What the Dog Knew

July 29th, 2010

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What the Dog Knew.

A dog knows what God wants us to know and understand. It is a simple principal, but when applied to our lives results in long lasting benefits.

What is it that the dog knows, understands, and applies better than we do?

Join this Sunday at Believers Church at 9:00 or 11:00 as we look into the lives of David and Jonathan and discover “What the Dog Knew”.

 

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Join us tonight at Believers as we Resonate together and discuss Patrick-Part Two. Patrick is dealing with Loss and Grief. There are Patrick’s all around us. Patrick needs to know.

Join us this Sunday at Believers at 9 or 11 for Resonate. Worship, special music, drama, video, and exhortations to help us better resonate with those around us.

Resonate Patrick – Lose and Grief 07-25-10 Believers Statesboro

Resonate Patrick

When Jesus watched people, what did He see? Matt 9:35-36 “Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.”

He saw the weary. He saw the scattered. He saw people wandering like sheep without a shepherd.

If He were people watching in the mall today, He would look beyond the busyness and superficial. He would see into the hearts of people. He would see the lonely, overworked and stressed. He would see the divorced person, the person who is grieving the loss of a loved one, and He would see those who are scattered with no direction. Jesus would RESONATE with the people around Him, and that is what He expects us to do.

Fathers of Lose (Jacob – Genesis 37:33-35 and Job – Job 1:13-22)

Maybe you’ve never lost a child, so you don’t think you can relate to someone who has. The Bible offers us many examples of people who have lost someone they loved. Mothers and fathers—even kings—lost children. When you can’t relate directly to their hurt, God can. He was there with those people, and He is here with us now. This truth is something you can share.

Feeling Abandoned

Loneliness. Hurt. Feeling like God has rejected us, abandoned us. When people have faced great loss, all of these are emotions they also experienced…and recorded in the Scriptures for our benefit. Even Jesus was acquainted with sorrow and feelings of abandonment. When we feel others have nothing to offer us for our pain, we can find comfort in reading about these people, reminding ourselves that we are not alone.

David – Ps 25:16-17 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish. (NIV)

Solomon Lamentations 1:16 “This is why I weep and my eyes overflow with tears. No one is near to comfort me, no one to restore my spirit…”

Christ Jesus Isaiah 53:3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Matt 26:36-38 …"My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." (NIV)

Matthew 27:46 …Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Patrick needs to know there is an eternal hope.

If Jesus hadn’t been raised from the dead, God would have lost. If Christ wasn’t raised from the dead, death would have won. We would have no hope. Our faith would be worthless, and death would be our end. 1 Corinthians 15:17-22 …But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (NIV)

Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we have eternal life! John 3:14-16 "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, "that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (NKJ)

The fact that the Resurrection occurred, the fact that it is true, gives us hope. “Eternal Hope!”

1 Corinthians 15:50-55, 57 …For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory." "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV)

Patrick needs to know God is the God of the living.

Mark 12:26-27 Now about the dead rising– have you not read in the book of Moses, in the account of the bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!" (NIV)

The world refers to these guys as dead. God refers to them as alive.

Jesus told Martha in John 11:25 “… I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.”

Patrick needs to know the big picture.

2 Corinthians 5:1-10 … We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

Patrick needs to know to have loved greatly is to hurt greatly.

People say, “Don’t cry for me when I’m gone!” I say that I would be upset if no one cries at my funeral. Sure, it’s a coming home celebration day. Sure, I will be in a better place. But I am leaving, and I hope that someone will miss me here on this earth! Why? Because the pain and grief that we will experience at the death of a loved one is proportional to the love that we have for them in this present life.

Therefore… It’s Ok to be sad at his leaving. It’s Ok to mourn.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

Psalms 34:18 “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Romans 8:28 ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.’

Patrick needs to know that he can see his son again.

2 Sam 12:15-23 … And he said, "While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ "But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." (NKJ)

Our loved ones will not be able to come back to us, but because of our faith in the resurrected and redeeming Jesus, we can one day go to be with Him and our loved ones for all of eternity!

Comfort to the Grieving

How many of you have lost loved ones? How many of you are still dealing with the grief of losing them? I want you to think about them for a moment. I am going to play you a song that I feel will capture the words that, if they could, your loved ones would say to you today.

God calls on us to comfort His people, and Jesus even promised us that relief was coming.

