Jan 24, 2021
Resist The Exist 4 – Remain Passionate For The Lord

A passion for God is the defining characteristic of a Christian... or at least it should be. Merely existing is the opposite of that. Those who are merely existing have become apathetic, uncaring, mediocre in their faith, and simply lazy. They have given up on what matters the most to simply run out the clock. They have no passion for ministry or for the mission of God. Their fire has all but gone completely out. I see Christians like this all the time. Their hobbies get them excited. Their sports teams get them excited. Their shows get them excited. They are passionate about a great many worldly things, but when it comes to their Lord and Savior... they have very little passion... if any at all. For example, this morning we sang some very powerful songs about our Lord... but many of us probably just sang words rather than feeling the impact of what those words meant. Would anyone look at us singing these songs and say that we are passionate about our God? I'm not judging... I'm just trying to help us realize that it is possible that we have forgotten what a passion for God even looks like anymore. Let's face it church... we, and the rest of the American Church have a serious problem. We claim to be Christians yet we have lost our passion for our God and with it our identity.

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  • Jan 24, 2021Resist The Exist 4 – Remain Passionate For The Lord
    Jan 24, 2021
    Resist The Exist 4 – Remain Passionate For The Lord

    A passion for God is the defining characteristic of a Christian... or at least it should be. Merely existing is the opposite of that. Those who are merely existing have become apathetic, uncaring, mediocre in their faith, and simply lazy. They have given up on what matters the most to simply run out the clock. They have no passion for ministry or for the mission of God. Their fire has all but gone completely out. I see Christians like this all the time. Their hobbies get them excited. Their sports teams get them excited. Their shows get them excited. They are passionate about a great many worldly things, but when it comes to their Lord and Savior... they have very little passion... if any at all. For example, this morning we sang some very powerful songs about our Lord... but many of us probably just sang words rather than feeling the impact of what those words meant. Would anyone look at us singing these songs and say that we are passionate about our God? I'm not judging... I'm just trying to help us realize that it is possible that we have forgotten what a passion for God even looks like anymore. Let's face it church... we, and the rest of the American Church have a serious problem. We claim to be Christians yet we have lost our passion for our God and with it our identity.

  • Jan 17, 2021Resist The Exist 3: Outdo One Another In Love
    Jan 17, 2021
    Resist The Exist 3: Outdo One Another In Love

    The second exhortation God gives us to resist the exist is; outdo one another in love. When we are tempted to merely exist we must change our mentality. When we are tempted to put it in neutral and coast... Jesus tells us to push the clutch back in and put it into gear. And not just first gear... we need to punch it! The Bible has given us the prescription for the disease of mediocrity; excellence. You counter mediocrity with exceptional. You resist the exist by outdoing. And so we must outdo one another in love. Meaning we must love them so greatly, so exceptionally, that they can't categorize our love as anything other than extraordinary. They love you... you love them more. They love you more... you love them even more.

  • Jan 10, 2021Resist The Exist 2: Hold Fast To What Is Good
    Jan 10, 2021
    Resist The Exist 2: Hold Fast To What Is Good

    A key phrase which helps us resist the mentality to simply exist is “hold fast.” Don't slip into mediocrity, instead hold fast to the task at hand. Don't give up on what God has called you to do, instead hold fast to the mission. Don't quit, don't stop, don't get stuck, instead hold fast to the great calling of which you've been called.

    Hold fast is a sailing term where an officer would shout to the men to hold fast to the riggings so the sails don't swing around too hard and kill someone on deck or knock someone overboard. This was never more important than in a storm, where after holding onto the riggings for hours the sailors would be sore, tired, and frustrated. No doubt they would feel the temptation to give up... but they couldn't... the crew depended on it. And so they would hear this phrase of encouragement rally the men to continue to fight. Hold fast... hold fast... hold fast! My prayer is that this phrase would rally us to not give up the fight against sin, and for doing good.

    And the struggle is clear is it not? When times get hard, monotonous, and unexciting it's easy to lose focus on abhorring evil and doing good. When we loose some of the wind in our sails we could be tempted to love sin more and love doing good to people less. There is a common phrase that mom's have used for ages to get their kids off their butts and out of the house; “idle hands are the devil's playground.” Meaning, when you aren't doing something useful the devil will tempt you to do something sinful to fill the time. And over the years I've noticed this to be true. If we live in the mentality of simply existing... if we become idle... it's easy for Satan to nudge open the door and begin to creep into your mind. When you are going forward and focused it's much harder for him to succeed at finding a foothold... but when we are standing still he can get our attention and before we know it we are sinning.

