Teachability

The Bible says that David was a man after God’s own heart. What does that mean?

After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.‘” Acts 13:22

David proved God true through the varied circumstances of life. 

David_Slide.png

David was a powerful king who was disobeyed and disrespected. He was teachable enough that he backed off and allowed a commoner – a WOMAN - to challenge his angry decision and save his legacy. 

Teachability

David is known as the greatest and most famous king who ever lived because of his character. 

  1. HUMILITY - putting my hope and trust in the right place. 

  2. TEACHABILITY

What do you need to learn?

Sometimes we don’t learn what we really need to know because we refuse to see our insufficiencies or inabilities.  

Sometimes we don’t learn what we really need to know because there are some people we just won’t allow to teach us.

Teachability is the humble willingness see our insufficiencies and inabilities and to learn whatever is needed to be our best - from whoever can teach us, in whatever way is necessary. 

David was accustomed to being “right” and in charge. He did well under those circumstances.

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

Most of us do great until we are confronted with something that is wrong in us or we are not in control. But being wrong or being mistreated often provide the best opportunities to learn.

I Samuel 25

Abigail shows us how to teach:

When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed low before him. She fell at his feet and said, “I accept all blame in this matter, my lord. Please listen to what I have to say. I know Nabal is a wicked and ill-tempered man; please don’t pay any attention to him. He is a fool, just as his name suggests. But I never even saw the young men you sent. “Now, my lord, as surely as the Lord lives and you yourself live, since the Lord has kept you from murdering and taking vengeance into your own hands, let all your enemies and those who try to harm you be as cursed as Nabal is. And here is a present that I, your servant, have brought to you and your young men. Please forgive me if I have offended you in any way. The Lord will surely reward you with a lasting dynasty, for you are fighting the Lord’s battles. And you have not done wrong throughout your entire life. Even when you are chased by those who seek to kill you, your life is safe in the care of the Lord your God, secure in his treasure pouch! But the lives of your enemies will disappear like stones shot from a sling! When the Lord has done all he promised and has made you leader of Israel, don’t let this be a blemish on your record. Then your conscience won’t have to bear the staggering burden of needless bloodshed and vengeance. And when the Lord has done these great things for you, please remember me, your servant!”

I Samuel 25:23-31

She is proactive and takes responsibility.

She tells the truth.

She acknowledges all the good she can.

She treats David as the person she hopes he will become.

She corrects wrong without attacking or condescending. 

She repays evil with blessing. 

 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

I Peter 3:9

David shows us how to be teachable.

He slowed down to listen.

He didn’t look for reasons to discount her.

He considered what story he wanted his life to tell. 

He was humble enough to change and do for others what they don’t deserve. 

Teachability is the humble willingness see our insufficiencies and inabilities and to learn whatever is needed to be our best - from whoever can teach us, in whatever way is necessary. 

BOTTOM LINE: Teachability can save my life and legacy. 

NEXT STEPS:
1. Ask yourself, “What do I need to learn?”  “Who could help me that I won’t listen to?”

2. Ask yourself, “What story do I want to be able to tell about this part of my life?”

3. Tell the truth to yourself and God - then act on it.



Humility

The Bible says that David was a man after God’s own heart. What does that mean?
After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.

Acts 13:22
David proved God true through the varied circumstances of life. 

David was overlooked as anyone significant, let alone a candidate for king. His older brothers looked on him with disrespect and disdain. Saul thought he was incapable. But David knew who HE was and who GOD was. That gave him the ability to see clearly, act confidently, and walk humbly.

Humility

David was a famous shepherd, king, military man, follower of God.

Though he was ordinary in stature, he was head and shoulders among the men of his generation because of character qualities. 

No one thought he had the potential for greatness. 

  1. He was overlooked in the search for a King. I Samuel 16

  2. He was ridiculed for wanting to fight Goliath. I Samuel 17

He put his hope and trust in God and did the next right thing.

David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!”

I Samuel 17:45-47

David’s strength came from his humility.
He knew who God was and who he was. 

Humility is putting my hope and trust in the right place.

David did that his whole life:

In you, Lord my God, I put my trust. No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame…Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

Psalm 25:1, 3-5

Humble people become great because they:

  1. Love God’s law and word.

  2. Know they can’t control outcomes, but God can.

  3. See differently and respond differently.

Those who hope in the Lord see clearly, act confidently, and walk humbly.

Andy Stanley

David was imperfect, but he walked through extraordinary success and extraordinary sorrow humbly.

“My hope is in you all day long.”
How would your life change if that was true of you?

Bottom Line: Humility is putting my hope and trust in the right place.

Next Steps:
1. Honestly ask yourself: Where do I put my trust?

2. Memorize Psalm 25:1,3-5. Recite it daily.


The Opposition Choice

It's time to head back to school! No matter your stage of life, it's never too late to learn - and the wisest among us are always learning. Some of Jesus' greatest knowledge for life comes from his mountain-side teaching points we commonly call "The Beatitudes." Many of his lessons are blunt and may make us uncomfortable; but if they are applied, will help us succeed in life - the most important thing we will ever manage.  In this series you will learn how to overcome the things that would hold you back, how to repair relationship, and how to live with satisfaction and joy.

God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble,
    for they will inherit the whole earth.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be satisfied.
God blesses those who are merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
    for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace,
    for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

Matthew 5:3-11


“Pressed and stressed” Following Jesus has always been challenging. Jesus was persecuted, and so will we be. But Jesus will be with us, we don’t retaliate. Persecution will deepen our faith and strengthen our witness.

The Opposition Choice

God blesses those who are persecuted because they live for God: the Kingdom of Heaven will be theirs! You will be blessed WHEN people insult you and persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  
Matthew 5:10-12

Anyone who belongs to Christ Jesus and wants to live right will have trouble from others. II Timothy 3:12

Persecution is real.
Here we do not face violent persecution, but pressure to repress, conform, and be silent.

The Truth about Opposition: 

1. Opposition can make me more like Jesus.

When the world hates you, remember it hated me first. The world would love you IF you belonged to it, but you don’t. I chose you out of the world. That’s why the world will hate you. No servant is ever greater than his master. So, since they persecuted me, they will persecute you too. 
John 15:18-20

If you're abused because of Christ, count yourself fortunate. It’s the Spirit of God and his glory in you that brought you to the notice of others. 
I Peter 4:14

2. Opposition can deepen my faith.

These troubles will prove that your faith is genuine. Just as gold is purified by fire and heat, so your faith, which is far more precious than gold, must also be purified by fire so it may endure. Then you’ll receive praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. 
I Peter 1:7 

3.  Opposition can lead to eternal rewards.

God blesses those who are persecuted because they live for God: the Kingdom of Heaven will be theirs! You will be blessed WHEN people insult you and persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  
Matthew 5:10-12

When you face opposition:

1. Don’t be surprised.

Dear friends, don’t be surprised or shocked when you go through painful trials that are like walking through fire, as though something unusual is happening to you.
I Peter 4:12

2. Don’tbe afraid.

If you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it, so don’t be afraid and don’t worry!  Instead, worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.
I Peter 3:14-15

3. Don’t be ashamed. 

It is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Instead, thank God for the privilege of being called by his name!
I Peter 4:16 (NLT)

Take a firm stand against Satan and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.
I Peter 5:9

Remember, it is better to suffer for doing God’s will than to suffer for doing evil. 
I Peter 3:17

4. Recognize the source.           

We’re not fighting against human beings, but against wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly realm… Ephesians 6:12

Stay away from stupid and senseless arguments. These only lead to trouble. God’s servants must never quarrel.  (Instead)be kind to everyone…and be patient. Be humble when you correctpeople who oppose you…they’ve been trapped by the devil, and he makes them obey him, but God may help them escape. 
II Timothy 2:23-26

5.  Refuse to retaliate. 

Never pay back evil with more evil…If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. And never avenge yourself. Leave that to God, who has said, “I’ll be the judge and I’ll take care of it.”
Romans 12:17-19

Those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good
I Peter 4:19 

6. Respond with Blessing.. 

Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good. 
Romans 12:21

Love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. bless those who curse you. pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn the other cheek. 
Luke 6:27b-29a (NLT)

BOTTOM LINE: Jesus said, “In the world you will have trouble, but I have overcome the world.”

NEXT STEPS:
1) Pray the prayer every day.
2) Refuse to retaliate or take vengeance with words or actions.
3) Respond with blessing.

The Reconciliation Choice

It's time to head back to school! No matter your stage of life, it's never too late to learn - and the wisest among us are always learning. Some of Jesus' greatest knowledge for life comes from his mountain-side teaching points we commonly call "The Beatitudes." Many of his lessons are blunt and may make us uncomfortable; but if they are applied, will help us succeed in life - the most important thing we will ever manage.  In this series you will learn how to overcome the things that would hold you back, how to repair relationship, and how to live with satisfaction and joy.

God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble,
    for they will inherit the whole earth.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be satisfied.
God blesses those who are merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
    for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace,
    for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

Matthew 5:3-11


“Make peace not war” God loves peacemakers! In fact, Jesus said that the proof to the world that you are a child of God is that you are a reconciler, a person who works and loves diligently for peace. You face conflict every day, but you can reconcile and bring peace. 

The Reconciliation Choice

God blesses those who are peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God. 
Matthew 5:9 (NLT)

Peacemaking/reconciliation is not avoiding or appeasing.

When I don’t resolve conflict, it blocks

  • my fellowship with God,

  • my prayers,

  • and my personal happiness.

Those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness.
James 3:18 (NLT)
  

Making the Reconciliation Choice:

1. Make the first move.

If you’re standing before the altar in the Temple, giving an offering to God, and you suddenly remember someone has something against you, leave your offering there beside the altar. Go at once and first be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your gift to God. 
Matthew 5:23-24

2.  Ask God for wisdom.       

If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask Him, and He will gladly tell you… 
James 1:5

3. Begin with what’s my fault.

What causes fights and quarrels among you? They are caused by selfish desires that are continually at war inside you. 
James 4:1

Pride only leads to arguments… 
Proverbs 13:10

Why do you notice the little piece of dust in your friend’s eye, but you don’t notice the big piece of wood in your own eye?...First, take the wood out of your own eye. Then you will see clearly to take the dust out of your friend’s eye.
Matthew 7:3,5

4. Listen for their perspective. 

…Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 
James 1:19

Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 2:4-5 (NIV)

