The Best Things About Conviction

John 16:13 (ESV) When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

How many times has the devil lied to you, deceived you, and got you to think and/or do something that was wrong?

  • The Devil’s Influence: 2 Corinthians 4:4 (ESV) In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

  • The Devil’s Focus: 1 Peter 5:8 (ESV) Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

  • The Devil’s Main Weapon – John 8:44 (ESV) (he) does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

  • The Devil’s Agenda: 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.

conviction: the process of God guiding us into TRUTH that leads to His BEST for us.

Conviction Reveals His BEST

  • God has amazing things for our lives - Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV) For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

  • I am unable to see His good plans because of the enemy’s blinders - 1 Corinthians 2:14 (ESV) The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

  • Conviction is the revelation of those plans

    • Matthew 19:21 (ESV) Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, …. follow me.”

      • perfect - teleios; having reached its end, complete, perfect:

    • Isaiah 48:17 (ESV) Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.

      •  profit – yesud; foundation, beginning

  • These revelations are large scale and next step

  • He Reveals General BEST – applies to everyone – the growing process of discovering who God is and the commandments He has for all of us that leads us to His best things for us

  • He Reveals Personal BEST – applies to only you – the growing process of discovering who you are and the commandments He has for

  • Revelation that leads to conviction can be emotional, but never confuse emotion with conviction!

Conviction Includes An Impartation

  • information is valuable but conviction is more than just information.

  • conviction doesn’t just provide information. It rewires us

  • conviction changes who you are so you can change what you do!

  • Hebrews 10:16 (ESV) “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,”

  • The lies we believe are handcuffs. We don’t just need the handcuffs removed, we need our beliefs changed or the handcuffs continue to return.

  • John 8:31–32 (ESV) So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Conviction Leads To Supernatural Favor

  • When you acts upon what God says, it is an act of faith

  • you are trusting God

  • faith unlocks the favor of God – it is the supernatural secret sauce!

  • Deuteronomy 28:1–14 (ESV) “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle,s the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. “The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways. The Lord will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. And he will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. The Lord will establish you as a people holy to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in his ways. And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you. And the Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground, within the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. The Lord will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them, and if you do not turn aside from any of the words that I command you today, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

The Best Things About Here & Now - Steve Parrish

Acts 17:26–28 (ESV) And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for “ ‘In him we live and move and have our being’…

Stonehenge: Wiltshire, England, iImported rock, circular pattern, sophisticated locking joints speaks of intelligent design! But what was its purpose, its destiny:? Crematorium? Installation site for Danish Kings? Druid Worship? Astrological calendar for determining eclipses and solar events? Communication platform for interacting with aliens? 800,000 tourists visit annually, but destiny has been lost because the time/place became disconnected from the creator’s purpose.

You/Us: We are here now. We are complex! The systems of the human body include circulatory, digestive & excretory, endocrine (hormone), integumentary/exocrine (skin, hair, nails, sweat), immune and lymphatic, muscular, nervous, renal and urinary (kidneys filter blood), reproductive, respiratory, skeletal, hematopoietic (creates cells that travel in blood),

What about our Purpose/Destiny:

  • don’t reduce purpose to what you do - teacher, doctor, athlete…

    • Psalm 139:13–16 (ESV) For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

    • Isaiah 49:1 (ESV) …The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name.

    • Psalm 57:2 (ESV) I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.

    • Psalm 138:8 (ESV) The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

  • Disconnected from the Creator and His Purpose, you may become an amazing tourist attraction, but you’ll never experience DESTINY.

God wants to use your HERE & NOW :

  • to reveal Himself and His purposes in your life.

  • to invite your participation.

  • to begin unlocking DESTINY.

HERE & NOW for Jacob:

  • at odds with parents, fleeing His brother, alone, travelling to a new place

  • not prepared (Gen 28:11) uses stone for pillow

  • he dreamed:

    • Numbers 12:6 (ESV) And he said, “Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream.

    • Job 33:15–18 (ESV) In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men, while they slumber on their beds, then he opens the ears of men and terrifies them with warnings, that he may turn man aside from his deed and conceal pride from a man; he keeps back his soul from the pit, his life from perishing by the sword.

    • Daniel 2:47 (ESV) The king answered and said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.”

    • Daniel 2:47 (ESV) The king answered and said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.”

    • revelation

  • (Gen 28:12) a ladder or staircase to heaven with angels coming and going

  • DESTINY REVEALED: Genesis 28:13–19 (ESV) And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” So early in the morning Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. He called the name of that place Bethel, but the name of the city was Luz at the first.

Live In The Here & Now

  • DESTINY doesn’t start off glorious,

  • DESTINY STARTS as a HERE/NOW moment.

