Monday, April 24, 2017

I Have Doubts (04.23.17 Notes) - The Story of Thomas


“I Have Doubts”
Pastor Kris Freeman
Revolution Church
April 23, 2017

Scripture: John 20:24-31 (NLT)

On Sunday evening after the resurrection, Jesus appeared to the disciples behind a locked door in an upper room (John 20:19). At least one of the remaining disciples was not there.

24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”

Thomas – called Didymus (a name that means “twin” although his twin sibling is never identified) – is only mentioned once each in Matthew, Mark and Luke. In John, we learn more about him.

Thomas was often a PESSIMIST although he is called DOUBTING THOMAS by tradition. 

John 20:25 – “I won’t believe.” – Greek ou mÄ“

The reason? He often had a very rough outlook of the circumstances of Jesus. All those times involved Jesus potentially being AWAY.

Thomas, nicknamed the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go, too—and die with Jesus.” (John 11:16 NLT) – Thomas fears Jesus will be stoned if he goes back to Bethany with Lazarus. But he is willing to remain by his side.

All the disciples had doubt after the resurrection. Thomas gets a bad rap, but in truth he was very faithful and LOYAL.

26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” 28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. 29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

What do we do when we have DOUBTS about the stories of the Bible?
  • What story is the hardest for you to believe? ____________________
  • What principle or teaching is the hardest for you to receive? ___________________
  • How do you feel when you have trouble believing?

  • Do you feel sinful when you do not believe?
  • Do you feel God doesn’t love you when you do not believe?
  • Do you feel REJECTED when you do not believe?

God still used Thomas in spite of his pessimism. 

Tradition and history says Thomas may have carried the Gospel to southern India; where several churches were built in his honor and his tomb reportedly exists. He died a martyr, by a SPEAR in his SIDE.

Go here: http://get.theapp.co/ae95/
To be used by God, sometimes big QUESTIONS lead to GREAT FAITH.

Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.  Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation. (Hebrews 11:1-2 NLT)

Please don’t ignore God’s PEOPLE because you don’t fully understand God’s PLAN.

There were eight days between the resurrection and Jesus meeting Thomas. Where was he? What was he doing? Did he give up and run? Pout? Sulk? Was he searching for him (John 14:5 “we don’t know where you are going so how can we know the way?). But at some point, Thomas returns to the FELLOWSHIP of his friends and then God’s plan is unveiled to him.

30 The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.

#HeIsRisen


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Rocks Fell, She Rose (04.02.17 Notes)

“Rocks Fell, She Rose”
#Fam Week One
Pastor Kris Freeman
Revolution Church
April 2, 2017

John 8:1-11 (NLT)

8 Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, 2 but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. 3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.

As Jesus was TEACHING, immediately the enemy starts TROUBLE.

But it’s in trouble that God shows his plan for RESTORATION of his FAMILY to the world.

4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” 6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

Let’s set the scene:
- A group of religious teachers and leaders (Pharisees) brought a woman caught in sexual sin to Jesus.
- By the law, she could have been stoned to death. Every single one of these leaders knew the Mosaic Law to the letter.
- If they knew the law, why were they asking Jesus for his opinion?

The enemy will set a TRAP for those trying to bring restoration to the family.

Jesus answered let the one without sin first cast a stone. He didn’t say no one could throw a stone, he said the one without sin cast the VERY FIRST SHOT. The only person eligible to answer his statement was HIMSELF.

9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” 11 “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

God has both the authority to CONDEMN you and to SAVE  you. 

Three truths about reconciliation of sin through the power of the blood of Jesus:

1. He turns EXILES into family. Why was this woman exiled?
a. She was unclean
b. She was caught
c. She was ashamed
d. She was guilty
e. Sin will leave you all of those things but the Savior of the world has redeemed you from this sin!

2. He turns BROKEN into brothers and sisters.
a. “It has been observed that there is no sin so great that God will not forgive, but there is no sin so small that it does not need to be forgiven. The Old and New Testaments center on the theme of redemption and forgiveness, stressing the human condition as one of alienation and moral guilt…Through God’s mighty and loving act of redemption on the cross of Christ, he can offer the gracious act of forgiveness without compromising the perfection of his justice and character…and secure our relationship as true members of God’s family…” – Conformed to His Image, Kenneth Boa, pp. 49.
b. “Why has the church in America become so segregated? Because we have let tribalism, ethnocentrism, individualism, consumerism, racism and classism create boundaries in God’s people. The Bible calls this sin.” – Derwin Gray, HD Leader, pp. 56-57
c. There is a new family created with the redemption of Christ Jesus – one held together as brothers and sisters and joint heirs through the work of Jesus!

3. He turns HOPELESSNESS into healing.
a. This woman had no lawful right to be saved.
b. In the midst of her fear, he restored her faith.

God sent not his Son into the world to judge the world, but to save the world through Him. – John 3:17

Friday, March 24, 2017

What Matters Most (03.26.17 Notes)

“What Matters Most”
#TheBestYes Week Four
March 26, 2017
Pastor Zack Parker
Revolution Church

Scripture: 1 Timothy 3:1-5, 8

If Family matters most, I ask, do you give the most for your family?

1 Timothy 3:1-5
3 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore an overseer[a] must be above reproach, the husband of one wife,[b] sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive,5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church?

1 Timothy 5:8
8 But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.


Spiritual Leader of Household

Ephesians 5:23
23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.

- It starts with your spouse – Must be the example setters for your children.
- The closer you get to God the closer you get to each other.


Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

- Meaning typically a child whose parents dedicate him or her to the right path through careful training will continue in that way to old age. This vers stresses parental opportunity and duty, encouraging parents to do their part by raising their children well.
- Our children need to be well rooted and grounded into the word of God. Our world is brutal and they need to know just as we do, that we find our identity in our relationship with Christ and not things of this world.

Statistics regarding teens
- By 8th grade 30% of kids have tried drinking alcohol.
- 58% of sophomores have abused alcohol.
- 71% of high schoolers have used alcohol.
- Almost 50% of high school seniors have abused a drug of some kind.
- By 8th grade 15% of kids have used marijuana.
- 43% of high school seniors have used marijuana.
- Over 60% of teens report that drugs of some kind are kept, sold, and used at their school.
- In 2013 47% of high school students were involved in sexual intercourse.
- 80% of teens leave the church after they graduate high school.

Practical Practices

- Balance
a) Schedule it and don’t allow this time to be interrupted.
b) Quality over quantity
- Be Present
a) You have to be more than just there physically.
- Be Intentional
a) Don’t just go through the motions.
b) Is there purpose behind your time and what you are doing?







Wednesday, March 22, 2017

It's Worth Wisdom (03.19.17 Notes)

“It’s Worth Wisdom”
The Best Yes – Week 3
Pastor Kris Freeman
Revolution Church

Scripture: 2 Samuel 20:1-7, 14-22 (NLT)

1 Now a troublemaker named Sheba son of Bikri, a Benjamite, happened to be there. He sounded the trumpet and shouted, “We have no share in David, no part in Jesse’s son! Every man to his tent, Israel!” 2 So all the men of Israel deserted David to follow Sheba son of Bikri. But the men of Judah stayed by their king all the way from the Jordan to Jerusalem. 3 When David returned to his palace in Jerusalem, he took the ten concubines he had left to take care of the palace and put them in a house under guard. He provided for them but had no sexual relations with them. They were kept in confinement till the day of their death, living as widows. 4 Then the king said to Amasa, “Summon the men of Judah to come to me within three days, and be here yourself.” 5 But when Amasa went to summon Judah, he took longer than the time the king had set for him. 6David said to Abishai, “Now Sheba son of Bikri will do us more harm than Absalom did. Take your master’s men and pursue him, or he will find fortified cities and escape from us.” 7 So Joab’s men and the Kerethites and Pelethites and all the mighty warriors went out under the command of Abishai. They marched out from Jerusalem to pursue Sheba son of Bikri.

