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05.07.2017 – Ps. Alex Vasquez – Scandalous Grace Pt. 3

2017.05.07 - Message by Ps. Alex Vasquez - The Bridge Church in Denton, TX

This Sunday, May 7th, 2017, Pastor Alex Vasquez unpacked an amazing message to continue our series Scandalous Grace here at The Bridge Church in Denton, TX.

Scandalous Grace: Everyday Grace

Sometimes in order to find out what something is to us personally, we first have to find out what it isn’t. Here are a few things that everyday grace is not:

  • Everyday grace is not a distant concept.
  • Everyday grace is not limited.
  • Everyday grace is not compensation, or a “get out of jail free card”.

Now that you know what grace isn’t, what is grace to you as an individual? Here are a few things that everyday grace is: 

  • Everyday grace is a present, or a gift.
  • Everyday grace is about growth.
  • Everyday grace is about receiving truth through relationship.
  • Everyday grace is scandalous

Grace is like soil. But to get to that point, you’ve got to back up a little bit and look at yourself as the seed.

When you get dry seeds to plant, the seeds are dormant, which means they are inactive. All it usually takes to wake them up is just to add water. So if plant them in good soil, they will begin to come to life.

 “Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24)

Just like those dried up dormant seeds, the moment you add that living water, you will come to life. But that is just the beginning. The soil – grace – acts as a distribution center by pumping life and God’s promises into you every day. Just like a seed, living in everyday grace gives you strength. It helps you to grow roots that establish who you are. When you think of grace embracing you, think of yourself as the seed.  You are surrounded by this life-giving grace that you can decide to take part in.

“Why had I assumed that growth in grace would be less painful than any other kind of growth? Heart surgery is heart surgery, any way you cut it.” – The Reign of Grace

Grace cuts to the core of who you are, and it can be hard, but through that pain, you are not alone. Everyday grace is not just for your protection, but also for your potential. It is through grace that you can receive life every day, but you have to allow your outer shell to be broken to receive the truth that you really need.

“But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?’ They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir,’ she said. ‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.'” (John 8:1-11 NIV)

For you to really grow, the truth must invade your life, but without relationship it can be easy for you to reject the truth. The problem is, many people live on one side or the other. Truth without grace leads to rules and rebellion, while grace without truth leads to a “do whatever and believe whatever” lifestyle.

Everyday grace is there to embrace you even when you don’t deserve it. Life is filled with moments of great joy and moments of great pain. Scandalous grace invades those moments with life-changing, life altering-truths that:

  • Lead you out of the dark places in your life.
  • Direct you toward His promises.
  • Free you from the lie that says you are not enough.

It’s that rich, life-giving soil that wraps you completely on all sides as you grow into your full potential. This is everyday grace.

To really live a life of everyday grace, you need to show that same scandalous grace to others. Remember, everyday grace is not a distant concept and it’s never ending. It has nothing to do with being good enough.  The Father wants the best for us, and His grace is the best.

Watch the full message here:

04.30.2017 – Ps. Jay Pike – Scandalous Grace Pt. 2

2017.04.30 - Message by Ps. Jay Pike - The Bridge Church in Denton, TX

This Sunday, April 30th, 2017, our guest speaker, Pastor Jay Pike from The Gate Church in OKC, unpacked an amazing message continuing our series Scandalous Grace here at The Bridge Church in Denton, Texas.

Finding Favor:

 “But Noah found favor with the Lord,” (Genesis 6:8, NLT)

Jesus had favor with God and favor with man. Favor with man brings the praise of men. If the praise of man leads to pride in you, it will cost you the favor of God. Favor with God brings persecution of man. If you can’t handle persecution from man, you shorten your time of favor.

If you focus on favor with man, you forfeit favor with God. If you focus on favor with God, you will always have favor with whatever man you need to fulfill God’s purpose.

Favor has to be found. You can grow in favor, and you can grow in grace, which can help you in your time of need. There is a grace for every season in your life. Your challenge is to find the grace for the season that you are in. There is grace for every assignment in your life. Your assignment is to find the grace for your present assignment.

You learn to follow presence more than you follow principles.

Here are three questions to consider:

  1. Where is God’s grace resting in this situation?
  2. Where is God’s grace operating in this conversation?
  3. Where is God’s grace moving in this person’s life?

Noah found favor with the Lord.

  1. Favor requires you to build in one season what you will need in a future season. Finding favor can make you look silly in the present, but look smart in the future.
  2. Favor reveals the timing for transition. In order to stay in favor from season to season, you have to pay attention to the dove. If you get your information from the dove, you will always know when it’s time to step into the next season.
  3. Favor releases the rain.

 “In the light of a king’s face there is life, and his favor is like clouds that bring the spring rain.” (Proverbs 16:15)

  • Rain moved Noah from stagnation to advancement.
  • Rain is a resource. Favor is always better than resources.
  • Rain transforms the territory.

Watch the full message here:

04.23.2017 – Ps. Kris White – Scandalous Grace

2017.04.23 - Message by Ps. Kris White - The Bridge Church in Denton, TX

This Sunday, April 23rd, 2017, Pastor Kris White unpacked an amazing message called Scandalous Grace here at The Bridge Church in Denton, TX.

