Author Archives: pastorrobin
This is fourth of July weekend, so obviously we are going with INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE
This movie is a sequel to the original 20 years ago. There was an alien attack on the world in 1996 and a crew led by Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum fought back to reestablish their independence from alien occupation.
Now, in 2016 there has been a resurgence of domination, fear, and possession. The aliens represent an occupation of evil that strips humanity of its dignity, creativity, and most of all our independence.
The aliens are huge, multi-layer, extremely quick and intelligent. Obviously, more power than humans and can maintain complete control over humans. Our guns are big enough. Our money doesn’t matter to them. Our beauty, Athletic skill, education, means NOTHING to them. Aliens are not intimidated at all. When your spaceship lands on the Atlantic ocean (the whole Atlantic ocean) there isn’t much that earthlings can do.
In reality, there IS a force that dominates humanity. There is a force of darkness that descended on the planet many years ago.
The devil has been fighting us for millennia. Breaking up marriages, pitting us against each other, spreading diseases, violence erupting, natural disasters, greed is a contagious power that eats away the soul and spirit of humanity
The good news is that we can be FREE from this grip of the devil. JESUS CHRIST came to the earth to live as one of us and fight the fight. Jesus Christ took on our sins and brokenness and nailed it to the cross.
Colossians 4:13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. 15 In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.
When wondering how to apply this VICTORY of JESUS to our life, the story of America’s independence has an amazing parallel. Tomorrow, we will be BBQing, shooting fireworks, hanging out at the River.
Ironically, on July 4, 1776, a battle was not won. A Document was voted on. It wasn’t even signed (it was signed a month later). We celebrate our DAY of Independence, not on a battle day but instead as the day our make-shift congress voted on a document.
BUT It was more than a document. It was a declaration! A Declaration is a statement asserting or protecting a legal right.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown…
- They made it known formally or officially. They revealed or made it manifest.
- They stated emphatically or authoritatively.
- “Not longer will we be dictated, ruled, controlled, by the King of England.”
The king didn’t have their interest in mind.
When you declare something it begins to manifest. IT IS TIME THAT WE DECLARE OR ASSERT OUR LEGAL RIGHT AS GOD’s Kids.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm (profess), for God can be trusted to keep his promise.
Romans 10:9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
What do you need to be independent from? Because Jesus literally lived a sinless life and then willingly gave his life for the sins of all the world, then we have a legal right as God’s kids to live a life of freedom!
We declare to OURSELVES, our PEERS, our ENEMY our independence from:
- OUR SIN
- OUR EMOTIONS
- OUR MINDS
- OUR APATHY
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
WHAT ABOUT WHEN THERE IS A RESURGENCE?
Sometimes, even after the devil has been defeated in your life, he will rear his ugly head and act like it never happened.
What do you do in a resurgence?
John 8:35 A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.
John 8:44 …He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.
THE DEVIL IS A LIAR.
When temptation comes your way, you need to say, “Oh, Hell NO”!
Do you know John Dickinson or Robert Livingston? They both did not sign because they clung to the idea of reconciliation with Brittan.
I want to break down chapter 5 into what I am calling the 4 Ps! Through all 5 chapters we see some reoccurring themes. PLEASE get into this book. If you haven’t read all five chapters yet, please dig into it. One of our families read it every day for a month.
We are going to call these first 6 verses the:
The Predicament of PROSPERITY
Everyone in the room wants to be prosperous. However, the Bible Tells us that prosperity puts us in a difficult, perplexing, or dangerous situation. A predicament.
James 5:1 Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. 2 Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This corroded treasure you have hoarded will testify against you on the day of judgment.
This is beginning like chapter 4! Remember him talking about running a race to satisfy desires in your inner most being?
In fact, here in Ch.5 he is talking about when you are running the race and you catch the fake rabbit. Prosperity is not all that it is cracked up to be.
Relying on money and success to bring you peace is the wrong idea.
4 For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the lord of Heaven’s Armies. 5 You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and killed innocent people, who do not resist you.
That doesn’t sound like you. Surely, he isn’t talking to you. You aren’t wealthy. You don’t participate in this… hhhhhhmmmmmm.
When I read verses 1-6, I think about America. All Americans.
Economists say that in the world there is about 153 trillion dollars. 63 of that trillion is in the US where 4.4% of the world population lives. The Average household income in America is $50,000.The Average household income for the world is $18,000. The median income is $1225. (for the math nerds out there)
The book of James is filled with warnings for the believer. It is so east to be ENTICED. SWAYED. DECIEVED. By this system and worldly thinking. BEWARD OF THE PROSPERITY PREDICAMENT! We can be intoxicated by possessions and money. We often allow the pleasures of this life and the pursuit of success to warp our true perception of God’s Kingdom. The Love of Money is the root of all evil.
In verses 7-11, James gives us the Plea for Patience:
The Plea for PATIENCE
7 Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. 8 You, too, must be patient.
Wait…patiently! While you wait, do these two things:
Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near. 9 Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. Basically, he is talking about the spirit of Eeyore! Down in the dumps.
“No one likes me. Everything is wrong. I have been treated wrong. Wah wah wah.” My son would say, “Someone call the wahhhmbulance”
The Believer in Jesus doesn’t have to be bound by the circumstances being handed to them! James is giving us a posture. A way to stand. A way to present our self. Patient. Courageous. Good attitude.
Galatians 5 says that the Holy Spirit of God will give us patience, gentleness, and self control! Bring it on, God! I want to live that type of lifestyle. When people see me, I want them to see someone that is patient. Trusting God. Not grumbly. Live a Life of Integrity. Mean what you say and say what you mean.
12 But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned.
In verses 13-18, James gives us:
The Power of PRAYER
13 Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. 14 Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. 16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. 17 Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! 18 Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.
In verses 19-20, James is giving us:
The Plight of PEOPLE
Or The Part you Play
19 My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, 20 you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back from wandering will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.
You are going to play a part in the situation or condition of someone else’s heart.
You make a difference in someone’s life when you show them love.
You can adjust someone’s course and trajectory by the way you share your story with them.
Caring for others. Forgiving those who are different from you.
Instead of criticizing and condemning, James is calling us to step INTO the situation and reach out a hand. Open up your ears and arms. Open up your prosperous checkbook.
Today, we jump into chapter 2 of James. Chapter 2 teaches us 2 core principles:
Christians Choose PEACE over of PREJUDICE
We choose accessibility over partiality! We OPEN doors…first.
James 2:1 My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? 2 For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes.
OR they have a different style. They have tattoos, all kinds of piercings. They are a different race. They are a different age. They vote different from you. They come from a different background. They like the Patriots or the Giants.
3 If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, 4 doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?
Discrimination– to make a distinction in favor of or against a person or thing on the basis of the group, class, or category to which the person or thing belongs rather than according to actual merit;
8 Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 9 But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law. 10 For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. 11 For the same God who said, “You must not commit adultery,” also said, “You must not murder.” So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law. 12 So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free.
What is the Law that Sets you FREE? Since your faith in Jesus Christ sets you free from your sin and deserved punishment, you are then freed from hatred and self-love and are able to love your neighbors as ourselves.
When this all started in the first century, Christianity grew and developed in confrontation, with an environment that breathed hostility to its doctrines and practices.
The main reason that Christianity survived being fed to the lions was because they acutally choose peace over prejudice.
The lives of early Christians showed that accusations against them were lies.
1 Peter 2:15 It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you.
The early believers actually fed the needy, accepted outcasts, buried the poor, cared for orphans and the aged, encouraged prisoners and victims of disasters, and showered compassion on the persecuted.
Their lives proved that Christianity produced a superior character. This is still the best proof of the reality of our faith.
I’m praying that PromiseLand is filled with people that are living out a declaration of the Gospel of Jesus. Sure we know how to describe the good news of Jesus from a theological standpoint (it’s always good to know good doctrine). BUT more than that, May God enable us today to make a bold demonstration of our mercy to others!
Christians Do Good.
James 2:14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? 17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
VERY IMPORTANT: This is NOT talking about not doing bad things (sinning). It is talking about DOING good things.
James is not saying in this particular passage that your “work” is your ability to not sin. He is saying that your works are the good deeds that you perform.
As we go through this passage, you will see two distinctive words: shown and counted. Your faith counts you righteous. Your actions show your faith.
On one hand, If we were God, then we wouldn’t need works to show or display our faith. God sees the heart and knows all things. We can’t see inside someone, so the only way we know if someone’s faith is legit, is to see some outward evidence in their life.
On the other hand, it is impossible for strong, effective faith to be lazy or selfish. You can’t separate faith and good works. Christians do Good.
18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” 21 Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. 23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. 24 So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone. 26 Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.
Some translations say spirit instead of breath. The original word, pneuma means actually spirit breath. So it is all intertwined of sorts. God breathed life into the corpse of Adam in creation giving him a spirit breath. As your body, needs a spirit, so does your faith need works.
Look at the natural parallel as well: A healthy body has involuntarily muscles in the respiratory system that bring air in and out without you even knowing it. It is part of a healthy body.
Good works are the oxygen that a healthy faith body will bring in and out of it’s existence.
When Faith is inactive, it is entombed in a creed affirmed by the intellect. This has no more usefulness than a body with no heartbeat or breath – Holmann Commentary
In case you are new to reading my notes, please know that there is a LOT of content that comes to my mind while I’m up there and it is not reflected in these notes. Also, they are not proof read. You can watch this message on our vimeo channel.
