Sermon Notes


January 7th, 2018         Romans 8:1 – 14          Nature of the New Year

Romans 8:1-14 “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.  For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death.  The law of Moses could not save us, because of our sinful nature. But God put into effect a different plan to save us. He sent his own Son in a human body like ours, except that ours are sinful. God destroyed sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.  He did this so that the requirement of the law would be fully accomplished for us who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.  Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. [what are YOU thinking about?  What is feeding your thoughts?]  If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace.  For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.  That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them are not Christians at all.) Since Christ lives within you, even though your body will die because of sin, your spirit is alive because you have been made right with God.  The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as he raised Christ from the dead, he will give life to your mortal body by this same Spirit living within you.  So, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation whatsoever to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.  For if you keep on following it, you will perish. But if through the power of the Holy Spirit you turn from it and its evil deeds, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.”    

We all enter 2018 with a struggle, well, at least one struggle.

The Battle between the flesh and the Holy Spirit.  The fight for controlling authority in our lives.  The battle between good and evil.

You are not alone in this.

Romans 7:21-25 “It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart.  But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind. This law wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.  Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin?   Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.”

Paul understood…LIVED…the same struggle we have.  Sometimes He won – obviously; yet sometimes he failed, as we do.

We can fail less.

An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life…
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

One wolf is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.

The other wolf is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old chief simply replied, “The one you feed.”

  1. The struggles of the past year
    1. Sin
    2. Self
    3. Gossip, backbiting, bullying
    4. Financial
    5. Condemnation
  2. A promise for the new year
    1. There is NO CONDEMNATION
      1. FOR those who belong to Christ
    2. You Christian are living under a DIFFERENT PLAN than the children of the world
      1. Jesus Christ – our Savior
      2. God sent His only Son TO SAVE US
        1. He came as a human – A baby in a manger
      3. He lives a sinless life
        1. Yet died on a CROSS for our failures, sins and crimes
  • Christian, Jesus DESTROYED sins control over you
    1. FEED YOU HOLY SPIRIT
    2. STARVE THE WOLF OF SIN
  1. You Christian live with a DIFFERENT NATURE than the children of the world
    1. They are dominated by the sinFULL nature of the World
    2. YOU, Christian, are dominated by the HOLY SPIRIT, the very NATURE of Godliness
      1. EMBRACE the Spirit of God
      2. REJECT the sinful nature of the world
    3. Here is the reality of the nature of Christians:
      1. The Holy Spirit lives within you
      2. Jesus Christ lives within you
      3. God lives within you
        1. Even in physical death you will live eternally
        2. Even in a sin-filled, painful world you can live in PEACE and LIFE and the FREEDOM of NO CONDEMNATION
      4. The nature of your new year depends on which nature you choose to follow
        1. The sinful nature will lead to more hurt, disappointment, pain and loss
        2. The Holy Spirit of God will lead you to a better, more abundant life.
          1. Do you want to just EXIST for another year?
          2. Do you want to LIVE LIFE in 2018?
  • Watch what you take into your mind and heart!
    1. FEED THE GOOD WOLF – Godliness
    2. STARVE THE BAD WOLF – Flesh

An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship.  Similarly, the negativity of the world can’t bring you down unless you allow it to get inside of you!.

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12 31        End of Year Review/Inventory      Philippians 3:12 – 15

Philippians 3:12-16 “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.   I hope all of you who are mature Christians will agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you.  But we must be sure to obey the truth we have learned already.”    NLT

Today is the very last day 2017 has to give.  At midnight tonight 2017 will end and the new year of 2018 will begin.

Doesn’t sound fair?  Tough.

You still have 2017 New Year resolutions undone?  Tough

2017 work that needs completed?   TOUGH.

Business may be rushing even today to finish their 2017 inventory, paperwork, tax reports or even order fulfillments to meet their regulatory or contractual compliance because at Midnight 2017 ENDS.

