Romans 12:3-16 NLT

Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

The Church Belongs to the Lord

  • Matthew 16:18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

The Church is Built by the Lord

  • Psalm 127:1 “Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it.”

The Church is the Body of the Lord

  • Ephesians 4:12 NLT Their (pastors and teachers) responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ

Loving My Church Means. . .

Taking part in its Testimony .

  • Praying for its growth
  • Inviting the unchurched
  • Welcome those who visit

Supporting its Ministry .

  • Attending faithfully
  • Growing spiritually
  • Giving regularly

Building Harmony .

  • Working to resolve conflicts (Mt. 18)
  • Ministering reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18)

Matthew, Mark, Luke and Johnny

Matthew 25:34-40 New Living Translation (NLT)

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’


Mark 10: 45-46 New Living Translation (NLT)

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road.


Luke 18: 15-16 New Living Translation (NLT)

One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him.

Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.


John 12: 25-26 The Message (MSG)

“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.

“If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you’ll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment’s notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me.


Great Service is a choice

  • Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Great Service surprise people

  • Luke 18:16 Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.
  • Luke 5:12-13 In one of the villages, Jesus met a man with an advanced case of leprosy. Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing” he said. “Be healed!”

Great Service goes the extra mile

  • Matthew 5:41 If someone forces you to walk with him for a mile, walk with him for two instead.

Great Service comes from the heart

  • John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Listen in as Pastor Tim Barker brings the 2017 edition of Word for the Year!

Ecclesiastes 3New Living Translation (NLT)

  1. There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
    • Deduction: It is not MY time or MY season
  2. a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    • Deduction: Your birth and death are DETEREMINED by God
    • A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed. Job 14:5 NIV
  3. a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
    • Deduction: DEATH and life are in GOD’S hands
    • But someone drew his bow at random and hit the king of Israel between the sections of his armor. 1 Kings 22:34
    • How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!”  As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor and died. Acts 5:5
  4. a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    • Deduction: GOD DESIGNED our emotions
    • I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things. Isaiah 45:6-7
  5. a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    • Deduction: We must learn to DEVELOP self control
  6. a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    • Deduction: DON’T hold on to things too tightly
  7. a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    • Deduction: DIVISION can lead to multiplication
    • A right word spoken at the right time is a DELIGHT .
  8. a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
    • Deduction: Love and hate are DECISIONS .
    • War- what is it good for? it can DISPERSE judgment
  9. (11) He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can

Chapter 2 I said to myself, “Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life.” But I found that this, too, was meaningless. So I said, “Laughter is silly. What good does it do to seek pleasure?” After much thought, I decided to cheer myself with wine. And while still seeking wisdom, I clutched at foolishness. In this way, I tried to experience the only happiness most people find during their brief life in this world. I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards. I made gardens and parks, filling them with all kinds of fruit trees. I built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate my many flourishing groves. I bought slaves, both men and women, and others were born into my household. I also owned large herds and flocks, more than any of the kings who had lived in Jerusalem before me. I collected great sums of silver and gold, the treasure of many kings and provinces. I hired wonderful singers, both men and women, and had many beautiful concubines. I had everything a man could desire! So I became greater than all who had lived in Jerusalem before me, and my wisdom never failed me. Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors. But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere. So I decided to compare wisdom with foolishness and madness (for who can do this better than I, the king?). I thought, “Wisdom is better than foolishness, just as light is better than darkness. For the wise can see where they are going, but fools walk in the dark.” Yet I saw that the wise and the foolish share the same fate. Both will die. So I said to myself, “Since I will end up the same as the fool, what’s the value of all my wisdom? This is all so meaningless!” For the wise and the foolish both die. The wise will not be remembered any longer than the fool. In the days to come, both will be forgotten. So I came to hate life because everything done here under the sun is so troubling. Everything is meaningless—like chasing the wind. I came to hate all my hard work here on earth, for I must leave to others everything I have earned. And who can tell whether my successors will be wise or foolish? Yet they will control everything I have gained by my skill and hard work under the sun. How meaningless! So I gave up in despair, questioning the value of all my hard work in this world. Some people work wisely with knowledge and skill, then must leave the fruit of their efforts to someone who hasn’t worked for it. This, too, is meaningless, a great tragedy. So what do people get in this life for all their hard work and anxiety? Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night their minds cannot rest. It is all meaningless. So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him? God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please him. But if a sinner becomes wealthy, God takes the wealth away and gives it to those who please him. This, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.

