Summer School | Three Big People Skills

When it’s summer, no one wants to go to school. But actually, summer school can help you catch up to speed pretty quickly on some absolutely essential lessons you may have missed. There are some lessons you just can’t skip because no one enters adulthood and receives a handbook complete with all the lessons you missed. Somehow you’re just supposed to know that you should have more money coming in than going out, to change your oil every six months, and not to wear your spring break souvenir t-shirt to a professional job interview! This three week message series is a pretty good time to catch up on what you might have missed. God knows the answers for every test you will face!

Summerschool.jpeg

Every relationship you have will suffer if you don’t give and accept feedback gracefully, apologize sincerely, say “no” respectfully. How in the world do you do that?

Message Notes

Our success in life is inextricably tied to our relational skills.

Life will never be most satisfying than your relationships.
Life will never be healthier than the health of your relationships.

Three skills that make or break you that rarely get taught are:
 

1) Accept feedback gracefully.

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid. Proverbs 12:1

In Exodus 18, Moses got feedback from his father-in-law, and it raised his level of leadership.

Three skills that make or break you that rarely get taught are:
 

2) Apologize sincerely.

So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has
something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come
and offer your sacrifice to God. Matthew 5:23-24

An apology is NOT:

A lie
An excuse
Defensive

An apology is:

An honest acknowledgement of my failure
Asking forgiveness
Initiating change

Three skills that make or break you that rarely get taught are:

3) Say “No”…

Respectfully.

Show proper respect to everyone. I Peter 2:17

Prayerfully

Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong. 2 Corinthians 13:7.

Lovingly

Instead, speaking the truth in love. Ephesians 4:32

Gently

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

Firmly

All you need to say is simply “Yes” or “No;” anything beyond this comes from the evil one. Matthew 5:37

The Greatest Letter Written | Signing Off with the Best News Ever

Have you ever received a letter that changed your life?  An acceptance letter?  A love letter?  A “Dear John”  letter?  A termination letter?  You know that the contents and the author are always key in the measure of impact. The letter to the Romans is unusually eloquent and truly life-changing. Paul wrote it, but it is apparent the contents come straight from God’s heart. When you get the letter and absorb what he has said, you will agree—this is the greatest letter ever written! Your confidence, your hope, your capacity will soar!

GreatestLetter_Slide(Premiere Pro File).jpg

You can overflow with confident hope! God will soon crush Satan under his feet, and he is able to make you strong!  All glory to the only wise God through Jesus Christ, forever. Amen.

Message Notes

The entire letter has been good news!

And now, always remember this. Life is hard, but God is good:

You can overflow with confident hope!

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you
will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

God will soon crush Satan under his feet!

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. Romans 16:20

God is able to make you strong!

Now all glory to God who is able to make you strong, just as the Good News says. Romans 16:25
All glory to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, forever. Amen. Romans 16:27

Bottom Line

You can overflow with hope and confidence and live a life of honor!

Action Step

  1. List the people worthy of honor in your life.

  2. Contact them and honor them with your words—letter or face to face.

  3. Teach someone else that God will soon crust Satan under his feet, and they can have a significant life because of Jesus.

The Greatest Letter Ever Written | And Now Some Practical Pointers For Life

Have you ever received a letter that changed your life?  An acceptance letter?  A love letter?  A “Dear John”  letter?  A termination letter?  You know that the contents and the author are always key in the measure of impact. The letter to the Romans is unusually eloquent and truly life-changing. Paul wrote it, but it is apparent the contents come straight from God’s heart. When you get the letter and absorb what he has said, you will agree—this is the greatest letter ever written! Your confidence, your hope, your capacity will soar!

The Good News does more than preparing us for heaven—it gives us the path and the power for the best life possible here. You are gifted. You can serve God and people in mutually satisfying ways. Living in the light of day is a great adventure!

Message Notes

The Good news does more than prepare us for heaven—it gives us the path and the power for the best life possible
here.

I can quit sinning—I am no longer a slave to sin!
Romans 6:1-2, 6, 11-18, 22-23
I have the power to live in the Spirit!
Romans 7:4-25

This is what that looks like…

Action Step

  1. If you don’t know your spiritual gifts, take a gift test.
  2. Meet with our MP leaders to find a place to serve within the church, Get creative and think of ways to serve outside the church.
  3. Get in an active small group.

The Greatest Letter Ever Written | Our Future Is Bright

Have you ever received a letter that changed your life?  An acceptance letter?  A love letter?  A “Dear John”  letter?  A termination letter?  You know that the contents and the author are always key in the measure of impact. The letter to the Romans is unusually eloquent and truly life-changing. Paul wrote it, but it is apparent the contents come straight from God’s heart. When you get the letter and absorb what he has said, you will agree—this is the greatest letter ever written! Your confidence, your hope, your capacity will soar!

Because of Jesus, we have been adopted as God’s children.  Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. He will bring something positive from our worst seasons. He is preparing us to live forever. History will climax with God’s perfect plan coming together.

Message Notes

Romans 8:18-30

Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are… But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been
groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We,too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new
bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes
everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.

Paul asks Five Rhetorical WOW Questions:
 

1) With God on my side, how can I lose?
 

What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?
Romans 8:31
 

2) If he gave up his only son for me, is he likely to withhold anything else?
 

Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?
Romans 8:32
 

3) If God does not accuse me, who can dare?
 

Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing
with himself. Romans 8:33
 

4) If God is my judge, and Jesus my defense, how can any accusations against me stick?
 

Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in
the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Romans 8:34
 

5) Can anyone ever drive a wedge between me and God’s love?
 

No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. Romans 8:35

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be
able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
 

In his eyes, we are flawless.

Bottom Line

As God’s children, we have no condemnation and no separation, and he is preparing us to live forever with him as his perfect plan comes together.

Action Step

  1. Contemplate your future with God.
  2. Thank him for his great plan that is coming together.

The Greatest Letter Ever Written | We Are Free

Have you ever received a letter that changed your life?  An acceptance letter?  A love letter?  A “Dear John”  letter?  A termination letter?  You know that the contents and the author are always key in the measure of impact. The letter to the Romans is unusually eloquent and truly life-changing. Paul wrote it, but it is apparent the contents come straight from God’s heart. When you get the letter and absorb what he has said, you will agree—this is the greatest letter ever written! Your confidence, your hope, your capacity will soar!

Sin has ruled us. No matter how hard we tried, we messed up over and over again. We say things like, “The Devil made me do it” or “I couldn’t help myself.” No doubt, our sinful natures are powerful. But because of Jesus, we are FREE! Free from sin’s bondage, free from the law, free from a guilty conscience and condemnation, and free to live and love, give and serve.

Message Notes

Free from Sin’s bondage.

Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace?  Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?
Romans 6:1-2
 We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. 
Romans 6:6
So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.
Romans 6:11-14
When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right. And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:20-23

Free from the Law.

So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ. And now you are united with the one who was raised from the dead. As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God. When we were controlled by our old nature, sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, resulting in death. But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.
Romans 7:4-6

But…the struggle is real!

The purpose of the law is to show me my sin.

It was the law that showed me my sin.
Romans 7:4

Sin uses God’s commands for evil.

So we can see how terrible sin really is. It uses God’s good commands for its own evil purposes.
Romans 7:13

There is a war within.

And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?
Romans 7:18-24

Because of Jesus, we’re free to live in the Spirit.

Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord! So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.  For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children.
Romans 7:25-8:15

Bottom Line

Because of the gospel, we are free FROM sin and free TO love, give, and serve.

Action Step

  1. Identify areas of life where I have not taken advantage of the freedom available to me,
  2. Identify a plan to consistently access your freedom.

The Greatest Letter Ever Written | Everything Is New

Have you ever received a letter that changed your life?  An acceptance letter?  A love letter?  A “Dear John”  letter?  A termination letter?  You know that the contents and the author are always key in the measure of impact. The letter to the Romans is unusually eloquent and truly life-changing. Paul wrote it, but it is apparent the contents come straight from God’s heart. When you get the letter and absorb what he has said, you will agree—this is the greatest letter ever written! Your confidence, your hope, your capacity will soar!

When Jesus came he made everything new! We have a new way to God, a new relationship with God, new hope, new peace, new power, and new perspective.

Message Notes

Bottom Line
My new transformed life, a gift through faith in Jesus, makes everything new.

Action Step

  1. List everything that is new in my life because of Jesus.
  2. Thank Jesus for all he has made new.

The Greatest Letter Ever Written | Dear Friend, Good News!

Have you ever received a letter that changed your life?  An acceptance letter?  A love letter?  A “Dear John”  letter?  A termination letter?  You know that the contents and the author are always key in the measure of impact. The letter to the Romans is unusually eloquent and truly life-changing. Paul wrote it, but it is apparent the contents come straight from God’s heart. When you get the letter and absorb what he has said, you will agree—this is the greatest letter ever written! Your confidence, your hope, your capacity will soar!

Did you know that the word “gospel” means good news? Paul starts his amazing letter with the good news that the Gospel changes lives every where it goes! He explains how much we need the good news of Jesus Christ, and that it’s for every single person who ever breathed.

Message Notes

This book is the groundbreaking manual of Christian theology, written by Paul in about AD 57—60’s.

 
This letter is from Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, chosen by God to be an apostle and sent out to preach his Good News.
— Romans 1:1
 

Jesus’ coming led to a cosmic change!

 
But now God has shown us a way to be right with him…
— Romans 3:21
 

The Gospel means GOOD NEWS. The Good News is all about Jesus. Romans 2:1-5

 
God promised this Good News long ago through his prophets in the holy Scriptures. The Good News is about his Son. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord.
— Romans 1:2-4
 

The Good news of transformation is through faith, and for everyone! Romans 1:16-17

 
For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.
— Romans 1:16-17
 

Everyone is a sinner and separated from God! His kindness is intended to turn us to him. Romans 2:1-4

 
You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse!...Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
— Romans 2:1-4
 

We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ.  Romans 3:21-28

 
But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life...for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.
— Romans 3:23-28
 

“BUT NOW….” is really good news! We get to share it with everyone!

Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority as apostles to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name.
— Romans 1:5

Bottom Line

The transforming good news is for everyone.

Action Step

  1. Accept the good news of the gospel for yourself if you have not yet, and share your story with someone.
  2. Share the name of someone for whom you are praying who needs the good news. Begin to plan to share with them at an appropriate time.

This Is Us | Bringing Out the Best in Your Family

A parent’s responsibility is to help each child become the best unique fulfillment of God’s plan possible.

This Is Us | Future Family

Your children and grandchildren may forget what you say, but they will never forget what you do.

This Is Us | Being a Great Parent

Parenting is a huge challenge, but God makes us able.

Foolish | Letting Go When You Want To Hang On

The world is filled with difficult people. It is impossible to avoid them. You try everything – confrontation, or compromise, or being passive, or even straight ignoring it. Too often these people drag you into their issues and your best attempts at making peace fail. You want to handle your relationships in a way that honors God and preserves your sanity – but is it even possible?

Difficult people in our lives are often who the Bible refers to as "fools." Dealing with fools requires a special kind of wisdom. Insights from the biblical book of Proverbs will help us with the foolish people in your life—even that fool is you.

The only hope for you AND your fool is for you to give up the role of savior. There is ONE Savior, and it is not you. Releasing your fool into God’s care is so hard because most of the time it feels wrong. The fool is angry and accusatory, and we feel guilty. But release is the ultimate surrender. You can get so entangled with your fool that you forget he or she has a Heavenly Father who cares more than you do. He promises that if you will get out of the way, he will get involved and make all things work together for your good.

Message Notes

God has a goal for a fool: Daniel 4:27-35

What would you be willing for your fool to endure in order to leave behind his foolishness and know God truly?

What would you be willing to release to God for your fool to be changed?

