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"Let us reason together…" Isaiah 1:18

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Up and Over (Gray’s Matrix)

“The Y.E.S. Journey” is a process of seizing God’s desired future for my life. Your current position on “The Y.E.S. Journey” can be understood through the four soils (heart) in Jesus’ Parable of the Sower.  Matthew 13

The Path                Unresponsive, Hard packed, walked on- Evil One snatches away

Rocky Places         Superficial – Falls away in tough times

Thorns                   Double minded – Worldly cares and deceitfulness of riches choke

Good Soil              Hears and understands – Yields 100, 60, or 30 times

The condition of your heart (soil) determines the productivity of the seed.

The Y.E.S. Journey is eternally important.  Upon careful examination, personal evaluation of Y.E.S. Journey progress is possible.

  • See to it                                  Colossians 2:8
  • Do not conform                  Romans 12:2
  • Make the most                   Ephesians 5:16

With thoughtful examination and evaluation one is enabled to do as these three verses command.  2 Corinthians 13:5

  • Examine yourselves
  • Are you in the faith?
  • Test
  • Jesus Christ is in you – unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

The Gray Matrix is helpful in beginning one’s personal Christian examination and evaluation.

YES Journey Graph

The horizontal axis depicts one’s openness to the Gospel and Christian teaching. It may be helpful to identify the openness numbers as follows:

+3             Fully open to the Gospel

+2             Mostly open to the Gospel

+1             Partially open to the Gospel

-1              Partially closed to the Gospel

-2              Mostly Closed to the Gospel

-3              Fully Closed to the Gospel

The vertical scale depicts one’s awareness and knowledge of the Gospel.

It may be helpful to identify one’s awareness and knowledge numbers as follows:

-01       Aware of the costs of commitment to the Gospel

-02       Grasps implications of the Gospel

-03       Aware of personal need of the Gospel

-04       Aware of the basics of the Gospel

-05       Interested in Jesus

-06       Aware of Jesus

-07       Wonders if God can be known

-08       Vague awareness and belief in God

-09       God framework

-10       No God framework

Today, are you willing to examine and evaluate your Y.E.S. Journey progress and pray Acts 16:14?

“The Lord opened her heart…”

By faith I’m moving up and over!

 

Posted on 9th May 2017 in Evangelism, Message Response, Missions, Uncategorized, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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Philosophical and Practical

Today’s message starts with point 2 below.  We are giving thought to how it is possible to be a philosophical Christian but a practical humanist or secularist.  Our goal is to harmonize and integrate the two into a wholistic Christ-like life.

Many people, often Christians, live their lives similarly to Alice in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

“I don’t much care where – so long as I get somewhere.”

The Bible’s Bull’s Eye for Complete Christian Character is GOD!  Genesis 1:1, Psalm 111:10

  • If you get God wrong, everything else in life will have a measure of “wrongness.”
  • If you have God out of focus, everything else in life will be blurry
  • If you get God out of the center, everything else will be misaligned.

“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” A.W. Tozer in “The Knowledge of the Holy”

“Our supreme need is to know God.” Martin Lloyd Jones in “God’s Ultimate Purpose.”

Paul recognized this as the primary struggle of the people of Athens (Acts 17:22-31).

  1. Paul noticed the Athenians were entirely lost and without direction.
    1. I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 22
    2. The objects of your worship. Vs. 23
    3. An altar to “the unknown” Vs. 23
  2. What was worshiped as unknown, has revealed Himself and can be known. 23
    1. God can be known but never fully. Psalm 145:3, Romans 11:33
    2. Facts about God can be known. 1 John 4:8, 1 John 1:5
    3. We can know more than facts about God, we can know God personally! Jeremiah 9:23-24
    4. We can know God, personally, and in knowing Him we have eternal life. John 17:3
  3. The God. (There is only one God) Vs. 24

Biblical Theism           God first                      God is in charge

Humanism                  Humans first               Humans are in charge

Secularism                  Without God               The state is in charge

 

Posted on 20th November 2016 in Message Response, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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So Good I Can KRY

alive in christTwo options exist.  I am either dead to God and alive to sin or I am dead to sin and alive to God.  The Bible is filled with the understanding that God’s goodness and mercy allows us to come to Jesus through God’s grace and by faith.  Don’t try to kill sin prior to coming to life in Jesus.  The powers of self won’t get the job done. However, experiencing the Life of Jesus gives us the power to destroy sin in our lives.

