Sunday’s Text 4/24/16

This Sunday at North Aiken Church of God I will continue to preach through the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). I am spending this week working through Matthew 5:33-37.

     “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’
     But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.
     Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.
          – Matthew 5:33-37 (ESV)

Myths I’ve Believed Growing Up In Church

There are many things I’ve always heard growing up in the church. Some aren’t so biblical but take on a biblical tone. Meaning, I’ve never found them in the bible but we regard them as Gospel truth. I am working through a few myths that I plan to present during our midweek worship service on Wednesday nights at North Aiken Church of God. I am calling this Wednesday night series, Myths I’ve Believed Growing Up In Church.

So far here is the schedule…

Wednesday, May 7: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves
Wednesday, May 14: God Will Not Allow More On Us Than What We Can Handle
Wednesday, May 21: OPEN
Wednesday, May 28: OPEN

You will notice I have two weeks open. Simply meaning, I haven’t decided which other 2 myths I am going to tackle and I was hoping you could help. Besides the ones listed above, what’s some things you’ve always heard and perceived to be Gospel truth but could never find it in scripture or have found to be not entirely true?

Here’s one I’ve always loved hearing which has never failed to give me a good chuckle…”if the KJV was good enough for Paul and Silas, it’s good enough for me.”

Sermon Notes Recap from Sun. Oct. 6, 2013

Yesterday in the 11:00AM and 6:00PM service at North Aiken Church of God we continued our series out of Acts 2:41-47. Our point of focus; As a disciple (maturing believer) we are to engage our community/culture Acts 2:46-47. I am posting some recap notes to serve as a reminder for all those who were part of the services or who missed on yesterday.

The early Church (believers) were not hiding out. They were openly and joyfully serving God. Here are a few of their characteristics; They were consistent in meeting together (continued daily), they were unified (one accord), they broke bread (fellowship), they were happy people (gladness), they were not complicated (simplistic). This is not to say that they were unorganized but they didn’t over complicate things. They worshipped (praising God), they had favor from all people, they were growing (the Lord added daily), they were saved people.

If we are to actively engage our culture we must actively live out our faith no matter what context we find ourself in. Practice/live out your faith. If your a business owner, base your business on the principals of scripture. If your an employee, base your work ethic on the principles of scripture.

Engaging our culture is a deliberate action. We aren’t to be passive. It’s at the core of Jesus’ call.
Follow me and I will make you fishers of men. – Jesus | Matthew 4:19.

Engaging our Culture is a Matter of Flavoring and Illuminating
You are the Salt of the Earth, You are the Light of the World. – Jesus | Matthew 5:13-16

Don’t expect the world to shine for you. God calls you to shine for the world. The world is a dark place and God has put us where we are to be lights. That’s the challenge for the whole Church. -Colin Smith

Engaging our culture comes by doing.
We engage our culture by our works (c/r James 1:21-22, 2:14-26)

What we do inside the building, collectively as a body of Christ is in order to propel us outside the church to engage our culture. You are part of the body of Christ for a purpose and I want you to be purposeful in engaging your community.

Call to Action
Find out one practical need we as a church can meet for someone within the body (church) this week and let me know.

Find out one practical need we as a church can meet for someone within our community, not part of the Church and let me know.

Advice for Study and Sermon/Lesson Prep

Earlier this week I was able to watch a video which talked about sermon/lesson prep. I wanted to take a few moments today in order to share some of the insight with you. Undoubtably tomorrow is a big day for those of us who are preachers and teachers during our collective time together as believers. I would ask that each who serve with me at North Aiken Church of God take a few moments today in preparation for your responsibilities tomorrow. There is a video, which a link to is posted below under resources, its about 12 minutes and gives a wealth of insight for teachers and preachers. You can read over my notes then take the time to watch Dr. Mack King Carter teach on this for yourself.

Advice for Study and Sermon Prep | Dr. Mack King Carter
Disclaimer, the notes listed below through conclusion up to personal notes from me are taken directly from the video resource listed at the end of this post. Those things listed in [brackets] were added by me.

Preparation for Preaching [teaching]…

1) You must have a personal relationship with a personal God

2) You must have a Godly life
You can’t out preach [teach] your life. You have to live the life, that is the source of your life. Don’t let The Lord down in your behavior. Keep your life up you can’t preach [teach] over sin.

3) You must Read Widely
Don’t come before folks empty. If your going to talk to people you must read. Read the Bible voraciously…Eat it up. In this Dr. Carter gave the following illustration.

Sermons/lessons don’t come from the sky to your head. They are straight from God but they come by way of a detour…through your buttox as you apply your buttox to a chair. Then it works its way up.

4) You Must Have Personalization
Personalize the text, allow the text to speak to you first. You do your best preaching/teaching when the text speaks to you.

In conclusion, every time you come to church you ought to leave messed up because you came with a ready mind. You came prepared because you were sitting before God. Every sermon/lesson needs to give you homework. Every sermon or lesson ought to give an assignment.

My personal notes to you. We don’t do what we do (teach/preach) because we can’t find anyone else to do it. Whether you are a children’s, youth, or sanctuary teacher/preacher you have been given a divine mandate by God to teach his word with clarity and conviction. Do you need to get your personal life in order, have you become familiar with what you are bringing to your people or class tomorrow, is it personal to you? If not, find sometime to get alone today and answer those three questions and come out ready to invest in those you’ve been entrusted to speak the words of life to. Don’t forget to give an assignment for those you teach to live out in the coming week.

Resources:
Watch the 12 minute video of Dr. Mack King Carter’s Advice for Study and Sermon Prep by clicking here.

You Have Time, 168 Hours to Be Exact

I am thankful for Pastors who pour into my life and challenge me in my walk. The basis of what I am teaching on Sunday’s comes directly from what others have poured into me and I believe the way it has challenged and changed me will do the same for those whom I Pastor. Currently at 11:00AM on Sunday Mornings at North Aiken Church of God we are taking a good look at Acts 2:41-47. The two main questions I am asking are, “What am I doing that is growing the Church?” To narrow that down a bit, “Am I growing in my walk with Christ.”

When we personally grow the Church grows. The body of Christ is more than just an event or experience but a lifestyle. A lifestyle of dying to self and living for Christ. As we grow, become mature, we don’t focus on how we can serve ourselves but rather how we can serve Christ in the context in which we live. Serving Christ means serving others.

One of the things which we learned yesterday is that we have no problem making time for the things which we want to make time for. My friend Mike DeGuzman said, “Growing is not a lack of opportunity but a lack of desire.” How true that is. If I am going to grow in my relationship with Christ I need to weed out the things that are keeping me from continually devoting myself to Him. This comes by shifting our focus and efforts and making God first priority. We always make time for what we want to do.

We each have a total of 168 hours this week. We have a ton of stuff which has the ability to distract us from the main thing. My encouragement to you is to take a good look at what you spend time doing before saying I don’t have time. Rearrange your priorities and let the God things be the main things. Your growth depends on it, so do others.

The Weight of When God Speaks

“Work while it is day because great darkness is coming.” 9-24-2013 NACOG Revival Service

Last night during our revival services we had what I would like to call a Holy Interruption as the Evangelist was giving the invitation to prayer. The above words were the message of this interruption. I believe when God speaks we are to listen. Further I believe he has already spoken through his word; therefore, when a message is given to his people it will not be contrary or go against what is already handed down through his word.

The message last night through the unction of the Holy Spirit moving upon Gods messenger was “work while it is day because great darkness is coming.” I believe that when God pulls back the curtain and a word is giving it can be written down and the body needs to remember it. The weight of the word is still heavy on my heart and wanted to process it a little through writing. As I process it here are a few things I am reminded of from God’s word.

Jesus wants us to work hard. John 4:35 (NKJV) – Do you not say, “There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!

Jesus wants us to work now. John 9:4 (NKJV) – I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.

Ultimately we have to decide NOW to get involved in the work of Christ. Along with me, ask yourself…

“What work am I doing to advance the gospel of Christ?”
“Am I more concerned with things other than fulfilling the purpose God has for my life?

A Christ Follower Loves One Another [Amplified] – Lesson Notes

A Christ Follower Loves One Another [AMPLIFIED]
Wed. August 28, 2013 – North Aiken Church of God

Proverbs 17:9,14,17

The Bible teaches that Jesus is the example of love.

  1. Christ gave a new command, “that we love one another.”
  2. Our love for one another should be the same way in which Jesus loved us
  3. Our love for one another reflects that we are truly followers of Christ.

Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:34-35 (NKJV)

In essence, the command to love is not conditional. I don’t get to choose who I love. Jesus has already set the framework – the boundaries – for believers. Your love for one another isn’t based on what they have done to you or how they have treated you. Furthermore it is not even based on how much they may or may not love you.

The goal of this message is to reveal three practical ways in which every believer can love one another from Proverbs 17. A believer exemplifies love for one another when they watch their words, settle disagreements quickly, and are loyal to one another.

I see love being more than just a saying in your life but an action.

What You Need to Know?

  1. Our words are powerful we must watch what we say about one another. (see Proverbs 17:9)
    1. Relationships are built on trust
    2. We have a responsibility to help one another. Not to spread their business.

     

  2. Disagreements will happen. When they do we must settle them quickly. (see Proverbs 17:14)
    1. Contention will last only so long between two individuals until there is a blow up.
    2. When we notice disconnect between one another we must be quick to settle disagreements.

     

  3. Loyalty goes a long way and is a deep connection between believers. (see Proverbs 17:17)
    1. The difference between friends and brothers
      • There is a sense of loyalty among friends, you choose it.
      • There is a sense of duty among brothers, you’re born into it.
      • Believers are both/and.

“Love motivated by mere duty cannot hold out for very long.” – The Love Dare (2008)

What You Need to Do?

Make the decision to follow Christ’s example and love one another.

Teaching Your Lesson for Maximum Effectiveness

Exodus 18:20
And you shall teach them the statutes and the Laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do.

Sometimes when receiving the outline to teach a lesson you can be left with the question, “How are the kids I teach supposed to grasp this?” Upon reading the lesson you may feel as if it is above their heads or too childish. The truth is this is where one of your most important jobs come in to play. It is up to you to take the lesson provided and make sure that your age group has the opportunity to clearly hear the gospel and respond.

The goal of this post is to help those who teach in the children’s ministry at the North Aiken Church of God take their weekly lesson and adapt it to their age group they have been entrusted to teach.

After going over this material I see you going into your class this Sunday and teaching the Gospel to your students in a way they will be able to understand and implement as they go throughout their week.

What You Need to Know:

1)    You have been entrusted to teach God’s word this week to the children in your care.

  1. You feel called of God to invest in the lives of the students.
  2. Your Pastor has appointed you to instruct them.
  3. The parents of those you are teaching are trusting that you are going to invest in their child’s life.

2)    You have the tools in order to teach the children in your care God’s word.

  1. You have a Bible
  2. A lesson has been prepared
  3. The time you’ve spent alone with God this week has empowered you to be able to teach effectively.

3)    Your life has to set the example

  1. How you live outside of the class points them as to how they are to respond
  2. Your life shows them how to walk (live)
  3. Your life shows them how to work (what they must do)

What You Need to Do

1)    Begin by praying before opening the material

  1. Pray that God would open his word up to you and you would deliver it in a way that is effective.
  2. Pray over each child that will be in your class

2)    Get to know the material

  1. Read the Lesson Title
  2. Look up the passage of scripture that is going to be talked about and read it from your Bible
  3. Read the Big Idea
  4. Look up the memory verse and read it from your Bible

3)    Read through the Bible Lesson from your Outline

  1. 1st read through it just to become familiar with how the writer explained the Bible passage
  2. 2nd read through it and make notes and reword what you feel would help your age group understand the lesson.
  3. 3rd read through it and make notes of things that you can do in order to help your age group comprehend the subject matter. (Such as visuals, actions, or involvement.)

4)    Arrive prepared to teach your lesson

  1. Arrive with a smile on your face ready to teach your Group the truth from God’s word
  2. As you enter the room and set up your area pray over each chair in representation of a child that will be attending.
  3. Prior to service starting until completion of the service find ways to engage in the lives of the Children you have been entrusted to teach.

Remember, your goal is to take the lesson you have been provided and teach it effectively to those in your care. The words you speak and the actions you portray have the opportunity to lead each child in your care closer to making a decision to follow Christ. By following the above approach you will see that you will have a great impact in the lives of your students.

The point is this, God has called you, Your Pastor has appointed you, and the Parents are trusting you, you can teach effectively this week and in the weeks to come.

Wednesday’s Lesson Notes Aug. 21, 2013

Below is the outline I will be using during tonight’s lesson. I have been working over the last couple of months from an outline template that was passed down from Pastor Kemp. He has posted a helpful post  detailing the process he goes through when preparing a sermon/lesson HERE. This system, when I stick to it, helps my thoughts flow better and also helps me to stay on topic. Another benefit is that it keeps me within a reasonable time frame which shows respect for those who have taken the time to come out and hear the word. Here’s the thing. I have had more positive feedback from those in the congregation about how they were impacted by the message when I have taken the time to present the message in this fashion.

I am posting the basic outline here on the blog as a trial. I will start by giving a brief recap of Sunday’s message and then spend a few moments amplifying it. This method on Wednesday nights impacted me greatly in my journey with Christ while attending Central Church, Hilton Head during MIP. Maybe those who are making plans to attend service at North Aiken Church of God during our Wednesday Worship Service will find it helpful.

Go and Sin No More [Amplified]
Proverbs 16

The essence of this message is Jesus’ death on the cross was the place where he set the example and displayed compassion toward us. For those who believe in Him and commit to following him; we have to make a conscious decision to walk away from the sin he delivered us from.

The goal of this message is to point out 3 things from Proverbs 16 that can help you to continually walk in the freedom of Christ.

I see each of us renewing our commitment to Christ and developing the following habits in our daily life;
Releasing ownership to Jesus Christ,
Removing arrogance from our life, and
Reviewing each path available to us and choosing the one which reflects wholeness in Jesus Christ.

What You Need to know?

Success comes by committing what I do to the Lord.
Proverbs 16:3 (NKJV) – Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established.

My way is not the best way
Proverbs 16:18 (NKJV) – Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.

What seems right isn’t always the right way.
Proverbs 16:25 (NKJV) – There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

What You Need to do?

Release Ownership
Remove Arrogance from your life and establish that we are all a mess apart from Jesus.
Review each Path before you; choose only the one that leads you closer to Christ.

Your Personal Declaration:

I will not go back to who I was before Christ.
I will not allow my life to be controlled by the sin that separated me from Christ.

I will release ownership of all to Jesus Christ; Jesus you own all the rights, profits, and I just work for you. I trust you as sole owner to provide all I need.

I will remove all arrogance and will refuse to exalt self or my own works. I will point all things back to Jesus Christ.

I will review each road before me; the course that best reflects the standards (and your will) from your word will be the one I follow.

Weekly Reminder for NACOG Goers, Wed. June 26, 2013

20130625-170742.jpgIt’s Wednesday and I am going to try something new here on my Blog. If you attend or are new to North Aiken Church of God (to be referred to as “NACOG Goers” from here on out) this is going to be a midweek post that will keep you informed with what’s upcoming at the Church. It will also give you a chance to tweet it or share it on your timeline or through whichever social networking tool you use. I will do my best to keep it short and to the point. Don’t forget our Midweek Worship Service tonight at 7:00PM. Visit the NACOG Website for detailed contact info and directions.

Church Work Day this Saturday June 29, 2013; 9:00AM – 12:00PM – There a few items we want to spend some time taking care of on the exterior of the Church building. There will be a light breakfast beginning at 8:00AM with a devotion just prior to starting the work day.

Missions Service this Sunday June 30, 2013 – We are grateful to have guest Missionary Richard Murphy and is wife Elizabeth with us during our 11:00AM worship service. Come prepared to worship and invite someone to join you as we hear about the work they are doing throughout Ecuador. Also, we will be taking up a special missions offering in order to assist them financially as Bro. Murphy gets ready to go back to Ecuador. There will be no kids church this Sunday. All students in k5 and up will be joining their parents in worship in order to hear from the missionaries.

Nursery and PreSchool Age Worker Needed this Sunday – If you are interested please contact me (Pastor George) and let me know what age group you are willing to help with during the missions service on Sunday Morning.

Senior Camp is underway in Mauldin. The students will be returning Friday so if you have a child who went with us please make sure to plan on picking them up at the Church by 12:30PM on Friday.

Junior Camp (ages 12-14) Starts Monday – If your child has already registered for Camp in Mauldin we need a count of how many are going in order to ensure we have proper transportation. Please be sure to have them at the Church no later than 10:30AM on Monday so that we are able to leave by 10:45.