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Field Notes

Thoughts, musings and directions for shepherds of FFC

“Transforming Generations” by Pastor Dennis J. Gallaher, April 8, 2018

Opening Scripture:
1 Thessalonians 2:8
   Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.

The essential element to transform generations:
1.  The message of Jesus is for every generation.

Psalms 145:13   Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations.

2.  The message is passed down; it is God’s method to pass from one generation to another.

Deuteronomy 4:9   Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.

Psalms 71:18   And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, your power to all who are to come.

3.  The message is not informational but relational.

1 Thessalonians 2:8  Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.

It is best caught not taught.

Our vision going forward as a church must be to release from one generation to the next several generations a heart for the Kingdom.

The way we do that is not only through children’s ministry, youth ministry, and young adults, but through an older generation catching a vision and a passion to share the Gospel and our very lives with the younger generations.

Ezra 3:10-13  Now when the builders had laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests stood in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the Lord according to the directions of King David of Israel. They sang, praising and giving thanks to the Lord, saying, “For He is good, for His lovingkindness is upon Israel forever.” And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. Yet many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers’ households, the old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, while many shouted aloud for joy, so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the shout of joy from the sound of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard far away.

There were two very different reactions on this great day of celebration:

    The old folks wept in despair.

    The young folks rejoiced in delight.

The older generation remembered the grandeur of Solomon’s Temple, which is still considered one of the great wonders of the world. They remembered the many things made of gold – the altar, the ark, the mercy seat. They remembered the Glory of God that rested on that temple and filled it; it was literally the house of God. And it would never be the same. It broke their hearts.

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There are those of us who remember the glory days. Days when the altars were filled with the lost, the spontaneous worship that was so common, the Scripture songs, the basic respect for the Bible and the church.

When you compare the past to today, you can easily miss the blessings of God’s presence and power today.

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The Gifts of the Present

The young people were rejoicing. They had only heard the old stories about the former temple. What they knew was what it was like to grow up in bondage and what it was like to have no place to call home. So, when they stepped onto that new foundation, they were elated because they had never seen anything like it before.

We have those same kind of young people today.

What they see is opportunity, safety, being an important part of something that can change their world.

But here is the problem…

Both of these groups squandered the opportunities God gave them. For 15 years, they build houses and businesses but ignored the temple. The foundation was good enough so they didn’t do anything else.

Those who had experienced what God did, failed to nurture and serve the younger generation.

Those who were so excited about the new things God was doing failed to bring it to completion.

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It is so easy for churches to get stuck here – the older generation remembering and the younger generation fine with things as they are.

But God wants us to complete what He has begun. He wants us to pass down, not just the Gospel, but our lives to the next generation.

Haggai the prophet comes on the scene and God speaks through him four great promises:

Haggai 2:3   Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem to you like nothing in comparison?

1.  vs. 4 – The promise of His presence

2.  vs. 6 – The promise of His power

3.  vs. 8 – The promise of HIs provision

4.  vs. 9 – The promise of His potential

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You can’t live out the blessings of God by looking backwards.

You can’t live out the blessings of God building for yourself.

But we can see a latter glory together if we join hands to build for the future generations.

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Questions:

  1. What is the problem of both groups in Ezra, and how does it relate to the church today? 
  2. Why do people get stuck comparing the old and the new?
  3. What is the older generation’s responsibility? The younger generation’s responsibility?
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“He Came to Save” by Pastor Dennis J. Gallaher, April 1, 2018

Easter is a time of celebration…that has evolved into a day of family, food, and fun.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the greatest act of sympathy for us that could ever take place.

Many avoid the grief of God over their sin.
They suppose God to be a judge.
Some suppose god is interested strictly in performance.
Some assume He is the distant and distracted Ruler.

His grief over sin did not drive God to judge but to forge a path back to Him. He weeps over what sin has done to you.
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Opening Scripture:

Isaiah 53:3    He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Isaiah 53:6   All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.

Isaiah 53:5   But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.

Isaiah 53:11-12b  As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; by His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities. Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors. Blinded by preference, by their own desires for a King, they were missing the truth of who was standing in their presence.

He will see you hiding and denying no more, confessing and repenting, and receiving not the punishment due but the embrace of the Lover of your soul.

Easter, the Resurrection, is the triumph of the suffering Savior who declared, “My Father so loved this world and all who are in it that He sent me to embrace the lost and sinners and pay the price that only a sinless sacrifice could give.”

