Message Recap – 02/18/11 – Foundations: Part 3

Sunday, February 20, 2011

We have finally reached the third part of Foundations. It's been real, but we knew it had to come to an end at some point, right?

If you missed Part 1 or Part 2, what are you doing here? Go back and read the recaps!

Now, lets dig into the message. Also, an aside: just because someone looks like they know what they're talking about doesn't mean that they actually do. Moving on.

Take a look at our theme verse for this series in Matthew 7:24-27:

Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”

You may remember that you were supposed to memorize this passage. Anne Mackey was the only one brave enough to do this fully, though Cotter and Jacob Moore also put in a valiant effort but fell slightly short. So, props to Anne, Cotter and Jacob. Also, apparently “props” is still a word.

Who builds your house (you may recall that "house" is an illustration for your life)? Is it God? Do other people build your house? Maybe your friends or your parents? Jesus said, “The man who listens to my teaching and follows it will be wise, like a person who builds a house...” You build your own house; you build your own life. We've established that you need to build on Christ, on a solid foundation, based on His blueprint. That's all important. But you still have to do the work of building. You can't rely on other people to build your house for you.

You have to do the work, do the planning and spend the time on it. You can't just say, “God called me to be a billionaire, He'll make it happen! All I need to do is sit back, relax and eat Twinkies.” Not quite. It doesn't matter what calling you have, what gifting you have, what talent you have. You still have to build your own house. You still have to put in hard work. Yes, God has an amazing plan for you! But you can't just drift in to it. You can't just settle for whatever life throws at you and still have God's best.

At your age, you have an opportunity to build something lasting. To do something meaningful. To change your destiny. You can build a shack or you can built a mansion out of your life. Many people with more talent and gifting than you have built shacks out of their lives and many people with little talent or gifting have built mansions. What will you build?
1 Corinthians 3:12-15 says: Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.

If you build your house out of straw yet build it on the foundation of Christ, it will stand. But you will be left with nothing in the end. If you build it out of gold on the foundation of Christ, it will stand and you will be left with something lasting.

You can build your life out of easy materials on Christ as a foundation. You'll still be saved, but you won't have anything to show for your life. Or you can make it out of something long lasting. God doesn't decide what you use to build your house. He has a blueprint that calls for certain materials, but you decide whether to use them or not!

What you build will be tested – by time and by storms. Build your life out of materials that will last. Build for eternity, not merely for today. Build by God's standard, not the world's standard. Don't waste time building temporary things. Start building now; it's not too early, it's not too late. Build a life that will last forever!

Build your house, your life, out of the best materials! Build your on the rock of Christ, use God's blueprints and build it out of lasting materials!


Message Recap – 02/11/11 – Foundations: Part 2 – Blueprints

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

We all know people who seem to have the perfect lives. Those people who have tons of friends, money, a good looking girlfriend or boyfriend – they seem to have it all! But one day it all comes crashing down around them and we see that they didn't build their lives on a firm foundation. As long as it's nice weather, you can build any old place. But when the storms come (and they will), you have to have a firm foundation. The foundation of Christ will stand through any storm.

Take a look at our theme verse for this series in Matthew 7:24-27:

Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”

You may recall from last week that we are asking you to memorize this section of scripture. Yes, we are still asking that you memorize it. And, anyone who memorizes all four verses by the end of the series will receive a prize from Pastor Dan! A real prize guaranteed, double your money back! Now, back to the message.

Legos are a microcosm of Spiritual life. When you buy a Lego kit, you get a picture on the front – you have vision. Then you open the box and realize that the pieces are extremely small, and there are a lot of them. Several hours of frustration later, you end up with something kind of resembling the picture on the box and a few pieces left over.

Next you take apart what you just made, and remake it into something else entirely. Maybe a rainbow cube, rainbow gun or rainbow ninja star. Everything is a rainbow because of all the random colored Lego bricks.

The house that Jesus is talking about in this passage is not a real house. He's talking about our lives. He's talking about building your life on something solid. When you build a house, whether it's a Lego house or a real house, there are thousands of decisions to make. Some small, some major. In life there are thousands of decisions to make, again, some big and some small. And just like with Lego houses and real houses, it's hard to be successful without a good plan. The minute the directions get tossed out, it's hard to come up with a plan. In real home construction the plan is called a blueprint.

