Sunday, April 15, 2018

DOING THE STUFF



DOING THE STUFF
Connecting to God’s promised power for our lives.

Mark 9:23-24

HOW DO I STRUGGLE WITH THIS?

As a high school boy I worked for my father. We had left the farm and were now in the gas station
business. One day my dad left me and another co-worker to clean up an older station that we were going to take over. Part of the tile floor needed to be replaced and so dad gave me the supplies to do the job. The only problem? I didn’t know how. It looked easy enough, but I couldn’t do it. I always seemed to drive my dad crazy and this was no exception. My dad said, “Didn’t I train you better than that?” I wanted to say, “No, you never taught me how to lay tile!” but, instead of complaining, I watched as he did a couple of tiles and then I was able to finish.

HOW DO WE ALL STRUGGLE WITH THIS?

All of us have been there. We know what we want to do, but we don’t know how. We have to learn how.

Maybe you have been frustrated because your life doesn’t seem to match what you read in the
Bible or hear other people talk about it.

you are not alone!


ILLUSTRATION

John Wimber was the founder of the Vineyard movement. He was a jazz musician and arranger and the music director for the duo “The Righteous Brothers” (you’ve Lost That Loving
Feeling). He did not hear the Gospel until he was 29 years old. Here he talks about coming to Christ.

VIDEO

“Doing the Stuff” John Wimber

THEME OF MESSAGE

Last week I gave y’all some instructions about overcoming stress. One of them was to access God’s power by faith, just like Jesus did. The only problem is, I didn’t teach you how! Today I want to show you how you can tap into God’s power and ‘do the stuff’! I am not necessarily referring to signs and wonders and miracles, even though I would love to see more of those happening around me. I am taking about feeling the power of God working in my life everyday, helping me overcome me!

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE Say ABOUT THIS?

Jesus gives us some insight in this story. Mark 9:14–29 (NLT): Jesus Heals a Demon-Possessed
Boy

14 When they returned to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd surrounding them, and some teachers of religious law were arguing with them. 15 When the crowd saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with awe, and they ran to greet him.

16 “What is all this arguing about?” Jesus asked.

17 One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, “Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won’t let him talk. 18 And whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and
becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast out the evil spirit, but they couldn’t do it.”

19 Jesus said to them, “you faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? bring the boy to me.”

20 So they brought the boy. but when the evil spirit saw Jesus, it threw the child into a violent convulsion, and he fell to the ground, writhing and foaming at the mouth. 21 “How long has this
been happening?” Jesus asked the boy’s father.
He replied, “Since he was a little boy. 22 The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”

23 “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” 24 The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

25 When Jesus saw that the crowd of onlookers was growing, he rebuked the evil spirit. “Listen,
you spirit that makes this boy unable to hear and speak,” he said. “I command you to come out of this child and never enter him again!”
26 Then the spirit screamed and threw the boy into another violent convulsion and left him. The
boy appeared to be dead. A murmur ran through the crowd as people said, “He’s dead.” 27 Jesus took him by the hand and helped him to his feet, and he stood up.

28 Afterward, when Jesus was alone in the house with his disciples, they asked him, “Why couldn’t we cast out that evil spirit?”
29 Jesus replied, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer.” Matthew adds this note…
Matthew 17:19-20 (NLT) Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, “Why couldn’t we cast out that demon?” “you don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible. ”

INSTRUCTION

What does this passage teach us about tapping into God’s power by faith? Let’s look…

1. Jesus had been with God. He had just come down from the Mount of Transfiguration.


2. Jesus immediately ministered to the child. He knew His calling and mission. He was not moved by the opinions and arguing of the crowd!

Luke 4:18 (NLT) The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free,

3. He didn’t panic when the problem got worse!


4.     Jesus invited others to participate.


5. He conducted an interview.


6. He used spiritual discernment to know who was causing the problem.


7. He took authority over the enemy.


WHAT SHOULD YOU DO ABOUT THIS?

I want to encourage you today that you do not have to settle for life as usual. you are not limited only to what you can do or earn or make happen! God is working in you and in you and for you and around you. Here are some things you can do to live above your privilege.


