THE POWER OF TESTIMONY | Steve Pixler

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THE POWER OF TESTIMONY

May 26, 2019 | Steve Pixler

MESSAGE NOTES: 

You have a story to tell! 

And your story has the power to reshape YOUR future and the future of OTHERS around you. Never underestimate the power of your TESTIMONY! 

Here’s the BIG IDEA: A testimony carries within it the power to reproduce the miracle. 

Matthew 9:20–22 (ESV): And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, 21 for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” 22 Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. 

Mark 5:24–34 (ESV): And he went with him. And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. 25 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, 26 and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. 27 She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. 28 For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” 29 And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 

30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” 31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’ ” 32 And he looked around to see who had done it. 33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” 

That’s an amazing story! But here’s the most incredible part: the woman’s story released the power to reproduce the miracle by inspiring others to imitate her faith. 

Matthew 14:34–36 (ESV): And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized him, they sent around to all that region and brought to him all who were sick 36 and implored him that they might only touch the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well. 

WHY DO WE TESTIFY?

  1. To REMEMBER for ourselves what God has done and to relive the moment. 

  2. To REMIND others what God has done and encourage them to expect the same. 

  3. To RELEASE the power of the testimony so that the miracle may be reproduced. 

KEY PASSAGES ON THE POWER OF TESTIMONY

Revelation 12:11 (ESV): And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. 

Testimony is spiritual warfare. You conquer your spiritual enemy by declaring the good things God has done. Satan’s lies can not withstand the truth of your testimony! 

Revelation 19:10 (ESV): “Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy

Testimony is prophecy. Prophecy foretells what is to come, and when it happens, it becomes a testimony. But then the testimony becomes a prophecy, for it carries in itself the power to repeat the promise. 

Testimony transforms the world. It is no exaggeration to say that world history has been shaped by the power of Christian testimony. 

Jesus told the disciples that he would build his church upon the rock and the gates of hell would not prevail. And he commissioned them to fulfill this promise by telling the world his story and the story of believers. Jesus’ strategy for building his church is simple: tell your story! 

Your story has the power to change the world. You need to know the power that your words release when you simply tell your story. 

John 4:28–30 (ESV): So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the town and were coming to him. 

John 4:39 (ESV): Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.”

Acts 4:33 (ESV): And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 

The early church only had ONE thing to create growth—testimony. The had NO marketing. Not print, digital or any other form. None. The only thing that made the gospel spread throughout the ancient world was testimony. That’s it. 

And that’s exactly what still works today. 

When you were born again, you became a “born storyteller.” Your testimony is IN you:

1 John 5:10–11 (ESV): Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself... 11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

While there is great value in modern media/marketing advertising the church, there is nothing that can create attraction and growth in the kingdom of God like YOU sharing your testimony. 

Suggestion: Thus week, use technology—social media, emails and texting—to share your story. Post memes. Use YouVersion Bible to share scripture images. Send prophetic texts. Discover the power of “text-imony”!

How will you share your story this week? 


SEND ME (2) | Steve Pixler

SEND ME (2)

May 5, 2019 | Steve Pixler


MESSAGE NOTES:

BACKGROUND: This message flows out of “Your Harvest Is In Your Field.”

Matthew 9:37–38 (ESV): Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out (ekballe: “to cast, thrust, launch like an arrow”) laborers into his harvest.”

BIG IDEA: Being SENT by God requires INNER HEALING.

FREEDOM LIFE ICON

FREEDOM LIFE ICON

Look at the Freedom Life icon as an emblem of being sent.

MOTTO: “Helping people find their way into freedom for all of life.”

ICON: 3 arrows into a circle:


 

Arrow #1: Know God

Arrow #2: Find Freedom

Arrow #3: Discover Purpose

Circle: Make A Difference

 

THE STORY OF ISAIAH

The simple idea is this: Isaiah could not be SENT into his destiny until God addressed the inner issues that threatened his call.

 

Isaiah 6:1–8 (ESV): In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”

4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.

5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

[Isaiah 6:5 (The Message):  “Doom! It’s Doomsday! I’m as good as dead! Every word I’ve ever spoken is tainted—blasphemous even! And the people I live with talk the same way, using words that corrupt and desecrate. And here I’ve looked God in the face! The King! God-of-the-Angel-Armies!”]

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”


The SENDING requires INNER HEALING. We all have the “go” embedded in our spirit—“God has set eternity in our hearts”—but we all inevitably face a “woe” (or, “whoa!”) moment.

Isaiah needed to be healed in relation to God (“my eyes have seen the King!”), to self (“I am a man of unclean lips!”) and to others (“I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips!”).

God qualified Isaiah: “Your guilt is taken away! Your sin is atoned for!” God addressed and healed the SIN blocking the SEND.


CONTINUED…

Being SENT by God requires INNER HEALING. Before Isaiah could “go for us,” he had to be touched with a coal from the altar. Isaiah had to be moved from “Woe is me!” to “Here I am! Send me.” His GUILT was a destiny blocker.

And this is true for all of us: our sense of worth (self-worth, worthiness) plays a huge role in our ability to fulfill our call. Nothing sabotages purpose like guilt.

You were not BUILT for GUILT!


WHAT IS INNER HEALING?

Inner healing is the healing of our soul. Our spirit is resurrected when we are born again, but the soul is still pulled between the spirit and the body, which remains bent toward sin and death until the resurrection. This is why we must “walk after the Spirit” and not “after the flesh.” (Galatians 5)

Our soul is our mind, will and emotions. Inner healing flows out of our Holy-Spirit-filled-human-spirit into the emotions, the will and the mind.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 (ESV) — “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The Holy Spirit flows through the human spirit and begins to heal the soul. We begin to be healed:

  1. In relation to God: this is mostly about breaking the lies we have believed about God and discovering the truth about our heavenly Father.
  2. In relation to self: this is mostly about breaking the lies we have believed about ourselves and rediscovering our true identity in Christ.
  3. In relation to others: this is mostly about breaking the lies told by others (intentionally or not) and breaking free from EXPECTATIONS driven by the FEAR OF MAN


DELIVERANCE & SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Also, notice that it was an ANGEL who touched Isaiah’s lips and cleansed his sin. This highlights a reality that must not be ignored when pursuing inner healing: we live and struggle for freedom within a highly charged spiritual environment. INNERHEALING only happens through DELIVERANCE, through casting out evil powers that attack and torment the soul.

2 Timothy 2: 26 (ESV) — [That] they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

However, Jesus is VICTORIOUS over the devil through the Cross, and his victory is already ours!

 

Hebrews 2:14 (ESV) — “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil.”

1 John 3:8 (ESV) — “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”

Colossians 2:13-15 (ESV) — “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”

Luke 10:1-3 (ESV) — After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.

Luke 10:17-20 (ESV) — The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

There is a spiritual battle raging around your destiny. Never forget that! But also never forget that Jesus is victorious, and YOU are victorious in him. Never forget it!

 

CONCLUSION

Want to be SENT? Then, you must be HEALED. And INNER HEALING is a journey, a lifelong process. You must get started now. Commit to pursuing soul health.

