70sOh the 70’s.   A Decade that took us from Hippies to Country Rock to Disco!  A time of advancing Technology and Muscle Cars!  Classic movies such as Jaws, Deliverance, and Saturday Night Fever!  A time of searching for stairways to heaven or imagining that there was no heaven or hell.  In the midst of it all, TRUTH emerged and we even learned a few things about Church!

As technology advanced, fashion and entertainment soared in popularity, so did a desire to have more money and more material things.  Times weren’t always good.  We lived through the oil embargo, a stock market spike and crash, and inflation!

Last week we talked about searching for a “Heart of Gold” and the search for authenticity in the 70’s.  A desire and search that still goes on today for many people.  That love for truth, realness, and authenticity never left me.  That’s why in 2001 when we started Believers Church our Mission statement declared that we would: Teach, encourage, and inspire Authentic Christianity to the people of Statesboro, Bulloch County, and surrounding areas.

Now if you really want an acid test for Authentic Christianity… join us this Sunday at 9 or 11 a.m. as we talk about “Generosity.”

 

 

things i learned 70s 02.22The 60’s came to a close leaving most of us confused or disillusioned with our society and the American Dream.  We stumbled into the 70’s not really knowing what to expect next.  But one thing for sure there was a strong sense of distrust and a sense of leeriness, only to be reinforced by things like “Watergate”.  For many people there was a real desire to discover someone with a “Heart of Gold”, someone or something we could trust.  And like many of us still do today, we searched for truth, sincerity, and authenticity.

Join us this Sunday at 9 am or 11 am as Pastor Scott shares what he learned about church in the 70’s when it came to authenticity and how it applies to our lives today.

02-15-15 CHANGE Promo

 

CHANGE        “Keep the Change”                Believers Statesboro                      02-15-15

 Hokey Pokey People

Do you remember this?  “You put your right foot in, put your right foot out, put your right foot in and shake it all about.  You do the hokey-pokey, and you turn yourself around.  That’s what it’s all about.”

You know, when it comes to change; when it comes to transforming our lives, isn’t it true that a lot of us just kind of do the hokey-pokey, and we don’t really get involved in deep and everlasting change?

Isn’t it so true?  We change the exterior as opposed to the interior.

We all have things in our lives that need to change. ireallywant2change.com. But, I can’t change.  The true beginning of change occurs when we admit, “I can’t change.”

What We Cover, God Uncovers

Proverbs 28:13a (NIV) “He who conceals his sins does not prosper,”

Cover Up Game Rules

  1. Blame others. Generation excusers and blaming boomers.
  2. Get as many sinful sympathizers as you can.
  3. We lie to God.  Then, we lie to others.

What We Uncover, God Covers

Proverbs 28:13b (NIV) “…but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”

The key to change is inviting the change agent into our lives.  It’s uncovering our sins and short comings.

It’s confessing our sin.  It’s agreeing with God about our condition.

Confession

When we confess our stuff to God, it’s not surprising God. When I confess, I’m agreeing with God.  I’m saying, “God, you’re right in declaring my behavior as sin, and I’m wrong in my desire to do it.”

Repentance

We do a 180, which is repentance, and we go the opposite direction by God’s power.

Obedience to the Holy Spirit

Galatians 5:25 (NASB) “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”

 The Spin Cycle of Success

Change / Conflict / Growth   Now, when I said “spin cycle,” don’t confuse that with the hokey-pokey.

And we have a choice here.  We either bail out right before the breakthrough or we don’t.  Isn’t it true that a lot of people bail out because of the resistance or conflict?  “Wow, it’s hard!  I’m just going to [singing] put my right foot in, take my right foot out, put my right foot in and shake it all about.  I’ll do the hokey-pokey, I’ll turn myself around, I will.  That’s what it’s all about.  See ya!”

God’s Perspective

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; (NKJ)

Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (NIV)

Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is– his good, pleasing and perfect will.  (NIV)

The battlefield, the venue, the stadium of this change element is in the mind.  “CHANGE” it’s basically an accumulation of choices and decisions.

God’s Priorities

My priorities are set for me by God’s Word. Also God wants me to have a persistence that I live by as I defer to Him. Proverbs 3:6 “…in all your ways acknowledge him.”  “Wait a minute, Scott.  You’re talking about my dating relationship?”  Yeah, in all your ways.  “You’re talking about my sex life?”  In all your ways.  “You’re talking about my finances?”  In all your ways acknowledge him.

