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Posts Tagged ‘God’s promises’

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I think I got five hours of sleep last night. I quickly got up, grabbed my $3 special and headed to community groups. John Piper met with us leaders to encourage us in our respective ministries. He spoke from Matthew 6:25-34 on this topic of anxiety. He encouraged us not to be anxious about tomorrow or this upcoming year 2013.

Dr. Piper first talked about scripture and three ways of how to approach it – Memorize it, Analyze it and Believe it. The original authors did not intend for the books to be split into chapters. He encouraged us to read scripture with the whole book in mind. If we don’t do this, will have a tendency to become moralists (one concerned with regulating the morals of others). He then talked about faith.

Eight key points from Matthew 6:25-34 (ESV):

1. Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? (v.25) Do not get caught up with physical things or outward appearance

2. Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (v.26) We are more valuable to God than the birds

3. And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? (v.27)We add more stress and trouble when we are anxious

4. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? (v.30)God provides

5. Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ (v.31) – Don’t act like the Gentiles (unbelievers)

6. For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. (v.32)We can trust God – He is all-knowing

7. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (v.33)We have the promises of God for our needs – He meets them

8. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (v.34) –  Each day has enough trouble of its own. God gives us what we need to deal with the trouble for the day. We can’t run tomorrow’s trouble today. (Lamentations 3:22)

Pray and let your requests be known to God!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

One thing I took away from this morning was the importance of memorizing scripture. Just seeing Dr. Piper quote long passages of scripture showed me the importance of letting the words of God sink in. I pray that I will spend more quality time in the Word this coming year and truly allow scripture to penetrate me.

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What an amazing night session! I can’t believe all that I’ve experienced so far. Next up was time with our community groups to download and process the day. I know God was speaking to me in many ways and I needed to talk and journal about it.

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Community Groups

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“Isn’t it interesting [that] secular science is addressing the question, ‘Does man have a soul? Is there such a thing as immaterial reality?’ And it’s couched in the category of ‘is there life after death?

I mean look, you guys know I ride a motorcycle don’t you? So, at any moment, especially with the idiot people who cross the diamond lane into my lane, alright, without any blinkers, not that I’m angry about it, but at any minute I could be spread out all over the 210 (Freeway), but that’s not me, that’s my body parts. That key distinction undergirds the entire Judeo-Christian worldview and also your pursuit of reality.”

Francis Chan shared this audio clip tonight from radio KKLA host Frank Pastore. He had been a guest on his show. Three hours after saying this over the air, Frank would be involved in a motorcycle accident that would lead to his death. Our first question in community groups tonight is what we thought of this audio clip. For me, it was a reminder that death is real and that we could go at anytime. We need to live our lives knowing that we can go at anytime.

The next two questions focused on ‘trust’ and how our lack of trust in people can spill into our relationship with God and why should we trust in God’s promises. I’ve always tried to live my life as an open book because it’s my testimony. But at the same time, my trust in people has diminished over the years. Lately I have developed deeper relationships with some of my friends despite my guarded heart. I need to continue to maintain my trust in God as these friendships continue to grow. This is evident in scripture as God has always been faithful and trusting to us despite our shortcomings.

What did I take away from this day? I really appreciated hearing Greg Haugen. I also love that Passion doesn’t just shove stats down our throats and then to do something about slavery. We have heard these past two days of how faithful and trusting God is and that we can’t effectively do justice without grounding ourselves in who He is first. Learning about who God is allows us to to learn who we are and what we are created to do.

After our discussion, Gregg Matte had several people stand up if they had received Christ today. All of us leaders cheered and celebrated with our new brothers and sisters of the Kingdom.

Our focus verse for the evening:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”

Lamentations 3:22-24

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Francis Chan

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Before Francis Chan came on, they showed us a powerful video of a girl from the Philippines who was sex trafficked at a very young age and then rescued by Love 146. It was very graphic but very real. But despite the what she went through, it was a message of hope. It was the hope of our redeeming Savior and how He came to rescue us. That girl is doing very well now. And you know what the cool thing was, she was here at Passion with us! It was so awesome to see her smiling face among all of us. What an amazing God story!

