Sermon Notes


9 23                 Unity/Tolerance

There are many forces seeking to drive people, communities, ….countries apart.  We need look no further than our newspapers, News shows or internet media to understand that is our reality.

God warned us about this behavior.

FOCAL:      Romans 16:17-18 “And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things that are contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them. Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people.  NLT

We CAN choose a better path!

Say NO to intolerance

There are those who would seek to divide and destroy us based on differences in color, heritage, political sides or other frivolous excuses.

Don’t let them

Yes, we do have differences.  So what.?

We used to be able to recognize them, deal with them, laugh at them, and move on.

Over the past 10 years or so it seems we only use them to go to war with each other.

There are times I think people are looking for things to divide us, separate us and make us fight; creating new ways to divide.

Don’t let them

We need to regain our collective sense of humor, tolerance and UNITY

We used to be able to laugh together about each other without the anger

Mel Brooks, Archie Bunker, George Jefferson, the Rat Pack and Richard Pryor gave us lots of material to laugh at…. they would be arrested today or terrorized.

Why and When did we stop laughing together and start fighting

A sense of humor is a terrible thing to lose

Our Founding Fathers created our Constitution to unify us, not divide us.  A common foundation and basic rules for government.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Union:  an act or instance of uniting or joining two or more things into one.  The growing together of SEVERED parts.

We are severed today.  We need UNITY!

In Christian theology, unity is the oneness of sentiment, affection or behavior. “How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”  Psalm 133

But how do we find this UNITY?      Faith, Hope and Love.

Colossians 3:12-15 “Since God chose you to be the holy people whom he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are all called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”   NLT

Amos 3:3 “Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?”   NLT

We may NEVER agree on everything, but we MUST agree on direction OR their WILL BE division

There is ONE WAY to repairing unity.  Jesus Christ.

Will You Walk with Him?

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9-16-2018                    Patience

We have been talking about love over the past few weeks.  To Love God, to love others, especially those in your same household – your family, then to spread love across our community, our state, our world; even to those who do not like us or that we consider enemies or opponents.

Now we are breaking love down into a few key components.  Last week we learned to be encouragers.  To build others up, to push them to better and greater things in life and to let them know that God and we are on their side.

Today we come to patience, maybe add in a bit of tolerance.

Patience is HARD, but critically important!

We need to love others with the GRACE of PATIENCE.

They might not deserve it, or earned it or even ask for it; but we (people) are in need of patience FROM GOD and from others.

FROM GOD:

1 Corinthians 13:4a…..“Love is patient and kind”

Romans 2:1-4 Don’t you realize how kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Or don’t you care? Can’t you see how kind he has been in giving you time to turn from your sin?”

God works on God’s Time.  NOT YOURS!  Be patient, it is worth the wait!

TO AND FROM OTHERS:

We HATE waiting, even more so when we are in some sort of hurry!

Ephesians 4:2 “Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.”  NLT

Remember that you are not perfect either!

YOU need patience and tolerance from God and others!

YOU AIN’T PERFECT!

Tolerate others as they tolerate you!

Jesus taught it this way:  “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”  NLT   – Matthew 7:12

Do we EVEN consider the life, needs or reality of others as we boil over?

That check out clerk you are silently mumbling about as you wait in line, tapping your toes and glaring your eyes; may have just lost their financial aid, be dealing with a critically ill parent or just got chewed out by her boss for something….maybe something beyond her control.

Maybe that old couple slowing you down as you seek to speed down the grocery isle just got some bad news from their doctor and are savoring each moment they have left together.

The stories could be endless but the message is the same:  BE PATIENT and give people a break.

Your time is coming soon enough, you will be slowing up traffic, cutting someone off or in need of a little undeserved grace.

We would be VERY concerned…agitated…ANGRY if we were treated so harshly, with such arrogance, rudeness and down right orneriness!…Why would we treat others this way?

BUT WE CAN BE BETTER THAN THIS!

We can be patient and tolerant.

We can talk with the, hear their story and share their pain…MAYBE even help them as we love them as Jesus loves us.

Proverbs 16:31-33 “Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by living a godly life.  It is better to be patient than powerful; it is better to have self-control than to conquer a city.   We may throw the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall.”   NLT

Often we become so arrogant that we think the world revolves around us and our “station” in life would protect us from these petty inconveniences.  “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? We shout.

