Living It Out – Oct 16

from Pastor Andrew

The Bible has a lot to say about money.

One in seven verses in the New Testament deal with the topic of money. There are more verses (over 2000) that deal about money than about prayer and faith combined. Money is a big deal.

The Bible makes it clear that God understands money, it’s importance in our world, and that He desires his people to use money for His glory. In 2 Corinthians, Paul is encouraging the believers to glorify God in every area of their lives because of their genuine experience of God’s grace and love. In Chapter 8, he points out that their use of money is a primary indicator of the genuineness of that experience. This is a bold assertion that we often don’t like. The Bible is clear though, that our use of money reveals our hearts. 

Our passage this Sunday challenges our perspective on money with three ideas about money….

  • Wealth is a tool to be used for God’s glory not our own.
  • Giving, like many things in our Christian walk, begins as a discipline but grows into Godly desire and delight.
  • Giving, when followed through on, not only glorifies God but it brings us together in partnership, love, and joy.

Take a few minutes this week to write down your response to these three ideas. Then write out a prayer expressing your heart and desires about money.



Living It Out – Oct 9

from Pastor Andrew

We don’t like talking about money. But it’s an important aspect of our spiritual lives. Jesus said that how we think about and use our money reveals a lot about our hearts. Jesus is after our hearts.

The Macedonians of 2 Corinthians 8 had been changed by God’s Grace. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 they had been made new in Christ. Their whole lives had been changed by grace. They had faith that led to thanksgiving, courage, a right view of God, being on mission with God and living in the promises of God. As grace flooded their lives they became generous people. As they lived generously they experienced joy. As they lived with Joy they made a huge impact.

Take some time this week and read 2 Corinthians 4:13 – 8:1. Take note of the changes that God works in our lives by His grace. Then ask these two questions.

  1. Is the grace of God leading me to live generously with my time, talent, and treasure?
  2. Am I experiencing the joy of generosity in my life right now?


Living It Out – Oct 2

from Andrew Bee

The prophet Habakkuk declared “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (Hab. 2:14) As we learned from Exodus 33 the means of the spread of God’s Glory will be through His people living in light of His goodness and presence. God’s goodness and presence are enacted and secured in our lives through the Holy Spirit. By the Spirit we can live lives that will be “distinct” compared to the world which will “spread the
fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere”
(2 Cor. 2:14)

Through faith in Christ we are becoming like Jesus Christ. God is working in your life so that His glory can be seen everywhere. 

This week… 

… reflect on your journey to faith in Jesus Christ. 

What was significant about it? What changed in your life
because of it? (If you have not come to faith in Jesus Christ, reflect on what keeps you from believing in Jesus).

… recount the goodness of God. 

Make a list of how God has been good to you and the ways you know He is present with you. Find at least 3 scriptures that speak of God’s work & presence in your life. Try to memorize them.

… recommit to spreading the light of the gospel of the glory of Jesus Christ. 

Make a list of areas in your life where God’s work and presence can be displayed to others. Make a list of 5 people you could verbally share the message of the Gospel with this month.

 


Living It Out – Sept 25

from Pastor Andrew

Becoming like Christ is both an instantaneous occurrence and a lifelong process. In today’s text we see both in vivid detail. This section of Isaiah opens with a description of the plight of the people. It is bad. But God comes to their rescue and accomplishes 5 things for the people; he sets them free, makes them able, and gives them strength, beauty and privilege.
 
The New Testament carries all of this work forward and applies it to us. This is the spiritual work God does in our lives and is true of you through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. We are invited and called to live these realities out on a daily basis with increasing faithfulness through the power of the Holy Spirit.
 
Are you believing and living out these realities?
Believing                Living
  • You are Free                    Yes     No           Yes     No
  • You are Able                    Yes     No           Yes     No
  • You are Strong                 Yes     No           Yes     No
  • You are Beautiful             Yes     No           Yes     No
  • You are Privileged            Yes     No           Yes     No
 
If you have not put your faith wholly in Jesus Christ, these qualities are being offered to you today. If you have put your faith in Jesus Christ, then these qualities are true of you and by the Holy Spirit you CAN live them out.
 
