River Church NOLA
Aug 18 Wednesday Difference Makers 1
  • Your Grace Is Enough
  • This Is Amazing Grace
  • The Stand
  • I Lift My Hands
  • Intro
    I believe God calls us to be difference makers in life and part of that means we are different. Jesus wants us to live a rich and satisfying life full of Joy, but many do not...
    Think about a time when you have been over joyed. Well, we want to learn how to have that kind of joy every day.
    1 John 1:1–4 NLT
    1 We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. 2 This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.
    We will look at 1st John which was written by the Apostle John.
    John wrote 5 books of the Bible.... John, 1,2,3 John and Revelation.

    The Gospel of John was written to convert people to faith in Jesus (John 20:31)

    John 20:31 NLT
    31 But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.

    The Epistles of John (1,2,3 John) were written to convince Christians to live for the Lord

    The Revelation of John was written to let Christians know Jesus was coming back

    So 1st John was written to to encourage and equip Christians. It was written about 85-90 AD from Ephesus.
    You can see the purposes in the letter itself. John writes, These things I write to you

    1. Live Joyfully (1 John 1:4)

    1 John 1:4 NLT
    4 We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.

    2. Live godly lives (1 John 2:1)

    1 John 2:1 NLT
    1 My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.

    3. Live victoriously (1 John 2:26-27)

    1 John 2:26–27 NLT
    26 I am writing these things to warn you about those who want to lead you astray. 27 But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.

    4. Live confidently (1 John 5:13)

    1 John 5:13 NLT
    13 I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.
    1 John tells us how to live… really live for the Lord. To live a rich and satisfying life. Tonight, I am calling the message, Difference Makers Live a Rich and Satisfying Life. What does that mean? being rich… looking good… feeling good...
    There was a Texas millionare to died. He had requested that his gold plated boots, Rolex, Hat, and his money be buried with him in his Cadillac. So they dug a huge whole and as they lowered the car into the hole with all of his possessions, one of the workers said, “Man, that’s really living...”
    Our culture things that’s what living is all about… having things and looking good. Let me tell you… there is a lot more to life than that. Most people have no clue about what enjoying life is all about.
    Most Country Western singers must not know how to live a good life. Titles - “She Got The Gold Mine and I Got The Shaft” / ”My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend & I Sure Do Miss Him” / ”I Keep Forgetting That I’ve Forgotten About You” / ”You’re The Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly” / ”I’ve Been Flushed From The Bathroom Of Your Heart.”
    1 John teaches us how to really live for the Lord and enjoy it while we live the Christian life. How many of you would like to know how to enjoy and live the Christian life?
    1 John 1:4 The Living Bible
    4 And if you do as I say in this letter, then you, too, will be full of joy, and so will we.
    Our culture says that joy comes from having stuff, popularity, or power, but those joys are temporary.
    Madonna once said, “I don’t know anyone who is really happy.”
    So, what does it take to experience a rich and satisfying life? How do we experience real joy in life.

    Real & lasting Joy comes from Knowing the Lord

    John was writing to counteract false teachers of his day and ours and to restore joy to Believers. Let’s look at what John says...
    1 John 1:1 NLT
    1 We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life.
    In this one verse, John tells us that

    Jesus is the Eternal Son of God

    John lets us know Jesus existed well before Bethlehem. Jesus is eternal. He has always existed. Before Jesus existed as a historical man, He existed in the world as the creator of all things.
    John 1:1–3 NLT
    1 In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He existed in the beginning with God. 3 God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.
    Since the very beginning… even before the beginning, Jesus was present. Jesus existed before the beginning of time. All the leaders of other religions were born at a specific time then died and stayed dead. We have a Savior who was pre-existant to the creation of time, who died and rose up from the dead.
    A little boy asked a lady how old she was. None of your business she replied. Well, you look like you have been in business for a long time.
    Jesus has been in business for a long time. So John tells us that Jesus is the eternal Son of God.
    John tells us that

    Jesus is the Historical Son of God

    Not only was Jesus the eternal SOG, he allowed us to know him when He entered time and became one of us.
    1 John 1:1–2 NLT
    1 We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. 2 This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us.
    John 1:14 NLT
    14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
    Listen to me,

    1. The coming of Jesus into our world is a historical fact

    People in the first century heard, saw and touched him. He wasn’t some fairy tale figure like our culture would like for us to believe. Jesus was a real person who lived, breathed, ate and walked around our world.
    John goes into detail to describe this. The first proof was that they heard Jesus Jesus speak in a human voice. The word heard means that he heard it repeatedly. John personally spoke with Jesus so many times that he knew it was really Jesus speaking. It was so real that 60 years later he cold say the words he said still ring in my ears.
    The second proof of Jesus humanity is that they actually saw him.
    1 John 1:1 NLT
    1 We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life.
    seen - Horao - refers to the physical act of seeing and understanding what you saw. Sometimes we wonder what we saw. John knew what he saw.
    We saw - Theomai - behold… to examine with your own eyes. John and others saw and examined Jesus many times.
    The third proof of Jesus humanity was that they touched him. John talked about hearing and seeing and now touching Jesus. Each of these leads to a deeper understanding of Jesus.
    Touched Him - pseiaphao - to touch and examine him. They knew he was human and it brought them great joh. Kind of like the first time you saw your wife or husband.

    2. The coming of Jesus was an enlightening reality

    1 John 1:2 NLT
    2 This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us.
    Revealed (Phanero) means to make visible what was hidden or unknown. The incarnation of Jesus was an illuminating reality… IOW Observing and encountering Jesus enables us to know what God is like.
    Hebrews 1:3 NLT
    3 The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.
    A little girl was drawing a picture of God… You can’t do that, no one knows what God looks like… they will when I am finished.
    John is telling you and I today that after seeing Jesus, hearing Jesus, examining Jesus closely and touching Jesus that we can know what God looks like because he looks just like Jesus.
    John also tell us that…

    Jesus is the transformational Son of God

    IOW, Jesus is able to change or transform a person’s life.
    1 John 1:2 NLT
    2 This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us.
    Jesus is the one who transforms our lives. He is the one with eternal life. What kind of life can Jesus bring us?

    1. Jesus brings us an exciting life on earth

    This one who is life - means rich and satisfying life.
    John 10:10 NLT
    10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
    Following Jesus is full of peace and joy… it’s rich and satisfying.
    Gallop Survey - 5 - 10% of Americans are followers of Jesus. More claim to be, but 5-10% are the real deal. What are these “real Christians” like? More generous, more loving and much happier than the rest of the population. Why? Their lives have been transformed by Jesus.
    We have people in this room and watching online that can give testimony to that life chanign power of Jesus.

    2. Jesus brings us eternal life in heaven

    John said Jesus is the one who is eternal life… IOW Jesus brings us eternal life.
    John 3:16 NLT
    16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
    How many want eternal life… to go to heaven?
    Two men were arguing … one said everyone wants to go to heaven… the other said they don’t. So they decided to ask the next person who walked by if they wanted to go to heaven and let their answer win the argument. A young boy came by and they asked him the question… Do you want to go to heaven? asked him twice… then a third time. Then they asked him, When you die, don’t you want to go to heaven? Yes the boy replied, but I thought you were getting up a trip right now.
    Most people want to go to heaven when they die and the Bible teaches that they only way to get to heaven is through a relationship with Jesus as your Lord and Savior. How many of you know that? believe that?

    To “know” Jesus we have to be willing to repent of our sins (Acts 3:19), put our faith in Jesus (Acts 4:12, Eph 2:8), and surrender our life to Him (Romans 10:9-13)

    Acts 3:19 NLT
    19 Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.
    Acts 4:12 NLT
    12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”
    Ephesians 2:8 NLT
    8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.
    Romans 10:9–13 NLT
    9 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” 12 Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
    Think with me. When did Jesus first come into your heart? For me it was Thursday, October 18, 1973
    Have you ever asked Jesus to come into your heart?
    Salvation Altar time -

    Real & Lasting Joy in life comes from sharing life with other Followers of Jesus

    1 John 1:3 NLT
    3 We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
    We are talking about a joy filled life.

    We experience joy when we Fellowship with each other.

