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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Your Past, Present, Future

Notes: Your Past, Present, Future
http://bit.ly/1yH5sdB
Ephesians 2 
Pastor Greg Laurie
WORSHIP TEAM:
Harvest Worship Band
SERIES:
Live, Love, Fight
Thursday, January 22, 2015 — 7:00 p.m.

Greg is talking to everyone saying how some churches don’t do mid-week Bible studies but he loves the mid-week study. He says where on Sunday’s some come from obligation but mid-week we come because we want to.

From time to time we all wonder about our future. What might happen? Some funny fortune cookie sayings:
“You laugh now, but wait till you get home”.
“You will be hungry in one hour”.
“Help I’m being held hostage in a Chinese bakery”
“Confucius say if you think you can some up your whole life on this little piece of paper, then you are crazy.”

Greg Says he know our past, present and future:
1. Our Past:
Ephesians 2:1-3 NKJV
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,  in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,  among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

2. Our Present:
Ephesians 2:3-5 NKJV
among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,  even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

3. Our Future:
Ephesians 2:7 NKJV
that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

The emphasis of scripture is not what I must do for God, it is what God has done for me.

1 John 4:19 NKJV
We love Him because He first loved us.

The more you know about God’s love for us, the more we will want to reciprocate that love for Him.

Is there enough power for us to live this Christian life that God has given us? More power than you will ever need.

Ephesians 1:18-20 NKJV
the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,  and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power  which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

Our past, before we were believers:

Ephesians 2:1 NKJV
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,

The “you” in this verse really sticks out.
We know that some people are wicked, like ISIS, or serial killers, or rapist.

But what about the rest of us, are we wicked?  Many of us want to make sure we keep that bad guys locked out, but are you looking at maybe there is a bad guy inside you.

We seem to get mad at other people for doing the same things that we do. Like texting at a stop light or waiting to long after the light turns green.

The 20th century was the bloodiest century of all times. The Bible teaches that we are getting worse and statistics are proving it. Greg says, he doesn’t believe in evolution, but there might be de-evolution; many are appearing to be turning into monkeys.

Have you ever thought at church, I wish so-and-so was here listening to this message? The so-and-so that should be there is there.

It always seems to be others that are the problem. But that can’t be true, can it? God says it is us, we are the sinners, the problem.

We are not sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners. It comes naturally to all of us.

Trespass means to cross the line. In scripture it means to break a commandment.

Sin means to miss the mark, falling short of a standard.

So if you miss the mark one time or you miss the mark twenty times, you have still missed the mark.

God’s standard is that we are to be perfect. So that means we are all sinners.

There are two types of sins; commission and omission.

Commission is to do what you know you should not do.

Omission is not doing what you know you should be doing.

James 4:17 NKJV
Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

When you fail to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit that is omission and is a sin.

1 John 1:8 NKJV
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

This is all very depressing information. What is the result of this?

Romans 6:23 NKJV
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ezekiel 18:20 NKJV
The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

Everyone who does not know Jesus Christ is dead in his or her own sin.

1 Timothy 5:6 NKJV
But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives.

This is all hard for us to wrap our minds around. We all know nice people that we can’t imagine this happening too.

1 Corinthians 2:14 NKJV
But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Everyone needs Jesus to save him or her. That is not to say they lead equally sinful lives, but they are equally in the state of sin, and equally separated from God and from spiritual life.

Luke 6:33 NKJV
And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.

Luke 11:13 NKJV
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!”

There are good people that do good things, but the problem is, is that they are not good enough because they are not perfect.

Ephesians 2:2 NKJV
in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,

This verse means, we have drifted along the stream of what the world thought was good living. This is doing something with no goal in mind.

The word “course” in this verse, means weather vein, we turn to where ever this world is going.

Augustine said 1500 years ago that this world goes after three things, money, sex and power.

Any old fish can go down stream, but it takes a live fish to swim up stream.

Paul clearly identifies the three enemies the Christian faces: The world, the flesh and the devil.

Psalm 24:1 NKJV
The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.

Ephesians 2:3 NKJV
among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

Psalm 19:1-3 NKJV
The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard.

A creator made this world, there is no way this is random.

When the Bible speaks of “the world” it is referring to a system of thought.

2 Corinthians 4:4 NKJV
whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

The devil is evil and he is the prince of this world.

1 John 2:16 NKJV
For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

The lust of the flesh:
Galatians 5:19-21 NKJV
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,  idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,  envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

There is a difference between eating to live and living to eat. There is a difference between getting a good night sleep and being lazy.

The lust of the eyes:
Do you wish you did certain things that are sins?  Satan knows if he can get you to take a look then he can get you to bite. He knows how to make bad things look good and good things look bad.

2 Samuel 11:2 NKJV
Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold.

The Bible doesn’t exaggerate, if it says a woman is beautiful, then she was.

The pride of life:
These are people that don’t do these sins, they want to help their fellow man, and they may even be religious. They also think they don’t need Jesus Christ.

The “world” and it’s sins are all around you, and we used to live that way.
Ephesians 2:3 NKJV
among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
God is just and God is righteous and God is fair. You don’t appreciate the good news if you don’t first hear the bad news.

Ephesians 2:4-6 NKJV
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,  even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),  and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

“But God”, God will always have the last word, His Word.

Genesis 50:20 NKJV
But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

Jonah 4:6-7 NKJV
And the Lord God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery. So Jonah was very grateful for the plant.  But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm, and it so damaged the plant that it withered.

Philippians 2:27 NKJV
For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.

Luke 12:19-20 NKJV
And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’  But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’

God will always have the last word…NOT YOU!

Ephesians 2:4-6 NKJV
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,  even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),  and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

Ephesians 1:20-21 NKJV
which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,  far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

Jesus is above everyone and everything. That is important to you because you will be seated with Him as a Christian.

There is postionally true and experientially true. You are positioned to go to Heaven but you are not in Heaven yet. You don’t have to live in spiritual defeat.

Satan doesn’t want us to realize that we are going to Heaven and don’t need to listen or give in to him.

Oscar Wilde said, the only way he knew to get rid of temptation was to give into it. That is not what we should be doing; we can resist temptation. When you are tempted, you can walk away.

The power is there, don’t wait to feel it, just start using it. We need to start living our name, Christians.

Our future:
Ephesians 2:7 NKJV
that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

God has done all these things, just to show us how much He loves us. God can’t wait for us to join Him.

John 17:24 NKJV
“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

Paul the Apostle had the unique experience of dying and going to Heaven. Paul didn’t write a book about going to Heaven. He said it was so amazing that he couldn’t describe it.

Philippians 1:23 NKJV
For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.

Your body is a temporary dwelling place like a tent. In Heaven with God we will have a mansion as a body forever.

John 3:16 NKJV
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.







Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Getting the Gospel Out

Notes: Getting the Gospel Out 
Pastor John Collins
Valor 
Harvest OC
January 20, 2014

Getting the gospel out is what Acts 13 is all about.

It may not always be easy but it is always our command to do it.

2 Corinthians 11:26 NKJV
[26] in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

Acts 13:51-52 NKJV
[51] But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and came to Iconium. [52] And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

We can never lose sight of the fact, that on our Christian walk troubles are only temporary.

We must remember that the devil ends up in hell and Jesus Christ is going to reign forever.

Those who carry the gospel will not always be popular but there can even be joy in that.

Acts 13:1-3 NKJV
[1] Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. [2] As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, "Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." [3] Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.

Barnabas was born in Cyprus, but all the rest were from parts of the world, for example a Jew and 2 Africans.

Paul rises up in this chapter as a leader for the first time.

To be called is to be set free by the church to preach the gospel.

At Harvest they do not find men to train in the gospel, they look for men attending Harvest that are living out the gospel and ask them to join the Harvest staff.

Barnabas and Paul were called to preach to these people. The church simply released them to go out and proclaim the gospel.

They went to Cyprus first, it was known back in those days translated as the "happy isle".

Paul and Barnabas went with the message of the Bible, it was opposed by some and received by many.

Acts 13:4-12 NKJV
[4] So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. [5] And when they arrived in Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. They also had John as their assistant. [6] Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus, [7] who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. [8] But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. [9] Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him [10] and said, "O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? [11] And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time." And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. [12] Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.

This story gives us a glimpse of the apostles operating under the Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit available to us today.

This man operating under the influence of the devil was probably not noticeable but Paul was given a supernatural state to discern this.

The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to draw men to Christ. Just as Sergius Paulus became one in this chapter.

If we are faithful to Gods message and purpose, God will protect and let us know how to handle the wicked.

John Mark was here and makes a mistake, however Paul finds use for Mark in the future. He is the same Mark, author of the Gospel.

Acts 13:13-16 NKJV
[13] Now when Paul and his party set sail from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia; and John, departing from them, returned to Jerusalem. [14] But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down. [15] And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, "Men and brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on." [16] Then Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, "Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen:

Here is where Paul begins a message, am amazing message. Paul's message was out to three different groups here, the Hellenist of Greece, Romans and the Jewish people. For the most part the audience knew nothing of Jesus Christ.

This message was a similar message that Stephen gave earlier and was stoned to death for giving.

Clearly, Paul carried this message close. 

This message really focuses on divine government and of divine grace.

Acts 13:17 NKJV
[17] The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He brought them out of it.

Acts 13:21 NKJV
[21] And afterward they asked for a king; so God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.

Acts 13:22 NKJV
[22] And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, 'I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.'

Acts 13:23 NKJV
[23] From this man's seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior-Jesus-

Acts 13:29-30 NKJV
[29] Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. [30] But God raised Him from the dead.

All of these verses point to God as the divine government.

Acts 13:37 NKJV
[37] but He whom God raised up saw no corruption.

Acts 13:39 NKJV
[39] and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.

God is the only one that can justify and offer forgiveness for sin.

To "justify", is when God looks at us "just-as-if-I" have never sinned before. 

Paul pulled the pieces of life's puzzles together and painted the picture of Gods grace and mercy.

God and the lens of the gospel can make sense of this world.

Acts 13:42-48 NKJV
[42] So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. [43] Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. [44] On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God. [45] But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. [46] Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, "It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. [47] For so the Lord has commanded us: 'I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.'" [48] Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

There is victory in the Gospel and in this message.

The Jews rejected it and the Gentiles received it.

Acts 13:48 NKJV
[48] Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

Many Calvinist use that verse to back there claim that God has preordained. But that is not how it is suppose to be viewed.

Acts 13:49 NKJV
[49] And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region.

Is a verse showing that the Word of God must be preached to us first before we can spread it.

The Word of God is the greatest tool in our arsenal.

The point of all this is to say get up and do something to share the Gospel.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Whole Story

Notes: The Whole Story
Matthew 9:18–25
SPEAKER:
Greg Laurie
WORSHIP TEAM:
Harvest Worship Band
SERIES:
God Came NearSunday, January 18, 2015 — 10:00 a.m.

Today is National Sanctity of Human Life day. The Bible is clear that life starts in the womb at conception.

Greg really likes a story with a clear plot. Maybe a surprise ending. He says all movies have certain matching elements, like people coming out of grocery stores have a roll of French bread.

All of our lives have elements like a movie. We aren't all like Louie Zamperini but we all have a story.

Our story is written by God. It will end well if you are a child of God.

The characters in Mathew 9 have a story, the woman is hopeless, the man was powerful.

Tragedy levels social topography.


Matthew 9:18-25 NKJV
[18] While He spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, "My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live." [19] So Jesus arose and followed him, and so did His disciples. [20] And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. [21] For she said to herself, "If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well." [22] But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, "Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well." And the woman was made well from that hour. [23] When Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd wailing, [24] He said to them, "Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping." And they ridiculed Him. [25] But when the crowd was put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose.

12 years was an important number in this story. The woman was in poor health for 12 years and the girl would of been relatively happy for 12 years. They both needed Jesus Christ's healing in that same day.

Interruptions in your day may be divine in your days. These people came up to Jesus Christ in the middle of the day. The woman interrupted Jesus Christ on the way to the rulers house. She was healed there.

It's been said a girls first love is her daddy. This daddy didn't stop Jesus Christ from healing the woman, he waited for him even though he would of been in a very sad place after loosing his daughter.

Psalm 48:9-10 NKJV
[9] We have thought, O God, on Your lovingkindness, In the midst of Your temple. [10] According to Your name, O God, So is Your praise to the ends of the earth; Your right hand is full of righteousness.

Greg is telling us how impatient he is waiting for things. He asked if we are patient waiting for the Lord?

God doesn't ask for our understanding in his ways and time, He is asking for our trust.

His delays are not necessarily His denials.

The woman in this story was never told all she had to do was touch Jesus Christ. But it worked, she had faith.

Where does sickness come from?

All sickness comes from sin.

Romans 5:12 NKJV
[12] Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned-

Sickness can come from personal sin, but not necessarily.

John 5:14 NKJV
[14] Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you."

Sickness can lead to greater purpose.

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.

1 Peter 2:24 NKJV
[24] who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness-by whose stripes you were healed.

James 4:2 NKJV
[2] You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.

Sometimes God heals immediately and sometimes He does not, but you still must ask and wait.

Mark 9:24 NKJV
[24] Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!"

Unbelief is often the thief that robs us of what God wants to do in our lives.

Truths from this story:
1.If you have a need then reach out to Jesus.

Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV
[3] 'Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.'

2. Your story is not finished yet.

3. If we trust in Christ, our stories will all have a happy ending.

Maybe not on earth, but when we get to Heaven it will be a happy ending.

No matter what our story is, God is the author and finisher.

No matter what happens in our lives on earth we need realize we will all die and need to focus on Heaven.

Only those fully prepared to die and go to Heaven, can truly live.

Do you have that hope?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

We Need to Pray

Notes: We Need to Pray
Valor Men's Group
Pastor Mike Jonker
Harvest OC
January 13, 2015
Acts 12

Acts is the story of God working to empower men and women to follow Him and spread His Gospel.

Satan attacks all of us as we work to get closer to God. As God builds and helps us build, satan works on attacking and tearing us down.

In Acts we see God move forward in men and in their effectiveness to spread the Gospel.

In Acts we see Jew and Gentile come to faith in Jesus Christ. The gospel was spreading like wild fire and we see people having to struggle and being incarcerated for their faith.

In Acts 12 we will get to see more of the power of God.

The stars in chapter 12 are Peter, an Angel, and King Herod Agrippa.

Acts 12:1-4 NKJV
[1] Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. [2] Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. [3] And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. [4] So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.

Peter was on fire for Jesus and satan was on the attack. The church was sharing the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

They had arrested Peter with the intention of killing him.

Herod Agrippa was the grandson of Herod the great, the one that was ruling when Jesus Christ was born.

Herod did not like Christians, had James killed and wanted to eliminate all the Christians. If it wasn't Passover he probably would have already killed Peter. Satan was behind this hatred.

Jesus Christ warned them,
John 15:20 NKJV
[20] Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

John 10:10 NKJV
[10] The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Jesus Christ knew there would be opposition and warned them.

We need to know and understand there is opposition to us following Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 6:12-13 NKJV
[12] For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. [13] Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Satan is powerful and his minions are powerful, we need to understand that his agenda is to reap havoc in our lives. He has had a lot of success in the world and in the church.

What are we allowing into our eyes, our minds, and our heart?

When we allow lust and sin into our lives it is like throwing water on our flame for following Jesus Christ.

God knows what is going through our minds. We allow things in our lives that we shouldn't and satan is encouraging that we do. We need to commit those things to the Lord.

Satan comes at us with the lust of the eyes and lust of the flesh. We love to eat, we love to sleep. 

Eating is good but it can destroy us. Sleeping is good, but should we be in the Word instead of sleeping. If it is throwing water on our fire then we need to Gove it to the Lord.

Satan has no problem with making sin look innocent. He did it to King David and King Saul. Sin always has a price to pay.

It is a hard thing to repent from most sin. Struggling on your own can harden it.

We should not rationalize against God's Word. 

Acts 12:5-11 NKJV
[5] Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. [6] And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison. [7] Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, "Arise quickly!" And his chains fell off his hands. [8] Then the angel said to him, "Gird yourself and tie on your sandals"; and so he did. And he said to him, "Put on your garment and follow me." [9] So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. [10] When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him. [11] And when Peter had come to himself, he said, "Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people."

The power of God was at work here and Peter was sleeping. Lesser things keep us up then being imprisoned.

Proverbs 3:21-24 NKJV
[21] My son, let them not depart from your eyes- Keep sound wisdom and discretion; [22] So they will be life to your soul And grace to your neck. [23] Then you will walk safely in your way, And your foot will not stumble. [24] When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.

Getting into Gods Word can help you sleep, God will take your worries.

Isaiah 26:3 NKJV
[3] You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.

Peter was so sound asleep that the angel had to strike him to awake him.

Hebrews 1:5-14 NKJV
[5] For to which of the angels did He ever say: "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You"? And again: "I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son"? [6] But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: "Let all the angels of God worship Him." [7] And of the angels He says: "Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire." [8] But to the Son He says: "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. [9] You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions." [10] And: "You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. [11] They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment; [12] Like a cloak You will fold them up, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not fail." [13] But to which of the angels has He ever said: "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool"? [14] Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?

We have angles around us. God tells us in scripture that He is there for us and He sends help. God uses Angels to do His work.

You should appreciate the Lord has sent Angels to help us. It is Biblical.

God has the power and resources to help us even in our darkest hours.

Acts 12:12-19 NKJV
[12] So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying. [13] And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer. [14] When she recognized Peter's voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate. [15] But they said to her, "You are beside yourself!" Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, "It is his angel." [16] Now Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. [17] But motioning to them with his hand to keep silent, he declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, "Go, tell these things to James and to the brethren." And he departed and went to another place. [18] Then, as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers about what had become of Peter. [19] But when Herod had searched for him and not found him, he examined the guards and commanded that they should be put to death. And he went down from Judea to Caesarea, and stayed there.

Pastor Mike says he thinks one of the greatest neglects of men is our willingness to pray.

7 things we can pray for:
1. Marriage and families
2. Our jobs and work
3. Our country and our leaders.
4. For the gospel to go out.
5. Our church
6. Our community 
7. Each other, holiness, purity and purpose.

We need to pray! 

Will we be those men?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Chaos, Culture, or Christ

Notes: Chaos, Culture, or Christ
SPEAKER: Pastor Greg Laurie
Matthew 8
SERIES: God Came Near
Sunday, January 11, 2015

Greg is talking about how power is an amazing thing. Like electricity is used by us all the time.

Power is also bragged about in cars or in computer speeds.

Even in cooking, power is used or people's ability to cook giant things that set records, like the worlds largest omelette. There are always strength records set.

Greg says man seems to be able to harness all kinds of power but rarely can we harness will power.

Only with the power of Jesus Christ can we live a life as a Christian.

As there is a God in Heaven that loves you, there is a devil on Earth that is after you and hates you.

Satan does not live in Hell, he will go there eventually but he is not there now. He is here on Earth as a spirit being.

To believe or not to believe in the devil is equally ok with the devil.  Both bother us and he likes that.

The devil is not the equal of God.


God is all powerful and satan isn't even close. The devil does have power, no silver bullet or holy water will keep the devil away. Only the power of Jesus Christ can keep him, away.

John 10:10 NKJV
[10] The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

In Matthew 8 there are two men that came under the power of satan.

The devil is big on free samples. Greg is using the hot donut sign at Krispy Kreme as an example. They give us free samples so that we will buy more. There is pleasure in that first donut but as you eat more and more you feel worse for eating them. It is the same way with sin.

Sin can start out fun, "pleasurable for a season". But when you face the consequences it is destroying.

Matthew 8:28-34 ESV
[28] And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. [29] And behold, they cried out, "What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?" [30] Now a herd of many pigs was feeding at some distance from them. [31] And the demons begged him, saying, "If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs." [32] And he said to them, "Go." So they came out and went into the pigs, and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the waters. [33] The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told everything, especially what had happened to the demon-possessed men. [34] And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region.
Matthew 9:1 ESV
[1] And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city.

These men didn't wear clothes,  he lived in the graveyard.

Many people hurt themselves today as if it is fun or for pleasure. This guy in the graveyard acted like that.

Can people be demon possessed today? Greg believes nonbeliever's can be possessed. Others can be under the influence of the devil. Those people are not the enemy, they need Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 2:25-26 ESV
[25] correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, [26] and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

Don't waste your time praying for the devil but pray for those under his control.

1. Demons, though wicked, are quite orthodox in some of their beliefs.

Even demons are aware of Christ and His power.

Philippians 2:10-11 ESV
[10] so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, [11] and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The devil is not agnostic or atheist, he does not give his devotion to Christ, but intellectually he knows God is real.

James 2:19 ESV
[19] You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe-and shudder!

Matthew 8:29 ESV
[29] And behold, they cried out, "What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?"

The devil knows he will be judged one day.

When the devil brings up your past, remind him about his future. The devil literally will go to Hell.

2. Though not as powerful as God, demons do have considerable power.

In the book of Daniel it speaks of demons stopping an Angel and God sent Michael.

3. Jesus Christ has power over the devil and his demons.

Philippians 2:9-11 ESV
[9] Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, [10] so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, [11] and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

What did society do with these demon possessed people, they chained them up.

In our society we do the same things, put them in jail and such.

Greg is telling us how he respects and thanks God for our law enforcement. America needs God like never before.

It was said the choice is Christ or chaos. We need God's government.

Christ can do what culture can not.

Matthew 8:26 ESV
[26] And he said to them, "Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?" Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.

Jesus Christ was not speaking to the storm, He was chasing off satan. Satan was trying to stop them.

The devil will always try to stop a person from hearing the Gospel.

Jesus had a mission to reach these men, Jesus Christ will not be stopped.

Jesus Christ is like a shepherd that is watching 100 sheep, if one wonders off, He will leave the 99 to go find that one.

If you go away from the Lord He will seek you out.

Luke 8:35 ESV
[35] Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid.

Some Christians are so reformed that you would not believe who they used to be.

We should be identified as we are in Christ now, not our past. Set the past behind you and don't stumble on it.

Matthew 8:34 ESV
[34] And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region.

They asked Jesus to go away because of what happened to the pigs. Jesus Christ was basically not good for their business.

If God can not bless you in your business then get another job.

If the Lord can not bless it, then you should not be doing it.

If we ask Jesus Christ to go away, He just might listen to you. He won't force his way into your life.

God will over rule our prayers for our own good.

There are three prayers in this story. The prayers of the demons, the prayer of the people for Him to leave, and the man that He cast the demon out of prayed to follow Him.

Jesus Christ sent that man to his family.

1 John 4:15 ESV
[15] Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

Jesus Christ gives His word that you will meet Him in Heaven if you put your faith in Jesus Christ.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Building A Strong Body

Notes: Building A Strong Body
Saddleback Church
January 10, 2015

God is just as interested in us having a strong body just as much as a strong soul.

Our bodies affect the way we live and we need to protect it.

God had given us a gift in our body, we should take care of that gift.

BUILDING A STRONG BODY Build Strong, Part 2 Daniel Plan Weekend January 10-11, 2015

THREE THINGS GOD SAYS ABOUT MY BODY 1. I am to MANAGE my body “Everything is permissible for me -- but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me -- but I will not be mastered by anything. Food for the stomach and the stomach for food -- but God will destroy both.” 1 Corinthians 6:12-13a

Just because something is permissible doesn't mean it benefits us, therefore should we do it?

Paul's says we have more important things to worry about then being selfish with our bodies.

2. I am to HONOR GOD WITH  my body “The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” 1 Corinthians 6:13b “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:20 “By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.” 1 Corinthians 6:14

Many think of our bodies as an old water bottle that we can throw away, but the Bible does not teach that. The Bible says our bodies will be upgraded, a new resurrected body.
3. I am to SERVE IN my body “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?”

Th Bible very clearly t aches that God takes up residence in our bodies with the Holy Spirit. He makes us a temple for the Holy Spirit. That is what God wants us to do with our body.


1 Corinthians 6:19 “I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--thisis your spiritual act of worship.” Romans 12:1

The temple of our body is more sacred then any church building. So we can not be okay with damaging our bodies.

If we are to be like Jesus Christ in our bodies, what did Jesus Christ do in His body? He came to serve, so we are here to serve.

Are there opportunities you are missing because of what you have let happen to your body? The healthier you are the more you can do for God and serve Him.

The motivation to serve others can be a great motivator to change your body.

A new speaker came out, her name is Dee Eastman in charge of the Daniel Plan for Saddleback.

The idea is on using God's power, not will power.

THE FIVE HEALTHY HABITS THE DANIEL PLAN

5 essentials of the Daniel Plan, faith, food, focus, fitness and friends.

Mark Hyman came up with the Daniel Plan and he is now speaking.

He says food is the most powerful drug on the planet.

White flour raises your blood sugar levels higher then just sugar.

Sugar is what he says is the worst thing we can eat.

Know that sugar is a drug and know that is is addictive.

He says it only takes 10 days to break an addiction to sugar.

A study shows that the heavier we get the smaller our brains become. We can literally eat our brains to be smaller.

The Daniel Plan is designed to help our bodies and keep us healthier, it is a treatment for depression as well.

He says to always kill ANTs - Analyzing Negative Thoughts.

Just because you have a thought doesn't mean it is true, so do not believe everything you think.
“When the time (of the contest) was up, Daniel and his three friends looked healthier and stronger than all those who had been eating the royal food.”
Daniel 1:15 (TEV)
“I pray you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit”
3 John 1:2
FAITH God's Power Not Willpower “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
Philippians 4:13 (NLT)
FOOD Enjoying God's Abundance “For the earth and every good thing in it belongs to the Lord and is yours to enjoy.” 1 Corinthians 10:26(TLB)
FITNESS Honor God with Your Body “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT)

FOCUS Transformed By the Renewing Of Your Mind “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 (NLT)

FRIENDS Power of Community - We Are Better Together “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NLT)

Another speaker is out named Sean Foy. He is here to tell us why we should exercise.

He says there are over 40 diseases that are proven to be cured by regular exercise.

Pastor is back talking about how this is so important for us.

He says the number one thing we can do is make the decision to build a stronger body.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Why God Chose You

Notes: "Why God Chose You"
Ephesians 1
SPEAKER: Pastor Greg Laurie
MUSICAL GUEST: Izzi Ray
WORSHIP TEAM:Harvest Worship Band
SERIES: Live, Love, Fight
Thursday, January 8, 2015 — 7:00 p.m.
Harvest OC

We are starting a new series tonight in Ephesians.

