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
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  • 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  
  • Jan 26, 2013Banishing Discouragement by Pastor Duane Parrish 1-26-13
    Jan 26, 2013
    Banishing Discouragement by Pastor Duane Parrish 1-26-13
    Series: None
  • Jan 19, 2013How To Tackle A Big Job by Pastor Rulon Combs 1-19-13
    Jan 19, 2013
    How To Tackle A Big Job by Pastor Rulon Combs 1-19-13
    Series: None

    How to Tackle a Big Job

    January 19-20, 2013

    Nehemiah Chapter 2

       

    Nehemiah discovers God’s plan and waits for God’s timing.

      In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. Nehemiah 2:1   Sometimes we can have God’s plan…but miss His timing   But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.   Psalm 33:11   Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22   Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.Proverbs 16:3   But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 2 Peter 3:8 

     Nehemiah knew that he would need the king’s authority

      Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king, "If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my fathers are buried so that I can rebuild it." Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me,"How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?" It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time. Nehemiah 2:4-6   Not only has God given us authority, but we have been given a divine mandate.   Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."  Matthew 28:18-20 Matthew 16:19                    Luke 9:1-2   
    • There will be times that you may have resources and tools to do a thing, but no authority.

     Nehemiah knew that he would need the king’s protection

       I also said to him, "If it pleases the king, may I have letters to the governors of Trans-Euphrates, so that they will provide me safe-conduct until I arrive in Judah?” Nehemiah 2:7  
    • Nehemiah anticipated that there would be opposition from the enemy
      When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard about this, they were very much disturbed that someone had come to promote the welfare of the Israelites.Nehemiah 2:10   
    • When we reach out to restore broken lives…the enemy will take notice
      Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.1 Peter 5:8   I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.Luke 10:19   Psalm 41:2           2 Thessalonians 3:3-4  

     Nehemiah knew that he would need the king’s provision

      And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the king's forest, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple and for the city wall upon me, the king granted my requests. Nehemiah 2:8    When God calls us to do a job, he will provide the people and the resources we need to accomplish it.   And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:19   
    • Authority and provision go hand in hand
      What is true for the church is true for each one of us.  The Lord gives us God sized dreams…  
    1. If we are going to accomplish God’s purposes…
    • We will need to follow his plan: include, instruct, involve, invest
    • We will need to follow his timing
    • We will not just proceed with His authorization…but his authority
    • We will need to have his protection
    • We will need his provision
       
  • Jan 12, 2013Time To Build by Pastor Rulon Combs 1-12-13
    Jan 12, 2013
    Time To Build by Pastor Rulon Combs 1-12-13
    Series: None

    Time to Build

    January 12-13, 2012

    Nehemiah 1

     

    His concern for the welfare of Jerusalem

    and its people moves him to tears

    A Healthy Church Will Be Acutely Aware Of The Desperate Needs In Their Community

     

    The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

     

    When he (Jesus) saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36

     

    Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins. James 5:20

     

    I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15:7

     

    If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

     

    “For God so loved…”  - John 3:16

     

    His concern for the welfare of Jerusalem

    and its people moves him to pray.

    A healthy, growing church will be a praying church

                   

    We must be completely dependent on the Lord in every area

     

    Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Psalm 127:1

     

    Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.          Proverbs 3:5-6

     

    It was during this time of prayer that a plan began to form

    Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

     

    Nehemiah was not only moved to tears

    and to prayer. He was moved to action

     

    A healthy, growing church will move out of their comfort zone and be a living, active force in their community

     

    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 (spectators and observers?)  workers into his harvest field." Matthew 9:37-38

     

    What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?   Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:14-17  

     

    The LORD turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?" Judges 6:14

     

    God will supply everything we need to build his kingdom…and as we build this new addition…but it will take everyone’s participation

     

    1. Like Nehemiah…we are going to have to be acutely aware of the needs of those around us
    2. Like Nehemiah…we will need to continue to pray: wisdom, favor, provision
    3. Like Nehemiah…we will need to add action to our faith

     

