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A Place to Belong - Nov 4 & 5

YOU BELONG TO GOD

“For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.” Romans 5:10-11 NLT

“For the Lord takes pleasure in His people;” Psalms 149:4a MEV

“… he is a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” Matthew 11:19b NCV

HOW CAN I DEEPEN MY FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD? (Part 2)

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you….”   James 4:8a NKJV

  1. TALK WITH HIM CONSTANTLY
  2. THINK ON WHAT HE SAID
  3. SURRENDER YOUR LIFE

 4) I MUST PRACTICE BEING HONEST WITH GOD

“After GOD had finished addressing Job, he turned to Eliphaz the Temanite and said, “I’ve had it with you and your two friends. I’m fed up! You haven’t been honest either with me or about me—not the way my friend Job has. So here’s what you must do. Take seven bulls and seven rams, and go to my friend Job. Sacrifice a burnt offering on your own behalf. My friend Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer. He will ask me not to treat you as you deserve for talking nonsense about me, and for not being honest with me, as he has.”” Job 42:7-8 MSG

“‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.” Matthew 15:8 NKJV

“I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles. When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn...” Psalms 142:2-3b NLT

5) I MUST PRACTICE MY FAITH BY BEING OBEDIENT

“You are my friends if you do what I command.” John 15:14 NIV

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15 NIV

“The LORD is pleased with those who respect him, with those who trust his love.” Psalms 147:11 NCV

 “I loved you as the Father loved me. Now remain in my love. I have obeyed my Father’s commands, and I remain in his love. In the same way, if you obey my commands, you will remain in my love. I have told you these things so that you can have the same joy I have and so that your joy will be the fullest possible joy.”  John 15:9-11 NCV

“So he went back to Nazareth with them, and lived obediently with them…” Luke 2:51 MSG

 6) I MUST CULTIVATE A HEART TO CARE ABOUT WHAT HE CARES ABOUT

My strong love for your Temple completely controls me. When people insult you, it hurts me.”  Psalms 69:9 NCV

“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”” Matthew 9:36-38 NIV


CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION THIS WEEK...

Pick up a "Belong" study guide in the foyer this weekend!

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A Place to Belong - Oct 28 & 29

YOU BELONG TO GOD

“Know that the LORD is God. He made us, and we belong to him; we are his people, the sheep he tends.” Psalms 100:3 NCV

“For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.” Romans 5:10-11 NLT

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15 NIV

“You must worship no other gods, for the Lord, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you.” Exodus 34:14 NLT

HOW CAN I DEEPEN MY FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD?

“Come close to God, and God will come close to you…” James 4:8a NLT

1) TALK WITH HIM CONSTANTLY

“… pray without ceasing,” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 NKJV

· MISCONCEPTION: YOU MUST BE ALONE TO TALK TO GOD

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,” Colossians 3:23 NIV

· MISCONCEPTION: YOU MUST GET AWAY TO BE WITH GOD

2) THINK ON WHAT HE SAID

“… and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.” 1 Samuel 3:21b NIV

“The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.” Psalm 25:14 NKJV

“But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 NKJV

3) SURRENDER YOUR LIFE TO HIM

“We love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 NKJV

“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8 NLT

“So then, my brothers and sisters, because of God's great mercy to us I appeal to you: offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer.” Romans 12:1 GNB


CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION THIS WEEK...

Stop by the lobby to pick up a "Belong" participant guide.

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A Place to Belong - Oct 21 & 22

I Belong in Relationships

Pastor Steve Hernandez

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 (NASB)

The success and failures of life are determined by the equipment that we use.

“… may he equip you with all you need for doing his will.” Hebrews 13:21(NLT)

“But if I delay, this letter will let you know how we should conduct ourselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15 (GNT)

Fellowship is loving God's family.

“And God himself has said that one must love not only God but his brother too.” 1 John 4:21 (TLB)

Church is not a place you go to but it’s a family to belong to.

1. You Have To Choose To Belong

“Now you are no longer strangers to God and foreigners to heaven, but you are members of God’s very own family, citizens of God’s country, and you belong in God’s household with every other Christian.” Ephesians 2:19 (TLB)

2. Cultivate Friendships

“A mirror reflects a man’s face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses.” Proverbs 27:19 (TLB)

5 things we can do to cultivate friendships:

a. I must be committed.

“There are “friends” who pretend to be friends, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24 (TLB)

b. I must be considerate.

