Sermon Podcast
 
Oct 23, 2016
Four Signs of a Healthy Christian Heart (Part 1 of 4)
 
In this parable, we find two primary applications: Keep it. Sow it.

There are three primary objects in this parable: the sower, the seed, and the soil.

- Sower: Jesus & believers who share His message (Mt. 13:37)
- Seed: Word of God (Luke 8:11)
- Soil: Hearers (Luke 8:12-15)

Read & Explain Luke 8:4-15.

The four types of soil represent different responses to God’s message. People respond differently because they are in different states of readiness.

Some are hardened, others are shallow, others are contaminated by distracting cares, and some are receptive.

Notice, the fruitfulness is determined by the soil, not the seed or the sower.

So, this parable gives us two challenges:

1) Keep it: nurture the Word in your heart

2) Sow it: share the Word with others

--> Our focus today will be on: "Keep it."

There is nothing wrong with the Sower or the Seed.

The problem is with the soil!

Our challenge is to keep our hearts, the "soil," nurtured and maintained to be fruitful ground for the Word of God.

It is a challenge!

Sin, sinners, Satan, and circumstances have their way at influencing our heart to be unfit ground for the seed of the Word of God.

So, how can we keep our heart healthy spiritually?

 

Today, we will look at the first of four signs of a healthy spiritual heart condition.

First, consider that keeping a healthy spiritual heart must be a passion and pursuit:

Psalm 119:10-11
With my whole heart have I sought thee:
O let me not wander from thy commandments.  
Thy word have I hid in mine heart,
that I might not sin against thee.

As we pursue keeping a healthy heart, we should work to keep it . . .

SOFT AND RECEPTIVE

“Way side” people, like many of the religious leaders, refuse to believe God’s message.

Way-sides are hard, calloused sceptics and unbelievers.

They have been trodden on and hardened in their life and are unwilling to receive the Word.

How can we keep our heart soft and receptive?

- Reading/Hearing, Psalm 119:11
- Meditation, Psalm 119:15
- Prayer, Romans 8:15-16
- Fellowship, Hebrews 10:24-25, Acts 2:42
- Ministry, Acts 6:4
- Giving, Matthew 6:21

ILL:  Gipsy Smith told of a man who said he had received no inspiration from the Bible although he had “gone through it several times.” “Let it go through you once,” replied Smith, “Then you will tell a different story!”

Let us keep our hearts soft and receptive to the Word of God!
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  • Oct 23, 2016Four Signs of a Healthy Christian Heart (Part 1 of 4)
    Oct 23, 2016
    Four Signs of a Healthy Christian Heart (Part 1 of 4)
     
    In this parable, we find two primary applications: Keep it. Sow it.

    There are three primary objects in this parable: the sower, the seed, and the soil.

    - Sower: Jesus & believers who share His message (Mt. 13:37)
    - Seed: Word of God (Luke 8:11)
    - Soil: Hearers (Luke 8:12-15)

    Read & Explain Luke 8:4-15.

    The four types of soil represent different responses to God’s message. People respond differently because they are in different states of readiness.

    Some are hardened, others are shallow, others are contaminated by distracting cares, and some are receptive.

    Notice, the fruitfulness is determined by the soil, not the seed or the sower.

    So, this parable gives us two challenges:

    1) Keep it: nurture the Word in your heart

    2) Sow it: share the Word with others

    --> Our focus today will be on: "Keep it."

    There is nothing wrong with the Sower or the Seed.

    The problem is with the soil!

    Our challenge is to keep our hearts, the "soil," nurtured and maintained to be fruitful ground for the Word of God.

    It is a challenge!

    Sin, sinners, Satan, and circumstances have their way at influencing our heart to be unfit ground for the seed of the Word of God.

    So, how can we keep our heart healthy spiritually?

     

    Today, we will look at the first of four signs of a healthy spiritual heart condition.

    First, consider that keeping a healthy spiritual heart must be a passion and pursuit:

    Psalm 119:10-11
    With my whole heart have I sought thee:
    O let me not wander from thy commandments.  
    Thy word have I hid in mine heart,
    that I might not sin against thee.

    As we pursue keeping a healthy heart, we should work to keep it . . .

    SOFT AND RECEPTIVE

    “Way side” people, like many of the religious leaders, refuse to believe God’s message.

    Way-sides are hard, calloused sceptics and unbelievers.

    They have been trodden on and hardened in their life and are unwilling to receive the Word.

    How can we keep our heart soft and receptive?

    - Reading/Hearing, Psalm 119:11
    - Meditation, Psalm 119:15
    - Prayer, Romans 8:15-16
    - Fellowship, Hebrews 10:24-25, Acts 2:42
    - Ministry, Acts 6:4
    - Giving, Matthew 6:21

    ILL:  Gipsy Smith told of a man who said he had received no inspiration from the Bible although he had “gone through it several times.” “Let it go through you once,” replied Smith, “Then you will tell a different story!”

    Let us keep our hearts soft and receptive to the Word of God!
  • Oct 16, 2016The Influence of Encouragement
    Oct 16, 2016
    The Influence of Encouragement
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    John is in prison and losing his influence.

    John had been put in prison by Herod. Herod had married his own sister-in-law, and John publicly rebuked Herod’s flagrant sin (Mt 14:3-5).

    John had stated several times that he must decrease and Christ must increase.

    John had directed his many disciples to follow Christ.

    In prison, John struggles with his faith that Jesus is Christ.

    John struggles with losing his followers and being placed into prison.

    Jesus sent disciples back to John to give a message that blessed is he that is not offended in me.

    Mt 11:7-8 Jesus affirmed the believers that John was deeply rooted in his message, humble in his ministry, and more than a prophet. He was no pandering politician.

    - When one is struggling in his faith, he needs someone he believes in to affirm confidence in him.

    - Jesus said John was in prison because of the strong stand he takes and that he never tried to use the ministry to obtain wealth and fame.

    - Jesus knew the language which would minister to John's spirit.

    - Jesus said John was the greatest prophet among men.

    Then, Jesus said, the person who is least in Heaven is greater than John.

    JESUS PUMPED UP JOHN AND THEN REMINDED HIM THAT THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS NOT ABOUT JOHN.

    John had let his prison moment get him focused on himself and lose sight of Christ.

    Jesus helped him by not focusing on John's weakness, affirming his strengths, and reminding him of his role in the bigger picture.

    PROP

    The church will be healthier when it's members encourage one another when they are down.  

    TRANS

    MESSAGE

    1) DON'T FOCUS ON PEOPLE'S WEAKNESSES, vs 7-8

    - We all have them

    - Mt 22:37-40 Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you

    - Mt 7:1-5 Leave their "mote" alone

    2) AFFIRM PEOPLE'S STRENGTHS, vs 9-11

    1 Thessalonians 5:11
    11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

    Philippians 4:8
    8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

    3) HELP PEOPLE SEE THEIR VITAL ROLE IN THE BIGGER PICTURE, vs 11

    1 Timothy 1:18-19
    18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:

    1 Timothy 3:14-15
    14 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: 15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

    1 Timothy 4:12-16
    12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. 15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. 16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

    Quote:
    “Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you.”—William Arthur Ward

    CONCLUSION

    THEY SAID HE COULDN’T SING
    As a young boy he worked in a factory, but had an intense desire to be a singer. When he turned ten years old, he took his first voice lesson which procured a less than encouraging remark from his teacher, “You can’t sing. You haven’t any voice at all. Your voice sounds like a wind in the shutters.”

    His mother, however, believed that he could learn to sing. She was very poor, but she hugged him and said, “My boy, I’m going to make every sacrifice to pay for your voice lessons.”

    Her encouragement and sacrifice for her son proved to be invaluable. He became known as one of the world’s greatest singers. His name is Enrico Caruso.

    Source: Knight’s Master Book of New Illustrations, W. B. Knight

    1) don't focus on people's weaknesses

    2) affirm peoples strengths

    3) help people see the bigger picture

    Ultimately, encourage people, and they will do better.

  • Oct 9, 2016Ten Preventions to a Divided House
    Oct 9, 2016
    Ten Preventions to a Divided House
     
  • Oct 2, 2016The Secret to Unconditional Love
    Oct 2, 2016
    The Secret to Unconditional Love
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    Each and everyone of us desires to be loved,

    So why don't we do it more?

    What is the secret to this great mystery?

    How can the very thing we all crave be so hard to find and give?

    Could it be that love is found in something else that is harder to find and give?

    Like a gift, is it wrapped in something else?

    Jesus sheds light into these questions in His conversation with a man named Simon who hosted Jesus for a meal in His home.

    STORY

    (vs 11) Jesus went to a city called Nain.

    (vs 12-29) In this city, Jesus raised a man from the dead, performed many miracles, and encouraged John the Baptist and his disciples.

    (vs 30-35) Pharisees present, who rejected John the Baptist, were indirectly rebuked by Jesus

    (vs 36) One of the Pharisees (Simon) invited Jesus to eat a meal in his home.

    (vs 37-38) A woman which was a sinner came in and stood at Jesus feet and washed His feet with her tears and hair before anointing His feet with precious oil.

    John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible:

    And stood at his feet behind him,.... Christ lay upon a bed, or couch, as was the custom of the ancients, both Jews and others, at meals, with his feet put out behind; and between the couches and the walls of the room, there was a space for servants to wait and serve, and such are therefore said to "stand at the feet"; and the phrase is used, as descriptive of servants in waitingF14; and in such a situation this woman put herself, as being also ashamed and afraid to come before Christ, and look him in the face; and here she stood weeping for her sins, and melted down with the love of Christ to her soul, and at his discourse:

    and began to wash his feet with tears: which fell from her eyes in such abundance upon his feet, as she stood by him that they were like a shower of rain, as the word signifies, with which his feet were as it were bathed and washed; his shoes or sandals being off, as was the custom at eating so to do, lest they should daub the couch or bed, on which they layF15. Her tears she used instead of water; for it was the custom first to wash the feet before they were anointed with oil, which she intended to do; and for which purpose she had brought with her an alabaster box of ointment: it is saidF16 of one,  

    (vs 39) Simon, the host, said within himself, "If Jesus were really a prophet, He would know this woman is a sinner."

    It was as though Simon brought Jesus as a guest for the purpose of finding fault in Him.

    (vs40-43) It was at this point that Jesus responded to Simon's thoughts with a request to share a parable with him.
    - Creditor with two debtors: one owed 100 and the other owed 50
    - Both were forgiven their debt
    - Jesus asked which would love the creditor most?
    - Simon replied, "I suppose he to whom he forgave most."

    (vs 44-46) Jesus rebuked Simon by pointing out that the sinful woman washed, kissed, and anointed His feet.

    (vs 47) Jesus stated that the reason the sinful woman loved Him much was because her many sins were forgiven by Jesus.

    (vs 48-50) Jesus then concluded by telling the woman that her sins are forgiven and that her faith hath saved her.

    ILL--Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

    So Jesus pointed out that Simon did not love Jesus because Simon had not received Jesus' forgiveness by faith.

    Jesus was saying that the key to loving Him was receiving His forgiveness.

    PROP

    You and I will love God to the extent we receive and recognize His forgiveness in our lives.

    The key to being loved and loving others is forgiveness!

    Forgiveness is the only avenue by which we receive and give unconditional love.

    NOTICE:

    Notice in this story three expressions of love the sinful woman give Jesus.

    1. (vs 44) SERVICE: washing His feet

    2. (vs 45) WORSHIP: kissing His feet

    3. (vs 46) HONOR: anointing His feet

    Service, worship, and honor are all acts of love driven by received forgiveness.

    TRANS

    So how do we receive and give forgiveness?

    MESSAGE

    Look to Jesus, the cross, and His forgiveness.

    - Every time you sin
    - When you see sin around you
    . . . the results of sin
    . . . how you escaped sin
    - When you remember wrongs you have done

    Look to Jesus, the cross, and His forgiveness.

    - When others seek your forgiveness
    . . . hurt you and avoid you
    . . . lie about you
    . . . despitefully use you
    . . . distrust you
    - Before others hurt you
    - After others hurt you

    Ephesians 4:32 32  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

    Colossians 3:13-14 13  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.  14  And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

    1 Peter 3:8-11 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:  9  Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.  10  For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:  11  Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it

    FOLLOW HIS EXAMPLE . . .

    Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

    Colossians 1:12-14 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:  13  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:  14  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

    1 John 2:12 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.

    Psalms 32:1-2 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.  
    2  Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity,
    and in whose spirit there is no guile.

    CONCLUSION

    Faith > Forgiveness > Love

    If you want to love and be loved by God and others, seek and give forgiveness.

  • Sep 4, 2016The Heavenly Ladder
    Sep 4, 2016
    The Heavenly Ladder
     
    Everyone wants to advance in their life in some way, but the avenues in which people try to climb are as numerous as there are people.
     

    If you look around, you will see people climbing the . . .

    Corporate ladder

    Religious ladder

    Family ladder

    People ladder

    Community ladder

    Government ladder

    Business ladder

    Money ladder

    Personal ladder

    Depending on where someone is from, one tends to lean on different ladders.

    For example: People from western cultures as ours have traditionally relied much on the personal ladder. Our society has valued individualism while eastern societies value collectivism, meaning they find their value more in a group more than in themselves.

    This affects the way one advances in life.

    Consider your life. How do you move upward in life?

    Leaning on Family?

    Stepping on others?

    Depending on government and society?

    Scaling the corporate ladder?

    Hoping your job lasts long enough for retirement?

    Aspirations of community groups?

    Looking to your church?

    Relying on yourself and your personal development?

    Trusting in education to pay off?

    Priding yourself in your rejection to climb at all?

    It is not necessarily right or wrong to place some trust in these various aspects of life.

    Where we go wrong is when we invest too much trust in these areas.

    For instance, I do depend on our government to provide infrastructure and national security, but I do not depend on them to feed and shelter my family.  

    I know that continual education will expand opportunities of life and influence, but I do not expect education to entitle me to life or a job. It still must be worked for.

    So, I ask, what ladder are climbing today?

    More than that, why are you climbing it?

    Where are you going on that ladder?

    Just because a ladder moves you upward, doesn't mean it's the ladder you should be on.

    Where will it take you and how far can it reach?

    In this passage, we find Jesus calling Himself the Heavenly Ladder that Jacob saw in Genesis 28. We are going to look at a few passages and consider 4 reasons why Jesus is THE ladder in which we should all be fully trusting.

    Genesis 28:10-15
    10 And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. 11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. 12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. 13 And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; 14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

    Psalms 20:7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses:
    but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.

    Psalms 37:5 5  Commit thy way unto the Lord;
    trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

    Psalms 49:6-13 6  They that trust in their wealth,
    and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;  
    7  None of them can by any means redeem his brother,
    nor give to God a ransom for him:  
    8  (For the redemption of their soul is precious,
    and it ceaseth for ever:)  
    9  That he should still live for ever,
    and not see corruption.  
    10  For he seeth that wise men die,
    likewise the fool and the brutish person perish,
    and leave their wealth to others.  
    11  Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever,
    and their dwelling places to all generations;
    they call their lands after their own names.  
    12  Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not:
    he is like the beasts that perish.  
    13  This their way is their folly:
    yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah.

    CAN YOUR LADDER REACH?

    John 14:1-6 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  2  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  4  And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.  5  Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?  6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    CAN YOUR LADDER HOLD YOU?

    Psalms 18:2 2  The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;
    my God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
    my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

    Psalms 119:117 117  Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe:
    and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually.

    Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

    Psalms 9:10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee:
    for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

    CAN YOUR LADDER STAND?

    Luke 6:46-49 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?  47  Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:  48  He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.  49  But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

    CAN YOUR LADDER LAST?

    Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

    Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

    CONCLUSION

    So we see clearly that Jesus is the Heavenly Ladder upon which we should place all our trust and advance our lives.

    This takes trust and obedience to His teachings, as said in Luke 6:46-49.

    Trust Jesus. Obey Jesus. Advance your life on Christ and in His way and direction.
     
    More Sermons →
  • Aug 28, 2016Four Lessons from the Temptations of Christ
    Aug 28, 2016
    Four Lessons from the Temptations of Christ
     
    Matthew 4 and Luke 4 reveal a dialogue between Jesus and Satan during Jesus' 40-day fast and temptation in the wilderness.

    According to Mark 1:13 and Luke 4:2, Jesus had been tempted of Satan all 40 days, over and above the recorded temptations.

    Notice that directly after he was declared to be the Son of God, and the Savior of the world, he was tempted; great privileges, and special tokens of Divine favor, will not secure any from being tempted.

    It appears that the primary goal of Satan was to plant a seed of doubt in Jesus' mind concerning His diety.  

    One commentary writes the following theoretical accusation from Satan:

    Satan-- "Thou still clingest to that vainglorious confidence that Thou art the Son of God, carried away by those illusory scenes at the Jordan. Thou wast born in a stable; but Thou art the Son of God! hurried off to Egypt for fear of Herod's wrath; but Thou art the Son of God! a carpenter's roof supplied Thee with a home, and in the obscurity of a despicable town of Galilee Thou hast spent thirty years, yet still Thou art the Son of God! and a voice from heaven, it seems, proclaimed it in Thine ears at the Jordan! Be it so; but after that, surely Thy days of obscurity and trial should have an end. Why linger for weeks in this desert, wandering among the wild beasts and craggy rocks, unhonored, unattended, unpitied, ready to starve for want of the necessaries of life? Is this befitting "the Son of God?" At the bidding of "the Son of God" surely those stones shall all be turned into loaves, and in a moment present an abundant repast."

    - Jamieson, Fausset & Brown Commentary

    Have you ever felt similar accusations planted in your mind?

    - That you have no true purpose for living
    - That past moments and words to which you cling were mere illusions of your mind
    - That answered prayers and workings of God in your life were only coincidences
    - That you cannot do anything right and may as well give up
    - That no one really cares about you
    - That the people you think love you really don't; they just use you
    - That you cannot be certain of anything
    - That you are not really saved and loved by Jesus Christ

    - That there is no use on you working hard because its all "rigged" against you

    We all receive these sort of temptations.

    How else would we truly know that we have convictions if our beliefs were not tested?