14 Sheba passed through all the tribes of Israel to Abel Beth Maakah and through the entire region of the Bikrites, who gathered together and followed him. 15All the troops with Joab came and besieged Sheba in Abel Beth Maakah. They built a siege ramp up to the city, and it stood against the outer fortifications. While they were battering the wall to bring it down, 16 a wise woman called from the city, “Listen! Listen! Tell Joab to come here so I can speak to him.” 17 He went toward her, and she asked, “Are you Joab?” “I am,” he answered. She said, “Listen to what your servant has to say.” “I’m listening,” he said. 18 She continued, “Long ago they used to say, ‘Get your answer at Abel,’ and that settled it. 19 We are the peaceful and faithful in Israel. You are trying to destroy a city that is a mother in Israel. Why do you want to swallow up the LORD’s inheritance?” 20 “Far be it from me!” Joab replied, “Far be it from me to swallow up or destroy! 21 That is not the case. A man named Sheba son of Bikri, from the hill country of Ephraim, has lifted up his hand against the king, against David. Hand over this one man, and I’ll withdraw from the city.” The woman said to Joab, “His head will be thrown to you from the wall.” 22 Then the woman went to all the people with her wise advice, and they cut off the head of Sheba son of Bikri and threw it to Joab. So he sounded the trumpet, and his men dispersed from the city, each returning to his home. And Joab went back to the king in Jerusalem.

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The Best Yes is a series inspired by the book of the same name by Lysa Terkeurst. This series and it’s visual materials are used by permission of Elevation Church resources in Charlotte, NC. Copies of the book are available for purchase in the welcome center.

A troublemaker arises
Absalom, the son of David, had been causing trouble. He tried to overthrow his father the king, but David loved his son and asked for his life to be spared.

Now in chapter 20, we meet Sheba, who is a troublemaker capable of causing more harm than Absalom, and David sends Joab and his men to pursue him. We meet a woman who intervenes – much like Abigail did in week one of this series – to save her city from destruction.
 I
Troublemakers cause issues in their current location, and they will cause trouble in their eventual destination. The location doesn’t matter when the HEART is the problem.

The woman who resolves the issue is unnamed, but her wisdom brings peace.

I. She was wise in her APPROACH.

Our approach often determines our outcome in conflict.
1. She was bold to call out for Joab – she was brave for the sake of safety.

2. She was humble as she offered to serve.

“Pride and disgrace are always holding hands…but so are wisdom and humility. As believers, the enemy wants to leverage the pride in our hearts to create a judgmental, arrogant view of the people God loves unconditionally.”

Hold people CLOSE as we hold them ACCOUNTABLE. – That has the potential to be one of the hardest statements to apply you will ever hear preached or written. Isn’t that difficult?

II. She was wise in her ASSURANCE.

In the moment of siege, the city of Abel was considered to be an enemy when it was really a harbor of peace.
1. Conflict will cause you to label the wrong enemy.
2. Momentary weakness in conflict can bring:
a. Offense
b. Insecurity
c. Fear
d. Anger
3. “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” – Matthew 5:9
4. Peace is the calming of the conflict to put our assurance and focus in the right PLACE.

III. She was wise in her ADVICE.

Every decision, conversation and action of the woman who brought peace contributed to the reputation she needed to be taken seriously. 
1. A lifelong effort to show wisdom will pay off in conflict.
2. By establishing patterns of wisdom, we gain the credibility to offer wise advice in the middle of tense situations. Patterns of wisdom:
a. Being involved in church
b. Growing as a disciple
c. Living generously
d. Spending time reading the Bible and praying to God
e. Working for peace and resolution without judgment

Proverbs 11:2
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. 

The woman is known for her WISDOM, not for her NAME

1. Are you known for what you stand for, or who you are?
2. Are you known for how you conduct yourself, or what your name is?
3. Are you known for when you rise from adversity, or how you take credit in success?

Three questions to apply from this message:

1. How would you honestly describe the reputation that you have with other people? Do you even want to answer that question?
2. What is something you had to fight for patiently that God proved his worth?
3. Does God’s faithfulness in your past give you assurance for your future?

