February 11, 2018       Evil Among us

Luke 22:14-23 “14 Then at the proper time Jesus and the twelve apostles sat down together at the table. 15 Jesus said, “I have looked forward to this hour with deep longing, anxious to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins.  16 For I tell you now that I won’t eat it again until it comes to fulfillment in the Kingdom of God.”  17 Then he took a cup of wine, and when he had given thanks for it, he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves.  18 For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.”  19 Then he took a loaf of bread; and when he had thanked God for it, he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”  20 After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This wine is the token of God’s new covenant to save you — an agreement sealed with the blood I will pour out for you.                 21 “But here at this table, sitting among us as a friend, is the man who will betray me.  22 For I, the Son of Man, must die since it is part of God’s plan. But how terrible it will be for my betrayer!”  23 Then the disciples began to ask each other which of them would ever do such a thing.”    NLT

  1. Supper, Gods Way is:
    1. Supper at the Proper Time
    2. A Supper in the proper way
    3. The Passover was among the highest religious observances of the day
    4. A Meal with a message
      1. This is Christs last Passover celebration
    5. Remember that He gave His Blood and His Body for us
  2. This was a big deal meal….(like our thanksgiving)
  3. Now, just like a redneck Thanksgiving…
    1. Luke 22:3-4 “Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples, and he went over to the leading priests and captains of the Temple guard to discuss the best way to betray Jesus to them” NLT
    2. Not everyone at the table is a friend
      1. There are fakers and fiends
      2. There are those ALREADY betraying you
      3. There are those that would throw you under the bus for just a little reward
        1. DO NOT BE ONE OF THESE!
  1. Judas served a purpose in his rebellion
    1. Evil and sinners may think they are doing their will, but God reigns and rules
    2. What evil means for evil, God can use for Good
      1. Genesis 50:19-20 “But Joseph told them, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, to judge and punish you? As far as I am concerned, God turned into good what you meant for evil.” NLT
    3. Judas’ betrayal led to the death of Jesus, which was God’s plan for the forgiveness of our sins.
      1. We are guilty
      2. A sentence of death was administered
      3. Jesus paid that price
  1. NEVER forget that EVIL is out there stealing, Killing and Destroying
    1. Just like we saw this week in Florida
      1. EVIL ENTERED IN
    2. Just as we have seen numerous times over the life of our country
      1. EVIL ENTERED IN
    3. What can we do?
      1. Understand evil WILL ATTACK
      2. Understand EVIL will come from people and directions we WILL NOT expect!
        1. Judas was one of Jesus’ “INNER CIRCLE”
          1. One of “The Twelve”
          2. Everyone ASSUMED He was a believer
        2. Don’t blame the inanimate OR the innocent
          1. Hold those committing evil ACCOUNTABLE
          2. Remembering that we do not FIGHT against flesh and blood
        3. Ephesians 6:10-12 “A final word: Be strong with the Lord’s mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.” NLT
        4. Christian, the tools of your battle are SPIRITUAL
          1. Truth
          2. God’s righteousness
          3. Peace
          4. The Gospel of Jesus Christ
          5. Faith
          6. Salvation
          7. The Word of God
          8. Prayer
  1. Be SITUATIONALLY AWARE!
    1. Jesus knew exactly what was going on around Him
      1. The disciples did not and resorted to blaming and attacking one another
      2. The disciples began to ask each other which one of them was the betrayer.
        1. So HUMAN
        2. “is it you?” “is it you”  “I bet it is”
      3. Even Judas participated in this INQUISITION
      4. There was one betrayer and he knew exactly who he was
        1. And he hid his purpose
        2. He hid is intentions
        3. He hid his heart.
        4. He betrayed Jesus for money
      5. Maybe there is someone in here today who:
        1. Looks like a Christian
        2. Acts like a Christian
        3. But way down deep, in those regions we don’t like to delve into, KNOWS they are not a Christian.
        4. They are lying to us and to themselves.
        5. Maybe evil has already entered in among us
  1. Be READY TO RESPOND
    1. Never give in, give out or give up
      1. Use the SPIRITUAL ARMOR God gave you
    2. BEFORE: Report any suspicious activity
      1. BE LOUD IF NECESSARY
        1. IMMEDIATE THREAT
  • Get yourself and others to safety
    1. Exit, run, get away
    2. Hide if necessary
      1. Hard Cover
      2. Concealment
      3. Fight if needed
        1. Use the weapons at hand
        2. Ones you brought VERSES ones you find
      4. Call 9-1-1
      5. When Law Enforcement arrives
        1. DO NOT RUN TOWARDS THEM
        2. Wait for their instructions
          1. They are looking for (HUNTING) a DANGER
  • Pray and PROTECT
  1. When Safe
    1. Praise God
    2. Provide Comfort and Minister to others
    3. OBEY the commands of law enforcement
  2. Check YOURSELF…before you wreck yourself
    1. No one else to blame
    2. You will be held accountable for your decisions and actions
  3. Matthew 7:13 – 14You can enter God’s Kingdom only
  4. through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” HAVE YOU!
  5. Matthew 7:21 – “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.  On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’” DOES JESUS KNOW YOU?
  1. Today is the day to stop living the lie and turn to Jesus and BELIEVE!
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February 11, 2018       Supper, His Way

