As he (Jesus) entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” Luke 17:12-13
Leprosy is a terrible disease. It starts with a little yellow dot. The dots or lesions began to grow looking like boils on the skin. It causes damage to the skin, nerves, limbs, and eyes (blindness). Infection follows that become so severe that fingers, toes and other extremities are deformed and deteriorate. In Jesus’ day, after someone had been confirmed with leprosy, they are banned from the city. They had to live in the leper colony just outside the city gates. To this day, there are still leprosy villages in China, India, and Africa.
Can you imagine a life like that? Terrible!
They say that in Alcatraz that the worse part was not the cold cell or the haunted hall ways, but the fact that the prisoners could see San Francisco. They could see the parties, smell the food, and hear the music. The same was the case for the lepers. They were abandoned, on the outside looking in.
Jesus looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy. Luke 17:14
On their way, fingers and hands reappeared, and tingled with life! The parts of them that had wasted away began to grow back!
One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.” Luke 17:15-19
Let’s stop for a second and think about what God has done for each of us! Spend a second and think about what God has delivered you from: Selfishness, anger, bitterness, greed, addiction, loneliness, depression, sickness. God has blessed us with so many miracles that we forget about. We take for granted.
The power of Luke 17 is not healing or how to be healed. It is not even about “Having” thanks. Or being ThankFULL. The main message of Luke 17 is about GIVING thanks or thanksgiving.
All TEN of the men that were healed were thankful or full of thanks. But, only one of them took the time to give that thanks. Having thanks is pretty useless unless you give it back.
Humans are really good about forgetting the blessings of God. We forget OR we take the credit. “Look what I did. Look what I accomplished.” Paul warns us about it in his letter to Timothy
You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money… 2 Timothy 3:1
STOP AND LET THAT SCRIPTURE SINK IN… READ IT AGAIN.
…They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 2 Timothy 3:2
I think it would be very wise for us to take this scripture and simply meditate on it this week. Lately, I have been reading scripture so slowly. I have read the Bible through 6 or 7 times, but this year, I decided to only read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. I have read them slowly all year long. Sometimes, I just read one verse a day and sit there and let it soak until I hear God speak to me through it.
This is one of those texts in 2 Timothy. We Don’t need to waltz through Thanksgiving 2016 without this passage make a difference in our perspective. A wake up call.
In this season of Thanksgiving, we should:
REALIZE who PROTECTS and PROVIDES for Us.
Wake up! Remember!
Do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!
The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
God opens the windows of heaven for you. He pours out a blessing so great you don’t have enough room to take it in!
He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
We realize who God means to us.
We wake up to the truth that God loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son.
Jesus Christ not only healed people in the Bible, but he lived a life that transcended the 33 years he was on the planet. His innocence and humility earned a life with God forever. Yet, instead of keeping that blessing to himself, he willingly offers his prize of eternal life with anyone who calls on His name… “JESUS! Save me! I surrender my life to your life. Take me as I am.”
Many of us have been at that point and without giving it a second thought, God willingly traded his perfect life for your broken, rebellious life.
Look Where we Are! Look what God has done! We realize that Jesus you have saved us, provided and protected us!
Once We REALIZE that JESUS IS OUR SOURCE. Let’s be like the one out of 9 and:
RETURN and GIVE THANKS
We do not SIT with a full heart. Instead, we RETURN and GIVE Him our all.
Let all that I am praise the lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.
In Acts ch2 we see HOW it works in a healthy church. After these people were saved by the power of God they begin to PAY IT FORWARD. They gave into the local church so that the blessing of God from their life would be like a seed sown into someone else’s life.
All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity… Acts 2:42-46
The verbs of the first church: Dedicated. Devoted. Sold. Shared. Worshipped
When the first believers in Acts 2 experienced the life changing presence of Jesus in their life it was NATURAL for them to “pay forward” the love they received.
Malachi (prophet of the Old Testament) said it like this, “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse (local church) so there will be enough food in my Temple.”
When believers return to the source and give “Thanks”, it is creating a miracle for someone else. Doors are opened for others.
