Posts Tagged ‘ God ’

“The Greatest Love” Week 1 Sermon with Notes

Greatest Love Logo

Sermon Notes from “The Greatest Love” Week 1 sermon

preached on 2/1/15

Click RIGHT HERE to watch the video of the sermon.

Think about some events in our history that helped shape mankind

*1440 Gutenberg invented the Printing Press

–Until then copying one book by hand could take years

–Literature became available to everyone … Religious, Political, Educational

*From the 14th to the 17th Century the Renaissance Period

–Enlightenment from math, science, and art changed the way people think

–DaVinci, Michelangelo, Shakespeare

–Curiosity was encouraged and People started finding answers

*The Wright Brothers learn to Fly (1903)

*WWI (1914-1918)

–Many historians believe that the unfinished business of this war led to years of anger

–The anger of the Germans led to electing a guy named Hitler in 1933

*WWII (1939-1945)

–There was no main enemy or battleground

–Millions of innocent people lost their lives and their homelands were destroyed

–The United Nations was formed and a Homeland for the Jews was found

–The world changed and so much innocence was lost

*America Sent our first Astronauts to the Moon (1960)

“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”

*Martin Luther King leads a march and gives a speech (August 1963)

–A march that began a Civil Rights movement that changed our Nation

*Kennedy was Assassinated (November 1963)

*Tearing Down the Berlin Wall (1989)

–This huge barrier that separated the communist government from the more democratic way of governing was finally removed

–This indicated that there would finally be freedom and voice for the people

*Terrorists flew airplanes into the Twin Towers in New York (Sept 11, 2001)

–We can all remember where we were and what we were doing that morning

*Mark Zuckerburg launched TheFacebook (2004)

–Today more than 1.2 Billion people are using it daily!

*First iPhone was released (June 2007)

A Concept dreamed up in 1983 was given to the world as a handheld device

–That has led to way too many phones that are smarter than their users!

What are some of the great words and speeches that have changed our world?

–“The Only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  Franklin Delano Roosevelt

–“I have a dream…”  MLK

–“You want the truth?  You can’t handle the truth!”

Throughout the course of Human History events and words have shaped who and where we are today …  

If we look to God’s word as our One Truth then we see there is one moment that was not only the Greatest event for our present situation … But also our Eternity

Luke 2 : 5  He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant. 6  And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. 7  She gave birth to her first child, a son.  She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

He lived a life that was innocent and free from sin

Then He was crucified for our sins and He took our punishment on the cross

Matt 27 : 50  Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. 51  At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, 52  and tombs opened.  The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. 53  They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.  54  The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened.  They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!”

The Event that had the most radical impact on Human History was Jesus Christ

–He was more than a man, more than a prophet, more than a humanitarian,

He was the Son of God sent to die so that he could give us the opportunity to Know God in an intimate and loving way

He was the one who took our punishment & paid our price so we could have Life

Hebrews 2 : 9  What we do see is Jesus, who was given a position “a little lower than the angels”; and because he suffered death for us, he is now “crowned with glory and honor.”  Yes, by God’s grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone. 10  God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory.  And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation. 11  So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father.  That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters. 12  For he said to God, “I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters.  I will praise you among your assembled people.”  13  He also said, “I will put my trust in him,” that is, “I and the children God has given me.” 14   Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood.  For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. 15  Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying. 16  We also know that the Son did not come to help angels; he came to help the descendants of Abraham. 17  Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God.  Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people.

Jesus was the Event that had the power to Change Everything!

–Not only did He change the way we keep our calendars… B.C and A.D.

–He also made a way for all who come through Him to Know God for Eternity

And there is one word that led to this Eternity Changing moment…

I Believe there is One word in the Bible changed the course of all mankind

John 3:16  “God so Loved the world…”

This is not just any love … This is The Greatest Love the world has ever known

You are going to hear this verse over the next few weeks and I want you to let it penetrate your hearts as we try to fully understand what Jesus meant…

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

The Love of God sent Jesus to this earth

The Love of our savior is what motivated Him to hang on a cross

Our love for others is supposed to Imitate the Love of God

This is a love that has the ability to Change Your Life!

