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Authentic Christianity:  Practical Wisdom from the book of James

What to do When We Need Help

December 10, 2017

James 5:12-20

Pastor John Lloyd

Passage:  James 5:12-20

12But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation. 13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.  17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit. 19 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 20 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

Principle:  When life is challenging, through prayer, draw upon God’s unlimited patience and steadfastness.

 How can I respond wisely to difficult and unfair situations?  

By God’s grace, remain faithful, to the following 6 Situations:

I.                Situation #1:  Hasty Words

James 5:12 But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.  (James 1:19, 1:26)

Response:   Ask God for the tongue of the learned  (Isaiah 50:4,  Ephesians 4:29).  Ask God for the patience to really listen before speaking.

II.             Situation #2:   Misfortune

James 5:13 Is anyone among you suffering?  Let him pray.

“The thought here is not the removal of the problem but for God to give us strength to endure.  This verse stresses the prayer of the individual.”

Response: “Let him pray.”   James 1:5, Colossians 4:2, Ps.27:13-14

III.             Situation #3:  Good Fortune

James 5:13b Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.

Cheerful - euthymeo- a deeply rooted happiness and trust in the Lord.

Response: “Let him sing praise.”  Eph.5:19, Psalm 48:1, 113:3, Is.61:3

IV.           Situation #4:  Extreme Difficulties

James 5:14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.

Sick – astheneo - weakness of any kind,  extreme weakness (2 Cor.12:9)

All sickness is not a result of sin.  John 9:1-3

God does not always remove all of our maladies.  2 Cor. 12:7-10

Anointing-  Not just God’s presence but showing He cares. 

Response:  Call my spiritual leaders.

Key Principle:  The greater the need, the larger the circle of prayer.

V.             Situation #5:  Secret Life Syndrome

James 5:15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. 

“Is anyone in a web of unconfessed sin.”

Response:  Invite accountability, prayer and confession.

Small group, Start some personal accountability, Walk in step with the Spirit, if it is a serious web… see a Christian counselor.

“Every Christian needs at least one person in their life who really knows what is going on.”

I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Proverbs 28:13

Response:  Let’s never underestimate the power of prayer. 

James 5:16 The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.  17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.

VI.          Situation #6: Those who have gone away from God

James 5:19 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 20 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

Luke 19:10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Luke 15:10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Response:  Reach out to people away from God.  Our response should be to restore, not to condemn.  No one is beyond the reach of God’s love! 

 Patient prayer is extremely powerful!

Who are you praying for this week?

Growth Group Questions for week of December 10, 2017

1.   How is it going with your reading plan?  Sun. Revelation 8 Mon. Revelation 9 Tues. Revelation 10 Wed. Revelation 11 Thurs. Revelation 12 Fri. & Sat. reflection. Pick out one verse that ministered to you. Share a truth you’ve been learning with a friend.

2.   Read James 5:12-20.  Try and put in your own words what is happening here, what response is suggested and why?  Why is it appropriate for James to finish this letter with a call to prayer?

3.   Starter:  How does prayer both make sense and at the same time seem incomprehensible?

4.   Read James 5:13-14.  What instructions does James give to his readers in these verses?  Read James 5:15. What are the results of following these instructions?  How is each result mysterious and full of meaning? 

5.   Read James 5:16. How do you respond to the promise that prayer offered in faith for the sick shall make them well?  Why do you think James connects healing with forgiveness?  Why do you think prayer is so terribly neglected in our culture? 

6.   Read James 5:17-18.  How does Elijah’s prayer encourage you to pray?  In what ways would you like to grow as a person who prays powerfully?  How could you engage your Christian community more in prayer? 

7.   Read James 5:19-20.  What themes throughout this letter from James can be applied to this effort to bring someone back?  Who can you pray for this season to either come or return to the Lord?  Spend some time in prayer for this request. 

Assignment:  Spend one half-hour a day to pray this week for one another, for the sick, for those away from God, for our nation and the world.  Maybe there is someone you could invite to the Christmas Service or Christmas Eve.

John Lloyd - Authentic Christianity Pt. 11

Authentic Christianity

Authentic Christianity:  Practical Wisdom from the book of James

How to Respond to Injustice

December 3, 2017

James 5:1-11

Pastor John Lloyd

Passage:  James 5:1-11

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. 2 Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. 4 Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. 5 You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. 6You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you. 7Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. 8You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. 10As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

Principle:   God can give me a generous response to unfairness.   

I.               There are different shapes and sizes of unfairness: 

James 5:1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you.

A.    Misuse of resources

James 5:2 Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days.  ( I Timothy 6:17-18)

B.    Unfair and withheld wages

James 5:4 Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.

God hears the cries of the poor and oppressed!  He is their defender.

C.   Extreme self-indulgence

James 5:5 You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.

D.   Murder of the innocent

James 5:6 You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.

Life is not fair.   Difficulties are normal and necessary.

II.              There are many godly ways to respond to injustice:

A.   Be patient.

James 5:7 Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.

Action: Keep sowing good seeds.  (2 Corinthians 9:6-9, Galatians 6:9)

B.    Don’t run.

James 5:8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.

The trial is not evidence that you should run but that you should stay. 

“Perseverance in adversity cleanses us.” 

Action:  Ask God to give you a beyond earth viewpoint. 

C.  Remember how God has helped you and others in the past.

James 5:10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

Action:   Spend time remembering God’s faithfulness to you. 

D.   Focus on what God is doing in you, not what is happening to you.

James 5:11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

James 1:2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

Philippians 3:14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 12:3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

The prize is Christlikeness, not comfort.  God never wastes a hurt.

Action:  Look for the platform to help others in a similar place.

E.   Help me to be radically fair and generous. 

James 5:11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

I Timothy 6:17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share. (I Tim.6:19)

No limit what God can do through His generous people in an unfair world.  Thank you for being a part of impacting the Bay Area with God’s generous love and resources!

Growth Group Questions for week of December 3, 2017

1.   How is it going with your reading plan?  Sun. Revelation 3 Mon. Revelation 4 Tues. Revelation 5 Wed. Revelation 6 Thurs. Revelation 7 Fri. & Sat. reflection. Pick out one verse that ministered to you. Share a truth you’ve been learning with a friend.

2.   Read James 5:1-11.  Try and put in your own words what is happening here, what response is suggested and why?

3.   Starter:  What have you had difficulty being patient for recently?

4.   Read James 5:1-6.  Why according to James, should the rich weep and wail?  Read verse 3.  Why do you think James took the fact that they “stored up riches in the last days” so seriously?  Read 5:4. How does God respond to the oppressed?

5.   What warnings in this passage do you see as being relevant to you? Think of a time when you were blessed by the generosity of a fellow believer.  How has the generosity of others affected your life?

6.   Read James 5:7-11.  How would you describe what it’s like for you to wait for the return of the Lord?  How does James encourage his readers to be patient for the appearing of the Lord?  Read 5:9. How should being patient affect our speech?  Read 5:10-11.  How are the prophets and Job examples of patience? 

7.   What aspects of God have you seen that you should focus on and why?  (See James 5:11b, Hebrews 12:3)

8.   Read I Timothy 6:17-18. How can you use your financial resources for God’s glory?  How can sharing your wealth improve the state of the world?   Pray for yourself that God will give you opportunities to be generous. 

I Timothy 6:17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share.

John Lloyd - Authentic Christianity Pt. 10

Authentic Christianity

Practical Wisdom from the Book of James

Planning God’s Way James 4:13-17

November 26, 2017

Pastor John Lloyd

Passage: James 4:13-17 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

Big Idea:  Deo Volente (D.V.) “God willing” 

I.Understand our tendency to leave God out of our planning.

James 4:13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit.”

Luke 12:18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.

Proverbs 27:1 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.

“The idea seems to be that the desire to make a profit has become such a towering priority that it has overshadowed everything else.  He is not arguing against making money, or even the desire to make money.  He is against the attitude of self-contained certainty, the same smug attitude that marked the teaching of the false teachers.”  David Nystrom

II.Recognize the transitory nature of life. 

