May 2017


May 28            Kids Need the Lord    Luke 18:15 – 17

Luke 18:15-17 “Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.   Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”   ESV

 Jesus was traveling to Jerusalem passing between Samaria and Galilee.  There are many cities in this area…one of which is Nazareth, His boyhood home.

Many sought Him out for help, healing and hope.

They even brought their children to Him; a MAJOR break from the traditions and laws of the Temple Elite.  Kids make noise in the temple and make a mess and break stuff and ask a LOT of questions (questions the Temple Elite did not want to be bothered with and/or have to answer)

The disciple rebuked the parents, grandparents, others for bringing the little kids to their Rabbi.

“Get those snot nosed brats out of here and back to the playgrounds where they belong!”

Jesus had a different plan and did a little rebuking of His own!

Jesus knew the heart of the little children AND He knew their needs.

KIDS NEED THE LORD

  • Jesus WANTS the little children to come to Him
    •             Freely
    •             Unhindered

Parents/Grandparents/teachers/church family,     we need to examine how we treat the youngest, weakest, powerless among us!

  • Do we help, hinder or hurt their journey to Christ?
    •                         We hold SUPREME power over them
    •                         What we say they do
    •                         What we do they mimic
    •                         Where we go – they go
    •                         What we prioritize they see as important

We need to examine our families, our parenting, our choices, our church, our EVERYTHING and see if there is anything we are doing to HINDER our children from coming to JESUS!

  • Maybe it is our WORDS.
    • Whether in bad language or just telling them they are too
    • young
  • Maybe it is our PRIORITIES
    • We can easily fall into the trap of making everything else a priority OVER God: sports, sleep, movies, vacation, hobbies, etc
      Maybe it is our ACTIONS
    • Whether in bad behavior or by providing no guidance and
    • accountability or simply by not LIVING God in our homes
  • Maybe it is our ATTITUDES
    • If our attitudes are negative so will be our children’s
    • If our attitude about God and church are negative so will be our children’s

We should do EVERYTHING within our power to ENCOURAGE our kids towards God!

KIDS NEED THE LORD

AS we do this, we will see a change in us, we will become like the little children loving and trusting God in a simple heartfelt faith.

It is the “grown Ups” who forget how to love and receive.  We have developed hard hearts and QUESTION EVERYTHING that is offered us.  “If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is!”

We have been hurt, beaten, abused, trampled, cast aside, overlooked, underappreciated, taken advantage of and used by just about every HUMAN we have ever met.  WE DON’T NEED ANY MORE DISAPPOINTMENTS!

We are afraid to open up and be vulnerable yet again because we fear being hurt or harmed.

It is out of our life experiences – good and bad/ joyful and painful that we lead our children

Children usually do not carry this fear.

  • They are willing to believe that God is exactly who He says He is!
  • They understand that God will never lie to them or let them down
  • They know that God will never leave them or forsake them
  • They understand that God LOVES them and wants the very best for their lives.
    • Kids UNDERSTAND God.
    • KIDS NEED THE LORD
    • YOU need the LORD!

Today we will celebrate the achievement of our children, young and old.  We will encourage them in their motivation and hard work to achieve the goals we celebrate.

Have we encouraged them towards Jesus and Celebrated their journey into His Grace?

The Kingdom of God belongs to those who receive God’s Grace as a little child.

10 years old or 100 years old, the same Grace of Holy God is available for you.

Cast away the hardness and negativity of the world and receive God’s Love as a little child receives Him and LIVE!

Maybe this text is about how we treat the smallest and weakest among us…those with no power and no real say……do we push them back….do we push them down?   Do we push them FORWARD?  Do we somehow reserve “The Best part” for the grown ups?

Do we push them to God?

May 14            “ A Woman’s Grit”    Luke 18:1 – 8

Most of us remember the movie “True Grit” in either its first or second release.  What we may not realize is that the movie “True Grit” is not about Rooster Cogburn (John Wayne or Jeff Bridges) but is about a 14 year old girl named Mattie Ross (Kim Darby or  Hailee Stanfield)!

Mattie is the one who picked Rooster to help her track down her father’s murderer.  There was absolutely NOTHING going to stop this stubborn and feisty young woman from her task!

 Grit is defined as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.”

