Steven Furtick: GOD is BIG Enough for BOTH

GOD is BIG enough for BOTH. (Dumb Dichotomies)

Pastor Steven Furtick

Elevation Church

Don’t put an “or” where God put an “and”. GOD is BIG enough for BOTH.

 

Notes: He’s Big Enough For Both

by “gregtcarpenter” / Mar 11, 2012

Romans 11:33 (NASB)

Dumb Dichotomies
division into contradictory ideas

Pastor Steven Furtick
Elevation Church

Don’t put an “or” where God put an “and”. GOD is BIG enough for BOTH.

Don’t ask:

1. Grace or truth?
John 1:17
2. Make plans or trust God?
Prov 16:9
3. God’s sovereignty or free will?
Eph 2:10
4. Reaching people or going deeper?
Mat 28:19-20
Phil 1:6
4. Honor God or people?
Gen 1:26
Romans 12:10
5. Successful or humble?
James 4:10
6. Is God good or does he let us suffer?
Job
7. Should we give away or enjoy God’s blessings?
Prov 3:9

Alpha Omega, the Lion and the Lamb

Divine Dichotomies
choices which are black or white

Choices you need to make:
1. Will you choose life or death?
Deut 30:19
2. Will you worship one God or many gods?
I Kings 18:21
3. Will you serve God or money?
Mat 6:21
4. Will you serve the spirit or the flesh.
Gal 5:16-17

Source: http://www.churchleaders.com/pastors/videos-for-pastors/160580-steven_furtick_hes_big_enough_for_both.html

Always, for God’s glory and our joy in Him!

Kevin Nunez

Are You Really Living?

 

Hey everyone! How are you? I hope all is well!

Today’s blog post is a little longer than usual.

Here is the audio for the message I preached on Sunday @ New Hope Community Church in West Covina. I wasn’t able to get the video but here is the audio you can listen to and my sermon transcript. I hope you are blessed by it!

My preaching went well, thanks for the prayers everyone! Glory to God always. I definitely enjoy preparing a sermon and preaching! Hoping to do it more often. 😀

Listen to it online here: Are You Really Living?

ARE YOU REALLY LIVING?

This is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

The High Priestly Prayer

17 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

John 17:1-3 (ESV)

INTRODUCTION

I would like to begin today by asking you a question. Are you living or existing? You see there is a difference. The vast majority of people on earth today are existing. They are waking up in the morning, going to work or school, keeping house, whatever the case may be. They are going about their business but they have no real sense of purpose in their lives. Their happiness and fulfillment in life depends largely on their circumstances or their achievements. If they were completely honest with themselves they would have to admit that inside they are empty. That is existing.

“There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus”

Blaise Pascal (French Mathematician, Philosopher and Physicist, 1623-1662)

Saint Augustine in his Confessions states “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”

Christ came however that we might have life and have it more abundant (John 10:10). If we are going to experience this kind of real life we must look to Jesus the source of life.

Jesus said in John 14:6, ““I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

In John 17 Jesus is at the end of his life. He is facing the cross. He uttered these words either on his way to Gethsemene or in the upper room. This chapter is known as the High Priestly prayer of Jesus. In this first verse Jesus begins to look to God as he faces his hour of darkness. Jesus is about to suffer. Jesus is the suffering servant of Isa. 53, don’t read it now but make a note and take a look at it later.

In this text we see how Jesus lived.

READ v1

I asked the question, “are you living or just existing?” The answer to that question can be determined by three questions based on our text.

I. ARE YOU LIVING WITH A DEPENDENCE ON THE FATHER

As Jesus entered his hour of trial the bible says, “He lifted up his eyes to Heaven and said, “Father”. Jesus didn’t look at his outward circumstances and try to figure a way out. He didn’t even look inward for answers, even though he was the Son of God. He looked upward to Heaven, to the one He knew as His Father.

Jesus lived with complete dependence, not on his own person, or his own humanity, but complete trust and dependence on the Father.

One of the most eye opening verses I have ever read is John 5:30. There Jesus says, “I can of myself do nothing”. Every person Jesus ever healed when he was on the earth, every sermon he ever preached, every temptation he ever overcame, he did it not by trusting in who he was as the Son of God, but by depending on the Fathers strength and guidance.

If Jesus who is God’s Son could “Of himself do nothing” how much more can we of ourselves do nothing. Think about that. The problem with many Christians (including myself) today and churches is that we are depending primarily on our own natural abilities, our reasoning abilities, our talents, our education, our financial resources to accomplish God’s work. And we of ourselves are doing nothing. We are existing by and large completely in the natural. But when we live with this dependence upon God that Jesus lived with, the natural begins to give way to the supernatural and God begins to work.

