Sermon Archive

For sermons previous to June 2015, please visit our sermon archive for: 2015 and 2012-14

Sunday, November 29, 2015

"Culture of Dependence" by Stuart Mains





Jesus’ Dependence on God…

To Accomplish
Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. John 5:19

To Judge
By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me. - John 5:30

To Speak
For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. - John 12:49

So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am ˻the one I claim to be˼ and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. -John 8:28

Preventers to Dependence on God

  • Distracted
  • Passed Hurts
  • Wise In Our Own Eyes

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. - John 15:5

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 
Mark 1:35

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. 
Luke 5:16

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.        
Luke 6:12

They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. 
Acts 1:14

Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen . 
Acts 1:24

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 
Acts 2:42

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer-at three in the afternoon
Acts 3:1

On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. 
Acts 4:23-24a

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. 
Acts 4:31

Results

Miracles
Holy Spirit vs Humanistic motivated              Gal 3:3-5
Heightened awareness                          Isaiah 43:18-19
Bonded with each other                                  Acts 1:14
Bond with God                                        Psalm 73:17-25
God directs                                                    Acts 13:1-3
Conviction deepened                                     Eph 3:14-19
Think and feel like God                              2 Peter 1:3-4
Wisdom                                                            James 1:6

Fruits of the Spirit                                      Gal 5:22
Conquering offensive vs defensive          Acts 4:13
Sins repented of                                        Psalm 51
Open people                                             1 Cor 3:5-8
Power and confidence                              Acts 4:31
Humility                                                 Isaiah 6:1-8
Culture of Love                                           Col 4:12
God Answers Prayers                             John 14:13

Sunday, November 22, 2015

"Happiness vs Joy" by Sergio Arguello




I’ll have to admit that I have been confused between the difference of joy and happiness.  I thought I knew what it meant to be happy, but was confused about joy.  I wondered if they were the same thing. 

Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions.
In the 2nd Edition of the Handbook of Emotions (2000), evolutionary psychologists Leda Cosmides and John Tooby say that happiness comes from "encountering unexpected positive events". In the 3rd Edition of the Handbook of Emotions (2008), Michael Lewis says "happiness can be elicited by seeing a significant other". According to Mark Leary, as reported in a November 1995 issue of Psychology Today, "we are happiest when basking in the acceptance and praise of others".

People pursue happiness at all cost.  Divorce, murder, suicide and ruin come to most who pursue it.  We shall see why later.

I often heard Christians say they had the “joy of the Lord,” and I wasn’t sure if I had that or not.  So, I decided to study it out and see if I could make it clear to myself what the difference between joy and happiness is.

I realize that happiness depends on our circumstances.  It is a feeling or emotion.  We can be extremely happy and then the phone rings and we get a call that can dash all the happiness away and fill us with the utmost sadness.  Perhaps it was a call from a loved one to let us know that one of our dear relatives had passed away, or been in an accident, or developed a terminal illness.  Then all our happy feelings are washed right down the drain.  Maybe you were dumped or cheated on.  Maybe you lost your job.  Happiness is fleeting.

Also being happy is something that all people can enjoy.  It isn’t dependent on being a Christian.  I know lots of people who are not Christians who are very happy.  Their circumstances are good at the present time and all is right with the world.  So, happiness isn’t something that is for a Christian only.  Happiness is natural (of the flesh) and can be felt by any man.

Joy on the other hand is not natural to us.  It is in fact supernatural (spiritual), and it is a gift of the Holy Spirit.  It is something only Christians can experience--Joy is the response of a Christian’s understanding of God’s love for him in Christ. Isn’t that awesome?  When we realize the depth of the love God has for us in Christ then we can respond with utter joy. 

It is my response back to God for ALL He has done for me.  He saved me from my sinful self; He adopted me into His family, and He gives me the hope and promise of heaven. 

Happiness--Love it when it comes.
Joy--It’s the love that lasts no matter what.

Joy is something that cannot be taken away by circumstances.

The joy that the Lord gives us enables us to cope with life’s trials.  It gives us hope, and enables us to become overcomers instead of victims.  It is true! This joy of the Lord is very powerful indeed.  It is our strength!

