Plow! And Get Ready for the Harvest

Message Notes

Proverbs 16:1-3
To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue. (2) All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. (3) Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.

Matthew 13:4-8 NLT
As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. (5) Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. (6) But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. (7) Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. (8) Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!

1. Get Rid of the stuff in your heart that you don’t need!

Hebrews 12:1 NLT
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

2. Fill Your Heart With Expectation and Faith

Acts 7:3-5 NLT
God told him, ‘Leave your native land and your relatives, and come into the land that I will show you.’ (4) So Abraham left the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran until his father died. Then God brought him here to the land where you now live. (5) “But God gave him no inheritance here, not even one square foot of land. God did promise, however, that eventually the whole land would belong to Abraham and his descendants—even though he had no children yet.

3. Choose Joy and Thankfulness No Matter What

Acts2:46-47 NLT
They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— (47) all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

Zacchaeus – 4 Priorities

Message Notes

(Luke 19:1-10 NKJV) Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. (2) Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. (3) And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. (4) So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. (5) And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” (6) So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. (7) But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” (8) Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” (9) And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; (10) for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

1.Jesus
(Luke 19:1 NKJV) Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.

2.Life – Breakthrough
(Luke 19:2-6 NKJV) Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. (3) And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. (4) So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. (5) And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” (6) So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.

(1Thessalonians 5:16 NKJV) Rejoice always,

3.Honor God
(Luke 19:7-8 NKJV) But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” (8) Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”

(1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 NKJV) pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

4.Live by passion
(Luke 19:9-10 NKJV) And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; (10) for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

(Philippians3:14) I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 77 – The Journey Of “Remembering Well”

Message Notes

Psalm 77

“I remember” 3 times.

Shows a journey.

A new way of seeing as God sees.

1.The tough times

(Psalm 77:1-3 NKJV) I cried out to God with my voice— To God with my voice; And He gave ear to me. (2) In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing; My soul refused to be comforted. (3) I remembered God, and was troubled; I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah

-Elijah. Can it get any worse?

(1 King 19:9-13 NKJV) And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (10) So he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.” (11) Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; (12) and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. (13) So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

“Tough times never last, but tough people do!”

2.My response in the tough times = Songs in the night.

(Psalm 77:3-9 NKJV) I remembered God, and was troubled; I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah (4) You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. (5) I have considered the days of old, The years of ancient times. (6) I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart, And my spirit makes diligent search. (7) Will the Lord cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more? (8) Has His mercy ceased forever? Has His promise failed forevermore? (9) Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah

Paul and Silas

(Acts 16:25 NKJV) But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.

Remember the whole context. The whole puzzle, not the single piece.

3.The Response of faith to a Good and Powerful God

(Psalm 77:10-15 NKJV) And I said, “This is my anguish; But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.” (11) I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. (12) I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds. (13) Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary; Who is so great a God as our God? (14) You are the God who does wonders; You have declared Your strength among the peoples. (15) You have with Your arm redeemed Your people, The sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah

-Me March, 2011 Tokyo.

(Psalm 31:15a NIV) My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies,

(Psalm 31:15 MSG) Hour by hour I place my days in your hand, safe from the hands out to get me.

4.At all parts of their journey – The confession of faith: “The Lord is my shepherd”

(Psalm 77:16-20 NKJV) The waters saw You, O God; The waters saw You, they were afraid; The depths also trembled. (17) The clouds poured out water; The skies sent out a sound; Your arrows also flashed about. (18) The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; The lightnings lit up the world; The earth trembled and shook. (19) Your way was in the sea, Your path in the great waters, And Your footsteps were not known. (20) You led Your people like a flock By the hand of Moses and Aaron.

– “The Lord is my shepherd”

(Psalm 23:1 NKJV) The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

Three Messages of Christmas for Us!

