March 2017


Temptations Twist

Luke 17:1-4 “And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.  Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” ESV

  • Temptation is not sin…..temptation will occur
  • Temptations to sin: Scandal, snare/trap, occasion to fall
    • Maybe illustrate with large mouse trap and cheese
      • What could the cheese illustrate/stand for?
        • Anything that tempts us
          • Pride
          • Alcohol and/or drugs
          • Lust – adultery
          • Sexual immorality
          • Gossip
          • Jealousy
          • Anger
          • Rivalries
          • Dissensions
          • Other FLESH FUELED issues

 These temptations WILL COME

    • Do not think you are somehow above them
    • There is a price to be paid for giving into them
    • The trap will snap
    • Temptation is not sin
      • Giving INTO temptations trap is our problem
      • What baits your trap?
      • What are you likely to give into quickly?
    • Jesus was tempted BUIT NEVER SINNED
    • Adam and Eve were similarly tempted but fell into the trap

Matthew 4:4 – 11 “4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone,  but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”  Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”  Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”  11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.”  ESV

Hebrews 4:`4 – 16 “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

  • ESPECIALLY if you cause another one to stumble
    • Little Ones: least, little, less, small in size, quantity, number or dignity
      • Not just talking about kids
  • Pay attention to YOURSELVES!
    • Watch what you are doing
    • Keep an eye on your hands
    • PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY TO GOD
    • DO NOT BE A TEMPTER!
  • Pay attention to others
    • Hold them accountable to God’s Word as well
      • The caution is to GOD’S WORD
      • Not yours
      • Not your interpretation that fits your needs
    • Forgive the truly repentant
      • Forgiveness is not acceptance of the bad behavior
    • Temptations Twist
      • The Grace of God
        • Even though we did not deserve His Love…
          • We were rebellious
          • We were mean
          • We were caught by evil
          • Sinners, each and every one
        • ….at Calvary Jesus stepped into our trap and took our destruction away
          • Jesus suffered, was ridiculed and debased
          • Jesus shed His Blood for our sins
          • Jesus died in our place
        • We can be set free….redeemed by the shed blood of the Lamb of God

Feb 19, 2017

Luke 16:14-17 “The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.  “The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it.  But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void.”  ESV

What did the Pharisees here that made them so angry, jealous and petty?

They heard Jesus teach about humility, service, devotion, commitment, giving, caring, loving, yielding, stewardship, faithfulness and obedience to the Kingdom of God.

Shame on Him for teaching them to Love God and Love others

 The tried to justify their selfish, arrogant behavior by ridiculing the Son of God.

I don’t think that will go over very well.

Bullying to get your way is NO WAY to make a point

If Jesus identifies our bad behavior and we feel ashamed REMEMBER that He has don’t this to CORRECT behavior and NOT TO HARM us.

The purpose of the Law is to show us our need for Jesus, not to condemn us.  The Law shows us our transgressions against God and against our fellow man.  The Law should lead us to repentance.

We can never JUSTIFY ourselves before anyone, much less the Only One who can redeem us and justify us.

He knows the REAL US; not the FAKE US we allow the world to see and know.

Forces: force, to crowd oneself, to be seized, press suffer violence.  NLT – Eager              KJV – Presseth into

AMP – “and everyone strives violently to go in [would force his own way rather than God’s way into it]

We want the Good News without the Faith and Obedience

We want to go into God’s Kingdom on OUR TERMS

OUR WAY     OUR TIME     “JUST AS WE ARE”

We want the benefits without the costs

We don’t even want to count the cost

We are REBELS

We rebel against god’s Word

We rebel against God’s Will

We rebel against God

We have proved our rebellion all the way back to the garden.

This is a rebellion we will NEVER win

We are PARASITES

We want to pull all we want from the well

We want to LATCH ON and get all we can get

Just like the Temple Elite of Christ’s Day

We never want to serve, obey or trust

We want God to be a vending machine that responds at our demand and we are more than willing to kick, rattle and complain if we do not get our way.

The Law matters.  The Law shows us our need for God.

The 10 Commandments matter.  In our lives, in the life of our country.

We do not dispose of them, we embrace them and see how they point us to love God and others better.

If we love God we will obey His Commands.