INSPIRATION

Jesus identifies the problem and solution three times in the passage.

Mark 9:19 (NLT) Jesus said to them, “You faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”

Mark 9:23 (NLT) What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person
believes.”

Matthew 17:19-20 (NLT) Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, “Why couldn’t we cast  out that demon?” “you don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible. ”

So faith is both the problem and the solution. We all cry like the father in the story: “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24 (NLT)
APPLICATION

1. Spend time with God.


2. Know God by reading the Word of God and praying.


3. Ask God what He wants to do.


HOW CAN WE ALL LIVE THIS OUT TOGETHER?

Having a relationship with the Holy Spirit is essential to walking with God!

John calls Him The Helper four times in His Gospel. Gk: paracletos, one called alongside to help or strengthen, comforter

John 16:13 (NLT) When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.

Luke 24:49 (NLT) And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. but stay in  the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.

Acts 1:8 (NLT) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.


ACTION POINTS

In order to see God’s power in your everyday life, these things must be true.


1. you must be born again.


2. you must be filled with the Spirit.


Now who is ready for these things?

Sunday, April 8, 2018

CHOKING THE LIFE OUT OF STRESS



How Do I Deal With Stress?
Mark 4:35-41

ILLUSTRATION

One Year I was driving a group of students from Tulsa, OK to Monarch, CO. As we journeyed through the night we came to a series of highway intersections. The leader of the trip was asleep
but had given specific instructions as to the highway we should take. We took our exit and rolled into the interstate.

As the sun came up about 6 hours later the leader woke up and called to me over our radios. He said, “Shouldn’t we be headed west?” “Yes”, I replied. To which he said, “Then why is the sun
coming up in our faces?”

Yes, that is right. We had driven 6 hours East, in the wrong direction! To say the least, this created a stressful situation!

INTRODUCTION

Today I want to talk about stress. Now you have heard me say that I do not like to preach something that has not been “cooked”. I like it to be simmering in my heart for a while before I share it.

When Alba learned that I was speaking on stress today, she said, “I don’t think you have cooked this one long enough!”

What she was saying is that stress is an issue with me and I have not learned how to conquer it. So today I am preaching to myself and I invite you to listen along with me!

PRAYER

HOW DO I STRUGGLE WITH STRESS?

When I get stressed out several things happen:

1. I get short tempered. Really short. Ugly short.
2. I get overwhelmed. I feel incompetent. Project paralysis set in.
3. I get depressed. What’s the use. I will never get out.
4. I get cynical. Not fair. Why me? It will be this way forever.

In other words, I am not very much fun to live with, not fun to work with, and I am not very good for the Kingdom of God.

I’m sure you have heard many definitions for stress. I like this definition: Stress is the overwhelming desire to choke holy snot out of someone! Here is another one: Stress is the addition of load until something breaks!

HOW DO WE ALL STRUGGLE WITH THIS?

How would you define stress? Do you ever have problem with stress? I think all of us do at some point. It may affect us different ways, but there are some similarities.

1. Stress causes physical problems: high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, all the way to constipation. Of course, it is that mysterious ailment that all doctors blame for what is
wrong with you that they can’t figure out!

2. Stress causes psychological problems.: anxiety, mood swings, feelings of distress. It can affect the way you think, reason, react, and respond.

3. Stress causes personal problems: relationships suffer, eating disorders can develop, and sleep patterns are directly affected.

WHAT ARE SOME CAUSES?

1. People
2. Lack of control
3. Lack of time
4. Lack of rest
5. Lack of money

HOW DO WE TRY TO COPE?

1. We try harder.
2. We self-medicate.
3. We blame.
4. We quit; sometimes emotionally; sometimes relationally sometimes physically through suicide.

LET’S SEE HOW JESUS AND THE DISCIPLES DEALT WITH STRESS

Jesus Calms the Storm

Mark 4:35-40 (NLT) As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” 36 So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind
(although other boats followed). 37 But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.

38 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” 39 When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!”
Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. 40 Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

LOOK AT FIVE THINGS JESUS DID TO DEAL WITH STRESS.

