A Better Ending 02: Even If

If God is good and all-powerful, why do bad things happen to good people? This question takes a look at a couple of stories that speak into the question that never seems to go away.

As you listen to the podcast you can follow along at you versions events here or follow along below.

Hebrew 11:35-37 Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life.  Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.  They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword.  and even chains and imprisonment.  They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—

“When you take a step of faith.  Your faith is not in the outcome you want.  It’s in the faithfulness of God.” -Craig Groeshel.”

“If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.”
-Orson Welles

Matthew 5:10-12 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Daniel 3:17-18
But even if He does not,

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

A Better Ending 01: Deeper

You have probably wondered something like, “Where was God when…(something painful happened)?” What if when we feel wounded and alone, we are closer to being less alone than we ever thought possible.

As you listen to the podcast you can follow along at you versions events here or follow along below.

“Yeah, things are bad every place.” – Spanky

Genesis 37:18-20 They saw (Joseph) coming, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him.  They said to one another…”Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits.  Then we will say that a fierce animal has devoured him…”

Genesis 37:24  And they took him and threw him into a pit.  The pit was empty, and there was no water in it.

1 Kings 19:3 he was afraid…

1 Kings 19:4 And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough: now O LORD, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”

1 Kings 19:10 I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.

Isaiah 53:3-5 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.  Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.  But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.

1 Kings 19:12
And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.

1 Kings 19:18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

Corrie ten boom – “However deep the pit, God’s love is deeper still”


Counterfeit 05: The Protestant Reformation: 500 Years Later

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses on the church doors in Wittenberg, Germany sparking the Protestant Reformation. 500 years later on the other side of the Atlantic, protests are in the spotlight of American consciousness. This message looks at some words written 2,000 years ago to a group of people in Rome trying to figure how to deal with people of differing convictions.

As you listen to the podcast you can follow along at you versions events here or follow along below.

Romans 14:1 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.

James 4:6 Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

1 Peter 5:5 “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. 

Proverbs 3:34 To the scorners (God) is scornful, but to the humble He gives favor.

Romans 14:2-3 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables.  Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him.

“In the essentials, unity.  In the non-essentials, liberty.  In everything, charity.”
–Rupertus Meldenius

Romans 14:6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord.  The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.

John 17:21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

Counterfeit 04: Not My God

Money problems are often at the heart of our anxiousness. In his most well-known sermon, Jesus gave advice on how we can be set free from the financial worries that weigh us down.

Use the following to follow along with the message.

Matthew 6:19 Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.

Matthew 6:20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

Matthew 6:20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

Matthew 6:22 The eye is the lamp of the body.  So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light.

Matthew 6:23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.  If then the light in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

“You’re Not My God” Keith Urban

It’s just a piece of paper
It says in God we trust
A little sure felt good
But a lot was not enough
Everybody loved me
When I was on a roll
And I thought I had everything
When I held the gold
But you’re not my God
You’re not my friend
You’re not the One
That I will walk with in the end
You’re not the truth
You’re a temporary shot
You ruin people’s lives and
You don’t give a second thought
You’re not my God

Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

”Just the very act of letting go of money, or of some treasure, does something within us.  It destroys the demon greed.”
-Richard Foster

Counterfeit 03: The Ego

Matthew 16:24 NIV

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

John 15:5 NIV

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Counterfeit 02: Be Rich

When it comes to money, most people experience plenty of anxiety and fear. Jesus taught people how to be rich and have more financial peace.

Luke 12:15 And (Jesus) said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness,

Luke 12:15 for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.

Matthew 19:24it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

It’s not that God doesn’t want us to have nice stuff.  God doesn’t want nice stuff to have us.

We are vulnerable to being possessed by our possessions. 

Luke 12:16-19 “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and dry goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink be merry.”’

Luke 12:20  But God said to him, ‘Fool!  This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?”’

Luke 12:21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.

“I will not trust in riches but in Him who richly provides.” -Andy Stanley

Heavenly Father, You are the giver of all that is good.  You richly provide everything for our enjoyment.  Sometimes we are greedy.  Help us to be on guard against covetousness.  We want to be thankful for every perfect gift that comes down from You.  Lead us not to be possessed by possessions.  Help us not to live in anxiety and fear but to have the peace of trusting You to provide all that we need.  Make us into people who are rich toward God.  In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.



Counterfeit 01: Deceit

In 1865, between 1/3 and 1/2 of the currency circulating in the nation was counterfeit. These days we still have a problem of counterfeit deception, and this message gives insight into how to recognize it.

Mark 4:14 The sower sows the Word.

Mark 4:18-19    And others are the ones sown among thorns.  They are those who hear the Word, but the the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter and choke the Word, and it proves unfruitful.

Proverbs 18:11 A rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and like a high wall in his imagination.

Ecclesiastes 5:10 He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income.

1 Timothy 6:17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, charge them…not to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.

“I will not trust in riches but in Him who richly provides.” -Andy Stanley

“Contentment isn’t getting what you want.  It’s appreciating what you have!” -Mark Batterson


The Next Level 3: Was That OK?

Odds are that in some way, you want to improve. This series looks at principles in Scripture that can help us get to the next level of spiritual growth.

2 Peter 1:3-5 ESV

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge,

2 Peter 1:5 and virtue with knowledge,

2 Peter 1:5 and virtue with knowledge,

Proverbs 16:32 Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than who takes a city.

Proverbs 25:28 A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.

2 Peter 1:6 and self-control with steadfastness,

2 Peter 1:7 and godliness with brotherly affection,

2 Peter 1:7 and brotherly affection with love.

2 Peter 1:8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.

2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.

Colossians 1:28 Him (Christ) we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.

The Next Level 2: Not Feeling It

Odds are that in some way, you want to improve. This series looks at principles in Scripture that can help us get to the next level of personal growth.

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

Hebrews 12:2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

Matthew 7:13-14 For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.  For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

“Failure is the path of least persistence.” -Zig Ziglar

Hebrews 12:7 It is for discipline that you have to endure.  God is treating you as sons.  For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

“Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing.”
-John Maxwell

“What we do on some great occasion will depend on what we are; and what we are will be the previous years of self-discipline.”  – H.P. Liddon

Galatians 6:9 Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

The Next Level 1: Good Intentions

Odds are that in some way, you want to improve. This series has been designed to look at principles in Scripture that can help us get to the next level of personal growth.

Matthew 6:31-32:  (ESV) Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. ESV

In the history of calming down has anyone ever calmed down by being told to calm down.

Matthew 6:33-34: (ESV) 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

2 Corinthians 6:2: (ESV)For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you,and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

We get to the next level not with good intentions but with being intentional now.

Disciple (Mathetes)- “Learner”.
Root word- “the mental effort needed to think something through.”
Mission- To make disciples who make disciples.
Prayer- “Holy Spirit, use me today to help someone grow spiritually.”