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August 26, 2010

Jesus was a Small Group Leader

By Tony V. Hammack

These notes are best when used in conjunction with the audio or video. To listen to the audio (podcast), click here. To watch the video, click here.

The Church’s Passion
The Passion of the Church should be love for God and people.

Luke 10:27
He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind' ; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' "

The Church’s Mission
The Mission of the church should be to raise up followers who are following Christ in you. A.K.A. disciples

1 Corinthians 11:1 (Amplified)
PATTERN YOURSELVES after me [follow my example], as I imitate and follow Christ (the Messiah).
Matthew 28:19 The Great Commission

Matthew 27:8-11
8"But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ. 11The greatest among you will be your servant.

The Holy Spirit as our Guide
John 16:13
13But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

The subjectivity of hearing from the Holy Spirit has led some people into error. Sometimes people hear their own hearts, what they want to hear.

Jeremiah 17:9
9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

Jesus referring to human teachers
Luke 6:40
40A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.
The Early Church met in Homes
Acts 5:42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.

Acts 8:3 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.

Acts 20:20 You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house.

A small group is a great place to expose people to the Christ in you.

Another place where lots of discipleship happens is working together on something.

Why didn’t Jesus try and build what we would consider a modern day mega church?

Multiple Choice
A. It wasn’t God’s plan for his life.
B. It’s a faulty strategy.
C. It wouldn’t produce the correct results
D. All the above

He was making a spiritual deposit into the lives of men who he was entrusting to duplicate his ministry.

We know the early disciples were not sinless but we also know according to eyewitness accounts they were effective …
Acts 17:6
6But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city officials, shouting: "These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here,
Several translations say “turned the world upside down.”

Jesus was successful at transmitting his Spirit into the lives of the early disciples creating a multiplication effect. This is one way we bear fruit as believers today. Who is following Christ in you and who has followed and is now leading others to Christ.

Does anyone have spiritual grand children? If you do you possibly have captured the essence of Jesus’ small group ministry.

12 people wide 10 people deep will allow the church to reach 5 billion souls!

The population of
the entire Earth last night at 10:30 PM was
6,836,229,366

I. Small groups are, well small
That promotes conversation
   1. Questions
   2. Answers
   3. Social Intimacy
You get to know people, you get a chance to develop the Christian community.
Small groups keep the church personal and relevant.

     A. Small Groups Promote Conversation
Jesus disciples talked to Him and He talked to them. He spoke to them plainly
Matthew 13:10,11
10The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?" 11He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.


        1. The Disciples asked Jesus questions
Mark 9:28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, "Why couldn't we drive it out?“
Luke 9:54
"Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?“
Luke 22:49 When Jesus' followers saw what was going to happen, they said, "Lord, should we strike with our swords?"

        2. Jesus answered their questions
Mark 9:29
29He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer.“
Luke 9:55
55But Jesus turned and rebuked them, And he said, "You do not know what kind of spirit you are of, for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.“
Matthew 26:52
"Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.
       
        3. Social Intimacy
Koinonia –
Koinonia means to have in common partnership, to share, fellowship and contribute.

Koinonia translated Share
Hebrews 13:16
16And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

1 Timothy 6:18 (KJV)
18Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.
Koinonia translated Fellowship
1 Corinthians 1:9
9God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.


Acts 2:42
42They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

Galatians 2:9
9James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews.
Koinonia translated Contribution
Romans 15:26
26For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem.

2 Corinthians 9:13 (NASB)
13Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all,

You get to know people.
In small groups you, by listening to the leader and the other members of the group, get to know one another.

In Christian community you have an opportunity to share lives, needs, struggles, hopes, dreams, really every facet of life is on the table.

In Conclusion
We want to be as close to the New Testament pattern as we can.
Patterns are just that unless there are anointed people of character leading and a hunger for the Holy Spirit to minister to people.

If you'd like to learn more about becoming a Christian please click here. Visit with us at Jubilee Family Church this Sunday at 10:00 AM Central Standard Time U.S.A. or Wednesday evening at 6:30 PM Central Standard Time U.S.A. or via internet video on Jubilee T.V. If you live in Batesville please tune into KCCJ - 106.9 FM to listen to contemporary worship music.

