Genesis 3:14-17, “Frustration of Work.”

Genesis 3:14, “14 The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you will go, And dust you will eat all the days of your life;

Alright, before we jump into verse 14 we need to keep the big picture in mind of Genesis 1, “All of creation is spoken into existence.”  Then, in Genesis 2 the God of Scripture zeroes in on His prize creation of humanity, and Adam and Eve are given the responsibility to cultivate and keep the garden (2:15), and everything is good.

Until Genesis 3 we see a fracture that enters into this story of goodness, and as a result we see frustration in our lives and in our world today. Write that in your notes, “Genesis 1-2 everything is good, but in Genesis 3 we see frustration.”

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10 Year Celebration

North Village Church is a family, which means we are radically committed to having deep, healthy, vibrant relationships with one another.

In addition, we are ridiculously committed to Jesus being at the center of our lives, which means we are submitting the whole of our lives to Jesus and His Word.

And, then our belief is that when we are living in deep relationships with one another and deep relationship Jesus, we will have an ravenous compassion for every many, woman and child in greater Austin to experience the life transforming power of Jesus.

Every three years we focus on one of these three areas, and the last 12 months we have been pressing in on our “chasing the community” and we called it, “making the most of the opportunity.”

Making the most of the opportunity

Colossians 4:5-6, “5 Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.

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Why do we connect with North Village Church? (Romans 14:1-8)

Romans 14:1-3, “1 Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. 2 One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. 3 The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him.

The book of Romans is written by the Apostle Paul, and toward the end of Romans Paul begins to talk about the importance of our relationships with one another, because sometimes it can be difficult to establish deep, vibrant, healthy relationships with one another in the local church.

We are all coming from different backgrounds, different experiences, different social norms, and sometimes we are like porcupines bumping into one another. Most of the time we are actually trying not to hurt one another, but it still happens.

In the context of verses 1-3 there are men and women in a local church in Rome who are coming from Jewish backgrounds, and historically Jewish people followed dietary laws, but now these Jewish people were in Jesus, and they were wrestling with how to apply those old dietary laws. That’s why the Apostle Paul is talking about meat and vegetables in verses 1-3.

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Why do we connect with the community? (Matthew 5:13-16)

Matthew 5:13-14, “13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;”

In Matthew 5 Jesus is standing in front of a crowd of people (rich-poor, young-old, religious-indifferent, all types), standing on a mountain side, and as people gathered around Jesus He begins to speak to them about who He is, what He is doing, and what it means to live out our meaning and purpose in life in Him.

Matthew 5 starts off and Jesus is teaching phrases like, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are those who mourn, blessed are the meek,” and at first glance we’re like, “That’s cool, but what does that mean”, and what we find out is that Jesus is teaching us what it looks like to live out our meaning and purpose in life in Him on earth.

Phrases like, “Poor in spirit means we are to be filled with humility because we are reconciled to Him, we feel small, but safe. Those who mourn because what we see today isn’t right and it should bother us, and blessed are the meek, because we willingly set aside our interests for others” and Jesus is teaching us what it looks like to live out our meaning and purpose in life in Him on earth.

Instead, Jesus shows up in Matthew 5, 6, and 7 and says, “Look over here, this is what it looks like to live out our meaning and purpose in life in Him on earth. And, then, in what must have been incredibly powerful, in verses 13-14 Jesus looks these men and women in the eye, and says, “In Jesus, you are salt of the earth.”

Can you imagine how Jesus’ words must have pierced their soul? The same voice that spoke creation into existence is now speaking into their soul and says, “In Jesus, you are the light of the world.”

These types of words would have only been used to describe the religious leaders of the day, “A guide to the blind, a light to those who are in the dark,” and Jesus just looks at these men and women, and says, “Nah.”

It isn’t because of titles. It isn’t because of status. It isn’t because of physical appearances. It isn’t because of ethnicity. It isn’t even because of morality, but instead when you are reconciled to the Father by grace through faith in Jesus you are, “Salt of the earth and light of the world.”

The word salt is used to put off decay. They didn’t have refrigerators back then, so the only way to keep meat from rotting immediately was to cover it in salt, so that salt was preservative to put off decay.

And, back then they didn’t have light at the tip of their fingers like Iron Man. They would have spent the majority of their evening walking around in literal darkness, and Jesus just says, “When you are in Him there is a light in you that conquers all darkness.” It’s like having superpowers.

Matthew 5:15, “15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.”

