Posts Tagged ‘ Awestruck Podcast/Sermons ’

Easter Sunday at Awestruck

Easter was an amazing day at Awestruck Church.  We definitely set an all time attendance record.  We worshiped for the first time in our new location in downtown Gibsonville.  More importantly, many people indicated that they accepted Jesus Christ as their savior.

You can click Right Here to watch the video of the Easter sermon.

(Apologies for the sound and image.  We are working out some kinks that come with a new location.)

Here are my sermon notes for anyone who wants to follow along…

As prisoners … People are restricted in their time, conversations, opportunities, thoughts, hopes, dreams, and future

If I was ever really in this situation then all I would dream of is the day that these chains were to come off

If I were locked away my only hopes would be the day that the Prison doors were opened up and I was able to walk away a free man.

In all 4 Gospels of the New Testament we hear about a prisoner by the name of Barabbas

He was locked up and had lost all of his freedom

He was a revolutionary against the Roman government.

Mark 15 : 7  One of the prisoners at that time was Barabbas, a revolutionary who had committed murder in an uprising.

Pilate allowed the crowd to choose between two inmates

The “Notorious Prisoner” Barabbas and Jesus of Nazareth

On that day the Crowd shouted “Give us Barabbus”

Pilate argued with them and tried to convince them to take Jesus

Going against his better judgement…Pilate granted the crowd their wish

Because of the sacrifice of Jesus … Barabbas did not have to face his punishment

Barabbas was set free because of the suffering and death of Christ

***Jesus Christ Unlocked the Chains that held Barabbus Captive***

Jesus Christ took the punishment that was intended for the Notorious Prisoner

The name Barabbas appears nowhere else in the New Testament,

All we know is that he was in Prison for murder and…

Barabbas was the first person in History that felt the immediate Freedom From the Sacrifice Jesus made for this world!

And the effects of what Jesus did are still changing the world today!

Hebrews 13 : 8  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

John 3 : 16  “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17  God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

Ephesians 1 : 4  Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5  God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6  So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. 7  He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. 8  He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

I am Barabbas!  You are Barabbas!

All of us are made a prisoner and have a death penalty because of our sin…

Romans 6 : 23  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jesus came to set us free and take our punishment!

For many the Easter is about Plastic Eggs, Baskets, and Creepy Bunnies…

Today is a day to celebrate the Resurrection of of a Risen Savior

We don’t just celebrate a man that was brutally beaten and put to death

We have reason to celebrate that His tomb was empty!

The Empty Tomb is our Source of a life that is Full and Abundant!

The resurrection of Jesus means that He conquered death and hell…

We are no longer a prisoner to Sin because Jesus has the power to set us FREE!

Jesus, the Son of God, was sent to earth to take on the sins of the world.

He died a physical death and came back to life!

The Resurrection is the source of our Faith and our only Hope!

The Empty tomb is the hope for all Humanity!

2 Cor 5: 14 Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do.  Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. 15  He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own. 16  Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look.  We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know.  We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. 17  Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new.  The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! 18 All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. 19 God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing.  (Message)

17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (NLT)

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  (KJV)

Just like the freedom and excitement that Barabbas must have felt…

Chains removed, Future Renewed, Hope Restored

Jesus suffered and died so that we could be experience true freedom!

Today we choose to celebrate our Risen Savior who has victory of death.  

The ending of his life was brutal, violent, ruthless, savage, And undeserved.

His flesh was beaten, his blood was shed, His heart was broken

But his capacity to love never surrendered.  

His human body failed him … But his amazing love for you and me carried him all the way to a cross where He was tortured till his death.

But that’s not the end of the story.  

It would be grotesque for us to worship a God who would put His only son through such useless abuse and misery if there were no better conclusion to the story.

–He no longer lays lifeless in a cold tomb.

–He sits and reigns in Heaven, beside His father.

Jesus is the sacrificial lamb that took on our sins so that we could know God personally.  

Jesus is the one who speaks on our behalf, even in the face of our betrayal.

He is the bridge that allows us passage across the great separation from our God.

-It was His humility that put him on the Cross.

-It was His love that brought us Forgiveness.

-It was His sympathy that provides us grace.

-It was His suffering that heals our pain.

-It was His Sacrifice that brought us Freedom from our curse

-It was the empty tomb that assures us of a life on earth that is abundant and overflowing…

And an Eternity full of worship and praise to God in Heaven.

