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I’m Not a Victim / Resurrection Power

Sermon of the Day: 

Recently Preached: I’m Not a Victim


Philippians 3:10-11

10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!

Good Morning Men. I hope and pray all of you are hungering for more of the Lord when you read this.

Lets look at the facts of the above verse.

  1. I want to know Christ
  2. I want to experience his mighty power that raised him from the dead
  3. I want to suffer with Him and share in his death
  4. I want to live in a way so that I will experience the resurrection from the dead

At first glance this passage wraps up in almost a morbid way. What is Paul talking about here with suffering, death and resurrection from the dead?

The anchor point is; “I want to know Christ”. Men there could not be any greater desire and passion in our lives then wanting to know Christ. Not just know of Him, maybe a few miracles and think that He was a really nice guy. Paul is talking about knowing Jesus intimately and better than anyone else in this life. When we desire Jesus in this way it no longer becomes about what we can do in our own flesh. It no longer is about self, the focus, priority and fruit that flows form this type of relationship is Jesus.

Do you want to know Christ like this? If so why and what are you doing each day to know Him?

Paul then wants to experience the mighty power that resurrected Jesus, the power the raised Him from the dead. This is an experiential power that is being talked about. For me it is hard to visualize the power needed to raise a body from the dead. But as we begin to think of the reality of life and death, and how final death is, how powerless we are to raise to life. I can start to get a picture of this power.

Why was this important to Paul?

Paul wants this power that raised Christ from the dead surging through His mortal body. Giving him the power to overcome sin in his life, producing the fruit that marks the Christian life with repentance and transformation. Supernatural transformation that people will have no other explanation or reason but Jesus, whether they admit or not. Christ alone has radically transformed his life.

Paul wants to suffer with Christ. Jesus suffered tremendously once He began His ministry and started to step out on His mission. The Christian life is not easy, it is a road not often traveled, avoided or side stepped with many opposing forces from family members, loved ones, spouses and everything in between. That is the American way of suffering, however throughout most of the world especially through much of Asia and the Middle East. To know Jesus and to make Him known is a death sentence.

This should not come as a surprise, Jesus said if they hate you remember that they hated me first (John 15:18). Paul also said that if we suffer with Him we will also be glorified with Him (Romans 8:17). So this is no surprise in God’s Word, the Holy Spirit held back no punches through His inspiration of the truth and sufferings a Christian must face.

That is why Paul desires these things to be in place; knowing Christ, experiencing in his life resurrection power, suffering with Christ so that this life will produce a resurrection from the dead.

So Paul desired a resurrected life here on earth, a life transformed by the power of the cross. Then Paul desired the resurrection from the dead. That is the completion of his life and work down here on this earth. Our salvation is complete and as the Bible teaches we become resurrected with Christ for eternity.

May the Lord give us all the heart of Paul.

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The Power Source / Righteous Through Faith

Sermon of the Day: 

The Power Source – A 


Philippians 3:9

…and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.

Good Morning Men.

We are continuing on from last weeks verse, Philippians 3:7-8; same author, same context.

Lets look at the facts:

  1. Paul described in the last verse how he gained Christ, and now he states he is one with Christ.
  2. Paul’s righteousness does not come by obeying the commands of God, but he is righteous by his faith in Christ.
  3. Faith is how God views our righteousness.

Paul is one with Christ because of his relationship that he described in the previous two verses. Once we have developed a relationship with Jesus we now can renounce our own righteousness.

Our own righteousness puffs us up, as we do our man made checklist we now become righteous in our own minds. This type of righteousness is unfortunately way to common, and is the reason why many non-believers don’t have good experiences attending a new church. Or when they encounter one of us Christians but nothing in our life is really different except what we say rather than what we do.

When we as Christians can make the shift from relying on our righteousness to relying on the righteousness which comes from God through faith. This is where we will actually start to make a difference in the lives of those around us. This really is a common thing and honestly it is okay because I believe we all struggle with this. The problem happens when we cannot recognize this, or make the connection and fix this problem.

When we rely on our own righteousness it’s like we rely on our own checklists. I did that, I do that everyday, I go there every week, I don’t do that anymore like those guys. This is the foundation for self-righteousness and can evolve into full blown hypocrisy and all kinds of junk. This is relying on the law for our righteousness, as opposed to allowing Jesus to be our rigtheousness. Our own righteousness says: ‘I obey most of those things so let me highlight the ones I am good at and ignore the ones I am not good at’. This is dangerous and toxic for your relationship with Jesus and everyone around you.

So what is it supposed to look like?

To keep it very simple, it is all about Jesus. Jesus needs to be the spiritual foundation, the cornerstone. What He did, what He is doing and what He is going to do. Everything needs to come from Him and point to Him. Jesus needs to radically transform our hearts daily so that we don’t have to say we are certain ways, the people in our lives just see it.