James 4:14 Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

“Our brave new pleasure-dominated, pleasure-seeking world is increasingly filled with people who live their lives with no reference to God.”  Hughes, R. K.

Daniel 4:30 and the king answered and said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?”  (Daniel 4:34-35)

Isaiah 46:9 remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me,10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ (Psalm 39:5) 

How should we approach life when the outcome is uncertain?

The key is to trust in God’s graciousness and not human plans.

III.Submit our plans to the Lord’s will.

James 4:15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

“What these merchants need to go on to reckon with is that their lives are also in the hands of God. James thus makes the continuance of life itself contingent on the will of the Lord.” Douglas Moo

Job 12:9 Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? 10 In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God.

Acts 18:21 But on taking leave of them he said, “I will return to you if God wills,” and he set sail from Ephesus. (Romans 1:10, I Corinthians 4:19) 

Matthew 6:9 “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Prayer: “God I want your will done in my life!  My heart is surrendered.”

IV.Beware of bragging in our own accomplishments.

James 4:16As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

“James is not rebuking these merchants for their plans or even for their desire to make a profit. He rebukes them rather for the this-worldly self-confidence that they exhibit in pursuing these goals - a danger, it must be said, to which businesspeople are particularly susceptible.” D. Moo

I Corinthians 1:26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.  I Corinthians 1:27-28 

I Corinthians 1:29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.

It’s this thought of not only bragging but being autonomous and independent from God instead of being dependent upon God. 

I Corinthians 4:7 For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

V.Plan intentionally to do good.

James 4:17So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

 The general principle illustrated by the particular example just discussed is here stated: knowledge without practice is imputed to a man as great and presumptuous sin. James reverts to the principle with which he started. Nothing more injures the soul than wasted impressions.  Feelings exhaust themselves and evaporate, if not embodied in practice.  As we will not act except we feel, so if we will not act out our feelings, we shall soon cease to feel.  Jameson Faussett Brown

Matthew 7:24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.

“It is not only what people do that matters; the good that they fail to do is equally important to God.” ESV Study Bible

John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. Jn.14:12 

God Willing:  Deo Volente D.V.  in every area of my life! 

Spiritual Growth Questions for week of November 26, 2017

  1. How is it going with your reading plan?  Sun. II Peter 2 Mon. II Peter 3 Tues. Jude1 Wed. Revelation 1 Thurs. Revelation 2 Fri. & Sat. reflection. Pick out one verse that ministered to you. Share a truth you’ve been learning with a friend.
  2. Starter:  Are you a long-range planner or do you take it one day at a time?  When you were 15, what did you expect to be doing at 25?  Were you right? 
  3. Read James 4:13-17 three times.   Read one time in a paraphrase translation. (The Message or The Living Translation) Share with a friend or your group what you are hearing from God’s Word.  Try and put the passage into your own words.
  4. Read James 4:13-14, Psalm 90:5,6,10 & 12, Isaiah 46:9-10.  How do you respond to James' observation about the fragility of your life? What do the Psalm 90 verses teach you?   What does the Isaiah passage say about God and the future?

5.   Study James 4:15, Acts 18:21; Romans 1:10.  In practical terms, what would it look like to live out an attitude that expresses, "If the Lord wills, we shall live, and we shall do this, or that"?

  1. Read James 4:16, I Corinthians 1:26-31. According to James, what lies behind the reasoning that excludes God and His will?

Read the Corinthian passage and note as many things as you can about why we should be on guard about boasting in our own accomplishments.

  1.  Read James 4:17, Ephesians 2:10.  As you look over this passage, in what ways is God calling or nudging you to do what you know is right?  What are some things you feel God calling you to do in 2018?    Ask someone to pray for you in this area. 

Bonus Question: For the hungry follower!

  1. What are some things which are clearly the will of God? (Verses to look at: Eph. 5:17–21; 1 Thess. 4:3–8; 1 Peter 2:13–15; 3:17)

James 4:15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

John Lloyd - Authentic Christianity Pt. 9

Authentic Christianity

Practical Wisdom from the Book of James

Spiritual Wholeness James 4:1-10

November 19, 2017

Pastor John Lloyd

Passage: James 4:1-10

The Principle:  Humbly identify sources that fracture our soul; turn to God and he will make us whole. 

I.               Identify 3 sources that fracture our souls:

James 4:8a Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.

James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

A.    Quarrelsomeness

James 4:1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?  2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. (Matthew 5:22)

“We must fight to be free from the tentacles of ungrace.”  Philip Yancey

B.   Prayerlessness

James 4:2 so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.  (Matthew 7:7, 6:9-10)

C.   Worldliness

James 4:4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.  (I John 2:15, John 3:16)

“Friendship with the world is hostility toward God.” 

Aldous Huxley-Brave New World- our danger would come not from collectivistic oppressors but from pleasure giving technologies.  We would be controlled by inflicting pleasures on us.

George Orwell-1984-Feared books would be banned. We would face an externally opposed opposition controlling us by inflicting pain on us. 

“When we allow anything to become more important than Jesus, we become worldly.  This can happen so easily without us even knowing it is happening.”  Ellsworth    2 Corinthians 11:3

Reflective Questions:  What am I attached to?  Have any of these “nesses” attached to me? 

Deal with the spirit of “ungrace “ from within and without. 

A summon to spiritual wholeness:

II.             Surrender control to the Holy Spirit.

James 4:5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?

The Holy Spirit yearns for us to grow!  He yearns for Christ to be expressed in your life.  He wants no believer to turn away from Jesus.  (Isaiah.54:5-6)

Ephesians 5:18- And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,  (Colossians 3:16, Ezekiel 36:26)

III.             Humbly receive and practice the Spirit of Grace.

James 4:6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Romans 5:20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,

“Grace is our best gift to the world.  Grace rescues us from our propensity to lust for evil things.  He gives grace potent enough to meet this and every other evil spirit.”  Phillips

C.S Lewis was asked what is the difference between Christianity and other religions.  Some said incarnation, others the resurrection.  Lewis said, “It is easy, It’s grace.” 

God’s gift of sustaining grace is enjoyed only by

those willing to admit their need and accept the gift.

A.   Line up your desires with God’s desires.

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your he arts, you double-minded.

Submit- to line up under God and His care and power. Conscious decision to submit to God as the sovereign ruler of the universe. Purify- to make clean, cleanse from dirt.  (Philippians 4:11 learn contentment)  

B.   Resist the devil.

James 4:7 Resist the devil and he will flee from you

Resist- Take your stand against the devil.  It means to exert energy and effort to oppose and defeat the devil and temptation.  These are military terms and they are urgent.

John 8:44 Father of all lies

I John 3:8 Jesus appeared to destroy the works of the devil

I John 5:19 We know the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

C.   Pursue God with all your heart.

James 4:8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Double minded- friends with the world and God at the same time.

D.  Cleanse your soul.

James 4:9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. I John 1:9, Hebrews 9:14

Repentance-dealing with both external behavior and internal attitudes.

James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

Psalm 73:28  But as for me, it is good to be near God, 

God is able to make spiritually whole all who come to Him! 

Spiritual Growth Questions for week of November 19, 2017

  1. How is it going with your reading plan?  Sun. I Thessalonians 5  Mon. IIThessalonians 1 Tues. I! Thess. 2 Wed. II Thess. 3 Thurs. 2 Peter 1 Fri. & Sat. reflection. Pick out one verse that ministered to you. Share a truth you’ve been learning with a friend.
     
  2. Read James 4:1-10 three times.   Read one time in a paraphrase translation. (The Message or The Living Translation) Share with a friend or your group what you are hearing from God’s Word.  Try and put the passage  into your own words.
     
  3. Read James 4:1-3.  What sort of wrong motives can lead to fights and quarrels?  What causes quarrels in your relationships?
     