Last week we studied the Bible’s teaching about being alive in spirit, soul and body, but dead to God. In this way people are the living dead.

When you are dead to God but alive to sin, sin has dominion over you. Romans 6:14

Κυριεύω – to exercise rights over one’s own property as an owner with full dominion (lordship) over this jurisdiction.

  1. Exercise rights over. Sin disempowers. Sin has the authority and rights.
  2. One’s own property. Sin dehumanizes. No longer a person but sin’s property.
  3. Owner with full dominion. Sin diminishes. No area of life left uncontrolled by sin.

Today we want to explore a much better way to be the living dead: alive to God in spirit, soul and body and dead to sin. Romans 6:11

Know – Dead to sin 6:6

Reckon (consider) – Dead to sin 6:11

Yield – (present) Don’t present your body to sin. Present yourselves to God. 6:13

  • Is the best way forward to call everyone who is dead to God to kill sin? Impossible! When dead one can’t kill
  • The only way forward is to call everyone to the Author of Life (Jesus) who comes to give abundant life! When alive in Jesus one can kill sin! Romans 8:11

Don’t ever let bad press influence you! God is good!

  • Psalm 107:1 For He is good!
  • Psalm 107:8, 9 The hungry soul he fills with good
  • Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the Lord is good.
  • 1 Peter 2:3 Now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

This Good and Living God sent His Living Son, Jesus, to bring life!

The Apostle John presents the thesis of his Gospel in John 1:1-4. “In him was life!” Forty-three times John talks, specifically, about life and thirty-seven of these verses are about the Good God’s gift of eternal life in His Good Son.

Get so full of God’s Good Life in Jesus that you KRY!

MCA Church LIFE Group Homework

Listen – My Story

  1. Was positive reinforcement of good behavior or correction and punishment for bad behavior more effective in shaping whom you are today?
  2. Have you ever experienced something so funny, exciting, beautiful or joyful that you had tears in your eyes?

Learn – Digging Deeper

  1. What did Jesus do for the life of the bride and groom and their families in John 2:1-11? Do you think this couple had a better wedding celebration because of the life Jesus gave?
  1. In what ways do you think the woman (John 4:7-24), who had been married five times and was now living in adultery, received life from Jesus? What do you think she understood “I am the water of life,” to mean?
  1. How did Jesus impart life to the official in John 4:46-54? Does this story speak powerfully to you of Jesus giving good life to families?
  2. In what ways did the man in John 5:1-9 receive life from Jesus?
  1. Did Jesus pressure any of the people in questions 1-4 to become religious? For a donation? To attend his weekly meetings? According to Acts 10:38 what did Jesus go around doing?

Life – Taking it Home

  1. What is God saying to you through this lesson?
  2. What could you do this week to ensure that you are experiencing the goodness of God in Jesus?
  3. What is your next step in response to this teaching?

Lift – Prayer

  • Please pray for grace to be like Jesus by “Going around and doing good.”
  • Please pray for strength to K.R.Y. (Know, Reckon, Yield)
  • Please pray for the MCA Church #JoyOfGivingTuesday (Tuesday, December 1). We are asking God to help us fully fund MCA Church’s Children’s Ministry for 2016.

Image credit: www.bing.com/images/search?q=alive+in+Jesus&view=detailv2&&id=47390C100F1F7CD8CC52CA52E1D33D789FB04399&selectedIndex=49&ccid=RKS2XtI3&simid=608004796798929636&thid=OIP.M44a4b65ed237c6a9918514ac0e1f75fbH0&ajaxhist=0

Posted on 15th November 2015 in It's About Life, Message Response, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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What is a Christian? By Dr. Wirachai Kowae

Following are notes I prepared from Dr. Wirachai Kowae’s powerful message.  Life Group home work is at the end of the message notes.

A Great Question – What do you mean by being a Christian?

Why would someone change his or her religion from Buddhism to Christianity?

Becoming Christian is something different from religion.

Matthew 11:28 – Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Step One – Come to me (Jesus)

  • Of all the religious leaders I have never heard anyone say, Come to me and I will give you rest.
  • The New Age movement is eastern religion in a new package.  Have faith in yourself.
  • There will be no peace until we come to the Prince of Peace.
  • When you have peace with God you can have peace in our soul.

Step Two – Learn of me (Jesus)

  • You must have Jesus’ DNA.
  • Jesus’ nature must be in me.
  • I love God because Christ’s nature is inside of me.
  • Sit at Jesus’ feet and learn of Him.

Step Three – Go into all the world

  • Sometimes people do step 1 and 2 but don’t move to step 3.
  • Only the folks who have come to Christ and learned from Him are qualified to Go.

LIFE Group Home Work

Listen – My Story

  1. Do you remember the day you came to Christ?  Tell your story.
  2. How do you prefer to learn?  Classroom?  Books?  Hands on?

Learn – Digging Deeper

  1. Step One – Come to Me (Jesus)  Read John 3:1-3.  What is a Pharisee?  Why did Nicodemus come at night?  What was Jesus’ reaction to Nicodemus?
  2. In Psalm 25:9 we learn about humility.  Pastor Wirachai taught that to come to Jesus requires humility.  Why?
  3. Step Two – Learn of Me (Jesus)  Read Colossians 2:6,7.  What do we learn about being a student of Jesus?What do you think Paul meant about Jesus in Philippians 3:10
  4. Step Three – Go into the entire world.  Matthew 28:16-20

Life – Taking it Home

  1. What is God saying to you about come to me, learn of me, and go into the entire world?
  2. How can you apply, to your life today, “Come to me?”

Lift – Prayer

  1. How may your Life Group pray with you this week?
  2. Do you have a friend, relative, associate, or neighbor whom you should invite to come to Jesus?  May we prayer together for them?
  3. Please pray for the Chris and Melany Luiten family as they lay to rest Chris’ brother on Saturday.

 

 

 

 

Posted on 15th March 2015 in LIFE Groups, Message Response, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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The Holy Spirit: Conscience, Condemnation, and Conviction

Women criticizing womanThe Holy Spirit is a Gift from Father God and both the Father and the Spirit are Trustworthy.  James 1:17, Luke 11:11-13

  • However, the Trustworthy Spirit’s communications are understood through our filters, which must be shaped and formed in order to be trustworthy.
  • Three extremely important filters through which my understanding of the Spirit’s communication is filtered are: My conscience, my understanding of the Bible, and my spiritual community.

Today’s lesson is intended to communicate how the conscience determines the moral value given to experiences, choices and behaviors, and thoughts and intents.

  • When the conscience determines the moral value in the positive we sense “rightness.”
  • When the conscience determines the moral value in the negative we sense “wrongness.”

This is, in part, the reason it is vital for your conscience to be shaped by the character and personality of God as revealed in the Bible.

Sensing moral rightness and wrongness is crucial to the Christian life. Let’s consider the conscience and the sense of moral wrongness.

Because of the birth, life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, all people are in a covenant relationship with God.  Therefore every human being is responsible to shape his or her conscience according to the character and nature of the covenant God.

God’s covenant with humanity includes the revelation of moral rightness and wrongness.  In most cases, the covenant stipulations are exceptionally clear.  Live according to God’s covenant and you are in relationship with God and called holy.  Live in violation to God’s covenant and you are in a broken relationship with God and called unholy.

