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Coming Sunday: Mission Accomplished

This month at New Life we’ve been looking at passages from John 7 and learning from Jesus how we can live UNFAZED in the face of opposition as He did. 

This Sunday, we will see the culmination of this as we move into chapter 8. 

Here’s the BIG IDEA: We will accomplish our mission of loving people to Jesus if we will be wiser than the opposition. 

We will also be having BAPTISM in EVERY SERVICE! 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., & 6 p.m.! If you want to make your commitment to Jesus public, come ready to be baptized! We will be ready for you!  
 
Baptism-2011


Essentials Needed to Overwhelm any Opposition

I’ve been thinking about the opposition Jesus faced and it leads me to consider the opposition that many followers of Christ our facing in our culture.

What do we need to be unfazed and overwhelm any opposition? I believe the end of John chapter 7 gives us three essentials:

– We need the Holy Spirit – John 7:37-39

When a person becomes a follower of Christ, they become a carrier of the Holy Spirit. Our bodies actually become the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit of God (1st Corinthians 6:19). However, even after the disciples received the Holy Spirit from the resurrected Jesus (John 20:22), He told them that they needed an encounter that would provide them with power (Luke 24:29; Acts 1:8). They not only received this power, but encouraged others everywhere they went to receive this power (Acts 2, 8,9,10, & 19). In the days of opposition that we face, every follower of Christ would be blessed to have this power.

– We need clarity – John 7:40-49

The crowd was confused about who Jesus was, but Jesus spoke with clarity. Those who wanted to kill Jesus and His message had clarity. They knew exactly what they wanted to do. Many followers of Christ today seem to be waffling, wavering, confused about what the Bible says. We are called to know the truth, speak the truth in love, and love our enemies without compromising the truth. Again, we need the Holy Spirit in order to accomplish this.

– We need an open heart – John 7:50-53

Nicodemus was a member of the group that opposed Jesus, but he had an open heart. Jesus spoke in a way that even one of His enemies was listening to His words. This is how we need to speak.

Sometimes in the Church we are ineffective because we are fighting among ourselves. If we fight among ourselves we will simply be aiding those who want to stamp the Church’s influence completely out of our culture. Jesus prayed that His followers would remain in unity “to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (John 17:23).

This is what we need to overwhelm any opposition we face. Listen to the full message here – 

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



How To Deal with Opposition

No matter who you are, what you do, or what you believe, you are going to face opposition. Everyone deals with people who have different ideas and different belief systems. It may be on the job, political differences, or differences of faith. In some instances, Christians today feel that much that is happening in the culture is opposing them.

How do we deal with opposition? Jesus shows us three ways in John 7.

– Timing – John 7:1-9

Jesus had perfect timing. He knew when to speak and when not to speak. He didn’t simply say the first thing that came to His mind, nor would he have tweeted, texted, or posted on facebook the first thing that came to mind. He wanted to say the right thing at the right time, thoughtful and measured. We need to follow that example.

– Truth – John 7:10-31

Jesus not only spoke the truth, He personally was and is the Truth. If arguing our point does not point people to Jesus and His message, then ultimately we are not pointing people to the Truth. Not everyone will accept our message, even when it is spoken in love, but let’s attempt to speak in a way so that it is not a lack of love on our part that drives people away. Neither can we love without speaking the truth. We must ask for the miracle of being able to lovingly share all of the truth.

– Target – John 7:32-36

Jesus knew where He was going. He knew His purpose. Often, we are fighting for something in this world, when this world is not our home (Philippians 3:20; Hebrews 11). This culture is not our ultimate destination. The apostles seemed more interested in changing personal lives than being on a cultural crusade. Often our cultural crusades move people away from Christ, but bringing people to Christ can ultimately make a difference in the culture. Let’s make sure our target is people, not politics.

1st Peter – 1:4 – …and we have a priceless inheritance – an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.

Listen to the full message here: 

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



Unfazed: How to Deal with Opposition

opposition

Everyone faces opposition. Sometimes it is on the job. Sometimes it is in our families. Sometimes it is in the neighborhood. 

Sometimes it is because of our faith. 

Jesus faced opposition and He showed us how to deal with it – in John chapter 7.  

That’s what we will be talking about Sunday at New Life Church in Kokomo, Indiana at 9:30 & 11 a.m. I hope you’ll join me and bring a friend!  



The Nation’s Hope

The Declaration of Independence was also a Declaration of Dependence. It was independence from Britain, but dependence on God and one another. “With a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” 

With the passage of time, everything changes. Not always for the better. Today our country is not the same as it was 240 years ago – I don’t even believe it is what our founders envisioned. I think of Job’s statement, “The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” (John 1:21). 

What does the Lord give and take away? John 6:16-70 tells us: 

– Jesus takes away fear – John 6:16-21 – The disciples were crossing a lake in the middle of the night when a storm rose. They were extremely fearful. Then Jesus comes walking on the water and calms the storm. 

Our nation is experiencing a moral storm. If our culture never turns back to being a godly culture, Jesus wants us to live without fear. 

– Jesus gives Himself – John 6:22-46 – Jesus is the bread of life. Jesus is what we need. We don’t just need a plan, more money, a better political leader. We need Jesus. The people wanted miracles. They forgot that just the day before Jesus multiplied 5 loaves and 2 fish to feed thousands. Let’s try not to forget all Jesus has done for us, and what He has given us in giving Himself to us. 

– Jesus gives eternal life – John 6:47-66 – They didn’t understand His words and many of them stopped following Him, but He clearly said in verses 63 & 64 that He was speaking spiritually, not physically. Jesus gives eternal life in response to simple belief (verse 47). 

– Jesus gives us the only Person in whom to trust – John 6:67-70 – My trust is not in what happened in the past. My trust is not in any leader. My trust is in Jesus Christ, the only Person who gives eternal life. 

Listen to the full message, The Nation’s Hope, here: 

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



Unfazed – The Nation’s Hope

Unfazed
 
Hey New Lifers – 
 
As we continue through the summer in the book of John we are looking forward to beginning this series, “Unfazed” – this coming Sunday! 
 
The Bible says, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.” But what does He give and take away? We’ll find out from John chapter 6. 
 
We continue to pray for our nation – What the Lord gives and what Lord takes away also reveals to us the only hope for our nation. 
 
I hope you will include your New Life family in your Independence Day celebrations this weekend. Bring a friend with you!  


If I hate winter, why would I want summer to end?

COLD-superJumbo

If you know me, you know I don’t like winter. We have eliminated winter at New Life Church. We do ministry in 3 seasons: Spring (Jan-May), Summer (June-August), and Fall (September – December). See how easy that was? No winter! 

So, if I hate winter so much – having been born in Florida, attended college in Florida, family in Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi, all through the south – If I hate winter, why would I want summer to end? 

Three times a year I take a study week to hear from the Lord as to what He would have to say to our church family during these three seasons. I ask the Lord to lead me what to teach during these seasons. 

This week I am prepping messages for this fall. God is speaking new life into our ministry direction at New Life! God is clarifying our plan as to how to help people know God, find freedom, discover their purpose, and make a difference. This is the plan. It’s not a new plan, but it will take a new emphasis for our church family. 

I’m so excited about sharing this series, “The Plan” … I don’t say this lightly: I believe it will be one of the most important series of messages I have ever shared. 

Believe it or not, I can hardly wait for summer to end! 



Nothing is Wasted

Nothing is Wasted

Have you ever been empty? Are you in need right now? In the story of the feeding of the 5000 (John 6), we learn that Jesus gives when we are empty! When we have nothing, He has everything! 

– Jesus give life changing power.

People are attracted to life-changing power. The crowds followed Him after seeing the miracles He did. The greatest miracle is the changing of a life that gives a person the assurance that they have eternal life. 

– Jesus gives faith-giving tests. 

We may undergo tests to find out what we really believe. This may not sound desirable, but our faith cannot grow without tests. When the people were hungry, and all they could find were 5 loaves and 2 fish, the disciples didn’t believe the small amount would make a difference. What are you facing in life right now that you feel is impossible? Do you feel you have a little help, but it’s just not enough? Don’t give up! Put your faith in Jesus – He can make something out of nothing! 

