Make the Great Exchange. You Will Be Better For It!

Enjoy the latest teaching on the Firm Foundation podcast, "The Great Exchange" from the Series, "The Master Key."

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Isaiah 40:31  But those who hope in the Lord will renew [exchange] their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Exchange is a part of life. We all need renewal and refreshing on a regular basis. The normal activities and challenges of life take a toll. There are also circumstances that require exchange for us to cope and make progress in life. Situations like the passing of loved ones or unexpected setbacks on life are among the biggest examples. We cannot change ourselves using our own strength. We can make superficial adjustments, but deep and lasting change much come from our Creator.

Whatever the situation, God has made a provision through His grace. The grace of God is everything He has that He makes available to us. And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. (John 1:16)

Exchange was the basis of our Salvation: 1 John 2:2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

“The Great Exchange” is God’s grace for our renewal of strength.

MASTER KEY: Pay attention to your exchanges

We are always giving up one thing for another. That’s a part of life, but be mindful of what you are exchanging.

Matthew 16:25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

Why Love Never Fails

Listen the teaching: "The Master Key: Love Never Fails"

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1 Corinthians 13:4, Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails.

The best definition of love is found in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.” Jesus is our best example of love. This is what I call the "God kind of love.”

Nothing endures like love. Love has unlimited capacity and inexhaustible power. Think of all the things in your life that have come short or failed either within yourself or from others, the "God kind of love" was not one of them. There is a lesser form of human love that is more about words, feelings, and intentions--but this is not the kind of love that "never fails." 

The Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 5:13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Here is the MASTER KEY: Love never fails because the love walk is consistent by nature. 

Love does not fail because God is love! Therefore, we can love because He first loved us. Because of this, love wins!

There are three ways in which love wins:

1. God Wins:  He has a plan to save humanity after the fall of Adam.

Romans 5:6  (NLT) When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. 

2. Others win | The “Royal Law” is God's standard of love that motivates our good treatment of others

James 2:1 (NLT), My dear brothers and sisters,[a] how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? 2 For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. 3 If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, 4 doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives? ...6 But you dishonor the poor! Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? 7 Aren’t they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear? 8 Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

3. You win | The first person who needs to experience the winning power of love, is ourselves. 

1 John 4:7 (NLT) Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love…16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. 18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19 We love each other because he loved us first.

2019 Servant-Leader Workshop Lessons

Click on speaker names below to listen to 2019 Servant-Leader Workshop lessons from Saturday, June 1 at New Covenant Church:

SESSION ONE: Audio by Pastor Bryan Hudson  (PDF of Keynote by Pastor Hudson)

The Master Key: Diligence (Audio)

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2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 6:11, And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Hebrews 11:6, But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Definitions of Diligence,
  • Steady application in business; constant in effort or exertion to accomplish what is undertaken; 
  • A diligent person sees what needs to be done; and they do it, and do it, and do it until they get the desired result
  • Marked by careful attention or persistent application.
  • Persevering determination to perform a task

(Vine’s/Hebrew/Greek) – “A working,” is indicative of a process. 

MASTER KEY: For believers in Christ, diligence is not simply “works,” it is an extension of God’s grace in action.

(Joyce Meyer) We see many people who come to work in “ministry” fail to realize that they will have to change in order to have the privilege of working for God. 

Proverbs 13:4 The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.

MASTER KEY:  It takes diligence to succeed in a process that involves you.

Everything in life is a process – that is the way God has arranged things. 
1. Pregnancy and birth is a process. 
2. Growing up physically and spiritually is a process. 
3. Education and learning is a process. 
4. Why would promotion or advancement on the job or in ministry be any different? 

[First mention] EXO 15:26, and said, "If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.”

MASTER KEY:  God didn’t say only “heed,” He said “diligently heed.” Anyone can heed in the moment, but the process to obeying and following God is diligence.  It is the only way forward.

Deuteronomy 28:1, "Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. "And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God:

Proverbs 10:4, He who deals with a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes one rich.

Proverbs 13:4, the soul of a sluggard desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.

Proverbs 21:5, The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.

