The Joneses

 

 

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SERVE:  How Can a Dad Serve His Child?

 

Scripture Lesson for the Day:  Numbers 21:4-9, NLT and other selected Bible passages

On this Father’s Day is there something your father would never say?

What fatherly behaviors did Moses surprisingly say and display as he served the Jewish people?

A dad serves his child…

  • When he practices patience.

“Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’  But Moses told the people, ‘Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again.  The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm’” (Exodus 14:12-14, NLT).

“Fathers, do not nag your children. If you are too hard to please, they may want to stop trying” (Colossians 3:21, NCV).

Key Understanding:  Dad, you must remember that your child is not perfect because they come from imperfect parents!  Remembering this will help you to display patience with your child’s imperfections!

Dads, are you practicing patience when your children are not all you would like them to be?

  • When he intercedes in prayer.

“The people came to Moses and said, ‘We sinned when we grumbled at you and the Lord. Pray that the Lord will take away these snakes.” So Moses prayed for the people’” (Numbers 21:7, NCV).

“For what great nation has a god as near to them as the Lord our God is near to us whenever we call on him?”  (Deuteronomy 4:7, NLT).

Dads, are you interceding in prayer for your children?

  • When he speaks life giving words.

“Blessed are you, O Israel!  Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD?  He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword” (Deuteronomy 33:29a, NIV).

“What you say can mean life or death.  Those who speak with care will be rewarded” (Proverbs 18:21, NCV).

Dads, are you speaking words of life or death to your child?

  • When he lovingly sacrifices.

What sacrifices did your father make for you? 

“The next day Moses told the people, ‘You have done a terrible sin. But now I will go up to the Lord. Maybe I can do something so your sins will be removed.’  So Moses went back to the Lord and said, ‘How terribly these people have sinned! They have made for themselves gods from gold.  Now, please forgive them of this sin. If you will not, then erase my name from the book in which you have written the names of your people’” (Exodus 32:30-32, NCV).

“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life”  (John 3:14, 15, NIV).

Dads, what sacrifices have you made for your child?

Closing Challenge:  Some of our dads will be serving communion this morning…it is fitting that they do so in light of a father’s calling to be a servant leader in their home.  As we celebrate Jesus through communion on Father’s Day our dads must recognize their responsibility to practice servanthood to their families!

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SERVE:  Called to Serve and Take Up the Towel!

 

Scripture Lesson for the day:  Mark 10:41-45; John 13:1-17, NLT

How would people respond today if a prominent political leader or celebrity was seen washing the feet of their constituents or their fans?  Serving in this day and age is most definitely countercultural!

When Jesus took up the towel he was…

  • Challenging saved people to serve!

When you think of the word servant what or who comes to mind?

“So during the meal Jesus stood up and took off his outer clothing. Taking a towel, he wrapped it around his waist.  Then he poured water into a bowl and began to wash the followers’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him…When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and sat down again. He asked, “Do you understand what I have just done for you?  You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that is what I am.  If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash each other’s feet” (John 13:4-5,12-14, NCV).

IMITATION vs. INCARNATION

Key Understanding:  “SAVED people, SERVE people” Jesus wants us not to simply imitate him but to incarnate him to others through our service!

Jesus was prophesied to be our suffering servant:  “After his soul suffers many things, he will see life and be satisfied.  My good servant will make many people right with God; he will carry away their sins” (Isaiah 53:11, NCV).

When Jesus took up the towel he was…

  • Transforming prideful people into humble servants!

“When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant.  So Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them.  But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else’” (Mark 10:41-45, NLT).

How can you improve your SERVE?

Some “Serve” insights…

1.     Our temptation is to be served. 
“So Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them.  But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else’” (Mark 10:42-44, NLT).

2.    Our challenge is to accept the invitation to serve.
“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am.  And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.   I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. (John 13:14-15, NLT).

3.    Our promise is we will be blessed if we serve. 
“Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them” (John 13:17, NLT).

