Speak the Word
Jan. 6th 2008
Intro - What is our number one job as Christians? To speak the Word of God. We do it verbally, in writing, by example, through hymns and songs, testimonies, etc. What is it that Satan attacks? The Word of God. He doesn’t care if you’re a nice person just don’t speak the Word of God. Peter and John were persecuted for doing just that.
I. They sought encouragement from the believers.
A. Companions - Church should be a haven of rest. Heb.10:24-25
B. They were unified against the enemy.
1. Peter and John were not critiqued. 1Cor.5:11 reviler = critically abusive.
2. Satan wins when he can get strife and division in the church. Titus 3:10, Rom 16:17
II. They recognized who the real enemy was.
A. They did not have to be reminded that their fellow believers were not the enemy.
B. Unbelievers, whether among the crowds or in authority will fight against Jesus.
III. They sought strength from God.
A. They recognized His Sovereignty.
1. He is the creator of all things.
2. His hand of control is even on the enemy. 28
B. They recognized His power. They don’t strike back. Rom.12:19-21
C. They pray for confidence.
1. The ungodly have a boldness also!
2. We should desire boldness with God’s word. Ph.1:12-14
Con. - Jesus empowers them to speak the Word of God boldly.
Jan. 13th 2008
Intro - The Jewish leaders were angry with Jesus. When you are angry with someone you look for reasons to discredit or harm them. 7:1
I. Jesus goes to the temple to teach.
A. His wisdom amazed them. Prob.1:7, 2:6
B. He had not been a product of their system. Col.2:8
1. Vs 16 is true of all bible based preachers who know the Lord. Col.1:25-29
2. Humanly speaking the power is in the word not the person. (Wig) Rom.1:16
II. Jesus explains His wisdom.
A. It is the wisdom of God. 2Pet. 1:20-21
B. And it is many times different than the world’s way of thinking.
1. More blessed to give than receive.
2. You are blessed when persecuted for Christ sake.
3. Better to be merciful than mean with a get even attitude.
4. Better to repent and mourn over sin than be joyful while sinning.
C. True believers will know it’s God’s word. JN 8:32, 43
1. They will experience it’s power when they obey. Illus. Atheist and orange.
2. They will understand when they live out the word. Illus. Bank gift. App. Gift. Mt.7:24
III. Jesus warns of false teachers.
A. They seek to glorify themselves. 2Tim.3:2 lovers of self.
B. They are not speaking the truth. 2 Pet.3:16
Con. - we should be pointing people to Christ by what we say and do. Do you seek to glorify Jesus by what you do and say? If your message doesn’t bring people to Christ for salvation, you are distorting the gospel.
I FORMED YOU
Jan. 20th 2008
Intro - Every January we are reminded to stop and think about the sanctity of human life. These words that God spoke to Jeremiah remind us to do just that.
I. Who formed us?
A. God makes each one of us. Is.64:8, Ps.139:13-16
B. We should appreciate this gift of life. Ps.127:3-5
1. Do you see children as a blessing or a burden?
2. They can sense how you feel!
C. We have no right to interfere with His gift. Is.45:9-11
II. How does God feel about those who end a child’s life?
A. He considers the baby in the womb a life that must be accounted for. Ex.21:22-23
B. A sin of selfishness that will be punished. Amos 1:13
III. Why was the baby conceived in the first place?
A. God had a plan and purpose for that individual. Mt.18:6, 10 Illus. Beethoven
B. God had a plan for Jeremiah. 4, 10.
C. God has a plan for you. Jer.29:11
1. Even if you have had an abortion. Is.1:18
2. We should reach out to others with love.
Con. - We need to be responsible when it comes to elections. The voting booth may be secret from other people but not from God! When you vote on this issue you will either support or oppose God’s truth.
USE THE LIGHT YOU HAVE
January 27th 2008
Intro - you have probably heard the phrase, “use it or lose it”. It can be said of many things including your health, finances and as we see today spiritual discernment. Jesus of course is the Light our text is talking about. John 8:12. However, light also refers to our knowledge or insight into things. 1-Welsh lady
I. Believe while you have light. 36
A. The Holy Spirit, through the word of God, enlightens you.
1. Makes you aware of sin. Romans 3:20
2. Makes you aware of your need for a Savior. Jn.6:44, Gal.3:24
B. Christ wants you to believe. Acts 16:30-31
1. Faith will make you a child of God. Jn.1:12, 3:7
2. Your faith will be revealed by your behavior. Jn.14:15 2-Chambers quote.
II. Walk while you have light = be active, move forward. 35
A. You need to be growing in your Christian life. Eph.5:8
B. You need to use your spiritual senses. Lk.8:16-18
1. The world (darkness) is trying to overcome you. Col.2:8
2. Walking in the light means actively doing things God’s way. Pr.14:12, 1Jn.1:6-7
in your finances, marriage, relationships, church discipline, etc. 3-ship vs lighthouse
III. Don’t ignore the light. 37
A. Use the light or discernment God has given, don’t fool yourself. 1Cor.3:18, Eph.4:15,
B. Ignoring what God has done will harden your heart.
1. He reveals His power to encourage you. Ex.16:28
2. You will be hardened if you do not rejoice and act on that knowledge. Mk.6:52
C. Ignoring sin will lead to spiritual death. Rom.1:28, Ja.1:15 4-Snake Illus
1. In personal life because it might embarrass you.
2. In church because people are afraid of what others might do. (43)
Con. Is the Light of world living in you? Are you walking in the light? If you try to hide, cover-up or ignore sin the darkness will overcome you!
Feb. 3rd 2008
Intro - Jesus encouraged people. Even what He said when He instituted the Lord’s supper was done to bring us encouragement. Remember what I have done for you was His message. God speaking through the OT prophet Isaiah told him to encourage the people.
I. What brings discouragement?
A. A weary heart.
1. From fighting the good fight. 1Tim.6:12
2. From concerns or fears about tomorrow. Lk.12:28-32
B. Injustice. Ps.43;1, Heb.6:10
C. Diseases and sickness.
II. How does the Lord encourage us?
A. Promises to make things right. Ps.103:6
B. Promises us a better day. Jn.14:3, Rev.21:4-5
C. Promises rest for the weary. Mt.11:28, Jer.31:25
III. How can we encourage others?
A. Bear one another’s burdens. Gal.6:2
1. Burden of sin, give them hope. 1Jn.1:9.
2. Burden of trials and testings, remind them of their future hope. 1Jn.3:2-3
B. Speak positively rather than negatively. Eph.4:29
C. Think of others first. Ph.2:4, 1Cor.10:24, 1Cor.13:5
con. - Jesus put others first, that’s why He gave His life for us. Put others first, be an encourager.
1 Peter 4:1-6
February 10, 2008
Intro - we hear a lot these days about “arms buildup” “arms race” or ‘right to bear arms” etc. When we read this text it has to do with a sense of protection. Protection against the deceit and propaganda of Satan. It has been said that propaganda is a lie that is repeated over and over until it is believed. Spiritually, it is Satan saying something that is directly opposed to the word of God. Believe God not Satan. 1Cor.6:9-10, 15:33, Ga.6:7.
We are told to arm ourselves by doing certain things. Lk.6:31, Col.2:8
I. Have the same purpose as Christ did. Eph.6:13, Lk.19:10, Jn.17:13
A. Recognize sin. Know the Word. Ps.119:11, Matt.4:10
B. Be determined to win. 1Tim.4:16, 1Cor.9:24
C. Say no to sin, Jesus came to defeat Satan and save us from a miserable life. (3) Jn.3:17
II. Prepare for criticism.
A. If you are saved your lifestyle will change. Illus. Mother giving 11 yr old drugs and alcohol.
B. You will be criticized for not running around with the old gang! 2Tim.3:12, 1Pet.3:17
Being liked by others is not a prerequisite for getting into heaven.
III. Remember the goal.
A. To be found innocent on judgement day. Like believers before us. (6).
B. To gain ground (converts) for Christ. Bear fruit. Jn.15:5
C. To live your life according to the will of God.
Con. - Renew your commitment to Christ, arm yourself with the truth of God’s word, stand firm in your faith.
