Let’s Roll! Unexpected Availability – Sermon Notes Pastor Brad Myers

Ordinary People doing Extraordinary Things April 14, 2024

Today: Unexpected Availability

1 Corinthians 1:26-29 (TLB)

Notice among yourselves, dear brothers, that few of you who follow Christ have big names or power or wealth. 27 Instead, God has deliberately chosen to use ideas the world considers foolish and of little worth in order to shame those people considered by the world as wise and great. 28 He has chosen a plan despised by the world, counted as nothing at all, and used it to bring down to nothing those the world considers great, 29 so that no one anywhere can ever brag in the presence of God.

  • “in order to” God’s plan is using your availability.
Q) Does skill matter to God?

Thought: God doesn’t care about your ability, but only your availability. If you prove your dependability, He will increase your capability.

Q) Who are some of the extraordinary people in the Bible?
  • Moses: God specifically chose Moses to lead the Israelites from captivity in Egypt to salvation in the Promised Land.
  • Elijah: Prophet
    • Used to oppose a wicked king and bring revival to the land.
    • Elijah’s life was filled with turmoil. At times he was bold and decisive, and at other times fearful and tentative.
    • He demonstrates victory and defeat, followed by recovery. Elijah knew both the power of God and the depths of depression.

James 5:17 (CEB)

Elijah was a person just like us. When he earnestly prayed that it wouldn’t rain, no rain fell for three and a half years.

  • King David:
    • Man after God’s own heart.
    • Slew the giant Goliath.
    • Anointed King of Israel as a teenager.
    • David arranged for Uriah to be killed in battle so he could marry his wife, Bathsheba.
    • God promised David a descendant to rule on the throne forever. That everlasting king is Jesus, the Messiah, and Son of David.
  • John the Baptist:
    • The first prophet called by God since Malachi 400 years earlier. 
    • Born of elderly parents who had never been able to have children.
    • Jesus came from Galilee to be baptized by John in the River Jordan. 
    • He was the precursor for the modern-day evangelist.
  • Abraham:
    • The father of many nations.
    • Aside from Moses, no OT character is mentioned more in the NT than Abraham.
    • God tested his faith to sacrifice his son Isaac.
  • Paul:
    • “Far from an ordinary man”
    • Given the opportunity to do extraordinary things for the kingdom of God.
    • Originally a hater of Christians later becomes “The Apostle of Grace.”
    • Meets Jesus on the road to Damascus.
    • Many missionary journeys where he wrote 2/3 of the NT.

Paul’s life summed up

Philippians 1:21 (NIV)

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

So many other extraordinary people

  • Samuel, Esther, Ruth, Mathew, Mark, Luke, & John: All the Disciples,

Q. What was extraordinary about them?

A. They all did amazing things!!

  • Not because they were extraordinary.
  • They were people just like you and me.

 

Q. What did all these ordinary people have in common? Not just God!

A. They all were available to God and as a result, they did extraordinary, unexpected things!

 

Unexpected Availability!!

  • Making yourself available not knowing where you’re being sent or what you’re expected to do.
  • We have people like that here today! House & Online

Other people see where God is working, and they make them themselves available and join in with that work.

Other people only make themselves available if they know they outcome of where they’re being sent or what they’re asked to do.

Others claim to be available to God but are actually just dragging God with them to where they think He should be working.

Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Thought: There is a work waiting for you to avail yourself to which God will make extraordinary with unexpected results!

Problem is we sometime don’t believe

Thought: When you think nothing significant can happen through you, that speaks more about your unbelief in God than about your natural abilities.

  • Many people with gifted abilities fail.
  • Many people with limited giftings succeed.

But God Says

Job 8:7 (CEB)

Although your former state was ordinary, your future will be extraordinary.

  • Again, in the middle between ordinary and extraordinary is where Jesus is!

Thought: It may not always what you want it to be; but it’s what God needs it to be.

We have to understand

Thought: We are God’s vessel to get it done and He will move us for His purpose if we make yourself available!

One of the most amazing and yet challenging scriptures.

Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

  • We fail to realize the opportunities before us.

Thought: God is saying His ability is beyond my ability to ask or even imagine what it could be like for God’s power to flow through me.

Chances are you have been limiting God?

  • We don’t intend on limiting God, but we tend to look at ourselves as not anyone special, or smart enough, etc.

Thought: If you have achieved everything in your life by your own ability then you have yet to tap into God’s supernatural ability for you. God wants your availability for something bigger way above what your own natural ability requires.

Story: Deliverance from Egypt- Moses

  • Experienced signs and wonder but died short of what God had for them.
  • “Promise Land!” It was theirs by faith!
  • They couldn’t see beyond their natural ability to get there.

Psalm 78:41 (NKJV)
Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. God wanted to do more than they would let Him do. He wanted to bring them into the promised land –in one year! Israel said the nations in that land are mightier than we are, that was true in the natural. God wanted them to trust Him and keep moving forward. Instead they instantly limited God.

Heb. 4:2

The Word preached did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith in those who heard it.

  • Your availability tends to be at the same level as your faith.

Saying: “That Was Unexpected

  • I didn’t believe that would happen. (possible but not probable)
  • I didn’t think that could happen: Impossible!
  • Your availability mirrors your faith.

Isaiah 6:8 (NIV)

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? (God sends someone) And who will go (who’s willing?) for us?” And I said, Here am I. Send me!(I’m available for the unexpected!)

  • God always uses those who say, “Here I am God, send me!” – I’m Available.
  • Opportunities, the miraculous, and empowering always starts with Availability.

 

Let’s Roll! Move Out! Sermon Notes Pastor Brad Myers

Ordinary People doing Extraordinary Things April 7, 2024

3-week series: Let’s Roll: Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things!

Today: Move Out!

Military Prepares People

  • For a mission: Once ready!!
  • Then use the phrase “Alright. Let’s Move Out!”

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Jesus, like the military, prepared His people.

Mary Magdalene: Set her straight

  • Two Emmaus Road Disciples: Set them straight.
  • The Eleven Disciples: Rebuked and set them straight!

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For A Mission:

Mark 16:15 (NIV)
15 He said to them, (disciples)“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 

After preparing them Jesus departs planet earth

Mark 16:19 (NIV)
19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 

  • Jesus’ assignment just changed.
  • Now Equips, Oversees, and Intercedes.

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Equips Empowers

Hebrews 13:21a (TLB)
….now may the God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, equip you with all you need for doing his will.

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Equip (empower disciples)

John 20:21-22 (NLT)
Again, he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

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Now equipping all believers!

Acts 2:1-4 (NLT) The Holy Spirit Comes
On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.

