Thursday, April 23, 2015

What's Your Kryptonite- Part 2

This week at Wednesday Night Worship was part 2 of the "What's Your Kryptonite" series.  We began the night with a worship set that included "This Is Amazing Grace" (Phil Wickham), "The Lord Our God" (Kristian Stanfill), and "Hosanna" (Hillsong United).  We did the rest of the night differently than normal.  Rather than me presenting a message, we circled up and did more discussion.  The superhero we thought about this week was Thor and his weakness of pride and arrogance.  Pride of course is wanting the focus on you.  You want others to be impressed with who you are.  We then discussed the following points:

-Genesis 11:1-9 (Tower of Babel)  They tried to make a name for themselves so that everyone would look at them and see them as great.  We discussed the same ways that we do this in our lives today and how it can be dangerous.
-Proverbs 16:18 We discussed how pride can lead to destruction in our lives.  We talked about arrogance and how it leads us to treat others.

So how do we stop pride?
-John 3:26-30 We more more of Jesus and less of ourselves
-1 Corinthians 10:31 We do everything to honor God and not for ourselves
-Deuteronomy 8:1-15 We must remember all that God is and all that He has done for us.  If not then pride will come into our lives.

The best way to stop pride in our lives is to focus on what God has done for you.  We must take our eyes off of ourselves and put them on God.  It is always easier said than done, but we must begin with prayer, asking God to help us stay focused on Him and bringing Him honor rather than ourselves.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

What's Your Kryptonite- Part 1

After 2 weeks off for Spring Break and Revival, we were back to our regular Wednesday Night Worship Service.  We began the night with a worship set that included "God's Not Dead/Like A Lion" (Newsboys/Crowder), "Waiting Here For You" (Christy Nockels), and "God Is Able" (Hillsong Worship).  

I began the message talking about superheroes and how they all have weaknesses.  Superman's weakness is kryptonite.  The meteorite from his home planet causes his body to become weak.  The very thing that was true to who he is, is the very thing that can destroy him.  The same is true for us.  We all have areas of weakness that we struggle with.  These areas can be anger, pride, greed, lust, etc.  These areas that are true to our sin nature are the very thing that can be destructive in our own lives.  We played a quick few rounds of "Name That Superhero" where I showed small images that depicted a superhero and the students had to guess who it was and their weakness.  The final superhero was the Incredible Hulk.  We talked about his strength which is his anger is also his weakness.  We also must understand that anger can be destructive in our own lives.

We read Ephesians 4:26-32.  Paul is addressing the church at Ephesus to how as Christians we are to leave our former sinful selves behind and pursue holiness.  He addresses in these verses about anger and our words.  He first makes note that we should not sin when angry.  There are examples of righteous anger such as when we are angry at injustice, immorality, and all types of sin.  A righteous anger stems out of a love for God and His people, and leads us to positive action.  However, more often than not, anger drives us to sinful actions.  Paul says that we need to address our anger and not let it continue to grow as it will get out of hand.  He goes on to say not to give Satan an opportunity with our anger.  If we do not get it under control, Satan will seek the opportunity to make it grow hurting ourselves further, hurt others, and ultimately turn others away from Jesus.  Verse 29 is the famous verse that talks about building up others with your words rather than tear them down.  We are good at tearing others down with our words when we are discouraged.  When we do this our sin grieves the Holy Spirit as Paul talks about in verse 30.  

So what is the solution when we are dealing with anger?  Paul answers this question in verse 31 and tells us to put away all anger, bitterness, malice, slander, etc.  That is usually easier said than done.  However, he doesn't simply tell us to put away anger, but gives directions in how to.  He says to be kind to one another and to forgive.  It may be one thing to put away anger, but it takes it to another level when we realize we need to forgive.  It is never easy to do so, but we saw the ultimate example of forgiveness in Jesus Christ.  The first step in healing of an anger problem is forgiveness.  Many people spend so much time hanging on to their anger that is grows and they grow more calloused.  We must stop giving so much of our thoughts to the situations/people that have hurt us and have led us to be angry.  If we stop focusing so much of our thoughts on it, then we will be in a position to forgive, which will ultimately bring healing and allow us to overcome our anger.