Category Archives: Bridge Church

Highlights from the Fluent Series

Last week we wrapped up our Summer Message series at Bridge Church Madisonville called Fluent. The series was designed to challenge us as believers to think about our understanding and communication of the gospel. We tackled common cliches that Christians use to define their faith, but are not always clearly understood by us or those around us. These statements/cliches are:

  • “I Got Saved!”
  • “Jesus Changed My Life.”
  • “I asked Jesus to come into my heart.”
  • “I am Free In Christ”
  • “I’m On My Way to Heaven.”
  • “I’m growing in my faith.”
  • “I’m living for Jesus.”

Here’s a few highlights from the series. Download these and other Bridge Sermons HERE.

  • God has tied salvation to the spoken and heard message about Jesus Christ.
  • We live in a BROKEN WORLD. Beautiful but broken. We can’t FIX the BROKENNESS ourselves. Jesus REDEEMS, RECONCILES, and REGENERATES. Jesus Changes our lives and mends the brokenness caused by sin.
  • What do you do with a gift? You ACCEPT it. And salvation is offered by God and accepted in repentance by people on this earth.
  • Salvation is not just a thought I had one time at camp, but it’s a change of life and a radical reorientation of our hearts and minds to a new center of gravity – the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • If Jesus is in your heart, He’s displaying His glory in and through your life. Don’t rest your salvation on any cliche. Follow Jesus. Get close to His word. Do what it says. Display his gift!
  • freedom in Christ is not a justification for questionable behavior. And there are guardrails on our freedom in Christ that are put there by the Holy Spirit’s work in the life of each individual believer.
  • Nobody in the bible ever said, “Don’t you want to go to heaven when you die?” The desired outcome of life is ETERNAL LIFE. And that doesn’t start at death, it starts when you begin a relationship with Jesus Christ. Life and Eternity is about RELATIONSHIP.
  • We are not marked by our perfection, but how we respond in our imperfections.
  • Missional living is living with a hammer in our hands and the truth of God in our hearts.
  • We don’t live missionally for the light to shine on us. Everything we do should draw attention to Christ.
  • Works CONFIRM our salvation, not secure it. Works DISPLAY our new life IN CHRIST. Works are a RESPONSE, not an obligation.
  • Legalism is following the rules instead of following God.
  • If we’re not obligated, the why do we serve? Because it’s what we’re created for (Ephesians 2:10).

Join Bridge Church, 10am on Sunday’s at the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum in Madisonville. Find us at BridgeNorthshore.com and Facebook.com/Bridgenorthshore.

The Journey to Change

Christianity has never had a more dangerous enemy than Saul of Tarsus, or a more dedicated friend that Paul the Apostle; both are the same man.”

~ Johnny Hunt

Yesterday, Bridge Church began a series called Changed. We’ll follow the life of the Apostle Paul from Acts 9 through Acts 28. Paul not only gave us 12 books of the Bible, but his life shows us the power of the Gospel and Jesus’ life within to bring change and transformation to the life of a person, no matter their hostility or sinfulness.

Follow this series by subscribing to our Podcast. Download some notes and discussion questions from the Intro to the series called The Journey to Change HERE.

“When you pray… When you fast…” ~ Jesus

prayer3Jesus seemed to assume that prayer and fasting would be a part of the lives of his followers. He didn’t say “if” but “when.” With his assumptions we see again that spiritual disciplines were not just meant for the clergy, but for everyone. In January, our church typically participates in a 21-Day Prayer & Fasting plan. With that in mind, here’s some basics on fasting from a few of my favorite books on the subject of prayer.

From Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster:

  • Fasting refers to abstaining from food for spiritual purposes. It’s not a hunger strike or a form of dieting. Biblical fasting always centers on spiritual purposes.
  • Fasting must forever center on God. It must be God-initiated and God-ordained.
  • More than any other discipline, fasting reveals the things that controls us. We cover up what is inside us with food and other good things, but in fasting these things surface.
  • In Scripture the normal means of fasting involves abstaining from all food, solid or liquid, but not from water (Luke 4:2).
  • Sometimes a partial fast is described. Like Daniel, “I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth” (Daniel 10:3).