Now, the word “acknowledge” is not like, “Hey, what’s up?  Yeah, Jesus is my homeboy.”  No, it’s not; it’s not that stuff.  It’s a deep, intimate relationship with the Lord. It is walking in sync with him.

In other words, I’ve got to line up under God’s priorities in all my ways.  “Acknowledge”  “An intimate knowledge of God.”  And when you see the word “acknowledge” in Scripture, usually it’s used in the context of submission.

My Outcome

Proverbs 3:6 “… and he will make your paths straight.” or you could read here “blessed,” or “He’ll pour out his supernatural favor upon your life.”  This is more than guidance here, this is God smoothing or paving our path for us.  “He’ll make our paths straight” or “direct.”

But again, we’ve got to talk about the perspective thing. 2 Kings 6

  • We meet a dude who was covered up. He didn’t know he was confused.  He didn’t know he had a whack perspective, but he did. His name?  Elisha’s servant.  Not Eli-jah; but Eli-sha.
  • They were in Dothan. I’m talking about over in the Middle East, not in the Deep South.
  • And the enemy had surrounded Elisha, God’s man of the hour.
  • Well, obviously, Elisha’s servant got up early to, you know, look around. He was sipping his morning coffee, and he saw this army surrounding where they were living.  He could see the shields and the spears and everything reflecting in the morning sun.  And he began to freak out.  He was thinking, “Okay, it’s over.” Well, he woke up Elisha, and here’s what Elisha said.

2 Kings 6:17 “‘O Lord, open his eyes, so he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”

That’s a prayer that we should pray.

  • So often, we feel like we have a warped perspective.
  • So often, we’re going through the conflict; so often, we don’t know which way is up. “Lord, open my eyes. I want to see the way you see this situation, the way you see this conflict, the way you see this ordeal, the way you see this temptation, I want to see like you see.”

Keep the Change

Well, here’s the question I want to ask you, though.  How do you keep the change?

(People say, “Keep the change, man. Keep the change.”)  We keep the change by the revolve.

REVOLVE Your Life Around The Local Church

(Family, career, friendships, etc.)

Do you know what the word “revolve” means?  The word “revolve” means “to be centered.”

I’ve got to revolve my life around something.  We’re all revolving our lives around something.  I mean, don’t act like you’re not; we all are.  What are you revolving your life around?

Matthew 16:18 (NKJV) “Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”

 Matthew 7:24 “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

  • So I need to revolve my life around the rock. I need to be centered.  The rock is Jesus.  The rock is the church, the body of Christ.  So what Jesus gave his life for is what I should give my life to—the church.

 

  • The Bible says our lives are containers, dwelling places for God himself. See this sand right here in this container?  This sand represents everything in your life and mine, all the decisions, all the choices, all the stuff we do.  “Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.”

 

  • Jesus said we need to build our lives on the rock. That’s the foundation.  He said a man built his house on the rock, Matthew 7.  The storms came, the house stood.

 

  • Then he said another guy—he called him a foolish man—built his house on the sand. The foundation was the sand.  And the storms struck, and it just messed his house up.  Blew it away.

 

Are you revolving your life around the rock or sand?

All the sand is all the stuff that we do, what we say, what we think, what we feel.

  • A lot of people will go, “Okay, okay, man, this is me. I mean, I’m the sandman / sand woman, and I understand that Jesus is the rock, the church.  And I’ll just go ahead and fit the church in after everything else.”
    • But that’s not going to work. And you wonder why your life seems to be overcommitted and over-stimulated and over-the-top.
    • Could it be that you’re revolving your life; could it be that you’re building your house on the foundation of sand?

I’m telling you, it’s not going to work this way.

  • Most of us really don’t revolve our lives around the local church. We say we do, but we don’t.
  • Most of us are just doing the hokey-pokey, “Right foot in, right foot out, right foot in, shake it all about. I’ll do the hokey-pokey and turn myself around.  That’s what it’s all about.”

 

We’ve got to revolve our lives around the church.  So every time I have a decision, every time I have a calendar question, I need to ask myself, “Am I revolving my life around the rock or sand?”

  • “Do I follow this extracurricular activity on the weekend? Is that the first thing on my agenda?
  • Or take this trip / golf tournament / go hunting with the group of guys?

 

No wonder your life isn’t working!  No wonder you’re not on that direct path!  No wonder you’re not really revolving around something that matters.

INVOLVE Yourself in the Local Church

(It’s more than just programs; it’s lifestyle)

We’re to involve ourselves within the context of the local church.  We’re to serve.  We feed ourselves and others.  That is where spiritual depth occurs.      Diet and exercise.

