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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sermon text and notes for 1-1-12

          Text: Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
 11If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
 12Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
          13Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
          Don't let our failures and shortcomings detour us from achieving the goals we set before us.
          1 Corinthians 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
          1 John 3:20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
          21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. We know that God has forgiven us.
          Romans 14:22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
Accept nothing less than the best
          14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
          Be persistent. Don't ever settle for where you are now.
I am mature
          15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
          Let God show you the aera in your life where there is room for improvement.
          16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
          Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
          Paul knew he could not attain the righteousness by his own effort or the keeping of the law.
          Whatever we achieve will be by the power of God.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Sermon text and notes for 12-25-11

Text: Matthew 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem.
           2Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
           3When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
          7Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
          8And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
          9When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
          10When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
           11And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.
They followed the star to Jerusalem first.
          The wise men sought directions from Herod who in turn consulted the chief priests and scribes.
          They found him in a cottage. I would have looked in palaces for a king.
          The wise men weren't detoured by his location
          The first response was to worship him.
          The next thing they did was to present him with gifts.
          Gold= tribute to Jesus as king.
          Frankincense= honoring him as God.
         Myrrh= signified his mortal or human nature.
          We talk about the spirit of Christmas! What does that mean?
          Giving gifts? Doing for others?
          I think most people set aside all the normal activities of life for this time so they can give of themselves to others.
          Let's name some things we have seen this year that expresses the love of God to others.
          Inasmuch as ye have it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
          You have given to Jesus and haven't realized it.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sermon text and notes for 12-18-11

Text: Luke 2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
          9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
          10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
          11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Why shepherds?
          Why not the church leaders or the political leaders? Actually it was all of these.
          God spoke through the shepherds and he spoke through Zacharias the high priest who was the father of John the Baptist and you could say he spoke to Herod the governor.
          God could have spoken to those on the Sanhedrin court but they wouldn't have listened.
          God speaks to those who will listen. The upper class is not exempt from the voice of God.
The message is great joy
          Merry Christmas, happy holidays or Seasons greetings is lame compared to the words of the angles, I BRING YOU GOOD TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY. These words really excited the shepherds. Their response was immediate. They went without delay to see this great event.
The message is personal and to everyone
          Luke 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
          Notice the good tidings of great joy were to THEM. This thing is personal and to all people.
          The Lord spoke to the shepherds and the wise men.
          Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said; of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.
          The Christmas cards, food and gifts as well meaning as they are can not compare to the joy that Jesus gives.
          1 Peter 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
How did they react?
          Luke 2:15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
          The shepherds didn't hesitate.
          16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
          17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
          18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
The shepherds couldn't hold it in what they had seen.
          20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
          When you place the star on top of the Christmas think of the wise men. If it's an angle on top of the tree think of the shepherds and when you see a nativity scene think of the bringing together of God and man.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sermon text and notes for 12-11-11

Text: Matthew 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
          2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
          3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
          Isaiah 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
          4Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
           5And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
          Christmas is near. I can tell because i see all the preparation taking place. Christmas trees are for sale in the tree lots. Trees are being decorated at home and in church. Gifts are being wrapped. Christmas cards are being sent. The Christmas village at Nancy's house is going up. The lines at the post office are growing longer etc…
          Yes Christmas is almost here. Do you sense the excitement?
          Was John the Baptist preparing for the Christmas holiday or was he preparing for the Messiah Jesus Christ? Let's take a look.
          In ancient times when kings set out to visit some place in his dominion men went before him to prepare the way. The road was repaired. Obstacles were remover. Resting places were made ready etc…
How can we prepare
          Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
          When we pray we prepare our hearts for him to come to us at Christmas time.
          Many obstacles can be removed through prayer.
          The greatest revivals in history started with prayer.
Attitudes and actions; 
          Philippians 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
           5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.
          Christmas is a time of giving. We don't give because we expect to receive in return.
          Our attitude should reflect the presence of God that is in our lives.
Concern for those around us;
          John 4:35 Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!
          What can we do for the community this Christmas?
          We demonstrate the love of God.
          Give of yourself to the less fortunate. Give of your time. Give a word of encouragement.
Prepare the way for Jesus by witnessing
          Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
          A witness is one who tells what he has seen and relates his own experience.
          Tell people what Christmas is really about. Tell them how they can have this great relationship that you have with him.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sermon text and notes for 12-4-11

