Haters

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his
grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ.
— Romans 3:23-24

Paul, the writer of the letter to the church in Rome, was a massive hater towards the early
church. He hated the early church so much that he had many of the members arrested and held
the coats of the people while they stoned a Christian. The book of Acts even states, “Saul was
still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples”
 (Acts Chapter 9, v. 1). For just a second think about that verse: Paul did not just dislike Christians, but he hated them with a passion. A passion that caused him to want Christians to be eradicated. However, Paul’s life was turned upside down when he was blinded by Jesus and he completely changed his life. (That story can be found in Acts chapter 9).


After Paul turned his life around, most Christians were suspicious of him because they all
previously knew him as Saul, the Christian persecutor. Definitely a hard reputation to overcome. Paul had absolutely fallen short of the glory of God, but he was forgiven once he realized what he was doing was wrong and gave his life to Jesus. Not only did he turn his life around, and became a Christian, but he also travelled around the globe and started many churches and  wrote letters to them instructing them how to behave according to Christ. Paul was hated upon by many of his former colleagues because of this change in faith, and many people had even tried to assassinate him. Paul was arrested and jailed because of the haters in his life. He even died for his belief in Jesus.

So, you might be thinking that this is a cool story and all but how does it apply to
me? The answer is many of our lives are similar to Paul’s. Many of us are haters toward people,
and many of us turn our lives around at some point and are hated for either our belief in
something or how we act. Thankfully, God sent Jesus to die on the cross and save us from our
sin; so, when we sin we are doomed, but can be reconciled through our faith in Jesus.


Prayer: Father, I thank you for sending Your Son to die on the cross and save me from
my sin. I also thank you for the fact that I can be reconciled through my faith in Jesus for any
times I’ve been a hater towards other in my past. I pray you keep me on the right path and help
to remind me that anyone I am about to hate on is someone you died to save. Amen.

[GAVIN TEETS]

How I walk through & understand John 4

The Woman at the Well Made Simple

One of the biggest struggles with people coming to Jesus is the idea that he’s old-fashioned, hard to get to know, and totally unrelatable. But Jesus is just as approachable as the guy in line with you at Port City Java! (I mean we all know his favorite coffee shop is He Brews... sorry, too corny?) ANYWAY! One thing I do to make the stories in the Bible more comprehensible, more applicable, and more modern, is imagining Jesus as a Millennial. I know it's weird, but stay with me- it'll all make sense soon.


Jesus is represented in the Bible as a revolutionary man that said no to the status-quo, even when everyone around pushed him to persecute and condemn those he loved. One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the story of the Woman at the Well, that can be found in John 4.


In the story we see that:


1. Jesus talks in a metaphor. "Everyone who drinks this water (the well) will be thirsty
again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst (eternal life)..."
(v.13).
Highlight this verse in your Bible, it’s a moral of the story kinda verse. We tend to not read past this verse, BUT it gets better if you do! Jesus was definitely not appreciated during his time. He was a poet. Only Jesus spoke like this, and he definitely would be the Instagram caption king: "the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life"... like wow (insert
dramatic waterfall picture of your vacation to some tropical island). The point of this verse is to illustrate the ever satisfying life that is received through Jesus, because we are humans and we crave the feeling of fulfillment. Too often we try to find that in things that look pleasing to the eye but are detrimental to the soul. God sees our struggle and wants so much more for us than the emptiness. 


2. Secondly, I love how ‘not all there’ the Samaritan woman is. Jesus is trying the be all "I am
the Messiah" without having to write it in the ground, but eventually he gives up and
just looks at her (with what I imagine as a little bit of Jesus sass) saying "I, the one speaking to you- I am He." (v. 26). Sometimes I feel a lot like this woman. I try to struggle through my own problems, not seeing the purpose of the problem, letting myself get so stressed and frustrated that I eventually scream "What's the freaking purpose of all this!!!". That’s when Jesus approaches me, looks me in the eye, and vigorously shakes me screaming back, "It is me!! I'm the reason and purpose!" We all need to have this spelled out to us sometimes… and more often than we’d like to admit. Jesus is that friend who isn't afraid to call you out, he wants to put you on the right path and walk through all the craziness with You.


