The “Game Changer”

2nd Look 5.31.16

Hello everybody.

For this week I’d like to invite you to take some time with this song.

As we finished the sermon this past week we were reminded that as the BELOVED of God we are called to BE LOVE. That’s the main point of this song by a band called Decemberadio. The song is called: “Least of These”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51FNdl82OWw

I wan to invite you to listen to this song a few times this week. Below are the lyrics. Have a great week everybody and may God grant you his wondrous and incomparable peace!

 

Be love to me… Be hope to me
Cause I’m the least of these… (4x)
Be love, be love

Be grace to me… Be peace to me
Cause I’m the least of these (4x)

My heart is crying out… My hands are reaching out (2x)

Be love, be love to me
Be love

 
I’m the child without a home… I’m the widow left alone
So be love, be love to me

Cause I’m the least of these…. I’m the least of these (4x)

My heart is crying out… My hands are reaching out (2x)

Cause I’m the least of these… (4x)

Be love, be love


The Struggle Is Real

2nd Look
Got The Skills Part 1
Divine Anticipation
 
Hello everybody and welcome to this week’s 2nd look.

This past Sunday we began a new series looking at life skills we can develop that make our faith magnetic to others. The first skill is Divine anticipation. What is this? Divine anticipation is living with the trust that God is near and He is able; that He wants to work through us, and that when we follow Him; He will move.

After sharing this- we looked at three ways for us to build divine anticipation in our lives. I invite you to join me with one of those things this week.

Counting your blessings.

Take time each day to count your blessings. You might want to make a list in a journal. It doesn’t have to be a long time. You can do this for a few minutes each day. It’s really quite simple though. Just take some time- to consider all the ways God has blessed you. No blessing is too big or too small to count. It’s amazing that as you do this- you may find your list growing longer and longer.

Why do this? Because as we begin to count our blessings we are once again made aware of God’s presence. This is one of the big challenges for us as Christians. We often forget God is near, and that He is for us! He is in our corner. He is on our side. He wants what is best for us.

Let’s be reminded this week of God’s presence! Join me in counting your blessings.

Have a great week everybody!

Pastor Ryan



Giving Away the Awakening

2nd Look 5.2.16

Hello my friends and welcome to this week’s 2nd look. You may recall that this week’s sermon was our final in the “Breaking Free” series. For this week, my invitation to you is simple. I’d like you to set aside some time each day to reflect on your journey of Breaking Free. Here are some questions you can reflect upon with the Lord:
  • Has there been something you’ve needed to break free from?
  • Why is this thing so powerful in your life? What need does it fill for you?
  • Have you found something to fill this need instead of the destructive thing in your life?
  • How has that process been going for you? What has been working for you? What has made it difficult for you?
  • Who can help you in this process? Are you letting them?
  • Lastly- who can you help?

Please take some time this week and consider these questions. They can be very helpful for you to think very intentionally about where you are at in the journey of breaking free.

Have a wonderful week everybody!

Pastor Ryan



Sinless Delight

2nd
Look 4.04.16

Hi folks- for this week’s second look I’d like to direct you to a passage in scripture: John 8:1-11. I want to invite you to read it this week. Try to picture the scene playing out in your mind. I love how at the end of this story there are two things Jesus says:

  • I don’t condemn you
  • Go leave your life of sin…

I love this- He doesn’t say it the other way around: “Go leave your life of sin and then I won’t condemn you…”

This is powerful to me. My process of leaving the sin in my life is to begin with the fact that I am forgiven and not condemned by God. But rather I am chosen, holy and dearly loved… When I live in this reality- I begin the long road to freedom!

I’d also like to invite you to take some time this week and listen to this song. We sang it on Sunday during communion. Have a great week everybody!!

Here’s the link to the song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HELQyZNnR-g

Here are the lyrics:

Come out of sadness… From wherever you’ve been

Come broken hearted… Let rescue begin

Come find your mercy… Oh sinner come kneel

Earth has no sorrow… That heaven can’t heal

Earth has no sorrow… That heaven can’t heal

 

So lay down your burdens… Lay down your shame

All who are broken… Lift up your face

Oh wanderer come home… You’re not too far

So lay down your hurt… Lay down your heart

Come as you are

 

There’s hope for the hopeless… And all those who’ve strayed

Come sit at the table… Come taste the grace

There’s rest for the weary… Rest that endures

Earth has no sorrow… That heaven can’t cure

 

So lay down your burdens… Lay down your shame

All who are broken… Lift up your face

Oh wanderer come home… You’re not too far

So lay down your hurt… Lay down your heart

Come as you are

 

Come as you are

Fall in his arms

Come as you are

 