I read all of the texts where the bible says Jesus “lifted up his eyes”. One time he lifted up his eyes to God and he stuck his fingers in a deaf mans ears and the man received his hearing. On another occasion he lifted up his eyes in dependence upon God and thanked God and called Lazarus forth from the grave. On another occasion he lifted up his eyes to God and took two small fishes and five loaves and fed thousands of people.

The life that is lived in dependence upon God experiences the supernatural power of God. Can you say this about your life. I’m not asking if you have healed anyone lately or turned water into wine. I am asking if you can look at your life and say God gave me victory over this temptation, Only God could have done it, God had his hand upon me and touched the lives of others and I know it was God that did it. Can we say this about our church.

We forfeit God’s power when we substitute dependence upon Him with dependence upon ourselves, other people, or other resources. One of the Popes invited a theologian to the Vatican. Sitting amongst all the treasures of the church the Pope said, “the church can no longer say silver and gold have I none”. To that the theologian replied sadly, “yes but neither can she say in the name of Jesus of Nazereth rise and walk.”

We must take our eyes off of the natural, off of that which can be seen, and lift our eyes in faith to Heaven.

Jesus lived with a dependence upon the Father. The second question we might ask to ascertain whether or not we are Living is:

II. DO YOU LIVE WITH A SENSE OF DIVINE DESTINY

Jesus said, “the hour has come”. This is an interesting phrase that Jesus uses in this gospel. At the beginning of his ministry at a wedding feast his mother wanted him to show himself as the Messiah and he said,”my hour has not yet come”. On another occasion his brothers urged him to go to the feast of tabernacles if he was really who he thought he was and show himself as messiah. He said then, “my time is not yet come.” What was Jesus’ time, his hour? It was his hour to be glorified and to glorify God. What Mary and Jesus’ brothers didn’t know was that Jesus would be glorified and would glorify God through a bloody cross and the resurrection. But Jesus knew. He knew that he had come for the purpose of dying for the sins of the world. He had a sense of purpose of destiny, and everything that he did and said led to that moment, that hour. And now the hour had come. Jesus’ life was one of direction, and purpose, and divine destiny.

One of the most miserable ways to live is to live aimlessly without real ultimate purpose, not really knowing ultimately why we are here. One of the greatest things that happened to me when God really began to move in my life was when I was 14 and all of a sudden I began to have purpose in my life. God brought salvation to my life. I started experiencing what it means to have eternal life and know the One True God. Life is more than just getting a good job, trying to achieve, to feel good about yourself, just existing, drifting. 

God wants all of us to live with a sense of divine destiny. Why are you here? Why are you a member of this Church? Because you like the children’s program, good. Because your family belongs here, great. But God has a greater purpose for you in the body of Christ. He wants to use you. He has a nitch for you in His body. He has given you a gift, a divine ability to carry out the purpose that He has for your life.

Some people don’t believe they have a spiritual gift, but thats not what the bible says. “Each one has been given a manifestation of the Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:7). I believe that if a person will honestly ask God to show him or her what His purpose is for him or her in the body of Christ, and how He’s gifted them, He will be faithful to reveal that to them. It may require you to step out in faith and try something you’ve never done before. It may stretch you, it may cause you to risk failure. But God will be faithful. He will show you. The truth is, He is more interested in revealing your purpose in His body than you and I are in knowing it.

Jesus lived with a sense of divine destiny. Do you? The third and final question we might ask to determine whether or not we are really living is:

III. ARE YOU LIVING WITH A DESIRE TO GLORIFY GOD

As he faced the cross Jesus prayed, “glorify Your Son that Your Son also may glorify You.” Jesus’ overarching desire in life and in death was to glorify the Father. To “glorify” God means to give glory to Him. The word glory as related to God in the Old Testament bears with it the idea of greatness of splendor. In the New Testament, the word translated “glory” means “dignity, honor, praise and worship.” Putting the two together, we find that glorifying God means to acknowledge His greatness and give Him honor by praising and worshiping Him, primarily because He, and He alone, deserves to be praised, honored and worshipped. God’s glory is the essence of His nature, and we give glory to Him by recognizing that essence. To glorify God is to extol His attributes—His holiness, faithfulness, mercy, grace, love, majesty, sovereignty, power, and omniscience, to name a few—rehearsing them over and over in our minds and telling others about the singular nature of the salvation only He offers. Jesus experienced both. In his life he revealed the presence of God. He was the image of the unseen God. When people saw him they saw the Father. But his desire was that through the glory the Father gave to Him, He might use it to bring praise and honor to the Father. Even in death he sought the glory of the Father, or shall I say especially through death.