  4. Which one of the ‘nesses’ quarrelsomeness, prayerlessness, covetousness or worldliness do find the hardest to deal with? Why?

By "the world" James seems to mean, as often is the case in Scripture, "the way the world behaves," the pattern of life, the underlying implicit story, the things people want, expect, long for and dream of that drive them to think and behave the way they do. If you go with the drift, if you don't reflect on what you're doing but just pick up habits of mind and body from all around you, the chances are you will become "friends" with "the world" in this sense. You will be "normal" It takes guts to stand out and be different. It also takes thought, decision and determination.

  1. Read James 4:4-5. What patterns or values of this world are easy to drift along with and accept without much thought that they are in conflict with a biblical perspective?  What is James trying to communicate? 
     
  2. Read James 4:7. What are practical ways you can resist the devil? 
     
  3. Read James 4:6, 4:8-10.  Consider the power of grace in this passage.  What is James saying is available to the humble?  Why is it sometimes hard to believe that God wants this kind of relationship with us?
     
  4. What are you willing to give up this week in order to use that time to draw closer to God?   Spend time praying for one another and any conflicts that you may be facing at this time.                                 

Happy Thanksgiving!

John Lloyd - Authentic Christianity Pt. 8

Authentic Christianity

Practical Wisdom from the Book of James

True Wisdom James 3:13-4:3

November 12, 2017

Pastor John Lloyd

Passage: James 3:13-4:3

The Principle:  True wisdom brings peace.  True wisdom produces good works.  True wisdom produces humility.

I.               True wisdom is a lifestyle.

James 3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.

“We all know people who are geniuses, and yet seem unable to carry out the simple tasks of life.”  Wiersbe

A.    A lack of wisdom causes great problems.

James 3:14But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

John 3:12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?  Philippians 3:19

B.   A sure sign of worldly wisdom is strife and quarrels.

James 4:1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?  2You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. Mark7:20-23

Without God’s help and wisdom, I will create many problems.

II.True wisdom brings a fruitful harvest.

James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

A.    If I have true wisdom, I will check my motives.

But the wisdom from above is pure…  “uncorrupted, authentic, spiritual integrity and moral sincerity.” 

Practical questions to ask yourself:  What am I trying to get out of this relationship?  Am I trying to control this person?  Am I looking out for their interests or mine?  (Philippians 2:3, 2:20)

B.    If I have true wisdom, I will bring peace into strife.

“Any fool can start arguments, the wise thing is to stay out of them.” Proverbs 20:3

Three things to watch out for:  Comparing, condemning, and contradicting.  (2 Corinthians 10:12)

C.   If I have true wisdom, I will be gentle in difficult situations.

3:17b “But the wisdom from above is gentle….” (means reasonable in judging, humble patience able to submit to injustice, disgrace, and maltreatment without hatred and malice). (2 Timothy 2:25)

“Kind words bring life, but cruel words crush your spirit.”  Prov. 15:4

“I will not minimize your feelings.”

D.  If I have true wisdom, I will be open to suggestions.

3:17b “The wisdom from above is open to reason.”

Open to reason – easy to be entreated, submissive, sweet reasonableness

“A fool thinks he needs no advice.  A wise man listens to others.”  Pr.12:15 Living Bible

“I will not criticize your suggestions.”

Proverbs 2:10 for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; (Proverbs 8:11)

E.    If I have true wisdom, I will be merciful.

James 3:17b “The wisdom from above is full of mercy and good fruits.”

Mercy – The gift of showing concern for those who suffer pain and hardship, and the ability to forgive quickly.

“Be merciful even as your Father in heaven is merciful.” Luke 6:36

Mercy is giving people what they need not what they deserve. 

I will not emphasize your mistakes.

F.    If I have true wisdom,  I will be authentic.

3:17b “The wisdom from above is impartial and sincere”

Without partiality and hypocrisy – does not make unfair distinctions

I will not disguise my weakness.

Proverbs 8:11 for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.

Proverbs 4:7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.

Those who relate wisely to others, reap a harvest of peace!

 James 3:18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. 

Colossians 2:3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

I Corinthians 1:30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption.  

Spiritual Growth Questions for week of November 12, 2017

1.   How is it going with your reading plan?  Sun. John 21  Mon. I Thessalonians 1 Tues. I Thess. 2 Wed. I Thess. 3Thurs. I Thess. 4 Fri. & Sat. reflection. Pick out one verse that ministered to you. Share a truth you’ve been learning with a friend.

2.   Icebreaker:  Who is the wisest person you have ever known?  What made him/her so wise?

3.   How do you rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 for ‘wisdom’ using the definition in James 3:17?  What in your opinion is the secret to gaining wisdom? 

4.   Read James 3:13-4:3 three times.   Read one time in a paraphrase translation (The Message or The Living Translation). Share with a friend or your group what you are hearing from God’s Word.  Try and put the passage  into your own words.

5.   How is godly wisdom described in this text?  What trait in James 3:17 stands out to you and why?

6.   Deeper look:  Read Psalm 111:10, Daniel 2:20-23, I Corinthians 1:30, Ephesians 3:10, Colossians 2:3, James 1:5.  Ask God to show one thing about wisdom from each verse.  Share with your group. 

7.   What are some concrete ways a Christian can acquire God’s wisdom? Try to list ten. Circle the ones you regularly practice. Put a check mark by the activities that need to become part of your daily experience.

8.   What can you do to become more passionate about pursuing God’s wisdom?  How can we pray for you in this pursuit?

9.   What step can you take this week to become a peacemaker in your daily walk? 

“Knowledge enables us to take things apart, but wisdom enables us to put things together and relate God’s truth to daily life.” Wiersbe

Proverbs 4:7 “Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.”   

John Lloyd - Authentic Christianity Pt. 7

Authentic Christianity

Practical Wisdom from the Book of James    

Taming our Tongue James 3:1-12

November 5, 2017

Pastor John Lloyd

Passage: James 3:1-12

The Principle:  “A little member has great power to influence.”

Review:  Three things that are critical for genuine faith:  Controlling tongue, caring for the needy, and avoiding worldliness.

I. Remember the ___________________ of a teacher.

James 3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. (James 1:19, 1:26)

Job 40:4 “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you?         I lay my hand on my mouth.

Isaiah 6:5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”(Numbers 12:3, Ps.106;33)

I Corinthians 12:29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?

“The more you know the greater your responsibility and condemnation.  We are not to teach to satisfy our own needs, but to bring glory to God and to deliver His Word accurately to the eternal benefit to those who hear us.” Ellsworth

“Our plea is not for perfect people to go about the work of teaching, it is rather for imperfect people to go about the work in a serious and diligent way, praying, as they do so, that the Lord will be pleased to use them in their weakness.”  Ellsworth

We are influencing through our Words.

II. Submit your desperate need for _________ in this area.  

James 3:2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.

“Do you want to achieve spiritual maturity?  Concentrate on your talking!  If you get this under control the rest will be relatively easy for you.  Give attention to your speech.” Ellsworth

“We all sin in many times and many ways. About 9/10’s of the flames we experience in our lives come from the tongue.”  Kent Hughes

James 3:8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. (Matthew 12:36)

A. The ______________ is where we’re most vulnerable to Satan’s attacks.

James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. 

Examples:  

The horse and the bit  James 3:3

The ship and the rudder James 3: 4

Small spark and a great forest fire, James 3:5

B. The world ensnares us through our ______________.

Proverbs 10:19 When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.

Ecclesiastes 5:2 Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.

Lord, I can’t tame my tongue without your help!  I need you!  Give God control of the rudder and He will control the ship!

III. Draw from the well of the __________ ______________.

James 3:9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.

A. See God’s ____________ in every person.

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.

B. Let your __________, lead you to the __________.

James 3:10From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.  (Psalm 19:14)

Matthew 12:34 “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  (Isaiah 50:4)

Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  (Hebrews 4:16, Psalm 81:10)

C. Begin sowing a new crop of ______________________.

James 3:11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. (Ephesians 4:29)

Admit the problem.  No Excuses. Ask God for Help. Ask friends for help.  

