Lone Survivor

You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (MSG)

 

We should train hard to strengthen our spiritual life so here are four priorities that are essential for the development and maintenance of a sound spiritual life…

 

Priority #1: Decisiveness

 

Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 1 Timothy 4:7

 

Priority #2: Dedication

 

Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. 1 Timothy 4:8 (MSG)

 

Priority #3: Discipline

That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe. 1 Timothy 4:10

 

Priority #4: Destination

 

Cultivate these things. Immerse yourself in them. The people will all see you mature right before their eyes! Keep a firm grasp on both your character and your teaching. Don’t be diverted. Just keep at it. Both you and those who hear you will experience salvation. 1 Timothy 4:15-16 (MSG)

 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3

Les Miserables

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.  But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16

 

Why did Jesus come?

 

First, Jesus came to justify

 

And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. 1 John 3:5

 

Secondly, Jesus came to sanctify

But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8 (NLT)

 

Three Truths about personal holiness…

 

Truth #1: Holiness is a response

 

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2 (MSG)

 

Truth #2: Holiness is a realization

 

Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin’s every beck and call! Romans 6:6-7 (MSG)

 

Truth #3: Holiness is a re-clothing

 

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. Colossians 3:12-14 (MSG)

Finding Nemo

What we learn about the lost…

 

Reason #1: The lost wander away

 

“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Luke 15:4 (NLT)

 

Reason #2: The lost are neglectful/careless

 

Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Luke 15:8 (NLT)

 

Reason #3: The lost are willful

 

“A man had two sons.  The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. Luke 15:11-12 (NLT)

 

What we learn about God…

 

 

  1. God is concerned for the lost.

 

 

  1. God is seeking the lost.

 

 

  1. God rejoices when the lost are found.

 

 

What we learn about ourselves…

 

 

We are active participants in God’s mission

STAR WARS

How you can bring hope to someone…

 

  1. Acknowledge their REALITY

 

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:4

 

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 1 Peter 3:15

 

 

  1. Show them there is A WAY OUT

 

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.  But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:6-7

 

  1. Help them change their PERSPECTIVE

 

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  Philippians 4:8-9

 

  1. Share that GOD IS WITH THEM

 

So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (The Message)

The Lion King

  • Sorry the recording didn’t start at the beginning of the message, I was having trouble with my microphone – Mike

 

This is what the Lord says— “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19

 

A couple of points about living in the past…

 

  1. People stuck in the past cannot move forward

 

Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more!  I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law.  I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.

Philippians 3:4-6 (NLT)

 

  1. People living in the past cannot reach their potential

 

I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.  Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. Philippians 3:7-9 (NLT)

 

Leave the past behind through…

 

  1. Confession

 

Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. Philippians 3:13

 

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  James 5:16

 

  1. Forgiveness

 

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15

 

 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

JAWS

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

 

When to expect an attack…

 

  1. Attacks will often come when we are alone.

 

  1. Attacks will often come when we are pursuing God’s will.

 

 

How to win over temptation…

 

  1. Recognize your vulnerability

 

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 1 Corinthians 10:12

 

 

  1. Run (don’t chum) from temptation

 

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)

 

 

  1. Resist the devil

 

So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. James 4:7 (MSG)

 

  1. _Root your life in Christ

 

My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well-constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. Colossians 2 6-7, 9 (MSG)