Sunday, August 25, 2002

Becoming A Christian

Becoming A Christian


Turn To Acts 13

Point #85 from my 156 point sermon: A quote from John Osteen which I heard several years ago:

“Sitting in church won’t make you a Christian anymore than sitting in a garage will make you a car.” Pastor John Osteen

John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Acts 11:26 … And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

Well maybe we should look at the church in Antioch

I. Acts 13:

1 ¶ Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

II. Some Distinguishing Characteristics Of A Christian

A. Sets Time Aside To Serve God

1. Ministered: leitourgeo (li-toorg-eh’-o)

a) to serve the state at one’s own cost

a1) to assume an office which must be administered at one’s own expense

a2) to discharge a public office at one’s own cost

a3) to render public service to the state

b) to do a service, perform a work

2. Prayer, Teaching, Worship or Other Physical Needs of The Church

B. Rules Their Flesh

1. 1 Corinthians 9:27 I keep my body under subjection …

2. Galatians 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

C. Hears The Voice Within The Voice

1. John 10

A. My sheep hear My voice

B. My sheep know My voice

C. My sheep follow me

D. My sheep will not follow a stranger’s voice

E. My sheep can tell the difference between My voice and the voice of a stranger

2. John 15:26 The (Holy Ghost) Comforter will testify of Me

3. John 5:39 The scriptures testify of Me

4. Revelation 19:10 True prophecy testifies of Me

D. Prepares Himself & Obeys

1. Fasted and prayed, then laid hands on and sent away.

2. 2 Timothy 2:15 Study to show yourself approved …

A. Just like John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus

B. Just like Jesus is in heaven preparing a place for us

C. We must accept preparation for service as a part of our reasonable responsibility

III. What Does It Take To Be A Christian - (Christ Like)

A. Set Aside Time For Kingdom Service

B. Take Control Of Your Appetites

C. Learn To Distinguish The Voice Of God

1. His Word

2. His Will

3. His Way

D. Prepare Yourself For Greater Service

1. Mentally

2. Physically

3. Spiritually

One can know about God by seeing where He has been and what He has done. But one cannot know Him without being where He is and involved in what He is doing.

The Christian is not called to preserve where God has been, but pursue where He is going.

Instead of sitting and staring up the steps, we must arise and step up the stairs.

The Church is not a refrigerator to cool off and preserve ministry, but an incubator to heat up and birth ministry.

The reason they were called Christians first at Antioch, is because the church was full of people who were

People of His presence (The family of Christ)

People of His purpose (The force of Christ)

People of His passion ( The Bride of Christ)

Set Aside Time For Kingdom Service

Take Control Of Appetites

Learn To Distinguish The Voice Of God

Prepare Yourself For Greater Service

Sunday, August 11, 2002

Points Of Light

Points of Light


Turn to Genesis 45

Tell the story of Joseph (Genesis 30 - 50 … 110 years)

The father’s favorite son (Jacob’s & Rachael’s)

Joseph dreamed of the future

Joseph would tell on his brothers

Joseph was 17 years old (Gen 37:2)

Thrown into a pit by his older, jealous brothers

Sold into slavery by his brothers

Taken to Egypt and sold to Potiphar

Became chief steward of the house

Fled from Potiphar’s wife

Falsely accused of attempted rape

Condemned to prison

Became chief trustee in prison

Interpreted dreams of King’s servants

Two years passed - Joseph was forgotten

Brought before the King to interpret dream

Joseph was 30 years old (Genesis 41:46)

Joseph became chief steward/overseer of Egypt

7 years of plenty

2 years of famine

Joseph was 39 or 40 years old

Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt

Joseph accuses them of spying

Joseph takes Simeon as a hostage

Joseph demands Benjamin as proof

The brothers return to their father

The brothers return with Benjamin

Joseph hides his silver cup in Ben’s sack

Benjamin is caught with the cup

The brothers plead for Benjamin

Reuben offers himself for his father’s sake

Read Genesis 45:1-8a

1 ¶ Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.

2 And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard.

3 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence.

4 And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.

5 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.

6 For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest.

7 And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.

8 So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God:

Principles of Living taken from my 154 point sermon:

Point # 48. What may seem like a surprise to you is a plan to God.

Don’t you know Joseph was surprised !

How about Jacob, his father - Reuben his brother

Joseph was in the plan of God all along.

From the pit, to the prison, to the palace, all was according to the pre-ordained plan and purpose of God.

