I 💙 My Church | Because We Belong Here | Randy Frazee

Benefits of going to Church:

Drink less

Smoke less

Use fewer recreational drugs

Less sexually promiscuous

Stronger Marriages

Boost Immune System

Healthier Cardiovascular

Decreases Blood Pressure

Sleep better

Teens do better in school

Happier

Live longer

Stronger Support Network

I Love My Church because we belong here

God hardwired us for community

“It is not good for the man to be alone.”

Genesis 2:18

The Church is a Family

God has given us the privilege of being born again so that we are now members of God’s own family (1 Peter 3:1)

God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. (Ephesians 1:5)

Even before you or I were even born God’s vision was to provide the way to adopt us into his family through Christ. It gave him great pleasure.

A healthy Family helps you to take a Next Steps

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,  not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the day approaching.

Hebrews 10:24-25

The people of Kansas City need more Margin

When Insiders Get in the Way | Tim Harlow

You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?

Matthew 23:33

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people's faces.

Matthew 23:13

On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, ‘Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’ The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.

Mark 11:15-18

Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

Mark 11:11

…zeal for your house consumes me…

Psalm 69:9

For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him would not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved.

John 3:16-17

One Life to Live | Chris Brown

I am concerned we have made our vision our God. We worship the accomplishment of the dreams God gave us rather than worshipping Him.

One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.” When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” “Here I am!” Moses replied. Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground.  I am the God of your father - the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God. Then the Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering.  So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey - the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live. Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them.  Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.”

Exodus 3:3-10

Fulfilling our vision is not synonymous with living a godly life.

God cares more about who we are becoming than where we are headed. Don’t let your destination become your god.

We make the assumption that we can create our own burning bush moments.

Are we concerned with God’s will or only his approval of our will.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

Philippians 1:6

It’s not about where we are going. It’s about who we are becoming.

When Others Say "No Way!" | Randy Frazee

2 Corinthians 4:1-7; Judges 7

We do not deserve to be a part of such a ministry as this. (2 Corinthians 4:1)

“Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.” (2 Corinthians 4:1)

We are frail jars of clay that God deposits his presence into. (2 Corinthians 4:7)

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay...” (2 Corinthians 4:7a)

When powerful things happen in our lives, or through our lives, others shake their head and say – “there’s no way.”

“to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7b)

When the Midianites thought of the Israelite’s that they bullied for seven years they said, “No Way” but the Israelites said, “Yahweh”

He returned to the camp of Israel, and said, “Arise, for the LORD has delivered the camp of Midian into your hand.” 16 Then he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet into every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and torches inside the pitchers. 17 And he said to them, “Look at me and do likewise; watch, and when I come to the edge of the camp you shall do as I do: 18 When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then you also blow the trumpets on every side of the whole camp, and say, ‘The sword of the Yahweh and of Gideon!’ ” (Judges 7:15-18)

God and Hamilton | Kevin Cloud

We are hard wired for story…story is literally in our DNA. -Brene Brown

With many stories like these, he presented his message to them, fitting the stories to their experience and maturity. He was never without a story when he spoke. Mark 4:33-34 (MSG)

He replied, “You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom. You know how it works. Not everybody has this gift, this insight; it hasn’t been given to them. Whenever someone has a ready heart for this, the insights and understandings flow freely. But if there is no readiness, any trace of receptivity soon disappears. That’s why I tell stories: to create readiness, to nudge the people toward receptive insight. Matthew 13:11-15 (MSG)

But by the grace of God I am what I am. 1 Corinthians 15:10 (NIV)

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. Luke 15:20 (NIV)

Grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us more and there is nothing we can do to make God love us less. -Philip Yancey

BELIEVE Celebration Sunday | Randy Frazee

The Believe Revolution

Be Like Jesus

Act Like Jesus

Think Like Jesus

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.

Romans 8:29

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

John 15:5

As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.
Proverbs 23:7

What’s My Next Step?

