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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:


05.21.2017 – Ps. Duane White – Scandalous Grace Pt. 5

2017.05.21 - Message by Ps. Duane White - The Bridge Church in Denton, TX

This Sunday, May 21st, 2017, Pastor Duane White unpacked an amazing message to finish out our series on Scandalous Grace here at The Bridge Church in Denton, Texas.

Scandalous Grace:

In this message, Pastor Duane focused Corporate Grace, which is the grace of God over a particular group of people.

Have you ever met a family in which almost everyone in that family had particular gifts? Maybe they are all musically talented, or the family runs a business, or maybe they are all very gifted athletically? That is considered a corporate family grace.

Have you ever seen a church that was just graced to do certain things? Maybe they are great at evangelism or worship? For example, like Bethel, Betel, or The Dream Center. It doesn’t mean that they can’t do other things, but they have a special grace to do those particular things, probably better than most. This is what you would call a corporate grace.

The anointing in your life is toward you as an individual, but it is never for you individually. It’s always connected to other people, usually who people are different than you. It is Christ, the corporate man, in all of us, that is the hope of God being manifested in the earth.

“But, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head [Christ] from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:15-16, NKJV)

When God connects you to a group of people, you have access to the grace on that group of people, and they get access to the grace over your life.

“Those who are planted in the house of the Lord will flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing.” (Psalms 92:13-14)

You only flourish where you are planted. Let your roots go down and receive from the environment, or the soil, you are planted in. All you have to do is tap into it. There is a corporate grace around you. Get rooted and receive it.

The Atoning Grace is everything Christ paid for on my behalf through His death, burial, and resurrection. To understand exactly what this means you have to backtrack a bit to the Old Testament and see what was promised when people obey or disobey the law, as seen in Deuteronomy 28:1-8 and  Deuteronomy 28: 15-24.

In Deuteronomy, we witness the type of conditions of living without grace. This was what happened to you if you couldn’t keep the law, but Galatians says that the law was a school master – a teacher sent to teach us that we cannot do on our own.

Man’s sin led to the entrance of sickness and financial devastation. These were known as the curse of the law. When Christ lived He fulfilled the requirements of the law. When He died He paid the ultimate penalty for disobedience even though He never disobeyed. When He was raised from the dead, He conquered death by beating it.

This is known as the atonement. This is why on the cross Jesus said, “It is finished.

But think about it, if the penalty for sin was paid, then what happened to the curse of disobedience? It too should be gone. Jesus’ sacrifice brought the grace of God into your life, His obedience became your obedience, His death becomes your death, and His life becomes your life.

The cross built a bridge to give you access to the blessing and favor of God. The cross is your bridge to grace. Jesus is enough! The anointing grace, the saving grace, is available to everyone. 

Now you may ask, do I have any responsibility in all this? Responsibility means the ability to respond, and by grace, you have the ability to respond to grace, by faith. 

Grace provides it while faith accesses it. Faith is the door to access the room provided by grace.

“Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.” (Hebrews 12:15, NKJV)

Can you grow in grace? Absolutely.

“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Peter 1:2-4, NKJV)

Faith grants you access into the grace of God, the knowledge of God multiplies it. Your experiential, revelatory, personal, and intimate knowledge of God multiplies His grace in your life. By faith you gain access into the grace of God, but it’s by wisdom that you multiply your provision of grace.

Do you want to multiply the release of the Individual Grace in your life? Grow in wisdom and the knowledge of who God really is.

Do you want to multiply the corporate grace being released in your life? Get connected and let the Father give you the wisdom to respond and release it in your life.

Do you want to multiply the provision of Atoning Grace and all its benefits in your life? Get intimately acquainted with the knowledge of God in all He accomplished through His death, burial, and resurrection.

 

You can watch the full message below:


05.14.2017 – Ps. Duane White – Scandalous Grace Pt. 4

2017.05.14 - Message by Ps. Duane White - The Bridge Church in Denton, TX

This Sunday, May 14th, 2017, Pastor Duane White unpacked an amazing message to continue our series Scandalous Grace here at The Bridge Church in Denton, Texas on Mother’s Day.

Scandalous Grace: Shout Grace to the Mountains

“Now the angel who talked with me came back and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep. And he said to me, ‘What do you see?’ So I said, ‘I am looking, and there is a lamp stand of solid gold with a bowl on top of it, and on the stand seven lamps with seven pipes to the seven lamps. Two olive trees are by it, one at the right of the bowl and the other at its left.’ So I answered and spoke to the angel who talked with me, saying, ‘What are these, my lord?’ Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, ‘Do you not know what these are?’ And I said, ‘No, my lord.’ So he answered and said to me: ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts. Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of Grace, grace to it!’ Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying: ‘The hands of Zerubbabel Have laid the foundation of this temple; His hands shall also finish it. Then you will know That the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you. For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see The plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the Lord, which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.’” (Zechariah 4:1-10, NKJV)

Every person has a grace on their life. Paul talked about how the grace of God made him a wise master builder. That was Paul’s grace, but what is yours? There is a grace for what God has called you to do. Grace is an enabler. It empowers to you to do everything God has called you to do, and more importantly to be everything He has called you to be.

Every person alive has at one time or another felt like they have no energy  left to finish something they started. Maybe even something God told you to start, but you are just worn out and have no ability or strength to go on.

You can never receive grace and worry at the same time. You don’t do more by doing more, you do more by humbling yourself and receiving more grace.

“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’” (James 4:7, NIV)

God’s strength only becomes effective when you recognize your weakness. Grace is about effort – not your effort, but God’s effort. When you recognize your weakness and receive more grace, you reassert how to overcome the problem you’re facing.

In Zechariah 4, the prophet was speaking courage and boldness into Zerubbabel. He was tired, worn out, confused, maybe disillusioned, but the prophet was giving him the key to overcoming. What was it? To speak grace!

Faith moves mountains, but grace keeps mountains from moving you. The Bible says Jesus came bringing grace and truth. He gave you the power to live out the truth over your life.

“Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! He shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of ‘Grace, Grace to it!’” (Zechariah 4:7, NKJV)

What is a capstone? A capstone is a concluding or crowning achievement, a finishing touch or a large flat stone that is placed on top of a wall or building. It will not be by your great effort, or by your ability, or some great army that comes to your rescue, it will be by grace that you are able to put the crowning piece, the capstone, on the finishing project.

Speak to the mountain of your failure, to the mountain of your own efforts, to the mountain of unfinished projects you are drowning in. Speak to it, but you only need to shout two words: ‘Grace! Grace!’

Think about how the prophet told Zerubbabel to to get the finished product in the midst of the unfinished mess and speak ‘Grace! Grace!’ to it. God’s power is at the point of your weakness. God is saying ‘Zerubbabel, if you are at the end of you, you get the rest of me.’ You get the rest of God. When you stop working, God starts working.

Think about that mountain you’ve been trying to move, that issue you can’t seem to get over, that person that is harassing you…whatever it is, shout grace to it.

“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me (beat me up), lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:7–10, NKJV)

You can watch the full message below: