Small steps in faith

Monday, August 30, 2010

"The Test of Prayer"

My notes from Apex this weekend.
We're at the end of more week.
James 5:13-18

Prayer and need both
Prayer without scripture=confusion to who you are praying to
Prayer is what keeps the church breathing
The church was going through "spiritual emphysema" breathing in but not out

What follower of Jesus would not want:

1. physical and spiritual healing
2. friends or relatives forgiven of sin
3. the ability to affect global events

1. Awareness prayer (v13)
James is using sarcasm here
Why does he need to address this?
Because in times of suffering our reaction is the wrong one.
We ask God why or we say "I've got to figure this out"
We need to pray just like we breathe

Matthew 26:41
Luke 21:36
1 Peter 4:7
Colossians 4:2

2. Community Prayer (14a,16b)

3. Responsive Prayer (14b)
Prayer does not take the place of obedience but it does provide the power for our obedience

oil=symbolizes joy
oil is used as a medicine
some take oil literally and use it to annoint..not an issue
Oil is not the big's the person we're praying to.

4. Trusting Prayer(v.15)

5. Repenting Prayer (v.16)
If you and I are praying but have no desire to repent of a habit or sin,He DOESN'T LISTEN

Psalm 66:17-19
Proverbs 15:8
Proverbs 15:29
John 9:31

6. Relentless Prayer(v.17-18)
It's not because of the need for answer, it's because of the one we're praying to.
God's view of our continual need and his supreme provision for all of our needs.
God is continually praying for us.
Philip Yancey...Prayer..What God did for Peter he's continually doing for us now

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Test of Waiting

My notes from this morning's service. Definitely an emotional one. It was great to see the masses of college students who are back. 1000+ singing "The Revelation Song" will give you goosebumps.

James 5:7-12

Waiting is hard.
Different kinds of waiting
Waiting in line for a product is different than:
a waiting for the rebellious child to come home
b results from a medical test
c Unemployed..waiting after sending out resumes

James talks about waiting during a hurting stage

John 16:33
Acts 14:22

It takes radical obedience to wait on the Lord

How you wait and how long you wait is dependent on what you are waiting for.

Trust that God is indeed working while you are waiting.

If you have a hard time waiting, it may be that:
you don't trust God as trustworthy
you are not sure God is good

When you're waiting and it's not resolving, it feels like God's not doing anything but God is always working
Lamentations 3:25-26
Jeremiah knew what it meant to suffer and to wait

Focus your affections on the ultimate longing of your soul..the coming of the Lord
Someday Jesus is coming back. We don't focus on this enough. God uses this waiting to test our ultimate it on things? is it on a job? is it on a relationship?

Be careful about turning against each other. Grumbling is inward. It doesn't come out.
It's under the surface like a cold war. Remember that you need your brothers/sisters in Christ.
Galatians 5:26
1 Peter 4:7-11
In the midst of hurting, give yourself away. Love other people.

Acknowledge that you're not alone. There are others who have been through the same thing..God in the flesh is an example.

Recall God's purpose..compassion and mercy. God permits what he hates in order to accomplish what he loves.

Psalm 78:38
Isaiah 55: 6-7

Protect your character so that people know your yes is yes and your no is no.

We saw a video of a young man named Zach Smith who was diagnosed with colon cancer stage 4.
His message... If God heals me he is God and He is good. If God chooses not to heal me, He is still God and He is still good.
God chose to heal him by taking him to heaven in May of this year.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"The Test of Material Perspective"

These are my notes from Rob's sermon this am. Very difficult to hear some of the words today because many hit close to home and are strong words.

James 5:1-6

Rob started off giving the story of a photographer who took over 400,000 pictures of JFK.Only a small percentage of those were published. The other negatives were stored in a vault to protect them..but during 9/11/01..they were vaporized by the attack on the twin towers.

When the pulpit shirks it's prophetic obligation, it affects the culture.
James is writing to the church..and some of them attend but are non believers. His words are very strong.

weep and howl= that phrase is the screaming you do when there is no hope, when you can't turn back,when you hit bottom and there is no way up
Matthew 6:19-20

Three reasons for God's tragic condemnation

1. Your riches have deceived you about your future (2-3) and it deceives you right now.
Your riches lie to you right now..Psalm 49: 6-20

2. Your riches have deceived you about your neighbor( v. 4,6)
You believe other people exist to serve you
It separates you and demeans your view of others.
Many of our friends are in the same financial status as we are

Neighbors exist for us to love and encourage. When we tie our identity to our neighbors we deceive ourselves.
Many who choose not to be in house churches do so because they want to hide...they don't want to invest their time in others.

3. Your riches have deceived you about your comfort. v 5 We build our own little kingdom Luke 12: 16-21
Our hearts become fat..we are feeding our own destruction and storing up wrath for ourselves.

If you aim for heaven you get heaven, if you aim for earth you get Hell.

Six questions and one action

1. How much does the future dictate your spending habits?
2. Are you scared to death of death?
3. Do your buying habits simplify or complicate your life?
4. Do you have a system in place that consistently funnels finances toward kingdom expansion?
5. Do you have a system in place that consistently funnels possessions toward kingdom expansion?
6. Do you have a system in place that consistently funnels yourself toward kingdom expansion?

Action..Always read the Bible with Jesus being the crown jewel of every can read the whole Bible in a year and totally miss it.
Proverbs 11:4
Proverbs 11:28

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"The Test of Planning"

These are my notes from the sermon on Sunday by Jason

James 4:13-17

In verse 13 "we" is referring to our relationships
"such and such a town" refers to locations
"trade" is our work
"profit" is finances

We plan for all of these things

It's not wrong to make plans. We should be diligent workers but there may be a wrong way of planning

v14 we don't know what tomorrow brings..i.e. death, economic downturn, infertility,change of jobs

planning vs presuming

It's not OK to presume
Life is short..death comes quickly

Psalm 90:10-12

Number our days means value each of them one at a time

v15 "If the Lord wills" You hear this phrase a lot's not just a cheesy christian phrase, it's a mindset of our hearts

we will live and do..100% is dependent on the plans of God
we act and live and plan as though we are the ones in control

v16 boast in arrogance..."look at what I'm going to do"
We have a lot of "I will" and " we will" in our lives
All boasting is evil

When we plan our future without taking God's will into consideration, we are living like practical atheists.

v17 right thing to do...depend on God for future plans
When we don't it's sin...sin of commission and sin of omission..not loving our neighbor, not forgiving, not encouraging

If we plan our future independent from God,
1. we have the wrong view of life
2. we have the wrong view of God
Our lives fall apart
We have made ourselves an idol

Saving faith works by planning our future with sense of complete dependence on God

How is God involved in your future?