God does not see you as trash to be kicked aside or as the one that will never measure up.
– He sees you as being terribly alone in your guilt.
– He knows what you have done to yourself, and He throws His arms around you and holds you tightly.

Won’t you accept your pardon that His resurrection offers to you? Easter is truly the door that now opens to you a future and a hope.
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2 Corinthians 5:17   Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

Titus 3:5   He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.

Jesus saw the grievous sin of every one of us.

God gets angry about sin. Jesus got angry about sin, many times, especially hardness of heart and hypocrisy.

But Easter is not about being afraid of God and His wrath about sin.
– It is about the triumph of God’s broken heart for the sinner.
– It is Jesus’ pierced hands embracing you and hearing the words, “It is finished.”
– Easter is the Door of Hope that leads from your Valley of Trouble.
– Jesus is the only One who could open it.

1 Timothy 1:15   It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.

He came to save, not to judge, to check off our deeds against an impossible list, or to observe but never relate.

He came to embrace the sinner, to weep for you in your tragedy, and to bear your sins.

There is no promise you can make that will replace confession and repentance.
There is no price that you can pay – no penance for sin that is enough.
There is no sacrifice greater than what Jesus gave.
There is no sweeter release than freedom from guilt.
There is no greater Friend than Jesus!
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Questions:

1)  Take some time to remember what Jesus did for you in the cross.
2)  Who do you know who still hasn’t trusted Jesus with their life? How can you walk with them?

“Preconceived Notions” by Pastor James Gallaher, March 25, 2018

Most of us have something that was passed down, probably from someone we trust, that we eventually found out wasn’t true.

Israel was under Roman rule and the idea of being redeemed by a King was one that was easy to be excited about. Humans want their heroes to conquer and offer great things to the people, not to suffer and die.

Israel was looking for a King, what they would get was a Savior.

The problem with misconceptions is that they blind us from the truth, and Israel was missing who was among them.

Opening Scripture:

Matthew 16:13-16    Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Even after the resurrection, the disciples still didn’t understand.

Acts 1:6  So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”

Blinded by preference, by their own desires for a King, they were missing the truth of who was standing in their presence.

Mark 5:25-34  A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse— after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. For she thought, “If I just touch His garments, I will get well.” Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My garments?” And His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’” And He looked around to see the woman who had done this. But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.”

What a Jew would have understood about this woman paints a far more pitiful picture than what we read here. Her particular affliction caused her to be ceremonially unclean which required her to be cut off from community. The worst part was that it was religion that kept her out, kept her isolated, kept her alone. To the Jews, being Jewish was everything. It was identity, it was community, and it was purpose. And now, by no fault of her own, it was gone.

vs. 25-26  A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse.

Can you relate? You’ve endured much, spent everything you had just to try and get back what you lost only to see things get worse?

Helpless and alone she waited, not for a King, but for a Savior…and then she hears of a Man.

vs. 27-28  After hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. For she thought, “If I just touch His garments, I will get well.”

For 12 years she had been reminded daily of her condition and with hope now gone she makes a move. Because she was unclean, anything she touched would become unclean, and the penalty for such an act was either stoning or public excommunication. Imagine the desperation and pain that leads someone to such a decision to go and yet she went.

vs. 29  Immediately…

vs. 32  And He looked around…

Jesus will not allow anyone to receive glory from His back for only His full glory can be received from His face.

Jesus was adamant to reveal His approval of her, this woman of sorrow.

vs. 33  But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.

She began to tell Him her entire life story, recounting the pain, the sorrow, and the isolation. And I can only imagine He stopped her mid-sentence with a smile and said, “My Daughter.”

vs. 34  Your faith has made you well.

This was a family term…not a term for someone who was unclean or who had broken the law.

Of all the people that touched Him in that crowd, there was one who got healed. The difference was she wasn’t looking for a King, she was looking for a Savior.

A lot of people miss the truth because of their preconceived ideas.

We have built a Jesus that fits our preferences. We live a religion that leaves us feeling isolated more than connected.

But for this woman, for the lonely, the unclean, it wasn’t effort that led to freedom, it was faith and trusting in Jesus.
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Questions:

What are some of your misconceptions about Jesus?

“Eternal Priorities” by Pastor Dennis J. Gallaher, March 18, 2018

Opening Scripture:

Luke 16:9   And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.