Luke 22:14-23 “14 Then at the proper time Jesus and the twelve apostles sat down together at the table. 15 Jesus said, “I have looked forward to this hour with deep longing, anxious to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins.  16 For I tell you now that I won’t eat it again until it comes to fulfillment in the Kingdom of God.”  17 Then he took a cup of wine, and when he had given thanks for it, he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves.  18 For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.”  19 Then he took a loaf of bread; and when he had thanked God for it, he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”  20 After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This wine is the token of God’s new covenant to save you — an agreement sealed with the blood I will pour out for you.                 21 “But here at this table, sitting among us as a friend, is the man who will betray me.  22 For I, the Son of Man, must die since it is part of God’s plan. But how terrible it will be for my betrayer!”  23 Then the disciples began to ask each other which of them would ever do such a thing.”    NLT

  1. Supper, Gods Way is:
    1. Supper at the Proper Time
      1. The Passover was a special meal, the disciples gathered together in one place at one time.
      2. The Church Family gathers and observes the ordinance together
    2. A Supper in the proper way
      1. Anticipated and prepared for – ANXIOUS TO EAT
      2. YET, we wait and partake together
        1. The Elements will be distributed
        2. BUT, we wait until it is the proper TIME and WAY to PARTAKE
  • The Passover was among the highest religious observances of the day.
    1. People prepared for it as we might prepare for thanksgiving
      1. Everything was planned and prepared
    2. The Jewish nation looked forward to the Passover celebration and remembrance
    3. We should be well prepared and anxious as well.
    4. TODAY is no ORDINARY church day at First Baptist
      1. Today is a day to Remember and to RE-Member
    5. We do this TOGETHER…..in UNITY
  1. A Meal with a message
    1. This is Christs last Passover celebration
    2. Remember that He gave His Blood and His Body for us
      1. “This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
      2. “This wine is the token of God’s new covenant to save you — an agreement sealed with the blood I will pour out for you.
    3. Now, just like a redneck Thanksgiving…
      1. Not everyone at the table is a friend
        1. There are fakers
        2. There are fiends
  • There are those that would throw you under the bus for just a little reward
  1. There are those who are betrayers
    1. DO NOT BE ONE OF THESE!
    2. If you do not believe do not partake
      1. You will be offered a chance to make a public profession of faith during this service
        1. To believe and be known as a believer
      2. Judas served a purpose in his rebellion
        1. Evil and sinners may think they are doing their will, but God reigns and rules
        2. What evil means for evil, God can use for Good
          1. Genesis 50:19-20 “But Joseph told them, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, to judge and punish you? As far as I am concerned, God turned into good what you meant for evil.” NLT
  • Judas’ betrayal led to the death of Jesus, which was God’s plan for the forgiveness of our sins.
    1. We are guilty
    2. A sentence of death was administered
    3. Jesus paid that price
  1. The disciples began to ask each other which one of them was the betrayer.
    1. So HUMAN
    2. “is it you?” “is it you”  “I bet it is ______”
  • Even Judas participated in this INQUISITION
  1. There was one betrayer and he knew exactly who he was
    1. And he hid his purpose
    2. He hid is intentions
    3. He hid his heart.
    4. He betrayed Jesus for money
  2. Maybe there is someone in here today who:
    1. Looks like a Christian
    2. Acts like a Christian
    3. But way down deep, in those regions we don’t like to delve into, KNOWS they are not a Christian.
    4. They are lying to us and to themselves.
  3. Matthew 7:13 – 14You can enter God’s Kingdom only
  4. through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”
  5. Matthew 7:21 – “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.  On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’”
  1. Today is the day to stop living the lie and turn to Jesus and BELIEVE!
  2. Supper God’s Way is a Supper He supplied to a people He created and loves and our part is to WASH UP for Supper!

