Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Lord's Supper

I. What We Believe.
The bread and whine are symbolic pictures of:
. His body broken and His blood shed
My willingness to accept His sacrifice. To believe Jesus really lived, is really God's Son, really had to go to the cross, and that was really necessary - that God is a just God.
C. My willingness to participate in His sacrifice. John 6:47-56 - Not just believing in it, but realizing that He did it for me, personally.

II. How We Celebrate (at OBC)
We gather, worship, partake of bread and wine/juice, fellowship (potluck meal)

III. Why we do it.
1. to remember His sacrifice
2. to demonstrate belief in His sacrifice to bring you to God. 1 Pet. 3:18
3. to declare involvement in His sacrifice, ie: my personal Savior
4. to celebrate our common bond - as saints/sinners
- as brothers/sisters in Christ
5. to renew our vows and commitments to Him
6. to anticipate His return

IV. Who should participate?
On one hand, this is "the Lord's supper". Therefore, any who are His are welcome.
However, 1 Cor. 11:27-29 - examine self, make preparation to partake in a worthy manner. This does not mean you are worthy. You aren't worthy. If were, wouldn't need a Savior.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

God's Grace

Definition of Grace: unmerited favor, unearned, undeserved blessing
examples: warning ticket when deserve one for speeding
passing grade when fluffed off all year in school
week of paid vacation on first week of brand new job

The definition of God's Grace: undeserved gifts, unearned blessings from Him
When He grants to us that which we have not earned, could not earn, and do not deserve.

God's Grace comes in (at least) 3 forms.

#1. General Grace. ie: blessings that everyone receives
examples: life, oxygen, intelligence, sun, rain, etc. Matt. 5:45 (b)

#2. Personal Grace. (what makes you different from other people)
ie: gifts, blessings not common to all people....
examples: athletic ability, good looks, high intelligence, business savvy, musical talent, mechanical ability....
Therefore, this may include situation, opportunities, positions... 1 cor. 15:9-10

#3. Spiritual Grace. gifts and blessings that directly relate to your relationship with Him.
examples: forgiveness, redemption, salvation, security, sonship Eph. 1:3

NOTE: This Bible portrays Him as a very gracious God - freely blessing His creation.... whether they deserve it or not.

Our focus this AM is Spiritual Grace.

A. General and personal blessings are easily recognized and understood IF we take time to consider. They can be recognized without further revelation.
B. Spiritual graces are outlined in His special revelation.

Acts 20:24 - "the gospel (good news) of God's grace"

#1. We are saved by grace. Eph. 2:8-9 Rom. 5:1-2 (a) The bridge to God is grace and it is there whether we cross it or not. We did nothing to deserve it or earn it.

#2. We are kept by grace. Jude 1:24

#3. We are called by grace. Gal. 1:6, 15 Acts 18:27
God draws us when we are not even interested in a relationship with Him.

#4. Grace offered is not necessarily grace received. It doesn't come to you unless you accept it.
Matt. 22:1-10 Acts 13:46 John 1:11-12
Contrasted to universalism which says that all are saved because of the 'bridge' made for all.
But this grace must be received.

#5. Grace received does not grant license to sin. Rom. 6:1-2 (a) Rom. 6:15
Titus 2:11-12 Jude 1:4
It does matter if we sin.

#6. Grace received should result in grace displayed. Acts 11:22-23
There should be evidence, some display of some kind.

#7. Grace received should result in grace extended. Col. 3:13
Question: Is this a natural result or a determined response? Answer: Both!!

#8. His Grace is sufficient. Eph. 1:6-8
His is infinite in His grace and caring for you. Always enough grace for you to live life the way He wants you to live it.

#9. It merits response.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

State of the Church - Finances

WHY look at this???

#1. It's practical. Dollars don't always determine ministry. Example: can witness, pray, counsel, encourage, study, teach, etc. without it.
However, some ministry requires money. ex. the church property, programs, personnel

#2. It's Biblical. Stewardship (handling money, possessions, influence, opportunities)
A. primary theme of scripture.
B. ought to be applied in individual Christian's life and corporate church life.
Verses on: Baptism - 40
Prayer - 275
Faith - 350
Love - 650
Money and possessions - 2,350
The recorded sayings of Jesus deal with money more than any other subject except the Kingdom of God. - Over half the parables deal with money.

