Small steps in faith

Sunday, March 20, 2011

"John 3: 1-8

These are my notes from the sermon from Apex this am.
I loved that we had someone playing an orchestra bass for worship.
Rob recognized the fact that many questions are coming in surrounding the Rob Bell book and dealing with the topic of hell
We will be addressing this in sermons involving John 3.
The word perish in the Bible...what does it mean?

Chapter 2 flows into Chapter 3
We tend to impose our own culture on certain passages and this is one of those.

Nicodemus..a pharisee..a teacher of the Jews...came to Jesus at night.
Why? For an uninterrupted conversation and to protect status

Pharisees came in the 400 yrs between old and new testament
The Roman Empire grew and they needed to stratisfy leadership
Rome conquered Israel
They used Jews in roles of leadership

1. Zealots.. a party that came out and fought with Rome
2. Sadducees..political...didn't believe in the physical resurrection. Didn't believe in angels. They were wealthy
3. Essenes...separated from culture..lived in deserts...minimalistic
4. Pharisees..word of were obsessed with how God revealed himself.

Truly Truly..."you need to listen to me"

The term born again Christian is redundant.
A Christian who is not born again is not a Christian

Being born again:
1, Transfers you into the kingdom of God (v3)
We are all citizens of a kingdom. Not all citizens are of the same kingdom.
Kingdom is either celestial or demonic
Hitler and Billy Graham equally need the righteousness of Jesus
The kingdom is now and it will be perfected when Jesus comes back....and then ...there will only be one kingdom
How can I tell if I'm part of God's kingdom? Every part of your life involves God's kingdom
Nicodemus gives a sarcastic response to Jesus (v4)

2. Renovates you for the kingdom of God (v5-6)
water and spirit..refers back to Ezekial 36: 24-27
Gives you a new inclination to make us a person of God that He desires
How can I tell?
Are you growing in your hatred toward sin? Is it becoming more unnatural

Too many church members are starched and ironed but not washed

Christianity is a wrecking ball to our life.

3. is a spiritual mystery of the kingdom of God
"The grace of the wind"
Humility is important
We deserve nothing but hell

Friday, March 18, 2011

"The Bridge of Peace" by Cindy Woodsmall

I have just finished reading a very intriguing Amish fiction book called "The Bridge of Peace" I had read the first in the series and enjoyed it so much I wanted to read this as well.
This takes place in the Amish community and involves some of the same characters as the first book as well as new ones.
The focus is on the story of a school teacher, Lena Kauffman, who becomes entangled in the lives of her students and their parents. It deals with modern day subjects such as bullying and alcohol and it's effects.
It deals with the secrecy and privacy issues that Amish people struggle with in marriage.
I like the fact that it explores the characters such as Lena and Grey and goes back into their history .
There is romance, intrigue and mystery, and most of all it gives you insight into the Amish community and how they deal with everyday modern problems that manage to infiltrate into their community.
It holds your attention so that you will read for hours just to see what happens next.
I would highly recommmend this book

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

"John 2:23-25"

These are my notes for today's sermon by Rennes Bowers

Zeal isn't taught, it's caught from others..white hot
As we exercise faith, we become spiritually alive
God knows everything about everybody
That's either frightening to you or encouraging
They believed in his name but he didn't entrust himself the them ..not saving faith
They believed He came from God...that's faith that saves

"John 2: 12-22"

These are my notes for the sermon on 3/6

The text needs to be looked at 4 ways

1. Look at Occasion
Day of Atonement..Passover It's usually in late March/April
All Jewish males went up to Jerusalem
Jesus goes to the temple to the Court of the Gentiles

2. Look at His Anger
He used a whip to drive them out.
What is making him so mad?

3. Look at the Reasons
1. Economic..prices are increased unfairly
2. Racial..Jewish people were getting in the way of religion...Racist against Gentiles
3. Jesus knew he was going to destroy the temple. There would be no barriers...the curtain comes down
The Babylonians destroyed the temple and are still trying to rebuild it
Hebrews 9:8 Specifications of the temple

4. Look at ourselves
God lives in the lives of disciples.
God overturns the tables in us What are they?
Are there barriers in the courts of your life that keep you from boldly coming before Jesus....not praying..not sharing faith
We're exchanging the value of Jesus of something cheap
What does Jesus need to take a whip to?
Are their barriers toward other people? Latent racism..against economical class ..personality type
Jesus can turn over those barriers through the power of His cross

3 yrs after this incident was the crucifixion.
When Jesus was getting whipped, He was whipping sin
Is there a table of sexual immorality or bitterness that needs to be overturned?

Friday, March 04, 2011

"John 2: 1-11

These are my notes from Rob's sermon last Sunday. The sermon was based on scripture I have heard before but not in this way.
Many of us feel like we're running on empty and we have unmet expectations.
In this time of scripture, marriage was very significant.
In a Hebrew wedding, the groom was the focus and his family paid for the wedding.
Hospitality was a big deal
A Jewish wedding lasted for a week
Archaeologists didn't know where Canna was until 50 yrs ago. It was very obscure.
At the wedding, they run out of wine and Jesus is there.

When the drama happens.....

1. Acknowledge his presence (1-2)
Jesus gives meaning even to the mundane.

2. Remember his identity.
Mary.."They have no wine" Jesus responds awkwardly with the term "woman" why?
What do we have in common?
Mary is trying to lord over Jesus and He is setting her straight to his identity
When he says my hour , he is talking about his death/resurrection
In Rob's generation..We can be honest with God but we don't want God to be honest with us.

3. Receive his provision (v6-7)
His provision rarely comes to us the way we think it will
Jars of stone with water.. Purifying was important in Jewish culture
The jars were empty and them to fill them up
God can take a small piece of shrapnel and make something of it
Master servant...monitored the alcohol. He knew at the end alcohol was watered down. In this case, the good alcohol was at the end.
All means all. All things for the good of those who love him...even in the face of hard things in life.

4. Trust His good news (8-11)
Question..Do we believe that God is good? Theologically this is different from trust.
Jesus does something to prevent the shame of the groom
We are reflectors of God's goodness and grace. We need to be more humble.