SEND ME (1) | Steve Pixler

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SEND ME (1)

April 28, 2019 | Steve Pixler

MESSAGE NOTES: 

BACKGROUND: This message flows out of “Your Harvest Is In Your Field.”

Matthew 9:37–38 (ESV): Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out (ekballe: “to cast, thrust, launch like an arrow”) laborers into his harvest.” 

IMG_0046.PNG

BIG IDEA: Being SENT by God requires INNER HEALING.  

Look at the Freedom Life icon as an emblem of being sent. 

MOTTO: “Helping people find their way into freedom for all of life.”

ICON: 3 arrows into a circle:

Arrow #1: Know God

Arrow #2: Find Freedom

Arrow #3: Discover Purpose 

Circle: Make A Difference 

THE STORY OF ISAIAH

The simple idea is this: Isaiah could not be SENT into his destiny until God addressed the inner issues that threatened his call. 

Isaiah 6:1–8 (ESV): In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said: 

 “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” 

4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 

5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” 

[Isaiah 6:5 (The Message):  “Doom! It’s Doomsday! I’m as good as dead! Every word I’ve ever spoken is tainted—blasphemous even! And the people I live with talk the same way, using words that corrupt and desecrate. And here I’ve looked God in the face! The King! God-of-the-Angel-Armies!”]

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.” 

8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”

The SENDING requires INNER HEALING. We all have the “go” embedded in our spirit—“God has set eternity in our hearts”—but we all inevitably face a “woe” (or, “whoa!”) moment. 

Isaiah needed to be healed in relation to God (“my eyes have seen the King!”), to self (“I am a man of unclean lips!”) and to others (“I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips!”). 

God qualified Isaiah: “Your guilt is taken away! Your sin is atoned for!” God addressed and healed the SIN blocking the SEND

TO BE CONTINUED...

RISE! | Easter 2019 | Steve Pixler

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RISE | Easter 2019

April 21, 2019 | Steve Pixler

MESSAGE NOTES: 

The resurrection is a not just about Jesus—it is about you and me! You and I needed resurrection, not Jesus.

Romans 15:12 (NKJV): There shall be a root of Jesse; and He who shall RISE TO REIGN over the Gentiles, in Him the Gentiles shall hope.”

Jesus shall “RISE TO REIGN.” 

Ephesians 1:15–2:10 (ESV): For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 

17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the HOPE to which he has called you, what are the RICHES of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his POWER toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 

20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 

22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. 

Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven so that he could “rise to reign.” And we rise to reign with him. Look at Ephesians 2:

Ephesians 2:1-10 (ESV) 1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 

4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were DEAD in our trespasses, made us ALIVE together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and RAISED us up with him and SEATED us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. 

2 Timothy 2:11–13 (ESV): The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have DIED with him, we will also LIVE with him; 12  if we endure, we will also REIGN with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; 13  if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself. 

How do we reign with Christ? 

1. We RISE TO REIGN over our own spirit. 

Romans 6:8–14 (ESV): Now if we have DIED with Christ, we believe that we will also LIVE with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

2. We RISE TO REIGN over the power of the devil. 

Mark 16:15–20 (ESV): And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” 19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.

1 John 3:8 (ESV): The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

Hebrews 2:14–15 (ESV): Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.

3. We RISE TO REIGN over the earth.

Revelation 5:9–10 (ESV): And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, 10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall REIGN on the earth.”

Romans 5:17, 21 (ESV): 17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness REIGN in life through the one man Jesus Christ. 

21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might REIGN through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

You are KINGS and PRIESTS in Christ! 

You were created to rule with Christ forever. That rule begins NOW through the resurrection of Jesus. When you receive the Holy Spirit, you receive the Spirit of resurrection—the “Spirit of the age to come”—NOW (Hebrews 6:5).

The “Spirit of the age to come” is the KINGDOM SPIRIT, which rules by LOVE rather than POWER. The kingdom of God turns the world upside down and inverts the idea of RULING. We rise to reign with Christ by kneeling to serve. 

It is time to “rise”! Rise to reign over self, over evil and over the area of influence God has given you in the world. The resurrection of Jesus is YOUR resurrection, and you are called today to RISE. 

CONCLUSION

As the Father called to his beloved Son that first Easter morning, he now calls to you: “RISE!” 

Song of Solomon 2:10–13 (ESV): My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away, 11  for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. 12  The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. 13  The fig tree ripens its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away. 

YOUR HARVEST IS IN YOUR FIELD | Message 03 | Steve Pixler

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YOUR HARVEST IS IN YOUR FIELD (3)

April 14, 2019 | Steve Pixler

MESSAGE NOTES: 

  1. Your harvest is the fulfillment of your purpose and destiny. It is the “good works” you were “created beforehand” to manifest (Ephesians 2:10). Your harvest includes all the creativity, personality, and productivity that you were designed to produce to the glory of God. 

  2. Your harvest is found in your field. Your field is the “area of influence” that God “assigned to you” (2 Corinthians 10), which includes family, work, church and community

Your FULL-FILL-MENT is your FULL-FIELD-MENT! Wherever God assigned you to serve is your area of influence, your field of harvest, and this is where you will find your fulfillment—your purpose and reason for being. 

Here is one powerful point we must add today as we wrap up this series:

Your harvest is God’s harvest! 

Your fulfillment is God’s fulfillment. He created you to manifest his glory through dominion, and when you serve with wisdom and love in your field of influence—when YOU find fulfillment in YOUR field!—the purpose of God is fulfilled. You are HOW God fulfills his purpose. When you exercise dominion, the kingdom comes (which means the King comes, that he rules “on earth as it is in heaven”).

Ephesians 1:22–23 (ESV): And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. 

When you are fulfilled, you fulfill the Creator. The church, empowered and enthroned with Christ, ruling wisely and exercising Spirit-filled dominion, is “the fullness of him.”

Your harvest is God’s harvest!

Psalm 24:1 (ESV): “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.”

It all belongs to him. Jesus purchased the earth—he redeemed his good creation—with his blood. All the “fullness thereof”—the science, medicine, art, music, architecture, engineering, technology, transportation, aviation, space exploration, math, literature, education, politics, government, religion, agriculture, on and on and on, name your field—belongs to Jesus, and he MUST claim his full reward! 

So when you go to work, to school, to the grocery store, or wherever, you are entering the harvest field of Jesus. 

And when YOU reap the harvest of your fulfillment in your field, you are reaping HIS harvest for him. You are “serving the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:24). This is why we do ALL that we do “in word or deed in the name of Jesus” (Colossians 3:17).  

>>Before we wrap this series up we MUST get this one basic idea: when you go to work on Monday, you are serving Jesus and advancing his kingdom in the world. Not by imposing the rule of Christ through intimidation and power, but by manifesting the kingdom through WISDOM and LOVE.

Evangelism is important. World missions is essential. But the greatest harvest the church will ever see will happen when believers start living out their faith in the real world, when they start partnering with Jesus in the workplace to release the wisdom and love of God in a way that draws unbelievers to Christ. This is SALT and LIGHT evangelism!

