Getting Past Your Personal Failures- Message Audio – 10/15/17

Message Notes

Psalm 38:4

My guilt has overwhelmed me. It’s overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.

#1 We have to recognize that your biggest sins are not too big for God’s grace.

1 John 1:9,

If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Jeremiah 31:34

“For I will forgive their wickedness  and will remember their sins no more.”

#2  You are not what you have done, you are who God says you are.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here!

#3 You cannot change your past, but Christ can change your future.

Philippians 3:12-13

I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 

 

Getting Past Your Personal Failures – Discussion Questions

1 John 1:9 and Jeremiah 31:34. These verses tell us that our sins are never too big for God’s grace.

  • What are some of the lessons you’ve learned from your past failures?
  • Why is it so difficult for us to forgive ourselves even after God has forgiven us of all our sins?

Read 2 Corinthians 5:17. This verse explains that our identity is not based upon what we have done, but rather whom God says we are.  

Failure is an event – never a person.

What does that statement mean to you and how can you draw strength from it?

Philippians 3:12-15. This passage encourages us to realize that while we can’t change our past, God can change our future.

  • Describe a past failure that you have fully overcome. How did you successfully overcome it?
  • What does God’s grace and forgiveness mean to you? How has it changed you and helped you overcome your failures?

NEXT STEPS

  1. Confess to God those sins that you have not asked forgiveness for. Ask Him to forgive you and cleanse you from the stain of sin.
  2. Tell God your past failures that you continue to struggle with. Ask Him to help deliver you from these feelings.
  3. Ask God to help you forgive yourself of your past failures in the same way He has already forgiven you of all your sins.
  4. Thank God for His forgiveness and grace in your life. Tell Him how it has changed you.
  5. Ask God to help you stop focusing on your past mistakes and instead focus on the future God has planned for you.

Focus Moment – October 11, 2017

 

Silence, Stillness, and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Prayer for Presence
God, my Father, You have promised to remain forever with those
who do what is just and right. Help me to live in Your presence.

Prayer of Confession:

Loving God, to turn away from you is to fall; to turn toward you is to rise; and to stand before you is to abide forever. Grant us, O Lord, in all our duties your help, in all our uncertainties your guidance, in all our dangers your protection, in all our sorrows your peace. Lord forgive us our sins, those things we do, those things we leave undone, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Scripture Reading

James 1:5 (NLT)
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

Devotional

There are many people who are very knowledgeable in the Word of God — they have studied the scriptures with a great zeal for understanding, but not all of them are able to utilize their knowledge in the way God intended. The reason is simple — they lack wisdom.

Q: So what does wisdom have to do with our ability to use our knowledge?

Simply put, wisdom is the application of knowledge and understanding. Think of it this way; if knowledge were a piano, then wisdom knows how to play the piano.

All too often we can get focused on gaining or collecting knowledge, and yet do very little or nothing to apply what we know. This is especially dangerous when it comes to our Christian walk, because at its root, knowing what to do and not doing it is sin, and this can be harmful to us and to others. Another negative side affect to our lacking wisdom is we tend to get puffed up in the knowledge we have collected. Think of it as water that has made its way into a stagnant pond; it will never flow any further, nor be used to bring forth the water of life.

There have been many times where people have said to me, “I’m not sure what God’s will is for me. I want the wisdom to make the right decision.” I will usually tell them to seek the Lord in prayer for His leading. I will then encourage them to remember God has told us to ask Him for wisdom, and that He will give it to us liberally (James. 1:5). Our greatest resource for wisdom is God’s Word. It is here where we will find His will for most things we encounter (Rom. 12:1-2). I believe when we apply what we already know to be right according to His Word then God will lead us in what we are to do.

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17 (NKJV)

I want to encourage you to think and pray upon these things today.

Space for Reflection (take 2-3 minutes to be silent or write out your thoughts or prayers from the scripture passage or devotional)

Father, thank You for giving me wisdom to apply the knowledge I have. Abundantly give me Your wisdom today and prompt me to share Your Word with others. In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)

TALK IT OVER: According to the scriptures in this devotional, what can we learn with respect to being wise, and obtaining wisdom?

