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“Write the Vision"

Sunday, January 13, 2019

WELCOME & VISION OF SERMON SERIES

Welcome to the Empowered Living Church (The ELC). We are celebrating our first year as a church. Thank you for being a part of God's victory. Our objective is to save souls, make disciples, and build God's kingdom.

BIG IDEA

“Our church builds strong families, strengthens marriages, encourages young people, inspires men to be Men of God, supports single parents in finding success, and develops bright Jesus loving children.”

KEY SCRIPTURE - Habakkuk 2:2-3 (KJV)

2 And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.  3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

CONTEXT

As the prophet Habakkuk stood in Jerusalem and pondered the state of his nation, Judah, he must have been dumbfounded. So much evil thrived, completely in the open, but God remained strangely silent. Where was He? How long would He allow this mess to continue? Not long, according to the Lord (Habakkuk 2:2–3). Another nation, the Babylonians, would come and execute justice on the Lord’s behalf. The wicked in Judah, those who thought they would get away with their evil deeds forever, were soon to be punished.


The book of Habakkuk offers us a picture of a prideful people being humbled, while the righteous live by faith in God (2:4). It reminds us that while God may seem silent and uninvolved in our world, He always has a plan to deal with evil and always works out justice . . . eventually. The example of the prophet Habakkuk encourages believers to wait on the Lord, expecting that He will indeed work out all things for our good.


“The vision of the Empowered Living Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ in a fun, contemporary, Spirit-filled environment that emphasizes worship, relevant ministry, spiritual growth, serving others, celebration, and giving in a love-centered community of friends.”


Who Are We? “Our church builds strong families, strengthens marriages, encourages young people, inspires men to be Men of God, supports single parents in finding success, and develops bright Jesus loving children.”


1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV) ~ And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is LOVE. 

TEACHING POINTS / THOUGHTS TO BUILD ON

1.  Make Disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ


Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV) 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20


2.  Proclaiming the Authority of God’s Word Without Apology


2 Timothy 4:2 (NIV) – “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.”

Each week, we all devote time to opening the Bible to a specific passage to explain the truth it contains and apply the principles to our lives. We believe this Book and the God it reveals can make a significant impact in our daily lives. We will teach the Bible and it’s truth fearlessly.


Ephesians 6:19-20 (NIV) ~ 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

King James Version states, “19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.


3.  Do the work of Evangelists


2 Timothy 4:3-6 (NET) ~ 3 For there will be a time when people will not tolerate sound teaching. Instead, following their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves, because they have an insatiable curiosity to hear new things. 4 And they will turn away from hearing the truth, but on the other hand they will turn aside to myths. 5 You, however, be self-controlled in all things, endure hardship, do an evangelist’s work, fulfill your ministry.


When you’ve embraced the truth of who Jesus is, you develop a desire to share this truth with others. We encourage you to go tell others about the change God has made in your life, and we provide many opportunities for you to reach out to the community and the world.


Mark 16:15 (NIV) 15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.


4.  Provide Leadership through Community Service


Our assignment is to take Metro Charlotte, more specifically, Southwest Charlotte for the expansion of God’s Kingdom. We lead through our service. We share God’s love through our service. We reach lost souls through our service. We witness the Good News through our service. The word says in . . .


Matthew 20:26-28 (NIV) ~ 26 . . . . whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”


5.  Everyone connected to The ELC is debt-free

Romans 13:8 (NIV) ~ 8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.


It is our belief, goal, and objective that everyone at this church becomes debt-free. For this to happen people must work to find obtain financial independence, but we know this is possible if we work in unity, hold each other accountable, and do the work. It will take work, BUT becoming financial debt-free is a reality all of us can and will enjoy.


Ephesians 3:20 (KJV) ~ 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.


Trust God, He will do it!


Malachi 3:10-12 (NIV) ~ 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.


The ELC will be debt-free as a church. Just as we as individuals and our families will become debt-free so will our church. We are making strategic decisions today for the purpose of securing a financially blessed organization. The Lord told me New Years Eve that 2019 was the Year of the Promise. We are to stand upon the promises of God this year with great expectation for God to bless us . . . each of us connected to the Promise of God given to this church. God also said that this is the year to work to become debt-free and to build your finances for tomorrow . . . the future. Are you in?


If yes, jump on board the 21-Day Financial Fast, if you haven’t already started, and take the first step to becoming debt-free. The next assignment is for you to join the Financial Peace University class which starts Thursday, January 24 at 7:00pm right here and is facilitated by Ron and Roni. See one of them today to become a part of the class. You can get up to $60 for taking the class!


6.  Believing Firmly in the Power of Prayer and Fasting


Ephesians 6:18 (NIV) ~ 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.


We started our church with prayer and fasting and will continue to pray and fast as we’ve seen God free us from sin, heal our hurts, exceed our expectations and raise up a group of faithful leaders who desire to love, support and pray and fast for you.


When Jesus and the disciples walked up to a crowd of people a man knelt before Jesus, asked for mercy for his son who was suffering from terrible seizures. Much like a child with epileptic seizures would struggle today. The man told Jesus that he brought his son to the disciples for healing, but that the disciples could not heal the boy. Jesus answered the man by saying, “You unbelieving and perverse generation! How much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I endure you? Bring him here to me.” It must have appeared Jesus was frustrated with the lack of faith . . . with the lack of belief . . . the man and the disciples displayed. The Word says in . . .


Matthew 17:18-21 (KJV) ~ 18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. 19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.


We are a church of faith. We believe the Word of God when it states, “nothing shall be impossible unto you.” Go get because you are ANOINTED FOR SUCCESS!


7.  Secure Long Term Location for Worship, Community Service, and Economic Empowerment


Hebrews 10:23-25 (NIV) ~ 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, (KJV states, Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering) for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.


God tells His prophet Haggai to have His people build a house . . . to build a temple for Him. In Haggai 1:7-8 (NIV) the Word says, “7 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord.”


God continues His promises to the remnant of His people in Haggai that their new house . . . their new building . . . their new temple will have greater splendor then their current one.

Haggai 2:6-9 (NET) ~ 6 Moreover, the Lord who rules over all says: ‘In just a little while I will once again shake the sky and the earth, the sea and the dry ground. 7 I will also shake up all the nations, and they will offer their treasures; then I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord who rules over all. 8 ‘The silver and gold will be mine,’ says the Lord who rules over all. 9 ‘The future splendor of this temple will be greater than that of former times,’ the Lord who rules over all declares, ‘and in this place I will give peace.’”


We will develop a budget within the first quarter of the year and count the cost. The Word of God says . . .

Luke 14:28 (NIV) ~ 28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?


When we build it we will be like the disciples after they were beaten for the teaching about God in the Name of Jesus by the Jewish High Priests and his associates in their courts. The apostles were released by God from the jail of the High Priests and followed God’s instructions to teach the Gospel regardless of afflictions. Upon being set free the Word of God says in . . .



In Acts 5:42 (NIV) 42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.


8. We will teach financial literacy, support entrepreneurship, and build family wealth for generations after us.


Deuteronomy 8:18 (NIV) ~ 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today. 


As Christian Believers we must learn to adopt a legacy type of thinking. This is a type of thinking where we don’t think about laboring for ourselves, but the generations to come. In Proverbs 13:22 (NIV) it says “A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.”


Setting long-term goals can be highly rewarding and bring out the best in you, knowing that you have a note-worthy assignment to fulfill will give you the drive to wake up in the morning with enough vigor to realize your dreams, goals, and ambitions. Whereas maintaining a self-indulged mentality will hinder you from tapping into your full inner potential, Proverbs 29:18 (NIV), “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”


In addition to a Community Development Corporation, we will launch a WINDS Wealth Building Center as part of a national financial literacy movement led by Dr. George C. Fraser, who envisions reaching 22 million people within 10 years. Considered to be one of the foremost authorities on economic development for people of African descent, Dr. Fraser is Founder and CEO of FraserNet, Inc. and author of Success Runs in Our Race. WINDS is a financial literacy program designed to empower faith-based ministries with financial education training for its members and the community at-large.


WINDS will address among other things, the psychology, emotions, and relationships with money.  The curriculum covers the basics of financial literacy and includes, but not limited to the four pillars of intergenerational wealth transfer: 1) Proper management of accumulated wealth, 2) Real estate ownership, 3) Business development, and 4) Proper insurance protection. The need for financial education is imperative, particularly in Charlotte, the city which ranks last in an analysis of economic mobility in America’s 50 largest cities. In Charlotte poor children, who are majority Black and Latino, are very likely to stay poor rather than ascend to the middle class.


9. We will live Empowered and Blessed Lives through Giving


Romans 12:6-8 (NIV) ~ 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Pastor Morris writes in the book The Blessed Life . . .


Prophecy: reveals the motives of man and seeks conformity to God’s Word and ways.

Ministry (or serving): meets the needs on a practical basis.

Teaching: searches out and present scriptural truths.

Exhortation: admonishes or encourages others.

Giving: meets material needs, often through finances.

Leading (or administration): organizes and leads.

Mercy: emphasizes and shows compassion to others.


What’s your gift? Once you know it you must become a champion giver and share your gift to the Body of Christ . . . the church. We are also cheerful givers in our financial giving. We desire for all of us to become debt free, live financial liberated, and embrace living Empowered Lives. We will do this through our giving. The Word says . . .


2 Corinthians 9:6-9 (NIV) ~ 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”


10. Build Warrior Saints Ready to Go to War and Win


Mark 16:16-18 (NIV) ~ 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”


We believe in the five-fold ministry as outlined in Ephesians 4:11-12 (KJV) ~ 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:


Isaiah 58:6-8 (NIV) ~ “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?

7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.


CLOSING THOUGHT / CHALLENGE

1 Peter 2:9-10 (NIV) ~ 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.


The KJV calls us . . . a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light