3. Now we've gotten the part where the disciples show up from Sychar (the town where they went to provide some food for Jesus), the disciples tell Jesus “hey we've got the food you wanted please eat,” but Jesus replies: "I have food to eat that you know nothing about" (v. 32). Wow, okay if this would be said to me, I would think Jesus was either hiding snacks or really hangery- but then after reading on, we realize he told the same message he told the Samaritan Woman: "My food is to do the will of Him who sent me... Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest" (v. 34). Everything he says has a purpose and a message behind it, and some of what he says isn't meant to be literally, but read in a way that will paint a picture and have a lasting impact, rather than being told “Hey so do God’s work because if you look around there's a lot to be done”. I mean which would you prefer to hear?


4. Lastly, I love the following Jesus attracts. One moment he's talking to the woman
at the well, then he tells her the story of her life, explains that he is the Messiah, and next
thing you know, the whole town of Sychar shows up because of an outcast woman and her testimony (She had five husbands and now lives with a man she isn't married to), people were brought to Jesus literally and spiritually. Then as the closing of the story goes, "We no longer believe just what you said [the woman]; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know this man really is the Savior," (v. 42). Jesus wouldn't Catfish us, he is who he said he is and loves us
like he said he would love us. There's no "if's" or "but's" about it. As cheesy as it sounds at times, the message is all too real: Jesus loves us and all of our weird and messed up lives. No exceptions. He provides us with all the outs when we feel trapped and wouldn't leave us thirsty or hungry for answers. He is the Well and the Harvest, all we need to do is come to him.

 

 

 

EXTRA STUFF///

Reading the Bible can be difficult at times but it is important to try and struggle through even when it seems impossible. Some ways to make it a whole lot less intimidating is to find a version you understand (I use NIV), you want to make sure you understand what your reading so figuring out the style of text you want is very important. Next, go to a coffee shop with some friends and have a Bible study (caffeine and christ is always a good combo). When you’re in a comfortable environment surrounded with friends it just makes it that much easier to dive in and understand the word. Lastly remember the reason for reading the Bible. Reading the Bible helps us understand God’s word and intentions for our lives, it is a blueprint for life with a Christ like foundation, and a map directing us when things gets rough. The Bible is the ultimate Christian Google or Yahoo Answers but the only way to access it is to sit down and make time to read.

 

[STEPHANIE FULLER]

 

 

 

FUSE '18 SESSION NOTES

SESSION 1

  • Illusion= the capacity to be fooled or deceived. 
  • Humans need to put meaning to what they experience
    • Western culture creates illusion & doubt 
  • What makes Jesus so special? 
  • The gospel is the stunning announcement that God wants you & accepts you! You have meaning & worth! 
  • We often search for meaning in a world of illusion & doubt. 
  • We think that becoming Christian is the finish line. 
    • Following Jesus is the start! 
  • John 3 
  • You are a deeply spiritual being trying to figure out how to be the best version of a human being as possible.
  • Jesus didn't come to make bad things better, He came to make dead things alive. 
    • When you're dead in sin, Jesus makes you alive in Christ! 
  • Colossians 2:13
    • "At one time you were dead in your sins. Your desires controlled by sin were not circumcised. But God gave you new life together with Christ. He forgave us all our sins."
  • Your sin doesn't make God angry- it breaks His heart because it has broken people & it has broken you. 
    • Sin has broken your relationship with God. 

SESSION 2

  • Romans 6: 1-11 
  • We have the power through Jesus to not be selfish. 
    • Sin doesn't have power over you anymore.
  • "Count yourselves dead to sin, but alive in Christ" 
    • Romans 6: 11 
    • "In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus."
    • You are dead to sin- count yourself that way. Live like you are spiritually wealthy, not bankrupt.
  • There is no power in positive thinking unless what you're thinking is true
  • In the moment, it doesn't feel like God can handle it. 
    • If you think that sin has control, it will. 
    • If you know Jesus has the power, it will be true. 