2-4-2018          Following God to Supper

Luke 22:7 – 13  “Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread arrived, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed.  Jesus sent Peter and John ahead and said, “Go and prepare the Passover meal, so we can eat it together.” “Where do you want us to prepare it?” they asked him.   He replied, “As soon as you enter Jerusalem, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him. At the house he enters,  say to the owner, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’  He will take you upstairs to a large room that is already set up. That is where you should prepare our meal.” They went off to the city and found everything just as Jesus had said, and they prepared the Passover meal there.”  NLT

  1. Be motivated to observe the Christian Ordinance of the Lord’s supper
    1. They knew when it was on the calendar – ours is next week
    2. They knew they had to prepare
    3. They were looking forward to the experience with Jesus
  2. Know the reason for the Supper
    1. Passover – blood was shed for their deliverance
    2. Lord’s Supper – Remembering the One whose blood was shed for our deliverance
  3. Go and do what God tells you to do
    1. Even if it involved cooking
    2. Even if you will be “inconvenienced”
    3. Even if it involves work….or change…or investment…or…
  4. Follow His Instructions…His Word
    1. Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (BIBLE)
    2. Even if those instructions seem weird
    3. Even if you don’t think those instructions are possible
  5. Trust God
    1. Follow His Word to Supper
    2. He has already went ahead of you to prepare everything so you will find is EXACLY as He said it would be.
      1. God prepared the man carrying the pitcher
      2. God prepared the owner of the house
  • They had already set everything up and it was ready
  1. Prepare for the meal
    1. Look inside and deal with what God shows you there
    2. Repent
      1. Seek forgiveness
      2. Change
  • Wash up for Supper Time

You see:

  • The Passover Celebration was not the end of the Deliverance
    1. It celebrated the deliverance from long ago
  • The Lord’s Supper is not the end of the deliverance
    1. It remembers the Blood and Body of our Savior Jesus Christ; His sacrificial submission EVEN to death, burial and resurrection for YOUR deliverance if you will believe.
  • There is another Supper, a FEAST, yet to come for all believers

Revelation 19:6-9 “Then I heard again what sounded like the shout of a huge crowd, or the roar of mighty ocean waves, or the crash of loud thunder: “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. Let us be glad and rejoice and honor him. For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself.  She is permitted to wear the finest white linen.” (Fine linen represents the good deeds done by the people of God.)  And the angel said, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And he added, “These are true words that come from God.”     NLT

 

  • The Wedding Feast of the Lamb
    • For when the BRIDE (church) is ready
    • WE will gather and CELEBRATE the Lamb that was slain, the Son of God
    • This is the celebration of the COMPLETED DELIVERANCE!

 

Are you following God to THAT Supper?

January 28, 2018         Luke 22:1 – 6          Betrayed

Luke 22:1-6  “The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which begins with the Passover celebration, was drawing near.  The leading priests and teachers of religious law were actively plotting Jesus’ murder. But they wanted to kill him without starting a riot, a possibility they greatly feared.  Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples, and he went over to the leading priests and captains of the Temple guard to discuss the best way to betray Jesus to them.  They were delighted that he was ready to help them, and they promised him a reward.   So he began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus so they could arrest him quietly when the crowds weren’t around.”

