'The Extraordinary Life' begins THIS SUNDAY
The Extraordinary Life
For Sunday, January 8, 2017
John 10:10 (ESV)
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Dear Church Family,
Last summer I spent a couple of days on the coast in Florence, Oregon. I spent the time by myself to relax and recharge a bit. During the two days on the coast I read through the gospels about four or five times and I was asking God for guidance in a number of areas. I asked Him for guidance personally, for guidance with my time management, for wisdom and for my preaching and teaching subjects for 2017. It was during that stay that the Lord put on my heart the Beatitudes found in Matthew 5:12. Since that time I knew that we would begin the new year by looking at this passage and studying together what it means to live an extraordinary life. I’m excited as we begin this journey together this Sunday, January 8th @ 10:40 AM!
We live in a culture that settles for ordinary. We settle for ordinary in a number of ways in our lives. God, however, intends for us to live a much different life. His presence in our life changes everything!
There’s a choice to be made…
Starting this Sunday, we’ll take a closer look at what it means to live an extraordinary life. We’ll use the Beatitudes found in Matthew 5 as our guideline. One thing we’ll notice right off the bat is that The Extraordinary Life begins with a choice. It doesn’t happen by accident. Think about all the things in life you didn’t get to choose. You didn’t get to choose your parents. You didn’t get to choose when you were born or who you were born to. You didn’t get to choose your height or weight. You didn’t get to choose your skin color or hair color. You didn’t get to choose so many things in your life and yet when it comes to matters of faith, God gives you the choice.
Rick Warren, pastor of the Saddleback Church in Southern California and author of The Purpose Driven Church, said this:
“You are as close to God as you choose to be.”
Read that quote again, slowly this time.
That’s a sobering thought.
If you’re not as close to God as you’d like to be, guess who moved?
And guess who needs to make the choice to be closer?
The Bible declares that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. The Extraordinary Life begins with a choice. And that choice belongs to you.
The pathway to The Extraordinary Life…
There are certain behaviors that will lead to The Extraordinary Life. Jesus spoke about these behaviors in Matthew 5. He describes every behavior as ‘blessed’ in the following verses…
Matthew 5:1-12 (NIV)
1 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them. He said: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
What the Bible Says…
Here are some of the verses we will look at on Sunday morning:
Psalms 16:11 (ESV)
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Romans 3:37 (NIV)
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Ephesians 2:8-10 (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— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Psalms 1:1-3 (NIV)
1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.
Titus 3:1-7 (ESV)
1 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. 3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Isaiah 57:18-19 (TEV)
18 I have seen how they acted, but I will heal them, I will lead them and help them, and I will comfort those who mourn.19 I offer peace to all, both near and far! I will heal my people.
Matthew 5:1-12 (NIV)
1 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them. He said: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Questions for Personal Growth and Discovery…
- Think about your life right now. If you had to describe it one word, what would that word be?
- Do you believe that Jesus changes everything? What has He changed in your life?
- What stands in the way of you making choices that will honor God and allow you to live The Extraordinary Life?
- If you could starting living a life that was extraordinary versus an ordinary life, would you?
Making the most of this study…
As with any new study there are several ways that you can prepare your heart before and during this study:
Read Matthew 5:1-12 daily over the next few weeks.
- Memorize our theme verse for this new study listed above (John 10:10 NIV).
- Prepare your heart for next Sunday’s message with this weekly devotional email (if this was forwarded to you by a friend or loved one and you would like to be included, send an email to email@example.com or call the church office).
- Use the prayer focus included in the weekly bulletin outline as a daily prayer focus for the week.
- Have questions during this study? Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or text them to (541) 530-4912.
- Resolve now to be with each Sunday in our study ‘The Extraordinary Life’.
- Pray that God will help us understand the truths found in Matthew 5 that he will enable us to live the extraordinary life that He intends for us to live.
I have been praying for this study for the last six or seven months and I’m so excited to begin it with you!
If you have been forwarded this devotional email and would like to subscribe to them weekly so they can be delivered directly to your inbox, simply send an email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read Pastor’s Daniel’s latest blog post ‘Blessings’ go to www.roseburgfcc.org/blog.
Missed a Sunday and would like to hear the message? Simply visit www.roseburgfcc.org/sermons.