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Overseer

1 Peter 2:25 (NIV)
For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

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Intercedes

Romans 8:34 (NLT)
…… who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.

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The Disciples Responded to their preparation.

Mark 16:20 (NIV)
20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

  • Then: Means Moved Out!
  • “Preached Everywhere”: As they moved about!
  • “Lord worked with them” Jesus prepared us, equipped us, oversees us, and intercedes for us!
  • “Confirmed by signs”
  • ordinary people doing extraordinary things!

Thought: God uses ordinary people who are empowered with supernatural gifts and abilities to do extraordinary things!

Thought: You are called to be extraordinary, and God wants you to do extraordinary things!!

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Biblical process of moving to extraordinary

1. Present yourself to the Lord.

2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

  • Worthy & Available!

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2. Be Willing to Stay

1 Corinthians 7:17 (NIV)
….. each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.

    • Bible’s most explicit teaching about staying and going.

Thought: If you’re not willing to be used in your current situation you’re not worthy to be trusted somewhere else. Lasting fruit usually comes from a lasting presence.

    • There’s a spiritual power in staying put.

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3. Be Willing to Be Sent (SENT not GO: Big Difference)

    • Willing to Go: You are in control: You tend to know where you’re going.
    • Willing to be Sent: God is in control: Not sure what you’re getting yourself into.

Isaiah 6:8 (NIV)
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

    • Whom shall I sendGod looking for worthy and willing.

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4. Be Willing to Follow the Holy Spirit

Romans 8:14 (NIV)
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

    • “For those who are led” Some are not willing to be led….

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5. Be Willing to Intercede

1 Timothy 2:1 (NIV)
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people.

Hebrews 7:25 (NIV)
Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

Thought: If you want God to prepare you, equip you, oversee you, and intercede for you; then you must be willing to do the same for others.

 

EASTER RESCUE! Easter Sermon Notes Pastor Brad Myers

My Show On The Road! March 31, 2024

Luke 24:13-34 (NIV)

Thought: These two were downcast! sad as they walked and that’s when Jesus came to brighten up the day!

The circumstances we face aren’t as important as the conclusions we draw.

Thought: Jesus came to inform them; but not to change any of their situations– not to change the reality, but to help them see things from a different perspective.

  • Problem wasn’t what had happened. The problem was how they perceived it.
  • Jesus challenged their assumptions. But he did so after he first walked with them and listened to them.
  • Seven-mile journey: How long was Jesus silently with them?
  • Jesus observed, listened, and watched then challenges them on their conclusions.
  • Why were they walking to Emmaus? Because they thought the party in Jerusalem was over.

Q) Ever notice how they talk and the conclusion’s they draw?

Luke 24:19 (NIV)

Their Conclusion

Luke 24:21 (NIV)

Thought: They really thought Jesus had a lot of potential. Those miracles he did were great. He was amazing guy so it’s too bad he died.

  • Jesus didn’t tell them He hadn’t died.
  • Jesus didn’t tell them that what they experienced wasn’t brutal.
  • Jesus told them the conclusions you’ve come to as a result is incorrect.

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The same thing for the women at the tomb

Luke 24:22-24 (NIV)

  • The conclusion they came to is that the body must have been stolen.
  • It seemed like an idle tale that the women saw some angels.
  • So same information, different conclusion,

Thought: Jesus understood they are dealing with something difficult. It is painful. It’s bad. But what conclusion are you coming to? These two were suffering under the weight of a story that wasn’t true. Jesus had died. But here’s the question this Easter. Who told you to use the past tense? That’s what Jesus was saying. I know you’re saying I was, but newsflash. I still am.

Thought: “I’ve got more in front of you than what is behind you.”

Thought: Drawing conclusions on inaccurate information leads to unnecessary fear.

Thought: There is power in taking the same information but coming to a different conclusion.

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Quote: “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.” Charles Swindoll

Thought: They passed same streets, the same hill, same tomb, but now their conclusion was different.

Thought: Jesus had died but he wasn’t dead!!

There is a wrong way to read the Bible.

Thought: The very same thing that they thought stopped Jesus from redeeming Israel was the one thing that was necessary for Israel to be redeemed.

  • They thought that Jesus was on a political campaign.
  • They thought all the prophesies, miracles, revelation, return, was all going to happen without Jesus dying.
  • They wanted to see the crown but not the cross.
  • They wanted the blessings of what it would look like without the broken messiah.
  • They wanted to see him on the throne without him ever having to wear a crown of thorns.
  • Wasn’t possible because of the price of our sin.
  • Jesus had to go to the cross for him to wear the crown as king.

Thought: We read the Bible thinking it will make our lives better, but Jesus didn’t come to make our live better. He came to save our souls through His resurrection which in turn, makes for a better life. When that power has worked on the inside, we then get to see it flow out on the outside. Just as he dying on the cross was paying the price for our sins, him rising from the dead was securing and giving us resurrection power that we’re meant to tap into all the time.

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Easter isn’t a holiday, It’s an identity.

  • It’s not a once-a-year event we celebrate but an everyday reality.
  • Easter is who we are. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.

Thought: You’re meant to live in the power of the resurrection, preach in the power of the resurrection, parent in the power of the resurrection, face adversity in the power of the resurrection, receive deliverance in the power of the resurrection. That’s taking ownership of the resurrection and making it personal; “My Show on the Road!”

Thought: When we leave here today, we’ll feel like Easter is over when in actually it’s only the beginning!

Luke 24:34 (NIV)

and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen!!!!.” ……

Thought: Easter isn’t a holiday, It’s an identity which never ends!!

Thought: The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead has been called the greatest attested facts in all of history.

  • Eyewitnesses experienced it and we now see the impact–

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Look what the one who denied ever knowing Jesus three times now says.

1 Peter 1:8 (NLT)

Thought: Today, my invitation is to a life of joy. Not always without pain, but joy that will thrive in the midst of suffering. And if you invite Jesus into your heart, on the authority of God’s Word, I can tell you that your sins will be forgiven. You will be given a new heart and a new life.

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EASTER RESCUE! Palm Sunday Sermon Notes Pastor Brad Myers

This Changes Everything! March 24, 2024

Today: This Changes Everything.

  • Today, we are right in the middle of the Easter Rescue Series
  • Who is always “right in the middle” of any situation? JESUS!
  • We used Mary Magdalene, the Disciples, and Thomas
  • Today, I will use all of us “Right in the Middle” of a Palm Sunday crowd!

