10 episodes

A blog of all of the resources generated by Pastor Craig Smee. Recorded at multiple locations but with special thanks to Victory Life Church.

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    • Religion & Spirituality
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A blog of all of the resources generated by Pastor Craig Smee. Recorded at multiple locations but with special thanks to Victory Life Church.

    Renewed – EASTER 2024

    Renewed – EASTER 2024

    EASTER—2024



    RENEWED



    OPENING STORY: IRENA SENDLER



    In the early 1900s, a young woman named Irena Sendler lived in Warsaw, Poland. During World War II, when the Nazis occupied Poland and implemented the Jewish ghetto system, Irena worked as a social worker and used her position to help Jewish families.



    Risking her own life, Irena joined an underground organization called Zegota and began smuggling Jewish children out of the ghettos. She would go into the ghettos, often disguised as a nurse or carrying a toolbox, and convince families to let her take their children to safety.



    Irena devised a remarkable system to keep track of the children she rescued. She wrote down their real names and placed them in jars, burying them in a friend’s garden. If the Nazis ever captured her, she hoped that the children’s true identities could be revealed, allowing them to be reunited with their families after the war.



    In total, Irena is estimated to have saved around 2,500 Jewish children from the horrors of the Holocaust. Sadly, in 1943, she was arrested by the Nazis and brutally interrogated. Despite the torture, she never revealed any information about the children or her underground activities.



    Irena was sentenced to death, but members of Zegota managed to bribe a German soldier, and she was released. Irena went into hiding until the end of the war, and after Poland was liberated, she dug up the jars with the children’s names and tried to locate their families. Sadly, many had perished in the Holocaust, but Irena was able to reunite some survivors with their loved ones.



    Irena’s story remained largely unknown until a group of students from Kansas discovered her heroic actions in 1999. They wrote a play about her, and Irena’s story gained international recognition. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, and although she didn’t win, her legacy lives on as a symbol of courage, compassion, and selflessness in the face of unimaginable evil.



    Irena Sendler’s incredible bravery and determination to save the lives of innocent children in the darkest of times serve as a reminder of the power of the human spirit. 



    ———————————————————————————



    STORY LINK



    Deep within the human spirit lies the ability to TRANSCEND our faults, flaws, and frailty to achieve something more significant, to have FAITH that the impossible can be true, and to find HOPE that there is way more to our lives than we may see in our current circumstances. And in that transcendence, faith, and that hope, love beyond ourselves.



    Our human spirit was formed after God’s character. And sadly, it has been eroded by circumstance and corroded by attitude.



    When it comes to our human spirit – we need some revival and renewal.



    ———————————————————————————



    JESUS DOES THE RENEWING



    John 14:6



    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 



    ———————————————————————————



    THERE IS POWER IN THE RENEWAL



    Ephesians 1:18-20



    I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.



    ———————————————————————————



    THE LOSS:



    THE POWER TO TRANSCEND CIRCUMSTANCE



    From dust, we were created to display the character of the divine. (Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:7)



    Genesis 2:7



    Then, the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life in

    • 40 min
    Guarded

    Guarded

    Guarded – The Disciplines of a Guarded Heart



    Dr. Craig Smee



    THE STORY OF JUDAS



    Mark 14:10-11



    Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.



    Mark 14:17-20



    When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me.” They were saddened, and one by one, they said to him, “Surely you don’t mean me?” “It is one of the Twelve,” he replied, “one who dips bread into the bowl with me.



    JUDAS WAS A SUPER DISCIPLE



    THE HEART: THE CORE OF WHO WE ARE



    Proverbs 4:23



    Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.




    To be a spring of life, the heart needs curation.




    Jeremiah 17:9



    The human heart is the most deceitful of all things and desperately wicked. Who knows how bad it is? 



    It is so powerful that it needs to be guarded, curated, checked, and managed.



    Dallas Willard: The human heart, will, or spirit is the executive center of human life. The heart is where decisions and choices are made for the whole person. That is its function.



    The decisions and choices of the heart define our character.