It doesn’t matter!

It is BETTER to be PATIENT that POWERFUL!

Romans 12:12 “Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful.”   NLT

2 Peter 1:5b-9 “A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better. Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness. Godliness leads to love for other Christians, and finally you will grow to have genuine love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more you will become productive and useful in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  NLT

9 9 2017                      Encourage

Encourage:  give support, confidence, advice or hope to someone.

Be of Good Comfort

Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam,
Where the deer and the antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the skies are not cloudy all day.

 Chorus Home, home on the range,
Where the deer and the antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the skies are not cloudy all day.

2 Corinthians 13:11 “Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Rejoice. Change your ways. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.”   NLT

Today there is much said and done to discourage people.

The sad part is that the more hurting or broken a person is, the more discouragement is thrown at them.

  • Lady had LOTS of reasons to distrust men
    • She had been married 5 times
    • Who knows how many times she had been lied to, cheated on and mistreated
  • She had lots of history, shame and secrets to keep hidden from strangers, her neighbors and other men
    • She was a woman with a bad reputation
    • Does not mean she was a bad person
      • Just the subject of much gossip
      • Recipient of many disapproving stares and comments
    • She had been bullied and hurt by everyone
      • She probably received LITTLE to NO encouragement
    • Her was another strange man starting a conversation with her and asking her to serve Him
      • But this was no mere man
      • HOPE had arrived
        • Encouragement was before her
      • Here was man her race didn’t get along well with
      • Jews and Samaritans were generally enemies
        • They just didn’t get along
          • Religiously
          • Relationally
          • Culturally
          • Civilly
    • Jesus Encouraged her by:
      • Recognizing her as a person
      • Recognizing that she existed
      • Speaking to her politely
      • Telling her there was hope for her life
      • Being open and honest with her
      • Speaking the truth to her, IN LOVE
        • He knew about her history
        • He knew her life
        • He STILL offered her eternal life
        • He STILL told her He was the Messiah she had heard about
          • He was here for her.
        • Who do you know that needs to hear some encouraging Words?
          • Maybe even an enemy?
          • Maybe someone who is of a different belief system as you
          • Maybe they are of a different culture or faith
            • Encourage them
              • With Your Words
              • With your actions
              • With God’s Word

Hebrews 10:23-25 “Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.  Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.”    NLT

July 8, 2018      Luke 23:44 – 56    Living Realistic

  • Noon time: Darkness until 3 PM
    • The sin of all time FOCUSED on one place and time
  • Curtain of the Temple torn in two
    • No more separation
  • Jesus dies
    • Calling out to His Father
  • Centurion becomes a believer
    • At least partially “This was an innocent man”
  • Crowds left – sad
  • Only a few of those closest to Jesus remained
  • A believer named Joseph received permission to deal respectfully with the human remains of Jesus
    • Took Him to a borrowed, unused Tomb – never seen death
  • Everyone left
    • Sabbath quiet settled over the land
  1. Many came to Jesus when it was all about them
    1. They stayed as long as they got what they wanted
    2. They stayed as long as there was little or no controversy
    3. They stayed as long as staying was easy
      1. They like getting FREE STUFF
      2. They liked being cared for and supported
    4. Most left when it became all about Him
      1. It was hard to stay
      2. Jesus was in trouble with the Temple
      3. Jesus was in trouble with the government
      4. It seemed like Jesus was in trouble with the whole world
    5. Even fewer remained when it became about SERVING Him
      1. Talking to people in power about taking care of His body
      2. Taking Him down from the cross
      3. Carrying Him to the borrowed Tomb
      4. Preparing the spices and burial traditions for Sunday
        1. When there was work to do for Jesus most left
      5. Everyone left when it became about Him being dead and buried.
        1. He was gone
        2. In a tomb … buried in a hole

Life is always changing

Sometimes life is stable and comfortable

Sometimes life is like a rabid skunk;  you never know where it is going or what it is doing; all you know is that it stinks.  STAY CLOSE TO JESUS!

We USE these life ISSUES as EXCUSES for leaving Jesus!

 Everyone has bad days.

Everyone has good days

Everyone experiences tragedy and fear

JESUS makes the difference!

We think that we can somehow live our life OUR way and STILL remain in the CENTER OF GOD’S WILL and enjoy ALL that He has prepared for us.

