7-05-15 Peter Promo Pic

Hello Church!  I hope you will enjoy your 4th of July on Saturday and then bounce back to church on Sunday, as we are going to be looking at the life of Peter, the leader of The Dirty Dozen.

Last week we started our Dirty Dozen series and we talked about how Peter and John were referred to, by the religious leaders, as being unschooled and ordinary men (Acts 4:13).  But even though they we ordinary, the religious leaders were astonished by Peter’s boldness and courage!

What made this drastic difference in Peter’s life?  Why this sudden transformation?  Why is he now operating in boldness and power?

Join us this Sunday, July 5th, at 9 and 11 and discover why!  Your life can go from ordinary to extra-ordinary and you can be a person of boldness and courage too!

 

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Wednesday July 1st we will begin our Church Wide Summer Bible Study on “The Dirty Dozen!”

Join us for 5ive Wednesdays in July at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary, as we divide into small groups and dig deeper into our series “The Dirty Dozen” each week.  We will begin with worship together and then divide up into our groups for an enhanced study of Sundays sermon.

The Dirty Dozen 300 DPI“The Dirty Dozen”   Believers Statesboro    06-28-15

When I was nine years old I watched a movie (Dad let me watch it, Mom would not have approved) that made a lasting impression on me!  It was THE DIRTY DOZEN.  It’s the story of an Army Major, always at odds with his superiors, who is given a new assignment to train twelve men to go behind enemy lines in France and raid a chateau where German officers are taking R&R and kill as many officers as possible.  The only problem is all twelve men are unruly and have been sentenced to death or life in prison.  The challenge for the Major was not just to train the men, but to get them working together as a unit for a common goal and purpose.

So ever since that movie, every time I think about the twelve disciple of Jesus, I think about The Dirty Dozen.  There are some similarities, Jesus takes on the assignment to teach and train a Dirty Dozen as well.  A dozen untrained and uneducated men, a handful of fishermen, a tax collector, an angry zealot, some had wives, some worked for the government, but all unskilled and inexperience.  None were part of the religious establishment, and they were numbered among the ordinary, working-class people.

Jesus had to teach them to operate not only as a unit, but to serve in unity.  Why? John 17:23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (NIV)  Jesus had to teach them not to be served but to serve others.  He had to teach them not to fish for fish, but to fish for men.  He had to teach them that His way was not the world’s way and He had to teach them that their mission would not be accomplish by human power but by the power of the Holy Spirit! The stakes were high!  In this Dirty Dozen, Jesus saw potential and new they would later be Apostles and the foundational blocks for His new formed church!   Ordinary common men, but with Christ Jesus, they would change the world!

Luke 6:12-16 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. (The gospel of Luke is good to point out that Jesus always prayed before major events.) 13 When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles:

The Dirty Dozen

  1. PETER Luke 6:14
  • A fisherman by trade, also called Simon, Simeon bar Jona (Simon, son of Jona) Cephas (“rock” or “a stone”), or Simon Peter.
  • Peter would be considered the leader of The Dirty Dozen.
  1. ANDREW
  • Brother and fishing business partner to Peter.
  • Known from bringing people to Jesus.
  • The first to follow Jesus and introduce Jesus to Peter.
  1. JAMES
  • Brother to John (the brothers were named by Jesus as The Sons of Thunder!)
  • James and John were fishing business partners with Peter and Andrew.
  • James’ death is the only one recorded in Bible.
  1. JOHN
  • Known as the ‘Beloved Disciple’ or the disciple of love.
  • Peter, James, and John were known as the inner three and experienced things with Jesus that the others did not experience.
  • Only disciple not martyred but exiled to a prison island to die.
  • Wrote a total of four books of the Bible.
  1. PHILIP
  • The first of the Twelve to confess Jesus as the Messiah.
  • Seemed to be fairly knowledgeable of scripture.
  1. BARTHOLOMEW
  • Also known as Nathanael.
  • When Jesus told him what he was doing just prior to Jesus meeting him, Nathanael said that Jesus was the “Son of God” and “King of Israel.”
  1. MATTHEW Luke 6:15
  • Also known as Levi the son of Alphaeus.
  • Tax collector
  • Wrote Gospel of Matthew
  1. THOMAS
  • Didymus (Twin). Judas Thomas
  • And you probably know him as “Doubting Thomas”.
  1. JAMES, SON OF ALPHAEUS
  • Not James the brother of Jesus (who wrote the book of James)
  • Referred to as ‘James the Lesser’ or younger / Possible the brother of Matthew
  1. SIMON THE ZEALOT
  • Simon the Canaanite or Simon the Cananaean
  • The name Simon derives from the Hebrew name Shimon, meaning “hearing.”
  • The word “Cananaean” derives from an Aramaic word meaning “zealous one.
  1. JUDAS, SON OF JAMES Luke 6:16
  • Thaddeus (with I’m sure he prefer) Jude (a common name) and Lebbaeu
  • The Aramaic meaning of both Thaddaeus and Lebbaeus is the same, “beloved” or “dear to the heart.”
  • The name “Judas” derives from the Hebrew name Judah, meaning “praise.”