You have made a moral choice that is in opposition to God’s covenant with humanity:

  • Your conscience should make the determination that your choice is morally wrong.  You are, in fact, guilty before God.    Psalm 51:4
    • Wrong should be interpreted as feelings of guilt.  Psalm 25:11
    • Shameful should be interpreted as feelings of shame. Jeremiah 6:15
    • Condemnable should be interpreted as feelings of condemnation. John 3:18
    • The Holy Spirit will convict you with the invitation to restore covenant relationship with God through repentance.  John 16:8
      • Spirit conviction should be interpreted as God’s amazing love and grace calling you to restored relationship.
      • With contrition, humility, and authenticity you repent.  2 Corinthians 7:8-11
        • Proper relationship with God and His covenant are restored.
        • All feelings of guilt, shame, and condemnation should vanish.
        • Feelings of joy, purity, and holiness should appear.

You have made a moral choice that is in alignment with God’s covenant with humanity.

  • Your conscience should make the determination that your choice is morally right.
    • There should be no feelings of guilt, shame, or condemnation.  1 Peter 2:24 and Hebrews 12:2
    • The Holy Spirit will grant you the sense of continued and growing covenant relationship with God.
    • With humility and authenticity you live as one favored and blessed by God.

After conviction of the Holy Spirit, repentance, and restored relationship with God, what are the differences between conviction and condemnation?

Conviction of the Holy Spirit leads to relationship with God full of joy and hope.  condemnation-conviction

Condemnation leads to hopelessness.

Conviction of the Holy Spirit leads to, “God is good.”

Condemnation leads to feeling my own “un-goodness.”

Conviction of the Holy Spirit leads to “Jesus paid it all!”

Condemnation leads to self-loathing and “I must punish myself.”

Conviction of the Holy Spirit is specific, “This action was sin.”

Condemnation leads to a general sense of, “I am no good.”

As the character and nature of God shape your conscience, you will have a growing ability to trust the Holy Spirit.

Listen – Your Story

  1. Have you experienced condemnation?
  2. What words capture the feelings you felt at that time?

Learn – Dig Deeper

  1. Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, is there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
  2. Please read these stories of two failures:  Peter – Luke 22:52-64 and Judas – Matthew 27:3-5Would you call Peter’s experience conviction or condemnation?  Why?
  3. Would you call Judas’ experience conviction or condemnation?  Why?
  4. What does the Bible say to us when we feel shame, guilt, or condemnation for things we didn’t do?
  5. What would you say to those who never feel conviction or condemnation?  Revelation 3:19
  6. To those who are in right covenant relationship with Jesus, what does Paul declare about condemnation?  Romans 8:31-39

Live – Taking it Home

  1. Looking back on this weeks teaching and study, what is the most important thing to remember?
  2. Do you feel condemnation today?  What steps should you take?
  3. Is the Holy Spirit convicting you?  What steps should you take?

Lift – Prayer

  1. Do you have any prayer requests you would like to share with your group?
  2. Please pray for members of your group who are feeling condemnation.
  3. Please pray for members of your group who are feeling conviction.
  4. Please pray for MCA Church’s missions’ ministry.
Posted on 1st February 2015 in LIFE Groups, Message Response, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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Born in the City: God’s Love

Born in the City GraphicGod loves the cities in His world.  The following message notes are written with God’s love of cities in mind.  Do you have a theology of the city?

Let’s discover a Christian perspective of the city.

“The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.” Psalm 24:1

  • The earth – The land, the countries and their lands, the planet
  • The fullness thereof – all the earth contains, plants, animals, rivers, oceans, mountains
  • And those who dwell therein – all of the people who live here.

A city qualifies in all three components – the earth, the fullness thereof, and those who dwell therein.  It is then appropriate to say that the cities of the earth are the Lord’s.

Introductory Lessons from Sodom

  • God views cities as either righteous or unrighteous.  Genesis 18:23
  • The presence of godly people is beneficial for the salvation of places.  Genesis 18:32
  • God has specific charges against a city.  Ezekiel 16:49-50
  • Because God loves cities he expects them to be righteous.
  • Righteousness is good for a city.  Proverbs 14:34

Introductory Lessons from Nineveh

  • It may be that Nineveh was as evil as Sodom but unknowingly.  Jonah 4:11
  • In Psalm 24:1 we considered, “The fullness thereof,” and now we see God’s concern for “much cattle.”
  • Pity, in Jonah 4:11 means, “have compassion on.”
  • Evidently Sodom was evil due to rebellion and Nineveh was evil due to ignorance.

Advent Truth to Take into Our Cities  Intentional Acts of Kindness

  1. God honored the city by having His Son born in one.
  2. What will your city be like when Jesus is born there through you?
  3. You have a moral obligation for righteousness in your city.

Pride + excess food + prosperous ease = Did not aid the poor and needy!

No aid to poor + haughty + abomination = So I removed them.

Posted on 30th November 2014 in Children's Ministry, Message Response, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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Sexual Attraction

I am thinking about the relational costs for declaring what, in my view, is Biblical theology, doctrine, and morality.

Sunday one of my good friends and long term MCA participants walked out during my message because of my line, “America has left the Biblical view of sexuality by approving gay marriage in several states. Our country needs to recalibrate by the standards of Jesus.”

“Pastor,” she said to me, “You can’t preach sermons like that. God made people homosexual and you should celebrate everyone God created.”

“Really?” I said to her. “God made several men who want to have continual sex with your daughters. Just because God made them and they have sexual desires doesn’t mean that God is pleased with them taking action against your girls.”

My sense is that I am called to “preach the word,” and my take on God’s view of sexuality is that from birth to death we are to have one sexual partner, the sexual relationship is to begin after the marriage vows, and are reserved for husband and wife.

I view all sexual activity before, during, and after marriage, with anyone other than your spouse, as a very grievous sin against God, your body, your family, and society.

God is adamant. He chose the analogies of Groom and bride and Christ and His body. Your sexual purity is a statement that you are serious about being a pure part of the Body of Christ. It is unfathomable to me that the Lord will return for a Church that is stained with sexual sin.

If your attractions are gay, lesbian, heterosexual, or any other type of sexual attraction, God requires you to bring those attractions under the Lordship of Jesus and DENY YOURSELF except in marriage to your life-long spouse.

Teenagers and young adults listen to the preacher. Sexual purity matters to God.

Married man and woman listen to the preacher. Sexual purity matters to God.

Folks with same sex attractions listen to the preacher. Sexual purity matters to God.

Single adult listen to the preacher. Sexual purity matters to God.

God does not take sexual immorality lightly. It isn’t a fling, or an affair, or a little messing around on the side. To God it is a mortal offense that leads to eternal fire. Revelation 21:6-8 says:

6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

My best advice for all of us is Stop, Drop, and Roll. Stop the sin. Drop every connection to the sin. Roll away from the sin in repentance and roll to God in holiness.

My friend left but God stayed.

Posted on 11th December 2012 in Message Response, Musings  •  Comments are off for this post
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In Times Like These: Walk in Authority

My message, “In Times Like These: Walk in Authority,” is designed to assist us in realizing God’s authority was given fully to Jesus following his resurrection from the dead. Jesus said, “All authority has been given unto me both in heaven and on earth.” We represent Him. We walk in His authority to make disciples of all nations.

Enjoy.

In Times Like These: Walk in Authority

We are learning to bring our whole self to the Great Assignment. Matthew 28:18-20

The Great Assignment has four “Alls.”

• All authority in heaven and earth
• To make disciples of all nations
• Who obey all God’s commandments
• Jesus is with us all the days

We are learning to bring a fifth all: all of me (my whole self). Today the emphasis is upon bringing all of one’s self under all of His authority and then walking out the Great Assignment in His authority.

The Bible is very clear about Jesus’ authority prior to the resurrection. His resurrection from the dead, and all that goes with it changed the wording from “authority” to “all authority in heaven and on earth.”

Matthew 28 suggests that “all nations” have a level of authority that will resist the disciple-making ministry and the call to obey all of God’s commandments. There seems to be an authority in “all nations” to resist discipleship and live in disobedience. The authority of “all nations” is overcome by the “All authority” of Jesus.

I am to bring my whole self to the Great Assignment with the authority of Jesus Christ, who has been given all authority.

The Authority of Jesus both Before and After His Resurrection from the Dead

• All authority in heaven and earth Philippians 2:10
• Authority over angels Hebrews 1:6
• Authority over all rule, authority, power, and dominion Ephesians 1:21, 22
• Eternal authority Daniel 7:13, 14
• Authority over sickness and disease Matthew 4:23, 24
• Authority over demons Matthew 8:28-33
• Authority over physical elements Matthew 8:23-27
• Authority over life and death John 11:1-27
• Authority to forgive sin Matthew 9:1-7
• Authority over the Church Colossians 1:18

Therefore, “Go and make disciples of all nations!” You are Christ’s Ambassadors. 2 Corinthians 5:20

MCA Church LIFE Groups

Congratulations on being part of the MCA Church growing LIFE Group movement. In this, our first session of the ministry year, we have over 200 raving Jesus fans in the LIFE Groups. Plan on inviting a friend to join a group with you for the next ten-week session starting in January.

Getting to Know One Another

1. Have you ever personally seen the authority of Jesus in one of the ten areas Pastor mentioned in the weekend talk?
2. Do you have a situation in which you are seeking to extend the authority of Jesus?

Digging Deeper into the Message

1. What is an ambassador? What is the work of an ambassador? Under what authority does an ambassador work? In what ways do you live out your life as Christ’s ambassador? 2 Corinthians 5:20
2. Read Luke 10:1-20.
a. In what way is being sent out on mission connected to the authority given by Jesus?
b. Would the disciples have Jesus’ authority without being on mission?
c. Do you have Jesus’ authority if you are not fully on mission?
3. What do you understand Luke 10:23 to mean? What was it that prophets and kings had wanted to see?
4. Is the authority given by Jesus in Luke 10:19 given to you today? If so, what must you do to walk in that authority?
5. It is clear that Jesus has sent you as an ambassador to make disciples of the nations. Make a list of at least five things you can do to bring your whole self to this assignment.
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

Prayer
1. Please pray for God’s guidance upon your giving decision for MCA Church Global Outreach.
2. Please pray for the MCA Church connection with mission in El Salvador, for Pete and Vicki as they travel back to Australia, and this Sunday’s emphasis on the children of Burkina Faso.

Posted on 14th October 2012 in Australian Aboriginal Outreach, MCA Global Network, Message Response, Missions, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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Full of Grace and Truth

My Tuesday evening message was intended to reflect the possibility that the “waves and breakers” that swept over the Psalmist in the 42nd Psalm, might be a combination of the crushing and energizing of the truth and the humbling and inspiration of grace.

As you read the concepts below, consider the glorious grace of the Loving Father in Luke 15, who, with glorious grace, celebrated the return of the wayward son.

The journey to consecrating our heart and our longings goes through the deeply emotional experience of lifting the veil to genuinely look at the truth of who we are.

Behind the veil we learn how much, like the Prodigal son, we have:
• Made our selves the center rather than God
• Drifted from Father’s House and into a distant land
• Lost awareness that our lives make sense and have a growing knowledge of the senselessness in which we live.

In the pursuit of “You desire truth in the inmost part” we see how brutal the truth can really be. Psalm 51

Maybe the challenging process of God working in our lives is what the Psalmist meant when he said, “all your waves and breakers have swept over me.” Psalm 42:7

John 8:36 Consecrating our heart and longings with truthfulness “sets us free indeed.”

Truth is designed to be accompanied by grace! John 1:14

As we consecrate our hearts and our longings by lifting the veil with truthfulness, we might expect similarities to the Prodigal son:
• I am embarrassed.
o I live among pigs
o I am senseless
o I am hungry
o I am not worthy
• I am afraid.
o The Father has every right to be angry with my behavior.
o The Father has every right to be filled with wrath toward me.
• I am guilty.
o I have sinned against heaven
o I have sinned against Father

Upon the truthfulness behind the veil we realize, I am embarrassed, I am afraid, I am guilty, BUT I have no other option but to head back to Father’s house. John 6:68

Father knows truth yet in His grace he has been scanning the horizon looking to show that He is full of grace and truth.

