Apr 13, 2013
The Joy Of Abiding In God’s Love by Pastor Rulon Combs 4-13-13

The Joy of Abiding in God’s Love

April 13-14, 2013

John 15:9-10

 

 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you...” John 15:9a     And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matthew 3:16-17    “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you...”   John 15:9b …Now remain in my love. NIV abide in My love. NKJV Make yourselves at home in my love. MSG …You must go on living in my lovePhillips continue ye in my love.  KJV   We are to abide in…or focus on living in God’s love…
  • Abiding is the life long process of discovering new aspects of God’s love
  • Abiding in it includes studying it and meditating on it…praying for fresh revelation
  Continuing in His love  also includes:
  • Receiving it…accepting it as our own…
  • Believing what the Word says about how much God loves us…
  • Then returning it to God…cultivating a hot burning love for Him
  • And letting it overflow to others…
  Ephesians 3:14-19    If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love…John 15:10a  

Another Great Clue To What Abiding Or Remaining In His Love Looks Like

 
  • Cultivating a spirit of obedience increases our capacity to receive and feel more of God’s love.
  • To live in obedience to Jesus is to live in agreement with Him. We love God on His terms.
  • Sin defiles and dulls our heart and diminishes our capacity to feel and respond to His love.
  John 14:21           Matthew 5:8   What is Jesus talking about when he says, “my commands”?  
  • Love, forgiveness, giving and generosity, faith, motives, prayer, the kingdom, etc.
  Our obedience can grow in maturity over our entire lives… 1 John 1:8-2:2       If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.” John 15:10   Loving Him and keeping His commandments as more than obeying Him in our morality, speech, and finances.  
  • It includes fulfilling the ministry assignment that He gives us.
 
  •  “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” John 17:4
 
  • John 4:34             2 Timothy 4:6-7
  Abiding in Christ’s love includes being obedient to the assignment we have been given or the ‘race’ we have been called to run.  
  • It is critical that we do everything we can to finish the race we have been given…
  Run in such a way as to get the prize…    1 Corinthians 9:24-27      Hebrews 12:1   We all have a race to run…we all have an assignment to fulfill   "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.”  John 15:9-10  1.      Jesus loves you in the same way the Father loves Him  2.      He invites us to abide in, remain in, continue in that love…
  • By meditating on his love…
  • By studying His love in the Word
  • By singing about His love
  • By praying for greater revelation
 3.      Cultivate an environment of obedience  
WatchNotesDownloadDateTitle
  • Apr 13, 2013The Joy Of Abiding In God’s Love by Pastor Rulon Combs 4-13-13
    Apr 13, 2013
    The Joy Of Abiding In God’s Love by Pastor Rulon Combs 4-13-13

    The Joy of Abiding in God’s Love

    April 13-14, 2013

    John 15:9-10

     

     “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you...” John 15:9a     And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matthew 3:16-17    “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you...”   John 15:9b …Now remain in my love. NIV abide in My love. NKJV Make yourselves at home in my love. MSG …You must go on living in my lovePhillips continue ye in my love.  KJV   We are to abide in…or focus on living in God’s love…
    • Abiding is the life long process of discovering new aspects of God’s love
    • Abiding in it includes studying it and meditating on it…praying for fresh revelation
      Continuing in His love  also includes:
    • Receiving it…accepting it as our own…
    • Believing what the Word says about how much God loves us…
    • Then returning it to God…cultivating a hot burning love for Him
    • And letting it overflow to others…
      Ephesians 3:14-19    If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love…John 15:10a  

    Another Great Clue To What Abiding Or Remaining In His Love Looks Like

     
    • Cultivating a spirit of obedience increases our capacity to receive and feel more of God’s love.
    • To live in obedience to Jesus is to live in agreement with Him. We love God on His terms.
    • Sin defiles and dulls our heart and diminishes our capacity to feel and respond to His love.
      John 14:21           Matthew 5:8   What is Jesus talking about when he says, “my commands”?  
    • Love, forgiveness, giving and generosity, faith, motives, prayer, the kingdom, etc.
      Our obedience can grow in maturity over our entire lives… 1 John 1:8-2:2       If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.” John 15:10   Loving Him and keeping His commandments as more than obeying Him in our morality, speech, and finances.  
    • It includes fulfilling the ministry assignment that He gives us.
     
    •  “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” John 17:4
     
    • John 4:34             2 Timothy 4:6-7
      Abiding in Christ’s love includes being obedient to the assignment we have been given or the ‘race’ we have been called to run.  
    • It is critical that we do everything we can to finish the race we have been given…
      Run in such a way as to get the prize…    1 Corinthians 9:24-27      Hebrews 12:1   We all have a race to run…we all have an assignment to fulfill   "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.”  John 15:9-10  1.      Jesus loves you in the same way the Father loves Him  2.      He invites us to abide in, remain in, continue in that love…
    • By meditating on his love…
    • By studying His love in the Word
    • By singing about His love
    • By praying for greater revelation
     3.      Cultivate an environment of obedience  
  • Apr 6, 2013Cultivating Intimacy With God by Pastor Rulon Combs 4-6-13
    Apr 6, 2013
    Cultivating Intimacy With God by Pastor Rulon Combs 4-6-13

    Cultivating Intimacy with God

    April 6-7, 2013

     

    Intimacy: familiarity, closeness, understanding, trust - Detailed knowledge resulting from a close or long association  
    • We Are All Motivated By Intimacy
     
    • We Are Designed To Desire And Experience Intimacy On Several Levels
     
    • We Are Designed With A Built In Desire For Intimacy With The God Who Created Us
     
    • The Church Is Referred To As The Bride Of Christ
      Revelation 19:7-8   Men ought to give their wives the love they naturally have for their own bodies. The love a man gives his wife is the extending of his love for himself to enfold her. Nobody ever hates or neglects his own body; he feeds and looks after it. And that is what Christ does for his body, the Church. And we are all members of that body, we are his flesh and blood! ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’. The marriage relationship is doubtless a great mystery, but I am speaking of something deeper still—the marriage of Christ and his Church…  Ephesians 5:28-32  Phillips  

    Five Steps I Can Take To Cultivate Greater Intimacy With God

      I Will Experience Greater Intimacy When I Learn To Fearlessly Worship Him
    •  I worship God when my heart longs for Him
      Psalm 42:1-2           Isaiah 26:9           Psalm 63:1-3  
    •  I can worship Him through sacrifice
      Psalm 51:17       Psalm 141:2              Hebrews 13:15-16  
    •  I can worship Him through confession
      Romans 10:9       Hebrews 3:1      
    1. I can worship Him through surrender
      Luke 22:42     I Will Experience Greater Intimacy When I Instinctively Understand His Heart
    •  Because I spend time in His Word - Psalm 119
    •  Because I spend time in prayer.
    1 Chronicles 16:11             Psalm 32:6           Jeremiah  29:12-13     I Will Experience Greater Intimacy When I Honestly Communicate With Him
    •  About my sins - Psalm 51:1-3  
    •  About my needs - Philippians 4:6  
    • About my doubts and fears - Psalm 31:9-10  
      I Will Experience Greater Intimacy When I Put The Highest Priority On Seeking His Kingdom   I Will Enjoy Greater Intimacy With God When I Learn To Experience… His presence Hebrews 4:16       Proverbs 8:17   His peace   Philippians 4:7  (NLT) His power Romans 1:16       Acts 1:8 (NLT)  

    Intimacy With God Is A Gift Of Divine Grace

      Intimacy With God Is Possible Only Because That Is His Desire For Us   Ephesians 1:5                      I John 4:10                           I John 4:19     We Can’t Take Credit For Coming To Him In The First Place   Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6     Romans 5:8                          Revelation 4:11                  Luke 13:34  
  • Mar 31, 2013Easter Sunday 3-31-13
    Mar 31, 2013
    Easter Sunday 3-31-13

    Risen

    Easter 2013

     

     

    Who did Jesus say He was?