1. Jesus got away from the crowd.
2. Jesus took a nap.
3. Jesus addressed the problem.
4. Jesus accessed God’s power by faith.
5. Jesus encouraged others to do the same things

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO ABOUT THIS?

1. Get away from the noise. Establish a quiet time as an essential in your life.

2. Get some rest. Practice the Sabbath and put margins in your life.

3. Address the issues. Deal with the “Why”; Why are you stressed?

4. Access God’s power by faith. He has a plan!

5. Push people to be independent of you. This frees them and you!

HOW CAN WE ALL LIVE THIS OUT TOGETHER?

1. We will be healthier.
2. We will get along better with our families.
3. We can help remove causes of unrest around us.
4. We can see God’s power at work around us.
5. We will become a better testimony of what God can do!

INVITATION

First, a promise from God…

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV) No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted (tested; tried) beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

Then, a call from God…

Matthew 11:28–30 (NKJV) Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

APRIL FOOL


APRIL FOOL
The Resurrection is not an April Fool joke!
1 Corinthians 15:3-4

CONNECT What was the best April Fool joke you ever experienced? The best one you ever pulled on someone else?

TENSION There are many today that would say that the Resurrection is the cruelest April Fool joke ever.  Only a fool would believe that someone could rise from the dead!

SOLUTION The Resurrection is the foundation of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Don’t be a fool by rejecting the fact of the Resurrection.

My purpose today is not to talk about the “What”; to convince you that the Resurrection
happened. Most people here in El Paso believe that Jesus got up and walked out of the tomb.
My purpose today is to talk to you about the “Why". Why is it important? Believing that Jesus
rose from the dead is essential to enjoy everything God has for you, both in this life and the next!

TEXT 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (NKJV) For I delivered to You first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,

INSTRUCTION

1. The Resurrection declares that Jesus is God

Romans 1:4 NKJV and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of
holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

2. The Resurrection allows us to be saved, be born again, become a child of God

Romans 10:9 NKJV that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart
that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

3. The Resurrection gives us the forgiveness of sin.

I Corinthians 15:17 NKJV And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!

4. The Resurrection gives the promise of eternal life to us and our loved ones.

I Corinthians 15:18 -19 NKJV Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If
in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

5. The Resurrection gives us hope while we live today.

I Peter 1:3 NKJV Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

6. The Resurrection allows us to rule and reign over death, hell, and the grave!

Revelation 20:6 NKJV Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such
the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign
with Him a thousand years.

ILLUSTRATION

In the movie, “The Green Mile”, Tom Hanks character, Paul Edgecomb, has an encounter with a
mystical character called John Coffee, played by Michael Clarke Duncan. The result was that he couldn’t die! In the final scene, he says, “I was infected with life!”

INSPIRATION

John 10:10 NKJV The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have
come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly!

1 John 5:11–12 NKJV And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have
life.

APPLICATION

Jesus came to give us life!

John 11:25 NKJV Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me,
though he may die, he shall live.

ACTION STEPS

What does it mean to believe? It doesn’t men intellectual belief; the devils believe and tremble!
Remember that Paul said “If you believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you
will be saved!” What is ‘heart belief’? The NT was written in Greek. The Greek word ‘believe’
means three things:

1. Trust in – you cannot save yourself; you must trust Christ will save you.
2. Cling to – you cannot walk it out; you must cling to Him and let Him walk it out in you.
3. Rely upon – it is Jesus alone; nothing added; nothing left out.

INVITATION
Roman Road…

HASHTAG #nofool!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

THE WEEPING JESUS


THE WEEPING JESUS
Palm Sunday, March 25, 2018

CONNECT Many marches and demonstrations… One of the greatest in Jerusalem in 33 AD… Israel was converging on Jerusalem for Passover… Jesus made His Triumphant Entry!

TEXT God’s Personal Visit

Luke 19:28–31 (MSG) After saying these things, Jesus headed straight up to Jerusalem. When he got near Bethphage and Bethany at the mountain called Olives, he sent off two of the disciples with instructions: “Go to the village across from you. As soon as you enter, one that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says anything, asks, ‘What are you doing?’ say, ‘His Master needs him.’”