MASTER KEY: Diligence is one of the key components of leadership.
Romans 12:8, He who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Romans 12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient[c] in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given[d] to hospitality

MASTER KEY:  Repentance on the part of the Corinthians produced a new level of motivation and diligence. When we are in disobedience to God, divine energy is lacking. We need God’s strenght to get things done.

2 Corinthians 7:1, Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

2 Corinthians 7:11, For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

2 Corinthians 8:7, But as you abound in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us--see that you abound in this grace also.

2 Timothy 2:15, Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Hebrews 6:11, And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Hebrews 11:6, But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

MASTER KEY:  Diligence releases God’s rewards

2 Peter 1:5, But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6] to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,

The Master Key: “Lessons from Eagles” (Audio)

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Deut 32:9 (NLT)  For the people of Israel belong to the Lord;  Jacob is his special possession.  10 He found them in a desert land, in an empty, howling wasteland. He surrounded them and watched over them; he guarded them as he would guard his own eyes. 11 Like an eagle that rouses her chicks and hovers over her young, so he spread his wings to take them up and carried them safely on his pinions. 12 The Lord alone guided them;  they followed no foreign gods. 

God compares Himself to a mother eagle.  God declares Himself in scripture by comparing His previously unknown attributes with other attributes that are known to mankind. 

“Rouses her chicks"  It means "to rouse, to incite or awaken."  God stirs His people in many ways including sermons, trials, the conviction of the Holy Spirit and more.
This verse is found in a passage known as the Song of Moses.  In this song, Moses recaps for the children of Israel their short history and magnifies God's perfections and holiness.  An outline of the passage might be: 
1.  God's Promise To His People     v. 7-9
2.  God's Perfecting of His People    v. 10-12
3.  God's Provisions For His People    v. 13-14 

In these verses we also see how God sought them (v.  7-8); He saved them (v. 9); He schooled them (v. 10 ...he instructed him...); He shielded them (v. 10 ...he kept him as the apple of his eye... ); He established them (v. 11 ); and He separated them (v. 12 ).  Let us narrow our focus to verse 11.  In this great song of Moses, why does God compares Himself to a mother eagle?  I believe that we can learn some great truths by studying this comparison: truths about God and His people, and truths about mothers.

Male and female bald eagles mate for life

I.    The Mother Eagle Speaks of the Nurturing Nature of Our God

Moses compares the work of his God in removing Israel from Egypt to the mother eagle's stirring over its young.  Bondage in Egypt had been an incubation period for the Jewish people, but God, like the mother eagle, had plans for His young. 
Nurture defined: to give tender care and protection to a child, a young animal, or a plant, helping it to grow and develop; to encourage somebody or something to grow, develop, thrive, and be successful

How does God nurture like a mother eagle?

1.  The Eagle's Sight  (God's Omniscience) It is said that eagles have such extraordinary sight that they can see an object as small as a rabbit from hundreds of feet in the air!  In its sight, he eagle typifies God's omniscience.  He sees and knows all.  Isaiah 40:28 says "...there is no searching of God's understanding..."

2.  The Eagle's Swiftness (God's Omnipresence)  The eagle can fly at  speeds over 100 miles per hour, and can reach 180 MPH in a dive.  God does not need to travel at high speeds because he is everywhere present.  “A very present help in time of need.” “Behold, I come quickly.” “Before you call, I say here I am.”

3.  The Eagle's Strength  (God's Omnipotence)  The adult eagle weighs around 25 pounds but can pick up and carry animals that weigh between 50-75 pounds.  Eagle handlers must wear protective gear to keep the birds from crushing their arms.  The eagle's strength reminds us of God's omnipotence.  “Cast all you care upon him, for he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

4.  The Eagle's Soaring  (God's Holiness)  Eagles can fly higher than any other birds.  They have been accidentally hit by jets in flight.  This shows us God's holiness, which is far above all.  No one can approach God's holiness.  Jehovah Elyon: “The Lord God most high.”

5.   The Eagle's Offspring (God's Children)   Mother eagles are very protective and supportive of their young.  Many animals ignore their young and some even devour them.  But eagles train and teach the little eaglets.  Likewise, God does not leave His children to themselves.  Think of the children of Israel in the wilderness.  God fed them, gave them water, kept them warm at night and shaded in the day.