Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Keep the fire burning

Text: Leviticus 6.8-13

I don’t know about you, but for me to start a diet or daily exercises is a lot easier than to keep it for 2 or 3 months! In my life, I never said: that’s it! I will stop the exercise now and I will put some weight and be out of shape, but all that happens as a consequence of the act of stopping to do what I started as a goal. Unfortunately, the same thing happens with other areas of our lives.
Imagine yourself for a second like if you were Moses. Imagine that God is giving you all the instructions about the offerings that should happen in the tabernacle, but then God makes a pause and reaffirms that they need to put wood on the fire and never let the fire out.
God is saying the same thing about our lives today, don’t allow the fire to go out. And if you want to keep the fire of God high inside of you, you must understand that:

1)   The fire won’t light up by itself
The first law of Newton in physics is that an object in rest will stay in rest unless an unbalanced force acts upon it”. This is also true in our spiritual life, everything will stay in the way that is now unless we start to do something!
We are responsible to start the fire, RECOGNITION is just the first step.

 2) You must keep the altar burning! Put fresh wood every day!
  God gave an order to Moses, every morning, if you want to keep the fire, you must to put the fresh wood on it!
   To keep the fire (passion) for God, the presence of God to move us we need to put wood every day! The wood is our prayers, our reading, our worship, our time with Him and around Him.
   The bible says, not just wood, but fresh wood, because we cannot do that with a religiosity, we must to put fresh things in front of the Lord! Don’t offer the old, offer everything!

3) Fire from yesterday was good yesterday; today you need a fresh wood
A mistake that the people of God normally do is to think the fire of yesterday will keep today! That is impossible, is not because you ate yesterday that you don’t need today!
Your time, experience, gifts, works and everything that you did yesterday was good for yesterday, today is a new day with Him and is a new opportunity to allowed God to be glorified through you!
Today is a time to put a fresh wood, to start again is necessary is, but do not allow the fire of God to go out in our life.

4) There is no fire in the empty altar
It is very important that we keep the fire burning, and that we seek to see what God has for us. However, it is important to notice that the fire would only be lighted on the altar if a sacrifice was placed there.
What are you offering to the Lord? Is it acceptable to the Lord, or is just what is left?
God wants our heart, and that is non-negotiable!

I don’t know how is your life today, if the fire of the Holy Spirit is going out, or it is already finished or even if is growing each day a bit more. But I know that God brought you here today because He wants to put a new fire inside of you! It is time to be in love (relationship) with God again! Is a new time in our lives, do you want that? 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Fans or Disciples?

           Text: Matthew 16.25
Icebreaker: What is most extreme story of a fan that you ever heard? Have you ever done something extreme to do something that you really want? Would you be able to share with others?

Alexander the Great conquered most of the known world. In one confrontation, he approached a strongly fortified city with just a small company of soldiers. He came forward and demanded to see the King. The king approached to hear Alexander’s demands. “surrender to me immediately,” commanded Alexander. The King laughed. “Why should I surrender to you? We have you far outnumbered. You are no threat to us!” Alexander responded by lining up his men and ordering them to march straight towards the nearby cliff. The defending soldiers and king watched incredulously as a man after man marched off the edge of the cliff without hesitation. After ten of his men had thus died, Alexander ordered the rest to stop. The King realized that with such loyal enemy soldiers willing to die for the cause, his defeat was guaranteed. He surrendered on the spot to Alexander the Great.
Do you know that there is a massive difference between a FOLLOWER and a FAN? Let us see some?

1) Fans will follow what they like, disciples will follow the master and His teachings.
We see many people in the bible that liked part of Jesus’ teachings, or even followed Him for a while or in certain occasions. In special we can see the rich young ruler conversation with Jesus (Matt 19.16-22), a young man that did what the law required, but that wasn’t willing to follow the example of the master, only teachings of behaviour and not the transformation of intention.
We are all tempted to follow just what pleases us, but in order to become a disciple we have to break the wall and understand that He is God and we are call to become disciples of Jesus, that what makes the difference in our lives and in our generation. That is what will impact others!

2) Disciples are not moved by desperate feeling, but by decision
In John 6 it is possible to see many people following Jesus everywhere he went. Jesus was performing miracles and sharing a pearl of deep wisdom with everyone, in special He fed the 5.000 multiplying bread and fish what must have impacted thousands of people, after that He walked on the water and his disciples were all in awe before the Christ. But a little while after all the amazing things Jesus did he started to disciple people with solid teaching, he went deep sharing that He cared about the intention of their hearts, and because of that the bible says that many people (followers and fans) deserted Jesus.
Have you decided to follow Jesus no matter what, or are you still waiting to “feel” in your hear to follow?

3) It is impossible to stop a group of Disciples.
The soldiers of Alexandre walked to death because of their dedication to follow their leaders, we instead we walk to eternal abundant life if we choose to follow our master and father Jesus Christ.

Tertullian, in his great apology for the Christian faith, challenged the Roman authorities: “Kill us, torture us, condemn us, grind us to dust. The more you mow us down, the more we grow, for the seed of the church is the blood of the martyrs.”  John Wesley knew that only 100 followers could change the world “Give me one hundred men who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on Earth.    Are you one of them? Would you like to be a disciple of Jesus?

Conclusion: Are you a follower or a fan of Jesus? So let’s pray.

Connect Group 33 – Lord teach us how to pray

Icebreaker:  Think about a conversation that you have had recently with someone who you are close to – it could be a friend or a member of ...