“Kindness makes a man attractive…” Proverbs 19:22a (TLB)

c. I must be confidential.

“No one who gossips can be trusted with a secret, but you can put confidence in someone who is trustworthy.” Proverbs 11:13 (GNT)

d. I must be truthful.

”An honest answer is a sign of true friendship.” Proverbs 24:26 (GNT)

e. I must be constructive.

“As iron sharpens iron, so people can improve each other.” Proverbs 27:17 (NCV)

3. We Learn How To Share

“All the believers were together and shared everything.” Acts 2:44 (NCV)

3 things God wants us to share:

a. Share Your Experiences

b. Share Our Homes

“Open your homes to each other, without complaining.” 1 Peter 4:9 (NCV)

c. Share Your Problems

“By helping each other with your troubles, you truly obey the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 (NCV)

Quote: When you share joy it's doubled, and when you share problems they're cut in half.


CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION THIS WEEK

Don't forget to pick up your "Belong" participant guide in the lobby at any service!

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A Place to Belong - Oct 14 & 15

EXPERIENCE IS OVERRATED

Courtney Hickman

“After this, Jesus crossed over to the far side of the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. A huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick. Then Jesus climbed a hill and sat down with his disciples around him. 4 (It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration.) Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.  Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!” Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?” “Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted.” John 6:6-11 NLT

“The next day the crowd that had stayed on the far shore saw that the disciples had taken the only boat, and they realized Jesus had not gone with them. Several boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the Lord had blessed the bread and the people had eaten. So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for him. They found him on the other side of the lake and asked, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.” They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”” John 6:22-27 NLT

“Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35 NLT

GOD WANTS US TO HAVE ETERNITY

1.    Experience is not enough.

“When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.” Romans 5:6-11 NLT

God didn’t do all of that just so we can have an experience

2.    Experience only requires attendance. Belonging requires relationship

Church is not something I attend; it is what I belong to.

We don’t attend a family, we belong to a family.

“But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me. However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.” John 6:36-40 NLT

Jesus will always answer you.

3.    Get Into Community

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 HCSB

What Are The Communities I need to join?

1.    God’s Family

“Now the Scripture says, everyone who believes on Him will not be put to shame, for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, since the same Lord of all is rich to all who call on Him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:11-13 HCSB

2.    Small Group

A.     JOIN A SMALL GROUP

“Again the next day, John was standing with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look! The Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this and followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and noticed them following Him, He asked them, “What are you looking for?” They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are You staying?” “Come and you’ll see,” He replied. So they went and saw where He was staying, and they stayed with Him that day. It was about 10 in the morning.” John 1:35-39 HCSB

B.    HOST A SMALL GROUP

“Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard John and followed Him. He first found his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah!”, (which means “Anointed One”), and he brought Simon to Jesus. When Jesus saw him, He said, “You are Simon, son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which means “Rock”).” John 1:40-42 HCSB


CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION THIS WEEK...

  1. Share about a time that you went through the motions of an experience and missed out on an opportunity to be fully engaged. What did you miss?
  2. How has building relationships helped you grow from attending church to belonging to God’s family?
  3. Share how being in community with other believers has impacted your life.
  4. Why did you decide to join a small group? Was is easy or dicult? Why?

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A Place to Belong - Oct 7 & 8

YOU BELONG IN GOD’S FAMILY

“…for it is his [God’s] boundless mercy that has given us the privilege of being born again so that we are now members of God’s own family.” 1 Peter 1:3b LB

“That family is the church of the living God, the support and foundation of the truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15b NCV

“You are members of God’s family. Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself.” Ephesians 2:19b-20 NLT

BENEFITS TO BELONGING TO GOD’S FAMILY

1) IT HELPS ME STAY FOCUSED ON GOD

“Oh, magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together.” Psalms 34:3 NKJV

“Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well.” Matthew 6:33 NCV

2) IT HELPS ME FACE LIFE’S PROBLEMS

“So it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.” Romans 12:5 NLT

“Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:10-11 NLT

3) IT HELPS ME TO GROW

“Those who are planted in the house of the LORD Shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing,” Psalms 92:13-14 NKJV

4) IT HELPS ME FIND MY MINISTRY

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,” Ephesians 4:11-12 NKJV

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 NKJV

5) IT HELPS ME TO SHARE THE MESSAGE OF CHRIST

“And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” Mark 16:15 NLT

“For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”” Romans 10:13-15 NLT

HOW DO I BECOME A PART OF GOD’S FAMILY?

