July 2016


Simmer Down           Luke 11:37 – 54

This political season we are easily pulled into to debates/squabbles/fights of the election process.

This is a time of hyperbole – political passion – hard head absolutes

But isn’t that the way we are? 

We know what’s best…even if we don’t

 

OUR candidate is the best and your is ROTTEN

Any words/posts are open game to immediate and harsh attacks.

Often without really listening to what was being said.

 

We get LOCKED INTO something way to easily

We do not even want to think about being wrong

We don’t even like to ask questions or listen to opposing info

 

We need to simmer down

 

  1. We get so caught up in the stuff we think is so critical
    1. We forget the more important issues
    2. We get all wrapped up in the eternally insignificant
    3. The Pharisees worried more about their RELIGIOUS MOTIONS than they did a true living faith
    4. The Pharisees focused on what people saw – APPEARANCE
      1. They looked the part
        1. But they didn’t really LIVE the part
      2. The needed to SIMMER DOWN and LOVE
    5. The lawyers focused on the nit-picky points of the law
      1. Particularly the areas they could use to control
      2. Particularly the areas that did not affect their lives
  • They put a heavy burden on people
    1. They were “EXPERTS” in the Mosaic Law
    2. The needed to SIMMER DOWN and LOVE
  1. We forget God is sovereign God
    1. He is both KING and LORD
      1. WHOEVER is elected, God is in control
      2. Whoever wins the election, they will face reelection
        1. God is God FOREVER
      3. God will have the final say
    2. We are so quick to point out problems or issues with others
      1. But slow to look inside our own lives.
    3. We like to MAJOR in the stuff we feel we can control
      1. We usually MINOR in the stuff of real importance.
      2. Having the best seat in the house can still leave us dead
        1. Inside and eternal
      3. Jesus wants us to know:
        1. We are called to be servants
          1. Humble
          2. Faithful
        2. We are called to be holy
          1. Clean inside and outside
          2. Set apart from the filth of this world
        3. Love God and Love Others
          1. We need to grow up
        4. Ephesians 4:15 “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,…”ESV
        5. Faithful Obedience is better than sacrifice
          1. 1 Samuel 15:22 “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.” ESV
          2. Matt 9:13 13 “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not  For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” 
          3. God is Lord of ALL
            1. Inside and outside
          4. Love is greater
          5. Knowledge of God and His Word is greater
        6. Your relationship with God is PRIMARY
          1. Do everything you can to build that relationship BEFORE you worry about the rest

We need to refocus our hearts on the things we should truly be passionate about.

Family                        Church Family          God     God’s Word

SIMMER down on the MINOR stuff and FIRE UP our FAITH

 

 

 

Luke 11:33 – 36  33“No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.34Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. 35Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. 36If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”

  • First point is KEY
    • You NEED the light of Christ!
    • He is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE
      • He is ETERNAL Life
      • He is the WORD
      • He is the LIGHT of Salvation
    • Jesus told us in John 8:12 that “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
      • There is enough darkness in our world
        • We NEED Light
        • Step out of the shadows
        • Step into the LIGHT
    • If this is a step you are not willing to take then none of the rest matters
      • You will remain in the darkness of sin and self
      • FOREVER
    • The good stuff and blessings you try to claim will remain forever just out of reach
      • You will never have your best life now if you are unwilling to accept through FAITH the gift of GRACE that God is offering you through HIS SON Jesus.
  • Let your light shine
    • This is God’s Light in you
    • Shine His light everywhere you can
      • Make sure your light is its brightest
        • Batteries fully charged up by:
          • The Word
          • Prayer
          • Church
          • Living faith
      • No filters/veils/shorts over your light
        • Short circuits can drain a battery of life
        • Are you trying to cross anything of the flesh with your light from God?
        • Is there something in your life you are trying to power WITH God that is not OF God?
      • Corrosion can rob your light of power
        • What is contaminating your life?
        • What are the acids that are slowly eating away at YOUR CONNECTION with God?
      • Abuse can knock your light off kilter
        • Just like using a flashlight as a hammer is a bad idea SO IS using your faith for sin and self.
    • Just because you are saved does not mean you can sin with abandon.
      • Forgiveness is NOT cheap and should be treasured
      • Be careful what you let in your life
      • Stuff of the world can dim your light
      • Stuff of self/pride can dim your light
  • It is possible that you can allow the darkness of the world to completely BLOCK OUT your light.
    • Remove those veils that limit your light
    • Repent
    • Live God’s Light and life
    • Share that light with others
  • Let your light shine

 The more of the world you try to bring into your vision the duller your light becomes. 

