Posted: December 4th, 2012 | Author: Dean Rush | Filed under: Discipleship, Faith, Kingdom of Heaven, Leadership, Overcoming | Tags: C3 Auckland, C3 Church, Dean Rush, Discipleship, Faith, faithfulness, George Mueller, Jesus Christ, promises | No Comments »
George Mueller said; “To learn strong faith is to endure great trials. I have learned my faith by standing firm amid severe testings.”
How do we become great overcomers?
1 John 5:1-5
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ[a] has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. 2 We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments. 3 Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. 5 And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
1. Be Born Again
To become an overcomer it starts with being born again.
But what does ‘born again’ mean?
You believe in Jesus Christ as saviour and Lord. You live by faith and not by sight. You are born into the supernatural power of God.
2. His Commands are not burdensome
Sometimes it can seem like it is hard to serve God. Some Christians can be afraid or resistant to really serving God. But the truth is that the only alternative is following our own path – the roller-coaster of our own emotions. If we apply all the commands from God to our life, they ground us, support us, and strengthen us – they are designed to help us.
The process of discipleship is us leaving the pain and brokenness of our own way and beginning to walk God’s way with Him alongside us.
3. For Everyone Born of God Overcomes the World
Are you born again? If you are, you are born to be an overcomer. You have been given the supernatural power that can overcome. Too often we buy into the devils deception; we believe that we are not as strong as God says we are.
But God says that you are born to overcome! So don’t give up on your faith, don’t succumb to discouragement, understand who you are – you are an overcomer!
2 Corinthians 4; 8-9
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.
4. Our faith achieves this Victory
Faith is the ingredient that causes us to become overcomers. Your faith brings the victory.
1 Corinthians 15.57
But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The devils goal is for you to give up your faith. He doesn’t mind if you go to church, go to your connect group, even be a leader, as long as your faith is dented. Victory is standing firm in your faith through whatever life throws at you. Circumstances are there to help grow our faith!
1 Peter 1:7
These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
God is not bringing your problems. He loves you and will show you the way to come out of your problems stronger in faith in Him.
5. Believe that Jesus is the Son of God
Be fully convinced, be a believer. Don’t lose your first love for Christ, get your fire back! Believe what God can do in your life and keep believing. You are an overcomer.
So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe.
Posted: August 10th, 2012 | Author: Dean Rush | Filed under: Children, Church, Discipleship, Fellowship, Forgiveness, Kingdom of Heaven, Leadership, Marriage, Overcoming | Tags: C3 Auckland, C3 Church, Dean Rush, Discipleship, family, forgiveness, Loyalty, marriage, relationship | No Comments »
Proverbs 18:24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
A Cornell University study said people had an average of 229 Facebook friends but only 2 close friends and some in the study had none. We have all these so called ‘friends,’ but do you have anyone you could really turn to in a time of great need?
A friend to all is a friend to none. – Aristotle.
Too often this is what is happening for people; they are friends with everyone but are a quality friend to no one. Your friends should be those you could call in your day of trouble. Too many people have no one to call. They have unreliable friends.
The kingdom of God is about relationship. You can’t get in without a relationship and once we are in, God wants us to be connected and in the family.
There are four key relationships that we need to have in place to have a successful life;
1. Relationship with God
Deuteronomy 6: 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
Number one and first priority of your life should be a relationship with God.
Deuteronomy 4:35 Yahweh, He is God; there is no other besides Him.
Exodus 20: 3 You shall have no other gods before me.
Some people these days live for all other kinds of priorities. For many it is money first. For some it is family first. How can you put family or anything else before a relationship with God? How can you do your life well without being in right relationship with God?
Sometimes young couples can mess up their lives by making each other first priority (that is way too intense). No one can fulfill your needs except God himself.
Some parents make it all about the kids. They drop out of church and eventually God and then find their kids end up with no connection to God.
Marriage, family and life works best with God on the throne. Make God your first priority
2. Relationship with our Families
Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.
Work on a great marriage. Many people can’t get on with their partner and end up alone. Which would you rather?
Marriage is a gift from God – cherish it. Look after it, Invest into it, let it develop. Keep having fun together. Deal with problems. Don’t sweep them under the carpet, confront them and get them sorted.
Men – have a vision for your marriage. Girls want to know the relationship is going somewhere; if they feel there is a great future together they will follow with passion.
Don’t let your marriage get boring, do something exciting. It’s God’s gift – enjoy it
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Train your kids. Don’t be so PC and let them do whatever they want. Invest into them; they need to learn about your values and faith. Build a great relationship with them
My parents put a value for The kingdom of God into my life and when I rebelled as a young person I just couldn’t get away from this value – from the call of God.
Bring your whole family into the house of God – let them find God together.
Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honour your father and mother” , “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”
Make sure you honor your parents no matter what they are like. You can honor their position in your life without having to honor their behaviour. Don’t be out of sorts with your parents, if you want life to go well with you, sort it out.
Families need a lot of forgiveness. Start now. You be the bigger person. We have access to the love of God, there is no excuse to have unforgiveness in your life.
Get a fresh vision for your family
3. Relationship with a Leader
Mark 6:34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
1 Timothy 1:2 To Timothy my true son in the faith.
Paul was a leader that became like a father to Timothy – it helped him shift from a timid young leader to become the pastor of the world’s first mega churches in Ephesus. Everyone needs a leader in their life. Without it you will never reach your full potential.
Most people live their life without any kind of leadership. Many have life long issues with authority figures and then they miss out on the power of a mentor speaking into their life. A leader will make a great difference in your life.
Get around a leader and let them help lift you to another level
4. Relationship with close friends
You haven’t got time for a thousand friends
Ralph Waldo Emerson said more than 140 years ago that “friendship should be surrounded with ceremonies and respects, and not crushed into corners. Friendship requires more time than poor busy men can usually command.”
You need a few key friendships;
…there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Everyone needs a friend like this. These are people you will journey through life with. You have to go deep with each other. Open up your lives.
Go through the good and the bad. Don’t get offended. Just keep going together – forgive, commit, turn up, go the extra mile.
These relationships take time – be willing to invest. They are what life is all about – God, family & some great friends
The antidote for fifty enemies is one friend. ~Aristotle
I am blessed to have some friends who are closer than brothers. God has been good to me. If you stick around and go deep, he will be good to you.
If you get these four areas of relationships sorted in your life, it will go well for you, you will be connected.
This is God’s pathway for Christian life
Posted: June 20th, 2012 | Author: Dean Rush | Filed under: Church, Discipleship, Faith, Fellowship, Forgiveness, Overcoming | Tags: C3 Auckland, C3 Church, Dean Rush, forgiveness, Loyalty, overcoming disappointment | No Comments »
In the movie Gladiator, Maximus says these great lines to the Gladiators as they get ready to face their death in the arena;
Whatever comes out of these gates, we’ve got a better chance or survival if we work together
If we stay together we survive
Lock your shields – stay as one
This is good advice for those of us following Christ
If we stay together we survive
God wants his church to stay together
Acts 2: 44
“And all who believed (who adhered to and trusted in and relied on Jesus Christ) were united and [together] they had everything in common.”
1. For the sake of our God who gave so much to purchase his church – Stay together
Hebrews 12: 2
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame.”
The joy set before him was seeing his church established and rising up to reach a lost world
He desires that we come together in his name
“For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”
And when the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all assembled together in one place,
Our whole duty is contained in these words, “Love together.” – Latimer
That’s what real community looks like
Let’s join together to become a mighty community of faith
2. For the sake of this world – Stay together
“The world needs the church to survive and do it’s job
The church is the hope of the world.” – Bill Hybels
While this world can attack us and make fun of us, they actually need us to get it right and to have something to offer them for when something goes wrong in people’s lives.
Ephesians 3:10 declares that God’s intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known.
The world desperately needs a functioning Christian community to bring a message of faith, hope and love – to show the world another way to live.
“Man is a being born to believe. And if no church comes forward with its title-deeds of truth to guide him, he will find altars and idols in his own heart and his own imagination.” – Benjamin Disraeli
3. For the sake of your own lives – Stay together
We need each other or we become religious, cynical, dry and crusty.
We cannot create a community of faith that will reach the world unless we commit to community and to each other
You say “well I’m here” – here is not enough – God doesn’t just want your attendance – he wants your heart.
To build a community that will change the world we need to buy in at a heart level
I invite you to be part of this community – it’s going to be costly, it’s not always going to be easy – but it has power to change your life and touch the world
God wants you to be part of it.
Ephesians 2: 19 – 22
“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”
Posted: November 10th, 2011 | Author: Dean Rush | Filed under: All, Overcoming | Tags: C3 Church, Dean Rush, freedom, Inspiration, Living in freedom, Promises of God | No Comments »
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free
When I think about freedom I think about the great freedom speech in cinematic history
In the movie Braveheart – William Wallace asks this great question to the Scottish troops
What will you do without freedom?
It’s a good question – without freedom we live in bondage
You look around the world today and see so many living in bondage
Living with weight, living with bitterness, living in fear
Keys to living in freedom
1. Receive freedom
Jesus said, If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
When you receive the gospel – you have the opportunity for truth to come into your life
You don’t have freedom until you receive it from Christ
The world is living under a death sentence of it’s own sin
Until you accept the gospel and receive Jesus Christ – you are also under the it’s weight
If you carrying around a weight – receive freedom
What does freedom look like?
It is a life of faith, hope and love
It is lightness – you feel released
It is a life that is unburdened and unrestrained
2. Offload your baggage
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Freedom is the absence of baggage
Too many people are carrying around baggage that they don’t need to be carrying
To receive freedom you need to offload the weight
The devil wants you living a burdened life – and the world obliges
People end up stressed out, in credit card debt
Mortgaged up: Old French word, literally means death pledge
Relational stress, in therapy, in alcohol and drug abuse & physical abuse
But Christ has come to set us free from the weight of sin and death
3. Live differently
1 Peter 2:16
– 17 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
Honor God by living in freedom and using your body to glorify him
I see Christians who kind of take it all for granted – accepting freedom and then try living for no.1
I am changed by what Christ did for me
I don’t want to live the old life
If you have anger, un-forgiveness, anxiety, stress, guilt, self esteem issues
It’s time to change
Christ wants us to live a free life in a burdened world
He wants us to demonstrate freedom
To live the kingdom life
4. Don’t go back
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
The devil wants you back in bondage – he wants you back in sin and back carrying your burden
And he knows your weakness
You need to stand up to him and stand firm in Christ!
Stand on the rock, stand with the faithful, stand in truth, stand in the presence of God
Freedom is a beautiful thing and Jesus Christ’s gift to us
Receive the gift – get free – walk in freedom
Posted: July 22nd, 2011 | Author: Dean Rush | Filed under: Overcoming | Tags: C3 Auckland, Christchurch, Christchurch earthquakes, Dean Rush, Earthquakes, Inspiration, Respect | No Comments »
I have just spend a few days in Christchurch with a team from C3 Auckland. We wanted to do something to help out and send a message of love and support.
My trip has included a 5.1 earthquake this morning – which woke me up and shook the motel I was staying in. I’m sure many Christchurch residents didn’t even wake up – after all they have been through, but it was big for me!
As a Christchurch old boy I was really effected by the “ghost town” look of the inner city. Driving around the city is like navigating a 4×4 track and seeing all the port-a-loo’s around remind us of the many people who have to live everyday without proper water supply. But these last few days what I have really noticed is how nuggety the people of Christchurch are in dealing with this ongoing crisis. They have an amazing ability to “get on with it”. They just get up every morning and keep going.
I can see the potential of this great city bouncing back in the future – but it will be because of these incredible people who have hung in there and built their city back. I want to pay tribute to the great Canterbury spirit and say to the people of Christchurch that you are fantastic and an inspiration to the whole country! We are behind you!
Posted: June 9th, 2011 | Author: Dean Rush | Filed under: Overcoming | Tags: C3 Auckland, C3 Church, Dean Rush, Discipleship, Inspiration, promises, Promises of God | No Comments »
Speak these scriptures over your life and your circumstances everyday and you will never be the same!
Psalm 34: 19 A righteous man has many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all
Proverbs 16: 3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed
Isaiah 54: 17 No weapon that is formed against you will prosper
Jeremiah 29: 11 For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future
Romans 8:28 All things work together for good to those who love God
Philippians 1: 6 Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ
Philippians 4: 19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus
Galatians 6: 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up
2 Thessalonians 3: 3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one
James 1: 12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him
Posted: July 17th, 2009 | Author: Dean Rush | Filed under: All, Overcoming | Tags: C3 Church, Dean Rush, overcoming disappointment | No Comments »
Robert Kiyosaki said “The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way.”
To be successful in life you have to get over yourself and over disappointment
Disappointment is something you have to keep overcoming to show yourselves faithful
When ever you have high hopes – you will be disappointed at some stage
Here are some keys to overcoming disappointment
1. Don’t do anything stupid when you are disappointed
When you are disappointed don’t make any quick decisions
Allow yourself sometime to get over it and back into faith
2. Don’t play the blame game
It’s just disappointing!
It’s not God’s fault – he wants to bless you
It’s generally not anyone else’s fault
Don’t blame yourself – bottom line you gave something a go – that is to be applauded
See it for what it is – a disappointing outcome and it hurts – but it can be turned around!
3. Be comforted by God
2 Corinthians 1: 3 – 4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles
So many in disappointment run away from God – but he is described in the bible as the God of all comfort
Be comforted by God
Run to God
4. Don’t give up
2 Chronicles 15: 7 But as for you be strong and do not give up for your work will be rewarded
It’s only failure if you give up
Be strong and stay in the game – trust God and keep trying
The outcome won’t be as bad as you think
Your work will be rewarded
James 1: 3 – 4 and the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish it’s work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything
God wants to produce perseverance in you so that you will be mature and complete
6. Receive what was promised
Hebrews 10: 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God you will receive what he has promised
On the other side of disappointment is promise and success
Psalm 22: 5 They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed
Trust in God – you will not be disappointed
Posted: May 28th, 2009 | Author: Dean Rush | Filed under: All, Overcoming | No Comments »
Do not give up
2 Chronicles 15: 7
But as for you, be strong
To make it in life we need to be strong – to make our dreams into realities we need to find strength
It is easy to feel weak as situations in life feel overwhelming
But you have strength
David said in Psalm 28: 7 the Lord is my strength and my shield
Ephesians 6: 10 says to be strong in the Lord and his mighty power
You are stronger than you think!
In God you are strong
and do not give up
Sometimes everything inside of you wants to give up
The world seems to want you to give up
The devil certainly wants you to give
But I want to encourage you to stay in the fight
Don’t think about giving up
Think about breaking through
Think about how great your victory is going to be
The tougher it is the greater the victory will be
Remember it is only failure if you actually give up
If you keep trying – your failure becomes incredible victory
for your work will be rewarded
The bible says your work will be rewarded
How good is that
Whatever you are working on right now – it will be rewarded
The strength – the perseverance – the work will be rewarded
So don’t give up!