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Resolving to change our behavior only lasts until we give up. But, when we change our perspective—when we begin looking through a different Lens—everything in our life radically shifts.

Let’s start this New Year by looking at life through a new LENS.

LOOK BEYOND

PHIL CORK | 1/8/2017

SERMON NOTES

LOOKING BEYOND OUR BORDERS

1. See my STORY not my PAST

(Acts 9:1-9, NLT) Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the LORD’s followers. So he went to the high priest. He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them—both men and women—back to Jerusalem in chains.

As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”

“Who are you, LORD?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” The men with Saul stood speechless, for they heard the sound of someone’s voice but saw no one!

Saul picked himself up off the ground, but when he opened his eyes he was blind. So his companions led him by the hand to Damascus. He remained there blind for three days and did not eat or drink.

Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The LORD spoke to him in a vision, calling, “Ananias!” The LORD said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me right now. I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying hands on him so he can see again.”

“But LORD,” exclaimed Ananias, “I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem! And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name.” But the LORD said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.”

So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the LORD Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. Afterward he ate some food and regained his strength.

(Revelation 12:11, NLT) They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.

(Philippians 3:13, NIV) No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.

2. Live with EXPECTANCY not ANXIETY

(Philippians 4:6-7, NLT) Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell GOD what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience GOD’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

(2 Corinthians 4:18, NLT) So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

(Hebrews 6:18-20, NLT) We who have run for our very lives to GOD have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of GOD where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us.

LOOKING BEYOND OURSELVES

(Ecclesiastes 5:18-20, MSG) We should make the most of what GOD gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what’s given and delighting in the work. It’s GOD’s gift! GOD deals out joy in the present, the now. It’s useless to brood over how long we might live.

3. Be PRESENT not DISTRACTED

(2 Corinthians 7:35, NLT) I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the LORD best, with as few distractions as possible.

4. Live in RELATIONSHIP not RELIGION

FRESH START

My lens affects two aspects of the Big Picture:

1. What I FOCUS on
2. How much LIGHT I let in

NEXT Step: For the next three weeks, SHIFT my FOCUS; where can I let more LIGHT in?

(Romans 8:28, NLT) We know that GOD causes everything to work together for the good of those who love GOD and are called according to his purpose for them.

EARNEST EXPECTATIONS

PS MONTE YOUNG | 1/15/2017

SERMON NOTES

(Romans 8:28, NLT) We know that GOD causes everything to work together for the good of those who love GOD and are called according to his purpose for them.

• I can either choose to live DISAPPOINTED, or I can choose to live EXPECTANTLY

EARNEST EXPECTATION

GOD-Reality:

The only thing that limits my life is my EXPECTATION

(Ephesians 3:20, NKJV) [Jesus] is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us!

• Looking through a new LENS helps me to live with EARNEST EXPECTATION

RAISING OUR EXPECTATIONS

• To see GOD-Reality I have to RAISE my EXPECTATIONS
• Jesus’ plan to expand my reality is LIFE-GIVING RELATIONSHIPS

(Proverbs 27:17, AMP) As iron sharpens iron, So one [person] sharpens [and influences] another [through discussion].

• My expectations for LIFE-CHANGE lift when I shift my focus off MYSELF and onto SOMEONE ELSE

CHANGING OUR PERSPECTIVE

GOD-Reality:

My life will be different if I love OTHER PEOPLE the way I love MYSELF

NEXT Step:

Share a NEED I have with another believer and believe together that Jesus will ANSWER MY PRAYER

NEW NORMAL

PS MONTE YOUNG | 1/22/2017

SERMON NOTES

(Romans 8:28, NLT) We know that GOD causes everything to work together for the good of those who love GOD and are called according to his purpose for them.

• I can either choose to SETTLE, or I can choose to EXPAND my reality

WHY BE NORMAL?

• My NORMAL depends on my PERSPECTIVE

• When I accept my past as my NORMAL, my past becomes my FUTURE REALITY

(2 Corinthians 5:17, NLT) Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

• GOD’s New Normal for me is a BRAND NEW life in Him

THINK DIFFERENT

(Psalm 23:7a, NKJV) For as [a person] thinks in his heart, so is he.

• I live the LIFE I accept in my HEART

(Romans 12:2, NKJV) [Don’t] be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

• Don’t SETTLE for the status quo, reach HIGHER

NEW NORMAL

(Psalm 3:3, NKJV) But You, O LORD, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head.

• Seeing through a new LENS helps me live in GOD’s NEW NORMAL for my life

Refuse to settle:

Reach for EXCELLENCE in everything

NEXT Step:

Share an area of my life where I’ve SETTLED with another believer,

then ask them to help me GROW

STAY FOCUSED

PS MONTE YOUNG | 1/29/2017

SERMON NOTES

(Romans 8:28, NLT) We know that GOD causes everything to work together for the good of those who love GOD and are called according to his purpose for them.

• I can either choose to follow my DISTRACTIONS,

or I can choose to live FOCUSED on GOD’s Reality for me

STAY FOCUSED AND CRUSH IT!

(James 1:2-3, NLT) Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.

(James 1:4, NLT) So let [your faith] grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Share this:

My reaction to my circumstance determines my position

GOD’S LENS

• Seeing through a new LENS gives me the ability to STAY FOCUSED on GOD’s Plan for my life

(1 John 3:1-2, NLT) See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! …Dear friends, we are already GOD's children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is.

Four ways we see through GOD’s LENS for our lives:

1. Looking Beyond - LOVE JESUS

2. Earnest Expectations - LOVE PEOPLE

3. New Normal - NEVER SETTLE

4. Stay Focused - ENJOY THE JOURNEY

STAY FOCUSED

GOD-Reality:

My life will be different if I change my perspective

• When His MISSION is my primary focus it’s easy to see the OPPORTUNITIES that surround me,

and to ENJOY my responsibility

NEXT Step:

Share your CALLING with another believer,

and ask them to HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE to your call