05.15.2016 – Ps. Duane White – REencounter: 40 Days With the Resurrected Jesus Pt. 7

Blog-post-headers05-15

This Sunday, May 15th, 2016, Pastor Duane White finished our REencounter: 40 Days With the Resurrected Jesus series at The Bridge Church in Denton, Texas on Pentecost Sunday.

REencounter: 40 Days With the Resurrected Jesus:

Pastor Duane has been unpacking some amazing messages about looking into the 40 days immediately following Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, where He appeared to more than 500 people on at least eleven different occasions before His final ascension back into heaven. In Acts 1 we see some of the last instructions Jesus gives the disciples before His ascension.

 “And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, ‘which,’ He said, ‘you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’ Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, ‘Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ And He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.'” (Acts 1:4–8)

During the Feast of Pentecost, which is 50 days after Passover, or 50 days from Easter, the disciples were in the upper room doing as Jesus had instructed them: waiting for the promise of the Father, also known as the person of the Holy Spirit.

There are so many things that could be said about the Holy Spirit, but there are two things that are definitely worth noting:

  1. He was promised by Jesus
    • “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever.” (John 14:16)
    • Jesus would not promise something that was bad. Jesus prayed for the Holy Spirit to come, and once He came, He has never left the earth.
  2. He is a gift from the Father.
    • Our Father only gives two kinds of gifts: good and perfect.
    • “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and it comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)

The Holy Spirit leads us to repentance, so we “have Him”at salvation,  but Jesus, and the book of Acts, teaches us that there is more. Jesus called it another “baptism.”

“For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit,” (Acts 1:5)

In an earlier encounter, in John 20, Jesus breathed on them and said “receive the Holy Spirit,”  so He had to be talking about something different this time! They had received the Holy Spirit, but had not been baptized in the Holy Spirit yet. There is a conscience experience that is subsequent to salvation called the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Baptism in the Holy Spirit increases the potential for all the benefits of the Holy Spirit in your life. In other words, whatever the Holy Spirit does in your life in measure, why not have access to a greater dimension of that?

Let’s look at a few benefits that the Holy Spirit brings into your life.

  1. He guides you to purpose. 
    • “When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” (John 16:13)
  2. He garnishes you with power. 
    • “…But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” (Acts 1:8)
    • The Holy Spirit equips you with the power of God. The Holy Spirit clothes you with power. He has power for every situation that you will ever face.
  3. He governs your passions. 
    • Being filled with the Holy Spirit is the mark of maturity in a believer is being led by the Spirit, and the more led by the Holy Spirit you are, the more mature you become.
  4. He guards your potential. 
    • There is great potential inside you, but there is an enemy that wants to steal that seed, kill the seed, and destroy that seed. The Holy Spirit will help you guard that seed until it comes to fruition! 
    • When the Holy Spirit convicts you, it’s not to condemn you, it’s to guard the good deposit of potential in your life!

All the disciples, even after REencountering the resurrected Jesus, still had to encounter the Holy Spirit, and after they did…everything changed!

 

Watch the full message here, and find out more on how to get connected with the Holy Spirit:

 

 


05.08.2016 – Ps. Duane White – REencounter: 40 Days With the Resurrected Jesus Pt. 6

Blog-post-headers05-08

This Sunday, May 8, 2016, Pastor Duane White continued our series REencounter: 40 Days With the Resurrected Jesus, at The Bridge Church in Denton, Texas.

