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.

 

The Better Person

Third in the series “Back On Track”

Genesis 38:1-30

Main Point:  God actually cares about us treading other people with gentleness.

  • God’s people sometimes have highly dysfunctional families [1-23]
    • Deuteronomy 25:5-6
  • God’s concern with morality is primarily that we treat others justly [24-26]
    • Leviticus 20:12
  • God’s goals can be accomplished even through our mistakes
    • Matthew 1:2-3
  • Applications and Next Steps:
    • What is a form of immorality in your life about which you hold a double standard?
    • Who is a person, or a group of people, towards whom you are unjust or prejudicial?
    • How might God still be working out his plan in your life even right now?

Second in the series “Back On Track”

Genesis 37:12-36

Main Point:

Though Joseph could not see what was happening, God was already at work to save his life and his family.

  • Joseph receives assistance in his naive search [12-17]
    • Hebrews 13:1-2
  • His brothers debate their diabolical course of action [18-28]
    • Matthew 26:14-16
  • HIs father laments the apparent loss of his favorite [29-36]
    • Genesis 27:22-23
    • Galatians 6:7-8
    • John 16:20
    • Matthew 5:4
  • Applications and Next Steps:
    • How would it change the way you deal with difficult times if you could see that God was already at work?
    • When is a time in your life that God has used towards a good end your own mistakes or other people’s malice?
    • How might God be at work in this act of your life story?

Tenth in the series “Jesus Is For The Broken”

(partial recording only)

Luke 18:35-43

Main Point:  To experience everything Jesus has for us, we must have the maturity to admit our brokenness.

1.  Real faith is relentless in pursuing Jesus’ help.

2.  Real faith is candid in expressing your need.

 

Ninth in the series “Jesus Is For The Broken”

Luke 18:9-14

Main Point:  A relationship with God is developed through honest humility, not in prideful pretense.

  • The temple in ancient Israel is always “up” in relation to everywhere else
    • Psalm 130:1-8
  • 1.  Case Study 1:  Arguing everything is perfect [11-12]
    • Pharisees were middle-class, moral, pious, and had pretty good doctrine
      • believed in God’s existence, the prophets, the coming Messiah, and the resurrection
      • However, while their minds may be close to God, their hearts tended to be far away from Him
    • The pharisee in the parable was reading his “resume” before God
      • His pose is prideful; standing, hands raised up
      • He compares himself to others in order to make himself look good to God
      • He brags about his fasting, which isn’t a bad practice, but using it as a credential to earn God’s regard is bad
        • Leviticus 16:31
      • same with tithing, but remember, everything a Christian has belongs to Jesus
        • Deuteronomy 14:22
    • Trusting in deeds to improve our status with God is a problem
    • The pharisee cannot be honest with God about what’s in his heart
      • He is far from grace because he believes he “has it together”; he is not poor in spirit
  • 2.  Case Study 2:  Admitting everything is broken [13]
    • This man is a tax collector:  He is the front man of a massive extortion racket, backed by the Roman government
    • He realizes he has problems with sin he cannot fix
      • His pose is humble; eyes down, beating his chest
    • Only God can solve his problem with sin
      • For Christians, “sinner” is not our primary identity, it is “saint”
      • However, we must be honest with God about how we have “fallen short”
        • Hebrews 2:17-18
      • Sin is only ever dealt with when God acts; the cross of Christ is where forgiveness of sins is offered
    • The man goes away justified because he confessed his need of mercy from God
      • We receive spiritual blessing from God by recognizing our need of grace, and admitting it to God
  • Application Questions:
    • Have there been times when you have avoided facing shame by pretending to be better than you are?
    • What would need to change in your prayers for them to be more vulnerable and effective?

Eighth in the series “Jesus Is For The Broken”

– Partial recording only

Luke 17:11-19

Application Questions:

  • What is an area in your life in which you need to experience Jesus healing?
  • What is a healing that Jesus has brought to your life for which you have not yet expressed gratitude?
  • How does a person go about building a more grateful attitude in his or her life?

Seventh in the series “Jesus Is For The Broken”

Luke 8:40-56

Main Point:  No matter who you are, Jesus is weaving his mercy into the complex story of your life.

