Today we start a new series titled “Finished”.
We will be looking at the finished work of Jesus through his life, death, and resurrection.
What did Jesus mean when He said “It is Finished”?
Our thoughts probably first go to a scripture like
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Most everyone would agree that Jesus’ finished work on the cross is about the born again experience. But it is about much more.
Today…talk about how the law was finished.
(Law vs. Grace)
John 1:17 (NKJ)
For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
This is what law looks like…
- List of commands
- Sin Consciousness
- Demanded righteousness
- Favor had to be Earned
This is what grace looks like…
- New approach – life of love
- God Consciousness
- Demand for righteousness was met through the finished work of the cross
“finished” rendered “the debt is paid in full”
- Salvation cannot be earned, it is received as a gift of grace
- His power changes us from the inside out…we become new in Him
(Right Standing with God – Sacrifice Required)
Under the law when man sinned, they had to find a perfect lamb with no defects.
The lamb was brought to the priest.
The priest examined the lamb to make sure the lamb was not defective.
The priest would tell the sinner to lay his hands on the lamb’s head so his sin would transfer to the lamb.
Notice He had to lay his hands on the lamb by faith. He believed that God did an exchange.
The sinner believed and the priest believed.
The lamb received the sin of the man.
And the man received the innocence of the lamb.
The lamb had to die for the exchange to take place.
The man goes totally free.
This was all done by faith.
All this under the law was pointing to Jesus, who was to come and be the perfect lamb and the final sacrifice.
ILLUSTRATE: Grace under Jesus
…John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
Before you and I were born, God prepared this plan for Jesus to go to the cross for us.
The blood of Jesus removes sin – past, present, and future, when we receive His gift of salvation.
…”Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
A great exchange happened when Jesus took on our sin, and we took on His righteousness.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God…
So, what was finished on the cross?
The law given by Moses was finished.
Grace was given through Jesus Christ!!!
If everything is finished, why do we have such a mess in the world?
Many people have not learned to apply the finished work to their lives.
John 10:10 – the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus came to give us life, and life _______ _______ (more abundantly)
The devil’s greatest nightmare is when we learn what God has provided through the finished work of the cross.
You see, ignorance is the greatest hindrance for believers.
What you need was already provided 2,000 years ago through Jesus finished work.
Now by faith, access what’s been provided.
OUR CHURCH series
Part 1 – “ENJOYS LIFE” by: Pastors Dan and Sarah
Daniel 6:3 –
Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps (princes) by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.
John 10:10 AMP –
“I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).”
1. Love _____________.
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
1 Tim 6:17
Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.
2. Love ___________.
1 Peter 3:10 (AMP)
“For let him who wants to enjoy life and see good days [good—whether apparent or not] keep his tongue free from evil and his lips from guile (treachery, deceit).”
1 John 3:18 (TLB)
“Little children, let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions.”
3. Love ___________.
In Ephesians 1:18 Paul prays that; “the eyes of your understanding will be enlightened”.
Ecclesiastes 2:25 (NCV)
“…no one can eat or enjoy life without Him.”
Psalms 36:9 (NCV)
“You are the giver of life. Your light lets us enjoy life.”
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you.”
KNOW WHO YOU ARE
Pastor Sarah & Dan Gardner – December 2, 2012
Intro: Today we are concluding our series on the subject of MINDGAMES. It’s time to stop listening to the devil’s lies. As Pastor Sarah says, “He is a bad devil, but God is a good God”. So, today we declare, “GAME OVER!”
Each day, we have many, many thoughts; 12k minimum up to 50-60k thoughts a day. For many people, 70-80% of those thoughts are negative. What do you think happens to a person that thinks 48,000 negative thoughts a day?
Our patterns of thinking significantly impact our lives. As Christians, learning godly patterns of thinking based on His Word brings about true life change.
Here is a truth we know…
“Whatever we think, that is where we go”.
Jesus 1st msg.
Matt 4:17 “Repent…” –
Not = change behavior (do’s dont’s)
But… change the way you THINK
Our behavior will change if we change the way we think.
Paul picked up on that in
Romans 12:2 (NLT)
2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know (LEARN) what God wants you to do.
Look what it says in the Message Bible…
Romans 12:2 (MSG)
…fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you (LEARN), and quickly respond to it (APPLY).