Let us worship the sacrifice and Let us Celebrate the victory of our Savior today!  

We are Free!  He is Alive!

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“Bleep of Faith” Week 2 Sermon

Bleep of FaithHere is week 2 from our series “Bleep of Faith”.

You can click Right Here to watch the video.

Here are my sermon notes if you want to follow along…

All kids reach an age that we both are excited for and dread.

That age when they start saying “I can do it myself”.

This mentality starts at a very early age, 

but unfortunately most of us never out grow it and it causes some issues

–Ball Hogs on the basketball team

–Coworkers who want to take all the credit

–Husbands who pretend they do anything around the house

And Christians who don’t think they need community to grow closer to God

Last week we talked about the Foundational offensive truth… You need Jesus

Titus 3 : 4  But—When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5  he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.  He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. 6  He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7  Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.

According to the Gospel…You cannot find God without Jesus Christ

Today we are talking about a Foundational offensive truth of continued spiritual maturity … You are not capable of doing it on your own

You need other people

You are not strong enough or good enough to grow without spiritual community

God’s plan of salvation was Jesus

God’s plan of growth and advancing His Kingdom is His Body

Romans 12 : 12  The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body.  So it is with the body of Christ.

Each of us is part of the Body of Christ…Together it makes something amazing

Separated the body parts become almost useless!

13  Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free.  But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. 14  Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15  If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16  And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17  If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear?  Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? 18  But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it.

Each one of us has a very specific role to play in God’s Plan!

19  How strange a body would be if it had only one part!  20  Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21  The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.”  The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”  22  In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23  And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care.  So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24  while the more honorable parts do not require this special care.  So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25  This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other.

Not only is your role specific … It is also very Important

All of us together make up the Kingdom of God…The Body of Christ

We all need each other

26  If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. 27  All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.

If we are all individual parts of one body then none of us can survive alone and severed from our source of life.

Jesus is our source of salvation … Other believers are our source of health

God created us to live together in Community

So let’s look closer at the reasons we need to be deeply devoted to a group of other believers…

–Learning

Acts 2 :  42  All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. 43  A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44  And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had.  45  They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46  They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— 47  all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people.  And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

In community we learn more about God and we learn from God

We don’t just learn from the teacher … we also learn from each other

In a community of faith you are both a student AND a teacher

–Love

Eph 4 : 2  Always be humble and gentle.  Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3  Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. 4  For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.

The unity of Christ is the source of some of my closest friends and relationships

In the Body of Christ we are Building relationships that will last for an eternity

And the thing that binds us together is Peace!

In a community of faith you both receive love and you give love

–Accountability

Don’t let this word scare you … This shouldn’t be as tough as we make it

“Fruit inspection” in the church should be Helpful … Not dramatic and gossipy

Accountability is when Loving people help point out the things you can’t see 

The reality is that You can’t see what everyone else sees

Galatians 6 : 1  Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path.  And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. 2  Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. 3  If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself.  You are not that important.

10  Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.

It’s like when you have food stuck in you teeth or a booger in your nose

All of us have a spiritual booger!  

We need others to point it out… not pick it out … Point it out.  

It’s our responsibility to deal with it and remove it … But you would never see it without the help of a true friend.

Godly Accountability is when others point out the things in our life that are keeping us from moving closer to God

–Encouragement   (We don’t just point out … we also help them forward)

Scripture says Edify one another…The original language was about building a house

1 Thes 5 : 11  So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

Romans 14 : 19  So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.

We should be Building each other up and helping each other make it through life

This is with our words, actions, service, and sometimes sacrifice of resources

In a community of faith you are both encouraged and you are an encourager

Eph 4 : 29  Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

We are One body…Many Parts that Need each other for Health and Growth

 

 

The Greatest Love (Week 3 Sermon)

Greatest Love LogoWeek 3 we begin to dive into the task of loving others the way that Christ has loved us.  One main thing that is crucial to understand…Loving Others with the love of God will cost us something.  It requires effort and sacrifice.

Click Here to watch the Video

 

Here are my sermon notes to follow along…

Love is a dangerous word that we use in the English language 

–My daughter loves One Direction, Dance, and Attention

–My son loves baseball, football, and avoiding cleaning his room

–My wife loves naps and the show “The Blacklist”

–I love desserts, my dog, chicken mcnuggets, and my family

It’s interesting how one word is so loosely thrown around for both the important and the trivial things in our life?  We use this word all the time!

