FaithPoint News

Greetings FaithPoint!

May you be blessed this week. I hope that you are enjoying the daily videos in Proverbs. Leave your thoughts and comments on my Facebook page if you would like to share what you are getting from our daily studies. In today’s video, I asked if you would like to do another book of the Bible, so also please comment with the next book you would like us to study together.

Pastor James will be doing our sermon recap video tonight. I am looking forward to it.

Here are the sermon notes from Sunday:

This is week 1 in our Doctrine and Devotion series.

My hope for you during this series is that you become rooted and grounded in the faith as Paul explains in Colossians 2:6-14

To be rooted or established, there needs to be a foundation on which to build. So, we are building upon the foundation of Scripture.

We are told in James to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. You can say that you believe something but do something else entirely. What you believe determines what you do. I can point out the way to you but I cannot make you believe.

We believe that the Bible is our highest authority. It is holy, it is inerrant, it is infallible.

We believe that the Bible is the only sufficient, certain source of all saving knowledge, faith and obedience. In other words, the Bible tells us about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us how we are saved from our sins, and the Bible tells us what God expects from us in the form of obedience in light of the fact that we have been adopted into His family.

We believe John 1:1

We believe that Word is Jesus. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus spoke the universe into existence and through Him are all things held together.

There are some people that you will meet, that will proclaim that they believe in the Bible. They will tell you they love the Bible, they may tell you that they believe the Bible is sufficient for salvation and sanctification. But there is a cavernous gap between what they say and what they do. There is a huge disconnect.

If you say that you believe the Bible than you should be conforming to the image of Jesus.

For example:

Romans 10:9-13 salvation

Romans 12:1-2 sanctification

Hebrews 4:12

You cannot come into contact with this sword and remain unchanged. You are either driven to Jesus or you harden your heart and you run from Jesus. Every. Single. Time.

No one is left neutral.

Acts 28:23

Ephesians 2:20-22

I LOVE OUR CHURCH!

Pastor Jimmy

If you enjoyed the notes from this sermon, please like and share. If you would like to share your thoughts on this sermon or what you hope that God does in you during this series, head over to my Facebook page and continue the conversation.

FaithPoint News

FaithPoint Logo 1Greetings FaithPoint!

Here are some announcements so that you know what is coming up.

  • The funeral for my dad will be Wednesday at 11am.
  • There will be no Wednesday night gathering but feel free to stop by our house and visit with us if you like.
  • FaithPoint Men, we will be meeting Sunday morning at 9:00 to discuss the next chapter of our book. I look forward to our time of discussion.
  • We will be in week 4 of our DNA series. This would be a good time to invite friends or family to come with you.

Here are the notes from Sunday:

The title for this sermon is: The Word of God – Authority of Scripture. This is week 3 in our DNA series.

How do we know that the Bible is God’s Word?

In what sense is Scripture our highest authority?

We have heard it. The Holy Spirit helps us to believe that the Bible is God’s Word through faith.

There are different forms for the Word of God:

  • The Word of God as Jesus – Revelation 19:13, John 1:1, John 1:14
  • The Word of God as decrees by God – Genesis 1:3 A decree of God is a word of God that causes something to happen
  • The Word of God as personal address – God speaks directly to a person. Adam, Moses, Jonah, Isaiah, Jeremiah
  • Word of God as spoken through humans – God raises up prophets through whom He speaks. Jeremiah 1:7, 1:9-10 Anyone who claims to be speaking for the Lord but did not receive a message from the Lord was severely punished.
  • The Word of God as written words – The Bible Exodus 32:16, Deut. 31:24-26, Joshua 24:26

For our DNA series: We are going to focus on the Word of God as written words – The Bible.

Wayne Grudem, in his book, Systematic Theology, says this: The authority of Scripture means that all the words in Scripture are God’s words in such a way that to disbelieve or disobey any word of Scripture is to disbelieve or disobey God.

2 Timothy 3:16

2 Peter 1:21

Acts 1:16

Matthew 4:4

It is one thing to know that the Bible is God’s Word. It is another thing entirely to be convinced or believe that the Bible is God’s Word.

1 Corinthians 2:14

Apart from the Holy Spirit, a person cannot fully understand spiritual truth and will not receive or accept that the words of Scripture are the words of God.

John 10:27

Sin distorts people’s perception of reality. They do not see Scripture for what it truly is. It takes the work of the Holy Spirit in us, overcoming the effects of sin, and persuade us that Scripture is the Word of God and true.

Titus 1:2 – God never lies.

Psalm 119:89 – God’s Word is firmly fixed in heaven.