John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

  • We forget that our obedience is a way to say “Thank You” to the One who saved us.
  • We forget that we are ill equipped to ridicule or argue with God
  • We forget that our trust is a way to say “We Believe” to the One who provides and protects us
  • We forget that our love expressed is one way we say we are connected to the One who is Love.

Marriage          Feb 26, 2017

Luke 16:18 “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”   ESV

Today we will look at marriage.  But before we dig into this text let’s look at the bigger picture.

  1. In the Beginning
    1. Genesis 2:18-25 “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for So out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.  And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.  Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.  And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”  ESV
      1. God knew that men NEEDED a women
        1. We would not survive as a species
        2. We would not survive as people
        3. WE NEED OUR WIVES
      2. Man was formed from dirt
  • Woman was formed from Bone
    1. You decide which is stronger
  1. God said that the Man and Woman shall live together
    1. Note Man and Woman
    2. God designed marriage to be between a man and a woman.
  2. God united Adam and Eve in marriage LONG before there were any preachers, judges or ship captains available.
    1. The act of the two becoming one flesh WAS the union of marriage.
  3. Nakedness WITHOUT shame is reserved for a couple united in marriage
    1. NO ONE ELSE!
    2. That would be ADULTRY
      1. The physical act of adultery is SIN
      2. The cultivation of adultery is SIN
      3. Matthew 5:27-28 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”  ESV
    3. Marriage was always to be defined as a LIFETIME commitment
      1. Not for a set amount of time
      2. Not until it gets tough
      3. Not until you fall in lust with someone else
        1. LIFETIME
      4. What breaks the covenant bounds of marriage
          1. Romans 7:2-3 “Thus a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.” ESV
        1. Adultery
          1. They physical act
          2. The cultivation
  • The loving/lusting of anyone else EXCEPT GOD more than your spouse
  1. Addiction
    1. Same problem as adultery except instead of a person of the opposite sex your heart becomes devoted to a drug or alcohol.
    2. Family resources are stripped away in order to supply the desired FIX of the addict
  • If your lustful intent is directed at a thing or substance at the cost of your relationship with your wife or family the love covenant is broken
  1. Both adultery and addiction often fester into a third reason:
  2. Abuse
    1. We are commanded to love and submit one to another
      1. Abuse breaks the love covenant
      2. God does not expect you to be belittled, beaten or buried
        1. There is no love there
        2. Colossians 3:18-19 “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.”   ESV
      3. All of these place the fleshly desires and pride of one person ahead of their spouse and their children
        1. Love NEVER demands its own way
        2. If supporting your habit for another person or substance leaves your family hungry and homeless YOU HAVE BROKEN YOUR MARRIAGE COVENANT
      4. What about getting remarried
        1. If your spouse dies you are free to be biblically remarried
        2. If your unbelieving spouse leaves you are free to be biblically remarried
        3. 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 “To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him.  For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.  But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.  Wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband? Husband, how do you know whether you will save your wife?”   ESV
        4. Note a time of serious repentance and dealing with God should be required to deal with any sin that may have occurred.
        1. Other than that, if your spouse is still breathing air you remain bound together.
        2. God’s Standards are higher than ours
      5. Is a divorce REQUIRED if adultery, addiction, abuse has occurred
        1. No
        2. But know it will take repentance to God, a new level of openness, a treatment program, or other corrective actions before the marriage may begin to become “normal”
          1. The reality is that FULL trust may never return
          2. Doubts and questions will remain
        3. There is much hard work to do
      6. Marriage is to be held in honor among all
        1. God will judge those who do not
      7. Marriage is supposed to be a human relationship that mirrors our relationship with God
        1. Love
        2. Grace
        3. Mercy
        4. Patience
        5. Permanence
        6. Helpful
        7. Protecting
        8. Nurturing

Marriage          May 12, 2017

Luke 16:18 “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”   ESV

Today we will look at marriage.  But before we dig into this text let’s look at the bigger picture.

