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Pastor Chuck Loftis

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Title Scripture Date Series
Play the sermon Part IV – In Serving, Our Lives Become an Offering Philippians 2:12-17 16 February 2015 God's Plan for You: You Can Know It!
Play the sermon Part III - The Oft-Bewildering Call of God Luke 18:31-34 08 February 2015 God's Plan for You: You Can Know It!
Play the sermon Part II Genesis 12:1-9 01 February 2015 God's Plan for You: You Can Know It!
Play the sermon Part I - God's Plan for You: Do You Know It? Isaiah 43:1-7 18 January 2015 God's Plan for You: You Can Know It!
Play the sermon The Volunteer Difference: Celebrating Those Who "Love God - Invest in People" Through OBCC! Ephesians 4:7-16 11 January 2015
Play the sermon God's Vision and Mission for OBCC in 2015 Habakkuk 2:1-4
Proverbs 29:18
04 January 2015
Play the sermon The Pearls of Advent! Isaiah 7:13-16 21 December 2014
Play the sermon Love. John 15:1-17 14 December 2014 Keeping OBCC on Track... Always: Lessons from John 15
Play the sermon Holiness. John 15:1-8 07 December 2014 Keeping OBCC on Track... Always: Lessons from John 15
Play the sermon Thanksgiving: 365 - The Gratitude Attitude! 1 Thessalonians 5:18 30 November 2014
Play the sermon Humility. John 15:1-8 24 November 2014 Keeping OBCC on Track... Always: Lessons from John 15
Play the sermon Community! John 15:1-8 08 November 2014 Keeping OBCC on Track... Always: Lessons from John 15
Play the sermon Prayerful Dependence! John 15:1-8 02 November 2014 Keeping OBCC on Track... Always: Lessons from John 15
Play the sermon The Missional Mindset! John 15:1-8 26 October 2014 Keeping OBCC on Track... Always: Lessons from John 15
Play the sermon The Character of Christ! John 15:1-17 12 October 2014 Keeping OBCC on Track... Always: Lessons from John 15
Play the sermon WHAT WE NEED IN PERILOUS TIMES Luke 24:13-35 07 September 2014
Play the sermon CAST LIFE'S NETS ON THE RIGHT SIDE John 21:1-14 25 August 2013
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Wednesday Sermons

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Bulletin 2.21-22.15

SERMON NOTES
LIFE GROUP/FAMILY QUESTIONS 

February 21-22, 2015
Pastor Matt Veal
CHOOSE

Text: Deuteronomy 30:15-20

Introduction: Let’s Make A Deal!

Two volunteers. One must be a parent or grandparent. The other a teenager.

Purpose: To illustrate the ongoing choice we must make concerning our relationship with God our Heavenly Father.

The Promised Land is the place where God would dwell with His people.

The Promised Land was not the promise land because that is where all people should live!

The Promised Land is not the promise land because of the terrain or the climate.

The Promised Land is not the promise land because of where it is.

The Promised Land is not the promise land because it was a reward.

Genesis 15:1 identifies the true reward. Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.

So to sum up this whole idea. We established that the Promise Land is not the promise land because of what it is or where it is! We see clearly that the Promised Land was called that because it was a land connected to a PROMISE! The promise was God’s presence. The promise was the seed. The Promised Land is the land where God promised to be with His people. To lead them. To walk among them. To speak to them. His presence was to be right there in the midst of them.

Let’s delineate the Promise

Exodus 25:8, And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. God had the Israelites build a Tabernacle, The Tent of Meeting.

The Tabernacle was the portable dwelling place for the divine presence of God from the time of the Exodus from Egypt through the conquering of the land of Canaan. Built to specifications revealed by God to Moses at Mount Sinai, it accompanied the Israelites on their wanderings in the wilderness and their conquest of the Promised Land. The First Temple in Jerusalem superseded it as the dwelling-place of God. Exodus 40:34-38

Notice how the camp was to be arranged. The Tabernacle was in the center. All the tribes were to set up around the Tabernacle. Leviticus chapter two.

Leviticus 26:11-12, I will set My tabernacle among you, and My soul shall not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.

God would tell them how to conduct themselves in regards to a relationship with Him, in regards to interpersonal relationships, and in regards to how they were to relate to the world around them.