  • Jan 3, 2021Resist The Exist 1: The Tragedy Of Not Really Living
    Jan 3, 2021
    Resist The Exist 1: The Tragedy Of Not Really Living
    In the movie "Braveheart" William Wallace is told by his mates, "you're going to die."  He replies, "all men die, not all men truly live."   There is a greater tragedy than dying.   Many churches and Christians have fallen victim to a mentality of merely existing in this life.  They are surviving instead of thriving.  Their work is mediocre, their attitude towards the mission is apathetic.  And they are merely running out the clock.  They are existing.  The greatest tragedy in this life is not dying... the greatest tragedy is not really living.  Are you really living?  Stop running out the clock... and start living for Christ!
  • Dec 20, 2020King of Kings 3: A King You Can’t Kill
    Dec 20, 2020
    King of Kings 3: A King You Can’t Kill

    are we willing to surrender our desires to be our own king or are we going to reject the authority of the one true king in order to hold on to control over our lives. At some point we must realize that we are not the king of our life and trying to hold onto kingship will be our demise. True life, true freedom, is found in worshipping the one true king. And as we will see this morning; you really have one of two choices here. You must either die to your self or you must try to kill Jesus.

    But you say, didn't Jesus actually die? And I'm glad you brought that up. He did die... but not because someone killed him, rather because he laid his life down so that we could be saved. The only way Jesus could die is if he allowed it. And then just as quick as he died... he took his life back up again and was resurrected from the dead.

  • Dec 6, 2020King of Kings 1: The One True King
    Dec 6, 2020
    King of Kings 1: The One True King
    Herod, the Wisemen, Jesus....  Three sets of Kings.  One, a temporary governor.  One, a group of astronomers.  One, the prophesied King of Kings.   When the One True King shows up on the scene it makes you take and honest evaluation of your own standing.  Are you going to continue to pretend to be the King of your own life like Herod or are you going to surrender any personal status in order to worship the One True King like the wisemen?   Herod was threatened by the One True King.  Does Jesus threaten your rule... or are you willing to surrender your reign to the One True King? 
  • Nov 15, 2020Mission Minded Part 3: The Completely Unfair Mercy of God
    Nov 15, 2020
    Mission Minded Part 3: The Completely Unfair Mercy of God

    This whole thing started with Jonah running from God and his mission and going to Tarshish instead of Nineveh, right? Why did he run? Not because he was scared of the people, not because it would be uncomfortable, although that probably played a part, but the main reason was because he didn't think it would be fair if the Assyrians repented that God would be merciful and save them. He knew that if he took the message of salvation to the Ninevites that they would probably repent and if they repented God would save them... and he didn't think that that was fair. Is he right? Is it fair? Perhaps you are like Jonah this morning and you struggle with the mercy of God poured out on sinners. Perhaps you are aware of this struggle... most likely you are not.

    Of course that's not fair. None of these are fair. And that's the point. The love, forgiveness, and mercy of God to save us sinners is utterly and completely unfair. And in order for us to embrace the mission of taking the Gospel to the lost, we must accept this fact and more importantly understand why it's not fair. Why? Because if we are to become mission minded, we must understand the mind of Christ in saving those who do not deserve salvation. The point today is clear... The Mercy of God is Completely Unfair. That's Why It Cost An Equally Unfair Price

    But what if you struggle with the unfair mercy of God and you don't even know it? I think most Christian would say... what's wrong with Jonah... why's he being like that... of course God mercifully saves sinners and thats a good thing. Why would we think of it as unfair. Okay, I get that... but let me ask you this. What about someone like Samuel Tannyhill who while robbing a dinner in 1955 was recognized by one of the waitresses who called out his name. He took that young waitress to a bridge where he shot her in he head and dumped her in the river. That waitress was someone's daughter... and Samuel just murdered her in cold blood. Surely he deserved the electric chair and the hot embers of hell that awaited him right? But he never felt the burn of those embers. You see, he repented of his sins while in prison and accepted Christ and now dances the streets of glory for all eternity. Is that fair?

    So get this... God gave himself over to the most excruciating death anyone could ever endure to take his wrath upon himself... the wrath that we all deserved. We the creation who deserved hell, are spared hell, because God the creator endured hell in our place. Now, Is it fair that God had to send himself in the form of Jesus Christ to die in our place... the sinless for the sinful? Is that fair? Nope... it's the most unfair thing ever! So be careful when you ask for fairness. You've been given salvation, the most unfair mercy of all time.

  • Nov 8, 2020Mission Minded Part 2: The Miracle of Missions
    Nov 8, 2020
    Mission Minded Part 2: The Miracle of Missions

    It is a miraculous thing to see God working through frail and fallible people like us in order to see pagan people turn from their sin and turn to the salvation of our Lord. Think about it. If the goal of all life is to see God glorified, then why doesn't God just speak his message from Heaven and then let the lost determine whether or not to trust him in salvation? Why does God want us to be a part of the process?  He doesn't need us... so why does he want us? 

    It makes me think of Mopsy.  Mopsy is a stuffed animal dog that was given to me when I was two years old... almost 39 years ago. Mopsy has been through a lot. He doesn't have any stuffing in his body anymore, he's missing an eye.  He has loose threads, his leg is barely hanging on,  he's a wreck.  But for some reason I've decided to keep him around all these years.  Call it nostalgia... but i just couldn't get rid of him.  And it's a good thing I didn't, cause when Vera turned two years old, I introduced her to Mopsy.  Now Mopsy lives on her bed and gets snuggle times with Vera every night. And I love to see that my favorite stuffed animal as a child gets to be loved by my kids.  I didn't need to keep Mopsy but now I can use Mopsy to show love to my daughter.  

    We are like Mopsy.  We are worn out, ragged, and pretty much useless... but God keeps us around anyway.  God is kind of nostalgic about us.  And instead of just throwing us in a storage bin or taking us to Goodwill he says, you know what... I'm going to use you to share my love with others. Not because I need you, but because I love you and want you to be a part of the process. God is glorified not just when people are saved but when we are obedient to be his messengers of salvation and are a part of the process of seeing the lost come to salvation. 

    And this is exactly why he keeps giving Jonah second chances. Because he wants Jonah to be a part of the blessing of missions. He wants Jonah to be a part of the miracle. God wants to use Jonah and he wants to use us too.

    As you can see, God will draw men, women, cities, and nations to himself, if only we would be obedient to answer the call and be obedient to the mission. The struggle isn't whether or not God will save people, the struggle is whether or not we will surrender our lives to be used by God to see people saved. This morning I want us to see that The Miracle of Missions Isn't That God Saves Sinners, But That He Uses Saved Sinners To See People Saved.

  • Nov 1, 2020Mission Minded Part 1: Missing The Boat On Missions
    Nov 1, 2020
    Mission Minded Part 1: Missing The Boat On Missions

    The great commission isn't a special mission for those who have ascended to the greatest heights of our religion. Rather, it's like learning your shapes or colors in kindergarten. It is the most basic thing we are called to do. To be a Christian is to accept the great commission as our most basic mission. Rookie Christians are expected to be missionaries - to go and make disciples, and yet here we are where statistics show us that 90 percent of professing Christians in America have never shared their faith to a non-believer and only 1 percent of us have actually led someone to faith in Christ. Suffice it to say, we aren't mission minded. In fact, I think it's safe to say that we've missed the boat on missions.

    And so, we need to recommit to the mission of the great commission and learn what it means to be mission minded. Jonah was called to go on a mission very similar to ours, but just like many of us, he didn't want to go. He, like many of us, decided to make up his own mission and missed the boat. So as we begin this series by looking at the first two chapters of Jonah I want us to recognize this; Reclaiming The Great Commission Takes Repenting Of Grave Convenience.

  • Oct 25, 2020Culture Shock Part 7: Cancel Everyone (Ephesians 4:1-7)
    Oct 25, 2020
    Culture Shock Part 7: Cancel Everyone (Ephesians 4:1-7)

    If Christ has canceled our sin debt and forgiven us of all that we have done against him – how in the world could we ever think it okay to cancel someone else? Christ hasn't written us off... we can't write anyone else off either. We continue to sin, we continue to disobey, ignore, and rebel against our savior... and yet he says he will never leave us nor forsake us. Everyday we depend on the fact that Christ has not canceled us, everyday we depend on more mercy and more grace. And so, we must continue to show grace and mercy to everyone who needs it. How Can We Participate In Cancel Culture When Jesus Refuses To Cancel Us?