ManDurance-Training

Ephesians 3:20

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us

Do you have a God-sized dream for your life?

Believing God to loose 3 lbs, get a $1 dollar raise, or just to survive in life is not a God-sized dream. God-sized dreams are dreams that are bigger than you. Just think of it; this could be the year you get that degree, start that business, get totally in shape, or you name it.

Friend don’t let the devil trick you into settling for a small dream. Ask God for a God-sized dream and then don’t let go of it.

Be blessed!

We all need a faith lift. – Pastor Barry Young

Wednesday night quote of the week #15

ManDurance-Training

2 Timothy 3:16

For all scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness

God’s Word is relevant, and it never changes. God’s Word doesn’t talk about the truth; it is the truth. God’s Word doesn’t just understand our problems; His Word contains the solutions to our problems.

Friend if you are facing a battle today find out what God’s Word says about that situation, and then stand on that promise, no matter what! If you do you will be an overcommer in life!

Be blessed

Single people get into trouble when they try to act like married people. Married people get into trouble when they try to act like single people. – Pastor Barry Young

Are you thirsty?

James Dibben —  February 6, 2013

This is a quick review of last week’s Sunday School lesson. We meet every Sunday morning in room WC104 at 9:00 AM. This story takes place in John Chapter 4

Photo Credit: MotleyPrincess

Photo Credit: MotleyPrincess

The woman at the well.

If you have spent much time in church or reading the New Testament you are most likely familiar with this story. If we can read it with new eyes and ears we can learn something with her.

Her personal story is, likely, a lot more complicated than we have all taken the time to examine. We know from the story that she was married five times and was currently living with a man resulting in a minimum of six serious relationships. The scripture doesn’t tell us why she had been divorced so many times but let’s consider some of the possible reasons.

Infertility: In this culture one of the primary responsibilities of a woman was to provide offspring for her husband. If this woman was infertile she would have been considered worthless by all the men of Samaria.

Widow: It is possible that all five of her husbands had died. If that was the case then it is very likely that everyone viewed her as a women who was cursed by God.

Affairs: It is possible that her husbands had left her for other women. If this was the case then she would most likely have some very negative feelings about herself.

We don’t know if she had been divorced five times because of her behavior or because of the behavior of others. What we do know from the story is that she was physically thirsty and that she was also spiritually thirsty. She had tried everything in her power to quench her thirst but life had left her thirsty.

The author of this story, John, gives us some interesting details. He tells us that she came out to the well in the middle of the day. Normally the women of the city would come out early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the heat. They also came in groups for safety and company. The woman in this story did neither. She came all by herself.

Imagine for a moment as she heads toward the well she passes a few Jewish men. These were Jesus’ disciples. He had sent them into town to get food. She must have been very surprised to see these men. Jews never went into Samaria. The Jews looked down on Samaritans. Samaritans were a mixed race of Jews and other nations as a result of being invaded in 720 BC by Assyria.

After she passed the disciples she would have looked up and noticed a single man sitting at the well. It was no accident that Jesus was sitting there waiting for her. Even John, writing this story years after its occurrence, stats that Jesus “had to go through Samaria” when we know that he did not “have” to do that at all. Normally Jews went around Samaria. Jesus “had to go through Samaria” because Jesus and this woman had a divine appointment.

Little did this woman know she was moments away from a one-on-one conversation with the Savior of the World. That plays would be written and performed about her. That Songs would be written and performed in her honor. That for time and eternity she would be known as “The Woman at the Well.” All she knew was that she was physically thirsty and there seemed to be a thirst that went beyond physical thirst. A thirst she had tried every possible way to quench but life had left her thirsty, and there waiting for her at the well was the Savior of the World.

In Verse Seven Jesus begins the conversation: “Will you give me a drink?”

Jesus said a lot in this one sentence. Jesus was making a statement about her.

“You are worthy to drink after. You are not someone I am afraid to touch. I won’t even go out of my way to avoid you. In fact, I have gone out of my way to have this conversation.”

The woman is shocked He even spoke to her. She knew that the Jews listed Samaritan women just below tax collectors and Samaritan men. She is so surprised by Jesus’ question that she never gives him an answer to his original question. All she can do is ask him why they are even having a conversation at all. There is no doubt that she never even made eye contact once she reached the well. In verse ten Jesus continues the conversation.

“Jesus answered and said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

The woman’s response to Jesus reveals the confusion she was experiencing on the inside. Please do not think of her as being dumb. She was in the presence of Holiness. When someone was in Jesus’ presence they knew there was something different about Him than anyone else. She knew this conversation was about more than just physical water and physical thirst. That is why she brought up Jacob and asked Jesus if He was greater.

Finally, Jesus does something incredibly insensitive. He does something that would get therapists fired. He does something that most people would never put up with. He looks at her and says, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” He reaches right into her most recent wound and rips the scab right off. I bet a thousand different excuses are running through her mind as to why all those marriages didn’t work out, and why she was now living with a man she wasn’t even married to.

