Posts Tagged ‘restoration’

Warning! Danger Ahead!!

July 28, 2014

Danger! Bridge Out!  Would you pay attention to a sign like this?  Probably so, but there are many other types of warnings that people routinely ignore.

I.  Warning!  Matthew 26:31-32

Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written:

‘I will strike the Shepherd,
And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’

32 But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”

Jesus knew what as going to happen on the night of his betrayal.  It was, in fact, a fulfillment of prophecy.  It was certainly going to happen.  When we receive warnings through the Word of God, we should take them very seriously.

II.  Pride:  Matthew 26:33-35

33 Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.”

34 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”

35 Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!”

And so said all the disciples.

Peter, and the rest of the disciples did not believe that they would be made to stumble.  Surely, they would not fall into temptation.

Proverbs 16:18

Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.

I Corinthians 10:12

Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

We should take warnings seriously, recognizing that we too, can fall.

III.  The Fall:  Matthew 26:69-74

Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee.”

70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are saying.”

71 And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth.”

72 But again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the Man!”

73 And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, “Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you.”

74 Then he began to curse and swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!”

Immediately a rooster crowed

Peter did exactly what Jesus had said that he would do, he denied even knowing Jesus, not just once, but three times.

We are all capable of falling, making mistakes, of doing the wrong thing.  That is why it is so important that we listen to warnings, and pray that God will give us wisdom and strength to do the right things.  We do not do what is right in our own power, but by the power of the Holy Spirit.

IV.  Repentance:  Matthew 26:75

. 75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly.

True repentance involves both sorrow over the wrong that was committed, and a commitment to do what is right in the future.  It is a ‘turning away’ from sin.  God can give us the power to change, but we must want to change.  It is not necessarily easy, but it is possible.

V.  Restoration:  John 21:15-19

So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”

And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. 18 Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” 19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”

This passage has a number of meanings, but for today, we recognize that Peter had denied Christ three times, and now, three times is asked if he loved Christ.

If we fall away, we can be restored.

That doesn’t mean that we should intentionally fall away, counting on restoration, but it should console us that if we do stumble, we can get back up.

We should pay attention to warnings.  We too, can stumble and fall into sin.  If we do, God is willing to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  We can be restored and we can try again  to live as God would have us live.

These are the sermon notes from 7/20/14.  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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Classic Pattern

June 16, 2014

Throughout the writings of the prophets there seems to be a fairly classic pattern.  God would bless Israel.  Israel would fall in to sin.  God would send prophets to warn of judgement.  Israel would ignore the prophets.  God would send judgement.  Israel would repent.  Israel would be restored.  The pattern would repeat.

Hosea 7:1-2

“When I would have healed Israel,
Then the iniquity of Ephraim was uncovered,
And the wickedness of Samaria.
For they have committed fraud;
A thief comes in;
A band of robbers takes spoil outside.
They do not consider in their hearts
That I remember all their wickedness;
Now their own deeds have surrounded them;
They are before My face.

I.  Iniquity Uncovered

If we have consciously given way to sin, choosing to live a life that is displeasing to God, we should know that it is not hidden from God.  God sees what is done in secret.  God sees right through our attempts to rationalize.  God recognizes sin as sin.  We may be able to fool others.  We may even be able to fool ourselves.  We will never fool God.

II.  Punishment

In these verses, the image of a thief is used.  God has a whole host of ways at His disposal.  The judgement of God can take many forms.  One problem that we face, is that we may not even recognize that the setbacks that are occurring in our life are sent from God.  It would be appropriate for us to regularly pray and ask God if we are living right before Him.  Search my heart oh God…

Hosea 6:1-3

Come, and let us return to the Lord;
For He has torn, but He will heal us;
He has stricken, but He will bind us up.
After two days He will revive us;
On the third day He will raise us up,
That we may live in His sight.
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.

III. Repent

When we recognize that we have sinned, there is only one correct response: repentance.  Far too many people try to excuse their sin, or declare that their sin, isn’t really a sin, or that it isn’t that bad.  When God reveals our sin to us we should ask God to forgive us, then go and sin no more.  Now, I recognize that it is not quite that simple.  It can be very difficult to change sinful patterns in our lives.  We do not make these changes in our own strength.  God will help us.  We must take the step of confessing our sin, and asking God to help us to do what is right and pleasing in His sight.

After we have repented, God will bring restoration to our lives.  God can bring healing to broken hearts and broken lives.

IV.  Pursue the Knowledge of the Lord

No matter how long we have been a Christian, there is more to learn about the ways of God.  Let us continue to pursue the knowledge of God.  This is available to us through the Word, and through prayer.  This knowledge of God will help us to face the challenges of this life.  God will give us wisdom and strength for each new day, for each problem that we might face.

As we grow in our knowledge of God, our appreciation for the blessings of God will grow as well.  We will appreciate more the beauty of the world around us.  We will treasure the relationships that we have with the people in our lives.   We will grow in our ability to experience the joy that God has for His people in His presence.  It is a very good thing to grow in the knowledge of God.

These are the sermon notes from 6/15/14.  Any advertisements that appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do  I receive any money from them.

A Faithful Life of Service

July 10, 2012

Here are the sermon notes from July 8th,21012.

Introduction:  I have been reading recently in II Kings.  The story of King Josiah stands out to me.  He was the last godly king of Judah prior to its’ conquest by Babylon.  He became king when he was only eight years old.  When he was twenty-six he oversaw the cleansing, and restoration of the temple.  During the process, a copy of the book of the law was found.  Evidently, the children of Israel had strayed so far from the Lord that the revealed word had been set aside, and literally forgotten.  When King Josiah heard the words of the law, he tore his clothes in humble repentance.  He recognized how far Israel had fallen away from their service to God and he set about to make things right.