Leviticus 26:46 By staying close to and being in constant contact with God, the Israelites could live righteously and therefore not be abhorred by Him.

Deuteronomy 10:12-13 God gave specific directions and assigned tasks to His people so that things would be right. For their own good.

 

Christ is the source of life.

We, like the Israelites, begin serving, no worshiping the things we are supposed to use to worship God.

We begin seeking people instead of worshiping God with those people.

We start to crave the attention we should be giving God.

We start seeing the Gift as the source of life (purpose, meaning, fulfillment, provision, and satisfaction) instead of acknowledging the Giver as the only true source of life.

We soon devote our lives to getting the gifts (work schedules) instead of having devotion to our Heavenly Father.

Eventually our lives are consumed by the world around us instead of us existing in a condition or state like the Promised Land. We drift on the waves of worldliness instead of allowing ourselves to dwell in the presence of God.

That presence of God is not in the Middle East. It is not in the Nation of Israel. It is supposed to be in us!

Colossians 3:3, For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Psalm 27:1, John 11:25, John 14:6, Galatians 2:20

 

Conclusion:

We can live right now in that great promise of God! Like I said earlier, right where we are at is just as much like the Promised Land as Southern California.

By obeying and being in constant contact with God, we, like the Israelites, can live righteously and therefore not be abhorred by Him.

God will tell us how to conduct ourselves in regards to a relationship with Him, in regards to interpersonal relationships, and in regards to how we are to relate to the world around us.

God gives specific directions and assigned tasks to each of us so that things would be right. For our own good. There is a service to be done for God!

Let me close by telling you a story about Retirement and Salvation.

 

Life Group Discussion Questions

Discussion Starter

Have you experienced a “Promised Land” experience with God – a situation where you walked in blind faith towards something God had spoken about your future?

 

 

In Deuteronomy, God gave specific instructions to His people about the tasks they should perform and the way they should act. How has God given you this kind of specific direction in your life?

 

 

Digging Deeper

Pastor Matt talked about the Tabernacle being the dwelling place of God in the Old Testament. Now the Spirit of God dwells IN us. Take time to study the articles of the Tabernacle and apply them to our pattern of worship today. To assist you, here is a scriptural reference for each piece – first describing the original intent and then a second reference that will help us connect to today. 1. Brazen Altar (Ex. 27:1-8/John 1:29) 2. The Bronze Laver (Ex. 30:18/1 John 1:8-9) 3. The Golden Lampstand (Ex. 25:31-40/John 12:46) 4. The Table of Showbread (Ex. 25:23-30/ John 6:35) 5. The Altar of Incense (Ex. 30:1-10/Rev. 8:3-4)

 

6. The Veil (Ex. 26:33/1Tim 2:5) 7. The Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat (Ex. 25:10-16/John 14:6; Heb. 10:19-23)

 

 

Taking it Home

Where in your life have you allowed the world to steal your focus away from God? What is the practical solution to rectifying this wrong focus?

 

 

What is the BEST part of your day? (meaning, when are you at your sharpest, most focused) If you aren’t doing so already, make a plan to have your devotions during that time. Pay attention, then, to how your ability to hear from and obey God’s direction improves because you’ve made Him a priority.

 

 

 


Part IV – In Serving, Our Lives Become an Offering

 Bulletin 02.14-15.15

SERMON NOTES

LIFE GROUP/FAMILY QUESTIONS

February 14 –15, 2015

Pastor Chuck Loftis

God’s Call for Your Life? You Can Know It!
Part IV – In Serving, Our Lives Become an Offering.

 

Text: Philippians 2:12-17

Introduction:
Paul’s words are written to Christians of the Church at Philippi whom he felt great affection for. They had been co-laborers of his in sending and supplying for Paul’s temporal needs while a missionary planting churches. In fact, two chapters later, he refers to their ministry to him as “... a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God” (Philippians 4:18).

So let’s define a word – both in noun and verb form – which we’ll do well to let retain its value in us, and that word is: sacrifice..
In the most practical sense of the word, means giving up something for something of greater value And as we consider the call of God on our lives in both the lifelong and daily-guidance senses, know that, ministerially (lifelong), the service you give to others has an eternal reward with it, and that morally (daily- guidance), the gratification we defer; the selfishness we eschew; these have a personal benefit and a benefit for others, as well.