Take a look at what 1 Corinthians 1:25 says about plans:

This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.

The best of human plans, Lego or otherwise, are foolish compared to how amazing God's plans are.

God has a plan for your life. And His plan didn't get ripped up or thrown away like those Lego directions usually do. His plan is laid out perfectly for your life. It's the best for you. It takes into account the big picture, unlike most of our plans. God's plan is not a one week big picture or a one year big picture. It's a fifty year plan, a hundred year plan, a thousand year plan. God has a plan, He has a blueprint. He is the Master architect and designer.

God has a plan for you! He has a blueprint for you! But it's not like He's a master puppeteer pulling your strings and controlling your movements. You have the power to choose.

There are other blueprints out there. The get famous, get rich, get laid, be a good person, be successful or be popular blueprints. Many times these plans take parts of God's plan, and insert them into their own plans, thinking that will make it right.

It can be hard when faced with a choice between what you want to do and what's right, to think about the big picture and do what's right. But God sees the big picture. He knows the best plan to get you through to the other side successfully.

Pastor Dan has seen many teens come through Rev Church and make poor decisions at age 14,15,16,17, etc. and he's seen their lives ruined by these bad choices. All because they didn't want to see the big picture, to submit to God's blueprint! Those compromises, and cut corners have consequences for years to come! God has a different perspective, He sees for years to come. He sees the future trouble or future blessing that can come from choices we make now.

God's blueprint is the best one. He makes much better blueprints than people do. He doesn't cut corners, use cheap materials or a quick fix. It's not fast or easy, but when you build with His blueprint the house stands the test of time. When you follow the blueprint of the world, it looks nice at first. All flashy and shiny. But as the years go by, the shoddy materials start to show themselves. But God has an eternal perspective! His materials will stand the test of time!

God's blueprints will leave you with something to live with, something to be proud of 10 years from now. It doesn't matter what you've done wrong in the past. Today you have a chance to build with God's blueprint, to create a strong, healthy future.

In closing let's look at Jeremiah 29:11:

I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.


Message Recap – 02/04/11 – Foundations: Part 1

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Foundations are important. Maybe you're not a building expert or engineer, but you should know that they are crucial to the strength of a building. Pastor Dan learned this by experience one day. He was jacking up his car to do some manly work on it. The problem was that there had been quite a bit of rain for several days before that. As he jacked up the care, the pressure on the jack increased due to the weight of the car, and the jack started to actually sink into the ground. He learned that it's very important to know what kind of surface you're on when jacking up a car.

As children we all learn the simple importance of a foundation when we are playing with blocks. But as we get older we get preoccupied, we get in a hurry, and we don't think about it. And sometimes they don't show up right away, but when they do the results are dangerous.

Our theme verse for this series is Matthew 7:24-27:

Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”

Now, get ready for a bombshell: We are asking you to memorize this section of scripture. That's right; difficult as it may be, we are confident in your abilities to memorize scripture. You can do it!

Jesus had something to say about foundations; about how you build; about what you build on. And He wasn't talking about your actual house. He was talking about our lives!

Building a strong foundation is not the quick way, the easy way or the convenient way.

Foundations are not tested in nice weather. Moderate temperatures, normal rainfall and light winds do not challenge them. A true test is a storm. Flaws in the foundation will not show until the pressure increases. But at that time when the storm hits, the foundation is the most important part.

If there were never storms, any old foundation would do. But to withstand raging storms and earthquakes, the foundation must be strong and well built. But it is costly to build a good foundation and it takes time!

When life is calm you can build your life around that girl or guy, your friends, or other things that seem solid because there's nothing to test them.

Everyone goes through storms: Christians, non-Christians, adults, kids, teens, good people, bad people. Storms are a part of life. Maybe you haven't experienced one yet, but there will come a point in your life when things are shaken. And when that shaking comes, it doesn't matter how high, now luxurious, how nice you've built your life if your foundation doesn't hold.

Matthew 7:24: “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it.” That is the key! Pastor Dan has seen many kids come through Revolution Church. Many who knew what the Bible says about choices they were making. They knew, and did the wrong thing anyway. Knowing isn't enough – you have to follow it! You can go to church your whole life, but if you never follow the teachings of Christ you will not stand when the storms come.

