- It’s amazing how your countenance changes when you discover what your enemy thinks about you.
- When we understand where stand, who’s on our team, and how the enemy quakes when we come out in Christ.
- Whether we believe it or not…Our enemy knows.
- In the end we win.
- Don’t live without the knowledge that we are victorious.
Ex. 14 – The people are released from Egypt and days into their journey.
Ex. 14:13-14 – But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” (Exodus 14:13-14 NLT)
- The Lord will do the fighting for you…if you just stay calm!!!
- We have the promise of victory.
- There is no manipulation.
- Victory has already been given to you. – Just stay calm.
Moses gives 4 Directives for Victory (Assured by Yahweh “I Am”)
1. Be Fearless (Do not be afraid)
2. Be Still
3. Be Watchful
4. Be Quiet/calm
Discipleships 6 Inconvenient Truths:
- Disciple = Follower – Anyone following is a disciple
- We often confuse leadership with discipleship.
- Followers are not always leaders.
1. The ultimate mark of a disciple is obedience to what we know.
- It doesn’t mean extrovert
- It means faith to trust and follow.
- There should not be a split between evangelism and discipleship.
- A disciple learns to obey. Followers are those who keep “my” commandments.
- Obedience doesn’t always equal passion, excitement, or extreme personality.
- Don’t “ADD” to the definition of disciple.
- Everything beyond obedience is frosting.
2. Spiritual Growth is seldom a linear process.
- People don’t grow in an organized fashion.
- Our spiritual growth is often more of a “meandering path” than a stair step.
- People learn when life gets thrown at them more than when they should.
- Create the environment for organic growth. Don’t force it.
- Growth Moments:
- When you Need to Know Moments
- When you Need to Grow moments
- Keep people with Christ/The Bible and Keep people with other Christians – So that they will have the tools they need when life strikes deep.
3. No two personal relationships are ever alike.
- Relations deal with individual people.
- Work with people within their uniqueness.
- Don’t make people into who you are.
- Religion is one size fits all. Just do it this way.
- The reason you want your groups to be sticky is so that you/we can fulfill the great commission. Not just because you want to get bigger.
- It’s not about church growth, but the great commisson
- In today’s world there is no brand loyalty.
- If people don’t like what they hear – they will go elsewhere.
- People leave easily
- There is loyalty to: SIGNIFICANT FRIENDSHIPS.
- The Mission is SIGNIFICANT FRIENDSHIPS FOR CHRIST.
- RELATIONSHIPS OVER CONTENT. (Although content is important.)
- If you don’t get this…you’ve failed. Know the names of the people over the title of the message.
- It’s the friendships that will keep people coming when they hear something they don’t like.
Small Group Myths:
1. Assimilation is not retention.
- Assimilation is about getting new people into something.
- Retention is for everyone, and getting them to stay for the long haul.
- A revolving door with scew your statistics.
- Retention is greater than assimilation.
2. A Sticky Group must be a healthy group.
- You have to take care of your leaders.
- The leaders are more important than the sheep.
- Make sure the leaders stay healthy. – and are able to effectively deal with the EGR’s without burning out.
- This is why groups take breaks during the summer. (To maintain the leaders sanity).
3. Friendliness is not Connection.
- Being friendly is not connecting.
- People are like legos – with connecting dots.
- The moment your connectors are full you will be friendly, but not connect.
- Meet new people – Invite them over for a barbeque. (Take the next step…)
- When your connectors are not full you will connect.
- Don’t be friendly – Connect.
- How can you connect with people – and not just be friendly.
- New groups for new people – Becuase their connectors are eqully empty.
- SEE PEOPLE AS LEGOS AND ASK – ARE THEY CONNECTED.
- IF YOU MEET PEOPLE – DON’T THEN IGNORE THEM. DON’T LEAD THEM ON…
- People grow while in relationship
- Connecting to your life group in the church
- Big Picture information – What’s needed…
10 Church Culture Committments:
- Things to do that will make a big difference – attitude
1. Maintain a breathless Awe over what God is doing in the Church.
- What God is doing is SUPER-Natural.
- God sometimes, for his own pleasure, does something beyond human ability.