There’s joy for the morning… Oh sinner be still

Earth has no sorrow… That heaven can’t heal

Earth has no sorrow… That heaven can’t heal

 

So lay down your burdens… Lay down your shame

All who are broken… Lift up your face

Oh wanderer come home… You’re not too far

So lay down your hurt… Lay down your heart

Come as you are

Come as you are

Come as you are



Defeating the Junk That Destroys Us

2nd Look 3.21.16

 

Hi everyone,

Welcome to the 2nd look for this week. This week is very special as it is the week leading up to Easter. So I’m going to depart from typical 2nd look modus operandi and simply invite you to immerse yourself in the Easter story this week. Take some time daily to read the passion story. I have copied over a reading plan for you to use as you progress through the week leading to Jesus’ crucifixion. In a way, you will walk this week with Him. I pray the Lord blesses you and your loved ones.

-Pastor Ryan

 

Day 1 (Palm Sunday): Read Matthew 21:1-11

(for more reading: Luke 19:29-44 Mark 11:1-11, John 12:12-50) 

Day 2: Read Matthew 21:12-20 and John 12:1-14

(for more reading: Mark 11:11-33) 

Day 3: Read Matthew 21:20-27

(for more reading: Matthew 21:28-23:39, Mark 11:20-12:44) 

Day 4: Read Luke 22:1-6 and Mark 14:1-11

(for more reading: Matthew 24-25, Matthew 26:17-30) 

Day 5 (Last Supper): Read John 19:1-16 and Isaiah 54:7

(for more reading: Luke 22:7-52, John 13-17, 1 Corinthians 11:23-25, Mark 14:12-72) 

Day 6 (Good Friday): Read Mark 14:53-15:41, Isaiah 53:5-6, and 1 Peter 1:18-21

(for more reading: Luke 22:47-53, Luke 23:39-43, John 19:1-37) 

Day 7: Read John 19:38-42 and Romans 6:22-23

(for more reading: Mark 15:42-47, Matthew 27:57-66) 

Day 8 (The Resurrection): Read Mark 16:1-7 and Matthew 28:1-20

(for more reading: John 20:1-21:31, Acts 1:9)

 



Fish anyone?

Hello Everyone,
For this week’s 2nd Look I want to show you an excerpt from a film that has literally been used by God to lead thousands to Christ. This week we look at the scene where Peter is led by Jesus to go fishing.
Whenever I read this scene in the Bible – I am so struck by the emotion of Peter. He encounters the miraculous – he comes face to face with God and he realized he is not worthy to be near this man, Jesus. So he tells Jesus to leave him. But God’s grace is so powerful. Do you notice – Jesus doesn’t say” “You’re right – you are a dirt bag.” He doesn’t deny that Peter has sinned either. So in Jesus’ silence there is admission that Peter is accurate He has sinned – but at the same time – there isn’t condemnation. He doesn’t say anything about Peter’s past. Rather He redefines Peter completely: “come with Me and I will make you a fisher of men…”
When we encounter the grace of God; it’s not just a moment that says: “You’re ok – it’s going to be alright” … a grace encounter does more than this – it REDEFINES us!!! Peter’s life would never be the same after that. His destiny would be forever altered. His character would be slowly transformed. That is what God wants to do with each one of us. He is not just saying: “It’s ok – don’t be afraid – You’s you’ve sinned but I love you …” He is also saying: “I’m redefining who you are … you look at yourself as a nobody but I say you are my beloved; my co-heir; a warrior for my kingdom… You say you are a sinner – and I say you are clean; spotless; holy and set apart for a purpose…” Everyday – we wake up to God’s grace that defines us. In many ways – we are all like Peter – kneeling before Him asking Him to leave – and Jesus looks at us and says: “Follow me – and I’ll make you fishers of men!” Amen, hallelujah. Thank you Jesus!!!

Pastor Ryan



Breaking Barriers

Hello SNC Folks!

For this week’s 2nd look, I’m going to share something that didn’t make the sermon. Have you ever heard of musicians making an album? Often times they need to pick 10 – 12 songs to put on the album but this means there are some songs that have to get left off for one reason or another. Then years later they release an album of unreleased material. What I’m about to share with you is like that unreleased material. I love what I’m about to share with you – but because of time I just couldn’t put this in… So here is the unreleased material from last week’s sermon!!!

God’s kingdom knows no boundaries – no barriers! As we watch Jesus live the kingdom we see He lives a life that breaks these barriers and I believe if we want to be used by Him we have to go with Him and do the things He does. Which invites the question: “How does He do it?” I’m glad you asked…:)
Jesus technique is breaking barriers:
1. Plants Himself in enemy territory – Jesus constantly goes beyond the barriers. He goes where people say He cannot go. He will march into the middle of enemy territory and begin building the kingdom. This statement is true: If we want to join Jesus and build the kingdom – it will often be “Out there.” I like to call it “Life on the dangerous edge of things.” When following Christ in kingdom building – it is most often outside our four walls. It’s going into the world and setting up shop where the people are…
2. Shows His Power – Jesus shows who He is through His teaching and His power. In the story of the Samaritan woman – He shows His power through sharing with her knowledge He couldn’t possibly know. I have been coming to believe and be convinced that this world needs Christians not to be “all talk.” At some point action and power need to be seen. As Christians we are told that each of us has been gifted by the Holy Spirit to build up the church. Are you aware of the ways God has gifted you for service? As a church are we content with being powerful in words but powerless in every other way? Jesus met real needs. He was good news before and while He shared good news. I believe we are called to be as well…
3. Speaks the beautiful truth – Jesus teaches the beautiful good news. He doesn’t make excuses, nor water it down. He’ll make bombastic claims He’ll say offensive things sometimes. But His teachings also bring freedom and hope to many who hear it. With the Samaritan woman – Jesus makes bombastic claims and He teaches some offensive truths – but in the end – what He teaches will bring salvation to this woman! Are we truly proud of the gospel? Are we willing to share it? When we do – we often experience the power of God. If we refuse – we don’t.
John Wimber often taught his congregation that Faith is spelled R-I-S-K? Ultimately it comes down to this. Are we willing to follow Jesus beyond the barriers? Are we willing to R-I-S-K? Have a great week everybody.

Pastor Ryan



Are You Gonna Go My Way?

Hello SNC friends!
This past week was our final stop in the Sermon On The Mount. We saw Jesus ask us this question: “Are you gonna go my way?” We spoke about the difference between the wide gate-wide road and the small gate-narrow road. Recently, my children and i have been listening to this song by a man named Lecrae. It’s a song where he calls out to young artists like himself who have bought into the “wide road” mentality and they don’t see the damage it causes. We are called by Jesus to follow Him – but it means we often will be walking a different road than the rest of the world.

So I’m going to do something a little different today. I’m going to share this song with you all. That’s not different; I’ve done this before. What’s different is that type of music I’m sharing with you. This is a rap song. Lecrae, in my opinion; is one of the best rappers in the business today and what’s even more awesome? He’s a Christian making Christian raps that are uplifting and wholesome. My kids absolutely love him. Now I know some of you do not enjoy rap music. I’d like to ask you to consider Lecrae as a modern day poet – and he is incredibly talented.

As you listen to the song – you may notice Lecrae is speaking out against the rap industry selling lies to the kids growing up in the city. They are selling the “wide road.” What is the “wide road” life you have been enticed with? Is there a path in life that Jesus is calling you to follow Him but it’s difficult???

I know this song may not be your cup of tea. But there is a very powerful message in this song – see if you can find it!
Have a great week everybody,
Pastor Ryan



Pure in Heart

Hi folks-

Blessed are the pure in Heart…..

We talked about this on Sunday. I wanted to remind you of what this looks like for us.

It means singular focus – not dividedness. What it that singular focus?

Singular Trust

We trust in Jesus Christ and ONLY in Him; not ourselves, for our salvation. Our behavior; our “goodness” cannot save us – only Jesus does this. This is easy to forget. It becomes so easy to make our salvation and standing with God about our behaviors. Don’t believe me? Read the book of Galatians. The whole book is about this very thing. Our trust needs to be in Him and Him alone.

Singular Confidence

Who or what really defines our worth as a human being? Who defines the worth of others? Do we define ourselves by our success; our wealth; the opinions of others? None of those things last, none of them are eternal. The only thing eternal is God and He defines us as His beloved; His heirs; His children; clean and holy in His sight. This is where we get true confidence from: that we are holy and dearly loved by God through Jesus Christ!

AND we need to cling to this truth – to believe in it and trust it even when it doesn’t seem like this is true. YOU ARE LOVED AND WELL PLEASING TO GOD!

Ok but what about when I sin? Well consider how you may look at your child when they do something destructive to them. You may be exasperated with them but is it not because they are hurting themselves? I think this is very true for how God sees us when we sin. His heart breaks for us because He loves us and we are content with sin and destruction. We are content with “good enough” and not great! He is hurt because we build walls between us where we cannot receive the beauty of all a relationship with God has to offer. Like any father who loves his kids – He wants more for us than we want for ourselves because He loves us!

But do we live in this reality that He loves and is pleased with us? Is this where we get our confidence and identity?

Do you want to know where you get your identity? Do you have things you fear or are stressed about? Take a good look at those things? Often times we are afraid because we hold something dear and we think we might lose that thing. Perhaps we love those things because they give us identity and make us feel good about ourselves…Those things might take God’s place in our lives…interesting stuff.

Singular hope

What do we place our hope in? This is a major question! Our hope is in Christ and Him alone. There is only one thing in this whole world offering eternal hope to all: Jesus Christ. It’s fascinating how quickly we can begin to place our hope in other things.

As you progress through this week – ask yourself in your time with God – “Lord what have I placed my trust, my confidence and my hope in? Oh Father – please bring my heart back to this singular focus where You are the center of my life.”

Have a great week everybody!!

Pastor Ryan



Discipleship

10 Indispensable Truths For Discipling Others

1)   Pray for those you disciple– You must never fail to pray for the ones you disciple and for yourself that you might be led by the Spirit.  Do you know what to pray for them?  Don’t know where to start?  Try Ephesians 1:15-23.

2)   See to your own relationship with God– As disciplers we need God’s leading and wisdom more than our own.  We need Him to transform our characters in ways we cannot- and we need our disciples to see a person who is in a relationship with Jesus.

3)   Have a plan– if you do not know where to begin- look for some options.  There are many great books to walk through with someone- there are great video resources- and our church will have a resource for you as well- that can be very helpful.  Find resources that will help them KNOW; LIVE and SHARE the Gospel

4)   When in doubt of what to say; ask a question-  One of the greatest skills you can develop as a discipler is learning to ask good questions and then learning to really listen.  It takes true effort to determine to really listen to someone.  You may need- before you meet with the person you are discipling- to sit down and determine that no matter what- you will listen.  The biggest goal? Seek to understand what the disciple is saying in such a way that you could describe what they are telling you to someone else and then ask the disciple if how you described it is accurate and they would say: “Yes- you understand what I’m trying to say.”  Ask questions like:

  • What happened next
  • What did you think when that happened?
  • What did you want to do next?
  • Tell me more about this….
  • How did you feel when that happened?
  • What did you think about that?
  • What do you think God is doing in your life right now?
  • What have you been thinking about lately?
  • What do you think God wants you to think about that?  Why do you think that?

The person you disciple needs you to listen way more than they need you to share your wisdom with them..

5)   Be Discipled and don’t be afraid to get help.  It’s ok if you say: “You know what I don’t know the answer to that- can I get back to you with that?  Asking for help is key in this process.  Again, you are not Jesus.  You’re job is to point others to Him- but that isn’t always easy..  Ask for help.  In addition to this- it’s crucial you are being discipled as well.  the best mentors and disciplers out there are men and women who are learning and take their own growth seriously.  Having mentors is a very healthy and necessary movement in the life of a discipler.

6)   No matter what- point them to Jesus: Don’t be afraid to ask people this question:  “What is Jesus doing in your life right now?  What do you think God is trying to show you in this?”  The main goal of your efforts is that the person you are discipling grows in their relationship with God.  Nothing must get in the way of this.  Which brings up another great point: where is the best place to find truth about Jesus?  The bible.  We should point people back to the bible- walk through it with them; talk about it- study it- savor it- pray through it.  This is a key work of the discipler

7)   Set limits- don’t disciple a person forever.  Take eight-12 week chunks of time then reevaluate.  The point is to help someone grow closer to Jesus- you are not Jesus for them.

8)   Pray with your disciple– The person you are discipling needs to learn how to pray.  This is just the way it is.  You are a person to help them learn and the best way to teach prayer is to do it.  Ideally they will become someone who loves to pray and helps others do the same.

9)   Teach your disciple that someday they will disciple others– this is a big one.  Anytime we disciple someone and this isn’t part of the process then we have left a crucial part out of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.  I’ve seen many people disciple others and those disciples go on expecting people to always feed them and help them- they don’t see that what they’ve received is for someone else’s benefit.  I cannot stress this enough- I think we do a great disservice when we don’t help our disciple see that we are preparing them to disciple someone else…

10)                   Pray– This is the most important thing and that is why it gets two line items!!!  You must pray!  End of story!

 

The unfortunate thing with the word “Disciple” is that often we make this mean that the person we are discipling acts just like us- and I’d like us to move away from that- the person we are discipling is someone we are pointing to Jesus as their great shepherd and discipler.  We are simply people who walk alongside of them and help them grow in Christ.  My hope is that these ten truths will serve you well in the days ahead as you walk with others.  May God bless you as you make disciples!!!!

 

Pastor Ryan