This is a simple concept, but unfortunately, the simple principles are not always walked out.

As a young person you have an opportunity to set the pattern for the rest of your life. You can build your life on a firm foundation. If you build your life around a relationship, a person, a hobby, yourself or even religion, your foundation will fall.

It's easy to build your life on something and not even realize what you're doing. Maybe it's that you're a musician, an artist, a nerd, a rebel. But when those storms of life come, any life that is not built on a firm foundation will be swept away.

The only firm foundation is Christ Jesus. Not just believing in Him; building your life on the principles of Christ; building your life on the word of God! That is a foundation that you can trust.

Though the storms will come, and it won't be easy or fun all the time, your life will withstand them. When your life is built on a solid foundation your house won't float away.

You can have a sure foundation. Your windows may break, some shingles blow away and tree limbs litter the yard, but your house will stand. Don't build your life on an idea, a person, politics, money, education or anything else. Build your life on Christ; pn His commands, His principles, His word!


Message Recap – 1/28/11 – Grace & Consequences: Part 3

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Just joining this series? You can catch up on Parts 1 and 2, then meet us back here!

Part 1

Part 2

Even though this series is focusing on actions, it's important to note that actions will never save us. No matter how “good” we are, we've all done bad things and we all need Jesus. We all need grace & forgiveness. We're also all children of God, set free and forgiven! Works will not save us.

Yet our actions are meaningful. Just because they don't save us doesn't mean they are inconsequential. Each action is a seed which will grow and produce a harvest. You can sow to please yourself, or sow to please the Spirit. The resulting harvests are complete opposites.

Have you ever wondered about “good” and “evil” people? There are some people who seem to be so naturally good. It doesn't seem to take any effort at all. And then there are people who never seem to be able to do anything right. They know that they need to change, they just don't seem to be capable of it.

Why is that? What makes some people “good” and some people “evil”? There's a common idea that all people are basically good. That's a nice thought, but the truth is that people are all basically evil. When Adam sinned, the seed of sin was planted in every. single. person. All people have to overcome that to be “good”. There are no genetically “good” and genetically “evil” people. We all start out on a level playing field.

Let's look again at our theme verse for this series, Galatians 6:7-9:

Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

So, what is this harvest Galatians is talking about? Is it just heaven and hell it's referring to? No, because we've been saved by grace, not works. Works do not determine who goes to heaven.

What does the Bible mean when it says, “reap death and decay”? When you look around you may notice that there are many people living to please themselves and they don't seem to be aging and decaying any quicker.

And what about the harvest of blessing? Where is that, anyway? Ultimately, the truth is that much of what we reap will be in eternity, not in this life.

But check out Galatians 5:16-21 for an explanation of how we reap from our actions:

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

It's very obvious that we live in a world that is sowing to please it's own sinful nature. As you sow, the tendency is to continue in those actions, whether "good" or "bad". Our desire to do those things grows.

When someone starts smoking, they don't start with two packs a day. They start with a little, and gradually grow. Similarly, sin grows; overtakes us. “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.”

When you sow to please yourself, it grows and sooner or later overwhelms you.

Let's continue in Galatians 5:22-25:

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

Note: We have to do the nailing, not God!

Just as when you sow to please yourself and the harvest brings an increase in those things, sowing to please the Spirit brings a harvest of an increased desire to please the Spirit! The more you sow, the more is produced, until it becomes an almost unstoppable force.

Back to the “good” and “evil” people question: They are simply people who have sown to please either the Spirit or themselves to the point where it has over taken their lives. When you sow to please yourself, your flesh takes over every part of your life.

In the same way, when you sow to please the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit produces fruit of the Spirit in your life. It's not attained through trying harder, it's attained through sowing! Your self control can not attain it, but sowing to please the Spirit will.

You have a choice. You can be overtaken by sin, or by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

The death and decay we're talking about isn't just physical. It's also spiritual, mental and emotional.

But because of God's grace, we can be saved! Not only that, but we can have the life and blessing that comes from having the fruit of the Spirit overtake us! Choose to sow to please the Spirit today!