He referred to the Holy Spirit He would send as the Comforter.

We’re to lift each other up, to encourage each other. One of the greatest ways in which we can encourage one another is to listen and share in another’s pain.

Isaiah 40:1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.

John 14:26 But the Counselor (“Comforter” in KJV), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…

You will meet Patricks this week, maybe at work or even sitting next to you in church.

PATRICK NEEDS TO KNOW.

Come join us for New Members class at Believers Church. If you have been attending Believers  and are ready to take the next step then this class is for you.

Attend Saturday, 7-24-10 from 9 am-1 pm for the opportunity to learn about membership at Believers! We look forward to hearing from you at the Church office if you will be attending!

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Join Pastor Scott, his Wife, Janet and the Believers Church Staff for Dinner Friday night, July 23rd at 6:30 p.m.

Hear how believers got started, learn about our Vision for furthering God’s Kingdom, and see how your family can get involved! This is a great time of fellowship and a great way to get to know the Believers Church Staff as well as other new attendees at Believers. Call the Church and let us know if you will be joining us!

 

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Resonate – Gwen

July 16th, 2010

Have you ever felt discouraged and maybe a little hopeless? Do you ever feel like you are getting by, but just getting by? Do you feel like you are living in silent desperation? That’s the situation that Gwen found herself in. Join us Sunday at Believes Church at 9 or 11 to discover what Gwen needs to know.

Resonate Gwen Resonate Gwen – Hopelessness / Desperation 07-18-10 Believers Statesboro

When Jesus watched people, what did He see? Matt 9:35-36 “Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” He saw the weary, the scattered and people wondering like sheep without a shepherd.

If He were people watching in the mall today, He would look beyond the busyness and superficial. He would see into the hearts of people. He would see the lonely, overworked and stressed. He would see the divorced person, the person who is grieving the loss of a loved one, and He would see those who are scattered with no direction. Jesus would RESONATE with the people around Him, and that is what He expects us to do.

Hopelessness / Desperation

Do you feel Gwen’s pain? Working hard, trying to do things right, struggling, and not thrilled about how things are going. She is tired, run down, and everyday it’s an effort to put one foot in front of the other to just keep going. It would hard for Gwen to put into words just how she feels. It’s hard for us to adequately describe what Gwen is dealing with. It is a sense of hopelessness and desperation. I think a lot of people are feeling what Gwen feels and are living in silent desperation. You look good on the outside. You have an aura of togetherness. You know all the right things to say to keep up your facade. But on the inside, you are sinking; one step forward and two steps back. You wonder if this is all that life has to offer.

The “New Widows”?

Silent desperation can creep into anyone life, but what if you had to go it alone like Gwen. She is a single mom trying to make ends meet and providing the emotional support for her kids that normally comes from a mom and dad.

We have a social responsibility to care for those who don’t have anyone else, following our Father’s example. Widows and orphans are specific illustrations the Bible uses.

Consider single mothers in our culture… Would you say the kind of situations they face parallel those of the widows we see in Scripture?

James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (1 Timothy 5:5)

Exodus 22:22 Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan.

Hope

Even the sound of that word can lift your spirits when you’re down. Hope keeps you going when life seems to be going nowhere or going in the wrong direction. But, the problem with hope is that it is always based upon uncertainty. We can hope all we like for something, and all the indications may be that it will come true. However, life is unpredictable, and things can change at the last moment to dash all our hopes.

Biblical Hope

In the Bible, however, there is a unique kind of hope that is never a wish. It is always based upon an absolute certainty. You can hope for these things with the utter confidence that they will happen

The world desperately looks for hope. But the gods of this world never satisfy. They never come through for you. Jesus is the only One that can give us a true, enduring, and eternal hope.

Proverbs 23:17-18 Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. (NIV)

1 Tim 4:9-10 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe. (NIV)

What Does Gwen Need to Know?

Gwen needs to know that hope is found In God.

Our ultimate hope must be in God. Our faith sustains us. We should encourage each other, sharing that hope. Jointly knit together, we are a complete body. But our hope does not come from ourselves.

Psalm 25:3a No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame.

Ps 33:18-22 But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you. (NIV)

Psalm 42:5-6a, 11 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and 6a my God. Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

1 Timothy 6:17 17Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

2 Tim 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (NKJ)

Gwen needs to know that, in Christ, she is part of a family.

