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06.18.2017 – Ps. Cody White – Timeless Ten Pt. 4

This Father’s Day, Sunday, June 18th, 2017, Pastor Cody White unpacked an amazing message to continue our Timeless Ten series here at The Bridge Church in Denton, TX.

Timeless Ten: Honor Your Mother and Father

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12)

After the first three Commandments, God begins to show us how to deal with certain relationships in our lives. He begins with the family by saying that we should honor our Father and Mother.

“Honor your father and mother, this is the first commandment with a promise, that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” (Ephesians 6:2-3)

These verses do not necessarily mean that God is going to do something to you because you have chosen to dishonor your mother and father; but rather, it is because you have chosen to do something to yourself. Choosing to dishonor your parents can cause something to happen on the inside of you that will not sit well with you, and when you begin to carry this thing throughout your life, you won’t live long because it’s eating at you. That disdain for your parents will affect your living and your well-being.

“Jesus left that part of the country and returned with his disciples to Nazareth, his hometown. The next Sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. They asked, ‘Where did he get all this wisdom and the power to perform such miracles?’ Then they scoffed, ‘He’s just a carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us.’ They were deeply offended and refused to believe in him. Then Jesus told them, ‘A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.’ And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them.” (Mark 6:1-5)

Although this last verse states that Jesus could no longer do any miracles due to their unbelief, He still managed to heal a few sick people before he left.

There are two ways that the Bible defines honor. It can be defined as the Hebrew word kabod, which means glory, or weight, heavy, or to give weight to a person. It is also defined as the Hebrew word timao, which means a value by which the price is fixed. You give value to your Father and your Mother, but that value is not up for barter. We are supposed to give value to our Father and Mother, but what we do is we give them honor based on how much we are willing to say that they are worth.

You are meant to give your Father and your Mother value that is a fixed price. It is not open to negotiation. You do not have the right to lower the value.

The challenge to this is that we have constantly been fed a steady diet of dishonor by the movies, tv shows, and social media that we take part in. Everywhere you look they are dishonoring the father figure, and we’ve got to stop dumbing down Dad. If the enemy can distort your view of the father figure, then that is how you will see the Heavenly Father.

Here are a few principles of honor:

  1. Honor opens the door of access.
  2. Honor is freely given and not always earned.
  3. Honor is for those who bring order in our lives.
  4. Honor is put on display by listening and responding.

When you dishonor, you are choosing to shut yourself away from things that might be inside of people, and when you honor, you might unlock something inside of them that you have never seen before. What would happen if you choose to honor your mother and father? You might unlock something that you have never seen them do before. You will never know if you continue to dishonor.

We honor because we want to be honorable.

“For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” (2 Corinthians 4:5)

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matthew 13:44)

There was a treasure in the field; but not only did the man purchase the treasure, he purchased the field too. We all have treasure inside of us, but we also have a lot of dirt too. We can’t just honor the treasure; we must honor people for all of their dirt too. You can’t get hung up on all the dirt and miss the treasure. We are called to honor the whole field.

God loved us despite our dirt and our mess. We can’t dishonor someone despite all of their dirt.

“Honor is when we value someone for who they are without stumbling over who they are not.” -Bill Johnson

If you want the promise that comes with this Commandment, you have to choose to accept all of the dirt that comes with them. When you choose to honor the field, you get the treasure. Then you thank God for the treasure that lies within them. You can find treasure in anyone.

If it is hard to honor someone, then God will give you the grace to honor them. We are called to honor those to whom honor is due. We are called to bring honor to those who bring order to our lives.

You will never honor if you choose to never forgive. You have to find the treasure in the midst of your parents dirt. You are called to honor. 

 

Watch the full message here:


06.11.2017 – Ps. Duane White – Timeless Ten Pt. 3

This Sunday, June 11th, 2017, Pastor Duane White unpacked an amazing to continue our series Timeless Ten here at The Bridge Church in Denton, TX.

Timeless Ten: It’s All in the Name

“You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” (Exodus 20:7, NIV)

When a baby is born, the first thing that people usually ask is, “what is the baby’s name”? Names are very important, and when people remember your name, it is a big deal. It makes you feel valued, thought about, and loved.

