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Jesus People: Part 2 | After Easter

Revival is here! It’s happening online, through phones and tablets. Revival can happen EVERYWHERE.

“Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews. But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.” Acts 11:19-26 ESV

 

The Church of Antioch. One of the greatest churches every started by people with no training. The pain of persecution caused believers to move out of Jerusalem into Antioch (and other parts of the known world).

What is the pain of this pandemic pushing you into that you normally wouldn’t have done? How is God causing you to come out of your comfort? 

Jesus asked, “Who wants to follow me?” NOT “Who wants the title of Christian?” We often want a title for prestige or hierarchy, but Jesus solicited ACTION.

What actions can we take as believers right now to expand the Kingdom and take territory?

 

What is a Christian? Is it FANS or FOLLOWERS?

Multiplying the church in our culture = disciples. The spirit of God and the word of God and people are ALL that’s needed.

What is a Christian? The Biblical Definition

Since the Bible is the authority for the Christian faith, let’s see what it says about the word “Christian.” The word is only used 3 times in the New Testament and each instance is referring to the first “Christians” of the early church.

“So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch” (Acts 11:26).

“Then Agrippa said to Paul, ‘Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?’” (Acts 26:28).

“However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name” (1 Peter 4:16).

WHAT ARE THEY LIKE?!

  • They forgive.
  • They are a river, not a reservoir. While everyone else is hoarding, they’re giving.
  • They feel fear, but they don’t surrender to it.
  • When they don’t know what to do, they receive information from the Word.

Jesus said that His true followers are those who have been “born again” by the Spirit of God. When a Jewish religious leader named Nicodemus came to talk with Jesus one night, he declared that God was with Jesus because of all the miraculous signs Jesus performed. Jesus had this penetrating response: “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. … Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit” (John 3:3, 6, NIV). 

The phrase “born again” in Scripture literally means “to be born from above”–a spiritual rebirth. A Christian is a man, woman, or child who has experienced a spiritual new birth through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. That new birth is a gift of God, through Jesus Christ, given by the grace He freely offers to all.

Some believe you can be born into a faith. For example, a child born to Muslim parents is considered a Muslim by many people. A son or daughter born to a Jewish mother is typically considered to be Jewish, and someone born into a Christian family is often assumed to be a Christian. No one, however, is ever automatically a Christian by birth. To be a Christian, you must make a conscious choice to turn from your sins–that’s repentance–and by faith believe that Jesus is the Son of God, who loved us, paid the price of our sins on Calvary’s cross, shed His blood and died, was buried, and was raised to life on the third day.

How do we tell if it’s real in our lives? The Bible says, “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands, … the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3–4).

A Christian, then, is a person who is born again by the Spirit of God as he or she wholeheartedly trusts in Jesus Christ and seeks to follow Him in obedience.

Jesus never asked anyone “Will you be a Christian!” He asked people, “Will you follow me?”. Christian is a title but following is an action. We don’t want titles, we want movement!

New Year,
New You

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Jesus People: Part 1 | Palm Sunday

Passion week is not an obligation, but an opportunity.

John 12:12 : The Triumphal Entry

The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!”

Traditionally called Palm Sunday, Jesus makes His triumphal entry on the 10th day of the month (Nisan) during the celebration of Passover. On this day in the Jewish calendar, families would select the lamb that would be sacrificed on the 14th day of Passover. And on this very day, Jesus, the lamb of God, is riding into Jerusalem on a donkey.

JESUS IS MORE APPEALING THAN RELIGION.

He was then, He is today.

This was their Passover, when they would have celebrated the deliverance of their forefathers from the bondage of Egypt from slavery and a succession of 10 plagues.

BUT EVERY YEAR IT WAS THE SAME THING.

Same prescribed prayers. Same routes to Jerusalem.

They wanted MORE!

Jesus is in town and they spontaneously start worshipping and crying out: SAVE US NOW (Hosanna)!! 