Purpose: To prompt your deliberation, “What is God’s plan for my life?” and offer some very important considerations concerning His call for us to follow Him wholeheartedly and serve Him and others in some ministry capacity.

I. Drink Offering: As Brief a Synopsis I Could Manage.

A. An historical look.

1. The first drink offering was given by Jacob right after God changed his name to Israel (Genesis 35:15).

2. Drink offerings were also included with burnt and grain offerings in God-ordained sacrifices, including the morning and evening sacrifices (Exodus 29:40; Numbers 15:4-5, 6, 10).

B. Its purpose.

1. The bloody offerings of animal sacrifice were for the atonement (covering) of sin.

2. Concerning the bloodless offerings (grain, oil, and wine) the Bible describes that the physical aroma was soothing and pleased the LORD (Genesis 8:20-21; Leviticus 1:9; 2:2; 3:5; 4:31; 6:16: 23:13; 18:17; 28:2; 29:2; Numbers 15:14).

C. Moving into the Church Age, we see examples of how the ideas and purposes of these sacrifices are now linked.

1. The pouring out of a drink offering is a metaphor for Jesus’ ministry in the blood He bled during His suffering and in dying on the cross (Luke 22:20; John 19:33)

2. But, just as notable, as we find in Jesus’ serving, He was a pleasing aroma to the LORD, and it is in the culmination of Jesus’ ministry on the cross we find His sacrifice soothing God’s wrath over sin for those who believe in and will live for Him (Matthew 3:17; 17:5; Mark 1:11; Luke 9:28-36; cf., II Peter 1:17-18).

3. Paul took the metaphor further, twice using the image of a drink offering to describe his own service (Philippians 2:17; II Timothy 4:6).

a. Once in our main text, as he challenged the church in Philippi to live a life worthy of his dedication to them (Philippians 2:17)

b. Then, a second time, as Apostle Paul sensed the end of his ministry, again comparing his efforts to wine poured out of a vessel onto an altar (2 Timothy 4:6-8).

II. Serving in Ministry is Rarely a Bed of Roses.

A. Paul’s choice of the drink offering in (Greek: spendomai) to express his joy of living his total life in complete devotion and dedication to Christ – no matter the personal cost – provides a teaching moment:

1. According to OT practice, the drink offering occupied the high point of spiritual expression in the sacrificial system.

2. Symbolizing the fruitfulness of life which God produces in the believer (Genesis 1:28; 9:7; 49:22; John 15:1-17), the drink offering signified the full consecration of the believer whose life was poured out in joyous, dedicated service to God.

3. Chiefly, it was used to accompany and cap those sweet savory offerings, symbolizing:

a. Full dedication: the burnt offering, together with its meal offering, signifying active service.

b. Loving communion: the peace offering, signifying oneness with God (Numbers 15:1-10; 28:26-31; 29:30).

B. Through this imagery Paul emphasized both the Philippians’ dedication and his own commitment to Christ’s will for his life... even if becoming a martyr.

1. May we learn a lesson from Paul’s words of strong commitment

2. May OBCC always possess an attitude like that of the Philippian Church!

3. May our lives be characterized by a faith that produces such a total dedication that it issues forth in:

a. Fruitful service for Christ;

b. Lives that are consciously poured out in joyous surrender to Him Who “poured out his life unto death” for the sins of needy humankind

Conclusion:

In serving others, the ideas and purposes of blood and bloodless offerings are joined. In the Garden of Eden, before sin was introduced to our race, it can be argued there was a bloodless offering Adam and Eve made daily to God: the offering of devotion God desires to dwell among humankind and fellowship with us (Genesis 3:8; Ezekiel 37:27; John 1:14; Revelation 21:3). In response, we work to the outside what we now have on the inside in the form of serving Him (Philippians 2:12).

May we ever be mindful that whatever we do in our service as ministers of Christ is unto him – it is O.H.M.S. – On His Majesty’sService (Colossians 3:17).

How about you? What are you ready to attempt to do in ministry – by God’s call – in the opportunities this church presents?

