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Hope Upon Hope

summer2017


Hebrews 6:18-19 (NLT) We who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. 19 This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.

“If we are Anchored deep then we can set our Hopes high!”

Faith- Is based in a person and our position.
Hope- is based in what is promised & what is coming.
Hope sees & Faith believes.

Genesis 22:1-14 (NLT)“Abraham!” God called. “Yes,” he replied. “Here I am.” “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.” The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son, Isaac. Then he chopped wood for a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day of their journey, Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. “Stay here with the donkey,” Abraham told the servants. “The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back.” So Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac’s shoulders, while he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them walked on together, Isaac turned to Abraham and said, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “We have the fire and the wood,” the boy said, “but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?” “God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both walked on together. When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. At that moment the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Yes,” Abraham replied. “Here I am!” “Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.” Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son. Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh. (God Provides)


Cultivating a Hopeful Spirit.
1. Select what you expect
-Hope is not “wishful thinking”
-Hope is not driven by anxiety
-Hope is confident favorable expectation.
1 Peter 1:4 (NLT) “We live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance.”

Hope must be well placed!
Proverbs 13:12(NLT) Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
“Our Hope is not in the particulars but in His promises!

2. Hold onto promise

Hebrews 10:23(NLT) Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.

Hebrews 11:11(NLT) By faith Abraham, even though he was past age--and Sarah herself was barren--was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise.

3. Stay classy during difficulty
Even our struggles produce….

Romans 5:3-5 (NLT) 3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

4. Steward Hope

1 Thessalonians 1:3 We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.




1 Peter 1:3-4 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance...

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By Faith

summer2017

Galatians 3:26-29 (NLT) 26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on the character of Christ, like putting on new clothes. 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.

The Abrahamic Covenant…
Genesis 12:1-3 (NLT) 1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. 3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”
1. The promise of new territory. (Dominion)
2. The promise of descendants. (Reproduction)

3. The promise of blessing (Conduits of blessing)

The New covenant, like the Abrahamic covenant, hinges upon: #1. Justification by faith
#2. Friendship/
Connection with God

James 2:23 (NLT)
“Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God.


Realities of Faith…
1. Faith in Christ makes us righteous- Romans 3:22, John 6:29
2. Faith is Active Trust
Hebrews 11:1
(NLT) Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

3. Faith is necessary to please God.
Hebrews 11:6(NLT) It is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

4. Faith will be tested-
James 1:2-4 

5. Faith produces
Your actions prove what you believe.
“Faith that won't work, don't work!”
James 2:18-20 (NLT)
18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” 19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?

Expanding our Faith
“Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible & receives the impossible.”

Matthew 14:22-33(NLT) Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone. Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.


Expanding our Faith
1. Shift the If.
What IF I sink…what IF you walk on water?”
Faith OR Fear always starts with
“What if”
Ephesians 3: 20(NLT) Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.


2. Get out of the boat.

“The enemy of great is always good. We will never experience the greatness of what God has if we are complacent with the good that we are currently in.”

“It doesn't matter how much potential we have if we stay in the boat it wont matter.”


3. Continue in Faith
2 Corinthians 5:7
We live by faith, not by sight.

“We start with faith, we continue with faith, everything is done by faith, in faith through faith, and we will finish it in faith!”

4. Focus on
HIS faithfulness.

vs 31 “Why did you doubt me…”He is constant, steady, & unchanging.
“If our trust is in the unshakable one then we will be unshaken when the storms come.”
Hebrews 12:2-3 (NIV) 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.


Hebrews 10:23
Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.

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A Pain Filled Life

summer2017
4 Types of pain everyone experiences:
1. Physical
2. Emotional
3. Mental
4. Spiritual

Hope says, “I may be in trouble now, but I can see light at the end of the tunnel.”

Despair says, “I am in pain now, and there will never be an end to my suffering.”


Job 1
There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. And seven sons and three daughters were born to him. Also, his possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East.
And his sons would go and feast in their houses, each on his appointed day, and would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did regularly.

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.  And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?”
So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”
 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”
 So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing?  Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.  But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”
And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.”
So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.


Why is there pain and suffering in the world?

Romans 8:28
“And we know that all things work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

1. Pain can be an indicator.
2. Pain can be an instructor
3. Pain can bring us closer to God.

How do we deal with pain?
Dealing with other people’s pain:
1. Sitting Shiva
2. Actually Pray
3. Share Our Scars

Dealing with our own pain:
1. Be open with others and be honest with God
Job 3:26
“I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, for trouble comes.”

2. Look to your redeemer
Job 19:25 ,26
For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God.”

3. Understand that God is Higher
Job 38-41
Isiah 55:8,9
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways my ways” says the Lord.
“For as the Heavens are higher than the earth, So are my ways higher than your ways. And my thought higher than your thoughts.”