Colossians 4:5-6 (NLT)
Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.

When I consider #TheBestYes it should always be one that brings peace and forgiveness to the hardest moments of my life.

#TheBestYes

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Check Yes or No (03.12.17 Notes)

“Check Yes or No”
The Best Yes – Week 2
Pastor Kris Freeman
Revolution Church

Scripture: Matthew 5:33-37 (NLT)

Matthew 5:33-37 NLT
33 “You have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the Lord.’ 34 But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne. 35 And do not say, ‘By the earth!’ because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. 36 Do not even say, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. 37 Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.

Matthew 5:37 NKJV
But let your yes be yes, and your no be no, for whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

__________________________________________

The Best Yes is a series inspired by the book of the same name by Lysa Terkeurst. This series and it’s visual materials are used by permission of Elevation Church resources in Charlotte, NC. Copies of the book are available for purchase in the welcome center.

Is it ever a loving answer to say no? You might need to say no, so you can better love what deserves a yes.

When we consider our priorities and decisions, it often feels like a bad thing when we have to say no. But no is not an UNLOVING answer.

“Shouldn’t I consider what’s most loving since God commands us to love Him and love others? Can’t love help me rise above a bankrupted emotional approach? This is where the ways and will of God must step in and guide us.” – Lysa Terkeurst

To say “yes” can be loving – to say “no” can be loving – but to say “I’m not sure” is often LUKEWARM. There are things in God’s word which we cannot afford to be lukewarm about.

In your decisions, you cannot be lukewarm about:
1. Wisdom on What to Do – “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” – Revelation 3:15-16
2. Worship – “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” – Philippians 4:8
3. Thankfulness – “I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you may grow in your knowledge of God.” – Ephesians 1:16-17
4. Grace – “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift of God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” – Ephesians 2:8-9

Whatever attitude I bring into the situation will ALWAYS be multiplied.

If you are lukewarm on wisdom, you will act FOOLISHLY.
If you are lukewarm on worship, you will act in IDOLATRY.
If you are lukewarm on thankfulness, you will act SELFISHLY.
If you are lukewarm on grace, you will abuse SIN.

Think of BIBLICAL leaders who could have been more firm in their decisions and saved themselves great heartache.

Moses was lukewarm about his self-esteem.
Jeremiah was lukewarm about God’s restoration.
Jonah was lukewarm about his calling.
David was lukewarm about his lust and pride.
Peter was lukewarm about his loyalty.
Thomas was lukewarm about his faith.

When we make a FIRM decision, we are ultimately showing our TRUST in God.

There is a RETURN ON INVESTMENT for every single decision we make.

Moses return was fear and a lack of belief in himself.
Jeremiah return was grief and sorrow.
Jonah return was prejudice.
David return was death and loss.
Peter return was regret, needing forgiveness.
Thomas return was doubt.

But there can be a better return!

Saying yes with the right wisdom is a step in the direction of BLESSING.

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. – James 1:5 NLT

God may give a delayed answer. He may give a loving answer. He may give a just answer. He may give a tough answer. But God will not give you a wishy-washy, lukewarm answer. It is in his nature to be true to himself as he answers you.

Three questions:
1. What needs a no in my life, right now? Why can’t I say no to it? Why am I lukewarm about it?
2. What are two things that need more of my time, and would saying no to THAT thing open me up to be more faithful to THESE things?
3. What needs to be chiseled out of my decision-making process so that I can make a more firm decision?

I will learn to be firm about my decisions and use God’s wisdom to make them. #TheBestYes

Monday, March 6, 2017

Overwhelmed (03.05.17 Notes)

“Overwhelmed”
The Best Yes – Week 1
Pastor Kris Freeman
Revolution Church

Scripture: 1 Samuel 25:23-38 (NLT)

Abigail Intercedes for Nabal
23 When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed low before him. 24 She fell at his feet and said, “I accept all blame in this matter, my lord. Please listen to what I have to say. 25 I know Nabal is a wicked and ill-tempered man; please don’t pay any attention to him. He is a fool, just as his name suggests. But I never even saw the young men you sent.