James 1:2-3
Trials and Temptations
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.


I also learned that God is joyful over us.  Can you imagine that?  God who created everything has joy over us?  That boggles my mind, but the Word says it’s true.

Zephaniah 3:17
17 The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing.”

Isaiah 62:5
As a young man marries a young woman,
    so will your Builder marry you;
as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
    so will your God rejoice over you.

The reason we can be joyful is because God created us in His image and He is joyful.  It is our birthright to be full of joy.  When we are in Christ we are like Him.

Nehemiah 8:10
10 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” 

Do you need strength?  Dwell on the LORD!

1.     You Reap What You Sow


Galatians 6:7-10
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

--Nathan’s pumpkins from small seeds
--what you are planting now will determine what you will reap in the end.(hatred, sexual sin, impurity, disobedience to God, arrogance, pride, independence, bitterness, anger, fear, lack of concern for the poor or the lost)

James 1:12-15
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

--Analogy of stillborn child (hope, anticipation, future, promise, excitement, all sorts of feelings, warm fuzzies—major let down—death—it is how sin works, it is empty and sad, depressing.  It will destroy you, it will take everything from you if you give in to your desires—it’s up to you!)

2.    What Kind of Tree Am I?


Luke 6:43-49
A Tree and Its Fruit
43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
The Wise and Foolish Builders
46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”

We need to realize that only Christians can have true joy. That’s because it is given to us by the Holy Spirit. 

It is one of the fruits of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.


How do we apply this joy in our lives? 

First lets take a look back in Galatians.  We will see a contrast between the works of the flesh and the fruit of the spirit. 

Galatians 5:19-21
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Anyone who fits in the list above is not a true Christian and will not experience this wonderful joy of the Lord.  If you find yourself here, then please consider the scriptural warning, repent and get right with God. 

The Bible tells us that believers have the fruit of joy given by the Holy Spirit and with that they have strength.  But, we can’t just let it lie there dormant, we must cultivate it and make it grow and become second nature to us. 

We do this by engaging our mind.  God tells us to rejoice in the Lord always.  It doesn’t say sometimes when things are going good, but always.  Yes, even when things are bad.  Remember, our strength is in the joy of the Lord.


Philippians 4:4-9
Final Exhortations
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Happiness--Love it when it comes.
Joy--It’s the love that lasts no matter what.

We can cultivate the fruit of joy in our lives by taking control of our thoughts.  This is so very important.  We find the mind to be a very powerful thing and it can be used to lift us up or to tear us down, and the enemy would certainly like it to be used for his purposes.  But, Christians don’t have to go there.  We don’t have to worry.  We don’t have to fret.  We don’t have to be weighed down by all our troubles.  Yes, we will have troubles, but they don’t have to destroy us.  We don’t have to have extreme anxiety, stress, fear, or helplessness.  Those things don’t come from God.  We can live above our circumstances!
As you walk close to God and enjoy Him, He will help you train your mind to think of things that build you up instead of tearing you down. 
Whenever, you notice that you are worrying, ask the Lord to change your thoughts into ones that honor Him.  Then turn to the list above and think of those things.  You can analyze your thoughts and see if they line up with them.  Is what I’m thinking about true?  Is it honorable?  Is it right for me to think about this?  Is it pure?  Is it lovely?  Is it of a good report?  Is it excellent or praise worthy?  If so, these are the things I should dwell on and not worry about my problems. God will take care of them.

We need to think about Christ, who I believe is pictured above, and all of what He has done for us.  We ought to think about how and why He saved us, and how Jesus suffered and died for our sins.  We should look to heaven and set our minds on things above.  We can dwell on Christ coming again.  All those things and more are what we need to think about.  Our joy comes from all that Christ has done for us.  Our joy comes because we know what lies ahead in heaven. Our joy comes as we dwell on the things of the Lord.  Just look at His creation and the beautiful nature around us.  Look at all He has made.  

