No King but King God
May 21, 2023

2 Kings 17:13-15


The Northern Kingdom, Israel, fell to the Assyrians in 722 B.C.

    1. God warned his people of this calamity.                                                                                (2 Kings 17:13)
    2. God gave the nation of Israel three gifts: 

         #1. He gave her a Lord.

         #2. He gave her a law.

         #3. He gave her a land.


        a. But we see what Israel did with those three                    gifts: 

            #1. She denied the Lord. (v. 15)

            #2. She defied the law.   (v. 16) 

            #3. She defiled the land.  (v. 17)


        b. Israel’s greatest friend, became Israel’s                          greatest foe. (v. 18)


     3. The 10 tribes in the north are conquered and                  sent into exileby the Assyrians.


The Southern Kingdom, Judah, was ruled by both good & evil kings.

     1. Hezekiah was one of the five good king who                 trusted in God.
         a. Hezekiah, by putting his trust in God, defied                   the Assyrian king who conquered the northern               kingdom. (18:19)
         b. The king of Assyria asked Hezekiah: “On what                are you basing this confidence of yours?”
         c. God himself destroyed the Assyrian army.                                                                              (19:35-37)


      2. Manasseh, Hezekiah’s son, was an evil king.                                                                          (2 Kings 21)


God will keep His promise to bring the Messiah through Judah.

     1. Judah will not be disappointed. (Isaiah 49:23)
     2. Judah will be a blessing to the whole world.                                                                           (Isaiah 49:26)


          Seven hundred years before Jesus,                  Isaiah provides a character sketch of the Messiah.

                                   (Isaiah 53)


The recipe for revival in v.13

  #1. Revival Involves a Repentance from Wickedness.

  #2. Revival Involves a Renewal of Holiness.

  #3. A Revival of Righteousness.

   No King but King Jesus!”

A Kingdom Torn in Two
May 14, 2023

1 King 12:1-11

A. The Setting
     1. Solomon’s heart is divided and he is ruling                     unwisely by overtaxing the people and forcing               them into hard labor. (1 Kings 11)


     2. Solomon dies and his son, Rehoboam, takes                 over the throne.
B. The Characters
      1. Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, who is from the                  tribe of Judah and Jeroboam who is from the                tribe of  Ephraim.


      2. In 1 Kings 11, a prophet tells Jeroboam that he              will become king, but he must wait.


C. The Point of View.
     1. As we’ve noted, there is an upper story                           point of view.


      2. There is a lower story point of view giving the                daily details of everyday life and in this lower                  story we see the life of Rehoboam unfold.


The Truth is: The stakes go up when you’re a leader, because your decisions affect more people.


D. The Plot.
     1. In every good story or movie there is a plot with             conflict.


     2. The plot with conflict is recorded in                               1 Kings 12:1-14.


E. The Resolution.
     1. The resolution is seen in 1 Kings 12:16-17.


     2. The resolution was that the nation of Israel would            be dividedinto two kingdoms.

        ~ The Northern Kingdom. 10 tribes called Israel.

        ~ The Southern Kingdom.   2 tribes called Judah.

F. The Theme(s).
     1. The Upper Story Theme: God has a plan.
     2. The Lower Story Theme:                                                       Our decisions have ripple effects.


Pay Attention to the Ripple Effect.

The King Who Had It All
May 7, 2023

1 King 3:5-15


Solomon pleases God by asking for wisdom to reign as king. (Ch. 3)        

    1. God invites Solomon to ask for anything.                                                                      (1 Kings 3:5)

     2. Solomon knew what he wanted and he asked           for wisdomto rule as king and administer                 justice.

Fact: The Hebrew word for “Wisdom” is                             hokma” meaning: A “ hearing heart.”

     3. Solomon’s wisdom is tested by two women

         who each claim the same baby as their own.                                                                   (3:16-28)

Solomon writes wisdom so everyone in his kingdom may be wise.

    1. The Bible is arranged topically, not                             chronologically.
    2. Solomon wrote Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and              Song of Songs.

        ~ Proverbs at the beginning of his kingship.

        ~ Ecclesiastes at the end of his kingship.

        ~ Song of Songs at the beginning of his first               love.


Solomon builds a temple for God and grows in popularity. (Ch. 6-10)       

    1. Solomon builds a beautiful temple and                    dedicates it to God.


    2. God’s both blesses and warns Solomon.                                                                (1 Kings 9:4-9)


    3. The Queen of Sheba visits Solomon and                  admires his wisdom and his kingdom.                                                                          (1 Kings 10)


Solomon, who started strong, ends poorly.                                                             (1 Kings 11)

    1. As Solomon grew old, his 700 wives and 300            concubines, led his heart away to worship                idols. (v. 3)
    2. The LORD became angry with Solomon                   because Solomon’s heart was divided.                                                                  (1 Kings 11:9-13)


    3. Because Solomon’s heart was divided, his              kingdom was divided.


If you were given only one request by God,

what would you ask for?

The Tragic Pivot in David’s Life
April 16, 2023

2 Samuel 11:1-5


David commits sins and tries to cover them up.                                                                  (2 Samuel 11:6-9)

     1. David commits adultery with Bathsheba, Uriah’s

         wife, and she gets pregnant.

     2. David tries to get Uriah to sleep with Bathsheba             so everyone will think the baby is Uriah’s, and               Uriah, a man of integrity, refuses.

     3. David arranges to have Uriah killed in battle and           then David marries Bathsheba.


     Fact: David thinks everything is back to normal. His                 sins are covered. But God loves David too                     much to let things appear normal.


David’s sins are exposed by God through Nathan the prophet. (2 Samuel 12)

     1. Nathan, a prophet, hears from God and speaks             what God tells him.


     2. Nathan, a preacher and a storyteller, exposes               David’s horrible scandals through his story.


     3. David, unlike his predecessor Saul, does not                 make excuses, but fully confesses his sins.


The consequences of David’s sins in his personal life and kingdom.

     1. These are the consequences in his personal life.

            ~ The baby conceived from David and                                Bethsheba relationship, dies. (12:15-23)

            ~ David’s daughter is raped by her brother.                                                                        (Chapter 13)

            ~ Absalom rebels against David. (Chapter 15)


     2. The consequences in his kingdom.

            ~ David flees in exile when Absalom rebels and

               takes the throne. (Chapter 15)

            ~ Absalom dies and David’s other son provokes

               the next major rebellion. (Chapter 18)


  Within all this turmoil, David bears the consequences         with dignity and David’s relationship with the God         of grace is restored.

(1 Chronicles 29:10 -13)

Enjoying Your Emmaus Road
April 9, 2023

Luke 24:13-32


Luke’s description of the two travelers’ encounter with Jesus on the Emmaus Road is an intimate glimpse of how He wants to journey with each of us.


The Emmaus Road, a Faith-Building Experience.                                                                    (Luke 24:13-16)

    1. Jesus is always near when we are in Despair.


    2. Jesus is always there when we are Disheartened.


    3. Jesus is always there even when we don’t                      Recognize Him.



The Emmaus Road, a Life-Building Experience.                                                                              (vs. 17-29)

    1.  If your heart doesn’t burn, you are living without

         Hope (v. 21).

    2. If your heart doesn’t burn, you are living without

        Guidance (vs. 22-26).


The Emmaus Road, a Joy-Building Experience.                                                                              (vs. 30-36)


The Formula for a Burning Heart

  1. Faith: I Believe.
  1. Love: I Give.
  1. Hope: I Plan.
  1. Conviction: I Know.
  1. Trust: I Have Joy. 


“The darkest road with Christ is better

than the brightest road without Him.”


From Shepherd to King: David
April 2, 2023

1 Samuel 16:1-13


David is chosen as king. (1 Samuel 16:13)

    1. God saw David with the potential of being a king.

                                                           (Psalm 78:70-72)

The Fact is:

God sees our potentials not our failures or short comings. David, most importantly, was a man after God’s own heart. (v. 7)

    2. Others did not see David having the potential to            be a king. (16:6-10)                                                 


So what did God see in David that He might also see in us?


I believe He saw there was a heart that was open

 to the heart of God with which he could make connection

and with whom he could do significant things.


    3. Jonathan, Saul’s son and successor to the                      throne, saw David with the potential of being a              king.   


David goes into “boot camp” to be trained as a king.

    1. Saul, who is hostile to David, is God’s tool to train

        David in godly, kingly character.


    2. David lives as a fugitive, depending on God

         for guidance and help. (1 Samuel 21)


    3. After 14 years of training, David is ready to                    represent God and God’s character and he is                inaugurated as king over Israel. (2 Samuel 2)


David as king points to “the One” who will come as the Messiah (Jesus).

    1. David and Jesus are from the same tribe and                city.


    2. David was anointed with _ oil; Jesus was anointed

        with the Spirit.


David was God-focused

instead of giant-focused.

Standing Tall, Falling Hard
March 26, 2023

1 Samuel 1:1-20


The Backdrop of the Three Major Distortions.                                                                          (1 Samuel 1)

      1. A man name Elkanah in Ephraim had two wives,

          Hannah and Peninnah.

      2. At Shiloh where the Tabernacle rested Hannah   

          prayed to God for a child, promising to dedicate

          the child to God.


      3. God hears Hannah’s prayer and Samuel (“God              has heard”) is born and dedicated to God in
          service at the Tabernacle.

The Three Major Distortions of God’s Purpose:

    # 1. The Distortion of Phoniness. (1 Samuel 2)

            ~ Hophni and Phineas, who abused the                           sacrificial system and committed sexually                       immoral acts. (v. 22)

            ~ Eli refused to reprimand his sons. (v. 25)



You can’t just have an outward appearance of religion. You must be genuine on the inside. You must be authentic. Don’t be a phony or fake, live the way He wants you to live, today.


     #2. The Distortion of Conformity. (1 Samuel 8)

            ~ The people ask Samuel to anoint a king over                  them. (v. 6)

            ~ God tells Samuel that the people are not                          rejecting him; the people are rejecting God.                                                                             (v. 20)



We don’t aim to be like everyone else. We’re God’s people and we are to be Distinct. We are not called to be like other people. We are God’s unique People.


     #3. The Distortion of Misrepresentation.

                                                           (1 Samuel 9-13)

            ~ God allows the people to have a king                             (permissive will) though it was not God’s                          perfect will.

            ~ Samuel anoints Saul as king. (11:1-11)

            ~ Saul disobeys God by not obeying God’s

               command to destroy the Amalekites.                                                                              (1 Samuel 15)

            ~ God rejects Saul as king for misrepresenting




We, too, are representatives of God to the world. When we disobey God we distort God to the world. Let us be like Samuel who obeyed God and not like Saul who disobeyed God.    

The Faith of a Foreign Woman
March 19, 2023

(Ruth 1:1-21)


Three Opening Observations about the Story of Ruth. (Ruth 1:1-2)    

     #1. Ruth’s story takes place during the time of the               Judges.

     #2. The story takes place primarily in Bethlehem of             Judah.


     #3. In the story God again uses a famine to                         accomplish His purpose.

Ruth, from Moab, Returns to Bethlehem with Naomi. (Ruth 1)             

      1. The famine in Judah drives Elimelech and his                family to Moab.

           ~ Elimelech name means “God is King

           ~ Naomi name means “my pleasant one

           ~ Mahlon – “weaknessChilion – “pining

           ~ Orpah meaning “ stiff-necked

           ~ Ruth “ rose or companion


      2. Elimelech’s sons, Mahlon and Lilion, married                Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth.          


      3. Elimelech and his son’s die, leaving the three                women as widows.


      4. Naomi returns to Bethlehem but urges her                    daughters-in-law to stay in their own country of              Moab.

Fact: This place of crossing at the Jordan River                       was none other than Kadesh-Barnea                           meaning is “The place of Decision”.

           a. Ruth, the foreigner, will not stay in Moab.                                                                         (Ruth 1:16-17)
           b. Naomi wants to be called Mara (“bitter”)                         because of life’s hardships. (Vs. 20-21)


Ruth Meets Boaz and Boaz Favors Ruth. (Ruth 2-4)

      1. As a poor widow, Ruth, the pagan foreigner,                    gleans in the fields of Boaz.


      2. Boaz respects Ruth’s character, courage and                faith and favors her. (Ruth 2:10-12)


      3. Because of a provision in God’s law, Boaz, as a

          kinsman-redeemer, marries Ruth to carry on                the family name of Elimelech. (Deut. 25)


      4. Ruth is named, along with another foreign                      woman’s name in the genealogy of Jesus                      Christ. (Matt.1:5)
To be accepted and Loved
A Few Good Men and Women
March 12, 2023

(The Call vs. The Culture—An Eternal Problem)

Judges 2:10-16


The book of Judges was written to show the Israelites how tragic life is when God’s people refuse to acknowledge His sovereignty; when they instead on doing “what is right in their own eyes.”
A. The Call of Israel.
     1. God had chosen Israel to be a holy nation.

     Fact: The Abrahamic covenant had called them to                   be a blessing to all nations.


     2. They were the covenant community of faith.
B. The “Canaanization” of Israel.
     1. Instead of destroying the Canaanites, Israel                   joined them.
     2. Remember Joshua’s charge, “As for me and my           household, we will serve the Lord”?
     3. God was furious!                                                  
C. The Call of the Church.

     Fact: In much the same way that God called Israel                   to be a holy people, He calls the Church to a                 righteous standard.                                        

D. The “Canaanization” of the Church.

     Fact: As the culture goes, so goes the church.

     Fact: Learning to think Biblically and theologically                   DOES matter.


E. Time would fail me this morning to talk about all       the characters in the Book of Judges.
     1. Othniel oppressor Mesopotamians, Ehud                       oppressor Moabites, Shager oppressor                           Philistines, Deborah oppressor Canaanites.
     2. Gideon oppressor Midianites.

                         (God helped a leader in doubt.)

     3. You have next, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon              and Adon.
     4. Lastly, you have Samson.

            (God defeated a leader in his strength.)


Question: Why would God do that? Why wouldn’t God                    use a gift that He Himself had given                                Samson to rescue Israel.

    No strength you have is ever enough to make          up for your weaknesses.

    – People sure of themselves have no need of              God’s power.

    – If your strength is not consecrated to God, it            becomes your weakness.


Surrender your gift to God.

The Battle Begins
March 5, 2023

Joshua 1:1-9


God tells Joshua and the people three things they need to be successful.

     #1. Be people of the Book— the word of God.                                                                          (Joshua 1:8)

     Fact: God tells Joshua four ways you must be                         related to the Word of God if you are going to                 have victory in your life:

            1. A Dedication to the Word of God. (v. 7)
            2. A Declaration of the Word of God. (v. 8)
            3. A Deliberation on the Word of God. (v. 8)
            4. A Demonstration of the Word of God. (v. 8)

     Question: Why is this so important?

     Answer:    God told His people how they can be                             successful, just obey what He tell you.


         a. When Achan sinned by not heeding the word                 of God, the people lost the battle at Ai. (7)
         b. After that loss, Joshua read the entire book of                 the law to the people. (8:34)


     #2. Be people of prayer. (Joshua 5:13)

           a. God says, “Talk to Me before you go to battle.                 I will be in front of you.”
           b. To demonstrate God going first, the Ark of the

               Covenant led the people.


     #3. Be people who identify with God. (Josh 5:2)

     Fact: At Gilgal all the males of Israel were                              circumcised as a sign of their identity with                      God.


The battles begin and the land is taken. (Josh. 4-7)

     1. God performs miracles by damming up the                     Jordan River and by delivering Jericho into                   Israel’s hands.


     2. Israel defeats 5 kings and takes the cities in the             south.
     3. Israel defeats 14 kings in the north.


The two reasons God commands Israel to take the Promised Land.

     1. Because of the wickedness of the inhabitants to           the land.


     2. Because God wants to make Himself known                 among the nations.
Wanderings: Israel on a Road Trip
February 26, 2023

Numbers 14:26-35


Israel’s Three Complaints to Moses.                                                                                      (Numbers 11-12)

     #1. Israel complains about general hardships of                 the trip. (11:1-3)

     #2. Israel complains about the food (manna).                                                                                   (11:4-9)

     #3. Miriam and Aaron complain about Moses being             the driver (leader). (12:1-16)


Israel Takes a Dangerous Wrong Turn at

    Kadesh- Barnea. (13-14)                

    1. Twelve spies (a man from each tribe) are sent to            survey the Promised Land.

    Fact: The word “Spy” means: “Explore”.

        a. Ten spies report about the abundance of the                  land and also the giants who live there and                    conclude “We cannot take the land.”
        b. Two spies report the same thing, but conclude,              Because God is with us, we can take the land


    2. After Moses urges the people again to trust God            and take the land, the people rebel and refuse to          obey.
        a. This “wrong turn” takes place at Kadesh-                      Barnea which is located on the edge of the                    Promised Land.

            ~ “Kadesh” means “Spring of Decision”.

            ~ “Barnea” means “wilderness wandering”.

     Fact: Together means: “Because of your                                 decision, you will wander”.

         b. Moses reports God’s heavy-duty judgment on

             the people’s lack of faith: (Numbers 14:28-34)

     3. Israel’s lack of trust in and disobedience to God             creates a 40 year detour.


Moses’ Grand Farewell Speech at Kadesh-Barnea.                                                                  (Deut. 32-33)

     1. Before the people of Israel, Moses also failed to             trust God. (Num.20)


     2. As a result of Moses’ disobedience, he is                      allowed to see the Promised Land, but not                    allowed to lead the people into it. (Deut. 34)


    3. Moses declares his grand farewell speech:                    choose life!


Moses tells the people that they are not alone –

“God is with them.”

“The Ten Commandments”
February 19, 2023

Exodus 20:1-17


God gives guidelines for how we treat God and each other.

     1. The Ten Commandments. (Exodus 20:1-17)

     2. The Ten Commandments shape the community              of Love.
          a. Commandments 1-4 guide us in how we treat God.

          b. Commandments 5-10 guide us in how we treat other people.

     3. Their sin nature resists God’s guidelines.
         a. While Moses was away getting the 10 Commandments Aaron built a               golden calf and the people worshiped it.
         b. God will not be with rebellious people.


God desires a place to dwell among us.

     1. The Tabernacle. (Exodus 25)

     Fact: The Home God wants for His Presence, was                 a Tabernacle.

     2. The Tabernacle was a portable tent.

     Fact: God would guide His people with a moving                     cloud during the day and by a column of fire                 at night.

God requires that sin be atoned for (covered) by shedding of blood.              (The Book of Leviticus)

     1. The sin nature is the main thing that keeps us                 separated from God.

     Fact: Each one of us has a sin nature.

     Fact: So God provided Moses with instructions               about the practice of sacrificing, offering a                       covering for the people’s indiscretions before                 a Holy God.


      2. The sacrificing of animals becomes                                institutionalized in the priestly sacrificial system              so that sin could be constantly atoned for.
      3. The new nation needed their sins covered so                 that God could dwell with them.


For those who know Him, God took care

of our sin through the sacrifice of Jesus.


February 12, 2023

Exodus 1:8-14


A. God’s new nation is in danger of extinction in           Egypt. (Exodus 1)

    1. The new nation was in Egypt as slaves for 400               years.
    2. Did these 400 years of slavery take God by                    surprise? No
    3. Since God predicted the slavery, did God cause            the slavery? No

Fact: God uses the Oppressive sinfulness of the                    Egyptians as an opportunity to reveal Himself to            the Israelites.


B. God reveals Himself in three ways in the                     deliverance of His people.

    1. God reveals His name: “I am that I am” to Moses.                                                                   (Exodus 3-4)
    2. God reveals His power in the 10plagues against            the gods of Egypt. (Exodus 7-13)


10 plagues were:

#1. Water changed to blood. (7:14-25)                        #2. Frogs. (8:1-15)

#3. Lice. (8:16-19)                                                       #4. Flies. (8:20-32)

#5. The murrain upon the beasts. (9:1-7)                    #6. Boils. (9:8-12)

#7. Hail. (9:13-25)                                                        #8. Locusts. (10:1-20)

#9. Darkness. (12:14-29)                                          #10. Death of the First-born. (12:29)


    3. God reveals His plan in the 10th plague which                 required the _shedding_ of lamb’s blood.


        a. The slaying of the lamb and the __blood__ of                 the lamb.


         b. Through His death and resurrection we have                 deliverance from sin.


         c. This new nation (_Israel_) left Egypt by an                     undeniable demonstration of the power of God                 as seen in the plagues and then, the crossing               through the Red Sea.


Fact: The deliverance from sin is free, but you must

          _ask_ for it.


What is that fear that everyone deals with?


Where do I go from here?

The Believer’s Prayer
February 5, 2023

Matthew 6:9-11


A. Two words in this prayer I want to focus on: “Today
     and Daily”.
     1. If we are ever going to accomplish anything in               life, we have to live each day as today.


As you live out 2023 the only way you are going to enjoy the full blessings of God, the only way you will have the peace and joy that He wants you to have, you must live out the year, one day at a time.


      2. You only have one day and that’s “today”.



The Lord reminds us throughout the Scriptures to not worry about tomorrow.


One of the hardest things that Christians deal with is their past.


     3. Not only the past but some people are missing               out on God because they worry about their                     tomorrows or their future.



They are not paralyzed by their past, but they are

          terrorized by their future.


B. Now I would like to look at it a little closer at these          words: “Daily Bread
     1. The bread that Jesus said we are to prayer for is
         our spiritual food that we need to live by. It’s our           spiritual food for our souls.
     2. Jesus said: “Give us today our daily bread”.



That means you have to spend time in it, you’ve got to

          read it, memorize it, meditate on it and hide it in your heart.


C. The two words I like to look at is : “US & OUR”.
     1. God wants to give “US” “OUR” daily bread.



When we became Christians, we became apart of a community of believers.


     2. This is who you find out who really loves Jesus.                                   (Heb. 6:10)
      3. The Lord told us to pray, “OurFather” , not my                Father.


D. The last word that we haven’t cover yet, is “Give”.
     1. That’s the request, Lord please “Give”.
     2. That’s the problem with Contemporary American           Christianity, they think that things just happen.


Give us today our daily bread



From the Pit to the Pinnacle
January 22, 2023

Genesis 50:15-21


A. Joseph is sold into slavery by his jealous

     brothers. (Genesis 37)

     1. Joseph, age 17, was “the favorite” of his father             Jacob.


     2. Joseph had dreams of his brothers and parents             bowing down to him.


    3. Joseph’s brothers sold Joseph into slavery and            told Jacob that Joseph was killed by a ferocious            animal.


B. Joseph is put into prison while in Egypt.                                                     (Genesis 39-41)

    1. Joseph is sold as a slave to an Egyptian                        administrator named Potiphar.


    2. While in prison Joseph gets a reputation for                    correctly interpreting dreams.


    3. “The LORD was with Joseph” is a repeated                    refrain in Joseph’s story.


C. Joseph is promoted to Deputy Pharaoh in                 Egypt.  (Genesis 41)

    1. Pharaoh has troubling dreams that none of his              wise men and magicians can interpret for him.


    2. Joseph is called to Pharaoh and correctly                      interprets Pharaoh’s dreams and counsels
        Pharaoh to prepare for the fulfillment of his                    dreams.


D. Joseph is reunited with and forgives his

     brothers. (Genesis 42-50)

    1. Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt and do bow
        down to Joseph, now age 39, and ask for food.


    2. Joseph does not take revenge and our question            is “Why?”


    3. Joseph was God’s agent to save the new nation

        by bringing the new nation to Egypt.


God is at work in the midst of the details of our

lives accomplishing His good purposes.
(Romans 8:28)
God Builds a Nation
January 15, 2023

Genesis 12:1-4 & Hebrews 11:8

 “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.”


A. The People God Chooses to Build a New Nation.                                                       (Genesis 11:1-9)

     1. The Place where the people were found, was in

          the land of Ur .

     2. The People God chose to begin this New Nation .

                                                          (Gen. 12:1-4)

     3. The Reason  God Chose Abram and Sarai.


B. The Four-fold Plan God Reveals for a New

     Nation. (Genesis 12:1-3)


Fact: When God made a covenant with Abram, it was 

          a personal  one.

Fact: The two key words that form the basis of this

          covenant is   I will  ”.


Question: What will God do?

Answer:   #1. God will make the new nation   great  .

                 #2. God will make Abram’s   name  great.

                 #3. God will   Bless  all who bless Abram

                       and Curse  the one who curses Abram.

                 #4. God will bless all the   Nations   of the

                     world through Abram and the new nation.


C. The Stormy Beginnings of a New Nation. 

                                              (Genesis 16, 18, 22)

     1. Sarai Proposes  her own way to start the new

         nation. (Gen. 16)


    2. Abraham and Sarah, at 100 and 90 respectively,            are Promised  their own child. (Genesis 18)


    3. God severely tests  Abraham by commanding him

        to offer Isaac as a sacrifice.


God chooses unlikely people who are not the smartest,

the most beautiful or with the best resumes.

God chooses ordinary people like you and me.

The Story Starts with a “Big Bang”
January 8, 2023

Genesis 1:1-2

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”


A. The Bible or The Story opens with the “big         

     bang” of creation. (v. 1)


     1. The opening verse, Genesis 1:1, introduces us to            the Story’s main character:   God 


     2. The “big bang” of creation concludes with God’s            core purpose or passion:   Human beings  .



B. The Bible Story continues with the “big bang” of       the Fall. (Genesis 3)


     1. Adam and Eve were created with the freedom               and power to ___ choose    __.


     2. The story introduces the tale of two trees.

          ~ Tree of ___Life ____.

          ~ Tree of the ___Knowledge__ of good and evil.



C. The Bible Story reports the “big bang” of sin’s         damage to the human race.

     1. Because Adam and Eve chose a different vision             than God’s vision, sin became part of their                     spiritual __DNA___ and they produced more                 sinners.


     2. Genesis 4-9, present _sin__ and a sin nature in             the human race.



D. The Bible Story offers a salvation clue even in           the midst of the opening “big bang.”


     1. After Adam and Eve _ sinned __ and became               aware of their nakedness, they made fig leaf                   clothing to cover their nakedness.


      2. For God to restore the vision that human beings            are His supreme passion will require the                        shedding of __ blood __.


     3. From the creation story we discover the value of             all __value___ of all human beings.
The Heart of Christmas is Love
December 25, 2022

(The Heart of Christmas)

Galatians 4:4-5


     1. The book of Galatians talks about the timing of 
         Christmas as Paul wrote to the church.
                                                                (Gal. 4:4-5)
     2. Paul wrote that when Jesus came and was born
         to Mary, the fullness of time had come.
     3. What is perhaps most amazing is that when
         Jesus came, he came to meet us exactly where
         we are.


     1. According to Galatians 4, the full expression of
        God’s love is demonstrated in our spiritual



Many of us live our lives every day missing the fact that God loves us.


     2. All of this is only made possible by the arrival of
         Jesus at just the right time to one day sacrificially
         give his life on a cross to validate God’s amazing
         love for us. 






The reason love must be at the heart of Christmas is because, if we miss this being the central message of the season, in the midst of the lights and presents, we may never receive it for ourselves.



If we have not experienced the grace of God, it is

difficult to offer the grace of God.


     1. The most famous of all passages in the Bible
         about love helps us understand God’s feelings
         toward us and the way we should feel about our
         spouse, children, friends, and neighbors.
                                                                  (1 Cor. 13)
     2. So, this Christmas see the arrival of Jesus as the
         ultimate gift from God. The kind of gift where the
         only proper response is to receive.

 The Heart of Christmas Brings Joy

in all Circumstances
December 11,. 2022

The Heart Of Christmas

(John 1:14)




    1. A common misconception people carry around
        with them is that to be reunited with God in right
        relationship with him, we must work super hard to
        be perfect or strive to make our way to him.
    2. Joy is at the heart of Christmas because knowing
        that we could never make it to him, God came to


Fact: Joy is at the heart of Christmas because knowing

         that we could never make it to him, God came to

         us. (Romans 5:8)




    1. His arrival among us should fill us with joy
        because not only did God come close to us, but
        He came because he loves us.


Fact: When Jesus came to us, he came full of grace.

          This grace that John writes about is the Greek

          word charis, which means favor, kindness, or a

          gift of blessing.

Fact: Jesus also came full of truth. The word John uses

          here is the word aletheia, which means divine

          reality revealed to man or a straightforwardness.


    2. Jesus holds grace in one hand that allows us to be
        accepted into his family, and in the other hand he
        holds truth that shows us the areas of our lives
        that must be transformed to live the fullest life
        possible. (I John 4:9-11)




    1. Grace is a word that shows up in the church a lot,
        but that is because it is the way in which we are
        able to live with joy.
    2. Our heavenly Father sent Jesus to a manger in
        Bethlehem because He wanted to dwell among
        us  to demonstrate His amazing grace and life-
       changing truth.


Circumstances, situation, and hardship is not going

to be difficult when God is in your life.
Find Peace in The Heart of Christmas
December 4, 2022

The Heart of Christmas

Luke 2:8-14


     1. The angels had to steady the shepherds by
         telling them to not be afraid because they were
         terrified in their presence.



The message they brought was good news because a

Baby had been born who was the long-awaited

Messiah—the one who was promised long ago to rescue God’s people.


     2. In one survey, nearly one-third of those
         questioned said that of all the people mentioned
         in the Christmas story, they identified the most
         with the shepherds.


     3. The Apostle Paul was expressing the role that
         Jesus plays in making peace.
                                              (Colossians 1:19-22)


     1. When we receive the gift of forgiveness that is
         offered to us by faith, we become friends of God
         and he offers us his power to help us navigate
         the difficulties of life.



Some may believe that being made right with God means they will never face any problems.


     2. God desires for us to make peace with


     1. What the world needs more of is people who
         have the peace of God in their hearts and who
         are willing to share that peace with others.


     2. The angels told the shepherds that peace was
         available to those on whom God’s favor rests.



We find peace at the heart of Christmas because God desires us to be in right relationship with him, with ourselves, and with others.

Hope is at The Heart of Christmas

November 27, 2022

(The Heart of Christmas Series)

Isaiah 9:2-7



    1. The center of the Christmas story is focused                   squarely on the birth of Jesus.


    2. One of the reasons Christmas resonates in our              hearts is because we, too, live in a world that is              similar to Israel.



Christmas is a reminder that whatever it is we hope for in our lives—healing, restoration, forgiveness, or a fresh start—it is available to us through Immanuel, who is God with us.


Hope is not a result of the absence of conflict, difficulty, struggle, or trial.  Hope is a result of the presence of God.




    1. The hard part about hope is that it often takes                 longer than we would like to be fulfilled.


    2. Paul said everything that had been written in the            past— all of the prophecy and fulfillment—is                  meant to teach us how to hold onto faith in God            to answer our prayers.
C. AT THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS IS HOPE.                                                                    (Matthew 1:22-23)


    1. Though there are many distractions during the            Christmas season, this message is a reminder              that hope is offered to us through Jesus’s arrival            in the manger.


    2. To all of us who walk in darkness a great light is             given.


How is it that he brings light into our lives?