– Jesus gives life-giving power. 

He miraculously multiplied the food so that it could feed all. He said, “I am the bread of life,” meaning that He is the sustenance we need. True spiritual nourishment comes from Jesus Christ. 

– With Jesus – nothing is wasted. 

12 baskets of food were left over! One basket for each of the 12 disciples. Miracles are not wasted. Tests are not wasted. Small amounts of food are not wasted. Whatever you have, even though it may seem small, little is much when God is in it. He knows your need. He provides miracles. He is loving and wise. There is nothing too hard for Jesus! 

What fragments of a test are left over in your life? What fragments of a mess are laying around on the ground? God has loved you through it all, and there is nothing that He wants to be wasted in your life. 

Please listen to the full message here: 

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



Which Opinions Matter?

Which Opinions Matter?
Opinions 1
Yesterday was Father’s Day. Dad’s are often subject to other people’s opinions. In much of the media today, i.e., commercials and comedy, the fathers are often portrayed as the stupidest guy around. 

 

In reading the words of Jesus in John 5:31-47, if you feel unappreciated, maybe you can appreciate some of these thoughts. 

Which opinions or evaluations should we be concerned about? Jesus pointed to four witnesses that meant something to Him. These should be the four opinions that matter to us. 

1. Someone pointing to Jesus – John 5:33-35

Jesus pointed to John the Baptist. Don’t let those who don’t know the truth about you slow you down at all. Who are the people who know you and who give accurate estimations of you? Let those people either encourage you or correct you. Even more, is that person a person who is pointing people to Jesus? 

2. Ministry – John 5:36 

Jesus let His ministry speak for itself. God has gifted every person with a gift to bless others in some way. Find out the gift God has for you, then get involved in serving others and let your ministry speak for itself. 

This September at New Life Church in Kokomo we will be starting the New Life Growth Track which will help each one discover their personality traits, spiritual gifts, and discover their purpose! 

3. God the Father – John 5:37-38 

Jesus knew what His Father thought of Him. What does God the Father think of you?

4. The Bible – John 5:39-40 

The Bible is our ultimate and complete guide. If we compare our life with how the Bible says we should live, then the bible will be a witness and an opinion about us. 

These are the opinions that matter. Look for the full message to be posted here – 

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



The Importance of the Church

Recently I’ve been reading “An Arrow Pointing to Heaven” – a devotional biography of the life of Rich Mullins – singer/songwriter known for “Our God is an Awesome God” among many other great songs. Let me share with you just a couple of quotes to encourage you of the important place God intends for the Church to hold in our lives: 
 
Rich Mullins: “I hear people say, ‘Why do you want to go to church? They are all just hypocrites.’ I never understood why going to church made you a hypocrite because nobody goes to church because they’re perfect. If you’ve got it all together, you don’t need to go. You can go jogging with all the other perfect people on Sunday morning. Every time you go to church, you’re confessing again to yourself, to your family, to the people you pass on the way there, to the people who will greet you there, that you don’t have it all together, and that you need their support. You need their direction. You need some accountability, you need some help.” 
 
Saint Augustine said, “He cannot have God for his Father who refuses to have the Church for his Mother.” 
 
Rich Mullins commented on this: “When I go to church, … I involve myself in something that identifies me with Augustine, that identifies me with Christ, that identifies me with nearly 2000 years of people who have come together once a week and said, ‘Let’s go to the Lord’s table and enjoy the feast that He has prepared for us.’ In that week I may have been subjected to a million billboards that try to make me identify with the thinking of contemporary society.  But once a week I go back to church, and acknowledge that though the shape of the world is really different now than it used to be, this remains the same: I still come to the Lord’s table and say, ‘Oh God, it if weren’t for your grace, if it weren’t for the sacrifice of Christ, my life would have no meaning, no life would have real substance.’ And I do that voluntarily.” 
 
I have shared more on this via an 8 1/2 minute video you can watch here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D63ZBuI1kOs
 
It will be encouraging to you – and you can share the link on your facebook & twitter accounts. 
 
Never underestimate the importance of His Church and our need to be a faithful, connected part of it!  



 

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