Foundational Studies

John 12:36 (6/3/17)

Discovering Your Identity Through Security • June 4, 2017 • Benham Brothers

* Five Core Human Needs: Security - Who can I trust, Identity - Who am I, Belonging - who wants me, Purpose - why am I alive, Competence - what am I good at? •Everything hinges on security and starts with a question of WHO, not WHAT. •You should find your security ultimately in God and then trustworthy people and yourself. •JOHN 12:36 - Security to Identity - trust in God leads to a change in who you are. •*KEY* Until you answer the question of security you’ll never discover your true identity. •Security - I can trust God - He’ll never fail me. •Identity - I am a child of God - He’s my Father. •Belonging - God wants me because I’m his kid. •Purpose - I want to bring Him glory - He gets the credit. •Competence - I can do whatever He wants me to do cuz He’ll do it through me. •Notice the end of the verse - Jesus then was hidden from them. •The only way you can make it through a tough time in your life is to find your security and identity in Him. •JOHN 14:1-6 - TRUST in God. This is security. •THREE Examples: •JOHN (John 13:21-25) Look at how John referred to himself. •He found his security, identity, and sense of belonging in Christ and it fueled his purpose (glorifying God) and competence (writing Scripture). •John didn’t identify himself by “what” he did, but by “who” he was because of “who” loved him. •On the island of Patmos he was all alone, but he never failed in his faith. •PETER (John 13:36-38) - Peter found security in himself - Christ had to break him of this. •*KEY* Before you can come to know who you are in Christ you need to know who you are apart from Him. •DAVID (Psalms 62:1-2, 5-8) - Four times David referred to God as his rock or refuge. •Consider who David was at this time - a wealthy king who was married. •Three things you should NOT find your ultimate security in: •POSITION - Finding security in your position causes you to always strive to be the best, and when you’re not you have a hard time handling it. •We’re called to “give” our best, and let God decide if we’ll “be” the best. •POSSESSIONS - Finding security in possessions leads you to see yourself as an owner and not a steward. •PEOPLE - If you find your security in people then three things take place: •1) You become a people-worshipper. •2) You then become a people-pleaser. •3) You ultimately become hardened toward people because people will fail you. •*KEY* Finding your security in God relieves the pressure off the people in your life. •For married people, your spouse was never meant to be the source to meet all your needs - only God can do that. •MATTHEW 18:2-3 - To place your security in God, you must become like a child. •Like my niece Macie - if her mom puts her down or leaves she freaks out. •Why? Because her entire being is wrapped up in her mom. She’s only secure when she’s around.

Luke 14 & 18 (5/6/18)

Surrender • May 6, 2018 • Benham Brothers

Luke 14:33-34 - Saltless •vs 34-35 - Back in Bible days they would use manure to fuel a fire. •If they put salt in manure it would burn hotter longer. •Once it lost its saltiness it would be thrown on the road, good for nothing. •We are called to be salt and light. •But the salt can lose its saltiness. How? •vs 33 - By not being willing to fully surrender everything for the Lord. •If we’re saltless we’re good for nothing. •If we’re not willing to abandon everything for the Lord we’re the same. Luke 18:19-27 - A NT pic of someone who refused to surrender. •vs 18 -19 - Only God was referred to as “good” - only one other time in history had a rabbi had this salutation. •The ruler wanted to know what he could “do” to get eternity. •Eternal Life is not about DOING - it's about BEING. •vs 20 - Jesus responded with the law to get him to see that he couldn’t “do” anything - He held up a mirror. •So He quoted the last five commandments that involve doing things against other people. •vs 21 - The ruler was dishonest with himself - he didn’t see himself as having broken the law and incapable of “doing” anything on his own. •vs 22 - So Jesus asked him to “do” something. •He left out the command to "not covet." •The law said “don’t covet,” so Jesus asked Him to do something that a covetous person wouldn’t do. •"One Thing" - surrender! Same thing Martha needed to do. •vs 23 - He couldn’t “do” it. •The rich in that day were seen as the people who could get anything they wanted. •vs 24-25 - Hence the question at the end - “if even the rich can’t get the kingdom, then who can?” •vs 26-27 - God's ways are opposite man's ways - the secret to getting is giving. •This ruler needed to be poor in spirit, but he was rich in spirit - he thought he did and could do something to have eternal life. •To get eternal life there’s only ONE THING you need to DO - surrender all! •vs 28-30 - THE REWARD: •Jesus says when we surrender everything to God we will receive more in the age to come but also right now in the present time. •How? •Notice what He said - it’s all about FAMILY! •When you give up everything for Jesus you are grafted into a new family! •You now have brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, who have houses and property. •You’re now family with these people. •How do you treat family? You share everything! •All this increase is in the context of your newly extended family. 1 Samuel 16:14-16, 23 - An OT pic of someone who refused to surrender. •Saul was ambitious - faith is living without scheming. •vs 14-15 - Because Saul refused to fully surrender he couldn’t experience God’s peace. •The evil spirit he experienced was “from God.” Why? •So Saul would come back to Him. He should've asked for a prophet. •vs 16-17 & 23 - But he asked for a musician (it was his friends' idea). •He wanted all that guilt and shame to go away. •He was more concerned about FEELING right than BEING right. •So he "DID" something to make it go away. •Without fully surrendering to God you can get TEMPORARY peace from the outside in (external things). •Fully surrendering to God grants you PERMANENT peace from the inside out. •Today churches are specializing in music - people feel really good temporarily but the permanent fix isn’t music - it’s surrender! •vs 18:10-11 - at some point, if you don’t surrender, the external things that bring temporary peace stop working.