I.  A Time of Restoration

II Kings 23  Now the king sent them to gather all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem to him. The king went up to the house of the Lord with all the men of Judah, and with him all the inhabitants of Jerusalem—the priests and the prophets and all the people, both small and great. And he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant which had been found in the house of the Lord.

Then the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people took a stand for the covenant.

First, I am impressed that the people listened to all the words of the Book of the Covenant.  This book may have been Leviticus, or possibly even the entire Pentateuch.  Today’s congregation may lose interest if a scripture readings goes for more the ten verses.

Second, this was no idle reading or commitment.  The king set about a methodical cleansing of the land of all foreign gods, altars and temples.  He was serious about his desire to restore true worship and the process continued throughout his life.

II.  King Josiah Lived a Life of Faithful Service.

II Kings 23  24 Moreover Josiah put away those who consulted mediums and spiritists, the household gods and idols, all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the Lord. 25 Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him.

Notice that it is said that no king was like him..ever.  Not even King David, who is normally considered the greatest king.  We all know that King David had his  faults.  Apparently King Josiah was completely committed to serving God, faithful throughout his life.

III.  The Unexpected, Tragic End

II Kings 23 28 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 29 In his days Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt went to the aid of the king of Assyria, to the River Euphrates; and King Josiah went against him. And Pharaoh Necho killed him at Megiddo when he confronted him. 30 Then his servants moved his body in a chariot from Megiddo, brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own tomb. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, anointed him, and made him king in his father’s place.

Why did God not protect King Josiah in battle?  God had delivered his people many times in previous years, why was this occasion different?

God has a plan.  He knows how the events of this world are going to unfold.  King Josiah served a very important role in restoring worship to the Jewish people.  Prior to his reign the focus was clearly on the temple, and on sacrifice.  After his reign there was a renewed emphasis on the study of the Word of God.  When the children of Israel were exiled to Babylon, they gathered together to study the word, for worship and for prayer.   It was a necessary change in focus for the years that were to come.

King Josiah reigned for thirty-one years.  He died at thirty-nine.  You might consider this an untimely death, or you could think of it as an early retirement.  Remember that for the people of God, our true reward is not in the things of this life, but in the life to come.

Conclusion:  We all have a part that we play in the plan of God.  We are called to faithfully serve, and we can trust that God knows what He is doing.  God does know what he is doing. we simply need to be faithful in our service to Him.  Our reward may come in various things of this life, but even more important is when we stand before the Lord to hear the words “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  Clearly, the best is yet to come.

 

Restore Joy

August 22, 2011

Here is the basic outline of yesterday’s sermon.  You will need your Bible to be able to read the references.

Introduction:  Jeremiah was living in a city under siege.  He had proclaimed that judgement would come, and now he was living through the attack on Jerusalem.  It was a dangerous and stressful time.  During this time he had a dream in which he received a vision of restoration.

I.  A Word of Restoration  Jeremiah 31:23-26

A.  There is a promise that the city would again be known for justice and holiness.

B.  There is a promise that every weary soul would be fully satisfied.

C.  There is a promise that every sorrowful soul would be replenished.

Remember Psalms 35:5 “Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning. ”  In our own lives, we may experience times of testing or turmoil, but we can trust that God will not abandon us if we continue in our walk with Him.

D. Jeremiah awoke from his dream and was able to go back to sleep, and his sleep was ‘sweet’.   He was at peace.

II.  A New Covenant:  Jeremiah 31:31-34 

There is another promise of restoration.  Christ will come and a new covenant will be established.  Remember how at the last supper Christ said that “This cup is the new covenant in My blood” .  This covenant shifts the focus from obedience to an external law to having the law written upon our hearts.  This is accomplished by our relationship with Christ.  As the Spirit of Christ  comes into our hearts at salvation we begin the process of learning to ‘walk in the Spirit’ so that we do not give in to the ‘lusts of the flesh’.

The promises given in this section are fulfilled in part now and will be completed when Christ returns.

III.  A New Heart  Psalms 51:7-13

God has always been interested in our heart.  King David was not called a ‘man after God’s own heart’ , because of his moral perfection.  At times he had very serious sin in his life, for which he paid a price.  However, when confronted with his sin he repented and turned to God for forgiveness.  His prayer for forgiveness has become a model for generations to come.

We may have lost the ‘joy of our salvation’ through sin, or simply through the ongoing rigors of life.  It is good to pray the words of David.  “Create in me a clean heart, and restore the joy of my salvation.”  We recognize that the “joy of the Lord is our strength”  and it is available to us daily.

 

Restoration

August 18, 2011

We had  storm about six weeks ago that included significant winds.  After the storm had passed, I went for a run out in the country.  I passed by cornfields that had been knocked over by the wind.   It was an impressive sight.  I felt bad for the farmers because of the apparent loss of product.

The other day, I ran past the same fields and was amazed to see that the corn had been restored.  A few weeks of sunshine and refreshing rains and the corn had managed to be restored.

I believe that our lives can be like that as well.  We experience storms in life that can knock us flat, but, given time we too, can be restored.  This is especially true for those who have a relationship with Jesus Christ.  God has the power to bring healing and restoration to human lives that is wonderful to see.  We might get knocked down, but God can raise us up again.