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Psalms 100 

1 Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!

2 Serve the Lord with gladness;

Come before His presence with singing.

3 Know that the Lord, He is God;

It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;

We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,

And into His courts with praise.

Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

5 For the Lord is good;

His mercy is everlasting,

And His truth endures to all generations. 

 

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In Christ you have the power, grace, and ability to press forward no matter how short or long the path! The best part is this; you don’t have to use your own strength! You will learn about the principles and strategies for pressing forward in God’s grace and power!
 
On the surface, the phrase “I press” feels like hardship and extreme difficulty on the way somewhere. The level of effort is not the thing to focus on. The thing to focus on is the prize or the goal, which is a higher call in life.

Watch a special lyric video: "I Press" by Fred Hammond.

Philippians 3:13-14
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”

Philippians 3:14 Good News Translation (GNT)
"So I run straight toward the goal in order to win the prize, which is God's call through Christ Jesus to the life above."

 

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Understanding Authority 

A. What is Authority? 

Authority is defined as “the power or right to enforce obedience; delegated power; or personal influence.” Authority can be divine, human or satanic; wise or foolish; helpful or destructive; or imposed by force. It is not something we take, it is given. 

Whenever one person relates to another positively, they are exercising or receiving authority at a personal level. Human society would cease to operate in any meaningful way if this was not true at almost every level of experience. In fact, without the recognition of personal authority, we could not exist together as a community of people. 

B What is Biblical Authority? 

The most common Greek word translated in the New Testament as au- thority is “exousia”. This word means “liberty to do as one pleases; the ability or strength with which one is endued; the power of authority; the power of rule or government.” 

It can also be thought of as power based on position, though this form of authority may not have the blessing of God 

C. The authority of Jesus 

Jesus authority came because He was acting on behalf of the heavenly Father (John 10:18; John 5:19, 30). He forgave people their sins, healed people, cast out demons, controlled nature, taught the word and more – all in the authority given to Him by God the Father (John 10:34-38; Matt. 4:1-10). 

Jesus spoke and ministered with authority (Mark 1:22, 27; Luke 4:31- 37). 

Because of Jesus’ authority many people willingly and positively responded to HIm, others rejected Him – but He was not ignored. 

D. What the Roman Centurion understood (Matt. 8:5-13) 

1. He recognized and understood the authority of Jesus. As a military of- fer, the centurion derived his authority from the ruling Roman empire itself. 

2. Being an officer allowed the man to rule and control the troops as if it were Caesar himself commanding the troops. 

3. The centurion’s request of Jesus was a confession of faith, because he recognized that Jesus derived His authority from God and so He had the power to heal simply by speaking a word. He knew that Jesus spoke and acted with full divine authority so when He spoke, it was as if God the Father were speaking. 

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Peace at the Center

Message by Patricia A. Hudson, First Lady of New Covenant Church

John 14:27, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

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A Verse By Verse Study of Romans Chapter 4

1 What then shall we say that Abraham our father[a] has found according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was ]accounted to him for righteousness.” 4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.
5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:

7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered;

8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.”

9 Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also, 12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised.

13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be [d]sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

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The Power of Your Testimony

The Power of Your Testimony

Hebrews 3:4 For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. 5 And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, 6 but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.

Revelation 19:9 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” 10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

Everyone has built his or her “house.” Your house is your scope of responsibility, authority, ministry, jobs, and possessions. The Bible says that Moses was faithful in his house. His faithfulness became his testimony. Your testimony, like the chapters of a book, is written every day by your words and deeds of faith in obedience to God.

2 Corinthians 1:12, "For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you."

A good testimony is:

1) Clear conscience

2) Simple and sincere conduct in in clear view others (no hidden agendas)

3) Operating by grace, not by carnal (flesh-ruled) wisdom

4) Other-focused

“Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

God’s prophetic purposes have been, and are being fulfilled, in your life!

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Grace: Everything You Need

Hebrews 12:18 For you have not come [g]to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, 19 and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore.
 
22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
27, Now this, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28] Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.
 
We live in an unstable world, full of unstable and changeable people. Even the things in our lives are subject to shaking, only to reveal what cannot be shaken.
 
Things that can be shaken were either not part of the original design and were added. At the car wash there is a sign that provides a warning about taking a car through the car wash with accessories added.
 
Grace provides everything we need.
 
God designed us. He knows what and who we are. He knows everything that belongs in us and on us. He has given me everything I need. Sometimes, I create a sense of need by adding something He didn’t ordain for me.
 
Over time, we add stuff, like cheap car "mods"--things we don't need and that don't help. God's does us a service by allowing fake stuff to be shaken off of us to reveal His "original" equipment! We can live a "bling free" life!
 
In a time of shaking, when something comes off, I feel like it is a loss....but it is actually a gain. Something unnecessary is coming off of my life.
 
How stuff gets added: Conformity to social fads and trends adds behaviors, beliefs, and baggage that we don’t need.
 
Matthew 11:16 "But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions, 17] "and saying: 'We played the flute for you, And you did not dance; we mourned to you, And you did not lament.'
 
We have received a kingdom which cannot be shaken. You can rest in what God has given you. You can rest in your unique S.H.A.P.E.
 
Spiritual Gifts
Heart
Abilities
Personality
Experience
 
God’s kingdom is grace empowered. Grace is the hub of our lives. No Barcode labels
 
Living this way allows us to serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
 
Grace allows us to consider the higher, more powerful, unshakeable, eternal realities of the kingdom of God.
 
Heb 13:9, Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace.
 
2 Peter 1:12, Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
 
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My lesson today will be, “Grace: An Empowered Life, Not Barcode Religion” We will study from 1 Peter 4:10-11 reads, "As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen."

We are never at the mercy, and weakness, of operating in our own strength. We can rely on the ability of God through grace in every endeavor of life. Our faith in God is not like a barcode (you will have to hear the teaching about that one!)

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My lesson today will be, “Stand: Grace to Stand and not Stumble.” We will study from 2 Peter Chapter One,  that says in part, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue…” (v. 2-3)
 
The conclusion of the text reads, “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble….” (v. 10)
 
We are going to do a “deep dive” into understand how God’s grace and faith work together to cause us to stand strong and victorious in every circumstance.
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2 Peter 1:3, As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the [a]corruption that is in the world through lust 5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,

Ezekiel 22:29 The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the foreigner, denying them justice. 30 “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.

Nehemiah 4:6-8 New International Version (NIV) 6 So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart. 7 But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. 8 They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it.

Think about gaps in three ways: 1) Closing the distance, 2) Removing dangers, 3) Helping others and receiving help.

In life there are a lot of things that do not need dramatic change. Much in life is already better than we think it is. The old saying is that “perception is reality” is mostly inaccurate because our limited perception is not capable love and bracing the entire reality of any situation. For example, a sad looking expression on someone’s face does not necessary mean that a person is sad, we only have a perception of sadness.

“Greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

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