I heard a story of a missionary family in China during the Boxer rebellion in 1900. In the Boxer rebellion a group of native Chineese began to murder Christians. This women wrote a letter telling about how terrifying her families life had become. They never knew when the banging on the door would come and they would be taken out and murdered. She prayed that they would only take her daughter first so she wouldn’t have to witness the killing of her parents. At the end of the letter she wrote. I only ask that God’s will be done and no matter what happens that he be glorified.

The desire to glorify God can be costly but it is very liberating. The opposite of the desire to glorify God is selfishness. The selfish life is a miserable life. Things wont always go our way, circumstances of life will assuredly change, people don’t always treat us as we think we should be treated and this make us miserable if we are primarily living for self.

But when we can honestly say,“Lord no matter what happens to me, whether I live or die, whether I am treated fairly or unfairly, whether I endure affliction or comfort, Lord you be glorified in it”, when this is our desire we are free of the misery of selfishness.

This is what Jesus means when he says, “Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

Are you living or existing? Are you living with a dependence on the Father? Are you Living with a Sense of destiny? Are you living with a desire to glorify the Lord?

Conclusion.

In light of the questions above, let’s summarize by looking at the finished work of Jesus–the gospel, in this passage, called “the hour for which he came”, his dying on the cross.  My question for you is where do we find the power and motivation to live in dependence on the Father, for his purposes, and with the desire for his glory?

Jesus, he would die to give eternal life, and eternal life means knowing “you the only true God”.  Jesus himself demonstrates what it means to know God the father in this way–he addresses God as Father, or “Abba” in the Aramaic, which is, as you know, the intimate term of a child uses to address their father.  It means intimacy, trust, acceptance, and love.  The Jews never used this term to address God, but Jesus shows us a new way to enjoy the Fatherhood of God, through his work on the cross.

“know and enjoy God this way, and you will delight to live in dependence on him.  You will be eager to embrace his purpose for you, which is to make the possibility of this relationship with God known to others.  You will increasingly desire his glory to be seen through your life…”

Amen! Let’s pray!

Always, for God’s glory and our joy in Him!

Kevin Nunez

Speak, O Lord

 

Hey everyone! How are you? I hope all is well!

Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

Psalm 25:4-5 ESV

I’m excited! 😀 I will be preaching this morning at my church, New Hope Community Church of West Covina. I will try to record video of it but if not the audio will be up on my church’s website and I’ll forward it on here.

This is my prayer in song as I prepare to preach this morning.

“Speak, O Lord” is written by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend and simply asks God to speak through his Word. Here is the video and the lyrics to it:

Speak, O Lord, as we come to You
To receive the food of Your Holy Word.
Take Your truth, plant it deep in us;
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness,
That the light of Christ might be seen today
In our acts of love and our deeds of faith.
Speak, O Lord, and fulfill in us
All Your purposes for Your glory.

Teach us, Lord, full obedience,
Holy reverence, true humility;
Test our thoughts and our attitudes
In the radiance of Your purity.
Cause our faith to rise; cause our eyes to see
Your majestic love and authority.
Words of pow’r that can never fail—
Let their truth prevail over unbelief.

Speak, O Lord, and renew our minds;
Help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us—
Truths unchanged from the dawn of time
That will echo down through eternity.
And by grace we’ll stand on Your promises,
And by faith we’ll walk as You walk with us.
Speak, O Lord, till Your church is built
And the earth is filled with Your glory.

In this video  you will also hear the songwriters speak a little bit about it.

Always, for God’s glory and our joy in Him!

Kevin Nunez

Open Air Preaching Times Square, NY (2010)

Hey everyone! How are you? I hope all is well!

I have video content on my video cam of evangelism and open air preaching that I had not uploaded to my computer and here is one of the videos on there from Repent and Witness Evangelism Camp with CHANGE Collegian Network.

Let us briefly observe the parable of the sower today.

Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Mark 4:9 NIV

He that has ears … – This expression is frequently used by Christ. It is a proverbial expression, implying that the highest attention should be given to what was spoken. When the gospel is preached the ears of the hearers should be attentive to what is being said.

