Saturday, April 27, 2019

Rethinking Your Life



“As God’s Spirit works within us, we are being transformed to become more like Christ. This change, from one degree of glory to another, comes from the Lord.”2 Corinthians 3:18 


EPHESIANS 4:11-32 – 6 Elements God Uses


WHY ARE PERSONAL DEFECTS SO HARD TO CHANGE?

• Because  

I've had them so long. 

• Because  

I identify with my defects. 

• Because  

every defect has a payoff.  Whatever is being repeated is being rewarded.  

• Because  

Satan, the accuser, fights it.  



WHAT DOES IT TAKE FOR REAL CHANGE TO HAPPEN?

1. REAL CHANGE  

begins with new thinking.  


“There must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes.” Ephesians 4:23 (NLT) 


“Don’t keep living as the ungodly do, for they are hopelessly confused in their thinking. Their closed minds are full of darkness; they’re far away from the LIFE God gives because they have shut their minds and hardened their hearts against him. They don’t care anymore about right and wrong, and they’ve indulged themselves in all kinds of immorality, evil thinking, and the constant desire for more.”


Ephesians 4:17-19 


“Do not conform to the values and opinions of this world. Instead let God transform you by teaching you the right and true way to think.” Romans 12:2 


Let the Spirit change your way of thinking.” Ephesians 4:23 (CEV)  

2. REAL CHANGE REQUIRES  

learning the truth.   Tell us that we are off the path. How we got off the path.  How we get back on the path.  How we stay on the path.  


Jesus: “Use the truth to make them complete. Your Word is truth.” John 17:17  


“Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or made a lie sound like the TRUTH. Instead, we will HOLD TO THE TRUTH in love, becoming more and more like Christ, who is the head of his Body, the church.”Ephesians 4:14-15 (NLT)  


“Since you have heard all about Him, you have LEARNED THE TRUTH THAT IS IN JESUS . . .” Ephesians 4:21 

3. REAL CHANGE REQUIRES  

cleaning house (repentance). 


“So get rid of your old self, which made you live as you used to — the old self that was being destroyed by its deceitful desires.” Ephesians 4:22 (TEV)  


“We must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially any sin that distracts us, so we can run the race that lies ahead of us!” Hebrews 12:1 (GW) 

4. REAL CHANGE REQUIRES  


Honest community (accountability).  The biggest obstacle to being good is the desire to look good.  


“No more pretense! Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s Body we’re all connected to each other. So if you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.”Ephesians 4:25 (The Message) 


“Be kind and loving to each other, forgiving each other just as God forgave you in Christ.” Ephesians 4:32  


“Never use harmful words but speak only what’s helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29  


SMALL GROUP GROUND RULES


  1. What is said in the group stays in the group!

  2. Don’t minimize other’s pain

  3. Don’t try to “fix” people. Just listen!

  4. Focus on my own changes

5. FASTER CHANGE REQUIRES  

coaching (one on one).  


“Christ gifted some of us to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, so that his people would learn to serve and his Body would grow strong. This will continue until we’re united by our faith and understanding of the Son of God. Then we will be mature, just as Christ is, and we will be completely like him.”Ephesians 4:11-13 (CEV)  

6. REAL CHANGE REQUIRES  

requires faith.  You have to believe that you can change.  


“Now, by his mighty power at work within us, God is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of – infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.”Ephesians 3:20 (LB)  


“I can do all things through Christ who empowers me. I am ready for anything through Him who infuses inner strength into me!” Philippians 4:13 (Amp) 


Jesus: “According to your faith will it be done to you.” Matthew 9:29   

Saturday, April 13, 2019

FIRST STEPS IN RECOVERING FROM TRAUMA

Be patient! Each of these steps TAKES TIME!!

1.  
Accept help and support from others. 

“God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. Then when others are troubled, we’re able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”2 Corinthians 1:4 (NLT) 

“By helping carry each other’s troubles and burdens you are obeying the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 


2.  
Listen to what God says is true about you.  

Paul: “We were crushed and completely overwhelmed, and WE THOUGHT we’d never live through it. WE EXPECTED to die! BUT as a result, we learned to NOT trust in ourselves, but on God . . .”2 Corinthians 1:8-9 (NLT)  

Jesus: “The truth will set you free.” John 8:32 

• The trauma is NOT  
my fault.

• The trauma is NOT  
my identity. 

• The trauma is NOT  
my future.  