Complete the Believe Checkup here.

Pray – Thank God for your progress, ask him to help you grow

Share your strengths and grow results with a friend

Review the Believe content for your specific growth area.

BELIEVE books here.

Humility | BELIEVE | Dave Ramsey

What steals hope?

1. Failure as an indicator of the future

2. Hope in the wrong things

3. Lost perspective

When you’ve been through life, when someone has stolen your hope, when you’ve surrendered your hope to a situation, when you move from hopeful to hopeless, we’re in need of some spiritual boy scout fluid, aren’t we? When I feel like wet wood, I need “whoosh” in my life. I need some hope- something to light me up, something to move me along.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when desire comes it is the tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12

When we do something stupid or fail, and we say, “That’s it, we failed. That’s all there is. I am now- I didn’t just fail- I am a failure.” When I take my failure, my foible, my problem, my mess-up, and I use that as an indicator of my future and go, “That’s all there is. I’m just going to be that guy.”

“I’m just going to be that girl.”

“I got laid off from my job so I’ll never have a good career.”

“That marriage went bad so I’ll never have a good marriage.”

All of that. And so we say that bad thing that happened or the bad thing that I brought onto myself- I use that and I project it and I say, “That’s my future.”

Why would you go forward? You’d be a psychopath if you thought that was a good thing to walk into. And it’s a false projection- it’s not true.

“Failure is the opportunity to begin more intelligently.” Henry Ford

“Winners never quit”- yes they do. They regularly quite doing stupid stuff that didn’t work.

If you place your hope in the wrong things, people can’t hold your hope- they’re not capable of it. Place your hope in that career and then they fire you, place your hope in that marriage and then it ends- you place your hope in the wrong things. In Christianity we call this “idol worship”.

God has a plan for you and it has nothing to do with stuff.

“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for your harm, to give you a future with hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

“Men and women are limited not by their intelligence, nor by their education, not by the color of their skin, but the size of their hope.” John Johnson

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4

I have an internal perspective that all things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purposes. I might not see it this side of death’s door, but I’ll see it over there. 100% of our investments are where moth and rust cannot destroy. All of these things that I have learned are getting me ready for that walk on those golden streets. Getting you ready, because your Heavenly Father- He’s crazy about you. He’s got a plan for you.

I want to tell you- you got this, you can do this. Whatever your momentary trial is- it’s momentary- your Dad is walking with you, and He’s not the kind of dad that’s going to let you down. He’s worthy of the trust. Trustworthy.

Gentleness | BELIEVE | Scott Jones

KEY IDEA: I am thoughtful, considerate and calm in my dealings with others.

KEY VERSE: “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” Philippians 4:5

The art of motherhood is holding on loosely.

יוֹכֶב Yo-khe'-ved

Yhvh = Jehovah or Yahweh

kabad = glory

The LORD is glory

Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. Exodus 2:1-2

fine = טוֹב pronounced tov = “beautiful

“it was good.” (tov)

By faith Moses' parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king's edict. Hebrews 11:23

Holding on loosely means doing everything in your power to protect the kids in your care.

But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. Exodus 2:3-4

Holding on loosely means letting go and giving God room to work.

Motherhood is ongoing seasons of holding on and letting go.

Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said. Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” “Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. (Jochebed) Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him. Exodus 2:5-9

Holding on loosely means re-entering your child’s life when the door is opened.

When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh's daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, "I drew him out of the water." Exodus 2:10

Holding on loosely mean permanently releasing your children into God’s hands.

We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28

BELIEVE books here.

Faithfulness | BELIEVE | Scott Jones

KEY QUESTION: Why is it important to be loyal and committed to God and others?

Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 

I Corinthians 4:2

FOUNDATION

The foundation for our faithfulness is God’s character.

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. BELIEVE, PG. 453; Psalm 36:5

אמונ (emunah) lmeans “firmness” and carries the idea of being “trustworthy”

God can be trusted because he is ABLE (competency) to do what he says he will do, and he DELIVERS (character) on what he says he will do.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

MOTIVATION

The motivation for faithfulness is gratitude.

