04.17.2016 – Ps. Duane White – REencounter: 40 Days With the Resurrected Jesus Pt. 3

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This Sunday, April 17th, 2016, Pastor Duane White continued to unpack an amazing series titled REencounter: 40 Days With the Resurrected Jesus at The Bridge Church in Denton, Texas.

REencounter: 40 Days With the Resurrected Jesus

In this week’s message, we continued our REencounter series by looking at the subject of overcoming failure.  All of us struggle in life and have failed in various ways. Some of us are still living in the consequences of that failure, and we have wondered whether we can ever get beyond that failure. But the amazing reality is, your future is greater than your failure, and God’s call is greater than your fall.

This week, we studied Simon Peter, one of Jesus’ closest disciples who had to overcome failure. Simon Peter displayed a particular proficiency for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, but his life reached a low point when he denied Jesus three times. Yet within a couple of months he was boldly preaching about Jesus on the Day of Pentecost, and he became one of the greatest leaders in the history of the Church.

So what made the difference? An encounter with the risen Jesus, and that is what will make a difference in your life, after your failure.

Our story is found in John 21, and contains two hugely encouraging lessons to take a look at:

  1. Jesus helps us in our present struggles.
    • God has never been afraid of our failure, because He never expected our perfection!
    • How do we let Jesus help us?
      • Welcome His intervention.
      • Obey His instruction.
      • Accept His Invitation
  2. Jesus heals us from our past failures.
    • God’s LOVE is not based on performance. It separates who and do. 
    • God’s love is unconditional – without condition, but not without expectation.
    • Truth & love must go hand in hand.

When they finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ he said, ‘you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my lambs.’ Again Jesus said, ‘Simon son of John, do you truly love me?’ He answered, ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Take care of my sheep.’ The third time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt, because Jesus asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ He said, ‘Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep.” (John 21:15-17)

God gives us second chances. Why? Because the call is greater than the fall. You may still be living in the pain and shame of past failure, or maybe you are wondering whether God could or would ever forgive you. Maybe you feel as though you failed Christ in the past. Maybe at some stage in your life you took a wrong turn and you wonder whether you can ever get back to God’s plan. The great news for you today is that God wants to come and help you face up to the past. He wants to forgive you, restore you, heal you and re-commission you.

You are far more precious to God than a priceless work of art. God made you, and He has a plan for you. He sent Christ to restore you, not only from the damage done to us by others, but also from the damage we have done to ourselves. When He restores us, he doesn’t just patch us up. He makes all things new, and gets us busy with the work He has called us to.

Jesus wants to encounter you, even in your failure. Especially in your failure!

“If you don’t know Jesus as a person, know his remarkable personality – playful, cunning, fierce, kind, creative, (at times irreverent), funny…you have been cheated. If you do not experience Jesus intimately, DAILY, in these very ways, if you do not know the comfort of his ACTUAL presence, do not hear his voice speaking to you personally – YOU have been ROBBED. If you do not know the power of his indwelling life in you, shaping your personality, healing your brokenness, enabling you to live as he did – you have been plundered.” – Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge

 

You can watch the full message by Pastor Duane below:


04.10.2016 – Ps. Duane White – REencounter: 40 Days With the REsurrected Jesus Pt. 2

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This Sunday, April 10th, 2016, Pastor Duane White continued our REencounter: 40 Days With the Resurrected Jesus series at The Bridge Church in Denton, TX.

REencounter: 40 Days With the Resurrected Jesus

Pastor Duane continued in this week’s message with part two of the REencounter series. In this series we are focusing on the 40 days right after Jesus’ resurrection and the eleven accounts of Jesus appearing to over 500 people.

This Sunday we looked at two disciples – not two of the eleven original disciples, but two who were followers of Jesus and His teachings in possibly an outer circle of his disciples.

We will picking up our story in Luke 24:13, which took place on Easter Sunday afternoon.

“That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was.” (Luke 24:13–16, The Message)

This life changing encounter, like Mary’s, had to do with their ability to see Jesus, or you could simply say it had to do with their vision. The fact is, our vision of Jesus can be blurred. It says in the text that “They were ‘kept from’ recognizing Him. What “kept them” from seeing Him? Some theologians and commentaries say it was God. Others say it was the devil. But Pastor Duane wanted to suggest that the text shows us a few other possibilities.

“Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.” (Luke 24:16, The Message)

Their vision of Jesus was blurred by despair. There was an immense sense of sadness because they were looking at life without the resurrection. Life is filled with ups and down, but when we view life through the lens of the resurrection, everything changes.

“They just stood there, long-faced, like they had lost their best friend.” (Luke 24:17, The Message)

Like Mary, they had Jesus right in front of them, but they could not see Him. Always remember Jesus is there, walking with you and talking to you whether you can see Him or not. Whether you truly recognize it or not, Jesus is with you! Don’t let despair blur your vision of Jesus.

Their vision of Jesus was blurred by disappointment. Their disappointment came from the fact that they saw the cross as the defeat of Jesus. Their vision was blurred by their skewed view.

“And we had our hopes up that he was the One.” (Luke 24:21, The Message)

Could it be that sometimes our disappointment with God is not about His actions, but rather our perception? Whether our disappointment is real or falsely perceived, it can have a huge blinding or blurring effect on us. Never let yesterday’s disappointment blind you from seeing today’s divine appointment. 

