New Hope Notes
Pastor Wayne Cordeiro, Pastor Jon Burgess
Good morning and welcome to our Sunday services. If you are watching online, we’re so thankful that you’re a part of our service today. If you’re here with a meaningful question, such as, “What is the meaning of life?” God may answer you with a question as he did with his disciples:
Matthew 16:13-18 says, "When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But what about you?’ He asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.’”
The name Simon also means reed, like a weed that blows in the wind. How interesting that He would say, “Hey, your name was Simon, a reed, but now I'm calling you Peter, Petra, which means rock. You're going from a weed that just goes with whatever is blowing around you to being a rock!” There's actually another meaning to his name—small pebbles or sand. Jesus is saying, “I'm changing you from Simon (sand) to Peter (solid)!”
I believe I’m prophetically speaking over each one of you, that if you will lean in to God over the next couple of weeks that He will change your identity; specifically, in the areas where you felt flakey in your faith, less than dependable in your relationship with God, where the enemy has tried to define you by your past and you found yourself trying to please people. If so, God will draw your heart back to Himself.
I also believe that if you will seek God wholeheartedly, He will give you a new name. He will take you from sandy to solid, from a reed to a rock, from a hearer of what everyone is saying around you to what God is saying to you about Himself in you and your circumstances. God wants to speak to each of us. When you decide, “This is who I say Jesus is in my life,” then He will say, “I will tell you who you are.”
Here's something interesting, Peter is probably feeling pretty good after Jesus complimented him. But just a couple verses later Jesus tells Peter, "Get behind me, Satan." Peter goes from the pinnacle to the pit in terms of revelation—from listening to the Father to listening to what everybody else is saying. A massive process of sifting and changing was leading Peter at this moment. Pastor Wayne will tell us more about that later in the message.
If you want to be solid in 2017, you must go counterculture to what's popular. The same process that Jesus invited Peter into, He is now inviting us:
1. Go Counter-Culture: One Choice
The world says, “There's more than one choice; there's more than two choices; there's multiple choices.” The people answered, “He's a teacher. He's a prophet. He is a good man in history, in the history book called the Bible.” Everyone has an opinion, but Jesus is asking you today to make one choice.
In Acts Chapter 2, Peter went through a sifting, from reed to rock, from sand to solid, and from a hearer of others to a hearer of God. Through this sifting process, God made Peter solid—a solid leader of the church.
When Peter stood to speak, the people asked him, “What do we do to be saved?” (Their hearts were convicted.) Acts 2:38-42 says, "Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.’ With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’ Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, and to the breaking of bread and to prayer."
This promise is for you, your children, for all who are far off, and for all whom the Lord God will call. When you make one choice, it means you are:
*Devoted To Daily Devotions With Jesus.
*Devoted To Constant Conversations With Jesus—daily prayer.
2. Go Counter-Culture: One Church, One Source
Go against the tide; swim upstream, not flow with the crowd.
Acts 2:43-47 says, "Everyone was filled with awe [because the Holy Spirit was in the house] at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved."
In order to get to a place where we have no secret sins, we must stay in one place long enough to build trust with others whom we can actually confess our sins to (accountability). If we don't have a source to go to, it usually means we haven't been in one place long enough to build relationships.
The early church met every day and God brought in new people every day. Do you suppose there's a connection there? Maybe the more often we meet together and build trust, faith, and community, God might say, “That’s a good place where I can bring in others.”
The more our church lines up with the early church, the more effective we will become and we will experience the things they did. They enjoyed spending time together and were devoted to each other in one place. The stats are insane of how many people go from church to church—church hopping, church shopping.
What if you say, “Along with my One Choice for One Source, I'm going to choose One Church for One Year. I'm at New Hope and in 2017, I'm letting my roots grow deep!”?
You should be …
*Devoted To Consistent Large Group Worship.
*Devoted To Consistent Small Group Discipleship.
The early church gathered everyday in Solomon's portico (the temple courts) which was their large group gathering. They also gathered every day in homes which were their small group gatherings. (Pastor Wayne came up with life groups using a journal and a Bible reading plan for every day. Read a little in the Old Testament and a little in the New Testament—20 minutes reading, 20 minutes writing, 20 minutes sharing and praying with each other, for a total of one hour.)
[Video by Pastor Wayne]
Aloha! We will begin a new series called Solid, discussing the substance and integrity of faith. Some people's faith is more like jello than steel; in order to get to solid faith—a faith that withstands challenges, pressures, and turbulences of the world around us—they must go through a process.
This vase I’m holding was made by my grandmother Tama Takasaki (phonetic), and I inherited it, as it were. The vase was made of clay, and in order to get to this solidity, there's a process that the soft clay had to go through. (The clay was soft so it could be molded and shaped into this vase.) Then it was put in a hot kiln to extract water from it; in exchange, solidity took place. The more water is extracted, the vase becomes harder and harder and is able to hold water, rather than be destroyed or lose its shape—and the vase becomes usable!
The same thing is true with our faith; it must go through a process. There are some processes that we don't plan on, such as, suffering, illness, or setbacks. If we go through the process correctly, it can solidify our faith.
In Luke 22:31-32, Jesus said, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Our faith must go through a process for it to be solid so God can use us as vessels through which He pours His grace, goodness, forgiveness, mercy, understanding and counsel. There is much that He wants to put into us and with solid faith we're able to give it to others. But if our faith is not solid, there's not much that we can hold, is there?
There are some processes that our faith will go through that we do not choose, such as, the suffering from mistakes we make. We must work our way out of these setbacks (financial, spiritual, health-wise) and go through them correctly.
1 Peter 4:19 says, "So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good."
If there's a way to suffer according to the will of God, there might be a way to suffer that's not according to the will of God. Sometimes, we make things worse for ourselves by suffering poorly, blaming others and amputating relationships. This is suffering not according to the will of God. Jesus was saying to Peter, “If you'll do this correctly, I'll solidify your faith and I'll be able to use you as a vessel.”
Isaiah 58:6 says, "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen, to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?”
God says this is the chosen fast that will break the bond of the wicked one and will strengthen our souls and make us more impervious to the enemy's attacks—a protective armor. Fasting gives us the fiber, integrity, strength and inner fortitude that we need. It's a chosen fast.
I close with a question that Jesus asked Peter when He invited him into the process that changed his name and life. “Who do you say that I am?” Jesus was broken for us so that we could be solid.
1. Why did Jesus change Simon's name to Peter?
2. Why do we need to go counterculture?
3. What is the significance of doing daily devotions with Jesus?
4. Why should we be devoted to a consistent Large Group Worship?
5. Why should we be devoted to a consistent Small Group Discipleship?