The “T” in HOT

THE FAMILY OF GOD

Read Genesis 24.3 & Genesis 24.15 – Abraham, as the patriarch of the people of God, wanted a wife for his son from the same family (the family of God).

In High School I gave myself a boundary: I would not date anyone who was not a Christian.  Not because I was terrified of the world (I went to public school).  Not because non-Christians aren’t pretty.  Not because non-Christians aren’t fun to hang out with.  But because the Bible clearly talks about how those who are in Christ are not to be joined with those who are not in Christ.  Consider the following:

2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15What harmony is there between Christ and Belialb? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.

1 John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from allb sin.

Ephesians 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light  9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)  10 and find out what pleases the Lord.  11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.  12 For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.  13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible,  14 for it is light that makes everything visible… 15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,  16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

Ladies, do not think that if you’re a Christian and he’s not, then somehow he will become one.  Missionary dating does not work.  Sharing the gospel does.

Fellas, do not be satisfied if she says she is a Christian.  Ask her if she loves Jesus, and then see if she has the heart of a servant, obvious character, and is in the family of God.

Because being in the family of God is hot.

How Do We Respond To This?

What the rest of the world thinks is “hot” becomes obsolete in a month.

What the Bible says is hot has been that way from the beginning.  Rebekah had the heart of a servant, obvious character, and was in the family of God.

Ladies, this is who you want to be like.

Fellas, this who you want to pursue.

And when we look at her story, we can say “That’s Hot.”

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unDeserving Debtor

What is a “DEBTOR”

  • a person who owes a creditor; someone who has the obligation of paying a debt
  • A person owes a debt to another.
  • The person who either owes payment or other performance on an obligation such as a contract or note.

When we say Jesus is the unDeserving Debtor, that means He paid a debt He did not owe.  We owe a debt we cannot pay.  We owe a debt to God because of our sin, but Jesus paid it in full.  And we’re going to unpack that today:

WHAT did He do because of our debt?

Isaiah 53:5-6 says “But he was pierced for our transgression, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.  We all like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way, and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

1 Peter 2:24-25 says “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness, by his wounds you have been healed.  For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”

A physician explained the pain of the cross in this way:

adequate exhalation required lifting the body by pushing up on the feet and by flexing the elbows…However, this maneuver would place the entire weight of the body on the tarsals [ankle bones] and would produce searing pain.  Furthermore, flexion of the elbows would cause rotation of the wrists around the iron nails and cause fiery pain along the damaged nerves…Muscle cramps and paresthesias [pins and needles when your foot or arm wakes up] of the outstretched and uplifted arms would add to the discomfort.  As a result, each respiratory effort would become agonizing and tiring and lead eventually to asphyxia.

WHEN did He do it and WHERE did it happen?

Colossians 2:13-15 says When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ.  He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away nailing to the cross.  And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

According to this, when did Jesus become the unDeserving Debtor?

The only time we are referenced in this passage is when it says “you were dead in your sins” and the rest is about Jesus.  This is our condition.  We are sinful.  And apart from Jesus, we are dead in our sins.  See, salvation doesn’t happen when good things outweigh bad things.  We don’t balance our debt, we get rid of it:

  • If I owe$3,000 on a student loan and I have $3,000 in my bank account, that doesn’t mean I’m free…it means I’m broke
  • If you lose sleep because you played Black Ops all night and make it up for it by sleeping in class you’re not free…you’re failing

And the only way we get rid of our debt is through Jesus.  He is the one who has paid our debt.  And He paid it in full.

WHY did the unDeserving Debtor take our debt?

2 Corinthians 5:21 says “God made him who had no sin [Jesus] to be sin for us, so that in him [Jesus] we might become the righteousness of God.

He died so that we could be made right.

Jesus is holy.  Jesus had no sin.  Jesus was not created and therefore not affected or ruled by sin.

But we are.  We are not good enough.  Jesus didn’t die because we earned it.  In fact, the Bible says apart from Jesus, we are “children of wrath” or “deserving of wrath.”

He died because He loves us.

He died so we could be made right.

He died to cancel our debt.  He became the unDeserving Debtor.  He paid what we owed.  And because of that we can be saved.  We can be made right with God!