Here are my notes from Francis Chan’s talk:

God rescued us and puts that same Spirit and desire in us to rescue others

If you want to experience God, go make disciples. Francis and his team are now in San Francisco going door to door telling people about Jesus. We need to let go of our fears and go on the mission He has us on. He gives us the power we need to do so.

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations

Deuteronomy 7:9

God’s promises can be trusted. We can trust the Word of God. What we have a tendency to do is let our lack of trust for people spill into our relationship with God. We like to prepare ourselves for the worse and keep our hearts guarded. We see in 2 Timothy 2:11-13 that Timothy is experiencing fear because his mentor (Paul) is about to die. But Paul writes to him and tells him not to be fearful. Paul isn’t afraid of death because he knows of the joy of living with Christ. Even when we are fearful, God will remain faithful. He can’t deny who He is.

We will always have pressure to the end (Rev 2:10). But if we endure, we will reign with Him (Hebrews 3:14). God fights for us so we don’t have to endure this life on our own (Jeremiah 32:40). But at the same time, if we deny Him, He will deny us (Matthew 10:32-33). We like to trust in the promises of God’s blessings, but not in His promises of His wrath and consequences because of our disobedience (Deuteronomy 7:10). An example of this is Pharoah of Egypt in which God promises His wrath of plagues if he didn’t let His people go.

In Hosea, we see how God asks him to marry a whore as a demonstration to Israel how unfaithful they have been to Him. Hosea ends up buying his wife back even though she leaves him. God wants us back despite our unfaithfulness to Him. He wants to cleanse us from our unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Be like a child and get excited – we can trust His promises! (Revelations 21:1-5)

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PhoenixONE had an amazing kick-off night that I won’t forget. It started off when I walked in I saw this amazing sunset outside Phoenix Historic Presbyterian First right before the event started. I felt God telling me to prepare my heart because tonight was going to be a big night. Downtown Devil captured the event in this article.

The guest speaker wasn’t announce for tonight’s kickoff beforehand. After worship was provided by Brian Wurzell and Ryan Axtell, Francis Chan of Cornerstone Simi Valley came out to our surprise as the guest speaker for the evening. Francis Chan is known for writing popular Christian book Crazy Love. I first heard him speak at a Passion conference back in 2007. Ironically I went with my friend Shauna who was also happened to be with me at Passion ’07. This was an awesome way to kickoff a new season of PhoenxONE. The audio of Francis’ talk can be heard here.

Here are my notes from tonight’s talk:

Take Courage

  • We are sons and daughters of God and we represent Him.
  • The world will believe when they see a fearless church.
  • Live in a manner worthy of the gospel.

“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

– 2 Timothy 1:7

  • The enemy gives us a spirit of fear.
  • God puts the Holy Spirit in us. God Almighty is with us.
  • We honor God’s word when we believe in it.
  • Do you believe he gives you not a spirit of fear, but of power?
  • Something in us changes when the Spirit enters us.
  • God gives us a spirit of power, love and self-control.
  • Some Christians will say they don’t sense Jesus with them.
  • Are you out sharing your faith with others?
  • In Matthew 28, Jesus says He will be with us when we go out and make disciples.

 “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.”

– Acts 1:8

  • We all long for the spirit of love. We need to practice it in our local church.
  • Imagine if the world saw that life of unity in our churches.
  • With the spirit of self-control, we have the power over sin. We can overcome it!
  • God promises He will never let you be tempted beyond what you can handle.
  • When we gather, we are supposed to enCOURAGE one another.
  • Even Paul asked for prayer.

“And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.”

– Acts 4:29-31

THE PHOTOS BELOW ARE BY SUREFIRE PHOTOGRAPHY

(Photos from Facebook event)

Shauna

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