Matthew 5:13–16 (ESV): You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. 

And this is where YOUR personal harvest—your fulfillment—intersects with the world harvest. When you are fully living out your eternal purpose, you will attract people to Christ. 

NOW, here’s our final point:

Jesus is SENDING you into his harvest! 

Matthew 9:35–38 (ESV): And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 

37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

The words “to send out” are translated into English from the Greek word “ekballe,” which means “to be THRUST OUT, to be HURLED, to be LAUNCHED like an arrow fired into a target.”

God is taking aim and firing you into his harvest.  When God LAUNCHES you into a field, when he THRUSTS you into a vocation, he fires you like an arrow at a target. And he wants to hit the bullseye! 

Here’s what Jesus said:

  1. “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” For us, that mostly means that there is a vast harvest to be reaped in the world, but most Christians DON’T EVEN KNOW that they are serving Christ when they go to work. Therefore, the harvest is rotting on the ground. 

  2. “Therefore, PRAY EARNESTLY to the Lord of the harvest to SEND OUT laborers into his harvest.” We must PRAY EARNESTLY that God would fire us like arrows at a target, that we would hit the bullseye of our God-called vocation and become the “workmanship” of Christ that we were “created beforehand” to be. 

PRAY EARNESTLY: We must change the way we pray over our work. Too often, we simply pray paycheck-focused, quality-of-life prayers over our work. But we must partner with the Holy Spirit and CRY OUT with strategic, kingdom-oriented prayers about our work. Jesus sent you out into your field so that you could produce a harvest of good works to the glory of God and for the transformation of the world.  

Jesus commanded us to CRY OUT IN PRAYER that he, the Lord of the harvest, would FIRE PEOPLE LIKE ARROWS into the workplace, precisely targeted to hit the bullseye of wise influence and loving service. Jesus plans to change the world, and he will do so with YOU! 

CONCLUSION

What must we do?

PRAY. Pray that God will fire us straight and true into our God-called field. Pray that we would be the influence for good that he designed us to be. And pray that people will be drawn to Christ through our wise and loving influence. 

Start with prayer. Start this week. Set a reminder and pray. 

Then, let God launch you. Fly true, hit the bullseye. And you will find your harvest in your field. 

YOUR HARVEST IS IN YOUR FIELD | Message 02 | Steve Pixler

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YOUR HARVEST IS IN YOUR FIELD

April 7, 2019 | Steve Pixler

MESSAGE NOTES:

1. Your harvest is the fulfillment of your purpose and destiny

Colossians 1:10  “So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

2. Your field is the area of influence God assigned to you in his kingdom. This is any area where you have influence (family, work, church, community), particularly your vocation. 

2 Corinthians 10:13, 15, 16 (ESV): 13 But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you. 15 We do not boast beyond limit in the labors of others. But our hope is that as your faith increases, our area of influence among you may be greatly enlarged, 16 so that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in another’s area of influence.


3. Your harvest is in your field. Many people never find their HARVEST because they never find their FIELD. Many never find their field because they never discover HOW they are made. (Psalm 139)

Ephesians 2:10 (ESV): For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Romans 11:29 (ESV): For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 

John 15:8, 16 (ESV): 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.


4. Your WORK is WORSHIP

Colossians 3:22–24 (ESV): Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ

Colossians 3:17 (ESV): And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. 

**GET THIS: The kingdom of God is bigger than the church. 

The church is the government assembly (GR. “ekklesia”—think: Congress or Parliament) of the kingdom of God, but the kingdom of God is bigger than the church. 

The kingdom of God is the RULE of God, and Jesus, seated on the throne of God in heaven, rules over every REALM of life. (Because of mankind’s rebellion against the rule of God in Eden, the kingdom must COME into every area of life, which happens through the preaching of the gospel.)

As Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). As the Book of Revelation puts it, Jesus Christ is “the ruler of kings on earth” (Revelation 1:5). Jesus is “King of kings and Lord of lords.” To put it in American language, Jesus is the “President of presidents.” 

Jesus rules over every realm of life. He rules over families, governments, politics, education, science, medicine, the arts and entertainment, engineering and architecture, music and movies, technology, space exploration, oceanography, finance and accounting, on and on. If it is a FIELD—an area of influence—Jesus rules over it. ALL AUTHORITY in heaven and earth belong to him. Everyone who works in any field owes their servant authority to the dispensation (GR. oikonomia) of Jesus. 

Romans 13:1–7 (ESV): Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

**This is why Jesus taught us to pray every day, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” The church preaches the gospel, people believe and are saved; as people are saved, society shifts and the powers of darkness are dethroned; in this way, reconciliation/transformation happens in the world. 

What does this have to do with you? It simply shows that the authority of Jesus extends over every REALM of life, which includes your WORK. You are given a divine assignment to serve to the glory of God. God has appointed a FIELD for you! 

Your FIELD is your kingdom ASSIGNMENT. Your assignment is much bigger than your job, though it includes it. Your assignment includes the total area of influence that God has given you to steward. Yet, because that does include your JOB, we must come to see our work as a calling, as a VOCATION

DO THIS: Ask God to lead you into your FIELD, into your kingdom ASSIGNMENT. Be bold. Ask confidently, and don’t stop asking. God created you for a purpose. You were born to bear fruit. You were designed for destiny. You were planted in the world to produce a HARVEST! Refuse to settle for anything less. 

ASK YOURSELF: How does my job advance the kingdom of God in the world? Don’t be distracted by what you merely do at work—ask yourself how your work makes the world a better place. Look for the bigger, God-sized meaning in what you do. 

You will find your HARVEST in your FIELD


5. You are SENT into the HARVEST

Matthew 9:37, 38 (ESV): 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Look at three things from verse 38:

  1. PRAY EARNESTLY: We must change the way we pray over our work. Too often, we simply pray paycheck-focused, quality-of-life prayers over our work. But we must partner with the Holy Spirit and CRY OUT with strategic, kingdom-oriented prayers about our work. Jesus sent you out into your field so that you could produce a harvest of good works to the glory of God and for the transformation of the world.  

  2. THE LORD OF THE HARVEST:  Jesus is sovereign over our kingdom assignments. We must submit to his will and partner with his power to bring change in the world. 

  3. TO SEND OUT: Our prayer to King Jesus, Lord of the harvest, is that he would SEND OUT laborers into his harvest. The word translated “send out” is the Greek word “EKBALLE,” and it means “to be THRUST OUT, to be HURLED, to be LAUNCHED like an arrow fired into a target.” 

Jesus commanded us to CRY OUT IN PRAYER that he, the Lord of the harvest, would FIRE PEOPLE LIKE ARROWS into the workplace, precisely targeted to hit the bullseye of wise influence and loving service. Jesus plans to change the world, and he will do so with YOU! 

CONCLUSION

Where is your field? Where is your kingdom work assignment? Where is your vocation?

That’s where you will find your harvest, your fulfillment, your purpose and destiny.