This week reflect on these qualities each day.
Ask God to make you more aware and convinced that they are true. Share with a friend which qualities you are struggling to believe or live out and encourage one another.


Living It Out – Sept. 18

from Andrew Bee

Catch the Wave is a creative way to express a fresh
commitment to join God’s movement of Kingdom Multiplication. It is our plan to Get in Shape for what God is doing, step in the water and Apply the Skills for what God is doing, and then Ride the Wave, carried along by the Spirit into what God is doing to multiply His kingdom. 

God is calling us to multiply disciples, leaders, groups and gatherings. But God is not calling us into His work without
reminding us, that He is the one who is at work in and through
us. The Old Testament prophets experienced this in unique ways and give us examples and encouragement to join God in His movement.

Isaiah tells us in Chapter 51 that God will put His word in our mouths and He will cover us in His mighty hand. Isaiah had a unique experience with God when and angel purified his lips
and then God gave him a message to proclaim to the people. A message of judgement and hope. Today, people are purified through faith in Jesus Christ. We are then qualified to be God’s messengers of His wonderful Good News. Not only does He give us His word, God has committed to keep us in the palm of His hand. God’s hand is powerful. By God’s hand, the heavens and the earth were created. By God’s hand, his people were delivered time and time again. By God’s hand, the needs of His people have been provided for from generation to generation, and nothing can pluck us from His hand once we are covered there (John 10:28).

With God’s reminder to us…what now? Go and multiply disciples, leaders, groups and gatherings. Where do we start? We start by Getting in Shape. For practical suggestions on how to get in shape go to www.meadowsfamily.org/getinshape.



Living It Out – Sept 11

from Pastor Andrew

Isaiah presents God’s message of hope in the midst of judgement. Speaking for God, Isaiah confronts sin in himself and the people, predicts God’s judgement through the Assyrian and Babylonian exile, and presents God’s plan to comfort, redeem and deliver His people through THE perfect Servant.

In chapters 49 to 54 we get a picture of the Servant. God’s Servant will be the Messianic King of Chapter 9 who comes as a Servant who will suffer and die as a sacrifice of atonement for sin. But the Servant will live again, providing a way to be right with God. These people are called the servants of the Lord.

Chapter 51 is a declaration of what the servants are call to do and be through the Servant of God working in their lives. The first section (vs. 1-6) presents three ideas for potential servants to wrestle with; a new place, a new people, a new promise.

  1. How does the idea of a new place, Heaven or  the new creation of God, motivate you to join God’s movement of kingdom multiplication?
  2. God has expectations of His servants. He desires them to be like THE SERVANT so they shine as a light to the nations. How does the thought that God has expectations hit you? What helps you to shine bright? What keeps you from being a light to the people around you?
  3. What emotion does God’s promise of salvation stir in you? How does God’s promise of salvation encourage or embolden you? Who is one person you know who needs to accept God’s salvation? How can you share God’s promise with them this week?


Living It Out – Sept 4

Pastor Andrew

Why should we pray? Jesus told us to. Prayer is an act of obedient worship. 

Prayer is God’s appointed way for us to obtain and accomplish things. James tells us that we don’t have because we don’t ask. 

Prayer is God’s means of helping us overcome anxiety and worry. It is in God’s presence that we are most safe and protected. 

While all of the above is biblical, if we stop here we risk our prayer life becoming an empty ritual or a selfish wish list. Prayer is meant to do so much more in our lives. 

E.M. bounds said “Prayer makes a godly man, and puts within him the mind of Christ, the mind of humility, of self-surrender, of service, of pity, and of prayer. If we really pray, we will become more like God, or else
we will quit praying.”

He is saying prayer is part of us Becoming Like Jesus Christ.Prayer is intended to conform our will to the will of God in Christ. It is intended to build our faith in the power of God through. It is intended to fill our minds with the mind of Christ. It is intended to prepare us for the return of Christ. If we are not pressing into all the God intends for prayer then 

E.M. Bounds is right. Prayer will either make us more like Jesus Christ or we will quit praying. Our mission is to glorify God by helping people to Know, Love and Become Like Jesus Christ. That means we need to be praying and helping others pray. 