This is the Greatest Love and if we allow it to … 

It will Impact us in ways we can’t imagine

Ephesians 3 : 16  I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17  Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him.  Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18  And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.  Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

–When we are rooted in God’s Love then we find strength

–When we Experience God’s Love then we are complete and live life to the fullest

One EventJesus Christ … changed our human existence and our eternal hope

It was motivated by One WordLove

Some of you need to be reminded today of the Fact that God Loves You!

While we are sinners and underserving … God Loves Us

One WordLove

Some of you need to be reminded today of the Fact that God Loves You!

While we are sinners and underserving … God Loves Us

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The More it Changes, the More it Stays the Same

We began Awestruck Church with a vision to create a Genuine Community of people formed around living life for Jesus and doing life together.  That’s it…nothing too fancy.  Our “church” exists for people to build a life changing relationship with Christ and life enhancing relationships with others.  Real people who refuse to play games and hide behind the mask of false perfection.

Our desire is not to simply have a church building and hope people come in and join us, but to inspire a culture of people who live out their faith every day.  A living representation of the life changing message of a God who loves us deeply.  The paradigm shifts from “coming in” to “Going Out”.

That was our dream when we began this adventure into Awestruck 3 years ago, and nothing has changed!  We are now the owner of almost 21 acres and a church building, but nothing has changed about our vision.

For our church the blessing of land and a building is just the beginning, not the end.  We see it as God’s provision for us to begin achieving new levels of the dream He gave a few years ago.  Having a permanent location is not the Finish line for our church, it is a whole new Startling line to the next level of what God has in store for our future.  It changes everything about the we function as a church.  We are moving from mobile to permanent.

But the more it Changes, the more it stays the same as far as our Vision is concerned.

Awestruck Church is getting a new home…

Many are asking how and where, and when, and every other question possible about the new home of Awestruck Church.  Let me first say that we will be moving our church to 20.6 acres located at 5840 Butler Rd.  (Click it to see the Google map) but I’m not sure when the official move will take place.  I can promise you it will be as soon as possible.  I am excited and I am slightly impatient.

Next let me explain how all this came to be.  The obvious first statement is God is in control and He has orchestrated this whole deal.  I am nothing but humbled and overwhelmed in this process.  This wasn’t something we went searching for, but God has taken His plan and collided it directly into the path of our church.  We can’t wait to see what else God has in store for our future.

On May 20th (exactly 2 months from the day it became official) we were driving to Boone, NC for me to do a wedding.  I normally don’t answer phone calls from people whose number I don’t recognize, that’s why God created Voice Mail, but for some reason I picked up the phone on that night.  The voice on the other end introduced himself and then asked, “If your church had a lot of land and a small building, could you do something with it?”.  I simply answered “Yes” and then the questions began to flow.  How will you use it?  How does it fit the vision of the church?  What sorts of things would you do with it?

After about 20 minutes of talking I stopped him and said that we’d love to have land, but there was no way our church could afford to buy that much property right now.  And that’s when things got interesting.  His response was, (laughter) “We are not trying to sell it.  We are looking to give it away to the right ministry”.  We finished our conversation with pleasantries and talks of future meetings to discuss details.  I found it hard to even catch my breath and wrap my mind around the gigantic size of what had just taken place.  The next few weeks were filled with frequent meetings and phone calls with 2 of the 3 folks that would be voting to give us the land.  Then almost a month of SILENCE!  Nothing!  No contact at all!

The silence was broken late last week when I was informed the official vote was taking place on July 20th.

Here we are on July 21, 2010 and it’s official!  There are papers to be signed and some legal details, but the vote passed 3-0.  A unanimous vote of unity to donate all the property, building, and remaining possessions to Awestruck Church.  To top it all off they are also writing a check for $16,000 to help us get started with renovations!?!?!

How do I feel about all this?  I am a bit numb and completely overwhelmed.  I am more humbled by the power of God than ever before in my life.  I am emotional and have shed many tears of joy.  I am blown away that God has taken that much interest in our little 2 year old church plant.

I am sooooooooooooooo pumped about what all God has in store for our future.  This land fits perfectly into the the vision God has given me for Awestruck church.  It also is an answer to something I have been believing for the past 3 years.  Stay tuned for more info on that in a later post.  This one has become way to long!

God is amazing and I promise you that the Best is Yet to Come!