For those of you that want a little bit more direction I believe Paul has given us a great compass.

Romans 12:2 NLT

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Do you look like everyone around? Do you talk and act like everyone around you? Then maybe we are copying the behaviors and customs of this world. We need to be transformed into a new person, that thinks differently and in turn will start to act differently. The Bible says when we belong to Jesus we are a new creation.

Want to know God’s will for you? Then spend time in God’s Word. Spend time in prayer. Seek out a good Bible reading church and a man or two in your life that can help you grow in your walk with Jesus Christ. We must learn to be transparent and real with our weaknesses and setbacks. Also learning more about the sacrifice that was made for you and me through Jesus. These things will breed humility which allows everything to start working together. These are all ingredients to move you along in your relationship with Jesus Christ.

May the Lord Bless and keep all of you.

 

 

 

I Am Dead to That / Infinite Value of Knowing Christ

Sermon of the Day: 

I Am Dead to That – A 


Philippians 3:7-8 NLT

I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ…

 

Good Morning Men.

I hope and pray this email finds all of you in good health, hungry spirits and hearts filled with hope.

Lets look at the facts of this verse:

  1. Things that were once viewed as valuable to Paul are now worthless because of a new relationship in Christ
  2. Everything is worthless compared to knowing Christ
  3. Everything cannot compare and might as well be garbage when compared to what Paul has found in Christ

These are very powerful words that Paul is using to describe his relationship with Jesus to the church at Philippi. Paul came from the pedigree of pedigrees in this time and prior to his conversion with Christ it was his badge of honor. Paul was of Roman descent and studied under the greatest religious leaders of that time. In today’s world Paul would have came from the right city, the right state, had all the best private education money could buy with parents that had all that status and connections to set this up.

To say these things were valuable to Paul is a serious understatement. This was his life and mission to prove Christians wrong based on his knowledge and zealous passion for what he knew. Then Paul who used be Saul had a head on collision with Jesus Christ. Jesus broke him, humbled and revealed Himself to Paul in such a dramatic and powerful way (Acts 9:1-19), Paul could not refuse the supremacy of Christ. All that Paul thought was valuable and noble was broken by what Christ did in his heart and mind.

At first glance this could seem a little extreme that everything is worthless. Paul is comparing what he thought was big and important to the infinite value of knowing Christ. This is were things get worthless real quick. It’s not just knowing of Christ, but actually knowing Christ. Having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God who spoke this entire earth as we know it into existence (Genesis 1-2).

Paul says that he had discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage. So that he could gain Christ! That sounds pretty radical and very different from what society tells me about Jesus.

Why would Paul have to discard everything else?

James 1, talks about a double minded man, that he is unstable in all his ways. That is not were Paul is. Paul is single minded, laser focused with one mission. To know Christ and to make Him known.  Everything was discarded so there were no distractions, no limitations and no excuses. What Paul found in Jesus was so overwhelmingly greater than anything he knew that he dumped it all to gain more.

Men, my hope and my prayer is that we would have this same heart. That we would allow Christ into our hearts to change us and make us whole. That we would be so complete and so fulfilled in Him that everything else would be worthless compared to Christ. That the infinite value of knowing Christ would make every other earthly pursuit, worry and temptation seem like garbage!

If this is your heart, pray this prayer with me:

Father in heaven may your name be magnified in me. Help me to know you intimately. Reveal yourself to me in a way that is so powerful that I may be reassured of the infinite value of knowing You. Give me a passion to know You and to make You known. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

The Process of Change / Message of the Cross

Sermon of the Day:

The Process of Change: Step 1, Repentance, Part 1 – A


1 Corinthians 1:18

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

European cities you never thought to visit

Good Morning Men.

As all of you probably know by now, there was a big scare in Hawaii over the weekend. For myself and the guys I was with at work it was real, it was scary and it was a wake up call in many ways. The above verse was in full effect after this event. Lets look at the facts:

  1. The cross is foolishness to those that are perishing
  2. The cross is power to those who are being saved
  3. Being saved requires the power of God

In the Bible someone that is perishing is referring to someone that rejects God and will receive the consequences of that choice. This rejection can come in a few forms, obviously outright rejection is one way. Then we have the type of rejection that may not be showing on the outside, but on the inside there is no desire to know God. They may know of Him, but they do not know Him. To these individuals, the message of a man claiming to be God being brutally crucified is foolish. It goes against every fairy tale, everything we believe from environmental experiences and Hollywood movies!