  • DESTINY understands this is always the time, this is always the place

  • amplified in the US: gather with His people!

  • location and proximity matters!

  • invite others - this is not just about you!

  • distance always disconnects from the flow of Destiny

Lean In

  • posture determines outcome!

  • enjoy the party, but remember, He is the prize!

  • Jeremiah 29:11–14 (ESV) For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord…

  • Luke 11:9–13 (ESV) And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

TIP 3: Walk In What You Already Know

  • don’t be chasing the next revelation, walk in the current one

  • destiny is experienced one step at a time, not by chasing new paths

  • Philippians 3:14–16 (ESV) I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

  • Acts 17:26–28 (ESV) And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for “ ‘In him we live and move and have our being’

The Best Things About Communion - Steve Parrish

Luke 22:19–20 (ESV) And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. DO THIS in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

My first communions were like going to a viewing. Even after I became a Christian and better understood the symbolism, they were similar but now with mournful criers and the fear of dying due to unworthiness.

DO THIS: push reset to refresh!

Do this! Like an iPhone that starts working wacky after a lot of use and it refreshes after we reset, communion can accomplish the same things.

Jesus shared communion with the disciples in the middle of the craziest week of the disciples ministry lives. Miracles, amazing teaching, healings, a parade with crowds chanting Hosanna, death threats, Jesus flipping over tables in the temple, talk destroying and rebuilding it back in three days. Wins and losses. Fans and enemies. It was a crazy week! He pulled everyone in close to himself and hit RESET to come back to the main thing!

  • Lamentations 3:22–23 (ESV) The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

    • new - chadash – to renew

We can get into a spiritual funk as a result of wins or losses, busyness or boredom but its so valuable to hit reset, like shaking an Etch-a-Sketch,

  • Psalm 103:5 (ESV) who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

DO THIS: bring Jesus back into focus!

Communion is to create a moment of remembrance. Everything in this LIFE will fight for your attention – Jesus was saying “BRING ME BACK INTO FOCUS!”

  • Matthew 17:7–8 (ESV) But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.

This is something you will have to do again and again and again, not because there’s something wrong with you, but because you’re still here.

  • Hebrews 12:1–2 (NIV) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Ignoring the distractions and getting Him back into focus will actually help those other things that are fighting for your attention to work out better!

  • Matthew 6:31–33 (ESV) Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Peter went back to fishing. Jesus reappeared. Peter got back to being a disciple.

Its important to FOCUS on more than just crucifixion!!! It’s about focusing on everything about Him.

DO THIS: cash in on His covenant!

Sometimes things on earth don’t align with Heaven. Communion is an opportunity to point review “the new covenant in my blood” to remind yourself of the promises with the expectation that they will align.

Covenant: a binding agreement between two parties

  • Genesis 15:8 (ESV) But he said, “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?”

  • covenants were often sealed by severing of a costly prized animal in perfect condition.

    • Genesis 15:9–10 (ESV) He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” And he brought him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other.

    • The Hebrew verb meaning to seal a covenant translates literally as “to cut.”

    • a sobering moment between parties as one party would have to kill something with His hands in the presence of the other to seal the agreement.

    • the implication was that the party who breaks the covenant will suffer a similar fate.

    • Genesis 15:17–18 (ESV) When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram…

God has made more than just promises, He’s made a covenant. Communion is the sales receipt, proof that not only the promises were made, but paid for.

Sometimes agreements lose traction, one party fails to keep up their end. Guaranteed, He’s not given up on His. It’s always a failure on our end to cash in!

DO THIS:

  • push reset to refresh.

  • bring Jesus back into focus.

  • cash in on His covenant.

The Best Things About Hope - Saxon Williams

Ezekiel 37-11:14 (NLT) Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel. They are saying, ‘We have become old, dry bones—all hope is gone. Our nation is finished.’ Therefore, prophesy to them and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel. When this happens, O my people, you will know that I am the Lord. I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live again and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done what I said. Yes, the Lord has spoken!’”

There is a common them that runs throughout scriptures and is highlighted in this passage. And it points to one of the most exciting and compelling ideas in all creation. That is hope.

GOD IS THE SOURCE OF OUR HOPE

  • Hope requires an object, or an anchor for the hope. Hope does not exist without something to fulfill that hope

  • Misplaced Hope: Relationships, Career, Success, Acceptance/Belonging, Wealth, Health, Drugs & Alcohol, etc.

  • The entire book of Ecclesiastes is about how nothing but God, satisfies our hope.

