Sunday, December 21, 2003

His Name Is Jesus

His Name Is Jesus


Matthew 1 (NKJV)

18 ¶ Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.

19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.

20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

21 "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins."

22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:

23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us."

24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife,

25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.

I. (v.23) They Shall Call His Name Immanuel

A. “God With Us”

B. God wants to be with us, so He came to earth as a man

II. (v.21) You Shall Call His Name Jesus

A. He will save His people from their sins

B. “The Lord Saves”

III. Many Know God Is With Us, Fewer Know He Saves

A. He Came To Save Each Person

1. From An Eternity In Hell

2. From The Hell Of This Life

3. From The Damning Power Of Sin

4. From The Governing Power Of Sin

B. Save - Greek: sozo sode’-zo

1. To rescue from danger and destruction

2. To keep safe and sound

3. To make well, heal and restore to health

4. To deliver from the evils and obstructions of life

IV. (v.21) He Shall Save His People From Their Sins

A. Who Are His People?

1. Christians -- Potential Christians -- Which Christians?

B. Recent survey by Barna Research Group Ltd. (

* 49% of Born Again Christians accept living together without a marriage commitment as a moral alternative.

* 35% of Born Again Christians believe it is no failure to have sex with another person outside of the marriage.

* 20% of Born Again Christians see cheating on their spouse with a sex partner as a morally acceptable practice.

That’s 1 in every 5 Born Again Christians believes it is not a moral failure to engage in a homosexually based adulterous affair.

C. If these Born Again Christians are His people, they sure need saving from their sins, and why hasn’t He done it already?

V. Perhaps There Is More To Christianity Than Knowing About God

A. You Can Know About People Without Actually Knowing Them

1. Read the stories in people magazine

2. Carry on conversations about them

3. Join fan clubs

4. Get very comfortable with them

5. Think you know them because you know all about them.

B. You Don’t Know Them If They Don’t Know You

1. You just know about them

2. Matthew 7 (NIV)

21 ¶ "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’

23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

3. ‘The Message’

21 ¶ "Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance—isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills.

22 I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’

23 And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’

VI. I Thought Jesus Came To Save Them?

A. He Did

B. He Provided A Way Of Salvation To Everyone Who Will

C. What Is The Way … “I am The Way” John 14:6

1. Rescue from danger and destruction

2. Being Kept safe and sound

3. Wellness, healing and restoration

4. Deliverance from evils and obstructions

D. Matthew 7 (NIV)

24 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.

27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

VII. Knowing God

A. There is a vast difference between knowing God is existent and knowing Him as Lord and Savior through the person of Jesus Christ.

B. You can know Him and not just know about Him

C. He will be your God with or without you, but it takes you to make Him your savior. (Every knee … confess that Jesus is LORD.)

D. We Must Follow Him to know Him

Hosea 6:3a Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD.

E. We Must Practice what He says

Matthew 7

23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you …

24 everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice …

Don’t miss the boat!

More than what others call Him,

We call Him Savior!

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Real Life Lessons From The Bible

Real Life Lessons From The Bible


Our text tonight will be taken from:

Mark 5 (NKJV)

25 Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years,

26 and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse.

27 When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment.

28 For she said, "If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well."

29 Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.

30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched My clothes?"

31 But His disciples said to Him, "You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’"

32 And He looked around to see her who had done this thing.

33 But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.

34 And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction."

A study of this account leads to some evident conclusions.

1. There are some troubles which will not get better without Jesus.

2. We are influenced by the people we listen to.

3. Life is a choice.

4. What we say to ourselves can determine our future.

5. Immediate results are possible.

6. We hold the key to the power of God.

7. Jesus wants us to tell Him the whole truth.

8. God is not looking for a reason to disqualify you.

I. Look For Jesus In Your Time Of Trouble

A. John 1

1 ¶ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 He was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

5 ¶ And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

1. Comprehend - Take Full Account - Pay Attention - Accept

2. Satan is the prince of darkness, the father of lies

3. Break free of the darkness before it consumes you

4. Seek, Find & Follow the Word of God

Side Note About Following The Darkness - Choosing To Sin:

* 1 John 3

6 Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.

7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.

8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.

10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.

A knowing and willful choice to go against the Word and Will of Almighty God is, according to scripture, an indication that this person is a child of the devil and has never comprehended God.

B. Revelation 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

He was, is and forever shall be The Word, The Final Word Of God.

II. Other People’s Influence

A. 2 Peter 2

7 ¶ (God) delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:

8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)

B. 1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."

C. Two Admonitions From The Apostle Paul

1. Romans 16:17 ¶ I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.

2. Philippians 3:17 ¶ Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.

III. Life Is A Choice

A. God is Pro-Choice

B. Do not mistake that for agreement

C. Do not mistake His loving kindness as a license to sin

D. There are no ‘Get Out Of Hell Free’ cards … it cost God His Only Son.

E. Deuteronomy 30:19 "Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendants might live!

F. Joshua 24:15 ¶ But if you are unwilling to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD."

IV. The Power Of Meditation - ‘What We Say To Ourselves’

A. Luke 7:39 … Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.

B. Luke 12:17 "And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’

C. Luke 18:4 "And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man,

D. Proverbs 26:24 He who hates, disguises it with his lips, And lays up deceit within himself;

E. Genesis 18:12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself,

F. Matthew 9:21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.

What we say to ourselves can determine our future.

V. Some Actions Produce Immediate Results

A. Sometimes that’s good

B. Sometimes it’s bad

C. Be careful what you ask for, you may get it.

D. Even Jesus was cautious not to press for His own desire

1. Mark 14:36 “ … nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will."

2. Matthew 26:53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?

E. John 6:21 Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.

* 55 times the word ‘immediately’ is recorded in AV

* Another 40 times for ‘suddenly’

VI. Jesus said, “Who touched Me?”

A. Multitudes were touching Him

B. But one person touched Him with faith

C. She had the key and she accessed the power of God

D. Our faith is the key to the power of God.

VII. Tell Him The Truth And Let Him Decide

A. Matthew 6:8b For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.

B. James 4:1 ¶ What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?

2 You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.

3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred towards God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

C. Don’t hold back, tell Him the truth and let Him decide.

VIII. God Is Working, Hoping To Include Everyone

A. 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

B. Mark 8

34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.

36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

C. Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

Real Life Lessons From The Bible

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Opportunity Is Knocking Series

Opportunity Is Knocking Series


You may wish to turn in your bibles to the beginning of the New Testament, in what is commonly called ‘The Gospels’, to:

The Book of Mark

Key Scripture: Mark 4:20 "But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred." (NKJV)

It has only been a month since we concluded our ‘Examining The Foundation’ series.

In that series we examined scriptures concerning:

Salvation; Water Baptism; Prayer; The Authority & Integrity of God’s Word; Tithes & Offerings and God’s Master Plan.

Remember God’s Master Plan we found it was God’s desire that we:

Be Godly

Be Healthy

Be Productive

Both tapes and notes covering all those topics are available through our information desk in the foyer.

Then on Sunday, November the 9th, we summed up what we had learned and felt that we, as individuals, families and a church body, were now ready to begin a new adventure in Christ.

The adventure of building on our solid foundation.

That Sunday morning I began with:

Point #224 Peace comes from realizing that the purpose outweighs the pain.

The following Sunday Morning, November 16th, we began the ‘Opportunity Is Knocking’ series.

This series was based on ‘Three Great Truths’

1. God has a plan.

2. He will succeed.

3. You have an opportunity to participate.

We established from the scriptures that:

* The players may change but God’s plan won’t change.

* God is going to succeed even if it cost Him your life.

* Many are invited to participate but only a few are chosen.

Perhaps it’s because the road tends to be lonely, costly and narrow, and few spend the time necessary to sufficiently prepare themselves.

That brought us to:

Point #79 Although many are willing to be used, few are willing to be prepared for use.

That next Sunday, November 23rd, we surveyed ‘The First Steps’ we can take to prepare ourselves for use by God.

Some of us needed God to:

1. Show us what He wanted us to do.

2. Get us ready to do it.

3. Open a door so we can do it.

I shared;

Point #188 What we do while we are waiting on God can determine how long we wait.

Point #179 It’s not what we are going through, but what we are going to that matters most.

Point #38 What you are going through may not be punishment for the past, but positioning for the future.

We found that two important steps each person should take in preparing themselves for greater use by God are:

1. Decide To Be Godly It’s A Choice

2. Learn To Be Content

On Sunday, November 30th, we continued in the ‘Opportunity Is Knocking’ series with scriptures surrounding the life of Joseph.

We were encouraged to realize that:

God does not call you where His grace cannot keep you.

And that we should all learn to:

Bloom where we are planted.

Then, last Sunday, December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day, I shared:

Point #44 If it’s bad, most likely God is not finished yet.

We saw Peter, after denying Jesus and returning to the same place and occupation he was in before Christ, was again faced with having fished all night and caught nothing. (Luke 5:5 & John 21:3)

We realized through surveying both Old Testament and New Testament scriptures that when God’s chosen people are going in circles around themselves and getting nowhere, and perhaps had rather just be left alone …

… Wouldn’t You Know It …

Here Comes Jesus Again!

He’s got another chance for us to participate.

Our summation last week was that truly:

God has a plan

He will succeed

We can participate

He will make room for us again and again

And that so

We can be fruitful

In God’s Place

In God’s Time

I also, by way of apology, informed the congregation last week, that I had one more message in this series before we could conclude and move on. This morning, I have prepared that message:

So without further explanation I give you:

Opportunity Is Knocking …

The Conclusion

Have You Found Our Text Yet?: Mark 4 (NIV)

26 He also said, "This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground.

27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.

28 All by itself the soil produces corn—first the stalk, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.

29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come."

You know:

Timing is critical, and timing is often determined by things so beyond our control.

I. In Order To Serve God Fruitfully, We Need Some Vital Information

A. What Does God Want Done

B. How Does God Want To Do It

C. When Should It Begin

II. The Three Stages Of A Kingdom Opportunity

A. First The Stalk

What Does God Want Done

1. God’s Hope

2. God’s Purpose

3. God’s Vision

* In this scenario God intends the seed sown be multiplied

* The seed is the Word of God sown in a person’s heart. (Luke 8:11)

> It produces first the stalk. (The KJV says, “first the blade”)

> The first evidence of life, even though it may not be fully recognizable … A Vision; A Dream; An Inspired Idea; God’s Purpose

B. The Word From God Produces: First The Stalk, Then The Ear

1. First the vision

2. Then the Vehicle

3. First: What God Wants Done?

4. Then, How He Wants To Do It?

5. First the Purpose

6. Then the Plan

*Note: It is not enough to just know what God wants to do, we must also know how He wants it done. The Word will manifest both.

* About 1656 years after God created Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, He had a desire, a vision, a passion and purpose, to destroy all living creatures wherein there was the breath of life from off of the face of the earth except one man Noah, his family and a certain few animals. Knowing this would not just spontaneously happen,

> God developed a plan to accommodate His purpose

> God told Noah to build a boat, it’s going to rain.

^ This Word from God gave Noah a vision and told Noah what God wanted him to do.

^ However, acting on this alone would have been disastrous … Noah also needed to know how to build this boat.

* A purpose without a plan is just a pretense, it’s pitiful, it’s pointless.

* A purpose without a plan is like a promise without a proposal.

> Most likely the boat Noah would have built by his own design would not have accomplished the goal, weathered the storm or stood the test of time.

But it doesn’t end there!

* First the stalk, then the ear, then:

C. The Full Grain In The Ear

1. AV says - the full corn in the ear

2. The Full Grain Speaks Of

* Fulfillment Of The Promise

* Fruit for the Master’s pleasure

* I love it when a plan comes together.

> The Purpose

> The Plan

> The Product

* Only God can measure the finished product.

* It was God who determined when the ark was ready to launch.

* Even when considering the end of time, Jesus reported in:

Mark 13:32 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

* God makes all things beautiful in His time.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 ¶ God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.

As we conclude this series, lets continually

Remember & Rehearse To Ourselves and To Others:

God has a plan,

He will succeed,

And I have an opportunity to participate.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Courage, Charisma And Character

Courage, Charisma And Character


It is not a person’s charisma that God commits to, but their character.

Key Scripture: Proverbs 20:6 ¶ Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, But who can find a faithful man? (NKJV)

Point # 220. Destiny is your opportunity to participate in God’s plan.

Point # 56. Destiny neither waits nor depends on any man.

When the Apostle Paul left Titus in Crete, he gave Titus instructions to ordain Elders in every city:

* If, the Apostle said, you can find any seasoned men who are above reproach, without skeletons in the closet … blameless.

Note: Much like the political parties of our day looking for a candidate to run for the federal judiciary or president or such.

He said:

* Titus look them over, survey their lives, families, behavioral patterns, interview others about them and question their motivations.

* The Apostle Paul understood the potential devastation awaiting men and women who are placed into favorable and powerful positions of life when their motives and appetites are unchecked and unproven. They may be found to only be faithful to themselves.

Lets look in:

Titus 1

7 For a bishop … (Let me stop here for a moment)


episkopos ep-is’-kop-os

From two Greek Words:

Epi (ep-ee‘) denotes position over or above

Skopos (skop-os’) peering to focus on the distant mark, goal or end; scope (even where find the root for skeptic)

(KJV) bishop 6, overseer 1; 7

1) an overseer; superintendent; guardian or curator

1a) a man charged with the duty of seeing that things to be done by others are done rightly

5 ¶ For this cause left I thee in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed you:

6 ¶ If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of being wild or rebellious.

7 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,

8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled,

9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.

10 For there are many who rebel against right teaching; they engage in useless talk and deceive people. This is especially true of those who insist on circumcision for salvation.

11 They must be silenced. By their wrong teaching, they have already turned whole families away from the truth. Such teachers only want your money.

He realized the importance of placing a person in charge of others or over kingdom business. They must be more than just professionally qualified.

There are two basic qualification tests which only God can administer, while we only observe the tests results.

Luke 6:44 Every tree is known by his own fruit.

One test defines who we want to be.

The other test confirms who we really are.

Many people have a natural Charismatic personality.

* They are well liked

* They are outgoing and easy to talk to

* They are passionate and often very convincing

* They often gravitate toward positions of influence

* Adolph Hitler was charismatic

* Napoleon was charismatic

* Jim Jones was charismatic

* We are told that the antichrist and false prophet will be too

Numbers of people are courageous

* Fear is not a factor in their decision making process

* They are able to press on when others shrink back

* Personal loss does not rob them of motivation

* Resistance is an acceptable and manageable risk

* Failure is not a consideration

* The shores and fields of 1944 Europe and the Asian Pacific were filled with courageous men on both sides of the war.

You know the difference between bravery and courage:

My simple definition:

Point #226. It is a brave thing to set out in search of your enemies, however, courage is what you will need when you find them.

Many brave may march into battle, but only the courageous commit to victory or death.

Courage may be bravery put to the test.

I. The Two Tests

A. The Commitment Test

* Helps You Define Who You Want To Be

Note: The heat of hard times provide us golden molten moments.

* Some Potential Elements Of The Commitment Test

> Hardship

> Disappointment

> Lack

> Frustration

> Failure

B. The Character Test

* Reveals Who You Really Are

* Some Potential Elements Of The Character Test

> Blessings

> Victories

> Abundance

> Expectancy

> Success

Failure will test your commitment while success tests your character.

Many people pass the commitment test only to fail the test of character.

Deuteronomy 6 (NIV)

10 When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build,

11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied,

12 be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

It can be dangerous to be satisfied, or to make satisfaction your primary goal.

* Proverbs 27:20 … the desires of man are never satisfied.

The Old Testament Prophets, from Moses to Malachi, encouraged the children of God to not forget God when things started going good.

For these reasons we are admonished to look for faithful people, people of principle, proven in character and not just people who are gifted, talented and charismatic.

II. The Apostle Paul’s Admonishment To His Son Timothy

2 Timothy 2

1 ¶ You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. (NKJV)

The Last Phrase Of Verse 2:

KJV - the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

NIV - entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.

NLT - Teach these great truths to trustworthy people who are able to pass them on to others.

NAS95 - entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

III. What Have We Heard?

1. It takes more than talent, charisma or courage to be chosen and continually blessed by God.

2. Hard times, disappointments and failures will serve to test your commitment, while success, easy times and abundance will test your character.

3. Courage and Charisma may get you what you want, but without Character you cannot keep it.

5. The Commitment Test helps us define who we want to be, while The Character Test confirms who we really are.

May I ask?

What will your character test reveal about you?