The Rest of the Story – Law of Grace?

The story of Nadab & Abihu

  • Their father Aaron was Moses’ brother & the first priest of Israel!
  • Called by God to the top of Sinai, by name! Exodus 24:1, 11
  • Priest #2 and #3! Exodus 28:1
  • But the most notorious part of their story is their death! Leviticus 10:1

The story of Hophni & Phinehas

They received a lot of grace! God gives us direction, warnings, etc, but allows us to choose our path.
Deuteronomy 30:19

“The truth about grace might seem positive at first glance, but in order to embrace it, we have to come to terms with our need for it. And that means acknowledging our own depravity.”
-Brandon Cox

The truth: God is holy and without Him we are depraved, corrupt and immoral

Isaiah 64:6

Isaiah 6:5

Romans 5:20

Romans 6:23

Three hard, incontrovertible facts

Ephesians 1:7

Titus 2:11-12

Matthew 6:11

Matthew 6:12

1 Corinthians 10:13

2 Timothy 1:12


So why does God seem so different in the Old Testament than He is in the New Testament?
Malachi 3:6

Make Change – Banners

Signal Banners were posted on a high place 
Isaiah 18:3, 11:12, 5:26, Psalm 60:4, Jeremiah 4:6
Isaiah 31:9
Isaiah 59:19

The metaphor of “lifting a standard” for making an armed resistance is common in Isaiah.

Tribal Banners which the Israelites camped under and marched behind
Numbers 2:2
Deuteronomy 11:18-21

7 Prayers I am praying over my church in 2017:
1. Remind us, it begins right here!
2. Help us take our commitment to finance and otherwise support our mission more seriously
3. Help us reach the next 180 who need to know Jesus
4. Lead each one of us to Own Our Growth
5. Lead us to welcome discipleship from one another
6. Open more doors in more communities and bless us with the necessary means to reach them!
7. Give us greater impact in our communities in 2017

What banner is over your house or family? 

Psalm 74:4 

Declare over your house, we are:

Overtaken by blessings – Deuteronomy 28:2

Strong not weak – 2 Corinthians 12:9

The head not the tail, above not beneath – Deuteronomy 28:13

The lender not the borrower – Deuteronomy 15:6

No longer slaves but children and heirs of God – Galatians 4:7

Not under bondage – Romans 8:2

Not fearful but of sound mind – 2 Timothy 1:7

More than conquerors – Romans 8:37

More powerful than our enemy – Luke 10:19

Followers of God – Joshua 24:15

His chosen – 2 Chronicles 29:11

Forgiven – Romans 4:7-8

A house full of joy and peace – Romans 15:13

Healed – 1 Peter 2:24

Safe – Proverbs 18:10

A family with a future and hope – Jeremiah 29:11

Psalm 20:1-5

Make Change -Truth

Romans 1:16-25

“post-truth” – relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.

The problem with facebook: everyone is an expert.

So truth becomes transitory. Love (or anything else) is whatever I decide it is today.

The “victimless” lie: the things I do in my private life don’t hurt anyone else.

Three Truths

1. The world is already teaching your kids about sex
Parents must be proactive or they will become the aftervoice

2. The porn industry is after your kids
Parents must continue to discuss sex or lose the privilege
of being the source of information and advice

3. Parents still have the greatest influence 
The younger we start the conversation the more likely it is to continue

The truth about Marriage

What matters is commitment, but we spend all our time on the symbols and ignore this most important aspect of marriage!

What constitutes marriage in the eyes of God.

Matthew 19:4-6

So what do we do?

Finally, and perhaps most important, personal integrity requires the power of No. The ability to say No is an essential element of one’s moral compass. Without it, we are merely agreeable pleasers, the Pillsbury doughboys of morals and values.

– Judith Sills, PhD

Homo sapiens occupies a peculiar position in the animal kingdom. This peculiarity manifests itself in man’s relationship both to his own body and to the world. Unlike the other higher mammals, who are born with an essentially completed organism, man is curiously “unfinished” at birth. …human beings are capable of doing and thinking genuinely new things. This is the capacity of saying no…

Peter Berger

In the next 163 hours of this week we must live what we say in these first 5 hours!

1. Resolve where truth is found

2. Don’t go along with “whatever”

3. Act based on truth

Make Change – Focused

Light is good; but light that is focused can do infinitely more.

The light from a flashlight cannot travel a long distance. This is because the light is unfocused and diverges as the traveled distance increases. The flashlight beam traveling distance depends on the size of the flashlight and the batteries being used. Laser light, however, can travel a long distance: Any laser light can be beamed to the moon and back. They can travel such long distances as they are coherent and do not spread out while traveling. – physics expert

Focus our Mind

Philippians 4:6-8

Focus our Prayers

James 5:16

Too often, our prayers go no further than ceiling because like the flashlight, they are unfocused and diverge from seeking God’s heart.

Matthew 6:6-8

Focus our Mission

In order to have what we truly love,
we must give up things we really like.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15

Hebrews 10:24-25

One obvious way we can focus our mission is through small groups.

Make Change – Connections (Part 2)

There is a difference between a bestie and a mentor!

