Deep Roots Matter - (Sermon 2)

June 23, 2019

Ephesians 3:17-19 (ESV)  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

What does these texts mean?  What is Paul praying for?  Who is he praying for?  Why is this so important?  Rooted and grounded here means “to build under you a deep and stable foundation of knowing and understanding the love God has for you.” In other words, the knowledge of God’s love for us is the foundation on which He is and all His truths are built!  It should be the very basis of our faithfulness to God.

In order to more fully understand and know of God’s love, we must allow Christ to dwell in our hearts through faith.  In this text, Paul makes two key prayer requests. First, he prays that Christ dwells in their hearts through faith.  Secondly, he prays that his readers will be secure by relying on Christ’s love for them.

As Christians, we are to manifest the fruit of the Spirit.  The fruit of the Spirit is love. What is love?  It is the act or attitude of selflessness.  It is that character that becomes most visible through unselfish sacrifices and service.  A perfect example of God’s love for us is this.  God so loved the world that He gave us Jesus.  Another example of God’s love is the love Jesus has for us. “Greater love hath no man than this that a man,” what? “Lay down his life for his friend.”   

True love shown between fellow Christians, is meant to be the hallmark of our faith. John 13:34-35 (ESV), A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Romans 8:37-39 (ESV), No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

God simply loves you! He just does! He can’t help Himself! There’s no, “He loves me; He loves me not”, with God. Because “God is love” (1 John 4:16).  He does not have to try to love you, or maintain love for you. Love is His very substance. God loves you no matter what!

Christ came in person to save us and show us His love.  If you are a born again believer there is something you need to know and realize, Here it is…..God desires that His love for you becomes more than just a theological truth. He desires that it moves from your head to deep in your heart.  He desires that it becomes the foundation and motivating force that causes you to be steadfast in the faith, live a godly life, seek to serve than to be served and to be a witness in this world to other people.  God wants us to believe He loves us, to think of His love for us often, He wants us to be rooted and grounded in His love.

Paul prayed that the people would know just how wide and how long and high and deep God’s love is.  Though His love can’t be known completely, God wants us to experience it.  It passes knowledge.  Through God’s love we can experience everything that He has for us.  Believe it, think it, saying it to yourself over and over, be rooted and grounded in it. His love.

 

BE AN INFLUENTIAL FATHER - FATHERS DAY SERMON

June 16, 2019

Father’s Day is a special day that we come together to celebrate our earthly fathers.  Yet, we live in a culture in our country where fathers are often ridiculed and, in some cases, made fun of.  The media often portrays fathers as being incompetent, lazy or just plain stupid.  We need to thank God for fathers.

God created Fathers.  Our role in life has a heavenly calling.  It comes from God Himself.  He has placed a huge responsibility upon fathers.  At times it can be challenging to say the least. The fact that any father chooses not to live according to God’s plan does not change God’s design for their lives or His love for them.  Bad fathers are not seeking to be bad fathers. They just need a deeper love for God and a better understanding of His call on their lives as fathers.

UNGODLY INFLUENCES: We live in a crazy, mixed-up world that is often anything but godly. We must seek to protect our children from sinful influences and practices.  The company they keep….1 Corinthians 15:33 (ESV), Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” We must help our children discern between good and evil and encourage them to choose right over wrong.

BE A MODEL TO FOLLOW:  Though there is no record of Paul having children, he was a spiritual father and gave us a good model to follow as earthly fathers.  Fathers, remember that “more is caught than taught.” What our children see of us and our behavior will influence them to know God or turn away from Him.  A godly father does not just tell his children how to live, but he lives it and allows his children to watch him do it.

1 Corinthians 4:14-17 (ESV), 14 I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. 15 For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 16 I urge you, then, be imitators of me. 17 That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church.

FATHERS OF IMPACT ARE THE FOLLOWING:

  • Faithful, actively Involved, teacher of his wife and children.
  • Hopeful in ALL circumstances.
  • An Example to follow.
  • Reliable, responsible, consistent.