Question: Is money that important to God?
Answer: No, but He knew it would be that important to us!!

Therefore, the Bible deals with the proper attitude toward and acquisition of money.
  • It instructs concerning borrowing, lending, signing for other people's debts, charging interest, and paying taxes.
  • It deals with financial planning, saving, sharing and investing our money.
  • It addresses earning an honest wage and paying a reasonable wage.
  • It instructs us to honor our personal debts, give assistance to the poor and pay a tithe to God in support of His work.
  • It applauds the wise use of money and condemns the foolish use of money.
  • Scripture contains financial advice - the rich, the poor, and the middle class.
  • It addresses wealth as both a blessing and a curse' depending on how it's handles.
  • Scripture shows the way we use our money can lead to eternal rewards or eternal losses.
So...... let's look at:
#1. Finances
#2. Where does the money come from???
#3. Where does the money go?

Some observations and applications.
#1. It takes a lot of money to finance a ministry.

#2. It takes a lot of people to finance a ministry.

#3. Many people are wonderful gives.

#4. Some people are falling short.

Pastor's opinion: 50% of "regular attendees" are "undergiving".

For those giving as they should, applaud your faith, generosity, etc.

For those not giving as they should, challenge you to consider:
A. How God has blessed you.
B. How you ought to honor Him.
C. How you ought to bless others
D. Bless self

A Quick Bible Review of Giving.

I. Why give?
A. to honor God
B. to promote His Kingdom
C. to bless others
D. to benefit yourself -
incredible blessings in giving
Luke 6:38 Heb. 13:16 2 Cor. 9:6 Acts 20:35

II. How to give? (biblical descriptions)
cheerfully gladly thankfully humbly proportionately systematically - 1 Cor. 6:1-2
wisely - As
a steward of God's blessings
According to His direction
As will best achieve His purposes

III. How much to give? (not the primary issue!!) 2 Cor. 8:12 Widow's mite
However, for many of us wealthy Americans it should be an issue!!!
One recent survey found that the average American Christian gives 2.5% of their income to charitable causes.
So.... for every $100 income - spend $97.50 on self and family
for every $1000 income $975.00
for every $10,000 $9,750.00

So, if you are average in giving .. (ie: 2.5%)
$30,000 income --- gave back #750.00. or $2.05 per day, $14.38 per week.
$40,000 income --- $2.73 per day
$50,000 income .... $3.42 per day
$60,000 income .... $4.10 per day

#1. This is your decision. 2 Cor. 9:7
#2. heed His whole counsel 2 Cor. 9:6, 8
#3. my advise..... tithe plus Luke 12:48 b

For those giving, this should be confirmation and encouragement

For those who need adjustment, it needs to be a challenge to consider!

Jim Elliott: "he is not fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Improving OBC (your part)

Even when going well, there is always room for improvement.

#1. Revisit our purpose. CP2G (Connect People to God) initially (evangelism) and progressively (continually) God ultimately has to do it, but it also takes our intentional effort.

#2. Estimate our value. to you, to family, to community, far-reaching

#3. Examine your contribution. (not financial) The church is like a human body - many functioning parts that all need to work together.

#4. Adjust accordingly. It doesn't mean you always get to serve in capacity of choice. It does mean that there are plenty of places to serve.

#5. Pray for the church. James 5:16 (b) - generally and specifically
People believe that prayer makes a difference. If it's more than a social gathering, then prayer makes a big difference.

#6. Develop your spiritual life. A _______ church is made up of ________ people.
Rev. 2:1-5 (a) The church can only do as the members do. The condition of the church can never exceed the condition of the members.

#7. Concern yourself with your neighbor's spiritual life. This doesn't mean control. It means concern. The scripture is full of "one anothers" . It requires everyone - no one or ten people can minister to 200 people.

#8. Tolerate preference.

#9. Bear with imperfection. Because - the church is made of people and people are sinners!!!
This is not to say: deny, ignore, or overlook them. But bear with them. Eph. 4:2-3 Takes "effort". It's hard to do.

#10. Be an encourager. As contrasted to being a "joy sucker" or "lawn mower". (lawn mower just goes about his business - doesn't get involved with anything, doesn't encourage those who are doing something) Encouraging others is one of the easiest ways to M.A.D. (make a difference)

#11. Pursue the mission until we receive the vision.