INVITATION

KEY VERSE: Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. BELIEVE, PG. 451; Proverbs 3:3-4

A vow is a word spoken in a moment, but faithfulness is a commitment fulfilled over a lifetime.

KEY IDEA: “I have established a good name with God and others based on my loyalty to those relationships.”

POWER

The power for faithfulness is the Holy Spirit.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Galatians 5:22-23

REWARD

Faithfulness yields a reward in this life and the life to come.

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

2 Timothy 4:6-8

BELIEVE books can be found here.

Kindness/Goodness | BELIEVE | Randy Frazee

Key Idea: I choose to be kind & good in my relationships with others.

Key Question: What does this mean? & How?

Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. (pg. 434; 1 Thessalonians 5:15)

Kalos = Good = outward beauty

Kaka = Evil

Kindness & Goodness Defined

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Luke 6:45)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[h] 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. (Matthew 5:38-39)

We offer kindness & goodness to others out of a deep inward moral conviction of love for the other person and for the beauty of truth.

Kindness

Kindness = Chrestos = A moral goodness that enables a person to be benevolent toward others.

Kindness = Hesed related to Hasidah = Stork

Kindness = pelargos = pelargonia = law for taking care of aging parents.

Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord. 6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. (Exodus 34:5-7)

Goodness

Goodness = Agathos = A moral goodness that enables a person to do the right & best thing for another person

And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? …hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh,[a][b] so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord. (1 Corinthians 5:2,5)

Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but  deceitful are the kisses of an enemy. (Proverbs 27:6)

The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient.  Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him,  so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.  I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. (1 Corinthians 2:6-8)

Patience | BELIEVE | Randy Frazee

Key Verse: “Do not be anxious about anything…” (pg. 369, Philippians 4:6)

Key Question: Where do I find strength to battle anxiety and fear?

Key Idea: I am free from anxiety because I have found people with God, peace with others and peace with myself

Things are right with God

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. (pg. 371; Romans 5:1-2)

Get right with God.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Stay right with God

Things are right with others

…if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. (pg. 376; Matthew 5:23-24)

Getting your relationship right is a higher priority than worship.

So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. 9 Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.” (pg. 374; Genesis 13:8-9)

Value the relationships over stuff

“Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny. (pg. 376; Matthew 5:25-26)

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:14-15)

Forgive as the Lord has forgiven you

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18)

Make peace a priority, but it won’t work with everyone…not your fault…don’t own it.

Things are right with me

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (pg. 383-384; Philippians 4:6-9)

  • Have a team around you

  • Get sleep

  • Exercise

  • Eat right

  • Pray – listen, petition, thanksgiving

  • Bombard your mind with good thoughts

BELIEVE books available here.

Hope | BELIEVE | Randy Frazee

Key Question: How do I deal with hardships and struggles in life?

False Hope 

·      False hope in riches 

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain. (pg. 405; 1 Timothy 6:27) 

·      False hope in people

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
    who draws strength from mere flesh…(pg. 405; Jeremiah 17:5)

·      False hope in stuff

“Of what value is an idol carved by a craftsman?” (pg. 406; Habakkuk 2:18)

·      False hope in government

Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help...the Egyptians are mere mortals and not God. (pg. 406; Isaiah 31:1,3) 

2 Causes of Sustainable Hope

·      You believe the Promises

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me.My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:1-3)

 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

 ·      You believe the One Making the Promises

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“Say to Daughter Zion,
    ‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
    and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna[d] in the highest heaven!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

Key Idea: I can cope with the hardships in life because of the hope I have in Jesus Christ? 

Self-Control | BELIEVE | Randy Frazee

Key IDEA

I have the power through Christ to control myself.

Key Verse Titus 2:11-13

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ

Peace | BELIEVE | Randy Frazee

Key Verse: “Do not be anxious about anything…” (pg. 369, Philippians 4:6)

Key Question: Where do I find strength to battle anxiety and fear?

Key Idea: I am free from anxiety because I have found people with God, peace with others and peace with myself

Things are right with God

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. (pg. 371; Romans 5:1-2)

Get right with God.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Stay right with God

Things are right with others

…if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. (pg. 376; Matthew 5:23-24)

Getting your relationship right is a higher priority than worship.

So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. 9 Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.” (pg. 374; Genesis 13:8-9)

Value the relationships over stuff

“Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny. (pg. 376; Matthew 5:25-26)

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:14-15)

Forgive as the Lord has forgiven you

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18)

Make peace a priority, but it won’t work with everyone…not your fault…don’t own it.

Things are right with me

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (pg. 383-384; Philippians 4:6-9)

Have a team around you

Get sleep

Exercise

Eat right

Pray – listen, petition, thanksgiving

Bombard your mind with good thoughts

BELIEVE books available here.

Joy | BELIEVE | Randy Frazee

Key Verse: I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. (pg. 353, John 15:11)

Key Idea: Despite my circumstances, I feel inner contentment and understand my purpose in life.

Joy in spite of my circumstances

Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard[b] and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. (pg. 363-364, Philippians 1:12-18)

See your glass as half-full (Philippians 1:12-18)

Joy in spite of my past

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead…(Philippians 3:12-13)

Put your past behind you and focus on the future

Joy in spite of other people

17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. (Philippians 3:17-21)

Joy in spite of my stuff

11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13)

More stuff & money isn’t the answer

BELIEVE books available here.

Love | BELIEVE | Randy Frazee

KEY VERSE: THIS IS LOVE: NOT THAT WE LOVED GOD, BUT THAT HE LOVED US AND SENT HIS SON AS AN ATONING SACRIFICE FOR OUR SINS. DEAR FRIENDS, SINCE GOD SO LOVED US, WE ALSO OUGHT TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER. NO ONE HAS EVER SEEN GOD; BUT IF WE LOVE ONE ANOTHER, GOD LIVES IN US AND HIS LOVE IS MADE COMPLETE IN US. 1 JOHN 4:10-12

KEY IDEA: I AM COMMITTED TO LOVING GOD AND LOVING OTHERS.

I make a “no strings attached” covenant to love them

After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. 2 From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. 3 And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. (1 Samuel 18:1-2)

I am their advocate

Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill David. But Jonathan had taken a great liking to David 2 and warned him, “My father Saul is looking for a chance to kill you. Be on your guard tomorrow morning; go into hiding and stay there. 3 I will go out and stand with my father in the field where you are. I’ll speak to him about you and will tell you what I find out.”

4 Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Let not the king do wrong to his servant David; he has not wronged you, and what he has done has benefited you greatly. 5 He took his life in his hands when he killed the Philistine. The Lord won a great victory for all Israel, and you saw it and were glad. Why then would you do wrong to an innocent man like David by killing him for no reason?” (1 Samuel 19:1-5)

I help them see God’s good vision for them

Then David fled from Naioth at Ramah and went to Jonathan and asked, “What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father, that he is trying to kill me?”

2 “Never!” Jonathan replied. “You are not going to die! Look, my father doesn’t do anything, great or small, without letting me know. Why would he hide this from me? It isn’t so!”

3 But David took an oath and said, “Your father knows very well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he has said to himself, ‘Jonathan must not know this or he will be grieved.’ Yet as surely as the Lord lives and as you live, there is only a step between me and death.”

4 Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do for you.” (I Samuel 20:1-4)

I sacrifice my rights to see them succeed

Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt. (1 Samuel 18:4)

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Sharing My Faith | BELIEVE | Randy Frazee

Key Verse: Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. (pg. 320; Ephesians 6:19-20)

Key Idea: I share my faith with others to fulfill God’s purposes.

Key Question: How do I share my faith with those who don’t know God?

