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"Let us reason together…" Isaiah 1:18

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Dilemma’s Resolved with AND

Decisions are often cast in light of either/or.  It is either this OR it is that.  Many times this is a clear set of lens through which to view the options.  Sometimes, however, it isn’t an either/or scenario but both/and.

Beginning theologians struggle from time to time with God’s delight with both/and situations.  “It is one or the other.  It can’t be both.” I hear folks say.  Yet many times it really is both.

Many of life experiences are dealt with, through the power of the Holy Spirit, as both/and.  For example, instant physical healing must often be accompanied by consistent recovery steps such as physical therapy.

Healed and being healed.  Saved and being saved.  Anointed and being anointed.  Guided and being guided.

Both/And.

Recently, I was asked about the recovery model of dealing with hurts, hangups, and habits.  “Does the Bible teach recovery or deliverance?” Is the essence of the question.

Both/And is my reply.

Israel was delivered from Egypt in a matter of twenty-four hours but it was over forty years before they were delivered into the Promised Land.  This demonstrates God’s willingness to deliver instantly and progressively.

Jesus instantly heals a man’s eyesight.  “What do you see?”  “I see men as trees walking.” Our Lord then progresses to the next step by praying again and the man’s sight is fully recovered.  Does anyone think Jesus’ first prayer wasn’t good enough to get the job done? Of course not.  Jesus was flowing in the instantaneous and progressive.

The Apostle Paul would say, in my opinion, “I am saved AND being saved at the same time.”  Thus he tells you and me to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”  Additionally he states that he “disciplines his own body so that after preaching to others he wouldn’t become disqualified.”

Some folks believe that recovery is non-biblical.  “It’s all deliverance!” They proclaim.  Which sounds nice and godly, however, I have never met a person who was free from some area in which they need to recover.

One lady told me, “I am saved, sanctified, and full of the Holy Spirit.  I am without sin!”  “That’s wonderful, except for the sin of pride! And pride is what makes devils.” I replied.  Factually, was she sinless?  Yes AND no.

Was Judas a disciple of our Lord?  Yes AND no.

Through the ministries of MCA Church we pray that those who are in recovery are delivered AND those who are delivered continue in recovery.

EXTRA CREDIT

Is Jesus dead or alive?

Both/AND.  He was, and is, and will be the One “Slain from the foundations of the world.” AND He was, and is, and will be the One risen in victory over death.

Posted on 10th October 2017 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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Feast of Tabernacles

We celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles with its endless possibilities of deep meaning for our lives today. Lv. 23:33-43

We celebrate living outside our comfort zone knowing God is more than enough for our lives. We celebrate God’s provided harvest, both physical and spiritual. We celebrate with great joy. We celebrate God bringing Israel out of Egypt and you and I out of sin and bondage. We celebrate God’s presence with Israel in their forty year wanderings and His presence with us, even in our wanderings too.

Today’s conversation will feature two aspects of Jesus and the Feast of Tabernacles.  The details of this celebration are taken from The Temple: Its Ministry and Services as they were at the time of Jesus Christ by Alfred Edersheim.

Jesus revealed that He is in The Feast of Tabernacles celebration rituals of booths, light, and water.

LIGHT

  • Four gigantic candelabras were lit in the Court of the Women.
  • People from the community would come in with torches and dance around the candelabras singing hymns and praises to God.

“About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching.”  John 7:14

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

WATER

  • A priest would go to the pool of Siloam to fill a golden pitcher with water.
  • He was followed by a group of flutists and many worshipers.
  • When they returned to the temple altar, the water was poured out symbolizing God’s provision of rain upon the now harvested crops and fruit.
  • The choir chanted, “Save us, we pray, O Lord! O Lord, we pray, give us success!” Psalm 118:25
  • On the final, “Great Day of the Feast,” the priest circled the altar seven times as the people chanted “Save us, we pray, O Lord! O Lord, we pray, give us success.”

Jesus, at this moment in the celebration, in front of many thousands of people, “stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as[f] the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive” John 7:37-39

We GO into all the world without fear knowing the Eternal Light and Living Water is with us and is our message!

Listen – My Story

  • What is your biggest fear right now?
  • What is your biggest fear on what God asks you to be and do?

Lift – Prayer

  • Please pray for Jackie to receive God’s grace for boldness with power.
  • Please pray for each of your Life Group members to overcome fear of what other people may think of you.
  • Please pray for boldness to let God’s light shine through you.
  • Please pray for boldness to offer the water of life to those you know and love.

Learn – Digging Deeper

  1. Read 1 John 4:18a. What relationship do you see between fear and love?  Why is there no fear in love?

 

  1. Read 1 John 4:18b. In what ways does perfect love drive out fear?

 

  1. Read John 3:16. The message we take to the nations is “God so loved the world.” With the message we take being God’s love for the world, how do we get paralyzed by fear?

 

  1. Read Leviticus 23:39-43. Do you see great celebration and joy in this feast?  How do you personally increase the joy and celebration of your faith in Jesus? Is your joy contagious and evangelistic?

 

Life – Taking it Home

  1. In what way can you more effectively be God’s light to the world?
  2. In what way can you more effectively give drinks of living water to people today?
  3. In what way is God inviting you to deal with fear of going?

 

Posted on 10th October 2017 in Feast of Tabernacles, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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The Day of Atonement

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 27 “Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict yourselves[d] and present a food offering to the Lord. 28 And you shall not do any work on that very day, for it is a Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. 29 For whoever is not afflicted[e] on that very day shall be cut off from his people. 30 And whoever does any work on that very day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 You shall not do any work. It is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. 32 It shall be to you a Sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict yourselves. On the ninth day of the month beginning at evening, from evening to evening shall you keep your Sabbath.”  Numbers 23:26-32

  1. It is a time of holy Vs. 27
  2. It is a time of fasting and repentance. 27
  3. It is a day with no work. 28
  4. It is a Sabbath of solemn rest with fasting and repentance. Vs. 32

And he shall take from the congregation of the people of Israel two male goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering.  Numbers 16:5

Then he shall take the two goats and set them before the Lord at the entrance of the tent of meeting.  Numbers 16:7

And Aaron shall present the goat on which the lot fell for the Lord and use it as a sin offering.  Numbers 16:9

And Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins. And he shall put them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness. 22 The goat shall bear all their iniquities on itself to a remote area, and he shall let the goat go free in the wilderness.  Numbers 16:21-23

Goat One Pictures Jesus

  • The sacrifice of the first goat pictures Jesus on the cross.
  • The blood of the goat, sprinkled in the Holy of Holies, pictures Jesus’ blood in the heavenly Holy of Holies.
    • But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come,[e]then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. Hebrews 9:11-12

Goat Two Pictures Jesus

  • The casting of sin upon the second goat pictures Jesus becoming sin for us.
    • For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21
  • The removal of the second goat pictures Jesus removing our sins from us.
    • The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29

In Jesus, our sins are both covered and removed.

Highlight Numbers 16:7, because it is the KEY to the entire sacrifice and offering system.

Then he shall take the two goats and set them before the Lord at the entrance of the tent of meeting.  Numbers 16:7

The sacrifice and offering system and the Ministry of Jesus are for relationship with the LORD!

Listen – My Story

  1. Our theme for Global Outreach Month is “Go.” Where would you go on a dream vacation?
  2. Where is your favorite place you have been?

Lift – Prayer

  • Please pray for each person in your group who is practicing repentance today.
  • Please pray for those interested in traveling to Texas for flood relief work.
  • Please pray for the Children’s Ministry Center in Iraq.
  • Please pray for Pastor Philippe’s safe travel to Anchorage this week.

Learn – Digging Deeper

  1. Pastor Philippe challenged us to obey Matthew 28:19 by “going into all the world and making disciples.” Jesus’ command is very clear, easy to understand, and easy to do.  Why do we live as if Jesus said, “Stay where you are?”  What excuses do we use to disobey His command to go?
  1. The message we present as we “Go,” is God, in Jesus, has atoned for your sins and provided for relationship with you and God. Atonement features the covering of sin and the removal of sin.
  2. Read Psalm 32:1. Do you see the covering of sin in this passage?
  3. Read Psalm 103:12. Do you see sin being removed?
  4. Read 1 Corinthians 1:18. Why might the message of the atonement provided on the cross be considered foolishness to our world today?
  5. Read 1 Corinthians 1:23. Are you willing, as you “Go,” to preach Christ crucified?  If so, what response might you receive from those who hear?