 JUDAS ISCARIOT

  • “Judas the Betrayer”, Judas the son of Simon
  • Only disciple not from Galilee. He was from Judea
  • committed suicide due to unresolved guilt[1]

God Uses Ordinary People to Do Extra-Ordinary Things.

Ordinary people like you and I.  As a matter of fact if you and I were looking for a great leader to spear head an up and coming organization, we probably won’t have chosen the disciple. They were not people of influence, power, or position. They were common among many.  They were “uneducated & untrained” men.

Peter and John were brought before the Sanhedrin, a group of people who hold your fate in their hands. These religious leaders were amazed when Peter spoke.  Acts 4:13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men (NKJ uneducated and untrained), they were astonished… (NIV)

Peter and John are representative of all the other disciples.  Just ordinary men.  They had received the ordinary Jewish upbringing and learned the ordinary fishing trade.  They were living a pretty ordinary life, as most of us do, until Jesus came along.

Some of the Twelve had their personality flaws as well.

Peter was impulsive (Matthew 14:28), yet cowardly. (Matthew 14:30; 26:69-74)  Hot tempered (John 18:10), yet tenderhearted (Matthew 26:75).

James was vengeful and fiery. (Luke 9:54) selfish and conceited. (Mark 10:35-37)

John was vengeful and fiery. (Luke 9:54) judgmental. (Mark 9:38) and selfish. (Mark 10:35-37)

Philip was very literal, but confused. (John 14:8)

Bartholomew was skeptical. (John 1:46)

Thomas was inquisitive (John 14:5), but doubtful. (John 20:24, 25)

Maybe you are like Judas, son of James, he was inquisitive (John 14:22) and confused. (John 14:22)

Simon was patriotic. (Matthew 10:4) loyal. (Mark 3:18), and passionate. (Luke 6:15) but as a Zealot prone to violence and unlawful acts.

Sadly we all have some ordinary characteristics that Judas Iscariot had if we are honest with ourselves.  He was greedy. (Matthew 26:14-16), deceitful (Matthew 26:25), treacherous (Matthew 26:47-50), but in the end he was remorseful. (Matthew 27:3-5)

The Dirty Dozen, lacked understanding, struggled with faith “ye of little faith”, they desired to be served and yearned for positions of authority.  In the good times they were all about Jesus, but in the bad times they fled and would hide.  Could Jesus really use a group of men like this?          Why would Jesus use a Dirty Dozen Men?

1 Cor 1:27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. (NIV) (2 Cor 12:9)

Are you ordinary?  Do you have it all together or are you imperfect?  Are you highly skilled and talented, or do you feel unqualified?  Great News, in the hands of Jesus everything ordinary qualifies for extra-ordinary.

Ordinary Becomes Extra-Ordinary When…

  1. When We Are Filled With the Power of the Holy Spirit.

Zech 4:6 …’Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. (NIV)

Phil 4:13  I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (NIV)

1 Cor 2:16 …But we have the mind of Christ. (NIV)

Next Step: This week I will pray, “Lord fill me with your Spirit and use me in extra-ordinary ways!

