Archives from October 2019

Think Like Jesus: Three Ways of Thinking

Sunday Sermon Series Think Like Jesus

1 Corinthians 2:14-3:3

What is your thought life like? Is it clean? Do you think like Jesus or

  1. The natural person (1 Corinthians 2:14) … This is how we are. This is how everyone starts out. 

    1. Does not receive spiritual things.

    2. Views spiritual things as foolishness. 

    3. Does not understand the value of spiritual things. 

We don’t start out just knowing about spiritual things. We don’t start out with an experience in these matters and we don’t start out with the Holy Spirit helping us understand it. … It’s akin to discovering a new sport. At first you know nothing about it, but then you start to receive it.  2 Corinthians 4:4 says Satan has blinded us. Acts 26:18 says the Gospel can open our eyes to see the light. 

  1. The spiritual person (1 Corinthians 2:15-16) 

    1. Is able to discern the real value of everything. 

    2. Is misunderstood by the world. 

    3. Has the mind of Christ.

Spiritual people have the Holy Spirit, and through Him, they are able to discern or know the value of spiritual things. The world tends to struggle with understanding spiritual people, which can make it difficult to live as a spiritual person. These spiritual people also think like Jesus. 

  1. The carnal person (1 Corinthians 3:1-3)

    1. Is a believer, but is spiritually immature. 

    2. Is jealous and quarrelsome. 

    3. Behaves like a natural person. 

Carnal people believe in God but don’t grow in their faith. Since they fail to mature in their faith, they end up being continuously jealous and quarrelsome and act like a natural person. The natural person is what we are prior to salvation and that salvation should change us to be spiritual people. However, many of us are carnal people instead. The Holy Spirit should change us into spiritual people

The key to thinking like Jesus is your relationship to the Holy Spirit. … You probably caught that He was mentioned in all three sections. He is the one who changes us if we keep our relationship with Him strong.

Even If Not

Sunday Sermon

Daniel 3:17-18; Genesis 28:20-21

Today, let’s consider this question: Is your faith conditional or unconditional? Think on that as you read through these notes.

Daniel and his friends were taken to Babylon to train in the king’s palace. Their names were changed from Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, which all reflect faith in God to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, which all indicate belief in the Baylonian gods. King Nebuchadnezzer had a massive gold statue built and proclaimed that anyone who didn’t bow down to the statue when the music played would be thrown into a furnace. Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah had a dilemma. Bow down or not? Why not just fake it? Bow down without meaning it? Isn’t it what’s on the inside that counts? Outward appearances don’t matter, right? Wrong. Our actions do matter and Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah knew that. They refused to bow down and were reported for it. The king gave them another chance, but, well, here’s their response:

If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it. But even if He does not, we want you to know, your majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. - Daniel 3:17-18

Some people have “if” faith (Genesis 28:20-21). But Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah had and “if not” faith. … Jacob had an “if” faith early in his life. His faith was conditional on getting something from God. 

When the king heard their response he grew angrier and hjad the furnace heated seven times hotter. It was so hot that the soldier who threw them in died. Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were now in the fire, but the king saw a fourth man who looked like an angel (some scholars believe it was Jesus). When the king called for them to come out of the fire, not a hair on them was singed and they didn’t even smell like smoke. As a result, the king praised God and promoted Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah within the kingdom. 

Jeremy Camp, when he started out as a young singer, spotted a woman in the crowd and nearly stopped playing. They started dating. She developed ovarian cancer and put a pause on the dating. Then they resumed shortly after and were married. Three months after their honeymoon, she died of ovarian cancer. Jeremy Camp then wrote the song “I Still Believe”. 

What is the character of your faith? Is it conditional or not?

Remain in Jesus

Sunday Sermon

John 15:4-10

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. - John 15:4-5

The most important thing in life: 

Stay in a close relationship with Jesus so that His life can flow through you. … This is perhaps the most important thing that we need to do as Christians. If we remain/abide/stay/dwell/live in Jesus, we can thrive as His spirit in us.

How do we remain in Jesus?

  1. We remain in Jesus as we relate to Him over a period of time (John 15:4-5). … Some new believers get off to great starts but then fade. They fade because they don’t give it enough time to soak up all the goodness Christ has to offer. 

  2. We remain in Jesus as His words remain in us (John 15:7). … When we keep His words in us, when we memorize His words, we can use them to help us and they can help us stay on track. 

  3. We remain in Jesus as we obey His commands (John 15:9-10). … By keeping His commands, we show our love for Him. And as we obey Him it connects us to Father and His love. Disobedience can disconnect us from that love temporarily. 

Together, these three keys lead to a healthy Christian lifestyle. Here’s a little formula our pastor showed us during the sermon that may help us in some areas:

Time + the Word + Obedience = Growth and Faithfulness 

When we spend time in the Word and obey Jesus’ commands, we grow in our relationship with Christ.

One event we use to help keep us grounded in this is taking the Lord’s Supper. The bread (or crackers) and juice (or wine) represent His body and blood that were broken and spilled for us, instead of us.

Stress and Distress: Some of Our Distress Is Caused by Our Sin

Sunday Sermon Series Stress and Distress

2 Samuel 24

We’ve looked a few types of stress from outside sources already, but today we look at stress that we cause for ourselves through sin. 

Why does 2 Samuel 24:1 say the Lord incited David to take a census, while 1 Chronicles 21:1 says Satan incited him? … We don’t really know why these accounts differ. It doesn’t make sense for God to incite someone to commit a sin. One possible explanation is that God allowed Satan to incite David to sin. This is what happened to Job and to the Israelites when God allowed more sin influence in their lives as an act of discipline. 

What was wrong with taking a census? … It seems like a strange act to consider a sin. Was his motive wrong? Was the method incorrect? 

Joab tried to persuade David not to take a census (2 Samuel 24:3). What can we learn from this? … Whatever made it sinful was obvious to Joab as he protested immediately. Often when we are about to go down a bad path, God sends someone to warn us. Joab was far from perfect but he was God’s messenger (apparently along with other commanders) in this case. David would not listen and overruled them and carried out the census. 

2 Samuel 24:10 shows what truly made David great. He wasn’t great at avoiding sin, but he was great at confessing it. He knew he had sinned and he immediately confessed it to God. Then he’s given three options that he must choose from as punishment. The three options show us that our sins have consequences not only for ourselves, but also for innocents.

David said, “Iam in deep distress” (2 Samuel 24:14). Is sin the root cause of any distress in your life? … Have you been dishonest? Consumed by greed? Wronged somebody?

In Psalm 25:18, David prayed, “Look on my affliction and distress and take away all my shame.” … 70,000 people in Israel had died because of his sin. David felt some heavy shame and distress from his own sin. David knew that God could remove that shame and he asked God to take it from him. 

David bought Araunah’s threshing floor, which would have been on the top of a hill, so he could build an alter and make sacrifices. Araunah offered to give it to him free, but David insisted on paying. David didn’t want to offer sacrifices that cost him nothing. 

What is the significance of the threshing floor of Araunah? … But what makes it more significant than any other threshing floor? This is Mt. Moriah where God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. This is the place where Solomon would later build the temple. Later, the temple was destroyed and rebuilt in the same place. It was destroyed once more in the first century A.D. All that remains is one wall that has been a pilgrimage destination since then.