This is the perfect place to catch up on Pastor Jon’s previous messages, or to research more about what our message really is as a church. We also have provided you with the Scripture text, main point, and any sub-points for each message. We pray that the application of these messages are a profound blessing in your life, and please let us know if you have any questions.

 

Click here to go to our Facebook Live page and join us through video at 10AM on Sunday Mornings, or to watch previous videos already posted.

 

Leading His People Through Elders

[Numbers 11: 16 – 35]

The Holy Spirit empowers leaders to guide God’s difficult people during challenging times.

 

The Holy Spirit dispels our discouragement and doubt

[14 – 15]  I can’t carry all these people by myself. They are too much for me. If You are going to treat me like this, please kill me right now. If You are pleased with me, don’t let me see my misery anymore.”

[21 – 22] But Moses replied, “I’m in the middle of a people with 600,000 foot soldiers, yet You say, ‘I will give them meat, and they will eat for a month.’ If flocks and herds were slaughtered for them, would they have enough? Or if all the fish in the sea were caught for them, would they have enough?”

[23] The Lord answered Moses, “Is the Lord’s power limited? You will see whether or not what I have promised will happen to you.”

[Isaiah 59:1] Indeed, the Lord’s hand is not too short to save, and His ear is not too deaf to hear.

[Luke 7: 20 – 23] When the men reached Him, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to ask You, ‘Are You the One who is to come, or should we look for someone else?’ ” At that time Jesus healed many people of diseases, plagues, and evil spirits, and He granted sight to many blind people. He replied to them, “Go and report to John the things you have seen and heard: The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, those with skin diseases are healed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor are told the good news. And anyone who is not offended because of Me is blessed.”

 

The Holy Spirit empowers those proximate and distant 

[16 – 17] The Lord answered Moses, “Bring Me 70 men from Israel known to you as elders and officers of the people. Take them to the tent of meeting and have them stand there with you. Then I will come down and speak with you there. I will take some of the Spirit who is on you and put the Spirit on them. They will help you bear the burden of the people, so that you do not have to bear it by yourself.

[24 – 25] Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord. He brought 70 men from the elders of the people and had them stand around the tent. Then the Lord descended in the cloud and spoke to him. He took some of the Spirit that was on Moses and placed the Spirit on the 70 elders. As the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they never did it again. 

[26 – 28] Two men had remained in the camp, one named Eldad and the other Medad; the Spirit rested on them—they were among those listed, but had not gone out to the tent—and they prophesied in the camp. A young man ran and reported to Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” Joshua son of Nun, assistant to Moses since his youth, responded, “Moses, my lord, stop them!”

[29 – 30] But Moses asked him, “Are you jealous on my account? If only all the Lord’s people were prophets and the Lord would place His Spirit on them!” Then Moses returned to the camp along with the elders of Israel.

[1 Corinthians 14:5] I wish all of you spoke in other languages, but even more that you prophesied. The person who prophesies is greater than the person who speaks in languages, unless he interprets so that the church may be built up.

 

The Holy Spirit brings people provision and judgment

[31 – 33] A wind sent by the Lord came up and blew quail in from the sea; it dropped them at the camp all around, three feet off the ground, about a day’s journey in every direction. The people were up all that day and night and all the next day gathering the quail—the one who took the least gathered 50 bushels —and they spread them out all around the camp. While the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the Lord’s anger burned against the people, and the Lord struck them with a very severe plague.

[Psalm 78: 29 – 31] They ate and were completely satisfied, for He gave them what they craved. Before they had satisfied their desire, while the food was still in their mouths, God’s anger flared up against them, and He killed some of their best men. He struck down Israel’s choice young men.

[Philippians 4:19] And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

[John 6: 32 – 35] Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Moses didn’t give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the real bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the One who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Then they said, “Sir, give us this bread always!” “I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again.

 

Applications and Next Steps

  • What is your response to God’s desire for relationship?
  • What things of the world system do you find yourself craving?
  • What is a doubt, struggle, or disappointment about which you need to be honest with God?
  • How has the Holy Spirit empowering you to help lead?

