November 23, 2015

The Great Commission is a classic portion of scripture that gives the Christian church the mandate to evangelize the world.

Matthew 28:18-20

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

I.  Go!

Verse 29 begins with the simple word ‘Go’.  As Christians we are called to an active response, not a passive existence.  In the book of Acts Jesus tells His disciple that they will be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the end of the earth.  (Acts 1:8)   We too, are called to testify of the hope that is within us.  We are not to keep the Good News to ourselves, but to share it with others.

II.  Make Disciples

Sometimes in evangelical circles it seems as though the end goal is getting someone to say the sinners prayer.  We count up the number of people who say this prayer and keep a record to include on our annual report.  However, we are called to make disciples.  Conversion is only the first step.  We want people to be life-long followers of Jesus.  We teach them, and encourage them to follow all of the commandments of Jesus.  Baptism is a public declaration that a person is a disciple of Jesus.  Salvation may be private.  Baptism should be public.

III.  We Are Not Alone

In my philosophy class at the college one of the philosophers we study is an atheist named Jean Paul Satre.  He acknowledges that the consequence of his atheism is a belief that we are forlorn and in anguish.  Forlorn because we are alone in the world and in anguish because there is no God to provide direction.

I am glad to say that we are not alone.  God is with us always.  God is a spirit and as such is not limited by physical restraints.  It is a great comfort to acknowledge the presence of God.  God also provides direction for us by His Word and His Spirit.

IV.  The Good Shepherd:  Psalms 23

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord

Jesus referred to Himself as the Good Shepherd.  We recognize that Jesus will guide our steps, that He will provide for us, and that He will protect us.  He has called us to a mission, but He has not left us alone.  He is with us always and will guide, provide and protect.

These are the sermon notes from 11/1/15.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them. 

Who Do You Serve?

November 9, 2015

As we think about the future, there is a great deal of uncertainty: the fluctuations in global economy, the rising national debt, the rise of terrorist organizations,  the growing intolerance towards those who practice conservative religion, and the increasing polarization of politics, all contribute to a sense that we may be headed for serious trouble.  I am very glad that the Bible addresses how to live in troubling times.

I.  Where is Your Treasure?  Matthew 6:19-21

 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

We have limited resources.  There is only so much money, time and energy.  How are we investing our resources?  Of course, most of us have to work a job, or attend classes.  We all have daily tasks that need to be performed, but what do we do with what is left?  Certainly it is possible that we can use up all of our resources on ourselves, but is that what we are supposed to do?  Is that what we have to do?  We should ask God to help us prioritize our lives in such a way that they will be pleasing to Him.  We are not supposed to work ourselves to death, but we are to have the type of priorities that God has for us.  It might be enlightening to make a chart of how we use our resources, and see just what kind of priority is being given to God.  We might be surprised at what we see.

II.  Light or Dark?  Matthew 6:22-23

 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

I love to watch sunrises.  There is something very special about watching the world wake up.  Things look different in the early morning light.

Jesus is the light of the world.  How often during the day do we focus on Him.  Of course it is necessary for us to focus on the task at hand, especially if driving or doing some other task that is potentially dangerous, but Jesus should never be far from our mind or heart.  If we allow His light to shine into our spirits, then our days will be so much better.  Remember, He is with us always, but are we aware of His presence?

III.  Who Do You Serve?  Matthew 6:24

 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

The first question would have to be “What is mammon?”.  Certainly, it is not a word that we use in our normal conversations.  Basically, it just means money.  What is comes down to is what is the focus of our lives?  Are we serving God, or just trying to accumulate money?  There is the saying “He who dies with the most toys wins”, but that is not meant to be our focus as the children of God.   We are to serve God first.  He will take care of us.  Only one thing can be most important in our lives.  That should be God.

IV.  God Will Provide  Matthew 6:25-34

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

If we seek God first, He will take care of us.  God knows our needs.  He can bless us with employment and can help what we have go further than we would expect if we will but trust in Him.  Jesus was a carpenter, but He referred to Himself as the Good Shepherd.  The Good Shepherd will guide, provide and protect His sheep.  We can trust that God will take care of us if we put our trust in Him by making our relationship with Him our top priority.

V.  Don’t Worry, Pray!  Philippians 4:6+7

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

If we find ourselves becoming weighed down with the concerns of this world, remember that we can turn to God in prayer, knowing that He will take care of us.    Pray until the peace comes.  In placing our trust, not in ourselves, but in God, we will find the peace that passes understanding.  We are, most often, still called to act, but God will give us the direction that we need. He will give us wisdom to know what to do, and the strength to do it.

