Sunday, March 23, 2014

I'm Contagious: His Story

March 23, 2014

I’m Contagious
His Story
Matt. 26:38-42

(Advance Slide #1)

Three weeks ago we began a series of lessons about becoming more contagious with our faith.

(Advance Slide #2)

  • The church needs more contagious people.
    • Well, how do we do this? How can we become contagious?
    • This is the purpose of these lessons…it take work on our part.

(Advance Slide #3)

So far:
  • Wk #1 - Our Beautiful Feet
  • Wk #2 - Creating a Thirst
  • Wk #3 - Telling Our Story

(Advance Slide #4)

What is your reaction when you see when you see the cross?
  • The cross is the central part of “His Story.”
  • Sadly, some have become uncomfortable with the cross.
    • They have tried to:
      • Remove crosses from buildings and such.
      • Remove the focus of worship from the cross
      • Jesus didn’t mean to be crucified

We cannot ignore that that the cross is central part of Jesus’ story.
  • Look at the gospels...they all include the crucifixion.
  • They warn of the cross and even build up to it.
    • Matt. 16:21
    • Matt. 17:22-23
    • Matt. 20:17-19
    • Matt. 26:1-2

*He was going to die on the cross

(Advance Slide #5)

GOAL - How we can be contagious about His story
  • To consider how His story is the story that other need to here.
  • (Advance Slide #6)

    38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” Matt. 26:38-42

    The events here take place the night before Jesus was to be crucified.
    • From the content of His prayer, it doesn’t sound like Jesus wanted to go through with the cross.
    • If He didn’t want to then why did He?
      • To understand this question we need to examine some basic concepts of the Bible.

    Why would Jesus die?

    (Advance Slide #7)

    God loves you - think about that!
    • Out of His love He created you in His image.

    (Advance Slide #8)

    • Because of His love we are the “crown” of His fact that is the focus of John 3:16

    It is hard to love some people:
    • Those that we work with
    • Those that we live near
    • Those that we are related to
      • But God loved them all...even the UNLOVABLE

    Think about who it was that Jesus spent time with.
    • Sinners, tax collectors, prostitutes, sick, social outcasts.
    • Why would He do this?
      • The only answer that works is that He loved them.

    (Advance Slide #9)

    Something separated us - even though we are loved by Him
    • Our lives are contaminated, tainted, and stained by sin.
      • By the things that we have said, done and thought!
    • Consider this in contrast:

(Advance Slide #10)

  • 5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 1 John 1:5-6
    • His brightness exposes our sin.
    • When we are in the presence of God, because of our sin, we become embarrassed, self-conscious, uncomfortable.
    • When the prophet Isaiah was in the presence of God he said, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

**How then can we change this? How can we remove our sins?

(Advance Slide #11)

The fact of the matter is that we cannot.
  • But he blessing is this...God has already done it!
    • God did all the work that we could not do for ourselves.
  • The scares of our past sins will remain, unless God removes them.

(Advance Slide #12)

  • 3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and lovingkindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,” Titus 3:3-5

What did He do that we couldn’t?
  • He brought salvation!
  • He paid the price for our sins!

(Advance Slide #13)

EX. When the Lord separated the Red Sea.
  • It was one thing for Israel to say, “Look God has provided a way.”
  • To know that God provided a way.
  • But for salvation to take place...Israel had to cross.

Can you be contagious about this story...HIS STORY?
  • Contagious people are seeking people.
  • When people seek, they begin to ask questions.
  • (Advance Slide #14)

    • A question that I am asked is this, “How do I become a Christian?”
      • I reply with these questions:
    1. Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God?
    2. Do you believe that you are a sinner?
    3. Are you willing to turn from your past?
    4. Are you willing to confess Him as your Savior?
    5. Are you willing to be baptized?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

I'm Contagious: Telling Your Story

March 16, 2014

I’m Contagious
Telling Your Story
1 John 1:1-9

(Advance Slide #1)

Two weeks ago we began a series of lessons about becoming more contagious with our faith.
  • The church needs more contagious people.

