July 2011


We all have the same stuff in our lives to build relationships. Some build walls while others build bridges. What are you building today?

July 17th – GOD IS OUR RESCUE

You are in danger.  You may not realize it right this moment, but you are in danger.

1.      You are in danger from mankind

    1. There are evil people out there
      1.    Criminals and gangs
      2.    Cartels and terrorists
      3.    Politicians…oopss how did that get there?
  1. There are careless people out there
  2. There are dangerous people out there
    1. Just in driving there are people driving under the influence, people driving and texting or facebooking and people driving without brains.
  3. They may not be who you think!
    1. Most child kidnappings and abuse are by family or friends

POPULATION      TOTAL       VIOLENT  per/100,000 pop

1960      179,323,175          1,887.2         160.9

2009      307,006,550          3,465.5         429.4

Is it any wonder that David wrote this in Psalm 71:4-6 “Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man. For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth.  Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.”  ESV

2.      You are in danger from our eternal enemy

John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly”  ESV

  1. Satan is at work
    1. In our world
      1. His influence is easy to see on our TV’s, movies and publications
      2. His effect is easy to see in our inner cities and rural areas.
      3. He is constantly on the attack
    2. And even in the church
      1. The church and the Christians who form the church are satans preferred targets
        1. If the evil one can keep us fighting each other then we are not fighting him
        2. If the devil can keep us worn down by the sins that Jesus has already forgiven then we are not available to fight in the war against him.
        3. If satan can keep Christians hiding from their responsibilities then we are of no threat to him.
        4. Once we are unfaithful in our Christian walk the satan can declare a victory

Revelation 2:12-17 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword.  “‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.  Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.”

The Church in Pergamum was dealing with the influence of evil in their midst: legalism and liberalism were damaging the church and its mission and ministry.

NEVER doubt that the church…that YOU are in danger from satans attacks.

But the danger he poses is not the gravest danger you face!

3.      The most danger you are in comes from…YOU!

    1. Your choices
      1. You choose day by day and moment by moment how faithful or unfaithful you will be
      2. You choose where you go and what you do
      3. You choose God or self
  1. Your actions
    1.     What you do matters
    2.     Your character is defined by what you say, do and think when you think no one else is        listening

How do you find safety when you are in such danger?

a.      You need someone to RESCUE you

RESCUE =  to bring (someone or something) out of danger, attack, harm, etc; deliver or save, or; to free or deliver from confinement, violence, danger, or evil.

John Chapter 10:  I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 

b.      REPENT

i.      The first message of Jesus Christ was not love me or love them

ii.      The first message of Jesus Christ was REPENT!

 

Matthew 4:12-17 “Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee. And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:  “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.” From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  ESV

  • Jesus knows that the greatest danger any person faces is the danger caused by their own sin.
  • Jesus knows the greatest need of any person is their need to repent.
  • You will not go to hell because of someone else’s actions.
  • You will not go to hell because of Satan’s temptations
  • You will go to hell because you choose to live with and in YOUR SINS and not believe in God and turn from your sins.

c.       RECEIVE

  • Yes, you are in danger, perhaps grave danger.
  • You need saved from the danger you are facing.
  • But, who can save you?
    •  You?  No
    • Government?  No
    • Others?  No

Who then?     Only Jesus        We are saved by Grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone!

Ephesians 2:8-10 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”  ESV

Come, step out of danger and into the Arms of Grace.

God is our Rescue.

Joshua 24:17  “For the LORD our God is the one who rescued us and our ancestors from slavery in the land of Egypt. He performed mighty miracles before our very eyes. As we traveled through the wilderness among our enemies, he preserved us.”   NLT

Psalms 68:20 “Our God is a God who saves!  The Sovereign LORD rescues us from death.”    NLT

July 24th – GOD IS OUR PROVISION

Opening illustration with Russian Nesting Dolls:  A place for everything but every space completely filled.

The catch phrase on the American Culture seems to be “We need more STUFF!”

  • If we have no STUFF we work to get money to buy more STUFF.
  • If we get a raise we really do not see it because we get more STUFF.
  • The higher up the ladder we go the bigger our houses and garages need to be to hold all our new STUFF.
  • We have TV shows, Magazine ads, newspaper inserts, piles upon piles of junk mail and hundreds of unsolicited e-mails to tell us what kind of STUFF we need, where to get it, how much we should pay for it, how to put it together and where to store our STUFF.
  • Then we have TV shows that talk about those who hoard too  much STUFF or forget about their STUFF in storage lockers and others go to the auction to buy their STUFF.
  • We worry and fret over getting more STUFF, only to worry and fret of how to protect our STUFF and then later our families worry and fret over how to divide our STUFF; because you gotta know that you ain’t taking none of it with you!
    • Hearses don’t have trailer hitches and U-Haul don’t go where your going!

 

  • Is having STUFF so bad?  Not until your STUFF begins to run your life.
  • If the acquisition of STUFF is you overriding goal then, yes you have a problem.
  • If the cost of your STUFF is more than you can afford so you go into debt for STUFF then yes you have a problem
  • If the cost to maintain your STUFF leaves you with no money for food and utilities then, Yes you have a problem.

Somewhere along the road we have lost sight of how much STUFF we really need.

What do we really need?

Some of the basics are clear:  Food, water, clothing and shelter.

These are good things and are proper in their proper proportion.

How about other things?  STUFF like:  Protection, Peace, Happiness, Joy, Contentment, Acceptance, Love, Usefulness, Purpose and relationships?   Just to name a few.

These are things that cannot be purchased at WalMart and no online vendor can provide them.

Where is our supply for these?  Where is our provision?  God.

 Psalms 84:11  “For the LORD God is our light and protector.  He gives us grace and glory.  No good thing will the LORD withhold from those who do what is right.”  NLT

God loves His children.  God gives abundantly to His children.

God, like all fathers, expects His children to DO WHAT IS RIGHT!

God blesses those who are faithful and obedient.

Contrary to popular humanistic thinking, God does not pour out his blessings upon disobedient, unfaithful kids.

Salvation is available to every single sinner on this planet – YES

Forgiveness is available to all – YES

This Grace is extended to all WITH FAITH AND REPENTANCE!

Acts 26:19-21 “”Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.” ESV

Listen to what Jesus Himself taught us about STUFF:

Matthew 6:25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.   But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”  ESV

  • Love DOES NOT mean never having to say you are sorry
  • Being a Christian does mean that you shouldn’t have to worry about “STUFF”
  • God is your provider and He will provide everything you need.
  • Don’t Worry.
  • There is a price to be paid for this divine supply:
    • You:
      •  Faith – Seek FIRST the kingdom of God
      • Repentance – His Righteousness
        • Cleansing that comes from believing in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Forgiver
        • Cleansing that comes from turning from your sin and living your life God’s way
    • God:  His only begotten Son PLUS everything you need

Who pays the greater price?        God:  He is your Provider.