Life – Taking it Home

  1. In response to this teaching, what action steps do you need to make this week?
  2. How are you planning to go into all the world with the message of atonement?

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on 10th October 2017 in Day of Atonement, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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Ten Days of Repentance between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement Day Six

Ten Days of Repentance between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement

Day Six

Confess my sin fully.

“Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.”  Psalm 32:5

  • Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13
  • We have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. Daniel 9:5
  • While Ezra was praying and confessing, weeping and throwing himself down before the house of God, a large crowd of Israelites—men, women and children—gathered around him. They too wept bitterly. Ezra 10:1
  • I confessthe sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you.  Nehemiah 1:6
  • They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors. Nehemiah 9:3
  • Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 2 Corinthians 9:13
  • “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” 2 Timothy 2:19
  • Therefore confessyour sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16

 

Posted on 27th September 2017 in Feast of Trumpets, Prayer  •  Comments are off for this post
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Ten Days of Repentance between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement Day Five

Ten Days of Repentance between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement

Day Five

Acknowledge the danger of sin and the damage of guilt.  Psalm 32:3-4

The dangers of sin

  • Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Galatians 6:7
  • Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction. Galatians 6:8
  • For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit. Galatians 5:17
  • I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:21
  • Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts. Romans 1:24
  • Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Romans 2:26
  • So God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. Romans 1:28
  • For the wages of sin is death. Romans 6:23
  • Its bondage to decay. Romans 8:21
  • But your iniquities have separated you from your God. Isaiah 59:2
  • Your sins have hidden his face from you so that he will not hear. Isaiah 59:2
  • They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might. 1 Thessalonians 1:9

 

 

Posted on 27th September 2017 in Feast of Trumpets, Prayer  •  Comments are off for this post
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Ten Days of Repentance between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement Day Four

Ten Days of Repentance between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement

Day Four

Be honest about my need for repentance.  Psalm 32:2

May the Lord show me what is true about me.

God offers His support, guidance, and wisdom.

You desire truth in my inmost being.  Psalm 51:6

The Holy Spirit will lead me into all truth.  John 16:13

Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are members of one another.  Ephesians 4:25

Have you seen any of these 5 lies in yourself today?

  1. I’m Okay.

We don’t like to dig around inside and examine what’s going on. Why? Because when we start looking, we often find areas that need some major renovations. That gets messy, and most of us are far too busy to go and look for things to fix.

So, we just tie on the “I’m okay” superhero cape and trudge onward. It’s usually only when some sort of tragedy strikes that we finally realize we aren’t as okay as we thought.

But that’s not the biblical model. In the Bible, the Psalmist continually cries out for God to search him and test him and examine him so that He can keep doing the necessary renovation work (for example, Psalms 11, 17, and 26). The attitude of Scripture is more like this:

“Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD.” (Lamentations 3:40)

Honestly, admitting daily that we’re not okay and that we need God’s help can be scary. It means owning our weaknesses and doing the hard work of self-examination on a regular basis. But thankfully for us, God specializes in weakness, especially when we aren’t sure where to start:

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” (Romans 8:26)

We’re weak. He’s strong. And that’s the best truth there is.

  1. No One Will Ever Find Out.

If we’re ever looking for justification to do something dumb, we usually start here: No one will ever know. True, there might be a thousand variations on that theme, but it almost always comes back to anonymity. That’s why private browsing on the Internet and personal devices such as smartphones and tablets can be some of the most dangerous tools known to humanity. (They’re not necessarily bad, but “personal” devices do have drawbacks.)

No one will know if I watch this. No one will know if I go here while I’m on that work trip. No one will know if I post this anonymous and hurtful comment. No one will ever know.

First of all, there’s no such thing as true anonymity in our world. What we do in “private” very often has a way of being found out and exposed. (Just pay attention to all those hacking breaches you see in the news.)

More importantly, though, God has a way of making our “no one knows” sins come out—and He doesn’t miss any:

“You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.” (Psalm 90:8)

Day by day, we let this lie bring us low and keep us from living the life God has planned. You see, God knows—He always knows the dumb things we do.

But He still loves us:

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

You can’t hide… and you don’t need to.

