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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.

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!
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