  1. When We Are Willing
    1. Willing to Say Yes Matt 4:19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said…, “(NIV)

Just like Jesus called the Dirty Dozen, Jesus calls all of us to follow.  To be a disciple of Jesus is to follow.  The question is will you say “Yes”?  “Yes I will follow you Jesus.”  You’ve got to be willing, willing to live a life of placing Jesus’ desires ahead of yours, doing things Jesus’ way instead of your way, and allowing Him to continue to lead you each and every day of your life.  But Jesus is not going to make you do anything.  But if you want your ordinary life to become extra-ordinary, you better say, “Yes”!

  1. Willing to Change

Matt 4:19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” (NIV)

Jesus said, “Follow Me and I am going to make you into something that you aren’t already.”

We will have to change.  When I decided to follow Jesus, I thought of all kinds of things that he could make me into.  More disciplined  /  More Spiritual  /  Smarter  /  A better husband  /  A better father  /  Richer / More organized.  Most of us became followers for selfish reasons.  What’s in it for me?

Jesus says to us, like he did the Dirty Dozen, to Follow is to Fish.  Jesus’ goal for you is not just to follow so you can be a better person.  His goal for you is to follow and to do in the lives of others what someone has done in your life. And during that process of being a fisher of men, Jesus will continue to change you into all that He has called you to be.  2 Cor 3:18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.RSV

But again, Jesus is not going to force you to change, you have to be willing to change.

  1. Willing to Die

Matt 16:24-26 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.  26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?  Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? (NIV)

James is the only disciple that the scriptures document that he was martyred.  But church tradition tells us that all of the other disciples beside Judas and John were martyred too.  John was exiled to a prison island to die.

“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die” Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

Following Jesus means taking up your cross, denying yourself, and being willing to lose your very life, in order that you might gain a glorious and abundant life.  Many ordinary people won’t experience and extra-ordinary life.  Many extremely gifted and talented people won’t experience Jesus’ extra-ordinary life.  Why?  Because they are not willing to lose their life.  They are hanging on so tight, they live in a survival mode, they are self-seeking and walking with their own knowledge, strength, and abilities.  You never will experience true life until you are willing to lose it.

Next Step: This week I will say “Yes”, I’m willing to change and die to myself to live for Jesus!

  1. When We Spend Time With Jesus.

Acts 4:13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men (NKJ uneducated and untrained), they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. (NIV)  The authorities perceived that Peter and John, even though they viewed them as uneducated and untrained men, had not only boldness but a true understanding of scripture and the ability to heal a man crippled from birth!  Realizing that Peter and John had been with Jesus seemed to explain it all!

The world will know when you and I have been with JesusWe won’t have to advertise or declare it.  They will know it by the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  They will know it by our actions, our speech, and our integrity.

They will also know it by the fruit that we are bearing.  Jesus said in John 15 that if we would just abide in him, be with him, hang out with him, and that if we would let his word abide in us, then we would bear much fruit.  Apart from Christ

Jesus we can do nothing, but if we abide in the vine, the world will see our productivity and know that we have been with Jesus.[2]

 Next Step: Every day this week, I will carve out some time to spend with Jesus.

 Extra-Ordinary People Are Given An Extra-Ordinary Task

  • They were allowed to be companions with Jesus for three and a half years.
  • They were allowed to have conversations with Jesus as He taught and instructed them, imparting His wisdom and Kingdom principles into them.
  • Jesus would use the Dirty Dozen as living stones to build His newly formed church.
  • Jesus would commission them (Matthew 28:16-20 The Great Commission) and fill them with the power of the Holy Spirit! (Acts 1:8)

These men, who Jesus knew would disappoint him, abandon Him, deny Him and even betray Him; they would be the light of the world and the salt of the earth!  Jesus knew that the Dirty Dozen, washed, cleansed, trained, and filled with the Holy Spirit would be the first witnesses of the Gospel, carrying God’s message of redemption to Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth!  Ordinary Men, on an extra-ordinary mission!

Next Step: I will commit to attend “5ive Wednesdays In July” to learn more about The Dirty Dozen.

 Life Group and Family Devotional Application

  1. Why do you think Jesus choose ordinary, common people to be His disciples as opposed to the religious or socially elite, or the wealthy influencers’? (Read and discuss 1 Cor. 1:27 and 2 Cor. 12:9)

 

  1. Even after Jesus called and commissioned The Dirty Dozen, He would not let them begin their work until what occurred? (Acts 1:8)  Can we conclude that the initial evidence of the Holy Spirit is that one is witnessing?