Thought: The phrase “this changes everything” is an expression used to convey that some event, discovery, or situation has a significant and far-reaching impact. It has the potential to alter a current situation or an understanding and may have an impact on future decisions and actions. It implies you may need to be reevaluate or reconsider your opinion considering the new information. Overall, it signifies a significant shift is needed that will redefine the way things were previously understood.

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  • The Resurrection of Jesus Christ changed everything!
  • These changes started to show up in a large crowd on Palm Sunday.

My Thought: Palm Sunday is the day we celebrate the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, one week before His resurrection. As Jesus entered the holy city, He neared the culmination of a long journey toward the Cross. He had come to save the lost and now was the time—this was the place—to secure that salvation. Palm Sunday marks the start of what is often called “Passion Week,” the final seven days of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Palm Sunday was the “beginning of the end” of Jesus’ work on earth

Jesus’ Ministry: people were changed..

Matthew 4:23 (NIV)

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

Matthew 4:23 (NIV)

Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.

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Jesus wrapping up earthy ministry

Matthew 21:1-11 (NIV)

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.

  • Jesus comes to Jerusalem as King: WHO SAYS? A CROWD!
  • Large crowd gathered and understood that Jesus was the Messiah;
  • They didn’t understand it wasn’t time for His kingdom yet.
  • Crowd spread coats and branches on the road. branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
  • Jesus was given the royal treatment.
  • Zechariah prophesied this event: Zechariah 9:9 400 years earlier

Zechariah 9:9 (NIV) The Coming of Zion’s King

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!  Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

  • Rejoice greatly: Prophetic word addressed to a large crowd.
  • Crowds looked for a rescue politically and free them nationally.
  • Jesus came to free them spiritually.

Thought: Jesus came to change hearts and minds not nations.

thought: Jesus’ idea of what changes everything did not align with certain crowds. Jesus is focused on a cross while a crowd is focused on a revolt.

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Large crowd have smaller crowds in them

Matthew 21:8 (NIV)

A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.

  • Introduction of two crowds: “while others.”
  • There was always more than one crowd.
  • Matthew 21:9 (NIV)
    The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
  • “crowd(s)”
  • Jesus is accustom to large crowds.
  • He was always around crowds for the entire three years.

Different crowds different people different motives.

Scientific Studies: Crowds

  • Five groups make up a large crowd. (crowds within crowds)
  • Sporting events, concerts, parades, public gatherings, church meetings, etc.
  • Jesus’ crowd was no different.

Palm Sunday Crowds

1. The Inquisitive Crowd (Curious Jesus Fans!)

  • Seen Jesus preach, teach, heal, and perform many miracles for 3 ½ years.
  • Followed Him on Palm Sunday to see what he’ll do next!
  • Curious: What’s in it for them!

Matthew 4:23 (NIV)

Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.

Thought: Curious crowd seekers are always hanging around hoping they will get something just because they’re part of the crowd.

  • Nothing wrong with being curious — up to a point.
  • It’s all right to ask questions but there comes a time when you should be able to answer those questions.
  • The Bible is packed with principles for living: Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21.
  • Be curious, take the initiative to search the scriptures for yourselves.

2. The Confused Crowd (Mixed Up bunch)

  • Lack understanding!

Matthew 21:10-11 (NIV)

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

  • “the crowds were stirred and asking questions.”
  • “Who is this” Means “Who really is this?”
  • Crowd answers “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
  • That’s all they could say.. They still didn’t really know!
  • Although they followed Him, they were confused about who Jesus was.
  • Today: confused people reference “Man Upstairs, Higher Power, etc.

Matthew 21:9 (NIV)

The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,…

  • Two crowds: One ahead and one behind….

Thought: Whenever you try and go ahead of Jesus you’re bound to be confused.

3. The Pretender Crowd (Fake)

  • Palm Sunday crowd pretending to be committed to Jesus.
  • Not fully sold out.

Thought: Pretenders go through the motion, but their hearts are lukewarm.

Revelation 3:16 (NIV)

So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

  • The crowd in the church of Laodicea became “lukewarm” and useless.
  • Pretenders are useless… fake.
  • Go through the motions.

 

Quote: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” Abraham Lincoln

4. The Opposition Crowd (The Resistance)

  • Pharisees and the Sadducees. Ruling class of Jews in Israel.
  • Religious leaders in the crowd.
  • Sadducees: Literal interpretation of the text of Scripture.
  • Pharisees: Gave credibility to oral interpretation.
  • Opposes Jesus and had a crowd of followers.
  • They never see a good in a situation, only the bad. Just like today!
  • Tend to promote their own interests and their own agendas.
  • Opposers try to tear down God’s people just like the Pharisees and Sadducees tried to do to Jesus.

5. The Committed Crowd (Pledged & Promise crowd!)

  • I pledge my life and promise to follow Jesus no matter what!
  • Mary Magdalene & Certain Women
  • Thomas (Doubting yes but committed!)

Thought: Most people claim to be in the committed crowd when it’s really the smallest group.

  • Committed followers recognize Jesus as Lord, and do what He tells them to do.
    • Thomas: “My Lord, My God”
  • Committed people follow Jesus’ instructions without questioning. (Bible)
  • Him or His motives and without murmuring and complaining.

Committed!

Matthew 21:6-7 (NIV)

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on.

Jesus arrested….Disciples changed to the Confused Crowd

Mark 14:50 (NIV)

Then everyone deserted him and fled……

Disciples show up here

John 20:19-22 (NLT) Jesus Appears to His Disciples

That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders.

A Palm Sunday crowd Changed Everything!

  1. It can determine your Christian experience.
  2. It can determine who you’re following.
  3. It can determine the value you place on the one you follow.
  4. It will reflect your faith.

 

EASTER RESCUE! Sermon Notes Pastor Brad Myers

I’ve Seen Enough! March 17, 2024

I’ve Seen Enough! The Journey of Thomas

  • Doubting Thomas: John 20

John 20:24 (NKJV)

Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.

  • WHY not there? Don’t know.
  • Twin? Thomas looked like someone possibly Jesus.
  • Disciples take off to find Thomas

John 20:25 (NIV)

So, the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

  • Accepting and rejoicing? NO!!
  • Skeptical? I don’t believe it! YES!!

John 20:25 (NIV)

…..But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

  • I need proof.
  • Thomas saw Jesus perform signs and wonders but now wants resurrection proof!

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A Week Later!

John 20:26-27 (NIV)

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.

Q) What happened to change Thomas mind in only a week?

Thought: If God never does another thing for me, I have seen enough to know he is the real deal, the real thing! BUT, it’s so easy today to be skeptical!

  • Today, we ask Google, Alexa, Siri,….
  • Makes us feel powerful!
  • How many times have we grabbed our phones to look it up?
  • WHY? We are Skeptical!

Thought: If you tell me right now some new thing, I’m immediately skeptical. Why? Because I’ve seen enough. I demand proof! Why? I’ve been tricked before. I’m not sure who to believe anymore. Why? Because, in all of us, there is more skepticism than ever!

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  • Enter Doubting Thomas.
  • His friends tell him Jesus has risen from the dead.
  • Doubt sets in and he hesitated to believe; suspicious.
  • Doesn’t know if I want to believe.
  • Just like us today: Skeptical

Thought: Even with compelling evidence you still need faith to believe something. We need to choose to believe!

  • It takes faith to believe and not believe.
  • It takes faith to live!

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Thought: Thomas’ big mistake has defined him even though we do the same thing every day. He was skeptical.

Thought: We see ourselves as we see Thomas, defined by a moment in time.

Thought: God has the capacity that we don’t have; not to remember what we can’t forget.

Thought: Thomas the doubter should be called Thomas the honest.

  • We’ve picked one big moment in time to define Thomas’ life.
  • We don’t we pick a good one?
  • Thomas was someone who was actually honest.

Example: John 14: Jesus telling disciples he was going to heaven.

  • Everyone’s in agreement except Thomas.

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John 14:1-4 (NLT)

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.”

Thomas’ the Honest interrupts.

John 14:5 (NLT)

“No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Thomas is also the Committed: John 11

John 11:16 (NLT)

Thomas, nicknamed the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go, too—and die with Jesus.”

  • Thomas the honest, the committed, the consistent!!
  • BUT, Thomas left Jesus’ crucifixion with the same skepticism the other 10 disciples had.
  • There’s Hope for us skeptics!

Thought: Thomas is part of the Easter Rescue plan. Through his eyes and his story it all begins with absence and unbelief!

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Absence & Unbelief

Thought: The greater the absence the greater the unbelief.

  • Thomas was not with the other 10 Sunday evening!
  • No encouragement, no support, no discussion, rallying around the cause, nothing!
  • Thomas was absent!

Thought: Thomas caved and gave in to unbelief because he had an easier time doing so because of his absence.

Thought: This wasn’t lone ranger time: it wasn’t private prayer closet time; it wasn’t my time, this time, anytime. It wasn’t quarantining time or social distancing time. It was strategizing time and Thomas wasn’t there!

Why the scriptures say…..

Hebrews 10:25 (NIV)

This is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing…..

  • We need each other!
  • Thomas felt abandoned so he abandoned.

Proverbs 27:17 (ESV)

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

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Q) What happened to change Thomas’ mind?

Kindness & Persistence shows up

Thought: The disciples responded to Thomas absence and unbelief by being kind and persistently trying to reach out to him.

They went looking for Thomas!

John 20:25 (AMP)

So, the other disciples kept telling him, “We have seen the Lord!”

  • He didn’t believe it!
  • Unless I could stick my finger in the nail holes

The original Greek indicates an ongoing continuation of discussion

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John 20:25 (J.B. Phillips New Testament)

The other disciples kept on telling him, “We have seen the Lord”,……

The disciples were persistent with Thomas

John 20:26 (NLT)

Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them.

  • They spent 8 days convincing Thomas.
  • Disciples were Kind and Persistent
  • Even though he didn’t believe the disciples stuck with him!

Thought: Some of us are kind but not persistent, while others are persistent but not kind. Kindness and Persistence are what prepares people to have an encounter to with Jesus!

Q) What happened to change Thomas’ mind? Kindness and Persistence set the stage for Thomas to have an encounter and receive an invitation.

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Encounter & Invitation

  • Thomas’s journey from this Sunday-to-Sunday space of time.
  • Because his friends were kind and repeatedly invited him he had an encounter with Jesus. Thomas is there.

John 20:26 (NLT)

Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said.

  • Doors locked, Jesus comes anyhow.
  • No condemnation for Thomas only “Peace”

Thought: God always speaks hope to those who are skeptical.

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  • Thomas had an encounter with Jesus because he prioritized being there.
  • He showed up. He seized the opportunity.
  • Nothing ventured, nothing gained,
  • In fear, in anger, in all of it, he still was willing to open up the scripture and ask God to talk to him.
  • Encounter is easy but the invitation is awkward.
  • Jesus: I heard you want to put your finger in my wounds.
  • Thomas now having second thoughts.

The Invitation

John 20:27-29 (NLT)

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” 28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. 29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

  • Thomas demanded to touch Jesus to believe.
  • Jesus gave him the opportunity, but he no longer needed it.

Thought: When Thomas finally received what he thought he would need to believe, (invitation) he realized he didn’t need it after all.

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Jesus Said:

“You believe because you have seen me”, not “You believe because you touched me.”

  • Thomas realized he had enough proof just hearing & seeing how his friends reacted.
  • Thomas was creating objections based on how he thought God should work.
  • Exactly how we operate today.

Thomas realized he wanted a powerful God not a circus performer

Declaration and Demonstration shows up!

John 20:28 (NLT)

“My Lord and my God!” ….

  • Theologians: One of the most powerful and most concise declarations of deity anywhere in the New Testament,
  • Pretty cool for a guy that started out as a doubter of the Resurrection story.

Thomas’ Declaration

  • “My Lord” Not The Lord: Placing Jesus on the throne of his heart.
  • “My God” Recognizing Jesus is on the throne of the universe.

Thomas’ Demonstration

  • Thomas went forth from that room a changed man declaring Jesus as King until he was killed for his faith buy what many believe having been stabbed by a spear. Pretty good for a doubter.

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EASTER RESCUE! Through The Eyes of Easter People. Pastor Brad Myers In The Middle! March 10, 2024

Today: In The Middle!

Thought: Our Easter series is looking at some different people who were impacted by the Resurrection as we realize it’s also our story. We too are people impacted by the Resurrection. We are Easter People!

Q) What impact did the Resurrection have on Jesus’ closest friends.

John 20:19-22 (NLT) Jesus Appears to His Disciples

That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21 Again he said“Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

  • Disciples hiding: Fearing the Jews.
  • Jesus appears: Shows His hands & side. Disciples glad!
  • Breathed on them: Empowerment of the Spirit

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Q) What kind of person likes being in the middle? NO ONE!

  • Why? Because we feel stuck!

Thought: The beginning is exciting, and the ending is a celebration. It’s the middle where you get bogged down.

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Starting Business:

  • Beginning: All the cool stuff: brainstorming, vision, projections (money) etc.
  • Middle: Challenging!
    • Everything we dreamed about now we actually have to do.
    • Not just do it but make it work!
    • In the middle is where it all happens!