  • He sent His son, Jesus as a guarantee of that hope. Colossians 1:27 (ESV) “…Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

  • Romans 15:13 (ESV) May the God of all hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

HOPE IS THE ANTIDOTE FOR DISAPPOINTMENT

  • Philippians 1:6 (ESV) And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

  • Romans 8:24-25 (NLT) We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

  • “Remember, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” – Stephen King, The Shawshank Redemption

  • Romans 5:3-5 (NLT) We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

3. HOPE ENCOURAGES

  • Isaiah 40:28-31 (NIV) Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

  • Psalms 3:2-6 (MSG) God! Look! Enemies past counting! Enemies sprouting like mushrooms, Mobs of them all around me, roaring their mockery: “Hah! No help for him from God! “But you, God, shield me on all sides; You ground my feet, you lift my head high; With all my might I shout up to God, His answers thunder from the holy mountain. I stretch myself out. I sleep. Then I’m up again—rested, tall and steady, Fearless before the enemy mobs Coming at me from all sides. ROCKY THEME SONG!

  • Isaiah 43:1-2 (ESV) But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

  • In all of the passages there is an acknowledgement that the situations that you face will not always be ideal but, take courage! We will overcome!

HOPE POINTS US INTO OUR FUTURE

  • 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (ESV) For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

  • 1 Peter 1:3-9 (ESV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

  • Lamentations 3:21-24 (ESV) But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

You may feel like you are without hope or that hope has been lost. But, despite how it may look or feel, hope is never really gone. When it looked like Jesus was defeated, he rose from the dead proving that nothing is impossible for him. Attach your hope to someone that will not fail.

The Best Things About Water Baptism - Steve Parrish

Scripture: Acts 8:34–38 (ESV) And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.

Baptism is a significant and sacred act that has power for a believer that has too often been reduced to an optional ceremony that some believers participate in! Not in this house!

Phillip:

  • one of the first disciples, immediately inviting others to follow - John 1:43–46

  • preached, signs, wonders, impacted a city (Samaria) – Acts 8:6–8 (ESV) And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip, when they heard him and saw the signs that he did. For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was much joy in that city.

  • tuned into heaven’s voice - Acts 8:26–29 (ESV) Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.”

  • Acts 8:30–33 (ESV) So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this: “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.”

  • Acts 8:34–38 (ESV) And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.

BAPTISM defines our formal starting point with Jesus.

  • possession without contract… lots of grey areas!

  • salvation is a covenantal act – an agreement with God

  • baptism is the public signing of our agreement with Him

  • everyone has a different process of being drawn into a relationship with Jesus, but everyone should have the same process of formalizing the relationship with Jesus - Mark 16:15–16 (ESV) And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

  • Examples of People Formalizing Their Relationship:

    • Day of Pentecost - Acts 2:41 (ESV) So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

    • Saul, Paul - Acts 9:17–18 (ESV) So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized;

    • Peter & Gentiles - Acts 10:47–48 (ESV) “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.

    • Paul and Lydia - Acts 16:14–15 (ESV) One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.

    • Paul & Silas, singing in prison - Acts 16:33 (ESV) And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family.

    • Crispus - Acts 18:8 (ESV) Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized.

    • Ephesus - Acts 19:5 (ESV) On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

BAPTISM is a powerful prophetic declaration that impacts your future.

  • declaration – what we say sets the tone

  • prophetic – agreement with what heaven says, pulling heaven to earth

  • the symbolism: His death, His resurrection

  • the symbolism: Your past, Your future! 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

BAPTISM is an act of obedience that unlocks next things.

  • formalizing your commitment to God, unlocks next things, like buying a house, purchasing a car, getting married

  • Jesus Baptism - Luke 3:21–22 (ESV) Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

  • Obedience Leads To Blessing: Deuteronomy 28:1–3 (ESV) “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field.

  • Disobedience Leaves You Less Than What God Intends (cursed: slight, unimportant, insignificant, trivial, minor) - Deuteronomy 28:15–16 (ESV) “But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you. Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field.

Follow Jesus & Get Baptized!

The Best Things About Following Jesus - Steve Parrish

John 1:35–39 (ESV) The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.

Jesus went a lot of places, met a lot of people, did a lot of miracles, and taught a lot of lessons, but if you were to condense everything into one primary message, He invited people to FOLLOW HIM!

  • follow: akoloutheō

    • a – alpha, first letter of the alphabet and first number

    • keleuthos – a road to follow

    • conjunctive: not just a road, but the first road

The Best Things About Following Jesus:

1. PEACE – no longer enemies with God

  • Philippians 3:18–20 (ESV) For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

  • John 3:36 (ESV) Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

  • constant tension because our sinful actions are directed at God - Acts 9:1–5 (ESV) But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.

  • he reconciles us at our worst, what will He do after we are friends - Romans 5:8–10 (ESV) but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

2. COMPANIONSHIP – He will never leave you!

  • our lives are a constant revolving door of people who leave for circumstance, rejection or death.

  • Hebrews 13:5 (ESV) Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

  • Matthew 28:19–20 (ESV) Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

  • Proverbs 18:24 (ESV) A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

  • Ezekiel 37:14 (ESV) And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”

  • 1 Corinthians 3:16 (ESV) Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?

3. SALVATION – rescued, again and again and again!!!

  • from sin - Matthew 1:21 (ESV) She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

  • from sins - 1 John 1:7–9 (ESV) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

  • from situations - Isaiah 43:1–5 (ESV) But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you.

  • Psalm 91:1–16 (ESV) He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge— no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot. “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

  • saved in diverse and amazing ways!

4. ACCESS - to everything within the Kingdom of Heaven while here on earth

  • the earth is currently under the rule of the god of this world who has come to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus came to lead us into the Kingdom of Heaven, on earth…. giving us access to everything heaven has!

  • Luke 10:9 (ESV) Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

  • Matthew 6:10 (ESV) Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

  • Matthew 13:11 (ESV) And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.

  • Matthew 16:19 (ESV) I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

  • 2 Peter 1:3–4 (ESV) His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

  • learning to access is a process… but it’s a reality

2 Peter 3:18 (ESV) But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

  • grow by saying Yes to Following Jesus

  • grow by working your current step

  • grow be seeing (Word, Spirit) and taking your next step

VISION: Seeing The Obstacles - Rowena Parrish

Judges 6:1 The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Midian seven years… 6 And Israel was brought very low because of Midian. And the people of Israel cried out for help to the Lord. (ESV)

The Israelites were facing adverse circumstances

  • adverse-opposing one's interests or desire.

Judges 6:7 When the people of Israel cried out to the Lord on account of the Midianites, 8 the Lord sent a prophet to the people of Israel...10 And I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.’ But you have not obeyed my voice.” (ESV)

The people were blaming God for their problems but it was their own disobedience that put them in this predicament. But God heard them and called out from among them a warrior.

Judges 6:11 Now the angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. (ESV)

Gideon was a farmer. He was being resourceful and found a way to provide for his family. The beating of wheat normally took place at the threshing floor. Threshing was done in a big open area where the wind could blow away the chaff (outer shell) of the grain. The wind helped to make the work easier. He was in a winepress beating wheat. It was a hole in the ground with no wind making it harder work. He was all about surviving. He was living in the moment and failed to look ahead for what God had for him or the people. Gideon had limited vision of his next steps.

I do not believe it was a coincidence that Gideon was found in the winepress. I see it as a symbolism. Grapes go into the winepress as fruit and come out juice. They go in one way and come out something different. Gideon saw himself one way but God was about to extract something more from him.

Just like God saw Gideon, God sees you: School Teacher, C3Kids Teacher, Stay-At-Home Mom, Ministry Leader, Medical Professional, Worship Team…

God wants to extract something more from you! In the midst of his adverse circumstances God had plans for Gideon. His adversity was not a limitation but an opportunity. It was the opportunity to take the next steps for life, but he could not see past the obstacles.

What obstacles keep you from the next step?

1. Hesitation to commit to the next step.

Judges 6:12 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” 13 And Gideon said to him, “Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” (ESV)

During this time of adverse circumstances as a church family, I have heard many say, “I know God is wanting me to take that next step, but I have trouble committing.”

Why? It will cost me something. In hesitating you fail to obey.

2. Feeling unqualified to take the next step.

Judges 6:14 And the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” 15 And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.” (ESV)

God expands and uses the abilities He already built into us. Some may already know the next steps; get going in that direction. Some may not have any idea; start taking steps toward something. Parents, if your child shows an interest in something resource that desire.

3. Strongholds keeping you from taking the next step.

Judges 6:16 And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.” (ESV)

A stronghold is a fortress. It was designed not only keeps things in but also keep things out. God is a force that wants to come into your life, but the walls are high. What strongholds are keeping you from taking your next step?

Holding on to an offense, a friendship gone bad, failed business venture, making a judgement due to a past experience.

God says to you, “But I will be with you.”

In spite of his obstacles, Gideon chose to take the next steps in faith! I would like to quote Ps. Phil Pringle from his book, You The Leader. He says,“God also tests faith before it is trusted with great exploits.”

In Judges 6-8 we can read about Gideon’s great exploits. God did not waste any time. As soon as Gideon took that next step in faith, he sent him to chop down their false gods. Gideon is also commended in Hebrews 11 as a man of faith.