Chapter 1 Review

14 I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless—like chasing the wind. What is wrong cannot be made right. What is missing cannot be recovered.

Under the sun = APART FROM GOD .

Chapter 2

Life in the fast lane is:

– a pursuit of PLEASURE .

Vs 1 I said to myself, “Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life.”

Experiences: BEDLAM and BOOZE .

– a pursuit of POSSESSIONS .

vs 4 I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards.

Experiences: BUILDINGS and BUSINESS .

– a pursuit of PEOPLE .

vs 7-8 I bought slaves, both men and women, and others were born into my household. I hired wonderful singers, both men and women, and had many beautiful concubines. I had everything a man could desire!

Experiences: SLAVES , SINGERS and SEX .

Life Lessons in the Fast Lane

Vs 16 For the wise and the foolish both die. The wise will not be remembered any longer than the fool. In the days to come, both will be forgotten.

Life is FRUSTRATING .

vs 23 So what do people get in this life for all their hard work and anxiety? Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night their minds cannot rest. It is all meaningless.

Work is FUTILE .

Life Lessons in the Father’s Lane

Vs 23 So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him?

Life is a GIFT from God

1 These are the words of the Teacher, King David’s son, who ruled in Jerusalem. 2 “Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!” 3 What do people get for all their hard work under the sun? 4 Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes. 5 The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again. 6 The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles. 7 Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea. 8 Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content. 9 History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. 10 Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new. 11 We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now. 12 I, the Teacher, was king of Israel, and I lived in Jerusalem. 13 I devoted myself to search for understanding and to explore by wisdom everything being done under heaven. I soon discovered that God has dealt a tragic existence to the human race. 14 I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless—like chasing the wind. 15 What is wrong cannot be made right. What is missing cannot be recovered. 16 I said to myself, “Look, I am wiser than any of the kings who ruled in Jerusalem before me. I have greater wisdom and knowledge than any of them.” 17 So I set out to learn everything from wisdom to madness and folly. But I learned firsthand that pursuing all this is like chasing the wind. 18 The greater my wisdom, the greater my grief. To increase knowledge only increases sorrow.

  • Ecclesiastes – THE TEACHER .
  • Goal: be WISE ; not be a FOOL .
  • Wise? Ability to make RIGHT DECISIONS .
  • Fool? REJECTS and RESISTS the will of God

Four Types of Bible Verses

  • Narrative – about the history of a person and how God interacts with him/her
  • Law – a command from God that I must always obey Love the Lord with Love your neighbor
  • Promise – a guarantee from God that will always be true Nothing can separate you from the love of God. I will never leave you
  • Proverb – a short description about the way things generally go in this world Guard your heart
  • Beggars can’t be . . . Better late than . . . Better safe than . . . Garbage in . . . Look before you . . . No pain . . . Out of sight . . .

“Under The Sun”

Vs 2-3 2 “Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!” 3 What do people get for all their hard work under the sun?
Vs 14 I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless—like chasing the wind.

  • under the sun= APART FROM GOD .
  • under the sun – Get? Not MUCH

Vs 8 Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.

  • under the sun – no SATISFACTION .

Vs 9 History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. 10 Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new.

  • under the sun – nothing NEW .

Vs 13-15 the Message I looked most carefully into everything, searched out all that is done under the sun. And let me tell you, there’s not much to write home about.
15 NLT What is wrong cannot be made right. What is missing cannot be recovered.

  • under the sun – no HOPE .

Luke 19:28-42 NLT Jesus went on toward Jerusalem, walking ahead of his disciples. As he came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples ahead. “Go into that village over there,” he told them. “As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying that colt?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’” So they went and found the colt, just as Jesus had said. And sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners asked them, “Why are you untying that colt?” And the disciples simply replied, “The Lord needs it.” So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for him to ride on. As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen.

“Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna, and glory in highest heaven!”

But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!” He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!” But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep. “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes.

The Palm Sunday Story

A story of FULFILLED PROPHECY .

Zechariah 9:9 NLT Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey—riding on a donkey’s colt.

A story of PALMS and PRAISE .

palms=reflected honor and nobility

Hosanna=”Oh save” or “Save us now”

Vs 40  He replied, “If they kept quiet, the rocks along the road would burst into cheers!”

A story of an IMPASSIONED PLEA .

42 “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes.

A story of a PIVOT POINT .

Luke 23:13-25 Then Pilate called together the leading priests and other religious leaders, along with the people, and he announced his verdict. “You brought this man to me, accusing him of leading a revolt. I have examined him thoroughly on this point in your presence and find him innocent. Herod came to the same conclusion and sent him back to us. Nothing this man has done calls for the death penalty. So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him.” Then a mighty roar rose from the crowd, and with one voice they shouted, “Kill him, and release Barabbas to us!” (Barabbas was in prison for taking part in an insurrection in Jerusalem against the government, and for murder.) Pilate argued with them, because he wanted to release Jesus. But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” For the third time he demanded, “Why? What crime has he committed? I have found no reason to sentence him to death. So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him.” But the mob shouted louder and louder, demanding that Jesus be crucified, and their voices prevailed. So Pilate sentenced Jesus to die as they demanded. As they had requested, he released Barabbas, the man in prison for insurrection and murder. But he turned Jesus over to them to do as they wished.

A triumphal entry and a GLORIOUS RETURN !

Revelation 7:9 After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a great roar, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!”

If you haven’t REFOCUSED lately, you may well be out of FOCUS .

Psalm 139: 23-24 the Message

Investigate my life, O God,
find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
get a clear picture of what I’m about;
See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong—
then guide me on the road to eternal life.

Matthew 28:18-20 the VOICE Bible

Jesus: I am here speaking with all the authority of God, who has commanded Me to give you this commission: 19 Go out and make disciples in all the nations. Ceremonially wash them through baptism in the name of the triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 20 Then disciple them. Form them in the practices and postures that I have taught you, and show them how to follow the commands I have laid down for you. And I will be with you, day after day, to the end of the age.

Zoom In

  • Is Christ my first LOVE ?
  • Am I living a holy LIFE ?
  • Is He really my LORD ?

Zoom Out

  • Am I reaching the LOST ?
  • Am I serving the LEAST ?
    • Matt. 25:37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
  • Am I loving the LONELY ?

Psalm 139:1-1-16 God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of your sight. You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too—your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful—I can’t take it all in! Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? to be out of your sight? If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there! If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, You’d find me in a minute—you’re already there waiting! Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!

13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.

Surrender Cobra – Five Reasons

  1. God knows WHO you are
    • vs 1-2 God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.
  2. God knows WHERE you are
    • vs 3 You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of your sight. Vs 11 . . .“Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
  3. God knows WHAT you’ve done
    • vs 16 Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.
    • Romans 11:25-12:1 From your point of view as you hear and embrace the good news of the Message, it looks like the Jews are God’s enemies. But looked at from the long-range perspective of God’s overall purpose, they remain God’s oldest friends. God’s gifts and God’s call are under full warranty—never canceled, never rescinded.
    • 30-32 There was a time not so long ago when you were on the outs with God. But then the Jews slammed the door on him and things opened up for you. Now they are on the outs. But with the door held wide open for you, they have a way back in. In one way or another, God makes sure that we all experience what it means to be outside so that he can personally open the door and welcome us back in.
    • 33-36 Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out.Is there anyone around who can explain God? Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do? Anyone who has done him such a huge favor that God has to ask his advice? Everything comes from him; Everything happens through him; Everything ends up in him. Always glory! Always praise! Yes. Yes. Yes.
    • 12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
  4. God knows WHY you’re here
    • Vs 29 God’s gifts and God’s call are under full warranty—never canceled, never rescinded.
    • Vs 32 In one way or another, God makes sure that we all experience what it means to be outside so that he can personally open the door and welcome us back in.
  5. God’s WAITING on you.
    • 12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and surrender it to God as an offering.