It is unrealistic to expect to live in peace and joy when you will not remain in Christ

 It is unrealistic to expect to live in Holy provision when you will not remain in Christ

 It is unrealistic to expect to live in freedom when you will not remain in Christ.

 It is unrealistic to expect to walk in full grace when you will not Remain in Christ

 It is unrealistic to expect to walk in love when you will not remain in Christ

 It is unrealistic to expect to walk in forgiveness when you will not remain in Christ

The ONLY constant, unchanging ROCK you can depend on is Jesus Christ.  Even death did not keep Him from loving YOU.

Stay with Christ THROUGH IT ALL!  He will Carry you through all of life’s issues and into Heaven’s arms.

 Repent – He is always close

 The truth is that EACH OF US is as close to Jesus as WE CHOOSE to be…..HOW CLOSE ARE YOU?

April 29th, 2018          2 questions

Did you know that it is OK to ask Jesus who He is?  He is big enough to hear your questions and answer them.

But sometimes we are afraid….just like the disciple.

John 21:12 – 17 “Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said. None of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish. This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead.  After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”  “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”  “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.  Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”  “Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.” “Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.  A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”  Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”  Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.” 

Mark 8:27 – 30 “Jesus and his disciples left Galilee and went up to the villages near Caesarea Philippi. As they were walking along, he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”  “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say you are one of the other prophets.”  Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”  Peter replied, “You are the Messiah.”  But Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.” 

To todays text….

 Luke 22:66 – 71  66 At daybreak all the elders of the people assembled, including the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. Jesus was led before this high council, 67 and they said, “Tell us, are you the Messiah?”   But he replied, “If I tell you, you won’t believe me. 68 And if I ask you a question, you won’t answer. 69 But ft now on the Son of Man will be seated in the place of power at God’s right hand.”   70 They all shouted, “So, are you claiming to be the Son of God?”  And he replied, “You say that I am.”  71 “Why do we need other witnesses?” they said. “We ourselves heard him say it.”r

 The Holy Spirit inside you leads you to wonder “Who Is Jesus?”

Even unbelievers are led to ask, even if the disciples are afraid (John 21)

Are you the Messiah?  (Christ)

The Anointed One

The Savior or Liberator

The Promised Deliverer

The ONE WAY to the Father

Are you the Savior, Redeemer, Restorer we have BEEN

WAITING ON?

Are you the Son of God?

** Jesus called Himself the Son of Man – the Religious Elite said “Son of God”***

God come to us?

God born of man

Facing life as we face life

Facing trouble as we face trouble

Facing temptation as we face temptation

Living among us

Yet remaining fully God

Yet remaining fully sinless

Are You MORE THAN A MERE MAN?

We have been HURT and DISAPPOINTED by mere men MANY TIMES.

We WANT…we NEED more – WE NEED GOD!

 

Jesus knew there was no need to debate who He really is

You either believe or you do not

He knew that even the Temple Elite were not believers

They may have head knowledge

They may have heard the Spirits call

They HAD rejected Jesus

Maybe because of their ingrained traditions

Maybe because of fear

Maybe to keep their power

 

Either way – God IS God

Without your permission being required

Mary    Luke 1:26 – 38 and others

Mary was the earthly mother of Jesus Christ

She was a normal woman God used for His extraordinary purposes

Mary submitted to God’s call and bore our savior as a baby and raised Him to maturity.

  • Mary saw her Son accomplish great things
  • Mary saw her Son’s heart for humanity
  • Mary heard her Son teach the Word of God
  • Mary saw the boundless love her Son had for her and others

Mary also saw the hatred in the eyes and hearts of the Temple Elites and government officials

  • Mary saw and heard their plots and plans against her Boy
  • Mary saw her Son falsely accused and arrested
  • Mary witnessed the fake/political trials of her Son
  • Mary witnessed her Son being ridiculed and spit upon
  • Mary heard the lies and vile language spewing from the mouths of her neighbors and leaders
  • Mary witnessed the beatings her Son endured
  • Mary was present as the remains of His beaten flesh were hoisted naked upon a roman cross for all to see
  • Mary watched her Son die for the failures of all those gathered around and more
  • Mary buried her Son

But this is not all the story

Mary heard the love her Son had for her as he hung on the cross and provided for her future

Mary heard His cry, “It Is Finished”

Mary found His tomb EMPTY on Sunday, just as He had promised

Mary knew Her Son was God and would always, ALWAYS Live!