There was a clash between the old and the new here.

 

His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered these things had been written about Him. The crowd that had been with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. The reason why the crowd went to meet Him was that they heard He had done this miraculous thing, this sign. So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him.”

JESUS WAS MORE APPEALING THAN RELIGION.

I want my church like I want my coffee– I want it HOT. 

You see a second Jesus movement happening now, it’s those who hate their life that are finding eternal life. 

Religion emphasizes the outward. JESUS EMPHASIZES THE INWARD!

Religion is about what you can’t do.  JESUS IS ABOUT WHAT YOU CAN DO!

Religion is about prohibition. JESUS IS ABOUT DEMONSTRATION OF POWER!

Religion puts up barriers. JESUS TEARS BARRIERS DOWN!

Non-jewish people would be restricted. They couldn’t even get close to the temple. Physical walls kept people out. Jesus said come unto me ALL who are…

Religion requires working your way to God.  JESUS DECLARES I AM THE WAY TO GOD!

Hosanna is spontaneously being declared. Prophetically being declared. Deliver NOW. Save us NOW. 

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST!!

There was another perspective happening. The religious leaders were watching and saying, “Look, the whole world is going after Him.” The spontaneous worship was a threat to their system of religion. 

Ever notice that everyone has an opinion of Jesus? (Caesarea Philippi)

There’s always going to be a lot of chatter around Jesus.

There are four groups of people observing the same event, but only ONE was really following Jesus (the disciples).

  1. The disciples (vs. 16)- They didn’t understand, but they followed.
  2. The eyewitnesses of Lazarus’ resurrection
  3. The group of people who heard the testimony of Lazarus (vs. 18) 
  4. The religious people, the Pharisees 

They all witnessed the same event. They observed. 

In the same way: Some tune into the V1 Church livestream. They hear testimonies. They experience the miraculous.

But who is going to join me in following Jesus, even when we don’t understand the events unfolding? 

We are realizing that we are the religious ones. Having church in our home is awkward because we only believe it can happen in a building. 

We are the spontaneous worshippers who have had these experiences with Jesus but don’t really follow Him.

We are the people who’ve heard stories of what Jesus can do for others, we’ve heard testimonies, but we’ve never experienced who He could be for us. 

Accept Jesus, be like the donkey who held Jesus up so that the world could declare – Hosanna – Deliver now!

The Donkey BY G. K. CHESTERTON

When fishes flew and forests walked

   And figs grew upon thorn,

Some moment when the moon was blood

   Then surely I was born.

With monstrous head and sickening cry

   And ears like errant wings,

The devil’s walking parody

   On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,

   Of ancient crooked will;

Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,

   I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;

   One far fierce hour and sweet:

There was a shout about my ears,

   And palms before my feet.

The prophesied messiah of  Zechariah 9:9 is on my back and I’m the donkey.

Join Pastor Mike for lunch at noon every day Live on Facebook!

New Year,
New You

This free ebook resource, “New Year, New Me” will take you from chaos to clarity.

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Trust: Will I Ever Be Happy?

When you have questions, who do you turn to? Is it Google?? How many of us Google our symptoms way before we call the doctor? And what we find is not always the most encouraging answers. So what if we took our 10 most asked relationship questions, and instead of asking Google for the answers, we asked God for the answers?

This week, Pastors Mike and Julie Signorelli tackle the Top Ten Most Googled questions on relationships, and offer you a fresh biblical perspective. So let’s dive right in!

10. What Does A Healthy Relationship Look Like?

Putting your marriage first above anyone or anything else. A healthy relationship increases the health of the individuals in the relationship.

Mark 10:9: “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

9. How Do You Know Your Relationship Is Over?

In marriage, you don’t pick the right one, you choose to be the right one. In premarital counseling, we ask about exit strategy. And it’s a trick question. Cause our heart is to go into marriage being willing to work through anything.

