Podcast by First Church Charlotte
September 27, 2020 | Pastor Nathan Elms
Most people today believe that we have to choose sides... either give in to the culture or live a life of faith.
Babylon’s Motto: I am, and there is none besides me. (Humanism)
Elevate Self. Lower God.
Is there a God? God isn’t for me... God wants too much from me…
As we look at Daniel, I believe that we can do both. We can live in the culture, and influence the culture.
The role of the exile is especially hard. We understand who we are... but we struggle to understand our role in Babylon. Is Babylon our enemy? Or has God placed us here?
First misconception of the exile: Babylon is our enemy.
Second misconception: Babylon represents sin... Babylon represents evil... We are good...
This is misleading... Babylon represents the worship of self.... But it is our harvest field.
Christian parents wrestle with being an exile...
... God has placed us (you) here
... But you are not of this kingdom
... You will succeed here... be a blessing here... influence this people toward God...
...but this is not your kingdom…
Here are the five traits of a “resilient disciple”:
1. They experience intimacy with Jesus – Build a Relationship
2. They practice cultural discernment –Reconcile with your neighbor
3. They have meaningful spiritual relationships – Embrace Mentors
4. They engage in counter-cultural mission – Bear Reproach
5. They have a sense of calling in their life and work – Pursue Divine Purpose
How To Talk To People About God Pt3
September 23, 2020 | Pastor Nathan Elms
"I've Ruined Everything"
This is the 3rd message from the series, "How to Talk to People About God"
As was mentioned last week, a person that has expressed frustration with their life is typically not ready for a life change. When a person is angry, they are usually not ready for a life change.
When a person expresses our title, "I've Ruined Everything", they are no longer looking outward to blame, but have taken responsibility themselves, and are usually at a place in their lives to take a step towards eternity and God.
As Paul the Apostle showed us, how he spoke to unbelievers and how we should use the four "L's".
• Listen instead of having to be correct.
• Use their Language instead of churchy language.
• Look for where is God working in their lives.
• Leave them with a promise. (Leave them wanting more.)
Heroes Needed: Apply Here--
September 20, 2020 | Pastor Nathan Elms
“A hero is who we all wish we were if we didn’t have our own personal limitations.”
“I think we aspire to everyday heroes because we wish to be them… In moments of great tragedy we see people drawn to firefighters or emergency workers or the people who went beyond their job. They rushed in where angels fear to tread.”
“We’d like to believe there’s like a hero gene in all of us.”
Is there a hero gene in all of us?
The bible is full of surprise-heroes… whether it is young David facing Goliath or Gideon finding out that the angel of the Lord thinks he is a mighty man…
Jesus invites you to believe that “great works” are possible. (John 14:12)
Speaking spiritually, that is hero-language…
Your world needs a hero!
What does a spiritual hero do?
1) We uphold the promises of God by our words. (Hebrews 1:2-4 & Isaiah 62:6)
2) We plead for justice on behalf of another. We speak God’s justice into a broken world as witness that we are of and from another kingdom. (Isaiah 59:14-16)
3) We plead mercy for another. We hold back judgment. (Ezekiel 22:30)
YOUR WORLD NEEDS A HERO!
Just because you are imperfect does not mean you cannot be a spiritual intercessor!
Five Keys to Intercession:
1) Grow in friendship with God – When we allow God into our lives and develop relationship with Him, we grow in our understanding of what He is actually like. This helps us know His heart, so we can pray in alignment with His will.
2) Grow in Your ability to be still and listen – One aspect of prayer is discerning what God wants to do and then asking Him to do it..
3) Seek and value eternal things. Pursue a higher kingdom. Stay in your tent. This world is not your home.
4) Seek peace with people despite of who they may be and how they may treat you. (Lot)
5) Practice empathy towards people you don’t even know. “for the sake of five…”
How To Talk To People About God, Pt. 2
September 16, 2020 | Pastor Nathan Elms
Frustration about feeling stuck in life is real, and we should not rebuke others when they go through it.
The frustration phase of a person's desire for change is an opportunity for God's people to witness to hurting people.
Angry and frustrated people are usually not ready for a big life change. Life changes usually come from brokenness instead of anger.
1. Listen and give up your need to be right.
2. Use their language.
3. Be sensitive and look to see where God is working already.
4. Lead people with encouragement.
Share your testimony not your advice.
The King Of Cool And The King Of Kings
September 13, 2020 | Pastor Nathan Elms
We live our lives with an incomplete understanding of the world... of ourselves... but we have a sense of God... of eternity... of the transcendent power of love...
I believe that God is threaded through our lives... we are marked by his presence... and his absence...
There is no escape from the nature of our creation... we are the canvas upon which God paints...
I believe that this is true whether or not we admit it. In fact, I believe that you could deny this, reject this, turn away and return to your life ... and the life you then lived would speak this truth back to you.
Here is a true thing: We almost never know what would make us happy. I’m going to list 5 things that motivate… Fame, wealth, beauty, genius, and power...
So What's the Problem?
You find it everywhere, from the petty supervisor to the bitter gym coach. Small people driven to mindless, unethical behavior, drunk on just a few drops of power. They often can't make friends, their marriages end badly, they self-destruct. The world is full of these miniature, sad dictators destined for a proverbial downfall.
Wait, it gets worse...
The thing is, it's the lust for power itself that's poisonous. You find that need for power most in the type of person who hates having to obey all of society's social contracts, particularly the ones that require them to not act like jerks all day. These are the people who are only nice guys because of fear of retribution if they do otherwise, so their main goal is to become strong enough that no retribution is possible (this is why sociopaths tend to seek positions of power, by the way).
Experts have figured out that the brain has no ability to actually predict your emotional reaction to life changes that haven't happened yet. In other words, you physically do not know what you want.
What we need is transformation, not possessions...
But are you ready for a surprise? Here are three things that research shows makes people happy:
Studies show that friendships, altruism and religious practices bring happiness.
It is almost like God knows you better than you do......
Research credits: Greg Laurie, David Wong, W.S.Merwin
How To Talk To People About God
September 9, 2020 | Pastor Nathan Elms
• According to teachings in New Testament of the Holy Scriptures, the purpose for preachers is to equip believers concerning speaking to others about God.
• How do we talk to people about God without sounding condescending or crazy to them?
• Listen to people and relate to them, instead of telling them our version of truth without first getting to know them.
When speaking to people, that are outside our normal circle, learn about their beliefs and what they find important, to first find common ground.