From Comfortable to Committed, Part 2, Aug 29, 2010

Daniel “God is my judge”
Daniel 1:1-16

Words that describe commitment:
1. Alone – “no man stood with me, but the Lord” Paul
2. Consecration, Risk – on the edge
3. Focus – consumed by someone who has captured your attention and you do not sway or swerve
4. Surrender – the seed dies, letting go – letting God
5. Costly – willing to pay the rpice
6. Convictions – willing to live for and die for values
7. Persistence – tenacity, holding power
8. Peace

The challenge: Draw three lines of commitment
1. Draw the line of resistance (Daniel 1:8)
– decided early in life to train and constrain his appetites
– decided early in life to resist the wining and dining of the king
2. Draw the line of dependence – on God (Daniel 2:14-19)
– not on position or power gained by achievement
– not on books, intellectualism, academia
-not on what you have learned or know
– but with a fulfilled life based on
  – dependence on God’s revelation
  – dependency on the Holy Spirit
  – dependency on the wisdom of God
  – dependency on the closeness of God
3. Draw the line of confidence – on God (Daniel 3:16-18)

Reactions of the world when they see your commitment (Daniel 3:12-15)
– they will notice you not bowing (v.12)
– they will get mad (v.13)
– they will question your commitment (v.14)
– they will test it (v.15)

“I will not bend my knee even if “apparently” it seems as if God didn’t deliver me. I really don’t care. My confidence is in God!”

Guarding the Eyes of the Heart, Robert D, Aug 22, 2010

Guarding The Eyes Of The Heart
(guarding the eyes of your spirit)

-it’s in the process of taking risks that we see God’s miracles happen.

-the devil wants to fix the eyes of your heart on the problem which destroys our joy

Isa 26:3 – God will keep you in perfect peace when you keep your eyes fixed on Him.

Prov. 4:23 – above everything, guard the focus (eyes) of your heart.

– what is unseen is superior than what is seen. When the eyes of your heart are fixed on God, you see differently.
– when we are in fear, the eyes are not fixed on God, they’re fixed on what we see in the natural, this won’t bring the break through God wants

– what we see with our natural eyes does not determine what we see with our heart but it can influence it

Matt 8:23-25; Mark 4:38; Matt 8:26 – the eyes of Jesus’ heart are fixed on the will of God and had peace.
– whenever fear is motivating you, the devil is leading you. But whenever peace is motivating you, God is leading us.

– Hebrews 11 talks about faith. It’s the quality of faith that God responds to instead of the quantity of people praying.
 
2 Tim. 1:7 – fear is a demon spirit. it controls the way you think and draws your attention to the problem. It doesn’t allow you peace.
– people praying out of fear don’t see anything happening.

Tips:
1. Memorization of the Word of God.
– The Holy Spirit can not bring to your rememberance what you haven’t already known
– It’s not the quantity of the Bible you read that impacts you, but the quality of the Bible that you read.
– Repeat it in your mind. Visualize yourself getting healed, your financial situation improving

2. Confession – speaking to the inner man.
– using a mirror to speak to your own inner man. Greater is He who is in you, than he who is in the world.(1 John 4:4)

3. Speaking in tongues
– you can’t really speak in tongues and focus on something negative at the same time.

What happens when we do these? Our heart gets focused on God, and grounded in the Word, and you can feel that peace. And when you’re in that peace, you speak. You speak to that disorder, you speak to that financial problem, you speak to that conflict and that dis-unity, and you speak to that problem.

From Comfortable to Committed, Aug 15, 2010

Amos 6:1-2
– all Israel wanted was the easy way of life
– a crossless Christianity isn’t a Christianity

There are good rests:
Matt 11:28-29 – Jesus says that rest is important
Heb. 4:9-11 – there is a rest that awaits the children of God
Rev. 4:9-11 – a rest in heaven

Sinful rest is connected to laziness, indulgent, and indifference (like not doing something because “it’s not my gift” or “it’s not my passion”)

Israel’s sinful ease was shown:
– Presumption
– Procrastination
– Cruelty of men (allowed violence to come near)
– Love of self (Amos 6:4-6)
– Carelessness – people suffering were being neglected

Luke 12:16-21 – God knows our belief systems and our thoughts. If you believe a lie, you can’t believe the truth.

The early church was committed with their lives (Acts 2:42-47)
– ref. the article “The Glory of Plodding” by Kevin DeYoung (http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/glory-plodding/)

How do we move from the comfortable to the committed?
1. Commit to preaching daily (to proclaim boldly) – commit to boldness, bold living

2. Commit to love radically

3. Commit to serve sacrificially (it’s not about convenience)

4. Commit to give extravagantly

Living a Bigger Life, Steve Parsons, Aug 8, 2010

Living a Bigger Life
Judges 6:1-14 – people of God not living the life He called them to
– a bigger life has impact for the kingdom of God
– every generation needs to have its own encounter with God
– the people that have so much potential are living in fear – in survival mode
– God doesn’t want us to stay in survival mode, because our expectations and miracles get smaller

How to live a bigger life:
1. Break negative cycles in your life
  – may have a week or two of being on fire for God and then stall out and have a month of dryness. The up and down is a negative cycle.
  – may be stuck in a sin or an attitude problem but if you focus on Jesus, He will lead you out

2. Hear from God
  – a word from God changes everything (v.8,14)
  – hear from God primarily through reading His Word, but also from hearing Him speak to us

3. Create movement in your life
  – God doesn’t “magic” your problems away
  – He moves you to deal with or move your problem
  – God will always work with you when you create movement in your life
  – move from the devensive to the offensive
  – you may not feel like it, but you can
  – God wants to move you from the comfortable to the committed – comfortable will not get the job done.
  – move from “who am I” to “who I am”
  – you’re bigger than you think you are when the Spirit of God lives in you

Get more of Steve Parsons at: http://www.steveparsons.net/

Honor, Pt 2, Aug 1, 2010

Honor, Part 2
1 Sam. 2

We honor God with our giving (Prov. 3:9-10; 1 Sam. 2:13-17)
– the priests’ custom with the people (Ex. 29:27-28; Lev. 7:31)
– He will not take boild meat from you, but raw
– no, but you must give it to Me now; and if not, I will take it by force

We honor God with our prayer (Ps. 63:4)
– bend your knees and lift your hands in worship when you pray

We honor God with our lifestyle (1 Cor. 6:20)
– with our body and taming our tongue
– the sons of Eli were corrupt
– they didn’t know the Lord (1 Sam. 2:22, 12-17, 23-26)

– if one man sins against another, God will judge him, but if a man sins against the Lord, who will intercede for him? The only answer we have is Jesus (1 John 2:1)