  1. The Passover celebration was approaching.  Celebrating the night the people who were protected by the blood were spared.
  2. There are people who we would THINK would be on God’s side, serving Him, doing things His way
    1. But are they?
      1. Leading Priests (elite, top, Boss Priests, senior)
      2. Teachers of the religious Law
        1. “Actively plotting Jesus’ murder”
      3. Sure sounds like they are ENEMIES of God
    2. Add to that group a DISCIPLE (follower) of Jesus Christ
      1. Filled with Satan
      2. Actively seeking ways to betray Jesus
    3. We quickly see that NOT everyone who looks, acts and talks the part of a Christian are indeed Christians.
      1. Not everyone you come across in life will have your best interest at heart
        1. No matter how “nice” they look
        2. No matter how much you seem to have in common
  • No matter if their goals seem to line up with your goals
  1. There are a lot of FAKE FOLKS out there and many are FIENDS!
  1. Have you ever had to deal with betrayal?
    1. Someone who told your deepest personal discussions
    2. Someone who turned you over to an enemy
    3. Gossip, lies, backstabbers, disloyal FAKE FRIENDS
      1. You wonder if you were set up from the beginning
    4. The saddest thing about betrayal is that in never comes from your enemies! It comes from friends and loved ones!
  2. Matthew 7:21-23 “Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as ‘Lord,’ but they still won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven. On judgment day many will tell me, ‘Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’  But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.’”  NLT
  3. When Satan enters into Lost folks he can twist and pervert their lives towards his ultimate cause to STEAL, KILL and DESTROY!
    1. NEVER doubt that satan is out roaming the world looking for people to tear down, trap in his trap and bring to death.
    2. Never doubt that satan is also out in the world looking for people to help in his evil.
    3. Christians cannot be “possessed” by satan or his evil
      1. Christians are a new creation – 2 Cor 5:17
      2. Our Spirit, Soul and Body are preserved for God blameless – 1 Thess 5:23
      3. Light cannot exist in the same space as dark
    4. This does not mean we do not sin, because we do
      1. It simply means that every Christian is a child of God, not satan and not the world.
      2. Satan will push you, confuse you, twist you, lie to you, challenge you, tempt you, and do whatever else he is allowed to do to USE YOU!
      3. But He CANNOT steal your soul, keep you or steal your salvation from you.
  4. BE CAREFUL WHO YOU SPEND TIME WITH!
    1. They may look ok, especially at first
    2. They may be being used by satan to EASE you away from God and His Love
      1. Its just a piece of fruit
      2. God didn’t surely say…..
      3. You can skip church one day….maybe two…
  1. Seek to spend time with GOD 1st then with HIS CHILDREN who have a lifestyle of faith and obedience…a TRACK RECORD of serving God. Good Fruit!
  2. DO NOT GIVE HATERS AUTHORITY TO HURT
  3. DO NOT GIVE BETRAYERS PERMISSION TO CHANGE WHO YOU ARE!
    1. RISE ABOVE
    2. You BE You
    3. You be the VERY BESY YOU GOD MADE YOU TO BE
  4. Reject the hate and lies
    1. Reject false friends
    2. Here is where it gets hard
      1. PRAY FOR THEM
    3. Jesus was betrayed by Judas Iscariot
      1. He was betrayed by the Temple Elite
      2. He was betrayed by the Teachers of Religious Law
      3. He would be betrayed by the people who were WORSHIPPING HIM just a few days before
      4. He would be betrayed by billions through histories pages
      5. He is betrayed by US still today
        1. Yet He still loves us
        2. He still continued on the path HE KNEW would lead to His death and burial
          1. I would not have stayed that course
          2. Jesus’ love is greater than ours

A FRESH NEW S.T.A.R.T.

All of us have experienced many setbacks and failures throughout our lives. Sometimes we allow these mistakes, these setbacks and failures to enslave us to the point that we never enjoy the full Christian life that God has given us to enjoy.

Last year some of you said, “I am going to grow in my relationship with God. I am going to pray more, read my bible more and get more involved in my church. I’m going to spend more quality time with my family.”

