Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A Word about False Teachers-John Piper Video

Hey Guys!

here's a little preview of what Wednesday night is going to be about. Check it out, and be there on Wednesday!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Measuring Stick

WNBS Recap
January 17, 2007

2 Corinthians 10:7-18

We have heard before that we should compare ourselves to the perfection of Christ and not to the imperfection of other sinful people. As we try to measure up, there are 5 important things we can remember from 2 Corinthians 10:7-18

1. The Importance of Being in Christ (v7)

In verse 7, Paul reminds us to pay close attention to our inward relationship with Christ. Our primary focus has to be our relationship with Christ, not some ability we have, like playing the bassoon!

2. The Importance of Authority in Christ (v8-9)

Different people have different authority in Christ to do different things. This doesn't make one person's authority "better" or "worse", just maybe greater or less. We need to recognize when God has given us authority and when he has given someone else authority. We need to measure up to the authority he has given us, and respect the authority he has given to others. We should not try to live up to the authority he has placed on someone else, stepping into their realm of leadership. First, focus on what positions of influence and authority God has placed you in.

3. The Importance of Consistency in Christ (v10-11)

If you were to open up two different boxes of your favorite cereal (let's say Cocoa Krispies), poured the same amount into two separate bowls, poured the same amount of milk on each, and taken a bite of each, what would you expect? You would expect them to taste the same, right? That's because of a consistency. Offering a consistent product is important to every industry. If only 53% of boxes of Cocoa Krispies tasted like they were supposed to, then customers would stop buying the product, never knowing if they were going to get what they are paying for. Consistency is essential to successful manufacturing. Consistency is also essential to a successful Christian walk. Without consistency, there can be no real expectation.

4. The Importance of Mission in Christ (v12-16)

We are all given a sphere of ministry that God has apportioned to us. We should focus on exactly what God has for us in that ministry. Even if someone else has a similar ministry, we should not compare ourselves to that person and their sphere of ministry, because what God has given them as a result of their ministry may be completely different that what God has for us. And if those minstries overlap in some area we should not take credit for what happens in our sphere as a result of someone else's work. What is your sphere of ministry? What has God apportioned to you? What does he want you to do in your sphere? Focus on those things and seek to measure up to that, not to what another person is doing in their sphere of ministry. Measure up to God's expectations, not man's! Your ministry in your sphere will be unique!

5. The Importance of Approval in Christ (v17-18)

Christ's approval outranks man's approval. We see the praise we should seek in Matthew 25:14-30, commonly known as the parable of the talents. If we focus first on our relationship with Christ, rule withing the authority Christ has given us, live consistently in that authority, succeed in accomplishing what God has for us in our sphere of ministry, then we will receive the only approval that matters..."Well done my good and faithful servant."

What is the common thread in all of this? CHRIST! Compare yourself to him and live up to his expectations.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Why Would God...?

Flood Zone Recap
January 14, 2007
Psalm 24:3-6

Is love really love if there is nothing else to love?

Is obedience really obedience if it is forced?

These are two questions we have to answer if we are going to understand why God gives worshippers freedom to choose to worship Him (the Creator) or false Gods (the creature).

This is a freedom that God has given us. (See Romans 1:25) But if God created us for the purpose of worshipping him (Colossians 1:16), why does he allow people to worship a God that isn't Him?

2 essential elements of worship are love and obedience, and, as demostrated by the questions that started off this blog, true love and true obedience are represented by a choice. The choice to love something else and the choice to disobey.

When we choose to love something else more than God or we choose to disobey God, then we have chosen to worship the creature over the Creator. Deuteronomy 6:13 warns that the consequence of such a choice is definite: death. Psalm 24:5, however, expresses the blessing of obedience when we choose to worship the Creator instead of the creature.

So, when asking the question "why" we have to remember that worship of the Creator would not be true worship, only obligation, if there were no other option.

Our love for the Creator produces willing worship through obedience, not just optionless servitude.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The War Inside

WNBS Recap
January 10, 2007
2 Corinthians 10:3-6

"I may never march in the infantry
Ride in the Calvary
Shoot the Artillery
I may never zoom o'er the enemy
But I'm in the Lord's Army! Yes Sir!"

I used to love playing war with my GI Joe's and my little green army men. I would set them up around the fireplace and sit on the other side of the room to pick them off, one by one, with my dart gun. Sometimes my brother and I would go out in the yard, dig trenches, and throw dirt clods at each other. In each of these instances, the enemy was the same (the army men) but my tactics had to change as the battlefield changed.

The world is good at producing a powerful image and message, but just as Paul warned us in 2 Corinthians 10:1-2, we shouldn't listen to a message just becasue it's powerful, or not listen to a message just because it isn't presented in a flashy way. Our focus should be the content of the message, not the method. A flashy method can still carry a completely wrong message! We have to fight against these wrong messages, and stop allowing them to influence our hearts and minds.

This is The War Inside!

So, what are the tactics to fight the enemy, Satan, on this battlefield?

First, we have to Join the Army. What army?

"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh" 2 Corinthians 10:3

This passage tells us that all those in the Spirit are in military service to God.

If we are not in a war according to the flesh, then what war are we in? A war according to the spirit!

So, what of this military service?

Our Position
We are spiritually enlisted in the Army of the Holy Spirit. Verse 4 says "The weapons of our military service are not of the flesh."

Our Weapons
So, what are these weapons? According to Ephesians 6:13-18 our offensive weapon is the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Verse 4 also tells us that this weapon is "powerful through God" but we have to learn how to wield this weapon...and we can only do that if we study the Word!

Our Purpose
What are we supposed to be using these weapons for? Verse 4 describes the objective of our military service as well: "For the destruction of fortresses".
We can't fight this battle with our dart guns or dirt clods because our enemy is hunkered down in fortresses! We need a stronger weapon, and we have it in the Word of God. That is our secret weapon and it is powerful enough to win the battle.

But, you might want to ask the question, "why"? Why do we want to tear down the fortress or the stronghold? Beacause that is where the enemy is, and with the stronghold gone, the enemy is vulnerable. Then, the next question that comes is, "what are the fortresses?"

The Enemy's Strongholds
Verse 5 tells us of 2 battlefields that we are fighting the enemy on in the War Inside: The battlefield of thoughts and the Battlefield of Pride. When we go into these battlefields, we need to "tear down speculations and every lofty thing raised up in opposition to knowing God." We need to take down the battle flags of the enemy and run up the flag of truth to claim more and more ground for the kingdom of God.

Prisoners of War
Just like in every war, in this War Inside we have to take prisoners. What prisoners? Verse 5-6 tell us to "take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience..." How do we treat these prisoners of war? We make them uncomfortable, disarm them, strip them, search them, interrogate them, find out how they are getting in, and lock them away so that they can't hurt us anymore. Don't make the enemy comfortable! Make the enemy as uncomfortable as possible. How? With the WORD!

But, what happens if we don't take prisoners? James 1:13-15 warns us that sin not checked up leads to defeat.

But, the result of a well fought war on the battlefield of the heart and mind leads to "The completing of your obedience" (v6b). That is the goal. Total Victory!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

2007-A Year to "Grow Up"

Our theme for H2O this year is "Grow Up"

The theme comes from Ephesians 4:13-15:

Until we all attain to the unity of the fatih, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.

As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;

but speaking the truth in love, we are to GROW UP in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ.

As teenagers in 2007 it's time to GROW UP!

This world is attacking your claim to faith from all angles: music, movies, commercials, clothing, and the internet. It's time to ask the tough questions of those who claim to be Christians. It's time to stop wavering in our faith. It's time to stop saying one thing and living another. It's time to stop falling for the same old tricks and schemes. It's time to stop believing everything that we hear and start trusting the TRUTH. It's time to stop expecting to know the Truth without spending time in the Word. for us when we are so rarely willing to do anything for Him. It's time to speak up for the Truth. It's time to stop believing this world that "boys will be boys" and "girls will be girls". In fact it's time to stop being boys and girls and start being men and women.

It's time to stop living down to the expectations of this world and start living up to the God's measuring stick: Christ. It's time to GROW UP!

Remembering Winterfest