August 9, 2020

Keep Climbing

Psalm 123

Living a consecrated, holy life is hardly the popular route.

Psalm 123 reminds us to keep climbing regardless of the

pressure from the world to do otherwise.

 

Climb over Discouragement. (vv. 1-2)

“I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven. As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he shows us his mercy.”
 
1. We keep on climbing when we have a proper Perspective. (Rom. 8:31).
 
2. We keep on climbing when we have a meaningful Purpose. (Heb. 12:1-2).

 

Our souls are not hungry for fame, comfort, wealth or power. Those rewards

create as many problems as they solve.Our souls are hungry for meaning.”

(Harold Kushner)

 

Climb upon the Mercies of God. (vv. 3-4)

“Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us, for we have endured much contempt. We have endured much ridicule from the proud, much contempt from the arrogant.
 
1. We keep on climbing when we realize God’s power gives Endurance skills
                                                                                                       (1 Cor. 10:13).
2. We keep on climbing when we understand God’s power helps us to Overcome
    the enemy. (1 John 4:4)
 
3. We keep on climbing when we realize God’s Mercy is available (Rom. 12:1-2).
 

August  2, 2020

A Consecrated Life

Rom. 12:1-2

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

 

A Working Definition:

To consecrate is to set aside or dedicate for God’s service.

 

A Call to Renewed Thinking

    1. The motive for consecration is Love. (Rom. 3:21-24).

 

    2. The evidence of consecration is Gratitude. (Rom. 8:28-30).
  a. Enrich your appreciation for God’s Attributes. (Col. 3:16).
      b. Meditate on the Word of God (Ps. 119:64).
      c. Ask God to guide your Communication. (Col. 1:9).
      d. Share the good news of Salvation (Acts 1:8).

 

A Call to Generous Giving

    1. A Yielded heart is the voluntary response of a consecrated
        believer (Ps. 139:23).

 

    2. We cannot offer to the Lord that which costs us Nothing.

                                                                       (Hebrews 9:28)

 

A Call to Right Living

     1. Consecration involves the transformation of our Character
                                                                                 (Gal. 2:20).
     2. Consecration involves the regulation of our Conduct.

                                                                             (Titus 2:11-13).

 
 

July 26, 2020

Living like It’s Your Last Day

John 17:6-19

 

John 17 is the high priestly prayer of Jesus Christ. In my opinion, this passage is really the Lord’s Prayer, and it will illuminate the way we should live with eternity in view.
 

A.) A look at how Jesus spent His final days on Earth. (vv. 6-12)

1. He emphasized divine and unconditional love. (v. 12)
2. He focused on the amazing power of Grace. (Luke 22:32)
3. He discussed the eventual unity and triumph of the Church.

                                                                             (John 17:23-24)

4. He pointed out the path to Heaven. (John 14:6).

5. He highlighted His eternal Oneness with His disciples.

                                                                                               (John 14:16)

6. He Prayed for those who would follow. (John 17:15)
7. He reminded His followers that earth was not their Final address.                                                                                 (John 16:5)

 

B.) A look at how we should live our lives as if it were our Final day

      on Earth. (vv. 13-19)

1. We should live in complete Obedience to the Word of God.

                                                                                          (Rev. 22:6-7)

2. We should seek to go Deeper in our walk with God.  

                                                                                         (Rev. 22:8)

3. We should tell our loved ones about the Love of God.

                                                                                        (Rev. 20:10-11)

4. We should use our Gifts in ministry to others. (Rev. 22:12)
 
 

July 19, 2020

Why Do Christians Have Problems?

Matt. 13:19-22

“When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

 

The problem of falling away is not new to Christianity.

In fact, it’s an age-old problem. Sadly, many who started

with Christ have backslidden.

 

Problems and Trials Come in Three Ways

  1. We cause the problem (2 Tim. 4:10).

 

  1. People cause problems (James 1:12).

 

  1. Circumstances create problems.

 

People React to Problems in Three Ways

  1. We Cover Up. (1 John 1:8).
  1. We Shut Up. (1 John 1:9).
  1. We Give Up. (Phil. 3:14).

 

Victory over Problems Is Achieved in Three Ways

  1. Instead of covering up, Grow Up! (Prov. 9:10).
  1. Instead of shutting up, Speak Up! (Gal. 6:2).
  1. Instead of giving up, Stand Up! (2 Cor. 4:16-18).

 

“Many of life’s failures occur
                                when we are close to success.”                                      (Stan Toler)
 

July 12, 2020

How Should the Church Respond to Social Evils?

(Matthew 16:18)

The church must be prepared to make critical decisions about societal changes and exercise enough faith to deal with them.

The decisions we make will greatly influence the mission of our church for the rest of this century.

 

We Can Become a Protecting Church.

      1. We boycott rather than Relate.

      2. We protect rather than Proclaim.

 

We Can Become a Compromising Church.

      1. We are seduced rather than Challenged.
      2. We identify rather than Prevail.

 

We Can Become an Unchanging Church.

      1. We hold to tradition by Ignoring the world.

      2. We march to Zion while the world is going to Hell.

 

We Can Become a Battling Church. (2 Timothy 2:3)

      1. We fear Annihilation.
      2. We believe God ordained us to Fight.

 

We Can Become an Influencing Church. (Acts 4:33)

      1. We should see the world as a Mission Field.
      2. We should be Missionaries.
      3. We should rightly Relate to people.
      4. We should Impact culture.
      5. We should show Love and Integrity.
      6. We should see people as created by God and in Need of God.

 

“Salvation is not so much about man’s

badness as it is about God’s goodness.”

(Terry Toler)

 

July 5, 2020

What Are the Greatest

Problems in America?

(1 John 4:1-6)

 

# 1: The Devaluing of Human Life.  (John 14:6)

        a. The spirit of Truth.

        b. The spirit of Falsehood.

 

# 2: Focusing on the NOW at the Expense of the FUTURE. 

                                                                               (Mark 8:36)

# 3: Accumulating Things that will Perish. (Luke 6:36)

        a. The Meism mind-set. (Rev. 3:17)
        b. The Earthbound mind-set. (1 Cor. 3:10-15)

 

# 4: Menu-Driven Belief Systems. (Isa. 8:20)

        a. Lack of moral and spiritual Absolutes. (Acts 4:12)
        b. Acceptance of False teachers. (Acts 17:11)

 

# 5: Secular Media shaping the Public’s view of the Church.

                                                                    (1 John 5:11-12)

       a. They picture pastors as Naive and Wimpy.
       b. They portray churches as Indifferent and Militaristic.
       c. They picture people coming to church with Doubts 
           about God.

 

“The current epidemic of self-doubt has resulted from a

totally unjust and unnecessary system of evaluating

human worth non-relevant in our society.”

(Dr. James Dobson)