History doesn’t mean you have a future. 

8. How To Get Out Of A Toxic Relationship?

Don’t GET IN one! But if you are in one, it’s very important to get out of an unhealthy situation. If you are married – there are times when maybe divorce isn’t the right thing, but because of toxicity levels, you may need to step away from a time. The best way to get out of a toxic relationship is to get healthy yourself.

7. How To Get Over A Relationship?

6. What Is An Open Relationship?

You have an open relationship as soon as you have your needs for intimacy met by someone other than your spouse. And this is a danger zone!

5. How To Save Your Relationship?

You save a relationship through sacrificial giving. Something must die for something to live. This is nature.

Ephesians 5:25: “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.”

4. Should I date a non-Christian? 

You shouldn’t date anyone who doesn’t match your values! Ron Swanson would have a hard time dating a vegan. If you can’t agree on a meal, don’t agree on a marriage!

3. How To Build Trust In A Relationship?

Trust is built through consistent reliability. If you didn’t check the seat for it’s durability before you sat on it, chances are it has never failed you. “My partner doesn’t trust me” is another way of saying, “a chair broke when I sat in it so don’t judge me if I check this new one every time I get ready to sit down until I can prove it’s consistently reliable.”

2. When To Change Your Relationship Status On Facebook?

We all have a personal brand. Your brand is the total sum of all the choices you make and the consequences they create. Go public with a relationship after you’re sure people won’t eye roll your decision.

1. How To Make A Long-Distance Relationship Work?

Long Distance relationships can be a great thing because they force you to work on the non-physical aspects of intimacy and connection. That’s our story.

For more insights into each of these questions, tune in and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

New Year,
New You

This free ebook resource, “New Year, New Me” will take you from chaos to clarity.

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How to Change People

Welcome all of the “control freaks anonymous” to the blog! Haha 

If you’re anything like me, you struggle seeing people you love make the same mistakes over and over. It’s like, “when are you going to finally see everything I’ve been trying to explain to you?!” 

I’ve spent years facing the harsh reality that a prophet in his hometown is without honor. As a preacher and pastor, people send me messages from all over the world recounting stories of breakthrough and freedom as they listen to a sermon, or received prayer during an event. It’s very easy to hear these stories and assume that I have the power to change people. 

It’s even easier to get upset when all of my efforts to change the people closest to me fail. 

Why did they not listen? 

When are they finally going to see it? 

How do I stop them from making bad decisions?

These are the questions that plague our souls while in a relationship. Whether you’re a husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, brother, sister, friend….whatever….you are going to feel this way sooner or later. 

We need to have HEALTHY relationships, marriages, and friendships. And this isn’t just cutting out the UNHEALTHY people, or desperately trying to change them—but something else entirely. 

You have a responsibility to practice radical sacrifice, and to exchange disunity for unity.

Sometimes, you must sacrifice your pride to have crucial conversations, saying things in love with the purpose of reconciliation.

(See Galatians 5:19-26, 2 Kings 6:15-17, Galatians 6:7-8, Matthew 5:23-24)

You get HIS provision, protection, and peace when you fight a battle in HIS strength.

How do you fight for unity, instead of fighting to “change them”? You fight the spirit of disunity with its opposite.

  1. Unity against division
  2. Empathy for contentment
  3. Vulnerability for isolation
  4. Encouragement for gossip
  5. Prayer for angry opinions

Put your energy into fighting the RIGHT FIGHT!

We spend our energy fighting AGAINST our relationships, instead of fighting FOR our relationships. We see this all the time in marriage: people spending energy to be right, but not spending energy to be one.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.’” John 15:12-15 ESV

Here’s the secret: your phone has a front facing camera and a camera on the back. As long as you keep the front facing camera on you, and focus all of your energy into changing what you see mentally, physically, and emotionally for the better, according to God’s will, you can experience the peace of God. You do not have the power to change anyone on earth except YOU. Let your change inspire their change. This is what you can control. Model the behaviors you want to see in others. Be the change you desire in the world. 