  1. No One Will Get Hurt.

This lie really could be 2b, since these two excuses are like twins. If it’s not enough that no one will know, we also like to tell ourselves that no one will get hurt. If it’s behind closed doors, if it only involves two responsible adults, if it only impacts me, then it’s got to be okay.

However, what we usually mean is that no one will get hurt that we can see right now. We often don’t like to follow the chain of problems beyond the moment or the immediate circumstances. But what we don’t always consider are the spiritual ramifications that could pop up or the problems that might not be so obvious.

We also don’t take into account that God Himself is grieved and pained by our bad choices. God felt major pain because of raging sin before the Flood (Genesis 6:6), the rebellious grieved His Holy Spirit in Israel (Isaiah 63:10), and Jesus longed to gather His people to Him when they refused to accept Him (Matthew 23:37).

In other words, our sins always inflict grief and pain. And they do so to the very one we should want to please.

  1. That’s Just the Way I Am.

Often, the easiest way out of dealing with a destructive pattern in our lives is simply to make it an acceptable or unchangeable part of who we are. Whether we see it as a part of our nature or simply as something we “can’t fix,” this lie helps us avoid feeling responsible. We can’t stop it because it’s just too deeply embedded.

But what we don’t like to admit is that God is the one who made us. We were intended to look like, act like, and be like Him (Genesis 1:27; 1 John 3:2). Sure, we all trip up somewhere on the way to that goal, but saying something is “just the way I am” means saying that God messed up or was taken by surprise by our struggles. We’re really just saying that He can’t change us.

Thankfully, we’re wrong. He specializes in making broken things new.

Your struggles are real. Just confess that first. They stink; they hurt; they mess us up. Once you get that out of the way, you can begin the often very long, very painful process of being made like Christ. Just keep this promise in mind:

“… he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

Got that? He’s not going to give up halfway through because you mess up or because you’re just a special case. He will complete the work.

We just have to admit that it is a problem before we’ll ask and seek transformation.

  1. I Can Do That Tomorrow.

Tomorrow is the time for Bible study, for that new morning prayer routine, for that meeting with our pastor or Christian friend. Tomorrow is when we’ll tell our spouse the truth. Tomorrow is when we’ll get honest with God.

But—and this is the truth—many times that “tomorrow” never comes. Even in the midst of how miserable some of our bad life choices make us, we just don’t like to make changes today. We look for a more opportune time—when it won’t be so hard.

That’s why the Psalmist and the writer of Hebrews make sure that we get focused on today:

“So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…” (Psalm 95; Hebrews 3)

Telling yourself that you’ll make a change tomorrow certainly makes you feel better about today’s failures, but it rarely ever changes us. We must remember that a lack of commitment to change today comes with a steep price:

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” (Hebrews 3:13)

We don’t even know if we’ll have a tomorrow, but we do know we have a right now. And God is faithful in that right now.

“He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” (1 Corinthians 5:8–9)

http://www.biblestudytools.com/blogs/inside-bst/5-destructive-lies-you-tell-yourself-every-day.html

Posted on 27th September 2017 in Feast of Trumpets, Prayer  •  Comments are off for this post
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Feast of Trumpets RAP

Today we celebrate the Feast of Trumpets (Yom T’ruah, Rosh Hashanah).  Leviticus 23:23-25

The Bible only names this feast as the “Day of Blowing,” specifically the blowing of the shofar and the silver trumpet.  The shofar and the silver trumpet seem to be used interchangeably in the Old Testament.

  • New Moon feast in Numbers 10:1-2,10
  • New Moon feast in Psalm 81:3

God likes the blowing of the trumpet over grand occasions.

  1. At the giving of the Law (Exodus 19:19)
  2. At the conquest of Jericho (Joshua 6:20)
  3. Assembly for war (Judges 3:27, II Samuel 20:1)
  4. Warning of danger (Amos 3:6 , Jeremiah 6:1, Ezekiel 33:6)
  5. Start of the Year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25:9)
  6. At “trumpets”, a rest, holy convocation, and a time for special offerings
  7. Honoring the new king’s ascension to throne (I Kings 34:39)
  8. Signal the time of ingathering of the exiles (Isaiah 27:13)
  9. Coming of Messiah (Zechariah 9:14, I Thessalonians 4:16-17)
  10. Honoring God (Psalm 47:5)

Everytime you see or hear a shofar remember God’s provision of a ram for Abraham and Isaac. Genesis 22:1-14

The Gemara, a commentary on Judaism’s oral law shows Jewish tradition for this feast.  In this tradition, God has three books that are opened on this feast day:

  • One book for the completely righteous – their name is immediately inscribed in the book of life.
  • One book for the completely wicked – their name is immediately inscribed in the book of death.
  • One book for the average person – their name is held in suspension from this feast until the Day of Atonement (10 days following).