The fact is that all of us made some mistakes or we made some bad decision that hindered us from doing those things that we wanted to do.

In John 10:10 Jesus said,    “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  ESV  Then he goes on to tell us that there is an adversary, called the Devil, that seeks to kill and destroy that life. The Devil will remind us of our past in order to keep us from enjoying the life that God gave us to live. The Devil does not want you to have a fresh start in life.

The good news is according to  Isaiah 43:18-19 “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.  Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”  ESV

We need to understand that failure does not have to destroy us but it can develop character, it can make us stronger and help us to avoid those mistakes in the future.

Maybe you feel that you have made so many mistakes, you have failed God so many times and you have sinned it all away. Now God doesn’t want anything to do with you. You feel and believe that you have no future with God.

The good news is, God is saying, “It’s not over, I have plans for your life. I am about to do something new for you.”    We need to understand that God is far more interested in our future than He is in our past.

Here is a little acrostic that I found for starting over, that should make it easy for you.   S.T.A.R.T.

S- Stop Making Excuses.   If I want a fresh start in life, I have to stop making excuses for my failures. I’ve got to stop blaming other people. I’ve got to stop seeing myself as the victim of my circumstances.  In John 15 and Romans 2 Scripture is very clear – you have NO EXCUSE!

T- Take An Inventory Of My Life  I need to take an inventory of my life. That means I need to evaluate all my experiences. I need to look at what I have left after the failure. I need to take an inventory of my life’s experiences and learn from them.  2 Corinthians 13:5-7 “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test.”  ESV

A – Act in Faith – If you want to change your circumstance, it takes faith. If you want to change your personality, it takes faith. If you want to change anything in your life, you have to have some faith.      Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”  ESV

R – Refocus -I need to refocus my thoughts if I want to change my life. If I want to get going again, if I want a fresh start, I need to rethink the way that I think. I need to change my mind about a number of issues.  Proverbs 4:23   “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”  ESV (heart = feelings, will and intellect)

T – Trust –Trust God to help us succeed. Depend on Him. We don’t need to depend on ourselves. We’ve already proven that we can’t do it on our own. That’s why we’ve failed.  Zechariah 4:6 “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.”  ESV

It’s your choice. How can I have a fresh start? I can have a fresh start by: S.T.A.R.T.

January 7th, 2018         Romans 8:1 – 14          Nature of the New Year

Romans 8:1-14 “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.  For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death.  The law of Moses could not save us, because of our sinful nature. But God put into effect a different plan to save us. He sent his own Son in a human body like ours, except that ours are sinful. God destroyed sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.  He did this so that the requirement of the law would be fully accomplished for us who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.  Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. [what are YOU thinking about?  What is feeding your thoughts?]  If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace.  For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.  That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them are not Christians at all.) Since Christ lives within you, even though your body will die because of sin, your spirit is alive because you have been made right with God.  The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as he raised Christ from the dead, he will give life to your mortal body by this same Spirit living within you.  So, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation whatsoever to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.  For if you keep on following it, you will perish. But if through the power of the Holy Spirit you turn from it and its evil deeds, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.”    

We all enter 2018 with a struggle, well, at least one struggle.

The Battle between the flesh and the Holy Spirit.  The fight for controlling authority in our lives.  The battle between good and evil.

You are not alone in this.

Romans 7:21-25 “It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart.  But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind. This law wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.  Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin?   Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.”

Paul understood…LIVED…the same struggle we have.  Sometimes He won – obviously; yet sometimes he failed, as we do.

We can fail less.

An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life…
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

One wolf is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.

The other wolf is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old chief simply replied, “The one you feed.”