    Look at your neighbor and tell them You are glad they are here. We do a lot so that you can create meaningful relationships. Eating together helps. Small groups help. work projects help. We live in an impersonal world that’s growing colder by the second. Get to know people… get involved and share life.
    Dept of Social Services in Greenville County, SC, sent the following letter to a deceased individual - "Your food stamps will be stopped effective in March, because we received notice that you passed away. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances
    Same thing to my mom. Gov sent her a check after she died… told my brother they didn’t want it back.
    We need real friendships in this culture today… not online friends, but real friends. You find those kinds of friends right here at River Church when you fellowship with other Christians and serve with other Christians.
    Loneliness is a huge problem today, especially after this last year and a half. Never have so many people lived so close together but felt so far apart. We drive on crowded roads, rush from place to place. We shop in crowded malls, live in crowded subdivisions and yet we don’t know those around us.
    Lonely people are our neighbors…co-workers… classmates… other parents at the playground… Who beside the church can provide the kind of family the church does? None… Bars can’t, electronic church can’t, activities don’t… the Church does. If you are looking for a family that will love you no matter what… accept you where you are… YOU FOUND IT. It’s right here at River Church.
    How do we build fellowship?

    1. We experience the joy of fellowship through meals together

    Acts 2:44–47 NLT
    44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

    2. We experience the joy of fellowship through small groups

    met in homes...

    3. We experience the joy of fellowship through serving on a ministry team

    Ephesians 4:16 NLT
    16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
    Romans 12:4–5 NLT
    4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.

    We experience Real Joy when we fellowship with Jesus

    1 John 1:3 NLT
    3 We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
    We believe there is on God, manifest in three different personalities: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
    H2O - ice, steam, liquid
    Triangle -
    us - I am a man, a husband, a son, a brother, a parent… but I am just me.
    All of these are inadequate to explain God, but Jesus said,
    John 10:30 NLT
    30 The Father and I are one.”

    1. We experience fellowship with Jesus by spending time with Him

    We spend time with Jesus through worship, QT, Bible reading and study, prayer
    Psalm 16:11 NKJV
    11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

    2. We experience fellowship with Jesus through living for Him

    1 John 1:4 The Living Bible
    4 And if you do as I say in this letter, then you, too, will be full of joy, and so will we.
    How many of you want to live a life full of Joy? Follow Jesus… come back over the next weeks and let’s learn from John.
    Conclusion -

    If we know Jesus and are living for Him we can always have real and lasting joy in our lives.

    Patrick Henry story – To his heirs in his will – “There is one other thing I wish I could give unto you. It is a relationship with Jesus Christ. Without it (Him), though you have everything else, you can never be happy. With Him, though you have nothing else, you can always be happy
    John 15:10–11 NCV
    10 I have obeyed my Father’s commands, and I remain in his love. In the same way, if you obey my commands, you will remain in my love. 11 I have told you these things so that you can have the same joy I have and so that your joy will be the fullest possible joy.
      • 1 John 1:1–4TLB

      • John 20:31TLB

      • John 20:31TLB

      • 1 John 1:4TLB

      • 1 John 1:4TLB

      • 1 John 2:1TLB

      • 1 John 2:1TLB

      • 1 John 2:26–27TLB

      • 1 John 2:26–27TLB

      • 1 John 5:13TLB

      • 1 John 5:13TLB

      • 1 John 1:4TLB

      • 1 John 1:1TLB

      • John 1:1–3TLB

      • 1 John 1:1–2TLB

      • John 1:14TLB

      • 1 John 1:1TLB

      • 1 John 1:2TLB

      • Hebrews 1:3TLB

      • 1 John 1:2TLB

      • John 10:10TLB

      • John 3:16TLB

      • Acts 3:19TLB

      • Acts 4:12TLB

      • Ephesians 2:8TLB

      • Romans 10:9–13TLB

      • Acts 3:19TLB

      • Acts 4:12TLB

      • Ephesians 2:8TLB

      • Romans 10:9–13TLB

      • 1 John 1:3TLB

      • Acts 2:44–47TLB

      • Ephesians 4:16TLB

      • Romans 12:4–5TLB

      • 1 John 1:3TLB

      • John 10:30TLB

      • Psalm 16:11TLB

      • 1 John 1:4TLB

      • John 15:10–11TLB

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