Don’t be misled:  No one makes a fool of God.  What a person plants, he will harvest.  The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others- ignoring God! – harvests a crop of weeds.  All he’ll have to show  for his life is weeds!  But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.  (Galatians 6:7-8 The Message).

Use my words… to build your kingdom, to build people!

Prayer Commitment:

Lord, I recognize that it is impossible for me to control my tongue. Help me to continually give my words to you.  Realizing that these words come from my mind, I give my thoughts to you as well.  Help me to think your thoughts, to see that I am your child and that I matter to you.  May the words of my mouth be pleasing to you and edifying to those who listen. Show me step by step how to do this as I rely on your Spirit’s wisdom and words. I want my words to glorify you!

Dan Harper - Authentic Christianity Pt. 6

Authentic Christianity

James 2:14-26English Standard Version (ESV)

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

John Lloyd - Authentic Christianity Pt. 5

Authentic Christianity

Practical Wisdom from the Book of James        

Dealing with our Prejudice James 2:1-13

October 22, 2017

Pastor John Lloyd

Passage: James 2:1-13

The problem:  Having is more important than being.

James situation:  The Roman culture elevated and honored both wealth and status.  During this time, approximately 8% of the people had wealth, 2% were gaining it and 90% lived as poor.  The 8% ruled over the 90%. Wealth and status do not determine our worth.

Three steps that we can take to get past our prejudices and express the life of Christ to all!

I.               Recognize and reject what our culture favors.

James 2:1 My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.

Colossians 3:25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.  Ephesians 6:9

Our value is not based on what we own or do not own.  (Lk 12:15)

James 2:2 For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, 3 and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” 4 have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? (Luke 1:48)

Some examples:

1. Rich over poor   

2. Attractive over plain

3. Thin over heavy  

4. Quick over slow

5. Educated over uneducated 

6. The _____________ over the Christian.

Prejudice is something we all battle in some form or another.

II.             Learn what God favors.

James 2:1 My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.  (Romans 2:11)

“Our glory comes not from what we own, but who owns us.”

Acts 10:34 So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, 35but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), (Prov.28:21, Leviticus 19:15, Malachi 2:9, Prov. 22:2)

I Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

James 2:5 Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?  (See Matt. 5:3, Lk.4:18,6:20)

 “The poor are often rich in the very thing that Christians prize most.”

I Corinthians 1:26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.

“The ground is level at the foot of the cross. Materialism perverts the human soul.”  Kent Hughes

Some examples: 

God favors the poor over the rich.  (James 2:5)

God favors the not so influential over the influential. (I Cor. 1:26-30)

God favors the foolish over the wise.    (I Cor. 1:27a)

God favors the weak over the strong.  (I Cor. 1:27b)

God favors the lowly, despised things. (I Cor. 1:28)

2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.

We prize Jesus because he is Lord, he is Jesus, he is Christ, he is the Lord of Glory, because by the grace of God we ‘hold the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ’  We prize Jesus more than anything else

III.            Practice mercy in all your dealings.

James 2:8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture,  

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. (2:9-10)

James 2:11For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty.  13For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Isaiah 58:10 if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. (Isaiah 58:11-12)

Lamentations 3:22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 

“Favoritism is evidence of a unmerciful spirit.  How we treat people matters to God.”  Hughes

Luke 6:36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:37-38) 

Three questions to ask yourself:  Am I practicing the golden rule?   Do I have any significant relationships with people outside my group?   How do I treat the people that society doesn’t consider important? Lord, deliver us from the folly of favoritism.

Amazing things happen when we express to

others what God has given to us.

John Lloyd - Authentic Christianity Pt. 4

Authentic Christianity

Practical Wisdom from the Book of James

“True Religion" James 1:26-27

October 15, 2017

Pastor John Lloyd

 

Passage: James 1:26-27

Questions to contemplate:  What is true religion?  Is it the type of worship songs or hymns we sing?  Is it high church with liturgy, and prayers?  Is it a casual atmosphere where everybody is accepted?  Is it church attendance?  Is it that my family is religious? 

Today, we will look at James 1 and see what the Word of God defines as “True Religion.” The definition may surprise you.

Big Idea: True religion impacts our words, actions and the direction of our lives.

I.               True religion displays surrendered words.

James 1:26a If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart

James 1:26 “If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.” (New living translation)

Psalm 34:13 Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.  (Proverbs 18:2)

Key thought:  One area not surrendered can neutralize the impact of our lives. 

Areas to surrender:

1.   Vulgarity-  Colossians 3:8, Prov.4:24

2.   Angry outbursts- Proverbs 29:11)

3.   Lying- Ephesians 4:25

4.   Gossip- Proverbs 11:13, 16:28, 26:20

5.   Slander- Titus 3:2

6.   Complainers- I Corinthians 10:10, Philippians 2:14

“If the heart is right, the speech will be right.”  Wiersbe

Matthew 12:34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

What we say is a barometer of where our hearts are at with God.

Remember God is looking for progress not perfection.

II.             True religion leads to surrendered service. 

James 1:27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

 In their affliction- in their burden, trouble, tribulation

John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

2 Corinthians 1:4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  (Psalm 23:4, James 1:27a)

Definition:  Helping those in distress.

Visit- to go to see, relieve, look out.  (Matthew 25:36)

Isaiah 58:10 if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.     

Is 58:11 And the LORD will guide you continually  and satisfy your desire in scorched places  and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water,  whose waters do not fail. (58:12)

"Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of." C.S. Lewis

Psalm 68:5 Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.  (John 21:18)

Hebrews 13:3 Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.

Reflective Question:  Who has God put in my life that He wants me to help?  How are you serving them?

Surrendered service glorifies God and bears much fruit!

III.             True religion leads to surrendering our standards to God’s Word.

James 1:27b and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

The world’s standards are always trying to creep into our lives.

The World’s standards are often based on:

1.   Society     2.  Friends/Peers        3.  Self Interest

The key to godly standards is not isolation but reprogramming.

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. 

John 17:15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. (Matthew 6:10)

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

 “Live like Jesus is in the room with you!”

Reprogramming our standards glorifies God and bears much fruit.

Surrender it all to Jesus!

Commitment Prayer:  Dear Jesus, I recognize that I must have you in total control of my life.  I surrender my words, my service and my standards to you.  I want to want what you want for me to be and do in my life.  I give you permission to work in these areas.  Help me grow to be more like you in each area.  Please receive my life as an act of worship to you!

John Lloyd - Authentic Christianity Pt. 3

Authentic Christianity

Building a Healthy SoulJames 1:19-25

October 8, 2017

Pastor John Lloyd

Passage: James 1:19-25

My prayer is that God will use the truths from this passage to help us develop a spiritually healthy soul in our walk with God and others.  

Big Idea: Our souls are the healthiest when we apply what we hear.  

I. Healthy believers ______________ well to God and others.

James 1:19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;

“Beware of the dialogues of the deaf.”  Paul Tournier

“If we can’t listen well, we will be spiritually impoverished.”  

“Lord, speak to me!  You have sixty seconds.”   

Mark 4:24 And he said to them “Pay attention to what you hear:”

Luke 8:18 “Take care then how you hear,”  ( Mt. 13:13, Hebrews 5:11)

Some suggestions: 

1. Work at listening to others. Repeat what you hear them saying. 

2. Limit our exposure to visual media. 

3. Read God’s word. listen as we read. 

4. Slow down to listen. Pray I Samuel 3:10 “Speak for your servant is listening” 

5. Prepare your heart and soul to hear God’s word.  

II. Healthy believers ____________ words that edify God and others.

James 1:19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, 

Proverbs 13:3 Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.  (Proverbs 15:1)

Proverbs 10:19 When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.  (Ecclesiastes 5:2)

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.  (Philippians 4:8, I Thessalonians 5:11, Ephesians 4:15)

Questions to ask:  Are these words necessary, helpful, or healing?

III. Healthy believers allow the Holy Spirit to ________ their emotions.

James 1:19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

“If you are not growing spiritually, one of these three things of James 1:19 is holding you up.”  Warren Wiersbe

Proverbs 16:32 Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

Proverbs 29:11 A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

“An angry spirit is never a listening teachable spirit. When we feast on anger and bitterness—the feast is us.”  Kent Hughes

• All anger is not bad.

• Allow anger to be a signal that something is wrong.

• Justified or not, anger is never to control me.

• I become a slave to the person who causes my anger.  

A. Lay aside the ______________________ of our fallen hearts.

James 1:21a “Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness”

Romans 13:12b So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.  (Hebrews 12:1, Zechariah 3:1, 3:5)

Mark 4:19 but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.

B. Receive without reservation the ____________ of God.

James 1:21b and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

John 15:3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.  (Psalm 25:9, Mark 4:20, Acts 17:11)

“Speak, your servant is listening!”  I Samuel 3:10

I. Healthy believers ______________ what they hear.

James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

“Too many people mark their bibles, but their bibles never mark them.” 

Warren Wiersbe

James 1:23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.

“To hear and not take action is worthless. To hear and not take action is to lie to oneself.”  

James 1:25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

“Looks”- more than a casual glance, looks carefully and closely Jn.20:5

Prayer:  Lord, help me to have a soul absorbing study of your Word.

“Satan portrays sin as the greatest freedom and God’s Word as the greatest bondage, but just the reverse is true.”  Roger Ellsworth

James 1:25b “being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”  John 13:17

Blessed is not just being happy, but it is being fulfilled, whole & healthy! 

We were made by God and for God.  Doesn’t it make sense that we can only find fulfillment in God? And living for God?  

Our souls are the healthiest when we apply what we hear.

Evan Rogers - The Cost of Christ

I. The older we get the more we begin to understand about the Bible

(Acts 5:1-11)

A. Why did they die for something so common as a lie?

Genesis 22:1 After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” 

B. Why did God ask Abraham to sacrifice the son he had just received?

Matthew 9:18 While he was saying these things to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.

II. Our Values Change as we grow with Christ
A. We begin to see God’s heart and understand his point of view

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

III. We need to value the Sacrifice of Christ

He left heaven

John 6:38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.

He humbled himself and became Human

Philippians 2:8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Jesus became less than an angel

Hebrews 2:9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

He Served and obeyed His creation

John 2:3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Ridiculed by the people he came to save, including his own family

Mark 3:21 And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”

Luke 23:11 And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate.

He was Beaten

John 19:1 Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. 2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. 3 They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands.

He was Crucified

Matthew 27:35 The soldiers nailed Jesus to a cross.

Forsaken by God

Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Made to be sin itself

 2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Spent 3 days in the grave

Mark 8:31 And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.

Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

IV. God Paid for our eternal Life

Romans 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

V. We must Die with Christ

John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

Romans 6:6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.

2 Corinthians 4:11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.

VI. God paid for your whole life

Acts 5:1-11 Ananias and Sapphira

Matthew 12:50 "For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister.

John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

1 John 2:17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

VII. Count the Cost of Christ

Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?  Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.

John Lloyd - 140th Anniversary

Authentic Christianity

Celebrating 140 Years of God’s Faithfulness to Dolores Park Church

San Francisco, California
September 24, 2017

Big Idea: God has been faithful. God is faithful. God will be faithful.

God’s best is yet to come!
Why is it important for us to remember our history?
I. Remembering our past is declaring God has been faithful.
Psalm 145:1 I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. 2
Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever.  3 Great is the LORD,
and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.
 Remember the greatness of our Lord and His power.
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the
Creator of the ends of the earth.  He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is
unsearchable,” (Isaiah 40:28). (Psalm 48:1, 147:5)
“LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for
us.” (Isaiah 26:12 NIV).
Psalm 145:6 They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare
your greatness. We are declaring the greatness of our God.
 Remember the great works and miracles God has done for us.
“Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he
uttered” (Psalm 105:5).
“Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they
said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.”  3 The LORD has
done great things for us; we are glad” (Psalm 126:2-3).
God has been faithful!

II. Real remembrance leads us to make commitments.
Psalm 145:4 One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare
your mighty acts.  5 On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous
works, I will meditate.  6 They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I
will declare your greatness.
Psalm 119:15 I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. We desire
to fix our eyes on the ways of God.

God is and will be faithful!
A. Commit to the centrality of the Word of God.
“Where is it written?” P.P. Waldenstrom
Jesus said, “It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that
comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for
correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete,
equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). (John 6:63, Proverbs 8:11, Ps.
119:11 & 105)
B. Commit to the necessity of the New Birth.
John 3:3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he
cannot see the kingdom of God.”
“As an evangelical church we believe that conversion results in eternal life. Conversion
can be defined as the act by which a person turns with repentance and faith from sin to
God. Conversion involves a conscious rejection of the life of sin and involves a
commitment of faith. Eternal life is not given through assent to creeds alone but through
a personal commitment to Jesus Christ” (Living Faith p.34). (Matthew 16:26, Acts 4:12,
Psalm 126:5-6)
C. Commit to the Mission of Jesus Christ.
Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the
name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe
all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the
age.” Luke 24:47
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you
will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the
earth.”
Ephesians 4:11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the
shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up
the body of Christ,
2 Timothy 2:2 and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses
entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
D. Commit to the church as being a Fellowship of Believers.
The value of being a ‘Friend’ is embedded in our church family. A friend would ask the
question, “How goes your walk?” They understood the Christian life to be a lifelong
pilgrim journey. Their life grew together into mature discipleship and service. They

inquired about each other’s physical and spiritual wellbeing because they had become
friends in Christ. This is a call to not only believe, but to belong. (Living Faith p.97)
Jesus states, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his
friends. “You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you
servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you
friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you,” (John
15:14-15)
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15.
E. Commit to consciously depending upon the Holy Spirit.
“This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my
Spirit, says the LORD of hosts,” (Zechariah 4:6)
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever, (Hebrews 13:8).
“And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of
the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So
they strengthened their hands for the good work,” (Nehemiah 2:18).
F. Commit to the reality of the Freedom in Christ.
John 8:31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word,
you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Deuteronomy 6:6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in
your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between
your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Isaiah 26:12 LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have
done for us. (New International Version)
“But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man
imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— (I Corinthians 2:9).
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think,
according to the power at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ
Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).

God has been faithful! God is faithful! God will be faithful!

God’s best is yet to come!

 

John Lloyd - Authentic Christianity Pt. 2

Authentic Christianity

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Practical Wisdom from the Book of James
Dealing with Temptation and Sin James 1:9-18

Pastor John Lloyd
September 17, 2017

How do we navigate through the trial of temptation and sin?

“to have no bad habit devastating you”

Trial and Temptations? What’s the difference? God tests, Satan tempts.
Big Idea: God will give you wisdom to navigate through the trial of
temptation and sin. God is greater than my temptations and trials.
Wisdom of God from James:
I. A wise view of possessions and economics.
James 1:9 Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10and the rich in his
humiliation, because like a flower of the grass  he will pass away. 11For the sun
rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty
perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
Luke 12:15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all
covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his
possessions.”
Matthew 16:26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and
forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
James 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he
has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to
those who love him.

Following Jesus through trials will be worth it!

II. A wise view of ourselves.
James 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for
God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.
A. We should not blame God for our temptations and sins.
“Let no one say when he is tempted” (1:13),

Genesis 3:12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she
gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”

Matthew 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be
tempted by the devil.
I Peter 1:16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
Luke 4:12 And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your
God to the test.’”
B. Sin is resident inside of us.
Mark 7:18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do
you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him,
Mark 7:20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21For
from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft,
murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander,
pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a
person.” (Romans 7:23, I John 1:8)
I do not believe that people take the doctrine of human depravity serious enough.
They do not recognize that we are not wrestling against flesh and blood but
against principalities and powers. We truly have an enemy, and unfortunately
the source of stimulation lies within us.
C. The source of this testing is our own evil desires. “yeser ha-ra” ;
James 1:14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own
desire
I Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.
If I do not have a right view of myself, then I will tend to blame anything or
anyone for my sins and failures!

