Sermon Notes

2-10-2019                            throw the trash, keep the LOVE

Ephesians 4:17-32 “With the Lord’s authority let me say this: Live no longer as the ungodly do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their closed minds are full of darkness; they are far away from the life of God because they have shut their minds and hardened their hearts against him. They don’t care anymore about right and wrong, and they have given themselves over to immoral ways. Their lives are filled with all kinds of impurity and greed. But that isn’t what you were taught when you learned about Christ. Since you have heard all about him and have learned the truth that is in Jesus, throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes.  You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness — righteous, holy, and true.  So put away all falsehood and “tell your neighbor the truth” because we belong to each other.  And “don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil. If you are a thief, stop stealing. Begin using your hands for honest work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he is the one who has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.  Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”    NLT

Did you ever see the TV Show “Hoarders?”  People have the inability throw away ANY possession, even to the point of separating themselves from society and driving even their own family away.

Sometime I think we are some messed up people.

We love our stuff, but use people – BACKWARDS

We hold on to the things of this WORLD, but toss relationships aside

We love the refuse and Refuse to Love the people

We should be on the TV Show

Stuff is temporary, Love is forever

But, there is more stuff in our lives than stuff that separates us from people!

  1. The world likes to live in, to revel in, the trash.
    1. Tabloids
    2. Feed that 24 hour news cycle
    3. Watch Maury, the View, all the other
    4. The more sensational the better
    5. Fake news, fake profiles and fake people
      1. They don’t care if they are right or wrong
      2. They are not concerned with morality, honor and truth
    6. Lives marred by impurity, greed and self
    7. Dig up that dirt
      1. Make it up if necessary
    8. Christian, you should be MUCH different
      2. You KNOW BETTER
    9. Throw away falsehoods
      1. Speak the TRUTH in LOVE
    10. Throw away ANGER
      1. If you live in anger it will destroy you
    11. Throw away STEALING
      1. Be honest and LIVE honest
    12. Throw away ABUSIVE or FOUL language
      1. Toss profanities
      2. Stop weaponizing words
        1. Hurting others
        2. Lying, spinning, twisting
        1. Bitterness
        2. Rage and anger
        3. Harsh words and slander
        4. All bad behaviour
      4. KEEP THE LOVE
        1. Let everything you do be good and helpful
        2. Use your words to encourage
        3. Keep kindness
        4. Keep tenderheartedness
        5. Keep forgiveness
          1. God is Love
            1. He has forgiven you through Jesus Christ

1-27                 Potential

 Ephesians 4:11 – 16 “He is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ, until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ.

 Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or because someone has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth. Instead, we will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.

 Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”   NLT

  1. You are NOT your own
    1. God MADE you to be unified with Him and other believers
  2. You are KNOWN by God because He put everything inside you AND He knows how He desires you use EVERYTHING He has given you.
  3. God made you to be a gift to Him and Others
    1. He gave you the Gift of LIFE
    2. He gave you the gift of GROWING
    3. He gives you the gift of POTENTIAL
  4. You, Christian, hold the potential of Christ in you
    1. How will you build that potential?
    2. How will you release that potential?
  5. Your potential really depends very little on you
    1. Your potential is wrapped up in the wisdom and power of God Almighty
      1. It was not Moses’ potential that parted the Red Sea or fed a million people in the desert.
      2. It was not Daniels potential that shut the lions mouths
      3. It was not Paul’s potential that opened the prison doors
      4. It was not Peters potential that saved 3000 people at one service
      5. All these and MORE were testaments to God’s power and potential
  1. Moses, Daniel, Paul, Peter and millions more only part was to release God’s potential THROUGH them by saying what Isaiah said in Chapter 6: “Here I am Lord, send me”
  2. We, mere mortals, have access to the full potential of God through our FAITH and OBEDIENCE
  3. “Mark 12:24 “Jesus replied, ‘you’re mistake is that you don’t know the scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.”
    1. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God
    2. Faith comes by obeying Christ out of Love
      1. Even if it is only the size of a mustard seed
  4. YOU:
    1. Are not powerless
    2. Are not weak
  5. You do not need to be pushed aside, looked over or hide anymore.
    1. Simply need to access what God has already given you
      1. Paul wrote to the church of Ephesus to, “Be STRONG in the Lord and in His mighty power”
      2. Power for healing as with the woman with the issue: Luke 8:46 Jesus felt healing power go out from himself
      3. Power to serve: “For God is working in you giving you the desire and the POWER to do what pleases Him”    Philippians 2:13
      4. Power and potential for great things: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of POWER, LOVE and SELF-DISCIPLINE”  2 Tim 1:7

Your life, your POTENTIAL is from and about God.