…We must bear the burden of being considerate of the doubts and fears of others…
Romans 15:2 (LB)

5. Speak truthfully and tactfully.

Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. 
Proverbs 12:18

Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed…
Ephesians 4:29

6. Focus on the problem, not the blame.          

You must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 
Colossians 3:8

7. Work towards reconciliation, not resolution.

Reconciliation = re-establish the relationship
Resolution = resolve every issue

God has restored our relationship with him through Christ, and has given us this ministry of restoring relationships. God was in Christ restoring his relationship with humanity. He didn’t hold people’s faults against them, and he has given us this message of restored relationships to tell others. We are Christ’s representatives…We beg you on behalf of Christ to become reunited with God.
II Corinthians 5:18-20

BOTTOM LINE: God’s much-loved children are peacemakers!

NEXT STEPS: 
1) Pray the prayer every day!
2) Evaluate your life for areas of tension and conflict, and ask God for insight, wisdom, and courage.
3) Consistently work for reconciliation, not resolution.

The Housecleaning Choice

It's time to head back to school! No matter your stage of life, it's never too late to learn - and the wisest among us are always learning. Some of Jesus' greatest knowledge for life comes from his mountain-side teaching points we commonly call "The Beatitudes." Many of his lessons are blunt and may make us uncomfortable; but if they are applied, will help us succeed in life - the most important thing we will ever manage.  In this series you will learn how to overcome the things that would hold you back, how to repair relationship, and how to live with satisfaction and joy.

God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble,
    for they will inherit the whole earth.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be satisfied.
God blesses those who are merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
    for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace,
    for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

Matthew 5:3-11


“Wholehearted” Jesus said in Matthew 5:8, “God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.” Being pure in heart means getting what’s on the inside of me on the outside of me. It means I am whole-hearted; I have integrity, I am what I appear to be.

The Housecleaning Choice

Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.  
1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV) 

God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.  
Matthew 5:8 (NLT)

INTEGRITY: wholeness, authenticity, unmixed motives

How will I see God when I have integrity? 

 1. I will have personal confidence.

People with integrity have a firm footing, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall.
Proverbs 10:9 

The integrity of the honest keeps them on track.
Proverbs 11:3

2. I will have a lasting legacy.

A righteous person lives on the basis of his integrity. Blessed are his children after he is gone.  
Proverbs 20:7 (GW)

If you pray to God and seek the favor of the Almighty, if you are pure and live with complete integrity, God will rise up and restore your happy home. And though you started with little, you will end with much.
Job 8:5-7

3. I will have rewards in eternity.

Well done! You are a good and trusted servant! Because you were faithful with small things, I’ll now put you in charge of much greater things. Come and share your Master’s happiness! 
Matthew 25:21

Lord, who may stay in your sanctuary and live on your holy mountain? The one who WALKS WITH INTEGRITY - he speaks the truth from his heart. He refuses to slander others with his tongue, won’t listen to gossip, and will not cast a slur on his fellowman…(instead) he honors those who fear the Lord, and keeps his promises even when it hurts. He lends his money freely without charging interest and cannot be bribed by money. Whoever does these things will never be shaken! 
Psalm 15:1-5 

How do I work with God to build my integrity?

1.I will keep my promises.

People who promise things they never give are like clouds and wind that bring no rain.
Proverbs 25:14

2.I will pay my bills.

The wicked man borrows and never pays back… 
Psalm 37:21

…the authorities are working for God…Pay what you owe them; pay your personal and property taxes… Romans 13:6-7 (TEV)

3.I will refuse to gossip.

A gossip can’t be trusted with a secret, but someone of integrity won’t violate a confidence.
Proverbs 11:13 

4. I will faithfully tithe. 

Is it right for a person to cheat God? Of course not! “Yet you are robbing me,” says the Lord. “How?”, you ask. “By withholding your full tithe and offerings…Bring to me the full amount of your tithe to my House…Put me to the test and you’ll see that I will open the windows of heaven and pour out so much blessing on you that you won’t have enough room to receive it all!” 
Malachi 3:8-10 

5. I will do my best at work.

Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 
Colossians 3:23

6. I will be real with others.

We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open…
II Corinthians 4:2 

7. I will stay in the Word.

How can I keep my way pure? By living according to your Word. 
Psalms 119:9

BOTTOM LINE: I need to be what I appear to be - the same on the inside as the outside.

NEXT STEPS:
1) Pray the prayer every day.
2) Evaluate your life for inconsistencies.
3) Work with God this week to close the gap between your public and private self.

The Relationship Choice

It's time to head back to school! No matter your stage of life, it's never too late to learn - and the wisest among us are always learning. Some of Jesus' greatest knowledge for life comes from his mountain-side teaching points we commonly call "The Beatitudes." Many of his lessons are blunt and may make us uncomfortable; but if they are applied, will help us succeed in life - the most important thing we will ever manage.  In this series you will learn how to overcome the things that would hold you back, how to repair relationship, and how to live with satisfaction and joy.

God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble,
    for they will inherit the whole earth.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be satisfied.
God blesses those who are merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
    for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace,
    for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

Matthew 5:3-11

“Have Mercy!” I must evaluate all of my relationships, offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me, ask forgiveness and make restitution for harm that I have done to others. 