The unCreated Creator stepped into creation as the unDeserving Debtor.  He paid for our sin with his life and three days later He became the unStoppable Savior.  And we’ll see what that means next week.

INKED by SERVICE (part 3)

Jesus Defines Greatness

Jesus tells us what greatness truly is in Mark 10:42-45

@42 We see a cultural perception of greatness

The MESSAGE reads this way: “You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around,” he said, “and when people get a little power how quickly it goes to their heads.”

The NLT reads like this: “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them.”

A lot of people in Jesus’ day thought you were great if you could make other people look bad – intimidate others – be in charge – be ruthless. Does this sound familiar?

But the kicker is what Jesus says after this:

“Not so with you.”

Christian, if you wanna be great, serve.  You don’t flaunt your authority or your influence.

@45 Jesus tells us why our lives should be permanently marked by service:

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve

Even though he had EVERY right to!  This theme that Jesus is a servant shows up other places in the Bible, too:

Why are our lives permanently marked by service?

Because Jesus came as a to serve.

Why did He come to serve?  We’ll explore that next

TRIfecta: God the Son

Who was Jesus?

Tim LaHaye writes “Almost everyone who has heard of Jesus has developed an opinion about Him.”

Max Anders writes “Attitudes about Jesus are varied and often are strongly held.  From denying that a person named Jesus of Nazareth ever existed to believing that He was God in the flesh, people demonstrate their conviction about Him by ignoring Him or worshipping Him.”

Even while Jesus was alive in the Bible, opinions varied.  In Mark 6.14-16, people thought Jesus was John the Baptist, some thought He was Elijah, some thought he was a prophet.

  • Buddhists believe Jesus was a wise and enlightened man who taught similar things to the Buddha.
  • Muslims believe Jesus is a true prophet sent by God, but was superseded by Muhammad.
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Jesus is the Archangel Michael
  • Unitarians believe Jesus is a great teacher, faith-healer, “incarnation of God’s love.”
  • Mormons believe Jesus was God’s son, and He began as a created spirit being like all other humans
  • Christians believe Jesus is 100% God and 100% man, the second person of the Trinity, and the only one qualified to offer salvation.

If Jesus were not man, He could not have died for our sins, and if He were not God, His death would have accomplished nothing.

God The Son

J.I. Packer writes:

“God became man; the divine Son became a Jew; the Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, unable to do more than [lay down] and stare and wriggle and make noises, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child.  And there was no illusion or deception in this: the babyhood of the Son of God was a reality.”

God put skin on.  And the impact of this is outlined in John 1.1-14.

When Jesus was born, he had not ceased to be God, but had begun to be man.  Jesus is fully God and fully man.  That’s why He can make the claims that He made.  That’s why Jesus is the remedy to our sin problem.

God The Savior

These three passages sum up the qualifications of a savior and point to the necessity of Jesus being fully God and fully man in order to satisfy those qualifications:

Brokenness As Kindness

Many are familiar with the story of Jonah, so as I began to approach this book again I prayed to read it with fresh eyes.  As I read in a lectio divina inspired manner, verse 12 in Jonah chapter 1 is what I focused on.  It reads:

Pick me up and throw me into the sea.

Was Jonah too scared to jump?  If he couldn’t follow God’s command, could he not follow through with his plan either?  Or how sorry for himself did he feel?  Was he expecting death?  If so, how terrifying and frustrating that God provided a fish to swallow him?!

No matter what Jonah did, he couldn’t escape God.  When he ran, God stopped him with a storm.  When he offered to die, God kept him alive in a fish.

It is frustrating when God means it.

When you are called by God you can disobey but you can’t escape.  It is in these moments of fleeing we realize our efforts are fleeting.  Instead of destruction, we are broken.  And I see a lot of grace in that.  Brokenness is a result of the mercy of God.  When we flee (or pursue isolation) God doesn’t give us over to annihilation.  In His mercy He BREAKS us in order that we repent and rightly pursue what God has called us to do!

Brokenness is kindness, and it is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance!

Wipeout!

If you’re a fan of the TV show Wipeout, you may have never realized how deep and insightful it is when compared to themes in Scripture.  You just though it was entertaining…but this show can preach!