 

Life Group Discussion Questions

Discussion Starter
Have you had any “messy” experiences in ministry? How did God use it to help you grow spiritually?
Describe a time when you witnessed someone deal well with a tough ministry situation. What did that person do that impressed you?
Digging Deeper
At the time of writing Philippians, Paul was sitting in a Roman prison. Read Philippians Chapter 1 and discuss Paul’s attitude about being in prison. What does this have to do with sacrifice?

 


Compare what you’ve read in Philippians with what Peter writes regarding sacrificial serving in 1 Peter 4:12-19. How are the two passages similar and different?

 


Taking it Home
Are you willing to pour yourself out in service to God? Talk with your group about how that looks, experiences you’ve had and how it has impacted you as a disciple.

 


“Give until it hurts” isn’t a popular concept in our world anymore. In your lifetime, what changes have you seen in volunteering, serving and giving? How can we have a positive infuence on that trend and WHERE do we start?

 

 


Part III - The Oft-Bewildering Call of God

Bulletin 02.07-08.15

SERMON NOTES
LIFE GROUP/FAMILY QUESTIONS
February 07 - 08 , 2015
Pastor Chuck Loftis
God’s Call for Your Life? You Can Know It!
Part III – The Oft-Bewildering Call of God

Text: Luke 18:31-34.
Introduction:
  When the call of God to do a certain thing comes (especially out of quiet times or times of intense prayer), it often doesn’t always fit within the tidy confines of our comprehension

As we consider the call of God in and for our lives today and beyond (at least one more time in this brief series), keep in mind that He may ask of you things that – in the natural – make absolutely no sense. 

Regardless, if there’s one thing we can have faith for, going into anything God calls us to do, is that it has redemptive purposes for others and refining purposes for us. I want to clarify even further this mysterious issue concerning God’s call; and while ubiquitous, is unique for each and every one of us.

Purpose: To prompt your deliberation, “What is God’s plan for my life?” and offer some very important considerations concerning His call for us to follow Him wholeheartedly and serve in some ministry capacity.

I. Things rarely go as we think they should.

A. If the redemption story of humankind had been left to me to author, the Gospel would sound more like a Hollywood script than scripture.

B. Through a worldly lens, Jesus was an apparent and utter failure.

1. Closing the deal; making the sale is the priority in this world, but His stated mission (Matthew 18:10-14; Luke 19:1-10) appeared to have ended without tallying a single convert.

2. Brand loyalty and allegiance among customers and employees are a huge concern in this world, but one of His closest friends betrayed Him for money.

3. His followers, afraid for their own lives, abandoned Him at His arrest.

4. He was turned over by the very people He came for to the Romans for execution.

5. And He was executed in the most cruel and inhumane fashion... all alone and bereft of anyone whom He had called friends (John 15:15).

C. God called His Son to what seemed absolute disaster.

1. And, as we see in our main text, Jesus Christ called His disciples to see Him put to death.

a. This left them with broken hearts.

b. This left them with minds disillusioned John 21:3.

2. His life was an absolute failure from every standpoint... except God’s.

II. When it came to redemption’s story, things went the way God thought they should.

A. What seemed to be failure from man’s standpoint was a triumph from God’s standpoint, because God’s purpose is different than man’s natural purpose.

1. Remember how I said I’d have written the script? That was about revenge altogether more than it was of the spirit of redemption.

2. Disciples often have that trouble of confusing things (Luke 9:51-56).

B. God’s oft-bewildering call also comes into guidance into and through the choices we make in our daily lives.

1. The call of God can never be understood absolutely or explained externally; it is a call that can only be perceived and understood internally by our new and true inner- nature (II Corinthians 5:17).

2. The call of God is like the call of the mountains: no one hears it except the persons who have the nature of those wilds in them.

C. What God calls us to cannot always be definitely stated, because His call is simply to be His friend to accomplish His own purposes every single day.

1. Our first big test in this? Truly believing that God knows what He wants; that He isn’t capricious or whimsical.

2. The second: believing that the things that happen to us and around us do not happen randomly but entirely by the decree of God (Psalm 68:19; Zephaniah 3:5; Romans 8:28)!

3. In this, we sense God tugging at our hearts to live morally and profoundly and though we might not be able to articulate what we’re sensing, deep down we understand it is His call.

III. God is always sovereignly working out His own purposes.

A. If we are in fellowship and oneness with God and recognize that He is taking us into His purposes, then we will no longer strive to find out what His purposes are.