4. Walk in the testimony
Job 42: 5
“I have heard of You by the hearing of ear, But now my eye sees you.”

Three stages of living with pain:
1. You are trapped by it.
“It feels like you are laying under a boulder allowing it to crush you.”
You allow the enemy to tell you things like, “You deserve this pain.”
2. You learn to live with it.
“It feels like you are walking, only with a limp.”
You allow the enemy to tell you things like, “This is as good as it will ever get.”
3. You get set free of it.
“There is still a scar there, but it doesn’t hinder you.”
You begin to tell the enemy “It may have happened to me, but it no longer traps me. It may describe me but it doesn’t define me!”

“Jesus understands our pain because Jesus went through every bit of it and more.”

“Because Jesus understands our pain, He is also THE answer to it.”
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His Goodness in the Barrenness

summer2017
His goodness in the barrenness

“So it went on year by year” -1 Samuel 1:7a

And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.” -1 Samuel 1:11

“In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the Lord.’” - 1 Samuel 1:20

1. Pray
“She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly.” -1 Samuel 1:10

The key when you are in your barrenness is to be honest with the Lord. It isn’t for His sake, it’s for yours because if you aren’t honest it is breading ground for bitterness to take root.

2. Sit and Listen
“Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.” - 1 Samuel 1:17

3. Worship
“Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the LORD and then went back to their home at Ramah” 1 Samuel 1:19

Worship precedes victory

“And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the LORD and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, “Give thanks to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures forever.And when they began to sing and praise, the LORD set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were defeated.” - 2 Chronicles 20:21-22

4. It’s Okay to Not be Okay
“Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.” - 1 Samuel 1:18b

5. Your History with Him
Don’t let one unanswered prayer or promise take away your months or years of history with God

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” -Romans 8:28

“Indeed the Lord visited Hannah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew in the presence of the Lord.” 1 Samuel 2:21


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A Better Covenant

summer2017

Hebrews 8:6-13(NLT) Now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises. If the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second covenant to replace it. But when God found fault with the people, he said:(Jeremiah 31:31-34) “The day is coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and led them out of the land of Egypt. They did not remain faithful to my covenant, so I turned my back on them, says the LORD. But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the LORD: I will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the LORD.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already. And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.” When God speaks of a “new” covenant, it means he has made the first one obsolete. It is now out of date and will soon disappear.

The Old Covenant:
1. A Specific People: From God, through Moses & to the Jewish People. The New Covenant is available to all people.
2. A Specific Purpose: To set Israel apart from others nations…
The law was glorious(2 Corinthians 3). Yet it's purpose was fulfilled.
Now It has become the
Schoolmaster. (Galatians 3:24)
3. A Specific Period of time: Till God made a new covenant.
http://www.str.org/articles/how-does-the-old-testament-law-apply-to-christians-today#.WVj0sMbMzMU

4 TERMS OF THE NEW COVENANT

1. PERFECT
Hebrews 8:7-8(NLT) For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people…
“The old covenant was problematic because it was based upon human performance.”
“God requires righteousness…the law demanded righteousness Jesus fulfilled righteousness.”
Romans 8:4 (NLT) He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us….
The old covenant was simply instructional the New covenant is invitational.
“You can only become if you belong.”
Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.


2. PERSONAL
Hebrews 8:10 I will be their God, and they will be my people.
The Old Covenant is rooted in instruction the New Covenant is rooted in identity.
Song of Solomon 2:16 “I am my my beloveds and he is mine”

It’s personal.
John 1:17 (NIV) For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.


3. PROMISE FILLED
Hebrews 8:6 (NLT) The covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.
Yahweh: The "covenant" name of God.

“When we we were sinful, sham full and corrupt HE IS STILL….
1. YHWH-Tsidkenu “the Lord our righteousness”; Jer. 23:6; Mal. 3:18; Ex. 34:6.1
“When we are in need He is…”
2. YHWH-Jireh“the Lord provides”; Gen. 22:14; Mal. 3:18; Ex. 34:6.
“When we feel overwhelmed and overcome he is…..”
3. YHWH-Nissi the Lord my banner”; “Victory” Ex. 17:15; Mal. 3:18; Ex. 34:6.
When we are sick or diseased he is…”
4. YHWH-Rapha “the Lord who heals”; Ex. 15:26; Mal. 3:18; Ex. 34:6.
When we are shaken and our world is crumbling around us he is…
5. YHWH-Shalom “the Lord is peace”; Judg. 6:24; Mal. 3:18; Ex. 34:6
When we feel lonely and afraid and lack courage…
6. YHWH-Shammah “the Lord is there”;; Ezek. 48:35; Mal. 3:18; Ex. 34:6


4. PAID FOR
Hebrews 7:22 (NIV) Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant


Luke 22:19-20 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

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