The stock market, investors and leaders are waiting those end of year reports to measure the success or failure of the business and its future.

What about us?  Should we not pause from time to time and do a compete and thorough inventory of our lives?

Are we brave enough and curious enough to look deep into our finances, our heart, our mind and our Godliness and see what God already knows about our FAITHFULNESS?

  1. We already know we are FAR FROM PERFECT
    1. Taking time to reflect on areas that need attention is a smart use of time
    2. Look BACK
  2. We already know there is much work to be done in our lives in our pursuit to be the person Jesus gave His life for us to become for Him.
    1. LEARN
      1. Good judgement and wisdom comes from experience
      2. Experience comes from mistakes and failures more than successes
    2. We cannot change the mistakes of the past
      1. Only God can erase our record of failures, missteps and open disobedience
      2. Repent and LEAVE THEM BEHIND
        1. Forgetting the past – Don’t seek them out
      3. What we can do is focus all of our energy on BETTER
        1. LOOKING FORWARD to what lies ahead
        2. STRAIN to reach the potential God has for us
        3. RUNNING the race He has laid before us
        4. RECEIVING THE PRIZE Jesus has prepared for us
      4. Mature Christians will agree that we NEED to be BETTER Christians
        1. No excuses and No spinning the truth
        2. The WORD lays it all out clearly and we KNOW we need to improve
      5. Some may say we are “good enough” or that God will accept us for new life “just as we are”
        1. I believe that God will make the truth clear to you
        2. We must REPENT, turn our lives toward God and away from the poor excuses of self.
      6. Here is the simple, and unfortunately HARD truth, to the beginning of this process of repentance, renewal and personal revival:
        1. We already KNOW what we need to know
          1. Wisdom comes when we LEARN and LIVE the lessons of LIFE
          2. To quote Yoda, “that library contained nothing that the girl Rey does not already possess.”
  • Read the Word of God we MUST
  1. LIVE the Word of God we READ is VITAL
  1. We already have the TRUTH we need.
  2. We simply need to LIVE the truth of God and His Word we already have.
  3. LIVE FORWARD

10-15               Distractions

 

**Calls**

**Text**

**Toys**

**People**

**Building**

Luke 21:5-6 “Some of his disciples began talking about the majestic stonework of the Temple and the memorial decorations on the walls. But Jesus said,  “The time is coming when all these things will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”

We tend to be a people of stuff.

We tend to be a people of pride.

We tend to be a people who are proud of our stuff.

 

“Oh, look at this new thing I got”

“Oh, see the pretty decorations?”

“Got me a new truck, jealous?”

 

We get so easily sidetracked by the stuff of the world; even the stuff at church.

I am not saying that we do not take care of God’s Stuff, or want God’s stuff to look its very best.

But sometimes we humans can go overboard and spend a lot of God’s money building huge, giant glass edifices or brick castles we forget that it is God’s money.

We forget it serves a purpose but is a tool; and not one that will last forever.

The disciples were even caught up in the glitz and glamour of the structure.

They were DISTRACTED by the shiny objects of the world

The Temple Elite were more proud of their beautiful structure than the God who allowed them to serve inside of it.

Jesus had been teaching them some very important lessons about faith, giving, the resurrection and who He really is; but they are distracted by the “majestic stonework” and “memorial decorations”

He is preparing to teach them eschatology, a very important issue for every Christian to understand.

ESCHATOLOGY:  [es cuh TOL ih gih] — a theological term that designates the study of what will happen at the end of history, particularly the event known as the SECOND COMING of Christ. The word comes from two Greek words, ‎eschatos ‎(last) and ‎logos ‎(study) – thus its definition as “the study of last things.” (Nelson’s)

We will dive off into that after our Revival services.

Right now, Jesus wants their attention; they needed to focus on Him and not the building and decorations.

How can we grow closer to God if we are not even paying attention to Him?