 

Click here for a Connection Card to respond to what Jesus is telling you today.

Click here to give generously towards what God is doing through his church in the Lakeview Neighborhood of Chicago.

 

Click here to go to our Facebook Live page and join us through video at 10AM on Sunday Mornings, or to watch previous videos already posted.

 

Giving Artists Skillful Talent

[Exodus 31]

The Holy Spirit engifts his people with what they need to accomplish God’s plan for them.

 

Skills and insights are augmented by the Holy Spirit

[1 – 6] The Lord also spoke to Moses: “Look, I have appointed by name Bezalel son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with God’s Spirit, with wisdom, understanding, and ability in every craft to design artistic works in gold, silver, and bronze, to cut gemstones for mounting, and to carve wood for work in every craft. I have also selected Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to be with him. I have placed wisdom within every skilled craftsman in order to make all that I have commanded you:

[Genesis 41: 37 – 40] The proposal pleased Pharaoh and all his servants. Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find anyone like this, a man who has God’s spirit  in him?”  So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one as intelligent and wise as you are. You will be over my house, and all my people will obey your commands.  Only with regard to the throne will I be greater than you.”

 

Attachment and communication are desired by our God

[7 – 11] …the tent of meeting, the ark of the testimony, the mercy seat that is on top of it, and all the other furnishings of the tent — the table with its utensils, the pure gold lampstand with all its utensils, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, the basin with its stand— the specially woven garments, both the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons to serve as priests, the anointing oil, and the fragrant incense for the sanctuary. They must make them according to all that I have commanded you.”

[Hebrews 9: 23 – 24] Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves to be purified with better sacrifices than these. For the Messiah did not enter a sanctuary made with hands (only a model of the true one) but into heaven itself, so that He might now appear in the presence of God for us.

 

Obedience and generosity are expected of His people

[36: 1 – 3] Bezalel, Oholiab, and all the skilled  people are to work based on everything the Lord has commanded. The Lord has given them wisdom and understanding to know how to do all the work of constructing the sanctuary.”  So Moses summoned Bezalel, Oholiab, and every skilled  person in whose heart the Lord had placed wisdom, everyone whose heart moved him,  to come to the work and do it. They took from Moses’ presence all the contributions that the Israelites had brought for the task of making the sanctuary. Meanwhile, the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning.

[36: 4 – 7] Then all the craftsmen who were doing all the work for the sanctuary came one by one from the work they were doing and said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than is needed  for the construction of the work the Lord commanded to be done.” After Moses gave an order, they sent a proclamation throughout the camp: “Let no man or woman make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” So the people stopped. The materials were sufficient for them to do all the work. There was more than enough.

[2 Corinthians 9: 6- 7] Remember this: The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. Each person should do as he has decided in his heart—not reluctantly or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver.

 

Applications and Next Steps

  • What is your response to God’s desire for relationship?
  • How has the Holy Spirit engifted you to serve?
  • What is an extravagant gift that you could give to God?

 

Click here for a Connection Card to respond to what Jesus is telling you today.

Click here to give generously towards what God is doing through his church in the Lakeview Neighborhood of Chicago.

 

Time to Get to Work

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Awake – Time to Get to Work

[2 Thessalonians 3: 6 – 18]

Those who are spiritually awake are blessed by being engaged in a physical vocation.

Jesus desires more from his followers than laziness

[7 – 12] For you yourselves know how you must imitate us: We were not irresponsible among you; we did not eat anyone’s food free of charge; instead, we labored and struggled, working night and day, so that we would not be a burden to any of you. It is not that we don’t have the right to support, but we did it to make ourselves an example to you so that you would imitate us. In fact, when we were with you, this is what we commanded you: “If anyone isn’t willing to work, he should not eat.” For we hear that there are some among you who walk irresponsibly, not working at all, but interfering with the work of others. Now we command and exhort such people by the Lord Jesus Christ that quietly working, they may eat their own food.

[Matthew 10:10] Don’t take a traveling bag for the road, or an extra shirt, sandals, or a walking stick, for the worker is worthy of his food. 

