Christian Minister in the war torn Middle East.
Big Idea: Don't be a Greyhound be a Lion
Point 1: Fear the Lord.
Point 2: Trust in the Lord.
Point 3: Forget your past and start now.
Ezra 4 and 6
- Obstacles are a normal part of life
- Obstacles don’t look as bad when they are seen in perspective.
- No obstacle takes God by surprise.
Big Idea: Faith in God’s promises will overcome any obstacle.
- For spiritual renewal, return to Jesus and forgiveness, the central message of Christianity.
- For spiritual renewal, return to living as though the Bible is true.
- For spiritual renewal, recommit your time, talents, and treasures to Jesus.
Big Idea: Centering your life around Jesus Christ is the only thing that will ever fully satisfy.
- This world is not our home.
- God calls us to a higher purpose.
- Answering God’s call will be costly
Big Idea: Answering God’s call is the highest and best use of my life.
- Jesus Pursues unlikely people
- Jesus goes to undesirable places
- Jesus purifies the contaminated
Big Idea: Jesus did not come to make bad people good, but to make dead people alive.
Big Idea: Only God can get you through the wilderness with your faith in tact.
3 Principles on how to survive the wilderness
- The wilderness of life shows us God’s provision.
- The wilderness is where God tests us.
- In the wilderness you can either grumble or learn to be humble.
2 Chronicles 20
Big Idea: Pain can drive us into God’s presence.
- Realize we almost never grow without a life disruption.
- When life is disrupted, call out to God.
- While fasting, listen for the voice of God.
Isaiah 58:1-2, 6-9; Matthew 6:2, 5, 16
- To pursue God’s presence, you must also embrace God’s heart for the broken
- Public prayer should always be accompanied by private prayer
- Humility in life, in heart with prayer and fasting will always bring spiritual breakthrough.
Big Idea: Sincere faith is more about what you do in private than what you do in public
- Let go of yesterday’s fear.
- Worship Jesus today, no matter the circumstances you find yourself in.
- Refocus your future on glorifying God and making disciples.
Big Idea: The resurrection of Jesus changes everything.
Matthew 2:1-4, Luke 2:8-20
- The wise men experienced Christmas as authentic seekers.
- Herod experienced Christmas as a threat to his control.
- The angels experienced Christmas with an attitude of praise.
- The shepherds experienced Christmas by sharing the message of Jesus.
- Mary experienced Christmas by fully submitting her life.
Big Idea: How you experience Christmas is a great indicator of your spiritual life.
- Jesus was the ultimate fulfillment of the Passover firstborn.
- Only Jesus can fully satisfy our longings
- The birth of Jesus compels us to make a choice
Big Idea: The reason our hearts search for meaning is because God wants us to find Him
- Always expect God to work through ordinary people.
- Understand that the gospel changes everything.
- Learn from Mary how to respond to Jesus.
Big Idea: Because God paid the ultimate price for me, there is no part of me that doesn’t belong to Him.
"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of God shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angels said to them, "Do not be afraid." (Luke 2:8-10)
Fear dominates God’s story & fear dominates our God story as well
"Fear of man will prove to be a snare; but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe." (Prov 29:25)
When Out of Balance..Man Becomes My Functional God
When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him..." (Matt. 2)
- The Gospel Humbles Me
- The Gospel Makes Me Pleasing to God
- The Gospel produces in me a desire to Elevate what God thinks of me over what man thinks of me.
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "this is my son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
Big Idea: Character is doing what’s right no matter the results.
- Make the hard calls.
- Focus on the right priorities
- Be consistent.
- Never tire of presenting the basics
- Have high expectations when it matters
- Being completely committed to Christ will impact my sexuality and my family.
- Being completely committed to Christ will affect my work and time.
- Being completely committed to Christ will strengthen my worship and finances.
Big Idea: Christ won’t be just part of what you do, he wants to be at the center of who you are.
- Look to God first
- Realize that you’re never too far from God’s love
- Understand that spiritual growth is a lifelong process
- Commit your life to him right now
Big Idea: It’s never too late for a new start with God
Nehemiah 8, Psalm 107:9
- Hunger leads to spiritual vigor
- God’s Word is the center piece for spiritual renewal
- God’s Word always challenges us to respond
Those who hunger and thirst for Jesus will always be satisfied.
Nehemiah 4, James 1:19, Proverbs 17:28, 18:13
Big Idea: Good listening lets you lead strongly, honor God, and love others well.
- The people said: We have lost our strength. We have lost our vision. We have lost our confidence.
- Listen to the needs of people and make changes accordingly.
- Remind everyone of the bigger deeper picture.
- Remind people of God’s promises to give them courage.
Nehemiah 6:1-15, Matthew 26:39, Gal 6:9
Big Idea: Its always to soon to give up.
- Don’t let others knock you off course.
- Prove yourself with results not words.
- Don’t take the easy way out.