    Our character forms the essence of who we are. It is shaped by our exposure to the work of the Holy Spirit, which transforms us and reflects the character of Christ. However, as we navigate the world and encounter different ideologies, our character can become vulnerable to shifting and cracking.




    The Heart is the control center for our spirit.




    1. Beliefs in our minds sometimes translate into actions.



    2. When our heart truly believes, our actions align with our beliefs.



    To guard your heart means to keep Jesus as the source of your motivation. 



    Keeping what He has done, what he has placed inside of you, as precious and not to be corrupted.



    Matthew 6:19-21



    “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth…” “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal.



    When the fruit of the spirit is selflessly manifested in our daily disciplines, we demonstrate a generous heart and that we are wholly surrendered to Jesus’s work and power.



    A guarded heart allows the flow of heaven to earth!




    It’s about crime prevention.




    John 10:10



    The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.



    A corrupt hurt is one where the wonder of Jesus has been stolen.



    The Devil shouts lies, but God whispers the truth.



    What drains you?



    Your defenses falter…



    … when you have had enough



    …when the pains of the past overwhelm with no justice



    …when nothing seems to work



    The alarms:



    Sick of being stuck



    Your talk is negative.



    Habits are not holy.



    Can’t break the cycle?



    No matter how hard you try, you can’t win.



    You have lost the vision of you…



    Your defenses:



    Don’t be one of these, and don’t hang out with people who are like this:



    Controlling People



    Critical People



    Needy People



    Hypocritical People – “Surely you don’t mean. me….”



    Proverbs 29:25



    Fear of man will be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.



    The highest form of protection is gratitude and praise…



    Humble gratitude plus genuine praise results in the highest honor.




    Our responsibility is to keep our hearts constantly ready for God’s Word!




    Example: The Seed Parable



    Vulnerability to the seed allows for the depth of the root…



    The Word will…




    Keep your heart pure…



    Keep your heart peaceful…



    Keep your heart tender…



    Ke

    • 46 min
    The Intentional Disciple

    The Intentional Disciple

    THE INTENTIONAL DISCIPLE



    Giving Your Salvation Purpose



    The Call to Purpose



    Story of David (1 Samuel 16-17)



    PURPOSE THE WORLD’S WAY



    When the world says your life must have a purpose, it is trying to give your flesh purpose. That flesh will never deliver a life-giving purpose because we only have genuine life once we step into worshiping God in Spirit and truth.



    John 10:10



    A thief has only one thing in mind—he wants to steal, slaughter,  and destroy. But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect —life in its fullness until you overflow! 



    The Holy Spirit equips our frame (natural talents and abilities – flesh) with Spiritual Gifts for every good work. 



    Hebrews 13:20-21



    Now may the God who brought us peace by raising from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ so that he would be the Great Shepherd of his flock; and by the power of the blood of the eternal covenant may he work perfection into every part of you giving you all that you need to fulfill your destiny. And may he express through you all that is excellent and pleasing to him through your life union with Jesus the Anointed One who is to receive all glory forever! Amen!



    To fully exercise our Holy Spirit-inspired purpose, we need to surrender to the discipleship of Jesus completely.



    Discipleship is the full acceptance of the promises of Jesus.



    Your purpose is to live out the promises of Jesus under the direction of the Holy Spirit for the benefit of others.



    The five truths of being an intentional disciple of Jesus.



    I’m INVITED – to God’s family



    I’m INSPIRED – by the Holy Spirit



    I’m INVALUABLE – to the impact of the Kingdom



    I’m INFLUENTIAL- in the Super Natural



    I’m INVESTED – in others (found or lost)



    INVITED



    Ever felt? Unwanted—Unworthy—Undeserving—Unwelcome? 



    The world motivates you to step into your purpose from a place of rejection and hurt, but Jesus asks you to do so from a place of acceptance.



    Allowing Jesus to Disciple you toward your kingdom purpose means you have to be willing to surrender your weaknesses to him through the power of vulnerability.



    2 Corinthians 12:9-10



    But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you,  and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me.  So I’m not defeated by my weakness, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment—when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ—I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.