Jubilee Family Church
45 Thunderbird Dr.
Batesville, AR 72501

(870) 793-9124


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August 25, 2010

Theology of Faith Class; Loyola University, Chicago

Posted By Tony V. Hammack

written by Reverend John Powell
Reverend John Powell, a professor at Loyola University in Chicago, writes about a student in his Theology of Faith class named Tommy:

Some twelve years ago, I stood watching my university students file into the classroom for our first session in the Theology of Faith.

That was the day I first saw Tommy. My eyes and my mind both blinked. He was combing his long flaxen hair, which hung six inches below his shoulders. It was the first time I had ever seen a boy with hair that long.. I guess it was just coming into fashion then. I know in my mind that it isn't what's on your head but what's in it that counts; but on that day I was unprepared and my emotions flipped. I immediately filed Tommy under "S" for strange... Very strange.

Tommy turned out to be the "atheist in residence" in my Theology of Faith course. He constantly objected to, smirked at, or whined about the possibility of an unconditionally loving Father/God. We lived with each other in relative peace for one semester, although I admit he was for me at times a serious pain in the back pew.

When he came up at the end of the course to turn in his final exam, he asked in a cynical tone, "Do you think I'll ever find God?"

I decided instantly on a little shock therapy. "No!" I said very emphatically.

"Why not," he responded, "I thought that was the product you were pushing."

I let him get five steps from the classroom door and then I called out, "Tommy! I don't think you'll ever find Him, but I am absolutely certain that He will find you! "He shrugged a little and left my class and my life.

I felt slightly disappointed at the thought that he had missed my clever line -- He will find you! At least I thought it was clever.

Later I heard that Tommy had graduated, and I was duly grateful.

Then a sad report came. I heard that Tommy had terminal cancer. Before I could search him out, he came to see me. When he walked into my office, his body was very badly wasted and the long hair had all fallen out as a result of chemotherapy.
But his eyes were bright and his voice was firm, for the first time, I believe. "Tommy, I've thought about you so often; I hear you are sick," I blurted out.

"Oh, yes, very sick. I have cancer in both lungs. It's a matter of weeks."

"Can you talk about it, Tom?" I asked.

"Sure, what would you like to know?" he replied.

"What's it like to be only twenty-four and dying?

"Well, it could be worse.

"Like what?
"Well, like being fifty and having no values or ideals, like being fifty and thinking that booze, seducing women, and making money are the real biggies in life..

I began to look through my mental file cabinet under "S" where I had filed Tommy as strange.(It seems as though everybody I try to reject by classification, God sends back into my life to educate me.)


"But what I really came to see you about," Tom said, "is something you said to me on the last day of class."(He remembered!) He continued, "I asked you if you thought I would ever find God and you said, 'No!' which surprised me Then you said, 'But He will find you.'I thought about that a lot, even though my search for God was hardly intense at that time.

(My clever line. He thought about that a lot!)

"But when the doctors removed a lump from my groin and told me that it was malignant, that's when I got serious about locating God.. And when the malignancy spread into my vital organs, I really began banging bloody fists against the bronze doors of heaven. But God did not come out.

In fact, nothing happened. Did you ever try anything for a long time with great effort and with no success? You get psychologically glutted, fed up with trying. And then you quit.

"Well, one day I woke up, and instead of throwing a few more futile appeals over that high brick wall to a God who may be or may not be there, I just quit. I decided that I didn't really care about God, about an after life, or anything like that.

I decided to spend what time I had left doing something more profitable. I thought about you and your class and I remembered something else you had said: 'The essential sadness is to go through life without loving. But it would be almost equally sad to go through life and leave this world without ever telling those you loved that you had loved them.'"

"So, I began with the hardest one, my Dad. He was reading the newspaper when I approached him. "Dad."
Yes, what?" he asked without lowering the newspaper. "Dad, I would like to talk with you."
"Well, talk.

"I mean. It's really important."

The newspaper came down three slow inches. "What is it?"

"Dad, I love you, I just wanted you to know that. "Tom smiled at me and said it with obvious satisfaction, as though he felt a warm and secret joy flowing inside of him."The newspaper fluttered to the floor.
Then my father did two things I could never remember him ever doing before. He cried and he hugged me. We talked all night, even though he had to go to work the next morning. It felt so good to be close to my father, to see his tears, to feel his hug, to hear him say that he loved me."

"It was easier with my mother and little brother. They cried with me, too, and we hugged each other, and started saying real nice things to each other. We shared the things we had been keeping secret for so many years.
"I was only sorry about one thing --- that I had waited so long. Here I was, just beginning to open up to all the people I had actually been close to.

"Then, one day I turned around and God was there. He didn't come to me when I pleaded with Him. I guess I was like an animal trainer holding out a hoop, 'C'mon, jump through. C'mon, I'll give you three days, three weeks.'"

"Apparently God does things in His own way and at His own hour. But the important thing is that He was there. He found me! You were right. He found me even after I stopped looking for Him."

"Tommy," I practically gasped, "I think you are saying something very important and much more universal than you realize. To me, at least, you are saying that the surest way to find God is not to make Him a private possession, a problem solver, or an instant consolation in time of need, but rather by opening to love. You know, the Apostle John said that.
He said: 'God is love, and anyone who lives in love is living with God and God is living in him. 'Tom, could I ask you a favor? You know, when I had you in class you were a real pain. But (laughingly) you can make it all up to me now. Would you come into my present Theology of Faith course and tell them what you have just told me? If I told them the same thing it wouldn't be half as effective as if you were to tell it.

"Oooh.. I was ready for you, but I don't know if I'm ready for your class."

"Tom, think about it. If and when you are ready, give me a call."

In a few days Tom called, said he was ready for the class, that he wanted to do that for God and for me. So we scheduled a date.

However, he never made it. He had another appointment, far more important than the one with me and my class. Of course, his life was not really ended by his death, only changed. He made the great step from faith into vision.

He found a life far more beautiful than the eye of man has ever seen or the ear of man has ever heard or the mind of man has ever imagined. Before he died, we talked one last time.

"I'm not going to make it to your class," he said.

"I know, Tom."

"Will you tell them for me? Will you ... tell the whole world for me?"

I will, Tom. I'll tell them. I'll do my best."

So, to all of you who have been kind enough to read this simple story about God's love, thank you for listening. And to you, Tommy, somewhere in the sunlit, verdant hills of heaven --- I told them, Tommy, as best I could.

If this story means anything to you, please pass it on to a friend or two.

It is a true story and is not enhanced for publicity purposes.

With thanks, Rev. John Powell, Professor, Loyola
University, Chicago

If you'd like to learn more about becoming a Christian please click here. Visit with us at Jubilee Family Church this Sunday at 10:00 AM Central Standard Time U.S.A. or Wednesday evening at 6:30 PM Central Standard Time U.S.A. or via internet video on Jubilee T.V. If you live in Batesville please tune into KCCJ - 106.9 FM to listen to contemporary worship music. Jubilee Family Church 45 Thunderbird Dr. Batesville, AR 72501 (870) 793-9124
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August 20, 2010

God's Love Makes us Mature

By Tony V. Hammack

These notes are best when used in conjunction with the audio or video. To listen to the audio (podcast), click here. To watch the video, click here.

1 John 4:18-21
18There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love's complete perfection]. 19We love Him, because He first loved us. 20If anyone says, I love God, and hates (detests, abominates) his brother [in Christ], he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, Whom he has not seen. 21And this command (charge, order, injunction) we have from Him: that he who loves God shall love his brother [believer] also.

Introduction:

Love is not just a character quality for God, it is God.
Because of God’s integrity He cannot do anything other than what he is. He cannot lie (Numbers 23:19) and he does not change.(Malachi 3:6) Therefore when the Bible says that God is love it means he’s love all the time.

Trying to understand God’s ways and God’s character. God’s love is not the same as most people’s understanding of love.

God has an agenda for mankind and also throughout the Bible demands justice.

Understanding God’s justice and agenda to get things to line up a certain way helps me to understand why God would do things that might not look loving to me.

Isaiah 55:9  "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Outline
  • I.   The love of God, when received by his people, causes our motivation to be correct, expelling any unhealthy fear of God. 
  •  
  • II.  As long as a believer in Jesus Christ feels like God is going to smite them they cannot mature!

