The Light Has Come Part 2 - Resist or Revere

December 10, 2017

If you at some point in your life, when you were younger, or two years ago, or 20 years ago; if at some point in your life, you prayed a prayer: “Lord Jesus come into my heart or I want to become a Christian or God forgive me of my sin.” And you entered into any kind of relationship with God.
And then as time went by, you just kind of wandered away.

You may have had a bad church experience or your family moved and you just never went back to church or maybe you went to college and you just quit believing. Maybe you just drifted away from your faith. Or there was some tragedy that happened to you and you prayed and prayed and prayed and God didn't answer your prayer.

If any of this is true of you, would you consider coming back to church one more time? If so, we want to invite you to join us this Sunday at Next Level Church. 9:30a or 11:00a

We are a church that, not only understands how you feel, we are a church made up of people just like you. And we want to show you what changed our minds and hearts.

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The Light Has Come Part 1 - Piercing the Darkness

December 3, 2017

God cares way more about how open your heart is than whether you follow the rules. When Jesus is born, God's people are going about their business, walking right by, and then there are these foreigners who come. And out of their darkness, they find themselves in this place full of light because there they are with Christ.

And this is really good news for anybody who feels like they are in a dark place because they stepped out of bounds, because they paid attention to the wrong things, because they tried to find their way and it took them in the wrong direction. And now you're in a dark place and you're afraid there is never any light coming for you.

Maybe you're afraid you've ruled yourself out. You've made yourself ineligible for the light. And you just need to hear this, this Christmas season. That God cares way more about whether your heart is open than whether you've followed all the rules. And this is a light that keeps promising to break in.

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God Questions Part 2

November 30, 2017

In this series, we formed a panel from our staff to answer questions about faith and God that were submitted to us online. Panel members include: Clay Monkus, Lead Pastor; Joseph McMurry, Teaching and Family Ministries Pastor; Brad Medford, Student Ministries Pastor; Bruce Jones, Discipleship and Groups Pastor; George Estes, Pastoral Care Pastor.

This is part 2 of that discussion, where we answered the following questions:

  • Does God See all sin as equally bad or are there different degrees of sin? Does God see them differently?
  • To spread the word of God do you have to go out and preach the bible? Because, what if I don’t know the Bible that well myself?
  • What has to be done by someone to be saved?
  • Is it possible to be “unsaved” based on our actions?
  • Why is it SO hard to accept Jesus’ Love is truly unconditional?
  • Do prayers change God’s actions?
  • When you have been raped how do you let that go?
  • Where is God now? Where is God when it hurts?
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God Questions Part 1

November 26, 2017

In this series, we formed a panel from our staff to answer questions about faith and God that were submitted to us online. Panel members include: Clay Monkus, Lead Pastor; Joseph McMurry, Teaching and Family Ministries Pastor; Brad Medford, Student Ministries Pastor; Bruce Jones, Discipleship and Groups Pastor; George Estes, Pastoral Care Pastor.

This is part 1 of that discussion, where we answered the following questions:

  • If joining a new church should you get saved over again and then baptized again?
  • Is it bad if Churches don’t display a Cross? 
  • I have been saved and baptized but I still wonder, will I make it to Heaven, how do I know?
  • Does Baptism permanently remove all sin from your life?
  • Did God create evil? If so, why?
  • Is our life predestined? Does God know how it will turn out? Can we change the path of our life based on our decisions?
  • Will we be raptured before the tribulation period? 
  • What do you do when you have tried everything and God is still silent?
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Sabotage Part 5 - Choosing Wisely

November 19, 2017

“The one who walks with the wise becomes wise, but whoever keeps company with fools only hurts himself." Proverbs 13:20

There is a whole lot that's packed into this one verse. What the writer of Proverbs is talking about is how you'll have a tremendous amount of influence over the people closest to you and those people are going to have a tremendous amount of influence over you.

In other words, your friends will determine the direction and the quality of your life.

Which brings us to a tough question, do you want to become like those you are with?

As you think about your closest friendships, if they're married, do you want your marriage becoming like their marriage? If you're single, and most of your friends are single, do you want your dating life to look like their dating life? Do you want to raise your kids the way they raise their kids? Do you want to handle your money the way they handle their money? Do you want to become like the people that you are with?

And at the end of the day, when you think about your closest friends, you want them to be the kind of people who are going to change you in some profound ways. You want to be surrounded by the kind of people who, just by being who they are, teach you a little bit more about who God really is.

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Sabotage Part 4 - Sticks and Stones

November 12, 2017

“The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” Proverbs 18:21

Remember Sticks and Stones… Whoever said, “your words will never hurt me”, is a liar. Words are powerful, painful, awful, amazing tools that can help, they can hinder, they can hurt, they can heal.

Your words have the power of life and death. In every single one of your relationships, you're either breathing life into that relationship with your words or you're breathing death into your relationship with your words.

Every word you use has a price tag. With words, wars have been started. With words, murders have been initiated, divorces have been sealed, children’s self esteem has been shattered. Words can end friendships, words splinter families, alright, words shatter reputations, words split churches, words are powerful things.

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Sabotage Part 3 - Rejected

November 5, 2017

We’ve all experienced the fear of rejection, maybe more often than we’d like to admit. Maybe it was that girl you wanted to ask out on a date. Maybe it was that group you desperately wanted to be a part of. Maybe ot was that job interview. The potential for rejection comes our way in a million different forms. In sales they could reject your product. In sports you might get cut from the team. In the committee meeting they might reject your presentation. In a relationship they might reject you. 

What are you going to do with the potential for rejection? You can let the fear paralyze you or you can face it. You can cave in or stand up.

The writer of Proverbs says in Proverbs 29:25, "Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety."

Being criticized is not a problem if you develop a positive way of dealing with it. SO how can we get past the fear of rejection?

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Sabotage Part 2 - Conquering Pride

October 29, 2017

Undermining Behavior: A life full of pride.

Pride can and will sabotage almost every single relationship that you're in. In general, pride is at the bottom of most of the relationship mistakes that we make. 

And there's two reasons why pride is so hard to address.

First, pride is unbelievably difficult for us to detect in our own life.  It is very difficult for us to actually see without having some kind of massive “hit rock bottom” type experience.

Second, we live in a culture that, for the most part, sees pride as irritating at worst. But in a lot of cases maybe even a virtue. Maybe it's just part of being a strong, confident, high achiever. 

The problem with that idea in our culture is that the Bible teaches that pride is lethal. That it is toxic, not only in our relationship to God, but it's toxic in our relationships to one another. 

Proverbs 29:1 “Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism will suddenly be destroyed beyond recovery.”

You can win the argument or you can win the other person's heart but you probably won't do both. 

You've got to figure this out in your relationships. What's most important to you? 

Do you want to win the argument? Because you can argue anything as long as you want to argue and eventually you're probably going to come up with enough reasons why you're right.

Or you can win the other person's heart but you're probably not going to win both. 

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Sabotage Part 1 - The Law of Inversion

October 22, 2017

October 22, 2017

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Better Together

October 15, 2017
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American Idols Part 5 - Idol Killers

September 10, 2017

As we wrap up this entire series, if you remember nothing else, remember two words — But God. When those idols that bring you your identity lie to you about who you are, stating anything other than who God says you are remember, "But God." He's so rich in his mercy and kindness.

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American Idols Part 4 - Idol Words

September 3, 2017

The words that you use will set the course of your life because the most important person who hears your words is you. If you tell yourself vague, protected things that you're trying to get off the hook, and don't ever go to repentant language, which is specific that connects with what we really are doing, we go down the complete wrong path.

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American Idols Part 3 - Idol Opinions

August 27, 2017

When the opinions of other people begin to become more important than God's opinion of me, something is wrong. Because when somone's opinion of me matters to me more than what God's opinion of me matters, it forms an idol.

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American Idols Part 2 - Idol Strength

August 20, 2017

What do I do when all my thoughts, my desires, my wants, my finances and my free time begin to revolve around what I don't have? How do I deal with the never ending feeling that my best is not good enough or that I will never measure up? Pastor Clay gives us some insights from the life of Gideon.

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American Idols Part 1 - Idol Minds

August 13, 2017

Everyone is known for something and we all know ourselves as something. What if we could ignore all the external identities that we, and the world, give ourselves and begin to truly identify ourselves by Jesus!

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Time to Thrive

August 6, 2017

"The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” John 10:10

Jesus’ offer is to THRIVE not just SURVIVE! As a church, we are looking forward to a future where people all around us are thriving in life. They are growing in their relationship with Jesus, they are building life-long friendships with people here, and they are finding their purpose in life.

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