In verse 15 Jesus uses the phrase, “Nor does anyone light a lamp” and it is important to clarify that we ourselves are not the light. Maybe that’s obvious, but I just want to be clear.

We could hear the language of verses 13 and 14 and think to ourselves, “I don’t know if I can be salty enough, or I don’t know if I can shine bright enough.”  Sometimes my grandparents would interact with people who were really kind to them and they would say, “That fella is salt of the earth.” Or sometimes politicians will refer to America as the “light to the world.”  No, Jesus is the light.

Matthew 5:16, “16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

In verse 15 our lives are lit through faith in Jesus, and in verse 16 Jesus moves us toward practical application and says, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works.”

When you see the phrase “good works” it can sound like our relationship with the God of Scripture is determined by our “behavior” but we need to remember that our relationship with the Father is not according to our deeds (Titus 3), but to His mercy, and the result of His work in our life is “good works.”

I heard it said this way, “It is as though our good works do not become good works until we see that we do not have any good works. It is why Jesus starts with becoming salt and light, and it results in good works.

Now, it is possible that we see the words “good works” and we think of enormous “good works” like moving across the world, selling all our possessions, eradicating racism from the face of the earth, or solving the immigration challenges of the United States, and those are great pursuits, but did you know there are “good works” in you on display by just showing up to the office on Monday?

Remember, you are salt of the earth. The Holy Spirit has been poured out richly, you have every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, so that even your failures are powerful.

  • Imagine the type of hope you bring into the work place just because you are in Christ?
  • Imagine simply remembering someone’s name, someone’s birthday?
  • Imagine inviting someone out to lunch?
  • Imagine marriages preserved when you encourage them not to throw their spouse under the bus.
  • Imagine the power you hold in your words when you simply ask someone about their weekend?
  • Imagine the hope in your fingers when you send your child’s teacher an email of encouragement?

Therefore, we need to ask ourselves, “Have our lamps been lit in Jesus?”  Is so, “What are ways you want to be salt and light?”  It doesn’t mean we try to be more salty and shine more bright, but instead it is being overwhelmed that Jesus pursues you, cleanses you, forgives you, reconciles you to the Father, so that the Holy Spirit can reside in you and as a result, you become salt and light. 

Why do we connect with Jesus? (Titus 3:3-6)

In Titus, chapter 3 the Apostle Paul is going to remind Titus about the importance of “keeping Jesus at the center of our lives.” In verse 3 we see the word, “For” which is a literary word to explain why Jesus is so important, and it is because “We were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to lusts, and spending our life in hatred.”

I am guessing that most of us in the room don’t like to think of ourselves, or all of humanity, as foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to lusts, and spending our life in hatred”, but I think we just need to be a little more honest with ourselves.

How many times do we watch the news and say to ourselves, “That was stupid, why did that person do that?” How many times do we hear about a family member bucking authority (Parents, Teachers, Police) and say to ourselves, “Why are they making it so hard?”

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What is the Vision of North Village Church? (Colossians 1:13-20)

Sometimes a church family might have a vision for serving the widow and the orphan, or starting churches all over the world, or a place of discipleship, and all those things are all important, but our vision early on has always been about exposing and exalting the glory of Jesus in our lives personally.

This is critical, because sometimes people move past this too quickly and they say, “Yeah, Jesus glory made known to the world.” And yes that is part of it, but it isn’t our dream to see (Jesus glory made known to the world), but our dream is that we personally would be in awe of Jesus’ glory, and as a result Jesus glory is made known to the world, but we must begin with ourselves being in awe of Jesus.

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Why did we start North Village Church? (John 17:13-21)

I remember when the God of Scripture started to put the desire in my heart to start a new church in Austin. We didn’t have a name, we didn’t have a geographical focus, we didn’t have a meeting space, and we didn’t have people.

It was just an idea that Jesus put in my head, “What if men, women, and children could find their greatest joy in Jesus, and then live out their lives in such a way (full of character, joy, confidence, quality of life) that the people around us would want to know Jesus.” That was the initial idea.

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How to build up treasure in heaven, “Matthew 6:19-21”

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

Did you know we are all living in kingdoms? This is a little abstract, but right now we are all living in our personal kingdoms.  We all have our own castles we call our homes; we have our own armies we call our bank accounts, right, make us feel strong; we have our own allies we call our friends, and we have our own “dragons” we call our careers, and today we are all living in our own personal kingdom.