  1. Marriage was always to be defined as a LIFETIME commitment
    1. Not for a set amount of time
    2. Not until it gets tough
    3. Not until you fall in lust with someone else
      1. LIFETIME
  2. We need to understand what real love is before we commit to another person for a lifetime
    1. Love is more than what we call “chemical” with is more lust than love
    2. Love is more than “convenience” because someone is close and you have similar interests
    3. LOVE IS COMMITMENT
    4. Ephesians 5:25-33 “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.  “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”  This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.  However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” ESV

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.” ESV

It is FAR PAST TIME we begin to put THESE attributes INTO our relationships

  1. What breaks the covenant bounds of marriage
      1. Romans 7:2-3 “Thus a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.” ESV
    1. SIN
      1. Adultery
        1. They physical act
        2. The cultivation
        3. The loving/lusting of anyone else EXCEPT GOD more than your spouse
      2. Addiction
        1. Same problem as adultery except instead of a person of the opposite sex your heart becomes devoted to a drug or alcohol.
        2. Family resources are stripped away in order to supply the desired FIX of the addict
        3. If your lustful intent is directed at a thing or substance at the cost of your relationship with your wife or family the love covenant is broken
  • Both adultery and addiction often fester into a third reason:
  1. Abuse
    1. We are commanded to love and submit one to another
      1. Abuse breaks the love covenant
      2. God does not expect you to be belittled, beaten or buried
        1. There is no love there
        2. Colossians 3:18-19 “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.”   ESV
      3. All of these place the fleshly desires and pride of one person ahead of their spouse and their children
        1. Love NEVER demands its own way
        2. If supporting your habit for another person or substance leaves your family hungry and homeless YOU HAVE BROKEN YOUR MARRIAGE COVENANT
      4. What about getting remarried
        1. If your spouse dies you are free to be biblically remarried
        2. Other than that, if your spouse is still breathing air you remain bound together.
        3. God’s Standards are higher than ours
      5. Marriage is to be held in honor among all
        1. God will judge those who do not
      6. Marriage is supposed to be a human relationship that mirrors our relationship with God
        1. Love
        2. Grace
        3. Mercy
        4. Patience
        5. Permanence
        6. Helpful
        7. Protecting
        8. Nurturing

Hades Secret Desire                Luke 16:19 – 31          March 19, 2017

  1. The rich man eats and dresses well
    1. He thought he had life all figured out
    2. Didn’t need anything more than his money
  2. The poor man would be happy to be fed like a dog
    1. Had nothing – His most valuable thing was his faith
  3. Rich or Poor – we will all find our human experience coming to an end sometime
    1. We don’t know when
    2. We usually don’t know how
    3. But we are only here for a short time, THEN eternity
  4. IN HEAVEN:
    1. You will find healing and peace
    2. You will find love and deep relationships
    3. Not much is said about Heaven here because it is not the focus of this parable
  5. IN HELL:
    1. You will KNOW you messed up
      1. Woke to TRUE TERROR
      2. Any relationship is far away
        1. No friends in sight
        2. No parties
        3. Just pain, anxiety, loneliness – total anguish
  • Any compassion is far away
    1. Complete and total separation from God
    2. Any grace and mercy is FAR REMOVED
  1. You will experience ANGUISH and PAIN far greater than you could ever imaging
    1. Torment and Anguish from the eternal flame
    2. Mark 9:47-49 “And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.” ESV
  • Not even a vapor from a tiny drop of water to ease your burnt lips and all consuming thirst.
  1. You will KNOW that it is TOO LATE to change your FATE and ETERNITY
    1. Great Chasm is FIXED
    2. NONE may cross
    3. Your FATE is sealed
  2. Hebrews 9:27-28 “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appears a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” ESV
    1. Here is HADES SECRET DESIRE
      1. You will suddenly become very EVANGELISTIC
      2. You will WANT others to hear the Gospel
  • You will WANT someone, ANYONE go and tell
  1. All your “Good Excuses” gone only REALITY remains
  2. Others hearing the Word of God is suddenly Number one on your agenda
  3. Hoping upon hope that they may be spared the SAME FATE as you
    1. They have already heard and turned away
  4. The time to find God’s Redemption is NOW!
    1. Later is not guaranteed
    2. There is one way…and ONLY One way to escape the torment of hades flame:
      1. By GRACE alone through FAITH alone in CHRIST alone!
    3. 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
  5. The time to SHARE THE GOSPEL is NOW!
    1. Later is not guaranteed
    2. Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” ESV