 

  1. Ordinary people can do extra-ordinary task if they are willing. What were the three things they must be willing to do?  __________________________, ___________________________, and ________________.

 

  1. Why do you think Jesus gives us an option to say “Yes” or “No” to His plans for us? Why doesn’t He just make us do what He wants us to do?

 

  1. List some of the things that Jesus wants to change us into.

 

  1. In your own words explain what it means to take up your cross and die for Jesus.

 

  1. Share some the ways you “spend time with Jesus”. What practice would you highly recommend to others?

 

[1] The Twelve Disciples (Rose Publishers); Pg. 17-39

[2] Jack W. Hayford; Kingdom Power: Receiving the Power of the Promise A Study in the Book of

Acts (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1993);  p. 38

A dozen untrained and uneducated men. A handful of Fishermen. A Tax Collector. An Angry Zealot. Unskilled and inexperienced. But with Jesus they would change the World! You and I can learn a lot from the lives of The Dirty Dozen. Join us Sunday at 9 or 11 a.m. as we discover that God uses ordinary people to do extra-ordinary things!

The Dirty Dozen will also kick off our Church Wide Summer bible Study which includes 5ive Wednesdays in July! Enhance your study of The Dirty Dozen by joining us for 5ive Wednesdays in July.  For 5ive Wednesday Nights we will worship together and then divide into Life App Groups for additional material and stimulating conversation!                                                         7:00-8:00 p.m. Beginning July 1, 2015.

6-28-15 The Dirty Dozen Promo

Check out the Summer Life Groups happening at Believers!

Summer Quarter begins 6.29.15! Sign up this Sunday during Rally Week in the lobby!

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Reminder we are on Summer break from Life Groups this week &  One Hour on Wednesday does not meet tonight! 

Wednesday July 1st, at 7 p.m., we kick off our Church wide Summer Study on our newest series, “The Dirty Dozen.” We will meet in small groups in the sanctuary for 5 weeks for a deeper discussion about “The Dirty Dozen” series we are learning about on Sunday mornings.

Ministries for Youth and Children will meet at 7 p.m as well!

 

06-21-15 I Heart Dad_blog

 

Watch online at  http://believersstatesboro.com/home/online-sermons/.

We started the I Heart Series on Mother’s Day and we said that as a part of this series we would mix in some biblical principles of parenting.  So on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day we don’t have specific sermons, “this is for Mom” or “this one is for Dad.”  But we will look at teaming together, mom and dad, to raise Godly Children.

On Mother’s Day we looked at:

The Three T’s of Parenting.  LOVING TOUCH / ABUNDANT TIME / ENCOURAGING TALK.

On I Heart Parents we talked about:

DISCIPLINE – DISCIPLINE IS CORRECTION DRIVEN BY LOVE AND DISCIPLINE ISN’T SOMETHING YOU DO TO YOUR CHILD, BUT FOR YOUR CHILD.

Last week in I Heart Children we discussed:

Why do we at Believers Statesboro Love Children So Much?

Teach Our Children to Depend On God

Today on Father’s Day, I Heart Dad, I want us to talk about one of the main responsibilities we have as Christian Parents.  Which is to Teach Our Children to Depend On God.

When our children are young they depend totally on their parents and little by little they gain independence.  But we don’t want them to be totally independent; we want them to be dependent on God!

  • A PARENT’S GOAL IS TO GRADUALLY TRANSFER A CHILD’S DEPENDENCE AWAY FROM THEM UNTIL IT RESTS SOLELY ON GOD.

Deuteronomy 6:1-2 These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. (NIV)     (A commandment with a promise)

 Deuteronomy 6:3  Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, promised you. (NIV)

How do we transfer dependence from us on to God?

  • LOVE YOUR GOD.

We are taught to love our God.

Look with me in the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy beginning with verse 4.

Deut 6:4-5 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.

This is the phrase that a devout Jew would say three times a day, morning, noon and evening!

“Hear Oh Israel the Lord our God the Lord is one.”

Then in verse 5 what are we to do in response to that?   5 Love the LORD your God

(How much?) with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (NIV)

Love the Lord, not with some, a little, or a portion of your heart, but all of your heart.  Love Him with all of your soul!  Love Him with all of your strength!  ALL!