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Limitless Compassion, “Jonah 3:1-10”

Jonah 3:1, “1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying,”

  • Isn’t that good news, “The word of the Lord comes to Jonah a second time?” Sometimes our culture today will tell us that the God of Scripture in the Old Testament is cruel, blood thirsty, vengeful, but in the life of Jonah we see the God of Scripture is full of limitless compassion, and the “word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time.”

Jonah 3:2, “2 “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and proclaim to it the proclamation which I am going to tell you.”

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Limitless Compassion, “Jonah 2:1-10”

In Jonah 1 we see the God of Scripture call Jonah to extend biblical compassion to the people of Nineveh, and Jonah runs in the opposite direction.  Jonah ends up on a ship heading to Tarshish, and the God of Scripture hurls a great wind and a great storm to draw Jonah back to Himself.

But, instead of Jonah responding to the God of Scripture in repentance, awe, and obedience, we actually see the sailors responding in repentance, awe and obedience. What!

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Limitless Compassion, “Jonah 1:11-16”

Jonah 1:10-11, “10 the men became extremely frightened and they said to him, “How could you do this?” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them. 11 So they said to him, “What should we do to you that the sea may become calm for us?”—for the sea was becoming increasingly stormy.”

  • In verses 10-11 the focus of the story pivots toward the sailors on the ship in the storm, and we need to remember the chaos of the storm.I  f you look back to verse 4 we see the ship is falling apart in the storm.  In verse 5 the sailors are afraid, throwing cargo overboard, and in verse 8 the sailors ask Jonah, “Why is this happening?”
  • In verse 9, “Jonah says, ‘Because I am fleeing from the presence of the Lord.’” So that in verse 10 the sailors say, “How could you do this?” Do you see the progression?

Now, you need to know these sailors do not know the God of Scripture. They are worshipping rocks, clouds, statues, and animals, and all they have as a reference to the God of Scripture is Jonah’s profession of faith in verse 9, “I am Hebrew, I fear the God of heaven who made the sea and the land” and still these sailors know “fleeing from the presence of the Lord” is a bad idea.

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Limitless Compassion, “Jonah 1:1-10”

Jonah 1:1, “1 The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying”

  • In verse 1 we see the name “Jonah” and the name Jonah means “dove, a messenger of peace.”
  • We don’t know a ton about Jonah, but Jonah would have been raised just like every other Israelite in history, which is to be a blessing to others. Did you know this about Israel?
  • Abraham in Genesis is established to be a blessing to all the nations. Moses is raised up for Israel to be a blessing to all the nations. David is set apart to lead Israel to be a blessing to all the nations, so that Israel is established to be like a mirror that reflects the glory of God to the nations, so that the nations of the world might see Israel, see the beauty of Israel, and that it would peak their curiosity about the God of Scripture.

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John 8:1-11, “Sexual Wounds”

It is possible we see so many sexual wounds in our lives today that we think these sexual wounds are just a normal part of our lives, but in Genesis 2 actually teaches us sexual wounds and sexual brokenness isn’t what God intended for in the very beginning.

Now, our culture today hears that description of sexuality, and is deeply offended. Our culture says, “We aren’t sexually wounded.’  In fact, all of the sexual shame in our culture today is because of some ill informed puritans.”

We just need to break off those sexual shackles. We need to become sexually enlightened, we need to become sexually free, and at first glance it kind of sounds wise until you realize our culture has been running that play since the 1960’s, and the promise of sexual liberation seems really confusing.

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Honoring Marriage, “Genesis 1-3”

Today our culture is talking about really complicated subjects more than ever, and one of those subjects is sex, therefore, wouldn’t be awesome to grow in confidence and boldness around any subject in our culture today, especially in the subject of sex?

Imagine becoming the type of people that men and women pursued at the office and the playground for gentleness and wisdom, not only around sex, but in all areas of life?

Genesis 2:18, “18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

  • In Genesis 1 we see a macro view of creation, male and female He created them in His image, and in Genesis 2 we see the God of Scripture zero in on His prized creation, humanity, and we see the foundation for marriage when it says, “It is not good for man to be alone.”
  • When you see the phrase, “It is not good for man to be alone” it should jump off the page, because Adam isn’t alone. Adam is walking with the God of Scripture in the cool of the garden in perfect union.
  • It is in Genesis 3 we see sin enter into creation and destroy everything God created to be good, but in Genesis 2 everything is perfect, and yet we still see the phrase, “It is not good for man to be alone.”
  • Do you know why? It is because the God of Scripture created marriage to be a gift. It is because the God of Scripture created man and woman to come together under the commitment of marriage, and He created marriage to be good.

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