Archive for November, 2012

The Way of Life

November 29, 2012

I.  The Way of Life: Proverbs 15:24

The way of life winds upward for the wise,
That he may turn away from hell below.

I think that this verse provides a simple, yet wonderful, description of the Christian life.  Christianity begins with repentance, which is to turn around.  We were lost, but now we have been found.  We were separated from God, but now our fellowship has been restored through the blood of Jesus Christ.  As a new creation, a child of God, we must now learn what it means to walk with God.  Even as the song goes “Just a closer walk with thee, grant it Jesus is my plea.”

II.  Trust in the Lord:  Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall directyour paths.

We can trust God.  If we put our trust in Him, and not in ourselves, He will direct our paths.  He will help us to make the right decisions.  Our lives will unfold the way that God intends for them to unfold.

III.  The Wrong Way: Proverbs 6:16-19

These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
17 A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
19 A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.

It is obviously not simply looking proud, it is being proud that is the problem.  One way that many of us may struggle with in the area of pride is the sense that we are always right.  We should at least be willing to listen to what others say, and recognize that perhaps there is room in our lives for correction.

Lying is so prevalent in society today.  The art of telling the truth in a tactful manner needs to be reemphasized and restored to common practice.

Regarding the shedding of blood, perhaps we are not given to physical violence, but have we hurt people with our words?  Physical wounds may heal rather quickly, but the wounds to our heart that words may cause can last a lifetime.  We should not hurt innocent people, either physically, or with our words.

Perhaps we do not actually carry out evil schemes, but are they something that we daydream about?  It is wrong to allow our minds to wander down the paths of wickedness.

When confronted with an opportunity to sin, do we stand fast and do the right thing?  Or do we quickly cave in, and do the wrong thing?  Do we try to claim that “I’m only human.”?  Have we forgotten that we have the Spirit of God within our hearts?  We are not “only human”  God is with us.  We can do the right thing.

Lying has already been mentioned, but it is mentioned again.  It is one thing to lie about your own exploits, it is even more wrong when you lie about other people.

Finally, in this list of things that God hates, is the act of sowing discord.  How many churches have been hampered in their mission to spread the gospel because of the people of God tearing apart with their words their brothers and sisters in Christ?  This is clearly wrong, yet commonly practiced.

IV.  The Right Way:  Proverbs 11:24-25

There is one who scatters, yet increases more;
And there is one who withholds more than is right,
But it leads to poverty.
25 The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself.

This verse reminds me of Acts 20:35 where we are told “It is more blessed to give, than to receive.”

We are to be unselfish people.  We should give of our time, our talents, our finances to God, to family, to others who are in need.  As God has blessed us, we should be a blessing to others.

God has shown us the way of life in His Word.  We should walk in the way of life.

 

 

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The Word of God Can Change Your Life

November 8, 2012

Here are the sermon notes from October 28,2012.

I.  The Cleansing Power of the Word: Psalms 119: 9-11

How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.
10 With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
11 Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.

By the Word, and by the Spirit, we learn to recognize right from wrong.

The Word has a cleansing effect on our minds.  With all of the ungodly images, and ideas, that we are bombarded with every day it is good to have something that can cleanse our minds.

We should be wholehearted in our pursuit of a life with Christ.

II.  Open My Eyes Psalms 119:18

Open my eyes, that I may see
Wondrous things from Your law.

To truly understand the Word of God, we need the Spirit of God.

True understanding makes an impact on our lives.

True understanding is delightful.

May our eyes be open to the wonderful things that God has for us in His Word.

III.  The Two Paths Psalms 119:33-37

Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes,
And I shall keep it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law;
Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
35 Make me walk in the path of Your commandments,
For I delight in it.
36 Incline my heart to Your testimonies,
And not to covetousness.
37 Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things,
And revive me in Your way.

There is the way of God and the way of the world.  My hope for all of you is that you will learn to follow the way of God, in which true happiness is to be found.

I am concerned, that even for people who are believers, that there is far too much covetousness.  Here in America, we live in a consumer society.  We need to guard our hearts against covetousness that seeks to permeate our thoughts.  True happiness is not found in the things that we possess.

I am also concerned about the impact that television has on our lives.  The vast majority of television programing contains parts that encourage behavior that is not Christ-like.  Yet, what is the ratio of our television time to our Bible time?  For most of us, it is not a very good comparison.

IV.  The Peace of God Psalms 119:165

Great peace have those who love Your law,
And nothing causes them to stumble.

I cannot preach from Psalms 119 without including this verse, which is one of my wife’s favorites.  The Word of God will bring peace to our lives.  That is a very good thing.   If we truly have a love for the Word of God our lives will be stable, like a house built on a rock, able to withstand the storms that come our way.