For More Peace

“We must all learn to live together as brothers, or we will all perish together as fools.”

Martin Luther King, Jr

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.”

Martin Luther King, Jr

Romans 12:18

Denying someone your presence is like the ultimate punishment. Isn’t that God’s final judgment, after all? That’s what hell is: the total absence of God’s presence. That’s what you do when you give someone the silent treatment. You are saying to them, “You are not worth a relationship with me.” The gospel, by contrast, sends us into the world to love people as we have been loved, to love people who will sometimes offend us. That means before we resort to ending relationships, we walk the messy road of confrontation.

J. D. Greer

Remember, we don’t know someone else’s pain.

Luke 6:27-38

James 3:18

Peace that produces goodness is the result of the focused effort by those determined to plant seeds of peace in the midst of conflict!

This Is the Year

Just one tick on the clock and it’s 2021. But this year we desperately hope it means more!!!

2021 is a new opportunity, not a guarantee.

Note these miracle opportunities in the Bible…
“Take up your bed…” Mt 9:6, Mk 2:11, Lk 5:24, Jn 5:8
“Go wash in the pool…” John 9:7
“Dip seven times…” 2 Kings 5:10
“Bring the full tithe…” Malachi 3:10
“Fill the jars with water.” John 2:7
“Roll the stone aside.” John 11:39
“Go down to the lake and throw in a line.” Matthew 17:27
“Go and sin no more.” John 8:11

“This is the year…” is not a statement. You have to complete the sentence!

Some dreams need to be allowed to die. Others need to be kept alive and protected with all you’ve got!

This Is the Year for less talk, more action!
We don’t stop talking. But it’s time for the church to roll up its sleeves!

Why Jesus Said He Came.

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
John 10:10

Different Translations: 
“My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” NLT
“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” ESV
“I have come that they may have life, and have it in all its fullness.” BSB


What does a life to the fullness look like?

Matthew 6:31-32

Matthew 7:11

Jesus’s words say no matter the circumstances around you, He has a good for you.


Exodus 6:6-8

Israelites’ Reaction
1. Grumble and complain
2. Build own gods
3. Look back to Egypt
4. Did not trust the promise

Yes, they were delivered from bondage, but wow did they miss it


Our Reaction to the Promise
1. Joy an Love in midst of the struggle
2. Turn to God for peace and rest
3. Remember the grace that brought us out of our past
4. Trust in God and what He has for us.

Look and see what Jesus says first…

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

The Last Thing Jesus Says

Why I need to hear and know what Jesus Says…
1) Jesus knows stuff I don’t know.
2) It’s like GPS.
3) Focusing on what Jesus says helps us know what to NOT listen to. Weed seeds.

Last words are important!

Jesus said a lot just before leaving. You can read everything remembered about His last words here: Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-18, Luke 24:38-49, Acts 1:4-8

This must become the focus of our prayers,
the goal of each day,
the mantra of our churches,
the reason for our new building,
the purpose of our lives!


Jesus didn’t just give everyone a fishing net. He wanted to help people fall in love with fishing! And if you fall in love with Jesus you can’t help but love fishing!

Maybe that’s why personal evangelism is declining: we don’t love Jesus as much as we should. We just like the idea of church, spiritual fulfillment, getting blessed, etc.


Note in Matthew 9:36-38 that Jesus saw a harvest – do we?


What Jesus doesn’t Say:

1. That buying a toy, sending a meal, etc., is enough. Did Jesus feed the hungry? …bless the children? …heal the sick? …encourage the broken? Yes! He did those things because people had those needs. But the mission is bringing people back to God!

We must reach out to others with a redemptive mindset!

2. Make an invitation. He is saying to commit to the journey of bringing people to Jesus!

A pointed question… How long since I was obedient to this Last Thing Jesus Says?

The Big Thing Jesus Says

The purpose of this sermon series is not to tell you what Jesus Says but to remind us of the power, anointing, wisdom and wholeness of His words and deepen our hunger for them!