The Relationship Choice

The fifth key to life is to be an agent of mercy in the world.

You can transform your relationships through mercy.

God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Matthew 5:7

What does mercy look like in my relationships?

1. Be patient with the “quirks” and differences of others.

Be patient with one another, making an allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.

Ephesians 4:2

The wisdom that comes from heaven is pure, peace-loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. Wisdom is full of mercy,

James 3:17

2. Help those who are hurting around me. 

Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it.

Proverbs 3:27

When you do acts of mercy, show mercy with cheerfulness.

Romans 12:8

3. Give others another chance. 

Don’t get bitter or angry or use harsh words that hurt each other. Don’t yell at one another or curse or ever be rude. Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ.

Ephesians 4:31-32

4. Do good to people that hurt me.

Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be called children of the Most High, because God is merciful to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father in heaven is merciful.

Luke 6:35-36

5. Be kind to those who offend me.

Even though I once was a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief…I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for others who would believe on him and have eternal life.

I Timothy 1:13,16

Show mercy to those who have doubts. Save others by snatching them from the fire. Show mercy to them, while being careful that you aren’t contaminated by their sins.

Jude 1:22-23

6. Reach out to the rejected and disliked.

Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to be his dinner guests, along with his fellow tax collectors and many other notorious sinners. The Pharisees were indignant. “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?”, they asked his disciples. When he heard this, Jesus replied, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor - sick people do. Go learn the meaning of the Scripture, ‘I want you to be merciful; I don’t want your sacrifices!’ For I have come to call sinners, not those who think they are already good enough.”

Matthew 9:10-13 

7. Value relationships over rules. 

Another time Jesus was walking through some grain fields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, so they began to pick some grain and eat it. Some Pharisees saw this and protested, “Your disciples are breaking God’s law by harvesting grain on the Sabbath!” But Jesus said, “Haven’t you ever read what King David did when he and his soldiers were hungry? He went into the house of God and they ate the holy bread reserved for the priests...You would not have judged these innocent men if you knew the real meaning of the Scripture. ‘I want you to be merciful. I don’t want your sacrifices!’ For I am the Lord of the Sabbath.”

Matthew 12:1-8

BOTTOM LINE:Life will be no better than my relationships. Mercy is essential.

NEXT STEPS:  
1) Pray the prayer every day.
2) Remind yourself regularly of how God has shown you mercy.
3) Schedule a Freedom in Christ appointment if you have unforgiveness in your heart.
4) Complete at least one radical, premeditated act of mercy this week.


The Transformation Choice

It's time to head back to school! No matter your stage of life, it's never too late to learn - and the wisest among us are always learning. Some of Jesus' greatest knowledge for life comes from his mountain-side teaching points we commonly call "The Beatitudes." Many of his lessons are blunt and may make us uncomfortable; but if they are applied, will help us succeed in life - the most important thing we will ever manage.  In this series you will learn how to overcome the things that would hold you back, how to repair relationship, and how to live with satisfaction and joy.

God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble,
    for they will inherit the whole earth.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be satisfied.
God blesses those who are merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
    for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace,
    for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

Matthew 5:3-11

“Stay Hungry” I voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask him to remove my character defects. I am hungry for the changes that God knows will replace my hurts, habits, and hang-ups with a healthy life. 

The Transformation Choice

God blesses those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for the will be satisfied. Matthew 5:6

Righteousness is the road to life and path to immortality.

Proverbs 12:28

Righteousness is: A relationship

The Good News shows how God makes people right with himself.

Romans 1:17

Righteousness is: A lifestyle

All who practice righteousness are God’s true children.

John 2:29

Getting my relationship with God right:

I can’t make myself right with God. 

No one can ever be made right in God’s sight by doing what his law commands, because the more we know God’s law, the clearer it becomes that we can’t keep it.

Romans 3:20

Getting my relationship with God right:

God sent Jesus to pay the debt for my sins so I could be made right with God.

God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

II Corinthians 5:21

Getting my relationship with God right:

I accept by faith what God did for me. 

How do I stay spiritually hungry?

1. Remind myself how much God loves me.

Pray that you have the power to understand how wide, how long, how high, and how deep God’s love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. THEN you will be filled with the fullness of life and the power that comes from God.

Ephesians 3:18-19

2. Stop filling up on junk.

All who are thirsty, come to me and drink! And to those of you who don’t have money to buy food, come and eat for free! Why do you spend your money on something that isn’t real food and doesn’t really satisfy you? Come to me, and you will eat what is good; your soul will enjoy the stuff that really satisfies!

Isaiah 55:1-2

3. Make knowing God my #1 goal.

The thing you should want most is God’s Kingdom and doing what God wants. Then all these other things you need will be given to you.

Matthew 6:33

4. Get into God’s Word every day.

You must crave the pure spiritual milk of the word so that you can grow into the fullness of your salvation. Cry out for this nourishment like a baby cries for milk!

I Peter 2:2

5. Hang out with hungry people.

Join the company of good men and women who will keep you on the path of righteousness. Proverbs 2:20

BOTTOM LINE: Righteousness is both a growing relationship and a lifestyle.

NEXT STEPS:  
1) Pray the prayer every day.
2) If you don’t already have a schedule for reading and talking to God, start this week.
3) Actively get with people who will help you grow.