Matthew 24:35 – Jesus says, Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will never pass away.

Numbers 23:19 – God is not man, that he should lie.

John 17:17 – Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

Jesus is saying that God’s word is not just true but it is truth itself.

We know these verses but are we convinced enough that Scripture is our highest authority?

Conviction or belief will be lived out through obedience to the Scriptures.

Joshua 1:8

Psalm 119:5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12

James 1:22-25

We believe that the Bible in its original written form is inerrant, that is to say that the Bible is without error or fault in all of its teachings.

Scripture is sufficient as our supreme authority in all spiritual matters. All truth necessary for salvation and spiritual life (sanctification) is found in Scripture. Scripture is the highest and most supreme authority for any matter that it addresses.

1 Corinthians 10:31

John 14:26

I LOVE OUR CHURCH!

Pastor Jimmy

If you liked this post, please like and share. If you would like to share your thoughts on this sermon or any other sermon in this series, head over to my Facebook page and leave a comment.

 

 

FaithPoint News

FaithPoint Logo 1Greetings FaithPoint,

I hope that you are having a great Tuesday.

I am praying that you are being impacted by our new DNA series. I hope that you are growing and being challenged to become everything that God created you to be.

I look forward to being with you tomorrow as we come together for discussion time in the Word.

Here are the notes from Sunday:

The text for this sermon is: Luke 8:22 – 25. The title of this sermon is: DNA: You Need The Storm. This is week 2 in our DNA series.

We have all experienced rain. It is easier to prepare for rain when you know it’s coming. It is not as easy if you never see it coming.

You wake up. You get ready for work, grab your coffee and head out the door. It may not have occurred to you to check the TV or your weather app before you left the house.

After work, it pours and maybe our God is there. You see darker clouds and you see the heavy rain. You know that you are about to be soaked because you don’t have anything that remotely resembles an umbrella or galoshes.

So you decide to make a run for it.

That is rain. What about a thunderstorm?

Have you ever been caught in a thunderstorm? You don’t even want to get out of the car…or boat.

Luke 8:22-25

Jesus told the disciples that they were going across the lake. Jesus knew it would take some time so Jesus went to take a nap.

Look at the second half of verse 23. This is not a smooth trip like they thought it was going to be. A windstorm comes. It’s not raining. It’s a windstorm. The wind pushes against the boat, and causes the water to become erratic. The calm lake became their enemy as it sent wave after wave crashing into the boat. The boat begins to take on water and they are in danger.

What kind of storm are you in the midst of right now?

It could be:

  • relational
  • emotional
  • financial?

It can be anything!

Storms tend to mess with people. Storms cause people to be:

  • afraid
  • angry
  • insecure
  • doubtful
  • anxious

Your perspective is distorted by the storm.

A fog rolls in. Certainty becomes doubt.

Maybe you have been in the storm for so long that you have started to believe that the storm is not going away. Days turn into weeks. Weeks turn into months. The waves have been crashing against you for so long that you don’t even see an end to the storm.

I am going to tell you something that is going to sound a little crazy: You need the storm.

I know what you are thinking. “What?” “How is that true?” “How is that possible?”

James 1:2

The testing of your faith produces steadfastness. We are back to foundations.

Storms are designed to push you to Jesus or away from Jesus. It is not about the storm at all. It is about your faith or lack of it in the midst of the storm.

You need the storm because it will very quickly let you know whether or not you truly believe what God says is true.

Luke 6:47-49

How solid is your foundation?

Why do we not have more steadfast Christians?

vs 24 – 25 The disciples went to wake up Jesus. Jesus calms the storm and asks them, “Where is your faith?”

Why would Jesus ask that? The testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

The disciples were in panic mode. They were overwhelmed by their current situation.

It never occurred to them WHO was with them.

They did not realize that the very One who spoke creation into existence was with them.

What is in your life that you find is overwhelming you?

If Jesus can rebuke one storm, He can rebuke your storm.

But…where is your faith?

You need the storm. The storm will show you how strong your foundation is or whether you have cracks in it.

Are you so overwhelmed by your current situation that you have forgotten who is on the boat with you?

Are you telling yourself that you are different? Your storm is impossible.

Impossible is God’s playground.

Impossible is where God likes to hang out.

Impossible is where God does His best work.

Impossible is the breeding ground for miracles.

Jesus is not absent from your storm. He is on the boat with you. Remember, He did say that He would be with you always.

If you can impact the outcome of your own storm, you don’t need God.

If you believe that your storm is bigger than God, you have the wrong god.

Every trial. Every test. Every storm. Jesus is right there with you.

Run to Jesus not away from Him.

The testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

Steadfastness proves your foundation is strong enough to withstand the storm.

It doesn’t matter what you have to go through in this life. Jesus said, “I am with you always.”

 

I LOVE FAITHPOINT!

Pastor Jimmy

If you liked this post, please like and share. If you would like to share your thoughts on this sermon or any other sermon in this DNA series, head on over to my Facebook page and share your comments.

 

Defining Strategy With Leadership

I had the incredible opportunity to attend the REACH 2015 conference. This is the second annual conference of its kind in Georgia.

The main idea or reason for a conference of this type is because of the astronomical numbers about the status of our state. Currently, there are over 7 million people in the state of Georgia who do not attend a church of any denomination and do not consider themselves to be Christian or otherwise. They are just turned off period. So, again, there are over 7 million lost people in the state of Georgia.

I want to put the biggest dent I can in that number. I am part of a group of pastors that are praying that God will use their churches to punch a hole in that number. Wouldn’t it be phenomenal if by God’s amazing grace; that number could be cut in half in the next 5 years? I believe that it can happen but it requires us to be intentional.

One of my favorite sessions at the REACH conference was led by Pastor Bill Purvis. His talk was titled: Defining Strategy With Leadership. I would love to share you my key takeaways from this session.

Defining Strategy with Leadership: Bill Purvis

Vision is your mental picture. Strategy is your map.

Churches don’t grow because they have a great vision. It is because they execute a good strategy.

2 Samuel 5:17-25

God provides David’s strategy.

Strategy is a leader’s most important role.

The leader is the strategist.

Why does your church matter?

Why do people need your church?

Be intentional about Your Mission.

What is your big win?

Be intentional about Your Personal Growth Plan.

Growing leaders grow churches. Your personal growth plan is the key to your leadership. You have to be on a quest for growth.

Be intentional about Growing Others.

Be intentional in Looking for Leaders.

Be intentional in Aligning People’s gifts so they can add value.

Share your vision with the people who can make things happen.

Send thank you notes to people.

Lead by example:

  • Your Marriage
  • Your Family
  • Your Integrity
  • Your Finances
  • Your Motives

Do the best you can with what you have where you are and God will not leave you where you are and He will increase what you have.

People need to know that the leader loves them.

Here is a video snippet of the session. I hope you enjoy it.

If you liked this post, please like and share. If you would like to share your thoughts about this post, head over to my Facebook page and leave a comment.

FaithPoint News

FaithPoint Logo 1Greetings FaithPoint,

I hope that your week is starting off well.

Can you believe that we are in the month of August? There are only four months left in 2015. This poses a few questions that we should ponder over. Most people start the beginning of the year with a list of things that they are going to change. How have you done with your list?

How have you grown? Do you see that you have made progress in your spiritual journey? Are you closer to Jesus now then you were in January?

If not, this is a good time to start. You can’t take back time that has passed but you can start now. You can be intentional about your journey and growth. Don’t waste your journey.

Next Sunday is the last sermon in our Heroes series. I hope that you have enjoyed this series as much as I have.

Here is a little recap of what our summer series has looked like:

  • Spiderman – With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility – Paul says that the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. There are commandments that the Bible says that we should obey. Spiritual maturity is defined by our obedience to Scripture. There is power in you that will help you accomplish everything that God has brought forth in your life to accomplish. Don’t waste it. However, with that power comes expectation of how to use that power and live with it.
  • Superman – Kryptonite – Fear is the Christian’s kryptonite. Fear can trainwreck progress. Fear can cause you to freeze, become apathetic, complacent, and stagnant. There is only one thing that is the prescription for fear. Faith. Faith and fear cannot occupy the same space at the same time. You cannot be filled with both faith and fear at the same time.
  • Iron Man – Armor – You are perfectly equipped to live the life that God has set before you. Your armor is custom fit just for you. My armor will not fit you and your armor will not fit me. However, your armor is not effective if you do not wear it. Laying your weapon down and putting your armor on the coffee table leaves you open for every single dart, bullet, grenade, and missile that the enemy wants to launch your way. You must know your armor and your weapon. God will fight your battle but you have to hold the weapon.
  • Daredevil – There Is A Different Way To See – We live by faith not by sight. Faith means that you trust God even when it doesn’t make sense. You trust God when you know that money in your account is low. You trust God when you can’t see around the next corner. You trust God at all times, not just when you feel like it.
  • Captain America – The World Has Changed – We live in a world that increasingly wants to distance itself from churches, pastors and anything that remotely has to do with Jesus. What does that mean for us? Nothing changes. God is still God. Jesus is Jesus. The gospel is still the means that God uses to save people and He does that through His church. Nothing changes. In fact, knowing the opposition that we face should challenge us to be more bold and confident, not in our own ways and methods, but in Jesus.
  • Thor – False Gods – Anything that you attribute more value or worth to than God is an idol. Who or what do you serve? Where do you spend your money? Do you not give to the church because your heart is far from God? Anything that takes priority over God is your idol. God is a jealous God. If you are truly God’s child, your Heavenly Father will relentlessly pursue you to get you back even if that means destroying the idols that have captivated your heart.

