Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Week 9: Prayer

Four Reasons Why People Don't Pray
1.They aren't sure how to pray.

2.They get bored or distracted while praying.

3.They think their requests are too small for God.

4.They aren't sure their prayers will make a difference.

What is Prayer?
Prayer is communicating with God.

How can we pray?

1.With gut-level honesty (Exodus 5:22-23; Matthew 6:5,7)

2.Talk about everything that matters to you (Philippians 4:6)

Prayer is a Conversation (a dialogue), that requires us to listen...

What to ask God...

1. Are there any sins I need to confess? (Listen for Conviction)
2. Are there any words of encouragement I need to hear? (Listen for Affirmation)
3. Are there any promises I'm forgetting to receive? (Listen for Promises)
4. Are there any commands I'm neglecting to obey? (Listen for Commands)
5. Are there any warnings I need to heed? (Listen to Warnings)

Listen to sermon here.

Week 8: Fasting

What is fasting?
Fasting happens when you choose to abstain from normal, everyday activities, and you devote that time instead to prayer.


Reasons to Fast...
1.Jesus assumes we would fast (Mt. 6:17)






7.Dependance on God

8.Seek God's guidance

9.Satisfaction in God

Steps to Fasting...

STEP #1: Decide what you're going to fast from.

STEP #2: Daily pray for someone's salvation until Easter.

STEP #3: Build a relationship with that person and invite them
for Palm Sunday (Apr 5) and Easter Sunday (Apr 12).

Listen to sermon here.

Week 7: Submission

What does it mean to submit?
Submission means to give up power when we want to take control, or lay aside our rights when we want to exercise them.

Submission begins with God
The reason we are to practice submission in our own lives is because God practices it in His life.

Who should we submit to?

1. Submit to Christ (James 4:6-7; Matthew 28:18; Matthew 6:24; Romans 6:16-18,20-22)

2. Submit to governing authorities (Romans 13:1-7)

3. Submit to church leaders (Hebrews 13:7,17)

4. Submit to husbands (Ephesians 5:22-25; Genesis 2:18; 2:21-22; Proverbs 21:9; 12:4; Colossians 3:19)

5. Submit to parents (Colossians 3:20; Ephesians 6:1-3; Proverbs 31)
  • Parent Resource Website: http://gcparenting.blogspot.com
6.Submit to bosses (Ephesians 6:5-8)

Listen to sermon here.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Week 6: Fellowship

Scratching the Surface
  1. Surface Fellowship
  2. Deep Fellowship
Fellowship with God (Ephesians 2:12-22)
  1. Fellowship with God only comes through Jesus
  2. Fellowship with believers comes from our fellowship with God
Hindrances to Deep Fellowship
  1. Self-sufficiency
  2. Formality
  3. Bitterness
  4. Elitism
Cultivating Deep Fellowship with Believers
  1. Love one another (John 13:34-35; Romans 13:8)
  2. Bear one another's burdens (Galatians 6:2)
  3. Show hospitality to one another (1 Peter 4:9; Romans 12:13)
  4. Accept one another (Romans 14:1-4)
  5. Forgive one another (Ephesians 4:32)
  6. Honor and encourage one another (Romans 12:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:11)
  7. Speak truthfully to one another (Colossians 3:9; Ephesians 4:25)
  8. Agree with one another (1 Corinthians 1:10)
  9. Lay down your lives for one another (1 John 3:16)
Listen to sermon here.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Week 5: Service

What does it mean to serve?
To reflect the helping, caring, and sharing love of God in the world. We do this by offering our time, resources, influence, and expertise for the care, protection, justice, and nurture of other people. It's “loving our neighbor as yourself.”

Jesus the Servant
1.Servants and Slaves (Matthew 20:26-27)

2.To serve or be served? (Matthew 20:28)

Four Questions (John 13:1-17)

1. Should we serve? (John 13:14,16)
  • Serving is a natural part of a Christian's life

2. Why should we serve?
  • Outward Motives
  • Hidden Motives
  • Biblical Motives
3. Who should we serve? (John 13:1-2,11)
  • Both the deserving and undeserving

4. How can we serve?
  • Make your Sunday service an act of service

Listen to sermon here.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Week 4: Resting

What does it mean to practice the discipline of rest?
To observe the Sabbath as God's gift of repetitive and regular rest.

Sabbath Purposes:
1.To find rest in Jesus (Matthew 11:28; Colossians 2:16-17)
2.To cease from and enjoy the results of your work (Genesis 2:1-3)
3.To be free from the slavery of work (Deuteronomy 5:12-15)

Sabbath Practices:
1.Make sure you have enough time away from work.
2.Determine what to do with your time...

