Posts in Jeff Johnson
Keep Going

Key Scripture: Acts 14:1-28

As followers of Jesus, we are all called to share the good news of the gospel. However, it is not always easy and isn’t always well-received. During those times, we can get discouraged and want to quit. God’s Word reminds us that we’re not alone in our discouragement. Even though the apostles and early Church believers accomplished incredible things for Christ, they were very much human and experienced many of the same frustrations we do. But when faced with trouble they continued to share the gospel and live the life God called them to.

Scripture References and Quotes:

  •  Matthew 28:18-20

  • Acts 1:8

  • Luke 9:62

  • Galatians 6:9

  • 2 Corinthians 11:25

  • 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

  • “Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” – Francis Chan

  • Matthew 6:33

  • Luke 9:23

  • Luke 14:27-28

  • “God never said that the journey would be easy, but He did say that the arrival would be worthwhile.” – Max Lucado

4 All

Key Scripture: Acts 10:1-48

The truth of the matter is that we are not as impartial as we would like to believe. We all have our preferences. We have comfort zones when it comes to interacting with others, and are less likely to connect with those outside our circle than with those who are like us. It is easier to talk to an old friend than to make a new one. Additionally, our culture celebrates beauty, wealth and athletic skills, fawning over the successful and ignoring the rest. Playing favorites is part of life. But it is not what God intends for us.  Favoritism may be part of our culture, but it is must not be part of the church. 

Scripture References and Quotes: Acts 10:1-48, Acts 1:8, Luke 2:10, Mark 11:17, Titus 2:11, James 2:8-9, Romans 3:22-24

When we show favoritism, when we assess people by externals, we are usurping God’s exclusive right to stand in judgment over others. You’re taking the place of God.  - Jeff Purswell

Exercise

Key Scripture: Acts 6:8-7:60

Faith is more than words. We say we believe in Jesus, yet so often we fail to exercise our faith and do the things he has called us to. It’s like buying fitness equipment we believe will help us get healthy, then using it primarily as a coat rack. Any worthwhile training achieves results only by exploring the limits of capacity. We do not discover untapped potential until we’re pushed outside of our comfort zones. In the same way, building our faith is not always comfortable but is always beneficial. In fact, it’s necessary. The Holy Spirit is the perfect Trainer in our faith. He knows our personal limits and gives us His strength to get past them. What challenge are you facing today? Exercise your faith!

Scripture References: Matthew 8:26, Matthew 17:20, 1 John 5:4, 1 Timothy 4:7-8, 2 Peter 1:5, 2 Timothy 4:7

Bold

Key Scripture: Acts 4:1-31

Sharing the message of Jesus is something we’re all called to do. For many, however, doing so can be intimidating and we feel inadequate to share or unable to share effectively. At these times, we must be bold in our faith. The word boldness means "to pour forth all” - like pouring water out of a cup until it’s completely empty. It's having a conviction that runs so deep that it can’t be held back in one’s character or communication. True boldness captures the attention of others and compels them to listen. It combines personal conviction with divine revelation and inspiration. Christian boldness isn’t brash or arrogant, but it makes no apologies. It’s attractive, clear and confident because it’s rooted in the love, forgiveness and victory we have in Christ.

Scripture References: Acts 1:8, Mark 16:15, Ephesians 6:18-20, 2 Timothy 1:7-8, 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8, Proverbs 28:1, Philippians 4:13

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