Assess the Goods!

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June 6, 2016

GO! OnAir Live  Post Discussion

Thank you for joining our first LIVE on air session last week. Let’s just say that we overcame the technical difficulties and we made it through! A lot of great lessons learned about technology when you are taping live…as they say in Hollywood, “the show must go on!”

If you plan to join us for the next session, June 28th, please obtain a Google + account (you can still use your email if you don’t have Gmail); add the app “Hangouts”- to your electronic device (phone, tablet, laptop or desktop) as you will need this to connect to the session; and ensure you have video/voice connected (camera, speaker) so that you can see and communicate with everyone during the session. That’s all for now about technology. I’ll revisit when we get a little closer.

If you didn’t get a chance to join in, take a look at the following links. You must sign into Google first to access both files and then click on the link. My apologies if can’t see the slides on the LIVE link taped session (another learning for next timeJ!)

GO! Phase 1 LIVE!

GO! Phase 1- POST  7 min Synopsis 

Based on our completion of Phase 1- A Fresh Awareness, take a look at your KWL (Know, Want to Know and Learned). This is chart we used for our face-to-face bible study sessions. You can easily re-create on you own (just divide a piece of paper into three sections and label the top with each word).

Was there anything that surprised you (Know) when you read Phase 1?Anything that made you say Umm, that’s true, need to dig a little deeper in this area? (Want to Know)Anything new you learned about yourself? (Learned)

Phase 2- Assess The Goods

If you are shaking you head about right now, know that while we think we “know ourselves”, our God who created us, knows us better than we could ever know ourselves. A little more about this further down.

As you begin reading Phase 2, Assess the Goods, keep in mind the first quote that begins Phase 2 by Robert S. McGee:

“Deep spiritual growth requires giving attention to the whole person- emotional, relational, physical and spiritual.”

Several years ago my pastor, Rich Nathan taught a series on how a Christian grows. The sermon was entitled, “How To Get Unstuck and To Start Growing Again” (taken from How A Christian G.R.O.W.S. (Spiritual Growth Series), January 5-6, 2008, 2 Peter 1:3-11). In the first sermon of the series Pastor Rich asks a very simple question.  Yet some may perceive the question as rather both delicate and complicated.  To paraphrase, here's the question….

Do you look more like Jesus this year than you did last year? 

Think about that a little while princesses.  I'll give you some wait time.   Hmmm... Hmmm... Hmmm...

As Pastor Rich summarized, if we consider ourselves as a follower of Christ, then our goal is to “act and think more and more like Jesus, to have more and more of Jesus’ attitudes about life, to be kind like Jesus, to tell the truth like Jesus, to be generous like Jesus, to be content with life like Jesus.”

Pastor Rich also noted in this message that our Christian growth was a fight. (See, "The Fight” by John White). In fact, Paul echoes this sentiment in 1 Timothy 6:12 where he states, 

“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

The Christian life is a good fight because we know the end game; we know who and what we are fighting for; and we know we have the victory. All that being stated, even though we know the end game, it doesn’t mean that the battle along the way won't hard, arduous and sometimes just down right painful. BUT, as Christians,

we are meant to grow.

I remember it like yesterday as I left the church and talked with my best friend as we walked to our cars about this message. We both agreed that we wanted our roots to go deeper, we were ready to grow. As I sit here almost eight years later, I laugh and she probably would too, because we had no idea what we really were stating. On second thought, maybe we did in some small way. Maybe we knew something had to change, but the truth is I underestimated what God meant by growing deeper and what transformation actually looked and felt like. Underestimated is probably being generous because once God begins to sift, well, let’s just say it doesn’t always feel so good. As I think back from there to now, I needed sifting and God knew that in order to move forward, He needed to deal with me on a few (a lot) of things. I’d like to think I’m still a work in progress. How about you? Are you being sifted? Has the summer study caused a churning in you? Well, if so or not, hold on and know that God knows exactly what He is doing. Beth Moore in her book “Arm Yourself Against the Enemy’s Schemes”  tells us to “give (Him) full reign to remove in you anything that needs to go”.

Are you willing to bend the knee?

As we start Phase 2, Assess the Goods, know that self-analysis will become a little more intense because we are with laser focus giving “attention to the whole person”. In doing so, you may struggle a bit.  Pastor Rich comments,

Spiritual growth is a struggle; it is a labor. We are salmon swimming upstream in this fallen world. If we do nothing, we move backward in our Christian lives. The tendency of our own sin is to draw us backward. The tug of the world is drawing us backward.

The opposition of Satan is pulling us backward. And as I said before, one major error in the church is to believe that growth is automatic. That God will somehow pick you up by the seat of you pants and somehow throw you upstream. You’ve got to fight with this stream and waterfall of your own sinful tendencies, Satan, and the world constantly in your face. You’ve got to fight to move upstream. (How To Get Unstuck and To Start Growing Again, Rich Nathan, 2008)

So, knowing that the Christian fight is a good fight, knowing we have to fight to move upstream and knowing our end game we must also remember that we are never alone in the fight. In fact, as we learned from Session 3, The Full Armor we wear our Father’s armor and because He has given us His best, we must stand firm. (Ephesians 6:10-18). It is good to know that we are not battling with cheap armor; we have best. It’s also more than reassuring that because of Christ’s love for us, we have everything we need. In fact, we are more than conquerors. YES!

I’ll conclude with Romans 8:27-39. If you have a Bible that includes the Message (MSG) as a side-by-side then you are familiar with the wording and phrasing. If not, take a look at the following passage in Romans 8:27-39. Read it first in your NIV or ESV version then take a look below at The Message version:

Romans 8:27-39 The Message (MSG)

26-28 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

29-30 God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.

31-39 So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us! —is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

Keep Fighting…Keep Moving Forward…GO!

Closing Thought

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Know that through the Holy Spirit you can:

•   do things you couldn't;

•    feel things you didn't; and

•    know things you wouldn't.

For your praise and worship:

The Last Jesus- K. Franklin

Conquerors- K. Franklin & The Family

Good Fight- Unspoken

Declaration (This Is It!)- K. Franklin

Housekeeping:

Chat with you on Tuesday, June 28 as we debrief Phase 2: Assess the Goods via Google Hangout On AirSAVE THE DATE- Living Proof Simulcast 2016: Beth Moore- September 17, 2016 from 10:30 am- 4:30 pm.  Join GO! for the simulcast. If you are interested, please email GO! Canton at godsopportunity.canton@gmail.com.  Stay tuned for more details.

Remember, each day is an opportunity for us to...

Lead, Serve, GO!  

Krista

Each day we have an opportunity to be the light and salt God has called us to be to others.   Matthew 5:13-16 (NIV)

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