    One evangelist once said, "The test of your character is what it takes to stop you."

    "The door to the room of success swings on the hinges of opposition."

    “I’d rather lose in a cause that will ultimately succeed, than succeed in one that will ultimately fail” (Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865).

    Satan works hard to stop us in our tracks of following Jesus.

    Not only did Satan target Jesus' faith that He is the Son of God, but also the devil focused on three crucial areas of temptation: (1) physical needs and desires, (2) possessions and power, and (3) pride

    (see 1 John 2:15, 16 for a similar list)

    Of course, Satan was and is always deceitful with his temptations. Consider this illustration in nature:

    One of the largest freshwater turtles is the alligator snapping turtle. Found primarily in the southeastern United States, these massive turtles have been known to weigh close to 250 pounds. They are carnivorous, and while their diet is primarily fish, they have been known to eat almost anything else they can find in the water—even in a few cases small alligators! The alligator snapping turtle relies on a uniquely deceitful method of foraging for fish.

    The turtle will lie completely still on the floor of a lake or river with its mouth wide open. At the end of the turtle’s tongue is a small, pink, worm-shaped appendage. The turtle wiggles the end of its tongue so that it looks like a worm moving through the water. When a fish comes to eat the worm, the turtle’s jaws rapidly close, trapping the fish so that it cannot escape.

    Similarly to the snapping turtle’s lure, temptation comes in the guise of something desirable, but it always carries destruction with it in the end. If we could see the end result rather than the tempting part, it would be far easier to resist. But Satan knows this, so he cleverly disguises what is deadly in the guise of something pleasurable.

    This temptation of Christ, as well as our own experiences, reveal to us that Satan is waging a deceitful war on our mind.

    It is the will of Satan to confound and deter followers of Jesus Christ until they lose faith, increase doubt, and stop following.

    Let's look at three teachings from Christ's response to Satan's temptations plus one extra bonus truth from Satan's tactics.

    These teachings will help us learn how to remain faithful to God through the deceitful temptations we will face in life.

    TEACHING #1: LIVE BY GOD'S WORD, NOT BY YOUR WANTS

    Matthew 4:3-4, Luke 4:3-4

    Here, Jesus was being tempted to break His fast by performing a miracle for Himself . . . something you never see Jesus do. He came to serve others, not Himself. Satan was tempting Jesus to serve His own wants with His miracles and to try to prove to Himself He is God.

    - Wants can drive you to meet them at the wrong time or the wrong way

    - Living by God's Word helps you respond to your wants within God's timing and way

    We may be tempted to satisfy a perfectly normal desire in a wrong way or at the wrong time.

    If we steal to get food or
    If we indulge in physical intimacy or fantasy outside of marriage or
    If we succeed by running over others or

    If we try to make friends by being a talebearer . . .

    We are trying to satisfy God-given desires in wrong ways. Remember, many of our desires are normal and good, but God wants us to satisfy them in the right way and at the right time.

    Another evangelist said: It's never right to do wrong in order to get a chance to do right.

    TEACHING #2: NEVER TEST GOD WITH YOUR FOOLISHNESS

    Matthew 4:5-7, Luke 4:9-12

    Volcano Illustration:

    The final eruption of Mount St. Helens in May of 1980 was not a sudden event. For two months prior to the massive blast—the most deadly and destructive in American history—earthquakes and volcanic activity signaled a major event was underway. Authorities had plenty of time to sound the alarm and warn those living nearby of the looming danger. Yet despite the seriousness of the threat, some people chose to disregard the warnings.

    Probably the best known of those who refused to evacuate was Harry Randall Truman. The eighty-three year old man was the owner and caretaker at the Mount St. Helens Lodge at Spirit Lake. He had survived the sinking of his troop ship by a German submarine off the coast of Ireland during World War I, and he was not about to leave just because scientists thought there was danger. Truman told reporters, “I don't have any idea whether it will blow. But I don't believe it to the point that I'm going to pack up.” On May 18, 1980, Truman and his lodge were buried beneath 150 feet of mud and debris from the volcanic eruption. His body was never found.

    It is foolish to recognize danger or temptation and think that we will somehow be exempt from the consequences if we linger. If we believe Scriptures warnings concerning temptation, we will surely flee. The only real protection that we have is the approach taken by Joseph when he was tempted by Potiphar’s wife. “…and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out” (Genesis 39:12).

    Source: Volcano Cowboys, Dick Thompson

    ----

    The devil used Scripture to try to convince Jesus to test God with a foolish act! Sometimes friends or associates will present attractive and convincing reasons why you should try something you know is wrong. They may even find Bible verses that seem to support their viewpoint.

    Some also inaccurately use Scripture to back up their own foolishness.

    ILL--believing your obedience in one area of life demands God's blessings to compensate poor attention to other areas of your life

    - neglect to marriage
    - neglect to child rearing and training
    - neglect to health, diet, & exercise

    - neglect to financial stewardship

    ILL--"living by faith" and not working for or stewarding one's finances well

    ILL--expecting God's protection as one lives or acts recklessly

    Let's not test God with our foolishness.

    TEACHING #3: WORSHIP GOD PURELY TO PREVENT IMPURE DECISIONS

    Matthew 4:8-10, Luke 4:5-8

    The Temple was the religious center of the Jewish nation and the place where the people expected the Messiah to arrive (Malachi 3:1). Herod the Great had renovated the Temple in hopes of gaining the Jews’ confidence. The Temple was the tallest building in the area, and this pinnacle was probably the corner wall that jutted out of the hillside, overlooking the valley below. From this spot, Jesus could see all of Jerusalem behind him and the country for miles in front of him. The devil offered the whole world to Jesus if Jesus would only kneel down and worship him. Keeping our worship pure will help keep our actions right.

    "If you will give God your heart, He will comb all the kinks out of your head."

    - Deciding to worship God alone cancels out all other worship
    - Faithfully worshiping God keeps your eyes upward toward the heavenly
    - Run every major decision through your time in worship

    - Any decision that sacrifices your worship of God and faithfulness to His will is an idolatrous decision

    Consider these quotes:

    “Don’t sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate” (Bob Jones Sr.).
    “The greatest use of life is to spend it on something that outlasts it” (unknown author or date).
    “Do not let the good things of life rob you of the best things” (Buster Kothman, unknown date).
    “He is no fool who parts with that which he cannot keep, when he is sure to be recompensed with that which he cannot lose” (Philip Henry, 1631-1696).
    “At the root of all the miseries of mankind is a miscalculation of the value of things” (Benjamin Franklin, 1706-1790).
    “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least” (Goethe, 1749-1832).

    “Only one life twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last” (C.T. Studd, 1860-1931)

    May we keep our worship pure that it may guide our decisions.

    TEACHING #4: REMEMBER, TEMPTATIONS ARE CYCLICAL

    Luke 4:13

    - Always keep your armor on because temptations return

    CONCLUSION

    “Worship is an act that develops feelings for God, not a feeling for God that is expressed in an act of worship.”—Eugene Peterson

    When our feelings desire after our wants, let us redirect our feelings with worship.

    When that temptation rears its seductive head, do what Jesus did: rely on the Word of God and stand fast in your commitment to worship God alone, above all else.
     
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  • Aug 21, 2016But We See Jesus
    Aug 21, 2016
    But We See Jesus
     

    So our family was driving in for one of our church services a few weeks ago, and Charity began a dialogue that adults would usually avoid.

    She began by asking the question: "Will we see Jesus at church today?"

    Martha immediately responded: "Jesus is always with us."

    Charity firmly rebutted: "No, I never see Him. See this teddy bear? I can see this teddy bear. I cannot see Jesus. I want to see Jesus."

    Now how do you respond to that?

    You know, Charity's demand was a valid one.

    CAN WE SEE JESUS?

    The Hebrew believers almost 2,000 years ago were struggling with this same question. That is why the Book of Hebrews was written to them.

    Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

    Hebrews 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

    Just like us, these Hebrew readers had not seen Christ in the flesh.

    They, like us, based their belief in Jesus on the accounts of eyewitness.

    Yet, to this same audience, God writes: Hebrews 2:9a  But we see Jesus . . .

    So do we see Jesus, or do we not?

    The answer is Yes!

    Yes, we see Him, and yes we do not see Him.

    We do not see Jesus in person, but we do see Jesus through the Scriptures and through eye witnesses.

    Jesus said we are blessed if we believe in Him, though we do not see him:

    John 20:29  Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

    So we do see Jesus, but not in person like Charity wanted!

    WHAT DO WE SEE?

    I want to look at a few verses here and in Revelation and also look at an overview of the Four Gospels to paint a picture of Jesus.

    There are many, many more descriptions of Jesus than what we will share today, but today we will look at the primary pictures of Jesus painted in the Scriptures.

    There are a total of four primary pictures we see of Jesus:

    Hebrews 2:9-10:

    1) Man ". . . made a little lower than the angels"

    2) Servant ". . . for the suffering of death,"

    3) King ". . . crowned in glory and honour;"

    4) God "For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things," Jesus, before He was made lower than the angels.

    Colossians 1:16-17 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:  17  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

    The Four Beasts that Worship God Reveal the Same Four Pictures of Jesus:

    Revelation 4:6-9 6  And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.  7  And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.  8  And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.  
    9  And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,

    Revelation 5:13-14 13  And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.  
    14  And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

    The Gospels Reveal the Same Four Pictures of Jesus:

    1) Matthew: King & Lionlike

    Background:
    - By a Teacher
    - About Christ's Sermons
    - To Jews

    2) Mark: Servant & Oxlike

    Background:
    - By a Preacher
    - About Christ's Miracles
    - To Romans

    3) Luke: Perfect Man & Manlike

    Background:
    - By a Historian
    - About Christ's Parables
    - To Greeks (philosophers)

    4) John: Mighty God & Eaglelike

    Background:
    - By a Theologian
    - About Christ's Doctrines
    - To the World

    WHAT DO WE DO?

    1) We live in submission to and as a representative of the King of Kings

    2) We follow the example of the Servant of servants

    3) We walk in the Spirit as did the perfect Son of Man

    4) We worship and adore the One True God

    This is what we will do in Heaven. Political correctness, relativism, and diversity training will not be able to stifle our worship there:

    Revelation 5:13-14 13  And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.  
    14  And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

    CONCLUSION

    How well do you represent Jesus?

    How faithfully do you follow Jesus' example?

    Are you walking in the Spirit?

    How is your faith and worship to God?

    ---

    It all begins with salvation.

    It continues in your walk.

    It blossoms in your church.
     
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  • Jul 24, 2016The Eternal Stone
    Jul 24, 2016
    The Eternal Stone
    As we read Daniel 7, we are brought into the setting of a Hebrew man in his 60s of royal blood who has been serving leaders of the world power--the same world power that besieged his home country and took him captive.

    Daniel serves these leaders as an advisor and an interpreter of dreams as God enables him.

    In this chapter, Daniel receives a follow up dream to  Nebuchadnezzar's dream, which he had interpreted in chapter 2.

    Nebuchadnezzar's dream described the future as it would relate more to the natural man.

    Daniel's dream comes to him with a more spiritual perspective, shedding lights on the depravity of man and the need for the Son of Man to bring judgement and establish His kingdom.

    In this sermon, we will look at both visions and focus primarily on the aspect of Son of Man coming to us as the Stone.
  • Jul 10, 2016Stand with God
    Jul 10, 2016
    Stand with God

    It is far better to be with God in the fire than to be without God outside of the fire!

    We as a people, a church, a nation, need to follow the example of these 3 Hebrew boys and stand for biblical convictions!

    May we learn to stand for truth and with God!

    Let's observe four principles to follow in standing for truth with God.

    We begin by learning to...

    1) TRUST GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY, Chapter 1

    - God is in control

    - He is never surprised

    - Trust Him through through the highs and lows of life
     

    We continue by...

     2) DEVELOP SCRIPTURAL CONVICTIONS, Chapters 1 & 3
    - Understand them

    - Believe them

    - Live them
     
    We then...
    3) STAND FOR SCRIPTURAL CONVICTIONS, Chapter 3

    - We don't stand because we don't develop the convictions first

     - Standing leads others to stand

    - Our nation and communities need God's people to stand

    - Stand with humility, respect, and love....not pride
     
    We should...
    4) EXPECT GOD WHEN YOU STAND
    - God will be with you
    - God will be exalted
    - God will honor you 
     
    CONCLUSION
    Standing for God's truths means standing with God.
    God plus one is majority.

