I Don’t Want To Be

Holiness- definition: dedicated or consecrated to God; sacred

From the Hebrew word Qadosh which means other or set apart.

Biblical examples:

1 Peter 1:15-16  

2 Corinthians 7:1 

Philippians 4:8  

As flawed humans, we tend to judge by what we can see. God, however, judges by what’s inside.

1 Samuel 16:7  


So what is God looking for exactly in “holiness”?

1. To love the one another

John 13:34-35

 “By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus.”

Mother Teresa

2. To not become “comfortable” where we are

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

The Rich Young Ruler

3. To be “like Jesus”

Romans 12:1 -2

Matthew 23
Matthew 23:25

Money, Money, Money

In the last year…
People went “church shopping.”
Any subject became a potential argument.
Hybrid ministry was still not supported effectively.
Children’s and student ministry lost momentum.
People found other, more fun places to spend the funds they once gave to charity.

Matthew 6:21

What do we treasure?

Why do we give?
God requires it
It’s the right thing to do
I’m in partnership with God
My whole heart

This isn’t about trying to get more money into the church for the sake of the church. This is about trying to invest in the Kingdom so the needs of those struggling can be met and so more people will come to know Jesus!

“God is the only One who can take unrighteous mammon and turn it into souls.”

Robert Morris

Four blessings of Malachi 3:10-12
Food in the house!
Unhindered, overflow blessing
Rebuke of the devourer
Conspicuously blessed!

2020 was a different year!

Where You Lead

Esther was raised in a time where people followed their own desires.
Esther 1:1-4 NIV

Esther didn’t choose her position, but chose to follow in the midst of it.
Esther 2:8

Esther followed wherever God led.
Esther 4:15-16

“If the light that is on you is brighter than the light that is in you, the light that is on you will destroy you.”

Christine Caine 

Mordecai chose to follow.
Esther 2:7

“Your greatest accomplishment may not be something you do but someone you raise.”

Andy Stanley

Mordecai followed daily.
Esther 2:11

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”

Corrie Ten Boone

Mordecai led Esther to follow God’s plan.
Esther 4:13-14

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.” 2 Timothy 1:6-7, 14 

Walk This Way

We require an external standard of right and wrong.

There is a right way to walk. To act. To treat others.

John 3:3
Those are Jesus’ words, not just some important man’s words.
There isn’t a common law provision in salvation.
The choice is new life! Not just forgiveness, not to just do better, but a new life!

Water Baptism in Romans 6:1-10 – the symbolism is death and new life

So we aren’t Christians because we do right. But when we become Christians, when we are born again, we have a new nature that wants to do right!

Romans 6:12-23 – Like parallel universes

Christianity is more than choosing to do better or to be nice. The choice is new life!

Have you ever watched a movie for the 2nd time, or even the 10th time, and found yourself hoping the characters would choose something better? Similar to Pontius Pilate in Luke 23.

Romans 8:13

Come Sail Away

Matthew 28:19
Go

“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” – MATTHEW 4:19
Being a disciple is making disciples.

“You can’t reach a secular culture by being more secular. You can reach it by being more authentic.

Carey Nieuwhof

1 Corinthians 9:19-23

Do you understand the way the world is changing?
FIVE WAYS OUR CULTURE IS SHIFTING

Our building should not be a fortress for the faithful few, but a home for the weary, a hospital for the broken, a beacon for the lost, a launchpad for life’s greatest adventure.

So we must be the family.
We must be the caretakers.
We must be the torchbearers.
We must be the guideposts.


Lies we shouldn’t tell.

It’s not really my thing.
(Remember: being a disciple means making disciples.)

I don’t know anyone that needs Jesus.
(If your life doesn’t intersect with people who need Jesus… you probably need to shift the way you live.)

I don’t have anything worth sharing.
(If you know Jesus… you have something worth sharing.)

But what if…
(Our assignment is to share the good news and let God handle the rest.)

Luke 12:11-12

Maybe this isn’t the best time.


“I’ve always said that I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward….? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?”

Penn Jillette

Esther 4:14
HE wants to use US.

John 9:4

“I am a Christian, not because someone explained the nuts and bolts of Christianity to me, but because there were people who were willing to be nuts and bolts, who through their explanation of it, held it together so that I could experience it and be compelled by it to obey.”

Rich Mullins

Man In the Mirror – Father’s Day

Raising the perfect child is a myth.
The goal of Christian parenting is to raise Christ-followers.

Bruce Wilkinson has written that the journey of generational faith can look like this:
First generation Christian experiences faith (the best).
To the second generation, faith is an inheritance (a good thing).
To the third generation, faith is a convenience (a dangerous place).
And to the fourth generation, faith becomes a nuisance (disastrous).


Parents have great power

Luke 12:48

Proverbs 22:6


Parents have the great responsibility to lead

Parents are not just under the same roof as their kids. They are the leaders in the home, as ordained by God.