Telling them that everything they see will soon be completely destroyed seems like a great way to garner someone’s attention.

What in the World has captured your attention more than God?

What can so easily distract you from seeking God and listening to His Son Jesus Christ?

Sports?            Hobbies?         Facebook?       Games?           Self?                Gossip?           Backbiting?            Boasting?        Alcohol/Drugs

Stop It!

What shiny object does our eternal enemy use to pull you off a life focused on God?

STOP IT!

All of that “stuff” is so temporary and meaningless.

What are you looking at or thinking about during Sunday School, Church, Bible Study or your personal devotion time WHEN you should be completely focused on God?

Your phone?  The Clock?

Get your attention back on the King of kings and Lord of lords!

10-8-2017                    Heart

Luke 21:1-5 “While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box.  Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins.  “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them.  For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.”   NLT

I find it interesting that this text is recorded right after Jesus tells us to “Beware of these teachers of religious law!” and one of the reasons given was that they “shamelessly cheat widows out of their property…”

These Temple Elitists would shame the small givers while smothering the big givers with praise and thanks.

Jesus FLIPS THE SCRIPT on the temple thieves yet again!

Jesus speaks of the HEART of a FAITHFUL GIVER

Our true heart is a major issue in our life

We cannot Love God and Love Others without giving…and risking our heart.

Proverbs 4:23 “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”

Deuteronomy 11:16-17 “But be careful. Don’t let your heart be deceived so that you turn away from the Lord and serve and worship other gods. If you do, the Lord ‘s anger will burn against you.”

1 Samuel 12:20 “Don’t be afraid,” Samuel reassured them. “You have certainly done wrong, but make sure now that you worship the Lord with all your heart, and don’t turn your back on him.”

  1. e poor widow gave out of her heart
    1. Her two small coins represented all she had
      1. But she wanted to give her all to God
    2. The rich people gave out of their surplus
      1. Not out of their income
      2. Not out of their faith
      3. …and you can bet they did it with flourish and an expectation of recognition
      4. You could infer here that if they had not surplus they would be giving no money
    3. Is our giving (money, time, talents, etc.) a gift of the heart?
      1. Is it about us?
        1. Are we giving EXPECTING anything?
          1. Value
          2. Special notice
        2. Is it about God?
          1. Faith
          2. Love
  • Obedience
  1. What little piece of obedience are we giving God while expecting great accolades?
    1. What are we willing to surrender to God?
      1. Funds
      2. Time
  • Self
  1. What are we UNWILLING to surrender to God?
    1. The One who created and provided everything we have
    2. What are we holding on to tightly?
  2. The poor widow gave everything she had
    1. Time
    2. Energy
    3. Faith, Hope and Love
    4. She was not forced, coerced, lied to or stolen from by the Temple Elite
      1. She gave from her faith
      2. She gave from her HEART
    5. All of her was poured out
      1. This is what God wants from us
        1. Whatever we have
        2. Whatever we are
          1. Surrender it all to Him
            1. It will be enough
            2. Even if the world thinks it is small
  • God will see it as a great gift

9-24-2017        “Is Marriage Forever”             Luke 20:27-40

Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection – and that was SadUSee

They used the example of marriage to try to trick Him, that was the wrong thing to do FOR MANY REASONS!