Here are the sermon notes from Sunday:

The text for this sermon is: James 1:18-21. The title of this sermon is: Anger Is A Choice. This is week 8 in our Heroes series.

 

What makes a character like Hulk someone that people enjoy? People love Hulk’s catchphrase, “HULK SMASH!”

Is there something fun, exciting, or cool about watching someone get so angry that they erupt in a rage and destroy everything around them?

We know that the angrier Hulk gets, the more powerful he becomes. His anger gives him increased focus for a short time. However, if he gets too angry, he can lose all focus and he becomes a loose cannon that lets his rage takeover.

Every person in the world will deal with anger. It is an emotion; and like all emotions we must learn how to deal with it in a way that is beneficial and not destructive.

Anger expressed in a unhealthy way has resulted in some very tragic events:

  • verbal and physical abuse of a spouse
  • verbal and physical abuse of a child
  • physical abuse of elderly patients in nursing homes
  • murder
  • road rage
  • going postal

Anger that is suppressed and not properly dealt with leads to a person who can go from 0 – to a 100 in a heartbeat.

There is nothing funny, entertaining or amusing about a person who does not know how to handle anger. A person who cannot handle anger usually lets anger boil over into selfishness,  bitterness, unforgiveness, hatred or resentment. All of which cause our prayers to be hindered. In other words, God does not listen to the prayers of his children when their hearts are not pure. Jesus said in Mark 11:25: “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

Anger is a God-given emotion however, because of sin, our anger can cause us to be out of control.

Anger can cause us to have a clouded and warped view of our circumstances because our perspective is not clear.

Anger can be influenced by:

  • negative role models in your family
  • unmet expectations, desires, or demands
  • personal experience in relationships
  • the inability to control outside forces

Anger is not sinful. How anger is handled may or may not be sinful.

If you are a Christian, you have been forgiven of the greatest of offenses; knowingly, purposefully, and unrepentantly transgressing the law of our Holy God. Yet, we are slow to forgive others when they sin or transgress against us.

We usually get angry when people do something that we consider offensive to us, but even the biggest sins or offenses committed to us are nothing compared to what we have done to Jesus.

Proverbs tells us to not be friends with a person that is easily angered.

Colossians 3:8 tells us, “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.”

The gospel manages our anger.

James 1:18-21 Receive with meekness the implanted Word.

John 8:37 One of the saddest verses in the Bible, Jesus said, “my words find no place in you.”

Is it ever right to be angry?

Yes. But that is another sermon.

To be sure that the Word is implanted in you, there has to be a place for it. You have to be submissive to it, knowing that the Holy Spirit uses the Word to transform your mind, will, and emotions.

May you always be saturated in the Word of God.

I LOVE OUR CHURCH!

Pastor Jimmy

If you liked this post, please like and share it. If you would like to share how this Heroes series has impacted you, head over to my Facebook page and share your comments.

 

FaithPoint News

FaithPoint Logo 1Greetings FaithPoint!

Yesterday, we finished our series We Are FaithPoint. The last four weeks were amazing. I am excited to see what God has for us in the coming weeks.

FaithPoint men, We will be meeting this coming Sunday at McDonald’s at 9:00 am. We will be discussing chapter 12 of Dude’s Guide to Manhood. This is the last chapter of the book.

You still have time to buy your new book, Multiply by Francis Chan. If you cannot find it locally at Books-A-Million or Lifeway, you still have time to order it.

If you have a Kindle or the Kindle app, you can buy and download it immediately.

I am excited to discuss this book with you. We want every man at FaithPoint to be a disciple making man.

Here are the sermon notes from Sunday:

The text of this sermon is: Matthew 22:37-40. The title of this sermon is: Love Your Neighbor As Yourself. This is week 4 in our series: We Are FaithPoint

Christians like to use acronyms to sell T-shirts, bumper stickers and coffee cups.

  • W.W.J.D.
  • P.U.S.H.
  • F.R.O.G.
  • J.O.Y.

Joy means – Jesus, Others, Yourself. It sounds good. It sounds holy. It’s just not biblical.

