Gaining the Competitive Advantage

So who is your team today?  No doubt there will be hundreds of millions of people watching this Super Bowl game and the coaches and players will participate in one of the most watched events in the history of mankind!  So how are they preparing? They are watching hours upon hours of film…Analyzing, digesting, and putting together a game plan that has the most competitive advantage for a Super Bowl victory. Win and you make history!  Leave it all on the field!

football play

“…but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons.”  Romans 8:15

But what about your life?  “Are you leaving it all on the field?” Where are you feeling like you are failing?  Is it in your mind?  Is it in your execution?  Are you addicted to substances or destructive habits?  What do you spend your time thinking about?  Having a relationship with Jesus gives you the Competitive Advantage.  If you want to activate the competitive advantage you already have, you need to execute the fundamentals on the most important stage you’ll ever see…YOUR LIFE!

Remember These Things – Gain Your Advantage…

1. Your Birthright – (Remember who you are) It’s easy to forget who you are.  Life changes, disappointments happen, and your attitude can go south in a hurry.  But remember you belong to Jesus and no one can change that.  Maybe you have forgotten your identity?  Most sin is because of an identity crisis.  Isn’t it time to recall the great sacrifice Jesus paid on the cross for you and depend on the Spirit of God in your life.  Remember who you are.

“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons”  Romans 8:15

2. Your Clarity – (Remember who the enemy is)  All sin traces back to this question… “Did God really say?”  Yep, whenever you hear that voice inside of you creating doubt about what right and wrong is, the enemy is eroding your advantage!  He is cutting you down through deception.  Remember who he is and that, well, He doesn’t like you.

“but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”  Romans 8:13

3. Your Vision – (Remember where you are going) This life is a temporary home for us.  Jesus already chose heaven for me.  I don’t know about you, but this is the best news I have heard all day.  It doesn’t mean I’m unhappy, it’s the reason I can live happy, content and anticipating the future.  I already know what the the scoreboard says.  When Jesus was raised from the dead, Jesus won, game over!  Don’t let the limited perspective of today, destroy your tomorrow.

“…because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”  Romans 8:27

It’s game time, leave it all on the field!

Josh

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania that meets Sundays at 10:30am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Burlington County or Bucks County, PA, we would love to have you join us.  Don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here

Dependence – Day 14 – Relaunch Video Journal

Dependence – “The end of your strength is the beginning of His.”

Scripture:  Nehemiah 9:26-38

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“For you have acted faithfully.”  Verse 33 sums it up well.  God is faithful.  He never breaks His promise of love for us.  Through the blood of Jesus we are able to come into a holy covenant with God.  It is comforting and encouraging to know God is stable in all His ways in a world that is unstable.  Time after time He forgives, puts up with utter filth and redeems us back to himself.  But are we depending on His word and the body of Christ as the church?  Whenever there is a question, may we be caught running to the scriptures for answers.  May we be known for our love for the Word, and may we be pursuing God passionately as we live the mission of God in our culture.  We are restored.

Listen to our Sunday PODCAST on the Go HERE

Watch Week 2 of Relaunch:  “Depending On God’s Word” Here:

Our Journal Process:

  • S – Scripture – Follow Through the book of Nehemiah with our Relaunch Field Guide.  You can Download it here  Choose a specific scripture passage then write a phrase or verse that jumps out at you.    Youversion.com has incredible resources and reading plans.
  • O – Observation –  Write your thoughts.  What do you think God is saying to you in this Scripture? What do you think it means?
  • A – Application – This is where you make personalized action steps to what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now.  Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life.
  • P – Prayer – This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this Scripture, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Who comes to mind that you need to pray for?  Remember, prayer is a two-way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say first.

For more on the Relaunch 40 Day spiritual growth emphasis:  READ THIS

To Download the Relaunch Field Guide with Journal and Small Group Curriculum:  CLICK HERE

Declaration – Day 13 – Relaunch Video Journal

Declaration – “Declare who He is, write His promises, recount His goodness and receive His blessing.”