Your potential, and the gifts, talents, abilities and POWER to RELEASE and LIVE your potential are from Him.

Live Godly lives and both access and release your FULL potential.

12-23-2018                  Christmas – Just the Right Time

Galatians 4:1-7 “Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves great wealth for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had. They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set.  And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were slaves to the spiritual powers of this world. But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law.  God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.   And because you Gentiles have become his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, and now you can call God your dear Father.   Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, everything he has belongs to you.”

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, or as the song says “It’s the MOST wonderful time of the year.”

Christmas is the right time for:

  • Time
    • Time is our greatest gift
      • Time for family
      • Time for friends
      • Time with God
    • Food
      • Yeah, go ahead and eat those cookies!
      • Christmas Calories are the good calories!
    • Family
      • Christmas should be a family time
      • It is also the right time to try to restore broken relationships
        • Yes, even with that uncle or 3rd cousin
    • Friends
    • Spend some time with your friends
      • Maybe seek to repair some problems in those relationships as well
    • Faith
      • What better time to seek Jesus than on His Birthday!
        • Look for Him among the glittery lights, artsy cards, brilliant trees and nativity scenes
        • If you look for Him He will be found


  • Because God knows your need for His Son
    • He knows if you’ve been sleeping
    • He knows when your awake
    • He knows if you’ve been bad or good
      • SO REPENT for heavens sake
    • We were slaves to this world and it’s evil control
      • We were “Hades bound with the hammer down”
    • At JUST THE RIGHT TIME – Christmas
      • God sent us a gift
      • A gift that would last more than a day or a season
      • A gift that would last forever!
    • Through the Baby and His Death and resurrection we have
      • Freedom Forever
      • Life, NEW and ETERNAL
      • Become one of the Kings Kids
    • Our ABBA Father gave us a great gift
  • Isaiah 9:6-7 “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His ever expanding, peaceful government will never end. He will rule forever with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David. The passionate commitment of the LORD Almighty will guarantee this!” NLT
    • Christmas is just the right time for Jesus
      • The King has come to save, secure, serve, help, heal, hold, comfort, care, commit, restore, redeem, energize, encourage, bring life, hope, peace and love; all through Faith.
    • DO YOU HAVE THE TIME? – NOW is just the right time for Jesus

12 9 2018       The bad of Christmas

This time of year we all like to celebrate the GOOD part of Christmas.

John 1:1-5; 14  “In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and he was God. He was in the beginning with God.  He created everything there is. Nothing exists that he didn’t make.  Life itself was in him, and this life gives light to everyone.  The light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it….So the Word became human and lived here on earth among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father.”  NLT

The Word becomes flesh, God with us.  Emmanuel.

But we don’t want to be honest about the bad part of Christmas.

Yes, Christmas has a bad side

Reality/ Murphy’s law usually sets in hard
Someone’s sewer will back up
Someone’s heat/AC will go out
Someone’s beautiful light display will fail…at the wrong time
Unrealized expectations
Don’t get the gift you want or need or can even use
Don’t get the reaction you want
Don’t enjoy the day as you planned
Stuff that happens during Christmas
Someone will cancel
Someone will over imbibe
Someone will fight or argue
You know that someone’s pets are gonna tear the tree down!
All your hard work will seem to have been wasted on in laws and outlaws who don’t appreciate everything you have done

Where does Christmas go bad?  How can such a joyFULL season take such a drastic turn…..downward?

When we lose focus on the WHY of Christmas – CHRISTMAS GOES

Christmas goes bad when we lose sight of WHO the season is about!

Learn from Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42 “As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a village where a woman named Martha welcomed them into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was worrying over the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”  But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are so upset over all these details!  There is really only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it — and I won’t take it away from her.”  NLT

Christmas isn’t about gifts, or lights or Mistletoe
Christmas isn’t about meals, or snacks or even pie
Christmas isn’t even about time, schedules or travel,
Christmas isn’t about you!

Christmas is about The birth of Jesus! God with us!
In a manger now               Growing up among us
     Dying for us in a few short years            Rising again to save us
Here, With us here today
In us      Around us      Above us       
With us!

Christmas is also about the REASON for the REASON for the SEASON

We had really messed up

God wanted us to have a relationship with Him, an ETERNAL relationship

So He sent His Son as a baby, to be with us, to teach us the right way, to show us the better way and finally to die so we could travel that ONE WAY to God.

