April 23, 2017:       Love is….minimum? OR  How DEEP is your love?

Luke 17:7-10 “Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’?  Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’?   Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded?  So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'” ESV

When we are in love with someone we are willing to “go that extra mile” to make them happy.  We will spend the extra money and time to travel across the state just to visit them.  We will buy them something just because we know they will enjoy the gift.  We may…MAY…even take out the trash or do laundry without even being asked; just because we love them.

How much more should we be willing to give to GOD and serve God out of our love for Him?

Why do we make excuses?

Why do we figure out what our minimum financial gift will be?

Why do we struggle with spending time with Him in SS, Church, Prayer meetings, ministry events, revivals, Bible readings, prayer and more?

  • We like to be served
    • We like to take advantage of those who serve us
      • We don’t know them
      • We certainly don’t love them
      • We demand and demand
        • My drink has been empty for 48 seconds
        • I cannot believe this line is so long and the checker is so slow
  • We always want more
    • We want to feel more important
    • We want to feel more special
    • We want to feel more submission from those below us
      • We are an arrogant people
    • So much of our culture seems to be focused on doing the BARE MINIMUM – just enough to get by
      • How many widgets or sprockets am I expected to make
      • How long do I have to complete this task
      • How little can I do and keep the boss happy

We FAIL when we serve God with this attitude

    • How MUCH MORE can I do for my Savior?
    • Can I reach just ONE MORE today?
    • We should always serve Jesus with our BEST – not our MINUMUM!
    • When we only DO THE MINIMUM for God we should feel ashamed.
    • When we bring that attitude to the Cross – To Jesus – to His Church….. we become much surprised
      • We find that we have responsibilities to serve
      • We learn that we have the EXPECTATION to serve
      • We find out that God has a plan for our lives that includes service
      • WE SHOULD FIND that our LOVE FOR GOD leads us to EXCEED EXPECTATIONS in serving Him!
        • How would God rate your love for Him/others?
  • This is where our REAL ATTITUDE kicks in
    • This is where we find out HOW DEEP OUR LOVE FOR GOD REALLY IS!
    • This is when our FAITH kicks in
    • This is when our HUMILITY kicks in
    • This is when our LOVE FOR GOD AND OTHERS kicks in
      • Do we really LOVE God
      • Do we LOVE OUR IDEA of God
        • What HE CAN DO FOR US
          • How can God SERVE ME?

A man was invited to a wedding of a young lady he really didn’t know, although he had great respect and admiration for her father who was his friend. When considering the gift to give to the young bride, he considered that his gift was not so much about the bride, but about honoring the father of the bride. He concluded that you cannot honor the father by throwing pennies at the bride.

  • What is our life to be AFTER we are SAVED?
    • We are not SAVED to SIT
    • We are SAVED to SERVE
    • We are SAVED to SUBMIT
    • We are SAVED TO GIVE
    • We are SAVED to GO
    • We are SAVED to LOVE – Completely & Unconditionally
  • Do your Best
  • Do your most
  • Not out of DUTY
  • Not out of LEGALISM
  • Do all you can do OUT OF YOUR LOVE!
    • EXCEED the requirements of the LAW and the WORD
    • EXCEED the expectations of your religion and your pastor
    • EXCEED the expectations of even GOD
      • God sure did EXCEED our expectations

Last week we looked very closely at how GREAT God’s Love

is for you.  The question this week is how GREAT is your love for God?

November 26, 2016

Be thankful for what you have, not what you want.

Luke 14:7-11 “Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them,  “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him,  and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  ESV

  • SHOW HUMILITY – Verses 7-11
    • It is almost impossible for a prideFULL or arrogant person to feel thankFULL.
      • They already think life is all about them
      • Any good thing that happens is because of them
        • Boss when you do something amazing: “I am sure glad I HIRED you.”
      • We like to think we are really something
      • It hurts when we find out we ain’t all that we think we are
      • We are not to seek the spotlight OR the place of honor
        • but rather we are to act humbly.
      • Instead of seeking places of prominence, we are to seek humble places.
      • Being thankFULL requires us to:
        • Put God first
        • Put others next
        • Be thankFULL for God and all the people He places in our lives
          • Not to seek to be above or better than both
          • This was Adam and Eves downfall
            • They were deceived into thinking they could be like God
            • They should have just remained ThankFULL for all He had given them
      • This was the devils (Lucifer – son of the morning) downfall
        • He thought he should be equals with or better than God
          • He should have just been thankFULL for what God had blessed him with
      • It can be our downfall as well
        • We think we DESERVE better than we have received
        • We think we KNOW better than God
        • We think we should have the place of PRIVILEGE because we have WORKED so hard, GIVEN so much or SACRIFICED more than others.
        • We should just be thankFULL for what God has given us
        • We should be thankFULL for who God is in our lives
          • We are to let others exalt us and not exalt
  • SHOW THANKFULNESS
    • Invited to a banquet
      • Be thankful you were invited
      • Be humble and sit in the worse seat
        • You still get fed
        • Head table or the kids table
        • You still get fed the banquet
      • You are still there
    • Maybe, you will be blessed and invited to move up
      • Don’t be greedy for you don’t have
  • Be thankFULL for what you are given
  • Be thankFULL for the opportunity
  • Be thankFULL for the invitation
  • Be thankFULL you were able to attend
  • Be thankFULL for what God has provided in EACH and EVERY situation

Be thankFULL for the LOVE OF GOD and His OFFER of SALVATION and ETERNAL LIFE!