[Colossians 3:17] And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. 

[Genesis 3: 17b – 19] And He said to Adam, “Because you listened to your wife’s voice and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘Do not eat from it’: The ground is cursed because of you. You will eat from it by means of painful labor all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. You will eat bread by the sweat of your brow until you return to the ground, since you were taken from it. For you are dust, and you will return to dust.”

 

Jesus expects more from his church than complicity

[6] Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from every brother who walks irresponsibly and not according to the tradition received from us.

[13 – 15] Brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. And if anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take note of that person; don’t associate with him, so that he may be ashamed. Yet don’t treat him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother. 

[1 Corinthians 5: 9 – 11] I wrote to you in a letter not to associate with sexually immoral people. I did not mean the immoral people of this world or the greedy and swindlers or idolaters; otherwise you would have to leave the world. But now I am writing you not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer who is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or verbally abusive, a drunkard or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person.

[2 Corinthians 2: 6 – 8] The punishment inflicted by the majority is sufficient for that person. As a result, you should instead forgive and comfort him. Otherwise, this one may be overwhelmed by excessive grief. Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. 

[Matthew 18: 15 – 17] “If your brother sins against you, go and rebuke him in private. If he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he won’t listen, take one or two more with you, so that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every fact may be established. If he pays no attention to them, tell the church. But if he doesn’t pay attention even to the church, let him be like an unbeliever and a tax collector to you.

 

Jesus gives more to his people than instructions

[16 – 18] May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with all of you. This greeting is in my own hand —Paul. This is a sign in every letter; this is how I write. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.

[Ruth 2:4] Later, when Boaz arrived from Bethlehem, he said to the harvesters, “The Lord be with you.” “The Lord bless you,” they replied.

[Matthew 18:20] …teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

[Numbers 6: 24 – 26] May Yahweh bless you and protect you; may Yahweh make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; may Yahweh look with favor on you and give you peace.

 

Applications and Next Steps

If you are unemployed, what could you do in the new year?

If you are employed, how could you improve your efforts?   

If the Apostle Paul were to write a letter to Chicagoland Community Church what would be his focused area of exhortation?

How can we better imitate Jesus’ (and Paul’s) example here in the Lakeview neighborhood?

Have you received the grace and peace of being a disciple?

 

Click here for a Connection Card to respond to what Jesus is telling you today.

Click here to give generously towards what God is doing through his church in the Lakeview Neighborhood of Chicago.

 

Click here to go to our Facebook Live page and join us through video at 10AM on Sunday Mornings, or to watch previous videos already posted.

 

It’s Always Darkest before the Dawn

[2 Thessalonians 2: 1 – 17]

We must stay spiritually awake, especially in the dark times right before Jesus’ return.

 

The Direction the World System is Headed

[1 John 2:18] Children, it is the last hour. And as you have heard, “Antichrist  is coming,” even now many antichrists have come. We know from this that it is the last hour.

[Revelation 13: 1 – 3] And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea.  He had 10 horns and seven heads. On his horns were 10 diadems,  and on his heads were blasphemous names. The beast I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like a bear’s, and his mouth was like a lion’s mouth. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. One of his heads appeared to be fatally wounded, but his fatal wound was healed. The whole earth was amazed and followed the beast.

[Mark 13:14] “When you see the abomination that causes desolation [Daniel 9:27] standing where it should not” (let the reader understand ), “then those in Judea  must flee to the mountains!

 

The Expectation Jesus Followers have Embraced

[8b] The Lord Jesus will destroy him with the breath of His mouth and will bring him to nothing with the brightness of His coming.