Today, we start the book of James! We will be going chapter by chapter through the book of James. Commit to coming throughout the month of June and you will grow deep in the word of God. You will have a firm grasp on this profound book in the New Testament. READ IT AT HOME. Five Chapters.
PLEASE TAKE NOTES. YOU WILL BE LOADED DOWN WITH GREAT THINGS TODAY!
Many scholars believe that the writer of this book was the half brother of Jesus.
This book is unique for the New Testament in that it covers a lot ground in only 5 chapters. It is similar to the book of Proverbs because it offers blurbs of powerful truths. As a message it compares closely to Jesus’ sermon on the mount in Matthew 5, 6, and 7.
This month we are going to teach and preach as much as we take 1 chapter per week. There is no way we can cover it all, but we hope that your interest will be piqued and you will dig into the word on your own throughout the week.
This one chapter covers the challenge and test of the Believer.
James 1:2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.
The Bible gives a whole lot of direction on how to stay out of trouble, but at some point, you will find yourself in some trouble no matter what.
TRIAL. TEST. DIFFICULTY.
Someone walked out on you. Your car breaks down.
You lose your job. You fail a test that you studied for.
You are diagnosed with diabetes.
CONSIDER THESE OPPORTUNITIES FOR JOY!
3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
Endurance– the capacity to hold out or bear up in the face of difficulty, patience, endurance, fortitude, steadfastness, perseverance.
- To hold back the discouraging results of a bad temper or remorseful self-pity.
- Staying power because we trust in God.
If I want to build endurance to run a long race, then I have to begin running.
If I want stronger muscles, then I need my muscles to go through a process of being broken down and being rebuilt.
When you put your body through trouble, it begins to build muscle. Whether that is cardiovascular or biceps, it takes challenge to build strength.
This is the same with FAITH
4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
He expounds on this in verse 12 to say:
12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
Story of Ron Liles – (Ron Liles slide)
That type of strength or wisdom can only come from God:
5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
I remember when I was a kid hearing the story of King Solomon asking God for wisdom and it struck me at a young age. Ask God for wisdom. I prayed as a young boy for wisdom and God granted it!
Now there is a whole different route that we can go if we choose to. Troubles come. Our faith is tested. We are tempted and we can respond in fear, in doubt.
James makes it clear in verse 14-15:
14 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. 15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. 16 So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. 18 He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.
We can see that there are two clear options or paths to take when troubles come our way. We can allow our faith to grow and endurance can produce in us completion, contentment, the crown of life.
OR we can take the path of least resistance where temptation leads to sin and sin leads to spiritual death.
I don’t know about you, but I want to take the high road. The top route. The endurance and the perfect path.
IF that is the path you want to take, then James gives us clear steps on how to walk it.
19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. 21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.
We want to rid ourselves of any voice in our life that is telling us something different from God’s word.
Your spirit and soul are no different than your body in that they both are a result of what you feed them. What are you feeding your spirit and soul.
Spirit food is what we spend our time mentally digesting.
Entertainment. Books. Recreation. Family. Relationships. Work Environment.
If you are in an environment where you are consciously or subconsciously being fed a lie about the sovereignty of God. The Goodness of God. The satisfaction of God. The peace of God. YOU NEED TO GET OUT OF IT.
Get the remote and turn off the movie that is filling your mind or your family’s mind with filth. “Oh, but it is just funny. It is just a movie. It is not real life. I can watch it and it doesn’t affect me.”
When you start believing that it is morally acceptable for us to live in a way that is opposed to God’s ways, then that came from some sort of influence in your life. You are starting to believe something that is opposed to the way God has ordained it to go from the beginning of time. You didn’t use to believe that! Something has happened. Something has changed.
The influencers in your life are saying that it is acceptable. Politicians, Entertainers, Athletes, Leaders, Good looking people…
WHY WOULD JAMES SAME GET RID OF THE FILTH AND EVIL???
His following statement tells us why. Accept the Word of God… IT HAS THE
POWER to save your soul.
When we are entranced with or intoxicated with the systems and culture of this world, we will believe a lie about God and not believe the truth of his word. IT IS HIS WORD that will save our souls!
22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
He even gives us a picture of what it would look like if you lived out this complete life of faith. What would perfect religion look like?
- He doesn’t say it looks like going church every week
- He doesn’t say it means carrying the biggest Bible
He does say that how you talk means something. What comes out of your mouth, your conversation paints a picture of what is in your heart. If you are secure in your identity with him or not. He says:
26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.
He says that how you treat others means something. Your actions towards people that will never pay you back, or never give you a promotion, or never… tell a story about your walk with God.
27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.