Parents do not lead children by consensus. Parents are the leaders. Walk in front of your children. Show them “the way” and a big part of “the way” is to be present in the community of other believers, your local church.

Dick Hardy

Parents have the constant responsibility to guide their children

While we want to be sensitive to the needs of our children, it is the role and responsibility of parents to guide their children to being responsible citizens and more importantly to becoming the Christ-followers. Children don’t get there accidently.

For example, parents have a hand in choosing their kids’ friends, either on purpose or by accident. Don’t forget that, nor neglect it!


Parents set spiritual priorities

Choose and display right spiritual priorities by physically being committed to Christian community with other believers.


Parents model

Parents may feel like they can do church online forever. But kids don’t have the foundation an adult Christian has. And online church cannot fulfill the necessity of gathering together.

Take advantage of teaching moments, family events, materials and online content from your church, and serve opportunities.

Whatever you hope to see in your kids’ lives when they are grown you have to model – now!


From an old sermon, over 8 years ago:
“My goal as a father should be that my family would be better in everything they are and everything they do because of their time spent with me. Everywhere you walk you make a footprint. Make sure you’re making footprints in the right direction because that’s the ones your children are going to follow. They’re not going to follow what you want them to do. They are going to follow what you DO! It’s your responsibility to bring them closer to God. That includes your spouse, too.”

A final note to heads of house: stay on the porch!
Exodus 12:22


Check out these articles!

10 Manly Things Every Dad Should Teach His Son How To Do

Your Kids Will Remember These 7 Things About You

Come Together – The Church

ekklesia – called together

Matthew 16:18

That is not a personal promise but a corporate one!

We are not called merely to follow Jesus but to follow Him together!

Romans 15:5

As the church, we are not called to prove what we know. God is truth, we aren’t, and His truth will always prove itself. We are called to unity.

We have been given the gift of one another.

Worship

Hebrews 10:25

Ephesians 5:18-19

Prayer

James 5:14

Acts 1:14

see also Acts 2:42

Completeness

Ephesians 1-16

Hebrews 10:24

see also 1 Corinthians 14:26, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, 2 Timothy 2:2, Hebrews 5:12

Reach

Acts 2:47

“The Way”Acts 9:2, 19:9, 19:23, 22:4, 24:14, 24:22

Matthew 5:13-16

Who Wrote the Book of Love?

History of the Bible

Where did the Bible come  from?

Contrary to authors such as Dan Brown (The DaVinci Code) and Voltaire, the Council of Nicene in 325 AD was not the meeting that once and for all decided Biblical canon, rather it was the work of teachers and scholars over many years. 

The “books” of the Bible were originally scrolls or letters on parchment or skins rather than what we think of as books. 

Non-canon books, such as those found in the Apocrypha and the pseudepigrapha were viewed as non canon for various reasons over the course of a few centuries.

Eusebius-  Christian historian from the 3rd century AD who provided one of the earliest “lists” of canonical books.


Why should I believe the Bible?

One of the arguments against the Bible is the belief that many of the books, especially the OT were passed down through oral tradition for hundreds of years before being written down. However, MOST ancient history was passed via oral tradition including Buddhist texts, Greek literature, and many traditions such as King Authur and Robin Hood.

Many people attack the veracity of the Bible because of lack of “historical” evidence.

Flavious Josephus “Antiquities of the Jews” 
– First century historian refers to Jesus and other biblical people
– Archeological and historical events that are actually found in the Bible


Is the Bible God’s word?

Scripture is its own endorsement.

Psalms 119:11 

The word is meant to challenge us.

2 Timothy 3:16  

Psalms 19:7  

John 8:31  


READ YOUR BIBLE!

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Trust, but verify! Not all sources hold up to scrutiny.

Jesus is The Baptizer

Matthew 3:11

The Holy Spirit is present throughout the Bible
Very obviously, from the second verse of the Bible, Genesis 1:2
Acts 2, we’ve been introduced to the Father, Jesus the Son, and now the Holy Spirit
See also 1 Corinthians 14:39, 14:1-5
Power for life, miracles, etc, 1 Corinthians 12:7-11
He seals us until the day of our redemption, Ephesians 1:13, 4:30
And helps us in our weaknesses and when we pray, Romans 8:26-27

The difference Jesus made…

Our goal is not to win the argument!

What about me – and you?

John 14:12-17

Jesus didn’t die so you could fit in. He died to make a difference! And He left us that commission as our mandate! (see also Matthew 28:18-20)

Some facts about Fire…
Fire changes things.
Fire grows exponentially.
Fire is not a thing but an event. It is not something you possess. Fire is something that must be tended!
Fire requires 3 components: oxygen, fuel, heat

Pray that God will give you this fire. But we must keep it going.
Fan the flame! Keep your tank full! Don’t let the spark go out!