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Descending Into Greatness

The Best of the Best (Philippians 3:1-6) Dale Beaver 05/26/2019 Watch Listen Notes

Philippians 3:4-7a
I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more! I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault. I once thought these things were valuable…..

 

1 Corinthians 15:3-7
I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles.

 

1 Corinthians 15:8-10
Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him. For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church.
But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace.

 

1 Timothy 1:12-14
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him, even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief. Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus.

 

1 Timothy 1:15-16
This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.

 

The Best of the Best

The Least of the Rest

The Worst of them All

 

A partnered and prayerful interrogation of your inner life

 

A patient and purposeful application of your downward progression

 

Acts 22:3-5
Then Paul said, “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, and I was brought up and educated here in Jerusalem under Gamaliel. As his student, I was carefully trained in our Jewish laws and customs. I became very zealous to honor God in everything I did, just like all of you today. And I persecuted the followers of the Way, hounding some to death, arresting both men and women and throwing them in prison. The high priest and the whole council of elders can testify that this is so. For I received letters from them to our Jewish brothers in Damascus, authorizing me to bring the followers of the Way from there to Jerusalem, in chains, to be punished.

 

Acts 22:6-8

“As I was on the road, approaching Damascus about noon, a very bright light from heaven suddenly shone down around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’

“‘Who are you, lord?’ I asked.

“And the voice replied, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, the one you are persecuting.’”

 

“Winning ain’t about how hard you can hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”
-Rocky Balboa

 

“I attribute my success to the fact that I never dreamed about it. I worked for it.”
-Estee Lauder

 

“The Good Lord gave us two ends—one to sit on and the other to think with. Success depends upon which of those ends we use most.”
-Ann Landers

 

“The greatest among you must be a servant. Those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
-Jesus of Nazareth

 

 

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The Least of the Rest (2 Cor. 11:23-27; Eph. 3:7-8) Dale Beaver 06/02/2019 Watch Listen Notes

Discipleship is more about falling from success than into it.

 

Ephesians 3:8
Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ.

 

2 Corinthians 12:2-4
I was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don’t know—only God knows. Yes, only God knows whether I was in my body or outside my body. But I do know that I was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell.

 

2 Corinthians 12:5-7
That experience is worth boasting about, but I’m not going to do it. I will boast only about my weaknesses. If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message, even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.

 

Galatians 4:13-14
Surely you remember that I was sick when I first brought you the Good News. But even though my condition tempted you to reject me, you did not despise me or turn me away. No, you took me in and cared for me as though I were an angel from God or even Christ Jesus himself.

 

2 Corinthians 12:8-10
Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

Matthew 26:39
Jesus went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

 

Matthew 26:42-44
Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.” When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open. So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again.

 

2 Corinthians 4:5-7
You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

 

Philippians 2:12-13
Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

 

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The Worst of Them All (1 Timothy 1:15-16) Dale Beaver 06/09/2019 Watch Listen Notes

1 Timothy 1:15-16
This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.

 

Titus 3:12
I am planning to send either Artemas or Tychicus to you. As soon as one of them arrives, do your best to meet me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to stay there for the winter. 

 

1 Timothy 1:17
“All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.”

 

2 Timothy 4:6-7
As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. 

 

2 Timothy 4:8
And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.

 

“For him the Christian life was a strenuous business: he liked to picture it in athletic terms, as a battle to be fought, a race to be run. Instant attainment was out of the question: not before the end of his mortal career would he have reached the goal towards which he pressed, to receive ‘the prize of God’s upward call in Christ Jesus.’ A naturally proud man, he learned over time to boast about his humiliations in place of his achievements.”   
-F.F. Bruce, Apostle of the Heart Set Free

 

Romans 15:18a
Yet I dare not boast about anything except what Christ has done through me…..

 

2 Timothy 4:9-13
Timothy, please come as soon as you can. Demas has deserted me because he loves the things of this life and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus has gone to Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Bring Mark with you when you come, for he will be helpful to me in my ministry. I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. When you come, be sure to bring the coat I left with Carpus at Troas. Also bring my books, and especially my papers.

 

Psalm 130:1-5
From the depths of despair, O Lord, I call for your help.
Hear my cry, O Lord. Pay attention to my prayer.
Lord, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive?
But you offer forgiveness that we might learn to fear you.
I am counting on the Lord; yes, I am counting on him.  I have put my hope in his word.

 

2 Timothy 4:22
May the Lord be with your spirit. And may his grace be with all of you.

 

 

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