Author: Destiny Gonzalez

Standing in the Storm

This week adult pastor Vincent Carpenter shared a message on persevering through the storms of life. Challenges tempt us to take our focus off of what God is doing. But God is faithful to meet us in the midst of our storms and makes a way for us to make it to the other side.

Throughout our morning, we took a look at Acts 27. In this passage Paul is on a journey to Rome when he gets caught in a storm and his ship wrecks. Paul made it through a seemingly hopeless situation, and ultimately made it to his destination.

When we find ourselves in a storm, it is common to wrongly assess the magnitude of the situation we are facing.

WHEN WE FIND OURSELVES IN A STORM, WE NEED TO KEEP OUR FOCUS ON JESUS.

Challenges tempt us to take our eyes off of Jesus and focus on what is ahead of us. In Jesus, we find hope, peace and courage to press on.

TAKE A LOOK AT THREE TAKEAWAYS WE CAN APPLY WHEN WE FIND OURSELVES IN A STORM –

  1. Don’t give up // Instead of focusing on how we can get out of our situation, we can look at our storm as an invitation to press into Jesus. We aren’t meant to be destroyed by our storms, we are made to withstand challenges because of the power of Jesus.
  2. Don’t go at it alone // When we are in a storm, we typically want to figure out who is at fault. Focusing on who is at fault only adds to our discouragement. When we press into Jesus and the community He has put around us, we can discern how to move forward.
  3. Don’t run away // When we’re in a storm, we can easily justify running away. Running away is just a shortcut that ultimately pulls us away from our intended destination.

Choosing to stand in the midst of a storm can seem challenging, but it leads to life. It’s not just on us to stand through the storm, Jesus is going to help us stand through the storm.

Let My People Go // Part Seven

This morning Lead Pastor Carl Gulley wrapped up our Let My People Go series. Throughout our series, we addressed various pharaohs that try to keep us in bondage. We also talked about tools and weapons that help set us free from our pharaohs. We started our series by looking at the story of Moses, who God called to lead His people out of Egypt. Today, we closed out our series by re-visiting that story. Throughout the course of the past six weeks, we talked about how to get free. Today, we talked about how to stay free.

While Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, is dead and gone, there are modern-day pharaohs that still try to keep us enslaved and held back from all God has for us.

THERE ARE FIVE THINGS ALL PHARAOHS HAVE IN COMMON –

  1. They will always be fearful of who you can become // The king of Egypt feared that if the Israelites were set free, they would overpower Egypt. Similarly, lust fears the pure in heart, anxiety fears the faith-filled and so on.
  2. Our pharaohs will tighten their grip // The minute we reach for freedom, the enemy will tighten his grip on us, and actually try to make it harder for us to find freedom. Moses asked Pharaoh to let God’s people go. Pharaoh’s response was actually more oppression. Freedom from the things that enslave us will be a battle.
  3. Ultimately, our pharaohs will lose the war // The enemy will not win the battle for our freedom because our battles are fought with unusual weapons. God fights on our behalf and has ultimate victory because of Jesus.
  4. Pharaoh will always stage a comeback // Just as Pharaoh went back after the Israelites, the enemy will not let us go so easily. Satan may have lost the war for our soul, but he will still try to speak lies and take over our lives.
  5. God drowns our pharaohs for us // Even after experiencing freedom, we may feel like we’re still being pursued by a pharaoh. We can rest assured that God will stand on our behalf and remove our pharaohs for us.

HOW DO WE STAY FREE?

The Israelites, even after being set free, thought it would be easier to just go back to Egypt. Physically, they were free, but they still had the mindset of slaves. We know the enemy will not go down without a fight, and it takes a process with God to get out of the enslaved mindset.

JUST BECAUSE YOU LEAVE PRISON DOES NOT MEAN PRISON HAS LEFT YOU.

When we are enslaved our mindset shifts to believing we are imprisoned. The way we think will shape how we feel, and ultimately determine our actions. If we think like a prisoner, we’ll feel like a prisoner, and we’ll act like we’re still in slavery.  Eventually, we’ll find ourselves back in the place we were once trying to find freedom from.

STAYING FREE TAKES A PROCESS OF TRANSFORMATION.

In a world where we want a quick fix, going through a process seems inconvenient and not worth it. God isn’t calling us to an easy fix, He’s calling us to transformation that will produce lasting freedom. In Romans 12:2, Paul says , “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” Salvation is instant, but restoration takes time. We need the continual renewing of our mind so we will adopt a new way of thinking.

YOU BECOME WHAT YOU BELIEVE.

Every area where you believe a lie, you get trapped. Every area where you believe truth, you get free. As we allow our mind to be renewed by the truth of God, we will start acting out of that truth. A renewed mind ultimately produces a transformed life.

HOW DO YOU RENEW YOUR MIND?

  1. Read the Word of God // The Word of God is the truth of God. We need the Words of God to sink deep within us and become our thoughts.
  2. Declare the truth of God // When we continually declare the truth of God, we will have a mindset shift, and ultimately a lifestyle shift. If we believe what God says about us, we will act out of that place.
  3. Go to church // In our Sunday morning gatherings, you hear the Words of God that challenge you and engage in worship that takes you into who God is.
  4. Join a Lifegroup // We need to be around people that have a different perspective and allow them to speak truth into our lives. Being around the people of God ignites something fresh within us when we feel trapped.

Let My People Go //
Part Six

“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-4

This week, associate college pastor Maddie Echols continued our Let My People Go series with a message on the power of prayer and fasting. Because we are in a spiritual battle for freedom, our weapons must be divine. Fasting, accompanied by prayer, is a weapon that has the power to bring breakthrough against any pharaoh we face.

Throughout our morning, we took a look at what it means to fast biblically.

WHEN WE ARE MOST SATISFIED IN GOD, HE WILL BE MOST GLORIFIED THROUGH US.

Fasting is more than skipping a few meals. It is believing for God, by His word, through His power and in His presence to both sustain us and move in us. When we fast, we create space for God.

WHAT IS FASTING NOT?

The purpose of fasting is not to gain approval from God or man. God is more concerned about our motive, rather than our method. The right method done with the wrong motive does not mean you are moving anything forward. It is actually called false humility and Jesus is not impressed by it. Fasting is also not our way of manipulating or controlling God to get what we think we need. Actually, when we fast, the Holy Spirit typically reveals what has control over us and leads us into freedom.

THE PURPOSE OF FASTING IS PROXIMITY TO JESUS.

Through fasting, we are communicating to Heaven our longing to be close to Jesus. When we fast, we give Jesus not only physical space in our stomach, but also space to fill our hearts with His presence. The object of our fast is not an outcome, it’s Jesus. As we allow ourselves to embrace our weakness, we give Jesus space to fill us and give us the power to overcome of pharaohs.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE FAST?

When we fast, the Holy Spirit brings consecration, activation and breakthrough.

  • Consecration // This is the cleaning out and cleansing that happens when we fast. When we are no longer able to turn to food for comfort, we are forced to face the things that are holding us back. We can then repent, meet with God and allow Him to cleanse and heal us.
  • Activation // When we fast, we are empowered to live out the Kingdom mission God has called us to. The disciples fasted in Acts 13 before they were sent out. Biblical fasting leads to God’s people being activated and sent out with a clear, Kingdom mission.
  • Breakthrough // In Matthew 17, Jesus casts out a demon from a boy and later says, “…this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” There is a level of breakthrough, that God in His wisdom and in His mystery has reserved for those who choose to fast and pray.

FASTING IS NEVER CONVENIENT. IT IS A CHOICE.

We might not ever feel like there is an ideal time to fast. However, fasting really does enable us to fight our modern-day pharaohs. As we create space for God within us, He intensifies our hunger for Him, and the by product is that the Holy Spirit consecrates, activates and brings breakthrough

IN RESPONSE //

As a church, we are setting aside time to do a church-wide prayer and fast, March 4th – 6th. We are believing for God to consecrate, activate and bring breakthrough among us like never before. Throughout the fast, we will have daily corporate prayer times at 6 a.m., noon and 6 p.m. We also encourage you to visit antio.ch/prayer to sign up for an hour in the Prayer Room one day during the fast. To wrap up our three days, we will have a church-wide Prayer Rally on Wednesday, March 6th at 6:30 p.m.

In the next week, we encourage you to pray and ask God how you can be a part of our corporate fast. As we create space for Him, we believe He is going to meet us like never before!

To learn more about fasting, download this guide.

Let My People Go //
Part Five

“Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 2 Kings 6:16

This week Lead Pastor Carl Gulley continued our Let My People Go series with a message on the pharaoh of anxiety. Anxiety disorders in America are the leading mental health problem among women and second among men. Anxiety is not a sin. It is an emotion that God doesn’t want us to be controlled by. If we allow anxiety to dominate our lives, we will allow it to steal our joy.

A common misconception is that anxiety and fear are the same. Fear and anxiety are related, but they are very different.

FEAR SEES A THREAT; ANXIETY IMAGINES ONE.

Throughout the morning we discussed some of the causes of anxiety in our lives:

  • Change // Not everybody does well with change. A change in our normal rhythms can lead to anxiety.
  • Responsibilities // We move faster than ever with less margin in life to process it. We sleep less, have more activity and have less time to process all that can happen in our jam-packed lives
  • Personal Challenges // From strained relationships to strained bank accounts, fighting cancer or post-partum, anxiety loves to present its case that if a bad thing can happen, it will happen.

Truth may be attached to our anxiety. Change and personal challenges are very real. Anxiety comes when we feel like we don’t have control of the situation, and we feel like the worst outcome is the only outcome.

WHEN YOU FEEL SURROUNDED, THERE IS A BATTLE FOR YOUR MIND.

The battle with anxiety is a battle for God’s vantage point. Throughout our morning, we took a look at the story of Elisha in 2 Kings. Elisha was surrounded, but was filled with peace because he could see where God was present in the situation.

WHEN WE’RE SURROUNDED, WE NEED GOD TO GET BIGGER.

Anxiety wants us to believe that God doesn’t see us in our situation. In those places of feeling surrounded and helpless, we need the truth of God’s promises and His perspective to see beyond our situation. Even today, He wants to give you a prophetic word that you can hang on to in the midst of any situation.

We were not made to be ruled by anxiety. We were not made to feel surrounded. Let’s ask God for His perspective. He always has a way out for us, let’s ask Him to reveal that to us today.

IN RESPONSE //

  • Perspective Shift // When we feel surrounded and trapped, we need God’s perspective. God will always give us a way out and lead us into life, but sometimes we can’t see what He’s doing. If you are feeling the weight of anxiety, ask God to reveal Himself in your situation.
  • Prayer // Anxiety comes when we relinquish control, a way to combat this anxiety is to spend time in prayer and to rest assured that we have given control of our lives to Jesus who loves us.
  • The Written Word // In times of uncertainty look to Scripture, the living Word of God to guide you through difficulties in life that may lead to anxiety, and trust that living out what is written is what brings glory to His name.

Let My People Go //
Part Four

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

This week Lead Pastor Carl Gulley continued our Let My People Go series with a message on the pharaoh of lust. Lust robs us of the authority we’ve been given and uses shame to keep us from pressing into the presence of God.

Throughout the morning, we talked about five lies the enemy uses to keep us trapped in the cycle of lust and shame.

  • LIE #1: Lust is a man issue. // We are made to believe that lust is an issue only men deal with. The truth is, lust is a mankind issue. Lust is a temptation common to all people and therefore it is winnable because of Jesus.
  • LIE #2: Bondage to lust is about the need for sex. // If we believe this lie, we’ll believe that the only way to find satisfaction is through a sexual release or outlet. The truth is, sexual bondage is a coping mechanism to medicate wounds and to deal with the stress of life. To find freedom, we need to make it less about the action, and focus on dealing with the wound that lead to the lies and eventually actions.
  • LIE #3: My lust issue will be solved once I get married. // Marriage will not resolve all of our issues. While God gives the gift of sex to married couples for pleasure and to combat sexual temptation, the cycle of lust is never resolved until you are forgiven, healed and trained to fight it. The work we put in to get over lust in our time of singleness, will give us strength to draw from in our moments of weakness, whether we’re married or not.
  • LIE #4: Sex is a bad thing // Sin is a bad thing. Sex, in the context of marriage is not bad at all. God didn’t create sex to be something that would bring shame. Marriage is not just a commitment, it is a covenant between a man, a woman and God. In a covenant, there is blessing and nothing is hidden, this is why there is no shame.
  • LIE #5: Pornography is not that big of a deal // The reality is, pornography is a sin that encourages human trafficking and destroys your brain, your soul, your relationships with others, and ultimately your relationship with God.

Lust is an insatiable desire for more of something that will ultimately overpromise and underdeliver.

DESTRUCTION DOESN’T HAVE TO BE OUR STORY.

Freedom from lust is possible because of Jesus. His death, burial and resurrection gives us the power to overcome the pharaoh of lust. Ultimately, our challenge isn’t overcoming lust. Our challenge is believing that the gospel is enough and has the power to set us free.

IN RESPONSE //

  • Accountability // The things we think are hidden are actually the things that own us. If you are struggling in this area, we encourage you to invest in a discipleship relationship where you can be completely transparent with three – four people.
  • Prayer and Fasting // The Bible says some things only come out by prayer and fasting. Lust is not a feeling, it is a demon. We want to loosen the strongholds lust has on each of our lives, and praying and fasting can be one of the keys to do that. You’ll learn more about our upcoming church-wide prayer and fast in a couple of weeks.  

Let My People Go //
Part Three

This week young adult pastor Chase Moore continued our Let My People Go series with a message on overcoming the fear of man. Throughout our morning, we took a look at the life of King Saul. Though Saul was greater than everyone else, he was small in his own eyes. His deep insecurity and fear of the way others viewed him eventually became his downfall.

HUMILITY WILL NEVER ASK YOU TO ABANDON YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, ONLY FEAR WILL DO THAT.

There is a difference between humility and fear. Fear will keep you from fulfilling your calling. Humility will bring you to a place of acknowledging God’s strength more than relying on your own. Even if we feel inadequate, it’s not our job to decide which doors God will or will not open.

WHEN YOU RESPOND OUT OF INSECURITY, YOU WILL EVACUATE YOUR PLACE OF INFLUENCE.

King Saul was so afraid, he gave away his army, his destiny and his story. Saul was called to fill the gap, and he gave it away because he saw himself as small. Instead of responding in faith, h responded in fear.

If you are small in your own eyes, there is nothing that will cure you of that insecurity. The only thing that will is by hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit and the word of God declaring who you are. Ultimately, we need to deeply believe that we are His.

YOU WILL OBEY WHAT YOU FEAR.

If you fear your financial future, you’ll make all of your decisions based on that fear. When you are afraid of what other people think of you, you live in obedience to what you believe are other people’s thoughts.

WE WERE MADE TO FILL THE GAP.

If you don’t stand in the gap that God called you to, what makes you think that whatever is filling that gap is a good thing? If you don’t fill the gap that you were made for, the enemy will fill it.

Jesus came to stand it the gap for us. If you will leave your baggage behind and run to Him, He will stand in the gap for you. Jesus turns us from the rescued to rescuers and invites us to stand in the gap with Him. We don’t need to wait for an invitation. If we see a gap, we are free to run to it.

FEAR WON’T JUST GO AWAY.

When God calls us to stand in the gap, it doesn’t mean all of our fears will just disappear. Stepping out in faith actually has nothing to do with being unafraid. It’s the step of faith that breaks the power of our fears. We are free to fail. The more we fail, the more free we will be. We are free to live beyond the weight of failure.

EVERY TIME YOU FAIL, YOU CAN THANK JESUS FOR YOUR FREEDOM.

What story are you after? Do not look to other people and hope for their life. Look at the gap God has called you to and run to it.

IN RESPONSE //

  • The only thing that can break our insecurity is the truth of what God says about us. This week ask God, “Who do You say I am?” Write down what you hear, and declare the identity God speaks over you.
  • Ask God if there is a gap He is calling you to. Don’t let fear hold you back, you are free to run into the places God has called you to.

World Mandate 2019 //
Session Four

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…” Ephesians 12:1

Antioch Movement leader Jimmy Seibert brought World Mandate 2019 to a close by spurring us to take hold of this kairos opportunity and run.  We are at a crescendo in world history, and Jimmy exhorted us as a movement to lay aside any encumbrance and sin that would stop us.

IN WHATEVER YOU DO, THE TIME IS NOW AND NOW IS THE TIME TO RUN.

Sin tries to entangle us and trip us up as we run into what God has for us, and distractions seek to divert our attention from the time that is at hand. But when we realize how close we are to seeing every tribe, people and nation hear the Gospel and be represented in the throne room of God, the urgency of the hour that we are in causes us to focus.

THE GREATEST INJUSTICE IN THE WORLD IS THAT PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THE GOSPEL.

And that is why we plant churches and don’t just do good because the body of Jesus must be represented in a life-giving, reproducing Acts 2:42-47 way so that what is sown in this kairos window continues to last no matter what may come.

IN RESPONSE //

Jimmy’s sermon set us up for not just experiencing World Mandate this weekend but living it out starting Monday.

Here are three ways to practically apply what we heard tonight:

  • Throw off sin and any encumbrance.

For us to be focused on this time that we are in and able to run into what we are called, any sin or distraction that would try to entangle us must be discarded. What are you willing to do to get free?

  • Let go and lay hold.

When we say no to sin and encumbrances, that “no” creates the power of our “yes” to God. This even could mean letting go of good things, such as our vocation, in order to lay hold of God’s vocation so we can walk out in our calling with God’s perspective. What do you need to let go of and what do you need to lay hold?

  • The time is now.

Pray that we would continue to carry this sense of urgency, and that we would live with the perspective of being in this kairos opportunity.  Take time process with God

World Mandate 2019 //
Session Two

…and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.” Revelation 5:9b

Dayna opened our second day of World Mandate 2019 by sharing glimpses into her story. Her incredible surrender to God and journey through the nations challenged us to say yes again to being a people of surrender who answer the call of the Great Commission to go.

WE ARE ALL CALLED TO GO. THAT IS THE DEFAULT, UNLESS HE TELLS YOU TO STAY.

We were made to live a life on mission, but in some this call to go may evoke fear. But even as we listened to Dayna, hearing the story of someone in front of us who has gone, we are empowered to do it ourselves.

THERE IS NOTHING MORE BEAUTIFUL IN ALL THE WORLD THAN TO SEE SOMEONE EXPERIENCING HIS LOVE.

When we step out in faith and surrender to the call to go, we meet Him there. That is where it starts, realizing the beauty of Jesus, and that is why we go, to see others overcome by His beauty.

IN RESPONSE //

Dayna’s sermon was stirring, and there are a couple key ways that we can continue to dive deeper in our response.

Three thoughts and questions to help you continue respond:

  • It is not about gifting. It is about availability.

Are we making ourselves available to God? Or are we disqualifying ourselves before we even get started on the basis of our giftings? God can use anyone who is willing to surrender and submit themselves to Him. And when we make ourselves available to Him, not only are we transformed but we see people touched by God.

  • Am I fully surrendered to being a going person or a staying person?

Have we taken the time to ask this question? Or if we have asked this question, have we asked recently? What is the God inviting us into in this next season? Whether the Lord calls us to go or to stay, we want to be a people of conviction and mission.

  • Start praying for something, and God will give you a heart for it.

Whether it is continuing to pray for something God has been speaking to us, or a new vision or challenge to press into, we are called to be a people who carry things in prayer. It is through prayer that we get God’s perspective, compelling us with love and giving us His heart.

World Mandate 2019 //
Session One

“…and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

Francis Chan kicked off night one of World Mandate 2019, and it was incredible! We are left stirred for the reality of the resurrected Jesus, and with a desire to be people who are dissatisfied with the things of this world.

IF WE’RE CONFIDENT IN THE POWER OF THE RESURRECTION, ALL FEAR IS GONE.

The enemy wants nothing more than to paralyze us with fear, but all fear fades when we are confident in the truth that the resurrected Jesus is with us. Jesus wants us to place our confidence in Him and not in ourselves. When we rely on our flesh, we put a cap on what God is wanting to do.

THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS GETS DIMINISHED BY OUR CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH.

It’s not about what we can do, but what God can do. When we try to orchestrate something on our own, we don’t allow the Spirit of God to move. The Spirit gives life, while the flesh keeps us limited. When we allow ourselves to rely on the power of the resurrected Jesus, we are free of fear and find a deep satisfaction in the thing we cannot see.

IN RESPONSE //

From Francis’ sermon, there are a couple key ways we can practically walk out the heart of the message and put it into practice.

