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.

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A Quote From Humility by Andrew Murray

It is when the truth of an in dwelling Christ takes the place it claims in the experience of believers, that the Church will put on her beautiful garments and humility be seen in her teachers and members as the beauty of holiness. – pg. 21, Humility | Andrew Murray

I am not so much convinced that holiness is in lifestyle as much as it is in attitude. At its very core isn’t our lifestyles/choices rooted in our attitude. Choose an attitude of humility.

You Don’t Have to Give In

If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. 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 10:12, 13 NLT

I have been guilty of saying this and maybe you have too. I will never be, say, or do ______________. We tend to think and make others believe, by what we portray on the outside, we are super Christians who never goes through a problem nor will ever blow it big time (fall). There are a few things that jump out to me from my reading today.

Don’t trust your own judgement. Paul wrote, If YOU THINK you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. Ultimately it’s not about us. I can’t trust my judgement based on how close I think I am to God. My salvation has everything to do with Christ. I didn’t earn it and I can’t think I am so big in the faith that I can’t fall. In other words, guard your life and walk with Christ. Don’t become so high and mighty thinking you are the next best thing to come around. Be careful not to fall. Guard your life and don’t trust your own judgement.

My temptation isn’t new. Paul gives us insight that what we go through individually is no different than what others go through. The temptations in your life have been experiences by others and guess what, some have overcome that temptation and serve as examples to us. However in order to know this we have to share what we are going through. That’s the beauty of the Church or Fellowship of the believers. You are part of a spiritual family to serve and share your life with one another.

God isn’t trying to trip me up but leaves me with the choice. God is faithful, he doesn’t put us in a maze called life and sit above us watching and laughing when we get stuck in a corner. God sets perimeters in our life in order that we live faithful and fruitful lives. He says what is allowed in our life and makes it plain that nothing enters more than what we can withstand. God knows our limitations. Further, when temptations come our way he even offers us help. He will show us the way out. Ultimately God gives me the choice to choose the way out or the option to give in. He wants us to choose the way out.

In conclusion, be careful not to fall. Don’t trust your own judgement. The temptations you face aren’t new. God isn’t trying to trip you up but ultimately the choice is up to us whether or not we get out of or give in to the temptations in our life. Choose to get out.

Present Suffering and Future Promises

“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.-Romans 8:18 NLT

I find it easy to focus on the here and now giving no thought to what will be. Our present sufferings have a way to dictate how we view the rest of our life. Again, we have choices. We can choose to allow our sufferings to distort the beauty that is truly around us or we can allow our sufferings to elevate us to a greater dependency upon God and hope in what will be.

I am amazed as I read through the book of Acts recently and saw how the suffering/persecution of the early Christians didn’t stop them from their God given task to being witnesses in the culture which they lived. Why, because they understood this truth which would be revealed in Romans 8, what we suffer NOW is NOTHING compared to the glory he will REVEAL to us LATER. The point is this, present suffering is nothing compared to future promises. Now and Later. What is now will not be later. Here are a few words which come to mind; Endurance, Persistence, Outlook, Hope, Steadfast, Immovable and the list could go on.

I will leave you with this, nothing your going through now can be compared to the glory which God will reveal to us later.

Keep pressing forward.

Is My Choice the Right Choice

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. -Romans 6:12,13 NKJV

It’s my choice what I do with my body, I believe this is true. I have the power to chose to use my body for Gods purposes or selfish purposes. At the beginning of each day we are given a beautiful thing, Gods mercy and compassion. You do know they are new every morning, right? “Through the Lord ’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!”” – Lamentations 3:22-24 NKJV

Each of us have the individual choice whether or not we are going to allow that “sin” to be attached to us. You know, the one that has control over us which we can’t get away from. We obey, it has become our master. The sin that we allow to continue with us is literally a hatred of what is righteous.

How then do we get rid of the sin and obey God instead of the sin.
1. You can’t fix yesterday but you can start new today.
2. Make a moment by moment decision to present your whole self to right living (righteousness)

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.

Am I Speaking Clearly

11 we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God. – Acts 2:11 (NKJV)

Have you ever been misunderstood?

Have there been times between someone else speaking and it getting to your ears you completely misunderstand the point and are left dazed?

In reading Acts 2 I am encouraged. I am encouraged because I am reminded once again that the Holy Spirit working in our lives has the ability to empower you and I to be an effective witnesses. Though the disciples of Jesus Christ were unlearned in speaking to the various dialects of those that were in Jerusalem for Pentecost, they were empowered to speak in a tongue (language) they haven’t learned as they were filled with the Holy Spirit. They were supernaturally infused with the gift to speak of the wonderful works of God in a way that those who were there could understand. This stopped me dead in my tracks this morning as I read this passage and the thought hit me.

Are we speaking clearly to those around us on a day to day basis the wonderful works of God or is it just noise?

Simply, when others are around us are they able to state the following… “There is no doubt something is different about (insert your name here). What in the world could that difference be.” The point is this, our witness must be compelling, our witness must be engaging, and our witness must be clear. Your witness can only be those things by the supernatural empowering of the Holy Spirit. Determine today that as a believer you are going to allow the Holy Spirit to empower you in order to speak clearly to those around you.

Any thoughts? Any insight? Continue the conversation by leaving a comment.

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