YOUR HARVEST IS IN YOUR FIELD | Steve Pixler

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THIS POWERFUL, NEW MESSAGE SERIES BEGINS THIS SUNDAY!

Check back after Sunday for the audio podcast of Episode 01. For now, feel free to peruse the notes!


YOUR HARVEST IS IN YOUR FIELD

March 31, 2019 | Steve Pixler

MESSAGE NOTES: 

There are two main points that I want to cover today: 

  1. You were created to bear fruit and produce a full harvest. Your “harvest” is the fulfillment of your purpose and destiny. 

  2. You will find your harvest in your field. Your “field” is the area of influence God assigned to you in his kingdom, particularly your vocation. 

SECTION 1: WHAT IS YOUR HARVEST? 

Your harvest is the fulfillment of your purpose and destiny

The idea of “harvest” as a metaphor is used often throughout Scripture. We most often associate “the harvest” with saving the lost, with world missions. But “harvest” in the Bible can refer to anything that comes to fruition, to fullness and completion. 

The Bible describes many different harvests, such as: 

  • Righteousness

  • Generosity

  • Blessing

  • Eternal life/corruption

  • Obedience

Anything that God calls us to produce is fruit, and the fullness of that fruitfulness is a harvest.

Here is a powerful passage that speaks about our personal “harvest” and how our fruitfulness and fulfillment advances the coming of Christ’s kingdom throughout the world. 

Colossians 1:9–14 (ESV): And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the  domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 

You were created to bear fruit. You were created to produce a harvest. You were created for fulfillment and purpose. Your were designed for a divine destiny. 

From the beginning of creation, God said:

Genesis 1:28 (ESV): And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill (fulfill) the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 

God blessed them. And out of that blessing flowed fruitfulness. And from fruitfulness flowed fulfillment. And from fulfillment flowed dominion

You were designed to produce a harvest of “good works.” You were designed for destiny. God has sown the seeds of destiny in each one of us. Seeds of abilities and talents that he wants to bring out of us like fruit borne in our field. God intends to produce a full harvest in each one of us. 

Who here wants to produce all that God created you to produce? Fullness!

Jesus repeated the Creation Mandate:

John 15:8, 16 (ESV): 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

SECTION 2: WHAT IS YOUR FIELD?

Your field is the area of influence God assigned to you in his kingdom, particularly your vocation. 

Look at this passage that powerfully describes your field, your “area of influence”: 

2 Corinthians 10:13–18 (ESV): 13 But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you. 14 For we are not overextending ourselves, as though we did not reach you. For we were the first to come all the way to you with the gospel of Christ. 15 We do not boast beyond limit in the labors of others. But our hope is that as your faith increases, our area of influence among you may be greatly enlarged, 16 so that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in another’s area of influence. 17 “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 18 For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. 

In this passage, the “area of influence” refers to ministry responsibility within the church, the apostolate of Paul the Apostle. But the principle applies in a larger context. God assigns you a “field,” a “to metron tou kanonos” (literally, “the measure of your rule”; translated “area of influence”). 

Your “area of influence” is your jurisdiction, the place where you have been given kingdom authority to serve. As Jesus said, “I chose you and APPOINTED you that you should go and bear fruit” (John 15:16).  

What are your “areas of influence”? (Family, work, church, community) 

SECTION 3: YOUR HARVEST IS IN YOUR FIELD

Your fulfillment, your destiny, is found in your assigned area of influence, your kingdom-authorized jurisdiction. 

Many people never find their HARVEST because they never find their FIELD. 

They never find their field because they never learn how they are made, for HOW you are made reveals WHY you are made. 

Design determines destiny. How did God make you? For what purpose did he make you?

One of the most powerful statements in the Bible about the “design determines destiny” idea is Psalm 139:

Psalm 139:13–16 (ESV): 

13  For you formed my inward parts; 

you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 

 14  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 

  Wonderful are your works; 

my soul knows it very well. 

 15  My frame was not hidden from you, 

  when I was being made in secret, 

intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 

 16  Your eyes saw my unformed substance; 

  in your book were written, every one of them, 

the days that were formed for me, 

when as yet there was none of them. 

Here’s another powerful statement about how God formed you before time began for a divine destiny:

Ephesians 2:10 (ESV): For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

YOU MUST GET THIS FACT: You were formed by God before time began for a purpose. You are a planned person! Planned with a plan

Fulfillment begins with discovery. We are called to a particular field, a place to which we are assigned in order to produce a harvest of good works to the glory of God. And finding our field begins with finding our gifts

As Paul said so powerfully,

Romans 11:29 (ESV): For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 

Gifts and calling go together. Indeed, we clarify our calling by discovering our gifts. 

  • What do you love? 

  • What are you good at? 

  • What do you dream about? 

  • How would you like to help others?

That’s most likely where your field will be found! Every harvest begins with a seed. Ideas, gifts, dreams, natural abilities, on and on, are seeds that grow into a harvest of loving service and wise influence. 

The seeds that grow in your heart will produce the harvest of good works. 

We have been trained to be satisfied with just working a job to make a living. But God created you to work a job that makes a LIFE! Whatever you do for a living should bring life. 

You need to know that you can ASK for work that fulfills, that you are being moved RIGHT NOW by the Holy Spirit to discover your gifts that reveal your field that produces your harvest. 

**Jesus CHOSE YOU and APPOINTED YOU to go and BEAR FRUIT! 

SECTION 4: WORK & WORSHIP

Many limit “calling” to only ministry calling, such as pastoring, being a missionary, etc. But Scripture is clear: your WORK is WORSHIP

Colossians 3:22–24 (ESV): Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ

Colossians 3:17 (ESV): And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. 

You are called to do your work to the Lord and for the Lord. 

GET THIS: The kingdom of God is bigger than the church. 

The church is the government assembly (GR. “ekklesia”—think: Congress or Parliament) of the kingdom of God, but the kingdom of God is bigger than the church. 

The kingdom of God is the RULE of God, and Jesus, seated on the throne of God in heaven, rules over every REALM of life. (Because of mankind’s rebellion against the rule of God in Eden, the kingdom must COME into every area of life, which happens through the preaching of the gospel.)

As Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). As the Book of Revelation puts it, Jesus Christ is “the ruler of kings on earth” (Revelation 1:5). Jesus is “King of kings and Lord of lords.” To put it in American language, Jesus is the “President of presidents.” 

Jesus rules over every realm of life. He rules over families, governments, politics, education, science, medicine, the arts and entertainment, engineering and architecture, music and movies, technology, space exploration, oceanography, finance and accounting, on and on. If it is a FIELD—an area of influence—Jesus rules over it. ALL AUTHORITY in heaven and earth belong to him. Everyone who works in any field owes their servant authority to the dispensation (GR. oikonomia) of Jesus. 

For example, the Bible clearly teaches that government leaders (specifically, law enforcement) work for Jesus. Government leaders are given authority by Jesus and will give an account to Jesus for how they served. 

Romans 13:1–7 (ESV): Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 

3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 

5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. 

