Thursday, October 27, 2005

Holey Gucci!

Wednesday Night Recap
James 5:1-6

Truths from James 5:1-6

Truth 1: Rich does not make happy (v1)
Truth 2: God is not pleased with wasted riches. (v2-3)
Truth 3: Money and clothes will only last for a limited time. (v3)
Truth 4: Our wastefulness of spiritual riches could result in someone's spiritual death.

Don't waste what God has given you. Use your talents, riches, and other resources for eternal purposes!

Why Should I Care About You?

Sunday Night Recap
October 24, 2005

The Christian community is failing to do its most basic jobs. What can we do, as Christians, to change this? We can recognize what the Bible calls us to do with and for each other and then start looking for ways to do it!

Here are 4 Responsibilities of the Christian Community:

Responsibility 1: Comfort
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 reminds us that God comforts us in our times of trial so that we can turn right around and comfort somebody else. There are many hurting Christians...let's start comforting them with the truth of God's word instead of the wisdom of this world.

Responsibility 2: Strength
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 tells us that 2 or 3 are better than one. It makes the work easier, provides better protection, and provides strength in the times that this world is trying to break you. That is why it is so important to surround yourselves with Christian friends. It is very easy to break one pencil, but very difficult to break 3 that are placed together. That's what Slomon means when he says that "a cord of 3 strands is not easily broken." If you are surrounding yourself with unbelievers, and trusting their strength, it's like trusting 2 noodles to protect a pencil from getting broken.

Responsibility 3: Accountability
Galatians 6:1 encourages us to recognize sin in the Christians around us and then gently seek to restore their relationship with God. It's like setting a broken hurts like heck to do it, but the result is healing and usefulness of the broken limb. If you never go through the pain to set the broken bone, the limb will continue to hurt for much longer and will not be useful again. If we refuse to take our responsibility to restore the Christians around, even if it hurts, we are robbing them of the opportunity to be useful for the Kingdom of God in the future.

Responsibility 4: Encouragement
Many people are depressed everyday...even Christians...and that should not be. We must work to lift up and encourage the people around us with the hope, peace and love that comes for the Truth found in the Bible. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

So, let's start doing it...Today!!! Look for those opportunities God is placing in your life to comfort, provide strenght, hold accountable and encourage the Christians around you, and don't be afraid to ask for the same thing from those same Christians for your life!

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Wenesday Night Bible Study Recap
James 4:11-17

Imagine the scene:

A Minature Golf Course, 1998, a place where high schoolers go to work after a long day for school. Here we have two such high schoolers engaging in a conversation about a fellow employee...
(names and events have been changed to protect the guilty)

Vick: Another day, another dollar.
Christalena: Yeah, I can't stand this place. But at least I get to work with you.
Vick: Oh Yeah! There are some people I can't stand to work with here.
Christalena: I had to work with Bryan yesterday. What a day! All he ever does is stand around and talk about other people and how bad they are at their job!
Vick: I know! he enver helps any customers unless he is told to by Harry.
Christalena: Yeah, and Harry the Bossman thinks Bryan is the greatest employee he's ever had. he didn't even get mad when Bryan yelled at the owner.
Customer: Excuse me. I'd like to get some game tokens please.
Vick: (Ignoring the customer) You can always be sure that Bryan will stand at the least busiest counter so he has to help the least number of people.
Christalena: I know! I probably helped, like, 200 people yesterday, and he maybe helped 10. And even then he didn't get to them very quickly. They had to wait FOREVER!
Customer: (Becoming irritated and knocking on the counter) Excuse me. Can I get some help over here?
Vick: He Christalena. Do you think we could get Bryan fired?
Christalena: Maybe. I was thinking about complaining to Harry about him, but the Bossman likes him so much!
Customer: He people! I don't have all day!
Vick: Can't you see we're having a conversation here! Everybody always thinks they deserve immediate service!
Harry: Vick. Christalena. What are you guys doing? There is a customer over there and ya'll are just standing here talking! If you don't get to work, you're time here is going to be ver short! Don't assume you'll have this job as long as you want it!
Christalena: But Harry, Bryan does this all the time. He never helps customers! you never get mad at him!
Harry: You don't worry about Bryan. Let me take care of him. You just do your job. You'ren not the boss here, I am! Now GET TO WORK!

Do you see the irony in this scene? Here are two employees judging and speaking against a fellow employee for actions that they are presently commiting themselves. The boss comes in and reminds them of their present responsibility, which they know they are supposed to be doing, and reminds them that he is the only one who has the authority over the employees. He also warns them that their time could be very short at that job, so they should get to it or they may lose the only job they have.

In James 4:11-17 we see a similar picture played out in relation to the Christian life. Christians are often so busy pointing out other people's issues, and trying to play judge, that they forget about their own daily responsibilities for the Kingdom of God. We also often plan, in our arrogance, our life ahead as if we had a gaurantee that we would live to that point.

James reminds us that God is the only judge and lawgiver and that he has the power to save or destroy us. In light of eternity our life is very short, like a mist rising from a boiling pot of water, or hanging around after a shower.

We do have a responsibility to point out sin to fellow Christians, but not in a condemning way of passing judgement. The purpose is to encourage each other to get off the fence and move deeper into our relationship with Christ, trusting His plans for our life and not our own plans.

James closes out this discussion with one, very clear truth.
v17-"To you who knows what you are supposed to do, and yet do not do it, to you it is sin."

We know the life we are supposed to live. We know what parts of our life are straddling the fence between surrender to God and friendship to the world. We must surrender those areas of sin in our life to God for any hope of joy, peace, and direction in life.

Remember, if we submit to God, then we can resist the Devil and he will flee from us.

