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?


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

Blog-post-headers04-10

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:


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