      "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”  John 6:35     “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.”  John 10:9   "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die…”  John 11:25-26   "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?" Jesus answered, "I am," Mark 14:61-62   "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6  

    He knew why He came

      "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”  John 10:1   “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life — only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father." John 10:17-18   "We are going up to Jerusalem…and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise."  Mark 10:33-34   Our PAST Can Be FORGIVEN   For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23    But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8   He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Romans 4:25   You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:13-14     Our FUTURE Can Be SECURE   Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. Hebrews 9:27-28   “…we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence”.  2 Corinthians 4:14   “In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 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 14:2-3   “And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.” John 17:3   "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16    “The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” John 10:10   Our PRESENT Can Be MADE NEW   What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.  1 Peter 1:3 MSG
  • Mar 24, 2013Who Is This Jesus 3-24-13 by Pastor Rulon Combs
    Mar 24, 2013
    Who Is This Jesus 3-24-13 by Pastor Rulon Combs
    Series: None

    Who Is This Jesus?

    John 12:12-15

    Palm Sunday Weekend

      The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast (Passover) heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,  "Hosanna!"  "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"  "Blessed is the King of Israel!"  14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written,  15 "Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey's colt."  John 12:12-15    

    Who was this man riding into Jerusalem anyway?

      He is our Savior    Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.  Luke 2:11   But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior…  Titus 3:4-6   He is our Redeemer   Christ redeemed (ransomed) us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."  14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.     Galatians 3:13-14   For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed (ransomed) from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.  1 Peter 1:18-19   He is our High Priest   For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.            Hebrews 4:15-16   He is our King   "Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey's colt."  John 12:15   “But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” Matthew 12:28   Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21 nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you."  Luke 17:20-21   He is the Good Shepherd   "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me…”  “The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.”  John 10:14, 25-28   He is our Healer   Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.      Isaiah 53:4-5   When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. Matthew 8:16   He is our Teacher   "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”  Matthew 7:24   "All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”  John 14:25-26 He is our Lord   On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"  20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the LordJohn 20:19-20  
  • Mar 16, 2013How To Handle Promotion by Pastor Rulon Combs 3-16-13
    Mar 16, 2013
    How To Handle Promotion by Pastor Rulon Combs 3-16-13
    Series: None

    How to Handle Promotion

    March 16-17, 2013

    Nehemiah 5:14-18

      We all know that adversity is a painful teacher   We have all had to deal with the testing that comes from adversity   There is a test, however, that can be worse than adversity: Advancement  
    • Do no lift up your horn on high,
    Do not speak with insolent pride.   For not from the east, nor from the west, Nor from the desert comes exaltation;   But God is Judge; He puts down one, and exalts another.  Psalm 75:5-7   Moreover, from the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, until his thirty-second year… Nehemiah 5:14     What was Nehemiah’s reaction to his appointment? Acceptance   "I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none…” Ezekiel 22:30   When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan. Proverbs 29:2  NKJV   Promotion Always Comes with Challenges   Promotion Brings Privileges   Moreover, from the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, until his thirty-second year — twelve years — neither I nor my brothers ate the food allotted to the governor. Nehemiah 5:14   Promotion almost always comes with new benefits and privileges   Promotions Threaten Policies   But the earlier governors — those preceding me — placed a heavy burden on the people and took forty shekels of silver from them in addition to food and wine. Their assistants also lorded it over the people…Nehemiah 5:15   Promotions Involve Projects   Instead, I devoted myself to the work on this wall. All my men were assembled there for the work; we did not acquire any land. Nehemiah 5:16    Furthermore, a hundred and fifty Jews and officials ate at my table, as well as those who came to us from the surrounding nations. Each day one ox, six choice sheep and some poultry were prepared for me, and every ten days an abundant supply of wine of all kinds. Nehemiah 5:17-18   Promotion Always Affects People  It is critical when we are promoted that we maintain a sincere love for people  
    • But the earlier governors — those preceding me — placed a heavy burden on the people and took forty shekels of silver from them in addition to food and wine. Their assistants also lorded it over the people. But out of reverence for God I did not act like that. Nehemiah 5:15
    One of the huge temptations when God promotes us is to use people   Instead, I devoted myself to the work on this wall. All my men were assembled there for the work; we did not acquire any land  Nehemiah 5:16 Nehemiah reiterates this perspective at the end of verse 18   …In spite of all this, I never demanded the food allotted to the governor, because the demands were heavy on these people. Nehemiah 5:18  Even God’s people can fall into the trap of defining greatness by the world’s standards.   "Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory." Mark 10:37     We need learn to use things and serve people instead of the other way around   Conclusion:  
    • God is in the process of promoting some of the people in this room
     
    • What is God calling you to do?
  • Mar 3, 2013God Cares About My Money by Pastor Rulon Combs 3-3-13
    Mar 3, 2013
    God Cares About My Money by Pastor Rulon Combs 3-3-13
    Series: None

    God Cares About My Money

    March 2-3, 2012

    Nehemiah 5

      Now the men and their wives raised a great outcry against their Jewish brothers. Some were saying, "We and our sons and daughters are numerous; in order for us to eat and stay alive, we must get grain." Others were saying, "We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our homes to get grain during the famine." Still others were saying, "We have had to borrow money to pay the king's tax on our fields and vineyards. Although we are of the same flesh and blood as our countrymen and though our sons are as good as theirs, yet we have to subject our sons and daughters to slavery. Some of our daughters have already been enslaved, but we are powerless, because our fields and our vineyards belong to others."  Nehemiah 5:1-5   It is often in the arena of finances that our faith is tested   Jesus reminds us that we ultimately have to choose between serving God and serving money.   "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. Matthew 6:24    It is only after we have made that critical shift that we are able to trust Him in this important area   Matthew 6:25-27   We are admonished to cultivate a heart of generosity…because generosity demonstrates radical faith in God.   Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. Luke 6:38a     There is a direct correlation between our giving and the level of blessing we walk in…   For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."   Luke 6:38b     Jesus tells us that if you want to discover what is important to someone, all you have to do is follow the money   "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”          Matthew 6:19-21   Radical faith and radical love are often demonstrated by radical giving  
    • Abraham and Isaac – Gen 22
    • He made a radical commitment to give his most precious possession
     
    • The people of Israel who brought offerings for the tabernacle
      Exodus 36:4-7    
    • Elijah and the widow – 1 Kings 17 – the oil and the flower
     
    • Zacchaeus - Luke 19 – Zacchaeus did something that prompted Jesus to make an incredible statement…
     
    • Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house…”
     
    • But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."
     
    • Paul and the Macedonians  -  2 Corinthians 8:1-4
     
    • God and his love – John 3 – For God so loved that he gave…
     

    Final Thoughts From Nehemiah

      The Nobles were more interested in their own work then they were in the work of God   The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors.  Nehemiah 3:5   God loved them too much to let them continue using others… Response: Verses 12-13 They had a change of heart…they lined up their lives with the Word of God…the Bible calls that repentance They added action to their repentance and made a radical financial commitment They did it that day…they didn’t drag their feet or procrastinate Finally we see that they followed through and they kept their promise
  • Feb 24, 2013Winning The Battle of Discouragement by Pastor Rulon Combs 2-24-13
    Feb 24, 2013
    Winning The Battle of Discouragement by Pastor Rulon Combs 2-24-13
    Series: None

    Winning the Battle of Discouragement

    February 24, 2013

    Nehemiah 4:7-23

     

    Four Causes of Discouragement

     

    A loss of strength

      Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, "The strength of the laborers is giving out…” Nehemiah 4:10a    

    A loss of perspective

      “…there is so much rubble…” Nehemiah 4:10b    A loss of confidence   “…we cannot rebuild the wall." Nehemiah 4:10c  

    A loss of security

      Also our enemies said, "Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work." Nehemiah 4:11  

    Five Strategies That Will Help You

    Defeat Discouragement

     

    Remember, Reconnect, and Rearm  

      Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. Nehemiah 4:13    

    Refocus on the Lord

      After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, "Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome…” Nehemiah 4:14   You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3     Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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.  Philippians 4:6-7    

    Reestablish Balance

      “…fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes." When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to his own work. Nehemiah 4:14b-15   From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah 17 who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, 18 and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me. Nehemiah 4:16-18   There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,  a time to kill and a time to heal,a time to tear down and a time to build,  a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8    

    Review Your Emergency Plan

      Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, "The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. 20 Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!" Nehemiah 4:19-20  

    Recommit to Being there for Others

      So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out. 22 At that time I also said to the people, "Have every man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so they can serve us as guards by night and workmen by day." 23 Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water. Nehemiah 4:21-23  
  • Feb 17, 2013Silencing The Critics by Pastor Rulon Combs 2-17-13
    Feb 17, 2013
    Silencing The Critics by Pastor Rulon Combs 2-17-13
    Series: None

    Silencing the Critics

    February 16-17, 2013

    Nehemiah Chapter 4

      When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed…   Nehemiah 4:1a     Any time you endeavor to build something noble…the enemy will become angry   The enemy takes notice when you begin to make progress   Growth and oppositiongo hand in hand…progress and opposition go hand in hand   If you ever decide to rebuild what the enemy has destroyedyou better be ready for opposition   He ridiculed the Jews…  Nehemiah 4:1b     The enemy often insults the servants of God.
    • Goliath ridiculed David  - 1 Samuel 17:41-47
    • The soldiers mocked Jesus  - Luke 22:63-65, 23:35-37
      …and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, "What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble — burned as they are?" Nehemiah 4:2   Critics love company - They want to share their great insights with others - Acts 5:27-39    Our tongues can get us in so much trouble  - James 3:1-10    

    Sanballat asks 5 questions:

    1. What are these feeble Jews doing? 2. Will they restore their wall? 3. Will they offer sacrifices? 4. Will they finish in a day? 5. Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble — burned as they are?    His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 2 Peter 1:3-4    Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, "What they are building — if even a fox climbed up on it, he would break down their wall of stones!" Nehemiah 4:3     Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9   So how did Nehemiah respond to the criticism and the ridicule?
    •  He prayed
    •  He persisted
      Hear us, O our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity. 5 Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of the builders. Nehemiah 4:4  
    • Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.  Luke 6:28
     
    • Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." Luke 23:34
      So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart. Nehemiah 4:6 Nothing emboldens or excites a critic more than when he is able to slow down the progress
    • Get back to work…doing what God called you to do
      Conclusion:      Conflict and opposition are part of life…particularly when you want to do something significant for God  2.      Critics will always be angry when something is happening in your life that is not happening in theirs  3.      Whether it is in the workplace or in your faith journey…you must not allow the critics to rob your joy or stop your progress  4.      Nehemiah taught us two essential secrets to move go from criticism to joy  a.      Cultivate a life of prayer b.      Get back to work…get back on course
  • Feb 10, 2013Examine The Walls by Pastor Rulon Combs 2-10-13
    Feb 10, 2013
    Examine The Walls by Pastor Rulon Combs 2-10-13
    Series: None

    Examine the Walls

    February 9-10, 2013

     

    Nehemiah Examines the Walls Nehemiah 2:11-18

                   

    A Healthy Church Will Closely Examine Areas That Need To Be Built Up

      Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you-- unless, of course, you fail the test? 2 Corinthians 13:5   Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD. Lamentations 3:40   "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?” Luke 14:28  

    A Healthy, Growing Church Will Be Mindful Of

    The Materials They Use

     

    A Healthy Church Will Grow Stronger Through Worship

    (to adore, prostrate, revere, serve)

                            Worship speaks of our relationship with the Lord. Without a healthy, dynamic, passionate love for God…there can be no effective:
    • Fellowship
    • Discipleship
    • Ministry
    • Evangelism
    • Without a dynamic love for God…we are just a club
      Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5    Psalm 96:9       Romans 12:1     Matthew 5:8      John 14:15-16   There will be a direct correlation between the love we have for God and our ability to accomplish his purposes...or obey his commands  

    A Healthy Church Will Grow Warmer Through Fellowship

      The Bible says that we need to love people into the church.   "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34-35    Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. I John 4:7-8  

    A Healthy Church Will Grow Deeper

    Through Discipleship

      If we are going to grow as individuals or as a group, we must have a strong foundation in the Word of God.   All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17    Colossians 3:16     Colossians 1:27-28   

    A Healthy Church Will Grow Broader Through Ministry

                    Ministry simply means serving in practical ways.   And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ… Ephesians 4:11-12    2 Corinthians 5:18      2 Corinthians 5:20   It seems that real love always gives…always acts…always sacrifices…always serves  

    A Healthy Church Will Grow Larger Through Evangelism And Outreach

      Outreach speaks of our relationship to the lost people in our sphere of influence.   Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."  Matthew 9:37-38    Romans 10:13-14  2 Peter 3:9           God is passionate about the lost…and He has given us the mission to reconcile lost people to Him   All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. 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.  “We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God!” 2 Corinthians 5:18-20  
  • Feb 2, 2013It Takes Teamwork by Pastor Rulon Combs 2-2-13
    Feb 2, 2013
    It Takes Teamwork by Pastor Rulon Combs 2-2-13
    Series: None
     

    The Power of Teamwork

    Feb 2-3, 2013

    Nehemiah Chapter 3

     

    Every Christ follower is an important

    part of the team

    We are all part of the Body of Christ

      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 who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Romans 12:4-5   The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:12     Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.           1 Corinthians 12:27    

    God uses people from all walks of life to accomplish his purposes.

       

    There is exponential power in teamwork

     It was unity of purpose that allowed Nehemiah’s team to accomplish so much

     As a team, we are called to cultivate that same kind of unity of purpose

      May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, Romans 15:5                    1 Corinthians 1:10                     Philippians 2:2

     Genesis Chapter 11:  “Let us…” 

    • We can accomplish so much by simply learning to work together in unity
    • There is just something powerful about unity
    • God said, “…nothing they plan to do will be impossible.”

     There are many benefits we enjoy when we work as a team

     There will always be a few that feel called to the ministry of observation

      Next to them the Tekoites made repairs; but their nobles did not put their shoulders to the work of their Lord. Nehemiah 3:5  

    We all have a crucial role to play on the team

    Sometimes we just don’t know where we fit in…we don’t know what our position is

     

    God has made every one of us vital to the function of the body. No bench warmers in the Kingdom of God

     

    I Cor. 12:14-27     Romans 12:4-8

      It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's 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.   Ephesians 4:11-13                 

    Every person’s contribution is needed to accomplish what God has called us to do here in Cottage Grove

     
    1. Including: outreach, hospitality, fellowship
    2. Instructing: teaching, small groups
    3. Involving: inviting others to join you in serving
    4. Investing: time, talent, treasures

     God has given each one of us gifts and abilities to use

     
    1. We use them to fulfill his purposes
    2. We use them to accomplish his will
    3. We use our gifts and abilities to honor him

    Nehemiah shows us the principle of “division of labor”

                                                                

    Your biggest opportunities are often close to home

      Beyond them, Benjamin and Hasshub made repairs in front of their house; and next to them, Azariah son of Maaseiah, the son of Ananiah, made repairs beside his house. Nehemiah 3:23