  1. They should know by now that they cannot trick Jesus
    1. But, as the text says, They are posers…questioning
  2. If there is one group of people on earth that BELIEVE in the resurrection STRONGLY it is married folks!
    1. Do you remember the movie “Charlie and the chocolate factory?” The one with Gene Wilder?
      1. Every Day I feel like Charlie at the end of that movie!
        1. After some missteps on his part, Everything is falls into place
        2. His dreams have come true!
      2. I feel like that every day when I wake up and still can’t believe God blessed me with the GREATEST SPOUSE EVER!
  • Connie’s experience may differ!
  1. MYTHBUSTER: But I have news for y’all – SHOCKING
    1. I aint gonna be married to Connie forever!
    2. THAT’S RIGHT
      1. Good for me because I will be in GLORY
      2. Good for Connie because she will be in GLORY – PLUS get a break from me!!!
    3. KNOW THIS! Every boy or girl friend, every spouse, who ever looked deep into your eyes and said “I will be yours FOREVER!”  – LIED!
    4. The vows end “Till Death Do You Part” for a reason!
  2. Some, like me, don’t want to lose what we have here on earth in a Godly, loving, beautiful, intelligent, driven spouse!
    1. Some, like Co…..; well SOME – might be looking forward to a well deserved REPRIEVE!
    2. After 7 marriages I bet this poor lady in our TEXT was READY for the Resurrection!  FINALLY Indeed!
  3. Marriage is for those living in the FIRST LIFE!
    1. Life here on earth…NOW
    2. Love and be FAITHFUL to your spouse NOW!
    3. Be there for your spouse NOW!.
    4. Send her flowers NOW! Send him ammo NOW!
  4. You see, Jesus taught us that in heaven we will all be the Children of God
    1. And face it…it would be weird to be married to your sister or brother for all eternity!
  5. MYTHBUSTER: As for the resurrection IT IS REAL!
    1. Moses proved it
      1. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are all alive in eternity.
    2. Jesus let Peter, James and John see this on the Mount of Trasfiguration recorded in Matthew 17 when Moses and Elijah appeared to them.
      1. This also answers one of the Questions from our Wednesday Night survey “Will we recognize our family when we get to heaven?”
      2. Apparently so BUT they will not be our spouses, children, grandparents, parents, Uncles, etc – They will be our Brothers and Sisters.
    3. Jesus taught and modeled resurrection
      1. Matthew 28….. You will remember ‘Early Sunday Morning”….and…”He aint here!  He is RISEN!”
      2. Mark 16 – Jesus was “Taken Up Into Heaven”
    4. Take heart – SECOND LIFE…ETERNAL LIFE…THE RESURRECTED LIFE is coming
      1. Earthbound relationships are for here on earth
      2. Heaven Bound relationships are forever
      3. It is worth the wait (Marriage and Resurrection)
        1. No more death
        2. Live forever as Gods Children
      4. If you are worthy
    5. ARE YOU WORTHY
      1. John 1:10-13 “He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.”

9-10-2017        Patriot

September 11th Timeline

Review of the Victims

Prayer

Monday is Patriots Day

Not patriotic day

There is a difference

There is a different between being a patriot and being patriotic.

Both can love their country.

Both can bear the colors

Both can go to parades and wave the flag

But, it is the patriot that is willing to apply their blood, sweat and tears into the country they love.

John 15:12-13   “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”   NLT

Patriotic Folk talk

True Patriots people put action to their words

More than 1.2 Million men and women have died in service to the United States

6915 USA military have died in the global war on terror

These are patriots

On September 11th, 2001 2,977 people were murdered by terrorist on our shores.

Some were true patriots

Some were patriotic Americans

Some were not.

Some were seeking to destroy our country.

Patriots Serve and Patriots Submit

Patriots do the hard and sometimes horrible work of their country

Patriots Bleed and Patriots sometimes die

Patriots do the work 99.4% will not do

  • Yes, only 0.4% of Americans are now serving in the uniform of the American Military
  • Yes, only 2% of those alive today are or have served under our American Flag

There is a difference between being a Christian and being  Religious

Both can go to church

Both can wear crosses and carry Bibles

Both can attend revivals and Covered Dish

But, it is the Christian that is willing to apply their blood, sweat and tears in faithFULL obedience to their Lord.

One loves their religion and may try hard to BE GOOD

The Christian loves their Lord and their neighbors.