  • III. Our love for God is a direct result of us making a withdrawal from the love God placed there. No love from God means no love for God. God is the source of all love.
  •  
  • IV. Love for God can be measured in the way we love the family of God

I. V. 18 The love of God, when received by his people, causes our motivation to be correct, expelling any unhealthy fear of God.
God is not waiting for you to make a mistake so he can judge you.

Because of Jesus the wrath and justice of God have been satisfied for the believer.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:9
  • For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Galatians 3:13
  • 13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."

For the sinful unbeliever
Hebrews 10:27
27but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

II.  v. 18 as long as a believer in Jesus Christ feels like God is going to smite them, they cannot mature!

     A. Other things that stifle maturity for the believer. (Luke 8:14)
     Worry (Phil 4:6)
      Love of money and what money can provide. (Eccl 5:10; Mt. 6:24; Lk 16:14; 1 Tim 6:10; Heb 13:5)

     B. What maturity looks like
     Ephesians 4:13b become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

     C. The Mature View of Things
     Phil 3:12b-15a
  • I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  15All of us who are mature should take such a view of things.

III. v. 19 Our love for God is a direct result of us making a withdrawal from the love God placed there. No love from God means no love for God or man. God is the source of our love.

IV.   v. 20 Love for God can be measured in the way we love the family of God.

1 John 2:9-11
1. 9Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. 10Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. 11But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.

B. We’re instructed
Galatians 6:10
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Loving the Unlovable
Matthew 5:43-48
43"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor[h] and hate your enemy.' 44But I tell you: Love your enemies[i] and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Walking in God’s love toward others means to treat others the way you want to be treated.
God’s love allows people to chose their own path.
Matthew 7:12-14
12So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. 13"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Jesus is the Gate
John 10:7-9
7Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.

The road is narrow because salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

The verse following the narrow way has to do with false prophets further solidifying the position that believing in Jesus is the narrow way.
John 14:6b
“No man comes to the Father accept by me.” ~Jesus Christ

In Conclusion
Fear of God prevents a believer from developing into maturity because they run from God instead of to God when they fail and have a need.

Gen 3:9,10
9 But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" 10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."

If you'd like to learn more about becoming a Christian please click here.

Visit with us at Jubilee Family Church this Sunday at 10:00 AM Central Standard Time U.S.A. or Wednesday evening at 6:30 PM Central Standard Time U.S.A. or via internet video on Jubilee T.V. If you live in Batesville please tune into KCCJ - 106.9 FM to listen to contemporary worship music.
 
Jubilee Family Church
45 Thunderbird Dr.
Batesville, AR 72501

(870) 793-9124


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August 9, 2010

Need Washing?

A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in Target. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence. It was
pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so
much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout. We all
stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the Target.

We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their
hurried day. I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and
sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of
running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve
from the worries of my day.

The little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught
in 'Mom let's run through the rain,'she said.
'What?' Mom asked.

'Let's run through the rain!' She repeated

'No, honey. We'll wait until it slows down a bit,' Mom replied.

This young child waited about another minute and repeated: 'Mom, let's run
through the rain,'

'We'll get soaked if we do,' Mom said..

'No, we won't, Mom.. That's not what you said this morning,' the young girl said
as she tugged at her Mom's arm.

This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?

'Don't you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said,
'If God can get us through this, he can get us through anything!'

The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn't hear anything but the
rain. We all stood silently.  No one came or left in the next few minutes.
Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say. Now some would
laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was
said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child's life. A time when
innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.

'Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain. If GOD lets us get
wet, well maybe we just needed washing,' Mom said.

Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted
past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They held their shopping bags over
their heads just in case. They got soaked.  But they were followed by a few who
screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars.

And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.

If you'd like to learn more about becoming a Christian please click here. Visit with us at Jubilee Family Church this Sunday at 10:00 AM Central Standard Time U.S.A. or Wednesday evening at 6:30 PM Central Standard Time U.S.A. or via Internet video on Jubilee T.V. If you live in Batesville please tune into KCCJ - 106.9 FM to listen to contemporary worship music.
 
Jubilee Family Church
45 Thunderbird Dr.
Batesville, AR 72501

(870) 793-9124
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