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God’s Plan is for Good!

One of the most famous speeches is “I Have a Dream” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

In the Bible, God gave a 17-year-old named Joseph dreams for his life. Do you have a dream? Do you know that God has dreams for your life? 

God has a plan and He wants you to be involved in His plan! What Joseph experienced with his dreams teaches us 3 truths about God’s dreams for us. 

– The plan may bring adversity. 

His brothers hated him. They sold him into slavery. They told his dad he had been killed. As a slave in Egypt he was falsely accused of attempted rape and imprisoned. In the prison, though he helped others find God’s will for their lives and return to the service of the king, he was forgotten.

After several years in an Egyptian prison, the king of Egypt had a dream. Joseph was called upon to pray and let the king know what God was saying to him through the dream. This resulted in Joseph becoming the leader of Egypt, right under the king, but only after years of adversity and hard times. God revealed his plan to Joseph through the dreams, but it took years of trouble before the plan came to pass – but even all of the adversity was in God’s plan on the way to accomplishing the plan. God meant it all for good! 

– God’s plan will bring observers. 

Because of the dreams Joseph shared, and because of how God used him through the years, people watched his life. 

As you come to know God’s plan for your life and you live to follow that plan, others will watch and see what God is doing in your life! You become a positive influence! 

– God’s plan builds faith. 

As Joseph talked about his dreams and as he remembered his dreams, his faith grew that God would do what He said He would do – no matter how hard things were getting. 

If God has given you a plan – even if it is simply the plan for you that is revealed in the Bible – think on that plan – pray over that plan – and your faith will grow that God will accomplish that plan in your life! 

This is just the beginning of a great series for September at New Life – “The Plan” – 

Listen to the full message here: 

http://www.newlife4kokomo.org/sermons-2/



God’s Confusing Ways

Last week we had a number of severe tornadoes here in our County. Not only were we hit again less than 3 years since our last significant tornado damage, but we were hit in exactly the same parts of the city – the same neighborhoods – and the damage was even worse. 

This raises a lot of questions in people’s minds – but there were a lot of questions in people’s minds in John chapter 11 also. A friend of Jesus named Lazarus gets sick. 

– Jesus said his illness will not end in death, yet he died. 

– Jesus didn’t go to help him, but went after it seemed to be too late. 

– He just left the area where people had tried to kill Him, now He goes back. 

– Jesus said Lazarus had fallen asleep and He was going to wake him up. 

– Why wake him up? If he’s sick, sleeping will do him good! 

– Actually, Lazarus is dead. 

– Wait. What? I thought He just said the sickness would not end in death? 

If you didn’t know the end of the story, you would be just as confused as Jesus’ disciples were. 

Sometimes God’s ways can be very confusing. Trust Him anyway! 

As I consider this famous story, I think of 10 statements about God’s ways and our confusion: 

1. You get confused about the circumstances you are facing when you don’t see the end. 

2. Get your eyes off your circumstance and get your eyes on God. 

3. We are ready to give up on a bad circumstance long before Jesus is done! 

4. Sometimes we think we know when we don’t really know! 

5. Express faith in spite of confusion. 

6. Jesus can get angry. 

     He was really angry! He was deeply angry before He got to Lazarus’ tomb where He wept – and He remained deeply angry after His weeping. Why? Because the reason for Lazarus’ death, the reason Jesus’ didn’t go heal him right away, is because after 3 years of following Him, His disciples needed more than His teachings and His previous miracles to really have faith in who He said He was – the Divine Son of God! That leads us to the next statement: 

7. Jesus will go to drastic measures to help us believe! 

8. We will always be confused when we are not expecting God to do God-type things! 

9. Our unbelief can be our own undoing. 

10. Don’t let a perceived lack of answer to prayer lead to unbelief! 

You may be facing some confusing times right now. Trust me, there are more to come! Let this story and these 10 statements help you to keep trusting in spite of confusion. 

You can listen to the full message here: 

http://www.newlife4kokomo.org/sermons-2/



Trusting and Serving in Times of Confusion

After a difficult and confusing week for our community, it’s time for us to pause, come together, encourage one another, and worship the One who has brought and is bringing us through the storms of life. 

We’ve been talking about “Knowing and Trusting” – how appropriate! And Sunday’s message is perfect for what we’ve been through. We’re going to talk about “God’s Confusing Ways.” Have you ever been confused about the ways of God? What a great Sunday to bring a friend. 

Today (Saturday) we are meeting at the church at 9:30 to help Barb McCartney move – her apartment has been condemned – and we will also be sending people to the Obers to assist in removing large tree debris from their back yard. 