As Dads and Moms we get so caught up in giving our children the best that we can.  We want their lives to better that ours and to give them more than what we had.

  • Work longer to give more!
  • ECA’s so they will know more and be more talented etc.
  • Best schools for a better education.

But if we are not careful we will put all of that first and we don’t give our children the most important thing that they need.  That is an intimate loving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • If we are not careful, we become child-centered parents rather than God-centered parents. Our lives revolve around our children rather than revolving around God.
  • God’s GPS: God / Marriage / Children

Matt 22:36-38 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. (NIV)

  • So you are telling me that you love the Lord God with all of your heart, but you don’t have time to worship with God’s people, and honor His name?

Now parents don’t kid yourself, you are sending significant signals to your children.  The message you are teaching them is that church is not that important and God is good… but only when we have nothing else to do.  Your children are developing patterns, according to your habits, that that will carry into theirs.

How important is your involvement in the church?  By involvement we aren’t talking about come late, leave early, as a spectator only.  Are you really involved in the life of the church as a participant with a part and a role to play?

Kids Who Become Active Christ-followers as Adults

If mom and dad went to church:           72% of kids will as adults.

If mom only went to church:                15% of kids will as adults.

If dad only went to church:                   55% of kids will as adults.

If neither mom nor dad:                       06% of kids will as adults.

 NEXT STEP:  I will prayerfully consider this question:

  •  DO YOU LOVE GOD WITH ALL OF YOUR HEART OR SOME OF YOUR HEART?

Because just a little may not be what your children need.  Don’t just say it; show it in your actions.

  • I’ve quoted a quote so many times that I can’t remember who I heard it from but it says, “The best thing a parent can to do for their child is love their spouse.”
  • Let me add, or let’s say, “Truly the very best thing a parent can do for their children is to love God first and foremost!

The second thing Deuteronomy 6 teaches is…

2)  LEAD YOUR FAMILY.

 Deut 6:6-9 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

When we lead our families’ spiritually, spiritual talk becomes, not just something we do on the weekends on the way to church or youth group or Life Group, it becomes a part of seven days a week, of everything that is going on.

8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. (NIV)

  “The thing that impresses me most about America is the way the parents obey their children.”

Edward, Duke of Windsor

Parents are you leading your children, or are your children leading you?  We need to lead them spiritually, we need to set the tone, and create the God center environment.  The parents are the divine authority in the home!

  • Lead intentionally.

You must lead intentionally.  Whatever that means for you, you seek the heart of God and you do it.

You will need to lead according to pre-determined guide lines, family values, and lead according to the conviction of your heart.

If your heart is wholly surrendered to Him, parents, you are in charge, and just because everyone else is doing something does not mean that it is the right standard for your family.  You are not so concerned about your children’s immediate happiness as you are their holiness and full pursuit of God in every single way.  Greg Groeschel

 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.  Proverbs 22:6

Train: chanak (khaw-nak’); to initiate, dedicate, or train.

This word actually means the palate of your mouth.  In Old Testament times when an Israelite woman would have a baby, the Hebrew midwife would be there and would take her finger and would dip it into a paste, and then put the paste on the palate of the baby’s mouth, on the chanak.  This would initiate a hunger so that the baby would nurse.

So, parents, what we do is chanak.  When we train our children we initiate a craving for that which is true and right and pure and holy, and when they see the fruit of that, they say Godly living works.

TRAINING FROM PROVERBS

1) Train them to manage God’s money.  (Prov. 3:9-10)

2) Train them to carefully select friends.  (Prov. 13:20)

3) Train them to watch their words.  (Prov. 4:24)

4) Train them to be responsible.  (Prov. 6:6-8)

5) Train them to guard their minds.  (Prov. 23:7)

6) Train them to be generous.  (Prov. 11: 25)

7) Train them to fear God.  (Prov. 1:7)

Remember, one of our main goals as parents is to transfer dependence.  Our hope is that one day our children will no longer depend on us, but they will totally depend on God, who has promised to never leave them or forsake them.

So begin the process by loving God first, with your whole heart, soul, and strength!

It starts with us and then, we lead our families.

Let’s not be lazy, this won’t just happen on its own.  You have to set the example and lead and teach in very practical ways, consistently day after day, hour after hour, minute by minute.