We do not have to understand it for it to be God’s will.

Point # 50. It’s the ordinary that prepares and qualifies you for the extra ordinary .

Joseph became great in the ordinary everyday life of a slave and in ordinary everyday prison. This qualified him for his extra ordinary life in the palace.

Become great in your ordinary.

It is the journey that prepares us with capacity for the destiny.

The journey is your friend.

Sometimes we must go through a place we do not want to be, in order to get to the place we do want to be.

Jesus on the cross

Women birthing babies

Men pleasing their wives

Point # 124. Learn the difference between having a problem and being a problem.

Joseph could have turned having a problem being a slave to Potiphar into creating a problem with God.

It’s alright to have a problem, but it’s not alright to be a problem.

Point # 133. What we are facing may not be punishment for our past, but positioning for our future.

Sure Joseph had irritated his brothers, but they were not in control of his life or his destiny … God was!

God was positioning Joseph for his future.

It looked like a pit

It looked like a prison

But it was actually a chariot of God

Point # 137. It may be bad now but trust me, you can make it worse.

Don’t add impurities to your refining process

Bad decisions, wrong decisions and costly mistakes are a part of the process, not the problem.

Don’t take a temporary situation and create a permanent problem.

Pitching a fit or sulking or giving up won’t help.

Right now may not be a good time to be depressed!

Point # 154. God does not first seek our permission before He upsets our plans.

If things are not going as you planned …

It may be the devil trying to destroy you

It may be poor planning on your part

It may be God ignoring your plans in favor of His Own

How can we know?

First Pray

Point # 140. Prayer is not a spice of life we sprinkle over our plan to give it a God flavor … prayer is the key ingredient through which we find the receipt for our life.

Then Obey

Obey the written word of God

Obey the known will of God

Obey the evident way of God

Point # 142. What we do with what we have shows who we are and what we believe.


We cannot often determine what we go through, but we can control how we go through it.

We can only play the cards we are dealt

Forward is the way out of life’s troubles

God has a plan which includes your tomorrows.

Will you give your tomorrows to Him and trust Him right now?

Song: I went to the enemy’s camp and I sat down and watched TV

Sunday, August 4, 2002

A Clear Picture Of The Church

A Clear Picture Of The Church


Scripture: Matthew 16:18 “… upon this rock I will build My church …”

I. First A Family

* Song: We’re the people of God - 1 Peter 2:10

* We are blood bought, blood washed and blood kin

A. Make A Living

B. Make A Life

1. In an imperfect and flawed way, we are People with the Father’s presence. People of His Presence

2. There was witness that they had been with Jesus

3. He chose them to be with Him & to send them out

C. Make A Difference

1. The lost found

2. The found restored

3. The restored sent

II. Next A Force

* Matthew 11:12 “… now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”

* Acts 1:8 “… you shall receive power … and you shall be witnesses …”

A. Not only a people of His presence, but also People Of His Purpose

B. It is not the arrow that determines the target

C. It is the Archer who determines the target

1. At times we are the target and at times the arrow

2. The arrow is

A. First chosen (hidden in a quiver)

B. Then set on a bow string

C. Next drawn back close to the eye & farther away from the target

(1) This creates tension around us

(2) This is transition time

D. Then it is released

III. Ultimately A Bride

A. A People of presence, purpose and People Of His Passion

1. Chaste (2 Corinthians 11:2 presented as chaste virgins to Christ)

2. Discreet

A. Titus 2:5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

B. Greek Word: sophron (so’-frone)

1) of a sound mind, sane, in one’s senses

2) curbing one’s desires and impulses, self-controlled, temperate

C. Certainly if discretion is valued of earthly - temporal wives, much more the eternal heavenly wife of Jesus The King of Glory!

3. Prepared

A. Revelation 21:2 Prepared as a bride adorned for her husband

2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

B. Revelation 21:9 The bride, the Lamb’s wife

9 ¶ And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.

10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

11 Having the glory of God …

C. Revelation 19: She dressed herself in white

7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

Let’s get ourselves ready. Clean and pure of heart, mind & body.

IV. Upon This Rock I Will Build

A. Jesus is still building the church

B. He is using people like stones (1 Peter 2:5)

C. Each person supplies the mortar (Ephesians 4:16)

D. He is the potter and we are the clay

1. Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

2. Some clay is hard to work with

3. Jesus is still working on me

4. Will you offer yourself to His Hand today?