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Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Life Well Lived

Notes: A Life Well Lived
Pastor Pedro Garcia visiting from Calvary Chapel Miami
Harvest OC
January 30 2014 -

We are a blessed church. No other church can say that their does an outreach like Harvest does. 

God loves when we sing and praise Him.  God loves to hear it and then He likes to move in our lives. 

Pedro wants to live a well lived life. He wants to invest his life into the things that matter most. The thing that matters most is to be able to stare in the eyes of our savior and creator and hear Him say “Good job, my good and faithful stewart.”

Which is a very difficult task and a seemingly impossible task. 

There is a vast difference between living life well and life going well. When life does not go well, it is a challenge to have a life well lived. 

The Bible is filled with stories of people just like us that go through trials that live life well.

Paul the apostle is one of the people that put his whole heart into everything he did for God.

He was an amazing person for God, yet he went through very extreme challenges. 

2 Corinthians 11:23-28 (NIV)
23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches

How did people like Paul live such amazing lives?

2 Timothy 4:9 (NIV)
9 Be diligent to come to me quickly; 10 for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry. 12 And Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come—and the books, especially the parchments.14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works.15 You also must beware of him, for he has greatly resisted our words.16 At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them.

The Lord Is Faithful

17 But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.18 And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Himbe glory forever and ever. Amen!

Come Before Winter

19 Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus stayed in Corinth, but Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick.
21 Do your utmost to come before winter.
Eubulus greets you, as well as Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brethren.

Farewell

22 The Lord Jesus Christ[b] be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.
Four things that Paul did as a faithful servant of God:
  1. Paul live connected: He was connected to the people of God.
    1. He understood the importance of the team approach of doing church.
      1. He always had people around him
    2. Church is not a place that we just come and attend. 
      1. We need church as much as the church needs us.
      2. The church is a place to be planted. 
        1. No person is an island.
        2. We were made for relationships.
        3. God said it is not good for man to be alone.
          1. That is what church is all about.
            1. Church is not perfect and neither are the people in the church.
              1. God uses our imperfections to make us all beautiful.
          2. We don’t get the full service of church by watching it just on the internet.
            1. We are missing out on the best part of church if we are not in the church plugged in.
              1. The church is where we can build bonds with one another.
                1. It does also put us in position to experience heart break.
  2. Paul lived free and to trust God
    1. Some of the hardest things for us to do is live with the wounds from friends. It can make us resentful and callous.
      1. He did not put vengeance in his heart.
      2. He would release the people that wronged him from his heart.
        1. People will offend you in the church.
          1. You need to expect, and stay planted in your church and faith. 
            1. Don’t let bitterness hurt you.
              1. “Bitterness is like swallowing poison and hope the other person dies”
          2. Forgiving others is to release you, not to release them.
            1. Jesus said if they will attack him then they will certainly attack us.
  3. Paul lived focused
    1. He did not let the mess he was in, stop the message he was sent to give.
      1. He did not let his circumstances distract him.
        1. Good or bad it was to serve his calling, not to hinder it.
          1. Going to prison, gave him the ability to spread the word to his captures and guards that were part of the house of caesar.
      2. People don’t care how loud you sing when things are going well, they want to hear how loud you sing when things are going bad.
        1. “Christians are a lot like tea bags, you don’t know what they are made of until they are placed in hot water.”
      3. Lets not let what is happening to us effect what can happen through us.
  4. Paul was a man that live aware
    1. He lived in the awareness in the presence of God.
      1. 2 Tim 4: 16
        1. 16 At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them. 17 But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.18 And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Himbe glory forever and ever. Amen!
      2. He knew God was always with him.
        1. God is always with you, on your side and for you.
        2. Some of us could be in a very tough season in life
          1. It is a life that doesn’t make sense.
            1. Our lives do make sense to God when we give Him our faith.
          2. Jeremiah 1: 17 - 19 
          3. 17 “Therefore prepare yourself and arise, And speak to them all that I command you.
          4. Do not be dismayed before their faces,
            Lest I dismay you before them.
            18 For behold, I have made you this day
            A fortified city and an iron pillar,
            And bronze walls against the whole land—
            Against the kings of Judah,
            Against its princes,
            Against its priests,
            And against the people of the land.
            19 They will fight against you,
            But they shall not prevail against you.
            For I am with you,” says the Lord, “to deliver you.”
        3. God will hit you the hardest to prepare you for the best moments of your life.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Best is Yet to Come