    And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most 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, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. 2 Corinthians 8:1-4

     

    Then I said to them, "You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace." I also told them about the gracious hand of my God upon me and what the king had said to me. They replied, "Let us start rebuilding." So they began this good work.   Nehemiah 2:17-18

  • Jan 6, 2013Sin Is A Process by Pastor Rulon Combs 1-6-13
    Jan 6, 2013
    Sin Is A Process by Pastor Rulon Combs 1-6-13
    Series: None

    Sin is a Process

    Genesis 3

     

    The Set Up

      Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. Genesis 3:1a   More crafty…   He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" Genesis 3:1b   “Did God really say…?”   The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'" Genesis 3:2   Eve concludes that God is actually quite generous…   Then her attention turns to what she can’t have…   "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. Genesis 3:4  

    He calls God a liar

    • He wants us to believe that there are no consequences to disobedience
     

    He encourages us to focus on the ‘positive’ aspects of disobedience

      "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." Genesis 3:5  

    The enemy will also accuse God of being selfish

     

    Satan appeals to our sense of entitlement

     

    He insinuates that God does not have our best interests in mind

      When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.    Genesis 3:6a  

    This is a common pattern…that continues into the New Testament…and into today

    • 1John 2:16-17
     

    The most effective temptation is multifaceted…it affects several areas at once.

    • eyes
    • flesh
    • pride
     

    She acted on her desires.

    • James 1:13-15
       She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Genesis 3:6b  

    Misery loves company

     

    The Cover Up

      Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Genesis 3:7  

    As surely as the Holy Spirit is there encouraging you not to sin…he is also there to convict you of sin after the fact

     

    Then you…like Adam and Eve…experience all kinds of emotions

     

    There is a tendency after you sin to run away and hide

      Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8   But the Lord God called to the man, "Where are you?" Genesis 3:9   He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." Genesis 3:10  

    Sin often moves our relationships from an environment of love and trust, to an environment of fear and shame

      And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?" Genesis 3:11  

    God addresses our sin directly

      The man said, "The woman you put here with me — she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." Then the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." Genesis 3:12-13  

    Learn the discipline of confession and repentance

     
    • Acts 3:19        1 John 1:8-2:2
     

    The Pay Up

      So the Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, "Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return." Genesis 3:14-19  

    There are consequences to our actions

     
    • Galatians 6:7-9
     
    • It is critical that we repent quickly and confess our sins to the Lord
      Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living. The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. Genesis 3:20-21  

    Picture of God’s grace

     
    • Hebrews 9:22  
      And the Lord God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3:22-24  

    Their sin had lifelong ramifications…

     
  • Dec 29, 2012Getting A New Start By Pastor Rulon Combs 12-29-12
    Dec 29, 2012
    Getting A New Start By Pastor Rulon Combs 12-29-12
    Series: None

    Getting A New Start

    December 29-30, 2012

    Ephesians 5:15-20

     

    There is a very simple key in Ephesians 5 that will help us find balance in this coming year.

      Be very careful, then, how you live-- not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.  18  Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.  19  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:15-20   

    I. REMEMBER OUR TIME ON THIS EARTH IS LIMITED

      Be very careful, then, how you live-- not as unwise but as wise… Ephesians 5:15  
    • "Show me, O Lord, my life’s end & the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life" Psalm 39:4
     
    • "The length of our days is 70 years - or 80, if we have the strength...they quickly pass, & we fly away" Psalm 90:10
     

    II. MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY

      …making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:16  It is not just sin that makes demands on our time. Sometimes even good things can make demands.  
    • "Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" Luke 10:40
     
    • "Martha, Martha," Jesus answered, "You are worried & upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, & it will not be taken away from her" Luke 10:41-42
     

    III. UNDERSTANDWHAT THE LORD’S WILL IS

      "...do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is." Ephesians 5:17  Establish your priorities.  
    •  “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  34  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:33-34 
    Set aside time each day to pray & to read His Word.  Spend time with your family  Learn how to live today with grace.   
    • “…But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:13-14
     Make a fresh commitment to loving one another  
    • "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.”  Matthew 5:23-24
     