Important concepts here: LEARN and APPLY; then you GIVE WHAT YOU LEARN TO OTHERS.
Right thinking+ God alive in us = Changed Life
As Christians our goal is to become like Jesus.
LEARNING TAKES TIME and EFFORT ON OUR PART
We move from MINDGAMES to Right Thinking by LEARNING WHO WE ARE IN CHRIST…and keep it before US intentionally.
DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST?
Let’s talk about it.
Cigarette Story -
When I was a teenager, if you didn’t smoke cigarettes, you were looked at as weird. I grew up in a Christian home, and never even had a thought about smoking.
At 16 yrs old, I had a part time job in an office bldg. In it, there was a cigarette vending machine.
I walked by that vending machine many months like it was not even there. Then this one day, this thought popped in my mind…”what would it hurt to try smoking”?
The next couple of weeks were really difficult – I wrestled with this thought. I had serious mind games going on. Then, one day, I finally decided, to give in to that thought.
I went to the vending machine. There they were – the Marlboros. I took my coins and was about ready to put them in…then, a voice rose up inside me and said,
“This isn’t who you are!!” (2x)
I was trying to fit in, wanting to do what everyone else was doing, but God was looking out for me, because now we know even more about how harmful smoking is to us.
So, our question to you today is…
“DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE?”
I am amazed how much God loves you.
I was going to speak about 1 John 4:17 that says, “As He is, so are we in this world”, but when I woke up on Tuesday morning, God spoke to me right away. He said to speak on 1 Peter 2:9.
You are special people because God went out of His way to give me a special word for you. He wants you to really know who you are in Christ.
1 Peter 2:9 (NLT)
9 …for you are a chosen people. You are a kingdom of priests, God’s holy nation, his very own possession. This is so you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
Let us explain what chosen people means.
It means “whosoever” will receive Jesus, becomes God’s chosen person.
How many of you received Jesus in your heart?
So this is who you are; you are a chosen people.
And if some of you have never made Jesus Lord of your life, this is the time.
My God in Jesus’ name, I come to you, take me as I am. Wash me in the blood of Jesus, that I can become your child.
Give me power to live by your Spirit, with a holy mind, and a healthy body; for your glory. Amen.
So let’s get back into the message.
Now we know we are God’s chosen people by simply receiving Jesus in our hearts.
It is like when James received my daughter Tracy as his wife, immediately he became chosen in the family. Even if he didn’t do things just like the rest of the family, we extended much grace to him.
It is the same way with God. Once we receive Jesus, we become His chosen.
Say – I am a chosen person.
Now, let us explain what royal priesthood means.
Notice that Peter picked up what we find in Exodus 19:5-6 (NLT)…
5 Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the nations of the earth; for all the earth belongs to me. 6 And you will be to me a kingdom of priests (or ministers), my holy nation.’
God’s original plan was for Israel to become a “kingdom of priests”. In the New Testament, God fulfilled his original plan; whosoever receives His Son, becomes a minister.
DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE?
You are a minister. Ministers are not only people with titles. Ministry is part of WHO WE ARE.
Say – I am a minister of God’s.
Now, let us explain what holy nation means
To be holy means to be separated. He called us out of the darkness into his wonderful light. Just like the people of Israel, they were taken out of Egypt (the world) to the Promised Land (God’s kingdom).
The reason why the nation of Israel was separated unto God is that they were to learn from God and give what they were learning to the other nations.
That is why I believe that we are born of God, not just to be saved and go to heaven!
Not just to be healed. Not just to be prosperous. But that we would believe who we are and reveal His righteousness, His heart, His character, His love on earth to others.
As 1 Peter 2:9 says, we “show others the goodness of God”. That is our part.
God has done his part by providing His Son so we can receive Him and become people of God.
So this is who you are in Christ; you are a holy people.
Say – We are holy people.
We LEARN, we APPLY, we GIVE WHAT WE LEARN TO OTHERS.
Let us explain what it means to be His possession.
We are bought with a price…the blood of Jesus. He chose us and made us His own. We belong to Jesus.
We are fully accepted in the beloved.
