Faith Promise Sunday 2017

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The S7GNS:  The Great Easter Exchange!

 

Scripture Lesson for the Day:  John 11:17-53, NLT

What is the best trade you have ever made?

The Great Easter Exchange points to…

  • The promise of God!

“Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.  Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.  Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?’” (John 11:25-26, NLT)

Do you really believe the promises of God when it comes to your inevitable death?

“Christ has given us the promise of eternal life” (1 John 2:25, GW).

  • The compassion of God!

“When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled.  ‘Where have you put him?’  he asked them.  They told him, ‘Lord, come and see.’  Then Jesus wept” (John 11:33-35, NLT).

What is your perception of God when tragedies invade your life?

  • The power of God!

“So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, ‘Lord, your dear friend is very sick.’  But when Jesus heard about it he said, ‘Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this’” (John 11:3-4, NLT).

“Jesus said to her, ‘Didn’t I tell you that if you believe, you would see God’s glory?’  So the stone was moved away from the entrance of the tomb.  Jesus looked up and said, ‘Father, I thank you for hearing me.  I’ve known that you always hear me. However, I’ve said this so that the crowd standing around me will believe that you sent me.’  After Jesus had said this, he shouted as loudly as he could, ‘Lazarus, come out!’  The dead man came out. Strips of cloth were wound around his feet and hands, and his face was wrapped with a handkerchief. Jesus told them, ‘Free Lazarus, and let him go’” (John 11:40-44, GW).

How can sickness and death bring glory to God and His Son, Jesus Christ?

  • The sacrifice of God!

“Caiaphas, who was high priest at that time, said, ‘You don’t know what you’re talking about!  You don’t realize that it’s better for you that one man should die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed.’  He did not say this on his own; as high priest at that time he was led to prophesy that Jesus would die for the entire nation.  And not only for that nation, but to bring together and unite all the children of God scattered around the world.  So from that time on, the Jewish leaders began to plot Jesus’ death” (John 11:49-53, NLT).

“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.  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” (1 John 4:9-10, NLT).

Have you participated in the “Great Easter Exchange?”

The Closing Challenge:  Easter is all about the great exchange!  Forgiveness instead of guilt!  Eternal death exchanged for eternal life!  His life for yours!  Have you heard Him call your name and invite you to exchange a life characterized by death for one that is true life both now and in the hereafter?

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The S7GNS:  The ingredients for a miraculous sign!

 

Scripture Lesson for the Day:  John 9:1-41, NLT

“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life’” (John 8:12, NLT).

“‘We must do what the one who sent me wants us to do while it is day. The night when no one can do anything is coming.  As long as I’m in the world, I’m light for the world’” (John 9:4-5, GW).

What does it mean to you when Jesus says that he is the light of the world?

“The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book.  But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name” (John 20:30-31, NLT).

Sign: sēmeion, Greek –  “A sign (typically miraculous), given especially to confirm, corroborate or authenticate…Accordingly, it is used dozens of times in the NT for what authenticates the Lord and His eternal purpose, especially by doing what mere man cannot replicate of take credit for”  (Online resource – Bible Hub).

The ingredients for a miraculous sign…

  • Raw materials and a response!

How do you respond when you get a speck of dust in your eye?

“After Jesus said this, he spit on the ground and made some mud with it and put the mud on the man’s eyes.  Then he told the man, ‘Go and wash in the Pool of Siloam.’  (Siloam means Sent.) So the man went, washed, and came back seeing” (John 9:6-7, NCV).

  • Blind spots!

What are your blind spots?

“So for the second time they called in the man who had been blind and told him, ‘God should get the glory for this, because we know this man Jesus is a sinner.’  ‘I don’t know whether he is a sinner,’ the man replied.  ‘But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!’” (John 9:24-25, NLT).

Like the blind man did you have a progression of understanding about who Jesus actually is?

  • A spiritual twist!

“Some Pharisees who were standing nearby heard him and asked, ‘Are you saying we’re blind?’  ‘If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,’ Jesus replied. ‘But you remain guilty because you claim you can see’” (John 9:40-41, NLT).

  • A judge and His judgement!

“Then Jesus said, ‘I have come into this world to judge: Blind people will be given sight, and those who can see will become blind’” (John 9:39, GW).

How many times have we judged someone incorrectly?

“When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, Jesus found him and said, ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’  He asked, ‘Who is the Son of Man, sir, so that I can believe in him?’  Jesus said to him, ‘You have seen him. The Son of Man is the one talking with you.’  He said, ‘Lord, I believe!’ Then the man worshiped Jesus” (John 9:35-38, NCV).

