The Assurance of Faith

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of [those] . . . who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises. . . Hebrews 11:1, 32-33

1. CONQUER KINGDOMS. Our place in life is to be more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). It’s not an earthly battle we’re fighting but a spiritual one against forces of wickedness (Ephesians 6:12). Jesus has given us delegated authority and we can pray from a position of victory, using Scripture to believe for great things to take place in our city, our region, and our nation.

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New Beginnings

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

GO FORWARD. Jesus came on the scene not to condemn or reinforce failure, but to become a sin substitute for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). Don’t let the past hold you back. If there is an area of self-inflicted misery in your life, repent and move on. When vision gets disrupted, when momentum gets crippled by challenges, it is God who is at work urging and helping us to put off the old person and keep putting on the new (Philippians 2:13; Ephesians 4:22-24).

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Security in God

Do not fret because of evildoers, be not envious toward wrongdoers. For they will wither quickly like the grass and fade like the green herb. Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:1-4

1. DO NOT FRET. Jesus wants us to be birdwatchers. Next time you go outside, look at the birds as a cure for anxiety. God supplies seeds, worms, and water for them, and you are worth much more to Him than they are. He will take care of all your needs as you walk out this life of faith (Philippians 4:19).

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Heart Life

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38 NKJV

1. A PROTECTED HEART. Tending to the hidden person of the heart is very important in this hour. The devil will try to discourage you; so take control of what you allow to influence you. Shake off bitterness, unforgiveness, and strife and diligently guard your heart.

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How to Live In Harmony

Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3

1. RUN FROM STRIFE. “The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so abandon the quarrel before it breaks out” (Proverbs 17:14). God has designed us for unity and harmony, but as you go through life, opportunities for strife will come up (Matthew 18:7). Strife is seductive in the moment, but yielding to it will hinder your effectiveness and progress. As much as it depends on you, pursue peace (Romans 12:18).

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The Power of Unity

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, coming down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard, coming down upon the edge of his robes. It is like the dew of Hermon coming down upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing—life forever. Psalm 133

1. THE PRINCIPLE OF UNITY. Unity creates strength. This is a law like gravity—it works for both the just and the unjust. In the Old Testament we see unity being used for evil purposes in building the Tower of Babel. When God saw what the people were doing, He said, “Now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them” (Genesis 11:6b). If even evil agendas can use the power of unity to advance their causes, how much more can the godly advance when we unite under the direction of the Holy Spirit.

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People of One Purpose

Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Philippians 2:2

1. GATHER TOGETHER. When the Early Church prayed together, things happened. When the apostles Peter and John were released from prison and told not to preach God’s Word, they gathered with their own companions and “lifted their voices to God with one accord” asking for boldness to preach the Gospel and for signs and wonders to take place (Acts 4:23-31). In the next chapter, we see their prayer in action – people getting healed and saved (Acts 5:12-16). When we gather together, united in spirit, prayer changes things.

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Walking by Faith

Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:28-31

1. STEP OUT OF THE BOAT. God is calling us to be brave and courageous. When we look at circumstances around us, it seems against human logic to step out in faith at God’s bidding. But when we get out of the boat in obedience, nations can be saved, families can be turned around, and individuals can be restored.

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Knowing God

In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. Mark 1:35

1. CONNECTION. Christianity is a relationship—not just knowing about God, but knowing Him personally. We’ve all drifted at times and gotten into routine, but when we take time to connect with God—through prayer, times of worship, and getting in the Word—it makes all the difference.
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True Greatness

But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Matthew 23:11

1. FIND HAPPINESS IN SERVING OTHERS. If you want to have greatness, get involved with a life of serving. Jesus came not “to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:28). The world is skewed in valuing what’s important, grabbing at any form of happiness available. But the true recipe for happiness is to do something good for somebody else.

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The Value of Serving

So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:42-45 NLT

1. SERVE THROUGH LOVE. (Galatians 5:13b) The only time in the Bible we are told to compete with others is to outdo one another in showing honor (Romans 12:10). We are going to win the world not by flashy methods or by prowess or by badgering people, but by showing our care and love for them. So let’s get up every day and figure out how to serve others.

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The Adventure of Faith

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves. 2 Corinthians 4:7

1. ADMIT YOUR NEED FOR GOD. God uses ordinary, flawed people to do extraordinary things. The life of faith is not humanity exerting our strength—it’s admitting our complete need for God and letting the vessel of our humanity be filled with God. When we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, He can use us!

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Let God Use You!