Isaiah 58 is one of the best resources on fasting in the Bible. Tom Eliff in his great book, A Passion for Prayer shares an outline with us on improper and proper motivations for and the promised benefits of fasting:

Four Improper Reasons for Fasting:

  1. Fasting to get God’s attention (Isaiah 58:3a).
  2. Fasting w/o focusing on the Lord (Isaiah 58:3b).
  3. Fasting w/o humility of heart (Isaiah 58:4).
  4. Fasting for a brief external show of piety (Isaiah 58:5). Jesus spoke against this as well in Matthew 6:16-18.

Proper motivations for fasting (Isaiah 58:6-7):

  1. To bring spiritual liberation and freedom.
  2. To relieve heavy burdens.
  3. To increase our awareness of the needs of others.

God’s promised benefits for those who fast sincerely and seriously:

  1. Insight and understanding (v. 8)
  2. Physical well-being (v. 8)
  3. A deep sense of what is right (v.8)
  4. God’s presence to protect and provide (v. 8)
  5. A sense of immediate access to God (v. 9)
  6. Release from spiritual oppression (v. 10)
  7. Real-time guidance from God (v. 11)
  8. Satisfaction and joy during difficult times (v. 11)
  9. Increased strength to accomplish the Lord’s work (v. 11)
  10. Fruitfulness (v. 11)
  11. Recovering and restoring culture (v. 12)
  12. Rebuilding what was destroyed (v. 12)

Some Options for introducing fasting into your life:

As you consider fasting, before conducting an extended, lengthy complete or total fast from all food, consider your past health and conditioning and some of you may want to consult a doctor. Consider your work. If your work is rigorous then you need food for energy to give your best to your employer. A complete fast may not be for you at this point. Here are a few other options:

  • One meal each day—The fast is not about only giving up food, but also includes praying during mealtime. Jesus said, “Could you not watch with me one hour?” (Matthew 26:40). It takes about an hour to prepare a meal or travel to a restaurant or get ready to eat. So this time is a perfect opportunity to pray. Those who work in hot exhausting jobs cannot fast completely because they need their strength and stamina for physical exertion. However, they can sacrifice one meal a day for the Lord.
  • Two meals each day—Some people can pray for two hours each day, sacrificing two meals to the Lord.
  • Eat only veggies—The Daniel Fast involves giving up meats, desserts and snacks, eating only the food that Daniel most likely ate. While the fast doesn’t give extra time to pray, it is a commitment of the heart that when joined with prayer, moves the heart of God.
  • Give up television—Secular people might laugh at “fasting television” or “sacrificing television” but it is a commitment to God to place loyalty to Christ first above all else. This is a spiritual choice in response to Christ, who promises, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
  • Give up sports—Giving up bowling league, golfing, fishing, jogging or other activity for a season (such as 40 days) to pray during that time is a choice. It places spiritual exercise above physical exercise.“Bodily exercise profits little, but godliness is profitable for all things” (1Timothy 4:8).
  • Give up pleasure reading—Beyond what you must read for your work or preparing for teaching the Word of God, pleasure reading could be turned into prayer time. You could consider laying aside reading the daily newspaper too.
  • Restrict mobile phone use and text messaging—While some of these communication devices are necessary, they are serious time robbers that could be placed aside for praying.
  • Facebook and other social media—These activities can consume huge chunks of time. Part of a fast could be to cease social media and use the time for prayer and intercession.
  • Other—There may be something that the Holy Spirit brings to mind that you could place aside for a season while you focus on more prayer.

The Daniel Food Fast 

Also check out www.ultimatedanielfast.com & www.danielplan.com/ for info, recipes, & more.