Maybe Psalm 42:7 isn’t just the brutal waves that break error from our lives, but swells of God’s grace. “All your waves and breakers swept over me.”

Let’s interview the Prodigal son who long ago returned to Father’s House. Long ago he lifted the veil in truthfulness, returned to Father’s House and consecrated his heart and his longings.

1. Prodigal son, was Father’s blessing a one time deal?

John 1:16 “From the fullness of his grace we have received one blessing after another.”

2. Prodigal son, does the weight of your past, the memories of “squandering your father’s wealth” knock you to the ground?

Romans 5:2 “through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God”

3. Prodigal, how did you find Father’s good favor? You didn’t have any money left to appease Him.

Romans 3:24 “and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

4. I suppose that even in Father’s House you could find that you barely make it.

2 Corinthians 9:8 “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work”

5. What do you do when you feel the call of the past to return to living selfishly, in a distant land, and in a senseless manner? Do you ever run out of strength?

2 Corinthians 12:9 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

6. With the power of memory, do you ever feel like that poor, pig slop eating prodigal son?

Ephesians 2:7 “in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”

7. Isn’t this too good to be true? Aren’t you afraid this will suddenly end?

2 Thessalonians 2:16 “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,”

My altar call tonight is Hebrews 4:16“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Acts 20:32 “Now I commit you to God and the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctif

Posted on 26th September 2012 in Conferences, Message Response, Spiritual Growth, Wednesday Evenings  •  Comments are off for this post
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MCA Church Provides a Way Forward

Following are my message notes for the Day Services of August 26, 2012.

My intent is to show that 2 Peter 1 gives us a Biblical panorama of adult maturation. Unlike scholars who view adult maturity through the lens of hierarchies, stages, or phases, I view adult maturation as the total process of being saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, and then dancing with God. Enjoy.

Identity: MCA Church Provides a Way Forward

Good news! There is a way forward for you.

In whatever condition you find your self today, there is a way forward.
• There was a way forward for Moses, who had committed murder.
• There was a way forward for David, who was an adulterer.
• There was a way forward for Peter, who intentionally denied Jesus.
• There was a way forward for Paul, who was an accomplice to the murder of Stephen (The first martyr)

There is a way forward for you too. 2 Peter 1:3

Adult development scholars have created a sort of development understanding apart from the work of Jesus.
• Some say that you develop based upon the interaction of your role in society and the corresponding expectations of society. Social Development theory by Havighurst
• Some say that you develop based upon age related development. Age Related Development by Gould and Levinson
• Others teach that you develop based upon non-age related development. Non-age Related Development by Erikson and Kohlberg

By far, the most important segment of your path forward is the first step of trusting in Jesus for salvation. Romans 10:9, 10

In my experience, the second most important segment of your path forward is being baptized in the Holy Spirit.

The person who is saved and filled with the Holy Spirit has a measure of spiritual maturity and is prepared to continue in maturation. Acts 1:5

In 2 Peter 1 Christian maturity is a dance between:
1. His divine power
2. Our knowledge of Him
3. His very great and precious promises
4. Our making every effort to add.
MCA Church provides a way forward by creating opportunities for you to:

• Experience God’s divine power
• Grow in your knowledge of God
• Grow in your knowledge of God’s very great and precious promises
• Make every effort to continually add.

MCA Church Kid’s Ministry launches The Big God Story tonight at 5 PM.

MCA Church Men’s Ministry launches September 8 in a breakfast meeting, Men’s LIFE group on September 18, and Monday Night Football Life Group on Monday, September 10.

MCA Church Youth Ministry launches tonight at 5 PM.

MCA Church Women’s Ministry launches Thursday, September 6.

MCA Church LIFE Groups launch the first session the week of September 16.

Wednesday in the Word launches Hebrews in Life Community with Pastor David Wilson and Headline News (Christian Ethics) with Pastor Fay and Pastor Brad Kesler in LIVE

Guest Services launches September 18 at 7 PM in LIVE.

Posted on 26th August 2012 in Message Response, Ministry Development  •  Comments are off for this post