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Sunday, April 20, 2014

What Easter Means to You

Notes: What Easter Means to You
Pastor Greg Laurie
Easter at the Bren
April 20, 2014
Mark 16

Pastor Greg was talking about how he likes to tell bible stories. When he tells kids the bible story he puts funny things in there, so that the kids stay interested.

He talks how the Easter story reminds people of different things, some people its a thankful day, some know this day as a marker in time of something sad such as the loss of someone. Some are sitting there being very skeptical, Greg says Easter is for skeptics so he is happy those people are here.

Mark 16:1–11 Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 7 But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” 8 So they went out quickly[a] and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. 9 Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.

Who is Easter for:

1. Easter is for those who have been devastated by death.

Greg is talking about how devastated it is to lose a loved one, like how he lost Christopher. How there are so many that are suffering through things like that. 

He says, death is not the end, it is just a bend in the road. Jesus had told his disciples this and they did not seem "to get that memo." 

Jesus did bring Lazarus back from the dead, he did that after he saw the devastation it caused us. But, those in Heaven are not wanting to come back. Death hurts the ones that are left here. Believers are in Heaven as soon as they die.

Mark 16:6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.

1 Corinthians 15:20–22 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

Skeptics say that the disciples wanted to start a new religion, however, all of the disciples besides John died a martyrs death, not one of them recanted. Not really the result one goes for if they are trying to start a new religion.

The resurrection of Jesus was the death of death!

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

Luke 24:39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”

Jesus has beaten death.

2. Easter is for the person who has failed spiritually.
(Mark 16:6–7 6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 7 But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”)

“But go, tell His disciples; and Peter.”
(Mark 16:7 But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”)

Some people are a little ashamed that they are at church only for Easter.

One person said that most Americans only attend church three times, when they are hatched, latched and dispatched. 

Peter needed a word of encouragement because he denied the Lord, he swore that he was not a disciple, and Jesus gives second chances. Jesus even predicted the denial.

Easter is a time of second chances. 

3. Easter is for the person who feels as though God has let them down.

Examples of those that are single and don’t want to be, those divorced that did not want to be, thinking that Jesus may have let them down.

Disappointment is Gods appointment. 

Mark 16:12–13 After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country. 13 And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either.

Hebrews 10:24–25 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.

1 John 3:14 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.

God restores hope to our broken hearts by His Word.

Luke 24:32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”

Mark 16:14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.

Every step away from the cross is a step in the wrong direction! Meaning if you are sinning, then go back closer to God, He will accept you and forgive you. 

4. Easter is for doubters!

Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson,They shall be as wool.

Some think that to believe, "you need to check your reason at the door."

Skepticism is looking for light; unbelief is content with darkness.

Doubt is not a sign that man is wrong, it is a sign that a man is thinking.

Unbelievers have no intention of changing or believing, they don’t want to believe. Skeptics will believe if they are presented the facts.

Mark 16:11 And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.

You are in the Easter story: John 20:29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas,[a] because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 

That is us, we have not seen yet believe!

There is hope for the Christian, death is not the end. 

Jesus has absorbed your wrath from sin when he hung on the cross at Calvary.

Revelation 3:20 (NKJV) Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

He is not forcing Himself on you, but He is standing there waiting for you to invite Him in.

Jeremiah 33:3 ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

Jesus died on that cross and rose from the dead for you!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

What the Cross Means to You

Pastor Greg Laurie
Harvest OC
Thursday - April 17, 2014
John 19

During the days of Jesus, the cross was a symbol of shame, warning, and terror.

Jesus had to die because there was no other way to satisfy the righteous demands of God.

Calvary shows how far man will go in sin and how far God will go for man’s salvation.

Isaiah 53:10 NKJV
[10] Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.


Romans 8:32 NKJV
[32] He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?


Romans 3:25 NKJV
[25] whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,


Isaiah 53:10 NKJV
[10] Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.

Jesus said 7 statements from the cross, the first was. "Father forgive them for they no not what they do."