Thanks so much – many New Lifers have been in helping in a variety of ways and places the last several days. It’s a joy to be in family together! 


A Magnificent Education

Since the moment when Adam and Eve walked away from the plan of God, there has been a disconnect between God and humanity that God never intended. God wants us restored to that original state of creation, where we will have pure, unadulterated connection with Him – and that is for our benefit for our ultimate joy. 

 

God has always wanted you to know how to get back to His kingdom! So He has made a way for that connection with Him to be restored. Knowing this is a magnificent education. In the Gospel of John chapter 10 we are given 5 truths about the Kingdom of God. 

 

1. Jesus is the only way in – John 10:1-10

 

This is hard for people to receive. For some reason, they want there to be many ways. For some, it may be because they know that if they recognize Jesus as Lord, then they would have to give up being lord of their own lives. But for many, that is not working out so well. 

 

When we go to an airport, we are told in order to get to our destination, we must go to a certain gate. If our flight leaves from Gate A-23, we can’t go to Gate C-10 and make it. Jesus said, “I am the gate.” We must make sure we get to the correct gate if we are going to get into the Kingdom of God. 

 

2. Jesus is the Guide – John 10:11-13

 

Not only is Jesus the Gate, but He is the Guide – the Shepherd. A shepherd leads. Jesus is the Guide to the restoration of God’s original plan for humanity. 

 

3. Jesus sacrificed His life to make this possible – John 10:14-18

 

First, He sacrificed His life is heaven to come to earth as a human. Then, He sacrificed His life on the bloody cross. He was tortured, tormented and mutilated to receive the punishment from God for our sin, so that we could be free! What a loving sacrifice! No one has loved us more! 

 

4. When we believe this, knowledge about the Kingdom of God is opened up to us – John 10:22-27

 

There have always been those who have believed that there is a “special knowledge” beyond what has been revealed in the Bible. When we believe in Jesus, all the knowledge of the Kingdom of God is opened up to us, and we need no other knowledge in order to find the way to God. 

 

5. When we believe, we receive eternal life – John 10:28-30

 

We are restored to God’s original plan and no one can change that, except us. 

 

Listen to the full message here – http://www.newlife4kokomo.org/sermons-2/



Free Education? Get it here!

There’s been some talk this year about everyone deserving a free education. Well, that’s what we’re going to give Sunday at New Life Church! In fact, we’re going to give “A Magnificent Education”!

As we continue our series, “Knowing and Trusting,” we are going to assure you that God has always wanted you to know how to get back to His Kingdom! The message will have some unique and fun features, so I hope you’ll join us and bring a friend with you!

We also have some friends in Louisiana who have been affected by the flood, so we want to give you an opportunity to give. You can give Sunday in our offering boxes stationed throughout the Worship Center or you can give here:

http://www.newlife4kokomo.org/

Click on the Giving Tab in the upper right corner – then click Select – then click Louisiana Flood Relief. We will forward aid to the families. 

Also RALLY WEEK for Fall Small Groups begins Sunday so be sure to pick up a new Info Book and sign up for a small group! Your life will change in these relationships!

See you Sunday!



Problems are Opportunities!

In the Gospel of John chapter 8 Jesus says, “I am the light of the world.” In John chapter 9, He meets a man born blind, heals him of his physical blindness, then deals with the spiritual blindness of the leaders of His people. 

A lot of people have to deal with blindness and it is obviously a difficult problem that people have to deal with – both physical and spiritual blindness. But through this man’s problem, and the conversations that took place around his problem, we learn that there are opportunities in every problem! 

First, this man’s disability gave an opportunity to show Jesus’ power.

I have known people to struggle with all kinds of difficulties – some have received healing and some have not – but in every situation, even in those where the problem remains, they have an opportunity to show Jesus’ power in the midst of the circumstance. 

Second, there is an opportunity tell of Jesus’ power.

When the blind man was healed, people asked questions. He was able to tell them about this One who had done for Him what no one else could do. Take advantage of your problems to tell others of Jesus’ power that helps you through the struggle. 

Third, there was an opportunity for a decision.

Once people hear about Jesus and what He can do, they have to decide if they believe what the Bible says about Him and what He says about Himself. What is your decision? 

This leads to the fourth opportunity – the opportunity to believe.

 I have seen people who believe in what Jesus can do, but they don’t believe IN Jesus. Meaning, they don’t put their full trust in Jesus for their eternal life. They don’t live for Him. They just come to Him when they have a need. Do you believe IN Jesus? Is your full trust in Him for every aspect of your life, not just what you perceive as your current needs? 