[Revelation 19: 11 – 16] Then I saw heaven opened,  and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True,  and He judges and makes war in righteousness.  12 His eyes were like a fiery flame,  and many crowns  were on His head.  He had a name written that no one knows except Himself.  13 He wore a robe stained with blood, and His name is the Word of God.  14 The armies that were in heaven followed Him on white horses, wearing pure white linen. 15 A sharp  sword  came from His mouth, so that He might strike the nations with it.  He will shepherd  them with an iron scepter.  He will also trample the winepress of the fierce anger of God,  the Almighty. 16 And He has a name written on His robe and on His thigh: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

[13 – 14] But we must always thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God has chosen you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, so that you might obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

[15 – 17] Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions you were taught, either by our message or by our letter. May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal encouragement and good hope by grace, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good work and word.

 

Applications and Next Steps

  • What questions do you have about the future that trouble you?
  • What aspects of the world system do you find alluring?  
  • How can we encourage one another to stand firm?
  • Have you responded to the call of Gospel?

 

Click here for a Connection Card to respond to what Jesus is telling you today.

Click here to give generously towards what God is doing through his church in the Lakeview Neighborhood of Chicago.

 

Click here to go to our Facebook Live page and join us through video at 10AM on Sunday Mornings, or to watch previous videos already posted.

 

Getting Up on the Right Side of Bed

[2 Thessalonians 1: 1 – 12]

People either deal with persecution faithfully as believers now, or face judgement as non-believers later.

 

Connection is properly based on appreciation

[1 – 4] Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy: To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We must always thank God for you, brothers. This is right, since your faith is flourishing and the love  each one of you has for one another is increasing. Therefore, we ourselves boast about you among God’s churches—about your endurance and faith in all the persecutions and afflictions you endure

[Philippians 1: 3 – 6] I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day  until now. I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

 

Inversion is appropriately expected at completion

[5 – 10] It is a clear evidence of God’s righteous  judgment  that you will be counted worthy of God’s kingdom, for which you also are suffering,  since it is righteous for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you and to reward with rest you who are afflicted, along with us. This will take place at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with His powerful angels, taking vengeance with flaming fire  on those who don’t know God  and on those who don’t obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.  These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction  from the Lord’s presence  and from His glorious strength  10 in that day when He comes  to be glorified  by His saints  and to be admired by all those who have believed, because our testimony among you was believed.

[Isaiah 66: 15 – 16] Look, the Lord will come with fire — His chariots are like the whirlwind — to execute His anger with fury and His rebuke with flames of fire. For the Lord will execute judgment on all flesh with His fiery sword, and many will be slain by the Lord.

[Matthew 25: 31 – 32] “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations  will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

 

Transformation is truly produced by intervention

[11 – 12]And in view of this, we always pray for you that our God will consider you worthy of His calling, and will, by His power, fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified by you, and you by Him,  according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

[Isaiah 66: 5] You who tremble at His word, hear the word of the Lord: “Your brothers who hate and exclude you because of Me have said, ‘Let the Lord be glorified so that we can see your joy!’ But they will be put to shame.”

[Ezekiel 36: 26 – 27] I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will place My Spirit within you and cause you to follow My statutes and carefully observe My ordinances.

 

Applications and Next Steps

  • What do you appreciate about C3?
  • Are you ready to celebrate at Jesus’ appearing?
  • How can a passage like this encourage us when suffering?  
  • What is a “desire for goodness” you have in your life right now?

 

Click here for a Connection Card to respond to what Jesus is telling you today.

Click here to give generously towards what God is doing through his church in the Lakeview Neighborhood of Chicago.

Todays To-Do List

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Awake – Today’s To-Do List

[1Thessalonians 5: 12 – 28]

Given the hope we have, our lifestyle is clearly going to be quite different than it was before.

Task 1 – Value our leaders in their efforts

[12 – 15] Now we ask you, brothers, to give recognition to those who labor among you and lead you in the Lord and admonish you, and to regard them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we exhort you, brothers: warn those who are irresponsible, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See to it that no one repays evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all.

“For he who is rebuked with harshness, despairing of himself, becomes more bold in contempt. On this account it is necessary by admonition to render the medicine sweet.”[1] 

[Matthew 5: 44] But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…

[Proverbs 25:21] If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.

 

Task 2 – Practice our spirituality with serious care

Rejoice always! Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Don’t stifle the Spirit. Don’t despise prophecies, but test all things. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil.