Matthew 22:37-40

We have heard sermons on what it means to love God.

We have heard sermons on what it means to love your neighbor.

What does it mean to love yourself?

If you have ever been on a plane, you are familiar with the pre-flight speech that the flight attendant has to give. In the middle of her speech, she talks about what will happen in the event of an emergency. She tells you that the oxygen masks will fall out and she explains how to properly put it on so that your oxygen mask will work properly. Then, she says something interesting. She says that you need to fix your own oxygen mask first before you help anyone else. Why? What kind of condition would you be in to help someone if you pass out?

You cannot truly love someone until you fully understand how much God loves you.

You cannot make disciples unless you are already a disciple yourself. For example, how are you supposed to teach someone to obey all that Christ commanded, if you are not obeying all the commands that Christ gave us?

We are not talking about pride or selfishness. We are not talking about you putting your desires, passions and dreams before someone else. That is both unhelpful and unbiblical.

You have on average 68,000 thoughts that run through your mind on a daily basis. Studies show that 80% of those thoughts are negative.

80%!

Pastor Steven Furtick said, “The voice you believe will determine the future that you experience.”

How are you supposed to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, if you can’t cut through all of the noise that is going on inside your head?

Most Christians do not think about what they are thinking about.

Have you ever had thoughts like:

  • If you really loved God, you would read your Bible more like real Christians do
  • You did the same sin, that you just asked forgiveness for. How do you expect God to love you?
  • How much would people turn against you if they knew what a screw-up you are. You can’t share your weaknesses. People will judge you.

So most negative thoughts create insecurity, dislike, distrust, doubt, fear, anger, and things of that sort to dwell in our minds.

How often do you have thoughts:

  • You are not smart enough
  • You don’t have what it takes
  • You are too ugly
  • You are not good enough
  • You are a liar
  • You are too fat
  • You are a fake

Where do those thoughts come from?

Charles Spurgeon said, “Beware of no man more than of yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us.”

Scripture says that the devil is the father of all lies. John 8:44

The devil is acting out of his character. It is who he is. His goal is to get us to think and believe something that is not true. He started with Eve when he got her to doubt God’s word and he has never stopped.

There is an element of truth in the lie. For example, maybe we do need to spend more time with God in His word. However, then the lie comes in and accuses us of not being saved. The lie accuses us of being a fake Christian. The accusation insinuates that there are other people who love God more than we do.

The devil is the accuser of our brothers or all Christians. Revelation 12:9-11

Accusations do not come from Christ. Jesus is truth. All truth comes from Jesus.

How do you battle these negative thoughts…how do you battle these lies?

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

How do you capture every thought when you have 68,000 thoughts running in your mind?

You have to know the difference between the truth and the lies.

You have not been made a victim of your own thoughts. You get to choose to listen to the voices that you listen to.

I have heard people say that they don’t like Twitter or Facebook because of all of the gossip, complaining and negativity that is on there.

What?

Here is how you solve that: Both Twitter and Facebook give you the option to click a button called unfollow.

The only reason that gossip or negativity shows up on your timeline is because you let it.

Jesus does not accuse or condemn.

Romans 8:1

You will never be able to capture 68,000 thoughts and hold them all captive. What you have to do is transform your mind through the reading of the word of God and obeying the will of God. Romans 12:2

So that through testing – you may discern….

Did you know that God wanted you to have discernment?

The more you are in the Bible, the more you will be able to hear and understand the voice of God.

The more you hear and understand the Bible, the more you will come to see yourself the way God sees you and believe it.

Then when the devil throws condemnation and accusations in your direction, you can stand firm on what your Heavenly Father says about you.

  • redeemed
  • holy
  • saint
  • righteous
  • justified

We destroy the strongholds being built in our mind, with the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us!

What lies are you believing that is keeping you from being everything that God created you to be?

Let the Holy Spirit work today. Let him tear down strongholds and arguments in your mind that have been building over time.

We are in a war over our minds and souls. Who you choose to listen to determines the direction of your life.

You can love yourself when you love God and understand how much He loves you.

Isaiah 55:1-3

I LOVE MY CHURCH!

Pastor Jimmy

FaithPoint News

FaithPoint Logo 1Hey FaithPoint!

We just started a new series. I am very excited about this new series. This new series will help you to understand who we are as a church family. At the end of this series we are going to give you the opportunity to join our family. Perhaps you have been coming for awhile and you want to be all in. Maybe you have been praying about joining our family and you are still on the fence. We want you to be in prayer about this before you just jump in. We want you to make sure that you know that this is where God wants you.

Our new series is called: We Are FaithPoint!