Simmer Down           Luke 11:37 – 54

This political season we are easily pulled into to debates/squabbles/fights of the election process.

This is a time of hyperbole – political passion – hard head absolutes

But isn’t that the way we are? 

We know what’s best…even if we don’t

 

OUR candidate is the best and your is ROTTEN

Any words/posts are open game to immediate and harsh attacks.

Often without really listening to what was being said.

 

We get LOCKED INTO something way to easily

We do not even want to think about being wrong

We don’t even like to ask questions or listen to opposing info

 

We need to simmer down

 

  1. We get so caught up in the stuff we think is so critical
    1. We forget the more important issues
    2. We get all wrapped up in the eternally insignificant
    3. The Pharisees worried more about their RELIGIOUS MOTIONS than they did a true living faith
    4. The Pharisees focused on what people saw – APPEARANCE
      1. They looked the part
        1. But they didn’t really LIVE the part
      2. The needed to SIMMER DOWN and LOVE
    5. The lawyers focused on the nit-picky points of the law
      1. Particularly the areas they could use to control
      2. Particularly the areas that did not affect their lives
  • They put a heavy burden on people
    1. They were “EXPERTS” in the Mosaic Law
    2. The needed to SIMMER DOWN and LOVE
  1. We forget God is sovereign God
    1. He is both KING and LORD
      1. WHOEVER is elected, God is in control
      2. Whoever wins the election, they will face reelection
        1. God is God FOREVER
      3. God will have the final say
    2. We are so quick to point out problems or issues with others
      1. But slow to look inside our own lives.
    3. We like to MAJOR in the stuff we feel we can control
      1. We usually MINOR in the stuff of real importance.
      2. Having the best seat in the house can still leave us dead
        1. Inside and eternal
      3. Jesus wants us to know:
        1. We are called to be servants
          1. Humble
          2. Faithful
        2. We are called to be holy
          1. Clean inside and outside
          2. Set apart from the filth of this world
        3. Love God and Love Others
          1. We need to grow up
        4. Ephesians 4:15 “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,…”ESV
        5. Faithful Obedience is better than sacrifice
          1. 1 Samuel 15:22 “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.” ESV
          2. Matt 9:13 13 “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not  For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” 
          3. God is Lord of ALL
            1. Inside and outside
          4. Love is greater
          5. Knowledge of God and His Word is greater
        6. Your relationship with God is PRIMARY
          1. Do everything you can to build that relationship BEFORE you worry about the rest

We need to refocus our hearts on the things we should truly be passionate about.

Family                        Church Family          God     God’s Word

SIMMER down on the MINOR stuff and FIRE UP our FAITH

 

 

 

Luke 7:36 – 50            10-25-2015     Broken Power

  1. When you learn about Jesus Go To Him
    1. Repentant
    2. Humble
    3. Serving
  2. Never reject a sinner who repents
    1. Simon had a broken view of God
      1. God should only help who Simon said were worthy
    2. Simon the Pharisee did
      1. A sinner calling a sinner a sinner
      2. “If He only knew…”
        1. Who do you think Jesus is Simon?
          1. A teacher
          2. A good guy
          3. A prophet?
  3. Here is a question for that legalist, “holier than thou” Pharisee Simon:
    1. If he knew she was a well-known sinner
    2. If he knew her lifestyle and her “Job”
    3. If Simon was so repulsed by her …
      1. WHY WAS SHE EVEN AT HIS HOUSE?
        1. Oh, we are not to ask that of the Temple Elite!
        2. That is HYPOCRISY at its very clearest
  4. Jesus knew EXACTLY who was washing His feet with their tears
    1. Nothing about her life was hidden from Him
    2. Nothing about Simon or the Pharisee’s lives were hidden from Him
    3. Nothing in YOUR life is hidden from Him
    4. Do your WORDS and ACTIONS reflect Biblical Faith?
      1. Or, like the TEMPLE ELITE, do they reflect human traditions and opinions
    5. I fear we forget the power of salvation and what it feels like to be FILLED WITH THE LOVE OF GOD at Salvation
      1. If we ever truly experienced Him
        1. Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” ESV
      2. I fear that many millions of people sitting in padded church pews all around the world this weekend are just like these Pharisees.
        1. Strongly abide and enforce the tradition of the church
        2. Keeping the humanistic or legalistic rules
        3. COMPETELY MISSING a relationship with God
        4. THINKING they are God’s Child but NO LOVE
  5. Understand that there are no sinners God cannot forgive
    1. With a repentant heart
    2. With a faith that believes in Jesus
    3. By Grace ALONE through FAITH alone in CHRIST alone
    4. Who have you given up on because you think they are “Too far gone” for God to help
  6. This lady knew exactly who she was
    1. A sinner
      1. Looked down upon by society
      2. Ashamed of her lifestyle
      3. Used and abused by men – EVEN politicians and Temple Hypocrite Elitists
        1. She felt dirty and ashamed
        2. So she came to Jesus for
          1. Help
          2. Hope
          3. New Life
      4. A sinner seeking forgiveness and restoration
        1. A SINNER BROKEN before Holy God
          1. No words recorded
          2. Actions
            1. Repentant
            2. Humble
            3. Serving
          3. The Religious Temple Elite asked “Who is this, who even forgives sins?”
            1. So religious
            2. So legalistic
            3. So far from the Grace and Mercy of God
              1. HE IS Jesus Christ
                1. The living Son of our Living God
                2. Our Deliverer and Our Savior
              2. The folks had a busted faith
                1. Broken of Love and Compassion
                2. Broken of Faith and Restoration
                3. Broken away from God
        2. “Your faith has saved you; go in peace”
          1. So many are searching for peace.
            1. Peace is a gift
            2. Peace is bestowed by God
            3. Peace is God’s Word pronounces
              1. Peace though faith
              2. Peace through repentance
              3. Peace through love