We want you to know, as we taught last week, that we are fully committed as a church to partner with you to raise Godly Children!

But as we also said, the ultimate responsibility is on you as a parent.

God trusts you with these precious children to help them to one day transfer their full dependence on God!

 NEXT STEP:  I will prayerfully consider this second question:

  • ARE YOU LEADING YOUR CHILDREN OR ARE YOUR CHILDREN LEADING YOU?

06-21-15 PromoDuring our I ♥ Series we looked at several biblical family concepts.

On Mother’s Day we looked at: The Three T’s of Parenting.  Loving Touch, Abundant Time, and Encouraging Talk.  All three of these express unconditional love to our children.

On I ♥ Parents we talked about the big “D” word…Discipline.  But I love the way we defined discipline as correction driven by love.  We realized that discipline isn’t something we do TO our children, but something that we do FOR them.  Why, because we love them.

Last week in I ♥ Children we revealed why we at Believers Statesboro love children so much!  We love them so much that we partner together with parents to raise children in the Lord!

Now this Sunday is Father’s Day and we are going to conclude our I ♥ Series, with an understanding that as a Dad or as parents, or goal is to gradually transfer our children’s dependence away from us as the parent and to place their dependence totally on the Lord!  Join us this Sunday and I will share some practical ways to make that happen!  “I V Dad” @ Believers Church, 6-21-15. 9 and 11 a.m.

Also come ready to celebration with parents as we dedicate ten babies to the Lord!

I Heart Children

We have been really enjoying the I Heart Series which began on Mother’s Day with I Heart Mom!  On I Heart Missions Lale Labuka shared an update on the OMO Children and his church planting progress in Ethiopia.  We looked at some of the joys and challenges in I Heart Parents.  We saw that we could all love Jesus a little more in I Heart Jesus.  Hope you are still praying the prayer, “Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit help me to love Jesus, just like you love him.”  Biker Sunday was a blast as we looked at I Heart Lost People and saw that Jesus wants us on an all-out search for those whom He loves.  Today, as we prepare for Family VBS this week, let’s look at I Heart Children!

Why do we at Believers Statesboro Love Children So Much?

1)  Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.

Matt 18:1-6 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

2 Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

4  “Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

5 “Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. 6 “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

  • Receiving a child in Jesus’ name is receiving Jesus.
  • Ministering to a child is ministering to Jesus.
  • Loving a child is loving Jesus.
  • Taking time for children is taking time for Jesus.
  • Using your resources for children is using your resources for Jesus.

Upon this exhortation from Christ Jesus, we put a high value on our ministry to children here at Believers Church because to minister to them is to minister to Jesus.

2)  Children are a blessing from the Lord.

They are not rug rats, not brats, not nuisances, or obstacles to work around.

Psalm 127:3-5 Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. 4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. 5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate. (NIV)  (Ps 128:1-6; Proverbs 17:6)

3)  Children are key to God’s redemptive purpose.

Genesis 1:28  God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.  Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (NIV)  (Gen 9:1; 1 Pet 3:8-9)

4)  Jesus desired for children to be blessed.

Mark 10:14-16 But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”

16    And He took them up in His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them.

5)  We are called to partner with parents.

  • We believe that it is ultimately the parents’ responsibility to train children up in the ways of the Lord.  (We will talk more on that later.)
  • We are here to help you train your children up in the ways of the Lord.
  • We will synchronize with what you are already doing.
  • We are called to partner with the parents to help raise Godly children.
  • We are called to help you raise your Children in Christ Jesus!

THIS MEANS EVERYONE IN BELIEVERS CHURCH, childrens volunteer or not.

FACT: The average family will spend more time together in a car during one month than they will spend attending programs in the church for an entire year.

  • When it comes to raising Godly kids, what happens at home is more important than what happens at church.
  • A lot of families drive into our parking lot every Sunday.  But the most important drive is the one that happens each Sunday when they drive away.

6)  Our children are valuable assets to the Kingdom of God.

Our children are not just the Church of the future but the Church now!

Acts 2:38-39 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. 39 “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

 Acts 2:16-17 “But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.

7)  We understand that there are two plans for child’s life.

John 10:10  “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

 We believe that Satan is trying to stop God’s Redemptive Plan.

Satan’s Plan:

If Satan can destroy the lives of our children, he cuts off God’s redemptive plan for man.

Satan sees Godly children as the greatest threat to His plans.

  • This was what he attempted in the lives of Moses and Jesus.

When God chose Moses to deliver the Hebrews out of the tyranny of Egypt, Satan prompted Pharaoh to order the execution of all the first-born males (Exodus 1 & 2).

  • Knowing that God’s plan for mankind’s ultimate redemption was in the hands of a baby named Jesus, Satan prompted Herod to have all the male children under two years of age slaughtered (Matt. 2:16).

We must realize that Satan has a plan for our children, but God has a better plan for them.

  • We don’t need to be working with the thief.
  • We don’t need to bring things into our homes, allow our children to do things, and speak words to our children that will help the thief steal, kill, and destroy them.
  • We don’t need to have a church that will drive our children away.
    • As soon as they leave home, they also leave the church.
    • FACT: “More than two-thirds of church going young adults drop out between the ages of 18 and 22.”
    • 70% Drop Out and only 30% stayed in church.
  • One of the saddest statements in the Bible is “Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the LORD” (Samuel 2:12-17, 22-36; 1 Samuel 4:10-18).

Various Forms of Child Abuse

  • Are you helping the thief STEAL from your children?
  • Are we as a Church allowing the thief to KILL our Children?
  • Are we as a nation helping the thief DESTROY our Children?

Child Abuse:  starvation, no education, no medical attention, shut in, no joy or self-expression.

Let me give you another form of child abuse; not raising a child up in Christ and in the Church.

IN THIS DAY AND TIME, HOW CAN WE DARE NOT RAISE A CHILD UP IN CHRIST AND IN THE CHURCH?

God’s Plan:

Abundant Life – It is our responsibility to make sure that our children walk in the abundant life that Jesus has prepared for them.

Your character and Godliness will affect our children.

As a church, our character and Godliness will affect our children

Proverbs 20:7 The righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him.

 Your choices and decisions will affect our children.

The choices and decisions we make as a church body will affect our children.

Deut 30:19  I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;

We must uphold a standard of Holiness and Godliness for our children!         If we don’t, who will?

As a church, we must partner with parents to raise children in the ways of the Lord.

If we don’t, who will?

As a church family, we are going to pull together and increase the ministry to our children and strengthen our partnership with the parents of children.

A wise pastor told me, “Everyone in your church should be involved in at least two ministries and one of those two should be some type of Children’s Ministry.”

At Believers Church, we are committed to partner together with families to raise children in the ways of the Lord. Won’t you join us!

Won’t you make a difference in the life of a child?

We have numerous opportunities for you to be blessed like you have never been blessed before as you bless a child in Jesus’ name.

Remember what Jesus said, “Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.”

Next Step:  I will raise my child in Christ and in the church.

Next Step:  I will sign up to First Serve in Student Ministries today.

Next Step:  We will attend Family VBS tonight June 14 – June 17    6 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

Next Step:  I want to have my Baby Dedicated on 6-21-14.  9 a.m. / 11 a.m. (Circle One)

Names of Children _______________________________________________________

I Heart Children

We have been really enjoying the I ❤ Series which began on Mother’s Day with “I ❤ Mom!”  On “I ❤ Missions” Lale Labuka shared an update on the OMO Children and his church planting progress in Ethiopia.  We looked at some of the joys and challenges in “I ❤ Parents.”  We saw that we could all love Jesus a little more in “I ❤ Jesus.”  Biker Sunday was a blast as we looked at “I ❤ Lost People” and saw that Jesus wants us on an all-out search for those whom He loves.  This Sunday as we prepare for Family VBS, this Sunday, 6-14-15,  let’s look at “I ❤ Children!”

As a matter of fact, we love children so much that at Believers Church of Statesboro we are called to partner with parents to help raise Godly children.

We believe that it is ultimately the parents’ responsibility to train children up in the ways of the Lord.  But we are here to help you train your children up in the ways of the Lord.  We will synchronize with what you are already doing.  Why?  Join us this Sunday, 6-14-15, at 9 or 11 am, and discover why we at Believers Statesboro Love Children So Much!

 

VBS Register sign up 2