Scripture:  Nehemiah 9:6-25

217church Day of Fasting is Friday February 19, 2016

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“You Are…!” Declaring who God is leads to dependence.  Words are so powerful and they almost always lead to transformation.  We have a saying in our home: “Use your words to build people up, not bring them down.”  Declaring who God is and what He has done literally builds the foundation of a life.  Sometimes, it is easy to forget who God is.  If I keep my eyes simply on the here and now in the present, it distracts me from what God wants in the future.  Celebration of who God is can be one of the most powerful forms of worship.  Declare who He is, write His promises, recount His goodness and receive His blessing today.

Listen to our Sunday PODCAST on the Go HERE

Watch Week 2 of Relaunch:  “Depending On God’s Word” Here:

Our Journal Process:

  • S – Scripture – Follow Through the book of Nehemiah with our Relaunch Field Guide.  You can Download it here  Choose a specific scripture passage then write a phrase or verse that jumps out at you.    Youversion.com has incredible resources and reading plans.
  • O – Observation –  Write your thoughts.  What do you think God is saying to you in this Scripture? What do you think it means?
  • A – Application – This is where you make personalized action steps to what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now.  Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life.
  • P – Prayer – This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this Scripture, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Who comes to mind that you need to pray for?  Remember, prayer is a two-way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say first.

For more on the Relaunch 40 Day spiritual growth emphasis:  READ THIS

To Download the Relaunch Field Guide with Journal and Small Group Curriculum:  CLICK HERE

Hunger – Day 12 – Relaunch Video Journal

Hunger  – “When you are hungry for God you stop at nothing to see His vision.”

Scripture:  Nehemiah 9:1-4

217church Day of Fasting – Friday February 19, 2016

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What Nehemiah does, before anyone knew the vision, comes to pass in the city among all the people of God.  All the people fasted.  This means they didn’t eat for a prescribed period of time.  It is incredible how the actions of one faithful leader, to deprive himself of food and seek the face of God, led to thousands desperately desiring a move of God in the city.  When we withdraw from our self-dependence, this is when we truly begin to surrender to the Holy Spirit and His promptings in our lives.  As I am writing this I am hungry.  My stomach is growling and I need food.  May we have this same hunger for God and His presence in our lives as we hunger for His Word.

Listen to our Sunday PODCAST on the Go HERE

Watch Week 2 of Relaunch:  “Depending On God’s Word” Here:

Our Journal Process:

  • S – Scripture – Follow Through the book of Nehemiah with our Relaunch Field Guide.  You can Download it here  Choose a specific scripture passage then write a phrase or verse that jumps out at you.    Youversion.com has incredible resources and reading plans.
  • O – Observation –  Write your thoughts.  What do you think God is saying to you in this Scripture? What do you think it means?
  • A – Application – This is where you make personalized action steps to what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now.  Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life.
  • P – Prayer – This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this Scripture, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Who comes to mind that you need to pray for?  Remember, prayer is a two-way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say first.

For more on the Relaunch 40 Day spiritual growth emphasis:  READ THIS

To Download the Relaunch Field Guide with Journal and Small Group Curriculum:  CLICK HERE

Momentum – Day 11- Relaunch Video Journal

Momentum  – “Lean into spiritual momentum and you will go further faster ”

Scripture:  Nehemiah 8:13-18

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When the feast of booths happened, the whole city changed.  It was probably impossible not to be caught up in the excitement of the all the celebrations, music, and feasting.  When the word of God became central, when obedience to the word became normative, that is when the real transformation took place.  Rebuilding the wall may have helped protect them, but it was merely symbolic to the actual rebuilding of lives that was happening in the city.  All because of the Word, all because of a people who submitted themselves to the ways of God more than their fleshly desires.  Why not here?  Why not now?  Why not this community.  If we will turn to the Word of God, it will create a wave of redemption that will be impossible to resist full of healing and peace.