  • God wants us to pray
    • Talking builds relationships
    • God wants us to TALK with Him
    • Even if we don’t say much – listen
  • God wants us to remain hopeful
    • We so quickly turn to the dark side – what is the WORST
    • We get all bound up in the “What Ifs”
    • We rarely think the best thing is happening
  • Hope is built in our heart
    • not our eyes, hands, minds, TV shows, etc.
  • To show us the right path God used a PERSISTENT women
    • She had been a wife and was probably a mom
    • God knows the love and strength of a woman’s heart
    • Especially for her family
  • A strong woman never gives up, gives in or gives out
    • She fights for her family
    • She pushes for what is right
  • Reality:
    • MOMMA KNOWS HOW TO GET THINGS DONE!
      • Dads is still sitting in his chair wondering what’s going on WHILE Momma already got it done!
      • IF Momma’s first attempt at getting it done meets RESISTANCE…..MOMMA IS GOING TO KEEP ON TRYING!
        • Ain’t no GIVE UP in Momma
    • Jerry Clower is famous for saying “WHATEVER MOMMA WANTS…..MOMMA GETS!”
    • It is not original with him though…it comes from this text in Holy Scriptures!
  • She nagged him
    • she never let up or relented or LOST HOPE
    • even though the temptation to quit must have been there after so many attempts and so many failures
      • but she persisted
  • Because of her persistence the Judge relented
    • He figured out that if he didn’t do something she would keep coming
    • He knew she needed justice,
      • but he evidently didn’t want to be bothered.
      • Maybe heartless or maybe lazy or perhaps he didn’t see the value of wasting time on her.
      • But because she persisted he relented and helped
  • God is different than this Judge
    • God Loves You
    • God is THE Righteous Judge
    • He wants to help
    • God is on your side
    • God is OK with your continual prayers
    • NAG God all you want – BE PERSISTENT
  • Here is the question for us this text poses:
    • When the Son of Man returns WILL HE FIND ANY FAITH ON EARTH?
      • Will He find a people like the widow who perceived in faith
        • True faith continues to pray
        • With a FERVENT HOPE
        • True faith keeps its heart toward God
        • Trusting
      • Will He find people who simply gave up
        • Turned to the comforts of the world
        • Turned to the evil lies of our enemy
        • Lost hearts
  • NEVER give up on God!
  • He certainly NEVER gives up on you

May 7, 2017     Luke 17:20–37

“When the CLOCK and CALENDAR Don’t Matter!”

The Kingdom of God is Not Coming – It is already here

  • God is King of kings and Lord of lords TODAY
  • He never stopped or took a vacation
  • This earth never stopped being God’s
  • What were they really asking?  When will the Messiah come?
  • They were literally asking the Messiah when He would be coming.
  • Today, we look forward to His return

Jesus Christ is coming back…..

  • This is settled and absolute
  • There will be a rapture, a tribulation, a millennial reign and a finality to this earth.
  • Theologians have battled for centuries about HOW this will happen and WHEN this reality will occur
    • But NONE doubt or argue that it WILL HAPPEN
  • I can tell you today EXACTLY how the “END TIMES” will play out in our reality
    • Exactly
    • Even with a timetable….
      • Ready?….
    • The Kingdom of God will come for you and me and for all creation….
      • Exactly WHEN, WHERE and HOW God says it will! Not sooner or later

The WORLD wants to get so concerned about the timing of armegeddon, the rapture, and more

  • Look here…Look there…
    • Post a billboard
    • Set a date
      • DO NOT PAY ATTENTION TO THEM
      • They have been proven WRONG each and every time!
    • Movies, books, cults, even religions and churches can make the timing of Christ’s return their major focus….and fundraiser
      • Don’t be consumed by this question
        • It will play out God’s way
          • Pre-trib, mid – trib, post -trib or amillennial
          • We argue, debate and fuss about something we DO NOT KNOW
        • Trust GOD with that time
          • Your time may come WAY BEFORE this event anyway

The TIMING is not for us to know right now

  • The CLOCK and CALENDAR DO NOT MATTER!
  • Maybe soon for some and longer for others
  • Maybe those of us gathered here will survive until the rapture of the church…
    • Maybe not..
  • Not YOUR business
    • Above your pay grade so to speak

The REALITY of the return of Jesus Christ is VERY MUCH our business!

  • Reguardless of God’s TIMING
    • We are called to BE READY!
      • Be SAVED
      • Be SERVING
    • You may be called to martyrdom
      • He who loses his life will keep it
      • Give Your life to God
        • It is His anyway
        • He gave it to you

But a fearful and weak faithed people want a sign

  • We have no need to fear
    • The examples in our text prove that God will protect His people
      • Noah and family safe on the Ark
      • Lot and MOST of his family safely removed from destruction
        • People of Israel’s Children saved by the Blood back at the very first Passover.
      • We do not need a SIGN!
    • Here’s Your Sign
      • Your daily life
        • Nothing else needs to happen prophetically for Christ to Return
        • No prophecy remains unfilled before the rapture occurs
        • The Kingdom of God could return for you…for us
          • Today!
          • NOW!
          • Or in 100 years or more

BE ready

  • We DO NOT need a sign…WE NEED JESUS!
    • John 3:16
    • 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
  • This scripture tells us it will be like in the days of Noah before the flood and the days of Lot before the fire and brimstone
    • Normal days
    • Eating, drinking, sleeping
    • Working and playing
    • Building families and communities
    • A day just like every other day
      • UNTIL something UNUSUAL happens and changes everything.
    • Suddenly, quicker than the Flash or Superman
      • BOOM
      • People will be at home and BOOM some are gone and some are left
      • People will be working and BOOM some are gone and some are left
      • People will be doing what they do every day, living in their self imposed rut and routine and BOOM some will be gone and some will be left

When The Clock and the Calendar Don’t Matter

    • What DOES MATTER is a relationship
    • YOUR relationship with God through Jesus Christ
    • God is more important than time
    • DO NOT be left behind
      • Death is left behind everywhere
    • Choose life!
    • Be ready!

Ephesians 2:4-10 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—  and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  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