  • I’ve got to eat right. But then also, I’ve got to exercise.
  • I’ve got to feed on the bread of life, and then I’m ready for action, A-C-T-I-O-N. I need to serve.

And if you’re not serving, you’re swerving.  If you’re not serving, the body of Christ is incomplete.

1 Peter 2:4-5 “As you come to him, a living stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

It pains the heart of God to see people that matter to him swerving, not serving, doing the hokey-pokey and not really revolving their lives around the rock and not involving themselves in the local church.

 

NEXT STEP:  Honestly answer this question.  Are you swerving or serving?

 

Matthew 6:33  “But seek first the kingdom of God (THE ROCK) and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”  (NKJ)

  • Check out what can happen in every life if we make this choice.

A calendar question happens, an opportunity.  And instead of just jumping on it and going, “Yeah, I want to do that.  Yeah, that’s cool.  Yeah, I’m going to go there,”—now and then that’s fine—but we’ve got to look at the rock.

 

  • It’s the rock first. It’s Jesus first.  It’s building His house first.  It’s being a living stone first.

 

  • Then all the other choices and decisions can fill up around the rock after I build my life on the –rock

Only when I build my life on the rock; only when I revolve and involve my life on the rock can I truly play in the sand and enjoy the sand.

 

You can’t really enjoy the sand until you first start with the rock.

Do a quick panoramic view, a quick one.  Think about:

  • Education is fine and dandy.  But education does not support and highlight the transcendent values taught in Scripture.  It doesn’t do it.
  • Government? Surely, the government will take care of me.  Surely, the government will do it.
  • Arts? How about the arts?  Yeah, surely, the arts will underscore and highlight those transcendent values.  Generally speaking, no.
  • Media? Surely…Hmm, not really.

 

There’s only one institution that highlights and underscores the transcendent values from Scripture.

  • It’s the rock. It’s the local church.
  • Revolve your life around it, unashamedly. Involve your life in it.
  • Revolve your marriage around it / relationships / friendships / dates around the church.
    • Make sure your children, junior-high students and high-school students are here for age-appropriate teaching.
      • Because when the roof caves in; when the storm strikes, the traveling softball team is not going to deliver the goods that you need during that time.

 

  • When the rogue winds strike and when the storms hit, the football team, the trip, the foursome you play golf with, or the people who you play tennis with at the country club—they don’t have the stuff that you need, only the church.

 

So, what Jesus gave his life for is what we should give our lives to.

  • When you do, the change that will take place; the transformation that you will see;
  • The energy that you will save and that you will allow God to be your focus; you’ll walk on a direct path, a straight path. You’re not going to swerve; you’re going to serve.

 

EVOLVE

So, revolve, involve.  And then here’s what will result from that: you will evolve; you’ll change. Because the Christian life is a step, followed by a process.  Next Steps.

 

What’s the Next Step for You?

  • Connection with Christ
  • Baptism (Next Baptism 3/15/15)
  • Start Sharing Your Faith
  • Newcomers Lunch
  • New Members Class
  • First Serve Class
  • Life Groups
  • Volunteering / Serving (MINISTRY FAIR IN THE FOYER TODAY!)
  • Outreaches / SERVE THE BORO all through March.
  • Palm Sunday / Good Friday Choir (Rehearsal on Tuesdays at 6:30 PM)

These are Things that will Get You Connected to the House

 

Ephesians 2:19-21  (NIV)  “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20  built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.”

 

Everywhere you turn, there’s a place for you.  You are living stones, a part of God’s house, the body of Christ.  Without you, the body of Christ is missing something.  It’s incomplete.

 

You know, I decided to change the lyrics on the hokey-pokey song?  And here are the new lyrics.

Put your new self in, throw your old self out.

Put your new self in and you shake it all about.

You do the hokey-pokey, and God will turn your life around.

That’s what it’s all about!”

 

Connecting with others to recognize areas to change and equipping yourself to keep the change.

 

Life Group and Family Devotional Application

  1. For Lasting Change we are to revolve ourselves around the Local Church. How well do you do that or is the church at the bottom your priority list?  What could people do to move the church to the top of their priorities?

 

  1. For Lasting Change we are to involve ourselves in the Local Church. How are you doing that?

What suggestions do you have to help people truly involve themselves in the church?

