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)

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)

Simply the Best Spiritually

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 (NLT)

 

Four ways we can enhance our spiritual life…

 

  1. Take a Sabbath rest

 

And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation. Genesis 2:3 (NLT)

 

Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:30 (NIV)

 

  1. Reduce worry in your life

 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

 

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:33-34

 

  1. Seek to be restored

 

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (NLT)

 

  1. Reflect on spiritual things

 

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9

 

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Too Small to Fail

But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you.  Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land. Exodus 23:29-30

 

Why doesn’t God give us everything at once?

 

Reason #1: Power  is perishable.

Reason #2: Maintenance is necessary.

 

If you want to be a different person five years from now…

Make your goals too small to fail.

 

Pointers on how to put this into practice

 

Pointer #1: Choose your goals carefully.

 

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. Malachi 3:10

 

Pointer #2: Make your goals very specific.

 

Give us each day our daily bread. Luke 11:3

 

Pointer #3: Track your progress diligently.

 

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Psalm 37:23 (NLT)

 

 

Pointer #4: Guard your progress aggressively.

 

Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:46-47

Search Me

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24

 

Four Parts of This Dangerous Prayer…

 

  1. Search my heart.

 

The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? Jeremiah 17:9 (NLT)

 

 

  1. Reveal my fears

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

 

 

What we fear the most reveals where we trust God the least.

 

 

  1. Uncover my sins

 

And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t.  I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.  But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. Romans 7:18-20 (NLT)

 

  1. Lead me

 

The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.  The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. John 10:2-4

It All Starts Today

8-10 Don’t run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along. The law code—don’t sleep with another person’s spouse, don’t take someone’s life, don’t take what isn’t yours, don’t always be wanting what you don’t have, and any other “don’t” you can think of—finally adds up to this: Love other people as well as you do yourself. You can’t go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the law code, the sum total is love. 11-14 But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about! Romans 13:8-14 (The Message)

 

The behaviours you “let in” become the behaviours you are “set in.”

 

Remember this when you think about where you will be in five years…

 

  1. TIME is not on your side.

 

You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure. Psalm 39:5

 

Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12

 

“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” 1 Peter 1:24-25

 

 2. Future you is simply an EXAGGERATED VERSION of current you.

 

Whoever seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to one who searches for it. Proverbs 11:27

 

The desires of good people lead straight to the best, but wicked ambition ends in angry frustration. Proverbs 11:23 (MSG)

Holy Living in an Unholy World

Christianity – Christ = Religion

 

So if we want to live authentic Christian lives – if we want to live a holy life in an unholy world, there are three things we have to be willing to do.

 

We have to be willing to…

 

  1. Stop dating God

 

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” Matthew 22:37-38

 

  1. Get out of the greenhouse_

 

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7

 

  1. To run into the burning building

 

All the people, experiencing the thunder and lightning, the trumpet blast and the smoking mountain, were afraid—they pulled back and stood at a distance. The people kept their distance while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was. Exodus 20:18, 21 (The Message)

Where Do You Stand?

Have you ever heard yourself saying: “God, something about the way I’m living my life isn’t working.”

 

Two things we can expect when we stand in Christ…

 

  1. We will bear fruit

 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23

 

  • It glorifies God
  • It is what the tree was created to produce
  • It is singular
  1. We will be pruned/disciplined

 

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” John 15:1-2

 

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11

Resurrection Reality

We all struggle to believe but that struggle can produce something wonderful in each of us.