HOW DO YOU SEE YOURSELF?
February 17th 2008
Intro - It is good to reflect on one’s spiritual condition from time to time. “search me O God” the Palmist said.
I. The pharisee saw himself as better than the other person. Is. 65:5
A. He questions the Lord’s power and authority. Gen. 3:1
1. Can’t he see who this woman is? Jn 2:24, Acts 1:24
2. Who does He think He is, forgiving sin? Jn 10:33
B. The man is blind to Christ’s mission. Only saw things on a human rather than spiritual level.
C. Judged others more harshly than himself. Mt.7:3-5, Is.55:6-7
II. The woman saw herself as a person in need.
A. She knew what she was and what she had done. Is.6:5, 1Tim.1:15
B. She looked inward rather than at others. Lk.18:10-13
C. She knew she needed to be forgiven. Acts 16:30
III. Jesus saw both hearts.
A. Pharisee - proud, ungrateful, self-centered.
B. Woman - humble, grateful, focused on Jesus.
C. One was forgiven (pardoned), the other one was not. Lk.18:14, 23:39-43, 1Jn.1:9 Illus. Pardon
Con. Believers are those who have seen their sin but also the forgiving power of Jesus. It fills our hearts with gratefulness. Sometimes we tend to forget and we allow the Pharisee attitude creep into our heart and thoughts. May God keep our hearts fresh with the thought of His forgiveness. Like the woman in our text today let us keep our hearts grateful.
February 24th, 2008
Intro - Truth is central to the Christian faith. Jesus could have used many things to describe Himself, yet in John 14:6 He calls Himself the Way, the Truth and the Life. If Jesus chose that word to describe Himself then we should consider it carefully.
I. To seek truth we must be abiding in His word.
A. God’s word is central to knowing the truth, God’s word determines truth, it is truth. Jn.17:17
B. We either follow His truth or reject it. Jn.14:15
C. We either believe it or we deny it. 2Thess.2:10-11
II. Truth will set us free.
A. Truth about sin will lead us to salvation. Illus. Schuller. Think positive theology.
B. Truth about circumstances will lead to resolutions. Jn.3:21
1. In church relationships. Mt.18:15-17
2. In marriage and family relationships. Eph.4:15, 25 w/o truth you lose trust -takes a long time to renew.
III. Rejection of the truth leads to a hardened heart. Some don’t want to hear the truth. (45) pre-determined. Q.
A. Hiding the truth does not do you or others any good. Eph. 5:11, Eze.3:21, true love - 1Cor.13:6
B. Ignoring the truth will harden your heart. 2 Cor.4:4
C. Attacking the truth will lead to spiritual death. Rom.1:18, Gal.5:7
Con. - The truth real will make you free. Free from penalty of sin, free to love others, free to live joyfully.
March 2nd 2008
Intro- Although God is Omnipresent, the bible teaches us that there is a uniqueness about those places where people gather to worship Him. In the OT there was the tabernacle with the Shekinah glory and the Temple with all it’s grandeur. God’s presence is special in a house of worship. We should be reverent. Hab.2:20, Ps.5:7. We do not worship a building, but if you worship God you would have respect and reverence for His house.
I. Church is where other believers gather, like a home away from home.
A. In the OT & today we should see the presence of God. Ex.40:34, 1Kings 8:11, Mt.5:16
B. A place where you can enjoy the fellowship of believers. Ps.22:22, 133:1
C. David longed for that kind of place. Ps.65:1-4
II. Church is a place of refuge.
A. Even the birds could sense the safety of God’s house. Lk.12:24, 6-7
B. David saw the altar as a place of refuge, a haven of rest. Ps.27:4
C. How do you see your church. Eph.2:21
D. Don’t let Satan rob you of this blessing. Sin hinders and eventually destroys. Illus. The Israelites. Ps.79:1
III. Church is a place of praise.
A. Praise to God for Who He is. Creator, Redeemer, Ps.89:5-7
B. Praise to God for what He is doing, in your life and others. Praise not criticize. Eph.4:29
C. Praise continually. Ps.33:6
Con. - let us be committed to making sure our church is such a place. A place of reverence, refuge, rest and encouragement for every weary Christian who may come our way. May God be glorified when people see the presence of God in us and our church.
THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS
March, 9th 2008
Intro- Our text today literally applies to the time when Jesus will reign over all the earth. He will sit in Jerusalem and disperse justice to all the world. We know by the condition of the world we live in that His return is near. I want to talk today about just one phrase from our text. “The Lord our righteousness”. It implies knowing Jesus in a personal way.
I. We must recognize our own lack of righteousness. Rom.3:10
A. He will never become your righteousness as long as you claim a righteousness of your own. Illus. Old hymns.
B. Pride must go for His righteousness to become ours. Lk.18:11, Pr.16:5, Ja.4:6 Oprah
II. We must recognize that Jesus came to give us righteousness.
A. His purpose is salvation. Jn.3:17, 36
B. He gives us His righteousness. 2Cor.5:21, Is.61:10
III. His righteousness is given to us through faith. Ro.1:17
A. Faith to confess. 1Jn.1:9
B. Faith to repent. Lk.13:3
C. Faith to receive forgiveness through His blood. He.9:14, 22, 1Jn.1:7
Con. - Someday Christ will reign on earth and the Israelites will say, “the Lord our righteousness”. You and I can say that today if we have repented of our sins and by faith received Jesus.
March 16th, 2008
Intro - The people in Jerusalem were rejoicing because they thought Jesus was coming to rescue them from the Roman government. The truth was, He was coming to do something far greater.
I. Rejoice because your King is coming.
A. Israel looked for a King who would reign on earth.
B. God had a better plan. Jn.18:36, Ga.4:4, Ro.5:6
C. They rejected God’s plan. Mt.23:37
1. So they crucified their own King. Mt.27:37
2. How do you respond to God’s plan for your life? Is.59:20
3. Do you rebel against God’s control when it means difficulty for you?
Adam - greed, Abraham - life, David - pleasure or like Joseph you see God’s hand. Ge.50:20
II. Rejoice because He brings salvation and peace.
A. Salvation because He conquered sin and death. Ro.7:14, 6:16-18, 7:24-25
B. Peace because He gives us hope and life. He.7:19, Re.3:20, Mt.11:28
C. Peace comes when our love for Jesus is greater than anything else. Jn.14:23, Col.3:15-17
III. Rejoice because He will reign in heaven and earth.
A. We pray for that day, “thy will” be done in heaven and earth. War will cease someday! Re.19:11-16
B. Will you be with Him or against Him? Re.20:6
Con. The crowds were for Jesus on Palm Sunday until they found out what that would mean, then they quickly turned against Him.
CHRIST HAS BEEN RAISED
March 23 2008
Intro - There are certain truths which regulate our lives. The earth rotates and gives us day and night. The sun gives off heat and makes things grow. Because Jesus Christ is risen we have changed lives. Worship, church, personal conduct, etc. The bible tells us this happened at just the right time to make a difference in the world.
I. Paul shows how foolish it would be to deny the resurrection.
A. Many denied the resurrection of people. Both Jews Mt.22:23 and Gentiles Acts17:32.
B. Today many deny this fact either in whole or in part.
1. Many people believe there is no life after death. Jesus proved them wrong. Mt.28:6
2. The JW’s and others deny the dead will be resurrected and sent to hell. 2Pe.2:4-9, 1Pe 3:18-20
C. There will be a resurrection of the dead. Re.20:11-15
II. Life after death is a fact that Jesus proved.
A. Jesus will determine your eternity. Lk.12:5, Mt.7:21-23
B. There are no second chances. Lk.16:31, He.9:27 Judged at death, sentenced at the GWT. Re.20:14
III. What does Christ’s resurrection mean to us?
A. Forgiveness of sins. Lk.24:46-47
B. Changed lives. Acts 3:26, Ro.6:4, Col.3:1.
C. Hope for the future. 1Co.6:14, 1Th.1:9-10, 1Pe.1;20-21
D. Strength to endure. 2Ti.2:8-10
E. Salvation. Ro.10:9, 4:21-5:1.
Con. - does the power of the risen Savior dwell in your hearts today? Is His Holy Spirit empowering you to live a changed life? The resurrection of Jesus Christ has forever changed the world, has it changed you?