Greg asked us if we know any cheapskates. He is saying he notices how those who have the most give the least and those that have the least seem to give the most. 

He is telling us about a lady in the 1800s that was a true miser. He said she was a good illustration of many Christians today and their sharing of faith.

Ephesians has been dubbed as the believers bank or check book. It tells us how we should live our lives as Christians.

Gods heavenly bank has no limitations so that we are never deprived and we cannot deplete it. It covers all of your past debts, current needs and your future request.

Ephesians speaks to us as a family and we should live in our family.

We are going to discuss the things that God has done for us in Ephesians.

Ephesus was the headquarters of the cult that followed the mythical God Diana. So this city was an area where idolatry was rampant. Much like in our lives today.

An idol is anyone or anything that takes the place of God in our lives.

Before we can fight, we have to learn how to live. He illustrates this with how they tell us on airplanes to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first and then we can help the child.

Ephesians 1:1-6 NKJV
[1] Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus: [2] Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. [3] Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, [4] just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, [5] having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, [6] to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

We all know Paul used to be named Saul. The meaning of the word "Paul" is small. 

Paul's smallness became the canvas for God's bigness.

We have to remember all these apostles were ordinary men that were given some very big task by God.

The highest calling of God is what God has called you to be.

We are all called to do something.

1 Corinthians 12:4-7 NKJV
[4] There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. [5] There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. [6] And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. [7] But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:

A Christian that has been filled with the Spirit is given a gift.

Saint is another word for a believer in Christ.

Ephesians 1:3 NKJV
[3] Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

Notice in the verse it says He has blessed us, not going to, but already has.

1. We pray for love.

Romans 5:5 NKJV
[5] Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Even though we always ask for love from God, He has already given it to us.

2. We pray for peace.

3. We pray for strength. 

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

We need to understand that as Christians we are in two worlds.

If we had the curtain pulled back we would see Angels and demons and such. We might not see it but it is there.

Ephesians 1:4-5 NKJV
[4] just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, [5] having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

God chose you before you chose Him.

Why would God choose you? There is no merit that made God choose you, He did it before you were even born.

God chose you because He loves you.

How did God choose us? We don't know. Some think they know, like Calvinist, predestination. 

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.

Greg believes Jesus Christ died for all of us, not a predestined few.

Wether we like it or not. The Bible teaches both predestination and free will.

It was said, it is a good thing that God chose me before I was born.

You decide where you will spend eternity. 

John 6:44 NKJV
[44] No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.

Colossians 1:28 NKJV
[28] Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.

1 Corinthians 3:7-8 NKJV
[7] So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. [8] Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

Acts 13:48 NKJV
[48] Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

Romans 10:13 NKJV
[13] For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved."

What has God predestined me for:

1. God predestined me to be adopted into His family.

Romans 8:15 NKJV
[15] For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."

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.

2. God predestined me to be holy and without blame.

Holiness speaks of a state of in are purity. Without blame means an outward or external condition of purity.

God is not looking at us as slaves but as His children.

No matter how lost we are He wants us home, like the father of the prodigal son.

1 John 4:19 NKJV
[19] We love Him because He first loved us.

3.'God chose us that we might become more and more like Jesus Christ everyday.

Romans 8:28-29 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. [29] For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Gods end game is to make you more like Jesus Christ.

God is not trying to make you happy, He is making you holy.

Are you becoming more like Jesus everyday?

4. God chose us that we might live spiritually fruitful lives.

Ephesians 1:6 NKJV
[6] to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

There is nothing that we can do to be accepted, God already accepts us.

John 17:23 NKJV
[23] I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

On the cross God treated Jesus Christ as if he committed every sin ever committed yet he committed none of them.

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