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“Give Back”- Jesus Has Compassion for a Widow in Nain       (Billy Russell, 04/28/19)

“Give Back”- Jesus Has Compassion for a Widow in Nain       (Billy Russell, 04/28/19)

May 13, 2019

                                Jesus and the Sisterhood of Faith

             “Give Back”- Jesus Has Compassion for a Widow in Nain       

                                             (Luke 7:11-17)

 

The Gospel of Luke shares five unique encounters Jesus had with women. Women in Jesus’ day were de-valued and marginalized. Jesus esteemed and elevated women in His ministry. He notices a grieving mother, who is also a widow, and in an act of compassion, He gives her son back to her.

 

Jesus empathizes with a grieving widow (7:11-13). Empathy broadens our view of ministry. Jesus has a high EQ: “His heart went out to her.”     

     Widows were socially and economically vulnerable in Jesus’ day.   

          Even more so when the only son of a widow dies as the primary

                   provider and protector for his mother.

         Jesus meets her during the funeral procession. “Don’t cry”, he says.

         Perhaps, he thinks of what it will one day be like for his own mother.

 

Jesus acts to relieve her grief (7:14)- ministry acts to relief misery.

       This passage is one of three resuscitation stories in the Gospels     

            (raised from the dead to die yet again; cf. Mk. 5:21ff; Jn. 11:17ff).

             He approaches and touches the coffin.

       He speaks publicly to a dead man: “Young man, I say to you get up!”

 

Jesus models a ministry of giving back (7:15)- He restores and gives

                                                                           back this son to his mother.

       Jesus shows that ministry motivated by compassion looks for ways to

                meet pressing needs and give back in meaningful ministry.

       Jesus’ ministry echos both the prophets Elijah and Elisha (1 Kings

                17:17-24; 2 Kings 4:18-37). No wonder the crowd calls him “A

                great prophet” (v.16).

       Jesus’ ministry reflects His power over death and the grave, and

                ultimately serves as foreshadowing to His resurrection.

 

Jesus’ ministry has multiple results (7:16-17)-

       Awe: People were filled with awe.

       Praise: God is praised by the people.

       Testimony: acknowledge Jesus is a great prophet.

       Prophecy fulfillment: God has come to help his people.

       Ministry Expansion: Word spreads!

 

The Women of Easter- “Why Seek the Living among the Dead?” Matthew 28:1-10 (Billy Russell, 4/21/19)

The Women of Easter- “Why Seek the Living among the Dead?” Matthew 28:1-10 (Billy Russell, 4/21/19)

May 13, 2019

Conversations- Overhearing Jesus Talk with People on Their Journeys

             The Women of Easter- “Why Seek the Living among the Dead?”

                       (Mt.28:1-10; Mk.16:1-8; Lk.24:1-12; Jn. 20:10-18)

 

He is risen! Early on the morning of the first Easter, women are the first to seek and speak with Jesus. As they discover, encountering Jesus alive changes everything, including the trajectory of our journeys!

 

Easter is... the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus!

     Jesus died, was buried, rose on the 3rd day & appeared (1 Cor. 15:4-8).

 

Easter means...  We have hope! We can be forgiven! (Rom.5:2; Eph.1:7)

     We are deeply loved! (Rom.5:5, 8)

     We have peace with God through a relationship with Jesus (Rom.5:1)

     God has accepted the ransom Jesus paid with his life for us (Mt.20:28).

 

Easter changes... everything! (especially, the trajectories of our lives.)

 

                Experiences and Conversations of the Women of Easter

          Women seek- They walk to the gravesite to perform burial rights.

                                   They talk about the stone blocking the entry.

          Angels announce-The tomb is empty: Jesus lives! “the Living One”

                                         Go quickly and tell the disciples.

          Jesus appears/speaks- greetings of peace, “stop fearing”

                                         Go tell disciples. Shares travel plans!