          Text: Galatians 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
          5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
          One translation of the bible says; When the time was right God entered the world in the person of Jesus.
John the Baptist prepared the way
          Every thing was right for this event. This was a remarkable blending of humanity and divinity.
The timing was perfect.
          There was unity in the Roman empire that gave freedom for the spreading of the gospel.
          The routes of commerce, shipping lanes and Roman highways made it possible for the spreading of the gospel.
          The Greek language commonly spoken in all provinces of the empire made communication possible to all the people. (This language began to spread with Alexander the great three hundred years before and became the common language of the empire). See the eights chapter of Daniel.
What was the purpose?
          The purpose of the coming of the Lord was to redeem us from the bondage of the law.
          Galatians 4:1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
 2But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
 3Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.
          Any form of legalism is bondage.
          When we were under the Mosaic law we were as servants. We were under tutors waiting for graduation.
          Galatians 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
 24Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
 25But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
 26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
 4But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
 5To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
 6And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
 7Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
          God robed himself in flesh so that we can have his spirit in us.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sermon notes and text for 11-27-11

          Text: Hebrews 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
          2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.
How can I hear?
           God speaks in nature:
          Psalm 19:1The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.
          2Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
           3There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
          4Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
          God speaks through his spirit to our conscience:
          (Man has a sense of right and wrong).
          Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.
          God speaks through history:
          John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
           2The same was in the beginning with God.
           3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
           4In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
           5And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
          History is an avenue of communication through which God speaks to us.
 We can see his activity by looking in the past.
 We can see how he has accomplished things in the past.
 Look at his creation.
 Look at the crossing of the red sea.
 Look at the Battles he has fought for his people.
 Look at how he has healed so many people etc…
We can hear from God by what we see in other people.
          2 Timothy 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
          As humans we communicate through love. We write love notes. We express our love by words.  So does God.
          The greatest love story can be read in the word of God.
          Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sermon text and notes for 11-20 11

          Text: 2 Timothy 1:14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
          Let us use Thanksgiving this year to reflect on how blessed we really are. What should our attitude be? How blessed are we?
          We take a lot for granted. If people in third world countries had half as much as we do they would feel really blessed.
     Psalm 68:19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.
     Psalm 103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.
     The things we have is a result of what God has done for us.

Psalm 116:12 What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?
          Being thankful is a virtue.
          James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
          The greatest gift that we can receive is salvation.
          Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
          29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
          30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Luke 11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
          10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
          11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
          Psalm 116:1 I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.
 2Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.
 3The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.
 4Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.
 5Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.
 6The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.
 7Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.
 8For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.
 9I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
 10I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted:
 11I said in my haste, All men are liars.
 12What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?
 13I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.
 14I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sermon text and notes for 11-6-11

          Text: Luke 19:11-13 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.
          12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
          13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
          What does it mean "occupy till I come"  
          We have all that we need to do the bidding of our Lord.
          The first thing we need to do is find out what it is that God wants us to do.
          It is everyone's job to witness about his saving grace. After that we need to find out what our calling is. Each one of us has a ministry.
Eph. 4:12 The five fold ministry is to equip the saints for the work of ministry. In verse 16 says that EVERY joint is to supply and edify the body.
          We have instructions in other places concerning our responsibilities in the kingdom of God. Matt. 25:14-19 Talents, Mark 12:1-? Vineyard hedged about.
          GOD has left the responsibility of the kingdom to us.
          Acts 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
          Consider this; If we knew the time of his return, what would change in our lives?
          Would we witness different than we do?
          Would we handle our finances different than we do?
          How about our prayer life?
          Would we live a more holy life?
          We are not looking for perfection. We are looking for excellence.
          While we occupy, we need to always remember that we are the only representatives that God has. We need to look our best, act our best.  Do the best joj that you can do for Jesus.
          God gave his best for us. He gave his son Jesus Christ. God deserves the best we can offer.
          Not only does God deserve our best, but we need to have the most presentable church that we can offer. When visitors come, our church hast to be the best that it can be. We want people to feel welcome and we have to have something for them. Not just a program.
          As we continue to work together. Everyone doing his or her best we will see some great results.