The Humility Choice

It's time to head back to school! No matter your stage of life, it's never too late to learn - and the wisest among us are always learning. Some of Jesus' greatest knowledge for life comes from his mountain-side teaching points we commonly call "The Beatitudes." Many of his lessons are blunt and may make us uncomfortable; but if they are applied, will help us succeed in life - the most important thing we will ever manage.  In this series you will learn how to overcome the things that would hold you back, how to repair relationship, and how to live with satisfaction and joy.

God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble,
    for they will inherit the whole earth.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be satisfied.
God blesses those who are merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
    for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace,
    for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

Matthew 5:3-11

“Gentle on my mind” The Humility Choice is critical because every other choice depends on the depth and sincerity of this one. It means that I humbly surrender to God and covenant to live gently with people.

The Humility Choice

In our hard-driving, ego-driven, market-driven culture we don’t hear much about humility and gentleness.

But God says humble/gentle people are the strongest people on the planet. The earth will be theirs. 

God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.

Matthew 5:5

Humility (gentleness) is strength under control.

Humility diffuses conflict.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 15:1

If your boss is angry with you, don’t quit! A quiet, gentle spirit can overcome even great mistakes.
Ecclesiastes 10:4

Humility disarms critics. 

Your conversation should be so sensible that anyone who wants us to argue will be ashamed because there won’t be anything to criticize in anything you say.

Titus 2:8

The Lord’s servant must never quarrel; instead he must be kind and gentle with everyone. He must be able to teach effectively and be patient with difficult people. 

II Timothy 2:24

Gentleness/Humility is persuasive. 

Gentle speech breaks down rigid defenses. A gentle word can get through to the hard-headed.

Proverbs 25:15 

A wise, mature person is known for understanding, the more pleasant his words, the more persuasive he is.

Proverbs 16:21

Gentleness/Humility is attractive.

As a man of God, pursue what God approves of: godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
I Timothy 6:11

You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

I Peter 3:4

Gentleness/Humility communicates love.

Husbands, love your wives and be gentle with them.

Colossians 3:19

Do not irritate and provoke your children to anger. Do not exasperate them to resentment, but rear them tenderly in the training and discipline and counsel of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:4

Gentleness/Humility earns respect.

A woman of gentle grace will be respected.

Proverbs 11:16

Moses was a very meek and gentle man. In fact, he was more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.

Numbers 12:3

Humility is a witness to the world.

Believers should never speak evil of anyone, nor be quarrelsome. Instead they should be gentle and show courtesy to everyone.

Titus 3:2

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

I Peter 3:15

Humility makes me like Jesus.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 11:28-29 

BOTTOM LINE: Humble, gentle people have strength under control, and the whole world belongs to them.

NEXT STEPS:

  1. Pray the prayer every day.

  2. Pay close attention to your words and actions this week. 

  3. Open yourself up to a trusted Christ-follower who knows you well and ask them to evaluate how you need to be gentler and humbler.

The Hope Choice

It's time to head back to school! No matter your stage of life, it's never too late to learn - and the wisest among us are always learning. Some of Jesus' greatest knowledge for life comes from his mountain-side teaching points we commonly call "The Beatitudes." Many of his lessons are blunt and may make us uncomfortable; but if they are applied, will help us succeed in life - the most important thing we will ever manage.  In this series you will learn how to overcome the things that would hold you back, how to repair relationship, and how to live with satisfaction and joy.

God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble,
    for they will inherit the whole earth.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be satisfied.
God blesses those who are merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
    for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace,
    for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

Matthew 5:3-11

“God blesses the broken road” The hope choice is when, despite my hurts and sorrows, I choose to earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to him, that he will heal my brokenness.

The Hope Choice

One thing we all have already learned: Life is tough.
This is not heaven.

God blesses those who mourn, for they will be blessed.

Matthew 5:4

This seems ludicrous. How can I be blessed in my broken world? 

·      God doesn’t expect me to be happy all the time.

·       Grief is essential to my health. Not repression or suppression, but expression.

When I kept things to myself, I felt weak inside me. I moaned all day long.

Psalm 32:8

We can choose hope in grief because:

1)   God draws us close to himself.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and he saves those whose spirits have been crushed.

Psalm 34:18

I will never leave you and I will never abandon you.

Hebrews 13:5

 Our hearts ache, but at the same time we have the joy of the Lord.

II Corinthians 6:10

2)   God grieves with us.

Jesus was a man of sorrows and acquainted with the bitterest grief. He knew suffering first hand.

Isaiah 53:3

Jesus wept.

John 11:35

 He has sent me to comfort all who mourn, to give…joy and gladness instead of grief, and a song of praise instead of sorrow.

Isiah 61:2-3

3)   God gives me his family for support.

In Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others…be devoted to each other like a loving family…rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.

Romans 12:5,10,15

Comfort one another and give each other strength.

I Thessalonians 5:11

4)   God uses grief to help me grow.

Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways.

Proverbs 20:30

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

These troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing. Things that are seen don’t last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. That’s why we keep focused on the things that can’t be seen.

II Corinthians 4:17-18

5)   God gives us the hope of heaven. 

We don’t want you to be ignorant about believers who have died. We don’t want you to grieve like the people who have no hope.  

I Thessalonians 4:13

God will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things will have passed away.

Revelation 21:4

6)   God uses our brokenness to help others.

God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others with the same comfort we received from God.

II Corinthians 1:4

BOTTOM LINE: Broken doesn’t mean unfixable. God heals the brokenhearted.

Next Steps:

1)   Pray the prayer every day.

2)   If Divorce Care or Grief Share is appropriate for you, sign up.

3)   No matter where you are in your grief and loss, comfort someone else this week. 

The Reality Choice

It's time to head back to school! No matter your stage of life, it's never too late to learn - and the wisest among us are always learning. Some of Jesus' greatest knowledge for life comes from his mountain-side teaching points we commonly call "The Beatitudes." Many of his lessons are blunt and may make us uncomfortable; but if they are applied, will help us succeed in life - the most important thing we will ever manage.  In this series you will learn how to overcome the things that would hold you back, how to repair relationship, and how to live with satisfaction and joy.

God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble,
    for they will inherit the whole earth.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be satisfied.
God blesses those who are merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
    for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace,
    for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

Matthew 5:3-11



“It depends on…” The first beatitude is the reality choice. Facing up to the fact that I need help. Without God my life is unmanageable. I acknowledge that I can’t control and manage everything in my life, and I need God’s help. He is ready to give it to me.

The Reality Choice

Beatitudes: How to receive the blessings of God.

The original word in the Greek for “Blessed” is “Makarios.”
To be blessed is to be happy. I have to make the right choices. 

One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them. “God blesses those who are poor in spirit and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”

Matthew 5:1-3

The Reality: Realizing my need for God and humbly depending on Him instead of myself is the first condition for God’s blessing on my life.

How do I practically do this?

1. I depend on God’s wisdom, not mine.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

Proverbs 14:12

If any of you lack wisdom, you should pray and ask God who gives it generously and graciously to all.

James 1:5 

2. I depend on God’s strength, not mine.

Those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak.

Isaiah 40:31

I walk in the strength of the Lord.

Psalm 71:16

My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart. He is mine forever!

Psalm 73:26

3. I depend on God’s timing, not mine.

I trust in you, O Lord. You are my God. My times are in your hands.

Psalm 31:14-15

I am the Lord, and when it is time, I will make these things happen quickly.

Isaiah 60:22

4. I depend on God’s defense, not mine.

When they hurled insults at him, he did not retaliate. When he suffered he made no threats back. Instead he entrusted himself to God to set things right.

I Peter 2:23

I depend on God alone; I put my hope in him. He alone protects and saves me; he is my defender, and I shall never be defeated. My salvation and honor depend on God; he is my strong protector; he is my shelter!

Psalm 62:5-7

5. I depend on God’s resources, not mine.

And my God will supply all my needs from his abundant riches because of what Jesus Christ has done for us.

Philippians 4:19 

Bottom Line:  I need God. Without God my life is unmanageable. 

Next Steps: 

  1. Daily pray the prayer from your heart.

  2. Take the tangible steps to illustrate your commitment. Make a decision NOW to be baptized at the next opportunity in public declaration of your dependence on God.

Black Panther

All truth is God’s truth, and sometimes the movies present truths straight from God’s heart. This summer we will look at four of the year’s biggest movies and four vital life lessons we can glean from them that help us live the life God designed us to have.

We all long for a Wakanda, a kingdom that embraces us; but it’s easy to isolate. The true magical Kingdom is the kingdom of God, and we are the people responsible for working with him to make this Kingdom come and his will be done for everyone.

Black Panther

God has created all of us with a yearning for community:
A Father, a Family, and a Fulfilling Future.

The Kingdom of God is the true Wakanda.
We have the solution to the problems of the world.

We choose how to relate to the world:
Isolation—we hide in plain sight.

No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house.

Luke 11:33

Overthrow—we overpower the opposition.

We use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons…

II Corinthians 10:4

Engagement—we share the power and blessing of the Kingdom with love.

You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor?...You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Matthew 5:13-16

What must we do?

1. Make the Kingdom your first priority.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

Matthew 6:33

2. Everyone must take their place in the fight.

For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Ephesians 2:10

Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.For weare not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:10-12

3. Take the good news and the blessing of the Kingdom wherever you go.

Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Matthew 6:10

Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone.

Galatians 6:10

Live wisely among those who are not believers and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.

Colossians 4:5-6

Bottom Line:

I need to radically involve the world in the Kingdom for which we all yearn.


Next Steps:

  1.  Make a prayer list of individual people who feel excluded that you can include. Pray daily for them.

  2. Consider groups of people who feel isolated from the Kingdom. How can you include them?

  3. Share the Light. Make it a lifestyle. Try to never go to bed without shining it somewhere.          

Mary Poppins Returns

All truth is God’s truth, and sometimes the movies present truths straight from God’s heart. This summer we will look at four of the year’s biggest movies and four vital life lessons we can glean from them that help us live the life God designed us to have.

Perspective is everything—and you are in charge of your own.

Mary Poppins Returns

Perspective is everything, and I always get to choose mine. The world does have trouble, but it doesn’t have to color my outlook.

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

The perspective of a child is vital.

Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.

Mark 10:15

Perspectives that will change your world:

Everything is possible, even the impossible.

Jesus said, “With God all things are possible.”