Fifth, there was an opportunity to worship.

This formerly blind man did not worship Jesus simply because He was healed. He worshiped Jesus after He came to full faith in who Jesus is – He is God Almighty who came to earth as a man, took God’s punishment for all humanity’s sins, rose from the dead and ascended back to heaven as the All-powerful One. When you come to believe in Him in that way, you will worship! 
Listen to the full message here: 

http://www.newlife4kokomo.org/sermons-2/



Looking ahead: Problems are Opportunities!

If you have been at New Life recently, you may sense that the tide is rising! This past Sunday between services the lobby was just buzzing with people blessing one another! 

This Sunday we will continue our series, “Knowing and Trusting” and see from Jesus healing a blind man in John chapter 9 that we don’t have problems – we have opportunities! That’s not just a phrase, that’s the truth! Every situation we think is a problem is an opportunity for God to work, in our lives! You know a friend who needs this message – bring them – they’ll get a free cup of coffee on us! 

Also, we are preparing for our third annual bike ride for missions – this year it is “Biking for the Border” as we are going to assist our own Nathanael & Nicole Sommers in getting an air conditioner for their ministry Activity Center on the Tex-Mex border. Temps rise to over 100 degrees in the gym where they have activities. 

The date is Saturday, September 10 – Call or email the church for forms – notice there is a deadline and a lunch order – this will help the restaurant. 

Thanks for making a difference! 
Bike ride 2


What We Must Know

Knowing and trusting are not the same thing. Knowing is understanding a fact. Trusting is relying on something or someone with full confidence. There are some things God wants us to know and there are other ways in which God wants us to trust.

John 8:12-59 is a conversation between Jesus and some of the Jewish leaders and their people. Through this conversation Jesus reveals that He wants us to know Him. From this conversation we can draw four statements and four conclusions:

Statement: Jesus is the Light the World Needs

     The world can sometimes be a very dark place.

Conclusion: If you don’t know Jesus, you don’t know God.

     While controversial today, this was the position of Jesus Himself. It’s hard to take Jesus seriously as a “good guy” or a “good teacher” if you are not going to accept this bold claim He made about Himself. He’s not just one good one among many. He set Himself apart.

Statement: Jesus is going to a place where unbelievers cannot go.

Conclusion: Belief in Jesus is an absolute necessity.

     Again, these are this is the claim of Jesus Himself. He doesn’t want there to be any confusion. He is God and we are not.

Statement: Jesus’ believers will receive freedom by obeying what He says.

     We don’t receive forgiveness through obedience. That comes through simple faith and grace. But after grace & forgiveness, as we obey, we are set free.

Conclusion: When we are growing in obedience we are growing in freedom.

Statement: People resist Jesus because they don’t want to accept the truth.

– They don’t want to accept the truth about Jesus.

– They don’t want to accept the truth about themselves.

– They don’t want to change their long-held beliefs – which lead to certain lifestyles.

– If you are a follower of Jesus and in trying to share His truth with others you face ridicule – welcome to Jesus’ world!

Conclusion: Jesus will be honored by God the Father.

Do you know Him? How well do you know Him? Do you want to know Him more?

Listen to the full message here: 

http://www.newlife4kokomo.org/sermons-2/



Whaddya know?

What do you know? What is the difference between knowing and trusting? 

Jesus wants us to KNOW Him AND to TRUST Him! What a wonderful invitation! 

We are going to have a great day Sunday! Click on the link in the next paragraph to watch the video of one of the songs we will be singing together – take a moment and prepare yourself … and pray about who you can invite this week! 
 
 
Bring your sorrows and trade them for you!


God’s Vision

Last week part of our leadership team were able to attend a conference in Birmingham, Alabama at Church of the Highlands. Much of what we learned is confirmation of what we are already doing, the direction we are already taking, and for Sharon and I it is a step in a progression of our own personal ministry that began as far back as 1996. The people in Birmingham have been influenced through the years by the same ministries that have influenced us, although their influence has been much more direct and personal while for us it has been through conferences, books, etc. 
 
So, as Solomon said, there is nothing new under the sun – but for me there are ideas and concepts that are “new to me”! 
 
It’s wonderful what God is doing at New Life! Six people baptized in the last 2 Sundays! More people coming to know God! I feel He is moving us forward!  
 
Please look at the brief video link – it is less than 5 minutes. This is just an overview from my notes of Session 1 from the conference. Every few days to a week I will try to get you these notes and hope that they will be a thoughtful inspiration to you. 
 




 

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