When we accept Christ, God welcomes us into His family as His adopted sons and daughters. As family, we have an obligation to care for each other, to share our lives with each other—good and bad.

The only way we can fulfill what Christ intended is to carry each other’s burdens.

Matthew 12:48-50 [Jesus] replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

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

Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

1 Timothy 5:8 If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

What Can You Do?

John 15:12-13, 17 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. This is my command: Love each other.

The greatest love that we can show is to lay down our lives. God gave each of us tools to do just that.

We can express our love by reaching out with our unique gifts: whether it’s cooking a meal, cleaning an apartment, caring for someone’s children, repairing a car, giving time or money, even “just” listening.

Rom 12:3-8 …so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

Phil 2:3-4 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

1 Pet 4:9-10 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. (NIV)

You will meet Gwens this week, maybe at work or even sitting next to you in church.

GWEN NEEDS TO KNOW.

Back to School Blast

July 15th, 2010

 

Looking for a great way to spend your Saturday morning serving the children in your community?

Join us at 8:00 a.m. this Saturday, 07-17-10, as we prepare to distribute 500 Book Bags with supplies to thankful children at our “Back to School Blast” at Believers. For more information contact Mike Oglesby or the Church office.

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Resonate Mary PIC

Join us at Believers Church this Sunday, 7-11-10 for Week Two of Resonate. This week – “Mary”, Loneliness and Rejection. An experience with drama, video, teaching, worship, and special music. Again, as is sometimes the norm at Believers, you will see something in church that I doubt you’ve never seen in church before. (Hint: “Space Odyssey).

Resonate Mary – Loneliness and Rejection 07-11-10 Believers Statesboro

When Jesus watched people, what did He see? Matt 9:35-36 “Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.”

He saw the weary. He saw the scattered. He saw people wondering like sheep without a shepherd.

If He were people watching in the mall today, He would look beyond the busyness and superficial. He would see into the hearts of people. He would see the lonely, overworked and stressed. He would see the divorced person, the person who is grieving the loss of a loved one, and He would see those who are scattered with no direction. Jesus would RESONATE with the people around Him, and that is what He expects us to do.

Loneliness and Rejection

Have you ever been surrounded by people, but felt completely alone?

Maybe certain things have happened to you in your life that has caused you to abandon your close relationships. And just when you need someone to pull you through, you look up and you realize….you’re alone. That’s what happened to Mary as a result of her divorce. Whether it was a result of what she did or didn’t do, she still found herself alone. Feeling “replaceable”. Replaced by someone younger and more beautiful. Like Mary, many people feel lonely and rejected. We all desire to have friends and be in healthy relationships. But hurt, loneliness and rejection can bring us to some wrong conclusions that drive us into more seclusion and loneliness.

Craig Groeschel in his book, “Confessions of a Pastor”, describes three Seclusion Conclusions.

Seclusion Conclusion #1 I have to perform for people.

Seclusion Conclusion #2 To survive in life, you can’t trust anyone.

Seclusion Conclusion #3 People really don’t care about me.

We allow these Seclusion Conclusions to harden our hearts still further and to drive us further away from relationships that could have renewed our faith in the goodness of others.[1]

There Is Something That Mary Needs To Know

Mary needs to know that God is faithful.

No matter what wrong we do, what mistakes we make, God offers grace and forgiveness for us.

Many times, our hurts are not the result of things that we have done “wrong”—we simply find ourselves hurt by those to whom we have been vulnerable. But, God is always faithful to us.

Hallmark has a card that fits the mood of our time by saying, "I can’t promise you forever, but I can promise you today." That’s about as deep a commitment as some are willing to make.

But in contrast to that, the Bible says that God is love, and also that love never fails.

Exodus 34:6 And [the Lord] passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness…”

Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.

(Also see: Deuteronomy 32:4 / Psalm 100:5 / Ps 36:5 / 1 Corinthians 1:9)

In a world of broken promises, it’s good to know that God keeps all of His promises. Heb 10:23 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”

Mary needs to know that she has a new friend in Christ Jesus.

Proverbs 18:24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (NIV)

This friend is Christ Jesus, a man who understands exactly what Mary is going though.

Isaiah 53:3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (NIV)

Jesus, who understands how Mary feels, who is willing to be her friend, and who is closer than a brother wants Mary to be His friend. John 15:15 “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” (NIV)

Mary can be Jesus’ friend, and she can sense true belonging. Romans 1:6 And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. She belongs to the Lord. (Rom 14:8)

Mary needs to know that God never leaves us alone.

Human beings are fallible. It’s inevitable that even those closest to us will eventually let us down.

When we open ourselves to others and then meet firsthand the hurt of rejection, loneliness is a common, even natural, emotional response. But the Scriptures are clear: God’s Holy Spirit lives within us when we receive Him. Where people can’t fill the gap, He already has.

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

(Also see John 14:26-27 / 2 Cor 1:3-5 / Hebrews 13:5)

Mary needs to know that she doesn’t have to perform.

If you have become a performer because you are lonely or feel rejected by people, listen to the words of Paul in Galatians 1:10: Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. (NIV)

You don’t have to please men, you just have to please God. You don’t have to live for others, you just have to live for God. Mary needs to surrender her life to God and God alone.

Mary needs to know that God loves her and cares for her no matter what kind of external show she puts on. Like Mary, none of us can do anything to make God love us more, and we can’t do anything to make Him love us less. If we don’t have to perform for God, we certainly don’t have to perform for people. We don’t have to earn God’s acceptance. Instead, we just have to be empowered by the Holy Spirit with a goal to please Him alone because He has already accepted us! We are not who others say we are… we are who God says we are. God’s opinion of us is the only opinion that matters.

Mary needs to know that she can trust again.

In the quest for self-protection, maybe you have stopped trusting people. You have put up walls around you and posted “No Trespassing” signs everywhere. You now need to forgive and trust again. Everything worth having is worth taking risk for. God has wired you for relationships, and you have a deep need in your life for them. Proverbs 18:24 “A man who has friends must himself be friendly…” It is time to reach out again and make new friend. Maybe you can find someone else who is lonely and needs a friend and both of you can learn to trust again.

Mary needs to know that people do care.

This is where we all come in. As we resonate with people, we need to release the flow of divine love.

When someone falls down, how sad it can be if no one is there to pick them up. But when we have friends, we can join together to find strength. People need our friendship. People need to see our love and care in action. Our love and care for others should be reflected in our prayers for others.

Ephesians 1:17-19a I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

You will meet Marys this week, maybe at work or even sitting next to you in church.

MARY NEEDS TO KNOW.


[1] Craig Groeschel, Confessions of a Pastor, Multnomah Publishers, Colorado Springs, CO: (2006), p. 65-69

 

Resonate Life Group Discussion Guide • Week One – People

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Resonate is a production of Erwin Brothers Motion Pictures in association with Student Life. Some discussion material was developed by Brannon Golden in association with Sermon Cinema.

This “Resonate” series will lead believers towards acknowledging and accepting their responsibility as parts of the Body of Christ. We will be encouraged to resonate with those around us and feel what they feel. As we express love and concern for others, we believe that they will begin to resonate with the love of Christ Jesus within us and be drawn to discover salvation and eternal hope.

Compassion

Matt 9:35-36

35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.

It was upon seeing the crowds and their plight that Jesus was moved to compassion.

  • In your own words, how would you describe or define “compassion”?

Compassion literally means to “suffer together.” Jesus felt their pain directly, and He shared in it.

Compassion – Sorrow or pity, sympathetic, tender, responsive.

Compassion seems to center on the needs of others.

  • When was the last time that you actually “hurt” for someone else?

Could you share that experience with the group?

  • If we believe we are to follow Christ’s example to a hurting world, what does that mean for us?

Matt 9:37-38 Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. "Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest."

Sunday’s Homework asked you to identify three people this week that need to know that God loves them and offer them hope and a future.

  • Who are those people, and how can you resonate better with them?

· Who do you know right now who’s going through something difficult?

· What do they need to know?

  • If you don’t know of anyone right now, how can you find someone?

Compassion = Love in Action

“…Whatever you did for… the least of these… you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)

When God’s love engages, it becomes active:

He loved, He sent, He gave, He sought, He saved, He healed, He bound up, He delivered, He went.

Just feeling it doesn’t count, unless it moves us to action.

  • What action steps can you take this week to let the people around you know that you really care about them?
  • Is there something you can do immediately?

Resonate

Take a good long look at the people who are around you.

Do you resonate with them?

Do you feel what they feel?

Can you sense what they are going through?

Let us be the “Remedy”.