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Nehemiah Wall

  • Maybe the greatest instance of a project undertaken by a people.
  • 52 days, we’re going to build this wall.

Nehemiah 4:6 (NLT)

At last, the wall was completed to half its height around the entire city, for the people had worked with enthusiasm.

  • Done halfway! In the Middle!!!

Nehemiah 4:10 (NLT)

Then the people of Judah began to complain, “The workers are getting tired, and there is so much rubble to be moved. We will never be able to build the wall by ourselves.”

What happened?

  • They hit the slump in the middle.
  • Where we’ve gone from, this is the best idea ever to this is so hard there’s no way we’re going to finish, right?
  • Morale is just crushing in the middle.

Thought: It’s in the middle that our fears can also overtake us.

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Storm on the Sea of Galilee.

Matthew 14:24 (NKJV)

But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.

  • Where they gave up hope, lost heart, lost focus, thought they were going to die!

Same during Jesus’ Earthly Ministry & Resurrection!

  • Disciples see signs and wonders!
  • Resurrection: They’re in the middle of it. They were afraid. They felt stuck.
  • In their homes with the doors locked! Greek translation says “barred”

John 20:19 (J.B. Phillips New Testament)

In the evening of that first day of the week, the disciples had met together with the doors locked for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood right in the middle of them and said, “Peace be with you!”

  • Which Disciples? Judas is dead, Thomas not there.
  • In the Middle Jesus Shows up!
  • Says: “PEACE”: in the middle of the disciples in the middle of their circumstances!

Thought: We don’t see peace in the middle because we’re looking at our situation instead of Jesus.

  • Jesus came into the middle of the room!

Thought: Comfort was the outcome of Jesus inserting Himself right in the middle.

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Bible says that Jesus showed up right in the middle and there were five outcomes.

First, They were calmed by His presence!

In Book of Acts

  • Peter & John standing up boldly proclaiming the name of Jesus!
  • Far cry what it was a short time earlier!

Thought: Peter and John stand with perfect posture, completely unafraid, unfazed.

  • Earlie Peter denied Jesus.
  • Earlier disciples hiding in a house.

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Q) What’s the difference now? The difference is they were calmed by His presence!

  • Jesus’ presence unlocks peace. Prince of Peace

Ephesians 2:14 (NIV)
For he himself is our peace,….

Thought: We tend to feel peace is the absence of trouble, but the Bible says peace is found in the presence of God!

Thought: Since Jesus is the Prince of Peace and He is present in the middle of your situation, even in trouble, you can have peace, because He is peace.

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Second, When Jesus showed up in the middle the disciples were calmed by His words.

Thought: His presence changed their demeanor, changed their situation and they were also calmed by his words.

John 14:27 (NIV)

Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

  • Peace, I leave with you: First thing addressed when he would later be gone.
  • “my peace I give you”: Identified a different kind of peace.
  • They feared and rightfully so. All died miserable death except for John.

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World’s Peace:

  • Hopefully things don’t go bad for you.
  • Maybe a victory in over trial
  • Absence of challenging circumstances.

Shalom: Jesus tapping into this.

  • Deeply rooted in middle eastern culture and found in the OT, Jewish faith
  • Spoke of a wholeness, well-being that came from God giving you every good gift.
  • Jesus saying, may God give you every good gift, may God give you every good thing.
  • In every way may you receive God’s wellness.
  • Jesus stood there and said, “Here it is” Right in the middle of your most difficult situation.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

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Third, When Jesus showed up in the middle the disciples were calmed by His wounds.

Proving starts

  • Just like we want in the middle of our terrible situation; Jesus to show up!
  • Proves he has risen from the dead.

Luke 24:37-42 (NIV)

They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” 40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he ate it as they watched.

  • Jesus continues to prove through a process…
  • False Peace shows up every election year…

Thought: The more they believed the more Jesus would prove Himself.

Thought: In the middle of your situation, you must start believing for peace to get it!

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My Thought: In the middle of our situations, we do the exact opposite.

  • Do you see what I’m going through?
  • Do you understand the pain I’m suffering?
  • We itemize our suffering and say “Won’t you do something?”

Quote: When we finally experience Heaven, it will work backwards. It will take all the heart sickness and all the grief and all the despair we ever felt on earth and cause something glorious to burst forth from it. C.S. Lewis

Thought: Jesus’ focus is always on what He has done for us and not on what we need to do for Him

Thought: What Jesus has done for us always comes before what He calls us to do for Him.

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Fourth, When Jesus showed up in the middle the disciples were calmed by His mission!

Thought: So, after the disciples were anchored by presence and peace and anchored by His payment He made for them on the cross with His wounds in his side, his hands, his feet, He then gave them a mission.

Thought: So, after you were anchored by presence and peace and anchored by His payment He made for you on the cross with His wounds in his side, his hands, his feet, He then gave you a mission.

  • The Easter Rescue right in the middle of your situation.
  • Now there’s an assignment, a mission!
  • Mary Magdelene: “Go tell the disciples”

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The Mission!

John 20:21 (NLT) Jesus Appears to His Disciples

21 …….As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you

Thought:

  • The Father sent me, so I also send you!
  • Not an errand.
  • Send out with an official mission on behalf of the embassy.

Thought: Your kingdom is heaven, and you now have diplomatic immunity even from the ways this world operates. You now get to live on a higher level. But you only get the immunity if you are working on for the kingdom of heaven on its official mission!

Romans 10:14 (NLT)

But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?

  • You are now on a mission from the Kingdom of Heaven!

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Before He sent them He offers Peace again!

John 20:21 (NLT)

Again, he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”

  • “Peace be with you.” Jesus is Peace he’s going with you!

Thought: There’s not only peace in the gathering but there’s also peace for the scattering.

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Fifth, When Jesus showed up in the middle the disciples were calmed by His Spirit!

John 20:21-22 (NLT)

21Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:11 (NKJV)

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you,…. it will also give life to your mortal bodies…..

Thought: The same power that raised Jesus from the dead has been given to His followers to do all that we’ve been called to do, as we’re sent out into this world to our homes and to our situations.

  • “followers” not “fans”

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Same spirit from Genesis 2:27

Genesis 2:7 (NKJV)

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

  • Giving physical and spiritual Life!
  • John 20:21-22: Jesus breathed and gave new spiritual life

Thought: Jesus started His Easter Rescue, resurrection journey, in the middle.

John 19:18

There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

  • Two robbers on both sides.
  • Both mocked Jesus
  • One thief responded to His offer to be saved.
  • He died in the middle of one who accepted him and one who received him.
  • Jesus is always right in the middle.