 

[1 John 4: 1 – 3] Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits  to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has  come in the flesh  is from God. But every spirit who does not confess Jesus  is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist;  you have heard that he is coming, and he is already in the world now.

[1 Corinthians 14:3] But the person who prophesies speaks to people for edification, encouragement, and consolation. 

[Colossians 3: 15] And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called  in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful.

 

Task 3 – Build our community towards the goal

[23 – 28] Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. Brothers, pray for us also. Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss. I charge you by the Lord that this letter be read to all the brothers. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

[Ephesians 6: 18 – 20] Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints. Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel. For this I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I might be bold enough in Him to speak as I should.

 

Applications and Next Steps

Are you ready to become part of Jesus’ community today?

How could you show a leader you value them this week?

What needs to change in our subjective spiritual experience?  

What needs to change in your life to be a greater encouragement to our community of faith?  

 

Click here for a Connection Card to respond to what Jesus is telling you today.

Click here to give generously towards what God is doing through his church in the Lakeview Neighborhood of Chicago.

Awake – The Coming Dawn

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Awake – The Coming Dawn
[1Thessalonians 4:13 – 5:11]

Those who are already spiritually awake tend not to be surprised by the sunrise.

The end is selectively favorable

[4: 13 – 18] We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. Since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in the same way God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep through Jesus. For we say this to you by a revelation from the Lord: We who are still alive at the Lord’s coming will certainly have no advantage over those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

[Daniel 7: 13 – 14] I continued watching in the night visions, and I saw One like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was escorted before Him. He was given authority to rule, and glory, and a kingdom; so that those of every people, nation, and language should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will not be destroyed.

[Mk 13: 26 – 27] Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. He will send out the angels and gather His elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.

The end is absolutely unavoidable

[5: 1 – 3] About the times and the seasons: •Brothers, you do not need anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. When they say, “Peace and security,” then sudden destruction comes on them, like labor pains come on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

[Joel 2: 31 – 32] The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and awe-inspiring Day of the Lord comes. Then everyone who calls on the name of Yahweh will be saved, for there will be an escape for those on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, as the Lord promised, among the survivors the Lord calls.

[Luke 12: 39 – 40] But know this: If the homeowner had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also be ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.”

The end is extremely applicable

[5: 4 – 11] 4 But you, brothers, are not in the dark, for this day to overtake you like a thief. 5 For you are all sons of light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or the darkness. 6 So then, we must not sleep, like the rest, but we must stay awake and be serious. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, we must be serious and put the armor of faith and love on our chests, and put on a helmet of the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.

[Isaiah 59: 17] He put on righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and He wrapped Himself in zeal as in a cloak.

[Ephesians 6: 15 – 17] Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word.

Applications and Next Steps

  • Are you ready today for the certainly coming sunrise?
  • What needs to change in your life because you are awake?
  • How could you encourage someone these teachings?

 

Click here for a Connection Card to respond to what Jesus is telling you today.

Click here to give generously towards what God is doing through his church in the Lakeview Neighborhood of Chicago.

Rise & Shine

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Rise & Shine

[1Thessalonians 4]

As our lives are changed by our spiritual awakening, we enlighten our environment.

 

Receiving good news is changing our daily lives

[1 – 3a] Finally then, brothers, we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus, that as you have received from us how you must walk and please God—as you are doing —do so even more. For you know what commands we gave you through the Lord Jesus.  For this is God’s will,  your sanctification….

[Romans 12: 1 – 2] Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you  to present your bodies as a living sacrifice,  holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed  to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will  of God.

 

Embracing sinful desires is rejecting our holy God

[3b – 8] …that you abstain from sexual immorality, so that each of you knows how to control his own body in sanctification and honor, not with lustful desires, like the Gentiles who don’t know God. This means one must not transgress against and defraud  his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger of all these offenses,  as we also previously told and warned you. For God has not called us to impurity  but to sanctification. Therefore, the person who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who also gives you His Holy Spirit. 