Avoid the obstacle and see your next steps:

  • Be obedient in taking the next steps regardless of the cost; no time to hesitate

  • Be confident that God has qualified you for the next step; you have the abilities

  • Be assured that God will be with you in taking the next step; surrender your stronghold

VISION: Instigating Their Next Steps - Steve Parrish

As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” John 20:21, ESV

We tend to invest in relationships based on “HOW DOES THIS PERSON BENEFIT ME?” When we see what HEAVEN sees, we invest based on “HOW CAN I BENEFIT THIS PERSON IN HIM?”

Your Perception Leads To An Outcome. Can You See What Heaven Sees?

start seeing: WHO & WHERE THEY ARE:

  • Stop being narcissistic, Christianity is not all about you! - Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4, ESV

  • All mankind craves Him - O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Psalm 63:1, ESV

  • The people seemingly the least interested are often the most interested.

  • Consider the outcome if you don’t act - Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:11–15, ESV

start seeing: WHO & WHAT YOU ARE

  • Your presence means everything - Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us… 2 Corinthians 5:20, ESV

  • He has placed you exactly where you need to be - …and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. Acts 17:26–27, NIV

  • They are looking for Him, that’s why God has placed you there - Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. John 4:35, ESV

  • Your message: what He’s done in your life - But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8, ESV

  • Get continually powered up - Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. John 20:21–22, ESV

start seeing: WHO HE IS, WHAT HE DOES

  • We know what can do, but we doubt His willingness - While he was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy. And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged him, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him. Luke 5:12–13, ESV

  • We block God by not positioning Him!

START SEEING: someone new; someone there (work/school/team); someone here (in our gathering)

INVITE THEM: into your space; into your friendships; into a ministry moment

VISION: 3X10 - Tim Voltz

Seeing or visualizing is a part of believing.

Mark 10:15 – “I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” NLT

Examples in the Bible

  • The women with the debilitating bleeding problem. Mark 5:24-34

  • The paralytic that had four friends. Mark 2:1-4

We need all of the great and precious promises of God, to navigate through this life. The Word say that, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him out of all them”. Psalms 34:19

  • we need to hear the provision that the word has for us.

  • we need to see that God is faithfully working on our behalf

  • we need to believe that what the Word says is true

  • and we need to expect the faithfulness of His word to come to pass

VISION: 3x10 - Valerie Parrish

God’s vision for your life is bigger, better, healthier, more prosperous, more beautiful, more perfect, etc., than what the world has to offer.

“Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb. Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.”‭‭ (Romans‬ ‭4:18-21)

1) Recognize the world’s vision in your life and replace it for God’s vision

2) Fight for God’s vision when the world tries to replace His vision with its own

Action Steps:

1) pray continuously

2) surround yourself with a supportive and prayerful community

God’s vision for your life is perfect, full of prosperity. Don’t settle for what’s before you and don’t let the world keep you from seeing and living God’s vision.

VISION: 3x10 - River Workman

Ephesians 2:10 ||| For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

  • workmanship- a degree of skill in which a product is made, or a job is done

  • God has already prepared these jobs and individual skill sets in us

  • We can take ground and work toward our vision knowing it is covered by God

HOW TO GET VISION

LEADERS

HIS WORD & PRAYER

SERMONS

HOW TO BUILD TOWARD VISION

1. constantly take opportunities

  • spend time with people and create influence

  • volunteer

2. discover what your good at

CALL TO ACTION

ask a leader

volunteer and find your place

VISION: Our 19/20 Vision (2) - Steve Parrish

But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:9–10,14 ESV

  • The Unbeliever unable to see the good things God has prepared for them so they pursue the things they personally desire, taking whatever they can poses or comes their way.

  • The Believer experiences revelation from the Holy Spirit of the good things God has prepared for them, so that they can pursue them with confidence.

    • Spirit reveals in the LOGOS Word

    • Spirit reveals in the RHEMA Word

    • Spirit reveals in prophecy, dream, visions, etc.

    • Spirit reveals in through experiences that trigger desires of your heart

    • Spirit reveals through spiritual leaders

The believers ongoing connection with the Holy Spirit is critical! - If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:25, ESV

OUR 19/20 VISION

1. Presence Filled Gatherings (gatherings, students, FPU, etc.)

  • Our presence paves the way for His Presence

  • Presence brings distinction - And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?” Exodus 33:15–16, ESV

  • Intention brings His Presence: worship, prayer, words, unity

  • Presence opens the door: salvation, healing, faith, breakthrough, strength, signs, wonders, and more of the same!