2Cor.13:4, Gal.2:20 - because He lives, I can live for Him!
IT IS THE LORD
March 30 2008
Intro - Jesus wants us to recognize His interaction in our lives. Sometimes it is difficult even for Christians to recognize the hand of God until after events have happened. Our text teaches us some points to remember about seeing the hand of God at work in our lives.
I. He wants to manifest Himself to us. (1+14)
A. We don’t always see Him clearly. (4) 1Cor.13:12
B. We don’t always see the full picture. Mt.16:21-23, Rom.8:28
C. Ps.34:8 Taste and see = remember and experience. Job, Joseph, Moses - the Lord is involved.
II. He will use many different circumstances to reveal Himself.
A. A fishing trip? This group of 7 was important. Roman law, + Thomas present this time.
B. A time of personal difficulty. No fish! What are you fishing for? (6) Ps.30:5
1. Are you fishing for peace, hope, comfort, assurance?
2. Jesus says cast your net in His word, in the depths of His promises and you’ll find peace, rest, etc. Mt.11:28.
C. Most the time He reveals Himself in the midst of a group, where 2 or 3 are gathered. Mt.18:20
III. He manifest Himself to us for good reasons.
A. He wants us to reveal Him to others. 2Cor.4:10-11
B. To build our faith. 1Jn.4:9
C. To nourish and direct us. Spiritually, physically, emotionally. 1Thess.5:23-34, Pr.16:9, Ps.37:23-24
D. To commune with us. “Come and have breakfast” (12)
1. We commune with Christ through the word.
2. His Word gives us assurance we are in His will. Is.1:18 vs 15 “tend My lambs”.
Con - Jesus reveals Himself to us and makes us aware of His presence in our lives so that we can be comforted and encouraged to follow Him.
April 13, 2008
Intro - Jesus asked Peter if he really loved Him. Then Jesus said “follow Me”. If you love the Lord you will follow Him and will not let the world or others distract you from your mission.
I. Jesus would say to you and me, “do you love Me?”
A. More than these? = the other people.
1. More than family? Matt.10:34-38
2. More than friends? John 12:26, 43
3. More than self? Rev.12:11 Illus. China boxer rebellion.
B. Do you love the Lord?
1. Remember love is never forced. It’s given. Jn.14:15, 1Jn.4:18-20
2. If you lack love, pray! Rev.2:4-5, 3:20
II. Do you care for fellow believers?
A. 3 times Jesus said, “tend my sheep”. Do you care for the other believers God has placed in your life?
You cannot despise or criticize another believer without despising the Savior who dwells within them!
B. Pastors will have to given an account of what they did. Heb.13:17
C. You also will be held accountable. Rom.14:12
III. Jesus says, “follow Me”.
A. Following Jesus means you do things His way. Pr.14:12
B. Following Jesus means you are willing to sacrifice. Mk 10:21-22, Lk.14:33, 1Cor.13:3
C. Following Jesus means you are focused on His will for your life. “What is that to you?” 1Cor.11:28
Con. - Do you really love the Lord? Will you surrender all to follow Christ? Will you repent of sin and put Christ first in your heart?
April 27th 2008
Intro -God has not left the world to fend for itself. Nor has He left you to fend for yourself. He has plan for the world and for you as an individual. He wants what is best for you and if you follow Him you will find God’s best for you. If you don’t follow Him you will find something less than God’s best for you.
I. God has a plan!
A. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t always understand it. Isaiah 55:8-9
B. His plan is a good one but people don’t always see His plan. 2 Peter 3:9 Illus. Child coin over bill.
1. We seek a good life now - He wants us to have eternal life. Mk.8:36
2. We seek a healthy body now - He wants to give us a glorified body. 1Jn.3:2-3
3. We seek wealth now - He offers us a whole new world. Rev. 21:5,7
II. Some people rebel against God’s plan for their life.
A. This is why the Israelites were in captivity.
B. They thought they had a better plan and they veered off the path. Is.53:6, Jer.50:6.
C. God’s way is always the right way and the best way for you to follow. Pr. 14:12. Pr.12:15, 8:8-9
III. Our hope is built on 3 promises.
A. He will listen. Ps.34:17-19
B. He will be found. Hosea 10:12, Pr.8:17
C. He will restore us. 2Ch.7:14, Mt.11:28, JN.14:27
Con. - The fact that sin brings sickness, pain, death and makes a mess of your life; doesn’t change the fact that God has a plan for you. If you have given your life to Him then you can be sure His plan is best for you.
Romans 8;28, hold on to that promise!
SEEKING GOD’S WILL
May 4th 2008
Intro - prayer is how we communicate with God. Phil.4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. ” with supplication means to beg, be persistent.
I. Stay in contact with God.
A. Pray until you get an answer. Illus. Child and parent.
B. Pray for understanding. 2Ch.7:14
C. The greatest hindrance to answered prayer is man’s blindness towards sin.
1. Personal sin. Luke 23:39
2. Group sin. Joshua 7:13
3. Failure to correct sin. 1Cor.5:2
II. 3 steps to prayer.
A. Ask = “thy will be done” then you will receive. Jn.15:16
B. Seek - look for the answer. Illus. Man in tree
C. Knock - put feet to your prayers. Is.58:6-7
III. The Lord gives beyond are expectations. Eph.3:20
A. We ask fo help to do something and He sends a helper to do it. Jn.14:16
B. The HS helps us to pray and even prays for us. Rom.8:26
Con. - pray for the Holy Spirit to make you a faithful prayer warrior. The prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Ja.5:16
Preparing for the Future
May 11th 2008
Intro - the prophet Joel told the Israelites to look forward to the future and what God was going to do. Jesus has told us to do likewise.
I. There is coming a day when the Jewish people will be filled with the Holy Spirit.
A. During the tribulation period, after God has destroyed the armies from the north. 20, Eze.39:1-2
1. A future day surrounded by supernatural events. Rev.6:12
2. The temple will be rebuilt during that time. (Furnishings are already prepared.) Eze.37:21-22, 28
B. They were to find encouragement in this promise.
II. Jesus gave a similar promise to the disciples and us as believers. Luke 24:49
A. This happens to us when we get saved. Acts 2:38-39
B. He also pointed us to a future event. Acts 1:11
III. We need to be prepared for this great event.
A. Jesus said, “be ready”. Mt.24:44
B. His Holy Spirit has given us an understanding. 1Th.5:4-5
1. However we cannot know the day. Mt.24:36
2. We can know that the day is close. Mt.24:6-10, (8) Luke 21:28
Con. - as we see these things happening before our very eyes I can only encourage you to be faithful because Jesus is coming soon.
What is Love?
May 25th, 2008
Intro- as believers, we are commanded by Jesus to love one another. It’s not an option. Jesus here is speaking of a sacrificial kind of love. The kind that would be a testimony to the world. Jn.13:34-35
I. The greatest love is a sacrificial love.
A. The kind of love Jesus has for us. 13, Jn.3:16
B. A love that does not wait to be loved before giving love. Romans 5:8
C. We see this kind of love by those who serve our country. Soldiers, policemen, firemen, etc.
II. How can we show that kind of love?
A. By the power of the Holy Spirit. Gal.5:22, Jn.14:15-17, 1Jn.4:11.
B. By recognizing Jesus in each believer. Mt.25:40
III. What will this kind of love look like? 1Corinthians 13:4-7
1. Patient - not quick to correct, don’t retaliate when wronged.
2. Not arrogant - criticizing others is just a way of lifting yourself up. Eph.4:29-30
3. Not self centered - must be done my way. vs5 “doesn’t seek it’s own”.
4. Not angry when wronged - true love doesn’t hold a grudge. Some disguise it! Eph.4:31-32
5. Seeks the truth - open and honest yet compassionate. 2Tim.2:24-26, Eph.4:15, Mt.18:16
6. Bears all things -doesn’t gossip! Keep silent about another’s mistakes (not sins) Pr.20:19, 11:13, 16:28, 17:9
7. Believes all things - you put the best construction on things not the worst. Ph.4:8
Con. - so how did you do? Are you loving others the way Jesus has commanded you to love? Are you loving others the way Jesus loves you?