Here are the notes from the sermon on Sunday:

 

The text for this sermon is John 5:1-15. The title of this sermon is: Do you want to be healed?

This is week 1 in our new series: We Are FaithPoint.

Church.

What do you think of when you hear the word church?

In Southern culture, churches are buildings. Some are small, some are gigantic. Some have bell towers, some have crosses, and some have steeples. Steeples for example, did not start showing up on buildings until the 1700s. These architectural designs became traditional in the same way as pipe organs, and stained glass windows.

Nowhere in the Bible does God ever say that His church is a building. When Jesus asked Peter, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter says, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus tells Peter that upon that statement He will build His church.

Jesus is not into building buildings. Jesus is into building people.

That is why saying that you are going to church is bad theology. When you say, that you are going to church, you are saying that the church is a building and you are not the church.

It is also bad theology to say that this is my church. This is Jesus’ church. I am just called to lead you as He leads me. I work hard to serve you well through preaching. If you have grown, or Jesus has in anyway changed your heart, mind, or helped you progress in sanctification, you should give thanks to Jesus.

The church is a family. Every Sunday the family gathers together to celebrate and worship Jesus. What then becomes of the building.

Think of the building as a house. More specifically, a living room.

The living room is my family’s favorite room in the house.

  • We eat meals in the living room (maybe more often than we should)
  • We watch TV and movies
  • We have parties
  • We read books
  • We pray
  • We have blanket time (we read the Bible or watch VeggieTales and discuss what we learned with our boys
  • It is one of many places where discipleship happens – you have to be a disciple to make disciples
  • It is an inviting place for friends and family
  • It is a place to laugh with those who are laughing and cry with those who are crying
  • It is a place where you can enjoy coffee and good conversations
  • It is also a secure place to have deep and hard conversations

The living room is also a place where lives are enriched, relationships are restored, sorrow can turn to joy, healing can happen in the living room.

John 5:1-15

vs 1-5 The first thing that jumps out at you is that there are multitudes of invalid people here at this pool. Thousands upon thousands of people. In particular there is a man who has been there for 38 years.

vs 6-7 Jesus asked the man, “Do you want to be healed?”

Does that seem a little odd? Why would Jesus ask this?

The man has mat so that he can be comfortable and he doesn’t have to sleep on the ground. He is not able to buy or grow his own food. He has to have people that bring him food and drink.

It is not a stretch to believe that the man might have become comfortable with his handicap.

We do the same thing.

Have you ever struggled with a sin for so long that you just got comfortable with it?

  • How long have you struggled with porn?
  • How long have you struggled with an addiction that you just gave up?

Have you ever believed a lie for so long that it to you it became the truth?

  • How long are you going to believe that you are not good enough?
  • How long are you going to believe that evangelism and discipleship is the job for someone else?
  • How long are you going to believe that you are not a gift to this church family when the Bible says that you are?

Have you ever believed the thoughts that betray what you say you believe?

  • Do you really believe that the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you?
  • Do you really believe that Scripture is your highest authority?
  • Do you really believe that you are gifted and sent to the city you live in to be a missionary to your city?
  • Do you really believe that your stuff is not yours but it belongs to God and you are to steward those things in a way that glorifies God and blesses others?

Jesus healed the man.

Jesus can heal you.

Jesus can heal you of sin, help you believe truth instead of lies, help your thoughts to line up with what you say you believe?

Jesus wants to heal you.

Do you want to be healed?

I hope that you are looking forward to this series and what God is going to do through it.

I love my church!

Pastor Jimmy

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FaithPoint News

FaithPoint Logo 1Howdy FaithPoint!

Here are a few reminders for you:

  • Friday is anti-trafficking day. You might see people with red X’s on their hands or on their Instagram, Twitter and Facebook profiles. Everything that you see related to this is to shine a light on human slavery and expose it for the evil that it is. You can follow the official hashtag #enditmovement
  • Saturday is kids day at Lifeway. You will be able to buy the new VeggieTales movie about Noah before you can actually buy it. I plan on taking my family.
  • Sunday – FaithPoint Men, we will be meeting at McDonald’s at 9:00 am to discuss chapter 7 of Dude’s Guide to Manhood. I look forward to our time of fellowship and discussion. See you there!

Here are the sermon notes from Sunday:

The text for this sermon is Genesis 35. The title of this sermon is: What Real Repentance Looks Like.

How many verses have you memorized that you have never lived out?

Face it, if you actually applied the Scriptures and did your best to live out what you say you believe – your life would change. Change? That would mess up everything.