B. As we grow in the Christian life, it becomes simpler to us, because we are less inclined to say, “I wonder why God allowed this thing or that to happen?”

1. Maturity clears the view for us to see that the compelling purpose of God lies behind everything in life.

2. As we enter into the prime of our Christian life, it is much easier to see that God is divinely shaping us into oneness with that purpose through everything that happens.

C. A genuine Christian is someone who trust in the knowledge and the wisdom of God, not in his own instincts, desires, and abilities. Having an agenda of our own:

1. Will eventually leave us jaded, destroying the simplicity of child-like faith;

2. It makes peace-of-mind a thing-of-the-past;

3. It quickens the relaxed pace that marks the heart, mind, and spirit of a child of God.

4. But a clarification of all experiences happens through oneness with Him and greater understanding of the journey He has us on, comes in His time (Ecclesiastes3:11a).

Conclusion:

Have you noticed how often God is zigging while you’re zagging? There are many scriptures that offer an explanation (Psalm 37:23; Proverbs 16:1, 9; 19:21; 20:24; Jeremiah 10:23).

Concerning the call of God, remember: in the big picture, as you mature in Him, He will ask you to go and to do and say things you never imagined you’d ever go and do and say. And in the small picture, His call comes with the assurance of His guidance and that He’s able to utilize all things for His redemptive and refining purposes that you’re led to and through.

 

Life Group Discussion Questions

Discussion Starter
We’ve been discussing God’s plan for our lives for three weeks now. Discuss what God has been revealing about His plan for YOU in these past weeks.

 

When has God asked you to step outside your comfort zone in order to fulfill His plan for you? What did you learn through that uncomfortable time?

 

Digging Deeper
Study the well-known scriptures in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8; then read 3:11a. How can some of the items listed in 1-8 (like death, killing, weeping, etc.) be “beautiful in its time”?

 

Pastor Chuck lists these verses in the conclusion of this week’s message as examples of us “zagging while God is zigging”: Psalm 37:23; Proverbs 16:1, 9; 19:21; 20:24; Jeremiah 10:23. What conclusions do you draw about the call of God on our lives after reading these verses?

 

Taking it Home
We don’t always like to hear that God’s plan accomplishes HIS purposes, not ours. What is God doing in your life that feels contrary to your plan? What evidence have you seen, though, that assures you it is His plan?

 

Are you allowing fear to hold you back from fulfilling God’s plan for your life? In your group, discuss and pray together for the fear to be broken.

 

 


Part II

Bulletin 1.31-2.1.15

SERMON NOTES
LIFE GROUP/FAMILY QUESTIONS
January 31 - February 1, 2015
Pastor Chuck Loftis

God’s Plan for You? You Can Know It – Part II

Text: Genesis 12:1-9


Introduction:
Quick review: Two weeks ago, we considered the LORD’s plan for our lives in response to His question, “Whom shall I send and who will go for us?” (Isaiah 6:8). Three thoughts emerged from this passage and they all relate to ministry service:

God’s announcement, “There’s work to do in My kingdom!” is not for a select few. It’s for everyone!

Service in His kingdom isn’t compulsory. It flows from relationship. That is to say: those who hear God’s call to serve are those in proximity to Him.

And to serve, God requires one ability of us all and that’s availability!

Many of us have questions concerning call of God, because it’s still somewhat of an ethereal, nebulous, and mysterious thing. Well, since the Bible has much to say about it also being a personal, daily guidance issue, we’ll go to that source for elaboration.

Purpose: To make the concept of serving God in ministry even clearer.

I. The call of God is synonymous with the way of God.

A. The LORD made humankind a promise recorded in Genesis 8:21 and 9:12-17, giving them a second chance in how they related to Him.

B. How does God break the vicious cycle of sin in us?

1. He does it the same way He did it for Abram in Genesis 12... He breaks the vicious circle of sin through revealing His way for us!

2. There is no evidence that Abram was living for God prior to chapter 12 so what turned his life around? It was the call of God (note this in v. 1)!

II. The Call of God is synonymous with the work of God.

A. The call of God is a work He does over the course of a lifetime.

1. Don’t believe God called Abram because Ol’ Abe:

a. Left his family and hometown;

b. Went to the Land God told him to go to.

