God made you with His own hands, formed you with His fingers; but when he finished shaping you He was not done, you were not alive yet.

God could have chosen to leave you like al the critters He had already made, but God had a greater love for you.

So God did something for you He did not do with any other thing on the planet…..

He powered you with a little bit of Himself!

He breathed into you and have you life.

God powered you with His Spirit.

You are God made and you are God powered.

You are special


January 28, 2018         Luke 22:1 – 6          Betrayed

Luke 22:1-6  “The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which begins with the Passover celebration, was drawing near.  The leading priests and teachers of religious law were actively plotting Jesus’ murder. But they wanted to kill him without starting a riot, a possibility they greatly feared.  Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples, and he went over to the leading priests and captains of the Temple guard to discuss the best way to betray Jesus to them.  They were delighted that he was ready to help them, and they promised him a reward.   So he began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus so they could arrest him quietly when the crowds weren’t around.”

  1. The Passover celebration was approaching.  Celebrating the night the people who were protected by the blood were spared.
  2. There are people who we would THINK would be on God’s side, serving Him, doing things His way
    1. But are they?
      1. Leading Priests (elite, top, Boss Priests, senior)
      2. Teachers of the religious Law
        1. “Actively plotting Jesus’ murder”
      3. Sure sounds like they are ENEMIES of God
    2. Add to that group a DISCIPLE (follower) of Jesus Christ
      1. Filled with Satan
      2. Actively seeking ways to betray Jesus
    3. We quickly see that NOT everyone who looks, acts and talks the part of a Christian are indeed Christians.
      1. Not everyone you come across in life will have your best interest at heart
        1. No matter how “nice” they look
        2. No matter how much you seem to have in common
  • No matter if their goals seem to line up with your goals
  1. There are a lot of FAKE FOLKS out there and many are FIENDS!
  1. Have you ever had to deal with betrayal?
    1. Someone who told your deepest personal discussions
    2. Someone who turned you over to an enemy
    3. Gossip, lies, backstabbers, disloyal FAKE FRIENDS
      1. You wonder if you were set up from the beginning
    4. The saddest thing about betrayal is that in never comes from your enemies! It comes from friends and loved ones!
  2. Matthew 7:21-23 “Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as ‘Lord,’ but they still won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven. On judgment day many will tell me, ‘Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’  But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.’”  NLT
  3. When Satan enters into Lost folks he can twist and pervert their lives towards his ultimate cause to STEAL, KILL and DESTROY!
    1. NEVER doubt that satan is out roaming the world looking for people to tear down, trap in his trap and bring to death.
    2. Never doubt that satan is also out in the world looking for people to help in his evil.
    3. Christians cannot be “possessed” by satan or his evil
      1. Christians are a new creation – 2 Cor 5:17
      2. Our Spirit, Soul and Body are preserved for God blameless – 1 Thess 5:23
      3. Light cannot exist in the same space as dark
    4. This does not mean we do not sin, because we do
      1. It simply means that every Christian is a child of God, not satan and not the world.
      2. Satan will push you, confuse you, twist you, lie to you, challenge you, tempt you, and do whatever else he is allowed to do to USE YOU!
      3. But He CANNOT steal your soul, keep you or steal your salvation from you.
    1. They may look ok, especially at first
    2. They may be being used by satan to EASE you away from God and His Love
      1. Its just a piece of fruit
      2. God didn’t surely say…..
      3. You can skip church one day….maybe two…
  1. Seek to spend time with GOD 1st then with HIS CHILDREN who have a lifestyle of faith and obedience…a TRACK RECORD of serving God. Good Fruit!
    2. You BE You
  4. Reject the hate and lies
    1. Reject false friends
    2. Here is where it gets hard
      1. PRAY FOR THEM
    3. Jesus was betrayed by Judas Iscariot
      1. He was betrayed by the Temple Elite
      2. He was betrayed by the Teachers of Religious Law
      3. He would be betrayed by the people who were WORSHIPPING HIM just a few days before
      4. He would be betrayed by billions through histories pages
      5. He is betrayed by US still today
        1. Yet He still loves us
        2. He still continued on the path HE KNEW would lead to His death and burial
          1. I would not have stayed that course
          2. Jesus’ love is greater than ours

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

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?

Temptations Twist

Luke 17:1-4 “And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.  Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” ESV

  • Temptation is not sin…..temptation will occur
  • Temptations to sin: Scandal, snare/trap, occasion to fall
    • Maybe illustrate with large mouse trap and cheese
      • What could the cheese illustrate/stand for?
        • Anything that tempts us
          • Pride
          • Alcohol and/or drugs
          • Lust – adultery
          • Sexual immorality
          • Gossip
          • Jealousy
          • Anger
          • Rivalries
          • Dissensions
          • Other FLESH FUELED issues

 These temptations WILL COME

    • Do not think you are somehow above them
    • There is a price to be paid for giving into them
    • The trap will snap
    • Temptation is not sin
      • Giving INTO temptations trap is our problem
      • What baits your trap?
      • What are you likely to give into quickly?
    • Jesus was tempted BUIT NEVER SINNED
    • Adam and Eve were similarly tempted but fell into the trap

Matthew 4:4 – 11 “4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone,  but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”  Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”  Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”  11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.”  ESV

Hebrews 4:`4 – 16 “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

  • ESPECIALLY if you cause another one to stumble
    • Little Ones: least, little, less, small in size, quantity, number or dignity
      • Not just talking about kids
  • Pay attention to YOURSELVES!
    • Watch what you are doing
    • Keep an eye on your hands
  • Pay attention to others
    • Hold them accountable to God’s Word as well
      • The caution is to GOD’S WORD
      • Not yours
      • Not your interpretation that fits your needs
    • Forgive the truly repentant
      • Forgiveness is not acceptance of the bad behavior
    • Temptations Twist
      • The Grace of God
        • Even though we did not deserve His Love…
          • We were rebellious
          • We were mean
          • We were caught by evil
          • Sinners, each and every one
        • ….at Calvary Jesus stepped into our trap and took our destruction away
          • Jesus suffered, was ridiculed and debased
          • Jesus shed His Blood for our sins
          • Jesus died in our place
        • We can be set free….redeemed by the shed blood of the Lamb of God

Feb 19, 2017

Luke 16:14-17 “The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.  “The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it.  But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void.”  ESV

What did the Pharisees here that made them so angry, jealous and petty?

They heard Jesus teach about humility, service, devotion, commitment, giving, caring, loving, yielding, stewardship, faithfulness and obedience to the Kingdom of God.

Shame on Him for teaching them to Love God and Love others

 The tried to justify their selfish, arrogant behavior by ridiculing the Son of God.

I don’t think that will go over very well.

Bullying to get your way is NO WAY to make a point

If Jesus identifies our bad behavior and we feel ashamed REMEMBER that He has don’t this to CORRECT behavior and NOT TO HARM us.

The purpose of the Law is to show us our need for Jesus, not to condemn us.  The Law shows us our transgressions against God and against our fellow man.  The Law should lead us to repentance.

We can never JUSTIFY ourselves before anyone, much less the Only One who can redeem us and justify us.

He knows the REAL US; not the FAKE US we allow the world to see and know.

Forces: force, to crowd oneself, to be seized, press suffer violence.  NLT – Eager              KJV – Presseth into

AMP – “and everyone strives violently to go in [would force his own way rather than God’s way into it]

We want the Good News without the Faith and Obedience

We want to go into God’s Kingdom on OUR TERMS


We want the benefits without the costs

We don’t even want to count the cost


We rebel against god’s Word

We rebel against God’s Will

We rebel against God

We have proved our rebellion all the way back to the garden.

This is a rebellion we will NEVER win


We want to pull all we want from the well

We want to LATCH ON and get all we can get

Just like the Temple Elite of Christ’s Day

We never want to serve, obey or trust

We want God to be a vending machine that responds at our demand and we are more than willing to kick, rattle and complain if we do not get our way.

The Law matters.  The Law shows us our need for God.

The 10 Commandments matter.  In our lives, in the life of our country.

We do not dispose of them, we embrace them and see how they point us to love God and others better.

If we love God we will obey His Commands.

John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

  • We forget that our obedience is a way to say “Thank You” to the One who saved us.
  • We forget that we are ill equipped to ridicule or argue with God
  • We forget that our trust is a way to say “We Believe” to the One who provides and protects us
  • We forget that our love expressed is one way we say we are connected to the One who is Love.

Marriage          May 12, 2017

Luke 16:18 “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”   ESV

Today we will look at marriage.  But before we dig into this text let’s look at the bigger picture.

  1. Marriage was always to be defined as a LIFETIME commitment
    1. Not for a set amount of time
    2. Not until it gets tough
    3. Not until you fall in lust with someone else
      1. LIFETIME
  2. We need to understand what real love is before we commit to another person for a lifetime
    1. Love is more than what we call “chemical” with is more lust than love
    2. Love is more than “convenience” because someone is close and you have similar interests
    4. Ephesians 5:25-33 “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.  “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”  This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.  However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” ESV

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.” ESV

It is FAR PAST TIME we begin to put THESE attributes INTO our relationships

  1. What breaks the covenant bounds of marriage
      1. Romans 7:2-3 “Thus a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.” ESV
    1. SIN
      1. Adultery
        1. They physical act
        2. The cultivation
        3. The loving/lusting of anyone else EXCEPT GOD more than your spouse
      2. Addiction
        1. Same problem as adultery except instead of a person of the opposite sex your heart becomes devoted to a drug or alcohol.
        2. Family resources are stripped away in order to supply the desired FIX of the addict
        3. If your lustful intent is directed at a thing or substance at the cost of your relationship with your wife or family the love covenant is broken
  • Both adultery and addiction often fester into a third reason:
  1. Abuse
    1. We are commanded to love and submit one to another
      1. Abuse breaks the love covenant
      2. God does not expect you to be belittled, beaten or buried
        1. There is no love there
        2. Colossians 3:18-19 “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.”   ESV
      3. All of these place the fleshly desires and pride of one person ahead of their spouse and their children
        1. Love NEVER demands its own way
        2. If supporting your habit for another person or substance leaves your family hungry and homeless YOU HAVE BROKEN YOUR MARRIAGE COVENANT
      4. What about getting remarried
        1. If your spouse dies you are free to be biblically remarried
        2. Other than that, if your spouse is still breathing air you remain bound together.
        3. God’s Standards are higher than ours
      5. Marriage is to be held in honor among all
        1. God will judge those who do not
      6. Marriage is supposed to be a human relationship that mirrors our relationship with God
        1. Love
        2. Grace
        3. Mercy
        4. Patience
        5. Permanence
        6. Helpful
        7. Protecting
        8. Nurturing