Here are three questions to consider this week.

  • How effective has your prayer life been in making you more like Jesus?
  • What do you think needs to change in order for prayer to be all that God intends in your life?
  • How can your prayer life be an effective part of Catch the Wave.
 


Living it Out – Aug 28

from Pastor Andrew

We wrap up our series in the Psalms with five psalms of praise, Psalm 95-99. Even the bold heading in my Bible stirs my heart.

“Let us sign songs of praise” (Ps. 95) and “worship in the splendor of Holiness” (Ps. 96). Why? “The Lord Reigns” (Ps. 97)! “Make a joyful noise to the Lord” (Ps. 98). Why? “The Lord is Holy” (Ps. 99).

Praise is powerful. Praise gets our focus off ourselves and back on God. Praise brings us to a place of humility and we remember the greatness and goodness of God. Praise pushes back darkness and makes the enemy flee. Praise closes to
door on complaining and negativity and opens the door of God’s blessings over our lives. Praise invites the presence of God into our midst. Praise refreshes our spirits in His presence. Praise paves the way for God’s power to be displayed. Praise is powerful.

I pray you will reflect on these five Psalms this week and ponder what part praise plays in your daily life. Here are 5 questions to consider?

  • What works of God have you seen in your life that you have not praised Him for or situations you continue to grumble about?
  • Where can you share a testimony of God’s goodness with others as an act of praise?
  • What is one thing you can do this week to grow in your love for God which will fuel your praise?
  • What is one reality of the person or work of God that makes your heart sing?
  • Where is God prompting growth in you that if you respond He will get praise?
 


Living It Out – Aug 21

from Pastor Andrew

This summer our fellowship and the Bee family have been reading through Joshua and the book of Acts. As a fellowship we read Acts first and then Joshua as a family we did the reverse. As a family we were also reading a bit more slowly so we just finished the book of Acts. The story ends with Paul in Rome having two years when the Gospel is spread to a variety of people unhindered. He was able to live out what he wrote to the Romans in chapter 8 verse 15.

“For you did not receive the Spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba Father!’

This is a wonderful passage, one of my favorites. But this is not just a New Testament idea. Paul is bringing a Old Testament theme forward in a new way.

Psalm 94 tell us that no matter how bad things look around us there is one thing that always remains constant… God our heavenly Abba Father.  God is for us a stronghold and refuge. The psalmist calls us to not lose heart but to praise God in the midst of Lament. Praise revives our spirit and reminds us we have not received a Spirit of slavery and fear but the Spirit of adoption.

Here’s three points to ponder.

  • Verses 8-11 reminds us God sees and hears everything and his ways are far above the ways of man. How can you turn that truth into a prayer of praise to the Lord.
  • Verse 14-15 reminds us God will come through for His people. Where are you doubting that? Where are you believing that?
  • Verse 22 reminds us God is our stronghold and refuge. How can you encourage yourself or someone else with this truth?


Living It Out – Aug 7

from Pastor Andrew

In Psalm 91, we see four names of God used.

The first name, the Most High, is the Hebrew word Elyon. It suggests a Supreme monarch, one who is elevated above all things. The name signifies God’s majesty, sovereignty, and pre-eminence. 
 
The second name, the Almighty, is translated from the word Shaddai. Shaddai has many meanings, but it primarily suggests a mighty, powerful God who is strong beyond our imagination and is more than capable to supply our every need. 
 
The third name, the LORD, is the personal name for God, revealed to Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 6:2). The significance of this name is that it represents a relatable God who desire that we know Him on a deep, personal level. 
 
The fourth name, my God, comes from the Hebrew Elohim. It means the one who is first, or the creator.

Psalm 91 encourages us to draw near to God and trust him in everything. In light of who God is, we can trust him to take care of us. 

Consider these names of God ask yourself these questions.

  • What do these names of God make you think or feel?
  • How do these truths of God shape the way you look at the struggles of life.
  • How can these truths of God shape your prayer life this week?
  • What do these truths of God encourage you to do differently this week?