 

  1. Are you swerving or serving? In light of Matt 7:24 and Matt 6:33, if you are not serving, why not?

 

  1. The result of Revolving and Involving is Evolving! How have you evolved during the CHANGE Series?

 

  1. Have you shared your positive change story at www.ireallywant2change.com?

 

02-15-15 CHANGE Promo

When it comes to change, it’s great to start the process.  And the start of change is when we connect with the true change agent, Jesus Christ, and begin to walk down the path He leads.

But as we change we must understand that along with change comes conflict; and when we work through the conflict, we experience amazing growth.

But what’s next?  How can we hope to maintain the changes we make as life moves forward?

Join us this Sunday as we reveal some very practical steps we need to take if we hope to keep the change.  Because when it comes to the process that is change, we must continue building on the foundation Christ has laid before us.

Ministry Fair Sunday, 02.15.15

February 12th, 2015

Minstry Fair1

Sunday morning take time to check out what our Ministries have to offer here at Believers!

You will be able to meet our Ministry Leaders and also sign up to  “First Serve”.  The Ministry Fair will be after each service this Sunday.

One Hour on Wednesday 7 PM

February 11th, 2015

Revelation

Tonight at  7:00 p.m. is One Hour on Wednesday! We are studying the Book of Revelation and reading and learning what is revealed to John. Last week we stopped as all of Heaven fell silent for half an hour as the seventh seal as opened.  Join us tonight as we find out what the seventh seal holds. See you then!

 

02-08 Promo

 

CHANGE       Changing Lanes                          Believers Statesboro                02-08-15

Adapted from Ed Young

 

God is the agent of change.  Significant, supernatural change.  Change, Conflict, Growth.

 

In Matthew 7 Jesus talks about the results of lives that change and the results of those that don’t change.

  • Thirteen percent of Christ’s words were about eternity.
  • Two-thirds of all of his parables were about heaven and hell type issues.
  • Jesus, in Matthew 7, is talking about heaven and hell.

We don’t like to talk about hell.  We’ve taken this noun and turned it into an adjective: “That was a hell of a game.”  “My golf game has gone to hell.”  We never take other terms or other tragedies and use them in our vocabulary.  Like we never say, “Man, my golf game has gone to cancer,” or, “What in the 9-11 were you thinking?”  We don’t do that.  We always use hell.

 

And so often people joke about hell, and we make light of it and we casualize it.  And we make fun of people who live there.

 

Jesus, though, talks about it.  And some of the things he talks about in this chapter are things that will riddle you and me with fear!

 

“The Five Fearsome Facts of Christianity.”

Jesus talked so plainly and so bluntly about this, and I think as you process these five fearsome facts, you’re going to see this indescribable love that Jesus has for all of us.

 

  1. Everyone Is Not Going To Heaven

Matthew 7:13 (NIV) “Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.”

 

Some of you are going, “Axe murderers, yes they’re not going.  But surely most people are going to heaven.”

  • We hear, “If you’re sincere, whatever you’re driving, it doesn’t matter who you’re following; just drive up to God and he’ll just nod and wink and wave you on through.”

 

  • And we think, “If I’m a good guy or a good girl; if I keep my nose clean and throw some money, maybe, in the offering plate or to a charity now and then; God grades on the cosmic curve anyway. He’s just going to wave me into heaven.  Because, after all, I’m better than most people.”

 

Matthew 7:13 Both heaven and hell are gated communities.

 

Jesus is comparing and contrasting those who experience life change, to those people who keep God at a distance.  But everyone is not going to heaven.

 

  1. More People Will Go To Hell than Heaven

Back in the ‘80s AC/DC wrote the song “Highway to Hell”.  They were exactly right, because there is a highway to hell, and it leads to destruction.  And it’s easy to get on this highway because the road is broad.  The way is very, very easy to follow.  And we think everything is hunky-dory, because self-reliance leads to self-deception, and self-deception will ultimately lead to self-destruction.

 

And so many are on this highway to hell, and people say things like, “You know, I don’t care if I’m going to hell because I’ll party with my friends in hell, and we’ll have a great time in hell.”

 

Jesus said, “It is a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  It is a place where you’re utterly alone; a place of darkness.

Matt 25:30  And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (NIV)

Matthew 7:13-14  …“For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.”  So many people are on the wide road, and they don’t realize that around the corner destruction and more people will go to hell than heaven. 14 “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

 

John 10:9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved…

 

John 14:6  Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me. (NIV)

  • “I am the Way,” definite article number one, “the Way.”
  • “I am the Truth,” definite article number two, “the Truth.”
  • “I am the Life,” definite article number three, “the Life.”

“I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

If we believe that verse and accept that verse that means a lot of people who are of different religious views will not make it into heaven.  Now, each and every one of them can get to heaven, but only through Christ Jesus.

