changemaker

 

CHANGE MAKERS           “Change Makers”            Believers Statesboro          08-30-15

 What do you want to change?  What is your God given change mission in life?

You must understand that:

  • “Everyone ends up somewhere, but few people end up somewhere on purpose.”
  • “Everyone sees a need for change, but few people know what God has called them to change.”

This September is going to be a great time of discovery for you!  Through our Sunday morning services and One Hour on Wednesdays, you will discover Gods divine purpose for your life.  You will also come to understand your change destiny.  What has God put in your heart to change in your world?  Also at the end of September you will have a written mission statement, that is if you are willing to take this journey with us.

This Sunday, 09-06-15 join us at Believers Church at 9 or 11 a.m. and we will show you how to discover your “Chazown”.  This is the Hebrew word for “Vision”.  Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision the people perish.”  Where there is no “chazown” … a dream, a revelation or a vision for your life, it will be dull and meaningless.

Let me make you a promise…nothing will change by accident.

Change has to be brought about and you can’t bring about change if you don’t know what God has purposed you to change.

This is also Communion Sunday as we will be remembering Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection!

This Sunday is also a 5th Sunday, so all of our tithes and extra offerings will go directly into our “Building Fund”.  Pastor Scott will share with you the direction God is leading us as far as the next building we will build together!  It’s going to be exciting!  So pray about what you will bring to the house of the Lord and let’s give with a spirit of thanksgiving and expectation!

chazown

 

Wed App Groups

One Hour on Wednesday tonight at 7 p.m.!  We will break into our Life App Groups and discuss and learn more together about “Judas Iscariot” as we conclude our Dirty Dozen Series.

EDGE Student Ministry will meet in the Garage at the same time! See you tonight for One Hour on Wednesday!

 

 

08-23-15 The DD Judas Iscariot                                                                  

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

As we conclude The Dirty Dozen Series we are going to look at one of the more famous of the twelve, even though famous for all the wrong reasons, Judas Iscariot.  Scripture would indicate that Judas’ personality and character leaned to being greedy (Matthew 26:14-16), deceitful (Matthew 26:25), and treacherous (Matthew 26:47-50).  Judas was one who never really grasps the concepts and truths that Jesus was teaching and ultimately he would betray Christ Jesus.

Judas Iscariot

  • Known as “Judas the Betrayer”. Should have just been Judas the son of Simon
  • Only disciple not from Galilee. He was from Judea
  • “Iscariot” means Man from Kerioth (southern Judea, south of Jerusalem / Joshua 15)
  • Judas was the treasurer for the group of disciples and was a thief. (John 12:5, 6; 13:29)
  • Judas betrayed Jesus, felt remorse, threw the blood money in the temple and hanged himself.

The chief priest used the money to purchase the potter’s field, fulfilling prophecy. (Matt 27:3-10)

  • Committed suicide due to unresolved guilt Judas purchased the Field of Blood and fell headlong and “burst open…” (Acts 1:18-20)
  • Judas was replaced by Matthias who was added to the eleven apostles. (Acts 1:26)

 

I found it interesting that Judas was from southern Judea.  In other word’s he was Southern.

Now there’s nothing wrong with being Southern.  But growing up in the South and living in the Southeast Bible Belt I’ve notice that we, like Southern Boy Judas, have some serious misconceptions about what it means to be a follower of Christ.  Some of the things that Judas believed and did remind me so of our bible belt mentality.  Every day I see people living what I call “Judas Misconceptions.”  I want to share some of those misconceptions that Judas had and warn you not to fall into some of the same traps.

 

Judas Misconception # 1 – It’s ok to be Jesus’ friend and not follow Him.

 

Judas spent three and a half years with Jesus.  He was Jesus’ friend and travel companion.  Judas was very familiar with Jesus.

When you grow up in the Bible belt and you grow up in church, you will be friendly with Jesus too.  Like Judas you are very familiar with Jesus.  You may have been born on the back row pew in your church, with a Bible in your hand.  But that doesn’t mean that you are a follower of Jesus.

 

Notice what Jesus called Judas on the night Judas betrayed him to be arrested.

 

Matthew 26:48-50 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.”

49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. 50 Jesus replied, “Friend, do what you came for.”  Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. (NIV)

I don’t think this was just a common expression when referring to someone.  After spending almost every waking moment together for the last three and a half years the two men were friends.

An enemy can’t betray you.  Only a friend, family member, business partner, associate, or someone you trust or trusted can betray you.

