Messages

Developing Compassion in an Angry World

(Unfortunately, the audio of this sermon cut out early. The fill-in’s have been provided below.)

Developing Compassion in an Angry World

Sermon series: Dependable – Part 3 of 7

Pastor John Fanous

April 6, 2008

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” – Jesus, nailed to a cross, praying for those who tortured him (Luke 23:34)

Matthew 5:21-22

21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

2 Facts about Anger

1. Anger always comes from FRUSTRATED expectations.

2. Anger at INJUSTICE is good.

“He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.” Mk 3:5

Testing for Sinful Anger

Who do I talk about NEGATIVELY in front of others?

Who do I ENJOY hearing negative comments about?


Sinful anger hurts ME more than THE OTHER PERSON!

The key to dealing with your anger…

PRAY for those who make you angry.

“But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Mt 5:44

Restoring a Relationship with a Christian

1. Start the CONVERSATION.

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” Mt 5:23-24

“If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone.” Mt 18:15a (NRSV)

2. Describe the person’s BEHAVIOR and how it affected you.

3. Listen and CLARIFY.

4. Exchange FORGIVENESS.

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Eph 4:32

Keeping a Commitment

Keeping a Commitment

Sermon series: Dependable – Part 2 of 7

Pastor John Fanous

March 30, 2008

“I, the Messiah, am going to be betrayed and killed and three days later

I will return to life again.” Mk 9:31 (The Living Bible)

Why Promises are Important

1. Broken promises ____________________ others.

“Then the chief officer who served wine to the king said to him, ‘Now I remember something I promised to do, but I forgot about it.'” Ge 41:9 (NCV)

2. Broken promise mean people won’t ______________ you in the future.

“‘This man began to build but can’t finish the job!’ they will say.” Lk 14:28-30 (GNT)

What Do We Know About God’s Promises?

“The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it! “

1 Th 5:24 (The Message)

“If we are not faithful, he will still be faithful. Christ cannot deny who he is.”

2 Ti 2:13 (CEV)

Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.” Pr 30:5 (NLT)

How Important to God are Your Promises? ______________

“God delights in those who keep their promises and abhors those who don’t.” Pr 12:22 (The Living Bible)

“But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.” Matthew 12:36 (NIV)

5 Keys to Building People’s Trust in Your Commitments

1. P______________________ slowly.

“It’s better not to make a promise at all than to make one and not keep it.”

Ec 5:5 (CEV)

“If one of you is planning to build a tower, you sit down first and work out what it will cost, to see if you have enough money to finish the job.” Lk 14:28 (GNT)

2. R______________________ responsibly.

“Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Dt 6:8-9 (NLT)

3. F______________________ generously.

“Whatever your task, put yourselves into it…” Col 3:23a (NRSV)

4. N______________________ early.

“You may have trapped yourself by your agreement. Quick! Get out of it if you possibly can! Swallow your pride; don’t let embarrassment stand in the way. Go and beg to have your name erased. Don’t put it off. Do it now. Don’t rest until you do.” Pr 6:2-4 (The Living Bible)

5. B______________________ simply.

“Whoever can be trusted with a little can also be trusted with a lot.” Lk 16:10a

“Say just a simple ‘Yes, I will’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Your word is enough.” Mt 5:37

“Ruth bowed down to the ground and said, ‘You know I come from another country. Why are you so good to me?’ Boaz answered, ‘I’ve heard how you’ve helped your mother-in-law ever since your husband died. You even left your own father and mother to come and live in a foreign land among people you don’t know.'” Ru 2:10-11 (CEV)

This week, I want to practice follow-through in this area of my life:

What To Do With Passivity

WHAT TO DO WITH PASSIVITY

Getting Close to God – Part 3 of 3

Exodus 15:1-18

Pastor John Fanous

March 16, 2008

CHARACTERISTICS OF EXCITING WORSHIP

Exciting worship is _________________________

“The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea.” Exodus 15:1b

Exciting worship articulates what you are ________________ about God

“The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is his name.” Exodus 15:3

“Who among the gods is like you, O Lord? Who is like you- majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?” Exodus 15:11

Exciting worship predicts ____________________________

“In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.” Exodus 15:13

How do I have this kind of worship?

The key: __________________

5 QUESTIONS YOU NEED TO ASK GOD

1. Who __________________?

“But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?'” Exodus 3:11

GOD’S RESPONSE:

2. OK, God, so who ____________________?

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” Exodus 3:13

GOD’S RESPONSE:

3. What if I’m ____________________?

Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?” Exodus 4:1

GOD’S RESPONSE:

4. What about my ________________________?

Moses said to the Lord, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” Exodus 4:10

GOD’S RESPONSE:

5. Will I ___________________?

But Moses said, “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.” Exodus 4:13

GOD’S RESPONSE:

What To Do With Cynicism

WHAT TO DO WITH CYNICISM

Getting Close to God – Part 2 of 3

John 4:4-10,16-24

Pastor John Fanous

March 9, 2008

DISAPPOINTMENT WITH CHRISTIANS

Jesus’ anger was directed toward religious ___________________

“You hypocrites….!”

” Your hearts are far from me.” Matthew 15:8 (NIV)

“Inside there is nothing but greed and selfishness.” Mt 23:25 (CEV)

” You’re like tombs that have been whitewashed.” Mt 23:27 (CEV)

“Outside you look good, but inside you are evil…” Mt 23:28 (CEV)

“You are snakes! A family of poisonous snakes!” Mt 23:33 (NCV)

Your Challenge:

Get to know the __________________ Jesus!

“You are a Jew,” she replied, “and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink of water when Jews and Samaritans won’t have anything to do with each other?” John 4:9 (CEV)

“He replied, ‘If you only knew what a wonderful gift God has for you, and who I am, you would ask me for some living water!'” John 4:10 (The Living Bible)

How?

1. Read the _____________________

“Many people have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us. They used the eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples. Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write a careful account for you…” Luke 1:1-3 (NLT)

2. Get to know ______________________ followers of Jesus

“Not all who sound religious are really godly people. They may refer to me as ‘Lord,’ but still won’t get to heaven. For the decisive question is whether they obey my Father in heaven.” Matthew 7:21 (The Living Bible)

DISAPPOINTMENT WITH GOD

“‘I have no husband,’ she replied. Jesus said to her, ‘You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.'” John 4:17-18 (NIV)

Your Challenge:

Express your ______________________ to God

Moses: “I am your servant, Lord, so why are you doing this to me? What have I done to deserve this?” Numbers 11:11 (CEV)

David: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Psalm 22:1 (NLT)

Ask God, “How have You been ___________________ me?

IN EITHER CASE…

_______________ your friends and family who don’t know Jesus

to experience what He is doing in your life.

“So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, ‘Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?’ They went out of the town and were coming to him.” John 4:28-30 (ESV)

Our opportunity to do this: ________________________

What To Do With Guilt

WHAT TO DO WITH GUILT

Getting Close to God – Part 1 of 3

Isaiah 6:1-8

Pastor John Fanous

March 2, 2008

“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” Romans 1:25 (ESV)

Two definitions of worship:

1. To _______________________
2. To _______________________________________

We all worship something!

What do I worship? Ask myself,

“What do I think about _________________?”

One block that prevents us from worshiping God:

Not feeling “______________” enough
DEALING WITH THE GUILT BLOCK

1. FACE ________________________

“In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!’ And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke And I said: ‘Woe is me!'” Isaiah 6:1-5a (ESV)

2. ADMIT TO GOD _____________________________

“For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!'” Isaiah 6:5b

3. ACCEPT GOD’S _______________________

“Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.'” Isaiah 6:6-7

4. VOLUNTEER TO TELL OTHERS ABOUT GOD’S _______________________

“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.'” Isaiah 6:8

4 Habits Every Man Needs to Practice

Unfortunately our sermon recording did not work on this date.  We apologize for the inconvenience.  We have filled in the blanks below to give you a sense of the sermon’s direction.

4 HABITS EVERY MAN NEEDS TO PRACTICE

Genesis 3:1-7, 16-19

February 3, 2008

Pastor John Fanous

WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

“And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.'” Genesis 2:16-17

“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” Genesis 3:6

WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?

RISE UP TO THE CHALLENGE!

HABIT #1: LOVE YOUR WIFE

We were created to partner with and care for our wives.

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.'” Genesis 1:26-27

Because of sin, we tend to dominate our wives.

“To the woman he said, ‘…Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.'” Genesis 3:16b

Jesus’ example:

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25

HABIT #2: WORK FOR A GREATER CAUSE.

We were created to enjoy our work.

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Genesis 2:15

Because of sin, work has become a burden.

“[The ground] will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” Genesis 3:18-19

Jesus’ example:

“Another time he went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, ‘Stand up in front of everyone.'” Mark 3:1-3

“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men” Ephesians 6:7

HABIT #3: LEAD YOUR CHILDREN SPIRITUALLY.

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4

Children spell “LOVE” — “T-I-M-E

HABIT #4: LISTEN FOR GOD’S VOICE.

“The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, ‘The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.'” Judges 6:11-12

Getting a Second Chance at Life

GETTING A SECOND CHANCE AT LIFE
from the book of Jonah

January 6, 2008

Pastor John Fanous

4 MYTHS

1. WHEN I TURNED MY BACK ON GOD, HE __________________

“But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord.”   Jonah 1:3a (NLT)

“…I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land.” Jonah 1:9 (NIV)

“So Jesus used this illustration: ‘If you had a hundred sheep and one of them strayed away and was lost in the wilderness, wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine others to go and search for the lost one until you found it?'” Luke 15:4 (The Living Bible)

TRUTH: REALIZE GOD IS ______________________________
1——–2——–3——–4——–5——–6——–7——–8——–9——–10

Running                                                                                                    Realizing

2. BEFORE I RETURN TO GOD, I MUST __________________________

“When I had lost all hope, I turned my thoughts once more to the Lord. And my earnest prayer went to you in your holy Temple.” Jonah 2:7 (The Living Bible)

“And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.'” Mark 1:17 (ESV)

TRUTH: RE-FOCUS ON GOD ___________________________________

1——–2——–3——–4——–5——–6——–7——–8——–9——–10

Relying on self                                                                           Relying on God

3. THE BEST DAYS OF MY LIFE ARE __________________________

“Then the Lord spoke to Jonah a second time: ‘Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message I have given you.'” Jonah 3:1-2 (NLT)

“But it is just as the Scriptures say, ‘What God has planned for people who love him is more than eyes have seen or ears have heard. It has never even entered our minds!'” 1 Corinthians 2:9 (CEV)

TRUTH: RECEIVE GOD’S _______________________

1——–2——–3——–4——–5——–6——–7——–8——–9——–10

Cynical                                                                                                          Hopeful

4. I CAN NEVER BE AT PEACE WITH THOSE WHO HAVE ________________

“And the Lord said, ‘…Then shouldn’t I show concern for the great city Nineveh?'” Jonah 4:10-11a (NCV)

“Real love isn’t our love for God, but his love for us. God sent his Son to be the sacrifice by which our sins are forgiven. Dear friends, since God loved us this much, we must love each other.”  1 John 4:10-11 (CEV)

TRUTH: SHARE GOD’S LOVE __________________________________

1——–2——–3——–4——–5——–6——–7——–8——–9——–10

Blaming                                                                                                            Forgiving

Preparing Your Family for a Meaningful Christmas

PREPARING YOUR FAMILY FOR A MEANINGFUL CHRISTMAS

TAKE THE ________________!

1. READ ABOUT ________________

JESUS CAME TO _______________________________________________

“‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’-which means, ‘God with us.'” Matthew 1:23

 “Jesus answered: ‘Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.'” John 14:9a

SHARE WHAT YOU ARE ______________________

“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your heart.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7

2. CARE FOR THE __________________ TOGETHER

JESUS CAME TO __________________________________________

“Then Jesus said to his host, ‘When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed.  Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.'” Luke 14:12-14

                              

Resources:

  • Loaves and Fishes (Pittsburg/Antioch), 837-8758, www.loavesandfishesofcontracosta.org
  • Community Outreach Center (Antioch), 778-1893
  • Food bank donation (all Safeway, Lucky, and Save Mart stores), www.foodbankccs.org

3. TAKE THE NEXT STEP ON YOUR ______________________________________

 JESUS CAME TO _________________________

“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son.”

John 3:16a (The Message)