The Daniel Food Fast is a very healthy way to eat. So health professionals will support this eating plan but might suggest a few modifications if you have health issues that need special attention. For example, pregnant and nursing mothers might get instructions to add fish, chicken and cheese into the Daniel Food Fast but otherwise stay the course. Diabetics may need to add more carbohydrates or include chicken and fish. Also, those who are especially active either through sports, bodybuilding or vocation may need to slightly alter the eating plan. I encourage you to check with your doctor . . . and by the way, being addicted to Snickers and Coke don’t count as a special need!

What is the Daniel Food Fast?  

The Daniel Food Fast is a biblically based partial fast. It is a method of fasting that men, women and young people all over the world are using as they enter into the spiritual discipline of prayer and fasting.

There are two anchoring scriptures for the Daniel Food Fast. In Daniel 1, the Prophet ate only vegetables (that would have included fruits) and drank only water. So from these scriptures we get two of the guidelines for the fast:

1. Only fruits and vegetables

2. Only water for a beverage

Then in Daniel 10, we read that the Prophet ate no meat nor any precious breads or foods and he drank no wine for 21 days. So from this scripture, we get a third guideline:

3. No sweeteners and no breads

Another important guideline is drawn from Jewish fasting principles, where no leaven is used during the fast. So that’s why yeast, baking powder and the like are not allowed on the Daniel Food Fast.

Check out www.danielplan.com & www.ultimatedanielfast.com for more info, including recipes.

Other resources for your 21 Day’s of Prayer & Fasting:

Celebrating Small Group Life

Round tabled with our Bridge Church Small Group Leaders this week for a seasonal troubleshooting and celebrating session. Proud moment for the church planter, when you realize that what started as one small group in 2011, has now grown to 10 groups! We celebrated new groups and first time group engagements. We trouble shot consistency, communication, pastoral care issues. A few of the highlights and developing strategies from our journey to effective group ministry:

  • Seasonal Rhythm.  We’ve adopted three seasons as opportunities to start new groups, for groups to take natural breaks, and to emphasize new connections. This includes a Small Group Leader round table, one month prior to each new seasons kickoff. A rhythm is a system that can give natural start and stops for groups.
  • Geaux Projects for Groups.  Each group is encouraged to organize around the strategy Gather-Grow-Geaux. How are we going to gather this season (where, how often, how long, etc.)? How are we going to grow this season (track with sermon series, marriage study, financial study, etc.)? How are we going to geaux this season (how will we serve and make a difference in our community together)? This seasons Geaux Projects have included projects for local widows, helping flood victims, serving local children’s home, shared date nights for couples, neighborhood block parties, etc.
  • Putting our Money Where our Mouth Is. A few years ago it hit me that we talk about how important groups are but our budget doesn’t back that up. So now, each group gets $1,000 per year to make magic happen with group life. This is turned into incredible impact through the opportunity for groups to be responsive to the needs around them and creatively serve one another and their communities. This year, we were able to do that twice. Love hearing the stories of how this money is spent.

Capacity for making disciples is best expanded at the group level. Churches that grow must find ways to multiply gatherings (rows), groups (circles), and teams (strengths).

If you go to a church, but are not involved in a group, get involved ASAP. We like to say,

“Life change happens best in circles, not rows.”

Getting involved in a group that forms in a circle is different than sitting in a church with rows.

– In a circle you look someone in the face.
– In a circle there is dialogue & conversation.
– In a circle, you let down your defenses & engage.

These are critical elements of the kinds of relationships that bring life change.

If you’re in West St. Tammany Parish, and want to connect with one of our Bridge groups, sign up here.

 

 

 

A Mission Greater Than Yourself

Highlights from our Bridge On Mission Message Series

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November was On Mission Month at Bridge Church. We tackled the questions of how to live life ON MISSION to the Vulnerable, the Nations, the Next Generation, & to our Neighbors.