The more we change our thinking, believing we belong to him, and not ourselves, the less and less selfish we become, and the more and more like Jesus we become. Our lives get better and it’s easier to represent Christ to others.
So this is who you are in Christ; you are His possession, His very own
Say – I belong to Jesus and Jesus belongs to me.
I will LEARN this, APPLY what I am learning, and GIVE to others what I have learned.
We move from MINDGAMES to Right Thinking by LEARNING WHO WE ARE IN CHRIST and keep it before US intentionally.
Let’s declare one more time that that we win over MINDGAMES. Say it – “GAME OVER!”
Homework for Thursday –
Read 2 Peter, the 1st Chapter and we will learn together.
Sunday October 21, 2012
Title: Fear of the Unknown
FEAR is false evidence that appears real.
When we were at the other building, I spoke on faith and fear. I said that fear will work faster than faith, because the enemy will push fear on us.
God doesn’t push faith on us. We have to pull it from above. It requires our cooperation. Fear works faster because it is already here on earth all around us.
A person may feel they are in a dead end job, but afraid that if they leave they may find a worse job. They stay. The fear of the unknown feels so real that they make no move.
My son was afraid of marriage. His fear was that he was not going to be happy with one woman for the rest of his life, so he would get engaged, and the fear of the unknown would grip him, and he would break the engagement.
1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
My son was tormented. After he got married, he enjoys perfect love.
That’s the benefits of serving God. We know that God is stronger than any natural forces.
We know that He turns around all things together for good for those who love Him.
We start taking chances and we have faith in God that He’s got our back. We lose the fear of the unknown.
When we learn to cooperate with God we will be free from the fear of the unknown.
Why? Because we know God will not make a bad decision concerning us.
When we devote our self to God, He takes full responsibility for our lives.
Abraham believed God. Hebrews 11:8
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place, which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
I live my life like Abraham, I never know where God is taking me, but I know His taking me somewhere better than I can think or even imagine.
When God told me to come to Florida, I had no idea where God was taking me. I liked Florida is warmer than Michigan, I started making plans.
But I had no idea that God had better plans than I had thought or even imagined.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.
Not only did He bring me to better weather, He gave me a church, and so much more, all in one year. I can truly say – look what the Lord has done.
Was I afraid of the unknown? Yes. But I did it afraid. While I was making decisions I was saying…
2 Tim 1:7 – For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
I can do all things through Christ who gives me wisdom.
And now, I have heaven on earth.
Even the people in the Bible were afraid of the unknown.
We read that Timothy was afraid of the unknown. Timothy was a young pastor inexperienced. He did not know if he could succeed as a pastor.
He probably was questioning his own calling as a pastor. Maybe he was comparing himself to Paul.
Paul writes Timothy a letter to remind Timothy that he could fulfill his calling.
2 Tim 1:6 – Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
Paul said, “Stir yourself up, Timothy”. You received a gift when I laid hands on you
And 2 Tim 1:7 – God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Notice Paul didn’t say “Timothy, call a prayer meeting. Let people pray for you”. No, he said “stir yourself up”.
So, I am advising you like Paul advised Timothy if you feel fear, stir yourself up. Say, “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind”.
No one can stir you up better than yourself. Others can try to stir you up, but as soon as you are alone, you grow fearful again.
This is why we encourage you to declare the promises to stir up your own faith and keep yourself encouraged.
If we do what God tells us to do in His Word, God will always do the supernatural in our lives.
What have we learned today?
That fear will not leave us just because we want it to go. We fight fear with the Word of God in our mouth.
God told me “I will bless any one on earth according to what I hear from them”.
We must keep on the front of our eyes that God is the supernatural power; we are the natural channels on earth
We work together with Him through grace by faith. We can obtain supernatural freedom.
This is why we emphasize to find a prescription from the Bible and say it out of your mouth.
The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?
1 John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them (fear and obstacles), because He who is in you is greater than he (fear) who is in the world.
I am a residential real estate appraiser. On Thursday, the bank that I get most of my work from sent an email wanting me to verify the square footage of a home I recently inspected. It was a foreclosed property and the listing agent thought the square footage may be off.
When I originally inspected the home, I was in a hurry and forgot to measure the second story. When I wrote up the report I noticed I had forgotten to measure the second story. Instead of driving back up to Fort Myers area to measure, I decided to use the public record. The pubic record is correct 99% of the time.