For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong. 1 Corinthians 1:26-27

1. COMMIT YOURSELF TO GOD. God uses ordinary, flawed people to do extraordinary things. God called Gideon a valiant warrior while he and his people were still hiding in caves. Moses said he couldn’t speak, but God used him as His spokesperson. God even spoke through a donkey and a burning bush! It’s not by our might or power, but by the Holy Spirit.

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Jesus Is Your Shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3

1. FOLLOW JESUS. The Bible uses the example that we are like sheep and God is our shepherd: we can trust Him and follow Him. If you’ve lost your way, call on Jesus. He will find you.

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Pray for the Best JUMP! Yet

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; 2 Corinthians 9:8

Here are some points to pray and confess the next two weeks of JUMP!

• Thank You, God, for safety and blessing over all the kids, families, staff, and volunteers at JUMP! Psalm 91:10, 12:7

• God is able to make all grace abound to each volunteer so that they have sufficiency and abundance in everything they do. 2 Corinthians 9:8

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The Availability of God’s Abundance

Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” 2 Kings 4:2

1. GOD USES WHAT YOU HAVE. In the Bible, a woman approached the prophet Elisha for help because a creditor was coming to take her children. God asks that we bring what we have: our only jar of oil, our empty containers, and ourselves, and then watch the miracles God will do just with what we have.

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Let God Be Your Security

The Lord’s faithfulness overwhelms the one who trusts in him. Psalm 32:10b NET

1. BE HONEST. Church is an atmosphere where it’s okay to have a problem but not okay to stay stuck. God wants us to look Him in the eye and deal with things honestly. He has complete sufficiency to deal with sin, guilt, and shame—His mercy triumphs over judgment (1 John 1:9).

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How to Get Fortified

Then David and the people who were with him lifted their voices and wept until there was no strength in them to weep. Moreover David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. 1 Samuel 30:4, 6

1. STRENGTHEN YOURSELF IN THE LORD. Sometimes, like King David, we find ourselves facing off with challenges alone with no one around to encourage us. But at that moment of depletion, we can find encouragement and fortification by seeking God. As we fellowship with Him, strength rises up on the inside of us and we are able to fight and not let up.

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Rest for Your Soul

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29

1. COME TO HIM. Jesus is the answer for every person – from the most sophisticated to the most down-and-out. If you are fatigued, Jesus is asking you to come to Him, learn from Him, and find rest.

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How to Live Ready for Jesus

This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:14

1. HONOR JESUS. Jesus is the Messiah and He fulfilled every prophecy about Himself, and some day soon Jesus is going to come back. In the meantime, we are to exalt and acknowledge Him. And just like the crowds cried out “Hosanna!” (“Save us!”) when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, we are also coming into a time when our city, our nation, and our world will be stirred to ask for God’s salvation.

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How to Be More Effective

O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”—which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith. 1 Timothy 6:20-21

1. CHECK YOUR HEART. God wants us to keep our hearts receptive. The Apostle Paul was urging Timothy to be aware of and guard the gifts God entrusted to him. It’s important to look at what is in your heart and create an atmosphere for the gifts to flourish so that you can bear good fruit.

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Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6

LIFE IS FOUND IN JESUS. Jesus is the greatest friend we will ever have—we can run to Him in time of need. He is not just part of a myriad of religious concepts in a pluralistic, relativistic world. He is the way, the truth, and the life, and He loves us so much that He took our sin upon Him when He died on the Cross.

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Pray for Easter!

Easter is the New Year’s Day of the Church! It’s a weekend when we have an opportunity to reach many people and tell them about Jesus – on Good Friday, at the Saturday Egg Hunt, and on Easter Morning. Use the points below to pray over the church this next week as we believe God for a great harvest!

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How to Be Used by God

The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” Luke 1:35a

1. COMMIT BY FAITH. When Mary was told she was going to supernaturally give birth to the Son of God, she asked “How can these things be?” The angel replied, “By the power of the Holy Spirit.” You and I are called to put our hands to building and to trust God for fruitfulness throughout our lives. But when you commit to anything big, you recognize your own inadequacy and inexperience. That’s why God reminds us that it’s not by our might or power but by His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6).

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How to Get Rid of Anxiety

The Lord has been mindful of us; He will bless us. Psalm 115:12a

1. CAST YOUR CARES ON HIM. God cares about you. He formed you in the womb and He knows everything about you (Jeremiah 1:5). Everything that is worrying and troubling you—give it over completely to the Lord. You are not forgotten: God has plans to give you a future and hope (Jeremiah 29:11).

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