Selected Truths from James 4:11-17

Truth 1: Only God can judge a man's character. (v 11-12)

Truth 2: God is able to save or destroy you. (v 12)

Truth 3: We don't know what our life will be like tomorrow. (v 13-14)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Knocked off the Fence

Wednesday Night Recap
James 4:1-10

Have you ever tried to climb a fence? Have you ever gotten your shirt or shoe string stuck on the fence as you tried to climb over? What was your attitude when that happened? Did you decide to just sit on the fence and wait it out, or did you do whatever it took to get yourself untangled so that you could get over that fence?

So many Christians are content to get stuck on the fence between who they used to be and who God wants them to be. Be careful, because God may come along and knock you off the fence, not in gentleness, but with pain.

James talks about this phenomenon in James 4:1-10. He starts with a discussion of conflict and wars. What is the conflict, and what causes it? The conflict is the everyday battle we face between doing what we should do and doing what we do. This battle can lead to sin.

Here is a definition for Sin: Placing your desires for you above God's desires for you.

When we commit this sin (selfishness, pride, idol worship), we are straddling a very dangerous line. When someone claims to be a Christian, yet lives their life in such a way that defies all that being a "new creation" is supposed to mean, you are at the same time trying to be friends with the world and God. This is called straddling the fence in the Christian life. You are living a lukewarm life, neither hot or cold.

What does God have to say about fence straddlers and lukewarm Christians who walk the line between worldly living and Biblical living?

"You adultresses, do you not know that friendship with the would is hostility towards God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself and enemy of God." James 4:4

If you are living your life on the fence, God considers you His enemy? Why? Because you are doing His Kindom absolutely NO GOOD! If you call yourself a Christian, yet date someone that everyone knows doesn't live up to Christian virtues, it cheapens your claim to Christianity. If you call yourself a follower of God, yet live in a way that follows after all the desires and toys of the world, your loyalties are seen as cheap. Christians that sit on the fence detest God and should detest other Christians.

Don't live a life of Cheap Christianity. Get on God's side of the fence and seek to move as deeply and far away from the fence, into Biblical living, as you can. Don't be one who hangs out next to he fence ready to jump over at a moments notice.

Here are some truths to grab hold of in Jame 4:1-10:

Truth 1: Trying to fulfill our desires on our own terms leads to sin. (v 1-2)
Truth 2: God wants us to ask and trust Him to fulfill our desires. (v 2)
Truth 3: Go dis not obligated to fulfill selfish requests. (v 3)
Truth 4: Friendship with the world is like cheating on God. (v 4)
Truth 5: God is jealous for us because He created us for a purpose. (v 5)
Truth 6: We must submit to God before we can resist the Devil. (v 7)
Truth 7: God desires to be close to his creation. (v 8)
Turth 8: Repentance and humility bring hope of encouragement. (v 9-10)

The Challenge: Questions to Consider

Which side of the fence are you on? Are you on the fence? What "gunk" is on your hands that is dirtying the pure tasks that God has placed in your life? What selfish ambition, anger, pride, jealousy, etc. needs to be cleansed from your life so that you can be lifted up by the Lord? What circumstances are in your life now that require you to submit to God so that you don't sin in your response to those circumstances? Whare is your hope? In Jesus? In yourself? In others?

Keep digging into truth for motivation and direction. Be willing to humble yourself before God and let Him lift you up!

GTKY Vol. 7

What is your least favorite chore to do around the house?

GTKY Vol. 6

What is the Best Book you have Ever Read,
What are you Reading Right Now?

GTKY Vol. 5

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Sunday Night Recap
Ephesians 2:1-10

Ahh...ze zelf-portrait. Ze challenge of every artiste to accurately depict oneself in clay, stone, paints, or lead.

How much can a painting, sculpture, or drawing really show us though? It can show us what someone looked like, but can it really show us who that person was?

What about you? Who are you and what are you? What would your deeper self-portrait look like?

When examining our lives, our self-portrait needs to go beyond the surface of what we look like. We need to examine what other people think about us, what we enjoy, what we dislike, what we're good at and where we fail, our fears, hopes and dreams. Then, once we have a good idea of who and what we are, we need to measure our self-portrait against the masterpiece portrait that God has drawn of us.

Think about this question...Who and what does God want you to be? Actually think about it for a minute...then go on.

The answer to this question should not just be, "a fireman" or "a good Christian". It may include, "more caring, sympathetic, hard working, trusting, less fearful, and diligent." Why do you think specific characteristics came to your mind when you were thinking about who and what God wants you to be? Because those are the things He wants to work on in make you into the masterpiece he's already drawn!

"And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.


being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.

For we are His MASTERPIECE, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

Ephesians 2:1-10

The starting peice of your masterpiece is Jesus Christ. If you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you will never live up to what God wants you to be. Realize your desperation without Him, ask Him to fix the sin in your life, and allow His masterpiece life to fill you up!

If you do have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, then God expects you to be different from the world. That's why, at the beginning of the Ephesians passage He says "you formerly walked" in sin, BUT GOD saved you from that!!!!!!

So, here comes the hard part. What are you doing that is messing up that masterpiece that God has of you. What pieces are missing that God is calling you to allow Him to change in your life today?

One cool thing about the Mona Lisa, EVERYONE wants to see it! Allow God to work His masterpiece in your life, and have a worldwide impact for His kingdom!

Friday, October 7, 2005

GTKY Vol. 4

What is your most favoritist toy EVER!!!

(something you had as a kid, or even have now...)

GTKY Vol. 3

What is the furthest you have ever been away from Virginia?

(Name of place...not just a distance! And you don't have to have lived there...just been there)