On Sunday in the Mid-High we unpacked the rich spiritual themes from the show Wipeout using the following video:

I told you that’ll preach.  Here’s how:

#10

Everything has a reaction.  You can sit comfortably in your life for a while, but when the weight of your decisions comes back around, it will send you spiraling out of control

Read Isaiah 26.3, Hebrews 12.2, 2 Corinthians 4.18

#9

We think we know what we want, but it’s not always what we thought it’d be.  Timing is everything and if we get impatient, that’s when we get nailed

Read James 1.14-17

#8

Sometimes temptation will just undercut you and sweep your feet out from under you.

Read 2 Timothy 2.22

#7

Some situations will make you hesitate because you have a godly conviction.  But if you’re surrounded by people who will push you into temptation, you don’t have a chance.

Read Psalm 1.1-2, Proverbs 1.10, Proverbs 16.29

#6

Life is full of hurdles, and some are worse than others.  But as Christians we endure.

Read Romans 5.3-5

#5

Sometimes temptation will throw you on your face.  But when you’re connected in a community no matter how rough the situation is, you get back on your feet and encourage others with what you just went through.

Read Hebrews 4.15-16

#4

We try to mask our failures with skill, agility, humor, etc.  But it’s still falling.

Read James 5.16, Psalm 32.3

#3

Choices have consequences.  If it seems like an open door and it’s not from God, you’ll be crushed.  Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart.  Sin is knocking on the door of your mind.  Which one you open is the difference between being crushed or courageous.

Read Genesis 4.6-7

#2

If you live alone, you fall alone.  And spectators of your life will always only watch.

Read Ecclesiastes 4.9-12

#1

We cannot believe the lie of saying “Well at least I…” didn’t kill anyone.  At least I…am not addicted to meth.  At least I’m not as bad as Hitler.  Sin offends God.  And we can’t live our lives avoiding “big” sins and allowing “small” ones.  Because eventually even the small ones will smack you in the face.

Read Matthew 5.21-22, Matthew 5.27-28

Mid-High Sunday Remix

Following are 5 questions my Mid-High students asked for our Sunday Remix.  I didn’t write out my full answers here, but I did include the selections of Scripture used to help formulate answers.   It’s good to explore this stuff, so here are some resources to help you own your faith:

How can you make your best friend come to church and be a believer even if she thinks church is (her quote) “Boring and not her thing”?

First, we don’t make people do it.  Second, how do you talk about your experience with church?

Where is the cross that Jesus died on today?

If pieces of the cross remained, there would be fanatic worship over pieces of wood instead of what Jesus accomplished on that wood.  Here’s proof:

Does God love the Devil, the bible says he loves everyone but is the Devil included in the word everyone?

No.

Egypt was mentioned so much in the bible, but how come there is only 10 percent Christianity there? Why are there more Christians in the US than in Egypt if there is so much more biblical history over there???

It really IS all over the Bible, but here’s some history of the church in Egypt:

  • The Church of Alexandria was founded by the Evangelist Saint Mark the Apostle in approximately 42 AD and claims jurisdiction over the Christians in all the African continent. In other words, all the Christian churches in Africa are considered daughter churches of the Church of Alexandria.Athanasius took charge in mid-300sAfter the loss of the Holy Land and the overthrow of all Latin domination in the Byzantine Empire, the Latin Patriarchate of Alexandria ceased to existThen, the Muslims led by Umar, conquered Alexandria (Egypt’s capital) Nov 8, 641.  From then on it’s been under Muslim rule and Christianity is persecuted.

How do you know when it’s God talking to us and not our own thoughts?

We start with what the Bible has to say because if we don’t start there, we can make the Bible say whatever we want it to say:

Some of the LIVE questions:

  • Why did God create us?
  • Does Satan have more power than other demons?
  • What happens to [non-fallen] angels after Jesus comes back?
  • What happens to us after we die?  Like, do we go to heaven?
  • Does the Bible say anything about “premarital kissing?”
  • Is it OK to watch movies about demons?
  • Did God know that Satan would tempt Adam and Eve?
    • Why did God let Satan do that?