Our two eternal priorities:
1. Through your efforts, people who are apart from God will be brought close enough to hear the Gospel and be born again.
2. Through your giving, we will greatly impact the preaching of the Gospel, the planting of the church, and the advancement of the Kingdom through the Darjeeling Bible Training Center.

Read Luke 16 – Jesus tells a story about people, God, and money.

vs. 14   Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him.

This scoundrel, who is managing a rich man’s accounts while stealing from him, tries to fix the accounts before he is fired. When his boss discovers the ripoff, instead of condemning him, his boss commends him because he acted shrewdly.

Luke 16:8   And his master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light. And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.

In other words, the world is better at providing for their future than God’s saints are at providing for their eternity.

Two Challenges Given by Jesus:
1. “Make friends…” – constantly be seeking out those who are along and without Christ.
2. “Through the wealth of this world…” – use the money we have to invest in soul winning, Kingdom building, and church planting.

Why? Because money will fail. There will come a day when money will no longer have the power to provide.

“I judge all things only by the prize they shall gain in eternity.” – John Westley

Ask yourself this: Five minutes after I die, what will I wish I would have given away while I still had the chance?
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God’s ultimate purpose is to redeem mankind with an everlasting covenant that would transform His creation and fill them with His glory.

Our part as His church is to make friends with the lost in this world and use the blessings and finances He has given us to invest in souls and the work of the Kingdom.

The next two weeks are dedicated to two things:
– making friends
– extravagant giving

Next Sunday, Friendship Sunday, invite those you know who need a relationship with God and others.

Use the wealth of this world to demonstrate your friendship with God by winning friends and blessing others. Then, when this world falls apart, your generosity will provide you with an eternal reward.
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Questions:

1. Where are you storing your treasures, here on earth or in heaven?
2. Who do you know that needs to encounter Jesus that you can invite next Sunday to church?
3. What is God telling you to give to further the Gospel in India?

“In Spirit & Truth” by Pastor James Gallaher, March 11, 2018

Opening Scripture:

Read John 4 – The Samaritan woman at the well


John 4:19-24  The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

After the death of Solomon, Israel splits with the Jews in the south and the Samaritans in the north. When Assyria attacked and conquered Samaria, they began to intermarry and took their idols but held onto the Jewish God. They held onto the first 5 books of the Old Testament as being God’s Word. Consequently, they had a partial understanding about God which is what Jesus references in verse 22.

John 4:22  You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.

The interaction with Jesus begins with water and ends up talking about worship.

John 4:15-20  The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.” 16 He said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.” 17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.” 19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.”

Her attention turns to worship which is perhaps the greatest difference between the Jews and the Samaritans.

If you give me 10 minutes talking with a stranger and I can almost immediately tell you what they worship, which also tells me about who they worship.

John 4:21-23  Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.

True worship is not about the place, it’s about the person. We were created for worship but what we worship is determined by what we know. Samaritans had a fractured view of Christ; their partial understanding perverted their fear of worshipping the true God.

Do you know someone with a fractured view of Christ? An imperfect understanding of who Christ is has led to a resistance of to following Him.

This was more than just about who God was for this Samaritan; it was also about who was representing Him.

John 4:23  But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.

Notice there is no separation between these two: Spirit and Truth. But this is where I feel the church has drawn a line; the Word camp questions emotions; the Spirit camp questions questions. Neither lacks sincerity for what they are doing.

It was Jesus’ point to the Samaritan woman, “You worship what you do not know.” I believe He was talking about true knowing, knowing Him, knowing His character, and His love.

It was the same conversation He had with His disciples.
Matthew 16:13-15   Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

This is the truth part of our worship of Him.

Unless we have knowledge of who He is, we cannot worship Him in truth. We get that truth from the truth of God’s Word.

What we believe about Him determines everything about how we come to Him.

It was the truth of who Christ was that drew so many people to Him: His grace, mercy, compassion, and love for the lost.

Truth without the Spirit results in a dry pointless encounter that can become a joyless legalism. However, the Spirit without truth leads to an overly emotional experience that once the emotion is gone, so is the worship. The combination though results in a joyous appreciation of God informed by Scripture.

The more we know about God the more we appreciate Him. The more we appreciate, the deeper our worship. The deeper our worship, the more God is glorified.

