Victory in Jesus

3/30/2006 6:16 AM

Title: DEATH ISN’T THE END, BUT VICTORY WITH JESUS IS

S: 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 NKJV  (50)  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.  (51)  Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed–  (52)  in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  (53)  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  (54)  So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” [7]  (55)  ” O Death, where is your sting? [8]

      O Hades, where is your victory?” [9]  (56)  The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.  (57)  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  (58)  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

O: This is a wonderful promise from God, through Paul, that death isn’t the end product.  Death isn’t the final winner.  I love those two texts from Isaiah and Hosea – that Death isn’t the victory and death isn’t the sting we thought it was.  Death is ultimately swallowed up in victory.

Paul simply says that BECAUSE death is swallowed up in victory – at the 2nd Coming – then our labor isn’t in vain.  Hallelujah!

And when it is swallowed up, we become incorruptible, we become immortal, we become the victors.  Hallelujah!

A: Good words for me.  Good words for anyone who may be a bit tired of what they are doing.  Good words for anyone who may be a bit on burnout.  It isn’t for vain!  It is headed towards victory!  Don’t give up!  I hear those words.

But I also hear, in the shadow of my mom’s death, words of comfort, words of joy.  I hear words that say – it’s not the end.  The dead will rise, the dead will put on incorruptible and they will put on immortal bodies.  Hallelujah!  Praise the Lord!

P: Lord, part of me wants to say come soon because we’re tired of this old world, its sins, its ability to drag us down and its corruption.  But there is also a part of me that says NOT YET! 

I don’t think it’s a selfish that I say not yet.  I think I’m saying that because I truly want to see more people in the kingdom.  I want to see a revival in the land, in my church and in my family first.  I want to see people accept you and follow you – even if for just a short time.

Lord, I pray for a balance there.  There is a tension between those two.  I’d love to give up building my house right now so that I could get a mansion in heaven.  I’d love to not worry about whether the floors are going to be tile or wood, but that they would be made of gold.  I’d love to raise my kids in heaven and have them not have to experience the pain and suffering this world has to offer.  I’d love to see my mom again and not have to experience the pain of another parent dying.  I’d love to see the work of the church be finished and we can rest with you around the tree of life.

But the tension is, Lord, that Greg and Kim are not saved.  John and Denise aren’t saved.  Kevin and Darla aren’t saved.  Ken isn’t saved.  Todd isn’t saved.  And so many others aren’t saved.  Lord, I could think of name after name after name of people who aren’t saved, and yet, I know that they need make their decision.  I can’t make it for them.  Lord, I pray for them.  I pray for the work the church must do right now.  I pray for the work they church must do to get ready for the coming of your kingdom.  I pray you will guide me, guide us, guide us to do the task before us.

Lord, death and sin will be swallowed up some day.  I know that.  I pray that it is soon, but not yet.  I don’t know how to balance that issue, Lord.  But I’m glad for the promise.  I’m glad for the hope.  I’m glad for you to be in charge of the situation, Lord.  And I’m glad for the Holy Spirit who will guide us until that time comes. 

I love you Lord.  I will serve you.  Thank you.


		
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Leadership 1

3/27/2006 5:01 AM

Title: FORGETTING

S: Judges 2:7 NKJV  So the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD which He had done for Israel.

Judges 2:10 NKJV  When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the LORD nor the work which He had done for Israel.

O: I find it strangely distressing that you can have a strong leader and he can lead, teach and help the people understand.  But no sooner than he leaves, than the people are very capable of forgetting. 

This is so true in Judges.  The people forgot, they found a leader (judge) and then everything went well for the next 40, 80 or however long that leader lived.  Everything rises and falls on leadership.  Leadership is held to a higher standard.

My question is, how can people forget so easily?  Is it that they simply float through life and therefore whoever stands up and calls the loudest, they simply follow? 

A: I’ve known for years that most people don’t want to think, they simply want to float through life.  They simply want to go along with the flow.  So, if there is a strong, Godly leader, they float that direction.  If there isn’t, then they float randomly.  My question is, how can we teach more people to stand up and be Godly leaders?  How can I teach my leadership to stand up and be counted?

