Gratitude Matters

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JM ensenada worship 2015Psalm 118:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

This weekend officially begins one of the most universal holiday seasons on the planet. For those with patience to notice it begins in our country with a day of thanksgiving. I invite you to think more deeply about importance of giving thanks. If you do it can take your life to a whole new level.

Rom 1:21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

There is much to consider here. Let me cut to the chase. I believe when we genuinely value and trust the presence of Christ as our source of life, our hearts will respond in gratitude. On the flip side, when we look to our own strength or lesser gods to make our live work we will sink into a cesspool of disappointment, frustration and inevitably ingratitude. This is why Moses warned his people to NOT FORGET THE LORD when things were going well for them. When we forget that life comes from God, we come to the wrong conclusion about where our blessing came from.

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Support Those Who Govern

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prayer-trioRomans 13:1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.

What should it look like to follow Jesus AFTER a contentious election? How does God want Christ followers to respond to imperfect human governments no matter how good or bad they might be?

I don’t want to drag out the worst of what this election brought out in our country. I do want to review core biblical truth about what God expect of all who follow Jesus in whatever countries we live in during our time on earth. Here are the highlights from last weekend’s lesson. To catch the whole thing, go to www.parkviewfamily.com.

God gave directions to the early believers during the time Nero was killing Christians in the Coliseum. It would be easy to write off all government and embrace a permanently hostile attitude towards it. They were not to do this. God wanted them to understand it from his perspective. God’s authority & power are above all earthly rulers. God has purpose for what he allows. None rise to places of authority without His hand in it. Jesus NOT government has power to save us. With that in mind followers of Jesus should:

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Now What?!

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kingdom-decision-2-0-promoJeremiah 29:7 Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.’

Titus 3:1-2 Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, 2 to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.

The election is finally over, now we will have to learn to live with it. Like most national elections it reminds us that there is great cultural, philosophical and moral diversity in our country. These moments raise the temperature around those differences. Early Wednesday morning some were trilled, others were devastated. The range of emotions included fear, relief, nausea, joy and anger. For most the emotions are likely mixed. The one thing everyone shares however is uncertainty. No one really knows what this will mean yet.

What should it look like to follow Jesus AFTER a contentious election?

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Embrace His Mission

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colored crossJohn 15:8 “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

It’s almost time for mid-term graduations. Most people don’t think about them unless it’s their time to finish. There is a real excitement and anticipation to put that new degree to work in the real world. There are moments like that for the follower of Jesus as well. His call to follow has a purpose mean real life impact. While we never outgrow our need to follow Him, and we never stop learning from Him, it is NOT all about the learning.

A true follower of Jesus will come to a point where they must embrace His mission as their own.

This is His aim. If this doesn’t occur then the legitimacy of our claim to be His followers is highly questionable. That was the focus of our lesson last weekend. The highlights are below. As you review, ask yourself what your ultimate mission is in life and how fully you have embraced His mission as your own. If you don’t like your answer, Grab hold of the clues below to change your direction.

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What is Your Mission

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john-child-fishingMatt. 4:19 And He *said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

John 15:8 “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

Do you ever sense that you were made to matter, to make a difference, for some ultimate purpose? God did in fact make you for a purpose. You have a destiny that touches eternity. But it is so marred by darkness that only Jesus can reclaim it for you. This weekend we are going to pull the “Follow Me” series together. Everything we have studied in this series has an ultimate purpose.

Those who followed Jesus first needed to know the purpose of following. What was the end game, the point? They needed focus & purpose for their lives that came from Jesus. It wasn’t just about what they got. It wasn’t just about how they felt or where they ended up. What did Jesus say were they supposed to do, to live for?

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