REencounter: 40 Days With the Resurrected Jesus:

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'” (Matthew 28:18-20)

In this message, Pastor Duane White shared three major keys to our life mission:

  1. Jesus is the source of the mission.
    • “Where purpose is absent, abuse is inevitable.” Sin occurs at the point where you don’t know, or you forget, your God given reason for living.
    • Jesus is the authority. He is authorized, and because He is authorized, He has authorized you. Verse 18 in The Message version says, “Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you.”
    • Jesus was authorized in Heaven by the Father, but His perfection gave Him authority in the Earth, and your authority doesn’t come from your perfection, but rather from His perfection.
    • To authorize means to have official permission or approval. You don’t need permission from earth when you have permission from Heaven! If you’re going to follow the crowd, you’ll get lost in it, so don’t follow the crowd.
  2. Your mission flows from the Great Commission.
    • The Great Commission is really the only mission, and everything else we do is just submission. Submission is simply an ordering of yourself voluntarily under (sub) the mission of another. So the greatest mission we can have is to order our lives under the mission. 
    • All mission flows from the Great Commission, which begins with the command to GO!
    • Three W’s that describe our “going”
      1. WORK – your deeds and your actions.
        • You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
        • He also said, you are the salt of the earth. You bring flavor to your world. You are a change agent, and you preserve everything you touch. We are not talking about dead works where you are trying to earn salvation, but the good works that you were destined to do with God.
      2. WORDS
        • He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.‘” (Mark 16:15-16)
        • Use your words to carry the good news. Be prepared because God will you give an opportunity to share. Tell your story!
      3. WONDERS
        • Our going should be a sign and a wonder.
        • What are signs & wonders? They are signs that make you wonder.
  3. The power of our mission is His presence. 
    • We are not alone. Remember that we are doing it with Him!
    • When the disciples went out and preached everywhere, the Lord worked with them. The power didn’t come from them, it came from Him. It was the power of the Spirit that He had promised them. They were going to have authority and power.

“Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:9–11, NKJV)

 

To learn more about REencountering Jesus, watch the full message here:


05.01.2016 – Ps. Kris White – REencounter: 40 Days with the Resurrected Jesus Pt. 5

Blog-post-headers05-01

This Sunday, May 1st, 2016, Pastor Kris White continued our series REencounter: 40 Days With the Resurrected Jesus at The Bridge Church in Denton, TX.

REencounter: 40 Days With the Resurrected Jesus

For the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at the encounters, or appearances, of Jesus after the Resurrection leading to His ascension and then to the day of Pentecost. This Sunday Pastor Kris unpacked an amazing message about the disciple Thomas.

“Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.’ A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said,’Peace be with you!’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.'” (John 20:24-27, NIV)

What is faith? Faith is defined as believing in the unseen. What is trust? Trust is the firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something. From the beginning, in the garden of Eden, the devil has tried to use doubt and unbelief to weaken our faith. 

When you think of the disciple Thomas, you probably remember him as “doubting Thomas” due to his weakness. Thomas ran like the others that day after Jesus’ Crucifixion, but because he ran, he had missed out on seeing Jesus, and he messed up. What do you do when you’ve missed out and messed up?

Cynicism is doubt expressed. It is an attitude of scornful or jaded negativity – a sneering disbelief. Thomas was moving into cynicism and into a dangerous place. The kryptonite of unbelief was sapping the strength of his faith.

But then Jesus walks through Thomas’ wall, and He spoke peace. Jesus did not rebuke Thomas for questioning, but instead He boldly challenged him to move past his doubts. Doubts and questions will come, but the attitude of our response makes all the difference.

We can doubt without having to live a doubting way of life. Doubt encourages rethinking. Its purpose is more to sharpen the mind than to change it. Doubt can be used to pose the question, get an answer, and push for a decision. But doubt was never meant to be a permanent condition. Doubt is one foot lifted, poised to step forward or backward. There is no motion until the foot comes down. (Life Application Study Bible)

Would you let Jesus walk through the walls of your heart today and speak peace into your life? We can’t touch His scars like Thomas did, but we can let Him touch ours. We all get stuck in doubt sometimes. What will your response be? Will you retreat and regret? Or will you choose to return to Him and let Him start to redeem your weaknesses?

We know Thomas not only returned in words, but he also returned in his deeds. History tells us that Thomas took the gospel to India, where he saw many people saved, including kings, and he was later martyred for His faith.
NOT A DOUBTING THOMAS!