2 Chronicles 14:2-5New International Version (NIV)
Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and to obey his laws and commands. He removed the high places and incense altars in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him.


2 Chronicles 16:2-13New International Version (NIV)
Asa then took the silver and gold out of the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and of his own palace and sent it to Ben-Hadad king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus. “Let there be a treaty between me and you,” he said, “as there was between my father and your father. See, I am sending you silver and gold. Now break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so he will withdraw from me.”

Ben-Hadad agreed with King Asa and sent the commanders of his forces against the towns of Israel. They conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel Maim and all the store cities of Naphtali. When Baasha heard this, he stopped building Ramah and abandoned his work. Then King Asa brought all the men of Judah, and they carried away from Ramah the stones and timber Baasha had been using. With them he built up Geba and Mizpah.

At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the Lord, he delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”

Asa was angry with the seer because of this; he was so enraged that he put him in prison. At the same time Asa brutally oppressed some of the people.

The events of Asa’s reign, from beginning to end, are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians. Then in the forty-first year of his reign Asa died and rested with his ancestors.

 

Unsurrender Temptations

  1. Asa rejected God’s RULE.
    • vs. 2: Asa then took the silver and gold out of the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and of his own palace and sent it to Ben-Hadad king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus. “Let there be a treaty between me and you,” he said
    • Deuteronomy 7:1-4 When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you— and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods, and the Lord’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you.
  2. Asa rejected God’s REPRESENTATIVE.
    • vs. 7: At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand…  You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.
  3. Asa rejected God’s REMEDY.
    • vs. 12: In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians.

Unsurrender Slide into Sin

We need to SEEK (surrender), STILL (surrender), STAY (surrendered)

Acts 3:19 (NIV) Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.

Mark 9:17-24New International Version (NIV)

A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”

“You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”

So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.

Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”

“From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”


 

Man will ALWAYS do whatever he WANTS to do as long as he is physically capable of doing it.

We must:

ADMIT that we only want to want to.

IDENTIFY the issues that keep us from surrendering.

Why I Don’t Want To Surrender List

  1.  UNBELIEF
    • Mark 9:24 – “I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief!”
  2. PRIDE
    • Proverbs 29:23 – Pride will ruin people, but those who are humble will be honored.
  3. COMFORT
    • Matthew 19:29 NLT – And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life.
  4. PAST HURTS
    • Isaiah 61:1 NLT – He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
  5. FEAR
    • Isaiah 41:10 NIV – So do not fear, for I am with you , do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Philippians 2:1-11 the Message: If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

5-8 Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

9-11 Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.

EXTREME def. / going to greater or exaggerated heights

Extreme Surrender starts with ATTITUDE .

A Christ-like attitude means:

  • Living in AGREEMENT .
  • Laying ASIDE your own desires.
  • Putting others AHEAD .
  • Don’t try to gain an ADVANTAGE .

Extreme Surrender is an act of ABANDON .

A Christ-like abandon means:

  • Taking on SLAVE status.
  • Claiming no SPECIAL privileges.
  • Living a SELFLESS obedience.
  • Submitting to a SHAMEFUL death.

Extreme Surrender promotes ALTITUDE .

Altitude means:

  • Promoted to a high HONOR .
  • Promoted to a HEAVENLY reward.

James 4

Pride Promotes Strife

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:

“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”
Humility Cures Worldliness
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

Do Not Judge a Brother

Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?

Do Not Boast About Tomorrow

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Our Surrender List: Control – Spouse – Family – Job – Time – Treasure

Time

Romans 12:1 the Message So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and surrender it to God as an offering.

GINY – ???? GINY – GUY/GIRL I (Your Pastor) NEED YOU .

