Message Notes 4/24/16

Message Notes 4/24/16


I Am

Chuck Allen, Lead Pastor

Have you ever received a compliment and then brushed it off with a sincere deflection and a heavy dose of false humility? Maybe you got super spiritual and replied with something like – Well, it was the Lord that did it?

Or maybe you are on the other end of that continuum and you can’t wait to have a little praise heaped on you. Maybe you woke up this morning, looked in the mirror and started singing ‘They are Here for Me.”

Speaking affirmation into our life seems to be on the polar opposites of our life’s continuing saga. We seem to find ourselves on the extremes, and often for no sound reasoning other than our emotions.

If you’re an emotional person, then somebody is going to think that you are all over the board as you can’t seem to keep the emotional meltdowns from happening week after week. Maybe you’re a less emotional person and folks want to check for your pulse every now and then – In any environment, I believe we often destroy our living testimony as we live in those extremes.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News. For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 1:7-9

Our lives are to be lived out like a reality show that in itself is a living, breathing testimony…yes, even you! Yes, even if your life is past the point of being a colossal screw-up, God wants to use your life as a billboard of His grace!

Yes, our lives are a living testimony for something. We all influence others with something…Good, Bad, Indifferent. And we influence in at least six ways – What We Say – How we Say It – What We Do – How We Do It – How We Are – Why We Are That Way!

But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble. 10For if others see you—with your “superior knowledge”—eating in the temple of an idol, won’t they be encouraged to violate their conscience by eating food that has been offered to an idol? 11So because of your superior knowledge, a weak believer for whom Christ died will be destroyed. 12And when you sin against other believers by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong, you are sinning against Christ. 13So if what I eat causes another believer to sin, I will never eat meat again as long as I live—for I don’t want to cause another believer to stumble. 1 Corinthians 8:9-13

So, with the understanding that we tend to swing to the extremes and that our lives are to be a living testimony…Knowing we are to help others and that we must attempt to stop create roadblocks that others from knowing Jesus…What can we do in our own lives to get in the zone and live in such a way that the Great Commandment overflows into the Great Commission in our lives?

Let’s pause for a minute – The Great Commandment has a clause in it – “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:34-40 See that little phrase love your neighbor – AS YOURSELF?

This is a big deal – To love others as Jesus describes – to lead others like Jesus describes – to be the student, parent, grandparent, employee, boss or person that God has called to love Him and love others – We have to love ourselves properly!

Remember Moses? God said go to Egypt and convince Pharaoh to Let My People Go. Standing on Holy Ground – next to a burning bush that isn’t consumed by flame.

Moses starts telling the Lord God why he is an inadequate choice to do this. I don’t speak well…I am too busy…can’t somebody else do this? Moses sounds like us!

Lord, when I get this credit card paid off, we will give. Lord, once travel ball is over, I’ll serve…Lord, as soon as I get that promotion, we’ll start a group and commit to discipleship. Lord, as soon as I feel like I can share a perfect testimony, you can use me of “I AM NOTS.”

Why’ll you can find thousands of “I AM NOTS”, what if we left here today with a few “I AMS”. It’s so easy to fall into the I am NOTS. I’m too shy, too undereducated, too introverted, too busy, too stressed, too fat, too thin, too, too, too, too

I want to invite you into a daily practice that has been a total game-changer in my personal life.

In your handout this morning, on the inside right flap, you’ll see a few I AM’s. Grab pen, pencil, lipstick or mascara and write these down…fill in the blank and then repeat daily. Let’s start with a few easy I AM’s

This exercise is designed to help you see who you are in Christ Jesus…not who you are in your job, or your house, or in your hobby – but Who You Are in Christ Jesus! Let’s settle something right now…

God made you – as you are – on purpose. He gave you your looks, your height, your skin color, your nose, your personality. Nothing about you is by accident. You didn’t get overlooked. You didn’t get left out.

God calls you His masterpiece. David said in Psalm 139, “God, I praise You because You have made me in an amazing way. What You have done is wonderful.”

David was saying, not in pride but in praise to God, “I am amazing.” Most of us think, There’s nothing amazing about me. Nothing wonderful. I’m just average. I’m just ordinary.

But the fact is there is nothing ordinary about you. You have a fingerprint that nobody else has. There will never be another you. When God made you, He threw away the mold. But as long as you go around thinking, I’m just average. I’m just one of the seven billion people on the earth. I wonder what would happen if all through the day— not in front of other people but in private— we were to be as bold as David was and say, I am amazing. Not being better than somebody, but with a quiet confidence, with the knowledge that you’ve been handpicked by the Creator, The Divine, The Holy God!


But you are also Valuable

When God created you in His image, He put a part of Himself in you. You could say that you have the DNA of Almighty God. Your Heavenly Daddy spoke worlds into existence. He flung stars into space. He painted every sunrise. He designed every flower. He made man out of dust and breathed life into him. He then said “it’s not good for this guy to be alone, so He created Woman…and all the said, AMEN! Now, here’s the key: He is not just the Creator of the universe. He is not just the all-powerful God. He is your Heavenly Father. You have His DNA. Imagine what you can do.

Too often, we end up settling for mediocrity when we were created for greatness. If you’re going to break out of average, you need to remind yourself, “I have the DNA of the Most High God. Greatness is in my genes. I come from a bloodline of champions.” When you realize who you are, you won’t go around intimidated and insecure, thinking, I’m lacking. I’m not that talented. I come from the wrong family.

