Title: Ghost Town Matthew 23:37-39 ““Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Murderer of prophets! Killer of the ones who brought you God’s news! How often I’ve ached to embrace your children, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you wouldn’t let me. And now you’re so desolate, nothing but a ghost town. MSG Ghost Town- A deserted town with few or no remaining inhabitants. A permanently abandoned place by its inhabitants, as because of a business decline or because a near mine has been worked out. Point 1: Do away with PERSONAL PREFERENCES -“Murderer of prophets! Killer of the ones who brought you God’s news.” “It’s not about you. The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by his purpose and for his purpose.” “You won’t discover your life’s meaning by looking within you. You were made for God, not vice versa.” Rick Warren Point 2- EMBRACE the person BEHIND the sin Embrace the person behind the sin and the sinner will soon be saved! Matthew 25:35-36 “For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you took care of Me; I was in prison and you visited Me.’” V.40 “assuredly I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” Jude 1:23- “Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.” Romans 5:8- “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Embrace the person with compassion not hatred -Embrace the person with empathy not with apathy -Embrace the person like Jesus embraced you and still is embracing you Point 3- CHANGE our AGENDAS Luke 7:30 “But the Pharisees and experts in religious law rejected God’s “agenda” for them, for they had refused John’s baptism.” Luke 7:30 NLT Philippians 2:5-11 “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” -We have to be Christ-centered and not self-centered. Others focused and not inwardly focused. Nehemiah 9:16-17 “They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them,” Nehemiah 9:17 NIV
January 28, 2018 • Jason Smith
January 21, 2018 • Jason Smith
Title: Breaking Protocol Religion turns away sinners-Jesus befriends then Religion says look like us-Jesus says come as you are Religion says it’s a long way to God-Jesus says I’ve come to you. Religion says meet our criteria, Jesus says salvation is for everyone Religion weighs you down, Jesus’ burden is light and easy Religion is proper protocol, Jesus says, “I am the protocol Acts 5:28-29 ““Didn’t we strictly order you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to bring this man’s blood on us! ” But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than men.” 6:1- “In those days, as the number of the disciples was multiplying...” Point #1: By NOT breaking protocol, we become a PREVENTER instead of a PROMOTER. V. 28- “Didn’t we strictly order you not to teach in this name?” Gandhi said, “If it weren’t for Christians, I’d be one.” Matthew 23:13 ““But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You lock up the kingdom of heaven from people. For you don’t go in, and you don’t allow those entering to go in.” Point #2: By Breaking protocol, we can expect GREATER RESULTS. v.29-But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than men.” V.42- “Every day in the temple complex, and in various homes, they continued teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.” 6:1- “And the number of disciples was multiplying!!!”
January 14, 2018 • Jason Smith
Title: FRAUDULENT Matthew 23:1-7 “Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples: “The scribes and the Pharisees are seated in the chair of Moses. Therefore do whatever they tell you, and observe it. But don’t do what they do, because they don’t practice what they teach. They tie up heavy loads that are hard to carry and put them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves aren’t willing to lift a finger to move them. They do everything to be observed by others: They enlarge their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. They love the place of honor at banquets, the front seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by people.” v.11-12 “The greatest among you will be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” Fraud- To have wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain. Fake, look alike, in disguise, sounds like, talks like, and tastes like “There are a lot of FRAUDS in our churches and a lot of churches that are FRAUDS” Point # 1: PROTECT OUR IDENTITY V.3-5 “Therefore do whatever they tell you, and observe it. But don’t do what they do, because they don’t practice what they teach. They tie up heavy loads that are hard to carry and put them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves aren’t willing to lift a finger to move them. They do everything to be observed by others: They enlarge their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.” Religion gives you a new set of rules whereas a relationship with Jesus gives you a new identity. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” John 1:12 “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—” 1 Corinthians 6:17 “But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.” 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 “We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.” “Jesus is quick to remind us of our forgiveness, our deliverance, and our holiness based on our relationship with Him, not on what we can do for Him” God’s holiness + Jesus’s sacrifice = a new identity based on grace and holiness. It’s not based on my performance or lack of, but on my forgiveness. Psalm 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Religion- reminds us of our sins Jesus- removes our sins 3 Practical ways to protect your identity in Christ: A: Get serious B: Constantly Monitor C: Stop unsolicited offers Point # 2. CHANGE OUR GARMENTS V.5 ““Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long;” The religious love to show off their religious piety, instead of their humility. We hide behind: -our titles -our accomplishments -our spouses -our influence -our hobbies Genesis 35:2 “And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments.” Matthew 23:25-27 ““Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence! Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so the outside of it may also become clean. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every impurity.” CHANGE YOUR GARMENTS OFF WITH HYPOCRISY EXCHANGE YOUR RELIGIOUS ROBE FOR A SERVANTS APRON.
January 7, 2018 • Jason Smith
Title: Shatter the Stained Glass: “The Demise" Religion is an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies and rules used to worship a god. Religion has become whatever one wants to make it because of the “gods” people choose to worship. People make religions out of: -their careers -sporting events -relationships -material possessions -working out -and sometimes even god Religion=number one killer of churches Religion=number one cause for pastors getting out of the ministry Religion=why unchurched people won’t come to church Religion=cause of church hurt, division among churches Religion cares more about what denomination a person belongs to than belonging to the Kingdom of God! Being religious- is a belief that says your performance, your devotion, your practices, or your morals makes you right with God. The idea that righteousness is ACHIEVED rather than RECEIVED. Jesus said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18 Matthew 23:1-3 “Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.” Point # 1- CHANGING SEATS v. 2- “The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.” Psalm 1:1-3 “Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.” Point # 2- IMITATE what you SEE, NOT so much what you hear V. 3- Jesus said, “Do what they tell you to do, but do NOT do what they do.” Religion is spelled DO whereas a Relationship with Jesus is spelled DONE. Ephesians 5:1-2 “Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.” 1 John 2:6 “Whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” 1 Corinthians 11:1 “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” 1 Peter 2:21 “For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in His steps.”