God’s power, love and grace is greater than our sins.
III. A wise view of sin.
James 1:14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own
desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is
fully grown brings forth death.

Understand the process:
Step one: It starts with a strong look.
(see Matthew 5:28, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman
lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”) (Gen. 3:6)
Step two: It builds into evil desires. (James 1:14) The imagery here is very rich.
It is a hunting & fishing metaphor, very violent in fact. The bait is used to draw
and lure the prey into the trap. Where the prey is suddenly and violently
captured. ( 2 Tim.3:6)
Step three: These desires give birth to sin. (James 1:15)
Step four: Sin always produces death and deception. (James 1:15)
(Romans 6:23; Genesis 2:17). Don’t be deceived…James 1:16
SOME SUGGESTIONS: 1. Own it 2. Starve it (Col.3:5, Rom. 13:14,
Galatians 5:16) 3. Replace it. Feed the Spirit (Gal. 5:16) personal bible study,
small group, prayer, serving and accountability
If I do not understand the process of sin, I will be a slave to it and mastered by it.

God’s power, love and grace is greater than my sins.
IV. A wise view of God.
James 1:16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17Every good gift and
every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom
there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 Of his own will he brought us
forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
(See Hebrews 13:8; Isaiah 55:11, I Peter 2:23)
1. Recognize our tendency to leave out or even blame God. (1:13)
2. Believe that Jesus has broken the power of Sin. (Romans 6;14)
3. Receive the new birth through Jesus and embrace His word of Truth.
(James 1:18)

I Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.
God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the
temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to
endure it

God is greater than my temptations and trials!

 

John Lloyd - Authentic Christianity Pt. 1

Authentic Christianity

Authentic Christianity
Staying Power James 1:1-- 8
Pastor John Lloyd
September 10, 2017

My prayer and goals for this study are that we would:
1. grow closer to God.
2. reveal Jesus in our lives.
3. build stronger Christian community by obeying His Word.
4. learn our Bibles better.


Introducing James:
Who? Half brother of Jesus (John 7:5; Acts 1:14)
What? Leader of the church in Jerusalem (Acts 12:17,15:13; 21:18;
Gal. 1:19)                                                                                                                                                       Why? The congregation was scattered by persecution.
Acts 7:54,8:1


Issues James was dealing with:
1. Divisiveness
2. Intolerance
3. Favoritism
4. Overpowering desire for wealth and status.


I. We need a different attitude toward our problems.


James 1:2 Count it all joy, my brothers,] when you meet trials of various kinds, My brothers- this term is used 15 times in the book. Each time it is used, James is getting ready to teach us something that will help have authentic faith. (See question 3)


Trials of various kinds-Suggest an unwelcome and unanticipated experience. The idea here is that they are unexpected and at least initially unwelcome. (Luke 10:30)

I Peter 4:12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s
sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is
revealed.

1. Trials are not always a Bad Thing. (See John 9:2-3)
2. Trials develop Staying Power. James 1:3, Romans 5:3
3. Trials produce Maturity and Stability. James 1:4

Our culture is bent on eliminating any type of discomfort.
Let’s choose to grow in our trials. Rejoice instead of complain!
II. We need a different response to our problems.

James 1:4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be
perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.


Ephesians 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the
knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of
the stature of the fullness of Christ,


The Gospels present maturity as the imitation of God and the
development within of His character traits so that, through the Holy
Spirit, we become persons of integrity and single minded in our
devotion to God.


How to develop this character: Stay instead of Run.


Luke 6:36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.(Heb. 12:2)
Commitment: Let’s not compromise our morals or values when
attempting to remove hardship or heartache.


III. We need to pray for wisdom instead of deliverance.


James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives
generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

James 1: 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who
doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven


I need wisdom to see my trials from God’s point of view!


Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find;
knock, and it will be opened to you.


There is a connection between wisdom as a gift and asking for it.


James 1:7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive
anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all
his ways.


The people James was writing to were experiencing adversity, but
James sees it as cause for joy because he discerns that God’s
purpose is purification. If they endure their trials with patience, they
will be both purified and approved.


Commitment Prayer: Lord, I need staying power for my
relationships, job, school and ministry. Help me look to you for
wisdom and strength to not squirm out of my responsibilities and your
plan to develop maturity and stability. Jesus, I turn my life and
situations over to You again this day!

Spiritual Growth Questions for James 1:1-8 “Staying Power”


1. As you look back on the “good old days” in your life, were they
more likely to be the hard times or the easy times?


2. *Read James 1:1-8. In your own words, rewrite what you hear
James saying. Try to put it in a way you could share with a
friend.

3. Read James 1:2. Spend some time following James’ use of the
word “brothers” throughout the letter. Read James 1:16, 1:19,
2:1, 2:5, 2:14, 3:1, 3:10, 3:12, 4:11, 5:7,5:9, 5:10, 5:12 & 5:19.
How does his use of “brothers” help you understand this book?

4. *Study the following verses this week, James 1:2,3;
Ephesians 5:20; I Thessalonians 5:16-18; Philippians 4:4; I
Corinthians 10:1, 6, 10-11. As you meditate on these verses
look at the different attitude presented towards difficulties and
trials.


5. *What are some areas you have seen the value of staying
power in your life? (Read the following verses on the need for
staying power: Hebrews 6:11-12; Galatians 6:9; Acts 14:21-
22; 2 Timothy 2:3) What do these verses teach you about it?


6. *What is the natural human response to trials? What response
is James asking us to have towards our trials?


7. What causes you to doubt God? What misconceptions do you
have about God and trials in your life?


8. How has our “American Dream” thinking, with its standards of
success and joy, kept us from God’s wisdom?


9. *Concerning a trial you have experienced, what pressures did it
bring on your faith? What wisdom did you gain through it?


10. * Study the following verses and try and get your arms around
this concept of wisdom. What is wisdom? How do we receive
it? Job 28:28 ; Proverbs 4:7 ; Hosea 14:9 ; Matthew 7:24 ;
2 Timothy 3:15; James 1:5 ; Luke 21:15 ; Ecclesiastes 2:26.
As you navigate through a situation you’re facing,
we pray for God’s guidance, strength and wisdom.

John Lloyd - Our Identity in Christ Part 5

Our Identity in Christ Part 5

Our Identity in Christ Part Five
September 3, 2017
Pastor John Lloyd


A new identity in Christ creates liberation in our soul.
A new identity in Christ brings cleansing & holiness to our soul.
A new identity in Christ changes our loyalty and allegiances.
A new identity means God can bring metamorphosis.
A new identity brings us into a new relationship with God.
A new identity means our lives can be redeemed.
A new identity means we can have peace/rest in this world and the next.
A new identity means Jesus has exchanged our sin for his righteousness
Big Idea: The same Jesus who makes us right with God, heals our
broken souls. Help me to abide in Christ’s identity and abound in
His work.

I. A new identity in Christ means we are rightly related to God.
Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested
apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to
it— 22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who
believe. For there is no distinction.
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24
and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in
Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to
be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in
his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26I t was to show
his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the
justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

a. While guilty, we are declared righteous.

Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still
sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified
by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of
God.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is
eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

b. Jesus exchanged our sin for his righteousness.

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are
in Christ Jesus.  2For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ
Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3For God has done what the law,
weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the
likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin,
so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Consider the legal image of being declared righteous by the God who
made the universe.

c. We have been legally redeemed by God.