“There is always a Judas at your table…and he’s close enough to kiss you.”  Bishop T.D. Jakes

 

Ps 41:9  Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me. (NIV)

True friendship with Jesus comes only after you “Follow Jesus”.

 

John 15:14-15 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15     I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. (NIV)

This is obedience as a result of relationship!  It’s a relationship with Jesus, and Jesus continues to reveal Himself to His friends.

Many of us have heard about Jesus all of our lives.  We consider Jesus our friend.

We would be the first to stand up and publicly declare, “Jesus is my friend!”

But remember what we have learned in this Dirty Dozen series so far to be a disciple is to “follow”.

 

Matt 16:24  Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. (NIV)

Judas missed that point!  So many today miss that point!

People want to be associated with Jesus, to be known in the community as a Christian, yet they don’t follow.  They don’t live according to the Word of God.  They love the world and the things of the world more than Jesus.  They choose to do things the world’s way, rather than Jesus’ way.

“Love and obedience go hand in hand.”

I John 5:2-3 (NIV)  This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands.  3 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,

(John 14:15, I John 2:5-6)

 

Jesus chooses Judas to be His friend, but also His disciple.

John 6:70-71 Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve?

Judas was one of the Twelve, The Dirty Dozen.  Judas was chosen my Jesus to be one of the Twelve.  Judas had every opportunity to really know Jesus!  He had every opportunity to follow Jesus.

Yet he never bought in, he never walked in total obedience to Christ Jesus.  He was familiar with Jesus, but not a true follower of Jesus.

“Have I not chosen you, the Twelve?       Yet one of you is a devil!” 71 (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.) (NIV)

Judas Misconception # 2 – A house built on sand is good enough!

 

John once recorded that if all the things that Jesus said and taught were written in books we would not have space to contain them.  So The Dirty Dozen and Judas heard more of Jesus words and teachings than are actually recorded.  Yet Judas was a hearer of the Word and not a doer of the Word.

Even as Judas was hearing the words of Jesus, he was looking for an opportunity to turn Jesus in.

Mark 14:10-11Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them.

11They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand

him over. (NIV)

Here in the Southeast there is a church on every corner, bibles are readily available, you have free bible apps on your phones, you can tune into at least one Christian radio station, two or three Christian Television Networks, thousands of Christian Pod cast and hear people talking about Jesus every day and public places.  We are saturated with the Word of God.

But the problem is that won’t do you a bit of good until you actually do what the Word of God says.

James 1:22  Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says. (NIV)

If you are listening to the Word, yet taking no action on what you hear, you are simply deceiving yourself.

Deceiving yourself in what way?  Deceiving yourself that you are truly born again, truly a follower of Christ, and you are living in deceit thinking that your life is actually stable and secure.  But it’s not.

You like Judas, may be building your house on a sandy foundation.

Matt 7:21, 24-27 21 “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.

 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his

house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house;

yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 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. 27 The rain came down,

the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (NIV)

Are you actually doing what the Word of God is telling you?  Do your beliefs and actions match?

Maybe you are not concerned about this, because as the popular slogan say’s “Life is Good”!

But notice that Jesus didn’t say “If storms come in your life.”  It’s not a matter of “if”; it’s a matter of “when”.

Judas Misconception # 3 – If I had more money, my life will be fulfilled!

Judas had a problem with GREED.  Greed Def: a selfish desire to have more of something (especially money).  I think the key word here is “selfish”.  A desire to have more to help others with or fund the kingdom of God is a good desire.  Judas wanted more for himself.  He was so consumed with greed that it turned him into a thief.

John 12:1-7 Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor.  Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him.3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair.  And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor?  It was worth a year’s wages.” 6            He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.7      “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. (NIV)

The dinner was “in honor” of Jesus.  Rather than focusing on honoring Jesus, Judas was again thinking only about himself.  All of the Dirty Dozen were alarmed at this act of “extravagant worship”, but Judas could not understand why anyone would spend this much money on the Lord!  He masked his greed with a false concern for the poor.

  • Do you find yourself critical of money spent on Kingdom work?
  • Do you find it hard to give sacrificially to the Kingdom of God?
  • Do you find it hard to give your fair share? 10% of your income?

We live in a self-absorbed world where selfishness and greed run rampant.  We need to make sure that we don’t fall into this misconception that Judas had.  “If I had more money, my life will be fulfilled!”

Judas Misconception # 4 – Surely Not I.