Paul taught this in a time and place where submitting to authorities was quite difficult. The government when and where Paul lived was the Roman Empire, a wicked, cruel and unjust government. King Jesus eventually judged the Roman rulers and removed them from power through the subversive influence of Christian love (not power/violence) over four centuries. But, until Rome fell, the church was obligated to submit to its authority. 

**This is why Jesus taught us to pray every day, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” The church preaches the gospel, people believe and are saved; as people are saved, society shifts and the powers of darkness are dethroned; in this way, reconciliation/transformation happens in the world. 

What does this have to do with you? It simply shows that the authority of Jesus extends over every REALM of life, which includes your WORK. You are given a divine assignment to serve to the glory of God. God has appointed a FIELD for you! 

Your FIELD is your kingdom ASSIGNMENT. Your assignment is much bigger than your job, though it includes it. Your assignment includes the total area of influence that God has given you to steward. Yet, because that does include your JOB, we must come to see our work as a calling, as a VOCATION

DO THIS: Ask God to lead you into your FIELD, into your kingdom ASSIGNMENT. Be bold. Ask confidently, and don’t stop asking. God created you for a purpose. You were born to bear fruit. You were designed for destiny. You were planted in the world to produce a HARVEST! Refuse to settle for anything less. 

ASK YOURSELF: How does my job advance the kingdom of God in the world? Don’t be distracted by what you merely do at work—ask yourself how your work makes the world a better place. Look for the bigger, God-sized meaning in what you do. 

You will find your HARVEST in your FIELD

SECTION 5: SENT INTO THE HARVEST

Jesus made a powerful statement about being “sent into his harvest.” Let’s look at the passage and see how it applies to the larger “harvest” of “good works” found through kingdom vocation. 

Matthew 9:35–38 (ESV): And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Let’s look at three things from verse 38:

  1. PRAY EARNESTLY: We must change the way we pray over our work. Too often, we simply pray paycheck-focused, quality-of-life prayers over our work. But we must partner with the Holy Spirit and CRY OUT with strategic, kingdom-oriented prayers about our work. Jesus sent you out into your field so that you could produce a harvest of good works to the glory of God and for the transformation of the world.  

  2. THE LORD OF THE HARVEST:  Jesus is sovereign over our kingdom assignments. We must submit to his will and partner with his power to bring change in the world. 

  3. TO SEND OUT: Our prayer to King Jesus, Lord of the harvest, is that he would SEND OUT laborers into his harvest. The word translated “send out” is the Greek word “EKBALLE,” and it means “to be THRUST OUT, to be HURLED, to be LAUNCHED like an arrow fired into a target.” 

Jesus commanded us to CRY OUT IN PRAYER that he, the Lord of the harvest, would FIRE PEOPLE LIKE ARROWS into the workplace, precisely targeted to hit the bullseye of wise influence and loving service. Jesus plans to change the world, and he will do so with YOU! 

CONCLUSION

Where is your field? Where is your kingdom work assignment? Where is your vocation?

That’s where you will find your harvest, your fulfillment, your purpose and destiny. 

THAT YOU ALL MAY PROPHESY | Steve Pixler

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THAT YOU ALL MAY PROPHESY

March 3/10/17/24, 2019 | Steve Pixler

SERIES NOTES: 

BIG IDEA: The Holy Spirit has given me a clear assignment to “demystify the prophetic and make the supernatural accessible to the average Christian.” 

In a moment, we will look at why prophecy is SO important to God’s purpose in the earth. But for now, let’s start by (re)defining prophecy.

1. (RE)DEFINING PROPHECY

The word “prophecy” simply means “to bubble up.” It conveys the idea of thoughts and words bubbling up and pouring out as “speech with unction.” Now, this has nothing to do with the style of speech, how soft or how loud, how fast or slow, nothing to do with religious affectation. Rather, “speech with unction” is simply words that flow from an awareness that the Holy Spirit is empowering us to share the mind of God. 

**The best definition I’ve heard is that prophecy is both “foretelling” (predicting future events) and “forth-telling” (calling forth destinies). 

Not sure if this is true for you, but, for me, the words “prophesy” and “prophecy” used to convey religious images of Old Testament prophets rising to rebuke the sins of the people or proclaiming esoteric yet powerful predictions of the future. When someone would say to me that I am empowered to prophesy, I would automatically think, “Not me!—I am not ‘spiritual’ enough.” I saw prophecy as what Isaiah, Jeremiah, and maybe even Nostradamus, did! I saw prophecy as something elusive and mystical that only the spiritual elite can do. 

(I was also fearful about “getting it wrong” as I recalled the fearful warnings of the Old Testament about “false prophets.” More on that another time.) 

But then the Holy Spirit started teaching me a few years ago about how the church is called to be a “prophetic community” where the voice of God speaks easily, normally and regularly to and through believers. 

I learned that New Testament prophecy is different from Old Testament prophecy. I learned that the death of Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophets (just as it fulfilled the Law of Moses) and thus, “there is therefore now NO condemnation in Christ Jesus!” (Romans 8:1) Prophecy is now given to us all to encourage and build up people. 

As Paul said,

1 Corinthians 14:3 (ESV): “On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation.”

And:

1 Corinthians 14:31 (ESV): For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged

I learned that prophecy is given now to minister the Spirit of grace, not condemnation. Prophecy is simply the Holy Spirit speaking through us to ENCOURAGE others! Prophecy speaks to a person’s destiny and calls their God-given future into manifest existence. 

**As Bill Johnson often says, “Anyone can find dirt; but it takes a true prospector to find gold!” Prophecy is not about exposing the dirt in people’s lives; it is about discovering the gold—the potential that God has hidden within them! 

**Prophecy is hearing the voice of God and saying what he says. 

**Prophecy is a good word from another world

So: do you think YOU can speak an encouraging word to others? Would you like to be empowered by the Spirit to speak words of life and hope into those around you—your family, your co-workers, people on the street? YOU have been given the Spirit of prophecy so YOU can do just that! 

2. PURSUING PROPHECY

I also learned that ALL believers are instructed to pursue prophetic empowerment. 

(NOTE: Not all believers are prophets, but all believers prophesy. We will explore that distinction at another time.) 

A powerful story in the Book of Numbers foreshadows the universal outpouring of the Spirit of prophecy on the people of God: 

Numbers 11:24–30 (ESV): So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord. And he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people and placed them around the tent. 25 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied. But they did not continue doing it. 

26 Now two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the Spirit rested on them. They were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. 

27 And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” 28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the assistant of Moses from his youth, said, “My lord Moses, stop them.” 29 But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” 30 And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp. 

The prophet, Joel, later promised that this—“that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!—would come to pass “in the last days,” and Peter quoted Joel’s promise when he preached the first message on the birthday of the Christian church:

Acts 2:14–18 (ESV): 14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: 

 17  “ ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18  even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy

**Take note of the direct correlation drawn by God’s promise: “I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.” 

Jesus ascended into heaven and received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father and gave the Spirit to YOU. When YOU received the Spirit, you received the Spirit of prophecy. 

