#5 The Layered Heart

DATE: June 14, 2015
TEACHING: Jacob Bender
SERIES: Intentions
TITLE: The Layered Heart

SCRIPTURES: Philippians 2:1-13, Philippians 1:27, Ephesians 5:22-23, Galatians 6:2, Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, Genesis 2:18, James 5:17, Isaiah 53:3, Luke 5:16, John 14:12-13, 1 John 3:16-17, John 13:35

We have come to the end of our first series. I have been so encouraged by all of the feedback everyone has been giving us through this series, and the reports of the healing it has been for peoples lives. I know it has impacted me greatly to study it and to put it together.

Last week, Dawn talked about transparency, which could not have been a better lead-in to the Layered Heart. As we go through life, tragedy, heartbreak, disappointment, etc. we tend to put layers around our hearts… because nobody wants to be hurt over and over and over again so we put up a layer against a person… “They will never get through again… They will never hurt me again…”

but before long, somebody else, or something else, will let you down. And you put up another layer.

And soon enough, you decide to block everyone out from that part of your life, from that part of your heart, and transparency gets thrown out the window and your whole life becomes about the appearance of strength. Nobody can hurt a strong person, right?

The layered heart (or whatever you want to call it) is the number one killer of community. It stops community dead in its tracks. But Paul tells us that we should bare one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2)… how are we suppose to bare each others burdens, if we don’t know what they are.

He tells us that we should not only look out for our interests but also for the interests of others (Philippians 2:4), and he tells the Philippian church that he hopes to hear reports of them “standing firm in ONE spirit, with one mind, STRIVING SIDE BY SIDE for the faith of the gospel (Philippians 1:27).

I love this quote by Paul David Tripp, he says “Autonomous Christianity never works, because our spiritual life was designed by God to be a community project.”

This whole series has been about working out our minds, so we can be effective in our world. Well the church is the hope of the world. Discipleship happens in community. Life transformation happens in the context of healthy relationships… and as we work out the Intentions of our hearts, lets do it standing side by side together, striving for the faith of the gospel. Lets do it understanding that two are better than one, and a threefold cord is not quickly broken (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

Why do we do what we do?

We do it because we are the bride of Christ.
We are his representation here on Earth.
We are his ambassadors to the city of Detroit.

We do it because Jesus humbled himself by becoming obedient, to the point of death (Phil. 2:8).

We do it because the local church is the hope of the world. And that is us.

#1 The Sinful Heart

DATE May 17, 2015
TEACHER: Jacob Bender
SERIES: Intentions
TITLE: The Sinful Heart

SCRIPTURES: Proverbs 20:6, Matthew 6, Romans 2:16, Psalm 103, 2 Corinthians 5, Matthew 5:27-30, Matthew 5:17, Luke 13:10-17, Philippians 4:8, James 1:14-15, Matthew 5:21-22, Ephesians 4:26-27, Hebrews 12:15, Isaiah 53:5, Hebrews 12:2, Isaiah 42:3, 1 John 1:9, James 5:16, 

The Hebrew word picture for the word iniquity is: an eye. a hook. and fish multiplying.

Its the word Avon. A-V-N.

And what it means is “whatever your eye hooks to, multiples.”

Most people believe that when Jesus came to earth, he made things easier for us. He came and died for us and saved us by grace, and now we don’t have to worry about the letter of law or anything like that. He came that we may be free. and he did.

But a closer examination of  the sermon on the mount will reveal to you that in a lot of ways he actually made it harder, before making it easier. He made it easier because he took the weight for us… because he knows that there is no way to live up to the law… but he did not come to abolish the law, but to sustain by properly interpreting the law (Matt. 5:17)

And then he goes on to start saying things like, “you have heard it be said not to murder… BUT I SAY…” and suddenly he takes it further beyond the letter of the law and addresses the Spirit of the law… what is going on in your heart?

Matt: 5:21-2 – you have heard that it was said to those of old, you shall not murder… but I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment…

Matt: 5:27-28 – You have heard it said, “you shall not commit adultery… but I SAY that everyone who even looks at a woman with lustful INTENT has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

The key word is intent. What is going on inside your heart? Do you have secrets? Do you have a part of your life that you don’t want anybody else to see? Jesus understood that transgression (outward actions) ALWAYS begins with iniquity (inward motivations)

And with this thought, we are embarking on our intentions series. Looking deep into the depths of our hearts, to work out the things that we know are in there… the things that we don’t even realize are in there… the things that we know are in there but don’t want anybody else to know are in there, and even the things that we know are not in there but want other people to think are in there.

I want to invite you to join us over these fives weeks that we really begin to work out ourselves, before we look at what is next for our church.

Because “you have to have intent, before you can have content.” (Ravi Zacharius)

The Mothers, The Midwives, and the Man with no name

Date: May 10, 2015

Teacher: Jacob Bender

Title: The Mothers, the Midwives, and the Man with no name

scriptures: Exodus 1, Exodus 2, James 1:2-4, Leviticus 18:12, Hebrews 11:24, Luke 9:28-36

“Mom’s, you are like Jesus”