2. Connected Relationships

  • And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. Acts 2:42–47, ESV

3. Strategic Leadership Development

  • Moses and the Israelites – The next day Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from morning till evening. When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening?” And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God; when they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make them know the statutes of God and his laws.” Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good. You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone. Now obey my voice; I will give you advice, and God be with you! You shall represent the people before God and bring their cases to God, and you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do. Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. If you do this, God will direct you, you will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace.” So Moses listened to the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. And they judged the people at all times. Any hard case they brought to Moses, but any small matter they decided themselves. Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went away to his own country. Exodus 18:13–27, ESV

  • Jesus first steps, building leaders - While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. Matthew 4:18–20, ESV

  • Paul’s first steps, appoint qualified leaders - This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— Titus 1:5, ESV

  • our personality is distinct – we will lean into our C3 flavor

4. Permanent Facilities

  • New Testament disciples used borrowed facilities - And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus. This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks. Acts 19:8–10, ESV

  • property is an asset, a tool to be leveraged

  • our 12 acres - $700K owed on $2.5 million property; new facility costs - 3.5 million dollars

  • likely in-between place or places

  • facilities are in our future

  • facilities fund - $50,000 + $150,000 = $200K

  • sense of permanent facilities – searching, dialogue

5. BEYOND Projects

  • “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14–16, ESV

  • we give 10% of all non-designated income (historically 15%)

  • $25,000 given outside our four walls to date

  • NE PDX Project; Fall project; April 2010 – building project in Oaxaca Mexico

6. Presence Conference and NW C3 Presence

  • When God does something magnificent, there’s a wisdom to travel to see it - Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to test him with hard questions. She came to Jerusalem with a very great retinue, with camels bearing spices and very much gold and precious stones. And when she came to Solomon, she told him all that was on her mind. And Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing hidden from the king that he could not explain to her. And when the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, their clothing, his cupbearers, and his burnt offerings that he offered at the house of the Lord, there was no more breath in her. And she said to the king, “The report was true that I heard in my own land of your words and of your wisdom, but I did not believe the reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it. And behold, the half was not told me. Your wisdom and prosperity surpass the report that I heard. Happy are your men! Happy are your servants, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord loved Israel forever, he has made you king, that you may execute justice and righteousness.” 1 Kings 10:1–9, ESV

  • Presence Conference - attend! There is a clear view of the thing we are doing here, its seen there, there is information, and then there is impartation, there is an alignment that takes place.

  • God is calling us to do here what has happened in other places

And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. Habakkuk 2:2, ESV

Steve ParrishComment
VISION: Our 19/20 Vision (1) - Steve Parrish

But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:9–10,14 ESV

  • The Unbeliever unable to see the good things God has prepared for them so they pursue the things they personally desire, taking whatever they can poses or comes their way.

  • The Believer experiences revelation from the Holy Spirit of the good things God has prepared for them, so that they can pursue them with confidence.

    • Spirit reveals in the LOGOS Word

    • Spirit reveals in the RHEMA Word

    • Spirit reveals in prophecy, dream, visions, etc.

    • Spirit reveals in through experiences that trigger desires of your heart

    • Spirit reveals through spiritual leaders

The believers ongoing connection with the Holy Spirit is critical! - If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:25, ESV

OUR 19/20 VISION

1. Presence Filled Gatherings (gatherings, students, FPU, etc.)

  • Our presence paves the way for His Presence

  • Presence brings distinction - And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?” Exodus 33:15–16, ESV

  • Intention brings His Presence: worship, prayer, words, unity

  • Presence opens the door: salvation, healing, faith, breakthrough, strength, signs, wonders, and more of the same!

2. Connected Relationships

  • And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. Acts 2:42–47, ESV

3. Strategic Leadership Development

  • Moses and the Israelites – The next day Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from morning till evening. When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening?” And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God; when they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make them know the statutes of God and his laws.” Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good. You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone. Now obey my voice; I will give you advice, and God be with you! You shall represent the people before God and bring their cases to God, and you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do. Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. If you do this, God will direct you, you will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace.” So Moses listened to the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. And they judged the people at all times. Any hard case they brought to Moses, but any small matter they decided themselves. Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went away to his own country. Exodus 18:13–27, ESV

  • Jesus first steps, building leaders - While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. Matthew 4:18–20, ESV

  • Paul’s first steps, appoint qualified leaders - This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— Titus 1:5, ESV

  • our personality is distinct – we will lean into our C3 flavor

4. Permanent Facilities

  • New Testament disciples used borrowed facilities - And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus. This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks. Acts 19:8–10, ESV

  • property is an asset, a tool to be leveraged

  • our 12 acres - $700K owed on $2.5 million property; new facility costs - 3.5 million dollars