  • Make sure you keep regular hours of bible study, prayer, and worship.
  • You've got to have some veg time.
  • You've got to have a pleasure or activity that gives structure to your Sabbath time.
  • You must make sure you know whether you're an introvert or extrovert.
  • You have to honor the rhythms and seasons of your life.
  • Inject Sabbath rest into your work life.

Nine Sabbath Ideas...
1.Read a good book.
2.Eat some good food with some good company.
3.Restful activities: walks, picnics, phone visit with someone you love, tea or coffee with a friend, family time, games with your kids, etc.
4.Take a nap
5.Let go of the things that stress yo out for 24 hours.
6.Don't develop a to-do list for your Sabbath
7.Let the difficult conversations happen another day.
8.Take a vacation.
9.Refrain from activities that drain: doing taxes, cleaning closets, etc.

Listen to sermon here

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Week 3: Secrecy

What is the discipline of secrecy? 
Keeping our good deeds and qualities hidden from other people.

Principles of Secrecy:
  1. If something good can be done in secret, then it should (Phil. 2:3).
  2. The discipline of secrecy involves holding confidences as secrets not to be shared (Pr. 11:13; Mt. 12:34,36-37; Eph. 4:29)
Three Criteria for Sharing Confidences:
  1. Is it true?
  2. Is it kind?
  3. Is it necessary?
Steps to Practicing Secrecy:
  1. Memorize and meditate on Matthew 6:1, "Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people to be seen by them..."
  2. Do something or give something anonymously.
  3. Pray for other's success more than your own.
  4. Covenant with God to keep confidences and secrets.
Listen to sermon here.

Week 2: Studying Scripture

1. Hear God's Word (Rev. 1:3; Lk. 11:28; James 1:22; Rms. 10:17)
  • Listen to sermons from great preacher
Mark Driscoll (Seattle, WA)
Matt Chandler (Highland Village, TX)
 Steve DeNeff (Marion, IN)
  • Purchase an audio Bible or listen for free online
Free Online Audio Bibles (multiple versions)

2. Read God's Word (Deut. 17:19)
  • Choose a Bible you can understand
Bible Translation Grade Level
KJV 12
ESV 10
NIV 7-8
Good News Bible 7
Message 4-5
  • Flexible Reading Options:
a. Study the life of Jesus by reading the Gospels
b. Pick a book and study it for months
c. Follow a reading schedule - Online Reading Schedules
d. Read a chapter each day
e. Read the chapter for next week's sermon

3. Study God's Word (Acts 17:11; 2 Tim 2:15)
  • Join a group Bible study
  • Purchase a Bible study guide that helps you study a book of the Bible
  • Ask questions about the Bible passages you read:
a. Who is the author?
b. Who is the audience?
c. What was the culture of the time?
d. Why was the book written?
e. What does this tell me about God?
f. How does this connect to Jesus?
g. Who sins do I need to repent of?
  • Find the answers using Bible study tools:
a. Bible Introductions (the beginning of each book of the Bible)
b. Bible Commentaries (www.bestcommentaries.com)
c. Bible Dictionaries (www.eastonsbibledictionary.com)
d. Bible Software (www.logos.com)

4. Memorize God's Word (Psalm 119:11; Proverbs 22:17)
  • Write Scriptures on note cards or post-it notes
  • Place them where you will see them often

5. Meditate on God's Word (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2; Jer. 15:16)
  • Pray for the Holy Spirit to teach you Scripture, convict you of sin, and give you a heart to lovingly obey Jesus.
  • Memorize a word, verse, phrase, chapter, or scene that bites you.
  • Write it in your own words, seeking to grasp the full meaning of what it is said.
  • Ask yourself, "What does this tell me about God?"
  • Repent of any sin that the Holy Spirit convicts you of.
  • Pray for anyone or anything that they Holy Spirit brings to mind.
  • Determine what God would have you to do in obedience to His Word.
(Points in #5 taken from theresurgence.com)

Listen to sermon audio here

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Week 1: Training vs. Trying

Godliness does not come automatically, we must train for it.  We must train hard as Olympians train for the Games.  The way Christians get in Christ-like shape is through practicing exercises called the spiritual disciplines.

There are two kinds of spiritual disciplines...
1. Inward disciplines help us become what Christ was.
2. Outward disciplines help us do what Christ did.

Inward Disciplines:


Outward Disciplines:


Listen to sermon audio here