–We love our smart phones  //  our social media  //  our country  //  the food we eat  //  Television Shows  //  our spouse  …   And We love God

It’s easy to see how Christians could so easily be confused when we talk about the concept of The Greatest Love that the world has ever known through Jesus

It’s easy to understand why people treat a Relationship with God like they treat their new iPhone…Ready for a new upgrade after “loving” it for a few months

–We talked in week 1 about how much God loved us … Enough to make the Greatest Sacrifice so that we could have an intimate relationship with him

–Last week we talked about how we can truly Experience the Love of God

Love God, Love Others, and obey His commandments

Let’s dig a little deeper into the concept of loving others the way God loves them

Remember these verses from last week…

John 15 : 12  This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.  13  There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

3 things are happening in this verse:

1.  A Reminder of something He had just told them

John 13 : 34  So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other.  Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35  Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

2.  A look at what’s coming up very soon

–Jesus has begun telling them that He will not be with them much longer

–He is letting them know that He is about to be killed and die to show His love

3.  A Challenge to look at love in a different way

–He is asking them to sacrifice more than expected to Love others

This is not a call for all of us to Die for a Friend…

This is a challenge to be willing to Give Up selfishness to Love Other People

14  You are my friends if you do what I command. 15  I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves.  Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.

This is HUGE!  

In the OT only two people are called Friends of God: Abraham and Moses

Jesus just extended this invitation to ALL who will follow Him

16  You didn’t choose me. I chose you.  I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.  17  This is my command: Love each other.

Jesus said the greatest Commandment was to love God with all that you are…

A second…and equally important…Love your neighbor as much as yourself

 

Here He tells the Disciples that loving others might cost them something

Producing fruit and Loving the way God loves requires a sacrifice on their part

In our world controlled by “My Way, Right Away” and a Spirit of Entitlement … 

It is difficult to find good examples of True, Pure, Godly, Unselfish, Agape Love

 

Jesus was our perfect example …

He was patient, gracious, forgiving and sacrificial

He gave the same love to the people that loved Him … AND … His Enemies!

Matt 5 : 44  But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!

 

Jesus Taught what love is … then He demonstrated with His life and Death

Then He challenged all of His followers to Love Others the way He loved us

To go deeper I want us to look together at the words in 1 John…

1 John 4 : 7  Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God.  Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8  But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9  God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10  This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 11  Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.  12  No one has ever seen God.  But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

Flip that verse upside down and look at it in a different way…

–We can accept the challenge that folks are watching us so they can see God

Let this sink in… When we don’t Love Others then we are showing them the opposite of God’s Character.

Could it be that so many in our world are rejecting the Gospel because they never see God’s Salvation in the “Christians” they spend time with?

13  And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. 14  Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15  All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. 16  We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.  God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17  And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect.  So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.

The More we Love God and seek His Kingdom…Our love Grows more perfect

As we learn more about God and Grow closer to God then we Reflect His Character

*On your own you will never be able to Love others like God loves them!*

–It is only through the redemptive work that God is doing through you that you can love

 

Let me help you understand this better…

How often have we heard “Love the Sinner and Hate the Sin”?

–How many of you are great at separating the sinner from the sin?

–How much time do you spend with the sinner?

–How often do you you actually pray for the sinner?

Most people are good at saying that line right before they condemn or gossip about the sinner!

 

Jesus was our example of Pure and Sacrificial Agape Love…

He didn’t just preach to them and love them from a distance … 

He lost his reputation in the Church world b/c He also ate dinner with the rejects, addicts, sickly, poor, and the crooks

How could Jesus Love in such a bold way w/out Fear of the opinions of others?

18  Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear.  If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19  We love each other because he loved us first. 20  If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 21  And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers.

To Experience the Love of God we must Love God, Love Others, & Follow Him

–To love God means that we obey His commandments and Stay connected to Him

–To Love others means that we follow the Example of Jesus and be willing to Sacrifice

True Love for others is going to Cost you Something!  

John 15 : 12  13  There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

The Greatest Love (Week 2 Sermon)

Greatest Love LogoWeek 2 was all about Experiencing the Love of God.  God’s love is available for all of us.  It is our choice to root ourselves and experience God’s love.