Now OR Later            August 16th    Luke 6:20-26

We have become a society of the here AND Now.

We are all about the INSTANT gratification.

But there is a cost.

Can’t afford that new car or TV now?

No worries – CHARGE IT.  /no interest for 2 years

Don’t have time to cook a home meal?

Hit McDonalds – sure the preservatives last for years but hey –

it’s food!???   Right??

Cell phones, microwaves, computers – all for instant communication

No more Pony Express or Snail Mail

We want what we want, when we want it, how we want it or we will call 9-1-1 because we didn’t get it!

We need to figure out if it is better to be SATISFIED NOW or LATER!

  1. We are told that we are to be the KING OF OUR OWN DOMAIN – to never depend on anyone for anything because they will let you down or pull you down
    1. But understanding that you have many limits and problems and YOU NEED GOD:   Gains you the KINGDOM OF GOD
    2. Those who depend only on THEMSELVES can only gain the rewards they can provide themselves
      1. And the Kingdom of God does not qualify
  2. We are Baptists, and we don’t believe in being hungry.
    1. This has nothing to do with physical hunger
    2. This is a SPIRITUAL HUNGER
    3. The reality is that we should ALWAYS be hungry for God and His Word
    4. If we are not hungry then WE ARE FULL OF OURSELVES!
    5. How hungry are you for a deeper relationship with God?
    6. How hungry are you for God’s Word?
    7. How hungry are you for Biblical Faithfulness and Righteousness?
  3. There are those that say that Christians should always be HAPPY, RICH and ON TOP OF THE WORLD
    1. This is wrong and contrary to the evidence of scripture
      1. When was the last time you wept over YOUR SIN?
      2. When was the last time you wept over the LOSTNESS of your UNSAVED friend or family member?
      3. When was the last time you wept over the bad choices/lack of faith from a Christian Brother or Sister
      4. Jesus Wept
      5. Where is your compassion and desire?
      6. When was the last time you shed TEARS OF JOY?
    2. If all you do is laugh and crow then you need a heart examination that no cardiologist is capable of doing!
      1. Let the Word of God open up your heart and show you your need for a little SPIRITUAL SURGERY
  4. If you are doing Christianity RIGHT, people will be talking down about you
    1. I am not blind or ignorant.
      1. I know some of the things said about this big, loud, gun loving Preacher
      2. I see the faces of the unbelievers as I share a short devotional at a shooting range or a public arena
      3. I know there are times I am not invited to functions because of who I am and the ONE I stand for in life.
      4. I sense the fear as I talk to a student or leader
      5. It’s all good
        1. The reality is there should be MORE PEOPLE Spreading the hate
        2. Saying don’t invite HIM
        3. Pushing me/us out to the margins
    2. If we are not experiencing any PUSH BACK
      1. WE ARE NOT BEING EFFECTIVE CHRISTIANS
    3. I can worry about my reputation, personal comfort, personal satisfaction and WHATNOT  – LATER
      1. Now is for GOD
      2. Now is for FAITH
      3. Now is for OBEDIENCE
        1. LATER will be AMAZING
          1. LATER WILL BE HEAVEN
          2. LATER WILL BE the WEDDING SUPPER
          3. LATER WILL BE “Well Done Good and Faithful Servant”
          4. LATER WILL BE AWESOME!
        2. What are you more focused on?
          1. Your comfort, wealth and BELLY
            1. Instant gratification REGARDLESS OF THE COST
            2. Regardless of the long term consequences
            3. Gimme, Gimme, Gimme
          2. OR The Kingdom of God
            1. Lord, I am Yours!
            2. I will follow you
              1. Regardless of how tough or steep  the path may become
              2. I will YIELD everything of this world now for an ETERNITY with you
          3. KNOWING it will all be AMAZING later
            1. AFTER your MISSION TRIP to earth is finished