    IV. DON’T FILL THE GOD SHAPED VOID WITH WORLDLY THINGS

      Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18  There is a temptation to medicate our frustrations or our situation with things that are not at all healthy  Be filled with the Spirit  

    V. TRAIN YOURSELF TO THINK ON THINGS ABOVE

      Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, Ephesians 5:19  Allow your faith to become part of your conversations with other believers  Discipline yourself to think and meditate on spiritual things…
    • Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:1-2  

    VI. CULTIVATE A HEART OF GRATITUDE

    …always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20
  • Dec 22, 2012How Will You Respond To Jesus? By Pastor Rulon Combs 12-22-12
    Dec 22, 2012
    How Will You Respond To Jesus? By Pastor Rulon Combs 12-22-12
    Series: None

    How Will You Respond to Jesus?

    December 22-23, 2012

    Pastor Rulon Combs

     

    How The Different Characters Responded To The Birth Of Jesus

     A.    Mary and Joseph                        Matthew 1:18-25  

    Mary and Joseph accepted Jesus by faith It was at great personal cost that they agreed to participate in God’s plan to present Jesus to the world
    • They chose character over comfort
    • They chose God’s approval over man’s approval
    • They chose obedience over personal gratification
    • They believed that presenting Jesus to the world was the most important thing they would ever do…
    What have you risked for Jesus lately?
    • Do you put a higher priority on God’s approval than man’s approval?
    • Do you choose obedience over personal gratification?
    • What kind of importance do you place on presenting Jesus to the world?

     B.     The Shepherds                                 Luke 2:8-20

    They were men of no reputation They sought Him out
    • They acted on what the angels told them…turned faith into action
     
    • And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6  
    They spread the word about what they had heard What about you? Do you tell others your Jesus story?
    •  “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."  Acts 1:8

     C.    What about The Magi?         Matthew 2:1-12  

    The Magi found him, bowed down and worshiped him They brought him expensive gifts Real worship always comes with a cost

     D.    What About Herod?              Matthew 2:12-18  

    Right in the middle of the Christmas story…a story of hope, peace, joy…we see an act so evil…it defies all explanation For Herod the motive was fear… I wonder how many of us have hurt others because we felt threatened If that is not bad enough…sometimes we carry this tendency into our spiritual lives                   

                      How Will You Respond To Jesus This Season?

     1.      Are you threatened by Him like Herod was?  2.      Maybe you will throw caution to the wind and risk it all like Mary and Joseph 3.      Maybe you could put feet to your faith like the shepherds and tell your Jesus story 4.      Maybe you will respond like the Magi  

    What Will You Do With Jesus This Coming Year?

  • Dec 16, 2012A Season Of Opportunity by Pastor Rulon Combs 12-16-12
    Dec 16, 2012
    A Season Of Opportunity by Pastor Rulon Combs 12-16-12
    Series: None

    A Season of Opportunity

    December 15-16, 2012

    Pastor Rulon Combs

     

    The Holidays Are An Opportunity To Reaffirm

    Our Core Values
    • Corporately as a church
    • Individually as a Christ follower
     

    Value #1: Connecting People to Christ

     A.   We have been given a clear mission to connect people to Christ   Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."    Matthew 28:18-20  B.   What are some ways that we can take advantage of the holidays to try to connect people to Christ individually   “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…”  1 Peter 3:15   Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Colossians 4:5-6    

    Value #2: Connecting People to Community

    A.   This value has two aspects to it
    1. Cultivating relationships inside the church…
    2. Cultivating relationships outside the church…
      Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'  38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'  40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."             Matthew 22:37-40   Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request.     1 Chronicles 4:10  

    Value #3: Connecting People to Purpose

    Connecting people to their God given purpose is helping them discover how they fit in to value #1 and value #2   But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.      Psalm 33:11   "For when David had served God's purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep…”   Acts 13:36 When we discover God’s purpose for our life, we discover our purpose in life.   My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:15-16