Archive for March, 2014

Overcomers

March 31, 2014

I.  Scripture Originated With God:  II Peter 1:19-21

 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

The word translated as interpretation in verse 20, can also be translated as origin, which makes more sense to me.  The scriptures are not merely the words of men, but God speaking to us through their words.  We can listen to the advice of men and choose to reject it if we do not agree with it, but we should not reject the Word of God spoken to us in the scriptures.

II. Saying One Thing/Doing Another:  I John 1:6-7

If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

What we do should match up with what we say.  If we say that we are Christians, then we should be seeking to live Christ-like lives.

III.  Do Not Love the World:  I John 2:15-17

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

What is most important to you?  It should be God.  God does not want to simply be a part of our lives, He wants to be our life’s priority.  God first.  Everything else second.

IV.  Help Those in Need:  I John 3:16-18

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?

18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

We should be willing to help those who are in need. I suppose that you could call it love in action.  James says that “Faith without works is dead”  Let us have a living faith and love that is expressed by our compassion for others.

V.  Greater is He That is in You:  I John 4;4

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

When we encounter the various challenges and difficulties of this life, it is comforting to remind ourselves that our strength does not come from ourselves, but from the One who is within us.  Through God, we have the strength to do what He has called us to do.

VI.  Summary:  I John 5:1-5

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

The first step is to believe in Jesus.  Next, we grow in our love for God, and for others.  Third, we learn to live lives of obedience to the commandments of God.  This is made possible because of our relationship with Christ.  So that we are in fact, over-comers.

These are the sermon notes from 3/16/14.  Any advertisements that may appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

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Protecting a Minority

March 13, 2014

Gay rights have come a long way.  Within my lifetime, they have gone from being an illegal activity and a psychological disorder, to a widely accepted alternative lifestyle.  In an increasing number of states, they have obtained the right to legally marry.

The primary opposition to gay marriage stems from religious people that continue to accept certain biblical values.  Of course, not everyone shares the same  values.  How should we react when there is a conflict of values?  When a gay couple is planning their wedding, and they contact a church, a florist, a caterer, a photographer and so forth: do those businesses have a right to refuse their services?  Are we not willing to allow people to live out their own values in this area?  Are we going to force the will of the majority upon the minority?  Or will we allow people to continue to live by their personal convictions in this matter?

There is an increasing number of people who will gladly accept the business generated by gay weddings.  People who feel strongly that gay marriages are wrong should be allowed to refuse service.  They should be able to live by their moral convictions.  They should however, be required to suggest a business that is open, to providing that service.

Any advertisements that accompany this blog are placed there by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

Everything is Beautiful

March 10, 2014

God can use us in our place of employment.  Our lives have meaning and purpose.  There is also beauty to be seen all around us, if our eyes were truly open.

Ecclesiastes 3:9-13

What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? 10 I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

12 I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, 13 and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.

I.  God Given Tasks

All work, that is not immoral by nature, can be used by God.  We have skill that God has given us, and that we can develop.  We should use those skills for His glory.  We are meant to be salt and light in the world.  We can be salt by being good employees, doing a good job with a good attitude.  We can be light by allowing the light of Christ that has shone into our hearts to shine through our lives in our places of work.  God can use us.   Our lives have both meaning and purpose.

II.  Everything is Beautiful

May God open our eyes to the beauty that is all around us.  May God enable us to see the good in what we do.

III.  Eternity in Their Hearts

We can enjoy the material realm, but we know that there is more to life than what we see.  Our highest value and purpose are found in our role in the spiritual realm.  As Christians, we are a part of the body of Christ.  That gives us value.  It is our relationship with Christ that makes us salt and light in the world.  God has placed us in various places to be His representatives to those who live in spiritual darkness.  God has called us from darkness to light, now we are to call out to others.

IV.  Enjoy the Journey

God did not create the world and then say ” Ha!  I have set a trap for mankind!!”  He created the world and said that it was “good”.  God’s people should be able to see the good, the beauty that is around them.  We should be able to “stop and smell the roses” along the journey of this life.  Yes, we have struggles in the flesh.  We have various tests and trials, but overall, we should be able to live a life that is filled with the goodness of the Lord.  The joy of the Lord should fill our lives.  We will encounter struggles in the flesh, but we can be victorious in the spirit.  We can enjoy the journey.

These are the sermon notes from 3/9/14.  Any advertisements that accompany this blog are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

Humble Yourselves

March 6, 2014

We can resist evil by submitting to God.  He cares for us and will work both in us and through us.

I Peter 5:5-11

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for

“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

I.  Humble Submission

There are two parts to submission listed here.  The first is submission to elders.  This represents the idea of being submissive to those in authority.  This concept is taught to us from the beginning as we are taught to honor our parents, our first authorities in our  lives.  Our attitude towards our parents will influence our attitude towards ours teachers.  Our attitude towards our teachers will influence our attitude towards our employers.  Our attitude towards our employers will influence our attitude towards legal and governmental authority.  Our attitude towards legal and governmental authority will influence our attitude towards God.  They all tie together.  It is important for us to have a good attitude towards those in authority.

The second part of this command to submission is to be submissive to one another.  By this we should recognize that we do not always have to have things go our own way.  We should be considerate of others and be willing to let them have their way, at least some of the time.  By the way, this is good marital advice as well as its application to the church.

II.  He Cares For You

We can give all our cares to Him.  Over the years, I have prayed for many different kinds of prayer requests.  Some of the request that have come from children over the years have seemed pretty insignificant on the surface.  I say on the surface because if it is important to us, then we can bring it to God.  God cares for us.  Our children should learn at an early age to bring their concerns to God.  He cares for us, and we can bring anything to God that is on our hearts.

We should also be willing to accept what God has for us.  Sometimes we get what we wanted, and sometimes we do not.  We should trust God with our hopes, our dreams and our lives.  He does indeed care for us.

III.  Resist Evil

As a motorcyclist, I have learned to watch out for things that could cause an accident.  I try to be constantly alert for potential danger because I recognize the dangerous nature of riding a motorcycle.  As Christians we should be alert for the tricks that the enemy uses to cause us to sin.  If we do fall into sin, we ask God to forgive us and seek to learn what caused us to stumble.  Watch out for the things that lead us into sin, and avoid them like the danger that they are to us.

Many of us have attempted dieting at one time or another.  It can be difficult to resist the urge to break our diet plan.  In order to succeed we must resist the urge to cheat on our diet.  In a similar way, we must resist the temptation to give in to sin.  This ability comes about by a combination of our will, and the strengthening power of the Holy Spirit.  God will give us strength, but we must also exercise our will.

IV.  Purpose in Suffering

God uses the times of suffering in our life to perfect or complete us.  Our faith is strengthened as God brings us safely through the tests and trials of our faith.  God can also use our perseverance in times of difficulty as a witness to others of His strengthening presence in our lives.  In the times of tests, or trials, may His light shine forth.

Conclusion:  Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.   (v6)

These are the sermon notes from 3/2/14.  Any advertisements are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.