When the bank asked me to verify the square footage, I decided to go back to Fort Myers and remeasure.
Now, mind you, this was a huge home, 3,600 square foot in living area, but when I remeasured I realized that the public records were off by 1,200 square feet. I had appraised it as 4,800 square feet home.
This is a really HUGE deal. It was a HUGE mistake. All I could do was to be honest, admit my mistake and ask for forgiveness. I could easily get fired for this or the bank could cut me off as an appraiser and as I said before, I get most of my work from them. This could be devastating.
I sent an email to my boss explaining everything Saturday evening and rewrote the appraisal with the correct square footage. Sunday morning he responded back that he wanted me to call him Monday morning at 9am sharp. We were going to have a long discussion on how this could happen and how to measure a home.
I woke up early Monday morning and continued my exercise in “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me”. That was suggested by Pastor Sarah Marie on Thursday night. I prayed and then decided to do some bible homework that I am working on. I completed question 1, then question 2 said to write out verse 2 of Isaiah 43.
NLT version is “When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!
The Lord spoke. I had my answer. Complete peace.
Next, I called my boss. I did get a bit of a lecture, for good reason, but he told me he would go to bat for me with the bank. He would let me know later in the day how it went. He did tell me it could go either way; they could understand the situation and let me continue appraising for them or could cut me off completely. At this point it was totally in the Lord’s hands.
I went about my day, inspected 4 homes in Naples and Bonita Springs and had to drive to Fort Myers for a new MLS key. At approximately 4pm, my boss called me on my cell. He had spoken to the folks in charge at the bank and their response was “Oh, so he’s human” and forgave me and have asked that I write up a letter to send to Lee County to have the taxes lowered due to the incorrect square footage of the home. WOW!!!!!!!
Yea, God has shown up mightily. I was and am highly favored. He is with me. I can do all things through Christ who straightens me. All things are possible for those who believe and are called according to his purpose.
I serve a mighty GOD. PRAISE HIM!!!
So, a few weeks ago Life Christian Church had a healing service. Now I had never been to one and wasn’t sure what to expect. So, Pastor Sarah Marie had people come forward and she would anoint them with oil. So, at the first call to come forward I was ready to jump, however I froze up. I stood there for a while and watched, I started to think to myself what would I ask for? My body is whole, should I ask for my mind to be healed? Maybe my heart? I talked a bit with my wife as we watched, we were both at the same place, should we go up? What would we ask? Well eventually my wife made her decision and knew what she would ask, she went to the line. Me, I just didn’t know but this was Pastor Sarah Marie, you don’t want to miss opportunities like this and then it hit me…I could ask for my marriage. See I have only been married for under 2 years and so I’m sure you can imagine I could use the Lord’s guidance in this, especially since I felt the devil was trying to get in between my wife and I lately, you see we had just started going to Life Christian Church and for sure the devil didn’t like that.
So when it was our turn we sat down and the Pastor asked what she could do for us, I asked for anointing over my marriage. Pastor Sarah Marie told me that I was the Spiritual leader over my family so she would pray over me. It was an incredible experience, I felt the Holy Spirit just come over me as she poured the oil and prayed. So listen to these results!
1. There was an event at the church for couples (Date Night!) during this night we were taught briefly about our differences and needs, It spoke right to me and opened my eyes to things I was missing.
2. After that we were having a Bible study with our cousins who have been married for a while and they spoke to us about how they had some trial and what they learned and gave us some advise. Again I was hit with some knowledge that was just on time.
3. Later, we were invited for a get together with a couple who are both teachers. They begun almost immediately asking us about our marriage, we were honest about our problems and they lovingly gave us wisdom and advise through their experiences.
4. We were invited to a weekly couples group that is held by a couple from Life Christian Church. So we go and it was awesome! They are studying a workbook about couples and marriage and its just what we need.
So I’m testifying to you that after Pastor Sarah Marie anointed my marriage I have seen just that, right now we have had some huge results and I know that as we continue to learn and apply we will grow strong. This was no walk in the park as the enemy has tried to interfere with every step we take, but soon he will have to go mess with another couple who is weaker because we are growing strong! Amen.
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