 

Wow! I mean, in our politically correct culture, that doesn’t sell many books; that’s not very popular. Why would God do that?  Surely, there are many roads that lead to God.  I mean, God’s the top of the mountain, right?  And if you’re sincere, you can get to God.

 

Option B or C?  Well, if there were other options, why would God have allowed his only son to go through that torturous, humiliating death?

Jesus is the only way, because he said it.  I mean, I’m not saying this; I’m just telling you what he said.

 

But here’s the deal.  You have no excuse.  The information has been dumped on your life.

What are you going to do with Jesus?

 

This issue should fire all of us up to share our faith, to leverage everything we can to tell others about the Good News of Jesus Christ.

 

We don’t serve a guard gate God who just goes, “Come on in!  No problem, just come on in!”

 

I mean, most of us would say, “You know what? I’m a good guy. I’m a good girl.”

 

Rom 3:23 … for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (NIV)

 

I’m a natural-born sinner, and so are you.  Sin is serious!  It’s so serious that it cost God his son, Jesus Christ.

So at the end of the day, we’re all self-centered sinners in need of a savior. Everyone’s not going to heaven. / More people will go to hell than heaven.

  1. Many Who Think They Are Christians Aren’t

Matt 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ (NIV)

 

“Lord, I was Baptist.  I was Catholic.  I was confirmed.  I was an altar boy.  I lived a good life.  I tried to help the needy.  I mean, I…”

Matthew 7:23 (this is Jesus talking,) “Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you.’”

 

“Whoa, whoa, whoa.  How can a loving God hurl people to hell?  How could Jesus slam-dunk someone to hell?”  God doesn’t; Jesus doesn’t slam-dunk anybody to hell.  We volunteer.

Jesus has tried to get you into a relationship with him and if we’ve kept him at a distance, he will simply look at you and say, “You know what?  You kept me at a distance throughout your life.  You’ll have a greater measure of this in eternity.”

 

The Fruit

“Most people,” Jesus is saying here, “who think they’re a believer aren’t really a believer.  They’re not really followers of Christ.”

 

Only those who produce fruit, who build their lives on the solid foundation are.  Because Jesus goes on to say that a bad tree doesn’t produce good fruit.  A good tree produces good fruit.

Matthew 7:16: “By their fruit you will recognize them.”

 

The Foundation

Then he talks about homebuilding.  He said, “Those who build their house on the rock, when the rogue winds strike, when the storms hit, the house doesn’t move.  Yet, those who build their house on the sand, the rogue winds strike, and the storms hit, they’re gone.”  Both heard the word, only one obeyed! Matt 7:26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.

 

Most people who think they’re believers aren’t.

I am challenging you to take inventory, to take stock in your life.  Because we’re saved by faith alone, but faith that saves is never alone.

  • If going to church is hell for you and you call yourself a Christ-follower, then heaven will be hell for you.
  • If you call yourself a believer and you don’t have a heart for the only institution that Jesus ever built, the local church…
  • If you call yourself a believer and you’re not serving within the context of a biblically functioning community…
  • If you call yourself a believer and you’re treating your spouse the way you treat your spouse…
  • If you call yourself a believer and you’re not bringing the minimum worship requirement to the local church, 10% of everything you make to his house…

I have got to wonder, based on Scripture, whether or not you’re a Christian.  / That’s just me.

 

Jesus said it, not me. Matthew 7:16: “By their fruit you will recognize them.”

 

But I Believe in Jesus!

James 2:19  You believe that there is one God.  Good!  Even the demons believe that– and shudder. (NIV)

 

Demons believe!  But there’s one problem.  They will not submit to the lordship of Jesus Christ.

So belief is good.  But there’s more…

 

2 Cor 13:5-6  Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.  Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you– unless, of course, you fail the test? 6 And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test. (NIV)

 

  • Everyone is not going to heaven. 2) More people will go to hell than heaven.  3) Many Who Think They Are Christians Aren’t 

 

  1. You Will Not Get Another Opportunity After You Die

 

We’re all going to die.

Hebrews 9:27 (KJV): “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”

 

Sometimes we have a tendency of being late.  Many times we’ll start church, and no one will hardly be here.  And then, about 15 minutes into the service, people start rolling in.  We’re very busy.  Many times we’re late for different appointments.       Well, death is an appointment we’re not going to be late for.

 

We’re going to clock out and—boom—we’re in eternity.  Because all of us will spend eternity in one of two places: either with Christ or in a Christ-less eternity.

 

God will look at your life and mine, and he’s going to look and see if we’ve applied Jesus to our lives; if we have received him.  If he sees that paid in full on your heart and mine; if he sees us clothed in the righteousness of his son, he’ll say, “Boom—you’re my boy. You’re my girl.”

 

But if he doesn’t, I mean, we can’t do some kind of deal like, “Okay, yeah. I knew you were the way. And I know you tried to get near me during that Bible study; I knew you tried to get near to me at that Believers Church service, but I kept you at a distance.  And I just stiff-armed you.  Surely, there’s another chance.”

What we do on this side of the grave affects where we will spend eternity.

  • Everyone is not going to heaven. 2) More people will go to hell than heaven.  3) Many Who Think They Are Christians Aren’t  4) You Will Not Get Another Opportunity After You Die

 

  1. This Could Be Your Last Chance

 

Today could be your last opportunity to make this decision.  It could be.  I don’t know, it might not be or it could be.  Jesus said something really scary here at Luke 13:25.

Luke 13:24-25 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’  “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’  (NIV)

 

  • Everyone is not going to heaven.
  • More people will go to hell than heaven.
  • Many Who Think They Are Christians Aren’t
  • You Will Not Get Another Opportunity After You Die
  • This Could Be Your Last Chance

 

NEXT STEP:  This week I will think about all Five of the Fearsome Facts of Christianity and I will make sure that I am going to heaven when I die.

 

-As you have taken stock and inventory of your life;

-As you have taken this spiritual physical today;

-As you have thought about the fruit and the foundation of your life,

ARE YOU A FOLLWER OF CHRIST?

 

Make the decision to be changed by Christ Jesus today!  Do it!  Don’t delay!  Now is the time.

 

If today you’re making that decision, maybe you thought, “You know what?  I thought I was a believer.  “I’m not so sure.”  Now’s the time to make that decision, to nail it down.  Right now.

 

Life Group and Family Devotional Application

  1. Why do you think that only about 60 percent of Americans believe in literal hell?
  2. Of the Five Fearsome Facts of Christianity, which one concerns you the most for yourself? Which one concerns you most about others?
  3. Why do you think that Pastor Scott said, “The true beginning of change occurs when we admit, “I can’t change”?
  4. Explain what we mean by spiritual metamorphosis. How does this process work in our lives?
  5. Why do we as Christians tend to cover up our sins? What is the result of covering our sins?  What it the result of un-covering our sins and short comings?
  6. What does it mean to be Nathanized?
  7. Have you shared your change struggle or change story at www.ireallywant2change.com?

 

02-08 Promo

 

God is the agent of change. Significant, supernatural change. Change, Conflict, Growth.

Jesus talks about the results of lives that change and those that don’t change in Matthew 7. He talks about Heaven and He talks about Hell. Often people joke about Hell and make light of it using the word in casual conversation. Jesus talks about it and some of the things He talks about will riddle us all with fear. Join us at Believers Church this Sunday at 9 or 11 a.m. as we talk about “Five Fearsome Facts of Christianity” and continue our CHANGE series with “Changing Lanes.”

 

One Hour on Wednesday 02.04.15

February 3rd, 2015

Revelation Ann

See you Wednesday night at 7 PM for One Hour on Wednesday ! We will continue in Revelation! Last week we learned how Jesus is worshiped this week we talk about when the Seals are opened in Heaven and the Four Horsemen administer God’s judgement in attempt to cause people to repent!

2-1-15 CHANGE

CHANGE                      Lasting Change                                    Believers Statesboro   02-01-15

Adapted from Ed Young

 

When you think of the word “CHANGE” what comes into your mind?

Most of us think about the rearrange.

  • Rearranged my marriage / my priorities / rearranged the way I parent / rearrange my career / the way I eat or work out, then I will experience change.
  • Rearranging is superficial change, but not supernatural change.

 

True change comes when I say, “I can’t.”  And I allow God (who does not change) to come into my life and change me from the Inside Out.  He is the change agent who gives me the power to truly change.

 

When I come to a point in my life where I tell the truth about my condition before God, and where I agree with Him, then I can allow Him to come into my life and the exchange takes place.

  • Guilt / grace, failures / forgiveness, my pursuits / His purpose.
  • Then the Holy Spirit of God works from the inside out to produce change.

 

Lasting Change is a Process

Change happens during my salvation experience; but lasting change is a decision followed by a process.

  • It’s not as easy as A-B-C, 1-2-3, automatic, systematic, boom, I’m changed.
  • Because if we could change that quickly all of us would be perfect.