When the house if full, we are able to make a difference in the lives of people all over city, county, state, nation, and world. Next week we are going to show you all the places we have touched and how we are going to continue making a difference here locally.
Because people at PromiseLand (out of a heart of gratitude) have returned to the house and given financially, I was able to go to Cuba last week and sow into hundreds of pastors. Check out this video (Cuba outreach to pastors)
It is time that we REALIZE and RETURN to our first love. Our main thing. Our provider and protector. Jesus, we return to you. We commit ourselves to you. We will put you FIRST in everything.
Listen to the Audio of this message by clicking here.
Watch the Video of this message by clicking here.
Last Week Pastor Will gave us the P48 Test. If we want to be freed from Mind Monsters, run your thoughts through the P48 test.
WHAT WAS THE P48 Test?
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Another translation says: “Keep putting into practice all you learned from me” You have to practice what you learn from the bible. That is what discipleship is all about. Discipleship is a process.
Hebrews 12:11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Discipline is tough! Did you get spankings as a youth? We didn’t have ‘time out’. Instead ‘time to knock you out’. “I was spanked as a child and now I suffer from a thing called respect.”
If you yield to disciple, it will reap a harvest of peace and righteousness in your life. There is a logical progression when you learn math. You start with addition and then subtraction before you can get to multiplication.
Here is how discipleship works: God gives us things to add and subtract in our lives before we can receive his divine multiplication. OH we love the idea of God’s divine multiplication of our health, finances, energy, health, etc!
BUT when God tells us to ADD prayer ADD fasting ADD scripture ADD serving others SUBTRACT time thieves SUBTRACT bad influences SUBTRACT unhealthy choices… All the sudden we find excuses to short cut or circumvent God’s process and discipline. The truth is that God wants us to LIVE in his Divine Multiplication and will give you a path to follow. Go for it! He will not leave you or abandon you along the way. Stick with the process. Trust the process.
WE CAN TRUST GOD when we are out of control. HE IS IN CONTROL!
There was a man that really wanted healing from Jesus. He was a blind, beggar named Bartimaeus. One day when Jesus was walking by…
“he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. (mind monsters) But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” (oh…NOW you want to be encouraging…church people smh)
And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.
In this one story, we see the path for multiplication or divine healing from Jesus.
- RECOGNIZE Mind Monsters (rebuked and told to be silent)
- REJECT Mind Monsters (but he cried out all the more)
- REPLACE Mind Monsters (let me recover my sight!)
Let’s go back through that little story and find those points: Mark 10:46
- You have to recognize Mind Monsters
Turn to your neighbor and say: “You betta RECOGNIZE!” The people surrounding him represent the mind monsters. They were reemphasizing them to him. “…And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent.”
Do you know it’s easier to recognize someone else’s mind monsters than your own? It’s hard to recognize your own mind monsters. You need positive people in your life. Other people’s monsters are easy to recognize and seem so dumb. Our own seem huge. Other people’s seem crazy. Why are you scared of that? (Ex- Will last week preaching)
When it’s OUR life, it’s hard to recognize it because it’s wrapped up in our thoughts One of the most difficult tasks you have is to see your current situation for what it is, not what you think it might be. If you are struggling to RECOGNIZE the MM then get people in your life to help you. Allow them in.
REJECT the Mind Monster
There is a saying that is old-school Pentecostal. Not sure if you are familiar in those circles, but when it comes to Mind Monsters, old school Pentecostal churches were a good place to find some freedom! They would say, “the devil is a liar!” (with attitude)
Something would come to mind that is not according to God’s will: “the devil is a liar!” When your told that you will not be successful at school: “The devil is a Liar!” You have a year to live: “the devil is a liar!” You will not be hired by that company: “the devil is a liar!” Your car is out of gas: “the devil is a liar!”
When Blind Bart was told… “You don’t deserve to talk to God…” “God is not interested in you…”
I LOVE what the scripture says, “But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” ……And Jesus stopped”
Once you recognize that the words coming to your mind are not the promise of God but are instead the lie of the enemy, you need to stand up to them and reject the word of darkness! “Son of David, have mercy on me!!”
Then, you REPLACE the Monster!
Joel 3:10 Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears;
let the weak say, “I am a warrior.” Joel 3:10 – take what you already have. What I have already have given you. You already have what you need. If if if if…. Then then then… NO you already have what you need.
HE doesn’t say ‘you are strong.’ He says, “let the weak say I am strong.” He calls you weak, but wants you to say that you are strong. I failed, I made mistakes, YEAH but he is strong. In your weakness he is MADE strong
I will SAY that I am strong!
HERE ARE 9 PROMISES TO REPLACE MIND MONSTERS
1.) When I am anxious about some risky new venture or meeting, I battle unbelief with the promise: Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not for I am with you, be not dismayed for I am your God; I will help you, I will strengthen you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand”
2.) When I am anxious about being useless and empty, I fight unbelief with the promise, Isaiah 55:11 “So shall my word that goes forth from my mouth; it will not come back to me empty but accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it”
3.) When I am anxious about being too weak to do my work, I battle unbelief with the promise of Christ, 2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness”
4.) When I am anxious about decisions I have to make about the future, I battle unbelief with the promise, Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you”
5.) When I am anxious about facing opponents, I battle unbelief with the promise, Romans 8:31 “If God is for us who can be against us!”
6.) When I am anxious about being sick, I battle unbelief with the promise in Romans 5:3–5 “tribulation works patience, and patience approved-ness, and approved-ness hope, and hope does not make us ashamed”
7.) When I am anxious about getting old, I battle unbelief with the promise, Isaiah 46:4 “Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save”
8.) When I am anxious about dying, I battle unbelief with the promise Romans 14:8–9 “none of us lives to himself and none of us dies to himself; if we live we live to the Lord and if we die we die to the Lord. So whether we live or die we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and rose again: that he might be Lord both of the dead and the living”
9.) When I am anxious that I may make shipwreck of faith and fall away from God, I battle unbelief with the promise, 1 Thessalonians 5:23 “He who began a good work in you will complete it unto the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:6). “He who calls you is faithful. He will do it”
Want more content on this topic? Get Kevin Gerald’s book: Mind Monsters!
October seems to be month (Halloween) that capitalizes on fear. Elections coming up.
We all deal with Mind Monsters: fear Death – Public Speaking – Mondays – Health – Conversation w/Inlaws
What is in your mind matters! Everything you do begins with a thought: successful business, your degree, an affair , your legacy.
Let’s start with these questions: WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR MIND DURING THE DAY? HOW DO YOUR THOUGHTS CHART YOUR COURSE?
There are so many things in our modern times that are HEAVY. There is a barrage of thoughts coming toward you. In fact, the problem with most of us is that we TOO MANY thoughts coming towards us: Television, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Books, Movies. We see: rape, murder, abuse, neglect, financial crisis, world issues over and over every night on news or cable channel or favorite feed, you are inundated with a HEAVY SITUATION. We feel so inadequate, weak, and ultimately so hopeless. The election, the supreme court, iran, isis, immigration, terrorism, financial crisis.
Not to mention OUR OWN problems: raising kids, making ends meet, pressure to fit in, expectations of your boss, sales quotas, retirement questions. PRESSURE. FEAR.
HOW DO WE NAVIGATE THESE TIMES? HOW DO WE HANDLE THESE SITUATIONS THAT ARE PRESENT RIGHT IN FRONT OF US? We are going to talk about these answers over the next few weeks with: Mind Monsters!
Mind Monsters are Fearful Imaginations, Despair, Anger, Worry, Insecurities, Guilt, Inaccurate Assumptions.
A couple of years ago I preached a message about being honest with your emotions and thoughts. If you are experiencing some of these Mind Monsters, our solution is not to deny that we have them. Confess that you have them. Allow God to deal with them.
It all starts with this!
You Can Not Have a Positive Life With a Negative Mind
It is impossible to have a positive life with a negative mind.