If you want to learn more about how to handle haters, watch this message from our new series GHOSTED and subscribe to our youtube channel:

https://youtu.be/NnkuvtIRPxY

New Year,
New You

This free ebook resource, “New Year, New Me” will take you from chaos to clarity.

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How to Get the Love You Need

Let’s face it—you need love. 

I’d like to think that it’s possible to satiate that need with a phone. I’d like to think that checking into church, the gym, and work would satiate the desire for closeness. 

You have two seemingly contradictory needs: independence and closeness 

Some psychologists believe that our earliest experiences in the womb shape this paradoxical desire. We are wholly dependent and independent at the same time. NSYNC captured this struggle with their hit song, “Baby” ….yes…there’s a profound revelation in the words: “It’s tearin up my heart when I’m with you/but when we are apart I feel it too/and no matter what I do/I feel the pain, with or without you” 

We all struggle because there’s a part of us that wants what we don’t have. If you’re single, you want to be in a loving relationship. If you’re in a committed relationship there’s a tendency to wonder “what if” you were single again, or even with someone else entirely. Getting the ratio of independence and intimacy right can feel paralyzing, confusing, and painful. 

Being single and dating can feel like that moment when you pour a bowl full of cereal and you’re super excited, but then realize you’re all out of milk. Expectations are at an all-time high and an all-time low 

Even if you start enjoying being in a relationship it can feel like when you’re sleeping and your alarm hasn’t gone off yet but the amount of sleep you’re getting feels a little suspicious. 

We feel the tension between independence and closeness. How do we know when we are encountering the real thing? 

Counterfeit Closeness: Closeness without covenant 

Their “promise” is not enough. Heck, nowadays, a contract isn’t enough. Every time I see a billboard advertising $399 for a divorce I wonder, “Did the couple first try to spend $399 on dates?” We can settle for a counterfeit closeness that says sex, promises, and even contracts are enough to bring the sense of closeness we desire. Covenant is a commitment outlined in scripture. The Genesis account of creation details the first human relationship. Adam had a relationship with God, but that was actually not enough. God said, “it isn’t good that man is alone.” It’s possible to know God and yet still have a measure of loneliness in your life. Even God honors our aching for human intimacy and provides provisions to satisfy our longing. Remember, it was God Himself who made Eve from Adam’s rib. God is still providing and provisioning the relationship you long for. His faithfulness is never-ending. 

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.

Deuteronomy 7:9 

Counterfeit Independence: “I can take care of myself” turns into “I don’t want to hear your input.” There’s a fine line between healthy and unhealthy independence. 

“I don’t want to get married” can actually be, “I don’t want to get hurt.” 

Sometimes, even trying to take care of yourself prevents people from serving you. You can become so independent that there’s no room in your life for someone to safely occupy relational space. Adam recognized the need for a helpmate. God recognized the need and provided. Pride and woundedness tells you that you can do it all by yourself, but God orchestrates a beautiful interconnectedness that heals us as we lean into relationship. 

God wants to turn the pain of relationship into purpose. 

God wants you to experience true independence and intimacy. I find it surprising that the Holy Spirit has two primary roles as outlined in scripture, and both of them fulfill our greatest needs. The Holy Spirit is our comforter (intimacy) and He empowers (independence)! 

So it is my prayer that you come into relationship with the Holy Spirit through the finish work of the cross, so that you can bring every other relationship into alignment. 

For more insights, subscribe to the V1 Church Podcast and listen to our series, “Ghosted”.

 Just in case, here’s the podcast link: https://soundcloud.com/user-209942460/its-tearing-up-my-heart-ghosted-part-1

New Year,
New You

This free ebook resource, “New Year, New Me” will take you from chaos to clarity.

GET IT NOWGET IT NOW