Jesus spoke about all points of life!

Forgiveness – John 3:16-17

Answers to prayers, needs, blessings, miracles, etc – John 14:12-14, Matthew 18:19, Matthew 17:20

Look deep, there isn’t always a rule, but sometimes a lesson, sometimes an object lesson. One example, racism.
Canaanite dog – Matthew 15:21-28
Samaritan at the well – John 4:3-42
The Samaritan hero! – Luke 10:28-37

Jesus didn’t just give us a rule, He gave us a way of life!

Jesus Says “give” – Matthew 23:23, Luke 6:38

Loneliness – John 15:15, Matthew 28:20, John 14:16-17

Social unrest, crime, security – John 14:27

Marriage – Mark 10:6-9
Look deeper at what Jesus is saying about marriage, the power and protection of God in it!

Friends & relationships – Luke 6:27-36

Kids & parenting – Matthew 18:10, 19:14, 19:19

Failure – John 8:1-11, Luke 10:19

Death – John 11:25-26, 3:16

Jesus addressed all our issues. But the BIGGEST promise Jesus made was to return! John 14:1-4

Jesus Says three things we should know about His return:

1) Jesus Says: Do not be troubled about it, trust Me!

2) Jesus Says these are some of the signs of His return: (Matthew 24:3-35) spiritual deception, wars, famines, earthquakes, persecution, increased wickedness, many followers will lose their love for God, worldwide evangelism, more distress called tribulation, more deceptive teachers.

3) In Matthew 24:36-51 Jesus Says “Be ready” in about a dozen ways!!!

Jesus Says: I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. John 14:6

Deny Yourself

Luke 9:23-25

It’s the first step to following Jesus… BUT IT DOESN’T END THERE

“Let us measure ourselves by our Master, and not by our fellow servants, then pride will be impossible.”

Charles Spurgeon

“God opposes the proud” (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5)
Who did Jesus oppose?


Jesus says “DENY yourself”

He used this word later at another time.

  • To affirm that one has no acquaintance or connection with someone

Humility says…

  • God is more important, other people are more important
  • I need God and I need other other people

Matthew 20:25-28


Jesus was the embodiment of humility
And as His followers, we should be too.


Matthew 23:12

There is power in humility.

The First Thing

“Simon says”

The secret is distinguishing between what should be followed and shouldn’t be.

What is your life authority? For a Christian it has to be Jesus.


THE FIRST THING JESUS SAID

Luke 2:49

Who says that?


Covid-19 has impacted how we are obeying

So, what is Our Father’s business, His things?

  • PEOPLE
  • SACRIFICE
  • EXAMPLE

Sacrifice is simply living like there is something bigger than yourself!

Online

Why online?

Luke 5:1-3

Matthew 28:20

  • Do everything possible to reach everyone possible!
  • Ministry 24/7!
  • Responding to a new normal
  • An awesome way to get the salt out of the shaker!
  • Half the world’s population is online
  • Online is not going away

How-tos of an online campus:
Like, share and comment
Watch videos
Send songs and videos to specific friends who need it
Respond and take surveys

Decide to be ALL IN!
This was a series about a new location, a new venue, a new normal!
Pray this along with me: God, fund what You want us to do!
Give something and do something!

Leaving a Legacy

Hebrews 11:4

That’s the kind of legacy I want to leave, that I believed in God and was a righteous man!

I don’t want someone else to be the example, to show my family what a Godly dad and grandad looks like.

Exodus 20:6

It’s hard to go back to normal when normal disappeared.
Carey Nieuwhof

Ephesians 6:12

And no place needs more warriors than our children and teens!

I would be scared to death to raise kids these days without regular influence of the church!

You may love kids but don’t feel you can serve IN kids.
You can still SERVE kids!

One of my goals, and I hope it’s yours too, is to build a church that our kids and grandkids will want to be a part of!