Lastly their vision of Jesus was blurred by doubt. They waned to believe, but doubt was killing their belief. Hope is the parent of faith, so when your hope dies, your faith is orphaned and doubt steps in. They had let their disappointment lead them into unbelief, and  their unbelief  led them to prove they were right in their unbelief. When you are in unbelief, you will build a case to support your unbelief.  The good news is that no matter how blurred your spiritual vision, or how spiritually blind you are, there is a cure.

“But now some of our women have completely confused us. Some of our friends went off to the tomb to check and found it empty just as the women said, but they didn’t see Jesus.” (Luke 24: 22&24, The Message)

Jesus had to “perform eye surgery” for these men to open their eyes to see the truth, and their blurred vision of Jesus was corrected. He used The Word to correct their vision.

“Then he started at the beginning, with the Books of Moses, and went on through all the Prophets, pointing out everything in the Scriptures that referred to him” (Luke 24:27, The Message).

Jesus didn’t prove His resurrection by revealing Himself naturally, but by reminding them of the promise in the Word. We must learn to believe the Word  over anything else.

Watch the full message here:


01.10.2016 – Ps. Duane – The Word for the Year

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This Sunday, January 10th, 2016, Pastor Duane White unpacked an amazing message about the Word of the Year for The Bridge Church in Denton, TX.

The Word of the Year

In this week’s message, Pastor Duane revealed the word from the Lord for 2016! He started off by explaining the meaning behind the words resound, redound, rebound, and renowned. Resound means to fill a place with sound, to be loud enough to echo, and to sing the praises of His glory. We want to fill our world with the sound of Heaven, with a Kingdom sound as we echo all that Heaven is saying. Redound means to contribute greatly. It says in 2 Corinthians 4:15 “all this (trouble) is for your sake so that the thanksgiving of many would REDOUND (contribute to or result in) to the Glory of God.” This also means to come back on or rebound. Pastor Duane believes the 2016 is the year of the BIG REBOUND, and for some of us, this is our COMEBACK year! Lastly, renowned means known or talked about by many, or famous. In 2016, we want to make Jesus famous in the earth! 

“He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.” – 2 Corinthians 1:10

 

Can you see the common thread among all of these words? Check out the video below to watch Pastor Duane’s full message and reveal of the Word of the Year!

 


January 2016 – Prayer & Fasting Guide

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Join us as we pray and fast together as a church family January 4th – 20th, leading up to the O2 Network Conference (Jan. 21-23) hosted at The Bridge Church.

Follow our daily prayer focus as we corporately believe together for specific things to manifest in 2016. If you would like to dig deeper into the Word, we recommend downloading the YouVersion Bible App to find devotional plans you can read during this season of prayer and fasting, in addition to our daily focus and verses.

DAILY PRAYER FOCUS: 

Monday – DISCERNMENT & DIRECTION for 2016

  • Ephesians 1:17-20 (spirit of wisdom & revelation)
  • 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (prepared things to be reveal by the Spirit)

Tuesday – PROVISION (jobs, businesses to flourish, divine appointments & connections, promotions, etc.) 

  • Philippians 4:19
  • Luke 6:38
  • 2 Corinthians 9:8

Wednesday – SALVATION (return of prodigals, courage to step out of our comfort zones and share the love of Jesus)

  • 1 Peter 3:15

Thursday – DENTON COUNTY (city, county, surrounding local areas, government, schools, universities, etc.)

  • Matthew 6:10

Friday – MIRACLES

  • Acts 4:30

Saturday – NATIONS

  • Isaiah 49:6

Sunday – RISE & BUILD (Reaching our potential with new property)

  • Nehemiah 2: 18-20

Fasting Guide:

What exactly is fasting?

“Fasting is an announcement the soul makes that the body will not rule over it, and it declares there will be no relief until the issues set before God are resolved in spirit. Fasting does not signal sincerity but rather humbles the soul with dependence upon God.” – Jack Hayford

“Fasting is a deliberate abstinence from physical gratification—usually going without food for a period of time—to achieve a greater spiritual goal. Fasting is intentionally denying the flesh in order to gain a response from the spirit. It means renouncing the natural in order to invoke the supernatural. When fasting, you say ‘no’ to yourself and ‘yes’ to God.” – Tony Evans

The Bible presents fasting as something that is good, profitable, and beneficial. The book of Acts records believers fasting before they made important decisions (Acts 13:2 & 14:23). Fasting and prayer are often linked together (Luke 2:37 & 5:33). Too often, the focus of fasting is on the lack of food. Instead, the purpose of fasting should be to take your eyes off the things of this world to focus completely on God.

Fasting is a way to demonstrate to God, and to ourselves, that we are serious about our relationship with Him. Fasting helps us gain a new perspective and a renewed reliance upon God. Although fasting in Scripture is almost always a fasting from food, there are other ways to fast. Anything given up temporarily in order to focus all our attention on God can be considered a fast (1 Corinthians 7:1-5).

Fasting should be limited to a set time, especially when fasting from food. Extended periods of time without eating can be harmful to the body. Fasting is not intended to punish the flesh, but to redirect attention to God. Fasting should not be considered a “dieting method” either. The purpose of a Biblical fast is not to lose weight, but rather to gain deeper fellowship with God.

Anyone can fast, but some may not be able to fast from food (diabetics, for example). Everyone can temporarily give up something in order to draw closer to God. By taking our eyes off the things of this world, we can more successfully turn our attention to Christ. Fasting is not a way to get God to do what we want. Fasting changes us, not God. Fasting is not a way to appear more spiritual than others. Fasting is to be done in a spirit of humility and a joyful attitude.

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” – Matthew 6:16-18