THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING - The Hope of the Believer

April 28, 2019

Having just come through the Easter week and the passion of Christ, it is a great time to reflect how the resurrection changed the world and the thinking of the followers of Christ.  Jesus and His resurrection had a profound and overwhelming influence on history and the course of the world.  Philip Schaff, a noted historian would write “This Jesus of Nazareth without money, arms, conquered more millions than Alexander, Caesar, Mohammed, and Napoleon without writing a single line, He set more pens in motion, and furnished themes for more sermons, oration, discussion, learned volumes, works of art and songs of praise than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern time.”

WE HAVE CAUSE TO REJOICE – Romans 5:1-2 (ESV), Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

CHRIST CAME TO US: [God dwelt among us in a personal way] – Can you recall a time that was a time of darkness in your life; a time when you felt that your circumstances would never change and someone came to sit with you, just to be with you?  That person’s presence was a source of solace, hope and strength to you.  The risen Christ offers His comforting presence to you today.  Because Christ came, suffered and died proves that we serve a God that is personal and approachable.

Isaiah 7:14 (ESV), Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign.  Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call His name Emmanuel.

Hebrews 4:15 (CSV), Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are. But he did not sin.

Romans 8:3, For what the Law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man, as an offering for sin. He thus condemned sin in the flesh,

Jesus who is the very person and essence of God came not to only take away our sins, but to reveal to us the very nature and character of God the Father.  He, Jesus, is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact representation of His nature.

He has not promised us blue skies every day; a pathway strewn with beautiful flowers, sunshine without rain or joy without sorrow, but He has promised us strength for every day, rest for our labors, grace to help in time of need and His undying love.

WE HAVE HOPE IN GLORY – Because of Christ, we have a hope beyond this entire world as to offer. It is a Biblical hope whereby I have a confident expectation of good things to come. That hope is rooted in all that God has promised and its strength is in His faithfulness. True believers live in hope. While I long to always have a body that is whole and healthy, one that doesn’t get sick anymore; to have a healthy soul that will sin no more; most of all, I long to see Jesus face to face and eternally live with Him.

Have you accepted the One [Jesus] who came for you?  He is a treasure to be compared to no other.   Christ’s coming and dying on the cross is, was and always will be the most powerful display of God’s love you.

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING – The Hope of the Believer

01:48

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING - The Importance of the Resurrection

April 21, 2019

On such a morning as this, the greatest event in the history of the world occurred. The Son of God who left heaven, came into the world and died on the cross for our sins was raised from death to life. On such a morning as this, scripture tells us that there was a great earthquake and the angel of the Lord descended from heaven and rolled back the stone. On such a morning as this, Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, Mk 16:19, the other women, Matthew 28:9, the two disciples, as they walked to Emmaus, Luke 24:15 and to the ten disciples, Thomas absent, John 20:19,

After eight days had passed since Jesus’ first appearance to the disciples; He appears to them again. At that time, He confronts Thomas’ unbelief. John 20:27-29, Then saith he to Thomas, reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
Sometime later,
Jesus would appear to over 500 brethren at one time, I Cor. 15:6
He would appear to Paul on the road to Damascus, Acts 9:5
To James, I Cor. 15:7

THE RESURRECTION IS FOUNDATIONAL TO THE CHRISTIAN FAITH:
I Corinthians 15:14-19, and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover, we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.
The resurrection is not only a display of God’s immense power and presence; it is the very foundation of the Christian faith. If Jesus is not raised:

  • Our preaching of the resurrection is not true.
  • We therefore make God out to be a liar.
  • The so-called Christian faith is empty or worthless.
  • Thus, we are still in our sin.
  • We have no hope in a resurrection from the dead.

Without the resurrection — There is No Savior; No Sure Word of God; No Salvation; we are without hope beyond the Grave. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we are delivered from the penalty of sin. Sin no longer has power over our lives. It is no longer our master. Thank God, we have a Savior; His name is Jesus.

Have you heard the Master’s call on your life? Have you answered His call to you? He is risen. He is alive. He is seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven. He lives to intercede on the believer’s behalf. Are you experiencing His peace? Do you know of His resurrection power in your life?

Jesus is inviting you to know Him. Today is the day of salvation.

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING – The Importance of the Resurrection

01:48

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING - The King is Coming

April 14, 2019

Today is known as Palm Sunday.  It commemorates the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem one week prior to His betrayal, crucifixion, death and resurrection.  Prior to this event Jesus was determined to go to Jerusalem. Luke 9:51 tells us, and it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem.

He had told his disciples earlier “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled.  He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.  The following are prophecies concerning Jesus’ coming into the world.

  • He was to come from the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10)
  • He would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)
  • Children would be massacred in His birthplace. (Jer. 31:15)
  • He was to be called Emmanuel (Isa. 7:14)
  • A forerunner would prepare the way before Him (Isa. 40:3-5)
  • He would be betrayed and falsely accused (Psa. 35:11)

As Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem, people spread their coats and palm branches in the road. Mark 11:8-9 And many spread their coats in the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields.  Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting:  “Hosanna!  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord;

The noise of the people was so great that the Pharisees requested that Jesus make His disciples be quiet.  Jesus answers the Pharisees saying to them, Luke 19:40… if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

The mind of the Disciples and the crowd, Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass. (Zechariah 9:9) It is believed that the disciples and the people felt that at this time Jesus would usher in the Kingdom of God and rule.

John 6:15, When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone. The people failed to understand that Jesus, the Lamb of God, was going to sacrifice Himself as the Lamb of God for the sins of the world.

Is Jesus Christ precious to you this morning; His truth, all that He has done for you in the taking away of your guilt, and sin, His giving you eternal life, His promise and presence with you to never leave you alone?

  • Satan had offered Him the kingdoms of the world and Jesus refused
  • His disciples wanted to make Him an earthly king and He refused.
  • The High Priest wanted Him to just keep silent and go away, but He refused.

Entering Jerusalem was the pathway to the fulfillment of His words, my hour has come. Jesus was now coming to Jerusalem to win over Sin, Satan, Death and all the enemies of righteousness and joy—the victory would be won through his own suffering and death. Where is your journey leading you?  What is your resolve?

John 1:14 tells us that the Word who was with God and who was God became flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus is the gospel; He is the good news, not just someone who came to bring it.

Love has a name.  That name is Jesus ….. Do you know Him?   

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING – The King is Coming

01:48

GUARD YOUR HEART - Sermon 5

March 31, 2019

Though we as born-again believers are new creatures in Christ, we still have the ability to walk in the flesh and not in the Spirit. We are more than over-comers because of the indwelling Spirit of God. Guarding your heart is not something that you can achieve alone.  You must rely on God’s power day by day, moment by moment.

God and His Word are your only hope in guarding your hearts against the devil’s attacks.  Our teens 13-18 years of age are being challenged by 5 key things.

  1. Personalizing and living out your faith in an anti-Christian culture
  2. Sexual purity
  3. Self-image issues
  4. Divorce and family issues; Absent of Father figures
  5. Negative media influences

Solomon wrote in Proverbs 4:23 (ESV), “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life”.

 THINGS READ, THINGS SEEN, AND THINGS LISTENED TO AFFECT OUR MINDS.

  1. W. Tozer said, “What you read will shape you by slowly conditioning your mind. Little by little, even though you think you are resisting, you will take on the shape of the mind of the author of that book you are reading. You will begin to put your emphasis where he puts his. You will begin to put your values where she places hers. You will find yourself liking what he likes, thinking as she thinks. The same is certainly true of the power of modern films. If you give yourself over to their influences, they will shape your mind and your morals. What about the music you enjoy? What about the sensual, vile, vicious, obscene gutter language of so much popular music? It is not overstating the case to insist that the kinds of music you enjoy will demonstrate rather accurately what you are like inside. If you give yourself to such music, it will shape your mind, your emotions, your desires — whether you admit it or not.”

 GUARDING THE HEART-HOW DO WE DO IT? (Read Psalm 119:9-16)

 By seeking God with all your heart… (v. 10), To seek God with all your heart means to desire Him, and to need Him above anything else.

By hiding God’s word in your heart… (v. 11), We hide God’s word in our hearts by memorizing scripture.  The Holy Spirit will bring it to your remembrance when you need it. Scripture has the power to keep you from sin.  The Word is a lamp unto your path.

By Meditating on God’s precepts… (v. 15), A precept is a rule of moral conduct. What does it mean to meditate on God’s Word? It means to “consider”; to pay attention to God’s ways, to think over scripture.  It means to not neglect God’s Word, but make it a part of who you are, a part of your daily routine.

What are you watching?  What are you listening to?  What are you participating in?  Stop feeding the sinful nature.

 Consider this prayer to pray:  Heavenly Father, I’ve been careless about what I have allowed to enter my heart.   I have not sought after You with my whole heart, nor have I hidden your Word in my heart.  I have not meditated upon your precepts and fixed my eyes on you…. Please…. forgive me Lord.  From this moment forward, I commit myself to You.  Your Word will be the sole standard of my decision-making process. Lord, I need you.

GUARD YOUR HEART - Sermon 4

March 24, 2019

For the past several weeks, we have been speaking to you about God’s command that we guard our hearts.  Though we as born-again believers are new creatures in Christ, we still have the ability to walk in the flesh and not in the Spirit.  I John 2:15-17 (KJV), Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him

The world in scripture is defined as the creation of God, all the beautiful things that we see that God spoke into being.  There is the plant life, the animal life, the vast planets and galaxies of the universe.  “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…. Genesis 1:1 (KJV).  In this text the world is defined as that system that Satan has put in place to entice or allure man to rebel and turn against God.  It involves values, possessions, and aspirations that seek to alienate man from the Almighty.  Man begins to believe that he does not need God.  Man’s heart is turned away from God. H. A. Ironside explains that “the world is that “system that tries to make himself happy without God.” Worldliness then is that which draws us into the ways of the people around us who do not know God. The spirit of this world is devotion to the visible. – Andrew Murray

The Lust of the Flesh: The sensual or sexual appetites and all other things done against the will of God.  The flesh is that ugly complex of human sinfulness that includes the ungodly motives, affections, principles, purposes, words, and actions that sin generates through our bodies.

The Lust of the Eyes:  Cravings and desires we have that are stimulated by what we see. Continually wanting more, never satisfied with who and what God has given you.  Eve fell prey to her eyes, Moses recorded that…When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight (Hebrews = desirable) to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:6 (NASB)

The Pride of Life:  The desire to be better than others, glorying in yourself.   The thirst for approval of or to impress others.

In summary, the “world” is whatever weakens our affection for Christ.

THE WORKS OF THE FLESH: 

Galatians 5:19-21 (ESV), Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these.

Every day we must renew our dedication to Christ (Present yourselves to God Romans 12:1) or we will be drawn away by the lust of the flesh (James 1:15), the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life. These worldly influences can divert even the most devout Christian to fall into sinful behaviors.  Therefore, let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall 1Corinthians 10:12 (KJV).   Walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh.