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Sunday, February 25, 2018

For Such a Time as This!

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

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

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

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

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

His silence is not his absence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God has a plan for Esther.

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

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

“...for just such a time as this?”

God is N - O - W - H - E - R - E 

What do you see when you read that?

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Flourishing or Languishing?

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

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

An American idiom “a rolling stone collects no moss”

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

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

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

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

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

To abide in God.

A Christian is hooked up with God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are you hooked up with God?

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

Joy, is greater than happiness.

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

Jesus is accessible to you.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Day God Died

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everybody knew what happened to Jesus.

Jesus’ death was:
1. Public

Jesus suffered a death that was far from peaceful.

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

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

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

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

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

2. Painful

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

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

Pain was the point!

He was carrying the cross after being beaten and scourged.

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

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

He was mocked.

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

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

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

3. Payment

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Predicted

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

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

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

Two fulfilled prophecies in just those verses above.

Jesus was on a rescue mission from the very start.

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

Jesus dies so we can live.

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

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

Sunday, February 4, 2018

How to Go To Church Part 1

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

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

Jesus shows up at church every time we are here.

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

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

Jesus started the church and Jesus loves the church.

The church is the only organization Jesus started.

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

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

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

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

Church hopping is a bad way to do church.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not being at church means you are missing out!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. They were a worshipping church.

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

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

We were created to worship.

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

Sometimes praise and worship is a sacrifice.

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

There is a connection between worship and your witness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who’s side are you on?

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