Titus 2:14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness
and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are
zealous for good works. ( I Peter 1:18-19)
Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the
forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
Jesus redeemed us to be His workers.
II. A new identity in Christ brings healing to my life.
Matthew 12:20 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick
he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory; 21 and in his name
the Gentiles will hope.”
 

a. Jesus heals our broken hearts.

Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed
me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the
brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight
to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed;   to proclaim the
acceptable year of the Lord. (NKJV)
b. We were blind but not we see.

John 9:25b “One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”
Psalm 34:18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the
crushed in spirit. (Psalm 147:3)
Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and
contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (Psalm 56:8)
Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death
shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain
anymore, for the former things have passed away.” John 14:27, 16:33
John 19:30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is
finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
I John 1:9 I f we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our
sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (See question 4)

Jesus paid it all! Jesus offers a new identity
to anyone who humbly comes to Him!

III. Live in your identity in Christ.
Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a
manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2with all
humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
Colossians 2:6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk
in him, (Matthew 5:16, John 9:25)
Our world desperately needs to see us walking in our identity in
Christ. Every person needs to find their identity in Christ and not
the things of this world.
I Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast,
immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in
the Lord your labor is not in vain.

May we keep abiding in our identity in Christ
and abounding in His work this fall.

Spiritual Growth Questions

1. How is it going with your reading plan? Sun. 2 Corinthians 9 Mon.
2 Corinthians 10 Tues. 2 Cor.11, Wed. 2 Cor. 12 Thurs. 2 Cor. 13
Fri. & Sat. reflection. Pick out one verse that has ministered to you.
Share a truth you’ve been learning with a friend.
2. As you think of the tremendous floods in Texas, what
encouragement would you share with someone who has lost their
possessions and home?
3. Read Romans 5:1-2, 2 Corinthians 5:21. What does it mean to
be declared righteous? How does this truth connect with our
identity? Why is this image so important to our identity in Christ?
4. Read I John 3:20, 1:7-9, Ps. 139:23-24, 19:14. What should we
do when our feelings and thoughts are the exact opposite of our
identity in Christ? What do these verses teach us to do? Who is
responsible to do it? Read 2 Corinthians 10:5-6
5. Read 2 Chronicles 7:14, Proverbs 4:22, 12:18, 13:17, Acts
10:22. Read each verse and write down who or what brought
healing? Describe a time when you were healed?
6. Read Psalm 34:18, 51:17, 56:8. 147:3. Write down what God
promises to the brokenhearted? How does this help you face your
challenges this week?
7. Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. Make time to share the comfort of God
with someone this week. Spend some time praying for this person
and others who need God’s healing touch.
8. Ask God to give you ways to abound in the fruits of your identity
this fall. Ask Him to breath new vision into each of us.
John 9:25b “One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”

Next week: We will begin a new series called Authentic Christianity:
practical wisdom from the book of James.

John Lloyd - Our Identity in Christ Part 4

Our Identity in Christ Part 4

Our Identity in Christ Part Four
August 27, 2017
Pastor John Lloyd


A new identity in Christ creates liberation in our soul.
A new identity in Christ brings cleansing & holiness to our soul.
A new identity in Christ changes our loyalty and allegiances.
A new identity means God can bring metamorphosis.
A new identity brings us into a new relationship with God.
A new identity means our lives can be redeemed.
A new identity means we can have peace/rest in this world and the next.
2 Corinthians 1:4 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the
grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, 5that in every way you
were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge.
I Cor. 13:12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now
I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
Big Idea: What I have received from God, I share with others.
What I have received in me, I humbly share with thee.

I. A new identity in Christ means we are redeemed!
Job 19:25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will
stand upon the earth. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Matthew 28:7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen
from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you
will see him. See, I have told you.”
“Religion makes us proud of what we have done, salvation makes us
proud of what God has done.” Timothy Keller
a. We were poor but now we are rich.
2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that
though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his
poverty might become rich.
b. While deserving the wages of death, we have been given the free
gift of life.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is
eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (John 5:24)
John 5:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes
him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but
has passed from death to life.
c. Our debts are cancelled.
Matthew 6:12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our
debtors.
Luke 7:42 When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now
which of them will love him more?” 43Simon answered, “The one, I
suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him,
“You have judged rightly.” (Luke 7:47)
d. We are heirs of God.
Galatians 4:7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then
an heir through God. (Romans 8:17, Eph. 1:18)
I Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a
living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
(I Peter 1:4-5)

In the economics of souls, no one is beyond
the reach of God’s redeeming power.

II. Victory is a gift given to the redeemed.
2 Corinthians 2:14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us
in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the
knowledge of him everywhere.
I Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be
made alive.

a. Jesus defeated the devil, principalities and powers, sin and
death! (I Corinthians 15:23-25)

I Corinthians 15:26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
Colossians 2:14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us
with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15He
disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by
triumphing over them in him. (Hebrews 2:14-15)

b. We share in Jesus victory and resurrection.

I Corinthians 15:54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and
the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is
written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is your
victory? O death, where is your sting?” (I Corinthians 15:57)
John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. 
Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26and
everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe
this?”

c. We have eternal rest and peace.

Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will
give you rest. (Hebrews 4:1-2)
Hebrews 4:9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of
God,

d. We have the promise of heaven; a new creation living in the
presence of God forever.

Revelations 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them,
and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their
God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be
no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore,
for the former things have passed away.”
I Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast,
immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in
the Lord your labor is not in vain.

What I have received in me, I humbly share with thee!

Spiritual Growth Questions

1. How is it going with your reading plan? Sun. 2 Corinthians 4 Mon.
2 Corinthians 5 Tues. 2 Cor. 6, Wed. 2 Cor. 7 Thurs. 2 Cor. 8 Fri.
& Sat. reflection. Share a truth you’ve been learning with a friend.
2. What spoke to you as you experienced the eclipse this week?
Read Psalm 19:1-6 for some inspiration.
3. Look up the word “redeemed” in a dictionary and in a Bible
dictionary. Read the following verses and write down what is being
redeemed: Exodus 6:6, Ruth 3:13, 4:4, 2 Sam. 7:23, Psalm
69:18, 119:134, 130:8, Gal. 4:5, Tit. 2:14.
Discuss the examples of God’s power to redeem. What does this
teach you?
4. Read Luke 7:36-50. What is Jesus teaching the disciples? How
could this be applied to you? How could you apply this to others?
5. Read Romans 6:4-11. From this passage, list the areas in which
we’ve been given victory. Read again. Write down why we have
this victory. Is this an easy or difficult passage to believe? Why?
6. Read Hebrews 4:1-9, Matt. 11:28-30. Why do some people not
experience rest? What does Jesus teach us about rest? What
helps you to experience His rest?
7. Read I Corinthians 15:21-26, 51-57. Describe the victory given to
believers. Share what encourages you in this passage? Who can
I share this victory with this week? Who needs me to pray for them
to receive this victory in Jesus?
8. Read Revelation 21:1-4, I Cor. 15:58. How does the promise of
heaven help you face the struggles of this life? What response is
I Cor. 15:58 looking for in our lives? How can we live this out this
week?
John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may
have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I
have overcome the world.”
I Corinthians 15:58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and
immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know
that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. (NLT)

Next week: We will look at healing images and legal images.
The following week, we will begin a new series called Authentic
Christianity: practical wisdom from the book of James.
What I have received from God, I humbly share with you!

Church Planting - John Brackett

#1 - What is the mission of the church?

I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah 

that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! 

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah 

Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us. 

God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!

“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation

that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 

teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 

Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 

and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 

and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 

You are witnesses of these things. 

And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Tim Keller, “God does not merely send the church in mission. God already is in mission, and the church must join him. This also means, then, that the church does not simply have a missions department; it should wholly exist to be a mission.”

Kevin DeYoung - “The mission of the church is to go into the world and make disciples by declaring the gospel of Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit and gathering these disciples into churches, that they might worship the Lord and obey his commands now and in eternity to the glory of God the Father.”

#2 - Is the American Church fulfilling this mission?

