More Than Eternity

Salvation is about more than your eternity!

What is this new DNA I’ve been talking about? We have a new Christlike nature!
John 3:3-7
2 Corinthians 5:17
1 Peter 1:23
Romans 6:4

The nature of this Christlike DNA is to act right

There was found no fault in Jesus – 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 2:22, 1 John 3:5

Pilate testified as well in John 19:4-6

Jesus saves us from our old nature and if we want to be like Him we can’t walk in that old nature any longer!
Check out these scripture passages: Ephesians 4:17-31, 1 John 3:2-10, Colossians 3:1-17

But how can we live like Jesus?

The Fruit of the spirit – Galatians 5:22-23

Paul also lists the fruit that springs from our human nature, which we no longer follow, in verses 19-21.

And Paul says in Galatians 5:16 to walk in the spirit as simply as if it’s a choice.

Our world, our country right now needs a Church that walks as an example of what is possible when we yield to this Christlike nature!

  • Choose Love!
  • Choose Joy!
  • Choose Peace!
  • Choose to be Longsuffering!
  • Choose Gentleness!
  • Choose Goodness!
  • Choose Faith!
  • Choose Meekness!
  • Choose Self-Control!

And this Christlike DNA produces good deeds

Jesus didn’t quota out.

After He preached, led His small group, taught the kids and led in worship, He healed the sick, fed the hungry, cared about children and rescued people from sex trafficking – wait, what?

John 8:1-11

Jesus did all this – and He cried!

So how can we impact lives so deeply like Jesus?

  • The Gifts of the Spirit – 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
  • What are gifts? Free things, good things, like benefits and blessings!

James 5:16, paraphrased

The earnest, passionate prayer life of a righteous person produces amazing results!

More Than Showing Up

I’ve heard for many years that 95% of life is just showing up? But is it really true? For exercise, getting an education, relationships, being a Christian?

For most of life it’s what you do after you show up that’s important!

Four examples of Dad prayers in the Bible:

  1. Job over his kids, even after they were grown! Job 1:1-5
  2.  Abraham interceding for his nephew Lot – Genesis 18:20-32
  3. Jacob’s final blessing over his sons – Genesis 49:1-28
  4. Fathers on the front porch with the blood – Exodus 12:21-23

If you really get this first step the other steps will fall in place!

Ephesians 5:15-20

  • Don’t live foolishly but wisely
  • Don’t act thoughtlessly but with understanding
  • Don’t be drunk but filled with the Holy Spirit

The Spirit of God is all the coping help we need!

Be an example to show your children how to rely on God’s power, wisdom and help!

Reach More People

The Apostle Paul was once known by the name Saul.

  • Saul was his normal, religion, education, contacts, etc., all good things, in context & perspective.
  • Paul was better than normal!

Philippans 3:12-14

Saul had religion, Paul had relationship!

Today, Paul would be at the laundromat. Acts 16:13

It was the first record of Jesus being preached in Europe! The beginnings of Christianity in Europe didn’t happen in a cathedral!

Today, Paul would be at Jack’s, you know that big round table where all the guys sit around and talk over coffee? Or at Starbuck’s, or on the quad or campus green or some other gathering area on a college campus. Acts 17:19-23

We have learned we can do many things online. But we can’t BE the church unless we connect with others in our communities!

Our calling, our responsibility, is not righteous living. Righteousness is our new nature in Jesus, it’s who we are.

Nor is our responsibility to serve, to do good deeds and help those in need. Again, that’s our new nature, it’s who we are in Jesus.

Our responsibility, our duty, our calling is to bring someone else to Jesus!

Our priority is to help people find Jesus. Yes, we want to help with needs. But it should not be enough
…to feed someone a meal and leave them spiritually empty.
…to pay someone’s bills for a month and not address their eternity.
…to be someone’s friend but not introduce them to the Best Friend Ever!

“Evangelism is a process…that starts with prayer.
So whose salvation are you praying for?”
Dave Gibson

Don’t cope, conquer!

When did Jesus call us to cope?

We have not been given a gospel of coping! We have received a gospel of:

If our theology doesn’t compel us to impact the world with the message of Jesus, it is worthless!

If you believe God has power you will pray!

Acts 1:8 is a promise, a command, and a prophecy!

2 Chronicles 7:14

We can only repent for our own sins. But we can pray for a healing that reaches our whole land!

Don’t cope, conquer!

If you made a decision today, or if you need help coping, or need prayer to conquer some battle in your life, let us know.

Forward Progress

In Exodus 3:17, God was promising a place of immeasurable blessings!

  • And Israel wanted to go back to Egypt – to slavery! Why?
  • Because Egypt held all their coping mechanisms.

Beware of coping mechanisms

  • Coping mechanisms don’t help us grow. They help us cope. They help us stay in the predicament we are in.
  • Coping mechanisms are just a step away from an addiction. And addictions are enslaving.

Identify your potential coping mechanisms and guard yourself against them.

Today, perhaps more than ever, people need Joshuas and Calebs to help them understand where we are and more importantly, where we can go!

Joshua and Caleb had to endure whining, complaining, second-guessing, fears, worries, accusations and attacks.