    When our flesh strives for purpose, We lie to cover over our hurt, we shrink to the back of the room, or we become the loudest at the party.



    But you are invited to start living your salvation, not just acquiring it!



    Jesus invites the people others reject. (He called the call girl – Luke 7)



    We accept that invitation through our continual repentance.



    INSPIRED



    The Holy Spirit is our divine source of inspiration, guiding us through life’s journey with His gifts.



    You are inspired, not invisible!



    1 Corinthians 12:4-7 



    Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.



    Through His gifts, the Holy Spirit equips us to serve others, spreading love, wisdom, and grace, inspiring us to live a life that reflects His divine presence.



    You are inspired the moment you accept the invitation!



    INVALUABLE



    You only become invaluable when you become teachable…



    You only become INVALUABLE when you accept the INVITATION and submit to the Holy Spirit’s INSPIRATION.



    One of the most

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Reveal Study – Governed by the Kingdom

    Reveal Study – Governed by the Kingdom

    DINNER AND THE WORD  Sessions 36 – 37  – KINGDOM DECISIONS 



    MATTHEW CHAPTER SIXTEEN AND VERSE NINETEEN



    END TIMES CONFUSION



    In these times, hypocrisy, judgment, segregation, hate, religious dogma, lack of understanding, and many other negative labels have been levied at the Church. We don’t live in an environment where the Church is generally relevant or effective in meeting people where they need to be met. By and large, the Church, in response to its low attendance numbers and its failing finances, responds with marketing ploys and programs to draw people back to church (not the lack of capitalization). Our job is to demonstrate the King and His Kingdom AND LET HIM BRING THE RESULTS THAT THE KINGDOM BRINGS. 



    “So above all, constantly seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness, then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly. Refuse to worry about tomorrow, but deal with each challenge that comes your way, one day at a time. Tomorrow will take care of itself.” Matthew 6:33-34 TPT



    We make moment-by-moment decisions that keep us focused on the KINGDOM! Our focus on the Kingdom is our testimony.



    THE KEYS TO THE KINGDOM



    And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:19 NKJV



    Keys represent privilege, trust, and authority. When a teenager receives the keys to the family car, a distinct turning point has been reached. Growth, preparedness, training, and trust converge in releasing this expensive and potentially dangerous vehicle into the care and use of a son or daughter. It’s a big day and a weighty moment, for the authority granted could be as destructive as beneficial. Is the child ready? Are you ready to unlock the Kingdom’s impact on your life? The responsibility is not only the effect of that Kingdom in your life but the lives of those around you!



    It is dangerous if we get it wrong, with the Church creating more religious damage than good. It would be incredible if these keys unlock our passions and abilities to see people’s lives transformed.



    When Jesus said He would give His disciples “the keys of the kingdom of heaven,” He based it on each one’s coming to the same place of understanding Peter had reached when he said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (v. 16). 



    In other words, “the keys” are given to people who fully recognize Jesus as their King and yield to His rule as the mandate for their lives. Then, the full force of the Kingdom imparts gifts, talents, and moments that we will be used as representatives of the Kingdom to others.



    THE FULL GOVERNANCE AND FORCE OF THE KINGDOM CAN NOT BE RELEASED INTO A SELF-SERVING ENVIRONMENT!



    As keys give access, Jesus opens new arenas of possibility for us. As keys verify trust, Jesus entrusts arenas of service to us. And just as keys IGNITE, LOCK, and LOOSE, Christ sends us to people and circumstances waiting to be ‘turned on,’ ‘bound to,’ and ‘set free’ to the things of Heaven.



    “ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN”



    THE SIX KEYS THAT WILL IGNITE, LOCK, LOOSE



    In the heart of every Christian lies the desire to lead a life that aligns with the teachings of Jesus Christ. But that desire, however good, is only fulfilled once we represent Jesus to someone else! The Bible, as the foundational text of Christianity, provides invaluable guidance on how Kingdom principles should govern a Christian’s life. 



    These principles serve as a compass, directing believers toward a life of love, righteousness, and service to God and others. Let’s explore some key Kingdom principles from Scripture that will release Heaven to Earth – “Let Your Kingdom Come!”