SESSION 3

  • Romans 6:10
    • "The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God."
  • You are alive in Jesus! 
    • Live like you're alive
  • Learn to think of sin as a separate entity from yourself & you will learn to identify with Jesus more than your sin. 
    • Sin is not you & you are not sin 
  • It's you & God against your sin. You are in Jesus. 
  • Romans 6:13
    • "Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness."
  • You are no longer a slave, so why are you acting like one? 
    • You have victory! Your sin is not you & you are not your sin. 
  • You have the same relationship with sin that Jesus does, because you are in Jesus. 
  • When you create the weather in your life, you forfeit the right to complain about it raining. 
    • You are the one acting like a slave- not God. 
  • Run to the freedom & grace & kindness of Jesus. 
  • Nobody will ever love you the way God does. That's an impossible standard to meet. 

SESSION 4

  • We think we know people & we label them. 
    • Who has the right to label someone? 
    • Labels are invisible powerful things. 
  • Who has the right to label YOU? 
    • Don't allow people who don't know you, to label you. 
  • The one who created you is the only one with the right to label you. 
    • Why would you disregard what God says & hold on to earthly labels? 
  • 1 Corinthians 6:19 
    • "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;"
  • God owns your body. Honor Him with it. 
    • Your body is the temple of the holy spirit. 
  • When you accept a label from someone, you give them power & control over you. 
  • You can be an incredible version of yourself, but a horrible copy. 

SESSION 5

  • Emotional isolation has as high of a risk factor for mortality as smoking. 
  • Loneliness= the want of intimacy 
    • Intimacy= to be known & to know someone completely 
    • We all want to be known completely, without rejection. 
  • God didn't design you to go through life alone. 
  • Your relationship with God is personal, but not private. 
  • God didn't design you to go through life alone. 
  • Luke 17:4
    • "Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”
  • If you're not losing friends, you're not growing up. 
  • Do the people in your life point you towards God? 
    • Does anyone in your life know your weaknesses? 
    • Do they point you towards hope? 
    • Do they point you to a life with no regrets? 
  • In order to be incredible, you must surround yourself with incredible people. 
  • If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. 

SESSION 6

  • Christianity is not a list of chores. 
  • You have the desire to live a wild life because you have a wild God. 
    • Your heart is a map of God. 
  • We misunderstand real life. 
  • If its predicatble, it's not wild. 
  • Romans 2:12
    • "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
  • Deciding to commit to a system that's already in exsistence is boring. 
    • Not wild, different or better 
  • Take a walk on the wild side! Stop trying to be life others. 
  • You will never become the best version of the person God created you to be, until you take a walk on the wild side. 
  • Matthew 7: 13-14
    • “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

FUSE '18 Setlist

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Worthy of Your Name/ Passion 

Only Wanna Sing/ Hillsong Young & Free 

Who You Say I Am/ Hillsong Worship 

Tremble/ Mosaic MSC 

Build My Life/ Passion 

Let Go/ Hillsong Young & Free 

When the Fight Calls/ Hillsong Young & Free

Reckless Love/ Cory Asbury

Love Won't Let Me Down/ Hillsong Young & Free 

King of My Heart/ Passion

Holy Ground/ Passion 

No Longer Slaves/ Bethel Music 

Grace to Grace/ Hillsong Worship 

Not Today/ Hillsong Worship 

Sons & Daughters/ North Point InsideOut 

Real Love/ Hillsong Young & Free 

What a Beautiful Name- Y&F Remix/ Hillsong Young & Free 

Resurrecting/ Elevation Worship 

Glorious Day/ Passion 

This is Living/ Passion 

What a Beautiful Name/ Hillsong Worship