Once God changes me, I’m thrown into the spin cycle of success.  Change, Conflict and Growth.

Once we experience conflict, so many of us bail right before the breakthrough.

  • We bail right before our marriage goes to another level.
  • We bail right before we get financially free.
  • We bail right before we have a real breakthrough in that character flaw in your life.

Yet, if we defer to God and honor God in this change; if we allow the Lord to push us and give us endurance and power, we can go through the conflict, through the resistance, and we will experience growth and long lasting change.

 

Walking the Path

Change takes place because of God; yet this process of change is the path, is the journey that God wants all of us to join Him and that will lead to, not short term change, but lasting change.

 

NEXT STEP: Memorize Proverbs 3:5-6  Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

 

Solomon was one of the wealthiest men who ever walked on planet Earth.  He didn’t have millions, he had squillions!  He was super-intelligent.  People would come from all over the world to hear him talk and teach them and ask him questions.

It’s funny that Solomon would write Proverbs 3:5-7, because he could control everything.  He had everything at his fingertips.  He could say, “Jump,” people would say, “How high?”  He could do whatever he wanted to do any time he wanted to do it!  Yet, he wrote this verse that is all about surrender; that is all about change; that is all about the lordship and leadership.

 

Gods Perspective

Gods Perspective and Gods Priorities and will always determine my / your outcome.

I want God’s desired outcome for my life.  So why would I choose to do things my way and not defer to God’s way?  Why not do it God’s way?  This is what Solomon was driving at.

 

Solomon wrote this when Israel was at the peak and pinnacle of their existence.  It was the golden era.  It was great to be a part of his nation.  Everything was going great.  And check out his words.

 

Proverbs 3:5      Trust in the LORD…       Trust is a must.  We all trust in something.

  • Material possessions / substance / people / feelings.
  • But Solomon says, “Trust in the LORD….”

 

…with all of your heart”  —  not some of your heart, not most of your heart, but ALL of your heart!

 

I think Solomon, being a man, knew how tempting it was to compartmentalize our lives.

  • Recreational world / financial world / relational world / spiritual world.
  • All of your heart…all of your compartments.

 

Heart    in Hebrew – “heart” refers to our emotions.  We have emotions, and the mantra these days goes something like this: “Trust your heart. Go with your heart.”

  • Trust your heart in that dating relationship. Go with your heart in that marriage.
  • It sounds great. It makes a great chick flick, an incredible romance novel.  It sounds so good. But you know what?  It doesn’t work!

Trusting your own heart will get you into trouble.

Self-reliance leads to self-deception, which ushers in self-destruction.

Solomon knew the danger of our feelings and emotions.  So we should not trust our hearts.

  • We should trust God with our hearts.
  • We should submit our hearts, our feelings, and our emotions to God.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart…

When I trust with everything, I begin to have this new perspective, suddenly I have God’s Perspective for my life..  I see things with discernment.  And I see things with depth that no one else sees.

 

What we cover, God uncovers.  What we uncover, God covers.

 

Proverbs 28:13  He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. (NIV)

But if I don’t, I’m covered up and playing the cover up game I have a very limited perspective.

  • It’s dark. It doesn’t smell real nice under the covers.  People don’t know where in the world they’re going.
  • That’s why we need to uncover our stuff, uncover our shams and shortcomings, uncover our perspective, our agendas, and say, “God, have your way with me. I trust you with all of my heart.  Surround me with your righteousness and your mercy.”

Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (NIV)

 

Romans 12:2  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is– his good, pleasing and perfect will.  (NIV)

 

The battlefield, the venue, the stadium of this whole change element is in the mind.  Out thinking produces our decisions and actions.

 

Because when you say the word “change,” it’s basically an accumulation of choices and decisions.

Decisions and choices are pretty much the forerunners of all this change.

 

That’s why Proverbs says Trust in the LORD with all your heart; trust will give us God’s Perspective.

Gods Priorities

God’s priorities are not open for discussion or debate.  They’re here in Scripture.  So we either get in on them, or we don’t.  My priorities are set for me by God’s Word.

 

Proverbs 3:6  “…in all your ways acknowledge him.”

 

In other words, I’ve got to line up under God’s priorities in all my ways.

 

Acknowledge.  The acknowledgment of God it’s not a nod.  It’s not a wink.  It’s not like, “Yeah, me and the man upstairs have an understanding.”  It’s not, “Jesus is my homeboy.”  No, no, it’s not that.