2. God called Abram before Abram ever thought of taking one step for Him.

a. He didn’t earn God’s call;

b. He didn’t deserve God’s call;

c. He simply received God’s call.

B. Scripture is clear: the call of God is the work of God (I Corinthians 1:26-31)

1. Also keep in mind that Jesus said “You did not choose me but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last” (John 15:16).

2. And we find in our main text that the LORD reminds Abram that God not only initiates the call but it is He who will bring about the results if Abram will just follow (Genesis 12:2-3).

C. Concerning His call, it is God Who supplies the promises, the plan and the power. He never ask these of us.

III. The Call of God is synonymous with the will of God manifest in and for us.

A. Just as God’s will for Abram and Sarai’s life was that they’d say “Yes” to His Call it is His will that you, too, will affirmatively answer His call

1. What is God’s will for my life? It is the call of God! What is God’s call for my life? It is the will of God!

2. Someone may object, saying, “This sounds circular in its reasoning” to whit, I reply, “No, it is that the will of God and call of God are the same.”

a. This goes for the BIG picture direction of our lives (vocation, relationships, etc.)

b. This goes for the pixels of moral, monetary, and emotional choices, as well.

B. Many hear the call of God into His BIG picture and pixelated will but many will offer excuses to reject it:

1. I’m too old.

2. I’ve got responsibilities.

3. Now’s not a good time.

4. I don’t know where to start?

5. I thought God only calls those who have “it” (whatever “it” is) all together?

C. God shows the possible (Habbakuk 2:1-4) with His call.

D. There is so no evidence that Abram even knew of Jehovah God before He spoke to Abram, much less appeared to him (Genesis 11:27-12:9), and when you consider the failings of the aforementioned rascals, I must ask: what's your excuse for not responding to the call of God, again?

Conclusion:
I know this of my own personal experience that, from Sunday, June 3, 1973 when I heard in my spiritual ear the words, “I’m calling you to preach,” the call of God determined the way for my life and, thenceforth, I always knew what I’d be and do despite personal aspirations for other things.

How about you? Are you asking the LORD, “What is your call on my life?”

Life Group Discussion Questions

Discussion Starter
Discuss the methods God has used to get your attention or to help you recognize his call.

 

What excuses have you made to reject God's call?

 

Digging Deeper
Study one of the examples from the sermon of someone God called despite their shortcomings. (Abram, Genesis chapters 12- 18; Noah, Genesis 9:18-28; Jacob, Genesis 25:19-34; Moses, Exodus 1:11-15; Rahab, Joshua 2:1-21.)

How do you relate to their shortcomings?

 


Taking it Home
Pastor Chuck stated in his message that the call of God and the will of God are the same. How has your life reflected this truth?

 

 

 


The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat

Bulletin 1.24-25.15

 

SERMON NOTES

LIFE GROUP/FAMILY QUESTIONS 

January 24 – 25, 2015

Pastor Randy Phipps

The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat.

Purpose: My purpose today is to encourage the congregation to overcome this world and it’s agony by continuing to be faithful to your personal discipleship and the pursuit of “Loving God... Investing in People.”

Text: 1 John 5:1-5

1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

1. Set your mind to thinking victory!

1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

2. Focus on the Promise not the problem.

Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

3. Engage in the Battle.

Proverbs 21:31; The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But deliverance is of the LORD.

 

4. Learn to live a life of Praise

Psalm 98:1

Oh, sing to the LORD a new song!

For He has done marvelous things;

His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.

 

Life Group Discussion Questions 

Discussion Starter:

What has helped you grow as a disciple of Christ?

 

 

Recall a time when your faith overcame the “world.”

 

 

Digging Deeper:

Being victorious means using our faith to overcome the world. Study the following passages in Revelation:

2:7; 2:11; 2:17; 2:26; 3:5.

 

What promises await IF we are overcomers? How does that encourage you as a believer?

 

 

Taking it Home (Application):

Have you been focusing so long on a PROBLEM that you’ve lost sight of the PROMISE? What do you need to do to put things back in proper perspective?

 

 

 

What does your praise time look like? Does charismatic worship, lifting your hands, singing out loud feel awkward to you?

 

 

 

Make a plan to show praise and adoration to God – have your life group hold you accountable to follow through!

 

 


Part I - God's Plan for You: Do You Know It?

