January 2016


January 24th      Available Grace        Luke 8:26 – 39

Did your parents ever call you with “that voice” and you knew you were in trouble?

I walked into the living room where my dad was holding his belt more than one and has to ask, “What did I do?” But, it wasn’t that I didn’t know I had done something wrong….I just wanted to know what they FOUND OUT ABOUT! They would say, “You KNOW what you did?”…..”yes, but what DO YOU know I did” was definitely no the right answer.

As I got older punishment changed.  I moved into the “Grounded” Phase.  Punishment became about me NOT GETTING TO GO SOMEWHERE…or anywhere.

All of us know we have messed up. We understand instinctively that we have gotten in trouble with God.

Maybe we back talked or disrespected our parents or a teacher, stole some candy, a toy or a sales lead. We lied, we gossiped, we slandered, we attacked others when we should be attacked, we cheated, we were greedy or we put ourselves ahead of others and God.

We broke the “Big Ten” or simply the “Terrific Two” ..(love God and Love Others).

God knows. Unlike our parents, we cannot hide anything from God. He knows. You are busted. Accountability is coming and today may be judgment day.

Have you made whatever it is right with God?

We talk often about God’s Grace and Mercy.

Grace- Getting what you do not deserve

Mercy – NOT getting what you do deserve.

We talk about how God has made His saving grace available to all, regardless of color, creed, financial status, origins, ancestry, language, size, intelligence level or abilities.

For God so loved THE WORLD that He gave His only begotten Son the that WHOEVER believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

  • We know the Spirit was with John the Baptist from the womb
  • We know that God’s grace was available to Saul the religious legalist
  • We know the grace of God was available to the woman with the issue of blood.
  • We know the grace of God was available to the woman caught n the act of adultery
  • We know the grace of God was available to the blind, the lame, the crippled, the broken, the sick and the despairing.
  • But, we also KNOW our evil.
  • But, we KNOW what we have messed up.
  • But, we KNOW our failures, fouls and malfunctions
  • We know we are sinners, maybe like Paul, we feel we are the leader of the sinners – the “Worst” 1 Tim 1:15
  • What about us?

But what about someone so FULL OF EVIL that they have been drive out of society?

  • Running naked
  • Homeless, living in a cemetery
  • Someone who often had to be chained and shackled for their own protection and the protection of those around him?
  • So full of demons that their name is “legion”
  • The worst, most evil person you could ever meet
    • Someone who makes Hitler look like a girl scout planting flowers

Surely there is a limit to God’s Grace and Jesus Christ just met him head on in a cemetery, the evil guys home turf.

Maybe there is a time where God moves on from trying to correct our behavior to “GROUNDING US” – it becomes about NOT GOING PLACES – like HEAVEN?????

Are you so messed up and broken that not even God can help you now?  IS it possible to be so bad you are totally hopeless?

Thankfully that answer is a RESOUNDING NO!!

There is hope as long as you have breath on this earth!

You can make that choice for God RIGHT NOW!

But I wouldn’t recommend a delay!

None of us know the day or the hour when we will be called to account before God!

  • Jesus came to Legion
    • He was not shocked there was a man full of evil there
    • He is not shocked at your failures and foul ups either
    • God knows YOUR NEED FOR HIM
      • Do You!
    • Legion came to Jesus.
      • He knew who Jesus is
      • He knew the power and authority of Jesus over him
      • He was afraid
    • FIRST Jesus dealt with the evil
      • Asked him his name
        • Legion, for we are many
        • A Roman legion had 4,000 and 6,000 soldiers
      • Got the evil out of the man
    • THEN Jesus Healed the man
      • Fully cleansed and forgiven
        • The man then sat at the feet of Jesus
        • No longer naked, but fully clothed
        • In his right mind
      • God’s grace was more than available for the worse of the worst
        • Evil defeated
        • Humanity restored
        • Salvation imparted
        • MISSION given:
          • Return to your home, and declare how much God as done for you.”
        • Obedience (If you love me obey My commands)
          • “And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus has done for him.”
        • Today is YOUR opportunity! IT is your time!  It is your turn!

This should be good news for you!

It is NOT too late!  God loves you!

  • At your worse, Jesus will come to you.
  • At your worse, Jesus is in command
  • At your worse, Jesus can bring peace
  • At your worse, Jesus can make such a change that others are startled!
    • Born Again
    • The old, Gone
    • The New, APPARENT

 

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Jan 10                          Family of God

Luke 8:19-21 “Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.” But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”  ESV

  1. Does Jesus not love his Mom and brothers?
    1. Yes, He loves them dearly
      1. His care for His Mom at the Cross with John
      2. His brothers following and preaching His message
    2. But remember that “God so loved the WORLD”
  2. Sometimes we get too caught up in the “politically Correct” stuff or the “Relationship Stuff”
    1. Who should be first
    2. Who should be moved to the front of the line
    3. This person, family or group is better than __________!
    4. What political group or family are you from again?
    5. There ain’t gonna be no “Back Scratching” in the Kingdom.
      1. God is God
      2. We are all EQUALS under His Sovereignty
    6. Who will be first in the Kingdom
      1. “Jesus, your family is here, should we let them ahead of others?”
    7. We get into a mindset of what “WE DESERVE” or what we have somehow “EARNED” in life
      1. We forget that we can neither earn or deserve anything without God
      2. He gives us all Everything we have
        1. we should be focused on bringing Him Glory
        2. Thinking we are better than someone else does not give God Glory
  • Thinking we are of a higher station in life does not give God glory
  1. Thinking we should get more, have more or be more in the Kingdom does not give God glory
  2. Thinking about WHAT WE FEEL WE DESERVE does not give God Glory
  1. We forget that God sees us with “Special Eyes”
    1. He sees those who are His Children and those who are not His Children
    2. Jesus is saying His Family, His eternal family, are those who have the right to be called the children of God.
      1. These are who He sees as HIS FAMILY
    3. This text is about equality with the KING
      1. The ground is level – the playing field is the same for all
      2. We today have the same access to Jesus Christ as His earthly mother and brothers.
      3. No special favors
      4. You can play politics or race cards all you want but your games will have no effect – you will be disappointed
      5. There is no “Better Deal” to be had
        1. Because you are my parent
        2. Because I grew up with you
  • Because I played football with you
  1. Because you can help me
    1. LOL…Who of us can help God?
  2. The truth is that salvation is NOT about who you are, what your family name is, how much money or political power you have or whose name you can drop.
    1. Salvation, access to God, is dependent on:
      1. GOD! His LOVE for you
      2. You accepting, believing and loving HIM!
    2. We all get to out Heavenly Father the EXACT same way
      1. By GRACE alone though FAITH alone in CHRIST alone
      2. Ephesians 2:8-9 “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. ESV
      3. John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” ESV
    3. Today, the truly blood bought, born again are “The Family of God”
      1. We have been adopted into the family by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone.
      2. Are you one of Christ’s Family?
      3. Grace available to all who will believe.
  3. Do you DESIRE to see Jesus today?
    1. Hear His Word – church, SS, Home, work,
    2. Follow His Word – obey – DO IT!

Jan 3, 2016                 Choose

Joshua 24:14-25 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.  And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”  Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods, for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight and preserved us in all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed.  And the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God.”  But Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the Lord, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins.  If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm and consume you, after having done you good.” And the people said to Joshua, “No, but we will serve the Lord.” Then Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord, to serve him.” And they said, “We are witnesses.”  He said, “Then put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your heart to the Lord, the God of Israel.”  And the people said to Joshua, “The Lord our God we will serve, and his voice we will obey.” ESV

Welcome to 2016                    Wet, Windy and Wild 2016.

I do not know what 2016 holds for me, for my family or for our church.  I am not a prophet nor claim to be one!

BUT – I do know who designed, built and holds 2016 in their hands!  GOD ALMIGHTY!

My Goal, and I would hope OUR GOAL, should be to draw closer and more faithful to HIM!

In our Text we find that the people of God had lost their focus.  They had been pulled away from their first love by sin, self and satan.

They needed to “get back on target.”

(SCOPE ILLUSTRATION)  The best scope in the world is of no value, useless, if it is not properly SIGHTED IN and adjusted.

Are we pointed at the right target?

Are we sighted in by the right doctrine, teachings and faith

Are we CLEAR on our target?

  • CHOOSE GOD
    • God Alone
    • REPENT
      • Is this the year of His return?
      • IDK – BUT we should live like it!
    • No FAKES, IMPERSONATORS or FALSE GODS
      • God is a JEALOUS God
    • If your FOCUS is on the world, YOU WILL MISS THE MARK
    • If your focus is in Sin, Self or satans snares YOU WILL MISS THE MARK
  • FOCUS ON GOD
    • Let everything off to the periphery fade away
    • Adjust your DIRECTION
    • Adjust your FOCUS
  • FOLLOW HIM
    • Commit
      • Choose THIS DAY who you will serve in 2016
    • Continue
      • Do not GIVE IN, GIVE OUT or GIVE UP on God and your life lived for HIM!
      • Stay FaithFULL
      • No CAMOUFLAGE CHRISTIANS
      • Stop trying to BLEND IN
      • STAND OUT
      • You have a right to speak and share your faith

LIVE FOR GOD in 2016 and discover everything HE HAS FOR YOU