26 “Now, my lord, as surely as the Lord lives and you yourself live, since the Lord has kept you from murdering and taking vengeance into your own hands, let all your enemies and those who try to harm you be as cursed as Nabal is. 27 And here is a present that I, your servant, have brought to you and your young men. 28 Please forgive me if I have offended you in any way. The Lord will surely reward you with a lasting dynasty, for you are fighting the Lord’s battles. And you have not done wrong throughout your entire life.

29 “Even when you are chased by those who seek to kill you, your life is safe in the care of the Lord your God, secure in his treasure pouch! But the lives of your enemies will disappear like stones shot from a sling! 30 When the Lord has done all he promised and has made you leader of Israel, 31 don’t let this be a blemish on your record. Then your conscience won’t have to bear the staggering burden of needless bloodshed and vengeance. And when the Lord has done these great things for you, please remember me, your servant!”

32 David replied to Abigail, “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you to meet me today! 33 Thank God for your good sense! Bless you for keeping me from murder and from carrying out vengeance with my own hands. 34 For I swear by the Lord, the God of Israel, who has kept me from hurting you, that if you had not hurried out to meet me, not one of Nabal’s men would still be alive tomorrow morning.” 35 Then David accepted her present and told her, “Return home in peace. I have heard what you said. We will not kill your husband.”

36 When Abigail arrived home, she found that Nabal was throwing a big party and was celebrating like a king. He was very drunk, so she didn’t tell him anything about her meeting with David until dawn the next day. 37 In the morning when Nabal was sober, his wife told him what had happened. As a result he had a stroke, and he lay paralyzed on his bed like a stone. 38 About ten days later, the Lord struck him, and he died.

The Best Yes is a series inspired by the book of the same name by Lysa Terkheurst. This series and it’s visual materials are used by permission of Elevation Church resources in Charlotte, NC. Copies of the book are available for purchase in the welcome center. 

“The two most powerful words in the English language are yes and no. We make our decisions, and then our decisions make us.” – Lysa Terkeurst

In 1 Samuel 25, the story of Nabal, Abigail, and David illustrates how we can make decisions that are in line with God’s will for our lives by focusing on our attention, intention, and prevention. 


David had been anointed as king of Israel, but hadn’t yet been appointed to take the throne. He is on the run from King Saul, who is trying to kill him. David and his 600 men were encamped around the flocks of a man name Nabal, protecting the livestock. When festival time came around, David sends to Nabal asking for food for his men. Nabal, known as a foolish and stingy man, refuses. Frustrated with this, David sets out with his men to kill Nabal and his household. When Nabal’s wife Abigail hears, she sets out with food to meet David.

When you are overwhelmed, you must give ATTENTION to the right matters.

1. Examine what we are paying attention to. Abigail asked David to ignore the foolish Nabal. What are we paying attention to that is foolish?
2. Where we focus is where we worship. Is your busy schedule your IDOL?
3. “Go where wisdom gathers, not where wisdom scatters.”
4. Maintaining this focus drives us into deeper intimacy with God.

What are two things in your life that need LESS ATTENTION and one thing that needs MORE ATTENTION?

When you are overwhelmed, you must give INTENTIONALITY to the right approach.

1. All David wanted was food for his men. She uncomplicated a very messy situation by giving David what he wanted and discerning his intentions.
2. Learn to ask “what do you want” in a situation instead of attacking what you think someone intends.
3. The one who obeys God’s instruction for today will develop a keen awareness of His direction for tomorrow.

What is one behavior I need to be INTENTIONAL about eliminating from my thought process (jealousy, envy, assumption, resentment, unforgiveness, regret, gossip, overcommitting, etc)?

When you are overwhelmed, you must take PREVENTIVE steps.

1. Abigail reminds David of God’s faithfulness.
2. Abigail humbly warns David not to take justice into his own hands and derail his destiny.
3. A word Abigail used with David was Puwqah (down on himself) which means a heavy conscience. Don’t complicate things unnecessarily. Simplify!
4. Trust that God is good and that HE IS GOOD AT BEING GOD.