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EASTER RESCUE! Through The Eyes of Easter People. Pastor Brad Myers The Greatest Show On Earth! March 3, 2024

Easter Rescue: Through the Eyes of Easter People!

Thought: This Easter season I want to show you the rescued spirit in the hearts of people as we look at the greatest show on earth through the eyes of Easter People.

Mark 16:1-3 (NIV) Jesus Has Risen

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

Mary Magdalene

  • Woman from whom Jesus cast out seven demons (Luke 8:2).
  • The name Magdalene likely indicates that she came from Magdala, a city on the southwest coast of the Sea of Galilee.
  • After Jesus cast seven demons from her, she became one of His followers.
  • Witnessed most of the events surrounding the crucifixion.
  • She was present at the mock trial of Jesus;
  • She heard Pontius Pilate pronounce the death sentence;
  • She saw Jesus beaten and humiliated by the crowd.
  • She was one of the women who stood near Jesus during the crucifixion
  • She was an early witness to Jesus’ resurrection. (John 20:11-18).
  • Mary Magdalene was a rescued Easter Person

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Mary, the mother of James

  • Mother of James, son of Alphaeus.
  • One of Jesus’ more obscure apostles
  • Watched the crucifixion of Christ.
  • Saw the place where Jesus was buried.

Salome

  • The mother of the disciples James and John, sons of Zebedee.
  • She also watched from a distance when Jesus was being crucified.
  • Mark’s Gospel is the only one that mentions Salome by name.

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Mark 16:4-7 (NIV)

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”

The greatest show on earth

  • Core of our salvation!
  • Cornerstone of our faith.
  • Our hope, our Victory!

Thought: Paul said that when Christ rose, a spectacle took place — not only on earth, but in heaven, it, for sure, reverberated through the quarters of hell, too.

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Colossians 2:15 (NIV)

And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

“He made a public show of them.”

Thought: For this great show, Mary Magdalene, had a front row seat, Mary the mother of James, had a front row seat, and Salome, The mother of the disciples James and John, had a front row seat! EASTER PEOPLE WITH A STORY TO TELL!

Mary Magdalene at the resurrection.

  • Just lucky? A fluke?
  • In the right place at the right time?
  • This wasn’t the case; it was the result of a faithful life leading to a climactic victory.
  • Why? Because one of the greatest we can make is to only analyze our failures assuming our victories will just continue.

Focus: Wrong (Fail) vs. Right (Success)

  • How did we Fail? So, we don’t again. We review, analyze, study, etc.
  • How did we do Right? How did we do right so we can do more of it.
    • Much harder and more time consuming what we did right?

Thought: You don’t get to automatically repeat a success unless you understand what it was that you did right.

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Luke 8:1-2 (NKJV)

….. He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, 2 and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons,

“certain women” Devotion!! Dedication, lifelong commitment

Thought: Jesus knew that teamwork makes the dream work but only certain women decided to join His team! Mary Magdalene was an Easter Person because she first decided to be one of those “certain women.”

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Other “Certain Women

Luke 8:3 (NIV)

Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.

Luke 8 after “certain women

  • Jesus’ mother & brothers couldn’t get near him because the crowd was too big.
  • Jesus calms a storm.
  • Jesus cast out demons from a possessed man.
  • Jesus heals a sick woman.
  • Jesus raises a young girl from the dead.

Thought: For Mary Magdalene it wasn’t just this fluke thing that caused her to be able to see Jesus rise from the dead and get to be a part of the greatest story ever told. It was a way of life, beginning when she started out at rock bottom, and Jesus touched her. She was a “certain woman” caught up in an Easter Rescue because she decided to follow Jesus!

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John 20:9-10 (ESV)

for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes.

John 20:11 (ESV) Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb.

  • The Assignment: for a “Certain Woman” who use to be demon possessed.

John 20:17 (ESV)

….go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

John 20:18 (NLT)

Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.

  • She didn’t get lucky?
  • It wasn’t a fluke?
  • She wasn’t just in the right place at the right time.
  • She was in the front row of the greatest show on earth and she delivered!

Why Mary Magdalene? Because she spent from Luke 8 all the way to the end of the gospel, getting ready to be in the right place at the right time. She was a “certain woman” who responded.

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Seven things People who sit in the front row of the greatest show on earth should do.

  1. Gratitude! She didn’t just say thanks to Jesus. She said, how can I help? What can I do? How, what needs to happen?
  • I want more people to be touched like I’ve been touched. That’s gratitude in action.

 

  • 2. Resilience: Failure in darkness of possession to victory. HOW?
    • She got over it and didn’t allow herself to be defined by it.
    • When you heal from an injury you don’t continue to act like you’re injured.

    Thought: We’re not to be defined by the hard things we’ve been through, but driven by them to seek out other people and be a blessing to them.

    Daniel 3:27 (NLT)

    ……… Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke.

    Thought: People who sit in the front row of the greatest show on earth never look to see where they were but only where they ended up.

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    Thought: You can’t be a victim and a victor at the same time.

    3. Work:

    • Certain Women” Women that were proving themselves…
    • From Magdala: wealthy, affluent city. Dye’s and textiles.
    1. Lead: Others to do what they had done
    • Mary Magdalene shows up 14 times in the scriptures. Eight of those times, it’s in connection with a list of other women.
    • Leading women to Jesus’ tomb.
    • Why? Influential. Magnetic personality. Charismatic
    • Uses influence for God’s glory

    Luke 8:1-3 (NLT)

    …Jesus began a tour of the nearby towns and villages, preaching and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with him, along with some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases. Among them were Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons; Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s business manager; Susanna; and many others who were contributing from their own resources to support Jesus and his disciples.

    4. Courage: You don’t read much about the disciples at the cross; John was there..

    • Mary and her band of women are at the cross
    • Many disciples in hiding because they thought they were going to be put to death as accomplices of Jesus.
    • Mary was fearless. She showed courage to be there.

    5. Emotion: Strong and vulnerable at the same time!

      • “In touch with there emotions?” Knows the balance..
      • Finances Jesus ministry cries at the tomb.

    6. True Colors: Crisis shows who you really are.

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      Thought: Your true colors come out when going through a hardship, going through a storm, doesn’t change who you are but shows who you are.

      John 20:13 (NLT)

      “Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her. “Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.

      7. Who is Jesus to you? She didn’t say the Lord. She said my Lord.

      • That possessive pronoun changes everything for you.

      John 20:14-16 (NLT)

      She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. 15 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?” She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”

      16 “Mary!” Jesus said. She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”).

      Thought: When she finally meets Jesus on that day, the front row seat comes full circle.

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      • Jesus meets her when she’s all alone; in hour hour of grief, feeling all is lost.