Check out a few great quotes from this series presented by Evan McGinty, Steve Elworth, Cherish Leblanc, Elizabeth Johnson, & myself.

  • Christ Followers never say, “That’s not my problem.”
  • There’s no such thing as an unwanted child in God’s Kingdom.
  • The drive behind our mission is obedience to God. Sustainable mission is a series of small steps of obedience.
  • In Christ, our lives will not end in brokenness, but with promised restoration.
  • If God calls you to it, He’ll give you the grace to do it. – Cherish LeBlanc
  • God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called. – Elizabeth Johnson
  • God is a missionary. Therefore, the church is a missionary church.
  • Missions is something God does, not something I do.
  • “God’s mission is a reason there is a Bible at all.” – Steve Hawthorne
  • “Do not ask ‘what is God’s will for my life?’ Instead, ask, ‘what is God’s will for the world and what is my place in fulfilling his will?’” – John Perkins
  • If every evangelical gave 10% of their income to missions we could easily support 2 million new missionaries.
  • Your Character, Lifestyle, & Example as a parent, or other influence in their lives, help kids know WHAT is right.
  • Good character around them can be a kind of North Star. That’s also why we need a church community, b/c our kids are not just watching us, but those we associate with.
  • Your Intentional Words, Discipline, Discipleship help them know what AND WHY the Christian life is right.  
  • “There is just one way to bring up a child in the way he should go and that is to travel that way yourself.” — Abraham Lincoln
  • Missions does not equal distance. We have a mission field within walking distance of us everyday.
  • Consumers like the mission. Disciples own the mission. Romans 1:14

Listen to the messages HERE or on Itunes.

 

Growing Churches = Growing Leaders

voldinnerLast night was our annual Leadership Appreciation Dinner with Bridge Church. Bridge Church started in 2009 and in 2010 we held the first Leadership Appreciation Dinner with one table at a restaurant. Last night, we had six tables and another two tables full of leaders that couldn’t be there for various reasons. Grateful for these great friends in ministry and grateful to God for what He is doing in our lives together.

The real task of growing churches is that of growing, releasing, encouraging, equipping, and increasing leaders. Nothing increases the capacity of our churches to make a difference like leaders. A growing church is finding ways to grow leaders, PERIOD.

The struggle to grow leaders is often our own.

  • The fear of losing control – as if control is what God called us to.
  • “they’re not ready yet” – ministry was Jesus’ tool for development of leaders. Giving people opportunities was His model.
  • and the “If I only had” – instead of developing leaders, waiting on someone else to send them.

Leaders are drawn by vision/mission and relationship.

  • Like Mark, who shared last night about his journey beginning with two guys from our church showing up at the hospital after he was in a major accident. Today, he and his wife lead our Kids Ministry Team.
  • Like Josh, who said, he’d been encouraged by numerous families from our church at area Foster Care meetings. Today, they’re adopting and have plugged in to our kids ministry team.
  • Like Evan, who said the church said yes to his crazy ideas allowing him to explore his calling. Today, he’s on our Pastoral Leadership team and shares the teaching and preaching load.

It’s not just about how many are there on Sunday, but how many are influencing others, multiplying themselves, being shaped into disciples who make disciples. How many tables do you have right now? Grow leaders and grow your church.

THIS IS CHURCH: Obedient Hearts Coming Together

Highlights from Bridge Church’s study on the book of Acts

thisischurch1This Fall, our church has been tracking with the first Christians in the book of Acts. The book of Acts tells the story of how an average sized church of 120 changed the world through the power of God’s spirit and their obedience to Him. You can hear the series here or by subscribing to our podcast on Itunes. Here’s a few highlights from the past 8 weeks: 

