- Sacrifice is at the core of Living Sent
- What is my capacity? (Take Inventory)
- If not me, then who? (Take Action)
Read: Luke 6:27-36
Even Christians can experience rage. Your body shakes. The heat rises to your cheeks. Your mind can’t comprehend how someone could mistreat someone so badly. You’re seething as you think, “How could they?”
A reality of being a human on planet Earth is that someone, someday, in some way will hurt you. When that happens, what should our response be?
Jesus gives us an answer in Luke 6:27-36. Love people, even when they are not lovable, even when you don’t want to. Give grace, be merciful.
No one knows more about loving people who don’t deserve it than Jesus. No one else can sympathize with you more than Jesus. He was hurt, made fun of, and talked about. Yet, He was willing to die for those who hurt him.
Our goal as Christians is to mirror what Jesus’ response was. Jesus knows all the unlovable people in your life, and He can equip you to love them the way He does.
The best way to begin changing our hearts toward someone is to pray for them (Luke 6:28). Be honest with God about your frustrations. Talk to Him about how hard it is to love that person, and see how God starts to transform your heart and mind.
It’s easy to respond to pain with pain. But only love will lead to healing. The more we love those who hurt us, the more our hearts are opened to letting Jesus heal our pain. Jesus is able to understand your pain, turn your heart toward forgiveness, and help you love. That’s what the grace of Jesus does.
Loving your enemies won’t be easy. It takes an effort to offer mercy as Jesus did, but He promises the reward is worth the work (Luke 6:35). If we will try to forgive and love, we will start to see our hearts soften. Give your hurt to Jesus day after day, and watch how He grows your heart.
Article courtesy of NewSpring
Our personal world view shapes everything in our lives — and in our kids’ lives. Our actions and reactions are determined by what we believe to be the answers to what Pastor Kevin calls the “10 Core Questions of Life.”
Using the Bible as a reference, we can teach our kids God’s answers to these questions. We’ll have to adapt our answers according to their age so their understanding will grow as their minds and bodies do. Eventually, when they’re adults, they’ll have adult-sized answers and be deeply grounded in their faith.
We were created to slow down and “walk” in our relationships, and being intentional takes time and focus. This quality time is an investment that will pay off for years to come.
We should slow down enough to emotionally engage our kids on their level and get interested in what’s going on in their lives. Focus on what matters to them: their friends, hobbies, favorite games, etc.
Remember, kids are smart and will know when you’re faking it. If you need to, carve out time in your calendar specifically for the slow, steady “Speed of Love.”
It’s important for us to understand what Pastor Kevin calls the “Speed of Life,” the “Speed of Love,” and the “Speed of Learn.” Depending on what we’re trying to accomplish with our kids at the time, we’ll need to know when to run, when to walk, and when to sit. No family can operate at the same speed all the time.
There are times in life when we come alongside others to help them. We do this in love because we see they are sinking, and we want to help them carry the weight of their struggles.
There are also times in which we are tempted to carry people who are perfectly capable of carrying themselves. A prime example of this can be found in parenting.
Pastor Miles recounts a story of his daughter and her homework. Instead of helping her, he empowered her to help herself.
When we marry, it’s not just two people coming together. It’s two people coming together with God. It’s a relationship of three that takes time to grow and develop.
Keep prayer simple in the beginning. Ask her how you can pray for her day, and then pray together and be specific. When tough times strike, the intensity of your prayers will increase. Lead her well and depend on each other for prayer and accountability.
Nowhere in “The Lord’s Prayer” are there personal pronouns – there’s no “I,” “me,” or “my.” It’s always “our” Father and “us.” When we come into relationship with God through Jesus, we join a bigger family. And prayer becomes a part of that family, so we pray together to our Father.
Because we share the same Father, we should be comfortable praying together and right in the moment.
On the verge of divorce, Trip & Andrea decided to try out church at 12Stone’s Buford Campus. Once they visited, they knew they never wanted to leave! Their hearts began to change and knew that their marriage is worth saving.
After meeting with a pastor, they joined a ReEngage Marriage group and today have a great restoration story!
This year (2018), a permanent location is being constructed for the Buford Campus. 12Stone is excited as we know this opens up opportunities for more stories of impact and redemption for the Buford community.
We can resolve conflict in family by following the guidelines God models for us:
When we let the peace of God reign, there will still be conflict, but now we have way to solve it.
Work is important, but it’s only one of the important things in life. We need to find a way to be “closed for business” for our families.
This means putting limits to work so you can do family and limits to family so you can do work.
Kevin and Marcia navigated this conflict in time between work and family by setting some rules:
These rules help keep both family and work important. When someone is “on”, they’re fully on. When someone is “off”, they’re fully off.
Jesus sacrificed: He took on our sin at His expense for our sake.
If we will sacrifice and be selfless like Jesus, we can build a solid family.
We can say we have a Christian family, and not be a Christ-centered family.
The truth of His word always works, we need to follow His truth.
When we make Jesus the center of the family, it becomes His will, His way and we respond to Him.
How do we build a solid family? We make it Christ centered.
Our tendency is to make Jesus a member of our family, while we compete for who is the center. This builds a self-centered, hollow family. The alternative puts Jesus at the center of the family, there is no competition. This builds a Christ-centered, solid family.
Two different families may come from the same mold, but we won’t know the difference between the two until pressure is applied; job, finance, emotional, psychological. Once the pressure comes there is no amount of skill or training that can compensate for being hollow – it all falls apart.
If families are built from the inside out, they can sustain pressure from the outside in.
God created us to connect in community, and through Christ’s work on the cross, we are one church family united as brothers and sisters with one Heavenly Father.
Practice the values of living in community and serving others. Connect with God and one another – because real heroes restore relationships.
Romans 12 teaches us to “be devoted to one another in love and honor one another above ourselves…” because we all make up the body of Christ, and each person is equally important.
Do you serve your church, family, and community – or do you wait to see whether they’re serving you? Resist the urge to compare your contribution against everyone else’s and invest yourself in others.
God will arrest your attention and show you where your cravings are interfering with your calling. Ask Him to show where you need to adjust how you spend your time. Through Jesus, you can find freedom from cravings.
Remind yourself of your calling – to be a student and follower of Jesus, to serve your spouse well, and to be available to your kids. Remember what’s at stake when you’re tempted to give in to petty indulgences.
What has God called you to do? It’s certainly more than sitting on the sidelines while your family carries on without you. Be the intentional spouse and parent you were called to be.
Just because something feels good doesn’t mean it is good. When you waste time chasing your cravings, your calling can easily slip between your fingers.
There are times in life in which we can be so busy that we’re around God, but we’re not actually with God. We don’t sense His presence, and we certainly don’t feel His peace. That’s when we know it’s time to change our priorities. We need to create space in our schedules to be present with Him because He is always present with us.
When God tells us to build something, we tend to get stuck either from never starting or never finishing.
Never Start: You cannot get comfortable with the gap between what God has let us see, and all that God sees that we don’t. We sit and wait for God to tell us the whole picture. But, that wouldn’t require faith.
Never Finish: Noah could’ve given up on the ark along the way, but a half-built ark wouldn’t have saved his family! Most people have half built arks in their lives. You dreamed and you saw something and you got stuck in the building. Get back on the job site and finish the build!
Nothing in this life worth building is easy. Everything worth building takes grit.
Every season comes with its own trouble, and very often the temptation to quit is strong.
Prayerlessness is how you consistently keep the power of God out of your life. If you want the power of God out of your life, don’t pray!
Scripture: Romans 8
The Truth: As a parent, you have the greatest potential to influence your child.
The Dare: We dare you to lead your kids (maximize your potential).
Dare: (Grow Your Relationship)
Double Dog Dare: (Grow Your Leadership)
Scripture: Exodus 20; Psalm 119
Would you like to live in a world where YOU make the rules?
Consider: Change your mind about God Made Rules!
3 Reasons I Changed:
Scripture: Exodus 20, Deuteronomy 4
We don’t know how to live in a world with rules; AND we don’t know how to live in a world without rules.
3 Rules about Rules:
Question: What rule are you “pretending to break” that is breaking you?
Challenge: Which of the 10 Commandments needs to become your rule?
Scripture: Nehemiah 12-13
Two things we can learn from the end of Nehemiah’s story:
One thing you need to now:
Bring On the Party
One thing you need to do:
Bring Back the Community
Scripture: Nehemiah 4
One thing Nehemiah would want us to know:
We all need walls to protect & gates to prosper.
One thing Nehemiah would want us to do:
Pick up a shovel & draw a sword for family.