NO NO NO – Last week we talked about how you can do anything with God, and nothing without Him…You are VALUABLE – You didn’t come from ordinary stock. You came from the best of the best. It doesn’t matter what you look like, what color you are, how tall or short, how attractive or unattractive. It doesn’t matter how many weaknesses you have. You may struggle with an addiction. You may have made some mistakes. But — This I AM is HUGE — I AM VALUABLE

What supersedes all of that is that inside you is the DNA of a champion. You come from a long list of winners. If you look back and study your spiritual bloodline, you’ll see your elder brother defeated the enemy. There’s victory in your bloodline. You’ll see your ancestor Moses parted the Red Sea. There’s great faith in your bloodline. David, a shepherd boy, defeated a giant. There’s favor in your bloodline. Samson pushed down the walls of a huge building. There’s supernatural strength and power in your bloodline.

Before you can claim these first two I AM’s, you have to fully grasp and claim the next I AM. I AM LOVED

The Bible is full of scriptures that show God’s love for us. His love is everlasting and most important of them all. Let me give you a handful of Scriptures that you can take to the bank – Maybe you feel unloved, maybe you feel alone, maybe you are in relational Hades right now – Maybe you feel unworthy to be loved or never felt love – you can see that no matter what our circumstance may be or how much we may have made a mess of our lives, God’s love is always powerful and willing to make us a better person – loved – unconditionally…forever!

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Ephesians 2:4-5But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved ...

Romans 5:8but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 Peter 5:6-7Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

I could go on and on – But don’t miss this – You cannot do anything, say anything, act any way that would cause God to not love you! You should get up every morning and receive that day as a gift from God. A gift that promises YOU ARE LOVED!

In a significant relationship there must be three things that fuel that relationship if you want it to flourish; 1) Consistent Trust  2) Personal Value 3) Unconditional Love

So it is with our walk with God – Even when our trust is shattered we can always trust in Him…God values us more than we could ever imagine! He gave us the gift of this life and the gift of eternity. And He loves us with a never-ending, never wavering love. YOU ARE LOVED

And then – I AM FORGIVEN

What exceptionally great news. When we make mistakes, and we all do…We have a choice. We can try to deflect the mistake onto someone else. Like a Teflon pan, we can attempt to let anything and everything slide off of us so it lands on someone else’s head.

OR, we can admit that we made a mistake, ask for forgiveness and move on. Have you ever made a mistake? Over promised and under-delivered? Maybe had a great intention, but couldn’t get it done? Of course you have! We are humans and human error is what we are best at.

But listen, spiritually, the promise that God loves you also means that God is in the forgiveness business as well.

The world’s definition of forgiveness is remarkably different from what the Bible describes. It might be a willingness to let go of negative emotions toward someone.  It is not condoning the offense or act but the person who forgives may gain the ability to even wish the offender well.   

What the Bible defines as forgiveness is much broader and more comprehensive than what the world believes.  In Matthew 6:14 Jesus shows us what forgiveness really is: “For if you forgive others their person keeps bringing the same offense up then they have never really sent it away or they haven’t truly forgiven you.   

True biblical and godly forgiveness is this; “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8 and “while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life” Romans 5:10.

The Greek word for “enemies” is literally “hated, hateful, hostile,” and “opposing” so forgiveness is dying for someone while they still “hated or were hostile” toward you.  That is what God calls forgiveness.  We all hated God before we were accepted His gift of life because Paul writes that “while we were still enemies” of God He “died for us.”  The Greek word for forgive is “aphiēmi” which means “to send away,” to “depart,” or “to yield up” which means you send away from ever being in the presence of either party.  That means that if my brother offends me and I forgive him, then I “send away” the offense from myself and from him so that it is never brought up again.  If a

To confess means to agree with God about your sin.  To sin means to miss the mark, not just slightly, but like an archer shooting an arrow that is hundreds of yards short of not only the bull’s-eye but even the target.

Psalm 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.”

This is interesting because God not only forgives us but He removes our sins from us.  Remember the biblical definition of forgiveness I gave earlier?  It was to “send away, to depart with,” or to “yield up” which means that God sends them away.  How far?  How far is it from east meeting west?  North and south do meet at the equator but east and west never do.and so the point is that our sins are sent away to infinity to which they will never again meet up with God.

To confess means to agree with God about your sin.  To sin means to miss the mark, not just slightly, but like an archer shooting an arrow that is hundreds of yards short of not only the bull’s-eye but even the target.

Psalm 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” You can say with great confidence –


But notice that there is another I AM in your notes – What if you are one I AM away from experiencing all that God has in store for you…but you just can’t imagine that He cares enough to hear from you, to hold you, to love you, to forgive you!!

Friend, it’s time to lay down the I’M NOTS and I CAN’TS. It’s time we lose the I could Never’s or I’d never be able to’s…

Let’s start our days with I Am’s. You can take this to the bank BECAUSE:



You are LOVED


You are all God wants you to be with one brief, heartfelt statement:
God, you created me in Your image – AMAZINGLY VALUABLE
Jesus, You came to forgive me YOU LOVED ME enough TO DIE FOR ME

Friend, Jesus is enough today tomorrow and forever…when you choose wake every day with I AM a Child of God. I am Amazing, I’m valuable, I’m loved and I’m Forgiven…it is then that you will live like you mean it and live like you believe it!



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