Archive for January, 2013

Outrageous Hope part 2: Psalm 81 Open wide

January 13th, 2013

Drive verse:
Romans 15:13 (NIV)
13 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.
‘We fail in this duty of expectancy as much as in the duty of obedience. A large expectation is as much a duty as a complete consecration. The religion of redemption is emphatically the religion of hope. Our prayers disappoint us, not because we ask more than we had a right to expect, but because we ask too little. If we ask of the greater things we shall get all we need of the less. All sin is unreasonable, but no sin has so little to say for itself as the sin of those who profess to lament their failure, and yet refuse to admit those words of salvation which are ever sounding in their ears, and which, if believed, would make all things new.’
—P. J. Maclagan, The Gospel View of Things, p. 187.
Intro: Remember your first taste of freedom? 
The first time mom and dad left you at home alone? 
The first time you went to a sleep over?
The first time you got dropped off at the movies?
The first time you drove the car all by yourself?
The first paycheck? Do you remember what you spent it on?
The Nation of Israel always seemed to have a hard time remembering who God was and what He was capable of. They had seen and heard about the great miracles, but a little time would go by and they would forget. And because of that they never reached their potential as people of faith.
  If you can get your mind around what God has for you today it will change your faith walk, your prayer life, It will change the way you live your life because if you can get your mind to accept who God really is, and what He capable of you will never pray a poverty stricken prayer again.
Psalm 81:10 (NIV)
10 I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.
  1. God Leads. Psalm 81:10a, v6
I am the Lord. I am your God. He is reminding the nation of Israel I am the God that led you out of your bondage, out of slavery. Look at this:
Psalm 81:6 (NIV)
6 He says, “I removed the burden from their shoulders; their hands were set free from the basket.
God says look I am the one who removed the burden, I set your hand free. I did it without any help from any body. I am leading you out of Egypt, most of the time when you read about Egypt in this context it is referring to slavery or being in bondage.  Over and over again you will read in the bible about God bringing the nation of Israel out of slavery or some kind of bondage. It is and has been God’s desire to free His people. We see this most completely in Jesus Christ. His mission was to free us from the power of the enemy. (sin and death)
John 8:36 (NIV)
36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
It is and has always been God’s plan for you to live free. It is interesting to me out of all the major world religions Christianity is the only one where the “god” being worshiped does all the work of salvation and then freely gives it away.
The Lord Jesus Christ is always leading you from sin, Always leading you to freedom. 
Check this quote out:
  • ‘We fail in this duty of expectancy as much as in the duty of obedience. A large expectation is as much a duty as a complete consecration. The religion of redemption is emphatically the religion of hope. Our prayers disappoint us, not because we ask more than we had a right to expect, but because we ask too little. If we ask of the greater things we shall get all we need of the less. All sin is unreasonable, but no sin has so little to say for itself as the sin of those who profess to lament their failure, and yet refuse to admit those words of salvation which are ever sounding in their ears, and which, if believed, would make all things new.’
         P.J. Maclagan, The Gospel View of Things, p. 187.
  •   You can never ask for more than God can give you.
  1. God fills. Psalm 81:10b v16
Look verse 10: Open wide your mouth and I will fill it. Well pastor just what does God want to put into my mouth? Glad you ask. Look at your neighbor and say “God wants to fill me.” Check out verse 16
Psalm 81:16 (NIV)
16 But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”
Wheat represents bread. Bread is your needs, what you need to live. 
Honey represents your Delight or desires. What you need to thrive. 
Psalm 37:3-4 (NIV)
3 Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. 
This is my life verse actually the whole 37th Psalm but, this is what got me interested in God. When I heard “Trust God” and He take care of me, That was cool but, If I would delight myself in him He would give me what I desired, well I wanted that. And a funny thing begin to happen at first My desire for my life was pretty far from God’s desire for my life but, the more I trusted, the more I lived in his land the closer our desires became until they merged. His desires where becoming my desires…………….. 
  1. God reveals. Psalm 81:10c 
Psalm 81:10 (NIV)
10 I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it. 
May be your stuck in something?………….. If you get this you will be able to get out!
Look at these two phrase’s “I am” and “ I will” I am the God who freed you. By my power and my power alone I brought you out. Nobody helped me. That same power that brought you out, is the same power I will use to fill you. Do you get that?
That same miracle working power that raised Christ, that is the same power, the same God who is unlimited In power, Unlimited in resources, Unlimited presence, unlimited in wisdom, unlimited in grace
Psalm 81:7 (NIV)
7 In your distress you called and I rescued you,
Listen to what God says about himself:
I AM says there is no other god like me. God says: I am the creator.
I Am Jehovah, I am Yahweh.
I Am the famous one.
I Am Holy.
I Am righteous
I Am Just.
I Am Gracious.
I Am full of mercy and loving kindness.
I Am for justice and peace.
I Am against evil and wickedness. 
I Am the Lord God almighty and I do not change.
I Am not a man that I should lie.
I Am your healer.
I Am your provider.
I Am your teacher.
I Am your guide.
I Am your comfort.
I Am Your portion.
I Am your Joy.
I Am the Lord God Almighty there is no other.
  • I AM and I Will. Look at this theres more, Hold on……..
I Am for You.
I Am against your enemy.
I Will bless who bless’s you and cures who cures’ you.
I will hear you.
I will fill you.
I will deliver you.
I will protect you.
I Am your shield.
I Am your shepherd.
I Am your father.
I Am Your friend.
  • THERE’ more, There’s more………
I Am the Great King.
I Am your Rock.
I Am always with you.
I Am the alpha and omega.
I Am the beginning and the end, The first and the last.
I Am the Bread of life.
I Am living water.
I Am the Light Of the World.
I Am the Living Word. 
I Am the True Vine.
I Am the Resurrection and the life.
I Am  The Way, The Truth, and The Life.
I Am Love.
I Am Grace.
I Am Forgiveness, I Am In love you, I am pleased with you, And you can never ask me for more than I can give YOU.
  • You can never ask for more than God can give you.
What do I need to do? OPEN WIDE, To ask and to receive.
When a momma bird shows up at the nest to feed her baby birds she never has to beg them to open their mouths. Open your mouth and I will fill it say’s God almighty creator of the universe. 