Momentum = mass x velocity 

Listen to our Sunday PODCAST on the Go HERE

Watch Week 2 of Relaunch:  “Depending On God’s Word” Here:

Our Journal Process:

  • S – Scripture – Follow Through the book of Nehemiah with our Relaunch Field Guide.  You can Download it here  Choose a specific scripture passage then write a phrase or verse that jumps out at you.    Youversion.com has incredible resources and reading plans.
  • O – Observation –  Write your thoughts.  What do you think God is saying to you in this Scripture? What do you think it means?
  • A – Application – This is where you make personalized action steps to what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now.  Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life.
  • P – Prayer – This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this Scripture, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Who comes to mind that you need to pray for?  Remember, prayer is a two-way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say first.

For more on the Relaunch 40 Day spiritual growth emphasis:  READ THIS

To Download the Relaunch Field Guide with Journal and Small Group Curriculum:  CLICK HERE

 

Day 11 Photo

Rhythm – Day 10 – Relaunch Video Journal

Rhythm  – “When you get in rhythm with the Word you discover your joy”

Scripture:  Nehemiah 8:9-12

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I absolutely love music.  It brings me joy.  Not a day goes by without listening, singing, tapping my foot, or playing drums even when are no “drums” to be played.  I love the rhythm and feeling the tempo of a good song.  Life is the same.  It’s a rhythm.  However, listening to music with a broken tempo is…painful.  The people of God found their rhythm again in this passage.  They got back in sync with God’s word and it all started with the celebration of Sabbath and the reading of His word.  They rediscovered how good it felt to be in lock step with the word and it was time to party.  Absolute joy overcame the entire population.  Why?  They rediscovered how good it is to dwell in the holiness of God.  May you discover this today.

Listen to our Sunday PODCAST on the Go HERE

Watch Week 2 of Relaunch:  “Depending On God’s Word” Here:

Our Journal Process:

  • S – Scripture – Follow Through the book of Nehemiah with our Relaunch Field Guide.  You can Download it here  Choose a specific scripture passage then write a phrase or verse that jumps out at you.    Youversion.com has incredible resources and reading plans.
  • O – Observation –  Write your thoughts.  What do you think God is saying to you in this Scripture? What do you think it means?
  • A – Application – This is where you make personalized action steps to what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now.  Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life.
  • P – Prayer – This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this Scripture, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Who comes to mind that you need to pray for?  Remember, prayer is a two-way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say first.

For more on the Relaunch 40 Day spiritual growth emphasis:  READ THIS

To Download the Relaunch Field Guide with Journal and Small Group Curriculum:  CLICK HERE

 

Depending On God’s Word – Week 2 Relaunch

Watch Week 2 of 217church Relaunch:  “Depending On God’s Word” 2-14-16 Here:

Download the Notes Here (pdf)

I am so excited about what God is doing through Relaunch, our 40 day spiritual growth emphasis.  This is week 2 – “Depending on God’s Word.” Nehemiah 8:1-8

When the walls are complete, Ezra stands up in a pure act of spiritual authority and reads the word to the people.  We have redemption in Christ and have been given the Word to guide us through this life.  As it transforms us, the bible is cause for declaration, anticipation, celebration, consecration, and maturation.  His Word is here for us for our benefit.

Follow along with the Relaunch journal starting with week 2 Here

To Download the Relaunch Field Guide with Journal and Small Group Curriculum:  CLICK HERE

Relaunch_2.125'x5

Week #2 “Depending On God’s Word”

Our official #Relaunch Sunday celebration is Sunday March 20, 2016 

We are officially #Relaunching @217church after 6 full years of ministry on March 20th, 2016.  Join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 10:00am and Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ at 11:00.  Our new Robbinsville/East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, we would love to have you join us.  Don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here

 

Transformation – Day 9 – Relaunch Video Journal

Transformation  – “It’s not just what He speaks to us, but what we do with what He has spoken.”

Scripture:  Nehemiah 8:5-8

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I can’t even begin to count the times I have been reading a scripture, and all the sudden I read a particular verse and it LEAPS off the page.  It’s like God is speaking directly to me through the Holy Spirit with a clarity unmatched by human wisdom.  But over the years I am learning it’s not simply what He speaks to us, but what we do with what He has spoken.  Understanding leads to transformation.  Like the parable of the sower, I long to have a heart of “good soil,” not merely understanding the word, but letting it change my mind and how I live.  The good process of sanctification through the transformation by the word needs to become my food.  May His word truly be my daily bread.

