Rodger Rushing

Make it Count | Week 3

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Summary - My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?
If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:1-13

Letters from Jesus | week 2: Smyrna

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Summary - “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.
“‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’ Revelation 2: 8-11

Letters from Jesus | week 1: Ephesus

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Summary - “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’ Revelation 2:1-7

Contrast | week 5

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Summary - And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came, and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean.” And he went out into the gateway and the rooster crowed. And the servant girl saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.” And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept. Mark 14: 66-72

Ascent | week 7

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Summary - “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:19-34

Ascent | week 1

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Summary -  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:3-11

Thrill of Hope | Hope for the Future

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Summary - Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, who brings forth chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick: “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:16-19

Thrill of Hope | Peace

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Summary - Oh Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins.
A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 40:1-5

HERE & not yet | week 9

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Series – HERE & not yet

Summary - And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?” And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am—except for these chains.” Acts 26:28-29

Resources - Cardboard Testimony

HERE & not yet | week 5

Series – HERE & not yet

Summary - Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:10-12

Resources - My True Identity [Bookmark]

BLESS | week 3

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Series – BLESS

Summary -  “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;
and he who has no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk, without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Isaiah 55

Resources - CG Guide

our house | may 27

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Series – Our House

Summary -  And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’”  Luke 14:17-24

Resources - CG Guide

light of the world | march 18

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Series – Light of the World

Summary - As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. John 9:1-7

Resources - CG Guide

believe. | January 21

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Series – believe. 

Summary -  At the beginning of a new year, it feels like you get a fresh start. The page had turned and a new chapter, with new stories, has begun. What story does God want to write in your new year? The power of belief is in the object, and not the subject, of belief. In other words, what you believe in matters.

Resources - CG Guide

church in the city | 1 Corinthians 4:1-21 | September 3

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Series – Church in the City

Summary -  The Corinthian church was succumbing to the pressures and the cultural norms of its surrounding culture. Paul is writing to confront the behaviors that are not in step with the gospel and to encourage the church live out her distinction as a holy temple in and for the world. 

CG Guide - Church in the City | week 3

Short Stories: Faith | Mark 4:1-20 | June 25

Series – Short Stories: Faith

Summary - Jesus was the master storyteller. Mathematics is precise, but math lacks the ability to connect the human heart. To connect a truth to people you need something more profound than a precise calculation, you need a story. Stories and metaphors connect to the human condition and speak to the human heart. Jesus’ stories are simple, but we could swim in the depths of them endlessly. Jesus’ stories are not meant to write a precise prescription, but they are meant to stir the heart to contemplation. In this series we are going to contemplate and study the Short Stories of Jesus and will be wading through the depths of these stories as they instruct the human heart. 

CG Guide - Short Stories | week 5

Short Stories: Love | Matthew 18:21-35 | June 18

Series – Short Stories: Love

Summary - Jesus was the master storyteller. Mathematics is precise, but math lacks the ability to connect the human heart. To connect a truth to people you need something more profound than a precise calculation, you need a story. Stories and metaphors connect to the human condition and speak to the human heart. Jesus’ stories are simple, but we could swim in the depths of them endlessly. Jesus’ stories are not meant to write a precise prescription, but they are meant to stir the heart to contemplation. In this series we are going to contemplate and study the Short Stories of Jesus and will be wading through the depths of these stories as they instruct the human heart.  

CG Guide - Short Stories | week 4

Short Stories: Love | Luke 15:1-32 | June 11

Series – Short Stories: Love

Summary - Jesus was the master storyteller. Mathematics is precise, but math lacks the ability to connect the human heart. To connect a truth to people you need something more profound than a precise calculation, you need a story. Stories and metaphors connect to the human condition and speak to the human heart. Jesus’ stories are simple, but we could swim in the depths of them endlessly. Jesus’ stories are not meant to write a precise prescription, but they are meant to stir the heart to contemplation. In this series we are going to contemplate and study the Short Stories of Jesus and will be wading through the depths of these stories as they instruct the human heart.  

CG Guide - Short Stories | week 3