Focus momento – Octubre 11, 2017

El silencio, la quietud, y centrado ante Dios (2 minutos) 

Oración por la presencia 

Dios, mi padre, que Tú has prometido permanecer para siempre con aquellos

Que hacer lo que es justo y recto. Ayúdame a Vivir en Su presencia.

Oración de confesión:

Amar a Dios, a su vez lejos de ti es caer; gire hacia usted está aumentando; y a presentarse antes de que se cumpla siempre. Concédenos, oh Señor, en todas nuestras funciones su ayuda, en todas nuestras incertidumbres a su orientación, en todos nuestros peligros su protección, en todos nuestros dolores tu paz. Señor, perdona nuestros pecados, esas cosas que hacemos, las cosas que dejamos deshacer, por Jesucristo nuestro Señor.

La lectura de la escritura 

Santiago 1:5 (NLT)

Si necesita sabiduría, pida nuestro generoso a Dios, y él se lo dará a usted. Él no te reprenda por preguntar.

 

Devocional 

Hay muchas personas que son muy conocedores de la Palabra de Dios – han estudiado las escrituras con un gran celo por la comprensión, pero no todos ellos son capaces de utilizar sus conocimientos en la manera que Dios quiere. La razón es simple: les falta sabiduría.

 

¿qué sabiduría tienen que ver con nuestra capacidad de utilizar nuestro conocimiento?

Sencillamente, la sabiduría es la aplicación de los conocimientos y la comprensión. Piénsalo de esta manera; si el conocimiento fuera un piano, entonces la sabiduría sabe cómo tocar el piano.

Todos demasiado a menudo podemos obtener enfocado en ganar o la recopilación de conocimientos, y, sin embargo, hacen muy poco o nada para aplicar lo que sabemos. Esto es especialmente peligroso cuando se trata de nuestro caminar cristiano, porque en su raíz, sabiendo qué hacer y no hacerlo es pecado, y esto puede ser perjudicial para nosotros y para los demás. Otro lado negativo afecta a nuestra falta de sabiduría es que tendemos a obtener engreído en el conocimiento que hemos recopilado. Piense en ello como el agua que ha hecho su camino en una charca estancada; nunca fluya más, ni se utilizará para traer el agua de la vida.

Ha habido muchas veces cuando las personas me han dicho, “no estoy seguro de cuál es la voluntad de Dios para mí. Quiero sabiduría para tomar la decisión correcta.” Me suelen decirles a buscar al Señor en oración por su líder. Entonces voy a alentarlos a que recuerde que Dios nos ha dicho para pedirle la sabiduría, y que Él nos dará liberalmente (James. 1:5). Nuestro mayor recurso para la sabiduría es la Palabra de Dios. Es aquí donde encontraremos la voluntad de la mayoría de las cosas que encontramos (Rom. 12:1-2). Yo creo que cuando aplicamos lo que ya sabemos que son derecho de acuerdo a su Palabra, entonces Dios nos llevará en lo que vamos a hacer.

Ver entonces que usted camine con diligencia, no como necios sino como sabios, aprovechando bien el tiempo porque los días son malos. Por tanto, no seáis insensatos, sino entendidos de cuál sea la voluntad del Señor. Efesios 5:15-17 (NKJV)

Quiero animaros a pensar y rezar sobre estas cosas hoy en día.

Espacio para la reflexión (tomar 2-3 minutos de silencio o escribir tus pensamientos u oraciones del pasaje de las escrituras o devocional 

 Padre, gracias por darme la sabiduría para aplicar los conocimientos que tengo. Dame tu sabiduría abundantemente hoy y me incitan a compartir su palabra con otros. En el precioso nombre de Jesús, Amén…

La oración del Señor 

Padre nuestro que estás en los cielos, santificado sea tu nombre, Venga a nosotros tu reino, hágase tu voluntad en la tierra como en el cielo. Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada día. Y perdónanos nuestras deudas, como también nosotros perdonamos á nuestros deudores. Y que no caigamos en la tentación, y líbranos del mal.

Concluir con el silencio (2 minutos)

 Hablarlo: de acuerdo a las escrituras en este devocional, qué podemos aprender con respecto a ser sabio, y la obtención de sabiduría?