Outrageous Hope Romans 15:13

January 13th, 2013

The First sermon series of 2013  @ MPC

Drive verse:
Romans 15:13 (NIV)
13 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.
Intro: Happy New Year! Our drive verse for this new series and this new year is Romans 15:13………..That is my prayer for this Year. I just want to take a couple of minutes to roll somethings out to you guy’s about the New Year 2013. Our theme for this year is but, before I say it, can anyone tell me what our theme was last year? Engage! Thats right.
This year will be Outrageous! The first sermon series is Outrageous Hope and we will get into that in a minute. We will have some specific goals for this year and each of them is an opportunity for YOU to get involved.
   Sometime during each one of our series we will be doing something for the people in our community. One of our big goals this year will be “The Water Project” In which we will raise $10,000.00 to dig and or repair fresh water well’s for people that need them. At the end of that when the money is raised I want to take a team from MPC on a short term mission trip to actually meet and work with some of the people where the well is drilled. We will be doing fund raising Inside as well as outside the church, we are going to invite as many people as we can to help. Why water? because Clean water Changes the quality of human life. To have access to clean water free of Bacteria, will help people move from barely surviving to thriving. To have drinking water and water for food preparation, simply being able to have a clean bath. It will change the quality of life in a way that we can’t imagine. Sooooooo..
The teaching calendar look’s like this:
  1. Outrageous Hope.
  2. Outrageous Design.
  3. Outrageous Talk (the thing Jesus said)
this one brings us into Easter and we are planning to do somethings for that day stay tuned.
  1. Outrageous Generosity. Stewardship
  2. Outrageous Destinations. a study about Heaven and Hell
  3. Outrageous Issues.  what the bible says about, abortion, capital punishment, sexuality, spiritually
  4. Outrageous freedom. this is summertime we plan to turn part of our parking-lot into a beach for about three days sand, water, and fun.
we will do a movie night and finish on Sunday with service outside with a baptism service and lunch.
  1. Outrageous Challenge. A study through the book of Nehemiah
  2. Outrageous Disciple. what biblical discipleship looks like.
  3. Outrageous Church. biblical Church. A study through Acts.
  4. Outrageous Savior.
Sprinkled in all of that will be opportunity to serve God and community
One of the long term goals has been to get to a place where we can start a small group ministry, I hope by midyear we will see that start to happen. Also as this year roll’s out you will begin seeing some other people using their teaching talents as we become more intentional in developing leaders within this church. We have a great team of leaders 
forming in the youth ministry, and we want to expand that into other areas as well.  With that said let get into God’s word for us today. Pray.
hope |hōp|
1 a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen: he looked through her belongings in the hope of coming across some information | I had high hopes of making the Olympic team.
• a person or thing that may help or save someone: their only hope is surgery.
• grounds for believing that something good may happen: he does see some hope for the future.
2 archaic a feeling of trust.
verb [ no obj. ]
want something to happen or be the case: he’s hoping for an offer of compensation | [ with clause ] : I hope that the kids are OK.
  • [ with infinitive ] intend if possible to do something: we’re hoping to address all these issues.
