Small steps in faith

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"The Call of Pouring Out"

My notes from Apex sermon this morning

2 Timothy 4:6-8

Poured Out
The dominant religion in our culture is Consumerism. The Gospel turns this upside dow. God created us to pour out. You are called to ministry.

Apostle Paul is writing this passage to Timothy.

What words would you write for your own funeral?
Would you be telling the truth?
If Jesus was doing your funeral what would he say?

Drink offering= sacrifice.
Sacrifices train us to look ahead in faith. Sacrifices in OT were yearly,monthly,daily.
Pouring wine on the sacrifice denoted joy and completeness. It created a cloud of aroma.
How will our death smell?
What kind of aroma are we giving to those around us including nonbelievers.
The city of Dayton needs Apex to be a drink offering. It's not up to city officials, it's up to God's people who need to be that vapor from the drink offering.

The motivation of pouring out is the presence and rewards of God.
God overflows and enjoys giving to us.
God continually gives..resources,oxygen,our bodies,etc.
Hebrews 11:6
Proverbs 11:18
Matthew 5:12
Matthew 6
Luke 6:35

Paul loves His appearing. We don't focus on that enough..the coming of the Lord.

The act of pouring out will involve...

1. Fighting.."I have fought the good fight"
good fight=suiting up with God's armor. There is an invisible battle going on around us.
Battle of the flesh..we need to cut off those sinful tendencies

2. Finishing
Conversion is the starting point not the ending. You are saved to be a blessing.You aren't done yet. Some of us won't get to the finish.
We are on a mission

3. Faith..believe in God the way God believes about Himself.
"the faith" not just faith
Acts 3:16
Acts 6:7
Acts 16:5

Depart from me..I never knew you..they didn't have "the faith"

Sunday, September 12, 2010

An Epilogue to James: The Source of Our Works

These are my notes from Apex this morning.

Matthew 11:25-30

Rob recommends that we read
1. The commands of Jesus in all 4 gospels
2. "Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream" by David Platt.

You can do something religious and still lose Jesus in the process. Rob used the example of Joseph and Mary on their trip to the temple when Jesus is 12.

When you don't care for a car's motor it can crack
For us..when we do spiritual things off of a checklist.we can crack spiritually
It's easier to work for Jesus than walk with Jesus

Important attributes of walking with Jesus and not just working for Jesus

Practical intimacy with God (v. 25-27)
Often we say "I feel close/distant to the Lord"
What does that mean?
We let our emotions dictate . There is no intimacy without behaviors of intimacy
Jesus was always in conversation with God. He would even distance himself from others and pray.
When you have intimacy, you will have a growing awareness of grace.

All of us have multiple yokes
Jesus is saying quit doing that type of work and do this type instead.
Are you bearing the right yoke?
Jesus has done the heavy lifting
He has infused with his strength for his work v.28-30
Gospel work involves pain and bruises on the outside and our soul is renewed
Which yoke are you bearing this morning?
If it's hard and you're're bearing your own yoke(the heavy yoke)'re not bearing the right yoke(the lighter yoke)

Sunday, September 05, 2010

"The Test of Courageous Love"

These are my notes from Rob's sermon

James 5:19-20

Authenticity is more than jeans at a service/music terminology/a band.
James peels back the culture layers and defines what authenticity is.
Faith is not just a head/doctrinal thing.

We live in a culture and time where truth is subjective(post modernism) vs objective.
What happens? Our truths clash. Our behavior is tied to our beliefs and values.
James is writing to churches that are being persecuted for their belief in objective truth.
James tells us the tests of these faiths.

Every week people join the family of Apex and people leave Apex.

Baptism in faith and commitment to house church is joining the family of Apex.
Coming every week to the gathering is joining a crowd.

We all need community. It doesn't matter where you are on the Meyer-Brigg or what circle you are in.

5 questions that should haunt biblical community.

1 Hey whatever happened to.....?
2. Have you seen ...... lately?
3. Is ..... doing ok?
4. ....comes all the time but does anyone kow his/her spiritual condition?
5. Boy,..... has really gone over the deep end hasn't he/she?

We shouldn't have to ask these questions because we should know the answer and have taken action.

The people who are wandering...people who don't respond when we reach out in emails,phone calls, etc.

Who goes after the wanderer and who is the wanderer? All who call themselves disciples
Why do we go after the wanderer? Better is open rebuke than hidden love Psalm 27:5
We need people who courageously love us and who we courageously love.
We don't go after the wanderer because of numbers..its because their soul is in danger.
If you aren't persevering in your faith and there is no can't have assurance of being in Christ.
How do we go after the wanderer? Bring them back to the truth(gospel)
Bring them back to Christ not just us.

Other equipment to use in pursuit of the wanderer

1. Soak in prayerful self-reflection Matthew 7:1-5
It clears out your motives. It makes us humble.
2. Communicate both love and truth
3. Approach them gently but deliberately
4. Go through their behavior but get to the heart
5. Involve the body of Christ(as necessary)
Rob has put an article on church discipline on "The City" at the Apex website
Celebrate their return
6. Set up real mutual accountability