  • 1.  Jesus’ mission is never interrupted by our desperate need [40-47]
    • Jesus is concerned with meeting our needs
    • Jairus’ request conveys both trust in Jesus and urgency
    • The bleeding woman had been sick for the entirety of Jairus’ daughter’s life
      • Her bleeding made her ceremonially unclean
        • Could not go to the synagogue
        • Could not really participate in society
      • She went broke buying remedies for her illness, but to no avail
    • The woman was hoping to just touch Jesus’ garment, be healed, and never have to speak to Him directly
      • Jesus wanted to know who she was to meet her real need
      • Numbers 15: 37-39
  • 2.  Jesus’ power is always experienced through a trusting response [48-50]
    • Jesus can be trusted
    • Jairus’ outlook is hopeless
      • He showed faith by calling upon Jesus, but nothing resulted
      • How did Jairus feel in this moment?
    • When we have obsessive fear, we slip into idolatry
      • Obsessive, controlling fear is the opposite of faith
    • When we trust Jesus, we have peace
    • Luke 13:15-16
    • Ephesians 2:17
    • Psalm 22: 4-5
  • 3.  Jesus’ authority is even extended to our terminal problems [51-56]
    • There is no problem too big for Jesus to solve
      • Around Jesus, death is temporary
    • Jesus doesn’t want to attract “fans” with His miracles
  • Applications and Next Steps:
    • What is a desperate, seemingly impossible need that you need to bring before Jesus today?
    • How do we go about increasing our trust in Jesus?

Sixth in the series “Jesus Is For The Broken”

Luke 8:26-39

Main Point:  Jesus allows things in the spiritual battle that display the true values of our hearts.

  • Jesus can bring freedom to any level of spiritual bondage [26-31]
    • Demons do not rightfully own things; God does
    • The man’s demonization is a worst-case scenario
      • While the exact causes are unknown, the effects are dramatic
        • Mark 5:4
        • Isaiah 65:1-7
    • The man’s falling before Jesus is not worship, but rather unconditional surrender to a more powerful opponent
  • Jesus will not be present with those who fearfully reject Him [32-37]
    • The response of the townspeople to all that occurred was fear
      • If we are more frightened by what Jesus is going to take out of our lives than excited about what He will bring into them, we’re in a dangerous place
      • Isaiah 17:12-13
  • Jesus clearly wants us to share our story with our friends [38-39]
    • The healed man wants to be with Jesus
      • However Jesus has different expectations of different disciples
    • However, all disciples are called to evangelize
      • Psalm 65:5-8
  • Application Questions:
    • What are things in your life that you tend to value more than helping people in the way Jesus calls us to do so?
    • How does a person go about helping people who are trapped in catastrophic spiritual bondage?

Fifth in the series “Jesus Is For The Broken”

Luke 7:36-50

Main Point:  Those who truly appreciate Jesus are those who embrace the depth of the miracle of forgiveness.

  • 1.  Giving Jesus the bare minimum expected of you [36,39-46]
    • Simon is interested in Jesus, but only does the bare minimum for Him
      • Simon’s motives for inviting Jesus to his home are unclear
    • Simon assumes Jesus is not a prophet, however he keeps that to himself
      • He doesn’t believe Jesus has any special insight about the situation with the woman
      • He doesn’t believe Jesus is aware of just who the woman is
    • He addresses Jesus respectfully
    • He does not give Jesus water for His feet, or greet Him with a kiss
    • A denarius (pl. denarii) is a day’s wage for a laborer or soldier
    • Simon fails to recognize his need of much forgiveness, and therefore loves Jesus little
  • 2.  Giving Jesus an extravagant demonstration of gratitude [37-38, 47-50]
    • The woman is a notorious sinner
      • It took courage for her to even appear at Simon’s house
      • ointment = fragrant oil
    • The woman is overcome with sorrow and shame for her sins
    • Her actions show her gratitude for her forgiveness
      • Letting her hair down was considered immodest
      • She sacrifices her beauty by wiping her tears off of Jesus’s dirty feet
    • Jesus acknowledges the woman’s many sins
      • He elevates standards of holiness rather than diminish them
        • This reflects the character of the Father
      • He does not define sins out of existence, or minimize them
    • One cannot experience God’s forgiveness without admitting their need for God’s grace
      • The woman recognizes her need of God’s grace, which is why she shows her love for Jesus
    • Who can forgive the sins people commit?
      • Jesus can, which demonstrates He is much more than a prophet
    • “Go in peace” = “experience Yahweh’s shalom”
      • Jesus heals the woman’s heart because she has faith
    • Faith is a believing response to God’s grace
    • Jesus does for the woman what she could not do for herself
      • Her response is gratitude
    • 1 John 4:19
    • Ephesians 2:8-10
  • Applications and Next Steps:
    • How do people cope with shame unhealthily? What is the proper way to deal with shame in a Christian’s life?
    • What is a dramatic gesture that you could make that would express your thanks for Jesus’ forgiveness?