Count the Cost
June 1 2008
Intro - Jesus said if you follow Him you should consider what it will cost you. Salvation is free, but following Jesus can be very difficult. Jesus is weeding out the pretenders from the true disciples.
Either Christ is everything to you or he is nothing. Either you surrender your all or you are not at all surrendered.
Jesus gave 3 points to explain this. 3 times He said you cannot be my disciples unless...
I. Unless you put Christ first above all others. Matt.10:37
A. Before family and friends. Some want to keep their friends at any cost, doesn’t work that way. Jn.15:18-19
B. Before self. Self-centered people aren’t putting Christ first. 1Cor.13:5
C. Is Jesus everything to you? Hymn - “Jesus is all the world to me, my life, my joy, my all” Lk.10:27-28
II. Unless you bear your cross.
A. Being a Christian is not easy! 2Tim.3:12 Why do we suffer? 1Cor.1:18, 1Pet.2:7-8
B. Following Jesus means making sacrifices, seeking His will. Jn.5:30, Lk.6:22-23
C. Cross is a symbol of pain and death.
1. Pain of being ridiculed by the world because you confess that Jesus is right.
2. Death to the old flesh and self is a painful process. Eph.4:21-23, Gal.2:20
III. Unless you give up all your possessions.
A. Not just willing but actually doing it!
B. Many are more concerned about providing for themselves than the Lord’s work. Lk.12:31
C. It means trusting Jesus with everything you have, even your life.
Con - why does Jesus expect us to give our all? Because He gave His all for us. 1Jn.4:18-19
HIS UNCHANGING LOVE
June 8th 2008
Intro - the question is rhetorical because there is no God like the living God. The One who created us and redeemed us back to Himself. His love is beyond comparison. When others see His love in us through the work of the Holy Spirit they will seek this wonderful God and His forgiveness.
I. The rhetorical question.
A. There is no other God like our God because He is our Creator.
1. He created all things and oversees all things. Col.1:16-17
2. He continues to provide for us. Lk.12:22-23, 30
B. There is no other God like our God because He is our Redeemer.
1. He holds the power of life and death, heaven and hell. De.32:39, 1Sam. 2:6, Lk.12:5,
2. He is the resurrected One. He is the living One. Acts 2:22-24, Rev.1:18
II. His love shows us He is like no other God.
A. Pardon’s sin. Through the blood of Jesus. 1Peter 1:18-19
B. Forgives our rebellious acts. Sin is rebellion against God.
C. He delights (loves to) forgive us. Jn.3:16
D. He has compassion on us over and over again. 1Jn.1:9
E. He removes our sin forever. Ps.103:12, Heb.8:12
III. He shows His love by speaking the truth. Jn.14:6
Con. - The truth is we are sinners. The truth is we need a Savior. The truth is Jesus paid for our sins so He could save us. Only questions left is have you repented of sin and ask for His forgiveness? Is He your Savior today?
TURN THE OTHER CHEEK
June 15th 2008
Intro - Jesus taught there was a better way to handle conflict than the “get even” mentality of the world. It’s important to remember He was speaking of personal non-life threatening situations. This teaching doesn’t deal with the law of self protection or the responsibility a man has to protect his family. It does not change the responsibility that society has to deal with criminal behavior. Rom.13:1-4. It deals with personal hurt and whether you will forgive or hold a grudge.
I. Forgive rather than get even.
A. Vengeance belongs to God. Heb.10:30, Rom 12:19
B. We are just called on to forgive. Mt.18:21-22 MG-Illus.
C. Have you forgiven those who have hurt you? Or does anger and bitterness still control your actions
II. Give rather than take.
A. Evil people do evil things. (Like take advantage of others, phy, materially, personally) 1Cor.6:10
B. If they do not repent your kindness only multiplies their guiltiness. Jn.15:18, 21-22, Rom.2:4
C. Are you showing love when wronged. Rom.12:21
III. Help rather than demand.
A. Give - do you give without strings attached? Acts 20:35
1. To the Lord in your tithe?
2. To the needy. Matt.25:40
B. Borrow - are you helping others in this way? Luke 6:33-36
con. - You need Jesus Christ in your heart and the power of the Holy Spirit to be able to do these things. Jesus was telling the people there is a way to live your life that can come only through having a right relationship with Christ. Only when you are “born again” will you these things be a part of your life.
WORKS OF THE LAW
June 22 2008
Intro- Luther’s catechism teaches that there are 2 main teachings in the Bible, law and gospel. In it’s simplest form law tells us what we should do and the gospel tells us what Jesus has done. To understand what it is to be saved you need to understand law and gospel.
I. Where do we find the law?
A. In God’s word. Rom. 3:2
B. In our own conscience. Rom. 2:15
C. In creation. Rom.1:20 2nd law of thermodynamics = things get worse not better, break down, etc.*
D. God’s law is given by God alone. James 4:11-12
II. What does the law do?
A. It reveals God’s will. 1Thes.4:3, Rom.12:2
B. It brings knowledge of sin. Ten comm. “murder, steal, etc” also “love neighbor, pray for enemies”
C. Shuts up the mouth. No room for self-justification. Gal.3:22, Rev.20:11-15, Ph.2:9-11
D. Reflects our true character like a mirror. James 1:23, Rom.3:10.
E. It is our teacher, to lead us to Christ. Gal.3:24
III. What the law cannot do.
A. Cannot be changed by man. Mt.5:17-18, 1Tim.1:5-11
B. Cannot justify or save you. Rom.3:28
C. Cannot give inner peace or assurance of salvation. Jn.14:27, Rom.5:1, 9, 8:1-2.
Con. Has the law brought you to see your sin and need of repentance? Then it has done it’s work in you. The next question is, are you willing to repent and submit to God’s will for your life?
* Second Law of Thermodynamics. This law states that all systems, if left to themselves, tend to become degraded or disordered. The point when God's perfect creation changed as a result of sin. Mutations and decay began... Man's days were numbered and he would now experience death.
A CHRISTIAN NATION
2 Chronicles 7:14
June 29 2008
Intro - as we celebrate the 4th of July and all the blessings that God has given us as a nation, it is good to ask why has God blessed us? The obvious answer is because we are a nation that was founded on a belief in God’s word.
George Washington said, “it is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the bible.” There are three areas that are basic to that biblical view.
I. As a nation we bless Israel. Gen.12:3
A. God has blessed everyone already by sending His son. Jn.3:16
B. God will bless specifically those who support (bless) Israel.
1. There is a reason communism has failed and America has succeeded.
2. There is a reason we are the wealthiest nation in the world.
C. However, if we turn our back on Israel in any way, we invite God’s curse.
II. As a nation we honor God as the Creator. Rom.1:20-26
A. Our founding fathers understood this. “All men are created equal”. Gal.3:28
B. We are created not evolved. Rev.4:11, Col.1:16, Gen.1:26. Evolutions want us act like animals!
C. Denying this truth leads to immorality and a loss of God’s blessing.
III. As a nation we honor Jesus Christ as the Redeemer of the world. Job. 19:25, Is.44:24, 1Pet.1:18-19
A. To honor Him brings blessing and to reject brings a curse. Mal.2:2, Lk.13:34-35, Mt.27:25 (70 AD)
B. To honor means to accept His salvation. Heb.2:9, 2-3
C. Today 70% of Americans think there is “another way to heaven” Jn.14:6
Con. - we must hold true to the faith of our founding fathers and the truth of God’s word if we want to continue to be blessed. Be a defender of the faith. Stand up to those who would deny these truth. It is not just our opinion verses theirs. What is a stake is our existence as a nation.
When evolutionist attack creation they are attacking America.
When homosexuals attack family and marriage they are attacking America.
When politicians attack Israel they are attacking America.