So as we look into an uncertain future, we can trust that God will guide, provide and protect.  We can trust that in the end all things will work out for the good of those who place their trust in God.  (Romans 8:28)

These are the sermon notes from 10/25/15.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them. 

Dealing With Temptation

October 26, 2015

We all deal with temptation.  Even Jesus was tempted.  We can look to Jesus for an example of how we should deal with temptation.

Matthew 4:1-11

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:

‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’


‘In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’

Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”

Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”

10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”

11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

I.  Led By The Spirit

It is important to recognize that facing temptation does not mean that we are out of the will of God.  Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.  The temptation that Jesus would face was an important part of his mission on earth.  He was to face temptation and show us how to defeat it.  The three temptations that are recorded here may represent the temptations that we all face.  They may represent temptations to the body, soul and spirit; thus representing the temptations to our whole being.

II.  1st Temptation: Body

The first temptation begins with the phrase ” If you are..” .  Jesus knew that He was the Son of God.  He did not need to prove it to Satan, nor to Himself.  The temptation to turn the stones into bread to satisfy His hunger may represent the various temptations that we face to fulfill the desires of the flesh.  Eating bread is obviously not a sin, but placing the flesh over the spirit, that is wrong.  Jesus responds to the temptation with the phrase “It is written…”.  Jesus uses the Word of God to resist temptation.  So should we.  The acknowledgement that we do not “live by bread alone..” helps us to remember that true life is found in God and His Word, to place spiritual needs over physical needs.

III.  2nd Temptation:  Soul

The 2nd temptation recognizes the temptations that we face to the soul, or mind.  We are tempted to be proud of our abilities, or to be envious, or jealous, or to covet, or any of the other sins of the heart, mind or soul.  Jesus did not need to show off.  In this temptation, Satan uses scripture.  It is important for us to have a good understanding of scripture so that we can accurately respond to people who try to twist it or misapply it.  We will need the help of the Spirit to rightly divide the Word of Truth.


This temptation is a challenge to both an understanding of scripture and of appropriate faith.  God will take care of us, but we do not need to jump off a tower to prove it.  On a related note, we need to be careful that when we are proclaiming our faith in something that God is going to do for us, that it is indeed according to the will of God.  God is not required to fulfill our whims, but His will be done.

IV.  3rd Temptation:  Spirit

Our allegiance should be only to God.  Even if Satan could fulfill our wildest dreams of this life, we should not sell our spiritual allegiance.  We should only worship and serve God.

V.  The Power of the Word:  Psalms 119:11

Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.

In each of the temptations that Jesus faced, He responded with the Word of God.  Jesus used the scriptures to deal with temptation as an example for us.  We should read the Word and memorize the Word. so that we can use the Word, when we are faced with temptation.

Temptation in all kinds of forms is something that we all regularly face.  We can successfully overcome temptation by using the Word of God.

These are the sermon notes from 10/18/15,  Any advertisement that might appear is placed by WordPress.  I do not have any control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.   

Walk Humbly With God

October 22, 2015

I have recently been reading in the minor prophets.  I believe that they have some wonderful life lessons for us.

I.  Warning!  Jonah 3:4,5&10

And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day’s walk. Then he cried out and said, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them.

10 Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.

Jonah proclaims a warning to the people of Nineveh of coming judgement.  The people believe the message and repent.  Their repentance is sincere.  It is demonstrated by their actions.  God sees the genuine nature of their repentance and forgives them.

Do we as the people of God respond as well?  When we are confronted with sin, do we believe and repent; or do we argue and make excuses?

II.  Live By Faith:  Habakkuk 2:4

“Behold the proud,
His soul is not upright in him;
But the just shall live by his faith.

Pride is a common sin that may not be easily recognized.  We need to guard against pride in our lives.

What does it mean to live by faith?  Paul quotes this verse in Romans 1:16-17.  Then Martin Luther used these verses to start a reformation movement that profoundly changed the church.

In my own life, I think of living by faith to mean that I will seek to know God, worship God and to serve God.  Ultimately, this is all done by faith because we must believe in the message that He has given us in the Bible, and also the conviction that comes from the Holy Spirit.  “We walk by faith, not by sight.” (II Corinthians 5:7)

III.  Walk With God:  Micah 6:8

He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?