Messiah: The Promised deliverer of the Jewish Nation

Luke 2:8-14 “That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep.  Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terribly frightened, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! The Savior — yes, the Messiah, the Lord — has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David!  And this is how you will recognize him: You will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth!”  Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others — the armies of heaven — praising God:  “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors.” NLT

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11-18               Content and ThankFULL

Philippians 4:10-20 “How grateful I am, and how I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but for a while you didn’t have the chance to help me. Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little.  I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.  But even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty.  As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I brought you the Good News and then traveled on from Macedonia. No other church did this. Even when I was in Thessalonica you sent help more than once.  I don’t say this because I want a gift from you. What I want is for you to receive a well-earned reward because of your kindness.  At the moment I have all I need — more than I need! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable to God and pleases him.  And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.  Now glory be to God our Father forever and ever. Amen.”   NLT

America has become a CONSUMER SOCIETY

  • We all want more….better…faster….newer…shinier
  • We all want the newest and the bestest
    • We seem to never BE CONTENT
    • We never seem to be THANKFUL for what God has provided.
  • Paul was thankful for everything he received
    • Ministry funding
    • Relationships
  • Paul was THANKFULL and CONTENT with what he had
    • Happy when he had much
    • Happy when he had little
      • It really did not matter to Paul – He was good.
    • How?
      • He KNEW He could do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING with the help of Jesus Christ
      • Gave him strength
        • With a full belly
        • With an empty belly
        • With plenty of support
        • With very little support
      • Paul was able to do everything God had for him to do THROUGH Jesus Christ.
  • Does this mean we can drop giving for the Cooperative Program or Vocational Evangelists and just tell them to have more faith?
    • NO
    • Paul told the church at Philippi that:
      • They had done WELL to share with him
      • No other church supported him as they did
      • Their gifts made a DIFFERENCE FOR THE KINGDOM!
        • They needed to know that God led them to give and their gifts were important gifts of faith and obedience to God
          • They were a “sweet smelling sacrifice” that made God smile
  • Paul was content and thankful with everything God supplied him through the churches he served.
    • I am Thankful for this Church
    • I am Thankful for faithful members
    • I am thankful for those who visit
    • I am thankful for those who take initiative to get things done
      • A ministry
      • A project
      • A hug and compassionate ear
        • Self-motivated folks serving God by serving here at First Baptist
      • Are we?
      • Are you?

Be Grateful     Be PraiseFULL           Be ConcernedFULL

Be ContentFULL       Be ThankFULL          Be FaithFULL


The United States Military demands FOCUS.

Distractions are quickly dealt with.

Clothing is uniform.

Equipment is uniform.

Wording and response – uniform


Procedures are uniform

Everything is uniform

If the rocks vary too much – paint them and make them uniform.

The military has some very firm and ….colorful…ways of encouraging those who become distracted to get their FOCUS right.

Goal being no distractions and clarity of focus.

God expects the same from us!

Philippians 4:8-9 “And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.  Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you.”    NLT

There seems to be a continuous Tsunami Wave of “STUFF” vying for our attention, our focus and our time.

We are BOMBARDED with internet, e-mail, commercials, bill boards, shouts, violence, news, beeping APP notifications, alarms, ringers, newspapers, car horns, lights and MORE

There is a WAR for your ATTENTION, and you are probably LOSING!

This DISTRACTION SICKNESS is overwhelming!


We need FOCUS

We need HELP!!!

We can turn off the Radio, TV, phone and computer for a little while BUT the withdraws soon set in and we are back on facebook or checking our e-mails or playing our game.

We rationalize and justify.


It is not that these TOOLS are not helpful to our lives, or beneficial to our work; it is the way we so QUICKLY become consumed by them and FORGET how to THINK and FOCUS on one singular thing.

We have developed the attention spans of a Golden Retriever Puppy, the memory of goldfish and somehow the superiority complex of a Siamese Cat!

We need FOCUS.


We need HELP!

Paul encourages us to FOCUS!

  • He told us to fix our thoughts on what is true and right
  • Paul wants us to think about what is pure and lovely
  • He encourages us to ponder things that excellent and worthy of praise.
  • Paul, who at one time, as Saul, had practiced a Godless religion that persecuted Christians, NOW encourages us to keep putting into practice all we had learned from him about living a life of faith, trust and service to God.
  • By reading the works of Paul in the Bible we can understand that Paul was encouraging people to FOCUS ON GOD!
    • Paul knew the peace of fixing our thoughts on Jesus Christ.
  • If you want the PEACE OF GOD
    • You must live life God’s Way
    • Faith
    • Hope
    • Love
    • Humility
    • Service

Focus your life on God and He will take care of everything

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