          Women share- They tell what they have seen and heard!

                                    The disciples are responsible to respond.

 

We can trust the testimony about Jesus’ resurrection because:

     Eye witnesses (reliability)- dependable, consistency in reports.

     Empty tomb (validity)- constant, authentic, conclusive witness.

     Early testimony (veracity)- trustworthy, honorable, accurate testimonies.

     Exchange- transformed lives! Jesus changes us, never to be the same!

     Empowerment - power to be and do great things for the Kingdom!

 

Invitation: Will you believe? Will you be a witness? Will you serve the risen

                  Lord Jesus and His Kingdom?

“Jesus Initiates a Different Kind of Conversation” Matthew 21:1-11 (Billy Russell, 4/14/19)

“Jesus Initiates a Different Kind of Conversation” Matthew 21:1-11 (Billy Russell, 4/14/19)

May 13, 2019

Conversations- Overhearing Jesus Talk with People on Their Journeys

                     “Jesus Initiates a Different Kind of Conversation”

                                                  (Mt.21:1-11)

 

Today is Palm Sunday, ushering in Passion Week, leading up to Easter.

As Michael Card notes, we paradoxically celebrate Jesus’ suffering on our behalf. Jesus has come to Jerusalem to die (Mt.20:28). He gives prophetic instructions, initiating a different kind of conversation: as a king to be honored and praised, yet as a suffering servant, giving his life for us.

 

                              Lessons from Jesus Conversation

 

A prophetic word- centering on who Jesus is (21:1-5; Zech. 9:9)-

     Notice: Jesus initiates the conversation approaching Jerusalem (v.1).

     He engages the disciples in a story that was much anticipated as a

           fulfillment of prophecy by the Messiah (vv.1-5)

     Just as He has told them he was coming to Jerusalem to die, He now

           also reveals himself as a peace-bringing king.

     Center your conversations with others on who Jesus is.

 

A symbolic word- representing who Jesus has come to be (21:6-8)-

     Jesus is enacting the fulfillment of prophecy (vv.6-8).

     The disciples are living out the story! They are walking in living history!

     This symbolic act points to Jesus as being the Messiah.

     What symbolic acts do we participate in which reflect our believe in

          Jesus as the promised One from God?

     Conversations about our baptism and observing the Lord’s Supper are

          helpful to describing our relationship with Jesus and His people.

 

How do we respond to Jesus? Worship - acknowledging/receiving Jesus as King (21:9-11; Ps.118:25-26).

     The crowd responded to Jesus’ entry as if receiving a King (v.8).

     They laid down cloaks/palm branches as an offering of worship (v.8).

     They expressively shouted/praised Jesus (v.9), quoting from a favorite

            song they would sing at Passover (Ps.118). They worshipped Him!

     How do you respond to this prophetic conversation (vv.10-11)?

     What do you say to Jesus in response to the revelation of who He is?

     Who (or what) receives your praise and worship?    

Conversations- Overhearing Jesus Talk with People on Their Journeys: “Zacchaeus- A Wealthy Outcast Is Brought Into The Family” (Billy Russell, 04/07/19)

Conversations- Overhearing Jesus Talk with People on Their Journeys: “Zacchaeus- A Wealthy Outcast Is Brought Into The Family” (Billy Russell, 04/07/19)

April 12, 2019

Conversations- Overhearing Jesus Talk with People on Their Journeys

             “Zaccheus- A Wealthy Outcast is Brought into the Family”

                                              (Luke 19:1-10)

 

Jesus takes his last walk from Jericho up to Jerusalem. He has told the disciples why he was going and what would happen there (Lk.18:31-34). Going through town, Jesus notices a man up a tree and invites him to share time together. What can we learn from overhearing/observing how Jesus connects with this man in conversation?

 

Lessons we’ve learned from Jesus’ Conversations (Powerpoint only)

Listen w/ interest like you’re truly interruptible.

