Monday, April 23, 2012


John 4:1-26

Worship - my definition = declaring His worth.
There are many forms/applications.  Praise, adoration, sacrifice, obedience, etc.

Worship is more than singing, giving, attending, paying attention!!
Worship is more than Sunday meeting.  It is obedience and lifestyle.

Some observations:
#1.  God deserves worship.  It is a given among believers.  Psalm 150:1-2

A.  for Who His IS
B. for What He's Done. 

#2.  God Expects Worship.  Mal.  1:6 (a)  "....says the Lord Almighty"  This is a reasonable expectation from His people.  Matt.  22:21 (b) - King James says "render"

#3.  God Seeks Worship  John 4:23
Question:  Why??  Answer:  Not for Himself.   Therefore, it must be for us!!!

Benefits of Worship:
1.  puts problems into proper perspective - focus on God's greatness, see trials in true size!
2.  increases our awareness of blessings - which increases out sense of well-being
3.  develops humility - seeing self as really are.
4.  Therefore, improves character!
5.  Therefore, improves human relationships - indirect consequence:  if character is improved, A) easier to live with and B) better spouse, worker, friend, etc.
6.  Also, testifies of your faith, and, more importantly,
7.  True worship glorifies God. - portrays God properly.  Makes Him known!

#4.  God seeks TRUE worship.  John 4:23-24
2 components:  "spiritual" - authentic heart worship - Matt. 15:7-9
                        "truth"... - As Revealed - John 4:22
So,... pharisees (then) vs. liberals (now) - John 4:24 *

*Must note where this conversation began and ended...  Not with the subject of "worship", BUT with Jesus as the Christ.
Because, HE IS the center and the subject of TRUE worship - Rev.  5:8-9, 12-13

Challenge:  1)  Examine your worship - private/public, Sunday, Monday....
                    2)  Examine it in light of your relationship with Jesus Christ.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Our Great Commission

Previous events - Palm Sunday - Lord's Supper and the Cross
Easter Sunday - Resurrection
What's next???  Jesus spent 40 days revealing/teaching .... then the Ascension - visibly before their eyes.  Acts 1

Sometime during the post-resurrection visits, Jesus gave the Great Commission.  Possibly right before the Ascension.  Matt. 28:16-20

Often, the Faith (Christian) life can be summarized in 2 words:  "Come" - to Christ, and "Go" - to others.

The problem is that we often neglect the "go".  We're still very self-centered.
Too often we're thinking "what can Christ, Christianity, the church, the Faith do for ME???  (for mine???)
Too seldom do we ask, "what can Christ, Christianity, the church, the Faith do through me?? (for others??)

Compare:  the greatest commandment from Matt. 22.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.

So, Looking at the Great Commission (text from Matthew)
We can simplify and summarize it to:  "GO MAKE DISCIPLES"
This is the Great Commission in shortest form.  And, it's a message to ALL Christians in all ages.

A look at 4 things from the text:

#1.  The Importance of Making Disciples
As seen in:  (A)  Jesus' statement of authority - "...all authority is given to Me...."
                   (B)  Jesus' singular command - then "GO and make disciples"
Compare with John 21 - "feed my sheep"  2 Tim. 2:2

#2.  The Possibility of Making Disciples
As seen in:  The Command!!!!  doesn't command beyond ability.

Definition:  Make followers (of Christ)
Objection:  that is beyond my ability!!  On one hand, Yes. - John 6:44  On the other hand, it doesn't happen apart from us.
We can't make people into followers, but we can and must present the gospel to them.  It's not going to happen accidentally or incidentally.

#3.  The Simplicity of Making Disciples
Using Jesus' words:  "Go" --  "Baptize" --  "Teach"   
Which mean:    Intentionality - Evangelism - Instruction

The Process may be more complex but he concept is very simple!!

Question??  Teach what??   (a)  "to obey"
                                            (b) "all I've commanded"
We are not free to take away from the commandments written down in the Bible.  It's not about what we feel like, but what it SAYS.

Observation:  This teaching goes way beyond classroom instruction!!!!   It's teaching through lifestyle, modeling, day to day living.

#4.  The Promise for Disciple Makers - ..  I am "with you" always...
This is often repeated in scripture, usually in conjunction with a call to serve!!
This obviously includes His Presence, but also implies that it includes His assistance.  He will help you with the task.

Whether or not you see the results you want to see, doesn't mean that the Lord is not with you.

If Christ is your Lord, to neglect making disciples is to neglect the Lord, as well as neglect family, neighbors, friends, etc. and even self.
The long term consequences of neglecting the command to make disciples are far-reaching.  There's no way to know who might not ever respond to Christ if we don't take this commandment seriously.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Easter Sunday

Luke 24:13-21 (a) - Question:  false hopes?  Misplaced faith?

Answer:  when the HOPE is in Christ, (a) you may not get what you wanted, but (b) you will get God's best!!

Easter is not the FIRST time Jesus showed His power over death.  John 11:17-44

The Easter message for us is:  Death has no power when Jesus is LORD!!!

Christians believe (then and now) that Jesus is:  (1) Risen
                                                                        (2) Victorious
                                                                        (3) Present!!!

Even in darkest hour, deepest need, He is with you!!!  So Paul writes in Rom. 8:31-32, 35-39

You are here today to recognize, worship, and hopefully, rededicate and recommit to Him.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Lord's Supper

1 Cor. 11:23-29

I.  What We Do - break the bread personally.  He died for each one personally.  We eat together as the body of Christ.

II.   Why We Do It 
A In Obedience - 1 Cor. 11:24-25 - the Lord told us to do it.  There is no instruction as to how often to do it.
B.  In Remembrance - 1 Cor. 11:24-25 - Compare the Passover observance.  1 Cor. 5:7 b - "for Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed."
C.  In Declaration - 1 Cor. 11:25-26 - saying (1)  I believe in His substitutionary sacrifice, and (2)  I accept His substitutionary sacrifice.

III.  Who Should Partake - Obviously, Christians - but more than just bearing the title "Christian".  Seriously committed Christians - it's not to be taken lightly or flippantly.

IV. Special note of ... 1 Cor. 11:27  Compare Luke 18:10-14 a - ".... before God."  (There two unworthy people in this passage.  1 with unworthy approach/manner.)

1 Cor. 11:27-28