Archive for January 2017
Be Empowered. Empower. Soar into 2017
2017: Your Year of Peace, Purpose, Provision, Empowerment
Free Indeed. Free Forever.
John 8:31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.
~ Isaac Newton
We are free indeed and free forever. (Say it)
Freedom is a treasure and a legacy. It is a treasure because is it valuable. It is a legacy because we did not create it, we only inherited freedom. Freedom and responsibility go hand in hand. We have the responsibility to live a certain way and we have the responsibility to share it.
When Jesus says he makes us “free indeed” he is talking about freedom in the total sense, at every level.
The word "indeed" means: Truly, in reality, in point of fact, as opposed to what is pretended, fictitious, false, conjectural
On the national holiday Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Junior we not only celebrate the work of the man but of an entire movement of which he is the most visible figure. He is a figure that cannot be hidden, though many others are hidden in history.
The civil rights movement was not actually a movement of freedom but a movement of the exercise of the rights of freedom. People who were not already “free indeed” could not have done what they accomplished. The only people who can truly exercise rides are people who already know that they are free. That leads to the conviction that oppression of freedom is evil and the oppression of evil people must be addressed.
“We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.” Rev. Dr. KIng
Dr. King possession the spiritual and intellection capacity to be prophetic and proactive. He and the ministers who led the movement were closer to God and ten times smarter than the oppressors.
Psalms 119:98, Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are my constant guide.
Here in the 21st-century many people are not living in the freedom they have already been provided because they've not experienced freedom indeed through Christ.
We are free indeed and free forever. But here's the hook, with freedom comes responsibility. It is our actions that determine if we live in what God has provided or if we continue to miss the best that God has for us.
Looking again at our text: John 8:31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”
Some of Jesus’ own people thought that they already possessed all the freedom they needed. We don’t want to make that same mistake in only leaning on religion or what our society defines and freedom.
To be “free indeed” requires a Savior
While doing research for this message and presentation I noted how many accounts of the Civil Rights movement exclude the facts of how fundamental prayer was to the whole process. History has recast the movement as a secular movement. No, it was a God inspired movement led by preachers and believers in Christ. It was a movement that included not only black men and women, but courageous white men and women.
The Civil Rights movement was one of the most prophetic movements of the 21st-century
I define “prophetic” as: God accomplishing His purposes by declaring his will and purpose in advance and then performing His will through willing people and ordered circumstances.
Freedom Definition in the civil context: The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint; Absence of subjection to domination or despotic government.
A despot is: A ruler who has total power and who often uses that power in cruel and unfair ways.
Freedom in the spiritual context: The power to know God, love God, love others, act in accordance with the will and Word of God. It is the power to be free from sin, demonic, and carnal influence to fulfill the Character of Christ.
“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.” (M.L. King)
You can’t think and talk like that unless you are “free indeed.”
“Jesus recognized the need for blending opposites. He knew that his disciples would face a difficult and hostile world, where they would confront the recalcitrance of political officials and the intransigence of the protectors of the old order. He knew that they would meet cold and arrogant men whose hearts had been hardened by the long winter of traditionalism. ... And he gave them a formula for action, "Be ye therefore as wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." ... We must combine the toughness of the serpent with the softness of the dove, a tough mind and a tender heart.
We Are Free Indeed and Free Forever. That’s we are empowered and can empower others.
Definition of empower: Help people gain power or authority to do something great
Let’s talk about Financial Freedom because free indeed must also include freedom from debt. The Bible says the “borrower is servant to the lender.” People who are free indeed should also be free from debt.
Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
I make a distinction in purpose between consumer debt and debts for assets such as a home mortgage, but being debt free is our goal.
I am pleased to announce that in 2017 New Covenant Church will be completely debt free! It is an expression of “free indeed.” Because you are connected to this ministry and you are New Covenant Church, you share in the blessing and breakthrough.
We are stewards, not owners.
Everything we have is a gift from God. We have a tendency to act like we “earned” things, but that’s not the truth. Without the time, talents and providence of God, we wouldn’t have anything!
1 Corinthians 4:1-2, Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.
Everything belongs to God. He simply allows us the great privilege of caring for it. And one of the best ways we can do that is to not be wasteful.
In John 6:12, after Jesus fed the multitude, He told the people, “Gather up now the fragments (the broken pieces left over) so that nothing may be lost or wasted.”
INFLUENCE Micah 4:1, Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the Lord’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And peoples shall flow to it. 2 Many nations shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.”
EMPOWERED Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
EMPOWERING Colossians 1:10, So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
Definition of empower: Help people gain power or authority to do something great
HOW TO BE EMPOWERED AND EMPOWER OTHERS.
“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert. ~ Isaiah 43:18-19 NKJV
On one level December 31 and January 1 is only going from one day to the next day. On another level, we mark the New Year as something special because we value time and purpose. Because we reference our past life in terms of years, we think about our future life in the same way. We are creatures of time with eternal purpose. Every year is full of blessings and challenges, joys and sorrows, with people added and people who depart. Sometimes a year includes extraordinary gains and losses.
Through Isaiah, the Lord offers profound counsel for 2017:
1. PEACE “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old." Let the past stay in the past. Do not live in the past or look back as if you had no bright future.
2. PURPOSE "Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it?" No matter how much you have done or how old you are, God is still doing new things. It will "spring forth" meaning that the "new thing" will come quickly. You need to "know it" in faith, not just wish for it.
3. PROVISION & EMPOWERMENT "I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert." God can do the impossible for you. He will pave a road through your wilderness. He will provide a river through your desert....provision in a dry place.
Expect a prosperous and fruitful new year!