Fire Works, Part 1- In & Through

On Sunday, we kicked off our new series about the book of Acts. There are many people who focus only on the gospels and skip over Acts entirely, and there are others who only concentrate on Acts, but can't tell you about salvation and the cross. It's so important to have an understanding of both! Jesus' suffering on the cross was for our atonement because He loves us so much. The cross became a beautiful collision of the justice & love of God. He didn't have to do it, but He chose to for you & for me. Thank you, Jesus! He also gave us the promise of a gift, the Holy Spirit. This gift will empower us (putting His super on our natural), unify us (even servants can receive it), purify us (give us the ability to be convicted & bear fruit), and reveal to us (help guide us & make us aware). The purpose is for us to be His witnesses. Let's engage culture and share it everywhere we go! FORWARD LIFE HANDOUT 

 

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Milk & Honey, Part 6 - Final Exam

Pull out your number 2 pencils. Here's your scantron. It's test time. You may begin. For a lot of us, tests are the worst, but God uses them to decide when we're ready for our promise(s). Tests can accelerate or delay us for the shifting of seasons. Many times God will put us in a time of squeezing & pressure to reveal what's inside. He wants to see our hearts. If they're not in the place to handle the promise, He won't give it to us yet. The Lord will not give us something that has the potential to take His place in our hearts. In Joshua 7, we read the story of Achan. His hidden sin and unwillingness to come clean when under investigation, destroyed not only him, but his entire family. His family endorsed his sin by not confronting it & speaking the truth in love. We must give God what belongs to Him. The only difference between a gift & an idol is what we're willing to sacrifice. We cannot be more attached to the promise than the God who gave it to us. Let's let God be enough. May we put on the altar the very thing we've been praying for because the reward isn't the promise, but HIM. His presence is our reward. FORWARD LIFE HANDOUT

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Milk & Honey, Part 5 - Shoes Off

God is doing a new thing. He has new territory He wants us to step into, but we must have faith & trust. We like to think that the promise is for us, and it is, but more importantly we're instruments for Him. All of the obstacles we face are actually opportunities. Joshua had the instruction (the what), but he needed the strategy (the how) which comes by way of intimacy with the Lord. Before God crosses us over, we need to slow down and create space to get in His presence to hear Him clearly. Space precedes strategy. We must make time to take our shoes off and let Him anoint & prepare our feet for our new place. 

God is doing a new thing. He has new territory He wants us to step into, but we must have faith & trust. We like to think that the promise is for us, and it is, but more importantly we're instruments for Him. All of the obstacles we face are actually opportunities. Joshua had the instruction (the what), but he needed the strategy (the how) which comes by way of intimacy with the Lord. Before God crosses us over, we need to slow down and create space to get in His presence to hear Him clearly. Space precedes strategy. We must make time to take our shoes off and let Him anoint & prepare our feet for our new place. FORWARD LIFE HANDOUT

 

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Milk & Honey, Part 4 - The Responsibility of a Promise

On Sunday, Falon preached on the responsibilities of a promise. She explained that our first responsibility is simply to believe! We must believe it exists and that it's for us. The second responsibility is to commit to saving a people through our promise. We're given promises not just to enjoy, but for a reason. In Joshua 2, we read about 2 spies who were sent to check out Jericho. They ended up hiding in the prostitute Rahab's house where she kept them safe from harm. Though she had not seen miracles like the Red Sea parting with her own eyes, she believed & ended up having more revelation than the Israelites. When Rahab encountered the 2 spies who were men of God, she asked for a sure sign, for salvation. She wanted in. Despite her past, God saw enough in Rahab to allow her to eventually be part of the lineage of Jesus Christ! Forward City Church is here as a sure sign that God can save. Let's be responsible with our promises and watch how the Lord uses us! FORWARD LIFE HANDOUT

 

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Milk & Honey, Part 3 - Pain Before Promotion

On Sunday, PT preached about the three areas/stations God took the Israelites through in the book of Joshua. He first took them to the Jordan which represents our "pre-op." This is the place where purification and cleansing happen and where God prepares us for what He's about to call us into. Next, God takes them to Gibeath Haaraloth which PT compared to surgery. This is the place where pain happens. No one desires it, but it often comes before promotion. It helps prepare, qualify, and strengthen us for our next. Finally, the Lord took them to Gilgal, or the "post-op." This signifies a place for healing and vulnerability & exposure. When skin has been cut open, it exposes what's hidden underneath. It's not until we trust God with our pain that He can deal with our shame. We are no longer bound by it!  If we allow Him to roll back our shame, it will allow us to be who He called us to be. Let's trust Him to do an operation on us for our future. Forward Life Handout 

 

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Milk & Honey, Part 2- Walls Fall When Worship Rises

In Joshua chapter 6, the Lord says to Joshua, "See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands..." God uses the past tense though no one has seen anything actually happen. God does things before we see them, so we must learn to see before we see. The Lord's language is faith and what we've been waiting on is already done! God gives Joshua specific commands regarding marching around the wall of the city. The obvious wall was around Jericho, but there were hidden walls as well. We have our obvious walls we face like divorce, debt, & sickness, but Mark 7:20-22 speaks of hidden walls like envy, slander, & pride. These are the root issues in our hearts that result in our outward sins. It's time to let God crush our hidden walls to qualify us for the place He's taking us. Let's let God deal with our noisy issues in a quiet place as we march on in silence. Father, give us faith, trust, and eyes to see when we can't see. Thank you, Lord, that you've already done it! Forward Life Handout

 

 

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Milk & Honey, Part 1 - Worship or Wander

The story of the Israelites is our story today. God draws us out of our bondage and captivity for the sole purpose of drawing us unto himself.  The Israelites experienced freedom from slavery but failed to recognize the purpose of their freedom- worship. Rather than take hold of the territory that was promised to them, their mistrust in the goodness and character of God led them to wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. Like Joshua and Caleb learned, the Promise Land is reserved only for worshippers. God is searching for people who will dedicate their lives to worshipping Him in Spirit and Truth. Let’s devote ourselves to worship and experience the abundant life the Lord has for us! Forward Life Handout

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