Scandalous Grace: The Prodigal God

The definition of scandalous is the causing of general outrage by a perceived offense against morality or law, while grace is the unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification, or a virtue coming from God. You could also say that grace is the free and unmerited favor of God that has manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.

What is the difference between mercy and grace? Mercy is God not giving us what we do deserve, and it saves us from judgement. Grace is God giving us something we do not deserve, and it gives us abundant life.

“The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.” (Num 6:24-26)

There are three categories of grace: 

  1. Atoning Grace
  2. Corporate Grace
  3. Individual Grace

“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.” (Luke 15:20-24)

The significance of the robe was to cover his shame and to restore the relationship with his son for all to witness. The ring represented authority, while the sandals represented the sign of a son.

You can see the scandal that has taken place. This story should be called the Prodigal God. 

The definition of prodigal is:

  1. Spending money or resources freely and recklessly; wastefully extravagant.
  2. Having or giving something on a lavish scale.

God sent an embrace of grace. 

“Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf. “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him. “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’” (Luke 15: 25-32)

There is also a place of grace. 

The older brother was loyal, industrious, faithful, and righteous. Overall, he was still lost. He lived a performance based life, he was self righteous, he was very angry and offended, jealous, and he was not connected to the Father’s heart. The older brother was at the house, but not at home in his love.

The father’s aim was not to have them in the fields, but to take their place in the family and staying connected to the Father. Both of the sons operated out of fear and not love.

 “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers,” (Romans 8:29).

When grace finds you, you can’t keep it to yourself. It’s time to take your place at the table. When you take your place in grace, you become the face of grace to others.

Watch the full message here:

04.16.2017 – Ps. Duane White – Scandalous: A Love that Shocked the World

2017.04.16 - Message by Ps. Duane White - The Bridge Church in Denton, TX

This Sunday, April 16th, 2017, Pastor Duane White unpacked an amazing message to begin our new series Scandalous: A Love that Shocked the World, here at The Bridge Church in Denton, TX on Easter Sunday.

Scandalous: A Love that Shocked the World

“And as soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. And they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate. And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” And the chief priests accused him of many things. And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed. Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked. And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas.  And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he usually did for them. And he answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?”  For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead. And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” And Pilate said to them, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified,”   (Mark 15:1-15).

Jesus stands before Pilate, and during this time there is a custom that at the Passover one criminal can be set free, and so enters this confusing plot-twist character named Barabbas. This guy is hours from his execution, and he deserves to die. Jesus on the other hand is innocent and has done nothing wrong.

Pilate is very certain that the crowd will pick Jesus to be set free because it was just a week ago that they lined the streets with palm leaves to welcome Jesus into the city. Jesus is their hero; surely they will set him free, but then the unthinkable happens. The same crowd that cried Hosanna, now cries crucify Him.

Jesus is enough. Jesus knew that the Father would have to treat Jesus like Barabbas, so that He could treat Barabbas like Jesus.

Barabbas on the other hand thought that it was the people that set him free, but instead, it was the love of the Father. 

This love can’t easily be described with simple, cute, or easy words; to do it justice is not possible. We would need to use words like: unfathomable love, furious love, fierce love, or scandalous: a love that shocked the world. 

This is the greatest love story of all time, but it’s not a love story like any other. This is not the love of a man for a woman – that love pails in comparison to this. This is a love story of a Father for His Son. Not his Son Jesus, but His son Barabbas. 

When you break up the name Barabbas, you see bar, which means son, or pure and clean, and you see abba, which means father or daddy. The literal meaning for Barabbas is Son of the Father. Barabbas was the son the Father who was lost and wanted back.
You are Barabbas. We are Barabbas.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” (Romans 5:8, NKJV).

While we were at our worst, the Father, through Jesus, gave His best. While Barabbas was at His worst, the Father gave His best. 

Why did God do this? It was to buy him back. He loved His wayward son, Barrabas, who had incredible worth to the Father.  He could have purchased his freedom with gold or silver. He could have used any currency He wanted, but He chose to purchase him, me, you, us with His blood. 

He loved you so  much, He thought you were to die for!

The greatest part of this love story is not that Jesus died, but Jesus did not stay dead. He conquered death and the grave because God raised Him from the dead. The Father treated Jesus like Barabbas so that he could treat Barabbas like Jesus, and when He raised Jesus from the dead every Barabbas can be raised up and seated in heavenly places with Him. You are Barabbas.

“When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s cross,” (Colossians 2:13-14, The Message).

“He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets,” (Colossians 2:15, The Message).

Something happened from Friday to Sunday. If our love story ended on Friday, it’s a great story, but it has no power to change you. But from Friday to Sunday, everything changed.

All you have to do is believe and receive. 

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name,”(John 1:12, NKJV).

Choosing to believe and receive what God has for you, is becoming who God has called you to become.

Are you ready to receive the power to become His Son or Daughter today?