Have you ever met someone who never sees their faults or wrong doing, much less ever admit that they did anything wrong.  I believe Judas was like that too.

Judas committed suicide due to unresolved guilt and a pattern of a lack of true repentance in his life.

Was Judas saved?        No.                   Did he believe in Jesus?            Yes

Could Jesus have been forgiven and restored Judas.         Yes, just like Peter.

 

As a matter of fact, I think that Judas had many opportunities to repent and to form his ways even before the ultimate betrayal.

Matt 26:24-25 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him.  But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man!  It would be better for him if he had not been born.” 25 Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” Jesus answered, “Yes, it is you.” (NIV)

What would you do if Jesus had just spoken that to you?           I hope you would repeat and beg for mercy.

I believe Judas had a divine moment of opportunity to repent and cry out to Jesus for mercy, yet he hardened his heart.

People tell me heart breaking stories like, “Never once did I ever hear my dad say he was sorry for what he had done.”  “My husband or my wife will never admit that they did anything wrong.”  “You can confront them for what they are doing, but they won’t hear a word you are saying.”

Do you know people like that?  Are you a person like that?

When you are confronted with a wrong you committed, when the Holy Spirit convicts your heart, when you hear a convicting sermon, your respond is like that of Judas, “Surely not I.”

“Hey surely you’re not referring to me.”  “Pastor that’s a good word for someone else, too bad they weren’t here to hear it today!”  “No, no, not me!”  “I haven’t done anything that I need to say I’m sorry for.”  “I don’t need to repent.”  “Surely not I!”

 

Proverbs 28:13-14 He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. 14 Blessed is the man who always fears the LORD, but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble. (NIV)

One hardening of the heart leads to another.  The sin gets easier to commit each time you do it.

Sin grieves the Holy Spirit, and then it’s harder to hear His voice calling you to mercy and grace.

Refusing the convicting voice of the Holy Spirit may open the door for Satan to fill you heart.

Luke 22:3-4 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. 4 And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. (NIV)

 

John 13:2 The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. (NIV)

Can you imagine sitting at the Last Supper with Jesus, having your feet washed by Jesus, with your heart filled with the plans of Satan.  Can people do that today?  Sit in church, attend a ministry event, sit in a board meeting, and appear to do what Christians are supposed to do with a heart full of Satan?

Yes they can.

Repentance is the key!  Acts 3:19-20 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20       and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you– even Jesus. (NIV)

Remorse and feeling sorry for something you have done is not repentance.  That is a step in the process, but the remorse and conviction should be a trigger that leads you to repentance.

 

Matt 27:1-5 (NIV) Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people came to the decision to put Jesus to death.2 They bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate, the governor.

3 When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned

the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders.

4 “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” Now Judas acknowledges his sin, and tries to redeem himself by returning the money.

5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.

But he never cries out to Jesus for mercy and due to the guilt and remorse ends his life.

 

‘May another take his place of leadership.’

 

Even though you may be saved, that lack of true repentance and not turning from you ways can cause you to miss your opportunity to be used by God in Extra-Ordinary Ways!  He still loves you and wants to use you but God may have to put things on hold until you repent.

 

Acts 1:18-21 (With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. 19 Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)20 “For,” said Peter, “it is written in the book of Psalms, “‘May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,’ and, “‘May another take his place of leadership.’

21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went

in and out among us, (NIV)

 

‘May another take his place of leadership.’ May these words never be spoken about you or me.

We don’t want our mission, our purpose to be put on hold due to the lack of repentance in our lives.

 

Let’s learn from Judas’ mistakes and make sure we are not self-deceiving ourselves as well.

 

Next Step: I will examine myself for any of the Judas Misconceptions in my thinking.

# 1 – It’s ok to be Jesus’ friend and not follow Him.

# 2 – A house built on sand is good enough!

# 3 – If I had more money, my life will be fulfilled!

# 4 – Surely Not I.

 Next Step: As we head into the Change Maker Series, begin to list some the extra-ordinary things that you feel God is calling you to do.  How will you change your world?

 

Life App Group and Family Devotional Applications

  1. In your own words explain the difference in being a friend with Jesus and a follower of Jesus.
  1. Pastor Scott said, “An enemy can’t betray you. Only a friend, family member, business partner, associate, or someone you trust or trusted can betray you.”  Do you agree or disagree?  How have you survived, overcome, or dealt with betrayal in your life?

 

  1. According to Matt 7:21, 24-27 what determines if a person’s house is built on sand or a rock? If you are only listening to the word of God who are you deceiving? (James 1:22)
  1. Judas had a problem with greed. How can greed interfere with our relationship with Jesus and cause us to miss out on what is important in life?

 

  1. Do you know people that never admit that they do anything wrong? “Surely not I.”  Do you think Jesus would have forgiven Judas if he would have had a repentant heart?
  1. Can Judas’ Misconceptions in our lives hinder us from being used by God to do extra-ordinary things?

 

8-23-15 Promo Judas IscariotJudas Iscariot may be the most famous of all the twelve disciples, for all the wrong reasons.  Scripture indicates that Judas’ personality and character leaned to being greedy (Matthew 26:14-16), deceitful (Matthew 26:25), and treacherous (Matthew 26:47-50).  Judas was one who never really grasped the concepts and truths that Jesus was teaching and ultimately he would betray Christ Jesus.

Join us Sunday, at 9 or 11 a.m. as we look at the last of THE DIRTY DOZEN, “Judas Iscariot”.

Do Christians actually share some of the same misconceptions as Judas did, and if so, how do we avoid falling into these same traps?

 

 

8-23-15 Promo Judas Iscariot

 

08-16-15 The DD Matthew and Thomas

 

 

If asked to name The Dirty Dozen, the twelve disciples, almost everyone is going to remember two names; those being Matthew and Thomas.  Matthew because he wrote the most read Gospel of the four, the Gospel of Matthew.  Thomas, who unfortunately you remember as “Doubting Thomas”.

 

If you’ve missed any of The Dirty Dozen series I hope that you will go back and get the notes and watch them online.  We also have hard copies at the Welcome Center as well as CD’s.

We have discovered that God uses ordinary people to do extra-ordinary things!  Ordinary men like The Dirty Dozen and ordinary people like you and me!

  • This all begins with obedience on our part and God filling us with His Holy Spirit of boldness, as we saw in the life of Peter.
  • We are used in extra-ordinary ways when we like Andrew are content to serve where we are, according to who we are. Andrew devoted himself to not only knowing Jesus, but introducing others to him as well.
  • Many of us related to the Sons of Thunder! We said the opposite of selfishness and conceited is servanthood and love.  James was not only used by Jesus, but was transformed to be a servant of all.  John was not only used by Jesus, but became known as the disciple of love.
  • Last we saw that Philip knew the scriptures and responded to the call of Jesus to “Follow Me”. He immediately went and told his friend Bartholomew, (Nathanael) “Come and See”!
  • Nathanael, a truth seeker, had to lay all prejudice and self-pride down so that he could meet a man, Jesus of Nazareth, who would change and transform his life!

 

In keeping with the idea that God uses ordinary people to do extra- ordinary things, we are reminded that not only does Jesus use ordinary people, but he also transforms them in the process!

 

I mean would you choose Matthew, a lying, deceiving, stealing tax collector to do something great?

Or would you use a doubter like Thomas?  Probably not, but Jesus did.

 

And if Jesus can transform and use two men like Matthew and Thomas, then I’m sure he can use you and me too!

 

MATTHEW

  • Also known as Levi the son of Alphaeus. (Mark 2:14)
  • Tax collector in Galilee. (Matthew 9:9)
  • From Capernaum. (Mark 2:1-17)
  • Possible brother of James son of Alphaeus. (Mark 3:18)
  • Wrote the Gospel of
  • The name Matthew derives from Hebrew, meaning “gift of God.

 

THOMAS

  • Didymus (Twin John 20:24). Judas Thomas
  • And you probably know him as “Doubting Thomas”.
  • Courageously encouraged disciples to go to Bethany saying, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” (John 11:16)
  • Asked Jesus how to know where Jesus was going. (John 14:5)
  • After his famous doubting, affirmed Jesus as Lord and God. (John 20:28)

A Tax Collector Willing to Follow

 

Even a tax collector can be used by God, if he or she is willing to follow.

 

Matt 9:9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth.  “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. (NIV)

 

Luke 5:27-28 After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi  (Matthew) sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, 28           and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.

 

Now when we say tax collector, we are not talking about an IRS Agent.  We are talking about a Jewish man who has chosen the occupation of collecting taxes from his fellow Jews, for the Roman Empire.

 

The Roman Government who had seized and was currently occupying the nation of Israel!

 

Not only that but most of these tax collectors were wealthy, and as we saw in the story of Zacchaeus, they were known to charge extra taxes to pad their pockets.

 

A Jewish man becoming a Roman tax collector would be like one of us joining ISIS.

He would be considered a traitor to our country.  He would be hated for being a traitor.

 

A Jew who collected taxes for the Roman government would be:

  • Disowned by his family.
  • Not allowed to worship in the synagogue.
  • Looked down upon by his friends and acquaintances as if he were a murderer.

 

You couldn’t get any lower in Jewish Society than a Roman Tax Collector.  You were considered the greatest of all sinners.  Yet this man was asked to follow Jesus as a disciple.

 

My Point:  You haven’t sinned past the point of being able to walk away from your past either, follow Jesus, and be used by God in extra-ordinary ways.  “Levi got up, left everything and followed him.”

 

Maybe you are thinking, “Scott I can see that God uses ordinary people, but you don’t know my past.  I’m not just ordinary, I’m down right wicked!”                        You still qualify!

 

Matthew (Levi) had to feel miserable inside about the way he was living.  You may feel that way too.  He was probably full of guilt and maybe even hated himself.  You may feel that way also.

 

Maybe today you feel down and empty.  Your life is full of regrets and mistakes and you are wondering if God still loves you and has a plan for your life.                   I can say with all certainty, yes he does!

 

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (NIV)

 

Jesus called Matthew and He is calling you.  All you have to do is say yes to Jesus.  Yes Jesus I will follow you.

 

A Matthew Party

 

Matt 9:10  While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples.  (NIV)

 

Luke points out that not only was this dinner party at Matthew’s house, but it was his ideas to host the party!

 

Luke 5:29-32Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them.30              But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?” 31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (NIV)

 

This is what we like to call a “Matthew Party”.  Matthew didn’t have many Jewish friends anymore due to his past profession, but being a former tax collector he had a lot of sinner friends!

 

Matthew has a dilemma.

  • He wants all of his friends to meet and follow Jesus too, but there was no way they were going to go to a temple to meet Jesus.

 

  • So he decided to throw a party! He would invite all of his old tax collector type friends to the party, and he would invite Jesus and his new Christ follower friends to the party too!

 

  • He hoped they would mix it up a bit, maybe his friends could see that the disciples were not like the self-righteous Pharisees.

 

  • Maybe when his friends rubbed shoulders with Jesus, they would decide to follow him too!

 

Matthew demonstrates another one of our Six Styles of Evangelism that we teach here at Believers Church.  He has the Interpersonal Style of Evangelism.  He made friends easily, and he used his friendship and relationship as a way to introduce people to Christ Jesus.

 

If you have a warm personality, you are conversational, and friendship oriented (Tending to focus on people and their needs more than on ideas) you may have the Interpersonal Style of Evangelism too.

 

Matthew looked for ways to build bridges for people to come to Jesus.  Even when he wrote the Gospel of Matthew, he did so trying to bridge the gap for his Jewish friends, desiring to prove that Jesus truly was the Messiah.

 

NEXT STEP:  Think about a way to host your own Matthew Party.

 

 

You Say God Can Use Ordinary People?  But I Have My Doubts.

 

When I tell you that God Can Use Ordinary People to do Extra Ordinary Things, and you doubt it…  You may be like Thomas.  Thomas received his claim to fame when he doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead as He said He would.

 

John 20:24-25 Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.

25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”  But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in

his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”

 

Everyone in this room has had doubts, or dealt with doubts at one time or another.  There may be doubts you are dealing with right now.  We like Thomas want to be able to see, touch, and hold.

But doubts can be dangerous when not dealt with.

 

  1. Doubt Can Cripple You.

 

John 20:25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”  But he said to

them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and

put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”

 

  • Doubt can keep you from experiencing Jesus.

 

Jesus is going to appear and show Himself to Thomas in about a week, what if Jesus doesn’t?

Would Thomas have allowed his doubts to keep him from faith in a risen Lord?

 

  • Doubt can keep you from receiving from Jesus.

James 1:6-8 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of

        the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;

8    he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.  (NIV)

 

  1. Seeds of Doubt Can Grow and Spread to Others.

 

In Jesus’ home town, many people doubted the He could be the Messiah, but not only did they doubt, but they spread the seeds of doubts to others.

 

Matt 13:54-58 Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked.

55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?  Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph,

Simon and Judas? 56  Aren’t all his sisters with us?  Where then did this man get all these things?”

57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown and in his own house is a

prophet without honor.” 58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. (NIV)

 

  1. Doubt Must Be Dealt With.

 

If you don’t deal with doubt… it will deal with you!  It’s ok to admit your doubts, talk out your doubts, but we have to take them to the Lord and prayer and move from doubt to belief!

 

  • Doubt kept in check can help you grow in the Lord.

 

We are not called to believe everything.   It isn’t honoring to God to blindly accept things just because you think that’s what Christians are supposed to do.

 

1Thes 5:21-22  Test everything. Hold on to the good.  22 Avoid every kind of evil. (NIV)

 

Allow your doubts to cause you to dig a little deeper.  Study God’s word, pray, fast, seek out the answers to your doubts.

 

James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. (NIV)

 

NEXT STEP:  This week I will deal with my doubts, by honestly taking it to Jesus

 in prayer.

 

  1. Stop Doubting and Believe.

 

Jesus dealt directly with Thomas’ doubt.

 

John 20:26-27 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them.  Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands.  Reach out your hand and put it into my side.  Stop doubting and believe.”

 

  • Believe and Receive

 

John 20:28-29 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (NIV)

 

This truth is not just for our salvation alone, but throughout our Christian Journey we will be challenged to believe and receive.

 

Moving from doubt to faith, will allow God to use us, yes ordinary people, to do extra-ordinary things!

 

Matthew and Thomas are great reminders to you and me, that no matter what our past, we can ask for forgiveness and follow Jesus.  Then with no doubt we will know that God wants to use us, ordinary men and women, to do great and extra-ordinary things.

 

Life Group and Family Devotional Questions

  1. Which if these two men do you identify with the most and why?

 

  1. Have you ever had something similar to a “Matthew Party”? If so, share about it.

 

  1. Have you ever struggled with doubts about your faith or God’s ability to come through for you? Looking back now, what circumstances or situations caused you to doubt?

 

  1. Often times doubt stems from selfishness or self-centeredness in our lives. In other words I doubt when God isn’t making me happy!  Have you seen this in your life, or in the lives of others If so, share.

 

  1. Looking ahead, do you have a vision of what God could do in the future through you, which would display His faithfulness to the extra-ordinary in your life?

 

 

 

 

One Hour On Wednesday 8.12.15

August 12th, 2015

Wed App Groups

Tonight we continue our small group in depth study on The Dirty Dozen.

Join us at 7 PM. EDGE Student Ministry will meet in the Pavilion. See you tonight!

The Dirty Dozen        James, Simon, Judas                          08-09-15          Believers Statesboro

jamessimonjudas

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.

 

Since that movie, every time I think about the twelve disciples 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.

 

Today we are looking are three of the lesser known of The Dirty Dozen.

James son of Alphaeus

  • He perhaps was brother to Matthew, who was a son of Alphaeus as well. (Mark 2:14)
  • His mother witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus. (Mark 15:40)
  • Referred to as ‘James the lesser or younger.
    • Not James the brother of Jesus (who wrote the book of James)
    • Not James the Great, one of the Sons of Thunder

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.”
  • He was a political activist
  • He was considered an outlaw.

Judas son of James (not Iscariot):

  • He was also known as Thaddeus (with I’m sure he preferred)
  • He is also known as Lebbaeus.
  • The Aramaic meaning of Thaddaeus and Lebbaeus is the same, “beloved” or “dear to the heart.”
  • Also known as Jude (a common name) or “Judas” which derives from the Hebrew name Judah, meaning “praise.”
  • Inquisitive, but sometimes confused. (John 14:21-23)

When I say that these three disciples are lesser known than the others of The Dirty Dozen, I mean the above information is pretty much everything we know about them. Of course they, like all of the other disciples, were included in the events of Jesus’ life, but very little is known about them individually.

They weren’t in the “inner three”; they didn’t get any cool nicknames like “The Sons of Thunder!”

We know less about them than we do the “second fiddle” player Andrew.

One of the interesting things that we learn from these three disciples is that you can still be a disciple and a follower of Jesus without being in the limelight.

You can still be used in an Extra-Ordinary ways and never be written about in a history book. You can do extra-ordinary things and some people won’t even know who you are. But you are important!

You are necessary in the Kingdom of God!

“But I’m only a ______________”

As we are talking about God using Ordinary People to do Extra-Ordinary things, I’m sure some of you are thinking, “Scott you don’t understand, I’m only a cook,” or “Well, I just fix cars,” or “I’m just a mom and a housewife.” “I don’t preach, I can’t sing, and I’m in no position to be teaching others!”