“Fuel” (Week 3 Sermon)

Ephesians 5 paints a beautiful picture of how much God loves His people.  He Wedding Gown Photocompares it to the relationship between Husband and wife.  We the church are a chosen bride for Jesus.  But what have we done with this great romance?  How have we treated His love?  We have become an unfaithful, adulteress spouse to the one who gave His life to be in a relationship with us.  We’ve trampled on his sacrifice.  But here’s the beauty of the picture…God chose and chased us while we were unfit and He continues to love us in spite of our infidelity.  It’s time for the church, followers of Christ, to renew our vows and reclaim our pure garments.  Time to stand on the promise that nothing can stand against His church as long as we stand on the promise and power of Jesus.

Click HERE to listen “Wedding Gown” Sermon

Bonus:  This was read as an intro to my sermon.  Thank you Aubrey and Lindsay for wearing the wedding dresses on stage.

Here comes the Bride, beautifully dressed in white.  Stunningly clothed in her radiant garments that have been designed for this glorious day.  We the church are the bride of Christ.  We have been chosen, chased and courted by our God.  A beautiful romance of sacrifice.  God so desperately longed for this relationship that He willingly gave up what was most valuable and precious to Him…His son.  Christ gave His life so that we, His bride, could know Him intimately and passionately.  And what have we done with this great romance?  How have we treated this breathtaking abandonment?

We have abused, squandered and trampled on His love for us.  We have broken the commitment of our vows.  We have been unfaithful and adulteress to our loyal groom.  Our relationship is stained and decaying because of selfish, lustful, greedy, and lazy efforts.  We have replaced our devotion with apathy.  Substituted true love for temporary pleasure.

Blemished and unworthy, broken and filthy!  Our God remains unwavering in His affection.  He calls out to His Bride with a heart of forgiveness.  No insult is too great, no offense is beyond His grace.  He loves us!  Christ’s blood shed on the cross purifies our sins, and makes up for our insufficiency.  Patiently He waits for us to walk down the aisle.  Passionately He endures until we dress ourselves in snow white garments, and say “I Do”.

Josh Parrish

A little wisdom from a little Princess…

I have the privilege of waking my kids, getting them ready, then dropping them off almost everyday of the week.  I love the adventure of waking them up.  I try to be creative and use different techniques like dance parties to the Beastie Boys, playing drums, throwing stuffed animals at them…and throwing our live animals at them.  🙂

My favorite part of the day is our car ride to school.  We begin with some rock n roll and head banging to get the blood flowing.  Then we always pray together.  I love to pray with my kids!  Me and my son (6) always choose a fruit of the spirit and pray that God will allow us to have and use it on that day.  My little girl (3 1/2) however has a mind of her own.  She does not conform to the system and chooses to be independent.  She is teaching me something new about prayer every morning.

It’s simple and I missed it for a long time, but it was so powerful once I finally clued in.  She begins every prayer with “Thank you God”!  That’s it…I told you it was simple.  Every sentence of her prayer, both praise and request, start with “Thank you God”.  She is trusting that no matter what she asks for or says to God is going to be taken care of.  As adults we learn to tag on something like, “we thank you in advance for hearing us and answering our prayers”, but my little girl has taught me that every line of our prayer should be full of expectancy and gratitude.  My little diva princess has reminded her daddy what an honor it is to pray, and how much we can depend on God to hear us when we speak to him.

“Conversation” (Week 4 Sermon)

day plannerPrayer is not a spiritual gift or something that only special get to do.  Prayer is something that most people find important, but don’t do it enough.  It’s one of those things we should do more often, but we get to busy and bogged down with the tasks of life and forget to stop and spend time with God.

In this message we discuss reasons we don’t pray enough, and some practical steps to get us on track to spend more time in conversation with our God who desires our time and our love.

Click HERE to listen to “A Practical Guide for Prayer”

“Go” (Week 1 Sermon)

go-logoImagine you’re watching the Olympics, where the most elite athletes in the world gather to compete for their country, and when the starting sound is given…no one leaves the starting line?  I believe we have formed a Starting Line mentality in the American church culture.  We train our people to become the smartest and most spiritual they can be, but we never Go.  God’s instructions were very clear when repeatedly He told us to Go!  He often chose the most unqualified to accomplish His mission.  What set them apart was their willingness to Go inspite of their deficiencies.  What about you?  Are you stuck on the starting line?  Well trained, equipped and ready, But not yet left the blocks?  Then Go.

Click HERE to listen to “GO” 

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