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I AM: Just

“Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.” Isaiah 30: 18

The justice of God is a topic that we discuss often without really realizing it.

– Why do bad things happen to good people?
– Why do good things happen to bad people?
– Why isn’t life fair?

These questions lead us to examine how does God’s justice work in this world and what does it mean to our lives today.

We will be exploring God’s justice in this study and we pray you can join us. Having a right understanding of God’s justice is pivotal in our relationship with God and opens up worship, joy, and peace in our lives as we move boldly in His mercy and truth.

I AM: Wise

“Oh, the depths of the riches both of wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways.” Romans 11: 33

Getting through this life can be tough. Many of us have big decisions before us and not sure which way to go. For others, we feel stuck in a rut and don’t know how to move forward. For others still, we feel we have tried everything by following advice, self help books, and our best efforts but we are not getting very far.

In this study, we dig into a moment in David’s life that shows the real difference it makes when we lean into God’s wisdom! We will explore practical ways to receive, know, and follow God’s wisdom that unlocks doors and moves us forward. We pray you can join us!

I AM: Sovereign

When it comes to the sovereignty of God, we find one of the key reasons to not only believe in God but why it’s such a comfort and a life line to lean into Him.

As Chip Ingram puts in his book, “The Real God”…

“The reason I believe in the God of the Bible and worship Him is because He is before all things, He created all things, He upholds all things, He is above all things, He knows all things, He accomplishes all things, He rules over all things, and He is in control of all things. That’s the reason I believe Him and have given my entire life to Him in faith and in trust that He is superior to all the other truth-claims in the world. He is not just another “-ism” out there to be considered. He is infinite and eternal, over all and worthy above all. I worship Him because He is sovereign.”

Join us as we explore an address given by the Apostle Paul on the “unknown God” who desires to be known to the city that was the intellection hub of His day, Athens.

tsflife.com

I AM: Good

How do you see God? Do you see Him as good?

In the midst of the struggle and pain of this fallen world, it’s easy to get sucked into thinking that God must be uncaring, cruel, or absent. But is this a true picture of God?

In this study on God, we will look at a moment in the lives of Moses and the Israelites to see some interesting dynamics when it comes to God’s goodness. We will explore how He sees us, moves on our behalf, and is consistent in His goodness even when we are not. You may be amazed at how much you are missing His goodness in your life.

tsflife.com

I AM: God Perspectives

In this first of a multi-week study on God, we dive into the different perspectives people can have about God and how it can impact their relationships with Him. It’s best said in thecae quote from Chip Ingram in his book “The Real God” that Pastor Tom shares at the beginning of the message.

“What you think about God shapes your whole relationship with Him. In addition, what you think God thinks about you determines how close you will grow toward Him. Many of us have formed a picture of God from impressions we’ve picked up throughout our life. Consciously, or unconsciously, our families, teachers, friends, and churches have impacted our picture of God. Our culture consistently sends us messages about how we see God as well. All of us have been affected and can carry a distorted image of God.

If we see Him as an impulsive policeman, we’ll always be walking on eggshells. If we see Him as a vengeful judge, we’ll always feel guilty. If we see Him as an apathetic father, we will struggle with believing He loves us. If we think he’s just like us, we’ll be casual about our sin. But are those ideas accurate? What if they’re not true at all? Misperceptions about God can certainly create a barrier in your relationship with Him. And meanwhile, the friendship, love and encouragement you could be sharing with your Heavenly Father are never realized – all because of wrong assumptions about Him.”

Join this study in Job as we explore what your perspective is on God, how He sees you, how He shows His love, and what it means to your life.

Then consider joining us for the remainder of the study on who God is as we continue the series; “I AM”.

Disrespectful Leaders

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A friend of mine put on Facebook….

“Where do ” leaders” in the church find it in the Bible to be disrespectful to anyone? I am tired of supposed “leaders” posting disrespectful videos, memes, etc. We are to love everyone and pray for our leaders whether you like them or not! Please stop! You are not sharing the love of Christ but giving people a reason to call you a hypocrite. Tough words I know but true!”

On her thread, some have already started the “sorry, but the Word is confrontational” defenses. Some have already started busting out how Jesus called out the Pharisees and religious leaders.

I want to add the missing thought that brings balance to the two. Jesus was confrontational…. to hypocritical religious leaders who claimed to represent God but where living in sin without love.

When it comes to the world, he still confronted sin but not with Facebook rants, critical words, or dropping the mic on people. He never negated the truth but always in love. Some who use the “Bible confronts” defense need to take a breath and take an inner look. Is the Spirit in it?

We can sometimes feel like we are the martyrs when we are actually the abuser.

I love this verse…. It’s at my desk at the office to help me process.

“The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” I Timothy 1:5

Before you open your mouth…..

– is the truth being presented from a PURE heart (or is there anger or defense in your heart?

– is the truth coming in a way that you have a CLEAN conscience; not where you’re trying to make everone happy but it truly is at peace before God and his heart for the person or people you are addressing?

– Is it coming from a SINCERE faith or from a personal place of wanting to be right?

Might help some… might anger others… but I it’s my feeble attempt to stay in 100% love/ 100% truth.

Pastor Tom Hypes
tsflife.com

As we start out 2017 together, we bring to a completion some of the things that led us to this point and start to look to where God is moving next. This is a time of celebration of what God has done, dreaming about where He is leading us, and breathing in His fresh anointing as we turn corners!

Come and lean into the church of Antioch in the book of Acts with us for a reminder of the foundation we stand on as we launch into 2017 together at The Shepherd’s Fellowship!