All of these messages are on YouTube under Cross Connect Church!

Distorted – Week 1 – 3/24/2019

What is a Christian?  Some are taught, Christian is about what you believe, while others are taught it’s about how you behave, or even where you belong. But the term Christian only appears three times in the Bible.  (Acts 11:25-26, Acts 26:28, 1 Peter 4:16)  The truth is that the New Testament, the gospels, and the book of Acts specifically, uses a term consistently to describe these people in the Jesus movement.  That term is Disciple.  Every time the label disciple is attached to people who don’t just believe, they actually follow.  They actually obey and apply Jesus’ teaching to their lives.

Are we disciples?  Jesus said that it’s not how much you know, or how well you perform.  It’s how you love one another!

 

Distorted – Week 2 – 3/31/2019

1 John 4

Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. God’s love was revealed among us[b] in this way: God sent his one and only Soninto the world so that we might live through him. 10 Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice[c] for our sins. 11 Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. 

We discovered last week that 1st century followers of Jesus called themselves “disciples.”   And He says in John 13:35 –

35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Since God loves me, I owe it to God to love you…and since God loves you, you owe it to me to love me.  Do you know that if we don’t get this right it really doesn’t matter what else we do?  Let’s just make a decision.  You decide that you’re going to love me, because God loves you.  And I’m going to decide to love you because God loves me.

 

Distorted – Week 3 – 4/07/2019

How do Jesus followers treat people who are not Jesus followers?  In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus said to go and make disciples.  That word “make” meant “to cause” – to cause someone to want to be a pupil, or to cause someone to want to be a learner.  But people and churches started leveraging power instead of love, which made them go backward!

Paul went into the non-Jewish world and and created Jesus followers out of people whom had no interest in being Jesus followers.  He describes it in 1 Cor 9 –

19 Although I am free from all and not anyone’s slave, I have made myself a slave to everyone, in order to win more people. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win Jews; to those under the law, like one under the law—though I myself am not under the law[d]—to win those under the law. 21 To those who are without the law, like one without the law—though I am not without God’s law but under the law of Christ—to win those without the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, in order to win the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that I may by every possible means save some.

If you’re a Jesus follower, or a Christian, or a disciple, what business is it of yours to hold a non-Jesus person accountable for their behavior?  The answer is …NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!  Your job is to live the way Jesus taught, and don’t worry about anyone else until you get it right.  And then when you’re living right, THROUGH LIVING RIGHT, your job is to introduce them to Jesus, and let Jesus work on their behavior.

 

Distorted – Week 4 – 4/14/2019

Matthew 5 –

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty?[b] It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

Salt is a preservative. That is, a substance added to food to prevent decomposition due to chemical change or bacterial action.  What Jesus wanted His audience and all of us to know – You are the preservative of the entire earth!

Jesus also said that if you are His follower, you’re a strategically placed light on a hill.  You have been strategically placed where you are!  God brought providential relationships into your life at just the right time.

Salt ALWAYS preserves. and light ALWAYS clarifies the way.  Let your good deeds shine in such a way that people can connect the dots between your kindness and deeds – to Jesus.  When you are salt and light, it has the potential to change everything.

Let’s ask God how do we become more effective salt? And how do we become more effective light?  And as God answers that prayer, who know what God might do – in our families, in our communities, or even in our world?

 

Easter Message 4/21/2019

Do you want to believe?  Do you want to believe that:

  • if the tomb is empty anything is possible?

  • your past doesn’t have to define you?

  • God could actually love you right now?

  • God is for you and not against you?

John 21:

15 When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John,[f] do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said to him, “you know that I love you.” “Feed my lambs,” he told him. 16 A second time he asked him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Lord,” he said to him, “you know that I love you.” “Shepherd my sheep,” he told him. 17 He asked him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved that he asked him the third time, “Do you love me?”He said, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” “Feed my sheep,” Jesus said. 18 “Truly I tell you, when you were younger, you would tie your belt and walk wherever you wanted. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will tie you and carry you where you don’t want to go.” 19 He said this to indicate by what kind of death Peter would glorify God. After saying this, he told him, “Follow me.”

I think what Jesus is saying to Peter is simply, “Peter, do you just want to start over?”  Do any any of you need a start over?  You and I don’t need a second chance, we need a SUBSTITUTE!

That same invitation that Peter received 2000 years ago is available to you!  The same power that rolled the stone away is available to you, right here!