John 4:39  Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Transformation begins with worshipping Him in Spirit and in Truth.
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Questions:

1. What is this story truly about?
2. Is worship about a place or a specific expression?
3. Why are people hesitant to worship God?
4. How do you know if you are worshipping God in spirit and in truth?

“The Glory of God” by Pastor Dennis J. Gallaher, March 4, 2018

Opening Scripture:

Colossians 1:27  To whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

The glory of God is not a mystery. It is the most attractive, inviting, and safe place for the lost of this world.

John 1:14  And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

For those of you who want to study the purpose and results of God’s glory, let me give you a list of results from John 17.

vs. 1   Eternal life
vs. 11  Unity with others, a deep abiding trust, and fellowship
vs. 13  Joy
vs. 17  Protection
vs. 18  Ministry, meaningful engagement for eternal purposes
vs. 21  Unity with God and others
vs. 22  The Shekinah dwelling of God
vs. 26  Never leave, never forsake companionship with Jesus

It is then that Moses asks for more than a blessing.
vs. 18  Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!”

And this glory comes through worship.
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One of the most famous conversations Jesus ever had was about worship.

John 4:20  Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.

There are two basic reasons that you must worship God:
1. He is our God.
– If you claim Him as God, then you must worship Him.
Psalms 95:7  For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice.
2. We are His people.
– Worship is the appropriate response to God’s care.
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So, what is worship?

If we are to worship Him in truth, what is true worship?

God longs to have sincere worshippers who worship and adore Him in the realm of the Spirit and truth.

1 Thessalonians 5:23  Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We are unique in all of creation. We were created with three parts:
1.  Spirit
2.  Soul
3.  Body

Genesis 2:7  Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
     
Body   – “The dust of the ground”
Spirit  – “The breath of life, the Spirit of God”
Soul    – “Man became a living soul”

2 Distinct Sources of Human Personality – One from above and one from below
Above – the breath, Spirit of God breathed into man
Below – man’s physical nature, the body made of clay

The union of the spirit and clay produces a living soul.

But, when man sinned and rebelled against God, his spirit was cut off from God.

Ephesians 2:1  And you were dead in your trespasses and sins.
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The soul is the ego, the will, the intellect, and emotions.

3 Statements that Express the Soul: I will, I think, I feel

When our worship is based on the soul, it is not spiritual worship.

John 4:24  God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

The two basic reasons you must worship are…
1. He is God.
2. We are His people.

And the result?
Psalms 95:7  For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice.
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To hear His voice:

The spirit of man’s one function is to relate to God. But, the prideful and unsubmitted soul that refuses the Spirit of God always tries to relate to God through the will, the intellect, and emotions.

When we do not worship in the Spirit and through the Spirit, our hearts are hardened. We might read the Bible, but we do not hear His voice.

Psalms 95:11  Truly they shall not enter into My rest.

We do not know the peace that goes beyond understanding.
We do not know the deep and abiding fellowship with God and others.
We struggle with condemnation, addictions, anger, and fear.

We do not enter the rest of God because our lives are connecting to the world instead of the throne, imitating the opinions of the culture instead of being transformed in our mind, emotions, and will.
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1 Kings 19:11-12  So He said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing.

Elijah had been running from the wicked queen, Jezebel. God took him through a number of dramatic experiences. Finally, God gives him a fresh revelation of who He is.

We love for God to move in power…wind, earthquake, and fire! But, these are the preludes of worship.

Worship takes place when we have calmed and quieted our souls so the Spirit can release the praise and adoration that only our spirits can give.

When we worship in spirit and truth, we are transformed. When we are transformed, no devil in hell can stop the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

“His Transforming Presence” by Pastor Dennis J. Gallaher, February 25, 2018

Opening Scripture:
Read Exodus 33

It was a dark and defining moment in their brief history of deliverance.
– Aaron makes the golden calf
– Moses begs God to forgive the people; offers himself instead
– God’s judgment is withheld but a severe change is made
– Instead of God leading the way to the Promised Land, He tells Moses that He will send an angel instead.
– Moses continues to intercede for the rebellious nation
– Then the promise of His presence is given

Exodus 33:14   And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.”

But it’s not enough for Moses even though God has given Moses His protection, power, miracles, authority, and friendship…Now, God promises Moses His continued presence and His rest.

God graciously confirmed His promises to Moses.
vs. 17   The Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight and I have known you by name.”

