ANTHEM: Live Life Loud

SERMON TITLE: BEFORE & AFTER FAITH

(Asaph’s Songs of Commission and Completion)

It’s hard to live with Passion when you don’t know your Purpose for life.

ANTHEM – A rousing or uplifting song identified with a particular group, body, or cause.

TODAY’S MAIN IDEA: “Before & After Faith” is about having faith at the BEGINNING, MIDDLE, and END of a season!! We give thanks in each season because He is faithful and His Love endures forever!!

 

START THE CONVERSATION – QUESTIONS:

Have you ever moved into a new house or apartment? What were some of the best things about moving in and what were some of the worst things?

 

Have you ever participated in something where you took a before and after picture? (i.e. Fitness goal, Weight Loss, DIY home project, etc.) Describe the process. Was there a certain satisfaction associated with the After picture?

BIBLE READING:

Biblical Background:

The Book of Chronicles was addressed to those who had returned from EXILE. They are now back HOME, but must rebuild their lives. Nothing is how it was left… Everything has changed… As the JEWS RETURN, they are faced with the ruins of their land and their temple, the book asks the question: “Does God care about Israel anymore?”

It sets out as a reminder to Israel of their purpose as well as their glory days. This book aims to express the continuity of God’s relationship with his people. – the relationship has been on-going & never ending. The author selects from a wide-range of material to provide a view of history that will INSPIRE and ENCOURAGE the readers.

He is writing to a group of people who were trying to put their nation back together. They needed to be inspired by the successes of their heroes, not depressed by their failures. It emphasized to the Jews who had returned to Jerusalem that they stood in a long line of faithful people to God. It reminded them that the Temple was a vital sign of the God they worshipped. It also reminds the people that God established the kingdom of Israel in the past, and he would do it again. Our Scripture this week was sung at the commissioning of the Temple’s Construction and at the Dedication of the Temple.

Commissioning of the Temple’s Construction

1 Chronicles 16:8 – 9 / Psalm 105:1 – 2 (NIV)

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.

Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.

 

Commissioning of the Temple’s Construction

Completion & Dedication of Temple

1 Chronicles 16:34 / 2 Chronicles 5:13 / Psalm 106:1 (NIV)

34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

 

TO HAVE BEFORE & AFTER FAITH:

1.) THE BEFORE: GIVE THANKS and SING PRAISE from the BEGINNING.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (NIV)

 

Do you have a NEW SITUATION or NEW REALITY that you are facing? Describe the situation to the group. Also describe ways that you can praise God in the beginning of the process.

 

TO HAVE BEFORE & AFTER FAITH:

2.) THE MIDDLE: UPDATE OTHERS on how God is PROGRESSING the PROCESS.

Philippians 3:12 – 14 

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.(NIV)

 

A Car’s windshield is big, so that we can see what is coming, while the Rear View mirror is small so that we don’t focus on what lies behind us. Is there anything in the past you focus too much on that prevents you from looking forward to what God has in store for you? If so, what tangible ways can you shift your focus from the past to the future? 

 

TO HAVE BEFORE & AFTER FAITH:

3.) THE AFTER: REMEMBER THE “BEFORE”, in order to CELEBRATE THE “AFTER”.

 

They SANG AT the Completion & Dedication of Temple

34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

GOD is great, which means He is STRONG with unlimited power and is able to respond, and God is Good, he is loving and grace filled and because God is GOOD He wants to respond. His Love ENDURES – it Lasts, it sustains without yielding, and bears all things.  What are some things that God has completed in and through you – “The After” of a situation. Share “The After” with the group, and take time to praise God for His faithfulness!!

 Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. (NIV)

 

ACTION ITEMS:

What are some specific things that God is doing in your life, and/or in the life of the church that you need to share with others? Specifically name the people, and how you hope to share God’s progress in your life.

 

DON’T FORGET:

NO CHURCH SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 3rd 

(LABOR DAY WEEKEND)

INSTEAD CHURCH on THURSDAY, AUGUST 31 @ 7PM

SEE YOU THERE & INVITE A FRIEND!!