  • A church will be Biblical, when the lives of the people in the church are Biblical & their lives line up with the practices & commands of Jesus Christ.
  • THIS IS CHURCH: OBEDIENT HEARTS COMING TOGETHER BACKED BY THE POWER OF GOD.
  • One of the greatest enemies of life on mission is HURRY. What possibilities might life hold if we slowed down rather than stepping on the gas? What dangers might depths of relationships born over long talks with friends save us from? What strength is missing in my life because of lack of time spent sitting quietly with God & His Word? What opportunities to witness to & serve others fly by me as I hurry to the next big thing? Ministry, growth & maturity, depth of relationships happen in the neutral ground & at the intersections of life. Not at 70 miles per hour.
  • The question is not, are you being discipled? but by who or what? Are we being discipled by our screen time & social media, or by Christ & His people?
  • The early church prayed 10 days & preached 5 minutes & 3,000 people came to know Christ. Today we do the opposite & get the opposite result.
  • The confused, scared people in the upper room, became an unstoppable army of witnesses that spread across the world sharing the message of Christ.
  • The Holy Spirit is not a tool for our satisfaction or to puff us up with how great we are or to make us feel better about ourselves. His purpose is to empower us for God’s mission.
  • If you say, I’m not experiencing the Spirit’s power – What mission are you on? Have you stepped out of your comfort zone to tell others about Christ lately? Have you took a risky stand for Christ at work?
  • We are saved to be sent. We’re washed to be witnesses.
  • If I’m believing & looking to be obedient, walking with God. I’ll not lack for opportunity to be a witness.
  • Christianity is not a lone ranger affair. To grow, to be obedient, to be on mission, you must be in relationship with others.
  • The Holy Spirit will change your priority from personal comfort & safety to selflessness & sacrifice.
  • Purpose leads to SELFLESSNESS! We begin to realize that my gifts, my resources, my time is NOT MINE! And it’s NOT ABOUT ME!
  • when God gives you purpose, He also gives you the means to accomplish that purpose. GET THIS: It’s HIS WORK through You!
  • God’s purpose & the needs of others trumps personal comfort & even safety for those who have aligned their lives with God’s purpose.
  • Generosity is not something God wants FROM you, but something God wants FOR you. God doesn’t need your money, He wants your heart.
  • It’s dangerous to focus on what we appear to be, instead of what we actually are.
  • Preoccupation with appearances is a root that will lead to deception, depression, and possibly disaster. Our preoccupation should be on approval from God. On allowing His grace to shape in us a Godly character. On obeying Him carefully & one step at a time.

We’ll return to this series in 2017, and pick up with the life of Paul the Apostle. November will be Bridge On Mission month. We’ll look at our mission to the least, to the nations, to the next generation, and to our neighbors. In December, we’ll look fresh at the Christmas story in a series called Looking for ADVENTure. If you are in West St. Tammany and you don’t have a church you attend, gather and grow with Bridge Church, 10:30am at the Maritime Museum in Madisonville.

The Riches of Relationships

This month, Bridge Church has been in a series called How to Be Rich. We’ve talked about how the Gospel enriches, Generosity enriches, & this weekend, about how RELATIONSHIPS enrich our lives. How do Relationships Make us Rich? Here are 4 Biblical ways:

1. Two are Better than One

Eccl 4:9-10 – Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up.

If you’ve ever needed someone than you know the value of relationships. If you’ve ever gone through tragedy, needed to move, or just needed someone to talk to, you know the truth that two are better than one.

Do I have someone in my life that could lift me up when I fall?

Many people wait until they fall, then they start calling. I  “I’ve called everybody & nobody will help me!” If you get involved in a church or group & walk with people, they’ll see you falling & try to help.

The storms of life are never in the forecast, it’s not a matter of IF you’ll need others, it’s WHEN. Get involved. Serve, share, give & be made rich through people that will be there when you need them.

2. Success comes through the Wisdom of Others

Proverbs 15:22 – Plans fail when there is no counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”

Proverbs 11:14 – Without guidance, people fall, but with many counselors there is deliverance.

