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To see the city of Orlando redeemed by the power of the gospel for the glory of God.

The Nine Virtues: Fruit of the Spirit

"Habits of the heart" 

The fruit of the Spirit are the habits of the heart for those who belong to Christ. As the Christian is united in Christ transformation begins to take place in their lives inwardly. This means that the Holy Spirit begins to shape their character into the image of Jesus. In Galatians Paul tells us that we are either being shaped by the world and the desires of the flesh or we are shaped by the Spirit who changes our desires and conforms us in the image of Christ. 

We all have habits in our lives that demonstrate what is shaping us and habits are formed over time slowly becoming a pattern that is easily recognizable. Habits of the heart like fruit are developed slowly, while you can not see them grow you see the change. These habits are known by the world as virtues and these virtues reflect the inward work of Christ in an unmistakable way. 

If the Holy Spirit is leading your life there will be an obvious reality, the fruit of the Spirit will be produced from the seed of salvation planted in you by Christ Jesus. This seed bears fruit and the outcome is the virtues of Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control. Paul says “walk by the Spirit” and as we walk by the Spirit then His fruit will cause the world around us to flourish by putting the character of Jesus Christ on display for all to see.  

Join us for this brand new life changing series beginning on Sunday June 5th 10am at the Downtown YMCA. 

What is your story?

“I always felt life a story, and if there is a story there is a storyteller.” G.K Chesterton 

It is amazing how perspective shapes everything isn’t it? The way we live our lives is shaped by the way we think about life. Life is a story, it is the story of you, it is the story of me, it is the story of us. If life is a story then who is the author? Many people believe that they are the authors of their own life story. Each individual writes’s the story of their own life in this world, and are billions of stories all that are being written by the main character of “self”. What if the stories are not individual stories but one grand story, with one grand storyteller? What if we are characters if the divine drama of the story of God? 

Our natural propensity is to see the world through our limited perspective and lose sight of the big picture. The story of God is the story of humanity, the story of humanity is one that is filled with twists and turns while all of it is being written by an author who is intimately involved the lives of those in the unfolding drama. A drama filled with a grand entrance, brokenness and betrayal, a hero to the rescue, and a happy ending. Only, In this story you are not the main character; God is, and his plan and purpose unfolds throughout history and into all eternity. It is the only story that gives us perspective for life yesterday, today, and tomorrow. 

“The Story” is my story, it's your story, it's our story. But more than that it's God’s story and the better we know the storyteller, the better we realize that our story is His and that is the way it was always meant to be. 

 

Act 1 - Creation

April 3  :: God "In the beginning God"

April 10:: Creation of the world “And God said” 

April 17:: Creation of people “God formed the man”  

Act 2 - Fall

April 24:: The fall of humanity “your eyes will be opened"

May 1   :: The curse “the Lord God sent him out from the garden"

Act 3 - Redemption     

May 8   :: Freed from sin’s penalty “the free gift of righteousness” 

May 15 :: Freed from sin’s power “death to life"

Act 4 - Restoration

May 22 :: Freed from sin’s presence “a new heaven and a new earth"

May 29 :: The coming King “Surely I am coming soon”

WHAT IF?

WHAT IF? 

Life is filled with questions. What if this job doesn’t come through? What if I never get married? What if I can’t pay my bills next month? All of the “What if’s” are the real life questions we ask on a daily basis. Where one question ends, another begins. While these questions are important, they do not resolve the big question. What if my life is meant for something more?

The book of Romans tells us the answer to the ultimate question in order that it can be the ultimate reality. "What if Christ’s resurrection is true?”. Every Easter this question is looming. Was Jesus just another person who lived and died that by way of tradition we seek to learn from his example, or is Jesus who the Bible proclaims him to be the Risen Son of God? Easter Sunday tells us that the death of Christ is only relevant today because of the resurrection of Christ. In the resurrection of Christ we find the purpose and power behind all the other questions the beg to be answered. What if Jesus is really who he says he is? What if he did what the Bible says he did? What if he answered the question that cuts to the heart of every person on the planet. “What about death?”. What if Jesus gives us the answers to life’s biggest questions, but not only answers them but provides the answers in himself?

I invite you to join us for the power of the resurrection on Easter Sunday and learn how your life is connected to the life of the resurrected Christ. This Sunday March 27th at 10amat the Downtown YMCA 433 Mills Ave Orlando, FL 32803.

Happy Easter, 

Pastor Ryan 

Delete Button

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Have you ever said something and wished that you could take it back? Unfortunately the things we say are far more revealing than just words. This is why words are so hurtful. Probably the single greatest cause of broken relationships today come from words that never should have been spoken.

There is an old story that illustrates this reality. A young man during the middle ages went to a monk saying “I have sinned by saying slanderous statements about someone. What should I do now?” The monk replied. “put a feather on every doorstep in town.” The young man did just that. He then came back to the monk wondering if there was anything else he could do. The monk said “go back and pick up all those feathers” The young man replied excitedly, “that is impossible! by now the wind will have blown them all over town!” the monk said, “so has your slanderous words become impossible to retrieve”

Proverbs 12.17 There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts.

