to and become alive in Jesus.
Jesus chose to be baptized in order to identify with us!

There is no power in the water. But there is power in obedience!

So follow Jesus into the water!


Jesus called 12 men to follow Him in order to be together, learn together and grow together.
Mark 3:14-15
They spent a lot of time together in ministry, not doing their own thing.

When Jesus sent out His followers it was in pairs, not individually.
Mark 6:7, Luke 10:1
They did ministry together!

So when Jesus left, at His direction, the disciples waited together in Jerusalem until the feast day called Pentecost – and the church was born! Acts 1:4-5, 12-14, 2:1-41

Hebrews 10:24-25

You need us and we need you!

We can do more ministry together.
Paul was no lone ranger. He had Barnabas, Silas, Timothy, Luke, John Mark, and at least 7 more.