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Marc Black - April 5, 2020

God is for me

We all face difficult situations. Some that we create for ourselves and others that are created outside of our control. The reality is that I matter to God. And that means that even in my worst moments, God is for me!

From Series: "Home Alone 2020"

Welcome to online church! Due to the social distancing requirements of the 2020 coronavirus quarantine, we are having digital church. Enjoy!

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Message: Be

A favorite idea for us to get into our DNA as a church: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (MSG) Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.

Who are you going to BE?

ALWAYS be joyful. ALWAYS be prayerful. ALWAYS be thankful. It is God’s will that I BE THAT WAY, and He will help me do it!

Be Spirit Led. Be Holy. Be Friendly.

Why BE?

  • BE impacts my attitude, words, and actions which enhance or detract my witness.
  • People SEE who I BE and that brings credibility or doubt to what I SAY.
  • How I think impacts how I act. How I act influences how I live. How I live shows who I am. God wants me to be full of life even amid a mess.

Message: Do Good

What comes out of you when you are being pressed? How do you respond to people being against what you believe and how you behave? What comes out of you when you are hurt, rejected, angry, hungry, disappointed, or tired?

What do people SEE and HEAR when they are OBSERVING you?

  • In this letter, Paul (the writer) shares some important guidance on how to treat each other when under pressure: always try to do good to each other.
  • He is addressing some potential problem areas and he is also reminding them to always do good to people!

When under pressure (persecution, stress, exhaustion), I am not always careful about what comes out of me…

Saturate all that you do in LOVE!1 Thessalonians 4:9But we don’t need to write to you about the importance of loving each other, for God himself has taught you to love one another. 10 Indeed, you already show your love for all the believers throughout Macedonia. Even so, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you to love them even more.

How I THINK and ACT toward people either makes me BITTER or BETTER. Forgive quickly. Believe the best. Move forward. How I THINK about someone greatly effects how I BEHAVE toward them.

How I treat people is a very big deal. I want the best coming out of me and I want to be the most effective in reaching people for Jesus!

Message: The Return

I grew up living in FEAR of missing out on an eternity with God.

  • My lack of understanding of God’s grace led me to believe I was always at risk of rejection by God. I treated with dread the moment that I should look forward to with excitement: the return of Jesus!
  • WHEN Jesus returns, He will take us to be with Him FOREVER: 1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.

Jesus PROMISED he would return!

Matthew 25:13 “So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.

Luke 9:26 If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels. 27 I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Kingdom of God.”

Acts 1:9 After saying this, he [Jesus] was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. 10 As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”

The death and resurrection of Jesus is significant: Jesus DIED so that I can LIVE!

Jesus’ FIRST coming was in humility and obscurity. His SECOND coming will be one of honor and majesty!

We will be forever with Jesus.

  • Jesus is coming back for ALL believers in Him—both “asleep” and “awake”. AND we will be with Jesus FOREVER following His return for us. TOGETHER FOREVER!
  • It is going to be awesome when we are with him face-to-face, always!
  • No more waiting…
  • No more long-distance relationship…
  • No more struggling with sin…
  • No more pain and brokenness…
  • Rejoice. Celebrate. Our Jesus is COMING BACK for us!

Message: Love One Another

It is EASY to love when you: Like each other; share common interests; get along well (complementary personalities); agree on similar things. [It is why “new” relationships and friendships was so much fun]

  • People are drawn to love. They want to be in a loving environment.
  • We like to HEAR and FEEL “I love you!”

It is HARD to love when you: Have been hurt or offended; disagree or in conflict; look, act, or think differently (conflicting personalities); broken trust. [It is why long-term relationships TAKE WORK]

  • People avoid a place where they SENSE a lack of love.
  • One of the most painful things you can hear from someone is “I don’t love you anymore!”

It is important to love one another well because how I treat people defines my credibility and directly impacts my influence which determines if anyone takes seriously my talk about Jesus!

Message: The Holy Spirit Enables Me

The Holy Spirit is for me!

  • The Holy Spirit is always at work to accomplish the will of God!
  • The Holy Spirit is WITH me and IN me to help me. I don’t have to be self-reliant.
  • In fact, the Holy Spirit keeps me from being self-reliant by using (requiring) everyone to work together
  • The Holy Spirit wants to be integrated into my WHOLE life

God ENABLES me so that I am EFFECTIVE in reaching and helping others

  • EMPOWER conversations to help me effectively share Jesus
  • DEVELOP character (fruit) of Christ in me
  • ENABLE me to effectively minister to people (enablement/gift)

Message: The Holy Spirit Engages Me in Mission

The Holy Spirit is passionately motivated by the mission of making Jesus known. God does not want anyone to miss out on living in right relationship with him. He does not want anyone to die in their ignorance, disobedience, and sin but to have REAL LIFE found only in a relationship with Jesus.

The Holy Spirit HELPS me to be EFFECTIVE in making Jesus known. The Spirit is always working to see that Jesus gets the attention. God’s Spirit takes up residence inside of us and empowers us. Talk about the ultimate partnership!

You matter to God!

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