The religious ones will seek to use their religion for their benefit

The Christian will seek to be used by God for His benefit

The religious talk

The real Christian SOLDIERS put ACTION to their WORDS

Real Christians Serve AND Submit

Real Christians do the hard work of a Faithful and obedient ministry

Real Christians get dirty

Real Christians sweat and bleed

Real Christians sometimes die.  We call the martyrs.

Real Christians do the vast majority of the Kingdom Work

A true percentage is not known

Is it the 0.4% like the military?   MAYBE

I prefer the 10/80/10 theory in most organizations

But others have told me I am too positive

What I do know is that every day we will come across:

A few TRUE Christians

Many Religious Folks – trying to be good/do their best but lost       Many folks who are lost and wandering with no idea

Many more who seek to tear down Christianity

Those who are a THREAT

This is why we are CALLED INTO SERVICE!

THERE IS SOME FIGHTING TO DO!

 2 Timothy 2:3-5 “Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.  Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them.”

1 Samuel 17:45 “David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord  of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”   NLT

Not against Flesh and Blood

Ephesians 6:11-12 “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”

We Fight AGAINST Evil

We fight FOR PEOPLE!

Love God more than they love the world

  • Seek ways to serve
  • Pray and GO!

Be a TRUE CHRISTIAN Patriot

Be an active, fervent, vital part of God’s Work

Seeking God and a Closer Walk of humble service CAN CHANGE OUR WORLD

2 Chronicles 7:13-16 “At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you. Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place. For I have chosen this Temple and set it apart to be holy—a place where my name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart.”

The TRUE Christian is called to be a TRUE patriot.

August 20        Luke 19:45-48             Purpose

This text speaks about the priority and purpose of the local church.

First Baptist has a purpose statement.  Anyone like to try to recite it from memory?

The Purpose of our church is to be the presence of Christ in our community and the World through Worship, Ministry, Evangelism, Fellowship and Discipleship.

We cannot properly and obediently fulfill our PURPOSE if we never seek our Kings instruction, guidance and correction!

We must become a house of prayer, preparation and listening intently.

  • Reality: To fulfill our purpose as a church we must gather as a church
    • The police “10 Codes” are fairly well known
      • 10-2 – Signal Good
      • 10-4 – OK
      • 10-25 – Meet in person (face to face)
    • Hebrews 10:23-25 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”  ESV
    • Reality: By this standard, Wednesday Nights SHOULD BE the biggest attendance night of the week!
      • It is not that we do not pray at our other services, we certainly do
      • Wednesday night is the time we set aside for the church family to gather together and join in one accord as we lift up prayer requests and praises to our King.
      • This is a time of seeking God and supporting each other THEN move into Bible Study.

If we truly were about seeking God

If we truly wanted to hear from Him

If we truly believed He hears our prayer

If we believe that He meant it when He told us to not neglect the gathering of ourselves together as His Children  (Hebrews 10:25)

If we believe that there is power in the gathering together of believers   (Acts:2:40 – 47)

  • Priority of prayer
    • The power of a church is not in the foolishness of preaching
    • The power of the church is not in a denomination or the paperwork
    • The full power of the church is not in the people
  • The power of the church resides in the Lord
    • who designed it,
    • called it,
    • empowers it and
    • uses it to build men and women of faith to serve Him through
  • Prayer is our communication “data port” with God
  • Priority of teaching and learning
    • We call this discipleship
    • We call this Spiritual growth
    • We call this spiritual formation
      • Corporately we do this on Sunday Mornings at 10 AM
      • Corporately we do this Sunday Morning at 11 AM
      • Corporately we do this Wednesday Evening at 6:30 PM
      • Corporately we do this at VBS
      • Corporately we do this at Revival Services
      • Individually we should be about this in our homes, at our workplaces and in our community.
    • Priority of focus/paying attention
    • For our praying and learning to be effective there is one more PRIORITY we can learn from this text:
      • The Priority of Listening INTENTLY
    • Church is participatory
    • Be there
    • Be involved
    • Be focused

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