February 17, 2019: Know Who You Are

Presented by Casey Kluver (00:47)

The creator of a thing knows the purpose of a thing.  Knowing who God says you are and acting like who he says you are is a key to peace and maturity.

When Jesus began his public ministry it started with his cousin, John the Baptist, declaring that Jesus was the prophet of whom all prophets had been waiting for.  After John baptized Jesus in the Jordan river, God spoke through the sky saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased”.

Jesus received confirmation of who he was in two different ways, but from the same creator.  When Jesus went into the desert for forty days he was tempted by the Devil and his self-knowledge of who he was is what prepared him to deny the powerful temptations of Satan.

Do you know who you are?  If not, then get to know Jesus and he will tell you who you are made to be.

Scripture references: Matthew 3:13-17, 4:1-11

NOTE: there was a problem with the first 9 minutes of the recording.  After that the sound is better.

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February 10, 2019: Communion is Your Convenant

Presented by Casey Kluver (01:03)

Jesus started the tradition of eating bread and drinking wine as an act of remembering Him. This is what Christians call Communion or the Lord’s Supper.

Have you ever thought about Communion as a covenant agreement?  A covenant is an agreement two or more people enter; like a contract.  Upholding the agreement produces blessings, breaking the contract produces negative consequences.  Remembering Jesus’ sacrifice of his body and blood is a way for Christians to remember the blessings the agreement between Jesus and them offer.  By implication, it also reminds us of the negative consequences that happen when you live life without the grace and power of Jesus.

Communion reminds you of all the benefits Jesus gives.  Not only the eternal benefits but the many benefits he offers for your life on earth.  Listen as Pastor Casey explains some of the benefits you receive once you become a Christian.

Scripture references: Luke 22:14-23; 1 Corinthians 11:22-32

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Your Body is on Loan – Take Care of It

God owns everything. God created all things; therefore, he owns all things. This is a basic fact presented throughout the entire Bible.

Whatever you own comes from something God created. Even your ability to make something, earn something, or buy something comes from something else or a series of other things God provided to you. The idea is that God is the Creator and you are the Caretaker.  What you own, is on loan.

The LJCF Life Groups continue into Session 2 of Transformed, by Rick Warren, with a focus on Physical Health. Rick Warren reminds listeners that we need physical health to follow Jesus and fulfill the purposes God created us for. Your body was created to be a temple for the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). Your body is the vehicle your spirit uses on earth to complete the mission God gives to you. It’s not yours to do whatever you want with it. It’s yours to do whatever God wants you to do with it. Your body is on loan to you from God. Physical health is for your benefit and God’s glory.

Have you ever wondered about the physical health of Jesus? He did a lot (a lot!) of walking. He spoke to large crowds of people many times a week. He spent long nights in prayer only to wake up early and continue visiting with hundreds of people. He was able to carry a wooden cross after being beaten by professional torturers. Jesus could not have done any of that if he wasn’t physically healthy. Physical health made it possible for him to fulfill spiritual realities. Unlike a modern view of physical fitness, Jesus didn’t care about how he looked he cared about what he was doing. His aim was to do what he saw his father doing (John 5:19). He would have enjoyed food but would not be mastered by it. He certainly exercised, but he wasn’t controlled by a workout schedule. He would have enjoyed the body type God created for him, without worrying how to shape it to the latest fitness fade. God’s idea of physical health has little to do with how you look and much more with how ready you’ll be to do the actions he asks you to do.

Not only did Jesus understand the importance of maintaining a healthy body for action, he also understood keeping a healthy diet of rest. He knew the proper balance of work and rest.

It’s easy to believe that rest is the same as laziness. You might think that, compared to Jesus, you do so little good works and therefore you must work more and more to break even on the scale. Who has time for a break when there is so much left to be done? God wants you to know that rest is not laziness. God warns laziness is a mark of foolishness, but he commands rest as a sign of righteousness.

Just as God is pleased when you are working for good, he is as pleased when you are at rest. Rest implies you have been working. So, enjoy the rest! A parent loves to see a child peacefully sleeping, warm and safe in their bed. God enjoys seeing this too; when his children enjoy his peace, his security, and faithfulness. When you take a break from work, you are trusting God will do more with the work you offered. That he will provide for your needs during the seasons of life that more work seems to be the answer to your needs.  A peaceful rest requires that you trust God to handle all the nagging details that want to flow through your thoughts.

Living like Jesus isn’t just about spiritual health.  You need a healthy body too.