Joshua 10:24-25 & 11:15-16 (4/8/18)

Walking In Authority • April 8, 2018 • Benham Brothers

These 5 kings had authority.... •Until they were defeated!!!! •Joshua had his men step on the necks of these kings to show their authority over those who stand against God. •Normally this would result in death for these men, but these kings had already been defeated. •We fight FROM victory, not FOR victory. •Satan knows he’s defeated, that’s why he tries to take people down. •Just like these kings tried to take the Israelites down. •God wants us to walk in authority like this, where we are powerful over our enemy, the devil. •We have the power of the Holy Spirit inside of us and the right to use that power. •Now all we have to do is use it! •How? ALIGNMENT! •EXAMPLE - garage door sensors. Joshua 11:15-16 - Chain of Command •The key to walking in authority is staying properly aligned with the authority structure God has placed in your life. •Notice Joshua’s chain of command: •God - Moses - Joshua - Israel’s leaders - the people. (even though Moses was dead Joshua still honored him) •So long as each person stayed properly aligned they were powerful. •EXAMPLE - Back in Joshua 7 Achan stepped outside his chain of command and it ended in destruction. •God has a chain of command for all of us. •EXAMPLE: Trae driving. •BOUNDARIES - in Joshua 13-15 we see detailed boundaries being outlined. Why? •Because boundaries bring proper alignment so we can walk in authority. •When we stay “in line” we have security, freedom, and POWER! Luke 7:1-10 - What Made Jesus Marvel •The word “also” is the key to the passage. •The centurion was a man under authority who exercised authority, and he attributed this to Jesus. •The centurion believed Jesus was God’s Son and had the power to heal. •So when Jesus chose to come the centurion recognized God had granted Jesus permission to come heal his son. •Because of this he knew Christ could simply give the order and it would be done. •And that’s exactly what He did - Jesus never even entered his house!

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (9/3/17)

Oneness & Intimacy • September 3, 2017 • Benham Brothers

•God has created us for oneness - three levels: •1) God, 2) Spouse, 3) Others (family, community, church) •It's easier to love God than people - He doesn't stink, say the wrong thing, etc. •Without God - 1+1=2. With God - 1+1+1=1. The Holy Spirit is the bonding agent. •John 17:20-24 - “Father make them one as we are one.” They are Three. •Cookie dough - individual ingredients mixed together make a new substance. •The Holy Spirit is the eggs (bonding), the world is the mixing bowl (battle). •Battle - God puts us in the context of battle so we’ll gel together - Gladiator: “As One!” •Oneness means intimacy - “in-to-me-see” - fully known and fully accepted. •** ACCEPTANCE is the key to oneness. LOVE is the key to acceptance.** •ECC 4:9-10 - Dixie Stampede - when you’re one, you exert less effort but get more result. •** THREE things you need to experience oneness (intimacy): •1) CLOSENESS (Ecc 4:11) - God made us to be close - body heat (Cold Bed!) •The result of Closeness is Comfort. But it often takes time. Two aspects: •a)Two cold people (both hurting). •b) One cold & one warm (one hurting and the other healthy) - the healthy needs to be patient. •Temporary pain always leads to permanent gain. •How do we stay close? Two aspects: •ECC 4:12a - know you need each other (you’re in a battle) - the devil seeks to distract, deceive, divide. •ECC 4:12b - invite a third person into the mix - God! •*** Picture of Intimacy - Song of Solomon - a picture of marriage: •SoS 1:2-4 - Kissing can’t happen unless you are willing to get close! (the girl chased him!!!) •SoS 1:6 - Intimacy reveals our insecurities - vulnerability often makes people want to HIDE! •Acceptance is the answer. Two facets to acceptance: •a) Be accepting - Revelation 3:20 is our example. •b) Be acceptable - if can change it, do it. But if not, accept yourself as God created you. *** Don't accept the things you can change, and accept the things you can't. •note - she was insecure about the thing her husband loved (vs 8-10 & 15 prove it). •2) CONCENTRATION (Sos 4:1-16) - proactively think positive thoughts about others. •When dating we think of what’s Right w/our spouse, but in marriage we think of what’s Wrong. •This is why we have to take thoughts captive. •Positive thinking about a person bonds you to that person. (where your treasure is....) •In marriage, Concentration leads to Captivation - SoS shows us a captivated man. *** When you are captivated, the things you used to criticize become cute. •3) COMPLETENESS (1 Cor 13:4-7) - before oneness you need twoness. •Two complete individuals - spiritually mature - LOVE is the mark of maturity. •The characteristics of love in 1 Cor show up in the fruit of the Spirit Paul lists in Galatians 5:22-23. •KEY - Love releases the power of the Spirit in our relationships - love for God and for others. •Conflict - it is easy to love someone when nothing is wrong. •Two things always manifest when conflict takes place: •1) the issue itself •2) the ability of the person to handle the issue. ** If #1 is good #2 will take care of itself. ** Two types of people: •** those who welcome feedback and are willing to own their problem. •** those who don’t welcome feedback and will not own their problem. •Conflict is resolved and Closeness maintained when: •a) ACCEPT - both parties willingly accept their part •b) LOVE - both parties operate in LOVE.