Proverbs 24:6 – you should wage war with sound guidance– victory comes with many counselors.

We need the advice & wisdom that others have to offer. We need a circle of friends to bounce our crazy ideas off of. Our hearts are deceptive (Jeremiah 17:9). Inside our minds & hearts everything can sound perfectly normal & rational. But when it has to pass through our lips for others to hear, the lights come on. And then they can share other ways of understanding the situation or their facial expressions may tell you all you need to know.

Who do you have in your life that you can call & say: “I want to run something by you. Tell me if I’m crazy. Tell me if this sounds dumb. What would you do in this situation?”

Who do you have in your life right now that you are bouncing your hearts opinions off of? Who can tell you that you’re crazy & you not get offended?

We could avoid a lot of foolish actions, just by having a circle of friends that we’re regularly talking to about what’s going on in our lives. Other people’s advice & opinions can make us rich.

Deeper than that may be a circle that we’re accountable to:

3. Relationships EXPOSE US. Our Hearts Need Exposure

Our hearts are deceptive (Jeremiah 17:9) & there’s nothing like relationships to draw our sin & deception out & expose it for what it is. Deeper than just advice & counsel, we need people in our lives that can say to us – YOU’RE WRONG! You need to repent! And let me pray for you right now!

James 5:16 says, “confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.”

These relationships are most often built over time, slowly walking with one another, getting to know one another’s weaknesses & triggers & developing trust so that friction doesn’t cause division but healing.

Do you have these kinds of relationships in your life right now? If so, THAN YOU ARE A RICH RICH PERSON!

Now, this is also the reason many people RUN from relationships. So this is the BEST & WORST thing about relationships. They EXPOSE US.  It’s why only about 2% of the population are involved in a small group right now. Our hearts FEAR exposure. It’s unnatural for us to expose ourselves & trust others. Committing to these kind of relationships force us to deal with our fear, resentments, & sin in a healthy way.

Great poverty of spirit may come at times because of relationships – as I have to acknowledge that I’m weak & wrong – but RICH wisdom & life change will be the reward.

4. Jesus Promises His Presence to those who pursue relationships in His name

Matthew 18:20 –  “where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.”

The least common denominator in Christianity is small groups of people gathered around an open Bible. Gathered around God’s will & His Word.

Who wouldn’t want this? To be have others who will be there for us. Great counselors & advisors. People that help us keep our hearts clean. AND THE PROMISE THAT GOD HIMSELF IS PRESENT! That’s the riches of relationships.

Unless we’re proud, satisfied by our sin, comforted by our resentments, fearful of the change that God might bring. At that point, the wisdom of others & presence of God will be the last thing we desire in our lives.

The riches of relationships START with HUMILITY. Admitting our need of God. Admitting our need of others.

This is UNNATURAL, what I’ve described this morning. It is! It’s SUPERNATURAL. This is the kind of relationships that a relationship with Christ empowers us to have.

Praying that you find the Riches of Relationships.Where do I start?

  • Humble yourself & admit your need. All good things in the Christian life start with humility.
  • Join a Small Group Bible Study at a local church.
  • Ask someone you trust to mentor & hold you accountable.

Get the audio from this & other messages from Bridge Church HERE. Join us Sunday’s at 10:30am at the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum in Madisonville.

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Swells: Lessons from the Psalms on Surviving Life’s Ups and Downs

swellsBridge Church tackled the book of Psalms in our summer series called Swells. We covered 8 major themes in Psalms including: Worship, the Word of God, Dealing with Difficult People, Dealing with Discouragement. Get the audio from this series HERE or by subscribing to our Podcast on Itunes. Here are a few highlights:

  • Two truths that stand out in the Psalms: God is bigger than anything I face & God is with me no matter where I am or what I’m going through.
  • Psalms reminds us that it’s OK to have lows in life. It’s actually NOT a sin to be discouraged or depressed. The very best of folks in this life, do. It IS a sin to go to the wrong place to heal discouragement & depression.
  • Our faith in God, not the surface waves of life ultimately define us.
  • There are only three kinds of people in life. People who are in the midst of a storm. People who just came out of a storm. People who are about to go through a storm.
  • there is POWER in the Word of God. We’re not just reading a good self-help book, we’re connecting with the Living God, through the means he chose to reveal himself to us.
  • When waves come, you need resources. And the earth’s resources will not be enough! You need strength inside. Strength from heaven.
  • John Bunyan said it well: “This Book (the Bible) will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this Book.”
  • D.L. Moody said, “The only way to keep a broken vessel full is by keeping the faucet turned on.” Keeping the faucet of God’s Word running repeatedly through your mind will clear out the garbage and keep you pure.
  • It’s OK to FEEL FRUSTRATED & FEARFUL. As long as you take those frustrations to the right place. We often think – “I shouldn’t have these feelings.” But feelings are a part of the journey toward experiencing God. We don’t waller in our feelings. That’s called sulking & doesn’t accomplish much. David kept moving, took his feelings to God, & expected God to do something about it.
  • If you’ve ever realized how badly you needed grace, you’re more likely to extend it to others.
  • People & our feelings will let us down. But God will be a shelter.
  • We can’t always say that bad things happen in our life are the consequences of sin, but sometimes they are. You will know. Sometimes bad things happen b/c we live in a bad world. Sometimes bad things happen b/c of other people’s bad decisions. Sometimes it’s just the natural outworkings of foolish decision making. Sometimes it may be discipline from God. God disciplines those he loves.
  • There’s great freedom in living a life of integrity & character, powered by God’s son.
  • Becoming a Christian is not an insurance policy from bad things. It IS an insurance policy against purposeless, meaningless life. We can be assured, that even the bad things that we can’t figure out are a part of God’s plan. And we can cry out to God for deliverance & be assured of His presence & that He will answer us.
  • Results of Trusting God should be greater courage, greater confidence, victory over fear, risk taking for God’s kingdom & for the sake of lost people!
  • Some of us never experience God’s protection, b/c we’re so focused on providing for our own safety & comfort. We learn to trust God outside of our comfort zone. “God doesn’t give you more that you can handle.” No! God always gives you more than you can handle, so that you can learn to trust him.
  • There’s never a place that worship should not break out in our hearts & minds. We should always be in awe of him. We should always be coming back to the truth – HE IS WITH ME! HE IS BIGGER THAN THIS!

Dealing with Difficult People

“God, knock the teeth out of their mouths.” Psalm 58:6

My first time, to preach on what is called the Imprecatory Psalms this weekend at Bridge Church. Imprecatory Psalms are those that invoke judgment, calamity, or curses, upon one’s enemies or those perceived as the enemies of God. They offer us an opportunity to see how people after God’s own heart deal with difficult relationships.

How do we deal with Difficult Relationships? How did David handle difficult relationships? 

1. Take your frustration to God. Psalm 58:6, Psalm 69:19-24, Psalm 109:1-9, Psalm 55:1-8, 12-14, 22. It’s OK  to feel frustration. Take it to God. Don’t allow your feelings to be your refuge. Only God can be our refuge.

2. Trust God to do what is best. Psalm 11:4-7, Psalm 52:1-5, Psalm 144:5-8. Don’t take vengeance. David actually extended grace to his enemies. Why? He knew his need of grace as a fallible leader & father. Be quick to extend grace. You’ll need some one day yourself. 

3. Allow difficult relationships to remind you of your need of God. Psalm 57:1-3, Psalm 62:5-8, Psalm 71:12-15. David allowed his enemies to drive him to deeper trust in & dependence upon God. 

People & our feelings will let us down. God alone can be our refuge.

Join Bridge Church this Summer as we study through Psalms in a series called Swells. 10:30am at the Maritime Museum in Madisonville.

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