Sunday, May 30, 2004

Why We Do What We Do


Family Sunday

I. Meet & Greet - Be Seated

Acts 2 (NKJV)

42 ¶ And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

The Apostle John took the time to formally greet the saints in his writings, many by name.

The Apostle Peter wrote to Christians and included greetings.

The Apostle Paul, in his writings to the Churches, either greeted specific people by name or gave admonitions to the church to greet one another 27 times. He encouraged saints to show their love and close relationship with those in their church by these greetings.

Four times he gave instruction to greet one another with a holy kiss.

Philippians 4

21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you.

“Everybody says hi!”

In Kenya, when 2 Christians meet, the common greeting exchanged is no longer, “Hello, how are you?”, and the reply “Good thank you.” (In Swahili.)

Rather, for Christians it is, “Praise the Lord”, and the reply, “Praise Him Much!” (In Swahili)

Why, Because, Ephesians 4:16 tells us that:

The Body Of Christ Is That By Which Every Person Supplies

“Mix, Meet, Mingle & Multiply” (Acts 2:42-47 - It grows the church!)

Sing: “Lord You Are Good”

II. Praise & Worship

A. Musicians

Psalms 150

3 Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp!

4 Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!

5 Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals!

B. Dancers

Psalms 150:4 Praise Him with the timbrel and dance.

Exodus 15:20 Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.

C. Singers

Psalms 68

24 They have seen Your procession, O God, The procession of my God, my King, into the sanctuary.

25 The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; Among them were the maidens playing timbrels.

D. Congregational Participation

Psalms 150:6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!

E. The Progression

Psalms 100

1 ¶ ((A Psalm of Thanksgiving.)) Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands!

2 Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.

3 Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

5 For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.

1. Thanksgiving “That’s What We Came Here For”

2. Praise “Awesome In This Place”

3. Worship “You Are My King”

III. Water Baptism

A. Water Baptism Is A Command

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

B. Water Baptism Follows Conversion

Acts 10

47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

C. Water Baptism Is A Grave For The Past

1. Noah & his family were baptized in the flood

* 1 Peter 3:20-21

* Not so that they could have a relationship with God, but because they had a relationship with God.

2. The Children of Israel were baptized in the Red Sea

* 1 Corinthians 10:2

* Not so that they could have a relationship with God, but because they had a relationship with God.

D. Water Baptism Is Identification and Inclusion With Christ

Romans 6:4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

* Pastor Ken will be baptizing several people

* We will want music

* After baptisms we will sing

“Look What The Lord Has Done”

IV. Children

A. Jesus invites children to participate in His Kingdom

Mark 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.

In fact we are admonished by Jesus to become like little children in our faith and acceptance of the Kingdom of God.

Mark 10:15 "Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it."

* In a moment we will watch, along with Jesus, while some of the children of our church present an offering of their love and praise to Him.

B. But first a word about Dedicating Children To God

1. Hannah dedicated Samuel to the Lord in 1 Samuel 1

2. Mary presented Jesus to God in the temple and dedicated Him according to the command of God. Luke 2

* While the families are bringing their children which are to be dedicated to God today, let me release those children who have been preparing to minister to the Lord this morning.

* Baby Dedication

* Followed by Children’s Special

V. Giving

A. Tithe - One Tenth

1. Both Old & New Testament words mean one-tenth

2. The first time tithing is mentioned in the bible is in reference to Abraham giving one tenth of his increase to the priest of God.

* over 500 years before the law Genesis 14:20

* we know that Cain & Abel were commanded to give sacrifices and offerings to God

3. Jacob made a covenant of tithing Genesis 28:22

4. The law included tithing Numbers 18:24ff

* Fulfillment of Jacob/Israel’s covenant promise to God

5. The New Testament reveals that Christ redeemed saints from the curse of the law, not the responsibilities of it, and returned them unto the covenant of Abraham. Galatians 3:13 & 29

* The Abrahamic covenant included tithing.

6. Hebrews 7 gives a clear picture of the covenant of tithing, showing its roots in Abraham, whose seed we are, and not in the law.

B. 3 Reasons Why We Give Offerings

1. Follow The Lead

2. Meet The Need

3. Sow The Seed

Tithing is a covenant responsibility

Offerings are kingdom opportunities

VI. Communion

* Elders, Deacons & Servants of the House, make ready the tables of communion.

A. There were two types of people at the cross

1. Those who respected the body and blood of our Lord

2. Those who disrespected the body and blood of our Lord.

B. There are two types of people in the world today.

1. Those who are worthy to partake of these holy sacraments

2. Those who are unworthy

C. We are admonished to Examine Ourselves

1. Our past sins

2. Our present motives

3. Our future intent

* … before we partake of communion unworthily and make ourselves guilty of a most unholy act - standing with the unrepentant crowd in view of our Lord’s spilled blood and broken body.

D. This is an intimate time.

* Pray with me for forgiveness and Holy Communion.

* Singers & Musicians begin - People receive sacraments

* When Appropriate - All Stand

Matthew 26

* The Bread

26 ¶ And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

* The Cup

27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;

28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

* The Hymn

30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

* Sing “There Is Power In The Blood” or “Come Just As You Are”

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Going To God for Help

Going To God for Help


We will be reading tonight from the book of Mark Chapter 5

Key Scripture: John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life: no one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Mark 5 (NKJV)

22 And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet

23 and begged Him earnestly, saying, "My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live."

24 So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.

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.

38 Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly.

39 When He came in, He said to them, "Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping."

40 And they ridiculed Him. But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying.

41 Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, "Talitha, cumi," which is translated, "Little girl, I say to you, arise."

42 Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement.

Both Jairus and this little woman needed to get to God. They believed that if they could reach God that He would meet their desperate need.

One more thing that both believed … That they could get to God by going to Jesus!

What they may not have realized however, was that He is not just one way to get to God, but that Jesus Is The Only Way To Get To God.

Jesus Himself said it - “No one comes to God except through me.”

I. Jesus Is The Way

A. There is no other

B. He is not only the Way to God, but also the Way to:

1. Peace in our home

2. Joy in our heart

3. Prosperity for our earthly life

4. Eternal Security for our after life

C. Without Jesus the best we can end up with:

1. Tolerance instead of Peace (spirit of short fuse - frustrated)

2. Happiness instead of Joy (dependent on circumstances)

3. Riches instead of Prosperity

* deceitful (choke the word Matthew 13:22)

* uncertain (can’t trust them 1 Timothy 6:17)

* make themselves wings (fly away Proverbs 23:5)

4. Fearful Uncertainty instead of Eternal Security (Hebrews 10)

II. Jesus Is The Truth

A. Galatians 3

1 ¶ O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth …

3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?

B. Galatians 4

16 Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?

C. Four Points To Ponder

1. Point # 236 The Truth is willing to be as painful as it must in order to remain the Truth.

2. Point #39 Truth is not determined by a show of hands.

3. Point #184 Something which is wrong cannot be made right simply by a lapse of time.

4. Point #210. Trust Me, When God Says You Are Wrong, You Are Wrong!

D. Ephesians 4:15 Speak the truth in love and grow up into Christ.

III. Jesus Is The Life

A. This is the life!

B. Many think that Christians, real followers of Christ, have no life … no real life anyway. They must be boring, one dimensional, weak people with soft minds and sad lives.

C. Wrong

1. What an adventure!

2. What a rush!

3. What a future!

4. What a life!

D. Jesus is:

1. The Way - The Truth - The Life

2. Is He Your Way - Your Truth - Your Life

IV. Going To God For Help

I imagine that there were a lot of people sitting around wishing God would help them. Some of them running around trying everything they could get their hands on … however …

A. Jairus and the little woman both choose Jesus as The Way

B. Jesus showed them that He was the Truth

1. What they believed

2. What they feared

3. What they were told

* did not stand in the face of the Truth

* they would never have known it if they would not have chosen to make Jesus the Way

C. Jesus gave them life! Real life! The life only He can give!

When you go to God for Help, Go God’s Way!

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Ancient Landmarks Of Life

Ancient Landmarks Of Life


Key Scripture: Proverbs 22:28 Do not remove the ancient landmark which your fathers have set. (NJKV)

Each day now for nearly 25 years, I have endeavored to read from the book of Proverbs.

* The Proverbs Daily Wisdom Plan

> Enough chapters for each day of the month

> Read Proverbs 1 on the 1st, 12 on the 12th and so on.

> Find one scripture or concept for meditation each day

> I have found that the wisdom I need is usually there

There are three sources of Godly wisdom that I have come to rely on.

* Pre-emptive Wisdom (Preventive Medicine For The Soul)

> Early Morning Catch (Pray - sleep - wake - listen)

> Daily Bible Reading (vary year to year)

> Church Services (A constant source of instruction)

When I counsel people, most often it is only a repeat of a recent sermon or exhortation during a service which they missed or were not attentive to.

I have benefited from paying close attention and even revisiting those words, scriptures and principles which seem to coincidentally confirm or support one another or speak to me a little deeper than normal.

“A Coincidence Is Often Just Something God Does Anonymously”

My Proverbs for today, being the 23rd of this month is, of course, from chapter 23.

Yesterday I read ahead, as I often do on Saturday, so that I could get some early wisdom for Sunday, which is the one day each week that I need great wisdom. Not just wisdom for my life, but wisdom for the individuals and families who make up the sheepfold over which the Lord has made me His under-shepherd.

I was more than a bit intrigued when I found that my attention was drawn to the same subject two chapters in a row, especially since this subject is mentioned less than 10 times total in the whole bible.

My Proverb for today is:

Proverbs 23:10 Do not remove the ancient landmark, Nor enter the fields of the fatherless; (same as Proverbs 22:28 almost)

Thus Today’s Sermon Title:

Ancient Landmarks

A landmark is basically a boundary line.

* This is the edge of your property.

* You can go this far, but no farther.

* This is the line that you cannot cross.

* It would be wrong to move, remove, disregard or cross over this line without permission

* A line which was established long ago by our forefathers.

* An Ancient Landmark.

Naturally this has to do with real estate boundaries.

Spiritually these ancient landmarks have more to do with boundaries of life, godliness and the Christian’s perspective and conduct.

These boundaries are well marked and well known.

* It is wrong to attempt to move, remove, disregard or cross over these lines.

* From the beginning of time, generation after generation have confirmed these landmarks.

In ancient times, these landmarks were piles or heaps of stones. Several stones laid upon one another used to establish a boundary line. These lines were law.

These landmarks were unmovable.

Let us now look at Three Ancient Landmarks Of Life

I. Our God (What about Our God constitutes a landmark?)

A. His Name

* Is Holy

* Is Above Every Other Name

* His last name is not damn

B. His Nature

* God Is Light

* God Is Life

* God Is Love

C. His Son - Jesus

Acts 4:12 "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

To cross over these lines is to be on foreign soil. Not our land.

II. Our Family (There are established family landmark stones)

A. The Landmark of Relationships

1. Our Parents

A long and prosperous life begins with respecting your parents.

2. Our Spouse

This person, if we are married, is our number one.

If not --- we have moved, removed, disregarded or crossed over a boundary line - an ancient landmark - and are treading on the devil’s ground.

3. Our Children

* We are not raising children, we are raising adults, and we only have their childhood years to get it done.

* Children are the priority of the home and life for the necessary period.

B. There Are Established Boundaries Dealing With Our Environment

1. Our Home - a nurturing, peaceful, grace filled safe haven

2. Our Work

* An honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.

3. Our World - whom we choose to associate with

C. Another Stone In The Landmark Of Our Family Deals With Our Pleasure & Stuff

1. Finances

* One reason we cannot buy what we want is because we bought what we wanted

* Pay our just and honest debts

2. Fruits of Labor Ecclesiastes 3:13

For a man to enjoy the fruit of his labor is a gift of God.

> enjoy things -- don’t love them!

> have things -- don’t let them have you!

III. Our Church (In order to understand Church, We Must Understand That …)

A. We Are God’s Family

B. We Are God’s Force

C. We Are The Bride Of Christ

There exists immoveable boundaries of life, understood from old.

In a time when God’s children, Israel, had rebelled against Him and had strayed from His guidelines, God sent them into captivity as punishment and judgment on their sinful lives.

They thought that they would never be allowed to return to the peace and prosperity of their promised land. They had sinned and God decided to punish them. They thought that they were finished.

However, this merciful, loving and gracious God, sent word to them by the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah told them how they could return to their former blessed lives.

It begins:

Jeremiah 31:21 "Set up signposts, Make landmarks; Set your heart toward the highway, The way in which you went. Turn back, O virgin of Israel, Turn back to these your cities.

Sounds just like the admonition from Jesus, given to the Apostle John for the church in Ephesus.

Revelation 2:5 "Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.

If you have moved, removed or disregarded the ancient landmarks, somehow crossed over the boundary lines of life and godliness …

If you have allowed yourself to stray from the pathways of God in some area of life - perhaps concerning:

* Your God

* Your Family

* Your Church

> Your Relationships

> Your Home

> Your Work

> Your World

Good News!

God has made a way for us all -

We can Repent and Return to the God of our fathers.

We can Set Up Signposts

Make Landmarks

Set Our Hearts Toward The High Way

Come Back Home

Today is your day!

Hear this wisdom from God!

Do more than just hear, Act On It Now!

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Pleasure & Stuff

Pleasure & Stuff


Key Scripture: John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Jesus overcame the world by overcoming temptation. Matthew 4

Temptation to

Let His cravings control His life


Prove He really was somebody


Get without giving


He overcame because

He was a man of conviction

He was a man of passion

He was a man of discipline

Text: 1 John 4 (NIV)

1 ¶ Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

2 This is how you can recognise the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,

3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

4 ¶ You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

The world has it’s own religion and it’s own prophets.

Prophets who are sent to preach a tempting message.

There Are The Three Pillars of The World’s Religion

1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. (NKJV)


1 John 2:16 For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does— comes not from the Father but from the world.

The Message

1 John 2:16 Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him.

Three Pillars Of The World System

1. Lust

* I want my way

* I want what sin promises

* Pleasure & Stuff

2. Greed

* I want everything for myself

* I want more

* More Pleasure & Stuff

3. Pride

* I want to appear important

* See who I am

* Winning The Race Of Pleasure & Stuff

* The race of life is all about pleasure & stuff

There is nothing wrong with having pleasure and stuff.

Job 36:11 If they obey and serve Him, They shall spend their days in prosperity, And their years in pleasures.

Prosperity and pleasures are a part of God’s blessing plan

There is nothing wrong with us having pleasure and stuff, however, there is something wrong with pleasure and stuff having us.

There is something very wrong with being caught up in the worldly pursuit of pleasure and stuff. It can:

* capture a person

* overcome them

* control their life

Three Questions This World’s Religion Will Never Ask

* What are you doing with what you have?

* Why do you want more?

* Who are you trying to impress?

(wait, send no money now - along with this …)

Jesus overcame the world - He lived above the snare

When we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, we also overcome the world. Sin has no more dominion over us. Romans 6:14

Peter admonished us, saying that after we are saved we must be sober and vigilant so as not to allow the devil to once again overcome us. 1 Peter 5:8-9

Peter further speaks to the Christian about the world’s prophets, some of whom are former converts to Christianity who have gone back to their worldly ways. They use Christianity and Christians to pursue their worldly goals of:

* Pleasure & Stuff

* More Pleasure and More Stuff

* Winning the Race of Pleasure & Stuff

In A Cloaked Attempt To Satisfy Their: Lust - Greed - Pride

Listen to what Peter says about them

2Peter 2

1 ¶ But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them …

2 Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.

3 ¶ In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up …

10 ¶ This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority …

14 With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed …

19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.

20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.

Once we overcome the world through Christ we must keep from falling into the temptation of the devil and being entangled once again in this world’s snare?

How can we keep lust, greed and pride from getting the best of us and overcoming us once again?

When I look at all of the Christians I have known over the past half century who have lost the fire of God in their life and abandoned the pursuit of God’s pleasure for their own, I see three common threads.

What caused these failures?

I am certain it is nothing different than what happened in the lives of Eve, Cain, Balaam, Korah, Alexander, Ananias & Sapphira, Hymeneals & Philetus

These failed where Paul, Peter, John and many others we know have succeeded.

All succeed who follow the example of Jesus.

If we are going to stay free from the god of this world, the religion of pleasure and stuff, from the snare of this world’s prophets, then we too must follow Jesus’ example.

What must we do?

1. Adopt Firm Convictions Based On The Bible

2. Make Concrete Commitments To Obey & Serve God

3. Discipline Ourselves And Keep Those Commitments

Lust, Greed & Pride call out to the Christian day after day.

With no firm convictions, concrete commitments, and personal discipline, you will be snared!

Let Us Ask Ourselves Right Now:

* What are we doing with what we have?

* Why do we want more?

* Who are we trying to impress?

I trust you are honoring God with what you have.

I hope you want more so you can give more.

I pray the only one you are trying to impress is God.

Let’s take time during this prayer to examine and adjust ourselves.

For further study: 1 John 5:4-5; Revelation 2:7,11,17,26;3:5,12,21 & 21:7