Listen to our Sunday PODCAST on the Go HERE

Watch Week 2 of Relaunch:  “Depending On God’s Word” Here:

Our Journal Process:

  • S – Scripture – Follow Through the book of Nehemiah with our Relaunch Field Guide.  You can Download it here  Choose a specific scripture passage then write a phrase or verse that jumps out at you.    Youversion.com has incredible resources and reading plans.
  • O – Observation –  Write your thoughts.  What do you think God is saying to you in this Scripture? What do you think it means?
  • A – Application – This is where you make personalized action steps to what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now.  Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life.
  • P – Prayer – This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this Scripture, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Who comes to mind that you need to pray for?  Remember, prayer is a two-way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say first.

For more on the Relaunch 40 Day spiritual growth emphasis:  READ THIS

To Download the Relaunch Field Guide with Journal and Small Group Curriculum:  CLICK HERE

 

Priorities – Day 8 – Relaunch Video Journal

Priorities  – “When the word of God becomes your priority it opens up incredible possibilities.”

Scripture:  Nehemiah 8:1-4

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Today begins week 2 – Depending On God’s Word.  Nothing was more important after the people saw God move on their behalf, than the reading and studying of the word of God, NOTHING.  If you have made it this far into the journal, you must be serious about God doing something during these 40 days.  He is about to move.  When we make the word a priority in our lives it transforms us and all those around us.  Daily it shapes and straightens our pathways.  His word gently and carefully removes the sin from our lives and then releases power.  If all the scriptures profit us, maybe it’s one thing our adversary wants us to ignore?  What role does the scripture play in your life?  The necessity of priority seems pretty clear.

Listen to our Sunday PODCAST on the Go HERE

Watch Week 2 of Relaunch:  “Depending on God’s Word” Here:

Our Journal Process:

  • S – Scripture – Follow Through the book of Nehemiah with our Relaunch Field Guide.  You can Download it here  Choose a specific scripture passage then write a phrase or verse that jumps out at you.    Youversion.com has incredible resources and reading plans.
  • O – Observation –  Write your thoughts.  What do you think God is saying to you in this Scripture? What do you think it means?
  • A – Application – This is where you make personalized action steps to what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now.  Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life.
  • P – Prayer – This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this Scripture, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Who comes to mind that you need to pray for?  Remember, prayer is a two-way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say first.

For more on the Relaunch 40 Day spiritual growth emphasis:  READ THIS

To Download the Relaunch Field Guide with Journal and Small Group Curriculum:  CLICK HERE

Courage – Day 7 – Relaunch Video Journal

Courage  – “The perfect balance between being careful and careless.”

Scripture:  Nehemiah 2:11-18

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Prayers to God will help us to act courageous for God.  I look at this person who was transformed through months of fasting and praying.  Now he is in Jerusalem acting on the orders of His God and earthly king.  What a powerful place to operate from.  “Come let us build the wall of Jerusalem.”  There comes a time in every person’s life where they have the opportunity to make their mark.  It’s one bold action that redefines us forever.  Never the same, not going back, and now things are different.  Nehemiah didn’t know what was ahead and neither do I, but may I have the courage to depend on the word of God and act with confidence in my God because He goes before me and guides my steps.

Listen to our Sunday PODCAST on the Go HERE

Watch Week 1 of Relaunch:  “Praying God’s Plan” Here:

Our Journal Process:

  • S – Scripture – Follow Through the book of Nehemiah with our Relaunch Field Guide.  You can Download it here  Choose a specific scripture passage then write a phrase or verse that jumps out at you.    Youversion.com has incredible resources and reading plans.
  • O – Observation –  Write your thoughts.  What do you think God is saying to you in this Scripture? What do you think it means?
  • A – Application – This is where you make personalized action steps to what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now.  Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life.
  • P – Prayer – This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this Scripture, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Who comes to mind that you need to pray for?  Remember, prayer is a two-way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say first.

For more on the Relaunch 40 Day spiritual growth emphasis:  READ THIS

To Download the Relaunch Field Guide with Journal and Small Group Curriculum:  CLICK HERE