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Know Your Roll Part 2 by "Steve Lounsbury"





"Know Your Role: Part 2" by Sergio Arguello




1.   Be Holy


Ephesians 5:3-7
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.[a] Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them. --(This is a command from scripture)

·     There are many areas in which we could easily end up not fully offering ourselves to God, areas that the world sees as acceptable, but are inappropriate for God’s people:  immorality, sexual purity, finances, greed, our speech (controlling our tongue)
·     Paul tells us, “there must not be even a hint”—these are improper for God’s Holy people.  He reminds us that we have been set apart (Holy) for His purposes, heavenly purposes, not for worldly purposes.  We have been bought at a price.
·     He reminds us and warns us that we cannot be instruments of use to God if we are “impure” (unholy) in the life we live.  Paul commands that if anyone tries to tell you or teach you any different that we should not have anything to do with them, even if they call themselves brothers or sisters.
·     Not only will these people not have a place in God’s kingdom, they will face God’s wrath, along with those who allowed themselves to be led astray by them and not holding to true doctrine.
·     There are many false teachers that claim to be Godly, we see them on TV or hear them on the radio or internet, it is easy to be fooled by them or buy into their teachings by justifying that not all that they teach is false doctrine, it is easy for our hearts to little by little stray from true doctrine—especially when we are not strong students of the Bible and allow false teachers to influence us. 
·     There are also brothers and sisters who are caught up in immorality, impurity, greed, or gossip and slander who we embrace with all their “faults” and don’t draw a line of what is unacceptable behavior towards God and warn them as Paul did. 
·     We must love people, but to embrace them as part of God’s family is not wise (it could prove destructive), nor will we help them come to conviction or salvation by doing so.
How do we deal with someone who is in the church yet is unrepentant?
1 Corinthians 5:11
11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister[a] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

2. Exposing The Darkness

(In the World, But Not of the World)
This scripture directs us on how to protect ourselves
Ephesians 5:8-17
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
·     In the past we lived in darkness
·     Now we are children of the light.  Just like children reflect qualities of their parents, God’s qualities should shine through in our lives.  This means we walk in the light and no longer in the darkness we walked in prior to our adoption as children of God.  Who would want to go back after being adopted by a loving father into a filthy dark orphanage?
·     Light and darkness cannot coexist, just as anyone becoming an American citizen must give up his previous citizenship, a citizen of God’s kingdom must give up his citizenship in the world and no longer abide by it’s rules.  We cannot live with one foot in the world of darkness and one foot in the kingdom of light.  We are in the world, but not of the world.
·     Understanding what the Lord’s will is requires us to be awake spiritually.  We have to be aware of the spiritual war going on all around us, we have to be careful!  Being a Christian is not about living a carefree life, it is about being free from the penalty of sin that once hung over our heads and helping others be free also.  If we are to remain free, we must continually walk in the light and help each other to expose areas of darkness in our lives that may be blind spots for us.  We must do this for Christians and non-Christians alike,
·     This type of exposing darkness only happens through deep involvement in each other’s lives (discipleship).  It doesn’t happen by being shallow or allowing fear of past failures in relationships to master you.
·     Humility must reign in our fellowship if we are to grow to maturity. Paul grew in his humility, from calling himself least of the apostles to least of God’s people to worst of sinners.   Humility to God’s word is a tell-tale sign of openness to growth in Christians and non-Christians alike. How do you see yourself compared to others?  Do you trust spiritual people’s opinions over your own?  Expose the darkness! 

3. Husbands and Wives


1 Peter 3:1-7
Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

·      Bible calls wives to submit to husband’s leadership, but we must all remember that we submit to Christ first.  Many Christian women have walked away from the church or Christ or are limited in their involvement out of fear of not submitting to husband’s ungodly demands.
·      Weaker—less dominant role in regards to leadership
·      God established the husband as the head of the family as Christ is the head of the church.
·      Weaker does not mean less valuable.
·      Husbands—Consider (with a warning)
·      So that nothing will hinder your prayers

4. Children and Parents

Ephesians 6:1-4
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”[a]
Fathers,[b] do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Video

·     Obey—with a warning, that it may go well with them and that their life may be enjoyably long.
·     It should be an expectation of every parent that their children obey
·     Fathers—instruct and train, do not exasperate (provoke to anger or embitter)