Three simple, devotional steps to walk through:

  • Is your heart crying, “Abba, Father”?
    • When we are so captivated by God, aware of the Holy Spirit within us, fear does not have a place. In the face of the power of His resurrection, are you crying out for Him? Do you know, not just in your mind but also in your heart, His closeness as a father? Take time to ask God for a greater revelation of His nearness and infinite love.
  • Do you want to get sin out of your life?
    • As our hearts cry out for God, another secondary response is a desire for us to get everything out of our lives that would limit or interfere with our relationship with him. This means that we want to get sin out. When you look at your life, is sin continuing to enter in? Or are you willing to do whatever it takes to get free so that nothing can cause interference between you and God? This is something only you can know, but if we really want to get a deeper revelation of God’s love and nearness, that means that something (sin) needs to be taken out so that there is more room for Him.
  • Is action your natural response?
    • Being compelled by love, action does not need to be coerced. It is not forced or something that we are compelled to do; it is a natural response to the Holy Spirit at work within us. When you take a look at your life, are you taking some form of action step? Or do you feel as if you are required to do it? If that is the case, revisit the first devotional step. Let His love for you and your reciprocal love for Him be what leads you to response, not obligation.

Let My People Go //
Part Two

This morning Lead Pastor Carl Gulley shared part two of our series, Let My People Go. For the next several weeks, we will be unpacking how to overcome the various “pharaohs” in our lives. Just as God made a way for the Israelites to be set free from Pharaoh, Jesus came so that we could have freedom from our modern-day pharaohs. This morning, we talked about how to overcome the pharaoh of offense.

We’re human, and relationships are a crucial part of life – whether friendships, marriages, relationships with your kids, etc. Sometimes relationships can get messy, therefore offense is inevitable. At one point or another, we’ll find ourselves on the receiving end of offense. Other times we’ll find ourselves as the one asking for forgiveness because of our actions.

“FATHER, FORGIVE THEM; FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO.” LUKE 23:34

When Jesus spoke these ten words, He not only marked our lives forever, He also modeled how we can overcome offense. Throughout Scripture, we see tyrants brought down in unexpected ways. God destroys the bondage is in our lives in ways that come opposite of how we might react. Resentment and offense will only be broken in an unusual manner – through forgiveness.

THE HARDEST PERSON TO FORGIVE IS THE ONE NOT ASKING FOR IT.

Relational breakdowns occur when someone doesn’t apologize, or they are completely unaware of the offense they caused. We end up holding on to our bitterness and resentment, and allow ourselves to ensue in imaginary arguments and extend unnecessary energy. Regardless of the magnitude of offense, Jesus’ model can be applied to every situation.

Throughout our morning, we took a look at the life of Joseph on Genesis 37 and 45. He was no stranger to offense, and also gave us a model of how to respond.

MINOR OFFENSES //

These are the birthday parties we weren’t invited to, the t-shirt your roommate borrowed and never gave back or the person that keeps bumping your chair at the movie theater. If we’re honest with ourselves, we realize that these are really just minor inconveniences. Most of our offenses come at this level, but in our mind we can turn it into something so much bigger. If these situations trigger a response disproportionate to the situation, we may need to flip the prayer from, “Father forgive them,” to “Father, forgive me.” Following Jesus’ model, we have to train our mind to repeat His very words, and release the minor offenses.

MAJOR OFFENSES //

This is where there is legitimate pain. This is more than not getting invited to that dinner.
If we want to truly overcome the pharaoh of offense, we have to understand that it is more than just forgiving and forgetting. We do need to extend forgiveness, but before we can, we need to fully understand the meaning of forgiveness. Forgiveness means we fully acknowledge the wrong done to us, grieve over what has been lost and still let the other person off the hook – not for their sake only, but also for our sake and for God’s.

LIFE – ALTERING OFFENSES //

Abuse, divorce and other life-shattering injustices. There are no quick fixes for these situations. It takes a long time to get to the point where you are able to forgive someone from the heart when they’ve inflicted this level of pain on you. It isn’t an easy process. But when we are able to extend forgiveness, people see the power of Jesus.

FORGIVENESS IS NOT AN EVENT, IT IS A PROCESS.

No matter what type of offense you relate to today, Jesus has given us everything we need to overcome the pharaoh of offense. It doesn’t have to happen overnight, it is a process. But we have everything we need to begin that process today!

IN RESPONSE //

  • Last week, we declared that freedom begins with a revelation of the character of God. As a church, Carl challenged us to start by reading the book, Victory Over Darkness. We are sold out in our bookstore, but you can purchase it online.
  • Ask God how you can begin the process of overcoming offense today. It may be going to someone to ask for forgiveness or asking God for the grace to forgive yourself. Whatever it is, you have everything you need to overcome offense and bitterness.