- Huge Baptism #’s (JRC)
- Awesome camp numbers (realife)
- Recognize that we are a part of a mission and an amazing “work” that God is doing in the life of the church.
- Champion the Church
2. Maintain a gratitude for the People around us.
- Thank God & the people that are involved for being involved.
- Don’t take the leadership and membership for granted.
- Thankfulness creates joy-in everyone.
3. Serve The Lord with Gladness.
- It should be fun to serve The Lord.SZ
- A joyful environment creates connections.
- Without Joy life and Life Groups go from “Get to” -to- “Have to.”
- Sometimes one simply has to choose to rejoice.
4. Be prepared.
- Don’t wing it.
- Present excellence to God, so that God can move spontaneously.
- Look at the materials ahead of time
- Get to know the curriculum questions.
- Pray over the questions – meeting – members – personal issues.
- Don’t get so confident that you “go through the motions.
- Delegate tasks within the group
- Be aware of what’s going on in the lives of the people in the group (birthdays, etc).
5. Maintain an Expectancy Regarding what God will do.
- There are no throw-away Sundays…
- On any given Sunday God WILL do amazing things.
- How can we Pray for you ( ________) this week?
- What is God doing in your ( _________’s ) life this week?
- Lead people to see what God is doing and stirring.
6. Maintain a culture that Values people.
- Be aware of the people around you (situational awareness)
- Don’t get wrapped up in your own world and concerns.
- We want to be a church that LOVES people & is KNOW FOR LOVING PEOPLE.
- OUTSIDE PEOPLE EXPECT A BIG-CHURCH TO NOT CARE – DON’T FULFILL THEIR EXPECTATIONS.
7. Use the Inclusive WE, rather than the devisive “THEY.”
- Use Inclusive language – build community rather than schisms.
- Don’t seperate yourself from what is happening.
8. Don’t WHINE OR GOSSIP.
- Don’t sow discord. Build Unity.
- Make a committment to be “the last to know.”
- Make it uncomfortable for people to share gospel.
- Ask “Why did someone feel comfortable sharing “gossip” with you?”
- If people have a problem (Mt 18) go to the person with whom you have an issue.
- Don’t let the gossip “of Satan” create divisive attitudes.
- When people begin to complain say (I think “they” are doing an awesome job.)
- If it’s a problem – Tell people to GO THAT DEPARTMENTAL LEADER!!!
9. Let’s be Sure to Encourage people.
- T.S. Elliot – Most people’s lives are lived in quiet desperation.
- An encouraging word can change people’s live.
- Build a hope in people’s lives that “God Know’s and God Cares.”
- Prov 18:21 – Let your words nurish. Words have healing potential.
10. Let’s be know for What We Are For – Rather that What We Are Against.
- Shoot straight
- Maintain a clear and clean conscience
- Champion the Good News of the Gospel.
- Let’s engage people by letting people know WHAT WE ARE FOR.
1. What is Wisdom?
Proverbs 9:10 The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord; the knowledge of the holy one is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10 CEB)
- Wisdom is living in awe of God.
- Godly wisdom calls us to walk in integrity.
- Take what we’ve heard, apply it and share it.
2. Where do you find Wisdom?
- God wants us to be wise
James 1:5 – But anyone who needs wisdom should ask God, whose very nature is to give to everyone without a second thought, without keeping score. Wisdom will certainly be given to those who ask. (James 1:5 CEB)
Proverbs 1:20 – Wisdom shouts in the street; in the public square she raises her voice. Above the noisy crowd, she calls out. At the entrances of the city gates, she has her say: “How long will you clueless people love your naïveté, mockers hold their mocking dear, and fools hate knowledge? You should respond when I correct you. Look, I’ll pour out my spirit on you. I’ll reveal my words to you. (Proverbs 1:20-23 CEB)
Eph 5 – Understand what God’s will is. The steps of a righteous man are ordered of The Lord.
Proverbs 8:1 – Doesn’t Wisdom cry out and Understanding shout? Atop the heights along the path, at the crossroads she takes her stand. By the gate before the city, at the entrances she shouts: I cry out to you, people; my voice goes out to all of humanity. Understand skill, you who are naive. Take this to heart, you fools. (Proverbs 8:1-5 CEB)
God fights for our attention.
Proverbs 2:2 – Turn your ear toward wisdom, and stretch your mind toward understanding. Call out for insight, and cry aloud for understanding. Seek it like silver; search for it like hidden treasure. Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and discover the knowledge of God. The Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:2-6 CEB)
- Get around wise people
- Ask them “What’s up?”
3. Why do we need Wisdom?
A) Wisdom builds the house…not rules.
Proverbs 24:3 – By wisdom a house is built; by understanding it is established. (Proverbs 24:3 CEB)
Proverbs 10:21 – The lips of the righteous nourish many people, but fools who lack sense will die. (Proverbs 10:21 CEB)
B) Wisdom protects us
Proverbs 4:6 – Don’t abandon her, and she will guard you. Love her, and she will protect you. The beginning of wisdom: Get wisdom! Get understanding before anything else. Highly esteem her, and she will exalt you. She will honor you if you embrace her. (Proverbs 4:6-8 CEB)
Proverbs 2:12 – Wisdom will rescue you from the evil path, from people who twist their words. Wisdom will rescue you from the mysterious woman, from the foreign woman with her slick words. (Proverbs 2:12, 16 CEB)
C) Wisdom will give you confidence and contentment
Proverns 3:21 – My son, don’t let them slip from your eyes; hold on to sound judgment and discretion. (Proverbs 3:21 CEB)
Proverbs 3:23 – Then you will walk safely on your path, and your foot won’t stumble. (Proverbs 3:23 CEB)
Proverbs 19:23 – The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by harm. (Proverbs 19:23 CEB)
D) Wisdom brings honor and financial blessing
Proverbs 3:4 – Then you will find favor and approval in the eyes of God and humanity. (Proverbs 3:4 CEB)
Proverbs 3:16 – In her right hand is a long life; in her left are wealth and honor. (Proverbs 3:16 CEB)
Proverbs 3:35 – The wise gain respect, but fools receive shame. (Proverbs 3:35 CEB)
E) Wisdom is not just for ourselves – We are blessed so that we might bless.
2 Chronicles 1:10-11 – Give me wisdom and knowledge so I can lead this people, because no one can govern this great people of yours without your help.” God said to Solomon, “Since this is what you wish, and because you’ve asked for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I’ve made you king—rather than asking for wealth, riches, fame, victory over those who hate you, or even a long life— your request for wisdom and knowledge is granted. But I will also give you wealth, riches, and fame beyond that of any king before you or after you.” (2 Chronicles 1:10-12 CEB)
- Wisdom is given so that we might share it with others.
- Wisdom is not to be hoarded.
Grace: Glory in God’s Freedom
Romans 5: 1-5 – Therefore, since we have been made righteous through his faithfulness combined with our faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have access by faith into this grace in which we stand through him, and we boast in the hope of God’s glory. But not only that! We even take pride in our problems, because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope. This hope doesn’t put us to shame, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:1-5 CEB)
- Because Adam did this, we were wrecked
- Because Jesus did this, all is set right.
Romans 7:1-7 – Brothers and sisters, I’m talking to you as people who know the Law. Don’t you know that the Law has power over someone only as long as he or she lives? A married woman is united with her husband under the Law while he is alive. But if her husband dies, she is released from the Law concerning her husband. So then, if she lives with another man while her husband is alive, she’s committing adultery. But if her husband dies, she’s free from the Law, so she won’t be committing adultery if she marries someone else. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you also died with respect to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you could be united with someone else. You are united with the one who was raised from the dead so that we can bear fruit for God. When we were self-centered, the sinful passions aroused through the Law were at work in all the parts of our body, so that we bore fruit for death. But now we have been released from the Law. We have died with respect to the thing that controlled us, so that we can be slaves in the new life under the Spirit, not in the old life under the written Law. So what are we going to say? That the Law is sin? Absolutely not! But I wouldn’t have known sin except through the Law. I wouldn’t have known the desire for what others have if the Law had not said, Don’t desire to take what others have. (Romans 7:1-7 CEB)
- Because of the body and blood of Christ the weight of the law is cut away from us.
We are made to die to the law – through Christ. We are no longer “in Adam,” We are now “in Christ.”
- We are now released from the law.