Read: 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.

How the cross impacted four different people:

1. For Mary Magdalene, the cross was a place of redemption.

She was under the power of demons before Jesus set her free.

Luke 7:47 NKJV
[47] Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little."


2. For Salome, the cross was a place of rebuke.

James 4:3 NKJV
[3] You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.


3. For Mary, the mother of Jesus, the cross was a place of reward.

Luke 1:47 NKJV
[47] And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.

Jesus was not Mary's child, she was his.

John 19:26-27 NKJV
[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.

Pastor Greg believes that Jesus was talking about her son, John.

4. For John, the cross was a place of responsibility.

Jesus' own family didn't believe in Him, until he rose from the dead. If Jesus couldn't get his family to believe, do you think you have a chance?

It is said Christians are a walking epistles, written by God and read by man.

John 9:5 NKJV
[5] As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

Matthew 5:14 NKJV
[14] "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.

You represent God to this world.

John 8:29 NKJV
[29] And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him."


John 16:32 NKJV
[32] Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.

Isaiah 53:4-5 NKJV
[4] Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. [5] But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

Read:
John 19:28-29 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.

“It is finished!”

Tetelestai

Romans 14:12 NKJV
[12] So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.

1. Finished were the horrific sufferings of Christ.

2. Finished was Satan’s stronghold on humanity.
(Hebrews 2:14 NKJV
[14] Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,)

3. Finished was our salvation.
(Isaiah 53:6 NKJV
[6] All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.)

There is nothing you and I could do to improve on Jesus' work. We are right before God because of what He has done, not what we have done.


What is the cross for you?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Palm Sunday: The Real Story

Notes: Palm Sunday: The Real Story
Pastor Greg Laurie
Harvest OC
4/13/2014
Luke 19:37-48

What makes you mad? Everybody really gets ticked off by something…Greg is cranky when he is hungry. His list includes: Cell phones, texting, why does it when a person has a phone with the loudest ring they always let it ring 8 times. Or people that always leave the blue tooth piece in their ear. When people text while they are talking to you. Other things are when people don’t drive when the light turns green. People who don’t pick up after their dogs. ATM women do not have their card ready to go when they are standing in line. Those things anger Greg.

What angers you?

I write letters and don't send them.

Bad tempered people are 3 times more likely to have heart attacks.

Ephesians 4:26-27 “Be angry, and do not sin”:[a] do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil.

Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Luke 19:11 Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately.

2 Chronicles 7:14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

If God’s people live the way they should, it will affect every area of culture.

If a nation wants revival and spiritual awakening, it starts with the church.

Jesus did not come as a military, economic, political, or social Savior. He came as a spiritual Savior from sin and death.

The incarnation was for the purpose of the atonement. The birth of Jesus was so there would be the death of Jesus.

Read: Luke 19:37-44 Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, 38 saying: “ ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” 40 But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” 41 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

Zechariah 9:9 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.

Roman heroes rode donkeys after they came home from winning a battle, but the Jews saw Jesus on a lowly donkey. The two different groups looked at him on a donkey in two different ways.

Malachi 3:1 “Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” Says the Lord of hosts.

Luke 19:38 saying: “ ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

Romans 9:20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?”

Many question God, say they need to forgive God. That is not acceptable, God is God and you are not. You need to hang on to God, not turn your back on God.

A faith that can’t be tested is a faith that can’t be trusted.

A faith that can be lost, is no faith at all!

God is able to do what He please with whomever He chooses, whenever He wishes.

Unbelief and rejection breaks Gods heart. Even of the wicked.

“He saw the city and wept over it.”
(Luke 19:41Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it,)

Read: Luke 19:45-48 Then He went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it,[a] 46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house is[b] a house of prayer,’[c] but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’” 47 And He was teaching daily in the temple. But the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people sought to destroy Him, 48 and were unable to do anything; for all the people were very attentive to hear Him.

This situation angered him. He cleaned out the Temple twice. Jesus did a violent thing when he over turned the table, not violent to others, but in action with the table. It was for illustration;

Mark 11:15 So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.

Just as the temple needed to be cleansed a second time, sometimes so do we.

Jesus is also meek. Meekness is not weakness, it is power under restraint.

Isaiah 56:6-7 NKJV "Also the sons of the foreigner Who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, And to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants- Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And holds fast My covenant- [7] Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations."

The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints!

When a church or Christian keeps a person away, that makes Jesus angry.

Are you a stepping stone to Christ or a stumbling stone. Are you a bridge or are you a barrier to Christ?

1 John 1:8-9 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

You don't need to clean up your life to go to Christ, you need to go to Christ to clean up your life.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Controlled Burn

April 3, 2014 Pastor Levi Lusko 

When you get up high you can always see more. The space station gets to see 17 sun rises a day and we only see one.

If we want to see what God sees then we need to get up high and see from his perspective c

2 chronicles 6 and Acts 2

King David wanted to build God a home. God really didn't care, God told David that his son Solomon would actually build it for Him. So David prepared things for Solomon.

2 Chronicles 6:41-42 NIrV
[41] "Lord God, rise up and come to your resting place. Come in together with the ark. It's the sign of your power. Lord God, may your priests put on salvation as if it were their clothes. May your faithful people be glad because you are so good. [42] Lord God, don't turn your back on your anointed king. Remember the great love you promised to your servant David."
2 Chronicles 7:1-4 NIrV
[1] Solomon finished praying. Then fire came down from heaven. It burned up the burnt offering and the sacrifices. The glory of the Lord filled the temple. [2] The priests couldn't enter the temple of the Lord. His glory filled it. [3] All of the people of Israel saw the fire coming down. They saw the glory of the Lord above the temple. So they got down on their knees in the courtyard with their faces toward the ground. They worshiped the Lord. They gave thanks to him. They said, "He is good. His faithful love continues forever." [4] Then the king and all of the people offered sacrifices to the Lord.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NKJV
[19] Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? [20] For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.

Romans 8:9 NKJV
[9] But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

John the Baptist speaks of Jesus and how important it is in all 4 gospels.

Acts 2:1-6 NKJV
[1] When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. [2] And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. [3] Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. [4] And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. [5] And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. [6] And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language.

"If Gods going to live somewhere He will always fill the house with warmth"

5 things he would like us to take from tonight's message.

1. To fight fire we must be on fire.

In nature fires happen often but they are small fires, they sort of purge the system. We don't let that happen any more and that is why we have mega fires.

Many Environmentalist believe controlled burns are the way to stop the mega fires.

Suicide is the number 3 killer if kids now.

Our only hope to help the hurting is Jesus bring hope and healing and help.

We can't plan for salvation we have to trust God for it.

2. The devil can't burn what's already burning.

Hot Shot fire fighters, "bring the black to the fire." It can burn what's already burned.

The devil hates you, he wants to burn you spiritually.

We have to light ourselves on fire with God and that keeps the devil away.

What ever God starts the devil opposes.

When you are in fire from God, trials can't burn you, sins can't stick to you.

Acts 4:31 NKJV
[31] And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

3. Neglect is abuse too.
The Holy Spirit should not be abused, it should not be blamed for bad things people do. Neglect is abuse also.

The Holy Spirit can be looked at as weird, but lots of the things in the Bible are weird. From God saying let there be light, to us being saved by a crucified carpenter, yet we believe.

4. You don't have to be this tall to ride.

Acts 2:39 NKJV
[39] For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call."

The only prerequisite to being saved is to have bowed our knees to The Lord Jesus Christ.

There is no other requirement.

Young people are not the church of tomorrow, they are the church of right now. They can take their place and change the world.

5. The problem isn't the supply, but the demand.

Luke 11:11-13 NKJV
[11] If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? [12] Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? [13] If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"

If we have not it is because we ask not. Or we ask amiss.


How many times have you not listened to the Holy Spirit speaking to you and woke up in the morning feeling good about what you did?

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