When troubles are beyond your control, entrust yourselves to a just God who will direct all things according to His will and His purpose. “Every man must be swift about hearing, slow about speaking, slow about wrath.” (James 1:19).  There will be times that you have to just trust God for the outcome.

Rest with confidence in the Holy Scriptures, for God has documented the foundation of everything we need to know for this life and the life to come.  2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

As fathers, there may be times when we feel like we are alone, but in truth, we are always surrounded by the love and goodness of God. Even when we do not believe Him as we should, “he abideth faithful” for he cannot deny himself. (2 Timothy 2:13 (ESV). if we are faithless, he remains faithful—.  We have a perfect example of a father in God Almighty Himself.

And I want to say to dads today, that scripture gives you many commands, but I want you to focus on two things.  Love your wife sacrificially, and discipline, instruct and correct your children in the Lord. If you do these two well, you are well on your way to living life as a good father.

BE AN INFLUENTIAL FATHER – FATHERS DAY SERMON

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Deep Roots Matter - (Sermon 1)

June 09, 2019

Colossians 2:6-7 (ESV), 6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

(2:6a):  REQUEST, so then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live (walk) in him, — The Colossians were facing great danger of false teachings.  Paul, their pastor, exhorts them to be rooted and established in Christ.  They must in no way fall prey to Gnostic heresy.  Just as they had trusted Christ for salvation, now they were to continue to trust Christ as Lord for each day’s problem that they faced.

(2:7a): EXPECTATION, they were to be rooted and built up in Christ, strengthened in the faith as they had been taught.  Faith here refers to truth and growth in that truth. It is highly possible for believers to have a knowledge of Christ and yet stop growing in our faith.  Many Christians want to be taught something new when they have not yet learned to live on the truth they already know.  The key to Christianity is growth and living dynamic steadfast faith in Christ.

A growing faith overflows with thankfulness (2:7b): “Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I Thess. 5:16-18 (NIV)

The Christian’s walk is not an easy walk. There will be times that we are tempted to abandon the work and walk away from serving the Lord. But here is the thing, we are no longer our own.  We do not have the liberty to live as we please. Our relationship with Christ came with an obligation to walk with Him and honor Him in all that we do.  .

RESOLVE, (2:7a) –Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith. Trials will always be present — seeking to discourage and defeat us. We can only experience success by being settled in the faith, with a desire to serve the Lord.  Roots of plants and trees serve four purposes:

  1. Roots suck the water and nutrients up out of the soil and into the plant.
  2. Secondly, the root sends water (osmosis) and mineral salts into the stem and leaves.
  3. Thirdly, food is stored in the root which is utilized for plant growth as soil or weather conditions change.
  4. Lastingly, the root fixes the plant firmly in the soil.

Our roots are strengthened with God’s Word.

(Psalms 1:1-3 NKJV)  Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; {2} But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. {3} He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

A man who lives his life with God’s Word has roots that go deep and are watered by the River of Life.  Our foundation is built by God’s Word.(Mat 7:24-27 NKJV)  “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: {25} “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. {26} “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: {27} “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

How are you building your life on what Jesus says?

Brokenness - Things God Uses to Break Us

June 02, 2019

Delivered by Elder John Copeland

Over the past month we’ve been studying “brokenness”. We’ve learned that it is a work of God whereby He breaks us of selfish pride and the self-sufficiency to live this life according to our purpose, not the purpose for which God created us. [To break means to disrupt; to interrupt; to discontinue practicing] In many cases God has to break our spirits into many pieces, like that of a shattered pottery mug, before take God’s word to heart and walk in greatness to glorify Him.

THINGS THAT GOD USES TO BREAK US

Satan/Devil – God allows Satan to tempt us to do things against God. Satan wants to destroy us. Although he has some power, he can only do what God allows, and ultimately is used by God.

Sin/ Disobedience to God – God does not cause us to sin, but can use our sinful ways to break us. Along with Satan’s seductions, our sinful nature wants to fulfill sensual desires, desires of what we see, and has an arrogance to control our lives at cost of sinning. However the painful consequences of sin are used to break us from habits of wrong doing.