The Jewish greeting during the Feast of Trumpets is “May your name be inscribed in the book.”

The Jewish tradition is that one’s name is inscribed in the book through intentional, complete, and sincere repentance.

Another Father led his only begotten Son up the same mountains of Moriah.  Father God led His Son, Jesus, up Moriah’s mountains as the sacrifice for the sin of all humanity.

Genesis 22:14’s prophesy finds it’s fulfillment in the death of Jesus.

Repentance, in both the Old and New Testaments, is the grand occasion the feast of trumpets celebrates.

Notice the flow of the three feasts (today and the next two Sundays).

  • Repentance The Feast of Trumpets
  • Atonement The Day of Atonement
  • Presence The Feast of Tabernacles

This is God’s ministry flow for His people: Repentance, Atonement, Presence.

Consider the view of repentance presented in Psalm 32.

  1. Be honest about my need for repentance. Psalm 32:2
  2. Acknowledge the danger of sin and the damage of guilt. Psalm 32:3-4
  3. Confess my sin fully. Psalm 32:5
  4. Hide in God. Psalm 32:5-7
  5. Seize the hope. Psalm 32:11

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/how-to-repent-5-steps

God reveals, in Revelation 20:11-15, that the Jewish tradition of books in heaven is true.

In both Old and New Testament times, one’s name is written in God’s book through the blood atonement applied in repentance!

Listen – My Story

  1. Do you like the sound of various trumpets?
  2. Are you comfortable with feasts, festivals, and celebrations? If so, what is your favorite?

Lift – Prayer

  • Please pray for each person in your group who is practicing repentance today.
  • Please pray for those interested in traveling to Texas for flood relief work.
  • Please pray for the Children’s Ministry Center in Iraq.
  • Please pray for Pastor Philippe’s safe travel to Anchorage this week.

Learn – Digging Deeper

  1. Read Genesis 22:1-18. How many similarities do you find between Abraham/Isaac on the mountains of Moriah and Father God/Jesus on the mountains of Moriah? (God is AMAZING!)

 

 

  1. Read Genesis 22:14. What did God provide on Isaac’s mountain. Read John 1:29. What did God provide on Jesus’ mountain?

 

 

  1. Review the Five Steps of Repentance from Psalm 32. Which steps are the most challenging for you?  Why?

 

 

Life – Taking it Home

  1. In response to this teaching, what action steps do you need to make this week?
  2. Are you taking the appropriate steps of repentance?
Posted on 24th September 2017 in Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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Quantum Change

Quantum-Change-300x84The most important thing about me is my spirit.  1 Thessalonians 5:23

Is my spiritual growth determined by my decisions or by default?

A leading scholar and researcher with the Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Addictions, R. Miller, PhD., has clinically identified a phenomenon identified as “quantum change.”

“The word “quantum” comes from the world of physics. Scientists observe that when atoms receive greater amounts of energy their electrons jump into completely new orbits.  With an increase in energy the previous structure cannot sustain itself.  After a quantum change a new stability shows up at a higher level.  A new reality has emerged.”  http://quantumchange.net/

Quantum change, in Dr. Miller’s research, is a vivid, surprising, benevolent, and enduring personal transformation.  Paul experienced “quantum change” in Acts 9:1-20.

Jesus requires (and provides) quantum change.

The condition of the human spirit without Jesus

  • Heart darkened Romans 1:21
  • Lost Luke 19:10
  • Perishing John 3:16
  • Positioned for God’s wrath John 3:36
  • Condemned already John 3:18
  • Without hope Ephesians 2:12
  • Dead in trespasses and sin Ephesians 2:1
  • Blinded by “god of this age” 2 Corinthians 4:4

Long before Dr. Miller began to understand quantum change, God revealed it in the Bible.  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”  2 Corinthians 5:17

Consider the quantum change of Ephesians 2:1-5.

Jesus guarantees this quantum change to you today.  John 6:37

Listen – My Story

  1. What holds excitement for you this upcoming winter?
  2. Is there a quantum change you wish would happen in the world today?
  3. Does anyone in your Life Group have a quantum change conversion story?

Lift – Prayer

  • Please give thanks to God for specific things He has bountifully provided for you.
  • Next Sunday we commission our 2018 Youth Ministry team. Please pray for teens and the ministry team.
  • Please pray for the beginning of MCA Celebrate Recovery, a thoroughly Christian recovery ministry.
  • Please pray for the members of your Life Group.

Learn – Digging Deeper

  1. Read Luke 19:1-8. Do you see quantum change in Zacchaeus? What all changed for him?

 

 

  1. Read John 11:38-44. Do you see quantum change in Lazarus?  Does Jesus make similar changes in lives today?  If so, in what ways?

 

 

  1. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17. What all is included in the “old?” What all is included in “the new?”

 

Life – Taking it Home

  1. What is God saying to you through this lesson?
  2. What could you do this week to present yourself to God for quantum change?
  3. What is your next step in response to this teaching?

 

 

Posted on 19th September 2017 in Intentional Spiritual Growth, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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Intentional Spiritual Growth

The most important thing about me is my spirit.  1 Thessalonians 5:23

Is my spiritual growth determined by my:

  • decisions or by default?
  • choices or by chance?
  • planning or by passivity?

Do I really want to believe the most important thing about me is determined by luck, accidental good fortune, or the false concept of karma?

Will I rise to the challenge of intentional spiritual growth?  Philippians 2:12

The Bible reveals that even the ant lives by decisions, choices, and planning rather than by default, chance, and passivity.  Proverbs 6:6-11  (Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys)

The Apostle Peter is insightful when he explains, “knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”  1 Peter 1:18-19

I am ransomed from the way of life that has “absence of purpose or failure to attain any true purpose (Moulton and Milligan).”

Jesus models living life on purpose or intentionality in the Gospel of Mark 3:13-15.

The direction of my intentional spiritual growth is not determined by chance but by Jesus’ revelation in the Sermon on the Mount.  Matthew 5, 6, and 7.

Augustine (354 AD – 430 AD) rightly stated, “If anyone will piously and soberly consider the sermon which our Lord Jesus Christ spoke on the mount, as we read it in the Gospel according to Matthew, I think that he will find in it, so far as regards the highest morals, a perfect standard of the Christian life: and this we do not rashly venture to promise, but gather it from the very words of the Lord Himself.”

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus invites us to the following intentional spiritual growth:

  • Kingdom blessings                 Matthew 5:1-12
  • Kingdom impactMatthew 5:13-16
  • Kingdom priority Matthew 5:17-48
  • Kingdom righteousness Matthew 6:1-7:12
  • Kingdom gates             Matthew 7:13-29

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on 9th September 2017 in Intentional Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Growth, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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MCA Anchorage: Sunday September 3, 2017

MCA Church’s schedule for Sunday, September 3 is adjusted for the IGNITE retreat. Following are the details of the schedule.

Sunday, September 3

MCA LIVE Anchorage, 7041 DeBarr Road

  • 6 PM Service with Pastor James Martin and Justin Wetzler.

IGNITE Retreat Sunday

  • Lodging at the Alaska Christian Retreat Center -37925 Deville Road Soldotna, AK 99669
  • Lodging opens at 3 PM.
  • The 7:30 PM service is at Soldotna Church of God – 105 W Redoubt Ave, Soldotna, AK 

IGNITE Retreat Monday

  • 8:00 AM    Breakfast at the Alaska Christian Retreat

All Monday services convene at the Soldotna Church of God – 105 W. Redoubt Ave.

  • 9:00 AM    Submission to Jesus and the filling of the Holy Spirit
  • 10:00 AM  Real Healing of the Soul and the filling of the Holy Spirit
  • 11:15 AM    The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
  • 12:00 Noon  Pack, clean rooms, lunch, and check out of the retreat center
  • 3:00 PM  The Service that God Expects Under the Anointing of the Holy Spirit
  • 4:30 PM  Pick up box lunch and head for home

 

Posted on 3rd September 2017 in Events  •  Comments are off for this post