(Advanc Slid #2)

    • Well, how do we do this? How can we become contagious?
    • This is the purpose of these lessons…it take work on our part.
  • The first week’s lesson was titled out beautiful feet.

(Advance Slide #3)

    • “How beautiful are the feet of those that preach the good news”
      • We must not only have the right “talk” we also need to have the right “walk” as well.
      • Feet determine our direction.
      • As we “walk” do people see Jesus?
  • Last week’s lesson was titled, “Creating Thirst”

(Advance Slide #4)

  • We studied John chapter 4 and Jesus’ interaction with the Samaritan woman.
  • We saw that Jesus didn’t do anything that we cannot do.
    • He TALKED to her.
    • He talked to her ABOUT SPIRITUAL THINGS.
    • He was willing to LET HER GO!

GOAL - Consider how we can be contagious, by telling our story!
  • As we are creating a thirst in do you tell your story?

(Advance Slide #5)

  • This is one way for us to be contagious.

(Advance Slide #6)

1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.   
1 John 1:1-4

(Advance Slide #7)

John believed strongly in Jesus.
  • The Jesus that he saw, that he heard, and that he had touched.
    • This is what he is proclaiming…
    • “...we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us” - vs. 3
  • John was talking about Jesus.
    • This is what we are suppose to do, this is how we can be contagious!

We think …
  • It would be a lot easier to convince people if…
    • We could have seen, heard or touched Jesus!

  • What does the gospels say?
    • People saw the miraculous power of Jesus and yet they rejected Him.
    • Even being an eyewitness didn’t make it easier to convince people.

(Advance Slide #8)

What do people want?
  • Just like the people of John’s day, people want to know…
    • What you’ve SEEN
    • What you’ve HEARD
    • What you’ve TOUCHED

There are two ways in which that we can help to be contagious Christians.

(Advance Slide #9)

They can hear your story
To tell your story there are some questions that you need to consider.
  • Why did you become a Christian?
  • Why are you a Christian?
  • Why did, or does Jesus make a difference in your life?

**Take a moment and think about those questions

Why are such questions important to consider?
  • Some people have never given this much thought
    • Some have never considered why they dedicated their life to Christ.
    • Some have never given thought to their hope as 1 Peter 3:15 states:
      • “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,”
  • Why did you become a Christian?
    • If you can do this you tell your story.
    • With that story you can be contagious!
    • With that story you can create thirst in people!

(Advance Slide #10)

They can see Jesus in your life

(Advance Slide #11)

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.  Matthew 5:14-16
  • Does Jesus shine through in your life?

How would you know if Jesus was shining through in your life?

(Advance Slide #12)

  • 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Gal. 5:22-23
  • If these “fruits” are seen in your life  there is a great chance that people are seeing Jesus in your life.

How does this work?
  • Consider the “fruit” JOY
    • Do people see you filled with joy?

  • Do people see that you are at peace because of the joy that is in your life?

**Joy is not a product of this life (think about it), it is a choice that we have to make!

This is the way the way it is when we belong to Jesus.
  • When we belong to Jesus we shine bright and bring cheer and joy...we are contagious!
    • “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7
      • Having Jesus in our life brightens things up!

(Advance Slide #13)

I want to close with these thoughts.
  • John wrote, “that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” - vs. 3

My point is this:
  • When we talk to people about our faith it is easier to invite them to church then to talk about their introduce them to Jesus.
  • We often forget that this is our main goal.
    • That is to bring them to “our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.”
      • It is not about getting people in the building and filling the seats.
      • It is about being contagious!

Don’t be deceived into thinking that church can be a substitute for a relationship with God.
  • We should invite people to Christ.
    • We should be contagious by telling our story
    • We should be contagious by our life.