Treasure

2 Corinthians 8:1-5 NLT Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.

Living/Giving Principles

  1. Give OWNERSHIP .
    • Colossians 1:16 Everything was created through him and for him.
  2. Give OBEDIENTLY .
    • 2 Cor. 8:4-5 the Message They gave offerings of whatever they could—far more than they could afford . . . What explains it was that they had first given themselves unreservedly to God and to us.
  3. Give WILLINGLY .
    • 2 Cor. 9:7 the Voice Giving grows out of the heart—otherwise, you’ve reluctantly grumbled “yes” because you felt you had to or because you couldn’t say “no,” but this isn’t the way God wants it.
  4. Give JOYFULLY .
    • 2 Cor. 9:7 NIV God loves a cheerful giver.
  5. Give GENEROUSLY .
    • 2 Cor. 8:3 NLT For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will.
  6. Give EXPECTANTLY .
    • 2 Cor. 9:6 NIV Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

A Spiritually Diseased Heart

  • Is a HARD heart
    • Hebrews 3:12-13 NLT  Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters, make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.
  • Is a HINDERED heart
    • Luke 8:14 NLT The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity.
  • Is a HATEFUL heart
    • Leviticus 19:17-19 “Do not nurse hatred in your heart for any of your relatives. Confront people directly so you will not be held guilty for their sin.  “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”

A Spiritually Healthy Heart

  • Is a SOFT heart
    • Matthew 12:7 the Message If you had any idea what this Scripture meant—‘I prefer a flexible heart to an inflexible ritual’—you wouldn’t be nitpicking like this.
  • Is a SINCERE heart
    • Hebrews 10:22 NLT Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.
  • Is a SURRENDERED heart
    • Romans 12:1 the Message So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and surrender it to God as an offering.

2015 Word – ABIDE .

2016 Word – SURRENDER .

Romans 12:1-2 the Message
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and surrender it to God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

SURRENDER is NOT DEFEAT .

SURRENDER  is more like OFFERING ourselves.

Is It ALL?

A – ATTENTION .

Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.

“You cannot fulfill God’s purposes for your life while focusing on your own plans. ”
– Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

  • Is my focus more on my plans than God’s?
  • Do I consistently seek to know and to do the will of God in the practical, daily matters of life?
  • Is there anything God has shown me to be His will that I have been neglecting or refusing to obey?

L – LOVE .

Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.

  • Do I love Christ and His kingdom more than this earth and its pleasures? Is there anything or anyone that I am more devoted to than Christ?
  • Are my desires, appetites, and longings under Christ’s control?

L – LIFE .

Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and surrender it to God as an offering

Luke 6:46 NLT  “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?

  • Are any parts of my body – eyes, ears, hands, feet, mouth – being used to sin against God?
  • Have I ever consciously acknowledged Christ’s ownership of my life?
  • Are there any “compartments” of my life over which I am reserving the right to control?

Matthew 7:7 NIV “Ask and it will be given to you;

James 4:2 NIV You do not have because you do not ask God.

James 4:3 NIV   When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

1 Chronicles 4:10 Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested.

“Oh that You would bless me indeed.”

  • Asking for IMPARTED FAVOR .

“Oh that You would enlarge my territory.”

  • Asking for IMPACTING INFLUENCE .

“Oh that Your hand would be upon me.”
Joshua 4:24 “He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful
Acts 11:21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.

  • Asking for INEXPLICABLE RESULTS .

“Oh that You would keep me from harm.”

  • Asking for INVINCIBLE ARMOR .

And God granted him what he requested

Matthew 2:1-11 NLT Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?” “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote: ‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’” Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!” After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Luke 2:8-17 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child.

People have to be LOOKING for Jesus to FIND Him.
Jeremiah 29:12 NIV  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

The People Who Sought Out Jesus

  • Wise Men – They were seeking Jesus out of OBSERVATION .
    • Matthew 2:2 We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”
  • Shepherds – They were seeking Jesus out of OBEDIENCE .
    • Luke 2:17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child.
  • Simeon & Anna – They were seeking Jesus out of OBLIGATION .

The People Who Missed Seeing Jesus

  • Herod & Jewish Leaders – They missed the OBVIOUS .
  • Jerusalem & Bethlehem – They missed the true OBJECT of worship.
  • Will WE seek Him?