Paul, the apostle, also teaches us that prophecy is for all believers: 

1 Corinthians 12:7 (ESV): To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

1 Corinthians 12:31 (ESV): But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way. 

1 Corinthians 14:1–5 (ESV): Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. 2 For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. 3 On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. 4 The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. 5 Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up. 

1 Corinthians 14:31 (ESV): For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged. 

Paul instructs us to “earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.” As believers, we are ALL commanded to “earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.” 

WHY? Why are we commanded to earnestly desire spiritual gifts?

Simply this: the work of God in the earth CANNOT be completed apart from the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus “ascended up on high and gave gifts to people” (Ephesians 4:8) so that the work of God could be done in the earth. The mission of God is a “mission impossible” without the gifts of the Holy Spirit! 

3. WHAT MAKES PROPHECY SO IMPORTANT?

Prophecy releases the creative word of God.

God created the heavens and the earth through his word. Adam and Eve disbelieved the word of God and believed the lie of Satan. All creation fell into de-creation through the lie. (A lie only has power when you believe it.) Jesus came as the word of God made flesh, ascended into heaven and sent forth his Holy Spirit to implant his word in each of us. When we prophesy, we are releasing the creative word of God that re-creates the world around us. 

Here’s what Jesus taught us to pray:

“Our Father, who is in heaven, holy is your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” 

Prophecy hears the voice of heaven, the word of God, and releases that creative word into impossible situations on earth. 

Prophecy releases the word of God over:

  • Our personal life

  • Our family 

  • Our church

  • Our work

  • Our neighborhoods

  • Our city

  • Our nation

  • Our world

Are you declaring God’s words over your life?

Prophecy channels heaven to earth. By declaring the prophetic word of God over EVERY area of our lives, we release the truth of God and renounce Satan’s lies. 

When we prophesy, we foretell what God is doing and we forth-tell what God is doing. Prophecy actualizes the future here and now. 

When we prophesy, we make future realities accessible NOW. When we prophesy, we make impossible solutions accessible NOW. Prophecy releases heaven’s creativity, solutions, strength, whatever is needed to bring our promised future to pass. The word of God carries IN IT the power to fulfill it. It is like medicine: it carries it potency within itself. When you prophesy, you are calling the future into existence! “On earth as it is in heaven!” 

**This is why prophecy is absolutely essential to YOUR life! God has a plan for your life, and he brings that plan to pass by speaking the word of his promise through you. You must speak your destiny to realize it! 

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV): For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare (shalom) and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

As the Holy Spirit taught me about prophecy, I learned that God poured out the Spirit of prophecy on us all, and that his strategy for saving the lost, dethroning the powers of evil and restoring his good creation depends on his people being implanted throughout the nations as prophetic influencers. Prophecy releases the creative word of God to heal a fallen world! I learned that releasing the word of God into the earth through ALL believers was God’s plan from the start. 

**Here’s why “demystifying the prophetic and making the supernatural accessible to the average Christian” is so important to me: 

I am like a doctor sent to a war-ravaged land with boxes of penicillin and other medications that can heal the people. It would be criminal to know and possess the healing power of medicine and do nothing to share it. (Or withholding essential technology.)

I know the power of prophetic speech. I know what it is to hear the voice of God, declare his promises and watch his word break the power of Satan’s lies and totally recreate my reality. I have the stories, the experience, to back it up. I have a testimony of the power of declaring God’s promises prophetically. And I want to share it with you! 

4. MAKING PROPHECY PRACTICAL 

What does it look like in everyday life to operate in the prophetic? 

  1. ENCOURAGE: First, remember that the Spirit of prophecy is sent to ENCOURAGE people. Ask yourself: would you like to be the one at work or in your neighborhood that is always releasing encouraging words over people? 

  2. EARNESTLY DESIRE: Second, remember that we are called to “EARNESTLY DESIRE the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.” We must deliberately and strategically seek the wisdom of God in receiving and sharing prophetic words with others.  

  3. EXPERIMENT: Third, we must be willing to EXPERIMENT with prophecy. We must be willing to step out and release prophetic words to people. (And it is NOT necessary to be “churchy” about it!) What is the worst that can happen—that you accidentally encourage someone?! (Prophecy is to encourage, not control.) 

(Some hear, some see, and some feel.) 

CONCLUSION: Call-to-action

What’s next? Ask for the release of the prophetic in your life. Ask God to let you hear his voice and speak what he is saying. 

James 4:2 (ESV): “You do not have, because you do not ask.“

Just ask. 

THERE IS MORE | Reuben Najera | (FULL SERVICE)

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THERE IS MORE (2)

February 24, 2019 | Pastor Reuben Najera

MESSAGE NOTES: 

BIG IDEA: You were created for a life of adventure, fulfillment and significance. Jesus came so that you may have life and that MORE abundantly. 

John 10:10 (ESV): The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it [more — KJV] abundantly. 

Jesus filled you with his Holy Spirit so that you may experience the MORE for which you were created:

Ephesians 3:20 (ESV): 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.

As we learned the last two weeks: 

  • YOU WERE MADE FOR MORE

  • YOU WERE MADE FOR DIVINE DISCONTENT

  • LESS IS MORE

We also learned last week that FOCUS FREES US. When we FORGET what is behind us (the self that we formed from the expectations of others, the hopes and dreams we adopted that were never intrinsic to our divine destiny), and FOCUS on what lies ahead, the true self we were created to be, the true life we were created to live, hidden in Christ, we cast aside the false persona and false pursuits that distorted our existence. Then—and only then!—LESS becomes MORE

Today, let’s go back to the idea of FOCUS

“There is more”… WHERE IS THERE?

  • What is the divinely designed MORE that we were created for? 

  • Jesus said he came to “give us life and that MORE abundantly.” So, what does abundant life look like? 

  • The pursuit for more is often cluttered with goals that don’t align with our destiny. 

  • So how do we focus? On what do we focus? Where is “there”? 

The answer to where our focus should be placed in the pursuit of more is found in our opening statement the first message in this series: YOU WERE MADE FOR MORE. By looking at how we were made, we can find the areas where God is calling us to more. 

Remember, God “placed eternity in our heart.” He made us to long for more. He breathed the breath of life into us, and our perspective starting circling outward from day one:

  1. More of God: Adam opened his eyes and saw the face of God.

  2. More of self:  Adam rose from the ground and was given the task of naming the animals. Father God immediately called Adam to stretch his personal potential and capacity for glory. (From the beginning, God intended for man to grow in glory. It was only the fall of man that made the “denial of self” necessary, which is the denial of pseudo-self, distorted by sin. And when we are saved, we are taken on a journey of rediscovery and restoration of the original self we were created to be as the image of God.)  

  3. More of others: God put Adam to sleep and gave him his wife, his complementary “other.” Adam was called to grow in relationship with his wife. Then, God commanded them to “be fruitful and multiply,” to have children. Adam was then called to grow as a father, and all his family was called to grow in relationships with others all around: family, friends and neighbors. 

  4. More of the world: God created Adam to expand the rule of God throughout the entire creation, starting with the Garden of Eden, which was the prototype for the world. Adam was designed for dominion. He was created with divine discontent, the urge to explore, to develop, plant and build. 

These are the areas of “life more abundantly” that we are called to pursue. 

  1. Relationship with God (Adam)

    1. The Word of God many times refers to our relationship with Christ and the church as that between a husband and a wife. 

      1. I grew up hearing preaching and teaching on the family. About that time, Pastor did a series in the midweek service that went on like a year or year and half, on the family. 

      2. I felt like I had great insights into what adventure was going to be like. I thought, I know there will be more to learn, but come on, I have a head start. 

      3. Neither of us knew what walls we had up from our baggage (that was taught about last week. )

        1. (Reminder: you will not get what doesn’t belong to your shalom... your peace. Remember Pastor Steve talking about couples in a hurry to get married.)

      4. I didn’t know how much my world had been shaped by my upbringing. 

      5. Same with her, she had no idea how much baggage could come from her upbringing. 

        1. Both our parents tried to raise us right, to love God and serve him. 

      6. It isn’t until you begin to be raw and real about what’s inside, and how much you need Jesus, does that relationship with your spouse really start to grow into one. 

    2. What we really need to be doing is having that relationship with Jesus. That time with God where we get real raw about our hearts, our desires, and let him start to pour out that LIFE, that LIFE MORE ABUNDANTLY… into your life. 

    3. We have baggage in our relationships. Relationships with God, our spouses, our children, our parents. 

      1. Start with the relationship with God and get that one right inside. Truly transparent. It is the foundation, or bedrock, or fertile field ready for seed, that you can build and grow into other areas of your life. 

      2. Some people like to quote the verse “I would rather you be hot or cold. If you are lukewarm I will spew you out of my mouth” and use it like cracking a whip, and somewhat so: that is what most of these verses are about. But when I read this, it like God, sees us and desires greatly to have that relationship with us. 

Revelation 3:15-20 ESV

 (15)  “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot!

(16)  So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

(17)  For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.

(18)  I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.

(19)  Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.

    1. Exegesis vs eisegesis

      1. When I was 14 years old and began what we called “MIT” class, Ministers In Training, we began to talk about “hermeneutics,” or the methodology of studying the Bible. 

        1. Definition

        2. Usage

        3. Context – Who will let him…

        4. Historical Background

        5. Logic

        6. Precedent

        7. Unity

        8. Inference

      2. And one of the key points discussed was the terms Exegesis and Eisegesis. The point was to have a heart when you look at the word of God, that follows exegetical perspectives, not eisegetical Exegesis and Eisegesis. Exegesis is where you  

          1. Eisegesis (/ˌaɪsɪˈdʒiːsɪs/) is the process of interpreting a text or portion of text in such a way that the process introduces one's own presuppositions, agendas, or biases into and onto the text

          2. Exegesis includes a wide range of critical disciplines: textual criticism is the investigation into the history and origins of the text, but exegesis may include the study of the historical and cultural backgrounds of the author, text, and original audience

    2. We all come from different backgrounds. Whether you are a new Christian as an adult trying to find your way and understand what does it mean to be “A Christian”

        1. It is easy when we hear, “More of God” to fall into a common trap of opening our Bibles and looking for a list of rules. Looking for religion to tell us what to do, or even looking to a pastor to tell us what to do. Looking for a measuring stick to say ok, more of God, how am I doing? This form of Godliness lends itself to self-righteousness. We have to open our bibles and read and study the Word of God to allow God to change us. But we are saved by grace through faith. 

          1. I liken it to something like eharmony.com where you pull up a profile of the spouse of your dreams… and you walk away and you change your ways to be a perfect fit. Come back a few days later, look at the recent posts, review the compatibility profile and walk away feeling good about yourself again on how close you make the fit. 

          2. That is more of God apart from relationship

    3. Jesus said…  

Revelation (3:20)  Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

    1. Remember earlier in Revelation 3 where it sounded so harsh? This is the very next verse. Does that sound like someone who is ready to slap you down and put you in your place? No, it is someone longing for relationship. 

      1. It comes down to that relationship with God. There is so much more that God has for each of us. 

    1. The challenge today is, “There is more.” 

 

Ephesians 3:14, 18, 19 (ESV Paul wrote): 14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 

18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 


  1. Relationship with (true) self (Adam…)

    1. I was listening to someone talk recently on the radio, and he was from another country and he was talking about what it means to be an American that, we are encouraged to chase our dreams here. He was giving reasons why chasing our dreams here in America is different than other countries. 

    2. It reminded me of a when I was a child, being told I could be anything I ever wanted to be. Astronaut, President, Fireman, Policeman, Pilot, Doctor, Engineer… 

    3. All that is true, but taking us back to some content from last week: 

      1. It would be easy to be driven by human covetousness, which is driven by a need to impress others. (It would be easy to be inspired by others around us, to only spiral down into an unhealthy pursuit of a false greatness)

      2. Human covetousness is driven by what others think.

      3. Divine discontent is driven by an internal alignment.

      4. The Bible says the blessings of the Lord makes us rich and adds no sorrow to it. 

        1. See, God is the one who puts something in our hearts. In our DNA to make us want and desire. (16 Personalities… Im a “Protagonist”, a “Diplomat” or a “People person.” It’s like this website gets me!) 

        2. But sometimes the baggage likes to “taint” our potential. 

        3. Sometimes our insecurities tell us, “Just like your daddy… Just like your momma… Why not be like your brother, or sister.”

        4. Shhhhhh…. There is a still small voice that is speaking something different. 

          1. My ways, they are above your ways. My thoughts are above your thoughts… 

          2. (ELITE LEGACY: Story about 75K for a 4 hour meeting)

          3. But I stand at the door and knock. And if anyone hears my voice, I will come and dine with him. 

Revelation (3:20)  Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

  1. Relationship with others (family, friends, neighbors)

    1. Richest man in Babylon.

      1. A man who is always looking through a yellow glass sees the world differently than a man who sees the world through a clear clean glass. 

      2. House fire, childhood story, bubbled paint on the car, homeschooled, books… “Sob Story”

      3. How I relate to my neighbor, my family, coworkers and friends… This relationship with God, built on his view of my own capacity, will change how I treat those I love. 

      4. There is more… 

Revelations (3:20)  Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

  1. Relationship to the world (serving through creativity, stewardship, influence)

    1. The earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof. 

    2. In him we live and move and have our being

    3. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

    4. There isn’t any place in this world that Satan has dominion over, or is ruling in peoples lives that we shouldn’t challenge. 

Revelations (3:20)  Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 

Final word: ASK FOR MORE!

Ephesians 3:14–21 (ESV): For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 

18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

THERE IS MORE | Message Notes | 01

There Is More Message Slide.png

THERE IS MORE (1)

February 17, 2019 | Pastor Steve Pixler

MESSAGE NOTES:

The main point of this series is that Jesus came so that you may have life and that MORE abundantly.

John 10:10 (ESV): The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it [more — KJV] abundantly.

Jesus filled you with his Holy Spirit so that you may experience the MORE for which you were created:

Ephesians 3:20 (ESV): 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.

As we saw last week, YOU WERE MADE FOR MORE.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (ESV): He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.  

God breathed the breath of heaven into Adam, and nothing less will satisfy the human heart.

YOU WERE MADE FOR DIVINE DISCONTENT

Psalm 42:7 (ESV): Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me.

The Holy Spirit within the “DEEP” of you is calling out to the “DEEP” of God, and “deep calls to deep.”

1 Corinthians 2:9–16 (ESV): But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

Deep inside you, the Spirit of God is calling you to explore the depths of the Father’s Person, Presence and Power.

And the call for “more of God” becomes a call to be more in, to and for the world: more fruitfulness, more creativity, more influence, more stewardship of more resources, more impact on culture, more blessing and more significance!

This cry for MORE is God-given, God-breathed and God-powered. He created you for more!

Yet, it is absolutely crucial in our pursuit of MORE that we distinguish between divine discontent and human covetousness. The drive for more can become an unhealthy, unhappy, desperate clawing, grasping, groping for an elusive satisfaction.

We were made for more, but we were made for the MORE that matters, the MORE that fulfills and satisfies. The quest for more must be a Spirit-fueled passion for divine destiny and never a relentless, hopeless attempt to find satisfaction in a fallen world.

And this brings us to our main point today:

LESS IS MORE!

Two things to take home today:

(1) As mentioned, our drive for more must be from divine discontent rather than human covetousness.

Divine Discontent is powered by the pull of grace, “the upward call,” a longing for a place we’ve never been. (The Germans call it “fernweh,” a longing for a faraway place, which is the opposite of “heimweh,” a longing for home.)

Grace-powered divine discontent pulls our our identity and potential into alignment with the ideal self God designed us to be.

Human covetousness is “others-focused,” driven by comparison, fueled by fear, and has no true center from which to pursue eternal purpose.

  • Divine discontent calls us to measure up to the future while fully living in the moment.

  • Divine discontent makes us restless with everything in us that does not measure up to who we are in Christ while allowing us to rest in who we are and how we grow.

  • Divine discontent is a grace-based balance between reaching and resting.

  • Grace compels us to pursue more while peacefully assuring us that the more we need is already ours, hidden in Christ.

  • Thus, our pursuit of more in every area of life is grounded in our pursuit of more of Christ. When I receive more of Christ, I receive more of me, for I am hidden in Christ.

It’s all about rest vs. striving, faith vs. fear, grace vs. works.

Philippians 2:12–13 (ESV): Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

The pursuit of MORE constrained within the pursuit of Christ is a partnership with God. When Christ is our destination, we can rest in his grace as he draws us into himself. He is our “grace-place.”

Sin disrupts this peaceful pursuit of purpose and focus us into anxious, frenetic striving. In the fall of man, love became lust, desire became demand, and divine discontent became human covetousness.

Covetousness is desiring what does not belong to YOU and your destiny. God does not forbid us anything to punish us, but he only withholds what will hurt us, what is not true to how he made us. In contrast, Divine discontent is always connected to God’s best plan and purpose for our lives.

Luke 19:41–42 (ESV): And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for [belong to your] peace [shalom]! But now they are hidden from your eyes.

  • Divine discontent is driven by God’s best for us and the realization he has more for us. Human covetousness is driven by the need to impress people.

  • Divine discontent is driven by an internal alignment. Human covetousness is driven by what everyone else thinks.

  • Thus, Divine discontent overcomes expectations and deliberately narrows our focus down to God and us.

Here’s the second thing to take home today:

(2) FOCUS frees us!

The abundant life Jesus promised is compared to a race. (Hebrews 12:1, 2) In order to win the race, we must “lay aside the weight and every sin which clings so closely” (a first-century reference to removing robes that entangle the feet). The abundant life is a focused life, a life that narrows its pursuits to only those things that promote our divine destiny.

Jesus said that his “yoke is easy and his burden is light.” In other words, the pursuit of MORE in Christ is actually easier because it is aligned with your divine design. *Design determines destiny!

Finding our purpose is a process of elimination where we deliberately and intentionally cast off the garments—roles, responsibilities and expectations—handed down from others. The “less-is-more” focus sets our eyes on Jesus and who we are in him.

Paul the apostle also uses a race metaphor to describe our pursuit of divine destiny:

Philippians 3:13–14 (ESV): Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But ONE THING I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Look at what Paul says here:

  1. I don’t think I have ARRIVED.

  2. But I FOCUS on ONE THING!

  3. I FORGET what lies behind.

  4. I REACH (“strain forward”) forward

  5. I PRESS ON no matter what resists and hinders.

  6. I am drawn higher by an UPWARD CALL

  7. The prize is IN CHRIST JESUS.

Paul speaks of an “upward call,” which is the call of heaven drawing us higher to where we are and who we are in Christ. The “upward call” forces us to “FORGET what lies behind” us and FOCUS on “what lies ahead.” FORGET and FOCUS.

  • Knowing what to forget is the key to attaining MORE.

  • Knowing what to lose is the key to discovering all there is to gain.

  • Knowing what to set aside and learning what to grasp with all your might.

This is why attaining MORE starts with pursuing LESS. Break free from the EXPECTATIONS of the past and of people around you and “press toward the goal” of PERFECTION (wholeness) hidden in Christ.

And here’s the amazing thing: when we realize that FOCUS frees us, when we cast off the imposed expectations of the world around us and embrace the call to discover the life more abundant hidden in Christ, we find that less really IS more!

  • Less anxiety, more peace.

  • Less fear, more love.

  • Less need for the approval of others, more quiet confidence in who we are.

  • Less stress, more productivity.

  • Less resentment, more gratitude. Less envy, more thankfulness.

  • Less arrogance, more relaxed humility.

It may seem odd to encourage less when preaching a message on more, but that is the secret of the upside-down kingdom:

  • Humble yourself to be exalted

  • Be last to become first

  • Serve to lead

  • Give to receive

  • Lose your life to find it

Everything is counterintuitive in the kingdom!

ONE FINAL WORD about “less is more”: What do you currently feel pressured to pursue?

  • Money

  • Success

  • Perfect marriage

  • High-achieving children

  • Education

  • Religion

  • Holiness/righteousness

  • Personal growth

  • Health and fitness

  • Weight loss

  • Reconciled relationships

  • Expectations of family

On and on...?

What if today, you were to surrender all that and more to Christ, set aside expectations and FOCUS on ONE THING: the call of God that is IN Christ, the divine summons to discover who you are and what you called to do IN CHRIST!

LESS IS MORE! The abundant life that Jesus promised is hidden IN HIM. Lay aside every weight and the sin that tangles around your feet and run straight to Jesus. Pursue HIM! And the pursuit of HIM will aim you like an arrow to the bullseye of your divine destiny. YOU are hidden in HIM!

So, in what areas do YOU need to pursue less to achieve more?

CONCLUSION: ASK FOR MORE!

The pursuit of MORE must be fully conditioned by prayer.

Ephesians 3:14, 18–21 (ESV): For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,  18 [that you] may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.