What wise decisions do you need to make to PREVENT from derailing your destiny?

Even though Nabal was not a good husband to her, Abigail was faithful to stay in God’s will. She persuaded David to spare his life – God handled the justice, and later brought Abigail and David together.

We should examine our attention, intention and prevention when we make our decisions.

Ultimately, when we are overwhelmed, we get into God’s Word and always find God’s will.

Three action steps: 
1. Say no to two things this week that are unnecessary and say yes to one thing that really matters and budget its time.
2. Attack the issue, not the person. When you make a change, make it personal for you, not personal for them.
3. Commit 15 minutes each day in the morning, lunch or evening to talking to God about my schedule, praying and reading His Word.

I am the most important priority to God and I will make Him mine.

#TheBestYes

Monday, February 27, 2017

Man on a Mission (02.26.17 Notes)

Image: Google search Robert Hurst on Wordpress
“Man on a Mission” 
February 26, 2017

FearfullyMade Week 4

Pastor Kris Freeman 
Revolution Church

Scripture: 2 Kings 2:11-22 (NKJV)

2 Kings 2:11-22 New King James Version (NKJV)

11 Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 
12 And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” So he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces. 13 He also took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood by the bank of the Jordan. 14 Then he took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, and said, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” And when he also had struck the water, it was divided this way and that; and Elisha crossed over. 
15 Now when the sons of the prophets who were from Jericho saw him, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” And they came to meet him, and bowed to the ground before him. 16 Then they said to him, “Look now, there are fifty strong men with your servants. Please let them go and search for your master, lest perhaps the Spirit of the Lord has taken him up and cast him upon some mountain or into some valley.” 
And he said, “You shall not send anyone.” 
17 But when they urged him till he was ashamed, he said, “Send them!” Therefore they sent fifty men, and they searched for three days but did not find him. 18 And when they came back to him, for he had stayed in Jericho, he said to them, “Did I not say to you, ‘Do not go’?” 
Elisha Performs Miracles 
19 Then the men of the city said to Elisha, “Please notice, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the ground barren.” 
20 And he said, “Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him. 21 Then he went out to the source of the water, and cast in the salt there, and said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘I have healed this water; from it there shall be no more death or barrenness.’” 22 So the water remains healed to this day, according to the word of Elisha which he spoke.

What was the mantle? 
The mantle of Elijah was the cloth or cloak or robe that was worn by the prophet, and its symbolism was spiritual authority. The passing of the mantle from Elijah to Elisha was the significance of prophetic blessing and leadership.

In popular culture, the passing of the mantle is MENTORSHIP.

Men need mentors. We need leaders to look up to. Leaders and mentors teach us about life.

Who are our mentors as men? 
1. Fathers and grandfathers 
2. Teachers 
3. Pastors/elders or spiritual fathers 
4. Coaches 
5. Celebrities, athletes or inspirational people

Every man is different – and Elisha had to battle the COMPARISON of his mentor.

Instead of submitting to the pressure of comparison, Elisha asked for DOUBLE.

Elisha PURSUED his purpose. He did not run from it. Men run from responsibility when we cannot overcome the stereotypes and pressure.

The stereotypical man portrayed in culture: 
1. A Neanderthal (insert Tim Allen grunt) 
2. Intelligently inferior 
3. Sports, Sex and Food are what’s important 
4. Al Bundy 
5. The Steroid Monster 
6. The Deadbeat Dad 
7. The Addict or Abuser

I’m here to say you don’t have to be a stereotype. Pursue the PROTOTYPE.

Elisha became one of the greatest prophets to ever live, but he was not the carbon copy of Elijah, he found his OWN ministry which influenced others.

When Elisha died, he was one miracle short of double the number of miracles – until he died and then God finished the promise.

2 Kings 13:21 New King James Version (NKJV) 
21 So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band of raiders; and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet.

You were made for a purpose. Pursue it. Be it. Don’t conform, instead lead. Be a man.

I Am. I Can. I Will.

FearfullyMade