Respond w/ gentleness even to selfish ambition.

Huddle up w/ purpose to focus on the mission.

Willingness to connect with all kinds of people.

Openness increases connection.

Make room for others along the journey.

 

                              Learning from Jesus’ Conversation

 

Who is Zacchaeus? Why his story? (19:1-4)- Jesus welcomes outsiders!

     A man, called “a chief tax-collector”

     “wealthy” (traitor, oversees collecting Roman taxes)

     described as “short”, wants to see Jesus (wealthy, but wants)

     resourceful (runs, climbs a tree to see); open to invitation

     eventually called “a son of Abraham” (faith)

 

Take a moment to notice people (19:5-6)- What’s going on around you?      

     Read non-verbal cues (93% of communication)

     See what others miss (insight into Jesus’ view)- providence!

 

Consider an invitation to spend time together (19:6)- make it happen!

     Jesus had a destination that day, but He took time out for a break.

     Jesus initiated & called him by name! He invited the outsider, who

            gladly responded. Grace-extended!

  1. is a part of the divine mission of Jesus (“I must”- moral necessity)

 

Make room for surprise endings and celebrations (19:7-10)-

     Crowd- mutterers/grumblers, a friend of (the chief of) sinners (v.7)!

     Zacchaeus- accepts invitation, responds to Jesus: “stands up” and

        makes a vow of restitution to Jesus as a sign of repentance (vv.8-9)!

        “A thank offering from a changed heart” (EEE). Grace received!

     Jesus- celebrates seeing his mission fulfilled in this lost sheep coming

         into the fold. No content of the conversation, but the outcome (v.10)!

Conversations- Overhearing Jesus Talk with People on Their Journeys: “Bartimaeus- A Man without Sight Talks with Jesus and Sees” (Billy Russell, 03/31/19)

Conversations- Overhearing Jesus Talk with People on Their Journeys: “Bartimaeus- A Man without Sight Talks with Jesus and Sees” (Billy Russell, 03/31/19)

April 10, 2019

 

   Conversations- Overhearing Jesus Talk with People on Their Journeys

            “Bartimaeus- A Man without Sight Talks with Jesus and Sees”

                                             (Luke 18:31-43)

 

Jesus takes his last walk from Jericho up to Jerusalem. He has told the disciples why he was going and what would happen there (Lk.18:31-34). Jesus is interrupted entering the city by a man who is blind and wants an audience with Jesus. What can we learn from overhearing/observing how Jesus connects with people in conversation?

 

                             Learning from Jesus’ Conversation

 

Who is Bartimaeus? Why his story? (18:35-39; cf. Mk.10:46-47)-

     Man (“daily wonders why/what he did to deserve this.” M.Card)

     described as blind, poor, asking for alms @ the entry to the city.

     inquisitive, opportunistic, stubborn, undeterred (go 4 what you need)

     insightful (by how he describes Jesus)- this is his moment! Persistent!

 

Willingness to connect with all kinds of people (18:40)- (cp/ct Ch.18-19)

   Maybe the announcement of truth about His identity grabs His attention?

           “Jesus, son of David, mercy...” (vv.38-39). Mercy = gift undeserved.

   Jesus stops. Man sees Jesus as Messiah even before he is healed (EEE)

   Jesus orders the man over to him. “Jesus always ready to serve.” (Bock)

   Jesus waits for him: “When he came near...”

                                                                     

Openness increases connection with people (18:41-42)

      Jesus talks to him. He asks a simply profound question.

      Simple question: “What do you want me to do for you?” (v.41)

      Simple request: “Lord, I want to see.” (Acknowledge need for help!)

      Miraculous responses: 1) “Receive your sight.” (“See!”)- immediacy

           2) “Your faith has healed (saved) you.” (“Faith is key!” -Kenner)

                 Faith is how (means) the healing can happen (Morris).

      Seeing Jesus for Who He is changes everything!