Click Here to watch the Video

 

Here are my Sermon Notes to follow along…

Last week we talked about the One Event that Changed the Course of Mankind…

Jesus

And the One Word that motivated the event…  Love

A Reminder:  No matter how broken, hurt, rebellious, or sinful we are … 

God Loves You!  

–When we root ourselves in God’s love then we have strength to handle anything

–When we Experience God’s love then we find power and life to the fullest

The main question we should ask is … “How can I experience God’s love?”

***Let’s Get this very Clear and Don’t Get this question confused with … ***

“How do I receive God’s love” or “How do I get God to Love me?”

The Question is not…“Does God Love Me?

The Question is…“How can I root myself in and Fully Experience God’s Love?”

While Jesus was walking this earth He was tested and asked many questions

I want to look at one of the answers he gave to a very important question

Matthew 22 : 35  One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36  “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”  37  Jesus replied, “‘You must love the lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38  This is the first and greatest commandment. 39  A second is equally important:  ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40  The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

Jesus gives us the answer right here when He says Love God and Love Others

Every other law, rule and commandment comes natural when we do this

Look at the 10 original commandments that were given to Moses…

Exodus 20 : 3  “You must not have any other god but me.  4  “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. 5  You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods.  I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. 6  But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands. 7  “You must not misuse the name of the lord your God.  The lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name. 8  “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9  You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 10  but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the lord your God.  On that day no one in your household may do any work.  This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. 11  For in six days the lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested.  That is why the lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy. 12  “Honor your father and mother.  Then you will live a long, full life in the land the lord your God is giving you. 13  “You must not murder. 14  “You must not commit adultery. 15  “You must not steal. 16  “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor. 17  “You must not covet your neighbor’s house.  You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.

10 Original Commandments were given:

1-4 = Loving God

5-10 = Loving Other People

To Fully Experience God’s Love then we are to Love God and Love Others

AND Follow all of God’s Commandments.

Look again at verse 6

6  But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.

If we don’t Follow God’s Commandments will He stop loving us???

Another Reminder:  While were are broken, hurt, rebellious and sinful …

God Loves You!

This is not about Gaining God’s Love … This is about Experiencing God’s Love

If we want to know His Power, Strength, Completion and Life to the Fullest 

Then we are to live a life that keeps us on the Path and Purpose He has for us!

If you are anything like me then when you hear the words “Obey” and “Follow the Rules” you immediately start hearing the little devil on the other shoulder

All humans are rebellious by nature … Some of us a little more than others!

Obedience training is for Dogs!   I’m not meant to Sit, Stay and Heal

I am an individual with my own thoughts and will.  

I want to explore, learn and be free!

If you say I can’t … I’ll die trying to show you that I can!

This was my struggle with Christianity for a very long time!

Too many Christians have bought into a Theology of being Redeemed by Works

This way of thinking is very Dangerous!

Nothing we do will ever make us good enough to earn our salvation

–We are NOT Redeemed because of our Good works and Following Commandments

We are Redeemed and Forgiven because of how much God loves us

–Salvation comes from accepting God’s gift of Forgiveness through Jesus

–Our Good works and Following Commandments are a result of understanding God’s love

Once I understood how much God loves me and how that can impact my life

My natural response was not rebellion … It was to grow closer to Him

This is an invitation to a Relationship … Not a controlling Dictatorship 

We begin to experience the Love God when we stay faithful to Him…

John 15 : 1  “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2  He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3  You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4  Remain in me, and I will remain in you.  For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. 5  “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches.  Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit.  For apart from me you can do nothing. 6  Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers.  Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7  But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!  8  When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. 9  “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me.  Remain in my love. 10  When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11  I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy.  Yes, your joy will overflow! 12  This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13  There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14  You are my friends if you do what I command.

The Question is…“How can I root myself in and Fully Experience God’s Love?”

The Answer … Love God, Love Others, and Stay faithful to God’s Will in your life

When we live our lives Connected to God then He will do amazing things through us … He will bring the growth and the blessings.

Awestruck Podcasto #2!

This is the latest installment of the Awestruck Podcasto featuring Steggy from HSTOS.  You can check out more Awestruck videos at www.youtube.com/awestruckchannel.  Thanks for watching!