If you love your country, stand up to those who would destroy it’s moral and spiritual foundation
July 6 2008
Intro - the Reformation established certain biblical truths that every bible believing church stands on. 1. The Word alone. 2. Grace alone. 3. Faith alone. Our text today speaks to that 3rd pillar of biblical doctrine, faith alone.
I. No works can be involved in our salvation.
A. Vs 28 - good works actually oppose grace!
1. Salvation becomes what you earn vs a gift. Eph.2:8
2. Grace means no works are involved. Eph.2:9
B. Works come after salvation. Eph.2:10
II. There must be faith for salvation to occur.
A. To be saved means you are “trusting” or have “faith” in Jesus Christ. Illus. wheelbarrow and Niagra Falls.
B. Faith accepts the offer or gift. * Rom.3:24, 6:23
C. Faith brings righteousness and peace. Rom.5:1
D. Prevenient grace is the work of God that leads to faith. Confess, repent, believe or accept. Romans 10:13
III. Faith believes the Word of God and grows through the word. Jn.17:17
A. Faith believes 1Jn.1:9
B. Faith believes 1Peter 1:18-19
C. Faith believes Col.2:14, Romans 8:1, Heb.8:12, 1Jn.1:7
Con. Communion is a time when believers remind themselves of what Jesus has done for them.
* Regarding this point the Formula of Concord teaches:“Through this means, namely, the preaching and hearing of His Word, God works and breaks our hearts and draws man, so that through the preaching of the Law he comes to know his sins and God̓s wrath and experiences in his heart true terrors, contrition, and sorrow, and through the preaching and consideration of the holy Gospel concerning the gracious forgiveness of sins in Christ a spark of faith is kindled in him, which accepts the forgiveness of sins for Christ̓s sake and comforts itself with the promise of the Gospel; and thus the Holy Ghost (who works all this) is sent into the heart, Gal. 4, 6.” (Thor. Decl., II, 54.)
THE GOLDEN RULE
July 13 2008
Intro - the “golden rule” is Christian living in it’s simplest form. Jesus introduces this teaching with a “therefore” so it takes us back to the previous verses. What is it Jesus would have us learn today?
I. Treat others the way you want them to treat you when it comes to eternal life.
A. There is a destructive way that leads to hell. Pr.14:12
1. Do you want to go to hell?
2. Then don’t condone sin in others that will lead them there. Is.5:20-24
B. There is a constructive way that leads to life. 2Chr. 7:14, Ja.4:7-10
C. Your treatment of others reflects your relationship to Christ.
1. If you are not saved you won’t care about what others do. Ja.4:4
2. If you are, you will speak out against sin. Eze 3:17
II. Jesus had just given 3 examples, vs. 1-11.
A. Judging - the broad way is to judge without grace, the narrow with forgiveness. Mt.6:14-15
B. Preaching forgiveness - the broad way is to preach grace without repentance. 2Cor.7:9-10
vs narrow Lk.13:3.
1. People who trample the gospel message are those who reject it. Heb.10:29
2. If people continue to reject it, stop wasting your time on them. 2 Peter 2:20-22
C. The broad way is to give selfishly, the narrow is to give to meet a need.
1. What do I get out of it. Lk.14:12-14, Ja.2:3-4, 3:14
2. Provide by looking out for the interest of others. Ph.2:3-4 (good Samaritan).
III. Concerning salvation.
A. Do you want the truth? Is.53:6, 1Cor.6:9-10
B. Then we must be willing to speak the truth to others. Eph.4:15
1. Condoning sin leads to hell.
2. Repentance and accepting Christ’s way leads to life.
Con. How do you do in following the golden rule?
A WILLING HEART
August 3, 2008
Intro - Jesus is looking for people with willing hearts. Willing to do His will in everything.
I. The first son.
A. Rebelled against the Lord. Is.53:6
B. Then he repented of it.
1. He recognized his behavior was wrong. Lk.15:17
2. He grieved over his sin. Ezra 10:1, Lk.7:38, Ps.51:17
3. He changed his behavior. Eph.4:22-24
C. He goes to work in the vineyard. Mt.7:21
II. The second son.
A. He was hypocritical - said one thing and did another. Mt.15:8
B. Did not come to his senses. 2Tim.2:24-3:5
C. Spiritual blindness prevents change. Ps.107:10-11
III. Which son are you like?
A. Are you repenting and confessing sin, seeking to do God’s will?
B. Or do you find it difficult to find time for the Lord.? Jesus won’t accept 2nd place. Mt.8:21-22, 6:24
Con. - if the Holy Spirit has touched your heart today and convicted you of some sin, confess it, come to Jesus and receive His forgiveness. Determine to leave here today a better person who is willing to listen to the word of Lord and seek to do His will.
THE EVIL WITHIN
August 17 2008
Intro - the word of God in our text today deals with the spiritual battle that exists in every believer. If you don’t have this battle it’s because there are not two opposing sides in your life. Your old sinful nature has complete control of your life so you don’t experience the battle a believer has when he invites Christ into his life and receives a new spirit. The Holy Spirit (which we receive when we get saved) battles against the old flesh or old nature. This is what Paul speaks of in our text today.
I. The conflict.
A. Paul was a mature Christian. This text was written in the “present tense”.
B. His heart was to do the will of God. 18 2Cor.5:17
C. His old flesh opposed that. Gal 5:17, 24, Eph.4:22 1Peter 2:11 - it wages war against soul.
II. The principal.
A. Evil is present in us!
B. This evil is called many things but is easily revealed in us.
1. Old man, old self, old nature, old flesh, etc. Rom.6:6 8:13 - continue to put it to death!
2. Unloving, unkind, examples are shown every day. Ex. Slap, in line, red light, etc.
C. Someday that evil will be totaling removed. 1Jn.3:1-3, 1Cor.15:54
D. The process has started already and is called sanctification. Jn.17:17
1. Justification is an act that that takes place the moment you are saved. Rom.5:1
2. Sanctification is a process that continues on. It is Christ helping us overcome sin. Ps.51:12 - spurgeon.
III. The answer.
A. Recognize the evil within, the “wretched man”.
B. Recognize the cure - Jesus Christ.
1. I can be kind, forgiving, etc. Ph. 4:13
2. Not by my own power but of Christ power. 1Cor.15:10
C. Recognize the battle. Rom.13:14, Eph.4:22-24
Con. We will always need the help of God through Jesus Christ to give us victory over sin and temptation.
August 24 2008
Intro - Last week we read about the great battle that exist in every believer. We learned how Jesus can give us victory over our old sinful flesh. Today we see what is ours when Jesus rules in our hearts.
I. He gives me His power, I am “in Christ”.
A. A greater law is at work in me.
B. The old law of sin leads to death. Titus 3:3, Rom.6:23
C. The law of the Spirit leads to life. Jn.5:24 Illus. Flight over gravity.
II. He gives me His righteousness.
A. God requires that I live a perfect life to (keep the law) to get to heaven.
1. God has never changed his requirements for heaven.
2. You and I must be perfect to get to heaven. Matt.19:17, 26
B. Jesus lived that perfect life and gave me the credit for it. Mt.5:17
C. It (the perfect life) becomes ours when we receive Christ. 2Cor.5:21, 17
1. To have the Holy Spirit is to have life. 10-11
2. To have Christ is to have the Holy Spirit. 1Jn.5:11-13
D. To do it any other way equals death. 6-8
III. He gives me His blood. Jn.6:53-56, 63 1Jn.1:7
A. We are a part of the family of God. 14 Jn.1:12
B. Only born again believers can make this claim. Jn.3:5-7
C. Adoption by God is confirmed by His Holy Spirit. 16
D. This makes us heirs with Christ. 17 Heb.1:14, Rev.21:7
Con. We are written in His will and our portion is eternal life! Titus 3:5-8. So we can say with confidence and joy that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ. I stand forgiven, clean, free, perfected in the sight of God by the blood of Jesus Christ. Are you “in Christ”?
August 31 2008
Intro - distraction is to divert someone’s attention. Christians are to stay alert, focused, watchful as it says in Mk.13:33, 14:38 and Lk.21:36. Be ready for the Lord’s return, don’t fall into sin and be strong in the last days that we are living in. The Bible is filled with examples of distracted Christians, Judas, Solomon, Saul, etc. Are you focused on Christ and what’s important or are you being distracted?
I. You can be distracted by sin.
A. Sin is “enticing”. James 1:14 Just think about this! Example - Eve, David, etc.
B. Thinking turns into action. James 1:15, 3:16
1. Martha went from hurt to action - tell her (Mary) to do it my way!
2. Martha resented the way Mary was doing things.
3. Resentment leads to sin. Sin separates - Martha was off “steaming” instead of listening to Jesus.
C. So the bible tells us to “think” the right way. Ph. 4:8 “anything worthy of praise”
II. You can be distracted by problems.
A. Martha “worried about so many things” Mk. 4:19
1. She had a meal to fix and not enough time.
2. What is your problem today time, money, health? Is it consuming your time and thoughts? Ps.55:22
B. Whatever your problem is, don’t let it distract you from Jesus. Lk.12:29, 31
C. Remember our time on earth is short. Ps.39:4 Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
1. Will it matter in heaven how it turned out?
2. Will it determine your salvation or eternal destination?
III. You can be distracted by good works.
A. Martha was fixing a meal for the Lord! So taken up with preparing for the event, she missed the event!
B. If your good works take you away from worship or fellowship around the Word of God then it’s not good! Mt.6:33, Ps.27:4
C. Only one thing is necessary -your spiritual growth, your eternal destination, can all be wrapped up in this one thing, your relationship with Jesus,. Ph.3:10-11, 1Tim.4:8
Con. Don’t be distracted. Take time to listen to Jesus. Make the effort to fellowship with other believers.
Keep your mind and heart focused on Jesus. Get to know Him better.
September 7 2008
Intro -the death of Lazarus was a major turning point in the life of Mary and Martha. Jesus was pushing the issue of what it really meant to believe. Do you believe? If you are truly a believer than you will confess or profess certain truths.
I. What do we believe? The Apostles Creed.
A. That God is the Creator of heaven and earth and all things. Col.1:16-20
B. That Jesus is true God, Who willing took on human form in order to pay for our sins. Ph.2:5-8
C. That Jesus died, rose again and ascended up to heaven. Jn.11:25-26
D. That at the right time He will come again to gather the believers. 1Th.4:13-18
II. Why do we believe? It would be foolish not to!
A. We are convinced by God’s word. Acts 17:2-4, 28:24, Rom.8:38-39
B. Not everyone is persuaded. Some are skeptics, scoffers, doubters, etc. Acts 26:28
1. They don’t believer what the bible says. 2Tim.3:16-17
2. They don’t believe what Jesus says. Matt.5:18
3. People for years scoffed at the Bible being reliable, then came the Dead Sea Scrolls.
III. How do we show that we believe? By taking action.
A. By entrusting our lives and our future into the Lord’s hands. 2Tim.1:12
B. To believe means you will..
1. Repent of sin. 1Jn.1:8, vs Ps.51:10
2. Seek forgiveness. 1Jn. 1:9, Rom.10:13
3. Surrender to His authority. Rom.10:9, 12:1-2
4. Have a desire to do His will. Eph.5:1-2, Jn.14:15
Con. - do you believe? Have you surrendered your life to Jesus and asked Him to forgive your sin and be your Lord? Do you believe the blood He shed will forgive your sin when you ask Him to?
Dead Sea Scrolls -1947
The Old Testament was written between 1450 BC and 400 BC. The earliest copy we had dated about 900AD. That was almost 1300 years apart. Because of this the skeptics said we could not possibly trust them to be accurate!
Then God allowed the Dead Sea Scrolls to be discovered. These were copies of the Bible written about 200 BC or 1100 years earlier than the copies we had. Guess what? They matched. Because God is the One overseeing the work!!!
Submitting to God
September 14 2008
Intro - our text deals with the Sovereignty of God. Paul is arguing the point that if you believe God is Sovereign then it would make sense that you submit to His authority in your life. Submitting to God means many things but I want us to look at 3 from our text today.
I. Means believing His decisions are right. 14-18
A. Is God ever unjust? Never, His mercy is the only reason we are still alive!
1. Paul’s response is no, don’t even think it! Many blame God for disasters.
2. Sin is what brings death and destruction into our lives. Romans 5:12, Deut. 32: 39
B. God is Sovereign in all His decisions.
1. Moses, Pharaoh, Joseph. All of them had choices to make.
2. Everything God has done in your life is the right thing. Mercy or judgement. Ps.103:19
3. If God allows others to persecute you or treat you badly how do you respond? Use it for good.
C. If you harden your heart with sin, bitterness, etc., don’t blame God.
* the choice is yours, you can’t control what others do but you can control how you respond.
II. Means not arguing with His decisions. 19-26
A. This doesn’t excuse sinful behavior or a fatalistic attitude. (I can’t change what will happen).
B. Or the doubter who questions what God is doing. Why?
C. Sinful behavior is not ok, but you don’t have a right to question how God deals with it. (Jonah) Ro.2:4
D. You choose to obey and follow even if you don’t always understand.
III. Means having faith in His word as our absolute authority. 27-33
A. God keeps His word. Is.55:11
B. Will you by faith live accordingly?
1. Faith is submitting to God’s will.
2. Don’t be like those who twist His word to say what they want. Ex. Women can’t be in government.
Con. Submitting to God is nothing more than obeying Him in every circumstance. Following His word.
September 21 2008
Intro - Jesus gives us some insight into who His sheep are and what they are like.
I. They hear.
A. Not everyone does.
1. Is., Jer, Ezk, all called to preach to people who would not listen. Is.6;10, Jer.6:10, Ezk.12:2.
2. Stephen and Paul had the same problem. Acts. 7:51, 54 2Tim.4:3-4 - end times.
3. Those who refuse to listen are not His Sheep John 8:47
B. Some do hear in an understanding way.
1. This leads to faith and action. Mt.7:24
2. Believers are sensitive to the voice of Jesus. 1Jn.4:6, Heb.13:17
3. The Bible is God’s word, the voice of Jesus. Rom.10:15, 2Tim.3:16
Inspired means breathed or spoken by God.
II. They are known. Ps.139:1, 1Cor.8:3
A. As a believer you are known by Jesus. Not just about you, but you personally!
1. He knows your needs. Lk.12:30, Mt.6:8
2. Your ability - Ps.103:14
3. Your walk - Ps.1:6
4. Your weaknesses - Heb.4:15
5. Your hearts desire - Acts 15:8, Rom.8:27
B. Because you are known by Him, He also knows how to rescue His sheep. Rom.8:37-39, 2Pet.2:9
III. They follow.
A. Because they know His voice, (God’s Word). Jn.10:4
B. Because they love Him. Jn. 14:15
C. Because they are on a mission. Mt.4:19, 28:19-20
D. Even when persecuted. Ps. 38:20, 1Pet.4:12-14, Mt.10:38
E. Because they plan on spending eternity with Him. Jn.12:26, 14:2-3
Con. - Are you one of the sheep Jesus spoke about today? Are you His child, do you belong to Him. Then all of these promises are yours. Just follow in His footsteps, live for like Him and for Him. Don’t let His voice (the Word) become routine. Always listen carefully for new insight into His word. Be faithful at any cost. 1Pet.2:21
WORK TO DO
September 27 2008
Intro - Jesus tells us we still have work to do and we need to be getting it done!
I. Expose false teaching.
A. Who sinned? The people didn’t understand the truth. OT - Num. 16:46, Duet 24:8
B. Sickness can be punishment from the Lord. Miriam - Nu.12:1,10, Ps.32:3, 119:67, 71, Heb.12:10, 2Cor.12:7, Hosea 6:1-2
C. Not always! It may be to the glory of God. Ps.50:15, Jn.11:4, 21:19, Ph.1:20, 2Cor.6:4-5, 1Th.1:6-7
II. Lead people to Christ.
A. We - co-workers. 1Cor.3:9, 2Cor.6:1
B. Make use of opportunity. Col.4:5
C. Point people in to the Savior. Jn.6:29, Eph.4:12
III. Sense the urgency of the day we are living in.
A. Night is coming when opportunity is over. 2Cor.4:4, Lk.10:2, Ep.5:16
B. We must be lights. Mt.5:14, Eph.5:8-16
Con - its not about church buildings, programs, making your mark in the world. It’s about leading to people to Jesus so that they can be saved before it is to late.
A NATION AGAINST GOD
October 5 2008
Intro - Our text speaks of how Israel rejected Jesus. There are some lessons we can learn from this example.
I. Rejection leads to hardened hearts.
A. People reject God’s simple plan. - 6 Jn.5:39-40
B. Then comes lack of understanding. (Hear not, see not) Rom.1:20-21
C. It ends in a point of no return. Mt.13:12-15, 12:31.
II. It is not God who rejects us. - 2
A. He continues to reach out to us. Mt.11:28, Is.1:18
B. He weeps over those who reject Him. Lk.19:41, Mt.23:37
C. He always has a remnant to reach the lost.
III. Rejection ends in eternal punishment.
A. All will be judged. Jn.5:28-29
B. Hell is a real place of eternal torment Mt.13:49-50, Rev.19:20, 20:13-15
Con. - Satan says “no hell”, “no right or wrong”, do as you please! Jesus warned of Hell as a terrible place. Who do you believe?
GIVING OUT OF LOVE
October 26 2008
Intro - The account of the widow teaches us several things about giving. It’s not about paying the preacher or paying church bills, although all of those tings are included. I believe you can break down your giving into 3 areas, what you believe, who you trust and how much you love the Lord.
I. What do you believe?
A. That God created you and knows you. Ps.139:13-14, Ps.103:14
B. That God is in control of everything. Rom.13:1, Col.1:16-17
C. That God knows everything. Ps. 139:1-4, Lk.12:30, Illus. Car accident, gas prices
1. Jesus knew she put in all she had.
2. The Lord knows what you do with your money also. Illus. Credit card report, gas, food, recreation, etc.
D. Do you believe in heaven? 2Cor.4:16-18
II. Who do you trust, God or this world?
A. He promises if you tithe He will bless you. Malachi 3:10-12
B. He promises He will provide for you. Gen.22:14
C. He has a plan for you. Jer.29:11
D. He loves you. John 14:21, Rom.8:37
1. We walk by faith. 2Cor.5:7
2. This is true in our giving also. Eph.5:2
III. How much do you love the Lord?
A. Not how much you give but what are you willing to sacrifice. Pharisees vs widow.
B. Do you love self more than Jesus? 2Tim.3:2
C. If you love the Lord you will give to His work. 2Cor.8:1-8
1. Not out of pressure. 3
2. Based on desire. 4
3. Attitude of submission. 5
4. To prove your love. 8
Con. - this message is given for your sake. My prayer is that you might experience joy of giving and blessings God has planned for you. 2Cor.8:10-11
THE LOVE OF CHRIST
November 2 2008
Intro - The love of Jesus is greater than any human love. He loves us more than anyone else could. Jn.15:13
I. His love welcomes us. (Makes us feel wanted) Mt.23:37
A. He never rejects a repentant sinner. Jn.3:17
B. So we need not fear rejection. Mt.11:28, 1Tim.2:4, 2Pet.3:9
C. He wants to forgive you! Jn.3:16
II. His love keeps us. Ps 23 - 2Chr.16:9
A. Because we are His. Jn.10:14
B. By leading us. De.31:8
C. By protecting us from evil. Ps.4:8
D. By watching over us. Ps.121:4
III. His love provides for us.
A. Eternal life. 1Jn.5:12
B. A resurrection day. 1Th.4:16-18
Con. - Do you know this love? Have you received it? It’s the love that restores fellowship with God. A love that breaks the barrier of sin.
Hymn words, “O the Deep, Deep, Deep Love of Jesus”
O the deep, deep, deep love of Jesus
Underneath me, all around me,
Is the current of thy love.
Leading onward, leading homeward,
to my glorious rest above.
How He watches o’er His loved ones
Died to call them all His own.
How for them He intercedeth,
Watcheth o’er them from the throne.
O the deep, deep, deep love of Jesus
Tis a heaven of heavens to me;
and it lifts me up to glory,
For it lifts me up to Thee.
S. Trevor Francis
November 9 2008
Intro - We need to be alert so that we don’t get fooled. Only the discerning, involved, growing Christian will be alert. The parable Jesus spoke about the 10 virgins is an example of the need to stay alert.
I. Be alert to the times we live in.
A. A time of apostasy. (Webster’s Dictionary - abandonment of a belief )to leave a position once held.
Mt.24:10, 12, Rev.2:4, 3:16
B. A time of deception. Mt.24:11, 24-26, Mt.7:15-16, 1Tim.4:1
1. Good fruit is to bring to conversion and live a committed life.
2. The bad is to believe the doctrine of demons. (Any teaching contrary to God’s Word.)
* The greatest deception of all is to think you can’t be deceived!
II. Be alert t the activities of the spirit of anti-Christ.
A. This spirit is already at work. 1Jn.4:3.
B. During the tribulation the anti-Christ will be revealed. 4+8
C. Discern what is the truth. 1John 4:6
III. Be alert to the truth of salvation that is offered.
A. Don’t miss your chance. Today - Heb.3:15
B. Rejection of God’s Word or way, hardens the heart. LK.8:13, Heb.3:12-14, Mt.6:15.
C. There are only 2 choices.
1. Accept God’s truth and obey His word and you will experience joy and peace.
2. Reject His word and perish.
Con. - our text today speaks of a future event. The return of Christ. To be ready you need to be wholly committed to Jesus. If you aren’t, what kind of future will your children have? Be alert and teach your children to be alert. Jesus is coming again and He is coming soon!
HERE IS YOUR GOD
November 16 2008
Intro - The Israelites had been told that they would be taken into captivity. Their future did not look good. Is.39:6-8. When the circumstances in your life look dark, it’s important to remember who your God is!
I. A God whose word is sure. 8
A. He is our Creator. Neh.9:6
1. Hymn 32 verse 1. How great Thou Art.
2. God can make and destroy. Ps.28:5
B. He protects us. Noah, Abraham, Lot, Joseph, Moses, Daniel, Jonah, etc. Ps.37:28, 1Peter 1:3-6 Illus. Indian
C. He rules over the rulers. 15 - Rom.13:1
D. He lives. Rev.1:18
II. A God who is coming again.
A. For the believers John 14:3, 1Thess. 4:13-18.
B. With the believers at the end of the tribulation. Rev.19:7-8, 11-15
III. A God Who cares for us.
A. Like a Shepherd He will tend us. Ps. 23
B. The weak He will carry through the difficult times. Foot prints in the sand.
C. The strong He will encourage.
Con. Our God is here and He is all powerful. If our nation has to pay for their rejection of God , He will see His children through it all. Poem. “Through it all”
ALWAYS REMINDING YOU
2 Peter 1:12-18
November 23 2008
Intro - I once had a person tell me they would not be attending Bible Study because they already knew everything that was being discussed. People say the same thing about coming to church. They feel they don’t need to because they already know what the bible says. These poor souls are ignorant of what Scripture says and about human nature. We hate to hear the phrase, “remember I told you”. But this is what Peter is saying today.
I. We need to be reminded of what we “already know”.
A. God’s word is alive, there is always something new. Heb.4:12, 1Peter 1:23
B. Even if the lesson is not new, the question is are you applying it? James 1:22
1. We have a tendency to forget. Ps.119:11
2. We have a tendency to ignore. Neh. 9:29
3. We have a tendency to rebel. Neh 9:26, Dan.9:9
II. We need to be reminded in order to be stirred up.
A. Not meant to agitate, although that is sometimes the result. Pr.29:22
B. The purpose is to wake us up! Mt.25:5
C. Be an active diligent Christian. Vs.5-7
1. Moral excellence - 1Cor.15:33 2. Knowledge - Col.1:10 3. Self-control - Ph.4:8 4. Persevere -trust God
5. Godliness - Acts 24:16 6. Kindness - 1John 2:11 7. Love - Jn.3:16 a love for the lost.
III. We need to be reminded, it’s God ‘s word not the preachers.
A. The preacher/teacher is only a vessel. We only repeat what God has already said.
B. People will die but God ‘s word lives on. Vs 15.
C. Peter was convinced of who Jesus was and therefore reminded believers to live accordingly. 2Pet.3:10-11
Con. You have been reminded, will you respond accordingly?
PREACH THE GOSPEL
November 30 2008
Intro - In our text today Jesus is letting us know that He has fulfilled this prophecy that Isaiah had made so many years ago. Today this is fulfilled. What did the prophecy say about Him? Let’s look at it in terms of the four groups of people it spoke of.
I. The poor. He would preach the gospel to them.
A. According to the dictionary the “poor” are those who, “are lacking what is needed.”
B. Spiritually speaking this is also true. We are the poor because we lack what is needed to get to heaven. Rom.3:23
C. The gospel (good news) is that Jesus provided what we needed. 2Cor.8:9, 5:21, Lk.6:20, James 2:5
II. The captive. He would proclaim release.
A. A captive is one who is held prisoner under the control of another or enslaved by another. Rom.7:14, Jn.8:34
B. Spiritually, the sins we have committed hold us in bondage. We are the devils slave because of them. Tit.3:3
1. We cannot be set free unless we recognize the sin. ( Confess) 1Jn.1:9
2. We cannot be set free unless we accept responsibility for the sin. (Repent) Lk.13:3
C. Jesus came to proclaim a pardon (a release) for those held by sin . Col.2:14
D. The pardon must be accepted. Illus. 1830 - George Wilson
III. The blind. He would give sight to.
A. Blind is simply the inability to see. Mt.15:14 Titanic IIlus.
B. Spiritually it is the inability to see one’s own sin. 2Cor.4:4, 2Pet 1:9
C. Jesus came to give sight and healing to the spiritually blind.
D. We will never have perfect vision until we can see our sin. Mt.7:3-5
IV. The downtrodden. To set them free.
A. These are those who are suffering some kind of oppression.
B. Spiritually those who are oppressed by Satan.
1. The unsaved held under Satan’s power. 2Tim.2:26
2. The saved who are attacked by Satan. 2Cor.4:8-10
Con - today this message comes to us. It’s the day of the Lord. A day for you to receive all that Jesus has offered.
If you have received Christ as your Savior then you can rejoice in all He has done for you.
THE KINGDOM OF GOD
December 7 2008
Intro- Our text speaks of e different aspects of God ‘s kingdom. The present kingdom within us, the Second coming of Christ and the Rapture. All three of these are part of what Jesus taught concerning the Kingdom of God .
I. The kingdom of God is in our midst. 20-22
A. When Jesus came into this world He established a spiritual kingdom.
1. A kingdom not physical but spiritual. Not controlled by physical things. Jn.18:36
2. A kingdom all are invited to come to and be a part of. Acts 2:38-39, Col.1:13, Ps.145:13, 1Peter 2:5
B. A kingdom not built on physical sight. (His death and then His accession would separate Him phy. from disciples.)
II. The kingdom of God will come physically for Israel again. 23-25.
A. It will come in a way that all will see. (Like lightning)
B. At His Second Coming the whole world will see Him. Zech.14:3-5, Rev.19:7-8, 14
C. But first would come His death and rejection by the Jews. 25
III. The kingdom of God is our heavenly home. 26-30 Jn.3:5, 14:2-3
A. Our entrance into this kingdom will come suddenly and unexpectantly. Mt.24:44
B. Christ’s example of Noah and Lot teach us several important points concerning the Rapture.
1. The world will appear normal not moral! Both lived during a time of increasing immorality and violence.
2. Normal things like, marriage, building homes, planting/working, selling, buying, eating, etc. will be taking place.
3. God then removes the believers. 2Thess.4:13-18
4. Then comes judgement. Noah - rain Gen.7:12, 16-17, Lot - fire. Gen.19:22-24
C. It will be the “same” when Jesus comes again. Heb.13:8
1. Normal but immoral. Only signs of pending tribulation are present. Mt.24:7-8
2. Then suddenly we are removed! Lk.12:40
3. Don’t make the mistake of thinking we have to be in tribulation and destruction before Christ can come. That will be the condition of the world at the time of His Second return.
The Rapture will cause the tribulation activities.
Con. Are you a part of the spiritual kingdom that Jesus established here on earth. Are you one of the believers?
Then look up and rejoice, Jesus is coming soon!
December 14th 2008
Intro - What did Scripture mean when it said John would tell people to “make ready” the way of the Lord? It deals with the preaching of the law. Dr. Walther says we must rightly divide the Law and Gospel. “Preach law to sin hardened souls and gospel to those broken hearted because of sin”
I. He was not speaking about a physical highway repair program!
A. The terms are symbolic of spiritual needs, necessary for repentance. Illus. Road repair in this era!
B. He was speaking about the process of repentance. Luke 13:3
II. How do these terms apply to repentance?
A. To make straight = true or sincere in your heart. Aware of sin. Heb.4:12, Ps.51:3-4
1. Some deflect sin like a pin ball machine!
2. Will Christ find a straight path into your heart?
B. Ravines filled = no hidden sin or excuses. Ps.51:5-6 - let the HS do His work.
1. Listen to the Holy Spirit, don’t ignore conviction.
2. If you do the process of salvation will crash.
C. Mountains leveled or brought low = pride is broken and doubt removed.
1. Some are so proud they will never admit they were wrong. Ps.51:17. Take responsibility!
2. Others are so broken they think they cannot be rescued. Rom.5:20.
D. Rough made smooth = attitude about sin is honest. Lk.1:17,
1. Isaiah -“woe is me”, Paul “chief of sinners” Ps.51:9 be embarrassed by sin!
2. The problem today is there is no shame of sin !
III. When all obstacles are removed.
A. We will see clearly. Matt.7:5
B. Then salvation will come to you. Ps.51:11-13
Con. - has this process taken place in your life?
HE HAS VISITED US
December 28th 2008
Intro- Zacharias once again could speak. He gives us a message about the Savior that his son John would be the fore-runner for.
I. John would prepare people for this Visitor from heaven.
A. He would “make ready” the way of the Lord. Lk.3:4
B. He would do so by teaching repentance. Lk.3:3, 1:17 C.W. Walther quote
C. The difference between an attitude of the righteous vs the self-righteous.
1. Don’t need to confess because we don’t sin vs I sin in thought word and deed every day. 1Tim.1:15
2. Don’t need to say I’m sorry because I’m never wrong vs have I offended you? Ph.3:12-15
3. I’m not like those sinners vs search me O God . Lk.18:11, Ps 139:23
4. Pride vs humility (the humble will listen to God’s Word) Ph.2:8
D. Zacharias had learned the hard way to listen to the Lord and trust God’s word.
II. He proclaimed a message of hope.
A. God has visited us - past tense because Mary was pregnant with Jesus in her womb.
B. He knew Jesus would be the Redeemer of the world.
C. We see this same hope and knowledge in Simeon. Lk.2:25-32
III. What does this all mean for us? It means hope!
A. We have hope, unsaved don’t. 1Thess.4:13
1. Because we know He cares
a. enough to be born. Gal.4:4
b. enough to die on a cross. Rom.5:8
2. Because He keeps His word. Rom.10:9
B. It means a salvation - the forgiveness of sin. Heb.10:23
C. It means redemption - a way back to God . 1Jn.3:2-3, rom.8:25
D. It is a hope that we should share with others. 1Pet.3:15 Illus. Football game gives hope
Con. - it has all been accomplished. Finished. Completely paid for. Accept the Gift that God gave you at Christmas. When your life is in Christ you will have hope. Tius2:11-13
Dr. Walther says we must rightly divide the Law and Gospel. “Preach law to sin hardened souls and gospel to those broken hearted because of sin”