      Q) What Happens after to The Greatest Show on Earth. The Easter Rescue?

      John 20:17 (ESV)

      ….go to my brothers….. and tell them.

      WHY? Because The Show Must Go On!!

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      1. INTRO: We’re coming off of the sermon series of Chasing Convenience and I believe the Lord has laid upon my heart to ask and challenge the question WHAT NOW? Our circumstances are not so tighty and clean. Many of us are struggling with this idea of leaning into the inconvenience in our lives and allowing God to grow us but we may lack understanding as well as biblical principles examples of what that really looks like in my situation. We see this in Elijah…

      Our WHAT NOWS…

        1. Physical
        2. Emotional
        3. Mental
        4. Financial
      1. Setup and History. Ahab & Jezebel
        1. Elijah’s name means “The Lord is my God”.
        2. Was sent to oppose the worship of Baal.
        3. Jezebel had as many as 450 priests of Baal eating at her table.
        4. Suffered defeating circumstances in his ministry but persevered and was steadfast in his mission.
        5. We see highs and lows of his ministry.

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      PRAY

      1 Kings 17:1 NKJV 1 And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.”

      1. LESSONS FROM ELIJAH: There are several characteristics we can see from Elijah which gives us insight into our own circumstances and how we too face them.

      1 Kings 17:2-4

      2 And the word of the LORD came to him: 3“Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. 4 You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.”

      1. CHARACTERISTIC #1 OBEDIENCE TO MIRACLE:
        1. Obedience is the key to miracles. Elijah’s experiences teach us that when we act in faith and obedience God miraculously provides.

       

        1. Does your what now look confusing? Do you not understand what to do and how to proceed?
          1. Confusion
          2. Lack of understanding
          3. Unknown

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      1 Kings 17:5-7 So he went and did according to the word of the LORD. He went and lived by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. 6 And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. 7 And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.

      Thought: God’s miraculous power is manifested when we trust in His ways. He provided in ways that only he could.

        1. This provision for Elijah is a stark contrast to the fate of Israel at the same time. Famine gripping the nation.
        2. The natural or common supply of water eventually dried up due to the drought. But the miraculous supply of food and provision from God did not falter.

      Question: In our WHAT NOW circumstances we must ask ourselves, “Are we being obedient to what the Lord is calling us to”? Or “Are we attempting to manipulate the situation in order to have a natural solution”? Our lack of understanding or known outcomes can cripple us from stepping out in faith and obeying what God has for us.

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      Let’s see what happens as we read on:

      1 Kings 17:8-9 NKJV 8 Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 9“Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.”

      SUMMARIZE: 10So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup that I may drink.” 11 And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.”

      1 KINGS 17:12 12 So she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”

      1. THOUGHT: PRIORITY TO PROVISION: A second characteristic of Elijah that we see exhibited is priority. Let’s read about this:

      1 Kings 17:13-14 13 And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. 14 For thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth.’ ”

        1. Elijah knew exactly what God can do and his confidence in the Lord’s provision is again in his statement of priority.
        2. Fear grips us when we have our priorities wrong

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      Thought: Elijah’s statement is not one of greed or lack of compassion towards the widow and her son. But it is a statement of priority. He says ”Don’t be afraid”, “The Lord promised to provide for you until the drought ends”.

        1. It was a request that the widow could give. She had the means IF HER PRIORITIES WERE IN ALIGNMENT.
        2. God asks us to do only what we are able to do in the natural world to allow his supernatural to be manifested.

       

      Question: In my WHAT NOW circumstance, are my priorities good? Are they in alignment with God where we recognize our cakes per say and ask what God is asking from me?

      1. THOUGHT: CONVICTION TO CONVERSION

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      1 KINGS 18:1

      1 After many days the word of the LORD came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth.”

      1 KINGS 18: 17 When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?” 18 And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the LORD and followed the Baals. 19Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”

        1. Confronting the evil of the nation..
        2. Feeling alone and being accused…

      1 Kings 18:20-24 ESV

      20So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. 21 And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word.

      SUMMARIZE:

      22Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the LORD, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men. 23 Let two bulls be given to us, and let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. And I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood and put no fire to it. 24 And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the LORD, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.”25Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many, and call upon the name of your god, but put no fire to it.” 26And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made. 27And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” 28And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. 29And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention.

       

        1. The prophets of Baal called upon Baal and exhibited fanatical devotion which included self-mutilation.
        2. His conviction gave him the ability to confront both Ahab and the followers of Baal as well as the Nation of Israel.

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      30Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down. 31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Israel shall be your name.”

      1 KINGS 18: 32 Then with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord; and he made a trench around the altar large enough to hold two seahs of seed. 33 And he put the wood in order, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood, and said, “Fill four waterpots with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood.” 34 Then he said, “Do it a second time,” and they did it a second time; and he said, “Do it a third time,” and they did it a third time. 35 So the water ran all around the altar; and he also filled the trench with water.

      1. Building off of his obedience and the right priorities Elijah shows his conviction towards the Lord and the outcome that ONLY the Lord can do by confronting Ahab and Israel who was following Baal.
      2. Contrast the prophets of Baal’s prayers and devotion versus the simple conviction and prayer of Elijah.

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      1 KINGS 18: 36 And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. 37 Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.” 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. 39Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!”

        1. Conviction was displayed by Elijah who was the only prophet of God while 450 prophets of Baal were against him. This

      Thought: Conviction brings assurance that we are not alone and that God has us in our WHAT NOW circumstances.

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          1. Conviction of following God righteously.
          2. Conviction that God would display His power
          3. Conviction through His word and His Spirit brings authority
          4. His prayer is simple and contrasted by the prophets of Baal’s frantic shouts and self-mutilation.
          5. It was this conviction that manifested God’s miraculous power and therefore turned the hearts of men back towards God.
          6. Conviction to Conversion
            1. Israel
            2. Drought to Rain

      1 Kings 18:41-45 ESV 41 And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of the rushing of rain.” 42So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel. And he bowed himself down on the earth and put his face between his knees. 43 And he said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” And he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go again,” seven times. 44And at the seventh time he said, “Behold, a little cloud like a man’s hand is rising from the sea.”

      1 KINGS 18: 45 And in a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain…

        1. To display God’s power, Elijah exhibits his conviction that God will show up and do only what the Lord can do.

      Thought: The conviction to PERSEVERE and ENDURE the trial with CONFIDENCE.

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      Question: I need to ask in my WHAT NOW circumstance where my conviction is? How does my actions speak of my conviction and whether it is to confront, endure and persevere?

      1 Kings 19:1-3 ESV 1Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” 3 Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.