Once said our words can inflict great and untold harm upon others. The fact that we misuse and abuse words and that others have done so against us tells us of the brokenness of this world. The famous Bob Dylan says:

Broken bottles, broken plates
Broken switches, broken gates
Broken dishes, broken parts
Streets are filled with broken hearts
Broken words never meant to be spoken
Everything is broken

James tells us that the tongue is like a small spark can set a forest ablaze by creating incredible damage.

How do we do this?

  • Slander: Lying about a person’s character or conduct

  • Gossip: Spreading misinformation about a person or even unkindness about a person (this can even be perceived as truthful but should not be shared)

  • Half truth: One side of the story, telling things in such a way that you make yourself be perceived to look good and the other look bad.

  • Unhealthy Criticism: I just see things the way it is, it is my job to let people know if something is not right.

  • Giving Ear to all of the above: To listen to these things and not stand in defense of what is right is equally as sinful. Proverbs 17.4 An evildoer listens to wicked lips, and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.

We need redeemed, because this sin is not just in others but it is in me and you. We wield our tongue like a sword looking inflict pain. The most revealing part about it is that what we say about tells us more about us than them.

Proverbs 12.25 Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.

As Paul Tripp says "word problems are heart problems". Jesus tells us the same thing when he says in Luke 6.43-45 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit,  for each tree is known by its own fruit... The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Our words reveal the depth of our soul and that we need healing. Jesus brings the good word that brings release to the soul of man that releases the guilt, shame, anxiety, and condemnation because every word that came from Jesus’ mouth was perfect and true. He tells us that he is the way, he is the truth, he is the life, and he bears witness of the reality of God the Father.

Where we have sinned with our words Jesus saves with his. He saves us.

Proverbs 12.18-19  the tongue of the wise brings healing. Truthful lips endure forever. 

From the lips of our everlasting God are words of life that purchased us from death to life. We should think before we speak, especially as we realize our word could inflict pain on others. Here is some advice you may have heard before, so remind yourself of it and ask God to apply it to your word problem.

Is it true? If it is not true then you should not even entertain the idea of speaking it.
Is it kind? Kindness does not mean someone will not take offense to your words, kindness means that you evaluate what you say as loving. One of the most kind things said to a friend is the truth no matter how hard.
Is it necessary? Does this need to be said? If it does say it, if not do not. Ask God for help in determining it.
Is it helpful? What will it accomplish? What is at stake if you do not say it, what is at stake if you do? Our words should be that which benefit others, build them up and not tear them down.

I am grateful for the people who speak truth in my life, like anyone else I find it difficult. The people I listen to the most I believe weigh their words carefully. If you are always going about speaking your mind to everyone about everything eventually your words won’t mean a thing. if you consider your words carefully, they will endure forever and healing and life will come as a result.

But 1st, Repentance…. If you want to get there, you have to recongnize that you need help. Ultimately that your word problem is a sin problem that Jesus died for. Jesus is our delete button.

Ray Ortlund writes:

What happened at the cross? On the cross Jesus loved us so much that his sacrifice deleted the damning record before God of every foolish word you and I have ever spoken. He took the divine condemnation for our lies, insults, gossip, put-downs, bragging, false promises, and griping, as well as our guilty silence when we should have spoken up. He took it all onto himself and hit the delete button. Look at him on his cross, dying for what you and I have said and left unsaid. See him there, trust him, and you are finally free of it all forever.

Romans 5.8  God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Navigating a world of complexity with the wisdom of God

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The great theologian Linus from the cartoon Charlie Brown once said, “I love mankind. It’s people I can’t stand!” Can you relate? Relationships, money, family, emotions, the list can go on and on. All the issues of life make things complex and cause us to ask “can’t life just be simple?” The sage of proverbs gives us wisdom for everyday life, wisdom for relationships, family, sexuality, emotions, circumstances, trials, good times, and bad. The book of proverbs gives hope in the everyday moments. 

The sage tells us “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!... Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight.” In other words there is no “easy button” in life, but life is filled with complexities, challenges, joys, hopes, and dreams that require wisdom and insight to navigate. 

Too often the easy way is not the best way, the easy way can often lead to brokenness, regret, failure, and a world of hurt. The way of wisdom is the way of life. Life that is marked by the reality in tears of sorrow and joy, a journey with detours, a path that is narrow. Finding your way is about looking for that wisdom and insight from the source. Proverbs tells us that starting point of wisdom is the fear of God. Wisdom considers God in all that we do and say. Life lived through his perspective and walking through the difficulties not for simplicity but in such a way that brings life altering joy. Proverbs shows us that wisdom is found at the foot of the cross, where Jesus tells us he will never leave us nor forsake us because of what he has done. 

Everyone is finding their own way in life, but our journey through proverbs will take us on a different path. The path of wisdom is the path that leads our hearts to be captivated by the redeeming love of God in Christ Jesus. This is a path that illuminates for us the way of wisdom and insight for everyday life at the foot of the cross. 

Finding our Way together! 

Pastor Ryan 

Series Breakdown 

2.7     The Table of Wisdom and the table of folly - Proverbs 9  

2/14    The Tongue - Proverbs 18:21 

2/21     Humility - Proverbs 22:4 

2/28     Family - Proverbs 22:6 

3/6     Emotions - Proverbs 15:30 

3/13     Friendship - Proverbs 18:24 

3/20     Money - Proverbs 10.22