November 2014


When Camo doesn’t Work                 Luke 1:57 – 56

(Camo Day at FBC)

  1. Camouflage is used to hide in the woods when you are hunting
    1. Or as a fashion statement
  2. I know some of you have hid away some presents for your family members.
    1. I usually find a few sometime in July
  3. This time of year it is easy to “hide” being a Christian
    1. It seems the whole world is putting on Christian Camo
      1. Even those who reject Christianity want to be accepted
      2. Even those who try to drive out the Bible and our Beliefs like to get presents
    2. This is a time of year that we TRUE Christians need to be more vocal with the TRUE REASON FOR THE SEASON
      1. So all the fakers camouflaged around us can hear the truth and be exposed.
      2. So a lost world can hear the REAL MEANING OF THE SEASON
      3. So we can be FAITHFUL to our calling as BELIEVERS
    3. You cannot hide when you are “With Child”
      1. It becomes obvious to everyone soon
    4. You may try to hide who you are
      1. But God knows your name
      2. Everything about you is obvious to God
      3. The truth of your heart is obvious to God
    5. You may not know what to do
      1. But God knows your purpose
      2. The plan for your life is obvious to God
    6. You may try to hide behind the traditions of your family/religion
      1. But God is Sovereign God and He may be up to something new
      2. God sees you in Spirit and in Truth
    7. You may try to camouflage your life from God
      1. But His hand is with you
      2. Your location is obvious to God
      3. Your direction is obvious to God
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Luke 1:39 – 56     Getting excited about Jesus

Many people are excited during this time of year

  1. They are excited to receive presents for no reason
    1. It is not your birthday
    2. It is someone else’s birthday
    3. Try going to your best friend’s birthday party and asking where your presents are!
  2. They are excited for family get togethers
  3. They are excited for church programs and specials
  4. They are excited to put up decorations
  5. They are excited about the TV specials
  6. They are excited for the Football games
  7. They are excited for the shopping trips
  8. They are excited for a few free days off work
  9. They are excited for the FOOD
  10. They are excited for……EVERYTHING….. EXCEPT THE ONE WHO’S BIRTHDAY WE ARE CELEBRATING!

Perhaps it is time we prepare for Christmas with a focus on CHRIST!

CHRIST-mas

We should reflect the time of this text and GET EXCITED FOR JESUS!

  1. Mary was excited that she was going to have Jesus inside her
  2. The unborn baby John was excited just to be close to Jesus
  3. Elizabeth was shouting because Jesus was coming soon

Why were they so excited?

  1. God is LOVE
    1. There is no hate or failure in God
  2. This is the season that we celebrate the GREATEST GIFT our HEAVENLY FATHER could ever give us
    1. The gift of His Son
  3. God is RAISES PEOPLE UP who LOVE Him
  4. NOTHING is IMPOSSIBLE for God
    1. He made all things, Has authority over all things
  5. God is HOLY
    1. He is completely separate from evil and wrong
  6. God has great MERCY
    1. God LOVES to protect us from the PUNISHMENT we deserve
  7. God has great GRACE
    1. God LOVES to give His children what they DO NOT deserve
    2. God is STRONG – He is all strength
  8. God is JUSTICE
    1. Justice/Fairness/Right – Genuine respect for people
  9. God helps His SERVANTS
    1. We need a LOT OF HELP – We are a mess!
  10. God SPEAKS
    1. He speaks to us through
      1. His Word
      2. His Church
  • His Prayers (ours)
  1. His work in our circumstances
  1. God LISTENS
    1. He hears our prayers – even our GRUNTS
  2. GOD IS NOW COMING TO US IN FLESH AND BLOOD
    1. Not as a conqueror riding in a blaze of glory
    2. As a Baby, the very weakest of all flesh
    3. As One who will face the same world we face
  3. As One who will face the same temptations we face
    1. As One who will face the same tragedies we face
  4. As One who will face the same evil we face
    1. As One who will face the same MESS we face
  5. As One who will be VICTORIOUS over them ALL
    1. Because this is no ORDINARY BABY
      1. This is Jesus Christ – Creator, Savior, I AM
      2. This is a BABY worth GETTING EXCITED ABOUT

How should we respond?

  1. Get excited about Jesus
  2. MAGNIFY the LORD
  3. Rejoice in GOD our SAVIOR
  4. RUN to tell others about HIM!
  5. Celebrate HIS BIRTHDAY!

Well, Cold weather has come to Rio Grande city; well, cold for us anyway.  I remember back in the late summer begging for cool weather, I mean 115 degrees???  Really?  Let’s cool this down a bit!

I guess we humans are never happy, even when we get exactly what we want!

It is hot and we want cold.  It is cold and we want hot.

It is dry and we pray for rain.  It rains and we complain about the rain.

We are a strange and double minded people.

We seek God and His guidance but complain when God doesn’t do things our way.                                                               We want eternal life but are disappointed that we have to obtain it God’s way.                                                                        We want the blessings of the Almighty but complain when He asks for obedience.                                                                We want the unconditional love of Christ but refuse to love Him the same way.

We are indeed a self-centered and arrogant people.  If it cannot be our way then it is wrong and we will not be involved.

God says innocent life is precious but we want abortions and support political candidates that are for them.

Our ancestors went through the process of becoming citizens legally and assimilated into the American “Melting Pot” but now we want to allow illegals to have free entry and force the “melting pot” to be poured out into their form alone.

A drunk kills someone and it is their fault and responsibility; someone shoots someone else and it is the guns fault.

Tobacco and alcohol kills millions and we fight to keep them legal (and lets add weed to the mix while we are at it); guns are used to kill hundreds and they are the most evil invention ever.

We are indeed a double minded and illogical people.

Bring on the cold, I will put on a coat, because that is what reasonable people do.  We do not blame carbon, fuss at the sun or create taxes.

I will seek to be a good citizen, pay my taxes, serve where I can and be prepared to defend my country, my family and my self; because that is what reasonable people do.

I will worship God and try to glorify Him in all I do, even if He does things His way and not mine.  I mean, He is God and a whole lot smarter, stronger and more able than me.  I will yield to Him in all things because that is what reasonable people do.

Rant over….???

Tiny Frogs and our Big God

I was walking up the church sidewalk the other day and saw a small, strange looking spot on the concrete.  It was small, but weird; so I stopped to check it out.

Here, I took a picture:

Featured image

Looks like a spot or stain, maybe an old piece of gum, right.  But, ….

Featured image

It was a tiny, tiny frog!   The frog was just sitting there, evidently not a bit afraid of me even though I was towering over it like some jean clad sci-fi monster.

This frog was just chilling without seemingly a care in the world, even though it was in my strength and power to kick it off my sidewalk, or squash it like a, well…., a tiny useless frog.

I wondered how this small animal made it to our sidewalk, and what it possibly could want here; and I guess I still do not have those answers; but God did bring a scripture to mind:

Matthew 10:29-33 “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.  But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.  So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”   ESV

I am not sure what the going price is for birds nowadays, but I would not give a penny for 20 of these little useless frogs!  They have no value.  It would take a few hundred of them to make a meal, they would make lousy pets and who would want to keep one anyway? (Aside from 4th grade boys who would torture them for fun)

Yet God knows each and every one of these frogs in existence, knows where they are and what they need and He provides for them daily.  God knows when they are in danger and when they are safe.  They do not make one small hop without God’s knowledge!  God cares for these little, useless frogs.

How much more does He care for you?  You are of way more value and importance that this small critter!  God knows you!  God knows how many hairs are on your head, how many cells are involved in your creation and what your thoughts are right now!

You may think you are small and insignificant; but you are not!  You are giant in this world!  You are a creation of the GREAT Creator and have the potential of greater things through Christ!

God Loves You!

God loves you WAY TOO MUCH to take His eyes off of you.

This little frog went about its business of fulfilling Go’s plan for its little life.

You have a big life with huge opportunity!  Trust it to God; seek Him and follow His plan for your big life!

November 16th   – Preparing for Christmas Series   FAITH

Luke 1:26 – 38

  1. Stay Pure
    1. Mary was a Virgin
      1. She kept her most precious gift for her husband
    2. Had a boyfriend and Fiancé – but they were not married
      1. So they waited
      2. They remained pure before each other, their families and each other
    3. Stay Close
      1. Mary is called most favored
        1. God considered her His child
          1. Just like He does each of His children
        2. Mary was called to a very specific and difficult task
          1. Just like we are today
        3. Stay Receptive/Open
          1. Listen
          2. Seek
          3. Ok to be troubled
            1. Challenges are…well challenging
            2. The hard things are…well hard
              1. If we could do these things we would not need God
              2. God gives us GOD SIZED purposes and assignments
            3. Ok to ask questions
              1. God is big enough o answer you
            4. Ok to ponder
              1. Think, Pray, Dwell, Study, Ask others – seek wise counsel, etc
              2. Stop and pray
            5. Stay Obedient
              1. Even when you don’t understand
              2. Even when the task is hard
              3. Even when it may bring the shame and ridicule of the world upon you
              4. Mary chose the pathway of AGREEMENT and OBEDIENCE
                1. Look God, I am YOUR servant
                2. Let it be according to your word
              5. Stay Focused
                1. From this moment on Mary’s life became focused on Jesus Christ
                  1. Her Baby
                  2. Her Son
                  3. Her LORD
                    1. IS YOURS?

11-9-2014       Preparing for Christmas

Live By Faith

Luke 1:5-7  “In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.  But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.” ESV

Zechariah and Elizabeth lived by Faith.

They lived well before God; righteous and followed the commandments.

How about you?  Could this text be written about us, here today?

This couple were living good lives by Gods standards, but their life was far from perfect; they still had problems – a long term issue that they had no victory over:  They remained childless

As well as they lived before God, they still had issues and problems.  They were not exempt from humanities curse.

Neither are you!

How you LIVE BY FAITH through those tough times shows your faith.

Luke 1:8a   “Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood,…”

Even though they did not understand why they were childless they kept loving God and serving in His Temple.

They chose to live by faith as they served through their problems.

I recently read a quote that said “If God has not opened your next door yet, praise Him in the hallway.”

Unfortunately, we are quick to run away from God when things get tough.  This is not new, many of His followers did this during the week Christ was crucified; but He chose to go to the cross for us anyway.

We are quick to turn from God and His church!  “Well, they just did not meet my needs” or “I wasn’t getting fed there” or “the preacher is ugly” or “:they were not friendly enough” or “The Cowboys were playing” or any of a thousand other EXCUSES!

These speak more of your love for God and His Word than anything else.  If you love HIM you will obey HIS commands.  Not if you love the preacher or other members, IF YOU LOVE HIM!

People are quick to turn to anything and everything the WORLD has to offer; no matter how short lived or ill-conceived the worlds offerings are!

We turn to the HORRORscopes, Oprah, Dr. Phil, the newest bestselling self-help book, or addictions; but they never help.

We like solutions we can touch, control, direct – we want to be “in control”     Until we yield control we will continue to head in the wrong direction – or in circles.

Do not be quick to give up, give in or give out!

Maybe the time is not right yet.

Maybe you are not fully prepared yet.

Maybe someone else is not prepared yet.

And, maybe the answer will be “No” –  if it is  then know God has your best interest at heart.

Until that answer/guidance is received KEEP SERVING WHERE GOD PLANTED YOU!  There is plenty of watering to do!

Luke 1:13-15  “But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.  And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth,”  ESV

Your prayer’s are being heard!

You may think your prayers are being ignored, or falling on deaf ears; but nothing could be further from the truth!

God Listens!

God hears the prayers of His children!

Keep serving where you are as you wait for the answer; then do not be surprised when the answers come!

They may not come the way you expect or WANT them to come.

The answer may not be what you want or expect but LIVE BY FAITH as you wait

Luke 1:18-20  “And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” ESV

When the answer comes TRUST GOD!

It would be easy to laugh off what Zechariah was hearing – a baby?  NOW?  Right!  After all Sarah did the same!

Look and listen for God’s Voice and when you hear from Him TRUST HIM and go with Him!

Live by FAITH when you are waiting and as God speaks and moves in your life!

  • Even if it seems strange – Old Man
  • Even if it is not the answer you want – wife advanced in Years (good husband)
  • Even if the answer is that YOU need to change – become parents

Luke 1:24-25 “After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”  ESV

When the Answer you heard with faith becomes truth in form, worship God!

Live by FAITH and receive the blessing God has given you

11-2-2014   – Luke 1:1 – 4  Be Certain at Christmas

In late September I was in the garden Center of Wal-Mart and noticed that they had started bringing out their CHRISTMAS items!  September

I was in there again a week or so ago and found that they no longer have a garden department – they have a CHRISTMAS DEPARTMENT!  October and everything was out – OCTOBER

At this rate we may be celebrating Easter in December and New Years in May!

I got to thinking – if the world is getting ready for Christmas already; maybe we should be preparing our hearts for Christmas as well

We want to make sure we focus on the Real reason for the CHRIST-mas Season – CHRIST

Today we begin a journey into the Book of Luke.  Today we begin to prepare for Christmas.

This is a picture of a Warning Sign at South Padre Island.  It is there to warn you what the surf conditions are and to warn you about the danger you will face in the water.

Green – Yellow – Red    Good – Caution – Danger

We need something like this for our life!  Wouldn’t that be nice?

WAIT!  Maybe we do:  We call it THE BIBLE

  1. The Bible is the written account of many people recording God’s Word, Work and Witness in their Community.
    1. Oral traditions
    2. Notes and sermons
    3. Written History
    4. Eye Witnesses
      1. This is what they have observed and seen
    5. The Bible is the written Promises of God
      1. Written down for you
    6. We should CAREFULLY read and investigate God’s Word
      1. Make notes and journals for ourselves and those that will come after us.
        1. How did God work in YOUR life?
        2. What did GOD say to You?
  • What did His Word mean to YOU?
  1. The WORD and our WORK in the WORD will work together to build us, reassure us, encourage us and teach us THE TRUTH OF GOD.
    1. Then we should go share HIS WORD with others.

A lot of research, observation and scientific work went into those surf warning signs; work that is used along with the work of men and women on the beach to apply their knowledge and share their findings with you in hopes of keeping you from danger.

We should do the same with God’s Word!

As we begin our trek towards Christmas, let us turn to the Word of God for our TRUTH and share it with the WORLD BEFORE we get overrun with consumerism, debt and flashing lights.

Just because the flag is green does not mean you can go wild and run all willy nilly.

There are still precautions to take ….. Rules  to follow …. Common sense to apply ….

The same goes with God and His Word…. Just because we are doing good now does not mean we can go wild or do what we want….. There are rules to follow …. Common sense to apply …. The Word to follow

Always begin with the Word of God then move cautiously onward and upward.