October 15 2017 Morning sermon

Acts 6:1-6

Last lesson on deacons

The principle of deacons isn’t a new topic originally started in the New Testament

Jethro (Moses’ father-in-law) noticed that Moses would sit from morning until night judging the peoples’ complaints

If we concentrate on things that aren’t meant for us to do, it will wear us out

Jethro suggested Moses appoint honorable, Godly men to work with the people so that Moses can concentrate on the spiritual matters

Numbers 11 – God gives the Spirit to 70 men to help Moses…good example of delegation

In the passage in Acts, the Church has grown

1 Tim 3:8-13 – Paul lists qualifications for deacons

One of the tasks of an elder is to groom the men to replace them

We need to be a congregation that has a vision and plans for the future

Must not be double-tongued or in search of selfish gain

Must be tested; not novices who might fall in the snare of the devil

They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience

Wives of deacons must be sober minded

Nothing new is true and nothing true is new

Sound doctrine guides us

Ephesians 4 – everyone has a role to play in the Church

You can’t say you don’t need an organ just because you can’t see it

Which one of us are dispensable? Paul teaches in Ephesians and Colossians, not a single one of us can be spared

You can be what God has given you to be according to your abilities

We are to build one another up…who doesn’t that apply to? Do we need to form a committee to work on being kind to other people?

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice always…do we need a task force for that?

We all have a task to do…God has given deacons to help organize us

The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed

The New Testament is the Old Testament revealed

Ephesians 1:8-10 – “…making known to us the mystery of His will…”

Hebrews 6:1 – “…let us leave the elementary doctrines of Christ…”

 

 

 

October 15 2017 Morning Bible study

Starting 1 & 2Thessalonians

The Thessalonian letters show the need for Godly living until living eternally. It shows the pain and toil of being a follower of Christ.

Primary author of both letters was Paul with help from Silas and Timothy.

Paul often used the plural “we” in various spots to indicate shared authorship

By the 2nd century AD, it was widely accepted that Paul wrote Thessalonians

Probably written AD 50 or 51 with not too much space in between the letters

They worked down the eastern coast of modern-day Greece

Thessalonica had an active Jewish community…some Jews believed but a large number of Greeks came to Christ as well as a number of prominent women

Jewish troublemakers casted doubt on Paul’s authority…they said his message was a delusion and Paul was in the ministry to financial gain

The Church at Thessalonica wasn’t always behaving very well morally

The Jews were still waiting for the Messiah…Paul was working to convince them that Christ has come

Who wants to be told what to do? Paul was telling the visitors to the synagogue about the Good News

Occasion and purpose for writing – Paul wrote the letters after Timothy visited them. There were instances of sexual immorality and idleness yet steadfastness

Paul may have had a strong personality (he and Barnabas ended up traveling separately)

Acts 15 – Barnabas wanted to take John (Mark) on the journey but Paul resisted and instead went separate ways from Barnabas and took Silas with him

Paul didn’t pray in vague terms for the Church

The themes of faith, hope and love often arise in Paul’s letters

Faith produces deeds of kindness and mercy

Love

Hope is not a groundless desire that things will turn out right, it’s the belief that faith in Christ brings about good

Paul reminded the Thessalonians about the heart of the Gospel. Jesus was seen by many people after His resurrection.

God isn’t an image carved in stone or wood

The central battle for minds and hearts is over whether Christ really came to earth and died and was buried and arose

Paul uses the word rescue to indicate the need for people to be rescued from the coming wrath

 

 

October 8 2017 Morning sermon

1 Timothy 3:8-15

Deacons and the households of God

Classes coming up on Wednesdays – What does visitation mean?

Future class on personal evangelism

The Church of the 1st century had some struggles due to their fast growth

An architect and their builders follow a blueprint

If we follow the same blueprint as the Church of the first century, we will have Christ’s Church

God is not the author of confusion…He is very specific where He needs to be specific

How should we behave in the household of God?

We may want to follow the latest trends because that church over there has more members

Are we left to decide how we want to get things done? In Judges there was the issue of “everyone doing right in their own eyes”

“...there is a way that seems right to a man…”

Titus 1:9 – “…exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict…”

“…the time will come when they will not listen to sound doctrine…”

1 Timothy 4:1 – “…doctrines of devils…”

Whatever we do, we should do that which God requires and in the manner He wants us to do it

All Scripture is given by inspiration

Corinth had issues with discord and confusion

Who is to be a deacon?

“…it was not Adam who was deceived but Eve…”

Will we follow the trends of today or God’s Word…it may not be popular

We must worship God in spirit and truth

Romans 16 – Phoebe was performing a task given to her by Paul

We are not left to guess about how to run things and certainly not about how to obtain salvation…a faith that not only believes but acts

 

 

 

 

October 8 2017 Morning Bible study

Genesis 45

Page 103 in workbook

Joseph makes himself known to his brothers

Joseph invites his brothers to bring their families to Egypt to setup households

Jacob was told by God that he will see his son Joseph

There were about 70 people in Jacob’s extended family that went to Egypt to live in Goshen

Pharaoh put some of Jacob’s family in charge of the kingdom’s livestock

For a while, people bought food from Joseph…when their money was gone, they paid for food with livestock

Next the people had no money or livestock to buy food…they said “we only have our bodies and our land”

“…we and our land will be in bondage to Pharaoh…”

All of the people became servants to Pharaoh except the priests who received an allotment

Joseph gives the people seed to grow crops and with and instructs 1/5th of the crops be given to Pharaoh (first example of sharecropping)

Jacob was about 147 years old when he died…he requested a burial back in his homeland

Jacob’s family stayed in Egypt even after the famine ended

Tribe of Manasseh was led by banner of Ephraim…Jacob gave the blessing to the younger of two sons versus the older son

God often works in ways that aren’t congruent to man’s customs

How ready am I to accept the unexpected from God?

Jacob died and he was embalmed (a process which took 40 days) and the Egyptians mourned for Jacob for 70 days

Joseph asked Pharaoh for permission to visit Canaan to bury Jacob

Jacob lived 17 years in Egypt before he died

Chapter 50 – Joseph’s brothers are nervous now that Jacob is dead. Maybe Joseph will exact vengeance?

Over a number of years, the 70 people that came to Egypt grew quite quickly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 1 2017 Morning sermon

Luke 10:25

Parable of the good Samaritan

This parable is challenging to implement but easy to understand

Guilt is a great motivator for those with selfish ends in mind

Several times in the Gospels, Jesus is put to the test by questions (literally “tested by the devil”)

The scribe in this story already knew the answer

Out of 613 laws the Jews adhere to, it can be boiled down to two items (one from Leviticus and one from Deuteronomy):

Love God with all your heard…love your neighbor as yourself

Is neighbor a person in proximity or a family member or a heritage issue?

For the Jews, a neighbor was NOT a Gentile or Samaritan but a fellow Jew who wasn’t a tax collector or sinner

What is and isn’t being said in this parable? We aren’t told who the beaten man was. We don’t know where the priest or the Levite where traveling to. They did not wish to become defiled by touching someone who might be dead.

Which of these three proved to be a neighbor? Why could the scribe not say “the Samaritan”? Instead he said “the one with mercy”.

The scribe (lawyer) displays arrogance, the priest and lawyer demonstrate apathy, and the Samaritan shows compassion

The Greek word for compassion is used 12 times in the New Testament; 9 time it’s used in reference to Jesus having it for those who were afflicted. The other three times it deals with the story of the prodigal son

Pity only goes so far…compassion sees someone suffering and spurs action to aid

Three choices when we hear of those who suffered cataclysmic disaster:

We can be unmoved by what we see

We can be uncaring

        We can be compassionate and act

Sometime we can be so wrapped up in religion that we don’t tend to those in need

 

 

October 1 2017 Morning Bible study

Genesis 39

Workbook page 91

Potiphar completely trusted Joseph

Potiphar’s wife made constant advances towards him

God gave success to Joseph in prison

Joseph always gave God the glory for anything that other people admired Joseph for being able to do

Joseph interpreted the dream for the cupbearer and then requested that the cupbearer remember him when he gets out of prison

Seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine

Jacob told his sons to go to Egypt to buy food…he didn’t send Benjamin (his only other son from his favorite wife Rachel)

Jacob eventually let Benjamin leave with the other sons to Egypt to present themselves to Joseph

Joseph’s household steward gave credit to our God for having great power

Joseph ate lunch but separated from his brothers

Egyptians detested people who herded sheep

 

 

 

September 24 2017 Morning sermon

Psalms 119:1-8

Psalms seems to end up in the physical center of the Christian Bible

If you count by number of words, the middle of the Bible comes out to about Psalm 117

Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible…it is an acrostic poem…every 8th verse is another character in the Hebrew alphabet

Something about God’s commandments is spoken in almost all of the verses in this psalm

Scholars are divided on who actually wrote this psalm

One of the duties of the kings of Israel was to write a copy of the Law (Genesis, Exodus Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy)

In the early part of US history, the Bible was used to teach grammar and spelling and morals (New England Primer)

Plumb lines show true up and down…Zechariah mentions it

Situational ethics tends to sway the plumb line’s direction

Blessed are those whose ways are blameless…who seek Him with their whole heart

Blessed are the poor in spirit…blessed are the meek

Blessed means happy

3 things to notice about the author of this psalm

 

Efforts:

Guide one’s life according to the Word

Rising at midnight to praise Him

I rise before dawn to cry for help

7 times a day I praise You for Your righteous rules

The man in these verses may have had the same amount of distractions as we do today

 

Events:

Let me not wander from your commandments

My soul melts away from sorrow

I will keep Your Law continually

It was good for me that I was afflicted so that I may learn Your statutes

When will You judge those who persecute me?

I am small and despised, yet I do not forget your precepts

The author does not live a privileged life

 

Effects:

May my heart be blameless

Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies

I hold back my feet from every evil way in order to keep Your Word

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path

 

Will God’s Word still be a lamp in your life? What efforts will we make individually and as a Church to make sure that God’s Word still guides us?

 

 

 

September 24 2017 Morning Bible study

Genesis 37

Workbook page 87

Joseph’s brothers resented him

Joseph was 17 in this part of the story and sent a bad report about his brothers to their father

Some people consider Joseph a tattle-tale; others regard this as his duty to inform

Jacob loved Joseph more because he was his child of old age (youngest son along with Benjamin) and first son from his favorite wife Rachel

Joseph had two dreams; the first one suggested that his brothers would bow down before him. The second dream includes Joseph’s mother and father also bowing down before him

In the ancient world, dreams were believed to predict the future

When wheat is ready to harvest, the heads tip down…in the dream, Joseph’s sheaf of wheat wasn’t tipped down…maybe he wasn’t ready for harvest yet?

The last part of Genesis is the narrative of Joseph’s life

The brothers correctly interpreted the meaning of the dream to be that they would serve their brother Joseph

2nd dream: Sun and moon and 11 stars bow down to Joseph – Jacob correctly interprets this to be about Joseph’s rule over them

Sins in the family of Judah…he had three sons with a Canaanite wife. Tamar disguised herself and became pregnant by her father-in-law Judah

Joseph resisted Potiphar’s wife’s advances and is put in prison and excels even there

Joseph is sent to the prison reserved for political prisoners and was probably the most comfortable prison available…maybe Potiphar was going a little easy on Joseph?

Joseph interpreted dreams of chief baker and chief butler who were in prison with Joseph…in 3 days the butler would be restored to Pharaoh’s service…the baker would be put to death

Joseph was put in charge of preparing for the upcoming famine

 

 

 

 

September 17 2017 Morning sermon

1 Thessalonians 5:18-20

Give thanks in all circumstances

Consider every moment of life a moment to be thankful in

“God’s will for you” – You is plural to include the Church

Many scholars believe that the 1st letter to Thessalonica was the first letter that Paul wrote

Paul’s message doesn’t change as he comes under more pressure

Paul should have reason to complain about his circumstances but he doesn’t

Every moment in our lives is an opportunity to give thanks

It’s easier to look at the opposite – when don’t people give thanks?

In Paul’s last letter to Timothy, he speaks of sins of people including ungratefulness

Romans 1:28 – God gave them up to do what not ought to be done

1 Cor 10 – putting Christ to the test…don’t grumble

1 Peter 4:9 – show hospitality without grumbling

Grumbling is a way of not giving thanks to God…it’s a way of saying “I have a better way to do this, God”

What happens when things get tough?

Philippians 4:11 – “…I know how to be brought low and how to abound…I can do all things through Him who strengthens me…”

Paul had reason to complain

“…when I am weak, then I am strong…”

It’s easy to be grateful when things are going well for us

It’s the will of the Father for us to give thanks…we can be a light for the world

We should be grateful for the things we have and the things we don’t have

Proverbs 30:7 – “…give me neither poverty nor riches…”

This is similar to “…give me this day my daily bread…”

Be thankful for your persecutions…look for opportunities to bless those who abuse us

1st world problems: the road is bumpy, my wi-fi is slow

Be grateful for the challenging people in your life…also be thankful for the people not in your life

Be thankful for the power and grace of God in your life

Am I truly thankful in my heart and soul? Not good to only appear thankful

God is working in your life in whatever way He sees fit

 

 

 

 

September 17 2017 Morning Bible study

Genesis 32-36

Workbook pg. 79

Jacob is heading back home but Esau is there and might kill him

The angels met Jacob on the way home

Jacob sends messengers ahead of him to Esau with a message of humility…the messengers returned to Jacob and reported that Esau is coming to meet Jacob along with 400 men

Jacob reminds God of His promise to protect him…Jacob is afraid of Esau

Jacob offers a gift of livestock to Esau

Jacob wrestled with God all night…Jacob through his life had been a struggler

Jacob had relied on his wits to survive; God wanted Jacob to rely on God for his survival

Jacob initially wrestled with God but ended up holding God once his hip was put out of socket

Do I find myself fighting against God or embracing Him?

We don’t know what form the blessing took

Jacob didn’t get what he expected, but got what God planned

Jacob’s daughter Dinah had been violated by Shechem…Shechem’s father Hamor speaks to Jacob to procure Dinah as Shechem’s wife

Jacob’s sons wouldn’t agree to the marriage unless Shechem’s people agree to be circumcised

Simeon and Levi attacked the city and put them to the sword and rescued Dinah…they looted the city and took the women and children

Jacob laments the trouble that Simeon and Levi brought upon him

 

 

 

September 10 2017 Morning sermon – elder installation Sunday

James 1:5-8

1 Kings 3 – Solomon poised to take the throne…God asks Solomon what to give him. “…give your servant an understanding mind to govern your people…”

Is it still that easy to gain wisdom from God? Should we climb a mountain and talk to God?

If anyone wants wisdom, ask God for it.

We can’t sit and do nothing and receive wisdom

What type of wisdom does it take to lead God’s people? What about 10 people…or 100 people?

God assures us that He will give us this wisdom as we need it

Gideon questioned whether it was to be him that was to lead the people

There are many instances where those chosen to lead the people had doubts of their role

God is able to do amazing things beyond what we think can be reasonably done

Paul spoke often with the Church at Corinth about wisdom because they were known for wisdom in this part of Greece…1 Cor 2

“…secret and hidden wisdom…”

The prophets spoke often of Jesus’ coming and His work on earth

2 Peter 1:3-4

The complete wisdom to guide us is found in God’s Word

Philippians 2:3 – this Church was on the edge of Greece – “…in humility count others more significant than yourselves…”

Man has desired his own way

Paul left Silas in Crete to work on installing elders

Whoever intends to lead people must first be a servant

We aren’t installing a king or judge or prophet, we are installing two men will serve us

1 Tim 5 – “…don’t be hasty in laying your hands on anyone…” (giving power to those who will lead)

A congregation must yield to their elders

1 Peter 5:5-7 “…you who are younger, be subject to the elders…humble yourselves underneath the mighty hand of God…”

Exodus 17:8 – Amalek fought with Israel – whenever Moses held up his hands, Israel prevailed in battle. Moses couldn’t not keep his hands up by himself but he had helpers

Our elders are not mind-readers…don’t make their job any harder than it has to be

 

 

 

September 10 2017 Morning Bible study

Genesis 27:41

Workbook page 71

Jacob stole his father’s blessing that was intended for Esau

We are a community of peoples with a common love for the Lord

Genesis 24: Abraham told his chief servant to NOT get a wife for Isaac from the Canaanites

Jacob was 77 when he had not yet taken a wife

Genesis 28:6 – do not marry a Canaanite woman…Esau realized how displeasing it was that he had a

Hittite wife…he went to Ishmael and married one of his daughters

Jacob’s dream – it wasn’t a ladder like we put on a roof…the word for stairway was used to depict a mound that was put against a city wall for getting up and down…this symbolized heaven and earth being connected

The Lord promises He will be with us until the end

Genesis 29 – Jacob meets Rachel…he offers to work for 7 years to marry her. Laban tricked Jacob by sending him Leah first and then he had to work another 7 years to get Rachel. Jacob is now 91 with two wives.

Genesis 30 – Rachel envied Leah and asked Jacob to give her children or she would die…she offers Jacob her servant as a wife

Jacob asked Laban for speckled and dark-colored lambs…Laban tricked Jacob by mixing up the flocks a bit

Rachel took the household gods from Laban’s house

Jacob and Laban make a deal…they erect a pillar of standing stones and agree to go their separate ways

 

 

 

 

 

September 3 2017 Morning sermon

Something has passed and something is waiting for us; the turning of the calendar signifies change

Hopefully we aren’t working towards retirement or the next vacation

Ecclesiastes – the man had no one to give the fruits of his labor to

People still wonder what they are laboring for

Luke 12:13-21

Why did this man get up in the morning to labor? So that he could get more and take life easy

Three questions:

·       Why is it that we get up in the morning? Habit or compulsion?

If we have no one to pass on the fruits of the labor, why are we collecting stuff?

James 4:14-15 – “…you do not know what tomorrow will bring…if the Lord wills, we will do this or that…”

·       What are we laboring for? One’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions

There is great gain in godliness with contentment

        “…for the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil…”

·       Who are we preparing treasures for? Fear God and keep His commandments

If I have been given talents by God, I must use them to His glory

We can live in misery when we live for self

Am I laying up treasures for myself here on earth?

Matthew 25:15 – parable of talents and the servants…given according to each servant’s ability

Ephesians 5:15-16 “…look carefully how you walk…making the best use of the time as the days are evil…”

Please consider what your role is in the Congregation to do the many works that need to be done

We have been gifted with time

 

 

 

September 3, 2017 Morning Bible study

Genesis 25, workbook page 63

The death of Abraham

Ishmael – he would be at war with all others

Abraham left everything he owned to Isaac

He gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them to the east

God blessed Isaac

Ishmael’s sons – descendants settled near the border of Egypt and lived in hostility with all their brothers

Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebekah

Older child would serve the younger child

Esau – the name means hairy

Jacob – the name means “he grasps the heel” or in Hebrew “he deceives”

Isaac was 60 years old when his sons were born

Esau became a skillful hunter; Jacob was a quiet man who dwelled among the tents

Isaac loved the older son and Rebekah loved the younger son

Our children could become what we tell them they are

Does knowing God in a closer way motivate our lives?

There is no such thing as a bad answer; only a badly worded question

Do people receive the news of God’s Word with exclaims of “wow!”?

Is it our job to make sure the other person believes in God? No, our job is to plant the seed.

Abimelech gave orders not to harass Isaac or his wife…later Isaac became too wealthy in the eyes of the Philistines

Isaac moved away from Garar after Abimelech tells him to leave

When Esau was 40 years old, he married Judith (a Hittite) and another woman (also a Hittite) and they were a source of grief for Isaac and Rebekah

Rebekah assisted Jacob in deceiving Isaac to prompt the father to give the blessing intended for Esau to Jacob

Esau asked Isaac for at least one blessing…Isaac tells him that he will serve his brother Jacob. He consoles himself with the thought of killing Jacob.

Rebekah advises Jacob to flee for now and tells Isaac that Jacob has to leave otherwise he’ll take a Hittite woman as a wife

 

 

 

 

August 27, 2017 Morning Bible study and sermon – Oakey Blvd C of C Las Vegas, NV

Christ’s kingdom won't look like other kingdoms

5 challenges to kingdom

Forgive sins

Fasting

Not fighting government

Not recruiting rich but broken

Luke draws attention to Gentiles who would outnumber Jews after a while

First people Jesus worked with were Jews who rejected Him

We should bless and do good to others and pray...that should be our default setting when we are challenged

Don't let the Kingdom fall on your shoulders...you can't do it alone

 It's easy to give to someone when you know it will come back to you

You will be sons of the Most High...a gift in the process of being His child. We fulfill His promise by living like we should

Although we will be judged for how e judge, that doesn't mean we should use judgement and discernment

Romans 1:16-17

A lot of people view death as final

Sin brought forth death and it strikes us all at some point

Death is our enemy

Paul challenges death

Israelites struggled with what it meant to be children of God

The Gospel changes whomever it touches

They claimed to be wise but they were foolish

I give not to get but because it's the right thing that do

Woe to the individual who calls good evil and evil good

God let them go down their own path...foolish hearts were darkened

Exodus 3 - burning bush addresses Moses

God will show everyone who He is and will do that through the world leagues and the exodus from Egypt

How will the Messiah answer evil when He died on a Cross?

Romans 5 - justified by faith

Romans 6 - those who are baptized in Christ have died to sin

Romans 8 - no condemnation for those in Christ...although our physical body will come to an end

Nothing less than all of us given to God will do

We may subconsciously conform to the world

Everything becomes new...we have to love those you aren't supposed to love

God gives us hope when we contemplate death

 

August 20, 2017 Morning sermon – Bob

Rehearsal – it can be something you prepare for and also something you believe in

We rehearse the Passion story of Jesus

Original Passover meal had a hymn with it

Luke 22:39 – Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives

Kidron means dusky or gloomy…the Kidron valley was below Jerusalem and all things drained down there

John 1:29

1 Cor 5:7

1 Peter 1:19 “…a lamb without blemish or defect…”

Pride will not admit failure

Confidence knows that failure isn’t final

The garden of Gethsemane is at the foot of the Mount of Olives

Three gardens: Eden, Gethsemane, Revelation

Why did Jesus take Peter, James and John with Him to the garden?

Mark 14:32-36 – Jesus was deeply distressed…He is stunned by what is to come

Troubled – to be away from home

Jesus has never been afraid to step into the pain of other people

My will and God’s will – when you can choose one or the other, it’s a true instance of free will

Mark 14:37-40 – disciples fell asleep…Jesus went back and prayed some more then came back…three times Jesus told God that He didn’t want to go to the Cross (separation from the Father)

Jesus prays to a point of decision

Mark 14:43-46 – “…Judas, one of the Twelve…”. Maybe Mark wanted us to know that Judas saw it all and still sold out Jesus. It’s possible to follow yet betray.

Mark 14:47-52 – “…everyone deserted Him and fled…”

Jesus had spent His entire journey getting ready for the Cross and His followers had not

Mark 14:53-56 – Jesus was taken to the former high priest Annas and then to the son-in-law Caiaphas, the current high priest

How did Peter manage this crisis? He boasted a whole lot during His walk with Jesus over the past days

Luke 22:54-62 – Peter followed Jesus at a distance…disowned Jesus three times before the rooster crowed

At that time, the courtyard was surrounded by the house

5 stages of Peter’s struggle:

·       He followed at a distance – latent commitment (been with Him for 3 years)

·       He sat down – he wants to see but not be seen

·       He’s caught due to his accent from up north – he denies it even though he previously told Jesus he’d die for Him

What is he actually denying? I don’t know Him

·       He remembered that Jesus predicted his denial

·       He went outside and wept – he’s probably concluded that Jesus shouldn’t have picked him to be a fisher of men

The story ends with Jesus fixing breakfast for Peter and the others

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 20, 2017 Morning Bible study

Genesis 18

Workbook page 44

When God tells you something, it’s no laughing matter

Constant theme for us and Abraham: our faith in God

Abraham traveled from Egypt with Lot…one went one way and one went another

God and Abraham had a relationship as friends

Abraham reasons with God not to slay those in Sodom & Gomorrah as long as 10 righteous citizens could be found

Abraham asking these questions shows that he had a heart of mercy

Workbook page 48 – in the Middle East exists a long tradition of haggling over price

Abraham and Sarah got visitors; now Lot will get visitors

The future son-in-laws thought the impending destruction was a joke

Lot wasn’t 100% sure that danger was coming

Workbook page 52 – once you leave your sinful past, you shouldn’t look back

Genesis 19 – Lot and his 2 daughters left their new town and lived in a cave for a while. In the daughters’ perspectives, their future pool of husbands had been wiped out…they became pregnant by their father due to trickery. The sons were Moab and Ben-Ammi (Moabites and Ammonites peoples)

Genesis 20 – Abraham moved to the Negev…Abimelech took Sarah because Abraham and Sarah said Sarah was his sister

In both cases of Abraham representing Sarah as his sister, he was reprimanded by pagans (Pharaoh and Abimelech)

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 13, 2017 Morning sermon

“Seven things that God cannot do”

This does not diminish God’s power; it should fortify your faith in God

A study like this could make an atheist happy

Psalm 90:2 “…from everlasting to everlasting, You are God…”

We can’t conceive of what/who existed before Genesis 1:1

Jesus uses the phrase “I am” when talking to the Pharisees

Every good gift and every perfect gift comes from above

We hold up George Washington and Abraham Lincoln as pillars of virtue, but they couldn’t be truthful 100% of the time

There is absolute truth in our world today

God doesn’t taunt us with the fact that Christ came down as a man and was perfect and we aren’t perfect

The Law God gave Moses mentioned impartiality a lot

We have the same Word of God that our early Church ancestors had

1.    God cannot stop being God

2.    God cannot lie

3.    God cannot sin nor be tempted by evil

4.    God cannot show favoritism…Romans 2:6

5.    God cannot change His Word…1 Peter 1:25

6.    God cannot stop loving you…2 Timothy 1:9

7.    God cannot change our hearts/minds if we are unwilling…nevertheless He still loves us

God can make many changes occur in the world around us

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 13 2017 Bible study

Genesis 15 workbook page 39

God needed one man to become the father of His people. We aren’t sure why God chose Abram…at the time God called him, he and his family were worshipping false gods

Abram’s path was to leave the familiar and head towards the unfamiliar

Up to about the 1800s, people thought there were only about 2000 stars in the sky

By walking through the halves of the animal sacrifice, the two parties to the covenant were symbolizing that if they break the covenant, they will become like the dead animals

The people of Canaan at this time were practicing child sacrifice, idolatry and religious prostitution

Abram and Sarai conspired to move God’s plan offspring plan along on their own

The Angel of the Lord found Hagar in the desert…her child was to be called Ishmael

God changed the name from Abram (exalted father) to Abraham (father of many)

God asked for a sign from Abraham that he was all-in for the covenant: circumcision of him and his community

The symbolism of circumcision was “may I be cut off from God like my foreskin if I fail to keep the covenant”

Some early Jewish Christians disrupted the Church over the issue of circumcision

Abraham was 99 and Ishmael was 13 when they were circumcised

God changed the name Sarai (my princess) to Sarah (a princess)

Isaac means “he laughs”…it is fitting due to the fact that Sarah laughed when hearing that she would conceive a child

 

 

 

 

August 6 2017 Morning sermon

1 Cor 16:1-2 “As you may prosper”

Who is it that prospers us?

Two subjects people just “love” to hear about: history and giving

1 out of 6 or 1 out of 8 verses in the New Testament deal with giving or possessions

It is a command of God to give back a portion of what God has given to you

Tithing for the Christian is never mentioned in the New Testament…it’s an Old Testament concept of giving a certain percentage of what you have or earn

The New Testament has a tenet: the more you give, the more you get

2 Samuel 24 – dark time of David’s life…David is told to go to Jerusalem and buy a property. The owner offers to give it to David for free but David refuses “…I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God which cost me nothing…”

The Old Testament taught giving of the first fruits of what you have, not the leftovers

The Lord’s Church gets shortchanged

Haggai scolded the people who worked on making their own houses fancy while the temple stood in shambles

Malachi warned the people against the sacrifices the people were making – blemished animals

Luke 12 – “…one’s life does not consist of his possessions…”

Will a man rob God?

Is your giving comfortable or is it a sacrifice? It speaks about your heart.

Proverbs – “…give me neither poverty nor riches…”

What does your heart ask for? Paul spoke to Philippians: “…I seek the fruit that increases to your credit…”

 

4 types of attitudes concerning giving:

·       Some people have no propensity to give anything (time, possessions) – they have a cold heart

·       Some people will give but not give to the Lord – they are willing to help any organization other than the Church (Girl Scouts, veterans, fundraiser for a cancer-stricken community member, donate blood, support NPR)

·       Some people won’t give to the Lord that which cost me – easy givers…they only give small change but not enough to really cost them

·       Some people won’t give to the Lord that which cost him nothing

 

Are you giving back to the Lord as you have been prospered?

Have you given your time back?

 

August 6 2017 Morning Bible Study

Two qualifications pertaining to an elder candidate’s family:

 

Must be the husband of one wife

If a man is the husband of one wife, then he cannot by definition:

1.    Have more than one wife (polygamy)

2.    Be unmarried or single

3.    Be in a same-sex marriage (Romans 1:27)

4.    Be a woman

5.    Be in an adulterous marriage (Matthew 5:31-32, 19:8-9)

If a man is the husband of one wife, then he can:

1.    Be a man who has been married to only one woman

2.    He can be a widower who has remarried per 1 Cor 7:39, Romans 7:2-3

3.    He can be divorced and remarried if it is in keeping with Matthew 5:31-32, 19:8-9

Subjective – refers to personal perspectives

Objective – refers to the elimination of subjective perspectives and a process that is purely based on hard facts

Mike Scott said that Greek scholars agree that the structure of this passage should be translated “a one-wife sort of husband”.

 

Must have faithful children/rule well his house

Titus 1:6

ASV: “…children that believe…”

NKJV: “…having faithful children…”

Greek: word faithful is “pistos” meaning trustworthy

While pistos can mean a believer, it is more often used to describe the state of one as it pertains to their character

Some of the men being considered for eldership in the early Church didn’t grow up in the synagogue

Is it preferred that a child of an elder be a Christian? Yes.

Is it a requirement according to Scripture? No.

What does God require of an elder? That he has his family in subjection.

Did Paul ask any of the elder candidates how they ran their business?

Subjection isn’t oppression

Albert Barnes: He should maintain proper dignity

Wayne Jackson: Totally rebellious children nullify the elder’s ability to lead the church…adult children who have moved out of the house are not under the father’s control anymore

 

 

 

 

 

July 16 2017 Morning sermon – Keeping watch over your souls

Hebrews 13:17

1 Samuel 16 – King Saul has disappointed the Lord so Samuel is sent to anoint a new king

Psalm 23 – David was inspired by the Spirit to write the psalms

The hired hand wouldn’t risk his life to go find the lost sheep; only the shepherd would

Luke 15:1 – it is comforting to know that the Shepherd is willing to do what it takes to rescue you

We don’t like the word submit…sometimes it seems more like oppression

We like winning

The Gentiles wanted to be in charge but Jesus instructed that His people needed to be servants

Consider that those in charge of us will be called to give an account for the care of our souls

Why would we want to make our shepherds’ task a hard one?

Many elders have walked away from their role due to the stress on them

Lots of work goes on behind the scenes…most of it we won’t or can’t know about

Often times a shepherd takes one sheep and then the other sheep follow

We aren’t seeking perfect men for the eldership…we want those who live out the qualifications in their life

We look at the shepherd’s heart and the life that is driven by that heart

Acts 20: Paul traveling back to Jerusalem…he tells the elders to pay attention to themselves and their flock…there will be people arise from the elders that draw away some of the flock

Titus 1:9 – giving instruction and sound doctrine…elders must be ready to teach right wrong

1 Peter 5 – don’t be domineering

Shepherd’s rod was for beating off enemies or animals

Shepherd’s staff had a crook that was used to rescue sheep from a cliff

Moses’ anger overcame him and he struck a rock with his rod

Phil 3:17 – become imitators of Christ, the chief shepherd

Have you considered what Christ gave up for you?

 

 

July 16 2017 Morning Bible study

Elders should always be plural…need to have more than one

Jeremiah 3:15 – studying the Old Testament gives us a lot of insight into the people that God chose to lead His people and how they should behave (and examples of those behaving badly)

God always had a specific plan of how He wants His Kingdom to be organized and led but man has continually rejected God’s plan and sought his own ways

Examples of shepherds: Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob

Jeremiah 2:7-8 – example of negligent shepherds

Jeremiah 12:10 – “…many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard…”

Who were the shepherds? Prophet, priest and king

The Messiah would be a shepherd over His people

John 10:11 (ESV) “I am the good shepherd…”

Jeremiah 23:3-4 “…I will set shepherds over them…”

1 Peter 5:2-3 – the life you want people to lead by example needs to be practiced by the leaders trying to influence the people

What does the word ordain mean? To designate, appoint, conduct, make

Hebrews 5:1, Hebrews 8:3 – “…for every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices…”

The term ordain seems to connotate great ceremony and garments

Instead of ordain, maybe use “set aside”…they aren’t above anyone

Worldy definition of clergy – above reproach, in charge, and holier or more important than lay members

Matthew 23:6-11 – the Pharisees love the attention of the people…call no man your father on earth…the greatest among you shall be your servant…

1 Peter 2:17 Honor everyone

Phil 2:3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit

Minster – diakonos – an attendant

Col 4:7 “…fellow servant in the Lord…”

Matthew 20:25-28 “…whoever should be great among you must be your servant…”

The leaders of the Church are servants of the flock

 

 

 

 

July 9 2017 Morning sermon Ezekiel 34:1-3

Jeremiah 3:15 – “…I will give you shepherds…who will feed you with knowledge and understanding…”

It’s not an insult for us to be known as sheep being led by shepherds

In many instances, those in charge of feeding the flock were busy feeding themselves

Jeremiah 23:4 – “…I will place shepherds over them…”

It’s in man’s personality to “go it alone”

When we opt to take our path, we reject Christ as our Head

We can’t invent a better a way than what God has prepared for us

Prophet – received message from God and gave it to people – like Moses, Samuel and Ezekiel

Priest – teach people the Lord’s rules and the Law…Lev 10:10, Ezra 7:10

King – shepherd for the people Deut. 17:28 – the king was to make a copy of the Law so that they knew

Some people are waiting for Jesus to come and setup His kingdom on the earth

Do you want someone leading you who is feeding themselves or feeding you?

Hebrews 13:7

Congregations need shepherds after God’s own heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 9 2017 Morning Bible Study – A Study of Shepherding

Goal of this class is to learn how He wants us to choose leaders

Who is the Head of the Church? Christ is.

Matthew 28:18 – “…all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me…”

A preacher isn’t a pastor unless he is also an elder

Matthew 7:21 “…not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom…”

God desired every congregation to be led by elders (plural)

1 Peter 5:1-5: “…shepherd the flock of God among you…likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders…”

Why is it important to know the history of God’s people as it to pertains to their response to the leaders over them?

1 Cor 10:11 – “…but they were written down for our instruction…”

Acts 20:28-30: “…from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them…”

History shows the gradual departure from the pattern of congregational leadership God gave in the New Testament

150AD we see a start of a departure from this arrangement

381AD we see the first pope installed

In the Catholic Church, their traditions are as important to them as the Word of God

How did it happen that the structure of the early Church evolved into the same structure as the Roman Empire?

2 Thess. 2:3-4: “...let no one deceive you in any way...”

1 Samuel 8:5: “…appoint for us a king to judge us…”

Man has it in his mind a better way to rule over man than God does

Man has traditionally resisted authority

Numbers 12:1 – Miriam and Aaron spoke out against Moses

Romans 13:2 “…to resist governing authorities is to resist God…”

Acts 3 – disciples were told not to preach in His name

Numbers 16:3: The rebellion of Korah

Luke 12:48 “…too whom much is given, much will be required…”

Exodus 32:1: In a vacuum, men will create and follow their imaginations “…make us gods to go before us…”

Jeremiah 10:23: “…it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps…”

Why has God chosen the model of shepherding sheep and not a CEO?

Ephesians 4:11 – “…and he Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists…”

Some preachers are pastors

John 10:1-5 – portrait of the shepherd and the flock

 

 

 

 

July 2 2017 Morning sermon – 1 Samuel 8 – the people want a king

Paul sent Titus to establish elders

God tells the people that man is rejecting God in favor of an earthly king

It’s in man’s nature to be hostile towards God…Jesus came to reconcile us

Elder is the same a pastor is the same as an bishop is the same as an overseer

Number 12 – Miriam and Aaron rejected Moses’ rule

2 Peter 10 – those who are against God defy authority

Romans – those who reject governing authorities are also rejecting God who installed those authorities

Hebrews 13:17 – Elders, etc. are there to watch over souls

The overseers are designed to guide the flock not rule over them

Jeremiah 10:23 – man can’t direct his own steps…he needs the direction of God’s Word to guide him

Proverbs 14:12 “…there is a way that seems right to a man…but it leads to death…”

Jeremiah 6:16 – God pleads with Israel “…ask where the good way is…find rest for your souls…”

We try to invent new ways of doing things, we beckon back to the old paths…God’s ways never change

John 21:15-17 – “…Peter, do you love Me?...feed My sheep…”

1 Peter 2:25 “…you have returned to the shepherd…”

 



July 2 2017 Bible study – Genesis 15

Abram wondered how God would bless him with children since he and his wife were of an advanced age

God established a covenant with Abram

Abram is told of the upcoming enslavement of his people for his 400 years and his death before that event

By walking through the middle of the parts of an animal, you signify that if break the covenant, you will end up dead like the animal used in the making of the covenant

Do we have covenants nowadays? Mortgages, contracts, etc.

Genesis 16 – Sarah gave Hagar to Abram to jump-start the children process instead of waiting on God

Page 43 in workbook – usually the two parties walk through the middle of the parts of the animal but in God and Abram’s case only God walked through the middle

Abram’s named is changed to Abraham (signifying the father of many nations)…God requires that all the men be circumcised to be part of the covenant…Sarai is now to be called Sarah (“my princess” to “a princess”)

Abraham asked for a blessing on Ishmael…God said He will establish a covenant with Isaac

There were already civilizations performing circumcisions at this time in other parts of the world, but this was a new practice for Abraham and his family

How many times in our lives have we been impatient and try to make things happen?

Sarah laughs to herself (but is still heard)…maybe Sarah never heard from Abraham that she would have a child or maybe she didn’t believe it

 

 

 

June 25 2017 Morning sermon

God is not found in the book of Esther…no Jehovah or El Shaddai or any other formal word for Him

It’s a great history book and a lesson on the providence of God

Have you not seen the handprint of God on the world around you? That’s what Mordecai asked Esther

Not everyone believes that God still exists in this time

A lot of people think that God doesn’t act and react in the affairs of men in our age…they think that when Jesus left, He stopped working in our world until Christ comes back

Is life a collection of random events that only sometimes intertwine

It takes more faith to believe in coincidences than to believe that God interacts with us daily

Mordecai doesn’t tell Esther what to do but asks “what is your purpose?”

There are no minor roles in life…everyone has their part to play

By Esther’s actions, she saved the Jewish people

Hebrews 11 – by faith…things we cannot see…things we cannot rationalize (otherwise it wouldn’t be faith)

1 Cor 7:20 – “Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called…”

Jeremiah 29:11 – “…for I know the plans I have for you…”

There is a future we have until the end of time and the future of eternity

God has placed something in our hearts that is a sense that we exist in time

What is my particular purpose? What difference can I make?

 

 

 

 

June 25 2017 Morning Bible study – Genesis 11 – Tower of Babel

Genesis 12, pg. 31in workbook

Abram and Sarai lived in Ur and were going to be traveling to Canaan

Abram was a good man but also human

Abram visited Egypt to seek refuge from a famine back home

Abram lied to the Egyptians in telling him that his wife was his sister and he profited greatly from it

Pharaoh asked Abram why he had lied and brought trouble to Egypt

Seven promises from God to Abram:

·       Make you into a great nation

·       Bless you

·       Make your name great

·       You will be a blessing

·       Bless those who bless you

·       Curse those who curse you

·       All people will be blessed through you

Abram wouldn’t see the full extent of these blessings

Excavations of Ur show fine craftsmanship…it had 30 foot walls and elaborate temples and many examples of finer things

Genesis 13 – Abram and Lot go separate ways…Abram went to Canaan (Hebron) and Lot settled near Sodom

From sight alone, the land Lot chose was better but the people were evil in that “good land”

God often would pick out certain children of a family to share details about but that didn’t mean that there were no other children

Genesis 14 – The conquerors took Lot and all his possessions…one person escaped and told Abram about the events…he took 318 trained men with him to go get Lot and his stuff and his people

The king of Sodom wanted to give stuff to Abram but Abram refused...he wanted God to get the glory

 

 

 

June 18 2017 Morning sermon – Judges 13:3-8

The animal kingdom has examples of fathers…the emperor penguin father takes care of the eggs…the African wild dog father feeds the pups…the red fox father hunts for 3 months for food for the pups and then stops bringing the food to them so they learn to forage and hunt

Manoah did 3 things as a father that we could learn from

1.    He prayed

2.    He pleaded

3.    He purposed

It’s frightening for a father to think of his kid being born into this world

Manoah’s son was to be a Nazirite for life

To have a child is a gift from God

Genesis 48:9 “…these are my two son whom God has given me…”

It’s not the world’s responsibility to raise our children…it’s not the school’s job to teach the kids the morals they need to be good citizens of the world

Paul instructs fathers to bring up the children

Proverbs has lots of words of instruction for parents

Solomon pleaded for wisdom to rule the people

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of understanding…”

Hebrews 12:8 – “…if you are left without discipline, you are illegitimate children…”

 

 

June 18 2017 Morning Bible study – Genesis 6-11 workbook pg. 23

Why would the Earth need to start over again? Man was evil.

There’s a lot of wickedness in the world back then and today

What is the difference between our world today and Noah’s day? We have our hope in Jesus

The ark would have been about 1.5 football fields long, 50 feet tall, storage area of about 450 semi trailers

Rained for 40 days and 40 nights…the water stayed on the earth for 150 days after that. Water was 20 feet above the tallest mountain

God makes a covenant to never send floods to destroy the earth again

The inhabitants of the ark were inside of it for more than a year

Why shouldn’t we kill others? They and us are made in God’s image

 God set the rainbow as a sign for man and Himself

Ham mocked his father’s nakedness and thereafter he was subject to his brothers

Tower of Babel

 

 

 

June 11 2017 Morning sermon – Luke 5

Kingdom of Israel was about taking over the Promised Land

Isaiah spoke of turning the swords into plowshares…the Gospel of peace…we would have peace with God…barriers breaking down

Jesus told the men they would become fishermen of a different kind

Mark 1 – Peter encountered Jesus before

John 1:41-42 – first encounter with Christ and Peter (Peter’s brother Andrew met first and went and told Peter)

A-ha moment…moment of clarity…epiphany

John 7:5 – Not even Jesus’ brothers believed in Him…although later they had an “a-ha moment”

Thomas had an “a-ha moment” a little while later

We don’t have to wait until we hear a booming voice from the sky or a life-changing event to make a decision but often it seems to happen that way

Our goal is “none of self” and “all of Thee”

Jesus prepared His disciples to become fishers of men who in turn prepared others to be fishers of men and the cycle repeated through Acts

Christ wants the disciples to grow in grace

Avocation – hobbies

Vocation – job that pays for us to provide for our family

What if we make our real job being a fisher of men?

1 Corinthians 11:1 – “…become an imitator of me as I am an imitator of Christ…”

People aren’t impressed to change their life because you know Hebrew

Remember that people are watching you to see who you imitate

We don’t want to draw people to us, we want to draw them to Christ

 

 

 

June 11 2017 Morning Bible study – Genesis

God often said “it is good” or “it is very good”

Adam’s job was to name the animals and other living things and tend to the garden

Only one thing Adam and Eve couldn’t do: eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil

Eve told the serpent that God said we can’t touch the tree (God said don’t eat of the fruit)

God’s original intention was that we wouldn’t be aware of anything bad

God made clothes out of animal skins for Adam and Eve

Chapter 4 – Cain and Abel…they were given instructions beforehand on what sacrifices would be acceptable…Cain knew what the rules were

Cain’s name meant “brought forth” in Hebrew and Abel’s name meant “temporary” or “meaningless”

The difference in the two offerings was a matter of obedience

God put a mark on Cain to keep people from killing him

Why is there different kinds of sin? Any sin boils down to one of these themes: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, pride of life

All literature falls into one of these themes: man against God, man against himself, man against nature

Around the time of Seth’s family, people called on the Name of the Lord

 

 

 

 

 

June 4 2017 Morning sermon

Acts 2:1-4

One of the highlights of the life of a Jewish person would have been to go to Jerusalem on one of the three special days of the year

The Ethiopian eunuch may have been on this sort of trip

Today is the Day of Pentecost (50 days after Passover)

The Old Testament was pointing towards the Day of Pentecost

From the Day of Pentecost and onwards, people pointed backwards

Israel and the Jews were looking for a Messiah to kick out the invaders and sit on the throne

In Acts 1 Jesus left to prepare a place for us

Jesus had to die in order for all the prophecies to be fulfilled

All of the pieces of the puzzle have been given to us

“…behold the kingdom is at hand…” John the Baptist was preparing for the Messiah.

Somewhere between Jesus ascending and Peter teaching the Gentiles (Cornelius’ family), something happened

Pentecost feast occurred 3 times a year…Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy

The Law was a shadow but the reality was Christ

The feast was a shadow that was preparing the people for the Messiah

Pentecost was when the people brought the first fruits of what they harvested or toiled at to give back to God. They were to present a grain offering (2 loaves of bread with leaven) – this can refer to the Jews and Gentiles. Leaven wasn’t usually used in bread baked for holy days.

It is a tradition of the Jews that the day of Pentecost is the day that Moses came down the mountain and gave the Law to the Israelites

“…lift up your eyes and see that the fields are white unto harvest…”

“…the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few…”

Pentecost is a fulfillment of

Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s dream – four kingdoms at the time: Babylonians, Medo-Persians, Greeks, Romans

We aren’t looking towards a kingdom that is to come; it’s already been established

We are given a peace that surpasses all understanding

Many Muslims who convert to Christianity report that the main reason they converted was that they were shown love

“…they will know you by your love…”

Isaiah 11 – “…the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon Him…with a word He will strike the earth…the lion shall lie down with the lamb…”

The Bible is the #1 best-selling book of all time

The Kingdom of God and the Church are the same thing…it’s God’s plan for us to have a relationship with Him…whether Jew or Gentile

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 4 2017 Morning Bible study – Genesis

Who is the author of the book of Acts? Luke.

Workbook page 4 – in the old times, a book was usually named after the first few words

The Jewish people refer to their holy texts as the Torah…the first 5 books of our Bible…also known as the Laws and the Teachings

Most scholars believe Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible…it makes sense that Moses wrote them since he would have had a great education in reading and writing in Egypt

Moses may have listened to oral stories and incorporated them into his writing plus some documents that the Egyptians had

Some also came from the mouth of God

Acts 7:22 – speech of Stephen to the Sanhedrin…he spoke of the Jewish history from Moses onwards

Miriam and Aaron were Moses’ siblings. In Numbers 12:8, God took exception to Miriam and Aaron opposing Moses regarding Moses’ wife (a Cushite). God pointed out that He talks directly to Moses and not like other people with whom He speaks indirectly.

Genesis is not going to be a scientific study with minute detail explained. Why don’t we need to know every single nuance in the book?

We are going to talk about the glory of God…maybe by us needing to know the minute detail, we are trying to live by sight

Common words: “It was so…it was good…let it be”

 Up until verse 26, there was no mention of “us”

Job 38:4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?...

Elohim – God, Yahweh – Lord

The man was commanded to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil

Animals were named and woman was created

 

 

May 28 2017 Morning sermon – Matthew

Ephesians 6:10-17

Paul wrote from a prison cell…he was able fully view the concept of the armor of God (he probably saw the armor of the guards assigned to him)

We should be more vigilant in the Walk

We are not in the army of the world

Those baptized wear Christ’s name upon them

Man’s wisdom is nothing compared to God’s wisdom

The armies of the world boast of their strength

The army of God boasts about our weaknesses

Humbleness and the heart of a servant aren’t weak qualities

Be ready…be prepared…have your armor on before going into battle – these concepts would have been drilled into a soldier

We live in a time where we are told there isn’t an absolute truth

The Gospel of peace is our great commission

Without faith, it is impossible to please God

One piece of armor we often leave off is prayer

We think the devil’s schemes are new to our age

Envy, ungratefulness, division are tools of the evil one

There is a lot of so-called science that is just theories

One of the tribes of David understood the times in which they lived

As wise as a serpent…as gentle as a dove

Paul Harvey wrote an article titled “If I Was the devil”…subvert the Church first…whisper that the Bible is a myth…what is bad is good and what is good is square…families at war with themselves…young minds would have refined intellects but unchecked emotions…convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned…in other words if I were the devil I would keep on doing what he’s already doing…

We don’t hate people, we hate sin

Christians are delivered from the domain of darkness

Those who fool around with the dark arts have no idea who they are dealing with…our youth are gobbling them up like never before

To which kingdom do you belong?

 

 

 

 

 

May 28 2017 Morning Bible study – Acts

Paul advised Timothy via the Spirit that a great many people would fall away (apostasy)

Persecution of the Church first came from the Jews

Romans tolerated the Church at first

The Church fathers mentioned there was not music used in the early Church

One of the first departures from the original setup was the organization of Church leadership

About 150AD there was an exalted elder to lead the other elders

About 200AD there was a bishop over the eldership

About 250AD there was a diocesan bishop over Churches

About 300AD there was a metropolitan over the diocesan bishops

About 381AD there was one patriarch (pope) over the many metropolitan – there was a pope in Roman and Constantinople…the Church in Constantinople become the Eastern/Greek Orthodox church

During Martin Luther’s time the people wanted to rebuild Vatican City and they were going to sell indulgences to finance it

Luther wanted to bring back the Catholic church to its center

People kiss the toe of the statue of Peter in Rome

Printing press invented in 1500s was used to make Bibles…for the first time, it wasn’t only the priest that could read the Bible to you

King James Bible – 1611

Henry the 8th – started his own church so he could get a divorce from his wife

People wanted to come to America so that they could worship God in their own way and not the way the King of England wanted them to worship God

The Lord’s Church has Christ as the head…we don’t have another governing head or body…we are self-governing

 

 

 

May 21 2017 Morning sermon – Matthew

7 things we must do when we worship

Colossians 3:15-17 – Ephesians 5:19

True or false: The Church of Christ does not use music in worship

Being a member of the Church of Christ tends to make one accentuate the negative

 

1.    The Spirit and the Word must be dwelling in us

Don’t quench or grieve the Spirit

2.    Richly with all wisdom (abundantly)

There are many songs created that don’t accurately reflect Scripture

3.    Sing to one another

It doesn’t say “sing only if you have a good voice” or “sing only if you are having a good day” or “sing only if you like the song leader”

If you are looking for a Church with no hypocrites, you will be searching a long time

        We aren’t here to sing the praises of the world

4.    God desires the heart

5.    Sing vertically to God – there is none other worthy of praise than God

6.    Be thankful – not just during worship service but at all times

 

 

May 21 2017 Morning Bible study

Acts 27-28, pg. 103 in workbook (finished up the workbook series)

Paul travels to Rome…the winds were against them

Paul warned the sailors ahead of the trip that a bad storm was coming

During the storm, Paul warned that the ship would be destroyed but no man would be lost…they got stranded on Malta

Paul heals men from snake bite…he also heals a man with dysentery

Word spread and then many more people came from around the island to be healed…the people were so grateful that they provided a ship with supplies for Paul’s next journey…this gift ship had mastheads that depicted Zeus’s sons (Castor & Pollux)…they were supposed to bring good luck during storms

Pg. 105 in workbook – Paul prayed over the sick man

Paul created his own opportunity to do good…from a prisoner came deliverance

We need to offer to do what we can with God’s help

When in Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself with a Roman guard

When Paul got to Rome, he spoke to the Jews first which is interesting because the Jews in other locations got him sent to Rome

If you are telling the truth, it’s easy to tell the same story each time

Paul told the Jews that the Messiah they had prayed for had already come

The Roman Jews claimed to only have heard good things about Paul

For 2 years Paul stayed in his rented house and received anyone who came to visit

“…you will be ever seeing but never perceiving…” – quote from Isaiah

 

 

 

 

May 14 2017 Morning sermon – Matthew

Solomon said laughter is good medicine

Mother – a person who does the work of 20 people for free

Behind every Mom is a basket of laundry

A worried mother does better investigation than then FBI

Moms – like Dads only smarter

While on the cross, Jesus pauses to remember His mother

In the Law of Moses, if anyone struck their mother or father, they were to be put to death

Children obey your parents (first command with a promise: that it will go well with you)

Moses had two mothers

Moses was born into a culture of death

We live today in a culture of death…60 million is a conservative estimate of how many babies have been aborted since 1973…this doesn’t even count the rest of the world

The greatest gifts we can give to our children can’t be bought in stores

Let your children grow up in a poor household…let them grow up doing chores

Cowbird – puts its own eggs in the nest of another bird…not all mothers are good mothers

Older women are supposed to mentor the younger women

The Providence of God is greater than the wisdom of men

The one who rocks the cradle rules the world

Aristotle and George Washington credit their success to their mothers

The mothers of the Bible stand as good examples for us today

Three institutions God has given us: Government, family & Church

If one of those is removed, we don’t succeed

 

 

 

May 14 2017 Morning Bible study

Acts 22, pg. 95 in the workbook

Paul in chains

Sanhedrin (Pharisees and Sadducees) – they often were at odds with Roman authorities

The Roman official had Paul speak in front of the Sanhedrin

Can you follow the law when it suits your needs and ignore it when it doesn’t meet your needs?

Acts 23 – Pharisees believed in resurrection of the dead, the Sadducees didn’t

Paul was a Pharisee whose father was a Pharisee

More than 40 men took an oath to not eat or drink anything until Paul was killed

Paul’s nephew told Paul about the plot against him and then he told the Roman official about the plot

The Roman official ordered 470 soldiers to be gathered to take Paul to Governor Felix

Acts 24, pg. 101 in workbook – Felix was born a slave…he was a big fan of bribery

The Jews spoke about Paul as being from the “sect of the Nazarene” and him being an agitator

Festus pushed Paul’s case up to Agrippa

How many Roman rulers did Paul pass through? Claudius, Felix, Festus, Agrippa, Emperor

Acts 26 – Paul argued his case before Agrippa…he told how he himself used to persecute the Christians…told about his conversion process

 

 

 

 

May 7 2017 Morning sermon – Matthew

Matthew 13:1-8 – Parable of the sower

If you want to harvest in the fall, you need to sow seed in the spring

Christ was talking about an everyday event

Jesus was asked why He was speaking in parables…

Mark 4:13 – “Do you not understand this parable?”

The prophets throughout the Old Testament didn’t understand that the things they were writing about were pointing to the Messiah who was to come.

It’s the duty of the Church to teach the Good News to all (sow the seed)

We have the mind of Christ so that we may know all things

Every person sowed to can yield one of 4 results:

Rocky ground – yield nothing; they receive the Word with joy but once hard times come, they fall away

Rocky ground – spring up fast but wither without water

Thorny ground – choked out

Good soil – they hear and obey

Satan snatches away before the seed can take root

Some people accuse Christians of making the Word so difficult that nobody can understand

“…He who has an ear, let him hear…”

“…be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger as it pertains to the Word of God…”

It’s God desire that we understand…some will not or cannot bring themselves to obey the will of God…it’s not that God’s arm cannot reach them…God is not willing that anyone should perish

The choices we make every day bring us under the umbrella of the possibility of persecution

John 6:66 – “…from that time many disciples went back and followed Him no more…”

Mark 4:16-17 “…immediately they receive it with gladness…endure only for a time…immediately stumble…”

Thorny soil – lure of riches can choke out the good…

“…for the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil…”

Deceitfulness of riches – very hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God

It all comes down to excuses…have you known someone who always has excuses?

People choose to walk away

What soil are you in? Am I producing what I should be? What is the fruit I need to be producing? There are changes expected in us as God’s Word grows in our lives

Some people will have lifelong struggles with sin and we shouldn’t look down on them for that

Eph 5:8-10: “…for you were once darkness…the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness…”

Gal 5:22-23: “…fruit of the Spirit is love…”

In Acts, we hear that the hearers of the Message obeyed the Gospel in order to live a new life in Christ

We never know when our time is up…life is brief

Acts 24:25 – Felix said go away for now…I will call when it is more convenient

Agrippa told Paul he almost convinced him to accept the Good News

 

 

 

 

 

May 7 2017 Morning Bible study - Acts 21 workbook page 87

Paul is doing a lot of traveling in this chapter…walking, boating…not always easy roads

Took a trip to Phoenicia, then Syria, then Tyre

While visiting with the disciples, they urged Paul through the Spirit not to go to Jerusalem

Paul is warned again that the Jews would bind Paul and give him over to the Gentiles

Paul was not dissuaded from going to Jerusalem

A lot of people were upset that Paul was telling people that Christians didn’t have to follow old Jewish traditions (head shaving, circumcision, etc.)

Nazirite vows – man or woman could take a vow of special dedication to God which included:

Could not eat or drink products of grapes

No contact with a corpse otherwise 7 days cleansing process

No cutting of hair

Many Jewish Christians still maintained old traditions

Christians can go out of their way to defuse situations by considering the feelings of others

Some of Paul’s actions towards Jewish traditions show that he tried to work with people where they were in their journey…some may say that he was compromising the Message by accepting the traditions of others. Paul would never compromise the tenet of salvation by faith.

During any time of transition, there has to be patience

You can keep your traditions as long as they don’t compromise your faith in Christ

Acts 21:27 Paul is arrested after the crowd got stirred up by a small group…they argued that Paul brought Greeks into the temple and defiled it (he didn’t actually do that)…the rioting stopped when the Roman officials arrived (civil authorities)

Paul was bound by the Romans and was led into the barracks…had to be carried into the building due to the violence of the crowd

The Roman commander asked Paul if he was the Egyptian terrorist who led 4000 people out into the desert

Paul talked to the crowd in Aramaic and to the Roman soldiers in Greek…he laid out his story as a Jew of Jews and a persecutor of Christians…he gave his testimony and urged the crowd to repent

Latin was the official language of Rome but Greek was the language of commerce

While Hebrew was the usual language of the Jews, they picked up Aramaic during the Babylonian captivity

Acts 22:22 – the crowd listened to Paul until he said this and then they shouted “rid the earth of him!”

Paul asked if it was legal for him to be flogged as a Roman citizen

Page 90 in the workbook section C – by Paul speaking Greek to the Romans, they would have thought that he wasn’t a Jew

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 30 2017 Morning sermon – Matthew

2 Tim 3:14-17

Lots of companies look for a “does it all” device

Swiss army knife with 81 features and 108 uses

Workshops and kitchens and drawers are filled with items that claim to be an all-in-one tool

While the Bible isn’t specifically a book about science, scientists can look to the Bible for facts about science

The Bible doesn’t contradict any known scientific facts

The Bible confirms science…it was centuries ahead of man’s knowledge

The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed

The New Testament is the Old Testament revealed

The prophets of the Old Testament were writing about the Messiah to come

If you believe the Word of God is complete, it will direct your life

If you believe the Word of God is missing things, you will live your life in uncertainty

We wish that God would talk to us in a booming voice and tell us how to live our lives…He has already told us how to live via the Book

Many Christians may still be infants…they hold onto a verse and never grow and mature

We don’t do fellow people any favors when we hold their hand in their immaturity in Christ

Scripture is profitable for 4 things:

·       Teaching

·       Reproof

·       Correction

·       Training in righteousness

There is a sound doctrine and there is a contradictory doctrine

We can’t be left to our own imaginations

The man of God – refers to men and women

Paul would refer to men and women and mankind often

Preachers, teachers, elders, deacons, disciples – Paul uses the words for men and women

A disciple is fully trained but never greater than his or her teacher

If there is a maturity, there is also an immaturity

We should demand that we become mature in the Word of God

Paul’s desire was for congregations to become complete and mature in the faith

A congregation without elders is incomplete

Be diligent – study and do your best to become like Christ

Good works: evangelism, edifying the brethren, benevolence

What is God’s plan? His desire is that no one should perish.

People should know that Christ died for them, not just some other people over there

 

 

 

April 30 2017 Morning Bible study - Acts

Middle of Acts 18-middle of Acts 21 pg 79 in workbook

Paul’s 3rd missionary journey

God worked many miracles through Paul…people touched Paul with handkerchiefs and aprons and then took these and touched the sick and they were healed

Be wary of people nowadays who say they have items that can heal you

Acts 19 – some Jews tried to cast out demons…the evil spirit turned on them…it knew they weren’t speaking for Jesus

People burned old sorcery scrolls

A silversmith wasn’t happy that Paul taught that man-made gods aren’t right…this silversmith made his living selling items at the temple

For 2 hours the people shouted “great is Artemis of the Ephesians”

A clerk appealed to the people to calm down

Our governmental system was based on Roman rule of law

Paul talked until midnight…a man fell asleep and fell out of a window…Paul healed him

 

 

 

April 23 2017 Morning sermon – Matthew

Proverbs 3:1-12

Success in life – it has many different definitions…Wall Street may define it as a good return on an investment. Maslow said success if self-actualization…in Zen Buddhism, success is enlightenment. In America, success would be living the American dream.

Success in the eyes of God is quite different from man’s idea of success

Some successes are a milestone you reach, some are a journey

Ecclesiastes 12:10 – “…much study is weariness to the flesh…fear God and keep His commandments…”

1 Kings 3:14 “…if you will walk in My ways, then I will lengthen your days…”

Solomon finds out the hard way…we believe what God has told us about what we ought to do but we fail to follow through with it

Matthew 7:24 – house on the rock vs. house on the sand

Jesus wasn’t saying anything new…there is nothing new under the sun

How God deals with us today is different than how he dealt with Moses and others of the patriarchal age

There is a reward/return on investment on the items that Solomon lists in this passage of Proverbs

Let your heart keep His commands

The wider and deeper your foundation, the higher you will go

You can’t forget what you haven’t been taught

You can’t be a car by sitting in a garage

Family, government and the Church all require that people be taught

Proverbs 29:15 “…a child left to himself brings shame to his mother…”

We tend to think that “length of days” as us living a long life because God is pleased…the Hebrew meaning is more about addling life to the years that you have

A glad heart is the best medicine for the soul

Live His ways – Jesus chastised the teachers of the Law because they had neglected some parts of the Law, specifically mercy

Trust in the Lord – don’t try to be wise in your own eyes

Loosen our grip on our possessions – do we possess things or do they possess us? What we have is just things to use.

God gives us spiritual and physical gifts

Long for the discipline of the Lord

The purpose of the Christian (Romans 8:29) is to conform to the image of Christ

 

 

 

 

April 23 2017 Morning Bible study – Acts 15

Workbook pg. 71 Lesson 9

Luke was author of Acts

Recap – previous Jewish people were requiring others to be circumcised to be in Christ

If I feel that God has done something great in my life, do I keep it quiet in humility or do I share it openly with others? That seems to be a fine line.

We should be open to sharing how God works in our lives

God purified their hearts by faith

Apostles worked with the Church in various cities to select some elders to stay and leaders to travel to various cities to address matters

Paul and Barnabas had a disagreement…Barnabas wanted John to accompany them on a trip…Paul didn’t want John to attend due to John abandoning them on a previous trip…good news is that Paul and Barnabas went separate ways on missionary journeys and covered more ground

Acts 16 – the apostles would sometimes receive instruction on where to travel from divine intervention via dreams and guidance from the Holy Spirit

Paul spoke to the spirit in the little girl and through the power of Christ cast it out…the handlers of the girl realized they lost their cash cow and lodged a complaint and Paul and his companions were put in jail…an earthquake came and shook open the jail and everyone stayed put…the jailer and all his family were baptized

Paul didn’t quietly leave jail; he mentioned that he was a Roman citizen

Acts chapter 17 pg 72-73 in workbook – Paul and Silas went to Berea…there were agitators whipping people up and Paul went separately to the coast and then to Athens while Silas and Timothy stayed in Berea

People were getting caught up in the unrest and forgetting about the peace

Paul while in Athens encountered philosophers who wanted to know more about these “strange teachings”…Paul noticed an altar with an inscription to an unknown god

“…God does not dwell in a temple made by man…and is not served by human hands as if He needed anything…”

“…in the past, God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands the repentance of everyone…”

Chapter 18 – Paul went to Corinth…met Aquila who came from Italy. Claudius has ordered the Jews to leave Rome.

Paul met resistance from the synagogue so he next concentrated on the Gentiles…Paul stayed for a year and a half

The Jews agitated against Paul and the Jews took the complaint to the Roman magistrate who declined to hear their case

The Jews beat their own synagogue ruler

Workbook pg. 77 – God encourages us in various ways…could be by the hug of a believer

Gallio set the precedent of Judaism and Christianity being legal for about 15 years until Nero started persecuting the Christians

 

 

April 16 2017 Morning sermon – Matthew

4 things that God wants from our hearts

Mark 12

To consider what is important to God is a timeless question

Matthew and Luke recount this similar incident…in Mark, the scribe genuinely seeks knowledge

Some people were interested in learning what Jesus had to teach; others wanted to hear themselves talk and ensnare Jesus

Jesus was often asked why his disciples broke with traditions, who gave Him authority, and other items like marriage and divorce

Those who are experts in their field are often bombarded with questions

Jesus would entertain the endless questions

“…always learning and never arriving at the knowledge of the truth…”

It all starts with the heart

We have been given a soul from God…He has put eternity into man’s heart

Keep your heart with due diligence

God wants an honest heart – from the honest heart begins the quest to seek God

Pharaoh’s’ heart was hardened first…God never makes us do something we don’t want to do for ourselves

God wants a seeking heart – the mind of the prudent acquires knowledge

John 7:17, Acts 17:11 “…examining Scriptures daily to find out if the words were true…”

Saul persecuted the Christians with a clear conscience but he didn’t yet have the knowledge of Christ

God wants an understanding heart

God wants an obedient heart – Romans 6:17 “…you became obedient from the heart…”

We need to be broken-hearted and contrite…see a need for God in our lives and others’ lives

How far are you from the Kingdom of God today?

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 16 2017 Morning Bible study – Acts 15

Lesson 8 pg. 63 in workbook

Conflict resolution – the early Church has been in existence for 20 years

Acts 2: Jews are brought into relationship with Jesus

Acts 11: Gentiles are brought into relationship with Jesus

Judaizers: Jews that converted to “the Way” but still followed the laws and traditions of Moses and required Gentiles to do the same…especially requiring circumcision

Acts 15:1 – Paul and Barnabas went to various places to speak about circumcision…they would be fighting against rigid legalism…if they don’t address these issues now, then the Church could split

Sometimes in conflict resolution you find that one party is wrong…how do you validate what they say but also point out the error in their ways?

Matter of opinion versus matter of doctrine (refer to book, chapter and verse in the Bible)

Some Pharisees ordered the new Christians to keep the laws of Moses

Is it always bad when we are debating things?

Imagine that customs and values that generations of your family held are suddenly changed for a new set of customs and values

When Paul took Timothy on the various trips, Timothy was circumcised so that he could more easily enter the synagogues…not so with Titus

James lists some items to keep away from (related to old laws): food offered to idols, sexual immorality, eating meat from strangled animals and eating blood

How many laws do the Jews adhere to? 613.

It must have been difficult to deal with all the different peoples with different cultures and customs…now they are all mixing together in the Church

When in Athens, the apostles spent their time talking about things that are new

Paul will continue to have issues with Corinthians, Romans and Galatians in regards to Judaizers…no one will be made right by following the laws of Moses

As long as there are people, there will be people problems

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 9 2017 Morning sermon – Matthew

Nehemiah 4:6-10

Did you pray about the future of our Congregation (assignment from last week)?

We all have things to do in God’s kingdom…that’s why we study his Word

Nehemiah was a cup-bearer to the king

Nehemiah fasted and prayed three months…he realized that anything that will be done can only be done through God

Nehemiah was gone from the king’s service for 12 years

Susa is 840 miles from Jerusalem

The focus shifts to “…the trouble we are in…let us rebuild the walls of Jerusalem…”

It’s not a one-man project

Nehemiah didn’t form a committee to find out who to blame…he sees what lies before him and says “we are going to rebuild the walls”…he showed what God had put on his heart

Anytime that God’s people do work for His Kingdom, you can be sure that people will stand in the way of that progress

“…the God of Heaven will give us success…”

God gets all the glory for the things we do in His name

There may be people that won’t work but the work will still get done

From the high priests to the temple servants, everyone works

There is no shortage of critics in this world

Sometimes half-way through a project, we look around and think the project is too big…we think about how our strength is failing and forget to look up

We think we have to come up with something big to be relevant to the 21st century

“…don’t be afraid, remember the Lord who is great and awesome…”

We can outlast our enemies…we are assured a victory if we are doing the work of the Kingdom

The disciples were told to wait for the Holy Spirit to arrive…then they listened to God to know where to do the work next

It takes leaders to guide us in the Work

Everyone has been given a talent that equips them for service to the Lord

When people feel like they are a part of the Body, then they are willing work…what is your part in this Congregation?

There is room for everyone to labor in the Kingdom…no one is excluded, from young to old

Please pray this coming week to find a way you can fit in

Romans 12:3 – “…think of yourself with sober judgement…we in Christ from one body…”

Are you playing a part in God’s kingdom? We are all members of the Body

Maybe we will travel to far-off countries, but more likely we will influence our local community

If your gift is to be a parent in your home, then do it

If your gift is to invite people in, then do it

If your gift is to cheer people up, then do it

Whatever is holding us back, let’s leave it behind us

We all have struggles but we can work through them

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 9 2017 Morning Bible study – Acts 13 & 14…pg. 56 in workbook

Barnabas and Paul went to Cyprus via boat

The God-fearers – Gentiles that believed in the Jewish God

Acts 13:6 – met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet…Paul called the sorcerer a child of the devil…enemy of everything that is right…he was blinded for a time

Up until this time, we had seen miraculous signs of healings…in this case a miraculous sign was someone being afflicted

How do we know what God wants us to do? By studying the Word, having an open heart in prayer

Paul is a Roman name…Saul is a Hebrew name

Eastern Orthodox Church can be found today on Cyprus

There’s no hierarchy between us and the Lord (man-made structures in some churches)

Acts 13:13 – sailed to Perga…John left for Jerusalem…leaders of the synagogue invited the apostles to bring a word of encouragement

God used judges until the time of Samuel after which Israel had kings

These 10 verses are a good summary of the history of the Jewish people leading up to Jesus

A servant was the one who untied their master’s sandals…John is saying I’m not even worthy to be a servant

The Jews were jealous of the large crowds that gathered to hear Paul and Barnabas speak…Paul and Barnabas had to speak to Jews first, and having been rejected in a large part, they turned their Message to the Gentiles

Pg. 59 in workbook Paul urged his listeners to accept Jesus as their Messiah…we can all use some good news nowadays

We have the same Message that Paul had

Acts 14: Iconium…people of the city were divided…there was a plot to stone the apostles

By spreading the Good News, we are putting ourselves in danger of rejection…not too likely to get stoned

Lame man in Lystra was healed…Barnabas they called Zeus and Paul they called Hermes…they thought the Greek gods had come down to earth…Paul and Barnabas quickly dispelled this idea

Paul was stoned and left outside of the city

Paul and Barnabas appointed elders in various Churches

The apostles reported what God had done through them…do we let God do works through us?

 

 

 

April 2 2017 Morning Sermon – Matthew

Nehemiah 4

There have been many motivational books and speakers over the last few decades: Napoleon Hill…Stephen Covey…Dale Carnegie…

You rarely find the book of Nehemiah among the influential peoples’ libraries

The Old Testament was written for our instruction

God has given us work to do

Nehemiah lived about 130-150 years after Jerusalem was sacked by Nebuchadnezzar’s army…Nehemiah has never seen Jerusalem

Years earlier the foundation of a new temple had been laid but they lost steam along the way

Nehemiah isn’t ignorant or apathetic about the issues…he prays for guidance

Our strength won’t be found in ourselves, it will be found in God

We need to pray for our ability and for doors to be opened

Jesus was always praying

If we try things with God’s help and guidance, it will fail

“…O Lord let your ear be attentive to the words of your servant…”

The people that would work on the wall weren’t skilled masons or carpenters, they were common folk but were willing to work

God didn’t call the qualified, the qualified called on Him

A lot of the heavy-hitters in the Old Testament were shepherds

God will qualify all of us to do a great work

We don’t have to invent anything new…all that we need has already been written

Sometimes we think too big…think about one person at a time

 

 

 

 

April 2 2017 Morning Bible study – Acts (Tim)

Pg. 47 in workbook

Most people who claim to be religious really don’t know that the Church didn’t exist before the book of Acts

After Saul’s conversion, the first Gentiles became believers

Mark 16 “…you will handle deadly snakes…raise the dead…”

“These things were done to confirm that they were done in the name of God…”

Acts 10:1-8 – Cornelius – an angel tells him to call on a man named Peter

Cornelius would have commanded at least 100 soldiers…he and all his family had been known for their piety and generosity

He turned away from polytheism to become Jewish

We may never receive a vision like Cornelius but God will still work in our lives and He sees our good works

Cornelius would have been comfortable with giving and taking orders…he obeyed even though he didn’t fully understand

God gives us guidelines for living but we don’t often know what is going to happen next…the future is like unexposed film to us though God sees the developed film very clearly

Sometimes we aren’t sure if God hears our prayer

Two kinds of people in the world: In Christ and not in Christ

We are either building a wall or tearing one down (the wall of sin between God and us)

We judge by the outside appearance

Peter sees a vision…he objects to the items that were previously unclean and that doesn’t want to do what the vision requests…he sees the vision 3 times…he eventually learns that the topic isn’t about clean/unclean animals but something deeper (the Message applies to Jews and Gentiles)

God pairs seekers with those who can fill the need (Ethiopian and Philip)

The Churches at this time would have had sort of a hybrid Gospel…old-time Jews would have expected certain rules and customs to still be followed

If the Old Law was adequate, there would be no need to update or change it…but it was nailed to the Cross with Christ

A lot of Churches today have hybrid systems of worship

Most Jews at the time of the new Church objected to the “new way” of doing things

SEE (significant emotional event)

Acts 11:17 “…who was I to hinder God…”

Cornelius fell at Peter’s feet but Peter said “…get up for I am only a man myself…”

Jews looked at Gentiles with great prejudice

“…if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation…”

Repentance is the old passes away

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 26 2017 Morning sermon – Dane

Ya Can’t Just Sit There”

Story about the guy in the lawn chair with tons of helium balloons

Mark 2:1 – the people can’t get enough of Jesus

Jesus worked in and out of Capernaum

The men with the paralytic friend know enough about Jesus to bring their friend for some healing

“…Son, your sins are forgiven.” The paralytic man’s friends are hoping Jesus will say “you are healed”. For Jesus, the spiritual needs are more important than then physical needs.

The teachers of the law that were present criticized Jesus in their hearts for Jesus’ forgiving the man his sins

It’s important to take time every day to think of the blessings God has done for you (for this day alone even)

Those things you can’t do anything about, don’t worry about them

The paralytic’s friends have a sense of urgency

We seem to be more concerned about getting a checkbook right than getting our soul right

Country-club mentality: when I get to a certain point, then I will get involved

When you buy into the Kingdom of Heaven, you need to expect roadblocks…the paralytic’s friends think of a way to get the man into the presence of Jesus

Community is valuable – what the paralytic’s friends did together could not be done by one man alone

If you are a baptized believer, you are walking with others

Grab a corner and do something…we often sit around and say “…what we ought to do…”

The first thing we should start doing is praying…

 

 

 

 

March 26 2017 Morning Bible study – Acts

When people are seeking, we don’t have to know all the facts, we need to be able to share our story

We know people who are good and Godly but they put no value on baptism

Saul is converted – won over

Conversion vans of the 1970s…the company would receive a stripped-down plain vanilla van from the factory and they would outfit it with all kinds of upgrades such as chrome wheels, overheard carpet, TVs, fancy seats

Workbook pg 39 – Acts doesn’t tell us much about Saul

Saul was sincere in his belief that he was protecting the Law against a person and a movement that he deemed was violating it

Does being sincere make you right?

“…I was a Hebrew of Hebrews…” Saul disrupted the lives of many believers

Philippians 3:4-8 Paul’s credentials and authority

Paul would have needed to have a total hatred for the followers of the Messiah…we don’t know if Paul himself killed anyone but he definitely approved of it

The greater Paul’s rage, the greater God’s grace

How can God’s grace reach out to criminals or drug addicts…or a stubborn relative?

Lee Strobel – people will not die for their faith if they believe it’s not true

One of Paul’s motivating energies was that he couldn’t believe he could have been so wrong in his actions

A man like Paul with so much drive and tenacity is an asset to God’s side…God uses even the worst of us for some unbelievable tasks

Could God have felt what it’s like to be human before Jesus came to earth? No. God can now empathize with us as we walk through life.

When God told Moses to go talk to pharaoh, Moses said “I’m not a good speaker”

Ananias has the same feelings as Moses…he’s not sure that Saul is really the guy to do the job

When things are going quite right, that’s when we reach out in prayer

Saul is not destined to be a “secret-service Christian”…Saul has always given 100% percent

The officials that Saul had the approval of would now be his enemies

Verse 19 – “…something like scales fell off of Saul’s eyes…”

Paul knew where the Jews would be so he went to the various locations to share the Good News

Acts 3:22 – “…they were cut to the heart…” The peoples’ hearts were broken because they realized they killed the Christ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 19, 2017 Morning sermon – Jack

John 15:13

“The man next door”

Each of us will have 24 hours this day…how will you use it? Not how will you spend it, but how will you use it?

Time represents opportunity

Matthew 25:14-28 – parable of the talents

A coin represents relative value…our labor or service is worth a certain amount of coins

Our abilities given from God can be thought of talents (value)…

While the master in the story is gone, time is given to the servants to make use of their given talents for their master’s glory

A box of treasure’s value isn’t in the box but what’s inside of it

Luke 12:34-35 – “…sell what you have and give alms…for where you treasure is, there will your heart be also…”

Alms can be a meal for a street child in Ghana, a blanket to a hurricane victim in Burma, a cup of clean water to the thirsty in Cambodia, a hug to a sister, an ear to your brother, a kind word to the grieving

A meal to someone who is starving is a treasure…same with a cup of clean water to someone who is parched

Our God who is timeless loves us and prepared a plan from the beginning of time…a plan to redeem us from sin

Matthew 16:24-27 – “…whosoever shall save his life shall lose it…for what does it profit a man if he gains the world but loses his soul…”

Romans 8:12-17 “…for ye have not received the spirit of bondage…joint heirs with Christ…”

God loves you and has loved you since the very beginning

Our treasure is our soul…treasured by God above all else

 

 

March 19, 2017 Morning Bible study – Acts

Simon the sorcerer believed and was baptized and followed Phillip

The believers in Samaria had been baptized but not yet received Holy Spirit…Peter and John came from Jerusalem to pray over the new believers and the Holy Spirit was then bestowed on them

Simon wanted to pay for the gift of the Holy Spirit

Acts 8:26 – Phillip and the Ethiopian…

Our old habits, lifestyles and prejudices have to be given up in order for us to follow God

Workbook page 36

Acts 8:36 – the official was reading Isaiah…the fact that this man was able to read and that he had a copy of the book was pretty amazing

If you have grown up in a Church, you have many years of someone explaining the Bible to you…does all that info stick with us? How about compared to info we are given when we are younger or older?

Even an older person who has read the Bible for years can come across passages they don’t think they’ve ever seen before

Think about your opportunity to share your faith with others…while most people might not know you, if they see a Bible in your hand, they may know more about you

 

 

 

 

March 12, 2017 Morning sermon – Mark

Be Happy – there’s no reason why a Christian shouldn’t be happy

Nowadays it seems that Christians are the unhappiest people around…why are we so miserable?

Christians seem to use social media to complain

Why are we shaming Jesus?

Why am I feeling this way? My knee hurts, my back hurts…usually caused by something we did

Galatians 6:7-10 – “…a man reaps what he sows…the one who sows to please the Spirit…will reap eternal life…”

We think that because God loves me, all the things in the past are done and over with…God forgives our sins and death no longer hangs over us but that doesn’t mean we don’t pay for the things we’ve done in our lives (consequences of things we did before we were saved)

James 1:2 – “…consider it pure joy…when you face trials of many kinds…testing of your faith breeds perseverance…”

If we ask ourselves “How am I going to do this”, notice that we include the word “I”…we make it about ourselves

Jesus asks us “why do you worry…the birds don’t store and they are taken care of”

1 Cor 10:13 – “…no temptation has seized you except what is common to man…”

There is always a way out of temptation…God has promised that in any situation, He will always provide a way out

Why are we upset when we go through trials? James said we will endure a lot

In school, we are tested so the teachers find out what we know

In Christ, we are tested so that we know what we can do because God needs to use us…we may not know what His plan is for us but we are tested to become ready

God doesn’t tempt, He tests

1 Peter 4:12-19 – “…do not be surprised at the trials you are experiencing…if you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed…”

Instead of looking at rough days as something to regret, you should view it as a blessing because you were found worthy of such suffering…the more you suffer, then more you can handle

If you do something wrong and you suffer, you are only getting what you deserve

Suffering is usually a bad thing…it can be a paradigm shift to view it as a blessing (God is looking to us to proceed through the suffering so that He can use us for His purpose)

Persecution of the Church does happen in this country…it isn’t will bullets like some countries

There’s only two types of people who die – those who have done God’s will and those who haven’t

God is preparing us to help someone else…God has a reason for why we are still here on earth

Christians are in a fishbowl…the way we handle hardship is visible to others

Sometimes we need a reminder that God is good and our life is good and we need to rejoice…maybe God is in front of us during trials trying to remind us to rejoice in Him

There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be happy…we need to take stock of where we are

 

 

March 12, 2017 Morning Bible study – Jack – Acts 5 (pg 23 in workbook)

Maybe the books of Acts should be called “action”…the apostles and colleagues are men and women of action…traveling and teaching and healing, etc.

Acts isn’t just the Church’s beginning but the Church in motion

Everything in the Bible is put there for a purpose…a major reason is for encouragement

Apostle – those who were selected by Christ who witnessed His ministry and His death, burial and resurrection

1 Cor 15:1-4 – Gospel is God through Christ saves us all

Solomon’s porch/portico – this was a highly visible section of the temple

The early Church did not separate themselves from their Jewish community…they see Jesus as the fulfilment of the prophets of old

Are we told to leave the world? No, we are told to reach out to the world…how do we reach others if we cordon ourselves off from others…we can’t let out light shine

A time of persecution doesn’t seem like a good thing for the growth of the Church…but God uses the calamity for good (Joseph in slavery)

Christian discipleship should not be a casual decision (what socks to wear, what to eat for lunch)

We may not be persecuted in the same way, but we shouldn’t casually accept Christianity

If someone wants to be baptized, they need to know the depth and breadth of the commitment they are about to make

Page 25 – High priest at this time is Caiphas…usually the Sanhedrin picks the priests but at this time the Romans chose the leaders who were aligned with Rome

It must have been frustrating for the leaders because they thought they were rid of Jesus and now these fishermen are telling the crowds about this same Jesus

At this time, in order to be a rabbi, you had to memorize the first 5 books of the Old Testament and then they study at the feet of a rabbi until they are about 40 years old

The apostles didn’t subscribe to the hierarchy of the high priests apart from Jesus

Usually Jerusalem has about 50,000 residents but during festivals, it could be about 100,000 people and out-of-towners would have heard the apostles’ preaching

The high priest himself wouldn’t have been the one grabbing people off the street so he has his underlings do it

The apostles spend a night in jail and are freed during the night and being preaching again

Stand firm, hold your ground

The Commission to preach the Gospel has never been suspended due to hardship and persecution…the Holy Spirit is our guide through all the difficulties we may face

“We must obey God rather than men…”

Jesus is our advocate who sits at the right hand of God

Can we expect forgiveness?

Page 27 – God of our fathers – any Jew would know the story of Moses, Joseph, Abraham, etc.

Gamaliel – pg. 29

 

 

 

 

 

March 5, 2017 Morning sermon – Zack

Jesus’s death on the surface is a sad story

If there was any good to be done, Jesus did it

How many times do we miss an opportunity to do good?

Pilate saw no guilt in Jesus and was ready to let Him go

Jesus didn’t want to suffer, but He endured anyway

Matthew 26:28 – “…this is My blood…that is poured out…”

Jesus knew that He had to fulfil His role

Animal sacrifices could never fully atone for us

1 Cor 6:9-11 “…the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God…and such were some of you…”

Idolatry – putting anything ahead of God

Isaiah 53:7 – “…he was oppressed and afflicted…yet he opened not his mouth…”

A lamb doesn’t know what what is coming…Jesus knew what was in store for Him

Romans 3:23 – “…all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God…”

The wages of sin is death…it’s not a good profit

If we live all our lives striving to be better, we will still deserve death due to our sin

1 Peter 1:18-19 – “…ransomed with the precious blood of Christ…”

We have become slaves to sin

How should we respond to God’s gift?

1 Peter 3:21 – “…baptism…now saves you…as an appeal to God…”

Some people say baptism is a work but it is a work of God

What do we do after baptism? Jesus calls us to walk in His ways

1 John 2:5-6 – “…whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk the same way He walked…”

If we live a life of unrighteousness, we tell God “I don’t want your gift anymore”

If we understand why Jesus came and what He did, we ought to praise God

Revelation 5:12 – “…worthy is the Lamb who was slain…” The angels know that Jesus is worthy

Is our life a response to what Jesus has done for us? He provides us with grace and peace…Ephesians 1:3 – all spiritual blessings come from above

It is sad that Jesus had to endure His suffering but it’s the ultimate blessing for us

 

 

March 5, 2017 Morning Bible study – Acts 3, workbook pg 15

Speaking in tongues means they were speaking in the native languages of the people present

Some people were amazed at this miracle and others said “they are drunk”

Peter’s healing miracle at the temple – lame man at least 40 years old

Peter tells the people that they did wrong and that it was done out of arrogance and then he told them about Jesus

“If you will repent, your sins will be wiped away…”

What’s wrong with my sins? I’m not worried about them.

Doing wrong is right for different reasons (we tell ourselves)

Acts 4 – great outline for starting to tell someone about Jesus

The people were astonished that “ordinary, unschooled men” were preaching to them

The Sanhedrin didn’t deny that there was a miracle but they focused on keeping this phenomenon from spreading…they commanded the disciples to not speak more about Jesus…the teachers of the Law couldn’t figure out how to punish the disciples

Peter and John went back to their people and gave a report of what had happened…

There were a lot of houses and pieces of land that were sold and the money was given to the apostles to distribute to the needy

Acts 5:1-11 Ananias & Saphhira – they sold property and kept some money and gave some money to the apostles but told them that he gave all of the money…”you have not lied to men but to God…”

The disciples weren’t interested in a following for themselves…they looked beyond the lame beggar’s immediate physical needs

When we look beyond the surface of others, we can see the deep needs

If someone needs $20, is it only that person that needs the help? We need help too. Can you help them to get the $20 themselves in the future?

Just because someone seems to have x, y and z doesn’t mean they don’t have problems

What do you have that you can offer someone on a regular basis? You have a lot more than you think you have to offer someone else. Hope, love, listening ear, Word of God…

Using wisdom to help someone…instead of giving them $20, you may offer to buy them a meal

We should give the Lord credit for the good works He does in us…we have to guard against pride…we have to remind ourselves that the Lord does all the good works in us

Let us encourage one another to do good in the Lord

 

 

 

 

 

February 26, 2017 Morning sermon – Matthew French

1 Cor 15:58 – Our Labor Is Not in Vain

Some Greeks didn’t believe in the Resurrection

786 times in ESV occurs “therefore”…what’s it there for?

People all over the world wonder what happens when they die

If the only thing we have hope in is what we have today, then we are missing out

Daniel 12/John 5 – resurrection of just and unjust

My beloved brothers – the members of the Church at this time were often feuding with one another over who has gifts and who contributes what

Every congregation of the Lord’s Body has issues…there is no such thing as the perfect congregation

How we treat our own brothers and sisters speaks volumes to those outside the Church

Paul gives 37-38 directives to the Thessalonians…instead of “one more thing I have to do” it can be something I can strive to be

Be steadfast (kind of like immovable in our faith…not quickly shaken)

When we think “I have grown enough in the Lord”, that’s when the devil attacks

The world calls to us with fun things to do…they can become habits that take us away from the things of God

If I’m not regularly attending Church, why not? It’s a heart issue.

What is the work of the Lord? It could be using your talent…being a greeter at the door, working on the bulletin. You need to look to do something that is a work of the Lord

Whatever our circle of influence is, that is our world…what’s your elevator speech?

Equipping the saints – encouraging one another

We often feel discouraged…we don’t know if what we are doing is making a difference. It would have been easy for Paul to express discouragement.

You can count the seeds in an apple but you can’t count the apples in a seed

Are we continuing on with the Lord?

 

February 26, 2017 Morning Bible study – Acts

Matthew French

Acts it the outline of how the Church started and it’s a blueprint for how the Church can work today…we don’t have to reinvent the wheel

Luke wrote Acts to Theophilus

Greeks write history differently from how Jews write it…Jews write in groups of topics whereas Luke decides to write in a linear format

Acts is about the spread of the Gospel from the time Jesus ascended to Heaven to Paul’s imprisonment at Rome after two years (A.D 30-62) – Jesus was born 4 B.C not 0

Acts’ geographical settings is modern day Israel, Syria, Turkey, Italy, Egypt, Libya, eastern Europe et al

Luke had some first-hand knowledge of the activities at this time and then other instances he relied on others’ information

Learning pyramid

Lecture-Reading-Audio visual-Demonstration-Discussion Group

Acts is a bridge between the apostolic books and the epistles

First part of Acts chronicles Peter and later part of Acts chronicles Paul

Are people saved the same way today that they were saved in the first century?

The true purpose of Israel is that the blessings of the Church would flow out to the rest of the Earth; lots of people thought Israel would become a powerful kingdom in the literal sense

Are you a missionary in your own home? Your neighborhood? Your state/country? Other countries?

If we don’t take care of our own children, it can be tragic.

We aren’t all called to be polished speakers…we should all strive to be kind and care about others…people want to see a sermon not hear one

The people in Acts thought Jesus would return in their lifetime

Drawing lots to replace Judas – a white stone and a black stone or several stones…if you pulled out a certain color, you were “it”

Why did they leave this choice to a game of chance? This removed the hint of favoritism and left the choice up to God

Chapter 2 – Day of Pentecost

Holy Spirit descends and causes speaking in tongues (different languages then they originally spoke)

The apostles for the longest time believed that the Message wasn’t going to include the Gentiles

Those who heard words in their own language: Parthians, Medes, Elamites, Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, Libya, Rome, Cretans and Arabians

Isaiah 11 – root of Jesse…God will recover the remnant of His people from the nations mentioned in Acts 2

Lion laying down with the lamb…Jesus’ Message is about peace

Our sword is the Word of God…it’s our only offensive weapon. We haven’t been told to go kill people in the Name of God

Restoration heritage (circa 1800s) – all penitent believers receive indwelling of Holy Spirit at baptism

Acts 2:14-21 Fulfillment of Joel 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 19, 2017 Morning sermon – Zack

What’s the deal with God’s commands?

There’s a lot of them

They come from God

Different attitudes and approaches to these commands

1050 commands in the Old Testament

800 different commands in New Testament

 

Three main approaches to Scripture:

·       The commands are there but God will forgive me. Because of grace, I don’t have to follow the commands

Good: grace saves Eph 2:8

Wrong: View of obedience Matt 7:21

·       We should follow all of the commands perfectly and that’s all we should o

Good: views obedience seriously

Wrong: fails to understand grace

Wrong: Vain worship Matt 15:1-9, Matt 23:23

Sometimes we make a mess when we try too hard to keep the commands…we may forget to practice forgiveness when someone errs

Are we robots in worship?

·       Observing the commands as a means to an end

Grace saves

Obedience is necessary

Obedience is a response to salvation that helps us

Baptism isn’t something that we do, it’s a work that God does in us

 

Why should we have this view?

·       Our motivation

We are often motivated by fear

 

·       Prevents empty worship and apathy

·       Helps us grow closer to God

 

 

Why are the commands there?

·       They help us to know God (1 John 2:3-6, Deut 10:12-15)

·       They help us to achieve conversion (Eph 4:22)

·       They help us to express devotion to God (John 14:21)

 

The commands are ultimately there to help us keep from harm in some way or another

We learn through these commands that God cares for us

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments”

 

 

 

February 19, 2017 Morning Bible study – Jack

Reminder: this book has three speakers: Bride, Groom & Bridesmaids

Song of Songs 6

Verse 4 – as majestic as troops with banners – this would have been a lovely sight for a king to see

Verse 6 – sheep in this part of the world would have been walking in dust day after day and they would look spectacular after being washed

Compliment versus flattery – flattery is insincere and often self-serving…the word sincere literally translated means “without wax”

In the old days, they would fix statues with wax to make it look better

Verse 13 – Shulammite – several possible meanings two of which are “peaceful one” or a pagan god of fertility

Chapter 7:1-9 – customs of this time were a bit different than today

How do these more modern quotes compare with Song of Songs:

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”

“Beauty is but skin deep”

“Beauty is the gift of God”

“Rarely do great beauty and great virtue dwell together”

“Beauty as we feel it is sometimes indescribable…what it is or what it means can never be said…”

The writers of the Bible used imagery that was relevant to the time of the writing

Genesis 3:16 – as a result of eating the fruit, childbirth would be painful for the woman and her desire will be for her husband

The young woman in Song of Songs is confident in her beauty and virtue and she says “my future husband will desire me”

How would a man with 700 wives desire this new wife versus the others? Not sure but that was a different time and place.

At this time, you could kiss your brother in public but not your husband

We see people walking together but not engaged with each other

Older women are to teach the younger women on how to conduct themselves…they instruct the younger women to remain chaste until marriage

Love is as strong as death…if you truly have love, it conquers everything else

The Church is Jesus’ bride

Song of Songs 8:14 – similar words in Revelation

God calls us to respond to His invitation to love Him and run towards Him

 

 

 

 

 

February 12, 2017 Morning sermon – Zack

1 John 3:16-17

Moving forward with visitation

We know love because of Christ’s love for us

We are called to be like Christ

Our Body is in need

Life is perilous…all need encouragement

The blessings of visitation are innumerable

God is calling us to be involved in each other’s lives

Matthew 10:5-7 Jesus sends out the 12 to start visitation

If we don’t know how to achieve our purpose (Love God’s Word, Live God’s Word, Spread God’s Word), we won’t move forward

We need to put our knowledge to action

We need to stop using y’all passages…somebody else is already doing the work so I don’t have to

What are you goals for personal visitation?

If you don’t have a plan to do something, you probably will never do it…you have to be committed to the work

Matthew 2:37 – “…love the Lord your God with all your heart…soul…and mind”

Achieving God’s design – His Church wasn’t designed to be just a social group but a cohesive unit that is closely knit together and is headed in the right direction helping each other along

Acts 2:24-47

If our Church works towards the Lord, we become a working hospital

People saw that the Church was involved in helping each other and their community and that drew them in

God has given us so many talents…some we may not know until we start to work using them

You have to let the Lord work in you in order to be more like Christ…it’s not a passive event.

We are all called to be involved in helping one another

 

 

February 12, 2017 Morning Bible study – Song of Solomon Chapter 1 & 2

Who was the author? Solomon…although recent studies are trying to dispute that

1 Kings 4:32 – Solomon wrote 3000 proverbs and 1005 songs

“Song of Songs” in Hebrew would mean “the best of the best”; the pinnacle

This is the all-time best love letter in the world

Three characters in this book: bride, bride’s maid/maidens, groom

Solomon reigned from 970-930 BC

The bride is quite in love with her groom

Why did God preserve this book for us? God is never mentioned in this book. Is this book left for us as an example of true romantic love?

During the time of this book, not everyone lived in cities…a large segment of the population lived in tents and moved with their herds of livestock. The city-dwellers might work out in the country during the day and go back to their city at night for protection.

The bride was dark-skinned because she spent her days outside in the vineyard in the daily sun

The “fair” women had covered heads and it was a sign of status to have light skin…the servants did the outdoors work

The Kedar nomadic people made their tents out of darker colors…this color would make the tent remain cooler

The bride was a little self-conscious about being dark-skinned although she is confident in her beauty

Does the color of your skin dictate your beauty? It’s the beauty inside that radiates outward.

The horses of Pharaoh were highly respected and prized…they put earrings, necklaces and jewels on the horse and their harness.

“…perfume spread its fragrance…myrrh…” – perfume was quite costly back then

Verdant – means green in color or can signify something new and fresh

“Your eyes are doves…” – doves are gentle and cooing and beautiful.

Rose of Sharon hymn refers to Jesus. It’s a beautiful flower that’s quite common in the Middle East when properly tended

Apples don’t grow in this area…maybe it was an apricot or date? Maybe this author helps others relate to it?

Banner – the symbol that an army follows…the banner signifies who the people are underneath it. There were multiple banners used to broadcast what the steps of battle were (archers forward, cavalry forward, etc)

Left hand/right hand – a deep embrace showing affection…is this really happening at this time or is she imagining the future?

Gazing through the lattice – apparently the bride wasn’t living in a tent but instead a house…the groom is trying to catch a glimpse

Some people think the bride may be holding the groom at arm’s length until they are married…time to slow down and stay out of sight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 5, 2017 Morning sermon – Zack

Confess your sins to one another

This command is probably one of the hardest to do

Confess – to admit or acknowledge a fault

Nobody likes to admit that they messed up

Sin is lawlessness 1 John 3:4

Pray for one another

Confession of sins leads to healing

Confess with purpose – don’t do it for selfish purposes (pity, attention, having someone else deal with your problems)

Confess for healing…can be physical and spiritual healing

Our conscience is going to affect our faith

Matthew 5:22-24

Perhaps the person you wronged needs spiritual healing too

Confess to “one another”…this can be a wronged brother, the Church, or someone who can help

Repentance is a part of confession

Struggle – to make a sometimes violent effort to get free of an entanglement

When we confess our sins, we should do so without excuses…don’t worry about losing status or tarnishing our image

Listen with purpose – gossip is a great evil that ruins trust…be considerate and forgive

Listen prayerfully – Philippians 4:6-7…prayer restores

We should ask God to guard the heart of the confessor

Respond without judgement…people are afraid to confess because they’ve seen how other people have judged previous confessors

How can we judge someone who wants to make their life better?

If we don’t provide a safe place for someone to confess their sins, how is there going to be healing?

Confessing is restorative

Confessing builds bonds – Galatians 6:2 “bear one another’s burdens”

As we build bonds, we can help restore our brother

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 5, 2017 Morning Bible study – Ecclesiastes 9…pg. 89 in workbook

Difference between youth and age

It’s easy to think about the problems of the day and not the blessings of the day

Even a live dog is better than a dead lion

We should enjoy the days of our lives because they are numbered

How we live our lives matters…as long as there is life in us, there is hope

As long as we have breath, we need to live in the present

Cast your bread upon the water (the waves will bring it back)

How do we come to relationship with God such that we know what He wants us to be doing with our life? Read the Bible, fellowship with others. The Bible isn’t just a book of “do this, don’t do that” concepts

Chapter 11 – banish anxiety from your heart

We need God when things are good and when things are bad

To the one who pleases Him God gives wisdom

Enjoy your life because it is in the Lord

Remember your Creator in the days of your youth

Fear God and keep His Commandments for this is the whole duty of man

 

 

 

January 29, 2017 Morning sermon – Zack

Encourage One Another

Life is hard

        Trials – finances, family troubles, natural disasters, death

Temptations – these can result from the trials we face…where is God in my suffering…the world is numb to sin

        Imperfection

You can worry your trials such that it consumes your mind daily

The world redefines wrong things such that it makes them appear to be good

The devil is a lion…he has the ability to make the sinful look desirable

Tolerance is the buzz word of the day

We tell ourselves “I can sin because God will forgive me by His grace”…we use this as an excuse

Romans 6:15-17 – Paul talks about using grace as an excuse to sin

We are a slave to something…either a slave to sin or to righteousness

Proper encouragement helps us stand up to sin

We can be encouraging to others by being attentive to their lives…we need to be able to see changes in their mood and behavior and speech

We can encourage another person by going and sitting with them

We can encourage with our words and bits of God’s Word…we will have a greater impact with His Knowledge than with whatever we can think of to say

God’s Word is more than just a book of rules…it’s a book of knowledge and comfort

We need to leave our comfort zone

Praying with someone can have an amazing impact

Satan is powerful…he has the ability to make sin look like it’s the right thing to do…we need to desire the things of God

Our goal shouldn’t be “I’ll do what I have to do to get to heaven”, it should be “what can we do together to all get to heaven”

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 29 2017 Morning Bible study Ecclesiastes 6-8

Solomon couldn’t fully understand God’s work in this world…neither can we

God to Job: Were you there when I created the water?

Which is better to have: money or a glad heart?

Matthew 6:34

No matter what your situation, put your trust in God’s hands

“Lord I don’t want to think about this anymore…I can’t do anything about it”

Your problem as you would like it to be solved may not be the result God brings about…but at least you know that God loves you and is paying attention to the situation

Is the Bible a heavy/deep book?

The end of a matter is better than its beginning

Anger resides in the lap of fools

Do not say “why where the old days better than these current days” for that is not wise

The wisdom preserves the life of the possessor

If people say nice things about you when you are dead, why wouldn’t you say the nice things to them while they are alive?

There’s always going to be something about you that someone else doesn’t like…but that shouldn’t keep you from being nice to others

We learn more from those in life who are hurting than those who spend their lives seeking pleasure

Were the “good ol’ days” really all that good?

Even wise people can never discover the full meaning of life

 

 

 

 

January 22 2017 Morning Bible study

Ecclesiastes was meant to be read aloud to groups

Without God in his life, a man will not find joy in his daily routine

Ecclesiastes 3 – a time for everything

Man has no advantage over the animals…all come from dust and to dust all return

Our responsibility is to figure out what activities are appropriate for certain seasons

In Hebrew, two opposites mentioned together symbolized totality

Is there ever a time to feel sorry for yourself?

We as Christians are striving to show love to the world while the world shows hate

Page 76 in workbook…2nd part of the burden on man is our eternity

We do not live only by our instincts like the animals do

How can one find satisfaction in one’s daily work? Be thankful for the opportunity to do meaningful work

You can focus on the positives or negatives in this life

Eccl 4 – “…I saw the tears of the oppressed and there was no comforter…”…those already dead are happier than those who are still alive…”…man envious of his neighbor…

For whom am I toiling?

Eccl 5 – stand in awe of God…guard your steps when you near the House of God…do not be quick your mouth or hasty with your heart…let your words be few…speech of the fool has many words…it is better not to vow than to make a vow and not keep it

The king himself profits from the fields

As goods increase, so do they that consume them

The sleep of the laborer is sweet

If you can remind yourself that I am doing my best for God, then whatever you are working on will benefit

Every opportunity is a teaching opportunity

Page 80 – Solomon told the tale about a miser who hoarded his goods and caused warped character and he lost everything…all the miser really gained was sadness and frustration

If we let the Lord work in our lives, we can live glad lives

 

 

 

January 15 2017 Morning sermon – Bob

Asking honest questions

What is our worst enemy? Cancer? Sin.

Sin wreaks more havoc than any other enemy we can think of, but we often rationalize it away.

Who is the true seeker? What does it mean to find God?

A growing viewpoint is that everyone is a seeker. They spend their whole lives looking for purpose.

Since people are seeking God in their own way, they are finding God in their own way.

Have you ever needed something but didn’t know what it was?

Have you searched for something and didn’t know where or how to look?

Matthew 7:13-14

We live in a multiple-choice culture…it has even found its way into religion

The limitations on us have a Godly reason behind them

The wide gate has no limitation on the baggage you can carry in…your selfishness, pride, sin

The narrow gate has limits and God decides what you can bring in…to travel this road, you have to leave everything behind (greed, bitterness…)

If you choose the wide road, you aren’t going to like where it ends up

There are two types of traveling companions: most people won’t give their life’s path a second thought…a smaller number of people give careful thought to the whole journey

Do all people search for God? No…most people stumble through life

Are all religious people searching for God? The devil likes to get these people to doubt themselves and other believers (Matthew 7:15-20)

What do you see growing in other peoples’ lives?

Are all Christian people searching for God? (Matthew 7:21)

When a person is born into a family, they wear the family name. That person can bring shame or pride to the family name.

Someone else can choose my name or nationality but I can choose Christ

People may call Jesus Lord but they don’t make Him their Lord

Why do I follow Christ? Is it faith or fear…love or duty?

Do all active Christians search for God? (Matthew 7:22-23)

A handshake can be extended but there’s not real warmth behind it

In matters of faith, Jesus wants a depth of sincerity

In our world, we don’t usually require sincerity; we are ok with going through the motions except when it comes to money. In matters of money, we require the utmost of sincerity.

What is it that God really wants? Does He want words and deeds? Sure.

We can offer these things to God and still miss out…He wants a relationship with us.

God didn’t need Paul and Apollos to work on planting Churches, He wanted to build a relationship between them and Him

Jesus pointed out that it’s not about activity, it’s about relationship

Matthew 7:24-27

It takes time to know Jesus…no shortcuts. It’s more than hearing God’s Word…it’s more than doing the things the Word says…it’s knowing Him

Matthew 7:28-29 – the people listened and were amazed…we aren’t told if anybody changed their life

The deception of sin is that we hearing a message about how to change our life but we don’t act on it

What if a cure for cancer was found but it was ignored? How irrational is that?

 

 

 

January 15 2017 Morning Bible Study – Bob

It shouldn’t surprise us that we have 4 different accounts of the Gospel.

Matthew, Mark and Luke were written about the same time.

John wrote decades later to a much different audience (many who didn’t eyewitness the written-about events).

We tend to see Jesus in our own image or as a larger version of ourselves…anthropomorphism (giving human characteristics to non-human beings like an object, animal or God).

How many paintings have we seen with various depictions of Jesus? It depends on who makes the paintings (i.e. European artist, Jamaican artist, North African artist…)

Everyone looks at Jesus as some version of themselves…in a way that’s an honor to Jesus because we want to identify with Him

Do you have a mental picture of Jesus? Has that picture changed over the course of your life?

We see Jesus most clearly in His relationships (i.e. John the Baptist, Teachers of the Law)…we learn about His:

·       Priorities

·       Struggles

·       Dreams

·       Leadership

·       Vision

·       Emotions

 

Malachi prophesied about a coming Messiah…then there were no new messages for about 400 years. Then a new prophet starts talking about Jesus (John)

John’s message – no abstract ideas, no complex laws

If God is truly personal, then the logical next step is for God to become human incarnate

John prepared the way for Jesus by telling people the bad news about their sins and the need for repentance

How can facing bad news prepare us for good news?

Why would God tell me I need to change if I couldn’t change?

Has our “Gospel” been about Jesus or something else?

We may be busy talking about how to respond to Jesus but that isn’t exactly about Jesus

Mark is an abbreviated Gospel; Matthew expounds on it a bit

Why is John confused by Jesus’ request to be baptized? He knows other people get baptized to redeem their souls by surely Jesus didn’t need to do the same…

Jesus was baptized for the forgiveness of sins but not His…He was making a decision to go down the road towards the Cross. This was the first step to giving all mankind the righteousness they needed

Jesus didn’t tell us that we have a problem with sin, He got down on our level and worked with us

·       Decision – Jesus decided to be baptized

·       Affirmation – Voice from heaven showed approval

·       Attack – Satan sees an enemy and starts to work against Him

How is my baptism my re-enactment of the Cross of Jesus?

We should always be growing in our knowledge of our Lord

If someone who is baptized at 12 thinks when they are 22 that they need to be re-baptized, you are asking your 12-year old self to have 22-year old maturity…all you can give God when you are baptized at 12 years old is your 12-year old self

None of us can point to others and tell them that they should be further along in their spiritual journey

 

 

 

 

 

January 8 2017 Morning worship sermon – Si

Does God have a specific purpose for my life? Yes and no.

Is there something specific God wants me to do?

God wants us to be His children.

Does God want me to open an auto body shop or drill oil wells or a teacher?

It doesn’t matter what we do as long as we do it in the name of Jesus

“…whatever you do in word or deed, do it in the name of Lord Jesus…”

The children of Israel did have a specific task that God wanted them to accomplish but they didn’t really understand what it was. They thought that their task was to rule the world by the Messiah who would sit on the throne in their country.

God shows us the things He has planned for the world…He worked through a broken people who struggled and suffered to bring redemption

About 70 Israelites moved to Egypt under Joseph and prospered for many years until Joseph died…the Israelites prospered and multiplied and Pharaoh got scared about being overtaken by these people and their coming Savior

The Israelites kept remembering and forgetting about their God…even when they returned to their own land, they were still in exile…God sent many nations to punish Israel

We are under the thumb of our own selfish sins

A man comes using a sword not of metal but of words…the people thought He would be the mighty ruler to vanquish the enemies of Israel…then He was crucified

On the road to Emmaus, Mary and Cloepus were downtrodden at the news of Jesus crucified…Jesus had to instruct the people that it was necessary for the Son of Man to be crucified

Jesus referred back to the foreshadowing of His coming in the Scriptures

The Israelites were looking for a specific sort of Messiah

Jesus spoke of a great victory but it wasn’t the kind of victory the people were expecting

We hate death…it’s not something we look forward to.

Without death, there would be no life. We pray all the time to heal the sick but if God answered ever prayer like that the earth would be too full

There are times when death is a welcome event

Mary and Cloepus asked Jesus to stay with them that night…during dinner their eyes were opened as to His identity and then He was taken from their sight…their eyes were opened to His glory

An old custom was to seal a covenant with a meal

We are made closer to one another and Jesus during our Communion

All of the bad things that happen to us in life can be offered up to Jesus because we know the One who makes all of our lives better

Most of our sufferings we bring on ourselves

The Savior did not refuse to suffer

 

 

 

 

January 8 2017 Morning study time – Si

In 1987, the TC congregation started a project to drill 3 water wells in Ghana. Si brought back video of some villages and people in Ghana and the TC Church mailed out cassette tapes to 1000 congregations in the US to solicit $20,000.

In 2 months, the project had amassed $85,000

World Vision International agreed to drill 15 producing wells for the $85000.

Larry Morris and Flo Mata were in the well drilling business, and they considered a 10-year program (starting in 1987) where we would buy drilling equipment and hire a crew to drill the wells. This project is still running today.

We started a Ghana newsletter to send to all sorts of congregations in the US to inform them of the progress of the well project and ask for help

We started working with local evangelists; we bought a house for Isaac Kpapko…he later went with a medical mission to South Sudan

Sudan had been in a 25-year war between north (Arabs) and south (black Africans)

West Searcy Church has been sponsoring some work in South Sudan…Isaac had to be pulled out of the field due to heavy fighting

Near Yendi, the project built a water tower with multiple faucet stations

If we win Mom and Dad we can reach the children

Samson Laar has been a blessing; he can speak 9 languages

We try to provide a motorcycle for all of the evangelists we work with

The local people are stopping the evangelists on the road to request that we preach to them and help their children get better water

We as a congregation have been part of reaching tens of  thousands of souls…we have millions to go

 

 

Since we started the project:

1000 wells dug

2500 refurbished wells

1100 congregations established

40,000 baptized

 

Current need is $5000 towards a utility truck

 

 

 

 

 

January 1 2017 Morning sermon – Zack

What is forgiveness?

We bring up the past to tell other people that they are in our debt for some wrong

Our main resolution for the New Year should be to forgive others

Forgiveness means “to give favor or grace”…it’s not something that the other person earns by doing or not doing things

The Greek definition indicates forgiveness also means “to pull from peril or pardon for wrongdoing”

A great example of forgiveness is Jesus

Ephesians 1:7 – we sinned and we don’t deserve forgiveness

Forgiveness is Christ’s gift to give

How should we forgive? Matthew 18:21-22 – Seventy times seven

This wasn’t a unit of measure but an idea of letting go of the grudges

Parable of the unforgiving servant – the man owed 10K talents, which would have been about 200,000 years of wages for a regular laborer

1 John 1:9 – Forgive like Christ does

Doesn’t hold grudges

Think forward, not backward…we dwell on the past so much that we don’t look forward

Forgiveness is about continuous love and unity with our brethren

What will you do in 2017?

 

 

January 1 2017 Morning Bible study – Ecclesiastes

Why did the teacher call everything meaningless?

Why do we search for more meaning in our lives than just physical survival?

It’s possible that the teacher didn’t consider his own life meaningless but he may have observed other people who rejected God in their own lives and wandered through life aimlessly…people guided by their desire to further their own profit

Matthew 16:25-26

Often during our prayers, we gloss over the thanksgiving part and get right to our laundry list of things we want done

Definition of faith: being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we have not seen

Difference between wisdom and faith: You can study as much as you want, but sooner or later you have to accept that there is a God and live your life accordingly

“I said in my heart…” – it seems Solomon was balancing the thoughts in his head and the emotions of the heart

Love comes from the heart…we don’t say “I will love somebody”

Don’t give up on love

 

December 25 2016 Morning Bible sermon – Zack

Love One Another As I Have Loved You

By loving Jesus, we can learn how to love one another

His coming to Earth says He loves us

Jesus didn’t have to come (He realized He needed to come)

Do we honor Jesus’ example by helping others in need?

Jesus didn’t just come to die, He ministered to the lost and needy

Instead of trying to adhere to all of the commandments, we should say “I want to be more like Jesus”

We have freedom of choice in this life…what is the right way to live? How can I get the most out of my life?

Jesus continues to minister to us even now

Jesus sacrificed His life – the most significant way He showed His love for us

If Jesus can love us who rejected Him and His Father, then we can certainly love one another

 

 

December 25 2016 Morning Bible study – finishing up study of Job

Job – Hebrew meaning “persecuted one”

Job – Arabic meaning “penitent one”

Does God test Job to prove Satan wrong?

Job tells God that everything God has given him has been used to serve Him but still Job is being persecuted…why?

God asked Job if he was content to condemn the Almighty…Job had called into question God’s integrity for making him suffer for no apparent reason

God asked Job if he was up to the task to question the Almighty

If Job was so mighty, he could have avoided the whole tribulation process

Job still knew nothing of Satan and God’s conversation regarding him…except he knows now that Job would be kept close to God’s heart

God ordered Job to listen

Often we can focus too much on rebutting what the other person says that we don’t actually listen to and process what they say to us

If you reach a point where you are happy with yourself in your knowledge of God, brace yourself…a humbling experience(s) may be coming your way

Job may have intended to take back the defiant statements he made to his friends

Job repented in sackcloth and ashes…you can’t be any sorrier than when you repent in this way

Job didn’t think he was perfect but he’s pretty sure he’s not guilty of all the many sins that his friends accused him of

We need to stop doing things to have to be sorry for

God expressed His anger at Job’s three companions…they may have assumed they were speaking on God’s behalf against Job

Job received exactly twice as much stuff after his tribulation than he had lost (sheep, camels, oxen, donkeys, 7 new sons, 3 new daughters)…Job gave inheritance to his daughters as well as the sons which was unusual in that day

Job and his friends were half right and half wrong…Job’s friends were wrong to assume that Job’s sin caused his calamity and Job was wrong to question God’s justice

Job prayed on his friends’ behalf for their forgiveness

God is sovereign regardless of the fate of the righteous and the wicked

Job proved that a person can love God simply because He is God

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 11 2016 Morning sermon – Zack

Receive One Another-Romans 15:7

What is God trying to tell us?

Greek – receive/accept/welcome…an aggressive, strong personal interest

Prodigal son

Who must we receive?

·       Our brothers with different opinions on life and traditions and how to raise children and etc

                Romans 14:3

                We shouldn’t allow our differing views to keep us apart

·       Our sick

John 8:2-3, John 11:1-44

Instead of “speaking” the leprosy away, Jesus touches the man to heal him

When Jesus heard Lazarus was sick, what did He do? He left what He was doing and He went to see him

We should ask what we can do to help

·       Our drifters – help those who have wandered from the faith

James 5:19-20

Often times people in these groups aren’t made to feel very welcome

               

Why should we receive on another?

·       Romans 15:7 – “as Christ received you”

·       How has Christ received us? When we were received by Christ, we were blind and in some ways we still are

·       God should look at us as vile creatures but instead He receives us

 

How good are we at receiving one another?

 

 

December 11 2016 Morning Bible Study

Job 32

When you go through struggles in life, you want to rely on your friends

Job had hoped his friends would build him up instead of tear him down

Job didn’t know the end of his story

Job’s friends were focused on his sin instead of trying to comfort him during his time of loss

We need to approach people with a sense of understanding

Why do good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people? “…the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away…”

Job calculated that he had done nothing wrong and he intended to please his case before God. He wanted to point out that he didn’t deserve the calamity that had befallen him

Elihu started questioning Job since the other three friends had given up on convincing Job. Elihu was angry that Job had justified himself.

“…man may be chastened…can anyone who hates justice govern?...

Do younger people have wisdom that older people can learn from?

It takes a little bit of wisdom to know you don’t know anything

Two kinds of learning – learning on your own and learning as an industry (shared knowledge) (if you go with the 2nd one you save a lot of effort)

Job 35 – “…do you think this is just...to say ‘I will be cleared by God’…if you sin, how does it affect God…your wickedness effects only you…”

 

 

 

 

 

November 27 2016 Morning sermon – Zack

His Sacrifice and Our Blessings - Isaiah 53:5

Do you ever feel like life isn’t fair?

When we were kids, we were quick to yell “that isn’t fair!”

Do we get upset when we don’t get our way?

Jesus is God’s perfect gift to us

If we look at what Jesus endured while He was on earth, His life wasn’t fair

We have a tradeoff in Jesus’ sacrifice…He suffered so that we can have salvation

Focus: To learn humility and gratitude from the Gospel

 

He was crushed for our iniquities

1.    Jesus is our sacrificial lamb – Hebrews 9:12 – in the Old Testament, the Jews had to continually sacrifice animals to atone for their sins

2.    Jesus knew what was going to happen and He went anyway

Luke 18:31-33 – Jesus prophesied His own death

Matt 26:28 – when Jesus poured the cup at the Last Supper, He said “this is My blood of the New Covenant”

3.    The price was different than the result

 

He was chastised to bring us peace

1.    We may deserve chastisement when we have done wrong, but Jesus received unjust chastisement. Mark 14:62-65 – chief priests thought Jesus was a fraud and deserved punishment

2.    We were the guilty ones…instead of receiving punishment, we received peace. God and sin can’t be near each other.

Romans 5:1 – “…we have peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord…”

 

 

 

He was wounded to bring us healing

1.    Our sin has wounded us – sin is evil and it changes the condition of our soul. We need healing

2.    Jesus is our physician – Jeremiah 8:32 “…where is the balm of Gilead?” Jesus fits the bill.

His wounds make our wounds disappear

 

Life may not be fair, but forgiveness, peace and healing are things we don’t deserve

There should not be one day that passes without us praising God

Our gratitude towards God should push us along through life

 

 

 

 

November 27 2016 Morning Bible study – Job 15-21

Pg 23 in workbook

“…miserable comforters are you all…I could speak like you if I were in your place…yet if I speak, my pain is not relieved…only a few years pass until I go on the journey of no return”

Were Job’s friends praying for him?

“…those whom I love have turned against me…have pity on me, my friends…for the hand of God has struck me…”

 

5 Sufferings of Job:

·       Loss of servants

·       Loss of children

·       Physical suffering

·       Foolishness of wife

·       Torment of his friends

 

After Bildad’s speech, that was the last straw…he felt attacked.

Words can be damaging in a counseling context…especially if the person is suffering

How can I be more sensitive to my words I use towards someone especially if that person is in the wrong?

Is it ever wrong to be kind to people?

 

“…where now is the great man’s house? …how can you console me with your nonsense?”

In this world, the evil prosper. God sees all and someday the evil will be held to account

 

 

November 20 2016 Morning sermon – Dane

“Some things just don’t change” – Mark 12

The older we get, the less we like change

Our economy changes, technology changes,

Our challenge as Christ’s Church is how to communicate the unchanging Word to a changing world

In some cases, our resistance to change can delay the benefits that change can bring

Mark 12 – Jewish leaders are trying to trap Jesus…Pharisees try to get Him on legal grounds with the Romans. The Sadducees try and trick Him with questions about the Resurrection which they don’t even believe in

God gave Moses rules to live by and they morphed into traditions over the years which were then interpreted as laws…one such “law” was the idea that a woman whose husband dies will marry the deceased husband’s brother…Jesus said there is no giving and taking in marriage in Heaven

Rich young ruler asks how to be right with God…he’s confused by all of the information and expectations and noise…he needs to have a manageable path to follow

Of all the commands, which is the most important? Jesus answered “…Love the Lord with all your soul and strength and mind…and love your neighbor as yourself”

God wants your thoughts to be focused on Him throughout your day

 

 

 

November 20 2016 Morning Bible study – Job 4-14

Pg 15 in the workbook

According to one of Job’s friends, only the evil suffer

Can a man be more righteous than his Maker?

Eliphaz tells Job he needs to confess his sins to God

Chapter 6 – Job was hurt and angry…what had he had done that anybody hasn’t also done?

Chapter 8 Bildad –

Job said God is so powerful that no one should approach Him…Job figures he may have to plead for mercy and wished he had a mediator?…Job foreshadows the coming Arbitrator?

Chapter 10: “…I loathe my very life…I wish I had died before birth…”

“…He makes fools of judges…”

Chapter 11 Zophar

Job is pointing out to his friends that they shouldn’t be quick to judge him

 

 

 

 

November 13 2016 Morning sermon – Zack

Christ but not The Church?

Lots of people identify themselves as Christians but aren’t affiliated with any congregation

Some people feel like they don’t have time to commit to a Church

A lot of people don’t like Church because they feel like it’s filled with hypocrites

Gandhi said “I like your Christ but I don’t like your Christians”

I make mistakes and in that way I am not like Christ but I should strive each day to be better

Is God fine with us choosing Jesus but not choosing His Church?

What is the Church? It’s not something you go to or an event that happens once or twice a week. It’s not a building.

The Church and Christ are inseparable

Names of the Church in Scripture:

1.    The Body of Christ Rom 12:4, 1 Cor 12:27, Col 1:18, Eph 1:22-23

A human body

Matt 16:18 – Christ has authority and ownership

The Church belongs to Christ…to reject the Church means rejecting the body of Christ

Eph 4:15-16 – Paul encourages us to get engaged in God’s Church

If we aren’t working properly, we are hindering the Church

2.    The Saved (Greek word ekklesia…assembly, the gathered)

Acts 2:40-47

God adds you to His Church

Two things happen at baptism (salvation for you and membership in a community of other saved ones)

Two relationships begin (Christ and His people)

3.    The Family of God

John 1:12-13

We are adopted children

As a family, we are supposed to be there for one another

Consider the “one another passages”

God designed His Church to work together

Has God added you to His Church?

 

 

 

 

 

November 13 2016 Morning Bible study – Job

Who was the author of Job? Ultimately God.

When was Job written? Around 970 B.C.

In the Old Testament, the Jews didn’t call Satan by that name, they called him “the adversary”

Job made no attempt to mask his grief at losing his children

We are not grieve as those who have no hope

Job 2

Life isn’t just about bad things happening to good people, it’s also about good things happening to bad people.

Job cursed the day of his birth…he thought death would be a relief after a life of struggle

“…I have no peace…only turmoil…”

 

 

 

 

November 6 2016 Morning sermon – Zack

Loving Our Enemies

We have to look at Christ to know how to respond to those who hurt us

Goal of terrorism is to inspire fear

ISIS has killed more Muslims than they have killed infidels

ISIS utilizes propaganda

ISIS’ military is small in comparison to other governmental militaries

Luke 6:35

Matthew 5:43-45 (Sermon on the Mount)

God sends rain on the just and unjust

Do we have any hate in our heart for our enemies?

Matthew 6:15 – if you don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive you

Hate is ungodly

 

 

November 6 2016 Morning Bible study

Last part of Ephesians (Chapter 5 & 6)

Live a life of love as an offering to God

There must be no hint of immorality

Make the most of every opportunity

We have a difficult time with submitting ourselves to a Higher Power and each other…in the measure that we can submit to each other, that is an indicator on how we submit to God

We need to submit to each other in reverence to Christ

Our selfish and sinful nature makes it pretty hard for us to submit

Honor your father and mother and fathers don’t provoke your children

We should serve whole-heartedly those who are in authority because our Master is always watching…this will allow us to succeed in this life and the next life

Do we have enthusiasm in your job?

We need to wear our full armor of God to have a hope of fighting against the devil

 

 

 

 

 

October 30 2016 Morning sermon – Zack

Tolerance or Godly Love?

How do we handle living with people with different views?

Is the country more divided now that it ever was before?

Things are being accepted today that were never thought of before

When there is division and hate, the world says the way to solve it is with love and acceptance

When someone doesn’t agree with you, they might believe that the best way to show love is to practice tolerance

The world’s definition of tolerance:

Love = acceptance/belonging

Feeling accepted is the goal (not necessarily actually being accepted)

Biblical love is different than the love of movies and songs

        Love = God

        Accepting people regardless of their sin

        Jesus is the Answer

Love accepts the sinner, not the sin

        Mark 2:15-17

        The sinners needed a physician

        Jesus cared for the sinners’ souls

How do we respond to those who are living in sin?

Love perseveres for the “hopeless” cases

Luke 6:32-36 – “…do good expecting nothing in return…”

Christians and hate? We are supposed to love our enemies.

There are people who are radically against us…should we have them for that?

God is kind even to the evil and ungrateful

It’s easy for us to think “God doesn’t care about those evil people because they are too far gone

Love encourages repentance

        John 8:2-11

Will we be like the Pharisees who believe the world would be better without those sinners

Will we be tolerant?

Will we be like Christ?

We need to stand up for the sinner and lead them like Christ would

We need to love one another even if it is our natural instinct to not love them

Real love has a person’s soul in mind

D.T. Niles – “Evangelism is one beggar telling another beggar where to find some food”

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 30 2016 Morning Bible study

Ephesians 4:25-5:20

We are supposed to put off our old self

How many times can I start over again and be a better person? Every day.

Does “let your ‘yes be yes’ and your ‘no be no’” mean you should tell someone exactly how you feel?

We usually know the right answer but we don’t always take the right action

Don’t let the devil get a foothold…we don’t normally think “the devil made me do it” while we are in the middle of doing something wrong

When we are busy holding grudges, we aren’t letting the Holy Spirit work in us

We are the light in the world…we are supposed to be an example of God…it’s easier to be the dark of the world

The Moon has no way to generate light; it is only a reflection of the sun…likewise we are a reflection of our Son

What is gossip? Unwholesome talk, damaging speech, any talk that doesn’t build a person up

The Bible says we need to build up another…before we correct someone, we need to have a relationship with someone

God sees us behave well and behave badly

Don’t forget about God because He never forgets about you

Paul told the Ephesians to find out what pleases the Lord and follow that Will

We should expose sins for what they are: disobedience to God

 

 

 

 

October 23 2016 Morning sermon – Brad

The most difficult passage for the modern world to believe

Matthew 6:33 – part of the Sermon on the Mount…the gist is the worries of the world choked out the good seed and it didn’t bear fruit

If you lose your soul, how can you get it back?

Eph 1:3 Everything that God made is ours who are in Christ

Our soul is so important that God sent his Son to redeem it

Blessed are they that is poor in spirit (blessed would be those who have everything they need)

We think that if we had more money or authority or youth then things would be so much better

Follow the Word of God and let everything else sort itself out

We think that if we obey God’s Word, we will miss out on all kinds of good things

When Jesus talked to the right young ruler, He must have had Heaven in mind. The ruler was focused on his earthly gains and couldn’t see the long game

Sometimes we don’t know what to pray but we should remember that God’s way is best

 

 

 

 

October 23 2016 Morning Bible study – Ephesians 4

Now there are no differences between Jews and Gentiles

When we are younger, we seem to have an easier time having and sharing our joy in being in Jesus

Speaking the truth in love

Paul is talking about how the lives of the Jews and the Gentiles has changed and how those who haven’t accepted Christ haven’t seen any change in their lives

Forbearance – coexisting with others and their faults

Some people are always gentle and humble, some people do what they should 20% of the time

Which is the harder virtue for you? Patience?

Common sense isn’t always common practice

In Paul’s day, the Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians often didn’t understand each other

Unity is something we have to work at

We should also be peacemakers with our brethren

We as a Church should all be prepared to serve in ministry, not just the leaders of the Church

How is what I am doing today helping to prepare God’s people for service?

If we approach each other humbly, we can disagree in love

When we are in unity, the whole Church can function better

Is what I say to a brother or sister today going to prepare them for future service in Christ or will it encourage them to never want to be in service to Christ again?

After you accepted Christ, was your goal to continue living your life exactly as you did before?

Will you take the time to talk about love with someone today?

 

 

 

 

October 16 2016 Morning sermon – Zack

Philippians 4:8

How does Jesus mold us in His image?

We won’t become like Christ overnight

We have been supplied with His Word and His Example

How well do we keep up with studying our Bible?

Philippians 2:13: God works in you

Ephesians 2:10 – we are His workmanship

2 Cor 3:18 – transformed, from one degree to another

Paul’s example: he persecuted Jesus and His followers and was turned around as an agent for Jesus

God molds us into Christ’s image by answered prayers

When we pray, do we think “well, I hope this happens but not too sure” or do we faith that it will happen?

Jesus believed in prayer:

        Matt 21:22, Mark 11:24, Luke 11:9, John 15:77

The apostles believed – Acts 4:29-31

By submitting to Him, we can be molded in His image

        Ephesians 2:10

        Galatians 2:20

Are we putting up a barrier to Christ by saying “I want to be only this much like Christ”?

Christ needs people who are full equipped and ready to face the trials and evils of this world

Once we fully submit to God, He can begin to do the work

 

 

 

 

 

October 16 2016 Bible study

Ephesians 3

The Gentiles weren’t expecting Jesus; they felt they had no route to God because it was always known that the Jews were the chosen people

Imagine if you think about how much somebody loves you all day

Galatians 3:28 – we are all one in Christ Jesus

Col 3:11, Romans 10:2 – the gist is that there is no difference between Jew and Gentile in God’s eyes

Was Paul prideful in his activities?

The Church is meant to be a mirror into which the angels can look and see evidence of God’s wisdom

Eph 3:16 3 petitions in prayer: strengthen Ephesians spiritually, let the believers understand the love of Christ, and hope that the readers be filled with God

God’s ability to meet the needs of His people greatly exceeds anything that people might pray to Him for

 

 

 

 

October 9 2016 Morning sermon – Zack “The Whole Jesus”

We like to mold Jesus into what we would like Him to be…we take the bits and pieces of Him and leave the rest

We have the attitude “what’s good for you is good for me” and we end up with a “buddy” Jesus

If we only look at parts of Jesus and try to emulate just those parts, then we don’t have a full picture of who He really is

 

If we stick with a certain view of Jesus:

What are we leaving out?

·       Jesus was passionate to always do what was right – overturning money tables in the temple

·       Jesus was a servant – He served others above Himself

How it affects our lives?

·       We could be passionless towards God – we won’t care to do what is right when it really counts

·       Doctrinal issues won’t bother us

·       Tolerance of sin is sin…we allow darkness to come into our lives

·       Apathetic towards others – we won’t go the extra mile

·       We need each other…we need to confess our sins to one another and gain mutual healing

·       Apathy is sin…a Church in Revelation was condemned as being apathetic

How this affects the Church?

·       We will not grow

·       We’ll be more like the world

·       We won’t succeed

·       We need to live like Christ, love like Christ, and spread the love & Message like Christ

·       We will lose our fellowship with Jesus

·       We need to walk in the Light

Let’s strive to grow in the qualities of Christ and try to live in the way He lived

Let’s consider Christ for who He really was/is

 

 

 

 

October 9 2016 Morning Bible study

What is the emotion at Christian summer camp? Joy.

As we become adults, we may forget our joy; seems more mature to be more even-keeled.

Joy cometh in the morning.

Just because you grow up in the Church doesn’t mean you “stay with it” spiritually

God does good things for us without the requirement that we do something for Him…although He desires a relationship with us

What kind of grace do I show people? Especially people I don’t like? Do I always forgive everybody? Who are the people you are least likely to forgive? Your loved ones…we think they should know better and we know they can do better.

We aren’t worthy of God’s gift of salvation but He gives it because of who He is

We aren’t the same people that we were 20 years ago.

If we could earn our salvation based on our good works, we would have reason to boast

God created us and created jobs for us to do. We can consider our lives purposeful when we know that God has work for us to do

We are presented with all sorts of opportunities to do good in one day…do we embrace all of them?

In order for you to become an expert in anything, you need 10,000 hours of practice

The Messiah idea was promised to the Jews for many years so the Gentiles were not expecting Him

When we minister to others, Christ is ministering to them through us

 

 

 

 

October 2 2016 Morning Bible study

Ephesians

The Church is a little bit of Heaven brought down to earth

The letter to Ephesus wasn’t designed to be read and tossed out; it’s content was designed to be shared outside of Ephesus

With the hopeful Message we have, we should wake up every day in a good mood

God blesses His people materially and spiritually

Under Roman law, adopted sons enjoyed the same benefits and rights as natural-born sons

When was the last time I thanked God for making me His child?

Predestination – God doesn’t force us to choose to follow Him, but He knows who will choose Him in their lives

Restoration movement - God supplies people with enough grace to be able to choose to follow Him

Do I pray for others as much as I pray for myself?

 

October 2 2016 Morning Bible study – Zack

Why do you minister?

Some ministers work more with people…some ministers are more scholarly

Being a Christian is about one thing: the Gospel

Sometimes we get wrapped up in the doing and don’t remember the why we are doing

At Jesus’ time, the females in His genealogy wouldn’t have been celebrated

A manger is a feeding trough and not very clean

When a child is born in ancient Jewish tradition, you were expected to sacrifice a lamb…if you couldn’t afford a lamb, you could use two turtle doves or two pigeons which is what Joseph did

Jesus has the power to heal physical afflictions and provide spiritual healing

After the Last Supper, we don’t see any other instances where Jesus ate or drank

The Jews depended on their sacrifices to be free from their sins

If anyone else had gotten on the Cross, it wouldn’t have meant anything…it had to be Jesus

1 Cor 15:12-22 Paul addresses some people who didn’t believe in resurrection of the dead

When we as Christians die, that’s not the end

 

 

 

 

September 25 2016 Morning Bible study

Galatians 6

You don’t need permission to do the right thing

How do you deal with troublemakers in the Church?

Sometimes we get trapped in sin and we need help out

We are meant to move from a casual relationship with God to an intimate relationship

There’s a fine line between carrying another’s burden and enabling a person’s bad behavior

This Church (TC) believes that when someone receives benevolence, they need to have skin in the game

If someone has to use both hands to carry another’s burden, they don’t have anything left to carry their own burden or help another person

We want to do what’s right for the other person…sometimes that means telling them “no”

How am I going to see where I’m going wrong unless someone will tell me?

Sometimes Christian friends have a tendency to wait to tell us that we are doing something wrong

Our sinful natures tell us to always look out for Number 1

Our own selfish person needs to get out of the way in order for us to do the good we ought to be doing

We aren’t born selfish; the world teaches us how to be selfish

What if the good Samaritan said “I just don’t have time to stop today”

 

September 25 2016 Morning Sermon – Zack

Mark 2 (healing of the paralytic)

Why did you become a Christian? Was it just because you grew up in the Church or some preacher scared you? Or was it because we chose to do so because we recognized our guilt?

When you sin, you put up a wall between you and God

Jesus purchased the Church with His blood…it was a great cost

Does grace cost us anything?

How are we going to get people to the feet of Jesus?

US religious census is done every 10 years and maps every county in each state

According to the last religious census in GT county, 61% aren’t affiliated with any religion

Once we see an opportunity to share the Gospel with someone, we should formulate a plan about what to say

Paul wasn’t a solo missionary; he partnered with all sorts of people to spread the Gospel

We should work together to be effective evangelists

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 18 2016 Morning Bible study

54 of the 102 New World colonists died within 4 months

Of the 48 that were left, a bunch considered going back to England

Churches so often get in the habit of being technically correct that they forget to love

While we should focus on what we need to do to obey God, we need to remember we are a family…although families can sometimes fuss over silly stuff

How many foundations can you live on? Do we still live by the Ten Commandments? The Mosaic laws list 600-700 regulations.

Many weddings nowadays don’t feature “trust and obey” in the vows

When you fall away from grace, what do you have? Just the Law and a bunch of rules to keep. Christ didn’t die for that.

Paul asked who was disrupting the Church…they needed to be taught or ushered out…someone has to say something before the bad fruit spreads throughout the whole Church

We need to love each other enough to counsel them on the error of their ways…we shouldn’t hold back because we are afraid to offend

The Cross is offensive to Jewish law but yet the Jews for Jesus movement is discovering Him

We are closet to honoring God when we love our neighbors as ourselves

Since we are under grace, we can do and say whatever we want…BUT we shouldn’t treat this as a free pass. We can end up walking alone.

If you eat the apple, then you will die. Now what? If you walk with Jesus, He will wash you clean. Since we are walking, we will stumble along the way

 

September 18 2016 Morning sermon – Brad

Psalm 37

You don’t have to worry about the evildoer and those who do you wrong…but that doesn’t always make us feel better.

If you purse a life of righteousness and faith, God will bless your life in ways you can’t imagine

Faith doesn’t come by any other means than the Word of God

All things work together for good for those who love the Lord…that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be what we think is good for us

We often get ourselves into situations where we don’t know what to do…but our Father does

God blesses us in spite of our weakness…Paul suggested that it’s because of our weakness that we leave ourselves open for God’s intervention

Hebrews 11 – pattern of faith…Moses forsook the treasures of Egypt because he could see the hidden things to come (the riches of Christ)

We tell ourselves “I’m not Abraham, etc…I don’t have that much faith”. God uses our faith to put us in a place where He can bless us, use us

We don’t have to feel ashamed that we don’t know how to handle a situation

God keeps us from harm…He leads us in paths of righteousness which keeps us from going down the wrong path

Sometimes God keeps us from harm by putting us on a different path

Faith can show us things that others can’t see…it can help us see the good in a situation

Even though David had faith, he still had to go into battle. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had faith but still had to step into the furnace

God can work in our lives just like He worked in the lives of our ancestors

Sometimes our path will take us around a troubling situation…sometimes we have to go right through and endure it and lean on our faith

The joy set before Jesus most likely wouldn’t have been His throne near the Father because He already had it…it is probably the joy of the souls He redeemed/redeems

We are changing the world with the golden rule “do unto others as you would have done unto you”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 11 2016 Morning sermon – Jerry T “Pure Worshippers”

Romans 12:1-2 – Gathering to worship

A regular gathering of the Church is designed to encourage the members

Our worship service should re-strike us with awe for our Lord

All of God’s creation says how great God is

The world show know who God is and why He is worthy of our worship

The chaos of the world today is because the world doesn’t know God

Our possessions can be our god

All week long, the world is trying to get us to adopt its values

Worship and serve have interchangeable meanings in old languages

Our whole lives are to be a worship service to God; it doesn’t only have to be done in a “sanctuary” for an hour or two a week

The Jews had the idea that if they followed their regulations right, then they would be right with God. They were viewing it microscopically

Hosea 6:4 “…for I desire steadfast love, not sacrifice…”

Amos 5 – “…I take no delight in your solemn assemblies…” God did ask for the sacrifices and other worship but He really wanted their hearts

If this world is to know God’s awesomeness, they need to see it through us

Revelation 19 – “…for the Lord God almighty reigns…”

One day there won’t be wars and terrorism and famine and disease

 

 

 

 

 

September 11 2016 Morning Bible study

Galatia was in the middle of modern-day Turkey

Paul spent time teaching the people and then later on he wrote to them to say how disappointed he was that they were departing from the faith so soon.

The Gospel has nothing to do with your nationality or whether you were a devout Jew under the old Law

We do the things we do because we have a relationship with God; we don’t do things in order to be able to have a relationship with God

We shouldn’t have a checklist religion

We shouldn’t have a performance-based faith

If you insist on keeping the old Law, you give up the beauty of the new Covenant with Christ

Eph 2: Saved by grace, justified by faith

Some people argue that we feel that we are saved by our work (insisting on baptism)

Obeying the gospel is just a start in our walk with Christ…we need to continue to walk with Him and grow throughout our life

The Jews took the old Law and added-on even more rules

Liberalism and legalism can both be problems

We can’t have unity unless we can reason with each other

What is best for my brother?

When a Church starts to “push the envelope” to be progressive, they often say they do it “because they can”

Is this freedom helpful? Does this freedom glorify God?

We shouldn’t not do things because the Law says so, but because it doesn’t benefit the Holy Spirit

 

 

 

 

 

September 4 2016 Morning Bible study

In ancient times, the eyes were a prized sense

Paul mentions writing in big letters; he may have been very nearsighted or partially blind or have some other optical affliction

Paul was stoned, lashed, beat, starved over the course of his ministry

Paul has been knocked down a few pegs to remind him of who he is and what his mission is

The Judaizers particularly imposed on the Christians the requirement of circumcision

Some ministers say that you can interpret the Scriptures any way you want to; we are all trying to get to the same place

What you are excited about is what you will talk about

Be an example for our families and others and don’t stop watering the seed

An organism is either in the process of growing or dying

If you are in Christ we are known as Christians

 

 

September 4 2016 Morning sermon – Zack

“The wise man that built his house on the rock” Luke 6:46-49

Burj Khalifa – tallest residential building in the world (in Dubai)

The foundation underneath goes 164 feet into the ground with 58,000 cubic tons of concrete

This story can be easily written off as a children’s Bible story

 

Everyone who comes to me

·       Consider the supplier for our life and salvation

·       Mark 5:25-29, Luke 8:43-48 (afflicted woman bleeding for 12 years and the doctors have no help other than to drain her bank account)

·       Hebrews 5:9 – Jesus became the source of salvation for all who obey. If we are looking for healing and comfort in any other place than Christ, we won’t find it. We search for peace in lots of places that can’t offer it.

·       John 5:39-40 – Some of the Jews at Jesus’ time on earth were comfortable in their adherence to all of the rules of the Law. They thought that Jesus would be a physical King in their time to sit on the throne in Jerusalem and punish the enemies of the Jewish people

 

Everyone who hears My Words

·       Following the blueprints

·       Psalm 119:105 – Your Word is a light to my path. If we look to any other source for guidance, we don’t have the Truth

·       Two big problems with our hearing

Luke 10:38-42: Martha and Mary welcome Jesus to their home…consider our priorities…what are we busy doing?

James 1:21: Pride inhibits us from really listening to what God has to say. We have opinions based on what our parents told us or our own life experiences. Sometimes that can get in the way of the Truth.

Real truth comes from God’s word, the giver of Truth.

If God tells us to do or not do something, are we going to do the opposite because we think it’s right?

 

Everyone who does them (doing what the Lord says)

·       Lay the foundation…the foolish man heard the Truth but didn’t apply it

·       Ephesians 4:14 – press on and grow continually in the knowledge of Christ

·       1 Cor 15:58

·       2 Timothy 3:16-17

Many people feel their life is a mess and they blame God

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 28 2016 Morning Bible study

Wealthy families would often have a servant supervise the families’ sons

The old Law was the foundation of a building (the New Testament Church) …the Church couldn’t have been built without its foundation

New believers holding onto the old Law would be like a recently freed prisoner running back to his old cell and seeking the restrictions of the guards

The Israelites tell Moses in the desert that they want to go back to Egypt

Have we dabbled in going backwards?

2 Peter 2 has some text mentioning “getting a taste of Christ and going back to a previous life is like a dog returning to its vomit”

Jesus is Lord of all or none at all

Confusion is one of Satan’s favorite tools…he doesn’t necessarily have to speak against Jesus

The first Christians spent time together worshipping and then fellowshipping outside the Church…people saw this and some wanted to be a part of it

Since Christ makes no distinction about the worth of one man above another, we must not use any distinction to gauge a person’s worth either (not race, not religion, not wealth, not power, not family)

If we aren’t one unit, the devil can pick us off one by one

2 Peter 2 – false teachers will come along…people are slaves to whatever masters them

God desires to have a relationship with us with Him as our loving father who cares about our every step

 

August 28 2016 Morning sermon – Brad

David wrote about the LORD…it’s a symbol for the word for the Lord…it means “I am that I am”

The Lord leads us in paths of righteousness because of who He is, not because of who we are

Psalm 110 – Jesus quotes parts of this and the Pharisees pick fault with Him…” whose son will the Messiah be?” They answered “David’s son”.

How come David will call the Messiah Lord if David is supposedly the father of the Messiah?

The central message of the Old Testament is “someone is coming”. The central message of the New Testament is “someone came and will come back again”.

David hoped for a Messiah

Some teachers of the law were so ultra-conservative that they didn’t believe that the other prophets weren’t inspired of God…they only trusted Moses and his writings

If you believe in Christ it changes your whole life. If you don’t believe in Christ’s sacrifice, it doesn’t change who He is.

The great proof of Christ’s divinity is the empty tomb.

Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus ministered to Jesus’ body and were unclean for the Passover

Matthew 28 “all authority on Heaven and on earth has been given unto Me…go forth and make disciples of all nations…”

Stop fighting God and start working with Him

How do you let your heart be tender to the Lord’s will?  

 

 

 

 

August 21 2016 Morning Bible study – Galatians

Chapter 2 – When Peter was visiting Antioch, he embraced the Gentiles Christians along with the Jewish converts. The Gentiles didn’t follow the previous laws and customs of the Jews.

We can be pressured into forgetting the instructions God gave us.

Satan uses confusion and guilt to cause the new Christians to doubt

God sees us through rose-colored glasses (stained with Christ’s blood)

Many people view the Bible as a historical volume only

Abraham’s righteousness was performance-based under the old Law

Paul would teach to the crowd using old texts but then made a new point under the New Law

We all have things that we bear, but we don’t have to bear it ourselves. We need to surround ourselves with others on the same path.

 

August 21 2016 Morning sermon - Brad

Galatians 4 Jerusalem is a stand-in for the Church

The psalmist is awestruck that a God who knows all of the stars still cares for us

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said "blessed are they that mourn"

It's a temptation in life to wall ourselves off from others because we don't want to be hurt when they suffer

We are not good at the idea of meekness. Most people think meek means weak. 

Meek means power in complete submission to God's will, even to death 

We aren't good at pausing and stopping and waiting on the Lord

Hebrew word for waiting means string...all bound together for a specific task

We need to pause and listen for the Lord instead of rushing through with our own solution

Jesus and later Peter weren't breaking any law by eating with Gentiles, He was breaking a man-made rule that the Pharisees and Sadducees came up with

You are going to give your life for something

Whatever makes men good Christians makes them good citizens...Daniel Webster

 

 

 

August 14 2016 Morning sermon Zack

Sometimes we apply meanings to the Scriptures that aren't really there

1 Cor 10:13 God will not give you more than you can handle - this verse is misused for our own purposes

Why does God allow bad things to happen to us? 

1.      Because of sin...Adam is told he will have to work to eat and Eve will suffer in childbirth. Roman 5:12...sin entered the world through Adam and death followed it...it wasn't meant to be this way. 

2.      Because God wants us to grow. James 1:2-4...the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. How can I use this bad thing to help me grow?

3.      Because that's how the world works. Man has free will. God desires that we choose to follow Him. Because of someone else's choice, it can affect our lives

 

Do we see in the Bible where God sends too much calamity on His people?

Exodus 3...Moses says he is not the guy to talk to pharaoh and lead the people out of Egypt. God tells Moses that He will be with him.

Jonah is commanded to preach in Nineveh and flees instead. While in the fish, Jonah prays for release

2 Sam 11...David and Bathsheba...temptation was a trial and David didn't ask God for support...he gave in to the temptation

During His ministry, Jesus prayed to the Father constantly

Why did Paul write 1 Cor 10:13? The emphasis of the verse is that God provides the way to endure

Temptation can strike us when we are in despair and we think God doesn't care and we have to handle things on our own

We are weak...there will be things we face that we can't handle but God is mighty

 

August 14 2016 Morning Bible study

·       People keep reminding Paul of his past actions

·       Judaizers – someone trying to push Jewish laws on new Christians…they wanted people to doubt Paul’s teachings

·       At this time, the customs of the Old Law are intersecting with Christ’s teachings

·       We all have different ministries

·       Paul is certainly a polarizing figure but he does a great job of uniting people who are divided

·       We should respect our Church leaders but not idolize them…we should focus on how well they lead not focus on their personalities

·       Paul referred often to the other apostles as pillars of the Church

·       Paul’s outfit and the Jerusalem’s apostles outfit agreed to work together and that they complemented each other

·       The Jerusalem apostles were reaching the Jews and Paul was working with the Gentiles

·       We may be tempted to think that our ministry and our gifts are superior to others but we need to understand that God has given other people their gifts and ministries that are different than ours

·       Persecution of Christians in Jerusalem would have been intense…couldn’t get jobs, didn’t have a standing in the community

·       We are called to be a different people…we aren’t supposed to give up on doing good

·       Paul vs Peter…Peter and his outfit were guiding believers to follow Jewish laws and customs in order to be “good Christians”

·        

 

 

 

 

 

August 7 2016 Morning Bible study

·       Galatia was a Roman province north of the Mediterranean Sea (part of modern-day Turkey)

·       There were a lot of new Christians that were muddying the waters doctrinally

·       When you compare the truth with something that is partially true, there should be a red-flag that prompts you to stop and ask more questions

·       In order to know the difference, you have to know the difference

·       Paul wanted to warn the Galatians about the misinformation that was being spread amongst them…some said that Paul didn’t have the same authority as the other apostles…others said that you aren’t a true Christian unless you follow Christ’s commands plus the Old Testament laws and customs.

·       Definition of an apostle: one who was with Christ and witnessed the resurrection

·       1 Cor 15 Paul said he didn’t deserve to even be considered in the same group as the apostles

·       How much grace is involved in the Old Law…only once is it mentioned and it involves Noah…you kept the rules and there was very little heart involved (except David)

·       1 Cor 15:3-4 quick summary of what the Gospel is

·       False gospels always mix truth with error

 

August 7 2016 morning sermon Brad

·        Scriptures are designed to give men hope

·        You should be able to face any situation that life throws at you

·        Great men of God don't always get their way (David not allowed to build a temple)

·        We are always trying to find the right path

·        God leads us in the right path not because of us but because of who He is

·        we live by grace 

 

 

July 31 2016

Morning presentation – preacher from Ghana 

John 15:16 You did not choose Me, I chose you.

There are over 1000 wells in Northern Ghana and each well can serve 300 people

When a well is established, the community wants to know why this was done for them

Why are we bearing fruit?

There are little huts by the side of the road that are used for schools...they have grass roofs and any little weather issue can close school

A fruit that can't be eaten is like a stone

They teach the teachers how to teach and love the children

The Muslim families give their kids to the school because they teach and house them

$6000 a month is needed to house, feed and educate the students

1 John 4:7

Life is well-lived when it impacts others

True Christian love always impacts positively on others

 

 

 

 

July 31 2016 Morning Bible study

Psalm 135: “…they have ears but they do not hear…” This psalm seems to poke fun at people who follow idols.

Psalm 136: God has provided for His people all along through the many years

Psalm 138: “…my thankfulness requires that I praise You with all of my heart…” David is sure that if the other kings of the earth hear the words of God, they will praise Him too

Psalm 139: Regardless of what the world shovels onto you, the Lord provides for you (material needs and strength to persist)

Where can I flee from Thy presence? God can rid us of our sins but we have to be a willing participant.

Psalm 141: Set a guard over my mouth

Psalm 143: Teach me to do Your will…even kings need to be willing to learn

Psalm 144: Who are we that You think of us?

Do have permission by exclusion?

Psalm 147: “…Praise the Lord you monsters and sea creatures…”

Psalm 150: “Praise Him for His mighty deeds…let everything that breathes praise the Lord…”

 

Zack – sermon on giving

Giving can bring about change 

God rewards the giver

Israelites were giving not out of willingness but out of duty and they gave their leftovers to God and He told them that they were robbing Him

Don't use cheap measures when you give to God

Every good and perfect gift comes from God

What are the things we can offer God in comparison to what He gives us?

When God sees us give to others, He acknowledges that it is a gift to Him

Give cheerfully

Give tactfully (goal-oriented) 

It takes a 100% commitment from all of us to reach our Church goals in missions here and abroad

Romans 12:1 Paul encourages the Christians in Rome to give themselves fully to God



 

July 24 2016 Morning Bible study

Psalm 129 Request to God to weaken Israel's enemies...the author seems to have a wish for retribution 

We don't need to seek to hurt someone who has hurt us

Romans 12 repay evil with good

Psalm 130 being in the depths

Israelites would sing songs on way to Jerusalem to prepare their hearts for time with God...if you have an issue with a brother, square it away first

Psalm 131 being humble before the Lord...total dependency on Him now and forever

David was favored by the people...future kings are compared or contrasted with David

God tells the Israelites that if they stay faithful, David's lineage will forever sit on the throne

The Old Testament laws were the laws governing every day life...there was no separation of Church and state

Psalm 133 the Church needs to unify and build each other up. David wanted all God's people to be of one voice

Psalm 134 conversation between Levites and the Israelites leaving the worship assembly

 

 

July 17 2016 Sunday Bible study

Psalm 120 – Songs as Israel marches towards Jerusalem

Psalm 121 – “He who keeps you will not slumber”

Psalm 122 – Don’t allow us to be overtaken on the way to the Temple

Psalm 125 – It’s only due to God’s hand that Israel traveled safely…we are surrounded on every side by mountains.

Psalm 126 – Have you ever felt like your life was going so well so it was a dream?

 

July 17 2016 Matt D sermon  Who would we want to go in and rescue us? Mr. T or Chuck Norris?

What does God see in 80-year old Moses that we don't see? 

We can tackle our life's challenges...our list of cant's is from the devil

Moses went from a prince of Egypt to a sheep watcher

Why did Moses fail at the age of 40? He thought by his own hand that he could rescue his people. God used 40 years to humble Moses.

We would like things to happen immediately or fall out of the sky for us.

Is God going to give us a wilderness of our own? There is nothing wrong with an experience that shakes our pride and reminds us that God is in charge.

Once God works in our lives we should be able to say that we aren't the person we used to be.

"I will be with you..."

Moses feels inadequate to carry out the task before him...but he's not inadequate with God's help

 

 

July 10 2016 Sunday Bible study

Notes from Manhattan Church of Christ, NYC (reprinted with permission…C. Garrison)

 

·       This has been a challenging few days in our nation with the shootings in Baton Rouge, Minneapolis & Dallas. Do you feel Jesus speaks to this situation and situations like these?

 

·       What do you think would be an appropriate salt and light witness for churches and communities of faith concerning what happened in Baton Rouge, Minneapolis & Dallas?

 

·       Do you feel conversations and discussions like these in Church settings and communities of faith are challenging? Why or why not?

 

·       What do you think the role of prayer plays in situations like these?

 

·       What scriptures can you share that you feel have been helpful to you and might be helpful to others about the situations in Baton Rouge, Minneapolis & Dallas?

 

Jesus should transcend our politics.

We can disagree but we don’t have to be disagreeable.

Our identity in Chris should interoggate our identity we had before we were Christians

God calls us to be something beyond what we are without Him

If we can’t grow as a Church, how can we minister to others?

God calls us out of something then shows us where are going to

We need to be prayerful about our saltiness & lightness

 

 

 

July 3 2016 Sunday Bible study

Psalm 107: “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so…”.  If you are having a really bad day today, is it easy to ask what tomorrow will be like? God helps us when we ask Him. We have to admit that we need help and we need to be willing to do what He says.

Psalm 108: When we get out ahead, we forget that God is there with us. “…they accuse me even as I pray for them…” The psalmist calls down curses on his enemies. “Your steadfast love endures forever” is repeated throughout the Psalms.

Psalm 110: Hinting about Jesus who will be our King and Priest.

Psalm 111: “…the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…” We should say the word “awesome” for descriptions of God.

Psalm 112: “…blessed is the man who fears the Lord…he will have no fear of bad news…” Bad news is going to come our way due to us being in a bad, sinful world and the devil likes to twist our minds. We need to let our light shine…can’t hide in the closet.

 

Morning sermon Zack

Think about the freedoms we have that people of yesteryear dreamed of

We have freedom from sin in Christ. The wages of sin is death. 

What did it mean for Jesus to die on the Cross? We don't earn our freedom...it's given to us by grace

Gal 5:1 "...do not submit again to a yoke of slavery..."

Christ releases us from our yoke

The Law is weakened by the flesh...

Don't use this freedom from sin to be involved in sin

We should be sharing this freedom with those around us

We may make many choices in our day...only one decision really matters: are you going to be a slave to sin or a slave to God?

There is no partially standing with God...you can't mostly be a Christian

Paul said we are free from sin and slaves to righteousness

James 4:7 Submit yourselves to God...resist the devil and he will flee

 

 

June 26 2016 Sunday Bible study

Psalm 101:  David describing how he will conduct himself as king. Also we learn we are able to share our suffering and pain with God.

Psalm 102: “…my days pass away like smoke…for I eat ashes like bread…you have taken me up and thrown me down…you will rise and have pity on Zion…”. This was the prayer of an afflicted man. When we can shift our focus from our problems to His power, we find we can cope with our storms of life.

Psalm 103: The Lord is slow to anger…He does not deal with us according to our sins.

Psalm 105: Locusts came and ate up all the green things and produce and He struck down the firstborn

Psalm 106: Our fathers remembered not the loving kindness of God. The psalmist starts with praising God and ends with praising God and the middle part shows the failures of man.

 

Morning sermon: various speakers during the “Day of Prayer” program

 

 

 

June 12 2016 Sunday Bible study

Finding God in the gloom is hard...do you remember your darkest day ever?

We try to find where God is in our bad situation. When we don't listen to God's instructions, we suffer and then we repent and then we do it again

Psalm 73 Why do the wicked prosper? 

Psalm 74 Request for defense against mocking enemies

Is the world worse today than back in Genesis?

Psalm 75 song of reassurance

Psalm 79 celebration of God's punishment of enemies

Psalm 85 written after return from exile? Babylonians were allowed to take Israel into captivity.

The Bible is full of "if this then this" statements whereby God does things for us if we remain faithful...if we sin, He punishes

The psalmist thought the punishment had gone on long enough...

God has many reasons for allowing us to endure suffering...sometimes we get far ahead of God...maybe we need to be more sensitive to God and others

If prodigal son didn't have some hope of forgiveness, he would have stayed gone

Those who were not foolish but instead feared the Lord would find an easier path through life

God doesn't want to drag us through life by our collar...we need to get to a point where we want to do nothing but obey

Maybe the rain falls on the just and unjust so that we learn to be thankful

Psalm 115 To fear is to trust

Psalm 89 asks God to restore David's line...didn't God promise that someone from David's line would rule forever?

Mt Hermon is highest mountain in the region...Mt Tabor is a little shorter

 

Morning sermon: Brad

We think Paul's affliction was an eyesight issue

We go through life thinking we have it figured out

The Lord wants to bless our lives...if that's the case, why does life go wrong?

When you really see the Lord, it changes the direction of your life

If we are in Jesus, we are a chosen vessel to take His Word to the world

Satan knows how valuable your soul is

Why does evil triumph?

Our world is good with evil in it

Choose joy

 

 

June 5 2016 Sunday Bible study

Psalm 58 strong statements used against earthly judges

Sometimes we ask God "Where are You?"

The psalmist knows that in the end the judges will be judged

Are people evil from birth?

We are born into a world of sin

The psalmist wanted God to curse people...the curse requests were an honest expression to God at concern over injustice

Psalm 68 hymn celebrating triumphant rule of Israel's God

Each of us are needy in similar ways and we also have very different needs

Do we feel needy? Not necessarily...we may feel like we are self-sufficient

Our choices for ourselves can keep us down...we need to humble ourselves 

Psalm 72 written by Solomon...is he talking about Jesus or himself? He starts talking about himself but he knows his time will end and Jesus will endure

Later in his reign Solomon was accused of putting harsh yokes on his people

 

Morning sermon Brad

There are many lessons that could be taught but they are too close to home and too emotional

John 3:16 

No matter how badly we mess up our lives, God's Word is still true

That little voice in our head needs to be a voice of faith...God wants to move us to a place where it's best for us. We need to talk to ourselves the way God would talk to us

1 Cor 12 Paul's thorn...He requested three times that the affliction be removed

We usually come to God in our weakness

Sometimes we get to a place that is so far out of our norm that it causes us to know that God protects us and guides us

1 Peter 1 quoting Isaiah...the grass whither and the flowers fade...but God's Word endures forever. The beautiful part comes after the old stuff dies

Let your faith be in the power of God and let Him be a comfort to you

What you do and how you live your life is important



May 29 2016 Sunday morning adult Bible study

Psalm 42-57

Sons of Korah...Levite musicians who also wrote some Psalms

Psalm 44 is a national call for help for deliverance from an enemy

Psalm 45 - praise for king and queen on their wedding day

Psalm 46 - God is our refuge and strength. 

Psalm 49 - those who trust in money and other earthly things are fools

Psalm 50 - warning to people who engage in repetitious religious practices. Does God need our sacrifices? 

Psalm 51 - David is asking for forgiveness after sin with Bathsheba and against her husband

People in David's day had prophets who spoke to them with words from God...today we have the Bible and the Holy Spirit

Psalm 53 - God looks down from heaven to see if anyone is following Him

Psalm 54 - Conspiracy by a former friend

Everyone everyday needs to trust God...back in David's day there was a lot of verbal and physical attacks against leaders

Psalm 57 - " I take refuge in the shadow of Your wings"

 

Sunday morning sermon - Zack

It's the fact that God molds us in the womb that gives us any worth at all

Sheep need a shepherd to guide them back home

1 Tim 2:4 God desires all to come to Him

How much do you have to hate someone to not tell them the Good News?

2 Cor 5:17-21

God is making His appeal to others through us

If we aren't right emotionally, we lash out at people

2 Cor 1:3-4 "...the God of all comfort...so that we may comfort others..."

1 John 3:17 - If you are able to help someone and you pass them by, how is God's love in us? We need to be willing to give and help those in need

Scariest verse in whole Bible: Ephesians 4:28 - "...let him labor...so that he may share with anyone in need"

We should provide for our needs and our families' needs and then use the rest to help others

Jesus promises that He is always with us and He can empathize with our every situation

We need to be kind to others in the Church

Those who had sinned against Him, He saved

John 13:12-50 - "...you ought to wash one another's feet...". We need to humble ourselves like Jesus did.

Do we view those outside the Church as lowly and not like us?



 

May 22 2016

Sunday school 

Psalm 22 

What do all of us have in common with David? We are all sinners.

Back in David's time, there were prophets that were the pipeline to God...Jesus is our pipeline now

Was David closer to God than we are? Do we use the pipeline to God early and often?

Psalm 31  David had enemies. Who is our biggest enemy as Christians? Satan is actively trying to tear apart the Church. Satan tries to keep us from believing in prayer and tries to convince us that we are in control of our lives

Psalm 32 When David kept his sins inside, he felt beat down by them

Romans 6..."offer yourselves to God...as instruments of righteousness..."

Psalm 33 A hymn to God as our Creator and Judge

Psalm 34 We as a Church family need to be together to get refreshed

Psalm 40 "...He drew me from a slimy pit...You are my Help and my Deliverer..."

Psalm 41 

 

Sermon Jerry T

Jesus became our ransom...the disciples didn't quite process what Jesus meant when He said He was only on earth temporarily 

Colossians 3...Paul reminds them that if you have been raised in Christ, set your mind on things above

Every person on the planet is either separated from God due to sin or reconciled to God through Jesus

It doesn't matter how big our house is or how many friends we have or how big our wallet is because it will all fade away in the end

2 Peter 3:8 "...the Lord is not slow in His promise as you may perceive slowness..."

2 Corinthians 5 everybody looks different now that we are Christians

We should no longer live for ourselves but live for Him

When ambassadors go to another country they don't become a citizen of that country, they are representing their own country

When circumstances of life don't seem right or fair, remember we have a bright future

The temporary struggles of life are preparing us for a glorious eternity

If I go that way, will that help my relationship with God grow stronger?

God isn't asking for a place in our life, He's asking for our whole life

 

 

 

May 15 2016 Sunday adult Bible study class

Psalms 22-27

There are likely 7 authors of Psalms

Don't feel bad about feeling bad

We realize that we can't do much about our suffering 

This wasn't a good time in David's life

Is it easier today for a family to worship or back in the Psalmist's day?

Psalm 25 inspired the hymn "Unto Thee O Lord"

You can get humble but do you stay humble?

Was David leading a blameless life?

Human promises don't always persist but God's promises to us are eternal

The Psalms can be thought of as positive self-talk

 

Morning sermon Jerry T

Hebrews 10

The new access to God that we have is prayer

We can be in God's throne room when we pray

We have to make a conscious effort to pray yet it should be a constant conversation with God

If you have to count the number of times you prayed a day it's not a continuous conversation 

Rejoice always and pray constantly 

Lord's Prayer...we were told to pray like this but it doesn't have to be exactly like this

We need to humble ourselves when we pray

God wants us to ask him for fulfillment of our needs so that we know He is the giver of all good things

Psalm 139...God wants us to ask Him to search our lives and make us better

It's by Jesus that we have authority to pray to God

Prayer time should be total submission to God

Our own self-centeredness keeps us from asking God to break us and mold us in His image

Jeremiah 10...It's not in man to know the correct path by himself

God is asking us to go and tell about Him, not us

God wants us to be more dependent on Him

What kind of pot does the Potter want me to be?

Isaiah 6...who shall I send? Lord send me

The words we prayer should indicate how much we have allowed God to mold us

 

 

 

 

May 8 2016

Sunday school

How can we serve a God who is bloody and brutal? Our God is a just God.

David didn't want to just praise God with his lips...he wanted the heart to be involved

Moses told the Israelites to stop and consider that God would deliver them in ways they couldn't imagine

Why do we wait for crisis to call on God? David sings during the good and bad times to show a grateful heart

It seems to take a significant emotional event to turn our attention to God (i.e. 9/11)

Some Christians are like tea bags in that the best of us only comes out when we are in hot water

Does Godly mean perfect? No it means striving to be like God every minute.

If we don't get ourself out of our heart and make room for the Holy Spirit, we won't change

It's best to know God before you need Him

Dominant characteristic of evil men is arrogance

David realizes that God hears all our prayers

Consider the kindness and severity of God...can't have one without the other

One little line in a song can propel us to an active relationship with God

 

Morning Sermon

Every commandment has a blessing with it

The way God designed the family, it should be a blessing to everyone

Life gets complicated...it can be wonderful and bewildering 

We are fools but the Bible is Truth

No matter what your Mother did or didn't do in life, the Bible has hope for us all

Whatever you are going through, Jesus has compassion on you. We are never too far gone and Jesus knows how complicated our life is

Because we have life, we have the responsibility to repent and find Jesus

Stuff that happened in our childhood seem to get more complicated as we age

Life can be full of stumbling blocks or building blocks

Once we get Jesus right, some of the problems in our life can be sorted out

 

 

 

 

May 1 2016

Sunday school:

Psalms offers timeless advice

Hebrew poetry uses parallelism (if this, then this)

Satan is constantly bombarding us to try and break us

It was a Jewish custom to constantly repeat a bit of Torah to oneself as a form of positive self-talk

Eternal life isn't much talked about in the Old Testament so ancient Jews didn't quite grasp it yet...they thought that rewards and punishment would arrive in the current life

 

Sermon:

If we can get out of the way and let the Lord do His work, our Church will grow

David, Solomon, Ezra and Nehemiah were builders and God put Christ in the house of a carpenter

We are all builders

If we have the Lord's blessing, nothing can stand in our way

If we are the only Christian in a home, that home is blessed because of us

The Lord sees the beauty in us and He makes our beauty shine to the world

We get to be an example of faith

The best thing that can happen is for us to want God's will to be done in our lives

 

April 24 2016

We serve others' physical needs but we also need to attend to spiritual needs

God worked through Gideon to pare down the group of fighting men...God uses a remnant of people to accomplish tasks

A remnant escapes the flood and Sodom

What do you do when something wrong happens? Never give up...your first instinct is to throw in the towel

We think that God will put a hedge around us...we can't avoid situations but we can endure them

In a crisis, what is still working?

Stop doing what is burning your house down

As long as you have breath you have hope and opportunity

Use what you do have to survive