However for those that are being saved, or are saved the message of the cross is power. A power that stirs you deep inside every time you read about it, think about it or hear a sermon about it. When you actually know God, when you begin to learn of the background of the cross. The voluntary sacrifice that was given on the cross. The power of the cross effects the saved through deep gratitude, pain, awe, and myriad of other emotions that can be so personal and moving.

This power is God. The Bible teaches that no one can save themselves. No one can come to the Father except through the Son (John 14:6). The Holy Spirit calls every person through a variety a ways. Some people may see them as signs, others through experiences like this weekend in Hawaii. At the end of it all God speaks through the Holy Spirit by His Word.

This weekend’s event illustrated to me that there will always be men that do soul searching in times of fear and concern. These men are being impacted by the power of God and the message of the cross. These men are truly blessed if they act on it and pursue knowing God and allow His power to change their lives. To others its foolishness, it is a time to put on a front that everything is okay because so far everything has been okay.

Where do you stand? What does the cross mean to you? If that missile threat was real and hit your area and you died, where are you going? How about your family, would they be good? Have you done your job dad, in teaching your children the love of God (Deuteronomy 6:5-9). Have you been the husband God has called you to be, allowing your marriage to be a reflection of Jesus’s love for the church?

Men as real as death is, so is our eternal destiny. Eternity has only two options, heaven or hell. They are radically different and my encouragement for you is to find out from the Bible what those differences are. Pray and ask God for His power to move in you and call on Him that you may be saved. If not no problem take your chances, know that I love you and I pray you keep reading our emails.

Grace and Peace to all.

Let’s Get Specific / Eyes of the Lord

Sermon of the Day:

Let’s Get Specific – A 


2 Chronicles 16:9 

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.

European cities you never thought to visit

Good Morning Men.

There is a lot of context going on here in this verse so I won’t discuss the interpretation of this verse. However I want to focus on the application for you and me of the first half of this verse.

Lets look at the facts:

  1. The eyes of the Lord
  2. Run to and fro throughout the whole earth
  3. God shows Himself to those whose heart is loyal

Men, I don’t know about you but the thought of God having vision going back and forth throughout the whole earth is mind blowing to me. It definitely raises some questions for me about many of the issues throughout the world. Those issues honestly are far to great for me to understand and I know that all things work together for good for those that love God and who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). So I won’t get to hung up on it and my encouragement is for you to do the same. If that does really bother you then my question is how much time are you spending on your hands and knees each day pleading with God to end that crisis? Let’s be men of action not just of talk, biblical actions that glorify God.

So God’s eyes are everywhere, we know this from many examples throughout the Bible. God is omniscient, omnipresent and all knowing. The pain in our heart is equally important to the starving going on in a third world country. God’s love is so rich and so deep, men we honestly cannot even fathom. On top of it being completely pure and holy, unlike our love that is so easily swayed, persuaded, influenced or superficial.

One of my favorite verses about God being throughout the whole earth is:

Psalm 139:7-10

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.

The Bible makes it very easy to see that God is everywhere, but why is there Christians that have such different results in their personal walk and joy with Jesus?

I believe our answer is right before us in this verse; God shows Himself or reveals Himself to those whose heart is loyal to Him.

Men, are you desiring more of God? Are you desiring to know Him more intimately? Or are you just going through the motions? Maybe neither, you are just figuring out your way. All of the above is okay men, it doesn’t matter where you are today. What really matters is what your going to do about it. Where do you want to be and how are you going to get there? I know for me personally I have areas I need to be more loyal and my faith needs some fertilizer. But I want to grow and change and I hope you do too.

As we close out the first week of the year what are you willing to commit to in your spiritual life to make 2018 different and better with God? What steps do you need to take in order to have your heart loyal to God?

If this speaks to your situation men don’t let another day go by without making a plan. Make a daily plan, start small and stick to it.

Have an awesome day and week in the Lord. Let your light so shine so that others may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16)!!

Take Out the Garbage / Be Strong and Courageous

Sermon of the Day:

Take Out the Garbage


Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Good Morning Men. Happy New Year.

On the subject of a New Year, my Pastor said something that was really great yesterday in the context of our Bible reading plan: “Christian’s don’t make resolutions they make commitments.” I thought that was really important as we head into a new year. My hope is that all of you will make commitments to grow your faith, and grow in your walk with Jesus Christ.

The first start is getting a reading plan. Our church will be going through the Life Journal Reading Plan. You can find it in the You Version Bible App. Then go to plans and search for it under that title. Pastor Wayne of New Hope Honolulu created the plan. If you like plain old paper, no problem; click the SOAP link below. It goes through the entire Old Testament once and the New Testament twice in a year. Great goal for all of us!

Also follow it up with SOAP. Lets all start journaling if you’re not already. This is also a journal plan that New Hope does. So after every day you read you journal. What do you journal? SOAP: Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. For more details click here : SOAP.