    Let us stand with God.

  • Jun 26, 2016Controlling Your Thoughts Through Life’s Highs and Lows
    Jun 26, 2016
    Controlling Your Thoughts Through Life’s Highs and Lows
     
    2016-06-26 LBC WS

     

    Have you ever found yourself thinking negatively or even with thoughts of depression?

    Can a believer get depressed?

    Well, this passage reveals one of the most famous prophets in the OT going through a time of depression.

    Today, we are going to examine what led to this state of depression and then propose some applications found both in this text as well as with other passages and characters in the Bible.

    BACKGROUND

    Vs 1-8

    In the previous chapter, God brought about a great miracle and victory through Elijah.

    Elijah challenges and defeats 450 prophets of Baal in a miraculous way.

    Right after this high victory, Elijah experiences an extreme low. Queen Jezebel vows she will have him killed within 24 hours, and Elijah runs for his life.

    As he flees from Queen Jezebel, he gives up all hope and purpose. He tells God he is ready to die.

    The Angel of the LORD appears to Elijah twice and gives him nourishment, encouragement, and direction.

    After eating and getting rest, Elijah travels to Horeb, the mount of God and lodges in a cave.

    It is interesting to note that when Elijah fled to Mount Horeb, he was returning to the sacred place where God had met Moses and had given his laws to the people.

    Obviously, God gave Elijah special strength to travel this great distance—over 200 miles—without additional food.

    Like Moses before him and Jesus after him, Elijah fasted for 40 days and 40 nights (Deuteronomy 9:9; Matthew 4:1, 2).

    Centuries later, Moses, Elijah, and Jesus would meet together on a mountaintop (Luke 9:28-36).

    Vs 9-18

    In the cave at Mt. Horeb, Elijah is met by the the word of the LORD and is asked a question of correction: "What are you doing here?"

    Elijah responds that he is jealous for the LORD and that he is the only true believer and prophet remaining and that Jezebel and others are seeking to take away his life.

    He seems to have a victim mindset.

    The word of the Lord tells him to go stand before the Lord up on the mountain out of the cave.

    Immediately after, the LORD passes by with a miraculous display of wind, earthquake, fire, and then finally a still small voice--where he finds the LORD GOD.

    It resembles the way God met with Moses in the mount, except Moses was called into the mountain.

    Elijah covers his face and humbles himself before the LORD.

    The Lord asks him again, "What are you doing here?"

    Elijah repeats the statement of being the only one left and being chased.

    The Lord seems to ignore his complaint and give him instruction.

    He then informs Elijah that there are 7,000 other true followers of the LORD.

    So, Elijah wasn't the only remaining follower of Jehovah.

    God was correcting Elijah's inaccurate thinking.

    We receive confirmation that God was correcting Elijah's faulty thinking in Romans 11:1-5.

    The discourse ends with instruction to anoint two kings and a prophet, who would become his successor.

    God aided Elijah and led him out of his low, destructive thinking and into productive thinking.

    PROPOSITION

    Elijah was not the only remaining follower of the LORD, but he allowed himself to think he was after God performed great works through him.

    We have to protect our thinking and emotions, especially through the high and low times of life.

    Too much inward focus can lead to faulty, and even destructive, thinking.

    Just as Elijah, we need the LORD's help to keep our thinking clear, true, and on the bigger picture.

    APPLICATIONS

     

    1) HIGHS ARE EVENTUALLY FOLLOWED BY LOWS

    - Elijah

    - Gideon

    - Red Sea Crossing

    - Acts 6-8 Church Multiplication to Church Persecution

    2) HIGHS AND LOWS BOTH GENERATE REFLECTIVE THINKING

    3) REFLECTIVE THINKING IS HEALTHY BUT CAN BE DANGEROUS

    - We can go so deep in our meditations that we get lost.

    Ecclesiastes 1:8-11
    All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. 10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. 11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.

     

    Ecclesiastes 1:16-18
    16 I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge. 17 And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit. 18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
     
    Ecclesiastes 2:17-18
    Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit. Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.
     

    4) STABILIZE REFLECTIVE THINKING WITH PROPER HEALTH AND DIET

    4) GROUND REFLECTIVE THINKING IN TRUTH--BIBLE AND PRAYER

    - That's what the LORD gave Elijah, truth. 7000 others!

    - God's Word converts and cleanses us. Psalm 19:7-14

    - Meditating on God's law keeps our ways right. Psalm 119:97-105

    5) CHANNEL REFLECTIVE THINKING WITH OBEDIENT ACTION

    - Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemene and following up that with the cross and resurrection.

    Matthew 26:42

    He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.

    6) BALANCE REFLECTIVE THINKING WITH GODLY FELLOWSHIP

    - It is not healthy to withdraw and isolate yourself except for a season of prayer and fasting, but not for too long.

    Hebrews 10:23-24

    Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

    - John the Baptist in jail, asking confirmation from Jesus of His deity.

    - Moses with Aaron, looking for that extra security or companionship.

    - Paul with only Luke, asking for Mark. 2 Timothy 4:9-11

    - Jesus before His passion, asking his inner-circle disciples to stay awake and pray with Him. Matthew 26:36-41

    Ecclesiastes 4:7-12

    Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun. 8 There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail. 9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

    CONCLUSION

    Let's consider Elijah and follow these considerations through the high's and low's of our life on this earth.
     
     
     
  • Jun 19, 2016One Revelation is Not Enough
    Jun 19, 2016
    One Revelation is Not Enough
     
    2016-06-19SermonImage
     
    Have you ever considered how someone like Samson could have such a miraculous birth and calling and yet live so dishonoring to God and his parents?
     
    It makes one wonder if he ever developed a personal relationship with God in his youth and if his parents modeled a relationship with God for him to see.
     
    With these thoughts in mind, listen to the sermon and follow the outline below as we look into the Angel of the LORD's appearances to Samson's parents and into what follows those amazing events.
     

    1) THE LORD WAS A MYSTERY TO SAMSON'S PARENTS

    - At first, they only saw him as a man of God.  Notice all the times you find "the man" in this passage.

    - The angel of the Lord spoke with mystery the same as Jesus did throughout the Gospels.

    - Notice the Angel of the LORD said His name was "secret" in verse 18.
    - Hebrew: piliy or paliy which means secret, wonderful, remarkable, incomprehensible

     

    Psalms 139:6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

     

    Much like Jesus . . .
     

    Matthew 16:20-21 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

     

    Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

     

    2) THE LORD REVEALED HIMSELF TO SAMSON'S PARENTS

    - Eventually, the angel of the Lord revealed himself to them as the LORD in the same manner he did for Gideon.
     

    3) DID SAMSON'S PARENTS REVEAL THE LORD TO HIM?

    Manoah wanted to follow God's instructions for his son as we see in verse 12.

    A) A one-time revelation of God is not enough

    B) Our children need to see us reading our Bible and praying regularly.

    C) Our children need to see answered prayers in our lives.

    D) Our children need to minister with us from an early age.

    - Don't teach them that your relationship with God is all about you.
    - Demonstrate a giving lifestyle.
    - When is the last time you gave to help someone when it did not benefit you?

    E) Our children need to see a pure life in us.

     

    4) SAMSON FAILED TO HONOR HIS PARENTS AND THE LORD

     

    A) Parents: Don't mistake growing up for growing mature.

     
    Vs 24 ". . . and the child grew . . ." And he grew strong!
     
    Yes, we see the LORD blessed Samson, but we see no signs of a personal relationship with God in his life.
     
    In contrast, hear the description of how Jesus grew:
     
    Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
     

    B) Parents: Don't mistake outward obedience for inward love.

    - We see no record of a loving relationship between Samson and his parents.

    - We do see Samson was sneaky and did not tell the truth to his parents. Judges 14:5-9

    C) Don't mistake a work of God for a relationship with God.

    - We see no examples of Sampson personally worship, praising, or loving God recorded.

    - The only love we see in Sampson is the love for women and revenge, which eventually cost him his eyes, freedom, and then his life.

    - We've seen God has accomplished His will through all sorts of people.

    - Guide your children and help them develop a loving relationship with God very early on before life hardens their heart and weakens their trust.
     

    CONCLUSION

    One revelation of the LORD is not enough. Develop a lifestyle of walking with God, and lead your children to do the same.
     
  • May 15, 2016God’s Presence WITHOUT God’s Blessing
    May 15, 2016
    God’s Presence WITHOUT God’s Blessing
     
    2016-05-15 LBC WS_I AM Revealed_to Balaam_God's Presence WITHOUT God's Blessing
     
     

    Text: Numbers 22

     
    Have you ever felt like you did not have God's blessing on your life?
     
    If God is ever near us, why don't we always experience His blessing?
     
    Is it possible to have the presence of God without the blessing of God?
     
    The message today will address these questions. In Numbers 22, we find a vivid example of God intervening against the will of man to accomplish His purpose. God performs His will through a pagan man and a simple donkey. In the process, Balaam, the pagan man, experiences God's presence without God's blessing.
     
    Balaam appears to be a follower of the LORD, but his actions should not fool you. He was merely a greedy, idolatrous sorcerer who learned he could not use God for his own selfish gain. His apparent obedience came with a heart of opposition and eventual disobedience that led to his death. Despite Balaam's wicked heart, God appeared to him* and used him, but never blessed him.
     
    Balaam’s full story can be more clearly seen by reading: Numbers 22:1—24:25, Numbers 31:7, 8, 16; Deuteronomy 23:4, 5; Joshua 24:9, 10; Nehemiah 13:2; Micah 6:5; 2Peter 2:15, 16; Jude 1:11; Revelation 2:14.
     
    As we listen to this message, we will be challenged to seek God's will, see God's sovereignty, and secure God's blessing. Don't end up like Balaam with God's presence without God's blessing.
     
     
    ------
    *During this appearance of God to Balaam and his donkey, the title "the angel of the LORD" is used 12 times in 14 verses. This was either an angelophany (visible appearance of an angel messenger sent on behalf of God), a theophany (visible appearance of God the Father in various forms), or a Christophany (appearance of God the Son either before His virgin birth or after his ascension to heaven). I believe whenever we find "the" angel of the LORD in the Old Testament, it is most likely the latter--a Christophany. Either way, the appearance was once again Jesus, the I AM, revealing Himself to mankind for His supreme purpose.
     
     

     

  • May 8, 20165 Crucial Roles of a Virtuous Woman
    May 8, 2016
    5 Crucial Roles of a Virtuous Woman
     
     
    Virtous Woman

     

    Text: Proverbs 31:10-31

    What does it look like to be a virtuous woman? Does the Bible restrict women from doing business outside the home? Is being a homemaker still relevant in the 21st century? Let's take a look at the Proverbs 31 virtuous woman and find out.
     
    Some say the role of a virtuous woman may only be found in marriage and motherhood. While those are lofty responsibilities, the position makes many ask, "Are they the only roles available to women?"
     
    Others today suggest women should liberate themselves from the "traditional restrictions" of marriage and motherhood and follow their life calling and dreams.
     
    Proverbs 31 shows us that a woman has no need to decide between the two. In this passage of the Bible, we find a description of a virtuous woman. Her life is full and rich. It is far from restricting.
     
    In this passage, her life is summarized into five roles, which we will call her crucial roles. Let's take a look at each of these:
     

    1. Clan: Her love and service to her family (Proverbs 31: 11-12, 15, 21, 23, 27-28)

    - With privilege comes responsibility.

    - Having a husband and children demands prioritization of commitments.

    2. Calling: Her entrepreneurial passion and success (Proverbs 31: 13-19, 24, 31)

    - A calling is not a business card, title, or even a paycheck. It is using your God-given strengths for good causes about which you are passionate.

    3. Character: Her own diligence (Vs. 17), appearance (Vs. 22), strength and honor (Vs. 25), wisdom and kindness (Vs. 26)

     

    4. Community: Her charity to the needy, and her good name within the city (Proverbs 31:20, 31)

     

    5. Christ: Her fear of God (Proverbs 31:30)

     

    When looking at the crucial roles of the Proverbs 31 virtuous woman, it is clear that a Christian woman can enjoy a very productive and meaningful life. All of the virtuous woman's crucial roles intertwine. They don't contradict; they compliment.
     
    Don't be deceived with the false narrative that marriage and motherhood are oppressive and archaic. There is so much fulfillment to be found by woman in marriage and motherhood. It is a gift from God both to women and this world! The 21st century woman doesn't need to look down at or reject marriage and motherhood. Her role with her "clan" is a crucial part of her life.

     

    Can you imagine a world in which all women abandoned this vital role in their lives? What would families look like? How well would children develop? Where would anyone find unconditional love . . . the work place?

    Sure, it would free up more time to be given to community and calling, but wouldn't it be at the expense of the future? What would future communities look like without any women who considered marriage and motherhood a crucial role in their lives?

     

    I will conclude with the following directed charges:

     

    Mothers, embrace marriage and motherhood as one of your crucial roles in life.

     

    Husbands, exalt marriage and motherhood with love, appreciation, and respect.

     

    Daughters, prepare for marriage and motherhood like you prepare for your calling.

     

    Sons, honor marriage and motherhood for your mother and future wife.

     

    Church, preserve marriage and motherhood to honor Christ.

     
    Everyone, let's remember that marriage and motherhood is one of the crucial roles in the life of a virtuous woman. While that is not her only role in life, it is certainly a crucial and central one. Let's honor and preserve it, and let's value and respect the virtuous woman.
     
  • Apr 24, 20163 Precedents to God’ Call
    Apr 24, 2016
    3 Precedents to God’ Call

    View in Full Screen →

     
     
    3 Precedents to God’ Call
     
     

    Text: Exodus 3

    Have you ever wondered how God calls someone to a purpose?

    How do we know when God is calling?

    What does His call look like?

    However it looks, I want to find it!

    Don't you want to know God's purpose and direction for you?
     
     

    Short Story:

    Albert Einstein was traveling from Princeton on a train. When the conductor came down the aisle punching tickets Einstein reached in his vest pocket; he could not find his ticket, so he reached in his trouser pockets. It wasn’t there so he looked in his briefcase, but still could not find it. He looked in the seat next to him, but it was not there.
     

    The conductor kindly said, “Dr. Einstein, I know who you are, we all know who you are. I’m sure you bought a ticket, don’t worry about it.” The conductor then continued on his way punching tickets. Just before he went to the next car he turned around and saw the great scientist on his hands and knees looking under his seat for his ticket.

    The conductor rushed back and said, “Dr. Einstein, Dr. Einstein, don’t worry. I know who you are. No problem. You don’t need a ticket.”

    Einstein said, “Young man, I too know who I am. What I don’t know is where I am going.”

    Source: Tales of Addiction and Inspiration for Recovery, Barbara Sinor, Cardwell C. Nuckols

     
    There is no better call to follow than the call of God.
     

    God's call is:

    - fulfilling

    - fitting

    - right

    - rewarding

     
     
    God has a unique plan for each of His children. Desire to know and to follow when God calls. In this message, we will walk through God's call to Moses and find three precedents which we can expect when God calls us to a purpose.

     

    PRECEDENT 1) GOD FASHIONED MOSES FOR THE CALL

    Exodus 3:1-10
     
     

    Through Separation, vs 1

     

    Moses was separated from the Hebrews to learn and gain influence and from Egypt to mature in the backside of a desert place.

    2 Corinthians 6:17-18 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
     

     

     

    Through Service, vs 1

     

    Moses learned servant-leadership through shepherding.

    Mark 10:44-45 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
     
     

    Through Searching, vs 4

     
    Moses learned to become aware and interested when God was trying to get his attention.
     
    Mark 13:32-37 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
     

     

    Through Sanctification, vs 5

     

    Moses was commanded to respond to God's holiness through worship and personal sanctification.

    2 Timothy 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
     
     
     
    As God fashions us, read this poem and consider the importance of fashioning our own children and the next generation for their future.
     
     
    I took a piece of plastic clay,

    And idly fashioned it one day,

    And as my fingers pursued it still,

    It moved and yielded at my will.

     

    It came of age when days were past,

    And the piece of clay was hard at last...

    The form I gave it, it still bore,

    But I could change it no more.

     

    I took a piece of living clay,

    And gently formed it day by day,

    And molded it with power and art

    A young child’s soft and yielding heart.

     

    I came again when years were gone,

    It was a man I looked upon.

    He still that early impress wore,

    And I could change him never more.
     
    —Anonymous
     
     

    PRECEDENT 2) GOD FURNISHED MOSES IN THE CALL

    Exodus 3:12-18
     
     

    With His Presence, vs 12

     
    God's call is a call to be with Him first, and then accomplish something second.
     
    Hebrews 13:5-6 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
     
     

     

    With Evidence of His Call, vs 12

     
    God reveals evidence of His call to us. Look for it. Ask God to open and close doors as you make decisions and strive toward goals in life.
     
    Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

     

     

    With Guidance, vs 12

     
    God will guide if we will follow.
     
    Psalms 48:14 For this God is our God for ever and ever:
    he will be our guide even unto death.
     
     
     

    With Influence, vs 14-16

     
    Your influence will be leveraged by God's evident call and working in your life

     

    Mark 1:22 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.

     

    PRECEDENT 3) GOD FULFILLED THE CALL WITH MOSES

    Exodus 3:19-22
     

     

    God fulfilled the mission with Moses. vs 20

     
    God will accomplish His purposes, it is our privilege to be with Him when He does.

     

    Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

     

     

    God promised to fulfill more than the mission. vs 21-22

     
    God gave the Hebrew children favor with the Egyptians. vs 21
     
     
    Proverbs 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
     

     

    God gave the Hebrew children goods for their travels through the Egyptians. vs 21-22
     
     
    Philippians 4:18 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
     
     
     

    Concluding Thoughts

     

    Expect God to fashion & furnish you for each call He fulfills with you.

     

    Search for God and His call.

     

    Respond to God's calling.

     

    Find life purpose from God.

     

     
     
     
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