Mark those you should turn to when in trouble, danger or under attack
2 Kings 19:1-2

Mark those who encourage you to worship, at all times
2 Kings 23:1-8

Mark those who believe in you but don’t make it too easy
2 Kings 2:1-18

Mark those who inspire you
Esther 4:14

Mark those who encourage you
Luke 1:39-40

Has anyone marked you?
John 1:40-45

Mark those who challenge you to go deeper
Acts 18:26; 22:3; 16:1-8

Discipleship happens in relationship not events.

“Discipleship is not a class you take; it’s the course of your life.”
– Robby Gallaty

Make Change – Connections

Psalm 37:23; 25:12; James 1:5

God not only gives us direction, He has not only given us His Word, He also puts people in our lives that we need to learn from. Because discipleship happens in relationship not events!

Not all of us have a Joseph in our lives.
Genesis 40:12; 41:25

In 2017…

Give someone in your life permission to tell you that you’re wrong
Exodus 18:13-26

Treasure those connections that bring you closer to God!
Exodus 24:12-13

Don’t forget, God gave us parents for a reason!
Judges 14:1-3

Stop fighting alone!
Judges 4:4-22

Remember, you don’t know everything
Ruth 3:1-18

Connect with people who know different stuff than you
1 Samuel 3:2-14

Don’t be a spiritual know-it-all either
2 Samuel 7:1-17; 1 Samuel 25:2-39

Be a parent who makes time to share your wisdom, direction & your relationship to God!
1 Kings 2:1-4

When an old person talks, listen!
Proverbs 1:8; 1 Kings 12:6-8


Make Change: Get Outside Yourself


Today our culture values money, image and fame

Studies show we are living in an increasingly narcissistic society

In 1980 the American Psychiatric Association officially recognized narcissistic personality disorder. Some of the signs are: jealousy, competition, entitlement, require constant reinforcement & attention from others, need to be noticed, believe others are interested in what they are doing all the time, etc.

But narcissism is dangerously destructive!

Excessive self-involvement is not good for our happiness.
People who cut themselves off from others and strive only for material success have the highest rates of alcoholism, mood disorders, marital discord and suicide risk in themselves and their children.
The health of our immune systems is very much affected by our social connections.
Having three hours per month of informal social contact with others outside our family has the same health benefits as quitting smoking.
When close friends put their hands on our shoulders … we can tolerate acute physical pain that otherwise could only be poorly managed by drug therapy.
Money cannot replace people. Once we have enough to support our basic life needs, pursuing more wealth does not increase our happiness.
Indeed, most of us get our basic life meaning by doing good deeds for others or having some greater good for which we work. What really makes us happy is challenging ourselves to learn and getting involved with people who benefit from us.
John Driggs, LICSW
The hardest burden in life is self-centeredness. Selfishness comes naturally to us; we see to our own needs first. The human prospect is too bleak unless we literally extend ourselves. The sooner we relocate our strivings outward, rather than remaining confined in self-seeking projects, the more at ease we will be with whatever life presents.
Wendy Lustbader, M.S.W.
One of the easiest ways to ‘be happy instantly’ when you’re having a bad day is helping someone else.
Deepak Chopra



Make someone’s day 
The next time you open a social media app, instead of seeking validation, look for someone else to validate!

Lighten someone’s burden
Pay attention, like Joseph in Genesis 40:6-7!

Bless someone
Buy their lunch, take donuts to work, etc.

Invite someone to church or small group
The most important interaction you can have is to bring someone to Jesus!

Make Change – Consistency

resolution – noun –
a firm decision to do or not to do something

resolute – adjective –
admirably purposeful, determined, unwavering

resolve – verb –
decide firmly on a course of action


The problem isn’t in trying to turn over a new leaf.
The problem is that we aren’t actually turning over new leaves but the same old leaf every year! 

Repentance is not a mental decision but also denotes action taken.

Ezekiel 14:6, 18:30; Isaiah 1:16-17

The true definition of “repentance”



According to research, Facebook is now cited in 1/3 of all divorce cases

14% of Brits have considered divorce because of spouse’s social media habits

33% of divorces in GB contained word “Facebook” in reasons to file for divorce

17% of one lawfirm’s clients said they argue daily about social media use

2/3 of US attorneys surveyed said they had used evidence from social media in divorce proceedings


According to US Bankruptcy Court,
5/10 top reasons for bankruptcy
are due to poor planning and spending!


According to SBA nearly all business failures occur due to poor decisions and planning


In one study, high parental involvement showed an increase of up to 2 grade points!

Students with above average grades spent at least 9hrs outside school in “high yield activities” while students in the lowest 25% spent more time “hanging out”


We can decide to have an awesome life but to actually achieve it takes consistency of effort!

1 Corinthians 9:24-25



1. Plan To Succeed
Don’t just make a resolution, make a plan that is both consistent and long-term!

2. Make Right Choices 
Wake up and choose, every day!

3. Measure
When you’re struggling it isn’t easy to measure but that’s when it’s most important!

4. Move Into The Right Neighborhood 
1 Corinthians 15:33

5. Worship
Regular worship helps keep us focused!