Posts in Jeff Johnson
Unstoppable Purpose

Key Scripture: Acts 1:12-26

God is always moving. His kingdom is always advancing. Nothing in heaven or on earth can stop the forward movement and progression of God. No government, no law, no evil, no earthly power, no philosophy and no person on earth can stop God’s will and purposes from being accomplished. God is the great “I am” and His power, glory and greatness are beyond human comprehension, He is Unstoppable! Often situations in life can cause us to doubt God’s sovereignty but our circumstances do not change His character. Trust His Unstoppable Purpose for your life!

Scripture References: Isaiah 46:9-10, Job 42:2, Proverbs 16:9, Romans 8:28

Flip the Script

Key Scripture: John 12:12-19

Palm Sunday. The day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. “The Triumphal Entry.” But have you ever wondered what made it so triumphant? After all, didn’t they crucify Jesus at the end of the week? Many people at that time sided with Jesus for the same reason some Pharisees and others sided with Rome. They thought Jesus could do for them what Rome had done for their rulers—deliver them from the oppressive system under which they lived and make their lives better. Jesus never did what they wanted him to do, so they quickly changed their minds and wanted to get rid of Him. However, God had a much different and much better plan. He has a better plan for your life today, as well. Will you choose His script, or insist on your own?

Scripture References: Isaiah 55:8-9, Zechariah 9:9, Luke 19:41-44, Psalm 118:22-24, Romans 5:1-2, Romans 8:28

Truly Different

Key Scripture: Colossians 3:1-17

Jesus Christ died and rose again to pay the penalty for our sins and to give us new life in Him. This new life includes a new way of thinking. As followers of Christ, our mindset is different than it used to be. Why? Because our mind is no longer set on worldly things that are here and now. Instead, our minds are set in a different realm – above with Christ, in eternity. Our old life is dead and our new life is now found only in Him. He is our present and our future! As our thinking changes, so does the way we live and the way we love others. What is your mindset?

Scripture References: Romans 8:5-8, John 10:10, John 14:6, Ephesians 3:19-20, Galatians 2:20

Love

Key Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Our world has many problems and God wants to use His Church to do something about them. However complicated and challenging this might seem, the ultimate goal of the Christian life is quite simple: Love. Jesus made it clear that a genuine and lived-out love for others is the distinguishing mark of His followers. Without love, all of the programs, plans and charitable organizations in this world amount to nothing, and we have missed what it means to be Christian. A troubled world is crying out for Help. Let us answer and affect change one person at a time by loving well.

Scripture References: 1 Thessalonians 3:12, Colossians 3:14, 1 John 4:7-8, John 13:35

Human Trafficking

Key Scripture: 1 John 2:15-17

Human trafficking is a significant problem in our world today. It’s estimated that more than 20 million people worldwide are currently living as slaves, while as many as 800,000 are trafficked across international borders every year. Even in the United States, more than 20,000 people are victims of human trafficking annually, with the vast majority being women and more than half of them children. These victims are typically exploited and forced into involuntary servitude and prostitution. The vulnerable and marginalized have always been at the center of God's missional activity in the world, and Scripture repeatedly calls us to care for the outcast, widows, orphans, and the poor. As followers of Christ, we must do everything we can to secure freedom for those living in bondage. How does God want to use you to help set people free?

Scripture References: 1 John 2:15-17, Genesis 3:6, Jeremiah 17:9, Ezekiel 36:26, 2 Corinthians 5:17

Poverty

Key Scripture: Matthew 25:31-46

Poverty is a serious problem in our world. Everywhere you look, there seems to be a great imbalance of wealth and power that causes anxiety and suffering. Many live without even the most basic provisions: food, shelter and clothing. Yet God is a God of justice. He wants His people to make a difference in the world, standing up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. He is a God of compassion, and He wants His church to share what we have with those who have nothing. We are called to display God’s love by caring for those who need help. Who do you know in need? What can you do to help today?

Scripture References: Leviticus 19:9-10, Mark 10:21-22, Mark 12:41-44, James 2:15-16, Luke 12:12-14, 1 John 3:17

Christmas Show

Key Scripture:  Mark 4:35-41

Christmas is a time filled with many opportunities to “be jolly” and celebrate with friends and family. It can also become a great big Show. Our lights need to look as good as our neighbors’ lights. The gifts we give need to be better than the ones we get. The house needs to be perfectly clean when guests arrive for our perfectly-planned party. If anything is out of place or below our Norman Rockwell standards, it robs us of Peace. Often, we try to make things seem perfect to cover up the things in our lives we know aren’t perfect: the loss of loved ones, the breakup of family, financial hardship or problems with health. Ultimately, no amount of Christmas production can bring us the Peace we’re missing. Instead the answer is focusing less on how we celebrate and more on Who we’re celebrating. Let’s put Jesus back at Center – our Prince of Peace!

Scripture References: Romans 12:12, Galatians 5:22, John 17:13, 1 Samuel 16:7, Psalm 98:1-4

Peace?

Key Scripture: Luke 10:38-42

Christmas is a season filled with so many great things, yet it’s also a time when most of us find ourselves missing peace. With so many gifts to buy and parties to attend, we never seem to have enough time or money. “‘Tis the season to be stressed” seems to be the norm. So how do we find peace? We need to remember the real meaning of Christmas and focus on Jesus, the Peace of Peace.

Scripture References: Isaiah 9:6, Luke 2:8-14, John 14:27, John 16:33, Romans 5:1, Colossians 3:15, Philippians 4:4-7

Willing

Key Scripture:  Nehemiah 11:1-36

Once the walls were rebuilt, it wastime for people to move back into the city. This was no small challenge for those who would be moving in. They would have to relocate their families, prepare their new homes, clean and rebuild a city that had been abandoned for 142 years - all with the threat of attack still looming. Despite these difficulties, there were some who were willing to move back into Jerusalem. They recognized God’s hand at work and the opportunity to be a part of it. A life that matters is a life that willingly goes where God leads, no matter the work or risk. Many people wait for a significant life to happen by chance, but God wants it to happen by choice. When we choose to answer His call, we experience His blessing and our lives are remembered. Are you still waiting, or are you willing?

Other Scripture References: Nehemiah 11:1-2, Luke 9:23, Joshua 24:15, 2 Corinthians 8:5, Judges 5:2

Acknowledge

Key Scripture:  Nehemiah 9

 As we look to build the things God calls us to build, we can’t neglect the spiritual rebuilding He wants us to do as well. A real covenant relationship with God is filled with joy and happiness, but it is also about genuine confession and repentance. God calls His people to repentance along with unbelievers – to turn from our sin and turn back to Him. His hope is that we will clearly recognize the direct connection between the evil in our own hearts and the struggles that keep us in bondage: fear, doubt, addiction, shame and more. If we want to experience a life of significance we must acknowledge our sin and our need for God’s grace and mercy in our lives.

Scripture References:  Psalm 32:5, Matthew 5:4, 1 John 1:9, Psalm 51:10, Isaiah 40:30-31, Ephesians 4:17-24