  1. The struggles of the past year
    1. Sin
    2. Self
    3. Gossip, backbiting, bullying
    4. Financial
    5. Condemnation
  2. A promise for the new year
    1. There is NO CONDEMNATION
      1. FOR those who belong to Christ
    2. You Christian are living under a DIFFERENT PLAN than the children of the world
      1. Jesus Christ – our Savior
      2. God sent His only Son TO SAVE US
        1. He came as a human – A baby in a manger
      3. He lives a sinless life
        1. Yet died on a CROSS for our failures, sins and crimes
  • Christian, Jesus DESTROYED sins control over you
    1. FEED YOU HOLY SPIRIT
    2. STARVE THE WOLF OF SIN
  1. You Christian live with a DIFFERENT NATURE than the children of the world
    1. They are dominated by the sinFULL nature of the World
    2. YOU, Christian, are dominated by the HOLY SPIRIT, the very NATURE of Godliness
      1. EMBRACE the Spirit of God
      2. REJECT the sinful nature of the world
    3. Here is the reality of the nature of Christians:
      1. The Holy Spirit lives within you
      2. Jesus Christ lives within you
      3. God lives within you
        1. Even in physical death you will live eternally
        2. Even in a sin-filled, painful world you can live in PEACE and LIFE and the FREEDOM of NO CONDEMNATION
      4. The nature of your new year depends on which nature you choose to follow
        1. The sinful nature will lead to more hurt, disappointment, pain and loss
        2. The Holy Spirit of God will lead you to a better, more abundant life.
          1. Do you want to just EXIST for another year?
          2. Do you want to LIVE LIFE in 2018?
  • Watch what you take into your mind and heart!
    1. FEED THE GOOD WOLF – Godliness
    2. STARVE THE BAD WOLF – Flesh

An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship.  Similarly, the negativity of the world can’t bring you down unless you allow it to get inside of you!.

12 31        End of Year Review/Inventory      Philippians 3:12 – 15

Philippians 3:12-16 “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.   I hope all of you who are mature Christians will agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you.  But we must be sure to obey the truth we have learned already.”    NLT

Today is the very last day 2017 has to give.  At midnight tonight 2017 will end and the new year of 2018 will begin.

Doesn’t sound fair?  Tough.

You still have 2017 New Year resolutions undone?  Tough

2017 work that needs completed?   TOUGH.

Business may be rushing even today to finish their 2017 inventory, paperwork, tax reports or even order fulfillments to meet their regulatory or contractual compliance because at Midnight 2017 ENDS.

The stock market, investors and leaders are waiting those end of year reports to measure the success or failure of the business and its future.

What about us?  Should we not pause from time to time and do a compete and thorough inventory of our lives?

Are we brave enough and curious enough to look deep into our finances, our heart, our mind and our Godliness and see what God already knows about our FAITHFULNESS?

  1. We already know we are FAR FROM PERFECT
    1. Taking time to reflect on areas that need attention is a smart use of time
    2. Look BACK
  2. We already know there is much work to be done in our lives in our pursuit to be the person Jesus gave His life for us to become for Him.
    1. LEARN
      1. Good judgement and wisdom comes from experience
      2. Experience comes from mistakes and failures more than successes
    2. We cannot change the mistakes of the past
      1. Only God can erase our record of failures, missteps and open disobedience
      2. Repent and LEAVE THEM BEHIND
        1. Forgetting the past – Don’t seek them out
      3. What we can do is focus all of our energy on BETTER
        1. LOOKING FORWARD to what lies ahead
        2. STRAIN to reach the potential God has for us
        3. RUNNING the race He has laid before us
        4. RECEIVING THE PRIZE Jesus has prepared for us
      4. Mature Christians will agree that we NEED to be BETTER Christians
        1. No excuses and No spinning the truth
        2. The WORD lays it all out clearly and we KNOW we need to improve
      5. Some may say we are “good enough” or that God will accept us for new life “just as we are”
        1. I believe that God will make the truth clear to you
        2. We must REPENT, turn our lives toward God and away from the poor excuses of self.
      6. Here is the simple, and unfortunately HARD truth, to the beginning of this process of repentance, renewal and personal revival:
        1. We already KNOW what we need to know
          1. Wisdom comes when we LEARN and LIVE the lessons of LIFE
          2. To quote Yoda, “that library contained nothing that the girl Rey does not already possess.”
  • Read the Word of God we MUST
  1. LIVE the Word of God we READ is VITAL
  1. We already have the TRUTH we need.
  2. We simply need to LIVE the truth of God and His Word we already have.
  3. LIVE FORWARD