WE HAVE TO DRIVE OUT THE NEGATIVE INVADERS. Kevin Gerald wrote a book called Mind Monsters, in it he said this, “You can be on your way to heaven, but your life could be hell.”
Am I transformed by simply coming to church? NO. You can sit in a church and not be transformed (sitting in a garage not becoming a car). We are transformed by actively renewing our mind. Your mind is enslaved. You mind is trapped. You have mind monsters. Your mind has to be renewed!
You have to “walk out” your faith. Things don’t come automatically. You need to walk through some trials and trust in God through the struggle. Walking through the struggle will prove your faith strong and your overcoming will arrive.
There was a time in Israel’s history when they had gone far from God and the Midianites have come in and contaminated the thoughts and faith of the Jews. They weren’t in slavery. They were still at work and at their house, but they are being robbed by some people that they have allowed to be amongst them.
The angel of the lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the lord is with you!” “Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The lord brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.” Then the lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” “But Lord,”(Mind Monster) Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest (Mind Monster) in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least (Mind Monster) in my entire family!” The lord said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.” Judges 6:12-16
Gideon starts debating with God because of his mind monsters. He allowed a filter to dictate his perception and reality. We do the same thing!
***We Allow Faulty Filters to Define Us.***
This begins at childhood. Your race, Your skin color, Your parents education level, Where you grew up,
We look at our lives through filters. Some of you started looking at your life through an ugly filter and you make every decision based on the faulty filters.
God tells Gideon to GO IN THE STRENGTH THAT YOU HAVE. God is with him. God Is With You! If God says: GO, then Go! No matter what you think about yourself. God knows the end from the beginning. He knows what he created you to be. He sees what you should be, not you are right now.
Even if you are predisposed to something condition or thinking, that doesn’t mean that God lacks the power to help you overcome it. God has power over the things that were passed down to you.
You actually need to be in the place where your future looks impossible. God wants to do some great things in your life that seem impossible AND He wants to get all the glory for it!
Get Started NOW in the Strength You HAVE
The truth IS that God loves you and your future so much that he came to this world to secure you and it. Jesus’ purpose here on earth was to reclaim your future and redefine your identity. Jesus came to redirect your course.
Maybe all you have today is a tiny faith. Faith the size of a mustard seed, but for Jesus…that is enough!
Faith for your future begins in your mind! Because of the death, burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, no matter what you have been through or what you have done, you HAVE A FUTURE! You have possibilities! The Good News of Jesus
Isaiah 43:19 For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
Recognize where you are!
2 Corinthians 10:5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.
We are not fighting or wrestling with physical things or persons. Instead, we are fighting spiritual battles.
The Jews were allowing Midianites to live amongst them.
I wonder what kind of MIND MONSTERS we allow to live in the strongholds of our mind! What kind of MIND real estate are we giving up to the enemy to contaminate our identity and the prospect of our future??
It is time that we start evicting all the negative, ungodly thoughts and attitudes that are holding us hostage! You ever around negative nelly? My job is bad, my neighbor is bad, my sister in law is mean, I’m always sick…. Blah blah blah!!!
GET AWAY from negative nelly! TURN THE radio channel! TURN OFF the news! Your surroundings are creating the habitat for your thinking. Your thinking is creating the habitat for your future! It’s not just Kanye and Kim that are bad news for your thinking!
Gideon gets out of the cave and God starts changing his surroundings. God starts whittling down the support of Gideon. God starts taking away the solution that Gideon thinks he will bring him victory.
The Battle for YOUR Mind is YOUR Battle to Win
It’s Your Battle. It is MY Battle. God is going to give us the resources and strength to accomplish the task, but it is up to us. The Bible is FULL of instructions. Instructions mean that we play a role in this. We must participate in the great work that God wants to complete in us. The battle for your mind is not something that I can fight for you.
The battle for your mind is not something your spouse, or parent, or friend can fight for you.
I want to encourage you to get into a Small Group if you haven’t done so already. MIND MONSTERS might have told you not to get in a group: “You are too busy, people in a small group are losers, they boring, they are invasive, THOSE ARE NOT the thoughts you need to ride on!” Believe the truth! There are people that are going to go with you to new places.
TODAY IS THE DAY! TODAY IS THE DAY OF NEW BEGINNINGS. I DON’T CARE WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN, IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOUR SITUATION OR PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES HAVE DELIVERED YOU TO… This is a new season.
I want to invite everyone that wants a new perspective and deliverance from some sort of mind monster to join me at the front today.
If you are struggling with: Fearful Imaginations, Despair, Anger, Worry, Insecurities, Guilt, Inaccurate Assumptions or any other monster…join me at the front as a sign of a new season. Step out into the aisle and step into your new season!
Whether you realize it or not, we all have goals or a vision for dating, marriage, kids, retirement. It might be specific, positive, broken, from your family heritage, from Danielle Steel, TMZ, Walt Disney, or the somewhere else…
#relationshipgoals is a big deal on the internet. People will put a picture with a comment and add #relationshipgoals.
There are some really CRAZY goals out there! Crazy. People are putting some crazy things online. I found some this week when I was searching the net.
Check these out:
How many here have been married more than 20 years? More than 30? More than 40?
I have been married to Erica for 17 years. We have 3 lovely kids. However, there were some relationships previous to Erica. Not gonna lie. (was not married before Erica, but dated several before Erica.
Dating is a difficult season of life. If you are dating right now or thinking about dating, I am so glad that you are here for this series. IT WILL HELP YOU.
Dating is so awkward. I remember a really, really, really awkward time when I was dating.
I was on a hayride. Oh, when you are dating, hayrides are so romantic. Cold weather, hot chocolate, Christmas carols, all your friends, chill in the air. Dark, countryside. FUN! We were sittin in the hay in the trailer. All my friends around and a pretty girl beside me (that I was interested in but had never “talked” to her). It was really chilly so we had a blanket covering us. We were all packed in under the blanket joking around, singing, chatting. I started thinking, I want to hold her hand. You know…under the blanket so I ease my hand over and feel hers. She is receptive! We sort of hold hand for 30 minutes! So exciting. Heart buzzing. Wow!
Little did I know that my best friend sitting on the other side of her had the same idea. He had done the same thing! When the blanket came off at the end of the ride, we both discovered that we had had the same idea and we weren’t holding her hand. We were holding each other’s hands!!!
Can you imagine what was going on in the girls mind this whole time???? These guys are really weird. She never said anything the whole time!!
Dating can be so complicated. A huge mistake many people make is think that marriage will uncomplicated things for us.
The truth is marriage only exaggerates the complication.
Over the last 13 years as a pastor, I have counseled with hundreds of people with bad relationship goals. Mixed up…Facing divorce and pain because everything started out on the wrong path or trajectory.
Here is the TRUTH:
God has a plan for you, your life, and your relationships.
Sometimes we have plans or goals for our lives and they are jacked up. Thankfully, God has the right plans for our lives.
Erica actually asked me out on our first date. Are you dating? Do you want to go out? I had some marriage goals set out. I am a very planned person, so I had a bullet list of criteria for myself and my wife Before I would get married:
- My wife had to have a college degree
- Her parents had to be happily married
- I had to be finished with college degree
- I had to have $10,000 saved and in the bank
- My wife had to be a follower of Jesus
When Erica and I got married only 2 of those things were fulfilled. I was finished with college and Erica loved Jesus.
When God created the world, he spoke it into existence. “Let there be…” When he created us, he changed his method. Instead of speaking us into existence, he used his hands to shape us out of the dirt. He formed us. Then, He breathed into us. We have his hand print and breathe of life.
God created Man and it was not good enough. Can I get an “AMEN!”, women??!! So he created Woman to be WITH man.
How did it get so complicated? How did it go from Adam and Eve strolling the garden with God…to…hurtful words, selfish anger, verbal and physical abuse, jealousy, gossip, divorce. ***It has everything to do with ORDER. Putting first things first.***
Here is the most important part of this sermon series. Our Number 1 Relationship Goal:
God is First AND God is Enough
If you miss this. You will get everything else messed up. God is supposed to be first. He’s your true “first love”. He is not your first love on the time line, he is your priority love. Your main love. Your first love.