4:1-20 This parable contained instruction so important, that all capable of hearing were bound to attend to it. There are many things we are concerned to know; and if we understand not the plain truths of the gospel, how shall we learn those more difficult! It will help us to value the privileges we enjoy as disciples of Christ, if we seriously consider the deplorable state of all who have not such privileges. In the great field of the church, the word of God is dispensed to all. Of the many that hear the word of the gospel, but few receive it, so as to bring forth fruit. Many are much affected with the word for the present, who yet receive no abiding benefit. The word does not leave abiding impressions upon the minds of men, because their hearts are not duly disposed to receive it. The devil is very busy about careless hearers, as the fowls of the air go about the seed that lies above ground. Many continue in a barren, false profession, and go down to hell. Impressions that are not deep, will not last. Many do not mind heart-work, without which religion is nothing. Others are hindered from profiting by the word of God, by abundance of the world. And those who have but little of the world, may yet be ruined by indulging the body. God expects and requires fruit from those who enjoy the gospel, a temper of mind and Christian graces daily exercised, Christian duties duly performed. Let us look to the Lord, that by his new-creating grace our hearts may become good ground, and that the good seed of the word may produce in our lives those good words and works which are through Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of God the Father. 

Source: Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

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I want you to notice at 1:36 the opposition to the preaching of the gospel by a guy who is shouting, “Satan!”
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Also, notice in 4:09 how a lady attentively is listening to the preaching of the gospel, amen! Along with the crowd of people all around hearing the gospel be preached.
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To the glory of God!
Always, for God’s glory and our joy in Him!
Kevin Nunez

God Making His Appeal Through Us.

Hey everyone! Thanks for your prayers. I am so happy to have finished this semester. I am one class away from graduating with my undergraduate degree, a B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies. I am now entering a new season which I am excited for. I desire to serve my local church more now that I’ll have more time and just work wherever God would place me at. I thank God for his grace in my life!

We will be continuing on in J.I. Packer’s Concise Theology hopefully tomorrow. I’m looking forward to that!

So I bought two books today which are books full of quotations. I love all kinds of books, I am definitely a book junkie. I am reminded of the quote,

“When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.”

– Erasmus

I’m learning, so it is good right? Quotation books are not meant to be read from cover to cover but I always like skimming through them on topics of interest and seeing what comments people have made on those topics.

So I’m leading a Bible study tonight and the topic is spreading God’s Kingdom so I found this quote in the “evangelism” section which I will share,

Come away, my dear brethren, fly, fly, fly, for your lives to Jesus Christ; fly to a bleeding God, fly to a throne of grace; and beg of God to break your heart; beg of God to convince you of your actual sins; beg of God to convince you of your original sin; beg of God to convince you of your self-righteousness; beg of God to give you faith, and enable you to close with Jesus Christ.

George Whitefield

“A Sermon, Preached on Sabbath Morning” (1741)

My desire is that I would be a bold evangelistic follower of Christ. I am a ambassador for Christ and what an honor and privilege that is!

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

 2 Corinthians 5:20 ESV

We are ambassadors for Christ- We execute the function of ambassadors in Christ’s stead. He came from the Father to mankind on this important embassy. He has left the world, and appointed us in his place.

Ambassador is a person sent from one sovereign power to another; and is supposed to represent the person of the sovereign by whom he is deputed. Christ while on earth represented the person of the Sovereign of the world; his apostles and their successors represent the person of Christ. Christ declared the will of the Father to mankind; apostles, etc., declare the will of Christ to the world. We are ambassadors for Christ.

God making his appeal through us- What we say to you we say on the authority of God; our entreaties are his entreaties; our warm love to you, a faint reflection of his infinite love; we pray you to return to God, it is his will that you should do so; we promise you remission of sins, we are authorized to do so by God himself. In Christ’s stead we pray you to lay aside your enmity and be reconciled to God; i.e. accept pardon, peace, holiness, and heaven; which are all procured for you by his blood, and offered to you on his own authority.

“What unparalleled condescension and divinely tender mercies are displayed in this verse! Did the judge ever plead a condemned criminal to accept of pardon? Does the creditor ever plead a ruined debtor to receive an pardon in full? Yet our almighty Lord, and our eternal Judge, not only grants to offer these blessings, but invites us, entreats us, and with the most tender importunity solicits us not to reject them.” The Rev. J. Wesley’s notes.

This sentiment is farther expressed in the following beautiful poetic version of this place, by the Rev. Charles Wesley:

Hymn:GOD, the offended God most high,

1 GOD, the offended God most high,
Ambassadors to rebels sends;
His messengers his place supply,
And Jesus begs us to be friends.

2 Us, in the stead of Christ, they pray,
Us, in the stead of God, intreat,
To cast our arms, our sins, away,
And find forgiveness at his feet.

3 Our God in Christ! thine embassy,
And proffered mercy, we embrace;
And gladly reconciled to thee,
Thy condescending goodness praise.

4 Poor debtors, by our Lord’s request
A full acquittance we receive!
And criminals, with pardon blest,
We, at our Judge’s instance, live!

Rejoice, the gospel is amazing!

Always, for God’s glory and our joy in Him!

Kevin Nunez