God calls us to share our faith

And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. (pg. 322; 2 Corinthians 5:19-20)

And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (pg. 325; Acts 2:47)

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (pg. 324; Acts 2:42)

Living your faith is the best way to share your faith

Speaking up about your faith when the time is right

Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. (pg. 323; 2 Kings 5:2)

If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy. (pg. 323; 2 Kings 5:3)

As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, “Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!”

(Pg. 323; 2 Kings 5:7)

My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” (pg. 324; 2 Kings 5:13)

Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. (pg. 324; 2 Kings 5:15)

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Giving My Resources | BELIEVE | Scott Jones

KEY QUESTION: How do I best use my resources to serve God and others?

Generosity is rooted in the character of God.

When it comes to giving our resources, God doesn’t want something FROM us; he wants something FOR us.

“Now, who is willing to consecrate themselves to the Lord today?” Then the leaders of families, the officers of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of the king’s work gave willingly. They gave toward the work on the temple of God five thousand talents and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze and a hundred thousand talents of iron. Anyone who had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the temple of the Lord in the custody of Jehiel the Gershonite. The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly.

BELIEVE, PG. 304; 1 Chronicles 29:5-9

Godly giving comes from a heart that is willing.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. BELIEVE, PG. 314; Matthew 6:19-21

Generosity is restrained when our money has our heart.

Generosity is released when our heart has our money.

“You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:24

And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.

BELIEVE, PG. 316; 2 Corinthians 8:1-5

KEY VERSE: But just as you excel in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us--see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

BELIEVE, PG. 316; 2 Corinthians 8:7

Generosity is the key to leaving a legacy.

Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. BELIEVE, PG. 318; 2 Corinthians 9:13

KEY IDEA: I give my resources to fulfill God’s purposes.

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Offering My Time | BELIEVE | Scott Jones & Jason Morris

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil. PG. 289; Ephesians 5:15-16

chronos time = chronological time in minutes and seconds

kairos time = opportune time

ἐξαγοραζόμενοι τὸν καιρόν = “redeeming the time”

KEY QUESTION: How do I best use my time to serve God and others?

Leverage your chronos time to make kairos moments.

“My time is not yet here.” PG. 301 John 7:2-4

Invest your time in eternity.

KEY VERSE: Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. PG. 289; Colossians 3:17

Offer your time as an act of worship.

KEY IDEA: “I offer my time to fulfill God’s purposes.”

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Spiritual Gifts | BELIEVE | Scott Jones

KEY QUESTION: What gifts and abilities has God given me to serve others?

Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.

I Corinthians 12:1

Spiritual gifts are God chosen abilities given to God’s people to serve others so that the body of Christ becomes like Jesus in order to accomplish God’s purposes on earth.

In the Old Testament

He has chosen and filled (Bezalel son of Uri and Oholiab son of Ahisamak) with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers. PG. 276; Exodus 35:35

The king asked Daniel, “Are you able to tell me what I saw in my dream and interpret it?” Daniel replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries.” PG. 279; Daniel 2:26-27

In the New Testament

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. PG. 284; I Corinthians 12:4-6

God chooses your gifts, so celebrate- don’t compare.

KEY VERSE: For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. PG. 284; Romans12:4-6

God gives us a gift so that we can be a gift to others.

KEY IDEA: I know my spiritual gifts and use them to fulfill God’s purposes.

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. Romans12:6

The internal litmus test to know if you are serving out of your gifting is enthusiasm. The external litmus test is affirmation.

S - Spiritual Gifts

H - Heart

A - Abilities

P - Personality

E - Experiences

So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

PG. 284; Romans 12:6-8

Our body isn’t a container for our gifts; it’s a conduit for God’s power.

…….to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. PG. 287; Ephesians 4:12-13

Using our spiritual gifts is what God uses to help us become like Jesus so we can accomplish God’s purposes on earth.

God uses your SHAPE to redeem your story.

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