Change. No one really likes change unless you are the one that initiates it. Your old “self” automatically throws up a wall of resistance to push back against change. It doesn’t even matter what the change is. Your “self” is not ready for it.If you are going to be a disciple of Jesus and be everything that He has called you to be, change is necessary. Your life has to change.

There is sin in our lives that has to go away for there to be real change that takes place.

What kind of change are we talking about?

Are you in the confession trap?

You have a sin that makes you feel guilty and you confess that sin to God (so that you feel better) and then you go back and do it again?

You feel like you are a gerbil in a cage. You are on the wheel and you are going in circles but you are not really going anywhere. You are in an endless cycle.

The confession trap is a cycle. You are the gerbil. You are on the wheel of sin, feel guilty, confess, not feel guilty, sin, and the cycle goes on and on. No change has taken root in your life.

Do you know why it is so difficult to get people to come to church? They look at their lives and look at your life and don’t see a difference.

The Bible has a word for that. Hypocrite.

We do not want to get caught in the endless game of confession just to go back to our sin again. Peter warns against this. 2 Peter 2:22.

You ever seen a dog eat its own vomit? What about its own poop?

Does it make sense for a pig after it is clean to turn around and go right back to the mud?

Why does this happen?

That is just what a dog does.

A pig does what a pig does because it is a pig.

We are neither dogs or pigs. So, it doesn’t make much sense for us as people who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus and adopted into God’s family to continue in sin after we have already been forgiven of it.

Romans 6:1-2

We do not want to get into the habit of abusing grace.

We should be defined by repentance.

Real repentance leads to real change.

Genesis 35:1-15

 

  • God Speaks – The first thing that we notice is that Jacob, in the middle of his mess, still does not go to God. God comes to Him. God is still pursuing Jacob. God has always been pursuing Jacob.

God has always been pursuing you. God has been chasing you down for your entire life. You did not speak first. Your Heavenly Father spoke first. He comes to you and speaks. He doesn’t use a bullhorn, He doesn’t sound like sirens or look like big, flashing neon lights. He whispers.

You have to be tuned to hear His voice or you will miss it. You have too many voices competing for your attention. You have to sift through all of the noise so that you can hear God’s voice. His voice is unique. All of the other voices sound the same.

 

  • Sin is buried – Jacob went to his family and told them that he was going to do what God told him to do. They brought everything to him that was impure or a false god. Jacob buried them at a tree. Jacob dug a grave for the things that kept him from obeying God.

Your sin was covered by blood on a tree. When Jesus was buried. Your sin was buried with Jesus. When He arose, your sin stayed buried. You are not without responsibility. You have to get rid of those things in your life that are keeping you from obeying God. You have to bury them.

Once they are buried, they stay there. It doesn’t make sense to bury some sin and then go back to the grave to dig up its dead body.

If you are saved, the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you. The Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead. That is power. We don’t have a word to describe that kind of power. Superman, The Hulk, dynamite, nothing we have is capable of describing the kind of power that the Holy Spirit has. However, because He has the power to raise Jesus from the dead means that He also has the power to break through your wall of resistance to the change that He wants to bring about in your life.

Your sin is buried.

 

  • New Clothes – Jacob told his family to change their clothes. Why? They were changing. The old clothes were going to remind them of their past. The new clothes are a reminder of their new life.

When you become a Christian, Jesus gives you new clothes. He clothes you in His righteousness. You have put off your old self and your new self is clothed in the righteousness of Jesus.

 

  • New Name – God told Jacob that he would no longer go by the name Jacob but that he would go by the new name that God gave him – Israel.

You have a new name too. You are not the person from your past. You are everything that the Bible says you are. Your Heavenly Father has called you saint, holy, righteous, justified, child of God, heir with Jesus. You have a new name.

It is time to stop going by your old name and start living by your new name. It is time for your life to change. Your Heavenly Father has given you a new name. It is time for you to live your life to reflect your new name.

 

  • God Reinstates Relationship – God forgave Jacob and reminded Jacob of the promise that God gave to him. God renewed His relationship with Jacob.

When we repent, God restores relationship with us.

For us, it is not about not feeling guilty. It is reconciliation with our Heavenly Father and a change in our life that causes us to run from sin and not want to go back to dig up its dead body.

God has pursued you, covered your sin at the cross with the blood of Jesus, given you new clothes, a new name and restores you back in right relationship with Himself as if you had never rebelled at all.

It is time to change.

It is time to respond to your new name. The one that your Heavenly Father gave you.

It is time to follow the leader – Jesus.

What Are You Doing Here?