As a mother, Mary knew love and pain, triumph and tragedy, confusion and confidence through the life of her Son, Jesus.

As a believer, Mary found salvation, faith, hope and love through the Savior, the Messiah, the Son God gave to us through her.

Many mothers understand the sacrifice of parenthood.

Many mothers understand that there will be days of great pride and days of great pain.

Mothers submit to these, and an unknown future joyfully!

Motherhood is anticipated with expectant joy.

Why?

Love.  A great love that leads Mommy’s to bear the pain of childbirth to experience a lifetime of Love.

Luke 1:26 – 36  “In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David.  Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”   Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.  “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”  The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month.   For the word of God will never fail.”  Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.” 

 

Deuteronomy 6:4 – “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.  And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.  And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.  Repeat them again and again to your children.  [MINDS AND HEARTS] Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.  Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders.  Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

 

 Tomorrow we will be celebrating the great blessing God pours into our lives! We will celebrate the great blessing of our new life in Christ with a baptism service, the great joy of new life as His creation with our Baby Dedication Service and the great blessing of carrying and caring for His Creation in Motherhood as we honor all the mothers present! We will indeed have a great day tomorrow at First Baptist! Join us for Sunday School at 10 am and Church at 11 am tomorrow morning.

The Deacon       1Timothy 3:8-13

 If the work of God is going to get done there must be willing workers. Each and every Christian has that responsibility. Titus 3:8, 1 Peter 4:10, Galatians 5:13

God has given a special group of servants to the church.

These special servants are known as “deacons”.

In the early church these men were “servants” who assisted the elders or overseers (bishops) of the church.  These were men who knew how to serve and how to serve well.

In the 20th century we need men who follow in the footsteps of the original deacons.

THE WORK OF THE DEACON – Acts 6:1-7

Acts 6:1-7 “But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. Those who spoke Greek complained against those who spoke Hebrew, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food. 2 So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers.  “We apostles should spend our time preaching and teaching the word of God, not administering a food program,” they said. 3 “Now look around among yourselves, brothers, and select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. We will put them in charge of this business. 4 Then we can spend our time in prayer and preaching and teaching the word.”  5 This idea pleased the whole group, and they chose the following: Stephen (a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit), Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas of Antioch (a Gentile convert to the Jewish faith, who had now become a Christian). 6 These seven were presented to the apostles, who prayed for them as they laid their hands on them.   7 God’s message was preached in ever-widening circles. The number of believers greatly increased in Jerusalem, and many of the Jewish priests were converted, too.”   NLT

Verse 1 – The deacons were appointed when the work required them                                                                                                    

 Verse 2 – The deacons were appointed when the word of God could have been neglected.                                                                              

Vs. 3 – The deacons were appointed when Godly men were available.             

Vs. 4 – The deacons were appointed when leaders had their priorities straight.                                                                              

 Vss. 5-7 – The deacons were appointed and the church grew.

 THE WAY OF THE DEACON – Vss. 8-12

1 Timothy 3:8-13 “In the same way, deacons must be people who are respected and have integrity. They must not be heavy drinkers and must not be greedy for money.  They must be committed to the revealed truths of the Christian faith and must live with a clear conscience. Before they are appointed as deacons, they should be given other responsibilities in the church as a test of their character and ability. If they do well, then they may serve as deacons.  In the same way, their wives must be respected and must not speak evil of others. They must exercise self-control and be faithful in everything they do.  A deacon must be faithful to his wife, and he must manage his children and household well.  Those who do well as deacons will be rewarded with respect from others and will have increased confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus.”   NLT

The deacon is to be:                                                                            

  1. A man of good behavior – Verse 8, 10b
  2. 2.     A man of pure conscience – Verse 9                                         
  3. 3.     A man who has been proved – Verse 10a                                       
  4. 4.     A man who has a Godly wife – Verse 11                                        
  5. 5.     A man who has his household in order – Verse 12

Perfection is not required, but consistency is….a life known for Godly submission and character.

 THE WAGES OF THE DEACON – Verse 13

The one who is a good deacon earns a good degree or “rank”.

He is promoted in the eyes of God and Man and might go on to bigger and better things for God (Consider Stephen in Acts 6-7).

But even if he does not, his testimony for and his ultimate reward from the Master will be worth it.

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