#3 - Church planting is our best way to fulfill our mission

Main Point - The Church is God's chosen way to bring his kingdom into this world. And because that's true, we need to have a dedication to planting new churches.

Steve Timmis – “This is why ‘multiplying churches’ is so important. Multiplying churches is ‘God’s mission strategy’. Yes, evangelism is important. It is an integral part of our discipleship. Worship is important. It is a glorious expression of the gospel by which our affections are captured for Christ.

They are proper activities and priorities of the local church. But at some point in some way they should result in the establishment of new churches. We should be looking to plant new churches in diverse contexts so that the gospel word might produce more gospel fruit.”

Tim Chester - “Church planting is by definition a missionary activity, arguably the core missionary activity. Church planting puts mission at the heart of church and church at the heart of mission… This is the reason for church planting: to be a light to the nations at street level.”

Ed Stetzer – “Paul and other early Christians believed in and practiced church planting as a normal part of their lives—and specifically in response to the commands of Jesus. Planting new churches was not a novel or unique concept for zealous believers. Rather, church starting was the normal expression of New Testament missiology. 

Intentional church planting, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, was the method of the early church. Church planting explains how the early church exploded across the Roman Empire during the decades following the resurrection of Jesus.”

Steve Timmis – “Church planting is not simply starting a new congregation. Church planting is not beginning a new meeting. Church planting is not opening up a new building. Church planting is the work of filling and subduing. It is the work of pushing back the thorns and thistles of Satan’s tyranny. It is a glorious task to which God has called us. God in the gospel is inviting us to participate with Him to fill the earth and subdue it. 

As we go out to make disciples of every nation we are extending Eden, creating Edens all over the world. We are establishing places where God rules and where God walks in mercy. It is for this that we were made. This is what the first Adam forfeited. This is what the Second Adam has gloriously secured. And this is how it has always been in the kingdom of God.”

 

Nehemiah 13, Finishing Well- John Lloyd

We apologize, there was a techincal difficulty this week with the audio recording. Thank for understanding.

Nehemiah 13:1

On that day they read from the Book of Moses in the hearing of the people. And in it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever enter the assembly of God, 2 for they did not meet the people of Israel with bread and water, but hired Balaam against them to curse them—yet our God turned the curse into a blessing. 3 As soon as the people heard the law, they separated from Israel all those of foreign descent.

4 Now before this, Eliashib the priest, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, and who was related to Tobiah, 5 prepared for Tobiah a large chamber where they had previously put the grain offering, the frankincense, the vessels, and the tithes of grain, wine, and oil, which were given by commandment to the Levites, singers, and gatekeepers, and the contributions for the priests.6 While this was taking place, I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I went to the king. And after some time I asked leave of the king 7 and came to Jerusalem, and I then discovered the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, preparing for him a chamber in the courts of the house of God. 8 And I was very angry, and I threw all the household furniture of Tobiah out of the chamber. 9 Then I gave orders, and they cleansed the chambers, and I brought back there the vessels of the house of God, with the grain offering and the frankincense.

10 I also found out that the portions of the Levites had not been given to them, so that the Levites and the singers, who did the work, had fled each to his field. 11 So I confronted the officials and said, “Why is the house of God forsaken?” And I gathered them together and set them in their stations. 12 Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain, wine, and oil into the storehouses. 13 And I appointed as treasurers over the storehouses Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and Pedaiah of the Levites, and as their assistant Hanan the son of Zaccur, son of Mattaniah, for they were considered reliable, and their duty was to distribute to their brothers. 14 Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God and for his service.

15 In those days I saw in Judah people treading winepresses on the Sabbath, and bringing in heaps of grain and loading them on donkeys, and also wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of loads, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned them on the day when they sold food. 16 Tyrians also, who lived in the city, brought in fish and all kinds of goods and sold them on the Sabbath to the people of Judah, in Jerusalem itself! 17 Then I confronted the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this evil thing that you are doing, profaning the Sabbath day? 18 Did not your fathers act in this way, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Now you are bringing more wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.”

19 As soon as it began to grow dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and gave orders that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath. And I stationed some of my servants at the gates, that no load might be brought in on the Sabbath day. 20 Then the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice. 21 But I warned them and said to them, “Why do you lodge outside the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you.” From that time on they did not come on the Sabbath. 22 Then I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves and come and guard the gates, to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember this also in my favor, O my God, and spare me according to the greatness of your steadfast love.

23 In those days also I saw the Jews who had married women of Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab. 24 And half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod, and they could not speak the language of Judah, but only the language of each people.25 And I confronted them and cursed them and beat some of them and pulled out their hair. And I made them take an oath in the name of God, saying, “You shall not give your daughters to their sons, or take their daughters for your sons or for yourselves. 26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin on account of such women? Among the many nations there was no king like him, and he was beloved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel. Nevertheless, foreign women made even him to sin. 27 Shall we then listen to you and do all this great evil and act treacherously against our God by marrying foreign women?”

28 And one of the sons of Jehoiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was the son-in-law of Sanballat the Horonite. Therefore I chased him from me.29 Remember them, O my God, because they have desecrated the priesthood and the covenant of the priesthood and the Levites.

30 Thus I cleansed them from everything foreign, and I established the duties of the priests and Levites, each in his work; 31 and I provided for the wood offering at appointed times, and for the firstfruits.

Remember me, O my God, for good.

John Lloyd - Our Identity in Christ Part 3

Our Identity in Christ Part 3

 

Building on Brokenness

Our Identity in Christ Part Three

July 30, 2017

Pastor John Lloyd

 

Continuing our study in Nehemiah, we follow a group of people deeply touched by God.  They lost their land, place of worship and, in many cases, separated from their families.  Returning to their homeland, they made deep commitments to God and each other to maintain their identity as His people.  By drawing near to God, we also can have a new identity through Jesus Christ.  It’s knowing, believing and living in sync with this identity that we truly grow to be more like our heavenly father. 

 

A new identity in Christ creates liberation in one’s soul.

A new identity in Christ brings cleansing and holiness to one’s soul.

A new identity in Christ changes our loyalty and allegiances.

A new identity means God can bring metamorphosis.

 

Colossians 2:6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

 

Big Idea: When Jesus is our identity, it changes how we live and what we give to others.  Our Who, changes our what!         

 

I.                A new identity changes my relationship to God and to others.

 

I John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears] we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.  John 1:12

 

a.   We were enemies of God, now we’re reconciled and friends.

 

Romans 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

 

2 Corinthians 5:18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

 

Colossians 1:20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. 21And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,

 

Benevolence-desiring the good of the other person

Beneficence acting for the good of the other person

Concord- willing the good the other person wills

 

John 15:15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

                 

b.   We are married to Christ.  We are His bride!

 

Revelation 21:2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Revelation 21:9 saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

 

Revelation 22:17The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

 

c.    We have been offered a new covenant with God that binds us eternally to Him.

 

Mark 14:24 And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

 

Hebrews 8:6 But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.  (Hebrews 8:10, 10:12)

 

d.   We have unlimited access to God.

 

Ephesians 2:17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. Ephesians 3:11-12, Romans 5:1-2

 

Hebrews 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

 

II.              When I understand who I am in Christ, it changes what I do.

 

Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,

 

Colossians 1:10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.  I Thessalonians 2:12

 

Philippians 1:27 Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. (New Living)

 

John 1:16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 

 

John 17:8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.

 

Matthew 10:8b “Give as freely as you have received!” New Living Translation

 

You can’t live what you haven’t received.  You can’t give what you haven’t received. 

 .

When Jesus is our identity, it changes how we live and what we give to others.  Our identity in Christ changes our behavior.

 

I have made a decision about my identity.

I am nothing but what God says I am:

I am a child of God. John 1:12.

I am free in my soul. John 8:32

I am cleansed. 1John 1:9

I am made holy in Christ. 2Cor. 5:21

I am a new creation. 2Cor. 5:17

I am a citizen of Heaven. Phil. 3:20