Pic from rgbstock by lusi

Pic from rgbstock by lusi

I remember a time when I was driving my Mustang to Savannah. It was a time that I will not soon forget. It was pouring down rain. My tire lost traction when it hit a patch of water. The car spun wildly out of control across both lanes of I-16. I felt the back of the car start to go down the embankment. The next thing I knew, I was in a huge ditch. I could no longer see the road. The car had buried itself in mud up to the driver’s door. I couldn’t open it. I managed to open the passenger door and climb out. I climbed out the ditch and made it back to the interstate.

When God calls you to salvation, you begin a path, a journey. This is called sanctification. It is a process. You are on this journey to conform to the image of Christ. The journey is complete when either God takes you home or Jesus returns and takes us all with Him.
Elijah is known for being a man of obedience. He preached and went only when God told him. He listened carefully to listen to God’s voice and God’s voice only.
Ahab had to make up a story to tell his wife because Elijah killed over 800 prophets of Jezebel.
Jezebel sent a message to Elijah that she was going to kill him.
Elijah left and ran – without consulting God first. He did not pray. He did not seek counsel. He ran.
Elijah ran for over six days.
God is not finished with Elijah.
The angel is God’s first move to get Elijah back on the path from which he left.
God did not leave Elijah. Elijah left God.
What are you doing here Elijah?
Why are you where you are right now in your life?
It is easy for people to blame others for their current circumstances.
People want to live as if the decisions they make today have no impact on tomorrow.
If that was the truth, guilt, regret, and shame would almost be non-existent.
Decisions have consequences. Look back at how you got here:
  • Why do people have credit cards with an average balance of $7000?
  • Why are women pregnant outside of marriage?
  • Why do men find more pleasure in pornography or the arms of another woman than they do their own wife?
  • Why do men not lead their families physically or spiritually?
  • Why do people sing lies at church?
  • Why do pastors plead with the congregations every Sunday and the altars like peoples’ lives remain empty?
  • Why do people chase dreams while sacrificing their marriage and families?
  • Why do people pray for opportunities to share the gospel and the gospel never leaves their lips?
Elijah was in a hole. The angel was Elijah’s wake up call. The ditch was mine. Elijah went to the only place where he believed that he would hear from God. Mount Horeb. This is the mountain where Moses heard from God.
Elijah forgot about God’s providence, sovereignty, omnipotence.
God did not speak to Elijah in loud, flamboyant, extravagant ways.
God spoke to Elijah in a whisper.
God still speaks. He speaks in a still small voice – a whisper. You have to prepare yourself to hear from God.
Do you want to hear from God?
Go to the cross!
Some people have been on their path so long that they cannot see where they first went wrong.
Go back to the cross.
The place where you as a sinner first encountered Jesus and He rocked your world!
Lay your thoughts, guilt, shame, regret, habits, burdens, baggage, junk at the cross!
Pray that God would restore in you a passion and desire for His face…for holiness.
Pray Hebrews 12:29
God consume me with your fire!
If we became a people with a passion and a burning desire for God, this would affect
  • marriages
  • parents
  • youth
  • college students
  • churches
  • cities
The first step to getting out of your pit is going back to the cross.
Go back to Jesus!

Podcasts for the Journey

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Pic from Flickr by Emily Dye

Spiritual growth is not something that we should take lightly. We should be active and intentional in growing in Christlikeness.

When Jesus saved you, you became a Christian and entered into a process of sanctification.

It is a process.

When I shared my plan for spiritual growth with you, I included books, podcasts and conferences. The podcasts that I listen to are available on YouTube.

These podcasts are actually sermon videos from pastors that I highly respect.

I really enjoy listening to other pastors preach. I love learning from them and I love the insight and application given through the sermon. Listening to other pastors also helps me become a better communicator. I believe that we should listen to preachers that are going to point us to Jesus. The further I advance in my sanctification process or grow deeper in my relationship with God, the more I realize the need to get Scripture in my mind. I want to grow closer to Jesus. I want my eyes, my mind, my words, my actions and every area of my life to conform to the image of Jesus….whatever the cost.

I hope that you find these videos to engage your spirit and provoke you to want to follow Jesus more.

Here is a list of 15 pastors that I listen to regularly on YouTube.

  1. Jeremy Lundmark
  2. Matt Chandler
  3. Darrin Patrick
  4. Eric Mason
  5. Jeff Vanderstelt
  6. Perry Noble
  7. Francis Chan
  8. John Piper
  9. Dhati Lewis
  10. Leonce Crump
  11. Tony Merida
  12. Bubba Jennings
  13. Dave Ferguson
  14. Andy Stanley
  15. James MacDonald

What pastors do you listen to that provoke you to want to live more like Christ?