Pastor Greg
John 2
Jan 26 2014

Talking about how as you get older the excitement of age changes.

Things change, as you get older. Memory goes and things like that.

John 2:1-11 (NKJV)
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. [2] Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. [3] And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, "They have no wine." [4] Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come." [5] His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it." [6] Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. [7] Jesus said to them, "Fill the waterpots with water." And they filled them up to the brim. [8] And He said to them, "Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast." And they took it. [9] When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. [10] And he said to him, "Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!" [11] This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.

Jesus loved to interact with people. He was friendly, had a sparkle in his eye. He engaged them and drew them in.

Some seem to act quite different then Jesus did.

Colossians 4:5-6 (NLT)
Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. [6] Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.

1 Corinthians 9:20-23 (NKJV)
and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; [21] to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; [22] to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. [23] Now this I do for the gospel's sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.

So many marriages suffer today because Jesus was not invited.

Statistics show that those who live together before marriage; have a 48% higher rate of divorce than those that do not.

Jesus' first miracle simply brought joy to those around him. It showed at a moments notice Jesus could supply the needs of man and cover mans deficiency.

John 2:11 (NKJV)
This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.

Even his disciples found more belief.

1. The gospel of John was written so nonbelievers might believe.

John 20:31 (NKJV)
but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

2. The gospel of John was written so that believers might experience more of His life.

Catholics believe the best way to Jesus is through Mary. Mother gets to the Son.

John 2:3 (NKJV)
And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, "They have no wine."

John 2:4 (NKJV)
Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come."

Jesus never exalted or drew attention to Mary. Asked John at his crucifixion to look after Mary.

John 7:30 (NKJV)
Therefore they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.

John 17:1 (NKJV)
Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,

The "hour" he spoke of was his crucifixion, resurrection and ascension.

Mary's words to the church:
John 2:5 (NKJV)
His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it."

We don't go through Mary to Jesus; we go through Jesus to the Father.

John 2:6-7 (NKJV)
Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. [7] Jesus said to them, "Fill the waterpots with water." And they filled them up to the brim.

He didn't tell them the water would be wine.

Jesus said to do something. He doesn't tell us what the next step is. We have to do what he says when he says to do it. He does not tell us the plan. But there is His plan.

John 2:9-10 (NKJV)
When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. [10] And he said to him, "Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!"

The devil will offer his best first and the inferior for later. God saves his best for last.

Sin is so appealing at first, but then look at what always happens. The burden then always drags us down.

Without drugs Greg says his life has gotten better and better. He can't say that about everybody.

With God, the best is yet to come.

Married people need to hang in there because for them the best is yet to come!

Do what the Bible says and marriages will get better.

The best is yet to come in your growth as a follower if Christ, because you are becoming more like Jesus, day by day.

2 Corinthians 12:2-4 (NKJV)
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago-whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows-such a one was caught up to the third heaven. [3] And I know such a man-whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows- [4] how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

To those that are suffering, these words are very comforting.

Greg's kids struggled with drugs when they were younger. Jonathan changed his life the day Christopher died.

After Christopher's death, most of the Laurie's family has been even more strengthened in the promise of Christ.

For us as believers the best is yet to come. As non-believers the worst is yet to come, because this is as good as it gets!

Non-believers are facing Judgment.


Believers are facing Heaven!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Forgiven, Forgotten and Free

Pastor Greg
John 8:1-12 - 
1/23/2014

Everything we do is on camera one person says we are all movie stars.

Bank robber was caught because his demands were written on the back of his own check!

Have you ever been caught in the act of doing something wrong?

The woman in this story was caught for adultery. Her story says we can be forgiven, our sins forgotten and we can be set free. The story of "He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone." This is one of the most quoted and misunderstood of all of Jesus' quotes.

John 8:1-12 (NKJV)
But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. [2] Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. [3] Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, [4] they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. [5] Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?" [6] This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. [7] So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first." [8] And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. [9] Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. [10] When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?" [11] She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more." [12] Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. He was away from others and was spending time with God. Sometimes we need to do that. Unplug from our digital world and sit and know that God is there.

Those who are quick to find fault with others often have greater fault in their own lives.

When we are confronted with a fellow Christian who has fallen into sin.

The objective is to restore, not to destroy!

Galatians 6:1 (NKJV)
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

Galatians 6:1 (NLT)
Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.

6 reasons not to commit adultery:
1. You do incredible damage to your spouse.

1 Corinthians 6:16 (NLT)
And don't you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, "The two are united into one."

Adultery has grounds for divorce and it also is grounds for forgiveness.

2. You damage yourself

Colossians 3:5-6 (NLT)
So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don't be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. [6] Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming.

If you are doing these things, them you are in a back sliders state as a Christian.

Divorce rate of the people who married their lovers 75%

3. You do incredible damage to your children.

Just like alcoholics pass on their traits, cheaters seem to pass on theirs as well.

4. You do damage to the church.

5. It damages the cause of Christ.

6. You sin against The Lord.
----------------

There are sins of the flesh as well as sins of the spirit.

2 Corinthians 7:1 (NLT)
Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God.

Sins of the spirit is to knowingly go against what is true

Some sins are greater than others. When you know what is true and you sin against it, that is worse than the person who does not know the truth.

Those who know the word are held to a higher standard.

Some people take Gods graciousness as leniency and some will say that he approves it.

2 Peter 3:9 (NLT)
The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.

Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus:
John 8:6-10 (NLT)
They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. [7] They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, "All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!" [8] Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. [9] When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. [10] Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, "Where are your accusers? Didn't even one of them condemn you?"

Romans 2:16 (NLT)
And this is the message I proclaim-that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone's secret life.

A non believers favorite verse:
Matthew 7:1 (NKJV)
"Judge not, that you be not judged.

Matthew 7:6 (NKJV)
"Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

You have to evaluate, that means you are to judge.

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

If a Christian is involved in sin, it is our responsibility to call them out.

1 Corinthians 5:11-12 (NKJV)
But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner-not even to eat with such a person. [12] For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside?

1 Corinthians 6:2 (NKJV)
Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

You don't want to condemn, you want to restore. That is what you do after judging.

John 8:10 (NKJV)
When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?"

Jesus referred to this girl in a respectful term, he can do that because:
Jesus did not see her for what she presently was, He saw her for what she could be.

John 8:11 (NKJV)
She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."

He is saying a harlot can become a lady, because he has forgiven you already. You can go and sin no more.

God will accept you as you are, but he doesn't want to leave you that way.

Don't be known for who you were, but who you are in Christ.

You should be so transformed that people would be amazed of who you used to be.

Transformation can happen instantly. John 8:11 (NKJV)
She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."

She immediately became a believer and called Jesus, Lord. She suddenly could praise The Lord.

Jesus gave her 3 promises:
1. Her sins could be forgotten.
Jeremiah 31:34 (NKJV)
No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."

We should not choose to remember what God has chosen to forget.

2. She did not have to fear the judgement day.
Romans 8:1 (NKJV)
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

3. She had new power to face her problems.

If you play around with sin, sin will play around with you.

What have we learned from this story:
1. Do not commit sexual sin.
2. Do not condemn others who have sinned, but try to restore them.
3. When you have sinned, it is not the end.


What ever you have done God can forgive.

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