The woman does what we do when faced with our sin. She retreated and answered Him: “I have no husband.”

Jesus wasn’t finished: “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”

Jesus, suddenly, abruptly, painfully and insensitively put her in touch with her thirst. She had tried everything in her power to quench her thirst. Jesus was saying to her, “life has left you thirsty, hasn’t it?” Jesus had something to offer her, but before she could really receive it she had to own up to the fact that her own attempts to quench her thirst had left her thirsty.

This is the lesson for us as well. There is no amount of stuff. No amount of relationships. No amount of work hours. No amount of sales. No amount of drugs or alcohol. No amount of anything that can quench the spiritual thirst we have in our souls for something more. We can try and try and try, but in the end no amount of our own attempts have the potential to quench the thirst we all have for real significance.

Have you ever used stuff to quench your thirst? How have your own attempts left you thirst?

Portions of this post are excerpts from Andy Stanley’s series Defining Moments available at North Point Resources

The smart bomb

James Dibben —  January 30, 2013
Photo Credit: Keith Moyer

Photo Credit: Keith Moyer

Grab your imagination for a moment. Don’t get scared, you can do it. It’s in there somewhere. It’s okay if you haven’t used it in a while. It’s like riding a bike.

You are the smartest dude who has ever lived. God himself has told you so. You have unlimited funds. You manage the greatest kingdom on the earth. Anytime something goes wrong you can just write a check to fix it. If your neighbor needs car repairs, and can’t afford it, you can just toss a few bucks his way. The leadership of your church call you regularly to get solutions to complex problems. Your mom and dad are amazed at how well you manage all your business dealings. You have 700 wives. Okay, maybe that last one is enough to wake you up from this dream.

I have just given you King Solomon’s life. He had all the above and much more. Yes, he even had the 700 wives. He chose those wives in complete opposition to God’s command.

1 Kings 11

1)King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. 2)They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love.

9)The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice.

Solomon had decided, in his own wisdom, that it would be wise to marry the wives of foreign kings to help keep peace with other countries. Eventually Solomon came around, but not before the kingdom of Israel went through civil war and ended up divided. In the book of Ecclesiastes Solomon laments his attempts to use his own wisdom to gain all the stuff he wanted. At the end of Ecclesiastes he sums up what he learned.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

13)Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
14)For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

God personally made Solomon the wisest man to ever live. If there was ever a man who could say, “God, thanks for the information but I’ve got it from here,” it was Solomon, yet at the end of his life he knew that even with his wisdom, which was superior to all men on earth, he was a very fallible man.

Wisdom isn’t about knowing everything. Wisdom is about being obedient to God’s commands.

Un-forgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. – Pastor Todd Blansit

Sunday morning quote of the week #15

Training: Yes, God Can

Barry Young —  January 23, 2013

ManDurance-Training

Psalm 78:13

He divided the sea and led them through; he made the water stand firm like a wall

God can make a way for you!

Yes, God can get you through that financial issue. Yes, God can get you through that relationship issue. Yes, God can heal that hurt and pain in your heart.

Friend there is no limit to what God can do. Don’t settle, don’t waiver, don’t throw in the towel.

Be blessed

Photo Credit: National Library of Scotland

Photo Credit: National Library of Scotland (officers studying a map of newly captured ground)

This last weekend I decided it would be (difficult, cool, challenging) to memorize the entire “Sermon on the Mount”.

The “Sermon on the Mount” is the longest recorded teaching of Jesus. It is found in the book of Matthew and includes chapters 5, 6 and 7. I haven’t actively committed scripture to memory in years. I know it is something I need to be doing.

Psalms 119:11

Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.

I’ll be perfectly honest; I struggle with sin. I feel exactly like Paul when he said: “For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” As I memorize these 111 verses of the very words of Christ I hope that they will help me live a life more honoring to God. When I shared my plan with my men’s Sunday school class several of them expressed their interest in joining me.

At the end of this post is a link to the PDF document I have put together for the men. It is the New King James Version of the “Sermon on the Mount” and covers Matthew 5, 6 and 7. I would encourage you to join us in this spiritual journey. You should print using a color printer. We are memorizing the words of Christ and seeing the red letters helps us remember this.

I told the guys on Sunday: “It’s worth a shot. If you fail and don’t get it all memorized you really haven’t failed at all. You have taken the time to actually commit to memory some of God’s Word. Failure is impossible.”

Sermon on the Mount (Right click to save to your computer)

ManDurance-Training

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the the Lord with all your heart and lean no on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths

Our Part: We are to trust God with everything we hold dear and important. We are to realize we can not solve every problem we have with our own wisdom and skill.

His Part: God promises that IF we will trust him and place our lives in his hands that he will direct, guide, and protect us.

Do your part because God will do his.

Be blessed