“You don’t need me to wash your feet but I can brush your shoes” (the late theologian, Dr. John Stott).

Closing Challenge:  We must move from the concept of serving to the act of serving!  What is one specific way you will imitate Jesus’ example of humble service this week in your neighborhood, workplace, or home

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Soul Detox:  The Blinded Soul

 

Scripture Lesson for the day:  2 Corinthians 4:1-6; Selected passages

Has life thrown you a sucker punch leaving you spiritually blinded?

“If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing.  Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4, NLT).

Spiritual blindness is removed when you experience these aha moments…

AHA MOMENT #1:  You are loved!

How has someone in your life communicated their love for you?

·     Jesus said, “God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life.  God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16-17, NCV).

·      Paul said, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8, NIV).

·     John said, “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).

Do you realize how much God loves you?  Have you experienced the full extent of God’s love?

AHA MOMENT #2:  You can be rescued!

What is considered the greatest rescue mission of all time?

“Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live” (Galatians 1:4, NLT).

“God has rescued us from the power of darkness and has brought us into the kingdom of his Son, whom he loves” (Colossians 1:13, GW).

“Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost’” (Luke 19:9-10, NIV).

Are you willing to let Jesus rescue you?

AHA MOMENT #3:  You can be adopted!

“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.  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.  So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son” (Ephesians 1:4-6, NLT).

When God adopts you…

  • You will have a new family!  See John 1:12-13
  • You will have a new name!  See Revelation 2:17; Saul’s name changed to Paul after his conversion!
  • You will have a new home!  See John 14:1-3

Are you spiritually blinded from all that life has thrown at you?

Closing Challenge: The toxic cloud of spiritual blindness can be replaced through some aha moment realities about who you are in Jesus!  Will you accept these realities as your own and allow God through Jesus Christ to heal your spiritual blindness that you may be experiencing?

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Soul Detox: Toxic Thoughts, Words, and Deeds

 

Scripture Lesson for the Day: Matthew 5:27-28, 15:10-11,15-20; Proverbs 4:23; Philippians 4:8-9

Detox:  The process of removing toxins or poisons from our bodies.  There are times when our soul needs to be detoxed due to the toxins that have “crept” into our minds through our life experiences.

Do you believe that your thoughts, words and deeds reveal the condition of your soul?

Do your thoughts, words and deeds need to be detoxed?

A complete soul detox must include…

  • Detoxing our thoughts!

“You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’  But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28, NLT).

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (Proverbs 4:23, NLT).

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8-9, NIV).

  • Detoxing our words!

“Jesus called the people to Him and said to them, ‘Listen and understand this!  It is not what goes into a man’s mouth that makes his mind and heart sinful. It is what comes out of a man’s mouth that makes him sinful’” (Matthew 15:10-11, NLV).

“But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language.  Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.  Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him” (Colossians 3:8-10, NLT).

“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” (Ephesians 4:29, NLT).

  • Detoxing our deeds!

“But what people say with their mouths comes from the way they think; these are the things that make people unclean.  Out of the mind come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual sins, stealing, lying, and speaking evil of others.  These things make people unclean; eating with unwashed hands does not make them unclean” (Matthew 15:18-20, NCV).

Some keys to detoxing our thoughts, words and deeds!

Key #1:  GUARD – Proverbs 4:23; Matthew 5:29; Philippians 4:8

Key #2:  TAKE OFF – Colossians 3:9

Key #3:  PUT ON – Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10a, 12

Key #4:  RENEW – Ephesians 4:23; Colossians 3:10b; Romans 12:2

Key #5:  FOLLOW – Galatians 5:24-25

Key #6:  LIVE – Ephesians 5:1-2, 8-10; Colossians 3:12-15

Closing Challenge:  Do you need to have your thoughts, words and deeds detoxed?  The help is available if you are willing to take the steps necessary! “Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him” (Colossians 3:10, NLT).

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