32–33 The two left and found it just as he said. As they were untying the colt, its owners said, “What are you doing untying the colt?”

34 They said, “His Master needs him.”

35–36 They brought the colt to Jesus. Then, throwing their coats on its back, they helped Jesus get on. As he rode, the people gave him a grand welcome, throwing their coats on the street.

37–38 Right at the crest, where Mount Olives begins its descent, the whole crowd of disciples burst into enthusiastic praise over all the mighty works they had witnessed:

 Blessed is he who comes,
 the king in God’s name!
 All’s well in heaven!
 Glory in the high places!

Matthew 21:10-11 (NKJV) And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?” So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”

39 Some Pharisees from the crowd told him, “Teacher, get your disciples under control!”

40 But he said, “If they kept quiet, the stones would do it for them, shouting praise.”

41 When the city came into view, he wept over it.

TENSION Jesus weeping over His people. Everyone is celebrating but Jesus is weeping!  

Why is Jesus weeping?

He had mourned over Jerusalem before…

Luke 13:34 (NKJV) O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!

He wept at Lazarus’ grave…

John 11:35-36 (NKJV) Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!”

Jesus was not weeping over Lazarus; He was about to raise him from the dead!  He was weeping over their unbelief!

Jesus tells us why he is weeping…

42–44 If you had only recognized this day, and everything that was good for you! But now it’s too late. In the days ahead, your enemies are going to bring up their heavy artillery and surround you, pressing in from every side. They’ll smash you and your babies on the pavement. Not one stone will be left intact. All this because you didn’t recognize and welcome God’s personal visit.”

Pastor Warren Wiersbe says this in his Bible Exposition Commentary: “No matter where Jesus looked, He found cause for weeping. If He looked back, He saw how the nation had wasted its opportunities and been ignorant of their "time of visitation." If He looked within, He saw spiritual ignorance and blindness in the hearts of the people. They should have known who He was, for God had given them His Word and sent His messengers to prepare the way.  As He looked around, Jesus saw religious activity that accomplished very little. The temple had become a den of thieves, and the religious leaders were out to kill Him. The city was filled with pilgrims celebrating a festival, but the hearts of the people were heavy with sin and life's burdens.  As Jesus looked ahead, He wept as He saw the terrible judgment that was coming to the nation, the city, and the temple. In a.d. 70, the Romans would come and, after a siege of 143 days, kill 600,000 Jews, take thousands more captive, and then destroy the temple and the city. Why did all of this happen? Because the people did not know that God had visited them! John 1:11 He came unto His own, and His own received Him not". Luke 19:14 "We will not have this man to reign over us!"

There it is right there. Jesus is weeping because He has wonderful plans for them, but they will have none of it. It is breaking His heart. He is not weeping out of rejection or anger, but the pain that’s comes from knowing their outcome!

My question: Is Jesus weeping over us today?

INSPIRATION John Wimber…

Are we breaking God’s heart?  Are we understanding the work of God in our life?  Or are we only wanting His acts but not His ways.

After His entered Jerusalem, he went to the temple and cleaned it out! This was what Malachi had promised!

APPLICATION

Let the Lord clean out our temple…

1.     Any area of known sin?
2.     Any rebellion to His will?
3.     Is Jesus only a part of our life?
4.     Are we living for ourselves?

A.W. Tozer wrote this over 50 years ago… “The most pressing need just now is that we who call ourselves Christians should frankly acknowledge to each other and to God that we are astray; that we should confess that we are worldly, that our moral standards are low and we are spiritually cold. We need to cease our multitude of unscriptural activities, stop running when and where we have not been sent, and cease trying to sanctify carnal projects by professing that we are promoting them “in the name of the Lord” and “for the glory of God.” We need to return to the message, methods and objectives of the New Testament. We need to boldly and indignantly cleanse the temple of all that sell cattle in the holy place and overthrow the tables of the money-changers. And this must be done in our own lives first and then in the churches of which we are a part.”

INVITATION

HASHTAG #weepingJesus