And they kept the dream alive, continued to speak positive faith and pointed people toward God and His dream for them!

If you are a Christian, you are a spiritual leader.

So Caleb, why include him? He wasn’t a leader. Or was he?

Think about the storms in the world today or in your own life. How are you holding up? Did you hang in there anyway? Did you keep up your prayer life, your devotions, your faith?

Being A Neighbor

Nehemiah was the cupbearer of the King

A cup-bearer was an officer of high rank in royal courts whose duty it was to serve the drinks at the royal table. On account of the constant fear of plots and intrigues, a person must be regarded as thoroughly trustworthy to hold the position. He must guard against poison in the king’s cup and was sometimes required to swallow some of the drink before serving it.

Nehemiah 1:2-4

Nehemiah saw the need and was moved; but he also did something.

Nehemiah 2:5

When we follow God, people will try and discourage us; especially when it’s something new.

Nehemiah 2:19

Nehemiah 4:1

Nehemiah was doing more than just building a ministry, he was building a community.

Nehemiah 5:5

Your Future Is Not Behind You

The first part of Joseph’s life summed up:

He was hated, had dreams, got a little arrogant, was betrayed, was lied about and falsely imprisoned, but maintained his integrity, yet still forgotten and left behind.

You don’t go through all of that and return to normal!

Because of Joseph’s integrity and closely following God, he became 2nd in the kingdom. And impacted the world!

There is something better than normal!

No doubt, Joseph thought his dream would be fulfilled right where he was raised. But once he was sold into slavery he never saw his homeland again. He went back many years later, but as a corpse.

Your future is not behind you!

Joseph could have lost hope but he held onto the dream and the God of that dream!

Let’s talk about the role of prayer in forward movement. Had Joseph given up on his dream, not stay connected to God, etc, he would not have been ready for his opportunity. But because he was in touch with God, was still talking to God and hearing God, all Joseph had to do was shave and put on a new shirt.

No matter what struggles you have, what battles you’re fighting, what prison you feel like you’re in, be ready and don’t spend one more minute in that prison then you have to!

Forward to the Future

There are a lot of moms in the Bible to choose from. And while Ruth isn’t one you automatically think of, we’ll get there.

The story begins with Elimelech and Naomi – notice the book isn’t named after them.
Ruth 1:1-5

Naomi decides to return to hometown of Bethlehem (we know that town!)
Ruth 1:6-7

Orpah kissed Naomi and went home with Naomi’s blessing – Ruth 1:8-14
I’m not sure what but something in Orpah’s past looked better to her than her future.

But for Ruth even if she wanted to, there was no normal to go back to.

Your future is not behind you!

Ruth 1:15
Ruth 1:16

Ruth knew her future lay in being closer to Naomi’s God and His people!

What was that future?

With Boaz she found true love, provision (she married rich!), and a home! Ruth 2-4 is the greatest “love at first sight” romance in the Bible!

Through Obed she became a mom! She was once a childless widow but now a blessed mom! Ruth 4:13-17

Her grandson David was a might warrior, the champion of Israel, a spiritual warrior in worship, too! God called David “a man after My own heart.” Acts 13:22

Her descendants Solomon, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, Josiah were the kings of Israel! Her family became royalty! Matthew 1:5-7

31 generations later, her family tree includes The Son of God, The Lord of Lords, The King of Kings. The Savior was in her future! Matthew 1:15-16

What do you need? What do you want out of life? What do you desire more than life itself?

The lesson from Ruth is regardless of your past, make sure Jesus is in your future!

Back to Normal? Daniel

Seven weeks and counting!

Daniel 1:3-4, 6

Daniel really had it going for him! But now, according to verse 3, Daniel had a new normal.

Serving King Nebuchadnezzar
Daniel interpreted dreams that the king had! Daniel 2:1-45, 4:4-33
Causing the King to praise God – Daniel 2:46-47, 4:34-37
and promote Daniel! Daniel 2:48-49

Then King Belshazzar
Daniel’s place as 3rd in the kingdom didn’t appear to last long, but he is brought before Belshazzar in Daniel 5:13-14
Daniel interprets a message from God, written on the wall during an out-of-control feast – Daniel 5:25-28
Causing the king to promote Daniel to 3rd in his kingdom as well! Daniel 5:29

Then Daniel serves King Darius
Daniel does so well he is about to be promoted to 2nd in Darius’ kingdom! Daniel 6:1-3
But, the lions’ den! Daniel 6:4-24
And God’s deliverance causes King Darius to worship God and decree that the whole kingdom worship God! Daniel 6:25-27

And Daniel continues to have success in leadership!

Let’s take a lesson from Daniel, maybe several!
His normal kept changing, but no matter what happened Daniel kept having success! How?

Daniel maintained his integrity, Daniel 1:8

He remembered his friends, Daniel 2:49

He was a man of prayer, Daniel 6:10 – awesome didn’t happen outside God’s divine direction

He never took credit for what God had done, was always careful to give God credit, Daniel 2:27-28, 5:17-18, 6:22 – and in doing so Daniel led kings to worship God!!!

And Daniel spoke whatever God gave him to say!