Message Notes

Luke 2:8-10 NLT
8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.」

1. A Message That God Is With Us!

Matthew 1:23 NLT
“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”

2. A Message That You Are So loved and Valuable!

John 3:16-17 NLT
16“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

3. A Message That Jesus Gives Joy Inside of You!

Luke 2:15 NLT
When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

IMMANUEL – The “With Us God”

Message Notes

(Isaiah 7:14 NKJV) Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

(Matthew 1:21-23 NKJV) And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, or He will save His people from their sins.” (22) So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: (23) “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

-It was the sign

-The virgin will carry a child.

-Immanuel’ = “with + us + God” (the verb ‘is’ is understood)

The with us God

1.Abraham heard his voice from Babylon

(Genesis 12:1-3 NKJV) Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. (2) I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. (3) I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

2.The boy Samuel heard his voice

(1 Samuel 3:4-9 NKJV) that the Lord called Samuel. And he answered, “Here I am!” (5) So he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” And he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” And he went and lay down. (6) Then the Lord called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” He answered, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.”
(7) (Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor was the word of the Lord yet revealed to him.) (8) And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. So he arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord had called the boy. (9) Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

3.Elijah heard his whisper

(1 King 19:11-13 NKJV) Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; (12) and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. (13) So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

4.Ezekiel heard his voice

(Ezekiel 36:26-27 NKJV) I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (27) I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

5.Jesus wants this message to be shared

(Matthew 10:6-8 NKJV) But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (7) And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ (8) Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Christmas message to us all – Jesus is born – the ‘with us God’

(Luke 2:10 NKJV) Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.

Christmas – Let There Be Light

Message Notes

Genesis 1:1-4 NIV
[1] In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. [2] Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. [3] And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. [4] God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.

John 1:1-5 NIV
[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] He was with God in the beginning. [3] Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. [4] In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. [5] The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Matthew 2:9-11 (NIV)
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

John 8:12 NIV
[12] When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Good, Good Father

Message Notes

Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

James 1:17-18 (NIV)
17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth to the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

God Gives Good & Perfect Gifts
Matthew 7:11 (NIV)
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

2 Corinthians 9:14 (NIV)
14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

He Is An Everlasting Father
Hebrews 13:7-9 (NIV)
7 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Proverbs 3:11-12 (NIV)
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.

We Are His Prized Possession
Psalm 17:7-8 (NIV)
7 Show me the wonders of your great love,
you who save by your right hand
those who take refuge in you from their foes.
8 Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings

Zechariah 9:16 (NIV)
16 The Lord their God will save his people on that day
as a shepherd saves his flock.
They will sparkle in his land
like jewels in a crown.

Romans 5:8 (NIV)
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Grace Is Enough!

Message Notes

2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Galatians 1:6 NLT
I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News

1) Cannot Change Other Than The Grace

Galatians 5:22-23 NLT
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

1 Corinthians 15:10 NIV
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.

2) Grace Is The Strongest!

Ephesians 1:20-22 NIV
21 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 22 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 23 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,

3) Let’s Be Strong By Grace

2 Timothy 2:1 NIV
You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 6:2 NLT
Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.

Whatever You Do – Give Thanks

Message Notes

Psalm 107:1 (NIV)
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Colossians 3:15-17 (NIV)
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Thankfulness Leads To Peace

Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Thankfulness Starts In Our Hearts And Comes From Our Mouths

Luke 6:45 (NIV)
45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Whatever You Do – Give Thanks!

Ephesians 2:8 (NIV)
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

John 3:16 (NIV)
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Me & My House

Message Notes

Joshua 24:14-15 (NIV)
14 “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the godsyour ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.
15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Keep God Number 1

Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

The Next Generation Is The Future

Psalm 45:16 (NIV)
16 Your sons will take the place of your fathers; you will make them princes throughout the land.

Be Thankful for Every Blessing

Psalm 127:3-4 (NIV)
3 Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.

Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

What Type of Family Do you Want?

Set Your Family Culture Now

Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)
6 Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

Quantity Time Brings Quality Time

Ephesians 5:15-16 (NIV)
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

No Family Is Perfect, But We Are Better Together

Colossians 3:13 (NIV)
13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.