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Sunday, March 11, 2018

Why God Chose You - If You Knew the Future

Notes: Why God Chose You - If You Knew the Future 
Pastor Greg
Esther 3
https://www.harvest.org/watch-and-listen/webcast/watch/why-god-chose-you

Jesus chose Peter even though He knew already that Peter would let Him down. Peter came back stronger.

Esther 3:5-6 NLT
[5] When Haman saw that Mordecai would not bow down or show him respect, he was filled with rage. [6] He had learned of Mordecai's nationality, so he decided it was not enough to lay hands on Mordecai alone. Instead, he looked for a way to destroy all the Jews throughout the entire empire of Xerxes.

Today Iran wants to wipe Israel off the planet. Haman’s plan is something that happens over and over in history.

Esther could not stay isolated.

Esther 4:13-14 NLT
[13] Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: "Don't think for a moment that because you're in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. [14] If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?"

God does not need us. 

God wants us because loves us.

He reaches others through us.

Ephesians 1:4-5 NLT
[4] Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. [5] God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

Before the world was made, God chose us.

He didn’t choose us because of us. He chose us in spite of us.

Try to explain election and you may lose your mind, try to explain it away and you may lose your soul.

God says He loves the world, not the elect.

Romans 5:6-8 NLT
[6] When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. [7] Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. [8] But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

Whether we like it or not, the Bible teaches predestination and free will.

“The Whosoever wills are the elect, the whosever wonts are the non elect.” - D.L. Moody

Romans 10:13 NLT
[13] For "Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved."

John 11:26 NLT
[26] Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?"

Ephesians 1:5 NLT
[5] God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

Ephesians 1:6 NLT
[6] So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.

John 17:22-23 NLT
[22] "I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. [23] I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.

On the cross God, the Father, treated His Son as if He committed all the sons of All of us.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Be the Hands and Feet - Nick Vujicic

Notes: Be the Hands and Feet
Nick Vujicic
Thursday, March 8, 2018
Luke 14:15–23
Music: Harvest Worship Band

Message was great:
https://www.harvest.org/watch-and-listen/webcast/watch/be-the-hands-and-feet-oc

Questions addressed:
Why is the serpent allowed in to the Garden?

All my friends may not go to heaven?

Why are there more miracles outside of America?

Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Plot Thickens

Notes: The Plot Thickens
Greg Laurie
Sunday, March 4, 2018
Esther 2
Music: Harvest Worship Band

https://www.harvest.org/watch-and-listen/webcast/watch/the-plot-thickens

The book of Esther is about how God puts people in the right place at the right time.

Esther 1:10 NKJV
[10] On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus,

The king made these decisions when he was drunk. Bad decisions.

If you don’t want to make bad decisions when you are drunk, then don’t get drunk. How do you not get drunk? Don’t drink...ever.

Proverbs 21:1 NKJV
[1] The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.

Esther 2:5-7 NKJV
[5] In Shushan the citadel there was a certain Jew whose name was Mordecai the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite. [6] Kish had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captives who had been captured with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away. [7] And Mordecai had brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman was lovely and beautiful. When her father and mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter.

Christians don’t believe in coincidence, we believe in providence.

The king took notice of how beautiful Esther was. Just like our culture today.

1 Peter 3:3-4 NKJV
[3] Do not let your adornment be merely outward-arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel- [4] rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

Esther 2:16-17 NKJV
[16] So Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign. [17] The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.

Esther 3:1-2 NKJV
[1] After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and set his seat above all the princes who were with him. [2] And all the king's servants who were within the king's gate bowed and paid homage to Haman, for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage.

Haman wanted attention, enjoying that the others bowed to him.

Haman was an Agagite, and Mordecai was a Jew.

Deuteronomy 25:17-19 NKJV
[17] "Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, [18] how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God. [19] Therefore it shall be, when the LORD your God has given you rest from your enemies all around, in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance, that you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. You shall not forget.

1. When God tells you to do something, do it.

2. God gives gifts and talents to each of us that we need to use.

Esther had inner character, along with outward beauty.

1 Timothy 4:14 NKJV
[14] Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.

Get involved and serve. You don’t know what you can or can not do until you try.

3. There is a time to speak up and a time to be quiet.

Esther 2:10 NKJV
[10] Esther had not revealed her people or family, for Mordecai had charged her not to reveal it.

When the Lord prompts you to speak, then you need to speak.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

For Such a Time as This!

Notes: For Such a Time as This!
Greg Laurie
Sunday, February 25, 2018
Esther 1
Music: Harvest Worship Band

https://www.harvest.org/watch-and-listen/webcast/watch/for-such-a-time-as-this-022518

Esther can almost sound like a fairytale. It’s a rags to riches story.

The Book of Esther is the only book that the name of God is not mentioned. 

God is always at work in the believer at every hour of everyday.

His silence is not his absence.

God sees things ahead of time. The Bible says our life is like a story that has already been told.

Psalm 37:23 NKJV
[23] The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way.

Favorite Bible Verses for Greg:
Philippians 3:1 NKJV
[1] Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.

John 14:1 NKJV
[1] "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

Romans 8:28 NKJV
[28] And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV
[11] For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

The Bible says Gods thoughts toward us are like the sands of the sea. That’s a lot of thoughts.

In Esther the king had a party that lasted for 6 months.

Esther 1:10-12 NKJV
[10] On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus, [11] to bring Queen Vashti before the king, wearing her royal crown, in order to show her beauty to the people and the officials, for she was beautiful to behold. [12] But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king's command brought by his eunuchs; therefore the king was furious, and his anger burned within him.

King Ahasuerus known as King Xerxes was trying to objectify his wife, she refused and he pushed her out. 

God was using this secular event to move in His time.

Exit Vashti. Enter Esther.
Esther 2:5-9 NLT
[5] At that time there was a Jewish man in the fortress of Susa whose name was Mordecai son of Jair. He was from the tribe of Benjamin and was a descendant of Kish and Shimei. [6] His family had been among those who, with King Jehoiachin of Judah, had been exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. [7] This man had a very beautiful and lovely young cousin, Hadassah, who was also called Esther. When her father and mother died, Mordecai adopted her into his family and raised her as his own daughter. 

[8] As a result of the king's decree, Esther, along with many other young women, was brought to the king's harem at the fortress of Susa and placed in Hegai's care. [9] Hegai was very impressed with Esther and treated her kindly. He quickly ordered a special menu for her and provided her with beauty treatments. He also assigned her seven maids specially chosen from the king's palace, and he moved her and her maids into the best place in the harem.

Esther had outer and inner beauty. Esther was a virtuous woman.

God has a plan for Esther.

Esther 4:14 NLT
[14] If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?"

Did it ever occur to you that God has put you where you are?

“...for just such a time as this?”

God is N - O - W - H - E - R - E 

What do you see when you read that?

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Flourishing or Languishing?

Notes: Flourishing or Languishing?
Pancho Juarez
Sunday, February 18, 2018
John 15:1–8
Music: Phil Wickham

https://www.harvest.org/watch-and-listen/webcast/watch/flourishing-or-languishing

An American idiom “a rolling stone collects no moss”

You have to die to yourself to adapt to become a Christian.

Institutionalized by choice for Christ. Expected behavior as a Christian.

Jesus is speaking to believers but these verses apply to all.

John 15:1-8 NKJV
[1] "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. [2] Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. [3] You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. [4] Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me

[5] "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. [6] If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. [7] If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. [8] By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

To abide in God.

A Christian is hooked up with God

Colossians 3:23 NKJV
[23] And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,

Ephesians 4:15 NKJV
[15] but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head-Christ-

Matthew 19:21 NKJV
[21] Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."

Philippians 2:3 NKJV
[3] Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

Philippians 2:14 NKJV
[14] Do all things without complaining and disputing,

John 7:24 NKJV
[24] Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."

Genesis 2:24 NKJV
[24] Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

You can not be a child always, you must grow up.

Ephesians 5:25 NKJV
[25] Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,

Hosea 2:19-20 NKJV
[19] "I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me In righteousness and justice, In lovingkindness and mercy; [20] I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, And you shall know the LORD.

Proverbs 20:3 NKJV
[3] It is honorable for a man to stop striving, Since any fool can start a quarrel.

Proverbs 20:3 NLT
[3] Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling.

Proverbs 20:3 ESV
[3] It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling.

Luke 14:26-27 ESV
[26] "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. [27] Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.

Colossians 1:10 ESV
[10] so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

John 15:8 ESV
[8] By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

The  more you know the more you change. The more you will abide in God.

Are you hooked up with God?

John 15:9-11 ESV
[9] As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. [10] If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. [11] These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

Joy, is greater than happiness.

John 15:12-17 ESV
[12] "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. [13] Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. [14] You are my friends if you do what I command you. [15] No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. [16] You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. [17] These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

Jesus is accessible to you.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Day God Died

Notes: The Day God Died
Jonathan Laurie
John 19
Thursday, February 8, 2018
Series: Life: the Gospel of John
Music: Phil Wickham
https://www.harvest.org/watch-and-listen/webcast/watch/the-day-god-died

The name of hero is really thrown around loosely today. We have guitar heroes today. However, most of us look at first responders and military as our modern day heroes.

Mikey Monsour was a Navy SEAL, that is a real hero for us. He dove on a grenade for his unit. He was the one that could have escaped, but it was him that saved his friends.

John 15:13 NKJV
[13] Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.

The first 13 Chapters of John’s Gospel really focus on three years of Jesus’ ministry. John 16 to 19 is one week of Jesus’ life.

Luke 24:17 NKJV
[17] And He said to them, "What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?"

Luke 24:18 NKJV
[18] Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, "Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?"

Everybody knew what happened to Jesus.

Jesus’ death was:
1. Public

Jesus suffered a death that was far from peaceful.

John 19:17-22 NKJV
[17] And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, [18] where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center. [19] Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. [20] Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. [21] Therefore the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, "Do not write, 'The King of the Jews,' but, 'He said, "I am the King of the Jews."'" [22] Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written."

The cross was a standard death device to the Romans. That cross could have been used many times before.

He was put on that cross with the criminals of that day.

John 19:20 NKJV
[20] Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.

People would be passing by like it was a grocery store.

2. Painful

John 19:18 NKJV
[18] where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center.

No explanation was necessary to describe a crucifixion when the Gospels were written. It was very common.

Pain was the point!

He was carrying the cross after being beaten and scourged.

Excruciating comes from a
Latin word meaning out of the cross.

John 19:23-24 NKJV
[23] Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece. [24] They said therefore among themselves, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be," that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says: "They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots." Therefore the soldiers did these things.

He was mocked.

Mark 15:29-32 NKJV
[29] And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, "Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, [30] save Yourself, and come down from the cross!" [31] Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, "He saved others; Himself He cannot save. [32] Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe." Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him.

John 19:25-27 NKJV
[25] Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. [26] When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!" [27] Then He said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

John was the only Disciple, that we know for sure was there.

3. Payment

Mark 15:33-34 NKJV
[33] Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. [34] And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" which is translated, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"

2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV
[21] For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

John 19:28-30 NKJV
[28] After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I thirst!" [29] Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. [30] So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

John 6:37 NKJV
[37] All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.

Mark 15:37-39 NKJV
[37] And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last. [38] Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. [39] So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, "Truly this Man was the Son of God!"

Hebrews 6:19-20 NKJV
[19] This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, [20] where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

4. Predicted

Psalm 22:15 NKJV
[15] My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death.

Isaiah 53:9 NKJV
[9] And they made His grave with the wicked- But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

John 19:31-37 NKJV
[31] Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. [32] Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. [33] But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. [34] But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. [35] And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. [36] For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, "Not one of His bones shall be broken." [37] And again another Scripture says, "They shall look on Him whom they pierced."

Two fulfilled prophecies in just those verses above.

Jesus was on a rescue mission from the very start.

John 19:35 NKJV
[35] And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe.

Jesus dies so we can live.

John 10:18 NKJV
[18] No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father."

Jesus could have come off that cross that day, but He hung there for us.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

How to Go To Church Part 1

Notes: How to Go to Church Part 1
Greg Laurie
Sunday, February 4, 2018
Acts 2
Music: Harvest Worship Band

http://www.harvest.org/watch-and-listen/webcast/watch/how-to-go-to-church

Jesus shows up at church every time we are here.

The church is everywhere. It’s where God’s people get together.

Just because you are at church, doesn’t mean you are here the way you should be.

Jesus started the church and Jesus loves the church.

The church is the only organization Jesus started.

1 John 3:14 NKJV
[14] We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.

Not going to church is proof something is wrong with you spiritually.

1 John 2:19 NKJV
[19] They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

The church is for every Christian and every Christian should go to church.

Church hopping is a bad way to do church.

Church is not just a place to attend, but to participate.

You shouldn’t be a critic of your church, you should be part of its solutions.

Churches will always have problems, because we are in them.

Spiritually maturity can be seen when it stops being about me and starts to become about others.

The church is on earth for three reasons. To bring glory to God, build up one another, and to evangelize the world.

Applying the principles of going to the gym can be used to going to church.

Why are people attending church less?
1. Kids playing on teams.
2. Traveling more often.
3. Online options to watch.

Not being at church means you are missing out!

Think about kids, if you go, your kids most likely will grow up going. 

Strong spiritually leadership will impact your kids, and their kids and through the generations.

Some people say they aren’t into “organized religion”. What is that anyway, just another way of saying I’m a slacker and don’t want to go to church.

Hebrews 10:24-25 NKJV
[24] And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, [25] not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Christ is coming back, let’s get together to prepare for His return.

Why do we get to church late. You are missing out. Worship is why we are here. They aren’t here to perform, they are here to lead.

Going through anything in life,  calls for you to be at church. Tragedy, praise, good times and bad times, all reasons to show up to church.

Church is where you go to be together and where you can meet people.

Is there a better place to meet someone than at church.

One of the ways to discover what you are gifted at is to find out what you aren’t good at. Serving gives you a way to discover your talents.

Time study showed:
Heart surgery patients recover better when they are church goers.
Church goers have lower blood pressure.

Acts 2:42-47 NKJV
[42] And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. [43] Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. [44] Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, [45] and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. [46] So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, [47] praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

W.E.L.L.
Worshipping 
Evangelizing 
Learning 
Loving

1. They were a worshipping church.

Acts 2:47 NKJV
[47] praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

Music was given to us to bring honor to the Lord.

We were created to worship.

From Genesis to Revelation we are to worship God. In Heaven we will worship God.

Sometimes praise and worship is a sacrifice.

What’s your version of worship at church? Do you sing with praise or do you stare at your watch.

There is a connection between worship and your witness.

When you live a Godly life, others are watching, many hoping that you fail. Then they can ignore you as a hypocrite.

Paul and Silas...at midnight, they “sang praises to God.

When people see the church in action, it’s a powerful witness. 

Job 1:21 NKJV
[21] And he said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD."

Crisis comes at us all the time. We are called to magnify God in all those times. Seeing our big God, helps make our problems look a lot smaller.

Psalm 73:16-18 NKJV
[16] When I thought how to understand this, It was too painful for me- [17] Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end. [18] Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction.

Who’s side are you on?

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Problem is Not the Problem

Notes: The Problem is Not the Problem 
Pastor Tim Harding
Nehemiah 13
Harvest OC
Valor Men’s Study
1/30/2018
http://podcast.harvestlive.net/mbf/2018/OCM180130.mp3

Many survival experts say the key to surviving in the elements is keeping the fire going.

Nehemiah had been gone about a year.

He comes back and many have fallen away from their vow to God.

Nehemiah 13:21 NLT
[21] But I spoke sharply to them and said, "What are you doing out here, camping around the wall? If you do this again, I will arrest you!" And that was the last time they came on the Sabbath.

Nehemiah 13:25 NLT
[25] So I confronted them and called down curses on them. I beat some of them and pulled out their hair. I made them swear in the name of God that they would not let their children intermarry with the pagan people of the land.

Where did they fail:
1. Relationships
2. Rules
3. Restraint 

1. Relationships 

With Tobias.

Nehemiah 13:10-12 NLT
[10] I also discovered that the Levites had not been given their prescribed portions of food, so they and the singers who were to conduct the worship services had all returned to work their fields. [11] I immediately confronted the leaders and demanded, "Why has the Temple of God been neglected?" Then I called all the Levites back again and restored them to their proper duties. [12] And once more all the people of Judah began bringing their tithes of grain, new wine, and olive oil to the Temple storerooms.

We need to cut it out, throw it out, and replace it with what was supposed to be there.

1 John 1:9 NLT
[9] But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

Proverbs 28:13 NLT
[13] People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.

Hebrews 4:16 NLT
[16] So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Ephesians 4:22-26,28 NLT
[22] throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. [23] Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. [24] Put on your new nature, created to be like God-truly righteous and holy. [25] So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. [26] And "don't sin by letting anger control you." Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, [28] If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need.

Replace idle time with serving. It keeps the fire in you burning.

2. Rules - Take drastic steps: Close the gates.

Nehemiah 13:15-21 NLT
[15] In those days I saw men of Judah treading out their winepresses on the Sabbath. They were also bringing in grain, loading it on donkeys, and bringing their wine, grapes, figs, and all sorts of produce to Jerusalem to sell on the Sabbath. So I rebuked them for selling their produce on that day. [16] Some men from Tyre, who lived in Jerusalem, were bringing in fish and all kinds of merchandise. They were selling it on the Sabbath to the people of Judah-and in Jerusalem at that! [17] So I confronted the nobles of Judah. "Why are you profaning the Sabbath in this evil way?" I asked. [18] "Wasn't it just this sort of thing that your ancestors did that caused our God to bring all this trouble upon us and our city? Now you are bringing even more wrath upon Israel by permitting the Sabbath to be desecrated in this way!" [19] Then I commanded that the gates of Jerusalem should be shut as darkness fell every Friday evening, not to be opened until the Sabbath ended. I sent some of my own servants to guard the gates so that no merchandise could be brought in on the Sabbath day. [20] The merchants and tradesmen with a variety of wares camped outside Jerusalem once or twice. [21] But I spoke sharply to them and said, "What are you doing out here, camping around the wall? If you do this again, I will arrest you!" And that was the last time they came on the Sabbath.

Nehemiah 13:30-31 NLT
[30] So I purged out everything foreign and assigned tasks to the priests and Levites, making certain that each knew his work. [31] I also made sure that the supply of wood for the altar and the first portions of the harvest were brought at the proper times. Remember this in my favor, O my God.

When we fall off track, we need to take drastic steps.

Compromise always starts slow before it takes over.

When we sin, we are putting ourselves above God. Saying we know better.

1 Corinthians 10:13-14 NLT
[13] 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. [14] So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols.

3. Restraint - Shot to the Heart

Zerubba = Temple
Ezra = God’s Word
Nehemiah = The Walls

Nehemiah ends and then 400 years of silence.

Matthew 15:18-20 NLT
[18] But the words you speak come from the heart-that's what defiles you. [19] For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. [20] These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you."

The “problem” is never the problem, the problem is the heart. 

Sin is the symptom, but not the disease.

We don’t need more temples, walls or religion; e need more Jesus.

Psalm 51:10 NLT
[10] Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.

Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT
[22] The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. [23] Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Jesus' Prayer for You

Notes: Jesus' Prayer for You
Greg Laurie
Sunday, January 28, 2018
John 17
Music: Harvest Worship Band

https://www.harvest.org/watch-and-listen/webcast/watch/jesus-prayer-for-you-012818

Sometimes we get caught up on how we are praying in front of others. 

We should focus on who we are praying to.

Matthew 18:19 ESV
[19] Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.

There is power in unified prayer.

Hebrews 7:25 ESV
[25] Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

Romans 8:34 ESV
[34] Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died-more than that, who was raised-who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.

What does Jesus pray when He intercedes for us?

John 17 is the true “Lord’s Prayer”

Jesus spent a lot of time in prayer.

Luke 6:12 ESV
[12] In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.

If Jesus who is perfect, prayed, how much more should we pray, that are sinful and imperfect.

1. Jesus first prayed for Himself.

You should start by praying for yourself.

John 17:1-5 ESV
[1] When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, [2] since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. [3] And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. [4] I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. [5] And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

Notice Jesus says, the hour has come.

John 2:4 ESV
[4] And Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come."

John 7:6-8 ESV
[6] Jesus said to them, "My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. [7] The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. [8] You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come."

He has done the work the Father has given Him to do.

God will use circumstances in our lives to keep us dependent on Him.

God loves to give us things. He loves to bless us.

It’s a good illustration to think of God as a grandfather sometimes. He loves to spoil us.

God wants us to go to Him, to have fellowship.

John 17:7-12 NLT
[7] Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, [8] for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me. [9] "My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. [10] All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory. [11] Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. [12] During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold

What does Jesus want for you: points 1 to 4

1. Jesus prays for our preservation  
John 17:11 NLT
[11] Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are.

God wants to keep you, but do you want to be kept?

If you stop feeding yourself spiritually, you will eventually start going backwards.

Psalm 121:1-5 NLT
[1] I look up to the mountains- does my help come from there? [2] My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth! [3] He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. [4] Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. [5] The LORD himself watches over you! The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade.

1 Peter 1:5 NLT
[5] And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

Jude 1:1 NLT
[1] This letter is from Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James. I am writing to all who have been called by God the Father, who loves you and keeps you safe in the care of Jesus Christ.

You have a joint bank account with the creator of the universe.

If something is important to you, you will keep your eye on it.

God never forgets who He loves.

Though God will keep us, but we must want to be kept.

2. Jesus prays for our consecration 

John 17:13-17 NLT
[13] "Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. [14] I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. [15] I'm not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. [16] They do not belong to this world any more than I do. [17] Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.

1 John 2:16 NLT
[16] For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.

The reality is when you become a Christian, you are not only saved, but you are also a much better version of yourself.

When you are a bright light, it will annoy  some people when you are shining.

John 17:17 NLT
[17] Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.

2 Timothy 2:20 NLT
[20] In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use.

Two big Bible words, Sanctified and Justified.

You become justified when you believe, you become sanctified over the years of living out your faith.

3. Jesus prays we will be unified

What a powerful witness it is when others see Christians unified.

The church is a family and it is also an army. 

Ephesians 4:16 NLT
[16] He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

One of the keys to spiritual growth is your engagement with the church. Not just attendance, but in participation.

“In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, charity.”

John 17:20 NLT
[20] "I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.

God keeps you saved, but you need to keep yourself safe.

4. He prays that we will reach out to others.

John 17:20 NLT
[20] "I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.

How will people know how to accept Christ if no one tells them.

The church is not perfect, but we are still the best family going.

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