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Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Struggle is Real

Pastor Levi Lusko
August, 31 2014
Book of Habakkuk


Levi is speaking of Greg on vacation. If you don't sharpen your axe, you will need twice as much energy to chop down a tree.

Levi's telling us about Habakkuk. Habakkuk means someone who embraces, so either a hugged or wrestler. Like how Jacob wrestled with the commands of God.

Habakkuk is a man who embraces the goodness of God even when life is bad. 

He held on to God, which is a good example to us of how to depend on God. 

He lived 600 years before Christ, when the land of Israel split into a northern and southern kingdom. They both got weaker. They both had 19 kings in each area. All 19 Kings were wicked in the north in 732, they were defeated by Syria.

Manasseh was the most wicked and hunted sown the word of God and wood burn it. Josiah, was his grandson and when he was young, he became king, then he set his heart on God. Josiah rebuilt Jerusalem and they also found a copy of the word of God. When Josiah heard it, "it cut him to the quick". 

Josiah learned all the good that the Jewish people were suppose to do.

We are held accountable to what we know. Josiah now knew and was going to do it.

Unguarded strength can be a double weakness. Like Josiah, he would not stay behind  the battle lines and got killed.

His son took over, Jehoiakim and is the only king in the Bible that is documented killing a prophet. The word cut Josiah and Jehoiakim cut the word!

That is the back drop of the book of Habakkuk.

Habakkuk 1:1-11 NKJV
[1] The burden which the prophet Habakkuk saw. [2] O LORD, how long shall I cry, And You will not hear? Even cry out to You, "Violence!" And You will not save. [3] Why do You show me iniquity, And cause me to see trouble? For plundering and violence are before me; There is strife, and contention arises. [4] Therefore the law is powerless, And justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; Therefore perverse judgment proceeds. [5] "Look among the nations and watch- Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days Which you would not believe, though it were told you. [6] For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans, A bitter and hasty nation Which marches through the breadth of the earth, To possess dwelling places that are not theirs. [7] They are terrible and dreadful; Their judgment and their dignity proceed from themselves. [8] Their horses also are swifter than leopards, And more fierce than evening wolves. Their chargers charge ahead; Their cavalry comes from afar; They fly as the eagle that hastens to eat. [9] "They all come for violence; Their faces are set like the east wind. They gather captives like sand. [10] They scoff at kings, And princes are scorned by them. They deride every stronghold, For they heap up earthen mounds and seize it. [11] Then his mind changes, and he transgresses; He commits offense, Ascribing this power to his god."

As these things  were going on, Egypt and Syria were growing powerful. It was the Babylonian empire and King Nebuchadnezzar.

Habakkuk 1:12-17 NKJV
[12] Are You not from everlasting, O LORD my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O LORD, You have appointed them for judgment; O Rock, You have marked them for correction. [13] You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness. Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, And hold Your tongue when the wicked devours A person more righteous than he? [14] Why do You make men like fish of the sea, Like creeping things that have no ruler over them? [15] They take up all of them with a hook, They catch them in their net, And gather them in their dragnet. Therefore they rejoice and are glad. [16] Therefore they sacrifice to their net, And burn incense to their dragnet; Because by them their share is sumptuous And their food plentiful. [17] Shall they therefore empty their net, And continue to slay nations without pity?

Habakkuk 2:1 NKJV
[1] I will stand my watch And set myself on the rampart, And watch to see what He will say to me, And what I will answer when I am corrected.

The Struggle is Real!

He is not talking about your wifi is down, or your pants are still damp and you need to leave. These people are being killed and living in a nightmare and it appears God isn't doing anything about it.

Their is an endlessness of suffering, it is hard to believe you can right yourself in despair. 

Habakkuk 1:2 NKJV
[2] O LORD, how long shall I cry, And You will not hear? Even cry out to You, "Violence!" And You will not save.

These cry's are translated in two ways, one two sob and second is to scream. God can handle your out rage.

The question is always asked, how can a God of love allow for these horrible things? If you aren't in a position to ask that question at this moment, you will be one day! Get ready.

4 take away truths from these verses.

1. The size of your assignment doesn't determine the scope of your impact.

Habakkuk is not a very well known prophet. He is a minor prophet. That has nothing to do with his assignment.

As our culture, we view prophets like we do big league teams as opposed to minor league teams. Yet they are just as important as all the prophets.

Martin Luther, was very impacted by Habakkuk.

Levi is really impressing on us the importance of all the people in the Bible. He says they are like parts of a watch, all needed to give us the time.

2. There is only one thing worse than not getting what you want.

Someone said, there is only two bad things in this world, not getting what you want and also getting what you want.

Habakkuk 1:5 NKJV
[5] "Look among the nations and watch- Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days Which you would not believe, though it were told you.

He is saying get excited about finding faith!

Be excited about what is going to happen by God, not just what He has done.

Why do we not know what s going to happen? Because we are NOT GOD! 

We have to trust God!

Things can get worse first.

3. Greater access means greater accountability.

Habakkuk 1:13 NKJV
[13] You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness. Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, And hold Your tongue when the wicked devours A person more righteous than he?

Habakkuk didn't see that his people were worse then the Babylonians. That is because, the Jewish people knew what to do and didn't do it.

They are being held accountable.

4. Fall back on what you know and rise above it all.

Trials can either make you run to God or run from God.

Habakkuk is asking God why he is letting these things happen. He is trusting God and asking God.

Choose one day you will know as you have known.

Tell God why you are angry and then sit back and listen!

You will rise above it all in the midst of what is happening. Because God is for you, He will not be against you.

Doubt your doubts and believe your beliefs.

Even as bad things happen you should worship God and trust him anyway.

Levi is speaking of Legos and where they came from. They were made in Denmark. He is talking about how many ways Legos can be put together. 

He is using the Legos as illustration of all the different ways you can look at the situation you are in. You can build any thing with all the pieces Jesus has already given you.

Jesus loves you, He died for you and He can save you!

How are you going to build on Gods gifts?



Thursday, August 28, 2014

Essentials: God Still Speaks

Pastor Mike Jonker
August 28, 2014

We are continuing in the Essential series.

Pastor Mike is talking about the different ways of studying the Bible. Reading from front to back, studying one book at a time, there is all kinds of different ways. He is talking about how he is thankful that Greg Laurie remains laser focused on teaching the Bible.

Acts 2:42 NKJV
[42] And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

We can also study different topics through the Bible. It is the study if Gods word that we can get a true perspective of God. It is our responsibility to be theologians.

God is still speaking, He is a God who wants to be known.

God has revealed Himself in a number of ways:

1. Through creation.
Psalm 19:4 NKJV
[4] Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun,

The heavens declare the glory of God.

There is an infinite number of stars, He keeps building. Or we can look at small things like atoms or neutrons. Everything is complex.

2. Through our conscience.

Romans 2:14-15 NKJV
[14] for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, [15] who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)

3. Through His Word

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV
[16] All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, [17] that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

We see His nature, character, plan of salvation. The Bible is Gods love letter to us.

Pastor Mike is talking about his old 71 VW Bus, how they always breakdown and over heat. Then he found a book that helped him keep it working, it was an instruction manual of how to fix it when things went wrong.

The Bible is like that for us,  divine instruction on what to do when things go wrong.

The Bible is Gods love letter to us. What do you do with love letters when you get them? We read them and cherish them and read them again.

He is reading a love letter that he found online.

1 John 3:1 NKJV
[1] Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

God is saying, check it out, look at how much love He has for us.

In the Old Testament he spoke to prophets with "voice mail" in Jesus' time it was "FaceTime" now it is via "Text"

He is talking about how he was given a Bible when he was 7 years old, how he didn't read it back then. But when he was 20 he found his faith, one of the first things he learned about was the Parable of the Sower. How the seed, or the word is truly like that.

For Christians success can be a two edged sword. In hard times they come to church and in good financial times they seem to forget about church.

He said we need to have an appetite for Gods word if we are to grow in our faith. Not just for preachers, but all of us need to study it and learn Gods word. We need to be in Gods word.

Hebrews 4:12 NKJV
[12] For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Gods word is alive and cuts to the heart of the matter.

He is speaking about the actual book, how it is broken up, into history and law and then the Gospels, and letters and then Revelation.

The Bible is perfect in cohesion and truth.

Hebrew and Greek were the primary languages of the Old Testament.

Jesus quotes and confirms the Old Testament.

Matthew 19:4-6 NKJV
[4] And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' [5] and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? [6] So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate."

Luke 17:28-29 NKJV
[28] Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; [29] but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.

Mark 12:26 NKJV
[26] But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'?

Matthew 12:40 NKJV
[40] For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Pastor Mike points out how science books are constantly updated and proven wrong. The Bible has never been updated or proven wrong.

Luke 24:27 NKJV
[27] And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

The whole book is about Jesus our savior.

The Bible is a book of promises. One person said the Bible has 7,487.

God doesn't lie. He keeps his promises, and men do not.

Hebrews 6:17-19 NKJV
[17] Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, [18] that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. [19] This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil,

When God says something he means it.

Mike is sharing his ten favorite promises of God.

1.
John 1:12 NKJV
[12] But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:

God wants us to be sure of our relationship with Him. It isn't how you feel, it is by Gods power we are part of His family. Not from our practice or performance.

2.
2 Peter 1:3 NKJV
[3] as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,

God gives us everything we need. He even "includes the batteries"

Some times we live for God in our own flesh, we need to go to Him.

3.
Philippians 4:13 NKJV
[13] I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Paul suffered a great deal and still he live on the promises of God.

What do you need strength for?

Sometimes we need Gods strength just to obey Him. We. Can't cay no to God.

The only reward to sin is more sin. The reward of obedience is the strength to continue through the next challenge.

4.
1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV
[13] No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

God promises to deliver from temptation.

5.
Ephesians 2:10 NKJV
[10] For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

God is our maker, He has a plan and He is going to fulfill that plan.

Mike explains how God works in our life like a surf board shaper shapes a surf board. Just like that shaper uses the board, God will use us when He is done.

6.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
[5] Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; [6] In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Do you need to lean on God and trust Him right now? Acknowledge Him and He will step in and guide.

Mike was telling about being with a friend in the woods and knowing a Mountain Lion was there. He was staying close to his friend to make sure he was safe. We should do that with Jesus.

7.
Romans 8:38-39 NKJV
[38] For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, [39] nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jesus will never stop lob paving us. Not because we deserve love but because He is love.

8.
God is our Help

Mike is talking about how his wife had leukemia and she looked to this passage.

Psalm 121:1-8 NKJV
[1] I will lift up my eyes to the hills- From whence comes my help? [2] My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. [3] He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. [4] Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep. [5] The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade at your right hand. [6] The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night. [7] The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. [8] The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.

At some point in our lives we need to look to God.

Do you need Gods help now?

9.
God is our comfort

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NKJV
[3] Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, [4] who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. [5] For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.

10.
John 14:1-3 NKJV
[1] "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. [2] In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. [3] And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

Gods word is for each and everyone of us.

John 3:16 NKJV
[16] For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.


Do you want to live your life on God's promises?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Best is Yet to Come

August 24, 2014
Pastor Jeff Lasseigne
Revelation 20

Pastor Jeff was telling a joke about a lady and her atheist neighbor.

Speaking about how many different churches participated in the Crusade: It's not about the name above the church door, it's all about the name above all names!

Jeff is talking about the message title and how Sinatra sang a song by the same name.

Jeff is now talking about the back drop of Revelation 20 mad the reign of Jesus on earth.

Revelation 20:10 NKJV
[10] The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

1. The first future blessing is that the devil will be gone forever.

The devil isn't in the first two chapters of the Bible and he is kicked out before the last two chapters.

The devil becomes a conquered enemy, a defeated foe that we will never hear of again.

Many people today don't believe in God or that the devil exist.

D.L. Moody says he knows the devil exist because the bible says so and that he has done business with him,

When the devil brings up your past, you can bring up his future.

Another promise is that there is going to be a new heaven and earth.

Revelation 21:1 NKJV
[1] Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.

2. This tells us that there will be significant changes in eternity.

Isaiah 65:17 NKJV
[17] "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.

2 Peter 3:10 NKJV
[10] But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

God is going to make it all new because satan has polluted heaven and earth.

Revelation 12:10 NKJV
[10] Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.

Devil means accuser; Satan means slanderer.

Jeff says he reads the newspaper everyday after reading his Bible.

Revelation 21:4 NKJV
[4] And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."

3. No more sorrow.

Someone said, we were born crying, we live crying and we die crying.

The day will come when all that ends, no more crying or causes to cry.

Heaven is the land of living and earth is the land of dying.

Revelation 21:5 NKJV
[5] Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."

Never put a question mark where God puts an exclamation point.

Isaiah 65:17 NKJV
[17] "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.

Revelation 21:22-27 NKJV
[22] But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. [23] The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. [24] And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. [25] Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). [26] And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. [27] But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

4. There will be no more sin.

The wages of sin is death, so there is no more death or sorrow.

Revelation 21:8 NKJV
[8] But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

There is not a sin that God can't forgive if the sinner truly repents.

Sorcerers are those who do witch craft and drug users.

Revelation 21:24 NKJV
[24] And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.

What language will we speak in Heaven? Currently there are about 6,500 languages on earth. Jeff believes there will be only one language in Heaven.

Jeff is talking about the Tower of Babel.

Genesis 11:9 NKJV
[9] Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

Zephaniah 3:9 NKJV
[9] "For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, That they all may call on the name of the LORD, To serve Him with one accord.

We don't know what that one language will be.

Revelation 22:3 NKJV
[3] And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.

5. There will be no more curse.

That is no curse of sin.

One curse is hard labor.

Thorns were the curse of man and Jesus wore that Crown of thorns on the cross.

We will also be serving God in Heaven.

If people think Heaven will be boring then they probably have a very fragile view of The Lord.

Joy will be the very serious business of Heaven.

There is joy in serving The Lord.

What will we be serving him doing?
Paul says we will be judging angles, we will be taking care of all of Gods creatures.

Revelation 22:4 NKJV
[4] They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.

6. We will see His face

Exodus 33:18-20 NKJV
[18] And he said, "Please, show me Your glory." [19] Then He said, "I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." [20] But He said, "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live."

God is in Heaven and we get to see Him and be with Him.

The greatest punishment in eternity is not being with God.

2 Thessalonians 1:9 NKJV
[9] These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,

Revelation 22:17-19 NKJV
[17] And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. [18] For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; [19] and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

John 14:6 NKJV
[6] Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Believing that Jesus is the only way to Heaven is not being narrow minded, it is the narrow road we must travel to get there.

What is this world offering to you that is better then traveling that road to get to Heaven?


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