      Why is this so important???

      1 Kings 19:4-8 ESV 4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”

      5 And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” 6 And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. 7 And the angel of the LORD came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” 8 And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.

      1. BROKENNESS TO REFRESHMENT:

      THOUGHT: Elijah did not hide his brokenness, depression, suicidal thoughts from God! He stated it, admitted it and was honest in his desperation for the Lord even to the point of asking the Lord to take his life.

        1. We need to have this same honesty, not a false sense of humility or strength but rather to be broken before him.
        2. Rest and self care is essential for believers in Christ. He chose to accept God’s supernatural provision even in the darkest place He may have ever experienced.
        3. He chose to let go and allow God to provide him rest and sustenance.

      1 Kings 19:9-15 ESV 11 And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.a 13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14He said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 15 And the LORD said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria.

      THOUGHT: GOD’S REFRESHING HOLY SPIRIT IS WHAT WE NEED TO FACE OUR WHAT NOW TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS.

      Can we receive HIS rain this morning in your life and WHAT NOW circumstance!!!

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      Cross Pointe Alive Wednesday! Pastor Brad Myers

      Alive in the Spirit! February 21, 2024

      Q) Are you living alive or are you just staying alive?

      Thought: Spiritual activity can be a “learned behavior” and learned behavior is not a spiritual alive life.

      • A true encounter with the living God makes you spiritually alive

      Starts with Who is God?

      Genesis 1:1 (NLT)

      • “created” means he’s the Creator!

      God is the Creator

      John 1:3 (NIV)

      • Everything including us!

      God in three forms or Persons.

      1. Father: God as a loving father: Caring for His children: A spiritual being.
      2. Son: Jesus – God in human form: Son of God
      3. Holy Spirit: The Spirit of God.
        1. God’s presence & his power
        2. God in action as an active force
        3. A divine person, with a mind, emotions, and a will.

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      What does it mean to walk in the Spirit?

      Living dependent on the Holy Spirit’s power to

      1. Grow in Godliness.
      2. Obey God’s Commands,
      3. Fellowship with God.

      The Bible uses shocking language Two types of people in this world:

      Dead and Alive.

      Physically: pretty obvious

      Spiritually?? cloudy

      Ephesians 2:1-4 (NLT)

      Ephesians 2:8-10 (NLT)

      Thought: Being spiritually alive is not about a feeling of vibrancy. It’s not simply about going to church. It’s about having what the Bible calls fellowship with God. We enter into this fellowship by acknowledging that we were dead in sins and need a savior. When we do this, by faith, we receive spiritual life and are granted fellowship with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Then we can live Alive as God intended for us.

      How do we do this?

      Romans 10:9 (NLT)

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      THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SPIRIT

      1 Corinthians 6:19 (NLT)

      • Holy Spirit will indwell in every Christian until the day we meet the Lord.
        • A divine person, with a mind, emotions, and a will.
        • God’s presence & his power
        • God in action as an active force

      Romans 8:9 (TLB)

      Thought: Every Christian is “Alive in the Spirit.” You are not the same person you once were. You have a brand-new authority and a brand-new power.

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      THE SPIRIT’S IMPACT ON YOUR PHYSICAL LIFE

      Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

      After dying you live!

      John 11:25-26 (NLT)

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      THE HOLY SPIRIT’S IMPACT ON YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE

      God’s salvation is a two-prong approach:

      1. Justified: Legal side: The moment you receive Christ, God declares you saved and that will not change.

      Romans 4:5 (NLT)

      1. Sanctified: Practical side: God slowly forming you to a new, Alive person! This involves a process.

      Philippians 1:6 (TLB)

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      THE HOLY SPIRIT’S IMPACT THROUGH EMPOWERMENT

      Acts 1:8 (NIV)

      Holy Spirit: The Spirit of God.

        1. God’s presence & his power
        2. God in action as an active force

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      The Baptism in the Holy Spirit! Will Make you ALIVE!

      Provides

      1. An overflowing fullness of being ALIVE in the Spirit,
        1. Acts 4:8 (NIV)
      2. A deep reverence for a God who is ALIVE and moves in power!
        1. Acts 2:43 (NIV)
      3. An intense commitment to God and a dedication to His work.
        1. Acts 2:42 (NIV)
      4. An active and alive love for Christ, His Word, and the lost.
        1. Mark 16:20 (NIV)

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      How do you know you’re filled with in Holy Spirit?

      Acts 2:4 (NIV)

      THIS MAKES YOU ALIVE!!

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      CHASING CONVENIENCE! SERMON NOTES
      Pastor Brad Myers

      Challenge over Convenience February 18, 2024


      Today: Challenge over Convenience

      Proverbs 27:17 (TLB)

      As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

      Thought: It’s more convenient not knowing or caring about other people’s challenges.

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      Challenge = A call or summon to action

      Challenge (Bible) = Wrapped around a call to overcome through an opportunity

      Thought: The problem is the situation, and the challenge is the response. When we ignore the problem, it gets worse; when we overcome the challenge things get better.

      John 9:1-3 (NIV) Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

      As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

      • He has been challenged with blindness with the sole opportunity that Jesus would work through him to display his glory and power!

      Overcome = To prevail, subdue, be victorious, conquer, overpower.

      Challenge = Needing great spiritual intervention to overcome.

      Thought: Your challenge may be your opportunity for God to display His work in you and through you!

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      What’s our attitude regarding being challenged?

      Thought: Challenges are not convenient!

      Isaiah 41:13 (NIV)

      For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

      • We miss sometimes that a challenge offers an unmatchable return because we sometimes walk away things that are not convenient.

      Thought: What you walk away from will determine what will walk into your life.

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      We need to recognize God uses challenges for His purpose.

      • Q) What if God needs you to be challenged to display his glory and power?

      Genesis 50:20 (NLT)

      You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.

      • Challenges not only remind us of our weakness, but they also remind us that God is in control. God never promised us turbulent free journey, but He has promised us safe landing.

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      Recognize you may have been selected?

      Blind Man: John 9

      Thought: There’s no such thing as Convenient Christianity.

      Thought: You may never find a convenient season because Jesus Christ is not convenience. Great victories of faith come through conviction, commitment, and challenge but never through convenience.

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      Jesus challenges the myth of convenience.

      Matthew 16:24 (NLT)

      Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.

      • give up your own way” A challenge

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      Our Faith is a Challenge!

      Genesis 22:1-2 (NIV) Abraham Tested

      22 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”“Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

      Thought: A Challenged faith doesn’t just celebrate who you are, but relentlessly molds and refines you into who God wants you to be!

      Thought: God never asks for anything that means very little to us.

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