Fourth in the series “Jesus Is For The Broken”

Luke 6:6-11

Main Point:  We should never take a vacation from reflecting the Father’s compassionate response to people’s need.

  • 1.  Days of rest were not designed for judgmental plotting [6-9]
    • Jesus customarily met with other devout Israelites in the synagogue on the Sabbath
      • The Sabbath lasts from Friday evening to Saturday evening
    • Tradition states the man with the paralyzed hand was a stonemason
      • Paralyzed:  Withered, shriveled
    • The Pharisees and Scribes were looking to bring formal charges against Jesus for violating laws on the Sabbath
      • Observance of the Sabbath was taken very seriously, as it was a foundational cultural practice for the Israelites
    • Jesus’ commands to the man make public the secretive spying of the Pharisees and Scribes and tests the man’s willingness to obey Jesus
    • “Sabbath provides for us now an additional rhythm for an entire reorientation of our lives around the living God.  On Sabbaths we imitate God by stopping our work and resting.” – Peter Scazzero
      • Exodus 20:8-11
      • Romans 14:5-6
  • Jesus remembers to be compassionate even when angry [10-11]
    • If the Pharisees and Scribes were truly taking the Sabbath seriously, they would be reflecting the Father’s heart, and answer Jesus.
      • They had made themselves lords of the Sabbath
      • The Talmud made exceptions for medical work on the Sabbath to save life, to help birth a baby, and to do circumcision
    • Jesus leaves no room for neutral inaction
      • “It is almost as if refusal to do good is evil itself” – Bock
        • James 4:17
    • What is Jesus feeling and experiencing as he’s gazing around at the crowd?
      • Mark 3:5
    • In order for the man to extend his broken hand, healing already had to be taking place
  • Applications and Next Steps:
    • When are times that you have set aside in the rhythm of your life to rest and spend time with God?
    • How do you tend to react when someone interrupts your personal time with an urgent need?
    • When are times that your personal core values and religious sensibilities are at odds with Jesus?
    • How does a person go about changing what they value to align with God’s perspective?

Third in the series “Jesus Is For The Broken”

Luke 5:27-32

Main Point:  Being a Jesus-follower includes making inconvenient changes and interacting with uncomfortable people.

  • 1.  Jesus’ offer is to turn around, and never turn back [27-28, 32b]
    • Jesus takes the initiative to call Levi
    • Tax collectors were despised by the people, and outcast from society
      • Therefore, Jesus’ calling of Levi was a scandal to those around Him
    • Levi leaving his post to follow Jesus ended his lucrative career as a tax collector
    • Repentance:  Change of mind and change of action
  • Jesus is not as picky about His companions as we are [29-32]
    • Levi’s banquet was probably quite lavish
      • Jesus was the guest of honor
      • “A converted man will not wish to go to heaven alone.”
      • The Pharisees and scribes were left to eavesdrop outside the feast
    • The Pharisees and scribes did not have the courage to challenge Jesus directly, so they challenged the disciples instead
      • Table fellowship signifies friendship and acceptance
      • “Drinking” intensifies their suspicion:  “What is going on here?”
    • Jesus’ response indicates the “sick” recognize their need of help; the “healthy” do not
      • Isaiah 59:15-20
      • Matthew 5:3
      • Matthew 9:13
      • Hosea 6:6
        • Loyalty: Mercy, steadfast love, kindness, goodness
  • Applications and Next Steps:
    • How does a person go about interacting with sinful people without being polluted by their behavior?
    • What does it actually look like to repent of our sin?