3.  
Waste no energy on revenge.  Learn to forgive. 

“God says, ‘Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. I’ll do the judging and I’ll take care of it.” Romans 12:19 (The Message)  

“Good leaders do not tolerate evil, because justice is what makes a government strong.” Proverbs 16:12 (Mes/TEV) 

“Get up and pray for help all through the night. Pour out your feelings to the Lord, as you would pour water out of a jug.” Lamentations 2:19 (CEV) 


4.  
Trust God for a hope filled future.  

“The plans I have for you are plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 

“Give your whole heart to God and hold out your hands for him to help . . . Then you will lift up your face without shame, and you will stand firm without fear. Then all your troubles will fade from your memory, like water under a bridge. Your life will be brighter than sunshine at noon, and life’s darkest hours will shine like the dawn. You will live secure and full of hope. God will protect you and give you rest. You won’t be afraid of your enemies. In fact many people will ask you for help!”Job 11:13-19 (NCV, NIV, TEV)  

“I, the Lord God, will make up for all the years the locust ate and destroyed.” Joel 2:25 




RECOVERING FROM TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCES

1.   




Evil is the result of a free will.   
“Sin came into the world because of what one man did (Adam), and with sin came death.” Romans 5:12 (NCV) 




2.  
Everything on earth is broken by evil and sin. 

“There will be more and more evil in the world, so most people will stop showing their love for each other.” Matthew 24:12 (NCV) 


3.  
God grieves when He see us hurting.  

“In all their suffering, he (God) suffered too.” Isaiah 63:9 

“You, Lord, keep a record of all my sorrows. You’ve collected all my tears in your bottle and list each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8 (NLT) 


4.  
God will judge everyone justly one day.  

“Nothing can be hidden from God; everything in all creation is exposed to his eyes. And each of us will give an account of our lives to him.” Hebrews 4:13 (TEV) 


5.  
God can bring good out of bad if we trust Him. 

“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Don't Waste Your Pain


“So what do people get for all of their hard work and struggles here on earth? Their entire life is filled with pain, and their work is unbearable. Even at night their minds don’t rest. It all seems so pointless!”Ecclesiastes 2:22-23 (GW) 

“We know that IN all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV) 

“Have you gone through all of this for nothing? Is it all really for nothing?” Galatians 3:4 (CEV) 



5 WAYS TO USE YOUR PAIN FOR GOOD IN YOUR LIFE

1. USE PAIN  

to draw closer to God and to trust Him (worship). 

“We were crushed and overwhelmed . . . and saw how powerless we were to help ourselves; but that was good, for then we put everything into the hands of God, who alone could save us . . . and he did help us!”2 Corinthians 1:8-10 (LB) 

“I am glad . . . not because it (your troubles) hurt you but because the pain turned you to God.” 2 Corinthians 7:9 (LB) 


2. USE PAIN  

to draw closer to others (fellowship).

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


3. USE PAIN  

to grow deeper like Jesus (discipleship). 
(Discipleship)

“Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways.” Proverbs 20:30 (TEV) 

“So even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.” Hebrews 5:8 (NLT) 

“Suffering made Jesus perfect, and now he can save forever all who obey him.” Hebrews 5:9 (CEV) 

“Now, isn’t it wonderful all the ways in which this distress has goaded you closer to God? You’re more alive, more concerned, more sensitive, more reverent, more human, more passionate, more responsible. Looked at from any angle, you’ve come out of this with purity of heart.”2 Corinthians 7:11 (The Message) 

Paul’s Testimony of Pain: 2 Cor.11:23-28 and 2 Cor.4:8-10

“FOR THIS REASON we never become discouraged. Even though our physical being is gradually decaying, yet our spiritual being is renewed day after day. And these temporary troubles we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble. For we fix our attention, not on things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever.”2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (TEV) 


4. USE PAIN  

to be more sensitive while serving others.  

“God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. Then, when others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. You can be sure that the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. So when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your benefit and salvation! For when God comforts us, it is so that we, in turn, can be an encouragement to you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer.”2 Corinthians 1:4-6 (NLT)  


5 USE PAIN  

to witness to the world.  

(Paul in Prison) “I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News.”Philippians 1:12 (NLT) 

“In everything we do we try to show that we are true servants of God. We patiently endure suffering and hardship and trouble of every kind.” 2 Corinthians 6:4 (LB) 



Homework: Don’t waste your pain!

1. Get alone & write down the 4 most painful moments in your life.

2. Write down names of people going through these pains now.

3. Invite these people to come with you to hear next Sunday’s message:

LEARNING TO SEE

“For from the very beginning God decided that those who came to him – and all along he knew who would – should become like his Son . . .”  ...