Matthew 19:26

You can’t lose what you’ve never lost.

To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

II Corinthians 5:8

We’re the keepers of the flame.

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:14-16

There’s nowhere to go but up!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

Bottom Line: Perspective is everything, and I always get to choose mine.

Next Steps:

  1. Talk to God about areas where your perspective is bleak.

  2. “A cover is not the book, so open it up and take a look!” Really get into God’s word to adopt his perspective. Memorize scriptures to say to yourself when your perspective gets skewed.

  3. Give a friend or two authority to check you on your perspective when you are not at your best.

The Lion King

All truth is God’s truth, and sometimes the movies present truths straight from God’s heart. This summer we will look at four of the year’s biggest movies and four vital life lessons we can glean from them that help us live the life God designed us to have.

There will never be a way to recover from failure or heartbreak and have the life for which we long without remembering and living out who we really are.

Message Notes

The Lion King

Baptism is a profound statement of who we are.

As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Matthew 3:16-17

We Belong.
We are Loved.
God is pleased to be our Father.
Sometimes we get lost…we forget our identity.
We tink we are wat we look like, the we accomplish, what other people think our us, what others have done to us.
Sometimes we forget our identity because of what we have done
Remember who you are.

See what great love the Father has lavished upon us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are.

I John 3:1

Bottom Line:

Remember who you are.

Next Steps:

  1. When you remember who you are, you remember you have both privileges and responsibilities. When we face the past, we can influence the present. Who needs you?

  2. One of the reasons worship is so important is because it gives us a chance to remember who and whose we are. Commit to regular remembering and becoming who you are.



Avengers: Endgame

All truth is God’s truth, and sometimes the movies present truths straight from God’s heart. This summer we will look at four of the year’s biggest movies and four vital life lessons we can glean from them that help us live the life God designed us to have.

All the stories of the MCU tie together to write one epic history. That’s the way it is in the story of mankind. We are all individuals with our own stories, but we are all interconnected, headed for one Endgame. Along the way failures are inevitable. How we handle those failures are the hinge to our future.

Message Notes

Avengers: Endgame

“Avengers: Endgame” focuses on failure.

…a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan, to torment and harass me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might leave me… 
II Corinthians 12:7b-8

You can dread it, you can run from it—failure will still happen. No one is perfect.
If not handled properly, your failure will fertilize your fears.

What God wants me to know about my failure:
#1: My failure is fundamental to my future.

…but He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you [my loving kindness and my mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for my power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” II Corinthians 12:9a

What God wants me to know about my failure:
#2: My failure is my calling card.

“Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9b

What God wants me to know about my failure:
#3: My failure is a call to love my limitations.

So I am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength]. II Corinthians 12:10

Bottom Line:

How I respond to failure determines my future.


Next Steps:

  1.  Think on the most recent failure you’ve had. Pray and ask God to grow you and to use that disappointment to propel you forward.

  2.  Read Failing Forward by John Maxwell.

“Suffering is the result of sinning.” NOPE.

With great confidence people will often quote twisted scripture and skewed ideas they’re convinced represent God’s thoughts and perspective. Some of these diverged ideals have become so common they’ve even been absorbed as truth into our contemporary church culture. These ways of thinking are popular, but misleading. This message series will help us translate what God really says.  

Job’s friends wrongly assumed his suffering was a result of sinning. But that was not true. We can all expect suffering—it is an inevitable part of our broken world, but don’t forget the powerful resource that you have in Christ. Entrust your life to His ever-present care and control. He loves you. He will help you endure and will use your suffering for good.

Message Notes

“Suffering is the result of sinning.”
False.

Job is the age-old poster child for suffering.
His three friends believed he was suffering because he sinned.

Far from being a sign of sin, suffering sometimes comes when we are most obedient.

But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection.Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons.

Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated.

They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised.
Hebrews 11:35-39

We may never know why we suffer—Job didn’t.

But Jesus will always be with us.
We can hold on to God and know that he will be with us.
He will use our suffering for good purpose.

Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you.I will never abandon you.”
Hebrews 13:5

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

There IS PTSD.
But there is also PTG.

Post-traumatic growth is positive change experienced as a result of suffering or struggle with a major life crisis or a traumatic event.

See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this.
Isaiah 48:10

So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.
I Peter 4:19

Bottom Line:

Suffering is part of life in our broken world, but Jesus will never leave us alone.

Next Steps:

  1. Memorize Hebrews 13:5, John 16:33

  2. Determine to be changed for the better by the things you experience.

“God won’t give you more than you can handle.” NOPE.

With great confidence people will often quote twisted scripture and skewed ideas they’re convinced represent God’s thoughts and perspective. Some of these diverged ideals have become so common they’ve even been absorbed as truth into our contemporary church culture. These ways of thinking are popular, but misleading. This message series will help us translate what God really says.  

God will absolutely give you more than you can handle; but he will never give you more than HE can handle.Recognizing your own weakness and need of God is an essential part of growing in your walk with Christ.

“Do not judge.” NOPE.

With great confidence people will often quote twisted scripture and skewed ideas they’re convinced represent God’s thoughts and perspective. Some of these diverged ideals have become so common they’ve even been absorbed as truth into our contemporary church culture. These ways of thinking are popular, but misleading. This message series will help us translate what God really says.