  • likely in-between place or places

  • facilities are in our future

  • facilities fund - $50,000 + $150,000 = $200K

  • sense of permanent facilities – searching, dialogue

5. BEYOND Projects

  • “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14–16, ESV

  • we give 10% of all non-designated income (historically 15%)

  • $25,000 given outside our four walls to date

  • NE PDX Project; Fall project; April 2010 – building project in Oaxaca Mexico

6. Presence Conference and NW C3 Presence

  • When God does something magnificent, there’s a wisdom to travel to see it - Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to test him with hard questions. She came to Jerusalem with a very great retinue, with camels bearing spices and very much gold and precious stones. And when she came to Solomon, she told him all that was on her mind. And Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing hidden from the king that he could not explain to her. And when the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, their clothing, his cupbearers, and his burnt offerings that he offered at the house of the Lord, there was no more breath in her. And she said to the king, “The report was true that I heard in my own land of your words and of your wisdom, but I did not believe the reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it. And behold, the half was not told me. Your wisdom and prosperity surpass the report that I heard. Happy are your men! Happy are your servants, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord loved Israel forever, he has made you king, that you may execute justice and righteousness.” 1 Kings 10:1–9, ESV

  • Presence Conference - attend! There is a clear view of the thing we are doing here, its seen there, there is information, and then there is impartation, there is an alignment that takes place.

  • God is calling us to do here what has happened in other places

And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. Habakkuk 2:2, ESV

VISION: Seeing Ahead - Steve Parrish

Since December 2, 2018 when we became C3 Church SWWA

  • 50+ volunteers every Sunday

  • 200+ first time visitors

  • 50+ children in our C3Kids program every week

  • 30+ students at MyCity Youth every week

  • $25,000 given to outreach

  • 40+ said YES to Following Jesus and received a Following Jesus book

  • 24 water baptisms

  • Healings, healings, healings!!!

  • 10 salvations in the last two weeks

  • last week, 1 acre property sale - $165,000 under contract

  • Current VISION OFFERING approximately $70,000

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. Genesis 12:1, ESV

  • vision is the process of discovering the promise God already sees.

For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. Romans 4:13

  • faith is the act of moving forward with HIM toward the promise that you have seen but doesn’t yet exist.

He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Romans 4:13, 19–21, ESV

Heaven See’s Our Future And Destiny In Advance

  • No longer shall your name be called Abram (exalted father), but your name shall be Abraham (the father of nations), for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. Genesis 17:5–6, ESV

  • The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised. And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac. Genesis 21:1–3, ESV

You struggle to see but Heaven does not!

The Unbeliever’s Future: whatever is won or whatever happens

The Believer’s Future: prepared by the Lord, discovered while following Him both naturally and supernaturally

6 Things The In Our C3 Future

1. Presence Filled Services

2. Strategic Leadership Development

3. Connected Relationships

4. Permanent Facilities

5. BEYOND Projects

6. Presence Conference and NW C3 Presence

VISION: Transitioning With Heaven's Fragrance - Steve Parrish

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 2 Corinthians 2:14–16, ESV

The different seasons of Jesus’ life:

  • conception & birth

  • visit of Magi and the vision to flee

  • brief childhood snapshot

  • launch of his ministry at a wedding

  • temptation

  • mass ministry while gathering & training team

  • mass ministry while sending out team

  • mass ministry while preparing team for the future

  • crucifixion

  • resurrection & ascension

  • return

Each season required a transition to move into the next. Each season of your life will require the same.

The fragrance of your next season is determined in your transition. Aligning with Heaven aromatizes your future!

  • Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. John 12:3–7, ESV

  • In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.” Matthew 26:12–13, ESV

  • While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” Luke 22:47–53, ESV

Your fragrance matters. It arrives before you do and remains after your gone. It invites more of the same.

  • But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 2 Corinthians 2:14–16, ESV

KEEP SMELLING GOOD (smells never improve on their own!)

1. remain connected to Heaven

2. focused on the Author & His narrative

  • Jesus knew this transition was coming - the Lamb who was slain. Revelation 13:8, ESV some are seen afar off (graduation), others are unexpected (fired)

3. ignore the noise

  • ignore the jolt:

  • there will be all sorts of distractions

  • distractions are hell’s attempt to stink up your world

  • Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1–2, NIV

4. hate foul smells, not foul smelling people

5. bless: do not curse!