It is, “I have an intimate knowledge of God.  And when you see the word “acknowledge” in Scripture, usually it’s used in the context of submission.

 

Submission.                Many of us today have authority issues.  We need to get under those things that God has put over us so that we can get over those things God has put under us.  If I want to discover God’s best for my life; if I want to discover growth, I’ve got to get under his authority.

Then God will take me through the conflict and resistance to a HNL!

 

Persistence in the Process

 

God wants me to have a persistence that I live by as I defer to Him.  Change – Conflict – Many resist because of the resistance, but God wants me to have persistence in the resistance so that I can experience – Growth.

Luke 9:62  “…No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” (NIV)

 

In other words, he’s saying the Christian life is all about a decision, a step, followed by a process.  It’s about persistence.  It’s about that daily walk.

 

So we say, “God, I’ve got your, your perspective for my life.  I choose your way.

 

God I have your priorities—I fall in line with those.  I want to think like you think.

God I’m being persistent in the process. Then we experience the Outcome.

 

My Outcome

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;6  in all your ways acknowledge him,

 

…and he will make your paths straight.  Or you could read here “blessed,” or “He’ll pour out his supernatural favor upon your life.”  This is more than guidance, this is God smoothing or paving our path for us.  “He’ll make our paths straight” or “direct.”

 

The Direct Path

God wants us to discover His direct path.  He wants us to discover the quickest way to the blessed life, to the life of favor.  It’s not going to be easy.  There are going to be difficult times.  But if we follow the guide, He will light our path.

 

Psalm 119:105 (KJV) “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

 

This Bible shines in darkness.  It shines a light.  It’s like your headlights.

 

Psalms 37:23-24 If the LORD delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; 24 though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. (NIV)

 

Gods Perspective and Gods Priorities and will always determine my / your outcome this purpose that God has for me/ you.

  • But if I do everything myself, I’m going to be in some serious, serious trouble.
  • Because self-reliance equals self-deception, which turns into self-destruction.
  • Stinking thinking will lead to an emotion commotion, resulting in bad decisions.

But if you’re living under the covers; you can’t think right.

 

So it’s either covered or uncovered; it’s A or B, 1 or 2, covered or uncovered.

  • You may think that you’re faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, “Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no, it’s Solo-Man!”
  • I’ll choose God’s way.

 

Solomon

Solomon wrote much of the Proverbs.  And what’s so ironic and paradoxical about this is, he wrote all of this incredible stuff, yet he totally turned his back on his advice.

 

God said don’t intermarry with foreign women.  Because if you do that, they’ll introduce foreign gods.

Solomon knew better.  “I’m going to do something different than God told me.  But I can control the outcomes.  I am an exception to the rule.”

 

I Kings 11:1-4 King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter– Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. 2          They were from nations about which the LORD had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. 3 He had seven hundred wives of royal birth (700 mothers-in-laws) and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. 4 As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been. (NIV)

 

Solomon was thinking, “I know what’s best for me.  I married all these foreign women who are daughters of all these kings.  We’re going to have a time of peace; no one will mess around with us.

It’s going to be amazing what’ll happen to the nation!”

  • So he married them, disobeying God’s perspective and priorities, because he did not want to face the outcome he thought he was going to face.
  • Because he disobeyed God, he faced the outcome that he tried to avoid.
  • And the outcome was not pretty.
    • His kingdom was divided.
    • Thousands of Jews were killed. Thousands more were deported.

Solomon didn’t take his own advice.  I / You have to choice if I / you will heed his advice,

 

Are you going to roll the dice?  Are you going to say, “You know what?  I know what’s best for me.  I can control the outcomes.  I know I should do this, I know the path I should take.”

 

Be careful… the outcome you are trying to avoid may be the very outcome you’re going to face!

It’s not worth it.  God’s way is the best.

 

NEXT STEP: Ask Yourself 3 Questions:

  • Who Am I Trusting?
  • What Am I Thinking?
  • What is Gods Desired Outcome for me?

 

Life Group and Family Devotional Application

  1. Looking back in your life, what things have you tried to change, only to revert back to the previous state?

 

  1. Why do you think we tend to default to our own ways and understanding rather having Gods perspective?

 

  1. Practically explain what it means to “…in all your ways acknowledge him.” Proverbs 3:6. How do you do that?

 

  1. In the change process, how much, or how little, do you think that “persistence” has to do with lasting change?

 

  1. Concerning the change process going on in your life, what is Gods desired outcome for you?

 

  1. Have you shared your change struggle or change story at www.ireallywant2change.com?