People often only take the two words “Judge Not” from Jesus’ teachings and translate that to mean we are supposed to simply mind our own business and “live and let live.” Actually, God formed the church for community, accountability, honesty, and healthy relationships.

Message Notes

Do not judge.

Thou shalt not size me up and write me off.

Why do we judge?

  • Jealousy

  • Self-Righteous

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, “Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,” when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.
Matthew 7:1-6

Jesus commands us to deal with our own issues to help others with their issues.

Judge Not is not equal to Care Not.

  1. You size people up and write them off.
    If the sin of others does not break your heart, it’s probably because your heart has never been broken by your own sin.

  2. You size people up and walk away.
    You can see clearly now. The plank is gone.

  3. You’ve been sized up and refuse to listen.
    Defensiveness ensures that your past will continue to show up in your future.

“Obedience always leads to prosperity.” NOPE.

With great confidence people will often quote twisted scripture and skewed ideas they’re convinced represent God’s thoughts and perspective. Some of these diverged ideals have become so common they’ve even been absorbed as truth into our contemporary church culture. These ways of thinking are popular, but misleading. This message series will help us translate what God really says.  

There are some groups who teach a winning slot machine gospel: Obeying Jesus leads to windfalls and favor. They believe that if Christ is on their side, they will have success in all their endeavors. The truth is our peace and reward in any situation comes from trusting that God is in control and knows what he is doing.

Message Notes

Misquote:
Obedience leads to windfalls and prosperity.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we cannot see.
Hebrews 11:1

Hebrews 11 describes the difference between living in God’s promise and waiting for God’s promise.

All these people were still living by faith when they died.
Hebrews 11:13

And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, and Jephthah, about David, Samuel and the prophets. Who, through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again… There were others… Who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging; and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted, and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.
Hebrews 11:32-39

Is this the truth?

"God Helps Those Who Help Themselves.” NOPE.

With great confidence people will often quote twisted scripture and skewed ideas they’re convinced represent God’s thoughts and perspective. Some of these diverged ideals have become so common they’ve even been absorbed as truth into our contemporary church culture. These ways of thinking are popular, but misleading. This message series will help us translate what God really says

The world says, “If it’s going to be, it’s up to me”. We are encouraged to pursue what we believe we deserve, and assume that God/the Universe moves toward those who unabashedly go for their dreams. But Jesus calls for us to seek the Kingdom of God first, not ourselves and our own pursuits. If we do, he guarantees that everything else we need will fall into place.

Message Notes

“God helps those who help themselves.”

1 in 8 Americans believe the Bible says this. 

Popular thought is that we at least need get the ball rolling ourselves.

God says that those who rely on themselves are foolish.

Those who trust in themselves are foolish.” Proverbs 28:26

Who does God help?

Those who recognize they cannot help themselves and are utterly helpless.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:6-8

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9

For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.
II Chronicles 20:12

Those who make the main thing the main thing and seek his Kingdom first.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?  “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Matthew 6:25-33

Bottom Line:
Make the main thing, the main thing.

Next Steps:

  1. Take inventory of your life investments, determine what ones need to change, and make a new plan.

  2.  How can I improve my focus to seek God first?

Jealous Much?

The best relationship principles taught by the experts come straight from the relationship values taught by Jesus. Perhaps the most surprising thing is that my relationships, both with God and with others, are most directly affected by unresolved issues inside my heart—you know, that invisible, mysterious, confusing, wonderful part of each of us that enables us to love, laugh, fear, and experience life. It’s the place where relationships are built - and broken. The unresolved issues in your heart will eventually work their way to the surface and seep into your relationships. When I think of my most embarrassing moments and my biggest regrets, more often than not they have something to do with my relationSLIPs. The time to address the slippage is now.

Jealousy can turn to resentment in a heartbeat, but the real issue with my jealousy is ME - not them. I feel like God is short-changing me. Celebrating the wins of the other person sets me free and puts life back in perspective. 

Message Notes

Guilt says, “I owe you.”
Anger says, “You owe me.”
Greed says, “I owe me.”

Jealousy says, “God owes me.”

Jealousy is dangerous.
It shapes our attitudes towards other people.
Our jealousy leads to resentment—then satisfaction when they have a setback.

The people who “make me jealous” can’t do anything about it.
The inequity is something God could fix but he doesn’t, so I take it out on them.

The driving force of jealousy is the factor in every relationship struggle you will ever have.
It is dangerous–it shapes our attitudes towards other people.

What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
James 4:1-3

The common denominator in all my relational struggles is me.
I want something and I don’t get it.

Blaming is an admission that I cannot be happy without your cooperation.
You have control over me.

Solution: Pour your heart and desires out to God.

Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.
James 4:2

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
I Peter 5:7

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.
Hebrews 4:15

God might say no.
God loves you too much to give you everything you want.
He is the Source of all good things, not all wished-for things.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17

Confession handles guilt,forgiveness handles anger, and generosity handles greed.
celebration handles jealousy.

Don’t wait until you are free to tell them.
Tell them now.

Bottom Line
Jealousy shapes my attitude towards other people

Next Steps

  1. Who have you distanced yourself from because of jealousy/resentment?

  2. Instead of being silent or critical, celebrate the success of others.

  3. Move forward for yourself and your children—ask the questions. Keep your heart clean.