Galatians 3:1-5 – You irrational Galatians! Who put a spell on you? Jesus Christ was put on display as crucified before your eyes! I just want to know this from you: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the Law or by believing what you heard? Are you so irrational? After you started with the Spirit, are you now finishing up with your own human effort? Did you experience so much for nothing? I wonder if it really was for nothing. So does the one providing you with the Spirit and working miracles among you do this by you doing the works of the Law or by you believing what you heard? (Galatians 3:1-5 CEB)
- It’s a new approach.
- Accept your righteousness by faith through grace-not law.
- Rom 7 – We are new joined to the Spirit
Gal 3:21 – So, is the Law against the promises of God? Absolutely not! If a Law had been given that was able to give life, then righteousness would in fact have come from the Law. (Galatians 3:21 CEB)
Romans 8:1 – So now there isn’t any condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1, 2 CEB)
- We don’t pray to prove something
- We don’t read The Bible to prove something
- We do these things to learn, to grow, to enjoy Christ.
- Don’t fear acceptance, we are hidden in Christ (“The son that I love.” Isaac & Jacob)
- We recieved the blessing of God because we are hidden in God’s love.
- We don’t have to try to deceive anyone.
Rom 5:14-15 – But death ruled from Adam until Moses, even over those who didn’t sin in the same way Adam did—Adam was a type of the one who was coming. But the free gift of Christ isn’t like Adam’s failure. If many people died through what one person did wrong, God’s grace is multiplied even more for many people with the gift—of the one person Jesus Christ—that comes through grace. (Romans 5:14, 15 CEB)
- To escape “Adam” one must become Born-Again.
- All our righteousness is as filthy rags – (if you are still in Adam.)
Romans 6:1,2,6 – So what are we going to say? Should we continue sinning so grace will multiply? Absolutely not! All of us died to sin. How can we still live in it? This is what we know: the person that we used to be was crucified with him in order to get rid of the corpse that had been controlled by sin. That way we wouldn’t be slaves to sin anymore, (Romans 6:1, 2, 6 CEB)
- – So what are we going to say?
Should we continue sinning so grace will multiply? Absolutely not! All of us died to sin.
- How can we still live in it? Or don’t you know that all who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? If we were united together in a death like his, we will also be united together in a resurrection like his.
This is what we know: the person that we used to be was crucified with him in order to get rid of the corpse that had been controlled by sin.
- That way we wouldn’t be slaves to sin anymore,
- because a person who has died has been freed from sin’s power.
- But if we died with Christ, we have faith that we will also live with him.
- We know that Christ has been raised from the dead and he will never die again.
- Death no longer has power over him.
- He died to sin once and for all with his death, but he lives for God with his life.
- In the same way, you also should: consider yourselves dead to sin but alive for God in Christ Jesus.
- The blood covers our guilt OT-Exodus. and NT.
- There are some things to know and some things to do.
- Know the truth and the truth shall set you free.
- There is no elite group that has won the battle w/sin…
- “All of us struggle with sin…All of us died to sin.”
- Union with Christ is the key.
- His triumph makes us winners.
- We are instantly transformed from losers into winners.
- Our old self has been crucified. God says it-we need to believe it.
- God dealt the death blow to our old nature.
Believers believe – dynamic belief, not static or stagnant. We walk by faith.
- Our old identities are put to death, we get a new identity – a new name.
- Change your watch. It’s a new time zone. It’s a new reality!
- Accept the new time zone.
- The sooner you accept it, the sooner you’ll adapt to it.
- Don’t let sin control your body
- Our body is mortal – it’s not yet saved.
- Don’t let sin control your “members/instruments” Who is plucking your strings?
3. Make good choices….
- It may not be the quickest route, but it is the wisest.
4. Now that you have been set free from sin, you have become slaves of righteousness. (Romans 6:18 CEB)
- Born again = a new identity. A fresh start.
- Birth = something that wasn’t there before.
- When we stand before God he will ask?
- Was there any temptation that was to great?
- When we live in Christ…This is the question: Are we living inside of Christ’s identity?
- Are we appropriating his power?
- If we confess our sins…he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins…
1 John 1:9 – But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from everything we’ve done wrong. (1 John 1:9 CEB)