  • the most important aspect of the transition are your words

  • Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. Proverbs 18:21, ESV

  • So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water. James 3:5–12, ESV

6. keep spraying Heaven’s scent

  • Jesus let Judas kiss him

  • Jesus told the disciples to stop fighting

  • Jesus healed a man injured

  • later Jesus remained silent

VISION: Advancing In Adversity - Samuel Deuth

Deuteronomy 1:6-8 (NIV) 6 The Lord our God said to us at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain. 7 Break camp and advance into the hill country of the Amorites; go to all the neighboring peoples in the Arabah, in the moun-tains, in the western foothills, in the Negev and along the coast, to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, as far as the great river, the Euphrates. 8 See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land the Lord swore he would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac and Ja-cob—and to their descendants after them.”

It’s time to advance! To break camp and advance!

And here we find them camping…. What’s got you camping today?

  • addiction

  • failure

  • pain / loss

  • success / comfortability

  • comfort

It’s God’s desire that we break camp today and advance!

One of the biggest misconceptions about advancing is as-suming that you’re waiting for the perfect conditions. Or assuming that those around you that are crushing it are doing so because it’s easy. You ever think, “man, everything always go good for them” or “if I had that, then I’d be advancing too.”

We preach a theology of ease in our culture and too of-ten in our pulpits. But, the reality is that most if not “all” of our advance-ment will come via adversity. God tells the Israelites to advance! Well, what were they about to advance into? Giants, Jericho and other adversity that they’d have to face. Our personal lives and the kingdom of God will not advance by ease but in adversity.

ADVANCE IN ADVERSITY

1. Embrace Adversity As a Gift

See Adversity as a gift not a punishment. The test/struggle produces something in you.

Romans 5:3-5 (NIV) 3 Not only so, but we[a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perse-verance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

We live in a “if I don’t like it then I don’t have to” culture.

2. Don’t Quit!

We’re Quitting Too Soon

  • relationships

  • community/church

  • job

  • dreams

Stop looking for Do-overs and just continue. Don’t need a do-over, you just need to not quit. Advancement requires perseverance. Your pain threshold will determine your ability to advance! If your pain threshold is low, so will your impact be.

What’s the biggest key to being ready and strong enough to continue and advance in adversity?

3. Stay Close To Jesus

Look for peace/Jesus in the storm, stop trying to avoid the storm.

John 16:33 (NIV) 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Where’s the strength? in Him!

Psalm 23:1-6 (NIV) 1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,[a] I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will fol-low me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

VISION: As We Gather - Steve Parrish

As We Gather

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” Psalm 122:1, ESV

Some have reduced the gathering of the church to be a spiritual duty, others an accessory to the Christian life, others an opportunity to refuel to survive another day, and others an option to be selected as need. But we see it as so, so, so much more. We believe that Heaven sees it much differently, and as we do also, our gatherings will take on greater impact in our lives and those who enter the room where we meet with Him!

God’s agenda has always been to meet with his people!!!

  • the garden - And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8, ESV

  • the Tent of Meeting - Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, far off from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp. Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would rise up, and each would stand at his tent door, and watch Moses until he had gone into the tent. When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses. And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, each at his tent door. Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent. Exodus 33:7–11, ESV

  • the Tabernacle - Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys. Exodus 40:34–38, ESV

  • the Temple - And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, a cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord. 1 Kings 8:10–11, ESV

  • our Temple, as we gather together with Him!

    • And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. John 14:16–17, ESV

    • When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:1–4, ESV

As We Gather TOGETHER WITH Him:

  • LIFE IS PRESENT

  • Salvation Comes

  • Miracles Happen

  • The Word Has Power

  • We Lean Into Mission

VISION: Seeing The God Of Yes - Steve Parrish

Mankind is born on this earth, blind. It’s not physical blindness. It is spiritual blindness: But God is the great revealer of hidden things. He gives VISION to see what actually is:

  • Matthew 13:44, ESV  “The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

2 Corinthians 1:19–20, NLT For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” He is the one whom Silas, Timothy, and I preached to you, and as God’s ultimate “Yes,” he always does what he says. For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.

One of the most effective tactics of every demon in hell is to suggest and insist that God is the one to blame every time the Devil steals, kills, or destroys. This tactic further characterizes him to be against us and ultimately, the God of NO. 

  • 2 Corinthians 4:4, ESV  In their case the God of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

GOD wants to show you what Heaven already sees – HE is the GOD of YES!

1.    God’s Says YES to Everyone & Jesus Is the Proof 

  • John 3:16–18, ESV  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

  • Luke 4:19, ESV  “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

  • Matthew 11:28, ESV  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

  • John 12:32, ESV  “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

  • 2 Peter 3:9, ESV  The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

2.    Seeing His YES Invites Our YES

  • Mark 2:14, ESV  And as he passed by, he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

3.    Our YES Puts the Rest of Heaven’s YESES Within Reach

  • 2 Corinthians 1:20–22, The Message  Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete.