July 6 2017

Pentecost

Today…we see the Bible talk of Pentecost. Pentecost is a BIG deal in the history of the early church. Today, we see a major event – as the Holy Spirit is given to the church.
 
The Bible, and the focus of our faith is about Jesus – He is WHY we do church, He is WHY we preach the Gospel, He is the focus of our faith. Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. If we can trust in HIM we can have eternal life.
 
And God has chosen us – the church to take that message to the world. But he promised he wouldn’t leave us to our own devices – Jesus promised to send us someone to help. He sent us the third person of the Trinity, The Holy Spirit. Today…we read about that. We see how the Holy Spirit came to the World on Pentecost, and we see some promises of his ministry to come.
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Doing the Business of God

I saw an article the other day. The headline read “Can God be glorified in a business meeting?”
 
Can we glorify God by the simple, mundane task of doing the business of the church? Sometimes it’s about how to do some small thing…sometimes it’s a bigger issue. Is he glorified by the process of naming elders, or deacons, or trustees? I’ve been to church board meetings that went on for far too long. Sometimes, some very trivial things can be hashed over ad nauseum…….
 
Do we glorify God EVEN in a simple meeting to decide what to do with an issue in the church?
 
Yes---we can. Today, we see that. The apostles had a decision to make, and we can see how they approached it, and what that said about their attitude toward God.
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July 5 2017

Trusting God

Sometimes….we have a tendency, when we read Scripture to think “That was then……” We tend to think that God is not relevant for today. That what was done 2000 years ago……isn’t really important now.
 
We may think that it’s not relevant to today..because it happened wayyyyyyyyyy back then..and it’s a different world today. That simply is not the case. The Bible IS relevant to us today…it IS something we should look to for information regarding what God expects of us. It can tell us how to live today and how to relate to God.
 
Today, as we begin to look to the book of Acts….I have a few things to consider. Today’s passage invites us to take a look at the past, at the present, and at the future. This passage sets the stage for us for the book of Acts…and after. This passage is a bit of a transition time. God is going to be moving in a new way in the world, and he has a message he wants his church to take to the world.
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April 5 2017

Short Timers?

I was a horrible student as a teenager.   I remember taking Algebra…and failing it when I was in High School.    I saw no use for it.   It wasn’t relevant to my life.  

It didn’t matter if I could solve an equation and tell you what “x” was.  Why?    

Because it didn’t matter to me.    As a high school senior I had determined that I wanted to be a police officer.  I was going to graduate high school….and I was going to major in Criminal Justice.     I just KNEW as a police officer that I would NEVER have to solve an algebraic equation.    I just wasn’t worth doing, in my mind.   Weird how things change…and careers change

I wonder how many people have the same notion when it comes to studying the Bible.      I wonder how many people feel the same way about the Christian life in general.  

Oh..sure……it’s good to sing songs to God on Sunday morning…it’s good to pray on Sunday morning…it’s good to go to church….but is that REALLY supposed to change the way we live every other day of the week?  

We are told that if we trust in Jesus we will go to heaven.   And we will.   Jesus’ death on the cross is the payment that secures our home in Heaven.    If we trust in HIM our eternal destiny is secure.    It’s not even up for debate.      The man that tells you that Jesus is not enough needs to be rebuked.   

But what AFTER that?    Do we simply trust Jesus and then go back to our life?   We trust Jesus…then…..what?  

The apostle Paul considered Jesus to be worth giving up all he knew in life.   He wanted nothing more than to serve God.     When it comes down to it….a Christian’s faith should be more than the 1 time salvation event.  It’s more than simply trusting Jesus once and then going on with life.  

The Christian life is about growing to be more like Jesus every day.  

So the main point today that I want to make:     Keep your eye on the prize.     The passage today assumes something:    That people reading it are people that already KNOW Jesus – they’ve trusted in him and have a saving faith in Him.       AFTER that…God’s Word has something to say about how we should live   

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March 8 2017

Be the Light!

I began this sermon with a short story.  Unfortunately, I'm beginning to realize that I'm not a comedian...and this kind of fell flat!   

 

One night a motorist was run down by a train at a grade crossing. The old signal man in charge of the crossing had to appear in court. After a severe cross-examination, he was still unshaken. He said he had waved his lantern frantically, but all to no avail. The following day the superintendent of the line called him into his office. "You did wonderfully well yesterday, Tom," he said. "I was afraid at first that you might waver." "No, sir," replied Tom, "but I was afraid that old lawyer was going to ask me whether or not my lantern was lit!"—Sunday School Times. 

The point?   A light is useless if it's not lit.    Are we showing our lights to the world?      

Let's look at Philippians 2.   

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March 2 2017

Together for Christ

Last summer I was talking with another pastor.   We were talking about our respective churches.   Did you guys know that pastors do that?  We like to talk!    We were discussing some of the things going on…some of the activities…some of the ministries we have going.   And he made an interesting comment….He said he wanted people in his church to be part of his church…..

  • Not because their names were on the membership roll…
  • Not because they were born a part of it and grew up in it…..
  • Not because they were part of that denomination…..
  • Not because they liked the music…
  • Not because they liked the preaching, even….

The reason he wanted people to be a part of his church….was because they wanted to be part of the PEOPLE of that church.   

I think that’s what the world craves today—they want to be part of something that is REAL.   I think people are tired of playing games…tired of going through the motions…tired of just putting on a front to impress others.   

Guys..if that’s what church is all about to you….I think we have the wrong idea.    We come to church because we’re part of the family of God.     And a family should love each other,  enjoy spending time with each other….and be united.   

Today…we see the apostle Paul expounding on that idea.   Today….he talks about being united in the Gospel…united as the family of God.  

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February 20 2017

To Die is Gain, to Live is Christ

The thesis for today's message is from Philippians 1:23.    To live is Christ, to Die is Gain.   I'll look at the 2nd clause first...because I think Paul was focusing on the first -- to LIVE for Christ.   The life of a Christian should be marked with a devotion to Christ -- we should want to "Jump right in with both feet" to the Christian life.    Too often, we tend to simply be content with going in tentatively, and mrely testing the waters, but never really giving our whole selves to him.      

 

Let's open to Philiippians 1 and see what God's Word says.  

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February 17 2017

Loving Others for the Sake of the Gospel

What are you willing to suffer for the sake of the Gospel?  Inconvenience?   Hardship?  Persecution?     The apostle Paul encouraged the Philippian church to suffer for the sake of the Gospel.     

Let's turn to Philippians 1 and see what he says:   

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February 6 2017

Participating in the Gospel

There is Joy in the Gospel      In the midst of trial…in heartache……there is joy.   

That’s the overall message of Philippians.   Joy.   

Today…we see what Paul has to say about it.  Today…..in the first chapter we read what he has to say about his own sufferings – and how God has worked through it  

Let’s open to Philippians 1:1-11   

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January 31 2017

Jonah: The Epilogue

Jonah:    The final scene in the movie of this book MIGHT open up showing Jonah lovingly tutoring the people of Nineveh…but no.   It doesn’t show that.    INSTEAD….we see him going out of the city and sitting down to watch from a distance.   He wanted to see what would happen to Nineveh.      

This is kind of  a BIZARRE event…..I mean..we’re all familiar with what happened earlier in the book of Jonah, right?  Before we started on this….we all knew that the story of Jonah was that he was swallowed by a big fish---we’ve heard it in Sunday School and Vacatin Bible School since we were little….That’s no surprise. 

Today…in chapter 4 we see things get a little weird.     

As we jump into the text, I’m reminded of what the theologian, pastor Paul David Tripp says about Jonah:   “Jonah is in the Bible because Jonah is like us”.  

 Jonah is not just a cute story meant to inform us about God…but it should change the way we SEE God and change the way we live our faith.   When we take a good look at Jonah….we should take a look at ourselves as a result.  

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