God is in the business of turning around our missing out and messing up. Don’t let your doubt be your downfall. Act in faith!

“And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength.” (Hebrews 11:32-34)

Find out more on how to walk out in faith by watching the full message here:

 


04.24.16 – Ps. Loius Kotze – REencounter: 40 Days With the Resurrected Jesus Pt. 4

Blog-post-headers04-24

This Sunday, April 24th, 2016, at The Bridge Church in Denton, Texas, our special guest speaker, Pastor Louis Kotze from Hatfield Christian Church in South Africa, continued our current series, REencounter: 40 Days With the Resurrected Jesus.

REencounter: 40 Days With the Resurrected Jesus

In this week’s message, our special guest speaker, Pastor Louis Kotze from Hatfield Christian Church in South Africa, unpacked an amazing message continuing with our series, REencounter: 40 Days With the Resurrected Jesus.

Pastor Louis started off his message by giving us the definition of entropy, and how it is involved in our lives. In science the term entropy is used to describe how in the natural world everything tends toward decay. It is the second law of thermodynamics, and it means that “in a closed system, the quality of matter or energy deteriorates over time.” Without outside influence things will move from order to disorder.

As followers of Christ we need to guard against spiritual entropy. Without the constant influence of the Holy Spirit, we will slip away from our position of faith and strength. Pastor Louis illustrated this point by looking at the disciples after the death of Christ. They were in a free fall of entropy. After reaching the lofty heights and the excitement of the triumphant entry into Jerusalem, things quickly degenerated and in John 20, we find them locked behind closed doors filled with fear.

“That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! ‘Peace be with you’ He said. As He spoke, He showed them the wounds in His hands and His side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again He said, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so I am sending you,’ Then He breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.'” (John 20:19, NLT)

Imagine the atmosphere in that room – the fear, guilt and shame that filled that place. The disciples in hushed voices discussing, even arguing about what had happened and what to do next. Perhaps they were planning their escape from Jerusalem; but whatever they were talking about, it was not a room filled with faith.

I am sure you can think of times when you were locked into a place of fear and disillusionment – a place where your actions may have contributed to the promise and hope for good completely vanishing, but suddenly Jesus appeared in their midst. Isn’t it great that when we see no options other than to flee, Jesus appears?

When Jesus appears to the disciples, their first response was fear. But Jesus speaks, “Peace be with you.” Is it possible that Jesus wanted them to understand something about peace in the light of the fact that He was about to send them out into the world?

“Peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of Christ.” – Sheila Walsh

We must be clear that we are not seeking the absence of trouble, but the presence of Christ in every trouble. If you are looking for the peace in the absence of trouble, you will always have reason to be locked in, but if peace for you is the presence of Christ, you will always be able to go out.

Jesus’ presence brings us into the Shalom of God which is peace on three levels:

  1. Eternal Peace – Because Jesus paid the price for our sins, we have eternal peace with God.
  2. Internal Peace – We are at peace with ourselves knowing that our sin and brokenness are forgiven and made whole.
  3. External Peace – We become peace makers to others.

Jesus gives the disciples two more gifts (in addition to peace):

  1. Joy – After speaking peace to them, Jesus showed them His wounds which brought them great joy. His resurrection is our hope because however we have been wounded, we will also be resurrected in Christ. Death is no longer the final reality because we have eternal life. No matter how real and close death may be, in Jesus we have a sure hope for life. This hope causes us to overflow with joy.
  2. Purpose – The continuing mission of the Father, first through His Son and now through His Church, is the good news of God’s saving, redeeming and restoring love to the world both in word and deed. What an amazing thing that we who were sinners and have all been part of the problem can be called out and sent on this mission. We are called to live not for ourselves but to give ourselves for His purpose.

Jesus wants you to not only have the joy of your salvation but also the joy of bearing fruit.

“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11)

 

Link to full video message coming soon. Thanks for your patience.