Savior: One who brings salvation from danger or destruction.

You didn’t cause it, you can’t cure it, you can’t even control it. There is one Savior, and it is not you.

When You Let Go

  • You are making a positive step toward freeing yourself from binding chaos and complications.
  • You are releasing your fool to the natural consequences of his/her behavior.
  • You will step out of denial into reality where only God can work.
  • You remove yourself from the fool’s realm of influence and you give up responsibility for your fool.
  • It is a conscious effort on your part, and an act of faith.
I am going to trust God and look to him alone to be my source and resource. I will keep my focus on him.

The Foolish Son and the Wise Father show us what that looks like.

Luke 15:11-32

  • The very best thing you can do for a prodigal is let them go.
  • God can use the consequences of their choices to bring them to their senses and home.
  • Real repentance and change makes no demands.

Letting go is the right surrender, but it can feel very wrong.

You and your fool both have a very great need, and only God can meet it.
If you don’t let him, YOU are a fool.

Fool-proofing your life is a serious journey, but not a hopeless one:

  • Become responsible for yourself.
  • Submit yourself to the God who made you.
  • Release your beloved fool into the Savior’s hands.
  • Access the power and protection of the God who loves you both.

 

 

Foolish | When You Love Your Fool

The world is filled with difficult people. It is impossible to avoid them. You try everything – confrontation, or compromise, or being passive, or even straight ignoring it. Too often these people drag you into their issues and your best attempts at making peace fail. You want to handle your relationships in a way that honors God and preserves your sanity – but is it even possible?

Difficult people in our lives are often who the Bible refers to as "fools." Dealing with fools requires a special kind of wisdom. Insights from the biblical book of Proverbs will help us with the foolish people in your life—even that fool is you.

 

Sometimes the fool is our spouse, child, sibling, or parent. How difficult is that? Except when we are very angry, we make excuses for that person. We can’t consider labeling them a fool. We spend lifetimes trying to make them look better. It is hard to admit that it will never work. We have to do something different. You can give up the strategies that will never work and always leave you defeated. You can put away childish things. You can speak the truth in love. You can untangle from the dysfunction. You can overcome evil with good.

Message Notes

A love relationship with a fool is generally characterized by childish behavior on both sides.

 
When I was a child, I used to speak as a child; when I became a man, I put away childish things.
— I Corinthians 13:11
 

Man means adult, mature person

 

How do children speak?

They say whatever they think, whenever they think it, to whomever they wish, without considering the effect.

An adult has awareness than his or her words have power, and carefully controls their speech.

 
Take control of what I say, O Lord, and guard my lips.
— Psalm 141:3
 

How do children think and reason?

They think about themselves and what they can get for themselves.

An adult is willing to consider others’ needs and other ways.

 
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way.
— I Corinthians 13:4
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.
— James 4:1-2
 

A new strategy for the old battle:

 
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.
— James 3:17-18
 

The goal of seeking wisdom is not to change the other person, but for you to become a holy, healthy, happy functioning person.

Turn away from evil.

 
Turn away from evil…
— Psalm 34:14
 


Overcome evil with good

 
.…and do good.
— Psalm 34:14
Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord. Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
— Romans 12:19-21
 

Detach

 
I do not spend time with liars or go along with hypocrites. I hate the gatherings of those who do evil, and I refuse to join in with the wicked.
— Psalm 26:4-5
 

Speak the truth

 
So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
— Ephesians 4:25-27
 

Pray

 
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.
— Romans 8:26-27
 

If you are ready to follow, God will lead you.

 

Foolish | If You Can't Beat Them, Join Them

The world is filled with difficult people. It is impossible to avoid them. You try everything – confrontation, or compromise, or being passive, or even straight ignoring it. Too often these people drag you into their issues and your best attempts at making peace fail. You want to handle your relationships in a way that honors God and preserves your sanity – but is it even possible?

Difficult people in our lives are often who the Bible refers to as "fools." Dealing with fools requires a special kind of wisdom. Insights from the biblical book of Proverbs will help us with the foolish people in your life—even that fool is you.

Unfortunately, this is the most common reaction to life with a fool. You get so entangled with the fool that your own mind becomes muddied. You are so affected by the fool’s behavior you behave foolishly, too. How can you peel your eyes off your fool to live a life of wisdom?

Message Notes

Two Mistakes With a Fool:

1. Repeated rescues

Hot-tempered people must pay the penalty. If you rescue them once, you will have to do it again.
Proverbs 19:19

2. Refusal to disentangle.

Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.  
Proverbs 22:24-25

Foolish Strategies to Deal with a Fool:

Pampering

Pouting

Passivity

Protecting

Pleading

Pleasing

Prodding

Attempting to relate with a fool is exhausting, because a fool will “give you no rest.”
Proverbs 29:9
If you try to change a fool, you will fail. “The discipline of fools is folly (irrational).”
Proverbs 16:22

You must choose to seek wisdom. Abigail - I Samuel 25

1.      She knew the facts.

2.      She faced the facts.

3.      She knew what to do.

4.      She did it.

Face your fears.

Face the facts.

Choose truth over the lies.

Ask God for wisdom, and then courage to do what wisdom says.

Foolish | Foolish is as Foolish Does

The world is filled with difficult people. It is impossible to avoid them. You try everything – confrontation, or compromise, or being passive, or even straight ignoring it. Too often these people drag you into their issues and your best attempts at making peace fail. You want to handle your relationships in a way that honors God and preserves your sanity – but is it even possible?

Difficult people in our lives are often who the Bible refers to as "fools." Dealing with fools requires a special kind of wisdom. Insights from the biblical book of Proverbs will help us with the foolish people in your life—even that fool is you.

How can you recognize a fool? Proverbs details at least a dozen characteristics that describe a fool. When you learn to recognize them, you can learn what to do. But your goal cannot be to change your fool; your goal must be personal freedom to be the person God intends, no matter what choices your fool makes.

Message Notes

At its core, foolish thinking is always selfish.

A fool is always “right.”

Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.
Proverbs 12:15
Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Proverbs 1:7

A fool puts unqualified confidence in himself.

Those who trust their own insight are foolish, but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe.
Proverbs 28:26

A fool is deceitful.

The prudent understand where they are going, but fools deceive themselves.
Proverbs 14:8

A fool is self-satisfied.

For simpletons turn away from wisdom—to death. Fools are destroyed by their own complacency.
Proverbs 1:32

A fool protects his own interest at all costs.

The wise are cautious[a] and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.
Proverbs 14:16

A fool is his own judge and jury, and sees no reason to repent or make amends.

Fools make fun of guilt, but the godly acknowledge it and seek reconciliation.
Proverbs 14:9

A fool is angry.

Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.
Proverbs 18:2
If a wise person takes a fool to court, there will be ranting and ridicule but no satisfaction.
Proverbs 29:9

A fool creates chaos and strife.

Fools’ words get them into constant quarrels; they are asking for a beating.
The mouths of fools are their ruin; they trap themselves with their lips.
Proverbs 18:6-7

A fool destroys.

Pride leads to conflict; those who take advice are wise.
Proverbs 13:20

A fool spreads slander.

Hiding hatred makes you a liar; slandering others makes you a fool.
 Proverbs 10:18

A fool is exhausting.

A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, but the resentment caused by a fool is even heavier.
Proverbs 27:3

A fool enjoys his foolishness.

Doing wrong is fun for a fool, but living wisely brings pleasure to the sensible.
Proverbs 10:23

Where’s The Hope?

Go to God for wisdom.

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
James 1:5

Determine that your fool is God’s to deal with.

“There are two kinds of people; those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, ‘All right, then, have it your way.’”
C.S. Lewis

Concentrate on what YOU can do.

Practice self-selection.

Seek the Lord with your whole heart.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:11-13

Foolish | Relational Intelegence

The world is filled with difficult people. It is impossible to avoid them. You try everything – confrontation, or compromise, or being passive, or even straight ignoring it. Too often these people drag you into their issues and your best attempts at making peace fail. You want to handle your relationships in a way that honors God and preserves your sanity – but is it even possible?

Difficult people in our lives are often who the Bible refers to as "fools." Dealing with fools requires a special kind of wisdom. Insights from the biblical book of Proverbs will help us with the foolish people in your life—even that fool is you.

 

God has made it clear: we have to have relational intelligence if we are to live the life he has planned. Learning to recognize and deal with foolish people is central. The Book of Proverbs tells us there are three kinds of people—WISE PEOPLE, SIMPLE FOOLS, and EVIL FOOLS. Simple fools are naïve and without insight, while evil fools have a character problem. Evil Fools are close-minded, spiritually lacking, and hardened.  Breaking free is difficult, because these fools can be very loving…and cunning; engaging…and threatening. How can you act like Jesus, but not be pulled into the emotional undertow?

Message Notes

God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore.
I Kings 4:29

God’s word and life show us there are Three Basic Categories of people:

1.  Evil  People

They enjoy conflict, bring chaos, and inflict pain.

If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them. For people like that have turned away from the truth, and their own sins condemn them.
Titus 3:10-11
The sensible see danger and take cover; the foolish keep going and are punished.
Proverbs 27:12

2. Wise People

When truth presents itself, the wise person takes it in and makes the adjustment.

Correct a wise person and he will become wiser still.
Proverbs 9:9
An ear that listens to life-giving rebukes will be at home among the wise.
Proverbs 15:31

3.      Fools

When the truth presents itself they expect the world and the truth to adjust to them.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Romans 12:14-18
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.
Proverbs 12:15

A Lot Can Happen In Seven Days | Easter Sunday

We assign the seconds, minutes, and hours over the course of our seven days. Some weeks it goes just as we plan; other weeks we wonder why we even made a plan in the first place! But there was one week unlike any other in all of human history. Only one person anticipated the events that took place - and yet, all of human history changed in an instant...You know, a lot can happen in seven days.

Message Notes

Monday-Thursday
The ordinary days…the days when life has its normal flow.

Thursday & Friday
The hardest days of your life…when you experience betrayal, disappointment, and heartbreak.

Since Jesus went through suffering and temptation, he knows what it is like when we suffer and are tempted, and he is able to help us.
Hebrews 2:18

Reach out to your friends and to your Heavenly Father.

Jesus fell face down on the ground and prayed that if possible, he would not have to suffer the pain ahead of him.  He prayed, “Abba! Father! I know you can do all things.  And I don’t want to have to drink this cup of suffering.  Nevertheless, I want your will, not mine, to be done.”
Mark 14:35-36

Saturday
The most confusing days of your life…when you experience loss, grief, doubt, and fear.

Then Jesus told them, “Before the night’s over, you’re going to fall to pieces because of what happens to me.”
Matthew 26:31
At that point, all the disciples abandoned Jesus and ran away.
Matthew 26:56

Remember the promises of God.

For ALL the promises of God find their “Yes” in Jesus Christ
II Corinthians 1:20
When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you.  When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up—the flames will not consume you! For I am the Lord, your God and Savior!
Isaiah 43:2-3

Sunday
And then, the day of resurrection and joy…when you discover life is still good and you have a future.

Rely on the power of Jesus.

Jesus said, “I AM the resurrection and the life! Whoever believes in me, even though they die, will live again.  I give them eternal life for believing in me and they will never perish!
 John 11:25-26
I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great his power is to help those who believe him.  It is that same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead.
Ephesians 1:19-20

A Lot Can Happen In Seven Days | Palm Sunday

We assign the seconds, minutes, and hours over the course of our seven days. Some weeks it goes just as we plan; other weeks we wonder why we even made a plan in the first place! But there was one week unlike any other in all of human history. Only one person anticipated the events that took place - and yet, all of human history changed in an instant...You know, a lot can happen in seven days.

Message Notes

Palm Sunday was full of excitement for people and applause for Jesus. But it didn’t last long. In that week he served, he taught, his authority was questioned, and on Thursday night, everything was different. Soldiers took him from the Garden of Gethsemane. He was rejected, betrayed, beaten, and on Friday experienced the most intensely overwhelming day anyone has ever known.
A lot can happen in a few days.

Jesus knows the way through the darkest of Fridays and knows how to make them Good Fridays.
He shows us how to do it when our week includes things we never dreamed or wished for.
 

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2
Forgive everyone who is hurting you.
Luke 23:34
Help others strugglers.
Luke 23:43
Take care of the people God gave you.
John 19:26-27
Take your questions to God.
Matthew 27:26
Admit your needs.
John 19:28
Believe in your purpose.
John 19:30
Surrender your day to God—Let it go!
Luke 23:46

Remember, there’s always more to the week, and more to the story!

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Romans 5:3-5

Take Courage | Week 3

Don't do life alone.
You are seen. You are heard.
You are more loved and valued than you can imagine.
You matter more than you know.
There is a place for you.
Take Courage.

A move of the Spirit is happening in our church.
March 4-18 we're dedicating all services at both campuses to learning, inspiring, battling, praying, seeking, and surrendering to ignite a breakthrough - a revival - for the Next Generation.

In the Name of Jesus, we rebuke the evil one and cancel his plans to kill, steal, and destroy the lives of the next generation! We declare that he will not cheat them out of the rich and satisfying life that you purposed for them! We believe that you will restore to them the joy of your salvation!

There's a place for you in this world.
There's a role for you in this revolution.
Take Courage.

Message Notes

We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one.
I John 5:19

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

An incident in the life of Jesus shows how this reality still plays out in our world.
Mark 5:1-20

Blame, isolation, shame, and self-hatred are powerful tools of our Enemy.

Jesus has the power to deliver, and works through relationships for healing.

People still want Jesus to go away. But he is where lasting hope is found.

Healed people are God’s greatest tool for healing.

And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life.
I John 5:19-20

We need to act. We need to pray.

Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.
I John 5:19-21

Take Courage | Week 2

Don't do life alone.
You are seen. You are heard.
You are more loved and valued than you can imagine.
You matter more than you know.
There is a place for you.
Take Courage.

A move of the Spirit is happening in our church.
March 4-18 we're dedicating all services at both campuses to learning, inspiring, battling, praying, seeking, and surrendering to ignite a breakthrough - a revival - for the Next Generation.

In the Name of Jesus, we rebuke the evil one and cancel his plans to kill, steal, and destroy the lives of the next generation! We declare that he will not cheat them out of the rich and satisfying life that you purposed for them! We believe that you will restore to them the joy of your salvation!

There's a place for you in this world.
There's a role for you in this revolution.
Take Courage.

Message Notes

About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”

Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.

And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me. But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.

What sorrow awaits the world, because it tempts people to sin. Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting…Beware that you don’t look down on any of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father.”

Matthew 18:1-7, 10

 

Where do the darkness and despair come from?

Physical Problems

Spiritual Oppression

Adverse Childhood Experiences

How do we “welcome” the children?

In the family

Outside the family

Break the cocoon syndrome

You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
I Peter 2:9

Take Courage | Week 1

Don't do life alone.
You are seen. You are heard.
You are more loved and valued than you can imagine.
You matter more than you know.
There is a place for you.
Take Courage.

A move of the Spirit is happening in our church.
March 4-18 we're dedicating all services at both campuses to learning, inspiring, battling, praying, seeking, and surrendering to ignite a breakthrough - a revival - for the Next Generation.

In the Name of Jesus, we rebuke the evil one and cancel his plans to kill, steal, and destroy the lives of the next generation! We declare that he will not cheat them out of the rich and satisfying life that you purposed for them! We believe that you will restore to them the joy of your salvation!

There's a place for you in this world.
There's a role for you in this revolution.
Take Courage.

Message Notes

After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil.
Matthew 3:16-4:1

You belong.

You are loved.

Someone is proud of you.