There are certain names that conjure up different emotions associated with that particular name. It could be a good association or a bad association. Think about the different emotions you feel when you hear the name Adolf Hitler versus the name Mother Theresa.

To the Hebrews, a name was a big deal. They labored greatly and thought intently before they named a child because God had taught them the importance of a name. In fact, when they encountered God, they would call that place by a name associated with the part of God they encountered. These are what we call the Jehovah names of God, such as Jehovah Jireh (provider), Jehovah Rapha (healer), Jehovah Shalom (peace).

A name represents a nature. The Hebrews were naming the place to declare to the world the nature of God that had been revealed to them by the encounter. The names we use for God represents our true view of God, and speaks volumes as to what we really believe about His true nature and character. 

The third commandment says that you shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God. How do we misuse the name of the Lord?

If you grew up in church, you were probably taught that this commandment means that you do not cuss using the name of God. Now, while that can be considered a gross simplification of this truth, it is still true, we should not use God’s name as an expletive. Using His literal name as an expletive is rampant in our society. The media and movies are huge for using Jesus’ name as a cuss word.

Isn’t it funny though how society has chosen those names, the ones that should be associated with a loving God, instead to swear with? Could one reason that this happens be perhaps that there is a deeper, more sinister plot than just to get people to “cuss” in the name of the Lord? Is it possible that using God’s name that way is not the problem, but rather the by-product of a deeper problem? Is it possible that we could live our whole life and never use God’s name as an expletive, but still misuse the Name of the Lord?

Remember a name represents a nature, so are we “misusing” the name of God by “mis-representing” His nature? In other words, are you truly representing the true nature of God with what you are saying about God? Or, have you let bad theology cause you to associate things with His name that are contrary to His nature?

Have you ever wondered why, when a hurricane destroys the coastline, or a tornado ravages a city, or lightning strikes and destroys a building, the insurance companies want to call it “an act of God?” But, if storms are from God, and Jesus rebuked the storm in Mark 4, then He was rebuking His heavenly Father.

Isn’t it odd how, when something goes well society says, “Man, that person is lucky!” But when something goes wrong, many times even non-Christians will say, “God why are you letting this happen to me!?” When something bad happens and we shake our fists at the air and scream “Why won’t you fix this God,” we may not be cussing in His name, but we are certainly not understanding or representing Him well.

Could it be that we have fallen into the trap of letting wrong thinking about the character and nature of God cause us to misuse His name?

“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” -A.W. Tozer

When you hear someone say “God,” what comes to your mind? Creator? Redeemer? King? Judge?

He is a creator, that is true; but before God created, He had it in mind for us to be born and come to know him and be born into his family as his children. Before God was a creator He was a good, loving Father. Creation is what He does but a Father is who he is.

He is a redeemer. We messed up and needed redemption. He redeems because He is a Father who wants His kids back in the family.

He is King because He wants his children to reflect His rule, reign, and authority in the Kingdom. A king is always looking for an heir. Kingdom activity is a result of a relationship with the Father.

He is a judge, but He judges not to punish us, but to pass out rewards. As a dad, sometimes you have to “judge” which kid is right, but that is not to condemn the one that’s wrong, but to protect the family. God is not a judge who sometimes fathers, but a father who sometimes judges.

  • If you first think of God as creator, He is some distant figure that cares little about you or your issues.
  • If you see Him first only as redeemer, then maybe you owe him a debt to pay back because of the price he paid.
  • If you see Him first as king, then maybe you are a mere subject of the Kingdom, and on good days He’s a good king, but on bad days he’s a mean king.
  • If you see Him first as judge then maybe He is the man upstairs that is waiting to beat you over the head when you mess up.

We must remember: God is always first a Father!

Now, depending on your interactions with your earthly father, that could trigger all kinds of thoughts and emotions. The lenses through which you view God will distort, or make clear, every situation you face. Not only is it important to view God first as Father, it’s imperative we know what kind of Father He is.

God is a good, loving Father. God Created the world as your playground. He loved His kids so much that He would pay any price to get His family back. He is a King, but you are His prince or princess. His judgement has been, and always will be, in your favor, and He is now only judging to give you bigger rewards.