It is then that Moses asks for more than a blessing.
vs. 18   Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!”

The glory that Moses was talking about was not about what God could do but was about who God is.

Moses no longer needed for God to prove His word; now, he wanted to know His heart. That is where worship begins
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Do you want to be used by God to transform society? Then the key to transformation is desiring God’s heart and not just His hand.
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Moses asked to see God’s glory. Jesus declares that He will give us that glory.
John 17:22   The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one.

The glory Moses wanted Jesus came to give.

Colossians 1:27  To whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

God wants to demonstrate to the world what is in you and me – “the great hope that is in His glory.”

The word used to describe this event is “Shekinah.” It means to dwell, take up residence, or settle down.

When you see Him and His presence, the promise is that no matter who you are, the glory and the dwelling presence of God will come to stay. That is transformation.

2 Corinthians 3:18   But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

It will not happen unless you want to know Him beyond all else – know His heart and not just His hand.

We are transformed when we worship God.

Moses cried out to God:
– I’ve seen your miracles!
– I’ve received of your tremendous mercies.
– I’ve watched as your hand of protection has settled on me.
But God, I want your glory! I want your Shekinah – your glory that sticks around to settle on me!

Exodus 33:19-20   And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!”

The next day the Lord descended in a cloud as Moses worshipped; God dwelt with Him.

Exodus 34:6-7   Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.”

From that day forward, the Shekinah, the dwelling fo God’s glory remained with Moses.

Exodus 34:30  So when Aaron and all the sons of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.

When they saw Moses, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. The glory had settled as Moses worshipped.

The glory was not His hand but His heart.

And as Moses worshipped, the Glory dwelt.
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John 17:22   The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one.

God wants to know you, not just use you.

It begins when we worship Him, not just seeing His hand, but His heart.

The glory of God, the transforming presence is passing by. Let’s worship Him!
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Questions:
1. How does worship bring about transformation?
2. Why do people often want the gifts more than the giver?
3. Why are some people afraid of this transformational power?

“Truth, Power, & Fellowship” by Pastor Dennis J. Gallaher, February 18, 2018

Opening Scripture:
Ephesians 1:18-19  I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might.

vs. 19  “That you will continually experience the immeasurable greatness of God’s power made available to you though faith.” (Passion)

Transformation is not just about me but about them – to Jerusalem, Samaria, and the uttermost parts. Transformation causes others to desire God in their lives.
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The power of transformation is the Holy Spirit.

The word consistently used for power in the Scripture is “dynamēos.”
It means power:
– power to perform miracles
– moral power and excellence of soul
– power to live righteously, godly, and sensibly in this present world
– power to influence and demonstrate Jesus to this world
And the Power cannot be separated from the third person of the Trinity – the Holy Spirit.

There are two polar opposites in the modern church:
1. There are those whose experience centers on the Holy Spirit, the dynamous power of God.
2. There are those whose experience centers on the Word, the Logos, the logical, precept by precept defense of the Gospel.
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The Word people’s mantra is this…
You have to keep order in the church. “Decent and in order” means to keep that                    weird stuff I can’t logically explain to yourself. Especially that speaking in tongues and prophecy stuff. Every time you let that stuff loose, it freaks me out.
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The Power people’s mantra is something like this…
Nothing happens unless the Spirit is fully released. (As if a man could control the God he serves) The Spirit is not fully released unless things feel out of control. If you shut it down, you’re controlling the Holy Spirit and He leaves and goes someplace else.
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1. It is the Word and Power – both in unity without competition.
2. “The Word is Power” –
John 16:7  But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.
The Word knew that without the Power transformation could not be realized.
3. “The Word with Power” – in sync in unity not just in the Trinity but in the church.
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We will not see revival unless we first see a transformation.

All of us need a transformation in order to be the witnesses to the world.

Transformation is that ongoing mystery of change which every Christian is invited to walk in.

It begins with the Word:
– the promises of God.
– the description of the fruit of the Spirit.
– the stories that describe the character of Christ.
And is empowered by the Spirit.
– The Holy Spirit, when welcomed and embraced, supports and empowers the physical, emotional, and spiritual transformation of the believer.
– This process is the practical and observable demonstration of Romans 8:11, But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

If the Holy Spirit dwells in you, this same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will bring life to your dead flesh; He will change what is lifeless into that which is alive through the Holy Spirit.

Transformation is not trying harder or doing it in your own strength. It begins with surrender to the power of the Holy Spirit.
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What area of your life do you need transformation today?

3 Part Formula for Success:
–  The Word
–  The Power of God
–  The Fellowship of God’s People

Transformation will not stick until you submit to the Body of Christ.
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The Word and Power – it is both.
The Word is Power – it is the same.
The Word with Power – it is in sync.

Romans 12:1-2  Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.



Give in and stop resisting the Holy Spirit. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Come present yourself to the Power of God, the Holy Spirit, for change.
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Questions:


1. What is it that you want transformed this year?

“The Transformation Formula” by Pastor Tyler Ferguson, February 11, 2018

Opening Scripture:
Joshua 1:1-9  Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ servant, saying, “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel. Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory. No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

We think that personal transformation is the endgame, but it’s not. Our transformation is supposed to lead us to be God’s agent of transformation to our communities…to those around us.

God’s plan for Joshua was to usher in God’s transformation to the nation around him.

The whole book of Joshua is about transformation:
– A river transformed into a walkway
– A wall transformed into ruins
– An occupied land transformed into the fulfillment of God’s covenant promise

Joshua was to lead the charge to capture that which God had promised, leading to the transformation of literally everything around them.

But, God had some instructions for him to follow first:

vs. 7-9   Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

The formula to follow if he was to see the big change take place:
Truth + Power = Transformation
It’s the formula that we have to follow if we are going to see a transformation take place beyond the doors of this sanctuary.
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Truth

Much of the text is devoted to making sure Joshua was grounded in the Truth. Here the Truth is the written Word of God. The first thing he had to do was know the Word. The Word tells us about God’s heart for us, His children.

We want to know God’s Word, but we often think it’s too difficult to understand. This is a big lie from the enemy.

Here are some practical starting points:
1. Set aside a regular time, 10 minutes each day in one of the Psalms. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you. He will.
2. Study the Word in community.
a. Men – Wednesday mornings at 6:30 am in the Veranda
b. Women – Monday evenings and Thursday mornings
c. Abba’s House – Monday evenings

The point is we get together with others, open the Word, and allow His truth to speak to us.

However, the danger in knowing stuff is that we don’t ever learn what to do with it.

Reread vs. 7-8

Joshua not only had to know the Word, he had to obey it. We often think we can have “special arrangements” with God where is OK with us going against His written Word; we convince ourselves that He “understands our situation.”

You cannot obey God while disobeying His Word.

Obedience is always followed by the promise of success or prosperity.

When He tells us to do or not do things, He’s trying to lead us to the only real source of joy; he’s not trying to rob us of joy.

Reread vs. 8

Obedience was not enough. God also demanded that Joshua proclaim the Word.

It can seem like speaking God’s Word pushes us back as a culture, but actually, it’s the only thing that will truly bring about transformation around us.

Acts 6:7 The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

When God’s Word goes forth, things change.

We are to declare God’s truth over all of our circumstances. Jesus did this more than any other, and we have the same weapons He had.
– Weakness: the joy of the Lord is my strength.
– Overcome: my faith is the one who has overcome the world.
– Alone: don’t ask for him to never leave you, declare that you serve a God who has already promised to never leave you.
– Dads: declare God’s truth over your kids every morning before school.

We have to stop seeing God’s Word as a list of things God might do and instead understand that the promises it contains are promises that we can take to the bank. There is an undeniable transformation that takes place around us when God’s Word is proclaimed.
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Power

3 times Joshua is told to “be strong and courageous.”

The strength is not his own.

Deuteronomy 34:9  The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

Joshua’s power was not his own, but a gift from the same Holy Spirit who indwells us today.

No matter how well you know the Scriptures, your ability to step out and truly be successful at seeing lives around you transformed will be hindered if you don’t rely on the power of the Holy Spirit.

Recall Jesus’ last words to the disciples before going back to be with the Father. He told them to wait for the promise, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They had the truth, but not yet the power.

And just like that, God’s biggest agent of transformation, the church, was born.

The transformation we are experiencing is not about us, but is about those outside of us; we are to be agents of transformation to our community.

Are you ready? Is the formula in place in your life or are you out of balance?
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Questions:
1. What will our lives look like to have the formula in place? (Truth + Power = Transformation)
2. How can you change your routine this week to incorporate this formula?

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