1 John 4:19 We love each other because He first loved us.
Notice the sequence of events in the Garden of Eden!
- First there was God…without man.
- Then there was God and Adam only and they walked together…
- THEN there was God and Adam and Eve
We are supposed to be connected to Jesus before we get connected to anyone else. Why are Erica and I still married after 17 years? It is not because I finished college or had enough money in the bank. IT IS BECAUSE GOD IS FIRST IN OUR LIVES AND GOD IS ENOUGH. When he is first and he is enough, then marriage is a possibility.
If we aren’t close to Jesus, then we are not EQUIPPED to have a relationship with another human.
It is not that you can’t have a relationship with someone else. However, you are not FULLY EQUIPPED for relationship. You shouldn’t expect to hit your goals if you are not equipped.
You would NEVER hike Mt Everest without the proper preparation and equipment. You need all the supplies to get to the top and successfully descend the mountain.
So many of us and people you know go into relationships without the proper preparation and are not equipped.
Where my singles at? All the single ladies? Put your hands up!!! Make a relationship with God your priority BEFORE you ever think about being married. —- Make that a priority before you get emotionally involved.
Beyonce told him “if you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it.” However, that is not what the Bible says. Not sure if you know this or not but top40 radio doesn’t always line up with the Bible. You only put a ring on it if you are first in a relationship with God and then you are ready to humbly and sacrificially submit to another human. Because I may “like it now” but not “like it” later. Liking is a lot different than loving.
LIKING is an emotion. It is infatuation, like Pastor Will said last week, secular therapists say this infatuation period of having the hots for someone lasts only 6 weeks to 18months. Then, what?
God gives us a commandment to LOVE one another just like God loved us.
John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
You can’t command someone to be emotional. BE HAPPY. BE SAD. BE GIDDY. Doesn’t work. God wouldn’t command you to “like” someone, but he did command you to LOVE one another.
If you want the #relationshipgoal of getting old and gray together and sitting on the pier and eating pizza everynight while watching Andy Griffith, then LEARN THIS PRINCIPLE: Love is not an emotion. It is a verb an action.
LOVE is not the emotional, syrupy, butterfly thing that is so unpredictable. You hear people say that love is unpredictable. NOT TRUE.
The Bible says: love is patient and kind. not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
SOUNDS PRETTY PREDICATBLE TO ME!
Eve is to compliment Adam (and vice versa). Not to complete Adam. (and vice versa) There is no doubt that we humans are broken and need completion. We need someone or something to complete us. GOD KNOWS THIS and provides our Completion directly through our relationship with HIM.
Our faith in Jesus Christ and our relationship with HIM is what gives us the completion that so many people are looking for in other people.
Your spouse will never live up to the standard that only God can live up to! Spouses are not to be in the position that is reserved only for God. Your relationship with Jesus will set the tone for every other relationship.
Let me say it like this:
If your marriage is lacking something, more than likely your relationship with Jesus is too.
You can’t find true love because you haven’t found your FIRST love. Our intimacy with God is to be our first relationship goal!
ILLUSTRATION: Pastor Mike come help me. Mike is going to be God. (toss out rope to each side) Man is on one side and woman is on the other side. Far from each other but liking what they see in each other. You should be tied to God first! Sometimes you are far from him, but you find him and a way to him. God begins to draw you to him! Man and woman have the ends of the rope and may feel far from God, sometimes you will go through pain and trials and difficult and financial struggle. “go through aisle and people to get towards God. Some of you people are going to have to help him go through the hurdles and difficulty. Just like in our life we need the church to help lift us through the mess of life and connect with Jesus. The devil is trying to get you to release the rope BUT if you hold on to the rope in the middle of it all and you continue to move forward…NOTICE what happens! They have gone through some pain and struggle, but they are HOLDING on to the very thing that connects them to God! AS they hold onto Jesus they are getting closer to one another! If you want a solid relationship with your spouse, then get close to Jesus.