P: Lord, I pray for wisdom.  I want to follow you.  I want to walk with you.  I pray you will lead me to follow.  I pray you will lead me to listen.  I pray you will teach me to lead and to train up leaders.

Ahhhh!  That’s the difference.  Moses raised up Joshua and taught him to lead.  He was a leader in training.  Joshua was lucky to have a number of people around him who had seen all the great things of God under Moses’ leadership.  But he never raised up anyone else to take his place.  It outlived Joshua by just a few short years, until his buddies (the elders) also died.  Then the next generation came up and simply didn’t know how to lead.  No one had mentored them.

Last night, we were reading about a guy who, as an atheist found God.  He also found a calling into pastoral ministry and he went to his scout master – a minister, who immediately put him on “staff” and made him an assistant pastor.  He didn’t pay him.  He didn’t do much else except give him a Sunday School class and make him preach on Sunday evenings.  And he grew, thrived, and continued forward.  Eventually taking over the duties of the church when the pastor was ill – all the time as a volunteer.

Asking God

3/21/2006 5:25 AM

Title: ASK GOD

S: Joshua 9:14 NKJV  Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions; but they did not ask counsel of the LORD.

Joshua 11:15 NKJV  As the LORD had commanded Moses his servant, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did. He left nothing undone of all that the LORD had commanded Moses.

O: Joshua didn’t ask God.  That was his downfall with the Gibeonites.  He should have learned a lesson from Moses.  As Moses grew and progressed, he learned to say, “Let me ask God.”  And he did.  In this one act, Joshua was being presumptive, disobedient, or even simply doing it his own way.

But the next verse that I’ve listed in Chapter 11, shows that Joshua may have learned his lesson. 

A: I have a tendency to do the very same thing.  I have a tendency to pray here in the mornings and then go on with my day.  Some could interpret it as if I was simply ignoring God.  I’d prefer to say that I’ve asked God to lead and I trust that He is doing so. 

But I think I am coming under more and more conviction that I need to defer even the little decisions that I make in the day-to-day to God as well.  I need to let Him lead and I need to let Him be in charge of things.

So, I need to ask for His leadership in answering email, the phone, or working on my sermon.  I need to seek His counsel when preparing for a meeting.  I need to listen to Him when I’m working on talking with Jim, or measuring the counsel I give to people.

P: Lord, please turn me into a man of prayer.  I want to listen to you and be guided by you.  I pray, Lord, for the Holy Spirit to focus me and allow me to learn to walk with you.  Please guide me, Lord.  Please lead me.  Please direct my attention to learning from you.


			

Meditating on God’s Word

3/11/2006 5:19 AM

Title: DAY AND NIGHT

S: Deuteronomy 17:18-19 NKJV  (18)  "Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites.  (19)  And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes,

O: Psalm 119 talks about this very thing.  It’s as if David, the 2nd King was trying to follow through with this statement of Moses.  David didn’t accumulate much Gold or Silver.  He had a few too many wives, but it wasn’t like he was way out there from his culture.  In other words, he had more wives than I am comfortable with, but he had a couple more than the culture was comfortable with.  The cool thing, in Psalm 119 it’s as if he really is meditating on God’s word, writing it down, copying it, reading it, putting it to heart.  And it changed him into a man after God’s own heart.

Along comes Solomon and he seemed to break all the rules of engagement for a king.  He multiplied gold, silver, wives, horses, etc.  And he was led astray by it all.  We have this feeling that Solomon came back around at the end of his life, but in reality, the Bible isn’t clear about it.  Solomon was considered the wisest man to ever live.  But he did some very foolish things.  He didn’t put his wisdom into a trust with God, rather he trusted in himself.  And it led him astray.

Psalms 119:9-11 TNIV  How can those who are young keep their way pure?

            By living according to your word.

 (10)  I seek you with all my heart;

            do not let me stray from your commands.

 (11)  I have hidden your word in my heart

            that I might not sin against you.

The way people stay pure is by hiding God’s word in their heart.  The kings were called to do that on a daily basis by re-writing the word out.  They were called to do it by writing it out, meditating on the word, and praying over it.

A: I think it was this verse that actually got me to start typing the verses out each morning in my devotional time.  I haven’t done that this year.  I’ve been enamored by e-Sword and how well it works.  And I’ve been using the cut and paste feature of the computer. 

But as I write this, I realize that there are times that I read the passage, come back and put it into this journal and begin to write and journal on the topic.  I’m not saying that there is anything magical about writing out the scripture for the day.  Nor am I saying that it’s a demand of God on me.  But I find that when I actually retype the verse, that there is something that goes on.  That something is that my thoughts are clarified over the verse.  My thoughts are put together in a way that helps me clarify, focus, and put God’s word in my heart.  I also find that it helps me to hide his word in my mind.

Perhaps it’s time for me to begin to write out the verses again each morning.  Perhaps it’s time for me to retype them so that I am focused a little more on what God is saying.

David says in Psalm 119 that he meditated on God’s word day and night.  And he hid God’s word in his heart so that he wouldn’t sin.  That’s what I need to do.

P: Lord, I believe that there is power in the word.  I believe that there is focus for my life in the word.  I believe that there is a lot more in the word.  I want to focus on it more.  I want it to become a part of my life a lot more.  I pray, Lord, for the Holy Spirit to guide me into the word each day.  I pray for the Holy Spirit to lead me to read, to listen and to apply what you are showing me. 

I thank you for these years of journaling.  I remember that one of the reasons I studied Tae Kwon Do was to help teach me some discipline.  But probably the biggest single factor that has taught me discipline is my daily journaling for 17+ years.  Thank you for that.  Please continue to teach me discipline in my work, in my study, in my family, in my life.  Please continue to lead me to follow you.  Please continue to lead me to focus on you. 

Lord, I invite you into my heart today.  I invite you into my life and into my thoughts.  I invite you into my sermon, please let me speak your words and your desires in this message, Lord.  Please help me to listen to you and let me be your servant. 


Make a Difference

Make a Difference!

 

rog

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Lead Pastor/Head Coach of The Adventure

            Greeley and Ft. Collins Campuses

Creating a community of grace for those who have given up on church, but not on God….

 

            Ph: 970.686.2411   |   Fx: 208.246.7743  |   www.theadventure.org

            Mailing: PO Box 336301   |   Greeley CO 80633

            Meeting at: Greeley – 4100 W. 20th  /  Ft. Collins – S. College and Trilby

 

Keeping All Things Fresh

3/7/2006 4:01 AM

Title: THE COMMANDMENTS

S: Deuteronomy 5:29 NKJV  Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!

Deuteronomy 5:32-33 NKJV  (32)  “Therefore you shall be careful to do as the LORD your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.  (33)  You shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 NKJV  You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.  (6)  “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.  (7)  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  (8)  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  (9)  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

O: Moses is leaving the group of people that he has been leading for 40 years.  It’s been a long, hard struggle.  He knows what their struggles are.  He knows what their issues are.  He’s trying to keep them on track and keep them following God. 

So, he tells them the words of the commandments again.  He tells them to write them on the doorposts of their heart and home.  He tells them to love God with everything they have. 

I think he’s trying to make a last and lasting impression on the Israelites.  He’s trying to get them to understand the importance of keeping things fresh in their minds and in their lives. 

A: It’s important to keep things fresh.  The Bible doesn’t stay fresh all on its own.  For me, it stays fresh when I write this application part.  For me, the Bible stays fresh in the LIFE Journal time. 

But I have a growing conviction to have an afternoon devotional time as well.  As if I need to spend more time with God, because the days are getting too busy and too hectic.  It’s as if I need to listen and be guided half-way through the day again, so that I can stay on track and not get too distracted.

P: Lord, come close to me.  Come into my heart.  Come in and lead me and stay with me.  I want to serve you.  I want to follow you.  I want to be like you.  Please fill me with the Holy Spirit.  Please lead me to walk with you.  Please lead me to focus on you and to be guided by you.  I love you.