John 14 (6/3/18)

Greater Works • June 3, 2018 • Benham Brothers

* Jesus had just told them He would be betrayed and that He was going away. * They had lots of questions - Thomas, Philip, & Judas. * vs 1 - Don’t be troubled - put your trust in God! SECURITY. * Philip doubted Jesus, so Jesus told him to believe him because of the works He did. * vs 12 - our belief (commitment) in Him will allow us to do the same works. * Greater works - Lebron James example & Pentecost. * Doing these greater works will require two things: * 1) PRAYER - communion with God. * vs 13 - KEY: we’ll do greater works in proportion to our desire to do them for Him. * vs 14 - using Christ’s name is a privilege and responsibility. * We get what we ask for when it lines up with His will. * 2) POWER - through the Holy Spirit, but only as we OBEY. * vs 15 - prayer without obedience is powerless. * vs 16 - If we obey we get the Holy Spirit, who gives us the power to do greater works. * vs 17 - “He dwells with you and will be ‘in’ you.” * vs 18—20 - divine insulation! * vs 21 - If you obey His commandments He will manifest Himself to them, even though He’s gone. * vs 22-23 - Judas asks why Jesus isn’t telling the world this stuff. * Christ responds that His plan is to do it THROUGH US! * The Holy Spirit is in us to manifest Christ to the world around us. * Jesus Christ is IN YOU….and He wants out!

Mark 1:35-38 (2/25/18)

Living a Life of "YES!" • February 25, 2018 • Benham Brothers

LIVING A LIFE OF "YES!" (Mark 1:35-38) •If we want to accomplish God’s call on our lives we need the margin to do it. •Margin is the space between our current pace and our limits. •Limits are defined by God, pace is defined by you. •Margin gives us the opportunity for disruption (happened to Jesus all the time). •The closer you get to your limits the more you lose focus on what you’re doing. •Thin margin is created by an inability to say “no.” •PROBLEM - Saying YES when we should have said NO leads to Exhaustion (burnout & boredom). •Why? Because we’re operating out of GUILT. •When you operate out of guilt you have no grace to do the thing you said “yes” to. •SOLUTION - Saying YES when we should say YES leads to Energy. •Why? Because you’re operating out of GRATITUDE. •When you operate out of gratitude you have the grace to do the thing you said “yes” to. •Why don’t we say “no?” •1) We want to help them - this is a matter of TRUST. •We don’t truly trust God to provide another way. •God created the church to handle those who are not a part of our “yes.” •Your “no” to them is God’s “yes” to open up another opportunity for them. •DANGER - If you say “yes” when you should have said “no,” that person will keep coming back. •You become miniature providences to them, which leads us and them into idolatry. •Don’t stand in the way of someone else’s “yes.” •2) We don’t want to hurt them - this is a matter of FEAR. •We don’t want them to think negatively of us. •We want their acceptance and approval. •Jesus shows us a better way. •He lived a life of “yes” to His Heavenly Father. How can we do that: •1) Prioritize what’s urgent over what’s vital. •Urgent things are about accomplishing tasks - checklist-type stuff. •Vital things are about sustaining life - being healthy, having a good marriage, mature kids, etc. •Relationships are never urgent - they are vital. •2) Know your circles - Christ’s was God, John, the 3, the 12, the 70, the Jews in His area….. •My circles - God, Tori, kids, family, friends / co-workers, etc. •3) Start Early (vs 35A) - proactivity makes you productive / procrastination makes you poor. This isn't just about waking up early. •A reactive person will always live someone else’s “yes.” •Starting early gives us margin to be disrupted by those in our circles. •** A dad who spends an hour reading the Bible after work while the kids have to wait for him is not good. •4) Get alone (vs 35b)- this helps you focus with no outside distraction. •Learn to enjoy time alone. “Come apart with God or you’ll come apart.” •5) Pray (vs 35) - two-way communication - be in the habit of actively listening. •6) Don’t be easily found (vs 36) - the disciples had to “search” for Him. •When you’re doing something vital, don’t be easily disturbed. •7) Be lead by the call of God, not the needs of people (vs 37-38) - this is the key! •The power of vision - lid on the jigsaw puzzle. •ex: Nehemiah - “I am carrying on a great work and I cannot come down.” •BALANCING TRUTH: •8) Accept your assignment (Mark 6:31-34) - When you have margin you can be impositioned because you're operating out of gratitude. •ex: plane ride to Arizona - I needed a nap but got none. I felt more energetic than ever.