The above verse was already my topic verse but how awesome this verse fits into place for many of us today. Sometimes a new year can be a little worrisome. Maybe there is tension in relationships, maybe the finances are suffering a little or worse yet maybe a troublesome diagnosis from the doctor. Or how about just afraid to commit to something challenging, or taking a step of faith, a tough decision or even just committing to a one year reading plan.

God spoke the above words to Joshua because as a new leader of his people he needed some encouragement. Joshua was called to take over the charge into the promise land for the Israelites. Joshua needed to know that God was going to be with him wherever he went.

This strength and courage is not from Joshua, but rather strength and courage in who God is. Men, this application is for each and every one of us today. As we set our course for 2018 lets become stronger more courageous men in Christ because of who Christ is, not because of who we are. In verse 7-8 God reminds Joshua the importance of meditating on “the book of the law”. For us today that is spending time in God’s Word, reading it, meditating on it through the day and of course applying it.

So men, be strong and courageous. Know that by giving our whole heart to God, aligning our lives, actions and steps with His Word. God will guide us and lead us, He promises to never leave us. Men, make the commitments and decisions you need to make now, don’t wait. God has created you for greatness, the only thing that is going to stop you from that is you.

What Child is This? / A Child is Born

Sermon of the Day:

What Child is This? 


Isaiah 9:6

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Good Morning Men and Merry Christmas!

Let me give a long-story-short explanation of the phrase Merry Christmas.

“Merry” is from an old Anglo-Saxon word that sometimes meant; “famous”, “illustrious”, “mighty”. Originally it meant to be strong and gallant.

“Christmas” was coined from the phrase ‘Christ-mass’ were millions of people would gather to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25th.

The phrase Merry Christmas became popular in the 19th century primarily through the story ‘A Christmas Carol’.

Getting back on track to this weeks verse.

The verse above is a prophecy of the birth of Jesus Christ. It was written about 700 years before it happened. This alone is beyond comprehension.

Lets look at the facts:

  1. A human child was to be born
  2. This child would be a boy
  3. He will be the ruler over all the earth
  4. His character traits will be as Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace

The Hebrew literary tool of repetition was used to emphasize a point; unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given.

For unto us a Child is born: The prophecy of this child, the Messiah was to remind Israel their Messiah would be a man. God could have sent the Messiah in any form; an Angel, a fully developed man and everything in between. There is nothing more weak, more needy, more helpless than that of a child. However God always knows best and sent a Messiah that would be fully qualified as Savior and High Priest. Look at what Paul reminds us about this, on how Jesus is able to identify completely with all of humanity and the ultimate display of servanthood:

Philippians 2:7

 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 

Unto us a Son is given: This verse and several others give us the foundation that Jesus came as fully God and fully man. As the second person in the trinity, He chose to come down in the flesh. We also see that man really is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26).

And the government will be upon His shoulder: The ultimate fulfillment of this part of the prophecy is yet to come. This time is known in scripture as the Millennium, or the Millennial reign of Christ. This is where Jesus Christ will rule the earth as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords (Revelation 20:4-6, Psalm 72, Isaiah 2:1-4, Isaiah 11, Isaiah 65:17-25, Zechariah 14:6-21).

And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace: These names are not the literal names of the Lord Jesus Christ. These describe the many aspects of His character. This is who Jesus is, what He stands for and who He represents.

Wonderful: Jesus is nothing short of wonderful. The more we learn about Him through His Word and get to know Him personally there is no word in our human language that can fully describe the wonder He is capable of bringing too each and every one of us.

Counselor: Jesus is our counselor in so many ways that I personally have not even learned to develop. For the Christian, Jesus should be the immediate resource we turn to. The means of receiving this counsel or help can come in so many forms and ways. The more we seek Him, the more grateful and humble our hearts are, the more we will see His fingerprint and righteous right hand through all that we work through. Through the gospels Jesus makes many promises of His steadfast love and faithfulness. It’s just too bad that we often become unfaithful to Him with the cares and worries of this life.

Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace: These three names could be described and highlighted all through scripture. Just know that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

What an amazing God we have. Men, many of us often have many questions for God. Sometimes these questions are linked to a lack of faith as well. Men be encouraged that you do not have every answer. I am very grateful that I cannot completely figure out God and His ways. That would mean that my limited brain is equivalent to His wonder and majesty. Which would make all His promises void. The mystery of Christ should stir us to seek more and learn more of His infinite power and glory.

Men, may the God of all grace bring comfort, love and joy into each and every one of your hearts this Christmas. May the Lord truly shine His face upon you more and more, so you learn and know that He loves you and cares for you so deeply. May this love radiate from you to all those around you through this season and increasingly more and more throughout all your days.

 

Sheila Scorziello

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