Saturday, June 16, 2018

ABBA FATHER

ABBA FATHER
Isaiah 9:6
We have an “Abba Father” relationship with God!

1. ME
How do I struggle with this?
I had a good relationship with my dad growing up. I often broke his heart with my rebellion, but he would deal with me fairly and compassionately.

As I got older, dad became a more of a counselor and friend. I still drove him crazy at times, but he was there for me.

I realized later in life that dad felt he was to blame for many of my struggles. I still remember the night that devil’s lie was exposed and dad and I entered a new era of relationship.

2. WE
How do we all struggle with this?
You may not have had my experience. Your dad may have been absent, or abusive, or both, or worse.

Father’s Day brings up memories of hurt and pain. My heart breaks for you. God’s heart breaks for you and He is there for you. .

Psalms‬ ‭68:5‬ ‭NKJV A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation.*‬‬‬‬

3. GOD
What does the Bible say about this?
Regardless of your history and relationship with your dad, our Heavenly Father is perfect and He will be a perfect father to us.

TEXT Isaiah‬ ‭9:6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.*‬‬‬‬

Father of all by Creation
Malachi 2:10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously with one another By profaning the covenant of the fathers?‬‬

Father of spiritual children by faith.
John‬ ‭1:12‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:‬‬‬‬

Galatians‬ ‭3:26‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.‬‬‬‬

Ephesians‬ ‭4:6‬ ‭NKJV one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.‬‬‬‬

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
Ephesians‬ ‭1:3‬ ‭NKJV Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,‬‬‬‬

Jesus knew the Father intimately.
Mark‬ ‭14:36‬ ‭NKJV And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.‬‬‬‬

Abba: Aramaic Word for ’Father’. Most of the time, even here, Jesus used the Greek word for ’Father’: pater. Why ’Abba’ here? Garden of Gethsemane. He was about to suffer and die. He tapped into not only intimacy with God, but authority with God. ’Abba’ was the term used by adults to show honor and respect for for their earthly Fathers. It signified a mature relationship with mutual authority.

Jesus provided us with the same relationship.
Romans‬ ‭8:14-17‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.‬‬‬‬

Galatians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭NKJV And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.*‬‬‬‬

4. YOU
What does this relationship mean to us?
Matthew‬ ‭5:48‬ ‭NKJV Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.‬‬‬‬

Matthew 6:1-34…
Let’s mark down the times the passage says, “Your Heavenly Father will…”

1  Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
3  But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
4  that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.
5  “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
6  But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
7  And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
8  Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
9  In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
10  Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
11  Give us this day our daily bread.
12  And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
13  And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.c
14  “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
16  “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
17  But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
18  so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
19  “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;
20  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
21  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22  “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.
23  But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24  “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
25  “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
26  Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
27  Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28  So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;
29  and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30  Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31  Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32  For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
33  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
34  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

5. WE
How can we all live this out together?
When I pray ’Abba Father’, I am praying with faith and authority!

Matthew‬ ‭7:7-11‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!‬‬‬‬

Let’s go to the throne room!
Hebrews‬ ‭4:16‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.‬‬‬

Hebrews‬ ‭10:19-22‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.‬‬


Saturday, May 5, 2018

LETTING IT GO


LETTING IT GO
Dealing with Anxiety
RF, May 6, 2018

ME How do I struggle with this?

We are in the middle of our series “Big Questions”. It seems as if every one of these is something I struggle with. Today I want to talk about anxiety.

I have always been a worrier. I come by it honestly. My dad was a worrier. When we weren’t worried, we worried about why we weren’t worried! I kept looking over my shoulder looking for the next hammer to fall. This is not any way to live!

YOU How do we all struggle with this?

Over the last several weeks, several people have contacted me with a similar question: “How do I get rid of this anxiety in my life?”

Everyone deals with anxiety in their lives at one time or another; whether it is worry, or fear, or being anxious about something.

God has a way for us to carry that load.

GOD What does the Bible say about this?

1 Peter 5:7 (NIV) Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Cast: hurl or throw on top of something. The only other use of the word in the NT is when Jesus made His entry into Jerusalem in Palm Sunday.

Luke 19:35 (NKJV) Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him.

Cares: the word here means to draw in different directions, distract, signifies that which causes a care, especially an anxious care. Same word used in all the Gospels in the “Parable of the Sower”.

Mark 4:19 (NLT) but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life…

This is anything that causes you anxiety: finances, sickness, circumstances, the future. And it doesn’t matter the cause. I had made some big mistakes in my life. How about you? Sometimes I feel that if I caused it, I have to carry it. Kind of like, “Do the crime; serve the time”. This verse says we can cast all our anxieties on Him, not just the ones we didn’t cause. What a great word!

He Cares: to care about, be concerned for.

Jesus is concerned about you.

Hebrews 7:25 (NIV) Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

Hebrews 7:25b (AMPC) …since He is always living to make petition to God and intercede with Him and intervene for them.

Now let’s read our text in the Amplified translation; this applies all the word meanings…

1 Peter 5:7 (AMPC) Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.

This was also stated in the Old Testament.

Psalm 55:22 (NIV) Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.

YOU What should you do about this?

1.  We throw everything on Jesus.

Just like the disciples threw their clothes on the donkey and Jesus sat on them, throw everything that is causing you anxiety and let Jesus just sit on it!

There are some other ways the Bible says we can deal with our anxiety.

Psalms 37:5 (NLT) Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.
Proverbs 16:3 (NKJV) Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established.

“Commit” in these passages has a unique meaning.

Proverbs 16:3 (AMPC) Roll your works upon the Lord…

Illustration: man carrying huge load then rolling it over onto Jesus… we roll everything from our shoulders to His shoulders...

Isaiah 9:6a (NKJV) For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder…

Illustration: Jesus has broad shoulders…

2.  We roll everything onto Jesus.

Let's look at a third way to deal with our anxiety...

Matthew 11:28–30 (NKJV) Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

Matthew 11:28–30 (MSG) Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

3.  We yoke up with Jesus and let Him pull the load.

Trusting Jesus doesn’t mean ’do nothing’! We participate with him; we coordinate with Him; we submit to Him.

Illustration: sled team
Illustration: show calf
Illustration: Mule and tractor

WE How can we all live this out together?

We can all help carry the load.

Galatians 6:2 (NIV) Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Illustration: As the body of Jesus, we help carry the load. Men come and help a guy carry some concrete blocks.

ONE FINAL WORD…

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 beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

INVITATION

God will make a way where there seems to be no way
He works in ways we cannot see; He will make a way for me
He will be my guide; hold me closely to His side
With love and strength for each new day, He will make a way
God will make a way


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.