    

Make room for people to join you on the journey (18:43)- Praise party!

     Faith leads to following... this is the path of being a disciple.

     “Glorifying God”- seeing the Messiah’s work brought glory to God!

Conversations: Overhearing Jesus talk with People on Their Journey - Mother of the Sons of Thunder - Billy Russell (03/24/19)

Conversations: Overhearing Jesus talk with People on Their Journey - Mother of the Sons of Thunder - Billy Russell (03/24/19)

March 27, 2019

Conversations- Overhearing Jesus Talk with People on Their Journeys

                            “A Mother’s Request for Family Honor”

                                          (Matthew 20:17-28)

 

           “Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and,       

                              kneeling down, asked a favor of him.” (Mt.20:20, NIV)

 

Jesus takes his last walk from Jericho up to Jerusalem. It’s a long, arduous day-trip. He begins the journey by telling the disciples why he is going to Jerusalem and what will happen there (Mt.20:17-19). Jesus has interesting talks with people, who all want something from him. What can we learn from overhearing/observing how Jesus joins with people? We will see the simple and profound practice of being with people on their journeys is how we share Jesus with them.

 

                             Learning from Jesus’ Conversation

 

Listen with interest like you’re truly interruptible (20:20-21).

     “Then”- What happens when you’re doing something important and

                  “then” something else happens...

     Especially to your own family (cf.Mt.27:55-56; Mk.15:40; Jn.19:25)!

 

 Respond with gentleness even to selfish ambition (20:22-23).

     Even though your heart is full w/ another more important matter.

     Even though your mind is pre-occupied w/ something more worthwhile.

     Even though they may not really understand.

 

Huddle up with purpose to focus on the mission (20:24-28).

     Address the obvious (conflict, emotion, moment)- acknowledge/redirect

     Change the focus (this, not that)- keep it short!

     Point to the Model (Jesus)- and why He’s better!

Courageous:“Courageous Faith to Face the Known and Unknown” - Daniel 6 (Billy Russell, 03/17/2019)

Courageous:“Courageous Faith to Face the Known and Unknown” - Daniel 6 (Billy Russell, 03/17/2019)

March 27, 2019

                                          Courageous

                     “Courageous Faith to Face the Known and Unknown”

                                                  (Daniel 6:1-28)

 

Daniel 6 is famous for God’s deliverance of Daniel from the lion’s den. This chapter highlights the main themes of the previous five chapters and their stories: despite appearances, God is sovereign and can be trusted to intervene for those devoted and obedient to His reign in their lives. Once again, Daniel exhibits a courageous faith to face the known and unknown.

 

Daniel’s integrity/character shines bright! (6:1-3)

          Darius promotes Daniel to a place a great authority.

          Daniel’s courage (devotion and obedience to God) is observable.

 

 (6:4-9) How to handle a “Trip Trap”? (-M.Miller)                                                                                                             

        Plan laid out by Daniel’s enemies.

        King’s leadership structure provides the setting to challenge.

        Daniel is faithful to God/His Law, not man’s. (cf.3:16-18; Acts 5:29)

  

Daniel makes a life choice in prayer (6:10-18)

       He pursues God/His way- prays, “... asking God for help” (v.11).

       Daniel being Daniel- consistently living like God can be trusted.

       “... power of a quiet faithfulness.” (-T. Longman)

       “... unflinching obedience.” (T. Longman)

       Daniel risks all on God (& let’s the chips fall where they may).

  God is faithful to Daniel (6:19-28)!

     “My God sent His angel...” (vv.21-22).

      God being God- Daniel had entrusted himself to God’s watch-care.

      God has His way! He exists, intervenes, overrules, and rescues!

      “Hail to the Victor!”- God, His Victor (our Savior) for His people!

Celebration Sunday - Psalm 100 (Billy Russell, 03/10/2019)

Celebration Sunday - Psalm 100 (Billy Russell, 03/10/2019)

March 13, 2019

Thankful For What He's Done, Ready For What's Next...

