Address The Mess - Part 1


"Hot mess"

Good news - there is always someone whose life is a bigger mess than yours.

Good news - it's not just you.

Christians believe:  the mess that brings us together is the mess that brought God near.

Christians believe:  the mess is a lens through which we discover God.

Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given...
Romans 3:19 NLT

"Nobody's perfect"

There's a "perfect" that nobody is.

...for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses and to show that the entire world is guilty before God.  Romans 3:19 NLT

For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.  Romans 3:20 NLT

But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago.  Romans 3:21 NLT

We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. Romans 3:22 NLT

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Romans 3:23 NLT

Awareness of our messes awakens us to something outside of us to which we are accountable.

Once we acknowledge our messes, we are a baby step away from acknowledging God.

Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. Romans 3:24 NLT

Moral of the story - We all have something in common.

This Week:
"I know a mess when I see one because I am one."

Stress Less - Part 5

Devotion Emotion

Things you are most devoted to are things you worry about the most.

What if you shifted your devotion?

No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.  Matthew 6:24 NLT

That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?  Matthew 6:25 NLT

Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?  Matthew 6:26 NLT

Your emotions follow your devotion

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Matthew 6:27 NLT

And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? Matthew 6:28-30 NLT

I know God can, but I don't know if God will...

The issue of worry is an issue of trust.

So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?  Matthew 6:31 NLT

These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.  Matthew 6:32 NLT

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33 NLT

The solution is to redirect your devotion.

May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10 NLT

Worry is like prayer in reverse - worry makes issues bigger, prayer makes issues smaller. 

So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:34 NLT

Worry is a waste of time and time = life.

Do what we can do and trust God with what we can't do.

What are you most devoted to?

This week
- make a list of all the areas of your life  
- read Matthew 6:24-34
- pray

Stress Less - Part 4


Why do you get so stressed...daily? 

Among news media outlets negative news out-paces positive news 17:1.

Question:  Could this be having any impact on your stress level?

So what do we do?
- Change your source
- Change your course.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Phil. 4:6 NLT

God's faithfulness in the past gives me confidence in the future.

Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.  Phil. 4:7 NLT

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.  Phil. 4:8 NLT

So, do you?

Focus on what you know is true instead of what you feel is true.

Your problem may be your source.

Get practical:
1.  turn off all notifications
2.  do a social media fast
3.  eat dinner together
4.  change who you follow


Stress Less - Part 3

Why Worry?

We worry because we can't control the future. 

When Ahab got home, he told Jezebel everything Elijah had done, including the way he had killed all the prophets of Baal.  So Jezebel sent this message to Elijah: “May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow I have not killed you just as you killed them.”

Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there.  Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.”

Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, “Get up and eat!”  He looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again.

Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.”

So he got up and ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to travel forty days and forty nights to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God. There he came to a cave, where he spent the night.

But the Lord said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.”  

“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.  When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.

And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

He replied again, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.”

Then the Lord told him, “Go back the same way you came, and travel to the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive there, anoint Hazael to be king of Aram.  Then anoint Jehu to be king of Israel, and anoint Elisha to replace you as my prophet.  Anyone who escapes from Hazael will be killed by Jehu, and those who escape Jehu will be killed by Elisha!  Yet I will preserve 7,000 others in Israel who have never bowed down to Baal or kissed him!”  1 Kings 19:1-18 NLT

What are you doing here?

Do what youknow to do today & trust God for tomorrow.


Disappointment With God

John 11:1-44

1. Do you like to be in control? Why?

2. In what circumstances are you most likely to assume control?

3. Have you ever been disappointed with God?  Is it hard to voice that disappointment, especially in church culture?

So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. John 11:6 ESV

You will face disappointment in life. 
You will feel out of control at times.

So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.”  John 11:20-22 ESV

Jesus allows disappointment.  

Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.
John 11:32-33 ESV

Jesus enters into the disappointment and brokenness. 
He wades through it with us. 

4. How is the gospel good news to those that are control freaks?

Jesus brings healing out of the disappointment.

Stress Less - Part 2

Don't Just Sit There

Tension - What's God's role? - What's your role?

Tension - Does faith lead to apathy?  - Is action a lack of trust?

Tension - God is in control,    - but you have a role.

Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.  St. Augustine

“Then, just as the Lord our God commanded us, we left Mount Sinai and traveled through the great and terrifying wilderness, as you yourselves remember, and headed toward the hill country of the Amorites. When we arrived at Kadesh-barnea,  I said to you, ‘You have now reached the hill country of the Amorites that the Lord our God is giving us.  Look! He has placed the land in front of you. Go and occupy it as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has promised you. Don’t be afraid! Don’t be discouraged!’  Deuteronomy 1:19-21 NLT

“But you all came to me and said, ‘First, let’s send out scouts to explore the land for us. They will advise us on the best route to take and which towns we should enter.’ “This seemed like a good idea to me, so I chose twelve scouts, one from each of your tribes. They headed for the hill country and came to the valley of Eshcol and explored it. They picked some of its fruit and brought it back to us. And they reported, ‘The land the Lord our God has given us is indeed a good land.’  Deuteronomy 1:22-25 NLT

“But you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God and refused to go in. You complained in your tents and said, ‘The Lord must hate us. That’s why he has brought us here from Egypt—to hand us over to the Amorites to be slaughtered.  Where can we go? Our brothers have demoralized us with their report. They tell us, “The people of the land are taller and more powerful than we are, and their towns are large, with walls rising high into the sky! We even saw giants there—the descendants of Anak!”’  Deuteronomy 1:26-28 NLT

“But I said to you, ‘Don’t be shocked or afraid of them!  The Lord your God is going ahead of you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt.  And you saw how the Lord your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child. Now he has brought you to this place.’ “But even after all he did, you refused to trust the Lord your God, who goes before you looking for the best places to camp, guiding you with a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day.  Deuteronomy 1:29-33 NLT

“When the Lord heard your complaining, he became very angry. So he solemnly swore, ‘Not one of you from this wicked generation will live to see the good land I swore to give your ancestors, except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see this land because he has followed the Lord completely. I will give to him and his descendants some of the very land he explored during his scouting mission.’  Deuteronomy 1:34-36 NLT

“And the Lord was also angry with me because of you. He said to me, ‘Moses, not even you will enter the Promised Land!  Instead, your assistant, Joshua son of Nun, will lead the people into the land. Encourage him, for he will lead Israel as they take possession of it.  I will give the land to your little ones—your innocent children. You were afraid they would be captured, but they will be the ones who occupy it. As for you, turn around now and go on back through the wilderness toward the Red Sea.’ Deuteronomy 1:37-40 NLT

Your role - If you're a worker who doesn't pray much, pray.

 If you're a prayer who doesn't work much, get to work.

“Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous.  Joshua 1:6-7a NLT