The revelation that He is a good and loving Father changes how you view everything. Tragedy is not God’s way of punishing you for your sin or some distant-figure-in-the-sky’s passive aggressive way of dealing with humanity, but rather the result of the fallen world we live in. Your Heavenly Father is working all things together for your good and He is using you to RE-create His good in the world.

His name is good because He is good.

“But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:31, NKJV)

We are called to represent His name in the earth. We are called to RE-present His name in the earth. To present that beautiful name for what it really is.

It’s All in the Name. 

Watch the full message here:


06.04.2017 – Ps. Duane White – Timeless Ten Pt. 2

This Sunday, June 4th, 2017, Pastor Duane White unpacked an amazing message that continued our series Timeless Ten here at The Bridge Church in Denton, Texas.

Timeless Ten: Know the Real God

“And God spoke all these words, saying: ‘I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.’” (Exodus 20:1–2, NKJV)

God is a “fill in the blank” God. He is reminding them in this scripture that He is the Great I Am. 

Remember that there are a lot of names for God. There is Elohim, which means “strong creator.” Our God is not a weak God; He is a strong God.  This was the first name God ever revealed Himself as to Abram, before God changed his name to Abraham. He called Himself the Strong Creator. This is the same God who flung the stars into place and created the massive galaxies, the same God who crated the heavens and the earth and all that is in them.

Then God reminds them not only who He is but what He has done. He reminds them that He has delivered them physically from slavery in Egypt. By sending His Son, God delivered us out of our “Egypt.” Some people He has physically rescued out of the hell they were in and the hell they were headed to.

God was also reminding them that He had delivered them spiritually from the “house of bondage.” A house can be a literal dwelling or a household. In other words, a generational bondage. He not only delivered you from hell, He took the hell out of you. He would have delivered you just for you, but it wasn’t just for you; it was for you and your family. You are no longer slaves to sin. You are no longer a son or daughter of Egypt, and bondage is no longer your inheritance.

Then the 2nd Commandment comes:

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me.” (Exodus 20:4–5, NKJV)

The problem with an idol is that they shrink our image of God down to their size. They restrict and relegate our view of God down to what a human could conceive about God.

There is nothing wrong with “aides” to worship as long as they don’t become objects of worship, and there is a clear understanding that God is not in the aide. He doesn’t reside in the object, and there is no power in the object.

For us to fully understand idolatry, we need a few good definitions:

  • Idolatry occurs when you hold any value, idea, person, or activity higher than God.
  • When you give God-like characteristics or attributes to anything other than God.
  • When you worship the creation over the creator.

For example, often in our culture, we idolize things like:

  • Physical beauty
  • Fame
  • Power
  • Money
  • Technology
  • Superstition

Idolatry is about you making God into your image instead of letting God make you into His imageDon’t let God be reduced to yours or anybody else’s image. His image is better than any one you can conjure up.

Change comes in our life when we stop seeking the God we want and start seeking the God who is. The biggest problem with any god other than the true God, is they are a terrible substitute for the real deal. The best way to stop idolatry in your life is to know the one true God.

 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”(John 8:32)

The more intimately you begin to know Jesus, the more no other substitute will do. One of the aspects of idol worship was to create an image that would ensure the presence of the god they represented. But God didn’t need an image to put His presence in. He had made us in His image already.

Jesus didn’t leave heaven looking for subjects to obey Him; He came to earth looking for love. What false idol ever wanted to be loved? Almost every false idol seeks submission and control of its subjects by fear and terror.

The more we know God, the more we realize He seeks us for a loving relationship with us, and any obedience He asks for is in our best interest and the best interest of others.

“Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man’s design and skill.” (Acts 17:29, NIV)

He’s the only one who brought you out of Egypt.
He’s the only one who brought you out of the household of bondage.
He’s the only one worthy of your worship.

There is no one greater, no one higher, no one like our God!

 

Watch the full message here:


05.28.2017 – Ps. Duane White – Timeless Ten

 

This Sunday, May 28th, 2017, Pastor Duane White began our new series, Timeless Ten, here at The Bridge Church in Denton, Texas.