Courageous: Courage to Confront Pride - Daniel 5:1-31 (Billy Russell, 03/03/2019)

Courageous: Courage to Confront Pride - Daniel 5:1-31 (Billy Russell, 03/03/2019)

March 8, 2019

                                                  Courageous

                                     “Courage to Confront Pride”

                                                (Daniel 5:1-31)

 

Daniel 5 records the courage to speak truth to the proud and powerful. This chapter is famous for the handwriting on the wall scene. Though many years have passed, God speaks again through Daniel, who interprets the writing, revealing God’s imminent judgment on the king.

 

Overview:

     The Book of Daniel is... the revelation of the sovereignty of God in

                                           action (on display)!

     Sovereignty is... the gracious rule/reign of God over His Kingdom, and

                                 in our lives.

     Courage is... acting on my belief in a sovereign, trustworthy, gracious   

                            God! (Courage = Devotion + Obedience)

 

Courage to outlast... endurance reflects devoted obedience.

     (5:1-12)  Daniel @ 80+ has outlived his captors, but not his calling.

          Party- temple items to toast the gods- disregard/disrespect for God!

          God is omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, and just!

          Handwriting scene- chaos, queen intervenes, sends for Daniel.

     

Courage to be available... willingness to serve whenever needed.

     (5:13-16).  The king reminds Daniel he’s still in exile (v.13)!

                       The king has heard of, but doesn’t know Daniel (vv.14,16).

                       The king sets up the challenge (v.15).

 

Courage to confront... with God’s truth when necessary as His emissary.   

     (5:18-28)      Royal hx lesson: you knew it, but no humility (v.22)!

                          “... you set yourself up against the Lord of Heaven” (v.23).

    “But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life...” (v.23).  

    [Powerpoint here the four word phrase first (v.25), then interp. (v.26)]

 

Courage to humbly serve... take no pride/joy in the downfall of others.   

     (5:17, 29-30)                     God brings swift justice to the king!

                                               Only go confront, if God is sending you.   

                                               Humble yourself.

                                               Serve God’s purposes solely.

Courageous:Courage to Humbly Speak Truth - Daniel 4:1-37 (Dave Becker, 02/24/2019)

Courageous:Courage to Humbly Speak Truth - Daniel 4:1-37 (Dave Becker, 02/24/2019)

March 8, 2019

Courage to Humbly Speak Truth

(Daniel 4:1-37)

In Daniel 4 we encounter Daniel’s courage to humbly speak truth even when that truth is difficult to hear. In this moment we are given an interesting view of Daniel’s courage as this passage of Scripture is written entirely from Nebuchadnezzar’s perspective. Daniel interprets the king’s alarming and troubling dream by telling him that the Most High has spoken against him and will act against him until Nebuchadnezzar acknowledges that God is sovereign over the kingdoms of men.

 Overview:

     The Book of Daniel is... the revelation of the sovereignty of God in

                                           action (on display)!

     Sovereignty is... the gracious rule/reign of God over His Kingdom, and

                                 in our lives.

     Courage is... acting on my belief in a sovereign, trustworthy, gracious   

                            God! (Courage = Devotion + Obedience)

 

  • All will know that the LORD is sovereign over the kingdoms of men!
  • Courage to humbly speak truth comes from (vv. 4-18):
    • The certainty that God has spoken
    • The clarity of God’s mission
    • The confidence of God sovereignty
  • Courage to humbly speak truth is marked by (vv. 19-27):
    • A compassion for others
    • A conviction for God’s sovereignty
    • A compelling call to repentance
  • Courage to humbly speak truth results in (vv. 28-37, 1-4):
    • The ruin of those who proudly resist God’s sovereignty
    • The rejoicing of those who who humbly embrace God’s sovereignty
    • The recognition of all that the God is sovereign