Let’s start with a little worship:

 

David in Saul’s Service

1 Samuel 16:14

Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a harmful spirit from the Lord tormented him.

 

The Torn Curtain

Matt. 27:50-51

50  And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.

51 And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split.

 

Acts 1 (NIV)

Jesus Taken Up Into Heaven

1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

 

10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

 

 

Mission

God’s will in the hands sinners!

 

Two words: Ekklesia vs. Kirke

The New Testament Greek Lexicon

Ekklesia Definition:

  1. a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assembly. 2. An assembly of Christians gathered for worship

 

Kirke Definition:

Easton’s Bible Dictionary

“CHURCH: I. Anglo-Saxon, cyrica, circ, cyric; English, church;  Place of rituals. Scottish, kirk; the Latin circus, circulus,the Greek kuklos

 

“Let us not give up meeting together.”  Hebrews 10:25

  1. Share
  2. Encourage
  3. Worship

 

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The Seven Churches

 

1) Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7) – the church that had forsaken its first love.

 

(2) Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11) – the church that would suffer persecution.

 

(3) Pergamum (Revelation 2:12-17) – the church that needed to repent.

 

(4) Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29) – the church that had a false prophetess.

 

(5) Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6) – the church that had fallen asleep.

 

(6) Philadelphia (Rev. 3:7-13) – the church that had endured patiently.

 

(7) Laodicea (Rev.) – the church with the lukewarm faith.

 

From a letter to Diognetus 120 AD

Christians are indistinguishable from other men either by nationality, language or customs. They do not inhabit separate cities of their own, or speak a strange dialect, or follow some outlandish way of life. With regard to dress, food and manner of life in general, they follow the customs of whatever city they happen to be living in, whether it is Greek or foreign.

And yet there is something extraordinary about their lives. They live in their own countries as though they were only passing through. Any country can be their homeland, but for them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country. Like others, they marry and have children.  They share their meals, but not their wives.

They live in the flesh, but they are not governed by the desires of the flesh. They pass their days upon earth, but they are citizens of heaven. Obedient to the laws, they yet live on a level that transcends the law. Christians love all men, but all men persecute them. Condemned because they are not understood.  They live in poverty, but enrich many; they are totally destitute, but possess an abundance of everything. They suffer dishonor, but that is their glory. They are defamed, but vindicated. A blessing is their answer to abuse, deference their response to insult. For the good they do they receive the punishment of malefactors, but even then they, rejoice, as though receiving the gift of life. They are attacked by the Jews as aliens, they are persecuted by the Greeks, yet no one can explain the reason for this hatred.

Such is the Christian’s lofty and divinely appointed function, from which he is not permitted to excuse himself.”

 

Our everyday horizontal life should be completely energized by our vertical relationship.

 

Ephesians 2:19-22

So you are no longer strangers and outsiders. You are citizens together with God’s people. You are members of God’s family.

 

20 You are a building that is built on the apostles and prophets. They are the foundation. Christ Jesus himself is the most important stone in the building. 21 The whole building is held together by him. It rises to become a holy temple because it belongs to the Lord.

 

22 And because you belong to him, you too are being built together. You are being made into a house where God lives through his Spirit.

 

John 13:34  

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

 

παρακαλετε (parakaleite)

 

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

 

Hebrews 3:13 (NIV)

13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
We are here on Earth to be the hands and feet of God. Not to hide in Him but to abide in Him.

 

 

 

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Let’s start with a little worship

Paul Appears before Felix

24 Five days later Ananias, the high priest, arrived with some of the Jewish elders and the lawyer Tertullus, to present their case against Paul to the governor. 2 When Paul was called in, Tertullus presented the charges against Paul in the following address to the governor:

 

“You have provided a long period of peace for us Jews and with foresight have enacted reforms for us. 3 For all of this, Your Excellency, we are very grateful to you. 4 But I don’t want to bore you, so please give me your attention for only a moment. 5 We have found this man to be a troublemaker who is constantly stirring up riots among the Jews all over the world. He is a ringleader of the cult known as the Nazarenes. 6 Furthermore, he was trying to desecrate the Temple when we arrested him. 8 You can find out the truth of our accusations by examining him yourself.” 9 Then the other Jews chimed in, declaring that everything Tertullus said was true.

10 The governor then motioned for Paul to speak. Paul said, “I know, sir, that you have been a judge of Jewish affairs for many years, so I gladly present my defense before you. 11 You can quickly discover that I arrived in Jerusalem no more than twelve days ago to worship at the Temple. 12 My accusers never found me arguing with anyone in the Temple, nor stirring up a riot in any synagogue or on the streets of the city. 13 These men cannot prove the things they accuse me of doing.

14 “But I admit that I follow the Way, which they call a cult. I worship the God of our ancestors, and I firmly believe the Jewish law and everything written in the prophets. 15 I have the same hope in God that these men have, that he will raise both the righteous and the unrighteous. 16 Because of this, I always try to maintain a clear conscience before God and all people.

17 “After several years away, I returned to Jerusalem with money to aid my people and to offer sacrifices to God. 18 My accusers saw me in the Temple as I was completing a purification ceremony. There was no crowd around me and no rioting. 19 But some Jews from the province of Asia were there—and they ought to be here to bring charges if they have anything against me! 20 Ask these men here what crime the Jewish high council found me guilty of, 21 except for the one time I shouted out, ‘I am on trial before you today because I believe in the resurrection of the dead!’”

24 A few days later Felix came back with his wife, Drusilla, who was Jewish. Sending for Paul, they listened as he told them about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 As he reasoned with them about righteousness and self-control and the coming day of judgment, Felix became frightened. “Go away for now,” he replied. “When it is more convenient, I’ll call for you again.” 26 He also hoped that Paul would bribe him, so he sent for him quite often and talked with him.

27 After two years went by in this way, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And because Felix wanted to gain favor with the Jewish people, he left Paul in prison.

Acts 26:24

At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.”

25 “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable.

Acts 28:17

Three days later he called together the local Jewish leaders. When they had assembled, Paul said to them: “My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors,

 

Three Encouragements for 2018

 

  1. Be a light in the night

Philippians 2  (MSG)

14-16 Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night

 

  1. Your Spiritual Gifts are to encourage those around you

1 Corinthians 12:7 (NLT)

A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.

(MSG)

All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful:

 

wise counsel

clear understanding

simple trust

healing the sick

miraculous acts

proclamation

distinguishing between spirits

tongues

interpretation of tongues.

All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when.

 

1 Peter 4:10-11 (NLT)

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.

 

  1. Nothing can separate you from God’s love.

Romans 8:38-39

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

 

Dear ____________,

 

Philippians 3 (MSG)

And that’s about it, friends. Be glad in God!

I don’t mind repeating what I have written in earlier letters, and I hope you don’t mind hearing it again. Better safe than sorry—so here goes.

 

2-6 Steer clear of the barking dogs, those religious busybodies, all bark and no bite. All they’re interested in is appearances—knife-happy circumcisers, I call them. The real believers are the ones the Spirit of God leads to work away at this ministry, filling the air with Christ’s praise as we do it. We couldn’t carry this off by our own efforts, and we know it—even though we can list what many might think are impressive credentials. You know my pedigree: a legitimate birth, circumcised on the eighth day; an Israelite from the elite tribe of Benjamin; a strict and devout adherent to God’s law; a fiery defender of the purity of my religion, even to the point of persecuting the church; a meticulous observer of everything set down in God’s law Book.

 

7-9 The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness.

 

10-11 I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it.

 

Focused on the Goal

12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

 

15-16 So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.

 

17-19 Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.

 

20-21 But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.

 

Everything is Transformed

Revelation 21 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

2 I also saw the holy city—the New Jerusalem—coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  3 I also heard a loud voice from the throne, saying,

“Behold, the dwelling of God is among men,

and He shall tabernacle among them.

They shall be His people,

and God Himself shall be among them

and be their God.

4 He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes,

and death shall be no more.

Nor shall there be mourning or crying or pain any longer,

for the former things have passed away.”

 

The Big Picture

Luke 24:27 Then Jesus quoted them passage after passage from the writings of the prophets, beginning with the book of Genesis and going right on through the Scriptures, explaining what the passages meant and what they said about himself.

 

Called According to His Purpose: Jeremiah

by Danny Leavitt

 

Introduction Author: Jeremiah around 625 BCE

Through the scribe and friend, Baruch

 

Jeremiah 36:4 So Jeremiah sent for Baruch son of Neriah, and as Jeremiah dictated all the prophecies that the Lord had given him, Baruch wrote them on a scroll.

Historicity

BaruchBulla.jpg

In 1975, a clay bulla purportedly containing Baruch’s seal and name appeared on the antiquities market. Its purchaser, a prominent Israeli collector, permitted Israeli archaeologist Nahman Avigad to publish the bulla.[12] Although its source is not definitively known, it has been identified as coming from the “burnt house” excavated by Yigal Shiloh. The bulla is now in the Israel Museum. It measures 17 by 16 mm, and is stamped with an oval seal, 13 by 11 mm. The inscription, written in the ancient Hebrew alphabet, reads:[13]

Line Transliteration Translation
1 lbrkyhw [belonging] to Berachyahu
2 bn nryhw son of Neriyahu
3 hspr the scribe

 

 

Romans 8:28 Amplified Bible (AMP)

And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.

 

THE CALL

 

Jeremiah 1 (NLT)

These are the words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests from the town of Anathoth in the land of Benjamin. The Lord first gave messages to Jeremiah during the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah.[a] The Lord’s messages continued throughout the reign of King Jehoiakim, Josiah’s son, until the eleventh year of the reign of King Zedekiah, another of Josiah’s sons. In August of that eleventh year the people of Jerusalem were taken away as captives.

Jeremiah’s Call

The Lord gave me this message:

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
Before you were born I set you apart
and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”

“O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!”

The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” Then the Lord reached out and touched my mouth and said, “See, I have put my words in your mouth!  Jeremiah

1:10 King James Version (KJV)

See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.

 

Excuses

Jeremiah 20:7-10 (MSG)

7-10 You pushed me into this, God, and I let you do it.
You were too much for me.
And now I’m a public joke. They all poke fun at me every time I open my mouth
I’m shouting, “Murder!” or “Rape!”
And all I get for my God-warnings are insults and contempt.
But if I say, “Forget it! No more God-Messages from me!”   The words are fire in my belly, a burning in my bones.  I’m worn out trying to hold it in. I can’t do it any longer!
Then I hear whispering behind my back:
“There goes old ‘Danger-Everywhere.’ Shut him up! Report him!” Old friends watch, hoping I’ll fall flat on my face:  “One misstep and we’ll have him. We’ll get rid of him for good!”

 

The Message

Turn from Sin

Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV)

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.

 

False Religion

Jeremiah 6:13-15 (KJV)

13 For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.

 

Jeremiah 2:12-13 (KJV)

12 The heavens are shocked at such a thing
and shrink back in horror and dismay,”
says the Lord.
13 “For my people have done two evil things:
They have abandoned me—
the fountain of living water.
And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns
that can hold no water at all!

Read: Matthew 23

 

The Good News

Jeremiah 23:5-6 (NLT)

“For the time is coming,” says the Lord,
“when I will raise up a righteous descendant from King David’s line. He will be a King who rules with wisdom.  He will do what is just and right throughout the land.
And this will be his name: ‘The Lord Is Our Righteousness.’
In that day Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety.

 

Jeremiah 29:11 Living Bible (TLB)

11 For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

True Compassion

Romans 9:3 (CJB)

3that I could wish myself actually under God’s curse and separated from the Messiah, if it would help my brothers, my own flesh and blood,

Romans 11:26  (NLT)

26 And so all Israel will be saved. As the Scriptures say,

“The one who rescues will come from Jerusalem,
and he will turn Israel away from ungodliness.

 

Matthew 12:46-50 (CJB)

46 He was still speaking to the crowd when his mother and brothers appeared outside, asking to talk with him. 47 [a 48 But to the one who had informed him he replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his talmidim, he said, “Look! Here are my mother and my brothers! 50 Whoever does what my Father in heaven wants, that person is my brother and sister and mother.”

 

Acts 6:7

So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

 

Your Call _________________________ Seek the lost

Your Message _________________________  The Good News of Jesus

Your People  __________________________  Everyone

 

 

THE GATHERING       GREENWOOD VILLAGE                 February 26, 2017

 

The Big Picture

Luke 24:27 Then Jesus quoted them passage after passage from the writings of the prophets, beginning with the book of Genesis and going right on through the Scriptures, explaining what the passages meant and what they said about himself.

 

Called According to His Purpose: Jeremiah

by Danny Leavitt

 

Introduction Author: Jeremiah around 625 BCE

Through the scribe and friend, Baruch

 

Jeremiah 36:4 So Jeremiah sent for Baruch son of Neriah, and as Jeremiah dictated all the prophecies that the Lord had given him, Baruch wrote them on a scroll.

 

Romans 8:28 Amplified Bible (AMP)

And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.

 

THE CALL

 

Jeremiah 1 (NLT)

These are the words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests from the town of Anathoth in the land of Benjamin. The Lord first gave messages to Jeremiah during the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah.[a] The Lord’s messages continued throughout the reign of King Jehoiakim, Josiah’s son, until the eleventh year of the reign of King Zedekiah, another of Josiah’s sons. In August of that eleventh year the people of Jerusalem were taken away as captives.

Jeremiah’s Call

The Lord gave me this message:

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
Before you were born I set you apart
and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”

“O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!”

The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” Then the Lord reached out and touched my mouth and said, “See, I have put my words in your mouth!  Jeremiah

1:10 King James Version (KJV)

See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.

 

Excuses

Jeremiah 20:7-10 (MSG)

7-10 You pushed me into this, God, and I let you do it.
You were too much for me.
And now I’m a public joke. They all poke fun at me every time I open my mouth
I’m shouting, “Murder!” or “Rape!”
And all I get for my God-warnings are insults and contempt.
But if I say, “Forget it! No more God-Messages from me!”   The words are fire in my belly, a burning in my bones.  I’m worn out trying to hold it in. I can’t do it any longer!
Then I hear whispering behind my back:
“There goes old ‘Danger-Everywhere.’ Shut him up! Report him!” Old friends watch, hoping I’ll fall flat on my face:  “One misstep and we’ll have him. We’ll get rid of him for good!”

 

The Message

Turn from Sin

Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV)

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.

 

False Religion

Jeremiah 6:13-15 (KJV)

13 For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.

 

Jeremiah 2:12-13 (KJV)

12 The heavens are shocked at such a thing
and shrink back in horror and dismay,”
says the Lord.
13 “For my people have done two evil things:
They have abandoned me—
the fountain of living water.
And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns
that can hold no water at all!

Read: Matthew 23

 

The Good News

Jeremiah 23:5-6 (NLT)

“For the time is coming,” says the Lord,
“when I will raise up a righteous descendant from King David’s line. He will be a King who rules with wisdom.
He will do what is just and right throughout the land.
And this will be his name: ‘The Lord Is Our Righteousness.’
In that day Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety.

 

Jeremiah 29:11 Living Bible (TLB)

11 For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

True Compassion

Romans 9:3 (CJB)

3that I could wish myself actually under God’s curse and separated from the Messiah, if it would help my brothers, my own flesh and blood,

Romans 11:26  (NLT)

26 And so all Israel will be saved. As the Scriptures say,

“The one who rescues will come from Jerusalem,
and he will turn Israel away from ungodliness.

 

Matthew 12:46-50 (CJB)

46 He was still speaking to the crowd when his mother and brothers appeared outside, asking to talk with him. 47 [a 48 But to the one who had informed him he replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his talmidim, he said, “Look! Here are my mother and my brothers! 50 Whoever does what my Father in heaven wants, that person is my brother and sister and mother.”

 

Acts 6:7

So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

 

Your Call _________________________

Your Message _________________________

Your People  __________________________

Relationship not Religion

Religion Makes us proud

Give yourselves completely to God—every part of you—for you have been brought back to life, and you want to be tools in the hands of God, used for his good purposes. Romans 6:13 (LB)

Since God has shown us great mercy, offer your lives as a living sacrifice to him. Your offering must be only for God and pleasing to him, which is the spiritual way for you to worship. Romans 12:1 (NCV)

RELATIONSHIP COMMITMENT

  1. PERSERVERENCE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD RESULTS IN STRENGTH AND JOY

Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Worship the Lord with gladness! Come before him, singing with joy! Psalm 100:2 (NLT)

  1. RELATIONSHIPS ARE GOD’S PLAN

We are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from Christ’s Body as a

whole, not the other way around. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? Romans 12:4-5 (Mes)

Christ brought us together through his death on the Cross. The Cross got us to embrace, and that was the end of the hostility. Ephesians 2:16 (Mes)

Now God had reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation…and the message of reconciliation.  2 Corinthians 5:18-19 (NIV)

3. GOD CAN MAKE YOU RELATIONSHIP PERFECT 

Christ’s Body is fitted TOGETHER perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow . . . Ephesians 4:16 (NLT)

God’s kingdom isn’t about eating and drinking. It’s about pleasing God, living in peace, and experiencing true happiness. All this comes from the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17 (CEV)

  1. YOUR RELATIONSHIPS ARE TO MAKE YOU A BETTER PERSON

Each of you has received a gift to use to serve others. Be good servants of God’s various gifts of grace. 1 Peter 4:10 (NCV)

I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me. Matthew 25:40 (NIV)

If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will find true life. Mark 8:35 (NLT)

Two people are always better than one, because they get more done by working TOGETHER. If one falls down, the other can help him up. But it is bad for the person who is alone and falls, because no one is there to help. If two lie down TOGETHER, they can share the same blanket and stay warm, but a person alone will not be warm. An enemy might defeat one person, but two people TOGETHER can defend themselves. And a rope that is woven of three braids is hard to break. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NCV & LB)

When we work together we:
1. Get more done

  1. Minimize our failures
  2. Pool our resources
  3. YOUR RELATIONSHIPS CAN HAVE AN ETERNAL IMPACT

“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to do everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you . . .” Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV) “They gave beyond their ability . . . far more than they could afford. What explains it was that they had first given themselves unreservedly to God. The other giving simply flowed out of the purposes of God working in their lives.” 2 Corinthians 8:3,5 (Mes)

Some videos

Posted: April 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

Hello Gathering Devotional  Family,

Today and tomorrow our posts will be a bit different. The amazing Anita who so faithfully blesses us with daily updates is in the mountains for a well deserved break so I am going to post the next two days. Unfortunately I have the flu (please pray for me), so I am going to post some cool video clips that we have made over the years.

Stay blessed

Pastor Danny

“Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man… It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition is gone, pride is gone.”
― C.S. LewisMere Christianity

Philippians 4:13 NIV

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

 

God wants to do things to you, so that He can do things through you.

We are Complicated People: Abraham, Moses, Peter, Paul

An Ancient Prophecy

Ezekiel 36:24 “‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

The Me Generation
19 This is the account of the family line of Abraham’s son Isaac.

Abraham became the father of Isaac, 20 and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram[c] and sister of Laban the Aramean.

21 Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. 22 The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.

23 The Lord said to her,

“Two nations are in your womb,

and two peoples from within you will be separated;

one people will be stronger than the other,

and the older will serve the younger.”

24 When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. 25 The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau.[d] 26 After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob.

Luke 9:25  (NIV)

25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?

Satan wants to do things to you, so that God cannot do things through you.

6 Things Satan Wants For Your Life

(from Newspring.CC)
The enemy has a plan for your life: to steal, kill, and destroy. God calls us to “be alert and of sober mind,” watching out for the schemes of the devil who “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). The devil wants to devour our lives, keeping us from the joy of living in a relationship with Christ. In order to avoid being devoured, be alert of these 6 things that the devil wants to see in your life:

  1. Doubt God

In John 20, the disciples shouted that they had seen Jesus raised from the grave, but Thomas’ doubt kept him from believing in the miracle of salvation. Jesus  appeared to Thomas and said, “Stop doubting and believe” (John 20:27).

When the devil tempts you to doubt God, don’t let your circumstance determine your God; let your God determine your circumstance.

  1. Live in fear

Fear is not the absence of faith, it is the misplacement of it. The devil doesn’t want to rob us of our faith, he wants our faith to be in anything but God. Life in Christ is life not in fear!

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears”  (Psalm 34:4).

  1. Feel insecure

Don’t let the devil tell you that you are unloved or not good enough! You are God’s handiwork (Ephesians 2:10) and, in Christ, we are not only good enough, “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

  1. Skip church

The more uninvolved with the body of Christ you are, the more involved with the world you are. When you, as a part of the body of Christ in the church, leave the community you were made for (1 Corinthians 12), you are destined to be devoured.

  1. Be led astray

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matthew 7:15).

When we rely on the words of men or ourselves in place of God’s word, we can lead others away from Jesus and be led away from His truth ourselves.

  1. Fail

The devil wants to destroy us. He wants us to settle for what the world has given us and accept our lots. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 says, “We are hard pressed on every  side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”  When you feel like you’re going to lose, take heart, Christ already won for you!

Don’t want to be devoured? It’s simple: “Stop doubting and believe” (John  20:27).

God wants to trim away the bad stuff

John 15  (NIV)

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 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. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

Romans 12

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Love in Action

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

The Result of God Doing things To You
Galatians 5:3

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

God wants to do things to you, so that He can do things through you.