Sunday, November 27, 2011

Why Jesus Is The Greatest Gift Ever! (PT 2)


Jesus answered, "I am the Way and THE TRUTH and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." ~John 14:6

Last week we learned about Jesus as 'The Life'.  This week, we get an understanding of Jesus as 'The Truth'.  We have unfortunately let society give us a counterfeit definition of 'truth'.  We have allowed ourselves to think that we are defined by our clothes, our vehicle, our house or even our circumstances.

Sometimes we make choices with counterfeit information we believe to be truth.  We can also make choices based on information we get from others, only to discover it wasn't the truth.  The thing about counterfeit is that it is a way of robbing the recipient. It's such a subtle form of robbery, it's not a burglary in broad daylight. Nor is it a pickpocket where you find out after the fact once you start looking for what was taken. Counterfeit actually requires someone else pointing out to you that you've been taken. In good faith you think what you have is real and then someone points out its fake, it's not the real thing.

When this happens, we can become frustrated:
  • It isn't what we thought it was
  • It's face value ends up not being what we thought
  • We didn't know how to identify something as being counterfeit and we got stuck with it
He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. ~John 8:44

  • Perverts the truth
  • Tells people what they want to hear
  • Mixes enough truth to make a lie appear realistic
How Do We Identify The Truth?
We need a 'benchmark' or a standard.  If we spend time studying a counterfeit, another counterfeit could come by and we could be fooled by it, because we don't have a benchmark - the real thing.  When we spend time with the authentic, we have a standard (the truth) that we can compare anything with, to see if it matches up.  This way, any counterfeit will be quickly exposed.  However, learning how to identify the truth isn't instant.  It takes time to be trained to be able to know the authentic from a counterfeit.  The more time you spend with the authentic (the truth), the easier it will become to identify the various counterfeits that may come your way.

Jesus Is The Real Deal... Jesus Is The 'Truth'!
The good news is that we have received the greatest gift ever.  We have received the gift of Jesus Christ.  Jesus came that even in the midst of all of the counterfeits, we might be able to know the truth.  Jesus is not in agreement with the standard... Jesus is the standard.  He doesn't rely on the original... He is the original.

What Is Truth?
TRUTH is defined as 'constancy, agreement with a standard or original, accurate-without fault, truth is opposed to falsehood.'

There are many facts out there that over time are proven incorrect.  Facts are not constant.  They are subject to change.  However, the Truth never changes.  For example, gravity has always been and will always be gravity.  It will always work the same way... something falling at a constant 9.8 metres per second, squared.

  1. Jesus is CONSTANT ~Rev. 22:13
Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. ~Hebrews 13:8

Sin is a debt and it will come due.  What will you pay for that debt with?  Christ came to pay our bill for us.  We are free from the debt of sin by Christ's finished work on the cross.  You can trust that Jesus paid your debts because He is constant, always backing His promises!
  • The value of the dollar goes up and down; it's not constant.  It fluctuates because those who trade currency change their belief in the ability of a government to back their currency with their federal reserve.
  • A dollar is a 'promissory note' that is backed by a promise made by the government that they will have the money to guarantee that dollar.
  • Jesus has the capacity to back His promises... without fluctuation.  He owns it all!  You can be assured.  He has always kept and will always keep his promises!
  1. Jesus is in in AGREEMENT with God the Father ~John 15:15
  • Jesus understood His source, God the Father.
  • Jesus' purpose came from the Father, Jesus life on earth worked towards the purpose of the Father.
  • Jesus came to unite the world to their creator. Everything He did was in agreement to that.
  • Jesus is truthful but more than that He IS THE TRUTH.  He IS THE TRUTH because of what He accomplished here on earth.
  1. Jesus is WITHOUT FAULT ~Hebrews 10:14
  • In order to have relationship with God, people in the Old Testament days had to make continual sacrifices because there was nothing that could be given to a perfect God that could take care of our sin issue.
  • That was before Jesus; He came and once and for all paid the price as the perfect sacrifice.
  • Jesus OPPOSES Lies - Satan is the father of all lies - no lie comes from the truth.
  • "Then you will know THE TRUTH, and THE TRUTH will SET YOU FREE." ~John 8:32        
We have been incarcerated by counterfeit.  We're trapped by it, shackled and imprisoned by the lies of that thief that Pastor Kevin talked about last week.  The awesome thing is that we don't have to be!
  • We don't have to be Trapped
  • We don't have to be Shackled
  • We don't have to be Imprisoned
You Can Be Free!
And not free for a moment. It's not a parole or time off for good behaviour.  It is complete Freedom given freely when you know THE TRUTH because... "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed" ~John 8:36
The whole purpose of a counterfeit is to rob you.  You in good faith thought you had the real thing, but you were being robbed.  When you get to know the Truth, you don't have to settle for counterfeit any longer.

CHALLENGE:  Down through the ages many people have been asking the same question Herod asked Jesus in John 18:38: “What is truth?”  In today’s message, Pastor Austin answers this ever-popular question by breaking down ‘The Truth’ from the New Testament scriptures.  We quickly discover that in order to know truth, we need a benchmark or standard.  Jesus is the standard of ‘Truth’ because Jesus is the Truth.  We must compare anything proclaiming to be truth with The Truth, the Living Word of God, our standard.  When you have a relationship with Jesus, you have The Truth living inside of you.  You have access to and can draw on this gift of Truth 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Why Jesus Is The Greatest Gift Ever! (PT 1)

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. ~John 10:10
  1. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…
'Thief' means 'burglar or pick-pocket, kleptomaniac'

He wants to depleat you so he can defeat you!  He wants you to feel hopeless and helpless.  But it's time for the thief to stop givin' you grief!  He's been exposed and it's time for the thief to re-pay seven-fold!

So what's the point of Christmas?
    • Isn't it like every other holiday?
    • Isn't it just about gifts? 
  1. Jesus Christ has come to give LIFE!
The enemy wants to destroy you but Jesus wants to deploy you!  No more strife - Jesus came to give you life!  And 'Life' means 'absolute fullness, complete joy, strength and satisfaction'

The natural present will wear out but Jesus' gift of love will never wear out!  He wants to bring you a life that is absolutely FULL!

COMPLETE JOY - “…in your presence there is fullness of joy…” ~Psalm 16:11

'Fullness of Joy' means 'completely satisfied in God'

STRENGTH"I can do everything through him who gives me strength"  ~Phil 4:13

He will give you the strength you need to succeed!

SATISFACTION - "With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation" ~Psalm 91:16

'To the Full' means 'not just to the top, but overflowing, superfluous, having a surplus'


CHALLENGE:  The Christmas season is quickly approaching and with it, the annual and very predictable shopping trips to buy gifts for those we care about.  In today’s message, Pastor Kevin points us back to the Greatest Gift ever given.  Jesus truly is the reason… not just for the season, but also for our ability to have eternal life, life more abundantly.  His is truly the gift that keeps on giving!  Giving JOY; Giving STRENGTH; Giving SATISFACTION.  Jesus is the gift of LIFE!  Christmas is the most opportune time to give this gift of Life to everyone you know.  If you don’t have this Gift of Life, today you can have Him.  Just let Jesus know you’d like to receive His Gift and you will have it.  If you already have this great Gift of Life, remember to share it; to pass it on to those around you.  Jesus is the only gift you can actually ‘re-gift’ and still get to keep for yourself!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


The New Testament Gives Us Some Very Important Principles About Money:
  1. Our Faith and our Finances are Connected
Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
  1. Giving Faithfully Transfers our Trust from Wealth to God
Mark 12:41-44 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything - all she had to live on."
  • Wealth means abundance of riches and possessions
  • Poverty means lack or insufficiency
  1. A Change of Money Attitude Reflects a Change of Heart
Luke 19:1-10 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through.  A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.' " But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."

Acts 4: 32-35 - All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
  1. Tithing is the starting block on the Journey of Generous Giving
The tithe is a way to get us started on the path of Christian giving It is not the finish line of giving, but only the starting blocks.

Sunday, November 06, 2011


Tithing is a powerful principle found in the Bible from Beginning to

  • Abraham COMMENCED it ~Gen. 14:18-20
  • Jacob CONTINUED it ~Gen. 28:20-22
  • Moses CONFIRMED it ~Lev. 27:30
  • Malachi COMMANDED it ~Mal. 3:8-10
  • Jesus COMMENDED it ~Matt. 23:23
  • God COMMISSIONED it ~1 Cor. 9:13-14
  • Paul CONFIRMED it ~1 Cor. 16:2
  1. Tithing makes your Money HOLY and not your POCKETS
Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins? This is what the LORD Almighty says: Consider how things are going for you! You have planted much but harvested little. You have food to eat, but not enough to fill you up. You have wine to drink, but not enough to satisfy your thirst. You have clothing to wear, but not enough to keep you warm.  Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes! ~Haggai 1:4-6

A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD. ~Lev. 27:30

HOLY means 'set apart TO God and blessed BY God'

When we give the 10th God will BLESS the REST
  1.  It is a CONNECTION to God’s PROTECTION

After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying , Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

Shield means 'protection and defender'.

God says in Mal 9:11 "I will prevent pests from devouring your crops…"

Prevent means 'to restrain, to set a guard to deter'
  1.  It is God’s Strategy for Prosperity
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.

Blessing means 'Benefits, gifts, the favour of God ';