Would it surprise you to know that Gods desire for you is to be filled with hope but, not just filled or topped off but, to overflow with it. To have so much hope that your just sloshing hope all over everything and everybody you meet. Overflowing Hope, unbridled optimism, unexplainable expectation, to overflow with possibility. To have a confidant conviction that some how, some way something great is going to happen. 
To feel Hopeless is one of the most debilitating places to be. when you are in a place like that it is easy to get a “drop in the bucket mentality”. You know what I’m talking about, a little good happens But, “It’s just a drop in the bucket” To be so far behind that when you do get a little money “It’s just a drop in 
the bucket” I feel better today but, “It’s just a drop in the bucket”.  Can I tell you that every flood start’s with a single drop of rain. God wants to overflow your life with peace and joy. In this series we are going to look at what it take’s to get hope, to keep hope, and to give hope away. If you have your bibles go with me to Romans 15:13 and we will have words on the screen as well.
Romans 15:13 (NIV)
13 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.
Do you have that?
Do you what that?
  • The result of God’s power is in the overflow.
Ephesians 3:20 (ESV)
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,
This is the overflow. More than I can ask. More than I can think. Look at verse 13 again: NIV …..”So that you may overflow”……..      
NLT…..”you will overflow”……
ESV……”you will abound”……
MSG……”you will brim over”……
AMP  …..”you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over)
BUT before something can overflow it must be filled!
??Vessel: a hollow container.  Hope: is fluid and is able to flow easily.
What kind of vessel are you? You are a vessel of HOPE. You where designed by God to be filled with hope.
  • Before you can fill something you have to know the capacity of the source and the vessel to be filled.
This is what Scripture say about God’s capacity.
2 Corinthians 9:8 (NLT)
8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 
This speaks of God’s unlimited resources. Church we are going to have to learn that God and God alone is our unlimited source.
So if we know God is unlimited as our source, we have to ask what is my capacity?
A Thimble, A Bucket, or a Drum.  
If God has a Thimble full of hope could you receive it?  some of you right now are thinking thats just silly. Is it? let me ask you a question when life happens to you what is your primary reaction? Fear? or Hope? 
Is there room in your life for a bucket full of HOPE? How about a Drum of God finest HOPE. Vintage Hope from the ancient of days. Premium quality aged to perfection. Would you like some of That?
Romans 15:4 (NLT)
4 Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.
The Scriptures get us tapped in but How do it get the flow going?
To simply know is not enough, we have to apply what we know to our life. Transformation occurs from the application of the truth we know.
  • How do I open the flow? by Trusting Him.
Romans 15:13 (NIV)
13” ….. as you trust in him,…..” 
As I trust Him with the direction of my life, As I trust Him in the circumstances I am in, As I trust Him with my relationships, As I trust Him with my finances, As I trust Him with my health, As I trust HIM That is where I will begin to Overflow with Hope. It is like this Peace and Joy start to fill this hollow container, It’s filling It’s filling It’s filling Watch out Look what happening It’s overflowing……….. 
Trusting is Active waiting, Active expectation, Active optimism. A couple of things I have settled In my life. And you need this too. 
  1. God is Good.
  2. He know’s what my needs are.
  3. He will never leave me.
Hope is a product of God, Produced by Faith, Powered by the Holy Spirit.
My Prayer for you this New Year Is:    Romans 15:13 (NIV)
13 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.

What Happens When You Give

January 13th, 2013

What Happens When You Give
A Sermon on Generosity

Introduction: I shared this with my Church 12/30/12
Have you ever heard a sermon from an angry preacher?  Maybe on TV or maybe in a church.  Seems like there are a lot of angry preachers out there.  As if they LOVE teaching on hell and reminding everyone they are going there.
Maybe you quit going to church because you didn’t want to become an angry Christian led by an angry preacher.
One of the angry preacher’s favorite topics is money.   How you’re spending it wrong.  How you’re selfish because you bought a new car.  
One of the angry preacher’s favorite tactics is guilt.  You could feed 8,234 children if cut out lattes.  Look at this picture.  How can you say no to this face?  What’s the matter with you?
  • Most sermons on giving are designed to get you to give more.  But that’s not what I’m going to try to do.  
I promise a guilt free money message.
  • I want to help you understand what happens when you give.  Cause many of you already give. You’re already support the church.  
Or if you’re thinking about giving, you want to know what happens next.  You don’t need motivation or inspiration…you’re just curious about what happens next.
  • I want to talk to you about what happens when you give.  I’m going to show you five things that happen when we give, and at the end of the message, I’m not going to ask you to do anything at all!
Bet you’ve never heard that before in church!  I want you to listen to this message on giving, and then we’re NOT going to receive an offering.
Are you ready?  Let’s go.
#1 – When you give, you fulfill your purpose.
How many of you were good at math in school?   Man, there are a lot of nerds in here!  I wasn’t good at math.  Well, I take that back.  I was good at math when it just had numbers in it, but for me in the 10th grade, they started adding letters to math.  I was done.  and X = ? I had no idea what  X equaled? I flunked out of Algebra I had a math teacher named MR. Cash and he was no help at all with the X. He would write the problems on the board and then sit down for the rest of the class, you either got it or you didn’t.
  • I was a DIDN’t. 
It was much later after I was out of school when I figured out what X equaled. It was sometime after I started my first business, I went into the roofing trade. And guess who called needing a roof? MR. Cash. I put the roof on his house and made out the bill, X equaled $5000.00 dollar’s. Thats what X equaled.  
But, today where not going to talk about X’s I am going to teach you a giving formula and I am going to give you the answers. How cool is that?
If A = B, and B = C, then A = C.
Ok are you ready for the answer? Cool, here we go.
A = You were created in the Image of God.  Let’s take a look at Genesis 1:26-27.
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them;
 male and female he created them.
The Image of God is theological concept that means you and I and everybody on earth was imprinted with God’s image when we were created.  There’s something deep inside us that is like God.  Like a son who has his Father’s eyes, you have a resemblance to God.
B = God is generous.  When you read the Bible and start to piece together information about God, one of those pieces is God’s generosity.  You read things like, “God is love” in 1 John 4:8.  Just how generous is God?  Check out this verse – it’s the most famous verse in all of the Bible.  I know it’s the most famous verse because it’s the only verse I’ve seen written on a sign, held up in the end zone of a nationally televised game.  It’s John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
How generous is God?  He gave his one and only son!
So, let’s put the ABC formula together.   If A = B, and B = C, then A = C.
If you were made in the image of God, and God is generous, then there’s something deep inside you that’s wired for generosity.
You may not always feel generous, but you were created that way.  You’ve got generosity hard wired into your soul.
  • So when you give, you’re fulfilling your purpose…doing what you were created to do in the first place.  You don’t give out of guilt…you give out of purpose.
Okay, that’s the math lesson for today.  Let’s move on to number 2. 
# 2 – When you give, you make God smile.  
Maybe you don’t imagine God smiling because those angry preachers I mentioned earlier never smile.  They spit and sweat a lot, but they never smile.
I bet it’s hard to picture a smiling face of God.  Culture paints a picture of an angry God, God with a frowny face.  Or a Zeus-like god with a lightning bolt in his hand.  A lot of people think God’s motto is I’m gonna getcha.
But the Bible image for God is a father.  But not just any father, a perfect, loving Father.   Some of you had sorry fathers, or fathers who abandoned you.  Some of you had great fathers, who were great examples.  But all of us know deep down in our heart how a father is supposed to be.
  • God is our father and we are his children.
Check out 1 John 3:1.
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
God, the perfect heavenly Father, loves his children.
If you have kids, maybe you can relate to this.  As a dad, I like giving my kids gifts.  I like surprising them with something unexpected, or getting them something that they have always wanted.
But I love it even more when they share their stuff with others.  Those rare moments when they let go of a toy, or share something with a friend, or give something away – man, those are special.
I think that’s how God looks at us when we give.  He just loves it when we give.  When we put others first.  When we give things away instead of saying, “that’s mine.”  
  • When we give, we make God smile.
#3 – When you give, you position yourself for blessing.  
The apostle Paul wrote a letter to a group of Christians living in the first century city of Philippi.  You have that letter in your Bible – it’s called Philippians.  