[Galatians 5: 19 – 23] Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality,  moral impurity,  promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery,  hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance—as I told you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit  is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

 

Avoiding healthy work is diluting our family impact

[9 – 12] About brotherly love: You don’t need me to write you because you yourselves are taught by God to love one another. In fact, you are doing this toward all the brothers in the entire region of Macedonia.  But we encourage you, brothers, to do so even more, to seek to lead a quiet life,  to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, so that you may walk properly in the presence of outsiders and not be dependent on anyone.

 [Jeremiah 31: 33 – 34] “Instead, this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days”—the Lord’s declaration. “I will put My teaching within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people. No longer will one teach his neighbor or his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least to the greatest of them” —this is the Lord’s declaration. “For I will forgive their wrongdoing  and never again remember their sin.”

 

Applications and Next Steps

  • Are you ready today to begin pursing God’s will for you?
  • Because you are set apart for God, what needs to change in the way you view your sexuality?
  • Because you are set apart for God, what needs to change in how you structure your life?

 

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Checking for Spiritual Vital Signs

[1Thessalonians 3]

Our spiritual awakening encourages those who encourage us.

Relationships matter on our spiritual journey [1 – 8]

Prayer matters in our relational connections [9 – 13]

 

Applications and Next Steps

  • How do we go about increasing our love for one another?
  • How can you support fellow C3er’s this week in prayer?
  • What is the state of your trust in Jesus today?

 

Click here for a Connection Card to respond to what Jesus is telling you today.

Click here to give generously towards what God is doing through his church in the Lakeview Neighborhood of Chicago.

Click here to go to our Facebook Live page and join us through video at 10AM on Sunday Mornings, or to watch previous videos already posted.

 

Receiving a Spiritual Wake-Up Call

[1Thessalonians 2]

We need people upstream from us who model the Gospel lifestyle.

 

We have influence on one another as a family

[1 – 6] For you yourselves know, brothers, that our visit with you was not without result. On the contrary, after we had previously suffered,  and we were treated outrageously in Philippi,  as you know, we were emboldened by our God to speak the gospel of God to you in spite of great opposition. For our exhortation didn’t come from error or impurity or an intent to deceive.  Instead, just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted  with the gospel,  so we speak, not to please men, but rather God,  who examines our hearts.  For we never used flattering speech, as you know, or had greedy  motives —God is our witness — and we didn’t seek glory  from people, either from you or from others.

[7 – 12] Although we could have been a burden as Christ’s apostles,  instead we were gentle among you, as a nursing mother nurtures her own children. We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. For you remember our labor and hardship, brothers. Working night and day so that we would not burden any of you, we preached God’s gospel to you. 10 You are witnesses,  and so is God, of how devoutly, righteously, and blamelessly  we conducted ourselves with you believers. 11 As you know, like a father with his own children,  12 we encouraged, comforted, and implored each one of you to walk worthy of God,  who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

 

We face difficulties on our journey as a norm

[13 – 16] This is why we constantly thank God, because when you received the message about God that you heard from us, you welcomed it not as a human message, but as it truly is, the message of God, which also works effectively in you believers. For you, brothers, became imitators of God’s churches in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, since you have also suffered the same things from people of your own country, just as they did from the Jews who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets and persecuted us; they displease God and are hostile to everyone, hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. As a result, they are always completing the number of their sins, and wrath has overtaken them at last.

 

 We await reunion in our struggle as a prize  

[17 – 20] But as for us, brothers, after we were forced to leave you for a short time (in person, not in heart ), we greatly desired and made every effort to return and see you face to face. So we wanted to come to you—even I, Paul, time and again—but Satan hindered us. For who is our hope or joy or crown of boasting in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?  Is it not you?  For you are our glory and joy!

 

Applications and Next Steps

  • Are you ready today to respond to the message from God?
  • How can you encourage those who are upstream from you?
  • How can you encourage those who are downstream from you?

 

Click here for a Connection Card to respond to what Jesus is telling you today.

Click here to give generously towards what God is doing through his church in the Lakeview Neighborhood of Chicago.