Bulletin 01.17-18.15

SERMON NOTES
LIFE GROUP/FAMILY QUESTIONS

January 17 -18, 2015

Pastor Chuck Loftis

God’s Plan for You: Do You Know It?


Text: Isaiah 43:1-7.

Introduction:
A great part of God’s call upon this church is to prepare you (“... Investing in people”) to pursue God’s plans for you. So, I ask: do you know it? Is God plan for you to be a doctor? To be a pastor? To be a teacher? To be a foreign missionary? To be a lawyer? Getting involved in serving now prepares you for even greater achievement later in God’s plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11-13). While our ministry plans are designed in response to God’s prophetic direction for OBCC to come alongside you and help you reach destinations He has ordained for you, it still requires your affirmative response.

Purpose: To prompt your deliberation, “What is God’s plan for my life?” and offer two very important considerations concerning His call for us to serve.

I. The call of God is not just for a select few but for everyone (Isaiah 6:1-8).

A. Note that God did not direct His call to a single servant in this instance (“...who will go for Us?”)

B. Whether I hear God’s call or not depends on the condition of my ears, and exactly what I hear depends upon my spiritual attitude.

1. Those chosen are they who’ve:

a. Come into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ;

b. Had their spiritual condition changed and their spiritual ears opened.

2. These hear “the voice of the Lord” continually asking, “...Who will go for Us?”

II. Serving the LORD in some calling isn’t compulsory... it flows from relationship.

A. Remove the thought from your mind of expecting God to come and force you or to plead with you to serve – whether locally or nationally or globally; whether vocationally or as a volunteer.

B. Note that God doesn’t single out someone and say, “Hey, what are you doing Here? You have to be the one who goes, now git!” Note from Isaiah 6:8...

1. He did not force His will on the man of God;

2. In this instance, hearing the call was due to proximity as Isaiah was in the presence of God.

3. His response was performed in complete freedom.

III. The one and only ability God asks us to bring to the ministerial table.

A. When our Lord called His disciples, He did it without irresistible pressure.

1. The nature of Christ’s invitation to His disciples is one that appealed to something deep inside them (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

2. The quiet, yet passionate, insistence of His “Follow Me” was spoken to men whose every sense was receptive (Matthew 4:18-22).

3. The beauty in Christ’s call upon that rag-tag bunch of first -followers wasn’t based on luck... it was based on their lack (II Corinthians 12:7-10).

B. Like every generation before, our minds are often confounded by a misunderstanding that (as the cliché goes), “God only calls the equipped.” In truth, it’s exactly the opposite.

C. While God has knitted spiritual and mental goodies into whom He has created each of us to be – and use those things when called upon – there’s only one ability He asks of us to bring to ministry’s table and that’s availability.

1. On a worldly level, job applicants are considered on their qualifications, so the new hire ends up making the boss look good.

2. In Christianity, The Boss says, “Come unto to Me all you who are unqualified but available and I will utilize that for My Father’s glory!”

Conclusion:
The idea of ministry isn’t really all that mysterious. Men, our wives’ feet get cold. They expresses such. We’re nearby and hear them. Out of love and concern, we put down the remote, the paper, the magazine, and we get up go into the other room and fetch them socks or slippers. That’s a perfect metaphor for the idea of answering the call of God from the basis of relationship. God is always speaking about needs on earth that can be enabled by His power in the heavens. Saints, are you listening?
If we will allow the Holy Spirit to bring us face to face with God, we too – like Isaiah – will hear what Isaiah heard: the voice of the Lord. In perfect freedom we, too, will say, “Here am I! Send me.”

Life Group Discussion Questions

Discussion Starter:

Describe a time you felt “called” by God to do something. Were you obedient? Share the details.

 

What “skills” has God given you that could be used to serve/bless others?

 

Digging Deeper:

Study 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. Discuss Paul’s attitude towards his physical “challenge”. What did this do for Paul’s relationship with God?

 

Review Ecclesiastes 3:9-11 and discuss what it means that “He put eternity in their hearts...”

 

Taking it Home (Application):

Have you asked God to remove obstacles from your life but they haven’t moved? How have you reacted to that disappointment?

 

How available are you for God to use? How can we strengthen our “Here am I! Send me!” approach with the Lord? (How will He know we are available for Him to use?)