In the first part of his letter, Paul thanked the Philippians for their generosity and their partnership.  They had contributed to his ministry as a missionary and a preacher.  The Christians who lived  in Philippi were generous supporters.  
I believe there is a clear connection between our generosity and God’s provision.  
Philippians 4:19 says, 
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
You might not understand it, and I might not be able to fully explain it, but there’s something supernatural that happens when our finances come into alignment with God’s heart.  1 + 1 + God doesn’t always equal 2.  
There I go with math again.  I’m sorry.
Romans 8:32 says, 
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
God is a generous God, giving us many blessing in life.  
But these blessings from God are not limited to the financial realm.  A $100 contribution may not result in a $100 blessing, but I do know this…you will be blessed in some way.  And just because those blessings may not be financial doesn’t mean they are not important.  If the best things in life cant be bought with money, perhaps the most important blessings from God are not financial. 
#4 – When you give, you gain perspective.  
Have you ever met someone who went on a mission trip?  Those can be expensive.  Between food, airfare and supplies, you could easily spend thousands of dollars traveling to another country to work with children or work on a house.  
But when they talk to them after they return, they use words like “incredible” and “life changing.”  They talk about that expensive experience like it was one of the most important things they’ve ever done.
I’ve never met anyone that said, “Man, I wish I hadn’t raised all that money to go over there and help people…I would have rather used that money to download movies or buy furniture.”
You never hear that story because spending money on other people feels right.  People often regret something they buy, but they rarely regret something they give.  
Spending money can be fun – new clothes, new restaurants, a new car.  Nothing wrong with those things.  But deep down, they don’t really satisfy.  But when we give or serve with our money, we somehow know we’re doing something more important.
Matthew 6:21 says,
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
The Bible teaches that money isn’t solely a financial issue…it’s primarily a spiritual issue.  Our money and our heart are connected.  Where we send our money says something about what we truly value, and when we give, it’s a statement on what’s truly important.
This isn’t a groundbreaking truth to you, and you already know it, because you spend money.  I spend money. If you were to login into my bank account and see where I spent money, You would be able to tell what is important to me.
You can tell what’s important to me not by hearing me talk about what’s important, but by observing how I spend money.   Because money is a heart issue more than a checking account issue.
So when you give, you’re making an intentional statement that something matters.  This thing over here, that person over there, God’s mission through this church…it matters.  It deserves my attention, focus and support.
Eternity matters, and when you give, you’re shifting your perspective.  
We’re on the home stretch now…one more to go.  This one is a biggie…
#5 – When you give, you partner with God.  
Have you ever thought about the fact that God doesn’t need your money?  Seriously, He doesn’t. I don’t mean to sound rude, but if God wanted your money, He would just take it.  I mean…God could do that.
  • God doesn’t need your permission to access your resources.  If he knows how many hairs are on your head, he knows your online banking password.
Not only does God not need your money in particular, He doesn’t need YOU in general.  I’m not intentionally trying to insult you, but the fact is that God doesn’t need you, me or the Pope to accomplish His purposes in the world.  
God is not sitting in heaven, saying, “If we only had a representative down there…then I could do something.”  His activity is not dependent on our involvement – He can do whatever He wants, whenever He wants.
God does need us, but he INVITES us to join Him.  Because He’s God, He doesn’t NEED us, but he WANTS us.  We don’t invite God into our lives; He invites us into His!
That’s pretty cool when you think about it.  While God doesn’t NEED us, He invites us to participate.
And when you give, that’s what you’re doing.  You join with God in his mission in the world.
You don’t give to keep the lights on (though I’m thankful we’re not sitting in the dark) – you give because the Gospel needs to be heard.
You don’t just give to this church (though I love this church) – you give as a part of a worldwide movement, joining with churches in North America, South America, China, the Ukraine, England, Africa and even North Carolina.
  • There is something bigger going on around us.  More than the here and now.
And when you give, you’re a part of what God is doing everywhere.
So we’re at the end of the message.  This is the part when if I was an angry preacher, I’d lay on some guilt and then take up an offering.  
But I told you I wasn’t going to ask you to do anything.  Instead of challenging you to do something, I trust that you’ve been thinking about this for the last few minutes.  So I don’t want to end with a challenge to give, I just want to say thanks.
For those of you who have ever given anything to this church, thank you.
For those of you who have given clothes or food to the needy, thank you.
For those of you who support a child on the other side of the world, thank you.
For those of you who give your time to serve others in need, thank you.
Thank you for fulfilling your purpose.
Thank you for making God smile.
Thank you for positioning your self for God’s blessing.
Thank you for changing your perspective.
Thank you for partnering with God.
Let’s pray.
With help of the Change Group Inc, and the Rocket company.