• FIRST YOU MUST BE BORN INTO IT.

“Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot be in God’s kingdom.”” John 3:3-8 NCV

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV

• SECOND MAKE A COMMITMENT TO GOD’S FAMILY.

Acts 2:41-47:

verse 41 And those who believed Peter were baptized…

verse 42 They joined with the other believers in regular attendance at the apostles’ teaching sessions…

verse 43 A deep sense of awe was on them all…

verse 44 And all the believers met together constantly and shared everything with each other…

verse 46 They worshiped together regularly at the Temple each day, met in small groups in homes for Communion, and shared their meals with great joy and thankfulness…

verse 47 ...praising God. The whole city was favorable to them, and each day God added to them all who were being saved.


CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION THIS WEEK…

  1. Share with the group why belonging to God’s family has been impactful in your life.
  2. How has belonging to God’s family helped you stay focused on God?
  3. Share a time in your life that belonging to God’s family helped you face a significant problem.
  4. Which benefit has been had the most impact in your life, or which do you need most in your life?
  5. What new commitments do you feel God is leading you to make to your church family and how can the group be encouraging you in those commitments?

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A Place to Belong - Sept 30 & Oct 1

A PLACE TO BELONG

LOVING RELATIONSHIPS ARE WHAT MATTER MOST IN LIFE

“Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”” Matthew 22:37-40 NIV

TAKING YOUR FRIENDSHIPS TO THE NEXT LEVEL

LEVEL 1: CONNECTING WITH POTENTIAL NEW FRIENDS

“Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house…””  Luke 19:1-9 NKJV

· RECOGNIZE

“And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him…” Luke 19:5a NKJV

“I showed what you are like to those you gave me from the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me…” John 17:6a NCV

· REACH OUT

““Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”” Luke 19:5b  NLT

“A man who has friends must himself be friendly…” Proverbs 18:24a NKJV

· TAKE A RISK

“Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house…”” Luke 19:8-9a NKJV

 “And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him.” Mark 3:13 NKJV

LEVEL 2: CULTIVATING DEEPER FRIENDSHIPS

“He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”” Mark 14:33-34 NLT

· ENCOURAGEMENT

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17 NKJV

· CONFRONTATION

“An open rebuke is better than hidden love! Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.” Proverbs 27:5-6 NLT

· TRUST

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

· TIME

““I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.” John 16:12 NKJV

LEVEL 3: CHERISHED FRIENDSHIPS

 “He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.” John 21:17 NKJV

CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION THIS WEEK…  

1.  It can be easy to keep friends at a distance and not take our relationships to the next level. Why are deeper friendships important for our lives?

2.  Has anyone ever reached out to you unexpectedly in a time in your life when you needed relationship? How did it affect you?

3.  How does your experience with needing meaningful friendships in your own life motivate you to recognize, reach out, and take a risk in connecting with potential new friends?

4.  Take a moment and think about your friendships within this small group. How can you start to apply encouragement, confrontation, trust, and time to those friendships to take them to the next level?

5. How can your group help hold you accountable in taking your friendships to a deeper level?

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A Place to Belong - Sept 23 & 24

A PLACE TO BELONG

YOU WERE CREATED FOR RELATIONSHIPS

THREE THING YOU BELONG TO

1)    I BELONG TO GOD

2)    I BELONG IN GOD’S FAMILY

3)    I BELONG TO A PURPOSE

I) LOVING RELATIONSHIPS ARE WHAT MATTERS MOST IN LIFE

“Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-39 NIV

II) LIFE WORKS BEST WHEN WE ARE IN THE RIGHT RELATIONSHIPS

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NKJV

THE RIGHT RELATIONSHIPS MAKE LIFE

·      MORE REWARDING

·      MORE FULFILLING

·      MORE SUCCESSFUL

III) EVERYONE NEEDS FRIENDS TO THEIR DESTINY

“The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Proverbs 12:26 NIV

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17 NKJV

THREE THING YOU BELONG TO

1)    I BELONG TO GOD

 “So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.” Romans 5:11 NLT

2)    I BELONG IN GOD’S FAMILY

“You are citizens with everyone else who belongs to the family of God.” Ephesians 2:19b CEV

“God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy. But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.” Psalms 68:6 NLT

“Those who are planted in the house of the LORD Shall flourish in the courts of our God.” Psalms 92:13 NKJV

3)    I BELONG TO A PURPOSE

“God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which   God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing.”  Ephesians 2:10 NCV

IV) IT TAKES COURAGE TO BELONG

 “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24 NKJV


CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION THIS WEEK…

1.     Take a moment to get to know one another, especially if you have new group members. What brought you to Capital Christian or this small group? Why do you keep coming?