Has Jesus healed you of your spiritual blindness? If so, how has this changed your life?

Closing Challenge:  Jesus used certain ingredients to point to an important understanding of who He is and one of His important role’s.  How is your spiritual eyesight when it comes to how you see Jesus?  Would you say that you have 20/20 vision when it comes to Jesus?  Does your spiritual sight and perception need to be miraculously healed? Can you sing, “I once was blind, but now I see”? (Amazing Grace by John Newton).

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The S7GNS:  Water Walking!

 

Scripture Lesson for the Day:  John 6:16-21; Matthew 14:22-34, NLT

What frightens you the most?  What is your response when you are frightened?

“They had rowed three or four miles when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, but he called out to them, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here!’” (John 6:19-20, NLT).

Water Walking Observations…

  • Obeying Jesus does not stop the storms of life! 

“Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home.  After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.  Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves” (Matthew 14:22-24, NLT).

Has a recent storm in your life threatened your well-being?  How did you respond to it?

  • Fear is overcome when we trust in Jesus!

“When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, ‘It’s a ghost!’  But Jesus spoke to them at once. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ he said. ‘Take courage. I am here!’  Then Peter called to him, ‘Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.’  ‘Yes, come,’ Jesus said.  So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus” (Matthew 14:26-29, NLT).

Do fearful circumstances impact your trust in Jesus?

“Faith is often the child of fear” (Max Lucado, In the Eye of the Storm, p. 199).

Key Understanding:  There is a high price to pay when we live in fear rather than trusting in Jesus!

“If you want to walk on water you’ve got to get out of the boat” (John Ortberg & Book Title).

  • Worship and belief are appropriate responses to Jesus!

“When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped.  Then the disciples worshiped him. ‘You really are the Son of God!’ they exclaimed” (Matthew 14:32-33, NLT).

What does water walking declare about Jesus?

Spiritual truth to remember:  Never forget that in the hour of your most desperate need Jesus will come to you!

“He called out to them, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here!’   Then they were eager to let him in the boat, and immediately they arrived at their destination!” (John 6:20-21, NLT).

Jesus will lead us to a much needed place of R & R as we place our faith in Him!

“After they had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret” (Matthew 14:34, NLT).

A second miracle?  “He said to them, ‘It is I; do not be afraid.’  Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going” (John 6:20-21, NKJV).

Closing Challenge:  When you see Jesus for who He really is you will never be the same.  Whatever storm you may possibly be dealing with will look and recognize that you are not alone and that Jesus is coming to you to offer his peace and compassionate care.  Will you receive Him into your life?

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The S7GNS: Hunger Pains!

 

Scripture Lesson of the day:  John 6:1-15, NLT

What is your favorite type of bread?  Which restaurant serves the best bread in town?

“The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book.  But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name” (John 20:30-31, NLT).

The hunger pain’s responses…

1.             Philip’s logical response!

“Turning to Philip, he asked, ‘Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?’  He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.  Philip replied, ‘Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!’” (John 6:5-7, NLT).

Have you had a problem when there was no human solution?

2.             Andrew and a little boy’s can-do response!

“One of Jesus’ disciples, Andrew, who was Simon Peter’s brother, told him, ‘A boy who has five loaves of barley bread and two small fish is here. But they won’t go very far for so many people’” (John 6:8-9, NLT).

3.             Jesus’ miraculous response!

“Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.)  Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted” (John 6:10-11, NLT).

This miraculous sign points to…

  •  The abundant leftovers!

“When the people were full, Jesus told his disciples, ‘Gather the leftover pieces so that nothing will be wasted.’  The disciples gathered the leftover pieces of bread and filled twelve baskets” (John 6:12-13, GW).

  • A greater Moses is here!

“When the people saw him do this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, “Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!” (John 6:14, NLT).

“The Lord your God will send you a prophet, an Israelite like me. You must listen to him” (Deuteronomy 18:15, GW).

“Jesus said, ‘I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven.  The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world’” (John 6:32-33, NLT).

  • A different kind of King!

“When Jesus saw that they were ready to force him to be their king, he slipped away into the hills by himself”  (John 6:15, NLT).

  • The living bread of life!

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life.  Yes, I am the bread of life!  Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died.  Anyone who eats the bread from heaven, however, will never die.  I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh” (John 6:47-51, NLT).

Who or what is the source of your spiritual nourishment?

“Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval” (John 6:27, NIV).

Closing Challenge:  Do you depend upon Jesus as the bread that sustains your spiritual life?  If not, are you willing to make Jesus your life giving sustenance?  Jesus declares, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life” (John 6:47, NKJV).

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