When I hear comments like this and it is said in such a tone as if they are saying, “I’m nothing, nobody…I don’t really do anything important.” That hurts my heart, because I realize that you don’t understand how important you are to God as an individual!

Somewhere along the way, we’ve gotten this false idea that people with the “public ministry gifts” are the only ones God can use.

But you have received a special gift from God! You are designed, you are wired, and you were created uniquely for a specific purpose in the Kingdom of God. It is your responsibility to walk in your gifting’s being a good steward of that gift.

1 Peter 4:10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. (NIV)

 Next Step: Memorize 1 Peter 4:10

OK, so you may not have the most exciting, glamorous or praised job. You might not receive any recognition at all for what you do. Nevertheless, use your gift to serve others.

Col 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (NIV)

Understand the great news that’s both freeing and empowering:

 God knew what He was doing when He made you.

God hasn’t created us all the same. God doesn’t call us all to spread His truth in the same way. God has given us different gifts, abilities, and talents. He built diversity into the fabric of His body of believers referring to gifts 1 Corinthians 12:11 says, “All these (gifts) are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

Why? Because there’s a world of hurting and lost people out there, and God needs you to help them!

1 Cor 12:4-27 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.(The Nine Gifts of the Holy Spirit are listed.)

11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body.

So it is with Christ.14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.15 If the foot should say, “Because

I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body.

16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason

cease to be part of the body.17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the

whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?18      But in fact God has arranged the parts in the

body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.19 If they were all one part, where would the body be?

20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. (NIV)

You are special to God and He wants to use you in an extra-ordinary way. You are the Body of Christ!

You May Be an Unsung Hero

An Unsung Hero is someone who carries a share of the responsibilities in an on-going ministry, organization, or function without any public praise or glory.

  • When the job is thought of or spoken of by others, nobody really knows who these individuals are.
  • These “unsung heroes” come in every shape, size and color and take on great responsibilities with no recognition.
  • Unsung heroes all have one thing in common. They are willing, willing to be used by God to accomplish His purposes with or without any recognition.

James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James may not have gotten much press coverage, but we know they made a difference. We know they were chosen by Jesus and were key players in building His church.

In Hebrew 11 we have what is referred to as “The Faith Hall of Fame.” This is a list of great people of faith and their accomplishments, Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, and others.

But you will also find the unnamed. More unsung heroes only referred to as “some”.

Hebrews 11:36-40 Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37 They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated–

38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the

ground. 39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40 

God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. (NIV)

 Not a One-Man Show

I love to read of the great men and women of faith who accomplished extraordinary things for God.

But at the same time, I believe that the days of a one-man show are over. I believe that in this day and time God desires to accomplish His mission through a unified effort of the body of Christ.

We should be a salty church who understands our purpose as a massive force and extension of Jesus’ hands and feet, with hearts beating with the heartbeat of heaven.

You all have received a gift; minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God!

 

1 Pet 2:4-10 As you come to him, the 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. 6 For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen

and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” 7 Now to you who

believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the

capstone,” 8 and, “A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because

they disobey the message– which is also what they were destined for.9     But you are a chosen people, a royal

priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out

of darkness into his wonderful light.10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once

you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (NIV)

Next Step: This week I will focus on and speak these truths about myself every day.

  1. I have been given a gift to serve others faithfully 1 Peter 4:10
  2. God knew what He was doing when He made me.
  3. I am a member of The Body of Christ and I will do my part. 1 Cor. 12:27
  4. I am a living stone, part of the Spiritual House of God. 1Peter 2:5
  5. I am a Holy Priest offering spiritual sacrifices to God through Christ Jesus.
  6. I may be an Unsung Hero, but I am making a difference in this world!

The Rest of the Story

In week three, during our study of Andrew, we saw how one person can effect or change the life of another person.

Edward Kimball – PIC OF KIMBALL

  • -SS school teacher at a Congregational Church in Boston MA
  • 1855, unruly 17 yr. old in SS class
  • goes to a shoe store where the teen working…..was saved

PIC OF MOODY That young man was Dwight Moody, who grew up to be an evangelist who led 1000’s to Christ

  • started Moody Bible Church & Institute in Chicago
  • traveled the world preaching about Jesus

On one of his trips, he went to London PIC OF MEYER

  • met an English pastor name FB Meyer
  • FB Meyer was mesmerized by the way Dwight Moody preached about Jesus, it revolutionized his own faith, preaching, & ministry….