Circumstances of various kinds – God uses circumstances to bring about humility in our spirit.

THE TESTING OF JOB- GOD ALLOWS SATAN TO TEMPT JOB

Job 1:8  And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?

Job’s good relationship with God – Job, a sincere man of God, walked with integrity – lived his life in truth, honesty, and did right in the sight of God. God blessed Job with ten children and much riches.

Thought: Has God blessed you with health, wealth, spiritual strengthening, and protection from things that could harm you? Because of this, do you walk with God in love, truth, and honesty?

God allows Satan to use multiple ways to hurt Job by taking away God’s blessings to Job

He takes the lives of Job’s children, takes his property, and gives Job a crippling disease.

Thought: If God took your wealth away would you turn on him? If he took a child away through miscarriage or even death before you, would you still trust Him?

Rebuke from Youth with wisdom – Job is charged by young Elihud, a fourth friend, of being self-righteous in his words to contend with God. Elihud reminds him of the greatness and goodness of God. Job 33:12 “Behold, in this you are not right. I will answer you, for God is greater than man.”

Thought: Do we question God when negative things happen in our lives; and do we have the right? In addition, do our friends encourage our hearts to continue trusting the Lord?

Rebuke from God – God gives Job the final rebuke. God asked Job if he could instruct God in how he laid the foundation of the earth, or kept the boundaries of seas and, etc.

BROKENNESS- A GODLY SORROW THAT BRINGS A CHANGE

Job is broken – Job realized after God spoke to him that God was far greater and we don’t possess the knowledge or authority to question an all-knowing, all-powerful God who is present everywhere. He is broken and humbled to a deeper level than ever before God. Job 42:5,6  I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

APPLICATION OF THE WORD FOR TODAY

God continually purges us from our thoughts to make room for His by using the following:  Our reading of God’s word, The audible voice of His Holy Spirit; He fails to answer our prayers, He takes away our finances because we choose them over Him, We receive the unhealthy consequences – spiritually, mentally, and physically –  when having sex outside of God’s created institution of marriage, He allows struggles in marriage due to not loving and appreciating our spouses, Our children become disobedient and unruly when we fail to raise them in the ways of the Lord, Trouble on all sides for failing when God tries to draw you nearer.

Willingly submit to the love of the God, the will and wisdom of His ways, for He is perfect.

Brokenness – Things God Uses to Break Us

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“Do you love me more than these?”

May 26, 2019

Delivered by Elder Mike Tasker

John 21:1-17

That was the question asked of Peter by Jesus about the fish he caught.  Jesus asked the question knowing full well what issues Peter was dealing with.

Peter was a fisherman by trade and he decided to go fishing even after spending more than 3 years walking with Jesus.  What was it that could have changed Peter’s zeal for the ministry of being “Fishers of Men”?

Maybe it was one moment in time that Peter remembered and that continually stuck with him.  Maybe it was the “look” that Jesus gave him when the cock crew after he had denied knowing Jesus three times.  Maybe that look appeared many times vividly in his mind.  Or maybe it was his sense of worthlessness that he felt every time Jesus appeared to them after his resurrection.  After all it was easier to go fishing and do what he was good at then to follow Jesus half-heartedly.

Jesus knew he had to ask that question of Peter to let him know of his grace and forgiveness.  Also, to remind him of the mission that he had planned for them in the beginning…..to be Fishers of Men.

To come to think of it, maybe we’re a lot like Peter.  Maybe we feel worthless and are drawn to do things that we feel we’re good at or enjoy more because it’s easier than denying ourselves for the Master’s work.  Maybe we’ve lost our zeal and ignored the fact that Jesus can do more through us than we could ask or think if we would only yield to him and not succumb to things of this world we deem more important.

Let us have a conversation with the Master so that he can show us his love and give us direction away from what is easy and comfortable to what may be difficult, but needed to fulfill the “Great Commission”.

“Do you love me more than these?”

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