2.     What do you think about when you hear the word “belong” or “belonging”? Share an experience (positive or negative) you’ve had related to belonging.

3.     How can you be a better friend to the destinies of the others in your group?

4.     What purpose came to your mind when Pastor Dave taught that you belong to a purpose?

5.     How can you be stepping out in courage to belong to God, God’s family and your purpose?

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Leading with the Heart - Sept 17

BRAVEHEART WEEKEND

Forged to Lead: Leading with the Heart

Pastor Ryan Nunez

“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell. “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. “When you are on the way to court with your adversary, settle your differences quickly. Otherwise, your accuser may hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, and you will be thrown into prison. And if that happens, you surely won’t be free again until you have paid the last penny. Matthew 5:21-26

Jesus is teaching BEYOND BEHAVIOR to the HEART CONDITION.

And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil. Ephesians 4:26-27

So what do we do with ANGER?

1. DEFINE IT.

What was the primary cause? HURT, FRUSTRATION, FEAR

2. DEFUSE IT.

He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! Mark 3:5
 

3. DELIVER IT TO GOD.

The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace. Psalm 29:11

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Lead the Way to Reconciliation - Sept 16

Lead the Way into Reconciliation

Pastor Trisha Ferguson

“He asked the LORD, “Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their ancestors? Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin.”” Numbers 11:11-15 (NIV)

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

Reconcile

            Re-“go back, do over”

            Con-“argument, position” (noun)

Why do we go first?

Because the moment you receive forgiveness, you are called to forgive.

It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah. Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing. But don’t take any of this for granted. It was only yesterday that you outsiders to God’s ways had no idea of any of this, didn’t know the first thing about the way God works, hadn’t the faintest idea of Christ. You knew nothing of that rich history of God’s covenants and promises in Israel, hadn’t a clue about what God was doing in the world at large. Now because of Christ—dying that death, shedding that blood—you who were once out of it altogether are in on everything.  Ephesians 2:1-13 (MSG)

Because we have been designed

We are HIS workmanship, which means HIS reputation is in our work. 

For Peace

How do we do it?

Ask the questions:

  • Where am I hurting?
  • What am I afraid of?

“You can hang with someone as long as there is a chance for you to affect them, but if they start in infect you, you have to move on.” 

Confront with a humble spirit

Be openhanded with the outcome

 

 

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Ambassadors of Reconciliation - Sept 9 & 10

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;” Ephesians 4:11-13 NKJV

“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,” 2 Corinthians 5:18 NKJV

RECONCILIATION IS A PRIORITY WITH GOD

“Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23-24 NKJV

IF YOU’RE HESITANT TO RECONCILE, WORK THROUGH THESE STEPS:

1)    RECONCILIATION STARTS WITH FORGIVENESS

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 NKJV

“For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”  Romans 5:10 NKJV

“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Mark 11:25-26 NKJV

2)    PRAY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE MISTREATED YOU

“Bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.” Luke 6:28 NKJV

3)    BE HONEST WITH THE MOTIVES OF YOUR HEART

“Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:17-21 NKJV

 “But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.”  James 3:14-17 NKJV

“What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?” James 4:1 NLT

 “Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:21-24 NIV

4)    BE WILLING TO ADMIT ANY PART YOU MAY HAVE HAD IN CONTRIBUTING TO THE PROBLEM

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”  Matthew 7:3-5 NIV

5)    BE HONEST WITH YOUR OFFENDER AND WHAT IT WILL TAKE TO REBUILD TRUST

“Therefore, bear fruits worthy of repentance,” Matthew 3:8 NKJV

“You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?” Matthew 7:16 NKJV

 

CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION THIS WEEK...  

  1. Reconciliation starts with forgiveness. What areas are easy for you to give forgiveness and why? What areas are hard for you to give forgiveness and why?
  2. Have you ever prayed for someone who mistreated you? What happened as a result of your prayers? 
  3. Share about a time when you weren’t proud of the motives your heart. How did things play out and what did you learn from that experience? 
  4. Read Matthew 7:3-5. How does taking responsibility for yourself first allow you to be an ambassador of reconciliation that sees clearly?
  5. Consider sharing with the group how they can be praying for you this week as you bring reconciliation and rebuilt trust to relationships in your life.

 

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