I Am the Bread of Life!

Bread


In John 6:35 Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."

Some of you may have said "I've tried trusting God in the past and it doesn't work!" Well, don't keep your distance, it's time to make a move! Do something of faith! Go hard after Jesus and if you'll reach after Him for life, you'll find Him!

You've been given a free will, you've been given a life, you're not beat down, your story is not hopeless -this isn't the end!

Refuse to make peace with passive, some of us are so passive and we're waiting for God to do something. God has already done something! He lived, He died on the cross, He rose again on the third day and since the moment you drew breath on planet earth, He's been reaching out toward you! You respond to what He's done!

Stuck is a choice! You don't have to stay stuck in your sadness, you don't have to stay stuck in your own version of hell! You have been offered the touch of Jesus, and the hand of God is reaching toward you. Yes, we're gonna live in a broken world, 'til the new world comes. Yes, life is gonna be a challenge and it's gonna be hard, but it doesn't have to be hopeless! It can be joyful, purposeful, it can be full of growth and love and it can be full of relationship and life!

Most of all it can be full of Jesus and all that He is can be ours and change our reality! Or you can stay stuck and addicted, or you can try just a little more pornography - another woman or another man. Hey how about some more stuff? That'll do it! Spend yourself a little deeper into debt, then you'll be happy - oh wait, the bill comes!

Don't stay stuck, take the initiative of faith to respond to what God has already done, do something creatively today toward God. So many of us have gotten into such a passive mode that we don't even know how to seek God anymore and I just want to tell you that you gotta use your imagination! Each one of the people in the stories of Matthew 9:18-34 imagined a different way that Jesus could touch them or how they could touch Jesus and that's what you need to do today!

You need to use the creative imagination that God gave you and you need to seek God! Get out of the rut you're in and the routine of religion and go hard after Jesus until His touch changes everything!

Jesus said, "I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me will never go hungry, whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." No matter how hard your life is or what you're longing for that you can't get, if you will go to Jesus, if you won't keep your distance, He promises to satisfy! -Dr. Drew Shofner

Jesus Change takes courage!

Jesus change

When Jesus walks into your life, your life is going to get totally and radically flipped upside down. If you haven't had the experience yet of Jesus showing up and having your life completely and totally flipped upside down, then you might want to ask yourself the question "Do I really know Jesus?" 

If you haven't been radically transformed in a way where you understand that what He is trying to do is make you different, then maybe there is not a real relationship with Jesus!

Because that's just what Jesus does when He shows up - Jesus changes everything!

If you've experienced change after following Jesus, there is a good chance that you're following Him. If your life is no different after following Jesus, then there is a good chance you are not really following Him! 

Jesus changes everything, and can I just tell you what 'Jesus change' takes? Jesus change takes courage! Change takes walking into situations you don't want to be in, change causes you to have to be different than you are today! Welcome to Jesus change. He's gonna take you to some scary places and He's gonna ask you to do some scary things!  If change is going to take place in your life, it's gonna take some courage!

Jesus change takes courage; Jesus change means that you're gonna have to give up everything if you want to know Him! There is nothing in your life that is off limits for Jesus to touch and do something with! 

When Jesus change comes, it will alienate you from some people, it will take some people away from you quite frankly that you may love. If you're dating someone and they don't love Jesus the most and you're trying to love Jesus the most and you're trying to convince them over and over to love Jesus. By the way, you can't convince them to love Jesus, only the Spirit can do that. In fact, often times you will just enable them to keep from loving Jesus!

So, can I just go ahead and tell you that unhealthy + unhealthy does not equal healthy. Unhealthy + healthy does not equal healthy. Only healthy + healthy coming together will be healthy! When it's all said and done, Jesus is going to alienate you from some people when He changes your life. 

Here's the deal folks, what are we gonna do with Jesus? Maybe it's a real life change, deciding to accept Him into your heart and start a real relationship with Him? Maybe you've been a follower for a while but you've just got some things that need to change. It could be in your finances, it could be something in your family or in your relationships or your job?

There are a lot of times I don't like what Jesus says to me, but when you're confronted with the real Jesus, you have to either say "Yes, Jesus, change whatever it is you want to change about me" or you have to look at Him and say "go away." There is no in-between! Jesus change takes courage! -Pastor John B. Smith 

If we're saved, we're sent!

The gospel isn't an invitation to happiness

Jesus said that if we found our life and our significance in His love, that we would be then so changed and altered in our heart that we would spend the rest of our lives helping other people find their place in the love of the Father! So if we are not doing the one, then we need to question the other, because this is a love so great and so powerful that it changes whatever it touches!

If we are truly saved, as the church of the living God, then we have to acknowledge that our purpose is not a country club for consumers. It is not a place for critics to rate. It is not where we get our needs met, that is not what the church is for!

The church is the body of Christ, it is to be in our world, what Christ's body was in His world! The body of Christ served the mind of Christ to do His will to touch the faces of those who are hurting and broken in His day and it's supposed to do the exact same thing in ours!

The flow of the love of God is this--Jesus said, "you come to me, and find in Me your life and the purpose you've been longing for. Everything else that you've tried and broken yourself on, when you come to Me instead of going to 'that', you will find rest! You will find life and you will find joy! But when you come and follow me for life, I'm going to send you out and I'm going to make you 'fishers of men' (Matthew 4:19). That's my purpose, that's my call, that's my love for the world expressed and lived in a way that actually works!" (paraphrased)

Here's the deal, I am so convinced that I (and we), do not believe in the power of the Gospel much anymore. I have been praying for the day when we would see 300 new believers come to Christ and follow Him in baptism every year. In a city of hundreds of thousands, how is that not possible?

There's only one way that's not possible and it's that I'm not doing my job!

I'm not believing my Lord. I'm not going where I should be going.

I'm not speaking how I should be speaking. I'm not letting Jesus make me what He wants to make me!

I want us, as a church, to wake up and opt of out consumerism.

I want us a church to recover our confidence in the Gospel (the good news of Jesus) to change lives and to believe that it's not just preachers who are given the privilege of answering brokenness, but every Christ follower is one who is sent!

If we have entered into the life of Christ, then we are sent out by Christ into the world.

The Gospel isn't an invitation to personal happiness--it's a call to wage and win an eternal war on your heart and your soul! If we're saved, we're sent! -Dr. Drew Shofner

To hear the full message click here to listen to the live recording: http://severnrun.com/resources/past-messages/our-faith-isnt-finished/

It's time for us to trust God and to believe the impossible again!

Severn Run Wooden cross

Seventeen and a half years ago when God let me have the privilege of becoming the lead pastor at The Church at Severn Run, we had a real decision to make. The decision to make was to stay where we are and ignore the need of the world around us and pretend like somebody else will reach those people, or continue the tradition of this amazing church and attempt the impossible for God. We wanted to reach as many people as possible with the Gospel, so we began a journey to say, "We believe that nothing is impossible with God!" We believe that God's supply will always meet our need and we are going to give our all to trust God!

It really is a big decision to decide whether you're going to trust God with the impossible or whether you're going to pull back and just exist. I can't tell you all the times that we stood in places of great need and made the decision--do we trust the supply of God or do we not? When we stood at places perhaps where we got a little comfortable and then looked around at our world and said, "Are we going to answer the need of the broken world and take the gospel to it, or are we going to act like it's not there and somebody else would do it?" This (church) property was somebody else's property and we had looked for land for years. Our own realtor quit and would not look at this property because they already had a two million dollar contract on it. The truth was, there was no hope of us buying this property...but we know God!

After he left, I went back to my desk and I wrote a letter casting a vision of a church that could change the world in this area. Of a church having a generational impact on the lives of men and women and boys and girls. Of a church that would take the gospel message of Jesus that answers the brokenness of the world, that puts marriages back together, that gives the hopeless hope, that helps young people in middle school and high school find a reason to live, and journey toward their purpose instead of deeper brokenness! And casting the vision of a church that could do that, the owners of this property said, "We want to talk to you!"

So we gathered and we prayed. The only thing that was on this property at one point was a wooden cross and we gathered and prayed and saw something where there was NOTHING! It's time for us to trust God and to believe the impossible again! -Dr. Drew Shofner

What will you give? (The Road Ahead)

what will you give

The truth is, God gives everything to those who give everything to Him. The church at Severn Run has to get on the road to impossible in order to live the future of God! We have to make 'impossible' our regular way of living. I'm telling you, 17 years ago when God called me to this church, God put in my heart and in the heart of others--the impossible. I believe with all my heart that He whispered and said, "I want you to lead 1,000 disciples toward me." When we were small and didn't have much of anything, this impossible task was what God called us to and now we're a community of 1,200 disciples! Guys, we have to live toward the impossible all the time, or we're not living in faith!

When Jesus said "Come and follow me," He said "I will send you out!" So you and I know that it is impossible to be a follower of Jesus without being sent out 'on the road' to change the world! I want you and I to be a people who live believing the impossible from God, in all of our heartache and all of our circumstances; I'm not minimizing any of that. I cannot imagine all of the fiery furnaces and giants that you're facing, the red seas in front of you and the armies behind you! I cannot imagine the situation of lack and need, where you have two loaves with 5,000 mouths to feed, but I'm just telling you that God has given us an answer and His name is Jesus! 

And when we give ourselves away completely for Jesus, we live believing nothing's impossible and then we attempt the impossible for God! I want you to live from this day forward believing the impossible 'from' God and then Iive attempting the impossible 'for' God; in your life, in your marriage and as a church community! God will fill everything with His infinite provision as far as your faith allows! What will you give?- Dr. Drew Shofner

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