    1. Seek First the Kingdom of God – PRIORITIZE KINGDOM THINKING



    In Matthew 6:33, Jesus implores his followers, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all t

    • 45 min
    The Real Issue – Spiritual Warfare

    The Real Issue – Spiritual Warfare

    SPIRITUAL WARFARE – OVER-PLAYED, OVERRATED OR OVERLOOKED?



    We can quickly become unbalanced whenever we take a teaching, philosophy, or biblical text out of context. Since the beginning of church history, contexts and situations have caused us to gravitate toward specific teachings or biblical concepts that create DIVISIONS and CONFUSION when believed outside of the balance of scripture. 



    In John the Baptists day it looked like this:



    At this time John the Baptist was baptizing at Aenon, near Salim, because there was plenty of water there; and people kept coming to him for baptism. (This was before John was thrown into prison.) A debate broke out between John’s disciples and a certain Jew over ceremonial cleansing. So John’s disciples came to him and said, “Rabbi, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going to him instead of coming to us.”  John 3:23-26 NLT



    In Adam and Eve’s day, it looked like this:



    The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’” “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”   Genesis 3:1-5 NLT



    DOCTRINAL WAR – THE ATTACK ON THE CHURCH



    Satan the Devil wants us to take things out of context and become unbalanced around spiritual matters because that creates his ultimate desire – confusion and division. It is why the Apostle Paul said these direct and harsh words:



    And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things  contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them. Romans 16:7 NLT



    Spiritual warfare is not only about demons and spirits, it is more often than not our inability to guard ourselves and keep to the bond of peace, stay united with the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and avoid confusion around the basis of our relationship with God – Jesus.



    Here are some doctrines/concepts that have incredible power at the time of the end but, when used out of context, have created the biggest schisms in the church (the most significant attacks against the body of Christ):



    Sin: Once saved, always saved, or lose your salvation?



    Heaven and Hell: Confusion results in Judgementalisim or Universalism



    Prosperity: Confusion results in Name it and Claim it Theologies or Gold Dust Peddlars.



    Grace: Earned eternity or Get away with murder theology?



    Holy Spirit: Conscience-free living or spiritually induced convulsions?



    Sovereignty: Pawns on a chess board or free will?



    All of the above is a spiritual attack against the very character of God, not our situation, circumstance, or person. The ultimate goal of a spiritual attack is to weaken or confuse our ability to relate to God. It’s about life with God!



    The book of Job defines how Satan attacked the righteous. He attacked the PHYSICAL to question Job’s SPIRITUAL relationship with God. But the one space that Satan does not have control of is our minds (souls). 



    “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28 NLT



    HE ATTACKS YOU TO GET TO THE CHURCH



    Satan is very aware of our contribution to the body of Christ. As such, he goes after the church doctrinally and individuals emotionally.



    He can only attack us through depression, identity, and self-worth

    • 31 min
    BIBLE STUDY METHOD – AIR

    BIBLE STUDY METHOD – AIR

    A QUICK GUIDE TO STUDYING SCRIPTURE



    Using these three words, application, inspiration, and revelation (in any order) to study the Word of God may help you discover a whole new lens to scriptures you know and those you do not.



    STEP 1



    Read the scripture in different translations three or four times daily for three days. Every time you read it, note any thoughts, highlights, or ideas that may come to mind.



    STEP 2



    Circle or highlight any words you want to know more about and think could have another meaning than what you have always read or confuse you. Look up each word in a dictionary, thesaurus or the Strongs concordance.



    STEP 3



    In your journal, write the answers to these three questions:




    APPLICATION: What single change of behavior did this study trigger in me? (Don’t hold back on the detail)



    INSPIRATION: What negative thoughts about myself, my life, or others did this study displace?



    REVELATION: What previous concept or thought structure changed in this study, AND who should I share this new revelation with?




    Don’t put down your bible until you clearly understand the practical consequence of your study, find inspiration to get out and do what you have decided to do, and have the revelation of how you will do it.

    • 2 min

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