The problem with so many people is that as we are working our way through life, we let go of the rope and we take some wrong advice, we let our emotions dictate our path (we let our syrupy feelings dictate our path and we reject the path that God has laid out for us) sin might deliver immediate pleasure, but will never over the long haul deliver you in to the quality relationship you have been looking for.
One with INTREGRITY. HUMILITY. CONSISTENCY. STABILITY.
Instead of letting go of rope when things get difficult or hooking up with someone in the crowd, you need to hold on and walk towards Jesus. He is going to be the one to help you out!
Don’t put Jesus on hold. Hold on to Jesus. He has to be first! Renew your connection to him.
God is first and God is enough.
Proverbs 29:18 When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild.
But whoever obeys the law is joyful. (Without a VISION the people perish.)
NO SHOW SUNDAY
Today, Worship is a lot different from a normal Sunday.
If you are a guest today, normally, you would have had:
- people helping you in the parking lot
- folks meeting you at the door and helping you find a seat.
- The grass would have been mowed.
- The Student Center would have been unlocked! Teachers would have been over there to welcome your family, check in the kids and teach them about Jesus!
- Loving Volunteers in the Nursery that have passed an extensive background check would have been loving on your babies and changing their dirty diapers while you worshipped over here.
- There would have been a band and singers up here!
- There would have been words on the screen when we tried to learn that new song.
- There would have been some lights turned on
WHAT HAPPENED?? Jesus came back and raptured all the real Christians! We are the only ones left.
Actually, TODAY IS CALLED NO SHOW SUNDAY. WE ASKED ALL THE VOLUNTEERS TO NOT SERVE TODAY! Our goal is to have the worst worship experience of PromiseLand San Marcos.
If your kids get a little antsy, we understand. We provided some colors and a piece of paper for them to do some artwork. AT THE END OF SERVICE, EVERYONE GETS ICE CREAM THAT LISTENS INTENTLY.
If you are a guest, we invite you back next week. It will be awesome!
Two objectives today!
- The current volunteers will hear our heartfelt thanks! We could do it without you, but it would really stink.
- That we will recruit the potential of some of you.
Let me show you this in the Bible:
John 2:1 The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. 3 The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.”
Honor was everything in their culture. In our culture, profit or success or achievement is everything. In their culture, you were supposed to honor each other and when you ran out of wine you had failed to honor your guests.
TODAY, we had no wine for you. We did not honor you or God today. This happens a lot in churches in America. Churches fail to honor God and guests.
We have always made it a priority at PSM to honor our guests and make them feel welcomed in our home. When it doesn’t happen, we do everything in our power to make it better. Guests are a big deal at PSM.
Over the last 13 years, we have had 9467+ of people walk through our doors! Our Question is: Will we have wine at the party? Will we honor our guests. When they get here we need to be able to give them the very best!
When we honor guests, we honor God!
We have some big weddings in our day and time. (bridezillas) Weddings in Jesus’ day were HUGE. They could last up to a week. This was an opportunity for a wedding, but also for gift giving. For us to not have order, excellence, joy is a disgrace, dishonor. We are the church of God. We are serving the bread of life.
God is great and greatly to be praised!
Our culture here at PSM is one that honors God and serves His people!
- Every member is a minister (everyone represents God to others)
- Every task is important
- Everybody is a 10 at something.
Some today might say, I like this environment, it is quieter, we don’t need the lights and loud music. If God wants to save them, then he can save them. If you are leaning that way, make sure you aren’t using God’s sovereignty to hide your apathy. Just because he can doesn’t mean he will. HE CREATED YOU FOR A PURPOSE. Get in the game!
Mary had just hinted that Jesus should do something about the wine problem.
4 “…woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”
KIDS, this is the one time you can not do what Jesus does. Do not use this verse. You can’t use this passage as WWJD. – “Son, do your homework…woman, my time has not come.”
