Small steps in faith

Saturday, July 31, 2010

"Making Peace by Making War

These are my notes from last weeks sermon by Jason Wing

James 4:1-12

v1 What's up with all the drama and fighting? stems from inward and we are the problem
We think passions can satisfy us

v2 When your aren't satisfied it leads to conflict. It leads to pointing fingers at others because of the inward conflict inside of us

v3 Don't ask Don"t pray..Prayer is the language of our dependence on God
When we don't pray its because we think we are self sufficient, we are prideful, and we are arrogant. Often we ask or pray with wrong motives.

v4 Spiritual adultery..God(groom) and church (bride)
the world (cosmos)
desires of the flesh..approval,laziness,sexual desire,gluttony
desires of the, body image,clothes
pride and possessions..collectibles,stuff,money,trophies,

All of this is tempting but it is also temporary
Spiritual adultery starts with flirtations.

v5 God longs for you

v6 gift of forgiveness. Proud people don't say forgive me or thank you


v7 Surrender..resist oppose the devil. The Devil is the mastermind behind the cosmos..the ruler of the cosmos..John 14:30

v8 draw near to God..How is your intimacy with God? How is your prayer life?

v 9-10 Have inner repentance
Our hearts need to be moved. When we humble ourselves, He lifts us up

v 11-12 You are nothing to judge your neighbor It is up to God.

Big idea..we make peace by making war

Are you flirting with the world today? Are you making excuses to dabble in sin?

Where is your prayer life? Is it full of selfish motives?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

"The Test of Wisdom"

My notes from Jason's sermon this morning.

James 3:13-18

Big idea..True wisdom works wisely in relationships

True wisdom is more than words..true wisdom is works..inwardly(meekness=strength under control) and outward(good conduct;character)
Wisdom is more than intelligence and knowledge.
Jason gave the example of a kid from his youth group who knew scripture inside and out but had an anger issue...when Jason called him in and talked to him the kid focused on the fact that Jason misquoted a bible verse. Immaturity.

verses 14-15
False wisdom..2 motivating factors..bitter jealousy and selfish ambition

"You have what I deserve" bitter jealousy
"You have what I want and I'm going to take it"..selfish ambition
A self centered person puts themselves in the middle of family, Personal, and vocation.

An example of false wisdom..."Do what makes you happy"
Focuses on the earthly,nonspiritual, and demonic

earthly..temporary.."Do what works best now"
nonspiritual...fleshly realm..sensuality..feelings.."Do whatever feels right"
demonic..rooted in evil

Result..disorder and vile practice
Life is chaotic and meaningless There's drama in your life

v 17
True wisdom

6 Characteristics

1. Wise don't compromise integrity(pure)
2. Wise don't antagonize anger (peace loving) Do you thrive on conflict? stirring the pot?
3. Wise don't criticize others(considerate)..don't strike back at enemies
4.Wise don't minimize suggestions...they are submissive and teachable..not stubborn and closed minded
5.Wise don't emphasize mistakes. (full of mercy and good fruit) Mercy triumphs over judgment
6. Wise don't disguise themselves ..they don't wear masks..they aren't hypocrites.(impartial and sincere)

v18 The result..harvest of righteousness in peace

The big question..Are you working wisely with others as a peacemaker? Are you working for restoration and unity?

6 Questions to ask yourself in the midst of relational chaos

1. Am I doing what is right?
2. Am I being solution oriented?
3. Am I being kind? Are you approachable?
4. Am I learning anything in this process?
5. Am I showing grace?
6. Am I being honest?

Jesus is the ultimate Peacemaker Colossians 2:3

Sunday, July 11, 2010

"Test of Words"

These are my notes from Jason's sermon this morning at Apex. Very convicting.

James 3:1-12

Saving faith works...with our words.

The average American has 30 conversations/day
The average man speaks 20,00 words
The average woman speaks 30,000 words
1/5 of our life is spent talking..using words

Big idea..Because we talk a lot...words matter a lot.

Problem: people don't think words matter. Words are used with vulgarity and sarcasm .
Matthew 12:34 out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks

Why words matter a lot

1. They are personally incriminatory vs.1
Rabbis in the New Testament were teachers. They were respected in the Jewish culture.
If you want the role you need be ready for the responsibility. Teachers are held to a higher account.
We all sin in various ways..especially with our words.

2. They are disproportionately influential v. 2-6
Our words affect our whole body.
Words set on fire the entire course of life
source of the tongue...hell
Satan uses our tongues as an arsonist. He sets our lives on fire with our tongues.

3. They are humanly irrepressible.
No human can tame the tongue. We need God's help.

4. They are devastatingly injurious
They are like snake venom. They can sting and hurt

5. They are wrongfully inconsistent. v. 9-10
verbal schizophrenia.
hypocrisy of words is a sin

6. They are spiritually indicative of our hearts v. 11-12
Fountains and fruits.
Matthew 15:18
Is there a mouth problem? It comes from our heart.
You can't will yourself to control your tongue.
You need to look at your heart and sometimes we need heart transplants.

The big question: How much do your words matter to you?
Prayer for Apex to pray this week:

Psalm 141:3

"Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth;
keep watch over the door of my lips!"

Words matter a lot to a true believer.

Monday, July 05, 2010

"The Test of Works"

These are my notes from Apex sermon. Jason Wing is speaking this month while Rob is on sabbatical.

James 2: 14-26

Real enemy..Satan...many times we make the enemy "the lazy christian"

Big idea...Saving faith works..non saving faith doesn't

Non saving faith
James gives us 2 examples:

1. Deadbeat faith v. 15-17
Good words and intentions but no works to back it up. We need to be part of the means to provide for people in need.

2. Demon faith..v. 18-19
Demons have faith
You hear people say they are christian "because I believe in God" Even the demons believe in God. They have the theological belief but they don't love or obey the gospel. Their lives aren't changed.

Saving faith

2 examples

1. Patriarch faith. validated by his works(obedience)

2. Prostitute faith..v 25 Rahab

These are 2 different examples have a man who spends most of his life in a righteous lifestyle vs woman who spends most of her life in sin
They are both saving faiths..they are backed up by their works and obedience

Big your faith a working faith?
Big problem..we believe nonworking faith can be saving faith v 26

Jason gave the example of Lenin whose body was preserved and embalmed and the end...he is a corpse...he's is faith for many of us

Living faith is a surrendered obedience.

When Jesus saves he does something for you and in you and through you. It's not enough to just pray a prayer and believe in God.