In 1870s, there was a young preacher name J. Wilbur Chapman PIC OF CHAPMAN

  • struggling & uncertain in his faith / gave up
  • heard FB Meyer preaching / greatly influenced him
  • renewed & refreshed his walk with Christ
  • started an evangelistic ministry—thousands won to Christ Jesus
  • When he retired, turned ministry over to his assistant, a former baseball player named Billy Sunday

PIC OF SUNDAY

  • with passion, zeal, unorthodox approaches, Billy Sunday criss crossed the country in early 1900s, preaching fiery evangelistic sermons…..
  • after a great evangelistic crusade in NC, many of the businessmen who were saved started an organization to perpetuate the zeal & evangelism that took place in their city…
  • that group of men invited a missionary named Mordecai Ham. PIC OF HAM
  • to preach an evangelistic rally in Charlotte

So in 1934, Mordecai Ham goes to Charlotte NC, preaching about Christ

  • in the audience is a young teenager.

PIC OF BILLY GRAHAM named Billy Graham, who is saved under the preaching of Mordecai Ham.

  • Billy Graham then goes on to be an evangelist himself, is noted as being the person who has preached to more human beings face-to-face than any other person in human history

 But here is the rest of the story.

 

Billy Graham did come to Christ through the preaching of Mordecai Ham, it was during a tent meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, North Carolina, in 1936. Graham, born in 1920, was 16 years old, didn’t know Christ, and was “sowing his oats,” as many young men are known to do. He had a 16-year-old buddy, and they were just hanging out when they thought, “Hey, let’s go into this tent and hear what this whacko has to say.”

So they were just clowning around when they went into that tent. Once inside, they realized that there was no room for them; they couldn’t find any seats. So Billy said to his buddy, “Let’s get out of here.” As they turned to leave, an usher standing there saw them and said, “Hey, guys.” He put his big arms around their shoulders and said, “You know, you are welcome. We’re so glad you’re here. Let me take you to a seat.” So, the usher took them to a seat and the rest is history.

Billy Graham found Jesus that night and he went on to take Jesus to the world. That usher could never have known how God was using him that night through his simple yet faithful service.

The other young man was Grady Wilson who became the Rev. Grady Wilson, an evangelist and close associate of Billy Graham. Two mighty well known forces in the Kingdom of God.

Two names that you and I may never have known if it weren’t for an unsung hero. An unnamed Usher!

I think some of the greatest unsung heroes here at Believers Church are our ushers and greeters.

We couldn’t do what we do without our ushers and greeters. I couldn’t do what I do without our ushers and greeters. Let’s honor them today.

You may think your serving is not very important but little is much—when God is in it.

Remember what we are discovering in all of The Dirty Dozen, Jesus specializes in taking the Ordinary and turning it into something Extra-Ordinary!

Life App Group and Family Devotional Application

  1. Do you know a believer who quietly serves the Lord sacrificially, faithfully, and out of the limelight? (Share)
  2. Jesus placed a high value on spiritual discipline done in secret. List some things that we do that are noticed by others and some that are only noticed by God
  3. Seeing that his Mother was at the cross when Jesus was crucified (Mark 15:40), what does that tell us about the life of James son of Alphaeus, James the lesser. Is it hard to bring your family to Jesus?
  4. How can God use you in your current job situation?
  5. Not being boastful, but honest, tell us what Spiritual Gift God has given you. How are you using it to serve others? How is it being used for the common good? (1 Corinthians 12:7)

 

 

 

james_Judas_Simon

Of  THE DIRTY DOZEN, James, Simon and Judas are three that we know very little about. Of course they, like all of the other disciples, were included in the events of Jesus’ life, but very little is known about them individually.

They weren’t in the “inner three,” and they didn’t get any cool nicknames like “The Sons of Thunder!” We know less about them than we do about the “second fiddle” player Andrew.

One of the interesting things that we learn from these three disciples is that you can still be a disciple and a follower of Jesus without being in the limelight.

You can still be used in an Extra-Ordinary ways and never be written about in a history book.  You can do extra-ordinary things and some people won’t even know who you are.  But you are important! You are necessary in the Kingdom of God! Join us Sunday at 9 or 11 a.m. as we look at “James, Simon and Judas” and their role in The Dirty Dozen!