Revealing God’s Plan

Today let’s analyze what following is not. (16:21-28) Jesus is pretty clear about what His call means. Now that Jesus has verified who He is, and taught a great deal on living, now He turns towards Calvary. Matthew 16:20~Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ. (ESV) As the disciples begin to realize who Jesus truly is, He says boys listen up, then explains how He’s bound for Jerusalem to suffer, be killed, and on the third day be raised. Matthew 16:21~From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. (ESV) There’s the shift. This time from the prophet preaching to the Lamb in our stead. 

However, the disciples still think Messiah is a political reformer who will defeat Rome and re-establish the kingdom of Israel. So, Pete takes Christ Jesus aside and rebukes Him. (Matthew 16:22) Have you ever tried to rebuke the Lord? I bet it didn’t go very well, never does. C.S. Lewis~Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world. 

Jesus responds to Pete in Matthew 16:23~Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man. (ESV) No, Pete hasn’t gone from saint to Satan in the matter of a few verses. Christ Jesus calls Pete Satan because he is trying to circumvent God’s plan of salvation. It’s vital we grasp this. God has one plan of salvation, it is Jesus Christ crucified in our stead and we must confess Jesus Christ is Lord and believe God raised Him, else we’re to using Satan’s strategy. Some of us need to move out of the way in our kid’s lives, our spouse’s life, or a friend’s life. God has a plan for each and we must fall in line. 

Pastor how can you be so sure. Because Pete later unpacks this for us in 2 Peter 3:9~The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (NIV) God has a plan for your life, and one of the best things about 21-Days is moving out of God’s way, find ourselves broken and empty, ready to be filled and fueled by His amazing grace. Christ Jesus says insert your name here ___ don’t be an offense Pete, don’t be a hindrance, go with God, be the rock He has purposed. 

David —Confessions of a King — Facing Your Giants — 1 Samuel 16.14-17.58…Handout

At some point, we all face a giant. It may be a problem in a relationship a financial issue, a career clog, health scare, or a family member’s prolonged illness. Facing Your Giants: Replace, __________, and Reflect.

1) Replace Fear with ________ (16:14-23; 17:1-11) To replace means to remove and substitute. Psalm 68:1~ God shall arise and his enemies shall be ________(ESV) 1 Samuel 16:14~Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a harmful spirit from the Lord tormented him. (ESV) Being outside of God’s will makes us like King Saul: depressed and paranoid, but when we are in God’s will and His blessings flow through His anointing we are like David. 1 Samuel 16:23~And whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David…played…So Saul was ________ and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him. (ESV) To be refreshed God must flow on, in, and through our lives. Fast forward to the Macho Man moment of taunting and peacocking. Goliath’s about _____ feet tall. 30 inches taller than famed NBA Centers Wilt and Shaq. Goliath stood over 100 inches tall. 1 Samuel 17:5~He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, the weight of the coat was ______ shekels of bronze. (ESV) A ______ penny weighs 2.5 grams, so  Goliath’s armor would need ____1982 pennies. Mark 5:36~Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, Don’t be afraid; just _________. (NIV) Don’t let fear own you or your life.

2) Refuse to Get _________ (17:12-30) Our adversary wants nothing more than to ____________ us. Like Job and so many others, David hears from people he knows but he responds in faith. Calling the Lord in 1 Samuel 17 v26~…the living (חַי chay) God (אֱלֹהִים ‘elohiym)? (ESV) Use this mentality, WAR: God is ________, God is Able, ____ is Reliable. David’s attack comes from his brother in 1 Samuel 17:28~Eliab his eldest brother’s…anger was kindled…Why have you come…with whom have you left those few sheep…I know your presumption and the evil of your heart…(ESV) Satan’s most effective weapons are fear and ___________. When fear doesn’t work, the devil then tries to topple our faith by discouraging us. Deuteronomy 31:8~The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be _____________. (NIV) Who is Azariah? _______________________________

3) Reflect on Past ____________ (17:31-58) When fear knocked, faith answered, and nobody was there. Listen as David responds to Saul in 1 Samuel 17:37~The Lord who delivered me…(ESV) Lions, and Giants, and Bears oh my indeed. God has given us our past ________, as a firm foundation for our faith to defeat giant problems in our present. 1 Samuel 17:39-40~…So David…took his staff…chose five smooth stones…and he approached the Philistine. (ESV) Sometimes we need to let go of __________ we are holding so we can grasp what God is giving to us. Believing requires a vehicle and God’s vehicle is called ______. Stop circling, start _________.  1 Samuel 17:47~…know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s…(ESV) Take-A-Step: ________________________________________________

Kingdom Keys

Today, I want you to visualize yourself as a Spiritual Stone. (Matthew 16:17-20) I know it sounds like we are at a creepy self-help seminar, but the Bible says we are to be lively stones. Apostle Pete after processing the life of Christ and leading the church awhile will later share in 1 Peter 2:5~you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (ESV) Here in Matthew 16 when Peter confesses Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesus is very pleased. Matthew 16:17~Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. (ESV) Blessed means that Peter is the recipient of God’s favor. By extension, those who confess Jesus Christ are divinely and eternally blessed. This fact is later revealed to us in 1 John 4:15~If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. (NIV) We are witnessing salvation. 

The process will later be described in detail by Paul. You have probably heard of the Roman Road, we have cards in the lobby to help you lead someone to salvation in Jesus. The short version is found in Romans 10:9~If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (NIV) Now Pete has confessed Christ as Lord and Jesus responds by using his given name Simon Bar-Jonah, which means Listener, son of Jonah (Jonah another name for John (John 1:42)). After acknowledging Pete’s statement is a revelation from the Father in heaven, Jesus Christ says to Pete, I want you to Visualize with Me. Matthew 16:18~And I tell you, you are Peter (Πέτρος Petros), and on this rock (πέτρα petra) I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall (κατισχύω katischyō) not prevail against it. (ESV) (κατισχύω katischyō) Rendered shall, the strongest word we have in the English language, it means to be superior in strength. Do you want to know who Christ Jesus is, He is superior in strength and every other way. 

Pete, you’re the rock right here next to me, the Chief cornerstone. Later, Christ Jesus shares that He’ll set all things plumb and true. Matthew 21:42~Jesus said to them, Have you never read in the Scriptures: The stone builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes? (NIV) It’s a prophecy foretold in Psalm 118:22. Now the original language sheds more light and helps explains exactly what Christ Jesus means in verse 18. Jesus addresses Pete on behalf of the 12. Pete gets this first but the others are going to build the church, as we do today.

Ephesians 2:20~Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets (προφήτης prophētēs). And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. (NLT) The word prophets (προφήτης prophētēs) refers to New Testament prophets, or preachers who proclaim thus saith the Lord. Ephesians 4:11~Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors, and teachers, (NIV) Pete is a single stone, PETROS, in the foundation. It is a position he will share with the other apostles, PETRA, for eternity. To emphasize this fact, John tells us in Revelation the wall around New Jerusalem has 12 foundations. Revelation 21:14~The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. (NIV) To this Jesus adds and the gates of hell shall not prevail. (16:18c) Hell can’t ever prevail, hell will never conquer Jesus Christ’s church. Even death holds no power over Jesus Christ. 

That is how Jesus Christ can give Pete the keys. Matthew 16:19~I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (ESV) That is the power of keys, they open entrance and give access. Pete first utilizes these keys as he stands to deliver His first sermon under the anointing of the Holy Spirit baptism in Acts 2:41~Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. (NIV) That day under the anointing Pete opened the door to the kingdom, and that door is still open for all who will enter. Pete, what you bind will be bound and what you loose, will be loosed in heaven (Matthew 16:19b-c). If the church would only realize the power of the Gospel is to open doors, not for gain, but eternal life. 

Are you seeing God’s kingdom? It’s a kingdom where people are living stones laid on the foundation Jesus Christ has given? Although the apostles are the foundation stones, we, all who believe, confessing Jesus Christ are living stones. Getting the most out of the life we have been given by God means that we must Get Connected to Christ by tapping into the power of the Holy Spirit who is our source, guide, and comforter. Today, why not ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you and lead you into powerful living, as a lively stone.