Jesus says that this has nothing to do with him. He could have every right to say that about all of earth including our sin. “I’m pure, spotless. They are unholy. What does this have to do with me?” Instead, he empties himself for us. Jesus is about to turn water into wine. It seems like is a bit out of place. Making wine at wedding?
Some might think that they are over qualified to serve. Look at Jesus. Do you think that you are better than Jesus? Jesus was doing quite well separated from humanity but instead lowered himself to become like us and then to die a gruesome death in our place.
In a few minutes, I will give you all the opportunity to jump into serving here at PSM and we will all have to face One of the biggest barriers to serving: PRIDE.
Shaking hands, smiling at people, parking cars, picking up trash, serving coffee.
YOU ARE OVERQUALIFIED FOR ALL OF THESE TASKS.
Jesus was way over qualified to take your sins on his back and carry them to the cross. He was way over qualified to turn water into wine.
You are never more like Jesus than when you are serving (giving).
Even Jesus, had to be prompted to act!
5 But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons. 7 Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.”…
Jesus takes something very ordinary and puts ordinary water in them. See God make something supernatural with it.
This happens every week at PSM: I want to CELEBRATE our volunteers for a moment! We have 180 volunteer positions on each Sunday. That encompasses: 360 hours per Sunday, 1512 hours per month, 18,144 hours a year! At minimum wage that is a value of: $3000/week and $156,000/year! Many are doubling up multiple jobs and many are working both services.
And these are not minimum wage jobs! We have
- business owners that are open doors and park cars.
- ‘stay at moms’/professional moms that sing and prepare Sunday School lessons
- IT guys that work all week at the office and then get here and make this place look amazing!
- We have single parents that get here at 7:00am on their day off with all their kids dressed well and get ready to serve you. (Parking in top lot)
7… When the jars had been filled, 8 he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So the servants followed his instructions. 9 When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over.
All the guests at the wedding had no idea of what happened to make the miracle happen. But the servants knew!
Every week Jesus is turning water into wine for people at PSM!
You may not see it, but every week we get responses from people who have gone through divorce and yet God has given them peace.
- Jenny diagnosed with stage 3 cancer and then a turnaround where there is no treatment needed.
- Paul on the edge of a breakdown and God turns around his situation, emotions, marriage.
- 2 weeks ago 82 people were baptized! What about the dozen volunteers who were at the church at 6am getting speakers loaded in trucks?!
- Last week, 115 School Backpacks given out! What about the volunteers who gave, went shopping, stuffed the pack, handed out the packs!?
- Over 200 have attended the Growth Track this year. Who served the food, put up the tables, sat down for 1-on-1 counseling?!
Everyone gets to taste it. But only those that serve get to see the transformation.
PromiseLand has some fine tasting wine! In order for God to produce the wine, he is working through a lot of servants who are faithfully taking ordinary clay pots and filling them with ordinary water.
God is doing some amazing things around our house and those that are serving are participating in the miracle!
STARTING TO SERVE IS SIMPLE:
- Take the piece of paper in the seat in front of you and circle ONE box.
- Another way is to go on the CITY this afternoon and all of the specific spots available will be listed.
- If you are ready to make a move, then follow through. If you are feeling guilty here today and sign up and then we try to reach you and you won’t ever call or email us back, then don’t waste the time filling out the card.
If you have been here a while and have been drinking the wine and you are ready to start carrying a jar then, we need you to start carrying a jar!
We have spots available with kids, in social areas, in private areas, cooking meals, shaking hands, cutting grass, working in the dirt!
Carry a jar! There are some servants that are carrying your dead weight. If you are only wanting to social sip at the PSM spiritual wedding, then it’s time to move along! Either move spiritually deeper or move to a church were sitting around is acceptable.
I’m hoping that we will never take for granted what happens here at PSM. We need to treat everyone like a VIP.
Let’s do John 2:5- God is going to continue to turn water into wine! Will you be a part?
- What happens at PSM changes lives forever. This is not a social club or a religious death trap.
- Faithful people humbly make a difference every week. Some every week, some biweekly. Some once a month.
- It takes a little jolt or ‘ask’ from someone else to motivate.