When I was a young man torn between two Christian traditions: one, a part of the holiness movement, with its’ emphasis on rules for holy living; and the other a tradition marked by an emphasis on grace; these verses brought me comfort and direction.

I was to do justly.  I understood that to mean to do what is right in my relationships with others, with God, and with the environment.

I was to love mercy.  I appreciated that God was merciful to me.  I was to be merciful to others.  That means that as God forgives me, I was to forgive others.

I was to walk humbly with God.  This is my favorite.  I am not alone.  God is always with me.  We do not have to think too much of ourselves, but we can think much of the presence of God in our lives.

My hope and my prayer is that we will receive the Word of God in faith and repentance, that we will learn what it means to walk in faith, humbly with our God.

These are the sermon notes from 10/11/15.  Any advertisements are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them. 

The Reality of Judgement

October 12, 2015

Some people think that because God is love, that no one will go to hell.  There is a very real day of judgement that is coming one day.

I.  The Great White Throne:  Revelation 20:11-15

 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

Some people deny the reality of an eternal hell.  These verses clearly present the fate of those who are not found written in the Book of Life.  They will be judged by their works.

How shall we be saved?

II.  Believe on the Lord:  Acts 16:30-31

And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

This question is asked by the jailer. The response emphasizes the important role of belief in Jesus.  It is the simple truth.

III.  The Right Order:  Ephesians 2:8-10

 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

The order here is very important.  Grace is first.  If God did not reach out to us, we would forever remain in out sins.  Through faith.  We are not saved by our works, but by our faith.  We could not have faith without the grace of God.  For works.  If we are saved, our life will produce the fruit of righteousness.

IV.  A Dead Faith:  James 2:17

Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

We are not saved by works, but by faith.  A living faith will produce works.  If the Spirit of Christ is dwelling in our hearts, how could we not be changed?

V.  I Never Knew You:  Matthew 7:21-23

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

These verses have always concerned me a little.  Simply giving lip-service to Jesus is not enough.  Our faith should be lived out in our lives.  This does not mean that we are saved by works, but rather, if we are saved, our works will change.  Here again, the reality of judgement is emphasized.  Not everyone will enter the kingdom of heaven.

VI.  Good and Evil:  Amos 5:14-15

Seek good and not evil,
That you may live;
So the Lord God of hosts will be with you,
As you have spoken.
15 Hate evil, love good;
Establish justice in the gate.
It may be that the Lord God of hosts
Will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

The basic format for works is simply stated.  “Seek good and not evil”.  God will help us to understand what is pleasing in His sight.

VII.  The Love of God: I John 5:3

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.

We should simply focus on developing our love for God, and for others.  The laws of God grow out of love.

VIII.  No Condemnation:  Romans 8:1-2

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

All of this talk of judgement can create fear.  As Christians we do not have to be afraid.  God loves us.  We love God.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. “( I John 4:18)


Judgement is real.  Not everyone goes to heaven.  We are saved by grace, through faith, for good works.  The order is important for us to understand.  We do not change to be saved.  We are changed because we are saved.

These are the sermon notes from 9/27/15.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them. 




Savior and Lord

October 8, 2015

Sometimes a beloved verse is lifted out of context and used in a way that it was not originally intended.  That may be what has happened in our understanding of Revelation 3:20.

I.  At The Door:  Revelation 3:20

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

This well known verse is often used to support the practice of inviting Jesus into our heart.  In this view, the door that Jesus knocks on is the door to our heart.  It is a way of understanding our salvation experience, the means by which we are born again.  Christ comes into our hearts and we are never the same.  Christ knocks, it is up to us to let Him in.  Christ has the initiative.  We must respond.

II.  Examine Your Works:  Revelation 3:15-16

“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.

Here are the verses that introduce the concept of the lukewarm Christian.  We are not meant to be lukewarm, we are meant to be on fire for Christ.  One thing about fires is that they are always changing.  They are either building up, or burning down.  If we want the fire to build up, we must add fuel to the fire.  If we want our relationship with Christ to burn brightly we must spend time in the Word, in prayer, in fellowship, and in service.

III.  Blinded:  Revelation 3:17-18

Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

Many people are blinded to the true nature of their spiritual reality.  May our eyes be opened to our condition.  May we be changed by the ongoing work of the Spirit in our lives.  May we be clothed in the righteousness of Christ and transformed by His Spirit.  May we may truly become the children of God.

IV.  Growth:  Revelation 3:19

 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

God loves us.  He does not leave us in the condition that He found us. He challenges us to be the people that we are meant to be.  He rebukes, and corrects us as needed.  We are to listen to His voice and change our ways.   This is the context of verse 20 quoted above.  It is not in the context of initial salvation, but rather in the context of the rebuke of sin in the life of a believer. Jesus is our savior and lord. He saves us and directs our lives.

V.  Overcomes:  Revelation 3:21

To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

If the Spirit of Christ is dwelling in our hearts, we will be changed.  In Christ, we are more than conquerors.  It is not our strength, but His strength which enables us to overcome the sin that would seek to drag us down.

If we have a new life in Christ, then we should live for Christ.

These are the sermon notes from9/20/15.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.   

Things We Should Know

September 28, 2015

There are some things that we know, or should know, as Christians that we really ought to share with anyone who will listen.

I.  Lack of Knowledge:  Hosea 4:1 & 6

Hear the word of the Lord,
You children of Israel,
For the Lord brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land:

“There is no truth or mercy
Or knowledge of God in the land.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being priest for Me;
Because you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.

There are some simple, powerful truths in the Bible that Christians should know and share.  Without that knowledge people perish.  Their lives are sorely diminished.

II.   God Loves You:  John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

The first thing that we need to know and share is that God loves us.  All of us.  Everyone.  He has offered us forgiveness of sins and a new eternal life through the sacrifice of His son Jesus Christ.  We are simply called to believe this good news.

III.  Pursue Knowledge:  Hosea 6:3

Let us know,
Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.
His going forth is established as the morning;
He will come to us like the rain,
Like the latter and former rain to the earth.

As we pursue the knowledge of God there is a wonderful truth that we can grasp and hold on to.  God has a plan for us...and it is a good one.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

The person who has given their life over to God has a future and a hope.  Whatever circumstances come our way God can give us wisdom and strength.  Wisdom to know what to do.  Strength to do it.  God will help us with the challenges of this life.  Even if this life is rough, we have a hope of an eternity with Him in heaven.

IV.  Mercy

In Hosea 4:1, already quoted above, the absence of mercy contributes to the problem.  Mercy is when we are not given the punishment that we deserve.  As Christians we are called upon to forgive those who have wronged us.  We even pray “forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.”  Forgiveness is a very important part of who we are as believers.   We are both forgiven and forgiving.

V.  Things Will Work Out:  Romans 8:28

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

We are not God.  We are not capable of seeing things from His perspective.  Even when we cannot understand, we can trust.  All things will work out for good for those who believe.  We may not be able to see how they work out in this life, but once we have an eternal perspective we may understand.  For those who do not believe, their ultimate end, unfortunately, is destruction and torment.  It does not work out so well for them.

These basic truths are very important to Christians.  We should be aware of them ourselves, and we should share them with others.  These truths offer us, and all who would believe, a hope that is unshakable.

Hope can really make a difference.

God makes a difference.

These are the sermon notes from 9/13/15.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them. 

Their Inheritance

September 21, 2015

What is our most precious possession?  What do we own that is of greatest value?  Are they the same thing?

I.  I Am Their Inheritance: Ezekiel 44:28

 “It shall be, in regard to their inheritance, that I am their inheritance. You shall give them no possession in Israel, for I am their possession.

This passage is speaking of the priests.  Their possession was not land, but God Himself.  Of course, no one can actually possess God.  It is a means of understanding the priority, or nature, of the relationship between each priest and God. That relationship is of more value than any material thing.

II.  We Are a Royal Priesthood:  I Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

As a part of the new covenant that we have with God in Christ, the Levitical priesthood is replaced.  All Christians are a part of the new priesthood.  We are all able to enter into the presence of God through our faith in Jesus Christ.  As a new priesthood, we can lay claim to the promise made to the old priesthood.  We can now consider God to be our ‘possession’.

III.  The Pearl of Great Price:  Mathew 13: 45-46

 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, 46 who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

What could be of more value than God?  Yet how much effort do we put into developing our relationship with God?  How much time do we spend in the Word?  How much time do we spend in prayer?  How much priority do we place on being present in worship in the house of God?

IV.  A Living Sacrifice:  Romans  12:1-2

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

If we have recognized the value of our relationship with God, it is reasonable to offer ourselves to God as a living sacrifice.  We should be willing to submit to whatever God’s will is for our lives.  The challenge is to be able to discern what that will of God is for us.  There is that which is acceptable, that which is good, and that which is perfect.  May we be able to discern and follow the perfect will of God.

These are the sermon notes from 9/6/15.  Any advertisements are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them. 

Stand in the Gap

September 14, 2015

Prayer can make a difference in the events in our country.  Sin is prevalent throughout our land.  Will God send judgement?

I.  The Sins of the People:  Ezekiel 22:29

The people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger.

Oppression comes in many forms.  It may begin as a stronger child picking on those who are weaker.  It continues in the workforce as domineering individuals distribute chores unfairly.  It continues in the business and political world as the powerful create policies that favor certain parties over others.  It may be based on racial, religious, or economic factors.  It is always wrong.

Robbery is taking something that is not rightfully yours.  Yet it is also a form of robbery to cheat on our taxes, to take things from our place of employment, or to spend time at work, cruising the internet for personal reasons.

The mistreatment of the poor and needy goes beyond ensuring that they are not starving.  If they visit our churches, are they treated with the same dignity and respect as people of more influential means?  Are we showing favoritism?  God loves all people without distinguishing between class, education or ability to contribute.

How do we treat those who are new to our country?  Here in the United States we have an issue with illegal immigrants, but does that cause us to treat all immigrants with suspicion?  For that matter, is our handling of illegals just and fair?  What is the right thing to do?

II.  Stand in the Gap:  Ezekiel 22:30

So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.

It is our responsibility as Christians, not only to do the right thing ourselves, but to pray on behalf of our country for the forgiveness of the sin that is in our land.  Prayer is powerful.  Many people praying is even  more powerful.  The prayers of the people of God can hold off judgement that could rightly fall upon our land At what point does God send judgement?  I do not know.  I do know that prayer can make a difference.

III.  Judgement:  Ezekiel 22:31

 Therefore I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; and I have recompensed their deeds on their own heads,” says the Lord God.

Israel was God’s own chosen people.  They had fallen into sin, ignored the prophets’ warnings, and judgement came on the land.  Some have suggested that America is like a new Israel.  I do not think that is the case.  Even if it was, we should examine our situation.  Sin has increased in our land over the last fifty years.  Is judgement coming for our sins?

I close with II Chronicles 7:14

 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

These are the sermon notes from 8/30/15.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them. 

The Search for Truth and Love

September 8, 2015

As a philosophy instructor I have a particular appreciation for the search for truth.  This appreciation comes from the realization that truth is not as easily grasped as one might think.  The discovery of truth provides a bedrock foundation upon which we can build our understanding of life.

I.  Truth:  II John 1-3

The Elder,

To the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all those who have known the truth, because of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever:

Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

As I read these verses I am reminded that Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)  If we have placed our faith in Jesus then we are at the correct starting point.  Starting with a belief in Jesus, the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth.  (John 16:13)  In Jesus, “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32)  I believe that throughout our life we can grow in our knowledge of the truth.  You could say that our life is a journey in search of the truth, which fits really well with a philosophers ‘love of wisdom’.  

II.  Love:  II John v5

And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another.

As I read this verse I am reminded that the great commandments, according to Jesus, are to love God, and to love one another.  (Matthew 22:36-40)

I am also reminded of the line from the famous song by the Beatles “All you need is love…”

Love is a powerful force and a powerful motivator.  It is probably true that more people search for love than truth.

In Christ we find both.

III.  Obedience:  II John v6

This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.

Unfortunately, we may lose a few people here.  People want to do their own thing.  They want to be independent.  However “doing it my way”  is not a good thing in the Christian walk.  We are to do things His way.  We are called to be obedient.  We do have the freedom to say no to Christ, but if we have given our lives to Christ, then He is both Savior and Lord.  If He is not our Lord, then neither is He our savior.  I John 5:3 says “ For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”  We are able to keep His commandments, not in our own strength, but because of the Spirit of God that dwells in us. 

IV.  Deceit:  II John v7

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

We must be careful in our search for truth.  There are those who would seek to deceive us and lead us away from the truth.

As we continue our journey through this life.  We can continue to grow in our knowledge of the truth.  We can grow in our love for God and for one another.  We can grow in our ability to be obedient to Christ, as we guard against the deceit that is in the world.

These are the sermon notes from 8/9/15.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.   



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