TOXIC Easter Sunday 03-31-13

March 28th, 2013

 

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“Toxic” begins on Easter Sunday! Our lives without Christ Jesus are Toxic. Toxic to ourselves and toxic to others!

“Toxic”-anything containing poisonous material capable of causing sickness or even death. On Easter Sunday we will celebrate the resurrection of Christ Jesus from the dead! The only way that our lives can be purified from sin and toxins is through the resurrection power of Jesus working in us! Join us at Believers Church at 9 or 11 AM.

Free Believers Church wristbands will be given out while they last!

This Is Love

The church sanctuary will be open Friday from 6 AM  until 4 PM for you to come by for Prayer and Communion, and then join us Friday evening at 7 PM for “THIS IS LOVE”. Childcare will be provided for children ages 3 and under.

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Listen or watch online @ http://believersstatesboro.com/home/online-sermons/

Jesus Came To Seek and Save the Lost

Luke 19:1-10 "…for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." (NIV)

Lost People Matter to God

In Luke 15:1-24, we find Jesus hanging out with a group of irreligious people and He is being criticized for it. “How can the Son of a Holy God associate with such unholy people?” “People that God surely has no use for.” In a very strong and deliberate way, Jesus answers their questions by telling not one, but three parables back to back to demonstrate just how God feels about lost people.

Lost Sheep Luke 15:3-7

Lost Coin Luke 15:8-10

Lost Son Luke 15:11-24

Next Step: Pray that Jesus will give me a heart for lost people.

Common Threads

1. “Something of great value was lost.”

2. “The lost item was so valuable that it warranted an all-out search.”

3. “There was great rejoicing when the lost item was found.”

Full House

Luke 14:12-23 …‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame’… ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. (NIV)

“Every number is a person and every person has a story.” Every number represents a person who Jesus loves enough to die for and seek out.

The Triumphant Entry

Luke 19:35-40 / John 12:13 (NIV)

Jesus Wept

Luke 19:41-44 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it…

We often overlook this part of the story that says Jesus wept and by every indication, the crowds didn’t notice it either. It’s easy to get caught up in the rejoicing and not notice what Jesus is feeling.

As Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it. The Greek word used here for wept suggests the kind of soul wracking, gut wrenching, teeth gritting sobbing.

· It’s the same word used when Jesus weeps at the tomb of Lazarus. (John 11:33)

· Mary Magdalene’s cries at Jesus’ tomb. (John 20:10-11)

· Peter’s “bitter” weeping after he denied Jesus and heard the rooster crow. (Luke 22:60-62)

· John wept bitterly when he thought that no one was worthy to open the scroll of God. (Rev 5:2-5)

Jesus wept violently for the people of Jerusalem.

44b …because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you." (NIV)

(…because you did not know the time of your visitation.” NKJ)

Listen. Can you hear the cries of the lost in our city?

People who are missing their visitation from God?

A lost city grieves me. And like Jesus, I feel God’s pain. These things make me weep.

Our challenge and call isn’t that we will have to lay down our life as a sacrifice so that the lost of our city can be saved. Jesus has already paid the price once and for all.

Our challenge and our call is that we live our lives in a way that will allow as many as possible to

be saved.

We are to live our lives in such a way that we won’t hinder the lost from being found.

We are to live our lives in such a way that it will be hard for anyone in our city to go to hell.

We are to live sacrificial lives, seeking the valuable lost ones, and making sure that the

Master’s House is full.

How you live your life will make a difference. You will either help or hinder Jesus’ mission to seek and save the lost.

Jesus came “to seek and to save that which was lost.” Why, because lost people matter to God. Therefore it warrants an all-out search on our part.

Will you:

‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’

‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.’

Next Step: Seek the lost and introduce them to Christ Jesus, their Savior.

Community Group or Family Devotional Questions

  1. On a scale of 1-10, how much do lost people really matter to you? How do you get your love and concern to increase?
  1. On a scale of 1-10, rate yourself on how much you seek and search for the lost? Give me one “plan of action” that you can implement this week to seek out the lost.
  1. On a scale of 1-10, rate yourself on how much you rejoice when the lost are found? Why don’t we rejoice more? How can we increase our joy over salvations?
  1. Do you pray for God’s House to be full? James tells us that faith without works is dead. What action step will you take this week to help fill God’s house?
  1. Ask the Lord to open your Spiritual ears so that you can hear the cries of our city. Ask Him to break your heart for what breaks His.

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Jesus came to seek and save the lost, in fact we see throughout the Bible that Jesus continually surrounded Himself with lost people. How do you feel about lost people? When Jesus entered Jerusalem at the Triumphant Entry, others were rejoicing but He was weeping for the lost. Do you weep for lost people as Jesus wept? God loves seeing His people showing love and compassion for lost people. This brings Him joy and because lost people matter to God, He wants to see His House full! This Sunday we are celebrating Palm Sunday.  Join us at 9 or 11 AM as we talk about why we should make God’s House a Full House!

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Join us tonight at 7 PM as we welcome a very special guest speaker, Lale Lubuko.

Lale Labuko is the Founder and heart behind OMO CHILD. He was born into the Kara Tribe in the Omo River Valley in Southwest Ethiopia. He was one of the first of his tribe to receive a formal education. This opportunity led Lale to realize the critical importance of ending the tribal ritual of Mingi. He believes he can best help his tribe through education and developing humanitarian support to overcome their many hardships.

Lale lost two sisters to Mingi. Outlawing – and stopping – this devastating practice of Mingi is his life’s mission.

Through the efforts of Lale and your support 38 children now have been rescued and placed in the Omo Home in Jenka.  Believers Church has helped rescue and support these children. Come tonight to learn more about the OMO Child Organization, its successes, challenges, and how we as a church can continue to help. www.OMOCHILD.org

 

BELIEVING KIDS bring your baskets for an “EGG-STRA” Special Hunt! YOUTH get ready to meet in the GARAGE for Social Hour for worship, study and lots of fun!

Slide1 HoUSe  Open House  03-17-13 Watch or Listen online @ http://believersstatesboro.com/home/online-sermons/.

If Jesus had a physical house here on the earth, I’m sure it would have had one of those signs in the front yard that read “Open House”. Jesus was very open and hospitable to people. He called out to a bunch of unschooled ruffians and said, “Follow Me.” He hung out with the religious and the irreligious. He was often times found eating dinner at someone’s house. He broke protocol when He talked a woman at a well in Samaria and Jesus was even known to invite Himself over as He did with the tax collector Zacchaeus. Jesus taught us, as believers, that in order to bear fruit we must abide in Him and hang out with Him. Jesus even found time to take up children in His arms and bless them. I think it’s safe to say that Jesus loved people. Jesus has an open door policy and His House is an open house.

People Need Friends

People aren’t just looking for a friendly church… people are looking for friends.

People like small churches… or is it that people just desire small groups?

The average church in America is 90 -100 because we have a social and emotional capacity limit. Above 60-70 people, our ability to care, love and know begins to diminish. Therefore, we either intentionally or unintentionally remain small for the sake of friendships.

Social Channel Capacity

Group of 5 people You have to keep track of 10 separate relationships: Your relationships with the four others in your circle. And six other two-way relationships between the others. That’s what it means to know everyone in your circle.

Group of 20 people You now have to track 190 two-way relationships. 19 involving yourself and 171 involving the rest of the group. That’s a five-fold increase in your group, but a twenty-fold increase in the amount of information needed to “know” the other members of the group.

Humans socialize in the largest groups of all primates because we are the only animals with a brain large enough to handle the complexities of that social arrangement.

Neocortex ratio: The size of the neocortex relative to the size of the brain spits out the expected maximum group size of the animal. The Homo sapiens estimated group size was 147.8 – or roughly 150.

150 represent the maximum number of individuals with whom we can have a genuinely social relationship.

150 or less is the magic number in order to keep and maintain a sense of unity.

That’s Why People Fear Church Growth

When we at Believers Church left the Recreation Department and moved into our new building and increased well over 150 people; some felt that something was different. They didn’t seem to know everybody anymore. They feared losing the sense of family. Some wanted to go back to the Recreation Department days.

But during the 1st year in our new location with the larger number of people, we witnessed 115 salvations.

What were we supposed to do with them? Turn them away so that everybody could still know everyone

by name?

Churches less than 150 – 200 people are struggling.

Research and experience tells us that pastoring a church of less than 150 people is the most difficult church to pastor. All of its energy and focus is just in surviving. You can’t pay the staff, the pastor is overworked, not enough volunteers, you can hardly afford to build a building, not enough teens to have a dynamic youth group and the children’s program is a challenge due to lack of staff and volunteers.

Church attendance is declining in America. Only 41 percent of the people of America attend church regularly. Why is that, if the data shows that the church will provide people what they desperately are seeking? It offers them a sense of family, a place to belong. Community. One of the problems is that these small churches are too tight. They love intensely but they limit their love to only a few. A “Closed House”. “No Vacancy”. Attempting to preserve what they have, they treat guests as outsiders, a threat to what they have. Let’s face it, most of these churches, though made up of saved, God-fearing people that love one another, aren’t fulfilling the Great Commission. They are not reaching a lost and dying world. Rick Warren said, “A church that has no interest at all in increasing its number of converts is, in essence, saying to the rest of the world, “You all can go to hell.” So, as long as there is one unsaved person out there, the church has a mandate to grow!

So what are we to do?

Subdivide the church every time it reaches 150 people? Then, we would have several small churches that are hard to pastor and would probably be very ineffective in building the Kingdom of God.

Should we have to sacrifice church growth for the sake of church unity and closeness?

Jesus Has the Answer

Mark 6:30-44 "You give them something to eat."

Jesus’ Plan to Feed and Care for Many People

39 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass.

(Divide them into groups. Jesus created small groups and in a comfortable setting.)

40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. (< 150 people)

41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.

Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. Jesus uses His disciples to distribute life to others. I don’t have much. But if I give it to Jesus, He will bless it, break it, and then I can use it to bless other people. All I have is a place to meet… All I know how to do is cook… I just want to share about what God taught me in this great book… All I know how to do is knit.

The Results

42 They all ate and were satisfied,

43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish.

44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand. (NIV)

Matt 18:20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." (NIV)

When people get involved in a Life Group they will make long lasting friendships. They will be discipled and they will be fed and cared for.

NEXT STEP: Make an aggressive effort to attend a Life Group or other events that will allow “US” to come together in Jesus’ name. (Matt 18:20)

I Need You

I lost my ability to feed and care for everyone in this church a long time ago. "You give them something to eat."

I need the “US” in the hoUSe to rise up, open up, and begin to care for one another.

It’s in an environment of Community Groups and Life Groups that Christ Jesus’ love can be experienced.

When we continue to be an “Open House” type people, Jesus can feed and care for people through us.

NEXT STEP: Take what I have, give it to Jesus and allow Him to bless it, and I will begin to feed and care for others.

People Have a Need to Belong

Behave – Believe – Belong vs Belong – Believe – Behave

Baptism Is a Public Declaration of Your Belonging

…13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body – whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.”

1 Cor. 12:12-14 (NIV)

Community Group or Family Devotional Questions

  1. Do you agree with this statement? “People aren’t just looking for a friendly church… people are looking for friends.”
  1. How can we as the “US” in God’s HoUSe be more open and hospitable to others?
  1. Compare how you receive and treat guests into your home, to the way you receive and treat guests into your church? Is there a difference and if so, why? How can you change that?
  1. What little do you have in your hand (two fish and five loaves) that Jesus could bless, and you could begin to use to feed and care for others? Are you willing to do that?
  1. According to Matthew 18:20 have you realized that Jesus has been and is with you in this Community Group or during your family devotional times as you group together in Jesus’ name?

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If Jesus had a physical house here on the earth, I’m sure it would have had one of those signs in the front yard that read “Open House”. Jesus was very open and hospitable to people. He called out to a bunch of unschooled ruffians and said, “Follow Me.” He hung out with the religious and the irreligious. He was often times found eating dinner at someone’s house. He broke protocol when He talked to a woman at a well in Samaria and Jesus was even known to invite Himself over as He did with the tax collector Zacchaeus. Jesus taught us, as believers, that in order to bear fruit we must abide in Him and hang out with Him. Jesus even found time to take up children in His arms and bless them. I think it’s safe to say that Jesus loved people. Jesus has an open door policy and His House is an open house.

Join us Sunday at 9 or 11 AM to find out what it means when the “US” in God’s HoUSe welcomes others just as Jesus did! We will also celebrate with several people as they publicly declare that they have given their lives to Christ through Water Baptism.

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Tonight we start reading in 1st Timothy. We will get a chance to see Paul’s opening remarks to someone who is truly dear to him, Timothy, a young man he calls his son. In these opening remarks Paul gives instructions for how the church is to function and how to deal with older men in the church who are being rebellious and teaching false doctrine. What would you do if you were in Timothy’s shoes and under the weight of such a great responsibility? Would you just leave, would you sulk, or would you trust Jesus to get you through? Join us at 7 PM for this discussion.

 

 

WAS WOW

Believing Kids continue W.O.W  with tonight’s theme, “Let Your Light Shine!”

Kids bring your flashlights! YOUTH will meet in the GARAGE!

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HoUSe “Forgiven House” Believers Statesboro 03-10-13 Watch or listen online at http://believersstatesboro.com/home/online-sermons/ .

What makes a house, a home? It isn’t the furniture or the rooms, the walls or the roof. There’s much more to a home than just the physical structure. The interesting thing about a house is that when it is on the market it is just wood and stone, just a structure. But when a family moves into that house it becomes a home. When it comes to the House of God, the same thing is true. As a matter of fact, just looking at the word “house” you see that it must have a “US” in the middle of it. Without “US” there is no house.

Members of God’s Household Ephesians 2:18-22 …Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of God’s household, … (NIV)

Living Stones a Spiritual House 1 Peter 2:4-10

Jesus’ House Hebrews 3:1-6 …But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house… (NIV)

A House of Unity is Good and Pleasant Psalm 133:1-3 (NIV)

Unity Busters Gossip Ephesians 41:29 / A Critical Spirit Romans 14:10-13 / Romans 14:19

Selfish Ambition James 3:14-18 / Philippians 2:3

In John 17 Jesus prayed for us to have unity, he desires for us to walk in unity and it would appear to me that if we walk in unity or if we don’t walk in unity is now dependent on “US”.

Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness

Love – 1 Peter 1:22

Acceptance – Romans 15:7 Acceptance is not turning a deaf ear and a blind eye to sin and allowing everyone to do what they want to do. God’s Word is very clear on what is morally right and morally wrong. We accept the person, not the sin or wrong actions. 1 Corinthians 5:11-13

Forgiveness – We have talked about forgiveness many times and we know that it is something that Jesus requires us to do. But today I want to focus on the forgiving one another when we are offended. Due to human nature there is no way we can “do life together” without occasionally offending someone or being offended by someone. But we are family, we don’t run, we don’t divorce, we stick together and work things out. The “US” in the House of God must forgive and reconcile when offended.

How Do You Keep From Offending Others?

  1. Stop talking about people and start talking to people. Ephesians 4:29 “according to their needs.”
  1. Clean up the damage by asking forgiveness. Matthew 5:23-24

NEXT STEP: Go in love and humility and ask forgiveness of those I have offended.

What Do You Do When You’ve Been Offended?

Proverbs 18:19 A brother wronged is more unyielding than a fortified city; disputes are like the barred gates of

a citadel.

1. Forgive the offender. – This is not an option it is a command from Christ Jesus.

Matthew 6:14-15 / Colosians 3:12

2. In Love and Humility Confront the Offender. Matt 18:15-17 “just between the two of you.”

3. Practice the Luke 6 Revolution! Luke 6:27-28 Love them. / Do good to them. / Bless them. /

Pray for them.

NEXT STEP: Go in love and humility and talk to those who have offended me.

What If You Get the Goods on Somebody and Find Out That They Are In Sin?

1. Apply Matthew 18:15-18 as well.

2. Start the Restoration Process. God is in the Restoration Business and we should be too. Gal 6:1 /

James 5:19-20 “There but by the grace of God go I." John Bradford

Talking Up the Offense of Another

Sharing your hurts and bitterness with your friends is another area that leads to problems. Proverbs 17:9 /

James 4:6 / 2 Cor 2:10-11

I’m amazed how quickly we take sides when the “He said, She said” starts.

Don’t be quick to take up an offense; don’t be quick to take up a reproach against your friends.

When we are hurt by someone, the only person we have a right to go to with that hurt is God.

· He is the only one that can do anything about it.

· If you are really at a loss and don’t know what to do then you should take your problem to a counselor not “your favorite person to talk to.”

It is our church and our house that Jesus has built for “US”. If we walk in unity, unoffended, and forgiven, that will be determined by us. If we don’t walk in unity, we walk offended and offending others, and not forgiving one another, that is up to “US” too.

NEXT STEP: Memorize HoUSe Rule 1419 (ie. Romans 14:19)

HoUSe Rule 1419:

Romans 14:19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual

edification. (NIV)

Community Group or Family Devotional Questions

1. What do you think about Believers’ commitment to be a church of “Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness? In your own words explain what this means. Do you think that people can misunderstand it and think that Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness is a license to sin with no accountability?

2. What two things are we to do to keep from offending others? How do you see these two steps helping us?

3. How hard is it to forgive someone who has offended you and why is it so difficult?

4. Why do people tend to talk bad about someone who offended them rather than lovingly confront

the offender?

5. What is the Luke 6 Revolution? How will that change our world?

Jesus is in the restoration business and we should be also.

Water Baptism, 3-17-13

March 11th, 2013

Looking forward to a great celebration of our salvation with water baptism this Sunday, March 17th!

There is still room for more, if you would like to be water baptized as well. Just call us at the church office and let us know. (681-1440)

As a child of God, it is important to follow Jesus’ example and be baptized in water. Baptism is an outward expression of what has already occurred in our heart and is the next step that Jesus asks us to take after salvation.

"He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned”

Mark 16:16.

“Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” Acts 2:38.

If you have not been baptized, I highly encourage you to be water baptized. It will be a significant spiritual event in your life that you will treasure forever. This is your Next Step after salvation. As you make the decision to be baptized, we rejoice with you as you publicly declare, “I am now a new creation in Christ Jesus, the old has passed away and all things are new! I am now baptized into the Body of Christ Jesus. I am part of His family!”New Baptism Pic