 Stay focused on Jesus

July 10th                      Luke 11:27 – 28          “Entitled!?”

As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!”  But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”   ESV

We live in a world where people feel entitled.

We feel we DESERVE something because of who we are or what our needs are in life.  We think that because of our economic status, skin tone, heritage or how much we have suffered we are entitled to stuff, all paid for by others.

The government has many programs defined as “Entitlements” – over 400 BILLION dollars’ worth budgeted in 2016.

We have come to expect the government or others to take care of us and provide our needs plus our wants.

If we do not get everything our way we throw a fit like a 4 year old; except a little child’s tantrum doesn’t destroy neighborhoods or cost innocent lives.

I think that if anyone had the right to being entitled to God’s best based on who she was it would be Mary, the biological Mother of Jesus.

Let’s take a look.

  1. A woman in the crowd raised her voice to bring attention and perhaps “glory” to the fleshly mother of Jesus – Mary.
    1. How rude was this lady to disrupt Jesus while He was sharing the Word of God?
    2. Most would never interrupt the Pastor preaching, yet she raises her voice to interrupt the Savior of the world.
    3. Was she wanting to recognize Mary as equal with Jesus?
    4. Was she seeking to bring attention to human beings involved in God’s plan?
    5. Was she Mary’s friend just wanting to remind Him of His mommy?
      1. They were in a village between Samaria and Jerusalem ….30 miles or less
    6. Maybe she was the beginning of the movement “Mom Lives Matter”
    7. We may never know.
  2. A few points about Mary:
    1. Mary was a regular person
    2. Mary was chosen by God for a particular purpose
    3. Mary was faithful and obedient
      1. Regardless of the cost to her or her fiancé/family
    4. Because of Mary’s faithfulness and obedience to God she is “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!” Luke 1:42
    5. Mary was no better or worse that any of us here today are before Holy God.
      1. We are all sinners – including Mary
    6. Romans 3:22 – 25 “…the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.”  ESV
      1. Jesus also said:
        1. Mark 3:35 “For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
      2. Some think Mary gets a “Special Pass” or “Special treatment” when standing before God because of our human accomplishments
        1. Mary does not get a special treatment for being the human mother of Jesus
        2. She was faithful and obedient
          1. THAT is what matters
        3. Peter sais this in Acts 10:34-35
          1. ”So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality,but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.”
            1. Southern Baptist get no special favor
            2. Being a Catholic, a Methodist nor any other RELIGION gains you any special favor with God.
              1. Although being an active member of a local Christian church and properly using the gifts God has given you is necessary for obedience – doing what is right.
            3. Being part of a certain family, heritage or culture gains you no special favor.
            4. Sitting in a church pew gains no special favor – no matter how many years you have sat there.
            5. Works gain us no special favor
              1. Except in doing those works in faith and obedience to the call of God
            6. Being baptized outside the saving GRACE of God received through FAITH in JESUS CHRIST alone gains you NO special favor.
          2. There is no privilege! There is no entitlement!
        4. I fear many, many people are depending on this kind of “ENTITLEMENT SALVATION” to gain heaven.
          1. Matthew 7:21 -23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”  ESV
            1. No entitlement!
            2. Faith and Obedience gains God’s special favor
            3. Jesus said: “If you love me, you willkeep my commandments.”  John 14:15
            4. Grace lived through Faith and obedience in Christ
          2. Outside of faithful obedience to God’s Word there is no path to God’s Blessing
        5. YOU and I are NOT ENTITLED to Salvation or Special Favor.
          1. Grace means we GET what we DO NOT DESERVE!
          2. Mercy means that we DO NOT GET WHAT WE DO DESERVE
          3. We do not deserve or are entitled to either salvation of God’s Blessing
            1. God GIVES us these as a gift of GRACE through FAITH in CHRIST His Son.
            2. 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.”
              1. You are saved by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone.
              2. Saved for God’s purpose, not selfish ones
              3. For GOOD WORKS
            3. Here is the Standard set by God:
              1. “Blessed rather are those who hear the Word of God AND keep it!”
                1. Just like Mary
                2. Just like so many others of the Word and since those Biblical days.
              2. We all have the same opportunity for receiving a blessing by God.
                1. Hear the Word of God
                  1. Preaching
                  2. Teaching
                  3. Reading
  1. Keep the Word of God
    1. Keep it close
    2. Keep it on obedience
  • Keep it in love
  1. Keep it pure and holy
    1. Do not spin, twist or corrupt the Word
  2. Hear! Do! Go!