“Initiating Restoration” – Message Audio – 10/8/17

Message Notes 

#1 Worship and Apology

23 “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you,24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. – Matthew 5:23-24

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.   -Matthew 5:9

If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. (Romans 12:18)

#2 Apologize with Integrity

Five parts to a good apology.

Admit to specific actions and attitudes.

Don’t make excuses.

Accept the consequences.

Change your behavior.

Ask for forgiveness.

Who do you need to apologize to today?

“Initiating Restoration” – Discussion Questions

Matthew 5:9, Matthew 5:23-24 and Romans 12:18. These verses emphasize the importance of making peace with those you’ve hurt.

  • How do you typically respond to those you hurt? Are you more of a peacekeeper or a peacemaker?
  • Why do so many of us tend to be peacekeepers instead of peacemakers?

Proverbs 11:2. This verse tells us that the greatest enemy to peacemaking is pride, while the greatest friend to peacemaking is humility.

How have you seen pride impact your ability to be a peacemaker in your relationships?

Why is it so important to apologize with integrity?

Action Steps 

Whom have you hurt that you need to apologize to immediately? What has kept you from apologizing to this person?

Focus Moment – October 2, 2017

Silence, Stillness, and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Prayer for Presence

God, my Father, You have promised to remain forever with those
who do what is just and right. Help me to live in Your presence.

 Confession:

Almighty God, we have been wandering in the wilderness of sin. We have complained in the face of your mercy. We have been selfish and conceited in the wake of your sacrifice. We have not done your will. Teach us humility. Teach us gratitude. Infuse your spirit into our beings, so that we might be reconciled to you. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Scripture Reading

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at.” –1 Samuel 16:7a

Devotional

In my twenty-plus years as a leader in the non-profit sector, I’ve found that much of leadership involves disappointing people. When I got into church leadership, I assumed I would spend the majority of my time inspiring people with my vision, comforting people with my pastoral skills, and instilling God’s Word through my preaching. Little did I know that in every one of those areas (and more) I would disappoint people.

Before David was known as a victorious warrior, powerful king, and devoted follower of Yahweh, he was just a shepherd boy who was low on the hierarchy among his brothers in his father Jesse’s household. When Samuel came to Jesse, he was sure that the physically impressive eldest son, Eliab, was to be named God’s new king (16:6). Everyone, including David, was shocked to learn that David was the one to be anointed king. David’s resume was unimpressive! He was young, small, and very inexperienced in life. According to the standards of his day, David was a disappointing choice.

My resume could be equally disappointing depending on what areas you look at and what metrics you use to evaluate me. Am I a disappointment for currently leading a small urban church that has plateaued in growth? Was my ministry more “fruitful” when I led 3000 people instead of the 200 now? Am I a failed leader when our budgeted income is greatly lagging again? What should I do with the long-time member who continues to express his disappointment that I don’t spend enough time counseling him through his significant emotional and financial challenges? If the metrics being used to evaluate me are increasing attendance and income while meeting the needs of each parishioner, then certainly I would appear to be a disappointment. (And often, I do really want to fulfill these expectations. What leaders don’t want to help their people and see their church grow?)

But when I pause and try to listen to the Lord’s voice, I am reminded of God’s challenge to Samuel to use different metrics: “The Lord does not look at the things people look at.” I want to look at the things that the Lord looks at, and it sounds like God is not impressed with the external metrics that we and others often use to define success, value, and importance. We’ll take a longer look tomorrow at what it means to define oneself based on what God looks for in a leader.

-Tim Yee

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

How does your organization define success? Are there certain metrics that are used to evaluate your leadership regularly?

How are these metrics in line with what you think God is looking for in a leader?

Are there any metrics that you think are focused on the wrong things?

PRAYER:

Lord, I know that my leadership will often disappoint people, so give me the ability to see myself with your eyes. When I fail to meet expectations that bring both merited and unmerited criticism, help me to remember that you are not impressed with the appearance of strength, health, and success. Give me courage to own the areas I need to grow in and the strength to resist becoming merely a pleaser of people. Help me hear your voice as Samuel and David did and simply follow you where you lead. Amen.

Space for Reflection (take 2-3 minutes to be silent or write out your thoughts or prayers from the scripture passage or devotional)

Closing Prayer

May the Lord bless us and keep us and cause His face to shine upon us from this day forth and forevermore. Amen

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)