Timeless Ten: How to Live By Priorities

The story of the 10 Commandments begins in Exodus 19, when God tells Moses to come up the mountain and to gather the people and have them consecrate themselves for three days. The people gathered at the foot of the mountain, but they weren’t allowed to come up the mountain because they were considered unholy and unworthy. God tells Moses to come meet him at the top of the mountain, and he returns to the people with the 10 Commandments.

This summer, we’re going to be taking a deeper look at these instructions – the timeless ten – and how they apply to our lives today.

The First Commandment begins with what matters most. It is about our relationship with God because our relationship with Him affects every other relationship in your life.

“And God spoke all these words, saying: ‘I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.’ You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:1-3, NKJV)

God is God. He not only knows who He is, He is wants to make sure that we remember who He is. In essence he is telling us with this commandment how we are to prioritize their lives. Really loving God means that it’s not enough to invite Him along for the ride, but we must give Him full control.

Who is in the drivers seat of your life? Maybe it’s not God, or you. Maybe it’s someone or something else? That is what this commandment is about, keeping that main thing, the main thing, and Jesus is the main thing.

How do you put God first? 

  • F – Finances
  • I  – Interests
  • R – Relationships
  • S – Schedule
  • T – Troubles

Finances – How we spend our money reveals what is top priority in our lives.

“You can’t worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you’ll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can’t worship God and Money both.” (Matthew 6:24, The Message)

Money is compared to God, so it must be a god that we can put in the driver’s seat. When you associate God-like attributes to an inanimate object, like money, you are making that object a false God.

If money makes your decisions, then money is your God. If we teach our children the mentality of “we don’t have the money,” we are raising idol worshippers. Instead of saying, “We don’t have the money,” try saying instead, “We are choosing the spend our money elsewhere.”

So, how do you put God first in your finances?
You can begin by giving Him the first fruits of your finances by tithing. When you honor God with the first 10 percent of what you make, you are well on your way to honoring Him with it all. It’s all His to begin with, so give Him the first 10 percent, and ask Him what to do with all the rest of it.

If you can really put God first in your finances, you are well on your way to putting Him first in everything. If you can’t put him first in your finances, then you likely can’t really put Him first in anything.

Interests – You can tell a lot about a person’s priorities by what they get excited about.

It’s funny, if you go to a football game, paint your chest, sit in freezing weather, and scream till you have no voice, you are a fan. If you go to church and clap, or raise your hands in the air, or  jump up and down, you are a fanatic. Wouldn’t you rather be known as a fanatic for Jesus than a fan of the Cowboys?

The Bible says do all you do and do it all to the glory of God. What do you like to read the most? Think about the most? Listen to the most? Do it all to the glory of God.

Relationships – Jesus needs to be in the driver’s seat of all of your relationships. This is most obvious in your relationship with your spouse. Some people idolize their spouse. If Jesus is #1 in your life, and He is #1 in your spouse’s life, then Jesus is not going to fight with Jesus.

That is easily seen in marriage, but really it is true in any relationship. You can see this in dating as well.  If the person you’re dating doesn’t put Jesus first, but you put them first, they are an idol.

You can also see this in friendship. If what your friends think is more important to you than what God thinks, then your friends are your idol.

Schedule – Are you so busy that you forget to make a place for God in your life?

Many times we wear our “busy-ness” as a badge of honor, but it might be because we are afraid that if we slow down, we will have to face the pain of our lives. Busy-ness is often a result of barrenness.

So, how can you put God first in your schedule? The same way you did in your finances. Give Him the first part of the day by making a place to meet God, or by making prayer a regular part of your daily routine. It may sound simple, but most people don’t do it.

“Prayer doesn’t need proof. It needs practice.” – Pastor Duane

Troubles – When You go through troubles, who do you turn to first?

Is God the first one you ask for help? Or the last?  When God is all you have, you realize that He is all you need.

Some people never run to God in a crisis, while other people only turn to God in a crisis. The second isn’t great, but He loves you so much, He will take what He can get. But once He gets you through the crisis, put Him first in everything. It’s a much better way to live.

The first commandment is really summed up in what Jesus said in the gospels when asked which commandment is the greatest: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind.”

Putting God first is making a choice that excludes all other choices.

Watch the full message here: